Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 12

Week in Smoke45 Comments on Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 12

Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 12

Back 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 (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!

90 Miles Toro by Flor De Gonzalez
Though they’ve been on the market for a couple of years now, it wasn’t until recently that I found 90 Miles in my area. The stick I picked had an light, attractively rustic, oily wrapper with fine veins and tooth. It was a pretty unique tasting smoke with almost a fatty richness to the body, spice, sweet earth, nougat, a little dark chocolate, and hints of citrus and aromatic cedar. A good smoke, but the draw was a little firm for my taste.

Cuba Aliados Miami Robusto **
While shifting some things around in my humidor the other day, I came across a hidden cache of of these cedar sleeved beauties, quietly resting for years. Lighting one up, I immediately recognized the familiar profile of chocolate, caramel, an acidic tingle and cedar. I’m still a fan, and a little age has done them no harm.

Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Feral Flying Pig
I’m not the biggest fan of the Flying Pig vitola, but the prospect of the longer smoke provided by the Feral Flying Pig was too intriguing to pass up. So I didn’t. It was a good call. The smoky, peppery, earthy profile with a healthy dose of savory cedar and a subtle sweetness isn’t something I’m going to get tired of any time soon. And it almost goes without saying that the foot gives off that Liga Privada river of smoke.

EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut El Decano *
It’s been a little while since I lit up a jaw-busting 6 by 60, and I figured I couldn’t go wrong with the New Wave Connecticut sample I was sent last year. I was surprised at the amount of spice this goliath had, at least in the beginning, more than I remember from the smaller sizes. Often a large ring gauge washes out the flavor profile, leading to a more mellow smoke, but that didn’t seem to be as much the case here. A combination of molasses, buttery wood, nuts and a tart sour cream, made for rather enjoyable experience.

GAR Opium Toro (IPCPR Sample) *
Yes, believe it or not, I still have IPCPR 2011 samples waiting around for me to ignite. The time the GAR Opium in hibernation didn’t seem to hurt it any. I was treated to rich syrupy leather, graham, chocolate, spice and cedar. It was a great smoke.

Guillermo Leon Signature Ambassador (Pre-Release)*
If this yet-unreleased Signature line extension looks familiar, you’re not crazy. It does bear a strong resemblance to the Punch Champion. My favorite aspect of the cigar, aside from the interesting shape, is the flavor transitions. Along the way, I picked up butterscotch, pineapple, sweet grass, a dusty cedar, ginger and graham. Gradually, the sweetness fades, with grass and cedar taking over at the end. I may start buying these instead of the Belicoso when they’re released.

Gurkha Wicked Indie Toro *
I think the Wicked Indie is the best of the several newer Gurkhas I’ve had recently. It was toasty, woody and spicy with a subtle graham and ginger sweetness. I’d definitely burn more of these.

Joya De Nicaragua Cabinetta Serie Lancero *
This Joya is a striking two-tone 38 ring gauge smoke with a firm draw. Toasty wood and spice with a bourbon barrel/molasses sweetness, and a transition toward coffee and chocolate when it crossed over into the maduro wrapper. This lancero is clearly superior to all other Cabinetta formats I’ve tried in the past, even if the draw is a tad more snug.

Montecristo Sevens **
From the dark recesses of the humidor, I found a churchill-sized Montecristo Sevens. I’m not sure how long I’ve had it, but the time would be measured in years. It’s a flawless stick, a perfect cylinder, with very fine, light-colored veins, uniform color and fine tooth. It was a little on the mild side, but smoked on fresh enough of a palate, you’ll taste sweet cream, syrupy cedar, hints of coconut and butterscotch with an uptick in acidity toward the end. It’s a fun cigar, and but not one that’s easy to find any more.

Reinado Habanito *
The Habanito is a fun little cigar, a Nicaraguan puro measuring 4 x 38. What it lacks in stature, it makes up for with aggressive flavor. This smoke was earthy, with mixture of sweet graham, wood and a good helping of acidic, vinegar-like spice. In fact, between the front of the mouth heat and the unusual spice, it reminded me a little of a hot sauce. I really enjoyed its unusual profile and it was a shame when it developed a tunnel. (That’s what I get for smoking it right off the truck.) That won’t stop me from trying more Reinado cigars in the future.

Tatuaje Black Petite Lancero
The Tatuaje Black Petite Lancero was robbed, it should have been in my top 10 list for 2011. Its rich spicy earth, wood, and maple-like sweetness make it a hard cigar to beat. I’m running low, I can’t wait for my next opportunity to buy a box.

Bonus: The Week In Suds
I’ve been getting more and more into craft beer lately (or as we used to say back in the day, “microbrews”), and so are some of our readers. So in ill-conceived attempt to justify reckless drinking, I thought I might share some of my recent ale adventures. If you like the idea (or hate it), feel free to let me know in the comments below. Heck, I’ll make it worth your while- I’ll select one comment on February 8th to win a Stogie Review travel humidor with some of this week’s cigars in it. And if you include a joke about short people like Jerry, one of those cigars will be a Feral Flying Pig.

21st Amendment Bitter Amercian 2011 4.4% ABV
It’s beer that comes in a can with a monkey wearing a space suit, so it has to be excellent right? The key is in the words on the the can, “session ale”. It’s a good beer that I can see knocking back in numbers, but it’s not my favorite use of hops. It has a crisp hoppy citrus bite, but it feels a little bit restrained. Or maybe I’ve been drinking too many ridiculously hoppy beers. Anyway, it beats the hell out of a lot of other canned options.

Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask 7.4% ABV
I have generally enjoyed all Innis & Gunn beers I’ve had so far, but I think this one’s my favorite. As the label says, it’s a “Scottish stout matured in Irish Whiskey Barrels” and the banana-like sweetness of the stout (try one and tell me you don’t taste banana) work very nicely with the pronounced whiskey flavor. It’s not a pave-your-mouth stout, but I’ll allow it.

Terrapin Moo-Hoo 2011 6% ABV
Friends, this is chocolate milk for grown ups, and you don’t have to deal with a lunch lady to enjoy it. (Unless you want to. I’m not judging.) If a beer with body like milk and flavor like milk chocolate and nuts sounds good, this beer is for you. I love it, and hoard it. I don’t know what the distribution is like, but if you’re in Georgia or passing through, seek it out.

* 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. I’ve got 99 problems and an empty humidor ain’t one.

** 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.

enjoying cigars since 1997

45 thoughts on “Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 12

  1. I agree completely that the Tatuaje PL is Top 10 worthy. Good list and even better is your addition of beers!!!!

    Another first that almost rises to the level of your Tower of Burn. Your challenge is to coin a beer catch phrase. “Tower of suds”?

  2. Love the ‘week in suds’
    Have you had the Innis & Gunn rum cask? My personal favourite.
    Good work Sir.

    As for a new catch phrase?…’To Ale and back’
    You can have that…My gift yo you.

  3. An interesting assortment of smokes. I’ve had a few, and would definitely like to try the others. The Week in Suds is a great idea, although I have yet to see the latter two in my area.

    Just how short is Jerry anyway? I don’t shop in the Big and Tall section myself.

      1. Yes, we feral smurfs tend to be yellow, not blue. And I’m relieved you spelled that word with an “r” and not a “c”. :p

  4. There’s no bigger (smaller?) short-people joke than myself, so I’m just going to leave it at that. Ask Jerry. He’ll confirm it LOL!

  5. I think the brew review is a great idea! It’s nice to hear an opinion on those as well! And by the way the Guillermo Leon Signature Ambassador (Pre-Release)* should be nick named the Jerry because it’s short and stumpy! Lol

  6. I do not always drink beer,,, OK, yes I do! It is a nice change to add some beer reviews. Another twist would be to pair a cigar/beer review.

    Jerry, when you were a child did your parents have to buy 2 booster seats?

  7. Brian,

    Can’t go wrong with something to clear the palate…why use water it will just rust your inerts out. I am now just waiting to see you do a car video review with a “microbrew” in your cup holder.

    And jerry may be short, but the infamous point adds at least 2 ” to his height. Ahhhh thats what she said

    nice write up on the sticks.

  8. New wave Connecticut in a 6×60! I need to get my hands on one of those. Nice addition with the week in suds! I would like to see more pairing type reviews with craft beer, just my 2 cents. If your looking for a great session brew the Firestone Double Barrel Ale is pretty hard to beat in my opinion.

  9. Good review,as always, don’t be ”picking” on Jerry, he wound’t ”pick” on you, do you think? That “Terrapin Moo-Hoo” looks good in that glass.It’s a long drive from Illinois to Georgia.

  10. Enjoyed the addition of the beer commentary…Daniel and Tony over at Casa Fumando do this as well and it adds another interesting dimension to the site…Daniel also raves about the Innis & Gunn…gotta get me some! Keep up the good work!

    1. Over the years I have mentioned drink pairings in some cigar reviews, but only when I come across a really good one in the course of the review. It doesn’t happen that often because I usually drink water when reviewing a cigar. But it is a good idea.

  11. Nice Week in Smoke Brian…both you and Jerry seem like you both enjoyed the new, smaller sizes Reinado.

    I’ll disagree with others…the site is called Stogie Review not Suds & Stogie or whatever. This isn’t something new or exciting since sites like Casa Fumado and Stogie Guys do this…this is exactly what I mean about inconsistency here. One week you guys are breaking new ground with the themed Week in Smoke and the next week you are following the pack.

