It’s been a minute. I think It’s time once 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 I 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 a more thoughtful and thorough review of the cigar in question. (Or maybe I’ve linked to a photo of Jerry The ‘Stache. Jerry may have retired from the cigar review life, but Jerry The ‘Stache never will. And you won’t know until you click.) Enjoy!
CAO Pilón Robusto *
Out of the blue the kind folks a General sent me some Pilóns, and I forgot how much I enjoyed them. Not a lot to say here, they’re a great smoke. The one I lit up offered me all sorts of rich caramel and almond notes- and I probably enjoyed it considerably more than the one I burned back in 2015 (though that one sounds pretty good too). If it’s been a while for you too, it’s worth revisiting the CAO Pilón.
Time is tight these days- I’m easily more tied up now than I was this time last year. It’s a good problem to have considering everything that’s going on. So I’ve been reaching for sticks that I know I’ll enjoy when the opportunity affords itself. Like this Pappy Van Winkle Tradition. It’s at least several years old at this point. I lit it up hoping it would live up to my fond memories. I’m happy to say it did. You can’t be mad at those creamy vanilla and caramel notes. Excellent smoke to accompany the afternoon coffee. (Want to see how it did back in 2017? Check out Ben’s review, and all the bonus videos.)
Cubico Toro by Sindicato *
I’ve been a fan for a while, and was happy to finally get around to trying the Cubico. The interesting thing is I burned both this Cubico and a Sindicato Maduro recently, and I definitely enjoyed the Cubico more. (Curiously, the Sindicato Maduro didn’t live up to expectations this time around.) It was creamy, with notes of cinnamon, toast, vanilla, and a growing acidity. The Cubico is right in the sweet spot, price-wise, and I’d definitely buy more, given the chance.
Diesel Esteli Puro Robusto *
Diesel has been doing good work with their last few releases, and this is the first Diesel I’ve had in ages that didn’t involve tobacco aged in barrels. (That’s probably why I wanted to open a bourbon barrel-aged stout to pair with it. I didn’t, but I thought about it.) Nutty, peppery, some sweet molasses notes, a hint of clove, and a good amount of just good old black tobacco. But the most interesting thing about it to me was the faint aroma of dill to the cedar and the wrapper underneath. It’s a solid offering that should be hitting a shop near you soon, if it hasn’t already.
Gurkha 30th Anniversary Trienta Toro *
I’m never sure what to expect when I light up a Gurkha, and I lit this up without looking up a single thing about it. With a name like 30th Anniversary, I figured it might be a pricier, super premium option. (It’s not.) The band is flashy, but the cigar itself didn’t really look the part, it was bumpy and had some nicks and holes in the wrapper. Hey, looks aren’t everything so I lit it up. Buttery, white pepper, walnuts, raisins, it was off to a pretty good start, but things went off the rails in terms of construction midway, and ultimately I laid it down early. It had potential, especially considering the Aganorsa tobacco components- this could have been a bum stick. I’m withholding judgement for now, I may have better luck with the next one.
* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them are suspect. My opinions 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. Or Fail Bird. Or whatever social media does when it isn’t doing what it should be doing. Anyway, they’re ugly when they cry.