Tag Archives: First Smoke

First Smoke: La Aurora Untamed Extreme Robusto

6 Oct 2015

First Smoke is a new series of Quick Smoke reviews, each evaluating a single pre-release cigar. Like the Quick Smokes we publish each Saturday and Sunday, each First Smoke is not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar.fyr-cvr-robusto-sq

La-aurora-untamed-extreme

According to Jason Wood of Miami Cigar & Co. (La Aurora’s partner and distributor), after the last year’s release of Untamed—La Aurora’s strongest cigar to date—a few people started asking for an even more full-bodied smoke from the esteemed Dominican producer that’s better known for more subtle smokes. So master blender Manuel Inoa went to work on a “more extreme” blend. The result is Untamed Extreme, which comes in three sizes: Robusto, Toro, and an oversized Behemoth (7 x 60).

The cigar features dark charred oak flavors, earth, and woody spice. There’s a slight sourness, but overall it’s a truly full-bodied smoke with a big nicotine kick to boot. Construction is excellent. I’ll admit I prefer the more classic profile from La Aurora (the serially overlooked Fernando León Family Reserve, for example), but ultimately the Untamed Extreme delivers what it promises: full flavor, full body, and full strength. If that’s what you’re looking for you’re unlikely to be disappointed.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

First Smoke: BG Meyer Gigantes 56

24 Sep 2015

First Smoke is a new series of Quick Smoke reviews, each evaluating a single pre-release cigar. Like the Quick Smokes we publish each Saturday and Sunday, each First Smoke is not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar.fyr-cvr-robusto-sq

BG Meyer Gigantes 56

BG Meyer is an offshoot of the re-branded Camacho line and a project of Hollywood writer and producer Rob Weiss, a member of Camacho’s “Board of the Bold” (along with Matt Booth and Mike Ditka). The recently introduced BG Meyer Gigantes line is the third BG Meyer release, and it showcases a seven-year-old Nicaraguan-grown Habano wrapper. Underneath is a six-year-old Brazilian Mata Fina binder and six-year-old filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The line comes in four sizes. For this assessment, I’m smoking the 56 (5 x 56). (The Gigantes name, by the way, isn’t about the sizes in the line, but rather a reference to giant personalities and influences.)

The cigar is dominated by earth and oak, though notes of coffee, bread, clove, and hints of red pepper are also apparent. Davidoff (which owns Camacho) has been emphasizing Nicaragua lately in its releases, but Gigantes may be the most quintessentially Nicaraguan smoke in its entire catalog. The cigar, which sells for around $12, is nicely balanced, medium- to full-bodied, and well-constructed.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

First Smoke: CAO Havana Daydreamin’ Margaritaville Robusto

15 Sep 2015

First Smoke is a new series of Quick Smoke reviews, each evaluating a single pre-release cigar. Like the Quick Smokes we publish each Saturday and Sunday, each First Smoke is not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar.fyr-cvr-robusto-sq

CAO-margaritaville

CAO has long had an association with music due to its Nashville roots, but Jimmy Buffet’s island- and rum-inspired tones probably aren’t the first to spring to mind. At least until CAO announced a pair of officially licensed Margaritaville brand CAO cigars this summer. One is a piña-coloda flavored cigar, while the other, called Havana Daydreamin’, is a traditional blend with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over Nicaraguan tobaccos.

The latter comes in three sizes. I smoked the Robusto (5 x 50), which features a notably shiny, golden brown wrapper. Once lit, it produces very mild, mellow flavors, with paper, cream, and light cedar. The construction is excellent with a firm but not difficult draw, sturdy white ash, and an even burn. With so many “Parrothead” Buffet fans, CAO has a good chance of commercial success, but the cigar itself is just too bland for me to recommend, even to a novice cigar smoker.

Verdict = Sell.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

First Smoke: PDR Flores y Rodriguez Connecticut Valley Reserve

27 Aug 2015

First Smoke is a new series of Quick Smoke reviews, each evaluating a single pre-release cigar. Like the Quick Smokes we publish each Saturday and Sunday, each First Smoke is not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar.fyr-cvr-robusto-sq

fyr-cvr-robusto

At the Pinar del Rio booth this year at the IPCPR Trade Show, the focus was on this new super-premium offering. I’m a fan of Connecticut Broadleaf, so I’ve seen a lot of them, and in terms of dark, oily wrappers, few are as impressive as this seven-year-old wrapper. It surrounds dual binders from Nicaragua and Ecuador and filler consisting of Dominican Corojo and Nicaraguan Criollo. The cigar comes in four sizes (priced $16-19) and I smoked the Robusto (5 x 52).

The cigar starts off with slightly grassy notes, but soon settles into a more interesting combination of sourdough bread, light spice, and oak. It’s medium-bodied and well-balanced. Construction is excellent from the first draw to the final ash. Given the price, I wouldn’t rush out and buy a box of 15 when it is released later this fall. But fans of cigars with Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers shouldn’t hesitate to pick one up at their local shop.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

First Smoke: Nica Rustica Short Robusto

18 Aug 2015

First Smoke is a new series of Quick Smoke reviews, each evaluating a single pre-release cigar. Like the Quick Smokes we publish each Saturday and Sunday, each First Smoke is not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar.Nica- Rustica Short Robusto

 Nica- Rustica Short Robusto

Whether by design or not, Nica Rustica has always seemed like sort of a discount version of the immensely popular Liga Privada No. 9. (Think of it as a second wine from a top Bordeaux producer.) Both feature Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers (Liga uses “Broadleaf #1 Darks” while the Nica Rustica uses a “Broadleaf Medium”), and both debuted in just one size, a Toro, before expanding to multiple vitolas. Continuing to follow in Liga’s footsteps, Nica Rustica is expanding with two new sizes this year: Belly (7.5 x 54) and Short Robusto (4.5 x 50).

The Nica Rustica Short Robusto features powdery smoke that coats the mouth in oak, earth, bread, grass, and pepper. Although the final Nica Rustica blend doesn’t use a wild Nicaraguan strain of tobacco that pre-release test blends included, the rustic, gritty characteristics are still evident, which is exactly what Nica Rustica intends. Construction is excellent and features Drew Estate’s trademark smoke production. You won’t mistake it for Liga, but with a $5.95 MSRP, the Nica Rustica Short Robusto delivers good value.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

First Smoke: Davidoff 140 Years (1875-2015) Limited Edition

4 Aug 2015

First Smoke is a new series of Quick Smoke reviews each evaluating a single pre-release cigar. Like the Quick Smokes we publish each Saturday and Sunday, each First Smoke is not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar.davidoff-140-sq

davidoff-140

When Max Oettinger opened a store in Basel in 1875, he never could have imagined 140 years later it would grow into Oettinger Davidoff AG, one of the largest and most storied cigar makers in the world. To celebrate that anniversary, Davidoff has created a special limited cigar. Details of the blend of the thick toro aren’t available, nor is it known if it will go on sale, although a limited release along the lines of the 2013 Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary seems likely.

I received this cigar at a media event hosted by Davidoff in their booth at the recent IPCPR Trade Show. It starts out very subtle with cedar, bread, cafe-au-lait, and just a hint of distinctively Davidoff mushroom notes. About a third of the way in, the cedar increases and there is a slight white pepper spice. Construction is excellent. If it goes on sale there is no doubt this will be an expensive smoke, but for fans of Davidoff it will meet every expectation, with subtlety and balance along with a restrained medium-bodied intensity.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

First Smoke: Montecristo Espada Estoque

30 Jul 2015

First Smoke is a new series of Quick Smoke reviews each evaluating a single pre-release cigar. Like the Quick Smokes we publish each Saturday and Sunday, each First Smoke is not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar.

monte-espada-estoque

As a follow-up to last year’s all-Nicaraguan Montecristo Espada line, Altadis USA announced the limited Montecristo Espada Estoque at this year’s IPCPR Trade Show. The one-size blend (6 x 50 torpedo) is made by the Plasencia Family in Nicaragua and only 5,000 boxes of 10 will be made. The cigar uses a 2013 Jalapa wrapper, a 2002 Criollo Jalapa binder, and three filler tobaccos from Esteli (Corojo 2009), Ometepe (Criollo 2013) and Condega (Criollo 2013).

Once lit, the cigar has a notably sweet edge, along with a nice balance of coffee bean, earth, baking spices, and leather notes. It starts off medium- to full-bodied, although towards the second half it develops a gritty edge as it ramps up to full-bodied with some black pepper on the finish. Despite a slightly jagged burn line, construction was good with a firm draw and sturdy ash. While I found the first half more enjoyable than the more one-dimensional second half, the Estoque ($14.50) is an interesting cigar that is worlds away from the Dominican Montecristos that most Americans are familiar with.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys