Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012 Cigar Review

October 30, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

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?)

Viaje Satori band art (click on image to go to Viaje's Facebook Page)

Viaje Satori band art (click on image to go to Viaje’s Facebook Page)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: perfecto
Length: 6 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $265.00/Box of 25 | $11.75/Single

Satori Flame!

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.

84 points

Quesada Heisenberg Cigar Review

October 6, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I liked Breaking Bad. It was a different kind of show; a good mixture of smarts, drama and enough comedy, especially during the earlier seasons, to make the show work very well. Even though it’s by no means my favorite show it’s a show I wouldn’t mind watching again in five or ten years.

The cigar I am reviewing here, the Quesada Heisenberg, shares its name with the nom de cuisiner of the main character, Walter White, in Breaking Bad. Is that intentional? Well, I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that no information about the tobacco used in the blends for this cigar was ever publicly released. Why do this? Quesada did this to make it easier for the cigar smokers to just focus on enjoying the cigar instead of focusing, for example, on how the Dominican leaves played with the Nicaraguan and Honduran leaves.

So what does this Heisenberg thing mean? Heisenberg was a scientist who came up with the popularly (that’s a relative term) named “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.” Without going back to look at my notes, what I remember of this principle is that it stipulates that when you are measuring one thing with great precision you cannot measure another thing with increasingly less precision. And I think it has something to do with quantum mechanics. But I don’t want to waste too much of your time on this so if you want more information on this click the equation below.

Click image to get educated

Click image to get educated

The cigar itself looks pretty gnarly. There are some pretty serious veins, stretch marks and bumps all over the place. It feels like the cigar is slightly underpacked and the wrapper has some oils on it.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: petit corona
Length: 4 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 40
Wrapper: ???
Binder: ???
Filler: ???
Price: $49.95/Box of 10 | $5.50/Single

Uncertainty Principle Torch!

Quesada Heisenberg cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer's site)

Quesada Heisenberg cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer’s site)

It is an interesting flavor profile. A host of flavors including cappuccino, oak and cherry supports a sweet floral core. The draw is very nice right from the start and the flavors, without getting into whether or not I like them, are strong and clear. Even though there are a lot of positives here this isn’t my favorite combination of flavors.

During the second third there are some bright citrus notes that cut through to the foreground of the flavor profile providing an extra element to this cigar. Even though this may not be my favorite combination of flavors they do seem to work well together and if you are a fan of these flavors I’m sure you would like this cigar thus far. Personally, I would like it if the cappuccino and oak flavors played more of a role in this cigar but it is mainly about the sweet flavors – cherry and floral – with the citrus providing a little extra excitement.

As if this cigar knew what I was thinking, the cappuccino flavors do come further into the fore during the final third. The sweeter flavors recede a bit but are easily noticeable and, in my opinion, are better served as secondary flavors. A bit of an edge comes on during the final third in the form of barbequed meat. By itself that would not be a great flavor but with the other flavors present it does add something positive to the overall experience. I should note that the barbequed meat flavor came on during the second third for one of the three cigars that I smoked for this review but twice in the final third.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Quesada Heisenberg is an interesting cigar with a good deal of evolution to the flavor profile. During the first two thirds I would put it firmly in the sweet profile camp but during the final third it migrates over to the grittier side with meat and cappuccino. What you will find with this cigar are good examples of the flavors featured and all those flavors work decently well with each other. Personally, I don’t think I will make a concerted effort to buy any more of these cigars but I am glad that I smoked the few that I did.

88 points

My Father Cigar Review

September 10, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Another lancero! Recently, I have reviewed the Cain F and La Flor Dominicana Air Bender lanceros and absolutely loved both of them. So, I said to myself “Self, if those lanceros were so good might other lanceros be similarly delicious?” To which I answered “I dunno… maybe. Let’s try some to find out.”

So here we are trying out another lancero, this is of the My Father Cigar Co. variety; the My Father No. 4 to be exact. It comes fully equipped with a pig tail, a medium brown wrapper with tons of oil on it, there’s some veinage going on, and the cigar feels a bit spongy to the touch. It has a bright barnyard kind of smell to it and, since I do like a lot of cigars that come out of this factory (e.g. the My Father Limited Edition 2011), I have pretty high expectations for this cigar. For this review I have smoked two of these cigars.

Don Pepin and Jaime Garcia of My Father Cigars are rolling cigars

Picture: My Father Cigars (click image to check out there website)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $216.00/Box of 23 | $48.00/5 Pack

Supersoaker Torch!

