Posted By Elvis on April 24, 2012
It was good to see Ironmeden the other night as he returned from a vacation to Puerto Rico. I never really think of Puerto Rico as a cigar producer, maybe because the weather is too unpredictable with hurricane season and stuff, I don’t know. He was able to bring back a couple of PR made cigars he will probably blog about. But I was most appreciative that he shared with me a special edition 5-count box of Alec Bradley Tempus Magistri cigars. He paid around $50 which is probably a good deal, hell, anything is a good deal outside of 70% cigar tax land here known as Minnesota. The Magistri is a special figurado with a sharp, yet rounded, torpedo at both ends.
The really ironic part is that last week I had thrown caution to the wind and ordered a bundle of 20 Tempus “seconds” at www.tampahumidor.com. I didn’t know what size they were, they just mentioned torpedo. So I was shocked today when they arrived in my office and they were the Magistri size! I was under the impression that size was a very limited edition. But since they were called “seconds” I expected the wrapper to be dryer or a different shade or the cigars to just flat out not taste the same as the gem Ironmeden brought me all the way from Puerto Rico.
I was shocked when I went home and compared the two. Exact same shape, exact same wrapper shade, exact same weight in the hand, which is quite heavy by the way. And after I smoked both the second and the original, Shut the Front Door! This is the same damn cigar!!
I have never ever had success with so-called seconds. It’s often a gimmick used to sell a cheaper cigar that doesn’t have a band and might contain some scraps or some of the same tobacco, albeit not aged as long, as the original. But when someone like CI or Thompson is selling them online or in a catalogue, there’s no way in hell they can be honest seconds…..cigars that were made with the same blend, by the same rollers, with the same tobaccos as the original, but didn’t make the cut because of a slight imperfection. That’s the true meaning of the idea behind “seconds”. Unless your rollers are all rookies, there’s no way they could make enough mistakes to stock the cheap ass humidors of Cigars International or other giant warehouses.
In fact, I got an e-mail special on Monday touting Alec Bradley seconds for $20 for 10 count bundles from CI. I immediately cried foul and called Mike at Tampahumidor to ask him point blank if the Tempus seconds I just bought were honest to goodness seconds in the true sense of the term. He assured me when they get them, they sell out in a day or two because they don’t get many of them and then it might be months before they see more. He also said they would not call them “Tempus” if they were indeed some knock off. Good point, the CI special didn’t list a specific line for their “seconds”.
I write on this subject as just another warning to the buyer out there to beware and don’t always believe what you see advertised. When in doubt, call the retailer and confront them head on and the good guys will be honest with you. I’ve never found a more honest, hard working bunch than the guys at tampahumidor.com. Disappointingly, I actually asked Alec Bradley on their FB page if their seconds were really true seconds and as of this date, they have ignored my question. But I think they are one of the good companies out there who as of yet haven’t watered down their brand by introducing a new cigar every day and selling for pennies on the dollar to the giant warehouses out there.
I realize I have now given away a huge secret and will have to wait many months before I can buy the Tempus seconds again at Tampahumidor but part of being a cigar man is sharing the wealth. Enjoy these diamonds at only $2.50 per stick if they still have them!
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