A little less than a year ago I reviewed the Domus Magnus I and I liked it but I didn’t think it was anything earth shattering. That’s fine; few cigars (few things for that matter) are. But what about the second coming of the Domus Magnus?
According to SAG Imports, the company that distributes Casa Magna (and other) cigars, the same two sizes that were available in the original are available in the sequel. There’s the Optimus, which I am smoking, that is 5 ¾” x 52 and there’s also the Primus at 6 ½” x 55. These are Roman names and since I talked about this with my review of the original Domus Magnus, I won’t repeat myself here.
It’s a good looking, slightly box pressed Nicaraguan puro. According to Halfwheel, the main difference between this version and the previous Domus Magnus is that the wrapper is a different vintage this time around. Oh, and there’s that pigtail, which I twisted off and (surprisingly to me) it leaves a perfect hole in the cap and it actually is supplying me a pretty good draw. I will try it with this small little hole and if the draw starts to get tight I can always cut the head properly. I’ll tell you how it goes.
Length: 5 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Sun Grown Jalapa 2007 (Nicaragua)
Price: $80.00/Box of 10 | $9.40/Single
Marble Hornets Torch!
Even though I was able to get a decent draw from the hole I got by twisting off the pig tail I quickly decided to cut the head to produce more air flow. I suppose it was worth the try to make it work but… oh well.
The flavors are amazing from the very first puff. Strong flavors circling around the sweet spice spectrum. Backing up these is wheat and some floral notes as well. Very dry flavor profile, which works wonderfully for these flavors.
Granular flavor bits are all about and they all taste good. It’s a very interesting cigar and even though the flavor profile is a bit on the dry side, which I don’t normally favor, it works for these flavors. Sweet spice, oak with a tinge of char and there’s a faint chocolate flavor hovering about.
There really isn’t that much of a difference between the final and the second third (and not that much of a difference between the final two thirds and the first third) but that is okay because the flavors are enjoyable.
Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar has much to recommend it. The flavor profile is very creamy and the flavors are pretty smooth; even in the final third. While there is some complexity in the overall flavor profile what I am liking about this cigar the most is the clarity of the flavors and how they mix well with each other. It’s an excellent cigar.
Wrapper: Nicaragua | Binder: Nicaragua | Filler: Nicaragua | Box of 27: $150.00; Five Pack: $28.95 | Lancero | 8 ½″ x 40
0/3: Got this from one of my cigar smoking buddies; thanks buddy!
This cigar is extremely long, is rather rustic looking with all those veins and bumps but it does have a pigtail cap and the wrapper covers the head. And there’s a little bit of oil on the wrapper.
1/3: Pretty strong flavors from the beginning: pepper and a general hot spice, some chocolate in the background. There’s also oak and wheat. Lots going on.
2/3: Oak and nuts are the big flavors during this third. Spice is gone and so is the chocolate (wheat is sort of still around).
3/3: Still tastes good with oak and nuts being the major flavors at the end. There’s a bit of spice coming back.
4/3: Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar is consistently good from the beginning to the end.
4 out of 5 – Definitely worth a try
I received the cigars used for this review from Emilio Cigars; as always, all reviews are my own.
The blackish-brown wrapper is almost completely devoid of any inconsistencies except for a smallish vein that runs the length of the cigar. It looks well made due to its uniformity of shape and the lack of any hard or soft spots.
“Who’s it made by?” you may be asking. Well, it’s made by the wunderkind A.J. Fernandez, that’s who. If you buy cigars online with any frequency then you are probably familiar with his other works (Man O’ War and Diesel he makes for others and San Lotano is his own, which you can find at many brick and mortar shops). Enjoyable cigars all.
I remember getting some of these AF1s about a couple of years ago and immensely enjoying them so I am hopeful for this go around. The vitola I’m using for this review is the ubiquitous robusto.
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Price: $120.00/Box of 20 | $6.00/Single
Rorschach Mask Videos Flame!
It starts out strong with notes of cutting spice, chocolate and earth. Even though it’s still early in this cigar’s flavor evolution, the flavors I’m experiencing right now are pretty complex. And although there is a lot going on with the flavors and the strength in flavors (but not necessarily body) I can easily say that the flavor profile maintains an elegance to it; it’s reserved but not boring.
Chocolate, earth and a pervasive, yet restrained, sweetness are the main components of the flavor profile during the second third. Spice doesn’t play much of a part during this third except for during the actual process of retrohaling the smoke through my nose, where spice is evident for a brief moment. Normally, I would like more spice with chocolate and earth but the flavor profile is working well for me here.
Dry earth with spice is a good description of the final third’s flavor profile. Chocolate is still lurking around in the background and the overall strength of this cigar has increased to a point where it is now safely in the full bodied spectrum.
Full bodied with a great draw and burn; the Emilio AF1 has flavors that never flag and they are pretty tasty too. The main change in the flavor profile can be experienced during the transition into the final third with the darker chocolate and earth nexus giving way to a bolder dry earth and spice mixture. It’s an impressive cigar and I hope it sticks around for a long time in its current configuration.
PS: Right before hitting the publish button on this post it occurred to me that this cigar’s flavor arc is reminiscent of a lot of Western movie heroes. Take, for example, Shane. Shane, like this cigar, is a good guy trying to do right be his adopted family and town. Things go smoothly for a while but then, when the situation requires it, he goes off and saves the day.
While this cigar won’t save any days it does solidly go on in a pleasant fashion for the first two thirds or so. And then – BAM! – you are hit by an abrupt change that is impressive. If this cigar’s total flavor contribution had remained relatively constant throughout that would have been great. The fact that it had that extra element at the end is a bonus.
I received this cigar from Thompson Cigar; all reviews are my own.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Rosado | Binder: Dominican | Filler: Dominican | Box of 18: $118.23; Six Pack: $39.41 | Torpedo | 6″ x 55
0/3: I have had this cigar sitting in my humidor for about a year. Oily and slightly rough to the touch, the wrapper is marred by a couple of minor veins. These cigars come wrapped in a cedar sleeve with a black cloth band at the foot. It’s a beautiful cigar to look at and I’m hoping that the flavors are as good as the looks.
1/3: Spice, light cedar, nuts and some other nice flavors. The burn gets a little ragged but is quickly corrected. Medium bodied.
2/3: Sweetness starts coming through during this third. Cedar and nuts are still major factors.
3/3: Chocolate comes along during the final third. The flavors seem a bit washed out but, underneath that, there’s a decent amount of flavor variety.
4/3: Medium bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; this cigar wasn’t as good as I had hoped. It had breadth of flavor but those flavors were average. Decent cigar.
3 out of 5 points – Good cigar
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.
Length: 4 ½”
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Price: $254.00/Box of 25 | $10.25/Single
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.