Back with another edition of Week In Smoke. I really appreciate the feedback we’ve received for this feature. I’ll have the video version up later for those of you who enjoy that medium or for those of you who never visit the site and just subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
Been a busy few weeks since returning from the Dominican Republic. Its always surprises me what an eclectic group of cigars I will pick up on any given week. As you will see, my tastes were all over the place.
I can’t believe I let Brian Hewitt beat me to the review of the AVO 85th Anniversary. Its probably one of the most popular cigars being reviewed this week on/in the blogosphere. I know Hewitt had some issues with it but I thought the AVO 85th had a great balance; surprising strength balanced out by an array of dark syrupy flavors that soak down deep into your palate.
The AVO Compañero was another cigar provided to me during the AVO 85th Anniversary Dinner at W.Curtis Draper. It was my first exposure with the Compañero. A lot of similarity with tasting notes found in the AVO 85th but I didn’t find it as balanced or had the same penetrating depth of flavor. It was definitely enjoyable but if you ask me which was better? Definitely the AVO 85th has my vote.
This La Aurora 100 Años came with four others courtesy of Steve Valle from Smoking Stogie. In a previous edition of Week In Smoke I mentioned that the Lancero version was one of, if not the best tasting Lancero. I’m starting to find out that no matter what size you smoke the La Aurora 100 Años, the blend does not disappoint. Better yet, I’m posting a tweet from Jose Blanco who surprised me when he tweeted:
Why did Jose’s tweet surprise me? Think about how long Jose Blanco has been in the industry and represent La Aurora? Out of all the cigars over the years, the 100 Años is one of his two all time favorites. Thats one ringing endorsement in my opinion.
A consistent repeater here in the Week in Smoke. Not much more I can say about the CAO La Traviata. Classic cigar with a enjoyable crisp flavor profile that as an added bonus is easy on the wallet. This is a staple in my humidor and should be in your’s. This was the Divino size which is my second favorite size. I really dig the Animados size but not many places carry that vitola. Unless things have changed, I remember Jon Huber mentioning before he left CAO that the Animados size doesn’t sell very well.
This Alec Bradley Family Blend came my way while my local Alec Bradley Rep, Matt, was visiting the Bethesda location of W.Curtis Draper. Like most good reps do, he went around the shop offering those there a cigar of their choice. I had never had the Family Blend before so when he came around to me, I decided to give it a try. While it didn’t disappoint, it didn’t wow me either. I thought it was solid medium body cigar with a woodsy core flavor that for whatever reason didn’t connect with me. It seemed a bit one dimensional.
I know the La Gloria Cubana Serie N is all the rage after Serie N Day last week. I decided to revisit an old friend. The La Gloria Cubana Serie R Maduro was one of a trio of cigars that I smoked a lot of (the other two were Partagas Black Label and Carlos Toraño Signature Selection) leading up to starting Stogie Review five years ago. I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to the Serie R since its probably been a good five years since I smoked one. I had a tight draw issue early on and even when I tried to correct the issue using some draw tools, I couldn’t get the Serie R to open up. Little smoke, little flavor combined with a lot of work never make for a delightful experience. I’ll chalk this up to bad luck and make it a point to visit this old friend again.
Jesus Fuego is one of a kind in the industry. He’s approachable, personable, generous and hopefully forgiving if he reads this. A rarity in the industry. Much to the dismay of Brian Hewitt, I’ve never really been a big fan of Jesus Fuego’s line. I do occasionally enjoy his Origins Original (soft pack) but rarely do I make it a point to reach for his stuff. This mantra held true when I lighted up a J.Fuego Gran Reserva Corojo #4. Had a lot touchups and relights throughout the cigar and like I said above, when I have to work hard to get a cigar to smoke “right”, it doesn’t bode well for that cigar. Sorry Jesus.
When I browse my local B&M I look every where. I’ve come to learn that some fight over placement of their cigars wanting them at eye level for maximum exposure and I guess I understand the marketing aspect of that. I found this Casa Magna Oscuro in the bottom corner of the humidor. I would’ve glazed right over it but its dark toothy wrapper caught my attention. I was pleasantly surprised with its balanced dark flavor profile. Lots of great earthy characteristics that put off an enticing bouquet of aromas. Around the halfway point, it started to work a dark sweetness into the mix. I didn’t particularly like the sweetness as it was more of an artificial tasting sweetness and not a natural sweetness like molasses or honey. Sadly, the dark sweetness really started to envelop and dominate the flavor profile and I eventually had to put it down into the final third.
After the last few cigars had been lackluster for me I decided to rebound with an AVO Heritage. While its only been on the market for less than a year, its become a go to cigar that never disappoints. Pinpoint consistency, well defined, balanced but yet complex flavor profile with an attractive price tag. What else could you ask for in a cigar?
Until next time…long fucking ashes!