Monthly Archives: October 2012

Review Roma Craft Tobac CroMagnon Anthropology (Gran Corona)

This is a cigar I’ve been meaning to try for a while now, recent exchanges with Mr. Skip Martin, (Chief Hava,) and a picture he uploaded on twitter convinced me it was time to get off my behind and grab a few. A quick trip to see a friend brought me close to one of my favorite spots, Total Tobacco. I stopped, made my selection, and went on my merry way.

Inspection of this cigar revealed a beautifully crafted stick, from foot to nub very well put together. I found no soft spots, and little to no veins to speak of. The natural look of the leaf stood out to me and made it look even better. Pre-light sniff offered up a barnyard, almost manure smell, along with some wood notes and natural tobacco. The foot gave pretty much the same with an addition of some pepper spice. A straight cut to the cap and the dry draw didn’t seem to give off much, didn’t worry me, maybe even got me a little more interested. Toasting was easy and off we go…

The first third began with a nice peppery start. The pepper was nothing overpowering, but the dominant note through the first few puffs. The other flavors included woody notes, cedar like, and a hint of sweetness. A few minutes into the first third, and the cigar really began to shine. The wood notes became more prevalent, along with a rich tobacco taste, and a hint of sweetness.  The pepper was still at a good level and left a nice warm tingle on the finish. The draw was absolute perfection, giving me plenty of rich smoke to enjoy. The burn was almost perfect producing a nice white ash that held strong.

The second third, for the most part, stayed true to the flavors. One of the changes I did notice was a little more emphasis on the tobacco flavor, which was beautifully rich. The wood notes were just as noticeable as before, and the pepper was a player until towards the end of the second third. The ash was as strong as the beginning, the burn even more sharp, and the draw still perfect.

At the end of the second third, and into the final third, the pepper seemed to all but fade. The cigar now took a turn towards the wood notes and tobacco, marrying them in a delicious, smooth finish.  I had a hard time accepting the end of this cigar. I accepted that I have another in my humi, and many more available not too from me.

This cigar, I’m sure, will be a go to for me. Yes I thought it was that good. I’m excited to try the various vitolas and other cigars available by Roma Craft Tobac. If you haven’t tried them, please don’t wait as long as I did! As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan


Review Casa Fuente Belicoso

There aren’t too many things better than cigars given as a gift, except a cigar such as this one. My friend Tim Kime of Old Havana Cigar Co. recently had dropped off a few smokes, this being one of them. Let’s get to it.

The construction was nothing short of excellent. The cigar felt packed extremely well. There were a few prominent veins but nothing discouraging. The pre-light offered up some sweet tobacco and nutty notes. The foot gave some pepper, nuts, and more sweet notes. A cut to the gorgeous cap and the draw served up the same flavors.

The first third began with a small blast of pepper that wasn’t strong enough to douse out the other flavors. Along with the pepper was the nut flavor accompanied by some sweetness. The first third held on to this profile for the most pary, the only change being that the pepper died down and moved to the finish. The draw was perfect, with ample smoke hitting the palate.  The burn was of the most excellent I’ve seen, producing a light colored gray ash and pleasingly aromatic smoke that fetched me a few compliments.

The second third continued with the pattern of keeping the pepper in the back end of things, and leaving a warm feeling on my palate. The nuts and sweet tobacco flavors stayed dominant. Somewhere towards the middle of the second third I was treated to a slight addition of cedar, nothing too forward but a nice hint of it to compliment the already delicious flavors.

The final third saw the pepper almost fade completely. The nutty notes, sweetness, and cedar were all playing together creating a smooth flavorful finish. The ash, as I’ve forgot to mention, held on to the band complimenting the dynamite construction of this cigar.

All in all I was extremely pleased with this cigar. It was a gift I’ll have to try hard to repay. While in Las Vegas, it would be a crime not to stop for at least one of these, or many of the other offerings at Casa Fuente. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Review Liga Privada L40 by Drew Estate

With such a successful line and campaign of cigars Drew Estate has become a staple on the palates and minds of many a cigar smoker. A recent gift bag, from my good friend Tim Kime of Old Havana Cigar Co., included one of these beauties. Yes, by using beauties I’ve given way that this will be a good review, so if you don’t agree save yourself the time, unless you’d like me to change you mind.

