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!
1502 Black Gold Perfecto
I’m impressed with 1502. I’ve really enjoyed each one I’ve had and this cigar was no different. The Black Gold tasted of really rich earth, roasted nuts, coffee and pepper with a sweetness that ranged from vanilla to butterscotch. And of course some of what Dogwatch Dale likes to describe as the “Nicaraguan zing”. If you haven’t tried a 1502, you really should. If you’re not sure which to pick, Jerry favors the Emerald, but really you’ll be well served by any of them.
Crowned Heads Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 LC550
I smoked a couple of these new limited editions in the past week. They’re a definite departure from previous Crowned Heads creations, which makes sense as they’re being made by My Father Cigars instead of E.P. Carrillo. Unsurprisingly, spice is a major component of the flavor profile. It follows the very Pepin pattern of lots of initial spice, followed by a lull and ending once again in ample spice. Aside from varying degrees of spiciness, you can expect oaky flavors, which vary from smoky to syrupy, creaminess, coffee and an savory element that I never quite put my finger on. If you’re a fan of My Father Cigars, I’d recommend trying them, you won’t be disappointed. But you better act quickly on this one. Only 3000 boxes were produced, and Crowned Heads limited editions tend to sell out quickly.
Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 1 *
A friend gave me this cigar out of the blue, saying it was one of the best smokes being produced on that infamous island. I’ve always enjoyed the Double Coronas under the same brand name, and was happy to light this one up. Due to the legalities, hassle and excellence for domestically available tobacco I can’t really compare it to other cigars from that region, but this one was really good. And noticeably lighter in body than popular cigars with similar profiles. I noted wood, cinnamon, butter vanilla and spices.
La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 5
Andrew, the La Palina Director of Sales swung through town recently, and to show my support I picked up this Laguito No. 5 to smoke while we talked shop. As we were talking, the cigar kept interrupting my chain of thought to remind me how good it is. The creamy, buttery and woody profile with sweet notes of vanilla and caramel makes me wish I could smoke it more often.
Nat Sherman Timeless #2
I picked up a box of these when I visited the Nat Sherman Townhouse in 2013 and I’ve just about finished it now. As if on cue, the wife has just started talking about another to the big city. But let’s not get too far off topic. One thing I can say with certainty is if you’ve got a good cup of coffee, you’re making a good decision if you light up a Timeless #2. The profile of oak, black tobacco, coffee, dark chocolate and pepper with a touch of sweetness seems tailor-made to go with a bold after dinner cup.
Rocky Patel Hercules Mongol **
I’m pretty sure I bought this amusingly-themed Rocky Patel while I was in Orlando for the 2012 trade show, making it about two years old at this point. I’ve never had one before, so I can’t speak to how it compares with a new one, but it was a pretty good smoke. I picked up leather, citrus and spices with some sweetness and something I noted as “evergreen tree-like”. It sounds odd and possibly undesirable, but it was actually complementary to the profile as a whole in the small amount that was present.
RoMaCraft Intemperance EC XVIII Brotherly Kindness *
At the end of our tour of Nica Sueño in Esteli, Skip Martin handed each of us a ribbon-bound selection of cigars produced at the factory. I selected this one at random to get started. I found the Ecuadoran Connecticut-wrapped stick to be very creamy and bready with a little spice, some semi-sweet syrup and hints of sour cream. In all a pretty enjoyable Connecticut.
* 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. All your base are belong to us.
** 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.