Monday, March 31, 2014

TrueLove-Purple Passion House Blend by Buna Mobile

Buna Mobile roasting company is a small batch roaster that specializes in roasting for fund raisers. You can find more information about their charities and fundraising on their website.  The tag-line on the Buna Mobile web site reads, "Exotic & Specialty Coffees Delivered Farm-Direct Fresh To YOU!" So, lets see if this statement holds true to the cup.

Buna-Mobile-House-Blend-web
Looking at the bagged coffee you can see that every bean has an oily appearance and there are even oil smears inside the bag. As I opened the sealed bag containing the Truelove-Purple Passion House Blend of Cameroon and Java coffees, the aroma of rich of chocolate and coffee immediately hit my nose. After the coffee was ground it gave off more of a caramel and chocolate aroma. I couldn't wait to get this coffee cupped.

Doing a pour over, the ground coffee produced a nice bloom and gave off a slightly nutty aroma. Once the brewing was done the finished coffee was light, crisp and clean with a lightly syrupy finish. The flavor mix contained nuances of nuts, toast and caramel. Overall the Truelove-Purple Passion House Blend from Buna Mobile produced a nice cup of coffee.

I give this blend a 4.5 stars out 5 rating. If you get a chance, hop over to their web site.

Emilio Cigars: La Musa Melete Lancero

The La Musa Melete in its former branding, the Grimilkin from, Emilio cigars, is one of my all time favorite blends in the toro and robusto vitolas. Believe it or not, in 35 years of smoking cigars, this is my first lancero and I am pretty excited to give it a try.

Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 7  x 40 Lancero
  • Wrapper:  Nicaraguan
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Cutting Method: Xikar guillotine
  • Paired with: Diet Pepsi
  • Price: $10.20 Sample for review provided by House Of Emilio
 La Musa Melete
With its pig tail cap and its seamless wrapper, construction of this La Musa Melete lancero is top of the line. Checking aromas from the foot there were feint fruity notes to the nose and flavors found testing the free cold draw were a mix of toast, fruit and rich tobacco. There was also a nice lingering, nutty aftertaste from the cold draw.

As the burn progressed it left behind a soft medium gray ash, but the highlight of this cigar was the complex flavor mix. Nearly each draw had a different mix of flavors. During the 70 minute smoking time I found notes of caramel, nuts, oak, cream, sweet tea, camp fire, wheat straw, brown sugar, toast and coffee in just about any combination you can imagine. The finish was long with a flavorful mix of toast, coffee and sweet cream.

Overall my first experience with a lancero was fantastic. The La Musa Melete had superior construction, a great burn time and a fantastic flavor mix that kept me guessing through the entire experience. If you get the chance to smoke one of these, don't pass it up!

The La Musa Melete is available in these sizes: Robusto (5×50), Toro (6×50), Torpedo (6×52), Corona (5.5×46), Lancero (7×40)

Appearance and construction: 19
Flavor: 19.5
Smoking characteristics: 19
Overall experience: 19.5
Purchased Price: 17
Total: 94

To read more reviews visit CheapAshCigar.com

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Product Review: The Cigar Clip

Most cigar smokers know that with some cigars the best part is the nub. I personally find this true with many maduro wrapped cigars. To avoid burnt fingers I have tried, many times with success, sometimes without, toothpicks, paper clips, tweezers (which doesn't make the wife happy), and many other household items. On my last trip to Cigar Train, the owner Brian tossed me one of these "The Cigar Clip", and asked me to give it a try. Well I've done just that and here's the low down.

Quick Details
  • Adjustable for any size cigar
  • Leather pocket pouch
  • Plastic grip
  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic
  • Does not damage cigar
  • Price:  MSRP $9.99 Sample provided for review by Cigar Train

Overall, I think this product works great. The Cigar Clip is strong enough to hold a fresh cigar, but can be adjusted to hold even the softest cigar nub without damaging the wrapper. If I were still a golfer, I'd be using this clip to hold my cigar out on the course.

The only negative aspect that I ran into is that I had to use both hands to spread The Cigar Clip open then place it over the cigar. Perhaps with more use the tension will soften a bit so it can be a one hand operation.

There is a instructional video on the CigarPro website that shows the proper methods on making the clip fit larger or smaller ring gauge cigars.

For $9.99 I think The Cigar Clip is a pretty good deal and I give it an 8 out of 10 star rating.

A J Fernandez Spectre Robusto

A J Fernandez Spectre Robusto Cigar
I'm running behind on reviews, but I just had to make time to review this Spectre robusto since it's blended by the master A.J. Fernandez and I love nearly every cigar he blends. I couldn't find much information on this cigar, other than some speculation on other review sites about filler blends and how unique the flavor mix is. What I do know is this; it has a dark maduro wrapper and a "secret blend" of filler tobaccos. After smoking the Spectre, I can say it has one of the most complex flavor mixes I have encountered in 35 years of cigar smoking. Did I like it? Was it good? Read on and find out...


Quick Details

  • Cigar Size: 5  x 50 Robusto
  • Wrapper:  Maduro
  • Filler: Secret blend
  • Price: $8.00
As I removed this cigar from the cellophane two things jumped right out; how dark the maduro wrapper is and the size of the band. I'm not one for large bands, I will get into that more when I do my post on bands, but it did come right off with no wrapper damage. The Spectre has a stout, toothy wrapper that was rolled on with tight but visible seams and it contained a couple small/medium veins. Feeling down the body, it was packed firmly, but not overly hard full length and I found no soft areas.

Checking aromas from the foot stumped me for a bit. After several attempts the best description I can come up with is barnyard. Once the end was clipped the free cold draw also had notes of barnyard, but with a lingering sweetness. Once the cigar was burning, the flavor mix was not at all what I was expecting.

The first mouthfuls of chewy, medium bodied, nutty scented smoke had nuances of oak, molasses and nutmeg with the same lingering sweet aftertaste. As the burn progressed the flavor mix changed every two or three draws. I found notes of, nuts, cream, cocoa, coffee, over-ripe citrus, black pepper, peat, hay and a sharp blast of bold red pepper in the final inch. Other than the red pepper in the final inch I thought the ever changing flavor mix was fantastic.

Burn wise the cigar was great. It burned cool full length leaving behind a light gray ash that held on for about an inch.

Overall, I really liked this Spectre Robusto. The flavor mix kept me guessing throughout the entire burn, most of the flavors came, went and then came back again at one point or another. I'm glad that I picked up a five pack and perhaps a bit more humidor time will give the red pepper time to mellow a bit.

Once again A J Fernandez blends another winner in my book!

Rated: 93



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reunión Digestivo Double Robusto by Bodega Premium Blends

You know, I always say that every cigar has a story and if it doesn't I'll just make one up!

Cigar bands are a huge thing for me. Someday I will devote an entire post explaining why this is. But briefly today, just due to the band design of the Reunión Digestivo Double Robusto I would grab a couple off the shelf to purchase. It's a great design that will stand out well on a shelf, plus it reminds me of the Minas Tirith flag in the Lord of the Rings movies, and I think that's pretty neat. Besides that bit of fun, the Reunión Digestivo by Bodega Premium Blends is offered in three vitolas: double robusto  –  5 x 54, corona gorda – 5.5 x 46, toro – 6 x 52 for this review I am smoking the double robusto so let's get on to the details.

Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 5  x 54 Double Robusto
  • Wrapper:  Mexico,  San Andres Valley
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Cutting Method: Colibri V-Cutter
  • Paired with: Diet Pepsi
  • Price: $11.00 Sample provided by House of Emilio
Reunión Digestivo Double Robusto by Bodega Premium Blends
Construction of this Reunión Digestivo was near perfect. The oily, toothy, wrapper did show some seams, but they were all tight and it gave me a good view of how sturdy the wrapper was. Feeling down the body it was firmly packed with no noticeable hard or soft spots. Testing aromas from the foot, I found a pleasant mix of toast, rich tobacco and tree fruit. The same flavor mix was present once the end was clipped and the firm cold draw was tested.

As I performed my normal pre-light toasting of the foot an oil line started to immediately develop on the wrapper. Once it was burning, the cigar produced a large volume of medium bodied smoke from both ends. Initially from the first inch the predominate flavors were cedar and earth. As the razor sharp burn progressed toward the 1/3 mark, flavors of cocoa, brown sugar and oak joined in. Near the center section there were nuances of caramel and a bit of mild red pepper. I did notice about then the smoke was leaving behind a sweet chocolaty aftertaste on my palate. Once the red pepper passed, there were notes of nuts, molasses, cream and cocoa that built into a nice long full bodied finish.

Burn wise, the Reunión Digestivo was fantastic. The razor sharp burn line left behind a semi firm light gray that held on to the middle where I bumped it off and a nice oily sheen developed on the wrapper.

Overall this Reunión Digestivo was a fantastic cigar. Would this cigar be good enough for the King of Gondor? Yes, I think it would. It had a great burn, great flavors including a long flavorful finish and it gave me 55 minutes of pure smoking pleasure. The $11.oo price tag is in what I call my super premium price range so I doubt if I will ever pull the trigger on a box purchase, but I would pick one up from time to time.

Rating: 93

To read  more reviews visit CheapAshCigar.com

Monday, March 24, 2014

Remove Scale From A Tea Kettle

Remove Scale From A Tea KettleI'm sure there are hundreds of articles already posted on the topic "how to remove scale from a tea kettle", but this is my quick and easy trick to make my tea kettle shine like new.
I've been using the same stove-top stainless steel tea kettle for tea and pour-overs the past two years. About two months ago I noticed there was a thick, ugly, gross looking, layer of light gray scale crusted to the bottom of my kettle. I'm not sure if this had a negative effect on the taste of coffee and tea, but it looked terrible. I want my coffee and tea reviews untainted by bad water so I began searching the web for a cure.

After an hour or so of searching are reading, a plan came together. I poured about 2 cups of vinegar into the cold and empty kettle and let it stand for around 30 minutes. After 30 had passed, I filled the kettle with cold water, turned the burner on high and let it boil away for a good ten minutes. Once it was done boiling I poured out the gray brackish water, removed the the cover and tentatively peered inside. To my surprise, the scale was completely gone and the bottom had the nice shiny glow of a brand new tea kettle. Truth be told it was probably cleaner now than when it came from the original box. I did give it a cold water rinse and another boil to remove all traces of the vinegar.

To keep it shining like new, just add 1/2 cup of vinegar to half a pot of water and give it a quick boil every couple of weeks. It works for me!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Press Release: Blessed Leaf Kairos Cigars

March 13, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly, the leaders of BlessedLeaf.com, a Christian cigar-based ministry, announce the release of the long anticipated Blessed Leaf Kairos.

“This is a project that has been in our hearts for over a year. Our vision was to produce a great cigar with vintage tobaccos and have the proceeds go to ministry and missions efforts.” noted Kyle Hoover.

"For this project, we went back to our roots: Nicaraguan tobacco! This is a Nicaraguan puro in the Ezra Zion genre of blending. Since we are doing this for The Lord, it had to be the best work we could possibly do!” added Chris Kelly.

 The Blessed Leaf Kairos is a 52 x 6.25 box press. The wrapper is Corojo 99 Rosado. The filler includes ligeros from Esteli and Jalapa. Total production is 4000 cigars of 100 boxes and 5 packs.

 The Blessed Leaf Kairos is produced at the Casa Fernandez factory in Miami, Florida.

“We chose the name Kairos because of it’s unique meaning to this project. Kairos is defined as a specific moment in time when the Divine intervenes directly into your life. To us, there is a duel application. 

Obviously, as a person smokes the cigar they will have a “heavenly” smoking experience. Secondly, that the support raised for Christian missions will impact people’s lives with the gospel of Christ.” added Hoover.

