Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Today's review is the newest release from Viaje, the Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter. This is actually the first Viaje I have had the opportunity to smoke, thanks to one of the great guys over on the BOTL forum. This was a pretty limited release cigar, with 150 boxes of 25 made. So, unless you have a box already, these might be a little hard to come across. The Skull and Bones is a Nicaraguan Puro with a Sungrown Criollo wrapper. This is a small cigar, measuring in at 4 x 54. I love the pirate theme band. When I first heard about these, I thought the packaging might be a little cheesy, but it turned out perfect.
This is nice looking cigar, with an oily dark chocolate colored wrapper and a fairly firm feel to it overall. The cap is a little sloppy, but overall, a nicely made cigar. This has a great draw, with a nice amount of resistance. If a cigar this size has a loose draw it can burn hot very quickly and pretty much ruin the cigar. The predraw flavors show cocoa and leather, a promising start. Once lit, the Skull and Bones starts with a rich cocoa and coffee flavors, with some black pepper spice on the tongue. I am loving the creamy chocolate flavors and the small amount of spice mixed in. The burn is slow and even with a slightly dark gray ash.
After the first inch or so, the cigar seems to mellow just a little bit, and the spice recedes, and a light cedar flavor joins in with the chocolate flavor that was already present. There is a nice complexity to this cigar so far. At the halfway point I would put this down as a medium bodied cigar with a very rich flavor. I knocked off the ash at the halfway point so I could take the band off, but I could tell the ash would have held on much longer if I had tried. These are definitely well made cigars! For the last third of the Skull and Bones, the black pepper returns and this cigar moves into the full bodied category. I had a feeling this thing would amp up towards the end, and it certainly doesn't disappoint! The power isn't overwhelming at all, there is still a nice balance with the rich flavors. I never had to touch up the burn, which is always a great thing to see on a cigar.
This was a great cigar. Unfortunately Ill probably never get to smoke it again due to the limited release on these. I love the rich flavors of chocolate, black pepper and cedar. These sold for $9 a piece, so it isnt a cheap cigar, but I would definitely pay that price for this cigar if I ever found them. At first when I saw how much these were compared to the size, I was thinking they were a little overpriced, but after smoking one and seeing how slow they burn and how well they perform, they are worth it. I am interested in trying some of the other cigars Viaje makes after smoking this one.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Today’s review is of the new La Aurora 107. This cigar is available in a Robusto, Belicoso, and the size I am reviewing today, a 5.5 X 54 Toro. Honestly, I do not smoke a lot of La Auroras, but I am always looking to try something new. I want my readers here to trust me, so I need to let everyone know that I received these cigars from La Aurora directly. They contacted me asking if I would be interested in reviewing this cigar, and I told them of course! However, I told them I would review this cigar honestly, and just because they sent them doesn’t guarantee a positive review!
Ok, now that I got that out of the way, onto the La Aurora 107! This cigar has a Dominican binder, Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, and an Ecuadorian wrapper. This wrapper has a slightly reddish hue, and is nice and smooth with a few veins. This is a large cigar at a 54 ring gauge, and has plenty of heft to it. The predraw shows an open draw with a definite cocoa flavor. After lighting this 107 up, it starts out with a light spice and clear leather notes. There is a really nice underlying honeycomb sweetness here as well. This cigar produces thick, chewy smoke, which I like. There is a slight tickle in the back of my throat during the first inch of this cigar; maybe it is a little young? The burn has been dead even and this is holding a very solid ash that doesn’t want to fall. Towards the end of the first third of this cigar, some cedar flavor shows up and a lot more of that honeycomb sweetness I noted earlier. Also, a citrus zest undertone joins the profile and really ties the cedar and honey flavor together.
At the halfway point, the honey and cedar flavors are in full force with very little spice present (except on the retrohale). The leather flavors that were present in the first inch or 2 have dissipated as well. This has become very smooth, and that tickle in the back of my throat has disappeared.
The La Aurora 107 was a nice surprise. This is probably my favorite thing I have smoked from La Aurora, and I would definitely smoke these again. This cigar ended up being a solid medium bodied smoke, and those cedar and honeycomb flavors were very tasty. I am not quite sure what the retail price on this cigar is, but after looking at a few places online it seems like the toro goes for about $8. For a cigar this size and with the flavor it delivers, that isn’t an unreasonable price. At that price point, there are a lot of cigars that I really like, but I could still see myself picking these up when I am in the mood for a change. I usually smoke a ton of spicy cigars, and knowing I can get that leather, cedar and honeycomb flavor out of this one is good to know.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Today's review is another new cigar by Don Pepin Garcia, the La Reloba. This cigar is available in two wrappers, a Sumatra, and the one reviewing today, the Habano. These are available in 4 basic sizes, a Robusto, Corona, Toro, and Torpedo. I am reviewing the Toro, which measures in at 6 X 52.
The La Reloba Habano has a fairly non descript brown wrapper with a silky smooth feel to it. Being made by Pepin, it is topped off with a nice triple cap. The predraw shows a slightly open (but not too open) draw with a dusty cocoa and slightly mustly flavor. This cigar starts out with typical Pepin spice with a hardwood undertone. After getting into this cigar a little more, a slight hay flavor shows up, but recedes quickly. The spice also recedes, leaving that hardwood/cedar flavor as the dominant characteristic to this cigar. This definitely tastes like a Pepin, almost like a lighter version of the Cuban Classic, but not as complex. The ash is nice and white, and just a little flaky. The burn is strait, even in the slightly breezy smoking conditions. A slightly vegetal undertone has shown up, but isnt necessarily unpleasant. There is also a slightly sweet flavor going on here.
This is a solid cigar, but doesn't quite "get there." It seems like something really good is just out of reach in the flavor profile. The flavors that are in the La Reloba aren't muted or anything, I just feel that some other component to the blend would have pushed this to the next level. It doesn't have that "wow" factor like some of the other newer Pepin cigars like the My Father Le Bijou or Jaime Garcia Reserva Selection. That being said, this is still a good medium bodied cigar. I picked this cigar up for right around $6, which seems fair for this cigar.
Side note: I smoked the La Reloba Sumatra at the Pepin event last week and liked it more than the Habano. That aspect to the blend I thought was missing seemed to be present in the Sumatra. It had a little more spice and complexity, so if you see either of these, definitely give the Sumatra a shot. I might grab another Sumatra to review in the future....
Have you had a chance to try either of the La Relobas?