Welcome back! Craig and I were both recuperating from illness last week, so after making the first 46 in a row we had to miss an episode. But, we’re back this week, smoking the Cabaiguan Maduro as our Cigar of the Week. This is one of Craig’s favorites, but tune in and see how well his palate has recovered after two weeks of healing.
In the news this week ,we covered stories from 1502 Cigars, General Cigar’s new collaboration with Jay-Z, Ezra Zion, and Quesada. We also talked over an article from the UK Telegraph which speculated that cigar smoking as a whole could die off within the next 12 years. We did go ahead and talk over what we’ve been smoking – which amounts to very little with the recent illnesses. What we did discuss some was how we observed the evolution of a palate back to a normal state. Surprisingly, this has taken me far longer than I would have ever dreamed. A full 9 days after I felt healthy, I am still experiencing some difference between expectation and reality in cigars with which I am quite familiar. Additionally, we editorialized over a couple of recent observations I’ve made about the industry in general. Lastly, we made up ground from last week and announced each of our favorite 10 cigars from 2013 – with some caveats. It’s our list, so we get to make the rules :).
1. These are not necessarily new cigars for the year (although some were), but the cigars we simply enjoyed the most throughout.
2. We limited the selection to cigars that were either Cigars of the Week for Half Ashed Episodes, or were discussed enough to have been made mention in the show notes. If we did not talk about it during at least one episode, it was not considered for our lists.
3. I (Kip) purposefully removed the Fuente cigars we smoked (858 Sungrown, Unnamed Reserve (2012), and Casa Cuba) from consideration out of my known affinity (sheer bias) for Fuente products.
4. There were a number of cigars that probably should have made the list, and were discussed in the show as honorable mentions/best values/”we just couldn’t narrow it down” cigars. These were: Miami Cigar/Nestor Miranda Casa Miranda Chapter Two; Drew Estate Nica Rustica; illusione ECCJ; Reinado Grand Empire Reserve; Michael Stewart’s Fire Cured #7
Half Ashed Top Ten Cigar for 2013 (in no particular order)
|Davidoff Nicaragua||Tatuaje Belle Encre|
|Fuente Unnamed Reserve (2012)||2005 Padron Aniversario Natural corona|
|EPC Short Run 2011||TL Johnson Tempio|
|TL Johnson Tempio||KILO (Barry Stein)|
|La Tradicion Cubana Corona||Oliva Serie V Maduro|
|Ezra Zion Tantrum||Leccia Tobacco Black|
|Bolivar Gold Medal||2005 Ramon Allones Eminencia|
|Gran Habano #5||RoMaCraft Intemperance BA|
|RoMaCraft Aquitaine||Ezra Zion Jamais Vu (Inception)|
|Tatuaje Belle Encre||Cuenca 5 Anniversary|
Next week’s Cigar of The Week will be a surprise, as we are nearing the end of our initial trade-off for show cigars. We are open for suggestions – so if you have one drop us a line at one of the email addresses below. Be sure to check back in next Friday night at 9:30pm EST at Cigar Federation (details on locating the show will be on the front page that evening an hour before showtime), where you can catch us recording and participate in the chatroom. If you would like to contact us in the meantime, you can reach us through the contact page or at the following email addresses: [email protected] or [email protected]. Please feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions you’d like answered, comments to make…or even compliments and complaints. We love to get your emails! Also, remember you can always go back and listen to previous episodes, which can be found in the Half Ashed Archive. You can download this week’s audio directly below (right-click “Download” and save), or find us on iTunes to subscribe. Video, as always, will be available at the CigFed Half Ashed Video Archive.
P.S. – If you have unbanded suggestions or contributions, you can get those to us by sending an email to [email protected]. This email address goes directly to my wife, so you can simply suggest an unbanded cigar for her to source, or send me an email to [email protected] if you have something you’d like to send in. I will provide an address to send them. Thanks!