The Blessed Leaf Kairos will be available for pre-order on BlessedLeaf.com and CigarFederation.com. The official launch herf will be on April 2 on BlessedLeaf.com.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Press Release: CIGAR PACKAGE DESIGN LOOKING TO FILL VOID IN THE CIGAR INDUSTRY





CIGAR PACKAGE DESIGN LOOKING TO FILL VOID IN THE CIGAR INDUSTRY

(Miami, FL) March 18, 2014Can I Have your Attention (CIHYA) Advertising and Branding announces the creation of “Cigar Package Design.” Cigar Package Design is making waves in the cigar industry with their branding and design campaigns.

Based in Miami Beach, FL, managing partners Humberto Areas and Cleveland Cook created the Cigar Package Design division in response to demand due to their stellar work with the Toraño Family Cigar Company, Dona Flor Cigars, Azan Cigars, and Titan de Bronze Cigar Company. They noticed a void in the industry and have filled the need. As a cigar advertising and design firm, Cigar Package Design spotlights brands from identity and cigar band graphics to complete advertising campaigns.

Cigar Package Design is the brainchild of CIHYA’s managing member Humberto Areas.  Humberto, born in Nicaragua got his feet wet in the cigar industry when Willy Herrera’s Titan de Bronze needed the company’s identity revamped. Humberto––a longtime cigar smoker with 10+ years in branding and design––was overjoyed to combine his business experience with his passion for cigars.

Humberto Areas and business partner Cleveland Cook (who possesses a stellar background as an Art Director) began work overhauling the Toraño Family Cigar Company’s corporate identity in 2010 when Toraño took back sales and distribution from CAO. After the new identity was complete, they were soon retained and have created cigar bands, box designs, and promotional pieces for Toraño’s Vault series, Loyal, Salutem, and Exodus Finite.  Most recently, the newly created print ad campaign for Toraño’s “Blends from the Vault” series can now be seen in Cigar Aficionado, Cigar Snob and other leading industry publications.

Humberto said: ”Design and branding is my talent; cigars are my passion. As an avid cigar smoker, I’m happiest when I can service a client by delving into their psyche to bring out the passion, vision, and personality of their cigar brand. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a successfully planned ad campaign featured in industry publications and smoking a cigar wearing a band I helped create. Cigar Package Design is more than a design studio catering to cigar makers –it’s a lifetime dream of working in an industry that encompasses a passion.”

The pastime of cigar smoking encompasses comradely, family, and friendship. Cigar Package Design can connect your brand with potential customers through the common language understood by the brotherhood of the leaf.

Visit and connect with Cigar Package Design:
facebook.com/cigarpackagedesign
Instagram @cigarpackagedesign
Or give them a shout at 305-538-5057


For more information, media and sponsorship inquiries, please contact info@creativasgroup.com, 305.595.7888.

Creativas Group Inc. provides public relations and marketing counsel to South Florida-based businesses, nationally recognized special events and leading non-profit organizations. For more information, please log onto www.creativasgroup.com or email info@creativasgroup.com. Photographs and interviews are available by request.


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Monday, March 17, 2014

Rocky Patel: Xen by Nish Patel Box-Pressed Short Robusto

This is the first cigar blended by Nish Patel that I have smoked that I am aware of.  I picked up this Rocky Patel Xen by Nish Patel at Cigar Train the other day for the drive home but didn't smoke it until the next day.
Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 4  x 54 Short Robusto
  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Secret filler core blend
  • Cutting Method: Colibri V-Cutter
  • Paired with: Diet Pepsi
  • Price: $6.99 purchased at Cigar Train


This Xen by Nish Patel had very good overall construction. The smooth Connecticut wrapper was put on with seamless care and there were only the finest of veins present. Cold aromas from the foot were a mixture of sweet tea and toast. Once the cap was clipped with my Colibri V-cutter the smooth, free cold draw tasted like sweet tea.

After the cigar was toasted and burning the first draws yielded a flavor mixture of mild bodied oak and sugar. As the burn progressed I could taste brown sugar, cream, coffee and a mild sweet spice that lingered on my palate. The long finish came into play just past the half way point when the flavor mix shifted to a medium bodied mix that tasted a lot like coffee with extra cream and extra sugar. Testing the retro hale I found a mild dose of black pepper.

Burn wise this cigar again was pretty good leaving behind a soft light gray ash that held on past the 1/3 point. The body was packed a bit softer than most cigars I smoke, but it wasn't a problem and the cigar never burned hot.
I did have one small problem. Right after lighting the cigar, my lips pulled off a dime sized chunk of the thin Connecticut wrapper  just below the cap. The binder held fast and the wrapper didn't unwind so all was well.

Over all this was a nice mild/medium cigar that would make a nice breakfast/morning coffee cigar. If you are new to cigars, or like them mild, this Xen by Nish Patel would be a great stick for you to try.

Rated: 91

To read more reviews visit dangumm.com

Nirvana Cameroon Selection by Drew Estate and Royal Gold Cigars

Big things come in small packages! There was a bit of apprehension on my part the other day when I plucked this Nirvana Cameroon Selection by Drew Estate and Royal Gold Cigars out of the box at Cigar Train, a 4 x 44 cigar and a $9.99 price tag, wow. But, I soon found out this cigar was a little stick of dynamite dressed up as a cigar. Read on and find out why...

Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 4  x 44 Silencio
  • Wrapper: Rosado wrapper grown in the Eastern province of Cameroon
  • Binder: San Andreas, Mexico
  • Filler: Nicaraguan, Jalapa and Estelí, Jamastran region of Honduras
  • Cutting Method: Table top V cutter
  • Paired with: Diet Pepsi
  • Price: $9.99 purchased at Cigar Train
Construction of this cigar is well above average, the dual bands blend well with the oily Cameroon wrapper. The wrapper itself is rolled on with no visible seams and you would pretty much have to call the wrapper vein free. Feeling down the body it was firmly packed full length and the foot had aromas of black pepper mixed with oak. Once the cap was clipped I found the same pepper and oak mix from the free cold draw.

