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

Quesada Heisenberg Cigar Review

October 6, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I liked Breaking Bad. It was a different kind of show; a good mixture of smarts, drama and enough comedy, especially during the earlier seasons, to make the show work very well. Even though it’s by no means my favorite show it’s a show I wouldn’t mind watching again in five or ten years.

The cigar I am reviewing here, the Quesada Heisenberg, shares its name with the nom de cuisiner of the main character, Walter White, in Breaking Bad. Is that intentional? Well, I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that no information about the tobacco used in the blends for this cigar was ever publicly released. Why do this? Quesada did this to make it easier for the cigar smokers to just focus on enjoying the cigar instead of focusing, for example, on how the Dominican leaves played with the Nicaraguan and Honduran leaves.

So what does this Heisenberg thing mean? Heisenberg was a scientist who came up with the popularly (that’s a relative term) named “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.” Without going back to look at my notes, what I remember of this principle is that it stipulates that when you are measuring one thing with great precision you cannot measure another thing with increasingly less precision. And I think it has something to do with quantum mechanics. But I don’t want to waste too much of your time on this so if you want more information on this click the equation below.

Click image to get educated

Click image to get educated

The cigar itself looks pretty gnarly. There are some pretty serious veins, stretch marks and bumps all over the place. It feels like the cigar is slightly underpacked and the wrapper has some oils on it.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: petit corona
Length: 4 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 40
Wrapper: ???
Binder: ???
Filler: ???
Price: $49.95/Box of 10 | $5.50/Single

Uncertainty Principle Torch!

Quesada Heisenberg cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer's site)

Quesada Heisenberg cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer’s site)

It is an interesting flavor profile. A host of flavors including cappuccino, oak and cherry supports a sweet floral core. The draw is very nice right from the start and the flavors, without getting into whether or not I like them, are strong and clear. Even though there are a lot of positives here this isn’t my favorite combination of flavors.

During the second third there are some bright citrus notes that cut through to the foreground of the flavor profile providing an extra element to this cigar. Even though this may not be my favorite combination of flavors they do seem to work well together and if you are a fan of these flavors I’m sure you would like this cigar thus far. Personally, I would like it if the cappuccino and oak flavors played more of a role in this cigar but it is mainly about the sweet flavors – cherry and floral – with the citrus providing a little extra excitement.

As if this cigar knew what I was thinking, the cappuccino flavors do come further into the fore during the final third. The sweeter flavors recede a bit but are easily noticeable and, in my opinion, are better served as secondary flavors. A bit of an edge comes on during the final third in the form of barbequed meat. By itself that would not be a great flavor but with the other flavors present it does add something positive to the overall experience. I should note that the barbequed meat flavor came on during the second third for one of the three cigars that I smoked for this review but twice in the final third.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Quesada Heisenberg is an interesting cigar with a good deal of evolution to the flavor profile. During the first two thirds I would put it firmly in the sweet profile camp but during the final third it migrates over to the grittier side with meat and cappuccino. What you will find with this cigar are good examples of the flavors featured and all those flavors work decently well with each other. Personally, I don’t think I will make a concerted effort to buy any more of these cigars but I am glad that I smoked the few that I did.

88 points

Protect the Innocent from Second Hand Smoke

October 4, 2013 · Posted in Assault on Cigars · Comment 

Dear Innocents,

I understand your annoyance at being subjected to offensive odors and the health risks associated with smoke wafting about like a boney hand with a mind bent on murder. And, as a cigar smoker, I cringe at the idea of raising the ire and lowering the life expectancy of most non-smokers. If I have transgressed upon your physical and mental health in the past I sincerely apologize.

Over the last couple of decades America has made many positive moves to protect non-smokers from the ails of second hand smoke by outlawing smoking in most public buildings and in many outdoor areas as well. Here in California, for example, Cal State Fullerton recently became the first CSU campus to become completely smoke free. Why is this such a good thing for you innocents?

According to a 2007 study conducted by a couple of Stanford researchers, if an innocent were to sit within 18 inches of a cigarette smoker who smokes two cigarettes over the course of an hour the innocent would be exposed to the equivalent of an hour’s worth of sitting in a “tavern with smokers.” Personally, I think it’s utterly offensive if an innocent were to innocently sit down next to a smoker and the smoker didn’t immediately put out the cancer stick and walk away in shame.

Sure, according to the same study, if an innocent were to wander no closer than six feet close to a smoker said innocent “would have little problem.” But that’s not really fair when the smoker is sitting in a spot less than a couple of feet from where the innocent would prefer to sit. Why should that innocent have to alter their habits?

Kudos to Cal State Fullerton and every other locale that has banned smoking outdoors. Even though most of the time innocents are just passing through these places and are not subjected to the cold, wispy death grip of smoke for long, most likely not long enough to cause any harm, you can never be too cautious when it comes to such matters. At this point, many other smokers will be nodding their heads in agreement with what has been written here but are thinking that cigar lounges and other places that allow smoking acceptably protect the innocents.

Unfortunately, they would be wrong to even consider that as an acceptable compromise. As most intelligent people already know, people who don’t smoke frequently find employment at establishments that allow smoking. Sure, all of the employees at the cigar shops that I frequent smoke cigars themselves but what if an innocent wanted to work at a cigar shop or, more likely, that’s the only place they could find employment in these troubling economic times? By allowing smokers to light up in these places is unfair to those people.

At this point it goes without saying that restaurant smoking patios are completely unfair to the innocents as well. Prior knowledge that these restaurants allow smoking on their patios isn’t enough. What if the innocents had their hearts set on an al fresco dinner? Or, worse, what if the restaurant only has seating available on the smoking patio? Fortunately, the progressive city of beautiful Coronado has recently made strides to make smoking illegal in almost all cases. It’s not perfect, but it’s progress.

Now my fellow smokers must be in the throes of a nervous breakdown because they will have to admit that smoking outside represents a clear and present danger to all the innocents out there. I’m afraid that my fellow smokers are deluding themselves if they don’t accept this fact. But what about smoking at home? That should protect all the innocents, right?

As we have learned, there is a thing called third hand smoke. If you are not familiar with this danger then let me give you a short synopsis: the homing missiles that are smoke particulates cling to everything they come in contact with and when those smokers venture out into the world they are like suicide bombers that don’t die quickly by spreading carcinogens everywhere they go.

Smoke Face MaskThe only logical solution is to completely ban all tobacco products. This will be tough to enact but it has to be done to protect all the innocents, especially the children. Needless to say, this will be a tough nut to crack but, hopefully, it won’t go as horribly as the War on Drugs. It will take a comprehensive strategy and will probably take a while yet for all those troglodyte smokers to get with the program but it is definitely a worthwhile undertaking. A recent, somewhat whimsical, effort to shame smokers into embracing life can be seen by these Halloween masks made to look like smokers’ faces. They are hideous masks and I’m sure they’ll make some smokers rethink their lives.

In closing, I apologize for everything I and my fellow smokers have exposed you innocents to. The madness must stop and with some effort on all of our parts I’m sure we can rid the world of the disease called smoking.

Sincerely,

Travis

PS: I will have a review of the Quesada Heisenberg up this weekend.

Smoke a La Aurora 107 Day Contest

October 2, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Community, Cigar Industry · Comment 

Barry from Miami Cigar & Co. asked me to do this so I’m going to do it.

On October seventh you should upload a picture of you smoking a La Aurora 107 (I suggest the corona or the robusto) in honor of Smoke a 107 Day. Why do this? After all, this is a lot of work as it requires a couple of clicks on your phone (take a picture of yourself smoking a La Aurora 107 and upload it with the hashtag #LaAurora107 – I guess that’s technically a few clicks). Well, it looks like someone will win a trip to the Dominican Republic to tour the La Aurora factory. I’ve been to their factory and it’s pretty damn awesome. So do it!

Smoke a 107 Day

Click on image to go to Miami Cigar & Company’s Facebook page

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