Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Cigar Review

September 18, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I reviewed the Oliva Serie V Melanio a little while ago and I enjoyed it. I mean, it wasn’t the best cigar I’ve ever had but it was pretty good. Better than that really. Will the wrapper change make a difference for the better… or worse? (Technically, I guess there could be a push.)

With a darkish black/brown wrapper, which is velvety to the touch, this box pressed torpedo (the only vitola they offer according to their website) looks expertly put together. Firmly packed with a bit of oil on the wrapper, I can’t see much wrong with the way this cigar looks. Sure, there’s that one rogue vein near the head of the cigar but that’s not going to cause a problem for the draw or anything else that actually matters in terms of taste and whatnot. The prelight draw is a bit tight but, based off of the other one I smoked, that will not pose a problem.

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Cigar

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro (click picture to go to Oliva’s site)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6 ½”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Mexican Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Price: $110.95/Box of 10 | $58.00/5 Pack

Better Call Saul Flame!

A hard, bright spice is the first I noticed when I started this cigar. There’s also a strong peppermint flavor going on, which is unique in my cigar smoking experience. In the background we can also find some cocoa and some other complimentary flavors. It’s really an interesting mix and it wasn’t what I was expecting when I first tried this cigar.

It’s weird but in that good, Memento sort of way. (I would try to wring every last drop out of the Memento comparison but I don’t think a cigar review would be that enjoyable to read backwards.) Peppermint is the main flavor I’m getting during the second third followed by spice, some dark (but definitely background) wood notes and a bit of rich earthiness on the aftertaste.

Peppermint basically disappears during the first part of the final third as an ascendant barbecued meatiness takes over. Some sweetness does come on at the tail end but it would have been better if it had been around for the full third to provide a nice counterbalance to the somewhat off putting barbequed meat flavor.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn, the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro is a worthy addition to the Melanio line extension. It was a very interesting cigar during the first two thirds and I sincerely enjoyed how the peppermint played off of the other flavors. The final third, on the other hand, was a bit of a dud. Still, I think the first two thirds are worth it and, with some age, I’m sure the final third will round out nicely. Did I like it more than the original Melanio? Yes, but barely.

91 points

Fuente Fuente Opus X Forbidden X Lost City Cigar Review

June 20, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

Yeah, I know, if you take out the spaces in that title it reads like a long Welsh village name. Oh well, that’s pretty much everything on the band and I can’t find the keys on my keyboard for the crest that also adorns the band… so there we are.

First off, it’s a cigar. Even though it costs more than most other cigars it is still going to be consumed by flame (ashes to ashes, nubs to nubs – that sort of thing) but, hopefully, it will taste better than most other cigars as well. And, if psychology papers are to be believed, just by the fact that this cigar costs a lot I will enjoy it more. (I could supply a link for you here to cite my source but I think the extra effort you will have to take to find this information out for yourself will leave you more satisfied.)

This is the torpedo, er, pyramide, vitola in the line. It’s a Dominican Puro and there’s a bunch of special stuff about the tobaccos used: they’re probably aged five years in a special corner of the Fuente Chateau and on and on. The construction looks pretty good but there are some bumps and veins and symmetry doesn’t look like it was high up on the torcedor’s list when it was made. That’s not fair, it’s a well made cigar but, for the money, I was expecting perfection. But, like I’ve said in the past, it’s the taste that matters most to me and this does look good enough to satisfy those who care about such things like how good a cigar looks.

What is very noticeable about this cigar is its aroma. Sitting a couple feet away from me while I type this out I can effortlessly smell the strong tobacco and sweet spice scents emanating from the cigar. This is a cigar I have had a few times before and, well, you’ll see…

Opus X Forbidden X Lost City

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $300.00/Box of 10

How Many 5-year old’s Could you Take in a Fight? Flame!

A splendid mixture of candied fruit, sweet spice, cedar and leather. The fruit and spice are more in the foreground and the others are definitely supporting characters with some strength. Whereas the Opus X’s I’ve smoked have more of an intensity to them this cigar has more well rounded edges to it. It’s good and a very slow burner.

Resonating flavors that really come to life during the second third bounce around the palete like an excited quark on its first day of element school. Flavors are roughly the same as the first third but with more of an emphasis on the sweet spice and leather. Very nice flavor profile; while the flavors aren’t very robust they are still pretty strong in their own right and they are also interesting.

During the final third, the flavor profile does seem to have run out of some steam. Cedar and leather make up the brunt of the flavor profile at this point and it’s all falling a bit flat without the spice and the sweetness from the first two thirds adding in that extra dimension of flavor. It’s still enjoyable but not nearly as much as it was.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this Fuente Fuente Opus X Forbidden X Lost City was very good during the first two thirds but fizzled out a bit during the final third. I suppose if you want to quit smoking this cigar around the end of the second third then it would all be very enjoyable but this is a review and reviewing cigars in thirds seems to be an industry standard of sorts. Still, even when you do lump in the final third with the first two it is an interesting and enjoyable cigar. More so than most. However, I prefer the Fuente Fuente Opus X to the Fuente Fuente Opus X… Lost City.

91 points

7-20-4 Cigar Review

June 18, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I received this cigar from the manufacturer, Kurt Kendall; as always, all review are my own.

I am reviewing the lancero – the thin and relatively long parejo – and it has had probably about a year’s worth of aging in my humidor. This lancero looks well constructed with some superficial veins and a decent amount of oils on it. There’s a pigtail on the cap and the texture of the cigar is a little bumpy.

When I started smoking cigars, I held the belief that lanceros weren’t as good as the other vitolas mainly because they were long and thing and, to my mind at least, they couldn’t perform as well because long, thin cigars inevitably had burn and draw problems. Since then, I have come to realize that lanceros can, in fact, be good cigars. Their thinness means that there is more wrapper in the blend than is the case for a cigar with a larger ring gauge and just because they are long and thin doesn’t mean they have any more burn problems than the more popular sizes. In fact, I like lanceros nowadays.

7-20-4 Logo

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Columbia, Honduras, Mexico & Nicaragua
Price: $150.00/Box of 20

Is George RR Martin Dead? Flame!

It starts out very well with notes of mild sweetness, cedar and some sweet spice. All of the flavors work well together and the overall feeling I’m getting from this cigar is calmness. This isn’t to say that this is a mild cigar but, rather, it’s an elegant mixture of nice flavors. Also, I’m thinking the cedar wrap on the cigar might have something to do with the cedar flavor.

The middle third proceeds in much the same way as the first third and that means more easygoing enjoyment for me. What I don’t like about this cigar right now (no bold flavors and not a lot of evolution) is easily outweighed by what I like about it (flavors working extremely well together, elegant profile and it is tasty).

Maybe I was a bit too hasty with my summation of the second third. It is a longish cigar, after all, and I am oftentimes impatient. The flavor profile does evolve and takes on a definite creaminess to its texture and adds on vanilla to the flavor profile. It’s a plus in my book.

Vanilla and cherry represent the main flavors during the final third. There’s a strong tobacco flavor that augments all of these flavors and I would be remiss if I forgot to mention that cedar is still playing a part at this point. It’s definitely an interesting mix of flavors and even though none of the individual flavors stand out as stars, as a whole, the flavor profile is quite enjoyable.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the 7-20-4 lancero is quite an enjoyable cigar. Deftly moving from cedar and spice to creamy vanilla and cherry, this cigar has enough changes to keep you interested and the flavors are elegantly married to one another. It’s a good cigar and should appeal to just about anyone but, if you are looking for a cigar with a bit of a wild side, this cigar probably won’t get you going. Usually, I’m in the latter camp but it is nice to have a cigar that is simply enjoyable. And this cigar is enjoyable in spades.

91 points

Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery 2012 Maduro BP Cigar Review

January 28, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

If you look at the bands on this cigar in a darkened room you would be forgiven if you thought they were just plain, black bands. But they’re not. These bands have the same logo replete with skull and cross bones along with the necessary titles on them as all the other Viaje Skull and Bones cigars; they’re just a different shade of black than the rest of the bands. It’s interesting and a little different, so that’s cool.

In the past I have reviewed a couple of cigars from the Viaje Skull and Bones line including:

The cigar is box pressed and short but fairly thick. It has an aggressive, sweet tobacco aroma about it and the wrapper is fairly oily. As far as I can tell there aren’t any but the slightest cosmetic imperfections and it looks like it is well made to me. I’ve smoked a couple of these in the past and I can’t recall having a problem with any of them.

Viaje Cigars Logo

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 4 ½”
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $254.00/Box of 25 | $10.25/Single

Limerence Torch!

Very complex from the beginning with notes of hot peppers, chocolate, earth and, generally, a smoky presence to it. There is a little bit of a kick present here and I would nominally put it in the full bodied spectrum; but that’s not this cigar’s point. Its major point is its complexity (at least during the earlier stages).

The second third of this cigar takes on more of the savory and sweet notes. Earth, chocolate and some charred meat flavors have come on during this third. Very dark flavors that keep me interested.

The flavors do begin to flag a bit during the final third but I think part of that can be attributed to the fact that the flavors were pretty consistent during the final two thirds and, perhaps, my palate just got a bit too familiar with them. That’s fine if the flavors are good and they are good here.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar features a very dark flavor profile. During the beginning the flavors were bolder and during the final two thirds the flavors were richer. Personally, I did enjoy the beginning more because of the presence of that hot pepper flavor. It added a bit of variety and spiciness almost always improves chocolate and earth flavors for me.

This is a very tasty cigar with a decent amount of complexity, especially in the beginning. There are enough different flavors present throughout to keep you interested and this kind of cigar should appeal to a wide swatch of the cigar smoking public. The price tag, on the other hand, probably won’t.

91 points

Room 101 Namakubi Cigar Review

January 7, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

For whatever reason I had assumed that I had reviewed this cigar for some time now. I went on reviewing other cigars and then, one day, while smoking another Namakubi, I decided to see what my review said. To my surprise there was no review. I mentioned this at the end of my Top 10 Cigars 2012 post and now I am rectifying that oversight.

This one is the very short vitola, called the Roxxo, and it is easily my favorite in the line. It doesn’t look perfect, perhaps a little rustic. There’s some bumps and veins and the color of the wrapper is a lighter than medium brown color. It has a little bit of oils on the wrapper and looks well made (well made at the Camacho factories by the way).

Here’s a little something from their website:

Although in many ways long gone, Samurai culture is believed to live on in spirit within certain groups. In ancient times when two Samurai clans would gather for competition there was a great deal at stake. Normally, the losing party would die as a result of wounds sustained in battle or be executed upon defeat. The Namakubi, or freshly severed head of the losing party would be prepared on a wooden tray then tagged in a regimented manner and presented to the leader of the winning clan as a gift. We, as modern day samurai, present to you our own Namakubi.

NamakubiCigar Stats
Vitola: short robusto
Length: 4”
Ring Gauge: 48
Wrapper: Criollo
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Dominican and Honduran
Price: $126.00/Box of 20 | $35.00/5 Pack

Animal Farm Blast Furnace!

I don’t get to say this much about cigars but this one has a refreshing flavor profile. Bright flavors but also very strong. Visceral spice, which could be too strong and unruly on its own, is retarded by what I can only describe as minty effervescence (I spelled “effervescence” correctly on my first try! Now if I can only learn how to spell “occassion” [sic]). With the larger vitolas I think the flavor profile skews too far towards the minty pole but with the smaller ones the balance is just right.

During the second third the spice gets notched up a peg or two and vice a versa for mint, which is fine by me. There’s also some oak that comes on during this third. Basically, this is still a bright and refreshing cigar. Very enjoyable.

The final third isn’t refreshing but it’s still enjoyable (to a lesser degree than the first two thirds however). The spice has fallen into this milieu of mint, bread and perhaps a little meat and earth as well. Unfortunately, more flavors doesn’t always mean that the flavor profile has improved; this is one of those times. Still good, I just preferred the refreshing profile from the first two thirds.

Full bodied (just barely) with a good draw and burn; this cigar was a definite joy to smoke during the first two thirds and finished unspectacularly. In no way is that a condemnation of this cigar because even if the cigar had only had the flavor profile of the final third it would have been a very good cigar. Add in the first two thirds, which were excellent, and we have a great cigar.

91 points

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