I hope this holiday season finds you safe, happy, and acceptably overfed with a fine cigar in your hand and several more waiting in your humidor. Either that, or an active imagination that can fill in the gaps. We all have gaps that need filling in. You know, I think I’m going to stop right there, this is already getting weird.
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!
AJ Fernandez Dias De Gloria Robusto
What struck me initially about this cigar was the aroma of blueberries on the wrapper and cedar sleeve the moment it left the cellophane. I swear it wasn’t the beer I was drinking, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a little influence there. Lighting it up, it was immediately about coffee, followed by nuts, and a peppery raspberry jam-like sweetness that kept returning. Definitely one I’ll have to smoke again when the opportunity presents itself. I probably would have already if I had another on hand.
Don Pepin Garcia Blue Generosos
I still have a lot of love for the old DPB Blues, and it’s always a treat to burn one. I don’t actually recall where I got this stick, but I think it was a recent-ish pick up. Speaking of picking it up, it struck me that this particular stick seemed a lot softer than most. But, it did not disappoint where it counts. Spices, earth, wood, vanilla, pepper, and a mix of tart and sweet notes. You probably don’t need me to tell you to go grab one, but I’m going to do so anyway. Go grab one. They’re still great.
My Father La Gran Oferta Robusto
Before the temperature around here dropped about 30 degrees, I went on a hike. Surviving the experience called for something other than my usual quick Buenaventura. It was time for the La Gran Oferta I picked up on a rare in-person visit to a brick and mortar. I really enjoyed it, and it’s hard not to enjoy a cigar after an outing like that. But the cigar would have been great any time. I noted sweet creamy almond, pepper, cocoa, vanilla, and even a tiny bit of butterscotch.
San Miguel by Gurkha Toro *
The folks at Gurkha were kind enough to send a nice assortment of cigars my way a few months back, and I’ve been slowly smoking through them. (Last time I lit up a 30th Anniversary and a Cubico.) This time I lit up a San Miguel- I think it was actually my second- and I found it a little more appealing than the first experience. I noted buttery roasted nuts, cocoa, earth, cedar, pepper and some mildly sweet coffee notes.
Tatuaje Monster Karloff
Some years I’m luckier than others when it comes to the Monster Series cigars. It seems both weird and fitting saying it, but 2020 was a good year for monsters- I got my hands on a dress box for the first time in ages. (Though I guess this cigar technically dwells in the post-Monster Series Tatuaje era- as that series officially ended last year. Kinda like all events outside the home involving other people.) It turns out it was a great year to get lucky. This is a great cigar, one of the best I’ve had in awhile. There’s a lot going on here, chocolate, pepper, fruity/jammy notes, nougat, caramel, spices, it goes on. And it lingers (and retrohales) so nicely. If you haven’t had one, I hope you have the opportunity to do so in the future.
* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them are suspect. (They always have been, to be honest. Embrace the uncertainty and try the cigar for yourself.) 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.