Week in Smoke – TGT Edition

Week in Smoke56 Comments on Week in Smoke – TGT Edition

Week in Smoke – TGT Edition

The other week I was hanging out at W.Curtis Draper Bethesda with my pal @HumidorNotes and I made a blanket statement along the lines of ‘all 60+ ring gauge cigars suck’. Those may not have been my exact words but thats an accurate description of my sentiment towards bigger ring gauge cigars. This started an interesting discussion between us. Why do I bash big ring gauge cigars not even trying many of them but every lancero that appears, I at least, give it a shot? I always say, like many of you, that lanceros take a lot of talent to blend and roll. When I find a great one I sing their praise but when I find a not so good one, I say its okay because they are so hard to make. Why don’t I use that same thinking when it comes to bigger ring gauge cigars? It probably takes as much talent to blend and roll both sizes. @HumidorNotes made some good points so you will start to see some bigger ring gauge cigars showing up in episodes of Week in Smoke.

Viaje Stuffed Turkey action

Viaje Stuffed Turkey 2011 (5×60) – A cigar that if you recall, we had a little to do with it’s inspiration. I was hoping the 2012 iteration of the Stuffed Turkey would make it before Thanksgiving but as many of you know, Andre has said to look for it towards Christmas time. Airy and woodsy with no other dominiate flavors. A bit on the dry side as well. Not Andre’s best work nor his worst. The Stuffed Turkey 2011 falls into that ever crowded gray area of okay but not-memorable cigars.

Start an evening with  @tatuajecigars Havana Cazadores

Tatuaje Havana Cazadores – The creme dela creme from Tatuaje. I always jokingly say “its just a brown label” when I see someone smoking a Havana Cazadores size. Its really much more than just that. Lots of great nuances that can easily be missed if you aren’t paying attention. Great balance in flavor and strength with flawless construction. Over time the cost and even availability of the Havana Cazadores size has prevented it from being a staple in my humidor. Its a real treat to find one and even bigger treat when I find one that has some age on it. Beautiful.

Let's give this a shot for lunch.

Headley Grange by The Crowned Heads – One of the most talked about cigars at and since IPCPR is Headley Grange. The samples I had from the show didn’t ‘wow’ me when I smoked them there or after I got back. Even the first few I had once they started arriving on the shelves didn’t win me over. It always started off very well but by the halfway point, the flavors seemed to disappear. So after those early ‘gray area’ (see Stuffed Turkey blurb for definition) experiences I was a bit gun shy to pull the trigger on more. After a new shipment arrived, I was encouraged to ‘try it again’ and now I’m conflicted. Which is the real deal? The Headley Grange I had early on or the handful I’ve had since that have been slowly winning me over? I’ll probably catch some grief for this but while many of my fellow bloggers are quick to include the Headley Grange in their Top 10 discussions, for me, the jury is still out.

A little Four Kicks action this evening.

Four Kicks by The Crowned Heads – One cigar that the jury is not out on is the Four Kicks. Pick any size and you have a winner. My tastes tend to gravitate to the CG or Seleccion No. 5 but like I said, every size is a winner. Flawless construction with a great balance of woodsy and spicy notes that eventually come together to form a beautiful, almost mollasses like sweetness and texture that brings everything together. One of my Top 10 cigars from 2011…could it repeat on my list again?

Some @tatuajecigars La Riqueza action for a conference call in a few.

La Riqueza – Nothing new here. I’ve said it many times, the La Riqueza line by Pete Johnson is the most underrated line in his arsenal of cigars. Beautiful Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper with a balanced flavor profile and body. The richness really pops in the small #5 format. If you haven’t tried a La Riqueza you are definitely missing out.

a little @EPCarrillo Cardinal Maduro action

EP Carrillo Cardinal Maduro – I honestly can’t get enough of the Cardinal Maduro. Just a bombshell of flavor. You can literally smell the espresso and dark chocolate notes bounce off the wrapper. An amazing cigar that hits on all your senses making for a memorable and beautiful cigar experience.

***BOOM*** @espinosacigars

601 La Bomba Atomic (6×60) – ***BOOM*** Wow! I had heard from people about the La Bomba by Erik Espinosa. Recently Erik was kind enough to send me a bunch of cigars to sample and the 601 La Bomba Atomic was one of them. Surely the legendary power I’ve heard about doesn’t hold up and is tamed in the 6×60 format? This was an experience for me. Sneaky strong. Smooth, bold and flavorful. Not for the weak. Small puffs is the key. I took a few bigger puffs and it sent me spiraling into a coughing fit and I just wasn’t right for awhile. Small puffs not only tempers the strength but also brings out some really subtle woodsy and cinnamon notes. I’d pass on any retro haling though.

Lets give this @TorcidoCigars a try

Torcido – When we met up with Terence Reilly of SAG Imports at IPCPR he mentioned and showed us Torcido cigars. He was even kind enough to give us samples. I had actually forgot about them until recently when I found the samples Terence gave us and gave the robusto size a shot. Very well made with some nice earthy tones with a slight dry cocoa powder on the finish. Impressive, well rounded first experience for me.

Thanks @justinryan4 for the @jonathandrew1 Undercrown Corona Viva

Undercrown Corona Viva by Drew Estate – If you were to go back and look at all the episodes I’ve done this year of Week in Smoke as well as my numerous Humidor Notes, the Undercrown would be one of the Top Three cigars that I’ve smoked the most of in 2012. I love this cigar. Everything about it. I love the bbq-esque aroma that billows out. I love the rich, dark, earthy, gritty, syrupy taste and texture that builds layer after layer on your palate. The Undercrown has yet to disappoint me and I’ve found the combination of a EP Carrillo Cardinal Maduro followed up by an Undercrown makes for a beautiful and glorious pairing for an evening.


56 thoughts on “Week in Smoke – TGT Edition

  1. Why oh why doesn’t La Riqueza get more love?!? Other than from you and I…..I think it is one of the most balanced, flavorful cigars on the market. The changes it goes through are sublime, particularly in the large corona size.

    I love the Four Kicks but have trouble accepting a cigar made to reflect/honor a drum solo. That kind of artsy-fartsy gobbledy-gook gets on my nerves…

    P.S. – Did you know that the La Riqueza is Janny Garcia’s go to cigar? I think it was Pete’s at one time as well. Perfectly useless information but fun to know. 😉

      1. Oh, well I never read your reviews…Just kidding! To be fair, Jerry has been professing his love of the La Riqueza for years now so I just gave him more kudos. Glad you like them too!

  2. What’s up with the Headley Grange hating and your obvious attempt to smooth things over by glorifying the Four Kicks. Get a life dude.

  3. I find it hard to believe that any cigar manufacturers give you guys the time of day. If you don’t like a cigar then don’t smoke it or blog about it. What gives bloggers the right to tear down a cigar? If any of you were experts or knew anything about cigars you wouldn’t be a blogger but an authority and be writing for Cigar Aficionado. I’m done with these silly blogs who don’t know a good cigar from horse shit.

    1. Frank – what would be the point of only posting positive reviews? No one claims to be an expert, but they do claim to have opinions. To be honest, I think that bloggers rate most cigars too high. I would rather see more balance in the reviews.

      Having differing opinions is ok. No need to be upset by it.

      P.S. – if you smoke them, you have the right to blog about them. I just hope everyone does is in a professional and courteous manner like the guys on this site.

  4. Everyone who knows anything knows you smoke a cigar once and make a decision. Oh and darker means stronger.

    Good reviews Jerry, just stop having an opinion

  5. I agree with the La Riqueza line by Pete. I have been smoking the Lonsdale and its a flavor bomb! I do think the price is a little steep though.

  6. Frank………um……………… Authority… Cigar Aficionado????? an Authority in Marketing and Advertising maybe. Crowned Heads Fan boy much?!?!?

  7. So bloggers are just glorified consumers. Gotcha.

    Seriously, you guys have been at this for years and are no more credible than you were when you started. Take a page from Cigar Radio and hang it up already. Just like them, the industry wouldn’t skip a beat. The gig is up, time for you gents to grow up, move out of your parents basement and get a real job. Just like that Cigar Aficionado wanna be magazine Cigar Network you guys are in it for the freebies and the hope that someone throws some pennies your way.

  8. Most of these bloggers have jobs and do this on the side because they have a passion for the industry. Sometimes companies like feedback, crazy concept I know. Word of mouth via social media is a low cost way to spread the word, I can guarantee they’ve bought 10x as many as they’ve gotten for free.

  9. Jerry,
    Keep up the good work, pal. Good selection there.

    You can always count on a troll or two in StogieReview comments section. Pure entertainment. Be back for more 😉

  10. I love how Brian says don’t feed the troll but then proceeds to feed it. LOL. A few thoughts:

    1 – La Bomba is an amazing cigar! Glad you finally smoked one. It is one of my favorites.

    2 – Based on you and Walt talking about the EPC Cardinal and Ben’s review, I picked the natural and maduro up. Fantastic cigars! I’m gonna go with you and agree that the maduro is better but the natural is nice to switch things up.

    3 – While I agree with Frank that the Headley Grange is a great cigar (sorry Jerry)…I think Frank is going about this the wrong way. I criticize the SR guys a lot but I respect their knowledge, insight and the good they bring to us non-glorified consumers.

    4 – He’s got a point about The Cigar Network…even the relaunch of it failed.

  11. Ok what is up with Frank? Jerry are you posting under an alias to drum up comments? This controversy is too silly to be taken seriously. Jerry didn’t even post a negative comment? He did say the jury is out but the cigar was beginning to warm up to his palate. Wow. Is that all one has to do to generate controversy these days?

    Frank, or Jerry, welcome to the forums. You add a little piss and vinegar to the comments. Smoke em if you’ve hot them.

  12. Dave – my gripe is the obvious tactics here. On one hand Jerry gives a less than enthusiastic write up of the Headley Grange and then proceeds to glorify the Four Kicks so not to piss off Jon Huber and stay in their good graces thus the flow of freebies continues.

  13. Fact 1: Jerry IS a trouble maker.
    Fact 2: Mike MUST be cheap. He keeps reviewing $2-3 sticks. Yuck… 😉
    Fact 3: Frank is clearly misguided if he thinks that Cigar Afficionado is an authority AND that bloggers make enough from their site to not have real jobs
    Fact 4: I would start up a cigar review web site for freebies IF I wasn’t so lazy and IF I could get away with smoking so many cigars!
    Fact 5: If Frank doesn’t care for the site, then he DOESN’T NEED TO PERUSE IT!!!!

  14. Ha…again you guys can’t address my issues so you call me a troll and now want to change your comment system. The truth must hurt.

  15. Patrick – what is the one publication that the industry gushes over? Cigar Aficionado is the authority. The industry would care if they went away. At least CA is open and honest with their reviews and BUYS every cigar they review. I think blogs have a credibility issue. How many bloggers also rep one of the million pop up boutique cigar lines but don’t disclose it? Hell you have one blog run by a cigar shop and gives everything they review a 90+ and they just so happen to be having a special on that cigar.

  16. Ok ok ok, last post. I promise

    Frank, in all sincerity, I don’t believe you are being fair. Jerry on several prior occasions indicated his pleasure with the Four Kicks. The Headley Grange came out after the Four Kicks and he doesn’t care for it. Thus his post about each one doesn’t appear to me to be a grab for freebies. I think you are seeing more to the picture than there really is to see since I doubt you believe that if he cares for one stick from a manufacturer that he must then like all sticks from that manufacturer. (Oh, a terrible run-on but it’s a blog after all!)


  17. Frank –

    Thanks for visiting. We appreciate you taking the time to comment. You’ve brought up a lot of stuff that I wanted to address in private but unfortunately you must have mistyped your e-mail address. Regardless, I’ll address some of the things you have brought up.

    First, let me apologize for Brian Hewitt calling you a troll. Do you have that college frat boy friend who never really grows up and can barely dress himself…well, thats Hewitt for us.

    Headley Grange & Four Kicks – This seems to have pissed you off. The great thing about cigars is that we don’t always see eye to eye. The Headley Grange is slowly winning me over after a rough start. As far as your perception that I’m trying to smooth things over with Jon Huber by “glorifying” Four Kicks right after Headley Grange is totally not true. In fact you can go back to my original review of the Four Kicks and see I had some issues with the cigar early on too. Jon Huber and the industry as whole appreciates, above all else, honesty. Whether it is a free cigar or one we pay for…we tell it like it is.

    Some of the other things you brought up like Cigar Aficionado, The Cigar Network or other blogs I can’t speak for. Thats for the industry and our readers to decide. We try to focus on doing what we do best and thats engaging, entertaining and every now and then, educating our visitors.

    If I missed something, please let me know how I can contact you and maybe we can hash any unfinished issues over a cigar on Skype.

  18. How bout them Tat Cazs! Really, there should’ve been a full review on these beauties ages ago!

    Keep up the good work as always fellas.

  19. Yes, I am cheap

    Freebies and pennies? I have gotten more cigars from fans of the site (me specifically cause Jerry is a hater LMAO) than manufacturers. I buy most of my review sticks with my wifes money.

    CA is the king in print, yes. Manufacturers love to see those numbers associated with a cigar so they have something simple to reprint and earn some bragging rights for. I dont agree with putting numbers to cigars mainly because most every cigar out has earned in the 85-95 range. Read that word MOST in there before yelling 😉 Once you give a cigar a 100, that’s it. If a stick comes out that is actually better than that one, you will have to tie it. I just dont like that. I also LOVE the way CA does blind reviews (I do not know about smoking only a little of it or the whole cigar and until I would have first hand experience I cant say anything on that subject). I said something to the guys about it before but till we pay off our Ferrari’s and yacht’s we just dont have the money to do something like that. (sarcasm – figured I would point that out) It always amazes me that people think we are making tons of money and getting tons of free cigars that we should never have to buy another cigar in our lives.

