Litto Gomez Diez 2010 Cigar Review

July 24, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

It’s a Chisel™ and what that means is I will probably like it. My favorite Chisel (I will dispense with the ™ thing because I don’t think you care) is the LFD Double Ligero Maduro but I also loved the LFD Double Ligero Natural and LFD Air Bender. All were great cigars and all should be smoked by people who like full bodied cigars and flavor. The latter part is the only part that really matters though.

The Litto Gomez Diez 2010 Chisel is a Dominican puro with a light brown wrapper. When I see this wrapper I am still surprised at how light it is. Still, it is a La Flor Dominicana Chisel so you know the quality will be there.

Or will it? Usually, that is the case. However, the first one of these that I smoked had a tight draw that hurt the cigar. It was a bummer.

The wrapper looks good and so does the shape. Nicely packed with no soft or hard spots and with no raised veins are evident.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: Chisel ~ robusto
Length: 5 ½”
Ring Gauge: 54.5
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $17.00/Single @ Embassy Cigars

Walking Dead 3 Incineration!

Unfortunately, the flavors start out muted, almost shy. Very faint, not subtle, just faint hay and cashews. After a third to half an inch some spice enters the mix, which does improve the overall flavor profile.

With the first third’s flavors being nearly transparent I was hoping for an improvement during the second third. And there is a slight improvement with the flavors ratcheting up a peg or two. Spice and hay are the main flavors. Some dark sweetness sneaks in during this third as well and it does morph into sweet wood. There is also buttered toast during this third.

Before I go onto the final third I have to make a bit of a detour and explain why the flavors for this cigar are muted (I’m sure most of you have already guessed the reason). It’s aged. Erik Espinosa pointed this out while I was giving my review on Kiss my Ash Radio (the July 21, 2012 episode), which is put on by Smoke Inn. Aging cigars is a good idea and maybe people who like medium bodied cigars would love this cigar but I didn’t like the first two thirds. There’s a season for everything but that season passed for the first two thirds.

And then the final third happened. Spice, oak and bread never tasted so good. It was an explosion of flavor that made the whole cigar worth it for me. Well, almost. It’s still an expensive cigar and a third is still a third, which isn’t enough.

Excellent draw and burn throughout, which is something to be expected with Chisels. The first two thirds were medium bodied while the last third was definitely full bodied. This really is a Tale of Two Cigars. It was almost like the cigar had been resting on its head for the last two years and all the flavors settled on the bottom. The first two thirds would have earned 87 points from me but the last third was a 96 point cigar. Averaging it out…

90 points

PS: Over the weekend I smoked a Litto Gomez Diez 2012 and it was fantastic. It was like the final third of the 2010 but throughout the whole cigar.

La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Cigar Review

July 6, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

For those of you with a good memory you are right, I have reviewed an Air Bender in the past. I thought it was alright but not something I would ever search out to smoke again. Which, when I think about it, is a shame because I do like the La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero line of cigars, especially the Chisels (Chisel Reviews: Natural and Maduro). So I decided to try the Air Bender in the Chisel vitola. What could go wrong?

Based on how it looks there isn’t much that “could go wrong” with this cigar. It’s very oily, perfectly shaped, has a slight reddish hue to it and not much in the way of veins. Alright, this isn’t the Constitution, no need for much of a preamble.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: Chisel ~ toro
Length: 6 ½”
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $160.00/Box of 20 | $9.00/Single

Preamble Fireworks!

It starts out great with a blast of white pepper with leather… and that “blast” doesn’t quit throughout the first third. But don’t get the wrong idea; it’s not by any means a super strong cigar. Barely full bodied.

The second third just continues along the same lines as the first third. I think that the “blast” has dissipated a bit but I’m thinking that’s just a result of the constant barrage of white pepper, which I love. The leather is still present and, new to the flavor party, is oak. It’s a great mix of flavors and the addition of oak has only added to my enjoyment.

If you are a fan of pepper, particularly white pepper, you will enjoy this cigar to no end. The consistency of the smoke is very granular, almost like a mist. Basically, what that means is that with each puff that white pepper coats your tongue and sticks around for a long time. It’s nice.

The final third is mostly white pepper because, at this point, it’s overpowering the other flavors. There is still a hint of leather bouncing around in the flavor profile.

The La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Chisel is not an overly complex cigar but the flavors that are there are wonderful. Let me put it this way: I bought a couple, smoked those in quick succession and then went out and bought a few more. It took a good amount of self constraint on my part to hold a cigar back to do this review. I liked it that much.

As with almost every other Chisel I have ever smoked both the draw and the burn were excellent. The strength of this cigar starts out barely in the full bodied range but it builds into this onslaught that pounds you. There is some variability to this; sometimes the strength was there but wasn’t punishing but at other times it became quite strong.

Personally, I wouldn’t suggest this cigar for somebody who doesn’t like full bodied cigars. For those of you who do like full bodied cigars then you should try this Chisel. Is it my favorite Chisel? No. The LFD DL Chisel Maduro is still my favorite. But the LFD Air Bender Chisel is great for a change of pace.

93 points

Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD 2012 Cigar Review

June 25, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

While catching up on the humanity versus aliens drama “Falling Skies” I decided to smoke a cigar whose name may provide a solution for Dr. John Carter, I mean Tom Mason, and his band of brave humans who are fighting those pesky genocidal aliens. Of course, the cigar I am talking about is the Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD (2012). A weapon of mass destruction worked for Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum after all, so why shouldn’t it also work for Noah Wyle?

I have smoked one of these short and stubby cigars previously and I wasn’t very impressed. Truth be told, I don’t know much about this cigar other than that it’s extremely limited and that it’s billed as a strong cigar (for more information on the line check out halfwheel). My previous experience with this cigar contradicts the “strong cigar” billing and from a short perusal of other reviews I find that I am not alone here. However, when I previously smoked one of these it was at the end of a day of herfing and I had been drinking some – so my perception may be a little off.

This cigar is not the cigar version of Michelangelo’s David; there are small bumps and veins aplenty. Also, it is not perfectly cylindrical with a bit a waviness noticeable on the profile of the cigar. None of these shortcomings are, I believe, bad omens. Cigars are handmade delicacies and, while the way a cigar looks does matter, I have smoked a lot of ugly cigars that ended up being more enjoyable than great looking cigars. Oh, and this cigar does have a slight sheen of oils coating the wrapper and it is a tightly packed cigar.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: short robusto
Length: 3 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Nicaragua Criollo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $225.00/Box of 25

Falling Skies Nuclear Holocaust!

It’s awesome! Basically, what you get in the beginning is an onslaught of bright spice. Buttressing this flamethrower-like intensity of spice is a healthy dose of oak.

Going into the second third the flavor intensity has not flagged. What is most surprising about this cigar is that with this strength, which has noticeably moderated, it is still a very smooth cigar. There is some evolution in the flavor profile as well. While the spice has scaled back to half strength there is a sweetness that has come on with the slightest hint of cherry in the background.

During the final third there’s a bit more evolution as the flavor profile morphs into sweet spice. Overall, it is a very enjoyable cigar.

While this is a full bodied cigar it is by no means uncomfortably so. Both the draw and the burn are great. If you are looking for a smaller cigar that last for about an hour that is as much of a firecracker as the “noisy cricket” from Men in Black then this is definitely the cigar for you.

A couple notes of caution must be said. This cigar does not have strength to spare, which is fine but it was billed as being super strong. Don’t be expecting that when you light one up for the first time. Furthermore, it is a rather short cigar so while I do like the flavors and I did find enough evolution in the cigar to keep me interested, that is just me. This cigar’s flavor profile fell into my wheel house and if it doesn’t fall into yours you will be disappointed. If you don’t like spice you probably won’t like this cigar all that much.

92 points

Illusione Cigar Review

June 23, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

“…Three days ago we all died,” Jack told Kate in the third episode of the first season of Lost. Now, from what I’ve read, that doesn’t mean that they were all dead for the totality of the series but, honestly, I still don’t really understand everything about that show (Is that even possible?). That is why I have started watching it again and once I started delving into those conspiratorial waters my mind drifted to Illusione cigars.

Why? I’ve covered that before in a previous review, so I won’t do so again here. Suffice it to say, there’s meaning to the names of Illusione’s cigars. For example, take the Illusione Holy Lance, which I’m going to be reviewing presently. The “Holy Lance” is a reference to the lance that pierced Christ while he was being crucified.

This particular cigar, along with two others of the same vitola, was gifted to me by a good BoTL named Danny. Thanks buddy!

It’s a good looking cigar; long and slender. Superbly crafted, not very oily, the wrapper feels fuzzy. The cap is adorned with a little pigtail, which I guess is the cigar equivalent to having spinners. Consistently packed from foot to head. It’s a good looking cigar without any significant flaws.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: long panatela
Length: 7 ½″
Ring Gauge: 40
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $240.00/Box of 25

Lost Explained(?) Flame!

It starts out wonderfully. Very warm flavors ranging from anise to wheat to general earthy flavors. It is a complex cigar with a lot of layers of flavor right from the beginning. (I don’t want to get too overwrought with the Lost comparison but Lost started off the same.)

During the second third a flowery flavor starts to come through. Anise has almost completely disappeared. Wheat is still present but is now far in the background but the earthiness is still there. Still a lot of complexity.

A little bit of bitterness comes on during the final third but, on the retrohale, the flavors are great. Flowery flavors make up the majority of the flavor profile but there is still some earthiness lurking in the background.

Both the draw and the burn are great. It’s a medium bodied cigar with a lot of flavors that every cigar smoker would like. When you are looking for an easy going cigar with a lot of flavor this should definitely be in the discussion.

93 points

Tatuaje Black Label Cigar Review

March 3, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

For whatever reason most of the other reviews of this brand I have found online have been for the petite lancero vitola. (Perhaps most of the reviews are for the petite lancero because that is a regular production cigar and what I’m smoking happens not to be. Ponder and discuss.) That’s fine and since that particular vitola has been covered by many others I’m going to cover the corona gorda Tatuaje Black Label.

“If looks could kill” is not a phrase that comes to mind when looking at this cigar. It’s waifishly skinny with a pale looking wrapper that is marked by the occasional protruding vein, stretch mark, bump and tear. It looks like a mess and so have all the others (four others, this is the fifth) that I have smoked. Black Labels may be ugly ducklings but they sure can fly.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: Corona Gorda
Length: 5 5/8″
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: Criollo ’98 Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: ~$9 per stick

Breitbart Eternal Flame!

While doing some research on this cigar I got a little confused. This cigar does not have a pigtail nor is the foot unfinished, as the Tatuaje site says it should, which made me think for a minute that this cigar was a fake and that I was going to raise Holy Hell with a local B&M. After digging a little deeper I found this and was relieved. Oh well, that’s what I get for not keeping current on the latest news on Tatuaje’s various brands.

When you combine an effortless draw, a wealth of flavors, a ton of smoke and a dash of strength you get an awesome cigar. From the first puff on this is an awesome cigar. Leather and golden raisins. Effervescent spice that briefly lingers in the nostrils and sweet woody notes that come on weakly but last a long time. It’s just that right mix of spice and sweet and savory. The flavors themselves are strong but could possibly be a little bit more forceful and there is a minutely off putting blandness that momentarily numbs my tongue after each puff for a few seconds.

The second third is a glorious continuation of the first third. When things are going good I don’t want them to change and that is what is happening here. If anything, there is this hearty apple flavor that is coming through more forcefully. Apple and cinnamon more precisely.

It’s a refreshing cigar with an edge. Hearty flavors are the rule with this cigar. The main forces are the raisins and the leather. Sweetness permeates the field augmented by cinnamon. Add in the fact that the draw is superb and the burn is even, this medium-full bodied cigar is awesome.

Despite there being no evolution of flavors from beginning to end this cigar quickly became one of my all-time favorites. The flavors are alive and in perfect harmony with each other. I think the only drawback for me is that the flavors are not perfectly in my wheelhouse. Unlike the Fausto Avion 11, there isn’t much grittiness to this cigar. It’s elegant, refined; not bold and volatile. This cigar would impress any cigar smoker.

95 points

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