Review: Plantation Single Barrel Multi-Island XO

Review: Plantation Single Barrel Multi-Island XO

This is another of the new Plantation single-cask offerings. The Plantation web page on this has a lot of information. A blend of both column and pot-still Jamaica and Barbados distilates, then aged in three different barrel types, oak (tropics), Ferrand (continental), and a year in Côteaux du Layon wine casks, bottled at 46.5% ABV. There is much more there as well.. Of course they find much more in the flavor profile than I, but this is still pretty rich and tropical. Indeed, I can taste the tropics in this one. The sort of rum I picture drinking with a little ice (I usually drink neat) at a pool-side bar somewhere, really anywhere, in the Caribbean!

Color: Pale yellow amber with flashes of yellow and a little red.

Legs: Thin, fast legs drop from the bottom of the swirl line.

Aroma: I get vanilla, fruity notes of apricot, banana, some pine apple, nutmeg, and coconut. There is also a little alcohol on the nose. The over-all effect is very rich, and melds later into a deep caramel.

Flavor: Very clean medium creamy body.  A light touch of raw sugar and sweet light fruit, delicate with some fire on a long sugar-sweet aftertaste. The flavors include some raisin, light caramel, and a hint of tobacco too, all very delicately dancing on fruits like apricot, grape, pineapple, and apple. Despite the Jamaican heritage here I don’t detect any funk. The Plantation site linked above gives even the ester content, 176 g/hL, that’s grams per hundred liters, so very low. Very high ester rums can have 1000 g/hl or more. No surprise I don’t sense any funk, but even this low ester content certainly adds to the depth of both aroma and flavor.

So far I have liked every one of these Plantation offerings. The collection can be seen here, and this link will take you to a few comments about the Multi Island on Rum Ratings.

 

Cigar Review: Crowned Heads Luminosa

Cigar Review: Crowned Heads Luminosa
Luminosa various views

A new (to me) Crowned Heads cigar introduced to the world in 2016. There are reviews to be found but not much about its composition. The cigar is rolled at Tabacalera Alianza S.A. in the Dominican Republic. This is the factory of E.P. Carillo, and he along with Jon Huber are named as the blenders for this one. Another review says the filler and binder are Nicaraguan though they are not specified. The wrapper is given as Ecuadorian Connecticut.

The Luminosa comes in three vitolas: Toro (6×52), Robusto (5×50) and Petit Corona (4×44). I wanted the petit corona but could not find it. I ended up with the robusto normally retailing for $7.75 but they ended up being $6 at the box level to me.

Construction: The wrapper is a medium brown, slightly shiny. There is a small vein or two here and there showing. Nothing impressive or unusual here. The pack is even all the way around on the three I’ve tried so far and somewhat light, not a densely packed cigar, I expect the draw will be superb. The draw is superb, light with only a slight resistance, it remains that way throughout the smoke. Speaking of smoke, the output on this one is also excellent. Nice creamy thick smoke throughout. Burn line also stays good though a few corrections helped from time to time. Construction gets an “A”. All is good so far.

Cold aroma/flavor: Light barnyard, manure, black tea, a little leather. The aroma is not very rich, but all good. The cold draw taste is a little like toast and slightly salty, but there isn’t much to it.

Flavors: I always expect something good from Crowned Heads and the Luminosa delivers. In the first third I sensed browned butter, toast, a little leather and barnyard, hay, and maybe roasted nut. As the cigar progressed its pepper, almost absent at first came up a bit especially on the retrohale. The cigar doesn’t get very peppery making the retrohale easy and very rich. Don’t be afraid with this one. As the cigar smokes on, the nut and butter dial back and some sweet cedar along with the hay comes more forward.

The flavors dial in and out with every puff, but all of them have something to recommend. The cigar starts out pretty mild in strength and gets maybe to a medium when finished. This is a great cigar and remained flavorful down to the last half inch; “A+”. I paired all three of the cigars so far with coffee recommended by most of the reviewers. A really good morning cigar.

Smoke time was a few minutes under an hour. Most robustos go over an hour for me, but being lightly packed this stick smokes a little fast especiall in the first half. Still all and all a satisfying smoke and if I can find another box at $6 I will pick it up. Crowned Heads has another winner here.

Somke on BOTL!

3 Good Inexpensive Cigars

3 Good Inexpensive Cigars

I’ve reviewed families of rums in the past, but this is my first multiple cigar review. The cigars here aren’t a family and don’t much resemble one another in any respect other than their price. They all cost about $4/stick (box price) and they are all pretty good if not “great” cigars. The reviews will be short, just the basics. These are good cigars for their price, but they’re not going to compare to more expensive Padron, My Father, Drew Estate, and many others that are two or more times their price. All of these sticks are pretty one dimensional. There isn’t much point in describing their flavors inch by inch, but they do all have decent flavors, and all of them good budget smokes.

SanchPanza

Sancho Panza long corona from Honduras.

5.75″ x 46 box press
Wrapper: Oscuro
Binder/Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Dominical Piloto.

Of the three sticks reviewed, this is the sweetest. Wrapper is smooth medium brown in color. Cold smell is barnyard and sweet wood. The cold draw is salty and sweet at the same time. I’ve smoked a half a box of these and encountered no construction issues. Draw is firm but not fighting you and stays that way throughout. Lots of smoke all the way along, burn line is good. Burn time is about an hour and fifteen minutes. I am very impressed with these.

Flavors are sweet wood, nut, and leather. There is little pepper, sometimes some floral notes and an occasional hint of vanilla. Paired with a dark sweet rum the cigar comes up with a very sweet wintergreen note in response. Even on the retrohale there is little pepper here but the leather and sweet wood smoke notes stand out. Strength is a solid medium. All in all this is the smoothest as well as the sweetest of the three cigars. For about $4.25 this is a very good smoke I can take all the way down to less than an inch.

HOYOAmistad

HOYO La Amistad robusto from AJ Fernandez, Nicaragua

5″ x 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua (Esteli, Ometepe, Condega, Jalapa)

This is a pretty elaborate blend for a $4 cigar. Anything AJF does is worth trying. Most turn out pretty good, and for the price I’m not going to complain if it doesn’t taste like a Padron or OpusX.

Cold smell is light barnyard, fresh hay, grass. Cold draw doesn’t present much but a little hay and saltiness. The cigar seems well made. Wrapper is light brown in color and looks nice, clean cap. Draw is light on these, maybe too light even for me. Pack is nice and even though. In a whole box I’ve had no construction issues. Burn line is clean with a few minor corrections now and then. Smoke output is excellent all the way through the stick. Burn time about an hour.

Reading reviews of this you would think it cost $12. Yes there is flavor, a little hint of floral sweetness, earth, cedar, and barnyard. But flavors aren’t very strong. Mostly you get a nice thick smoke carrying minimal, but otherwise nice flavors. Some pepper presents itself all the way along, especially on the retrohale where the flavors come forward a bit also. Other reviewers have talked about a lot of pepper, but I just don’t get that myself. Really you only get anything substantial from this cigar on the retrohale. Nothing in the flavor profile is outstanding, but there are no sour or off putting notes either. The cigar is pleasant. Many of you have tried AJ’s “Puro Authentico”. This cigar has the same sort of manly earthiness to it, but the flavors are less full bodied and the flavors mostly disappear by the last inch. Light to medium in strength, of the three cigars reviewed here, this one is the lightest in strength and flavor, but I recommend it as a good change away from sweet.

IllusioneRoth

Illusione Rothchilds Short Robusto.

4.75″ x 50
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan

Commonly to be found at $3.65 or so (box of 50) this is the strongest and also the least expensive of the sticks reviewed here. Illusione blends are almost always good but tend to be in the $8 – $12 range. This low-ball offering is superb at the price.

Cold smell is mostly manure and floral. Taste is a little salty and dry chocolate. Like the others reviewed the construction of this cigar is excellent. Nice dark brown wrapper, slightly bent cap, a good hefty stick for its size. Of the three cigars this is the most densely packed and very evenly. Draw is medium. Sometimes needs a little burn correction but mostly it’s fine and produces great smoke. Strength is medium to full, burn time about an hour or a little more.

Flavor here is earthy, barnyard, dry chocolate, with a little pepper throughout. Stronger flavor than the HOYO and not as sweet as the Sancho Panza. The retrohale is particularly earthy and full of burning wood with more pepper. Flavors stay with the stick down to less than an inch. Of the three sticks I like these the best. Flavors are similar in strength to the Sancho Panza but more earthy, a cigar man’s cigar.

————————

All three of these sticks are worth their price and make a good rotation for one another. In connection with this price point I should mention a fourth stick reviewed elsewhere on the blog, the Drew Estate Papas Fritas. At about $4.35 only a few cents higher than the Sancho Panza, it is by far the most flavorful cigar of the group but it is also smaller than the others. All to be enjoyed though. See what you think. I know that many of my readers have a larger discretionary budget than I do. I once did myself, but no longer. Discovering so many good cigars in the under $5 range has been a delight.

Featured

BLOG LAYOUT

lookat1796B

Welcome to Ruminations! A writing exercise combining various present hobbies (cigars and rum) along side that which keeps me intellectually exercised, philosophy. Somewhere on your screen is a MENU. The menu consists of categories and articles under them. You can use these to navigate to articles of interest. In the interest of convenience however, I present here a list of the categories as links you can use. If you click on a link you will see all the articles under that category. They are always arranged in reverse date order (latest on top). Some articles are multi-part. If you see a “part II” scroll a bit further down to find the part I.

A note about advertising. Ruminations is not a free WordPress account. I have a paid “personal” level account and domain name. Things would be nice if it at least paid for itself. The logical way to do this would be affiliate links. There are many links to rum and cigar vendors not to mention Amazon books. But I cannot do this without upgrading to a professional account and I doubt even such links would begin to pay for that. Nor can I add a donation button without that upgrade. On my account WordPress does, however, allow me to let them add advertisements to my posts.

I do not know to what extent these placements will offset the cost of this account. I really won’t know until I go through a year with them. I only hope they are not so intrusive as to be trouble for my readers.

Categories:

selfie

Philosophy: Mostly metaphysics and epistemology in the English analytic tradition. The starting point is presently fleshed out in my books (presently 3 in number) described in this philosophy subcategory my books.

As of May 2017 a new subcategory here is my book reviews published on Amazon. I’ve reviewed many books for Amazon. These posts are the text to the reviews themselves, not Amazon links. However each review does link to the book reviewed on Amazon.  The books posted here are those that, in my opinion, warranted additional philosophical commentary. This commentary is posted at the head of the article. The book reviews themselves always follow.  At the end of 2019, there are as many book reviews as philosophy essays.  In December 2018 another new category under Philosophy: Philosophy Guest Posts. At the end of 2018 there is only one, but I hope eventually there will be others…

EcuadorPapiChulo

Cigar Reviews: One of my present hobbies (I have had many). There are many reviews here focused mostly on affordable cigars (under $10). There are a surprising number of very excellent cigars in the single digit price range.

PhotoGrid_1444846718650

General Cigar Articles: About cigars and associated products. Covers “care and feeding” of a cigar collection.

oldmonk

Rum Reviews: A hobby enhancing my enjoyment of cigars. Many reviews.

 

twobourbons

Bourbon Reviews: A couple of reviews here.

 

some pairing options
A few non-rum related pairing options. Some of these I haven’t touched in years.

General Spirit Articles: Pairing drink with cigars.

Hope you enjoy. I continue to add to the blog in all categories. Hope you will like and/or comment.

January 25, 2017

Blog Introduction

IMG_20150413_131239A new blog! As though you didn’t have enough to read… But this is a beginning, an educational experience for me, and perhaps, given some content also for you.

My goal here to start is to learn to post, learn to access my post, and then learn to share my post with a social network like Google+. In addition I’m going to learn how to add pictures and links. My first articles will be about cigars, rums, and cigar pairings, but eventually there will be other topics as well. Follow along and see what I learn…

I am Matthew Rapaport, father, grandfather, and writer. For most of my professional life I’ve worked producing custom enterprise software for large corporations. I’ve worked around a lot of databases, and in earlier times of my career served as data base analyst (DBA) as well as custom software developer mostly moving data to and from various databases and between companies. It’s getting harder to find a job now. Most large companies don’t want customized enterprise software any longer preferring packaged products.

Besides programming, I’ve also worked as a lab technician, non-profit developer (that’s code for fund-raiser), software trainer, and cook, the last now a hobby I’ve carried with me since childhood. Finally, and perhaps deepest down, I’m also a writer. John Wiley published one of my books way back in 2001 (“Computer Mediated Communications”) which was obsolete the day it was published as the public and commercial Internet completely eclipsed everything that went before. More recently I’ve published two philosophy books via Amazon Kindle and am currently working on a third. Maybe I’ll try fiction next!

I’m no longer married. My kids hate me for that. But I’m doing my best living with my girlfriend of 8 years now in a suburb near the West Coast of the U.S. just south of San Francisco.