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 · 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 San Andres Short Cigar Review

September 28, 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: San Andres Natural    |   Binder: Honduras Corojo Seco   |   Filler: Honduras & Dominican Republic Criollo, Ligero & Corojo Seco   |   Box of 25: $169.00; Single: $7.50   |   Gordo   |   6″ x 60

Room 101 San Andres cigar

Room 101 San Andres (Click to go to Matt Booth’s Twitter)

0/3: Big, pretty much gigantic, cigar, with a matte brown cigar. There are a decent amount of oils on the wrapper with no noticeable imperfections. In fact, this cigar’s looks are about as uniform as I have ever seen. I am worried about the size of it though, I am not particularly partial to larger vitolas.

The wrapper is Mexican and, not too long ago, that wouldn’t have been something that cigar companies would have trumpeted. I don’t know about the quality of Mexican tobacco from years ago but they seem to be pretty good nowadays. And I’ve heard rumors about a major, well respected cigar line having used Mexican San Andres wrappers for years but that’s for another time.

1/3: Wow, a ton of flavors are jumping around right off the bat. Spice, dry earth and some fruity sweetness. I’m liking it very much.

2/3: Sweetness takes over as the leading flavor but the backup flavors of smokiness, earth and some soft spice are strong and provide a strong counterbalance to the sweetness. It’s an interesting mix for what it is.

3/3: The flavors become a bit deeper and warmer during the final third. Fine cigar but without much of a zing at this point. The flavors are about the same as they were in the second third.

4/3: Medium-full bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; the Room 101 San Andres is a pretty good cigar. The flavor profile is straightforward and is tasty enough. I liked the cigar but I’m pretty sure that I would have liked it more in a smaller vitola.

3.5 out of 5 points – Solid cigar with some good flavors but probably better in a smaller vitola

Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Sumatra Cigar Review

September 27, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

During the summer last year I purchased the cigars for this review as well as some of the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano, which I liked. I’ve been looking forward to reviewing this cigar for a while and today is as good as any other.

Maybe not an exquisite looking cigar, it does have a rich look to it. Also, the wrapper feels like velvet, velvet with some oils. There are also a couple of bumps and veins on the semi-dark brown wrapper. It feels uniformly packed and it’s pretty solidly packed at that; slight box press to this cigar.

Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Sumatra (click picture to see Cigar Aficionado's review; this cigar was their #9 cigar of 2012)

Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Sumatra (click picture to see Cigar Aficionado’s review; this cigar was their #9 cigar of 2012)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 6 ½”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $13.00/Single

Study Hall (American Horror Story Short) Witch Burning!

There’s an overall softness to the flavor profile that is nice. Sweetness, a mixture of bright spices that linger in the nostrils after a healthy retrohale and there are some pleasant wood notes occasionally coming through. The flavors are good at this point and my overall impression of this cigar is that it’s pretty laid back but that there is also this underlying spicy intensity just wanting to be let free.

That soft spice is evolving into something more exotic and the intensity is picking up a bit from the first third. This spice has some body and depth to it. Sweetness, which has a faint resemblance to brown sugar, is still chugging along. Any woodiness that was around in the first third has receded well into the background. I’m hoping that the intensity of flavors (not the strength of the cigar) will continue to increase.

During the final third the flavors seem to drift a bit and lessen in intensity. Not a bad turn as the flavors, which are pretty much the same with a bit of doughiness added in, are still enjoyable but this cigar didn’t end with the bang I was hoping for.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Sumatra features a well developed flavor profile that never turns bad. Throughout my time smoking this cigar I got an unmistakably exotic feel to the flavor profile that was interesting and pretty tasty. It’s a good cigar and I’m glad that I got the chance to smoke these cigars.

90 points

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