Imagine a bunch of people with bags of pepper get shrunk to the size of amoebas, a la The Magic School Bus, and they simultaneously dump all that pepper onto your tongue and in your nostrils and you have a pretty good idea of what will great you if you light one of these cigars up. I love it. That pepper avalanche is a wonderfully unique sensation that evolves from a hard, overwhelming spiciness starting anew with each puff that momentarily gets tamed by oak, sourdough and some mild citrus notes until the next puff commences.

The second third is not much different but I believe that due to my gradual acclimatisation to the pepper it seems to have moderated. Which is a good thing because it does give the other flavors a chance to shine. What is really coming through during the second third is just how bright and vibrant the flavors can be with this cigar. It’s not perfect but what is?

With the final third you get a lot of the pepper still with some more of the oak. The texture of the cigar at this point is doughy and there is an undeniable dryness to it as well.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the My Father lancero is a very interesting cigar and if you are a fan of cigars that pack a lot of pepper flavor then you owe it to yourself to try it. There’s some complexity here as well, which helps smooth the rough peppery edges by adding some balance. Never sweet, this cigar is pretty dry but this enables these flavors to shine through very well.

93 points

Don Pepin Garcia Black Edition Cigar Review

July 23, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

It’s a perfect looking parejo in almost every way. Construction is nearly perfect, almost absolutely cylindrical. There are a couple of minor veins that I am not worried about. Also, these cigars are very oily. This particular one that I am doing the review on is very oily as well.

The prelight draw is easy and gives off light tones of spice and sweetness. On the other end, the foot smells like tobacco and sweet spice. It looks like a solid cigar and, hopefully, this will be a solid cigar to smoke as well.

Cigar Stats
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Nicaragua – Habano Rosado
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $7.50/Single | $125.00/Box of 20

Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Torch!

From the very beginning of this cigar the flavors are strong and well balanced, which is not something you can say of a lot of cigars. This good start is peppered with what feels like a healthy dusting of spice ranging from sweet spice on the tongue and black pepper through my nostrils. Cedar is a secondary flavor in the early goings as is a slight amount of citrus on the aftertaste.

Personally, I’m not one of those people who would get bored if my favorite team was winning the same way all the time. Let’s take the Lakers as our example. They have won a lot during the last 13 years or so by doing the same things. You have the triangle, they many of the same players, etc. In many ways, this cigar is the same way: consistent and excellent.

The flavors during the final two thirds of this cigar are pretty much the same as the first third but those flavors are excellent. I love the interplay between the sweet spice and cedar on my tongue and the lingering pepper in my nostrils. It’s not a complicated cigar but it’s an excellent cigar.

Now, if you want complicated in sports you would have to look at the Rays. Oh sure, it’s exciting watching every night and seeing them win with pitching one night then with a contribution from some platoon guy another team basically gave away. The next night they will win with defense. It’s exciting and will keep people interested (even in that hotbed of baseball fandom known as Tampa Bay) but, if I had my druthers, I will take the perennial contender with the tried and true formula. Yes, you would not be wrong in saying that I am a boring person.

Consistently great cigars are definitely fine by me. Actually, they’re better than that. This is one of those cigars where you can pick it up and know that you are going to get a perfect draw, a great burn, a medium-full bodied cigar with a great group of flavors every time.

91 points

Perdomo Habano Corojo Cigar Review

June 21, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

A rather thickish-looking robusto, this cigar has no visible malformations. Of course, like nearly all cigars, it has the stray bump but even those seem to be less bumpy than the average cigar’s bumps. Plus it is oily and nicely packed.

Cigar Stats
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $90.00/Box of 20

Gaiman Flame!

After getting it lit, which took longer than usual, I am welcomed with a bouquet of goodness. There’s a little bit of a zing followed by a floral sweetness, a bit of a cookie dough flavor, a touch of citrus and some barnyard for good measure. This is definitely a unique mix of flavors and, even though this cigar is in its infancy, it is shaping up to be a good cigar.

Now that I am a little more than an inch into this cigar I can still say that I like it. Citrus is playing the lead right now, which, while interesting, is a little odd. It’s not like the citrus flavor is bad but, well, it’s just unexpected. On the other side of the coin is a dash of spice; thankfully. That barnyard flavor, more like hay, is still present. That cookie dough flavor is not.

After the halfway point this cigar becomes a little bland. Citrus is gone and in its place is a full-throated hay flavor, which is boring. I had higher hopes at the beginning of this cigar but all my hopes seem to have gone down the drain after the halfway point.

It’s a medium bodied cigar with a good draw and a good enough burn (a couple of touchups were necessary during the middle third).

Three quarters of the way through and it does improve a little bit. A doughy flavor starts to come through and the hay takes on a burnt quality. Additionally, a nutty flavor has also entered the mix.

Alright, it is a fine cigar but it’s just nothing special. Like most other Perdomos it falls into that solid category.

88 points