When I picked up this cigar in late July I was hoping to be able to make some allusions to the Angels then-dynamic duo of Trout and Trumbo, affectionately known as “TNT.” They were dynamite and then they weren’t. And now the team is out of the playoffs for a third straight year and my interesting introduction has been all shot to shit. #FirstWorldProblem
But now I’m going to smoke the most recent Viaje TNT, which is short for “boom.” But does this cigar really go boom? Well, that’s for me to know and you to find out. What I will tell you right now is that this toro has a “fuse” that tops off the cap and the general construction of this cigar looks good. It’s tightly packed, more oily than the average cigar, pretty much devoid of veins and imperfections and it has a closed foot. I’ve smoked one previously and am honestly looking forward to smoking this one.
Length: 6 ¼”
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
Price: $780.00/Box of 75 | $10.40/Single
Where’s the Beef? Incineration!
It’s a simple cigar without much strength. There’s some floral flavors and soft spice. Also some washed out woody flavors as well.
Actually, this is a decent cigar. While the flavors are more subtle than I would like and the strength is right smack in the middle of the medium bodied range it is enjoyable. That sweet spice gets stronger while maintaining it’s reserved attitude and the floral notes are still present. The wood, light oak really, is also lurking in the background.
The spice lessens, hay comes on board and so does a bit of chocolate during the final third. It’s a different flavor profile but I do miss those floral notes and the oak.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn, what I don’t like about this cigar doesn’t have anything to do with how it performs, which is good. What I don’t like is the name: TNT. Replete with fuse and menacing name I expected a powerhouse of a cigar, something with a good amount of flavor and a lot of strength. This cigar has some of the former and none of the latter.
But a name is just a name and you really can’t judge a cigar by something as unimportant as a name. After the final puff was retrohaled I found myself longing for something more. It’s a good cigar, pleasant really, but nothing special.
Yesterday, I posted a review of the Tatuaje Little Monsters Frank Jr. and, if you read that review, you’ll know that I really liked that cigar. Today, I’m going to review the Lil’ Drac, which is the kid of the Drac.
But before that I have to say that I don’t get why these were released at the beginning of the summer. The summer? Yeah, that’s scary. Didn’t matter though because these things are selling really quickly. Still, the ambiance is all off.
A short, veiny torpedo with a slightly darker than normal brown wrapper with a couple of black splotches. This cigar is slightly oily and slightly soft to the touch.
Ring Gauge: 48
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Price: ~$8.00/single as part of a box of 10 Little Monsters
Bela Lugosi Torch!
Light oak notes with an ash flavor tinged earthiness. Even though the flavors are pretty good they aren’t that strong. Honestly, this isn’t starting off great. It’s not that the cigar is bad it’s that the flavors just aren’t strong.
While the light oak is still present there is also this soft spice flavor that is starting to come through. It’s a pretty simple flavor profile and even though there’s nothing wrong with it this cigar just isn’t that exciting.
The final third did change a little bit towards sweetness. It’s a deep sweetness, kind of like coco, and is a good mix with the oak flavor.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn. My major problem with this cigar is that the flavors aren’t very strong. It’s also a pretty simple cigar. Overall, not one of my favorite Tatuaje Little Monsters.
Full Disclosure: I received a couple of these from Smoke Inn.
The first thing you should know about this cigar is that it is cheap. Just look at the Cigar Stats for this thing. Yeah, that’s really cheap. So it’s one of those cigars that if it tastes alright and you want to stock up on cigars for when you’re walking the dogs or doing yard work then this might be a good choice.
It’s not a beautiful looking cigar – scratch that – it’s a pretty gnarly looking cigar. There are stretch marks around a couple of the veins and the cigar itself is hard to the touch. The shape itself is pretty good and the wrapper is medium to dark brown.
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Price (MSRP): $50.00/20 Pack | $16.25/5 Pack
Freezing Hot Water Flame!
Not bad. I wouldn’t say that the flavors are awesome but they are enjoyable. A little bit of spice and oak and grass. The mixture is nice and as long as this cigar doesn’t break bad then it’ll be a good cigar.
Dark chocolate, raspberry and cappuccino come through during the second third. It’s really quite exceptional for a cigar this cheap. The flavors aren’t amazing but they are very good.
Entering the last third and the flavors move towards the berry flavor more. The other major flavor is still chocolate.
This cigar did have some problems. Unfortunately, the draw was a bit tight but there was still enough airflow to not hurt the flavors too much. The burn was good and this is a medium bodied cigar. While the flavors weren’t great they are very good for the price point. It’s definitely worth a try if you are looking to fill up on cigars you smoke while doing a moderately physical activity.
If you spend any time whatsoever searching through certain online retailers I am sure that you have seen them pushing the Cu-Avana Punisher. Chances are you have read something like this:
Be warned, Punisher is no joke. This full-bodied, potent blend of Nicaraguan ligero tobaccos is one of the strongest cigars we’ve ever experienced.
