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!
90 Miles by Flor De Gonzalez Robusto*
Without really meaning to, I entered and won a boutique cigar sampler on twitter from Flor De Gonzalez which included this 90 Miles. I remember it being a good smoke, and my memory served me well. The profile was a nice combination of roasted nuts, cedar, pepper, caramel and a frosting-like sweetness with some spice. If you haven’t had one yet, I recommend trying it.
You’ve seen it all over social media, and you’ve seen it in Jerry’s recent top 10 list, I think it’s time you see the Fratello in one of my Week in Smokes. As luck would have it, the brand owner Omar de Frias blazed a trail through my town a week or two ago leaving boxes of cigars in his wake, and I picked up a few sticks to try out. I can see the attraction, the cigars I’ve smoked had a very enjoyable profile of earth, wood, pepper and caramel with touches of coffee and cocoa. I can see myself smoking more of these reasonably priced cigars in the future.
L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER13
This limited edition was available only to retailers who attended the 2013 IPCPR trade show, and it’s been on my to-smoke list for months. Like the L’Atelier that was featured on my top 10 list, it’s an excellent cigar. The one I lit up was creamy, earthy and buttery, with varying notes of vanilla, graham, cedar, salt caramel and beautiful aromatic spices in the retrohale. You won’t find any more of these at my local shop, I bought the rest of the box.
Alec Bradley Fine and Rare Toro 2013
The latest edition of the Fine and Rare is a toro, and the very first thing I noticed is that unlike 2012’s torpedo, this one draws well. That’s a good start. And it gets better from there, this cigar is packed with varied and subtle flavors that kept me intrigued. Earth, cedar, pepper, buttery cream, smoke, dark fruit and caramel just to name a few. It carries a high price tag, and can be a little hard to find (though I’ve seen them for sale locally even now), but it’s worth tracking down.
Viaje Full Moon
On January 28th, 2014 an unspeakable disaster hit Atlanta. Water grew rigid, forming crystalline shapes and fell from the heavens by the quarter inch. Residents of the city were gripped by terror as this unfamiliar bright white water softly covered their surroundings like a threadbare sheet. Fearing the end of days, they ran en mass (or drove actually, we do have an obesity problem down here) to grocery stores to buy liquid water and loaves of carbohydrates by the cartful. The local traffic and weather stations warned them to stay inside with the doors locked and the shades drawn, but alas, they went anyway. Ill-equipped to drive on any but the driest and cleanest of pavement, accidents happened. The people were stuck, forced to watch as the unnatural white water slowly buried them, knowing they would all be slightly late for dinner.
To commemorate this local tale of terror and certain low blood sugar, I thought I’d light up a spooky smoke. The Viaje Full Moon seemed to fit the bill. The profile was full of rich, full flavors like wood, black tobacco, pepper and coffee, but there were also sweeter aspects to it, such as syrup, raisins and anise. I don’t know about scary, but there is some power to this Viaje. More importantly, the Full Moon is a really tasty smoke, one I burned down to the nub.
* 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. The coo coo clock is Mike’s, and nobody wants that.
** 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.