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!
Davidoff Colorado Claro Double R
I actually smoked this Colorado Claro a couple of weeks ago when Henke Kelner passed through the area doing tasting seminars. It was equal part brown-nosing and finding an excuse to light one up. Due to rarity and price, I consider it a special occasion smoke, so they don’t come out all that often. Flavor-wise the cigar was consistent with previous experiences- predominantly creamy, offering caramel, cocoa and cedar- but it did have some burn issues which were a little surprising, and made the experience a little less special than it might have been. No matter, I look forward to the next one.
Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label Toro **
There’s no telling how long I’ve had this Blue Label, but we’re talking years. And it looked beautiful- toothy, rustic and reddish brown. Time may have mellowed the spiciness of the cigar noticeably (there was still a good amount to start), but the it was far from ruined. After the initial spice, roasty and woody flavors, the cigar transitioned into heavy earth, dark chocolate and coffee. As it progressed, it subtle spices slowly returned, highlighted with the occasional sweet toffee or caramel note. The Blue Label was a fine smoke fresh, and it ages pretty nicely. If you spot an old one on the shelf somewhere, don’t pass it by.
J. Fuego Edición de Familia 2012 Belicoso Fino *
Representatives from J. Fuego dropped by my local shop and handed me this cigar before they left. I’ve smoked through the better part of a box of the Robusto Tubos, but this is my first Belicoso Fino. It wasn’t entirely clear to me, but the word seems to be that some of the original cigars have been re-released and more may be again in the future. The flavor seemed consistent with a cigar more aged than one I reviewed over a year ago. I mainly noted creamy flavors, caramel, cedar and raisin-like sweetness. If you look for it, some of the J. Fuego spice is there, but it was pretty subdued in this stick. I enjoyed it, and wouldn’t mind picking up a few more if I came across them.
Miró Mementos *
The Miró Mementos is a line extension, but a short one. About four inches, to be exact. Its size makes me like it a little even before even lighting it up. One thing that doesn’t last long in my humidor is short smokes. They’re just too handy when time is limited, and it seems like it always is. I picked up some flavors in this vitola that I don’t recall noticing in the others I’ve had. Things like hay and grain. But it wasn’t unpleasant. Earth, bread, light wood and some syrupy sweetness were also present. In all, it’s a solid smoke that gets extra credit for being conveniently sized.
Pinar De Rio AFR-75 * **
As well as I can remember, this is a sample I’ve had for a few years, probably a tradeshow pickup. I’ve enjoyed most of the Pinar Del Rio cigars I’ve had, and this one was no exception. I noted potent earthy black tobacco to start, followed by dark chocolate, spices, espresso and some herbal notes. The flavor profile was pretty consistent throughout, but consistently good. I’d smoke it again.
* 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.