Davidoff Nicaragua Cigar Review

September 9, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 4 Comments 

I’ll be honest here: I have not smoked a lot of Davidoffs in my life. And that is probably to my detriment because I have heard a lot of good things about them. For example, one guy I know said that he used to exclusively smoke one of the Davidoff brands almost exclusively because there was something about the taste that was addictive. I understand that feeling as I have it from time to time with cigars I have smoked. Interesting thing, with me at least, is that the cigar doesn’t have to be “spectacularly good” in order to be one of those cigars that I go to a lot; it just has to have that something special that keeps me hooked (at least for a while). But there’s so much on the market (new brands, line extensions, different wrappers on old brands, resurrected brands, etc.) that it’s pretty hard for me to stick to one cigar for a long time.

This cigar is the newest release from Davidoff, which is simply called the Davidoff Nicaragua, and, as the name would suggest, this is a Nicaraguan puro. As you probably know, this is a departure for the company in that they have always used Dominican tobacco to make their cigars. In the grand scheme of things is this a big deal? Probably not but it’s cool and interesting and it shows that the company is being creative. Sure, they could have done what they have been doing for years and still met with a great deal of success but why not try something different?

For this review, I picked the smallest size: short corona. It’s a good looking cigar with what appears to be good construction with some minor veinage. Light brown wrapper with an elegant band (hint: when it comes to cigar bands, simpler is almost always better). Let’s light it up.

Davidoff Nicaragua Short Corona Cigar

Picture: Davidoff Site – click picture for more info

Cigar Stats
Vitola: short corona
Length: 3 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $132.00/Box of 14 | $49.50/5 Pack

M60 Flame!

It starts out with some notes of grass and nuts. There’s also buttered toast and some oats as well. Well developed flavor profile; everything is working excellently together from the start and it’s only getting better as the burn line progresses. Also, there’s a great creaminess to the smoke that accentuates all the aforementioned positives in this cigar.

Since this is a diminutive cigar I am going to dispense with the customary review by thirds and do it by halves. The second half is good with the addition of some more toasted flavors. It’s still a nice, elegant cigar with a good deal of flavors mainly revolving around nuts, oats and some woody sweetness coming through in the background.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Davidoff Nicaragua is a good addition to their stable of cigars. There are a lot of good flavors milling about here and they are all tasty. It’s an elegant cigar from an elegant company.

90 points

La Flor Dominicana Limitado V Cigar Review

July 3, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Nope, no relation to the Oliva Serie V, which, by the way, is an awesome cigar. Very awesome. Loads of flavor with a decent amount of strength…. But this review isn’t about that Oliva cigar, or any Oliva cigar for that matter, it’s about a La Flor Dominicana cigar: the Limitado V.

This cigar is a bit larger than I normally smoke, which is a tidbit that doesn’t necessarily have any significance to it. The chocolatey brown wrapper is undeniably rustic looking with a maze of veins all over the place and the wrapper is very oily to the touch. I’ve smoked a few of these so far and I’m going to review it now so let’s get it started.

La Flor Dominicana Limitado V

Cigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 6 ½”
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $475.00/Box of 48 | $55.00/Pack of Five

Red Rum II Fire!

Wow. This cigar starts out with very strong flavors ranging from earth and chocolate to floral notes and woodiness. There is a bit of heat that lingers on the retrohale, which is nice, but it doesn’t overtake the flavors in any way. It’s a very interesting mix of flavors; a mix that is also unique. In certain ways it does remind me of the original La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero natural but with a nice twist. If you’re a fan of the Fast and Furious series, this cigar is a souped up Supra and the regular LFD is stock. (Okay, that’s a pretty extreme analogy since the regular LFD DL is a cigar I love and this isn’t necessarily better but is definitely different. Maybe a better analogy would be to say that the LFD Limitado V is a black swan and the regular LFD DL is a white swan.)

There’s a bit of sweetness that comes on during the second third but it’s definitely a background flavor; it’s nice. The earth and chocolate slowly dissipates during this third and is replaced by notes of oak and toast. Maybe not as good as the first third but still very good.

