|LFD Cheroot (Ice Pick)|
There are times during the week where I want to have a cigar during lunch, and I just don’t have the time to smoke even a robusto. It is when this time happens that I grab a nice petit corona or something closer to a cigarillo. The cigar usually is between a 36 and 46 ring gauge, and measures between four and five inches. There are a lot of cigars like this on the market made by several manufacturers on the market, but just recently I was gifted with this fabulous cigar by Hal Rubin of Empire Cigars. Hal is a great guy, and I must say that my time with him was wonderful. He is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and has a great store. If you ever have the time to stop in at his store in Raleigh, NC you should, they really have a great selection and it is a wonderful place just to relax and enjoy a fine cigar or two. You can check out my page on recommended stores for more information, and there is a link to their store as well.
One cigar made exclusively for Empire Cigars is the Cheroot by La Flor Dominicana. The Cheroot came about when David Savona of Cigar Aficionado went to a cigar event with Litto Gomez in Connecticut, and brought some of these cigars with him. The cigar at that time was made just for David Savona, and after that evening the cigar grew in popularity. Years later Litto was continuously getting orders from Hal Rubin for the cigar, and after the two met at Empire Cigars, Littodecided to make the cigar exclusively for him. The cigar measures 5 1/2″ and has a 38 ring gauge and is often referred to as the Ice Pick. The cigar is finished like most of the Chisel’s made by Litto Gomez and is rough on the eyes. As to the tobacco in the cigar, that is a secret, but it is said to be 100% ligero. I have heard of the strength of this cigar, and I know that it is very popular among those who have smoked it, and I am finally here to review it. Because of the size of the cigar, I am going to review it in halves.
The cigar is not that great to look at, and it is not beautiful in the hand, but it has nice aromas of wood and spice. The head is already cut some on my sticks, and since the draw is perfect for me I light it up. Immediately after lighting I am greeted with tons of spice. I mean this cigar hits you from the first draw. I am picking up lots of pepper, dark spices, wood and leather. The draw is great on this firecracker and the burn line is perfect. These cigars have actually earned the nickname “crack sticks”, and I can see why. The nicotine count in these cigars has got to be maxed out, and strength wise this is very very full. In the second half of the cigar the flavors are pretty similar to that of the first half, but I am also getting a lot of cayenne pepper and paprika notes as well. It is still showing those core notes of black pepper, wood and leather, but there is a little more complexity to the smoke as well. The burn line is still great with this cigar, and the draw is still perfect as well. It takes me a little under 30 minutes to enjoy this smoke, and every minute of it is great. I don’t know what compelled me to make this my first cigar of the day, but I am starting the day off right with this smoke. I smoke the cigar down to the nub and use a toothpick to finish it off. All the way to the end it provides a cool draw, and at no point does it get too hot.
This was a firecracker of a cigar. I don’t think there are many cigars that can compete with this cigar in terms of strength, and the beauty about it is that it is also flavorful. The cigar looks rough to the eyes, but in terms of construction it is made very well. The draw was great on this little smoke, and it had a perfect burn line. Typically with cigars this small they tend to get hot towards the end, but this cigar did not do that. If you are a fan of full bodied cigars, and smaller cigars, then you should definitely buy a box of these. I don’t think you will find anything that compares with this cigar in this size category, and it could go head to head with some other cigars that are made in the more common sizes. Hal Rubin has hit the jackpot with this cigar, and he is the man to deal with to get this great smoke. I am giving this cigar 91 points, and given its size and purpose, it is at the head of the pack. Call or go to Empire Cigars in Raleigh, NC and buy this cigar now!
*Gifted to me by the great Hal Rubin of Empire Cigars.