It’s time once again for Brian’s Week In Smoke. In case this is your first Week in Smoke, be advised that it covers many (though not necessarily all) of the cigars I’ve smoked in the past week (or 2, or 3), along with a couple of quick thoughts that came to me at the time. These are not full reviews, but quick blurbs based on a single smoking experience. As such, they maybe influenced by the natural variations that occur from one cigar to another. Your mileage may vary. (If I know the cigar well enough to comment, I may mention if an experience strays from what understand to be the norm.)
An appearance in The Week in Smoke does not preclude nor guarantee a future in-depth review. Whenever possible, I’ve linked to more a thoughtful and thorough review of the cigar in question. (Failing that, I may just link to one of Jerry’s reviews for entertainment value.) Enjoy!
601 Black Rabito
When I heard these ill-fated Connecticuts were on the chopping block, I sprang for a box of the slender Rabitos (6 1/2 x 46). The 601 Black has always treated my palate nicely, and I haven’t regretted the decision in the least. Cedar, toast and a surprising amount of tart syrupy sweetness were the flavors it dished up as I smoked it one morning with a cup of coffee. It’ll be a shame to see what has become one of my favorite Connecticut-wrapped cigars disappear.
Alec Bradley Prensado Robusto
Still a fan of these box-pressed beauties with the flashy gold band. It’s welcome rich profile of earth and cedar with touches of cocoa and caramel is a pleasure that never gets old, and is one I enjoy any time of the day.
Cuban Crafters Cubano Claro Torpedo *
A surprisingly tasty smoke that I lit up one morning with a cup of coffee. Aromatic, toasty and creamy with some light caramel and spice. Definitely worth trying.
El Baton Robusto
So I happened upon a stash of well aged El Batons recently, and I decided it was time to revisit the line. In the past they haven’t done much for me, but I’ve seen some pretty incredible things happen to a cigar after a couple years of rest. The cigar was noticeably better than I remembered. In addition to the familiar deep, spicy earth, charry wood and nut flavors, I noticed an aromatic cedary sweetness that lingered into the finish I didn’t remember in past experiences. An aged El Baton is a worthy smoke.
El Primer Mundo Liga Miami Robusto
This last week I came across the robusto line extension I mentioned in my review of the Liga Miami Toro while back. I enjoyed the toro, so buying a handful of these was a no-brainer. I’m not yet sure which vitola I prefer, but this the same aromatic, sometimes creamy cedar and rich tobacco I remember from the toro, only a perhaps a bit spicier.
One of my top 10 smokes for last year has gotten even better recently. As a result of Rocky Patel picking up the EO Cigars distribution, the price of the Murcielago has dropped significantly. (We’re talking dollars, not dimes.) What hasn’t dropped is my enjoyment of this cigar. Rich and creamy earth, cocoa and coffee flavors with a touch of sweetness and cedar never fails to please.
Nestor Miranda Danno 2010
The cigar that we first met as part of a celebration of Miami Cigar’s 20 years in the business is back, and is just as big and tasty as before. Hours worth of earth, dried fruit syrup, caramel and hints of coffee await. If you didn’t try the original version, the good news is that the 2010 is as good, if not better.
Rocky Patel Edge Lite
An enjoyable Connecticut that was at one time part of my regular rotation and is still a solid smoke. Toasty, cedary with a little bit of creamy sweetness and spice.
Rocky Patel Edge Sumatra Toro 2010 Release
I’m happy as a clam that Rocky Patel decided to re-release the Edge Sumatra. This experience was in line with my recent review, and I still love it. Slightly charry wood, leather, and a dark cherry sweetness.
Sencillo Robusto *
An attractive looking cigar whose name means “simple” in Spanish. It’s made by the same folks that bring us the God of Fire and Prometheus, but unlike their other cigars, this one isn’t made by the Fuentes, it’s made by Christian Eiroa. A rather enjoyable smoke too, with cocoa, roasted nuts, wood and rich tobacco flavors. Also very palatable is the price tag, these retail for around $7.
Tatuaje Black Tubo
At one time, the Tatuaje Black was probably the most sought after cigar Pete Johnson makes. That and the pleasing aesthetics of the tubo is probably why I have so many tucked away in my humidor. But it isn’t all a buzz and appearance, the Tat Black makes with the goods. You can expect earthy chocolate, coffee, sweet and slightly creamy cedar and a little peppery spice. As an added bonus, this particular cigar had an immaculate burn.
Tatuaje Verocru (Red) Tubo
Just about anywhere I saw the Tatuaje Black Tubos, Red Tubos were nearby. The same held true for the bag of cigars that invariably left the shop with me. Creamy, fruit sweetness, graham, earth and spicy cedar are to be found inside the red tube.
Viaje Exclusivo *
This stout perfecto with black and red bands pulls out the stops with a beautiful profile of floral cedar, frosting, roasted nuts, earth, spice and of course, rich tobacco. A thoroughly enjoyable smoke, but probably a tough one to track down. Worth the hunt. (Note: I’ve been told that this may be the Platino Edicion Limitada by dedicated Viaje fans, however, those have a main band that is green instead of black.)
Viaje Fifty Fifty No. 1 *
It’s been ages since I had the original Viaje Fifty Fifty, and I think I only tried it once, so I won’t attempt to compare it with this new red banded one. The cigar opens up with a very enjoyable rich leathery tobacco and cedar flavor with some spice, and then mellows a bit and gets creamier and sweeter. After lingering there for a while, a slightly clashing bitter cocoa flavor emerged, joined a little later by more of that leathery, cedary tobacco flavor from the beginning and caramel. For a blending concept that sounds a kind of gimmicky, it resulted in a damn fine cigar. It’s like an amusement park for your mouth.
Viaje Satori Karma *
Probably one of the most memorable looking cigars I’ve seen in quite a while. Uniformly jet black wrapper, with a band depicting a buddha on a bright yellow background and the “Satori” (which means “enlightenment” in Japanese) written on a blue section below. The flavor profile is nearly as memorable, but not as flashy. Rich, creamy cocoa, caramel, cedar, syrupy bittersweet chocolate and pepper may not make you achieve enlightenment, but this cigar is so good, it won’t matter.
Zino Platinum Crown Series Chubby Especial
Of all the Zino Platinum vitolas, I think I like the corpulent Chubby Especial the most. It brings you a lot of tobacco without the jaw ache to go with it. And the ever changing ring gauge is a good illustration of what the wrapper-filler ratio means to the flavor of a cigar. Spicy, caramel sweet tobacco flavors usher you in, and as you burn into wider territory, the cigar takes on more and more of that signature creamy-musty Davidoff flavor.
Winner of the Week: Viaje Satori Karma *
* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions of them are suspect. I think they’re tapping my phones, man.