The 10th Annual “Cigars for Troops” drive is underway. This is a great opportunity to give back to those who protect our freedoms and earn the coveted "Troop Supporter" badge at the same time. You can find information here: http://www.cigargeeks.com/community/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=5087... A special thanks goes out to Nathan (nwb) for running the drive again.
Toys for Tots Drive 2018
If you have not seen it, the 2018Marine Toys for Tots drive is in full swing. This is an excellent opportunity for the brotherhood to contribute to a great organization that provides gifts for those less fortunate children in time for Christmas. A special thanks goes out to Emerson (McBryde) for stepping up to run the drive this year. Also, we are introducing a new Toys for Tots badge this year for being a contributor. If you gave a kit for auction, win an auction, or donate at least $25 you will earn the new badge
March Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of March. The 26 members with the most points for the month have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Famous Smoke Shop. You can read the details HERE. To view the previous month's contest results see here.
Humidor time 169 days Another stick I've had sitting around for awhile taking up humi space and I wanted something more flavorful after the two milder sticks I smoked earlier, so this one was next up. Good looking box-pressed stick with a dark, very smooth, nearly vein-free, oily wrapper...
Punched it and PLD was nice and open. Got an easy draw, good smoke volume, and even burn to start.
Flavor is not quite as full-bodied as I was hoping for, but adequate for the task at hand. Got hints of leather and wood and just a bit of spice on retro. A slight hint of bitter dark chocolate appeared in the 2nd half.
The grey ash was very fine and got knocked off at about 2" leaving a nice cone. From there things were very uneventful down to the nub.
Pretty nice smoke, this one, with near-perfect construction. The flavors were not quite in my wheelhouse, but the other three in my humi will make nice commute smokes if they perform as well as this one did. Burn time: 1:16 Rating: 3.8/5
Humidor time: 106 days Have now smoked three of these and have had mixed results, as follows:
First - This one had a tight draw and meager smoke output all the way through but burned very evenly down to the nub. Wrapper had some discoloration, so easy enough to see why it got culled to 2nd status.
Second - Started out with an easy draw and good smoke output and the first inch or so was a good smoke with an even burn, but it went south from there. Following the first ash knock-off, the burn got lopsided in conjunction with the draw worsening and smoke output decreasing. I think it had a large stem in the middle portion of the stick as there was a hard finger of ash sticking up at one point. Things improved in the last third with the burn evening out following a touch-up and the draw and smoke output improving. Exterior of this one was a bit rough looking with a patchy looking wrapper and a wrinkled cap. Again, an obvious 2nd.
Third - Similar performance as the first one - tight draw and thin smoke most of the way through, but it gradually improved and reached nearly optimal in the last third. Very even burn down to the nub with tight ash and nice cones left after the two de-ashings. Best looking stick of the three with only one large vein running most of its length.
Just prior to smoking the third one this afternoon, I smoked a Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc Robusto hoping to confirm this was the 2nd of that stick. They both appear, from the available information, to have the same blend and wrapper. Wrapper shade is close, although it doesn't appear identical, at least to my eyes. The pic below shows two "W" 2nds, a Reserva Blanc, and a Connecticut Reserve, although I'm convinced this 2nd is not the CR due to the difference in flavor profile. (The CR's 2nd is the "Liga F", IMO.) At any rate, I can't conclude that the "W" is the 2nd of the Reserva Blanc as the flavor profile also does not seem to match. Both are pleasant tasting smokes on the mild end, but the RB leans more towards Medium with more flavor than I was getting out of the "W". I'd be interested to get someone else's take on this, hopefully someone with more experience and a more developed palate...
Additionally, as I've found with other Oliva 2nds I've tried to match to their production sticks, the vitolas do not exactly match, to wit: Liga W 2nd - Churchill (7x50), Corona Extra (6.5x44), Gordo (6x60), Robusto (5x50), Toro 6x50), Toro Extra (6.5x62), and Reserva Blanc - Churchill (7x50), Corona (5.75x43), Robusto (5x50), Toro (6x50, Torpedo (6x52).
