Posts Tagged ‘review’

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Quick Review: Something to Celebrate With

02 Aug

Davidoff Limited Edition 2009

Davidoff Limited Edition 2009

Cigar Name: Davidoff LTD 2009 Toro Especial Seleccion 702 (6 5/8 x 48)

Cigar Description: Ecuadorian sun-grown wrapper around Dominican Piloto, Olor, and San Vicente fillers

Cigar Strength: Full

Review of the Cigar itself: After a successful week in Alexandria, VA I thought I’d celebrate (after doing work expenses). So I took out the Limited Edition Davidoff I had gotten a couple of weeks ago. Much like many Davidoff’s it is well constructed. It was difficult to see where the cap ended. The wrapper is a nice rich chocolate colour, darker than dairy chocolate but not as dark as dark chocolate (kind of in-between the two). The tobacco scent was a mixture of sweet and nutty sensations. Eagerly lighting this up resulted in peppery scent wafting forth.

As a treat, I decided to enjoy a small glass of Glen Breton Ice that I had recently purchased in Halifax (You can order it online here or go to Nova Scotia and get it there). The sweet peat taste, mixed with a rich wooden flavour, was a nice match with this well-made cigar. Within the first third I got hints of chocolate mixed with a nutty flavour and deep creamy leather. I sat back, enjoying the animation exploits of the Justice League: Paradise Lost (2002) dvd that NetFlix had sent me. A perfect way to enjoy a cloudy, drab Sunday. One of the things I like about Davidoff is how easy it is to enjoy their cigars. In fact, it was so easy what I thought was the end of first third was nearly the end of the 2nd third.

The leather remained a nice hidden flavour that would creep in and out throughout the cigar as I continued towards the nub. As I got closer to the end of the cigar lush cocoa (almost a dutch cocoa) taste came through with an espresso hit. While the cost of this cigar would preclude it from being an every day kind of cigar, the flavour definitely puts it up there as one of those ones to get to impress or celebrate with.

Enjoyed with: Water and a Glen Breton Ice on ice

Smoke time: approximately 70 minutes

Final Review Rating: 9/10

Tidbit: Glen Breton Ice was the first Single Malt to be made in ice wine barrels (giving it a bit of sweetness)

Tidbit #2: Glen Breton Distillery was sued over the use of “Glen” by the Scottish Whiskey Association, who used the claim that “Glen” is only to be used by those from Scotland. SWA lost the lawsuit.


Cigar Review: Harry Potter ain’t got nothing on this Dragon

24 Jul

Fiery Pepper Packed Cigar

Fiery Pepper Packed Cigar

Cigar Name: Black Dragon (4.5 x 52)

Cigar Description: Ecuadorian Connecticut Maduro wrapper  around a Cameroon binder and encapsulating Dominican long fillers

Cigar Strength: Full

Review of the Cigar itself: We went to see new Harry Potter movie last night. Eh. Not bad but not great. In the end, I think I enjoyed many of the previews more than the book (GI Joe is top on the list!) I think, like the book, it was the stepping stone to the Grand Finale (which, I believe, will be a two-part movie release in a year or so). The cigar, however, isn’t a stepping stone. It’s a rather meaty and nice cigar although a little more attention to the detail of the cigar would be good. I noticed on mine that the wrapper near the cap was a bit loose and there was a few pieces of the wrapper missing at the foot (although that could be normal mishandling en route). The wrapper is nearly an ebony wood colour, giving light to the name of the cigar. As I examined the cigar, the sweet earthy scent of the Maduro wrapper came full force. Simply nice and inviting.

As I lit the foot, gentle wisps of blue and white came forth. Although the whitish ash gave a tender feel to it, the cigar itself felt dense and light at the same time. Almost a magical flare to it. As I started I noticed a toasty nut taste at the start and then, what I thought was eggs but then realized it was the spices. Specifically black pepper. As a kid, I’d often coat eggs with a nice sprinkling of salt and pepper. That’s what this reminded me of. Needless to say, this dragon has a bit of bite to it with a sweet leather taste in the background. And this is likely why it’s called a Black Dragon.

