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Quick Smoke: Drew Estate Herrera Estelí Short Corona

26 Aug 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.”

Drew Estate cigar production expertise meets a Cubanesque approach to blending. That’s what you get when you fire up Herrera Estelí, a line blended by Willy Herrera that sports Ecuadorian, Honduran, and Nicaraguan tobaccos. The Short Corona (4.9 x 46, about $8) is my favorite vitola. It packs a profile of syrup, creamy nut, dry wood, and white pepper into a short, compact, concentrated format. And, as I’ve come to expect from Drew Estate, the combustion properties are sublime.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Four Kicks H-Town Lancero

20 Aug 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 H-Town Lancero (7.5 x 38) was made by Crowned Heads for retailer Stogies World Class in Houston. The cigar is made in the Dominican Republic at Ernie Carrillo’s La Alianza SA factory using an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler. It’s a well-balanced, medium- to full-bodied cigar with woody spice, earth, and coffee notes. It was a little spongy, but it showed no ill effects with a steady, even burn.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Maria Mancini Robusto Larga

19 Aug 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.”

Yes, there are still good-tasting cigars out there that sell for less than a latte. The next time you feel like every cigar worth smoking costs north of $10, try a Maria Mancini Robusto Larga (6 x 50). This softly box-pressed, spongy smoke—which sports a Nicaraguan Habana 2000 wrapper around a Honduran binder and Nicaraguan fillers—can be found for less than $3. While it absolutely won’t wow you, it will deliver a classic, no-frills, medium-bodied profile of cereals, coffee, cashew, leather, and a little white pepper spice. My only caution is to expect a somewhat erratic burn line (Habana 2000 is notorious for this). For the price, though, you really can’t complain.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Intemperance EC XVIII Charity Petito

13 Aug 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 petite corona is one of five blends in RoMa Craft Tobac’s El Catador de Las Petite Coronas sampler box (featuring two each of the company’s five core blends in a four-inch, 46-ring gauge format). The cigar also sells by itself in boxes of 30. Made with an Ecuadorian wrapper, Indonesian binder, and filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, it is a rich, medium-bodied smoke that goes well with a strong cup of coffee. Cedar, cream, toast, and light pepper spice dominate the 30-minute smoke. With excellent construction and balanced flavors, it’s easy to recommend.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Galera Chaveta Maduro

12 Aug 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.”

I don’t smoke a lot of maduros, but once in a while those coffee and cocoa flavors tempt me. I liked the Habano La Galera, so I thought I’d try the Maduro. I was cautious from the start in light of the Mexican San Andrés wrapper; I usually dislike this tobacco’s dirt-like taste, but there have been exceptions, and I hoped this would be another one. It wasn’t. The low-priced robusto (5 x 50, under $6) also had an unpleasant sharpness from the start and never developed into anything else. Construction and performance were fine. If you’re a big San Andrés fan, you might want to pick one up. Otherwise, I recommend leaving it on the shelf.

Verdict = Sell.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Palina Illumination Colonial

6 Aug 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.”

It’s hard to believe how much the La Palina brand has grown since I attended the launch party in June 2010. From the debut single vitola blend, La Palina now features a dozen blends, most with multiple sizes. Illumination an features Ecuadorian wrapper and binder around Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. The cigar is made at the El Titan de Bronze factory, same as La Palina’s better-known Goldie. The corona gorda-sized Illumination Colonial (5.25 x 44, $10.50) showcases medium-bodied bread, cedar, hay, and coffee notes. Flavors are pleasant enough, though hardly in the same class as Goldie. The biggest flaw, however, is a burn that goes out for no apparent reason and requires several relights.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary Natural Toro

5 Aug 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.”

Released in 2015 to celebrate Rocky Patel’s 20 years in the cigar industry, this blend is said to have taken four years to develop. Its wrapper and binder comes from Honduras, and the filler is a mix of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. The result is a complex, tasty, medium-strength smoke. The severely pressed Twentieth Anniversary Natural Toro (6 x 52, $12) performs excellently, including the generation of lots of smoke. It’s well worth a try.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys