Cigar Review: Tatuaje WCD 127

2 Sep 2014

Tatuaje has long had a close relationship with the Washington-based W. Curtis Draper cigar shop, which now includes two locations and the affiliated Civil Cigar Lounge. The shop was an early supporter of Tatuaje and its owner Pete Johnson, and the relationship has resulted in many collaborations. (At times the loyalty has even prevented other DC-area shops from getting certain Tatuaje products.)tat-wcd-127-sq

tat-wcd-127One result of the special bond between Draper and Tatuaje was the “Cabaiguan WCD 120,” a limited edition petit corona Cabaiguan blend released in 2007 to celebrate the shop’s 120th anniversary. Five years later, the “120 Redux” would bring that blend back to celebrate year 125.

Another collaboration was a special size of the Tatuaje Brown Label (also known as the “Selección de Cazador”) made for Civil Cigar Lounge. That cigar was a essentially just a slightly thicker version of the 7.6-inch Taino size: 52 ring gauge versus the 49 for the regular release Taino.

Which gets us to the WCD 127. Made to celebrate Draper’s 127th year, it uses the same large size as the Civil Cigar Lounge Tatuaje cigar. The differences are the blend (although the basics are still an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler) and the packaging, which uses the red, white, and green band that pops up for one-off Tatuaje projects.

Tatuaje Selección de Cazador wrappers can vary in color, so it’s hard to say the 127′s wrapper is darker or lighter, but certainly the medium brown wrapper has, when you look closely, more dark splotches that I normally see in Tatuaje Brown Label cigars. The large cigar is well-constructed, and once lit it produced loads of thick smoke.

The Tatuaje WCD 127′s flavors are a farily traditional combination of earth and coffee, but there’s also some roasted peanut, nutmeg, burnt wood, leather, and plenty of pepper spice. It’s a medium- to full-bodied smoke that ebbs and flows throughout the two-hour smoking time, with hints of bitterness popping up on few occasions.

Maybe my standards are too high when it comes to Tatuaje limited release cigars (as some have been my all-time favorites) but while this is a very good cigar, it didn’t knock it out of the park for me. I actually prefer the regular Tatuaje Brown Label Taino. Still, it’s a very nice way to spend two hours and $12. (Boxes of 12 sold for $140.)

All of which earns the Tatuaje WCD 127 a rating of four stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

 

 

Drew Estate

Happy Labor Day from the Stogie Guys

1 Sep 2014

Today presents a perfect opportunity to kick back, relax, and enjoy a fine cigar or two. We here at StogieGuys.com are taking our own advice, interrupting our daily coverage of cigar news, reviews, commentary, and tips to do what we do best—savor the pleasure that is premium tobacco. After all, you wouldn’t want us to be hypocritical, would you?

So happy Labor Day. We’ll resume our musings on the world of cigars tomorrow.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: N/A

Quick Smoke: Dignity Cigars Dignidad del Hombre Torpedo

31 Aug 2014

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”dignity-dignidad-del-hombre-sq

dignity-dignidad-del-hombre

Costa Rica-based Dignity Cigars introduced its Dignidad del Hombre brand at the 2013 industry trade show. I don’t actually remember where I got this cigar (maybe it was a sample from that show) but I’ve had it for the better part of a year. The Torpedo (6 x 52) features a cool-looking band with a silhouette of one of the workers in the factory where it is made. (Careful though; the band was a real pain to remove without damaging the cigar.) Once lit, I found a combination of oak, cream, and warm tobacco. It’s medium-bodied and, except for a notably unstable ash, construction was fine. I applaud Dignity for trying something different by making Costa Rican puros using pesticide-free organically-grown tobacco. While this isn’t a cigar I’ll return to often, it makes me want to try out Dignity’s other offerings.

Verdict = Hold.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo des Dieux (Cuban)

30 Aug 2014

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Hoyo

There’s no telling how long this Le Hoyo des Dieux (6 x 42) had been resting in one of my humidors before I fired it up earlier this week. I would wager at least a couple years. And that’s a good thing. I typically find—unlike your average Nicaraguan, Dominican, or Honduran—most Cubans are in need of post-purchase aging. In this case, the time I invested (albeit on accident) paid good dividends. The texture is bready and the complex flavors include vanilla, syrup, graham, and sweet hay. This was a good buy for about $10.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 397

29 Aug 2014

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. Below is our latest Friday Sampler.

Tienda Exclusiva1) This week Drew Estate announced “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera,” a “concept cigar” made in “extremely small batches” at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. Each Tienda Exclusiva (Spanish for “store exclusive”) will be crafted for one particular retailer, and there will only be a few releases each year. The first retailer to win this distinction is Barrister Cigars in Union, New Jersey. The cigars will sell for $12 apiece at Barrister starting on September 2. “I recommend you don’t sleep on this one,” said Jonathan Drew. “These are one and done. Willy has a lot on his plate right now as Master Blender of La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. As I’ve said before, ‘boutique is in the heart’ and Willy has spent so much time creating and experimenting with blends. We have some real gems out of the blends he has worked on. Now it’s time to get them into production.” If you can’t make it to Barrister, you can enter to win the first box of this Tienda Exclusiva release here.

2) Camacho, which is owned by Davidoff, is now available in the Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec provinces of Canada. “Our success with the re-launch of Camacho now spans across six countries and two continents,” said Dylan Austin, director of marketing for Davidoff. “Even though Canada is one of the more restrictive markets for premium cigars, we have big plans for this new territory…”

3) Contest: StogieGuys.com readers who register at CigarsFor.Me this week will once again be registered to win a free five-pack of cigars. CigarsFor.me specializes in recommending customers the perfect premium cigars without having to go through endless hours of research. Users simply fill out their quick Palate Profile and instantly they’re shown cigars that they’ll love. It’s fun, easy, and this week you can win free smokes. Click here. Congrats to last week’s winner: Jacob McCraw.

4) Inside the Industry: Drew Estate has begun shipping the Undercrown Flying Pig to U.S. retailers. Also starting to arrive in select shops is the Laranja Reserva from Espinosa Cigars, which features a Brazilian Laranja wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos.

5) Deal of the Week: This five-cigar sampler sports a nice variety of fine cigars. Just $26 gets you one each of the CAO Gold Churchill, Oliva Connecticut Torpedo, Nat Sherman Timeless 660, Four Kicks Robusto Extra, and Gran Vida Maduro Robusto.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Drew Estate

Cigar Review: George Rico Miami S.T.K. American Puro Corona Gorda

28 Aug 2014

You could argue George Rico’s Miami S.T.K. American Puro is the most unique cigar around. Made in Miami, the blend has only tobacco grown in the United States, including fire-cured tobacco from Kentucky.GeorgeRico-STK-AP-sq

GeorgeRico-STK-APThe Miami S.T.K. American Puro was one of three cigars with fire-cured tobacco introduced at last year’s IPCPR Trade Show. The others, Leccia Black and Drew Estate MUWAT KFC, were announced first with the American Puro following a few weeks later. (Drew Estate’s announcement of its KFC cigar was pushed forward on the heels of Leccia Black because the company wanted to make clear it had the cigar in production long before Leccia’s announcement.)

But unlike Leccia Black and KFC, the American Puro has the added twist of being made with U.S.-grown wrapper, binder, and filler. The wrapper and binder are Connecticut Habano (an unusual wrapper) and the filler combines the fire-cured Kentucky leaf with Connecticut broadleaf.

The band may seem familiar to fans of Cuban cigars, as it’s very similar to the Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey (an interesting choice given the American-ness of the blend). I smoked the Corona Gorda (5.6 x 46) size for this review. Construction was good from start to finish.

Pre-light, the fire-cured tobacco dominates with a combination of a peaty scotch (think Laphroaig) and BBQ pit. It’s interesting to say the least and seriously pungent.

Once lit, the cigar seems less influenced by the fire-cured tobacco than you might expect. Yes, there’s a slight smokey, hickory edge there, but there’s also a molasses sweetness along with coffee, chocolate, and earth. It’s medium-bodied with minimal variation from start to finish.

I’ll say I was surprised by how traditional the Miami S.T.K. American Puro smokes. That’s not to say it’s bad or boring, just not as dominated by the fire-cured tobacco as I expected, which is a very polarizing flavor. Still, it’s a solid cigar for $9 with excellent construction and a pleasing profile. That earns the American Puro Corona Gorda an admirable rating of three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Review: Leccia Tobacco Luchador Loco Perfecto

27 Aug 2014

In February, Sam Leccia of Leccia Tobacco announced he was “looking to put the cigar industry in a headlock” with a new blend called Luchador (Spanish for “wrestler”). In keeping with its Mexican wrestler theme, that blend was formally introduced on Cinco de Mayo.

LuchadorLuchador is the third line to come out of Leccia Tobacco, which is distributed by Toraño. It’s hard to believe the outfit has only been around for about a year. I know many people who consider Leccia’s Black and White blends to be regulars in their rotations. Time will tell if Luchador performs as well as those inaugural lines.

Luchador features a Mexican San Andrés wrapper around an Ecuadorian Habano binder with filler from Nicaragua, Pennsylvania, and Honduras. “I wanted to create something fun, yet different and exciting,” said Leccia. “With Luchador being a combination of exotic blends and flavors with a Mexican wrapper, I thought it was time to tap into my childhood fascination of Mexican pro wrestling.”

Four regular-production vitolas are available: El Hombre (5 x 54), El Castigo (6 x 60), El Guapo (6 x 50), and Loco Perfecto (6 x 58). Each bears a red, white, and green band (think Mexican flag) adorned with the image of a Mexican wrestling mask.

I paid $43 for a five-pack of Loco Perfectos ($8.60 per cigar). This is the most unique size of the bunch with a pointed cap, a tapered foot, and a firm, bulging midsection stuffed densely with tobacco. The exterior is toothy, moderately oily, and rustic. The pre-light notes include leather and syrup, and the cold draw is easy.

After using a few wooden matches to light the narrow foot, a spicy flavor of black pepper, leather, black dirt, and cinnamon emerges. The texture is bready, and a subtle cocoa sweetness adds balance. Even before Loco Perfecto reaches its widest point, the draw is very airy—and it will verge on a little too easy for smokers who prefer some resistance. The smoke production is excellent.

Towards the end, the sweetness is more pronounced and the spice more restrained. All the while the burn line remains true and the gray ash builds solidly off the foot. The draw couldn’t be more effortless.

I’ve grown to appreciate the fact that Mexican San Andrés wrappers are somewhat divisive. Some love them, some hate them, and some are content with the diversity they afford. I count myself in the latter category. Truthfully, the Leccia Tobacco Luchador Loco Perfecto is a nice smoke that’s a good representation of the San Andrés flavor profile, albeit unremarkable. I score it three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys