Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thompson Green Label Natural Corona

Wrapper: Natural
Filler: Combo
Size:  Corona
Length: 5.5
Ring Gauge: 42 
Price: $.75
Beverage: Diet Coke 
Smoking time:35 minutes
Humidor time: 15 days +
Purchased: Thompson Cigar

Construction/Pre-light: Well to start with sixty of these came free with my humidor, when they arrived they were so damp the wrapper would not burn at all, it just turned black and shrunk around the ash. Since then I have smoked about ten of these. They are a bit rough looking with heavily veined wrappers about the thickness of linoleum.

First third/Middle/End: These things now light right up, burn pretty even, have a consistent flavor from beginning to end of earth, tobacco and pepper and you can relight them without hurting the flavor at all.

Overall: I will probably never buy these since corona's are not my thing, but I will smoke what I have, they make a nice short hop-around-town smoke and the flavor isn't half bad; they are not tongue burners that's for sure. So if you are looking for a stick that is much better than most machine made cigars and want to keep the cost down, this would be a good option.

Toro y Leon Habano Claro Dorado No. 2 Torpedo

Monday, January 30, 2012

Busy but exciting week ahead.

Like the headline says, it's a busy, but very exciting week ahead. @AKACigars is holding a week long contest and will join #CigarChat this week. You can get all the details about this from RobbyRasReviews.com Or you can follow @RobbyRasReviews on twitter for all the latest contest information. The there will be more great conversations with @LoganatDell and @CigarInsights. Follow these guys, they are great people and are not afraid to share what they have learned about cigars.

I have a fantastic looking cigar to that will be reviewed tomorrow, the Toro y Leon Habano Claro No.2 Torpedo which you can learn more about at toroyleon.com. I am super excited to smoke this cigar so stop by their site take a look.

Then coming up in the reviews are more easy on the budget Victor Sinclair sticks, the mighty 6 x 60 My UZI Weighs a Ton Toro and a Brick House Toro and maybe even something from My Father.

So stay tuned and join in on the fun! 

Thank you for your continued support!

CigarDan (Dan Gumm)

Victor Sinclair Primeros Churchill

Wrapper:Connecticut shade grown
Filler: Dominican 
Size:  Churchill 
Length: 7
Ring Gauge: 50 
Price: $1.00 Retail: $3.25  
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 1Hour 5 min.
Humidor time: 15 days 
Purchased: CigarsInternational.com Po' boys II sampler

Pre-light: This was a bit of a rough looking stick, there were a couple small holes in the wrapper and it was heavily veined on one side. The cold aroma from the wrapper had a very slight nuttiness to it as did the foot, only a bit stronger and the cap was nearly tasteless. 

First third: Once it was going the near perfect draw yielded a nice amount of smoke with a nutty tobacco aroma and the flavor mix was nuts and pepper, but a pleasant pepper, not the tongue burning type. The ash is a very firm white, which I knocked at about the one and a half inch mark, but it probably would have held longer.

Middle: Into the second third a bit of nice creaminess developed adding nicely to the already present flavors. So far the burn was dead on and none of the pin holes in the wrapper have been a problem.

 The last pin hole finally turned into a large wrapper spit but I was able to smoke right through it with no ill effects. A bit of earth did enter into the flavor mix at the end.

Overall: I'm a bit unsure about this cigar, the construction was OK, the flavor was OK, so I guess that means it was an OK cigar but it lacked the flavor pop I look for so even though this stick is $3.25 retail I am placing it at number ten on the $3.00 cheers list. It's good mild cigar.

Alec Bradley Black Market Churchill

Wrapper: Nicaraguan maduro
Binder: Sumatra 
Filler: Four country blend 
Size:  Churchill 
Length: 7
Ring Gauge: 50 
Price: $7.39 
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 1 hour 20 min.
Humidor time: 7 days 
Purchased: Local Shop

 This was one nice looking stick. The dark maduro wrapper had only one small vein and it had a very rich looking oily sheen. Rolling it between my fingers, it was firm, but not hard.

Pre-light: I have wanted to try this cigar for some time now but had not had the chance to pick one up, when I found one at tobacco, beer and more the other day I jumped on it, but wanting to give it a fair shake, I put it in the humidor for a week. I was a bit surprise that it didn't have a stronger cold aroma or taste, but there was a definite nutty chocolate taste and aroma. I clipped the end and found the cold draw just a tad bit tight, but it was acceptable.

First third: As I lit this cigar two things jumped out at me, the vast amount of nice white smoke it produced and the nice mellow nutty chocolate flavor that was filling my mouth, it wasn't quite my favorite scalded mocha, but it was very tasty. The smoke filled the room with a very pleasant nutty tobacco aroma.

Middle: I bumped the ash at about and inch and a half like normal, so I don't make a mess, but it was firm and a mottled white, light grey mix. Here the cigar picked up a slight, but pleasant amount of white pepper. The burn was off a bit by this point, but nothing to be concerned about.

 In the final third a nice earthiness joined the flavor mix and the burn had corrected itself. With about two inches yet to go the flavor changed to my favorite scaled mocha that I yearn for from a maduro and let me tell you, I am loving this cigar! 

Overall: Other than the burn being off a slight amount there was just nothing negative about this stick.it was a just a great smoke and I will pick up a few more. However, this is getting pretty tough and I think I need some type of number system to keep track of things. The Black Market was right in there with the Nub and the Brazilia so I will split the difference and put it at number five!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Victor Sinclair Connecticut Churchill

Wrapper:Connecticut shade grown
Filler: Blend of Cuban seed
Size:  Churchill 
Length: 7
Ring Gauge: 50 
Price: $1.00 Retail: $2.00  
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 1Hour 
Humidor time: 14 days 
Purchased: CigarsInternational.com Po' boys II sampler

Pre-light: To begin this was a fairly nice looking stick with a nice solid shade grown wrapper that had only a few smaller veins and no breaks or tears or soft spots. There was not  much of a cold aroma from the body or the foot and the cap had only a hint of sweetness.

First third: The first two or three puffs were loaded with pepper that hit right on the end of the tongue but that flavor quickly went away and was replaced by a nice mild slightly sweet tobacco   taste. The burn was a little off during the first third but by the mid point it had evened out and was dead on.

Middle: At the mid point the flavor had turned to more of a sweet cream flavor that was very nice, the wrapper had developed a sweeter taste that mixed nicely with Diet Pepsi and the body had shifted more toward a medium strength.

 At the end a bit more pepper developed but it wasn't so strong that it was problem. The burn remained straight, no wrapper problems developed and it smoked cool to the end.

Overall: This was just a super everyday smoke for a buck. I am putting this at number 6 on the $3.00 and under list. I don't think you can go wrong on this one.

Ave Maria Reconquista

Wrapper: Brazilian Habano Oscuro 
Filler: Nicaraguan 
Size:  Reconquista Torpedo 
Length: 7
Ring Gauge: 54 
Price: $5.83 Retail: $20.00  
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 1Hour 45 Min. 
Humidor time: 10 days 
Purchased: Cigars.com Heavy Hitters Double Stack sampler

 Ever since this sampler arrived I have been going nuts to smoke this cigar. As I opened the individual cedar box and removed this stick from the cellophane the excitement built at steady pace, I think my heart was actually racing a bit. Once it was open and unwrapped only one word came to mind "perfection". The dark oily wrapper had only two super fine veins, there were no hard or soft spots to be found.

Pre-light: I have been reading about this cigar for quite some time and wondered if it could really live up to all the hype. Putting this cigar to my nose I soon found it all to be true. The cold aroma was chocolate with a hint of earth, spice and oak. The aroma from the foot had nearly the same flavor profile, but it also had a bit of sweet fruit like note added  in. Tasting the end cap was another plus for this stick, it too tasted like spicy chocolate.

First third: To remain pure while lighting this cigar I used two wooden matched, one to toast the foot and one to light it. From the first puff there was only one word to describe the flavor pouring from the end of this stick "delicious". The flavor mix was heavy to creamy chocolate along with hints of spice, leather and oak, even the smoke had notes of chocolate mixed with woody tobacco. This was simply the best tasting cigar I had ever smoked and I found it to be about mild/medium in body so far. I truly felt I was experiencing perfection.

Middle: As the burn neared the second third things began to go awry. The burn rather quickly started running down one side and the wrapper split and began peeling away. The burn eventually became so bad that I had to correct it but even that was short lived. On the plus side, the flavor profile hadn't really changed and this stick just flat out tasted fantastic.

 The burn problems continued to plague this cigar and I ended up correcting it two more times but the wrapper problem did not get worse and I was able to smoke through it with no ill effects other than some mess from the ash. The flavor finished strong with the strength building to a solid medium body smoke and the flavor developed into the creamy scalded mocha that I enjoy so much.

Overall: Like I said in the beginning, this stick was delicious, there is no other word or words to describe the flavors. However, this stick was a pain to smoke because of the burn and wrapper  problems. I have one more and am curious to see how it performs. I am extremely happy though because I found all the hype about the flavor to be true, it was the best tasting smoke I have ever had! Due to the burn problems I am putting this cigar into the number three spot on the cheers list. If you ever try one of this I hope you get the same enjoyment from it I did.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nub Maduro - Revised

Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 460
Length: 4
Ring Gauge: 60
Price: $8.79
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 1Hour 5 Min.
Humidor time: 7 days 
Purchased: Local shop

 There really is not much to say here other than the construction was simply flawless! There was one very small vein running down the side and the cigar was firm, but not too firm the entire length. It was just one great looking stick.