The black pepper taste continued as I got into the middle of the cigar. And the smoke changed to a mix of blue and brown. It’s not an overwhelming full cigar but just enough of a kick to make you notice. The same went for the smoke itself. Rather than be enveloped in a dark cloud, it was enough to carry the scent but not linger around in an annoying sense. As I continued through the middle portion, the sweet earthy smell I had noticed at the start began to come through as a flavour. It was nice. And although the appearance construction wasn’t initially the best, it didn’t detected or disturb the actual integrity of the cigars.

I had to relight this cigar a few times but I don’t think it was an issue with the cigar itself as much as it was the humidity today. It wasn’t too big of a deal and it did mean me puffing it a little more often. I did realize that I’ll have to get a few more (Awww.. shucks, darn. More cigars! What’s a guy to do?) to verify this. As I got into the last third, the ash was darker with blotches of black in dispersed in the grayish-white. The black pepper taste was far more stronger here than at the start and was making me hungry again for eggs, sunny-side up. By the time I got to the nub, the pepper became overwhelming and a bit much. Apparently, there was still a little bit of ferocity left in this little dragon.

Enjoyed with: water

Smoke time: approximately 70 minutes

Final Review Rating: 8.8/10

Tidbit: The US Navy has an Iowa-Class Battleship called “Black Dragon“.

Music listened to: Sly and Family Stone


Cigar Store Reviews: Mickey’s Only Cigar Haunt

18 Apr

Sosa Family Cigar (taken from Downtown Disney Page)

This past week I had to head to Disney World in Orlando. Everything that I had to do for work was at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. The resort is designed so that you really never have to leave the park as it has everything that anyone would want.  Because I knew the part was pretty much non-smoking I decided to not bring any cigars down with me. What I did know, however, was that in the heart of Downtown Disney was Sosa Family Cigar Co. When my colleague and I entered the store we were greeted by, I assume, the owner. He was hugely friendly and offered suggestions for us. While their walk in humidor is smaller than I’ve seen in other stores, it was large enough and full of all sorts of goodies that I like: every Diamond Crown Maximus made,  Arturo Fuente Hemingway line (no WOAN/M but they did have Between the Lines), their own Sosa brand and others. I nearly drooled in the selection and picked a few of the Sosa along with a couple of DCMs (#1 and #5).

As we got to the cash register I forgot that Florida has a low tax on tobacco products. So my tally in my head ended up being a bit less (I expected the higher price per cigar because of it being Disney World). The owner said that if I wanted more Sosa cigars, he’d gladly ship them to me. A great offer and if I do like them (I haven’t tried them yet), I have their website so I can certainly call and order more. We left with our finds and headed over to Pleasure Island. We went to find Fuego by Sosa, their cigar bar. Right across from it was Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant. We each ordered a sampler of beers. Basically, you get 4 beers in quarter pint sizes to try. I got the four provinces and definitely enjoyed them. I then had a portobello “burger” with a “bucket” of fries. As we sunk into the deep wing-backed chairs we could hear the tapping of the Irish dancer in the center of the bar. Both a family and adult bar, it does appeal to all ages. Once we had our fill we walked across the way to Fuego by Sosa. The walls were lined in this semi-upscale bar. I say semi since it really does have a relaxed atmosphere. There is a patio on the front and I suspect one in the back. We hunkered down in the bar area to enjoy the A/C as the humidity was a little strong on Monday, a reflection of pending storms to hit the area.

My colleague enjoyed a Padron 4000 while I had a DCM #5 and then a AF Between the Lines. We enjoyed  a couple of beers (me a couple of Landsharks and my colleague a couple of Yuenglings) but we could have easily had finer alcohol or even an espresso. I could see the Louis XIV cognac in the locked clear case on the bar, an indication of the upper scale alcohol one can have their. Although we were only there for a couple of nights, this topped off the night. After a long day of teaching and being on my feet (10 hours of teaching and pacing when I teach meant 3-4 miles walked in front of students), this helped relax the day and I got to come home with new finds.

Next cigar store review will likely be Ottawa’s Cigar Emporium as I head up north next week.


Cigar Review: Sometimes a good cigar can fool a tastebud

11 Dec

Don Tomas Cameroon

Cigar Name: Don Tomas Cameroon Robusto (5 1/2 x 52)

Cigar Description: Honduran cigar with Cameroon wrapper around Dominican, Brazilian and Mexican long fillers, aged over 4 years.

