It’s time again for another issue of Brian’s The Week In Smoke. What’s the deal with all the Week in Smokes lately, you ask? Good question. The answer is as simple as this: the collection of interesting one-offs I’ve been saving for The Week In Smoke has gotten a little out of control. It’s time to cull the herd, before it culls me. Bear with me, it might take a few weeks. And now back to your regularly scheduled disclaimer.
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 may be 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!
Brick House Mighty Mighty Maduro (IPCPR Sample) *
Jerry mentioned recently that he isn’t a fan of the 6 x 60 format of the new Mighty Mighty Maduro, and I have to agree with him. However I decided to give this large, almost impossibly dark cigar a fair shake. (Besides it’s hard to trust a guy who wears platform crocs to meet the height requirement at amusement parks.) What I found was a pleasant experience full of leather, chocolate and coffee with touches of earth and caramel. But I think I’ll wait for a smaller ring gauge.
Coronado by La Flor Lancero
The Coronado has been on my to-do list for so long, I forgot why it wound up there. No matter, I saw it on a shelf recently and picked one up, and watched an old video review from Tom and Ed as I smoked it. In the early stages, I picked up one of the most distinctive tea flavors I’ve ever gotten out of a cigar. In addition to that, leather, rich syrupy pepper, dark tobacco and coffee flavors abounded. Now I know why it was on my list.
Drew Estate Liga Privada Black Rat *
The Black Rat is one of the various cigars I brought back from my Cigar Safari trip to the Drew Estate factory in Nicaragua earlier this year. The wrapper aroma made me do a double take. There were definitely the sweet, herbal hints of an ACID cigar, though it is not an infused cigar. It probably comes from proximity at some point to some of their infused cigars. Though I didn’t notice it in the flavor as I smoked it. This is a blend based on the Dirty Rat that uses a darker, lower-priming leaf as its wrapper. The flavor was all about sweet, rich earth and pepper. Plenty of pepper. And some smokiness and spice. I can’t tell you if and when these might be more widely available, but I have no doubt they’d be popular. I’d love to smoke another.
Headley Grange Estupendos (IPCPR Sample) *
Now that they’re starting to ship, it’s probably time to for me to fish out my sample from the trade show. For science, while I smoked it I checked out a short clip about Headley Grange, featuring the booming atmospheric drums from the beginning of Led Zeppelin’s When the Levee Breaks, the inspiration for the blend. Like the inspiration, the flavor profile is pretty unique. I tasted aromatic cedar, chocolate, pepper and quite a bit of a lemon-like tart sweetness. Big flavor and long rich finish, I think I see what they did there.
La Flor Dominicana Oro Chisel (IPCPR Sample) *
One of my favorite moments of the last trade show was kicking back one evening afterward in my hotel room with an Oro Chisel and a healthy pour of bourbon. I decided to revisit it sans bourbon this time. The sample I brought back had a great honey-like wrapper aroma and an interesting herbal beginning. From there it went through quite an array of flavor: chocolate, wood, leather, sweet smoky spices and even caramel. I enjoyed it once again, this cigar should do well.
Nestor Miranda Special Select Connecticut 5.5 x 54 (IPCPR Sample) *
I smoked this one exactly how Nestor Miranda intended it to be smoked: first thing with a cup of coffee. The bready/toasty, cedar and leather with a slight sweetness was a welcome addition to the morning routine.
* 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 creepy banjo music and screaming you hear is coming from Ben’s trailer. It’s best if we all just ignore it.
** 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.
Some 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.