Back into the swing of things. Thanks again for all the love and support on our IPCPR coverage. No slowing down for Stogie Review though. In September look forward to coverage of the Delaware Cigar Festival and Little Puff by W.Curtis Draper. No slowing down on the personal area either. Many of you know that I recently received my Bachelor’s Degree. Becoming the first college graduate in my family. The fun doesn’t stop as I’m starting my Master’s courses in the coming weeks. Speaking of school…Gracie, my petite corona, starts pre-school this week. Lots going on at the Cruz household in September and lots of great cigars in this TGT Edition of Week in Smoke.
EP Carrillo ‘Red Box’ – The first cigar I smoked at IPCPR. When Ernesto spoke with us at IPCPR he made reference to the ‘Red Box’ saying he wasn’t selling it at the show. It caused a bit of confusion when we reported on it. Many thought we were referring to the new redesigned packaging of his Core Line Maduro which is in a red box. I know there is a big push for the Inch right now and I’m sure that the Inch will be a success. For me though, if the ‘Red Box’ I sampled will be the version that will be released in the next month or so, it will be another instance of Ernesto leading the pack. Lets bring classic back baby.
EP Carrillo Core Line Maduro – Speaking of the Core Line Maduro…Smokey and flavorful. Choc full of smoky wood, pepper, dark chocolate, espresso…just a wonderful assortment of flavors and aromas. Beautiful cigar to smoke and enjoy. Another cigar by Ernesto that distinguishes itself from the pack. For a twist, try a v-cut on it.
El Suelo – The El Suelo is one of the new brands that makeup the new company L’Atelier (Pete Johnson et al). El Suelo is one of two ‘bundled’ cigars in the lineup. I won’t rehash all the details, instead your can check out our interview with Pete at IPCPR. This isn’t your father’s bundled cigar. Great flavor, great construction at a magical price. Medium-to-Full with some great dark tobacco flavors that saturate the palate. Burned razor sharp. I’m all out of samples so I’m stuck waiting…
Trocadéro – A little less body compared to its El Suelo ‘bundled’ counterpart. Again, not your father’s bundled cigar. El Suelo and Tracdéro are going to redefine what a bundled cigar is. You will come to expect more from bundled cigars. Similar flavor profile but not as intense. Lots of a creamy and earthy tones that the El Suelo doesn’t have. Very smooth and very nicely balanced. With both the Trocadéro and El Suelo being more than affordable there is no reason either of these or both of these don’t find a place in your regular rotation. I’m making room as we speak.
Alec Bradley Connecticut – When I first saw the AB Connecticut at IPCPR I was a bit skeptical. I wondered how it would compare to the American Classic which uses a Connecticut wrapper from Honduras. After smoking a couple samples of the Alec Bradley Connecticut, there is a big difference between the two. A difference that clears up any reservations I had. The AB Connecticut is a much more mature cigar. Classic creamy and woodsy Connecticut flavors but amped up a bit that make it the perfect cigar companion for that afternoon pick me up espresso or Cuban coffee for you Miami folks. Nicely done AB.
La Flor Dominicana Cabinet Maduro – One of the most underrated cigars in the La Flor Dominicana lineup. It simply gets overlooked. I don’t know if it is because it doesn’t have a band or if folks get intimidated by its dark, juicy wrapper thinking its going to put them over the edge. Is the Cabinet Maduro a strong cigar? Absolutely! Is the Cabinet Maduro a flavorful cigar? Absolutely! Thats what makes the difference. A strong cigar is just that, a strong cigar. A strong and flavorful cigar is something special. Its balanced and satisfying. Don’t sleep on the Cabinet Maduro. Give it a try and I promise, you will wonder why you didn’t smoke one sooner.
Don Sixto by Plasencia – I’m not sure what to say about the Don Sixto. Not really my cup of tea. Sour, papery and dry finish is the best I can describe the Don Sixto. With that said, the samples I’ve shared with some folks has had mixed results. Some like that flavor profile but like I said, not my cup of tea. Excellent construction and a beautiful sweet aroma but the flavor profile just doesn’t sit well with my palate.
Ortega Serie D Natural – Crisp, toasty flavors and magnificent construction. With that said, personally, I prefer the Maduro myself. I don’t have anything bad to say about the Natural. Its nice, its flavorful but it just doesn’t set itself apart. Nothing ‘wows’ me. The Maduro on the other hand, is phenomenal.
Brick House by JC Newman – One of my go to cigars that have made many an appearance in episodes of Week in Smoke. After something like IPCPR where you just need your palate to return to some form of normalcy, you have to get back to basics and for me thats the Brick House. I know they released a Maduro version of the Brick House at IPCPR but our resources at JC Newman are limited. We don’t have that go to person we can talk to like we do at other places. Maybe next year…until then I’ll wait for Brick House Maduro to show up on shelves.
Davidoff White Edition (2012) – The obvious question is how does it compare to 2011? That is a question I can’t answer. I didn’t smoke the 2011 Edition so I can’t compare the two. All I have to go on is the 2012 Edition. The Dominican Criollo wrapper is a beautiful site. Impeccable construction. Impeccable aroma. Impeccable complexity. Impeccable bouquet of aromas. Impeccable all around. I might catch some heat from you for this…but a steal at $21.50 (MSRP). Yeah, its that impeccable. And yes, I bought this one.