It’s time again for another issue of Brian’s The Week In Smoke. But before we get into it, I’d like to thank Matt for the generous cigar bomb, the source of many of the sticks featured this week. (And not just the CLE cigars.)
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!
262 Revere Robusto
This unplanned acquisition turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I picked up cream, leather, cedar and a lot of sweet spice with pepper following later. There was also a pleasant orange spice note through the sinuses. It’s a worthy smoke and the best 262 cigar I’ve had so far. You can see Clint Aaron talk about the cigar at the trade show here.
Casa Fuente Lancero **
This is one of those cigars that I keep passing over because it never seems like the right occasion for it. With a holiday season fast approaching, I had the sense that the time for it is now, in the calm before the storm. Sure I try get that rare smoke in on a holiday, but more often than not my plans are foiled by the festivities. And heck, this lancero been waiting for several years, so if not now, when? It didn’t disappoint in the flavor department. Grass, leather, cedar and a smoky paprika spice. It also had an evolving sweetness that early on was like hard candy, and later was like cake frosting. All this and a flawless white ash and perfect draw. It’s a wonder cigar, it’s just a shame you have to wait to visit Vegas to get them.
CLE Connecticut Robusto *
Colors play a big part in the CLE branding, and if you’re looking for the Connecticut, It’s the one with the pink and silver band. (Or is that “salmon” and silver? I’m never sure about these things.) Color aside, the light wrapper had a great raisin aroma, with an even stronger, sweeter flavor in the pre-light draw. The sweet raisin was also present once lit, along with toast, cedar, nuts and earth. Of all the CLE cigars I’ve smoked so far, this one is my favorite.
EP Carrillo Elencos Don Rubino
What really makes this experience noteworthy is the aroma of the wrapper prior to lighting it. It smelled like bullion cubes and raisins, which seemed somehow appropriate given our proximity to Thanksgiving. Though it’s probably for the best that it didn’t actually taste like a Thanksgiving side dish. It was alternately syrupy and savory, tasting of leather, earth and pepper with raisins lingering in the finish. A solid stick.
Intensa Toro *
I lit up the Intensa early, knowing full well that I was pushing the limits on what qualifies as a good choice for first cigar of the day. The full-bodied profile offered up oodles of spice, wood, pepper, earth, dark chocolate and espresso, but also some sweet vanilla and caramel notes. And just maybe a touch of anise further along. It’s a great potent stick that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for power. But I’ll probably save future experiences with it for the evening hours.
La Palina Family Series Alison *
This rustic looking torpedo had a lot of full flavor to offer. Dark fruit, cedar, smoky, charry wood, dark chocolate and aromatic pepper. And for a while, an interesting cherry sweetness appeared in the retrohale. The hearty tobacco tended to stray as it burned, and I had to relight the cigar a few times. In all, a good cigar that’s stout enough to hold it’s ground against potent food and strong drink.
La Riqueza by Tatuaje Lonsdale *
When was the last time you had a La Riqueza? For me, it’s been at least a year. I’ve smoked through a few boxes over the years, only to forget about them more recently. The involved profile of savory wood, caramel, chocolate, aromatic cedar and spice reminded me how much I enjoy this line.
Macanudo Vintage 2000 No. 1 Tubo *
Though given to me by a friend as a joke, I’ve decided to give it a fair shake. I know there’s one Macanudo out there I like, maybe lightning can strike twice. Very light cream and paper. A touch of caramel at times, and a little mineral. Honestly, not a bad cigar if you’re looking for something very light, you plan to smoke it early (or you only smoke mild cigars), and you don’t mind spending upwards of $15 for it.
Wynwood Honduras Corona *
The Wynwood is another one of number of released cigars affiliated with Christian Eroia, named for the art district of Miami. (You can see Christian talk about it here.) I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was a little surprised at how light the profile was. I picked up cream, bread, cedar and paper, in varying combinations. An OK smoke, but I’d rather have the previously mentioned CLE Connecticut.
* 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.