Camacho Corojo (old version) Cigar Review

October 15, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Change is inevitable but, at least for this review, I’ll stand athwart change and yell “Stop!” because I’m going to review the old Camacho Corojo. Not only that, I’m bucking another trend (the one towards bigger vitolas) by reviewing the Machito, which is a very diminutive cigar measuring in at 4″ x 32. Cigars of this size are ideal for those times when you want a quick smoke, like when you are driving home from work.

Before I get into the review I would like to point out the picture below. If you click on the link you will get to see a bit of the future as that link will bring you to some reviews of the newly blended Camachos. (The fact that there’s a woman in lingerie has nothing to do with me using that picture. Nothing.)

 Click on picture to go to reviews of the newly blended Camacho cigars

Honestly, it’s a very ugly little cigar looking more like a twig off of an evil tree from some fantasy story. Somewhat veiny, kind of bent in places, light brown color to it and not a lot of oils on the wrapper either. I’ve smoked a lot of these cigars (fifteen or so at this point) and I was able to get these cigars for about $1/stick on sale because they are (obviously) discontinued.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: small panatela
Length: 4”
Ring Gauge: 32
Wrapper: Honduran
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Honduran
Price: Discontinued – Get ‘em while you can

Treehouse Torch!

Small cigar with a big flavor profile, this cigar starts out with a plethora of deep and provocative flavors. Bread, dark fruit, hay, cedar and dry spice are the flavors and they are delivered in a dense and chewy format. It’s a bold flavor profile that connects on many levels, many more than I thought it would before I tried one, but there are a couple of problems.

One of the problems I’m having with this cigar is that the flavors can get a little overbearing. It’s flavors are unrelenting and that leads to this cigar being heavy at times. I never would have thought that a little cigar could impart such a heaviness but this one does.

Another problem is that this cigar’s flame tends to go out pretty easily. This can be averted by making sure to take a puff every minute or so but if you are smoking this cigar on the go, which is its intended purpose as far as I’m concerned, then that might be a tall order.

Full bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; the old Camacho Corojo Machito is a great cigar when you are short on time. There’s a good deal of complexity and strength to this cigar and the flavors are enjoyable.

89 points

Alec Bradley Nica Puro Short Cigar Review

October 13, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

The cigar for this review was provided by Cigars Direct; As always, all reviews are my own.

Wrapper: Nicaragua    |   Binder: Nicaragua   |   Filler: Nicaragua   |   Box of 20: $125.95; 5 Pack: $33.00   |   Robusto   |   5″ x 50

Alec Bradley Nica Puro cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer site)

Alec Bradley Nica Puro cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer site)

0/3: When I first started smoking cigars I smoked a lot of Alec Bradley cigars and while there are definitely some good cigars in their lineup (I especially like the Prensado and the Family Blend) I found myself smoking less and less of them as time went on. Maybe my tastes have changed or maybe there are just too many good cigars out there that I just lost touch with Alec Bradley cigars.

But then I saw that Alec Bradley had put out their first Nicaraguan puro, aptly named the Nica Puro, and I wanted to try it to see how good it was.

It is a good looking cigar, not a lot of oils on the wrapper, nor veins, noticeably not symmetrical but pretty close. Mostly consistently packed.

1/3: How is the world suppose to end? Does it include fire raining down on the sinful masses? Well, my shorts just received their own little micro-apocalypse after I fumbled with the cigar and knocked newly lit tobacco cherries off of the foot and they fell on my shorts like a shower of small asteroids. Argh!

The cigar is quite good though. This is a very good example of what I think of when I smoke a Nicaraguan cigar: a bit on the dry side, bold flavors (including spice, leather and cedar) and a general sense of contentment on my part. Not only are the flavors bold but the strength is fairly bold as well. I’d say that this is an aggressive cigar that is by no means harsh or containing an off note during this first third.

2/3: While the spice is still present, especially in the back of my nasal cavity, the main flavors I’m getting are dry earth and leather. The cedar is still present around the edges of the flavors profile and it is now accompanied by a whiff of sweetness, which rounds off any rough edges this flavor profile may have had. The strength of this cigar has moderated a bit and is now in the low full bodied range.

3/3: Copious amounts of smoke have billowed throughout the duration, which is neat and shows that there is good combustion going on, which is important for performance and the such. The flavors, however, take a bit of a turn during the final third going more for oak and a bit of spice. On its own it’s not a negative but it did take some of my enjoyment away from the cigar. Kind of a bland ending when compared to the first two thirds but not compared to cigars in general.

4/3: Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Alec Bradley Nica Puro was, overall, a very good cigar. I especially liked the first two thirds which featured a good mixture of spice, sweetness and earth. The final third was somewhat of a drop off but still a net positive third in my estimation. I thoroughly liked this addition to the Alec Bradley line of cigars.

4 out of 5 points – A very nice addition to the AB line that fans of Nicaraguan tobacco will surely like

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Series Natural Cigar Review

October 11, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I’ve smoked a few of these over the last few months and my recent review of the E.P. Carrillo E Stunner reminded me that I haven’t posted a review of the Cardinal Series (this is for the one with the natural wrapper and the maduro review will happen in the future). Even though I didn’t particularly care for the E Stunner I do have higher hopes for this cigar.

It looks like a well made cigar but there are a number of stretch marks around veins. Not really a particularly good looking cigar but it does have a waxy feel to it.

Before getting onto the review I need to direct your attention to the picture below (click it to go to the E.P. Carrillo Facebook Page). Like the E Stunner, this cigar (and its maduro brethren) are billed as being full bodied cigars. Personally, I prefer full bodied cigars over medium bodied or lighter cigars when all else is held equal. But the strength of the cigar isn’t the only thing, it’s not even one of the three or four most important things I look for in a cigar.

Without giving away big spoilers, this cigar’s performance is better than the E Stunner and the full bodied sales pitch (seen below) is just that, a sales pitch. Which is fine.

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural (click image to go to their Facebook Page)

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural (click image to go to their Facebook Page)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $130.50/Box of 20 | $34.50/Pack of 5

Puttin’ on the Ritz Conflagration!

It’s a pleasant cigar with a good mixture of flavors; pretty refreshing actually. Initially, you get oak and some fruit-tinged sweetness. And then you are hit with a clean and sharp red pepper sensation through the nose on the retrohale and on the tongue as well. There’s also cherry going on here and it closely resembles the cherry I experienced in the E Stunner.

The flavors are good and they’re pretty clean, so I’m liking it. Cherry, oak and a hint of spice are the main things going on now. It’s reminiscent of the E Stunner but better.

Cherry dissipates a bit during the final third but so does all the brightness and cheer that was evident during the first two thirds. Cherry is still around but it progressively plays a lessened role as earth and coco ascend to the top of flavor mountain. It’s become a dark and gritty cigar and I just don’t know what to think about it. I’ve had five of these now and the flavor profile seems simple but there’s also a great deal of evolution going on with the flavor profile at the end. Interesting? Sure.

Medium bodied with a good burn and draw; the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Series Natural is an interesting cigar but it just didn’t work for me on a couple of levels. Yes, I liked it more than I did the E Stunner but, from what I can tell, the flavor profile is very similar. This cigar’s flavors worked well together but it just isn’t what I’m looking for in a cigar.

88 points

P.S.: After writing this review it occurred to me that maybe I’m just not a Sumatran wrapper fan and, after looking through my previous reviews, that’s mostly true. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the La Flor Dominicana Limitado V, which has an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper just like the cigar in this review.

La Flor Dominicana Litto Gomez Diez 2012 Cigar Review

October 9, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 
Litto Gomez Diez cigar (click image to go to manufacturer's site)

Litto Gomez Diez cigar (click image to go to LFD site)

I have a little bit of history with this brand as I named the 2012 Chisel as my top cigar of 2012 and, frankly, that’s the best cigar I have ever smoked. It’s so good that if I had to only smoke one cigar for the rest of my life I would quickly choose that one and have no qualms about it. Well… nah, no qualms.

Also, I’ve been reviewing a lot of lanceros lately and liking most of them. Since this cigar is a lancero and made from the same blend as my favorite cigar I have high hopes for this cigar.

There really isn’t anything like the smell of a Litto Gomez Diez cigar; it smells of spice and a barnyard. The construction looks good, there are some stretch marks around the foot though. It is a very oily cigar and there is one of those darling little pigtails on the cap. And now I’m going to cut that off.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 39
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $178.95/Box of 20 | $8.80/Single

Bizarro Flame!

It wants to be good but I have my doubts. The draw is very tight and that is wreaking havoc on the flavor profile, at least in the beginning. What flavors are able to get through include dark fruit and some fleeting spice. Basically, my impression of this cigar is that the flavors are there but they are hidden by the bad draw. The previous (two) LGD ’12 lanceros I smoked had the same problem.

A bit further into the first third the draw does open up a bit but it will probably be a problem throughout; I hope not but that was the case with the previous two. As long as you concentrate on bringing in enough of the smoke you will get pretty strong flavors including the aforementioned dark fruit and spice (but they’re much, much better now that the draw has opened up a bit) and there’s also barnyard and cedar.

Meandering is nice when it’s a warm, sunny day and you are walking through a park but it isn’t very nice with a cigar. I really want to like this cigar and there are some very good moments at the end of the first third and the beginning of the second third but then it just kind of wonders off again shortly after the halfway point has been reached. Earth, spice and those dark fruit flavors are kicking around and they are pretty good but are not as good as they should be. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that all the ingredients for a great cigar are present except for a good draw, which significantly hurts the performance of this cigar.

This cigar has all of the flavors that I like in a cigar but they just don’t get the opportunity to shine. My problem, which is not getting solved in the final third, is that the draw is making the performance inconsistent. Pretty much the same flavors going from the second third into the final third.

Medium-full bodied with a poor draw and good burn; the La Flor Dominicana Litto Gomez Diez 2012 lancero’s major problem is a poor draw. This problem undercut what should have been a wonderful group of flavors and made them pretty blah. This happened with the three cigars that I smoked and I would be surprised if this problem were isolated to the three cigars that I smoked.

87 points

E.P. Carrillo E Stunner Short Cigar Review

October 7, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · Comment 

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra    |   Binder: Nicaragua   |   Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican   |   Box of 24: $139.95; Pack of 5: $50.50   |   Robusto   |   5″ x 50

This is a picture of the Borgia Bull. Nothing to do with this review but it is a bull. (click image to go to E.P. Carrillo Facebook page)

This is a picture of the Borgia Bull. Nothing to do with this review but it is a bull and there is a bull on the band. (click image to go to E.P. Carrillo Facebook page)

0/3: If you just hear the name “E Stunner” you might think it’s an electronic thingamajig or… maybe something else. It’s none of that; it’s a cigar put out by the much respected EP Carrillo cigar company and I think they promise that this cigar has a good amount of kick to it. Well, lets see.

After picking up one of these cigars the first thing you will notice is that it is a very oily cigar. Visually, it’s nothing spectacular. It’s a mottled combination of medium to dark brown colors with some very light areas running along the veins. This combination of colors makes an ashy visual impression.

This is not a tightly packed cigar but the packing is consistent. It looks and feels like it was put together well (it is a Carrillo after all). Right before I lit this cigar I noticed that there’s an image of a bull’s head on the band, which, when coupled with the name, all points to this being a very strong cigar. I’m just hoping it tastes good.

1/3: There’s grass and red pepper going on in the beginning. It quickly progresses into including cherry and my overall impression of the cigar’s flavor profile is sweet spice. Pretty straightforward but nice all the same.

2/3: Cherry takes on more prominence during this third but there are still some red pepper notes through the retrohale and a bit of oak as well.

3/3: Cherry, earth and some coffee are coming through during the final third. The cherry is the strongest flavor and it’s good but everything else is pretty average.

4/3: Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the E.P. Carrillo E Stunner is a decent cigar but it doesn’t have the level of refinement that other Carrillo cigars are known for, like their Elencos cigars. It wasn’t even a full bodied cigar, which is something they were going for. This is a cigar you can miss.

2.5 points out of 5 – It’s a quality cigar but it just never hit its groove

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