Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Blast is back, or maybe never left

For many years my friend Brian's go to cigar was Camacho. He would sit there, not say much but just smoke away. He was a big fan of strong powerful smokes. His attitude was if you don't feel the intensity of a cigar, why bother to smoke at all.
Move forward and Camacho went through several changes in owners, production and blends. They pushed a new marketing scheme, bold new labeling and to me got very confusing. The approach got too diverse to know what you were smoking. Perhaps they were looking for a new demographic of smoker, a younger hipper crew. I am sure they had a plan and if it was successful more power to them. For me, I stopped smoking this brand.

Brand/ Name of Cigar:

Camacho/ American Barrel Aged
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size:  6.0 x 5.0
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: American, Honduras
Shape: Toro
Price: $7.89 single ( sale price ) Box of 20, $191.34 from
Where and when smoked: Los Angeles , Ca. 3/27/16

Appearance / Construction:

Very brown with a red hue to the cigar which makes it a good looking specimen. Small minor veins in the wrapper not an issue. Firm to the touch and oily. The labels are an added attraction with very detailed information about the cigar. I liked this approach. This is a fine looking smoke.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

The first third was a start of distinct mix of wood, orange and spice.  I was waiting for a flavor bomb of Bourbon but maybe I missed it, but did not get this yet. This is a  rich smoke of a troika of hardy flavors.  The Bourbon undoubtedly will show up later. Smooth to the palate, and the aroma was soothing.

Smoking Characteristics:

There was a slight burn issue at this point but it was a minor blip. Good looking grey ash, now getting more of a Bourbon kick. This was not overpowering but a steady flavor blast.  Continued with the combo of wood, orange and now cedar.  This is a strong but sweet tasting cigar. It stayed lit throughout the life of the smoke. 

Conclusion/ Overall impression:

This is a winning blend of taste, flavor and construction. Camacho has a product they can be proud  of. It was enjoyable and a worthy of any humidor.

The numbers look this way.

Appearance/ Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: 4.2 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 4 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 4.2 out of 5

Final Thoughts: 

A great cigar for the seasoned cigar smoker. Full bodied but not harsh.  For those who might think it is too full bodied, perhaps aging would mellow the blend a bit. I would suggest try it , wait a month and try it again. Make the comparison and let me know if you notice any difference.

Keep smoking.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Use at your own risk

Take a close look at this cigar and tell me what you think it looks like? Now here is another picture
and notice the similarity with a 50 caliber bullet.

Separated at birth.

The Diesel Unlimted Maduro perfecto has an uncanny resemblance to the powerful 50 cal. bullet.
Check out my review and see what I think of the cigar shaped cartridge.  I received the smoke from gratis for my thoughts on this bomb. 
As always getting a cigar gratis  does not  influence my review.

Cigar specs:

Brand/Name of Cigar: Diesel Unlimited/Maduro Perfecto
Size: 5.0 x 5.8
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Maduro
Binder: San Andres
Filler: Honduras/Nicaragua
Shape: Perfecto
Price: $4.19 each, box of 20 $78.07
Purchased: Free from
Where and When Smoked: Los Angeles, Ca. 3/20/16


Very dark brown, if any darker it would be black. Rustic in appearance with a uneven cap. The cap is sloppy. Firm to the touch, plenty of oil glistening in the wrapper. It's maduro all the way.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

Started with a spice hit somewhat harsh. Very prominent chocolate and orange peel notes. Powerful first third. True to it's roots, this is a maduro taste profile.

Smoking Characteristics:

The burn was even in the first third but uneven in the second third. A dark grey ash and the cigar became more chocolate in taste. Needed two relights.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

My numbers add up this way:

Appearance/ Construction: 3 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma;  2.5 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 2. 5 out of 5
Overall  Impression: 2.8 out of 5

Final Thoughts:

Great price point but that does not equate to a good value smoke. This is a pass, sorry AJ.

Keep smoking

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A powerful cigar that is worth talking about

I was sitting in my cigar lounge about to review the  La Aurora 107 Toro when I got  engaged in a conversation about cigar reviews. The question arose by a fellow cigar member who is a  relative newcomer to the world of cigars.  He claimed that most of the reviews he has read have been "bullshit." His point is all the descriptions of the smokes he has partaken in are not very accurate.
Language such as pepper, oak, blackberry really do tell an accurate story of what the cigar is really like.  The descriptors are so vague they are not doing justice to the cigar experience. What is the difference between white pepper and black pepper?
The owner of the lounge was also involved in this discussion and commented that reviews should take into account how the cigar is indulged. Is it in a quiet lounge or with a group of friends? Is the cigar smoked with a beverage , and how the cigar was stored?
My answer was the descriptors are subjective but it gives you a base to judge it on. As for all other factors there are valid and perhaps the review should mention the surroundings of the experience. 
Each reviewer makes their own judgments about  the cigar and that is exactly what they are, judgements.
If you need to get more information about a particular smoke, read several reviews and then after reading them, decide it the cigar is something you might want to try. was the website and company that sent me the cigar. They sell the product but this did not influence my thoughts on the cigar. I received the cigar gratis from them.

Brand/Name of Cigar: Aurora 107 
Cigar shape: Toro
Length and Gauge: 5.5 x 5.4
Strength: Medium- full
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Dominican
Binder: Dominican
Price: $ 7.13 a cigar , box of 21, $139. 87
Where and when smoked: Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles, 3/13/17

Appearance / Construction:

Dark chocolate brown wrapper with an oily feel, Had a very clean look with no obvious faults or imperfections. The band was also pleasing to the eye with a strong presentation.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: Initial blast of strong pepper. Looking for other flavors such as chocolate or nuts but if they were there, the pepper was the predominant taste. It was a powerful start, gave the cigar a strong identity. Smooth though out so the taste while strong was not overpowering or unpleasant. Very rich blend.

Smoking Characteristics : Uneven burn as the picture shows. Not a game changer because of this but hopefully won't impact the enjoyment of the smoke. Burned steady and slow, with a grey ash.

As the cigar smoked down, the ash evened itself out a bit. Stayed full bodied, smooth to the palate with good, peppery flavor. If you like a strong smoke, you will like this blend. There are no subtle notes of other flavors. You are smoking a no nonsense cigar. The draw did correct itself a bit with one relight. I believe the uneven burn was a minor blip and not a real factor in the cigar.

Conclusion/Overall impression: The Aurora 107 Toro made a statement for a rich, smooth full bodied blend.  The audience for this type of cigar is a seasoned smoker who likes to sit down for an hour or so, and be challenged in a positive way. If there are other tastes to the smoke, I would welcome your thoughts where and when you found them

Here are the numbers: 
Appearance/ Construction; 3.5 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma; 4 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 4 out 5
                                                                Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 3.8 out of 5

Final thoughts:  Fell slightly flat for a smoke which is a must have for your humidor. Might be part of my cigar mix every so often. Good price point so it that is a big factor in your cigar mind, you would consider this.  Worth trying and of course make your own judgement.

Keep smoking

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Royalty has arrived.

Several weeks ago, I was speaking to a employee of the cigar lounge I am a member of and he spoke of Caldwell cigars. He was trying to get the lounge to carry this line. I was not familiar with Caldwell cigars but he said it was worth finding and suggested I smoke them.
Fast forward and I was asked to review one of their smokes from the folks at The cigar gods work in wonderful ways.
As always, my opinion is not influenced by how and where I get the cigar. This cigar was given to me gratis by Here are my thoughts.

Brand/ Name of Cigar; Caldwell Cigars/ The King is Dead Premier

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic

Size: 5 X 50, Robusto

Wrapper: Dominican Republic Negrito
Filler: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Price : $ 8.38 single, $187.89 box of 24
Purchase and Date Purchased;, given to me to review, no cost involved.

Appearance/ Construction: Catchy looking cigar band, firm to the touch, no soft spots or obvious blemishes. Dark brown in appearance, small veins in the wrapper. Pig tail which is well placed and looks good.  Appearance is impressive, a great deal of thought and care went into this smoke.
A good calling card for this cigar.                     

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:
Initial taste gives me a hit of chocolate and fruit, (apple, pear). Rich tasting , no heat and not overbearing. It is smooth to the max. If this blend continues in this manner, hope the cigar will last for 7 hours. Keep the mojo going. Smells earthy, as if a gardener delicately pulled it from the ground.

Throw in some mint and this compliments the other flavors already in the mix.

Smoking Characteristics:
Even burn, no harsh or hot surges. Ash was light grey with one re light which was probably my fault. I am grooving on this smoke, or better put by the music group, the Rascals,

" Groovin" on a Sunday afternoon.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:
This is one of the best smokes I have had this year. It does exactly what you expect in a very good smoke. Flavorful, enjoyable to smoke and no battles to keep it going. It lasted about 1 hour and would have liked another 1/2 hour to make it even more of a fine time. I would like to think a larger ring size would produce the extra time I would have liked. I have one more to try which I will do at a later date. Perhaps I will do a short follow  up to let the folks know how number 2 performs.

Here is the final tab:

Appearance/ Construction: 4.2 our of 5.
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:4.5 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 4 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 4. 3 out of 5

You definitely need to bring this blend to your roost. It was a top flight cigar.

Keep smoking