Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4 Oscuro Cigar Review

November 26, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 3 Comments 

I haven’t posted a review in a couple of weeks so I decided to do one on a cigar that I’ve been looking forward to for a while: the Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4 Oscuro. Now, of course, this doesn’t mean this is going to be a great cigar, it might, but it’s just one of those that has piqued my interest mainly because my favorite cigar is a LGD 2012 Chisel. I know it has a different flavor profile than the normal LGD cigars, I smoked one prior to this review, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

This cigar is seven inches long, which is a bit longer than I normally smoke, but that’s fine. Very dark wrapper but still brown. More of a chocolate brown really and, if I were to break out the thesaurus, Roget could probably come up with a better description. Rough texture to the wrapper with a good amount of oils and not many veins. There is a small tear at the foot, which may have been my fault, but there are also three small slits about two inches from from the cap; hopefully this won’t cause any problems.

Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4 Oscuro

Cigar Stats
Vitola: Double Corona
Length: 7”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $1,500.00/Box of 105 | $17.35/Single

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La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Digger Natural Cigar Review

October 17, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 
La Flor Dominicana Digger Natural (click image to go to the LFD website)

La Flor Dominicana Digger (click image to go to the LFD website)

Why on God’s green earth would anyone make a cigar this size? I mean, yeah, I know the story, some LFD connoisseur  told someone from LFD (I don’t think it was Litto but I could be wrong) that while they loved the double ligero it wasn’t strong enough for him and wanted something that was much, much bigger. Some time later, the LFD representative came back to this guy with this monstrous ligero stick and said “Smoke that!” The connoisseur, and I’m not using that word in a derogatory fashion because in the stories I heard this guy is a serious cigar smoker, came back after smoking one saying that he loved it and wanted more.

Thus, the Digger, which gets its name from the hole that will have to be dug to bury your ligero-addled body after smoking one of these things, was born. Measuring in at 8.5″ with a ring gauge of 60, this cigar is definitely massive. I have seen bigger cigars (there is the Meaner Digger after all) but, damn, why? Who would want to smoke this thing?

Since I’m doing a review of this cigar I am presumably one of those people who would want to smoke this cigar. LFD DL fans would probably give it a try as well along with a horde of other people who are interested in trying a cigar that has to be near the apotheosis of the big cigar trend. (It has to be, right?)

Once you get beyond the size of this cigar you are left with a cigar with a decent amount of oil on the light-medium brown wrapper. There are some veins on it but, honestly, I’m surprised that they were able to find wrapper-grade tobacco that was big enough to cover the copious amounts of binder and filler tobacco that goes into the construction of one of these monsters.

Excuse me while I find the hedge trimmer so I can cut the cap and light this baby up.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: giant
Length: 8 ½”
Ring Gauge: 60
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Price: $182.99/Box of 20 | $45.99/Pack of5

Monster Torch!

Usually, I like the maduro wrapped La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the natural version. As for this one, it’s good. Up front there’s a strong, bright spice along with some faint fruity sweetness and oak. Nice mixture of flavors and that spice is very nice and strong.

The second third, which begins a little after one hour of smoking, continues on where the first third left off. There are a couple of additions, however, and they are pleasant earthiness and cashews.

Hay gets added to the mix about two hours in. The flavor profile is very dry, which works well with the flavors that are present. A lot of good stuff is going on with this cigar but the fact that I’m two hours into it and there’s still another third to go is just too much. Evidently, you can have too much of a good thing.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Digger Natural is a good cigar that sticks around way too long. Actually, I would have enjoyed this cigar just fine if I had set it down after the halfway point but that defeats the whole purpose of smoking a cigar like this, doesn’t it? With that said, I can’t see myself buying any more of these. After five of these cigars, which equates to more than 15 hours, I’ve had my fill. But I haven’t tried the maduro yet and there is that Meaner Digger….

88 points

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.

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

Diesel Wicked Cigar Review

June 28, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I received the cigars for this review from Cigars Direct; as always, all reviews are my own.

Wicked… yeah, so, when I hear that I think of that Broadway show of the same name. I’ve never seen it, mind you, but I’ve seen commercials for it. And based off of those I think there’s some kind of New Age BS reconciliation between the Wicked Witch and the Good Witch (there is a Good Witch, right?). Just like popular culture to take a perfectly good story about flying monkeys and singing dwarfs and make it into something vile and boring. (I could be all wrong on this but I’ve found you can sometimes figure out the whole story to a show or movie by just watching previews so I’m making the assumption that translates to plays as well.)

And that’s the frame of mind I have coming into smoking this cigar. Sure, you could look at the red, black and gold bands (one normal band in the normal place and another band, more than two inches in length, at the foot) and think this cigar is going to be a ball buster but that’s accepting marketing too readily. After all, how many times have you seen a cigar marketed as “full bodied” to find out it’s a medium bodied cigar without much flavor? I guess it makes sense to market cigars as being full bodied nowadays as the cigar smoking public does seem to like them but, when you fail to live up to that promise (and the cigar doesn’t taste good), you will lose trust.

I’m not saying that’s the case here – the review will decide that one way or another – but this marketing gimmick is something that I have noticed with alarming regularity. Personally, I’m now numb to all that marketing jazz, so I basically forget about it… unless it’s obvious in the design of the bands and in the name of the cigar brand, as is the case here.

It is a good looking cigar; very dark wrapper with a few medium sized veins and a rough, oily feel to it. This is the torpedo, which is a vitola that I am partial to (it’s also the only vitola they make for this cigar at this time). There are some bumps visible on the surface giving it a rustic look.

Diesel Wicked

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6.2”
Ring Gauge: 56
Wrapper: Pennsylvanian Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $99.95/Box of 13 | $50.00/Pack of Five

Banshee Torch!

Yeah, it starts out as a full bodied cigar and shows no signs of letting up; so there’s no lie in the marketing here. Banshee-like spice greets you in the beginning and sticks around for a while until it does moderate and becomes somewhat more enjoyable. Barley and cream are the other flavors that are evident here. I like the fact that it’s this strong of a cigar but I’m hoping that the flavors pick up a bit during the final two thirds.

Oak and spice are the main flavors during the second third but the main thing here is that it’s a strong cigar. And I think that was what the makers were going after here; a really strong cigar. That’s fine and all but I want more.

Burning in my nose from the full bodied smoke, which is the main thing that you will be getting from this cigar. I like full bodied cigars and, by all rights, I should be all over this cigar liking every last puff but I find myself not enjoying it very much. Again, spice and oak are the main flavors and there’s also a bit of earth going on.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Diesel Wicked is fine for what it is, strictly a full bodied cigar, but there needs to be some strength in the flavors as well, which wasn’t evident here. Take the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 as an example. It has a ton of strength and a ton of flavor as well, even in the diminutive vitola that I reviewed (click the link in the previous sentence to see what I’m talking about).

It’s not all bad, though. The flavors aren’t bad they just aren’t very strong. It’s an okay cigar and if you’re looking for strength this does fit the bill. But, at that price….

88 points

PS: I actually bought a box of these cigar without trying a single one, which was a mistake. What was interesting about this purchase is that the box comes with a mystery cigar, which I will eventually smoke and post a review of. So stay tuned!

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