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Quick Smoke: Tatuaje Tattoo Caballero

29 Oct 2017

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.”

Tatuaje’s “Tattoo” cigar was originally conceived largely to defend Tatuaje’s trademark rights; Tatuaje being Spanish for Tattoo. However, eventually a re-blended expanded Tattoo line was introduced as a regularly-released, value-oriented, currently four vitola line. (The later release uses a red background behind the words Tattoo, while the earlier version had a white background.) The cigar – which costs just $5 for the robusto-sized “Caballero” – now utilizes a dark Ecuadorian Habano wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler and is made at the Pepin family’s TACUBA factory in Esteli. The medium-full bodied cigar features earth, oak, damp cardboard and pepper notes. The flavors aren’t elegant or particularly balanced, but the Tattoo certainly earns points for value.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Alec Bradley Nica Puro Diamond Rough-Cut

28 Oct 2017

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 parallelogram-shaped Diamond Rough-Cut is the third limited production Nica Puro from Alec Bradley. Weighing it at 6.25 inches with a ring gauge of 54 and an MSRP under $9, it’s a bargain for a hearty, brawny, satisfying smoke. A Nicaraguan puro, as the name implies, the Diamond Rough-Cut isn’t a complex cigar, but the combination of wood, some sweetness, and pepper is pleasing from start to finish. I did encounter some minor draw issues and had to relight a couple of times, but that didn’t significantly detract from the overall experience.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Alec Bradley

Quick Smoke: MBombay Corojo Oscuro Gordo

22 Oct 2017

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 MBombay creation was launched about three years ago and sports a beautiful, dark, oily Ecuadorian wrapper. The Gordo (6 x 60) is one of five vitolas in the Corojo Oscuro line. It retails for about $10. In addition to admirable construction properties, it has a dense, rich profile that’s medium- to full-bodied with hints of dark chocolate, espresso, cereals, dry wood, cayenne spice, and salted sunflower seeds. The finish is smooth and the texture is bready. I’m not a fan of this size in almost any blend, but the Gordo is balanced and interesting enough to keep my attention for the duration of the long, satisfying smoke.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Hammer + Sickle Hermitage No. 1 Robusto

21 Oct 2017

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 first thing that stands out about this box-pressed Robusto is the wonderfully sweet aroma from its Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The smoke, though, doesn’t begin that way, but rather with a somewhat charred, meaty taste. That gives way fairly quickly to a woody sweetness with a little pepper in the background, all of which changes throughout the smoke. According to Hammer + Sickle, the blend was redone a few years after the Hermitage’s introduction. It now features a Honduran Criollo binder and filler from Germany, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. They combine to create a well-balanced, medium-strength smoke I highly recommend. With an MSRP around $9, it’s well worth picking up.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Hammer + Sickle

Quick Smoke: Cohiba Nicaragua N50

14 Oct 2017

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 robusto-sized (5 x 50) smoke had been resting in one of my humidors for about three years. I enjoyed Cohiba Nicaragua back when it was introduced in 2014. Now, with some age, I find the cigar is considerably better balanced, smoother, and more enjoyable. The earthy core of leather, spice, and coffee is now offset by more pronounced flavors of cream, toffee, and peanut. Expect to pay around $12-13 for this cigar, which features a Honduran Colorado oscuro wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. It’s not cheap, but it’s a winner—especially if you can practice some patience.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Camacho 1962 (Pre-Embargo)

8 Oct 2017

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.”

Especially before the Cuban embargo was loosened, Cuban tobacco in a cigar that could be legally sold in the United States was a good way to get consumers to pay attention, even if some weren’t all that good. Camacho came into a supply of pre-embargo Cuban tobacco that reportedly originated with DWG Cigar Company of Ohio (which later became the Wendy’s fast food chain). The since-discontinued cigar uses a Corojo wrapper, Honduran binder, and filler from Honduras, Nicaragua and Cuba (though the percentage of over half century-old Cuban tobacco isn’t disclosed). Price varies greatly, but originally these cigars sold for $20 each (now half that is the norm). Flavors in the medium-bodied toro include salt, pepper, hay, and tea. Construction was excellent, even if the flavors were somewhat uninspired.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Camacho American Barrel Aged Toro

7 Oct 2017

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 2015, Camacho introduced American Barrel Aged, a “complex and intense” cigar with “bourbon barrel-aged Corojo at its heart.” The first release under Camacho’s Master Built Series, the blend is “constructed almost entirely of American-grown tobacco including a Broadleaf wrapper, binder, and filler, along with maduro filler tobacco from Pennsylvania” and Honduran Corojo. The Toro (6 x 50) retails for $11. It is a bold, full-bodied, well-constructed cigar with intense flavors of leather, black pepper spice, espresso, warm tobacco, and, yes, bourbon. That said, despite its strength, the profile can sometimes come across as medicinal and maybe even a little stale.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys