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

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

Room 101 Big Delicious Cigar Review

April 8, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I received a couple of these cigars from Smoke Inn for this review; as always, all reviews are my own.

Just by looking at it you can tell that at least half of the name is true as this is a fairly large cigar. At a little over six inches with a variable ring gauge from 42 to 52, this torpedo has a slight box press to it and a lot of oils on the dark brown wrapper. Oh, and the foot is closed (the wrapper overhangs the end and covers up the opening in the foot that is normally there). It’s an interesting cigar to look at due to these aforementioned attributes but the band, something I detest talking about, is unique.

With demented, Alice in Wonderland-esque artistic renderings of Abe Dababneh (retailer), Matt Booth (cigar maker) and Matt’s beloved dog the band is very different from all the other cigar bands that I can think of. Add to that the font used for “Big Delicious”, which reminds me of some of the fonts that Quentin Tarantino has used, and I have a cigar band that I won’t soon forget. It’s not elegant like an Opus X band but it is definitely eye catching.

The Big Delicious is part of a line of Smoke Inn exlusive that includes: Tatuaje Apocalypse, Tatuaje Anarchy, Arturo Fuente Solaris, Padron 1964 Anniversary SI-15 Maduro, Padron 1964 Anniversary SI-15 Natural and the My Father El Hijo. All of these releases have been enjoyable smokes and if there are still any around you should give them a shot.

Now it’s time for the cigar.

Big Delicious

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6 ¼”
Ring Gauge: 42-52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Binder: Honduran Corojo Seco
Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic Piloto Ligero, Honduran Corojo & Nicaragua
Price: $134.25/Box of 15 | $44.75/5 Pack

Big Delicious Special Site Flame!

Supposedly, the blend for the Big Delicious is based off of another blend from the Room 101 stable. What blend? Is this even an important bit of information? That last question teeters over to the “bullshit” spectrum of question asking as, even though it is a legitimate question to ask, it’s too philosophical. The former question, “What blend?” has more import to it as it makes us (at least me) think about the cigar’s flavor profile a bit more.

As luck would have it (or maybe not), I smoked one of the new Namakubi Ecuadors earlier today (I absolutely love that cigar) and the first few puffs of the Big Delicious remind me of it. I reviewed the original Namakubi earlier this year and thought it was a good cigar and my first couple impressions of the Namakubi Ecuador have me thinking that the Ecuador is a better version. So to with the Big Delicious.

Soft spice, floral notes, some oak and some other flavors in the light flavor spectrum. Clean, crisp flavors throughout this first third.

During the second third the spice/floral nexus becomes more acute and enjoyable. There are also wheat and nut flavors during the middle third as well. It’s an interesting flavor profile that has so far kept me interested.

It ends with a lot of wheat and nuts with some spice mixed in but, alas, it gets overwhelmed by the other flavors. This doesn’t mean the end wasn’t enjoyable, it just means that it wasn’t as good as the second or first thirds (in that order).

Medium bodied with an excellent draw and burn; this cigar started out well, got better and then it sort of lagged at the end. Is this cigar worth smoking? Yes, it is, but it isn’t as good as the other Smoke Inn exclusives that have come out over the last year-and-a-half. It is on preorder right now and they will ship at the end of April and, if you purchase a box, the whole order will ship for free.

Perhaps, my negativity stems from the fact that this is a larger cigar. The maximum 52 ring gauge isn’t that big in today’s cigar world but there was something about it that made it perform like a bigger cigar. And I usually don’t like bigger cigars as my enjoyment tends to flag after a while. Too much of a good thing and all that.

89 points

PS: I stated earlier in this review that the beginning of this cigar reminded me of the Namakubi Ecuador but, after finishing it, I don’t think I was right. At least completely. Parts of this cigar’s flavor profile reminded me of the Daruma but, then again….

Table 36 Fellowship Cigar Review

December 21, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

I received this cigar from the maker. All reviews are my own.

A closed foot and a pigtail; what more could you want? The pigtail actually looks more like a fan – no, wait, it looks more like a very small guitar pick. The closed foot looks like what you would think it would look like with the extra tobacco from the wrapper draped over the foot protecting the filler and binder tobaccos from the elements.

It is a bit soft to the touch, which I would think would mean that this cigar is going to have at least a somewhat loose draw. Somewhat oily to the touch, the wrapper does not have much in the way of imperfections save for a little bit of bumpiness near the head.

From Table 36:

Constructed at the famed Raices Cubanas factory [which is known for making Alec Bradley cigars], the filler is a mix of Honduran leaf grown on Raices own farm in Trojes and Nicaraguan leaf from the Jalapa valley.  These long filler tobaccos are all tied together with a Honduran Criollo 98 binder and wrapped in a rich Honduran Habano “Colorado Subido” leaf.  The result is exactly cigar we intended: a medium-bodied cigar (OK, so it might cheat a little on the fuller side…) that connoisseurs and occasional smokers alike can appreciate.

Table 36

Cigar Stats
Vitola: corona gorda
Length: 5 ½”
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: Honduran Habano
Binder: Honduran Criollo 98
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
Price: ~ $7.00/Single MSRP

Jiro Dreams of Sushi Laser Burn!

Initially it is dull and bland, the flavors tasting like aged wet paper. Fortunately, that passes and I am left with something really enjoyable. There’s a definite heaviness to the flavor profile and even though it’s been a while since I last smoked an Alec Bradley cigar this heaviness seems to ring a bell.

Heaviness can definitely get bad if the flavors aren’t that enjoyable but they are enjoyable in this case. Spice (understated but powerful especially since it’s lingering in my nostrils for quite some time), earth and this rich, doughy bread. It’s an interesting mixture.

The second third is nice as well. Soft spice with a tinge of sweetness added in for balance is the major force in the flavor profile. Earth (that dry, clay kind of dirt that has some character) is the other dominant flavor. Bread is out.

Going into the final third and the spice is still present. It has never been strong but, rather, pleasant and flavorful. Oak seems to be peaking through the fog and making its presence known. I was able to pick up hints of it throughout but it has become a player during this final third.

Medium bodied with a good draw (requires just a bit of effort to get a good draw, which is more effort than I expected) and burn; this cigar was very good. There was some evolution to the flavors from beginning to end and it was always enjoyable. Good mix of flavors and it’s probably a cigar that will appeal to most everyone.

89 points

La Sirena Merlion Cigar Review

October 5, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

The band features a… oh, that’s what a Merlion is. This is a line extension to the La Sirena (which I loved, giving it 95 points and the #2 spot on my 2011 Top 10 list) stables and is made by La Aurora. I love La Aurora cigars and I toured their factory a couple of years ago. The La Sirena blend, on the other hand, is made by My Father Cigars.

It’s a very average looking cigar with the brown being on the lighter side and there being a few decent sized veins sticking out here and there. I will say that this cigar does have a fairly robust tobacco and spice smell coming from it. The construction is solid; evenly packed, very consistent shape, no stretch marks on the wrapper and those sorts of things. It also has a decent amount of oils on the wrapper.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Binder: Brazilian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Corojo & Criollo, Nicaraguan Ligero & Brazilian Mata Fina
Price: $158.00/Box of 20

Watch Firefly… Fire!

Before I start the actual review I have to note that it’s pretty damn cool seeing a former cigar blogger and friend, Barry Stein in this case, being cited on Cigar Aficionado’s website. As many of you know, Barry is the Assistant Director of Marketing for Miami Cigar, which distributes La Sirena cigars.

[Now back to the review.]

Sweet spice and oats make up the two main flavors for me during the first third. Good mix, a little unusual, but definitely interesting.

During the second third the sweet spice adds on a dark fruit sweetness to it as well, which is nice. The oats are still there. There’s also a bit of maple in the background. So, this cigar is partly sweet and partly oat flavored with some rough leather mixed in as well.

Near the end of the second third and throughout the remainder of the cigar the sweet spice fades but does not disappear. In it’s place is a combination of oats and nuts. While not my favorite mixture of flavors it does seem to be working well in this cigar.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn, the La Sirena Merlion is a good cigar. Even though it does not have the flavors that I enjoy the most the flavors that are here work together very well. This is the kind of cigar that will appeal to a lot of people because of the sweetness mixed with the savory flavors. Personally, I like the La Sirena line better, but that’s just me.

89 points

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