Now THIS is the best cigar I've had so far in my cigar smoking life. Maybe I should take a step back and say, at this point I've been smoking cigars for about 2 years and have only in the past several months have started seriously attempted to pay attention to what I'm smoking and document them. That being said....WOW.
I purchased this from the local B&M, the La Habra Tobacconist, on November 16, 2013; so it's been resting in my humidor for almost 3 months. He has two brothers still sleeping sounding in their shared cedar bed.
I love the look of the cigar. The soft box press, the red ribbon at the end and the decorative band really make me feeling like I'm about to have a very sophisticated experience. It just feels classy. The cellophane is just starting to show a bit of yellow.
I only really got one decent photo of this cigar and I'm rather bummed about this. I'm hoping sometime I can get around to doing some really good studio shots of the beauty.
The end of the cigar is a bit flatter and broader than I'm used to, so I have a tricky time getting it clipped. I noticed under the ribbon at the end there is some minor damage to the wrapper. Take a look at the pic. Does that wrapper seem normal? I'll have to compare it to his brothers when I pull them out in a few months. The pre-light taste is all chocolate and expresso.
At 1:38pm the toast commences. Since I'm doing this in the daylight I decide to go with my touch up torch instead of my bigger flame thrower in order to control the burn. Success! I didn't incinerate the end. Smoke just pours off this bad boy. Wish I had caught it with my camera.
Throughout the cigar I had canoeing issues. After doing some reading I think this may have been my lighting technique by focusing more on the center and not getting the edges hot enough. It required a lot of touch-ups throughout the smoke.
This is definitely a two-stage cigar. That is, after a minute of rest, I puff and get one taste, then a puff shortly following gives me another, usually more peppery. The cigar is moderately temperature sensitive. I paired this with ice water and a Corona light. The draw is relatively easy; about a 2/5 on the strength scale.
Flavors I get in order are:
Dark woodsy tobocco
Black pepper and salt
Retro is moderately strong and spicy
Pepper fades after about half an inch
Really getting a full, three dimensional taste experience
Dashes of salt and pepper
Bailey's and coffee
Very rich and chewy
Black pepper morphs into white pepper after a point
Lots of Baileys/cream
Oh my, what an amazing experience. I stopped writing at some point and just drifted off into my cigar day dreams, but I think you get the point. At about $10 per stick, this is a PHENOMENAL smoke. Not sure how they are "fresh" as this one has rested for awhile. I will be picking up more soon. I actually toyed with the idea of getting a box of them and may still do so, but I wonder if the tastes would fade too much over time? I guess I'll have to experiment and find out!
4.7 out of 5. Points deducted for the canoeing and the minor issues with the wrapper. This cigar is boxworthy.
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.