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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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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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The Arturo Fuente Chateau Sun Grown Robusto

I have long been a fan of Arturo Fuente cigars and this robusto did not disappoint.  The setting was perfect:  my son had just gone to bed and I told my wife she could catch up on her favorite DVR’d shows while I enjoy some time with my thoughts and a good cigar on the smoking deck.  We live out in the country, so you never know what you might encounter out there once the sun goes down.  That’s the downside.  The upside is that you can literally see thousands upon thousands of starts on a clear night.  Last night was such a night.  It seems like the clearer the sky is the clearer my head gets when I’m able to meditate with a cigar.

Here are the details of the Arturo Fuente Chateau Sun Grown Robusto:

  • Size:  Robusto (4.5 x 50)
  • Wrapper:  Ecuador
  • Binder:  Dominican Republic
  • Filler:  Dominican Republic
  • Strength:  Mild to Medium

I tend to look for shorter, smoother smokes at night and that’s exactly what this robusto was.  The light brown wrapper was a bit oily and looked the part of a nice, mellow stogie.  It was fairly firm to the touch and I opened the cap with a bullet cut.  The pre-light draw left a leathery taste and an open draw.  I lit the cigar with a new torch lighter that worked great in spite of a breeze.  I could really sense the leathery/oily taste as I got going into the cigar.  It was very smooth, very enjoyable with a nice thick creamy smoke.  The ash that developed was dark gray and lasted about 1.5 inches before I tapped it off so it didn’t find its way into my lap.  And when I did, I found a nice red, glowing cone.  The taste started to change in the second third to more of an earthiness and just a little bit of spice on the tongue.  I also noticed that the cigar was producing a lot less smoke than in the first third and the draw was tighter.  Again, earthy with just a little spice.  The final third of the cigar remained earthy and spicy as the draw opened back up.  All in all, this was the perfect cigar to end my day.  It just goes to show that a cigar can add so much to an already wonderful ambiance.  I could have sat out there enjoying the night sky for hours, but smoking a cigar while doing so made the setting memorable.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Reviews

 

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