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|| News Item: Posted 2003-02-01

The Count on Cigars: Smoky Suggestions
By Eric Risberg

Photo by
With the holidays come and gone, here are some smoky suggestions on which you can spend that extra gift cash and help light up your New Year.

Recently I had a chance to try the Punch Rothschild Rare Corojo - a great value at about $3 (or less) per stick. The box-pressed robusto features a dark-reddish Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper with Honduran filler. It is a medium- to full-bodied smoke with an effortless draw. If you don't have much time or desire to smoke in the wintry outdoors, you'll find this a nice 40-minute excursion.

Another great value is the new Aroma de Cuba, just introduced by Ashton. There are seven sizes, with most selling for around $5 each. I smoked the corona minor, and it was an easy-smoking, medium-flavored cigar with spicy undertones.

Looking for a nice humidor or box to put on your coffee table? Check out the new Montecristo Platinum series cigars that come in a Michel Delacroix decorated cigar box. The cigars come in six sizes, two of which are in tubes.

They have a Mexican Cubano wrapper with Dominican, Peruvian, and Nicaraguan filler. The box is decorated with a painting by Delacroix showing the historic Havana harbor. The two Platinums I smoked recently
Photo by

Fuente OpusX Forbidden X Tenth Year Anniversary humidor.
had a bit of a tight draw, were stronger than other Dominican Montecristos and had a very matte finish.

Dan Coyro of the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports from his recent trip to Havana that the Cuban Edicion Limitadas are looking very good, with some wrappers nearly black. He sighted Cohiba Piramides on the shelf at $215 a box. The Edicion Limitada that I heard rave things about is the new Montecristo Double Corona,a size not previously found in the Montecristo line.

I had a chance to smoke the Cohiba Piramide on Christmas Day, and it was one of the best Cohibas I have enjoyed in a couple of years. The maduro-wrapped torpedo had a rich smooth taste, and the dark wrapper added an extra sweetness to the aroma and flavor.

For those wishing to purchase Brad Mangin a nice housewarming gift, take
Photo by Aric Crabb

Photo by Aric Crabb

Mangin's on deck circle.
a look at the Fuente OpusX Forbidden X Tenth Year Anniversary humidor. This would look great in Brad's new living room or by his on-deck circle! For just $10,000, one receives a limited Prometheus humidor stocked with 100 OpusX cigars, many in sizes that have never been released. Maybe we can all chip in on this one - as long as Brad agrees to share the cigars.

Here's to another year up in smokeā€¦

The Count.

(The Count, aka Eric Risberg, is a regular contributor to the Sports Shooter Newsletter. Eric is a staff photographer with the Associated Press based in San Francisco. You can view his work at:

Related Links:
Eric Risberg's member page

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