Archive by Author

Quick Smoke: E.P. Carrillo Selección Oscuro Especial No. 6

20 Oct 2019

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

EPC-oscuro

The Selección Oscuro was the first E.P. Carrillo cigar to feature a Mexican San Andrés Oscuro wrapper. Underneath the dark, leathery wrapper is an Ecuadoran binder and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. The medium-bodied smoke has dark, rich, earthy notes with powdered cocoa, bread, and a tiny bit of spice. The Selección Oscuro was a bit more spongy than I would have expected, although it didn’t negatively impact combustion at all, nor the noticeably cool smoke. As someone who generally isn’t the biggest fan of the San Andrés wrapper, it is noteworthy how much I enjoyed this cigar.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Tips: Five Cold-Weather Drinks to Pair with Cigars

16 Oct 2019

Monday was Columbus Day, which means summer is in the rear-view mirror. With autumn’s arrival, temperatures will be dropping. And if you’re smoking cigars outdoors, you may be looking for a drink pairing that works with the season. Here are five suggestions:

Single Malt Scotch — It is exceedingly rare that I drink scotch when the temperature is warm, but this time of year I find myself pouring scotch to pair with a cigar more often. Depending on your taste, peaty scotch or sherried single malt whiskey both have unexplained warming qualities. Some of my favorites (Laphroaig PX Cask, Ardbeg Uigeadail) are actually both sherried and peated.

Hot Toddy — A classic that can be made with scotch (save the single malt, use a blend), bourbon, brandy, or even mezcal. It’s simple to make. Just add sugar, lemon, and cloves to boiling water and your spirit. Hot toddies pair well with Connecticut-wrapped, milder cigars.

Stonewall Jackson — An American classic consisting of hot cider and bourbon (but rye, Tennessee whiskey, or even spiced rum fill in nicely). As I’ve written before, it’s a late fall drink that pairs with stronger cigars, like the 601 Green or Fausto.

Hot Buttered Rum — Serially underrated (especially by those who have never tried it but think butter in a drink is just weird), hot buttered rum is a little more complicated to make than other hot cocktails. After you make it a few times, though, you’ll find it’s really not too difficult. Drink yours with a medium-bodied Honduran or Nicaraguan cigar, or anytime you are outdoors and it is snowing.

Coffee — Still a classic, coffee (in its many forms) is a perfect pairing for cigars. Coffee in the morning with a mild cigar is a great pairing, same for a Cuban coffee in the afternoon or evening. If you don’t want caffeine late at night give decaf a try. (My bias against decaf stopped me from drinking it for years, but lately I’ve found some excellent decaf roasts from a local coffee shop.)

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Villiger La Meridiana Toro

13 Oct 2019

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Made at the La Joya de Nicaragua factory, this box-pressed toro features an oily, chestnut brown wrapper. The Nicaraguan puro features notes of cedar, pepper, orange peel and roasted nuts. With an even burn and sturdy ash, it’s well-constructed, medium-bodied smoke.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Review: Aquitaine Pestra Muierilor

9 Oct 2019

As the weather cools I find myself looking for smaller cigars to enjoy. Not cigarillos or mini machine-mades, but smaller format, handmade cigars that can be enjoyed in 30 minutes when the time is short and the weather is chilly.

When RoMa Craft Tobac burst onto the scene, the outfit favored large ring gauges; now RoMa has a portfolio of a variety of shapes and sizes. In 2015, RoMa introduced El Catador de las Petite Coronas, a sampler of their five primary blends, all in the petit corona format. Now each is available in its own 30-count box.

One example is the Aquitaine Pestra Muierilor (4 x 46). Like other Aquitaine vitolas, it features an Ecuadorian Habano Ligero wrapper, a Cameroon binder, and Nicaraguan filler consisting of tobaccos from Condega, Estelí, and Pueblo Nuevo. Boxes of 30 have a suggested retail price of $195, but I’ve seen them sell for under $140 (or under $5 per cigar).

The Pestra Muierilor features a chestnut brown wrapper with a little oily shine. Pre-light, notes include coffee, cocoa, and light spice. Once lit, you’ll find a full-bodied smoke with leather, toast, dry earth, and a combination of floral and fruit sweetness.

The cigar sports a peppery retrohale. The finish is long with dry chocolate, baking spices, and creamy notes. Construction is notably excellent, especially for such a compact format, with plenty of smoke production, an even draw, and a mostly even burn.

Pestra Muierilor is a sparkplug of a little smoke, full of flavor even if at times it seems to come at the expanse of balance. I think the depth of the Aquitaine blend is better showcased in larger formats, but that doesn’t mean the Pestra Muierilor isn’t a highly enjoyable 30-40 minute smoke. It earns a rating of four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: L’Atelier Imports MAD 44 Maduro

6 Oct 2019

A couple times each week 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_20160903_234353

This Broadleaf wrapper blend from L’Atelier Imports features classic maduro flavors. Beneath the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is a Sancti Spiritus leaf around Nicaraguan binder and filler. The result is an earthy, toasty blend with rich earth, cedar spice, and lots of sweetness. When it comes to Broadleaf maduro cigars, lately this one has become a go-to, especially when the price can be under $5 per cigar when purchased by the box.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Spirits: George Dickel Bottled in Bond 13 Year Old Whisky

2 Oct 2019

Introduced earlier this year, George Dickel Bottled in Bond caught my attention for having an attribute few new bourbon offerings have: the possibility of being an excellent value. As the popularity of bourbon has spiked, so have prices.

Some of the best values from five years ago have either dropped their aged statements (so they can include younger whiskey), raised prices, become highly allocated and impossible to find, or have been discontinued. All of which is a long run-up to saying a new 13-year-old bourbon for under $40 is not the type of thing you see every day. (Side note: Tennessee whiskey produced by both Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel meets the legal definition of straight bourbon even if you won’t find the word on the bottle. The key addition to the process that sets Tennessee whiskey apart is the Lincoln County Process, where the spirit is filtered through charcoal.)

Bottled in bond whiskey means the spirit must fit a few qualities. It must all be distilled at the same distillery during the same season (January-June or July-December). must be aged in a federally bonded warehouse for four years, and must be bottled at 100-proof or higher.

Distilled at George Dickel’s Cascade Hollow Distillery in Tullahoma, Tennessee, this mahogany-colored 13-year-old bottled in bond whiskey was distilled in the fall of 2005 with a mash bill of 84% corn, 10% rye, and 6% malted barley. It was bottled in the spring of 2019 at 50% ABV (100-proof).

The nose is full of peanuts and roast corn. On the palate there’s powdered chocolate, dried corn, candied citrus, and vanilla. The finish has ginger and clove with a lingering, velvety mouthfeel.

This is without a doubt an an excellent bourbon, that probably could have been sold for more. But I think long-term it’s a good strategy for George Dickel, which is always in the shadow of its Tennessee neighbor Jack Daniel’s. Reminding consumers of their quality with an eye-catching value only serves to make people more likely to check out their other offerings (which are themselves solid and underrated) in the future.

Despite being 100-proof, it’s not overly strong, even when tasted neat. Pair it with a medium-bodied cigar like the Bolivar Royal Corona, Tatuaje Black, or Davidoff Colorado Claro.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Paul Garmirian 15th Anniversary Corona Gorda

29 Sep 2019

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

I’ve always been a big a fan of the PG 15th Anniversary blend. Yet, best I can remember, I’ve never smoked the Corona Gorda size (5.5 x 46), which is odd considering the corona gorda is generally one of my preferred sizes. Featuring a Nicaraguan wrapper along with Dominican binder and filler tobaccos, it’s a full-bodied blend with leather, pepper, wine tannins, rich cedar, and some Davidoff-esque mushroom and earth notes. It isn’t as eloquently balanced as the Belicoso, but it’s still quite enjoyable.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys