Monthly Archives: September 2012

Review Merlion Robusto By La Sirena Cigars

I should start by saying I was extremely excited to try this cigar. The La Sirena Prince was the subject of my first review and one of my go to sticks. The Merlion by La Sirena Cigars is  distributed by Miami Cigar & Company which produces other tasty blends as well. When the Merlion became available on the Pipes and Cigars website, I wasted no time.

The construction of the cigar is beautiful. Packed well and a little lighter in color than the La Sirenas. A few medium veins throughout but nothing tedious. Pre light sniff was a wonderful mix of manure, woodsy and nutty notes. The foot gave some spice, woods and more manure. The pre light draw offered woods, spice, and cream. Toast it, smoke it…

The first third was as good as it gets. A flavorful blend of woods, nuts, earth, and a dry spice at the finish. The burn was great, and produced a nice light colored ash. The smoke was aromatic and a little dry, and plenty of it was created. I also at times sensed some creaminess in the profile. The cigar thus far has been worth the wait.

The second third saw a few minor changes but nothing too significant. The more dominant flavors became the woods, earth, and creaminess. The spice was reserved for the palate and was a dry finish. The earth and nuts were still present but more as undertones. The burn stayed pretty even, and if it seemed it wouldn’t the cigar corrected itself wonderfully. The smoke stayed ample and the cigar at a cool temp.

In the final third the spice began to fade a bit, giving way to the more earthy, and wood tones. The creaminess also seemed to amp up a bit and provide a smoother finish. At times I thought I sensed a bitter chocolate taste, a subject which I’ll pay more attention to with my next Merlion. Oh yes this was only one of many, I can guarantee that. The cigar stayed perfectly cool from foot to nub.

Sometimes anticipation, can lead to great happiness or disappointment. The anticipation of the Merlion for me was every bit worth the wait. I can see this in my top five of 2012 easily. La Sirena and Miami Cigar Company continue to create quality smokes and I look forward to trying more of their lines in time to come. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Review La Dueña No.5 Robusto

I’ve read that this cigar is a tribute to Janny Garcia, blended by Pete Johnson and distributed through My Father Cigars. What do you get with such a collaboration of such great cigar makers? A home run! I recently purchased a couple of these at Total Tobacco Newtown Square Pa. Yes, I will be going back for more.

The construction was beautiful, very minimal veins, and packed perfect. A pre light sniff offered up some dark chocolate, spice, and a sweet note. The foot gave me more spice, dark chocolate, and earth. A straight cut and the cold draw sent more dark chocolate, earth, and spice. Toasting time, smoking time…

The first few puffs had me excited. A wonderful blend of pepper at the forefront, dark chocolate, earth, and a sweet note. I was having trouble identifying the sweet note, so I’ll just have smoke another and study it more. The first third was a flavorful one, combining the mentioned flavors. The burn was excellent, producing the perfect amount of sweet smelling smoke, and a dark grey ash that was a tad flakey but nothing bothersome.

The second third was all together another delight. The pepper faded away a bit but was still in the background. The sweet note enhanced into the profile and seemed to take on almost a fruity flavor. Like I said I’ll have to push myself to smoke another to pinpoint the sweetness, such a hard sell that’ll be. The dark chocolate took on a little more of a bitter note and the earth faded a little as the pepper. Still burning beautifully.

The final third added a light touch of leather. The sweet note faded a bit and seemed to give some power back to the pepper. The dark chocolate stayed on the bitter side and the earth wasn’t that present. The cigar stayed cool all the way to the nub, and I was sad to see it go, but happy I’d had the pleasure in smoking it.

Absolutely another great cigar for 2012. Pete Johnson and the Garcia family have always provided excellent smokes and they reassert how good they are together with this offering. As a tribute to Janny Garcia, I don’t know if it could get much better. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Review Emilio Cigars AF Suave Toro

I’ve been waiting a while to give these a try. Lucky for me I had a chance to go check out Mr. Gary Griffith’s newest location, Total Tobacco, in Newtown Square Pa. While there, apart from good conversation and joking that seems always to be a part of a visit with Mr. Griffith, I purchased a couple of these along with some other smokes.

