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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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Smoking away the weekend (three cigar mini reviews)

Monday always comes around too soon!  Despite being called in to work for a little while on Saturday, I was able to enjoy three different cigars:  two of which were very enjoyable!  Now I should say that these reviews will not be like my usual extensive reviews.  On the weekends, I tend to give my brain a little time off and just enjoy the tobaccos without giving them much thought.  So without further ado…

I started on Friday afternoon with the Graycliff Red:

  • Size:  Robusto (5.25 x 50)
  • Wrapper:  Indonesian
  • Binder:  Dominican, Brazilian
  • Filler:  Nicaraguan
  • Strength:  Medium

I received this cigar in a five-pack sampler from Famous Smoke Shop.  They sell a five pack of Graycliff Reds for just over $50, but according to their website, the suggested retail for the five-pack at $83.40 (or $16.68 per stick!).  Now I’m not likely to pay that much for a single cigar, so I was glad that it was part of my sampler which cost me around $18 with shipping included!  The long and short of this cigar is that it was a very well constructed, overly spicy cigar.  Maybe it was the Indonesian wrapper, but I did not like this cigar.  From start to finish it was just too spicy for my tastes.  The burn was nice and even throughout and I stayed with it all the way through hoping the tastes would mellow into something enjoyable, but it just never happened.  So if you’re looking to spend $16 on a cigar, I suggest you look elsewhere–or better yet, buy two $8 cigars and double your pleasure!

On Saturday, I got called in to work for an hour or so.  After work, I decided to go to my local tobacconist to smoke a cigar, relax and watch some baseball and The Masters.  There, for the first time, I tried the CAO La Traviata Divino:

  • Size:  Robusto (5 x 50)
  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian grown Habano seed
  • Binder:  Cameroon
  • Filler:  Nicaraguan and Dominican
  • Strength:  Medium to Full

I have heard many good things about this cigar and I was as impressed with it as the others.  This cigar was leathery with some pepper, but the taste wasn’t too powerful.  It developed into an earthy, nutty flavor as it got into the second third.  I did have some construction issues in the second third, but overall this was a great smoke.  The price point for this cigar was around $5, so you can’t really go wrong with that.  Give the CAO La Traviata Divino a try!

I had enjoyed the CAO so much (and wasn’t ready to leave the tobacconist just yet), so I chose an Arturo Fuente Short Story from the humidor and lit it up.  Now the Short Story is a uniquely shaped cigar.  It is a perfecto shape and sports a 49 band.  The Short Story gets larger as it approaches the foot before being tapered off at the foot for easy lighting.

  • Size:  Robusto (4 x 49)
  • Wrapper:  Cameroon
  • Binder:  Dominican
  • Filler:  Dominican
  • Strength:  Medium

I used a double guillotine cutter on this cigar, but was very displeased with the draw as I puffed away.  I had never re-cut a cigar before, but I pulled the cutter out again and clipped off a little bit more of the cap.  That proved to be a great move because the draw opened right up, the flavor profile consisted of a little spice and some sweetness.  If you have trouble getting the ‘perfect light’ then this cigar is for you since it’s essentially fool proof–and you won’t be disappointed with the taste!

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Reviews

 

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