Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Binder: Dominican Criollo ‘98 Potrero (Farmer: Jose “Jochy” Blanco)
Filler: Dominican Seco Criollo ‘98 Potrero (Farmer: Jose “Jochy” Blanco), Dominican Ligero Criollo ‘98 Potrero (Farmer: Jose “Jochy” Blanco), Dominican Seco Piloto La Canela (Farmer: Ernesto “Campeón” Infante), Dominican Viso Piloto La Canela (Farm: Quisqueya Cia)
Size: 5.125 x 48 Royal Corona
Today we take a look at the La Instructora Perfection Royal Corona.
I bought a couple sticks at my local B&M; Havana Lounge & Cigar in West Allis. Tyler Jeffrey recommended I try this blend. I smoked one with about 7+ days of rest and while potential was apparent, it needed more time. It’s now been 4 weeks. Fingers crossed.
The La Instructora web site does not have any background info. And no list of sellers. I’m guessing at this point it will be strictly a B&M cigar. That may change after this summer’s IPCPR trade show official debut.
According to Halfwheel.com:
“La Instructora is a collaborative brand between Jochy Blanco of Tabacalera Palma and Aaron Saide of Sans Pareil cigars, a fairly new line that is also beginning to appear at retail. Saide is also the owner of Chatham Cigar in Midland, Mich.
“It uses an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper and Dominican Criollo 98 binder from Potrero, with a blend of Dominican tobaccos for the filler. Blanco grew the Dominican Criollo 98 seco and ligero from Potrero, while a Dominican Piloto seco comes from La Canela and farmer Ernesto “Campeón” Infante. It’s rounded out by Dominican Piloto viso from the Quisqueya Cia farm in La Canela.
“True Rosado was something I always loved but had a hard time finding,” Saide told Halfwheel, adding that it can be a tough tobacco to blend and balance. Part of achieving that balance are the secos used in the filler, one aged five years and the other aged six years.
“Saide and Blanco aren’t hesitant about showing so many details about their cigars and the tobaccos used to make them. “We like to give out a lot of information about the cigar to share our passion for the tobacco and share our passion for it with those that are also passionate about it,” Saide said.
“It will then be shown at the upcoming 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.”
“The cigar has quietly been in the market for just over a year, and Saide is currently traveling the country introducing the line to retailers, who will only be able to offer it for in-person sales. It will then be shown at the upcoming 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in its own booth along with Saide’s Sans Pareil line and separate from the Tabacalera Palma booth.”
SIZES AND PRICES:
Belicoso Extra: 6 x 57 $15.00
Invicto: 5.75 x 56 $18.00
Petite Salomón: 5.5 x 47 $12.50
Royal Corona: 5.125 x 48 $10.00
One thing immediately noticeable is the cigar band. There are two lines in the La Instructora line: Perfection and Box Pressed. I went to the Tabacalera Palma web site, the La Instructora web site, and their FB page and found zero information beyond what I found from Halfwheel. I sent them an email but they have chosen to put me on ignore.
Tyler pointed out that wrapper. It is just beautiful with that mottled, brindle colored leaf. It is so oily that it seems like it was dipped in personal lubricant.
The stick itself is rustic in appearance with giant protruding veins but totally hidden seams. The triple cap is nicely done.
The stick is very firm and appears to be jam packed. Will I need my PerfecDraw cigar poker? I have no idea.
Lastly, I found it odd that the cigar band looks exactly like a Jackson Pollock painting. In fact, both the Perfection and Box Pressed blends both have bands whose design is a copy of Pollack’s paintings.
The brand name, La Instructora, is in raised type on the cigar band but it is nearly impossible to see even with a magnifying glass. Just couldn’t get my camera to capture it clearly.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell sweet spices, milk chocolate, red pepper, cream, cedar, a bold honey scent, nuttiness, cinnamon, and green tea.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell red pepper, dark chocolate, sweetness, honey, cinnamon, and espresso.
The cold draw presents flavors of habanero pepper, dark chocolate, cream, cedar, sweetness, cinnamon, and black coffee.
The cigar is packed too tightly so out comes my PerfecDraw cigar poker and it quickly, and easily, fixes the problem. Until you own one of these great tools, you will never realize how you survived before owning this marvelous cigar accessory. It has saved a lot of cigars from the trash bin due to inadequate rollers on the job.
Immediately to the forefront of the flavor profile, there is a blast of searing red pepper. Transference occurs and my cat’s toupee erupts in flames because he is lying near me while I type and smoke. Now that’s potent pepper.
Early on, I experience char line issues. Same thing happened with my first stick. I don’t find that a good start.
Malts, chocolate, slight creaminess, spice, cinnamon sticks, and black coffee are the early go to flavors.
Truth be told, there isn’t a lot going on here. It has hints of character but they aren’t what I expected after a month of humidor time.
The red pepper does a turnabout and morphs into strong black pepper.
I’m am inch into the La Instructora Perfection and instead of blowing my socks off…well, it is just sort of ordinary.
Not a single review of the Perfection could be found online. Not a single one. There were press releases but no reviews. I should have known this was not a good sign.
This blend is made up of 6 different tobaccos leaves. It really should be a whole lot better than what I’m experiencing. Is this an old school blend like Oliva or Patel in which the blend needs 6 months of humidor time before it tastes like something? I don’t think so.
As I near the second third, the hints of creaminess and other vague flavors emerge with a little more strength. But for a $10 stick, I expected a kick in the arse…not a limp dick…not me, the cigar. OK. Maybe me.
The Perfection is quickly becoming a bland $4 Torano cigar.
More touch ups required of the burn line.
Now I long for those early flavors. The cigar is dead on arrival. Sonovabitch. I don’t mind spending $10 on a stick if it makes me sacrosanct and without feeling in my lower torso. But it pisses me off when a $10 cigar is a total letdown.
Smoke time is 25 minutes.
I do believe the cigar had better flavor attributes during my first attempt 3 weeks ago. The Perfection is either in deep hibernation mode or sucks. Still two thirds to go before I can make a final determination.
I’m getting wisps of intense creaminess, malts, chocolate, and coffee that come and go on a whim. So far, the blend is a one trick pony.
Damn. I was truly looking forward to this review. I figured it would be a great cigar based on the leaf stats and the PR that came with it.
Slowly, this blend is desperately trying to redeem itself through deep meditation and breathing techniques. I just know flavors want to participate in this human experiment but they seem lost in the ether.
The cigar’s debut doesn’t actually take place til this summer’s trade show but can be found at your local B&M’s. I think it will go over like a balloon blimp over the U.S. Open. Kaboom. Then straight into the dirt. Yet…the cigar has been on the market for over a year. And in all this time, once again dear friends, not a single review. I’m such a schmuck.
Maybe the other blend, Box Pressed, will be better. My cigar shop didn’t carry them. And what the fuck kind of blend name is Box Pressed? Why not just call it “Cigar?” Or “Scrunched Tobacco Leaves?” I mean, c’mon. Box Pressed? La Instructora goes through all the trouble to copy some beautiful Pollock paintings and then comes up with Perfection and Box Pressed as their first blends.
The char line is a tampon gone wild. I cannot, for the life of me, keep it in check.
A small flavor eruption of creaminess, caramel, cinnamon, malt, chocolate, coffee, and cedar sneak through. Way overdue.
The last few reviews I’ve written were about some great cigars. Now this…I knew it was going to happen. I just didn’t anticipate it happening to this blend.
Maybe the tobaccos weren’t age long enough? Or the rolled sticks weren’t aged long enough?
Maybe Tabacalera Palma released the cigars too soon. I haven’t a clue.
You buy this cigar, you die. I will come to your house and tease the shit out of your gerbil collection. I’ll bring a badger with me.
Black pepper is the only consistent flavor in 40 minutes of smoke time. I hate ratting out a cigar blend in my reviews. Great cigars bring out the acid flashbacks in me. Funky cigars flat line me.
Halfway point at 45 minutes.
A little more life comes to the La Instructora Perfection. It actually begins to attain flavors it should have projected from the very start.
Definitely old school blending. A warning should have been attached to its cello instructing the consumer to let these cigars hibernate for 4-6 months. And I’m giving the blend the benefit of the doubt. What if it doesn’t get any better after all that time?
A mustiness appears.
Strength has been a weak medium body throughout. No kick or pizazz. This is what a Quorum wants to be when it grows up.
You can see in the photo below the char line issues that have racked the consistency of the cigar’s construction from the very start.
If no reviewer would touch this cigar, it is only due to their fear of pissing off Jose Blanco and Tabacalera Palma. Sure, he was involved in La Aurora and Joya de Nicaragua…but I don’t consider either of these blends barn stormers for sophisticated palates. Plus, the aforementioned brands are not expensive. The La Instructora line is expensive.
Smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.
And then the flood gates open. Flavors go bat shit crazy on my palate.
This means one of two things…The first being that this blend needs extreme humidor time…or Second, it is a seriously flawed blend.
So here we go: Red pepper, black pepper, creaminess, malts, chocolate, cinnamon, nuttiness, molasses, black licorice, luscious honey, lemon zest, cedar, espresso, and dried fruit.