The construction of the cigar is beautiful, very minimal veins if any, and packed well. Pre light offered up some sweet notes along with some tobacco. The foot gave off some nutty notes and some more sweetness. A cut to the cap and the cold draw gives sweet notes, some coffee , and a creamy flavor. Toasting time, smoking time…

The first third was an absolute delight. The beginning greets with creamy flavors, nutty notes and a bit of of coffee. The burn was razor sharp, producing wonderfully flavorful smoke, and a light gray ash, that was almost white. The flavors were all together a great balance.

The second third kept all flavors even and delicious. The burn and ash both stayed as perfect as before. The smoke stayed abundant and aromatic. The cigar at this point again was a delight.

The final third was a surprise to me. Usually I’m used to cigars swapping out most of the flavors and focusing on one or two. Not the case. It seemed to me that all flavors stayed as true as when first lighting up. The cigar stayed a medium body throughout. The burn was impecable from foot to nub. Absolutely another great Connecticut to enjoy with a good cup of coffee or whatever else you may desire.

I’ve said before that I’m not the biggest fan of Connecticuts. This marks the second that has me re-analyzing my tastes. It was a pleasure to smoke this cigar and I look forward to more. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all. -Evan

Review Ortega Serie D No. 10 Maduro

Purchased at Old Havana Cigar Co.

Sometime over the summer, there had been an event at Old Havana Cigar Co. featuring Eddie Ortega. I unfortunately had to miss out, but heard how much fun Eddie is, and that his love for cigars is embodied in his product. I also heard he’s really fond of cheese steaks. Hopefully I’ll be able to treat him to one at my shop some day soon. Now for the cigar.

A good looking box pressed smoke. Construction was nice and tight, no soft spots. Minimal veins.  The pre light gave a nice strong spice, a little cocoa and some earth. The foot gave me pretty much the same. A cut with my Xikar Xi3, a little toasting and off we go.

First few puffs and bang, spicy city, especially on the retrohale. Into the first third though the spice seemed to blend in with good balance. Emerging into the first third were notes of cocoa and a little earth to go along with the spice. The burn was even producing a salt and pepper looking ash, and plenty of thick smoke. The cigar was a little closer to full body and an absolutely flavor filled stick.

The second third eased into a more medium- full bodied range. Introduced into the balance was some leather. The leather seemed to phase out the earth and join the balance nicely. The ash stayed nice and tight and the burn was, for the most part, even. The smoke stayed ample and thick.

The final third consisted of mostly leather and spice with a touch of dark chocolate. The cigar stayed at a nice cool temp from foot to nub. The finish was superbly smooth with the spice hitting in the end.

This was a great smoke from beginning to end. Have a drink handy though, as I know I did. I have yet to try the natural, and will be soon. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Review Quesada Oktoberfest Das Boot 2012

It’s a great time of the year for many things, beer, food and of course cigars! If you’re the type that gets into the many blends available during Oktoberfest, look no further for the cigar to pair. I recently ordered a few of these from the Pipes and Cigars website. They came in and I got to smoking.

The cigar is very well constructed, feeling packed tightly in the hand. The wrapper is dark with some light oils and slightly veiny. Pre light sniff offers a certain sweetness and woody tones. The foot gave some very light spices, wood, and sweetness. The cold draw offered much of the same. Toasting time, smoking time.

The cigars began with a great draw, almost effortless. A greetings of mild spice, woods, and that sweetness, I’d say maybe cinnamon. The first third is a fantastic blend of all of the flavors. The burn was even, producing a nice white ash with a little salt and pepper look mixed in. The draw stayed nice producing ample aromatic smoke.

The second third didn’t see too much of an evolution in flavor. All tasty notes stayed pretty much on key. The spice may have subsided a bit but was still in play. The ash stayed nice and strong after my first tap into the tray. Draw was great and still a good amount of smoke.

The final third takes away most of the spice. The sweet cinnamon taste became a little more dominant along with the woods. This became a very attractive finish, staying beautifully smooth, and cool to the touch. Took this one as close to the lips as I could and left the rest for the tray.

Great smoke, and a great pair to your favorite beverage focused on the festivities of the season. I myself will definitely be considering a box while they last. With all of the good smokes lately I may need to invest in another humidor though. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan


Review Alec Bradley American Sun Grown Toro

I have to thank Tim Kime of Old Havana Cigar Co for the text alerting me of the arrival of these. There’s few things that surprise me. When a cigar comes along with a price tag of $5 dollars, I’ll of course give it a fair shake yet not expect much. That said, when a cigar comes along from a company as renowned as Alec Bradley that carries that same price tag I get a little confused. Will it be good? Will it be to the standard that I’m used to from a company as such? How is this price possible? Read on you won’t be sorry.

