Illusione Ultra Short Cigar Review

September 25, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo   |   Binder: Nicaraguan   |   Filler: Nicaraguan   |   Box of 20: $216.00; 5 Pack: $60.00   |   Double Corona   |   6 ¾″ x 54

0/3: Finding out information about this cigar is a bit of a trip. When you go to the Illusione website you are first asked for a password (write anything in) and then it takes you to some documents about Area 51. Perhaps there is some hidden meaning here but I didn’t dig. I’m done with conspiracies for tonight.

This is a fairly large cigar with an exquisite wrapper and a slight box pressed shape to it. Not a lot in the way of veins or imperfections. Slightly oily and very smooth to the touch.

1/3: Flowery notes, cherry, peppery spiciness and a little leather. Very good mix and the flavors are light and nimble. Medium bodied in this first third.

2/3: Those cherry and floral flavors are the main ones at this point. There’s also some green tea going on.

3/3: Floral notes, the spice makes a bit of a resurgence and there’s also licorice.

4/3: It’s a damn fine cigar. There’s evolution to the flavor profile and the flavors are clear and concise. Medium bodied with a good draw and burn this is a cigar that I think most everyone would enjoy.

4 out of 5 points

Cabaiguan Cigar Review

December 12, 2009 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

It’s got a pigtail – and we all know pigtails are cool – so it must be a good cigar. If you haven’t guessed it already I am smoking the Cabaiguan Guapos Rx, which is a robusto. Besides the pigtail the cigar looks great: it’s oily, not too veiny and the imperfections are kept to a minimum.

Here’s what Pete Johnson has to say about this line:

Blended in the style of the flavorful yet Medium Bodied Cuban Cigars.
Cigars are rolled in classic Cuban tradition by Master Rollers.
Headed by Maestro Tobaquero Jose Garcia.
Cigars are rolled with a beautiful Cuban triple-cap and are Medium to Mild in flavor.

Not having smoked a lot of Cubans in my life (maybe one? I know, sad) I won’t be able to tell you whether or not that claim is realized or not. But if it’s a good tasting cigar I don’t care what the style is!

Cigar Stats
Length: 5 1/4″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $9.50

Garage Light!

Three matches and it is lit (well, four matches if you count the one that went out before its flame could touch the foot of the cigar, which I won’t count)!

While the draw is somewhat too tight for my liking it isn’t tight enough to deny me the bouquet of flavors that comes from a Cabaiguan. Really earthy, hints of licorice and woody flavors. It’s a nice, medium bodied cigar. No real hints of spice or anything aggressive – this is the kind of cigar you can smoke with your morning cup of coffee.

Even though the draw is a little tight the burn is even.

This is a flavorful cigar but there is something missing from it. Like the earthiness and all the other flavors (which now includes oak, sweetness, some burnt tobacco and a general lightness of flavors) it is an enjoyable cigar. There’s just something that would have put it over the top.

During the second half of the cigar there is a transformation from the deep earthiness to a sweeter oakiness. It becomes a lighter cigar – not necessarily worse but not better either, not at all.

Around this time the draw gets a little tighter and the burn goes awry at times. Maybe it was a combination of these two things that makes the cigar take a downturn or not but the cigar does become less enjoyable.

Overall, it is a good cigar. The high points all center around that dark earthiness because it’s just such a good example of what an earthy cigar should be. But, to be honest, earthiness is not one of my favorite front line flavors. And, once you add in the second half’s oakiness, it just doesn’t work out all that well for me.

87 points

Fuente Fuente Opus X Belicoso XXX Cigar Review

August 6, 2009 · Posted in Cigar Review, Featured · 7 Comments 

Alright, I’ve got to admit that I have been wanting to smoke an Opus X for a very long time but, since the price is so exorbitant, I had resisted the urge to splurge. That, as you will see in the following review, was a mistake. By the way: A big thanks to Cigars Direct for this cigar.

Frankly, when you have a cigar that costs as much as this you expect greatness. And yet, the wrapper is anything but great. There are a couple of holes in the wrapper and there are also a couple of stretch marks as well.

Beyond that, however, it is great. Very oily, rich color to it, and the cap looks perfectly constructed, which, based off some of the other torpedoes I have seen, is no small feat. It’s tightly packed.

Cigar Stats
Length: 4 5/8″
Ring Gauge: 49
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $26.00

Forbidden Flame!

Frankly, my dear, I no longer give a damn about the wrapper because the first few puffs have been sublime. Loads of spice and leather are evident on my tongue and through the nose. Perfect draw and definitely full bodied. Wow!

There may be a hint of licorice in the background, which adds nicely to the complexity of this cigar. There is also a magnificent toasted flavor. Everything is just going swimmingly with this cigar.

It’s amazing just how alive the flavors are. Tons of billowing, creamy smoke. Smoking this cigar is making my mouth water. This has got to be one of my all-time favorite cigars because I hate putting it down. I just can’t wait for the next puff! The only drawback I can think of with this cigar is that it is so short. It fits my tastes perfectly and it is definitely one of my top favorites.

96 points

CAO “The Sopranos” Edition Associate Cigar Review

March 19, 2009 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

From CAO: “Dark, compelling and rich with character, this smokin’ hot escape is riddled with decadence and forcefully pleases the palate with notes of straight coffee beans, cocoa and a smattering of black cherry. Tread lightly and enjoy the badness. Capiche?” They peg it as a full bodied smoke.

In the past I gave this cigar 90 points. Here’s what I thought about this one.

Perfectly constructed wrapper save for one minor bulge. Wrapper does feel a bit dry. Drinking Cherry Coke and water.

Cigar Stats
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Brazil
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Columbia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Price: $10.50

Mafia Light!

Good draw with deep flavors. Chocolate flavors. Earthy as well. There is a slight bitterness to it. Tastes like cocoa. Not burning evenly.

Cigar is making me thirsty. I really do like these flavors. The draw is not as good as I would like but it’s not a major distraction. With a slight pull I am getting enough smoke. There is also this licorice-like flavor.

To fully appreciate the nuanced flavors of this cigar you will need to retrohale it. If you just get the smoke in your mouth you will miss most of he great flavors. So blow the smoke out of your nose and you will get those flavors loud and clear.

For example, if you don’t retrohale you will probably miss the chocolate notes. You need to retrohale this cigar!

Full bodied. The main flavor I get is chocolate throughout. The burn is uneven throughout though. But there are no bad notes to report.

91 points

Other takes:

Cigar Advisor liked it even though the wrapper came “unhinged.”

In the Humidor found caramel notes and also liked it.

World of Cigars thought it was a medium bodied cigar, gave it 89 points and didn’t really think it lived up to its mafia namesake.

Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Barcelona Cigar Review

March 9, 2009 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I recently posted a Sancho Panza review and I thought it was a good cigar. It got 88 points. This will be my first Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte review and this one is better than it’s conventional brethren.

It has pretty good construction. Box pressed cigar with an imperfect cap. Deep, chocolate brown wrapper. Supposed to be a really full bodied powerhouse of a cigar from what I’ve heard. We’ll see. Drinking Wild Turkey and a Cherry Coke.

Cigar Stats
Length: 6 1/2″
Ring Gauge: 48
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Price: $4.00

Late Night Fire!

It is not overly full bodied – not nearly as strong as I was led to believe. Draw is a little tight but not too bad. Mellow maple syrup flavor. Smoky flavor as well.

Not burning evenly. Some kind of licorice tinged spice coming to the fore in this cigar.

A third of the way through and there is a mild sweetness to it. It really is beginning to smell like a barnyard. The burn has thankfully evened out though.

Two-thirds of the way through now and I have found that retrohaling it makes it a lot better, much more enjoyable. I was already retrohaling it (blowing the smoke through my nose) but now I’m concentrating on it more. When I retrohale I get mocha and some spicy notes. I’m glad I concentrated on retrohaling this cigar.

Nearing the end and I am getting chocolate notes when I retrohale. Very complex flavor profile. The flavors, individually, are not great but when you add them all up it becomes very, very good.

90 points

I had a hard time giving this cigar 90 points. But, after careful consideration, the total grouping of flavors added up to something special. The imperfect burn and draw prevents me from going any higher than that.

Here’s what others have to say:

A Cigar Smoker’s Journal: This was actually a guest reviewer on Barry’s blog, who went by the name of TriMarkC (either a nickname or he had some mean parents, just kidding). He found that the cigar had pepper and leather notes. It was medium-full bodied for him and he gave the cigar, the Madrid, 87 points mostly because it had a horrible burn to it. “A lot of variety in flavor as you progress through the cigar. The inconsistent burn was an issue, and the constant relighting might have added to some of the bitterness I tasted at the end.” Great review, you need to read it.

Cigarfan: He noted the spice and “It starts out with a nice woody bang and a pungent aroma, like being next to a camp fire. The flavor is slightly sweet and quite woody with very little aftertaste.” He also said that it was kind of a boring smoke. He was smoking that Pamplona (robusto).

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