Pre-light: Being wrapped in Brazilian Maduro, I was expecting notes of chocolate and let me tell you this cigar Just screams chocolate. The cold aroma of the wrapper was pure chocolate, the foot was chocolate with a touch of spice thrown in and the cold draw had the same flavor mix as the aroma radiating from the foot. I was a bit disappointed that the cap did not have the  flavor that I was expecting, but there was at least a small amount of chocolate. Being a 60 ring cigar I was a bit hesitant to use a punch, but I like punched cigars so much I gave it a try anyway. The punch worked fine and the draw was flawless.

First third: Lighting the Nub was a breeze and even the aroma from the smoke had notes of chocolate mixed with tobacco. Some of the reviews I had read said the Nub had "slap you in the face strength", so after the first few puffs I was actually surprised because I thought it was on the mild side. The flavor mix was chocolate, tobacco and slight hint of sweet spice.

Middle: By the mid point the strength had increased a bit but I still couldn't say it was above medium and the flavor mix remained basically the same with maybe a bit more front-of-the-tongue spice. However right about here is where things started to go south.
Even though the ash was still holding tight, the  wrapper for no apparent reason went into self destruct mode, cracking and peeling in several spots around the entire cigar and the burn was off over 1/4 inch in places.

 Soon after I took the picture the ash feel and reveled the answers to my questions about the self destruction. The center of the cigar had burned almost 1/2 inch deeper than the outside had. I have to surmise this brought on by using a punch instead of a cutter on such a large stick leading to more air flow down the center causing the bad burn. Both the flavor and the strength remained the same as the cigar finished up.

Overall: Even with the problems caused by using a punch this was a really nice cigar. I would however been happier with a bit more strength and more flavor from the wrapper, which really didn't build as with other maduro's I have smoked. I am placing this cigar at number four for the year.
I considered not posting this review since I screwed it up, but I am posting it so that perhaps someone else can learn from my mistakes.

Second stick revision: I picked up another one of these today because I wanted to give it an honest evaluation.  This time around I used my double guillotine cutter and made a full cut on the cap. To begin with this stick was perfect, but once I reached the mid point it did exactly the same thing. The cigar started burning in the middle causing the cigar to swell and thus splitting the wrapper. I guess it wasn't the punch after all. Since this happened two sticks in a row I am dropping this cigar to ten in the cheers list due to what I think are construction problems and make finishing the last half of these sticks a royal pain.

Friday, January 27, 2012

SIGLO Limited Reserve VII Natural

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Cubano Natural
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan
Size: VII - Churchill
Length: 7
Ring Gauge: 48
Price: $7.39

 The SIGLO appears to be a well constructed stick with only one medium and one fine vein within the wrapper. The feel was firm but not hard and there were no soft spots. With the bright yellow band it was just one good looking, well presented cigar.

Pre-light: The natural wrapper had a nice strong aroma of earth, oak and leather, the aroma from the foot was nearly the same with a bit peppery spice thrown in. Tasting the cap was a bit disappointing since it was nearly tasteless, but after punching a hole the easy cold draw had the same nice flavors that came from the foot.

First third: After putting a torch to this baby I was impressed with the mild/medium flavor that just roared out filling my mouth and enveloping my pallet as well as the room-filling cloud of white smoke it produced (which by the way, my wife said smelled like ass). The flavor mix was a sweet mix of earth and leather that was quite nice on the tongue and the pallet. As time passed the straight-as-an-arrow burn produced a nice light grey ash that actually caught me off guard by falling at about the one inch mark and making a mess on the table.

Middle: Once the burn had almost reached the mid point there were several puffs of a bitter pepper taste but that soon passed and a nice note of molasses like sweetness developed. The burn remained true and the wrapper held up well.

 Surprisingly the nice flavor profile that developed at the mid point stayed until the very end as did the even burn rate. The cigar's strength had built to medium by this point giving this Churchill a very nice finish.

Overall: I really enjoyed this cigar for the smoothness of its nice earthy flavor mix, the medium body that developed and the loads of billowing smoke that is produced. If I can catch this stick on sale I will load my humidor up. This stick earned the number four spot on my cheers list!

AKA Hybrid ABS - Advanced Brain Stimulation

Wrapper: Crossed Cameroon and 59 Cuban Seed Corojo
Binder: 4 Year Aged Dominican Ligero
Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano and Honduran
Size: Corona
Length: 6
Ring Gauge: 44
Price: $8.45
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 100 Min.
Humidor time: 2 days 
Purchased: CigarEarth.com

 As I removed the Hybrid from the cellophane I was immediately struck by how nice this cigar looks. The medium brown wrapper was smooth with only two very fine veins, it was firm but not hard to the touch, I found no spongy spots, no hard spots and no breaks or tears.

