Monday, April 26, 2010

El Cobre Churchill

Today's review is of the El Cobre Churchill. This is a private label cigar made by Oliva for a Empire Cigars in Raleigh, North Carolina. Matt from Matt's Cigar Journal sent me a few of these to try. I don't really know a lot about this particular cigar, but since its from Oliva, I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is a Nicaraguan Puro.

Visually, this is a rough looking cigar. The wrapper is very nice and oily, with a dark, mottled color with a slightly reddish hue to it. The wrapper also has a rough feel to it. Construction wise this is a well made cigar with no soft spots or any other construction problems from a visual inspection. The draw is pretty much perfect and shows a very earthy flavor on the predraw.

This is one of those cigars that delivers loads of flavor right from the first draw. This is a very earthy, leathery cigar with plenty of black coffee flavors mixed in. After getting a little further into this cigar, the same flavors remain pretty consistent. This is a very rich, dark cigar. The room aroma is very strong, but not unpleasant. That being said, if you were smoking this around someone who isn't very tolerant of cigars, this is one that would get you plenty of dirty looks because of the strong aroma. The burn was starting to get a little ragged, but after a quick touch up with my torch, it has stayed pretty even. This is a solid full bodied cigar, but not too strong.

Overall, the El Cobre was a very tasty cigar. If you enjoy strait forward full bodied cigars, then this is definitely one to try. This isn't an overly complex cigar, but the flavors presented are far from boring. The heavy earth and coffee flavors are very tasty. Here is the real kicker about this cigar though, this churchill sells for $4.75! At that price, I am really happy with what it brings to the table. After smoking a few of these, I would expect to pay at least 6-7 bucks for these. For the price they go for, they are quite the bargain. There aren't many cigars for under $5 that will perform as well as this one.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Epernay Le Monde

Today's review is of the Epernay Le Monde from Illusione cigars. This is the newest addition to the Epernay series, and measures in at 6 1/4 X 52. The blend used in the Epernay line first showed up in 2008 ECCJ (European Cigar Cult Journal) limited release cigar. This cigar is made up of Criollo and Corojo tobacco with a Cafe Rosado wrapper. (Side note, the Epernay is named after the heart of France's Champagne region.)

This is a beautiful cigar to look at. The very smooth wrapper has a slightly reddish hue to it, and is much lighter in color compared to the Illusione line of cigars. Like all of Dion's cigars, these are very well made with perfectly applied caps. There are a few prominent veins in the wrapper, but even so it is still very nice.

The draw is perfect on this Epernay. After lighting, it starts out nice and woody and very creamy. The burn started out a little wavy, but evened itself out after the first inch. The ash on this cigar is very dark and stays on for about an inch. This is the second one of these I have smoked, and I have found these to be a very smooth cigar. There is very little spice to this blend, which is a nice change of pace compared to the Illusiones. If I remember right, there isn't any Ligero blended into this cigar, but I could be wrong. The further I get into this Le Monde, the more I am noticing a light leather flavor joining the woody characteristic. At the halfway point, a honeylike sweetness really shines through with a light floral undertone. This is a very complex cigar!

The Epernay is yet another great cigar from Dion Giolito. This medium/full bodied cigar is full flavored and performs like a champ. At $7.95, this cigar is worth every penny. I am beginning to wonder if Dion will ever make a cigar I don't love! One thing worth mentioning, is that across all of Dion's lines,Illusione, Epernay or Cruzado, I never have any issues with construction, draw or flavor. While the burnline might wander a little bit, I never have any complaints about his cigars. There are very few cigar manufacturers that I can say that about.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Liga Privada no.9 Flying Pig

Today's review is of the Drew Estates Liga Privada no.9 Flying Pig. This very uniquely shaped cigar measures in at 4 x 60. (60 ring measured at the middle) Apparently one of the guys at Drew Estates saw it in a picture of a 1895 size chart from a cigar salesman case and decided to put it into production with a slightly modified Liga Privada no.9 blend (Nicaraguan).

