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=5385... A special thanks goes out to Nathan (nwb) for running the drive again.
Toys for Tots Drive 2020
The 2020 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.
December Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of December. 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: 422 days Humidimeter reading: Head - 63, foot - 58 Appearance and construction: Several prominent veins, an oily sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a double V-cut and PLD was open. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium profile with a note of wood and a hint of spice. The spice had a tangy aspect to it and gradually ramped up through the course of the smoke with an intermittent presence on retro as well. Not bad, although the tangy-ness is not quite my thing for a medium smoke. Strength was medium at best. (21/25)
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 burn continued slightly wavy but self-correcting through the remainder. Draw and smoke output were optimal throughout. (23/25)
Overall impression: This was the third vitola from this blend that I've tried and re-reading my reviews of the first two, it seems I enjoyed those a bit more. This one was a pretty good smoke, though, and I'll enjoy smoking up the rest of this 10-pack on the commute. (29/35)
A solid giant, darkly mottled wrapper, no veins & shiny w/oils. PLA faint earth; PLT more earth; PLD mod Toast & light typical for vitola, a mod easy draw, an even burn, & an earthy smoke. True to the pre-light, there's earth, though gentle, along w/some nuttiness & mild wood notes. In the 1st 1/3 there's sort of sourness that creeps in, not unpleasant. The woods resolve into a little oak & cedar. The early body is low medium. Some pepper comes to spice things up. The body builds slowly to a low full. The finish is mildly spicy woods, a hint of earth & some toasted nuts; very little sweetness. Not bad but not exciting. (89)
I had this cigar stored for 70 days. It weighed 14.20 grams.
Prelight:Sweet wrapper aroma, solid construction throughout. No noticeable soft spots.
Postlight: Performed a toast then straight cut. The draw was moderately open. A tad bit harder to light but starts out with good smoke output and burn. Mild flavors to start, lite on the palate. Retrohale medium spiciness. Ash is noticeably toothy. Flavors very mild earth, dry hay. Ash fell off at 1.5” leaving the perfect pyramid being light gray in color. Burning well after the ash fell. Still earthy main flavor. Into last 1/3 the cigar transitioned to medium body and strength.
2/3: Burning very well with tons of smoke off each puff and foot has good smoke production. Next ash at 1.25”. Burning perfectly. No huge flavor transitions to note with the retrohale still spicy. The spice isn’t as dominant but still present. I did have a hard time removing the band although I could have let it heat up more. Slight bit of wrapper tear but should not affect smoke.
3/3: No touch ups to this point. Taking ~2 puffs a minute. Picking up a creamier lite toast into last third. Ever so slight sweetness at the middle 3/3. Another ~1” ash. Still burning great with ample smoke output. The wrapper did actually start to come apart at the point the band was having trouble coming undone. This did make for an uneven burn into end of last third but I won’t knock the cigar for this, more my impatience. Smoked to the nub at 1:20 min.
I recently received an Espinosa sampler and couldn’t wait to try so this only sat for 1 day prior to smoking. Smoked outside at 74% Humidity.
Prelight: Chocolate sweet wrapper aroma. Draw on tight side with punch, did a v cut which helped a bit. Cold draw produced a raisin sweetness. Wrapper not sweet to the taste.
Postlight: the cigar was easy to light. Smooth to start no prominent flavors other than a light toast but spicy on the retrohale. Even burning to start. Starting medium-full strength. Lots of smoke off the foot. Draw not really a factor now as it had great smoke production. Earthy long finish and a great aroma of smoke. Mostly earth at end of 1/3. First ash at 1.25” strong and dark gray.
2/3: Flavor shifts a bit with an earth under tone but a slight nuttiness enters the mix. Spice, nut and overall creaminess prominent in retrohale. Any unevenness in the burn self correcting. Band comes off very easily. Gave a slight touch up towards end of 2/3. Flavors medium-full. The cigar has smoked cool to this point. Creamy tasty retrohale with spice still prominent. Medium-full on strength.
