Monday, December 8, 2008

My Weekend Cigar: Filipe Gregorio (Art of?) Power Figurado


This weekend, our company held its annual Holiday party and it was a real blast. IMO, our best Holiday party to-date. During the day, most of the guys I work with were talking about the "special" cigars they were bringing to smoke that night. I remember bringing an OpusX to my first company party and it burned crappy, making it a total waste of time and money. From then on, I began bringing good cigars, but not necessarily expensive cigars. It wasn’t because that first OpusX was a dud; I've had some might good ones since then. It's more because I tend to get distracted talking to people, the cigar goes out, and by the third relight, it's done.

Maybe it was peer pressure, but by the end of the day, I began to think twice about bringing a "special cigar" to the party. So I went into the back where I keep my private stash and found a cigar that I hadn't yet tried, a Felipe Gregorio Power from a sampler that was sent to me by a business associate. This was some cigar, too. It looked to be about 6" x 60, but after checking the Felipe Gregorio website to get more information, it didn't show up on their "Power Cigars" page. This cigar had a beautiful Cuban-style pigtail that was tied with a thin black piece of Oscuro tobacco with a similar Oscuro "band" at the base of the foot. At first, I thought the thin black band at the foot was paper, and almost began peeling it off with my finger.

After a little more digging on the Felipe Gregorio website, I found out this cigar was more likely from their "Art of Power" cigar series, because the box of cigars in the picture shown (see above) looked exactly like the one I smoked. I think it's the "Antonius," but the lettering on the box just wasn't clear enough to make out, so I'm guessing, because that's what it looked like it to my eye.

The blends listed for the respective series didn't exactly match-up either, but the copy says the blend for the Art of Power is "the same blend of the 91 Cigar Aficionado rated Power." That would be a dark, pre-embargo Pelo de Oro seed wrapper grown in Costa Rica, Nicaraguan Piloto Cubano filler, and an Habano 92 Nicaraguan binder. The blend cited on the "Art of Power" cigars page shows Nicaraguan Piloto Cubano filler and Dominican Piloto Cubano binder, plus two other wrapper shades. Are you as confused as I am, right now?

Just from the size of this cigar and the bold black word "Power" on the band is enough to make you think this is going to be one killer of a smoke. Although definitely a full-bodied cigar, to my surprise, the smoke was not overly spicy or overpowering. (Maybe this was the blend with the Dominican Piloto Cubano tobacco). It had a very appealing, dark, earthy tobacco flavor with some nice sweetness to it, and it went well with my vodka and tonic.

I had relatively no burn problems with the cigar. It drew well and the flavors remained consistent, becoming much more caramelized and complex in the last act. Fortunately, I only had to relight it once. I smoked it down to about an inch, when it just got too juicy and started to turn bitter.

Overall, a marvelously robust cigar with lots of meat to sink your teeth into and plenty of flavor. A very enjoyable and memorable smoke that I can highly recommend for full-bodied fans.

If you've had any of the Felipe Gregorio Power or Art of Power cigars, please leave a comment.

~ Gary Korb

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