E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Series Natural Cigar Review

October 11, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I’ve smoked a few of these over the last few months and my recent review of the E.P. Carrillo E Stunner reminded me that I haven’t posted a review of the Cardinal Series (this is for the one with the natural wrapper and the maduro review will happen in the future). Even though I didn’t particularly care for the E Stunner I do have higher hopes for this cigar.

It looks like a well made cigar but there are a number of stretch marks around veins. Not really a particularly good looking cigar but it does have a waxy feel to it.

Before getting onto the review I need to direct your attention to the picture below (click it to go to the E.P. Carrillo Facebook Page). Like the E Stunner, this cigar (and its maduro brethren) are billed as being full bodied cigars. Personally, I prefer full bodied cigars over medium bodied or lighter cigars when all else is held equal. But the strength of the cigar isn’t the only thing, it’s not even one of the three or four most important things I look for in a cigar.

Without giving away big spoilers, this cigar’s performance is better than the E Stunner and the full bodied sales pitch (seen below) is just that, a sales pitch. Which is fine.

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural (click image to go to their Facebook Page)

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural (click image to go to their Facebook Page)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $130.50/Box of 20 | $34.50/Pack of 5

Puttin’ on the Ritz Conflagration!

It’s a pleasant cigar with a good mixture of flavors; pretty refreshing actually. Initially, you get oak and some fruit-tinged sweetness. And then you are hit with a clean and sharp red pepper sensation through the nose on the retrohale and on the tongue as well. There’s also cherry going on here and it closely resembles the cherry I experienced in the E Stunner.

The flavors are good and they’re pretty clean, so I’m liking it. Cherry, oak and a hint of spice are the main things going on now. It’s reminiscent of the E Stunner but better.

Cherry dissipates a bit during the final third but so does all the brightness and cheer that was evident during the first two thirds. Cherry is still around but it progressively plays a lessened role as earth and coco ascend to the top of flavor mountain. It’s become a dark and gritty cigar and I just don’t know what to think about it. I’ve had five of these now and the flavor profile seems simple but there’s also a great deal of evolution going on with the flavor profile at the end. Interesting? Sure.

Medium bodied with a good burn and draw; the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Series Natural is an interesting cigar but it just didn’t work for me on a couple of levels. Yes, I liked it more than I did the E Stunner but, from what I can tell, the flavor profile is very similar. This cigar’s flavors worked well together but it just isn’t what I’m looking for in a cigar.

88 points

P.S.: After writing this review it occurred to me that maybe I’m just not a Sumatran wrapper fan and, after looking through my previous reviews, that’s mostly true. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the La Flor Dominicana Limitado V, which has an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper just like the cigar in this review.

My Father Cigars Flor de las Antillas Cigar Review

June 27, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Image Credit: Cigar Aficionado

I received the cigars for this review from Thompson Cigar; as always, all reviews are my own.

I’ve reviewed this cigar before and I remember liking it. Actually, the first time I ever tried one of these cigars I thought it was an amazing cigar. Full of flavor and life and pretty much everything else I want from a cigar. But I smoked them a few more times and, while I still enjoyed them, these cigars did not maintain their lofty status in my estimation. Great cigar, just not one of those cigars perched at the uppermost reaches of my all-time top list (which is firmly ensconced in my head).

This is the robusto; oily, box pressed with rounded edges, twice as wide as it is deep, great construction, not much in the way of imperfections, a pleasure to look at. A lot is going on in the band, paintings of some sort, which I like. There’s also a cloth band around the foot (I guess that’s in case it gets cold… (I’m leaving that in because it’s such a horrible joke)).

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $118.80/Box of 20 | $32.20/Pack of Five

Borgia back on Netflix Conflagration!

I’ve gotta admit, the way this cigar is starting out reminds me a lot of that first experience I had with one of these cigars. It has loads of flavor with a decent amount of intensity. There’s this really unique spice that enhances everything that it touches. Oak, cherry tinged hay and some other bright flavors. The texture to the smoke feels almost like mist.

During the second third the spice greatly dissipates, which isn’t a great development but it could be worse. Oak and cherry still around. There’s a light dusting of coco in there as well.

The final third features a great deal more coco and there’s also a floral flavor too. That floral flavor was probably in there the whole time but buried behind the other flavors.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Flor de las Antillas is definitely a tasty cigar with a lot to recommend it. Like I said earlier, when I smoked my first one I thought this was one of those truly special cigars; and maybe you’ll think so. It sure started out exceptionally well this time but it quickly dropped off from Olympus down to mortal status. And yet, much like everything My Father Cigars makes, I think this cigar is worth a try.

90 points

Viaje Skull and Bones “?” 2011 Short Cigar Review

October 9, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · Comment 

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo   |   Binder: Nicaraguan   |   Filler: Nicaraguan   |   Single: ~ $12.00   |   Torpedo   |   4 ½″ x 52

0/3: Viaje, which is Spanish for “boutique,” has put out a limited edition torpedo the last two years called “?”. Sounds like a Super Villain’s name to me but, hey, I guess it works.

It’s short (obviously) and it looks well made. Tightly packed, the wrapper does have some stretch marks but is also very oily.

1/3: Strong with clean, fruity spice, leather and some coco. Nice mixture of flavors. Not too strong, but the flavors are really alive.

2/3: Black cherry and spice dominate the second third. Coco and cream are there as well. So is leather. Very smooth cigar with a slight nasal spice burn that lasts for a while.

3/3: Spice, leather and a bit of bitterness. Not much bitterness but it starts to creep in during this third.

4/3: Good draw and burn, this full bodied cigar is alright. A little bit better than “alright” but not a lot better. Personally, I’m beginning to get a little Viaje limited edition fatigue because they are relatively expensive cigars and they aren’t always great cigars. Better than average, perhaps, but nothing spectacular. That being said, it’s still an intriguing brand to me.

3.5 out of 5 points

Tatuaje Little Monsters Baby Face Cigar Review

August 22, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

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.

Those Little Monsters

Those Little Monsters

Cigar Stats
Vitola: short robusto
Length: 4 3/8”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: San Andreas Mexican Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: ~$8.00/single as part of a box of 10 Little Monsters

Baby Face’s Dad’s Movie Torch!

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.

89 points

Tatuaje Little Monsters Lil’ Drac Cigar Review

August 21, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

Yesterday, I posted a review of the Tatuaje Little Monsters Frank Jr. and, if you read that review, you’ll know that I really liked that cigar. Today, I’m going to review the Lil’ Drac, which is the kid of the Drac.

But before that I have to say that I don’t get why these were released at the beginning of the summer. The summer? Yeah, that’s scary. Didn’t matter though because these things are selling really quickly. Still, the ambiance is all off.

A short, veiny torpedo with a slightly darker than normal brown wrapper with a couple of black splotches. This cigar is slightly oily and slightly soft to the touch.

Those Little Monsters

Those Little Monsters

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 48
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: ~$8.00/single as part of a box of 10 Little Monsters

Bela Lugosi Torch!

Light oak notes with an ash flavor tinged earthiness. Even though the flavors are pretty good they aren’t that strong. Honestly, this isn’t starting off great. It’s not that the cigar is bad it’s that the flavors just aren’t strong.

While the light oak is still present there is also this soft spice flavor that is starting to come through. It’s a pretty simple flavor profile and even though there’s nothing wrong with it this cigar just isn’t that exciting.

The final third did change a little bit towards sweetness. It’s a deep sweetness, kind of like coco, and is a good mix with the oak flavor.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn. My major problem with this cigar is that the flavors aren’t very strong. It’s also a pretty simple cigar. Overall, not one of my favorite Tatuaje Little Monsters.

87 points

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