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.

Asylum Straight Jacket Short Cigar Review

October 1, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

Wrapper: Nicaragua    |   Binder: Nicaragua   |   Filler: Nicaragua   |   Box of 10: $79.95; Single: $8.05   |   Robusto   |   5″ x 50

Asylum Cigars One Year Anniversary Facebook Banner (click on picture to go to their Facebook page)

Asylum Cigars One Year Anniversary Facebook Banner (click on picture to go to their Facebook page)

0/3: I have smoked some of Asylum’s stuff in the past and, while I haven’t posted any reviews yet, I can tell you that they’re really good cigars. Checking out their Facebook page I see that they are celebrating a year in business, which is impressive and I think they will be around for quite some time yet.

Great construction to this cigar with some oils on the wrapper. Solidly packed with some bumps and other minor imperfections evident on the surface. They tout this cigar as being very full bodied so we’ll see what we have.

1/3: It definitely starts out with a zing with the heat being particularly strong in the back of your nasal cavity. Cherry, oak and spice are the main flavors but there is also a little tanginess going on. I can’t say this cigar is insanely strong but it does have some strength to it.

2/3: Some sweetness starts peeking through during this third. That tanginess is very evident during this third and it’s not bad as it adds an extra element to the flavor profile.

3/3: Cherry seems to be the main flavor during this third with a good helping of spice. It’s still a full bodied cigar but I never thought that the strength of this cigar was too much to handle.

4/3: Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Asylum Straight Jacket is a good cigar, especially for those of us who like full bodied cigars. The flavors are all pretty concise and they work very well together. Even though I didn’t come across this info in my search on this cigar I think it’s got a healthy dose of ligero tobacco coursing through its veins.

3.5 points – Good flavor and full bodied cigar lovers will appreciate it most of all

Room 101 Ltd Conjura Edition Cigar Review

September 25, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Whenever I do a review I do a little search into the background of the cigar. Normally, this stuff can be pretty interesting. For example, knowing the genesis of a particular blend can be informative if not entertaining. This is all the information that I found for this cigar:

 

Saying I found nothing is a bit of an overstatement but I didn’t find much. I couldn’t find a central location for information on Room 101 Cigars, which I find odd since Matt Booth (Boofy), the creator of Room 101, is a genius at marketing and promotion and Camacho, who make the cigars, isn’t bad either. It’s not too important, I guess, as the more recent stuff from Room 101 is pretty popular even without a ton of info on the web.

Take myself as an example. I find the brand interesting and I did like the original Namakubi and Daruma. Now onto this cigar.

It’s a box pressed cigar with a medium-light brown wrapper and good construction. There are a decent amount of oils on the wrapper and the look, beyond the “medium-light brown” descriptor, has a mottled look to it. Alright, enough of this, let’s smoke the cigar.

Room 101 Ltd Conjura Size Chart (click on image for Boofy's Twitter handle)

Room 101 Ltd Conjura Size Chart (click on image for Boofy’s Twitter handle)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 4 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Rosado (from where?)
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Nicaraguan & Dominican
Price: $79.99/Box of 20 | $30.60/Pack of 5

Taper no more? Fire!

After an initial burst of peppery spice comes some dry, barnyard flavors that are performing decently. There’s also some oak and that peppery spice gradually morphs into a dry spice. It’s a unique mixture of flavors and I’m not quite sure what to think about it yet.

Some sweetness comes on during the second third but the main flavors are barnyard and oak. Spice is pretty much gone at this point. There isn’t a lot of strength to these flavors at this point, which is troubling.

Sweetness becomes a stronger flavor during the final third. I did have to perform one sizable touch up during this third but it didn’t seem to affect the performance of the cigar. The sweetness started to take on a floral character during the second third but it really comes on during the final third.

Medium bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; the Room 101 Ltd Conjura isn’t a bad cigar but just one that I don’t particularly care for. The spice that was present was decent for a while but then it just falls off of the map. What is present is a lot of pleasant sweetness that, while I’m sure some of you will like it, I just didn’t particularly care for it.

87 points

Ashton VSG Short Cigar Review

September 14, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · Comment 

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

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown    |   Binder: Dominican Republic   |   Filler: Dominican Republic   |   Box of 20: $214.95; Five Pack: $54.95   |   Robusto   |   5″ x 50

Ashton VSG cigar picture

Picture: Ashton’s Website (click picture for more information about this cigar)

0/3: Very good looking cigar with a dark, chocolatey brown wrapper and not very many veins. The cigar feels firmly packed. Oh, yeah, and it smells like manure… literally.

1/3: It may smell like crap but it doesn’t taste like it. Not by a long shot. A strong, somewhat sweet spice leads the way and is backed up with some oak and a dark sweetness akin to red wine.

2/3: Cedar comes on during the second third but that spice still remains. The spice is strong but it’s a well developed flavor that has a few different sides to it.

3/3: The spice’s intensity has dissipated some but the flavor is still there. Perhaps, this dissipation has made it possible for this floral flavor I’m getting to come through. Also, toffee is coming through now; I really like this flavor. It has lost that darkness of flavor but in its place there’s a lightness and clarity to the flavors that’s good change of pace.

4/3: Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this Ashton VSG was a great cigar. Good complexity in flavor and the flavors are very enjoyable. Must try.

4.5 out of 5 points – Lots of good, strong flavors with this cigar

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