Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature

I was gifted an Arturo Fuente Reserva Corona Hemingway Signature a few weeks ago from a very dear and close friend. It was my choice for my own personal Independence Day smoke.  As this year’s 4th of July is in the middle of the week, I opted to make it a low-key day. I decided to stay in my lovely air-conditioned abode, dodge the inevitable mid-afternoon-to-evening storm (I had planned on grilling some food, but storm axed that idea) and enjoy the view from my windows and patio. I wandered out to attempt to grill some food(and got soaked for it), and do some physical exercise, but generally I waited for nightfall to enjoy my cigar, a glass of wine, and a fantastic view of fireworks around the Tampa Bay area.

Since this stick was a gift, I won’t be able to fairly say where it was purchased.  Instead, I will offer you a bit of insight and nostalgia on friendship. There are some that think that there’s a soulmate for everyone, I believe that everyone has more than one soul mate. There are likely people in your lives that mean nearly everything to you, and it doesn’t always have to be a romantic relationship. Love should come to all of us in many guises, and a full life should include more than one type of affection in one’s life.  I have been blessed to have friends for whom my soul would be less. My dearest, closest friends may not always been in my same zip code, but they reside in my heart, always. So, for Independence Day, I wish you the ability to recognize the love of those who have supported you, and that you are in a position to be supportive to those you care most about.

Enough blabber, let’s get to the cigar!

Arturo Fuente has a stellar reputation, and this cigar is certainly evidence as to why. Dominican filler around an aromatic Cameroon wrapper lends this cigar a unique puffability. The smoke from this cigar is almost like airy cotton candy– it doesn’t smell sweet, but it’s got a swirl to it which makes smoking this stick even more enjoyable and relaxing.  It rises slowly, and lingers in the air around you, providing a lovely aroma of this medium body cigar.

The draw on this isn’t just smooth, it’s downright easy.  I don’t usually subscribe to the ‘long foot’ methodology of ashing my cigar, but this particular cigar lends itself well to allowing the smoker to draw smoothly and easily without needing to ash right away.  There’s notes of a light coffee, and a hint of a vanilla in the exhale. The cigar actually is very consistent– there’s no new nuance of flavor from the beginning to the end of the smoke.

Overall, I would recommend this medium to light-ish side of cigars to just about anyone looking to have a pleasant and relaxing smoke before a good evening or at the end of a long day.

La Flor Dominica La Nox Petite at Davidoff of Geneva

My First cigar review is going to start with a gem that was recommended to me by the fine folks at Davidoff of Geneva in my adopted home town of Tampa, Florida. The La Flor Dominica La Nox Petite is darker than my usual smoke, and uses a smoky and oily Brazilian wrapper instead of my favored Nicaraguan. The humidor representative at Davidoff said that while it was indeed considered to be a full bodied dark cigar, that the oils in the wrapper would temper it to my peppery tastes and he was completely on target. I started with the small La Nox, and love the design on the ring. While I live in the Sunshine State, I have a strong appreciation for The Night, as the heat and humidity during the day in this area can be overbearing.

The La Nox smoked very smoothly and evenly, and while I could definitely feel the weighty dark wrapper, the Dominican fillers made this a really delightful heavyweight that felt more like a dancer than a fighter.   The draw was smooth, and the first part of the stick was bitter but pleasantly so. The smoke had a faint floral note to it towards the middle of the cigar, and it finished very peppery. This became an instant favorite.

While I did love the petite, for some reason the larger sized toro had a very difficult time staying lit. Maybe it’s because I have tiny lady lungs, but this did not seem to want to keep its light at all. The flavor was just as nuanced and enjoyable as the petite, but I could not get to the end of the cigar, as the midpoint was just stubbornly going out. I will still try the toro again, as maybe this was just a bad go on a super humid day.

I smoked this at Davidoff Tampa, and I did enjoy my usual favorite adult beverage, double Tito’s on the rocks with a lime. The acid in the lime and vodka complemented the darkness of the La Nox. It had been a stormy weekend, and we were sitting outside under the generous canopies of Davidoff’s location near the International Plaza Mall. My only complaint about this location is something wholly out of their control– the parking in that plaza is a bit tough sometimes. However, any frustrations with trying to put one’s vehicle in a spot is instantly vanished when you get inside the Lounge area. It’s certainly one of the prettiest cigar lounges I’ve ever seen, and the staff are attentive, informative, and nearly always on point with their recommendations. The lounge and bar area are generously appointed with comfy chairs and couches, with an eye for small tables to hold plentiful ash trays. To my eye, there’s been every effort to make the Davidoff of Geneva and extremely desirable spot to enjoy a cigar.