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James Suckling

Takin' Care of Business

Posted: Jun 25, 2009 1:28pm ET
I came across a couple of Montecristo Petit Edmundos a few weeks ago in one of my spare rooms at home. I am not sure where they came from but they were in a Ziplock bag. The three cigars were dry and needed to be rehumidified. So I stuck them in my Dunhill humidor at about 68 percent humidity and let them soften a little. (I used Humidipaks.)

About a week later, I was having dinner with a friend from Los Angeles, restaurateur David Haskell, who was hanging at my house for the week, and we decided to fire up the Petit Edmundos. From the moment I lit mine up, I knew that something was not right. I hate that!

The cigar was not the spicy, creamy Monte that I love. I know this smoke well. It gives plenty of milk chocolate, cream and light pepper character. The one I was smoking was harsh and tasteless.

“Cubans can be so inconsistent,” I thought to myself.

I was worried that David’s sucked too. But he was kicking back and enjoying the evening. He had a big smile on his face. (I was jealous!)

“Just my luck,” I thought. “Luck of the draw. I wonder what he would of thought if he got my smoke?”

So we decided to switch cigars. We were smoking outside after a barbeque in my courtyard. David’s PE was smoking like a dream. I gave it back to him. I didn’t want to ruin his night. Shame about mine.

The next day after lunch I decided to try the last PE in my humidor. I gave David a Partagas Serie D No. 4. His smoke again was a killer. Mine blew. It was harsh and flavorless, like a big fat cigarette.

I was not a happy camper. I stormed into my living room and took a closer look at my humidor. There were some Padróns and OpusX’s and a couple of Cubans. One was a big Montecristo A that had a slightly cracked wrapper. I grabbed it and smelled it. It smelled like paper and dry wood.

I remembered that the PEs had been laying ON the Montecristo A. So perhaps it had imparted its nasty, dry wood character into my lovely PEs. I immediately lit the A, and, sure enough, it was harsh and tasteless. I tried to smoke it for a few minutes but just couldn’t.

“Better not to smoke than smoke this thing,” I thought to myself.

It’s interesting how cigars can absorb character from its ambient environment – even from other cigars in the same humidor. I am going to be much more careful how I store my precious smokes in the future.

Comments   4 comment(s)

Carl Diorio June 28, 2009 9:09am ET

Here's a related question I'd love to know your thoughts on, James: Do you think there is one CC brand that is the MOST consistent for flavor? I know you'll probably be tempted to say Cohiba, which I love, but it seems to need a lot of aging and thus might not fit the bill here. Personally, I'd say Bolivars. You?


Guillaume Tesson July 20, 2009 10:15am ET

I would say Partagas.


Carl Diorio August 7, 2009 12:08pm ET

I'd agree Partagas has the most consistent flavor profile. But methinks Boli is a notch above in terms of quality consistency IMHO. James? Oh, James ...?


Salvador Lozano — Del Rio, Texas —  September 15, 2009 1:31pm ET

James,I came upon almost the same problem about a week ago, I have two humidors, one for my personal stash, the other one for beggars (moochidor). So one night I grabbed a cigar from the moochidor for a friend gave it to him, I noticed he didn't like it; he's not a cigar smoker. What he did next was totally uncalled for, he asked for my cutter and cut about an inch from the burnt foot, and put it back in the moochidor. All the while I was preparing some drinks. So next morning I check the open moochidor to an unpleasant smell, sure enough the old cigar was lying on top. I immediately took it out and threw away the smelly cigar, but now I have the problem of a smelly moochidor and bad tasting cigars. How can I get rid of the smell?



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