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Vegas de Santiago 6×50 Torpedo “Cafe con Leche”

Greetings Lords and Ladies of the Leaf!

It’s ‘//otan here again and it’s been a long time since I have stepped fingers onto this blog. Obviously fall time is the busiest time of year for me, and unfortunately I didn’t have very much tucked away so that I could continue to post while I didn’t have the time to smoke.

At any rate, you certainly don’t care much about that. I’m ready to get on with a review for you. You see, a few weeks ago we got a stock of sticks from Costa Rica, the Vegas de Santiago brand. According to http://www.vegassantiago.com these cigars are special because they are grown in volcanic soil at 1100 meters (3500 feet). All labor is done manually and the techniques were inherited from the local indian tribes. The tobaccos are aged for 3 years at a minimum.

At any rate, I’ll get on with the review! Enjoy, and my recommendation is that you get yourself some of these Vegas Santiago cigars and start enjoying them today.

Vegas de Santiago Torpedo “Cafe con Leche”

Length: 6 x 50

Country of Origin: Costa Rica

Wrapper: Costa Rican

Filler: Costa Rican Long Filler

Binder: Costa Rican

Cost: Samplers start at $9.00

PRELIGHT RITUAL – 10/10

Wrapper/Appearance: 2/2 – One small scuff, otherwise it was really nice. The wrapper was dark brown, and had no veins in it. The feel was silky, and heavy for this cigars sie.

Cap: 2/2. Even and well rounded, evidence of a very experienced craftsman/woman.

Band: 2/2. The band was even and well placed. It was a black and gold with embossed letters. Very eye pleasing.

Smell: 2/2. There was a light tobacco smell, and there were hints of grassiness that were evident. The scent also had a small aroma of coffee.

Prelight Draw/Lighting: 2/2. The draw was open and unobstructed. There were faint hints of tobacco and coffee. Very mild.

FIRST THIRD

After all of the things that I noted when I was going through the pre-light ritual, I was really expecting this to be a great smoke. And actually, despite my prior disappointments with cigars, I could honestly say that I one hundred percent was not disappointed. There were tasting notes of coffee, with a creamy finish. The smoke had a very mild mouth feel. There was quite a nice taste of coffee in the tasting notes. There was a ton of rich smoke, with lots of thick dark gray ash. I’m usually an asher of cigars pretty prematurely, but this ash stayed nice and tight.

SECOND THIRD

The opening of the second third of this cigar found me pleasantly surprised. It was still a very mild smoke. There were tasting notes of coffee, with a hint of chocolate and several whiffs of cedar. The tobacco continues to burn evenly producing lots of dark thick ash. Towards the end of this third, it transitioned into a very nice hint of spice. The predominant taste remained coffee however. Though, to my palate, I think I found it to be very pleasantly reminiscent of all-spice, with a hint of butteriness in there as well.

FINAL THIRD

Smoking in the garage. At any rate, the cigar transitioned nicely into a spiced warm tasting. The title of the cigar is “Cafe con leche” and so far it was working on producing. This cigar continued to have a mild mouthfeel, and it continued to work on the tasting notes of coffee. It seemed here, though, that the cigar was packed loosely towards the top, because it started to burn really quite hot. It didn’t mess with the flavors too much, to be quite honest, as in some cases where the flavors char instead of melding together.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE:

Wow. What a really nice cigar. I really enjoyed it, and for what I paid for it, it was totally worth it. Actually, normally I’m not a fan of mild/medium bodied cigars – but in fact, I think that this smoke is incredibly complex. The makers here have a great thing on their hands. This smoke was a great experience, it provided two hours of smoking comfort on a reasonably warm day in the middle of October. One of the things that I really enjoyed was that the cigar continued to remain mild and medium bodied throughout, one spice note did not ever overpower another note. It really tasted quite nicely. On to the recap!

THE RECAP

Prelight: 10/10

Smoking Experience: 8/10

Overall Experience: 8/10

Total Score: 26/30. 

 

Well folks, it was good to spend some time with you again. I hope that you enjoy reading the review, and after all, it’s what it’s all about, just enjoying the moment. It’s been too long. Have a great week ladies and gentlemen.

Prosit!

‘//otan

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Cigars Rated

 

Kentucky Gentleman “Fire-tipped Robusto”

Greetings Lord and Ladies of the Leaf!

FIrst I should apologize – life it seems, has caught up with me! And I don’t have much of a stockpile built up of cigar reviews. However, this one is rather special, a few weeks ago, my wife and I visited the Kentucky State Fair – and as usual, at the state fair was the proprietor of “Kentucky Gentleman’s Cigars.”, Allen Mobley. After chatting with him for about thirty five minutes, I handed him $30.00 and asked him to prepare for me a flight (for my wine tasting friends) of cigars. I ended up with ten cigars (so not a bad deal, right?) including this fire-tipped robusto.

I promised Allen that, good or bad, I would review his cigar and post it on the blogosphere. Therefore, this review is a “making good” on a promise. One of the things I would like to remind you is that K. and I are not professionals. We’re just two good friends that are sitting on the back decks of our houses, our garages (most often huddled around a heater), and then we’re used to having good wine. Our palates are completely different, and well – we’ll just get on with the review, shall we?

KENTUCKY GENTLEMAN “FIRE-TIPPED” ROBUSTO

Filler: Dominican Republic

Binder: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Connecticut Shade

kentuckygentlemancigars.com promises:”

This well-rolled, blonde churchill is set-off by the unique, redish-brown cap. It is easy-drawing, and the burn even at the heart of the cigar. The aroma consists of fig and cedar, and the ash is powdery white.

The “Fire-Tipped” is creamy with cedar and cocoa, and has a peppery, spicy finish. It is a perfect compliment to a snifter of fine Cognac or a lush Pinot Noir or Petit Syrah.

The cigar is an ideal after-dinner smoke, and it will quickly climb the lists of the enthusiasts who prefer mild.”

PRELIGHT RITUAL: 8/10

The first thing that I noticed was the “fire-tip” which was uneven and looked like a piece of shoe leather on the tip of the cigar. Allen said “This stuff wont burn, it just gets wet and flavors the cigar with a nice bourbon flavor. It’s great, you’ll love it.” But it was not aesthetically pleasing. There were several issues and chips that could have been the fact that the cigars didn’t travel well from my car at the fair to the humidor at home. An OK cap – slightly uneven and rather sloppily applied gum to hold the smoke together. A big bold “Kentucky Gentleman” with the thoroughbred and it was really well done. The pre-light smell was really nice, consisting as promised mostly of cedar with hints of fruit, and a small amount of leather.

On to the SMOKING! FIRST THIRD …

Well, what can I say. This cigar might be the most disappointing thing I have ever had the displeasure of smoking. And yes, I have $30.00 worth of them in my humidor, and yes, I’ll probably smoke them. At any rate, the cigar promised an easy draw, which it delivered. However, the fire tip that Allen promised was a chewy mess after the first few minutes of smoking. It also did not impart the bourbon flavor, but rather it contributed an acidic, almost chlorine taste to the cigar. There was a hint of the cedar flavor, but it was combined with that acidic tart taste. The ash, was disappointing, not the thick white of a well aged cigar, but instead it was a wet gray color. It could have been a sign of the immaturity of the tobacco, or perhaps some errors in storage or in the fact that the tobacco was rolled wet. I did however, continue to smoke until the second third … at least.

SECOND THIRD

This is where I finished smoking. Unfortunately, I could no longer endure the bitter taste, after being acidic it turned metallic and more pronounced. I tried pulling off the “fire-tip” but it was unfortunately, an embedded taste. So, maybe my judgement call on the fire-tip was rather premature. That’s why I’ll be giving the Kentucky Gentleman another chance in a future episode of the classiccigar blog!

So to recap – the Kentucky Gentleman Cigar is still a work in progress. However, I do have one small issue, the “Kentucky Proud” label. This is a label that is granted by the Kentucky department of agriculture. According to http://www.kyagr.comKentucky Proud is Kentucky’s official farm marketing program.  Administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and funded in part by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, Kentucky Proud is designed to improve Kentucky’s economy by increasing the value of Kentucky grown and raised farm products.  Membership is free and is open to any Kentucky farm or other business which grows, raises or manufactures food and agricultural products in Kentucky.” When discussing with Mr. Mobley, he mentioned that his tobaccos were not Kentucky raised, which to me meant that his cigars are “Kentucky Assembled” rather than Kentucky Proud.

RECAP

Pre-light: 6/10

Smoking 6.5/10

Overall Experience 2/10

______________________

TOTAL : 14.5/30 points

One of the most disappointing smokes that I have experienced. However, since I have another one sitting in my humidor, I believe that the next one has to be better. Again, I do want to reiterate that while I did not enjoy the cigar, you might.

Thanks for reading!

‘//otan

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Cigars Rated

 

“Mystery Smoke”

Greetings and Salutations Lords and Ladies of the Leaf!

It’s September 11th, 2011, and while this is not a politically themed blog – it would be remiss of me not to mention that on this anniversary of the largest Terror attack on American soil ever, that I was in a somber mood this morning. Living where I live in the United States, I have a unique perspective and respect for the men and women of our Armed Forces, and their service. Being the son of a Police Officer, I also recognize the unique sacrifices that are made day in and day out for those that are first responders.

Now that I have mentioned the sort of somber mood that I have been in today, on with the review! … the “Mystery Smoke” that Kaleehb gave me. Enjoy! I should note, that normally I would give you the specifications, but since I really didn’t know them – I will keep them to myself until the end! Also I’ll briefly apologize for my absence, as always life has decided to interfere with my hobby, and to be honest, this hobby is what makes slow down and just sit – so it was sorely missed.

At any rate – here we go!

As you’re looking at that picture you’ll note that I have not opened the envelope, and that the band has been removed from the cigar. After aging in my humidor for a few weeks, I was pleased with the suppleness of the cigar. The dark wrapper had medium veins running throughout it, and the pre-light scent smelled of cedar and sweet tobacco.

THE FIRST THIRD

The first third began with a woody flavor. There were minor notes of coffee that took a complimentary, almost background flavor to the cigar. There was also a spiciness that started rich, almost peppery and transitioned into a sweet caramelized flavor. The ash was tight – but dark gray indicating to me that the tobacco may have been rolled when it was wet, or underaged. Either way, the first third was a satisfying experience.

THE SECOND THIRD

The second third remained very much the same. The woody flavors predominated, and the sweet caramel and the espresso flavors maintained their integrity. All in all this was a great tasting cigar at this moment. One of the biggest issues that I found with this cigar was the uneven burn. About mid way into the smoking process the cigar went out – which was disappointing, but overall, there were minimal relights (A total of two, and three evening out burns.)

THE FINAL THIRD

For the last third, there were very few changes. The woodsy flavor predominated, and the caramel and espresso flavor remained, and it was muted, though I thought it balanced out pretty nicely, considering the trouble that it had maintaining a consistent light, and burn. The ash was tight, and maintained that way the entire smoking processes. I ash my cigars a little more than most people, because I don’t like the gray flecks that inevitably end up on my shirts and shorts but, this one it was unnecessary for me to do that – it stayed fine.

THE REVEAL

Ready to find out what I was smoking? Me too!

Rocky Patel “Cuban Blend”

Wrapper: Honduran Maduro

Binder/Filler: Honduras

Size: 6 x 52

Price: $16.80 for a five pack

Overall Experience: This was an interesting experience – I have yet to have a Patel that I enjoyed … until this one. I think that this was a Cosmic Kaleehb joke, and he wanted to prove that the blend is where it’s all at. I wouldn’t go so far as to call this one a “stellar” smoke, it had its fair share of problems, but it was good – there was just the right amount of spice in the stick and there was a nice sampling of both coffee and caramel, the best thing about the smoke was it was just the right size.

THE RECAP:

Prelight Experience: 8.5/10. The cap was a little rough on this particular cigar – the trademark of a Patel I always thought was the meticulous way that he rolled his cigars. This one was slightly disappointing. Also, there were several soft spots in the stick that were minor, but there were more than one. So I considered it a sign of either settling or perhaps one that escaped quality control. Either way it was not too much of a detriment.

Smoking: 8/10. The problem here was that I had to relight the thing twice, and then I had to touch up burn to even it out a grand total of three times.

Overall Experience: 9/10. One of my favorite cigar experiences. The tasting was so complex and rich that I really just enjoyed it. I take back a few of the nasty things I’ve said about Patel’s smokes. I’d buy a box of these in a heart beat.

TOTAL SCORE: 25.5

Not a bad smoke. I don’t think I will buy a box of them, but I do think having a few on hand as a go-to smoke (such as my Padron 3000 or the Tatuaje Havana IV) would be a good investment in my humidor. So, thanks, Kyle for the cards as well as for the smoke, and don’t get used to this, but I’m putting it in print, that I was wrong. Maybe there is a good Patel out there, and you found it for me. Enjoy your week my friends! It’s good to be back with you!

‘//otan

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Cigars Rated

 

Illusione HL “Holy Lance” Lancero

Greetings Lords (and Ladies) of the Leaf!

You’ll notice that things are speeding up here at the Classic Cigar Blog – we’re back for another review. It is good to be together again, smoking a cigar made by Illusione again. Here’s what the website has to say about it: ” Lancero , the lance. Get it? Constantine was the first Christian Emperor to lead Rome. It was fabled that he had possession of the very spear that punctured the side of Jesus while on the cross. He was said to carry this relic into battle and, it was said that it helped him win many battles. It is an artisan blend and, the mildest of all my cigars.”

Let’s see how this goes. First – relating back to ambience in smoking- it was a mild seventy six degrees or so here – so it was a perfect night to sit out and smoke a cigar in my “smoking room” That’s the deck, for those of you following along at home. Here’s a picture.

THE SPECIFICATIONS

Length: 7.5

Ring: 40

Style: Lancero

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Cafe Colorado -Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Binder: Nicaraguan

Bear with me, I’m on a picture taking mission. Enjoy!

THE PRE-LIGHT RITUAL

My favorite part of the whole thing. The wrapper was nice- just right. It had no huge veins, and no tears. Like all lanceros, they were light, but this one had only one soft spot. The cap was even, a nice triple seam with a deft pigtail on the top. The band was true to the Illusione type, and it was simple, classic, and even sexy. The smell was of cedar, and was nice and woody. A light floral scent accompanied the stick too. The pre-light was open and even, and tasted of cedar, and some light hints of what I would later come to taste as Anise or licorice.

THE FIRST THIRD

The first few puffs lent themselves to an anise and floral fusion, it was unexpected but as he said – it’s an artisan blend. There were hints later on of allspice and maybe a tinge of coffee in there. The burn was even, for awhile, and the dark ash made me think that this tobacco was still wet when it was rolled. Not terribly offensive, just slightly so. As we smoked it transitioned to a salty and spicy flavor, that was hard to discern. It was just the right add on for the licorice type taste that I was experiencing.

THE SECOND THIRD

This third was delightfully spiced with notes of roasted coffee and roasted peanuts. The burn was a little uneven and it still produced a creamy smoke that was thick and heady. This was largely like the head on a great beer. Later in the smoke it became sweeter – with hints of sugar and caramel. One of the things that combined well with the earlier coffee notes was the taste of caramel.  As the third progressed we transitioned into an earthiness that was pleasant on the palate. It went out one time and had to be re-lit.

THE THIRD AND FINAL THIRD

The final third was rich and full bodied. The hints of coffee and roasted nuts transitioned into black pepper and smokiness. The next transition brought about a return to the first third. The first puffs tasted of anise and licorice, this was very different than the first impression that one would have gathered having seen the first few glimpses of that cigar. The hint of coffee and licorice remained to the end of the cigar. What a great smoke!

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

As  I’ve been known to say before – ambiance is a great reason to smoke a cigar. And the great weather, it was a modest seventy-six degrees out – was one of the reasons that I would want to take the time to smoke such a long cigar. This was one of the best cigars and I enjoyed the cigar despite it’s obvious flaws – it had to be touched up quite a few times, and overall it was a disappointing burn. However! It tasted great. The final moments of this cigar were heady and euphoric – with licorice on the palate, and a great finish. Despite the fact that the darn thing wouldn’t stay lit – the tasting notes were complex and I’ve always enjoyed the taste of licorice. When they gave way to a nice and full coffee and pepper flavor, and then surprisingly of all, the Holy Lance witched to the first third again and remained that way until the end.

This cigar is certainly in the running for my “Cigar Top 10 List” and it deserves it’s place in the pantheon of great cigars.

Here’s the RECAP:

RECAP

Prelight: 9/10 – Everything was well proportioned with a delicate pig-tail cap and a nice wrapper. The pre-light draw was really heady and tasted of cedar, but ironically enough, that flavor was not in the main part of the cigar.

Smoking: 8/10 – The problem with this cigar was that it had difficulty staying lit – it was a good cigar, but fundamentally, it was poorly constructed it seemed. The tobacco might have been rolled when it was not quite as dry as it could have been. However, it was still a great smoke. Overall.

Overall Experience: 9/10 – Great overall experience – what a wonderful smoke.

Total Composite Score: 27/30 – Very distinguished smoke. Highly recommended. Best of the Best.

At $9.00 a stick, this is totally worth it. I am putting this on my wishlist for Christmas, I hope someone is reading! Enjoy your week – and look forward for another review next Sunday!

Sláinte!

‘//otan

p.s. Enjoy this picture of our “Rib Adventure!” This is the only way to grill – open flames, good beer, good friends, and one heck of a Cigar. – W

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Cigars Rated

 

NUb Habano 358 by Oliva

Greetings and Salutations Fellow Lovers of the Leaf!

Wow, I tell you it is a hot summer here in the Heartland as far as I am concerned. It almost makes it unpleasant to smoke a cigar outside … note I said almost. Today was a very calm and collected 86 degrees, which to me was perfect for smoking a cigar. I’ve included a tasting wheel for those of you that would like to do your own “in-home” taste test. Now, I have to admit, I am in no way as “gifted” as these folks are – some of these tastes don’t make any sense to me, and if I tasted them in a cigar (I’m thinking “Feline Musk”) I’d put the stick down and never smoke it again. Nor do I know what Rhubard tastes like with regards to the cigar world, but take it as you will. There are lots of tastes out there and there are rarely right answers when it comes to cigars!

And not to disappoint friends of mine on the Studio Tobac forum – I smoked a NUb as promised!

“Rather than wait for a cigar to develop and evolve, which typically occurs an inch to two inches in, the idea behind Nub was to specifically blend it to hit its sweet spot right off the bat and remain at its peak right through to the end. Each size is short and stout in stature. That’s by design – not for novelty – as blends and sizes were worked and re-worked a thousand ways from Sunday in order for Nub creator Sam Leccia and the Oliva family to capture the essence of each Nub blend. Anyone can create unusual shapes, each of the Nub blends and accompanying shapes was instead created to summon and deliver the blend’s sweet spot. Nub comes in three varieties. Each variety shares three common sizes, as well as a special vitola specially crafted to accentuate the blend.
Habano – glossy, milk chocolate-brown wrapper. Rich tobacco core with a smoky aftertaste. Hints of peanuts are supported by a baked bread component. Spice through the nose. Medium to full-bodied with a rich, creamy character throughout.” Let’s see how our NUb stacked up. I also have to note, typically when we review cigars we divide them into thirds, and with the diminutive shape of the NUb I decided that I would divide it instead into halves. So, there you go… enough of my talking – time for a review!

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 3.75 x 58

Ring: 58

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Binder: Nicaraguan

Cost: About $5.50

PRELIGHT RITUAL

Wrapper: The wrapper was really sexy- seriously oily with a rich milk-chocolate sheen, and have several pronounced veins.

Cap: The cap was slightly uneven, I’ve seen better and I’ve seen worse..

Band: Simple, stylish, and classic. I enjoyed the band.

Smell: The prelight smell was earthy and barnyardy with all the lovely smells of manure and hay.

Pre-light Draw and Lighting: Barnyard and the draw was even and had hints of spicy tobacco.

SCORE: 8/10

FIRST HALF

The first half of this cigar was very enjoyable. It combined notes of cedar and oak, and was earthy and rich. The ash was tightly wound and a dark gray. Indicative of a wet tobacco or perhaps some moisture that got into the cello on my part. Either way it was pleasant. The tasting notes were a pronounced smoky and woodsy flavor, with a tinge of baked bread, and hints of a peanut aftertaste. Towards the middle of the burn it was uneven so I had to reignite and even it up. This relight might have triggered a bitterness that I was not exactly fond of, but it was not really unpleasant either. It transitioned into a full figured (ha!) final half.

THE SECOND HALF

The burn remained uneven and had to be touched up even more, a total of three times on the entire length of the cigar – if you’re keeping track at home, that’s almost 1 time per inch. And it went out twice … when it went out the second time – I just called it quits. The tasting notes were velvety, a creamy peanut and baked bread aroma (almost a bit like a sandwich) though the bitter aftertaste was still rather pronounced. NUbs are renowned for putting up a ton of ash and you can even stand the cigars on them – unfortunately, mine didn’t do that. So – no NUbstands for us today.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

The NUb was a solid cigar, I think. It was a decent smoke, and timed in at just around 1 hour and 15 minutes. While it said it was designed to hit the “sweet” spot, this particular NUb (and it wasn’t true for the others that I have smoked) left me wanting. With that undercurrent of “mineral and metallic” tastes it was rather unpleasant of a way to end. And the fact that the thing kept going out on me made it sort of a downer as well. But, as with everything you win some and you lose some. Here’s the play-by-play from the scoresheet.

SCORING GUIDE

Pre-Light: 8/10 – the fact that the cap was a little messy and there were visible and distinguished veins in the wrapper showed the roller was careless or in a hurry. I’d like to think it was the latter.

Smoking: 6/10 – there were some odd flavors that were present in this tobacco, which lead me to believe it was one of the “less quality” that had gone through. Oliva is known for it’s attention to detail and it’s great cigar making tradition. This cigar fell slightly short of that on the uptake. It was just an OK tasting smoke, and the burn was nasty requiring 2 re-lights, and 3 touch ups. And it caused me to end the smoke early.

Overall Experience: 6/10 – I just, and I’m sorry guys, couldn’t get into this smoke. Unfortunately, maybe for me, I think I had such high expectations from all of the “hype” that had been provided by the boards and the cigar smoking world for the NUb. I have had a NUb before and I found it to be an amazing experience, so I can only hope that this one is just “the one that got away” from the quality control inspector. Either way – it was just a sad experience. I didn’t enjoy having to relight the thing about a million times, nor did the tinny metallic aftertaste please my palate.

