Man this week went by quick. 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!
1502 Ruby Toro
I picked this 1502 Ruby Toro out of my humidor at random, forgetting that is isn’t quite the cigar that the Emerald and the Black Gold are. Looking back at my Week In Smoke comments about it a little over a year ago, I have to mostly agree. It’s good smoke offering up enjoyable flavors like roasted nuts, earth, wood and spices. On the plus side, this time around it burned without issue. In all a solid smoke, but I prefer the other two.
Alec Bradley Fine and Rare Torpedo (2012) **
I’ve been sporadically smoking the 2012 edition of the Alec Bradley Fine and Rare for the past few years and I’m nearly out of them at this point, and that may be for the best. Which is not to say that they are now, or ever were, bad cigars. I only mean that this one seemed to have faded from its former glory. The profile was still rich with caramel, raisins, bread, toffee, cedar and spices, just not as rich as I remembered it being. If you still have some, quit hoarding and start smoking.
I lit up what I believe was my last Avo Compañero this week. It’s a fine smoke at this point, and it’s shame to have run out. But I maintain the hope that I’ll spot them again someday, forgotten in the deep recesses of a strange humidor. Or the strange recesses of a deep humidor, I’m not picky. (It has happened before.) If you’re familiar with Avo cigars, you won’t be surprised by my description of the smoke: creamy, musty with some acidic grassy sweetness. But there was also a touch of raisin in there I rather enjoyed, and the elements really well integrated. It’s a cigar that has become greater than the sum of its flavor parts.
Esencia Petit Corona **
Many of the well-aged cigars I smoke come from a large coolidor I set up years ago, and they don’t spend a lot of time in direct contact with cedar. This Esencia is a good example of why I prefer it that way. It spent a considerable amount of time in the box it came in and the profile has been dominated by cedar. I enjoy a good cedar flavor in a cigar, and it is good here, but there comes a point at which it takes away from the other elements. This Esencia is has rounded that bend. It’s still a good cigar, but it’s not as good as it could have been, and that’s my fault.
Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2011 **
Sometimes getting caught in a rut is a good thing. Since I found out how good they are right now, I’ve been smoking these golden emerald gems like I’m off to see the wizard. I don’t actually know what that means, but I mean it in the best possible way. The profile hasn’t changed since the last week in smoke, I just wanted to be sure to maximize my enjoyment of them now in case they do start to fade. Feel free to join me. (But bring your own, I’m not sharing mine.)
Winston Churchill Marrakesh **
As you are probably aware by now, the Winston Churchill we’ve know for a week of years is being overhauled. For fans of the cigar in it’s current form that’s bad news, but there may be silver lining. When cigars are rebranded or discontinued they often go on sale. I took advantage of just such a discount to get reaquainted with the cigar before its chapter comes to a close. It was a pleasant encounter. I noted cream, earth and bready-toasty flavors with sweet touches of vanilla. It was a nice smoke, especially with the time it spent on the shelf, but I think Davidoff can (and will) do better with version 2.0.
* 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 IBU imperial honey IPA) 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.