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Richard's Diary

November 2007

The bigger, the stronger ?

By Richard on November, 30th 2007 - 11:30 am

Does the size correspond to the strength? No, this is a miss-conception. The size of the cigar does not have a direct influence on the strength of the cigar. The power in a cigar, comes from the blend of tobacco used. Three different leaves are used for creating the blend (filler) in a Cuban hand rolled, long filler cigar. The Volado leaf gives the light, more aromatic aspects to the blend, the Seco is the medium aspect leaf and the Ligero is the leaf that gives the power to the cigars. Using different combinations of these leaves gives the different blends one finds in the different families and vitoles. In fact, the bigger the cigar, the slower the build up to the finale. This is why it is recommended for novice smokers to start on a bigger ring gauge, longer cigar, as the smoke will be less direct and warms up in a more gentle way (ex - Gloria Cubana Tainos, Hoyo Double Corona). This said, naturally if you have a big cigar with a heavy bias of Ligero leaf in the blend it will have a very strong third phase (ex - Partagas Lusitanias, Bolivar Coronas Gigantes).

Can one rate a cigar?

By Richard on November, 28th 2007 - 5:21 pm

People are always asking me why I don't have rating system on for the cigars. I find it hard to put a cigar in an abstract rating system - numbered one to ten or, o to 100. This may sound extremely corny, but I respond to a cigar more on an emotional level as well as a technical level. I have smoked some cigars which are rated highly by other well known magazines or sites and had no pleasure at all whereas other cigars that have been slated in a ratings system have been more than memorable smokes. Use other people's ratings as a subjective guide. The best way of rating a cigar is by smoking it yourself and making your own mind up, don't be a sheep!

You can see:
Cigar Aficionado
Cigars Reviews

// colddiver31 // February, 01st 2008 // 8:14 am

Hello Richard!

I also agree with you. There have been more then a few highly rated cigars that I have tried and come to find I really did not care for them. There have also been cigars passed up on the rating scales that I will always have in my humidor. I like a wide variety of cigars... both Cubans and non-Cubans. I also like different strengths of cigars for different moods or different times of the day. Don't go by someone's "expert" opinion on a rating for a cigar. You put it to your own test and rate it yourself. One's 94 rating for a cigar maybe your 85. You pick your favorite cigar. Don't let someone pick it for you.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em!

// eriksson20 // December, 07th 2007 // 10:07 pm

Hey Richard!

Great post and i could not agree more. On my blog i use a rating system to keep book about my personal taste and maybe tell a little of my preferences to the small group of readers.

I would love however, if you could tell me what you think about the Monte 4 reserva...

The best way to review a cigar is indeed to taste it yourself and create your own opinion



Sausage, dried meat and salamis

By Richard on November, 26th 2007 - 12:02 pm

The vast selection of dried/cured/smoked hams and sausages are a vital part of the Swiss (European) aperitif and meal culture. Be it the tasty Jamon de Serrano from Spain, the thinly sliced salty Italian Parma Ham, a solid German Würst or a Game Saucisson Sec from France..... the list goes on and on, these meaty morsels play a key role in the 'repas' protocol. Be it as a starter, a main meal accompaniment or as finger foods with beers during the footy game, the varied aromas and saltness mean these meats actually go very well with a cigar, bringing out otherwise hidden aromas. The smoke absorbs the greasy feeling one sometimes gets from these meats and plays with the salty, musty flavors your palate experiences. Try a meat selection, a couple of red wines and a sample of medium to full bodied smokes and I guarantee you will discover bliss.

You can see:
Spanish cured hams
History of Parma ham

// Jeff // July, 10th 2008 // 5:36 pm


You're so right when it comes to the role sausages and cured meats play in the European lifestyle. Sad to say, most Americans know only about the pre-packaged, pre-sliced stuff that passes for salami. One trip to an Italian salumeria tucked away on a side street in Florence or in the town square in Lucca would thrill even the most inexperienced enthusiast.

My wife Jan and I make an assortment of salami, cured meats, cheese and fruit our standard breakfast staples as we sit in the back yard and start our day. But then again, we're Italian. It's in our blood -- sausage!

The final EL 2007, now available!

By Richard on November, 14th 2007 - 6:15 pm

The last of the Habanos S.A. 2007 Edicion Limitada's is now available. The Cuban Trinidad Ingenios Edicion Limitada 2007 is the first ever Edicion Limitada from the Trinidad Family. The tobacco used for these cigars is aged for 2 years and wrapped with a dark/maduro wrapper. This Cuban Lonsdale will suit smokers who enjoy subtle, slow smokes. Perfect cigar for the rocking chair. Try it and give us your thoughts.

Help Stop the Spam

By Richard on November, 07th 2007 - 7:23 pm

Important notice - Please be aware that due to the increase in e-mail traffic generated from our address, certain servers have classified us as Spam or automatically place our mails into your Spam folder. In order to be sure to receive the Newsletters and your order information, please be sure to add our e-mail address to your address book, as well as adding our URL address,, to you favorites in your internet browser.

Old Havana vs New Cuba

By Richard on November, 01st 2007 - 4:30 pm

Habanos S.A. has certainly changed it's outlook on tobacco blending since the old days. The power and strength that was once the sole trademark of Cuban cigars has evolved into an exploration of more aromatic and flavorful blends that marry the body of the Ligero leaves with the more aromatic favors that ooze from the Seco and Valado leaves. But luckily for us cigar smokers, we now have access to both of theses very different styled cigars. Look for the Partagas Presidentes, Bolivar Inmensas, Bolivar Gold Medal or Saint Luis Rey Double Corona Cab 50 for the 'Old School' power Havana smokes or try the newer flavor based smokes like San Cristobal or Vegas Robaina. Tell us what your preferences are and in which direction you think Habanos S.A. should be going with their development of new cigars. Power vs Taste.

// flex // December, 03rd 2007 // 8:03 pm

I think it is fair to try new ways new aromas. Since the man was born to always had that flash of genius innovative (if it were not so we would still at the stone age). I hope that will not be lost tradition of the old school. Traditions are important
as innovations (as we in europe). Yours sincerely Cesare Angeletti

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