It’s once time again for another issue of Brian’s The Week In Smoke. This one’s a little different than the ones you see throughout the year, as it is made up exclusively of new cigars introduced at IPCPR, or cigars I had not tried prior to the trade show. It was hard to know where to begin this time, so I picked cigars at random.
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!
Alec Bradley Mundial PL5 (IPCPR Sample) *
You’ve probably heard of the Alec Bradley Mundial by now, even if you don’t smoke many Alec Bradley cigars. It’s the cigar they sent up into near orbit, making it first cigar sent into space. Or the stratosphere actually, but close enough. (I should point out here that this was not one of the cigars that actually visited the heavens above.) Flavor-wise, it had an interesting start, kind of buttery and leathery, but as it opened up, caramel, cinnamon, cedar and subtle touches of vanilla and graham appeared. It didn’t burn perfectly, and the wrapper cracked up a little, but I’ll chalk that up to this being a trade show sample that spent a lot of time jostling around in a shirt pocket. In all a good cigar.
Cabal Cigars Corona Gorda (IPCPR Sample) *
These guys didn’t actually have a booth at the trade show, I bumped into them at the boutique cigar party Frank Herrera organized. Cabal cigars have been in the works for a year and a half and are made by Henke Kelner Jr. in his Kelner Boutique Factory. Once lit the Corona Gorda was really woody, savory and almost buttery to start. The profile grew more meaty as it progressed, striking me a little like smoking a well-season steak and ended on a woody, spicy note. I really enjoyed this one.
Diamond Crown Black Diamond #4 (IPCPR Sample) *
The Black Diamond was cigar with a very dark, very rustic looking wrapper. But there was nothing rough about the flavor. I noted smooth chocolate, rich, lingering tobacco and sweet, fruity syrup with later additions of wood and light pepper. Overall, a easy-going smoke with Diamond Crown fans in mind.
El Reloj (IPCPR Sample) *
This large cigar is named after the clock in the tower of J.C. Newman’s Regensburg Cigar Factory in Ybor City. The one I lit up had a rough appearance, with a twisted, malformed cap, but didn’t look bad for a cigar that retails for around three dollars a stick. More importantly, it tastes better than most cigars in that price range, bragging of creamy, cedary and leathery flavors with a touch of butterscotch sweetness. The ash was a little flakey, leading to a messy smoking experience, but if you’re looking to keep your costs down, El Reloj is a good call.
Guayacan by Noel Rojas Maduro Robusto (IPCPR Sample) *
It’s been nearly a year since I favorably reviewed the original Guayacan, and I was looking forward to trying out the new maduro version. The sample I lit had fine veins and very uniformly dark oscuro wrapper. In terms of flavor, it was a beast. Dense, herbal earth, espresso, dark chocolate and smoky charred wood. A very enjoyable cigar with a dense, heavy flavor that wants to be smoked in the evening after a good meal.
Miró Robusto (IPCPR Sample) *
Miró is a cigar produced by Kuuts, LLC, a company that already has an established presence in Europe, but only just started doing business in the United States in early 2013. If the Miró is any indication, they should do well. The profile was a tasty combination of a cream, vanilla sweetness, nuts, cinnamon, wood and a touch of a mushroom-ish kind of funk. It’s a tasty smoke that I’d recommend trying.
Nica Rustica (IPCPR Sample) *
Drew Estate’s new Nica Rustica had plenty of positive buzz at the trade show, and the samples went quick. I can see why. The cigar was rich and smoky with a chewy mixture of earth, charred wood, coffee and caramel. Toward the end it picked up tasty woodiness and some pepper notes. I’ll need to smoke more than just this sample to be sure, but this may be even better than the T52.
Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro
Yeah, we missed Oliva at the trade show this time, but the new Melanio Maduro was in shops in plenty of time to be included in this IPCPR-themed edition. I think Oliva fans will be pleased with the the leathery, coffee, earth, chocolate and somewhat smoky profile. It won’t be my last.
* 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 torpedo-shaped head belongs to Jerry.
** 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.