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, 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"


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
Online MarketingAdd blog to our blog directory.