Ashton Classic Short Cigar Review

Pre-Smoke

The Connecticut Shade wrapper is marred with a couple veins and a few discolored spots. It is an oily cigar that feels soft in some spots. I will be smoking the lonsdale vitola, 8-9-8 (6 1/2″ x 44), for this review. Besides the US Connecticut Shade wrapper the binder and the filler tobaccos are from the Dominican Republic. This cigar retails for around $8.00 per cigar.

Smoke

Mild cigar with a good draw and a good burn. The first big flavor is oak with some sweetness as well. There is also a graham cracker flavor that comes along after an inch or so.

After the halfway point the draw tightens up and the flavor profile definitely takes a turn for the worse. In addition to a ghastly burnt flavor the overall affect is harshness. Those good flavors are still there but they are almost completely masked by the bad ones.

After-Smoke

Let me put it this way: the first half of this cigar was like a good movie (think more The Fast and The Furious than The Godfather). The second half of this cigar is the equivalent of the horrendous sequel; you don’t want to smoke it but you feel obligated to give it a try since you liked the first movie, I mean the first half of the cigar.

Even with that said, this cigar is, at its best, very vanilla – I just couldn’t get excited about it. It’s kind of flavorful but it lacks soul. And it is somewhat expensive.

2 points

601 Black Band Short Cigar Review

Pre-Smoke

Solid to the touch, looks wonderful, feels oily and a bit fuzzy. The 601 Black Band line features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and the binder hails from Nicaragua. For this review I am smoking the robusto (5″ x 50) vitola (there are a total of five vitolas in this line including the “Rabito” – funny name). The robusto will cost you around $7.50 per stick.

Smoke

The draw requires the faintest of tugs to get a mouthful of smoke. In addition to the great draw the burn is also very even. This is a medium bodied cigar.

Cherry and oak are the first two flavors noticeable. It’s almost like a cherry tinged oak flavor – to be more precise. Smokiness is the other major flavor.

After-Smoke

The 601 Black Band is a nice, easygoing cigar that was quite enjoyable. While it doesn’t offer a load of flavor the flavors that are present are very good.

3.5 points

Carlos Toraño Signature Collection Short Cigar Review

Pre-Smoke

The Carlos Toraño Signature Collection features a sun grown Brazilian maduro wrapper, a Connecticut broadleaf binder and the rest of the tobacco is Cuban-seed ligero from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Very good looking cigar with tons of oil. This cigar is truly a fine piece of craftsmanship. I am smoking the toro vitola (6″ x 50) for this review and it retails for a little more than $7.00 a stick.

Smoke

Earth and cocoa are the first flavors I get. Most of the flavor is evident in my mouth and not when I exhale out my nose, which is different than my normal experiences with most cigars.

There is an almost tart flavor on the tip of my tongue. The burn is basically even, the draw is good and this is turning into a tasty medium bodied cigar. The flavors are moderately above average.

Sweetness is apparent in the immediate aftertaste associated with the cocoa and then fades. On a side note, the cocoa becomes watered down.

After-Smoke

If I had to teach the “law of diminishing returns” I would have my pupils smoke this cigar. It starts out as a solid example of earth and cocoa. But then it progressively got weaker. Still, at its low point, it is a decent cigar. For the most part… I liked it.

3 points

Alec Bradley Maxx Traditional Toro Short Cigar Review

Pre-Smoke

The most obvious difference between the original Maxx line and the Maxx Traditional line is that the Traditional line has smaller ring gauge cigars. Other than that, the traditional cigars are suppose to impart the same bold flavor as the oversized Maxx cigars.

I am smoking the Alec Bradley Maxx Traditional Toro (6″ x 50), which costs around $5.25, for this review. The wrapper has a good sheen of oils but it also has a number of veins. Furthermore, the wrapper color is not consistent but rather a mottled assortment of milk and dark chocolate colors with the occasional black spot.

AB Maxx Traditional Page

Smoke

Coffee flavors without any of the bitterness. There is a lot of chocolate, it just coats my mouth and won’t leave – not necessarily a bad thing. As this cigar progresses I’m afraid that coffee and chocolate will be all you get from it (and the coffee is relegated to a minor role in less than half an inch).

On the bright side it is a mostly sound cigar. The draw is great but the burn is somewhat uneven and the flavors (um, flavor – so far) is strong. It is a medium bodied cigar. This is all up to the halfway point.

After that point a saltiness comes on. It’s definitely a negative flavor but it is in no way overpowering or even a large enough part of the flavor profile to significantly take away from my overall enjoyment of this cigar. In conjunction with the saltiness a meaty flavor starts coming on. The chocolate is still the major flavor though.

After-Smoke

Now that I have finished this cigar I feel let down. Chocolate is a fine flavor as long as it is, at most, a secondary flavor. Making it the leading flavor, for me at least, is a mistake. It is a decent cigar but could have been much better considering its lineage.

2.5 points

Tatuaje Havana VI Nobles Short Cigar Review

Pre-Smoke

The construction looks to be well above average. It is a little loosely packed near the foot and there are a number of veins, which are not too pronounced. Some oils, feels powdery to the touch, smells like robust leather and just looks good.

I am smoking the Nobles vitola, which is 5″ x 50. This is a Nicaraguan puro that features a natural wrapper and is made under the supervision of Jose Pepin Garcia. Finally, even though this is a boutique brand, none of the cigars from this line will break the budget costing anywhere between $5.50 and $8.00. The Nobles vitola retails for around $7.00.

Smoke

It starts off well enough. Spice, leather, a lurking sweetness in the background. The draw requires just a little tug now and then, which is no big deal. The burn is uneven and will probably need a couple of touch ups. This is just a bit stronger than medium bodied – medium-full bodied.

What really impresses me about this cigar is that the flavors are definitely alive. They start out strong on the inhale with the leather and the sweetness, which is a close approximation of caramel, and then the spice (warm spice, like cinnamon) explodes out the nose. At the very least it is an interesting cigar.

After about two-thirds of the way through a salty flavor starts to come through.

After-Smoke

The Tatuaje Havana VI Nobles is an above average cigar. Good, vibrant flavors. The salty flavor near the end didn’t take much away from my overall enjoyment of this cigar.

4 points