Rain…rain…rain…that about sums up the past week. Normally I can push through a little rain but torrential down pours for hours on end just put a dent in my smoking plans. Needless to say, its been a bit of a slow week for cigars. Slow but still a handful or two of eclectic assortment of cigars. A couple repeaters and a couple first timers. I know a lot of you have been asking me when to expect a review of some of these and they are in the works. Looking ahead, we have Delaware Cigar Festival, Gracie’s 2nd birthday, Little Puff at W.Curtis Draper and an actual release date for the Serie JJ “Little Robusto”.
Casa Fernandez Arsenio 2009 – Just when I thought I was out of all things Casa Fernandez I did a little digging and found a nice bunch of the 2009 Arsenio that I obviously stashed away and had totally forgotten about. I remember smoking the Arsenio 2009 two years ago and thought it was a stellar cigar. Fast forward two and half years and the cigar is even better that what I remember and is totally different than the Arsenio out in production right now. Still a wealth of rich, espresso and peppery notes but with a nice refined, aged edge to it. Outstanding! On a personal note, I don’t know if Paul Palmer is reading this, but my piece of advice. I’m glad you guys update your site regularly but can we ditch the flash?
The Griffin’s XXV (2009) – A yearly release from the folks at Davidoff. I found this when I discovered the above Arsenio. Released in 2009 to celebrate 25 Years of The Griffin brand. Featuring a unique blend of San Vicente Seco, Piloto Ligero and Olor Ligero tobaccos from various growing regions and from their Poloto binder and Connecticut Ecuador wrapper the Griffin was anything but unique to me. Nothing robust or interesting. Basically felt like I was smoking hot air.
J.Fuego Sangre de Toro – Typically I don’t fawn over some of the things from J.Fuego like Brian Hewitt does. I know, I’m in the minority but…there is always a but right? The Sangre de Toro is spot on in my book. Lot of full bodied earthy and woodsy notes with a nice splash of white pepper that adds a uniqueness to an underrated cigar.
El Baton – A multiple Week in Smoke appearance the El Baton continues to impress me with each and every one I sit down and smoke. You can’t go wrong with the Robusto size of the El Baton. I think some of the other sizes really do the blend an injustice as the bigger you go, the more watered down the blend becomes. The robusto is where its at though. Great balance. I’d like to see them step out of their comfort zone with the sizes though. Lets really see this wrapper and blend shine in a Corona or Corona Gorda size. Also, like Casa Fernandez, can we drop the flash from the website? Its just not cool anymore…if it ever was.
San Lotano Habano – Connecticut, Maduro, Habano, Oval…take your pick. The lineup of San Lotano has something for everyone. For me, the Oval and Habano are amazing. Maduro is ok and I usually pass on the Connecticut. The Habano and Oval really show how innovative and talented AJ Fernandez is. Mostly known for his Man O’War Series and cigars he makes for others, its great to see AJ’s personal brand really getting the attention and love it deserves despite any growing pains.
CAO OSA Sol – How do I talk about the OSA Sol without giving away my upcoming review of it? First, the Lot 54 size (6×54) was the wrong size to send out to bloggers to use as review material. I appreciate the gesture and the opportunity to review it before they hit shelves but that size and the Lot 58 size just really don’t do the wrapper or blend justice. The Lot 50 or Robusto size (non show samples) really gives you a glimpse into just how awesome and bright (flavor wise) that OSA wrapper from Honduras is. Let the wrapper shine and not water it down with the bigger sizes. If you’re gonna do a big size, fine, go big with the 6×60 and eliminate the Lot 54 and Lot 58 sizes. Show us small ring gauge peeps some love. Lets really show off the OSA wrapper in a version of a Corona size or dare I say, a limited Lancero? I’ll save the flavor notes for my full review.
Guillermo Leon Signature – Like I said in Episode 203 of Your Questions, My Answers; the Guillermo Leon Signature really has grown on me. Wasn’t a fan of them when they were first released but now, when I’m looking for a complex cigar with nuances galore, I turn to a Guillermo Leon. Who knows, this maybe a trivia question one day but recently my local shop W.Curtis Draper moved around the corner to a new space and the first cigar I smoked their was, a Guillermo Leon in the fantastic Corona size.
Grimalkin by Emilio Cigars – What are you looking at? Still a solid medium bodied cigar with a slow burning, charry woodsy and cocoa flavor profile. Added to those flavors is a subtle spicy sensation and a syrupy texture that coats and layers the palate for a unique smoking experience. This is one of my go to cigars and I’m happy to see them in more and more retailers…still, the band freaks me out!
La Aurora Corojo – When I saw the new packaging from of the La Aurora Corojo at IPCPR this year, I assumed that nothing but the packaging had changed. Obviously, from the look of the two wrappers (2011 of left; 2010 on right) you can see a significant color difference in the wrapper. Interesting no? How things look is a minor question. How things smoke is the more important one right? Well I’ll save that for a future review. Does the 2011 La Aurora Corojo have what it takes to make my Top 10 List like the original 2010 version did? Stay tuned…
EP Carrillo Short Run 2011 – Doesn’t really matter what cigar you smoke from EP Carrillo. Whether its something in the Core Line, Limitada, Elenco, New Wave Connecticut or the Short Run, they are all winners. Any one of them or many of them can populate anyone’s Top 10 list. Fantastic, elegant and classic cigar with all kinds of modern twists and turns to keep you interested, challenged, and in awe.
La Casita Criolla by Tatuaje Cigars – All this talk about Top 10 lists has me thinking, you can’t have a discussion about this year’s best smokes without talking about one of the most impressive and talked about cigars, the La Casita Criolla. No one pushes the creativity or innovation envelope like Pete does and the La Casita Criolla is the perfect example of thinking outside the box and delivering a cigar with such a uniqueness to it.