The construction of this cigar is absolutely stellar. It was packed perfectly and had a nice feel in my hand. It had a nice sheen to it, along with few noticeable veins. The pre-light sniff gave some cocoa, earth, coffee, and spice. The foot gave much of the same with a little more spice. A cut to the gorgeous cap and the dry draw gave earth, spice, cocoa, pepper, and sweet tobacco. Tantalized I began my experience.

The first third began with a wonderful blast of pepper. Smoke was billowing from this baby right away. Cocoa was also another dominant note in this third. Accompanied to the other flavors was a nice sense of earth, and a great amount of dark chocolate, almost bitter. The burn was fantastic, razor sharp, producing a gray ash that held strong. As I said, the smoke was ample and aromatic. My experience started great.

The second third was a beautiful transition. The dark chocolate gave way and seemed to transform into a dark coffee bean flavor, absolutely splendid. The earth and pepper were still great notes at this point. Also joining the profile was a hint of leather. Half way through the second third the pepper died down, giving more emphasis on all other flavors. The burn, draw, and ash have performed spectacularly.

The final third made little transition but became a little more smooth. It was no problem taking this down to the absolute nub, yet being left a little bummed till I can smoke another.

A dynamite offering from Drew Estate that delivers from start to finish. If you haven’t had the chance, please do so soon, you will not be sorry. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Review Room 101 Conjura Edition LTD

My first run with Room 101. This particular cigar is blended by Camacho CIgars.  I know, I know, what the hell was I waiting on? Truthfully I have no good answer, so let’s just get right to it.

The construction of the cigar was pretty good. There seemed to be a soft spot on the sides near the band, but nothing that truly ever mattered. There were a few prominent veins along the back of the smoke. The size of this smoke is definitely interesting. The pre light sniff revealed some coffee, earthy tones, and spice. The foot offered some cocoa, coffee, spice, and earth. A straight cut and some coffee, leather, and earth.

The first third began with a good blast of pepper in the first few minutes. The coffee introduced itself early also, being a dominant player to start. the cocoa I sensed at pre light seemed to take on more of a dark chocolate flavor that was a great addition to the profile.  At times I also sensed some cedar trying to break through and was interested to see when it would. The draw was fantastic from the start, providing a great amount of smoke. The ash was a little flaky to start but held on past the one inch mark without a problem. The burn was a tad wavy but nothing that got drastic, and corrected itself quickly.

The second third began by dropping the dark chocolate and adding more cedar to the profile. The coffee stayed, yet was a little more in the background. The pepper had become more diminished and reserved for the finish. At this point I had to give a touch up, but after that the burn became perfect, almost razor sharp. The draw was as fantastic as before. The complexity of this cigar was such a treat. The smoke was plentiful and stayed so.

The final third gave a lot of emphasis to the cedar. The chocolate was all but a memory now, and the coffee was a bit more reserved. The pepper was still in the background, but a lot milder at this point. The cigar stayed cool to the nub and extremely tasty till the end.

I absolutely enjoyed my first run with Room 101. I’m excited to try more of their blends. Following Matt Booth on twitter has also been fun. He seems like a very interesting individual that pours his energy into what he does, and if this is true, it shows in his offering of this cigar. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan


Review Herederos De Robaina

I have enjoyed many offerings from Emilio Cigars throughout this year. The other day during a trip to see a friend, I stopped at Total Tobacco and picked a few of these up. It was another wise purchase.

I selected a Toro for my first smoke. Construction of the cigar was very good with only a few veins noticeable and no soft spots. The milk chocolate looking wrapper gave me a nice whiff of cocoa, slight earthy tones, and hay. The foot offered more cocoa, earth, and pepper. A straight cut to the cap and the dry draw offered some sweet tobacco, earth, and cocoa.

The first third opened with a good accent of pepper. It was dominant in the first few puffs, along with notes of cocoa and earth. Into the first third the pepper stayed in the forefront. The cocoa and earth were in the profile as well but reserved thus far. The burn was almost perfect producing a gray ash that held tight for at least an inch. The draw on the cigar was perfect. Smoke from puff to puff was ample and aromatic.

The second third gave a transition to the pepper. It faded a bit and gave more accent to the cocoa. The cocoa became the dominant flavor now, adding with it a hint of sweet tobacco. The earth stayed at its pleasing level as before. The pepper was more in the back end of the smoke at this point, but still a nice amount of it.  These transitions were welcome and added a nice feel to the smoke. The draw and ash stayed excellent.

The final third gave more of the sweet tobacco to me. The pepper was again a good player in the profile, and the cocoa was a little more subtle as were the earthy tones. The cigar smoked cool to the nub and, once again, I was impressed.

I’m definitely looking forward to what Mr. Griffith and all the folks at Emilio have in the works. The blends I’ve been lucky to smoke have proved that the company is a boutique blend that is here to stay and pays attention to their product with utmost sincerity. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Review Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2011

There is nothing more pleasurable than a bit of nostalgia that can be found in one’s humidor. Yes this cigar may be from a while ago, yet it’s one that I’ve enjoyed over and over, and also realized that I haven’t written about. Time to correct that.

The Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2011 had just about the best construction you can find. The wrapper seams were pretty much non-existent, and no real noticeable veins. A gorgeous stick from top to bottom. A sniff to the smoke gives notes off woods, earth, slight coffee, and pepper. The foot seemed to accentuate the pepper and also still giving presence to the woods and earth. A straight cut, and the dry draw offers woods, earth, pepper, and hints of sweetness.

The first third introduces with a blast of pepper. The woods and earth are a bit subtle through the first few puffs but present. This cigar lets it be known from the beginning that it is not a cigar for a novice. After a few minutes in, the pepper moves to the back and allows for a transition to some of the other core flavors of the smoke. The woods and earth are now more in play. The draw was absolutely fabulous producing volumes of rich spicy smoke. The burn equally as gorgeous and razor sharp. The ash revealed is a nice light gray and strong holding on for more than an inch.  The strength thus far is full, a drink is a welcome companion.

The second third brought a sweet note to the table. Along with it were notes of coffee. These two didn’t last for me too long, instead the pepper became a dominant note along side the woods. Hints of the sweet note and coffee were present here and there still but the original profile was dominant. The burn stayed flawless as did the draw. The ash was strong as the beginning only falling with a good tap to the tray. Smoke has stayed plentiful. Still in the full strength department.

The final third brought the pepper more to the back again and also mellowed it out a tad. The woods and earth were more balanced as before creating a great finish. The cigar burned cool to the nub and retained it strength profile till the end.

This smoke is one I’ve enjoyed since it’s launch. I stress that this is one I’d not suggest to a novice. Accompanied with a drink of your pleasure, this cigar is a great one to smoke with friends, or just a nice relaxing end to the day. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Review La Palina El Diario Kill Bill

The age old adage, good things come in small packages, comes to mind with this cigar. I’ve been waiting patiently to give this one a smoke, so when my good buddy Tim Kime from Old Havana Cigar Co. gave me an alert that they were in, I wasted no time. So glad I got the chance.

The construction of this stick was pretty good. It had a few medium veins that I noticed. The cigar felt packed well, no soft spots to mention. A sniff offered spices, a slight cocoa, and wood notes. The foot gave pretty much the same. A straight cut and the dry draw reveals spices, leather, woods and cocoa.

I should’ve read up a little more before sparking this baby up. The first third was a powerhouse. Lighting the cigar treated me to a blast of pepper spices. Needless to say I didn’t expect this much power. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Along with the spices were the wood notes, some coca and a slight leather. The smoke produced was more than ample, truly an exceptional amount. The burn was beautifully even ending in a dark gray ash. The ash held on strong and only fell on command. The cigar this early had put itself in the full strength department.

The second third relaxed the pepper quite a bit, which welcomed a more even mix to the other flavors. The wood and leather notes had now become a little more dominant with the coca in the background and finishing with the pepper. Mid-way through the second third and the coca also seemed more apparent. The flavors all now were playing together giving this cigar a dynamite blend. The ash was strong as ever, the burn stayed perfectly even and the draw divine. Ample smoke from beginning to end. The cigar stayed pretty much within this profile till the nub.

