Welcome back! I hope everyone had a safe, enjoyable and refreshing Thanksgiving holiday. Anyone do any Black Friday shopping? I’m actually on the hunt for some Sesame Street figurines that are proving to be impossible to find for some reason. Of course these figurines aren’t sold online and no sign of them in the half dozen stores I’ve checked. I refuse to pay seven times retail for them on eBay. Also a heartfelt thanks for all the comments on my “Three Things I Know to be True” post last week. I’m glad so many found it refreshing and inspiring.
EP Carrillo Edicion Limitada 2011 – More affectionately known as the Dark Ritual. Beautiful cigar with a fascinating flavor profile. Lots of penetrating dark woodsy flavors and a sprinkling of some savory fruity notes. Both flavors linger for a long enjoyable finish. The Edicion Limitada series keeps getting better and better every year. It appears Ernesto has the hottest hand in the industry right now. I know, I’m basically stating the obvious.
La Aurora 107 – Its been awhile since I’ve smoked one of these. I think I’ve been holding out for the Maduro version that was introduced at IPCPR this year to surface on humidor shelves. Until that day arrives the original will have to do. Solid medium bodied and medium strength cigar with an assortment of woodsy, citrus and faint white pepper notes.
Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon – I actually got a sample of this during IPCPR but didn’t get around to smoking it until recently. I wanted to see if the cigar had changed much from the show to it’s release awhile back. A smooth woodsy and peppery flavor profile with a slight sweetness on the finish. A bargain at around $8 a single. I don’t say this very often but Mike’s review was spot on.
Hammer & Sickle Berlin Wall – If you recall my Tortuga Edicion Limitada 2011 review, I mentioned the name Victor Vitale. Turns out Victor Vitale has his hands in this one as well. An interesting cigar thats in the medium strength and medium body category. The flavor profile is smooth, diverse and my palate found it to be truly challenging. It was easy to pickup the dominant earthy, woodsy, peppery and coca notes. What wasn’t so easy was trying to decipher some of the other notes I was tasting. Definitely a first cigar of the day. Anything after that all the subtle notes I couldn’t identify are lost.
EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut – Undoubtedly its hard to think of a cigar thats created such a wave of enjoyment than the New Wave Connecticut. One of the most consistent, stellar and standout releases this year. Like I stated above, Ernesto has the hottest hands right now and those hands have redefined the Connecticut Shade wrapper.
La Riqueza – I’ll say this every time the discussion of my favorite Pete Johnson cigar or the most underrated cigar discussion comes up. The La Riqueza flies under the radar in the Tatuaje portfolio. Give me this Cubanesque cigar any day over any other Pete Johnson cigar. Monster Series be damned. Brown label be damned. El Triunfador be damned…they all pale in comparison to the beauty of La Riqueza that keeps getting better and better with each passing year.
Four Kicks by Crowned Heads – Even though its been over two weeks since they started showing up on shelves Four Kicks by The Crowned Heads continues to have a strong showing of support on social media. I still think the Corona Gorda and Robusto sizes are the stellar performers in the line. A beautiful cigar inside and out that I hold up there with the above mentioned La Riqueza. Solid cigar. One would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to find Four Kicks anything but enjoyable.
CAO La Traviata Maduro – The hardest decision I have in any given day is choosing what cigar to smoke. The decision becomes even more difficult when I’m at W.Curtis Draper. During these times I fall back on instinct. My instinct always tells me that I’ll never be disappointed by the CAO La Traviata. Maduro or natural versions…it doesn’t matter. The La Traviata line is what a great friend should be. Consistent, honest and dependable. No fancy band to distract you. No over powering strength to cover up a blending flaw. It is what it is and thats why I love the line so much.
CAO OSA Sol Short Torpedo (Pre-Release) – Last week I got a package in the mail from Ed McKenna with a pair of two new size extensions for the CAO OSA Sol. The two sizes are a Animados-ish size and a short torpedo. If you remember my review of the OSA Sol my biggest criticism was the big ring gauges offerred and how a smaller ring gauge would be best to really highlight the wrapper flavor. Naturally I was very excited about the Animados-ish size. Its my favorite size when it comes to both wrappers of the La Traviata. I smoked the Animados-ish size and was really impressed. Loved it! In fact my ego took over and I whispered to myself “told you so”. I didn’t have high hopes for the Short Torpedo since its not a size I usually enjoy but believe it or not…I actually found the Short Torpedo to be even better than the Animados-ish size. Perfect balance. One of the samples smoked weird and was plugged early on before opening up but once it did…WOW. Animados-ish size is stellar…Short Torpedo size is a game changing homerun.
Diamond Crown Julius Caeser – Where to start? Unlike Brian’s review of the Julius Caeser I really can’t find myself ever considering smoking one of these again. Lackluster, flat and waste of time are all things that came to my mind when I was smoking it. Considering this is a $17 cigar the experience goes from waste of time to being pretty upset. I know no one sets out to create a bad cigar but someone needs to rethink their definition of a $17 cigar cause the Julis Caeser isn’t it.
My Father Le Bijou 1922 Box Pressed Torpedo – Another instance of me being a size snob writing off a cigar. I’ll admit when I saw the Le Bijou box pressed torpedo at IPCPR I thought to myself “BFD” (Big Fucking Deal). Fast forward to now and I’m eating crow cause it turns out, the flavor profile this guy gives is a big fucking deal. If you thought the original release of the Le Bijou was stellar you will be craving the box pressed torpedo version. Hefty price tag but its worth it unlike that fucking Julius Caeser above.
Tortuga Edicion Limitada 2011 – I’ve gotten some great feedback from my review of the Tortuga Edicion Limitada 2011. I know both Victor Vitale and W.Curtis Draper appreciated my review. But the best feedback I’ve received is from you guys. Whether you called W.Curtis Draper and ordered from them (thanks for mentioning Stogie Review) or from your local B&M or you found them online. So far the feedback from you guys has been that my review was spot on. I appreciate all of you taking the time to send me your feedback and I’m glad I was able to introduce you to a gem of a cigar.
Week in Smoke Summary:
Best Cigar of The Week – La Riqueza
Worst Cigar of The Week – Diamond Crown Julius Caeser
Surprise Cigar of The Week – CAO OSA Sol Short Torpedo (Pre-Release)