Inspection of this stick reveals a little bit of a veiny bumpy body. Sun Grown, so I figure hey comes with the territory. The wrapper is a very dark brown. The cigar seems packed well, and oily. Pre light offers up some earthy tones and cocoa. The foot gives a great sense of spice. Straight cut and the pre light draw sends some cocoa, wood, and spice. I’m extremely interested. Toasting it was simple and quick, time to smoke.

The first few puffs were SPICY. Great amount of pepper from the start. Along with it were some slight cocoa notes accompanied by earthy tones. I also believe I detected a slight sense of leather. Having only smoked this one, I’ll have to have another go and update if any change. The smoke produced from the start was ample and easily attainable due to the easy draw. The ash had a light salt and pepper look, and held on pretty well. The first third was a great beginning, in the medium to full body range.

The second third was a lovely transition. The pepper seemed to blend in with the rest of the flavors, taking away the dominance it showed in the beginning, yet still giving a nice kick in the throat at the end. The cocoa has taken on a more dark chocolate flavor, and the earthy tones are also more noticeable. The burn has stayed excellent, and the ash strong as well. The smoke is still at a good amount and the cigar is at perfect temperature.

The final third added some of that leather I sensed before. A pleasant addition. the spice was still present but a lot more on the back end and a little milder. the dark chocolate has stayed in play as the earthy tones have mellowed a bit. No prob in taking this delight down to the nub. I’ll love to see what happens to these with some sitting time in the humi.

All in all this was a dynamite smoke. The price tag, as I said, was unbelievable for a stick with this power. It starts off strong, blends together well, and finishes with excellence. If you like a good kick in the pants smoke, you’ll love this. Although it does mellow a bit, not much, you’re always left with that lovely tingle from the spice that lets you now this smoke is no lightweight. A box will most likely be in order for me. Enjoyed it from foot to nub! As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan


Review Romeo Toro By Romeo Y Julieta

I have to first admit that, other than a cuban a while back, this is my first run with Romeo Y Julieta. I purchased this stick from my local hangout, Old Havana Cigar Co. The band had caught my eye a few times, so I finally decided to pull the trigger.

The cigar is very well constructed, a few noticeable veins, but nothing too problematic. I couldn’t find any imperfections and it seemed to be packed well. Pre light offered up some natural tobacco and a bit of leather. The foot had a hint of leather as well along with some earth. Straight cut to the cap and the pre light draw was simple. Again some tobacco and maybe a hint of spice. Toast it and smoke it…

The first few puffs yielded an excellent draw. Some notes of cedar and leather emerged with a tiny hint of spice. The first third pretty much stayed this way. Great draw, producing plenty of strong smoke. The ash was superbly tight, holding on for at least one and a half inches, and the burn was perfectly sharp. Medium body thus far. A good start, let’s keep it going.

The second third brought the strength level up a bit. The cigar started to take on more of a fuller body. The primary flavor was leather, with a mix of cedar. The spice picked up as well at this point leaving a warm tingle. These changes were very welcome and a nice addition. The burn has stayed perfect along with my second round of ash. By now each puff has brought the strength level up a tad.

The final third was a pleasure in that I felt the leather and cedar were in perfect balance at the forefront. The spice was still saved for the finish leaving the same good tingle on the palate. The cigar stayed nice and cool from foot to nub. The ash was again perfect along with the burn. Another nub for the tray.

This cigar was a very enjoyable smoke for me. If you’re the type that enjoys a nice mix of leather, cedar, and spices I’d highly recommend it. I can guarantee I’ll be picking a few of these up to see how they do with some age. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Review E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut

Usually I’m not a big fan of Connecticuts. I mostly gravitate to a strong smoke, but do enjoy a Connecticut in the morning or early afternoon. I, of course, was nonetheless excited to try this smoke as I had heard so much about it, also coupled with the fact that I love the offerings I’ve tried before by E.P. Carrillo. On to the cigar.

