Sunday, February 28, 2016

If you like big

This was a big cigar, almost as big as my leg. Slight exaggeration but not a smoke for a 15 minute interlude. Big cigars are a special type of product which allows the roller to show off their craft. It has plenty of working parts so the blend has to be able to get it. If it does not, you have a big mess. Let's see how this cigar works.

I received this cigar from gratis to review. As always where or how I received the cigar does not influence my take on the product.

Brand/Name of Cigar: Man of War/ Virtue
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 6.5 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian/ Connecticut Shade
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Shape: Torpedo
Price: $4.89 sale price from cigars
Place and Date Purchased: Gratis

Appearance/ Construction:

As I mentioned in my introduction this cigar is big and looks powerful. It looks like it might kill me or make me a better person. I will be taking my time smoking this baby. Good looking with a oily feel and smooth. Did have two large veins in the wrapper. Liked the band and actually my wife also made a comment about it, " liked the way it looks. " Slightly firm which is not unusual for a larger smoke.

Smoking Characteristics:

An A. J. Fernandez creation,  I am a big fan of his San Lotano brand. Let's see how the Man of War shapes up. The initial light had a pleasing taste with chocolate and clove the main hit on my tongue. Thought there would be a spice or pepper so this is a bit of a surprise. As the second third came into being the spice started to come to the forefront but it was not overpowering or harsh. Also got a bit of coffee thrown in the blend. Pretty smooth and a nice combo.

The final third is where the strength of this cigar finally became the predominate taste. This was not your knock your socks off power but a very good mix of flavor that I liked. It made it a full body smoke. The cigar gave you your money's worth.

Conclusion/ Overall Impressions:

This is a big smoke which takes a good hour plus to engage in. I liked this cigar and it's certainly a great price point. However I am not a big ring cigar smoker which does not distract the overall quality of this blend.  I would think if you like a big cigar you should have a couple of them in your humidor. Sit down with this baby, grab a beer and enjoy away.

Appearance and Construction: 3.8 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 3.8 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 3.8 out of 5

Keep Smoking

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Age before beauty.

What makes a great cigar? This issue has been debated I suspect since the first cigar was rolled.
As a cigar reviewer I make subjective decisions about what appeals to me when I sit down and rate a smoke.
Some of the basic concepts are straightforward.  Cigar construction, appearance, how the blend holds throughout the smoke. Three different folks can smoke the same cigar and come up with different thoughts in every aspect of the totality of the smoke.
The reason I mention this is a new cigar is more of a challenge. There is no track record so the first impression is very important. If you have a good experience more than likely the review will be better. So a reviewer needs to make careful considerations in describing what he smoked. Ideally, the cigar in question needs to be aged properly, and perhaps smoked again.
I was fortunate to review a sample of a new blend for me from Cigars City, an online cigar dealer. Their website is As always who or how I received the cigar does not influence my take on what I think about the cigar.

Brand/Name of Cigar : Lavida Habana / LH Premium Colorado 

Size: 6 x 60
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Nicaragua, Peru and Brazil
Shape: Gordo
Price: Single $ 8.24

When and where smoked: 2/21/16, Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, West Los Angeles, Ca

Appearance/ Construction:

 Densely packed and oily to the touch. Very classy looking smoke, like the red and black band. Several small veins were evident but would not consider this a flaw. No soft spots. This looks like a big smoke and looking forward to a long ride.

Smoking Characteristics:

First third got immediate hits of orange which I did not expect, a pleasant surprise. Burn was even, medium body. As I smoked further hints of mint? chocolate? Not sure exactly. Whatever it was, very subtle, not overpowering. Smooth draw, no harshness, plenty of grey smoke and ash.

Two thirds into the smoke , some tunneling occurred yet did not find this a distraction or an impact on the blend. However, am waiting for an additional pop of spice and this is not happening. Was thinking the smoke would crank up a bit.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

The flavor profile never really took off. I did not get any more complexity which was somewhat of a come down. Overall this was a good smoke but not a powerful one. I thought it would be more of a kick ass cigar.  This is not necessarily a bad thing for those cigar dudes who like a pleasant but not overpowering blend. 

My overall rating of this cigar:

Appearance/ Construction: 4 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 3 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression; 3.5 out of 5

Will try this cigar again down the road. I think another couple of months in the humidor will give it a more hearty blend.

Keep smoking

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Solid smoke that made my day

Getting new smokes that you have never tried is often an adventure, hopefully a good one.  Cigar smokes can be classified in several ways.
There are go to smokes that have proven their worth through the years. They are consistent, their flavor profile is a  winner and it's something you can count on.
Their also are cigars that your buddies may have recommended , gave you one to try or a cigar source gave it a good review.

Next are  unknown smokes are cigars that look good, but do they prove their worth after smoking it?

I received a sample smoke gratis from As always the review is not influenced in any way by how or where I received  the cigar.

Alec Bradley 1600 Robusto
Strength: Full
Shape: Robusto
Size: 5 x 50
Country: Honduras
Wrapper Color: Maduro
Wrapper Origin: Brazilian
Wrapper Leaf: Mata Fina


Smoking Characteristics:

Initial blast of mild pepper, chocolate and a hint of coffee. It's Maduro heritage was very evident with this blend. Very good initial start to the smoke, a pleasing smoke in the making? Liking it a great deal. 

Next third continues to please. Getting a pop of cinnamon and mint now. Medium in taste and smooth, yea, very smooth.

Final third is like the icing on a very good cake. The 1600's blend is a great combination of medium strength, top flight construction and a profile that hits your palate on all cylinders. Keep this mother rolling with the blend of chocolate, nuts and cinnamon with the kicker of spice. 

Conclusions/ Overall Impressions: This as the posting title indicates is a solid smoke which deserves a spot in your collection. Maduro cigars are an acquired taste for some. For me, a pleasant interlude from cigars which are the usual suspects.  Famous Cigars and Alec Bradley have joined forces to forge a winning combination in this type of production.

My rating for the Alec Bradley 1600/ Famous Cigar

Appearance/ Construction: 4.2 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 4.2 out of 5
Conclusion/Overall Impression: 4.2 out of 5

This is definitely a buy for your pleasure.
Keep smoking