CroMagnon Aquitaine Cigar Review

January 21, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Back in the summer of 2011 I reviewed the first offering from a brand new cigar company now called RoMa Craft Tobac (I don’t think that’s what it was called back then but my memory may be faulty). The cigar was the CroMagnon and it was an excellent cigar; a robust, flavorful example of what can be done with tobacco. Now I’m going to review the CroMagnon Aquitaine.

From their site:

The Aquitaine contains the same long-filler, full-bodied blend found in the US Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapped CroMagnon, including its unique Cameroon binder. However, the Aquitaine features a beautiful Ecuador Habano Ligero wrapper…

So, different wrapper. And this different wrapper looks fairly rustic with a number of medium and small sized veins running along the surface. It’s an oily wrapper, for sure, and the general feel of this medium-dark brown wrapper is that there is a little bit of roughness to it.

CroMagnon Aquitaine logo - RoMa Craft Tobac

Cigar Stats
Vitola: gran corona
Length: 5 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $172.80/Box of 24 | $80.00/10 Pack

Vsauce Incineration!

Flavors start out vibrant with a granular consistency to the smoke. A bit of sweetness, savory notes resembling steak, spice and hickory. There’s a lot of complexity early on and it’s barely a full bodied cigar.

The second third has much of the same flavors just in a different configuration. The spice and sweetness have created this amazing mixture of flavors that is extremely enjoyable. Sweet spice, when done right, is one of the more enjoyable mixtures of flavors for me and it is done right with this cigar. Savory notes are still present but to a lesser degree than in the first third. Hickory is gone.

The final third features the same sweet spice nexus and the savory flavor has been ramped up a bit. Very flavorful end to a great cigar.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the CroMagnon Aquitaine is a pleasure to smoke. Very expressive flavors from beginning to end with excellent smoking characteristics. If you haven’t tried it you should try to find some. And, yes, I do like this version slightly more than the original.

93 points

La Palina El Diario Cigar Review

November 17, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

I received this cigar and another just like it from La Palina Cigars. All Reviews are my own.

Previously, I have reviewed the diminutive La Palina El Diario Kill Bill and I was duly impressed by that little cigar. This one, the Toro, is a little bit longer and has a larger ring gauge. In general, I have a slight preference for smaller cigars but this toro, measuring in at 6′ x 50, is at the edge of my butter zone for length but well within my acceptance level for ring gauge.

The wrapper is a medium to a dark-medium color and has more than a few veins marring the surface. When touched, it is immediately evident that this wrapper has more than the average amount of oils on it and is relatively tightly packed. Not a beautiful cigar but the shape and construction look good.

The La Palina WebsiteCigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 6”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo ’99 Rosado
Binder: Honduran Criollo ’98 (x2)
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
Price: $200.00/Box of 20 | $10.00/Single

BSG: Blood and Chrome Conflagration!

Even though the prelight draw was a bit tight, once this cigar was lit the draw was good. The flavors you should expect during the first third include: dark, molasses sweetness trapping spice in a misty cloud. That spice is especially evident in the retrohale as it does not leave and just increases with each puff you take. There’s also some dry, dusty earth swirling around.

During the first third there was a bit of sweet, fruity sweetness but there’s a lot more during the second third. Retrohaled spice has dissipated but isn’t gone. What I’m especially liking about the taste of this cigar is the consistency of the smoke, which is very fine and granular.

Earth and an edge of sweetness. The spice is pretty much gone during this final third. It’s still a good cigar but the flavors have lost a bit of their intensity, which has to do with the fact that this cigar has been resting in my humidor for many months now. The rest has made the flavors marry better.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn, this cigar is solidly good throughout. In my estimation this cigar is not as good as the Kill Bill was but, still, the toro is a very enjoyable cigar.

90 points

Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition 2012 Fuerza Cigar Review

October 28, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

This particular Viaje is a perfecto shaped cigar with a bottle nosed shaped tip. That’s a fairly unique shape nowadays and I do like the look of it. As you might guess with Viaje, this is a limited edition cigar (For more info check out Cigar Coop).

But limited edition, or, as is the case here, “Collector’s Edition,” doesn’t mean good. I’ve liked some Viajes (Skull and Bones Red 2012 WMD) and I haven’t cared for some others (TNT 2012); that’s just natural.

This cigar does look nice and, as I mentioned before, is a perfecto. I think due to the difficulty in rolling this kind of cigar the wrapper does have a couple of minor stretch marks around veins. It’s also a little bumpy in some areas with the most obvious misshapen parts being around the bulge near the foot. None of this is off-putting, though.

It’s also a very oily cigar and the Nicaraguan grown wrapper tobacco is medium brown with some darker flecks and lighter splotches (this isn’t a demerit in my book because tobacco is, after all, a natural product). I’ve smoked one before at a herf and now let us see if this thing is worth the price tag.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: perfecto
Length: 5”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $225.00/Box of 25 | $10.00/Single

Tree of Life Fire!

