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!
Guayacan Maduro Toro *
The Guayacan Maduro is nearly a full in body as it is dark in color. (It is impossibly dark. Like photo-lab-in-a-cave dark.) Leading off the flavor profile is an herbal woodiness, supported by semi sweet chocolate, espresso, earth and pepper. I’ve let this sample rest a while, and like many bold cigars, it seems to have improved noticeably with time. There’s a richness and melding of flavors that it didn’t have the last time I smoked it. I liked before, but I really enjoyed it this time around.
Man O’War Ruination **
Before there was the San Lotano, A.J. Fernandez made a cigar named Man O’War Ruination. Jerry helped popularize this cigar back in 2009 with his glowing review. I was really happy to find what I believe to be sticks from one of the original releases, before the bands changed. (When it was first released, it had the same band as the original Man O’War.) And man are these cigars good right now, the flavors are rich and melded together wonderfully. I noted cream, vanilla, wood, cinnamon, rich tobacco, a good amount of raisin sweetness and even a touch of sour cream. I didn’t even mind the cracking wrapper. I only have one left, and I’m going to save it for a special occasion.
Nestor Miranda Special Selection Buckhead Cigar Edition
This local retailer exclusive is one of the few cigars I’ve smoked for this edition of The Week In Smoke that hasn’t been sitting in my humidor for an extended period of time. I lit this one up right off the shelf at the source, but I forgot to get a picture of it before it turned to ash. Despite some wrapper cracking, it was a good smoke, boasting of flavors like pepper, caramel, earth and cedar. If you’re a fan of the original Special Selection, this amped up blend is definitely worth trying.
Pinolero Corona **
While we’re on the subject of AJ Fernandez, let’s talk about the Pinolero. As with the Man O’War Ruination, this one is pretty well aged, and may very well be a stick from the original release. I wasn’t a fan of these when they first came out, but this time around it was a much more enjoyable experience. I’m sure the extended aging didn’t hurt. It’s still a potent smoke too, with plenty of full-bodied black tobacco, pepper, spices and a little sweetness to round out the profile.
RyJ by Romeo y Julieta Toro *
Romeo y Julieta isn’t a brand of cigars I smoke very often. The ones I’ve had aren’t bad, but they just aren’t that exciting. But this new all Nicaraguan leaf RyJ has peaked my interest. I do love me some Nicaraguan tobacco, and do doubt Altadis has access to plenty of the quality leaf. The sample I smoked had a light, but veiny wrapper, with an odd imperfection near the cap that looked to be a little extra bit of tobacco from the cap. Once lit, it produced a nice combination of cherry-sweet cedar, cream, nuts, tobacco and touch of aromatic spice. The RyJ just became my favorite Romeo y Julieta.
Tatuaje The Wolfman **
As my seasonally inappropriate celebration of the 56 days of Halloween continues, I decided to light up on of my few remaining The Wolfman from a few years ago. It was a large and pretty rustic looking smoke with dark splotches and marks on the wrapper. The cigar got off to a very woody and peppery start, but as it burned past the exposed fillers, the profile took on flavors of roasted nuts, earth, wood and spice. Further in, sweetness and a creaminess appeared and I noted the cigar had a long lingering finish of roasted nuts and black tobacco. There’s a lot of flavor here, and my patience has been rewarded.
* 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. Also, don’t touch my bacon maple bar.
** 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.