Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Big Eek! Plus! Fun with Joya de Nicaragua and Tatuaje

The pair of caballeros and their lovely partners headed to Springfield, MA for the 99th annual Eastern States Exposition, known to most folks as The Big E. (Insert your own joke here.)

"The weeks-long shindig is billed as "New England's Great State fair". It is the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard and the sixth-largest fair in the nation. The Big E is inclusive of all six of the New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.* Each of the New England states is prominently represented at the fair," according to the Almighty Wikipedia.

We joined all the people in the world there. And they all decided to show up while we were safely ensconced in New Hampshire, thus lulling me into thinking the crowds wouldn't be all that bad. I do not like crowds. I do like Xanax**, which helps me not hate crowds of people as much, so there's that...

It may be nice and peaceful when you go in right as they open...
but not when you come out!! [source]
But that's beside the point. We're here to talk about cigars, and that's what we shall do...

While in Connecticut,

...we happened upon the Connecticut Valley Tobacconists, who were rolling and selling cigars.

Valentino picked one up and said it was a good smoke, although I think he was a bit distracted by the throngs of people to fully enjoy it. Unfortunately, all the smells of deep-fried everything in the world (or at least New England) kept me from actually enjoying it, so we're going to have to take his word that the cigar was pretty darned fab.

Once he finished that, he and Caballero #2 synchronized their smoking and this happened:

No, we did not ride any rides.
Unless you consider eating and shopping a ride.
Then, wheeee!

Every time I see this picture, in my mind,
I make a little toasting with glasses noise.
Clink! A votre santé! To your health!
Caballero #2 gave Valentino this Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta, which I luuurved. Unlike the first cigar of the day, we were seeking refuge from the rain while he smoked this one, so I actually got to enjoy it.

Get them all! [source]

You know how any Nicaraguan cigar is almost always a slam dunk in Valentino World, so this one screams "Love me!" before a flame ever touches it. Because it's on the label and all. And because the filler and binder are from that very land and the wrapper is Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade and Nicaraguan Habana Criollo at the head.

What does all this mean? Super creaminess, which I'm learning is a slam dunk in Penny World. And just like a sugary dessert is enhanced by a pinch of salt, the pepperiness perks up the creaminess. This delight also has undertones of almonds, cocoa, and even a bit of earthiness.

Here's an interesting fact: Did you know Drew Estate handles the U.S. distribution of Joya, Nicaragua's oldest cigar company? True story.

Per usual, Caballero #2 brought a pocketful of cigars. For this portion of the show, he produced...wait for it...the Tatuaje Tattoo Caballero***!!

And then get these!! [source]

According to Cigar Coop, "While Tatuaje Cigars are made by My Father Cigars, this particular cigar is made at Tabacalera Cubana (TACUBA) in Esteli, Nicaragua.  TACUBA is a factory owned by the Garcia family.  It was opened when the Garcias expanded its operation out of El Rey de los Habanos in Little Havana, but before the construction of the My Father Cigars S.A. factory.  TACUBA is still used by the Garcia family today."****

As I didn't get close enough for a full-on second-hand smoke, we're going to go to CI for some deets: "The buzz has been flying over the reintroduction of the Tatuaje Tattoo series, which originally appeared in 2011 in a limited edition version. The cigar was massively popular, and for good reason, a great blend without the boutique price tag. There is no question why the new Tattoo should be any different, seeing as how it comes with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and an enticing mix of Nicaraguan filler leaves. Medium bodied and bursting with notes of cocoa, leather, pepper and a slight sweetness. To Tatuaje, all we have to say is this: Welcome back."

Many more cigars were smoked; much more food eaten; many much more people bumped into and hidden from.  Would I go back? I would, with a Xanax at the ready, just in case I start to get eeked and freaked out. You should come with us! I have enough for everyone! Wheee!


*Oh Vermont, I love your lovely earrings that lovingly grace my lovely ears. And New Hampshire? The maple candy? I want to marry it. Is that legal in your state?

**Which I have taken to calling "Mr. X" because I think it sounds very mysterious.

***I can't make this stuff up! How serendipitous!*****

****I don't know why the font is messed up here. Move on, please.

*****This is one of my favorite words of all time.

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