Pre-light: Putting this cigar up to my nose was a total surprise; the hybrid has maybe the best cold aroma of any cigar I have smoked with flavor notes of toast, almonds and coffee. The cold draw was easy and had the same flavor mix with just and added bit of pepper. I can't wait to put a match to this baby.

First third: Once the end was clipped and this stick was going, things got interesting. The flavor didn't match the cold draw flavor at all and it took almost an inch before I could really decide upon what I thought the flavor mix was. Don't get me wrong, the cigar tasted great, I just couldn't pin down the flavors. I had earth, leather, oak, toast, tobacco and a bit of pepper, but not tongue burning pepper by any means. I guess the flavor profile was a to much for my uneducated, under developed palate. So far the burn was dead on and it produced a nice light/dark gray mottled ash. Nearing the end of the first third a bit of sweetness appeared and the pepper also jumped up a notch.

Middle: I let the ash go until about the two inch mark and it probably would have held longer but I didn't want to make a mess. At about the same time the pepper subsided and the flavor mix went back to about the same as the first third.

 As I moved through the final third the flavor mix did change, the sweetness came back stronger mixed with an earthiness and the pepper totally disappeared.

Overall: I enjoyed this cigar a great deal, the wrapper didn't fail, the burn was near perfect and the complexity of the flavor mix kept me guessing the entire time, earning this AKA Hybrid the number five spot for 2012 cheers list.

Victor Sinclair Legacy Double Maduro Churchill

Construction: This was a nice looking dark maduro stick. There were a few small veins in the wrapper, but no nicks, tears or breaks and the cigar was nice and firm with the exception of a rock-hard-head.
Pre-light: Both he aroma and taste from this stick were nice; the wrapper and the foot had a very nice nutty chocolate sweetness to it, and the cap had a slighter chocolate note to it. Once there was a hole punched in the end the draw did prove to be a bit on the tight side, however, the cold draw did have the same nutty, chocolate sweetness to it.

First third: Lighting this cigar was very rewarding. Once it was toasted and lit, the first puff provided an unexpected BANG of chocolate and nuts. This stick produced loads of of nice white smoke with a nutty tobacco aroma, but the nice white ash surprisingly fell right about the one inch mark. As the cigar neared the end of the first third there were a few puffs containing a non-overpowering amount of pepper and the wrapper developed the nice chocolate flavor that I relish from maduro's.

Middle: By the midpoint and gnawing on the cigar for 30 minutes the draw was much better, although a bit of bitter earthiness replaced most of that great chocolate that I had been enjoying, well at least the wrapper still had the nice tasty chocolate flavor.

End: The bitterness really didn't last too long and it was replaced with some creaminess and molasses; it wasn't scaled mocha flavor that I enjoy so much, but it was pretty tasty non the less.

Overall: Actually this was a nice flavorful stick that I could smoke all the time. It started out about medium in strength and ended in the medium/full range. 

Rated 91

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Duque Churchill

Wrapper: Sumatra
Filler: Dominican 
Size: Churchill
Length: 7 
Ring Gauge: 50
Price: $1.00 Retail price: $1.00
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 60 Min.
Humidor time: 10 days 
Purchased: Po' Boy II sampler

Well it's time to get off this premium cigar kick that I've been on the last couple weeks and do what this blog is supposedly all about. For today I selected another low cost stick from the CI Po' Boy II sampler, a Churchill by Duque. CI describes this stick as; "mild in body and it sure beats a sharp stick in the eye", so let's put a flame to it and see just what we get.

Construction: At first glance this cigar is very visually appealing with it's nice shape and medium brown wrapper. After taking a closer look you can see that although the construction looks good, it is a bit off. The Sumatra wrapper looked thick enough to stop a bullet and it had more veins than average. When rolling the cigar between my fingers I discovered the other main flaws, the foot was very loose, even a bit spongy, the center was just about right, but the head was rolled rock  hard,  hard enough to get me wondering if it would affect the draw.

Pre-light: The aroma and taste from this stick was good and bad; the wrapper and the foot had a very nice nutty sweetness to it, but tasting the cap was a flavorless disappointment. Once I had punched a hole in the end, the draw did prove to be just as I expected, it was pretty tight, but the cold draw did still have the same nutty sweetness to it.

First third: Putting a flame to this stick was an easy task, it roasted up quickly and then lit evenly producing a nice sweet nutty classic tobacco aroma. The first few puffs really sent me for a loop, the main flavor was bitterly sour pepper. This odd tasted disappeared after the first few puffs, and a splash of Diet Pepsi, to be replace with a nice combination of nuts and sweet cream. Since the foot was loosely packed I wasn't surprised that the cigar produced a white flaky ash that fell at about an inch. The burn for the first third at one time was off almost 1/4 inch, but it self corrected near mid point.

