Thursday, October 9, 2014

Another reason why we lurve lurve lurve Paul Joyle (Or: The New Kid on the Block is cool!)

Our dance card has been quite full lately, and we don't see it thinning out any time soon.*
We are very happy about this, but were especially happy because one of the best festivities centered around the newest line by one of the best people we know: Paul Joyal. Please welcome...
This cool dude.
You want to know more about that smoke? Oh, it's just the most fab newcomer to the cigar world, a celebration of Paul's 35 years in the cigar industry: The J Grotto Anniversary Series.
Paul swore us to secrecy this summer, which was very very hard because of reasons. (Reason #1? One of us can not keep a secret at all.) (Reason #2? See reason #1 and know that it's me.)
We couldn't tell you about the smooth smoke or the coffee flavors or the underlying sweetness or the brief hints of earthiness and pepper. Do you have any idea how hard it was not to shout about its goodness from the rooftops?**
But we did it!*** And now the waiting is over! You guys! You have got to get yourself one or ten or twenty (in each vitola) of these!
Here are your smoking opportunities, although you shouldn't force yourself to play Sophie's Choice. Just take them all with you!****

E660 (6" x 60)
T650 (Toro 6" x 50)
P555 (Perfecto 5" x 55)--This is the one Valentino's enjoying in the picture above.
L458 (4" x 58)

Back when we were keeping secrets, Valentino smoked the T650. He was scared at first, just a little, because the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is so dark. But two, count 'em, TWO things happened. 1. He trusts Paul and knew his friend wouldn't give him anything that would blow the top of his head clear off and 2. As Valentino gets more and more ensconced in the cigar world, he's finding that you really can't judge a cigar by its wrapper.*****
But man, oh, man, was the cigar gooooood! A cacophony of flavors wafted my way as he enjoyed this cigar. I sat next to him writing while he smoked, and I'd holler random words at him, the scents wafting into my waiting senses. "Pepper! But not that sneaky red pepper flakes you put in food to make me hate you. The good kind." "Citrus? Blow more smoke in my face! Yep! Citrus! Wheee!" "Mmm. Coffee! Why does coffee smell so good and taste so un-good?" Obviously, I am easily entertained, especially when I'm procrastinating.
“Time and time again, smokers have said they smoke full-bodied cigars, and then buy medium-bodied ones,” Paul said. “Many smokers mistake body for flavor, not realizing a powerful smoke can be short on flavor, and vice versa with a mild cigar. Anniversary is flavorful to the point it can be described as succulent. It is a departure from all our three previous J. Grotto cigars, which are medium-full to full-bodied.”
Actually, we're still keeping a secret. The J. Grotto Anniversary uses a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Dominican habano binder and a proprietary filler disclosed as “Dominican and ‘other Central American.'” All tobaccos are aged at least three years and the finished cigars another 3-4 months. Maybe we know what the "other Central American" tobaccos are, and maybe we don't. We can't be bribed to tell you, although you can certainly try. We love a good bribe.******
By the way, don't go internet surfing to find these beauties. They're only available at B&Ms.******* And of course you should get them at Mr. J's Havana Shop so you can meet Paul in person!! No extra charge! Speaking of meeting Paul in person, who are these crazy kids?

Say "Hello!" to Phil Zanghi of Debonaire Cigars (left),
who collaborated with that tall gentleman, Paul Joyle himself.
And, of course, there's our hero Valentino.
What's that? You want to know what they're smoking?
Do you even have to ask?

You must know by now that we love, love, love a good story, especially when lots of significance lurks beyond what your eye sees.  (It's the literature major in one of us.)
The box and band artwork reflect 2014 as a pivotal year in the family’s history: Paul’s parents celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary, while Paul and his wife mark their 30th. Studying the gold coins on Anniversary’s artwork reveals several gold coins with the initials of immediate family members.
You're also probably wondering what Phil Zanghi from Debonaire Cigars has to do with this awesomeness! We're glad you asked!  Said Paul, "The Anniversary is made by cigar wizard Phil Zanghi’s Santiago, Dominican Republic, factory. Phil has certainly lived up to his reputation for service and product ... he nailed the blend and delivered on time in this, our first collaboration. Regarding the blend, I will say that Zanghi has close ties with the Reyes family, suppliers of 70% of all Dominican tobacco used on the island, Anniversary likely has some proprietary Reyes Dominican leaf, too.” [source]
At the celebration for the cigar's launch, held in West Warwick (at an undisclosed location, because we're all about the seekrits), Valentino had the opportunity to chat with Phil about this and other super cigar stuff. His head was spinning with all the info about this series and cigars in general, including why some cigars are head-blow-offy and some aren't.********
Paul actually sponsors a cigar dinner every month at aforementioned seekrit location, so you should stop by the shop to see what's coming up in the next few months!

*Not complaining. Nope, not at all!
**This is metaphorical. I have vertigo, so even looking at the rooftop makes me dizzy.
***Boom. Take that, non-believers.
****We are untrained, unprofessionals. You should still trust us.  We're very trustworthy.
*****But you can judge a book by its cover. My books have gorgeous covers. Just sayin'...

******Just kidding, Paul. We won't tell. Unless your check doesn't clear...
*******Brick and mortar shops--your local cigar shop rather than over the mighty mighty internets.
********That's a blog post for another day.

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