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!
Cohiba Robusto *
A friend gave me a couple of these Cohibas, reportedly purchased by an acquaintance on the forbidden isle. I am always suspicious of Cubans appearing in the US, especially Cohibas, because they are so notoriously counterfeited. (I’d hazard a guess that not one in ten of the ones I’ve seen people smoke are real.) The band was a little worse for wear, but not obviously wrong, and the cigar did have some of the signs of being Cuban, such as the twisted (or “puckered”) veins, greenish spots and not coming in a glass-top box. But the only way to know for sure is to light it up, so I did. It burned poorly, producing an uneven, flaky ash and the draw was a little firm, but the flavor was good. I noted mouth-coating creamy earth and coffee, sweet bread, spices, leather and hints of vanilla. If it is a fake, which seems unlikely, then whatever it is, it’s a good smoke. It’s not a cigar that’s going to replace my domestically-available favorites, but I appreciate the gift.
CroMagnon Anthropology *
I met up with Mike Rosales of RoMaCraft at a hip speak-easy bar when he made the rounds in town, and this Anthropology is one of the cigars I smoked. It was earthy and chocolaty with sweeter notes like caramel and nice touch of acidity to keep things interesting. The CroMagnon line has legions of fans out there, and for good reason. It’s a quality cigar.
Curivari Reserva Limitada Cafe Petite Cafe
My local B&M just picked up Curivari, really improving my access to the delightful Buenaventura. But this week I decided to switch it up and smoke a Curivari I haven’t had before, the diminutive Petite Cafe. Unsurprisingly, it produced a good amount of creamy and roasty coffee flavor, with hints of wood, caramel and cocoa. Further into the cigar, it transitioned into dark chocolate, light pepper, and mushroom flavors. It’s a solid short smoke.
El Primer Mundo La Hermandad
Sean Williams participated in a nearby cigar event not too long ago, and I took advantage of the deals offered to stock up on some El Primer Mundo smokes, including this La Hermandad. While there, I learned that there are plans to replace the its large footband with a more traditionally sized and placed band. But back on track- It’s been a while since I had one, and I forgot how intense the wrapper aroma is. The potent dark fruit and black tobacco was a real eye-opener. The smoke it produced was equally rich and intense. I noted a lot of earth, smoke, charred wood, pepper and raisin sweetness. It wasn’t the most complex cigar, but when you’re enjoying it, sometimes that doesn’t matter. Now I wish I had bought more.
La Flor Dominicana 1994
The 1994 has been on my to do list, and this week I checked it off. I had heard it was a mellower LFD cigar, and now having smoked it that seems like an accurate statement. It has all the trademark signs of a La Flor smoke, the earth, pepper, grass and cocoa but without the intensity of the popular Ligero and Double Ligero lines. It’s a good cigar that makes the LFD flavor more accessible to people who don’t eat peppercorns and Ligero for breakfast.
Tatuaje The JV13 **
It seems like it was summer only a week ago and now Halloween has come and gone. Time flies, no surprise. But what is a surprise is that I bought this year-old Monster Series smoke from a cigar shop only a few days ago, and with no markup. I love buying my cigars pre-aged. So how is a JV13 a year later? Very good. My tasting notes include leather, coffee bean, roasted nuts, cocoa, caramel, spices and sweet flavors akin to anise and vanilla. If you have any of these left, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to light one up now.
* 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.
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