To sum it up, this cigar is a powerhouse that gives attention to it’s flavors as well as strength. I would definitely suggest getting a couple or even a box as long as you can handle a full strength profile. Have a drink handy as well. A dynamite offering in such a small package. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Review Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano

It’s no secret that Pete Johnson has a knack for coming out with really fine cigars. The Cojonu releases, in my humble opinion, are a true example of the fact. The 2006 is one of my favorite smokes to date, so needless to say the 2012 was a purchase that required no thought. Picked up one from Total Tobacco and couldn’t wait for the experience.

The construction of the cigar was splendid. There were hardly any noticeable veins and the wrapper seams were extremely well hidden. The cigar felt perfectly packed, some oil present, and no soft spots at all. The pre light sniff revealed some coffee, wood notes, a slight caramel, and a hint of spice. The foot offered coffee, woods, citrus, and pepper. A straight cut to the cap and the dry draw gave some more coffee, citrus, caramel, and wood notes. All of these sensations peak my interest and it’s finally time to smoke.

The first third began with the flavors picked up in the pre light ritual. It opened up with the citrus that took on a lemon flavor that was quite pleasing. The woods were present in the blend only slightly. The caramel was a definite player and also a hint of coffee and pepper. I expected the traditional Pepin pepper blast but it seemed to stay reserved for a good time into the first third. After the pepper made it’s presence a little more defined it subsided and became more of an equal part of the flavors. The cigar was off to an excellent start. The burn was just about razor sharp. The ash was on the lighter gray side, sort of salt and peppery, and held on very well. The cigar produced a great amount of aromatic smoke.

The second third gave more dominance to the lemon citrus flavor, accompanied with the caramel. The pepper stayed at the end of things but still blended well. The coffee and woods were more reserved but still present in the blend. The burn and draw remained perfect, and the smoke as ample as before. The ash stayed strong and only hit the ashtray on command.

The final third saw the coffee and woods take more of the prominent role. The citrus had pretty much faded out for me minus hints here and there. The caramel was all but gone as well. The pepper became a lot more mild giving the cigar an even smoother feel and finish. Absolutely no problem taking this smoke to the nub.

This cigar was definitely another great addition to the Cojonu releases. I will, without a doubt, be enjoying another soon, and with two more types, it’ll be a pleasure. It was an absolutely excellent smoke, giving so much attention to flavor. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan


Review Gran Habano Barracuda S.T.K Cigars

The other day I received a surprise gift from my friend Tim Kime of Old Havana Cigar Co. Along with a few other smokes was this, Gran Habano Barracuda. I hadn’t had the chance to try one yet and was happy to do so. The cigar, from what I’ve read is by George Rico.

The construction of the cigar was good. It felt pretty well packed with some visible veins and no soft spots. The stick gave a smell of cedar, a slight barnyard sense, and spice. The foot offered more cedar and pepper. A straight cut and the dry draw reveals cedar, a hint of leather, and pepper.

The first third opened up with a blast of pepper that was a little more dominant than the other flavors. This gave me the sense that I should have had a little more to eat than I did for lunch. A few puffs in and it evened out a bit. The cedar came more into play and along with some other wood notes. The first third pretty much stayed with the mentioned flavors. The burn started out good and was producing a dark ash that looked flaky but held on extremely well. The draw was effortless and expelling ample smoke. The cigar started out in the medium- fuller flavor.

The second third amped up in strength. I was warned by Tim of this and he wasn’t lying. I believe I developed a slight head rush somewhere in the second third. The pepper stayed a key part of the smoke. The cedar became a little more dominant in the second third and also introduced was leather, not too much but enough to notice. The burn became a tad wavy at times but corrected itself without a touch up. The draw stayed good and kept up with the ample smoke.

The final third didn’t see too much in evolution. The pepper subsided slightly, and there seemed to be a creaminess from time to time. It stayed cool to the nub and so ends the story.

I think this smoke is a pretty good offering. The evolution department doesn’t hold too much surprise but the flavors were enough to be an enjoyable cigar, Just be ready for the strength, because in that department it doesn’t lack! As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan