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Aug 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) receives congratulations from designated hitter Billy Butler (16) after hitting a home run fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Manda...
Aug 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) receives congratulations from designated hitter Billy Butler (16) after hitting a home run fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports The Kansas City Royals’ regular season might be over, but their time to shine is not. Several Royals’ players have recently been nominated for well-respected awards within the MLB. Fans can help Royals’ nominee, Eric Hosmer, bring home the 2013 Hank Aaron Award by going on-line at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites to vote until Oct. 10. Created to honor the 25th Anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record, the Hank Aaron award credits the most outstanding offensive player in each league at the end of each season. Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey received the award in 2012. Hosmer had an bounceback year batting .302 and leading the American League with 60 multi-hit games. Hosmer began the season batting only .244, but since May has sustained a .317 average. Along with fans, a Hall of Fame panel featuring Hank Aaron will preside over the choosing of the 2013 awardee. The Roberto Clemente Award, presented by Chevrolet, pays tribute to Clemente by honoring players who demonstrate notable character along with their baseball achievements. Clemente died in a plane crash while delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua in 1972. Royals’ fans can look for their own Billy Butler among the nominees this year. Butler is being recognized as a nominee because of his support of the Bishop Sullivan Center in Kansas City, and also the creation of the Hit-It-A-Ton program that, so far, has raised 1,441 tons of food to support feeding the hungry in Kansas City. Last but not least, Greg Holland is September’s MLB Delivery Man of the Month. Bringing home the Delivery Man Award in July as well, Holland is one of only 2 Royals’ pitchers to receive the award, and 1 of only 5 pitchers in the league to receive the award multiple times. Others that have received the award multiple times are Rafael Soriano, J.J. Putz, Aroldis Chapman and Jason Grilli. Kansas City’s closer led the MLB with 11 saves during the final month of the regular season, making him a shoe-in for the award that recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher of each month of the regular season. Fans can look for the Roberto Clemente Award to be named during the World Series at the end of October and continue to vote for Hosmer to win the 2013 Hank Aaron award at MLB.com or any of the 30 Club sites.
about 4 hours ago
Brachiaria grass has been shown to inhibit nitrification, helping to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Photograph: Neil Palmer/International Center for Tropical Agriculture Scientists will call for a major push thi...
Brachiaria grass has been shown to inhibit nitrification, helping to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Photograph: Neil Palmer/International Center for Tropical Agriculture Scientists will call for a major push this week to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from Gardening" target="_blank">agriculture through the use of a modified tropical grass. Brachiaria grasses have been found to inhibit the release of nitrous oxide, which has a more powerful warming effect than carbon dioxide or methane, leading them to be called a super grass. The authors of several new papers on this grass, which is already used in pastures across much of Latin America, say enhanced strains, wider usage and improved management will provide the most effective means of tackling climate change through agriculture, which accounts for about a third of all greenhouse gases. Nitrous oxide – largely from livestock production – makes up 38% of agriculture emissions, but this share could be substantially reduced, they say. “On a conservative estimate, we assume that at least half of the gases can be saved in livestock production in tropical environments,” said Michael Peters, of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. “I think this is the best strategy you can have in agriculture to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.” The papers, which will be presented at an International Grasslands Congress in Sydney this week, claim that additional benefits will also include higher productivity, less need for fertiliser, lower levels of nitrate pollution in waterways and considerable carbon capture. Brachiaria grasses originated in Africa, but have been most extensively used for grazing in Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua and parts of Australia and south-east Asia. During the past decade, scientists have discovered the chemicals that enable the plant to bind nitrogen into the soil, thus making it more productive and less “leaky”. They are now breeding different strains of brachiaria to maximise these nitrogen-inhibiting properties and encouraging wider use of the grass in pastures and in rotation with crops such as soy and corn. Although the authors hope it can be used in an additional 100m hectares, the brachiaria is not a solution for all countries as it does not grow well in temperate climes. There are potential downsides. The extra productivity could provide an additional economic incentive for the clearance of forests and – as with all monocultures – the proposed expansion of brachiaria pastureland poses a challenge to biodiversity. But the scientists say the benefits outweigh the risks. “There will be positive impacts on the economy and at the same time benefits for the environment,” Peters said. Red Flowers .entry-content iframe { margin-bottom: 0px !important; } The post ‘Super grass’ could vastly reduce agriculture emissions, say scientists appeared first on Red Rising From The Earth.
about 10 hours ago
Brachiaria grass has been shown to inhibit nitrification, helping to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Photograph: Neil Palmer/International Center for Tropical Agriculture Scientists will call for a major push thi...
