12 Jun 2012
My approach to aging cigars has gone from haphazard to chaotic. I frequently forget to use stick-on labels to date my purchases or give much thought to what might benefit from serious time in the humidor.
It’s not that I don’t believe some cigars benefit from aging. I’m just not organized enough to do it well. How I envy those of you who meticulously record your stash in a database.
But, as they say, even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while. And when I pulled this 6.25-inch, lightly pressed maduro out the other day, I noted on the sticker attached to the yellowing cellophane that it had spent a bit over two years in the humidor. While I’ve long been a fan of all the 601 colors, the Serie Blue isn’t my top choice, and I suppose that’s why it had gone unsmoked.
But now I wish I had more. The aroma of the Habano wrapper and the Nicaraguan filler was deep, rich tobacco with a hint of chocolate. It clearly lived up to Cigar Aficionado’s description as “both gorgeous and delicious” when CA ranked it sixth among the top cigars of 2009.
The flavors were a rich blend of coffee, cocoa, and that appealing maduro sweetness. It burned perfectly, produced lots of smoke, and had a buttery smooth finish. It wasn’t dramatically different than one from the shelf, but aging had created a subtlety and depth that pushed it to another level.
This was Don Pepin Garcia’s first maduro and he clearly knew how to make it shine. It is brilliant with two years of age..
At around $7 a stick, I’m awfully tempted to buy more and see if I can duplicate this experience in 2014. That is, if I can remember to mark them when I buy them and then refrain from smoking them along the way.
With a full two years of age on it, I rate this EO 601 Serie “Blue” Toro a full five stogies out of five.
photo credit: Stogie Guys