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The Camacho Connecticut Monarca

You can’t judge a book by its cover.  This is a life lesson that has less to do with libraries than it has to do with life in general.  Little did I know that it applies to the world of cigars too.  Such is the case with the Camacho Connecticut Monarca.

I walked into the humidor at my local tobacco shop looking for something different.  It was extremely hot outside, so I wanted to try something mild and mellow.  So when I saw the Camacho Connecticut series, I knew I had to give it a shot.  Automatically, when I saw “Connecticut” I thought “Connecticut.  Mild.  Win!”  Well, you can’t judge a book by its cover, but here are the “book’s” details:

  • Size:  5×50 Monarca
  • Wrapper:  Connecticut shade
  • Binder:  Honduran
  • Filler:  Dominican and Honduran
  • Strength:  Medium

This cigar was very enjoyable, but not for the reasons I had originally thought.  Instead of it being a mild, smooth smoke it was a spicy, creamy smoke.  I absolutely loved the thick, white smoke this cigar created.  When I first lit up, the spices were pretty strong but they were tempered by the creaminess that developed through the middle part of the cigar.

I had no construction issues at all, the bullet cut was perfect and the burn was even throughout.  All in all, this was a nice smoke.  It just wasn’t what I expected.  I paid around $6.00 for this cigar and would definitely smoke it again for certain occasions.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Reviews

 

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The Padilla Series ’68 Robusto

It felt good to finally get back outside and smoke a cigar.  Lately, the Texas heat has just been too much to bear so I haven’t been able to enjoy a cigar on my lunch hour as usual.  But yesterday, the temperatures had cooled to just under 100 degrees so I lit up a Padilla Series ’68 Robusto and sat under a shade tree with a cold glass of water.  Believe it or not, it was perfect.

I had purchased a box of the Series ’68s from Cigars International when they were selling them for the ridiculously low price of $39.99.  That’s right–twenty premium cigars for under $40!  The reason for this preposterous deal was that each box had the words “Refill only…not for resale” on the box.

Silly things like this rarely bother me, so I sprang for the deal and I’m glad that I did.  To make the deal even sweeter, a friend of mine asked if he could buy ten of the cigars from me since he didn’t have room in his humidor for a full box.  This worked out well for me, too, since my humidor is rather full at the moment!

So here are the details on the Padilla Series ’68 Robusto:

  • Size:  5×50 Robusto
  • Wrapper:  Cuban-seed corojo
  • Binder:  Nicaragua, criollo
  • Filler:  Cuban-seed Nicaragua
  • Strength:  Medium/Full

I have written on here before about how important I think cigar bands are.  I know they don’t assist in the taste of a cigar, but the certainly can make or break a cigar’s look.  The Series ’68 helps itself by screaming “quality” when you see the attention to detail in the band.  It actually looks like it’s just one ornate band, but it isn’t until you do a little investigating that you find out it’s two distinct bands.

A nice barnyard or hay smell was the first scent I got once I removed the cigar from its cellophane wrapper.  Upon lighting, that’s exactly what I tasted too.  It started off as a very earthy smoke with just a touch of pepper.  Throughout the whole of the cigar, the burn was really sharp.  I didn’t even have to think about any touch ups which was kind of surprising on a windy afternoon.

The one thing I noticed about this cigar was its lack of flavor transitions.  It started off earthy and it remained earthy through the whole smoke.  There were, along the way, hints of spice and pepper but I never felt the spice or pepper dominating.  They always sat in the back seat to the earthy/woodsy flavor.

As far as strength is concerned, this cigar never went above a medium strength smoke.  It’s the kind of cigar you can smoke at any point in the day and really just enjoy the flavors without having to worry about getting bowled over by strength.  All in all, I’m glad I bought this box because the Padilla Series ’68 Robusto is a great everyday smoke.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Reviews

 

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The Cro Magnon Mandible

I am often asked what kind of cigars I like.  If you get asked that question a lot, and if you’re like me, you’ll know that’s a difficult question to answer.  For me, at least, my answer is usually the same:  “it depends.”  It depends on the time of day.  It depends on my current mood.  It depends on if I’ve smoked something already.  It depends!  It depends!  It depends!

Well it has been a stressful few weeks for me.  One of my coworkers is recuperating from surgery and has been out of work for awhile which leaves me as the only other person capable of handling her duties while she’s out.  On top of that, I’m in the middle of about nineteen straight days of working or being on-call.  Add to that some deeply painful family things going on and…well…you see where this is going.  It’s funny how a rise in stress is directly proportionate to a spike in blood pressure.

So on Thursday of last week, my wife and I went out for drinks and a nice steak dinner.  After a wonderfully relaxing evening with her, I stepped out onto the deck, clilpped the Cro Magnon Mandible cigar, turned up the Johnny Cash and lit up!  Here are the Mandible’s details:

  • Size:  4.5X60 (Mandible)
  • Wrapper:  Broadleaf
  • Binder:  Camaroon
  • Filler:  Nicaragua
  • Strength:  Medium/Full

As is my custom, I used a bullet cut on the cap.  The cap took the bullet without harming the cigar which signifies to me that the stick is well made and has been properly humidified.  After I cut it, I took a long look at the Mandible and was impressed with the oily, dark chocolate wrapper.  I’m usually not a big fan of 60-ring gauge cigars, but this one looked mighty impressive.

I lit the cigar up and immediately sensed a rich chocolate and pepper profile.  The draw was perfect, but as I got into the first third I noticed that the wrapper wasn’t burning well.  The Mandible did require touch ups throughout the cigar because the burn was uneven.

The second third’s flavors were much the same of the first third.  There were subtle differences here and there, but the main flavors were still chocolate and pepper.  The second third is where the cigar’s strength really picked up.  It started off as a medium bodied cigar, but at this point I could really feel the strength of the nicotine as I puffed on it.  As I mentioned before, I had burn issues throughout which affected the ash.  It also seemed to affect how hot the cigar was burning but I didn’t sense any off putting tastes.

As the final third progressed, I detected a nice leathery taste.  The leather taste coupled with the full body and the creamy smoke really made for a nice treat.  So you see, it really does depend on my mood, choice of food for dinner, level of stress I’m under, etc.  Many times I prefer a medium body cigar over a full body, but the Cro Magnon Mandible was a great tasting, albeit poor burning, cigar.  If you haven’t heard the story about Cro Magnon cigars, it’s a story well worth your read.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in Reviews

 

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The Tabak Especial Colada Dulce

I honestly didn’t know if I was going to be able to smoke this cigar or not.  Not because it was full-bodied, but because of the weather!  It seems like this time of year we are always under some sort of warning or watch whether it be tornado or thunderstorm!  In fact, I had this cigar cut and ready to go when I realized that it was drizzling outside so I had to wait for that to pass.  But it finally did pass and I was able to sit down outside and light up.

Here are the cigar’s details:

  • Size:  Colada (4 x 38)
  • Wrapper:  Connecticut
  • Binder:  Sumatran
  • Filler:  Nicaraguan
  • Strength:  Medium

This cigar was one of five different shapes in the Dulce line.  Apparently the cigars are infused with Nicaraguan coffee before aging to make for a deliciously sweetened coffee-like cigar.  This petit corona size was just perfect for the amount of time I had.

Using my double blade guillotine, I cut the cap of this nicely constructed cigar.  It had just the right amount of give when squeezed and there were no noticeable blemishes in the wrapper.  The pre light draw was loose and I immediately tasted the sweetness from the Connecticut wrapper.

Lighting the cigar was easy and created lots of creamy, white smoke.  The sweetness that I tasted before lighting was still there with a hint of coffee and earthiness.  It kept an even burn throughout the entire cigar.  I didn’t even have to think about touching it up.  The ash holds on strong with a nice smoky, gray color for almost an inch before I had to tap it off.

This is one of the few cigars I’ve had that didn’t feature much of a taste change throughout.  It was a very sweet, coffee flavored earthy cigar from start to finish.  I can’t say that it’s my favorite cigar, but definitely not bad.  It would be the idea early morning cigar as it’s not too heavy.  Enjoy this with an espresso!

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Reviews

 

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The CAO Criollo Bomba

Today I was reminded why it is that I enjoy cigars so much.  It was one of those mornings where I was constantly being bombarded with opportunities to be uncivil towards people.  And I was getting closer and closer to seizing those opportunities.  And then, 1 o’clock hit.  Lunch hour.  My escape from the insanity.

And so I was able to leave the stress of work behind for an hour while sitting down to smoke the CAO Criollo Bomba puro:

  • Size:  Bomba (5 x 50)
  • Wrapper:  Nicaraguan
  • Binder:  Nicaraguan
  • Filler:  Nicaraguan
  • Strength:  Medium

This CAO has been aging in my humidor for a few years now.  I think I originally bought it because of the unique “pigtail” shaped cap because that was what brought it to my attention this morning as I pored over the cigars in my humidor looking for just the right one to smoke today.  The cigar was firm and had a dark brown wrapper that appeared to be in perfect condition.  I really liked how the vintage band looked on the cigar.  This cigar was very nice on the eyes.

I stepped out from my office and into the breezy afternoon.  The place I like to smoke is shaded and the breeze brought just enough of a chill to make the environment quite enjoyable even if it wasn’t a leather chair at my local tobacconist.  I used my bullet cutter and noticed a fair amount of resistance as I took the pre-light draw.  I immediately tasted some woody flavors.  I lit the cigar trying my best to do so slowly.  I’ve seen some people light up and just torch the heck out of the foot of the cigar but I find that if I am slow in this step, I’ll be rewarded with an even burning, natural tasting cigar.

As I got into the first third, I still tasted the woody flavor but I also sensed a sweetness too.  I’m not sure if the sweetness came from the wrapper or the smoke, but it was enjoyable.  The draw in the first third was a little tight, but I’ve had much worse and it didn’t really bother me.  The thing that impressed me the most about this cigar was its resilient ash.  Ok, maybe it wasn’t the most impressive thing, but the ash was around 2.5″ long before it fell off.

I started getting more flavor and more strength as I pushed into the second third of the cigar.  I began tasting a lot of pepper and the finish started hanging around longer.  The draw loosened up nicely in the second third and the cigar seemed to be producing twice as much smoke as it had previously.  The final third was much like the second third just with even more flavor and more strength.  All in all, this was an enjoyable cigar that I smoked all the way down to the nub until it got too hot.  All the while I tried to tell myself I was on a beach enjoying the heck out of life, but reality, this respite from reality was only short lived.  This weekend, however, should give me ample time to enjoy some smokes and I hope the same goes for you.

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2011 in Reviews

 

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The Hoyo de Monterrey Sabrosos

Up for review today is the Hoyo de Monterrey Sabrosos.  Here are the details for this cigar:

  • Size:  Petit Corona (5 x 40)
  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian
  • Binder:  Connecticut
  • Filler:  Dominican, Nicaraguan and Honduran
  • Strength:  Full

I was trying to remember how long ago it was that I purchased this box.  It had to have been late 2007.  So these cigars have been aging quite nicely for quite some time.  As I was digging down into the depths of my humidor last night, I came across a handful of these and remembered why I had purchased them in the first place.  The reason I purchased the box was because, at the time, I was looking for a short smoke that wouldn’t break the bank.  After perusing Famous Smoke Shop, I found you can still purchase a box of 25 for under $40.  So it remains to be a good deal, but how does it stack up as far as construction and taste are concerned?

I figured the bullet cut would just wreak havoc on the cap so I opted to use the Cuban Crafters double blade guillotine cut.  Doing so essentially removed the whole cap, but that didn’t seem to change the construction.  Speaking of construction, it was quite appealing albeit a little dry.  Lighting a petit corona is both easy and fast and this cigar was no different.  I was a little surprised as I started smoking that there was very little aftertaste since I remember this cigar to be medium-to-full in flavor.  Maybe this little gem had mellowed with age.  The burn was even and the smoke was creamy and voluminous.  The dark gray ash was very strong and hung on for close to 2 inches.

The mild first third led to a spicy but pleasant second third.  This is where the aftertaste started hanging around longer, the smoke became a little less dense and the strength of the cigar started to shine through.  There was nothing over the top as far as strength is concerned, but what was noticeably absent in the first third was definitely present in the second.

I was a little nervous that I would be rained out–or rained in, as it were–due to the heavy clouds, but they stayed away just long enough for me to start picking up on some dark coffee flavors as I reached the point when the cigar started getting too hot for my likes.  All in all, I really enjoyed this cigar.  It’s a perfect cigar for the mid-day smoker that doesn’t have an hour and a half to devote to a cigar.  I’m so glad I found them in my humidor and I suggest you pick up a box too.  For the price, they’re hard to beat!

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Reviews

 

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The Onyx Reserve Robusto (Square Pressed) Maduro

I never would have thought that I would have been able to enjoy a cigar outside today because of the rain and thunderstorms we experienced this morning on the commute to work.  But around 10am, the clouds moved out and the sun began drying us out.  As the old saying goes “if you don’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes.”

  • Size:  Robusto (5 x 50)
  • Wrapper:  Blackened Connecticut Maduro
  • Binder:  Nicaraguan
  • Filler:  Dominican, Nicaraguan and Peruvian
  • Strength:  Medium

 

So it is with great delight that I am able to bring to you a review of The Onyx Reserve Robusto (Square Pressed) Maduro.  At first look, this cigar is a real eye catcher.  It features a dark brown/black maduro wrapper and the elegant black, white and gold Onyx band.  Upon closer inspection there were a few flaws in the outer wrapper, but nothing that gave me much cause for concern.  After punch-cutting the cap, I took a draw which was met with quite a bit of resistance  The draw problems continued as I lit the cigar.  I was really having to work to get any smoke at all!  The flavors were dark cocoa and black coffee with a very short aftertaste.  Usually I’ll sip water as I smoke a cigar, but there was no need to with this guy!  The taste were there, they just weren’t very strong and didn’t stick around.

A breakthrough came in the second third of the cigar as it opened up and produced some thicker smoke, but it was still a bit of a struggle.  I still enjoyed the dark, espresso tastes into the second third.  The burn was very even throughout, but again, it was a hot smoke.  Towards the end of the second third is when I had to set this cigar down.  I started getting an almost metallic, bitter taste.  You’ve heard of grandpa soaking his cigars in cognac, right?  It was like this cigar was soaked in jet fuel.  The closing tastes coupled with the super tight draw are enough to keep me from ever purchasing this cigar again.  But that’s the great thing about this hobby, isn’t it?  You never know if you’ll like it until you try it!

 

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Reviews

 

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