As this cigar took to the flame, the explosion hit; a flavor explosion that it. The first mouthful of smoke hit me will a full bodied blast of saddle leather, oak and some floral notes. What a surprise, I was expecting perhaps some mild bodied cream, toast or something along those lines. As the burn progressed there were other flavors of cinnamon, anise, brown sugar, mild black pepper and a hint of barnyard. The Nirvana wasn't super complex but it was a great full bodied flavor mix.

Burn wise this cigar again was near perfect with it's razor sharp burn, the oily wrapper and a light gray ash that held on until the mid point. A 30 minute smoking time was a bit short, but it was a pretty small cigar, I just wanted it to last longer.

The boldness of the flavors and the strength of this cigar did surprise me, but it was a pleasant surprise! Drew Estate and Royal Gold cigars came up with a real winner here!

Rated: 95

Partagas Black Label Maximo

There were couple things that surprised me with this cigar. When I slid this stick out of the tube I noticed two things right away, first it had  no band, second it was a what I would call rustic looking with its rough exterior texture. Neither of these things change the way a cigar smokes, it just struck me a odd. Back in the day, I smoked quite a bit of Partagas product and I'm not sure why I don't any more, but this Black Label was a good stick to get me feet wet with again.
Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 6  x 50 Maximo (Toro) Tubo
  • Wrapper:  Connecticut Medio Tiempo
  • Binder: Dominican-grown 'La Vega Especial'
  • Filler: Nicaraguan and Piloto Cubano Ligero
  • Cutting Method: Xikar guillotine
  • Price: $9.99 purchased at Cigar Train
Once this Partagas Black Label Maximo was free from the tube I did my normal cold testing. I found notes of spiced tea and perhaps a touch of spiced rum from the foot and once the cap was clipped I found about the same flavors from the free cold draw.

Construction wise, the dark, oily, toothy,  wrapper made this cigar look not only rugged but stout. The wrapper wasn't seamless, but it was pretty close and there were only few very fine veins present. The burn produced a firm looking white ash that held to the 1/3 mark before falling.

Once the foot was toasted and burning I was rewarded with large plumes of smoke and big flavors. Initially the flavors were a mix of cocoa and toast with a barnyard, anise retro hale. As the burn progressed some oak and brown sugar entered the mix and at about the have way point the flavor took on a beefiness, some of that in favor, but more in smoke texture, the smoke just felt beefy and chewy. Soon after that came some coffee and cream followed shorty by creamy chocolate notes for a super long, super tasty finish.

The only negative point about this cigar was it developed a wrapper crack soon after it was lit, but I managed to get it stuck back down and finish the cigar with no other problems.

Overall, the flavor  mix wasn't what I would call complex, but wow it sure was delicious. You Can pick up a 5-pack from Famous Smoke Shop for only $27.99. Give it a try and see what you think!

 Rated: 95

Friday, March 14, 2014

La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte Robusto

A few years ago Logan from Cigar Federation turned me on to these cigars and I've been smoking them ever since. With the arrival of my new humidor two weeks ago I started rearranging my cigar stock and came to the realization there were nearly a box of these La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte robusto cigars tucked away in various humidors.

 Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 5.5  x 54 Robusto
  • Wrapper:  Pennsylvania Broad-leaf
  • Filler: Nicaraguan long-leaf ligeros from Esteli, Condega and Jalapa
La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte Robusto
Construction wise these cigars are pretty nice. They come packed in a dark thick, toothy, oily  Oscuro wrapper with a few small veins and tight but apparent seams. Testing the aromas from the foot, there is a strong woody, chocolate mixture to the nose. Once the head is clipped the free draw contains notes of cocoa and oak.

After this medium/full bodied cigar starts burning, the real fun begins. Right from the start this La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte is in my opinion a chocolate bomb. There are bold notes of chocolate, brown sugar, oak, molasses, cream, charcoal and earth with a nice lingering sweetness on the palate. This is the cigar where I started using the term "burnt mocha" to describe a chocolate, charcoal, cream finish. Now I doubt if I am the first person to ever coin that phrase, but I use it a great deal to describe the finish on maduro wrapped cigars.

As this cigar burns it leaves behind a firm light gray ash that normally holds on until about the middle if you are careful. They burn fairly straight, I have never corrected the burn on any, and the wrapper develops a glossy oil sheen in the second half.
Overall I feel this is a great cigar. It has good construction, a good burn and great flavors. If you haven't tried this cigar and you like Oscuro wrappers, I think you are missing out.


Rated: 92


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Camacho Triple Maduro: Old Vs. New


I have been told the blends have been changed and they haven't been changed. All I can say for sure is, that for one reason or another the two cigars were much different. I'm not sure if I will ever know the truth.

*************

This is a pretty unique review for me. It's not often I have two versions of one cigar. It just happened that a few weeks ago while at Cigar Train I picked up the Camacho Triple Maduro in the old version, then last week the new versions arrived in the store so I picked up the new Camacho Triple Maduro with this review in mind.

Quick Details:
OldNew
Cigar Size:4.5 x 505 x 50
Wrapper:MaduroSan Andres Maduro (Mexico)
Binder:MaduroAuthentic Corojo Maduro
Filler:MaduroMaduro (HN, DR, BR)
Pairing:Cravens French RoastCravens French Roast
Price:8.999.99
Old Blend: Construction wise this was a pretty nice cigar. The dual silver bands   create a nice contrast with the dark maduro wrapper.  The sturdy, toothy wrapper was rolled on   with near seamless care there were only a couple of small veins that could be   seen.  Checking the body, it was packed   firm with no excessive hard or soft areas to be found. Checking cold aromas   from the foot, there were only faint tobacco notes. I found the same flavor   in the free cold draw once the cap was clipped.

After toasting the foot the first few draws were a bold mix of red   pepper, barnyard and cocoa.  This mix   faded about ½ inch in and was replaced by a nice mix of cream and chocolate   lasting to around the cigar’s mid-point. Once the burn hit half way the   flavors changed drastically. The last half was a mix of strong black pepper,   dirty chocolate and peppered earth. It was just not my idea of how a triple   maduro cigar should taste. The mix was ok if you like pepper, but I was disappointed.

