Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro (robusto)

Ah, the elusive Melanio Maduro...  The cigar that took me (what seemed like) forever to find.  I really enjoy the original Melanio.  While I often reach for something complex, I've found that if I'm going to grab a smoke that is consistent all the way through, I prefer that it be something really tasty!  The original Melanio is just that.  The Maduro version hasn't gotten as much fanfare as its older brother, but it's got to be good, right?  Oliva seems to know what they're doing.  I like a lot of what they have been putting out over the last several years.

Anyways, a friend of mine spotted this cigar in Texas for $9.75, and brought it back for me.  It's been in my humidor for about 6 months.

The caps are cut slightly jagged, with one of them being quite large.  There are visible seams and a toothy wrapper.  The shape is an oval box-press.  I opted for a straight cut, and my regular toasting ritual.

1/3: Lots of smoke is billowing from this stick, and it is thick and creamy.  The cigar has a nice, smooth draw, and a woody taste.  The ash is very white, which indicates a high magnesium content in the soil where the filler leaves were grown.  The "eyeliner" is wide, and at 1 inch in, the burn line is looking pretty straight.

2/3: The Melanio Maduro is a medium-full bodied smoke for me, leaning more towards the full side.  My attempt at a retrohale was surprisingly smooth. I'm reminded yet again that the Oliva Series (G, O, & V) are just well-made, very good cigars.

3/3: In the final third, the cigar is burning a little bit hot, but that might be more me than the cigar itself.  I picked up a hint of butterscotch in the last stretch.

All in all, I was not disappointed.

Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: San Andres
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Arganese Connecticut (robusto)

Warmer weather is on its way, so I suppose it's time to kick back and enjoy some new labels.  Advertised as a mild-medium bodied cigar, this would likely not have been something I would have chosen for myself, however it came in a sampler pack, gifted to me by a friend.  (I typically stay away from most Connecticut wrappers - call me a snob, but I find that many taste like newspaper.)  I understand that this was originally a private cigar made by and for Gene Arganese, however they are now mass produced with several blends available.

The appearance of the stick is pretty good.  The label is bold and eye-catching, and the wrapper itself is light-brown, with a double cap.  I used a straight cutter to clip the top.  The pre-light draw is easy, with no distinctive flavors to speak of.

1/3: Not a lot of complexity for me here, which is just fine sometimes.  If I don't have the time to dedicate to truly enjoying all of the nuances of a complex cigar; a simple, consistent smoke can be a good fit.  Mild pepper is what I taste in the 1st third without much of anything else.

2/3: More pepper.

3/3: Same.  If you're looking for a consistent smoke with pepper notes, this one will give it to you right down to the nub.  
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Indonesian
Filler: Dominican

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso

The Punch Bareknuckle is an attractive looking cigar.  That said, I wasn't expecting to be impressed.  Between the lower price point and the lack of that "something special" that I've failed to get from Punch cigars over the last several years, I didn't think this cigar would be at all memorable.  I moved the label from the foot to the top.  The wrapper has a nice, oily sheen to it, but it is not moist, and the belicoso vitola just has a nice look to it.  I opted for a straight cut and torched the foot to get things moving.  I chose to pair this cigar with a Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat beer.

1/3: Nice draw with good resistance.  Billowing smoke is protruding from this stick, and I like that most of the time.  It's medium in flavor and in body.  Very pleasant, and woody notes in the 1st third.  The burn line got slightly jagged, but never got too bad.

2/3: At this point, I'm browsing the auctions for a box.  I haven't noticed any pepper or leather in the Bareknuckle, however notes of wood and dirt are dominant.

3/3: Good cigar to the finish.  I'll be looking for another sometime soon.


Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Sun-Grown
Binder: unknown
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fuente Fuente Opus X Angel's Share

I was lucky enough to be in my B&M on the right day and at the right time to have an opportunity to pick up an Angel's Share.  They tend to sell out fast.  The Angel's Share is a Dominican puro like others in the Opus X series, however the primings are different and lead to a lighter, milder smoke.  I used a straight cut and a single flame torch, and I've chosen to pair this stick with a cup of black Colombian coffee.  There is a nice aroma pre-light, and once cut, an easy draw.

1/3: The dominant flavor from the get-go is cedar.  The smoke is light and crisp, yet smooth and enjoyable.

2/3: This cigar is really quite good!  It's certainly consistent so far.  The wrapper cracked beneath the 2nd, smaller label.  I've also got myself a jagged burn line, but corrected it with the flame.

3/3: The wrapper has cracked under the 1st, larger label now too.  It's started to unravel a bit here, but still maintains a good smoke and equally pleasant taste.

 
Size: 5-5/8 x 46
Wrapper: Dominican
Binder: Dominican
Filler:  Dominican

Friday, May 22, 2015

Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 LC550 by Crowned Heads (robusto)

I bought a couple of these cigars at their 2014 release.  I had smoked one in the shop that day, and I put the other one away to let it settle for awhile, and today seemed like a great day for Round 2. 

I've had a handful of cigars produced by Crowned Heads.  None of them have been crazy awesome, but they've all been good, and none so far have been a bad experience.  This particular line was made in limited amounts, specifically, 1,000 boxes of 24 for each vitola.  So....  this cigar is one of 24,000 made in the robusto size.  The Las Calaveras theme refers to "skulls" which reference the Mexican holiday, Dia de Los Muertos or "Day of the Dead."  It is essentially a holiday which celebrates loved ones who have passed away.  Future editions are supposed to be forthcoming, with different blends for each release.  These cigars were made in the My Father factory. 

The weather is gorgeous, so I've got my tunes, my coffee, some good company, and an hour or two to kill.  I opted to use a straight cut and a torch to get things started.

1/3: The initial taste is slightly sour, but not in a negative way.  It makes me think of citrus.  My black coffee goes well with it.  There are prominent veins visible, and the wrapper has an oily, leathery appearance with some varying shades of brown.  It's certainly an attractive looking stick.  I pick up notes of spice and pepper, before it drifts into a mellower flavor and strength.  From this point on, I'm getting more leather and cream.

2/3: This cigar is very smooth, which is in contrast to the off-the-shelf experience last year when I smoked the first of the two I bought at the time of release.  It was decent then, but the cigar has really improved with age.  The burn line has been decent, with the one exception of a flap that quickly disappeared when I touched it with a flame.

3/3: I nubbed this baby.  Good to the very last draw.  

 
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler:  Nicaragua

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gurkha Centurian Double Perfecto

So, I don't normally smoke Gurkha, nor do I find myself getting into all the Gurkha-hype.  I've seen the ridiculous boxes they make, and often wonder if the box has a greater value than the smokes inside of it.  Still, I'm not a Gurkha hater or anything, I just don't go out of my way to buy them.  My personal opinion is that you never know what you're going to get with the brand.  It seems that they are all over the map in terms of quality and taste.  That said, I was given a Centurian Double Perfecto from someone who had jumped on the $39.99 for 12 deal.  

I looked around a little bit beforehand so I would know what to expect, and the comments I saw were overwhelmingly positive.  I kept seeing remarks such as, "This is the best cigar I have ever tasted!"  I figured, this may not end up being my favorite too, but it's got to be at least decent.  I was wrong.  

Several suggested that even though the head and foot are both open, a clip with the trusty Xikar cutter was still a good idea.  I took a quarter inch off, used a single-flame torch to toast the foot, and got ready to enjoy an ultra-premium smoke on my back porch.  

Pre-light: Smells like rich molasses. Prior to the clip, I noticed a perpendicular slice about a third of an inch long coming up from the foot.  

1/3: Pleasant taste from the initial puff.  The draw is decent, somewhat firm.  Creamy.  Then it goes downhill from there.  A few more minutes go by, and I'm needing to bring the torch to it again.  At the 5-minute mark, it gives me the sense that it's starting to open up to a silky smooth draw.  The burn line, however is uneven.  Next, comes the dry mouth feel.  I finished off my pilsner, and immediately reached for a bottle of water.  As the 1st third comes to a close, I'm reaching for my torch...again.

2/3: I really want to enjoy this cigar, but the draw issues and relights are quickly becoming a nuisance.  The "dry mouth" is pretty awful.  

3/3: I give up.  The draw is poor.  Cutting it again led nowhere, and I'm tired of re-touching this POS. 

I haven't been this disappointed in a cigar in quite some time.  Admittedly, I've only smoked the one, but the guy I got it from wasn't happy with his experience either.  Could it be this particular 12-pack?  I don't know, but I'm not spending a dime to find out.  For those out there that love this stick - none for me means more for you. 

Size: 6 x 60
Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
MSRP: $30+ (can be obtained cheaper via CI deals)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Regius Exclusivo U.S.A. (Fat Perfecto)

From Regius Cigars of London, we have the Exclusivo U.S.A. Fat Perfecto, purchased at Casa de Montecristo in Countryside, Illinois (one of the only places stateside that this cigar can be bought). These are rolled in the Plasencia Factory.  

The Fat Perfecto is a classy looking cigar.  It has a pig tail cap, and a nice leathery wrapper that is fairly light in shade.  I went with a straight clip and a torch to start things off.

1/3:  Good draw.  Right from the get-go, I recognize an unusual, grassy after taste.  I can't put my finger on it, but it seems to be muted roughly 10 minutes in to the smoke.  At this point, the draw has gotten a little more loose, but there is still some resistance.  The cigar seems to be well-constructed.

2/3: That funky, grassy aftertaste is still present.  While this vitola is dubbed the "strongest in the range" of the Exclusivo U.S.A. line, I find it to be mild to medium both in body and strength. 

3/3: The cigar is advertised as one where the "bouquet of flavours and aromas really open."  Not so much for me.  I found the cigar to be quite consistent.  It was pleasant, but the slightly unusual flavor has me debating whether or not I want to try another Regius, possibly in a different vitola at some point.  The burn line was slightly jagged, but resulted in no issues besides cosmetics. 

For me, the best part of the smoke with the final 2 inches.  At this point, I picked up a fullness that I hadn't noticed previously. 
  
Size: 5-3/4 x 60 x 5
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler:  Nicaragua

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Asylum 2012 (torpedo)

Here we have an Asylum cigar from Tabacaleras Unidas, who also runs CLE, amongst a few others.  Christian L. Eiroa and Tom Lazuka founded the Asylum brand in 2012 (as evidenced by text on the band itself, which either references the founding year or the release I'm smoking).  There are 4 sizes of this cigar, however I've chosen the torpedo to sample on this occasion. 

Pre-light, there's a scent of molasses.  The wrapper has a leathery brown appearance, and some veins are visible.  I cut it with a V-cutter and used a torch to toast the foot before putting it to my mouth.

1/3:  The first thing I notice is the great draw.  Notes of mild pepper, and plentiful "at rest" smoke.  The 1st third is pleasant and consistent, although I find the flavors are difficult to identify besides a typical, quality tobacco taste.

2/3: The burn line (as evidenced in the photo) is a little uneven, but not awful.  During the 2nd third, it developed a crack in the wrapper just below the band.  Fortunately, these things didn't translate into draw issues.

3/3: In the final third, the draw has remained good.  The cigar did start to come apart a little towards the end.  It maintained a medium body and medium strength from start to finish. 

This stick certainly had consistent flavor, and I'd say it was a decent smoke.  Others have been able to hone in on more specific flavors, however this particular stick didn't behave that way for me.  This can be due to the humidity/temp it's been kept at (usually 65/65 in my humis), or it's even possible that my palate has weakened as a result of my decrease in cigar smoking since pneumonia a few months back.  The weather is improving, so there's no doubt I'll give another Asylum a try sometime soon.

  
Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Latitude Zero (torpedo)

I haven't seen this cigar in stores, however while purchasing a gift for someone on cbid, I couldn't pass up the chance to try one of these for just a couple of bucks.  While many of us know about Oliva Tobacco Company, others still don't realize that they are unrelated to Oliva Cigar Company.  This cigar comes from the former - Oliva Tobacco Company - and it claims that the tobacco used is only the top 1% of all their tobacco.  The Oliva Tobacco Company supplies tobacco to ultra-premium brands, and from what I've heard, has their tobacco in most of the quality cigars available today. 

I let this one sit in my humidor for around 6 months.  I maintain a 65/65 setting in my humidors, so I was surprised to have this cigar fall apart on me practically from the get-go.  To further disappoint, especially after reading many positive reviews, I found that the tobacco was nothing special.  It's a shame that I only had one to smoke, because it's not a great idea to base an opinion off of a single experience, but the one Latitude I tried was a far cry from what I had expected.

The cigar band was comprised of two bands.  In order to smoke the cigar, I had to remove them both.  The bottom one is the larger of the two, and is a foil map.  The top label (closer to a normal size) has a slit in the middle, where you can see through to the foil map, focusing on, yep, you guessed it: Latitude Zero.

I tend to use my V-cutter for torpedos.  I torched the foot, and got ready to enjoy the top 1% that Oliva Tobacco has to offer.

1/3: Things start of pleasantly.  It went downhill from here.  I noticed a small crack in the wrapper.  It was more of an annoyance when it brushed up against my lip.  I picked up some mild spice through the nose.  Medium-bodied at this point.  Before I am even halfway through the 1st third, the wrapper began to fall apart.  

2/3: By this time, I've had to remove the wrapper entirely.  It looked ugly.  So, here I am smoking the cigar with the binder fully exposed, and no wrapper, which obviously impacts the flavor and the experience.  Some Vitamin N is noticeable (nicotine), although due to being recently sick with pneumonia, I've not smoked many cigars lately, so my tolerance may be a factor here.  

3/3: I didn't get far into the final third before laying this stick down.  The aftertaste was decent, but I was just underwhelmed by the lack of complexity, flavor, and the poor construction.  

I would be willing to try this one again sometime, but the bottom line is that I was very disappointed in this smoke.

 
Size: 6.5 x 52
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador (R13E grade aka Angel’s Cut)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua (Vintage 2010)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A fond farewell to my favorite smoking companion

My sweet golden girl, Charlie, has ended her struggle with cancer (3/11/03-11/19/14).  Enjoying a fine cigar in my yard, patio, porch, and garage will never be the same.  Love you, Charlie.





Saturday, October 18, 2014

Been sick

Not so many posts lately, I know.  Got pneumonia, so I'm taking things slowly for awhile. I've got a lot of great cigars  waiting to be tasted and reviewed, so I'm hoping it won't be too long until you get to read those.

I was the first person to mention the Swisher / Drew Estate pending acquisition, and look what I've stirred up.  Just wow!  I suppose I didn't expect it to go down like that because I just assumed the press release would have gone out shortly after I mentioned it on BOTL.  JD himself was apparently irritated by it, and for that, I'm sorry.  My source is a very reliable member of the industry, and I still believe he knows what he's talking about.

My question remains unanswered even in speculation:  what does this mean to the Liga Privada brands?

10/20/14 UPDATE:
A few good links:
http://www.botl.org/community/forums/showthread.php/76025-Drew-Estate-bought-by-Swisher

http://www.cigaraficionado.com/webfeatures/show/id/Swisher-International-Acquiring-Drew-Estate-17818

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Big news! Drew Estate sells out to Swisher!

Truth.

First, Toraño goes to General, now this..  I'm a little concerned.  Are you?  

What will happen to my favorite: Liga Privada?

I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Supremo EXL (toro)

This is a cigar that hadn't been on my radar.  It was given to me by an acquaintance who said that they are at the very top of his rotation.  A search online yielded very limited information, so I contacted the tobacconist who imports them exclusively.  

Jim Simon is the proprietor of Hill & Hill Tobacconists in Grosse Point Woods, Michigan (outside of Detroit).  Jim explained to me that SupremoEXL is not a private label, but that he owns a factory in the Dominican Republic with 10 rollers and 1 master blender that have been making this line for the past 14 years.  The tagline of the brand, if you will, is that they're "rolled like no other cigar."  Jim claims that this it the best cigar he's had in 48 years in the business.  Apparently, part of the secret behind this special roll is that the filler tobacco is used in wider widths.  These cigars are designed to burn longer than similarly sized cigars from different brands.  There are currently 6 sizes.  They are as follows: 4-1/2 x 45, 5 x 52, 6 x 52 (which was the cigar I sampled, and the #1 seller), 7 x 52, 7 x 60 (torpedo), and the newest size which has been sold for only the last 20 weeks, is the 6-1/2 x 60.  Both the torpedo and the newest size are rolled with 7 long filler leaves, as opposed to the 5 that go into the other sizes.  The cigars are true maduros, unlike several out there that are treated with dyes to get their dark appearance. 

Jim mentioned that nearly two years ago, a man and woman entered the store looking specifically for the SupremoEXL.  While that's not uncommon at Hill & Hill, when pressed for information about the gentleman they were shopping for, they explained that they were President Bill Clinton's Press Secretary and Pilot, who were sent to the store to buy two units of SupremoEXL for the former President of the United States.  

So, how does it smoke?  I've only had this one stick so far, so hopefully Jim Simon sends a couple sizes (vitolas)  my way for me to try out.  The cigar came surrounded by a cedar wrapper and cellophane.  It has a simple gold and black band, and a nice dark brown colored wrapper.  The sweet pre-light scent of molasses and raisins raised my expectations.  I used a punch cut and one of my trusty Xikar torches. 

1/3: The cigar started off very pleasantly.  Lots of smoke present.  The burn line is quite decent.  Some veins are noticeable, but no problem for the burn.  The wrapper has a nice oiliness to it.  

2/3: I picked up some spice in the 2nd third.  The cigar is medium-bodied, medium-strength.  

3/3: In the final third, the SupremoEXL gets meatier.  The burn line started to get slightly jagged, and the ash turned a bit flakey.  

Flavors throughout were a little muddled, but definitely pleasant.  I certainly wish I had a few more to spend some time with, as it was a little challenging to point out specific flavor notes.  All in all, it was a good cigar that I look forward to trying again sometime. Thanks to Mr. Simon for spending the time with me to explain the background of this particular brand of Dominican cigar. 

5/21/15 UPDATE: I never heard from Jim Simon again.  He never sent me those samples, and I don't plan on heading up to Michigan to buy cigars.  I'm interested to hear about others' experiences with this smoke, so hit me up if you get to experience one.


Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: unknown
Binder: unknown
Filler: unknown
Price: $10.95

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Alec Bradley Black Market (toro)

I'm surprised at myself that I'd gone this long without trying the Alec Bradley Black Market.  I'm not the biggest fan of Alec Bradley cigars, but these are big sellers, which suggests that there are plenty of people out there who enjoy them.  I've got no problem investing an hour and half with a new cigar (at least one that's new to me). 

Note:  I sometimes hear people referring to Alec Bradley as "him" or "he."  Many know this, but Alec and Bradley are Alan Rubin's two son's names.   The new Lineage cigar (an offshoot of the Family Blend) is a tribute to the both of them.  I happen to enjoy both the original Family Blends and the Lineage. 

The cigar comes with the band you see below, which is underneath a large piece of paper with branding on it.  Pre-light scent of rich chocolate.  Minor veins are seen in the wrapper. I used a punch cut on the triple cap, and sadly it caused the cap to split a little bit.  It fortunately did not turn out to be a problem for me.  I toasted the foot with a torch, and readied myself for the experience of a new stogie.

1/3: The flavor of cedar is what caught my attention first.  Medium in body and strength, the 1st third is quite pleasant and smooth.  There's a small wave in the burn line, but hey, they can't all be razor straight.  Unfortunately, the cigar tunneled a bit, but nothing too bad that wasn't able to fix itself eventually.  Near the end of the 1st third, I picked up mild pepper and a light citrus or lemon grass flavor.

2/3: The 2nd third saw the shift from lemon grass to orange peel.  The smoke also seemed to get thicker.  Mild pepper showed up again as it transitioned into the final third.

3/3: The cigar strengthens in the last third.  I also noticed more of a presence through the nose.
Size: 6 x 50
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Panamanian and Honduran

Saturday, July 5, 2014

La Antiguedad by My Father (robusto)

I can describe this cigar very simply.  While similar in build and appearance to its older brother, the Flor de Las Antillas (both made by My Father Cigar Co.), it is stronger and bolder.  That's precisely what I wanted when I smoked the Flor de Las Antillas, which was the #1 cigar in Cigar Aficionado in 2013.  The FdLA was consistent, but a little boring to me, and it lacked some strength.  La Antiguedad provides the solid construction that the FdLA has, but it packs more power.

The cigar is oval box-pressed.  Like the FdLA, it has a beautiful appearance, and an artistic, detailed band.  I paired this stick with a nice cup of black coffee.  I cut with a punch, and lit up with a torch.

1/3: Lots of dry smoke right from the get-go.  The draw is very good.  Unlike many in the My Father series, there is absolutely no sign of a pepper burst to get things started.  As I said before, there are similarities to the FdLA, but it's fuller-bodied.  My palate picks up notes of leather, cocoa, and coffee.

2/3: Still plenty of smoke to be had in the 2nd third.  The coffee flavor is dominant here.

3/3: More flavors of black coffee, and the introduction of milk chocolate make their way to my taste buds.  With just under 2 inches left to go, the cigar went out, which was disappointing.

This cigar is worth a try.  I know I'd like to try another sometime.  I've recommended it to friends who liked the FdLA, and nobody's complained.  

Size: 5-1/4 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaragua (Criollo & Corojo)
Filler: Nicaragua
 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Camacho Diploma (robusto)

This is the older label version of the Camacho Diploma.  I've had it in my humidor for several years.  I've been smoking cigars for nearly two decades, but it wasn't until about 5 or 6 years ago that I started getting more serious about them to the point where I wanted to know the details and keep track of what I tasted.  In fact, this blog was really created for that sole purpose.  It seemed more fun than just creating another spreadsheet.  Anyways, the Camacho Diploma was a cigar that a local tobacconist had recommended to me right around that time 5 or 6 years ago.  I liked the look of the cigar itself as well as the classy looking band (which recently changed).  Unfortunately for me, the cigar really kicked my behind that evening.  So much so, that even as my tastes in cigars changed (and shifted more to fuller-bodied cigars), I kept finding other cigars to review, while the Diploma sat in my humidor, repeatedly being passed over.  Not all cigars age well, so this summer seemed like as good a time as any to give her another try.  On the band, it says: Quinto Corte.  That's Spanish for 5th Priming.  The blender for the Diploma was Christian Eiroa. 

Pre-light scent of molasses from the wrapper, and especially from the foot.  Punch cut/torch to light.

1/3: Bold pepper is present at the start.  The draw had too much resistance, so I rolled the cigar in my hands gently to get it to loosen up, and that helped somewhat.  At a half inch in, there's some real "bite," and an uneven burn makes me wonder where this thing is going to go.  I decided to get something to drink, and my selection was Ginger Ale.  It's certainly a full-bodied, full strength stick.  The smoke just sort of coats the palate.  Towards the end of the first third, I pick up some wood flavor.

2/3: The draw seems to be normal at this point.  The cigar is also burning quicker.  I read somewhere that these cigars are packed a little more loosely than what's typical. There's a slightly unique tobacco taste present.

3/3: It's surprisingly mellow as I transition into the final third of the Diploma.  There's still some boldness to it, but it is fortunately not at all bitter or charry.  The burn line isn't perfect, but it has improved.  As I've noticed in many Camacho cigars, if you're not careful, the nicotine will come up from behind and smack you.   
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Honduras (Authentic Corojo)
Binder: Honduras (Authentic Corojo)
Filler:  Honduras (Authentic Corojo)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Illusione R Rothchildes

Now here's a nice little prize!  Illusione puts this little guy out for $3.99 a stick.  This size is perfect for when you just don't have a few hours to kill, but want a premium smoke that you don't have to smoke halfway and leave sitting on an ashtray.  I'm not one for relighting cigars that have been sitting for more than a few minutes, but not everyone's like me.  This cigar is nice and leathery, with a deep brown-colored wrapper.  Some veins are visible, cause, well... leaves have veins, don't they?  I'm still in the habit of opting for the punch cut, so I removed a circular piece of the cap, toasted the foot, and dove right in.

1/3: Woodiness is the first flavor I pick up on.  It's pretty heavy at first too.  Then comes the cocoa. 

2/3: Milk chocolate catches my attention at the beginning of the 2nd third.  There's creaminess present, and the draw is quite good.  At it's strongest, this cigar is medium-strength so far.

3/3: In the final third, the Rothchildes is fuller, bolder, and slightly meaty. 

At this price point and size, I've purchased a handful of these little sticks and enjoyed them throughout the summer.  Good stick and at good price.  Go get you some!
Size: 4-1/2 x 50
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler:  Nicaragua

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Illusione mk Ultra

I'm a fan of the Illusione 88 and MJ12.  mk Ultra came recommended, so why not?  The wrapper is veiny, with a milk chocolate coloring.   I used a small punch cutter and a torch on the foot.  I paired this cigar with some brandy.

1/3: Strong leather notes start this Illusione off. Unfortunately, the burn is rather uneven. It seems to have corrected itself at nearly an inch in. I've seen it compared to the Dirty Rat by Drew Estate (Liga Privada). The ash is not very attractive, in fact it is rather ugly and flaky. The draw, however is pretty good.  Pepper flavor presents itself at about an inch in, along with some floral notes. I'm getting a slight irritation on the roof of my mouth. As I approach the 2nd third, the strength and flavor mellows out, then all of the sudden...

2/3: Bang! It's now burning my tongue a little.  Where did that come from?  A few re-lights are necessary to keep things moving along.  

3/3: More black pepper in the final third.  This stick had become fuller-bodied, and that's very evident at this point.  
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5.1 x 42 

Inch by E.P. Carrillo #62

So much for my review of the Inch...  My review notes somehow disappeared, so I can only comment on what I remember.  I wanted to like the cigar, because E. P. Carrillo makes a decent smoke.  I'm not a huge fan of the the super-chunky ring gauges (60+), but I'm also not opposed to mixing things up every so often.  That said, I remember this cigar not being anything special.  I recall that there was a strong cedar flavor, and that the draw was pretty loose. Others have said that they loved it, so maybe I need more than one stick to draw a solid conclusion.

I'm uploading this post in hopes of adding on to it at a later date, but who knows when I'll buy another one...  If Ernesto Perez-Carrillo (or his daughter, Lissette) wants to send me a couple, I'd be happy to smoke 'em!

Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano, Corjo and Criollo ’98
Size: 5.0 x 62

Nat Sherman Timeless 556

I haven't smoked a Nat Sherman cigar in close to 16 years.  The new branding caught my attention, so I picked up the box-pressed, oval shaped 556.  The smell (pre-light) had a sweetness to it.  I went for a punch cut and toasted the foot, as per my usual ritual. 

1/3: The draw was on the loose side.  The sweetness recognized pre-light is also coming through during the 1st third.

2/3: In the 2nd third, some pepper shows up.  At this point, I would classify this cigar as being medium-bodied.

3/3: I don't always smoke my cigars all the way down, but this time I nubbed it.  It required a few re-lights/touch-ups throughout to keep producing nice clouds of smoke and to keep things burning smoothly.

Overall it was an enjoyable cigar, however I was not overly impressed, which is of some surprise to me as it was ranked #10 by Cigar Aficionado, and while I don't put a ton of stock in what CA's tasters have to say (everyone has different tastes, obviously), I do find myself wanting to try some of the cigars that they rate highly. 


Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5.0 x 56

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

La Palina Maduro 52

This tripled-capped beauty is the Maduro version, released in 2012.  I've smoked a few La Palinas, and I like them!  La Palina is a revival of The Congress Cigar Company’s flagship brand from the late 1800′s.  Bill Paley is the man responsible.  The Mexican San Andres wrapper showed off a nice sheen, thanks to the oils present in the leaf.  Veins were visible, but subtle.  The cigar looks prestigious with that shiny, gold band against the deep, dark chocolate-shaded wrapper.  Sure looks tasty!  I used a punch cut, and a torch to toast the foot, in hopes of getting a good burn.

1/3: Very smokey!  There's plenty of strength in the La Palina, but it's not acidic at all.  Predominant notes of pepper and leather.  Near the end of the 1st third, the burn went on a small run.

2/3: After doing a quick touch-up, the burn was otherwise fairly good.  The cigar is weighted nicely, and is of solid construction, which gives it a good feel in my hand.  Predominant flavors present here of leather and black coffee.

3/3: More coffee and some earthiness finish off the La Palina Maduro 52. 
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Honduran
Filler:  Nicaraguan tobacco (mixture of Corojo and Criollo)
Size: 5 x 52 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hoyo de Monterrey Reposado Sueño (Robusto)

I've had this cigar in the humidor for a couple of years now, I believe.  Finally gave it a shot.  I decided to use a straight cut, and one of my trust Xikar torches.  Veins are present in the Sumatra wrapper, and the color is a nice shade of brown. 

1/3:  Nutty taste and milk chocolate notes.  Of course, some cedar taste is present.
2/3 - 3/3: More of the same.

This is definitely a mini-review here.  The cigar was medium-bodied, but due perhaps to the humidor time, I didn't catch a lot of complexity here.  It was a decent smoke, but didn't blow me away, nor did it turn me off.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, I suppose.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua
Size: 5-1/4 x 54 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rocky Patel The Edge Habano (toro)

Rocky has so many labels out there, it is getting difficult to keep track of them.  When my palate was into lighter-bodied smokes, the Edge Lite was my go-to cigar.  From there, I have enjoyed the Edge Sumatra, and I was excited to try the Habano, since it happens to be a Nicaraguan puro!
Pre-light sniff revealed a traditional tobacco scent.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I used a punch, and quickly became concerned because the draw was really loose (pre-light).  After toasting the foot, and allowing the cigar to do its thing, I ended up not experiencing any issues.  The draw was on the looser side, however once lit, the resistance was acceptable. 

1/3: Predominantly cedar in the 1st third.  Decent burn line, draw corrected itself.  No need for touch-ups or relights so far.

2/3: Thicker smoke is present in the 2nd third.  The experience is very pleasant.  Mild-medium strength at this point. 

3/3: Still no relights or touch-ups.  Notes of spice and pepper become more noticeable in the final third.  Sadly, towards the end, this stick got moist and meaty.  I would try this one again sometime. 
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size:  6.0 x 52

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Curivari Buenaventura BV560

It's been awhile since I've smoked one by the boutique cigar maker, Curivari.  They've been in the States for close to 4 years now, but had a presence across the pond since around 2003.  The Buenaventura (meaning: Good Fortune) was first introduced at the IPCPR 2012 trade show.  It was introduced to me by one of the owners of my favorite B&M.  She explained to me that it was priced very well, and at less than $6 per stick, that's true!  It happens to be a Nicaraguan puro (all tobacco grown in Nicaragua) which tends to be something I like.  Cigar Aficionado just so happened to rate it a 94.  The stick is an attractive one, with a nice wrapper and an oval box-press shape.  They say that the box-press was originally made so that sailors wouldn't risk having their cigars roll around on deck.  I cut it with my punch, and used a torch to toast the foot.

1/3: A slightly unusual taste kicked things off with the Buenaventura, although it was pleasant nonetheless.  This cigar give off plenty of smoke.  The burn line is decent, although not perfect.  Definitely tasting some creaminess here.

2/3: This is a consistent smoke into the 2nd third.  A few relights were necessary.  Some leather, some nuttiness; the flavors remain fairly consistent from third to third. 

3/3: A few more relights into the final third.  The stick got slightly chewy as well. 

This is a nice stick (at a fair price) for when you want to mix things up a little bit.  I don't see myself stocking the humidor with them, but it was a nice change of pace.
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size:5-1/2 x 56

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Romeo Bocados Gorditos by Romeo y Julieta

I don't smoke a ton of stuff from Altadis, but I found a nice closeout price on this size of Romeo.  This cigar is supposed to be an entirely new blend, and it is also a stronger one.  That caught my interest.  This particular size appears to be more limited, based on some research I have done.  The wrapper has a nice oily sheen to it, and some veins are visible.  The cigar is tight and compact, but still allows for a good draw.  The pre-light draw has a pleasant taste.  I cut it with my punch, and toasted the foot.  I chose to pair this smoke with lemonade.

1/3: Initial taste reveals pepper and mild leather.  The burn line is slightly uneven.  The cigar has a nice weight to it.  

2/3: More of a meaty presence, towards the back of the mouth in the 2nd third.  A touch-up was necessary  to fix the uneven burn, which had started to get worse.  

3/3: Cedar notes are present in the final third.  For the closeout price of $3.99, I think I got my money's worth, however I'm not making plans to purchase a box. 
Wrapper: Select Dark Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Piloto
Filler: Dominican Piloto and Olo
Size:4.0 x 60

Saturday, April 26, 2014

HC Series Maduro Belicoso

Another release from Xikar, the Kansas City company that brings you cigar accessories with lifetime warranties, the cigar being smoked is the lower-price point, HC Series Maduro.  Jesus Fuego is the man responsible for this blend. 

Anyways, this cigar has a beautiful appearance.  The Nicaraguan and Dominican long-fillers are draped in an oily, leathery wrapper that looks quite enticing.  I opted to pair this stick with a sweet, caffeinated ginger soda (Ale 8 - tasty stuff!).  I used my V-cutter, and toasted the foot before taking my first draw.

1/3: Right off the bat, the cigar gives off plenty of smoke.  It is certainly an admirable start to a "budget" cigar.  If it proves to smoke well all the way through, I could see myself having several on-hand.  Makes me wonder how my favorite vitola stacks up (robusto size).  The taste is a typical mild tobacco one.  I wonder if my choice in beverage was not well thought out, because I'm tasting mostly soda, and struggling to identify tasting notes of the cigar.  I think I'll need to sample another one...

2/3: Same experience as in the 1st third.  The combination of strong soda and the cold Wisconsin air (yeah, I smoked this one before the weather really started to warm up) are playing with my taste buds.  The stick did require a re-light in the 2nd third, but at this point, I think I've decided to try this one again under different circumstances.  I've heard that the flavor may be lacking a little in these smokes, but I will reserve judgment until I've tried another. 

3/3: Too cold outside to finish it. 
Wrapper: Habano Connecticut Oscuro
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Size: 6.0 x 54

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Nica Rustica El Brujito (toro) by Drew Estate

Somehow, I can't find my notes on this one.  It's by Drew Estate, so it's certainly worth consideration in the local humidor.  I recall that I enjoyed this stick, and that it was a little different than the normal cigar, but again, I can't find my tasting notes.  Oh well, guess I'll have to try another one soon!  Bummer...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

My Uzi Weighs a Ton (robusto) by Drew Estate

This is my second MUWAT, with the first being a smaller vitola.  I found that the pre-light sniff revealed a musty scent at the foot.  The wrapper had a crispness to it, and showed some veins and seams.  This cigar was packed to the brim, although it did not adversely affect the draw at all.  I opted for a punch cut, and as usual, I toasted the foot before puffing away.

1/3: The first few draws were crisp and had a little bit of bite.  The draw is good.  I'm impressed with the quality of this stick, and the white ash (which signifies a higher presence of magnesium in the soil it was grown in) contrasts nicely against the dark shade San Andres Maduro wrapper.  Plenty of "at rest" smoke coming off this one.

2/3: In the 2nd third, the cigar has gotten bolder.  I pick up notes of cedar and leather at this point.

3/3: The cigar is burning hotter in its final third.  The cap fell off, but isn't posing a problem.  I've had no need for a lighter after the initial lighting ritual.  No touch-ups make me a happy smoker!
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Brazil, Nicaragua
Size: 5-1/2 x 52

Saturday, September 7, 2013

HC Habano² robusto

Another release from Xikar, the Kansas City company that brings you cigar accessories with lifetime warranties, the Habano Squared is believed to have been made in Nicaragua at A.J. Fernandez's factory.  This box-pressed robusto by Xikar's HC brand was a cigar that I've been eager to try to see how it stands up against the other HC cigars (Habano Colorado, Criollo, and Connecticut).  I used a punch cut and a torch flame, and paired with a dragonfruit flavored Vitamin water.

1/3: The first thing I noticed was the loose draw.  I was thinking that this cigar was going to make a quick exit into the ashtray, but surprisingly, the draw improved.  After the first few minutes, the draw showed some welcome resistance.  I found the 1st third to be on the dry side, with notes of white pepper. 

2/3: Much improved and consistent resistance on the draw.  Notes of chestnut appear in the 2nd third.  To describe the physical traits of this stick, I found the wrapper to be a nice leaf that produced a slightly jagged burn line.  Visible, yet smooth veins are noticeable.  Throughout the smoking experience I dealt with some tunneling, but not too bad.  No soft spots.

3/3: In the final third, the cigar picked up some strength.  Woody notes make their way to my palate.

Good stick.  Will I reach for it over the Criollo or the Habano Colorado?  Maybe not, but I'd smoke one again.  The box-press reminds me of some other cigars out there now with the oval-shaped box shape, i.e. Oliva Master Blends 3, San Lotano Oval, etc.



Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Binder: Honduran, Nicaraguan, Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan, Ecuadorian Sumatra

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Oscuro vs. Maduro

I found this article from Stogiefresh.com, and thought it was worth sharing for those that do not know the differences between a Maduro wrapper and an Oscuro.

"Maduro and Oscuro - The Basics"

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

La Dueña Robusto No.5

So many good cigars today have the Garcia family's influence behind their blends, and so La Dueña comes not from Don "Pepin" Garcia or his son Jaime, but for Pepin's daughter, Janny.  Pete Johnson is responsible for the blending of this cigar, which is produced via the My Father Cigar Co. 

The cigar is dark and leathery, finished up top with a triple cap.  I chose to pair it with Boulevard's Long Strange Tripel.  I used a punch cut and toasted the foot with my trusty Xikar torch.

1/3: As per most Pepin cigars, we start off with a pepper blast.  Near the inch mark, it mellows, and becomes far less intense.  Leathery notes and hints of sweetness are present.

2/3: Predominantly notes of cedar throughout the 2nd third.

3/3: In its final third, the cigar starts to get a little moist, and an earthiness flavor develops.  At this point, it did require a touch-up. 

A decent smoke, but nothing that drove me to run out and buy a box. 
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf, Nicaraguan
Filler:  Nicaraguan

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Siglo II Limited Reserve VI

I didn't get a photo of this one.  It had been a freebie cigar from my B&M.  I hadn't planned to write it up, so I'll just share a few brief comments, and a stock photo.

I used punch cut and toasted the foot with my torch. 

1/3: Cedar and pepper
2/3: Mild pepper, tobacco
3/3: Same, nothing new.


















Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Cubano
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan

Arturo Fuente Magnum R44 Rosado




This cigar came recommended to me, so I was happy to try a Fuente that I hadn't experienced before.  I used a punch cut, and noticed a slightly sweet pre-light draw.  The cigar has a slight box-press.  The wrapper has a reddish appearance, and appears to have a triple cap.  There are some noticeable veins, but they are thin and not protruding much.  As usual, I toasted the foot, and this time I've chosen to pair my cigar with Boulevard's The Sixth Glass.

1/3: Upon lighting, there is pepper.  

2/3: Predominantly notes of bakers chocolate and coffee.

3/3: A hint of raisin.

The burn line was a bit jagged throughout, but no runs.  The ash was also a little bit flaky.  The cigar was satisfying, with a good draw throughout.  No bitterness or acidity to the very end - I nubbed it. 




Size: 4-7/8 x 47
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Rosado Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler:  Dominican

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

CAO Osa Sol Lot 50

On a bright, sunny day, I thought: What better day to try the CAO OSA SOL?  I'd given this cigar over a year's worth of humidor time.  I used a punch cutter, and then my torch to toast the foot.  For a change, I paired it with a nice, cold glass of pink lemonade.

The cigar was a little veiny, and the cap had some wrinkles in it.  Construction and appearance could be better.  This was the first new cigar to be released by CAO after some changes in leadership, i.e. Tim O. leaving the company, General Cigar takeover, etc..

1/3: Honestly, I found the flavors to be a little difficult to describe.  Ultimately, I'm going with earth and mild to medium tobacco. The ash fell on its own after about 1-1/2 inches.

2/3: Taste has shifted to leather.  From here on out, the cigar is burning hotter and the at-rest smoke has increased.

3/3: More of the flavor that I tasted in the 2nd third, however the cigar never cooled off, despite me slowing down (I wasn't smoking fast to begin with).  I didn't want it to go out, which it didn't, but the heat made it annoying to smoke. 

 Overall, the cigar wasn't bad.  As you can see from the photo, the burn line was actually pretty good.  Nothing about the cigar was exceptional, however.  I would smoke it again, but I'm not going to be seeking it out. 


  



Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Honduran Olancho San Augustin Sun Grown
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler:  Nicaraguan and Honduran

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Onyx Reserve Mini Belicoso





This particular stick was given to me in October 2012 by a friend who had a box of these stored since 1999. Because the box was intact, the box-pressed shape held all this time.  I kept it in my humidor until July 2013. 

The cigar still has a rich, strong scent, with "barnyard" being more noticeable at the foot.  There was a whitish-powdery substance on the cap, which I clipped off with a straight cut.  The appearance of this cigar is dark, oily, and leathery, with some subtle veins.  I toasted the foot with a single-flame torch. 

1/3: Smooth and buttery.

2/3: Notes of toasted bread in the 2nd third.

3/3: Mild, but pleasant char taste to accompany the tobacco flavor. 

This cigar held up quite well, for being 14 years old! 




Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Blackened Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler:  Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru

Friday, May 10, 2013

Foundry #4 Cayley

I had noticed these cigars at the shop in Libertyville because of their unique packaging.  Definitely a gimmick by General Cigar.  Nobody there at the time had any real comments to make, so I wasn't up for justifying the purchase of a $10 cigar because of the metal gear-shaped ring around it and an odd cut.  

Recently though, this size went on 50% clearance - due to customers not being a fan of the size.  Why wouldn't I give it a shot?  Some looking around online suggested that I might find this to be an inconsistent cigar that was more in the mild-medium category.  Perfect for a Sunday morning after breakfast!


 

1/3: Mild and buttery. The burn line is quite good despite the 45 degree cut at the foot.

2/3: Some increase in strength in the 2nd third.  This cigar still doesn't not exceed the medium category.  I'm a little surprised how the burn line completely corrects itself.  I was half-expecting it to run, but alas, it did not.  

3/3: I opted to keep the metal band around the paper one, as it made it easy to grip the cigar as well as providing a "stand" to keep it from rolling off the table when I put it down.  I left it on a little too long because by the time I was ready to remove it, the heat of the cigar had caused it to swell to the point where it became a little tricky to remove the metal ring.  I managed to remove it without busting the cigar, thankfully. 

Good to the last draw!

I don't know if I got lucky with this one, or if others with issues simply tasted from bad batches.  At the reduced price, this one is a no-brainer.  For $10 a stick, I still wouldn't steer people away.  Milder cigars work for me sometimes....  around breakfast time!
 
Size: 6-1/2 x 60 (6½" x 60 x 56 x 43)
Wrapper: Connecticut (aged 8 years)
Binder: ?
Filler:  ? 5 unidentified countries (4 non-traditional)

La Palina El Diario (robusto)

This is a Honduran cigar I hadn't been too familiar with, but was recommended by someone at my favorite B&M.  I must say, it's a good stick!  I used my punch cutter and my torch to toast the foot.  Unfortunately, I was meeting a friend this evening for a little celebration, so I did not do a full (or even a mini-review).  The cigar was good enough however, to put an entry on the blog.

The pre-light sniff revealed a deep earthy/musty smell.  I could tell there would be some richness, and I was right.  This cigar produced a nice amount of thick smoke - another thing I like.  It wasn't as much as you'd expect from a Liga Privada T52 (lots of smoke!), but quite enjoyable.

Sweet and spicy with a medium-bodied profile. 
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo ’99 Rosado
Binder: Honduran Criollo ’98 (x2)
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98

La Perla Habana Black Pearl Rojo (robusto)

I got this stick in a trade of budget cigars.  Produced at the Toraño factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, Black Pearl has several variations, and they seem to have a decent following. 

As per my ritual, I toasted the foot w/ my torch.

1/3:  The cigar is nice and firm.  The draw is on the tighter side, but acceptable.  Medium-bodied.  As with a a few other cigars I've had from time to time, I pick up a flavor that is difficult for me to describe.  Maybe it's nutmeg..  however another reviewer referred to it as a combination of tea and clove.

2/3:  The cigar is pretty consistent so far.  It is better than I expected, but that shouldn't mean too much as I hadn't done a lot of research into this brand before trying it.  I am used to seeing them in the catalogs rather than in the local B&Ms.

3/3: A little stronger in the final third, but still remains consistent.

I'd try it again, or at least another from the Black Pearl series.


 
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Habana Criollo
Binder: Habana Criollo
Filler:  Nicaragua

Sunday, April 28, 2013

La Aroma de Cuba EE #2 (robusto)

Here's yet another cigar with Don "Pepin" Garcia's influence all over it.  This is an attractive looking stick.  The foot smells nutty, and after a punch cut, the pre-light draw is good.  There is a triple cap, and some visible veins.  The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper is a caramel color.  It's a beautiful 72 degrees outside, and I'm enjoying a Lite beer with this one.  I toast the foot, and we're off...

1/3: I'm hit with mild pepper from the start.  Plenty of nice, billowing smoke.  The pepper leads transitions into leather.

2/3: Pretty good burn as I head into the 2nd third.  The line is imperfect, but I'm having no issues or needs to relight/touch-up.  The Edicion Especial smokes a little heavier in this third.

3/3: Continued notes of nuts and leather through to the finish.
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5.0 x 50 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

La Tradicion Cabinet Series P Cameroon Edition (Corona)

This cigar was recommended by someone at my local B&M, after I'd stated that I wasn't a big fan of most Perdomo cigars.  Personally, I find that they tend to smoke like rolled-up newspaper, which is not a taste I crave when I'm looking for a good cigar.  Many people love them, so I chalk it up to personal taste.

I used one of my Xikar guillotine cutters and a torch.  I paired this smoke with a water, after having chugged plenty of coffee just before.  This was a Sunday morning breakfast smoke.  I noted a fainted scent of tobacco, pre-light.  Nothing distinguishable, and not very strong.

1/3: Medium tobacco, with a wood chippy taste.  While it's not a poorly made cigar by any stretch, the flavors reminded me of something I might pick up at a gas station if I was desperate for something to smoke.  The draw is good.  Medium-bodied with a little bit of bite here and there.  Nothing special.

2/3: The cigar has gotten a little bit stronger.  No distinct flavors are apparent for me yet.  I would assume that this cigar goes well with a cup of coffee.  I'm glad I decided to make this one an earlier in the day smoke.

3/3:  More of the same.
   
Size: 4-1/2 x 44
Wrapper:  Cameroon
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Aging Room M356 Rondo by Habana Cuba Oliveros (robusto)

I was up for something new this past weekend, so I took the advice from the tobacconist, and chose the Aging Room M356.  I was told that it had more strength than it's younger brother which has a Sumatra wrapper (tempting), so I gave it a shot while watching some college basketball.  I used a punch cut, and toasted the foot before the first puff.  The same company makes the SWAG cigars - which I've not yet tried.  This particular line is a "Small Batch," due to the limited tobaccos used in the blend. 


1/3: Spiciness up front, with some pepper.  The cigar has good weight to it, and has an attractive, medium-brown wrapper.  No overly visible veins or seams on this stick.  The ash hung on solidly for about an inch before I knocked it into the ashtray.  Good draw.

2/3: In the 2nd third, there is complexity (which I tend to enjoy), and some floral notes.  As I approached the final third, the cigar didn't go out, but did require a touch up or two to keep things moving.

3/3: This stick ended with a strong finish, however it never got bitter or char-tasting. 

I'd smoke it again.  The price wasn't exorbitant, relatively speaking.  I didn't find anything I loved about it, but I also couldn't find much that I didn't like about it.  Definitely worth a smoke if one has not tried it before. 

















Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Dominican Republic (Habano)
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Uzi Weighs a Ton (MUWAT) Bait Fish by Drew Estate

I'm a fan of the Liga Privada line, so I've been waiting to try the MUWAT.  I haven't been a huge fan of these 6 x 60 sizes, so I waited for something smaller to come out.  I walked into my local B&M recently, and there was the Bait Fish.  My smoking accomplice, Bret, snagged one for me, so I jotted down just a couple of notes since I wasn't planning on doing a review that evening.  I'm told that this is a joint venture between Drew Estate (Subculture Studios) and Joya de Nicaragua.

1/3: Pepper is the dominant flavor here.

2/3: Smooth.  Rich and hearty.  Cocoa and coffee.  Definitely a unique and complex flavor profile.

3/3:  The shop was closing, so I got part-way through the final third, but had to leave it burning.  This wasn't my first stogie of the evening.

I was a little rushed while smoking this one.  I do plan to give it another go.  It was certainly interesting.  It definitely did not remind me of the LP No.9, T52, or Undercrown lines. 



Size:  4 x 44
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Connecticut Shade
Filler: Nicaragua & Brazil (Mata Fina seed)

Flor de las Antillas by My Father (robusto)

I'm finally uploading my review for the Flor de las Antillas that I smoked on November 22, 2012 (Turkey Day).  I'd already had 3 or 4 of them prior to the review, so I knew that I enjoyed them.  These were presented to me by the manager of my favorite B&M as a great smoke with a reasonable price tag, put out by the My Father Cigar Co.  It's too bad that I hadn't uploaded this review sooner, seeing as now it (in toro size) claims the #1 spot on the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 list for 2012.

I see a double cap on top of this moderately firm stick.  I gave it a punch cut, and a quick toasting of the foot with my torch.

1/3: Flavors of buttered rye toast and leather.  Not your typical MF cigar.

2/3: Medium strength and body.  A slight dryness is present, but not much.  I expect that this cigar would be complimented very nicely with a cup of good coffee or espresso.  Near the end of the 2nd third, I pick up some floral notes.

3/3: As can be expected from a box-pressed cigar, the burn was not razor sharp, however besides that, there were no burn issues to be had.  No relights is a good thing in my book.

I find this cigar to be relatively consistent, which is a departure from the regular My Father line.  This is a good smoke, I like the size, and the price is certainly fair.  I'll be smoking more of these for sure.
 

Size: 5 x 50 (oblong box-pressed)
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Sun Grown)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tatuaje Cojonu 2006

There were a few different Cojonu sticks to choose from at the Binny's in Schaumburg when I was visiting in early September, but I opted to go with the 2006.  This one is very firm, and the foot smells of molasses with a touch of floral.  Based on the shape, I chose to use my V-cutter. 

1/3: Good draw.  Flavors include black pepper, graham cracker, and leather.

2/3: Toasted bread.

3/3: More of a traditional tobacco flavor.




Size: 5-1/2 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Shade Grown Viso
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler:  Nicaragua
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