Davidoff Nicaragua Cigar Review

September 9, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 4 Comments 

I’ll be honest here: I have not smoked a lot of Davidoffs in my life. And that is probably to my detriment because I have heard a lot of good things about them. For example, one guy I know said that he used to exclusively smoke one of the Davidoff brands almost exclusively because there was something about the taste that was addictive. I understand that feeling as I have it from time to time with cigars I have smoked. Interesting thing, with me at least, is that the cigar doesn’t have to be “spectacularly good” in order to be one of those cigars that I go to a lot; it just has to have that something special that keeps me hooked (at least for a while). But there’s so much on the market (new brands, line extensions, different wrappers on old brands, resurrected brands, etc.) that it’s pretty hard for me to stick to one cigar for a long time.

This cigar is the newest release from Davidoff, which is simply called the Davidoff Nicaragua, and, as the name would suggest, this is a Nicaraguan puro. As you probably know, this is a departure for the company in that they have always used Dominican tobacco to make their cigars. In the grand scheme of things is this a big deal? Probably not but it’s cool and interesting and it shows that the company is being creative. Sure, they could have done what they have been doing for years and still met with a great deal of success but why not try something different?

For this review, I picked the smallest size: short corona. It’s a good looking cigar with what appears to be good construction with some minor veinage. Light brown wrapper with an elegant band (hint: when it comes to cigar bands, simpler is almost always better). Let’s light it up.

Davidoff Nicaragua Short Corona Cigar

Picture: Davidoff Site – click picture for more info

Cigar Stats
Vitola: short corona
Length: 3 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $132.00/Box of 14 | $49.50/5 Pack

M60 Flame!

It starts out with some notes of grass and nuts. There’s also buttered toast and some oats as well. Well developed flavor profile; everything is working excellently together from the start and it’s only getting better as the burn line progresses. Also, there’s a great creaminess to the smoke that accentuates all the aforementioned positives in this cigar.

Since this is a diminutive cigar I am going to dispense with the customary review by thirds and do it by halves. The second half is good with the addition of some more toasted flavors. It’s still a nice, elegant cigar with a good deal of flavors mainly revolving around nuts, oats and some woody sweetness coming through in the background.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Davidoff Nicaragua is a good addition to their stable of cigars. There are a lot of good flavors milling about here and they are all tasty. It’s an elegant cigar from an elegant company.

90 points

My Father Cigars Flor de las Antillas Cigar Review

June 27, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Image Credit: Cigar Aficionado

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

I’ve reviewed this cigar before and I remember liking it. Actually, the first time I ever tried one of these cigars I thought it was an amazing cigar. Full of flavor and life and pretty much everything else I want from a cigar. But I smoked them a few more times and, while I still enjoyed them, these cigars did not maintain their lofty status in my estimation. Great cigar, just not one of those cigars perched at the uppermost reaches of my all-time top list (which is firmly ensconced in my head).

This is the robusto; oily, box pressed with rounded edges, twice as wide as it is deep, great construction, not much in the way of imperfections, a pleasure to look at. A lot is going on in the band, paintings of some sort, which I like. There’s also a cloth band around the foot (I guess that’s in case it gets cold… (I’m leaving that in because it’s such a horrible joke)).

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $118.80/Box of 20 | $32.20/Pack of Five

Borgia back on Netflix Conflagration!

I’ve gotta admit, the way this cigar is starting out reminds me a lot of that first experience I had with one of these cigars. It has loads of flavor with a decent amount of intensity. There’s this really unique spice that enhances everything that it touches. Oak, cherry tinged hay and some other bright flavors. The texture to the smoke feels almost like mist.

During the second third the spice greatly dissipates, which isn’t a great development but it could be worse. Oak and cherry still around. There’s a light dusting of coco in there as well.

The final third features a great deal more coco and there’s also a floral flavor too. That floral flavor was probably in there the whole time but buried behind the other flavors.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Flor de las Antillas is definitely a tasty cigar with a lot to recommend it. Like I said earlier, when I smoked my first one I thought this was one of those truly special cigars; and maybe you’ll think so. It sure started out exceptionally well this time but it quickly dropped off from Olympus down to mortal status. And yet, much like everything My Father Cigars makes, I think this cigar is worth a try.

90 points

La Palina Maduro Cigar Review

April 25, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I received this cigar from La Palina; as always, all reviews are my own.

Over the last month or so I have watched the whole White Collar series, which is mainly about this FBI agent and conman extraordinaire who bust white collar criminals. If you don’t think about it too much it’s a fun show to watch. But there’s something interesting about cons in general, especially cons of the counterfeiting variety. If you want to counterfeit something done by a person (i.e. a painting) or something else natural then it’s best not to be perfect.

Perfection is a clear sign that there is something unnatural about an object. Straight lines? Unnatural. Perfectly proportioned body? Unnatural. Uniformly colored wrapper (especially one that is very dark)? Probably unnatural.

With, say, a painting, you would have to be perfect in mimicking the imperfections of the original. With a natural product it’s better to not try mimickery.

Basically, all the preceding was a setup to say that this wrapper is definitely natural (no dyes and the such); and, truthfully, I never really questioned this wrapper’s authenticity. It was just one of those times that something popped into my head – counterfeiting in this instance – and I needed to indulge myself a bit. Thanks for sticking with me.

Not only is there some variation in the color of the wrapper, from blackish areas to chocolaty browns but there are also some bumps, a small tear near the foot (maybe my fault) and there is a network of small to medium sized veins crisscrossing the surface of the cigar like all those aqueducts on Mars. There’s a certain amount of oiliness on the wrapper (not a lot but it’s there) and the cigar smells nice.

One last thing: I have liked all the La Palina cigars I have smoked in the past; click the link to check them out

La Palina Maduro

Cigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 6”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Mexican Maduro
Binder: Honduran (x2)
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $171.00/Box of 20 | $47.50/5 Pack

Detecting Antifragility Flame!

Slow burning cigar with a core group of rich flavors including earth, dark sweetness and oats. The juxtaposition of the earth and the dark sweetness is very nice. There is some complexity early on.

Dark sweetness is still hanging around during the second third with some earth popping up every once in a while. The other major flavor is oats and there is a toasted quality that is permeating the whole flavor profile now.

Charred meat comes on during the final third and that earthiness comes back. It’s a good mixture but not as good as the first third was.

Medium bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; this cigar starts off with a mixture of intense flavors and evolves into a toasty stew of flavors that are mostly enjoyable. The major drawback of this cigar, something I touched on earlier in this review, is that it burns slowly; too slowly at times. If you don’t keep at it then this cigar is liable to burn out.

I smoked two cigars for this review and the one that I kept on top of burned well. My suggestion would be to smoke this cigar when you have the ability to dedicate some time to it because it is worth the effort.

90 points

Olivia Serie V Melanio Cigar Review

January 11, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Previously, on The Perfect Draw, the original natural Oliva Serie V earned a 94 rating. It was a cigar I immensely enjoyed and I still pick up a few here and there. This means two things:

  1. I have high expectations for the Melanio version
  2. I want to smoke this cigar

Fortunately, I have the second point covered as there is a nice, uncut Melanio sitting on one of the stirrups of my Stinky Ashtray. In both length and ring gauge this is a smallish, box pressed cigar with some imperfections on the wrapper. However, the look of this wrapper is pretty fascinating in that the color ranges from medium brown to much lighter shades of brown around the veins. It’s also a fairly oily cigar.

Now onto the first point…

Oliva V Melanio

Cigar Stats
Vitola: petit corona
Length: 4 ½”
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $80.00/Box of 10 | $40.00/5 Pack

Zombies Can Happen Light!

If you were thinking that there’s something special about the wrapper, maybe it’s some kind of new leaf code named “Melanio,” you would be wrong. Melanio Oliva is believed to be the first person in the Oliva family to grow tobacco (link) and that is where the name comes from. Maybe it is a special leaf, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if in some marketing materials you would find that the wrapper is described as being special because that is pretty much de rigueur for cigar marketing.

The flavor profile starts out with dry spice that lingers in the nose, cream and oak. Not a very strong cigar strengthwise but the flavors are nice and mix well together.

During the second third there is a subtle change in the flavor profile as it moves away from the spice and more towards the cream spectrum. Oak is still present and there is a little bit of chocolate in the background as well. It’s tasty and more than a bit different from what you would expect from an Oliva Serie V.

The final third is pretty much the same as the second with the cream and oak. But, the chocolate is gone and in its place is a meaty flavor.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar is enjoyable. What is really interesting about this cigar is that it really illustrates the importance of the wrapper as a component of the overall flavor profile (even though I’ve heard that there are some slight changes to the filler tobaccos used in the Melanio from the blend in the original V I think what I said holds true and comparing the original to the Melanio would still be an interesting exercise for you).

Whereas the original V features a plethora of robust, even aggressive, flavors the Melanio is much more reserved. Personally, I like the original a lot more but I can see how this cigar would appeal to those who like more medium bodied cigars. I’d assume that if you pick up one of the thicker vitolas the flavor profile would be more reminiscent of the original V because the ratio of filler/binder to wrapper tobacco would be greater.

90 points

La Palina El Diario Cigar Review

November 17, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

I received this cigar and another just like it from La Palina Cigars. All Reviews are my own.

Previously, I have reviewed the diminutive La Palina El Diario Kill Bill and I was duly impressed by that little cigar. This one, the Toro, is a little bit longer and has a larger ring gauge. In general, I have a slight preference for smaller cigars but this toro, measuring in at 6′ x 50, is at the edge of my butter zone for length but well within my acceptance level for ring gauge.

The wrapper is a medium to a dark-medium color and has more than a few veins marring the surface. When touched, it is immediately evident that this wrapper has more than the average amount of oils on it and is relatively tightly packed. Not a beautiful cigar but the shape and construction look good.

The La Palina WebsiteCigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 6”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo ’99 Rosado
Binder: Honduran Criollo ’98 (x2)
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
Price: $200.00/Box of 20 | $10.00/Single

BSG: Blood and Chrome Conflagration!

Even though the prelight draw was a bit tight, once this cigar was lit the draw was good. The flavors you should expect during the first third include: dark, molasses sweetness trapping spice in a misty cloud. That spice is especially evident in the retrohale as it does not leave and just increases with each puff you take. There’s also some dry, dusty earth swirling around.

During the first third there was a bit of sweet, fruity sweetness but there’s a lot more during the second third. Retrohaled spice has dissipated but isn’t gone. What I’m especially liking about the taste of this cigar is the consistency of the smoke, which is very fine and granular.

Earth and an edge of sweetness. The spice is pretty much gone during this final third. It’s still a good cigar but the flavors have lost a bit of their intensity, which has to do with the fact that this cigar has been resting in my humidor for many months now. The rest has made the flavors marry better.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn, this cigar is solidly good throughout. In my estimation this cigar is not as good as the Kill Bill was but, still, the toro is a very enjoyable cigar.

90 points

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