Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Cigar Review

September 30, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

From Cigar Aficionado:

To commemorate [Tatuaje's tenth anniversary], My Father Cigars is repackaging the original Tatuaje Selección de Cazador, or “brown label,” sizes in a gold foil pouch with a redesigned band and uncut foot. A new perfecto size has also been created.

That’s cool, most companies, no matter in what industry, don’t make it ten years. How has Tatuaje done it? Well, most of there cigars are awesome. Plus, Pete Johnson does an amazing job of promoting the brand and has created a cult status around his brand. Also, there’s some more stuff about the 10th anniversary party on that link. Now onto the cigar.

The cigar for this review is called the Havana Cazadores and measures in at 6 3/8″ by 43 and it looks well made, as is all of the premium stuff that comes out of My Father Cigars. While not a lot of oils on the wrapper the construction looks impeccable and the chocolate brown wrapper is marred only by quite a few superfluous veins.

Tatuaje 10th Anniversary box art (click to go to Tatuaje's Facebook Page)

Tatuaje 10th Anniversary box art (click to go to Tatuaje’s Facebook Page)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: long corona
Length: 6 3/8”
Ring Gauge: 43
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $224.99/Box of 25 | $50.00/5 Pack

Wikipedia Speed Race Flame!

You are met with a fine grouping of warm flavors with a good helping of bright, fairly strong spice during the very beginning of the cigar. Those warm flavors include maple and some bread notes as well. It’s a complex group of flavors all wrapped up in a medium bodied bouquet. Very tasty.

Great combination of deep, rich savory sweet flavors with spice continues during the middle third. A bit of meat gets added to the flavor profile during the latter part of this third. I’m really enjoying it thus far.

While there isn’t a ton of evolution in this cigar the flavors do steadily pick up steam from the first third to this one. Spice has become a progressively bigger player throughout this cigar and the final third is no different.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Havana Cazadores is a wonderful cigar replete with flavors ranging from rich maple sweetness to a clear, cutting spice. This mixture of flavors is great and will probably appeal to just about anyone.

92 points

Liga Privada Papas Fritas Cigar Review

July 10, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

I think the name of this cigar alludes to its snacky characteristics as “papas fritas” means french fries in some language. It’s definitely a small cigar, which means it’s meant for those short times you get during a busy day where you want to smoke but don’t want to break out a normally sized cigar. Also, this cigar has short-filler tobaccos in it and that means they’re not long-filler and that means not “super premium” and that should mean less money and that’s sort of true at least for the Liga Privada line of cigars (it’s actually part of the Liga Privada Único Serie of cigars). Basically, the guys over at Drew Estate realized that they were throwing away a bunch of expensive tobacco they use for the Liga Privada No. 9 line and figured out a way to use that excess tobacco.

(Basically, that’s the reverse of the story behind the culebra vitola, which came about as a way for the torcedores to take three cigars home instead of the customary one cigar that pre-revolutionary Cuban cigar manufacturers allotted for them each day. If you don’t know what a culebra is, it’s basically three cigars wrapped around each other. And the Papas Fritas is the opposite of the culebra because the cigar manufacturer is making more out of something whereas with the culebra the cigar manufacturers were getting less.)

If you want to look at that as Machiavellian then do so. And maybe it is a bit Machiavellian to basically create a whole new segment in the cigar market: what cigar.com calls “semi-premium.” In the end, all that matters is how well the cigar tastes. It looks well made, is oily and has a couple of medium sized veins. I’ve smoked a few of these now and I have not noticed any deficiencies in the basics (burn and draw) so all that’s left is the review.

credit: Drew Estate Facebook Page

credit: Drew Estate Facebook Page

Cigar Stats
Vitola: petit corona
Length: 4 ½”
Ring Gauge: 44
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $152.00/Box of 28 | $22.00/Tin of 4

Medici Torch!

A touch of sweetness, a good deal of earth and some smoky wood. This cigar is starting out very well. There’s a bit of heat that lingers through the retrohale and it is nice.

There’s a great depth of flavor with this cigar. Vivid, dark flavors are bouncing around my palate and linger for a good deal of time. In addition to the flavors that I previously mentioned there’s also this mixture of coffee and chocolate that is awesome. Good deal of complexity with this cigar.

The final third was similar to the second third but with more earth and chocolate. It’s a good finish to a very good cigar.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this is a surprisingly good cigar. I don’t know why I didn’t think this cigar would be good but I did have that thought. Maybe it’s due to its small size and it did have something to do with the fact that the filler is basically recycled No. 9 parts. Weirdly enough, I liked this cigar more than the long-filler No. 9.

92 points

Guayacan Cigar Review

September 14, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

When I went to the #CHAtweetup2012 three weeks ago (damn, it’s already been three weeks) I had never heard of Guayacan Cigars. Then fate interceded, I won a raffle, and I picked up a five pack of cigars I did not recognize named Guayacan. It was either fate or I didn’t want a shirt that would never fit me; it was an easy choice.

I didn’t think the cigars were going to be anything special when I lit the first one up a few minutes later but I quickly found out that I was wrong. That day I definitely spent more time smoking than not so by the time I lit up my first Guayacan cigar I did so because I didn’t want to waste one of the cigars I bought; I just wanted to smoke another cigar. And then something strange happened: I tasted great flavors. Wonderful flavors, flavors that I wasn’t expecting.

Well, that’s enough of this trip down memory lane. I ended up liking this cigar so much I had to meet the man who created these cigars and after meeting him I was truly impressed. Noel Rojas was born in Cuba (a place ruled by a government he has nothing but antipathy for) and was able to break out of that Hell hole about half a decade ago. Seriously, if you get a chance to meet him please do yourself a favor and introduce yourself.

His cigars are all artfully constructed with a good amount of oils and a semi-waxy feel to the wrapper. This particular cigar, the churchill, is a (mildly) box pressed cigar with a minimal amount of veins and a medium brown color to it.

Unless you act fast and get your hands on one of these churchills from the first batch produced you will never get a chance to smoke this cigar as each vitola, of which there are four, have unique blends and, starting with the second batch, the blend will be unified and based off of the blend for the current torpedo. (h/t halfwheel) Still, I have tried each vitola and there’s more similarities than there are differences so I don’t have a problem reviewing this cigar.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: churchill
Length: 7”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo ’98
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’98
Price: MSRP $7.00/Cigar

Guayacan Twitter Torch!

The flavor profile is a nice mix of sweetness and spice. It’s a very refreshing cigar; lightness plus strong flavors. There is also some oak hanging around. Very good start to the first third but, if I do have one quibble, it’s that the draw is a little tight during this first third, which is something I haven’t noticed from any of the other vitolas.

During the second third I am getting more of the same sweet spice and that is perfectly fine with me. I am also getting this doughy flavor intermittently. The draw opens up during this third and that is an improvement but, still, the flavors were very nice during the first third as well.

As I enter the final third a floral sweetness starts to come through. It’s a good way to end this cigar because it puts a nice cap on this light, refreshing cigar. There’s still a bit of spice but it’s not a big part of the flavor profile at this point. The draw does get a bit tight again.

Medium bodied with a slightly tight draw and a good burn what I like the most about this cigar is that the flavors are very alive from the first puff to the nub. Personally, I like draws to be a little loose and every other vitola in this line had a good draw by those standards but, for whatever reason, this one was just a little tight. However, the slightly tight draw did not affect the flavors or my enjoyment of this cigar all that much. Overall, I thought that each vitola was great. Find this cigar, which probably won’t be too much of a problem now that Emilio Cigars is now distributing this cigar. I’m eagerly looking forward to trying more from the next batch.

92 points

Liga Privada Undercrown Cigar Review

July 26, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Full Disclosure: I received some of these cigars from BnB Tobacco.

I reviewed this exact same cigar, the Undercrown, last year and I really liked it. In fact, it made it into my Top 10 for 2011. Usually, I don’t review cigars more than once but BnB Tobacco sent me a couple. And this is a good thing. Cigars change over time and this cigar has been sitting for a few months. Also, won’t it be fun to find out if I like this cigar as much as I did last year (92 points in my previous review)?

The first time I heard about Drew Estate it was as the maker of flavored cigars. And, since I hate flavored cigars, I didn’t think much of the company. But then I tried the Liga Privada no. 9 and the Liga Privada T52 and I quickly found out that these guys can make some awesome cigars.

Impeccably constructed, this cigar with a dark brown wrapper is so devoid of imperfections I’m beginning to wonder if it’s not android tobacco. Here we go with the review.

Undercrown cigars (click on picture to go to manufacturer's site)

Undercrown cigars (click on picture to go to manufacturer’s site)

Cigar Stats
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Otapan Negro Último Corte
Binder: T52 Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Habano
Filler: Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Cuban Seed
Price:$149.99/Box of 25 | $32.99/Pack of 5

Infection Incineration!

There’s something about this cigar that I like… and it’s subtly different with a few months worth of aging. Rich, clay earth, dark chocolate and espresso. Very nice mixture.

Earth and espresso lead the way during the second third. Little bit of sweetness pushes through as well during the penultimate third.

The final third does have some changes. There’s this berry sweetness shrouded in a cocoon of bitter earth and espresso. Interesting mix and it’s a good change of pace even if it isn’t a monumental change.

The Liga Privada Undercrown is a solid cigar, there is no doubt about that. And it is a little surprising to me since I like cigars with spice and bolder flavors. This is not that kind of a cigar. Instead, you’ll find a solid group of flavors and a reserved demeanor.

Medium bodied with an excellent burn and draw. Even if you are a fan of stronger cigars you will like this cigar. This is the kind of cigar that would be liked by both beginner and experienced cigar smokers alike. Is it better with a few months worth of aging? I didn’t find that there was much difference in my enjoyment of this cigar.

92 points

Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD 2012 Cigar Review

June 25, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

While catching up on the humanity versus aliens drama “Falling Skies” I decided to smoke a cigar whose name may provide a solution for Dr. John Carter, I mean Tom Mason, and his band of brave humans who are fighting those pesky genocidal aliens. Of course, the cigar I am talking about is the Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD (2012). A weapon of mass destruction worked for Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum after all, so why shouldn’t it also work for Noah Wyle?

I have smoked one of these short and stubby cigars previously and I wasn’t very impressed. Truth be told, I don’t know much about this cigar other than that it’s extremely limited and that it’s billed as a strong cigar (for more information on the line check out halfwheel). My previous experience with this cigar contradicts the “strong cigar” billing and from a short perusal of other reviews I find that I am not alone here. However, when I previously smoked one of these it was at the end of a day of herfing and I had been drinking some – so my perception may be a little off.

This cigar is not the cigar version of Michelangelo’s David; there are small bumps and veins aplenty. Also, it is not perfectly cylindrical with a bit a waviness noticeable on the profile of the cigar. None of these shortcomings are, I believe, bad omens. Cigars are handmade delicacies and, while the way a cigar looks does matter, I have smoked a lot of ugly cigars that ended up being more enjoyable than great looking cigars. Oh, and this cigar does have a slight sheen of oils coating the wrapper and it is a tightly packed cigar.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: short robusto
Length: 3 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Nicaragua Criollo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $225.00/Box of 25

Falling Skies Nuclear Holocaust!

It’s awesome! Basically, what you get in the beginning is an onslaught of bright spice. Buttressing this flamethrower-like intensity of spice is a healthy dose of oak.

Going into the second third the flavor intensity has not flagged. What is most surprising about this cigar is that with this strength, which has noticeably moderated, it is still a very smooth cigar. There is some evolution in the flavor profile as well. While the spice has scaled back to half strength there is a sweetness that has come on with the slightest hint of cherry in the background.

During the final third there’s a bit more evolution as the flavor profile morphs into sweet spice. Overall, it is a very enjoyable cigar.

While this is a full bodied cigar it is by no means uncomfortably so. Both the draw and the burn are great. If you are looking for a smaller cigar that last for about an hour that is as much of a firecracker as the “noisy cricket” from Men in Black then this is definitely the cigar for you.

A couple notes of caution must be said. This cigar does not have strength to spare, which is fine but it was billed as being super strong. Don’t be expecting that when you light one up for the first time. Furthermore, it is a rather short cigar so while I do like the flavors and I did find enough evolution in the cigar to keep me interested, that is just me. This cigar’s flavor profile fell into my wheel house and if it doesn’t fall into yours you will be disappointed. If you don’t like spice you probably won’t like this cigar all that much.

92 points

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