    1. Can you be both consistent and break new ground? You’ve gotta hand it to me, I am consistent when it comes to authoring unsatisfactory content. I shall ponder all this while I look for new packs to follow.

  12. I love the beer reviews! I’ve never been a big whiskey or rum guy so I appreciate the info on good beer pairings to enjoy with my stogies. I second the motion on the Innis & Gunn…..the original is my favorite.

    Short Joke for Jerry: Did you hear about the gay midget? He came out of the cupboard! Lol. (No disrespect intended to midgets or cupboards). 🙂

  13. I encourage you in your brew reviews. I like to know about cigar/alcohol pairings, so I’d like to read if you paired a brew with a stogie and how that pairing worked. As far as Jeryy jokes. Randy Newman said it all in his song “Short People”!

  14. Keep up the great reviews. Beer is always welcome. It’s really cool that the first beer had Jerry’s picture on it!

    Speaking of Jerry, he should change his favorite line to “thats what Kevin said”

  15. Like others have said, I like the idea of a cigar/beer pairing. I’m always looking for a good beer to have a cigar. I’ll have to look out for Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask.

  16. I’m not really a beer drinker myself, but the added content doesn’t bother me. It’s your house – and free! – so I say do what you want.

  17. Nice reviews Brian. I think the beer reviews should hang around. Nice to see some brews I can’t get in my hood. That 21st Amendment session beer is intriguing, like most craft beers that are canned, as canning seems to be the newest hype in craft beers (which is a good thing). Hell, you may be able to stuff Cruz into one of those empty cans…

  18. Great Stuff Brian!! I particularly love the craft beer part of the post seeing as though all I do is drink craft beer and smoke cigars. I had a bunch of Terrapin but never the moo hoo. I will definitely seek it out as well as the cigars that interested me in your review. Thanks for all you do man.

  19. Okay, I got to ask. How do you save cigars from middle of 2011? Every cigar I have is just one light away from being extinct?

    1. 2011? Heck, I’ve still got stuff from 2008 and possibly even earlier. It takes years of practiced disorganization and many irresponsible purchases to get where I’m at.

  20. Hey Brian,
    I agree with one of the comments above- i’m not a beer drinker, but so what, it’s your site.
    And short ppl are no joke: Jerry’s gonna tear your ankles up…

  21. Brian, where is the tower of burn? I hope to see one tomorrow. I like the brew reviews. You should do some rare reviews of beers or cigars we’ll never find like that one half something site. Ever since Barry stop writng reviews, I only have you left and END, and Brooks. Hopefully, Jerry , Charlie, and Mike will someday write written reviews.

  22. Hey Brian.

    My experience with cigars dates to when me and this chick I was dating used to buy them in S. NJ on the way to AC Race Track, when the horses still ran there in the early 90’s. She dumped me b/c she said I knew everything. Of course I did, a regular know-it-all. Funniest thing is she went to Penn State, near my parents’ house, and I visited her one time while there. I was still “too knowledgeable” for my own good. If you know what I mean.

    As for the beer reviews, yeah keep that up. It’s fun to venture out of what you normally do. Totally do that!

    As for the aged extras, why don’t you give them away? Seems like you’re wasting them otherwise, though I have no idea if cigars can last forever in a humidor.

    I was going to ask if you can smoke one cigar, pick up another and be able to give it a fair review? Did the first cigar ruin that fairness? That’s how I typically feel about beer reviews.

    Anyway, I didn’t really pay attention to most of what you wrote b/c clearly you were a delivery boy for the brand that gave you the cigar. 🙂 See you later.


    Good night.

  23. Appreciate the reviews, definitely need to try that joya lancero now. The suds reviews are great, as a relative novice to the craft beers I am constantly looking insight.


  24. Wow, for one, we should all get $150 per hour for reading Rob’s post.

    And two, as soon as you start getting some comments Jerry has to post one story in 5 different posts so it pushes you down to the second page. Classy…

    1. Hey Tom.

      Glad you enjoyed. Just so you know, that’s the kind of post Brian will soon put up here if he’s smoking AND drinking.

      BTW. My own posts are usually longer and include a lot of similar stories. No way you can’t like the one about the bitchy cigar-smoking track chick!

  25. Wow! I really need to try one of those feral pigs. They just look good!! I also really want that jdn lancero! Good week man!

  26. Great review Brian, thank you. I enjoyed the comments of the flavors you picked up on the Reinado habanito. It’s a flavorful small smoke with a lot going for it at the moment. Stay tuned…


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