Another exciting week of cigars to fill the Week in Smoke (TGT Edition). This past week I received a few e-mails asking what prompted us to add the Week in Smoke and another suggesting that this was my way of “showing off”. To answer the question as to “why” we do the Week in Smoke is easy. We received a lot of inquiries about what else do we smoke when we aren’t reviewing cigars for the site. Most of the Stogie Review crew tweet what cigar we are smoking and include a picture of it so the content is already there. As for “showing off”, sure, why not? I could see how you could come to that conclusion although its really not the designed purpose. Anyway…
El Centurion by Don Pepin Garcia – What a classic cigar! Thanks to Charlie from The Cigar Feed for gifting me this cigar during our trip to the Dominican Republic. Actually this is the 2nd time Charlie has hooked me up the El Centurion. I first met Charlie at IPCPR 2010 and he gifted me a pair then. Woodsy, sweet and spicy…easily one of my Top 10 All Time Cigars. Sadly, they were a limited edition cigar with only 850 boxes made for each of the three sizes. I’m not big on rumors but rumor has it that DPG still rolls these for personal consumption.
La Aurora 1495 Series – Another cigar that made the trip home with me from the Dominican is the La Aurora 1495 Series. It was great having what seemed like an endless supply of these and being able to light one up at will. Balanced, chewy with a subtle spice that doesn’t over due it. An all around perfect anytime cigar.
Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary – Thanks to the folks at General Cigars for sending me a handful of samples of the 10th Anniversary Rare Corojo. I remembered being enamored with the Rare Corojo back in the early days of Stogie Review. I always found myself looking forward to their release every year. The 2006 and 2009 releases of the Rare Corojo are two memorable releases for me. I saw the 10th Anniversary being smoked and discussed on Twitter within a few hours of receiving mine. I’m not sure how long some of my blogger friends waited but I decided to let mine sit for about two weeks. I was a bit hesitant to light one up after hearing not so great things on Twitter. I think my patience paid off and I was greatly rewarded. The flavors on the 10th Anniversary were crisp, balanced and plentiful. There was a constant and heavy cedar note that really did it for me.
CAO eXtreme – I have no clue how long this CAO eXtreme has been sitting in my humidor. I’m really tight on space so I was trying to move things around to create a little breathing room when I came across this lonely relic. I couldn’t find any notes in my cigar journals about any previous times smoking the CAO eXtreme so I can’t really say to how much age has factored in. It added a little bit of sweetness to a late night espresso.
Nestor Miranda Art Deco – Believe it or not this was only the second time trying the Nestor Miranda Art Deco. I wasn’t a huge fan of them coming out of IPCPR and I just never decided to give them a try when they hit shelves. While I was smoking the cigar I was reminded what turned me off to the Art Deco at IPCPR. Not very complex and has a distinct tartness to it on the finish. Really not a quality that I find myself looking for in a cigar.
El Museo by La Flor Dominicana – Here I go showing off again. The $30 price tag of the El Museo makes it far from a staple in my humidor. The El Museo is a Dominican puro made for a fund raising program for El Museo del Bario in New York. Only 48,000 of the El Museo were made. I’ve had two; both of which were gifted to me by Mike Copperman (former owner of Bethesda Tobacco, now known as W.Curtis Draper-Bethesda). For $30 you get a very unique, elegant, mature flavor profile. Lots of exotic creamy and woodsy notes with slight tang to it. Really an exquisite cigar smoking experience. Does smoking and showing off a $30 cigar make me a snob? Possibly. How about using words like unique, elegant and exotic? Definitely. I’m sure someone out there has a diva story of me from IPCPR.
Rocky Patel 1961 – Sporting a redding Ecuadorian Habano wrapper the Rocky Patel 1961 really stands out in your humidor and on your palate. Lovely sweet earthy flavors that are complimented by a thick smokey aroma. Around the halfway point a creamy nutty flavor enters the mix. Lots of smoke and an assortment of bold flavors make the 1961 a great smoke worthy of carrying Rocky’s birth year.
Dirty Rat by Drew Estate – The Drew Estate Dirty Rat received an honorable mention in my Top 10 Cigars of 2010. I think it would’ve found a solid spot in the list if at the time they were easier to find. Nowadays I seem to be finding them in good quantities at Buckhead Cigar and W.Curtis Draper. In fact this box I’m working on now was actually for my brother but since he failed to pay me, they are all mine! What I love most about the Dirty Rat is it’s fire cracker qualities. An eruption of bold, dynamic flavors from first puff to the last.
Flying Pig by Drew Estate – I have a theory. When it comes to Liga Privada you’re either a T9 or a T52 person. I rarely see someone who raves about both. I’m a Liga Privada T52 guy. But when the question changes to which do I like better; Dirty Rat or Flying Pig? I’ll take the Dirty Rat each and every time. Now thats not a knock on the Flying Pig. Like I said, I’m Liga Privada T52 guy and the dark T52 flavors take a unique twist in this uncommon size.
Mi Barrio – Talk about a cigar where age has done wonders for a cigar. The Mi Barrio is a perfect example. Around three years of age has taken the Mi Barrio from a nice-ok cigar to the exceptional-memorable level. Lots of toasty, woodsy, smokey spicy notes that time has allowed to meld together for a deep, balanced flavor profile. I remember smoking these after IPCPR 2008 and everything tasted so muddled and uncoordinated. Today, not the case. Sadly, this is in the category of the El Centurion where its a limited edition cigar and unless you stocked up, the Mi Barrio will be hard to find. If you do though, boy are you in for a treat.
Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfecxion #4 Serie X – We haven’t reviewed a lot of Opus X on the site. Mainly because they are hard to find for anywhere near MSRP, only released twice a year (Christmas and Father’s Day) and any Opus X guru will tell you, it take a few years for them to fully develop. Brian said it best in his review of a similar size, “It is surprisingly potent given its size, but it’s not all power. There are a lot of interesting things happening in the flavor department, and to be honest, I enjoyed it more than I was expecting.”
La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor – The most intriguing aspect to the Mi Amor is its Mexican Maduro wrapper. Traditionally I’m not a fan of Mexican tobacco and didn’t think they grew tobacco that was suitable in quality to be used for wrappers. I’m going to have to rethink the Mi Amor. Wasn’t a fan when it was initially released but I’ve gone back to it a handful of times and each experience has been better than the one before it. Reasonably priced with a milk chocolate and cedar flavor profile make the Mi Amor a cigar that is slowly becoming a staple in my humidor.
El Triunfador SODO – Thanks to John from JnJ Cigars in Seattle WA. My review of the SODO earlier this year caught his attention and I’m happy to hear that I was able to send some business his way. Like I showed with the MoW Ruination, CAO MX3 and now with the SODO, bloggers can impact sales by pointing their readership to cigars that they wouldn’t have normally known about if not for blogs. Some out there may call me a “joke” and say I “don’t know anything about cigars” or “bloggers can’t sell cigars.” I’m not gonna try and argue about the first two but damnit, I’m proud of increasing sales for B&Ms that have showed support for bloggers. Thanks for all your support John.
Don Pepin Garcia Serie JJ Maduro – Finally, you don’t have to wait till July 22 to celebrate “Smoke a JJ for JJ Day”. For me, any day is a good day to smoke a Serie JJ and remember the Little Robusto who taught me the meaning of unconditional love. An amazing flavor profile isn’t the only reason to smoke a cigar. Sometimes a cigar can be a phenomenal smoking experience for the memories of smiles and tears it provokes. There are a lot of “firsts” that we remember throughout our lives, for me, the Serie JJ represents those first feelings of excitement of knowing you are going to be a father and the 10 month journey, culminating it the birth of the most precious gift. I can’t believe its approaching four years…Love you buddy! More information on the Serie JJ “Little Robusto” Edition will be coming soon…