Retro-Smoke: Perdomo Lot 23 Toro Connecticut

By Gary Korb

This cigar doesn't really qualify as a "retro-smoke," since it's not an older brand, but I just had to get this one in. Actually, the Perdomo Lot 23 cigars were released late last year, and quickly became one of my favorites after sampling the Belicoso. (Try the Perdomo Lot 23 in the Maduro if you really wantto taste something sublime.)

Anyway, I had purchased a box of Perdomo Lot 23 Toros back in January, and to my unexpected disappointment, found them to be unusually bitter. Now I know the kind of painstaking care Nick Perdomo and his team puts into their cigars, and rarely, if ever, have I had a problem with any of their lines.

After smoking three cigars with the same results, I thought about returning them, but my gut-check told me they just needed time and to give them the benefit of the doubt. So, I stowed them away, out of sight in the bottom of the humidor, and left them alone. That was one of the smartest decisions I ever made.

Almost eight months later, as I was rummaging through my humidor last week, I picked one out to bring into work for my afternoon smoke. Whoa baby! What a difference all that time made. The cigar was rich, creamy-smooth and very flavorful with no trace of bitterness whatsoever, proving once again that home aging can make a marked difference.

If it's a brand you're already familiar with, then you know how the cigar is supposed to taste. All too often in cases where cigars taste "off," there's a knee-jerk reaction, and cigar smokers are hasty to fill out the return label. That's not to say that the odd and truly "bad box" doesn't come along every now and then, but I had faith in this Perdomo cigar that had proven its consistency to me in the past.

The moral of the story: Sometimes you have to wait for instant gratification.


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