By my count, this is the fourteenth cigar that I’ve now smoked out the miscellaneous non-Cuban collection that my good friend, Mike sent me all the way from Singapore.
Mike wanted me to look for tastes other than just searching out and enjoying that porterhouse loveliness I’ve come to call the sweet spot.
And I have taken a greater appreciative look at trying to discover more of the hidden nuances in every cigar he has sent me.
And I think my most recent cigar posts have reflected that additional discernment to a certain degree.
But in this last cigar, the inappropriately brand named Debonaire, I discovered an additional quality. Not discovered so much as finely and truly appreciated it. And I refer to beauty.
The photo here doesn’t do the beauty of this cigar any justice at all. Cut off the pigtails (yeah, I know you don’t need to remove the foot end but I’ll get to that in a minute) and the first thing you notice is the marvelous symmetry.
Fire it up and 15-20 minutes later burn away an inch and the perfect white ash reveals just what a perfectly made and balanced cigar is all about. The word, elegant popped into my mind over and over during the entire course of the smoke. Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe how perfectly shaped this 8″ monster was.
I’ve always been partial to the figurado shape. They can be beautiful but the shape also has an underlying practicality. The head end – the part you put in your mouth – might be a comfortable 48 ring gauge but midway you’re burning through a 62 ring gauge. So that particular shape offers you both comfort and complexity.
A figurado looks good in your hand. That might sound superficial or downright silly to you but it’s damn important to me. If you’re holding something for nigh on two hours doesn’t it make more sense that what your holding is appealing to the eyes as well as the fingers (not to mention the taste)?
It was also a very pleasing cigar to smoke. It transitioned nicely through all the appropriate taste phases that one comes to associate with a great cigar. I greedily smoked it down to the nub in an hour and fifty minutes but I bet I could have strung it out for well over two hours.
My right hand was alternately holding a cocktail or a book. My left hand held the cigar. I would pause my drinking or reading from time to time to take a long loving gaze at the cigar elegantly poised in my left. What a beauty. Kind of the Sophia Loren of cigars.
PS – I do take umbrage with the brand name. To me it’s stupid to give such an elegant cigar such a hyperbolic name. What did the owners do? Wander down to the docks and poll a bunch of drunken Caribe sailors the coolest word they could think of? The name reminds me of those gaudy Detroit pimps back in the early ’70s who wore Ermine capes, florid red velvet bell-bottom pants, in high top green alligator shoes; delicately stepping through some late winter slush into their pink Cadillac Eldorados.
Yup. The only thing the makers got wrong was the name. Everything else was a solid 100.
PPS – Oh yeah, I almost left out something very important about this cigar. On the inside of the band bears a date printed in a light blue: 05 MAR 2014. How cool is that? I’ve never before (ever) seen the date – the exact date – printed on the inside of a band. That’s precision. That’s quality control on vitamins. (Now if they’d only just got the name right…)
And yeah, yeah, yeah – I only removed the smallest piece of the pigtail of the foot. I grew up on Fuente’s Hemingway Classics so I knew this step wasn’t necessary. But it was practical because I didn’t want to commit an additional 10-15 minutes in getting this cigar underway. (Two hours is plenty.)