Middle: By the midpoint and gnawing on the cigar for 30 minutes the draw had pretty well corrected itself, the wrapper had picked up a bit of sweetness and it was now producing loads of light blue smoke, while still maintaining its' nice creamy flavor.

End: By the end I was thinking to myself this is a pretty nice stick. It finished with the same great flavor that had shown up after the first few puffs, there were a few puffs throughout the stick that had a bit of pepper, but they were few and far between. 

Overall: For an inexpensive cigar this one was a winner. It would make another fine mild, kicking around smoke for working out in the lawn, on the car or any other activity you may have when you don't have time or want to sit down and savor an expensive premium. It really was better than a sharp stick in the eye!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Romeo y Julieta Limitada

Wrapper: San Andres Corojo
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan 
Size: Rothchilde
Length: 5 
Ring Gauge: 54
Price: $5.83 Retail price: $17.00
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 60 Min.
Humidor time: 4 days 

This was the first stick from the "Heavy Hitters Double Stack" sampler from Cigars.com, twelve premium cigars coming in under $6.00 per stick.
As I unpacked this stick from the cedar lined tube the first thing I noticed was the solid construction and over all nice appearance. Visually examining there cigar was only one small vein ruining down the side and the medium brown wrapper had no tears or nicks, the cigar was  firm, but not hard when rolled between my fingers. Smelling the wrapper was a pleasant experience since the aroma was mainly chocolate and cedar, the cap had a mellow chocolate flavor, the cold draw even though it was a bit stiff, tasted of chocolate with a hint of cedar and pepper.

The first few puffs once the cigar was lit were nearly pure pepper, but it was not strong enough to be offensive and rather quickly a nice cream taste over powered the pepper. This creamy flavor lasted most of the first third where a bit of pepper came back mixed with some earthiness. The flavor didn't change much until the cigar was into the final third where a bit of woodiness followed by a bit of chocolate mixed with the previous flavors. By this point the draw had corrected itself but the burn took off down one side a bit. By the final inch the burn was back to normal and a bit more chocolate entered into the mix to give this stick a strong finish.
Overall this was a very nice smoke, however it did have just a bit more pepper than I like. Since the replacement cost on this stick is so high the two that came in this sampler will probably be the only chance I have to smoke these. I am putting this stick into the number 5 slot for this year.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

5 Vegas Gold

Wrapper: Connecticut
Filler: Honduran 
Size: Robusto 5 x 50
Price: $2.00 Retail cost $3.25
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 50 Min.
Humidor time: 3 days 

I re reviewed this cigar after some time in the humidor and found them a  much better cigar. You can read the new review here: http://dangumm.com/2012/02/5-vegas-gold-robusto/

On my last order from Cigars.com during the checkout 5 packs of these 5 Vegas Gold popped up for $9.95. Since I had never smoked and 5 Vegas product, I figured why not give them a spin. When they arrived I popped them out of the 5 pack to put in the humidor I was impressed with the overall appearance and construction and thought to myself that I probably should have ordered more at that price. However, after smoking the first one, I am pretty happy that I didn't
Like I said the construction of this firm feeling cigar was fantastic, however the cold aroma was a pleasant nutty cream, but it was slight and hard to detect, the foot had the same aroma but with a bit of pepper added and the cap had what I would have to call, no flavor at all. Once the cigar was cut, the cold draw had the same peppery creamy taste only heavy toward  pepper, but the draw was perfect.
Once the foot was toasted and the cigar was going, the first few puffs yielded straight sit on the back of your tongue pepper. I didn't think this was pleasant at all but after the first five or so puffs the pepper subsided quite a bit and the creaminess found in the cold draw became the prevalent flavor through the first two thirds. The light gray ash held until I broke it off at about the 2" mark, and I am sure it would have held much longer, but I didn't want it on the keyboard. Right at the final two third mark the pepper came back with a vengeance nearly as strong as at the beginning and remained until the very end were a bit of straw entered the flavor mix.
This cigar lacked most of the flavors I like and the pepper was way to strong for my taste taking away most of the enjoyment. I'm happy that I only purchased on 5 pack since nearly all the $1.00+ cigars I have picked up the last couple months have given me a better smoking experience. However if you like pepper and lots of it, this is the cigar for you! 

For more reviews visit dangumm.com

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hit the mother load on this sampler!

My "The Heavy Hitters Double Stack" sampler arrived tonight and it is way better than I expected it to be.  I ordered it from Cigars.com for $69.95 for 12 sticks (that just $5.84 per stick), Just the two Man O' War Armadas and the two Ave Maria Reconquista retail for more than the sampler price plus the My Uzi Weighs a Ton is a 6x60 Toro. Along with those there are also two Ashton VSG Eclipse, Romeo y Julieta EdiciĆ³n Limitada, and Cohiba Puro Dominicana.
If you want a super deal on some premium cigars this is the deal to grab.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

CAO Brazilia

CAO Brazilia
Once this stick was free from the cellophane it was quite easy to see the craftsmanship and attention to detail put into the construction this cigar. 

The dark, oily, Brazilian wrapper was flawless and I could smell the spicy chocolate aroma radiating from several inches away. The foot also had the same nice aroma and the cigar was very firm with no soft spots. I had also picked up a punch yesterday and was anxious to give it a spin after tasting the cap, which it too tasted like spicy chocolate. I thought since the cigar was so firm that the draw may be impaired, but even with just a punch hole in the cap the cold draw was flawless and again tasted like spicy chocolate.

Once a flame was put to the cigar it produce a nice amount of white smoke that had a pleasant woody aroma. The flavor from the first puffs mainly had chocolate undertones mixed with a good tobacco flavor, these flavors remained constant through the first third and didn't change until about the mid point. Even though I was being careful I was a bit disappointed that the white ash fell at about the 1 1/2" mark. At the half way point a nice mild earthiness developed into the flavor mix as the chocolate faded a tad bit. As the near perfect burn reached the final third the chocolate came back just enough to change the flavor into more of a scalded mocha flavor that was near perfect. 

This scalded mocha favor mix held until the very end giving this cigar a super strong finish. Even though the flavor profile of this cigar didn't have the complexity in the first two thirds that I really enjoy, the flavors in the final third and the fantastic flavor from the wrapper that only became tastier as the cigar burned earned this cigar my number three spot for the year so far. I will be picking up a few more of these tasty treats.

Rated 92

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gurkha Nautilus

Wrapper: Habano 2000
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
Size: Robusto 4.7 x 52
Price: $7.09
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 1 Hr. 5 Min.
Humidor time: 0 days - Cigar store purchase

Once I removed this cigar from the cellophane I was impressed with the overall appearance of this stick. This was one nice looking cigar that I held in my hand. The dual band was striking in appearance as was the smooth medium brown Habano wrapper. I was however a bit surprised of how light this cigar felt and half expected it to be soft as I rolled it between my fingers, but surprisingly, it wasn't soft at all.

Using my other senses to examine this cigar I found the wrapper's aroma to be a mix of oak and leather, but it was faint and I found it difficult to determine exactly. The foot was a bit easier to judge since the aroma was a bolder mix of spice and fruit. As I tasted the end cap it was again a bit of a challenge to come up with a flavor, but there was faint sweetness there and the cold draw had a heartier flavor more like spiced apple. 
Once the foot was properly toasted and the cigar was lit, loads of thick white smoke billowed skyward from the foot. The massive amounts of smoke coming from this cigar looked like a smoldering pile of pine needles just before they burst into flames and after about two minutes I could barely see across the room as each new puff again created a towering plume of smoke. I was a bit disappointed that the foot was making two to three times more smoke than was coming out the cap. Even though the draw appeared to be easy, getting a nice mouthful of smoke was a bit of a challenge but the cigar did have a nice earthy tobacco aroma to the smoke.
The first third started with a mild to medium flavor combination of oak, earth and leather that held true until the beginning of the final third where the flavor finally shifted into a bit more complex mixture of coffee, earth and leather that remained until the cigar was finished. I found no bite or bitterness at any time and it did smoke cool the entire length. The burn rate on was dead on, but although I was being careful, the ash fell at just past the one inch mark.
Overall this was a nice cigar and it was a positive smoking experience but for the $7.00 price tag on this baby I feel a bit slighted, I expected a lot more bang for the buck. I do have to add that #LoganatDell did warn me that Gurkha's don't hold up to the hype, but I still had to find out for myself. I'm positive that I will never pay full retail on this lackluster stick again.

For more reviews visit my main website dangumm.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Victor Sinclair Legacy Box Pressed

Wrapper: Connecticut
Filler: Nicaragua Viso, Olor and Criollo 98 Dominican Rep.
Size: Churchill 50 x 7
Price: $1.25 Replacement cost $3.00
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time: 1 Hr. 30 Min.
Humidor time: 6 days

This was another selection from the "Power House 16" sampler by Thompson Cigar. The cigar was hefty and well constructed with an nice dark oily wrapper and no soft spots.When smelling the wrapper I was immediately surprised with a nice mild dark chocolate aroma, the same flavor appeared when tasting the end cap, while the cold draw produced the same dark chocolate flavor there was a hint of spice mixed in. The cold draw was a bit firm but still well within the acceptable range to be an enjoyable smoke.

