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
May Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of May. 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.
Humidor time: 168 days Appearance and construction: This one had a couple of prominent veins, a light sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots. Gave it a V-cut and PLD was moderately open. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of coffee and earth. The light revealed a full-bodied profile with notes of leather and earth and retro was spicy. This stayed consistent through the duration of the smoke. Pretty flavorful overall, but it could have used a bit of sweetness to be right in my wheelhouse. Strength was full as I was feeling the nic. buzz towards the end. (20/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced a so-so draw and less than optimal smoke volume, so gave it a second V-cut which helped slightly. I apparently didn't get the foot lit as well as I should have so the burn started a bit wavy, then got lopsided before self-correcting prior to the first ash dropping at about 2 1/2" leaving a small cone. The burn remained even but the stick started tunneling with about 1 1/2" to go, so I dumped it as the nic. intake was more than sufficient by that point... (20/25)
Overall impression: Not the best Oliva I've had what with the less than optimal draw, but it was a pretty good smoke nonetheless. And it could be I'd have enjoyed the flavors a bit more if I hadn't had two strong smokes already today. I'll smoke another one and update this review if warranted... (28/35)
Humidor time: 177 days Appearance and construction: This one had several veins, a light sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots. Gave it a single clip with the guillotine and PLD was open. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a faint whiff of cocoa. The light revealed a full-bodied profile with notes of leather and coffee and a bit of spice on retro. This stayed consistent throughout the smoke with the addition of a hint of cocoa in the 2nd half. Very nice and flavorful... Strength was about medium as I felt the nic., but not so much I couldn't enjoy the smoke. (22/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately easy draw, good smoke volume, and a slightly wavy burn to start. Gave it a 2nd clip to try and open the draw a bit more, but it stayed about the same. It was adequate so I went with it. The burn remained somewhat wavy through the first third, but mostly self-corrected. The ash fell at about 2 1/2" leaving a small cone. From there, things were fairly uneventful down to the nub with continued waviness and self-correction without the need for a touch-up. (20/25)
Overall impression: Pretty nice smoke, this one. Nice flavors, adequate construction adds up to an enjoyable smoke and one I'll look forward to doing again. (28/35)
In the humidor for 88 days, and from what I can tell on the box dates cigars were rolled in Jan 2018 boxed in April 2018, so they should actually be around a year plus old. Ever since I ran a box split on these to try it blind I've been hearing all about how bad the construction is from several sources so I figured I'd give her a spin and get my own take on here.
The cigar is well decorated with a wax paper sleeve, foot ribbon, and a handsome band. I had to tear the wax paper in several pieces to actually get the sleeve off but I was able to get it off without damaging the wrapper. The wrapper is almost oscuro and pretty consistent in color with a medium sheen. The cap is an attractive pigtail and after peeling the tail off the draw is tight so I double V cut it. The draw is still a little too tight but passable. In looking at the foot it was almost as if I were looking at a cut off tree branch that was hollowed out by termites in the middle; there was some somewhat loose looking rolled leaf in the middle and then extremely dense filler all around it - a discouraging sight to say the least.
Lit her up and the draw didn't want to open much after lighting either so I bored in about an inch and it loosened up enough to pass for a descent draw though still a smidge tight.
First third: Initially it was a pretty strong spicy tobacco flavor. After getting in about 1/4 inch the strong tobacco and spice backed off to usher in the typical broadleaf smoky sweetness along with some earth and a little sourness. The spice is definitely there but it's noticed most on the finish. The smoke wasn't all that smooth to start with but smoothed out fairly nicely. Smoke production and body were both medium-full. About an inch in and I'm feeling something so this speedball is strong. This is also when I had to do my first burn correction as it was going uneven and I'm hearing faint crackling noises but no visual signs of wrapper distress. The ash held firm to about 1.5 inches.
Second third: The flavor on the pallet got pretty earthy, like charred wood, black coffee, that bit of sourness, and some spice, with a little sweetness and pepper on the finish. The retrohale turned to primarily floral sweetness and it really balances out the pallet flavors well. Another touchup needed at the halfway point and that actually brings back the full array of flavors on both the pallet and the retro. It's consistent on which side of the shaft is tending to burn slower.
Final third: The flavors are nice and rich heading in. Retro is oak, smoky sweet with a little floral and spice, pallet is coffee, spice, a little dark chocolate, and the body and strength are ranging from med-full to full. In the last couple inches of the nub it started to warm up pretty good but the nub stayed firm.
Overall this was a tasty full strength broadleaf cigar that did need a couple touch ups but for the $4.65 I paid for these I easily got my money's worth. I'm curious to see what more age will do for these and look forward to smoking another. 4 stars.