The construction was nearly flawless. There were very few veins noticeable. The pre light offered a sweetness, some tobacco, and a small hint of spice. The pre light draw was effortless offering about the same flavor. Cut, light, smoke…

The first few puffs offered a delightful hit of creaminess, wood, and just a hint of spice. The first third kept with these flavors, and at times the spice disappeared.  The draw kept it’s initial promise of being extremely easy, producing an ample amount of aromatic smoke. The burn was razor sharp. The ash was a lighter shade of gray and held on for at least an inch and a half. Great start.

The second third saw the spice fade away. The creaminess also subsided a bit giving way to the woods and some leather. I believe I also pick up some sweetness, but I’ll have to update on my next smoke. The burn stayed razor sharp and the ash held up well as before. The draw stayed perfect throughout.

The final third sees the spice return again. Accompanied by it was the leather and woods. Creaminess has diminished, and the sweetness was detectable is small traces. This cigar was an absolute joy from beginning to end. I have to admit I didn’t expect to be wowed, but I was pleasantly. Mr Carrillo has a great smoke with this Connecticut. I believe that traditionally and earlier in the day smoke, these can be enjoyed at any time, by any level of smoker. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan


E.P. Carrillo Core Line Natural #4 Review

I had an unexpected trip to New York Tuesday. Luckily for me it was a chance to stop at a place in Brooklyn called The Humidor. Apart from my favorite local B&M I love the chance to see places outside of my home area, and this place is a great little spot. If you’re in the area I’d suggest a smoke there. They also had a great selection of Carrillos of which my place doesn’t carry. The Natural was a first for me, and the beginning of a great relationship.

The construction of the cigar was superb. No soft spots, no holes, a beautiful dark brown wrapper, and minimal to no veins that I could see. The pre light offers up a good tobacco smell and at the foot a slight spice. Time to cut, toast, and smoke this beauty.

The first few puffs presented a beautifully refreshing creamy textured smoke, and a hint of spice. Somewhere into the first third the creamy taste fades and gives way to spice, some woodsy flavors, and some toasted nutty sensations. I was really intrigued now and couldn’t wait to keep smoking. The ash was a nice white color, holding razor sharp for about two inches. The draw, absolutely flawless, producing ample aromatic smoke.

The second third seemed to give the spice a break, not completely fading it out, but blending it perfectly with the other flavors. The woods and nuts are more on the forefront wand leaving a beautiful finish. The ash, as razor sharp as the beginning, and the draw just as perfect.

The final third brought back a hint of the creaminess sensed in the beginning. The spice amped up a bit and the woods and nuts are stil the main contenters. Taking this to the nub was both a pleasure and a little depressing because I knew it was the end of this divine smoking experience.

My hat is off to the Carrillos for this delicious offering. A box of these is a guaranteed addition to my humidor family without a doubt. If you haven’t, please try the soon! As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Alec Bradley Prensado Robusto

The Prensado line by Alec Bradley is one that really needs no introduction. I also realize that it probably has been reviewed several times, but I love to talk about cigars that I enjoy. I should mention that this smoke is personally one that is a well balanced, “predictable” smoke. I only mention because if you were expecting to read about something that is extremely complex, I don’t want to disappoint you. This smoke is one of those that once you’ve had it, it becomes (for me) a regular smoke. Read on and enjoy!

Inspection reveals a semi box pressed smoke, that is a little veiny, with a dark oily wrapper. The foot gave off some earthy tones, a little spice, and coffee. The pre light gave off pretty much the same. With a straight easy cut I got to smoking…

The first third was what I expected. There were some earthy tones and coffee on the forefront. The spice I detected was more towards the finish and blended well. Retrohale amped up the spice a bit. The burn was pretty good. I expected to have to give a correction here and there but not yet. The ash was a dark gray and held on pretty strong. Each puff yielded a generous amount of thick smoke.

The second third didn’t offer too many changes. The coffee and earth stayed on the forefront, and the spice remained at the finish. A bit into the second third and I sensed the spice began to diminish. The attention shifted more to the earth and coffee. Burn has stayed great and the cigar kept an even temperature.

The final third kept the focus on the coffee and earth, with more emphasis on the earth. The spice has all but gone save a few traces here and there. At this point I needed one little lighter hit for a correction, but nothing major. The finish remained strong in the earthiness. From start to finish, this cigar kept true to it’s flavors. This is definitely one of my favorite smokes. I know that a lot of times we look for those sticks that surprise us here and there with flavor changes, but I also like to have a smoke where I know what to look forward to, and when in the mood I always look forward to this bad boy. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan