Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial TAA 2012 Cigar Review

October 8, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

The acronym TAA conjured up images of groping and pointless delays in airports for me but then I looked again and realized that this isn’t the acronym for the much-maligned Transportation Security Administration folks but for the Tobacconist Association of America (I’m going to assume there’s less groping required in this organization). Actually, it’s a pretty cool idea because it provides B&Ms with something special for their clientele which can’t easily be found online.

This cigar is a box pressed torpedo with what I believe to be basically the same blend as the original Jamie Garcia Reserva Especial (for more info go to Tiki Bar or Halfwheel). I liked the normal line cigar a lot, giving it 91 points, and have bought more over the last few months since I published my review of the normal line. It’s a really good cigar and, to tell you the truth, I’d probably bump up that score a little now that I’ve smoked around a box more of those cigars.

This TAA Edition cigar is slightly longer than the one I did a review on previously and it has a slight box press. The wrapper is rough to the touch and is slick with oils. The construction looks perfect and I can’t find any imperfections with it. It is consistently packed and gives slightly when pinched.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6 ¼″
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $150.00/Box of 16 | $10.00/Single

Hell on Wheels Conflagration!

With a slightly tight draw this cigar is starting off with a good deal of spice and some dark wood notes. The spice’s intensity is really strong, especially during the very beginning, and that might overwhelm some smokers or, if failing that, might be unpleasant. Personally, I like the initial spicy intensity of this cigar.

After the howitzer of spiciness subsides, which is about a quarter of the way through the first third, a tableau of habanero heat, chocolate and some woody notes becomes clear. It continues on like this through the beginning of the second third.

Near the end of the second third this gingerbread flavor starts coming through and you can really smell it in the smoke as well. It’s a cool flavor and works well with the spice and woody notes. That chocolate kind of disappears, but not completely.

Somewhere during the second third or the beginning of the final third the spice quiets down and becomes more sweet and floral. While I do like the hard charging spice more this does show a bit of evolution in the flavor profile and keeps my interest going.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn, this is a great cigar. There are a lot of flavors going on in this cigar and the extra bit of length and/or a change of blend (which I don’t know is the case in this situation) did make the flavor profile a little bit different from the conventional line. All in all, I think this is just as good as the regular line, which I love and I think most everyone would find something to like about it.

If you get a chance you should try this cigar. It costs a little more but you can only find it at B&Ms, which means it has a bit of exclusivity. There’s that but the most important thing is that it tastes good.

91 points

Viaje C-4 Cigar Review

September 22, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

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.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 56
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
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.

89 points