September 21, 2008
Well… I was hoping to get a review in, but it just doesn’t look like it is in the cards. I am feeling the beginnings of some kind of head cold/sickenss, and I need to try and fight it off. My palate won’t be much good for a review for the next few days at least.
I hope to get a RASS in tonight for good measure though… 🙂
Keep reading the other cigar blogs I have linked, and I will start reviews again as soon as I get through this!
Thanks to those who read this little blog, I appreciate it!
September 14, 2008
Punch Robusto 2005 Edición Regional – Suiza (Switzerland)
Size: 4.9” x 50
Age: (Box code unknown.)
Smoke Time: 73 minutes
Thanks go to Alex of CCF for the opportunity to try this cigar!
A light caramel-colored wrapper with no major veins or defects at all. The cigar appeared to be well packed with no noticeable hard or soft spots. Prelight aroma was light and cedary with some floral and sweet elements. The balance was great, and the aroma was very pleasing. The prelight flavor was light and refreshing – there were light tobacco flavors complimented by a honeysuckle sweetness and touch of cinnamon.
Though the draw was a touch tighter than I prefer, it did not present any problems or distraction at all. It started with pleasant mild flavors – cedar with a smooth creaminess and straight tobacco flavors.
The smooth cedary and creamy flavors continued. Additional flavors developed as this third did – toast and a touch of grass.
The light and smooth flavors continued, and a slight butterscotch-like sweetness developed just as I reached the band. There was a slight intesnification of flavors in the last inch or so – there was a very slight bite of spice, but it did not become anything significant. I was able to smoke this cigar to the nub without it heating up much at all.
A pleasant mild cigar that would be excellent in the morning or at lunchtime. The delicate and mild flavors would not be able to stand up to a full-flavored meal or beverage. Well worth a try for a change of pace.
September 7, 2008
Gran Habano 3 Siglos Gran Robusto
Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Shade Grown)
Filler: Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia
Smoke Time: 76 minutes
A very nice looking cigar. The dark brown wrapper had a nice oily sheen. The head was triple capped and very flat. The wrapper was very smooth to the touch, with no major veins or defects at all. Prelight aroma had lots of hay with some toast. At the foot, the aroma was candied fruit and straight tobacco. The prelight taste was dominated by straight tobacco and grass, with a touch of mint.
The cigar started right off with thick volumes of smoke and a dose of pepper, though not the spicy bite that is normally associated with peppery flavors. This was very subtle, with just the slightest hint of a bite at the midpoint of my palate. There were some nice woody flavors with bitter chocolate as well. Overall, it started off as a very smooth cigar with no harsh flavors at all.
The flavors in the second third were remarkably similar to those in the first third. I guess this wasn’t so bad, as the flavors in the first third were pretty good. The cigar remained smooth, and the subtle peppery flavor remained in the background. A slight sweetness did develop at the midpoint of the second third, along with some cinnamon and allspice flavors.
The flavors finally started to change in the last third. The spiciness moved to the forefront, but it was still not overpowering at all. The rest of the flavors did intensify a bit, but to be honest it was not that exciting or different than the first two thirds.
A good cigar. The blend provided with a nice flavor profile that had a solid medium body. My only complaint is that it remained relatively flat throughout just about the whole cigar, with the only major change occurring in the middle of the last third. I would like to try the Gran Corona (6 x 44) and see how the smaller size works with this blend.
September 1, 2008
So a little while back, I decided to throw my hat in the ring when Cigar Magazine called for reviewers for their “Many Faces Of…” feature.
I was shocked that I was picked, especially since I had lat my subscription run out over a year before. Anyway, I was informed that it was going to be “Many Faces of CAO”, and I received a load of CAO cigars to smoke and review.
My feelings were quite honestly mixed, as I have not had the best CAO experieneces in the world, aside from the Brazilias (which I do enjoy).
I was determined to be HONEST, and typed up my reviews and sent them in. I had a couple of positive things to say about a couple of the cigars, and a lot of not so positive things.
Well, I just found out that one of my comments made it to print – and not one of the more positive comments suprisingly enough… It was a comment I made about a CAO Sopranos Soldier – here it is:
Well, I said I was going to be honest, didn’t I? 🙂
September 1, 2008
Padilla Series ’68 Lancero
Size: 7 x 38
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Corojo)
Smoke Time: 70 minutes
I picked up a few different Padilla Lanceros at a Padilla event at Cigar Monkey in Merced, CA on Thursday, August 28. They were sampling the Series ’68 Toros that night… I enjoyed the cigar, and was curious to see how the blend would be in a Lancero. I was not disappointed!
