Monthly Archives: December 2012

Surrogates Bone Crusher Cigar Review

Bone Crusher

L’atelier imports is another company that should stay on everyone’s radar. Since smoking, and purchasing many more LAT 54‘s, I’m excited for what is yet to come. The Surrogates line is a great compliment to their blends. The Bone Crusher is the only I’ve smoked thus far, but I look forward to trying them all.

The Bone Crusher feels like a well packed smoke. A few prominent veins visible, but the wrapper seams weren’t too noticeable. Pre-light sniff offered up some coffee, leather, and a slight dark chocolate note. The foot gave spice, wood, and a little more leather. A straight cut to the cap lets the dry draw offer some wood, spice and leather.

Flavor;

The first third was a surprise to me as it opened up with coffee and pepper, but not the pepper blast I was expecting, but this cigar was a trickster, the pepper I expected snuck up not too long after. Along with the coffee and pepper, I detected some wood notes. Then into the first third the pepper made it’s appearance. The pepper was slight on the draw but ever-present in the retrohale, and also left a good tingle on the palate. The flavors all together ended in a smooth creamy finish.

The second third stayed true to the coffee and wood notes. At times I sensed a small amount of dark chocolate in the profile, but more prominent were the coffee and wood. The pepper seemed to become a bit more mild on the retrohale in this third. It was still evident on the palate, but a tad more mild than before on the palate as well. Towards the end of the second third I began to pick up the leather present in the pre-light. The finish was again creamy and smooth.

The final third said goodbye to the wood and coffee for the most part.  The main focus now was the leather and pepper. The pepper took back it’s dominance on the palate, leaving the tingle again. The leather was the main focus up front, allowing the wood and coffee to make appearances in small doses. The finish stayed smooth and it was a pleasure nubbing this baby out.

Draw, Burn, Ash;

The draw throughout the cigar was perfect, each puff offering billowing aromatic smoke. The burn was almost perfect, a little wavy at times, but I only gave one touch up and it was nothing, a small shot with my lighter.
The ash was excellent. It held strong past an inch. I only tapped twice.

My Conclusion;

The Surrogates Bone Crusher was a flavorful and at times powerful smoke.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t overpowering, but offered just the right amount of kick. Construction, draw, ash, and burn were great.  As I said in the beginning this company is another that should be kept in mind. I’ve enjoyed their offerings so far, and I look forward to the year to come. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

 

Rafaeli’s Robusto Madruo Cigar Review

Rafaelis Robusto Maduro

2012 has seen so many great new things introduced to the cigar world. 2013 looks very promising. A friend, http://shaggyfeetz.blogspot.com/ had recently forwarded my info to Rafaeli’s Cigars, and a short time later I was contacted and asked to give their cigars a smoke, and an honest opinion. Rafaeli’s Cigars is a dream envisioned by David Rafaeli, a jeweler out of Los Angeles. His passion for the Knights Templar has taken theme in his jewelery, and the design of the band of the cigar line. Extremely appealing especially to a die hard Indiana Jones fan, and of course a fan of the Knights themselves.

The cigar had a toothy look and feel. The veins were prominent yet wrapper seams well hidden, virtually undetectable. Pre-light sniff offered some coffee, and coca, at the foot the same with a slight pepper spice note. The cap came pre-punched, which I accepted as a courtesy from the company, saying, please try this, enjoy, let us do the work, you smoke and enjoy. The dry draw gave more cocoa, wood notes, and coffee.

Toasting and lighting opened the first third with a nice blend. In the first few puffs were notes of coffee, and pepper. There were also the cocoa notes I detected, but slight at this point. The first few puffs emphasized the coffee and pepper. Into the first third the cocoa took on more of a primary role, and joined with the coffee formed a mocha-like profile that was rich and creamy. The pepper still held on detectable a bit more on the retrohale. For a toothy cigar I was pleasantly surprised at the near perfect burn. I did expect issues with the burn but never had any problem. The burn ended in a nice tight white ash. The draw was exceptional offering an ample amount of aromatic smoke.

The second and final third didn’t see too much in the aspect of major transitions. The flavors of cocoa and coffee forming their mocha creamy profile stayed true and at the forefront. At times I did notice a wood note creeping in an out of the profile, along with some added sweetness, and the pepper stayed as before, at the back of things and also more on the retrohale. The burn, ash, and draw stayed as pleasing as they began up until the finish.

This cigar, being one of Rafaeli’s first offerings, is in my humble opinion, a great start. Rather than offering a lot of flavor transitions, the cigar took on a classic Maduro like sweetness which was flavorful from beginning to end. I easily see the Maduro becoming one of my go to sticks and an easy box purchase. When these hit the shelves or become available online I’d suggest at least picking a few up and giving them a smoke, if your palate is similar to mine, I’m sure you’ll feel the same. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

 

The Smoking Greek’s Top 25 of 2012

Top 25 2012

Before starting off please allow me to thank all who have taken an interest in my site, you are the reason I do it. I love sharing my opinions on great cigars, and building relationships that I hope will last a lifetime, and this site has furthered that enjoyment. Again I thank you, none of this would mean anything without you! On to the list…

#25

 Danno 2012

 

Nestor Miranda Danno 2012

 

 

#24

 Rodrigo Fortaleza

 

Rodrigo Fortaleza Cinco

 

 

#23

 Nat Sherman Timeless Hermoso

 

Nat Sherman Timeless Hermoso

 

 

#22

 CAO Concert

 

CAO Concert Solo

 

 

#21

Quesada Oktoberfest

 

Quesada Oktoberfest

 

 

#20

 Tatuaje Cojonu 2012

 

Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano

 

 

#19

Emilio AF2

 

Emilio AF2

 

 

#18

 Alec Bradley Connecticut Robusto

 

Alec Bradley Connecticut

 

 

#17

 Merlion

 

Merlion

 

 

#16

 CroMagnon

 

Roma Craft CroMagnon

 

 

#15

Draig K Robusto

 

Emilio Draig K

 

 

#14

 Quesada Q D'Etat Daga

 

Quesada Q D’ Etat

 

 

#13

 L'Atelier 54

 

LAT 54

 

 

#12

 EP Carrillo Cardinal

 

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal 52 Natural

 

 

#11

 Ortega

 

Ortega No. 10 Maduro

 

 

TOP 10

#10

 Emilio Suave

 

Emilio AF Suave

 

 

#9

 Tres Reynas

 

Tres Reynas

 

 

#8

Oliva Melanio

 

Oliva Serie V Melanio

 

#7

Pinolero

 

Pinolero

 

#6

La Palina KB

 

La Palina El Diario Kill Bill

 

#5

Liga Privada L40

 

Liga Privada Unico L40

 

#4

Ezra Zion

 

Ezra Zion Inception

 

#3

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Maduro

 

E.P. Carillo Cardinal 52 Maduro

 

#2

Cuenca y Blanco

CyB Corona Real

#1

La Duena

 

La Dueña No. 5

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal 52 Maduro Cigar Review

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Maduro

The Cardinal line by E.P. Carrillo has been nothing other than fantastic in my humble opinion. This line is a continuing saga of excellent cigars that show off attention to detail, flavor, construction, and everything you’d expect from someone like E.P. Carrillo. I can’t say enough to compliment all the work that goes into these lines, so let’s get to it.

The cigar is a beautiful dark colored Maduro that has a few veins, and barely visible wrapper seams. The look has seemed a little toothy from cigar to cigar, yes I’ve smoked a few at least. There is a slight sheen to it, not too oily, but not completely dry either. The pre-light sniff offers a blast of cocoa and coffee. The foot gives much of the same with a dash of pepper. A straight cut to the cap and the dry draw expels cocoa, coffee, and earthy notes.

The first third begins with a lovely amount of coffee and a slight hint of cocoa. The pepper is also evident and especially more on the retrohale. In the background there also is a touch of grass, which is apparent only from time to time. Deeper into the first third I noticed the grassy note a little more. All flavors combined are a treat to the palate, balancing well in the full smoke provided from each puff. The draw was of the best I’ve experienced. The burn was just about razor sharp, producing a strong white ash, that for this cigar, held till just about the band. If that doesn’t compliment the construction, I’m not sure what does. The smoke, as mentioned, is full, flavorful, and in ample quantity.

The second third saw the grassy note more to the forefront. Along with it the cocoa flavor was also more evident and now took on a more dark chocolate profile. The pepper had subsided from the palate a bit but stayed evident in the retrohale. The coffee was still there although is smaller doses. As stated before the ash was strong as ever. The draw kept it’s excellent feeling, and the burn perfect.

The final third saw little to no change for me. The cigar just ended up keeping it’s flavorful profile from start to finish. Of course it was easy to nub, but hard to say goodbye to. The only good thing is that recently my buddy Jeremy and I split a box, so I have more left. They won’t last long I assure you.

Once again E.P. Carrillo offers a cigar that keeps to his fascinating profile of excellent cigars that always leave you wanting more. This cigar is an easy box purchase for me, and I’m certain I’ll be ordering more soon. If you haven’t tried them, I urge you to do so, your palate will thank you. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Nomad Renegade Cigar Review

Nomad Renegade

A little while ago I was lucky enough to win a few of these babies along with a very nice Xikar Executive II lighter from Fred (@GodFadr) Rewey. He is also an interesting character to follow on twitter, and I think it would be quite something to have a drink, or two, with him. I also applaud what his company stands for in the sale of their cigars. There is nothing better than supporting your local B&M, which is what Fred wants to enforce. Read here… http://nomadcigarcompany.com/store/

The Renegade is to be compared with a Robusto size, although I found it a little bigger, but not in a negative way. The construction was very good, a few prominent veins, but nothing that worried me.The wrapper seams were just about invisible, a great feat that I commend.  A pre-light sniff gave some earthy tones, and hay. the foot gave a little spice, hay, and sweet grass. A straight cut to the cap and the dry draw offered earth, sweet grass, and wood tones.

The first third opened up with a blast of sweet grass, and spice that reminded me of white pepper. After a few puffs it calmed and gave a more balanced approach to the profile of sweet grass, white pepper and earth. This profile was prevalent through the first third and very tasty. These flavors combined built a creamy enjoyable finish.  The draw was perfect, offering a billowing amount of wonderfully scented smoke. The burn was some of the best I’ve seen, almost razor sharp ending in a beautiful white ash that held very strong for at least an inch.

The second third was pretty much within the same profile. The notes of sweet grass and white pepper were dominant with earth joining at times. Towards the end of the second third though, I began to notice a sense of oak joining the party. A welcome addition and had me interested in the final third. The creaminess was still present.  The draw, still perfect, the burn and ash equally impressive. Thus far the cigar was a medium- medium full bodied smoke.

The final third would have it change as I suspected, to give more emphasis on the oak I noticed. The grass and pepper gave way, but still played a roll. The oak gave the profile a fuller feel and added some weight to the creamy finish. A splendid cigar definitely. No problem nubbing this baby, and again the nerves in my fingers get a burn.

An excellent beginning to a company that I will have my eye on in 2013. If not for Fred’s character, or his effort to support B&M’s, it will also be for his future offerings. I believe that Nomad Cigar Company will be one to grow in the year(s) to come, and deservedly so. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Quesada Q D’Etat Daga Cigar Review

Quesada Q D'Etat Daga

This was a cigar that I’ve wanted to try for a while now, and as luck would have it, a recent conversation with a friend on twitter about the fantastic cigars offered by Quesada led to Terence Reilly sending me this with a few other cigars. The Q D’Etat line is to be extremely limited and is available in boxes of ten.

The construction was an extremely unique solomon, as it is, as the spanish word Daga, in the shape of a dagger. The pre-light sniff was a delightful treat of dark chocolate, leather, and coffee. The foot not being as open as your normal vitola, was a little tougher to figure out, I definitely noted some spice and earth. A straight cut offered a dry draw of cedar, dark chocolate, and some natural tobacco.

The first third was an extremely delicious start to the cigar. Notes of  pepper and leather were the main players in the first few puffs. Into the first third, the coffee began to become a more prominent member of the profile, and this addition helped create the creamy finish.  The burn was spectacular for a cigar of this particular shape. One may or may not expect issues given the vitola, but this cigar proves that wrong. The ash formed was a salt and pepper color and held on extremely well. The draw was pleasing, producing smoke that was pleasantly ample and aromatic.

The second third saw the pepper take step down and focus more on the dark chocolate and coffee notes. Someways into the second third cedar became an addition to the cigar in small doses. The leather was still a strong presence.  The burn stayed as good as it was in the beginning and throughout the cigar. The ash solid after a tap, and the smoke as ample as could be. the draw again, perfect.

The final third was a beautiful finish to a flavorful smoke. The dark chocolate and coffee remained the dominant notes ending in a tasteful finish that stayed cool to the nub. In the second and final thirds I ended up touching up here and there, very few times, nothing drastic. Burning my fingertips was a must. Excellent cigar.

All in all this was an spectacular offering from Quesada. Truthfully, this is the only vitola I’ve smoked in this line, but I look forward to changing that soon. In addition, I’ll be getting a box of these limited smokes, they are more than worth it, and I’d suggest you look into them as well. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

 

Ezra Zion Honor Series Reagan Cigar Review

Ezra Zion Reagan

When a company first introduces itself into a market, it’s the smartest idea that your flagship offering is dynamite, something of the likes that keeps you name on people’s lips. Then there is Ezra Zion Cigars which introduces two cigars as their initial offerings and takes the game to a whole new level. If you’ve already read my review of the Inception, you know where this review is going. The gents at Ezra Zion decided on a tribute to President Ronald Reagan, if he were with us, he would be honored. Yes it’s that good of a cigar.

Construction of this cigar was some of the best you’ll find. Packed perfectly from foot to nub, this box-pressed beauty, exhibited no soft spots, one or two noticeable veins, and sports two of the most attractive bands, in my humble opinion, that I’ve seen. Pre-light sniff offered chocolate, coffee, and wood notes, the foot much of the same with a little extra sweetness to it. A straight cut to the cap with my trusty Xikar Xi1 brings a dry draw of chocolate, slightest hint of spice, and coffee. Easy toasting with my Xikar EX and we’re into the cigar.

The first third can be summed up as amazing. I was treated to chocolate and coffee right off the bat. Along with these notes were flavors of sweetness, almost sugar cane, and a delicious creamy finish. I’m not even sure I possess the literary talent to explain to you how much the first third was, for lack of a better word, fascinating. The burn was almost perfect ending in a darker gray ash that, at one point, afforded me the fun of a cigar stand. The draw was excellent sending smoke at the most ample level and wonderfully aromatic. Funny thing is, it’s only just begun…

The second third was as impressive as the first. A new addition of flavor added to the profile was a dashing of oak. At times I also sensed a sweet grassy note trying to pull through, something I’ll need to investigate further when I get more. The flavors were all in a medley of deliciousness and commanding my absolute attention. I couldn’t accept the fact that I was this far into the cigar knowing that it would end in a bit.

The final third saw a transition in the fact that the chocolate and coffee subsided a bit, the focus was more of the oak, spice, and creamy finish. I had to give a touch up at this point, which didn’t bother me in the least. The cigar was cool to the nub, and yet again I end with toasted fingers.

As noted in my previous review, this line is distributed by Emilio Cigars and as I’ve said you can see why. The gents at Ezra Zion have two absolute winners here, and, spoiler alert, both will be in my top 25 for 2012. It was an absolutely splendid cigar to smoke, and I can’t wait to get my hands on more. As I understand they are to be limited, and given their attention to quality, one can understand. So what I mean is if you see them BUY THEM. You will not be disappointed. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Ezra Zion Inception Cigar Review

A recent shipment from Mr. Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars included a medley of cigars that are soon to be hitting the market, along with a few that have. The Inception by Erza Zion Cigars, distributed by Emilio Cigars was among the other beautiful smokes. In watching the video introducing the company, http://youtu.be/uYdojozfj2s, it is said that the blend was worked on for a year, and it shows. It is promised that the cigar will deliver a ton of flavor and be enjoyable from foot to nub, it does.

