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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 Liga Privada T52 Robusto

I had heard good things about the Liga Privada line from my friends at BlackOpsTobacco (find more information about these guys through their podcast, twitter or youtube channel), so I picked up a couple sticks from the good folks at pipesandcigars.com.  I bought two T9’s and two T52’s and was able to enjoy a T52 while relaxing on a mini-vacation this weekend in the Dallas area.  Here are the details on the cigar:

  • Size:  5×52 (Robusto)
  • Wrapper:  American Habano
  • Binder:  Brazillian Mata-Fina
  • Filler:  Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua
  • Strength:  Medium/Full

While my son and wife napped, I slipped down to the hotel’s garden area with my T52.  Upon inspection, this cigar was a real feast for the eyes.  The dark chocolate colored wrapper was firm and tight.  I was equally impressed with the quality of the band too.  I took time to read it since I appreciate artistic cigar bands.  I used my trusty bullet cutter since I had forgotten my guillotine at home.

The loose draw was a bit of a surprise to me since the wrapper was so firm.  I could tell from the first few draws that I would need to take my time with this cigar to keep it from burning too hot.  Unfortunately, the Arlington winds were so strong that I think they played at least a small factor in an uneven burn.

From the start, the Liga Privada T52 produced a ton of smoke.  And right from the beginning, the flavors were crazy good:  coffee, caramel, spice, cocoa–all were there.  It seemed as if the flavors changed with each drag!  As far as body is concerned, the T52 started off rather mild but it definitely didn’t stay there.  The T52 built in intensity as the cigar progressed and ended with the strength of a full bodied cigar.

All in all, I would recommend you try the Liga Privada T52.  And I suggest you check out the botcast for everything tobacco related.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Pipe and cigar thoughts

 

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The Tatuaje Havana VI Nobles

It has been so long since I’ve posted that I almost forgot how to do it!  I apologize for my absence, but things have been incredibly busy with work and family that it’s been hard to find time to just sit, smoke and review.

Today, I was able to enjoy the Tatuaje Havana VI Nobles.  Here are the cigar’s details:

  • Size:  5×50 (Robusto)
  • Wrapper:  Habano style
  • Binder:  Nicaraguan
  • Filler:  Nicaraguan
  • Strength:  Medium

First and foremost, this is a great looking cigar.  It appeared to be very well constructed with just the right amount of give as you squeezed it.  The wrapper was oily and complimented by the simple, red Tatuaje band.  I used my bullet to punch through the triple cap.  The light wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t have to touch it up.  The draw was a little tight and I think that had something to do with the lack of smoke production.  As I settled into the first third, I sensed some mild leathery and woodsy notes.  There was a lot of flavor, but the strength was only medium bodied.  I was impressed with the ash as it held on nice and tight until I tapped off around the beginning of the second third.

The second third experience was a little strange.  It seemed that each time I picked up a nice dark cocoa note, the next puff would be…well…off.  I’m not sure how to describe it.  Maybe bitter is the right word.  And this happened throughout the rest of the cigar.  It just wasn’t consistent in delivering tasty flavors.  I would be impressed by one puff only to be let down by the next.

Now this is not to say that I won’t recommend this cigar.  I have four more of these and they’ll sit in my humidor until I get the urge to try one again.  Maybe next time around they will have changed.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Pipe and cigar thoughts

 

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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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Sickness

These past few days have been somewhat rough because I have been sick.  And sickness means no smoking.  I had a great time on Saturday afternoon at my local cigar lounge.  I enjoyed a La Gloria Cubana Serie N JSB and an Oliva Serie V Belicoso.  On Sunday, I enjoyed a 5 Vegas Gold Toro on the deck at my house.  That evening, things started going south as I developed a little scratch in my throat.  By Monday morning, it was a full blown sore throat/allergy/sinus thing that I’m still dealing with today.

I haven’t missed any work, but I probably should have stayed home today.  Hopefully work won’t kick my butt and I’ll be able to sip some hot tea throughout the day.  Rest assured, there will be more reviews and tobacco talk once this sickness releases its death grip on me.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Pipe and cigar thoughts

 

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