Cigar Review: MBombay Classic Torpedo

14 Feb 2018

This new vitola in the Classic line from Bombay Tobak won’t be crowding the shelves at your local B&M. In fact, it is intended to be available only as one of five cigars in MBombay’s new Sample Pack, though some retailers may split them apart for individual sales (MSRP $11.95).

The Torpedos have a smaller production level than other MBombay Classics. According to brand owner Mel Shah, there are two primary reasons for this: (1) the difficulty and time required to properly roll the shape, and (2) the fact that the cigars are aged for more than 14 months before heading to market.

So, the bottom line is you may have to do a little searching to find this cigar. Judging from those I’ve smoked, it will be well worth your while.

The tobaccos include an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Ecuadorian binder, and filler from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. The Torpedo, a 6-inch cigar with a ring gauge of 52, features an unfinished, closed foot. As with other Bombay Tobak cigars, it is rolled in Costa Rica.

There’s not a lot of differences from the original Classic—which received four stogies when we reviewed it in 2016—but that little bit is notable.

While both are smooth, the Torpedo is a bit stronger, especially in the second half. (Overall, I’d rate the strength as mild in the first half, medium thereafter.) And both are creamy with cedar notes, but the Torpedo also evokes some citrus and other fruity sweetness for added complexity.

On the other hand, they were identical in performance. Excellent burn, excellent draw, and great smoke production.

If you purchase the sampler, the other four cigars are the Mora Toro, Habano Robusto, Corojo Oscuro Robusto, and a Gaaja Toro.

The Classic Torpedo is a welcome addition to the MBombay line, and I think any cigar smoker will enjoy it. It earns four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Review: E.P. Carrillo Interlude Maduro Rothschild Jr.

12 Feb 2018

Baby, it’s cold outside. For those of us not lucky enough to live in a tropical climate, February–with its diminishing humidity and freezing temperatures–is a stark reminder that winter is not the most accommodating season for cigars. This may be the shortest month in terms of days but, here in Chicago, it certainly feels like the longest.

While braving inclement weather shows a true dedication to the leaf, Jack Frost does everything he can to make standing still or sitting down pretty damn intolerable. That’s why many cold-climate cigar enthusiasts turn to smaller, shorter cigars this time of year.

If you’re looking to pack a premium cigar experience into a short amount of time, cigar legend Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has your back. In 2016, he launched Interlude, a line of two different blends each presented in two winter friendly formats: Carrillitos (4 x 38) and Rothschild Jr. (3.75 x 48).

The Natural version of “Ernesto’s shortest cigar ever made” sports a Connecticut wrapper (same as the New Wave Reserva) around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. The Maduro boasts a Mexican San Andrés wrapper (same as La Historia) around an Ecuadorian binder and Nicaraguan filler. Given their small size, both were challenging to blend “because the dimensions limit the amount of tobacco that can be used,” Ernesto Perez-Carrillo shared via email. “So the proportions have to be just right to get the flavor profile sought.”

I smoked a handful of cigars in the Interlude Maduro Rothschild Jr. format for this review. This cigar is neatly presented in a regal, compact five-pack that retails for $16.25 (or $3.25 per cigar).

Once the cellophane is removed, the rustic, highly mottled wrapper comes into view. It is wrinkled, veiny, and rough around the edges—especially at the seams and cap (this is, to some extent, to be expected with San Andrés wrapper leaf). The feel is firm. Still, after a guillotine cut, the cold draw is smooth. At the foot, I find pre-light notes of leather, green raisin, and caramel.

The introductory flavor is a full-bodied experience with plenty of black pepper spice, rich molasses, and black coffee. Quickly, the Maduro Rothschild Jr. settles into the medium- to full-bodied spectrum. As the body and spice settle a bit, the introduction of café au lait with sugar adds sweetness, creaminess, and balance. At the midway point, a salty peanut flavor joins the fray. This is about how the cigar remains for the rest of the 45-minute smoke.

Throughout, construction is flawless. The burn is straight from light to nub, the ash holds well off the foot, and the draw is clear. Notably, the smoke production is well above average—especially for a cigar that feels this firm.

I am looking forward to trying the remaining three Interlude cigars. The E.P. Carrillo Interlude Maduro Rothschild Jr. earns a solid rating of four stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Gran Habano #1 Connecticut Robusto

11 Feb 2018

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.”

The Gran Habano #1 Connecticut is a cigar I often see sold at golf courses near me, where they may have, at most, five or six different cigars. The Robusto (5 x 52) uses a Connecticut wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. The well-constructed cigar features hay, cedar, earth, and some pepper spice. It’s not particularly complex, but the medium-bodied smoke has more flavor than your average Connecticut -wrapped cigar. Available for under $5 each, it isn’t hard to see why this is an excellent pick for the golf course.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Moolah by Perdomo Toro

10 Feb 2018

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.”

Made for the Two Guys Smoke Shop chain in New Hampshire, Perdomo’s Moolah is a mixed filler Nicaraguan puro with a small price tag. The Toro (6 x 50) sells for $3.59 (or $69.99 for a box of 25). Performance is fine, with a good draw, straight burn, and a great deal of smoke. It’s flavor where Moolah falls short. Few are discernable. The cigar is generally sharp, dry, and has a scratchy back-of-the-throat finish. But Moolah isn’t masquerading as something it’s not, so the buyer should be well aware beforehand of what’s in store.

Verdict = Sell.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Big Papi’s Baseball Bat Cigar, FDA Exemption Bill Adds Support, and More

9 Feb 2018

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post our sampling of cigar news and other items of interest from the week. Below is our latest, which is the 566th in the series.

1) El Artista announced new promotional offerings for its Big Papi by David Ortiz line. Particularly notable is a large baseball bat-shaped figuardo called Big Slugger which is sold individually for $45 in a glass-top display box. In addition, the company introduced a 50-count humidor sold empty (MSRP $120) or with 20 cigars (MSRP $330).

2) Support continues to grow in Congress for the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act, which exempts premium handmade cigars from FDA regulation. The Senate version (S.294) added Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) as a co-sponsor this week, bringing the number of co-sponsors to 19. Meanwhile, its House companion bill (H.R. 564) has added three new co-sponsors since January 1, bringing its total to 142.

3) Inside the Industry: Oettinger Davidoff AG announced this week it is establishing a new executive position, Chief Commercial Officer, and has selected Jim Young, president of Davidoff North America, to fill the position. According to the announcement, the CCO position was created to help drive sales excellence and share best practices across all markets. Young will retain his responsibilities as president of Davidoff North America but will relocate to Basel, Switzerland.

4) From the Archives: We went to Nicaragua and made our own blends. Then we aged the cigar for three years and checked out the results.

5) Deal of the Week: StogieGuys.com recommends Bespoke Post, a monthly collection of awesome items (think fine bar accessories, shaving kits, workout gear, and more) delivered for just $45. Of note is the Churchill box, which features four cigars, an ashtray made of reclaimed wood, an odor-eating candle, cedar spills, and a cutter. Once you are signed up, there is no obligation; you can skip or purchase each month. Sign up here in the next five days to be eligible for the February box.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: El Artista

Cigar Review: Tatuaje Series P Miami P1 Corona Gorda

7 Feb 2018

Perhaps our well-informed readers will know of another but, off the top of my head, I can think of only one mixed-filler, hand-rolled cigar made in America: the Tatuaje Series P Miami. Last year, without much fanfare, the cigars began appearing in limited numbers at some Tatuaje retailers.

Via email, Tatuaje owner Pete Johnson describes the cigars this way: “Made in Miami using only picadura from Brown Label Miami. The Ecuador Habano wrapper is the same wrapper on Brown Label. Two binders like everything else we make. Very small production with only one roller making them.”

The cigars are available in two sizes: P1 Corona Gorda (5.6 x 46) and P2 Robusto (5 x 50). The cigars sell for about $6 each in foil-wrapped bundles of 25. I smoked four in the Corona Gorda size for this review.