Lighting this cigar proved to be an easy and rewarding task as the aroma it produced reminded me of toast, coffee and chocolate, the first draw also rewarded me with a mouth full of nice sweet dark chocolate tasting smoke that sat well on the pallet. These flavors remained constant for the first third of the cigar, but this stick did develop an uneven burn that corrected itself by the cigar's mid point.
During the second third the flavor shifted a bit loosing some of the spice while at the same time a creamy sweetness entered into the mix as the intensity of the chocolate increased making this cigar medium bodied. As the burn neared the final third a nice mellow earthiness developed giving this stick a flavor reminding me of a near scalded mocha that I found to be rather pleasant.
This cigar finished right down to the end with no bitterness or harshness at all and the burn problems in the first third of the cigar never reappeared. Overall I found this to be a very enjoyable and rewarding smoke that I would purchase again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cuban Delights Churchill

Wrapper: Natural
Filler: Dominican; long and short
Size: Churchill 50 x 7
Price: $1.00 
Beverage: Diet Pepsi 
Smoking time 1 hr.
Humidor time: 5 days

After a few days in the humidor to even out a bit this is the first selection from the Cigars International "Po' Boys II" sampler. This is a nice looking, firm, well constructed stick but it only has trace amounts of oak as the cold aroma, the wrapper had a very slight sweetness to it and the cold draw was even and light as were the flavors.
Lighting the cigar was a snap and the initial flavor and aroma was that of toasted oak, in fact the flavor remained fairly constant the entire length of the cigar. Around the final third the burn took off a bit but it soon corrected itself without my intervention. This cigar lacked any flavor complexities but at the same time the nice even flavor never became bitter or harsh. 
Over all this was a nice, mild, pleasant smoking cigar that would be good for mowing the lawn, working on the car or even out fishing (I can actually picture myself waist deep in a river casting a fly while puffing on this stick and if I got excited and dropped it with a fish on, nothing lost). At a buck each, this was just a nice easy smoking every day type cigar that I don't think you can go wrong on.

Victor Sinclair Series 55 Churchill Corojo

Wrapper: Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan, Brazilian and Dominican
Size: Churchill 50 x 7
Price: $1.25 
Smoking time 1 hr 35 min
Humidor time: 5 days

This is the first stick sampled from the "Power House 16" sampler from Thompson Cigar, which was part of a Christmas offering that consisted of 16 Victor Sinclair Churchill cigars, a cutter and a ten stick aluminum travel humidor for $19.95.

To start off, this cigar had some construction problems with the wrapper. As you can see in the two pictures there is a wrapper nick just above the band, a split in the foot and a wrapper tear about two inches up from the foot. On the back side is a split that circles nearly half the cigar that almost looks like it has been broken. Upon closer examination the split was only in the wrapper and didn't go into the binder.

The cold aroma had hints of toasted nuts and spice and the end cap had a slightly sweet taste to it. As with all the other 55's I have sampled the draw was perfect and the cold draw had the same flavorings as the cold aroma, only more apparent. Once the cigar was lit I the aroma was nice, a bit like toasted almonds. It burned at an even rate producing a nice white ash and the split in the foot and the first wrapper tear cause no problems as I puffed right through both of them with  no unraveling.

Flavors in the first third of this so far mild cigar were just enhanced versions of what was found during the cold draw and by the time second third was reached, a nice sweet cream flavor had moved into the mix. As the burn neared the second wrapper tear at the cigar's mid point a slight bitterness presented itself for a moment, but then soon went by the wayside. The center wrapper tear proved to have no ill effects as the cigar burned right through without incident. Nearing the final third of the cigar the nuttiness and toast faded yet the flavor began to strengthen with the addition of oak, earth and spice while most of the sweet creaminess remained.

Setting the wrapper problems aside, this was a very enjoyable smoke with a moderately complex mix of flavors. The replacement cost on this cigar is $3.00 per stick in boxes of 20, but at the $1.25 price that I paid it would be hard to find a better smoke.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Warlock Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Size: Robusto 54 x 4.75
Price: $7.60
Beverage: Diet Pepsi w/lemon wedge
Smoking time 1hr. 20 min.
Humidor time: 24 hours

With the release of Cigar Aficionado Magazine's top 25 cigars 2011, I decided to break from my normal pattern of buying my cigars as samplers from one of the great online retailers and took a trip to the local cigar store, Spokane Cigar Shop, to find a couple sticks the made this list. Well I achieved success and found the Warlock Robusto, CA's number nine pick.

Construction for this stick was spot on, the dark Habano wrapper was flawless, the stick was firm with no soft spots and the cold aroma it gave of was a combination of nuts and mocha and the end cap tasted of the same flavors. Once the end was clipped off the cold draw had slightly stronger hints of the same nutty, mocha flavors and the cigar had a nice easy draw.
Once it was toasted and lit the first puff provided a stronger version of the same flavors that pleasantly lingered on the pallet and the aroma from the cigar was of toasted nuts. As the first third turned to a nice firm light gray ash a creaminess developed into the flavor mix. I tipped the ash at about the two inch mark (I'm sure it would have held much longer), and the ash was so firm I could feel it snap as it broke free.
These flavors remained fairly constant and only developing fuller in flavor until the final third where some of the mocha gave way a bit to a nice earthiness. Right at the end, you know the point where your fingers are burning because you want it to last forever?  I was hit with a final bang of chocolate that gave this cigar a fantastic finish. 
Overall this was a fantastic cigar that had absolutely no bitterness, bite or harshness right down to the last three quarters of an inch. If I had a rating system, this would certainly be the highest rated stick I have ever smoked and it moves to my new number one!

For more reviews please visit my main website: dangumm.com

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thompson - Don Lugo Churchill Natural - Revised

Here's another stick from Thompson Cigar's Five Don's Sampler. The cold aroma at the foot was nearly non existent as was any flavor from the heavy wrapper and the cold and very tight draw tasted a bit like old earth. Upon lighting this cigar, two things struck  me at the same time, the nice sweet and spicy aroma, and a very bitter harshness that felt like it was destroying my tongue. This harshness and bite were so overwhelming that it was nearly impossible to judge any flavors other than bitter, which by the way were prevalent until about the halfway point.

By the halfway point the bitterness and bite were both fading away, but boy my tongue had already paid a price on the first half, to be replaced by a smooth earthiness. The draw had also started to ease up and the uneven burn had now corrected itself .

Reaching the final third, the bitterness and bite were gone, the draw had improved dramatically and a dark chocolate flavor crept in to complement the smooth earthiness already present. This cigar finish up very well,  maybe even better than some of the others in this sampler. Not wanting to give any cigar a bad review, I went to Thompsoncigar.com; there were no negative comments posted on this stick, actually everyone like it, so perhaps I just got the one bad stick. With that said I will review another in the next couple weeks and compare it with the results today. These sell for $2.40 per stick on the Thompson site in bundles of 25. Until I smoke another, the jury is still out on this cigar.

Well I smoked the second stick today. Like the first cigar, it lacked aroma, the draw was to tight (which never did loosen up like the last one), had a mild yet non-complex flavor blend and produced smoke with a nice aroma. However, I was pleased that this stick did not have the same bitterness or harshness that the last sample had. Compared to over the counter gas station smoke this one rates a bit above, but at the $2.40 price tag I don't think it's a good deal unless you can find it in a sampler for around a buck a stick.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today's News

Well I don't have a cigar review yet today, but the good news is; my new humidor is up to humidity and fully stocked. Once it's stabilized again after filling it nearly to the brim, I will post a full review on it too. 
Here is the down and dirty on the humidor; it's a beast, it's beautiful, but it's still a beast! I purchased this as a package from Thompson Cigar for $119 which includes the 125 count glass top humidor with a digital external display, 60 green label Corona's and a three count pocket case. The coronas aren't really my cup of tea, but hey, they came with the humidor and the normal price tag for just the humidor is $125. Once they get a chance to stabilize for a while I'll review them and publish what I find out here for everyone.
There are a ton of reviews yet to come in the next couple of weeks since I have a ton of cigars to review. I am currently backlogged with CI's Po' boy II sampler, the Victor Sinclair Power House 16 sampler and the green label coronas from Thompson plus the last stick from the Honduran Cigar Lovers Diary from Holt's.

Read the full review on my main website: dangumm.com

Monday, January 9, 2012

Don Augusto Churchill

This Five Don's sampler just keeps getting better and better. I really liked this third cigar, the Don Augusto Churchill, it has Dominican Olor fillers and a natural Indonesian wrapper. The cold aroma gave off slight hint of spice and slightly heavier hint of toast. The cold draw was easy and mainly had the taste of toast with a slight sweetness to the wrapper and the feel to the cigar was firm but not hard.
Lighting the cigar was a breeze and I was surprised by the immediate sweetness that accompanied the spice and toast flavors. These flavors remained steady the length of the cigar, as did the burn, until the final quarter where a bit of bolder earthiness developed. 
I have enjoyed all the cigars in this sampler so far, but this one is by far my favorite, however there are two more brands yet to try. I did find these on the Thompson site selling for $2.65 per stick by the box of 25 putting them right there price wise with some higher quality samplers, but this is a good stick and I may buy  more as a daily smoker.

For more reviews please visit my main website: dangumm.com