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!
Crowned Heads Four Kicks Mule Kick **
I’ve had a few cigars lately that have aged for so long, they’d lost the plot, diminishing in both body and flavor. I’d been looking for an excuse to light up one of my remaining Mule Kicks, and verifying they’re still smoking well seemed like a passable reason. Smoke well it did. It was rich, creamy and sweet, offering flavors like caramel, toffee, raisins, cedar, cinnamon and other subtle spices. I’d put the Mule Kick on my top ten list again this year, but that would just be obnoxious considering how limited it was and how long it’s been off the market. But if you happen to have any left, they’re smoking beautifully now. Treat yourself, it’s nearly Christmas.
This week’s cg:4 was another reminder that I don’t smoke the cigars from the original Illusione lineup nearly as often as I should. But that wasn’t the only thing that came to mind as I smoked it. I saw shades of the a long-departed Le Bijou Special Edition Corona Gorda as the cigar burned. It was probably something about the boldness of the cigar in terms of spices and earth combined with the sweeter caramel and vanilla-like flavors that did it. I remembered the cg:4 being good, but not as aggressive in previous experiences. But it’s been a while, and it was a nice surprise. As I laid the last of it to rest, I thought, I have to get some more of these.
La Aurora Puro Vintage 2003 **
Unfortunately, when I was talking about cigars that have been aged past their prime, I was talking about the La Aurora Puro Vintage 2003. Mind you, the flavor profile wasn’t bad, it just seemed faded compared to the last time I had one. I picked up light notes of grass, earth, mild spices and a fruit-like sweetness along the lines of pear. I wouldn’t say it’s mild yet, but it’s getting close. If you have any on hand, it’s probably time to quit hoarding and start smoking.
Nomad S-307 Robusto *
Looking back through my many reviews and Weeks In Smoke, I’m a little surprised to not find a mention of the Nomad S-307. I know I’ve enjoyed a few of them over the past year or so, and this cigar seemed consistent with those experiences. I noted prominent pepper, earth, a lingering leathery woodiness and a toffee-ish sweetness. It was a shame when I ran out of finger space on this one. Fortunately it’s regularly available. I’d recommend trying it if you haven’t.
Ortega Serie D Black Robusto *
When I think about it, the Serie D Black is really what I expected it to be. It’s bolder than the regular Serie D with plenty of spices that stay with you from start to finish. In terms of flavor, I picked up roasted nuts, coffee, sweet almond, cinnamon and plenty of pepper, especially toward the end. If you like the Serie D but are in the mood to kick it up a notch, the Serie D Black is there for you.
Tatuaje Monster Series The Jekyll
Halloween came and went pretty quickly this year. I had planned to burn through a selection of spooky smokes like I did last year, but every time I looked up another week was gone. You know how it goes. With a cigar like The Jekyll, the extra time resting may have been beneficial, it certainly doesn’t seem to have hurt it. What really jumped out at me is how creamy and sweet it was. At one point I tasted a distinct cinnamon-sugar flavor that made me do a figurative double take. A bready, sometimes toasty note was also pretty common as the cigar burned. In addition to those flavors, wood, black tobacco and pepper also made supporting appearances. If I had the opportunity to buy a box at this late date, I would most certainly do so. I can only imagine what kind of a monster we are in for with next year’s The Hyde.
* 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 ridiculously high-gravity bourbon barrel-aged barleywine) 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.