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Quick Smoke: El Güegüense Corona Gorda

17 Feb 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.”

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I was very impressed with El Güegüense when I first smoked the debut from Nick Melillo’s Foundation Cigar Co. in the Robusto format, but for my money the Corona Gorda size is the best in the line. Woodsy with roast nut notes, black pepper, and sweet earthiness. Well-constructed with medium- to full-bodied flavors.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur

15 Feb 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 week I had the opportunity to visit the cigar shop and headquarters of PG Cigars in McLean, Virginia. (If you’re in the area, I’d highly recommend a visit; I’d venture to guess the small, somewhat cramped stripmall storefront has more cigars for sale that have been aged 20 years or more than anywhere else in the country.) Among other items, I picked up a 25th Anniversary Connoisseur (6 x 52), a gorgeous, delicious smoke that was released in 2015 to commemorate—you guessed it—the company’s 25th anniversary. Like most PG offerings, the Connoisseur is not an inexpensive specimen. It costs about $20. But you get an amazing, well-constructed, harmonious experience. Raisin bread, oak, cedar, mushroom, and salt all combine to yield an elegant, unique flavor. When I reviewed this cigar nearly three years ago, I awarded it our highest rating. I don’t feel any differently today.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Alonso Menendez Connecticut Corona

10 Feb 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 smoked my first Alonso Menendez in Brazil in 2003. It would be a few years before I saw the brand again, when Alonso Menendez (and Dona Flor) were brought to the U.S. market. Legal issues and other challenges meant Alonso Menendez was pulled from the market for a time before being introduced again around 2012. This Alonso Menendez blend features plenty of Mata Fina tobacco (for which Brazil is known) and a Connecticut wrapper (though the origin of that wrapper is unclear). The result is a well-constructed, medium-bodied cigar with notes of coffee, toasted walnuts, cream, and light spice.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Diesel Whiskey Row Robusto

8 Feb 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.”

In May 2018, General Cigar announced a partnership between A.J. Fernandez, the Diesel cigar brand, and Rabbit Hole Bourbon. Those entities teamed up to create Whiskey Row, a new cigar line featuring bourbon barrel-aged binder leaves from a “proprietary process” developed by Fernandez. This concept was “brought to life in 2016 when Rabbit Hole Bourbon barrels arrived at Tabalacera A.J. Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua,” reads a press release. “A.J. placed the Mexican San Andrés binder in the bourbon barrels in a special configuration. The tobacco was left to rest inside the barrels, and the amount of air inside was controlled at regular intervals to ensure the bourbon flavors were imparted evenly.” In addition to this binder, Diesel Whiskey Row includes an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper aged for five years and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos aged for five to eight years. The Robusto (5.5 x 52) retails for $7.49. It isn’t bourbon-y, per se, but instead features hearty, heavy leather notes with white pepper, black coffee, and dry earth. In my book, I can’t enthusiastically recommend this; frankly, unless you’re a huge fan of leather notes, it’s just OK.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Drew Estate Herrera Estelí Short Corona

3 Feb 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 cigar frequently gets called “Cubanesque” and I suppose that’s correct but really what makes it stand out is the excellent balance. The original Herrera Estelí (the line has since been expanded) was blended by Willy Herrera using Ecuadorian, Honduran, and Nicaraguan tobaccos. It has a complex, medium-bodied profile with  cedar and cafe-au-lait flavors and hints of pepper and honey. With excellent combustion, I’m reminded that whenever I return to try this blend my appreciation for it is reinforced.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Tatuaje Verocú No. 1

1 Feb 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 other day I was wandering around the humidor of a local shop on the lookout for something new and intriguing. Nothing seemed to pique my interest. Then, I spotted an old favorite: Tatuaje’s Verocú line. I loved this cigar in all its iterations, as previous reviews confirm. On the other hand, I hadn’t smoked one in years. I picked up this 6.25-inch beauty with a 52-ring gauge, wondering whether I’d feel the same. The short answer is yes, without question. It is a balanced, smooth, and slow-burning cigar. Strength lies in the medium range and flavors include floral notes, pepper, and coffee mingled with rich tobacco sweetness. With a $10 price tag, the Verocú toro grande is truly one of the great cigar bargains.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Partagas Legend Toro Leyenda

27 Jan 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.”

Introduced at the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, Legend is the newest line extension from General Cigar’s non-Cuban Partagas brand. The cigar features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper around a Honduran Olancho San Agustin binder and Dominican Piloto Cubano filler. The medium- to full-bodied cigar features woodsy flavors with black coffee and leather notes. Combustion is flawless, and while it isn’t my favorite non-Cuban Partagas, it’s worth checking out.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys