Alec Bradley Nica Puro Short Cigar Review

October 13, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

The cigar for this review was provided by Cigars Direct; As always, all reviews are my own.

Wrapper: Nicaragua    |   Binder: Nicaragua   |   Filler: Nicaragua   |   Box of 20: $125.95; 5 Pack: $33.00   |   Robusto   |   5″ x 50

Alec Bradley Nica Puro cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer site)

Alec Bradley Nica Puro cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer site)

0/3: When I first started smoking cigars I smoked a lot of Alec Bradley cigars and while there are definitely some good cigars in their lineup (I especially like the Prensado and the Family Blend) I found myself smoking less and less of them as time went on. Maybe my tastes have changed or maybe there are just too many good cigars out there that I just lost touch with Alec Bradley cigars.

But then I saw that Alec Bradley had put out their first Nicaraguan puro, aptly named the Nica Puro, and I wanted to try it to see how good it was.

It is a good looking cigar, not a lot of oils on the wrapper, nor veins, noticeably not symmetrical but pretty close. Mostly consistently packed.

1/3: How is the world suppose to end? Does it include fire raining down on the sinful masses? Well, my shorts just received their own little micro-apocalypse after I fumbled with the cigar and knocked newly lit tobacco cherries off of the foot and they fell on my shorts like a shower of small asteroids. Argh!

The cigar is quite good though. This is a very good example of what I think of when I smoke a Nicaraguan cigar: a bit on the dry side, bold flavors (including spice, leather and cedar) and a general sense of contentment on my part. Not only are the flavors bold but the strength is fairly bold as well. I’d say that this is an aggressive cigar that is by no means harsh or containing an off note during this first third.

2/3: While the spice is still present, especially in the back of my nasal cavity, the main flavors I’m getting are dry earth and leather. The cedar is still present around the edges of the flavors profile and it is now accompanied by a whiff of sweetness, which rounds off any rough edges this flavor profile may have had. The strength of this cigar has moderated a bit and is now in the low full bodied range.

3/3: Copious amounts of smoke have billowed throughout the duration, which is neat and shows that there is good combustion going on, which is important for performance and the such. The flavors, however, take a bit of a turn during the final third going more for oak and a bit of spice. On its own it’s not a negative but it did take some of my enjoyment away from the cigar. Kind of a bland ending when compared to the first two thirds but not compared to cigars in general.

4/3: Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Alec Bradley Nica Puro was, overall, a very good cigar. I especially liked the first two thirds which featured a good mixture of spice, sweetness and earth. The final third was somewhat of a drop off but still a net positive third in my estimation. I thoroughly liked this addition to the Alec Bradley line of cigars.

4 out of 5 points – A very nice addition to the AB line that fans of Nicaraguan tobacco will surely like

Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Cigar Review

September 20, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I’ve reviewed a few lanceros lately so I figured that I might as well do another. But before I get on with the review I would like to say a little about trying different vitolas. So, here it goes. Try different vitolas and you might be surprised in a good way. The more you know.

Rustic looking darkish brown wrapper with some oils on it. I do have to note that none of these (this is my fifth) have looked very good. Actually, each one of these I’ve smoked looks like it has gone through the ringer a few times. Veiny, bumpy, feels a bit soft and a couple of these cigars, including the one that I am set to smoke shortly, has had a crack at the foot. And there’s a pigtail on the cap.

One last thing: I have reviewed a Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 before and I loved it, making it one of my Top 10 Cigars of 2012. Wow, I should start thinking about my Top 10 for 2013 soon….

Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970

Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 (click picture to go to Joya’s site)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habana Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $110.99/Box of 20 | $31.99/Pack of 5

Walking Dead Spinoff Conflagration!

The draw is loose and, even though I like my draw to be a bit on the loose side, this is much too loose. It takes too much effort for me to get the smoke going but, when it finally reaches my taste buds, it’s pretty good. Very much like the other vitolas but with more of a moistness to the flavors. Spice, a cross between oak and cedar and leather make up the flavor profile at this point. It’s an aggressive flavor profile but, probably because of the extra effort I have to go through to get the smoke to come through, the flavors don’t stick around for very long.

I like the flavors, especially the powerful spice (with an edge of oak) but it’s just not as strong as it normally is in the other vitolas. The only conclusion I can draw is that since this is a lancero it’s having an affect on how much power is actually able to come through. In and of itself, less power is not a bad thing but, unfortunately, it’s also affecting how good the flavors are.

With the final third comes a better draw and a return to the spicy, dry earth flavor profile that I’ve come to expect from the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970. It’s a good ending.

Medium-full bodied with a loose draw but a good burn; the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 starts out unspectacularly but finishes well. And I’m not just saying that I didn’t like the first two thirds because I was expecting one thing and got something else. The draw was just too loose and that significantly affected my enjoyment of this cigar and this happened with each one I tried.

87 points

La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Cigar Review

July 29, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

This is a bit of a departure for me as this is the Air Bender Villano, which is a lancero measuring in at 7.5″ x 38. Now, of course, there’s nothing wrong with this size but, probably for a multitude of reasons, I don’t usually smoke this vitola. Is that a mistake?

Maybe.

The reason why I picked up one of these is because I wanted to compare it to the similarly sized Cain F lancero.

As I noted earlier, this is a long, thin cigar and I think that fits well with its name: Villano. I think it was in Nip/Tuck where they talked about babies not getting parts in commercials because they had thin, villainous lips and, if this cigar were a baby, it wouldn’t be getting commercial roles either. But this isn’t a baby and, unlike a baby, smells like spicy tobacco with a hint of barnyard thrown in for good measure (do babies have a “barnyard” smell to them?). It does feel a bit soft in places, with a slight amount of oils and veins on the wrapper. There’s also a pigtail.

I have done two reviews of Air Benders before with my review of the Chisel, which I really liked, and another of the corona gorda, which I thought was alright. (Read both as you’ll get to see how different vitolas can lead to much different levels of enjoyment.)

Photo: La Flor Dominicana website

Photo: La Flor Dominicana website

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $169.00/Box of 20 | $42.00/5 Pack

How Star Wars Ep 1 Should Have Been Flame!

It starts out as aggressively as a bull elephant in musth with a combination of spice, leather, dark fruit in the background and it all goes perfectly together. From the first puff this is a very strong cigar and I can already tell that it wouldn’t go great for people who are either new to cigars or who do not like full bodied cigars. And this isn’t the online retailer “this cigar will blow steam out your ears if you smoke it!” kind of full bodied either; it’s legitimately full bodied.

Usually, things do calm down as the cigar progresses and, in a fashion, it does here as well but not a whole lot, which I like. In addition to what was there in the first third there is oak. So, in order of most prominent to least prominent flavors: spice, leather, oak, dark fruit and it’s still full bodied.

The final third sees a change in the spice: it’s drier. The dark fruitiness has lost some of its zip and is now more of a run of the mill kind of sweetness. Overall, though, this is still an excellent cigar.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Villano is a must try for cigar smokers who do not dislike full bodied cigars. Even if you don’t normally smoke stronger cigars I think you should try at least one of these as it does have an amazing amount of flavor. So far, this is the best Air Bender I have smoked.

95 points

Fuente Fuente Opus X Forbidden X Lost City Cigar Review

June 20, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

Yeah, I know, if you take out the spaces in that title it reads like a long Welsh village name. Oh well, that’s pretty much everything on the band and I can’t find the keys on my keyboard for the crest that also adorns the band… so there we are.

First off, it’s a cigar. Even though it costs more than most other cigars it is still going to be consumed by flame (ashes to ashes, nubs to nubs – that sort of thing) but, hopefully, it will taste better than most other cigars as well. And, if psychology papers are to be believed, just by the fact that this cigar costs a lot I will enjoy it more. (I could supply a link for you here to cite my source but I think the extra effort you will have to take to find this information out for yourself will leave you more satisfied.)

This is the torpedo, er, pyramide, vitola in the line. It’s a Dominican Puro and there’s a bunch of special stuff about the tobaccos used: they’re probably aged five years in a special corner of the Fuente Chateau and on and on. The construction looks pretty good but there are some bumps and veins and symmetry doesn’t look like it was high up on the torcedor’s list when it was made. That’s not fair, it’s a well made cigar but, for the money, I was expecting perfection. But, like I’ve said in the past, it’s the taste that matters most to me and this does look good enough to satisfy those who care about such things like how good a cigar looks.

What is very noticeable about this cigar is its aroma. Sitting a couple feet away from me while I type this out I can effortlessly smell the strong tobacco and sweet spice scents emanating from the cigar. This is a cigar I have had a few times before and, well, you’ll see…

Opus X Forbidden X Lost City

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $300.00/Box of 10

How Many 5-year old’s Could you Take in a Fight? Flame!

A splendid mixture of candied fruit, sweet spice, cedar and leather. The fruit and spice are more in the foreground and the others are definitely supporting characters with some strength. Whereas the Opus X’s I’ve smoked have more of an intensity to them this cigar has more well rounded edges to it. It’s good and a very slow burner.

Resonating flavors that really come to life during the second third bounce around the palete like an excited quark on its first day of element school. Flavors are roughly the same as the first third but with more of an emphasis on the sweet spice and leather. Very nice flavor profile; while the flavors aren’t very robust they are still pretty strong in their own right and they are also interesting.

During the final third, the flavor profile does seem to have run out of some steam. Cedar and leather make up the brunt of the flavor profile at this point and it’s all falling a bit flat without the spice and the sweetness from the first two thirds adding in that extra dimension of flavor. It’s still enjoyable but not nearly as much as it was.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this Fuente Fuente Opus X Forbidden X Lost City was very good during the first two thirds but fizzled out a bit during the final third. I suppose if you want to quit smoking this cigar around the end of the second third then it would all be very enjoyable but this is a review and reviewing cigars in thirds seems to be an industry standard of sorts. Still, even when you do lump in the final third with the first two it is an interesting and enjoyable cigar. More so than most. However, I prefer the Fuente Fuente Opus X to the Fuente Fuente Opus X… Lost City.

91 points

Tatuaje Apocalypse Short Cigar Review

November 22, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · Comment 

I received the cigar I am using for this review from Smoke Inn, all reviews are my own.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf   |   Binder: Nicaraguan   |   Filler: Nicaraguan   |   Box of 15: $134.25; Singly: $8.95   |   Perfecto   |   5 ¼″ x 48-52

0/3: About a year ago Smoke Inn released their first in a series of micro blend cigars with the Tatuaje Anarchy. It was a wonderful cigar and I rated it at 94 points, which is a pretty damn good score. Supposedly, the blend for the Apocalypse is a tweaked version of the Anarchy blend so that the Apocalypse has more concentrated flavors. Or, to put it in layman’s terms: it’s like cracking an egg and getting two yolks.

Now, this is a pre-release cigar but, according to the good folks over at Smoke Inn, this is the same cigar everyone else can purchase starting at midnight on Thanksgiving Day. I’m not exactly sure but I’m pretty confident that you will be able to purchase these cigars on this page at the appointed time.

Of course, your buying decision is going to solely rest on what my verdict is. Starting off, it is a really cool looking cigar. A perfecto, the chocolate brown wrapper feels like fine grit sandpaper and is very oily. The pigtail is back for this iteration and, to be honest, it doesn’t add anything to the cigar. It actually looks like an impressionist Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll but one I cannot eat.

1/3: The draw gets good once the burn line overcomes the perfecto’s hump. Whereas the flavor profile for the Anarchy was dry and “rugged” this one is warm. Leather, spice, graham cracker and some sweetness. Good mix.

2/3: Gritty, chalky earthiness comes through. The leather, spice and graham cracker flavors are still there with roughly the same intensity but the sweetness has pretty much left.

3/3: During the final third there is a marked change in the flavor profile with a movement towards dark, floral sweetness. Earth is still present but the other flavors have definitely receded into the background. Some fruity flavors as well.

4/3: Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn, this cigar is pretty good. But I didn’t like it as much as the Anarchy. Still, I think it’s definitely worth a try.

4 out of 5 points – Definitely worth a try

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