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Cigar Aficionado

Cigar Aficionado March/April 2018

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Cigar Aficionado is a magazine for the man who enjoys life’s great pleasures: fine dining and entertaining, the finest wines and spirits, world travel and the arts. At the heart of every issue is the cigar: what to smoke, where to smoke, and how to enjoy a great smoke.

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United States
M Shanken Communications
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

Searching for a great new cigar? Then this tasting is for you. Our tasting panel tested 80 smokes in a wide range of categories, from stately Churchills to deviant miscellaneous smokes. Thirty-nine scored 90 points or higher, so there’s an opportunity to find a hidden treasure the next time you visit your local brick-and-mortar shop. TOP CHURCHILL PUNCH AFTER DINNER This value-priced smoke uses tobaccos from five different countries in its blend, including an alluringly dark wrapper from Ecuador. HONDURAS 93 TOP FIGURADO ALEC BRADLEY BLACK MARKET ESTELÍ TORPEDO An extension of the original Black Market from Honduras, the Estelí iteration is rolled in Nicaragua using mostly Nicaraguan tobaccos. NICARAGUA 93 TOP MISCELLANEOUS LAST CALL BY A.J. FERNANDEZ CHIQUITAS Originally cigarmaker A.J. Fernandez’s personal blend, Last Call wears a reddish Ecuador Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler from Fernandez’s own farms. NICARAGUA 93 TOP CORONA ROMEO…

2 min.
a new look at our cigar reviews

We’ve rated cigars for more than 25 years, and those reviews have looked virtually the same for that entire time. Not any more. We are proud to present our new and improved tasting section. We’ve added a strength field to our tastings, so now every cigar rating not only indicates dimensions, price, blend, country of origin and score, but also the power of its body. There are five categories of strength: mild, mild to medium, medium, medium to full and full bodied. We made the change to provide ratings that go beyond the score. If you smoke only easygoing cigars, an 89-point, mild cigar is probably a better fit for you than a peppery, full-bodied smoke that scores 94 points. In addition to that change, we’ve replaced our magazine’s tasting index with a…

9 min.
out of the humidor

“Your cover story on one of film’s classic comedies, Animal House, had me laughing from the first paragraph.”—Stephen W. Starnes Sr., Philadelphia Dear Marvin, I just finished reading your Editors’ Note entitled “Shame on Apple” [February 2018]. As a subscriber, I was shocked to see that Apple had banned your Where to Smoke app from the Apple Store. I too was surprised to learn that if one performs a search on the App Store on the word “cigar” at least eight apps that promote the use of tobacco are available for download on the iPad, and at least five for the iPhone. I was even more surprised by the number of apps that promote the use of cannabis products. The last time I checked, the use of cannabis is illegal at the federal…

2 min.
mount falcon island, ireland

Despite coming to the Mount Falcon Estate resort to escape the rigors of the Tour, Tiger Woods and Mark O’Meara were anything but subdued once they sat down to dinner. Barely eating, they vigorously debated the “pound for pound” fighting prowess of Atlantic salmon compared with Steelhead trout. An idyllic 100-acre enclave close to western Ireland’s serene River Moy legendary for angling, the Falcon was the ideal historic manor house to stir such fervent banter. A baronial, wooden-beamed structure once used primarily as a nobleman’s “country pursuits” refuge, the Falcon provides guests with two miles of private fishing on both banks of the Moy, falconry, a golf driving range, a lounge stocked with Cuban cigars and a dozen championship golf courses within a one-hour drive of the property. It’s hard not to…

2 min.
sony 4k hdr camcorder

Maybe it’s time your video camera caught up with your television monitor. You could have been excused in the HD/1080p TV era if your camera was flat, rectangular, and capable of making phone calls. But if you want to take advantage of the contemporary 4K-display age, capturing landscapes or shooting in the absence of natural light, the hole-punch size lens on your smartphone will always pale in comparison to what you can do with a camcorder. Happily, the new age of user-friendly camcorders doesn’t entail carrying a huge box on your shoulder or any geek-like technical proficiency. With its sleek appearance, you mightn’t recognize Sony’s FDR-AX700 4K HDR ($1,900) as a relative of the camera you owned before the smartphone revolution. Nor does it perform like it. Its 4K resolution upgrades…

2 min.
maple syrup

Most sparkling wine is not Champagne, and most “pancake syrup” is not maple syrup. Maple syrup comes only from the sap of sugar maple trees, and like kangaroos or gorillas, Mother Nature saw fit to make these endemic solely to one part of one continent, northeastern North America, most famously Vermont but also the rest of New England, New York and Quebec, with some overflow into the Midwest and mid-Atlantic. It takes 40 years for maple trees to mature into commercial sap producers, and unlike sticky tree substances, sugar maple sap is clear and thin, like water. It takes 40-45 gallons of sap to produce a single gallon of syrup. This is done by boiling sap in shallow pans until most water has evaporated. Nothing is added, and the entire process…