Cigar Strength: Medium

Review of the Cigar itself: A nice cigar that I had gotten a little while ago and nearly had forgotten about. I brought it along with a 601 Black and an Olivia V but figured I’d try this. Since I had no choice but to smoke outside. Thankfully, today the Kansas City weather had improved and reached a nice toasty 45 degrees F that going outside to smoke wouldn’t result in toes turning blue. I have to admit it did make me more appreciative that I have the luxury of smoking at home. The delicious Cameroon wrapper was a nice rich chocolate brown with a few veins in it but nothing that would detract from the ultimate flavour of the cigar. The tobacco had a rich earthy smell to it that balanced nicely against the brisk wind that swirled around. The cut was a little mangled as the cigar was a bit dry from airline travel over the last week or so but the wrapper still held together. talk about the cut and vanilla aroma It was this cooler weather with it’s playful wind that did make it somewhat of a challenge to light but I eventually got the foot nice and toasted, first the filler and then the wrapper. It’s interesting that both are burning at even rates.dontomas1

The gentle blue smoke that wafted through the wind had a nice cedar aroma to and was gentle on the nose. The cigar itself was a combination of nut, earthy and cedar tones that made it enjoyable while I watched the world traverse by on the busy highway near the hotel. The wind continued to flit around me and I got whiffs of vanilla and other sweeter scents from the cigar. I sipped the deep, rich cedar flavours as I basked in the brightness of the sun. I leaned back on the bench and contemplated what how the year was and what it will bring. As I continued more into the stick, the leather flavours were more and more pronounced with a hidden touch of dark mocha in the background. At times, there even was a touch of pepper in the background to tickle the tastebuds.

The ash was almost a pure white speckled with darker grays. It held on and fell off on it’s own accord when the wind touched it. As much as I often enjoy Camerooon cigars, this one didn’t quite appease my palate as it was too leathery with too deep of an earthy taste to it. The leathery taste was rather creamy and almost tasted like a worn glove. For some this may be an appealing taste but for me, it’s too sharp and pronounced. But to me, a cigar is far than just the taste. It is the aroma that the smoke envelopes, the heat from the cigar as it burns and the relaxed feeling it brings while smoking it. This wasn’t a cigar I’d throw away as it still had flavour but just a bit too much for my wimpy taste buds.

Enjoyed with: Water

Smoke time: approximately 75 minutes

Final Review Rating: 7.8/10


Cigar Review: Giving the Knuckle a rap on the..

07 Dec

Cigar Name: 5 Vegas Miami Knuckle (4 1/2 x 60)

Cigar Description: Nicaraguan grown Cuban-seed Corojo wrapper over Cuban-seed, Nicaraguan-grown ligero long-fillers

Cigar Strength: Medium-Full

Review of the Cigar itself: When I first got introduced to the 5 Vegas line at Cigars International, I was a little hesitant. I tried the 5 Vegas Gold and found it ok but when I had run into the Knuckle, it was rather an impressive little cigar. When I smelled the cigar as I took it out of the cellophane wrapper, IWrapper coming undone could smell an almost nutty-peppery smell. It’s a bit of a light cigar in weight and the draw is very clear but it does come with a nice sharp pepper zing to it that you’ll feel almost immediately. Lighting the foot wasn’t that difficult and it seemed to burn well on the first third. It was nice to see the twinning of a light brown with a light blue smoke and see them dance out from the cigar towards the crisp, cold air of the wintery afternoon.

Unfortunately, it started tugboating at the beginning. This may be to uneven airflow from the window (it was the portion that didn’t get direct airflow that tugboated). One of the reasons that this may have been more air than flavour was because the cigar wrapper itself was rather loose. Although the flavour was good, a nice peppery sensation, there seemed to be a bit of air in each draw that made it feel as if the leaves were loose. I had to relight the cigar as I had a quick errand to do at one point and it did relight fairly easily. There was a gentle leather taste in the background as I continued into the middle and last third of the cigar. The pepper flavour began to even out a bit as the leather became more intense in flavour. As I got to the end of the cigar, a sharper peppery taste began to rise.

I was disappointed in this particular cigar because I’ve had one previously and it was far better. I’ll probably do a follow-up review in a couple of weeks to see if perhaps I got a bad one.

Enjoyed with: Water

Smoke time: approximately 75 minutes

Final Review Rating: 7.5/10


Quick Review: Cigars in Toronto

03 Dec

So this week I’m in Toronto, teaching a nice class to a few students. And being a Canadian, I get the joy of being able to, legally, enjoy cigars. But to be honest, the tax on cigars is annoying. What should be a $6 cigar is nearly double that! And I can’t even be sure that it’s a true Cuban cigar. Tomorrow, before meeting up with a friend, I’ll hit Thomas Hind Cigar store. I’m hopeful that because they are a B&M they will be more reliable in quality and cigar types. The cigars I got tonight, which appear authentic, weren’t too bad.

The first was a Punch JG Royal Coronation tube. This is a nice sweet Honduran cigar with a deep rich Ecaduran Sumatura wrapper. Even the taste of it elicited a sweet mocha taste to it. The cigar was wrapped with a nice cedar leaf to keep the flavour in the tube. The cigar burned wonderfully and I was able to enjoy it while relaxing for the evening. I’d give it a quick 8.3/10 as it was a bit moist but that may have been more the fault of the place I bought it at (small convenience store who’s forced to hide all tobacco products behind metal in case some child happens to see them — yes, this is the Nanny Province).

The second cigar for the evening was a Por Larranaga Robustos LE 2007, a nicely made cigar that lit well. The flavours of cedar and leather came through immdiately and I got hints of pepper at one point. However, about 60% of the way in the cigar suddenly flamed itself and then, seemed to cease to continue to burn. It took a few tries and I was able to finally relight it enough to get it going. Unfortunately, the flavour went downhill after this. Because of this an 8 cigar went down to a 5 and I lost my desire to finish the cigar as a result.

As an FYI, if you are staying in Toronto and want a hotel room that you can smoke in, check with the Sheraton on Queen Street. They still have standard rooms (King or two double beds) that allow smoking. I don’t know how long they will continue to have that or if it will be renovated soon. I’m hoping to put up another review tomorrow or Thursday evening. And pictures to follow. Apparently I forgot my camera-to-usb connector cable.


Poll results: What you want..

02 Dec

So last month’s poll results show that most people want cigar reviews and cigar news with a three way tie between cigar information, cigar deals and, not surprising, free cigars. I’ll definitely be posting reviews regularly and if you want to post your own, let me know. I welcome guest reviewers. I will add cigar news, mostly in the form of what goes on in the community. As for free cigars, watch for a contest in January where you could get a nice fiver from me. Details to be posted around mid-December.

Don’t be afraid to ask for more if you don’t see what you like here.


Cigar Review: Sometimes big things come in small packages

28 Nov

Cigar Name: Trinidad Habana Reserve #5 (4 1/4 x 44)

Cigar Description: Ecuadorian Cubano around Honduran and Nicaraguan filler

Cigar Strength: Full

Review of the Cigar itself: I decided to go through the humidor to see what I could find that was interesting. And I happened upon a small cigar that had been sent to me. I smelled the cigar and got a wonderful sweet mocha smell from the tobacco mixture. At first, I thought this was a flavoured cigar but realized that this was just a great mixture of prime tobaccos. The cigar is well made and had a rat tail at the end of it. The one downside was that the wrapper had a “mottling” on it, which seemed to be more of a flaw in the wrapper and not anything that would detract from the flavour of the cigar.

When I lit the cigar, the aroma of the sweet mocha continued in the smoke but the actual flavour was  more of a deep, earthy tone with a hint of sweetness in the background. It made for a nice gentle but quick afternoon smoke while doing some blogging and twittering. At one point, I noticed a fair amount of smoke coming from this little cigar but the flavour persisted well enough.

Sometimes we expected the bigger cigars to have the most flavour but even this little one (quite a contrast to the Diamond Crown Maximus #1 I had earlier this week) comes with big flavour. As I got to the end of the cigar, a deeper pepper taste came out along with a creamy leather taste to it. This one went right down to the nub.

Enjoyed with: Water

Smoke time: approximately 50 minutes

Final Review Rating: 8.4/10


Cigar Review: Giving thanks to LFD’s Factory Press III and Cigar Friends

27 Nov

Cigar Name: LFD Factory Press III (6 1/4 x 54)

Cigar Description: Maduro wrapper around Dominican Republic filler

Cigar Strength: Medium

Review of the Cigar itself: On Thanksgiving, we often eat huge meals and want to have a nice cigar afterwards for “dessert” (although one shouldn’t forgo the nice apple and pumpkin pies that often follow the large Thanksgiving meal). A few weeks ago, when I was on Wall Street, I noticed at the Barclay-Rex Store a square, well-box-pressed cigar. It was going like hot-cakes while I was there and decided to give one a try. I grabbed one and stuck it in my main humidor. It seemed appropriate to take it out today and enjoy it.

I tasted the cap end and got the flavour of chocolate with a shadowy hint of pepper in the background. The wrapper, a deep, dark maduro ooze an aroma of rich tobacco. It took a little bit to get this lit because of how tightly pressed the tobacc was but once lit, it remained so. It has a nice a creamy flavour with hints of chocolate in the background. It remained consistent throughout the full length of the cigar.

For today, it’s good to remember all the things we can be thankful for. If we can enjoy cigars, have a job with which to buy cigars and family and friends to share with, we have lots to be thankful for, especially in this uncertain economic times we’re in. We should remember to enjoy them throughout the year as well and be thankful for every day we get, especially with friends and family. Because honestly, a cigar is just a cigar. But it becomes so much more when we can share it with those that make life more interesting. For me, I’m thankful for a lot of things in life and recently, am grateful for the BotL/SotL who I can call friend online.

And I’m grateful for those who come to read here.

Cheers and have a smoke on me.

Enjoyed with: Water and a Red Bull

Smoke time: approximately an hour and a half

Final Review Rating: 8.5/10


Cigar Review: Size DOES Matter Sometimes

24 Nov

Cigar Name: Camacho Corojo Toro  (6 x 60)

Cigar Description: Corojo wrapper around Jamastran Honduran filler

Cigar Strength: Full

Review of the Cigar itself: Whoever told you that size didn’t matter lied — blatantly. Sometimes, size can matter, particularly when enjoying a full cigar. I got this cigar while in Charleston at the Tinderbox and decided to give it a try today. Given the size and fullness of this cigar, it would probably make a perfect option for after Thanksgiving dinner while watching a football game or just chatting outside with friends and family while the cool air tussled the leaves around. This cigar’s diameter is that of a quarter and it’s a full 6 inches in length. I was a little concerned that the cutter wouldn’t be able to get around it but it was able to. Toasting the foot, however, was easily double the normal time it takes to toast an average cigar. Given the area of tobacco to cover, this isn’t a surprise.

The first draw of this impressive cigar was creamy and pleasant. I can see why Davidoff bought out Camacho. The cigar, although large in comparison to most other cigars, is still well made with very few visible veins. Also, because of the size it did require a few touch-ups as it tugboated a bit a few times. This may have been because I had the window open. It definitely requires more attention than the average cigar does due to its size. The ash was a darker gray than what I usually see for Dominican cigars and it’s likely an effect of the soil that the tobacco was grown in. Weaved into the cigar was a slight peppery taste but nothing that was overwhelming. For a full cigar, it was wholly enjoyable for a new like me.

As I continued further into the cigar the pepperness came out more and mingled with the creamy smoke. I finally had reached the point of the band and I carefully removed it. It came off with a little bit of the wrapper but wasn’t enough to cause it to unravel. The cigar continued to be a great smoke without overwheming, which is good since I hadn’t eaten anything yet for the day beyond snacking on some popcorn (bad, Linus, bad). At one point, I had to step away from the cigar while I prepared dinner and when I came back to relight it, it started up as if I had never left. The flavours still remained a consistent combination of pepper and smokey cream flavour to it but I did get hints of cedar near the end.

While this cigar is a mouthful (literally!), it’s enjoyable and well worth the time it takes to get through it.

Enjoyed with: Water

Smoke time: approximately two hours

Final Review Rating: 8.5/10


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