Vir­tuoz­ity heads to Cooz Bar for an in­ti­mate tast­ing event

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Virtuozity - - FINE TASTE -

Ve­gas Robaina Uni­cos

Fa­mous as a cigar that ages well, the Ve­gas Robaina Uni­cos is a clas­sic cigar which lends it­self well to drinks pair­ings. With a ring gauge of 52 and a length of 156 mm, it pro­vides am­ple smok­ing time, leav­ing you free to con­sider the flavours of what you’re sip­ping and smok­ing. What’s more, con­struc­tion is good, with a rea­son­ably even burn and a draw that de­liv­ers great plumes of tasty smoke.

In terms of the flavour pro­file, it’s a medium-to-full-bod­ied af­fair. That said, the first third is no­tably spicy, push­ing the wood and cedar notes into the back­ground. These flavours come to the fore in the sec­ond third, and there’s also some­thing slightly sweet about the smoke that comes out. By the fi­nal third, you’ve got a well-bal­anced mix of cedar, sweet­ness and spici­ness. Cooz Bar is cur­rently one of Dubai’s best-kept se­crets. A lit­tle jazz bar nes­tled within the cor­ri­dors of the Grand Hy­att Ho­tel, it’s warm, charm­ing and comfy, as you’d ex­pect any smok­ing lounge to me. But it’s also quirky, with splashes of clever light­ing and bright colours giv­ing it more of a mod­ern feel than you’d ex­pect from a clas­sic jazz lounge. The re­sult is a light and airy vibe that, at the same time, feels cozy and wel­com­ing. As a re­sult, it’s the per­fect place to hold a small tast­ing event

For this event, held just be­fore the sum­mer re­ally kicked in, we de­cided to go for a slightly off-the-beaten-track pair of cigars—af­ter all, the bar it­self is a well-kept se­cret, so why shouldn’t the cigars be,

too? We went with the ven­er­a­ble Ve­gas Robaina Uni­cos, which, while ad­mit­tedly a clas­sic, we feel is un­der­rated and all-toooften for­got­ten about when you dis­cuss re­li­able sticks.

The sec­ond re­ally was some­thing of a wild­card—the Buena Vista Reserva 2008. Buena Vista as a com­pany is re­ally in­ter­est­ing, wor­thy of its own fea­ture ar­ti­cle, but we’ll stick with the cliffnotes here. The com­pany spe­cialises in cre­at­ing a Cuban flavour pro­file us­ing non-cuban to­bacco (the seeds are Cuban but they’re grown in other coun­tries). This has led to some great pre­mium cigars, but the only prob­lem is, the com­pany it­self has seen plenty of fi­nan­cial trou­ble.

This is where the 2008 Reserva came in. It was ac­tu­ally pro­duced in 2009, but due to the com­pany’s fi­nan­cial is­sues, hardly any were sold. The busi­ness floun­dered, and the 200,000-or-so 2008s that the com­pany had pro­duced sat in a ware­house—up un­til 2013, when MGM Cigars bought the

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