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!
Asylum 13 Ogre 5 x 50
I think barber pole cigars are fun, but I’m wary of them at the same time. It’s not uncommon for them to be more fun to look at than to smoke. Having said that, it was not the case with Asylum 13 Ogre. It looked like a novelty cigar, but it burned well (aside from a few minor glitches) and tasted like a well-blended premium cigar. I noted coffee, leather and a good deal of pepper with some sweet grassiness and a little straw. It’s not a cigar I’d light up very often, but I would smoke it again. It’s a solid smoke at a reasonable price.
Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Toro **
This week seemed like the right time to break out one of my last Liga Privada No. 9 original releases. I was in for a surprise. Along with the expected earthy, smokey, woody and peppery flavors, I picked up a few unexpected notes. Things like caramel, nougat, and some floral notes early in the smoke. It was probably the best No. 9 I’ve ever smoked, it’s a real shame I don’t have more of these aged gems.
Gran Habano Corojo #5 **
I used to really dig the old Corojo #5 years ago. They were inexpensive, and delivered a lot of bold flavor. They could be inconsistent though, and I believe this stick is from the last bunch I bought four or more years ago. In keeping with what I remember from that batch, there were some issues keeping it burning properly and it produced a very dark colored ash. In terms of flavor, time did seem to improve the stick. It still had leather, espresso, cedar and rich chocolate that sometimes resembling mocha but they seemed richer and better integrated. I enjoyed the smoke down memory lane, but even with the improvements of age, the old Corojo #5 has tough competition from the premium cigars currently on the market.
Nat Sherman Epoca Breva
Nat Sherman has really been on top of their game with their recent releases, and this one had big shoes to fill. The Epoca is the official re-release of the first cigar brand Nat Sherman ever owned, dating back to 1929. There’s no telling what the original cigar was like, but I think they picked a worthy blend to represent the historic name in the current day. I noted creamy coffee, sweet roasted nuts, aromatic wood and vanilla. Based on the few I’ve had, I’d be comfortable buying them by the box.
Nomad C-276 Robusto *
The C-276 is a different animal than S-307’s I’ve smoked intermittently over the past year. It’s a bolder, stronger cigar with considerably more Nicaraguan influence. There’s a lot of pepper in this stick, but it’s pepper with character. In my notes, I rhetorically asked, “can pepper be juicy?” After some soul searching, I decided that it could, if it were on top of a good medium rare steak. Aside from the aforementioned pepper, I also noted earth, espresso, lingering chocolate and little spice. The C-276 is an intriguing cigar that I feel like I need to smoke again soon as figurative double take.
* 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 stout) 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.