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Stogie Reviews: Occidental Reserve Double Broadleaf Churchill

21 Apr 2008

Occidental Reserve Double Broadleaf ChurchillRough, toothy, a bit mottled, and prominently veiny, the Occidental Reserve Double Broadleaf Churchill isn’t what I’d classify as humidor candy. Nevertheless, when it comes to a cigar’s looks, I’m not much of a snob. Many of my favorite smokes have been a bit on the rustic side. And, after all, isn’t flavor what really matters?

Interestingly, this seven inch by 48 ring gauge maduro doesn’t pack much of a punch. That’s something I find a bit surprising coming from manufacturer Alec Bradley, whose marketing often appeals to the “bigger and bolder is better” mindset. Perhaps blender Hendrik Kelner, famous for his work with the ultra-smooth Davidoff label, had something to do with this stogie’s mildness.

At any rate, the smoothness and unassuming body of the Occidental Reserve is just fine by me. I’ve been looking around for a mild, everyday smoke to pair with a decent cup of coffee on my lazy Sunday mornings. While Davidoffs fit the bill, they can break the bank almost as quickly as a bad mortgage these days. At roughly $3 a stick, Occidental Reserves offer near-Davidoff quality for a fraction of the price.

This cigar opens with a full-bodied blast of pepper, cedar, and burnt coffee before quickly mellowing into a much smoother blend of light oak and sweet cream. A lingering, peppery finish never quite disappears from the body of the thick, heavy smoke – intensifying as the cigar reaches its final third. But it’s never enough to overwhelm the subtle character of the stick, and that’s probably for the best.

The burn is even and true, producing a light gray ash that holds for about an inch and a half at a clip. My only complaint with the ash is its tendency toward flakiness (tiny bits tended to float off the foot, here and there, throughout my various experiences). Otherwise, I find nothing worrisome about the quality of the cigar’s craftsmanship.

For outstanding value, ease, and pleasantly smooth flavor profile, I give this bargain-priced stick a solid four out of five stogies.

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

Jon N

photo credit: Stogie Guys

4 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Occidental Reserve Double Broadleaf Churchill”

  1. Padronnie Monday, April 21, 2008 at 5:52 am #

    Another cigar I hadn't really heard of… but now I want to try. Thanks for putting another dent in my wallet!

  2. Jon N. Monday, April 21, 2008 at 6:19 am #

    Haha. Sorry!

    Apparently the backstory behind O.R. is that it was the first brand launched by Alan Rubin before he eventually created Alec Bradley. Sort of like the Indian Tabac brand to Rocky Patel. In my opinion, though, O.R. is actually a better smoke than any of the Alec Bradleys I've tried.

  3. Dan Monday, April 21, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    I've tried the connecticut version of these and found them to be a really good mild cigar. The price is right, too.

  4. Lou B. Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    i tried the connecticut wrapper as well Dan, and i thought it was a really well made mild ciggy. i'm looking forward to trying the double broadleaf in the future.