Thursday, November 6, 2014

In which Valentino is Mr. Helpy McHelperson, Part the First

So we're sitting at Habanos, and I am "grading papers"* while Valentino smokes and chats and orders a pizza for me.**

Brad comes in and we greet him because we're awesome like that. He goes into the humidor and gets his regular purchase.*** As he comes to the end of it, he starts thinking aloud about what to have next. He says he likes medium and asks what Valentino would recommend. Of course Valentino has a recommendation. They disappear into the humidor and return with these selections:

Alec Bradley, Kristoff, and LaSirena. Haha Two men and a lady!

The Alec Bradley Black Market is one of Valentino's favorites; quite a few currently reside in The Monster, waiting their turn to be called up to the big league. (Oh. And set on fire--the metaphor died a horrible death, didn't it?). It's medium strength and the "4-country blend is jam-packed with Jamastran, Honduras and Panamanian long-fillers, capped off by a lively Sumatra binder and powerful Nicaraguan wrapper leaf. Upon first lighting, plumes of smoke fill the air as the blend burns with purpose. Unique and satisfying arrays of flavors greet your palate, as spice, pepper, and peaty undertones finish the ensemble. With a long dry finish, and slow burn, the Black Market cigar is a finger burner." [source]

We just told you yesterday about our fondness for all things Kristoff, so no surprise that it made the recommendation trio. This one, the Corojo Limitada "is for the fan of Nicaraguan tobacco" which is why it made the cut here--as you must know by now, Valentino looooves Nicaraguan tobacco. According to the Kristoff website, "Nearly a puros Nicaraguan blend, this medium-full bodied cigar is loaded with spice, nutmeg, toasted nut and a sweet-spicy finish. Made with 100% Habano seed tobacco that is double and triple fermented, the Corojo Limitada maintains the Kristoff tradition of flavor and smoothness." This cigar is considered the "signature of Kristoff Cigars." We very much like their penmanship.****

He also recommended a La Sirena. Apparently he adores this as well, although I have no memory of him actually smoking one. Of course, we're not together allllll the time, although you probably think we are. Just most of the time! I do know that our friend Eric (Hi Eric!) is a fan of Arielle's line, including this, the Merlion, which is a "rich blend comprised of six...tobaccos. It all starts with a feisty, yet silky smooth Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper. This lovely leaf hugs a Brazilian Sumatra binder, housing an impressive long-filler bouquet of Dominican Corojo, Dominican Criollo 98', Nicaraguan ligero, and finally Brazilian Mata Fina. An adventurous blend no doubt, each brand's influence is evident, as the Merlion asserts a bold, well-balanced array of rich medium to full-bodied smoke...Expect hints of pepper, oak, natural sweetness, and subtle floral notes to mingle, before a long toasty finish." While the Merlion is considered fuller, the tobacco level isn't that high, so its strength isn't pop-your-head-off full, just nice and subtle full.<--Yes, that's a thing. I just made it up, which makes it a thing now.

Valentino's willingness to help out a new friend isn't unique. It happens time and again, whether it's lending a lighter, buying a drink, or handing over a favorite cigar***** in order to share the love with someone who hadn't yet tried it. (And if Valentino hands you a Padron or a Joel Sherman by Nat Sherman, you might as well consider yourself BFFs for life.)

So if you're not sure what to smoke next while you're at the cigar lounge, ask for suggestions. You may just find your new all-time favorite. Or at the very least, make a new friend.

*hahahha. Reading homework words, hoping they're in a good enough order to call fabulous.

**And him, but more for me. Two words: Hungry. Headache.

***If I weren't such a hack reporter, I'd be able to tell you what that cigar was. However, I am a hack reporter with a limited ability to retain information when distracted by air, so...yeah. Let's just skip over this stick. Pretend it never happened.

****Come on. Work with me here. Signature? Penmanship. Sometimes I think I have the funny in abundance!

*****Unsmoked, of course!

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