Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Cigar Review

September 18, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I reviewed the Oliva Serie V Melanio a little while ago and I enjoyed it. I mean, it wasn’t the best cigar I’ve ever had but it was pretty good. Better than that really. Will the wrapper change make a difference for the better… or worse? (Technically, I guess there could be a push.)

With a darkish black/brown wrapper, which is velvety to the touch, this box pressed torpedo (the only vitola they offer according to their website) looks expertly put together. Firmly packed with a bit of oil on the wrapper, I can’t see much wrong with the way this cigar looks. Sure, there’s that one rogue vein near the head of the cigar but that’s not going to cause a problem for the draw or anything else that actually matters in terms of taste and whatnot. The prelight draw is a bit tight but, based off of the other one I smoked, that will not pose a problem.

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Cigar

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro (click picture to go to Oliva’s site)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6 ½”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Mexican Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Price: $110.95/Box of 10 | $58.00/5 Pack

Better Call Saul Flame!

A hard, bright spice is the first I noticed when I started this cigar. There’s also a strong peppermint flavor going on, which is unique in my cigar smoking experience. In the background we can also find some cocoa and some other complimentary flavors. It’s really an interesting mix and it wasn’t what I was expecting when I first tried this cigar.

It’s weird but in that good, Memento sort of way. (I would try to wring every last drop out of the Memento comparison but I don’t think a cigar review would be that enjoyable to read backwards.) Peppermint is the main flavor I’m getting during the second third followed by spice, some dark (but definitely background) wood notes and a bit of rich earthiness on the aftertaste.

Peppermint basically disappears during the first part of the final third as an ascendant barbecued meatiness takes over. Some sweetness does come on at the tail end but it would have been better if it had been around for the full third to provide a nice counterbalance to the somewhat off putting barbequed meat flavor.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn, the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro is a worthy addition to the Melanio line extension. It was a very interesting cigar during the first two thirds and I sincerely enjoyed how the peppermint played off of the other flavors. The final third, on the other hand, was a bit of a dud. Still, I think the first two thirds are worth it and, with some age, I’m sure the final third will round out nicely. Did I like it more than the original Melanio? Yes, but barely.

91 points

Diesel Wicked Cigar Review

June 28, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I received the cigars for this review from Cigars Direct; as always, all reviews are my own.

Wicked… yeah, so, when I hear that I think of that Broadway show of the same name. I’ve never seen it, mind you, but I’ve seen commercials for it. And based off of those I think there’s some kind of New Age BS reconciliation between the Wicked Witch and the Good Witch (there is a Good Witch, right?). Just like popular culture to take a perfectly good story about flying monkeys and singing dwarfs and make it into something vile and boring. (I could be all wrong on this but I’ve found you can sometimes figure out the whole story to a show or movie by just watching previews so I’m making the assumption that translates to plays as well.)

And that’s the frame of mind I have coming into smoking this cigar. Sure, you could look at the red, black and gold bands (one normal band in the normal place and another band, more than two inches in length, at the foot) and think this cigar is going to be a ball buster but that’s accepting marketing too readily. After all, how many times have you seen a cigar marketed as “full bodied” to find out it’s a medium bodied cigar without much flavor? I guess it makes sense to market cigars as being full bodied nowadays as the cigar smoking public does seem to like them but, when you fail to live up to that promise (and the cigar doesn’t taste good), you will lose trust.

I’m not saying that’s the case here – the review will decide that one way or another – but this marketing gimmick is something that I have noticed with alarming regularity. Personally, I’m now numb to all that marketing jazz, so I basically forget about it… unless it’s obvious in the design of the bands and in the name of the cigar brand, as is the case here.

It is a good looking cigar; very dark wrapper with a few medium sized veins and a rough, oily feel to it. This is the torpedo, which is a vitola that I am partial to (it’s also the only vitola they make for this cigar at this time). There are some bumps visible on the surface giving it a rustic look.

Diesel Wicked

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6.2”
Ring Gauge: 56
Wrapper: Pennsylvanian Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $99.95/Box of 13 | $50.00/Pack of Five

Banshee Torch!

Yeah, it starts out as a full bodied cigar and shows no signs of letting up; so there’s no lie in the marketing here. Banshee-like spice greets you in the beginning and sticks around for a while until it does moderate and becomes somewhat more enjoyable. Barley and cream are the other flavors that are evident here. I like the fact that it’s this strong of a cigar but I’m hoping that the flavors pick up a bit during the final two thirds.

Oak and spice are the main flavors during the second third but the main thing here is that it’s a strong cigar. And I think that was what the makers were going after here; a really strong cigar. That’s fine and all but I want more.

Burning in my nose from the full bodied smoke, which is the main thing that you will be getting from this cigar. I like full bodied cigars and, by all rights, I should be all over this cigar liking every last puff but I find myself not enjoying it very much. Again, spice and oak are the main flavors and there’s also a bit of earth going on.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Diesel Wicked is fine for what it is, strictly a full bodied cigar, but there needs to be some strength in the flavors as well, which wasn’t evident here. Take the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 as an example. It has a ton of strength and a ton of flavor as well, even in the diminutive vitola that I reviewed (click the link in the previous sentence to see what I’m talking about).

It’s not all bad, though. The flavors aren’t bad they just aren’t very strong. It’s an okay cigar and if you’re looking for strength this does fit the bill. But, at that price….

88 points

PS: I actually bought a box of these cigar without trying a single one, which was a mistake. What was interesting about this purchase is that the box comes with a mystery cigar, which I will eventually smoke and post a review of. So stay tuned!

Fuente Fuente Opus X Forbidden X Lost City Cigar Review

June 20, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

Yeah, I know, if you take out the spaces in that title it reads like a long Welsh village name. Oh well, that’s pretty much everything on the band and I can’t find the keys on my keyboard for the crest that also adorns the band… so there we are.

First off, it’s a cigar. Even though it costs more than most other cigars it is still going to be consumed by flame (ashes to ashes, nubs to nubs – that sort of thing) but, hopefully, it will taste better than most other cigars as well. And, if psychology papers are to be believed, just by the fact that this cigar costs a lot I will enjoy it more. (I could supply a link for you here to cite my source but I think the extra effort you will have to take to find this information out for yourself will leave you more satisfied.)

This is the torpedo, er, pyramide, vitola in the line. It’s a Dominican Puro and there’s a bunch of special stuff about the tobaccos used: they’re probably aged five years in a special corner of the Fuente Chateau and on and on. The construction looks pretty good but there are some bumps and veins and symmetry doesn’t look like it was high up on the torcedor’s list when it was made. That’s not fair, it’s a well made cigar but, for the money, I was expecting perfection. But, like I’ve said in the past, it’s the taste that matters most to me and this does look good enough to satisfy those who care about such things like how good a cigar looks.

What is very noticeable about this cigar is its aroma. Sitting a couple feet away from me while I type this out I can effortlessly smell the strong tobacco and sweet spice scents emanating from the cigar. This is a cigar I have had a few times before and, well, you’ll see…

Opus X Forbidden X Lost City

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $300.00/Box of 10

How Many 5-year old’s Could you Take in a Fight? Flame!

A splendid mixture of candied fruit, sweet spice, cedar and leather. The fruit and spice are more in the foreground and the others are definitely supporting characters with some strength. Whereas the Opus X’s I’ve smoked have more of an intensity to them this cigar has more well rounded edges to it. It’s good and a very slow burner.

Resonating flavors that really come to life during the second third bounce around the palete like an excited quark on its first day of element school. Flavors are roughly the same as the first third but with more of an emphasis on the sweet spice and leather. Very nice flavor profile; while the flavors aren’t very robust they are still pretty strong in their own right and they are also interesting.

During the final third, the flavor profile does seem to have run out of some steam. Cedar and leather make up the brunt of the flavor profile at this point and it’s all falling a bit flat without the spice and the sweetness from the first two thirds adding in that extra dimension of flavor. It’s still enjoyable but not nearly as much as it was.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this Fuente Fuente Opus X Forbidden X Lost City was very good during the first two thirds but fizzled out a bit during the final third. I suppose if you want to quit smoking this cigar around the end of the second third then it would all be very enjoyable but this is a review and reviewing cigars in thirds seems to be an industry standard of sorts. Still, even when you do lump in the final third with the first two it is an interesting and enjoyable cigar. More so than most. However, I prefer the Fuente Fuente Opus X to the Fuente Fuente Opus X… Lost City.

91 points

Room 101 Big Delicious Cigar Review

April 8, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

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.

Big Delicious

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
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.

89 points

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….

Arturo Fuente King B Short Cigar Review

January 29, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

I received this cigar from Thompson Cigar; all reviews are my own.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Rosado   |   Binder: Dominican   |   Filler: Dominican   |   Box of 18: $118.23; Six Pack: $39.41  |   Torpedo   |   6″ x 55

0/3: I have had this cigar sitting in my humidor for about a year. Oily and slightly rough to the touch, the wrapper is marred by a couple of minor veins. These cigars come wrapped in a cedar sleeve with a black cloth band at the foot. It’s a beautiful cigar to look at and I’m hoping that the flavors are as good as the looks.

Arturo Fuente King B

1/3: Spice, light cedar, nuts and some other nice flavors. The burn gets a little ragged but is quickly corrected. Medium bodied.

2/3: Sweetness starts coming through during this third. Cedar and nuts are still major factors.

3/3: Chocolate comes along during the final third. The flavors seem a bit washed out but, underneath that, there’s a decent amount of flavor variety.

4/3: Medium bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; this cigar wasn’t as good as I had hoped. It had breadth of flavor but those flavors were average. Decent cigar.

3 out of 5 points – Good cigar

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