A well-constructed lancero with no knots or soft spots. The wrapper was an oily medium brown with no major veins or defects. The cigar had a pigtail cap. Prelight aroma had lots of cedar with a little barnyard and a touch of spice. Prelight flavor had pungent spice flavors and notes of top soil.
The cigar started off right away with thick, billowing clouds of smoke. It opened up with a pleasant medium-bodied woody flavor with some spiciness at the back of my palate and creeping up into my nose. There were also some notes of hay.
A nice peppery spiciness started at the end of the first third. It was just at the tip of my tongue and not overpowering at all. This peppery bite was a great compliment to the flavor profile.
The peppery spiciness maintained its level, and actually widened out from the tip of my tongue to include my lips and the front of my palate at well. The woody flavor became deeper, almost to the point of earthiness. A slight touch of grassiness also developed as well.
The final third was much different than I was expecting. I am accustomed to the final third building in intensity and strength. This cigar actually smoothed out in the final third. All of the woody, spicy, and earthy flavors were still there, but they were smoother with a creamy-like overtone. Very nice.
A very enjoyable lancero. It had a solid medium body and a good blend and balance of flavors. It never became overpowering or harsh, and actually became smoother and more refined in the final third. At approximately $5-7 each, it is definitely worth considering for a future purchase.
August 26, 2008
Kristoff Criollo Robusto
Size: 5-1/2 x 54
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Criollo
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Smoke Time: 62 minutes
Manufactured by Exclusive Cigars.
A seemingly well-filled cigar with a slight softness at the head and foot. The wrapper is deep brown in color with some dark splotches. The cigar has a pigtail cap and a shaggy foot. The only real wrapper defect I could find was that the application at the foot was a little sloppy and wrinkled. Prelight aroma was deeply earthy with notes of spiciness and cardamom. There is also a slight sweetness in the aroma that reminds me of that sweetened pipe tobacco that the tobacconist used to keep in those clear jars when I was younger. Prelight taste had a lot of dried fruit flavors – specifically apricot and raisin. There were also light cedar flavors.
I found it interesting that the first few puffs had none of the prelight dried fruit flavors that I found. The cigar opened very dry with pleasant hay flavors with a healthy spice in my nose and on my palate. As the first third progressed, there was also a slight sweetness that developed on the wrapper as well.
Though it appeared relatively well-filled before lighting, the foot developed a soft, under-filled feeling during the second third. The head became similarly soft, and it was not able to easily hold its shape. This issues at the foot also caused an uneven burn that I ended up correcting throughout the rest of the cigar. The sweetness on the wrapper continued, and the hay flavors and spiciness continued and began to intensify, and were complimented by earthy flavors.
The earthiness continued to develop, and the hay evolved into what I can best describe as a mahogany-type hardwood essence. The spiciness intensified and increased in overall fullness. There was a tiny bit of a harsh edge that developed that may indicate the presence of just a touch of youthfulness.
A good evolution of flavors and a solid medium-bodied smoke. The earthy and woody flavors were well-complimented by the spiciness, and the strength was not at all overpowering. The loose pack in the head and foot proved distracting, as did the uneven burn that needed correction constantly in the final two thirds.
I have a maduro sample of the same vitola that I am looking forward to trying to see if there are similar construction and burn issues. With the resolution of these issues, I would certainly consider including this cigar in my regular rotation. I look forward to trying other Kristoff vitolas as well.
August 22, 2008
San Cristóbal de la Habana La Punta
5-1/2 x 52
Box Code: FEB 07
Smoke Time: 60 minutes
A leathery-textured medium brown wrapper covered the evenly-filled cigar. The only defect was a slight split at the foot. The cigar had a slight box press. I was happy to see a few sparkles of plume visible on the wrapper. Prelight aroma was beautifully light and floral with cedar notes. Prelight flavor had elements of green tea with straight tobacco flavors.
The cigar started off right away with great smoke volume and a perfect draw. It started off with dry cedar flavors. There was also a hint of a spicy bite at the middle of my palate. There was also an overall creaminess that really did a good job of tying all of the other flavors together.
There was a slight uneven burn, but this was likely due to the slight breeze outside in the backyard where I was smoking. The strength built a little bit at the beginning of this third. The spiciness also built, and the creaminess evolved into a deep leathery flavor.
The flavors of the second third continued to build and intensify. A nice peppery tingle developed at the tip of my tongue.
A great smoke with flavors that evolved and built throughout the smoke. The middle third really kicked in some great leathery and spicy flavors that were very tasty. As usual, this cigar did not disappoint. It presented a more intense and concentrated flavor profile than the La Fuerza, another favorite of mine.