I haven’t posted a review in a couple of weeks so I decided to do one on a cigar that I’ve been looking forward to for a while: the Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4 Oscuro. Now, of course, this doesn’t mean this is going to be a great cigar, it might, but it’s just one of those that has piqued my interest mainly because my favorite cigar is a LGD 2012 Chisel. I know it has a different flavor profile than the normal LGD cigars, I smoked one prior to this review, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
This cigar is seven inches long, which is a bit longer than I normally smoke, but that’s fine. Very dark wrapper but still brown. More of a chocolate brown really and, if I were to break out the thesaurus, Roget could probably come up with a better description. Rough texture to the wrapper with a good amount of oils and not many veins. There is a small tear at the foot, which may have been my fault, but there are also three small slits about two inches from from the cap; hopefully this won’t cause any problems.
Vitola: Double Corona
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $1,500.00/Box of 105 | $17.35/Single
I’m sure there must be an interesting story behind the name “Honey and Hand Grenades” – maybe it’s a play on yin and yang? – but that’s not why you’re here; you are here to read a review about this cigar that’s been out for a while now. About a year actually. That means that this cigar has some age on it since I bought this cigar (and its burnt brother) around the time it came out to the public.
One thing is for sure: it’s a visually striking cigar. It’s a perfecto and I am smoking the smallest vitola with the charming name of “The Shank.” According to Halfwheel, the other vitolas are named “The Shiv” and “The Rapier.” From my extensive knowledge of tv dramas with prison scenes, a shiv and a shank are basically the same thing: slang for an improvised weapon. For example, if you sharpened your toothbrush to the point where you can stab someone then it is a shiv/shank. (There might actually be a distinction between the two but unless you have ever roomed with Michael Milken or Martha Stewart you probably have no need to click that link.)
A rapier, on the other hand is a sharp, pointy sword that was popular during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe. More of a thrusting weapon than a slashing weapon it’s also substantially more refined than the shiv or the shank. There might be a scabbard involved.
As for the cigar itself, it’s wrapped up to the band in red foil. Peeling it off, I was disappointed not to find a golden ticket but hopefully the cigar is still good. As I think I said earlier, it’s a perfecto with a slightly darker than medium brown colored wrapper. There are a decent amount of oils on it and some minor veins as well. It looks like there’s an aborted pigtail on the cap and the “foot” is completely closed off and ends in a point. You can either cut some of the foot off to aid in the lighting or do what I’m about to do and attempt lighting it without cutting any of the foot off.
Length: 5 ¼”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
Price: $250.00/Box of 25 | $10.00/Single
It took about fifteen seconds to get this cigar properly lit, which isn’t horrible. With that being said, I probably should have cut some off of the foot before lighting just to make things easier on myself.
The first part of this cigar has some very hot spice going on here, which lingers a while through the nose. Buttered wheat, chalky chocolate and a bit of sweetness as well. What’s weird is that besides the spice there really aren’t any very outstanding flavors but they all work together so well that it’s delicious; in this case, the sum is greater than its parts.
The second third is a bit different. There’s still that hot spice but the buttery wheat is a pretty strong flavor at this point.
It’s still interesting but I think it has lost some of its luster. The spice is pretty much gone but the buttery wheat is still kicking around. Throughout, there’s been this, I don’t know what to really call it other than a “presence,” that is this really basic, pretty much flat thing. It lingers on the tongue throughout and the best I can do is to compare it to that feeling you get after drinking Scotch. I hesitate to call it a flavor because it really isn’t a distinct flavor to me and more of a sensation. It informs the flavors but is separate from the general flavor profile.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades is an interesting cigar with a lot to recommend it. I liked the spicy contribution at the end of the first third and during the second third and that persistent buttered wheat flavor was very pleasant.
I promised this review yesterday so I thought it was a pretty good idea if I followed through and delivered it. Full disclosure: I received the samples I used for this review from General Cigar.
A sister brand to the critically-acclaimed La Gloria Cubana Serie R collection, La Gloria Cubana Serie N debuts in a lofty position. La Gloria Cubana Serie N is the brainchild of Yuri Guillen who developed this new collection in concert with Michael Giannini and Rick Rodriguez, collectively known as Team La Gloria Cubana.
The wrapper is dark brown and it has the letter N on it, with the letter N being cut from a Connecticut grown leaf and glued on the wrapper (it is the Serie N after all, clever). To the touch it feels oily and kind of reminds me of the texture of fine grit sandpaper after it has been used for a while. Overall, the cigar feels densely packed and has a light hay smell to it.
Length: 5 ½″
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Capa Oscura
Price: around $6.35/Single | $120.00/Box of 24
Serie N Day Flame!
One thing to know about this cigar above all others: it’s heavy. No, not heavy in the sense that I can use it to do curls while I’m smoking it; the flavor profile is pretty heavy. It’s a full bodied cigar, that’s for sure, but it’s the flavors that are overbearing with one of those flavors firmly grasping the golden ring.
For example, take the earthiness of this cigar. It’s not necessarily a bad flavor but it is pretty much dominating everything during this first third. There is a little bit of cherry that sneaks its way through along with some hay. I think it would be a better cigar if the cherry and the hay can increase in prominence a little during the next two thirds. It would also be better if some chocolate or leather entered the fray.
There is some appreciable changes during the second third. While the cherry flavor has receded and has almost disappeared the hay has come into its own. It is now on equal footing with the earthiness, which has moderated some.
Entering the last third and the cigar’s flavor profile has mostly returned to that dark and brooding earthiness. It has a dusty/chalky consistency to it that isn’t great. Working in the La Gloria Cubana Serie N’s favor is that it has a great burn and draw.
After all is said and done I’m a little conflicted about this cigar. Part of me wants to pan it but that wouldn’t be fair. The dark flavor profile of this cigar is a little alluring at times and I liked smoking it. But I do not think it will be a cigar I will go back to often.
PSS: If you’ve got the latest Cigar Aficionado rip out your coupon for a free Serie N and bring it to one of the approved local brick and mortars (today only). More info here.
Earlier today I did a review on a Cu-Avana cigar that costs under $3.00. To say the least, I didn’t like it. The Alec Bradley Medalist is a cigar that, when bought in quantities of 10, will cost $3.00. So I figured that Sunday would be as good of a time as any to have a cheap cigar grudge match.
It is a nearly perfect looking cigar; dark and alluring. There are a couple of raised veins, one being near the cap. Oily cigar that is packed very well. I am smoking the robusto (5″x52) vitola for this review.
The wrapper is not the only thing that is alluring. The flavors are nice: chocolate, hot sauce (more on that next sentence), earthy and chalky (not a plus). By “hot sauce” what I mean is a grassy spice flavor that is analogous to the salsa from my favorite Mexican restaurant.
Even though I do really like these flavors I am not head over heals for them – still very enjoyable though. Medium-full bodied, good draw and a decent burn.
It’s an impressive cigar once you consider the price. If you take away the price component then it is an average cigar. Technically great but the flavors just are not robust enough. It handily beats the Cu-Avana
This is the reintroduction of an old blend. It was introduced in 2008 with a natural (Cameroon) and a maduro wrapper by Tabacalera Perdomo. This cigar comes in four different vitolas: Robusto (5 x 50), Epicure (5 1/2 x 54), Churchill (6 7/8 x 50), and Torpedo (5 1/4 x 54).
The Perdomo 2 has a slight box press (so don’t fear getting cut on any sharp edges) and is expertly made. While there are a couple of minor stretch marks on the wrapper it’s construction is nearly perfect. Packed with the perfect amount of tobacco with a decent amount of oil on the wrapper. I did a Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary review a few days ago and I liked it very much; so I have high hopes for this one.
Ring Gauge: 50
Price: $6.00 or less
Spice may be the first thing that is noticeable but the predominant flavor is oak. Smooth cigar that has a draw that may be a little too tight. It is a medium-full bodied cigar with a burn that is not too bad. After a couple of touch ups it smokes just fine.
The draw does become quite a bit better after about the one inch mark. With the better draw comes a clearer picture of the flavor profile. The aforementioned oak flavor comes along with some sweetness. The spice is a background flavor and there are also some chalky chocolate flavors there, but barely.
Nearing the end of this cigar now and the flavors, while they are enjoyable, just are not that great. Overall, it is a good cigar but just not that good.