SCORE: 20/30. This cigar could use some work. Mediocre.

Enjoy your weeks Cigar friends, and as always. Stay well!

‘//otan

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Cigars Rated

 

Illusione 4/2g Church

Greetings and Salutations!

Wotan here, my friends, and this week we’re going to smoking a real gem. No one answered my “ambiance” smoke, but I’ll continue to ask questions of you anyway.

This week’s is: Where is your smoking “den”? Mine is outside on my deck – with no real ashtray (just an empty pie pan) and a table and chairs. But, it’s mine, and I enjoy it. So where’s yours?

The Illusione 4/2 G Church. This cigar is made by Dion Giolito.  “This was the cigar that got me thinking about brand identity and packaging. The “4” stood for 2004 the year I opened my own store. “2g” referred to the style of cigar I wanted it to be. I always liked how RAGs had “2 gears’ in the smoking journey, mild/medium in the first 2/3s of the cigar then – BAM rich, full and spicy in the last 1/3. Even though it isn’t a Churchill per-se, more a double corona, I decided to put “church” on the side of the box. It mostly reminded me that I am a bad Catholic and that I need to get my ass to Church more often.”

This did not disappoint, so I wont either. On with the review

Specifications:

Style: Double Corona (Churchill misnamed)

Size: 7.5/49

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Price: $9-10 a stick

PRE-Light Ritual

The wrapper was clean and oily. It wasn’t torn nor did it have large veins that were discernible to the eye. The cap was slightly uneven. The band? I like this band, its really quite simple and even a little sexy. The pre-light smell was very sweet and almost raisiny, and then it had the really nice earthy finish. The pre-light draw gave notes of coffee and toast. It was rich and delicious.

FIRST THIRD

The first third was everything that was presented in the research I did. It was coffee, toasted bread and a little nuttiness. Not very peppery, but maybe some hints there. The pepper slid and gave way into a cocoa-y flavor that complimented the toasted bread. The cigar produced a thick white ash, and an elegant velvety smoke, delicious.

SECOND THIRD

Flavors shifted from coffee and cocoa with that toasted bread to a sort of roasted nuttiness. Almost like peanut butter, the bread taste remains which was really enjoyable. There was a slightly uneven burn. I had to touch it up a little, but overall it was a nice smoke. It had a nice mouthfeel but had very little aftertaste, which was nice.

FINAL THIRD

Wow – BAM was right. The toasted bread and roasted nuts slammed into the peppery notes. It hit hard. The body was medium to medium-full. I really enjoyed this smoke. Again I had to touch it up a little a few times, but it was really quite nice in the way it felt in the mouth.  There were other flavors mingling as well, maybe some woody cedarness, and some leatheriness that was really quite pleasant.

Unfortunately, the rain made me snub out early and take cover. It was like a monsoon.

Final Score

Prelight: 9.5/10

Smoking: 9/10 What I liked about this smoke  is that it had a nice medium/mild feel to it. The creamy mouth feel of the cigar was everything that I look for in the finest cigars. Dion is doing a bang-up job.

Overall Impression: 9/10 – This cigar was really quite nice. The cigar is medium to full in body – and it’s delicious. Nicaraguan puros are some of my favorites and this one fit that profile to a “T” It was enjoyable to smoke out and watch the rain roll in. It didn’t have a fully complex flavor profile, but it was a solid smoke, and at about 10 bucks a stick, I think it was worth while.

Score: 27.5 Very distinguished smoke. Highly Recommended.

Pick some of these up at your local brick and mortar. You’ll enjoy them.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Cigars Rated

 

5 (Cinco) Vegas “AAA”

Greetings and Salutations Lords of the Leaf!

It’s been a whirlwind three weeks here at my smoking den, but I’m happy to bring you another review. It’s completely overwhelming that so many of you are working and reading on the blog here! I hope you are enjoying the variety that we’re able to bring to you simply because there are now two of us smoking for you.

