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

Room 101 Ltd Conjura Edition Cigar Review

September 25, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Whenever I do a review I do a little search into the background of the cigar. Normally, this stuff can be pretty interesting. For example, knowing the genesis of a particular blend can be informative if not entertaining. This is all the information that I found for this cigar:

 

Saying I found nothing is a bit of an overstatement but I didn’t find much. I couldn’t find a central location for information on Room 101 Cigars, which I find odd since Matt Booth (Boofy), the creator of Room 101, is a genius at marketing and promotion and Camacho, who make the cigars, isn’t bad either. It’s not too important, I guess, as the more recent stuff from Room 101 is pretty popular even without a ton of info on the web.

Take myself as an example. I find the brand interesting and I did like the original Namakubi and Daruma. Now onto this cigar.

It’s a box pressed cigar with a medium-light brown wrapper and good construction. There are a decent amount of oils on the wrapper and the look, beyond the “medium-light brown” descriptor, has a mottled look to it. Alright, enough of this, let’s smoke the cigar.

Room 101 Ltd Conjura Size Chart (click on image for Boofy's Twitter handle)

Room 101 Ltd Conjura Size Chart (click on image for Boofy’s Twitter handle)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 4 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Rosado (from where?)
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Nicaraguan & Dominican
Price: $79.99/Box of 20 | $30.60/Pack of 5

Taper no more? Fire!

After an initial burst of peppery spice comes some dry, barnyard flavors that are performing decently. There’s also some oak and that peppery spice gradually morphs into a dry spice. It’s a unique mixture of flavors and I’m not quite sure what to think about it yet.

Some sweetness comes on during the second third but the main flavors are barnyard and oak. Spice is pretty much gone at this point. There isn’t a lot of strength to these flavors at this point, which is troubling.

Sweetness becomes a stronger flavor during the final third. I did have to perform one sizable touch up during this third but it didn’t seem to affect the performance of the cigar. The sweetness started to take on a floral character during the second third but it really comes on during the final third.

Medium bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; the Room 101 Ltd Conjura isn’t a bad cigar but just one that I don’t particularly care for. The spice that was present was decent for a while but then it just falls off of the map. What is present is a lot of pleasant sweetness that, while I’m sure some of you will like it, I just didn’t particularly care for it.

87 points

Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Cigar Review

September 20, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I’ve reviewed a few lanceros lately so I figured that I might as well do another. But before I get on with the review I would like to say a little about trying different vitolas. So, here it goes. Try different vitolas and you might be surprised in a good way. The more you know.

Rustic looking darkish brown wrapper with some oils on it. I do have to note that none of these (this is my fifth) have looked very good. Actually, each one of these I’ve smoked looks like it has gone through the ringer a few times. Veiny, bumpy, feels a bit soft and a couple of these cigars, including the one that I am set to smoke shortly, has had a crack at the foot. And there’s a pigtail on the cap.

One last thing: I have reviewed a Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 before and I loved it, making it one of my Top 10 Cigars of 2012. Wow, I should start thinking about my Top 10 for 2013 soon….

Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970

Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 (click picture to go to Joya’s site)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habana Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $110.99/Box of 20 | $31.99/Pack of 5

Walking Dead Spinoff Conflagration!

The draw is loose and, even though I like my draw to be a bit on the loose side, this is much too loose. It takes too much effort for me to get the smoke going but, when it finally reaches my taste buds, it’s pretty good. Very much like the other vitolas but with more of a moistness to the flavors. Spice, a cross between oak and cedar and leather make up the flavor profile at this point. It’s an aggressive flavor profile but, probably because of the extra effort I have to go through to get the smoke to come through, the flavors don’t stick around for very long.

I like the flavors, especially the powerful spice (with an edge of oak) but it’s just not as strong as it normally is in the other vitolas. The only conclusion I can draw is that since this is a lancero it’s having an affect on how much power is actually able to come through. In and of itself, less power is not a bad thing but, unfortunately, it’s also affecting how good the flavors are.

With the final third comes a better draw and a return to the spicy, dry earth flavor profile that I’ve come to expect from the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970. It’s a good ending.

Medium-full bodied with a loose draw but a good burn; the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 starts out unspectacularly but finishes well. And I’m not just saying that I didn’t like the first two thirds because I was expecting one thing and got something else. The draw was just too loose and that significantly affected my enjoyment of this cigar and this happened with each one I tried.

87 points

Carlos Toraño Casa Toraño Maduro Cigar Review

September 13, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

The cigars for this review were provided by Thompson Cigar; as always, all reviews are my own

As you may know, I studied Spanish in high school for three years so I’m pretty good at it now and that is why I know “Casa” means “home.” I think. Well, that’s not really important. Or maybe it is! Here, from the Toraño website:

Casa Toraño appeals to all the senses. The Ecuadorian-Connecticut (or USA Connecticut maduro) wrapper is delicate, silky, and smooth. The binder is especially selected from the Toraño farms in the hills of Nicaragua; and the filler is a combination of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and a family blend of Central and South American tobaccos. Originally the Toraño´s private family blend, the Casa Toraño was made available to the smoking public and has received an enthusiastic reception.

So it was the family’s private blend; that’s cool. One could even say it was their “house” blend.

Looking at it you wouldn’t necessarily think it was anything particularly special. While it feels uniformly packed and there are a decent amount of oils on the dark brown wrapper it isn’t a smooth cigar. I’ve referred to cigars that look like this in the past as being “rustic” and that applies here. Lots of noticeable veins, some peaks and valleys and there are some stretch marks on the wrapper.

Carlos Toraño Casa Toraño Cigar

Picture: Carlos Toraño Casa Toraño Cigar (click to buy this cigar from Thompson)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 6 ¼”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: USA Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan & Honduras & S. and C. American Friends
Price: $75.00/Box of 20 | $6.36/Single

Grace Potter’s Stars Conflagration!

This cigar starts out very well with notes of woodiness, mint and an overarching savory sweetness. It’s a good mixture of above average flavors that isn’t abrasive in the least.

Usually, when someone makes a point of saying there isn’t anything offensive or “abrasive” about something that is usually immediately followed by some variation of “but it’s boring.” This isn’t a boring cigar as the second third makes some pretty nice progressions. For example, the sweetness and woodiness have melded together very nicely and some mesquite is now coming through.

With the final third you will notice a pretty significant change. A dark earthiness starts to come through and it crowds out that savory sweetness that was such an important part of the first two thirds. Mesquite is the other major flavor at the end as well. (And, yes, I know that mesquite is a type of wood but earlier on in the cigar the woody flavor was more of a general woodiness.)

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Carlos Toraño Casa Toraño is an enjoyable cigar featuring primarily savory sweet flavors until that earthiness kicks in during the final third. Interesting cigar and I’m glad that I smoked it.

89 points

La Aurora Para Japón Cigar Review

July 8, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

After three years of Spanish in high school I am reasonably certain that “Para Japón” has something to do with bacon. The Para Japón cigar hails from La Aurora, a very charitable company, and some of the proceeds from the sale of these cigars goes to humanitarian efforts to help Japan rebuild after the disasters that befell it a while ago. Read HERE for more information.

Fine looking cigar; nothing particularly special about the way it looks. There are some oils on the wrapper, looks well made, has a couple of veins here and there and the wrapper is of a lighter brown hue. Of course, none of this really matters all that much because you can’t judge cigars by how good their wrapper looks. To the review!

Credit: Cigar Explorer

Credit: Cigar Explorer

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Brazil & Cameroon
Price: $65.00/Box of 12 | $28.00/Pack of Five

Red Wedding Flame!

The first and main flavor during the first third is sweet oak; it’s nice. There’s also some hay and a salty, rare meat flavor. Overall, the flavors are in the lighter spectrum of the flavor profile and I cannot find much to fault here.

While the second third has much the same flavors as the first, the flavors are now working better together. I like the mix of the sweetness and the oak and the hay; they play off of each other well and make the whole experience better.

This cigar does produce a lot of smoke throughout and, in its totality, is pretty enjoyable. The final third sees much the same flavor profile as the second third. And that’s fine.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the La Aurora Para Japón shows some flickers of excellence but, in its totality, is nothing special. As noted, it burns well and the draw is good, which is the baseline for a cigar, but the flavors weren’t very evocative and, even though they worked well together, they didn’t ever really get going. There’s some promise in this cigar but it’s unrealized.

87 points

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