The cigar was a pleasure to look at, a bit toothy with a few veins, but still a beautiful stick. The band is what really caught my eye, be it the colors, lettering, or just a combination of it all, I really like it. It gave the cigar a regal sort of look to it. The pre-light sniff gave off some hay, and earth tones. the foot offered more hay, a touch of spice, and some more earthy tones. A straight cut to the cap and the dry draw yielded hay, a certain sweetness, and again a hint of spice. Toasting the cigar was easy and soon I was puffing away.

The first third was the beginning of the promise, right away I was greeted with flavor. Earth and sweet hay dominated most of the first third, along with a mild pepper kicking in mostly towards the end. The flavors were at an absolutely excellent level all forming into a beautiful creamy finish. Thus far the cigar had delivered. The burn was just about perfect, creating a darker gray ash that held for at least 1-2 inches. the draw was fantastic delivering billowing smoke that was flavorful and aromatic.

The second third continued the pattern of flavor. The hay and earthy tones remained prominent, the hay taking on a more sweet sense in the profile,and the pepper still in the back of things and still mild. Aside from the flavors booming throughout the cigar, I was extremely pleased with the mildness of the pepper, it became such an essential part of the profile whereas it wasn’t overpowering but offered the right touch to enhance the other flavors. Somewhere towards the end of the second third the hay seemed to take on a more sweet grass taste, that again was up front and tasteful. The bur, ash, and draw remained as pleasing as before.

The final third mainly focused on the sweet grass and mild pepper, staying with the creamy finish. The flavors of this cigar were, as promised, from foot to nub. I cooked my fingers on this bad boy and was proud doing so. The cigar stayed cool and was an absolute joy to smoke.

Ezra Zion Cigar Company is one that will rise to the top should their blends continue what the Inception offered to me, a beautiful, flavorful, and well constructed smoke that can be enjoyed from foot to nub. I look forward to smoking more of these along with the Reagan which I will be sure to smoke very soon. It is no wonder to me why Emilio Cigars is backing these guys, it’s a sure winner, and box worthy. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan

Emilio Cigars La Musa Mousa Cigar Review

Many of you have probably enjoyed this cigar under it’s former banding, Grimalkin, so I realize that this review may not be exactly “necessary.” I however, haven’t had the chance until Mr. Gary Griffith sent me this beauty along with some others. Also, in all truth, my website says it all, how am I not going to review a cigar with a Greek theme?!

The cigar is an absolute beauty to look at. A few small veins, but nothing really intrusive, and packed well. The pre-light sniff offered up a hint of cocoa, and earth. The foot yielded more cocoa, earth, and spice. A straight cut to the triple cap and the dry draw brings spice and earth. Toasting this beauty was a cinch and soon smoke was billowing.

The initial offering in the first few puffs were of a good amount of pepper. I was surprised at the amount, don’t get me wrong nothing overpowering, but it was the most prevalent note in the first few puffs. When the cigar entered a little more into the first third I was greeted with a lovely addition of cocoa, earth, and a hint of wood notes. Flavorful indeed. The burn was just about perfection, revealing a salt and pepper ash which held tightly. The draw was excellent providing a billowing smoke that left a tingle on the palate.

The second third became more about the cocoa yielding a certain sweetness in the cigar. The earth and wood notes still keys in the profile, and the pepper saved for the finish. The mix of sweetness and pepper had me in awe of the cigar, which really pulled the profile off well. A bit into the second third I believe I was noticing some cinnamon or other spice, thankfully I have another one of these babies resting for a follow up. The draw, burn, and ash were as perfect as the beginning and stayed so throughout the smoke.

The final third amped up the strength a bit and gave more emphasis on the pepper and woods notes. It was a great end to a thoroughly enjoyable smoke. Cool to the nub, burnt fingers again.

Once again the fine people at Emilio Cigars prove that they know their stuff. I have throughout the year enjoyed many of their offerings and look forward to 2013. These are another box worthy smoke from this great company. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan