Sunday, May 15, 2016

Interesting name , interesting cigar?

It seems there are more and more cigars on the market. With boutique brands flourishing , and cigar giants knocking out countless products, how does a company capture new consumers?
One way perhaps is calling a cigar by a unique handle. I imagine the marketing team brainstorming names for a product about to be released. The names are flying out while someone is recording the session. " How about calling the smoke,  Easy wind?  " Maybe we should call it Knock on wood?
Another member of the team shouts out, " Give me Liberty or give me a smoke." You get the idea.
Without further adieu I present you : Blinds Man's Bluff, by Caldwell, a cigar with a unique moniker.

Cigar Review

Brand/ Name of Cigar: Caldwell Cigars/ Blind Man's Bluff
Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: 5 X 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Honduran Criollo 
Filler: San Vincente Viso ( Dominican Republic) Criollo Ligero ( Honduran Ligero )
Shape: Robusto
Price: Purchased as part of a Caldwell Sampler at $41.67 sale price
Smoked: Los Angeles, Ca. 5/15/2016


With the whimsical cigar band the smoke feels very smooth, with a slight oily sheen.  Medium brown in color with several small veins in the body of the cigar. No hard or soft spots with a generally good construction approach. No obvious flaws or defects.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

Right away got a good hit of pepper, with also a hint of vanilla and coffee. It has a sweetness which I did not expect. a good combination of  spice and sweetness. Smooth , no harsh pops or spikes or any sort. Smooth with a medium profile.

Smoking Characteristics:

Mostly had an even burn through the first two thirds but it went out of control in the last third. . No hot spots continued with a nice mix of the spice and sweetness.  The spice became less noticeable later in the smoke as it was replaced with a molasses and maple profile.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

Except for the end of the smoke which had the burn issue, this was a good overall product. Medium in scope, smooth with enough of a spice kick to make the cigar interesting. It was a good 45 minute venture into a pleasant afternoon sojourn.

The numbers and rating :

Appearance/ Construction:  4 out of 5 appearance,  3 out of 5 construction
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:  4 out of 5 
Smoking Characteristics: 3 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 3.8 out of 5

Final Thoughts: Caldwell cigars seem to be a small boutique that makes a good product.  This is my second Caldwell brand that I have tried and both have been winners. I will be trying the other cigars in the sampler in the near future.
Often times small establishments may have issues with quality control in their products. This has been my judgment but so far Caldwell appears to have a good handle of their process.  It is a cigar you should try and I believe will like. Support the boutique blends as often they are at the liberty to make a cigar different than the larger companies do. Less corporate makes for quicker decisions.

Keep smoking.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Looks aren't everything

Cigar Review

Some cigars look impressive. This was my  thought when I purchased the Casa Magna Magnus II Limited. I was scanning the humidor at the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge in West Los Angeles looking for a new cigar to review.  I have tried several Casa Magna smokes before but it has been several years since my last taste.

Brand/ Name of Cigar: Casa Magna/ D. Magnus II Limitada
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua Jalapa Sungrown
Binder: Nicaragua 
Shape: Topedo
Price: $12.95 , Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, 4/1/16

Where and when smoked: Los Angeles, Ca.  5/1/16

Appearance / Construction:

As I stated earlier I thought very highly of the look of the cigar. Dark chocolate wrapper with a band that creates a real eye grabber. Solid  , no soft spots, with an oily feel to the touch. Small veins with no discernible flaws. Overall it was a very bold looking cigar.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

The initial flavor  had a combo of chocolate, coffee and a hint of maple. I was not expecting this as I was looking for spice and pepper. Yet, it was a strong taste and pretty bold but not overpowering,
The aroma was pleasant , nutty and sweet.

Smoking Characteristics:

The burn was uneven with a dark ash and cool burn. Flavor stayed on course with the same profile I started out with . More spice and pepper flowed through but I liked the overall mix of the blend. No relights but needed to make a correction to even out the smoke.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

This was a tale of two different cigars. The construction looked very solid but had issues as the photos indicate. The flavor profile was good but also had bouts of bitter and harsh notes.  It was a respectable smoke but hoped for more.

Final Thoughts:

At $12.95 it needed to be the "bomb." Too many issues to rate it as a must have cigar.  Here are the numbers.

Appearance/Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: 3 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 3 out of 5
Overall : 3 out of 5

Keep smoking