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)
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