The 9th 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=4798... 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.
Appearance: 15/15 - a simple band but you can tell by the wrapper that this is some quality tobacco. It has a triple cap and a closed foot. Packed solid as a rock, no complaints about this cigar.
Smoking Characteristics: 24/25 - this is how a cigar should be. Burn was on autopilot, draw had just enough resistance, and smoke output was creamy and plentiful. A good amount of smoke coming off the foot at rest too. Ash was solid for about 3/4”, had to make one minor touch up at start of the last third.
Taste: 23/25 - typical pepper start, but after 1” the spice goes away and this thing becomes super smooth and creamy. Heavy doses of bread, malt, and easy cream flavors. Hardly any spice at all even on the retro. Dare I say it got a little boring? Too much of a good thing kind of deal but I’m not complaining. This creamy malty flavor continued all the way until the last third when the spice came back and rounded out the flavors. Last third was a great mix of these 2 notes, cream and spice.
Overall: 34/35 - I don’t know why it seems so hard for cigar makers to produce a quality product like this, but this is what a cigar is supposed to be. A clean burn and a good draw that lets you really enjoy the experience, this is a high quality cigar that isn’t going to cost a fortune. I paid $7.50 each for a fiver. I would definitely recommend this to anyone. If you’re a fan of heavy pepper bombs then this is probably not going to be your favorite, but it’s a great experience for anyone nonetheless
Age: 161 days Drink: Black coffee (drink bourbon next time!)
Construction appeared to be flawless, with a beautiful chocolate wrapper accented with vanilla bands. Might need a new cutter, as clipping the cap left a small mess behind. Looks like when it tears instead of cutting cleanly, but haven't had that problem with this cutter yet. Prelight aroma was a faint leather with some cocoa powder. Cold draw actually tasted a little like the cherry flavored pipe tobacco my dad used to smoke when I was young. (So far, I'm getting chocolate covered cherries, but not expecting that once lit)
There was a bitterness immediately after lighting. Not a bad bitterness, but perhaps an espresso like flavor. I hadn't touched my coffee yet at this point, but thought it would go nicely. Turns out, the coffee mellowed things out for me. (Or things calmed down after a few draws) There was definitely some leather present. But it wasn't like a thick saddle leather, but more like the smell of a fine Italian sportscar interior. (Really enjoying this leather) The cocoa powder is still present, but very faint and only lingering after the leather subsides. Retro adds just a bit a pepper to the mix. Plenty of smoke output so far.
So far, I'm a little perplexed with this cigar. Everything seems to be bitter, but I guess a little bittersweet. Nothing is offensive, but all blending together nicely. I don't usually like bitter, but I'm liking this so far. Maybe "bitter" isn't the right word, but I can't think of another. Even the nuttiness I am starting to get on the retro is more like a walnut, leaving that waxy taste lingering on the palate.
After a while the cocoa picks up a little more, but again, it isn't overly sweet and more like hot chocolate powder mix. Perhaps it is because I thought of it earlier, but it does seem like I am starting to get the faintest cherry flavor. The ash appeared to be holding strong, but after I accidentally let it sit too long, I had to relight. I ashed all over myself immediately after. DOH!
As I progressed to the middle third, almost all of the bitterness subsided, leaving a semi sweet chocolate cherry. (Really wasn't expecting that) Retro adds a little creamy almond to the mix. Very enjoyable and goes great with my coffee. Just as I started to think things were going to get sweet and stay there, a little spice joined the party. This was a nice addition and kept me on my toes. The relight earlier may not have been my fault. I didn't think I had set it down that long, but wasn't sure. Towards the end of mid third, I had to relight again and I had to keep puffing the rest of the way to keep it lit.
In the final 3rd, the cherry was very present and the spice turned into a wood note. Not typical cedar, but more of an oak. This makes me wish it was later in the day, because a bourbon would be perfect with the cherry and barrel notes very prominent. In fact, that cherry pipe tobacco aroma I smelled earlier actually reminds me of bourbon now that I think about it. And the more I smoke at this point, the more I taste cherry and barrel spices from a good bourbon.
I must be going crazy, because my review of this cigar has been such a different one that anything I have read. I see a lot of people mention a "sweet note", but nobody labelled it. Perhaps they were getting some cherry. I also got a lot more complexity out of this stick than I have seen from others. This will definitely go on my list to smoke again. Next time with a bourbon.
(For my own sanity, I googled this cigar afterwards and all the retailers list cherry in their descriptions. They ain't wrong!)
A solid giant with a mottled brown/black wrap, a couple veins & glistening with oils. PLA rye bread; PLT dark earth & rye; PLD airy. Lights as expected for the vitola, smoke is slightly creamy, slightly chalky & quite peppery, & the draw is easy. Dark, earthy molasses, cedar & oak, & a fair amount of black pepper lead the way. Some nuttiness, toast & charcoal join in early. The dark, syrupy molasses increases past the half & the burn starts to require a bit of work to keep on keel. The finish is cedar, molasses, black pepper & long. The body runs a high medium to low full. A fairly chewy cigar which will keep you busy for a long time.
