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Quick Smoke: Macanudo Estate Reserve Series 2015 No. 9

31 May 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.”

Introduced in 2015, this fuller-bodied Macanudo features a 10-year-old Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Mexican binder, and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. It is the third edition of Macanudo Estate Reserve, which comes handsomely presented in individual coffins in a box featuring the black, yellow, and green of the Jamaican flag. The No. 9 vitola (5 x 50) retails for about $16 and boasts excellent physical properties with chalky cocoa, earth, and oak. There are also fleeting notes of roast cashew. If you eschew the entire Macanudo portfolio because of its reputation as a mild cigar for beginners, don’t pass up an opportunity to try this cigar.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Aging Room Quattro F55 Expressivo

26 May 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.”

After recently reviewing the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua favorably, I went back and tried the one of the original Aging Room Quattro (F55) that helped put the line on the map. (The “F55” was recently dropped, but the robusto I smoked is from before last year’s line revamp.) The cigar is made with an aged Indonesian Sumatra wrapper, the type often used on machine-made cigars, and Dominican binder and filler tobaccos. It shows surprising depth of flavor with roast coffee, cedar spice, and toasted brown bread. Medium-bodied, balanced, and well-constructed, it’s still an impressive cigar.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Pinar del Rio 1878 Cubano Especial Capa Madura Robusto

24 May 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 Pinar del Rio cigar boasts a three-country blend (Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, Dominican Criollo binder, and Criollo filler from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua), a pigtail cap, and a low price tag. I found the Robusto (5 x 52), which had been in my humidor for quite a while, to have many of the typical maduro (but, yes, they use madura) flavors like coffee and cocoa. But they were marred by a harshness that kept any from shining. Good construction and performance couldn’t overcome the negatives.

Verdict = Hold.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: 601 Red Label Habano Robusto

19 May 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 entire 601 line has gone through many twists and turns over the years—from new distributors and new packaging, to the migration away from Don José “Pepin” Garcia as cigar maker. The current iteration, while hard to compare to the original Pepin-made cigars, is definitely better than some of the previous post-Pepin 601 Red Labels I’ve smoked. It features red pepper spice, leather, and woody notes. The medium- to full-bodied smoke is well-constructed, enjoyable, and reasonably priced (around $7).

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Gran Habano Cabinet Selection Robusto

17 May 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 found this cigar deep in my humidor and have no idea when or where I got it. An internet check appears to show that the line is no longer in production, though I wouldn’t be surprised if a few remain on retailers’ shelves. It’s a Nicaraguan puro with a light brown Corojo wrapper in a mild press. It started with an earthiness that soon gives way to a medicinal/mineral taste that’s not particularly pleasant. Strength was medium at most, and there was little of the pepper and spice typical of so much Nicaraguan tobacco. The draw and smoke production were fine, but the burn required several touch-ups. Not one to seek out.

Verdict = Sell.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Flor Dominicana “Event Only 2018”

12 May 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 purchased this cigar, labeled “Event Only 2018,” for $9 at a local shop. Details about this highly limited offering are not known, though I expect there’s lots of Dominican filler from LFD’s La Canela farm. The thick toro, with a nipple-shaped head, is a full-bodied, balanced cigar. It opens up with dried fruit notes followed by spice, leather, and brown bread, and finishes with oak and red pepper spice. Well-constructed, flavorful, balanced… it checks all the boxes for a favorable recommendation.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: San Cristobal Ovation Decadance

10 May 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.”

Ovation

In 2015, Ashton introduced a super-premium limited edition extension to its San Cristobal line called Ovation. Presented in a single format (6.5 x 52), only 3,000 boxes of 22 were made for a total run of 66,000 cigars, each selling for about $15. Since, two sizes have been added—Opulence (5 x 50) and a torpedo-shaped Eminence (5.75 x 54)—and the original size was given the name Decadence. I really enjoyed the cigar when I first tried it a few years ago, and I still do today. It boasts a complex, full-bodied taste. The San Andrés wrapper marries well with the Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos to deliver rich flavors of coffee, cayenne heat, cocoa, white pepper, and cream. With good combustion characteristics, I absolutely recommend the Ovation Decadence.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys