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 cigar 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!
Avalon Torque Series Challenger * **
Without really planning it, the theme of this Week In Smoke became well-aged samples. I forget how many years old this cigar is, but some quick googling lead me to believe it’s probably around four. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, and I hadn’t planned on including it in a Week In Smoke, but the unusually oily wrapper and wonderful room aroma changed my mind. Flavor-wise it was a really enjoyable combination of leather, cedar and bittersweet chocolate bound together with a lot of syrupy sweetness. I’d be happy smoke it again, but it doesn’t look like Avalon cigars are still being made.
El Rey De Los Habanos Corona * **
This very old Pepin-made cigar was given to me by a friend, who said it was probably seven years old, plus or minus a year. However old it was, it aged magnificently. It was more like smoking a dessert than a cigar. I noted creamy roasted nuts, sweet spices, caramel, graham and vanilla as I smoked it. Excellent, and recommended, if you can find them.
EP Carrillo La Historia El Senador
I had other plans the night I spotted the new La Historia at my local shop, but I shelved those plans, even though it breaks from this week’s unofficial theme of well-aged cigars. From past experience I know that EP Carrillo cigars improve noticeably after they’ve had a month or two to sit, but this one is smoking well right now. Good omen. The one I lit up offered oak, earth, chocolate and espresso with touches of cedar and caramel. It’s good now, but I think they’ll be even better with a little time.
Espinosa La Zona Natural Habano Robusto **
I was looking through some of my old smoking notes, and I realized that this La Zona didn’t make it onto a previous Week In Smoke. We can’t have that, especially considering since I rather enjoyed it. I’m sure its lengthy rest had something to do with the great a smoke it was when I lit it up. I noted a considerable amount of fruit like sweetness and impressive aromatic qualities early on, followed by more creamy and cedar like flavors as it progressed. I’m going to make a point to buy another when I see them again.
J. Fuego Connoisseur Original * **
I’m still a big fan of Jesus Fuego’s Originals concept, but the Connoisseur blend is one I’ve still not seen in the wild. This one came out of well-aged selection of miscellaneous samples and is probably several years old at this point. It burned well, and the flavor was in line with what you expect from a J. Fuego blend- Herbal, earthy and spicy with sweet notes throughout. A good choice when time is tight, but the Origen or Americana Originals would be an even better choice.
Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Grand Chasseur TAA 2013
This beefy Tatuaje TAA Exclusive is another cigar I lit up a few weeks ago that fell through the Week In Smoke cracks. The 6 3/8 x 54 smoke has a lot of rich flavor to offer, such as earth, dark chocolate, caramel, roasted nuts, pepper and even hints of vanilla. The TAA 2013 blend is a fine smoke, perhaps not quite as fine as the 2012, but definitely worth the price of admission and considerably easier to find.
* 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 or instagram. If you’d like to see these lists constructed in real time, follow Brian on twitter or instagram. If you don’t, you’ll make the Fail Whale cry. And he’s ugly when he cries.