It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me when it comes to cigars, some sort of unpleasant head cold had me out of commission for the better part of a week, and it took a few more days for my sense of smell and taste to return to normal. But the good news is I have a bit of a backlog on smoking notes from before my sinuses exploded. That means…
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 Reserva Selecta No. 4 *
I don’t think I’ve had a cigar under Flor De Gonzalez’s “90 Miles” moniker that disappointed. That goes for this Reserva Select No. 4 too. Flavor-wise, it had plenty of sweetness, a touch of aromatics and orange peel, wood, leather and pepper. With an MSRP of around $7, this smoke really delivers value for the money.
Cigar Federation The Collective *
This Ezra Zion-blended cigar is everything I’ve come to expect from Ezra Zion in terms of the bolder, darker flavors. But it also had some more exotic elements to it as well. On top of the pepper, rich espresso, oak and dark chocolate, I picked up something along the lines of licorice and allspice. It’s a pretty impressive cigar that should appeal to fans of full-bodied cigars, without boring people who need complexity.
My Father La Antiguadad Toro
I don’t think it’ll surprise anyone familiar with Pepin-made cigars when I say this had a very spicy beginning. It’d be surprising if it didn’t. But it was also sweet initially too. I noted leather, sweet pepper and chocolate appearing as it burned, but I think the flavors were negatively affected by the numerous relights this cigar required, so I didn’t take detailed notes. I was surprised and disappointed at how poorly the cigar burned, in fact. I can’t recommend it based on this experience, but I also won’t condemn it until I have another chance to smoke on in the coming weeks.
Nat Sherman Epoca Admiral *
A local shop owner gave me this new cigar from Nat Sherman, and I was really impressed. I’ve been pressing him to pick them up ever since. I loved the creamy profile of cedar, leather, vanilla, leather and subtle spices like cinnamon and clove. I think Nat Sherman has a winner here, and I want more.
Room 101 Payback Chavala
I’ve noticed the Room 101 Payback seems to be pretty popular on social media, so I tracked one down a few weeks ago. I can see why people are talking about it. It’s budget-friendly, ringing in around $5 a stick, and it delivers pretty solid flavor. I noted pepper, wood, earth, caramel and some lingering coffee. You just can’t go wrong here.
Zino Platinum Crown Series Rocket
I picked this super-premium smoke as part of a special event pack earlier this year, which is the way I usually acquire my Zino Platinums. Over the years the Crown and Scepter Series have grown on me as a midday or early evening indulgence, and I usually keep one or two around in case the mood strikes. I really enjoy the creamy profile of sourdough bread, wood and that touch of Davidoff mustiness with a good cup of coffee and quiet afternoon.
* 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.