It’s a fairly spicy cigar with a decent amount of intensity. The spice is a cross between sweet and floral but the main part of it is black pepper. There’s also some cedar and earthy flavors roaming around as well. What I like most about the first third is that the flavors work well together and are very clean.

The spice loses some of its sweetness but keeps its floral and black pepper essence. Cocoa has come on and has a slight bitter tinge to it that gives extra life to the flavor profile. It’s a (good kind of) weird mixture of soft, floral spice and earthy, bitter cocoa. I’m liking it.

During the final third the main flavor is that black pepper with a solid backing of bitter cocoa and earth flavor combination. The flavors are fairly strong during this third as has been the case throughout. Perhaps the flavors were a bit stronger during the first third but not by a large margin.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn, this cigar was easily able to keep my interest from the beginning to the end. It wasn’t a particularly special cigar but it was good in its own way. The combination of the spice and earth and bitter cocoa was interesting. If you are a fan of Viaje you probably won’t be disappointed by this cigar.

90 points

La Sirena Short Cigar Review

October 10, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

I received this cigar as a gift from Barry, who works for Miami Cigar & Co. All reviews are my own.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro   |   Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo ’99   |   Filler: Nicaraguan Corjo ’99 Viso and Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 Ligero   |   Box of 10: $102.00; 5 Pack: $55.00   |   Size: A   |   9.2″ x 48

0/3: Big… Ass… Cigar. Very oily cigar with one stretch mark. I’m amazed there aren’t more imperfections with a cigar of this length. It is a little spongy to the touch and, since it has been resting in my humidor for about 10 months, it is a little banged up. But not too banged up to hurt performance, I hope.

1/3: I don’t normally smoke “A’s” but when I do I get this unsettling feeling that I should have some kind of support system about 2/3rds of the way down to make sure it doesn’t break. It’s irrational, I know, but that’s what my brain is thinking.

Good, clean spice comes through strong during the first third. A bit of floral flavoring comes through too. There’s some earthiness as well.

2/3: Floral spice is the main thing going during this third. There’s also a good deal of earthiness going around and some meaty flavors. But, like I said, it’s mostly floral spice, which has a little bit of sweetness to it.

3/3: Leather and that floral spice which covers everything like the Blob on some hapless 1950’s town. Still, I’m liking it. Maybe not as much as the robusto, which I gave 95 points to a while back, but, still, very good.

4/3: Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn, this cigar is easily above average. It’s a bit expensive but, then again, it does last a really long time and is great throughout. It’s not the same robust spice explosion that you get with the smaller vitolas but the flavor here is very nice. More like two-plus hours of restrained delight.

4 out of 5 points

Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial TAA 2012 Cigar Review

October 8, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

The acronym TAA conjured up images of groping and pointless delays in airports for me but then I looked again and realized that this isn’t the acronym for the much-maligned Transportation Security Administration folks but for the Tobacconist Association of America (I’m going to assume there’s less groping required in this organization). Actually, it’s a pretty cool idea because it provides B&Ms with something special for their clientele which can’t easily be found online.

This cigar is a box pressed torpedo with what I believe to be basically the same blend as the original Jamie Garcia Reserva Especial (for more info go to Tiki Bar or Halfwheel). I liked the normal line cigar a lot, giving it 91 points, and have bought more over the last few months since I published my review of the normal line. It’s a really good cigar and, to tell you the truth, I’d probably bump up that score a little now that I’ve smoked around a box more of those cigars.

This TAA Edition cigar is slightly longer than the one I did a review on previously and it has a slight box press. The wrapper is rough to the touch and is slick with oils. The construction looks perfect and I can’t find any imperfections with it. It is consistently packed and gives slightly when pinched.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6 ¼″
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $150.00/Box of 16 | $10.00/Single

Hell on Wheels Conflagration!

With a slightly tight draw this cigar is starting off with a good deal of spice and some dark wood notes. The spice’s intensity is really strong, especially during the very beginning, and that might overwhelm some smokers or, if failing that, might be unpleasant. Personally, I like the initial spicy intensity of this cigar.

After the howitzer of spiciness subsides, which is about a quarter of the way through the first third, a tableau of habanero heat, chocolate and some woody notes becomes clear. It continues on like this through the beginning of the second third.

Near the end of the second third this gingerbread flavor starts coming through and you can really smell it in the smoke as well. It’s a cool flavor and works well with the spice and woody notes. That chocolate kind of disappears, but not completely.

Somewhere during the second third or the beginning of the final third the spice quiets down and becomes more sweet and floral. While I do like the hard charging spice more this does show a bit of evolution in the flavor profile and keeps my interest going.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn, this is a great cigar. There are a lot of flavors going on in this cigar and the extra bit of length and/or a change of blend (which I don’t know is the case in this situation) did make the flavor profile a little bit different from the conventional line. All in all, I think this is just as good as the regular line, which I love and I think most everyone would find something to like about it.

If you get a chance you should try this cigar. It costs a little more but you can only find it at B&Ms, which means it has a bit of exclusivity. There’s that but the most important thing is that it tastes good.

91 points

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