Round one of holiday overeating is in the books, and with any luck you’ve napped the tryptophan completely out of your system. I hope any weight you may have gained in the past week accentuates your nicest features. I know my abs have never been larger or more uniform, I don’t even have to flex to be able to rest a beer on them now. But before we get into the next round of abdominal exercises, let’s talk about cigars. Specifically, what I’ve been smoking.
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!
Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Ratzilla
If you hear a rumor often enough and from enough people, you figure there has to be some truth to it. I know some people couldn’t believe it, but there’s no denying it now: The Ratzilla appeared in cigar stores and I bought a few. And with that confirmation, I lit one up. It seemed a little different than the one I smoke a year or so ago, the pepper was there, but it didn’t strike me as a pepper bomb this time. The earth, coffee bean, chocolate and even a touch of cherry-like sweetness seemed to contribute to the profile every bit as much as the pepper. Even with the differences this time around, I enjoyed it, look forward to smoking another.
Kuuts Nicaraguan Blend Toros *
Like every other cigar I’ve had from the folks at Kuuts, the Nicaraguan Blend was a quality smoke. It burned well, produced desirable solid ashes and an enjoyable, but familiar array of flavors. I noted earth, toastiness, smokey wood, caramel and syrupy raisins in this smoke. Seeing Nicaraguan in the name, I think I expected something different from medium bodied cigar I smoked. Reading up on it afterward (which I did on purpose), I learned that while the filler and binder are Nicaraguan, the wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habano, which explains it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good smoke, it just isn’t the bold Nicaraguan I was hoping for.
Señor Rio Añejo Toro *
The chances are pretty good you’ve never seen this cigar before, but it seems somehow familiar. That’s could be because you’ve encountered a tequila bearing the same name. That’s no coincidence, one of the owners of the Señor Rio tequila was an avid cigar smoker well before he started producing the spirit. With the line of tequila well established, he decided it was time to try his hand a producing cigars. The Añejo is a box-pressed toro composed of all Nicaraguan tobacco, with exception of the San Andres wrapper. Once lit, it drew easily, and produced solid ashes. In terms of flavor, it consisted mainly of chocolate in varying forms (sweeter and darker), earth, clove and some woody notes. It’s not an overly complex cigar, but there is a touch of a savory quality to it that leads me to believe that it may pair well with tequila. No tequila required though, the cigar is enjoyable without assistance.
Tatuaje Verocu #9
I don’t chase down many exclusives and house blends, but the Verocu #9 has been exception, especially this past year. And it doesn’t hurt that Holts puts them on special occasionally, usually well after I’ve run out. The Verocu #9 gets off to a spicy start, and is shortly followed by wood and roasted nut flavors. When it picks up that honey-like sweetness with the lingering spiciness, I’m sold. It’s a great cigar that I never fails to deliver. A box-worthy smoke to be sure.
Vicarias White Label Robusto *
I was digging through the humidor looking for something different this week and I was in the mood for an easy going smoke. I spotted this Connecticut-wrapped Vicarias I picked up at the Chattanooga tweetup earlier this year, and figured that would do the trick. I didn’t fall in love with it, but the combination of hay, sour dough, cream and touch of sweetness was just about right for the occasion.
* 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 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.