The burn of this cigar was the highlight. This 4.5 inch stick burned   for 65 minutes and I consider myself a fast smoker.

Don’t get me wrong, if you are a pepper fan, which I am not, this   would be a great cigar.

New Blend: Construction wise this new line triple maduro was first class. The   new dual band design gives this cigar a great look. This wrapper with a light   amount of tooth was rolled on with seamless care and it was virtually vein   free. The body was firmly packed with no hard or soft spots to be found.   Since the other reviews of the Camacho new line cigars had went so well I was   expecting big things from this cigar. Once the cigar was free from its   cellophane prison, I found notes of tobacco and cocoa from the foot.  This is more like I thought a triple maduro   cigar should be. I clipped the cap and tested the cold draw. The draw was   free, but I received a solid full bodied blast of tongue burning red pepper.   You can only imagine my surprise and my fear that this new line cigar would   be a red pepper bomb.

With apprehension I toasted the foot and lit the cigar. To my   surprise the first mouthfuls of smoke were a nice mix full bodied mix of   earth and cocoa. Some cream followed by some mild brown sugar soon joined in.   This was exactly how I thought a triple maduro cigar should taste.  As the burn progressed notes of campfire,   toast and molasses joined the mix. In the final inch my favorite burnt mocha   mix arrived giving this cigar a super finish!

This cigar had a bit of a wavy burn line and the ash had a funky   spilt the first inch but it all evened out by the mid-point and a nice oily   sheen devolved on the wrapper the last half. The burn time on this cigar was   again fantastic lasting a full 60 minutes.

As I mentioned, this cigar had the flavor mix I was expecting from a   triple maduro cigar. I think Camacho really hit the mark on this re-blend.   Give it a try and see what you think.

Ratings:
OldNew
Construction:1819
Flavor:1619
Smoking Characteristics:1919
Overall Experience:1919
Purchase Price:1818
Total9094

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Veritas Torch Habano Toro

It's a great feeling when someone asks you to review their cigars, but you know what? It's an even better feeling when someone asks you to review a great cigar! That's the case with this Veritas Torch Habano Toro. Veritas Cigars asked me to review this stick and boy it turn out to be a real winner in my book.
Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 6  x 50 Toro
  • Wrapper: Sun Grown Ecuadorean Habano
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Jalapa and Ometepe
  • Cutting Method: Colibri V-cutter
  • Paired with: French roast coffee
  • Price: $7.60 Sample provided for review by Veritas Cigars

Veritas Torch Habano Toro
I have been going crazy the last week trying to work this Veritas Torch Habano into my review rotation because I was really excited about giving it a try. Before pulling off the cellophane I had no idea the cigar had a pigtail cap and a closed foot, I like that.

Like always the first step for me is to check the foot for aromas. I put the cigar to my nose and inhaled deeply, when the aroma from the foot of this cigar hit my nose I literally said out loud, "wow"! The deep rich aromas of chocolate and tobacco from this cigar were amazing. I clipped the pigtail cap to check the cold draw flavors, of course the draw was super tight, it has a closed foot, but there were still notes of rich tobacco and chocolate. To be honest I had to write Veritas to confirm it was a Habano wrapper because the notes of chocolate were so pronounced I knew it had to be a maduro. Well as you can see, I was wrong. To finish the construction details, the cigar was packed firmly from head to foot, there were only the finest of veins present in the slightly toothy wrapper, plus the wrapper was rolled on with seamless precision. All this care resulted in a really nice looking cigar.

The closed foot was easier to light than I had anticipated and the first draws yielded a mix of cocoa, coffee with a slight hint of tree fruit. I didn't find this Torch to have a complex flavor mix but other flavors did come and go as the burn progressed. As the second third started notes of toast, oak and molasses joined the cocoa. In the final third a bit of earth joined in and was followed by some dried fruit. Right around the band area the flavors shifted for the final time to a mix of cream, coffee and cocoa. This wasn't my favorite burnt mocha, there were no notes of charcoal, but it was close and it was very tasty!

Burn wise, this Torch toro lasted for 1 hour and 10 minutes. The burn line was spot one and the flaky, light grey ash held for the first third. In the final third the wrapper developed a nice oily sheen for the finish.

This Veritas Torch cigar is another great example of careful blending, testing and quality workmanship. I thought this cigar was fantastic and look forward to adding more to my humidors. I would like to thank Veritas Cigars for the opportunity to smoke and review this gem. Thank you!

Rated: 94


Camacho Connecticut Robusto

I have been so impressed with these newly banded cigars from Camacho Cigars that over the next week or so I will be reviewing all the blends that are in stock at Cigar Train here in Spokane. Today, it's the Connecticut Robusto. As a side note, I used this cigar and the Criollo in a coffee-cigar pairing experiment for Cravens Coffee using their French roast blend. Cravens Coffee is a medium sized roasting company also located here in Spokane.

Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 5  x 50 Robusto
  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Authentic Corojo
  • Filler: Honduran Generoso & Aleman Ligero
  • Cutting Method: Colibri Slice
  • Price: $7.99 purchased at Cigar Train


Camacho Connecticut Robusto
Take a look at the picture of the Connecticut robusto and you will see one of the reasons these Camacho cigars impress me, construction is nothing but top of the line. There are no seams or veins present in the picture and I didn't Photoshop them out. 

Checking the foot for cold aromas I found notes of toast mixed with a floral or dried tree fruit type of bouquet.  Once the cap was clipped, (the cutter I was reviewing at the time tore the wrapper, ugh), the firm but free cold draw contained flavor notes of toast and brown sugar.

Once the cigar was burning the first flavors were a mild bodied mix of oak, cream and molasses. After the first few draws I noticed a nice mild spice that lingered on the palate. This is billed buy Camacho as a mild bodied cigars, which it is, but I thought the flavors were bold, but not strong. As the burn progressed there were additional notes of coffee, cream, white pepper, cedar and a hint of anise. This stick didn't have a complex flavor profile, but it was very flavorful. With a quick retro hale I found nuances anise and cedar.

