Cigar Aficionado

The Beauty of Differences

I smoked a Juan Lopez Obus torpedo last night at a friend’s house in Tuscany following dinner. It was just the right thing after a few pieces of grilled Florentine steak and 1999 Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso Riserva and 1995 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle. Both were in magnum. The small torpedo, or “campana,” was surprisingly mellow and refined with creamy, cedar character and medium finish. It drew wonderfully and delivered very pleasant flavors. 90 points.

The cigar, which measures 52 ring gauge by 5 ½ inches long, was introduced last year in France as one of the year’s regional edition smokes. Each year the Cubans specially make a number of cigars for selected markets and the Obus was for the French market last year. They came in both 25 and 10 cigar cabinet cedar boxes.

Interestingly, Josh Meerapfel, the Belgian cigar man who grows wrapper tobacco in Cameroon, was hanging for a few days with me with his wife. And he was at the dinner smoking away on a Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Robusto next to me. So I took a drag off it.

It was strong and more flavorful than the Lopez. But I wouldn’t say it was better. It was just different. It was like comparing the Brunello and the Hermitage. Both were excellent wines but very different.

"Good choice of wine. Brunello's are not very well known but spectacular. Nothing quite as nice as an excellent wine and a cigar after dinner." —July 13, 2007 09:25 AM