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
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 Famous Smoke Shop. You can read the details HERE. To view the previous month's contest results see here.
Allones Extra was a standard production cigar that was discontinued in the 1970s. For this Edicion Limitado (and a couple of special releases regionals) they brought back the old white and forest green band. Nice medium-dark wrapper, excellent construction. A nice tug to the draw. Ash was is blackish gray and the cigar burned perfectly. Medium body and strength, rich and flavorful with a typical Cuban profile plus additional notes of cocoa and coffee. After 8 years, these have really become spectacular.
A really good cigar in a little package. Perfect for a 30-40 minute smoke. Nice dark brown wrapper with solid construction. PLD was spicy leather. Upon lighting, the spice hits you right out of the gate but tapers off. Remains spicy but not overpowering. Excellent burn and draw. Fairly stronger than most but definitely enjoyable
Humidor time: 171 days Appearance and construction: This one had a couple minor veins, a light sheen, and a soft pack at the foot but firming up towards the head with no soft spots. Gave it a punch and PLD was open. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a strong whiff of sweet coffee. Unusual because I typically don't get much from sniffing the foot pre-light, but this one had a strong aroma. The light gave a mild/medium profile with notes of butter, nuts, cream, and spice. Quite tasty and very close to the Oliva Connecticut Reserve blend, with maybe just a tad bit more spice, although it could have been my imagination. Strength was about medium as I felt the nic. towards the 2nd half. (24/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start. The burn stayed even with the first ash dropping at 1 1/2" leaving a small cone. Things were then uneventful down to the nub. (24/25)
Overall impression: Excellent smoke and one that, if I had been smoking it blind, I would have thought it was Oliva's Connecticut Reserve as the flavor profile is nearly the same. One wonders if AJ Fernandez has been buying his tobacco from Oliva given that they both operate out of the same town... At any rate, this was a fine smoke and one that I'll look forward to smoking again. (33/35)
Burn time: 1:31 Rating: 93
And look, I even got AJ's autograph on the back of the band!
Beautiful wrapper leaf. No smell presmoke. Starts out somewhat bitter in flavor, but not overly so. Retrohaling gets that same flavor, nothing more complex so far. I was hoping for more than that. Midway, it gets a little more satisfying, but not a lot. There is slight complexity in puffing and retrohaling, but still disappointing considering this is an Illusione, which has given me much joy in the past. "Original Documents" is a new and different blend. It's just "decent", but I don't recommend it when there are other, better Illusione blends to choose from. Construction is solid. I'll smoke it to the end, but never buy another.
Humidor time: 211 days Appearance and construction: This one had a few veins, a light sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots. Gave it a punch and PLD was open. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of mild tobacco. The light gave a mild/medium profile with the expected tasty notes of butter, nuts, and cream... Strength was medium or better as I felt the nic. towards the 2nd half, although my mostly empty stomach probably was at least partially to blame... (22/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start. The burn stayed even with the first ash dropping at about 2" leaving a cone. The burn got wavy a couple of times in the 2nd half, but self-corrected nicely and things were otherwise uneventful down to the nub. (22/25)
Overall impression: This one was about what I expected given my previous conclusion that the Liga F is the 2nd of Oliva's Connecticut Reserve blend based on my experience with the Liga F Toro. Both sticks are a great milder smoke and this one was just what I needed after my earlier smoke of the Gispert stick, which is very bland and nearly tasteless. The Oliva CR blend is a tasty smoke and combined with Oliva's typically good construction, you can't go wrong with either the real thing or these 2nds, at least in my experience. And it was hard to see why this one was a 2nd as it had no obvious defects... (30/35)
Humidor time: 211 days Appearance and construction: This one had a few veins, a light sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots. Gave it a punch and PLD was moderately open. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of mild tobacco. The light gave a very mild profile with no particular hints I could detect. Pretty much fits the definition of "bland", although I did get a bit of spice in the 2nd half. I usually enjoy a good mild stick, but this one was too lacking in flavor to smoke again. And I don't have any more, so that won't be a problem... (12/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, so-so smoke volume, and a wavy burn to start. The burn evened out and the smoke volume improved in the first inch with the ash dropping at about 2" leaving a cone. The burn did get a bit lopsided in the last third after I stuck it with my corn skewer, but I'll blame the skewering... (22/25)
Overall impression: Decent enough smoke if you don't care about flavor, but as mentioned, it was too lacking in that important area to bother with any more of these. But if very mild sticks are your thing, this one's probably recommendable.... (18/35)
Humidor time: 211 days Appearance and construction: This one had a few minor veins, a light sheen, and a firm pack with no soft spots. Gave it a wide-ring punch and PLD was moderately tight. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a faint whiff of chocolate. The light gave a medium profile with notes of wood and spice. This progressed in the 2nd half with a more full-bodied note of coffee entering the mix. Not bad at all. Strength was medium at best as not much of a nic. hit was noticed even with the double-puffing I occasionally had to do to try and keep the wavy burn line in check. (20/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately easy draw, adequate but not optimal smoke volume, and an even burn to start. The burn line got wavy in the first third, then lopsided, which got it its first touch-up before I knocked the ash off at about 2" on the low side. The rest of the stick was the same story with one side of the stick not wanting to burn as fast as the other and a series of touch-ups were needed down to the nub. Smoke volume did improve to near optimal in the 2nd half. (13/25)
Overall impression: Definitely not a maintenance-free smoke what with the burn issues, but it was flavorful enough so I'll revisit this review should the rest of this five pack fare any better while getting smoked up on the commute. (18/35)
Humidor time: 204 days Appearance and construction: This one had a couple of minor veins, an oily sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots. Gave it a punch and PLD was open. (13/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of mild tobacco. The light gave a medium-bodied profile with notes of wood and spice. Quite flavorful and pretty much right in what I'm coming to find is another of my wheelhouses. Similar to the 5 Vegas Classic blend along with the Oliva Reserva Blanc blend, which are both sticks I've come to enjoy with repeated smoking. Not super strong but quite enjoyable when you want something stronger than your average Connecticut but less potent than a Maduro or Broadleaf type of stick. Strength of this one was about medium or a bit better as I felt the nic. but not to the point of head-spinning... (22/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start. The burn remained even with the first ash dropping at about 2" leaving a small cone. The burn got wavy in the 2nd half, and particularly so after I stuck it with my corn skewer in the last third, but was mostly self-correcting down to the nub with no touch-ups needed. (21/25)
Overall impression: A nice Friday evening, after-work smoke while catching up with a couple episodes of Legends of Tomorrow on Netflix and decompressing from yet another hectic work week. Nice flavor, decent construction, not much here to dislike. (28/35)
Was rich with tobacco smell prior to lighting. The body was firm and even with a slightly veined wrapper.
Smoked with a large punch cut. Flavor was rich and spicy. Lots of smoke produced. Wrapper had a delicious leathery taste that was mimicked by the rich and long finish. No hint of bitterness. Didn't pay enough attention to notice if flavor changed throughout smoke, but last puff was as good as the first. The draw was light after the first third but not distractingly so.
Burn was clean to the end, but required one relight at the start of the last third.
Very enjoyable cigar with a wonderful, long finish.