Tuesday, June 23, 2009

24th Birthday cigar!

After a great lunch of Sushi with laurie, its time for a cigar! I always like to save a special cigar for my birthday, and this years cigar is the Cuaba 2008 Edicion Limitada. This pyramide measures in at 6.1 inches by 52 ring gauge. I am not really going to do a full review on this one, as i just want to sit back, relax and enjoy this splendid cigar! What i will tell you though is that it has that rich dark flavor i have come to exect on most limited edition cubans. There is a nuttyness, dark chocolate and a touch of spice, and is right in the medium/full bodied range.

Thankfully it doesnt show much youth to it, which a lot of young ELs do. The tobacco was aged for a minimum of 2 years before being rolled, and with about a year of humidor time on it, these are smoking very well already. The wrapper on this cigar is very oily and very inviting! There is also a nice black cherry flavor that showed up on this cigar.

Onto the drink! I got a bottle of rum i have been after for a while from my sister this past weekend, Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva. This is a very flavorful rum that seems perfect for sipping alongside your favorite cigar. The combo of aged rum and a great cigar is hard to beat.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Don Pepin Garcia My father Lancero

Another lancero made by Pepin tonight! This time around its the cigar called My Father, blended by Jaime garcia for his father, Don Pepin Garcia. This has a Habano Rosado wrapper and is a Nicaraguan Puro with tobacco grown at one of the most prestigious farms in Esteli, Nicaragua. This Lancero measures in at 7.5 inches X 38 ring gauge.

This is a great looking lancero, with a flawless wrapper that has a slight reddish hue to it. This has the pigtail cap, just like the Triunfador i reviewed last week. (not a surprise considering its made by the same guys).

The predraw is very rich and clean tasting, with loads of cocoa, cedar and a bit of the typical Nicaraguan spice found in Pepin's cigars. The draw is perfect for a lancero, just the right amount of resistance.

Wow. Right away this is a stellar cigar. It starts out with a slew of complex flavors, including cocoa, roasted nuts, a bit of toffee and a slight honey like sweetness. The complexity of this cigar is impressive, with such an array of flavors that really keep your palate excited. The flavor is constantly changing, with some flavors coming out with one puff, then something else coming through a few puffs later. About 2 inches in there is a really nice cakey flavor, almost like a spice cake. A few inches after that, i got a really pleasant salted meat like flavor that really surpised me and worked well with this blend. It was nice to smoke something like this with flavors that were constantly changing and intermingling together.

What an amazing cigar! I have one of these left in a different size and i can't wait to smoke it. This is a bit more refined than the El Triunfador, with a complexity i rarely see outside of Cuban cigars these days. This cigar is very well balanced and sits right at medium bodied. These will age magnificently, but smoke great now. After smoking this and the El Triunfador last week, i am very impressed with Pepin's Lanceros. If you see these, i highly recommend picking up a few! I paid a little over 7 bucks for this cigar, and it is well worth the price. This was an online purchase though, so i got it a bit cheaper than you would probably find in a shop. I like to buy locally when i can, but wasnt able to find this particular cigar in the area. I will definitely be buying more of these.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

El Triunfador Lancero

This is a cigar i have been after for a while now, and finally found a shop that carries them! This lancero measures in at 7.5 inches X 38 ring gauge. This cigar is made for Pete Johnson (owner of Tatuaje) by Don Pepin Garcia (who rolls all of Petes cigars) is made up of a Nicaraguan filler and a really nice dark connecticut broadleaf wrapper. These are made in very small batches, and are blended exclusively for the lancero size. This cigar hit the market in a very sneaky fashion in September of 2008. Very few people knew about these cigars coming out, which is a rare thing in the cigar world. I like how Pete was sneaky about releasing this particular cigar, and that he chose to do it in a Lancero, a very classic size. Now, you can find them several places online and at select retailers, but who knows for how long.

Ok, onto the review! The wrapper is very dark and oily, with no imperfections at all. I like the simple brown band Pete did for these as well. The pigtail cap looks great, and brings to mind the traditional Cuban lanceros such as the Cohiba Lancero and Trinidad Fudadore that also sport this style cap. The predraw is slightly restrictive, but that is ok because a Lancero needs to be smoked very slowly, and if the draw was too open it would be easier to smoke this too fast and get it too hot, making it bitter. The prelight flavors are dark chocolate and a bit of leather.

The flavor upon lighting is more of the same from the predraw, dark chocolate, leather, and a bit of classic Nicaraguan spice. There is also a touch of a darker sweetness flavor that im guessing comes from the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. As ive said before, with a lancero, you need a great flavorful wrapper since the ratio of wrapper leaf is much higher on this size cigar. There is a nice complexity to this cigar, with loads of different flavors coming and going as you get into it. An espresso flavor joins the mix of chocolate and spice. This is a medium bodied cigar, just shy of being what i consider full bodied.

The lancero is such an elegant size, and unfortunately is not a very common cigar anymore. This cigar demands you to slow down and sip at it, and if you take your time, you will definitely be rewarded. So far this is one of the best Non Cuban lanceros i have had the pleasure of smoking.

Hats off to Pepin on rolling this lancero. This size is one of the harder cigars to roll because of its thin ring gauge. If it isnt rolled perfectly, the draw is usually tight, but all the lanceros ive had from Pepin are spot on. Overall, the El Triunfador is a great cigar. I had to drive an hour to get this cigar, and ill gladly do it again for a few more. I paid just under 9 bucks for this cigar, and it is definitely worth the price tag. The flavors are rich and complex, and the construction of this cigar is pretty much perfect. If you are a fan of the Pete/Pepin combo cigars, then you will really enjoy this one! The lancero shape isnt for everyone,but for those that havent had one, this is a great one to go out and try. This is one that might make people who think they dont like lanceros finally see the light on thin ring gauge cigars!