January 19, 2014

Week in Review (Volume 2, Issue 2)

This was a week that packed was with cigars that were new to me, but also with some cigars that have been cigars I have been enjoying for years now. I love seeing how cigars smoke after they have been aging for a couple years because it gives the tobacco in the cigar that time to age and meld together, creating a more complete experience. Some manufacturers blend with very aged tobacco, but there are some that use tobacco that is not as old. There has always been the debate of blending cigars with aged tobacco as opposed to blending cigars with younger tobacco and then having the tobacco age with the cigar. I think you can experience a great cigar either way, but I know there are some subtle differences. If you are wondering where some these differences are, the classic comparison is between Habanos S.A. and Padron Cigars. But enough of that, let's look at what I smoked this week.


CroMagnon Knuckle Dragger
When it comes to RoMa Craft, I believe that most smokers have particular lines that they enjoy the most, and the rest are not as loved. To me it is the most divided brand that I can think of, and I have never found a guy who has loved multiple lines. Some might say comments about RoMa Craft because of that, but I simply believe it shows the diversity of RoMa Craft brand. I have always been a fan of the Aquitaine line, and at the bottom of the list was CroMagnon. I have never been a huge Connecticut Broadleaf fan, that can explain why I did not like the line, but recently I had some positive experiences with some older CroMagnon Knuckle Draggers. The cigars have aged well and are now producing some flavors I can enjoy in the size. It is still no Aquitaine, but it is a solid cigar nonetheless. 

Review coming soon.

La Aurora 100 Años Preferidos
Probably one of the most well known Dominican puros, the 100 Años is a cigar that has gotten tons of attention since it was released. It really shows how great Dominican tobacco can be and is, and is shown in some great vitolas. Whether it is the classic robusto, Churchill or lancero, the cigar smokes great. La Aurora decided to do something special with the cigar though when they released it in their well known preferidos vitola. The preferidos vitola has been a vitola I have always enjoyed, and it is a vitola that lets you experience the greatness of the wrapper and filler tobacco being used. With this cigar it showed the wonderful qualities of different Dominican tobacco from beginning to end, and was as complex as ever. These were a small batch release from years back, and I can tell you that they age wonderfully.

Review here.

Litto Gomez Diez Lusitano
When you think of the Litto Gomez Diez series, the Chisel is probably the most well known of the vitolas, but the Lusitano is right behind it. This toro is packed full of wonderful Dominican tobacco, and they are great from vintage to vintage. This particular Lusitano is from 2012 and I can tell you that it has mellowed out some, but is still showing the wonderful flavors it has to offer. The construction on these cigars is always perfect and when it comes to anything from La Flor Dominicana, I do not smoke much out of the Litto Gomez Diez line. Once you smoke the best stuff from a company, why smoke there other stuff?

Review here.

Ramon Allones Specially Selected
If there is one brand in the Habanos portfolio that is small but great, it is the Ramon Allones brand. With only three cigars currently on the market, they have a cigar for all occasions. A petit corona for when time is not on your side, a double corona for when time is on your side and a robusto for in between. All the smokes are great and they are terrific young and old. I find the cigars can be complete beasts from time to time, in terms of strengths and body, but they are always flavorful. I have some Specially Selected that are seven years old and they are smoking better than ever. These are fairly low key when looking at the Habanos portfolio, but they are true gem.

Review here.

Aging Room M21 Fortissimo 
Another Dominican puro that is the first limited edition in the Aging Room brand, the M21 Fortissimo is a figurado that smokes great from beginning to end. The flavors produced were very enjoyable and it has a nice balance between body and strength. I would say this is my second favorite smoke in the Aging Room brand, and will look forward to seeing what age does to the cigars. Rafael and Oliveros have come a long way over the years, and I believe they have found their rhythm in the past couple years.

Review coming soon.

Trinidad Reyes
The Trinidad brand is an interesting brand for Habanos S.A. because it is a brand that was produced beginning in 1969, but it was not released to the public until 1997. Once a cigar for foreign dignitaries and members of high political offices, the cigar eventually found its way into being made for the worldwide market. I have a love hate relationship with the brand as I do not care for many of the vitolas it offers or has offered,but have loved the Reyes. The bands on the cigar are just awful in my opinion, but the cigar is tasty as hell. I would not say it is the best petit corona Habanos S.A. has, but it is a solid one, no questions there.  

Review here.

Padilla Connecticut Robusto
When you talk about Connecticut Shade cigars to the smokers in the boutique world, you are going to get a lot of negative feedback. The reason for that is because these cigars are typically milder and softer than most other cigars that boutique smokers reach for. Last year Padilla announced they would be making a Padilla Connecticut, and I was interested in how the cigar would smoke. After smoking the cigar I found that it produced some solid core flavors that were enjoyable, but it was not overly complex. This is a cigar that many would enjoy, but I think the boutique world would not fall in love with this cigar because of what it is.

Review coming soon.

Illusione Original Documents '888'
Simply a classic, the '888' is a cigar that never fails. The construction on the cigar is terrific from beginning to end, and it produces a great flavors profile that is balanced with the strength and body. You really can't go wrong with the cigars, even if they are young or aged, and that is why I have a plethora of them in my humidor. I typically smoke these cigars when the weather is great outside, just because they are a bigger smoke, but I could not resist this cigar this week. If you have not smoked this cigar, you need to reach out for it.

Review here.

Partagas Lusitania
Definitely the most well known of all double coronas coming of Cuba, the Partagas Lusitania is an example to all who wish to make this magical size. You can really screw up in attempting to make a double corona, but Habanos S.A. has nearly perfected it with this smoke. The cigar has tons of complex flavors with depth and transitioning throughout this large cigar, and with age they do wonders. This particular double corona is over five years old and I could not be more impressed with how it is smoking. Habanos S.A. is launching their Lusitania Gran Reserva this year and I think this smoke could go head to head with that limitada. Definitely a cigar to sit back and enjoy when time is not in question.

Review here.

Regius Robusto
These are cigars that are well known in London, but may not be as well known throughout the States. Regius Cigars are made in Nicaragua by Nestor Plasencia, but are made for Regius Cigars for the European market. They are Nicaraguan puros, but not the kind of puros you and I smoke when we pick them up in a local retailer store. The cigars show a nice bit of flavors from beginning to end, but show a flavor profile that is lighter than what you would expect. These cigars may not be for everyone, but they are definitely a nice change of pace and something that will finds its place into individuals humidors. I for one loved the smoke and will have the review up soon.

Review coming soon.