Adam's Picks

Adam
ADAM
FOLLOW
AGE:40
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Music, Reading, Art, Nature, Craft Beer, Slacking
STRENGTH:All
Plasencia Alma Fuerte Sixto II Hexagon 6 * 60
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"The hexagon is nature’s most perfect shape...think of the honeycomb." - Nestor Andrés Plasencia Before I say anything else about this stick, I've got to start with its truly dynamic appearance. Elegant dark tobacco, glistening with oil, adorned with black and gold labels, pressed into a hexagon shape. Aesthetically speaking, this is one of the most beautiful cigars that I've ever had the privilege of laying my eyes upon. The Alma Fuerte is a Nicaraguan puro, composed of tobaccos from four different regions... Jalapa, Condega, Estelí, and Ometepe, the wrapper being grown in the shade in Jalapa. Even pre-light one can smell the richness just oozing off of this stick. Yes, my expectations are high. Upon lighting, flavors of earth, pepper, licorice, espresso & dark berries immediately greet me. The draw is easy and pleasant. The strength...and intensity of the flavors... begin to dramatically increase as I work my way through the stick. On an interesting note, a subtle herbal, almost Creme de Menthe like flavor joined the party somewhere in between second third / halfway point. As for the burn, while not terrible, it was not perfect either. A few touch ups were required...but I was blazing it outside during a moderately windy day, so that may have been a contributing factor. All in all though, I found it to be a very satisfying smoke, and plan to sample the others sizes of this blend in the not so distant future. I have also read that six months to a year or so in the humidor does wonders for this blend...I'll be throwing a few in there shortly to revisit down the road. As for pairing...go bold...select a good Rye, or, if you really want to make your taste buds dance...mix up a Carthusian Sazerac to sip on while you burn. Cheers! Picked on 05/26/2019
Cornelius & Anthony Senor Esugars Gordo 6 * 60
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Sometimes, one selects a cigar based on its appearance....something about it reaches out, grabs your attention and pulls you in. Other times we select cigars based on familiarity....tried and true. I selected this one, full disclosure, because I am a dog person and this cigar is named after the owners beloved Dachshund. Yep.... it is as simple as that. Moving forward... I am glad that I did! The Senor Esugars is a reddish brown cigar that is packed well, and sports two of my preferred tobaccos as wrapper (Mexican San Andreas) and binder (Connecticut Broadleaf) that are draped over Nicaraguan fillers. It is produced in the La Zona factory. The stick starts off full of spice and zest, yet maintains a creaminess at the same time. The smoke is thick in the mouth and full of flavor.... earth, cinnamon, cocoa, macadamia nut and molasses... perhaps a hint of anise or allspice. As the cigar burns, the spiciness seems to tapper off a bit allowing the other flavors to come to the forefront. I did have to correct the burn once or twice on this one....but the smoking experience was so unique I am inclined to overlook that. If you are looking for something a little different.... I suggest you give one of these a try. I paired mine with a can of Stone "Arrogant Bastard" ale and found it to be an excellent match. Cheers. Picked on 04/21/2019
Davidoff 702 Aniversario Special T 6 * 52
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The 702 series is a different kind of Davidoff... a little bold, a bit spicy, and thoroughly complex. Yet ultimately, this stick remains every bit as sophisticated and refined as you have come to expect from Geneva. This particular stick, the special T, is almost identical to the original blend from the early 1990's, but with the addition of a dark, reddish-brown, hybrid Ecuadorian wrapper born from three different strains of Cuban seed. This changed the profile of the cigar fairly dramatically. The stick starts off dry, with notes of cedar, earth, cocoa, wood, musty black tea and spice. As you progress, the level of sweetness begins to increase and the initial dryness transitions somewhat to a more creamy mouth feel. This progression continues until the very end of the cigar....the flavors just continue to get bigger and bolder until the very end....yet no flavor seems to completely dominate the others. As I mentioned previously...the complexity to this smoke is commendable. I nearly decided not to discuss the construction quality of this cigar due to its manufacturer, but for those not in the know.... construction is flawless, draw is perfection, and burn required zero effort or touch ups. This is a gorgeous cigar that should be on hand for special occasions of all sorts. However, do make sure to find the time to really sit down, relax, and be completely absorbed by this stick....fire up something else if you are just trying to maintain a smile while fighting traffic or sneak in a few puffs during a lunch break. Try pairing with San Pellegrino in order to keep your palate neutral so you can fully appreciate the nuances of this smoke. A Hendrick's martini would also be quite suitable. Cheers! Picked on 02/24/2019
Arturo Fuente Anejo Reserva No. 888 65/8 * 44
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Legend has it that the the Anejo line was born out of tragedy: in 1998 hurricane George barreled through the DR, wreaking havoc on the crop of Opus X wrapper leaf Fuente had growing. How did they address their misfortune? They decided to adorn binder/filler blends originally intended to become Opus X cigars with some of the finest Cognac cask aged Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco in their possession. "Out of darkness cometh light" I have long been a fan of the Anejo line, and for me, the 888 is quite possibly its pinnacle. It is difficult not to set your expectations high after looking this stick over... It is dark, slender, and elegantly dressed in a cedar sleeve and red foot band. In my humble opinion, it is one of the most beautiful cigars on the market. Much like with the Anejo 46, the slim ring gauge on the 888 allows the gorgeous wrapper to really strut its stuff. After firing one up, you can expect a bouquet of cocoa, caramel, subtle spice, dried fruit, and vanilla. Burn is trouble free throughout the entire stick, and the ash is sturdy and tends to hang on. There are no soft spots or quality issues to speak of. The flavor remains sweet and earthy with notes of earth and spice thought the entire stick, with the strength ramping up as you work your way through the cigar. Pair with a robust bourbon or stout. Another note of interest: this stick ages incredibly well, so you may want to grab a few for the present, and a few to stow away for special occasions in the future. Cheers! Picked on 02/10/2019
Padron 1926 Serie No. 48 Maduro 51/2 * 60
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This cigar looks and feels much like a brick of dark chocolate. Even the pre-light scent of it is reminiscent of a fine desert.... sweet, complex... a little cedar & spice. It is very well packed, very dense, with little to zero give when gently squeezed. That fact, combined with the box press and 60 ring gauge make this cigar feel somewhat formidable. Yet it is so refined and inviting, its magnetism is hard to fight off, much like the song of a siren. If you succumb to temptation and fire up this stick however, it will not lead to a wrecked ship upon a rocky coast, it will lead to about an hour and 15 minutes or so of unadulterated bliss. After applying fire, you will be greeted by intense cocoa and cedar flavors. Although less dominant, yet still present, you will also notice flavors of dried cherry & white pepper. It seems to have a fairly long finish that leaves your mouth with a pleasant, almost buttery aftertaste as if you just finished consuming a handful of macadamia nuts. The draw is lighter than it is on some of the other Padron anniversary cigars, but not in a negative sense...I mean, it is a 60 ring gauge after all. The burn and construction are spot on. (as you would expect from Padron) I have been trying to come up with something about this smoke to complain about (other than the slightly high price point) but I keep coming up empty handed. Try pairing with a serious stout like a North Coast Old Rasputin or a Grand Teton Black Cauldron.... Salud! Picked on 01/13/2019
Herrera Esteli TAA Toro Exclusive 6 * 52
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Herrera Esteli has a penchant for subtle, classic elegance. This stick shares the same philosophy yet ups the game a notch by adding some color to the main band, and a secondary band that makes it clear that you are smoking a TAA exclusive cigar. That, combined with the gorgeous mahogany colored Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper equals a phenomenal looking cigar. But does it taste as fantastic as it looks? Absolutely. Though I would not deem this stick incredibly complex, the flavor profile was right up my alley.... coffee, cherry, pepper, cinnamon, earth & leather. Yum. There was also an underlying sweetness throughout the whole smoke that can possibly be attributed to the Brazilian Mata Fina binder. The burn was decent, not perfect, but decent. It needed minimal correction. Smoke output was high, the ash pale and firm. The draw was near perfect. I found that somewhere into the second third of this smoke i noticed that it very creamy, almost buttery...perhaps it was that way from the start and I just failed to notice it right away... Try pairing with a decent Bourbon....the flavors compliment each other very nicely. Cheers! Picked on 09/30/2018
Padron 1964 Anniversary Pyramide Natural 67/8 * 52
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The first thing I typically say when asked to recommend a Padron 1964 Anniversary is something like "honestly, you can't go wrong with any of them". That being said, why have I chosen the Pyramide over all of the others to review? A rather trivial reason....I love the funky shape! The pyramide is shaped like a trumpet, going from narrow at the head to slightly flared out at the foot. As with all of the other 1964 anniversary cigars, the tobacco within is aged for 4 years, each cigar is individually numbered, then finished with a traditional box press. Pre-light, I detect heavy notes of cedar, along with nutmeg, hay and macadamia nut. Post-light brings a creamy sweetness with a hit of spice and cocoa....even some notes of citrus. As can be expected with Padron Anniversary's.... construction is top notch, draw is near perfect, and zero blemishes can be found. Despite the odd shape, this stick burned perfectly from start to finish and required zero relights or corrections. Smoke output is decent... I wouldn't say heavy, but definitely decent. As the cigar burns and the ring gauge narrows, you will find the strength subtly increases and the flavors gain more depth, merging together perfectly. I highly recommend you give this one a try. I paired mine with a cafe con leche oscuro. Cheers! Picked on 09/16/2018
Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald 6 * 52
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Sporting a dark sun grown Connecticut wrapper and a classy silver and purple band, the Black Diamond is a striking cigar. It even feels luxurious to the touch...well packed, supple and velvety soft. Upon cold draw, you will be greeted with notes of cocoa, leather and hay. When lit, the cocoa and leather remain while dark cherry, fig, blackstrap molasses and a hearty dose of spices....pepper, nutmeg...a hint of licorice... quickly join the party. This is not at all an easily forgettable cigar... it has a distinct richness and complexity to it that gives it a lot of character. The construction is what you would expect from Diamond Crown... top notch and lacking any soft spots, knots or blemishes. Smoke output is pretty intense, the draw is near perfect, and the ash is sturdy. This is a cigar works well for special occasions, a Friday night after a long day of work, or really any time you simply need to spoil yourself. Try pairing it with Deschutes Black Butte XXIX (if you can find it!) and watch your troubles fade away... cheers! Picked on 08/05/2018
Casa Fernandez Miami Aniversario Serie 2015 Lancero 71/2 * 40
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First of all, I really dig lanceros. The ratio of tobaccos makes it a superb vitola to shine a spotlight on the wrapper...which in this case is five year old Corojo 99 wrapper from the Aganorsa factory. This box pressed Nicaraguan Puro is packed well, but definitely not as densely as some of the other cigars I have reviewed prior. I believe that was a strategic decision. If the rollers are not meticulous when constructing lanceros, the cigars could end up with a restrictive draw. Not the case here...the draw is quite pleasant, which is a testament to the skill of our local rollers right here in Miami, where this cigar was constructed. Upon lighting up, expect to be greeted by flavors of rich tobacco, honey, cedar, citrus and cherry, followed by a ginger/white pepper zing. There is another peculiar flavor dancing around here as well that I struggled to identify... it is reminiscent of wild yeast or sour dough. It is a unique and interesting profile that I enjoy quite a bit. As the cigar burns down it gets a little bit sweeter and creamier. I did not experience any issues with combustion or construction at all... this stick is a pleasure to burn from start to finish. Try pairing it with a Tank 7 Ale on a sunny afternoon. Cheers! Picked on 04/28/2018
Flor de Selva No 20 Petit Corona 5 1/2 * 42
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The Flor de Selva Coleccion Aniversario No. 20 was first introduced in 2015 exclusively as a lancero. Because of the warm reception it received, Maya Selva decided to create several new vitolas of the blend, including this one, the petite corona. In the middle of 2016, the cigars were introduced to Europe at an event called "La Nuit de l'Amateur" held at the Pavilion Gabriel in Paris. We finally got them here in the states during 2017.The wrapper on this Honduran puro is an attractive milk chocolate color with a slight oily sheen.The aroma wafting off of the wrapper reminds me of a crisp October night in New England....tobacco, earth and subtle spices mingling with the scent of fallen leaves. After a fiery kiss, the smoke I began pulling out of it possessed many of the same characteristics it had pre-light, but with a added layer of caramel and a hint of white pepper. The flavor profile fluctuated slightly as I burned my way through it, but stayed fairly consistent I would rate the strength of this stick as medium, possible moving up to a medium plus toward the end of the second third / start of the final third. Construction is top notch, and the ash a light grey that held firm throughout. This is another thoroughly enjoyable cigar from a unique cigar company. Often times we get stuck in routines. We immediately go to what we know and are comfortable with. I advocate stepping off of the beaten path every now and again. The worst thing that can happen is the discovery of newfound comforts and newfound routines. I would pair this with something clean, like a dry gin martini, or even San Pellegrino. I would avoid overly sweet, smokey bourbons with this particular stick. Cheers! Picked on 03/17/2018
Illusione 88 Robusto 5 * 52
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In my humble opinion, the Illusione 88 is a near perfect cigar for any occasion. It is not too large nor too small...not too strong nor too weak. Its appearance is perfection...a gorgeous chocolate brown wrapper complimented by a simple, elegant, thin white & black band. No gold, no silver, no bright neon highlighter-esque colors screaming out for attention... It is understated and self confident. The name "88" stems from the year Dion Giolito moved to Nevada and named his brand Illusione. This is a well packed and fairly heavy cigar, but the draw is open, with just enough resistance. Pre-light you will be greeted with a pleasant toffee like scent. Upon lighting, the toffee remains, but is joined with cocoa, pepper, hazelnuts and leather. The spice picks up a bit as the cigar burns. The ash is a light gray color that holds fairly steady, though does shed a few flakes here and there. I find that it pairs quite well with a decent rum. If you have yet to experience one....you are missing out on a gem. Picked on 02/23/2018
Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 Gran Perfecto 6 * 60
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Though this cigar has been on the market for quite a while now, it has not lost any of its appeal. It is a big, fat (perhaps not by today's standards, but still...) Nicaraguan Puro that is well packed and feels heavy in the hand. Its reddish brown chocolaty wrapper is beautiful and flawless. Be patient when you first light it as the draw will be tight until you work through the tapered foot. Once it opens up however, it will open with a bang. You will be hit with an intense and wonderful aroma followed by flavors of spice, cocoa, molasses, raisin, cedar, earth and licorice. The spice will get more intense as you work your way through the stick, but it at no point does it override the other flavors. The ash is sturdy and white. When you figure out just how good this cigar is in combination with its very reasonable price tag...you will understand why there are always at least a few of them in my humidor. Much like a 64.5 Mustang or a well worn pair of Levy's, this cigar is a classic. Picked on 04/02/2017
601 La Bomba Warhead III 71/2 * 38
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This is one cool little smoke. It is a chocolate brown lancero sporting a pig tail, a soft box press and a solid punch. It is made by Espinosa at La Zona, and packaged in military green boxes with great WWII style retro artwork. The construction is superb. Despite its narrow 38 ring gauge (which, by the way, showcases the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper quite nicely), this stick burns well from start to finish with almost zero corrections required. The most prominent flavors I pick up are cocoa and espresso bean, dark fruit like cherry or currant, a caramel like sweetness, and a good dose of pepper. The strength increases steadily as you smoke, and you can expect a burn time of around 1 hour. If you are bored of your go to, or just want to try something unique, definitely check this one out. Consider pairing it with a good Tennessee whiskey or milk stout. Cheers! Picked on 01/21/2017
Montecristo Pepe Mendez Pilotico Toro 61/4 * 52
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If you are looking for a smoke with a unique profile, medium body, and elegant presentation, this one is for you. Named after Jose "Don Pepe" Mendez, and carefully blended by the Grupo de Maestros, its pedigree is a force to be reckoned with. A gorgeous medium brown Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper encases a Dominican binder and delicate blend of both Nicaraguan & Dominican fillers, including the rare Pilotico tobacco grown in the Cibao region, famous for its nutrient rich soil. Flavors of leather, caramel and nuts dance with subtle spicy notes of cinnamon and clove throughout this cigar. The spiciness seems to ratchet up a bit during the last third. Also noticeable is a slightly salty, citrus like retro-hale. Good construction with a medium draw. I can't find anything I do not like about this one, and I doubt you will either. Pairs well with cafe con leche, a decent single malt scotch, or even a nice smoked porter. Cheers. Picked on 12/27/2016
Gurkha Ghost Shadow 5 * 52
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This is a stick that I tried long ago, and have not forgotten about. That said, I was pleased to see that we picked it up. If you are a fan of the Gurkha Cellar Reserve Limitada Hedonism, but do not feel like shelling out 12+ bucks every time you wish to spark one up, the Ghost is an excellent option, coming in at half of that cost. Though I am not usually a fan of anything that creeps into the territory of being gaudy, I must admit the combination of the jet black wrapper and the iridescent band is kind of cool looking. Appearances aside, the ghost churns out tons of smoke, which anyone who has read any of my previous reviews knows I appreciate. The flavor is very unique as well...a little bit of leather and earth, cocoa & spices... pairs amazingly well with rye whiskey. Give one a shot, I doubt you will be disappointed. Cheers! Picked on 08/20/2016
