It’s once 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!
CLE Cuarenta Corona
Inspired by George Brightman’s interview with CLE’s Christian Eiroa, I searched my humidors looking for the CLE’s I knew were hidden somewhere. The first one I found was this Cuarenta Corona. It had an herbal start and as it progressed it produced toasty, leather, wood and lingering dense earthy espresso flavors. If you’re craving espresso, and there’s none handy, try lighting up a Cuarenta.
Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf Maduro Robusto Extra
As much a fan as I have been of Casa Fernandez cigars, I’m surprised it has taken me this long to try the Aganorsa Leaf Maduro. Unsurprisingly, it was full of rich flavors, such as leather, chocolate, cedar and pepper with pretty significant vanilla presence throughout. So delicious and sadly I’m so out of them. I knew buying a single was a mistake.
Davidoff Robusto 100
This unbanded cigar came from the Davidoff Robusto Collection box I bought at an event, and I believe it’s my first. The flavor profile was an intriguing mixture of sweet cream, and savory wood with that Davidoff touch of mustiness. Later on I picked up a little sweet cinnamon. Overall, it’s an easy going smoke that’s very enjoyable.
Drew Estate Java Mint Toro (IPCPR Sample) * **
I’ll try just about anything once, and I knew I had a Java Mint trade show sample floating around here somewhere. Today I found it. What’s interesting about this experience is this cigar, like many I dig out of my humidors is well aged, which when it comes to infused cigars often means they become a little more subtle. Of course, there was no mistaking the mint lingering mint freshness, the chocolate and coffee flavors didn’t feel like they were applied with a paint roller. Additionally, the superficial sugary sweetness I generally associate with flavored cigars seemed toned down a bit, allowing some pleasant natural tobacco flavor through. As this is my first Java Mint experience, and it’s well aged, I can’t say this is typical, and I assume a fresh one is considerably less subtle. And despite my general aversion to all enhanced tobacco, this was a pleasant experience.
Drew Estate UF-13
You know that rich, sweet smell you notice when you walk into an older cigar shop. Something like a combination of aging cigars and a touch of pipe tobacco? The wrapper of this UF-13 has that aroma in spades, and I spent a few minutes enjoying that before I even lit it up. (Somebody needs to capture that scent in an candle or aerosol can, I want everywhere to smell like that.) Once lit, the cigar was rich, earthy, leathery and peppery with coffee notes a touch of cedar and cinnamon. Also a little stronger than the more readily accessible No. 9 and T52.
If something about this cigar looks familiar to you, you’re probably smoked the Esencia, another cigar made by BOTL LLC. The one I lit up was an oily cigar with medium-sized veins, and it burned like a champ. The flavor profile was really impressive, and notes longer than normal. But to briefly sum it up, I noted roasted nuts, caramel, wood, pepper, a variety of spices and touches of vanilla and graham. This is a wow cigar, and I must have more.
Stradivarius Lonsdale **
Anybody remember the Stradivarius? It was introduced at 2007 IPCPR trade show with an MSRP north of $30 a stick and created some buzz at the time. It’s been a few years since I smoked one, and this experience wasn’t anything like my 2008 review of the Robusto vitola. It was a pleasant creamy, cedary, toasty and earthy smoke that’s not going to offend, but it’s not going to win many hearts either.
Tatuaje Regio 10th Anniversary Commemorative
The Regio 10th was just beautiful all around from the pungent sweet honey like wrapper aroma to the dense woody earth, lingering coffee, caramel and hints of anise the smoke offered.
* 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 dilapidated trailer in the swamp belongs to Ben’s momma.
** 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.