The final third is much the same as the second third but with more toast thrown in the mix. Maybe not as good as the second third but still very good. Don’t read too much into those “not as good” phrases.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; it’s an excellent cigar. There are a ton of flavors that all work well together and build off of each other. What really surprised me about this cigar is its absence of spice, which is something that I usually get in a cigar and something that I like. It’s absence was not noticed by me until near the end of the cigar, which says something good about the flavors present. The Limitado V is a very good addition to the La Flor Dominicana line of cigars.

94 points

La Palina Maduro Cigar Review

April 25, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I received this cigar from La Palina; as always, all reviews are my own.

Over the last month or so I have watched the whole White Collar series, which is mainly about this FBI agent and conman extraordinaire who bust white collar criminals. If you don’t think about it too much it’s a fun show to watch. But there’s something interesting about cons in general, especially cons of the counterfeiting variety. If you want to counterfeit something done by a person (i.e. a painting) or something else natural then it’s best not to be perfect.

Perfection is a clear sign that there is something unnatural about an object. Straight lines? Unnatural. Perfectly proportioned body? Unnatural. Uniformly colored wrapper (especially one that is very dark)? Probably unnatural.

With, say, a painting, you would have to be perfect in mimicking the imperfections of the original. With a natural product it’s better to not try mimickery.

Basically, all the preceding was a setup to say that this wrapper is definitely natural (no dyes and the such); and, truthfully, I never really questioned this wrapper’s authenticity. It was just one of those times that something popped into my head – counterfeiting in this instance – and I needed to indulge myself a bit. Thanks for sticking with me.

Not only is there some variation in the color of the wrapper, from blackish areas to chocolaty browns but there are also some bumps, a small tear near the foot (maybe my fault) and there is a network of small to medium sized veins crisscrossing the surface of the cigar like all those aqueducts on Mars. There’s a certain amount of oiliness on the wrapper (not a lot but it’s there) and the cigar smells nice.

One last thing: I have liked all the La Palina cigars I have smoked in the past; click the link to check them out

La Palina Maduro

Cigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 6”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Mexican Maduro
Binder: Honduran (x2)
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $171.00/Box of 20 | $47.50/5 Pack

Detecting Antifragility Flame!

Slow burning cigar with a core group of rich flavors including earth, dark sweetness and oats. The juxtaposition of the earth and the dark sweetness is very nice. There is some complexity early on.

Dark sweetness is still hanging around during the second third with some earth popping up every once in a while. The other major flavor is oats and there is a toasted quality that is permeating the whole flavor profile now.

Charred meat comes on during the final third and that earthiness comes back. It’s a good mixture but not as good as the first third was.

Medium bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; this cigar starts off with a mixture of intense flavors and evolves into a toasty stew of flavors that are mostly enjoyable. The major drawback of this cigar, something I touched on earlier in this review, is that it burns slowly; too slowly at times. If you don’t keep at it then this cigar is liable to burn out.

I smoked two cigars for this review and the one that I kept on top of burned well. My suggestion would be to smoke this cigar when you have the ability to dedicate some time to it because it is worth the effort.

90 points

Litto Gomez Diez 2010 Cigar Review

July 24, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

It’s a Chisel™ and what that means is I will probably like it. My favorite Chisel (I will dispense with the ™ thing because I don’t think you care) is the LFD Double Ligero Maduro but I also loved the LFD Double Ligero Natural and LFD Air Bender. All were great cigars and all should be smoked by people who like full bodied cigars and flavor. The latter part is the only part that really matters though.

The Litto Gomez Diez 2010 Chisel is a Dominican puro with a light brown wrapper. When I see this wrapper I am still surprised at how light it is. Still, it is a La Flor Dominicana Chisel so you know the quality will be there.

Or will it? Usually, that is the case. However, the first one of these that I smoked had a tight draw that hurt the cigar. It was a bummer.

The wrapper looks good and so does the shape. Nicely packed with no soft or hard spots and with no raised veins are evident.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: Chisel ~ robusto
Length: 5 ½”
Ring Gauge: 54.5
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $17.00/Single @ Embassy Cigars

Walking Dead 3 Incineration!

Unfortunately, the flavors start out muted, almost shy. Very faint, not subtle, just faint hay and cashews. After a third to half an inch some spice enters the mix, which does improve the overall flavor profile.

With the first third’s flavors being nearly transparent I was hoping for an improvement during the second third. And there is a slight improvement with the flavors ratcheting up a peg or two. Spice and hay are the main flavors. Some dark sweetness sneaks in during this third as well and it does morph into sweet wood. There is also buttered toast during this third.

Before I go onto the final third I have to make a bit of a detour and explain why the flavors for this cigar are muted (I’m sure most of you have already guessed the reason). It’s aged. Erik Espinosa pointed this out while I was giving my review on Kiss my Ash Radio (the July 21, 2012 episode), which is put on by Smoke Inn. Aging cigars is a good idea and maybe people who like medium bodied cigars would love this cigar but I didn’t like the first two thirds. There’s a season for everything but that season passed for the first two thirds.

And then the final third happened. Spice, oak and bread never tasted so good. It was an explosion of flavor that made the whole cigar worth it for me. Well, almost. It’s still an expensive cigar and a third is still a third, which isn’t enough.

Excellent draw and burn throughout, which is something to be expected with Chisels. The first two thirds were medium bodied while the last third was definitely full bodied. This really is a Tale of Two Cigars. It was almost like the cigar had been resting on its head for the last two years and all the flavors settled on the bottom. The first two thirds would have earned 87 points from me but the last third was a 96 point cigar. Averaging it out…

90 points

PS: Over the weekend I smoked a Litto Gomez Diez 2012 and it was fantastic. It was like the final third of the 2010 but throughout the whole cigar.

San Lotano Oval Cigar Review

February 7, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

Disclaimer: I received some of these as samples from the manufacturer many months ago. All reviews are my own.

I have smoked the maduro and the habano varieties of San Lotano and even though I do not have a review up for the habano wrapped variety I have to say that I do like it quite a bit.  The maduro is a good cigar – just not something that really got me going. What about the Oval?

Due to its name the first thing you are going to think about is its unique shape. It’s oval and I do think that aides in the comfort level of this cigar. One of my favorite cigars of all time is the La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel Maduro and while the shapes aren’t exactly the same they are similar. In both cases the top and the bottom of the cigar are flat and that helps create a better seal with your lips. Does this actually improve the cigar though?

The chocolate brown habano wrapper for the Oval is nearly flawless. There are some very thin veins but they are few in number. Oily to the touch, the cigar does give a little when squeezed on the flat sides but not so much when I squeezed the rounded sides. How do A.J. Fernandez’s torcedores roll this cigar?

Cigar Stats
Vitola: Robusto
Length: 5 ½″
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Habano 2000
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras & Redacted
Price: $156.00/Box of 20

Chuck Torch!

By “redacted” I mean it’s a secret. Not my secret but Mr. Fernandez’s secret. And since it is a secret it can be from anywhere your imagination can take you. Maybe you are thinking that this unnamed filler tobacco could be from someplace where it is illegal for Americans to buy cigars from. Could it be?

The initial flavors are good. Nuts, buttery pound cake and some spice that lingers on the outskirts of the retrohale. It’s different and the flavors are more than capable of keeping your attention. There’s also this toasted flavor that permeates every last inch of the flavor profile; not a disagreeable flavor characteristic in this setting. While I’m at it, there’s also a sweet, creamy flavor going around as well. Anything else?

Slowly but surely the flavors migrate towards buttery toast, which is more a combining of the flavors than a transformation. Spice is mostly gone but the nutty flavors are sticking around. Is the shape making a difference?

I don’t know. It feels better, that’s a plus. And the cigar is very enjoyable. Plus, the final third does evolve somewhat. Singed wheat and oatmeal make a pretty good mix. How good?

It’s a medium bodied cigar with a good draw and burn. The flavors do have some evolution, especially at the end. While it isn’t exactly the type of cigar I normally go for I thought it was still a very good cigar. So, how good?

90 points

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