The Flying Pig is a very interesting cigar. This is not a ring size I really gravitate towards, but this one seemed very unique. Since I really enjoyed the other Liga Privadas, I figured it would be worth trying. The Connecticut Broadleaf Ligero wrapper is amazingly dark and oily, and reminds me of what fresh espresso beans look like when I open up a bag at work. The Pigtail cap on this cigar is one of the coolest I have ever seen. This one actually curls around like an actual pigs tail! This is a very attractive cigar, even with the larger ring gauge.

The predraw shows a nice draw with just the right amount of resistance I expect from a pefecto, and a leathery and cedar flavor. After lighting, there is an immediate array of flavors mingling around. Definite notes of toasted cedar, strong leather and mocha. After getting into this cigar a little more, some black cracked pepper joins in with all the other flavors. The burn was a little uneven at first, but sometimes perfectos can be a little wavy starting out. This is a full bodied cigar, but not overwhelmingly so at all. I am impressed with how well this stubby little thing is performing! The burn evened out and the construction is very solid. I bet if I really tried, I could get the ash to hold on for damn near the entire length of the cigar, but I don't feel like ending up with a lap full of ash so I won't be trying that today.

The Liga Privada Flying Pig is a very nice cigar. This is no gimmick, which I could see some people thinking because of the unique size. The Pig is full bodied and very full flavored. They are beautifully made and show a complex array of flavors of leather, mocha, cedar and spice. Drew Estates has really nailed it with this blend. Between this and the Liga Privada T52, I am impressed. The ring gauge is a little bit over the top for me, but I would definitely smoke this again given how it delivers on flavor. These are available in limited quantities, so If you see them, give it a shot! At $12 bucks, they aren't cheap, but It seems fair considering how hard these are to roll.

What have your experiences been with the Flying Pig?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tatuaje RC 184

Today's review is of the Tatuaje RC 184. RC stands for Retro Cuban, and 184 is for the length in mm. This perfecto is a monster of a cigar at 7 1/4 X 57. Like all other Tatuaje's, this is made by Don Pepin Garcia and is a Nicaraguan Puro. I love the presentation of this cigar, the foil and the old school looking band really sets this series apart from any other cigars available.

The wrapper is very nice looking like most Tatuaje's, and you can tell that great care goes into making this size cigar. There are a few prominent veins in the wrapper and there is a small crack above the band towards the head. (which didn't cause any issues) The predraw was fairly light with a little bit of leather and a dusty characteristic.

Once lit, this cigar starts out very smooth, yet powerful. A wave of leather and a flavor almost like spice cake really come through up front. The spice backs off after the first inch, but that cakey quality and leather flavor remain and are joined by a roasted nut/toasted bread flavor. Thankfully the burn is very even, as this can sometimes be a problem with a perfecto like this. The white ash holds on for over an inch, showing that this is a very well constructed cigar. That spice I noticed at the beginning of this cigar is still very apparent when passing smoke through the sinuses.

At the halfway point, this cigar is still very complex and has taken on a very creamy characteristic. That being said, the flavors have gotten somewhat darker if that makes any sense and just a little heavier. That leather flavor sticks around throughout the entire cigar and was quite pleasant.

This is a real finger burner that you just don't want to put down! That is really saying something with a cigar this size. For a cigar this big, it had better be fairly complex considering how long it takes to smoke. These are a little pricey, around $17 a piece, but you really get your money's worth. These are not an easy cigar to make, so I expect a little higher price tag for a unique shape like this. The RC 184 is a solid medium bodied cigar, a little different than the regular line Tatuaje's. If it were as full bodied as the rest of them, it would probably be a turnoff to most smokers given it takes nearly 2 hours to finish. So, next time your looking for a nice big cigar for the warmer weather, give this one a shot!

What do you guys think of the Tatuaje RC 184?