The 8th 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=4297... A special thanks goes out to Nathan (nwb) for running the drive again.
Toys for Tots Drive 2015
The 2015Marine Toys for Tots drive raised a very generous total of over $2000 that was passed along to Toys for Tots. This was a excellent opportunity for 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 Brad (Longhorn) for running the drive again.
August Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of August. The 26 members with the most points for the month have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to CI. You can read the details HERE. To view the previous month's contest results see here.
Full firm very well made cigar. Seamless wrapper and a long even burn. The cigar started out with pepper and after about half an inch the pepper moved to the back and in came a sweetness about it. After the first third the sweetness got a twang with it and I got some anise and cayenne pepper on the finish. A very very good cigar.
The Americana Grande is a massive, weighty cigar. A dark brown toothy wrapper with visible seams and quite a lot of veiny "character". It smells a little musty and looks kind of rode hard then put away wet. There are crystallized oils amongst the terrain on the sungrown wrapper. A punch cut opens the smooth draw just fine, but I cherished the prelit flavors of this musty sweet and salty Pennsylvania broadleaf a while before firing it up. Was planning to overlook the first inch since the foot looked like it had seen too much moisture at some point hence that musty aroma. Lo and behold I was smacked in the mouth with a sweet wet leathery lusciousness spiced with hints of black and red peppers. I shy from naming many tastes due to the subjectivity of any individual cigar smoker, suffice it to say that the flavor is here front and center, not lacking. By a few puffs in I felt prepared for a well balanced ride through New England, down the coast to Dominicana for Cuban seed, on to Honduras, through Costa Rica, finishing up in Nicaragua. Jesus Fuego must have had a blast finding the right tobaccos for this blend. I think Americana is a fitting name, since it is truly a continental cigar.
Well back to the cigar it's a ugly, meaty stick that belongs on the top of the pile in a blind man's humidor. Plenty of smoke production.. A virtually flawless burn which caught me off guard due to its rough appearance. Tight ash, no flakes, although by the middle third I began wondering if there was going to be any variance from the moist leathery and peppery sweet lingering finish. My palate is still developing and not finely honed I confess. I have smoked handfuls of Americana Originals (coronas) and they are a fantastic one hour trip, extremely satisfying go to short smoke. This grande vitola just seemed like too much of a great thing to me through the middle portion. I did enjoy it greatly along with a newspaper for the second half and stopped frequently to notice rich full flavors, to the nub. Ash always held in check, burn stayed evenly lit and ready for a puff at every draw. If these could be had for the price of the Originals I would buy a humidor full of them. At $11, I might never smoke another. I probably will fish around for bargains on the robusto or toro vitolas, so sure the Americana is a fantastically blended cigar by one of the best of the Masters. It may look a little rough, but this PA broadleaf stands out for reliable burn performance and leathery down to earth flavors I enjoy. The corojo and criollo mix of binder and fillers just rounds out the experience to make the two hours of indulgence memorable, well balanced, and complex enough for me to spend my time for a review. I'm not even dinging the rating for that toothy shimmering rawhide they used to wrap up this beast. As far as I'm concerned, every cigar lover should try at least one of these Americanas at some point in their smokin endeavors.
This brand is scarce to find in the US, but found one last week at rodrigocigars.com. Medium to dark wrapper, solid construction, a nice triple cap and sporting a retro looking cigar band that reminds you of the something from the 60's or early 70's. Burn was perfect for the entire smoke, and it held a long, solid white ash after every tap.
Initial puffs were a real disappointment, almost flavorless, and after an inch I was ready throw in the towel, but all of a sudden some enjoyable flavors began to emerge. Some sweetness, a trace of spice, woodiness and something that reminded me of Dr. Pepper. At this point it was barely medium in strength. As the burn progressed, flavor seemed to be getting stronger, it became a little sweeter, and more spicy notes developed. Now the smoke was leaving a nice, full mouth feeling. By the final third the sweetness was dissipating, and some citrus, salted cashew and a pleasant muskiness developed. It has now become a much fuller strength cigar. I would have never guessed from the flat notes of this cigar at the beginning that it would become so complex and flavorful by the end. Would have scored higher if it had been this way from the start. Enjoyable, and worth trying.
This cigar had been in my humidor for a little over two years' time. It was well-constructed, nice and heavy in the hand. It wasn't "the prettiest gal at the dance", with some very noticeable veins and color variations in the wrapper, but the veins didn't affect the burn at all. The draw was perfect, the burn razor sharp and the ash produced was a very light grey that dropped in firm two inch chunks. The smoke was nice and thick. The flavors were mostly leather and woody, with the slightest hint of spice and a maple syrup sweetness. It was definitely towards the "full" end of the strength spectrum. I was tempted to give it four stars, but the flaws in the wrapper kept me from doing so. If you like honest full-bodied cigars, you need to give this one a shot.
Everything about this stick is pretty straightforward and of average quality. The wrapper is just slightly toothy and irregular - not much of a scent to it.
A clip of the cap revealed the first problem: the wrapper started unraveling immediately, and the draw was WIDE open - absolutely no resistance whatsoever. Felt like I was snorkling through tobacco, albeit with pleasant flavor. A little bit of pepper spice, and mostly woody flavors, without a lot of complexity. No real transitions hit me while smoking, but I rarely expect that from a budget stick.
I would classify this decidedly as a Mild/Medium. Not a lot of body on this stick, Flavorwise, this guy performed all right, and other than the wrapper peeling around the cut, the construction was solid: good, even burn and quality ash stack. However, the smoke was wispy, and the draw compromised my experience enough that I put this out a little under the halfway point.
I'd try one of these again, but I'd be in no hurry to do so. Pretty average all the way around, save for the poor draw.
Like all Flatbeds the construction and performance were top notch. Great burn, great ash, great body. The taste just fell flat to me on this one. There were some descent notes here and there of cream, nuts, and spice, but the strong tobacco was too front and center for me. Don't think I'll ever want to smoke another Panacea white, not when I can have a green instead...
I smoked this nasty booger on the way home from work today. Worst Drew Estate cigar I have ever smoked! I like fire-cured Latakia in pipe tobacco blends, but this "Kentucky Fire Cured" cigar blend was just too bitter and spicy for. I don't know if the bitterness was the KFC filler or the Mexican San Andres wrapper, but the first half of the cigar was simply horrid. Things did mellow out after the first inch and a half, but damn, the cigar was only 3.25 inches long! I've got to suffer halfway thru to get to the good part? Not for me! The construction and burn were fine, but those are the only good things I can say about this cigar.
Nice medium brown wrapper with no major veins or soft spots.The stick cuts nicely and the draw is dead on. It fires up nicely and the smoke output is great and stays that way for the whole smoke.the retro has some nuttiness and a little spice.The finish is short but increases about halfway through the stick.The other flavors I get are grassy,nuttiness,a little cream at the start with a little spice as the stick gets near the end. I likes the stick and like most Cubans I am sure it will get betterb with age.The burn time was 1hr.25min and it stayed smooth the whole time.