Crowned Heads Jericho Hill Jack Brown 5 * 56
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This stick has become my current favorite...and not just because the line is named in tribute to one of my long time favorites, the man in black, Mr. Johnny Cash. I have read that the owner of Crowned Heads, Jon Huber, described these sticks as being "five inch blocks of chocolate with red pepper" and I would have a difficult time topping that description with my own wording. They are sweet, spicy, and just delicious all the way through. Construction is excellent courtesy of the Garcia family. The draw on this vitola is perfect...Padron-like if you know what I mean. The draw on the LBV size was a bit restrictive for my tastes, but just right on this one. Grab a decent Belgian ale and fire one of these up on a sunny afternoon and all of your troubles will fade away...temporarily at least. Cheers! Picked on 06/04/2016
Asylum Insidious Gordo 7 * 64
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First off, I must confess that this review is a somewhat of a mea culpa. When this stick first hit our shelves, I rolled my eyes and scoffed. Was it the monstrous size? The shiny skull band? The name 'insidious'? All of the above? With that being said, I found myself in a very peculiar mood a few afternoons ago, bored of my standard go to selection and about to pour up my third black & tan. I wanted to try something new...something different...something mellow....something that would smoke out my entire back yard. Enter the Insidious Gordo. After promptly removing the shiny skull band, I applied a straight cut and fired it up. Immediately I was greeted with a kiss of sugar on the lips and a grand amount of creamy, mild smoke. Ok, this is not bad....not bad at all. As time passed and my glass drifted toward empty once again, I came to realize that I was really enjoying this cigar, despite my initial reservations. Complex, it is not...but smooth, aromatic and very creamy, it was...in spades. Also noteworthy; there was absolutely zero bitterness detectable, indicating the use of very high quality tobacco despite the very low price point. Due to the size and just how easy it is to smoke this stick...there is a very high fun factor here...it tears down any notion that cigars of this magnitude are a challenge to smoke. Somewhere near the last third, this cigar was still just as pleasant as it was when first lit, and still pumping out more smoke than a coal burning power plant. As I squinted in the late afternoon sunshine, watching the plumes of cumulonimbus like smoke rising up through the tree tops, I felt a sense of repentance for my past prejudices ...and a sense of luck that I was not paid a surprise visit by the fire department. So there you have it. Asylum Insidious Gordo.... don't judge a book by its cover...or a cigar by its band. Cheers! Picked on 04/15/2016
Flor de Selva No. 15 51/2 * 54
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Though relatively new to the US market, Maya Selva cigars have been around for over two decades and is a familiar sight in Europe. This one, the No. 15, sports a velvety light brown Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper with nearly no noticeable veins and zero blemishes. That, combined with a somewhat minimalist band, (no gaudy gold flake, bright colors or embossed edges here!) equates to a very attractive cigar. Pre-light, the stick smells of molasses and hay. Post-light, the molasses remains but combines with layers of nutmeg and cream. It is a mild cigar...almost medium as you move through it but I am still going to call it mild. Construction , draw and smoke output are all excellent. Perfect smoke for a sunny morning. Fans of Montecristo White, Rocky Patel Vintage Connecticut, The Griffins and the alike should take notice and give this line a shot. I was impressed and believe you will be as well. Cheers! Picked on 04/02/2016
Casa Magna Colorado Gigantor 6 * 64
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If you are looking for a large, long lasting cigar that kicks like a mule and smokes like a forest fire, look no further. This stick sports a gorgeous reddish brown, slightly oily Colorado wrapper that smells of hay and caramel pre-light. It is firm and has decent weight to it indicating a firm pack. However the pack does not hurt the quality of the draw. It pulls easy and as I mentioned earlier, produces a lot of smoke. I found the dominate post-light flavors to be earth, leather, caramel, coffee and spice. Strength keeps building until the end. Pairs well with espresso. Make sure to have eaten something before firing this baby up. Cheers! Picked on 03/12/2016
Crowned Heads Headley Grange Estupendos 51/2 * 52
