David's Picks

David
DAVID
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TASTE:Anything and everything, I’ll try anything once.
HOBBIES:Collecting coins, basketball cards, cigars, cigar swag and playing video games
STRENGTH:Mild in the mornings and medium to full in the afternoons and nights, depending on my meals.
Crowned Heads Jericho Hill Jack Brown 5 * 56
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In honor of Cinco De Mayo, I had to treat myself to a go-to cigar with a Mexican San Andres wrapper that has never failed me since my first experience smoking it a couple of years ago: the Crowned Heads Jericho Hill. Named after the legendary Johnny Cash song, this rustic beauty is made at the My Father factory in Nicaragua. The previously mentioned San Andres wrapper is dark and leathery. Cutting was easy as the box pressed tip has a great angle to cut from. The cold draw is pleasant with a hint of fruit and pepper. When you light and toast the cigar, it flips to a robust hot cocoa. The smoke is thick enough to where you can almost chew it. Halfway through, it stays pretty robust, but the smoke thins a little and flavor still remains a bold heaviness with cream. It is almost like they blended a tiramisu. Even with more than half smoked, the wrapper still gives you an oily cocoa powder taste. Reaching the band, it starts to produce more smoke like at the beginning. Now the flavor has become more nutmeg and vanilla, which means the strength is starting to pick up. Taking the band off and puffing away, the flavors become more subtle but still has the robust thick smoke and it becomes very hard to put down. And of course, the strength creeps up and bites you a little at the nub. All in all, this is a fantastic cigar that I could enjoy while sipping my Modelo and cleaning the backyard. If you like 'em rich and robust, I promise that the Jericho Hill will not disappoint. Picked on 05/06/2022
My Father La Promesa Robusto Grande 51/2 * 54
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When I talk to people about the My Father cigar company, a lot of them stick with the most common of their lines. Some others talk about the La Promesa, so I recently smoked it to see what the fuss was about and where I could potentially fit it into my daily rotation. 'La Promesa' translates to 'The Promise' in Spanish, and that seems fitting since I was promised by many that I would enjoy it! Removing it from the cellophane I could tell it had a nice citrus aroma along with a bit of spice. I used my Xikar Xi2 cutter to ensure I had a perfect, clean cut. The cold draw featured heavy cider and a fruit-like taste. First puff contained a lot of freshly cut wood and home squeezed lemons. Those flavors lasted for about 20 minutes as I got into the halfway point of the cigar. At this point I can't help but notice that it is burning a little fast. However, it is burning perfectly and razor sharp. Just 10 minutes after the halfway mark, I am puffing along, and the notes changed to a spicy cream with an after taste of roasted peanuts that lasted until I had about an inch left. This delicious experience overall lasted about 45 minutes, which is similar to a robusto at my pace. In the end, this was a very good cigar and I never had to relight it. I can safely say it can be part of a morning gathering with a mimosa or mid-day BBQ with a long island sweet tea. Now come get a few to share with some friends, I PROMISE you will all enjoy them ;) Picked on 04/14/2022
Acid 20 Connecticut Toro 6 * 54
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I was excited when these were first released as I have smoked a lot of the first iteration, and every time I have smoked this Connecticut blend, it hits the right spot. Before you even remove it from the cellophane, you can already smell the sweet traditional Acid aroma. Cutting the cigar was clean as I used my trusty Xikar Xi2 cutter and my Acid single torch event lighter. After the first puff, I was met with a very sweet cap and beautifully smooth smoke with a full body of flavor. I really enjoy smoking these cigars because it opens my palate by the process in which they create the cigars with. The first third had the essence of a mixed cocktail. It has a lot of smoke that is very easy on the retro-hale a large puff and leaves a great after taste. Half way into the cigar it changed to a dark wet sweet wine with some bread crumbs taste. As I smoke it into the last third, the smoke keeps getting smoother. After I took the band off and smoked it another inch, I felt as though I had just eaten some breakfast toast with mixed jelly. The flavor has changed to more toasty bread with blueberry and strawberry type notes. The aged tobacco is the dominant part of the cigar now with hints of sweetness and it no longer had the sweet cap. It burned perfectly for a grand total of an hour and 5 minutes. I highly suggest drinking a sweet mixed drink or simple spring water with this cigar. Now go get one and experience the Rebirth of Cigars! Picked on 03/16/2022
Joya de Nicaragua Antano Gran Reserva GT20 6 * 52
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When smoking a cigar, I always think, "Will I smoke this again". This time around, I decided to smoke something that is both new AND old. Enter the Joya De Nicaragua Antaño GT20. This cigar was made to celebrate the 20 years of the Antaño family of lines, which have been very good for them. When removing this cigar from its cellophane it has that traditional sweet smell like most Antaño with some raisin-like notes (which I notice seems to be a staple in all of the JDN lines). Using my Xikar Xi2 cutter to give it a clean flawless cut, I gave it a cold draw test and found a nice and rich cinnamon taste with some light floral tones. Lighting up the cigar and taking the first puff was very delightful. The thick smoke has a chewy consistency that is rich in raisins and dates. It can almost be like a morning breakfast made of smoke. Inching down mid-way it slightly changes to a Cuban coffee type flavor with sweet and rich undertones. Entering the last quarter, the strength picks up to match the body and isn't so bad for a fuller-bodied smoker as myself. If you don't normally smoke stronger cigars, I suggest working your way up to it and eating a heavy meal before you light up a GT20. In the end, with not even a half inch left, I feel like grabbing another and making another pot of coffee. This is a very well-rounded cigar "even though it's boxed pressed". So, my conclusion is: Yes! I will smoke it again with pride. Picked on 02/13/2022
Warzone Short Churchill 61/2 * 48
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For my first cigar review of the brand-new year, I laced up my boots and marched out the gate with the Espinosa Warzone. Once removed from its cellophane, this cigar had a strong yet very pleasant leathery aroma. The dry draw had a dominant grapefruit and plum-like flavor. The draw was easy and had little resistance, which is always welcomed. Once fired up, the first puff was heavy on the leather again with some citrus notes with lasting after taste of plums... almost exactly how it was before I lit the cigar. It has a slight burn on the retro hale but still has fruit-like taste with some nice bitterness. These flavors and aromas last more than half of the cigar until you get to the band. Once I removed the band and had about an inch and a half left, the cigar changed to a strong flavor of dates. It’s sweet-like, but also had the bitters of a citrus fruit. I can see this pairing well with a whiskey or an Olde English. If you are looking for a reliable smoking comrade that won't leave you behind, then the Espinosa Warzone is the one for you. Picked on 01/06/2022
Liga Undercrown Connecticut Shade Flying Pig 4 * 60
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Today I wanted to take a break from the sun and sit with some shade... The Undercrown Connecticut Shade Flying Pig that is. This size has always intrigued me and many other smokers. I removed it from the cellophane, twisted off the pigtail cap, and took off the foot band to start toasting this hog. Right at the first puff I noticed smooth and creamy notes with a slight black pepper on the tongue. The draw is easy with very little resistance and allows the plumes of smoke that Drew Estate is known for to flow through. Halfway in, the flavor notes stay consistent but have had a slight twist of freshly toasted white bread. As I got closer to the last third and taking the main band off, the smoke slightly intensified, and body picked up to a medium. Once I approached the end of the smoke, it started to burn my fingertips due to not wanting to put it down, it had such a nice nutty and roasted almond taste! Now when I started on this cigar, I thought it would only burn for about 30-40 minutes looking at its size. Alas, I was amazed that it lasted an hour-plus, likely thanks to its hefty ring gauge. While smoking this cigar I had a Brisk raspberry tea with a splash of tequila and lemon. This cigar is truly a special (and rare) size and is certainly worth every puff. Go grab a couple of these piggies, your favorite drink and a couple of friends and fly as a pack. Picked on 12/10/2021
La Palina Black Label Robusto 5 * 50
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Today I decided I wanted to introduce a new dark Maduro into my rotation. I think the La Palina Black Label Robusto was a perfect pick. Once removed from its clear sleeping bag, it had noticeable farm and barn like aromas. Needless to say, I was excited to get it lit. I used my red Lotus triple torch and its convenient built-in V-cutter to get things moving and it did the job perfectly. Once toasted and evenly lit, it immediately spills plenty of smoke off the foot. On the first puff I was greeted with a full black coffee flavor and dark chocolate notes. Along with the dark notes, I also detected a chewy nougat flavor. By now, the flavors dance around from a macadamia nut then to black coffee and then to a milky way chocolate bar. Granted, I might have had a few Halloween snacks in between puffs (don't judge me), but this was a great cigar and I would highly recommend it for everyone to try. Now go make yourself a nice cup of coffee to pair with it, and enjoy a smooth trip through the galaxy. Picked on 11/06/2021
