Back thanks to a fine case of Flooding: The Home Game, it’s time once again for Brian’s The 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 during some arbitrary time frame (we’ll call it a week, but this one has been waiting to be published for months), 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. Enjoy!
262 Ideology Churchill
It began with some light frosting, cinnamon, leather and aromatics, but moved into a more muddled profile of featuring wood, earth, chocolate flavor as it progresses, and creamier. Unusual tasting nuts, leather and chocolate. In addition to some burn issues midway, I found it a a tad unpleasant, and it burned a little hot at the end.
Angelenos 2009 Toro
A syrupy sweet cedar beginning but quickly turns leathery. Along the way, I also picked up herbal, leather, sweet nutmeg and a cool tasting cream notes. An intriguing and unique smoke that I wouldn’t mind smoking again.
Berger & Argenti Mooch Schnorr
I’m a fan of the Clasico, and the Mooch Schnorr doesn’t hold a candle to it. I picked up hay, barnyard (which I’d prefer to smell on the wrapper, not taste in the smoke), along with some pleasant rich tobacco, nuts and a pine-y tasting cedar. I’m going to pass on these going forward.
CAO MX3 Robusto
With the changes going on at CAO, it’s hard to say what the future of this popular Escaparate collection cigar will be. Assuming they won’t be discontinued, you can expect a very rich smoke full of chocolate, leathery cedar and earth. It’s at the higher end of the CAO price scale, but it’s good enough I’d buy them regularly if they were on the shelf at my local shop.
CAO Vision Catalyst **
When the Vision first hit the scene, I wasn’t a fan, and I didn’t smoke them again for a year or two. I’m not sure what changed, me or the cigars (probably me), but when I smoked one again, I really enjoyed it. This experience is in line with my more recent positive experiences. My the stand out flavors were savory jerky, and a frosted-tasting aromatic cedar, that liked to linger. It wasn’t a perfect experience though, I had to relight it a couple of times, and the burn was generally off.
Camacho Corojo Robusto
I keep forgetting how much I enjoy the Camacho Corojo. It doesn’t mess around, serving up savory, spicy cedar, milk chocolate and rich earth. Don’t think I’ve ever had a bad draw with one of these, and this case was no exception. Nice and easy, the way I like it. This one won’t be my last.
D’Crossier Imperium Class Vintage Maduro *
A dark, rustic and toothy cigar that contrasts with the ornate gold-embossed box it comes in. The cigar starts off rich an peppery kick, followed by savory a coffee bean, leather and smokey wood combination with a hint of cherry sweetness. The burn characteristics were more in keeping with the rustic look of the wrapper than the refined look of the packaging, with darker ashes and somewhat erratic burn lines. In all, a pretty good cigar.
Drew Estate “NDB 7×44” *
Without thinking about it, I instinctively put the cigar up to my nose to smell the wrapper, the faint scent of peppermint I picked up there brought me back out of autopilot. I had thought this was a Liga Privada blend, but people on twitter were only too happy to remind me that this is actually a Natural Dirt blend (or “NDB”). And there’s no mistaking the slight saccharine sweetness that the wrapper imparts on your lips. For a flavored or infused cigar, it’s not that bad, at least in this size. The added sweetness is not so heavy that it prevents the earthiness flavor of the tobacco from showing through. An interesting change of pace that you’ll probably only see at a Drew Estate event.
East End Cigar Company Perfecto *
I don’t know much about the cigar other than to say it was a pretty good smoke. It had light earth, nuts, non-cedar woodiness, and creamy chocolate to offer.
EP Carrillo Edicion Inaugural 2009
Great construction, immaculate burn. Sweet flavors, butterscotch, raisin syrup, frosted cedar. Candy. Still a winner.
EP Carrillo NWC Divinos *
Great construction, beautiful cap, seems a shame to cut it. Rich leafy/leathery cedar, cream, nuts and mineraly earth, touches of raisins and butterscotch. A truly unique Connecticut, and one that continues to grow on me.
Fuente Opus X Perfecxion No. 5 **
I don’t often burn an Opus, but I almost always have a few around. This one reminded me why. The diminutive stick had a lot to offer. Sweet grass, caramel, candied citrus, as well some delicate frosted cedar and a touch of cinnamon and nuts. The draw a firmer than most but a great smoke after aging a few years, definitely worth MSRP if you have the patience let them rest.
La Reloba Seleccion Mexico Robusto
A recent release that has creamy chocolates, earth an a touch of wood to offer. Definitely worth trying.
La Escepcion Excepcionales 2009 **
I pulled this stick out of a pretty yellowed cellophane. It has that rich earthy chocolate sweetness that I find present in many of General’s products as well as caramel, and hints of aromatic cedar. Still like these medium bodied smokes, though not quite as much as I remembered.
La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Chisel
I’ve really taken a shine to the chisel format, and smoked a number of different La Flor lines in this shape. The Air Bender provided a pleasant sweet and creamy profile of grass, wood and a touch of spice. I’m haven’t been a fan of the Air Bender up until now, but I am now, at least as a Chisel.
La Flor Dominicana Cameroon Cabinet No. 5
This was one of the increasingly rare original un-banded Cameroon Cabinets, and it had probably waited a long time a long time to be smoked when I bought it. It brought back memories with that familiar cedar, sweet and tart grass and white pepper. A worthy Cameroon.
Liga Privada T52
“Royale Wit Cheese” 6 x 60 *
A rich, dense, smokey, peppery, leathery and earthy tobacco monster. I may not be a fan of the 6 x 60 format, but I am a fan of both the cigar’s name, and the Liga Privada T52 line in general.
Jameson Declaration The Reason *
A stout 6 x 58 smoke with a pigtail cap. Though a bit bigger in girth than I ordinarily prefer, I was won over by the sweet leather, cinnamon, cherry and butterscotch flavors. If you haven’t had one yet, I recommend you find some.
Leon Jimenes Don Fernando No. 4
This Cameroon-wrapped special edition looks identical to the regular release Leon Jimenes No. 4. The only way to tell them apart is to look for the note on the outside of the box, which says “Hechos Especialmente Para Don Fernando Leon A.” I picked up syrup, frosted cedar, slightly coppery grass and a vanilla notes. Then pronounced anise or black licorice a little over half way in, followed by a lot of aromatics and cedar. A special edition that is truly special, look for them and buy some.
Monte Pascoal Robusto
I love that as a Brazilian Puro these are both unusual, and yet solid enough to need the intrigue. This one rewarded me with Rich salt caramel, vanilla, leather and aromatic cedar as well as a pristine burn. A winner in my book.
Padilla Miami Churchill (original version) **
I love those old Padilla sticks. They always impress, and this was no exception with its creamy caramel, dark milk chocolate, light frosting and cedar. The stick was a little worse for wear, carrying a few nicks here and there that were probably my fault. Regardless, a fantastic stick to start the day off with, it’s like having a candy bar for breakfast.
Padron 1926 No. 6 Maduro **
Another cigar you can’t go wrong with. Unless you don’t care for rich cocoa, caramel sweetness, aromatic cedar and pepper flavors. You don’t need me to tell you to go buy some.
Tabacos Baez Serie H Monarcas
My experience with Tabacos Baez has been hit and miss. Fortunately the Serie H was a hit with it’s rich and creamy milk chocolate, earth, nuts, caramel with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. I think this stick has been unfairly overlooked for too long.
* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them is suspect. My opinions are my own, your response to them is your own. The leprechaun beard belongs to Jerry.
** I have too many smokes, and this denotes that the smoke in question has been sitting in one of my humidors for at least a year, and thus qualifies as “aged”. If my collection continues to grow, the chances are good I’ll be on that Discovery Channel show about people who hoard stuff and face eviction.
Many of the pictures in Brian’s The Week In Smoke first appeared on twitter. If you’d like to see these lists constructed in real time, follow Brian on twitter. If you don’t, you’ll make the Fail Whale cry.