La Sirena Short Cigar Review

October 10, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

I received this cigar as a gift from Barry, who works for Miami Cigar & Co. All reviews are my own.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro   |   Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo ’99   |   Filler: Nicaraguan Corjo ’99 Viso and Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 Ligero   |   Box of 10: $102.00; 5 Pack: $55.00   |   Size: A   |   9.2″ x 48

0/3: Big… Ass… Cigar. Very oily cigar with one stretch mark. I’m amazed there aren’t more imperfections with a cigar of this length. It is a little spongy to the touch and, since it has been resting in my humidor for about 10 months, it is a little banged up. But not too banged up to hurt performance, I hope.

1/3: I don’t normally smoke “A’s” but when I do I get this unsettling feeling that I should have some kind of support system about 2/3rds of the way down to make sure it doesn’t break. It’s irrational, I know, but that’s what my brain is thinking.

Good, clean spice comes through strong during the first third. A bit of floral flavoring comes through too. There’s some earthiness as well.

2/3: Floral spice is the main thing going during this third. There’s also a good deal of earthiness going around and some meaty flavors. But, like I said, it’s mostly floral spice, which has a little bit of sweetness to it.

3/3: Leather and that floral spice which covers everything like the Blob on some hapless 1950’s town. Still, I’m liking it. Maybe not as much as the robusto, which I gave 95 points to a while back, but, still, very good.

4/3: Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn, this cigar is easily above average. It’s a bit expensive but, then again, it does last a really long time and is great throughout. It’s not the same robust spice explosion that you get with the smaller vitolas but the flavor here is very nice. More like two-plus hours of restrained delight.

4 out of 5 points

La Sirena Merlion Cigar Review

October 5, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

The band features a… oh, that’s what a Merlion is. This is a line extension to the La Sirena (which I loved, giving it 95 points and the #2 spot on my 2011 Top 10 list) stables and is made by La Aurora. I love La Aurora cigars and I toured their factory a couple of years ago. The La Sirena blend, on the other hand, is made by My Father Cigars.

It’s a very average looking cigar with the brown being on the lighter side and there being a few decent sized veins sticking out here and there. I will say that this cigar does have a fairly robust tobacco and spice smell coming from it. The construction is solid; evenly packed, very consistent shape, no stretch marks on the wrapper and those sorts of things. It also has a decent amount of oils on the wrapper.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Binder: Brazilian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Corojo & Criollo, Nicaraguan Ligero & Brazilian Mata Fina
Price: $158.00/Box of 20

Watch Firefly… Fire!

Before I start the actual review I have to note that it’s pretty damn cool seeing a former cigar blogger and friend, Barry Stein in this case, being cited on Cigar Aficionado’s website. As many of you know, Barry is the Assistant Director of Marketing for Miami Cigar, which distributes La Sirena cigars.

[Now back to the review.]

Sweet spice and oats make up the two main flavors for me during the first third. Good mix, a little unusual, but definitely interesting.

During the second third the sweet spice adds on a dark fruit sweetness to it as well, which is nice. The oats are still there. There’s also a bit of maple in the background. So, this cigar is partly sweet and partly oat flavored with some rough leather mixed in as well.

Near the end of the second third and throughout the remainder of the cigar the sweet spice fades but does not disappear. In it’s place is a combination of oats and nuts. While not my favorite mixture of flavors it does seem to be working well in this cigar.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn, the La Sirena Merlion is a good cigar. Even though it does not have the flavors that I enjoy the most the flavors that are here work together very well. This is the kind of cigar that will appeal to a lot of people because of the sweetness mixed with the savory flavors. Personally, I like the La Sirena line better, but that’s just me.

89 points

Top 10 Cigars 2011

January 17, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review, The Perfect Draw · 2 Comments 

I tend to do these things a little bit later on than everybody else (see my lists for 2010 and 2009 to see what I mean). Now, glossing over the fact that we’re closer to February than 2011, here is my Top 10 Cigars 2011 List.

10. Padron 1964 Anniversary SI-15 Maduro

When I smoked this cigar it didn’t come as a shock that I liked it seeing as I have liked every Padron 1964 Anniversary I have smoked before. The maduro, however, is just a little better than the natural for these Smoke Inn specials. Get some while you still can (although, they appear to be out of stock right now, which is a bummer).

9. Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo

The only reason why this highly rated cigar is so low on the list is because it had the benefit of resting in my humidor for quite a bit longer than most of the other cigars listed here. That helped it out a great deal and I’m sure would help out all the cigars ranked higher. Still, amazing cigar.

8. La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel Natural

I prefer the maduro version but this one is definitely not a slouch. While it definitely is a strong cigar strength-wise it is also a strong cigar flavor-wise with flavors ranging from the spicy spectrum to the savory. Can’t go wrong with this one.

7. CroMagnon

A dash of leather, a hint of sweetness and some spice round out this addition to my Top 10 List from a little cigar company out of Texas. It’s a really nice cigar that I’m sure would age well. It’s strong, especially the first one of these I smoked, but there’s a load of flavor working its magic in the background to make it a must try.

6. Undercrown

Personally, I tend to go for the more full bodied cigars but this cigar has rekindled some of my passion for medium bodied cigars. With a good deal of complexity and flavors ranging from earthy to chocolate this is a must try cigar.

5. Tatuaje Fausto

The first one of these I smoked didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. But I smoked another and a couple more after that and I realized that this cigar is something special. Loads of spice and strength, for sure, but there were a number of other flavors that joined the party. (Spoiler Alert: I like the Tatuaje Avion more; review to come shortly.)

4. Oliva Serie V

The Oliva Serie V is one of my all-time favorite brands and I find myself going for the bigger vitolas more and more, which is counter to my normal operating pattern. With amazing chocolate, earth, leather and bitter spice flavors filling the flavor profile it’s no wonder I like the bigger vitolas – who would want this cigar to end?

3. Liga Privada T52

Not just another full bodied cigar, the Liga Privada T52 is an amazing example of restrained intensity. The Liga Privada No. 9 is a great cigar and all but I prefer this offering from Drew Estate more.

2. La Sirena

Like this list, I was late to the La Sirena party as well. This, my friends, is an awesome cigar. Meaty and earthy with some spice and sweetness. It was like a kaleidascope of flavors that just would never end. Two drawbacks: sparkly crap on the wrapper and the band is a bit ridiculous.

1. Padilla Miami Salomon

Padilla LogoI don’t know what it is about perfectos but some of my favorite cigars come in this vitola. This Padilla Miami is the best specimen from the line because all those creamy and nutty and spicy flavors are enhanced to their full extent. This was, barely, my favorite cigar of 2011.

There were a few great cigars that were left off of this list but, overall, I am happy with it. Hopefully you are able to get some ideas from this list for your next purchases.

La Sirena Cigar Review

June 14, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

I received the cigars I used for this review from Miami Cigar & Company. As always, my reviews are my own.

La Sirena cigars have a good pedigree as they are made in the My Father Cigar Factory. And you can tell that these cigars are made with capable hands. It has that perfect parejo shape to it, the wrapper feels rough to the touch and the color has a good consistency to it: dark brown. There are a couple of small holes near the head of the cigar and there is something about it that is a little odd.

As I rotate the cigar the light catches on the wrapper in multiple places. It’s not glitter but it has that kind of look to it. When I run my finger over one of the spots that reflects the light the light goes away. Is it possible that what is reflecting the light is oil? I doubt it but there’s something there that is causing this. Weird. Maybe it is the oil from the cigar….

My one bone of contention about the look of this cigar is that when you have something as pretty as this cigar you should not want to cover it up, which is exactly what this over-sized Frankenstein of a band does. If you want to picture this band in your mind think of the ratio between shield and Grecian hoplite and then shrink it down to a five inch cigar. Presto! You have a covered up cigar. Well, at least it’s not as prudish as that Obsidian cigar I’ve seen on some website or another (let’s save that one for another time).

Cigar Stats
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo ’99
Filler: Nicaraguan Corjo ’99 Viso and Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 Ligero
Price: $8.20/Single | $155.00/Box of 20

Siren Torch!

I need to make a quick note about the makeup of this cigar. When I originally received the samples a few months back a little card came with it talking about the makeup of La Sirena Cigars. Since then I have come across this that shows the blend has changed. Well, I am putting up the blend info that I got along with the samples, things may have slightly changed since then.

What I love about cigars that utilize Nicaraguan tobacco is the combination of flavors that ranges from dusty earthiness to bold spice and some meaty flavors as well. This cigar has those flavors wrapped up pretty nicely. It’s a little more spicy than it is dusty earthiness, which is better in my opinion. Those meaty flavors remain a little underdeveloped during the first third of this cigar, they might not improve much at all during the subsequent two thirds. Sweetness is barely noticeable after the retrohale, it’s almost an afterthought.

Bold, I think, is the best word to describe the flavor profile of this cigar. Still have not finished the first third of this cigar and I am absolutely loving it. Looking back at my notes from the previous samples I have tried and, if anything, I think this cigar has gotten stronger with the extra time it has spent in my humidor. The flavors are also more well rounded, which is of paramount importance, as always.

During the second you are able to get a better understanding of the flavors. The spice has a ferocity like that of a fox on fire. It tastes one part sweet and four parts intensity. As if scared by the fox on fire spice, the earthiness has shrunk a little too much into the background. A pity, really, because it did add something nice to the overall complexity of the cigar. Picking up the slack for the scared earthiness is a mildly sweet force of flavor that weaves everything else together and increases the likeability of this cigar a great deal. Wood, leather and some meat, sparingly salted, are also present.

With renewed courage the dusty earthiness has picked up again and is riding a close second to the spice, much subdued in its vigor now that I’m in the final third, I might add. Sharpness is the main impression I am getting from this third. Not sharpness as in “The flavors are all sharp” but sharpness as in “The spice has a sharp quality to it” (think sharp cheddar). It’s not bad but it could be better. The sweetness is still there taking on an herbal affectation but it’s a shadow of its former self. While it would be unfair to say that the flavors have crumbled during this final third it is more than accurate to say that they have lost some of their zest for life. Either they are tired or my tongue is tired thanks to the amazing first two thirds of this cigar. Either way, I’m not displeased.

Bold. I still think that is the best way to sum up this cigar. Bold strength and bold flavors; impressive mixture. Obviously full bodied (but not like a Joya de Nicaragua Antano) and one of the best cigars for draw and burn around. No matter how you judge this cigar it is a winner – except for the band, which is ridiculously ostentatious.

95 points