Now why did I have to endure the first two thirds before the flavor profile kicked into gear?
Under non-review circumstances, I would not have tossed this cigar early. I say that because the damn cigar cost $10. But it tastes like a $3 La Aurora.
As quickly as they appeared, flavors are on the wane. Sonovabitch 2.0.
If you visit the La Instructora web site or the Tabacalera Palma web site, you find not a single bit of narrative about this cigar…just some photos. It is a beautiful cigar. If it were not for Halfwheel.com, I would know nothing about this blend.
As penance for this terrible review, I think I will add two useless music stories at the end instead of just one.
Flavors return. This is like a bad acid trip. I begin to question my sanity. What is going on? Who’s my Daddy? Where did I leave my surfboard?
I’m going to finish this cigar no matter what.
Strength remains less than medium. No nicotine.
Clearly, this blend is a sociopath. And maybe a little paranoid schizophrenic.
The Perfection is wandering through the desert looking for a place to write the 10 commandments.
Maybe I should start writing jokes to amuse you. Because at this very moment, I am less than amused.
I have another stick I bought at my B&M that I think I will review this week to make up for this stinker of a cigar. And guess what? It is another Blanco blend called La Galera Habano. I only bought one stick because the B&M overcharged. Online, the Toro I will review is $6.30 each. At the cigar shop they charged me more than $10. So let the dice roll as they will…
With 1-1/2” to go, the blend lights up. Strength is now a solid medium. The flavor profile seems to have found its center. I won’t say too little, too late.
It’s difficult to tell you to go out and find this cigar when I haven’t a clue what’s going on with this thing. At $10, it should be a sea of swarming simbas seeking solitude and solace. I love alliteration.
Ah…Perfection…almost…now getting hints of bitterness…overwhelming flavors.
I feel bad about my review. It will be the only one out there for a while. And Blanco and Saide seem to have put their hearts and soul into this blend only to see it fall flat.
Even after a month of humidor time, this cigar blend should have shown some great potential even if it is still a bit green. No potential on display.
The last breaths from the La Instructora Perfection are harsh and bitter. Black pepper is just about all that’s left.
Sorry Blanco and Saide. Go back to the drawing board on this blend.
And now for something completely different:
I had my own TV show back in 1983. OK. It was on Public Access.
My partner was a hot shot L.A. radio DJ named Marshall Thomas. We hung out a lot. He and I did a lot of L.A. clubbing together. He introduced me to a lot of new great bands of the time.
We came up with the idea of getting some rock veterans and interview them within a 30 minute framework. He had contacts and so did I.
Our first show was a total disaster. We had 3 guests. Two of the original members of the band, “The Larks.” They had a hit in 1964 with “The Jerk.” It went on to be a big dance step in the 60’s. One that made orthopedic doctors and chiropractors very happy. Doing the jerk nearly popped the discs out of your back. If I tried that move today, Charlotte would need to call 911 a few minutes later…and I’d be dead in an hour.
They had a new song they wanted to promote. It was on some obscure label. The successful days of The Larks were way behind them. The 80’s were not the heyday of classic concerts of 1950-1960’s R & B performers. A real shame because there were a lot incredible artists. Most never made it to the 21st Century when those tribute concerts became all the rage.
They would, only occasionally, do big Oldies but Goodies concerts. Their new song was an embarrassing Chuck Berry rip off. They showed up in matching pimp three piece suits with jet black dyed hair. They looked like clowns. The goal was to get them to lip sync to both their 1960’s hit, “The Jerk” and the same for their new release so they wanted to look sharp.
The second guest was Richard Berry who wrote “Louie, Louie,” made famous by The Kingsmen in 1963. What we didn’t know was that Berry suffered from narcolepsy and constantly fell asleep during the interview. I yelled CUT more times than a moil doing a triple shift. (You gotta be Jewish to get this…or at least be religion hip.)
We had a simple, but cool, set. We bought sheets of wood paneling and attached lots of 45 singles to them. We had a small riser with chairs. It was a nice comfy setting.
Just before The Larks got up to sing, Marshall said, “So fellas, would you like to set up the song up for us?”
Clearly confused, the two men got up out of their seats and started to move the furniture.
I came out from the booth and explained to the guys that Marshall wanted them to explain the song and how it came about, not move furniture. Oy Gevalt.
Then it was Richard Berry’s turn and he lip synced to his original version of “Louis, Louis.” He was barely awake during the song. Now the lyrics to “Louie Louie” are not difficult. But Berry’s lip syncing was so off that everyone in the booth couldn’t stop laughing. I went out and talked to Richard.