Obviously, the main selling point of this cigar is that you are going to get a major nicotine kick when you smoke this cigar. Perhaps it may even be the strongest cigar in terms of body that you have ever smoked. But is that a good thing? Should that even be something that you should consider when you are buying a cigar? Probably not but it did pique my interest and, anyways, I just wanted to see how strong this cigar actually was.
The Punisher’s wrapper has a greyish-brown hue to it and it only comes in one size: a 6″ x 52 torpedo, which is adequately constructed. As far as I have seen with the few of these that I have smoked there were no major problems with the construction of this cigar.
Ring Gauge: 52
Price: $100.00/Box of 13
Breaking Bad Sizzle!
[Aside: Usually, you can find information about the makeup of the tobacco used to make a cigar. In this situation, after minutes of exhaustive searching, I could not find any information on this cigar's makeup other than it was made at Nestor Plasencia's factory in Nicaragua and that this cigar contains a lot of ligero]
Even the prelight draw to this cigar is absolutely spicy. It feels almost like they dipped this cigar into a scotch bonnet pepper paste and that tingling on my lips and tongue makes me seriously wonder how they made this cigar. Could it be infused? Personally, I have only smoked one infused cigar and that was by accident early on during my cigar smoking tenure. Basically, I do not have enough experience with infused cigars to say one way or the other.
Actually, the tingling sensation is not completely off-putting. It is equal parts compelling and disgusting and just numbing enough so that I really cannot make any discernible flavors out during the first couple of dozen puffs. When my taste buds sufficiently revived themselves the flavors that I do get remind me of jalapenos and other more intense peppers.
Surprisingly, the flavors are not all that bad but they are definitely very one dimensional. If you are a person who loves the taste of peppers then this is a cigar for you. If you are a person that only wants to smoke the most full bodied cigars out there then you might want to think about another cigar. It’s full bodied but not overbearingly so.
Going into the final third now and I am struck by how pure the flavors are. It tastes almost like they were able to distill the flavor of peppers and instill it into this cigar. But this is a very specific cigar since it doesn’t have any evolution of flavors and because the flavors present are so intense. Both the draw and the burn have been excellent throughout and I would peg this as a full bodied cigar. But not overly full bodied, the flavors are just insanely close to the flavors of peppers.
“Unique” is the best way that I have come up with to describe this cigar. There is always the chance that you will be one of the people who would love this cigar because you are such a pepper fanatic. For example, if you have a framed chart of Scoville Scale in your office then you might be the type of person who will love this cigar. However, I cannot say that I am one of those people. I am glad for having tried some of these but there is no way I will ever seek them out again save, perhaps, on a lark. It was an experience though.
About half a year ago I was contacted by a cigar maker of Brazilian puros. They ended up sending me three samples of their Monte Pascoal Double Coronas and this is my review of that cigar.
Honestly, when I first received these cigars I wasn’t expecting much because I can’t think of any good Brazilian puros. But they looked like they were well made. The parejo shape was pretty uniform but there are these bumps that dot the entirety of the cigar’s structure. It’s oily but it’s also a little veiny too, which could cause problems with the cigar’s burn. Here is what the makers of this cigar have to say about the tobaccos used:
The Mata Fina tobacco is characterized by complex aromas and an elegant bouquet, while the Mata Norte provides the full-bodied flavour most experienced cigar smokers enjoy.
Here is what they have to say about the blend:
All of the cigars in the Monte Pascoal line are blended with these two tobaccos, in different proportions, allowing each smoking experience to be completely unique from one vitola (size) to another.
That is basically true for every cigar: different vitolas deliver different flavors whether that is in intensity, nuance or proportionality. Alright, enough with this egregiously long preamble, lets get down to business.
Length: 7 5/8″
Ring Gauge: 49
Wrapper: Brazil Mata Fina
Binder: Brazil Mata Fina
Filler: Brazil Mata Fina & Mata Norte
Price: $34.00/5 Pack | $166.00/Box of 25
Hitchens and the Bible Fire!
Before anything else this must be said: it’s unique. The two major flavor profiles that I am picking up are sweetness and herbal and they are paired with this molasses after taste that isn’t altogether bad. Additionally, the flavors are not all that strong in the beginning (can flavors get lost over 7″ of cigar?).
During the second third, which takes a while to reach since this cigar is fairly long, sees an increase in the intensity of the flavors. Another change is that the flavors are now sweet and floral. While this isn’t exactly my idea of what constitutes great flavors for some it might be more appealing.
As the final third commences there is an oakiness that starts to come through but the main flavor is still that sweet floral flavor. This cigar has a slightly tight draw and the burn is good. I would peg it in the medium bodied range.
I have heard that some other people really like this cigar, which is something I can understand. It’s unique because it is a Brazilian puro and should be tried so that you can expand your cigar smoking horizons. Personally, I thought it was a decent cigar.