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!
AVO LE10 * **
This well-aged gem was given to me by a friend. While I haven’t smoked all of the annual limited editions (including the most recent) this one remains my favorite of the ones I have had. I really enjoy the profile of chocolate, coffee, and musty earth with touches of pepper and a very AVO-ish grassiness. The chances are slim you’ll find these for sale anywhere, but if you do, buy them.
Casa Miranda Chapter Two *
As a general rule, sequels never wind up being as good as the original. The Casa Miranda Chapter Two is an exception to that rule. It’s not as good as the Chapter One, it’s easily better. I noted leather, dried fruit sweetness, cedar and caramel with some nice aromatics. This will be a hard act to follow.
Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie UF-13 Dark*
I’ve been a fan of nearly every form of Liga Privada I’ve experienced, and the UF-13 is no exception. It’s hard not to love the sweet earth, chocolate, black tobacco, pepper and charred wood flavor that fills both the room and the palate. What is hard is saving some of them for later.
E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural 52
It had been a while since I had a Cardinal, so I picked up a few recently. I’d like to say the choice had something to do with the World Series, but it’s just a convenient coincidence, and I’m only just barely keeping track of how the games are playing out. No matter who wins, the EP Carrillo Cardinal Natural is still a winner in my book, scoring with rich tobacco, espresso, meaty and woody flavors complimented with spices and little syrupy sweetness.
E.P. Carrillo E-Stunner Siboney (IPCPR Sample) *
I didn’t notice until I started to light it up that this cigar had the telltale nicks and scratches of a trade show sample carried in a shirt pocket. No matter, the cigar burned really well despite the damage. Flavor-wise, it was leathery, with notes of black coffee, dark tobacco, dense semi-bitter charred wood and pepper with a nice touch of cherry-like sweetness. In all, a solid smoke that has improved noticeably with time, but not my favorite EP Carrillo offering.
Nestor Miranda Special Selection Connecticut Coffee Break
The name is a mouthful for a conveniently-sized short smoke. New, exciting cigars pop up all the time, but the Special Selections quietly continue to deliver great flavor. You can expect a pleasant combination of cream, earth, cedar and milder spices from this Connecticut wrapped cigar.
Nicarao Robusto **
I can’t tell you how long ago I bought this cigar, I’m sure it’s been sitting around here for years. Heck, I don’t think they even make this line and vitola any more. I believe it was billed to be a Padron alternative, and while I’m not sure how they are fresh, I can kinda see it in this really aged smoke. Rich cocoa, roasted almonds, wood and pepper flavors abound in this medium-plus bodied stick. It’s a pretty good cigar, but not something I’d rush out try to replace.
Sam Leccia Black 552 (IPCPR Sample) *
After the recent edition of Herfin’ Heads, I made a beeline back to my remaining trade show samples to find a Leccia Black. Ben wasn’t kidding, it fills up the room with a potent, but enjoyable smoky aroma, even before you light it. As you would expect from the fire-cured “Dark-Fire” tobacco there is a smokiness to the profile, but it doesn’t dominate the stick, at least not until the very end. Instead it plays nicely with the chocolate, earthy herbal sweetness, wood and meaty flavors. Definitely a cigar worth seeking out.
Tatuaje The Mummy **
I’ve been putting off acknowledging the coming holidays as long as I can, but I can see them creeping up on us. It adds a little extra terror to Halloween, forget about ghosts and goblins, Christmas trees are terrifying in October. The year isn’t over yet, but they remind us that the end is nigh. It’s like getting a get well card before you’re even sick. By comparison, this Tatuaje The Mummy is much more welcoming. Earth, chocolate, nuts, caramelly spices, cedar, a Nicaraguan tingle and a hint of vanilla. Let’s focus on the seasonally-appropriate spookiness, shall we? Avoid the trees, burn a Mummy.
* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them is suspect. My opinions (and this bottle of rye) are my own, your response to them is your own. I call dibs on that last slice of pizza.
** 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. And he’s ugly when he cries.