Burn wise, this cigar produced large plumes of smoke from both ends and it gave me sixty minutes of smoking pleasure. The burn was a bit wavy the first third, but was razor sharp by the cigar's mid point, where the light gray ash finally gave way.

Like I have said in all the Camacho Cigar reviews, if you haven't tried them yet you're really missing out! This is one of the top Connecticut's I've smoked.

Rated: 93



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Camacho Criollo Robusto Tubo

Every trip to Cigar Train, I grab a couple more of these re-banded Camacho Cigars. Because of the bold new packaging I just can't resist these cigars. For this review I chose the Criollo Robusto and it proved to be another great choice. Read on and find out why...

Quick Details

  • Cigar Size: 5  x 50 Robusto
  • Wrapper:  Criollo 98 (4th priming)
  • Binder: Authentic Corojo
  • Filler: Honduran Criollo, Dominican Piloto Cubano
  • Smoking Time: 50 minutes
  • Price: $7.99 purchased at Cigar Train


Camacho Criollo Robusto
I know, all I can talk about is the great job Camacho did with the new packaging. However that's not what keeps me buying more every time I visit Cigar Train. This cigar has impeccable construction. You can see in the picture this stick has seamless construction and the wrapper is virtually vein free. 

Feeling down the body, it's packed firm full length with no hard or soft patches and once you check aromas from the foot, there are nice notes of tea mixed with rich tobacco to the nose. After the cap is clipped, testing the cold draw reveals a free, yet slightly firm draw and a spicy, nutty flavor mix.

After completing the toasting and lighting process the cigar produces a really nice volume of smoke and your palate is rewarded with a medium bodied mouthful of smoke that tastes like sweet tea mixed with oak and it has an underlying spiciness to that warms the palate. As the wavy burn progresses up the cigar, it leaves behind a soft light gray ash and other flavors join in. There were flavors of nuts, brown sugar, mild earth and bolder oak. The flavor mix of this cigar wasn't very complex but it was tasty and the flavors were bold.

Again this new lineup by Camacho just keeps impressing me. It's not only the packaging, but also the construction and flavors of these cigars. 

Rated: 93



Colibri Slice Double Guillotine Cutter

This silver carbon fiber Colibri slice double guillotine cutter came in a humidor, lighter, cutter and ashtray package from CheapHumidors.com. As time allows I'll review the other products included in the package.

Quick Details:
  • 440 stainless steel blades
  • 64 ring gauge
  • Rubber side grips
  • Spring-loaded release
  • Gift box included
  • Two-year Warranty
  • Price: $29.99 CheapHumidors.com
Colibri Slice Double Guillotine Cutter
Overall this is a pretty nice cutter, it has an attractive overall appearance, it's fairly sharp and the rubber grips on the sides are a nice touch. As I said earlier,  it was part of a set, and it matches well with the Colibri Sapphire single jet lighter that was included.
 On the Colibri website this cutter retails for $85.00 and is on sale for  $55.00 at the moment. This makes the $29.99 price tag a real deal. Another plus is the nice gift box that Colibri supplies with the cutter.

There was a bit of a learning curve to open this spring loaded cutter one handed due to the way it's designed. After some trial and error I solved the problem by putting my index finger in the closed cutter opening the pulling the button with my thumb.

Additionally, I cut fairly shallow on parejos shaped cigars and after cutting several cigars, it's just not sharp enough to do the trick for me, but it does work great on torpedo and perfecto shaped cigars.

Overall this is a nice looking, well functioning cutter that makes a nice addition to my cigar swag. There is one more point I should mention, on Colibri.com, it states there is a two year warranty on this cutter, but if you go to the warranty page, it only explains the lighter warranty. So I just don't know...

I give this Colibri slice double guillotine cutter a 7 out of 10 star rating.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Room 101 HN Corona

This Room 101 HN corona is my first Room 101 cigar review. I do have a couple other Room 101 cigars that have been in my humidor the past couple of months that I will review soon. I've heard many good things about Room 101 cigars so I'm excited to give this one a try.

Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 5.2  x 44 (213) Corona
  • Wrapper:  Criollo '98
  • Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
  • Filler: Nicaraguan Dominican Navarette
  • Cutting Method: Xikar guillotine
  • Price: $7.99 purchased at Cigar Train
Room 101 HN Corona
Construction of this HN corona is spot on. The Criollo '98 wrapper was put on with seamless care, there are only the finest amount of veins and there's a medium amount of tooth present. Feeling down the body of the cigar, it was packed a touch on the softer side of the scale.

Checking the cigar for cold aromas I found a nice mix of spicy cedar and toast. Once the end was clipped the free cold draw had the same flavor notes. Once the cigar was toasted and burning the first draws had a sweet flavor mix of caramel, anise and plum. As the burn progressed there were other notes of earth, toast, peat cream and coffee.

Burn wise this HN cigar was very good, it was a slow burner that gave me 40 minutes of smoking pleasure. As the burn progressed it left behind a solid dark gray ash that held on close to the mid point.

In my opinion this Room 101 HN corona was just a solid cigar. I enjoyed the flavor mix, the aroma and the smoking time.  Now I'm excited to review the other Room 101 cigars in my humidor.

Rated: 93

Friday, March 7, 2014

601 La Bomba Warhead

Since my first time reading about the 601 La Bomba Warhead I have wanted to get my hands on one. Last week Cigar Train mentioned they were in stock so I ran right over and picked one up. The 601 La Bomba Warhead is a limited edition cigar with only 2,000 boxes of 10 being produced. It is the first cigar in the 601 La Bomba line to be produce with a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper. It has a fuse-like pig tail, it's box-pressed and the band looks like a World War II bomb when it's stretched out flat.

