Yes I’m still alive. Lots of different things occupying my thoughts and time like a technology audit and a possible restructuring at work are just a couple of things that explain my absence the last two months. I won’t bore you with the gory details . I thought my absence was safe until Walt started posting again (that dick head). Luckily we have Charlie who holds the record for being SR’s laziest member…when he’s done working on CLAVIN maybe he can rewrite the Stogie Review App. While I haven’t had a lot of time to post that doesn’t mean I haven’t had time to smoke. I have about two months of cigars to catch up on here in Week in Smoke and thanks to Walt; have been inspired to do videos again.
Alec Bradley Nica Puro – The Nica Puro was one of the many releases by Alec Bradley this year and Mike reviewed back in June did a pretty good job although I would want to see more excitement from him about this cigar! It’s an exciting cigar to smoke! Creamy, spicy with a slight coffee sweetness to it. Nica Puro smokes like a charm with a volume of smoke throughout. Solid medium in body with the occasional step into the full category. Hopefully those thieves who broke into the Alec Bradley warehouse won’t disrupt the supply chain.
Davidoff Special R – Many who follow me on Facebook ask what Omi means? Omi refers to my mom but all the grandchildren call her Omi and my dad Opa. The first grandchild (who just started college) started the trend when she just randomly started calling them that. It stuck and now all six grandchildren refer to them as that. As I’ve learned over the years life is too short. No matter how many years you are blessed with, we all go too soon. What I like most about my parents house is how quiet it is. Nothing beats sitting back, watching all the children play together and enjoying a fine smoke like a Davidoff Special R. Don’t save those great cigars for that next “special occasion” because you never know when your time is up and you can’t take them with you!
JD Howard Reserve – I caught some heat after the wishy washy reception I gave the Headley Grange in previous episodes of Week in Smoke. I think I called it a sophomore jinx. Well the sophomore jinx is over as the JD Howard Reserve comes out of the gate blazing with flavor! Sweet and woodsy with a penetrating dark chocolate and pepper on the finish. Burned beautifully with an aromatic smoke that really can be appreciated when smoking outdoors. The five pack I ordered were all consistent and smoked beautifully. An instant classic!
Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 – When was the last time you had a Vintage 1990? With the onslaught of so many new blends and brands on the humidor shelves it is easily to overlook some of the mainstays. Our friends at Stogie Guys pointed this out recently. Over the past six months this cigar has taken on a special meaning for me. This was my brothers favorite cigar and one of the first cigars he introduced me to when we started smoking cigars together. I won’t lie, he’s been on my mind a lot lately and I’m sure thats part of the reason I’ve been MIA. The Vintage 1990 takes me back to simpler, carefree days that went by too fast.
Fratello – One of my favorites coming out of the show. It is always hard to gauge samples from IPCPR. Too many different variables that sometimes make the cigar you get at the show not the same cigar that ends up on the shelf. Not the case with Fratello. Fratello just isn’t a pretty band. Beautiful blend to match that band too. Balanced with a smooth, mature natural tobacco flavor. Sprinkling of woody and smooth peppery notes, slight undertone of sweetness, creamy texture that engulfs your tastebuds. A solid smoke! Pairs great with coffee. While Omar is enjoying the Fratello ride, if he’s working the next blend, maybe a maduro? If so, would love to see this band in like a matte black finish and white lettering.
CAO Flathead V554 – I had my doubts after the show about the CAO Flathead. The sample I had at the show was a bit dull but like I said above, its not really fair to judge a cigar by a show sample. Fast forward a few months and the CAO Flathead is a nice little treat! Chalky like chocolate flavors, slight hint of pepperiness. Go with a v-cut or a punch unless you are handy with a pair of cigar scissors. The traditional straight cut on the box pressed seemed to always take too much off the shoulder. Our own Brian Hewitt did a pretty decent job reviewing it back in August.
Daniel Marshall (DM2) Golden Torpedo – YOLO! You Only Live Once as they say…some would say the DM2 Golden Torpedo is gimmicky. All flash, no substance. I would disagree. I found the DM2 Golden Torpedo to be enjoyable and definitely was a great conversation piece as we watched the gold ash away. Creamy at the core with a little bit of strength behind. Lots of relights but that was probably from watching it burn than smoking it. Definitely cool to say I smoked it but with its hefty price tag; its definitely out of my range until I win the Power Ball.
Bellaterra Black and Tan – If I was planning ahead I would’ve paired this with an actual black and tan. Jameson would have to do. Creamy, buttery with a smooth sweet woodsy note on the finish. Picked up in body towards the end. Impeccable construction. Flavors really shine and come thru on the retro. One of those cigars that you’d reach for in the early evening before dinner. Light smoke with a flowery aroma.
Reinado – Davidoff and Reinado…that seems to be where I am these days. I’m always reaching for one or the other. Maybe an odd pairing. Dominican vs Nicaraguan. Legendary brand vs. New Kid on The Block. Opposites attract? Consistency is key my friends. Consistency in taste and flavor profile. Consistency in construction. I can pick either of these up and know that I will have the same grand experience that I had the previous time. Our friend Antonio still has some way to go before he reaches the same legendary status as Davidoff but the makings are there with the consistent and dynamic experience. Keep it up Antonio!