Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nub Connecticut 460T (4" x 60)

It's Sunday morning and I grabbed something "light" from my treasure chest of stogies that I won from the Outlaw. That's right: It's time for an (Oliva) Nub Connecticut! I paired it with some Roasterie City of Fountains blend and smoked the sucker up while chatting with my bro (who was smoking a damaged Cain Daytona). Rockit.

 The stogie has a nice appearance and the torpedo format makes it look a little cooler looking than the other nubs. I still really like the Nub band-it is distinctive and kind of minimalistic. This Nub has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and was kind of tough to light up-it used up six kitchen matches before the thing finally took to the flame. Once lit, though, it burned solid and never went out or required a single touch up.

I rate this stogie a 2 on my 4 point scale. Like the other "non-Cain" Nubs I've had...there is nothing "wrong" with it...but it just doesn't "pop" or satisfy. It started out kind of bitter (like many Connies) and eventually settled down and became kind of creamy. I think it would be a good cigar to smoke in the wind (fishing or golfing or something) because it really did stay lit and burned very nicely. However, like the Nub Habano I smoked last night, it left me thinking that I should go get something better. These things sell for $5 or $6 bucks apiece by the box but I probably won't be buying any.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nub Habano 460

 Tonight I smoked the short and fat Nub Habano 460. It was one of the many Michelle won for me from the Outlaw Cigar Store drawing a month or so ago. I paired it with some Evan Williams Single Barrel bourbon, a mellow bourbon which seems to go with most cigars.

 This cigar is an impressive little guy and I like the band. The cigar itself shows little in the way of blemishes but doesn't stand up on its end without a little assistance (some of the filler cigar is sticking out a little). Normally I wouldn't mention it, but a short and fat cigar like this seems like it ought to stand up by itself without any "schmushing."

There's not much to say about this Nub-like most of the nubs I've had (excluding the Cain Nubs which are a different story) it is an uncomplicated smoke that is tasty but  unremarkable. It smells okay. It burns okay. It tastes okay. With that being said, I think that this cigar would be enjoyed (by me) the most as a morning cigar or one that I'm smoking with friends...or one I'm smoking after my taste buds are fried from smoking other cigars. At the risk of sounding overly pompous, (if funds allow), "Life is too short to smoke average cigars."

I rate the Nub Habano a 2 on my 4 point scale. Does it rock the house like a Clutch album? Hells no. Is it an endless loop of your daughter's favorite Disney tracks? No way. It is what it is and I would probably not buy it (even though they sell for less than $5 each by the box.

Which leads me to the often debated topic: Is the Nub a gimmick cigar? I would say it is a striking form factor that tends to deliver one decent tobacco flavor from the first puff to the last. They seem to be smooth and well constructed and reasonably priced. I do not think that they are a gimmick in the respect that they are decent cigars and if you like fat boys, they are a pretty good value. However, they just don't deliver enough in the flavor category to score above a 2.

Now that my Nub is gone...I find myself wanting a cigar...not a really great recommendation.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cain F (habano) Lancero (Unreleased) (7" x 38)

Today I smoked (and am reviewing) the Cain F (habano) Lancero by Oliva. Like the Oliva Cain Nub that I reviewed earlier in the week, it is from the large batch of Oliva cigars I won at the Outlaw Cigar Store in Kansas City. The cigar is also noteworthy due to the fact that is is not in regular production (yet) and thus unavailable to purchase.

The stick makes a big impact. It is long and thin and very elegant looking-definitely not the jawbreaker that the Cain F Nub I smoked yesterday was. It took to the flame and maintained a perfect burn while giving off copious amounts of plumage and great heavy and tart tobaco flavor. It reminded me a lot of the Cain Nub F but was more refined and much more enjoyable to me.

I found myself detecting a few other notes to the flavor, especially some tart elements that reminded me of cherries or citrus. It paired very well with my Roasterie City of Fountains coffee (a Kansas City Costco exclusive I can thank my brother for pointing out to me) and as I smoked it, I felt my on-again/off-again  love affair with lanceros returning. Each puff whispered "you missed me, didn't you" and each exhale said "hell's yeah!". I don't know how much these guys will retail for but I'm hoping to get a box next year if they are released.

I rate this stogie a 4 on my 4 point scale-great appearance, great burn, great flavor. Plus smoking one is a great conversation starter (I'm sure) as it is an impressive stick in its own way with its length and super oily surface. It does not seem as potent at the other Cain F I tried but still packs a lot of flavor and punch.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cain F Nub (Habano) (4" x 64)

I won this Cain F Nub at the Outlaw Cigar Store in Kansas City KS. recently. It came with a nice wooden Oliva humidor and every time I see it (as if I need a reason), I remember one of the reasons that my wife is so great-she's lucky! This is not the first time she's won me something in a drawing but it is probably the best! Anyway, you should  check out the Outlaw Cigar Store if you are in Kansas City or check out their website

The Cain F is a short and stocky sucker. It clips and starts burning quickly and stays lit throughout the smoke. In keeping with the theme, I'll keep my review equally short: Cain F Nub is a good cigar but not really my thing. I had to slow down a few times as the strength of flavor and the nicotine potency kept increasing. Additionally, though the tangy flavor was enjoyable it didn't change much throughout the smoke, which kind of left me a little bored. 

This cigar was a little too much power-it could really gain from a reblending that toned it down a notch and added some complexity. I rate this cigar a 2 on my 4 point scale: It's a good smoke but it isn't to my taste. I will probably trade some of these with my buddies that like the power house cigars (are you listening, Rico?) and continue my mission to review each of the different types of cigars we won at the Oliva Outlaw event.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wifey rocks!

It has been awhile since I've posted a blog but the warmer weather is coming so I'm gearing up! Plus, thanks to my sweet (but also intelligent and beautiful and wise) wife, I won the Oliva raffle from the Oliva event a month ago at the Outlaw Cigar Store...thanks to Michelle filling out my raffle tickets.

I won an Oliva humidor and a bunch of cigars so I'm going to review one of each type of cigar I received in the very near future-a bunch of Nubs, Cains, and a couple other Olivas. That's right! I'm a lucky dog...

Peace out, girl scouts.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

601 Blue (maduro) Toro (6.25" x 54)

 I've reviewed this stick before but after smoking the toro, I had to do it again. It's a great smoke and I've been seeing sales online of the robusto for $4 a stick. At that of Don Pepin Garcia and/or maduros should pick up a few!

Here is what Famous cigars has to say about them:

The 601 'Blue' cigar series are slightly box-pressed, medium to full-bodied premium cigars created by Don Pepin Garcia with an exquisite recipe of perfectly-aged Nicaraguan longfillers finished in a dark, oily Nicaraguan Habano wrapper. Precisely blended to offer a rich, well-balanced medley of dark and naturally sweet tobacco flavors enhanced by an arousing aroma, if you prefer taste over strength, this is the 601 for you. Make sure you have a box on-hand for those very special occasions.

For once , I think I'd agree with the sales blurb!

Smoking this slightly boxed press cigar was a real pleasure. Though I always enjoy these things, this one had been aging for over two years and was even better than usual. Much of it was a smooth nutty maduro expresso type mix  but at several points I felt like the stick was channeling the Padron 1964 maduro (a much more expensive cigar that I reserve for special occasions). The burn was perfect. The aroma was nice (Michelle commented that it smelled pretty good, which is rare!).

 I continue to rate this stick a 4 on my 4 point scale. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pinar del Rio Habano Sun Grown robusto (5" x 50)

I picked up a few five packs of these from after I had heard some good things about them. One reviewer hinted that they were a "poor man's Oliva V" so I had to get some. After having four or so I am ready to review!

Here is what one vendor has to say about the Pinar del Rio Sun Grown

Pinar Del Río Habano Sun-Grown cigars showcase a blend of extra-long-aged Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos with a lush, oily, Dominican-grown Habano leaf - like the deep, red-brown wrappers grown in Pinar Del Río, Cuba - that laces the palate with rich flavor.Cigar Press wrote: "Medium to full in body and rich, creamy aroma, with a lot of spice in the nose. Complex. Excellent smoking cigar." Discover these outstanding premium cigars created by Abe Flores and Juan Rodriguez today

Upon lighting this guy I realized that I really do like these cigars-though they can be a little flakey on the flavor and the burn. I attribute some of this on the cold weather of Fall-two I had were really perfect and the third (smoked at 5:00. a.m. with Family in the cold October morning) was a bit bitter. The one I smoked for this review was bittter at first and I realized that I needed to slow my draws down-made a world of a difference. I've found that most non maduro cigars I've smoked in the cold (or when going from one temperature to another) tend to suffer from flavor or burn issues-can't really blame the Pinar, right?

After about ten minutes of smoking, the Pinar burn corrected and I did not feel like I was smoking some kind of leprous exploding cigar. I keep thinking "this is like a diet Oliva V" and I think that can be a good thing-though at several points I started craving that extra body that the V brings to the table. 

The flavor is kinda nutty with a creamy element and that semi-tart flavor that I associate with sun grown smokes. I'd say it is a medium flavor and body smoke-a really nice break from the full growns I've been enjoying the most for the last year or so. The triple bands are nice too and the cloth band at the tip makes these cigars stand out on the shelf.

I think I paid $2 or $3 for these on sale and at that price, they are a good deal. I think they run around $6 at the cigar store.  I'd rate this stogie a 2 on my four point scale-a good and enjoyable smoke. The one bitter one and the apparent sensitivity to environmental factors keep it from earning a 3. I'd pick one up on sale again, without hesitation.

Here's a bonus pic of me smoking the Pinar. It's kind of a bad photo but in the shadows  I'm kind of mysterious so here you go!