Back once again due to a heavier than average day job work load 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 (or the past month, or however long it has been since the last issue), 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!
601 La Bomba Nuclear *
There’s no mistaking the bright yellow footband or the fuse cap, you know you’ve got 601’s popular new La Bomba in your hand. And it’s probably not a good idea for the traveling smoker to wave these around in an airport telling people it’s the bomb. Even if it does have an enjoyable syrupy spicy cedar, pepper, profile with a light touch of earth. I smoked through a box of these, and I can tell you this one won’t be my last.
Alec Bradley American Blend
The American Blend is a cigar I’ve had on my list to try for months. Its profile was a combination of acidic sweetness, cedar, coffee, spice and some graham. An OK smoke, but probably not one that’s going to make it into my regular rotation.
Alec Bradley Prensado Robusto
It’s taken a few years, but the Prensado is now getting the love it deserves. The rich, syrupy leathery cedar, chocolate and white pepper spice is what put it on my top 10 list back in 2009, and it’s what keeps me coming back to it.
Davidoff Colorado Claro Double R
A big, oily immaculate looking smoke that looks like it just posed for a catalog shoot. The Colorado Claro is a tough one to describe, it has hints of spice, earth, mustiness, cedar and ample sweetness. The sweet notes vary from similarities to raisin, to caramel, molasses and even maple. Unfortunately my Colorado Claro experience was not as good as is the norm. Frequent relights followed by the uncovering of my least favorite type of tobacco, the kind that turns black but doesn’t burn, made me give up on the stick with just under a third of it left. Even Davidoff has bad days.
Drew Estate Undercrown
If you dig Drew Estate’s Liga Privada offerings like I do, you shouldn’t be disappointed by the Undercrown. It’s rich and earthy with a nice chocolate element and subtle sweetness. And like its Liga Privada brothers, the smoke rolls off this cigar like a handful of incense sticks in a Buddhist temple.
Emilio AF1 Serie Toro
There’s a lot of impressive flavor in this cigar with the unpretentious band. The rich and dense syrupy leather, earth, spice and even raisins has me thinking about words like viscosity. A great smoke, one I heartily recommend trying.
Emilio AF2 Toro
The AF2 is a fuller, darker tasting smoke than it’s brother, even if it appears to be a little lighter visually. It must be that Pennsylvania ligero. I noted nuts, dark, slightly bitter chocolate, spice, wood and the occasional touch of sweetness. Another great stick from the A.J. Fernandez-Emilio Cigar team.
Exclusively 4 U Illuminati Salomon*
Barberpoles and salomons are always fun, put the two together and double the fun. Not to be confused with another cigar bearing the same name “Illuminati” the Salomon alternates between light creamy bread and woody chocolate with hints of espresso and sweetness. A pleasant smoke, but a little mild for my tastes.
Exclusively 4 U The Mason*
The Mason is a fuller blend than the Salomon and was more to my liking. Though a little soft feeling, the cigar burned well and had caramel, chocolate, earth and mild spice to offer. My only complaint is that it was difficult to keep lit, probably in part due to its thick, oily wrapper.
Fuente Opus X Lost City
The Opus X Lost City isn’t just a cigar, it’s a movie star. The tobacco in this limited edition smoke was used in a set for the Andy Garcia movie bearing the same name, “The Lost City”. Intriguing leather and grass sweetness at the beginning, that took on a candied characteristic as the cigar progressed, tasting at points like butterscotch. There was also a great savory smokiness and some aromatic cedar that developed in the profile. At approximately $4 an inch, I was determined that good or bad, I was going to nub this 7.5 inch, $30 rarity. And I did, but as good as it was, I would have done it anyway. If you’re looking to splurge on without being disappointed, look no further.
J. Fuego Gran Reserva Corojo No. 1 Corona
Having recently published my annual top 10 list, it seemed like a good time to burn one of my all time favorite smokes. The Gran Reserva Corojo never disappoints with its smoky paprika, meaty earth, and delicious cedar flavors. My latest box is going fast.
La Aurora Corojo Robusto
I’ve had a couple of La Aurora Corojos lately, and I’m really taking a shine to them. Unfortunately, they were all samples, so I’m not sure where I’m going to get more. If you happen upon some, you can expect a meaty, earthy, leathery cigar with right amount of spice and sweetness. And so far, each one has had a really easy draw.
La Sirena Cigars The Prince **
The line hasn’t been around that long, but somehow I had a La Sirena with both a yellowed cello and the sparkly signs of plume forming. It smoked much like I remember, full of aggressive spicy cedar and cinnamon, but with a supporting toffee richness I don’t recall from previous experiences. It’s a no brainer that a cigar like this would improve with age, I wish I had accidentally aged a few more.
Partagas 150 AA
Just when you think these highly sought after, heavily marked up and increasingly milder smokes are completely gone, they show up again. Most recently appearing in massive new limited edition humidors in retail shops. Leather, wood, a sweet and tart touch of grass, graham and a little earth, sums up this latest experience. Still a good smoke, but not worth the $50, $75 or higher per stick price they often carry. (And if you don’t like mild cigars, don’t bother.) This is one that should be lit as early in the day as possible and with as fresh a palate as possible to maximize enjoyment.
Paul Stulac Angel
I don’t know much about the Paul Stulac brand, other than remembering they had a pretty wild looking booth at IPCPR. The band on this stout box-pressed stick looks like a tattoo-inspired print you might see on a t-shirt these days, and doesn’t look bad on the cigar either. An aggressive, but involved profile with spice, cedar, nuts and light hints of coffee and caramel. A very good cigar, one I’d recommend and buy again.
strong>Perdomo Grand Cru Corojo Toro
I can’t remember the last time I had a Grand Cru, but I remember liking them. I can see why, it began with a great couple of aromatic puffs. Sweetness, graham, cedar and caramel covers it. Not much transition in flavor throughout, but a noticeable growth in spice. Overall, a solid smoke.
Prometheus God Of File Serie B 2010 Robusto Gordo*
This dark, Ecuadoran Sun Grown-wrapped limited edition delivers rich leather, earth and chocolate flavors with light touches of sour cream and citrus acidity. A subtle smoke that draws perfectly and produces a solid attractive ash.
Viaje Exclusivo Lancero *
This was my first smoke after an unexpectedly smokeless (but exceptionally boozy) New Year’s weekend, and it was delicious. This slender dark and oily stick is packed with flavor. My notes read like a laundry list of good flavors: Graham, cedar, pepper, coffee, dark chocolate and earth. Thanks to my favorite twitter whipping boy @NTA_Ben for the smoke, I hope it won’t be my last.
Viaje Skull And Bones ?*
A little box pressed torpedo with an unfinished foot, and dual black on black bands. This little mystery stick was all about the heavier, fuller flavors, including peppery, chocolate and espresso, with a little sweet cedar mixed in. In short, it tastes as dark as it looks, and it has a good amount of power to it. I’d smoke it again, though maybe a little later in the day than I did this time.
Viaje Platino VPR #6 *
I went a little wild with the Viajes this time around, but you have to expect that when Ben, the Viaje Fairy comes to town. The Platino VPR had a rich profile of incredible cedar, sweet cream, butterscotch and even cinnamon. It’s probably one of the best cedar flavors you’re going to get without chewing on a divider from a Diamond Crown humidor. An excellent smoke.
* 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 bottle of Turtle Wax For Men belongs to Jerry. Oh and that sweet Prometheus lighter? Yeah, that’s mine.
** 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.