Filling in for Brian Hewitt this week. Something about complications from that sex change he finally got taken care of a few weeks ago. As always, we wish him a speedy recovery. 😉 Back again with another Week in Smoke. I’m always surprised how popular these posts are. Some of you even like them more than my video reviews…I’m not sure whether to take that as a compliment or what? Some fantastic personal news. After almost 16 years (Class of 1996 represent) I took my last final a few weeks ago and as it stands, am all set to graduate in May 2012. I’ll be the first in my family to hold a college degree. Another thing I hope the Little Robusto is proud of when he looks down on me. Time to start planning The Great Torpedo Graduation Smoke-A-Thon celebration!
Davidoff Special R – If you’ve been paying attention to my tweets, Facebook posts or Flickr stream you will have noticed I’ve been on a bit of a Davidoff Special R binge as of late. Ever since I had my first one in the last episode of Week in Smoke I’ve been all over them. I think in the last week alone I’ve gone thru five of them. Luckily George Brightman from W.Curtis Draper-Bethesda intervened or this episode of Week in Smoke would’ve been nothing but pictures of the Special R.
Arturo Fuente Rosado Sun Grown – Along with the Davidoff shelf, the Fuente shelf was a shelf I would usually ignore. I’m not a big OpusX or King B kind of guy. I do enjoy the occasional Short Story but for the most part, I walk by. With plans for Fuente to produce one of the four cigars to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of W.Curtis Draper I thought it would be good start showing them some love and familiarize myself with their blends. Very well balanced cigar with lots of nutty and woodsy notes that accompanied a peppery sensation on the palate. Enjoyable!
El Diario by La Palina Cigars – First let me say that La Palina is a advertiser of Stogie Review and this particular cigar was gifted to me by the guys at W.Curtis Draper as a followup to one of my Special R exploits. I’ve probably smoked the El Diario a half dozen times and have enjoyed each and every one that I’ve smoke. Clean and crisp flavors. A balanced profile but I’m always left wondering where the El Diario would fit in my rotation? Its a solid cigar that I have a hard time finding a place for it.
Alec Bradley Tempus – I don’t write the dates on my cigars. This was obviously a gift from someone who did. I’m not that organized or disciplined. With the Alec Bradley Prensado receiving Cigar of The Year accolades many folks have asked me what I thought of that. I always say that its a solid cigar but not the best cigar made by Alec Bradley. It then dawned on me that outside of the Black Market, I haven’t smoked much from Alec Bradley. Sweet and smooth from start to finish. Razor sharp burn. Killer chocolate like flavors. Woody flavors build throughout the smoke just like the body. Delightful.
Ashton VSG Eclipse (Tubo) – Originally I wanted 2012 to be The Year of The Tubo. With all my reviews being of cigars that came in a tubo. After the success of the themed Week in Smoke I switched gears to focus on doing those as my “project” for 2012. The VSG was an old treat of mine. I remember they were a favorite of my mentor, Jonathan Zirkle . It only seemed right to smoke one as I owe a lot of my success to him. He gave me the opportunity to run a data center when I didn’t have any practical knowledge or official training. I’m always confused when people describe themselves as “self made”…we all need help from someone at some point in our lives.
Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 Sun Grown – “classic cigar” is how the 8-5-8 Sun Grown was described to me. I use that phrase a lot myself but for some reason when it was said to me I didn’t really understand what it meant. Then I lit it up. Wow! A little bit of everything. The complexity and assortment of flavors was just astonishing to me. No one flavor dominated but instead they all came together to create a unique flavor. Clean, crisp, balanced…smooth. You name it and the 8-5-8 Sun Grown had it. Classic cigar…
San Lotano Oval – I am so happy I can find these locally now. My #5 Cigar of 2011. The San Lotano Oval is all about simple flavors that still find a way to challenge and excite your palate. AJ has the pulse of what cigar smokers are looking for in a cigar and the Oval is it.
Zino Platnium Z Class – My #4 Cigar of 2011. Until recently I wasn’t a Davidoff or Zino kind of guy. It takes a special cigar from one of those brands to really impress me. For me its the Special R and the Z Class. The Z Class has a savory, penetrating nutty spiciness that draws you in. Consistent, balanced, satisfying and a steal at $10.
Undercrown – It’s really unfair to compare the Undercrown to the Liga Privada line. Both are two unique stellar blends from Drew Estate. It’s like comparing apples to pears. Yeah they are both fruit and have similar fruity characteristic but both bring something unique to the table. The same is true for the Liga Privada vs. Undercrown. Its all about the mood you’re in. Sometimes you’re not in the mood for a Liga Privada experience but want something different, simpler but not sacrifice balance or flavor. I think the Undercrown continues to be a winner. Ligar Privada is great and the Undercrown is equally as great. You can’t go wrong with either!
Brick House by JC Newman – The Brick House has the distinct honor of being the cigar that has made the most appearances in my Week in Smoke. Size matters with this blend. Don’t dick around with all the other sizes as they will disappoint. The robusto size is where the Brick House is tits! Whenever I’m torn as to what my first or second cigar of the day will be (it happens a lot) I know I can reach for a Brick House and be satisfied both with it’s performance and it’s price. Great up to mid day cigar.