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
February Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of February. 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.
This is a bigger cigar then I normally smoke but I got the time so why not. It's got some heft to it, smooth clean wrapper with a little sheen, solid cannon,seems well constructed. Cream, a hint of almond,nice spice note in the retro and a sweet finish. A nice and mild start. Started to get some coffee joining the profile around the halfway point. That and a slight increase in the spice were the only noticeable changes to me. Good smoke but a bit mild for my taste. Burned well and made plenty of smoke. If you like mild and mellow this is one to try.
Humidor time: 125 days at 69% Was ready to wrap up my weekend with a really good smoke, so picked this one based on its Oliva provenance as that brand has never failed to come through, at least in my experience. This was a good-looking little box-pressed stick with a dark, smooth wrapper and it's been calling my name for some time...
Gave it a punch and PLD was good. Toast and light, then the draw and smoke volume were perfect with the burn even to start.
Flavors were leather and coffee with just a bit of pepper on retro. This remained consistent throughout the smoke except for a bit of dark chocolate that appeared in the 2nd third.
Knocked the first of the fine, grey/white ash off at better than 2", which left a perfect cone of glowing ash. Nothing less than expected from an Oliva... The burn remained even and the second ash departure also left a nice cone of ash.
Pretty uneventful smoke in terms of the burn and I smoked it to a 1/2" nub. Pretty par for the course for an Oliva and one I'll be looking to get more of and you should, too... Burn time: 0:59
Humidor time: 138 days at 69% Next up is another Gurkha from the "Gurkha 90+ Rated Collection". Yeah, right... This one had a soft feel to the wrapper along with some prominent veins.
Gave this perfecto a single clip with the double-guillotine and PLD was good. Toast, light, and draw was good with plenty of smoke. Even burn to start.
Flavors are earth and wood and very pleasant with no spice on retro. So far, so good.
The burn got wavy 1" in but mostly self-corrected with liberal turning of the stick while puffing. Knocked the fine ash off at 2", then the burn got lopsided so gave it the first touch-up. Same story after the 2nd ash knock-off an inch or so later. From there smoked it to a 1" nub with no further issues.
Pretty decent, flavorful smoke and, as usual, one that could have rated higher with better construction. I don't know who's rating these Gurkha's, but a more accurate description of the sampler would have been "Gurkha 70+ Rated Collection"... Burn time: 1:26
Humidor time: 2 days at 69% Took some newly arrived five packs from C-bid along with me yesterday when I visited OZZ and we did some horse-trading followed by herfing. Decided to break from my usual chronological-order smoking and grabbed this one from my pile of new arrivals. It was practically begging me to smoke it, what with the very dark, oily wrapper around this very hefty stick.
PLA was very nice with hints of various dark, flavorful goodness emanating from the foot. Gave it a punch and PLD seemed adequate. Toast and light, then the draw was merely so-so with smoke volume the same. Burn was even to start and remained so throughout the smoke.
The flavor profile was quite nice and full-bodied with smooth notes of leather and earth and remained consistent throughout the smoke.
Gave it a straight cut before knocking the first ash off, but this didn't seem to change the draw much, although it did improve quite a bit in the 2nd third. Knocked the ash off at 1 1/2" and the rest of the smoke was quite uneventful down to the nub. This is definitely a stick I'll be stocking with regularity and revisiting after some humi time. Burn time: 2:01 Rating: 4.1/5
Humidor time: 135 days at 69% Paid Ozz a herf visit yesterday afternoon and lit this one up as my pre-dinner smoke.
A single cut to the head of this torpedo resulted in a so-so draw and smoke volume, so gave it two more cuts and things improved somewhat.
The flavor profile was mostly a subdued hint of leather with not much else going on, at least until about half way through the stick when a bit of dark chocolate briefly appeared. Not the most amazing flavor bomb, but pleasant enough for puffing.
