Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012 Cigar Review

October 30, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

One of the local shops I go to, Embassy Cigars in Brea, has the uncanny ability to have a good selection of limited edition cigars. For example, take the Viaje Satori, which I will review shortly. Viaje Cigars only makes cigars in small batches and, according to Halfwheel, there were only 3,750 cigars made for each of the three Satori vitolas. FYI: I am smoking the un-box pressed perfecto released in 2012, the Zen.

Of course, just because there weren’t many made doesn’t mean you or I will like them but it does usually mean the cigar will be expensive, which this is. Expect to pay more than $10 a stick and potentially a lot more if you can still find them. Well, that is a lot of money for one cigar and even though I’m not a huge fan of Viaje cigars I did like a couple of their cigars, i.e. the Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD 2012.

The Satori is a cool looking cigar. Halfwheel refers to this vitola as a double torpedo, which is an apt description of how it looks. The foot has a very small opening and, as such, the cigar will take a bit of time to get going. The wrapper is dark brown, almost black and the cigar’s construction looks good. Personally, I’m always impressed when I see a shaped cigar because rolling a normal parejo vitola is difficult enough.

For what it’s worth, Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term that means awakening or enlightenment. Will I become enlightened? (Probably not, but I won’t be able to fault the cigar on that accord. Or will I?)

Viaje Satori band art (click on image to go to Viaje's Facebook Page)

Viaje Satori band art (click on image to go to Viaje’s Facebook Page)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: perfecto
Length: 6 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $265.00/Box of 25 | $11.75/Single

Satori Flame!

Citrus, cedar and meat are the first batch of flavors that I am getting from this cigar and they work pretty well together. The citrus, especially, is an interesting flavor as it provides a nice accent to what could be an overbearing flavor profile that would weigh you down if given half the chance.

Cedar and fruit flavors come through during the second third. It’s not a great flavor profile, in my opinion, and what is there tastes watered down. And then, about halfway through this third, a nascent burnt flavor comes through; not good.

Wood and meat are the main flavors for the final third but, unfortunately, these flavors are accompanied by a very off-putting burnt flavor, which has only gotten more obtrusive. I was hopeful for this cigar but the two that I have smoked have all been borderline bland, nay, bad.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; I did not like the Viaje Satori Edición Limitada. Even though it did start out with some promise with the interesting combination of citrus, cedar and meat it just fell apart during the second third. Maybe you would like this cigar but, unless you are a fan of Viaje cigars you can skip this one. Oh, and don’t expect enlightenment either.

84 points

Quesada Heisenberg Cigar Review

October 6, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I liked Breaking Bad. It was a different kind of show; a good mixture of smarts, drama and enough comedy, especially during the earlier seasons, to make the show work very well. Even though it’s by no means my favorite show it’s a show I wouldn’t mind watching again in five or ten years.

The cigar I am reviewing here, the Quesada Heisenberg, shares its name with the nom de cuisiner of the main character, Walter White, in Breaking Bad. Is that intentional? Well, I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that no information about the tobacco used in the blends for this cigar was ever publicly released. Why do this? Quesada did this to make it easier for the cigar smokers to just focus on enjoying the cigar instead of focusing, for example, on how the Dominican leaves played with the Nicaraguan and Honduran leaves.

So what does this Heisenberg thing mean? Heisenberg was a scientist who came up with the popularly (that’s a relative term) named “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.” Without going back to look at my notes, what I remember of this principle is that it stipulates that when you are measuring one thing with great precision you cannot measure another thing with increasingly less precision. And I think it has something to do with quantum mechanics. But I don’t want to waste too much of your time on this so if you want more information on this click the equation below.

Click image to get educated

Click image to get educated

The cigar itself looks pretty gnarly. There are some pretty serious veins, stretch marks and bumps all over the place. It feels like the cigar is slightly underpacked and the wrapper has some oils on it.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: petit corona
Length: 4 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 40
Wrapper: ???
Binder: ???
Filler: ???
Price: $49.95/Box of 10 | $5.50/Single

Uncertainty Principle Torch!

Quesada Heisenberg cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer's site)

Quesada Heisenberg cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer’s site)

It is an interesting flavor profile. A host of flavors including cappuccino, oak and cherry supports a sweet floral core. The draw is very nice right from the start and the flavors, without getting into whether or not I like them, are strong and clear. Even though there are a lot of positives here this isn’t my favorite combination of flavors.

During the second third there are some bright citrus notes that cut through to the foreground of the flavor profile providing an extra element to this cigar. Even though this may not be my favorite combination of flavors they do seem to work well together and if you are a fan of these flavors I’m sure you would like this cigar thus far. Personally, I would like it if the cappuccino and oak flavors played more of a role in this cigar but it is mainly about the sweet flavors – cherry and floral – with the citrus providing a little extra excitement.

As if this cigar knew what I was thinking, the cappuccino flavors do come further into the fore during the final third. The sweeter flavors recede a bit but are easily noticeable and, in my opinion, are better served as secondary flavors. A bit of an edge comes on during the final third in the form of barbequed meat. By itself that would not be a great flavor but with the other flavors present it does add something positive to the overall experience. I should note that the barbequed meat flavor came on during the second third for one of the three cigars that I smoked for this review but twice in the final third.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Quesada Heisenberg is an interesting cigar with a good deal of evolution to the flavor profile. During the first two thirds I would put it firmly in the sweet profile camp but during the final third it migrates over to the grittier side with meat and cappuccino. What you will find with this cigar are good examples of the flavors featured and all those flavors work decently well with each other. Personally, I don’t think I will make a concerted effort to buy any more of these cigars but I am glad that I smoked the few that I did.

88 points

Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Cigar Review

September 30, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

From Cigar Aficionado:

To commemorate [Tatuaje's tenth anniversary], My Father Cigars is repackaging the original Tatuaje Selección de Cazador, or “brown label,” sizes in a gold foil pouch with a redesigned band and uncut foot. A new perfecto size has also been created.

That’s cool, most companies, no matter in what industry, don’t make it ten years. How has Tatuaje done it? Well, most of there cigars are awesome. Plus, Pete Johnson does an amazing job of promoting the brand and has created a cult status around his brand. Also, there’s some more stuff about the 10th anniversary party on that link. Now onto the cigar.

The cigar for this review is called the Havana Cazadores and measures in at 6 3/8″ by 43 and it looks well made, as is all of the premium stuff that comes out of My Father Cigars. While not a lot of oils on the wrapper the construction looks impeccable and the chocolate brown wrapper is marred only by quite a few superfluous veins.

Tatuaje 10th Anniversary box art (click to go to Tatuaje's Facebook Page)

Tatuaje 10th Anniversary box art (click to go to Tatuaje’s Facebook Page)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: long corona
Length: 6 3/8”
Ring Gauge: 43
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $224.99/Box of 25 | $50.00/5 Pack

Wikipedia Speed Race Flame!

You are met with a fine grouping of warm flavors with a good helping of bright, fairly strong spice during the very beginning of the cigar. Those warm flavors include maple and some bread notes as well. It’s a complex group of flavors all wrapped up in a medium bodied bouquet. Very tasty.

Great combination of deep, rich savory sweet flavors with spice continues during the middle third. A bit of meat gets added to the flavor profile during the latter part of this third. I’m really enjoying it thus far.

While there isn’t a ton of evolution in this cigar the flavors do steadily pick up steam from the first third to this one. Spice has become a progressively bigger player throughout this cigar and the final third is no different.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Havana Cazadores is a wonderful cigar replete with flavors ranging from rich maple sweetness to a clear, cutting spice. This mixture of flavors is great and will probably appeal to just about anyone.

92 points

Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig Short Cigar Review

September 23, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · Comment 

Wrapper: Stalk-cut Habano Connecticut    |   Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina   |   Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican & Honduran   |   Box of 12: $144.90; Single: $16.10  |   Perfecto   |   4.125″ x 60

Liga Privada T52 image

Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig (click on picture for more info from Drew Estate)

0/3: I received this cigar as a Christmas gift from a friend named Danny (Danny was gracious enough to do reviews for the Declaration by Jameson and the Sencillo Short Churchill a while back and those reviews are definitely worth checking out) almost two years ago and I have been anxiously waiting for the perfect time to smoke this cigar. However, the longer I thought about what that perfect time actually was I realized that the “perfect time” for what is by all accounts a great cigar would be a time when I can just sit down and enjoy it.

If you haven’t seen one of these cigars then all you have to do is think of what a cigar would look like if it were a pig. It’s short and stout and the foot terminates in a snout. Also, there’s a pigtail. This cigar has a ton of oil on it, it just glistens in the light. The wrapper does have a somewhat rough texture to it but the overall feel of the cigar is that it is an extremely well made cigar with just a bit of give to it when I pinch it. Now, I’ll warn you, I’ve been looking forward to lighting this cigar up so that might color my review but I’ll try to not let that happen.

Another reason why I am looking forward to smoking this cigar is because I have absolutely loved other T52 vitolas in the past, giving one a score of 94 points and I even made it my third favorite cigar of 2011.

1/3: It’s starting out as an extremely slow burning cigar, which is nice because if it were going fast then I wouldn’t get to savor this cigar. Savoring is something you need to do with this cigar that features chocolate, earth and a whole host of dark flavors that mingle well together. There is a nice helping of spice that serves as a superb accent flavor.

2/3: I didn’t think it was possible but the flavors are improving as they are working even better together now. I like the lively interplay between the spice and the chocolate especially. There’s also some meatiness there and I think I’m catching some mint in the background.

3/3: The final third was pretty close to the second third and that is fine by me because it was absolutely delicious.

4/3: Full bodied with a good draw and a decent burn that required a few touch ups; the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig is an absolutely amazing cigar. It has all the power and substance of the rest of the T52 but in a concentrated form that never relents. Perhaps this cigar isn’t for most beginners but there’s just so much goodness going on here that I would hate for anyone to miss out on experiencing this cigar because they were trepidatious about the strength of this cigar.

5 out of 5 points – If you find these cigars then you should buy a couple, they may be expensive but they are definitely worth the price

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Cigar Review

September 18, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I reviewed the Oliva Serie V Melanio a little while ago and I enjoyed it. I mean, it wasn’t the best cigar I’ve ever had but it was pretty good. Better than that really. Will the wrapper change make a difference for the better… or worse? (Technically, I guess there could be a push.)

With a darkish black/brown wrapper, which is velvety to the touch, this box pressed torpedo (the only vitola they offer according to their website) looks expertly put together. Firmly packed with a bit of oil on the wrapper, I can’t see much wrong with the way this cigar looks. Sure, there’s that one rogue vein near the head of the cigar but that’s not going to cause a problem for the draw or anything else that actually matters in terms of taste and whatnot. The prelight draw is a bit tight but, based off of the other one I smoked, that will not pose a problem.

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Cigar

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro (click picture to go to Oliva’s site)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6 ½”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Mexican Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Price: $110.95/Box of 10 | $58.00/5 Pack

Better Call Saul Flame!

A hard, bright spice is the first I noticed when I started this cigar. There’s also a strong peppermint flavor going on, which is unique in my cigar smoking experience. In the background we can also find some cocoa and some other complimentary flavors. It’s really an interesting mix and it wasn’t what I was expecting when I first tried this cigar.

It’s weird but in that good, Memento sort of way. (I would try to wring every last drop out of the Memento comparison but I don’t think a cigar review would be that enjoyable to read backwards.) Peppermint is the main flavor I’m getting during the second third followed by spice, some dark (but definitely background) wood notes and a bit of rich earthiness on the aftertaste.

Peppermint basically disappears during the first part of the final third as an ascendant barbecued meatiness takes over. Some sweetness does come on at the tail end but it would have been better if it had been around for the full third to provide a nice counterbalance to the somewhat off putting barbequed meat flavor.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn, the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro is a worthy addition to the Melanio line extension. It was a very interesting cigar during the first two thirds and I sincerely enjoyed how the peppermint played off of the other flavors. The final third, on the other hand, was a bit of a dud. Still, I think the first two thirds are worth it and, with some age, I’m sure the final third will round out nicely. Did I like it more than the original Melanio? Yes, but barely.

91 points

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