Cigar Aficionado

Chucho and La Bomba

I went to a Chucho Valdez concert last night with my son Jack, who is taking lessons with a jazz pianist who plays for Buena Vista Social Club. Jack is really enjoying it and digging on the whole music scene here in Cuba. It is a long way from classical piano in the depths of Northern England.

Chucho was amazing. He plays the piano with such power yet with finesse and elegance at the same time. The big man is agile with his rhythm and finger work. He is truly a master.

I have never smoked a cigar with the man but I am pretty sure he smokes. I smoked a Cohiba Siglo VI in his honor after the gig in one of my favorite restaurants in Havana: Doctor Café. The food is fresh and hearty. Just good grilled food like you find in Italy.

The Siglo VI delivers fabulous flavor with subtle cappuccino, tobacco and spicy character throughout. It¹s powerful yet has a balance and freshness on the palate. If you have never tried one, you must get your lips around one. I scored this one 96 points, unblind. Granted, I might have been on a high after the Chucho gig, but it is still a great smoke.

The cool thing is that a new Siglo VI is going be introduced at the cigar festival at the end of the month. It is going to be a Gran Reserva made with five-year-old tobacco. Apparently 5,000 boxes of 15 cigars each have been produced. This should be the bomb. And it is the first time a cigar with five-year-old tobacco is being produced as a Gran Reserva on the island.

I still remember the Reserva Partagas Series D No. 4s released a couple of years ago. They are fabulous to smoke now. And those were made with three-year-old tobacco. Que rico!

"Hopefully your son will return many times with you James to enjoy the Cuban music scene and eventually a fine Cuban cigar with his old man. " —February 15, 2009 16:53 PM
"Is there a reliable list ANYWHERE that will tell me where to purchase real cuban cigars online .... which online retailers .. are real .. Thanks , Greg " —February 15, 2009 10:23 AM
"Just watched his Virgin Atlantic 747 fly into the distance back to London. I had the same thoughts. Thanks for the message." —February 15, 2009 18:59 PM