Saturday, October 22, 2016

Special Thanks to Lone Wolf Cigars

A big thank you to Dave Weiss and Lone Wolf Cigars who contributed cigars for the annual Porter Valley Country Club Charity Classic. 
Lone Wolf Cigars
Members and their scorecards. 
Good times
Raffle and silent auction smiles

Golfers who played the course had a great time smoking Lone Wolf branded cigars and all money raised went to 3 worthy charities: Los Angeles Children Hospital,  Augie's Quest for ALS and Clubcorp's own charity for employees in need. Thanks for the support.

Keep Smoking 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

You get what you need

Cigar Review La Palina Cigars, El Ano 1896 Oscuro

The name of this cigar does not roll off your tongue very easily. Cigar marketing has become so elaborate trying to distinguish one brand from another.
Even within their  own brand names may become confusing. The cigar consumer may think they are smoking one cigar that someone told them about but the cigar lines become confusing.
The cigar is a new offering from La Palina Cigars. I received the smoke from Clay Roberts of La Palina Cigars. As always, how or where I received the cigar does not impact my subjective judgment
about the review. Please try it out if you like what I wrote commented about.

Cigar Specs:

Brand/Name of Cigar: La Palina / El Ano 1896 Oscuro
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua 
Size: 5 x 52, Robusto
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Oscuro
Binder: NA
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua 
Place and Date Purchased: Gratis
When and where smoked:  Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles , Ca. 10/16/2016

Appearance and Construction: 

Boxed press, dark brown wrapper, and a very classy black and gold band. The cigar also had a impressive looking wrapper that covered the whole body. I almost did not want to take the printed wrapper off it was so good looking. However, my job was to report on the cigar blend, not just look at it.  It was very solid and slightly oily to the touch. No blemishes or soft spots were evident.  Well constructed with no obvious imperfections.

 Flavor/ Taste Aroma: 

There was an initial hit of chocolate/coffee combo.  A patron of the lounge commented to me the aroma of nuts was quite noticeable. The cigar was generally milder than I thought it would be. If you like classifications  it medium in scope but not at all overpowering or spicy. Nothing in the first third of the smoke would be described as, " This is unbelievable cigar.

Smoking Characteristics: 

Light grey ash which burned very cool and steady. There was no tunneling or edges that might have challenged the cigar smoker. The ash might be the most impressive point about the cigar. While this is clearly important, is it enough to make your purchase the smoke?

Cigar at the start
15 minutes into the smoke
35 minutes into the smoke.

1hour into the smoke.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

As I stated earlier, the cigar had great construction, burn  and ash.  As for flavor it was underwhelming with no real feel or passion. The taste was muddled with no high points. If you like a good looking but not very complex blend, this could be your baby.

Final Thoughts and Numbers:

With a brand new blend, and the threat of the FDA  causing cigar companies rushing product  into production perhaps too early, this cigar needs to sit in the humidor for a decent amount of time. Maybe in the second run, La Palina could add some spice to the mix and give it some character. 
The cigar shows some promise but right now it is  pass. 

Appearance/ Construction:  4 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste Aroma: 2 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 3.5 out of 5.
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 3 out of 5

Keep Smoking

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Good to the last puff

Cigar Review: El Rey Del Mundo, Choix Supreme

A good cigar will make the grade if you smoke it every day or once a month. The satisfaction it gives you will bring you back every time.
 El Rey Del Mundo is a smoke that reminds me of a friend you may not see very often but it's like old times when you do. Here are my thoughts on this smoke.  My subjective opinion as always is not based on how or where I received the cigar. If my review is interesting, please try the cigar yourself.
I purchased a five pack of these cigars at the JR cigar store in Washington D.C.

Brand /Name of Cigar: El Rey Del Mundo/ Choix Supreme
Country of Origin : Honduras
Size: 6.12 x 4.9
Wrapper: Honduras - Oscuro
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras
Filler: Honduras
Shape: Parejo
Price: $20.50 for a 5 pack JR Cigars, Washington DC. September 23, 2016
Where and When Smoked: Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles, Ca. Oct 9, 2016


Medium brown wrapper, solid to the touch with no soft spots. Slightly oily.  There were several veins observed but did not impact the integrity of the cigar shape. The profile of the band and color of the wrapper is a great look.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

The first third had a nutty/almond character with a smooth medium profile. A hint of spice but it was minor almost not noticed. It was consistent in the second and third portions of the cigar too with very little deviation throughout the smoke. This was a plus for me and I don't like cigars with highs and lows.

Smoking Characteristics:

There was a slightly uneven burn with a light grey ash. Easy draw with no hot spots. There was one relight which was easily corrected with my Xikar lighter.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

The cigar has a low price point but it is not a " cheap" cigar. By all accounts the El Rey Del Mundo Choix Supreme is a top flight product.  The balance of the blend, the construction, flavor were

By the numbers:

Appearance/Construction: 3.5 out of 5
Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 4 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics / 3.5 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 3.8 out of 5

Final Thoughts: 
There are special occasion cigars, there are every day cigars. The El Rey Del Mundo Choix Supreme can be either.

Keep smoking 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

No flash in the pan

AJ Fernandez came on like gang busters several years ago with the San Lotano brand. Similar to rock  bands who have been around for years then suddenly they are discovered as the new sensation.  When  his San Lotano Oval hit the streets you could not find it in stock just about everywhere. I was one of the cigar dudes who hunted for a Oval and when I scored some, it felt like this was the best cigar every made.
I still think it is an outstanding smoke but the allure lost a bit through the years.
Today's review is the New World line which has been in the market place since 2014. Clearly not a new cigar but a steady seller for the AJ team.  It's time to write about it and see if it the hit for me as the San Lotano Oval was.

As always, the review is not impacted on how or where I received the cigar. The review are my thoughts on this particular smoke. I suggest if what I comment about interests you, try the blend and make your own opinion.

Brand/Name of Cigar: AJ Fernandez/ New World
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Dark Nicaraguan 
Binder: Jalapa ( Nicaragua)
Filler: Viso Ometepe, Condega Ligero, Esteli-Finca Soledad Ligero
Shape: Toro 
Price: Sampler from Serious Cigars, 
Where and when smoked: Los Angeles , Ca. , 8/28/2016

Appearance and Construction: Very dark chocolate in appearance upon first glance but taking a closer look , there are some veins that are evident.  I like box press cigars which for me provide a more involved smoke.  The cigar band and lower band is a nice counterpoint that makes the wrapper look even darker.  It's a nice touch.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: I expected a hit of chocolate and it did not disappoint as this was the prominent note in the first third. I thought it would have more of a pepper taste but did not get this. Actually it was quite creamy, and smooth. It's profile would fall something in the medium to strong category closer to medium.

Smoking Characteristics:  The burn stayed lit and held it's shape well. The cigar did not tunnel , but  did have some minor changes in the direction of the overall burn. This did not hinder the taste or enjoyment of the cigar. Ash was light grey to a darker hue in appearance. The smoking experience was solid throughout the one hour or so time frame.

Conclusion/Overall Impression: This was a very steady smoke with all the pleasantries of a good smoke. Throw in the very reasonable price point and you have a winner.  Here are the numbers.

            Appearance/Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/Taste/ Aroma: 4 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics : 3.8 out of 5
Overall value and enjoyment: 3.9 out 5

Final Thoughts: The New World falls into the category of keeping  several available in  your humidor.
When you cannot find anything negative that counter indicates a smoke which strikes you favorably  , I suggest this cigar is a very good choice for just about anytime of the day.

Keep smoking