Arturo Fuente Hemmingway Bestseller
With so many people raving about this cigar online I went ahead and got a 5 pack back in mid-December and promptly forgot about them.
While I was reorganizing and re-taking inventory on my collection after the Coolerdorazilla build, I came across them again and decided the time was right!
Overall, I thought this was a cigar full of potential, but either in need of more rest or maybe just not the cigar for me.
I must say this is a good looking stick which needs clipped at both ends - that's something different.
The pre-light taste was salty-leather.
Smoking this was an exercise in patience. The cigar is VERY temperature sensitive and more than one puff per minute results in a mouthful of black pepper and leather. With rest there are very nice notes of creamy expresso. Quite pleasant in fact. Very savory. I dont know, maybe I was just in an impatient mood, but I really did get tired of having every other puff be so peppery. Maybe my clipping was too generous and this burned too hot. I dont know.
This cigar was also pretty strong. Id say 4.4 out of 5 in terms of strength, at least for me.
The burn was excellent and not once did I need to retouch the cigar. Perfect burn I would even say.
I'm going to let the remaining four brothers sit for at least another month or two before trying again. The one I had today just seemed to be a little untamed yet.
I think it's definitely a cigar worth trying, but not boxworthy for me...yet.
I give this a 3.2 out of 5, with the note that I will revisit this score at a later date. I must say I was strongly tempted to give this a lower score, but the hints of tastiness convinced me to take it easy on this for now...
CAO Black Gothic Torpedo
Going to spend a weekend afternoon in the garage? Maybe doing some word-working or sharpening the lawn mower blades? If so, I'd recommend you reach for the CAO Black Gothic torpedo; the perfect cigar for hanging out around the house or workshop.
Construction: Honduran, Nicaraguan and Mexican fillers with a Habano-seed Nicaraguan binder surrounded by a Connecticut-Ecuador wrapper. Not shown here is the cedar wrapper in which it's stored.
The one I'm smoking today has been in the humidor for seven weeks.
Before lighting, the flavors are startlingly spicy, almost like there's a dash of Habanero pepper mixed in there along with a wood-shop woodiness and tool-belt leathers. At 3:42 I attempt to toast this in the daylight with my torch and proceed to give it a real char-job.
Blue smoke just pours off this stick, I feel like I could use this for smoke signals. The initial flavors are strong cedar, lighter woods with a dash of Tex-Mex spices.
The draw is solid. I'd give it a 4/5 in terms of draw strength. To be honest, I always struggle with where to clip a torpedo. I end up clipping it twice more, past the point where I feel I "should" be clipping it, and I'm finally rewarded with an easier draw.
Getting some yellow cake on the retro. Very nice, like baked goods during Thanksgiving.
Throughout most of the stick I get nice mild cedars with red pepper with baked goods and leather on the retro.
Very temperature resistant with an impressively strong ash. Beautiful striations. It clings on till at least 1 1/3 inches!
The wrapper on mine is very cracked. I think I read this has to do with it being a bit too humid and the inside swells before the wrapper? It does appear to have swelled.
I settle in to relax and enjoy the smoke. Through to the end are: cedar, lighter woods, semi-sweet creams, spices, red pepper morphing towards black pepper at the end, touches of leather on the tongue. Gets just a tad tarry towards the end. For strength, I'd rate this maybe a 3.5 - 3.8 out of 5.
I think this cigar is perfect for golfing or puttering around the house. The tastes and the strength of the ash make this a great cigar if you're up and about.
I give this a 3.8 out of 5. Deductions for the cracked wrapper and the lack of variety from about the halfway point through to the end. Maybe not box-worthy, but certainly 5-pack worthy.
Padron 1926 #9 Robusto Natural
Happy New Year!
I decided to treat myself this New Year's by getting a "really good" cigar.
The owner of my local B&M (the La Habra Tobacconist, I think the guy's name is Tony) loves these and raves about them every time I've been in. Ok, I've only been in three times as I've just moved into the area, but 3/3 is a lot, right?
Here is a description from Famous Smoke: Nicaraguan wrapper surrounding a "hearty, full-bodied blend of five-year-aged Nicaraguan Ligero tobaccos."
These cigars have been praised for "...their bold, spicy flavor and thick, heady smoke. (Geared for the more experienced smoker.)"
Not to mention the fact these are on almost everyone's top 10 list of cigars.
So how did this blockbuster of a cigar go over with a relative newbie whose palate can barely discern cheddar cheese from pepperoni?
At pre-light, I quite honestly didnt pick up much of any flavor at all. Let me back up for a minute though and lay some background. I smoked this at about 7pm with a glass of Cab after I had already smoked an Alec Bradley Maxx at about 2pm that day and had continued drinking since. So, my tongue may have been a bit coated. None-the-less, the easy draw after clipping really didnt provide me with much to go on. "Odd" I thought to myself and began to toast....
At the risk of my narrative becoming as chronologically convoluted as "Primer", let me back up again and tell you this cigar has been in my humidor for 2 weeks after being purchased at the B&M and dryboxed for about 24 hours.
Upon first puff, this was very light, unique and just a dash peppery. I quickly discovered this cigar is extremely temperature sensitive and really needs to rest a full minute between puffs. My third inhale was like a mouthful of freshly ground black pepper; a real punch. Figuring out I needed to take it slow, I began to pick up other flavors through the first third of the cigar: almonds, some peanuts on the retrohale, then peppery walnuts. Puffing too quickly gives me charred hanger steak and raw pepper.
Wondering if my Cabernet was affecting my palate, I switched over to water (for the most part; cmon, it was New Years!)
The draw of this cigar was quite easy, no problems at all. I wonder if the easy draw allowed too much O2 in and contributed to temperature sensitivity? Throughout I noticed that smoking it too fast produced a really bitter taste.
The cigar began to settle into a peppery charred wood flavor, sometimes getting oak-y. Upon a full, minute-plus rest I picked up raw hamburger with the pepper/wood flavor coming in second or immediately after the first puff. This cigar really left a smokey aftertaste. I frequently went to my water as I felt I needed to wash off my tongue.
I struggled to define that "first taste" after the rest. Sometimes it was the raw hamburger described above, other times it was kind of sweet, like a caramel icing or maybe butter-rum. I did realize later I was picking up a light rum flavor.
The ash on this was STRONG, the burn darn near perfect and boy did this baby produce the smoke! I noticed that this cigar really enhanced the taste of my wine. I have no doubt it would do the same for a good brandy or scotch.
As I got into the 2nd half, I realized the band was stuck to the cigar wrapper. Somehow, some adhesive had gotten onto the cigar itself. Needing to get the band off in the later stages, I manged to "roll" it loose, but the adhesive took some wrapper with it. For the price of this cigar, I expect better production values. Definitely a full point deduction. Thankfully it didnt adversely affect the smoking.
At this point I need to confess something; rarely do I really enjoy the last third of a cigar. Most of the time the things get too tarry for me, or I get tired of smoking them. I have to admit, I smoked this guy to the (not-so) bitter end. The flavors never got bitter (with proper rest) or tarry. Definitely a change from what I normally experience. In it's second half, the 1926 settled into a buttery/nutty flavor backed by smoke. It's final third was marked by a woody/nutty taste combined with a smokey not entirely dissimilar from licking a fireman's helmet. This was clearly one of the "smokiest" cigars I've ever had.
In conclusion, this was a truly unique smoke:
- Lots of alternative flavors
- Easy, non-tarry to the end
- Tremendous burn with the strongest ash I've ever seen
-STRONG. Probably a 4.3/5 on a strength scale.
Worth the price tag? Hmm, I'm not sure I'm ready to say. I have another I bought at the same time which I'll let sleep comfortably in the humidor for another 3 months or so and try it again. Right now, I give this a 3.5 out of 5, with points deducted for the wrapper torn by the glue, temperature sensitivity and the underlying firehouse smoke which I wasnt sure I liked, all factored in with the price. At a $10 price point, this would be a 4-point-something. At >$22, it's a 3.5.
Cigar Reviews, Recalibrated
I decided to archive my own reviews online as I find 90% of all cigar reviews to be as useful as a bottle of Jack at a Mormon wedding.