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Quick Smoke: C.L.E. Signature Series Primera Liga de Miami (PLdM) Robusto

20 Jul 2014

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.”CLE-Signature-PLdM-sq

CLE-Signature-PLdM

The annual IPCPR Trade Show opens in full today (the opening seminars and reception were yesterday), so it’s fitting I’m checking out a new release. C.L.E. Signature Series PLdM is a small-batch line (only around 400 25-count boxes are set to be released, spread between four sizes) made in Miami by three handpicked rollers who work on Christian Eiroa’s personal blends. Details of this blend aren’t disclosed, but the profile and source suggest plenty of Honduran tobacco. The notable pre-draw flavors are an enticing combination of breadiness, spice, and sweetness. Once lit, I found a very refined combination of woodiness, bread, and caramel with a hint of clove spice. The medium-bodied Robusto (4.5 x 50) features flawless construction, which you’d expect from a cigar that retails for $16. It’s not cheap, but it’s a sophisticated step up, even from the high bar that CLE sets.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Emilio AF1 Toro

19 Jul 2014

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.”

Emilio AF1

I’ve aged this San Andrés-wrapped cigar for a solid two years to see if time might mellow it out, and/or bring to life some new flavors. What I found surprised me: virtually no changes whatsoever. The AF1 Toro (6 x 50) from Gary Griffith’s Emilio Cigars smokes just as it did 24 months ago. Full-bodied with a leathery, spicy texture and notes of raisin, caramel, creamy nut, and espresso. I can’t say the lack of change is disappointing, though. I liked this cigar in 2012, and I like it now—especially after a large meal with some sipping bourbon. If you decide to buy a box, however, don’t feel guilty if you mow through it; several years of patience won’t pay extra dividends.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Crowned Heads Las Calaveras LC550

13 Jul 2014

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.”

LasCalaveras_Box1

This limited edition line represents a departure for Crowned Heads: only 3,000 boxes, and production by My Father Cigars rather than Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. But it certainly fits right in with other Crowned Heads offerings with top quality and great taste. An oily Ecuador Habano Oscuro wrapper blends with Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos for a rich, complex cigar. The robusto (5 x 50, $8.95) burns slowly, produces lots of smoke, and has a great finish. Planned as an annual release, Las Calaveras is one not to be missed.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: Crowned Heads

Quick Smoke: La Aurora Corojo Robusto

12 Jul 2014

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.”.

La Aurora Corojo

If you are searching for a tasty, mild-to-medium strength cigar that performs like a thoroughbred yet sells for glue-factory prices, look no further. With a little searching, you can find La Aurora Corojos for under $2.50 a stick by the box. The appearance isn’t great, but it has a mouth-watering pre-light aroma and excellent construction. There’s a little spice, some citrus, and a bit of toast, which is fairly consistent throughout. You won’t be blown away, but at these prices La Aurora Corojo will perfectly fit many smoking situations.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Dante Cigars Vita Nova DC Tweet-Up Cigar

6 Jul 2014

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.”dante-sq

Dante-VitaNova-DCT

Vita Nova is the follow-up cigar to the original Dante line, and this corona (6 x 42), which features a short pigtail cap, is a special edition of the Vita Nova line made in limited quantities for the DC Cigar Tweet-Up event held at cigar shops in the greater Washington area each year with proceeds donated to charity. The cigar has a unique lineup of flavors with sourdough bread, banana peel, slight saltiness, and just a bit of pepper spice. It produces a very heavy, thick smoke that can make the medium-bodied cigar seem more full-bodied than it is. At times, the draw is slightly tight, but it’s not too problematic, and otherwise the cigar has admirable construction. I found it to be heavier than the regular Dante Vita Nova vitolas, which I slightly prefer, but this is an enjoyable and unique smoke.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Matilde Renacer Toro Bravo

5 Jul 2014

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 was looking forward this new cigar from legendary blender José Seijas, but I was, unfortunately, quickly disappointed. I smoked two of the 6.5-inch, 54 ring gauge sticks at $8.50 each. The taste was good—Dominican spice, some coffee, and floral notes—and there was lots of smoke. But on the first Matilde Renacer Toro Bravo the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper exploded shortly after being lit. And, while the second stayed together, the burn was so bad it negatively impacted my experience. While I realize it’s likely these two smokes were an anomaly, I can’t recommend a cigar that performed so poorly.

Verdict = Sell.

-George E

photo credit: N/A

Quick Smoke: Camacho Ecuador Churchill

29 Jun 2014

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.”.camacho-sq

img-ecuador_size_churchill

This cigar, with an Ecuador Habano wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder, and filler from Honduras and the Dominican, may seem nothing like the Camacho blends of old. But it reminded me of the first Camachos I smoked, if not in taste then in attitude and approach. Flavorful, strong, forthright. At $7, the seven-inch Churchill is a bargain not to be missed.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: Camacho