    I never thought I am king of the cigar world (no queen comments Corey :p) and I really hop my opinion helps smokers to determine if something would be up their alley to give a try. Some of the guys and gals living in states like NY or CA pay a fortune for cigars and hopefully the little bit I do can help them not buy something that would not be up their alley.

    As for not reviewing a bad cigar. Even though it may be bad for me, it may be up your alley. That’s why the videos explain more about the cigar and the writeups also. I am speaking for myself as I dont want to step on anyones toes but I think all the guys at SR think the same way.

    My two cents, no refunds.

  20. I’m good with keeping the conversation in public.

    So the self proclaimed Blog Father doesn’t want to talk about blogging or talk about all the free cigars from RTDA or free ‘blogger’ only trips? I thought you guys had an opinion on everything?

    Your response was a nice way to diffuse the situation and appeases your fans but didnt really address any of the issues other than saying “take my word for it” and once you change the comment system you will just prove my points.

    1. Frank – You know, I try to kill people with kindness and be all diplomatic but I’m not sure what your deal is, who you are or who pissed in your cheerios but its time to go fuck yourself.

  21. guys like frank just wish somebody cared about their opinions. jerry gave an honest opinion. if he liked or hated every cigar frank would gripe about that too. thats what happens when you do honest reviews, some you like some you dont, even by the same maker. CA reviews are a farce just about every stick gets around a 90 rating, give or take. all they want to do is sell advertising. SR guys always say that they are giving their opinion, not fact. SR is a great source for info pre purchase despite what guys like frank say.

  22. Jerry – You are making this too easy. Name calling, vulgar language, insults are your answers to my simple and legitimate questions. How legitimate can your reviews be when Ben Lee is a rep for Emilio and Charlie Greenbacks applauds everything by Emilio? Conflict much? Explain that away or am I just supposed to take your word that no shenanigans are going on?

  23. maybe since frank is so nuetral he should start a magazine or blog so we can get truly unbiased expert opinions. of course that would be work easier to just criticize others.

  24. Let’s get Frank on Stogie411 to whistle blow on whatever he wants. He said he wants the conversation public. Be a huge crowd…..or he could take Jerry’s advice and go fuck himself.

  25. I think Frank will have to take Jerry’s advice. When your a conspiracy theorist and the whole world is full of evil money grubbing bloggers your only option is occupy a park and proceed to f oneself. Perhaps he will blog about the experience while smoking an unbanded cigar purchased from the neighbor occupier tent so it’s free of evil corporate interests.

  26. Frank,
    I have frequented this site for 3plus yrs and it is the reason I am an avid cigar smoker. “Frankly” it is really sad you take a shot at guys donating their time to review cigars free of charge to the reader. These guys always say to try the cigars for yourself. They giveaway stuff all the time as well. If they were in it for themselves, why do that. I won a bomb from b. Hewitt that had 7-8 different cigars, asked for his address, so I could return the favor and he refused.

    I have manufacturers that I probably want to like their cigars and they don’t give me anything. What’s wrong with these guys liking a manufacturer? And why wouldn’t Jerry want to like Jon Hubert’s stuff? He is probably the most blogger friendly, customer friendly, down to earth guy.

    Your point has been heard. Now go blast someone else doing something they have a passion for.

  27. Frank, life is short, here is some advice on making sure you live yours to the fullest:

    You don’t go on a site enjoyed by thousands and then insult/accuse the bloggers/owners of that site for all viewers to see and expect sympathy, respect or an engaged audience. Logic should tell you that your approach is akin to a college Freshman discussing the first chapter of the first philosophy book he’s ever read to a room full of people at a party who just want to drink, shoot the shit and enjoy themselves.

    I don’t come to this site for the comment discussions, I come here to read and listen to cigar reviews. Don’t always agree with them, but I come here voluntarily.

    Maybe you’re associated to a cigar that got killed here, and carry a grudge. Maybe you’re just so full of yourself that you think your theories matter to others…either way, it’s time to give up…the people here just want to keep smoking cigars and would rather use your hot air to light their cigars.

    Now Jerry please close the comment section for this post and let’s move on from Frank and perhaps (one can only hope) frank can move on from the rest of us.

    1. Oh and Frank and anyone else…please don’t take my “move on” comment to be anything other than leave the SR site. This is a cigar site after all so don’t want anyone taking my comment too seriously.

  28. Jerry,

    Thanks for the Tat caz mention. I bought my first ones for a ridiculous price in a Famous Smoke closeout and have loved them ever since. Matter of fact, I need to smoke the last one from that batch! Just a great size and smoke.

  29. Frank, you said “I’m done with these silly blogs who don’t know a good cigar from horse …”

    Please, you said you were done. So be done. Grab the new copy of CA magazine and a nice cigar, and leave us to enjoy our cigars in ignorance or whatever you think it is. Everyone wins.

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