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A friend of mine held the grand opening of his cigar club/store in Rochester called The Havana Club tonight. He built it from scratch, and spared no expense at making it a killer place to hang out: wireless internet, plasma TVs, huge ventilation systems, leather couches, a separate poker room, wet bar, pool table, lockers for cigars, sound system throughout the building, and a retail cigar shop downstairs. It's a really nice place.

There were reps from Fuente and Ashton there, pressing palms, giving out free cigars, and holding raffles, and there was a nice buffet of various foods available (I liked the crab cakes the best). It was a great time; here are some pictures:

The Havana Club: http://people.ambrosiasw.com/~andrew/cigars/havana_club1.jpg

Walnut-trim walk in humidor: http://people.ambrosiasw.com/~andrew/cigars/havana_club2.jpg

Lounge w/plasma TV: http://people.ambrosiasw.com/~andrew/cigars/havana_club3.jpg

Custom-made lockers: http://people.ambrosiasw.com/~andrew/cigars/havana_club4.jpg

Pool table: http://people.ambrosiasw.com/~andrew/cigars/havana_club5.jpg

Poker room: http://people.ambrosiasw.com/~andrew/cigars/havana_club6.jpg

Polly's opinion of the smoke: http://people.ambrosiasw.com/~andrew/cigars/havana_club7.jpg

So of course, we had a mini-herf to celebrate; here are the cigars I went for:

Cohiba Double Corona 2003 EL -- This was a pretty nice cigar; the maduro wrapper wasn't as tasty as I'd experienced with the Cohiba Piramide 2003 EL, but the cigar had enough interesting leathery/chocolatey/sweet flavors to be enjoyable. I wasn't looking forward to every draw, but it was an enjoyable cigar overall.

Opus X Double Corona 2004 -- A friend of mine gave me one of these out of his box. It started off a bit on the tame side, then picked up into a wonderful, flavorful cigar from 1/4 to 3/4 of the way through... then it got a bit bitter, so I pitched it. Fresh Opus X's tend to be nice and spicy, but a bit bitter at the end -- I prefer them with a few years of age on 'em, but this was still a really nice cigar.

Partagas Lusitania 2002 -- This cigar had some nice cedar/citrus flavors to it, more on the subtle side than the previous two cigars, and I was really looking forward to it, but alas, it had a very tight draw. I was there to enjoy myself, not fight with a cigar, so sadly I dumped it after puffing hard to smoke 1/4 of the cigar. Sigh.

Padrón 1926 Serie No.9 Maduro 2003 -- I lit this cigar last, because I knew I'd love it, and I knew the flavor would be excellent. I won't bore you with the details; suffice it to say that it was everything I expected.

Overall, kind of a mixed bag tonight. The Cohiba DC 2003 EL wasn't as impressive as I'd hoped (based on my Cohiba Piramide 2003 EL experience), the Opus X was good, but young, and the Partagas Lusitania was a wash because of draw issues. The Padrón 1926 was excellent, but I'm also very familiar with the taste, so while it was consistently a great cigar, it also held no surprises.

In order of enjoyment:

1) Padrón 1926 Serie No.9 Maduro 2003
2) Opus X Double Corona 2004
3) Cohiba Double Corona 2003 EL
4) Partagas Lusitania 2002*

* The Partagas probably would have been higher on the list, perhaps even #2 (the Opus was a bit young), had it not suffered from draw issues.

Amusing side-note: immediately after smoking these cigars, I had to do a training run of 3 miles... nothing like smokin' stogies then going for a run! :)
 

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MAN! What a place!!!!

I can only wish Fort Collins would have a place like that - but then, we have this stupid smoking ordinance! :c

But, I am happy for you! Hope I can visit it sometime! Hope you had fun at the grand opening! (How couldn't you of??!?!?!)

:)
 

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MoTheMentor
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Man, what pictures.

Now that's something I'd like to get . . . a place like that to hang out. [LOL]
 

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Man Moki, almost worth moving back to the northland. Looks like a hell of a place. If he served a good porterhouse or some hot wings you boys would never go home. Frank B
 
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