Back thanks to a serious of unfortunate, time consuming events, once again here’s 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 in the past week (OK, more like the past month, but I don’t feel like changing the name), 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. (Or maybe I’ve linked to a photo of Jerry The ‘Stache. You won’t know until you click.) Enjoy!
Angelenos Robusto Gordo JM (IPCPR Sample) *
This was a limited edition Angelenos featuring Joe Mantegna’s signature on the second band. It was cedary, with prominent sour cream notes, citrus acidity and a touch of earth. The woodiness of the flavor seemed to broaden and deepen as the cigar progressed. A unique smoke to be sure.
Davidoff 100 Year Robusto
Nobody does it like Davidoff, which may be why nobody prices cigars like them either. But even so, I don’t recall ever feel short changed them either, and holds true here. The slow burning smoke produced acidic coppery spice, hints of sour cream and aromatic cedar, and that trademark Davidoff mustiness. A flavor combination that is much better than the sound of its constituent parts. A solid smoke that shouldn’t disappoint Davidoff fans.
EP Carrillo Edicion Limitada 2011
The Edicion Limitada 2011 is a big, easy drawing, medium bodied cigar. If it were possible to roll up relaxation and smoke it, I suspect it would be a lot like this. In this case, relaxation tasting a lot like rich earth, syrupy chocolate and creamy coffee with a touch of smoke. A delicious smoke, I just wish they weren’t so expensive.
Gurkha Seduction Robusto *
I was a little concerned when I picked up what seemed like a creme de menthe scent on the cigar’s wrapper. I was right to be concerned some of that menthol element came through in the profile of earth, cedar, chocolate and mild spice. And that reads better than it tasted. I wasn’t seduced, but I appreciate the opportunity to try a sample.
Illusione 88 Candela
This was my first taste of Dion’s candela-wrapped editions, not to mention my first green cigar in quite some time. It was sweeter than I expected, and syrupy, with a touch of grassy tart and spice. I’m impressed, I was ready to give it high marks for effort, but considerably less for result. This is the first candela I can remember enjoying. And not just enjoying, but considering buying more.
Illusione Singulare Phantom
Halloween morning seemed like the good idea for a cigar named “Phantom”. The only thing scary about this cigar is how good it is and how few of them I have. My flavor notes were pretty long, including fruit-like syrup, gingerbread, copper, coffee, spice and cedar. It’s not my first, and the thought of it being my last is a little scary too.
Old School GR8 Torpedo (IPCPR Sample) *
Another unknown first for me from IPCPR, and it turned out to be a pretty good smoke. A very earthy and dark chocolaty cigar, with syrupy graham, vanilla, anise and cedar notes, had a bit of a gritty mouth feel.
La Flor Dominicana Factory Press IV
I love this vitola, and let me tell you why. It’s a 60 ring gauge that you don’t have to unhinge your jaw to smoke. I’ve been saying it for a while now, If you’re gonna go big ring gauge, go box-pressed. This big angular stick had a great profile of sweet aromatic cedar coffee, cinnamon spice and caramel. Not to mention a pristine burn and beautiful ash. This won’t be my last.
Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon Robusto
I’ve heard both good and bad about the the Vintage 2003 Cameroon, and I made a point of finding on to find out where I come down on the issue. I picked up cedar, hints of graham and fruit/ginger sweetness, and a prominent grassy flavor. The cigar struck me as being on light side of medium, and not a bad Cameroon, but not my favorite.
Para Ti (IPCPR Sample) *
This sample from the trade show doesn’t appear to match any of the production sizes, measuring in at about 4 x 52 (like a short Hermosos). It had a beautiful oily, toothy wrapper and tasted of rich earth, syrupy wood, and a touch of cinnamon, with grass, citrus and spice taking over the latter half. It burned well, and was an experience worth repeating.
Sancho Panza Double Maduro Toledo **
The Sancho Panza was a cigar that seemed to make all the bargain cigar lists back in the cheap days before SCHIP. They’re no longer as inexpensive as they once were, but they’re still a decent, easy-going smoke. This large, well aged smoke was protected by a slightly yellowed cello, and offered pleasant earthy, chocolate, leather and pepper flavors. Unfortunately, it had a consistently crooked burn and required frequent touch ups. I’d complain, but I probably didn’t pay much for it, and I enjoyed it otherwise.
Tatuaje Frank **
Halloween evening seemed like the right time to unleash this aged Tatuaje beast. It had rich flavor, with hints of sweet graham, spice, cedar and creamy coffee and caramel. A great smoke worth trying if you have the opportunity.
Tatuaje La Verite 2009 Robusto
I was on a bit of a Tatuaje tear for a few months, and I decided it was time to spring for a La Verite 2009. I was impressed. It was rich and complex offering chocolate, wood, nuts, spice and a subtle velvety caramel sweetness.
Torano Tribute 2008 *
This Brazilian wrapped cigar was a recent gift from a friend, so I’m not sure how long it’s been resting waiting for someone to enjoy. Probably quite a while. It was sweet, creamy, chocolaty and cedary right off the bat. Toffee and nuts appeared a little later, but over all it was a very chocolaty cigar. A little like smoking a candy bar. I hope to smoke it again sometime.
It’s been a while since I had a Viaje, so I reached for this year’s Summerfest. It was a rich but milder smoke with a touch of spice, aromatic buttery cedar, creamy coffee and cinnamon. It may not have clocked in at more than medium, but I found it pretty enjoyable.
* 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 slide rule belongs to Charlie.
** 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.