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Quick Smoke: Protocol Themis Corona Gorda

18 Aug 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 corona gorda size of the Cubariqueño Cigar Company’s Protocal Themis blend was formerly exclusive to Pennsylvania-based Famous Smoke Shop but earlier this year it became a regular vitola in the line offered to all retailers. Made at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona cigar factory, the cigar’s shiny golden Ecuadorian wrapper surrounds Nicaraguan binder and filler. Ideal combustion qualities reveal a medium-bodied combination of light roast coffee, hay, cream and nutmeg, backed up with a sneaky green and red pepper spice on the finish. Judging from the one I had this is a versatile cigar that could be enjoyed in the morning with a coffee, after dinner with a whiskey, or anytime in between.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Avo Unexpected Passion

16 Aug 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.”

As an Avo fan, I was excited by news of a limited-production line called Unexpected with four blends. There’s little info on the tobaccos used in the four, other than one note per offering. For Passion (6 x 50, $10.50) it’s that one of the leaves is 25 years old. Whatever the composition, Passion nails that trademark Davidoff grassy, mushroom-y profile from start to finish. There are other flavors along the way, like a little pepper and a bit of sweetness. But they play second fiddle. Overall, I found this cigar to be just a little too much of the same thing. I’m interested in trying the other three Unexpected blends, though.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Avo

Quick Smoke: Avo Limited Edition 2013 The Dominant 13th

11 Aug 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 came across this cigar recently at a local shop and immediately picked it up. While I couldn’t recall details, I did remember thoroughly enjoying one shortly after its release about six years ago. Age has done nothing but improve the Dominant 13th. The beautiful Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper covers a Dominican binder and a variety of Dominican filler leaves and tobacco from Peru. The complex, toro-sized (6 x 52) blend may have lost a bit of strength, but it’s incredibly smooth. Flavors, ranging from black pepper to a subtle sweetness, are balanced and enticing. If you spot a Dominant 13th, don’t hesitate to light up.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Davidoff of Geneva

Quick Smoke: Aquitaine Knuckle Dragger

9 Aug 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 stellar creation from RoMa Craft Tobac pairs excellently with a serving of wheated bourbon, a comfortable chair on a summer porch, and a Cubs game on the radio. That was my setup last night, anyways, and it couldn’t have worked out better. As the Cubs pelted the Reds for 12 runs and solidified their lead in the NL Central, I devoured this rustic, toothy, oily cigar that’s stubby in format (4 x 52) and affordable in price (less than $7). You might recall that Aquitaine has the same filler blend (Estelí, Condega, and Pueblo Nuevo) and binder (Cameroon) as CroMagnon. But instead of featuring a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, Aquitaine has an Ecuadorian Habano Ligero wrapper. That blend results in a rich, leathery smoke with notes of espresso, white pepper, balanced sweetness, and cashew. Construction is stellar. All this renders the Aquitaine Knuckle Dragger an easy cigar to recommend.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Emilio AF1 Robusto

5 Aug 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 January, in what was called a merger between two entities, Black Label Trading Co. took over marketing and branding for the Scott Zocca-owned Emilio Cigars portfolio, as well as producing the brand’s cigars at its Fabrica Oveha Negra factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The cigar might have a new (and, in my opinion, improved) look, but the blend remains the same: a dark, toothy San Andrés wrapper around Nicaraguan tobaccos. It has been awhile since I’ve had an AF1, but this experience was exceptional. Outstanding construction and heavy notes of char and espresso with considerable spice on the lips. The Robusto (5 x 50) retails for $9.50, which makes this a very good deal.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Cohiba Puro Dominicana Corona

4 Aug 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.”

For many years, the spicy, full-bodied  Dominican puro Fuente Opus X was one of those hard-to-find cigars that consumers constantly asked their tobacconists for, and were just excited to find at close to suggested retail price. At least partially in response to that demand, Cohiba introduced Puro Dominicana, also a Dominican puro oriented towards those seeking a spicier Dominican smoke.  Cohiba Puro Dominicana features dry oak, light spice, restrained pepper, and leather. You won’t mistake it for an Opus X, but it is a well-made, tasty, medium- to full-bodied cigar.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Aurora 100 Años Robusto

28 Jul 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.”

Not the oldest cigar in my humidor, but probably among the dozen or so oldest. La Aurora celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2003 with 100 Años. The Dominican puro (fitting, given La Aurora’s status as the oldest Dominican cigar maker) features an oily Corojo wrapper. Remarkably full-bodied given its age, the Robusto sports robust leather, roast nuts, and hints of green pepper. Good luck finding 100 Años, but if you happen across one, smoke it.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys