It’s time again for another issue of Brian’s The Week In Smoke. This time, a special edition is in order to cover the cigars I smoke down in Nicaragua on Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari. But instead of revisiting cigars like the T52 (which I smoked every day I was there), I’m focusing mostly on the rarer, more interesting smokes of the trip. Oh yes, I should mention that these cigars were included as part of the trip, so be advised that I didn’t pay for any of them.
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!
CyB Lancero *
This lancero was quite possibly the best smoke of the trip to Esteli, and that’s saying something. Due to start appearing soon in TAA shops, this cigar is such a winner. The balanced profile of creamy, woody and earthy flavors with a lingering smokiness easily eclipses the Lonsdale Club, formerly my favorite CyB vitola. It’s worth noting that both the draw and burn were perfect, which isn’t a given with the challenging shape. I’d recommend keeping an eye out for this one in the coming days.
Drew Estate DFC-015 (Kentucky Fire Cured experimental blend) *
This is a fun one, but don’t take this short write up too seriously- the Kentucky Fire Cured blend isn’t final, it just happened to be what we tried down in Nicaragua. If the final KFC is anything like this one, I hope it comes in cellophane like this one did. The wrapper aroma is huge, smokey and understandably a little like compost and barbecue sauce. If stored naked, it’s likely this smoke would have a big impact on any other cigars nearby. In terms of flavor, this blend exhibits the earthiness you would expect from a Liga Privada, and of course an intense smoke. There’s also a touch of chocolate, sweetness, and a musty pine-like funkiness that lingers in the finish. (Though that last element appears to fade somewhat with time.) This is my second experience with the DFC-015 blend, and the weeks appear to have improved it. I like it considerably more now than I did the first time around. (Wasn’t a fan of it the first experience.) I’m very interested in trying the finished product.
Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Feral Pig *
It’s been quite a while since I lit up a Feral Pig, and I remembered thinking it was a good smoke. But this cigar with the cock-eyed curly-cue cap was far more rich and delicious than I expected. In fact, it was one of my favorite cigars of the trip. Chocolaty, nougaty and a little earthy with sweet combination of caramel and pepper. They were in understandably short supply and disappeared quickly, otherwise I would have chain smoked them.
Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie L40 *
The L40 is another great stick we were treated to down in Nicaragua, and I noticed that they look darker now than the L40 I reviewed back in early 2012. This time around it was really peppery. Sure there were meaty earth, espresso and chocolate flavors, but this skinny smoke was really all about the pepper.
Drew Estate Undercrown Corona Viva *
OK, the Undercrown isn’t a rarity, but I smoke it a lot less often than my perennial favorite, the T52. It’s a worthy cigar of course, with chocolate, earth, caramel, smoke and meaty flavors that’ll keep you satisfied. And the Corona Viva is a great size.
Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones Robusto *
Rosalones isn’t actually a rare cigar if you live in Spain, where it was released in 2011. And it happened to be one of the first smokes Ben and I lit up when we arrived in Esteli. It’s no joke. It boasted of a lot of dense cocoa, smoked wood and earth flavors. Lighting one up again at home a few weeks later, I noted a syrupy sweetness to it that I missed the first time around. There are no plans that I know of to bring Rosalones to the United States, and that isn’t for Ben’s lack of trying. A shame, I think it’d be popular, it’s a solid full-bodied cigar. (Note: This isn’t the first cigar to bear the Rosalones name, apparently Camacho owned the trademark back in the 70’s, and there are pictures of pre-2011 Rosalones of unknown origin floating around the internet.)
* 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 folder full of western-themed glamor shots belongs to Greenbacker.
** 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.