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!
601 Black Rabito **
I’ve never regretted hunting down a box of the under-appreciated 601 Blacks after they were discontinued. At this point they’re around four years old, and they just keep getting better. This one coated the palate with earth, cream, sour dough bread, cinnamon and caramel and had occasional pronounced notes of vanilla. They’re long gone now, but even cigars this long out of circulation have been known to pop up unexpectedly. If you come across a stash of them somewhere, I recommend that you buy them. And if you happen to have one in your humidor that you’ve forgotten about, now would be a good time to set it free.
Caldwell Eastern Standard Euro Express
My Tour de Caldwell continues with the Eastern Standard. It got off to an impressive start with flavors like spicy peanut butter and honey. As it progressed cream, cedar, mild acidity and a touch of peppery tobacco emerged. Well done and recommended.
Crux Passport Lancero *
It’s been a great week for cigars. The cooler weather is part of it, but sticks like this 7 x 40 Crux Passport is the real reason for that. I’ve enjoyed these samples more each time I’ve smoked them, with this one being my favorite of the bunch. And that’s in spite of a minor tunneling issue early in the smoke. It was creamy and bready with very distinct, lingering notes of coffee, cedar, graham cracker and vanilla. I wish they were for sale somewhere in my state.
Cubanacan Maduro Lonsdale *
Like Jerry said in a Week In Smoke earlier this year Cubanacan isn’t a cigar we’ve spent much time covering on Stogie Review. I was aware of the name, but that was about it until Lawrence and Nate filled me in on the company at the Chattanooga Tweetup. It sounded like a solid operation. But more importantly, now that I’m getting around to lighting one up, I like what I taste. The cigar was creamy to start, with rich coffee and chocolate flavors and a sweet finish. The sweeter notes in the profile continued as it burned, coming off like hard candy midway and more like berry near the end. On the heavier end of the spectrum, I noted wood and earthy espresso as the cigar burned down. The Cubanacan Maduro Lonsdale is a solid smoke, and I’d be happy to smoke it again any time.
Quesada Oktoberfest Kaiser Ludwig 2014
I’ve been meaning to try the Quesada Oktoberfest with the appropriate beer for a while, and when I came across a six pack of Spaten’s Oktoberfest, I knew the time had come. Obviously the labels of the two are nearly identical, but even the color of the wrapper leaf closely matches that of the beer. I like that attention to detail. There were some larger unattractive veins in the rustic wrapper, which could be taken as a cosmetic flaw, but overall it’s a pretty good looking stick. Once lit, it offers rich flavors like cream, caramel, earth and some lingering spices. The beer seems to bring out a sweet wood and nutmeg in the cigar that is less apparent without. I enjoyed this combination. I’ll take a box of these cigars and a case of Spaten Oktoberfest to go with it, please.
Tatuaje Black Tubo **
I keep looking at this tubo, thinking “not yet.” This week the thought changed to “why not yet?” So I lit it up. Unsurprisingly, the smoke greeted me with a lot of spice, followed by caramel, roasted nuts, robust black tobacco, coffee and good amount of savory cedar. This stick didn’t have the best burn, but it did a good job of making up for it with flavor. As handy as tubos can be, I think I’d rather have either the Corona Gorda or the Petit Lancero, but this was a good experience.
* 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 high-octane, barrel-proof bourbon) 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.