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Commentary: Going to the Go-To

6 Feb 2017

Perdomo Lot 23

Get a group of passionate cigar smokers together, and it won’t be long before someone starts talking about an incredible cigar they had.

The conversation will then pick up, and you’ll likely hear about some limited edition Davidoff, an aged Cuban Montecristo No. 2, or a rare Padrón.

What you probably won’t hear is anyone singing the praises of their regular go-to selection (unless you’re the sort for whom Opus is just a daily cigar). For most of us, though, the go-to cigar may not be flashy, but it’s the one we smoke more than any other.

When I refer to a go-to cigar, I’m thinking of what you reach for when you don’t really have anything specific in mind, but want an experience you know you’ll enjoy. It’s the cigar you almost always have on hand and are willing to share, secure in the knowledge that it will satisfy just about anyone.

I have two cigars that fall into this category, both traditionally sized (5 x 50) robustos: the regular Perdomo Lot 23 Natural, and the original Old Henry.

Some long-time readers (with excellent memories) may recall that my first encounter with the Lot 23, a Toro that time, was less than stellar. But some years later I revisited the line and the Robusto made me a believer.

It’s not an expensive cigar. A box of 20 is around $90, and you’ll often spot price reductions online for five-packs and boxes. Construction and performance are consistent. It’s medium in strength with some spice, some sweetness, and a satisfying finish.

Old Henry is a house blend for Holt’s Cigar Co. rolled at the My Father Cigars factory in Nicaragua. A colleague reviewed the Robusto in 2008, and the following year I reviewed the Corona. At that point, I favored the Corona marginally over the Robusto, and I’ve since gone back and forth as to which is my favorite.

Like Lot 23, Old Henry is modestly priced. The Robusto comes in a cardboard box of 25 for about $100; the corona runs about $5 less. In addition, Holt’s almost always offers some sort of swag—an extra five-pack, a lighter, an ashtray—with a box purchase.

I try to keep a box of one or the other—sometimes both—in my humidor. And they often don’t last long.

George E

photo credit: Perdomo

6 Responses to “Commentary: Going to the Go-To”

  1. Ted Langly Monday, February 6, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    For me it’s Fuente Rothschild Maduro and Camacho Corojo robusto. About $100 a box and always enjoyable.

    In days gone by I absolutely loved the punch rothschild maduro when it was wrapped in broadleaf. Buying them in boxes of 50 was easy. So delicious.

  2. Andrew L Monday, February 6, 2017 at 10:29 am #

    Jesus Fuego Origen

    Pinar del Rio 1878 Natural

    Padron 1000s Series

    Don Kiki Brown Label

    Tesa Picadura King

  3. Sam C. Monday, February 6, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

    For all of 2016: Illusione eccj, H-Town Lancero, Rose Croix, or Miserere, though I would be smoking only one, maybe two in a weekend.
    Not a 20 for $100, but all can found for under $10 apiece.

    For the last few years: Herrera Esteli in short corona and lonsdale, and Undercrown Corona Viva.

  4. Stan Walker Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    Oliva O natural robusto, any San Cristabol Revelation size, or Torano 1916 corona are my go to. Particularly after I may have smoked a couple of turds and want to make sure my next one is a good experience.

  5. Jackson45 Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 11:42 am #

    Illusione Rothschildes. Best cigar for the money, period.

  6. RT Elkin Monday, February 13, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

    Padron 2000 Natural, 3000 Maduro, Delicias Maduro, Londres Natural, LGC Rabito de Cochino, Padron Cifuentes Febrero. Or a (now-discontinued) Punch Larga & Macanudo Claybourne. Too many cigars today have no example below 50-52, & that’s annoying. A corona is the test of a wrapper. (Rarely go-to: Padron ’64 Superiores Maduro yum.