Happy Thanksgiving!

27 Nov 2014

Thanksgiving

StogieGuys.com will be taking November 27 and 28 off to enjoy that most American of holidays: Thanksgiving. (We will return on Saturday for our regularly scheduled coverage of the world of cigars.) Known for food, family, friends, and football, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to enjoy a fine smoke. Have a safe and happy holiday!

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Flickr

Drew Estate

Cigar Tip: Have a Happy Thanksgiving… with Cigars

26 Nov 2014

With football on the TV, turkey in your stomach, and family gathered, Thanksgiving is a great day to enjoy a fine cigar (or several). So, as we have for the previous seven years, today the StogieGuys.com team tells you what cigars we’ll be firing up after our big meals.

Patrick A: This year I was lucky enough to purchase a box of the new Tatuaje Monster Series, The Jekyll. As tempting (and trendy) as it would be to name that cigar my go-to stick for Thanksgiving, I’ve decided on a smoke that’s much less rare: the Joya Red Robusto. In addition to loving this blend since it was released earlier this year, I think its medium-bodied, balanced profile of citrus, dry cedar spice, roasted nuts, black pepper, and toasty notes will pair well with a warm up of coffee after a huge meal. And given its availability and modest price point, I won’t have any misgivings about sharing the same cigar with interested family and friends.

Patrick S: Family, friends, football, good food, fine drink… They all call for a fine cigar. This year I’ve decided to select one of the Verocu cigars from the 2014 Tatuaje Saints & Sinners smoke kit (I’m leaning towards the robusto size). I’ve tried both of the two Verocu sizes from this year’s kit, and they are both outstanding (reminiscent of the excellent East and West versions). They feature all the chocolate, earth, and wood of the regular Havana VI line, but with a delicious added kick of spice and complexity. It should be just right with a coffee or a whiskey (or both) after dessert.

George E: Thanksgiving will be, for me, a rare two-cigar day. Rather than dine at home, we’ll eat at one of the local Greek restaurants. So, I plan to step up and celebrate before and after. For the first cigar, it’ll be a Davidoff Colorado Claro Short Perfecto, a great little smoke. That evening, I plan to light up an Opus X, though I don’t know which one. My local shop has a good selection, and I’ll make my choice in the humidor.

Joey J: I’ve really been debating what I should smoke after Thanksgiving dinner. Of course I’ll be watching the Cowboys-Eagles game, and I’ll probably be (at least) a few glasses of wine/bourbon in at that point, so whatever cigar I choose won’t have my complete attention. I was thinking of smoking a Lost City Lancero by Arturo Fuente just because I really enjoy a full-bodied smoke after a large meal. But I think I’m going to play it safe, and stick with the Tatuaje Black Corona Gorda. Since I reviewed this cigar, I’ve smoked my way through a jar—and then some. Over 20 cigars in, and I still haven’t been disappointed in the least.

Previous cigars the StogieGuys.com team designated as Thanksgiving smokes include:

 

Not a bad list, eh? If you’re so inclined, feel free to let us know what you’ll be smoking tomorrow in the comments below. And be sure to have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: N/A

Cigar Review: Ezra Zion Tantrum P.A.

25 Nov 2014

Ezra Zion has been around for a while now, but looking through our hundreds of reviews, somehow we’ve never written up one of their cigars. So let’s change that today.Ezra-Zion-Tantrum-PA-sq

Ezra-Zion-Tantrum-PAThe Tantrum P.A. is a follow-up to the original Tantrum, released last year by the Ezra Zion, which is distributed by House of Emilio. Tantrum comes in a single petit corona size called Prensado Pequeño and sports an all-Nicaraguan blend featuring a seven-year-old wrapper.

The “P.A.” (short for Passive Aggressive, as opposed to the fully aggressive Tantrum) also comes in one size: this time 6.5 inches long with a ring gauge of 44 and a box press. It’s a Nicaraguan puro with a Cuban-seed Corojo ’99 wrapper. The cigar is sold in boxes of 28 with a planned annual production of just 700 cigars. The Tantrum P.A. carries a suggested retail price of $9.95. I smoked two for this review, both provided by Ezra Zion.

Pre-light there is quite a bit of cinnamon and sweetness. Once lit, I find a medium-bodied combination of leather, slight clove, earth, and roasted nuts. The flavors don’t change much over the hour-plus of smoking time, but the cigar has complexity, with a multi-layered profile.

Tantrum P.A. actually reminds me quite a bit of the 2013 Illusione Singulare (which I recently smoked for a Quick Smoke between the samples I smoked for this review), probably in part because it’s from the same factory and a similar size.

Neither of my Tantrum P.A. samples had any construction issues. What really stands out is the copious amount of dense, palate-coating smoke, and a sweet, almost molasses-like, aroma.

I’ll admit I haven’t had many Ezra Zion cigars, but what few I have impressed me. This is no different, and it makes me want to give a better look at some of their other offerings. While the price prevents it from being a great value, it is a thoroughly enjoyable smoke. That earns the Ezra Zion Tantrum P.A. a rating of four stogies out of five.

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

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Review: Tatuaje The Jekyll

24 Nov 2014

I didn’t intend to buy a whole box of cigars. And I wasn’t planning to spend $130. But that’s just what I did when I was lucky enough to come across a 10-count box of The Jekyll, the latest cigar from Tatuaje’s popular Monster Series.

The JekyllMy impromptu purchase speaks to the rarity of Monster Series cigars, the success of Tatuaje’s marketing, and the well-earned reputation Pete Johnson’s company has amassed over the years. I simply could not let the opportunity to buy The Jekyll slip through my fingers. And after smoking a few, I’m glad I didn’t.

Since 2008, Tatuaje has released an annual Monster Series smoke around Halloween, celebrating some of Johnson’s favorite characters from the horror genre, including The Frank, The Drac, The Face, The Wolfman, The Mummy, and The JV13 (Jason). This year it’s The Jekyll, a nod to the 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Next year, the Monster Series release will be The Hyde.

As is tradition, Johnson only produced 666 “dress boxes” of 13 The Jekyll cigars, with only 13 “unlucky” retailers getting the bulk of the boxes to sell. He also released 4,500 plain 10-count boxes, equating to a total run of just under 54,000 individual sticks. Each The Jekyll features an Ecuadorian Sancti Spíritus wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. The single vitola (7 x 49) is made by My Father Cigars.

The Chuchill-sized smoke sports a silky exterior with a few prominent veins. Firm to the touch with a good weight in the hand, the cigar has a belicoso-like cap that’s expertly constructed. A precise guillotine cut at the very tip is all that’s needed to reveal a smooth cold draw. At the foot, the subtle pre-light notes include honey and sawdust.

Right at the outset, there’s a lot going on with the medium-bodied flavor. The profile is balanced with notes of sweet cream, cinnamon, damp wood, and white pepper. The aftertaste is long and characterized by both red pepper and cedar. The texture is bready, and the resting smoke has an incredible creaminess. As The Jekyll progresses, an understated hint of black licorice creeps in and out but never really grabs the spotlight. Throughout the two-hour smoke, the defining trait remains the interplay between spice and a creamy sweetness.

Being the weak man that I am, I couldn’t wait any longer than five days to fire up one of these, even though my box had been shipped and likely suffered through some winter conditions. Even so, the physical properties perform beautifully. The burn line never requires so much as a touch-up, the draw is clear and true, and the smoke production is excellent. It should be noted, however, the white ash is extremely flaky.

Those familiar with the classic tale will recall Mr. Hyde is the sinister split personality of the gentler Dr. Jekyll. So I would expect 2015’s The Hyde to be more intense. Hopefully I can hang on to a few The Jekyll’s to do a side-by-side comparison next year. For now, The Jekyll is an excellent, well-balanced smoke that’s well worth the $13 price and worthy of the Monster Series name. It earns the outstanding rating of four and a half stogies out of five.

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

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Illusione Singulare Rose Croix LE 2013

23 Nov 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.”illusione-sq

Illusione-Singulare-2013-qs

With the new 2014 Illusione Singulare now shipping to retailers, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the previous Singulare: the Rose Croix LE 2013 (7 x 46), a Nicaraguan puro made at the Jalapa TABSA factory. Considering how well past Singulares have aged, I wanted to see if 6 months of humidor time made any difference. The answer? Not really. This is still a good, medium-bodied smoke with wood, lots of leather, and hints of crisp vegetable, aluminum, and earth. It’s not that this is definitely not a cigar worth aging, it’s just that six months don’t seem to have made an appreciable difference to this well-made limited offering.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Viaje Full Moon 2014

22 Nov 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.”IMG_3778 - Version 2San-Lotano-Oval-Conn-sq

This cigar has one of the primary characteristics that I look for in a limited edition: a distinctive taste. After all, what’s the point of a special cigar if it’s basically the same as those that aren’t so special? This year’s Full Moon, a five-inch stick with the same Nicaraguan blend as 2013, boasts a hearty, thick blend of wood, leather, and a bit of coffee bean before a touch of sweetness mingles in during the last third. Much better than eating candy.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: N/A

 

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 408

21 Nov 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.

Ratzilla1) Drew Estate announced this week a Liga Privada Único Serie Ratzilla would be launched as a new limited edition holiday release. The cigar will be available at tobacconists in Drew Estate’s Drew Diplomat Retailer Program, which affords some retailers priority allocations on new cigar releases, limited editions, and commemorative cigars and products. “Prior to this formal release, the Liga Privada Único Serie Ratzilla was handed out to a few friends at the IPCPR tradeshow in 2011, and then introduced at Casa de Montecristo in Chicago in 2012 with an extremely limited production of 50 12-count bundles,” according to a Dew Estate press release. “The Liga Privada Único Serie Ratzilla, produced at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Estelí, Nicaragua, features a Connecticut stalk-cut and cured sun-grown Habano wrapper, a Brazilian Mata Fina binder, and Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers.”

2) “The Boulder City Council unanimously approved two versions of a broad outdoor smoking ban Tuesday night,” according to the Denver Post. “The smoking ban would cover city parks, multi-use paths, the area around transit stops, the entire downtown business district, including alleys, Chautauqua Park, and the Flatirons Golf Course. Smoking is already prohibited on the Pearl Street Mall, in the Civic Area, and from the corner of Arapahoe Avenue and 13th Street southeast to 17th Street and University Avenue.”

3) Inside the Industry: This week Illusione shipped its 2014 Singulare cigar called Anunnaki. Named after Sumerian deities, the latest annual release from Illusione is a 5.5-inch, 54-ring gauge Nicaraguan puro made at the TABSA factory in Nicaragua.

4) Deal of the Week: Only $36 gets you a dozen fine smokes in this cold front sampler special from Smoke Inn. Included are two Romeo Toros, two Nish Patel Toros, two Partagas Black Maximos, one Gran Habano Azteca Jaguares, three Ortega Wild Bunch Gearhead Garys, and two Wynwood 465s.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Drew Estate