The cigar features a nipple cap (just like the Tatuaje Black Corona Gorda) and the dark Ecuadorian wrapper extends around the closed foot. About that wrapper, Johnson says the Miami Series P uses the same wrappers as the Brown Label cigars rolled in Miami, which is a mix of the lighter shade original six sizes and the higher priming wrappers used on the Cojonu, J21, and K222 vitolas.

The cigar features medium- to full-bodied flavors with rich espresso, light cedar, black pepper, and cocoa. Additional notes of sweet cream, toast, and charred oak are prominent, especially towards the second half.

Despite being mixed-filler (a combination of long-filler and picadura cuttings from other long-filler cigars), I found construction to more than adequate. Though the draw is perhaps more open and the ash less stable than regular, higher-priced Tatuaje Miami cigars, combustion overall is still good.

I’ve always found the foil-wrapped Tatuaje cigars to be among my favorites and, once again, I’m impressed by a Miami-made, wet-packed Tat. Despite the 100% long-filler Brown Label Tatuajes not being all that more expensive than this mixed-filler offering, I recommend this cigar, if you can find it. The Tatuaje Series P Miami P1 Corona Gorda earns a rating of four stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Tip: Check Out the New Smart Sensor from Boveda

5 Feb 2018

As we recently reported, Boveda, the Minnesota-based “global leader in two-way humidity control,” has introduced what it is calling “the best innovation for premium cigars since the invention of Boveda.” Called the Smart Sensor, the device syncs up your humidor’s humidity and temperature levels with an app on your phone or tablet.

When Boveda asked me to take the Smart Sensor for a test drive, I jumped at the opportunity. After all, I’ve been trusting Boveda with my humidification needs in my various humidors for years. Over that time, the only way I’ve been gauging humidor health is to monitor the many Boveda packets I employ and replace them when they feel like they’re starting to dry out. It’s a sub-optimal, unscientific process, but one that has proven to work. (I don’t trust the hygrometers in my humidors anymore; I’ve been too lazy to perform the salt calibration test for some time, and I found them to be fickle, unreliable instruments in the first place.)

The Smart Sensor is currently available at BovedaInc.com. It retails for about $40, or $50 if you also want four large humidification packets and a calibration kit (you probably do). Once the Sensor arrives, getting started is easy. The first thing you’ll want to do is download the free app and link your Sensor (a process that took me no more than a few minutes.

Next, you’ll want to calibrate the Sensor by placing it in a Boveda-provided sealed bag with a small Boveda packet. After a two-point calibration is completed, the device will be accurate within +/- 1.5% relative humidity; the accuracy goes down to +/- 2.5% with a one-point calibration.

After 24 hours, the Smart Sensor will be ready for use. Simply place it (or mount it) within your humidor. You can now check on your humidor without opening its lid from a range of about 100 feet (or, if you want to extend the reach to anywhere in the world, you can use a second device).

Here are my impressions of the product after a few weeks of testing:

  • The app is beautifully designed and easy to use.
  • The Boveda Knowledge Base, found within the app, is a nice value-add, featuring FAQs about cigar humidification.
  • The sensor is small and unobtrusive; it will not hamper your cigar storage capacity.
  • Cheers to Boveda for including an idiot-proof user guide and accompanying video; setting up the Smart Sensor could not have been easier.
  • One of my favorite features is that the app can be customized to alert you to humidity or temperature changes exceeding a user-defined threshold of acceptability.
  • The app also allows to you create a profile for the humidor (or humidors) you’re monitoring, including a name, picture, quantity of cigars, and notes.
  • The only drawback? As I’ve written before, I operate with multiple humidors. The app is perfect for this, but my setup would require me to spend about $200 on Smart Sensors alone. (This is especially concerning because I think I might do just that.)

As always, please note that while Boveda provided me with one Smart Sensor (and calibration kit), their generosity in no way impacts my opinion of the product. On its own merits, Smart Sensor is a wonderful device that will be enjoyable and satisfying to thousands of tech-centric cigar enthusiasts.

Patrick A

photo credits: Stogie Guys