I'm going to be blunt - a cigar named "the Judge" sounds intimidating as fuck.
As a new cigar smoker, a brand's (or individual stick's) name does influence my purchase - especially if I'm left to shop on my own without any help from a tobacconist.
Fratello? That sounds like that cigar could be my brother! Sold! Murcias Especial? That rolls of the tongue. Roger that, ring me up.
Magazine reviews feel lightyears away from what I'm experiencing. Although, I've recently started reading The Hot Ticket's online reviews and find them refreshing and much more approachable.
So, I was thankful for Peter at Casa Hispaniola in Nyack, New York for his help in walking me through that shop's humidor. He asked me some great questions about what I was looking for and what I had been smoking recently.
I rolled through a few cigars and realized that they were all super mild cigars.
"You know what, I'd like to try something stronger." I remember saying to him.
Peter pulled out a couple sticks and went through their flavor profiles and, honestly, they all sounded hard as fuck. Deep oaks, freshly tilled cemetery soil, blood red wine.
I'm exaggerating, of course, but he noted my discomfort and suggested I go for something medium bodied. He walked me through a couple choices and My Father the Judge sounded great. He promised a creamy smoke and a step up from the strength I was used.
And he was right!
It was an incredibly enjoyable smoke, slightly heavier than what I was used to, but I enjoyed it. Definitely a creamy smoke and reminded me of sipping on Cafe Bustello. I remember having this cigar after three days of straight rain here in New York and it helped lift my attitude.