3/3: The ash was about 1” before falling off goin into final 3rd. Still burning strong. Not a huge flavor transition at this point. Medium strength and flavor. Slight touch up towards middle 3/3. Overall a great smoke lasting 1:40 min.
A solid, flawless, near-black, BPd stick with deep oils. PLA a sweet baking aroma; PLT mild earth; PLD moderate. An easy toast & light, a razor sharp burn, a mod draw, & a leather & faint citrus smoke. Starting flavors include mild leather, some citrus, sweet bread & a hint of anise. This cigar is delicious & keeps getting better. The sweetness melds with an herbal spiciness & combines with the citrus & licorice to make a tasty mouthful of flavor. The draw remains perfect throughout. The body ramps up quickly into the full zone & remains there all the way. The finish is as full of flavor as the profile. A superb AJ! (95)
A solid gordo, a mottled black-brown wrap, one vein & loaded w/oils. PLA earth & barn; PLT earth, baked goods & molasses; PLD easy. A typical light, an easy draw, an even burn, & a faintly sweet cardboardy smoke. Pepper-on the lips, too- come on stage with hickory & oak, a bit of barbecue & the spiciness of mesquite. The spiciness increases along with the woods. By the 1/2 the oak is charred a bit. The finish is woodsy & spicy, although less from the pepper than from other herbals & the mesquite. The body runs the gamut from high medium to fairly high full. A very good smoke but out of production now. (92)
Prelight: Very sweet smelling wrapper chocolate and raisin. Dark wrapper with a mild sheen. Used a straight cut about a 1/4” down. This produced a moderately open draw.
Postlight: Lights well and even. Produces lots of smoke. Starts medium body. Initial earthy tobacco flavor. Burning a bit uneven but is self correcting. Spicy retrohale has a medium punch. Lite sweetness into end of 1/3. Still burning great. Light gray ash. Short finish. Very slight touch up to keep things even. First ash at 2”. Strong ash.
2/3: Not a huge flavor transition into 2/3 just smooth smoke. Middle 2/3 strength kicks up a bit. Still not a noticeable transition on flavors. Light earth and leather sweetness. Had to give a slight touch up. Still cool burning. Next ash into 2/3 about an inch. More flaky than the first ash.
3/3: Touch ups were needed towards the end. Flavors still consistent not much transition. I was expecting a bit more from this one but I know it’s got potential. Will try again in the future. Smoked to the nub for 2 hrs.
Rock solid in the core, slightly mottled dark brown-gold wrapper, pig-tailed, no veins, very oily. PLA faint barn-y earth; PLT woodsy earth; PLD moderate. Bit of a long light, moderate draw, even burn, & a slightly sour earthy leather smoke. Cedar, earth, dark coffee & a soupcon of pepper lead. The spiciness of the cedar increases &, in the 2nd 1/3, there are notes of black cherry wood which fade into the background after a while. The final 1/3 begins to feature some vanilla undertones which makes the finish of spicy cedar, earth, coffee bean & faint black cherry a bit sweeter. The body runs from mid-medium to low full. Excellent smoke (but apparently not readily available in this vitola). (92)
Humidor time: 416 days Humidimeter reading: Head - 63, foot - 57 Appearance and construction: A few minor veins, an oily sheen, and a firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a double V-cut and PLD was open. (13/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium/full profile with a spicy retro and notes of coffee, wood, and spice. The spice in the nose faded a bit with the other flavors remaining consistent through the first two thirds apart from the spice level ramping up and down intermittently as things progressed. All of it kind of dissipated into char in the last third, though. Not bad while it lasted... Strength was about medium. (20/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start, however, the latter did not last as the burn quickly got lopsided in the first third and got a touch-up. It continued lopsided after the touch-up followed by the first ashing at 1 1/2" on the low side which left no cone to speak of. The rest of the smoke was the same - further lopsidedness and several more touch-ups down to the nub. Draw and smoke output were mostly optimal throughout. (14/25)
Overall impression: Pretty nice flavor profile with this one, but it was ruined a bit by the shoddy construction and a high level of needed maintenance. I have a few more which are destined for commute duty and will update this review should those perform any better. (19/35)