The 8th Annual Cigars for Troops drive is complete. This was 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.
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.
There will be a can of these in storage from now on. A great "everyday" stick that can be found for under $4 now. This puts them in the category of the Illusione ~R~ for an insanely good price point on a great tasting cigar.
My favorite vitola looks great wrapped in a speckled, leathery wrapper with some light veining and tight seams. Classic red and gold band. The burn is razor sharp producing a bright white ash and thick plumes of smoke. No touch-ups required. Draw is good if just a tad on the open side.
While the flavors are familiar, the overall profile is unique. Fuller than I expected from the jump, but smooth. Spicy, but not red pepper or full on black, gentler. Lots of cedar, coffee, leather and straight up delicious tobacco. The retrohale loses the spice and brings in more cedar and a bit of sweetness. I didn't find a lot of transition, moreso balanced and nuanced. A great cigar to relax and just enjoy without overthinking.
If you find a can on sale, snap them up. I would pay MSRP of $7+ for these, but on sale these could become a staple smoke for me.
Beautiful, dark brown oily wrapper with one the sweetest floral smells that I have experienced. Perfect burn, near perfect draw. Strong retrohale. Very complex, with changes throughout the experience. Cedar, citrus, honey, red pepper, graham cracker, buttered toast, some earthiness. Wow! Medium strength, full bodied. Not the typical L'Atelier profile.
Think of what blending distilled spirits or coffee beans does to the final product. The blender sacrifices the uniqueness of the individuals to obtain a smoother product. All cigars are blends, of course, but this cigar is one that made me think of that process. It was smooth and pleasant, but it lacked any of the power of other premium cigars. For that reason, I think many geeks would not be drawn to this cigar a second time. I did enjoy it, though. Like I stated, it was a pleasant smoke, bringing to mind baking spices like cocoa, cinnamon, and nutmeg, flavors which I enjoy. I would have rated it higher if not for a mild but persistent mineral taste in the last half. The burn was fine. This is a cigar light in body and in strength and, even in the toro size, serves well as a morning smoke. It also serves as proof that maduro wrappers do not always mean strength or a strong taste.
Smooth, medium body and tasty but not a lot of smoke on each draw. A Becks Dark beer accompanied the cigar. The cigar brought out the hidden spice and critus in the beer and the cigar was never supplanted by the beer.
Slightly tight draw and the first third of the cigar was very bland. It had a strong nicotine kick at the end and developed a nice earthy and leathery flavor with lots of smoke. It was decent, but there are way better cigars out there.
I got this cigar ina 5 pack from cigarbid.com. the construction is nice and even. It has a nice even colorado color throughtout the wrapper, with no real seams to speak of. The cigar was cut with a v cutter, and the cold draw was smooth. T It was then lit with a quad torch, and the inital draw had hints of hay. The first third was nice and smoth with tastes of leather and wood (not cedar though), as well as hints of cream. The secind third started off with a bit of pepper at faded off into the woody notes again. Through out the burn i did hqve to relight it multiple times, due to it going out after i knocked the ash off. As far as the ash column went, i never got it pasted a half inch or so before it started to flake and fall apart. Not a bad smoke overall, and for the price they are worth it, however I probably wouldnt buy them from CI at the price they sell them for.
Prelight was pretty. Very well constructed cigar with no discernible flaws to speak of. The triple cap was well made and cut flawlessly. The color was consistent throughout and almost had a sparkle to it. The pinch test revealed a very tight construction with no variations which was a bit concerning until light up.
The stick lit very quickly and burned razor sharp for the first half and then had a split develop in the wrapper and the burn needed some care to keep even. This was the reason for the 1/2 star reduction. The amount of smoke was more than adequate and provided more to the expected experience.
First third of the smoke revealed some deep cocoa, earth and pepper which was extremely smooth and inviting. It almost has a sort of hook effect where you want to keep going to explore the depths of flavor. The second third only intensified those same flavors with more spiced dashed in with a bit of leather and currant. The final third provided more of the same with intense spice and oak wood smell and more of the cocoa and earth.
What a great smoke. It does live up to all the hype and there is a reason that these are hard to find. I would recommend that everyone give the JSK Red Knight Series a try. Totally worth the work to get your hands on these guys.
I got these sticka in a 5 pack from cigarbid.com. prelight the cigar was a touch soft to the squeeze, but the color was a nice dark brown with no veins to speak of. The stick was cut with a v cutter, the cold draw explained the softness of the feel before the cut. The draw was effortless, there were plenty of air channels to pull through. The stick was lit with a quad butane torch, the first draws were very easy and had hints of cedar and some earthiness. On the retrohale, there was some subtle cocoa tones to it as well. The smoke was nice and cool through the draw with very little acidity to the smoke.
I will have to admit that this is a very nice looking cigar but I will also qualify my review as being low due to some serious construction issues. The look and feel was very nice, but upon a pinch test, the triple cap split and there were some areas where the wrapper was pulling away from the binder. Maybe I received a dud from the box.
The smoke was plentiful and rich. The flavor profile was that of grass and hay throughout the whole experience. At around the 1/2 way mark, I was picking up hints of Almond and Walnut but that quickly faded away.
Upon the cut, the triple cap split with a guillotine cutter and began to unravel from there, making it necessary to keep the band on until the very last moment just to "save" the wrapper. I couldn't discern whether or not it was a storage issue or possibly something was serious wrong with the construction but it fell apart in a way that I have never seen in a stick before.
I am going to shelf this one and move on to other sticks. It just didn't even interest me to give it another look again. I have had some other CAO's, but they were good to very good, but this cigar just didn't fit into that category for me, so fair at best it is.
The prelight testing went very well with this stick. Smooth construction throughout, no veins or flaws in the wrapper to speak of. The triple cap was well constructed and held up perfectly to a guillotine cutter. The stick smelled of rich tobacco, earth and a spicy sweetness. A quick pinch test revealed a strong, durable construction that was consistent throughout with a bit of give but only in the sense that the stick would provide a consistent draw and burn.
The lighting went very well and was very quick. The initial draw and subsequent draws were smooth and provided a nice and consistent steam of smoke. The burn was extremely even and require no intervention or correction.
The each third of the cigar provided flavors of coffee and dark, rich chocolate with a nice amount of bite, but not too overpowering as some offerings in the marketplace provide. It was a nice, creamy and rich experience overall.
As with some other blends and offerings from Oliva, this stick was well done and I can now truly understand the attraction to it.
This blend can become a regular in humidor when I am looking for a nice strong cigar with rich flavors without blowing out my palate. I would recommend this one to anyone and for the price point, it can't be beat.