Brachiaria grass has been shown to inhibit nitrification, helping to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Photograph: Neil Palmer/International Center for Tropical Agriculture Scientists will call for a major push this week to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from Gardening" target="_blank">agriculture through the use of a modified tropical grass. Brachiaria grasses have been found to inhibit the release of nitrous oxide, which has a more powerful warming effect than carbon dioxide or methane, leading them to be called a super grass. The authors of several new papers on this grass, which is already used in pastures across much of Latin America, say enhanced strains, wider usage and improved management will provide the most effective means of tackling climate change through agriculture, which accounts for about a third of all greenhouse gases. Nitrous oxide – largely from livestock production – makes up 38% of agriculture emissions, but this share could be substantially reduced, they say. “On a conservative estimate, we assume that at least half of the gases can be saved in livestock production in tropical environments,” said Michael Peters, of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. “I think this is the best strategy you can have in agriculture to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.” The papers, which will be presented at an International Grasslands Congress in Sydney this week, claim that additional benefits will also include higher productivity, less need for fertiliser, lower levels of nitrate pollution in waterways and considerable carbon capture. Brachiaria grasses originated in Africa, but have been most extensively used for grazing in Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua and parts of Australia and south-east Asia. During the past decade, scientists have discovered the chemicals that enable the plant to bind nitrogen into the soil, thus making it more productive and less “leaky”. They are now breeding different strains of brachiaria to maximise these nitrogen-inhibiting properties and encouraging wider use of the grass in pastures and in rotation with crops such as soy and corn. Although the authors hope it can be used in an additional 100m hectares, the brachiaria is not a solution for all countries as it does not grow well in temperate climes. There are potential downsides. The extra productivity could provide an additional economic incentive for the clearance of forests and – as with all monocultures – the proposed expansion of brachiaria pastureland poses a challenge to biodiversity. But the scientists say the benefits outweigh the risks. “There will be positive impacts on the economy and at the same time benefits for the environment,” Peters said. Red Flowers .entry-content iframe { margin-bottom: 0px !important; } The post ‘Super grass’ could vastly reduce agriculture emissions, say scientists appeared first on Red Rising From The Earth.
about 10 hours ago
by Delia Montgomery Well look, cotton grows in Nanawale! My story is rather amusing because I did not realize I had cotton to harvest. In fact, I tossed the plant to an area of my garden I rarely visit, so it was a pleasant surprise to e...
by Delia Montgomery Well look, cotton grows in Nanawale! My story is rather amusing because I did not realize I had cotton to harvest. In fact, I tossed the plant to an area of my garden I rarely visit, so it was a pleasant surprise to even notice it. Why am I so enthused over growing non-GMO organic cotton in Hawaii? There are so many reasons to farm cotton organically that I’ll not take the space here to elaborate. But don’t ignore a few facts: According to the 2011 Textile Exchange Organic Cotton Farm & Fiber Report, approximately 151,079 metric tons (MT) of organic cotton (693,900 bales) were grown on 324,577 hectares (802,047 acres) in 2010-2011. Organic cotton equals 0.7 percent of global cotton production. Organic cotton was grown in 20 countries worldwide in 2010-11 led by India and including (in order of rank): Syria, China, Turkey, United States, Tanzania, Egypt, Mali, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Pakistan, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Benin, Paraguay, Israel, Tajikistan, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Senegal. Approximately 219,000 farmers grew the fiber in 2010-11. In 2011, organic fiber sales in the United States grew by 17.1 percent over the previous year, to reach $708 million, according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2012 Organic Industry Survey. The future looks promising, with organic fiber products appearing in more mainstream outlets, led by large and small U.S. textile retailers alike. Sales of clothing made from organic cotton bucked the gloomy picture for organic products in 2011, rising in the UK by 2% against the year before while food and drink fell 3.7% in the same period. GMO protestors may note that approximately 65% of world cotton production currently comes from genetically-modified crops. A spokeswoman from the Soil Association said: “Larger brands tend to do a lot of ‘blending’ – using organic alongside non-organic. The issue is partly about shortage of supply of organic cotton, due to the dominance of the GM corporations. That is why our campaign is pressing big brands to sign up and drive the demand for organic, non-GM cotton.” The Soil Association is UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use. Sweet, eh? Now in reference to the 2011 Organic Cotton Market Report by Textile Exchange, the good news is that textile, apparel, and footwear industries embraced a broader cotton portfolio that spans certified organic cotton and non-genetically modified seed to initiatives that improve the way conventional cotton is farmed — environmentally, socially, and economically. The bad news is that for the first time in 10 years, organic cotton production dropped by a whopping 37 percent. Along with other industries, that’s a serious setback. This poses an interesting challenge for the 81 percent of companies that indicated plans to expand their organic cotton programs each year for the foreseeable future. Where exactly is this fiber going to come from? Will it meet geographic, quantity, and quality requirements? The facts are particularly useful for global companies that are into exports. Although farmers are challenged in every respect on the mainland, production of organic cotton is strong in California and Texas. No doubt our island is a good place to grow organic cotton. My question is if it could be a Hawaiian-made niche for small farmers on all our islands? I recall councilwoman Brenda Ford presented the question this year, “couldn’t Hawai’i be a non-GMO niche?” Actually, Hawaiians could develop their own certification system instead of the USDA programs that entail contradictory regulations over food and textiles. That’s where the battleground consist of unethical corporate-bully lobbyists. Is it possible to simply claim pesticide-free, made in Hawai’i? (The answer is yes!) Back to my cotton plant (pictured here before harvest) … I gave up on it when I saw a tree in my h
1 day ago
Drew Estate Event at Ohlone Cigar Lounge in Fremont, CA - October 17th from 5-9PM Great deals on cigars featuring Liga Undercrown, Joya de Nicaragua, CyB, ACID, Natural ... Read Full Post
Drew Estate Event at Ohlone Cigar Lounge in Fremont, CA - October 17th from 5-9PM Great deals on cigars featuring Liga Undercrown, Joya de Nicaragua, CyB, ACID, Natural ... Read Full Post
1 day ago
NOT since the civil war of the 1980s have so many helicopters been clattering over remote parts of Nicaragua. But now the guys squinting down through the tree canopy are in suits: lawyers and business consultants from the United States, ...
NOT since the civil war of the 1980s have so many helicopters been clattering over remote parts of Nicaragua. But now the guys squinting down through the tree canopy are in suits: lawyers and business consultants from the United States, Australian engineers, British environmental auditors, even Chinese executives. Their per diems are being paid by Wang Jing, a Chinese businessman whose $40 billion quest is to build a canal from Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast to its Pacific one. The dream of such a canal, three times as long as the one that cuts through Panama, is centuries old, and has made fools of all who ever believed in it. But Mr Wang has already pulled off one remarkable feat: he has persuaded the former revolutionaries in the Sandinista government to put Nicaragua’s sovereignty in hock to make the dream come true. To do so, he has deployed little more than his personal chequebook and a bit of old-fashioned swagger in the style of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the tycoon who blazed a trail by shipping migrants from the eastern United States to its west coast via Nicaragua during the Gold Rush years of the 1840s and 1850s. "He’s a person who radiates confidence," says Manuel Coronel Kautz, president of Nicaragua’s canal authority. "His company headquarters alone would cover half of Managua." The chutzpah has played well with a government eager for someone new to believe in now that its former benefactor, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, has died. "This lad is a revolutionary," Mr Coronel purrs. Since June, when the Sandinista-stuffed National Assembly rubber-stamped a law granting a 50-year concession, renewable up to 100 years, to Mr Wang’s HKND Group, many have wondered whether the 40-year-old telecoms boss is a crank. In August the Associated Press reported that in many countries, including Nicaragua, where he has claimed to be doing business, his companies are barely noticeable. Although both Mr Wang and President Daniel Ortega insist that the project will go ahead, people who have worked with HKND say it has more of an option to build than an obligation. In effect, the cost of the option is the tens of millions of dollars that Mr Wang is expected to pay from his own pocket to find out which route is most physically and financially feasible. Hence ERM, a British consultancy, is looking at the environmental and social impact of digging a deep channel through Lake Nicaragua, one of the largest in Latin America, and carving through ancestral indigenous lands. Australian engineers are pondering how to remove millions of truckloads of dirt in a country with no large excavators, let alone nearby roads or railways. McKinsey, a business consultancy, is said to be working out how the project could make enough money to entice sovereign-wealth funds to bankroll it. The economic case is not easy to make. And if the engineering challenges are too severe, even some supporters of the project say it may be impossible to raise the billions of dollars necessary to go any further. HKND argues that large volumes of globally traded goods are being carried on ships already too big for the Panama Canal, even after its current expansion. Nicaragua’s canal, with twice the draught of Panama’s, would aim to accommodate such giants. But world trade is sluggish; and meanwhile, new routes may develop through the Arctic. The project may also rest on shaky legal ground. Gabriel Álvarez, a law professor at Nicaragua’s National Autonomous University, says there have been 32 charges of unconstitutionality--a number he reckons unprecedented in Nicaragua. He points out that the law gives the company unfettered and tax-free rights over vast tracts of land, which would violate the country’s sovereignty. It also requires the supposedly autonomous Central Bank to waive its right to sovereign immunity, which has alarmed economists. At the same time, the government pledges to expropriate all land alo
1 day ago
V554 Camshaft, 5.5” x 54 ring gauge / ~$7.50 Just as I was getting ready to smoke this cigar for review, I noticed a story on Cigar Aficionado’s site about how CAO was hitting cruising speed with this release. Maybe so, but I would argue...
V554 Camshaft, 5.5” x 54 ring gauge / ~$7.50 Just as I was getting ready to smoke this cigar for review, I noticed a story on Cigar Aficionado’s site about how CAO was hitting cruising speed with this release. Maybe so, but I would argue that it’s only after the vehicle hit quite a few potholes in the last few years. After their parent companies merged, CAO was folded into the General Cigar catalog; the team that had taken the company from 0 to 100 stayed in Nashville to pursue other things, while new people tried to make CAO their own. The first new release, OSA Sol, seemed to have some traction at first, but took some knocks and sputtered along the way. Concert was, to me, much more enjoyable, but only in one or two particular sizes. Other news was a little more distressing; while they old blends were supposed to remain unchanged, there simply aren’t many people I know who can smoke a “Nashville CAO” and a “General CAO” of the same frontmark and say it was exactly the same blend. So is the company back on track with this new Flathead? Let’s take a look... General sent me several samples of the Flathead V550 Camshaft, the second smallest size offered. That in and of itself is worth noting because they didn’t go with the trend of bigger is better, at least in terms of what to send out to bloggers. While there are 60 and 70 ring gauge versions available, they sent the 54 ring gauge stick, and I think it’s a good “middle ground” in the size range for this blend. I’ve smoked about 3 or 4 of this stick, including this review cigar. They are made in Scandinavian Tobacco’s factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, using Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers, a Connecticut Habano binder, and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. I practically wanted to say, “You had me at Broadleaf!” but there have been the occasional disappointments in cigars using that wrapper, so I did my due diligence. The Flathead is dark to the point of almost being black, and the black and silver foil band looks fantastic on the oily wrapper (one picture I saw shows a red and silver band on a different vitola...perhaps all sizes have different colors?). The head of the cigar is indeed very flat and the cigar itself is a very boxy box-press. I used a straight cut on the first couple of these I had and it worked, but then I read Brian Hewitt’s review mentioning that he used a punch; I tried it...double-punched, actually, almost like a side-by-side shotgun...and it worked brilliantly. The wrapper had a wonderful dark chocolate aroma with hints, too, of leather and earth. The foot was almost opposite, with a stronger earthiness and just hints of chocolate. The double-barrel punch job provided a nice smooth draw, although it did put added stress on the cap and the glue holding it down seemed to give up. It was sloppy but stayed together for now...I think this might argue for some extra glue on this type of shape. The cold draw had a darkly sweet flavor with cocoa nibs, dried fruit, earth and espresso all present. Adding fire to the mix, soon the CAO Flathead had started it’s slow burn into oblivion. And a very nice slow burn it was. I immediately got those chocolatey, sweet earth flavors that come through so well in Broadlead cigars, along with a short but sharp pepper spice on the retrohale. The rest of the first third had plentiful cocoa powder and espresso flavors. The pepper spice abated just a bit but didn’t completely go away. Flathead box, image provided by General CigarMidway through the second third, I noted that the construction (besides the cap which was still threatening to come loose) was excellent. The draw was great. The burn line was exceptionally even for a Broadleaf wrapper. The ash had not flaked on me yet. The flavors were mostly the same as the first third except that the pepper spice did almost cease completely during this third. In the final third, the cap, which had been hanging in there pretty well, finally let go and threatened to let the rest of the cigar unra
1 day ago
Last week I fell into a groove. The weather was beautiful and after recording a review of the E Stunner by EP Carrillo, I wanted to follow it up with something else. I dug around in my humidor and came up with a Sencillo Black. I headed ...
Last week I fell into a groove. The weather was beautiful and after recording a review of the E Stunner by EP Carrillo, I wanted to follow it up with something else. I dug around in my humidor and came up with a Sencillo Black. I headed outside with my cigar, camera, and a cup of coffee. While I enjoyed my cigar, my daughter played on her swing set. The Sencillo Black is a cigar that I’ve been meaning to review for months. I was fortunate enough to be gifted ten of them by Keith Park, of Prometheus, and I’ve been enjoying them off and on for some time now. As I understand it, the Sencillo Black is made by Nestor Plasencia in Nicaragua. The cigar is available in five sizes ranging from a Robusto up to a Gigante. For this review I smoked a Short Churchill and found it to be a pleasant smoke. The flavors consistent of wood and coffee, with pepper notes through the retrohale. The finish was creamy and the body fell into the medium to full range. Construction was solid with a smooth draw and lots of dense smoke. I came away from my Sencillo Black happy, although, this cigar lacked the ‘wow factor’ that keeps you coming back for more. While I certainly wouldn’t turn down one that was gifted to me, I wouldn’t be in any sort of rush to run out and buy more. When you are finished with the video cigar review, head down to the comments section and tell us about your experience with the Sencillo Black from Prometheus. You're reading Sencillo Black by Walt, originally posted on The Stogie Review. If you've enjoyed this post, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!
1 day ago
One of the views from Soma Surf Resort in Popoyo, Nicaragua. This past summer we spent three weeks traveling around Nicaragua with our eight year old son. Here is our advice to make the most of your trip: 1. What to read before you go: W...
One of the views from Soma Surf Resort in Popoyo, Nicaragua. This past summer we spent three weeks traveling around Nicaragua with our eight year old son. Here is our advice to make the most of your trip: 1. What to read before you go: We were especially interested in learning about the Sandinista revolution, before and after. The two books below were both informative and enjoyable reads: Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua, by Stephen Kinzer The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War, by Gioconda Belli 2. Where to rent a car: We wanted a 4×4 to have the freedom to travel on bumpy dirt roads, and we definitely needed the all-wheel drive on Ometepe Island and on some mountain roads in the north. After lots of research, we found Armadillo to have the best rates – and Peter was very professional and reliable. But renting a 4×4 was much more expensive in Nicaragua than Costa Rica, for example, and our Armadillo car was not shiny brand new. 3. Favorite hotel for under $100: Hands down, the Soma Surf Resort near Popoyo Beach was incredible. 4. Favorite destinations: Ometepe Island Popoyo Beach Granada View of Granada Cathedral from church bell tower. 5. Where to go: Here is our itinerary for 19 nights in Nicaragua: Leon – We flew into Managua, got the 4×4 from Peter who was waiting in the parking lot, and headed directly for Leon. We stayed at the lovely Hostal Mariposa, and rode the bus to town in the mornings. Benjamin loved the pool, the owners and guests were very friendly, and Leon felt like an authentic Nicaraguan city with colonial streets. Taking the rooftop tour of the Cathedral gave us a good bird’s eye view of the city. Esteli – We had some bad timing in Esteli. We arrived just as the city was preparing to shut down for the Independence Day celebrations. We did get to check out the cowboy boot stores (didn’t buy) and get a quick private tour of a cigar factory in town. We only stayed for one night at the Villa Riviera, owned by Esther, a Dutch woman in one of the gated communities just outside town. Breakfast was delightful in her little garden. Jinotega – We spent one night in the coffee growing mountains north of Jinotega at a place called La Bastilla Ecolodge. The food was delicious and the staff friendly – but we didn’t linger more than a day because the attached school we hoped to visit was on vacation and the weather was rainy. So we headed to Matagalpa, with a stop in Jinotega on the way. Matagalpa – We just spent an evening and morning in this city, walking around town when the rain let up. Again, the country was still on vacation so we didn’t make it to El Castillo de Cacao for the chocolate tour. We did, however, eat several of their delicious chocolate bars during our trip! Our highlight from Mataglapa was dinner at the hidden Italian restaurant, La