12/11/15

My Father La Antiguedad - Cigar Review


PROLOGUE
9:15pm
I am going nucking futs, gentlepersons. It happens every time this year. It's due to the holidays, yes, but not in what I fell is the usual tsuris of remembering why you moved a thousand miles from yer family. It's due to the Hallmark Channel going holiday movies berserk. They've eliminated my Golden Girls re-runs on account of this, their fervor.

Some of you might recall my mentioning an experiment: I was going to simply stay on TVG, a horse racing network, 24/7ish. This includes overnight infomercials. The result: what part of nucking futs did you not understand?

I need grounding. I need familiarity. I need a way to kill time. I need --

THE CIGAR
La Antiguedad by My Father
Habano Ecuador Rosado Oscuro wrapper
Nicaraguan Criollo & Corojo binders
Nicaraguan fillers
6 x 60 Toro Gordo pressed
PRE-LIGHT
A stick dressed to the nine and a halfs. The cat's pajama's and its unmentionables. The bee's knees, shins, and ankles. Hot diggity-dog that band is what every other band should aspire to being. And a red foot ribbon to boot. If I seem enamoured by the looks of this thing, it is only because I am. As a former chef, I know that people 'eat with their eyes.' I'm simply enjoying the grub. 

Should I have begun in the interest of full disclosure with the fact My Father is my fave brand? It is. So sue me. I do have a bone to pick with the previous two La Antiguedad offerings I've smoked. More on that hopefully not later.

Under the fancy digs of the stick is a dark coffee bean cocoa marbled complexion on a somewhat loosely box pressed canvas. Seams are very tight and even and not readily seen. Veins don't hamper a smooth hand-feel, yet there is a visible one or two which pose no threat to redirect any burn. There are some spider veins which seemingly enhance the aesthetics of the marbled complexion. There is a lively but not high-gloss sheen--a natural vibrancy. Cap is nicely affixed and foot tobacco is brown, natch --but under that there are hues ranging from yellow to orange to red. And it's packed in there quite loosely. A quick Charmin squeeze shows an even but barely -medium packing, albeit with a robust springiness. Humsoever, cue ominous music...

Now pause it so I can drone on about smells n' stuff. Schnoz testing the shaft reveals mocha and leather. That was pretty easy. From the foot, some dusty red spices both sweet and warm kick in and a black pepper tickles my nose hairs a couple seconds after. Nibbling off the cap releases a perfect medium draw with just the right resistance. Cold draw is earth and most things which grow out of it that you can conjure up in yer minds eye within a three second window. Plus cocoa. I actually really love how it develops a red spice vibe if you keep puffing; as well as a leather mouth-feel and backed finish. I almost don't wanna --

LIGHT
Toasting the foot lets loose leathers and woods with a surprise bit of pine needle. I love the way a box pressed cigar fits in the ol' smoke-hole. First hot draw is earth and woods jockeying to be primary amongst primaries; with a chocolate and leather backing that is not at all a distant third. Further back, a coffee bean attaches to under the chocolate, sweet red spices to under the leather. A second hot draw is red spices sweet (cinnamon/nutmeg) to hot (red pepper/cayenne). Black pepper is sprinkled all over that melange. A third pull is a mix of the mixes on a very comfortable moist and softened mouth-feel. Body has a bit of cream being poured into the coffee and is at -medium. Flavors are a solid medium already. Strength shall kick me in the tuchus shortly. 

Ash is forming a silver sheath thing o' beauty. Burn is wavy, but lit on my porch. Burn-line is a flippin' razor, and we, gentlepersons, are off to the proverbial races. 
ACT I
There are many notes of earth (the aforementionedness) and a couple of notes of chocolate: one is a baking chocolate, the other a waxy but still rich very dark chocolate. They travel together, bumping into one another as they walk. Coffee and sweet spices come up closer and bring in their wake a hazelnut note. The retro-hale is a tick or three calmer already and primarily a true black pepper which lingers on the palate once it drops there. Finish is that and earth and baking chocolate and combines with a toasted cream mouth-feel. Length of that is medium and mounting. 