A firm core with a bit of float to the golden wrapper, one vein, a little rough around the seams & fair oils. PLA lightly grassy & earthy; PLT mulchy earth; PLD easy. Lights & draws easily, burns evenly, & the smoke is cardboard-y. Earth with a bite to it and, again, that mulchy sensation at the light up. Some indefinable woods join in but not much else of note. The finish is murky & bite-y. The body is a high mild to low medium. Skip it.
This small cigar had a firm pack with an open draw. The burn was near perfect and it put out lots of thick creamy smoke. It started off with a nice mix of cedar, chocolate, and a smooth spice. At the half the spice mellowed and coffee crept in. The final third was smooth espresso with a slight spice trying to hold on. What a great 45 minute smoke.
JUL 15 Box date. Part of a sampler from Colin (shakinghorizons)
Appearance: 15/15 - a short and stout little torpedo. Really smooth light brown wrapper with a fair amount of mottling. Invisible seams and a perfect torpedo cap. Sort of a new age style band to it, but it’s done well.
Smoking characteristics: 22/25 - toasts well, produces tons of thick creamy smoke right off the bat. Draw is good, maybe a tad too loose but all good by me. Bit of a wonky burn right away, have to touch it up in the first 1”. Went out twice but mostly my fault for trying to smoke it too slow.
Taste: 22/25 - a bit of a minty start to this one, very unique. A clean tobacco taste. After the 1” mark it starts to a bit of a creamier texture. Compliments the minty spice well. Actually gets pretty complex in the 2nd half with minty, creamy, nutty flavors going on and a bit of spice on the tongue.
Overall: 32/35 - got 45 minutes out of this little guy. Minty spice is the dominant flavor but some nice creaminess in the second half compliments it well. A good quick smoke to have in the humidor.
Box date ABR 13. Part of a sampler from Colin (shakinghorizons)
Appearance: 15/15 - as far as Cubans go, in my limited experience, this one was a gem. Comes wrapped in a cedar sleeve with the band on the sleeve. Really nice presentation. Once removed from the sleeve it’s a really nicely done stick. No major veins or imperfections, nice triple cap. No complaints on appearance.
Smoking Characteristics: 23/25 - straight cut with guillotine. Absolutely perfect draw. Toasted perfectly and we are off and running. Plenty of smoke output, decent amount of smoke coming off the foot at rest. Did have minor touch up once at 2/3 and again at 3/3, but other than that this one burned great all the way down to the nub.
Taste: 17/25 - this was not what I was expecting. For starters it didn’t have that signature Cuban twang. It was HEAVY on the woodsy cedar spice right from the get-go. This continued to dominate until about the halfway point when earthy tobacco started to come into the picture. Felt like more background flavors wanted to appear but they never did. The cedar spice was the dominant theme on this stick, I guess 5 years in a cedar sleeve will have that affect. Got some chocolate notes right at the nub.
Overall: 30/35 - smoke time was 1 hour. Great draw, burn, and construction overall. No complaints there. But not what I was expecting in the flavor department. No sweetness, fruit, or coffee tastes to speak of. In the Petit Corona format, I’d rather spend $1 more per stick for something a little more “classic” Cuban like the creamy and smooth H Upmann.
if i could i would give it 4.3 so i decided to round up construction on mine was a little rough some small cracks in the wrapper i'm chalking this mostly up to storage or shipping so not deducting points other than than that pack was nice and the wrapper was beautiful. burn was a little uneven at times razor sharp at others, needed a few touch ups but nothing significant. smoke time was around 1 hour. now the good stuff starts out medium and develops to full both in body and strength (i got a little nic buzz by the end) there were some nice transitions and its definitely not a linear cigar but i cant remember the order they all occurred in so sorry. the main memorable notes for me where citrus, cream, bakers spice. its a complex cigar out side of those and kept me entertained but i'm not going to try and call out the flavors. defiantly on my buy again list probably just a fiver since there fairly expensive i think they would go great with a coffee in the afternoon or after dinner.
While I like cigars with Mexican San Andres, oscuro and maduro wrappers I also enjoy a creamy Connecticut. This A. J. Fernandez offering, which had been resting for about 10 weeks, is a solid, well-constructed stick with only one small discoloration. The draw is perfect with plentiful smoke output. Flavors tasted are coffee, nuts, citrus and, of course, cream. The burn line never wavered and no relights were required. Both bands were removed easily without damaging the wrapper. This was a pleasurable smoke and I plan to keep several on hand.
Received this cigar from Don as part of my GC package. The cigar has a simple yet elegant band with similar color scheme as the Liga Undercrown. It is very well rolled and has a somewhat rustic look to the wrapper. Even color on broadleaf wrapper. Clips clean and easy with my lotus. Initial taste is very mellow and I can’t quite put my finger on any discernible taste. It becomes very well rounded yet still smooth and creamy, very reminiscent of a Cuban cigar, in fact I’d think it had Cuban tobacco in it. There’s some heft to the strength but not over the top, it fits well in the medium category. I didn’t feel the need to pick apart the flavors as it was enjoyable allowed me to just sit back and enjoy. I smoked fairly slowly not allowing it to burn too hot. The ash held strong as I only tapped about 4 times. The burn was uneven at times but not overly so. Smoked it to a half inch and enjoyed with a coke. Slight buzz post smoke and a pleasant taste on my palate. Rated 4 more like 4.3 it’s a good cigar.