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Cigar Review: Romeo y Julieta 1875 Habana Reserve

I normally try to take notes about the cigars I smoke so I can know which ones are the most enjoyable. When you buy a cigar, especially in AR with the high taxes you don’t want to spend the money on something that you’ll not enjoy for the next hour or two. I did this review specifically for my friends at Southern Ash so it’s a little more polished than my typical, scribbled one-liner notes. Make sure you check out the blog at Southern Ash – they cover everything from cigars, drinks, how to dress dapperlydapper…ummm…real nice and much more.

 

 

I received this Romeo y Julieta 1875 Habana Reserve in my stocking from Santa; he knows what I like. A couple informational notes before I get into the actual review:

  1. I allowed it to stay in my humidor for about 6 weeks before smoking it, but it might’ve been better to wait a little longer.
  2. I paired the cigar with B&B on the rocks; one of my favorite drinks for a quality cigar.
  3. I had read several reviews on this cigar before I received it as a gift and was excited to try it. I think I was especially excited to try it because Romeo y Julieta’s Reserva Real is one of my all-time favorite cigars and I figured this one would be of similar exceptional taste and construction.

Country of Origin:

Made in Honduras. Honduran and Nicaraguan filler with a Nicaraguan wrapper.

Construction:

It had a soft spongy feel, but not overly spongy, just a little give when squeezed. The weight made it look consistent for its size – 7x 54.  Since it was a pretty good size I knew it would probably be a pretty good investment of time. The total smoke was about an hour and a half, but I tend to smoke my cigars a little faster than most others.

The initial cold draw before I lit it was similar to fresh hay along with a little sweetness and there also seemed to be a feint hint of chocolate or caramel. Tasty.

The wrapper was a little oily primarily from the dark wrapper (I prefer it when it looks a bit oily) and a good looking cigar overall. Good quality construction.

Flavors:

The flavor of the cigar was definitely a more robust take from Romeo y Julieta. Most Romeo y Julietas I’ve had are light to medium body cigars. On the initial light it was immediately medium to full body with a light leathery taste, and then a slight peppery taste on the smooth finish. It was a very short, crisp finish – it didn’t linger long at all initially. The aroma from the smoke was very pleasant, not harsh or overwhelming.  It took a little while to pinpoint the flavors – not because the cigar was complex, because it wasn’t – but just because it seemed a bit deceiving. On the initial inhale it seemed like it was going to be a nutty flavor but it kept coming right back to a clean leather taste. I had planned on breaking down the flavors by each 1/3rd through the smoke, but the flavor profile did not change much during the entire hour and a half smoke. The only variation during the smoke was that the leathery taste and peppery finish built gradually; other than that it was pretty consistent throughout.

Burn:

The burn during the whole cigar was very disappointing as it was very inconsistent and uneven.  It would be fine and then gradually start to burn unevenly but then would always correct itself not long after. It never got so out of control that I had to touch up the burn with my lighter. But it was a bit disappointing.  The ash was also an adventure – it was a very loose ash and it never got longer than about 1” inch before falling off. There was only one time where the ash made it into my ash tray because it continually fell off on it’s own, so it kept me on my toes while I was smoking it.

uneven burn throughout but would correct itself as well

Draw:

The draw itself was almost enough to make me not buy another one of these cigars. The draw was very tight – not Cuban cigar tight but too tight for my enjoyment. I even tried to recut it to open it up a bit more but that just resulted in me knocking the initial ash off.  And it stayed tight throughout the entire cigar.

Overall:

The drawbacks were the tight draw and the very loose ash, but I would still recommend this cigar to others. I think I seemed a bit deflated because I had higher hopes for it, but it’s still a good cigar. I think in most places you could find this for about $8 a stick which puts it a little more expensive than your everyday smokes.  If you’re looking for a complex cigar this won’t be your choice, but if you’re looking for a medium to full body flavorful smoke, AND if you can find it in a value pack you won’t be disappointed. But because of the draw it wouldn’t be my first choice.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in cigars

 

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A New Civil War…Minus the Civility

It is less important to ask a Christian what he or she believes about the Bible

than it is to inquire what he or she does with it. – Lesslie Newbigin

What the hell is going on in the Christian community?!

I have friends, in real-life, (which these days seems so passé and out of touch)…so I’m going to start over and try again…how about…

I have friends I “follow on twitter and facebook” who are conservatives, liberals, moderates, progressives (not a fan of this word), fundamentalists, emergents, emergings, atheists, creationists, evolutionists, and many other political and religious categories from the whole spectrum of people-groups. It seems that recently I see so much bitching and bickering at each other within the christian community over theological differences. I’m not talking about normal disagreements – that happens when you are deciding what pizza to order. I’m talking about disparaging, nasty attacks on theologies that people hold so dear.  It seems as if when we hear somebody has a different viewpoint we go to our phones, laptops and social media outlets to say how wrong and how stupid they are, and sometimes if they’re really different and wear dark-rimmed glasses we’ll break out the heretic label and sit back and feel comfy in our piety. We seem so focused on proving how “my theology is right and your theology is wrong”.  I just don’t get it. I mean I understand (but don’t agree necessarily) about the machismo aspect in not wanting to back down from our own beliefs; and that if I said I believe it then I have to defend myself so as not to look weak, but why do we do so at the expense of embarrassing our christian brother?

 

 

If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’m referencing some of the relatively, recent comments from John Piper to Rob Bell, from creationists towards evolutionists (and vice versa), and from the litany of emergent thinkers who spit vile towards Mark Driscoll on a number of topics.

So everybody……….stop……….take a breath……….and freaking relax.  Cue Frankie.

 

 

I am very much aware that I am as guilty of these attacks, or at the very least a similar attitude, as anyone…although I try to be an equal opportunity offender and maybe someday I can get to a point where I’m much more gracious and less offensive…although that’s also a two-way street.

Maybe in time we all can learn to relax and engage in quality, respectful conversations with each other and not passive aggressively attack each other via twitter, facebook, or other electronic outlets. In other words, can we try to go out of our way not to piss each other off?

2 Timothy 1:12 – I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.”

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“Secondly, the phrase “until that day” reminds us that this is not a claim to possess final truth but to be on the way that leads to the fullness of truth. I do not possess the truth, so that I do not need to be open to new truth; rather, I am confident that the one in whom I have placed my trust, the one to whom I am committed, is able to bring me to the full grasp of what I now only partly understand.” Lesslie Newbigin, “Proper Confidence”

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Ecclesiastes 7:16 – Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

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“In our interpersonal relations, we would never make such a claim for our knowledge of another person. How absurd to make such a claim with respect to God!” Leslie Newbigin, “Proper Confidence”

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Isaiah 55:8, 9 – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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“Sometimes it (certainty) leads toe a refusal to reconsider long-held beliefs in the light of fresh reflection on the witness of Scripture.” Lesslie Newbigin “Proper Confidence”

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Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?

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“But we are now entering a postmodern period, a time in which the seemingly assured assumptions we have inherited from the Enlightenment are being deconstructed.” Lesslie Newbigin, “Proper Confidence”

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Lamentations 3:40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

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“Hold to Christ, and for the rest be totally uncommitted.” Lesslie Newbigin “Proper Confidence”

Now, here’s the deal, over the next couple of months (I actually have no idea what the timeframe is) but I am re-dedicating myself to posting blogs on a more regular basis. I have about 10 posts that are in a final draft phase and just need a little touching up before I hit publish, and then I have about another 50 that are in the works so hopefully they’ll be up in a more consistent time-frame.

Disclaimer – I am probably going to post something that crosses the conservative or liberal limits of your theology and honestly, I quite possibly could cross both edges within the same blog-post as I often oscillate between diametrically-opposed camps on different topics. I will have some posts that will be humorous, insightful, dumb, profound, and maybe completely meaningless…to you.  I will have some posts that are in story form. Some of my posts will be solely about our culture (which is not divorced from being theological as some fundamentalists might think).  Some posts might be political. Some might be about sports. Some might just be about a new cigar I smoked, but what I ask is no matter if the topic is theological, political, cigar-ical or whatever, that you do not automatically discount what I say just because you think you disagree with me. Maybe somewhere in the post is a nugget that can help us progress forward to quality conversations, respectful discourse, and redeeming our Earth just as God has called us to do.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done ON EARTH, as it is in heaven. – Jesus

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in cigars, culture, politics, sports, theology

 

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#RB11 and “The Color Orange”

Right now I’m sitting in the Bale Honda service center waiting on the diagnosis/estimate for the repairs on my car.  When I bought my car in 2009, the sales rep at Bale was a HUGE help in the disaster I experienced from Landers Jeep in Benton (never go there) but it seems like I’m here a little too often (other than for my oil change) for a 2008 Accord (a year old but close to 0 miles on it). But for my own mental-wellbeing I chalk that up to being on the road for 30,000+ miles per year. So, yesterday when Jeff and I…

Jeff and I at the KU game watching KU get blown out


…were traveling back from our awesome #RB11 (Reliving Bachelorhood 2011) weekend in Kansas

Jeff and I with our favorite cigar guy at Diebel's on the Plaza

our sustenance for the weekend

...more sustenance

...yes, more sustenance. Ya know, the necessities.

…which included amazing “guy-time” in leading off with ribs at Gates BBQ (pictured above) in playing NCAA 2011 on the PS3, enjoying good cigars (pictured above), seeing our buddy at our favorite cigar store at Diebel’s on the Plaza (pictured above), and then the debacle known as the Sunflower Showdown – KU being demolished by K-State, but we rebounded with more PS3, more cigars, more B&B, and more beer; and then on the drive home singing along to old country classics (neither of us like country music) that we could find on youtube on my phone and pipe into my car – things took a turn for the worse when Jeff selected some Abba, but we recovered by talking about football, power tools, and man caves for the remainder of the trip so as not to question our manliness.

Well, on the drive home I felt the familiar sputtering of the engine on my 2008 Honda Accord and knew I would be visiting Bale on Monday, which is where I sit right now. Fun times. 

I digress.  The other thing I wanted to include in this blog-post was a poignant quote that stood out to me in “The Color Orange”. “The Color Orange” is an ESPN film narrated by Kenny Chesney and is great story about crossing race boundaries in the South when the University of Tennessee had their first black quarterback – Condredge Holloway. I honestly can not stand racism and since I moved to Arkansas it’s even more prevalent and it’s disgusting to me. To judge somebody on the color of their skin just doesn’t make sense to me. If there needs to be judgment I prefer to judge people on the actions they knowingly choose to make rather than almost anything else.

The quote is from Lester McClain who was the first black player at the University of Tennessee.

“50 years is not a long time. Condredge helped this happen less than 50 yrs ago. An example how short 50 yrs can really be; my father was 50 years old when I was born. My father’s father was 50 yrs old when my father was born. My grandfather was born a slave. That’s how short it is. 50 yrs is not very long.”

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in culture

 

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too much of a good thing…

can be too much, obviously. It’s cliche, it’s tired, it’s trite, but it’s also true.

So last night I had a Rocky Patel Battalion.  The Battalion is much like The Edge Corojo, but bigger – almost twice as big.  I’ve had several of this cigar before but I’m starting to think that with this cigar too much of a good thing isn’t good.  For example I absolutely love orange juice, have loved it my whole life and I’ll drink it all day long – think Michael P. Keaton – but one time during high school I got quite a bit carried away with screwdrivers (we’ll save the blog regarding underage drinking for another day) but after that bingeful night I couldn’t drink or even smell orange juice for several months.  My mother even started to notice and would comment but I just tried to pass it off as a stage. Haha

Back to the Battalion…so I bought this Battalion in NW AR and lit it up when I was sitting at a local saloon in Little Rock as a toast to myself for a very good day in sales.  Now last night very well could’ve been an anomaly; it could’ve been a combination of: I was tired from driving back from NW AR, or what I had eaten before getting to the local saloon, or even the pairing of the beer I was drinking while smoking the cigar, but last night I felt like I was trying to smoke two Rock Patel The Edge Corojos (second favorite cigar) at once.  It was just too much of a good thing. So that’s all I have for now, but just wanted to pass along some thoughts on the Battalion. I’ll keep smoking it and see if my attitude on it changes…it probably will.  Overall, it’s a good smoke, but I’ll spread out the goodness by just buying two The Edge Corojos and smoking them separately.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2009 in cigars

 

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upcoming blogposts from yours truly…

I’ll be posting some thoughts on the movie “planet 51”, our all or nothing society, a conversation between a friend and I on if the Bible is absolutely everything we need, and some more on word intentionality and of course some good cigar and beer recommendations.  I just need to find some time!

First recommendation: Rocky Patel Renaissance cigar.  I had this over thanksgiving with my brother in law (he enjoyed his first ever Rocky Patel the Edge) and I must say this cigar actually can give the Edge a run for it’s money; although it is a little more expensive $12.50 vs. $8.50. It was a very smooth draw, has a little bit of spice and is just as tasty as the Edge; you could consider the difference between these two cigars as Vino’s Pale Ale to Diamond Bear’s Pale Ale – if you never have had either of those you don’t know what I’m talking about. sorry. 😉  The Renasissance has an Ecuadorian Sumata wrapper and a blend of Ecuadorian and Nicaraguan filler.  I also employed the use of my bullet cutter for the first time and I think I’m now a convert to the bullet cutter.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2009 in culture, midrash, theology

 

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The Four “R’s”.

Re-sponsible, Re-mold, Re-create, Re-deem.

My blog is therapeutic for me in many instances. It helps me process different theological thoughts that are bouncing around in my head.  In a way it’s recreation for me. Recreation in its origins means to re-create. To make something a-new that has changed.

Many things on our earth, which were either created directly by God or created by God’s creation – man, have changed from their original intent .  Institutions, organizations, politics, art, education, medicine, healthcare, the planet and so many other things have gone adrift from people “in charge” who felt no obligation to be held responsible (able to respond) to a higher truth than their own selfish pursuits. (Tragedy of the Commons)  We’re co-creators with God and with each of our own kingdoms we need to be able to: be re-sponsable, re-mold, re-create, and re-deem what was meant to bring glory to God.

Last night I had a great evening out with Tad talking about life and theology over nachos, fine malt beverages, and a very tasty Rocky Patel cigar (it was their decade series, box press, and I highly recommend it!).  My life right now is consumed with work, travel, and soccer; and last night was re-creation for me during a time of crazy busy-ness.  So all this to say that as these thoughts keep bouncing around in my head I will be more regular at posting some of these thoughts. I just sometimes need a good strong cup of mental coffee to keep me regular.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2009 in theology

 

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so happy together

I think I have everything linked together…kinda cool…kinda scary…but at least y’all can keep up with what’s going on now in my world via almost every possible connection.

iPhone – check

twitter – check

facebook – check

blog – check

life outside of technology – …will have to get back to you on that one…

But for now – go enjoy some good food, good beer, good wine, and a good smoke…might I recommend a nice Padron or Rocky Patel, The Edge specifically.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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