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
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.
Got this one in a sampler from CI that advertised it as a "Gurkha 90+ Rated Collection", so expectations were raised....
Gave this torpedo the double-guillotine treatment and PLD seemed adequately open. Toast and light resulted in a so-so draw and thin smoke. The burn started a bit wavy. Taste was in the medium range with a hint of leather and a bit of spice on retro.
The wavy burn mostly self-corrected but the draw and smoke volume both made a turn for the worse, so gave the head a second cut and then when this didn't help, a third. While cutting the head the third time, the very fine, white ash fell off leaving more of a crater than a cone.
The burn got increasingly wavy after the ash left and this continued through the rest of the smoke. After knocking the 2nd ash off, I gave it the first touch-up. From there, the burn continued uneven in spite of several more touch-ups down to the nub.
Another poorly constructed Gurkha that could have rated higher as the flavors were nice enough. If this stick really received a 90 rating, it must have been a much better example than the one I smoked. Burn time: 1:11
I wanted to like this cigar as it’s maduro color created an expectation of sweetness and richness. This as however very lackluster with no real discernible flavors other than some earthiness. It had what I thought was an issue with its draw. While it was not a tight draw it did not produce a lot of smoke even whenI triple puffed it. Then burn line wandered quite a bit requiring several touch ups and when I got to around 3/4 of the way into it I could not even keep it lit so at this point I just abandoned it.
Savoury, simple & elegant flavours that are consistent over the smoke. Retro-hale produces a lovely RyJ style stone fruit flavour or is that from the Sumatra wrapper? A refined & fun experience. Consistent in the flavours & dependable, with a strong Sumatran lean from the wrapper.
Foot a sweet chocolate rum. Wrapper sweet with sherbet flavour? Cold draw hay, cardboard & truffle, allspice, sandalwood & shavings
The wrapper has a honey nougat flavour as the sherbet continues, some mint in retro-hale paired with some malt beer, mild 2nd third and some anise comes in mixed with gingerbread and pencil. More gingerbread then almond with the spice now changing to a cinnamon - medium strength Final 3rd, sweet beautiful sherbet finally drifts away and white pepper comes in, still some pencil from the maduro. The Maduro is really shining now with some notes of a meat or mushroom with a dark chocolate or cocoa nibs in a butter pastry, still anise/cinnamon high notes - wrapper now smells of dried fruit. Chocolate becomes hazelnut with milk, hard to believe this is maduro. Did not taste apparently infused peppermint, more like a five spice 9described on popular site as oriental flavours) & rarely got the impact of the maduro which was pleasantly mixed together with the other flavours.
First stick I tried had draw issues which made for a long, slow, milder time, but not a disaster. I learnt a lot from this blend about the maduro flavours.
Rich Dutch cocoa mix, various nuts, with mild pepper, chocolate & hickory flavours of the maduro throughout. Described as robust, the flavour profile is medium to full but not overwhelming. The Maduro is not my favourite flavour, a more American style, sweet & thick. Glad to have these in my collection & do want to try them in the colder months to see if that is a better time for the maduro flavour. Vitola only changes the temperature of the burn & ease of draw. for example the robusto has the same flavour profiles as the Lancero but a much easier draw. Strong focus on the maduro flavour, very consistent sticks.
A learned friend traded a Petit Cetros (from his nicely aged collection) for me to try & I am extremely thankful for the suggestion. The wrapper & cold draw were filled with sweet, woody, toasted flavours. I enjoyed the cold bouquet long enough for my friends to ask if I was actually going to light it? An extremely pleasant after dinner mildness in the first third opened up to a stronger bodied taste as the experience continued. The 2nd to the final third opened into a stronger, minty, spice combination. I enjoyed the JLP PC enough to be satisfied for several days, bathing in the experience that it was. For a cheaper stick, these are highly advised. The Vuelta Arriba/Remedios flavours are present in all the JLP offerings & as such they are a great palate trainer. Most of the range are a consistent flavour throughout the smoke, whereas the petit cetros have distinct 3rd's to their progression.
"Wrapper & foot - very simple hay with some spice there. Cold draw cedar, hay & cashew/peanut 1st third malted biscuit with walnut, familiar vuelta abajo with a mild pepper or nutmeg spice almost liquorice but a bit sweeter - becomes creamy liquorice cheesecake, still some cashew - mild Start of 2nd third & chewy peanut comes through strongly. The buttery biscuit & cheesecake base are still there with the peanuts baked in with a little vegetable. the liquorice rounder again to a sweeter fresh spice. Almost slipping back to a plain honey nougat, but not losing that chew-able quality. Still mild Final third & the liquorice cheesecake still says hello amongst the peanut cookie. Some bergamot or cardamom appears in the spice, chewy peanut prevails only now in a flaky pastry, the biscuit has drifted away. The malt from earlier has never really gone but now steps forward as the strength just gets above medium in the last inch Now the spice is also very peppery with the new robustness. While stronger & hitting medium now it still finishes with chewy malt peanut
Wrapper Hay & Roasted Almond? Not as differing in the 3rds as the Petite Cetros - an incredibly consistent smoke & flavour. Thoroughly enjoyable taste & flavours, nutty throughout with a mild mint bouquet at the end. Mild the whole way.
Just an OK smoke for me. Draw is on the light side Medium ish strength Halfway through the intense flavor of bongwater started to come through... Very poor construction on this one. The wrapper came undone from the mid way point, didnt affect the smoking though.
This cigar was a must-try for me: it's Flatbed, has my favorite leaf (these days anyway) as the wrapper and in the filler (Penn broadleaf), and the size is my sweet spot (medium ring and length).
The wrapper isn't all that much to look at, a medium sheen and a bit rustic in appearance, almost looked a little dry even. I did have to bore a little bit to loosen the draw some. Lighting took a more effort than normal for a 52 ring but not too bad.
It opens with strong creaminess and mocha-like flavors that coat the pallet well. The retrohale has a real nice sweetness, charred oak/mesquite, a little spice, and enough strength in it to tell you there's substance to this thing. The body is full and lots of pretty smooth smoke on each puff. There's a nice cream and mesquite/pepper, almost a KFC type of flavor, in a long finish on the pallet. The foot smolder gives off some floral and cedar aromas.
At about an inch in the pepper starts to take center stage but then retreats as quickly as it came. About half way through the mesquite becomes more prominent.
The burn was inconsistent, some parts it stayed straight, but a lot of uneven stuff that needed some close watching to avoid needing touch ups.
Overall I'd say medium-full to full in strength.
The ash is a little flaky but does hang on for about an inch.
This only has a couple months rest on it. I have a feeling a long nap may help some of the burn issues, we'll see. If not for that this would be 4.5 stars easy.