RoMa Craft Intemperance EC XVIII Goodness 5 * 56
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Recently we received a good selection of new cigars, but one in particular had stood out to me. Not just because it was a Roma Craft with the word GOODNESS on the box, but because it was a box pressed Connecticut. Being a sucker for box pressed cigars, I jumped at the chance to try it. As I giddily removed the cigar from the cellophane, I was greeted with a sweet hay and brown rice aroma. After applying a straight cut, I started to toast the exposed foot. Upon first puff, I tasted smooth cream and dry bread toast notes. Taking sips of my big cup of coffee, the natural creaminess of the cigar nicely enhanced the creamer I always add to my coffee. Half way in and enjoying the generous smoke output, the cigar changed to a heavy cedar taste with a light pepperiness to the finish and retro-hale. Chugging coffee and puffing my way past the band, I was hit with a strong blast of animal cracker notes. At the end with about a half inch left, I can happily say this is a great cigar for the mornings. The burn gets a little sideways at times, but I never had a real issue and it always corrected itself. I highly recommend any type of coffee, a single malt scotch or a light whiskey to pair with this cigar. Now go out and get some before we smoke them all! (ooga ooga) Picked on 10/12/2021
Henry Clay Maduro Breva Fina 61/2 * 48
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Lately I’ve felt a little rustic and brave. The Henry Clay Breva was picked, cut, and lit after a short walk through the isles. Sporting a beautiful, toothy Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, I got the usual barn yard aroma and tastes on the first few puffs. The first inch and a half gives you a great blast of chewy thick smoke and a very earth-dominate flavor. Loving the way this is going, I happily kept puffing and half way in I started experiencing a complexity and a familiar switch. I picked up funnel cake sweetness and flavors for only a few puffs. It then changed to a robust coffee with a slight cream touch on the retro hale. Getting to the end (as the strength picks up a little bit to match the body), it changed back to how it started. A lot of earth, hay and barn like aroma with a little nuttiness mixed in. As I put the nub down I must say this is a spectacular budget friendly smoke for anyone. I will note, I had only water to drink with this review. Adding a whiskey or bourbon to this cigar would only enhance the flavors. Cheers and enjoy! Picked on 09/21/2021
Emperors Cut Natural Pleasure Grand Robusto 51/2 * 56
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When smoking something new to me, I like to do as little research as possible. When I discovered the Emperor’s Cut Natural Pleasure, I embraced it as a challenge since I knew very little about the brand and had never had one before. So let’s get this thing started! Cutting the cap and giving it a dry test puff gave me some fruit and raw honey notes. At first light it has a robust coffee-like hint with a little bit of nutmeg. That flavor seemed to have lasted the entire first half of the cigar with subtle blasts of a cream-like sweetness. Retro haling is very peppery but does allow you to notice the aged tobacco notes. Noticing that this a straight shooter for consistency, I paired it with a coffee and they go together excellently. When approaching the band, the strength does pick up, while the flavors remain mostly consistent. At about just 2 inches left I called it quits. All in all, the Emperor’s Cut Natural Pleasure had a great burn, decent flavors throughout and will combo good with any drink. Enjoy! Picked on 08/09/2021
Flor de Selva Maduro Robusto 43/4 * 50
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This month I wanted to explore a different country. Honduras has been becoming very popular lately and one of the top companies that has been known for the this regions quality is Flor De Selva. It is known to a lot of people, mostly because of the owner Maya Selva’s dedication to making great cigars. At first look this aged maduro wrapper of this cigar makes it look like a chocolate bar. (Don’t worry, I didn’t eat it.) It has a very earthy cold draw which is pleasant for chewers. At toasting and first puff, the earth and spice is very dominant. It has a great draw and produces a nice foot smoke aroma. Getting into the 2nd inch, I taste bits of dry coco and robust coffee notes. This made it much easier to smoke since I was drinking coffee with this review and made this a very enjoyable experience. Passing the half way point the taste of aged tobacco over takes my taste buds. It had a little bit of a running burn which corrected it self. Flavors and draw has not changed but, the smoke seems to have got a lot smoother in the retro hale. Reaching to the finale inch and a half, it did produce a small bit of sweet fig like notes but was still dominant of aged tobacco. My overall experience was good, it had little complexity but was very consistent and required no relighting. Best paired with coffee or a chocolate wine. Picked on 07/04/2021
Rocky Patel Quarter Century Robusto 51/2 * 50
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I was excited to give this cigar a review due to the lengthy aging process it has gone through. Also, I’m a sucker for Mexican San Andres wrappers! I happily toasted the cigar and got a blast of dark pepper and deep fig flavors. Puffing down an inch, I hit a smooth leather and fresh cut cedar on the retro hale. Cruising into the half way point I caught a few notes of cinnamon that complimented the sweet cedar tastes. Entering the last quarter the smoke slightly intensified and gave more of a caramel and creaminess that made my mouth salivate. At this point, I had to put the cigar down so I don’t burn my fingers and lips (again). The lingering aftertaste was of dark robust coffee. This is a spectacularly crafted aged cigar. Pairing this with a spiced rum or Jack and Coke would make this an even more awesome experience. Enjoy! Picked on 06/06/2021
Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Toro 6 * 50
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Diesel whiskey row sherry cast toro Day in and day out, we work around cigars. We get questions all of the time about cigars we have never had. So I thought I’d go for something different. The Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Toro fit that void. Removing it from the cellophane, it had a slight sweet oak smell as well as on the cold draw. After toasting and first puff, I picked up some fig or raisin type tastes. Smooth smoke output and did not need my attention to stay lit. Around a quarter of the way in, the sweetness toned down and a oaky taste became dominant with some dry nuttiness. About half way in I was wishing I had some type of liquor to go with the strong wood oak taste. As I inch down it started to get a little bit of a smooth peppery taste and slight spice to the lips. I had to call it quits with a half inch left as the smoke got too hot. This cigar had a great draw and would compliment any drink especially a spiced rum or brandy. Picked on 05/01/2021
Casa Cuevas Habano Toro 6 * 50
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The Casa Cuevas company has been on my radar for some time, now I figured I’d give it a go. The red and gold band along with the aged habano wrapper is a flawless classic. Pulling the cello off, the cigar had a nice mild smell and after cutting the cap the cold draw had a nice earthy taste. After the toast and first puff I had a super thick smoke that left a nice cedar flavor on my pallet. I was enjoying the flavor but I noticed a slight change on the finish, which now turned into a sweetness that was hard to figure out at first. After about 20 minutes in, the sweet taste has been amping up and throwing me off (in a good way). The smoke is so smooth I can retrohale a complete puff. Then it hit me, it was like my grandmas homemade cherry pie! You can almost even taste the toasted crust and cherry filling. As I approached the last third or 45 minutes in, the flavors are still dominant and I’m loving every puff of this cigar. Now at 55 minutes in, I literally could not smoke anymore or I would have blistered my lips being that I only had less than half of a inch left. Never had I felt a strength kick and I only had to touch up the burn a couple of times due to it burning uneven. This cigar left me highly impressed and I am now adding it to my weekly rotation. Go pick up a couple and try it for yourself! Picked on 03/25/2021
AVO Classic Robusto 5 * 50
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When given this opportunity of doing a cigar review I wanted to start with something new to me. I had 5 to choose from and the AVO Classic Robusto jumped at me. Due to the lightly tanned aged Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and elegant light colored band, I felt compelled and excited to give it a try. Once removed from the cellophane, the aroma from the cigar had a great smooth aged tobacco smell. I used my trusted Colibri V-cut and the draw was perfect with little resistance. After toasting the foot and taking the first puff, the cigar had a very smooth and smoke that tasted a lot like graham crackers. These flavors continued for about a inch and then changed to freshly toasted bread and lasted for the first half of the cigar. After passing the half way point, there was another change in taste. Now it has switched to freshly brewed coffee and some hints of caramel on the finish which lasted long in between puffs, sometimes longer than 5 minutes. Having really been enjoying this blend so far, the flavors changed yet again (which at this point, I’m thinking I need to buy a box of these ASAP). This time it went back to the nuttiness but had a slight maple flavor that lasted til my fingers started to burn with the tiny nub I had left. I must say, I was very shocked with this cigar by how smooth the flavors transitioned from one to another. I never had any issues with burn nor draw and the retro-hale was smooth with a slight pepper until the end. I highly recommend this complex mild - medium cigar to be paired with a morning coffee, whiskey or scotch. Picked on 03/06/2021
David

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