"I've been searching 45 years for this taste..."
You'll forgive me, I'm not sure if it's this size "Grande" or the Toro that I smoked. I picked up a 5-er somewhere and smoked one after a couple of weeks: was good, but not up to my expectations, somewhat harsh. So I waited about another month and my oh my did it ever take me back. There's an intense middle-body to this blend which is either missing in most cigars today or, in the case of many Pepin blends, is so strong that it's just out of control and hard for me to smoke. This blend, the No. 2 Semilla Sumatra, has both power and restraint. Pete outdid himself on this one and, ha, it's considered a second tier smoke in his book. Just because it doesn't try to kill you. That's what I love about this blend: strength with balance. Plus it doesn't have that Nicaraguan overwhelmingly earthy flavor; another reason it's "second tier" I guess and another reason I want more. This has intensity without the overbearing earth (dirt?) character so typical of upscale Nicaraguan cigars. You may love them, but they're not for me. This one definitely is. Now, one further note: I have reverted to small cigars, petite coronas, like the ones I used to smoke in the mid-'60s. And I've just ordered these No.2s in the "Short" format. No, it's not identical to old school Havana, but it's probably about as close as we will ever get. Kudos to Pete Johnson and Pepin Garcia.
owelles in Hollywood, CA August 14, 2012