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

Friday, September 28, 2012

CLE Cuarenta 2012 (robusto)

Life has been busy lately, so I'll sneak in this quick review.  I haven't been smoking many Camacho cigars lately.  Jason from Cigars & More recommended that I sample a CLE, made by Christian Eiroa (formerly the President of Camacho Cigars).  CLE are his initials, with Luis being his middle name.

Apparently, the tobaccos used in this line are still somewhat of a mystery. 

1/3: The first few puffs yielded scents of cedar and cinnamon. Mild and smooth to begin, with some sweetness being evident partway through the 1st third.

2/3: The Cuarenta has increased in strength and complexity.  It is more on the medium side, and it has a meaty mouthfeel to it.

3/3: Same meatiness is recognized in the final third.  I also picked up a little hint of hazelnut.

Decent smoke, but it had nothing to really make me excited to try another. 

Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Habano Seed
Binder: Unknown
Filler: Unknown

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Toraño Exodus 1959 / 50 Years (robusto)

Believe it or not, I think that this may be the first Carlos Toraño cigar I've tried.  I don't know why it took me this long, perhaps I just never heard anything all that exciting about the brand.  Regardless, I asked one of my trusted B&M tobacconists to point me in the direction of a great Toraño to start with.  As I've shown a recent preference for punch cuts with my robusto sizes lately, this time will be no different. 

The foot has a distinct smell of cedar.  The appearance shows some visible veins and seams.  After toasting the foot, I'm ready to see what the Exodus 59/50 has to offer. 

1/3: The flavors I'm picking up are first a mild peppercorn, followed by baker's chocolate and some floral.  The burn is good, as is the draw.

2/3: The cigar has been kept at a constant 65/65 for the last several weeks, so I'm not quite sure why it is smoking a little "wet."  It's kind of chewy and moist at this point, which isn't affecting the draw a lot, but definitely to a noticeable degree.  My best description of the flavor is: dirt...  wet dirt.  Shall I call it mud? 

3/3: In the final third, it remains moist.  I'm getting a faint hint of cinnamon, and as I get down to the nub there's some bitterness.  Not overwhelming bitterness, but it is present.

The cigar is middle of the road, as far as I'm concerned.  I took a peek at some other reviews just now, and it appears that my experience was a little different from others' (sweet, creamy, leather, dark chocolate). 

Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca Sun-Grown
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Nicaragua (Esteli & Pueblo Nuevo)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon (robusto)

I've heard that this is one of Rocky's better cigars.  It seems that Rocky has spread himself (and the rest of his family) a bit thin over the last several years.  It seems that everywhere you look there's another X Patel brand of cigars.  Lately, the only RPs I've been picking up when I see them is the Sumatra label.  When I was still mixing milds into my rotation, I enjoyed the Edge Lites, but lately I haven't had much of a taste for the milder side of the spectrum.

At first inspection, the Vintage 2003 Cameroon has an oily sheen on the wrapper.  The pre-light sniff at the foot shows a hint of barnyard.  I opted for my Xikar punch/torch to get things started.

1/3: The first few puffs were unique and pleasant.  There's a good draw, and I notice a crisp finish.  I have a long flap on one side of the cap that keeps peeling back.  I tore it off, and it's not presenting any issues now.  Predominant notes of leather here in the 1st third.

2/3: The leather continues on into the 2nd third.  Medium-bodied describes this one so far.

3/3: This RP was consistent to the finish.  I "nubbed" it, and didn't notice too much in terms of flavor shifts.  If you're looking for a stick with consistent leather, this one's got that.

Size: 5-1/2 x 50
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler:  Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Murcielago Capa Negra (box-pressed)

Murcielago, Spanish for "bat," is a cigar that has been hiding in the shadows for me (pun intended), and has been almost completely off my radar (pun intended again).  EO Brands (Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega) makes this one, with the help from master blender, Don Pepin Garcia.  What isn't Pepin involved with these days?

The appearance of the Murcielago is attractive.  It has a dark brown "Hershey bar" wrapper, with an oily look and feel.  Construction looks good.  As usual, I prefer to toast the foot...and here we go.

1/3: Nice spice to get things started.  Flavors for me aren't so easy to describe, but if pressed, I'd just say "Quality Tobacco."  Approaching the 2nd third, the ash has stayed on quite nicely. 

2/3: Still a quality, aged tobacco taste, now with notes of coffee mixed in.  The burn line is good, the cigar is not smoking hot or anything, and really I'm just enjoying it.

3/3: More of the same.  The strength increases somewhat, but this is definitely a consistent smoke.

I'd have another one of these - quite enjoyable.

Size: 6-1/8 x 50
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Nicaragua

Monday, July 30, 2012

Liga Privada Unico Feral Flying Pig

I was surprised to see this Pig staring at me in the humidor at Blue Havana (Chicago).  Even with the new Illinois tobacco tax (in July it doubled from 18% to 36%), I had to have a taste.  I shouldn't even need to say that I drank the Liga Privada kool-aid awhile ago.  I've liked everything I've tried under the Liga Privada labels, although I'm not a fan of the flavor-infused Acid stuff.  With tax, this stick came out to nearly $24.  Again, I'm only in the city to spend time with friends, so my review will be less robust than when I've got time to myself to truly experience the cigar. 

I gave the Pig a straight clip, used a single-flame torch, and it this perfecto lit right up. 

1/3: Strong start.  After a half inch, the strength quickly settles to medium .  Behind the burn line, I've found a soft spot at least the size of the cigar band.  It does create draw issues at first, however as I turn the cigar and squeeze with my teeth, it eventually corrects.  Another concern reminds me of the first Liga Privada I ever tried, the No. 9:  the ash splits down the center, so that it looks like a tuning fork.  I've never had this happen with any other cigar besides the No. 9, and no No. 9's have performed for me like that since..

 2/3: Cedar flavor is what I've been getting, and it continues here in the 2nd third.  The "forked" ash recovers, and the draw remains acceptable.

3/3:  More cedar for me.  I've seen other reviews where the smokers found hints of berries, coffee, etc., however I did not.  I do have one more stick in the humidor, which I plan to leave for a year.  I'm making the assumption that the combination of a fresh stick and a distracting environment just didn't allow for me to taste these goodies.

Nonetheless, the cigar was another good one from Drew Estate's LP line.  We'll see how it goes after a year of chill-time, but the No.9 and the T-52 are still my favorites for now. 

Size: 5-3/8 x 60
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Nicaragua

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Diamond Crown #4 Maduro (robusto)

When I interviewed Eric Newman back in December at the Diamond Crown Red Carpet event, I picked up a handful of different cigars from J.C. Newman, including a few of these #4 Maduros.  I smoked one that night, and set another in the humidor to enjoy later....and that time is now.

It's a hot day out, so I've chosen to pair this smoke with a Lite beer.  This cigar is very attractive looking.  The dark Broadleaf wrapper gives it a chocolate bar appearance.  It is oily and feels like it has some age to it.  I opted for a straight clip, and as I toast the foot, the aroma is really quite enticing. 

1/3: There's a hint of sweetness on the finish that is instantly noticeable.  I don't pick up any pepper here, but instead find coffee, almond, and cinnamon.  The ash held on nicely, although I knocked it off at 1" to avoid ashing on my lap. 

2/3: The cigar has shifted from medium body/strength to medium-full.  Notes of cocoa have appeared.

3/3: As I start the final stretch, I notice that the draw has gotten a little stiffer, and the mouth-feel has gotten a tad on the dry side.  It's gotten dark, and I have things to do, so I put this down with about an 1-1/4" left.

I do like the Diamond Crowns, and I will buy more of these in the future.  They are flavorful, yet not powerhouses.  Solid choice, and a good box buy.

Size: 5-1/2 x 54
Wrapper: USA (Connecticut) Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic

Monday, July 2, 2012

CAO America Potomac (Happy Independence Day!)

While CAO has some loyal followers out there, I've not been one of them.  Some sticks, I've enjoyed though, including the LX2 and the mild CAO Gold.  I'd had one or two of the America sticks before, but they weren't anything special, and what stands out most to me is the dual wrappers unraveling.  This particular cigar, the Potomac, was gifted to me about a year and a half ago, so timing is good to give it a shot.  If I'd waited to enjoy it at the local fireworks display, I wouldn't be taking notes, so now's as good a time as any.

The design of this cigar is cool.  It's very patriotic looking, with the eagle emblem on the foot band, and the stars and stripes up top.  The double wrapper (Connecticut shade and Broadleaf) are rolled to form a "pinstripe."  Some call it a "barber pole" style, but I did read that because the lighter shade shows considerably less, that it's technically not a "barber pole."  The Broadleaf is oily and a little toothy. The cigar gets to be honored with the "America" name because the wrappers and some of the filler are US grown. 

To avoid any unraveling issues, I've chosen to use a small bullet-style punch instead of the straight or v-clip.  As usual, I toast the foot, and now we're smokin'.

1/3: Notes of quality tobacco and cedar.  The draw is near perfect, and the profile is medium-full.

2/3: This cigar is nothing if not consistent.  No real change to the flavor at this point.

3/3: Same again.  For someone who enjoys a consistent taste from start to finish, this is a stick that accomplishes that.  Personally, I tend to enjoy the twists and turns of a cigar that shifts flavor, however there are times when a simple flavor profile can be a very good thing. 

Size:  5 x 56
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade & Broadleaf
Binder: Brazilian
Filler: Ligero from Nicaragua, Italy, U.S.A., Dominican Republic

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oliva Creates New Serie V

A new Serie V is coming out later this year, and it incorporates an Ecuadorian Sumatra-seed wrapper.  I'm definitely interested in smoking one of these when they hit stores in September.


Oliva Cigars is expanding its Serie V line, the game-changer cigar that turned the company from a producer of bargain smokes into one that is known for making some of the cigar world’s most sought-after cigars.
Oliva Serie V Melanio will debut in August, at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show, and should reach cigar stores by September. The cigars are named after Melanio Oliva, who is believed to be the first in the Oliva family to grow tobacco. Melanio Oliva grew tobacco in the 1800s on a small farm in San Juan y Martinez, Cuba, some of the best tobacco lands in the world.
The new cigars are made entirely of Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos grown by the Olivas, and they are wrapped in Sumatra-seed wrappers grown by Oliva in Ecuador. This is the first cigar Oliva has made using these particular wrappers, and the first Ecuador Sumatra seed cigar from the company other than the Oliva Master Blends 2.
The original Oliva Serie V came out in 2007. “It was the best that we could make, and ever since then we thought of a follow-up,” said Oliva president Jose Oliva, during a long interview spent smoking the new cigars in Cigar Aficionado’s New York City offices. “It had to be as unique as V was.”
Oliva said that several cigars intended as a follow-up to the Serie V were made into other smokes, such as Cain, which ended up too powerful and too unlike the original Serie V to work.
The final blend came from combining Ecuadoran Sumatra seed wrapper with a Nicaraguan blend that emphasized tobacco from the Jalapa region, the area of Nicaragua known for more nuanced leaf than Estelí and Condega. As with the original Serie V line, these are well-aged tobaccos. “The fillers that we use for [Serie V] are our most-aged fillers,” said Oliva. “This used a little more Jalapa. Jalapa adds flavor, but it doesn’t have a lot of body.”
The new cigar brand will come in five sizes: Robusto, Churchll, Torpedo, Petit Corona and Figurado, a smoke Oliva described as a “double-ended torpedo, straight in the center.”
The cigars will retail for $8 to $14 per cigar, making them the most expensive in the Oliva portfolio.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Curivari Reserva Limitada Cafe 52

Here's another ultra-boutique cigar, by Curivari.  I've found the Curivari lines to be pleasant, medium-full smokes.  I see why they are sometimes referred to as Cubanesque.  Instead of the cup of coffee that is usually recommended for these sticks, I went with something sweet - cranapple juice. 

1/3: Woody.

2/3: Some woodiness still present.  Very creamy.  I pick up less of the coffee flavors while drinking juice than I have before with the other lines while drinking a cup of joe. 

3/3: Nothing stands out in the flavor department.

This Curivari didn't change my opinion of their cigars.  Decent, but rather uneventful.  Some people love these, but for me they are just okay. 

Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Friday, June 8, 2012

Diamond Crown Maximus #5

I had one of these a few years ago, and found it to be full of pepper and spice.  I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I might, but after having met and interviewed Eric Newman of J.C. Newman Cigar Co., my interest was renewed.  As many of us know, the Diamond Crown line is produced by Tabacalera A. Fuente.

Palates change and sometimes conditions in which cigars are kept may result in different experiences with the same line (ie. one stick was well cared for while another might have been over/under humidified).  That said, my experience was different this time around. 

The cigar was very firm.  I've had it in the humidor for six months.  I chose to give it a V cut, and I used a flower jet flame to toast it. 

1/3: Initially, I got a very odd flavor on the light, but it quickly dissipated.  I found the 1st third to be quite smooth and velvety.  The aroma was also very pleasant.  In stark contrast to the dark wrapper, the ash looked very white.  The bottom half of the wrapper unraveled a little bit, but the cigar band seemed to keep it from getting too bad.  Flavors of graham cracker and leather.

2/3: The predominant flavor in the 2nd third was what I would describe as "burnt marshmallow." 

3/3: In the final third, I noticed a shift towards cocoa flavor. 

This cigar has some nice variety.  Good smoke, but pricey!

Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: El Bajo Ecudarian Ligero Oscuro Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ashton VSG robusto

Today, I'm blogging about the Virgin Sun Grown (VSG), one of the most successful blends from Ashton.  Blended by Carlos Fuente Jr, and using a wrapper from Ecuador (grown by the Oliva family), all of the tobaccos used in this blend have been "sun grown." 

This cigar is box-pressed, however the lines aren't as sharp as on some others I've smoked.  The wrapper has inconsistent shades of brown, and has visible veins.  I chose a straight cut and toasted the foot before starting up.  Paired with bottled water. 

1/3: Blast of pepper to begin.  Strength is recognizable here, and I expect it to last. 

2/3: Pepper notes continue, with some black cherry.  This is a bold smoke; definitely not weak.  The burning line is slightly wavy, but thusfar there's been no need to retouch or relight.  The taste is distinctly Dominican.  The ash is a little "furry."

3/3: Pepper is still present.  The wavy burn line led to a little bit of a "wrapper flap," but some retouching has corrected it.  As I expected, the final third has some bite to it, but not overly bitter or chary-tasting. 

Personally, I'd put this in the category of Padron's Anniversary series and Oliva's Master Blend 3, however while enjoyable, it didn't wow me all that much.  I think it's the strength, boldness, and price that put it in that group.  I'd gladly smoke another, but I'm not running out to fill up my humidor. (Too dark outside to take a "smoking" photo.)

Size: 5-1/2 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Berger & Argenti Mooch Schnorr

From what I've read, this cigar is marketed to cigar enthusiasts who have friends that like to ask for cigars, yet don't really know anything about them.  You know the friends...  They don't know the difference between a Swisher Sweet and a Cohiba Behike.  There's nothing worse than feeling obligated to give a stick to a friend who wants to see what all the fuss is about, yet knowing full well that after 2 or 3 puffs, that $12 cigar will be snuffed out or left to roll off a table.

I start with a punch-cut for my Mooch, followed by a toasting of the foot. 

1/3: First tastes are predominantly of cedar - pleasant.  The ash held on to about an inch, then fell on its own.  It's off to a mild start, yet it is certainly tasty.  I wonder if the quality here is good enough such that this stick could turn into a multiple-mooch in, "Hey, that was good!  Can I have another?"  The wrapper on mine did crack a little bit, however it did not affect the smoking experience at all really.

2/3: In this third, my taste buds pick up some pepper and a little bite.

3/3:  The pepper lingers, and the strength has increased slightly. 

Bottom line:  This cigar is better than the name (and it's story) might suggest.  For a mild smoke, it's pretty decent.  Any friend who mooches this Mooch should consider him (or her) self lucky. 

Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cohiba Black Corona

I suppose it's been a while since I've had a Cohiba.  I chose to pair this one with Boulevard's "The Sixth Glass."  I decided to use my Xikar punch this time, and lit it up with my normal ritual.  I'll keep this review short and to-the-point.

1/3: This Cohiba maduro started off with a stronger mouth-feel, but gradually mellowed out in the 1st third.  I detected notes of wood and raisins.  The ash dropped off at 3/4".

2/3:  I now pick up black coffee, leather, and a hint of raisin is still present at this point.  The burn isn't perfect, but it's not at all bad. 

3/3:  A slight bitterness and char taste develop in the final third.  Disappointing, but such is the case with many sticks. 

Overall, it's a decent smoke.  Nothing special, but not bad.  I don't typically reach for the 42-ring gauges, but even I like to mix it up a little from time to time. 

Size: 5-1/2 x 42
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler:  Dominican Republic, Mexico

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I've been busy!

...but now that the weather is improving, I hope to not only upload a few of my more recent reviews, but to add several new ones this summer.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tatuaje TAA 2011

Boy, I sure wish I'd been able to jot down some notes while smoking this cigar.  Instead, I allowed myself to get wrapped up in conversation with a pal.  That's okay for me, but sad for you, because this stogie was "Delicious."  At least that's what I wrote down - that's apparently all I wrote down...  Bottom line:  It was good.  They could be difficult to find.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

5 Vegas Gold (robusto)

Review coming soon...  but so far, unimpressed.
UPDATE:  So yeah, I wasn't at all enthused about this cigar.

1/3:  Flavors of honey and cinnamon, but rather than satisfy the mouth, they dried it out.

2/3:  The wrapper started to char in the 2nd third.  The cigar burned like newspaper.

I didn't have the patience to finish this disappointing stick.  The Miami M5 was decent, so this was especially disappointing.  Although, I do admit that I'm not a big fan of milds with light Connecticut wrappers. 

Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan/ Cuban-seed Honduran

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Don Pepin Garcia Blue Generosos

It occurs to me that I have smoked and reviewed this smoke before..  no need to repeat myself.  As is typical with Pepin smokes, this one had the strong, peppery blast following the light.  It then mellowed nicely, and at 1" of ash holding on tightly, one can't deny that Pepin makes a quality smoke. 

Size: 6 x 50
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Saturday, February 25, 2012

La Sirena The Prince

I've got a La Sirena "The Prince" here that has a band that nearly runs the 5 inch length.  Certainly eye-catching.  A guy in the humidor said he really liked them, and the dude behind the counter had good things to say too, so I gave it a straight clip with my xi2 and toasted the foot before drawing on it.  This "Pepin" Garcia and Miami Cigar stick has a nice chocolate bar appearance to it.  The double cap is noticeable but straight.  The band has a nautical theme going on here.  While sitting in one of the old barber shop chairs at Cigars & More, the guy in the chair next to me tells me that he had a hell of a time removing the band when he smoked this cigar.  It didn't give me any trouble though, and while I did have to remove it early (for obvious reasons), I was surprised to see another band beneath it at the halfway mark.  Interesting...  I wonder how much of the cost of this cigar came from the bands.  Underneath the large band, is a rather large vein - fortunately, it doesn't cause any issues with the experience, and it does not extend to the cap.

1/3: Initial blast of pepper on the light.  The strength is evident right up front.  It is full-bodied and full strength, undoubtedly.  After the first inch, it maintains its profile, but really smooths out.

2/3: I'm liking this cigar in part because there are certainly twists and turns, and each puff seems to be better than the last.  This section is predominantly woody, transitioning to rye toast. 

3/3: Additional smoothness and flavor changes into the final third.  Interesting floral notes are present.

I didn't have any expectations going into this smoke, other than that it would be full-bodied, but it was very enjoyable.  You can't complain about a cigar that starts out good and gets progressively better for over an hour.

Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler:  Nicaragua

Friday, February 17, 2012

Four Kicks by Crowned Heads (robusto)

I'm a little late getting this post up, but better late than never!

I've been wanting to smoke this cigar for some time now, yet I kept finding others to smoke first.  This is a boutique cigar label that had generated some buzz several months back.  It was early in the day, so I decided to pair my cigar with black coffee.  I used a V cut, and my usual method of lighting with a torch. 

On the light, some mild pepper to get me started off.

1/3: The first flavor that I recognize easily is wood.  An inch or so into it, and I've got a little bit of irritation on the back of my throat.  Medium strength cigar, I think.

2/3: The volume of smoke has been pretty decent.  The cigar is mellow and enjoyable.  Although the flavors don't exactly jive with the Curivari smokes, for some reason this cigar reminds me of them.  Maybe it's because there was some hype ahead of trying it for myself, but like the Curivari, it's nothing all that special to me.  I'd smoke more, but doubt I'd ever be saying to myself, "Damn!  I sure have a taste for a Four Kicks!"  Anyways.....on with my notes.

3/3: The strength has increased slightly - no big surprise here.  Not a lot of flavor variation in this one.  In the final third, there's a hint of charred flavor.

This smoke was decent.  Just decent.  It didn't wow me, but I was a little surprised to see that it took me nearly 1.5 hours to smoke. 

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

Saturday, January 21, 2012

San Lotano Oval by A.J. Fernandez (robusto)

The cold Midwestern weather, and my hectic schedule as of late have kept me from making more regular entries, but today I get to enjoy a cigar by A. J. Fernandez.  I like the Diesel Shorty, so I plan to make my way through the rest of his blends.

The Oval is an oval shaped (go figure) box-press, very reminiscent of the Oliva Master Blend 3 double robusto vitola.  The wrapper has a nice color, however as I looked through the box I noticed several had messy caps and oily spots.  I chose a Xikar v-cut, and torched it up.

1/3: Earth flavors from the start here, along with some woodiness.  I'm not picking up any spices or peppers.

2/3: This stick is medium-bodied and medium strength.  Notes of grass and hay appear in the 2nd third.  There's a little run on one side of the wrapper, and while I normally would touch it up, I want to see if it corrects itself.

3/3: The strength has increased a little bit here in the final third.  I'm also noticing a slight bitterness on the tongue.  The uneven burn did ultimately correct itself during the 2nd third, however the cigar is needing a little fire to continue burning the way I want it to. 

The stick didn't "wow" me, but it was decent.  At first, I detected some similarities between the other A.J. Fernandez smoke I've been enjoying (yep, the Shorty), but as the cigar progressed, it certainly took on an identity of its own.  I'm still interested in sampling some of the other blends. 

Size:  5-1/2 x 54
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano 2000)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua & Honduras

Monday, January 9, 2012

Alec Bradley Tempus Terra Novo (robusto)

No photo of this one.  I smoked this once before, and wasn't impressed.  I thought I'd give it another shot, since my tastes have continued to evolve since the previous AB Tempus.

The cigar itself looks quite nice.  The wrapper is handsome, and the double-band gives it the premium look.  Now for the taste.  Cut with my Xikar Xi2, toast the foot, and here we go.

1/3: Pepper.  The draw is good, with some nice resistance.  The burn isn't bad, but a little wavy.  An inch+ in, and it's mellowing a little bit. 

2/3: This stick (just like the last one I smoked over a year ago) has gone slightly bitter.  Unfortunately, it doesn't get any better for me. 

3/3: Didn't bother. 

Since the reason for my starting this blog was to keep track of what I try, I'm not going to lose any sleep skipping notes for the final third.  This stick has underwhelmed me for the second time.  Both were purchased at different times, from different places, and were smoked in different conditions.  I think it is safe to say that I'm just not a fan.  While I haven't tried all they make, I've have had some other AB smokes, and so far, the only one I would consider buying in quantities is the Family Blend.  Oh well, to each his own.

Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Honduras Criollo 98
Binder: Honduras, Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras Criollo 98, Indonesian Embetunada

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Interview with Eric Newman, President of J. C. Newman Cigar Co. (12-15-11)

Here are the 3 clips from my interview with Eric Newman, President of J. C. Newman Cigar Company at Cigars & More in Libertyville, Illinois.  It was a pleasure to schmooze and share a smoke with the leader of one of the world's top cigar companies.  

For those who are unfamiliar with the J. C. Newman name, in addition to being a very important partner of the Fuente family, they own the following list of brands:

  • Diamond Crown (plus Diamond Crown Maximus & Diamond Crown Julius Caeser)
  •  Brick House
  • Quorum
  • Cuesta-Rey
  • La Unica
  • Rigoletto
  • Don Jose
  • Trader Jacks
  • El Baton
  • Alcazar
You might also be surprised to learn that J. C. Newman was the first cigar company to use cellophane sleeves for cigars, and they also introduced and popularized the Cameroon tobacco in the U.S. 

In this interview, we cover several topics, including (but not limited to) the company's relationship with the Fuente Family, the brand-new Nicaraguan factory called PENSA (Puros de Estelí Nicaragua S.A.), and what we might expect to see coming out in 2012.  Enjoy!

Part 1 of 3

Eric Newman Interview Parts 2 & 3 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

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