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!
Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan
The time for green beer is nigh, and for the past few years that also means brief spike in candela-wrapped cigar sales. I’m not a big fan of candela leaf, but Alec Bradley does a good job with it. This year’s edition seems similar to what I remember of last year’s- Syrupy, grassy and cedary with spices and notes of white pepper. If you’re looking for a festively colored cigar to go with your green Guinness, the Filthy Hooligan is a good choice.
Davidoff Puro d’Oro Gordito *
Though a little stouter than I’d like it to be, the Puro d’Oro Gordito is a good choice when time is short, especially if you’re a fan of the Puro d’Oro line. I noted a spicy grassy acidity to the profile early on followed by the characteristic Davidoff mustiness, cedar and sweeter notes along the lines of green apple or pear.
J. Fuego Connoisseur Grand Robusto
I’ve been a long time fan of many of Jesus Fuego’s cigars, but aside from the Origen Originals, it’s been a bit of a dry spell for me lately. That changed when my local shop surprised me by picking up several J. Fuego lines, including the Connoisseur. This experience was similar to my last one, in that there was a lot of flavor and it really evolved as I smoked it. The cigar ran the gambit from spicy, herbal and cedary at the beginning to creamier, earthy and sweeter, and ending up woody and smoky with ample spice, black tobacco, coffee notes. I’m plan to spend some quality time getting better acquainted with J. Fuego Connoisseur in the coming days.
J. Fuego Origen Originals
The entries in my Week In Smoke really don’t do justice to the frequency with which I smoke these rough little hand-rolls. It’s probably because they’re a go to when time is short but I’m looking for something short with great flavor. That generally means smoking them in situations are not conducive to note taking. But on a recent ride through traffic I made a point of appreciating the wood, earth, spice and sweet notes of this convenient little smoke.
Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 * **
The 2012 edition is a considerably different cigar than Grand Reserve I reviewed back in 2011. The flavors I picked up were heavier, darker and fuller than the previous incarnation, but also a little more bitter. I noted roasted nuts, dark chocolate, espresso, pronounced cinnamon and cedar with touches of honey and aromatics particularly in the retrohale. Overall, I enjoyed the cigar, but there were moments where I wasn’t sure about it.
Partagas Black **
When you write cigar reviews, you spend a lot of time looking for the latest and greatest stick to light up. But every now and then it’s nice to get back to some old friends. In this case, the Partagas Black. I bought a fiver of these guys years ago, and then forgot about them until I found them in a humidor recently. The cigars aren’t the only thing I forgot- I also forgot to get a picture. So I’m stealing one of Jerry’s artsy ones. (I think the picture’s named “Man’s Struggle Against Adversity and Anonymity in the Early 21st Century”.) But getting back to the cigar, it was full of the pepper, meaty and cedar notes I’ve come to expect, only with a more subtle sweetness than I remembered. Mostly likely a product of its time at rest. When you’re out there smoking the new stuff, don’t forget about the old stand-bys. Especially if those old stand-bys are actually old.
* 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 Partagas Black picture used to belong to Jerry until I stole it.
** 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.