The Cigar Goes Southern: Trying out the Fertitta Christeaux Natural

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We’re always ready for something new at Cigar and Whiskey. This week’s cigar, the Fertitta Christeaux, comes from Shreveport, Louisiana — not the first place you think of when you consider tobacco and cigar production. But it’s a humid, green and leafy state, with a vivid, tumultuous history, and citizens who make an art out of The Good Life. Why the hell not?

It’s unclear where the cigar is actually rolled, though it sports fine Dominican long-leaf filler and a lovely Ecuadorian wrapper. Patrick Fertitta, the owner of the line, apparently researched dozens of cigar options before getting into the business. His diligence shows. At the time of publishing, the cigar company only produces two sticks – the Christeaux Maduro and the Christeaux Natural, both toro-sized with the latter reviewed here – allowing Fertitta to start small and focus on the details.

Stephen and I sat down on the Back Porch to try these out. He took the Maduro and I took the Natural, knowing that I would work my way to the Maduro later if the baseline Connecticut proved tasty. The packaging is simple, and a little old school, with an anthropomorphic alligator that is less cheesy than it sounds. The Natural had good give, and the cigars were sent to us with obvious care.

The Christeaux Natural seemed aged well before I lit it, with a good, grassy smell. The first third tasted pretty damn autumnal, with plenty of grass, wheat, and some cardamom or allspice sprinkled throughout. And it became clear that both Christeauxs offered plenty of smoke, with easy draws. This seems like an obvious marker of a good cigar, but I’m always surprised when it happens — it’s a true joy when the draw stays easy and the smoke comes with no effort whatsoever. The second third grew a little more complex, introducing some cinnamon and a little sweetness with the earlier grassy-spice, but the primary flavors remained constant. So did the burn — even, slow, and easy to maintain.

The final third intensified only a bit. The grass transformed into a woodsier flavor. The sweetness turned into more of a dark brown sugar. The tar around the end of the cigar collected and added a nice charred taste.

For now, it is unclear on where I can purchase this line. Hopefully, the day will come soon, because this was a delightfully easy and enjoyable smoke, with no frills but also no maintenance required. I could talk at length without worrying about tending to the burn or the heat of the cigar. Be on the lookout for the purple and gold gator when it comes your way. The product excuses the fedora on the packaging.

Update: You can pick one of these up directly from fertittacigars.com!

The Tatuaje Verocu: Firecrackers in the Fall

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Hey guys. Last week I wanted something new, so decided to visit our friends at Pipe World in Austin. Picked out the Tatuaje Verocu, a new Nicaraguan puro stick created at the My Father factory. Let’s get down to brass tacks.

I started at 9:30 in the evening. The summer heat is still around here so I’d poured a huge glass of sweet iced tea. Dark brown and oily, with a good give to it, Pipe World had taken good care of this cigar and I’d been excited to take it to the porch. I toasted it carefully and lit up, enjoying some red pepper and serious heat. The intensity of the heat surprised me – along with the pepper taste, a woodsy, almost charred flavor dominated this first third. Really a hell of a one-two punch, with not a lot of subtlety in between the woodsiness and spice. Along the second third, it mellowed out a little bit, lessening its intense profile but retaining the charred, nearly mesquite taste.

Despite this, the actual temperature of the smoke was not intense at all. I easily blew heavy plumes of smoke, and the draw and maintenance was quite easy. Unfortunately, though I had taken measured puffs, the Tatuaje Verocu went out just before the last third. I relit carefully, wanting to see if there was any nuance in that last bit. There may be in a less defective smoke – I doubt this is the wrapper’s fault. Could well have been a fluke. But as is usual with the tar collecting towards the last third, I didn’t perceive much taste beyond what I began with when I lit it.

The Tatuaje Verocu is a solid smoke, but without a lot of nuance. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a firecracker cigar to begin with, mellowing out just a smidge but remaining the equivalent of a delicious campfire. Normally, the lack of variety would disappoint me, but the Verocu is so direct and intense that I did not mind. A solid smoke from a great line – especially for the price point. Pick it up if you enjoy the smell of burning leaves and fields in the fall.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R (No. 5) Natural – Appreciating a Real Classic

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Earlier this week, a friend brought over some cigars and handed me La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 5, the Natural version as opposed to the Maduro. Venturing back into the smoky world of cigars, he talked about how he used to smoke them as for their reliability and excellence. He did not oversell the experience. It’s Fourth of July weekend, and my guess is that you’re looking for something tried, true, and with no fuss. You need reliability, but it’s a party, so you want something that goedkope voetbalshirts kopen packs a little more potency than usual. And if you’re bringing several cigars for friends and family, you don’t want to break your piggy bank. The Serie R No. 5 is about $6.50-7.50 well spent.

In production since 1999, La Gloria Cubana Serie R earns a solid reputation as being full-flavored without being overpowering, a workhorse of a cigar with flashes of bold and spicy flavor. The Natural has an Ecuadoran wrapper, and is stuffed with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. It’s a good mix, but maybe my taste buds are burnt or on vacation already – to me, this was quite a sweet cigar. I toasted the foot of the smoke and started off with great bitter chocolate flavors, like cocoa powder straight from the Hershey’s tub. Smoke output started slowly but consistently. I have a tendency to smoke cigars quickly and goedkope voetbalshirts they often grow hot, minimizing flavor; I slowed down and tried to focus more on the first third. Soon the bitterness moved into sweeter milk chocolate flavors. The smoke became more prevalent and plumes soon filled my entire back porch.

With the last third, the sweetness of the La Gloria Cubana Serie R receded and settled down into earthier, woodsy effects and flavors. It did require a little bit of tending than earlier, but I found it worth the effort. I was happy to take part in my friend’s tradition and have already committed to making it my own.

Photo credit: stogiegeeks.com