Quick Details


601 La Bomba Warhead
Visual inspection of the 601 La Bomba Warhead reveals a cigar with top-notch construction. The sturdy Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper has a light amount of tooth, is rolled on with seamless skill and only the finest of veins are present. Feeling down the body, it's packed firmly, with no hard or soft areas to be found. Testing the aromas from the foot there is a strong aroma of cocoa to the nose. Once the pig tail cap was clipped the free cold draw had bold notes of chocolate and spicy cedar. Since the band was located at the cigar's foot, it had to be removed before lighting the cigar. It came off without causing any damage to the wrapper.

Once the foot was toasted and lit, the first flavors were a medium body mix of earth, raisins and sweet chocolate. As the burn progress other flavors entered the mix, there were note of oak, mild anise, molasses, cream and peat through the first two thirds. The highlight of the flavor mix was the long finish. The entire final third was a full bodied mix of my favorite flavor, burnt mocha. My "burnt mocha" mix consists of chocolate, cream and charcoal. I did test the flavors with a retro hale and found it to be like a dry chocolate.

Burn wise this cigar was pretty good. The burn took off a  bit up one side, but by the mid section it had evened out with no need for correction, leaving behind a soft, flaky light gray ash that held on through the first third.

Overall this 601 La Bomba Warhead was a tasty cigar with a decent burn, great flavors and a 60 minute smoking time.

Total: 92


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cravens French Roast Coffee

After a great deal of trial and error, I am finally at the point where I can give this Cravens French Roast the review it deserves. Simon Thompson, owner of Cravens Coffee, gave me this French roast coffee sample specifically to pair with cigars. Backing up a step or two, this Cravens French roast is a much darker roast than I am used to drinking so it took some trial and error with grinds and coffee ratios to brew my "perfect cup of coffee".

Yesterday I paired this French roast with the 601 Warhead cigar that I was smoking for review and today I am sampling the coffee without the cigar to note the flavor changes. This is what I have found so far...

Quick Details

  • Flavor Profile: Caramelized, direct, robust
  • Primary Origin: Costa Rica Monte Crisol
  • Roast: Dark / French
  • Brewing method: Pour over
  • All Cigars purchased from Cigar Train in Spokane WA.
Cravens French Roast Coffee
To begin, this is the description of the French Roast from Cravens web site, "Central America’s Ticos – as Costa Ricans are called – send us the hardest, densest, sturdiest beans we source. We give them a taste of France with our darkest roast. Perfect for those who like hearty flavor and pungent aroma in their cup. Voila!"

When you open the bag you see coffee beans saturated with oil and then the aroma of cocoa and rich coffee hits your nose. It's a pleasant experience. After the beans are ground the aroma of cocoa is even more pronounced. I was a bit surprised while pouring hot water over the grounds the aroma changed to more of an earthy, coffee aroma.
The first sips were bright and clean with mild sweetness that remains on the palate. I found flavor notes of earth, wood, coffee and a touch of charcoal appeared as the coffee cooled. The coffee left my mouth and palate feeling clean even though the coffee had a chewy, syrupy body that made my mouth water a bit after each sip. Overall it was a great cup of coffee.

601 Warhead cigar
Now the cup I enjoyed with the 601 Warhead yesterday had a stark contrast to what I found today. As you would expect, everything up to the first sip remained the same both days. The difference comes in the flavors after the coffee is cupped. Yesterday's first sips had bright flavor notes of cocoa and coffee. Then as the coffee cooled it took on more of a beefy flavor profile. It actually reminded me of the Sumatran coffees I am so fond of. Again, it was a syrupy, clean and bold with an underlying sweetness, a great cup of coffee.

Camacho Criollo

For my second cigar pairing I chose the Camacho Criollo cigar. This coffee/cigar combination surprised me a bit. Sipping the coffee did nothing to change the cigar's flavor profile, but the criollo cigar brought out more natural sweetness from the coffee. Over all the coffee still had the same flavor nuances of earth, wood, coffee and a touch of charcoal and the same clean, bold, syrupy body.





All the cigars that I smoked for these pairings are like the coffee, they have big, bold flavor profiles. The third pairing was no exception. For this pairing I chose the Camacho Connecticut cigar. I has a bold mix of floral, spicy and creamy flavor nuances. This pairing gave me totally unexpected results. The spice and sweetness of the cigar really brought out some spicy notes in the coffee that I hadn't experienced with the other pairings. additionally the sweetness and the cream in cigar really brought out the natural sweetness in the coffee.

This has been a very interesting pairing/review experiment using one type of coffee with three radically different cigars. With each pairing the flavor mix was drastically different or enhanced in the coffee, the cigar or both.

This Cravens French Roast coffee earns a 5 out of 5 star rating.



On a final note, again I would like to thank Simon at Cravens Coffee for providing this great sample for review.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Gurkha Trident Robusto

I have to admit that I have a hard time passing up Gurkha's because of their great band art and in doing so I've discovered some pretty good sticks.

Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 5  x 52 Robusto
  • Wrapper:  Havana Oscuro
  • Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
  • Cutting Method: Xikar guillotine
  • Smoking time: 45 minutes
  • Paired with: Diet Pepsi
  • Price: $5.99 purchased at Cigar Train

Gurkha Trident Robusto CigarI guess the first thing to mention about the Gurkha Trident is the lack of credible information about the cigar. There is nothing about this stick on the Gurkha web site and the big online dealers list the wrapper in one place as Connecticut Broad leaf Maduro, and on the same page as Havana Oscuro. The wrapper itself is pretty dark so I am going with Oscuro on this one.

Construction wise, this cigar is sharp. It has a nice band that contrasts well against the dark, oily, seamless Oscuro wrapper. Looking for veins in the wrapper, you have to look close to find any, it's that nice. Testing the foot for cold aromas there are strong notes of semi-sweet chocolate and once the cap was clipped the free cold draw contained the same flavor nuances.

The foot toasted with ease and the first few draws were almost straight cocoa. As the razor sharp burn progressed up the cigar's body there were other flavor notes of cocoa, toast, hay, wheat, peat earth and molasses. I wouldn't call this medium/full bodied cigar complex in the flavor mix department, but it was tasty.

There were a couple of other points worth mentioning. This cigar produced loads of smoke, more than other any cigar that I have recently encountered.  The smoke brought one word to mind, chewy. It felt in my mouth as dense chewy smoke. In fact, one note I made near then end I called this cigar, meaty. I guess that would have to be my overall impression of the Trident, it was meaty and chewy. I hope that makes sense.

Overall the flavor mix was not what I expected, nor was the finish. From a cigar with a Oscuro or maduro wrapped cigar I like to them to finish with my favorite burnt mocha flavors and the trident didn't. Don't get me wrong, just because the flavor mix wasn't what I expected, it wasn't a bad cigar. Actually it was pretty darn good and I will be picking up more as time allows.

Total: 92


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Nomad S-307 Box-Pressed Toro

This Nomad S-307 Box-Pressed Toro is another sample provided by House of Emilio and is the first stick produced by the Nomad Cigar Company I have smoked. I am pleased to say it turned out to be a real winner. Read on to see why.

Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 6  x 50 Toro Box-pressed
  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Factory: AJ Fernandez
  • Cutting Method: Xikar guillotine
  • Paired with: Diet Pepsi
  • Smoking time: 60 minutes
  • Price: $7.95 MSRP. Sample provided by House of Emilio

Nomad S-307 Box-Pressed Toro
Looking at this Nomad S-307 Box-Pressed Toro I see a nice box-pressed cigar with above average construction. The Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper is oily, it shows only the finest of veins, there is a light amount of tooth and it's put on with near invisible seams. Checking the foot for cold aromas I find notes of tea, black pepper and a slight fruitiness. After clipping off part of the cap, the cold draw is firm, but free, and I can taste rich tobacco, black pepper and dried fruit.

The foot toasted rather quickly and I was ready to go. In the first half I found flavors of black pepper, oak, caramel and coffee. Around the mid section of the cigar it began to leave a pleasant after taste of cream and nuts on the back of my palate and a hint of anise on my lips. The final two thirds more flavors entered the mix. I could taste brown sugar, cocoa, nuts, a splash of cream and some charcoal. Just past where the band had been the flavors changed to my favorite mix of burnt mocha. Testing flavors with a retro hale I found a mix of black pepper and brown sugar.

Body wise the S-307 started in the medium strength range but finished as a full bodied cigar. It had a slow razor sharp burn line that left behind a firm looking light gray ash. The ash held until the 1/3 mark. One thing that surprised me was how well this cigar held the box-pressed shape for the entire duration. Another item is the smoke, this cigar produced large plumes of smoke. The smoke had a dry finish to it. That's not a positive or a negative for me, it's just something that makes smoking cigars interesting for me.

As I said, this is my first Nomad cigar and I think it was a darn good first experiance. I plan on smoking many more!

I would like to thank the Nomad Cigar Company and the House of Emilio for providing this sample for review. Thank you!

Rating: 94

La Aurora 1495 No.4 Corona

La Aurora 1495 No.4 CoronaWhile at Cigar Train the other day I picked up the La Aurora 1495 No.4 to smoke on the drive home. This is the first La Aurora cigar I have reviewed and probably only the second I have ever smoked. Come to find out, as I was reading about this cigar I learned that Jose Blanco originally blended this cigar and I think that's pretty neat. So let's find out just what I thought about the La Aurora 1495 No. 4.

Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 5.25  x 43 Corona
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Dominican Corojo
  • Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Peruvian
  • Cutting Method: In store table top V-cutter
  • Paired with: Diet Pepsi
  • Price: $6.99 at Cigar Train

Construction of the 1495 is spot on. It has a nice oily Sumatran wrapper that is nearly vein free that was rolled on with near seamless skill. Feeling down the body it is packed firmly with no overly hard or soft spots. To the nose the foot has an aroma mix of tea, fruit and rich tobacco. After clipping the end the free cold draw had flavor notes of fruit and tea.

Once the cigar was toasted and burning there were flavors of spicy cedar, raisins and earth. As the slow burn progressed it left behind a firm light gray ash. Near the mid point the medium body earthiness became bolder and some peat joined in. The cigar finished with a nice mix of brown sugar and cream.

Overall this was a very tasty cigar and I'm glad that I picked it up. I know these have been around for a while, but if you haven't tried one, I think you should!

Rating: 93



Monday, March 3, 2014

Cult Ometepe Grande Robusto

I've smoked a few sticks from Cult Cigars in the past and really liked them, so on my last trip to Cigar Train I picked up the Cult Ometepe Grande Robusto to see what it was like.

Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 5.5  x 54 Grande Robusto
  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Ometepe, Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Jalapa, Nicaraguan
  • Cutting Method: Xikar guillotine
  • Paired with: Diet Pepsi
  • Purchased at Cigar Train
Cult Cigars Ometepe Grande Robusto
Cult is another cigar company that I feel does a better than average job on their band artwork and the Cult Ometepe is another good example with it's double band. The red, white and black band really stands out against the seamless Habano wrapper. The wrapper has a nice oily sheen and contained only one fine vein. Feeling down the body it was well packed, firm, but not hard and there were no soft spots to be found.  Checking the foot for cold aromas was a rewarding experience, there were strong floral notes combined with rich tobacco and sweet tea. Once the end was clipped I found the same flavor notes, with an added touch of anise, in the free cold draw.

Once the cigar was burning, the flavor mix in this medium body Ometepe wasn't complex, but the first word that came to mind was, delicious! To begin, there were strong notes of dried fruit, sweet tea and tobacco. This mix continued for about the first third then nuances of anise, toast, brown sugar and molasses entered into the mix and lasted well into the final third. In the final third a bit of mild red pepper came and went just to spice things up a bit.

Burn wise this cigar was great. The light gray ash held until I removed the band and a nice oil line developed on the wrapper just above the razor sharp burn.

I think Cult did a great job blending this cigar and this is my favorite stick of theirs so far. It had great flavors, great burn and was a joy to smoke. Give it a try I think you will be pleased!

Total: 94