Before I could finish, he told me to go fuck myself. I walked away shaking my head. After all, it was something he would have to live with; not me. Turned out, Berry was a real racist S.O.B. because the white man in the record industry really fucked him out of a lot of royalties. I know the feeling. But I hate everyone equally…not just white people. During the interview period, Berry was out cold the entire time. SNL couldn’t have written this sketch.
Our second show was classier. We had Darlene Love of The Blossoms fame and wife of Danny Glover in the “Lethal Weapon” movies; and Hall of Fame drummer, Hal Blaine.
Darlene was in the mega hits girl group, “The Blossoms” during the 1960s. According to Wikipedia, “The Blossoms were probably the most successful unknown group of the ’60s. They made a career of singing backup for scores of artists from Paul Anka to Elvis Presley with a versatility that allowed them to be a choral group one minute and a surf sound doo wop group for Jan and Dean’s hits the next minute.”
Hal Blaine has a resume that to this day, is unbelievable. In the years1981-1984, he became my mentor and close friend. Hal played in the famous L.A. Wrecking Crew on drums and recorded hundreds of hit tunes from The Monkees to the Mamas & Papas to Simon & Garfunkel to The Beatles.
In 1971, the Ed Sullivan Show did a Vegas spectacular completely dedicated to Nancy Sinatra. It was taped at her Las Vegas casino show. Big band behind her. Hal was on drums. The Blossoms sang back up. This was the perfect storm for our show having both on at the same time.
In order to view the show, back in 1971, Hal went out and bought a $2500 Sony video player/recorder. Back then, video was a reel to reel tape machine. It also came with a heavy black and white monitor. He loaned them to me so I could take the whole shebang to a Hollywood studio to have the video transferred to ¾” video cassette.
As he was going through his 3rd divorce, he was living on his yacht in Marina Del Rey. I had to carry the recorder (25lbs) and the TV monitor (40lbs) from the yacht to the parking lot and then to the studio. When we were done, I brought it back. Hal asked me to hold on to it because there was no room on the boat. And he didn’t want to take it back to storage. So I schlepped it to the boat and back again for the second time.
I schlepped recorder and TV with me for the next 34 years…as a Hal Blaine memento. I eventually gave the monitor to a friend. I kept the video machine. Which, by the way, is in mint condition.
The show went well and Darlene and Hal were lively guests. We showed several clips from the Nancy Sinatra show. Hal and Darlene turned out to be our best show.
Hal and I bonded and became my mentor for a couple of years doing me favors I would have never expected, or be able to pay back. If you want to check out his discography, go to Wikipedia. It will stun you. He even played on some Beatles tracks. And Ringo’s original kit was an exact duplicate of Hal’s. Hal refused to divulge to me which Beatle’s songs he played on. Drove me nuts. I’m guessing it was the “White Album” where it is common knowledge that Ringo had had enough of the band and missed out on most of the recording.
Really….look at the cymbal count, the diameters, and their placement. Look at the snare, tom, and kick. They are identical in height, diameter, and breadth.
And they are both Ludwig kits.
We did a few more shows and then we just got busy doing other things. But I still have the shows on VHS but haven’t watched them in years. Someday, I will transfer them to DVD and not ruin my back doing so.
One side note…the PBS people were impressed with me. They offered me a gig as an associate producer. The pay was terrible. I had a recording studio to run and the Eddie Munster project. I so wanted to break into the TV/movie industry but starting at the bottom was out of the question. I would have had to give up everything. I had a large financial stake both in the Butch Patrick project and the recording studio. I just couldn’t walk away. We did a show for Dick Clark productions shot in Dick Clark’s private office. Based on my cooperation and background, they too offered me a position. I wanted to hang myself. The money was shit. I owned a house and a recording studio.
In retrospect, I should have taken either the PBS or Dick Clark gig.
Who knows? I may have become Charlie Rose or Ryan Seacrest.
And now for something completely different…Part 2:
Charlotte made a lot of friends while running the big Polish deli in Milwaukee. Not only did Poles bring their patronage, but Germans did as well.
Charlotte makes friends easily. And her customers loved her professionalism and charisma.
Often, she was invited over by the German customers…So, I heard, “I will be back in a few hours.” She would always return to describe the most delicious food home cooked German food and never once brought me a sample. I’m still brooding over that.
I stopped asking, “What about me? Why can’t I go?”
But after an afternoon of listening to people speak mostly German the whole time, I believe that her friends were sending me a message. My German is rudimentary at best. Two years of high school German. And of course, spending 33 years with a kraut.
One Sunday, I finally got invited to a soiree. It was a German Club picnic held at Heidi and Michael’s house.
Actually, it was two German clubs. Berliners and Bavarians. Charlotte is neither as she is from Fulda which is considered the state of Hesse. (Not far from Frankfurt).
It was hot and muggy and I hate muggy. I grew up in SoCal where there is no humidity. In the 12 years we’ve lived in the Midwest I have never acclimated to the extreme habit of breathing water.
There were around 30 people there. And no shade left. The tables with umbrellas were taken. So I sat in the sun all afternoon. I thought…fuck it. If I’m to be left cooking like a stewed prune, I’m going to light up a cigar and damn the folks at my table.
Sitting to my right was a fat Wisconsin woman (Aren’t they all?) and her skinny welder husband (That’s how it works in Wisconsin…beer, brats and cheese). Both thought they were very funny because while no one laughed at what they said, they picked up the slack and laughed at everything they said.
I wanted to shoot myself. With a rusty Luger.
The skinny idiot said he smoked cigars and asked for one. I complied. I handed him my torch lighter. With the robusto in his mouth, he aimed the lighter towards his mouth. In the blink of an eye, I swatted the lighter out of his hand barely avoiding blinding this moron. He didn’t laugh at this.
The only redeeming factor was that I was looking forward to some good German food. While living in Europe in the 70’s there were only two countries that I thought had outstanding food: Germany and Italy.
Disappointed. It was all drek. I couldn’t believe that all these Germans, about 2 years from the grave, couldn’t cook. Not a lick. I can cook better German food than any of them.
I ended up throwing 90% of my plate of food away.
When all the food was eaten, the horror of my life occurred.
One of the guests brought his full sized accordion and sat down right next to me. He then proceeded to play German Oom Pah Pah songs while everyone sang in German.
I thought I was at a Third Reich meeting. And it felt like everyone was wondering why my Jewish star was not sewn to my sleeve.
A woman sat down while Charlotte and Heidi took a walk around Heidi’s huge yard. Apparently, no one….I mean no one….liked this woman. She was very thin and wearing a loose fitting moo moo. Bleached blonde hair and bad teeth. And roughly 127 years old.
The women hated her because she only spoke to the men. Compared to the German folk, I was a little skinny guy. They all ate like someone was going to take their food away from them. Just like a hungry dog. One serving after the next. It was like visiting a pig farm. And the pigs knew I was a Jew.
I’m sitting there and Eva Braun turns to me and exposes a tiny shrunken breast. All I could think of was where was Dr. Mengele when you need him?
In my right ear was constant accordion noise playing polka music that all sounded the same to me. I was packing my Glock because we had some errands to do afterwards. I actually thought of shooting the accordion player and then killing 13 more people. After that, I would be out of ammo. I doubt I would have been convicted. Self-defense.
Meanwhile, Heidi’s son was working on our 1977 Buick Le Sabre. The brake light was on and it beeped incessantly. He told us there was a leak in the brake line. He spent from 9am-2:30pm working on it. He didn’t replace it but he cleaned the leaks and repaired them with all kinds of goop and tape.
I stayed on his ass to finish it. I kept getting, “Only 20 more minutes” for hours. I wanted to go home.
I was at the party for 6 hours. Everyone refused to speak English. So I sat there sweating like a pig. My back was killing me from sitting in a plastic patio chair. And now I was getting really nauseated from the humidity.
The car was done.
Gert told me that we still need to take the car in to get the brake line replaced. He spent 5-1/2 hours gluing it together. And when he finishes he still tells us to take it to a pro. What a giant waste of time. But he didn’t charge us a dime so he had a good heart.
I pulled out of the garage and we got about 2 blocks away when the beeping started and the brake light went on. And it stayed that way all the way home.
I will never ask to go visit her friends again unless I can take the Israeli Defense Forces, or Mossad, with me to interrogate them about where were they in 1944.
I had nightmares, that night, of large beer halls and women in dirndls selling 5 gallon bottle sized beers along with shaved white radish in the box hanging from their necks. Now that’s some fun. Drinking strong beer and eating white radish. It creates quite the aroma.
And I kept seeing that shriveled breast staring at me and following me to the bathroom and then down the line of the buffet…. calling my name.
I sensed all my dead relatives spinning, at the speed of sound, in their graves.
Once home, I had pasta salad for dinner.
By the way, on my mother’s side, I’m German. My father’s side? Hungarian.
Do you think killing an accordion player is a punishable offense? Or would that be a misdemeanor? Maybe just a ticket? I once saw a bumper sticker: “Play the Accordion. Go to Jail.” Not severe enough in my mind.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS