Crazy past few weeks. Last minute business trip to NYC that ended up being longer than expected and we found out (the hard way) that Gracie is allergic to nuts. Getting home and Gracie gets hospitalized for some respiratory issues and she may possibly have asthma. Thank you to all of you who contributed to the SIDS Charity Walk. Sadly there were a lot of families who participated. I say sadly because you knew everyone was there because they had lost a little one to SIDS just like we had. It was definitely encouraging to know that we aren’t alone but terrible sad to know that we aren’t alone. So much sadness but yet, so much hope.
There are 30 plus different cigars I smoked since the last edition of Week in Smoke. This post would go on for forever if I included them all and I have an early flight out tomorrow to Las Vegas so I’ll have to include them in upcoming editions.
EP Carrillo Elencos – I first heard and smoked the Elencos when Ernestor was visiting the area. Its the same blend as the EP Carrillo Edicion Limitada 2010. Very robust and hearty cigar. Save this one for that special last cigar of the night. Its dynamic and hearty flavor profile will satisfy your soul.
5 Vegas Miami Knuckle – Almost every cigar deserves a second chance right? The 5 Vegas Miami Knuckle is probably one of my most memorable reviews. How has the Knuckle changed since? How has my palate changed since? I was off to a pretty reasonable start. I didn’t get that overwhelming, back of the throat irritating, black pepper taste and sensation. Had time tamed this beast? The smooth sailing didn’t last though. After the first inch my throat started itching and sure enough, the black pepper dominated every portion of my palate. Still a cigar that I plan to avoid.
La Aurora BME Dominicana – Interesting to note that we haven’t reviewed any of the 1495 BME Series. The 1495 series BME brings a twist to the original 1495 blend. This relatively new line from La Aurora starts with the very same blend of 1495, but is wrapped in 4 different wrapper types. The BME stands for Brick and Mortar Exclusive and was the La Aurora Company’s attempt to help local tobacco retailers retain business by providing them an exclusive line of cigars. The other three wrappers are a Sun Grown Brazilian, Ecuadorian Sumatra, Nicaraguan Habano and this, my favorite of the four, Dominican Corojo.
La Reloba Seleccion Mexico – I recently reviewed the La Reloba Seleccion Mexico and my opinion on it hasn’t changed. The La Reloba Seleccion Mexico is one dimensional sporting a core cedar flavor throughout. One dimensional isn’t necessarily a bad thing but considering that this is a Pepin blended cigar, I was expecting a little more complexity. Solid medium bodied and medium strength with an attractive price tag.
Punch Uppercut – The interesting thing about the Punch Uppercut is that its filler uses tobacco from the legendary Ometepe area of Nicaragua. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had Ometepe tobacco outside of the Punch Uppercut so I’m never really sure what to expect. I think Brian Hewitt summed it up best when he reviewed it by saying it’s good but not great. It’s a cigar I’d buy a stick at a time occasionally, but not one I’d designate as box-worthy. If you are a fan of Punch cigars, the Upper Cut is something you really should try. It is an interesting variation on the Punch line.
Para Japon – Spanish for “For Japan” the Para Japon holds a special place for me. First, I’m half Japanese and its awesome to see a cigar made to support my people. Second, I was there in the Dominican when our friend Mario Takeyama from Cigar Explorer came up with the idea and our own Brian Hewitt came up with the name. Nothing like being part of history. A meaty cigar thats balanced by a unique creaminess that was created to support a people in need.
Padilla Limitado 2006 – Better known as the Padilla Obsidian. I found this guy lurking at the bottom of one of my humidors and its beat up appearance shows that. A bit one dimensional but its smooth dark molasses flavor really does an amazing job of coating your palate making for a very long and lingering finish.
Master by Carlos Torano – A surprise favorite of mine coming out of last year’s IPCPR. The Master by Carlos Torano is well balanced, flavorful and in that medium to medium-full range. It was a challenge attempting to pin point the assortment of flavors and bouquet of aromas. My palette was engaged from beginning to end and along the way, I felt my palette wasn’t worthy or experienced enough to fully appreciate all the nuisances that the Master has to offer.
Defiance by Xikar – Another cigar a found towards the bottom of my humidor. The Defiance is the first incarnation of the Xikar HC Series that is made by Jesus Fuego. The Defiance is actually now known as the Criollo in the HC Series. The Defiance is mild enough to be smoked earlier on in the day while being heavy enough to be smoked at night. All while providing an enjoyable experience.
My Father LE 2011 – Hey look, its another $20, limited edition cigar to hit the market. I’m at a loss here since I didn’t smoke the 2010 LE so don’t bother asking which is better. Was I impressed? Eh…for $20 I was expecting something to totally blow me away but I found the one LE 2011 I smoked to be a bit lacking. No wow factor whatsoever. Construction was a little off and the flavor profile felt a bit young. I’m not patient enough to give time for a $8 cigar time to age in order to enjoy so imagine how I feel about having to age a $20 cigar to see if its an issue of being rushed out the factory. Sadly, time will tell.
La Gloria Cubana Serie N – Historically I’ve been a big fan of the Serie R and I’ll admit that I wrote off the Serie N early on. I wasn’t really impressed with the samples that I received at IPCPR. As they started hitting the shelves I would hesitantly try one and slowly, the Serie N started winning me over. It went from just “another cigar in the General catalog” to what I think is the best cigar General is producing right now. I’ll be the first to admit when I’m wrong and I was wrong about the Serie N.
East Indian Corporation – Guess where I discovered this one? Thats right, I found a pair of them sitting at the bottom of a humidor. Sadly I don’t know much about this cigar. I don’t even know if I got the name right. Maybe it sat too long in the humidor and passed its prime or maybe it was at the bottom for a reason. Not much going on flavor wise and the unusual/unnatural darkness of the wrapper was so dark that it was distracting. LOL.