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About Notsocleaver

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  1. Wow, I'll have to check and see if I have any '20 box codes. I think everything I got last year was still 2019.
  2. That Tomas Gutierrez band in the same style as the PSD4 band is interesting. I always assumed that band was an original design.
  3. I got a fiver of punch coronas from someone doing a humidor clean out. The first three cigars where okay to decent. The fourth was sublime, and I held onto the last one in hopes of recapturing the magic. These review contests are good for me in that they stop me from hoarding these singles The cold draw pulls memories of old libraries. wood and old paper. The cold draw is a little too firm, a line I feel like I repeat way too often when it comes to these old discontinued cigars. hmm... This cigar opens with notes of dried cherries, nutmeg, cedar and parchment paper. Christmas cake eaten in grandpa's library. After 20 years it is very subtle. Iif you don't retrohale this cigar its probably wasted on you. It gets more muted on the second half unfortunately. Ultimately I think this cigar is past it's peak, bur after 20+ years you can hardly fault it. Aged punch can turn into something magical, and I think these did at some point, but that time is gone. So many great cigars have gotten cut from the line. This isn't the first one anyone thinks of, but there was still to potential for greatness in there. 86, but with deep regrets that I can't get more.
  4. I picked this box up from a brother who knew he would never get through them. The price was right and the novelty intrigued me. I panned the last sample I reviewed here months ago. In the meantime I've had a few I liked from the box so I decided to give these another shot at a review. Cold draw on this cigar is tight. There is a flavor of dry wood and cashews. The draw means the cigar needs a bit of babysitting. Too hard and it starts to taste like pencil shavings, too soft and you get nothing. Notes of toasted bread and vanilla come through, but they are muted. I have no idea why some of these cigars are so dull yet some remain vibrant even within the same box. Once again, this cigar falls short of what it could be. 15 years is going to make for a softer cigar, but some of this box make this work, yet some just don't this one didn't really work. Honestly, I enjoy old flat cigars sometimes, but when they are also difficult to smoke its just a no go. 85 I guess.
  5. This cigar comes from a box I got a couple of months before the discontinuation was announced. Just now getting around to them, but I figure the le hoyo line does best around the 5 year mark. One I smoked from this box a month ago was a high 90s cigar, hampered only by some burn problems. Draw on this sample is one the firm side of acceptable, but at this ring gauge it works. The cold draw has a lot of that sweet barnyard. This is lively even before it it lit. This du prince opens with the wood and sweet cream that I would call typical for the line, along with that sour twang that makes a cuban cigar cuban. It is balanced and smooth. Its not as complex as previous examples from the box, nor the des dieux. This is a great box, but the ones I have liked best were smoked in the morning with coffee. This one is a 89, the best of this box was maybe a 92. I feel good about the 20 or so left in this box, and disappointed it will likely be my last box.
  6. Totally. I get that it comes off as pretentious to some, but the creative writing exercise of trying to describe exactly what's going helps me enjoy the cigar more. I do notes for almost every review contest, even if I don't bother submitting.
  7. When I do tasting notes, its more 'this reminds me of' than 'this tastes just like'. I did note diesel in a recent set of tasting notes, but I didn't mean it in a bad way, just reminded me of it.
  8. You're coming with me on this journey whether you like it or not! 👺
  9. I wanted to pull out one of my last Mag 48s to follow up last weeks wet review. I have always been a fan of the 48, even though its not the most beloved on EL releases. Even with my fandom, I have been worried that the 48s are past their peak. The last couple I smoked seems a touch flat. The wet reviews from last week gave me a little hope I would liven this one up. So I decided to give this one a dunk. A little too much as the foot got a little wet. It didn't seem like it got soaked, so I figured I would light it up and see how it went. The cold draw on this cigar is perfect, with some dry floral notes. despite the wet foot it lights fine. The cigar opens with fruit and flowers. Its great. As we progress we got some chocolate and shortbread. As we get to the mid-point I find some of that cuban twang. We've got chocolate, and fruit, and shortbread, with a little bit of cream coming in. I'm definitely going to try wetting the wrapper of cigars that might be aged out. I give this a 93.
  10. This sample came in 5 pack from the Prez, I have no idea the code, but since CCW says the cardboard packs were discontinued in '17, I'll guess that is the date. Wrapper on this CCE is dark enough to almost make me think maduro. I took a photo of it next to a Mag 48 EL just so that you had a shade reference. The draw on this cigar is just a little too tight despite a very loose foot. You would think that you could get a little more quality control from a cigar they are asking $20+ a pop for, but oh well. Sweet hay and bitter chocolate on the cold draw. This particular CCE has a stronger chocolate component than others I have smoked in the past. There is a hint of that lemon grass and cookie. The cigar feels a little harsh. Smoking a tightly rolled skinny is a chore, too fast and it gets bitter, too slow and you get nothing. I had initially assumed that this was a young cigar, so when I saw that the packaging was discontinued in '17 I was surprised. As we approach the middle point I get some sugarcane sweetness. There is still more chocolate than I would expect, but the wrapper is almost 5 maduro level dark. As we get towards the end we get some citrus notes and some malt flavors. Overall this is an okay cigar. Not bad, but for a super premium cigar I'm underwhelmed. If they were a gift, I would thank the giver profusely. As a purchase, I would be a little annoyed. I give it a 89. I'll probably leave the rest for a couple years. If one them is rolled well it could be a 95+
  11. This could be an unpopular one, but 20% of my cigar smoking experiences make up 80% of my enjoyment. 1 out of 5 cigars I smoke are remarkable, the other 4 or so are just pleasant company.
  12. I think me being in a wet environment to begin with hurt a little. I also wonder if size plays a role. Maybe its magic for shorter smokes?
  13. My wet Mag 50 seemed a little more complex at first, but was muted in the last third. The fact that I was smoking in an environment that was more humid than my humidor probably hurt the experiment. I'll have to try again on a drier day.
  14. Interesting take for this week's review thread. I've heard of the practice before, but never tried it myself since it mostly seemed to be done with very old cigars and my cigars are generally sorta old at most. I decided to go with the Mag 50 since this particular box is one that I have very good tasting notes on, including a cigar I scored a 98 a little while back. This way I could rate the wet cigar against a larger backdrop as well. H. Upmann Magnum 50 ESL NOV 18 Dry Review ( Part A ) T The dry Mag 50 gives off notes and hay and dried fruit on the cold draw. Draw is a bit too firm for my preference which is a bad sign. This Mag 50 opens with those dried stone fruit notes that make this cigar what it is. Progression on these Mag 50s has generally been Stonefruit -> Shortbread and Jam -> Chocolate, with the better ones being richer, with some other notes perhaps. This Cigar seems to follow that progression. Its tighter roll hurts the complexity. Burn goes a little wonky. The flavors progress as I've come to expect though. This is a fine cigar, but the tight roll hurts it. 89 points H. Upmann Magnum 50 ESL NOV 18 Wet Review ( Part B ) I give this cigar a quick dunk in a glass of water and a roll in a paper towel. I give it a good smell before lighting and I smell wet dog. Not promising. Draw is better than the first though, which usually makes all the difference. Sometimes I feel like most of my reviews of recent Cuban cigars just come down to how well rolled that particular cigar is. As I smoke this Mag 50 seems very fruit forward compared to others, even though I didn't notice as much fruit on the cold draw and sniff test. The Short bread and Apricot jam notes are there, similar to the first cigar. This one has some cedar and clove to it as well. As we progress I get a weird sourish mineral note, like some one spilled some diesel next door. The chocolate malt notes show up in the last third, along with some more wood. The final third of the cigar is super muted. A rain storm has been building and I have been smoking this cigar in a higher ambient humidity than it was stored, so I think it just got too wet to enjoy.. I don't want to pin this on the dunk, though I'm sure it didn't help. Up until the last third this was cruising towards a 95 point cigar, but losing out on the last quarter drops it to 91. Conclusion: The wet cigar was the better cigar, but I'm not sure the wet wrapper did the trick. It wasn't better than the best cigar I've had out of this box, though it outperformed it's partner in this case. The fact that it got muted in the last third hurt it's overall score. I do think this muted flavor was from too much humidity, but I don't think the wrapper wetting was the main issue compared to the general stormy weather. I'll try it with a mag 50 again in drier weather sometime.

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