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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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Pipes, pipes and more pipes

Not long ago, a YouTube friend of mine was looking for a little pipe restoration project to hone his skills (in reality, this guy’s skills need no honing.  He’s absolutely amazing at what he does). He probably wasn’t looking to tackle a huge project, but that’s exactly what I sent him.  I shipped off eight pipes total and he carefully restored each one to pristine condition.  My pipe collection isn’t stellar.  In reality, it’s just a collection of mostly cheap ebay finds and one pipe, my first pipe, that I’ve had for about twelve years or so.  But each pipe means something to me and it thrills me beyond words to have them looking so good.

I’ve also made two pipe purchases lately.  The first one is a Mark Balkovec pipe and it is a thing of beauty!

The other pipe is a Stanwell:

The sad thing is that I haven’t even had a chance to smoke either of these two pipes since I’ve been so busy with work and other things!  Hopefully I’ll get a chance sometime this weekend to enjoy both of them.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Pipe and cigar thoughts

 

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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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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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