Written by Paul Shoberg

Monday, 03 August 2009

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In this second part of my series on short cigars that don’t leave you short in the flavor arena, my focus is on a couple of the more recent cigars.  While I can’t commit to having them in rotation all the time, due to the price, they are worth paying attention to. Not only do you get a unique experience, but they can also snap you out of the cigar doldrums if you happen to fall into that painful area. 

The third short and meaty cigar that I keep in the everyday lineup, is the Cohiba Magicos.  Of course this line was released in July of 2006 as the first Maduro cigars to come out of Cuba.  Being the fact that it is a Cohiba, it was new, and commanded a premium from a price perspective, many people wrote off this line of cigars.  That is a big mistake.

With a size of 4 ½ inches by 52 ring gauge, the cigar is really only half inch short of being your standard robusto, but I still couldn’t leave out.  I guess I’m willing to bear the cold weather a little longer for a cigar such as this.  This is an extremely unique smoke, with hints of espresso, nuts, and extremely strong earthy overtones; this is about as close to a Nicaraguan cigar that a Cuban cigar will ever get.  I guess whether that’s a good thing or not depends on whether you like Nicaraguan cigars.

Construction is near perfect , flavors very consistent complex, in fact about the only thing you can find wrong with the cigar is the price and the uppity attitude that seems to carry.  So maybe not in that everyday category of short smokes, but I strongly suggest having it in your lineup as a pinch hitter now and then.

The last cigar we will talk about may be my favorite (I know, I know every cigar I’d talk about seems to be my favorite…  I guess that’s the curse the cigar lovers carry!), the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill.  The Short Churchill was released in February of 2006, and may not exactly fit the small robusto mold at 4 7/8 inches by 50 ring gauge.  In fact you may like to point out to me that this is even bigger than most standard 5 inch long Robustos.  Well, you’re right, but since this is “short” in its name, and capitalizes on that famous Romeo y Julieta Churchill name its worthy of mentioning.

The first thing I will warn you about is that the cigar is definitely not overpowering.  It’s one of the lighter Cuban smokes I have ever experienced, and the multiple boxes I have seen have all had a very “Colorado” like light wrapper.  This is another cigar that’s extremely fresh out of the box, aging is strongly recommended, and I go out at least a year with mine.  Like many of the cigars we talked about, the cigar is also available in a tubed version.  I have not found major differences between those and the standard boxed version.

The Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill is extremely balanced throughout.  There are some light fruity overtones, with an extremely creamy and smoky release.  If there is such a thing as a powerhouse of a mild cigar this would fit the bill.  Many of you who like cigars that could choke a bull, may want to stay away from this, but it’s a darn good change of pace in a smaller cigar world. 

This is one of those classic cigars that you can experiment on a broad level with its pairing.  Coffee in the morning is a obviously a great choice, but many of the lighter accompaniments can bring out a new personality every time you smoke this.  One of my favorite times for the cigar is before a meal with a sweeter wine like a chardonnay.  I don’t drink a lot of white wines, and tend to focus on the red, but the cigar really makes that white wine shine when paired.

So there you have a, my for shorter smokes that I look to when I don’t have a lot of cigar enjoyment time on my hands.  I’m grateful that there are cigars this size, and keenly aware that there are many nine Cubans like this is well.  In fact the “Nub” cigar seemed to be made to fill this niche specifically.  For this article below I want to focus on the cigars from the old country.  To all four I wrote about have their distinct advantages and flavor profiles depending on your mood you should be able to find that could smoke to fill those 20 to 30 minutes you have to enjoy.

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