I wanted to talk a little bit about the sort of thing that I enjoyed about smoking cigars – ambiance. There is nothing better to me – as I grow older, than smoking a cigar, after eating a great meal, and spending time with good friends. And that’s what led me to where I am now – smoking cigars and reviewing them for you all. When I smoke a cigar for either pleasure or a review (and largely they are both one and the same), I do it sitting on my deck, in my favorite chair, and thoroughly enjoying the ambiance in which I’ve created. So – if you’re reading, and you’d like to comment, tell us what sort of ambiance you enjoy smoking in.

Kaleehb welcomed me to the Blog in true fashion – by giving me more sticks to review. So that’s what we’re doing today. Reviewing a cigar. This week’s cigar is brought to you by our dear friends at Cigar’s Direct – it’s a 5 (Cinco) Vegas AAA Robusto with a Pennsylvania Broadleaf Wrapper.  If you’re interested visit http://www.cigarsdirect.com

Cigar Specification

5” x 56 Robusto Gordo

Wrapper: Broadleaf Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Cuban Seeded Nicaraguan Ligeros

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Price: $4.95 – $7.95 (Donated by Cigarsdirect.com)

Start Time: 6:12 PM

End Time: 7:25 PM

Beverage of Choice: Ice Water

Prelight Ritual:

You’ll notice that the Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper is really dark, and it was oily. The scent of the cigar smelled of barnyard, and pre-light draw tasted of raisins with a hint of coffee flavor. I was anticipating a great smoke! The band was really vibrant and bright, and there was a “footband” on the bottom that added to the overall aesthetic experience.

First Third

Now, I understand that Maduro is not everyone’s cup of tea – and to be quite honest, I’ve only found a few that I really like. Having smoked some of the 5 Vegas “A” lines, I was a little worried that this would be like smoking a mouthful of grill ashes. It wasn’t the first third started out with a nice woody, coffee, spiced flavor throughout the entire first third. The burn was a little uneven and it produced a nice rich gray ash and a thick velvety smoke experience.

Second Third

Wow, this continued to remain pretty complex. The flavor profile was woody, and retained it’s coffeeish flavor. The smoke was rich and gray, still velvety. I tasted a little bit of bourbon, with notes of spice, maybe a hint of black pepper (one of my favorite flavors in life). There was also a neat experience that sort of transitioned into a taste of peanut butter on the palate. This smoke at this point was really complex, and very satisfying. As you can see, it’s burning quick. Towards the end of this third there was an unpleasant transition, the tobacco was really flavorless and bland. It again, became a bit like smoking a mouthful of grill ashes. Not really my forte.

Final Third

Wow, this was disappointing. Hugely. The transition that was bitter and acidic, but not the good kind of acidic was complex. This was like going to my grill and scooping out the charcoal and inhaling it. It was quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever tasted. I know that sounds harsh, but it was what it was. The first two thirds were really promising, but the final third left a lot to be desired. There was an uneven burn, and I continued to smoke through it hoping I would end up with a better finish, but that wasn’t in the cards for this cigar.

Scoring Rubric

Prelight: 10/10 – A really solid appearance, a nice band, a nice cap, and a really solid smelling cigar

Smoking: 6/10 – While the cigar started off nice, only two thirds of it were worth smoking. There was such a promising complexity to this cigar – that it was really disappointing when it wasn’t that way all the way through.

Overall Experience: 5/10 – Again, the whole problem with this cigar was that it was rather uninspiring at the end of the smoke.

Score: 21/30 – This cigar could use some work. Mediocre. All in all this was an example of a great start, but a fizzle as the smoke continued. I would try another one, maybe, to see if it improved. But overall, I’ve been very disappointed with the way that the whole thing panned out.

Thanks for reading. And as always, happy smoking!

\\’otan

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Cigars Rated