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Quick Smoke: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2010

23 Mar 2014

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.”

OlivaSerieV-Maduro

Yet another reason to patronize your local B&Ms: Who knows what you might run across. The other day, I was trolling through the humidor and spotted a just-opened box of Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2010. How often do you get to smoke an aged, limited edition stick for MSRP ($10 in this case)? If my humidor wasn’t nearly overflowing and my wallet nearly under water, I’d have bought them all. The stick, highly sought at each annual release, lived up to its stellar reputation, though draw and smoke production dropped off in the final third. But if you stumble across these, don’t hesitate to pick up one.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Viaje Exclusivo Leaded Robusto

22 Mar 2014

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 new release from Viaje Cigars fits what I often look for in a limited release: an enjoyable and memorable cigar, but not one I’d want to smoke too often. In this case, that’s partly price ($9.50 is fairly steep for a robusto), but more the strength and flavor profile. I can’t seem to find any information on the tobacco, but Leaded is strong, kicking off with a pepper blast and shifting to earth and leather midway. Then, it picks up with pepper and spice in the final half. It’s a tad rough, and the draw is loose. But the burn is excellent and smoke production top rate. If you have any interest in limited production smokes, be sure to pick one up.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: N/A

Quick Smoke: Añoranza Toro

16 Mar 2014

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.”anoranzas-sq

anoranzas-toro

This Nicaraguan puro is made for Miami Cigar & Co. by My Father Cigars. With a very dark, oily Oscuro Habano wrapper and a slight box-press, it’s a handsome smoke. The Añoranza continues to be one of the most full-bodied cigars in my regular smoking rotation. It features a powerful combination of dark earth, charred oak, unsweetened cocoa, and a bit of spice. There’s not a lot of nuance here, but plenty of intense flavor, which is why I enjoy it.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Flor Dominicana Ligero L-400

15 Mar 2014

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.”

LFD L-400

I can’t remember that last time I lit up a La Flor Dominicana smoke, which is truly amazing given how consistently solid the brand is. This realization hit me as I was scanning the selection of a walk-in humidor at a cigar shop. So I picked out a Ligero L-400 (5.75 x 54). This Ecuadorian Sumatra-wrapped smoke, which features Dominican binder and filler tobaccos, has a balanced profile of sweetness, cream, and subtle spice with a straight burn and a solid ash. But the draw is much tighter than I would like, at least on the single sample I tried. I don’t expect to have to work so hard to pull smoke through a $7.50 cigar, even if the flavors are nice.

Verdict = Hold.

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: K.A. Kendall’s 7-20-4 Robusto

9 Mar 2014

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.” 7-20-4-robusto-sq

7-20-4-robusto

When 7-20-4 debuted (technically relaunched after a nearly 50-year hiatus) in 2009, it struck a chord with it’s throwback packaging and unique blend. The cigar has a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, a Colombian binder, and filler from Nicaragua, Mexico, and Honduras. I recently picked up a Robusto to see how it compares to the other sizes in the line. The Robusto is dominated by woody notes, combined with molasses, cinnamon, and clove. Medium- to full-bodied with excellent construction and a reasonable $6-7 cost, it’s easy to recommend.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8

8 Mar 2014

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.”

Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8

This isn’t the first time we’ve written about this cigar, and it probably won’t be the last, either. Because as much as it’s important to try the exciting and new, it’s equally important to connect with old favorites—particularly those smokes that offer great bang for the buck. The Flor Fina 8-5-8 (6 x 47) from Arturo Fuente costs less than $5, yet it boasts a spicy, toasty aroma with notes of pine, nuts, and herbs. Construction is excellent. Work this smoke into your rotation the next time you have the chance, even if it isn’t sexy or trendy.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: L’Atelier Imports Surrogates Animal Cracker

2 Mar 2014

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.”

Surrogates-Animal-Cracker

The behemoth Animal Cracker (6 x 60) features an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. It sells for $9.50. The cigar is billed this way: “Animal Cracker defines the large ring gauge as a successful wild hunt for big flavor and strength.” I’m largely inclined to agree. The perfectly constructed cigar features plenty of pepper, black coffee, and woody flavors. I was prepared to dismiss this cigar because I’m generally not a fan of thick smokes, but I must say I was impressed. Based on the one I smoked, it’s easily my second favorite from the Surrogates line.

Verdict = Buy.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys