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
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