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Quick Smoke: Crowned Heads J.D. Howard Reserve HR52

7 Mar 2015

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.”

J.D. Howard Reserve

Six months ago I bought a five-pack of J.D. Howard Reserve HR52s (6 x 52), finding them, at the time, to be neither enamoring nor enchanting. Half a year may not be ample time to change a cigar, but I nonetheless decided to fire up the last stick from the pack to see how it had developed. This time around, the Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, Ecuadorian Sumatra binder, and Nicaraguan filler combined to yield a profile that’s slightly more subdued. The creamy nutiness is more apparent, and the sour, meaty notes are a little less pronounced. The J.D. Howard Reserve HR52 is definitely better with some modest age, but I still think the $10 price tag is high for what this toro brings to the table.

Verdict = Hold.

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Selección de Cazador Noella

1 Mar 2015

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.”tatu-brown10-noella-sq

tatu-brown10-noella

The Tatuaje Brown Label (officially called “Selección de Cazador”) has long been a go-to cigar for me, despite the fact that I haven’t smoked it as regularly lately. This particular stick (5.1 x 42) features the 10th Anniversary band, although the blend is unchanged from standard Brown Label offering. (Tatuaje celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013 with special packaging for all the vitolas in the Brown Label line.) The blend, featuring an Ecuadorian wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler, produces rich earth, coffee, and cedar spice. There’s good reason why I’ve bought many boxes of this cigar over the years. The combination of an easy-to-enjoy size, top-notch construction, and full flavors makes this a recommended standby.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Crowned Heads Four Kicks Piramide

28 Feb 2015

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.”

Crowned Heads Four Kicks Piramide

The Four Kicks Piramide (6.25 x 52) from Crowned Heads is a study in spice. Not so much your common black, peppery spice. But cinnamon, cedar, and baking spices. Other admirable traits of this affordable, Ecuadorian Habano-wrapped smoke include notes of sweetness for balance, excellent construction, and a medium-bodied profile that’s simultaneously approachable and satisfying. I paid about $8 for this cigar at a local shop, and it was worth every penny.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Nub Cafe Espresso 438

22 Feb 2015

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.”

nub_espresso

I’ve been curious about Nub’s line of coffee-flavored cigars since its introduction last year. I picked up this short (4 inches), thin (38 ring gauge) Sumatra-wrapped stick for about $3.50. The dominant note is sugar, which lingers on the lips. The coffee flavor is akin to a cup heavily creamed and sweetened. Otherwise, there’s little taste or finish. On the plus side, construction, burn, and draw were excellent. But my curiosity is satisfied.

Verdict = Sell.

-George E

photo credit: Nub Cafe

Quick Smoke: La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 3 Natural

21 Feb 2015

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 Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 3 Natural

Made at El Credito in the Dominican Republic with an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper around Dominican olor and Nicaraguan ligero tobaccos, the No. 3 (4.5 x 56) is the smallest size in the Serie R portfolio, and one of the best. Leather, spice, and oaky wood dominate the profile. Construction is excellent. This La Gloria Cubana is a solid value at $5-6 and a nice reminder why the Serie R blend has struck a favorable chord with cigar enthusiasts since 1999.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Drew Estate Herrera Estelí Robusto

15 Feb 2015

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.”

herrera-esteli

Drew Estate’s Liga Privada gets all the attention, but a strong case could made that Herrera Estelí is the company’s most well-made cigar. The Cuban-esque smoke features roast nuts, cedar, cream, and just a hint of spice. It’s a medium-bodied blend that trades strength for balance and finesse. While Liga is the big, bold Bordeaux, Herrera Estelí is a sophisticated, restrained Burgundy. Depending on the time and place, each can be ideal.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Musa Μελέτη Lancero

14 Feb 2015

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-Musa-Lancero

I last reviewed this cigar in November 2013, writing that the bold Lancero is “a complex, balanced smoke with more substance than your standard flavor-bomb.” Taking it for test drive for the first time in a long time, I found my previous assessment holds water. The Nicaraguan puro features a strength-forward profile of espresso, black pepper spice, and some sweet notes in the background. Construction is solid, rendering La Musa Μελέτη Lancero a solid purchase.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys