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!
Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva Maduro Toro
I’m a fan of a lot of cigars produced by Casa Fernandez, and I’ve been looking forward to lighting this one up. And I hate to say it, but I was a little disappointed. It had a potent profile of pepper, chocolate, char and wood, which was enjoyable, but the burn was a mess. I couldn’t keep it lit, and when it was lit, it was pretty erratic. I gave up on it a lot earlier than I would have liked to. It could have been the damp evening disagreed with the cigar’s heavy tobacco. If I have a chance to try another, I’ll check the weather first.
Davidoff Nicaragua Toro
I’m sure this entry in the Brian’s Week In Smoke won’t surprise regular readers, I believe it’s the third issue this cigar has appeared in already. At some point I plan to actually give the Nicaragua a full review, but for now be assured that the creamy profile of coffee, nuts, chocolate, mild spices and honey is something I’ll keep coming back for.
La Aurora 107 Maduro Corona
Ever stick your head into one of those bins of really darkly roasted coffee beans at a grocery store or a coffee roaster and take a deep breath? The wrapper on this cigar smelled a lot like that, and it was beautiful. Taking away from that beauty a little was the large hole in wrapper just south of the second band. But, it appeared to have zero effect on the actual smoking experience so it was no big deal. Once lit the cigar had pepper, smoky espresso beans, cedar and rich black tobacco flavors to offer. I paired it with a bottle of New Holland Dragon’s Milk (a favorite beer of mine) and it was a very memorable experience.
La Palina El Dario KB (aka “Kill Bill”)
The Kill Bill and the Kill Bill II were popular smokes at a recent shop event I attended, so I decided to buy one of each. The draw on this KB was pretty tight (but smokeable), and as a result the flavor and body seemed a little lighter and sweeter than I recall from the last El Dario I smoked. But I actually didn’t mind it. The profile of cream, butterscotch, graham, and cedar over a faint meatiness seemed pretty well suited for a quiet pre-holiday afternoon.
Mayimbe by AJ Fernandez Robusto *
I know this is my first time smoking the Mayimbe, because I would definitely remember a cigar like this. Rich, complex flavor, perfect burn and perfect draw. I am frequently asked what was the last cigar you had that wowed you? The answer is now Mayimbe. Flavor-wise, I noted an involved profile including leather, chocolate, pepper, wood, graham, creamy vanilla and spices with a touch of raisin sweetness. I love this cigar and I will buy more.
The Big Red Machine Churchill (Pre-Release) *
This light-colored, unbanded churchill is a pre-release of a limited edition being made by Ortega Cigars for Tobacco World here in the Atlanta area. It’s all Nicaraguan except for the Ecuadorian wrapper. The word is 400 boxes will be made, split between four sizes, with one size to be released each quarter of 2014. (Churchill, Belicoso, Toro and then Robusto.)
This pre-release showed some promise, offering flavors such as earth, leather (more so early on), wood, spices and light fruit-like sweetness, with some floral notes through the nose.
* 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.