In a slight lull, lemme tell ya the issue I'm having: tunneling. The two most recent La Antiguedad offerings in a row, from two separate sources and in the same humi on my end -- have tunneled. It's a thing, check the internet. Mine is not to guess at why.

The sheath of the ash has become semi-tight ladder rungs with a flake or two thrown in. Still nicely silver. Burn is wavy and not quick to correct. Foot-smoke is a medium volume but a tad thin, it gives a sweet aroma of cocoa and sugared coffee on a leather backing. Room-note is that with a simpler earthiness than the draw. On that draw, a caramel finds the toasting cream mouth-feel and brings it out to the end of the draw and into the lengthening finish. I further examine the ash and it's so loose that I feel there might be a spot or two I can see through. Flavors have settled again and it's not airy, but far from full. There is a feeling of an upping of notch on the horizon. Even while on the light side, it gives the chest a nice zetz and the throat knows yer smoking. 

With kid's gloves, I grow the ash to an inch. It is frightfully airy and the burn shows flowering. Profile is a solid medium and we stride toward --

ACT II
Earthy notes have simplified and the chocolates have mottled. There are still flavors: leather coffee, caramel, toasted cream, sweet spices, pepper on the retro-hale and tongue. Nicotine is up a notch, kindly so. I have re-touched the burn I believe twice now. My advice to you, dear reader, is to not expect it to correct itself.

As to construction beyond burn: its line remains a blade, and box press has held, as has firmness. Smoke is cool to the point of refreshingly so, and its output kindly and well dense. This is a far better performance than the previous two My Father La Antiguedad offerings I've smoked. Whether this is due to a better batch, luck of the draw, or kid's gloves -- I can't rightly say. I can say, humsover, that the third thing I mentioned is far from my favorite way to go about things. Both in specific and general terms.

At the mid-point, leather and earth continue to lead with coffee and musky cinnamon close on their heels. Further back, there is chocolate, hazelnut, and mild red pepper flavors. Finish is sharper and is mainly coffee with those seasonings sprinkled atop to a medium length. Mouth-feel errs toward dry and has lost most of the cream, as only its toast remains. Burn has evened but is not even per se. Strength is medium+. Profile evens out to a medium+ as well. Tedium threatens.

ACT III
Peppers return on the retro-hale, then quickly reappears on the draw, too. First black, then a trace of cayenne. Strength ups a half tick and I take a pinch of precautionary sugar. Smoke off the foot greys a tad. A cereal grain is at work in the tobacco now, it's not quite a malt. Other remaining flavors, well, remain. 

As the band approaches, there is now a grassy herbal sort of clean note that edges from a mouth-feel to the finish, causing the legs to not lengthen, but to end on a nice high-note. An almost flowering mint vibe that mixes with the pepper on the tip of my tongue. It's quite nice. Screw you, tedium. The ash flirts with sheath-building, but clumps off ultimately powdery with a kitten's whisker more oil. Cayenne mounts on the retro-hale. At the band, fresh cream, lighter than before, is poured into the java. 

All told, a very interesting final act; and a very interesting way to tell a tale.
NOTES
I wish the comparisons to the Flor de las Antillas would cease. This La Antiguedad is not that offering on 'steroids.' Their nature is not a shared one, quite simply stated.  Even more simply stated: this 2014 is not at the head of the My Father class, but solid nonetheless, if solid in burn.

PAIRINGS
No potential pairing needs warning against and all seem passable and ultimately enjoyable. Grab a libation you enjoy. I'd say you can't go wrong ever with squeeze box heavy Klezmer music -- but yer mileage may vary, very.

FINAL GRADE
****B****

EPILOGUE
11:10pm
Asimov's words swim on the pages and thoughts of a midnight snack swim in my head. Oh, I'm now trying to fill the Golden Girl void with Sci-fi books -- Cowboy archetypes minus the ham-fisted outdoorsiness. I could never stomach fully, the machisomo laden Mike Hammer hard-boiled stuffs. It would just look weird to read Harlequin Romances; and one must get their Pulp somewheres. (Or not.)


[Band photo credit: Gar-Talk]