Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra | Binder: Nicaragua | Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican | Box of 24: $139.95; Pack of 5: $50.50 | Robusto | 5″ x 50
0/3: If you just hear the name “E Stunner” you might think it’s an electronic thingamajig or… maybe something else. It’s none of that; it’s a cigar put out by the much respected EP Carrillo cigar company and I think they promise that this cigar has a good amount of kick to it. Well, lets see.
After picking up one of these cigars the first thing you will notice is that it is a very oily cigar. Visually, it’s nothing spectacular. It’s a mottled combination of medium to dark brown colors with some very light areas running along the veins. This combination of colors makes an ashy visual impression.
This is not a tightly packed cigar but the packing is consistent. It looks and feels like it was put together well (it is a Carrillo after all). Right before I lit this cigar I noticed that there’s an image of a bull’s head on the band, which, when coupled with the name, all points to this being a very strong cigar. I’m just hoping it tastes good.
1/3: There’s grass and red pepper going on in the beginning. It quickly progresses into including cherry and my overall impression of the cigar’s flavor profile is sweet spice. Pretty straightforward but nice all the same.
2/3: Cherry takes on more prominence during this third but there are still some red pepper notes through the retrohale and a bit of oak as well.
3/3: Cherry, earth and some coffee are coming through during the final third. The cherry is the strongest flavor and it’s good but everything else is pretty average.
4/3: Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the E.P. Carrillo E Stunner is a decent cigar but it doesn’t have the level of refinement that other Carrillo cigars are known for, like their Elencos cigars. It wasn’t even a full bodied cigar, which is something they were going for. This is a cigar you can miss.
2.5 points out of 5 – It’s a quality cigar but it just never hit its groove
I received the cigars I used for this review from General Cigar; as always, all reviews are my own
Esteli is a region in Nicaragua known for producing delicious tobacco. Personally, I like a lot of the cigars featuring tobacco from this region. Generally, the flavor profile leans towards being more robust with a good deal of spice. So, yes, I’m looking forward to reviewing this cigar.
On the other hand, it’s a thick cigar, which is something I generally do not like. So… strike one.
But it does look well made with a few minimal veins, some oils on the darkish brown wrapper and no soft spots in any of the samples that I have tried (this being the fifth).
Ring Gauge: 60
Price: MSRP $6.36/Single
Bear Dog Torch!
The beginning of the cigar is quite tasty. There’s a soft, effervescent spice buttressed by a combination of flavors including: cedar, cream, coffee and some sweetness (I swear, I didn’t mean to start out with that little bit of alliteration). It all works together extremely well and there isn’t a sour note to be found so far.
Caramel starts coming through during the second third. I think the saltiness of the caramel is playing very well with the soft, yet receding, spice and coffee notes.
A hint of vanilla gets added to the blend of flavors during the final third. At this point the spice is all but gone and the flavors that remain revolve around this sweet woodiness. It’s not a bad end, per se, but the first two thirds were much better.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli is a good cigar with a lot of good flavors going on during the first two thirds at least. During that part the dark flavor profile was a joy to experience and, perhaps, with some more age on these cigars the flavors will develop even more so.
I think the name of this cigar alludes to its snacky characteristics as “papas fritas” means french fries in some language. It’s definitely a small cigar, which means it’s meant for those short times you get during a busy day where you want to smoke but don’t want to break out a normally sized cigar. Also, this cigar has short-filler tobaccos in it and that means they’re not long-filler and that means not “super premium” and that should mean less money and that’s sort of true at least for the Liga Privada line of cigars (it’s actually part of the Liga Privada Único Serie of cigars). Basically, the guys over at Drew Estate realized that they were throwing away a bunch of expensive tobacco they use for the Liga Privada No. 9 line and figured out a way to use that excess tobacco.
(Basically, that’s the reverse of the story behind the culebra vitola, which came about as a way for the torcedores to take three cigars home instead of the customary one cigar that pre-revolutionary Cuban cigar manufacturers allotted for them each day. If you don’t know what a culebra is, it’s basically three cigars wrapped around each other. And the Papas Fritas is the opposite of the culebra because the cigar manufacturer is making more out of something whereas with the culebra the cigar manufacturers were getting less.)
If you want to look at that as Machiavellian then do so. And maybe it is a bit Machiavellian to basically create a whole new segment in the cigar market: what cigar.com calls “semi-premium.” In the end, all that matters is how well the cigar tastes. It looks well made, is oily and has a couple of medium sized veins. I’ve smoked a few of these now and I have not noticed any deficiencies in the basics (burn and draw) so all that’s left is the review.
Vitola: petit corona
Length: 4 ½”
Ring Gauge: 44
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Price: $152.00/Box of 28 | $22.00/Tin of 4
A touch of sweetness, a good deal of earth and some smoky wood. This cigar is starting out very well. There’s a bit of heat that lingers through the retrohale and it is nice.
There’s a great depth of flavor with this cigar. Vivid, dark flavors are bouncing around my palate and linger for a good deal of time. In addition to the flavors that I previously mentioned there’s also this mixture of coffee and chocolate that is awesome. Good deal of complexity with this cigar.
The final third was similar to the second third but with more earth and chocolate. It’s a good finish to a very good cigar.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this is a surprisingly good cigar. I don’t know why I didn’t think this cigar would be good but I did have that thought. Maybe it’s due to its small size and it did have something to do with the fact that the filler is basically recycled No. 9 parts. Weirdly enough, I liked this cigar more than the long-filler No. 9.
I received the cigar used for this review from Cigars Direct. All reviews are my own.
Wrapper: Trajes, Honduran | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Trajes, Nicaraguan & Honduran | Box of 20: $175.00; 5 Pack: $47.00 | Churchill | 7″ x 48
0/3: Looks well made, slightly darker than medium brown in color, no noticeable imperfections on the wrapper, fairly hard packed with a soft box press. I should note that I am shocked, SHOCKED!!!, that I haven’t reviewed this line before. I thought I had (maybe that’s why I never did a review because I thought I already had).
1/3: Starts out very well. Coffee, earth and some sweet spice. It’s got a bit of strength but not so much as to overpower.
2/3: Flavors are pretty much the same as before but the spice does pick up a little in intensity. With the increase in spice it does add to my enjoyment of the cigar because the extra spice adds an extra dimension to the flavor profile.
3/3: Bitter earthiness is the main force in the flavor profile during the final third. I like it because the flavors are deep and work well with the spice and the hint of chocolate that is starting to break through now. I did have to touch up the burn line a couple of times but this is a rather long cigar and it wasn’t too much of a hassle.
4/3: It is pretty easy to see why a certain publication that has been around for two decades likes this cigar so much. Medium-full bodied with a good draw and decent burn, this cigar has a lot of flavor in what I like to refer to as the dark end of the flavor spectrum.
4.5 out of 5 points – a cigar most everyone will like
Full Disclosure: The cigar comes from Cuban Stock. All review are my own.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro Special | Binder: Dominican | Filler: Dominican | Single MSRP: $7.90 | Perfecto | 6″ x 60
That’s a lot of missing information and if I get that information I will put it up ASAP. I looked for that information for more than half an hour and it just isn’t anywhere. (Updates made) Alright, now onto the cigar.
It is misshapen. The head sort of ends up as a nipple and the foot, if I look at the profile the right way, either looks like a bottle nosed dolphin’s head. It has a dark wrapper with some moderate veins running from head to foot. The feel is slightly soft and there are some oils on the wrapper.
1/3: I once did a review on a Chubbys Ultimate and didn’t care for it that much. It’s an alright cigar but just didn’t do it for me.
This one is starting out earthy, bitter, grassy and there’s this salty aftertaste. Everything but the salty aftertaste is… alright.
After the burn line gets comfortably over the shoulder, which takes about an inch, the flavors become earthier with chocolate and coffee. It’s actually decent.
2/3: The second third is a regression, sort of like a decent tv show that just becomes dumb after the first season. Saltiness is back and there is this hot chocolate flavor that tastes like it has been thinned out with water.
3/3: It’s all washed out now. The only flavor that is making any kind of impact is saltiness. Washed out earth and chocolate make up the bulk of the remaining flavors.
4/3: A big part of me wanted to like this cigar but that just wasn’t in the cards. There wasn’t much intensity of flavor even at the best of times and for the remainder the flavors were the cigar equivalent of mud puddles. Medium bodied, with a good draw and burn, which is the best thing I can say about this cigar.