The burn stayed mostly even until it got lopsided with about 3" of the stick left. No self-correction in sight, so gave it a touch-up with 2 1/2" left, then one more before smoking it down to a 1" nub.
Pretty decent smoke overall, although not one I'd go shopping for due to the mostly one dimensional flavor profile.
Burn time: who freaking knows as I neglected to note the time when I dumped the nub, but it was somewhere between 1:30 and two hours. Rating: 3.4/5
Good looking cigar,nice sheen to the fairly smooth wrapper, cap looks well applied and cannon feels solid. Cut reveals a good draw and I notice it has a sweetened tip. The prelight aroma is very similar to a Java, lot's of chocolate and coffee. Initial flavors are the chocolate and coffee and the sweet from the cap quickly goes away. Not really getting any tobacco flavors but burn and smoke production are good. Profile held till the last third then I finally got a little bit of tobacco flavor and some hints of spice but it is still dominated by the chocolate and coffee flavors. Well constructed and good burn characteristics but the infused flavors were a bit to much for me. If you like coffee infused smokes this might be just what you are looking for.
These are a Famous Smokes exclusive, made for them by Drew Estate. I got these on sale for 75% off, plus free shipping, hence the $1.50 purchase price. What a deal!
The smoke is mild, slowly turning to medium in the last third. Sweet hay flavors, becoming more cedary and creamy as the smoke progresses. Well made w/ an even burn, creating 1" - 1.5" ash. Great first smoke of the day. Recommended!
Humidor time: 128 days at 69% After the mediocre smokes that were the H. Upmann and Montecristo Media Noches, I wasn't expecting much from the RyJ version. I still think these are all basically the same stick with different (but very similar) bands on them and probably made in the same factory. This one did not disabuse me of that notion....
Gave it a punch and PLD was a bit on the tight side. Toast and light, then got a so-so draw and thin smoke. No surprise... The burn was even to start, but this didn't last. The flavor profile was very similar to the aforementioned sticks, again no surprise. Hints of leather and pepper with no spice on retro. Pleasant enough, but not completely in my wheelhouse.
The burn got quite wavy 1" in and the draw got tighter along with smoke volume decreasing. I knocked the ash off and the stick was trying to go out, so re-lit and also gave the head a straight cut. Draw and smoke volume both improved.
The burn again got lopsided with 3" left, so gave it a touch-up, and this became the pattern down to the nub with a couple more touch-ups being needed.
Another stick that could have gotten a higher rating with better construction. I've got four more of these and they are destined to be commute smokes... Burn time: 1:32
Note: The DB entry says this stick is box-pressed, but the one I'm reviewing is not.
Got this one in a sampler from CI that advertised it as a "Gurkha 90+ Rated Collection", so expectations were raised....
Gave this torpedo the double-guillotine treatment and PLD seemed adequately open. Toast and light resulted in a so-so draw and thin smoke. The burn started a bit wavy. Taste was in the medium range with a hint of leather and a bit of spice on retro.
The wavy burn mostly self-corrected but the draw and smoke volume both made a turn for the worse, so gave the head a second cut and then when this didn't help, a third. While cutting the head the third time, the very fine, white ash fell off leaving more of a crater than a cone.
The burn got increasingly wavy after the ash left and this continued through the rest of the smoke. After knocking the 2nd ash off, I gave it the first touch-up. From there, the burn continued uneven in spite of several more touch-ups down to the nub.
Another poorly constructed Gurkha that could have rated higher as the flavors were nice enough. If this stick really received a 90 rating, it must have been a much better example than the one I smoked. Burn time: 1:11
I wanted to like this cigar as it’s maduro color created an expectation of sweetness and richness. This as however very lackluster with no real discernible flavors other than some earthiness. It had what I thought was an issue with its draw. While it was not a tight draw it did not produce a lot of smoke even whenI triple puffed it. Then burn line wandered quite a bit requiring several touch ups and when I got to around 3/4 of the way into it I could not even keep it lit so at this point I just abandoned it.