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Quick Smoke: Drew Estate x Caldwell All Out Kings Smash

14 Oct 2018

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.”

When I reviewed this cigar about a year and a half ago, I didn’t particularly enjoy it. Commenter Brandon suggested I wait a while to gauge the impact of a little aging. I still had two and lit one the other day to check out the performance. The short answer: much better. Gone was the “sharp, back-of-the-throat bite” and much of the dirty taste that marred my initial experience with this robusto (5 x 52). There was also greater balance. Time in the humidor seems to have done well by this cigar. While I still don’t find the complex blend to be among my favorites, the aged All Out Kings was a more than satisfactory smoke. If you lack the patience to age them yourself, check the shelves at your local retailer and see how thick the dust has settled.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: United Cigar Churchill

12 Oct 2018

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.”

United Cigar has several highly rated brands, such as Atabey and Byron. Unfortunately, its eponymous line isn’t up to those standards. Though performance was fine, for me, the blend—filler from Brazil (Mata Fina) and the Dominican Republic (Habano Corojo and Habano Criollo ’98), a Broadleaf wrapper, and a Habano binder—just didn’t jell. The Churchill (7 x 54, $7) was harsh and dry from start to finish.

Verdict = Sell.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Paul Garmirian Symphony 20th Connoisseur

7 Oct 2018

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.”

The Paul Garmirian Symphony 20, which celebrates 20 years of the PG brand, debuted in 2009 at a dinner on the final night before Virginia’s smoking ban took effect. It was officially released in 2010 in a single toro-sized format called Connoisseur, with other vitolas added later. This particular cigar comes from the original batch and therefore has at least nine years of age (the wrapper is from 2007). While time tends to have a mellowing effect on cigars, this cigar still has full-bodied flavors with notes of leather, roasted almonds, black coffee, light cedar, and a hint of must. Construction is excellent. Somewhat surprisingly, nearly a decade of age hasn’t changed this cigar as I would have expected. But that’s OK; this was an enjoyable, complex, full-bodied smoke to begin with.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Gran Habano Corojo No. 5 Maduro 2011 Robusto

5 Oct 2018

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.”

Known as the strongest blend in the Gran Habano portfolio, the Corojo No. 5 Maduro 2011 is comprised of a Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper around a Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The Robusto (5 x 52) starts with a full-bodied blast of espresso, roasted peanut, and cayenne pepper. It cools down considerably after the first half inch or so, yielding flavors like dry oak, dark cherry, and natural tobacco. The texture is bready and, at times, the taste shines with a sensation akin to moist chocolate cake. Solid construction and a $6 price tag make the Robusto easy to recommend.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Recluse Amadeus Los Cabos Toro

30 Sep 2018

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.”MF-La-Antiguedad-cg-sq

A new release, this lightly box-pressed blend sports a San Andrés wrapper, an Indonesian Sumatran binder and filler from the Dominican Republic (ligero, viso and seco), Nicaragua (Criollo ‘98) and Pennsylvania (broadleaf). As regular readers know, I’m generally not a fan of Mexican tobacco. But, as is the case with a few other cigars, this wrapper doesn’t dominate the experience and allows the other leaves to shine. Draw, burn and smoke production were excellent. The toro is 6.25 inches with a 50-ring gauge, and the MSRP is $8.50. Regardless of which side of the San Andrés schism you stand on, go to the edge and light up a Los Cabos.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: n/a

Quick Smoke: Casa Fernandez Arsenio Corojo Robusto Grande

23 Sep 2018

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.”MF-La-Antiguedad-cg-sq

 casa-fernendez-arsenio-corojo

I’m increasingly a fan of of this affordable (around $5 each) offering from Casa Fernandez. (Interestingly, the bands have changed from Nicaragua to Miami, so presumably it is being rolled in Miami now, which makes the price even more impressive.) The Nicaraguan puro, made completely from highly regarded Aganorsa tobacco, features a well-balanced combination of coffee and light cedar. It’s medium-bodied and produces plenty of thick, powdery smoke. Construction is excellent.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Black Label Trading Company NBK

21 Sep 2018

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.”

Right off the bat, the Ecuador Habano Oscuro-wrapped NBK (6 x 46) greets me with a strong, bold profile of espresso, warm tobacco, roasted nuts, and black pepper spice. Just as I think I have the cigar figured out, though, it eases back a bit, and the powdery smoke cools. Still, the soft box-pressed NBK packs plenty of punch through to the end as secondary notes of cocoa add complexity. With excellent construction and a $9 price tag, this creation from Black Label Trading Company has a lot going for it.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys