Cigar Review: The Name Game

Cigar names can be very silly. I think the idea is the more off the wall name the likelihood cigar smokers will pay notice and may try it.  Does the name always indicate what the cigar is about ? how it tastes? anything outstanding about it? I think not. However, I do understand the logic behind it. With thousands of brands out there it is very difficult to stand out among the masses. I did write a blog about the marketing boys probably brain storming and coming up with unusual monikers. So with this in mind, lets review a house brand from Famous Cigars called Carnage. You can come up with your own conclusions about the smoke after reading my blog and make up your own mind.

Brand/Name of Cigar: Famous Cigars/Carnage

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Size: 5 X 54

Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano

Binder: Honduran Connecticut

Filler: Nicaraguan 

Shape: Robusto

 

Where and When Smoked: Los Angeles, Ca, 8/13/17

Appearance/ Construction:

Solid looking smoke with a pretty generous oily feel to the wrapper. A fair amount of small veins visible, not very pretty but who cares? The band was sharp, a good-looking design.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

The first pop was a salty combo of caramel, nuts and a hint of spice. The mix also had something of a hit sweetness but don’t know what that was. As we smoked on the blend would be a medium profile with a nutty, creamy toffee combo.

Smoking Characteristics:

Overall the burn was cool, with dark ash but later in the smoke it had a minor uneven burn line. No big deal as the smoke was always pleasant. I wonder if we make too much of an issue how the cigar looks. More important how does it taste.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

Sometimes price point is a factor when we choose a cigar or brand but this should not be the overriding issue. If you want that smoke, spend the money and buy it.  Carnage is a good smoke with a good price point so we lucked out on both accounts.

Final Thoughts and the Numbers:

A medium profile with good flavor, reasonably good construction and a tasty upside. If you can find a smoke with all the things you are looking for and on top of that, a reasonable cost, it adds up to be a winner.

Appearance/Construction: 3.2 out of 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:  3.5 out of 5

Smoking Characteristics: 3 out 5

Conclusion/Overall Impression: 3.3 out 5

*Credit: Frank Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole Cigars

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The …

Several months ago I invited a friend to the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge to have an afternoon Sunday smoke and as always there were other cigar friends at the lounge.

As the smoking session moved on, a fellow member of the Lone Wolf joined us and he brought out a very unusual looking cigar. I could not figure out what the cigar was about as it had a unique look to it.  At first its appearance  gave me the impression the cigar was truly beat up and somehow got mangled. Our friend noticed we were very curious what he was smoking and offered us one of our own to smoke.

As we discovered the cigar in question was covered by a tobacco leaf and when he removed it, there it was, a true looking cigar. As we spoke it was explained that the tobacco leaf was a way to protect the real cigar offering the same protection as a metal tube or cellophane . I wondered if this was a gimmick or had real value.

Brand/Name of Cigar: Leaf by Oscar/Connecticut

Country of Origin: Honduras

Size: 6 x 60

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade

Binder: Honduran

Filler:

Honduran

Shape: Toro

Where and When Smoked:

Los Angeles, CA. 8/6/17

Appearance/Construction:

Not your average looking cigar at the  first appearance as the stick is “protected” by a rustic looking leaf. The real goods are displayed when you unwrap the smoke.  It is light brown in appearance, with several prominent veins in view. The cigar band is very cool looking, almost becoming part of the smoke itself.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

The initial impression was of mild pepper, wood, cedar and orange peel. I had an image of being in a forest hanging out in a lawn chair in a very rustic setting. The first third was generally mild but with a complexity that was unexpected. It tasted very good.

Smoking Characteristics:

It burned very cool with a light grey ash, stayed lit throughout the smoke and the ash was a vision of beauty. It was pretty impressive.

It mostly burned very evenly and the second third was a bit different as some spice kicked in, mostly a stronger version of the pepper theme.

As the smoke entered the third phase, the flavor remained constant and the mix of pepper, orange peel and wood . It never gave any hint of being bitter or harsh.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

The product was a high quality, well crafted cigar with no weak points. When you take away the unusual presentation it would still be a cigar of note.

Final Thoughts and the Numbers:

I am not sure if the protective tobacco leaf added any value to the smoke, but it was certainly a conversation starter. I would reccommend this cigar to anyone who appreciates a well designed cigar with no harsh edges and very flavorful.

Appearance/ Construction; 4 out 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 4 out 5

Smoking Characteristics: 4 out of 5

Conclusion/Overall Impression: 4 out of 5

*Credit: Frank Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole Cigars

Roll Out The Barrel

Camacho cigars have evolved in their market and  made changes in marketing, blends and tastes. The old-time Camacho was a strong stick while well made, had limited appeal. The cigar in question today  is a somewhat new take and has been out for about 2 years. I reviewed this blend  last year but since I have had this smoke in my humidor for a spell, it’s fair to give it another shot.

Brand/ Name of Cigar: Camacho/ American Barrel Aged Master Built Series

Country of Origin: United States

Size: 6 x 50

Wrapper: American Broadleaf

Binder: American Broadleaf

Filler: American Broadleaf, Pennsylvania Broadleaf, Barrel Aged Corojo

Shape: Toro

Where and When Smoked: 7/31/17, Los Angeles

Appearance/ Construction:

This cigar looks so good, it is almost too pretty to smoke. The solid looking brown wrapper is set off by dual bands that make the wrapper look even better. Tiny veins barely visible.  Texture is smooth, oily and very studly looking.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

The first third was dominated by a combo of bourbon, nuts, chocolate and a slight taste of honey. Medium profile with no harshness, but not very complex either. I thought I would get some spice but it did not happen in the first third.

Smoking Characteristics:

Very even burn, light grey ash , a cool smoking cigar with no relight. Steady with a nice flow to the smoke. Took about an hour to finish.

The second third and the finish were almost identical with the tail end finally bringing in  some spice/pepper. Overall the cigar was a good choice for a Sunday afternoon but not as complex as I thought it would be.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

No powerhouse but not a lightweight either. It was a consistent pleasure vehicle but I wanted some engine rev.

Final Thoughts and the numbers:

Maybe I was thinking about the old line Camacho when I smoked this one. Not fair perhaps but wanted some edge and did not get it. Needed more octane for the ride. You can buy this for a good smoke but don’t get too excited because it won’t happen.

Appearance/Construction: 4.2 out of 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 3.5 out of 5

Smoking Characteristics: 3.5 out of 5

Conclusion/Overall Impression: 3.8 out 5

*Credit: Frank Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole Cigars

West Coast Cool

Pete Johnson creator of the Tatuaje brand  was one of the  first boutique brands that made it on the national scene . His brands and presence have proven to be a great addition to the overall cigar  market for many years.

I am not going to say that I smoke many of his products but was given a 5 pack of the brown label blend as a gift last fall. About time I did a review of Tatuaje. As always I make it a point to give an impartial view and if you are interested on my take , try the brand yourself.

Brand/Name of Cigar: Tatuaje Brown Label/Petit Cazadores Reserva

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Size: 4 x 40

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Shape: Petit Corona

Where and When Smoked: Los Angeles , Ca. 7/22/17

Appearance/Construction:

Rustic looking wrapper with several prominent veins present. Solid, firm to the touch somewhat oily too. The simple brown band with the fleur-de-lis accents was compatible with the cigar.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

Started off strong with a black pepper blast, spicy with a no holds barred impressive taste. This is a cigar that does not fool around. You better sit down for this smoke unless you want to get knocked off your feet. It was smooth as I continued to smoke with a hint of cherries and hazelnuts. Powerful but not unpleasant.

Smoking Characteristics:

It burned rather quickly with one relight. Had a minor glitch near the end as it burned somewhat uneven. Had a good-looking medium grey ash. Never wavered from its overall power.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

This brand has been around for a spell now and it’s true to its flavor profile. Strong throughout the 50 minutes it took to finish. It’s a very good smoke if you like a very chewy cigar. You cannot be shy when smoking it.

Final Thoughts and the numbers:

You will like this cigar if you enjoy powerful blends, the cigar lasted less than one hour but you will not feel cheated. You need this smoke in your humidor.

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

*Credit: Frank Gerechter, The Urban Fishing pole Cigars

Cigar Of The Gods

This morning I started to watch the documentary about the Grateful Dead. It’s a 3 plus hours epic about my favorite rock band. The film comes in several parts so I only viewed the first 50 minutes of so. I wanted to sit through the whole film but decided to take it in doses and needed to write this review.  Might also review the film but let’s get the dope on the cigar leaf.

Brand/Name of Cigar: La Palina/ Bronze

Country of Origin: Honduras

Size: 6.5 x 52

Wrapper: Honduras

Binder: Honduras

Filler: Honduras and Nicaragua

Shape: Toro

Where and when smoked: Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles, 7/15/17

Appearance/Construction:

A handsome chocolate wrapper with a striking combo band. Nice soft feel and oily. Solid construction with no obvious issues or faults. Small veins are visible.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

Strong start with intense spice popping, flavor of heavy pepper. A nutty undertone of hazelnut and burnt orange. Pretty interesting to the palate.

Smoking Characteristics:

Smooth cool burn with a dark ash. The strong flavor of pepper is still the majority taste. Slight uneven burn at the 1/2 way point. Sometimes I wonder if burn issues are overrated. If you enjoy the smoke, should you be concerned about this?

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

This is a strong smoke with a heavy dose of spice. Its power is evident throughout. Take your time smoking this cigar with easy puffs. I could imagine getting a head rush if you power through the cigar.

Final Thoughts and the numbers:

A very good choice for most smokers who desire a full-bodied cigar. La Palina has produced a nice addition to its lineup. Make it a part of your humidor but it’s a “bad boy.”

Appearance/ Construction: 3.8 out 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 3.8 out of 5

Smoking Characteristics: 3.5 out of 5

Conclusion: 3.8 out of 5

*Credit: Frank Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole Cigars