Conclusion - I'm thinking this is probably the 2nd of some other Oliva-made stick, possibly one under another brand name. I'm not seeing any other Connecticut-wrappered sticks in the DB under the Oliva brand that might be a match. Burn time: 1:03 for the first, 1:15 for the third (I didn't time the second one). For the record, the burn time for the RB I smoked today was 1:03.
Humidor time: 156 days Decided to dig another PDR out of the humi and see if it might do any better than the Oscuro I had earlier. This one, like the first one, had a number of bumps and veins adorning the wrapper. It also felt somewhat soft to the touch...
Punched it and PLD was good. Got an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start.
Flavors were medium-bodied with notes of earth, wood, and grass. Not my usual preferred profile, but it was quite pleasant enough for puffing...
The burn was very even both before and after I knocked the first ash off at 1 1/2". However, after the second de-ashing, things got uneven with the burn and a touch-up was needed. And then another before reaching the nub.
This was a loosely packed stick that burnt quickly for its size. Even so, I was hoping to be able to give it at least a 4.0 based on the performance of the first half and the pleasant taste, but the touch-ups required in the 2nd half knock the score down somewhat. I have a few more of these which will get smoked on future commutes and will update this review should they perform any differently than this one did. Burn time: 1:06 Rating: 3.7/5
Humidor time: 180 days I think this is only my second 5V stick, the first being the Gold, so I was overdue to try another one. This was a good-looking box-pressed stick and had a very smooth, almost vein-free, dark, oily wrapper.
Punched it and PLD was good. Got an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start things off.
Flavor is full-bodied with notes of leather and cocoa. Very nice.
The burn got wavy 1/2" in, then self-corrected over the course of the next inch or so. Knocked the fine ash off at 1 1/2" leaving a small cone. The burn again got wavy after the ash left, then proceeded to lopsided at which point I gave it a touch-up. It got lopsided again and then tried to go out on me with about 2" left, so got a second touch-up before reaching the nub.
A pretty good, tasty smoke, this one, but the construction issues affecting the burn knock it down a few points. I have four more of these and will update this review if those behave any better. Burn time: 1:41 Rating: 3.7/5
Humidor time: Between mine and someone else's... somewhere around 3000 days... I think this is my first PDR stick, outside of a few 2nds and "short run" sticks that I got in a Thompson sampler last year. It was a bit veiny and bumpy in appearance and had a very dark, oily wrapper...
Punched it and PLD was good. Got an easy draw, good smoke volume, and a wavy burn to start.
Flavor profile is full-bodied with a strong note of leather and a bit of spice on retro. Pretty nice and about what I was expecting based on the dark wrapper.
The burn got lopsided in the first inch so gave it a touch-up. Knocked the first of the crumbly, grey ash off at 1 1/2" followed by further lopsidedness in the burn line, which got it a 2nd touch-up. And that's pretty much the story of this one with further unevenness in the burn and several more touch-ups down to the nub.
Pretty nice flavor and it only scores as high as it does for that reason alone as the construction was pretty lacking. I hope the rest of my various PDR sticks perform better than this one... Burn time: 1:34 Rating: 3.1/5
Humidor time: 97 days Was gifted this stick by Ozz awhile back and figured I'd finally check it out and see if I wanted to bite on the 15 stick LP sampler deal Cigar Page currently has going. It's kind of a rustic looking stick with a number of bumps and veins. Seems firmly packed, too...
Gave it a punch and PLD was moderately open. The light produced a slightly tight draw, less than optimal smoke volume, and an even burn to start things off.
Flavors are in the medium-bodied range with notes of grass and wood and a bit of spice on retro. Not my favorite sort of profile but pleasant enough for puffing while, you guessed it, watching Netflix (Punisher Season 2 for those taking notes...)
The burn got wavy a half inch in and this proceeded to lopsided. Knocked the ash off at about 1" on one side of the stick and 1 1/2" on the other. It didn't show signs of self-correcting after this, so gave it a touch-up, and then a second touch-up was needed before reaching the nub. On the bright side, the draw and smoke volume both improved quite a bit in the first third and the stick became quite smokeable in spite of its lack of quality construction.
Not the most impressive of sticks, so I think I'll pass on the Cigar Page sampler, at least for now. I have two other varieties of LP that I haven't tried yet, so we'll see how those treat me. Burn time: 1:08 Rating: 3.4/5
Rested 3 months @ 65%. This was my first smoke out of the box.
Appearance: 10/10 - I have become a big fan of the long skinnies, and this one was a excellent example. The mottled Colorado colored wrapper was full of small spider veins, but there were a good amount of oils to the wrapper and the seams were damn near invisible. It feels perfect in the hand, packed and rolled very well. Also sports a triple cap. A musk, sweet/sour/spice smell coming from the pre-light. Not overpowering, but it's there.
Smoking Characteristics: 18/20 - Burn I'd give a 8 out of 10 overall. I did have to re-light once, but the burn line itself was very very good, no babysitting this bad boy. The draw was right in the sweet spot and couldn't have been better.
Taste: 31/35 - It took until the end of the 1/3 for this cigar to really get going for me. It was a generic woodsy/spicey/cedar/oak deal early on, albeit a very smooth smoke and the retro provided just the right amount of tingle. As I got into the 2/3 this cigar started to shine with a vanilla sweetness coming through to compliment the now rich cedar and oak. These notes came on in spades during the 2/3 and into the 3/3. As I approached the band, the cigar went back to what I was getting early on with unimpressive flavors in a very smooth delivery.
Overall: 30/35 - A very well constructed cigar that is easy to smoke without having to worry about the burn or the draw. The flavor profile was good, I enjoyed it overall and I would recommend picking up a 5'er of these especially if you enjoy the long skinnies. The 2/3 was the best part of the cigar, if it started that way from the beginning this would be a near perfect experience.
Humidor time: 140 days This one had a smooth, slightly oily wrapper with a couple of minor veins. Gave it a punch and PLD was good. Got an easy draw, good smoke volume, with the burn starting slightly wavy.
Flavor is mild and pleasant with a slight hint of cream. Typical profile for Conny-wrappered sticks in my experience.
The burn evened out in the first inch and remained that way through the course of the smoke. The ash dropped at about 1 1/2" leaving a nice cone. From there things were uneventful down to the nub apart from me pulling a stem out of the punch hole in the last third after feeling a slight protrusion against my lip.
Pretty nice smoke thanks to the quality construction and pleasant, if one-dimensional, taste. I'll look forward to smoking the other five I have on the commute... Burn time: 1:29 Rating: 3.7/5
Humidor time: 153 days in mine, unknown length of time in OZZ's... Came home from work early today due to a sore leg (stocking at Lowe's is a bit rough on the bod at times...) and decided to light this one up while keeping the leg elevated and watching The Punisher Season 2 on Netflix. It had a firm feel and a somewhat veiny wrapper...
Punched it and PLD was good. Got an easy draw, decent smoke volume, and an even burn to start, although the latter quickly got wavy in the first half inch. A sign of things to come...
Flavor is in the medium range and smooth with faint hints of coffee and leather. Pretty nice for a Gurkha...
The ash fell off at about 2" and the burn continued wavy but self-correcting until it finally got too lopsided and I gave it the first touch-up about half way through. And then another before I dumped the nub after I'd had enough nicotine. This one leans towards the full end, strength-wise, and its size means you'll feel the kick before it's over...
Another shoddily made Honduran Gurkha, why am I not surprised. Pleasant enough flavors, which means the other two I have will make decent commute smokes, but I won't be buying more of these. Burn time: 1:47 Rating: 3.2/5
Humidor time: 131 days Have had mixed results with various Diesels up to now, so had no idea what to expect from this stick. The appearance was promising, though, with its dark, oily, relatively vein-free wrapper. It also had a firm feel, indicating a tight pack.
Punched it and PLD was good. The light gave an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start things off.
Flavors were full-bodied with a tasty mix of leather and coffee, a hint of dark chocolate, and a bit of spice on retro. Pretty squarely in my wheelhouse...
The ash was very fine and the first chunk was knocked off at close to 3", which left a nice cone. Things were then very uneventful down to the 1/2" nub.
Wow, what a great smoke. Have to say I did not expect this kind of performance given my aforementioned mixed results from previous Diesels. I've got four more of these and look forward to smoking them with reckless abandon... Burn time: 1:23