Friday, March 27, 2009

La Riqueza no.3

This is another cigar blended by Don Pepin Garcia for Pete Johnson's company Tatuaje. La Riqueza (the Wealth in Spanish) is a box pressed cigar with a Nicaraguan binder and filler, with a really dark Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper. The no.3 is the Corona Gorda, measuring in at 5 5/8 x 46 ring. What i love about Don Pepin's cigars, is he puts a date stamp on the bottom of the box so you know when they were rolled. He's one of the few, or maybe even the only one outside of Cuba to date his boxes. This box is from June 2008, so they are a little young, but coming along nicely.

This wrapper isnt the prettiest, and feels a little dry to the touch, but it smells great. I think the best word for the way this cigar looks is rustic. The prelight draw has a very clean tobacco taste with a little leather, and just the right amount of resistance.

The first few draws are very in your face with a bit of earthy spice and a ton of leather. The further i get into this cigar, the more complex the flavors get. At the halfway point there is a slight sweetness mixed in with the spicey leather flavors and it really works nicely.
This is a solid medium bodied cigar with a very even burn. The last one of these out of this box that i smoked burned horribly, thankfully this one isnt hopefully none of the others will be as well.

This cigar goes for about $196 a box, or roughly $7.80 a piece. I think overall i prefer the Brown Label Tatuaje when it comes to Pete Johnsons cigars, but this one is definitely a must try and one ill keep around. This is a great cigar now, but will continue to get even better with more time in a humidor.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Don Pepin Blue Label Generosos

Yet another Don Pepin Garcia cigar up for review this week! This time its his blue label 6 inch x 50 ring gauge Toro called the Generosos. I havent smoked nearly as many of the blue label as i have of the Black. This cigar looks very nicely constructed, and is topped off with Pepin's cuban style triple cap. This is another Nicaraguan Puro, with a Corojo wrapper, Criollo binder and filler. This cigar is rolled either in Pepin's factory in Miami, or at his factory in Nicaragua.

The aroma of this cigar unlit is very powerful and spicey with a little cocoa. It sort of tingles the nose. The draw is a little on the loose side, with lots of cocoa powder taste to it. I hope the loose draw doesnt affect the burn.

Right away i can tell im smoking another Pepin cigar, just from the flavor profile. There is definitely Pepin's trademark spice right up front, with some leather, cocoa and some vanilla bean in the background that is very pleasant. This is not a cigar for beginners in my opinion. It is medium to full bodied with a very spicey and full flavor that might be a turn off for someone new to cigars.

As i get a little further into this cigar, the spice really backs down, with a nice cedary characteristic becoming the dominant flavor. This flavor profile remained consistent throughout the rest of this cigar. Overall this was an enjoyable cigar, but i think i like the Black Label more.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I got a pipe!

A friend of mine sent me a Meerschaum pipe the other day! I dont have much experience with pipes, but its pretty damn cool! Im smoking it for the first time right now, an english blend called Arcadia and it has a very unique flavor i havent ever tasted in tobacco before. This blend is really smooth with no bite to it at all. I dont see myself replacing cigars with a pipe, but this is a nice change of pace and im sure i will light it up every now and then!

This is the front face of the pipe:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

San Cristobal De La Habana La Fuerza

The Cuban brand San Cristobal De La Habana is one that i think is often overlooked. The La Fuerza is a 5.6 inch by 50 ring gauge cigar. SCDLH has been a brand i have always loved that rarely disappoints.

Visually this is a great looking cigar, very nice wrapper with a perfectly applied triple cap. The predraw has a slightly cocoa flavor.

This cigar is great right from the start. There is a lot of bitter chocolate and a creamyness to the flavor. There is a slight spiceyness to this cigar, but it is on the subtle side. At the halfway point i am tasting something i can't quite pin down but sort of reminds me of brown sugar. Molasses maybe? There is also a slight black tea flavor the further i get into this cigar. Cuban cigars tend to me harder to review due to their complexity. I would put this as a solid medium bodied cigar with very smooth, complex flavors. I recommend this cigar to any Cuban cigar fan looking for something off the beaten path.

If things work out, look for another review later on this week.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Oliva Master Blend III

The Master Blends III is Oliva's top of the line cigar. This is the third Master blends edition (obviously by the name you knew that) and is a limited series. These have a very elaborate band that makes you think you are in for a treat when you see it in your humidor. Sometimes when i see an elaborate band like this, i think that a company is trying to hard to get your attention with flashy packaging, but that is not the case with this cigar. This cigar is composed of a Nicaraguan Ligero filler, Nicaraguan Habano Binder, and a Broadleaf Sun Grown wrapper. The wrapper on this is very nice and oily, with plenty of tooth that i usually see on a sungrown wrapper. This is a flat boxpressed cigar, meaning that it has a rectangular like shape to it instead of being round. The one im smoking is the Double Robusto size, 5 inches by 54 ring gauge.

The draw is fantastic, with just the right amount of resistance. Oliva is one company i seldom find a plugged cigar with. Flavorwise, this is definitely lighter than the Oliva V, one of the staples in my humidor. It is however a little more complex and less in your face than the V, which is a nice change of pace. This has loads of great toasted tobacco flavor with a light dusting of cinnamon and brown sugar. Its creamy and soft, but bold at the same time. There is also a light cedar flavor i am picking up at the halfway point on this cigar, as well as some nice leathery notes. The ash on this cigar is firm and very white, which looks fantastic next to the dark wrapper. This cigar reminds me of the smell of a cigar shop, cedar from the humidors and that rich aroma in the air from the customers who are smoking. This cigar goes for around $10, and is worth the price of admission. This is a medium bodied, full flavored complex cigar that will not dissappoint. You can tell that great care went into the blend and production of this cigar. I dont know many cigar smokers that wouldnt enjoy this line. The Oliva V is still my favorite of all the Oliva cigars, but this one is not to be overlooked. This is not an everday cigar, mostly because of the price point, but i will definitely reach for this when looking for a premium Nicaraguan cigar, that is if i can find them in a shop. These are a limited production cigar so they arent as easy to find as some of the other Oliva lines.

The last time i had this cigar, i was sitting down with David Wagner, the executive sales manager for Oliva Cigars for an iterview to become a sales rep for Oliva. At the time i enjoyed the cigar, but wasnt really focusing on it as i had other things on my mind! It was a very great experience to smoke with some of the people behind this cigar, and even though i did not get hired for the position, i continue to support and promote Oliva Cigars because i really love their products. I love having a memory behind a particular cigar, and sitting in that huge leather chair with the guys from Oliva while smoking it is definitely the one that will always come to mind whenever i light up this cigar.