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

Cigar Review: Who Are You ?

Every cigar has its advocate or distractor. Cuban cigar fanciers often can see nothing wrong with any cigar from the Isle. Others are more inclined to have an open mind on cigars from all areas. I like Cuban cigars and generally find them a great smoke and highly recommend them. Still , not every cigar is a total winner. Here are my thoughts on this particular cigar, read my review and then make your own judgment. How and where I receive the cigar does not influence my way of thinking.

Brand/Name of Cigar: Romeo Y Julietta Short Churchill

Country of Origin: Cuba

Size: 55 x 51

Shape: Short Churchill

Where and When smoked: Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, 7/8/17 Los Angeles , Ca.

Appearance/Construction:

An attractive combo of a light brown wrapper, slightly tight to the touch with a gentle oily feel. No obvious issues with veins or other defects. It’s a very clean-looking smoke with a striking cigar band.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

The first third came across of a combination of bitter chocolate, coffee, earthy infusion of grass. Spice was present was not of any consequence. Medium to full, fairly smooth and consistent.

Smoking Characteristics:

There was an uneven burn during the second third and a re light. Was surprised at this as the construction looked very solid. The flavor also grew more spicy with a black pepper dominance. I started to feel the effects of the spice hit and got somewhat overwhelmed. The chocolate was still around. I should have eaten a meal before smoking this cigar.

This smoke became a juggernaut of strength and dominance as I smoked. A word to the wise: Eat something solid before you take on this blend. Prepare for a full onslaught of power. The cigar was not to blame for this. It was my lack of good judgment.  The uneven burn was an issue but not overwhelming to the cigar.

Final thoughts and the numbers:

This was a cigar of full strength and I was not thinking correctly on my prep. Keep this in mind as I would recommend this short Churchill to a hearty smoker but not to a novice. The potential to getting your ass kicked from smoking is a real possibility. Buy a couple for your humidor but eat before you undertake this blend.

Appearance/Construction:  3.8 out of 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 3.8 out of 5

Smoking Characteristics: 3.5 out of 5

Conclusion/Overall Impression: 3.6 out of 5

*Credit: Frank Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole Cigars

Cigar Review, Cigar Talk, La Palina Lancero

Time for the review. As always how and where I purchased the cigar does not influence my thoughts on the product. If this review gives you curiosity about the smoke , please try the cigar yourself.

Brand/Name of Cigar:

La Palina/Classic Lancero

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic

Size: 7 x 38

Wrapper: Brazilian

Binder: Ecuadorian

Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan

Shape: Lancero

Where and when smoked: 6/4/17, Los Angeles, Ca.

Appearance/Construction: 

The lean profile of this smoke gives it a striking appearance.  Well constructed wrapper, slight oil to the touch. Small seams are visible but no defects noted.  It looks could kill this cigar might be a lethal weapon.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

The first third is dominated by a fruity merging of citrus, and tangerine which was very smooth and pleasant. As you puff a bit, there is also a presence of a mild pepper influence but would not call this a spicy combo. It is an interesting mix to me with enough of a complexity to keep the smoke very enjoyable.

Smoking characteristics: 

A quality burn with no discernible issues, remained cool , stayed lit and quite even. Around the 2/3’s mark the cigar had more a spice kick but that just enhanced the overall pleasure  of the experience.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

With my new-found interest in lancero cigars, I am discovering products that probably would have been ignored. I like what La Palina is doing with their product line with a retooling of the brand, offering a lower price point and opening up the market to more consumers. Let’s see how the quality will turn out through the next several years. Can they be consistent in their product line?

Final Thoughts:  

This is a winner of a cigar and has all the aspects of a quality product. I have a sampler of La Palina cigars to taste and review and am looking forward to giving them a try.

The numbers:

Appearance/Construction: 4 out of 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 4 out of 5

Smoking Characteristics: 4 out 5

Conclusion/ Overall impression:  4 out 5.

This is a very good smoke and needs to be in your humidor.

*Credit: Frank Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole Cigars

Cigar review: Don Jorge Cigars

Brand/Name of Cigar; Don Jorge/ Habano Barberpole

Country of Origin: Combined Domican Republic and Nicaragua

Wrapper: Maduro/Habano combined

Filler: Nicaragua

Shape: Toro

Where and when smoked: Los Angeles , Ca. 6/18/17

Appearance/Construction:

Contrasting barber pole wrapper with a dry feel, no oil present.  Earthy looking which indicates to me a limited production run. It does not give the appearance of being cranked out by the thousands each day. Carefully constructed with an eye to a solid smoke.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

A smooth and nutty blend with a hint of caramel that sweetens the cigar. It is smooth, no bitter taste or harshness. Creamy, very flavor oriented with a subtle taste of fruit too.

Smoking characteristics:

There is a slight unraveling of the cigar during the second third but not a big deal. It stays lit throughout the entire length with a light grey ash flowing very nicely. Burned evenly for the most part and lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It is a cigar not to be rushed.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

A dynamo of a cigar  which spotlights the unique skills of Jorge Nicholls. At the unheard of being a reasonable priced cigar, my thought is to buy hundreds of these.

Final Thoughts and the numbers:

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: 4 out 5.

It is very hard to believe there are cigars of this quality at the unheard prices . This cigar is of top-tier quality.  I gave some of my cigar buddies the different blends to try for themselves and report back to me. Give them a try and enjoy.

*Credit: Frank Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole Cigars.

It’s A Good Day To Smoke In Los Angeles

A great way to spend my Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. The weather was in the 70’s , listening to the Red Sox on the radio and reviewing the latest blend from Avo cigars. This is what Southern California is about.

Brand/Name of Cigar: Avo/ South America Ritmo

Country of Origin: A five country blend

Wrapper: Ecuador

Binder: Mexico

Filler: Nicaragua/Peru/Brazil/Honduras/Dominican Republic

Shape: Robusto, Box Pressed

Appearance/Construction:

The box pressed cigar has an impressive profile with a semi oily feel and almost flawless construction. There were no obvious defects in the body of the cigar, slight veins showing. The 2 bands with the color scheme makes this look very chic. It all looks great.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

The initial flavor came across of a mix of almonds, orange peel and a mild chocolate taste. Medium body, very smooth, with no hits of spice or pepper. It was a good way to start and was looking forward to the rest of the cigar.

Smoking Characteristics:

This was all smooth from start to finish but did have a minor flaw with the burn line. Not a big issue however as it stayed lit.  The smoke was so nutty throughout I thought I was downing a jar of almonds. The grey ash was holding it’s own and I was truly enjoy this.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

The Ritmo has entered the top ten smokes of 2017.  Medium in nature with a flavor heavily of nuts and almonds. The mild taste of orange and chocolate was a complement to the overall blend. The off the mark burn could have been from just about anything.

Final Thoughts and numbers:

Appearance/Construction: 4 out 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 4.3 out of 5

Smoking Charactertistics: 3.8 out of 5

Overall : 4.2 out of 5

This release has put Avo in my humidor on a regular basis. The direction of the cigar line has been positive as they are making great  changes in the lineup of products.

*Credit: Frank Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole Cigars