I received this cigar from La Palina; as always, all reviews are my own.
Over the last month or so I have watched the whole White Collar series, which is mainly about this FBI agent and conman extraordinaire who bust white collar criminals. If you don’t think about it too much it’s a fun show to watch. But there’s something interesting about cons in general, especially cons of the counterfeiting variety. If you want to counterfeit something done by a person (i.e. a painting) or something else natural then it’s best not to be perfect.
Perfection is a clear sign that there is something unnatural about an object. Straight lines? Unnatural. Perfectly proportioned body? Unnatural. Uniformly colored wrapper (especially one that is very dark)? Probably unnatural.
With, say, a painting, you would have to be perfect in mimicking the imperfections of the original. With a natural product it’s better to not try mimickery.
Basically, all the preceding was a setup to say that this wrapper is definitely natural (no dyes and the such); and, truthfully, I never really questioned this wrapper’s authenticity. It was just one of those times that something popped into my head – counterfeiting in this instance – and I needed to indulge myself a bit. Thanks for sticking with me.
Not only is there some variation in the color of the wrapper, from blackish areas to chocolaty browns but there are also some bumps, a small tear near the foot (maybe my fault) and there is a network of small to medium sized veins crisscrossing the surface of the cigar like all those aqueducts on Mars. There’s a certain amount of oiliness on the wrapper (not a lot but it’s there) and the cigar smells nice.
One last thing: I have liked all the La Palina cigars I have smoked in the past; click the link to check them out
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Mexican Maduro
Binder: Honduran (x2)
Price: $171.00/Box of 20 | $47.50/5 Pack
Detecting Antifragility Flame!
Slow burning cigar with a core group of rich flavors including earth, dark sweetness and oats. The juxtaposition of the earth and the dark sweetness is very nice. There is some complexity early on.
Dark sweetness is still hanging around during the second third with some earth popping up every once in a while. The other major flavor is oats and there is a toasted quality that is permeating the whole flavor profile now.
Charred meat comes on during the final third and that earthiness comes back. It’s a good mixture but not as good as the first third was.
Medium bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; this cigar starts off with a mixture of intense flavors and evolves into a toasty stew of flavors that are mostly enjoyable. The major drawback of this cigar, something I touched on earlier in this review, is that it burns slowly; too slowly at times. If you don’t keep at it then this cigar is liable to burn out.
I smoked two cigars for this review and the one that I kept on top of burned well. My suggestion would be to smoke this cigar when you have the ability to dedicate some time to it because it is worth the effort.
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
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
It’s a quirky looking cigar. Both ends are closed with the only difference between the ends being that the good torcedores who make Viaje cigars poked a hole in the “foot.” That hole does serve a purpose, though, and that purpose is that the hole allows more moisture to escape from the innards of this cigar. What gets me, though, is that this cigar looks a lot more like a candy bar than a brick of C-4 (it is true that I have a lot of experience with candy bars and none with plastic explosives so this thing may actually look like C-4 but after perusing some pictures online of C-4 I’m not so sure).
A minimal amount of veins with a slight box press, this cigar has a dark brown wrapper. The feel is slightly waxy with a decent amount of oils. It looks very well made and I do appreciate the minimalist “C-4″ band on this cigar; kind of refreshing.
Ring Gauge: 56
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
Price: $780.00/Box of 75 | $10.40/Single
Slow Mo Explosion Incineration!
If you were thinking that it would be hard to get a draw from this cigar in the beginning you are sort of wrong. What I mean is that maybe for the first puff or two you don’t get much but, once the foot cap becomes ignited, the draw is effortless. Good start on that regard.
As for the flavor experience: it’s pretty intense, especially during the retrohale. The leading flavor here is this habanero-like spice that has this amazing ability to worm its way into the essence of everything it touches (more on that in next paragraph). There’s also some sweetness, close to floral, and some woody flavors as well. Not a cornucopia of flavors but still enjoyable.
I do have to mention something before progressing on into a description of the second third. How should I put this? Well, do you know what it feels like to have water go in your mouth and then out through your nose? That’s how my nasal cavity feels but with a little more burning from the habanero-like spice. Not horrible but it’s a little much.
During the second third that feeling of shooting habanero smoke through my nose subsides, which is definitely an improvement. Overall, the flavors are still there but they have become smoother, which is nice. Not a lot of evolution from the first to the second third.
The final third is mainly sweet spice. For what it is it’s pretty good. The flavor is crisp and enjoyable.
Full bodied, which lessens as the cigar progresses, with a decent burn and good draw, this cigar has some good moments. But not enough for me. It’s fairly one dimensional (what’s there is good) without a lot of complexity. If you’re just looking for strength this cigar has a good amount of that but that would be the only major upside for you guys.
A couple of months ago I reviewed the Litto Gomez Diez 2010 Chisel and thought that it was a good cigar and gave it 90 points. For me, the flavor was a little muted during the first two thirds but that last third was pretty awesome. It’s a good cigar and I would suggest smoking one if you get the opportunity. But what if you had to choose between the 2010 and 2012 LGD Chisels?
Fortunately for you, I am going to give you some advice because I’m about to start reviewing the LG Diez 2012 Chisel… Right now.
Normally, I do not comment on the way the cigar smells unlit but this one just exudes this spicy, hay-infused aroma. It’s a very dry smell and only adds to my anticipation of this cigar.
It’s a Chisel, it looks flawless, it doesn’t have any veins, is fairly oily and has a slightly loose pack. Enough with this prelude to a smoke, let’s smoke.
Vitola: Chisel ~ robusto
Length: 5 ½”
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $265.25/Box of 24 | $11.05/Single
During my review of the Litto Gomez Diez 2010 Chisel I basically likened the final third flavors to a dream come true. That’s good but it was only that good for a third of the cigar. The LG Diez 2012 is starting off like a dream with this amazing spice flavor that is both bitter and hot all at once and there’s also dark fruit, dry hay and some savory notes that most closely resembles a fine steak.
If I were forced to identify something negative with the first third, or at least something others might not like about the first third, it is that the flavors are extremely intense; intense to the point that they might overpower some people’s palates. I’m okay with it, I loved it. It’s also very full bodied, which is another matter altogether for some people (this is not an admonition, it’s just that some people do not like full bodied cigars, that’s all).
The second third ameliorates any concern I have with this cigar’s flavors being too powerful for some people (the strength of body is still there, if not a tick higher than during the first third). And it has increased my enjoyment of this cigar a bit because the flavors seem to have more freedom and life to them. What I’m getting now is a ton of spice, which is a combination of cinnamon and heat. Dryness is the name of the game here, this is a very dry cigar. And that is perfect for this flavor profile, which, during this second third, is, as aforementioned, spice and, mostly, meat with some sweetness added in almost as an afterthought.
After finishing the final third I am still supremely impressed by this cigar. Heck, I was extremely impressed with the three others that I smoked before this one (two of another vitola, forget which, and a Chisel). During this third I predominately got that very dry and intense spice along with some oak. All signs of sweetness and meat have disappeared. The previous two thirds were better but the final third was great in its own way.
Definitely full bodied with a great draw and a decent burn, this cigar is a treat. It is too full bodied for those who don’t normally go for full bodied cigars but, for those of you who do, this is one of those cigars that you must try at least once.
PS: I did wrestle with the score quite a bit. I’m guessing that more people will probably like this cigar more than the Fausto Avion 11, which received a 98 from me, but I could be wrong. Initially, I was going to give it a score of 99 points (one point off 100 due to the burn) but then the burn acted up a little too much and the final third wasn’t perfect. This is most definitely not a criticism but, at least the way I see it, when I am deciding which cigar is my favorite I have to go after every last detail.
The other LGD 2012 Chisel I smoked also had some burn issues but the other vitola, which is a normal parejo, didn’t have those burn issues. Part of the problem with the LGD 2012 Chisels is that I may have just let the cigar rest too long in between puffs but, if I had done that, I do not think the cigar would have performed as well flavor-wise. It was better that I smoked it slowly and corrected a few burn issues, which included the cigar basically going out, than to have risked the flavor profile turning bad by smoking it too quickly.