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The Headley Grange line by Crowned Heads are some fantastic sticks. What else would you expect from a cigar that was born out of inspiration from the unmistakable drum beat in the song "When the Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin? (recorded in a studio in London named Headley Grange)That said, this smoke is bold and bombastic, creamy, complex and engaging...an excellent combination of strength and sophistication. Caramel, cocoa, dark fruit and citrus notes dance in unison with leather, pepper and spice. Excellent construction courtesy of E.P. Carrillo, good smoke output, and a burn time just over an hour. Give one a try...you will not be disappointed! Picked on 02/20/2016
Tatuaje Miami Gran Cojonu 61/2 * 60
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This is one serious cigar....at 6.5 X 60, sporting an intense, oily Habano wrapper, closed foot & no band or markings what so ever; its appearance may frighten the novice cigar smoker. But do not be intimidated! It is bold, but absolutely delicious. Even before lighting up, the aroma is intoxicating....earthy sweet tobacco, leather, spice, and a bright citrus-like note as well. Post light... you can expect to be greeted with a blast of spice that soon mellows into rich chocolate / espresso / oak dominated profile. The construction is spot on. The ash is white, and holds steady...especially for a cigar with a large ring gauge. If you are a fan of large ring gauge cigars, you must try this one. If you are not....well you should still try one and expect to be pleasantly surprised. Pairs well with a good bourbon, espresso, or even chianti / pinot noir. Cheers! Picked on 09/26/2015
Rocky Patel Vintage 1999 Robusto 51/2 * 50
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The Rocky Patel 1999 Vintage is a mild but flavorful & creamy cigar that sports a beautiful true Connecticut shade wrapper. It is constructed quite well, and makes a great smoke any time of the day. I found the predominant flavors to be nuts, butter, toast, with a subtle hint of spice. It pairs well with a cafe con leche in the A.M. or a decent scotch in the P.M. Cheers! Picked on 08/29/2015
La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial El Jocko Maduro  41/2 * 54
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The Jocko by LFD (named after an apparently amusing incident involving a donkey on Litto Gomez's farm) is an oily, espresso colored perfecto that packs a ton of flavor into a small package. It makes an excellent companion for an afternoon break or an evening stroll with a burn time of around 30-40 minutes. Upon light up you will be greeted with a blast of pepper and spice, followed by an intense mix of molasses, raisin, earth & leather. Excellent construction, excellent burn, intense flavors....this has been one of my go-to smokes for quite some time now. Cheers! Picked on 07/19/2015
CAO Flathead V642 Piston 61/2 * 42
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If you are fan of Connecticut Broadleaf, you need to try the Flathead by CAO. With its rich, dark wrapper, box press and retro styling, the cigar is quite appealing to look at. It is equally appealing to smoke. This stick is very flavorful yet not overbearing. It is loaded with notes of leather, wood and espresso with a little bit of nutmeg on the finish. The draw tends to be a bit firm (at least with this vitola) but provides plenty of smoke. It is not the most complex smoke on earth and I couldn't detect a whole lot of changes from the first third through the second, but I did notice a little more strength and spice during the final third. It burns evenly and is well constructed. All in all, it is a winner! Cheers. Picked on 07/14/2015
Cusano 18 Robusto 5 * 50
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This stick has been one of my go-to smokes for several years now. It is adorned with not only one, but two buttery smooth, high quality Connecticut shade leaves...one as the binder, and one as the wrapper. Because of that, this cigar is about as smooth and mellow as can be. I should also mention that filler is composed of Dominican Piloto Ligero, Oro Seco, & San Vicente Olor tobaccos which have been aged for an impressive 18 years. It is rolled in Henkie Kelner's (Davidoff) factory in the Dominican Republic. The end product is an incredibly well constructed, good looking cigar that is smooth enough for beginners, but savory enough for seasoned veterans as well. The draw is fairly light, and the burn tends to stay even with minimal touch ups. The aroma is another high point of this cigar...creamy vanilla and nutmeg with hints of caramel or butterscotch. Also, take note of the very reasonable price point... the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut smokes like a far more expensive stick. Fans of Montecristo White, Rocky Vintage 1999 & Ashton classic's should pay attention here...Try one and see for yourself. Cheers! Picked on 06/19/2015
La Flor Dominicana Cameroon Cabinet No. 3 43/4 * 40
