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Quick Smoke: E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015 Vencedores

11 Apr 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.”

EPC 2015

As the name suggests, the Short Run line from Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is an annual release of a one-time, limited production run (see here for our reviews of the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 Short Run editions). The 2015 release is just hitting retailer shelves now, sold in three sizes—Imperios (6 x 60), Napoleon (5 x 50), and Vencedores (6 x 52)—of which only 1,500 cigars each will be made. The blend includes a Criollo Jalapa ’98 wrapper around Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. I picked up a Vencedores single for $9 and found it to have a dark, rich profile of black coffee, pepper, dried fruit, and cinnamon spice. In my honest opinion, this is an OK cigar now, but it has some great aging potential.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Drew Estate Liga Privada Único Serie Papas Fritas

5 Apr 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.”

LP-Papas-Fritas

Papas Fritas, the little (4.5 x 44) cigar that uses the cuttings of the Liga Privada No. 9 blend, just got some new packaging. Instead of a metal tin with a four cigars, they will be sold in boxes of 50, and the price per cigar dropped from $6.40 to $5.25. Like its bigger brothers, Papas Fritas produces copious amounts of smoke and chocolate, earth, and rich wood spice. There are valid complaints about a petit corona-sized, mixed-filler cigar that costs over five dollars (though the price cut helps a little), but that doesn’t change the fact that it is an enjoyable smoke.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Joya Red Robusto

4 Apr 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.”

Joya Red Robusto

It was about a year ago that I first got to sample the blend that would become Joya Red. I was wholeheartedly impressed then, sitting around a table at the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, and I’m still impressed now. One of the best new releases of 2014, Joya Red is a Nicaraguan puro with a Habano wrapper and a profile of roasted nuts, citrus, cedar, coffee, and a little black pepper. With excellent construction and a balanced, complex taste from light to nub, the Joya Red Robusto (5.25 x 50) is easy to recommend, especially at the reasonable asking price of about $6.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Alec Bradley Connecticut Robusto

29 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.”alec-bradley-connecticut-sq

alec-bradley-connecticut-rob

Ever dig through the bottom of your humidor and find something you didn’t know was there? That’s how I came across this Alec Bradley Connecticut Robusto, featuring an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper around Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. The cigar  boasts notes of hay, cream, paper, and cedar. It’s medium-bodied with a straightforward flavor profile and excellent construction. There’s a very slight bitterness that isn’t unusual for a Connecticut smoke. It’s the very definition of a solid, but not exceptional, cigar.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda 2013

28 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.”

Tatuaje Black 2

Known as Pete Johnson’s personal blend, the Tatuaje Black Corona Gorda (5.6 x 46) was first sold in 19-count jars in 2007 and met with acclaim and enthusiasm. Then, in September 2013, Johnson re-released the Nicaraguan puro, which boasts a sun-grown Criollo wrapper and is handmade at My Father Cigars. I don’t believe I ever tried the 2007 edition, but I can attest the 2013 Tatuaje Black Corona Gorda is outstanding and well worth the $10 asking price (if you can find it). Flavors include citrus, red pepper, cocoa, and leather. It isn’t hard to understand why my colleague awarded this cigar a rare rating of five stogies out of five.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Drew Estate Liga Privada Único Serie Dirty Rat

22 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.”

Liga-Unico-Dirty-Rat

With a high price and limited availability, I don’t smoke Drew Estate’s Dirty Rat frequently, but when I do I never regret it. The cigar came about when Drew Estate wanted to add a corona size to its Liga Privada No. 9 line, but the small ring gauge meant the blend had to be tweaked. The result is a balanced cigar that is simultaneously sweet, spicy, and savory. Milk chocolate, rich earth, and black pepper flavors are all apparent.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Pinar del Rio Small Batch Reserve Maduro Robusto

21 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.”

PDR

For a little over three years I held on to this specimen in my humidor. That’s about as much patience as I can muster, so it was high time I lit up the Small Batch Reserve Maduro Robusto (5 x 52). This Pinar del Rio creation sports a dark Ligero Habano wrapper from Brazil, a Dominican Criollo ’98 binder, and Corojo filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The result is a well-constructed, pleasurable smoke with notes dark chocolate, peanut, coffee, syrup, and cream—perhaps a little more balanced and subdued than what I remember, and a little more chalky in texture. Whether you plan to smoke it or age it, the Small Batch Reserve Maduro Robusto will be a wise investment at only $7.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys