Posts Tagged jaime garcia

‘JJ for JJ Day’ Tribute

Another year, another ‘JJ for JJ Day’ tribute.


The concept didn’t change. The ‘JJ for JJ Day’ is a global movement initiated via social media to honor the memory of the ‘Little Robusto.’ For those of you who are not familiar with this tribute, ‘Little Robusto’, who passed away at the age of 3.5months from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is the son of recognized and respected cigar blogger - Jerry Cruz (stogiereview.com). This special day is recognized by smoking a cigar made by Don Pepin Garcia, appropriately calledSeries JJ.’


Take your time, enjoy your ‘Series JJ’ cigar and remember The ‘Little Robusto.’

 

 

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L’Atelier LAT46 Selection Spéciale

Cigar Review by Steve Royston (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)

This week we are photographing and reviewing the L’Atelier LAT46 Selection Spéciale. This corona-gorda vitola, made at the My Father factory in Nicaragua, is the latest release from the L’Atelier Imports stable.

This is a true Corona Gorda vitola, measuring 5 5/8 by 46. In a market plagued with obese sticks, this cigar really tickles me pink. Just as I believe the original LATs coming in boxes of 15 was smart, this one coming in boxes of 10 is even smarter. Same basic box concept as the originals; same original band with the addition of a secondary “Selection Spéciale” band. Alright, enough of this mumbo jumbo. Let’s get down to business.

For starters, the wrapper is noticeably darker than the originals, as it is a higher priming leaf. Same proprietary blend as the original LATs. Construction is flawless with the same flag top finish as the originals. The smell of the foot is of hay and amazing tobacco. It literally transports me back in time some 10 years ago when I was first smitten with everything that had to do with cigars. The draw, with a shallow straight cut, is ideal for me. Just a little bit of tug. This has been consistent in both the prerelease (2) and the market release (2) I have smoked for this review.

As soon as I light up, I’m smacked with spice both across my palate and on the retrohale, which is very intense. It has very savory characteristics to start. Toasty, smoky, and cedary. The aftertaste, thus far, is just barely dropping hints of flavor I associate with the core LATs but not quite discernable yet. The lingering mouth feel is smooth with just a touch of grit, almost like an ultra-fine sandpaper; enjoyable. A full inch in, the burn has been RAZOR sharp (not touch-ups) and has a very nice white/gray colors with touches of black throughout. A flavor of toasted artisanal bread has made its way to the forefront of flavor with strong cedar on the retrohale. (Side note: Something interesting I’ve noticed with every one of these I’ve smoked is a tingle on my lips, across my palate, and in the back of my throat. Certainly not unenjoyable, just very interesting.) The spice on the retrohale has stayed fairly intense, but is very enjoyable for me. With the halfway mark approaching, a strong effervescent characteristic has developed. This is something I’ve noticed not only with the LAT46, but the original LATs as well and I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s like menthol without the mint, if that helps explain it any better. The toastiness is still present up front, with the mocha notes I get a lot of in the originals coming through in the aftertaste. With this stick, it’s like clockwork that as soon as you pass the halfway mark, the strength really spikes in intensity. It goes from a nice, consistent medium, to full bodied in the blink of an eye. Cedar is one of most consistent flavors in this stick, which makes sense because it’s very present in the originals. However, I interpret it as a more woody cedar in the 46, whereas it’s sweeter in the originals. I might attribute this to the amped up quality of the wrapper. Nevertheless, it’s a great flavor. Into the final third of the cigar, the construction really shines! Not very warm to the touch and not spongy. The effervescence has really intensified in the retrohale. The mocha aftertaste has all but fade away and has given way to a nice roasted coffee bean characteristic with just a touch of graham cracker. Finally snubbed it out with about a ¾ inch nub.

Final Thoughts:
Smoking time: 1 hour 10 minutes. I personally love this cigar just as a love the original LATs. It’s has the same base bones, but the high priming wrapper really gives it its own unique flare. I often tell people who are trying LATs for the first time that they really need to pay attention to it, as they might overlook a lot of the subtle nuances. The 46, just as its big cousins, seems to make quick changes almost from puff to puff. The flavors jump around and really make for an enjoyable smoking experience. As far as rating this cigar goes, I won’t. I don’t believe in the numbers games. What I will say is this. I will be smoking many more of these! I’ve already set aside a box for aging and I can’t wait to see what time will do to these smokes, provided I can keep my grubby paws off of them! Happy smoking my friends!

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Sancti Spiritus (Ecuador)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Length: 5.625″
Ring: 46

- click on photographs (slideshow)-
 
 

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‘JJ for JJ Day’ Tribute




Today, July 22nd 2012, the cigar community gathered once again to recognize the special ‘JJ for JJ Day’ and to honor the memory of the ‘Little Robusto.’ For those who are not familiar with this tribute, ‘Little Robusto’, who passed away at the age of 3.5months from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is the son of widely recognized and respected cigar blogger – Jerry Cruz (stogiereview.com). This special day is recognized by smoking a cigar made by Don Pepin Garcia, appropriately called ‘Series JJ.’


In May of 2012, I had a pleasure of joining Jerry Cruz at the Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari trip in Nicaragua. During that trip, all attendees have visited the MyFather Cigars – the company behind Don Pepin Garcia ‘Series JJ’ Little Robusto project. Seeing Jerry Cruz talking & thanking Jaime Garcia and smoking the ’Series JJ’ Little Robusto (as depicted below), was special, even for me – a fellow cigar enthusiast.


Take your time, enjoy your ‘Series JJ’ cigar and remember The ‘Little Robusto.’

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CigarPhoto at Cigar Safari 2012 (after)




In May of 2012, I was able to cross another item off the bucket list – a visit to a tobacco-growing country. Although there is obviously more than one, personally, Nicaragua is at the top of THE list. I was very fortunate to receive an invite from the Drew Estate ‘The Rebirth Of The Cigars’ company to join the famous Cigar Safari trip. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from fellow brothers of the leaf so the Drew Estate didn’t have to wait too long for my acceptance.


Few other fellow cigar enthusiasts have joined the same Cigar Safari trip so I encourage that you visit their websites or magazine, respectively.

- Casas Fumando
- Cigar Brief
- Cigar Explorer
- Cigar Press
- Half Wheel
- Nice Tight Ash
- Stogie Review


The Cigar Safari was not only filled with tons of knowledge sharing, exposure to nuts and bolts of the industry, blending seminars, tasting seminar but also plenty of camaraderie and laid-back conversations lasting through the night, literally. I could attempt to summarize the Cigar Safari play-by-play but I would most likely run out of adjectives so instead, I will highlight few points and let photographs do the rest of the talking.


The amount of knowledge, information, tips, tricks and passion that was pouring out of Jonathan Drew and Steve Saka throughout the trip, was simply mind blowing. If you know Jonathan, you know he can make your ears “bleed.” Well, between him and Steve, they made all of our ears bleed, and some … in a good way ! Just when you think you know a little bit about cigars and the industry, trust me, you don’t know much. Those guys are uber-cigar-geeks and will hypnotize you with the cigar knowledge.


Not only was I invited to the Nicaragua, today’s Mecca of cigar industry, to learn about the craft and the country itself ‘from the ground’, I was given an opportunity to see and absorb all of it from the bird’s-eye view, literally. Never I imagined that I will be flying over Lake Managua in the helicopter, learning about the country, learning about the cigar industry, learning about Joya de Nicaragua & Drew Estate collaboration, with one and only – Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca as the private guide. What are the chances ??? Seriously ! From cigar-geek’s and photographer’s perspective, this was simply – a bliss !


Speaking of knowledge and misconceptions, Jose Blanco dropped a significant load of knowledge during the Tasting Seminar. This is another one of those ‘must attend’ learning classes. Jose will take you through the basics, will challenge your knowledge, will address many misconceptions and most importantly, open your eyes and palate so going forward, you can elevate your appreciation for cigar smoking experience.


There are many other topics that could be covered in this post but I will leave you, the reader, with photographs and have you ponder over the cigar industry and Cigar Safari. No words can describe the amount of work that goes into the production of the product that you and I both enjoy – the premium cigar. One has to see this operation and the beautiful Nicaragua with his/her own eyes to appreciate what I have attempted to illustrate. If you ever decide to pack your bags, don’t think twice … The Cigar Safari is your ticket to the “Nica Paradise.”


At the end, I would like to send a special THANKS to:

- Drew Estate family for their generosity and hospitality – Jonathan Drew, Steve Saka, Pedro Gomez, Johnny Brooke, David Lafferty
– Joya de Nicaragua family – Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca, Jose Blanco, Mario Perez
– Pete Johnson of Tatuaje, Jaime Garcia of My Father Cigars, Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars
– Oliva Cigar Company
– and others (sorry if I forgot to call you out) who contributed to this amazing adventure !

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