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Ok, so let me break this one down for you...here you have a box pressed corona sized cigar, adorned with a Ligero Cameroon wrapper (yes, you read that correctly...Ligero Cameroon) rolled over LFD's Dominican fillers. I punched it with a small ring gauge punch and proceeded to fire it up after a quick pre-light tasting. Pre-light...all I found was a subtle grassy, woodsy scent. Post light, the subtle sweetness of the wrapper and spices of the filler immediately began to swirl around my pallet. It was a rather nice combination. I should also note that smoke output was quite impressive. The ash was almost a pure white color that only fell when I decided to tap if off. In the beginning, I deemed this cigar to be a "medium" in strength. After I got into the last third...the strength increased at least to a medium plus...possible venturing into full territory. All in all, I was impressed! I will definitely add a few more to the humidor. Cheers! Picked on 04/11/2015
Kentucky Fire Cured Delfinas 61/2 * 26
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Considering the fact that I am a big fan of the lancero vitola, one can easily imagine why I was drawn to this curiously long, thin cigar. The KFC Delfinas is even thinner than a lancero, sporting a ring gauge of a whopping 26. Putting my fears of a possible tough draw aside, I decided to give it a shot....and I am glad that I did. Pre-light....this stick had the same strong smokey bacon-like aroma that the other members of the Kentucky Fire Cured family do. After clipping, the first thing I noticed was a nice easy draw! Ok, so far so good. Post-light....a good amount of smoke from such a narrow ring gauge, and flavors of moist earth, white pepper, heavy cream and just a hint of that smokey meat flavor mentioned above. The cigar burned evenly and did not require a re-light at any point. You can expect a burn time of about 30-40 minutes. Even if you do not expect this to turn into your everyday smoke, (who knows, maybe it will!) you should at least give one a try if not just to mix things up a bit...it is a quick, fun and unique smoke at a very reasonable price. Cheers! Picked on 03/14/2015
Diamond Crown Maduro Robusto No. 4 51/2 * 54
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I was drawn to this cigar because of the dark and inviting Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. After giving it a straight cut, I found the pre-light draw to be even more enticing than the appearance of this stick. Perfect balance of flow and resistance, filled with flavors of cocoa and caramel. After lighting up, I discovered that this cigar is much more mild than it appears to be, but still brimming with the chocolaty sweet maduro flavors that I expected. As I worked my way through it, I also noticed that it is not an incredibly complex cigar...the flavors it produced upon light up stayed fairly constant all the way through. Because those flavors worked so well for me however, I do not consider that a negative! It did pick up a bit of strength as it burned along with a bit of a tart, cherry like aftertaste. Burn was impeccable and smoke output volume was heavy. I will definitely be picking up a couple more to throw into the humidor for down the road. Cheers! Picked on 02/07/2015
Tatuaje Havana VI Verocu No. 5 4 * 40
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The Verocu No. 5 is a small cigar that thinks it is much larger. No draw issues, and no issues with lack luster flavor here. Upon light up, this cigar delivers plenty of nice, fairly complex , spicy (but in no way obnoxiously spicy) smoke that really makes you believe you are puffing on a much bigger vitola. Along with the Petite Reserve, the Verocu is one of my go to smokes, especially if I am in a hurry. You will get an average burn of 30 - 40 mins from this stick, depending on how aggressively you smoke it. Picked on 01/24/2015
Sosa Super Selection V 5 * 50
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The Sosa Super Selection is a dark, rustic medium + cigar. It has an odd shape to it....not perfectly cylindrical, yet not box pressed either. The closest visual comparison I can come up with would be the classic Henry Clay line...each cigar is kind of unique. The draw is pleasing, and smoke output commendable. The smoke is rich, oily and full of flavor. Earth, pepper, leather & chocolate are heavy in the profile, but to me, the star of this show is the unique raisin / dried fruit flavor that persists from start to finish. Highly recommended. Cheers! Picked on 12/26/2014
Padron Family Reserve No. 50 Natural 5 * 54
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One of the latest additions to the Family Reserve line is the No. 50. Upon first glance, it greatly resembles much of the other Family Reserve releases, sporting the famous Padron box press. And let me tell you, what a box press this is. It is packed so perfectly even that it is hard to believe it was once just a bundle of leaves. I mean, this press is exceptional...even by Padron standards. It is also a heavy stick for the size. Between the weight and the pack...I almost feared that the draw would be questionable at best. But alas, I should have had faith. The draw was just as exceptional as the press. It opened up with spice, earth and cedar. As I puffed on, a strong note of honey and pralines introduced themselves. I caught myself saying out loud "there we go!" As expected, burn was perfect though out the stick without any issues. When all is said and done, I don't find the No. 50 to be a huge departure from the rest of the Family Reserve line, (which may be a good thing) but it is an incredibly well made, incredibly enjoyable smoke that is probably best saved for special occasions rather than being an everyday smoke. That said, I recommend picking up a couple, smoking one or two, and then sticking a few more into the humidor to age for worthy occasions down the road. Cheers! Picked on 12/16/2014
EP Carrillo La Historia El Senador 53/8 * 52
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Appearance
The first thing I noticed about this cigar was the presentation...beautiful box...beautiful cigar. The dark brown San Andreas Maduro wrapper presents a nice contrast to the colorful bands and aqua blue foot band. The cigar is well rolled and possesses no soft spots. Upon lighting, I was greeted with an excellent draw and a nice blast of smoke filled with chocolate, caramel and black pepper flavors. The same flavors dominated the stick pretty much from start to finish, along with sort of a fruit / jammy taste that seemed to come and go. The smoke was dryer than I expected, but the stick produced a lot of it, which I like. The ash was light gray, almost white, and provided a nice contrast to the dark wrapper. The burn stayed pretty even throughout the smoke...the few issues that surfaced corrected themselves without assistance from my torch. All in all, I like this cigar. Another hit from E.P. Carrillo that you should definitely sample... perhaps along with a glass of good scotch or bourbon. Cheers! Picked on 12/11/2014
Perla del Mar Perla M 43/4 * 52
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Perla Del Mar is a well priced, mild cigar with a subtle box press and an elegant Connecticut shade wrapper. It is well rolled, not overtly firm, yet not soft or spongy either. (the earlier batches did seem to be a bit on the softer side) The draw is easy with little resistance. As with many other milder cigars, I would not consider this one to be seriously complex. The aroma is quite pleasant, with hints of cedar and nutmeg. I also found the Perla to possess a noticeable sweetness to the smoke, possibly because of the Nicaraguan filler used, which I enjoyed. If you are a fan of Ashton Classic's, the Montecristo White or Classic lines, Rocky Patel 1999 Vintage Connecticut....but are seeking a more affordable option for daily puffing, take a closer look at this one. Picked on 12/04/2014
Tatuaje Petite Tatuaje Reserva 41/2 * 32
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When I only have 30 minutes or so to burn, this is my official go-to smoke. This cigar is very rustic in appearance. It has no decorative bands, and no pretenses what-so-ever. Think Clint Eastwood in one of his classic Western films. Though rated as "medium" in strength, I find this to be a very mild cigar. Keep in mind that by saying "mild", in no way am I insinuating "without flavor". By mild, I mean, "without bite". This a very smooth cigar, and flavor is what makes it shine. Thanks in part to the rich Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper chosen for it, this is one of the most flavor rich small cigars I have smoked to date. Dark chocolate & espresso...maybe a hint of spice... from start to finish. I rate the draw and burn quality of this cigar as average when compared to everything on the market, but above average when compared to other cigars around this size. If you are a busy person and/or a CT broadleaf/Maduro lover...do yourself a favor and try a couple. Picked on 11/20/2014
Eiroa CBT Maduro Robusto 5 * 50
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Some may feel this stick is a bit on the strong side for a morning smoke. I however, decided to light one up alongside a cup of espresso while sitting outside enjoying the sun a few mornings ago. First off, this is a very nice looking cigar. It is dark brown, almost black, with minimal veins and no soft spots. It is not overtly oily...the wrapper has almost a suede leather like feel. The pack is quite firm, but the draw is pleasing...not exceedingly easy or tough. Upon light, I was greeted with a blast of black pepper, cinnamon, clove and leather. As I smoked on, the cigar started to mellow out a bit with the predominant flavors consisting of dark cocoa, raisin, earth and leather. That spice that greeted me when I first lit up was still dancing around in the background during every puff. The burn was consistent, the ash firm, and the construction solid. Good flavor from start to finish. No serious complaints. I highly recommend this stick to anyone who enjoys a hearty, well made maduro. The "CBT" stands for "Capa, Binda, Tripa" by the way, which means that this is an ALL maduro cigar.... Picked on 11/13/2014
Adam

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