Last night C.A.O. laid on an outrageous party at The Palms, which included none other than the Lynyrd Skynyrd band. C.A.O.'s head Tim Ozenger hangs with some of the band members back in Nashville, so he persuaded them to do a gig for him during the cigar show.
I must admit that I used to listen to the band a lot back in my college years. Who didn¹t listen to Free Bird back then? Anyway, I spoke to vocalist Johnny Van Zant, who I think is the closest buddy to Tim. And he said that he "dug" smoking cigars. "I smoke just about any old thing," he said, as we were hanging out at the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa at the top of the Palms before the show. "But I like C.A.O. a lot and I enjoy Cubans too."
Check out my video on the Sky Villa. I was bummed I didn't wear pajamas instead of my jeans and a shirt. There were a few nice bunnies about but the pre-party was definitely missing hotties. Next time I will help organize it all in that department.
Anyway, we smoked some good stuff (only cigars) such as the new C.A.O. Lx2. I call it Pueblo Nuevo. It is made with Nicaraguan tobacco but with a special emphasis on the ligero (the strongest leaf) from C.A.O.'s plantation named Pueblo Nuevo near Condega in the heart of tobacco growing in Nica. I went there a couple of years back and it's prime property.
Here is my tasting note for the petit corona-sized smoke: This is very strong and powerful with black pepper and tobacco character. Long and rich. Licorice and power. Big ballsy smoke. This is very sweet tobacco too. 91 points, non blind.
It certainly got me in the mood for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Or maybe it was the Tecate beer and the Playboy Bunnies. Anyway, it was a fun gig.
Ballsy smokes seem to be an important theme this year at the cigar show. Just about everyone is coming out with something a little richer in flavor from the new Davidoff Maduro R (first maduro smoke for them) to the Macanudo 1968,the darkest and richest Mac ever. Yes. I could actually smoke a Mac! I am impressed.
Here is my note: Spicy, coffee and chocolate character. Medium body with loads of flavors. Spicy and super fresh. Keeps your mouth moist and more than satisfies your taste buds. 90 points, non blind.
The 1968 Mac comes out in four sizes and they are slightly more than the regular Mac: Churchilll (7 x 49 ring gauge) $10, Toro (6 x 54) $9.50, Robusto (5 x 50) $8.50, and Gigantes (6 x 60) $11.
It's all good news if you love a good smoke, especially ones with flavor. I wonder how the Mac 68 would smoke with the Playboy bunnies at the Sky Villa?
P.S. Thanks to Hollywood director, cigar freak, and friend James Orr for filming my video blog.