Another assortment of cigars this week for Week in Smoke. Feels good to be home and get back onto a regular schedule. I always look forward to this time of year as we get closer and closer to IPCPR. Releases getting announced, samples arriving at the door…new cigars to love and hate. Any new releases you guys have heard of that has you salivating? I’m not sure if I’ll be at IPCPR this year or not. Our annual cocktail hour hasn’t come together as its a lot more expensive to put on such an event in Las Vegas than it was the last two years in New Orleans. Looking ahead as far as events on my calendar are my Series JJ Tour where I will be trying to visit every shop that has been so kind to carry the Serie JJ “Little Robusto” and then there is the Chattanooga Tweetup and Seattle Cigar Expo all on my plate and more info will come on each event…not to mention wherever work decides to send me. So while IPCPR is always fun and is the perfect environment to catchup with all the manufacturers all at once, I think you will see Stogie Review attend more “local” events around the country. Connecting and hanging out at B&M’, with new and old fans who continue to support us. For us its never about “breaking news”, being first to review a cigar, page views or ad revenue. For us, its always been about connecting and experiencing cigars with you.
Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 – The balance of the Liga Privada T52 by Drew Estate is where it really shines. I love the peppery sensation on the palate without the actual big blast of pepperiness. I love the dark flavors…coffee, cocoa, molasses and a deep but subtle woodsy flavor. All wrapped in a toothy, oil rich wrapper that billows thick smoke. A true pleasure of a cigar that I’m glad I gave a second chance to.
CAO America – What would a patriotic holiday be without the token patriotic themed cigar? I’ve always been on the fence when it comes to the CAO America line. I love the look of them and love the predominate nutty flavor profile but something always goes awkward around the halfway point. It seems like the body and flavor profile never balance and compliment each other in the final third. Solid cigar that just doesn’t finish well.
AVO 85th – The AVO 85th has been one of my favorite cigars since it’s release in March. Its not easy on the wallet but it delivers a unique flavor profile with a killer cedar aroma that you just want to bottle and use as aftershave. For me, the cigar delivers and is worth its hefty close to $20 price tag.
K.A. Kendall’s 7-20-4 – The more 7-20-4?s I smoked, the more I adore them. I appreciate the great burn, but more than anything else, I love the rich, mouth-coating, full bodied flavors that lingered forever on the palate. The 7-20-4 is simply an excellent cigar, at a very reasonable price. I suggest trying all the sizes in the line. They are all great! I tend to lean towards the Dog Walker size that was released at IPCPR last year. I was sad to hear the news that Kurt had lost his son Willy back in April.
Oliva Series V Lancero< – Potent, powerful and smooth is the best description of the Oliva Series V. You will probably see that description in a couple catalogs and say to yourself “whatever” but its true. I’m typically not an Oliva kind of guy but when it comes to the Series V and the Cain Daytona, I’m hooked.
La Aurora Escogidos – The Aurora Escogidos isn’t a cigar I smoke a lot of when it comes to La Aurora offerings and with the success of a lot of the newer releases its easy for the Escogidos to fall out of sight. Classic Cameroon sweetness with a woodsy core that lingers and reminds you that it is a must have for the lover of the Cameroon leaf.
The Face – The 2010 release from Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje Monster Series. Probably not Pete’s best work but definitely better than The Drac from 2009. The Face isn’t my favorite of the Tatuaje Monster Series but recently I’ve become a fan of Mexican San Andreas tobacco, and so I’ve been smoking more of my Faces lately and its growing on me.
Nosotros – Nothing like smoking a cigar thats no longer available in its original name at least. When talking to others a lot of folks never enjoyed the Nosotros except me. Especially, like other Dion creations, in the smaller ring gauges. No sense spending too much time talking about this, I’m just sad to see them go.
La Riqueza – La Riqueza is probably the most underrated line in Pete Johnson’s arsenal of cigars. This is the #5 which I think is the same size as the Verocu #5 (my cigar of the year). Beautiful Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper with a balanced flavor profile and body. The richness really pops in the small #5 format. If you see the La Riqueza #5, give it a try. Available in cabinet boxes of 50, its a must have in my humidor.
Jose L. Piedra – More contraband in the affordable, often over looked Jose L. Piedra. I’m still confused as to which of the Jose L. Piedra are machine made and which are hand made. Right now I guess it doesn’t matter. Whichever one this was it had an unbearable plugged draw. No matter how much you clipped, how much you rolled or even breaking out the draw tools, nothing would work and this guy ended up being pitched.
Partagas Limited Reserve 1995 – Gifted to me by a long time friend, co-worker and lunch time smoking buddy, the Partagas Limited Reserve brings back some enjoyable memories just sitting around talking about the cool things we could do to our server room. I know, thats sounds so geeky but I’m a true believer that cigars equal memories. Hard to believe he moved to Idaho four years ago. So for me, the Partagas Limited Reserve is a cigar for the ages, smooth, crisp, slow burning, wonderful cedar aroma, complex creamy/earthy flavor and memories of when the server room was filled with laughter and not just me cursing at a bullshit tape drive.
CroMagnon – While we haven’t officially reviewed the CroMagnon yet its quickly becoming a staple in my humidor and rotation…mmm Knuckle Dragger. Huge improvements from the original shipment to the cigars being shipped now. Gone are the lousy jagged burns and the constant relighting. Now you can sit back, light up and enjoy everything that the CroMagnon has to offer. Rich and bold flavors that are balanced so that you focus on the quality, quantity and richness of the flavors and not just its strength. Wonderful cigar made by two guys who are passionate about cigars and passionate about connecting with their customers.