I thought things would free up after my first graduate level paper was done last week but not so much when you have a group project and midterms giving you the evil eye whenever you do something that isn’t school related. Such is life…I got asked a question about why I haven’t done a full review of any of the three releases celebrating the 125th Anniversary of my home shop W.Curtis Draper. It is simple. I don’t think I can be impartial and even if I could be, I have a feeling if it was a glowing review some of your may question our credibility. Credibility comes first. Being impartial and making sure every cigar receives a fair shake is probably the only universal rule that all the numerous cigar blogs can agree on. Be open, be honest and be yourself has always been my personal mantra when it comes to blogging. If I, or anyone at Stogie Review feels that they can’t give a cigar a fair shake, good or bad, or if a review could give the appearance of being bias, then don’t review it. Its that simple.
Casa Magna Domus Magnus Limitada – My 2011 Cigar of The Year still holds it’s own and on occasion, out shines, the current crop of new cigars introduced this year. What I said then still rings true today, the Domus Magnus is artfully constructed, well balanced, copious assortment of smooth flavors and not to mention its ingenious and engaging complexity.
CAO La Traviata – A cigar that doesn’t get much attention anymore. I know the big push is for Osa or Concert and while those are decent cigars, La Traviata was the trend setter of a great flavorful, mainstream, widely available cigar at a very affordable price point. Now in my area the cigars aren’t as affordable as they were a couple years ago but they are still a great cigar to start the day with or that afternoon pick me up cigar. I still dig the Animados size the most both in the natural and maduro wrapper versions.
WCD 125th by Arturo Fuente Cigars – I’m not a big Fuente guy. I typically don’t go crazy when OpusX or Añejo arrive so I didn’t get too excited when I found out Fuente was making one of the four releases celebrating the 125th anniversary of my home shop W.Curtis Draper. The WCD 125th by Fuente really makes you fall in love again with Cameroon which tends to get lost in the mix these days. Delicate yet flavorful. Its an “escape” cigar. You know, one of those cigars that drowns out the world around you. Our friends over at Halfwheel have done an excellent review that I 100% agree with.
Reinado Grand Empire Reserve – One of my favorite cigars going into and out of IPCPR is the Reinado Grand Empire Reserve. Creaminess with some kick. The fragrant aroma and dense smoke really draw you in. I’m a very happy guy now that I can find them at numerous locations locally. The Grand Empire Reserve definitely shows Antonio’s dedication to taking his time and doing things right.
Serie SA by Room101 Cigars – Matt Booth was one of the few people at IPCPR that we couldn’t seem to connect with so we missed out on some of the things he has planned. So, I’m not going reinvent the wheel here. Our own Brian Hewitt said it best in his review: “Mr. Booth conspired to make a good San Andres cigar and great price and he succeeded. The words “rich” and “decadent” kept coming to mind as I smoked it and my enjoyment effectively negated any ill will generated by the burn problems. I have no doubt I’ll be smoking more of them in the future, and I would imagine this cigar will go over well with anyone who enjoys Mexican San Andres tobacco. And at six bucks, it’s worth finding out if you aren’t sure. My recommendation is skip dessert and smoke a Room 101 San Andres 305 instead. It’s just as good, and has none of the calories.”
Illusione ~eccj~ – If you are a fan of the Epernay line by Illusione creator Dion Giolito then you know all about the ECCJ. If the ECCJ didn’t knock it out of the park, who knows, we may not have the Epernay today. Mild and sweet on the palate until you retrohale. Flavor bomb from there out. For those of you wondering, I smoked a similar sized Epernay (6 x 46 the ECCJ was 5 5/8 x 46) for comparison and thought they were pretty close. The Epernay seemed a bit more upfront and in your face whereas the ECCJ was a bit more subtle.
Ortega Wild Bunch “Iron Mike” – The Iron Mike is one of three cigars that make up the Wild Bunch Series by Eddie Ortega. Eddie was nice enough to send me one of each to try. On looks alone the Iron Mike looked right up my alley with its robusto-ish size and dark, toothy wrapper. It did not disappoint. The Iron Mike reminded me of one of my favorite coffee drinks. Some call it Mexican Coffee but I refer to it as Cayenne Coffee…coffee, cayenne, nutmeg, cinnamon, bakers chocolate…if you know of the drink of which I speak, that in a nutshell is the Iron Mike. Delicious.
La Casita Criolla by Tatuaje – The #2 cigar from my 2011 Top 10 list and after my recent review of La Dueña I wanted to go back and smoke two inspirations for it so I sparked up the all broadleaf La Casita Criolla. Solid medium in strength but possesses a rich, deep, penetrating flavor profile. A slight peppery flavor creates a thin film on your palate giving a nice sensation. The La Casita Criolla is chock full of nuttiness, cedar and a dark, almost molasses flavor profile. Simple flavors from beginning to end but flavor that sure does satisfy the soul.
Don Pepin Garcia Serie JJ ‘Little Robusto’ – October is famously known for being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’m sure many of you saw in your Facebook feed a picture entitled “Save the Boobies” or the NFL decked out in pink gear supporting this great cause. One thing that flys under the radar for most is that October is also SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. This one was for them.