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!
AJ Fernandez Mayimbe Robusto *
I’ve burned through quite a few of these Mayimbes, and I can’t remember if this one was a sample or one I bought. It was probably a sample. Either way, I still love this cigar, a shame it was one of the ever increasing limited editions being produced every year. Or at least that’s what the story was the last I checked, but there doesn’t seem to be much a shortage of these smokes online now, with no mention of limitations even on the A.J. Fernandez website. That’s a good thing, I’m nearly out. The robusto I lit up was syrupy to start, with some nice spices. Cedar, more syrupy sweetness, dried fruit and coffee flavors followed. It seemed a little different than Mayimbes I’ve had in the past, but not in a bad way.
Camacho Ecuador Robusto
With both Ben and Jerry (mmm… ice cream) heaping praises on Camacho for their new Ecuadoran Habano-wrapped smoke, I figured I need to check it out. But before I get into the important part, I have to say I like the new bands. Ordinarily I prefer more traditional bands, but I appreciate the straightforward no B.S. presentation. And bonus, the bands come off cleanly every time I’ve smoked one. Once lit, the cigar had an impressive arrays of flavor to offer. The smoke was dense, mouth-coating, I could almost chew on it. There was plenty of pepper, roasted nuts, sweet syrupy dried fruit notes, cinnamon and wood. I dug it, I want more.
Davidoff Nicaragua Toro
Surprise, I’m smoking one of my favorite cigars of 2013 again. I haven’t been lighting them up as often of late, because there are a lot of new cigars out there to try. But every now and then you gotta go back to your favorites. If you don’t, they might stop making them, and nobody wants that. You probably know how it goes, it was creamy, with a little honey sweetness, coffee, roasted nuts and cinnamon. If you haven’t tried Davidoff’s take on the Nicaraguan cigar, you should.
Don Lino Robusto *
I don’t remember when I last had a Don Lino, but this sample did not seem familiar flavor-wise. I wasn’t impressed by the last one I had, but this experience was very positive. I enjoyed the creamy and bready profile with a healthy dose of spicy raisin sweetness. I heard a rumor that these may have been reblended recently, but as of the time of this writing I haven’t been able to satisfactorily confirm that. Whatever the case, I enjoyed this smoke.
Ezra Zion Tantrum Prensado Pequeno *
The Tantrum is a fun little smoke that checks a lot of boxes: it’s limited edition, it’s box-pressed, it’s full-bodied and it’s full of well-aged tobacco. I’ve had a few samples and I’ve enjoyed them. Once lit it offers a smoky profile of earth, baker’s chocolate, nuts, cedar, and, of course, pepper. The combination of chocolate and pepper, flavors I don’t usually think of combining, were the stars of the show. They’re good little smokes, and well worth trying out.
Indian Tabac Fire Corojo Robusto **
This is an old one. If you’ve never heard of the Indian Tabac Fire, don’t feel bad. I don’t think I’ve seen these since 2008. (Based on an old email I found, I bought this back in August of that year.) The scoop is these cigars were made with “triple fermented” tobacco. I never found out exactly what that meant, but it sounded good to me at the time. It was a pretty decent, straightforward cigar back then, and it’s a slightly better now if you can find them. This one was a little on the dry side when I lit it up, due to neglect on my part, but it still smoked well. I noted sweet spices, cinnamon, earth and wood.
J. Fuego Natural Robusto **
The J. Fuego Natural has been off the market for some time, and for a while, they were a go to smoke. But as my supply has dwindled, I’ve made peace with their discontinuation. They’re solid smokes, but the old Natural just doesn’t hold a candle to the likes of the old Gran Reserva Corojo No. 1 and the new Americana. And I don’t detect a great deal of improvement with time, it’s still the pleasant sweet, earthy cigar with notes of wood, coffee and an orange-like citrus touch.
* 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.