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Old 06-27-2011, 08:02 AM   #1
DeadmanLiving
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: On the outer realms of sanity
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Afternoon trip

It has been two years since our youngest has left the nest for college (Go Gators!) and the plans that I have oh so carefully laid out for his room are finally coming together. The final step included a trip to Ikea to pick up the last few pieces of furniture. This also gave me the opportunity to visit the Tabanero cigar factory since they are both located in Ybor city.

Finding the factory wasn’t hard, it is located two blocks south of the main tourist strip (7th Ave east) beside El Puerto restaurant and grill. It really isn’t a factory, at least not in the sense of the grand old cigar factories that dot the Ybor landscape. Upon entering the shop/factory there is a single rollers bench on the left, right in front of the plate glass window, this of course is more for the benefit of the tourist than the benefit of the roller. Seated at the table was a roller in the midst of her trade. She was in the process of mixing the filler and applying the binder to place in the cigar mold. My wife, who has never seen this live, stopped to watch. I continued to the back where the owner, Yanko, was.

We discussed the differences of a fresh rolled cigar over an aged one, the blending process of his cigars and why he currently only makes three sizes. I also gave him the URL for CW and told him about the reviews that I did for the two “free” robusto. He explained that the blend of the robusto is currently tailored towards the tourist that frequent the Ybor area and that it only has a half of leaf of Ligero which produces a mild cigar. The blend for the torpedo is a little stronger, more on the medium to strong side. We didn’t discuss the third size, the PinkGun 10.5 x 60, but from the website it is rated as a full bodied cigar, this is just too big of a cigar for my taste.

I bought two five packs, one sungrown robusto and one sungrown torpedo, total cost was fifty dollars. As mentioned before I plan on putting these down for a nap and will revisit them in six months to see if a little sleep improves them, although I may smoke one of the torpedos to have a baseline for the ones that are sleeping. Overall it was a very nice visit; Yanko is very passionate about his cigars and the cigar business but as with many little factories in the Ybor area most of the product is geared towards the tourist. A positive side benefit was that my wife asked a lot of questions of both the roller and later of myself while we were in Ikea, this helped her to understand a little better why I don’t smoke swisher sweets or black and mild. She has always had a hard time understanding why I would pay hundreds of dollars for my cigars when you could get the others for much cheaper. I do plan on going back for another visit soon, this time maybe to just sit with a café con leche and give a fresh rolled cigar another shot and if I am lucky I can get it right off the rollers bench.

Here is a little three minute video showing the store/factory and the roller.
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