The Annual “Cigars for Troops” drive is under way. 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=5418... A special thanks goes out to Nathan (nwb) for running the drive again.
Toys for Tots Drive 2021
The 2021 The Marine Toys for Tots drive is under way again this year. This is the way to earn the Toys for Tots badge for being a contributor. If you give a kit for auction, win an auction, or donate at least $20 you will be awarded the badge A special thanks goes out to Emerson (McBryde) for stepping up to run the drive again this year.
January Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of January. 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.
Hard, oily, medium brown, a couple veins. PLA slightly sour, barn-y earth; PLT deep humus-y earth; PLD easy. A longish toast & light, an easy draw, an even burn, & a moist earth smoke. A sharp, faintly citrus earth note & some spice on the lips begin. The retro is neutral. While this is supposedly the exact same blend as the Nat Sherman Timeless, this is essentially a one-note stick. It stays the same citrus-y earth from start through the finish. Not unpleasant, just not exciting in any way. The body is upper medium. While I liked the NST this version is kind of a dud.
Humidor time: 580 days Humidimeter reading: Head - 69, foot - 70 Appearance and construction: A couple minor veins, a light sheen, a sharp box-press, and a moderately soft pack with no soft spots... Gave it a double shallow V-cut and PLD was open. (13/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of earthy tobacco. The light gave a medium/full profile with a slightly spicy retro and notes of black pepper and charred wood. The spice in the nose faded quickly with the other flavors mellowing somewhat through the first third but otherwise staying consistent until the last third when they changed to more of just a hot char. Pleasant enough for the first two thirds but not very close to my wheelhouse. Strength was medium at best. (17/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and a wavy burn to start. The burn quickly evened out and stayed that way through the first third with the ash falling at 1 1/4" leaving a cone. The burn continued a bit wavy but self-correcting through the 2nd third and things were otherwise uneventful down to the nub. Draw and smoke output remained optimal throughout. (23/25)
Overall impression: This was the 2nd vitola I'd had from this blend, the first being the "Gol!", and it'd been quite awhile since I'd had the latter stick so I didn't remember much about it. Not surprising as this blend doesn't do much for me apart from being a reasonably pleasant smoke to puff on while watching Netflix. Construction was better than what I remembered from smoking other CAO sticks, so there's that. This was my only one, which doesn't make me overly sad, and I don't see myself buying any more of these. (25/35)
Humidor time: 570 days Humidimeter reading: Head - 69, foot - 64 Appearance and construction: One prominent vein, an oily sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a wide-ring punch and PLD was moderately open. (13/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a mild/medium profile with a spicy retro and notes of light wood, spice, and a hint of butter. The spice in the nose gradually faded through the first third with the other flavors remaining consistent until part way through the 2nd third when the spice on the palate gradually faded away completely. Pretty tasty, at least through the first half, but the spice disappearing in the 2nd half made it somewhat less interesting. Strength was about medium. (22/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start. The burn stayed even through the first third with the ash falling at 1 1/4" leaving a small cone. The stick tunneled a bit in the 2nd third and briefly tried to go out, but managed to self-correct itself with a bit of extra puffing and things were then uneventful down to the nub. Draw and smoke output were optimal throughout except when it was trying to go out. (22/25)
Overall impression: Pretty nice slow-burning morning smoke, this one, although it wasn't the most amazing conny blend I've ever had. Pretty decent construction, too, apart from the one tunneling episode. I'd smoke it again, although I think this was my only one and I doubt if I'd buy any more of these given the somewhat run-of-the-mill flavors. (29/35)
Prelight: wrapper is a nice dark oscuro. There are some imperfections throughout but nothing show stopping. The aroma was semi-sweet. The cap was applied well. The pack was tight. I used a straight cut to produce a moderately open draw.
Postlight: the cigar wasn’t the easiest to light and the burn line starts a bit uneven. I am having to give it three puffs to get a good smoke thick output. I gave a slight touchup to even out the burn. I am getting a medium body to start with flavors of mostly dark sweet chocolate. The Retrohale is light with no spice kick. 1st ash unintentionally knocked off at around an inch. Ash has been solid and non-flaky.
2/3: burn line has mostly evened out and cigar is opening up. Body is now medium-full and strength has gone to medium. Spice is beginning to enter but retaining its smoothness. 2 puffs are more than enough now to produce plumes of smoke. Next full ash at about 1.5”. Cigar strength is now medium-full. The burn line has gone uneven again starting to canoe but smoking fine.
3/3: band was removed without wrapper damage. Flavors are most earth and a touch of woods and nuttiness. Retrohale is full strength spice now causing eye water and a strong burn. Burn line has self corrected with no additional touchups. Final smoke time 1:08min.
Humidor time: 579 days Humidimeter reading: Head - 66, foot - 54 Appearance and construction: A few veins, an oily sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a wide-ring punch and PLD was moderately open. The cap was sloppily applied and most of it came off after the punch but this didn't affect smokeability at all. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of rich tobacco. The light gave a full-bodied profile with a spicy retro and notes of black pepper, strong black coffee, and spice. I also got a hint of leather part way through the first third and a hint of dark chocolate appeared in the 2nd third, but things were otherwise pretty consistent throughout. Very tasty, overall, and quite peppery. Strength was a bit past medium and pushing medium/full towards the end. (23/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start. The burn stayed even through the first third with the ash falling at 1 1/2" leaving a small cone. The burn continued a bit wavy but self-correcting through the last two thirds but things were otherwise uneventful down to the nub. Draw and smoke output remained optimal throughout. (23/25)
Overall impression: Got this one last year from the Privada Cigar Club shop. Pretty nice longer smoke if you like lots of pepper in the profile, which I do, but this one was on the spendy side at $11, so I probably won't buy any more at that price... (31/35)
Humidor time: 578 days Humidimeter reading: Head - 61, foot - 42 Appearance and construction: A few veins, an oily sheen, a smooth box-press, and a moderately soft pack with no soft spots... Gave it a single clip with the guillotine and PLD was open. (13/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium-bodied profile with a spicy retro and notes of wood and spice, and a hint of coffee. The spice in the nose mostly faded after a few puffs with the other flavors remaining consistent throughout. Very tasty and pretty close to my wheelhouse for a medium smoke. Strength was medium at best. (23/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start. The burn stayed even through the first third with the ash falling unexpectedly on my shirt just past 1" leaving a small cone. The burn continued evenly in the 2nd third, then gradually got wavy and then lopsided around the start of the last third and finally got a touch-up when it failed to self-correct. Draw and smoke output remained optimal throughout. (22/25)
Overall impression: Got this one from the Privada Cigar Club shop last year. Apparently they were leftovers from some event that Espinosa made them for and aren't available anywhere else (and I see PCC is now sold out of them). I'd previously had this blend in three other vitolas and my reviews of those show that I was getting a noticeable citrus note, which I didn't get from this one. This one also wasn't as spicy as I remembered the other ones to be. In any event, it was a pretty decent smoke, if a bit fast-burning and somewhat imperfect, construction-wise, given the lopsided burn in the last third. Spendy, too, at about $12, so I wouldn't buy more of these even if they were still available... (30/35)
A rock solid, light brown stick, no veins & pretty good oils. PLA nutty hay & a barn hint; PLT rich, corky wood; PLD moderately easy. An easy toast & light, a moderately easy draw, an even bur, & a salt & wood smoke. Pungent oak, cedar & hickory, earth, & a faint sweet floral start. There is a bit of pepper but little in the retro. The floral character takes on more of a citrus tone in the 1st 1/3. Near the 1/2 the citrus & woods become more tangy, but nicely so. The spice & citrus pick up in the retro in the 2nd 1/2. Thr tanginess continues to the end & the finish is earth, wood, citrus & just a hint of pepper. The body is high medium. An engaging cigar. (91)
A firm torpedo, med brown in color, long shallow tooth, no veins & fair oils. PLA graham-y wheat; PLT oak-y earth; PLD mod easy. An easy light, a mod easy draw, an even burn, & a salty smoke. Salted earth, creamy wheat & hay, a hint of vanilla & a bit of pepper (the same in the nose) start off. 1st 1/3 adds wood notes & the vanilla turns caramel-ly. Nearing the 1/2 the flavors mellow. The earth & woods remain predominant; the salt fades, the pepper is almost non-existent on the palate. The finish is earth, woods, wheat & hay, a faint hint of pepper & caramel in the tailoff. The body is low-mid medium. A fine smoke. (91)
Firm, oval, BP, medium brown wrap, no veins & fine oils. PLA earth & molasses; PLT earth, molasses & a pepper tinge; PLD easy. An easy light & draw, an even burn but some late wrapper issues, & a spicy, somewhat flinty smoke. Starters are earth, a bit of minerals, wood notes & some black pepper (robust in the retro). The 1st 1/3 is unusually mineral-ly & a bit of nuttiness joins. Around the 1/2 a hint of cocoa comes aboard. The minerals continue to rule, though not unpleasantly until the last 1/3 when they taper off some. The finish is earthy with woods, minerals, a hint of nuts & a sprinkle of black pepper. The body is upper medium. Decent. (90)