La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Digger Natural Cigar Review

October 17, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 
La Flor Dominicana Digger Natural (click image to go to the LFD website)

La Flor Dominicana Digger (click image to go to the LFD website)

Why on God’s green earth would anyone make a cigar this size? I mean, yeah, I know the story, some LFD connoisseur  told someone from LFD (I don’t think it was Litto but I could be wrong) that while they loved the double ligero it wasn’t strong enough for him and wanted something that was much, much bigger. Some time later, the LFD representative came back to this guy with this monstrous ligero stick and said “Smoke that!” The connoisseur, and I’m not using that word in a derogatory fashion because in the stories I heard this guy is a serious cigar smoker, came back after smoking one saying that he loved it and wanted more.

Thus, the Digger, which gets its name from the hole that will have to be dug to bury your ligero-addled body after smoking one of these things, was born. Measuring in at 8.5″ with a ring gauge of 60, this cigar is definitely massive. I have seen bigger cigars (there is the Meaner Digger after all) but, damn, why? Who would want to smoke this thing?

Since I’m doing a review of this cigar I am presumably one of those people who would want to smoke this cigar. LFD DL fans would probably give it a try as well along with a horde of other people who are interested in trying a cigar that has to be near the apotheosis of the big cigar trend. (It has to be, right?)

Once you get beyond the size of this cigar you are left with a cigar with a decent amount of oil on the light-medium brown wrapper. There are some veins on it but, honestly, I’m surprised that they were able to find wrapper-grade tobacco that was big enough to cover the copious amounts of binder and filler tobacco that goes into the construction of one of these monsters.

Excuse me while I find the hedge trimmer so I can cut the cap and light this baby up.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: giant
Length: 8 ½”
Ring Gauge: 60
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Price: $182.99/Box of 20 | $45.99/Pack of5

Monster Torch!

Usually, I like the maduro wrapped La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the natural version. As for this one, it’s good. Up front there’s a strong, bright spice along with some faint fruity sweetness and oak. Nice mixture of flavors and that spice is very nice and strong.

The second third, which begins a little after one hour of smoking, continues on where the first third left off. There are a couple of additions, however, and they are pleasant earthiness and cashews.

Hay gets added to the mix about two hours in. The flavor profile is very dry, which works well with the flavors that are present. A lot of good stuff is going on with this cigar but the fact that I’m two hours into it and there’s still another third to go is just too much. Evidently, you can have too much of a good thing.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Digger Natural is a good cigar that sticks around way too long. Actually, I would have enjoyed this cigar just fine if I had set it down after the halfway point but that defeats the whole purpose of smoking a cigar like this, doesn’t it? With that said, I can’t see myself buying any more of these. After five of these cigars, which equates to more than 15 hours, I’ve had my fill. But I haven’t tried the maduro yet and there is that Meaner Digger….

88 points

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

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Series Natural Cigar Review

October 11, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I’ve smoked a few of these over the last few months and my recent review of the E.P. Carrillo E Stunner reminded me that I haven’t posted a review of the Cardinal Series (this is for the one with the natural wrapper and the maduro review will happen in the future). Even though I didn’t particularly care for the E Stunner I do have higher hopes for this cigar.

It looks like a well made cigar but there are a number of stretch marks around veins. Not really a particularly good looking cigar but it does have a waxy feel to it.

Before getting onto the review I need to direct your attention to the picture below (click it to go to the E.P. Carrillo Facebook Page). Like the E Stunner, this cigar (and its maduro brethren) are billed as being full bodied cigars. Personally, I prefer full bodied cigars over medium bodied or lighter cigars when all else is held equal. But the strength of the cigar isn’t the only thing, it’s not even one of the three or four most important things I look for in a cigar.

Without giving away big spoilers, this cigar’s performance is better than the E Stunner and the full bodied sales pitch (seen below) is just that, a sales pitch. Which is fine.

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural (click image to go to their Facebook Page)

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural (click image to go to their Facebook Page)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $130.50/Box of 20 | $34.50/Pack of 5

Puttin’ on the Ritz Conflagration!

It’s a pleasant cigar with a good mixture of flavors; pretty refreshing actually. Initially, you get oak and some fruit-tinged sweetness. And then you are hit with a clean and sharp red pepper sensation through the nose on the retrohale and on the tongue as well. There’s also cherry going on here and it closely resembles the cherry I experienced in the E Stunner.

The flavors are good and they’re pretty clean, so I’m liking it. Cherry, oak and a hint of spice are the main things going on now. It’s reminiscent of the E Stunner but better.

Cherry dissipates a bit during the final third but so does all the brightness and cheer that was evident during the first two thirds. Cherry is still around but it progressively plays a lessened role as earth and coco ascend to the top of flavor mountain. It’s become a dark and gritty cigar and I just don’t know what to think about it. I’ve had five of these now and the flavor profile seems simple but there’s also a great deal of evolution going on with the flavor profile at the end. Interesting? Sure.

Medium bodied with a good burn and draw; the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Series Natural is an interesting cigar but it just didn’t work for me on a couple of levels. Yes, I liked it more than I did the E Stunner but, from what I can tell, the flavor profile is very similar. This cigar’s flavors worked well together but it just isn’t what I’m looking for in a cigar.

88 points

P.S.: After writing this review it occurred to me that maybe I’m just not a Sumatran wrapper fan and, after looking through my previous reviews, that’s mostly true. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the La Flor Dominicana Limitado V, which has an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper just like the cigar in this review.

E.P. Carrillo E Stunner Short Cigar Review

October 7, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · Comment 

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra    |   Binder: Nicaragua   |   Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican   |   Box of 24: $139.95; Pack of 5: $50.50   |   Robusto   |   5″ x 50

This is a picture of the Borgia Bull. Nothing to do with this review but it is a bull. (click image to go to E.P. Carrillo Facebook page)

This is a picture of the Borgia Bull. Nothing to do with this review but it is a bull and there is a bull on the band. (click image to go to E.P. Carrillo Facebook page)

0/3: If you just hear the name “E Stunner” you might think it’s an electronic thingamajig or… maybe something else. It’s none of that; it’s a cigar put out by the much respected EP Carrillo cigar company and I think they promise that this cigar has a good amount of kick to it. Well, lets see.

After picking up one of these cigars the first thing you will notice is that it is a very oily cigar. Visually, it’s nothing spectacular. It’s a mottled combination of medium to dark brown colors with some very light areas running along the veins. This combination of colors makes an ashy visual impression.

This is not a tightly packed cigar but the packing is consistent. It looks and feels like it was put together well (it is a Carrillo after all). Right before I lit this cigar I noticed that there’s an image of a bull’s head on the band, which, when coupled with the name, all points to this being a very strong cigar. I’m just hoping it tastes good.

1/3: There’s grass and red pepper going on in the beginning. It quickly progresses into including cherry and my overall impression of the cigar’s flavor profile is sweet spice. Pretty straightforward but nice all the same.

2/3: Cherry takes on more prominence during this third but there are still some red pepper notes through the retrohale and a bit of oak as well.

3/3: Cherry, earth and some coffee are coming through during the final third. The cherry is the strongest flavor and it’s good but everything else is pretty average.

4/3: Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the E.P. Carrillo E Stunner is a decent cigar but it doesn’t have the level of refinement that other Carrillo cigars are known for, like their Elencos cigars. It wasn’t even a full bodied cigar, which is something they were going for. This is a cigar you can miss.

2.5 points out of 5 – It’s a quality cigar but it just never hit its groove

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

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