It’s time again for another issue of Brian’s The Week In Smoke. 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!
7-20-4 Hustler (IPCPR Sample) *
The Hustler certainly is an eye-catching cigar. I’ve seen a number of barber poles in my time, but I don’t think any of them wrapped with quite so many stripes. Its candy cane-like appearance makes it seem suited to lighting up during the holiday season. The festive looking smoke started off syrupy and bready, and quickly developed cream, toast, cocoa, caramel and some nice cedar notes. Nearing the end, the profile made an interesting transition toward a fig-like sweetness with exotic spices. This easy going smoke is more than just looks, it’s a solid cigar. (To learn more about the origins of the Hustler, check
our interview with Kurt Kendall at IPCPR 2012.)
Crossfire Connecticut Torpedo (IPCPR Sample) *
I don’t know much about the Crossfire Connecticut, but I ran into a big fan of it at this year’s trade show, and he insisted I check it out. So I am. It burned well and produced milder flavors like sour cream, bread, hints of cedar and paper and a little earth toward the end. Overall, a light and pleasant smoke.
Curivari Buenaventura BV 500 Robusto (IPCPR Sample) *
This Buenaventura was a great looking lightly box pressed cigar, with a toothy reddish-brown wrapper that had a pronounced aromatic honey scent. The flavors were an impressive change-of-pace. I noted sourdough bread, cream, cocoa, cedar, minerals and pepper. The lengthy finish often carried with it honey and vanilla. I really enjoyed the Buenaventura and can’t wait to smoke it again. (To find out more about Curivari and the Buenaventura, check out our interview with Andreas Throuvalas at IPCPR 2012.)
Four Kicks Mule Kick
I happened upon this hot commodity in a shop shortly before they sold out. (I think I bought the last two.) It had a somewhat mellow and leathery beginning, but quickly developed into a myriad of flavors including caramel, fruit sweetness, fuller leather, wood, cinnamon, and an element that tasted a little like coconut cream. There were also some very enjoyable aromatic qualities when retrohaled. Easily the best Crowned Heads experience I’ve had thus far, or as Mr. Huber would have it, it’s a special seegar.
La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Liga LR-1
This small-batch from La Gloria features the industry’s first smokeable die-cut band, which looks a little like a shadow of their standard band. (I should point out, this isn’t the first smokeable band in the industry as some claim, it’s first smokeable die-cut one.) The profile seemed to be one of a slow transition from sweet to savory, beginning with candy sweetness, leather, light pepper and cedar and ending with a more chewy leather, fuller pepper and tart cherry notes. Definitely worth trying.
This 4 x 38 short smoke starts off spicy and syrupy, and quickly develops vinegar or even pickle brine quality. As that begins to fade, vanilla, chocolate, wood and pepper emerge. At the end, caramel and pepper linger. The Habanito is a great option when your time is limited but your desire for flavor isn’t.
Torano Master Maduro Robusto
The original Torano Master was one of my top ten cigars a few years ago, so my expectations for its maduro brother were pretty high. The stick was very darkly mottled, with colors ranging from deep reddish brown to black. Once lit, I was greeted with rich, creamy, chewy chocolate and caramel, pepper, cedar and leather. It turned out to be a very smokey cigar, it might even give a Liga Privada a run for it’s money in that regard. In all, a fine cigar. I wasn’t disappointed.
* 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. No amount of comment trolling will change that.
** 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.