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Quick Smoke: San Lotano Oval Connecticut Robusto

20 Apr 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.”IMG_3778 - Version 2San-Lotano-Oval-Conn-sq

 San-Lotano-Oval-Conn

Making a full-bodied cigar with a Connecticut shade-grown wrapper can be a challenge. Often, either the wrapper gets overwhelmed or there are significant bitter notes. Fortunately, A.J. Fernandez hits the mark with the San Lotano Oval Connecticut, made with Nicaraguan binder and filler, with additional filler from Honduras. The Robusto (5.5 x 54) features the unique oval shape Fernandez has created and marketed. It produces thick, creamy smoke along with notes of cedar, honey, and coffee. Construction is excellent, but most of all it’s impressive for being a full-bodied, balanced, and complex Connecticut-wrapped cigar.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Avo 88 Limited Edition 2014

19 Apr 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.”

AVO_88_LE14_Box

Each year, it seems, the hoopla and accoutrements surrounding Avo Uvezian’s birthday cigar just keep growing. The 2014 offering—Dominican puro belicoso (6 x 52)—is no different. The name reflects his 88th birthday, the number of piano keys, and total production (8,888 boxes of 16). I was intrigued with the cigar’s start, a nice hot pepper with grassy undertones that nearly reversed after an inch or so, attended by a syrupy sweetness. Tons of smoke, good burn, flaky ash. About halfway through, however, the grassiness became dominant and mowed down my enjoyment. If you can afford a box ($256) for aging, my guess is that after a few years it’ll be a great smoke. At this point, though, I can’t recommend spending $16 for one.

Verdict = Hold.

-George E

photo credit: Avo Cigars

Quick Smoke: Oliva Master Blends 3 Churchill

13 Apr 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.”

Master 3

Oliva’s Master Blend line was introduced to give the manufacturer a premium offering in addition to its highly successful, more modestly priced cigars. Master Blends 3, a Nicaraguan puro with a splotchy sun-grown broadleaf wrapper and ligero filler, continues to fulfill that expectation. Back in 2010, my colleague gave the Churchill four stogies, and I wouldn’t disagree. Running about $10.50, it is a classic example of well-aged and fermented tobacco that is as smooth as a glass-bottom boat. My only reservation is the length. I can’t help but wonder whether the Robusto might be a better—and shorter—showcase.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: RoMa Craft Intemperance EC XVIII Brotherly Kindness

12 Apr 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.”IMG_3778 - Version 2

IntemperanceECBrotherlyKindness

Normally an event-only cigar, I received this edition of Intemperance’s Ecuador Connecticut cigar while visiting the small Nica Sueño factory in Estelí, where the RoMa Craft cigars are made. Interestingly, this is the vitola (5 x 56) that RoMa Craft uses while creating its blends, which you could say makes it the purest example of what its creators intend smokers to experience. The medium-bodied cigar features cedar, roasted nuts, and hints of spice. Construction is flawless. I’ll admit that at first I didn’t think the Intemperance lines were quite as good as the original RoMa Craft Cromagnon and Acquitaine lines, but slowly I’ve come to appreciate them just as much.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Drew Estate Cigar Safari Personal Blend (2013)

6 Apr 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.”

DE-cigar-safari-blend

Since we’re headed to visit Drew Estate in Estelí today, I thought I’d try out the blend I made during last year’s visit. Truth be told, I don’t remember exactly what the blend is (I have it written somewhere), but I remember it has the same stalk-cut Connecticut Habano wrapper as the Liga Privada T-52 and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. I also selected an unusual size (6.5 x 46) with a pigtail cap and closed foot. As for flavor, the medium-bodied blend features plenty of classic Habano notes of warm tobacco, bread, and wood with hints of coffee and clove. It’s pretty simplistic and hardly a masterpiece, though it is well-constructed and balanced. Still, there’s a reason you won’t be seeing Drew Estate put this blend into production.

Verdict = Hold.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Camacho Corojo Robusto

5 Apr 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.”

corojo-robusto

I’ve smoked a handful of Camacho cigars since the brand’s re-launch and have yet to find one I enjoy nearly as much as I did when they were leading the full-bodied charge years ago. Unfortunately, the Corojo Robusto (5 x 50) continues that streak. This Honduran puro, with a $7 price tag, is powerful but one-dimensional with not much in the way of flavor.

Verdict = Sell.

-George E

photo credit: Camacho Cigars

Quick Smoke: Punch Rare Corojo Rare Salomones

30 Mar 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.”

Rare-Salomones-qs

I’ll admit that while I’ve always enjoyed the Punch Rare Corojo line, I haven’t smoked many in recent years. But when my colleague recently reviewed the Rare Salomones size, I thought I should revisit the line. Salomones are one of the most impressive-looking sizes, and this is no exception with its reddish wrapper and double bands. Once you get past the initial couple minutes, the large format produces plenty of smoke. It features leather, earth, and fruit notes and is medium- to full-bodied. It’s an elegant smoke worth paying attention to for a full 90 minutes.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys