One of the local shops I go to, Embassy Cigars in Brea, has the uncanny ability to have a good selection of limited edition cigars. For example, take the Viaje Satori, which I will review shortly. Viaje Cigars only makes cigars in small batches and, according to Halfwheel, there were only 3,750 cigars made for each of the three Satori vitolas. FYI: I am smoking the un-box pressed perfecto released in 2012, the Zen.
Of course, just because there weren’t many made doesn’t mean you or I will like them but it does usually mean the cigar will be expensive, which this is. Expect to pay more than $10 a stick and potentially a lot more if you can still find them. Well, that is a lot of money for one cigar and even though I’m not a huge fan of Viaje cigars I did like a couple of their cigars, i.e. the Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD 2012.
The Satori is a cool looking cigar. Halfwheel refers to this vitola as a double torpedo, which is an apt description of how it looks. The foot has a very small opening and, as such, the cigar will take a bit of time to get going. The wrapper is dark brown, almost black and the cigar’s construction looks good. Personally, I’m always impressed when I see a shaped cigar because rolling a normal parejo vitola is difficult enough.
For what it’s worth, Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term that means awakening or enlightenment. Will I become enlightened? (Probably not, but I won’t be able to fault the cigar on that accord. Or will I?)
Length: 6 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Price: $265.00/Box of 25 | $11.75/Single
Citrus, cedar and meat are the first batch of flavors that I am getting from this cigar and they work pretty well together. The citrus, especially, is an interesting flavor as it provides a nice accent to what could be an overbearing flavor profile that would weigh you down if given half the chance.
Cedar and fruit flavors come through during the second third. It’s not a great flavor profile, in my opinion, and what is there tastes watered down. And then, about halfway through this third, a nascent burnt flavor comes through; not good.
Wood and meat are the main flavors for the final third but, unfortunately, these flavors are accompanied by a very off-putting burnt flavor, which has only gotten more obtrusive. I was hopeful for this cigar but the two that I have smoked have all been borderline bland, nay, bad.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; I did not like the Viaje Satori Edición Limitada. Even though it did start out with some promise with the interesting combination of citrus, cedar and meat it just fell apart during the second third. Maybe you would like this cigar but, unless you are a fan of Viaje cigars you can skip this one. Oh, and don’t expect enlightenment either.
I received two of these cigars from Smoke Inn for this review; as always, all reviews are my own
“Quesada” is the name of the cigar making family, “Oktoberfest” is a drunkfest celebrated by Germans (I think they are celebrating short dresses, lederhosen and beer; I’m not sure though) and “Dunkel” is German for what I’m guessing is some sort of “dunking.” Maybe some of that first sentence is true, maybe none of it is. For some real info check out the blurb from Smoke Inn’s site:
This exclusive cigar is the newest offering in the Smoke Inn Microblend Series™. The Oktoberfest Dunkel is a 6×54 cigar that is specifically blended to pair perfectly with your favorite Oktoberfest brew.
The Oktoberfest Dunkel features the same binders and fillers of the regular Oktoberfest release, with the exception of the wrapper. A very select broadleaf maduro wrapper envelops this rich cigar with a slight underlying Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper at the foot, thus giving the appearance of a dark rich Dunkel beer with a savory foamy head.
Like the above quote points out, the main wrapper, the broadleaf maduro, comes up about a quarter of an inch short of the foot revealing a much lighter wrapper, which is the Ecuadorian Connecticut. It’s interesting to look at but will it have much of an affect on the flavor of the cigar? Speaking of the cigar, it looks well made with a slightly rough texture, a decent amount of oils and some small, lighter colored marks on the wrapper. There are some veins as well.
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Broadleaf Maduro/Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $134.25/Box of 15 | $44.75/5 Pack
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It starts out very pleasantly. Warm wood, fatty nuts and some caramel sweetness lurking around in the background. I like this mixture of flavors and I can easily see the connection between this cigar and beer. The flavors are dark and robust with an underlying sweetness that is very enjoyable.
A floral sweetness with some spice comes on during the second third, which is a nice progression for this cigar to make. The strongest flavor going on is that caramel sweetness tinged with a hint of oak. It’s still quite good but less like beer.
Oak and floral notes are the main thing in the final third. There’s also a slightly burnt caramel flavor coming through right now that takes a bit of my enjoyment out of the cigar but, overall, it’s still a plus cigar.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Smoke Inn Microblend Series Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel is a pretty good cigar. Have it with a dark beer (by the way, after reading a little more into it, “dunkel” means “dark” in German; who knew?) and you will have a good time.
Three days, three reviews of Tatuaje’s Little Monsters. On Monday I reviewed the Frank Jr. and yesterday I reviewed the Lil’ Drac. One I loved the other… not so much. So, how does the Babyface stack up? Let’s find out.
Like the rest of the Little Monsters the Babyface is a smaller than “normal” cigar, which I like. The foot is closed, which means that there’s tobacco folded over it and there looks like there’s a bobbed pigtail on the cap. Also, the band is just a jagged strip of light brown tobacco, which is Ecuadorian Connecticut (h/t Toasted Foot). If you are the kind of person who likes to keep their cigar bands as keepsakes then this band sucks. Oh well.
Other than that the wrapper is dark brown with a few superficial veins crisscrossing the cigar’s surface like all those canals on the surface of Mars. It’s slightly oily and the cigar smells of spice and hay.
Vitola: short robusto
Length: 4 3/8”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: San Andreas Mexican Maduro
Price: ~$8.00/single as part of a box of 10 Little Monsters
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Awesome chocolate flavor with a bit of spice for flavoring. There’s also some cream and nutmeg. It’s a really interesting mix, very comforting actually. Even though this normally wouldn’t be my favorite mix of flavors they are working out together very well.
The chocolate is still there and very strong. It’s a milk chocolate flavor that is a lot like coco. And the nutmeg is now the second strongest flavor and it’s a very good compliment to the chocolate.
During the final third it doesn’t so much as get harsh but there is definitely a burnt quality to it. The chocolate is still there but there’s this new flavor that reminds me of some kind of spiced bread. Can’t remember which kind but the spices are warm.
Medium bodied cigar with a good draw and burn. This cigar was interesting and good during the first two thirds while the final third was just okay. Even though I don’t generally like these flavors a lot they were great examples of these flavors and I did enjoy this cigar.
Full Disclosure: I received some of these as samples from Famous Smoke Shop. All reviews are my own.
I received this cigar (and four of its buddies) from Famous Smoke Shop a few months ago and they have stayed on my mind to some degree or another ever since. It’s not that this is either a great or a horrible cigar, it’s just not exactly what I had expected.
Vindicator is made by Oliva; and we all know that they make some excellent cigars. For example, an Oliva Serie V made one of my Top 10s one year. While not exactly as prestigious an honor as, say, winning the Presidential Medal of Freedom or a Blue Ribbon at the County Fair, it’s still something. So, at least the Vindicator has a good lineage.
But why “Vindicator”? It sounds like a cigar Dirty Harry would smoke in between killing punks. Without going too much into the review this cigar is nowhere near as hard edged or intimidating as Mr. Harry. What it is is a decent looking cigar. The wrapper isn’t too vivacious, rather a dull shade of brown, but it looks well made and there isn’t too much visually displeasing about this cigar. Even though it’s not particularly oily it isn’t dry either. For such a cheap cigar it does look like some effort was put into it, which I like to see.
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Price: $60.00/Box of 20 | $5.00/Single
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It starts out alright. There isn’t much in the way of complexity but the flavors that are there are decent. Ranging from wood to hay these flavors aren’t very strong.
In addition to the wood and hay during the second third a bit of nuts is added into the flavor profile mix. It’s a good mix but I would appreciate it if the flavors were stronger. If the flavors do not get stronger this cigar’s flavors will just feel watered down… and a little burnt.
During the last third things do get better. A floral note gets added to the mix and it gives the wood a nice sweetness. Overall, there isn’t much special to this cigar but it is serviceable.
The draw was good and the burn was okay only requiring a couple of minor touch ups and it was a medium bodied cigar. None of the flavors were above average but, for the most part it was an okay cigar. The flavors were a little watered down for most of the first two thirds but came on a little more after that. If you are looking for a cheap alternative that is medium bodied, has good smoking characteristics (draw and burn) and some good noticeable flavors, this cigar is worth a try.
In my quest to find a good cigar for very little money I have decided to do some testing. Due to Cigar.com’s easy form of delineating their house blends (colors, wrapper variety or Cuban) I decided that would be a good place to start. After trying all of these cigars I can safely say that none of them are excellent but that is not much of a surprise since the purpose of these cigars is not to wow people but to provide them with a quality alternative for an everyday type of smoke.
That is why I am going to change the format here a little and either give the Cigar.com house blends a PASS or FAIL. To keep things fair, all the cigars sampled are in the 5″ x 50 robusto vitola. Now onto the cigar.
Here is what Cigar.com has to say about their budget Corojo Label:
Like all Cigar.com House Blends, the Corojo Label is an extraordinary value, utilizing only the finest tobaccos to blend a cigar worthy of bearing the Cigar.com name. Full-bodied with a long and pronounced finish, the Corojo Label is a bit dry on the palate and features a robust, spicy aroma that rounds out into a complex mix of wood and earth tones.
These cigars come in four different sizes: churchill (7.5″ x 50), corona (6″ x 42), robusto (5″ x 50) and torpedo (6″ x 52). As of the publishing of this post, they cost less than $3.00 when individually purchased and can cost less than $2.50 when purchased in a box of 20. That is pretty cheap.
Having already reviewed the Sun Grown and Cuban varieties I can tell you that there are some worthwhile smokes in the Cigar.com stables. This cigar is more tightly packed than the Cuban variety and it has a different look to it as well. Being both smoother and less veiny than the Cuban line it looks like a very well made cigar. The wrapper is a normal brown.
It starts off with not much more than a dud. Flavors? Well, there is wood and a minute amount of sweetness. But both of those flavors are very watered down. It is not an unpleasant cigar it just isn’t much of a cigar.
The second third does take a good turn. With flavors picking up and becoming richer this cigar is evolving into something respectable. There is a bit of spice on the fringes and the core is a mixture of rich dirt and charcoal. Maybe a little meaty as well.
It took a bad turn during the final third. The flavor became burnt and harsh. Very little redeeming qualities during this third. For the price it is not a terrible cigar. Medium bodied with a good draw and burn and there is some flavor. Just not good enough flavors in my opinion.