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Quick Smoke: El Galan Campestre Habano Toro

16 Jan 2020

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 first wrote up this cigar when it was just a bundle smoke made by Felix Mesa of the largely unknown El Galan Cigars. Today, Mesa is the man tasked with heading up Fuente’s new Nicaraguan operations. The Toro sports a Habano wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. It costs around $30 for a bundle of 20. The specimen I’m smoking is a sample with nearly two years of age. Despite a foot that initially frayed when lit, construction is largely solid, including an ash that’s surprisingly solid for a bundle smoke. Flavors are medium-bodied with balanced notes of coffee, wood, and earth. I’m not sure age has improved this cigar, but it hasn’t made it any worse, either.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Curivari Buenaventura BV 500

11 Jan 2020

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.”

I’ve long touted Curivari Buenaventura as an excellent cigar for the value. The Nicaraguan puro’s understated, classic appearance fits the sub-$5 price tag, but don’t mistake that as an accurate proxy for quality. Excellent construction aids  the delivery of a balanced combination of medium-bodied flavors: cocoa, espresso, cedar, oak, and earth. This reasonably priced gem is a little hard to find but well worth seeking out.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Mi Querida Firecracker

23 Dec 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.”

The phrase “little but mighty” comes to mind. The Firecracker vitola measures only 3.5 inches long with a ring gauge of 50. Yet the flavor—punctuated by espresso, dark chocolate, and leather with background notes of cashew and green raisin—is bold, full-bodied, and highly satisfying. The physical properties are outstanding, too. Originally exclusive to the New Hampshire-based Two Guys Smoke Shop, which originated the Firecracker Series, the Mi Querida Firecracker is now a regular-production offering from Steve Saka’s Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. It is made for Saka by the NACSA factory in Estelí with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. Expect to pay around $7.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: E.P. Carrillo New Wave Brillantes

15 Dec 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.”

Perhaps overlooked in favor of some of the E.P. Carrillo brand’s more recent and buzz-worthy offerings, New Wave Connecticut is (unsurprisingly, given its name) a modern take on the classic Connecticut-wrapped cigar. More medium-boded than mild, and with an Ecuadorian-grown, Connecticut-seed wrapper rather than one grown in the Connecticut River Valley, it is in many ways an updated take on the classic, best-selling formula. Roasted nuts, cream, graham, and mild spice round out this balanced smoke. With a price around $5, it’s a real value in addition to being a well-constructed, enjoyable cigar.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Mi Querida Short Gordo Grande

8 Dec 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.”

Following Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust’s 2015 debut cigar, Sobermesa, was a flurry of new releases for the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, including Mi Querida. Mi Querida was particularly anticipated as it reunited Dunbarton owner Steve Saka with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper (he famously employed Broadleaf to create Drew Estate’s landmark Liga Privada line). This squat gordo (4.75 x 56) features medium- to full-bodied flavors with notes of coffee, chocolate, light spice, cedar, cinnamon, and black pepper. Excellent combustion and a sub-$10 price makes this an easy cigar to recommend.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: H. Upmann Magnum 50 (Cuban)

24 Nov 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.”

This toro-sized Cuban H. Upmann vitola started as a limited edition in 2005 before being added as a regular offering in 2008. What starts out with light hay, cedar, and white pepper later evolves with the additions of coffee and cocoa notes. Construction is solid, and the featured flavors are complex. This is one of the better Cubans I’ve smoked in the past few years.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Gran Habano Blue in Green Corona

21 Nov 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.”

Over the fourteen years I’ve been seriously smoking cigars, I can’t say how many Gran Habano creations I’ve sampled. Certainly many. But I can tell you this: The Gran Habano Blue in Green is the best I’ve ever had from the Rico family’s outfit. It is stellar. Released at the IPCPR Trade Show this summer, this line intends to put the “rich nuances of its fillers” on display. Those filler tobaccos are from Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The binder is Nicaraguan, and the wrapper is a golden Connecticut leaf. The Corona (6 x 44) retails for about $9 and boasts a wonderfully balanced, medium-bodied profile of creamy cashew, dry oak, cereals, and floral notes. Construction is impeccable. There are three other Blue in Green vitolas: Churchill, Gran Robusto, and Robusto. I suspect they are all excellent, though I haven’t yet had the pleasure of trying anything but the Corona, which is a limited edition (1,000 boxes of 20 were made). I strongly suggest picking one up at your earliest convenience.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys