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  1. I picked up a sixer of these back in June, so they're young, only been acclimating for a little over a month. PSP stick from our lovely Aussie hosts. (speaking of, Tokyo is soon, should there be some sort of wager on aquatics?). I've been trying to avoid Robusto and big thick cigars recently, but this I don't have much else Hoyo and didn't want to go digging around to find something else. V cut, construction good, I dinged up the foot a tad. As is usually the case with PSP sticks from here, the heaviness is there. Maybe not as much sheen now, but heaviness is my term for it. Not dry at any rate. Toasted, and then lit, which started out decent. A tad uneven, and I did have to relight once. Overall good ash, and didn't let it get super long. For flavors, in my experience Epicure 2's tend to be mellow. I got some toasted tobacco (ha ha), some woodiness, little bit of cedar. I paired with a nice cuba libre, so perhaps the sweetness of that washed some flavors out, but there were no stand out in your face flavors for me. Some light cream, but nothing like my monte 4's, light cedar, perhaps some nuts to it, but mostly just a nice smooth, mellow smoke. Total smoke time was just over an hour twenty, longer than usual for me, but had wife out on the porch and we were talking as well. Send half of cigar was paired with an american Amber Ale, Copperhead from local place. Ratings are harder for me. Certainly a nice smoke, will smoke more of them, but not earth shattering. high 80's, perhaps 87 or 88. I'm hoping more time down will let them just get better, but if I had to smoke the other five like this I wouldn't complain.
  2. Awesome review weekend, Tonight i had the absolute pleasure of smoking this cigar. I kept it at 64/65 since its original purchase in 2016. Amazing burn, heavenly aroma and one of the smoothest sticks I have ever had. The aroma just smelled exactly how a cigar is supposed to smell to me at least. It’s nearly impossible fo Rome to put into words. 1/3-The beautiful stick started with a light coffee and cohiba classic grassiness. Maybe a touch of white pepper on the finish but the only lasting flavor was the light coffee. 2/3-More coffee progressing in intensity with a light slowing of salted caramel. 3/4 I cant help but thinking this has to be one of the “easiest” cigars to smoke. The flavors are pronounced and distinct. The finish was deep dark roasted coffee, light caramel and a touch of dry roasted nuts. I couldn’t help but noticing that the coffe started light and progressed in intensity through the entire cigar. When the coffee flavors hit a medium plus body the salted caramel kicked in and stayed for quite a while. It was comparable to a caramel macchiato. Heavenly. I found the stick to be pretty complex but the favors were bold and in your face. I don’t think the box of these will last very long as they are smoking heavenly. 9.5 out of 10. Why not 10/10? Well it left me wanting more. I wanted it to last longer and wished it was a longer lasting. Total smoke time was about 1 hour and 55 minutes but I honestly could have smoked this stick for much longer and been quite content. When i get a stick this good i just don’t want it to end. This is easily one of my top 10 cigars I have ever smoked. I only notice light to moderate strength but a full flavor experience. (The forum is not letting me post pics tonight...sorry)
  3. A recent smoke, of which I thought I'd jot down a few unsorted lines to share, although I smoked this one without a review in mind and didn't take detailed notes. So, this is rather from memory. The Clásicos - despite bearing a name exuding class and elegance having never really become popular in its rather short life - has always been a favourite of mine (for me, the best of the line, together with the DA). And when they were announced to be disced a few years ago, I bought up what felt like the remaining stock off all suppliers I could get my hands on. However, this stick here comes from an older box, from '01. This box had been consistently good to great, and although stemming from the 'difficult' period, never incurred any construction issues whatsoever. As the young Marca had still been rather new at that time, perhaps they were yet putting a bit more care and effort into its making. But that's just a theory. Tobacco quality had always been above reproach for that period and Vitola as to my experience. This particular stick presented itself as being preserved in perfect condition under my TLC. Nice, smooth and supple hazelnutty-brown wrapper with a very slight hue of red. Not oily, but still displaying some matte, silky sheen. After cutting - a perfect draw, with a noticeable, not too firm resistance, just how I like it. Off the box, the 15-year old came with this characteristic smell that Ken would so aptly describe as "Old lady's handbag" (always pleasing to me, while surprisingly unpleasing to my female family members). After a while in the open, this smell made a wonderful and miraculous transition into a sort of fruity vanilla note, with hints of anise or fennel (with that ever so slight liquorice tone) and alder wood. Interesting, to say the least! After firing up, the cigar started remarkably tannic and slightly bitter in the first draws. Actually, for me, usually not a bad sign, as this was showing it was still lively. Not that I was expecting different, since the previous ones from that box had been on a steady upswing and had always been indicative of a good aging potential. In the following, the cigar turned out to slowly evolve into a truly remarkable smoke. Even better than what I had in memory, with a unique aromatic profile. The tannic notes disappeared after about half an inch in (or I got used to it by then), and then there remained a taste, as banal as it might sound, of plain, gracefully aged tobacco. Yes, simple as that - tobacco! But still special and unique and hard to describe. No pronounced flavours of chocolate, no nuts, no honey, no stonefruit or the like: Tobacco, in all its fine complexity. Actually, that very taste and the reason for why we all are smoking. From the foot there was emanating this everlasting note of vanilla and fennel, that had already been present in the cold aroma of the wrapper. So great and so pleasing. Just mesmerizing. I attribute that in part to the fine wrapper from one of the best Vegas. The cigar developed nicely, with a good smoke volume and excellent burn. Without thinking too much about it, I was simply enjoying it. So much, that I didn't care about taking notes or being analytic about it. In restrospect, there were always transitions back and forth with slight floral and herbal, some more distinct Assam notes - again and in itself a complex flavour - and perhaps some woody notes on top of that pronounced tobacco taste, of which I'd be hard pushed to pinpoint to a certain specific aroma or flavour. The compexity was so great, the aroma components so nicely interwoven, that it was impossible for me to dissect and cast in words what I was tasting. All I can say is, it was fantastic! About midway into the second third, the smoke volume became a little muted. The taste, however, was always there and even intensified. But it seemed as if the smoke just wasn't so 'visible' anymore. You taste it, but you don't really see it. Having started outdoors, I now moved inside, as I was keen to see how the room note of this cigar would be like: Just. So. Great. The room soon smelled of what I tasted, with that slight vanilla-fennel note on top, but with a certain leathery hue (was it really leather? again, I can't really say...), a hue that got completely lost outdoors. I stayed in the house for about an hour before moving out again for ending the stick. In the last bit, I had to slightly correct the burn, but the cigar always stayed in great form. As usual, becoming a bit stronger, more intense, with more dark notes added towards the end with the concentration of condensates. But still velvety, with notes of fresh ground coffee and walnut (perhaps?) appearing. Delish till the end. Smoked it almost to the nub, and eventually sat there feeling left with complete satisfaction! When I finally checked the time I was amazed to realize how slow I had smoked that stick: This cigar took me on a continuous 130 min (!) journey into great Cuban tobacco artistry. During the whole time it had been interesting and entertaining, not for a second been boring. Final thought This was a prime example of what the Cubans are being capable of, and what proper aging can do to a stick when the quality is there. This one surely hadn't reached it's "expiry" date yet, and I am happy to know that I am still in hold of another untouched box of the same code. Having slowly smoked through this box over the years confirms once again to me that there is a distinctive difference between a six, seven years aged stick and a 15-year old or older one. There were aroma notes and a complexity that hasn't been there before, and which you'll never find in a freshy. Beyond that, it was another bright proof for the fact that it doesn't need double bands or 'exclusive' pricing for making an exceptional cigar. Too sad, and what a big, big shame again, for HSA killing such a wonderful cigar in its teenage years from its portfolio. Cheers, Goo
  4. Smoked my first La Trova the other day to check out this new release. Will give a brief account: Despite it's ring gauge of 52, this is a release I was really looking forward to. Because I love the complex Trinidad profile, and current Trinis are smoking exceptionally well. The blend is always spot on with great consistency, tobacco of top notch quality and wrappers mostly, too. The La Trova turned out no different, and this time (unlike e.g. for the Monte Dantés), I wasn't disappointed. This is only the second time this format is being utilized. First instance been in the famed Cohiba 1966 EL of 2011, when the Cañonazo Especial (52 x 166) made its debut. For me, girthwise really on the top end of what I can handle with aplomb and enjoyment. This release appears really well made, and Tabacuba seems having put much care into its making. Let's hope it will continue that way with follow-up production! Good, even bunching and beautiful wrappers of high standards. The complete row in the box is a sight to behold, and - if you ask me - is looking even nicer than the 1966 EL, due to their silky-smooth wrappers. Wrapper shade is typical Trinidad, of a lighter colorado-claro, smooth, supple and showing just a few, mostly finer veins, despite the comparatively large wrapper leaf necessary to clad this stick. When looking at a well-made Trini, it almost inevitably elicits in my mind that sound of the 3/4-4/4-time theme of The Stranglers' all-time hit.... "Golden brown, texture like sun" - this is how Trinidad is meant to be... in look & feel & impact This particular stick had a more open draw than I prefer. An initial fear I was having with this format, that it might turn out to be another windtunnel version of its regular production breed. But, seems not! - Still manageable for me, and I guess this will be in favour of many "wide-girth" smokers. Checking the weight distribution of sticks revealed a spectrum between slightly below 16.0 g and 20.2 g in a single box (- the official charts stating a mere 15.24 g for this vitola, a mass I would consider way too low for the format). In the attempt to see where we are standing here I intentionally chose the lightest one for this first trial, but the heavier ones will surely suit me better. Was still ok, no issues of overheating when the right cadence had been found, though the result was a comparatively quick smoke. This smoke was going from slightly under medium to full in body, lasting me a 90 min (not long, considering that a good, firmly packed Reyes already lasts me 60-70 min, ocassionally up to 75 min, a Fundi easily beyond 2 hrs....). A more properly filled exemplar will surely go for up to two hours. Towards the end you could feel the cigar's youth and its potential for further development. But right now, already a true pleasure to smoke. This specimen I had prepared prior to smoking by keeping it for about a week out of the box in the open in the storage room, at about 61-62 % rH. There is no reason to wait and not dive in immediately. Box code RAG AUG 17. General thoughts - While I thoroughly enjoyed this stick, actually the format and all the extra tobacco doesn't bring any extra advantage - for me personally - over a Fundadores. But I can see how this will appeal to the Robusto / Double Robusto smoker. This release is a clever move to attract new smokers and/or bring back those who had been lost to the marca with the (foolish) discontinuation of the Robusto Extra. It is producing much more 'steam' compared to its skinnier brethren, while tastewise being very similar, also in its evolution. It looks like they compensated for the bigger volume by shifting the blend a bit more towards the seco/volado side. My go-to, the Reyes, is providing me a similar if not slightly more intensity. But, this here is far from being a "volado roll", and smoking this first specimen it appears blenders did a pretty good job keeping the general perception of body and strength very similar to the regular formats. Which is nice actually. Would I smoke these more often in the future? Sure. But I'd only pull such a stick for special occasions. And for me, as an avid indoor smoker, this is a classic patio smoke due to its voluminous smoke production. Also, a general issue I am having with sticks of such formats going along with huge smoke production is that at times I tend to feel a certain palate tiring during the last third, so that I am not able to enjoy them as much as I am enjoying a skinnier stick towards its end. Still, this is a clear winner in my books. And it seems HSA managed to bring out another great LCDH release with This Luscious Thing, TLT aka Trinidad La Trova.
  5. So here's a Punch Punch (how many times can I get punch into this review?) 5 5/8 x 46 Good construction, somewhat rustic looking. No draw issues and a good burn. Dark grey ash that came off after the first few inches. Smoking time came in at just over an hour. 1/3 - Starts off smooth as butter. Beautiful aroma with a delicate, creamy flavour. 2/3 - Cream is still there but starts to be overtaken by wood. Still smooth. 3/3 - Things start to heat up in the final third. The cream is gone and pepper starts to come to the front. Definitely not an over powering pepper. Would rate this 3.5/5. Is the Punch a knockout? No, but it definitely throws a good jab. Would I buy it again? Probably, for the right price. The Punch Punch would make a good morning smoke but nothing to rave about.
  6. . My first JL1 SRO Jul 17 - HQ from this box, has been resting for about 3 months, I've been experimenting with different drink pairings other than my usual Whisky or Rum and found Tea's to be quite a good pairing. I've normally had Earl grey teas but have recently tried Taiwanese Bubble Milk tea and the combination of sugar and tea often works quite well with a lot of the cigars that I enjoy. Getting back to the JL1, cold draw is light, has notes of cedar and light straw notes and great draw, I keep my cigars at 65% RH 1st Third, - Smooth, creamy notes, with a bit of pepper spice and some slight sour notes - Medium to full, the sugar in the BBT helped mellow out the sour notes and make it a little sweeter 2nd Third - Has improved a lot and has more toasted almond nutty notes and is still very smooth with great ash and great burn. The BBT is now highlighting the nutty notes and make it very enjoyable - Medium to Full - The pepper & sour notes have gone Final Third - Has kicked up a notch and is now full bodied, the pepper is back and the nutty notes have died down, it has almost taken on a different character but its still enjoyable and smooth enough that I smoked it down to the nub. Overall Rating - 87/100 Was an excellent cigar for such a young smoke and plenty of development and the BBT helped round out the pepper spice and young sour notes at the beginning. Glad I have a cab and think these have great aging potential and will be worth trying again in 3-5 years.
  7. Cigar, beer and rum session review. Pairing the Partagas D4 with Mountain Goat Summer Ale then moving onto Dipolomatico reserva exclusiva rum. Cold draw gives a light spicy peppery feel on the lips. · 1/3 – light white pepper, cinnamon with an underlying light sweetness. The Summer ale is an easy drinker with subtle noise of tropical fruits and has subtle citrus bitterness which helps to not over power the flavours of the cigar. I like to refer to it as a can of 'fanta' due to the orange colour of the can. · 2/3 – Pepper has packed it's bags and left the show, cinnamon burnt caramel, nutty cedar profile kicking on. Another can of summer ale 'fanta' put away during this area and then onto the rumbo. Oh how the rumbo bought out that nut and burnt caramel feel. Bloody heavenly. · 3/3 – Voluptuous smoke content is like a dream. Beautiful balance of the flavours from 2/3rd. A light harshness as got toward the end which took me by surprise as to be honest I wasn't ready for it to be at the end, was obviously enjoying it too much and started to take it down a little quick. There's more rum left in the bottle damn it, another cigar need. Overall impression is that this cigar is a beautiful medium bodied cigar which would pair with a lot of drinks. From start to finish this cigar had an easy draw which was well defined and delivered balanced flavours with plenty of smoke.
  8. Unknown box code because I never bothered to peel the copious amounts of stickers these boxes come decorated in. This cigar is just special... I've found myself reaching for it a little more freely since buying a couple of more boxes. I've had several different experiences so far with it so bear with me but... First one I had this year was a huge burst of citrus out of the gate. Then came the chocolate. These flavors were quite pronounced. Nothing muted here. The last few I've had have teetered more on the chocolate side than the citrus. Regardless, these are very well constructed cigars. For regionals, yes they're a bit expensive... But it's like anything in this world, if you can smoke it and you like it then enjoy it. The last two boxes I bought...I decided I'd open one of them up and let me tell you that things look amazing. The stix look like they've been dunked in oxblood. I can't wait to experience these.
  9. 1999 Saint Luis Rey Lonsdale (REO EP00) This was just excellent. First half was like a high class s'more. The predominant flavors vacillated between marshmallow, milk chocolate, graham cracker, espresso, black pepper and paprika. There was always a light, peppery, toasted tobacco base. As one might expect from a lonsdale of any marca, the body and intensity gradually built as I progressed through the length of the cigar. That’s not to say, however, that it started out mild. No sir. I ran into some significant burn issues in the middle, which required some touchup and cost me some tobacco. I consider this a more-than-fair price of admission for the show I was about to receive though. Angels’ share. Second half was ALL cream. Like frikkin heavy whipping cream. The smoke coated every nook and cranny of my mouth. Even my teeth felt like Elvis’ suit. Crushed velvet, baby. Sublime. Complementary flavors varied throughout the second half. Nougat, nutmeg, chocolate, caramel, chile, clove, citrus, and something I can't put my finger on. Sort of a bittersweet savory thing. Maybe like a nicely marbled steak marinated in cocoa and molasses. I dunno. It escapes me. On the whole, the second half was like the olfactory sensory overload of a German christmas party. I burnt my fingertips trying to get ‘just one more...!’ draw before having to finally let it go to the Gods. The development of flavors wasn’t quite as subtle and elegant as that of an aged 898. If the 898 is a tasteful literary classic, this lonsdale was ‘Road Warrior’. One minute all is peaceful, and the next, a mongrel marauder is running over a shopkeep with his motorbike. The twists and turns on the flavor ride were like that of a roller coaster. It kept me more on the edge of my seat, than melting into it. It was very exciting. I’ve smoked a lot of good cigars this year, but this one is one of the greats. 2008 898; 2013 PCE; 2011 OR RG Perlas; 1999 SLR Lonsdale - these guys stand out as legends among heroes. I won’t soon forget this cigar.
  10. Smoked a rather interesting one tonight and was thoroughly surprised. Cigar: La Diabla Manufacturer: Traficante Cigars Purchased for $9.50 Size: 4x52 Wrapper: Brazilian Cubra maduro (Cuban Seed) Binder: Equadorian Filler: Dominican from Santiago Construction Not the prettiest looking thing. A weird lumpy rustic looking pentagonal shape. Medium brown wrapper with a nice oil sheen to it. Evenly packed with a good draw. Cool metal band/tag that came with the cigar. Prelight Wrapper smells like licorice and the cold draw also tastes of licorice. I'm pretty sure this was transferred over from another cigar that was shipped with the La Diabla. Shouldn't be an issue once I ignite. First Third As I suspected, the licorice was a foreign scent from another cigar. No licorice to be found in the tasting notes. Excellent smoke output and a smooth retrohale. Tasting notes are milk coffee, chocolate, shortbread, and a hint of baking spices. Body is medium. Very nice. Second Third Body picks up to medium-full. The flavors from the first third have become richer with hints of graham cracker coming through. Hopefully it becomes more prominent as it smokes through. I love graham cracker in my cigars. Burn is razor sharp. Halfway through the second third, the graham cracker develops further. The milk coffee has switched to dark coffee. Final Third Body stays at medium-full. No strength. Some nice honey sweetness comes in. Combines well with the dark coffee, chocolate, and shortbread flavors. As I get towards the half inch nub, the flavors become much simpler and finish out as dark chocolate and dark coffee. Thoughts For a 4x52 size cigar, $9.50 is not cheap in my opinion. However, this was an excellent cigar. I usually don't like the taste of Dominican cigars, but this was pretty damn delicious. Honestly, if someone gave this to me with no band and said "This is a Upmann Maduro No .1", I'd probably believe them. So much of the flavor profile just screamed Upmann to me. In short, this cigar was like smoking the last third of a Connie 1 or A with lots of chocolate laden into the flavor profile. La Diabla? No, this is chocolate Upmann. I would recommend you folks to try this if it sounds interesting to you. Anyone else try Traficante cigars before? I don't know if they ship outside of the US. I'll give this a 91/100. Very enjoyable.
  11. Hoyo De Monterrey Le Hoyo Des Dieux 2011. Sorry, forgot the full box code, I'll head back to the B&M to have a look. Prelight stuff: Stiff and dry wrappers, rustic looking claro. Draw is perfect from a punch cut. Faint aromas from the stick, with a little standard floral grass and hay from the cold draw. 1st Third: Cashews. Cedar. Cream. Spicy cajun finish that lingers around the back of the throat. Retrohale is peppery but not aggressive. Ash is holding on for almost at inch. Solid and chunky, zero flakes! End of first 3rd brings on some coffee. Spice fades off. Roasted almonds appears with the coffee 2nd Third: Roasted almonds and coffee are the top dogs here. Dat Cuban twang finally makes an entrance. Dried fruits hinting about. End of the 2nd, dominate notes are now light cocoa and dry Cubanesque critussy grass (you know what I'm talking about), flowers, fruits and dat twang. Retrohale is all twang. No pepper. Wow.... Last Third: Prominent notes are of cacao, like those really pure, raw form of cocoa, due to the hints of sour-floral Cuban twang. Coffee wafts in and out, also with sweet wood. Pepper and spice hints around the finish and tingles the back of the throat again. Slightly dry but.... Not complaining, just drinking alot more San Pellegrino. Orange peel then jumps in. What the f@rK? Retrohale is getting too complex, can't decipher. I'm just going to enjoy it without thinking too much. Last inch or so: Wood and a little spice comes back to play. And then twang comes back strong. Retrohale is still complex but light dry cocoa powder is the main dish. My brains are tired, what a journey.... Final smoke time, 90mins or so. Towards the end of the cigar... each draw gets me different notes, and I'm stunned. What a contrast from the Petit Edmundo I had just this morning, great flavours, but consistent without much complexity. The young 'Prince' beside the aged 'God'
  12. Hello everyone. I brought up a question/discussion in the thread below and found some interesting responses. It seems that there was a general consensus that Cohiba represents the flavor profile discussed in that thread, namely grass and hay. So, I've decided to light up a CORO and see what I thought. This is my first ever Cohiba, so this should be interesting regardless of the results. Box Code: ABR 13 PSM Appearance Nice looking medium dark brown wrapper with a perfect triple cap. Pack is a little on the hard side, but even Draw Very tight draw. Had to do a double V cut, but did not help too much. I'll just have to make extra love to it. Prelight A little hard to make out any obvious flavors. What I do get is a slight sweetness with a woody note. I'm blaming the tight draw for this. First Third I can only describe what I'm tasting as a vegetal sweet taste. There's some kind of characteristic that makes me think "sharp", but it's not in a bad way. It's almost like if I bit into an orange peel and I'm tasting the sharpness from the oils coming out of the peel. Strange/new experience, but I don't hate it. Would not describe the flavors as rich or deep at this point. Second Third The draw has improved thank god, but unfortunately, the wrapper burst a bit. I'm thinking it might be due to the overpack. The flavors are still similar to the first third, but has become more mellow. The sweetness has turned into a more honey-like sweetness on the retrohale, which is very much welcomed. As I'm smoking down the second third, the flavors are intensifying. Final Third I'm getting hints of graham crackers here and there. I don't know where this came from, but I'm not complaining. Overall, this cigar reminds me of a La Gloria Cubana #4, but with none of the fruity characteristics I get with the LGC. Reaching the nub, the flavors have become richer and darker. Final Thoughts This CORO was interesting to me. The beginning was pretty frustrating due to the draw, but thankfully it resolved itself by the second third. As for the flavor, it's honestly not my most favorite, but I didn't hate it either. It was just different from what I've had in other cigars. The final third was where I really loved this cigar, when the flavors became richer and more pronounced. Would I buy a box? Probably not because they are a bit expensive. For premium priced cigars, I think I lean more towards Trinidads rather than Cohiba. I don't think I tasted anything that made me go "THIS is grass and hay", but I think the closest I got was from the citrus and vegetal notes.
  13. About the cigar Founded in 1935, the Montecristo marca remains one of Cuba's top-selling brands each year, with the brand's Montecristo No. 2 still the best-selling cigar coming out of Cuba. In 2004, Habanos S.A. extended the Montecristo line and released a 5 3/8" x 52 Robusto called the Montecristo Edmundo. Because of its success Habanos S.A. released two variations on the Edmundo vitola: the Petite Edmundo (a 4 3/8" x 52 Petite Robusto) in 2007 and—the focus of today's review—the Double Edmundo, a 6 1/4" x 50 Doble in 2013. Let's see how it smokes. Brand: Montecristo Cigar: Double Edmundo Country of origin: Cuba Wrapper: Cuban Binder: Cuban Filler: Cuban Length: 6 1/4" Ring gauge: 52 Vitola: Dobles Factory: EOT box code Box date: DIC 15 (December 2015) Released: 2013 Price: $399 / box of 25 (depending on source; does not include duties, taxes, etc.) Smoking story The review took place in mid-afternoon on a 75 degrees Fahrenheit day with about 40% relative humidity outside. Appearance The cigars come in a well-constructed cedar box and they look gorgeous. It's wrapped in a light brown wrapper reminiscent of coffee with milk. And it has a slight reddish hue. There aren't many veins, and those veins that do exist are small. The wrapper is fairly smooth with a subtle tooth. It's slightly oily, but not outstandingly so. The size of the cigar is nice. I'm glad they decided to go with a 50 ring gauge instead of 52, as that would've been overwhelming. I almost wish they had gone with something even smaller, like 48. Construction looks solid. The traditional triple cap is perfect, and the seams are minimal. The only negative is it seems a bit firm. The band is the classic Montecristo band, updated for the 21st century. Everything looks crisp, and the band's simplicity paired with the elegance of the cigar make for an enticing stick. Pre-light On the foot I'm getting cedar, raisins, and cacao. It's light but present The cigar cuts easily. The cold draw flavors are similar to the aromas, and there's a bit of pepper on the tongue and salt on the lips. Unfortunately, the draw seems fairly tight. It's not plugged, but it's tight enough that I expect some smoke problems and burn problems. In fact, I decide to cut a bit more off the cap to possibly alleviate the draw issue. It helps a little, but not much. This is something that seems to happen with more regularity in Cuban cigars, so I'm not surprised. But it's a bit disappointing. I'm hoping that it corrects itself as the cigar smokes down. First third The Montecristo Double Edmundo opens quite nicely. You're hit first with white pepper, salt, and cedar. Cream follows those flavors, along with a bit of tanginess. There's almost no sweetness to start, and behind it all is the dusty cacao that first showed up in the cold draw. As the first third progresses, some sweetness enters, along with a bit of milk chocolate. In fact, this particular type of sweetness and chocolate reminds me a bit of a Tootsie Roll (for those of you who've had them!). The cedar is still there, and now a bit of leather enters. As the first third winds up, the sweetness continues to increase. The finish is quite nice: a lingering, sweet, creamy cedar. At this stage, both the strength and body are on the light side of medium. Flavor is medium. As suspected, there are some construction issues. The draw is still too tight, and so the smoke production is lighter than I would like. It's not terrible by any means, but it detracts from the experience. Second third As this Doble puro heads into its second third, a bit of white pepper shows up. It's subtle but there. The cedar and milk chocolate remain, and a nice graham cracker note joins those flavors. Now the cigar shows some darker, dustier flavors like dry coco powder, toasted tobacco, dry earth, and leather. Some salt appears too. There's also a hint of black tea in the background. Strength and body have increased into solidly medium territory. The draw and smoke production have improved a bit. The burn has stayed relatively solid. So far it has required only two minor touch-ups. Final third Sadly, the last third is where this cigar falters a bit. It was really on the way to a great score. Had the flavors continued to increase in intensity and the construction held up, this would've been a low-to-mid 90s cigar. But it wasn't to be. There were some nice flavors in the last third. A nice sourness appeared, and there was chocolate, leather, tobacco, and pepper too. But there was nothing new, and the flavors became less intense and more muddled as the cigar progressed. The strength and body, if anything, decreased. And the smoke production and draw got worse. The cigar ended by getting a little bit too hot, damp, and slightly bitter. A disappointing final third to what was otherwise a lovely cigar. Score Flavor (63 of 70 points) Taste: The flavors were thoroughly enjoyable. The Monte loses one point because the flavors also somewhat common and another for the slight bitterness at the end. 23 points (-2). Complexity: The flavors worked very nicely and there were lots of them. The problem is they didn't change much, especially between the second and final thirds. 13 points (-2). Refinement: It got rough at the end. 8 points (-2). Body: At times (especially in the final third) the body was a bit light. That's probably because of the smoke production issues, so only one point gets deducted here. 5 points (-1). Strength: The strength was spot-on. It was a medium-flavored, medium-bodied cigar, and the strength (at medium) complimented that well; it didn't overshadow things. 5 points (-0). Finish: Nothing wrong with the finish. It lingered, it was sweet, it was creamy, it was full of cedar. Very nice. 5 points (-0). Aroma: Like the finish, the Aroma was also quite nice. Cedar and raisins at pre-light, and more cedar and coco in the room. 5 points (-0). Construction (16 of 20 points) Appearance: A quite lovely cigar. I couldn't wait to smoke it. 5 points (-0). Draw: It was too tight for the first third. It would have lost more points how tight it was, but it corrected itself about halfway through. 3 points (-2). Burn: Needed a slight touch-up but that due to my own obsessiveness about perfect burn lines. I think it would have been fine on its own. It really loses a point here because it got too hot at the end. 4 points (-1) Integrity: Toward the end the wrapper cracked a bit. 4 points (-1). Overall Experience (8 of 10 points) This was an enjoyable smoke. The first two thirds were quite exceptional, actually. It just fell flat at the end. I don't want to be too harsh. The final third wasn't bad; it was above-average. It simply did not live up to the other two thirds or to what I would expect from Montecristo. In the end, I imagine the construction issues plagued this cigar from the start by forcing me to smoke too quickly to keep it lit and keep the smoke flowing. Perhaps a bit more time in the humidor will allow it to settle down even more, though I doubt it. This might just be a specific box of Montes that I put down after the first two thirds. Final score: 87 points.
  14. Thank you for indulging in a particularly special story of mine. While I’ve received many cigars as gifts over the years, there is one cigar that stands above all others as my most prized gift. It’s not Cuban, and it’s not a cigar that most experienced cigar smokers would reach for. But it is priceless to me. The cigar is a Cuesta Rey churchill in a unique glass tube. My dad served as a Colonel in the United States Army, and during the most recent war in Iraq, he was stationed far away from home on a military base. He bought this Cuesta Rey for me while he was stationed there, and gave it to me when he made it back home for good in 2008. As you can see, the tube has a special sticker on it identifying it as an “Operation Iraqi Freedom” cigar. For whatever reason, I decided to hold on to the cigar and not smoke it. I’m glad I did. About seven years after he gave this to me, my father died—far too young—after a battle with cancer. So what was an interesting cigar became the most important cigar in my collection, and the best gifted cigar I have. I doubt I’ll ever smoke it. But this wouldn’t be a review without putting a cigar to flame, so I’ll be reviewing the next-best substitute that I can think of. My father’s favorite figure of history was Winston Churchill. And it’s fitting that the cigar that my father gave to me was also a churchill. So to me there was only one choice for this review: the Sir Winnie (this one from JUN 16). Now on to the review. The cigar is a medium-to-light brown, and the wrapper is free of any major veins. The wrapper has a slight toothiness, and the cigar feels well-packed but not too hard. It feels great in the hand (I love this viola—see my profile photo) and cuts easily. Aroma at cold is subtle, but I’m getting a light cedar and the faintest hint of dried fruit. The draw is absolutely perfect. Again more cedar, and there’s a hint of white pepper on the tongue. I can’t wait to get started. I lit it up with a cedar splint, careful to take my time with this one. The first few puffs give me plenty of rich, creamy smoke. There’s more cedar, toasted tobacco, and a gentle sweetness rounding things out. I also get a slight white pepper note, and the finish is long and satisfying. Body and strength are mild-to-medium to start. The cigar boasts impeccable construction and a perfect draw. And the burn was razor sharp. Core flavors are coffee with cream, shortbread, toasted tobacco, some nuttiness, and a delightful white pepper that balances things off. Body and strength start on the light side of medium during the first third, but slowly increase to solid medium. There’s a richness (but a refined richness) to the smoke. The room aroma actually reminds me of milk chocolate. Other interesting flavors that made appearances were a bell pepper-like vegetal note, some savory spices, earthiness at times, and even some cinnamon and nutmeg. The cream, nuts, and shortbread anchored everything throughout. The only knock was a very (very) slight bitterness that came in and out every so often (mostly in the first third). I have to imagine that these are the remnants of youth still hanging around. I’m sure they will fade with a bit more time in the humidor. What a classy, refined cigar. Two hours of bliss. This is one you want to sip and savor, all while you hope that it never ends. It lives up to its name, and it makes a worthy substitution for my most prized cigar. My dad never smoked a Sir Winnie, but I think he would have loved it as much as I did.
