Newsletter / ISSUE 3 | SPRING 2021
Updated: Jul 6, 2021
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In times of challenges, tasting cigars reveals a more profound dimension. It helps understand the authentic value of the pleasurable moments we enjoy, and share. At the time of writing, many countries are relaxing and reopening. With that breath of oxygen and freedom, the modest moments of normal life remind us that simple things are a real pleasure and a pure treasure.
But aside from these blessed moments, let’s remember those among us and around us who are experiencing trying times. Sometimes it is a true calamity. Many women and children, for instance, are reduced to a state of distress and poverty due to increased domestic violence and psychological trauma. Also, the bankruptcies of many – personal or corporate – bitterly contrast with the stratospheric profits or gains of a few others.
Besides our personal opinions on the state of things, it seems quite clear that the situation will have more consequences, probably long-term and organic, and on many levels of our society.
Unlike with the bad cigars we sometimes taste, we cannot so easily change the world we live in. But with the necessary determination we can change ourselves! And then have an impact on our environment. This crisis can help us think, realise, adapt, progress, and make this world better in humanity.
Let’s be positive and see the good in the bad. It ultimately all depends on how we decide to look at things. So let’s step in!
I always like to say that cigar tasting is a school of life.
Enjoy the reading! Enjoy many cigars!
Along with ALECTO and TISIPHONE, MEGAERA is one of the three Furies of mythology.
Punishers of men who break their word, avengers of angry spirits and guardians of the good, the Furies appear from the underworld to inflict torment and guilt on those who deserve their fury. The Furies are a vibrant personification of morality, purity, ferocity, folly and righteousness. Goddesses of retribution, they embody fairness and justice in the fascinating ambivalence of life.
“We claim to be just and upright. No wrath from us will come stealthily to the one who holds out clean hands, and he will go through life unharmed; but whoever sins and hides his blood-stained hands, as avengers of bloodshed we appear against him to the end, presenting ourselves as upright witnesses for the dead.”
The Oresteia (trilogy of plays), Aeschylus (ca. 525–456 BCE)
FURIA MEGAERA symbolically represents the Jealous Rage.
Wise, pastel and symbolic, the Pompeian red tone of FURIA MEGAERA represents the creativity that comes from destruction, from transformation. In addition to the classic meaning of energy and passion of the colour red, red ochre is also the symbol of the cycle of life. Resembling blood, red ochre – already used as a pigment in prehistoric times – symbolises a return to the earth and a ritual rebirth. This beautiful colour also represents, in some cases, the relationship between people.
The red ochre wool yarn symbolises a bond between two things. For us, this thread represents our relationship with our partners, the aficionados, retailers and distributors.
If a cigar were to be forged from the depths of an aficionado’s desires, then it would be FURIA. The tumultuous sensations projected by FURIA will conquer aficionados with ardent emotions. FURIA is a cigar that leaves no one unmarked. Like the duality of the ferocity and harmony of the Furies, FURIA’s power and balance are formed during the evolution of the tasting and the relationship between taster and cigar.
FURIA MEGAERA’s tastes and aromas surprise the taster’s palate with their intense richness, strength and balance. MEGAERA is surprisingly robust and deep, and, as its symbolism indirectly suggests, the cigar’s intensity is present but always controlled.
While having a refined palate, the MEGAERA enthusiast is of robust temperament and is a solid advocate of upright principles. ME-GAERA cigars are intended for tasters who, with finesse, can distinguish constructive provocation from absurd incitement, in addition to knowing and recognising aromatic diversity and intensity.
10-count, vertically presented boxes / No individual cellophane / Onion-paper wrapping of package and closed with a FURIA sticker / 3 vitolas
Some connoisseurs enjoy smelling and puffing on a cut cigar prior to lighting it. This is known as raw tasting, or fumar crudo. It is olfactory perception before the cigar is lit.
The air around the cigar becomes naturally laden with the leaves’ most volatile aromatic molecules. Projected in the gaseous phase, like with perfume in vaporisation and diffusion, these aromas scent the air around and inside the cigar. The aromaticity is exclusively present in the air itself. There is still no smoke, because combustion hasn’t started yet.
When puffing on a cigar that is cut but unlit, the air acquires some aromaticity, which is diffused when it exits the cigar and enters the taster’s mouth. These aromas are then perceived mostly in retro-olfaction. Because of their subtle and volatile character and the absence of physical particles, any taste or mouthfeel sensations generated are negligible.
Also perceivable during the fumar crudo is the direct olfactory perception of the wrapper aromas projected into the cigar’s immediate environment. By moving the cigar under the nose around and along the cigar body, aficionados will enjoy its natural perfumes. Generally, the smell is highly enjoyable.
Raw tasting is a refined olfactory discernment in the nose, in both direct ortho-olfaction and indirect retro-olfaction.
Besides the pleasure this gives, the initial contact with the cigar’s aromas can be considered the first concrete sensorial perception of cigar tasting.
When tasting some cigars, I regularly feel an unpleasant sensation in the mouth. I associate it with bitterness. Where does this come from? How can I fix this problem? John C., Albacete, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.
This unpleasant sensation is generally felt at the rear of the mouth, on the palate and at the entrance of the throat. It’s commonly believed to be caused by the presence of too many proteins. In fact, nitrogenous compounds (proteins) but also carbohydrates (sugars) appear to generate this bitterness. An excessive presence of these irritant substances is often due to one or several of the leaves of the blend not having been fermented properly. This means that the fermentation has generally been too short, but it can also mean that the fermentation temperature was too high or too low, or the atmosphere too dry or humid, etc.
Besides fermentation issues, inappropriate drying of the leaves immediately after they’ve been harvested can also create a disagreeable sensory perception.
The wrong soil or agricultural treatments prior to the plant’s harvest may also generate bitterness in some instances.
Generated by a problem during the production process and thus being organic, cigar bitterness unfortunately can’t be fixed, or it can only be marginally improved, even with very good ageing. A bitter cigar will stay bitter, aside from the positive influence of time.
Bitter cigars will always lack aromatic balance and finesse. Together with a bad draw, bitterness is clearly one of the most frequently encountered cigar issues.
PHOTO OF THE ISSUE
Plantlets being transplanted to the production field
After being germinated in seed nurseries, seedlings are transplanted to a specially prepared production field. Transplanting can be done mechanically or manually. Keeping a standard distance between plants is essential for them to optimally adapt in the field and to avoid competing for resources. A few days after transplanting, the plants undergo a selection process to make sure they have uniform density and height.
Carrer de Balmes 116, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
My name is Jordi Duaso and I live in the beautiful city of Barcelona in Catalonia.
My passion for cigars was born a long time ago. What I find so special about cigars and what has always attracted me is the pleasure of flavours. I really like to select my cigars from the diversity available to best match the moment I choose to taste them. After a good meal or with a glass of a good drink, in a private club or on a terrace in our gorgeous city, cigars will reveal lots of emotions. This is also how I assist my clients.
Of the DH Boutique Cigars, I especially like La Preferida because it’s aromatic and sweet – and it’s the latest DH cigar we have in the shop. Of course, Nicarao and La Ley are also very enjoyable for their richness and balance. But I very much like the sweetness and creaminess of La Preferida.
If I were a client in my own shop, I would definitely accept advice about choosing the best cigars for me and for that moment. I would take in the advice and recommendations on all the cigars I don’t know and that are new to me.
I feel that the future of the industry will depend on the presence of good cigar shops and places for tasting, like cigar lounges and cigar clubs. For this reason, and to help aficionados be closer to the cigar world, a few years ago we created our cigar club, Alta Regalia.
Come to Barcelona and visit me. You will be received with open arms.
Carrer de Balmes 116
T: +34 932 151330; WhatsApp: +34 669 384638
Arabygatan 70, 352 46 Växjö, Sweden
For me, cigars are two things. The first is meditation. We’re living in a world that moves faster and faster. To have a moment together with a cigar is like meditation for me. The second thing is togetherness, not only tasting cigars with friends but meeting all the interesting people – our fantastic customers but also other actors in the industry. We all share the same love of cigars and it’s always a joy to meet up.
Deciding on a favourite DH Boutique Cigar is a tough challenge since there are so many good choices. I’m tempted to say that it depends on the occasion. La Preferida is like a dessert with its creamy rich sweetness; it’s perfect for after dinner. Another favourite is the Furia with its well-balanced dark notes of coffee and chocolate. The multitude of different flavours makes it desirable in moments when you can give a cigar your full attention.
Being a client in my own shop, I would say: “What a handsome fellow behind the counter!” No, seriously, I’d like to think that this is a place of knowledge and passion for cigars, and that there’s a perceivable desire to share with all the customers that pass through our door or visit our website.
As far as the future goes, I believe the first and key thing is uniting to stop legislators from making more irrational decisions that further negatively impact our cigar culture and industry. For example, I’d like to see a clear distinction made between cigars and cigarettes, since these two products have nothing in common, other than that they are both smoked.
The second thing is to work together even more with all the people who are new to this passion. Today, there’s quite a barrier for newcomers to climb over. Many websites, for example, have very limited information about the products. In some cases, the only product information given is the measurements, but what good is that to a newcomer?
If we all step up our game and share our knowledge even more, it will pay off in the long run.
352 46 Växjö
FURIA MEGAERA 5 ½ x 54 – L 140 mm x ø 21.43 mm
FURIA MEGAERA / Liga ID
A medium- to full-bodied cigar, the MEGAERA reveals a deep and stout personality with notable aromatic richness, well-rounded character and balance. The MEGAERA is dense and accomplished in strength. The tasting reveals a fascinating character. As suggested by the brand’s spirit and symbols, MEGAERA’s nature and core are intense and solid, and always controlled and noble. With its straightforward tastes and aromas, the FURIA MEGAERA is a cigar that will leave its mark and a desire for more.
BLEND – International blend with leaves harvested in Nicaragua and in a second enigmatic country. Showing a nice rosado oscuro colour, the wrapper comes from the Jalapa valley, while the binder and fillers are harvested mainly in Estelí, in the Condega and Ometepe regions. A mysterious viso leaf grown outside Nicaragua brings a distinctive personality to the tastes and aromas.
AGEING – Moderately aged leaves from 3 to 6 years.
AROMAS & TASTE – A personality off the beaten track. Notable aromatic richness and a well-rounded character. Taste, aromas and mouthfeel show fascinating intensity and balance with a bold personality.
STRENGTH – #7 to 7½ Fortaleza – Medium to full-bodied.
PROGRESSION – Maintains good balance during an exciting and savoury evolution. Moves towards robustness.
COMBUSTION – Easy and complete.
ASHES – Solid, compact and white.
LA LEY ROBUSTO
In the mouth ...
Look: Rosado oscuro
Fortaleza: 7.5/10 – Medium to full
Aromas: 8/10 – Intense and rich
Taste: 7.5/10 – Stout and deep
Mouthfeel: 8/10 – Intense and round
Flavour Balance: 9/10 – Perfect balance
Flavour Finesse: 7/10 – Bouquet in formation
Flavour Vitality: 8/10 – Concrete ageing potential
Flavour Progression: 7/10 – Good evolution
Tasting Time: 1 to 1½ hours
And to play with pairing ...
Here are some of the best pairings we’ve experimented with for you during the writing of this newsletter. Like all pairings, they’re personal and emotional but are always enjoyable to try.
• Short drink: a glass of rum, Worthy Park 12 Year Old Rum Nation (Jamaica, 58% ABV, distilled 2006, bottled 2018).
• Long drink: a glass of champagne. Champagne Ullens (Marzilly), Millésime 2010, Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot Meunier), 0 g/L dosage, Tirage 2011, Dégorgement 2020.
• Non-alcoholic: three coffees brewed ristretto style from Twin Engine Coffee, Arabica Espresso, Nicaragua.