Portagas 1845 by Flor de Tabacos
This Portagas 1845 is a little smaller than my normal, as it’s a robusto (5.5 *49) – it’s clothed in a madura wrapper, which is very oily and dark. Smooth, good-feeling leaf. The burn in the first third has been very smooth and cool, not spicy, very flavorful, lots of oats, creamy cereal flavors. some of the coolest smoke I’ve ever had, sweet smelling, more like pipe tobacco, not spicy AT ALL. The burn rate is perfect, and it’s burning down hella evenly and beautifully. I would mistake it for a mild cigar in the first third.
I find it interesting how people use all different kinds of formats for rating cigars, much like an established wine tasting format. In fact, it’s interesting how almost all human comestibles have established formats for tasting. The “thirds” tasting format for cigars seems to be universal for all the blogs we’ve investigated thus far. I think it’s odd that the wrapper on this cigar is on upside down.
PUFF PUFFFFF. Late in the first third, lots of nicotine, getting a sudden head rush, don’t know where it came from, just all of a sudden BOOOOMMM, puffpuffpuff…. I think this one has most of the nicotine in the wrapper, and it’s imparted mostly through skin contact / mucus membrane contact with the lips. The champagne epicure was an immediate rush, but this one is definitely more subdued, it’s a creeper. It sneaks up on you. It’s also got a lot more hazelnut and oak flavors, lots of wood.
I’m now enjoying this cigar with a Rombauer 2013 Carneros Chardonnay – Happy Valentine’s Day!
Wine and conversation was distracting, cigar went out, whoops. It relit without any problems, I just apparently let it go out talking about my mother’s grandchildren expectations… anyway, the cigar has been consistent throughout the whole thing, the second third is same as the first, so far. after we got to the nicotine bar, it’s been really sick. I’m really liking it, I like the flavor of the wrapper and the cigar, no pieces in the mouth, cut really easy, lit easy, can see the oil on the surface of the wrapper leaf, it’s like hella shining. Very sweet smelling still.
Just opened a 2011 Clos du Val Petit Verdot Stags Leap Winemaker’s Signature Series… <Katy’s note: Clifford is moaning and groaning in wine rapture. We drink hella good wine, he says.> The smoke is warmer now, spice has kicked up a lot, beyond Tabasco, more in the habanero range. The wrapper is still great, resinous and oily, not coming apart at the shoulder. Just a really well-made handmade cigar, I really like it. It’s not my fav, but definitely a contender. It would be in my top 5 of something someone could get for me, though, this would be a hella nice gift. Now there’s like notes of black pepper, currants, cherry, grappa. Lotta grappa going on. But it’s still laid back and not rushed like some other cigars. the draw is nice and tight, not sloppy. Oooo, a monarch butterfly came by, it’s beautiful. WTF with that buzz saw, are they building a fence next door?
Can’t tell which wine this cigar goes better with. It was really a nice choice for after breakfast / brunch / whatever, a hella nice choice, it is going great with this whole day. In the last third, we’re back to the mild flavor of the first third, real mild. I can feel the heat of the cigar in my hands. The smoke isn’t hot, it’s still cool, but the body of the cigar is getting really hot and I probably won’t be able to finish it all the way because of that. Ok I’ve been smoking this for an hour and I’m not tired, but I feel intoxicated, maybe that has to do with the three bottles of wine that we have worked on in the last 3 hours. FOUR HOURS god Katy, get it right. Dude, we do drink hella wine. And apparently also smoke hella fine cigars.
Katy says it smells spicy now from where she’s sitting. Yeah, it got real spicy. It has definitely matched the evolution of the wines we’ve drank with it – the chard was really cool and it was calm at that time as well, now we’re into the spicier petit verdot, and it’s tasting spicier now too. Wow it has now been our 6th Valentine’s together. I apparently was doing that Bill Cheney math? Bill O’Reilly / Dick Cheney, same dude. Ok we met July 1, 2009, and now it’s February 14, 2015, it’s our 6th valentines day that we’ve known each other. Eventually I’m going to cook Katy some lovely steak and potatoes and brussers, and we might break out the 2011 Fortis from Pine Ridge.
Katy’s note: I think the drank is getting in the way of reliable tasting notes, and anyway, he walked away with the end of the cigar, who knows how it ended. I’m going to guess a bit spicy and hot, bc that’s really how it smelled. Spice-ay. Peppery. Heavy clove. Oh hey, he did smoke it to the nub, apparently it’s good!! smickety smoke. delicious cigar, he says. it smells like a charred wine barrel, very smoky and oaky and clovey. it smoked a lot longer than he thought it would for the size, it was only out for about 2 minutes before he relit it.
Oakland police choppa one just flew over. I always think of the governator when i see that shit, he says. There goes the CHP single engine plane – all tiny flying over the highways LOL get in the humma! i might impregnate my maid! this would not be the perfect cigar for a wine tasting trip becuase you don’t have that much time between tastings. it’s a great valentines cigar because i could sit down and he could still get us through brunch all the way to pre-dinner without trouble, it’s a great cigar for a day when you have nothin to do. Damn those bugs really respect the DEET, thank god for insecticide. I like saying things like that because it seems ironic to me. Look, the sun’s comin back! Ohhhhh I’m in the sunnnnn! Ohhhh I’ in the sunnnn! he’s sticking his legs up in the air and into the sun. it’s very special. and on goes the buzz saw. and now it’s time for the train to honkhonk and be annoying, in addition to the buzz saw. gotta love this neighborhood. clifford says he wishes that buzz saw / grinder wasn’t going right now, it’s really kind of annoying to never have any peace and quiet in this fucking neighborhood. no one knows what anyone’s ever doing around here and it’s hella annoying.93/100
The Hella 5 Star System
We have adopted the opinion that fine art, music, wine, cigars, and other comestibles are governed by a unifying principle, which is that the intention of the artist matters. Art can be judged by the patron only as it pertains to the emotive and inductive properties of that art. We think Winemakers and Torcedors are artists.
Here at Hella Wine, we cut our wine-rating teeth on the wildly popular wine app Vivino. Vivino has an integrated five-star system for rating wine, but no standardized rubric to go with it, so we had to define what the star ratings actually mean, and we did so in a very personal way. This system takes into account: price, aesthetics, situational variables, relationships, and any other completely biased information we can come up with. This makes our system predictably emotional, and ratings change from glass to glass, even possibly from the same bottle.
Without further ado, our 5 star rating system revealed
I wont drink/smoke this even if you buy it!
I would drink a glass of this or smoke 1 if you bought it, but I would not order this for myself.
I would buy a glass/one cigar and enjoy it.
I would buy a bottle/5pack of this and really enjoy it.
I'd buy a case/box of this because I just love it.
The Hella 50 to 100 System
We also will usually apply the commonly used 50-100 point scale to our ratings. This tasting format, familiar from the annals of the indelible Robert Parker and Wine Spectator Magazine, does not take price or my ability to afford the wine in question into account. The situation that the drink or cigar was tasted in does not matter. This scale only reflects the quality of the wine/cigar in relation to other wines/cigars we have tasted.
You may loosely infer from this rating:
96-100: A hella amazing wine/cigar of super bold complex character displaying the attributes we hella want to find in the best wines in the world. Wines like this are hella awesome.
90 - 95: An amazing wine/cigar with hella character. Wonderful stuff, we feel lucky to try these.
80 - 89: A hella good wine/cigar, no noticeable flaws but it's just good/okay.
70 - 79: Hella basic, not so memorable wine/cigar. It's good, but just missing that something that makes it hella good, or even special.
60 - 69: Something bad happened in this wine/cigars life. Maybe it got left in a car and cooked, or maybe it sucked to begin with. All we know is we hella don't really want to finish it. Sometimes you gotta take one for the team.
50 - 59: This wine/cigar hella sucks.
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