Humidor time: 174 days Appearance and construction: Unusual and striking appearance to this one with the brown and green barber-pole wrapper design. Couple of veins in it with a moderately firm pack and no soft spots. Gave it a punch and PLD was open. (13/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco... The light gave a medium-bodied profile with notes of leather and spice and a bit of sourness that later turned salty... Not really in my wheelhouse, but it was definitely not bland or uninteresting... Strength was about medium as I noticed the nic. intake, but it wasn't all that strong. (18/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and a wavy burn to start, the latter probably more due to my inept lighting skills than much else... The burn evened out in the first half inch. The ash clung tightly and first fell at about 2 1/2" leaving a small cone. From there, things were more or less uneventful down to the nub, although it did get a bit lopsided after I stuck it with my corn skewer in the final third, but I'm not deducting points for that... (23/25)
Overall impression: Pretty good smoke, this one, which came to me via Brlesq's "mystery sampler" awhile back, and it only loses points for the less than stellar flavors, at least according to my palate.... (25/35)
Humidor time: 178 days Appearance and construction: This one had several prominent veins which seemingly would have relegated it to 2nd status, at least by normal Oliva standards, but there they were... It also had a moderately firm pack with no soft spots. Gave it a punch and PLD was moderately open. (11/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a faint whiff of chocolate. Once lit, got a full-bodied profile with notes of leather and coffee along with some spice on retro. Later on in the first third, a hint of chocolate appeared. Quite flavorful and very nice... Strength was leaning towards Full as I got a pretty noticeable nic. hit towards the end. (24/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately easy draw, decent smoke volume, and an even burn to start. The burn got quite wavy and slanted in the first third, probably due to the aforementioned prominent veinage, with the ash tower being pulled to one side. It didn't want to drop, though, so I continued to puff with the burn gradually self-correcting to mostly even by the time the ash finally dropped at 1 1/2" leaving a cone. The burn continued self-correcting following the ash drop and evened out more or less completely in the last third prior to the nub. (20/25)
Overall impression: Great smoke in spite of the construction issues affecting the burn. Great flavor, adequate construction, albeit sub-par for an Oliva, and it was a very enjoyable smoke. Definitely be smoking more of these... (30/35)
Humidor time: 175 days Appearance and construction: Nice presentation with the cedar wrap and black foot band, but was what's underneath going to live up to it... This one had a few veins, a light sheen, and a soft pack with an even softer spot near the head. Used the V-cutter on it and PLD was moderately open. (10/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a faint whiff of coffee. The light revealed a medium profile with a note of wood through the first half and some cocoa appearing in the 2nd half. Not bad, but nothing very amazing. (16/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and a wavy burn to start. The burn self-corrected and stayed pretty even prior to the first of the crumbly, flaky ash dropping at just past 1" with no cone left behind... Following this, the burn got lopsided, so gave it a touch-up. Smoked it to a nub but not before it again got lopsided. It also got extremely soft and squishy... (10/25)
Overall impression: Apart from the merely OK flavors, this was about the worst smoke I've had in awhile. Lousy construction, end of story. Safe to say I won't be buying more of these unless the other three I have somehow prove this one to be a fluke. But I doubt if they will... (15/35)
Firm with a very dark wrapper, hardly a vein, some scattered, shallow tooth, & a light oil sheen. PLA earth (& cocoa at the foot); PLT chocolate & sour cream; PLD easy. Normal light for the vitola, a nearly airy draw, a fairly even burn, & a spicy earth & cocoa smoke. Earth, cocoa & bl pepper start, joined soon by some cedar tang, nuts, salt, cream & coffee hints. The retro is distinctly floral. The flavors rotate through the spotlight becoming a rich melange by the 1/2 & giving a smooth, full-mouth experience. The finish is creamy with earth, wood & cocoa. The body runs high into the medium & low full. This is a rich cigar & strangely relaxing to smoke.
Humidor time: 176 days Appearance and construction: This was a lightly box-pressed stick with a very smooth, nearly vein-free wrapper, a light sheen to it, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots. Gave it a single clip with the guillotine and PLD was open. (14/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of cocoa. The light revealed a medium/full profile with notes of leather and coffee and a bit of spice along with some sweetness. This stayed consistent throughout the smoke. Tastiest smoke I've had in awhile... Strength was leaning towards full as I got a pretty good nic. buzz off this one. (23/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start. The burn got slightly wavy in the first third but self-corrected with the ash falling at 1 1/2". Following the ash leaving, the burn continued wavy but self-correcting down to the nub. (22/25)
Overall impression: Great smoke, this one. Construction wasn't perfect, but no touch-ups were needed, and add in the very nice flavors and it's a winner. Will definitely be smoking more of these. (32/35)
Up front it is a great looking stick, silky smooth wrapper with some light veining and a nice sheen. The fill is perfect, just a tad of give and a perfect draw. Cap held together after clipping, and it produced a good amount of smoke throughout. The burn was superb, holding firm around two inches at a time and not requiring even one touch up through the finish. Construction wise, you could not ask for a better example of a well made cigar.
I was on the fence flavor wise the entire stick though. The start was a bit acidic with some woody notes and a little sweetness. Pretty soon, it brought in a seltzer/sparkling water thing, which I am not a big fan of. Don’t know that I have ever experienced this exact note in a cigar. Not bad, but not my favorite profile. This was there for about the first two-thirds of the smoke. There is some cedar and maybe a little baking spice, but not a ton else going on. Again, not bad, just uneventful. The last third strengthened up some, but not necessarily in a good way. Burn remained good, but it got a little hot and just a bit harsh.
Overall, I am a fan of Warped sticks, but I think this one may be a case of just being out of my wheelhouse. While it wasn’t very flavorful to me, I think the odd seltzer note through me off since it is not a flavor I love. May be other’s thing, so don’t avoid based on me. It was an extremely well made stick. I will just stick to the other lines…
Humidor time: 173 days Appearance and construction: This one had a few prominent veins and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots. Gave it a V-cut and PLD was moderately open. (12/15)
Flavor: Got nothing from PLA apart from mild tobacco. The light revealed a medium profile that was pleasant and a bit spicy. Kind of a typical Gurkha taste that's typically flavorful enough, but not describable, at least via my undeveloped palate... (20/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and a wavy burn to start. The burn continued quite wavy through the first third, then finally self-corrected before the first ash fell, which left a nice cone. Post-ashing, the burn continued very even and things were uneventful down to the nub. (22/25)
Overall impression: 2nd one of these I've smoked and the first one was pretty good, too. Decent flavor, pretty good construction, albeit a quick burn for a toro, but whadya want for under $2 a stick... (28/35)