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Enjoy!

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Please check out my buddy Matt’s fundraiser for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.  Donations go to this cause and enter you in a raffle to win a box of Opus X Love Affairs!  Click on the link below for all of the details.

Matt’s Ride for Kids Raffle


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New Releases 2010!

Kindly look to your right and you’ll see I have changed the New Releases list from 2009 to 2010.  Again, like last year, I will update it as I learn of new releases.  I have also kept the list from 2009, it’s just below the 2010 list.  Some items have rolled over to 2010 due to delays, notably the Nosotros and the Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo.  Limited Editions will also be included.  I hope everyone will find this helpful.  Enjoy!

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Di Fazio Cigars is a new boutique to the biz.  Established in 2008, the Di Fazio family has set a goal to deliver a fine super premium to the cigar aficionado.

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Using a combination of tobacco from the DR, Nicaragua and Honduras, the Di Fazio family wants to blend the perfect cigars for every occasion.  They currently have three offerings: the mild and creamy Connecticut, the rich and sweet Maduro and the complex Picoso.

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Here’s a write-up from Cigar Aficionado:

Carmelo Di Fazio, a 41-year-old Miami television executive with a lifelong love of fine cigars, has entered the cigar business. Born in Venezuela of Italian descent, Di Fazio is a self-described dreamer who loves to smoke cigars. He created his company, Di Fazio Cigars Corp., last year.Di Fazio cigars are rolled at the up-and-coming Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L. factory in Honduras, the boutique operation that also makes Illusione and Alec Bradley Tempus cigars, among others. They come in three varieties—Connecticut, Maduro and the intriguingly named Picoso.

The Connecticut blend has a Connecticut-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador, with Indonesian binder and Honduran and Nicaraguan filler. The maduro has a Nicaraguan wrapper, Honduran binder and Honduran and Nicaraguan filler. The Picoso, which takes its name from the Spanish for “spicy,” is the boldest blend, and is a Honduran puro.

Di Fazio Connecticut – this smooth, but flavorful cigar is offered in 4 sizes with a flawless Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.

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Di Fazio Maduro – the rustic and flavorful maduro wrapper comes in three sizes.

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Di Fazio Picoso – Spanish for “spicy”, this oddly named line is a Honduran puro and comes in 4 sizes with a rosado hued Honduran wrapper.

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If you seen one in your local B&M, pick one up and give it a try, the Di Fazio family has assembled a marca for every palate!

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Cigar Flavor Components

There are several core cigar flavor components used to describe flavors one can taste while enjoying a cigar.  Most of the flavors are derived from a scale used to describe wines (popularized by Cigar Aficionado, whose owners also publish Wine Spectator), as they share a lot in common.  I have parceled things up into core flavors and within the core flavors, there are certain specific flavors that I will try to describe in detail, including what type of cigar in which these flavors are generally found.

But before I go further, there is often a lot of discussion around describing cigar flavors.  Some feel that such descriptions are pompous and unnecessary.  I do agree that sometimes these descriptors can sound a bit silly (i.e. Pencil lead in a cigar???).   But just like with wine, I think those that write about cigars use some sort of poetic license when trying to describe what they taste.  Does anybody want to read a magazine where the cigars are reviewed as such: Cigar 1 – tasted like smoke, liked it; Cigar 2 – tasted like smoke, hated it…?  Just like in a good book, adjectives and descriptors are used to help paint a mental picture for the reader.

So without further ado, here are the Core Cigar Flavor Components:

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How to Taste a Cigar

Sounds simple, right?  Well it depends.  Taste is defined as, “form of direct chemoreception and is one of the traditional five senses.  It refers to the ability to detect the flavor of substances such as food, certain minerals, and poisons.”  But when taste partners with the sense of smell… that is how the brain perceives flavors.  So we’re really talking about two senses here: taste and smell.  But from here on out we’ll just lump together into “taste”, ok?

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I was contacted to listen to a CD from jazz composer Mario Grigorov.  The name of the album was “Paris to Cuba”.  I like Jazz and I was rewarded with an upbeat multi-cultural jazz opus that had be bouncing in my lounge chair!  Here’s the bio:

The ten tracks on Paris To Cuba are the embodiment of summertime. Composed and created by Mario Grigorov, the album’s sound conjures up beautiful complexions, mid-afternoon mojitos, linen garments, and vintage Cadillacs. This is music that immediately evokes an aural landscape, a narrative of striking up a wandering romance with a stranger, a “paseo” through Plaza Vieja or a sunset on the Seine. Lilting, sensual brass sections flirt with gentle vocals on “I See”, “Every Little Movement”, and “Snake Eyes”- the three tracks which feature singer, Melissa Newman.  Blending hints of Pink Martini and Buena Vista Social Club, the percussion section laps as a wave on an empty beach. It is easy for the listener to get lost in the guitar solos, mysterious accordion and nostalgic, sweeping strings.  This is not your typical jazz or world record.

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Check it out if you get a chance!  Thanks to Adam and Co. at www.paristocuba.com for the chance to listen to Mr. Grigorov’s fine work!

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