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Quick Smoke: Nica Libre 25th Anniversary Silver Corona

17 Jun 2018

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.”

The catalog favorite Nica Libre has always been a discount cigar with an emphasis on its Nicaraguan pedigree. Lately, the line has expanded, including with this 25th Anniversary Silver offering (25 years since the sovereign post-revolution war, not of the Nica Libre brand) made by A.J. Fernandez. I can’t remember the last time I smoked a cigar with this much in-your-face spice right from the beginning. The Nicaraguan puro is dominated by cayenne and black pepper notes, backed up by black coffee and oak flavors. It’s a bit unbalanced, but if you crave spice this is for you.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Atabey Ritos

16 Jun 2018

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.”

Here’s an elegant, well-made cigar with a price tag that will make you cringe. The current retail price for the Atabey Ritos (6.1 x 55) is $33. Yikes. Is it elegantly packaged with a tasteful, Behike-like presentation? Yes. Is the construction nothing short of flawless? Yes. And what of the flavor? It is complex, balanced, bready in texture, and mild- to medium-bodied with notes ranging from cream and oak to white pepper and roasted cashew. If money is no object, by all means; you will not be disappointed, unless you’re expecting a full-bodied flavor-bomb.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Kilo Robusto

10 Jun 2018

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.”

Kilo has been a passion project of Barry Stein since he joined Miami Cigar. The original cigar was produced while Barry was at Miami, but the second edition I’m smoking was released in 2015 under the United Cigar Group, owned by Dave Garofalo of Two Guys Smoke Shop. This edition is made at Noel Rojas’ Aroma de Jalapa Factory (home of Guayacan Cigars) using an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. The full-bodied cigar starts with creamy flavors followed by oak, earth, milk chocolate, and coffee notes. It’s certainly full-bodied, but with integrated flavors and sufficient balance. It’s unclear whether Kilo is still being made, but if it isn’t that’s a shame because it’s an excellent cigar.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: S.T.K. Black Dahlia by George Rico

9 Jun 2018

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.”

This offering from Gran Habano features a multi-nation blend, a beautifully ornate band, and a distinctive flavor profile. It’s that profile that will make or break the Black Dahlia for most smokers. For me, it starts with a predominance of biting grassy, hay notes and a long finish. Progressing along the 5-inch, 52-ring gauge frame wrapped in shade-grown Nicaraguan Corojo leaf, nuts and charred wood mix with the predominant, somewhat acerbic, taste. Overall, though, this isn’t a complex creation. It’s also not a cigar I’d want to smoke all the time. But for a change of pace it’s an interesting, different experience. You’ll only know if you feel the same by lighting one up.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Avo Heritage Short Corona

3 Jun 2018

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.”

avo-heritage-sc

A few years ago, Avo underwent a revamp by its parent company, Davidoff. Many retailers put older stock on discount, which is where this cigar comes from. The petite-sized Short Corona showcases the full-bodied flavors of the line, which has a dark, sun-grown Ecuadorian wrapper over a Dominican binder and Dominican and Peruvian filler. Strong leather, charred oak, nutmeg spice, and earth are all evident in the little smoke. It isn’t my favorite size in the Avo Heritage line, but don’t overlook the Short Corona if you want a tasty 30-minute smoke.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: RyJ Toro

2 Jun 2018

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.”

In 2013, Altadis expanded the Romeo y Julieta portfolio with RyJ—a Nicaraguan puro with a Jalapa Corojo wrapper, double binders from Estelí and Jalapa, and filler tobaccos from Jalapa, Estelí, and La Mia. I reviewed the Toro (6 x 52) shortly after the line’s release, finding a straightforward, moderately enjoyable core of dry, woodsy, spicy flavors and a draw that was too tight for my liking. In retrospect, my score of three stogies out of five may have been a bit generous. I fired up another Toro recently, hoping five years of age might have improved the experience. But the draw is still tight (no amount of time will ever fix that) and the profile is still flat. These days, you can find the Toro for less than $8—but your money is better spent elsewhere.

Verdict = Sell.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Todos Las Dias Double Wide Belicoso

27 May 2018

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.”

This sungrown-wrapped Nicagauan puro from Steve Saka’s Dunbarton Toacco & Trust was billed as his strongest cigar to date. The short, thick Belicoso (4.75 x 60) funnels a full-bodied stream of espresso, charred oak, and black pepper flavors. Construction was excellent on this $12 cigar. Full-bodied fans should definitely give this a try.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys