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 Las Calaveras EL 2015 LC52 Toro
This week I decided to branch out and try a new Las Calaveras vitola. My local shop owner told me he thought the blend was at its best in the toro was best so I lit one up. I think he was onto something. The last time a I lit up a Las Calaveras, it seemed to go flat midway. This time around that’s when the cigar started to get really good. The easy going bready-toasty and earthy start gave way to a richer profile of caramel, nuts, pepper and spices at that point. I look forward to lighting up another.
Ezra Zion All My Ex’s (IPCPR Sample) *
I ran out of time to get an interview with the Ezra Zion guys, but I did have a quick chat with them toward the end of the trade show. And they were nice enough to hand me a sample of their new All My Ex’s. I lit it up a few days after the show. It turned out to be a really good smoke. From the big leathery beginning to the coffee, spice, earth, pepper an anise sweetness, it was very enjoyable. It seems strange to say I enjoyed All My Ex’s, but in this case it’s true.
H. Upmann Havoc
I had thought that the “Havoc” Altadis blends was a catalog-only thing, but apparently not. I spotted this H. Upmann Havoc in a local shop and it amused me. So I decided to give it a shot. At the start it was a creamy cigar with some clay-like character and touches of butterscotch sweetness. As it progressed, it gradually developed savory, meaty and earthy flavors. Overall it was a pretty good cigar, though not a great one, but actually better than I expected.
HR Toro (IPCPR Sample) *
I’m fairly certain this HR was a sample, but I don’t recall if I received it at the trade show (I think I did) or at some point prior. The past month has gone by very quickly, some of it has been fun, some of it tedious (manually moving countless hours of old video reviews) but most of it involved some cigar smoke. One of the breaks I took along the way involved this HR Toro. What struck me most about it was it looked and smoked like quality- it had a great looking wrapper, and burn properties that evidenced a well constructed cigar. In terms of flavor, it was good too. Cream, pepper, earth, cocoa, a touch of mustiness and a little sweet cherry zing at points, but all of it seemed reserved.
San Cristobal Revelation Legend
One of the cigars given out at cigar dinner I attended this weekend was the San Cristobal Revelation. I received it toward the end of the evening so I didn’t get to it until the next day. That’s just as well, I had quite a bit of scotch that evening, and probably wouldn’t have fully appreciated it. The cigar got off to a syrupy leather start, with a cherry sweetness and some mild spices. The sweetness of the profile backed off considerably after about an inch leaving behind chocolate, leather and earth. Toward the end the spices picked up, cedar appeared and there was a small return of the previous syrupy sweetness. It seems like this cigar has changed a bit from the last time I had it, but there’s no telling if it’s me, the age of the cigar or other factors. Still, I enjoyed it and would happily smoke it again.
* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them is suspect. My opinions (and a hard drive full of old Greenbacker video reviews) 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.