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!
AVO LE 5 * **
This is a fun one that I somehow forgot to include in a previous Week In Smoke. One night a friend handed me this really well-aged Avo Limited Edition that was produced in 2005 to commemorate Avo Uvezian’s 79th birthday. It’s the kind of rare cigar I probably would have reserved for a special occasion, but my friend insisted that a Monday night was special enough. I wasn’t about to argue with that logic. So I lit it up and did my best to take a few notes. What I jotted down was that it had a good amount of cedar throughout, with some mild pepper to start, some caramel notes, a touch of mustiness and some light earth. I never had LE 5 when it was new, but it struck me as a pleasant cigar that has probably mellowed considerably with age. The guy who gave it to me smoked one as well, and said it had lost some character over time. But then, that’s why he was smoking them then, on a Monday night, instead of saving them for a date off in the future. If I were to smoke another (and I definitely would), I think I would go with a Monday morning instead.
Caldwell Collection The King Is Dead Premier
I believe I’ve featured the other two lines in the Caldwell Collection in previous Weeks In Smoke, so it’s time to complete the trilogy. It burned like a champ, producing solid, attractive white ashes and at least initially, drew well. The flavors were equally good, I noted toasty sourdough, wood, spices, raisins and some nuts. But toward the end there was a tunneling problem, which made the draw airy and gutted the flavor. I’m going to give the cigar the benefit of the doubt. I enjoyed it up to that point, and the burn problems are inconsistent with my other Caldwell Collection experiences.
Camacho Ecuador Robusto
I lit up another one of these bold blue-banded Camachos this week, and enjoyed it just as much as I did the last time I smoked it. As before, there was no shortage of flavor. Syrupy raisins, bread, cedar, light creamy earth, pepper and cinnamon were what I noted this time around. There are a lot of fine cigars out there, but it’s nice to have this good, at a reasonable price that isn’t a limited edition.
EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Reserva
I’m a big fan of the EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut, so there was no chance I was going to pass up a New Wave Connecticut Reserva when it arrived at my local shop. I lit it up in short order and was greeted with a lot of leather and peat, a flavor I don’t commonly taste in cigars. It made me want to open a bottle of Laphroaig. As it burned, more flavors emerged- toast, wood and a touch of cream, but a pronounced leather was was a common thread throughout. The cigar seemed young, aggressive and unexpected, but not overly powerful. I liked it, and am interested in seeing how changes with time.
J. Fuego Americana Robusto
The Americana is another cigar I revisited this week, and I don’t have anything to add to what I’ve said about in previous Weeks In Smoke. It’s consistent, and it’s the best J. Fuego on the market right now. Herbal, woody and earthy, with a touch of smoky spices. It’s a pretty unique profile, one I recommend trying if you haven’t.
Herrera Esteli Norteño Corona Extra
One of the dangers of having a travel humidor with two levels is that it’s easy to forget about the cigars on the bottom. (Actually, that applies to regular humidors too.) This Herrera Esteli Norteño has been making the rounds with me for weeks for that very reason. This week, enough was enough, and I escorted the Norteño to a private audience with my torch. The little box-pressed smoke burned perfectly and produced hearty flavors like earth, chocolate, pepper, espresso and touches of a sweet dried fruit along the lines of prune. It’s a solid smoke.
* 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 rare, overpriced 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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