By Rod Ellis
I’m a cigar fan. I love the way they smell and taste, and I love the fragrance a quality Stogie brings to a room. It seems only natural, then, that I would take a walkabout among the pipe tobaccos to discover a “cigar” pipe blend that I could truly enjoy. I’ve tried several, finding most to be good. Tonight I’m smoking the aptly named Stogie blend from Hearth and Home. Although as I puff I realize that I still have not found “excellent” among these blends, I have found one that is very good, and that, to my taste, rises above the others I have tried.
Stogie is not much like the Ghurka Ancient Warriors that I favor, and only distantly resembles the Cuban sticks I’ve treasured on balconies and courtyards in Mexico and Central America. Still, from top to bottom of the bowl the presence of cigar makes itself known, and does so in a way that I enjoy.
There’s something a bit raw about Stogie, perhaps a bit of wildness. Although it is far too smooth to compare to the rough, rolled tobacco I’ve enjoyed directly from Guatemalan fields, it is somehow reminiscent of such earthy, unsophisticated, and wonderful smokes. Unlike some of the other cigar blends I have sampled, it firmly speaks “cigar” with every breath. It is not sweet, although a hint of Virginia adds a certain smoothness. The burley is distinct, and the whispers of oriental and perique are just that, whispers. And yes, the maduro flavor is clearly and distinctly present, a treat to those who love their cigars.
Stogie tastes like tobacco, pure and raw and natural. It seems to have plenty of nicotine, having taken me from exhaustion to relative alertness in the course of single bowl. The room note will probably not earn many non-smoking fans, yet I think other smokers will find it interesting and inviting.
I’m enjoying this blend very much. I put up about half a pound, and will be interested to see how it ages. If you are a lover of cigars, I think you will enjoy H&H Stogie.