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Gellmans Page

We're delighted to have our friend Joe Gellman, West Coast Attorney and Cigar Connoisseur Extraordinaire.

Share some tasting notes on some fine Havana cigars with us... After 30 years of litigation he has stepped down and is now the Administrator of his former law office practice. He is CEO and President of RKD Music Management, a developmental music management company. His forte is in Jazz, R&B, Latin and 50's/60's music. Joe has been a cigar and pipe smoker for 42 years, has traveled to Cuba many times, enjoys aged Cognacs, Ports, and rare wines. 

Over the past year I have been contacted by readers of my reviews for information on how I arrive at my conclusions as well as how they can do similar tasting for their own purposes.

1. Selection of the cigar
My main source of cigars is from C.GARS Ltd. It is important, for purposes of the reviews you read, that the product is available for purchase. Many of the cigars I smoke are not readily available to C.GARS Ltd from Hunters & Frankau. While all the cigars I do review are available from C.GARS Ltd, not all bought from him. I do this in order to make careful comparisons among cigars from different sources. Readers will note that I often compare the product purchased from other countries than the UK

2. Storage of the cigars
I never smoke a cigar on the day it arrives. In fact, I always place at least two cigars from each selection in a separate humidor which is electronically controlled at 65/65. I generally allow the cigars to rest for at least two weeks since I never know the "travelling" conditions of the cigars and feel that they need to rest for a short while to attain their pre-delivery state. 

3. Identification of the cigars
It is not unusual to receive cigars for tasting without bands and without any description. I suspect MO wants to have, what we on this side of the pond call, his 'jollies.' I select two cigars from the humidor and weigh them. After weighing, I measure them and carefully inspect the cap and foot, and the wrapper. If there is an appreciable variance between the samples I try to determine why and report on it. In the past I have not let on that I always taste two cigars for one review; not the cat is out of the bag. If there is a noticeable difference in the two cigars I will try a third one. It is not all that unusual for a box of cigars to have one or two 'bad' ones in it. I have made this observation most often with Cohiba Lanceros and the Taino vitola.

4. What I look for in a cigar
I liken a cigar to a good wine or a woman. Your senses often can tell you if a cigar is good, much like a woman or a bottle of wine. Sight: When a woman approaches you and is beautiful, you are allured. Same with a cigar. Smell: When the woman passes and she smells great, you are intrigued. The same for a cigar or a bottle of wine, when opened. Touch: Is the women..well, you know. Is the cigar soft, round, firm, hard - you get the picture. Taste: I hope I need not detail this category, it is very individual. In my reviews I try to use objective standards for a very subjective issue. Age: This deals with how wine, women, and cigars are stored (women tend to age well if they take care of themselves, much like a cigar and wine).  While smoking a cigar I try to evaluate the changes in all the above categories. Likewise, I do the same for women and wines. Some wines need to breath, some women need more foreplay than others. The ash is akin to the after effects of sex or how a wine affects the palate (perhaps the same for women).  Does the cigar hold up while being smoked? Does a woman fall apart when.. .With wine, as with women and cigars, your initial impression can be wrong, the proof is in the smoking, drinking or, for a woman...  With the above in mind, I will endeavor to be more precise in my reviews.

Joe has been a long time friend and customer of C.GARS Ltd and if you'd like to read some of his reviews, please check out the taste test section Click Here