Vita e Bella. Laguna de Apoyo – This is when our vacation started to feel more relaxed, and the weather started to brighten. We stayed at San Simian Eco Lodge for two nights. Our Mango Hut was comfortable, and the outdoor shower with hot water was fun (moreso when the electricity was working). Breakfasts and dinners on the terrace were yummy. Our day trips to Masaya Volcano, Masaya Market and Coyotepe Fortress were all worthwhile. Kayaking on Ometepe Island. Ometepe Island – Finca Mystica was a treat. Ryan and Angela are creating a special place, with yummy food and an amazing vibe, though be prepared for a mean dirt road to get there. Benjamin decided to spend his birthday at Ojo de Agua natural springs, and then we ate some fresh pasta at Cafe Campestre, saw some petroglyphs on the road to Hotel Finca Porvenir, and finally celebrated his birthday with our new friends back at the Finca. Our hosts even made a special carrot cake with chocolate icing for everyone. Be sure to stop at the Cornerhouse in Moyogalpa for the best batidos on your way to or from the
1 day ago
La Gloria Cubana has always been associated with the Dominican Republic, so two new blends rolled in Nicaragua are an interesting development for the company. Both blends are in the “Serie R” line, and true to that tradition ...
La Gloria Cubana has always been associated with the Dominican Republic, so two new blends rolled in Nicaragua are an interesting development for the company. Both blends are in the “Serie R” line, and true to that tradition they’re all wide bodies. The “R” stands for robusto, even though ring gauges for these lines generally exceed the familiar 50/64 inch robusto size. Both blends are Nicaraguan puros concentrating on the flavors of leaf grown in the Jalapa valley. What distinguishes them is the wrapper — the Serie R Black features a Jalapa ligero, while the Esteli line uses a Jalapa Sol wrapper. Tobaccos from Jalapa tend to be a little softer and less spicy than those from Esteli, even though these areas are not geographically all that distant from one another.  One of my favorite cigars in recent years is Carlos Torano’s Single Region blend from Jalapa, and I’ve noticed that Nicaraguan cigars that utilize leaf from this area fit my criteria for a great smoke: they tend to be rich in flavor, medium to full in body, and usually won’t knock a lightweight like me into the next county. As of this writing, only three sizes are in production, all toro or toro-plus sized: No. Fifty-Four – 6 x 54 No. Sixty  - 6 x 60 No. Sixty-Four – 6 ¼ x 64 Construction Notes The LGC Serie R Esteli No. 54 appears princely with its dark colorado maduro wrapper and black and silver band. The wrapper is quite oily with some fine veins, and its rich hue makes an impression. The roll is slightly irregular, but solid, and the cap is bit messy yet entirely functional. (If something can be called functional by dint of its removal.) The draw is excellent, and the burn is extremely slow. I was able to stretch this cigar out for a good hour and fifteen minutes and never had a burn issue the while. Overall construction: Excellent. Tasting Notes The 54 opens with a sweet and woody character, punctuated by leather and spice. The woody element is sweet and clean, reminding me of juniper more than the cedary aroma typical of so many cigars these days. This toro seems to be more complex in its first third than it is later on, which is a bit unusual, but this may be in part due to the amount of time it takes to smoke. After an hour my taste buds get a bit fatigued and I’m less able to detect subtleties. The smoke is medium in body and quite smooth. The flavors and aromas presented in the first third reappear in the middle section, though the taste is less clean and takes on a meaty, barbecued tang. The final section continues on that path but the sweetness wanes after a brief flirtation with chocolate. Conclusion La Gloria Cubana has a great new blend here, especially for fans of the rich complexity of Jalapa tobaccos. The combination of wood and leather with just the right amount of sweetness really hits the spot this time of year.  I would love to see this cigar in a standard robusto size, but the trend toward large ring gauges is apparently no longer a trend and is now simply what the market is demanding. So I will rest content with the relatively svelte 54. The Serie R Esteli is available in boxes of 18, and singles go for around $6.50 USD.  Add two bits for the 60, and a buck for the 64. That’s a very respectable price for a cigar of this magnitude and quality. Final Score: 91 Special thanks to General Cigar for providing samples for review.
2 days ago