Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sol Cubano Cabinet

1/17/2009 on the Twilight Lounge, afternoon.

Enjoyed this trade from my bro. I found the Sol Cubano Cabinet robusto to be quite doable, despite the wind and the cold. And since it's been a few days since I smoked it, I don't really remember more to tell you. But hey, I'm still putting my ratings and scant notes down for your perusal.

The stats:
  • Appearance - 7 \ The stick itself has a plain and average look, but an intriguing band that more resembles a family crest than a cigar label.
  • Burn - 6 \ fine
  • Draw - 7 \ no problems.
  • Plumage - 6 \ fine
  • Flavor - 6 \ A little bitter bite but pleasurable. Consistent throughout.
  • Overall - 6.5 \

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Double Maduros: DPG JJ White and Padron 1964

This is a Maduro Double Feature! I'm doing short reviews of two great maduro smokes that I enjoyed this weekend!

First, the Don Pepin Garcia JJ (White label) Maduro

I enjoyed this in my favorite Mexican bar here in Dodge. I was chatting with my bro, who was also smoking this sucka.

The JJ was a good looking smoke with an attractive band. The smoke was a lot of "charcoal"...and it became stronger as I smoked my way through it...I didn't get as much cocoa or coffee taste that I often get/got on maduros like this...also didn't seem to have the pepper that I expect from Don Pepin. The burn was good and the smoke was good, though I'm betting that the bar's ventilation system kept me from smoking up the whole damn place.

RTR Quickie summary: Good cigar...Might be priced a little high. I think that I enjoyed the JJ Corojo more and it costs a little less. Construction and aroma were very good.

Quickie rating: 9.0

The next cigar is a long thin sucka that I bought in Denver almost two years ago, at cool cigar place...I was pressured into it by the "too cool" sales guy who implied that I wasn't a real cigar smoker if I'd never had one of these dudes. Somewhat rustic looking, I wondered if I'd been taken when I paid $20 for the Padron Anniversary 1964 maduro...

Well, I the respect that cigars cost too damn much in Denver. But I broke this stogie from the humidor and gave it a test drive because many, many cigar smokers have rated this cigar at the top of their list. It's almost always in some kind of a top 10 list and I've seen it rated #1 in the world at least I figured I'd better test it out and see if it would be "acceptable" for my Bro's upcoming Bachelor Party

I was looking for a stogie that would be "mild" enough that new smokers might enjoy it but still flavorful and strong enough that experienced smokers would appreciate it...and the Padron 1964 Maduro met all of my expeditions.

I read that it is a nicaraguan puro and that all the tobacco comes from the Padron farms-call me a romantic but I like it when the tobacco is actually grown by the family who is producing it. Keep it in the Family, that's what I always say...

It looked a little rustic and wrinkled-not much of an appearance. It smelled of "barnyard"...which has often been a good sign for me in the past on Padron cigars. It had a delicious aroma, flavors of cocoa, coffee, had a perfect burn and great plumage, both copius and pleasant smelling. It was smooth, rich, and packed a little punch at the end...

Quick Review: 9.7. This is a great stogie. I had read a "professional" review once that said something like "if you don't like this cigar, you don't like cigars". After I finished it, I ordered a box for the upcoming event.

Baccarat candela robusto

I actually enjoyed this stogie on Sunday, 1/18/2009, 15:30 on the Twilight Lounge... Here's the review.
I toked this Baccarat candela robusto on my porch. I enjoyed it with some Jim Beam Rye (rough stuff, but the price is right!). To give it that edge of class, I populated it with some of my new Scotch Rocks -- freezer-conditioned rock cubes. This stogie was a gift from my nephew Young Master Ry, on one of his trips up to KC. I chose this stick because it's been a long time since I've had a green-wrappered (candela) stogie.

The stats:
  • Appearance - 8 \ Cool green wrapper that intrigued me despite the rough-skinned look. Plus it has an interesting label, including the Italian phrase "Dolce far Niente" which translates as "Sweet doing nothing", or chillin' out. Also the mysterious note "The Game" on the lesser side of the band. As I told Ry, I hoped this wasn't like the movie with Michael Douglas where the guy's gift has him suddenly becoming enmeshed in a game apparently designed to kill him. I'm hoping it was just homage to the poker cards on the label.
  • Burn - 3 \ After the first fourth of the cigar, I ashed and discovered a weird tunneling burn issue. I worked at fixing it with touch-ups and controlled smoking. For the most part this worked out, but once in awhile it would pop up again.
  • Draw - 6 \ Fine.
  • Plumage - 5 \ Nothing special but doable.
  • Flavor - 6.5 \ Very interesting. Minor biting herbal taste. Cool novelty. Not too sweet, which I'd worried about from the initial sugary flavor of the wrapper when I first mouthed it.
  • Overall - 6.5 \ I enjoyed this as a novelty but especially with that weird burn issue, I probably wouldn't seek this out to keep a lot on hand. Fun smoke, though.

Above and below, check out the details of the label.
Here's the cigar and my scotch rocks in play.

Now, witness the burn issue from different angles.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Father Son Reid Oeste Don Pepin Double-Slam

It's a new year...and this is the first of several new formats I'm introducing to boost intest...there's a lot of competition in the "cigar blog" arena and if we're ever going to hit the big time (and score free samples from the Big Boys) we all have to step up a little!

So here we go...a Father Son Reid Oeste Don Pepin Garcia Double-Slam!

That's right-Father and Son both smoke and review at the SAME TIME!

Here's Ry's new cigar tools (courtesy of Holly's parents)-one of them is particularly cool to me-it has two different punches and a single blade guillotine in one unit. Neato.

Here's Holly and Thane-who came out to join us for this mind-numbingly cool review!

Here's Ry trying to be cool.

Here's Ry and I smoking our stogies.

Oh yeah. There was supposed to be a goes...

Both cigars were very good. Both were fron Don Pepin Garcia's personal label...both were Nicaraguan puros...

Ry (Vegas Cubana Generoso)
"Don Pepin really knows how to bring on the pepper."
"This is good-not sure what the tastes are but there is more than just pepper here."
"I think I taste cedar here or pine".

Ry felt like his draw was a little tight. Thane, Holly, and Michelle all enjoyed the aroma of this cigar.
Ry rates it an 8 saying "I might give it higher if I could have smoked it indoors".

RTR (Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label (7.5" x 49 rg)
My draw was a little loose on this long boy but it's a great smoke-every time. It starts with some pepper and then I got lots of cinnamon. Great aroma, great Don Pepin "twang". I don't normally go for the "long somebitch" cigars but it was a great day and I have yet to regret lighting up a DPG Blue Label. Lots of flavor and medium to medium/full strength...was a little dizzy after I finished this two hour smoke!

RTR quick rating: 9.4---it's a great smoke.

Don Pepin Garcia, series JJ Maduro

I enjoyed this bad boy in Greg Bennett, my 2003 Alero, while catching up with my bro on the phone. I had to roll down both windows due the immense amounts of smoke it produced -- and I usually embrace that sort of thing.

The stats:
  • Appearance - 9 \ Classy look and red, gold and cream label.
  • Burn - 8 \ Gave it a minor touch-up a couple times towards the end, nothing major.
  • Draw - 9 \ No problems.
  • Plumage - 10 \ Unbelievable amounts of smoke. That sort of thing really makes me feel like I am smoking a great cigar. A few times halfway through, I thought the smoke might have smelled a little twangier than desired, but the copious amounts of it just overpowered any such concerns.
  • Flavor - 8.5 \ Really enjoyed this cigar. It was potent the whole way through. It started with a heavy coal taste that actually left a heaviness in the back of my throat. Halfway through it seemed to include (more aromatically than in flavor) a bit of a twangy cheese. Weird, I know, but there you have it.
  • Overall - 8.5 \ I quite enjoyed this smoke -- and I'm sure it helped that it was the first one I've had in awhile experienced in a halfway enclosed environment, but I think it was a solid stogie to begin with.

In the grand scheme of things, I might not seek this baby out at the prices it runs for -- but I definitely enjoyed it and wouldn't turn one down.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Joya de Nicaragua Antano

Joya de Nicaragua Antano (not sure on size-thin and short)

This is a short review for a short cigar. Strong. Very strong. I can't identify any specific flavors-not one. Instead, this cigar delivered a full on attack on taste buds (and, I think, my body). This cigar reminds me of when Ryan and I were looking for the hottest hot sauces...and we ran across Dave's Insanity sauce...and decided that sometimes, the hottest is NOT the best.

Rating: very difficult to rate. I couldn't smell the smoke after the first few blasts to my sinuses...and the flavor was impossible to rate as well. The construction was good...and I can see myself eventually liking this cigar if smoked it regularly for a few days or weeks. However, I'm certain that all other cigars would taste like cardboard and my poor taste buds might never recover!

This stands in stark contrast to the Don Pepin Garcia JJ Rosado (White Label) that I had last night...the JJ had some power but it also had some nuance-in it I could recognize at least three different flavors (jalapenio pepper, mocha, and coffee)...whereas this damn La Joya was a donkey punch to the face.

I'll probably buy another (a big one!) to try to get Seth to smoke and roll through his nose...but I'm staying clear of these dudes for me!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oliva Master Blends III Double Robusto

Oliva Master Blends III Double Robusto

Shoulda been a perfect smoke...warm Sunday afternoon in January, great cigar...nice cold Boddington beer...but I started the smoke riled up and pissed off (why, I don't even remember)...I remember thinking when I lit up "Should I even try to relax and enjoy this cigar? Will this bad boy temper my foul spirits or will my bad mood ruin the stogie"?

Turns out that the stogie conquered...and really improved my mood and day. However, I am certain that I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been upset when I started.

The stogie has a very colorful band-looks like a picture of a tobacco farm with lots of color. You can't tell from looking at it, but it is sort of an "almost box press", squished a little from the top in order to make the stogie "thinner" on the vertical axis and thicker on the horizontal. I really like this type of press-makes the cigar feel heartier.

From the Oliva website, it says that the binder and filler are Nicaraguan and that the wrapper is Conn Broadleaf. It also says that it is super fancy, super sexy, and that only cool guys should smoke it (or at least that's the way I read their marketing).

The prelight aroma on this stick is good-smells like a maduro. Upon lighting, the draw was perfect and the smell was very aromatic. Plumage was solid (though nothing compared to the Alcazar Ry was smoking-he was shooting smoke out faster than Anne-Marie can belt out the words to "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" which is saying something.

There's Ry, enjoying his Alcazar before work.

Here I am, enjoying the Master Blend III while experimenting with a new form of mustache. Yeah...I shaved it this morning!

As for the stogie...this is a really good stogie. Constructions, plummage, aroma, and flavor are all top knotch. The flavor was a rich maduro with some hazelnut nuances. I kept remarking to myself how rich and buttery it was. The "wide press" effect is really nice and I wish more stogies were like this (wider horizontally and thinner vertically). The only complaints I'd offer is that it is pricey ($12 at one store in KC where I saw it) and that the stogie doesn't change much. I found myself kinda hoping for a transition during this cigar and I didn't experience it-what you get it very good but it stays the same throughout the smoke.

RTR Quick Review: 9.3

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sol Cubano Artisan

Here's a review done by Ryan (Jr!) on a "barber pole" cigar that I had given him for Xmas.

It’s 2:41 p.m. on January 8, 2009. The day is beautiful, very little wind and it’s about 60 degrees. I woke up about 1:00 grabbed some oatmeal for breakfast and thought what do I want to do before I have to go to work at four. Yes, I could’ve done some work around the house, ran some errands or even went to see my girlfriend who’s in town for a little while, but it would seem the Sol Cubano Artisan Blend was my destiny today.

I’d been telling my dad for awhile now that I wanted to try out the barber pole designed cigars and on Christmas he gifted me with a box of five Sol Cubanos. I’m about half way into this cigar and it’s been great ride so far and only seems to be getting better. It’s a mild cigar; mild of course should not to be confused with boring. This cigar has been a good since I lit it up, but now as I’m in the middle of it the taste just kicked up as it does with most cigars. The interesting thing about the Barber pole design is that as you hit the different wrappers the taste of the cigar changes. I think everyone should try this cigar.


Taste: 9.5 (excellent taste)
Aroma: 9.5 (smelled amazing)
Wrapper: 7 (cracked in a few places, didn’t make it so I couldn’t smoke it though)
Draw and smoke output: 8.5 (just a little tight and a medium amount of smoke)
Band: 9.5 (masterfully done)

Review by:
The DC Fumador

Friday, January 2, 2009

Joya de Nicaragua Celebracion (torpedo)

Joya de Nicaragua Celebracion (torpedo)

Warning: This review may not be suitable for all viewers. This cigar met a tragic and violent end.

Here's the setup...home brew, warm New Year's Day (50 degrees F), and the sole survivor of the ill-fated La Joya Endeavor. Let me explain...

It was late in 2008 when my bargain hunting eye discovered what I believed to be a good deal on La Joya Nicaragua Celebracion cigars. My research had indicated that the cigars would be one that my brother Eric and I would enjoy and thus I created a perfect plan-We would split a box of these stogies and both be better for it.

But like many brilliant plans, the Devil is always in the Details...

The cigars arrived from Cigarbid at Eric's Kansas City location dry and broken. He gave me half of these sad sticks. I examined them and I had to toss all but one of the units-they had been savaged by low humidity, rough shipping...who knows? The one I saved had a tiny crack but I hoped that it would still prove to be a decent smoke...and since it was the New Year, I thought I'd embrace hope and go for it! After all, the stick had been loving cared for for over a month in my humidor-now was the time to see what it was made of!

This is how the stick started.

But almost immediately after lighting, this crack developed and worsened. I was worried but the nice peppery flavor kept me going at it.

Towards the end, this is one of the many horrors I endured while trying to brave this doomed cigar. Numerous lickings did not save it. I spent much of the hour long smoke plugging holes with my fingers and trying (to no avail) to keep this p.o.s. together.

As for the tasted peppery and was consistant (if not dynamic) all the way through. It was medium body and medium strength. My review...this stogie would have been decent and possibly an enjoyable $2 smoke-had it not arrived to us in shitty shape (with cigar leprosy). I cannot give it a numeric rating given the circumstances but I do not think I'll tempt fate and try another. One thing that I did like was the shape-a tapered tip for the lips and a big ring gauge on the rest. Great form factor.

I will say that I had a Joya de Nicaragua Antonio the other day and it was very, very strong and very good. I think I'll stick with that line in the future.

Here's my boy, taking a break from playing with his little sister and buddy George.