A Week With Omar: Time Management, Chimpanzees, Serie D No 6 and Padrino
Good lord, what an exhausting week.
When talking with friends, the one thing that anyone with any degree of ambition seems to struggle with is time management. Being able to to fit in everything you want to do, while doing everything you need to do is a truly arduous task, particularly where, at every corner, distractions lay in wait for you, I'm looking at you Tik Tok, you little shit.
If I was to admit I was good at anything, it would be my ability to manage my time to make sure I am completing what I intend to at a reasonable level of quality. This is primarily achieved by a very simple system, If I have 10 credits of energy to spend through out the week, and have three different areas to spend it in then I will try my very best to prioritise the areas that need extra spending and defer less important tasks for the next week thus not landing me in an energy debt.
This week I failed rather miserably and have landed myself dangerously close to burnout territory, alas, I am taking it easy this week to recover and refill my tank. My rule is, when prevention isn't possible, plan for recovery.
There is something I must get off my chest. I might be a little late to the party but I eventually got around to watching the viral documentary on the Congo Chimpanzee society.
For those who havent seen it, it is a documentary filmed over 20+ years following the development of a society of chimps in the Congo, monitoring their behaviours, hunting tendencies and relationships between one another.
To say this sent a shiver down my spine is an understatement, both in fear and amazement. The level of brutality these chimps show their enemies and each other is, palpably fucking frightening, but what I found fascinating was a few of the chimps were able - or at least we interpret as such - to show empathy, compassion and genuine kindness.
What dawned on me was just how similar their hierarchical structures were to us, this then raised the question in my mind, what does it mean to be human? Of course, human is a biological identifier that is made clear by our DNA, but on a philosophical level, when watching some of those chimps look out for one another and exhibit a rather human level of care, compassion and reason for their loved ones I must say, they seem more human then a few people I know. At the same time, watching them hunt for sport, not necessity and almost enjoy the thrill of the chase almost holds a mirror to our base instincts.
What a genuinely intriguing species.
In terms of smokes I have two rather fascinating sticks to talk about, one that will be widely available and another that might be impossible to get ahold of.
The Partagas Serie D No 6.
Partagas is one of those brands that most people seem to recognise, whether it's the fancy sounding name or the distinginsive red bands on the cigars, brand awareness clearly isn't an issue. In fact, a demonstration of the popularity of Partagas, the D6’s bigger brother, the D4 is - I believe - the most popular cigar in the cuban portfolio.
The D6 is a rather interesting little stick, being only 3 1/2 inches long with a 50 ring gauge, first impressions don’t really blow you away. As I explained in my previous post about the Cuaba Divinos - another small, unassuming cigar - I find that shorter or smaller sticks seem to make up for their lack of flavour evolution by providing a whirlwind of strength and power.
This feels like a bit of an assault to me.
Looking at the D6 I was preparing myself to be rugby tackled and subsequently having to visit the dentist to replace my missing teeth. But after the first draw I knew this was a different animal, I stared at the cigar affectionately, smiled, sat back and put myself in the reassuring hands of the cigar.
This is a cigar that has proven me wrong, a shorter cigar can indeed take you on a journey without lighting a stick of dynamite in your mouth. The D6 was rich, deep and dark with a magnificent sophistication to it, notes of heavy leather balanced with coffee was a real home run, a true delight to smoke.
But be warned, for the uninitiated, this cigar may be too powerful, however, I think if you guys have been following along in my journey and have been smoking with me, this D6 will be a piece of cake. Additionally, if you are as slow a smoke as I am, you can easily make this pocket rocket last 40 minutes. This is easily the best shorter smoke I have had, so far.
On to the rare shit.
Very much on the other side of the spectrum, through the generosity of a dear friend, I was able to try something I didn’t even know existed.
The Wellesley hotel in London has quickly become a rather iconic institution, situated in Knightsbridge, the place where the phrase ‘too expensive’ does not exist. Within this extraordinarily swanky hotel exists a truly one of a kind cigar terrace with a one of a kind humidor, I shit you not, you will find stuff in this humidor that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
Amongst all of the phenomenal cigars exists The Wellesley’s own brand of cigars in a single vitola, a cigar called the Padrino. I don’t have much information on this but from what I understand these are in fact cuban cigar that have been custom rolled for The Wellesley, to say this is rare is an understatement.
Unfortunately they aren't getting any more of these cigars, so whatever the current, limited stock is, that's it, when it's gone, it's gone.
This cigar is a beast, I don’t know what the dimensions are but I would guess its around 54 ring gauge and just as long as a Churchill, as you can imagine, I got through about 7 matches just trying to light this fucker. What immediately struck me was the aromatics coming off this damn thing were exceptional, light, delicate, woody and floral. When I am getting those notes before even smoking I know shit's about to get real.
You are all probably sick and tired of me talking about cigars taking you on a journey but it's a real thing, great cigars change as you smoke them, the flavour undulates to keep you engaged and interested. Now here’s the problem, some cigars change so slightly through out the smoke it takes smoking that cigar over and over again to really identify the transitions. Be that as it may, very now and then I am able to smoke a cigar with such distinct transitions, both in flavour and strength, that my only excuse to smoke more would be my self admitted greed. This was one of them.
It started off extremely creamy with a delicious sweet, fruity undertone but at the half way point it felt as though I had started smoking a new cigar! The smoke become, heavy, thick and dense with a mild spice and pepperiness to it.
I have to say, one of the notes I dislike the most in a cigar is the heavy black pepper note, for me it just totally desecrates my palate and gives me a bit of a sore throat, but this cigar manages it with elegance and finesse, the sign of a masterfully blended cigar.
In the final few inches the nicotine strength had stepped up considerably, giving me a slight light headed feeling. In spite of this, the flavour did indeed also get spicier, but was balanced beautifully with the reintroduced sweet, creamy note I got in the beginning.
All in all, from the flavour, to the construction, this is a perfect cigar, one of which I would love to revisit and report back to you all how it has changed. It ain’t cheap at £170, but damn, this one one hell of an experience.