All donors will receive the coveted "Troop Supporter" badge. Last year's total was 1,343 cigars, and we would like to surpass that with your support. If you have any questions beyond what is addressed in the thread above, please reach out to Nathan (nwb).
Toys for Tots Drive
This year's 2014Marine Toys for Tots drive is over, and the very generous brotherhood here pulled together for an amazing $1,595.16. This is a great accomplishment that will go 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 this year.
February Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of February. The 35 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.
This is a decent medium cigar with flavors of leather, wood, cream, and bitterness. I've been looking forward to tryig it so I jumped on the opportunity when it went on sale at the smoke shop. It ended being a disappointment as it turned out to have pronounced bitterness on the tongue. Luckily I had a hoppy IPA on hand to balance out the bitter aftertaste. My first La Palina and I probably won't put any effort into sourcing others. Almost rated it 2.5.
This was a very solid Maduro that reminded me of the Mayorga cigars in terms of the flavor. Very plain and boring but also very solid. The draw was really tight in the beginning to the point where it became quite frustrating. A very solid Maduro nevertheless, which I would consider buying again given the right circumstances. It actually seemed to have more flavor than the Padron 1926 that preceded it!
This was an utterly disappointing cigar for me, not so much because of the price point but more so because of the rave reviews here and my better experience with other 1926 vitolas. For me this cigar was all strength, very thin on flavor, and with little complexity if any. I actually have fonder memories from when I last smoked a Man O War Corojo Puro Authentico, and the Saint Luis Rey Maduro I smoked right after this Padron seemed to have more flavor. I'd probably buy it again if the price is right, if only to see if this was a dud. Very solid for sure, but nothing spectacular or worth pondering about IMHO.
Prelight: ~30 day rest period after purchase. Presents with an oily, dark chocolate wrapper. Well-constructed box press with a slight give to it and a similarly well-constructed torpedo tip. Aroma of cocoa and hay. Cut twice for a total of ~1/2 inch off to get the draw that I wanted. Predraw has a surprisingly bright and citrusy flavor to it. Paired with dark-roast coffee.
First third: Beatiuful, smooth, creamy smoke coming out of this guy. The foot smoke NEVER stops. Clean, smooth flavors of milk chocolate, baking cocoa, coffee, and straw. Retrohale is clean and effortless with more of the same flavors. Does this have a fair bit of aged tobacco in it? Hard to believe young leaves would give this kind of well-integrated, smooth experience.
Second third: Flavors have become brighter and more complex in this second third. Some of the cocoa is sticking around, and is joined by layered bright/citrus and cream flavors in addition to musty tobacco and a touch of straw/hay. Creamy mouthfeel and a touch of sweetness tie everything together. Really, really enjoyable. The ash held on for the first ~1.5 inches. Fun note: the wrapper is so elastic and pliable that you can actually see it contract near the burn line as the tobacco near the cherry contracts.
Final third: The sweetness takes on a maraschino cherry quality at the beginning of the final third. Further down, it develops an acrid leather quality on the palate with ~1.5 inches remaining. It quickly became becoming quite burnt/bitter tasting. Purging didn't help, so I chucked the last bit, but definitely got my money's worth. This could be simply due to drying out slightly while being smoked in the cold winter air.
Verdict: This is a very, very enjoyable smoke. It paired well with coffee, but could be enjoyed with any number of beverages. Construction is excellent. I am looking forward to seeing how the other three sticks change with a little more humidor time. I'll call this one "excellent," 92/100 (= 4.5 stars), with points off mostly for the burnt-tasting final third. However, there is upside potential for this score under better smoking conditions.
Wrapper is a little rough with a couple major viens.This has been resting in my humidor for awhile.The smell really doesn't remind me of anything.The stick seems a little spongy.The draw is good. The first third starts out real sharp with a peppery spice its almost over powering.I begin to wonder if I'm going to be able to smoke it.As I get through the first third the pepery and spice goes down conciderable and a little leather starts coming through.The burn and smoke output has been good up to here.But then the burn gets wonky and needs a touch-up but this is the only one it needs. The last third keeps the leather and the peppery spice comes back but nothing like the first third. The strength is medium at best and it certainly not complex.The burn time lasts about 1hr.20min.I won't but another one its not my cup of tea
This is a great looking cigar, slightly toothy wrapper, very dark. Construction seems perfect. Starts off moderately peppery especially through the nose. About an inch in seems to mellow down and gives a thick creamy smoke with a slightly sweet chocolate cocoa finish. Not the longest finish but a nice medium body at least. After warming up the cigar maintained this flavor profile throughout, smoke stayed thick and cool. I've never had this much smoke off any other cigar! This is my favorite stick to date and I'll definitely be purchasing more.