  15. Purchased a 10ct box a few years ago. First time trying one of these in a while. Appearance: Dark colorado wrapper. Slightly rustic, but plenty of sheen. Appears to be a bit of plume. First third: Rich Cohiba flavor with some darker chocolate and cream notes. Tuscan leather, espresso, and cedar undertones. The richness is akin to the richness found in some ELs (e.g. HdM Magnum 48 & RA Club Allones). Medium bodied at the moment. Picking up a lot of complexity on the retrohale. Second third: Progressing into a medium-bodied smoke. I'm surprised the cigar is somewhat Cohiba-esque given most people say these don't have any Cohiba DNA in them whatsoever. I'm picking up more espresso bean notes and mocha notes with cream/barnyard undertones. Very complex smoke and anything but boring so far. Excellent burn and nice even ash. Final third: Flavors have become a bit more intense. The mocha note is moving toward bitter chocolate (70-90%). Pure chocolate with a hint of bitter orange. I'm starting to see a few similarities between the 2010 Montecristo Grand Edmundo 2010 Edicion Limitada, although I think the Grand Edmundo is a better smoke. Was able to smoke this down to about 2cm. Final impressions: Great smoke in its own right. I haven't smoked that many cigars that offer such a rich chocolate flavor. Interesting smoke, but I'd honestly go for a current production Cohiba Robusto of Siglo IV instead as I do prefer the classic Cohiba flavor through and through. Some European vendors have these in stock for 40 euros a stick...definitely a pass at those prices. The cigar offers a nice change of pace, but I think you can get more bang for the buck elsewhere. Final score: 93-94
  16. ... these videos don't appear to be getting any shorter!!! -LOL I used to think, 'what am I gonna' talk about for 10 minutes...!' Enjoy. -PIggy
  17. Rafael González 88 - Edición Regional Asia Pacifico 2016 (SOM Dic 2016) Vitola: Británicas Extra (48 ring gauge x 137 mm or 5.4 inches) Introduction: I had the opportunity to sample this newly-released Regional Edition cigar this week with Trevor Leask, the founder of Cuban Cigar Website, as I'm on vacation. There has been some outstanding PCC (Pacific Cigar Company) Asia-Pacific Regional Edition releases such as the Ramon Allones Celestiales Finos, the Por Larranaga Encantos and the Diplomaticos Bushidos to name a few, and this release saw much demand from our members when it became available late last month. The reason? Perhaps it was the cigar-aficionado friendly vitola, a Británicas Extra at under 50/64ths of an inch ring gauge, perhaps it was the fact that it was only the second Rafael Gonzalez Regional Edition release other than the 2013 German Petit Piramides, perhaps it was its availability in a 10-count box, or perhaps it was just because, as far as Regional Editions go, it was just so different in comparison to others. Aroma and Cold Draw: I found the aroma unlike the typical cocoa-rich, refined barnyard one gets with Limited Edition releases, rather this was very light and had more of a natural grass/hay aroma, so to speak. My cold draw was similarly very mild, but I was happy to sense the Rafael Gonzalez cocoa prior to lighting. First Third: In comparison to the PMS Abr 2015 box of Rafael Gonzalez Perlas I've been enjoying the past month or so (oh my, I've already gone through half a box!), the initial puffs were similarly very, very good, alas, the Rafael Gonzalez 88 was more refined, more milder. There were distinctive notes of cocoa and a floral sweetness, and a 'breadiness' in its spine (or core). Trevor found his peppery through the nose at first, but this settled for him. In contrast, my retrohale was very easy, no strong spice through the nose at all. In fact, this cigar was very mild through the nose for such a young cigar. Second Third: At this point, I felt that the strength picked up a little and the flavours were less distinctive. Perhaps a little light leather or nut combined with the cocoa. Final Third: During the final third, both Trevor and I remarked how non-descript the cigar had become. This wasn't a bad thing mind you, rather, the flavours we were able to delineate in the first half of the cigar were now much less definitive. Conclusion: I felt after smoking this that this cigar deserves some time down to properly blend. I spoke to El Pres (Rob) today to wish him well in regards to his health and the upcoming deciding State of Origin Rugby League game next week, and he was able to enlighten me in regards to my thoughts on this cigar in relation to the Rafael Gonzalez Coronas Extra, which was deleted in 2010. A little nut, a subtle refinedness and a reminder that PCC aim for their Regional Edition blends to develop with age, and I have no doubt that this will come into its own in the future. If you are expecting a powerhouse cigar, full of flavour, like recent Limited Editions, understand that this is the antithesis of that. Mild and subtle, the Rafael Gonzalez 88 is the type of cigar that will reward you for patience and is an homage to refinement and subtlety. I look forward to Ken and Rob's upcoming Video Review of this cigar, as they will be able to offer a fuller comparison to previous Rafael Gonzalez vitolas now deleted. In the meantime, below are some forum and video links to the Rafael Gonzalez Coronas Extra for your discernment.
  18. One more in the ongoing saga of great cigars past. One fantastic thing about working in the shop is that it is 'my space' and the smoking lamp is always lit! Enjoy! -the Pig
  19. I've decided to post my 2016 Xmas Sampler Review in the Review Section for future reference purposes. It was originally posted in February this year in the 'Daily Smoke' thread... Cigars I've smoked lately... The 2016 Xmas Sampler (dedicated to our dear friend @Hurltim) Did you happen to pick up El Pres' 2016 Xmas Sampler? These cigars represent Rob's most consistent quality cigars for 2016. I smoked through these fine cigars during my January vacation time, on my own, watching sport, watching movies and sometimes in the fine company of some other dear fellow cigar enthusiasts. I promised Hurltim I'll review these when done, but as February is a busy month in Australian work life culture (as a result of everyone returning from leave en masse!), I've finally been able to find some time to share my findings! Firstly, below are the 13 cigars included... They are, from left to right, Diplomaticos Bushido, Diplomatico No.2, Bolivar Coronas Gigantes, Partagas Lusitanias, Montecristo No.1, Fonseca No.1, H.Upmann Magnum 56 LE 2015, Ramon Allones Club Allones LE 2015, Punch Punch, Bolivar Belicosos Finos, San Cristobal de La Habana La Fuerza, Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Prince and Cohiba Robustos. My review will follow in chronological order... 1. Ramon Allones Club Allones LE 2015 (SOM Dic 15) I decided to start off with the 'powerhouses', the most full-bodied of the lot. I smoked this and the BBF watching the Boxing Day Cricket Test, which is traditionally Australia's most watched and attended event of the sporting summer. The Australian cricket captain, Steve Smith and leading bowler, Mitchell Starc were hitting runs aplenty on this day of the test, and it was exciting to watch Australia comeback to bowl Pakistan out and win the game. This cigar was so strong, much stronger than other RACA I've had. It had the traditional stewed profile that I enjoy in Ramon Allones, but the nicotine buzz of this wore me out by the late afternoon. 2. Bolivar Belicosos Finos (TOR May 16) So, by the time lit this in the early afternoon I was somewhat feeling a little drowsy, on account of the strong Ramon Allones Club Allones LE I had earlier and the warm weather of this particular Sydney afternoon. I thing I enjoy about BBF's are when they have an element of cream to them, alas, no such luck here. It had typical flavours associated with this vitola such as earthiness, leather, sour dough spine dipped in coffee and dark chocolate. Still, I hold hope for the next BBF I smoke! 3. H.Upmann Magnum 56 LE 2015 (MEG Mar 16) This is the special cigar I decided to have on New Year's Day this year. I made a Brandy Alexander for myself and my wife, and together with my standard long black espresso coffee, this cigar was one of the highlights of my summer! What can I say in regards to accolades about the H.Upmann Magnum 56? Smoke aplenty, mild chocolate (like all limited editions, eh?), toasted tobacco, licorice and so beautifully refined. Yes, I wish it wasn't 56 ring gauge, but I used my Credo 3-in-1 punch cutter again on this and 'sipped' it from the back. 95 minutes of pure joy and yes, I gladly nubbed it...look below! 4. Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Prince (TOR Jun 16) When I smoked this on the 3rd of January, little did I know that I would be saying goodbye to a dear friend. Why, oh why did I not get more boxes? Oh well, I'll live with what I have and I'll try to get some more this year, if I can. Still, I'm in disbelief in regards to this fine cigar being deleted in 2017. Rob mentioned in his tasting notes the following,..cream, cedar, bitter cooking chocolate and black coffee. This description is about spot on for me. My recommendation for all Le Hoyo line HdM, is to age them. If you enjoy them young, try to smoke through half a box, and rest what's left for a minimum 5 years. That combination of cream and cedar, when aged, is just so ineffable. Some of you will know what I mean. 5. Punch Punch (ALO Mar 16) Did you get yourself a 50 cab of these recently? Well, I certainly hope you did. The Punch Punch will be around in 2018, but only in 25 dress boxes, there's something nostalgic about this in 50 cabs that this cigar deserves. Again, I very much enjoyed this, cream, leather, spice...just Punch at its finest, and how surprised was I on account of its youthfulness? I wish there were two of these in the sampler! 6. Diplomaticos No.2 (TOS Mar 16) This was the very best of all the cigars I smoked from the Xmas Sampler. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Sourdough...just 100 minutes of sweet joy that I hope Habanos S.A can replicate for this cigar for sometime. If you've put this away, or are smoking through some TOS 15/16 Diplomaticos No.2 currently, you are truly fortunate! 7. San Cristobal de La Habana La Fuerza (TOS Mar 16) Cocoa, coffee, molasses and sweetbread...this is quintessential San Cristobal de La Habana. This is a marca I absolutely adore because I'm a sweet tooth. This cigar was very, very good and I was well-satisfied, but it goes to show how good the Punch Punch and Diplomaticos No.2 were on this day for me to rate those vitolas higher. 8. Cohiba Robustos (ETP Jun 16) This, and the next two cigars, I enjoyed in the company of some fine Sydney Friends of Habanos members at a get together at my house. Again, it was a warm Sunday summer's day, but this Robusto was still distinctively Cohiba, with that combination of grass/hay, honey, citrus and cream we all know and love. 9. Fonseca No.1 (UME Mar 15) Apparently this cigar has been deleted a few years ago, but it just seems to go into production now and then ever since the announcement. Wood, floral notes, soft marshmallow and very, very mild. This is suitable for a change of pace. Construction on this was outstanding! 10. Montecristo No.1 (BUM Abr 15) How good is it to have this Lonsdale cigar smoking this well? This was the third cigar of our get together and I think I saved the best for last! Montecristo cocoa, cream and leather in a 1 and 3/4 hours smoke. I don't think I have these often enough! 11. Diplomaticos Bushido (TOS Oct 15) This is an incredibly special Asia Pacifico Regional Edition release. You know this from the very fact that the cigar is tapered at the head, a Numero 109, a vitola saved for the very best cigars. And, this is one of those cigars so deserving of that praise. I saved this for a get together with Trevor and Alex to discuss Cuban Cigar Website on a mid-week day in January. Unfortunately, the day was extremely hot, over 100°F (38°C). Still, I savoured that Diplomaticos sourdough and cinnamon goodness, and the fine, fine company! 12. Partagas Lusitanias (OBM Jun 16) I can't remember the last time I had a double corona, but after having this, I made sure to pick up a box from a 24:24 sale soon after. I found this like a milder Partagas Shorts...mild, smooth spice, coffee and sourdough. It went for 2 hours and 5 minutes and after I finished it I wanted to light one up immediately thereafter! 13. Bolivar Coronas Gigantes (PUR Mar 16) I smoked this watching 'La La Land' with my wife and boy did this cigar send me there. Oh what a pity it's being deleted, and even though Bolivar is not favourite marca on account of the earthiness in its profile, still, I can appreciate the spice, coffee and toasted tobacco spine. How apt I should end the Sampler series on this cigar. Farewell will be long remembered!
  20. Backstory: This post is a bit of a review and an ask for help on some identification. This was my first, and the only one I owned, Jose L. Piedra. Unfortunately, I do not know what type of Piedra it is L. Back in 2015, my Kansas City Royals made their post season World Series run. During that run, they played the Toronto Blue Jays and to me, it was one of the most exciting post season series I have ever seen. Because of this a fellow BOTL from another forum, who lived in Toronto and was a huge Blue Jays fan, decided to do a sportsmanship cigar trade and he labeled this one “Jose Piedra”. Review: While smoking this cigar, I was inspired by @PigFish to use a new smoking technique. Watching his reviews, I noticed he used, what I refer to as, a quick three puff method instead of a single long draw. So, I decided to give it a shot and I won’t lie, it made a huge difference for such a small cigar. I have found that on smaller RG cigars, I seem to put them down in their early third due to the smoke getting too hot which give them a nasty flavor. With this new technique, I got more time out of this stick. Anyway, let’s move on! Wrapper was nice and oily. Had a little toothiness to it. Draw was perfect, not too tight, not too lose. The first third was great. The smoke was thick and the flavor was upfront butter with a bit of leather on the finish. It was smooth, probably medium body. Second third the leather was replaced with a nice cedar flavor from beginning to end. The smoke was still thick and smooth but the buttery factor was gone. Final third, the cedar was gone and the buttery flavor with a nice leather finish came back. This was honestly one of my favorite cigars. Lasted right around an hour and went very well with my Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve my wife gifted me for Father’s Day. Help: I loved this cigar, so I went to see if I could find it online but since I was not given any other information on this one than “Jose Piedra”, I have no idea which line it is. To make things worse, the price for any box of Jose Piedras on INT was amazing! Outside of the review, I do know this. The cigar was similar in size to a Partagas Mille Fluere, but it was longer. I would say the RG is pretty much the exact same as the Mille Fluere as well. Looking at the Habanos website, I am thinking it could be either the Brevas or Nacionales. If I am wrong about the RG being the same as the Mille Fluere, then maybe it’s a Convervas or Cremas but I’m just not sure. Would anyone have a good idea on which one it is? Any information would be most appreciated! TLDR; Has a fantastic Jose L. Piedra that I need help identifying!
  21. Cigar: Partagas Lusitanias Box Code: ECA JUL 02 Format: Prominente (double corona) Size: 194mm (7.6 inches) x 49 Smoke Date: 09/11/2016 (Read the Full Review) I reviewed this magnificent cigar a while ago. I don't often smoke cigars this big because it takes so long and I like to really concentrate on my cigar experience when I smoke a great cigar. The cigar started off mild, with some sweet pepper and cedar, while the aroma was notably light as was the smoke volume. But it didn't take long for the character of the cigar to develop into rich toasted tobacco, with a big dose of earth and creamy smoothness. As the second third started to burn the distinct Cuban twang I so covet came out in spades, a beautiful rich aroma of loamy earth with that intoxicating barnyard tone that I find elusive in modern Cuban cigars. The flavor also exhibited flowery and sweet spice undertones heightening the creamy sensation, a hallmark of Cuban tobacco of this pedigree. In the final third the cigar spice intensified and a hint of black pepper emerged in the finish. The flavor was wonderfully complex with essence of sweet pepper, cumin, basil and rich earth dominating the forefront, while nuances of cookie dough, vanilla, and smoldering sweet wood adding to the masterful creamy balance. This cigar brought smoothness and cream like no other, confirming the Lusitanias as the standing flagship of the Partagas marquee. This cigar is a classic example of the best Cuba has to offer. I rated it 9.5 out of 10 on my personal scale.
  22. It has been awhile since I have smoked a cigar so I picked something deliberately small. I was thinking that I was going to get something a bit more powerful, these cigars can be robust. Yet with all said and done, with a few too many narcotics in my system already, using the wrong words with regularity, I was quite happy that this one did not bowl me over while making some history today. This is my first ever video review. Get a good laugh at my expense brothers (and sisters). Time to poke at the Pig!!! -LOL Thanks again Chris for the cigar, lovely. Thanks for watching brothers, be gentile, I am still afraid to move my neck... -LOL Bolivar DT- A Bolivar DT- B -Ray
  23. Vitola: Petit corona del punch Box date: 2002 (code unknown) Smoke date: 11/18/2016 Not the prettiest in the humidor, or the best specimen from this cab. Wrapper is a bit rough, the seams are a little loose, and there are multiple prominent veins through the length of the cigar. I trimmed it shallow and neat. Cold draw is slightly tight, but good. Pre-burn draw reveals very little. Once lit the cigar produced moderate smoke. The flavor is earthy and rich, with toasted tobacco front and center and sweet wood in the backdrop. The aroma is distinctly Cuban twang and somewhat reminiscent of barn hay. Flavor through the first third seems a bit muted. I get toasted tobacco and some cedar, but little else. However the aftertaste is sumptuous with elements of tea and sourdough. I've smoked about 40 of this cigar's sisters from this cab, but this one is a little different. As the first third gave way to the second, the flavor intensified, and a sweetness emerged. The cigar now turned creamy and medium bodied, with a good dose of cocoa, some cumin, and a cedar aroma. I was still sensing tea in the aftertaste, with toast. The last third seems to be the best. The aroma has become more earthy and has more twang. The taste of tea, toast, cocoa and spices has evolved and turned more creamy and chewy. There is a slight hint of pepper on the finish. Burn has been perfect and straight, with a solid ash that seems to hang on forever. This is an impressive cigar, one that will be sorely missed. The flavor evolved throughout, getting richer, creamier, and more complex. Not a hint of harshness. I rate this cigar a 9 on my personal scale, for a slightly slow start, but an outstanding experience. Wholly satisfying.
  24. Pre-Light: The draw is just on the tight side and tastes of roasted nuts. I’ll chalk the tight draw up to the perfecto foot and refrain from cutting any more away from the cap for now. First Third: The first 4-5 draws are pretty tight, then suddenly, the draw opens up. I’m glad I didn’t cut any more, it’s perfect now! The flavor is a sort of sweet and buttery grass, with a hint of the roasted nuts from the pre-light. As I reach the thickest point in the cigar, the grassy flavor fades and I’m left with sweet and lightly spiced peanuts. The sweetness is not constant though, sometimes it tastes almost candied and other times it’s very mellow. I can also taste the age. I’ve only smoked a few Cuaba so far and they all came with a few years of age, so maybe it is just how Cuaba tastes. It’s got that sort of musty Cuban “funk” that I’ve come to associate with Cuaba. About halfway through the third and I’ve lost track of what sort of nuttiness I’m tasting. It isn’t really peanut anymore, but something richer and more subtle. The sweetness has definitely settled into the more mellow side as well. The flavor stays pretty consisten to the end of the third. Second Third: This third begins with more of the same. A nice mellow, slightly sweet nutty profile. It’s starting to taste more “roasted” at this point, and the funk has faded into the background. Every time I smoke a Cuaba, I conclude that I need to smoke more Cuaba. 2/3 of the Cuaba I’ve smoked before this were the big guys (Salomon and Diadema), but I’m really liking this smaller one too. About halfway through the third and I get hints of the grassy flavor flitting in and out. This time it’s a less pleasant grassy flavor though, and I could really do without it. It’s still not putting too much of a damper on the experience though. Toward the end of the third, the funk makes a strong reprise, hopefully setting the cigar up for fireworks in the last third as the RG continues to decrease. Final Third: Sure enough, the funk keeps building in this third. The cigar really comes alive, compared to the mellowing out at the end of the first third. A rich roasted nut medley takes center stage and the sweetness has dwindled to almost nothing. As the RG gets smaller and smaller, the draw does tighten a bit. It is still very workable though and the flavor is bigger than ever. Perhaps it goes without saying, but I'd definitely recommend this cigar and can already tell that I'll be going to bed with burnt fingers tonight.
  25. The striking red and gold band of the Partagas Serie D no. 4 robusto caught my eye as I rummaged through my winedor. This fine cigar came with a birth mark of GEO DIC 14. It is the first of its brethren to take to the flame. This is one of the younger specimens in my collection as I've been on a cigar buying hiatus for a few years and smoking through my aged stock. The milk chocolate colored wrapper had some notable small to medium veins with a lovely oily sheen to it, and it was well applied with barely any visible seams. The cap was glued on evenly and did not crack when I punched it. There was quite a solid pack under the cap so it took a few seconds to work the punch through. The punch clawed out a rather substantial circular chunk of tobacco, leaving a notable tunnel in the head of the cigar. Draw was a little tight, but adequate. The first few draws produced a moderate amount of smoke and a medium bodied flavor loaded with a solid earthy, rich tobacco core. The aroma had some of that distinct barnyard twang that I like to seek out, it reminds me of being on a farm with rich fertile loam after a brief rainfall as the parched hot earth turns the rain drops into vapor. There is a slightly spicy finish on my tongue, not too hot. As I smoked past the first inch the smoke became creamy and smooth, though the spice intensified a bit. The second third of the cigar warmed up some more and produced a creamy rich plume of smoke with each draw. The flavor was getting a little more intense with hints of burnt toast and charred wood on the finish, and the spiciness was getting stronger. As the cigar progressed into the final third, the smoke volume died down considerably, causing me to take longer and more frequent draws. That made the cigar get hotter, so I had to purge it and slow down a little. The spiciness was getting more intense and beginning to be distracting. The flavor was still quite rich and creamy, and body was quite strong, but there was a somewhat grassy bite to the finish.With about 2 inches left, the smoke volume returned, the flavor actually became even creamier, while the spiciness smoothed out a little, which kept me interested and prevented me from putting the cigar down to extinguish. Although still a bit hot and spicy, the rich tobacco flavor was quite enjoyable so I smoked down to about the last inch before letting it slip into the ashtray among the ashes. This cigar was a decent treat and a complex flavor bomb, but somewhat edgy for my taste. I can’t help think that it needs another couple of years to smooth out and reach its full potential.

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