A little less than a year ago I reviewed the Domus Magnus I and I liked it but I didn’t think it was anything earth shattering. That’s fine; few cigars (few things for that matter) are. But what about the second coming of the Domus Magnus?
According to SAG Imports, the company that distributes Casa Magna (and other) cigars, the same two sizes that were available in the original are available in the sequel. There’s the Optimus, which I am smoking, that is 5 ¾” x 52 and there’s also the Primus at 6 ½” x 55. These are Roman names and since I talked about this with my review of the original Domus Magnus, I won’t repeat myself here.
It’s a good looking, slightly box pressed Nicaraguan puro. According to Halfwheel, the main difference between this version and the previous Domus Magnus is that the wrapper is a different vintage this time around. Oh, and there’s that pigtail, which I twisted off and (surprisingly to me) it leaves a perfect hole in the cap and it actually is supplying me a pretty good draw. I will try it with this small little hole and if the draw starts to get tight I can always cut the head properly. I’ll tell you how it goes.
Length: 5 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Sun Grown Jalapa 2007 (Nicaragua)
Price: $80.00/Box of 10 | $9.40/Single
Marble Hornets Torch!
Even though I was able to get a decent draw from the hole I got by twisting off the pig tail I quickly decided to cut the head to produce more air flow. I suppose it was worth the try to make it work but… oh well.
The flavors are amazing from the very first puff. Strong flavors circling around the sweet spice spectrum. Backing up these is wheat and some floral notes as well. Very dry flavor profile, which works wonderfully for these flavors.
Granular flavor bits are all about and they all taste good. It’s a very interesting cigar and even though the flavor profile is a bit on the dry side, which I don’t normally favor, it works for these flavors. Sweet spice, oak with a tinge of char and there’s a faint chocolate flavor hovering about.
There really isn’t that much of a difference between the final and the second third (and not that much of a difference between the final two thirds and the first third) but that is okay because the flavors are enjoyable.
Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar has much to recommend it. The flavor profile is very creamy and the flavors are pretty smooth; even in the final third. While there is some complexity in the overall flavor profile what I am liking about this cigar the most is the clarity of the flavors and how they mix well with each other. It’s an excellent cigar.
Wrapper: Nicaragua | Binder: Nicaragua | Filler: Nicaragua | Box of 27: $150.00; Five Pack: $28.95 | Lancero | 8 ½″ x 40
0/3: Got this from one of my cigar smoking buddies; thanks buddy!
This cigar is extremely long, is rather rustic looking with all those veins and bumps but it does have a pigtail cap and the wrapper covers the head. And there’s a little bit of oil on the wrapper.
1/3: Pretty strong flavors from the beginning: pepper and a general hot spice, some chocolate in the background. There’s also oak and wheat. Lots going on.
2/3: Oak and nuts are the big flavors during this third. Spice is gone and so is the chocolate (wheat is sort of still around).
3/3: Still tastes good with oak and nuts being the major flavors at the end. There’s a bit of spice coming back.
4/3: Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar is consistently good from the beginning to the end.
4 out of 5 – Definitely worth a try
I received a couple of these cigars from Smoke Inn for this review; as always, all reviews are my own.
Just by looking at it you can tell that at least half of the name is true as this is a fairly large cigar. At a little over six inches with a variable ring gauge from 42 to 52, this torpedo has a slight box press to it and a lot of oils on the dark brown wrapper. Oh, and the foot is closed (the wrapper overhangs the end and covers up the opening in the foot that is normally there). It’s an interesting cigar to look at due to these aforementioned attributes but the band, something I detest talking about, is unique.
With demented, Alice in Wonderland-esque artistic renderings of Abe Dababneh (retailer), Matt Booth (cigar maker) and Matt’s beloved dog the band is very different from all the other cigar bands that I can think of. Add to that the font used for “Big Delicious”, which reminds me of some of the fonts that Quentin Tarantino has used, and I have a cigar band that I won’t soon forget. It’s not elegant like an Opus X band but it is definitely eye catching.
The Big Delicious is part of a line of Smoke Inn exlusive that includes: Tatuaje Apocalypse, Tatuaje Anarchy, Arturo Fuente Solaris, Padron 1964 Anniversary SI-15 Maduro, Padron 1964 Anniversary SI-15 Natural and the My Father El Hijo. All of these releases have been enjoyable smokes and if there are still any around you should give them a shot.
Now it’s time for the cigar.
Length: 6 ¼”
Ring Gauge: 42-52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Binder: Honduran Corojo Seco
Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic Piloto Ligero, Honduran Corojo & Nicaragua
Price: $134.25/Box of 15 | $44.75/5 Pack
Big Delicious Special Site Flame!
Supposedly, the blend for the Big Delicious is based off of another blend from the Room 101 stable. What blend? Is this even an important bit of information? That last question teeters over to the “bullshit” spectrum of question asking as, even though it is a legitimate question to ask, it’s too philosophical. The former question, “What blend?” has more import to it as it makes us (at least me) think about the cigar’s flavor profile a bit more.
As luck would have it (or maybe not), I smoked one of the new Namakubi Ecuadors earlier today (I absolutely love that cigar) and the first few puffs of the Big Delicious remind me of it. I reviewed the original Namakubi earlier this year and thought it was a good cigar and my first couple impressions of the Namakubi Ecuador have me thinking that the Ecuador is a better version. So to with the Big Delicious.
Soft spice, floral notes, some oak and some other flavors in the light flavor spectrum. Clean, crisp flavors throughout this first third.
During the second third the spice/floral nexus becomes more acute and enjoyable. There are also wheat and nut flavors during the middle third as well. It’s an interesting flavor profile that has so far kept me interested.
It ends with a lot of wheat and nuts with some spice mixed in but, alas, it gets overwhelmed by the other flavors. This doesn’t mean the end wasn’t enjoyable, it just means that it wasn’t as good as the second or first thirds (in that order).
Medium bodied with an excellent draw and burn; this cigar started out well, got better and then it sort of lagged at the end. Is this cigar worth smoking? Yes, it is, but it isn’t as good as the other Smoke Inn exclusives that have come out over the last year-and-a-half. It is on preorder right now and they will ship at the end of April and, if you purchase a box, the whole order will ship for free.
Perhaps, my negativity stems from the fact that this is a larger cigar. The maximum 52 ring gauge isn’t that big in today’s cigar world but there was something about it that made it perform like a bigger cigar. And I usually don’t like bigger cigars as my enjoyment tends to flag after a while. Too much of a good thing and all that.
PS: I stated earlier in this review that the beginning of this cigar reminded me of the Namakubi Ecuador but, after finishing it, I don’t think I was right. At least completely. Parts of this cigar’s flavor profile reminded me of the Daruma but, then again….
Previously, on The Perfect Draw, the original natural Oliva Serie V earned a 94 rating. It was a cigar I immensely enjoyed and I still pick up a few here and there. This means two things:
- I have high expectations for the Melanio version
- I want to smoke this cigar
Fortunately, I have the second point covered as there is a nice, uncut Melanio sitting on one of the stirrups of my Stinky Ashtray. In both length and ring gauge this is a smallish, box pressed cigar with some imperfections on the wrapper. However, the look of this wrapper is pretty fascinating in that the color ranges from medium brown to much lighter shades of brown around the veins. It’s also a fairly oily cigar.
Now onto the first point…
Vitola: petit corona
Length: 4 ½”
Ring Gauge: 46
Price: $80.00/Box of 10 | $40.00/5 Pack
Zombies Can Happen Light!
If you were thinking that there’s something special about the wrapper, maybe it’s some kind of new leaf code named “Melanio,” you would be wrong. Melanio Oliva is believed to be the first person in the Oliva family to grow tobacco (link) and that is where the name comes from. Maybe it is a special leaf, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if in some marketing materials you would find that the wrapper is described as being special because that is pretty much de rigueur for cigar marketing.
The flavor profile starts out with dry spice that lingers in the nose, cream and oak. Not a very strong cigar strengthwise but the flavors are nice and mix well together.
During the second third there is a subtle change in the flavor profile as it moves away from the spice and more towards the cream spectrum. Oak is still present and there is a little bit of chocolate in the background as well. It’s tasty and more than a bit different from what you would expect from an Oliva Serie V.
The final third is pretty much the same as the second with the cream and oak. But, the chocolate is gone and in its place is a meaty flavor.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar is enjoyable. What is really interesting about this cigar is that it really illustrates the importance of the wrapper as a component of the overall flavor profile (even though I’ve heard that there are some slight changes to the filler tobaccos used in the Melanio from the blend in the original V I think what I said holds true and comparing the original to the Melanio would still be an interesting exercise for you).
Whereas the original V features a plethora of robust, even aggressive, flavors the Melanio is much more reserved. Personally, I like the original a lot more but I can see how this cigar would appeal to those who like more medium bodied cigars. I’d assume that if you pick up one of the thicker vitolas the flavor profile would be more reminiscent of the original V because the ratio of filler/binder to wrapper tobacco would be greater.
For whatever reason I had assumed that I had reviewed this cigar for some time now. I went on reviewing other cigars and then, one day, while smoking another Namakubi, I decided to see what my review said. To my surprise there was no review. I mentioned this at the end of my Top 10 Cigars 2012 post and now I am rectifying that oversight.
This one is the very short vitola, called the Roxxo, and it is easily my favorite in the line. It doesn’t look perfect, perhaps a little rustic. There’s some bumps and veins and the color of the wrapper is a lighter than medium brown color. It has a little bit of oils on the wrapper and looks well made (well made at the Camacho factories by the way).
Although in many ways long gone, Samurai culture is believed to live on in spirit within certain groups. In ancient times when two Samurai clans would gather for competition there was a great deal at stake. Normally, the losing party would die as a result of wounds sustained in battle or be executed upon defeat. The Namakubi, or freshly severed head of the losing party would be prepared on a wooden tray then tagged in a regimented manner and presented to the leader of the winning clan as a gift. We, as modern day samurai, present to you our own Namakubi.
Animal Farm Blast Furnace!
I don’t get to say this much about cigars but this one has a refreshing flavor profile. Bright flavors but also very strong. Visceral spice, which could be too strong and unruly on its own, is retarded by what I can only describe as minty effervescence (I spelled “effervescence” correctly on my first try! Now if I can only learn how to spell “occassion” [sic]). With the larger vitolas I think the flavor profile skews too far towards the minty pole but with the smaller ones the balance is just right.
During the second third the spice gets notched up a peg or two and vice a versa for mint, which is fine by me. There’s also some oak that comes on during this third. Basically, this is still a bright and refreshing cigar. Very enjoyable.
The final third isn’t refreshing but it’s still enjoyable (to a lesser degree than the first two thirds however). The spice has fallen into this milieu of mint, bread and perhaps a little meat and earth as well. Unfortunately, more flavors doesn’t always mean that the flavor profile has improved; this is one of those times. Still good, I just preferred the refreshing profile from the first two thirds.
Full bodied (just barely) with a good draw and burn; this cigar was a definite joy to smoke during the first two thirds and finished unspectacularly. In no way is that a condemnation of this cigar because even if the cigar had only had the flavor profile of the final third it would have been a very good cigar. Add in the first two thirds, which were excellent, and we have a great cigar.