Monday, June 19, 2006

Bolivar Coronas Gigantes

Well, well, well, just had one of the nice Bolivars I bought in my last shopping in Paris... truely a nice experience !

This cigar is very well constructed with a very nice draw, while offering very rich flavours. I was honestly impressed, sort of did not expect that much... After some sweet puffs with strong hints of honey, this cigar became became very spicy (green pepper), before ending in a superb dark wood finale !

Aizuddin was (once again) right to recommend this great cigar. I do share his comment though : some more time in the humidor could only make this cigar even tastier...

Brand : Bolivar
Origin : Cuba
Format : Churchill
Rating : AA+ [please refer to my Cigar Rating Chart].

(See the whole experience here on my Flickr account)


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Smoking cigars in China -- Part. 1 Beijing

All right, a little more about me here... I am about to move to China (again). I am 29 and I have been spending almost 3 to 4 years in mainland China already (Beijing and Shanghai mostly). In 2004, my company asked me to come back to France, but recently thay asked me to go back... Great !

But now comes the big question : where to smoke good cigars in mainland China ? Is there a "cigar culture" in mainland China ? What about the prices ? etc. It's gonna be hard to answer to all those questions in one post... Besides, China is a rather large country ! For a start, let's focus on the cigar culture in Beijing. I hope I post something later on re. Shanghai.

So... Cigar culture in Beijing :

* Grand Hyatt Beijing (Junyue Dajiudian)

Do not spend too much time in the Davidoff boutique in the lobby, and please go straight to the Red Moon bar (ground floor). They do have a decent cigar selection (mostly cubans). You can smoke your cigar next to the fireplace, or why not in one of the two private cigar lounges (4 to 6 people each) - you'd better book these in advance.

* Red Capital Club

You'll have to go to The Residence (the RCC has two main addresses : the Restaurant & The Residence) in order to enjoy a cigar in a unique atmosphere : they have installed their fumoir in a former bomb shelter ! You know there was a time when Mr. Mao Zedong was afraid to be bombed both by the US and the USSR... Very nice decoration, Chinese Kitsch embedded into traditional Beijing architecture : unique & different !

* The Courtyard

Nice restaurant, next to the forbidden city, great view. They do have a nice cigar lounge... (Location: 95 Donghuamen Lu, Dongcheng District / Tel: [+86 10] 6526-8883).

* More addresses ?

Though my favorite addresses are all here, you'll be able to find more suggestions at the bottom of this page.
On a footnote, you should also check this article from ChinaToday, about the cigar maker who used to roll Chairman Mao's own cigars.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1

Be careful : this is not a Robusto ! This is a Hermoso No. 4, although the difference is subtle, its gauge is slightly lower and, on the other hand, it is 3 mm. longer (1/10 of a inch)...

I know that some reviews have been pretty good, but honnestly I am not really impressed. This cigar is very light, and I shall say probably too light for me. Taste is very floral, sometime herbaceous... Not really my cup of tea. As a true Magnum 46 lover, I am slightly disappointed. At the top of that, the draw was not perfect.

Brand : H. Upmann
Origin : Cuba
Format : Hermoso No. 4
Rating : BB+ [please refer to my Cigar Rating Chart]


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Good cigar blog

The best cigar blog I've read so far (apart from Cigars & Co. obviously :-)... It comes from Malaysia, where Aizuddin Danian is patiently reporting on its smoking experience. Check it out :

Too bad it has not been active for the last 6 months... For those of you who remember, I already mentionned about Aizuddin's blog in a previous post dedicated to Partagas 2000 Millenium Reserve Salamon...

Aizuddin, you've gotta come back !


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Quai d'Orsay Imperiales (churchill) - Part 2

Remember my first post on Quai d'Orsay Imperiales ?

Well I just smoked another one. Still a fair smoke. A couple of months in my humidor did not do any harm for sure... I truly enjoyed the strong caramel flavor I got at the end. For a minute it really felt like a candy bar :)


Cigar Shopping in Paris

Hey, my birthday again ! My good friends know how to treat me !

I have just received :

  • 3 H. Upmann, Magnum 50 (double robusto), LE (edicion limitada) 2005;
  • 3 Romeo y Julieta, Petit Pyramides LE (edicion limitada) 2005;
  • 2 Bolivar, Coronas Gigantes (churchill);
  • 3 H.Upmann, Sir Winston (churchill...of course);
Yummy !


I bought this very nice selection in one of my favourite place to buy cigar in the French Capital :
La Civette,
157 rue Saint-Honoré
75001 Paris
+33 1 42 96 04 99

They have a very nice selection indeed (both cubans & dominicans), though the service could be improved... depends on the sales person you're dealing with actually.