Unnamed Cigar in a box of Diesel Wicked Short Cigar Review

October 21, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · Comment 

Wrapper: ?    |   Binder: ??   |   Filler: ???   |   Price: ?????   |   Toro   |   6″ x ~52

A picture of the unnamed cigar from a Cigar.com forum (click on picture to go to the thread)

A picture of the unnamed cigar from a Cigar.com forum (click on picture to go to the thread)

0/3: When I bought a box of Diesel Wicked some time ago I was not expecting to find an extra cigar in it, especially one in a coffin (a coffin with holes in it summoning images of some feral beast being locked in its cage to protect the town folk from its murderous intent). So that was pretty cool. Also, I don’t really know much about this cigar other than it is 6″ long, has a pig tail and I’d say the ring gauge is around 52 or 54.

There are a good number of veins all over the wrapper but, for the most part, they’re fairly superficial. It feels like it is uniformly packed and there’s a little give to the cigar as well. I’m excited to smoke this cigar as it’s kind of a blind tasting (although, I’m relatively certain there will be a good helping of Nicaraguan tobacco in this cigar since it is an A.J. Fernandez blend).

1/3: It starts out nicely with earth, cocoa and some rich grape flavors. Actually, I think “rich” is the right way to describe this cigar thus far.

2/3: The second third continues on where the first third left off until some spice and wheat notes start taking over shortly after the halfway point. I did like that first grouping of flavors – dark flavors with some depth – but these flavors that are coming on are nice in a slightly different way – a little more excitement and a bump in the intensity (not the strength as in full bodied or medium bodied, per se) of the flavors.

3/3: During the final third dark wood gets added to the picture along with a shift in the spice more towards sweet spice.

4/3: Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this unnamed cigar definitely has it going when it comes to the richness of its flavors but does it work on other levels? The flavors themselves are pretty good and they work well together but they lack a certain amount of vibrancy and clarity to be a truly great cigar. So it works on a couple of levels at least. What it all boils down to is one simple question: Would I want to smoke another one of these cigars? Yes, I think I would. Now I just need to find out what the name of this cigar is.

3.5 out of 5 points – There’s some really good stuff going on here but it falls a bit short of being great

Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades Cigar Review

September 11, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I’m sure there must be an interesting story behind the name “Honey and Hand Grenades” – maybe it’s a play on yin and yang? – but that’s not why you’re here; you are here to read a review about this cigar that’s been out for a while now. About a year actually. That means that this cigar has some age on it since I bought this cigar (and its burnt brother) around the time it came out to the public.

One thing is for sure: it’s a visually striking cigar. It’s a perfecto and I am smoking the smallest vitola with the charming name of “The Shank.” According to Halfwheel, the other vitolas are named “The Shiv” and “The Rapier.” From my extensive knowledge of tv dramas with prison scenes, a shiv and a shank are basically the same thing: slang for an improvised weapon. For example, if you sharpened your toothbrush to the point where you can stab someone then it is a shiv/shank. (There might actually be a distinction between the two but unless you have ever roomed with Michael Milken or Martha Stewart you probably have no need to click that link.)

A rapier, on the other hand is a sharp, pointy sword that was popular during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe. More of a thrusting weapon than a slashing weapon it’s also substantially more refined than the shiv or the shank. There might be a scabbard involved.

As for the cigar itself, it’s wrapped up to the band in red foil. Peeling it off, I was disappointed not to find a golden ticket but hopefully the cigar is still good. As I think I said earlier, it’s a perfecto with a slightly darker than medium brown colored wrapper. There are a decent amount of oils on it and some minor veins as well. It looks like there’s an aborted pigtail on the cap and the “foot” is completely closed off and ends in a point. You can either cut some of the foot off to aid in the lighting or do what I’m about to do and attempt lighting it without cutting any of the foot off.

Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades logo

Picture: Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades logo (click picture to go to their Facebook page)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: perfecto
Length: 5 ¼”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $250.00/Box of 25 | $10.00/Single

Shanking (or Shiving) in Action Torch!

It took about fifteen seconds to get this cigar properly lit, which isn’t horrible. With that being said, I probably should have cut some off of the foot before lighting just to make things easier on myself.

The first part of this cigar has some very hot spice going on here, which lingers a while through the nose. Buttered wheat, chalky chocolate and a bit of sweetness as well. What’s weird is that besides the spice there really aren’t any very outstanding flavors but they all work together so well that it’s delicious; in this case, the sum is greater than its parts.

The second third is a bit different. There’s still that hot spice but the buttery wheat is a pretty strong flavor at this point.

It’s still interesting but I think it has lost some of its luster. The spice is pretty much gone but the buttery wheat is still kicking around. Throughout, there’s been this, I don’t know what to really call it other than a “presence,” that is this really basic, pretty much flat thing. It lingers on the tongue throughout and the best I can do is to compare it to that feeling you get after drinking Scotch. I hesitate to call it a flavor because it really isn’t a distinct flavor to me and more of a sensation. It informs the flavors but is separate from the general flavor profile.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades is an interesting cigar with a lot to recommend it. I liked the spicy contribution at the end of the first third and during the second third and that persistent buttered wheat flavor was very pleasant.

90 points

Casa Magna Domus Magnus II Cigar Review

May 15, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

A little less than a year ago I reviewed the Domus Magnus I and I liked it but I didn’t think it was anything earth shattering. That’s fine; few cigars (few things for that matter) are. But what about the second coming of the Domus Magnus?

According to SAG Imports, the company that distributes Casa Magna (and other) cigars, the same two sizes that were available in the original are available in the sequel. There’s the Optimus, which I am smoking, that is 5 ¾” x 52 and there’s also the Primus at 6 ½” x 55. These are Roman names and since I talked about this with my review of the original Domus Magnus, I won’t repeat myself here.

It’s a good looking, slightly box pressed Nicaraguan puro. According to Halfwheel, the main difference between this version and the previous Domus Magnus is that the wrapper is a different vintage this time around. Oh, and there’s that pigtail, which I twisted off and (surprisingly to me) it leaves a perfect hole in the cap and it actually is supplying me a pretty good draw. I will try it with this small little hole and if the draw starts to get tight I can always cut the head properly. I’ll tell you how it goes.

Domus Magnus II

Cigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 5 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Sun Grown Jalapa 2007 (Nicaragua)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $80.00/Box of 10 | $9.40/Single

Marble Hornets Torch!

Even though I was able to get a decent draw from the hole I got by twisting off the pig tail I quickly decided to cut the head to produce more air flow. I suppose it was worth the try to make it work but… oh well.

The flavors are amazing from the very first puff. Strong flavors circling around the sweet spice spectrum. Backing up these is wheat and some floral notes as well. Very dry flavor profile, which works wonderfully for these flavors.

Granular flavor bits are all about and they all taste good. It’s a very interesting cigar and even though the flavor profile is a bit on the dry side, which I don’t normally favor, it works for these flavors. Sweet spice, oak with a tinge of char and there’s a faint chocolate flavor hovering about.

There really isn’t that much of a difference between the final and the second third (and not that much of a difference between the final two thirds and the first third) but that is okay because the flavors are enjoyable.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar has much to recommend it. The flavor profile is very creamy and the flavors are pretty smooth; even in the final third. While there is some complexity in the overall flavor profile what I am liking about this cigar the most is the clarity of the flavors and how they mix well with each other. It’s an excellent cigar.

94 points

Casa Magna Colorado Short Cigar Review

April 9, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

Wrapper: Nicaragua   |   Binder: Nicaragua   |   Filler: Nicaragua   |   Box of 27: $150.00; Five Pack: $28.95  |   Lancero   |   8 ½″ x 40

0/3: Got this from one of my cigar smoking buddies; thanks buddy!

This cigar is extremely long, is rather rustic looking with all those veins and bumps but it does have a pigtail cap and the wrapper covers the head. And there’s a little bit of oil on the wrapper.

Casa Magna

1/3: Pretty strong flavors from the beginning: pepper and a general hot spice, some chocolate in the background. There’s also oak and wheat. Lots going on.

2/3: Oak and nuts are the big flavors during this third. Spice is gone and so is the chocolate (wheat is sort of still around).

3/3: Still tastes good with oak and nuts being the major flavors at the end. There’s a bit of spice coming back.

4/3: Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar is consistently good from the beginning to the end.

4 out of 5 – Definitely worth a try

PS: I have reviewed this line of cigars four times in the past: short robusto, corona and robusto (double review!) and the torpedo. All scored very well.

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….

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