More Than I Expected

I am backlogged in my cigar reviews which is a good problem. So let’s get on with the enviable task of reviewing cigars. As policy how and were I received the cigar does not impact my subjective judgement. If this review interests you, please try the cigar yourself.

Cigar Review:

Brand/Name of Cigar: Punch/ Gran Puro Santa Rita
Country of Origin: Honduras
Size:  4.5 x 52
Wrapper: Honduras 
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras
Shape; Petit Robusto
Where and when smoked; Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles, Ca. 3/5/17

Appearance/Construction:

Wrapper is a shade of medium to almost dark brown. Oil is present on the wrapper but not slick. Not a pretty looking smoke but appears to be well made. Texture is pleasant with no rough or hard spots. It appears to have solid construction throughout.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

The blast of spice hits right away but you expect that from a Punch product. The black pepper opens up the palate so get ready for a full bodied experience. There is no subtle nuances in this cigar. Hold on to your butt (pun intended).

Smoking Characteristics :

Cigar is doing a very good job of being true to it’s burn, as the flow is steady, no hot spots or issues with any aspect due to good construction. What did surprise me was the second third produced a composite of cream and nuts. The spice was still evident but not bone shaking.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

I am always been partial to Punch Products from Honduras. I also like the product from Cuba but that’s another story.  They manage to produce well crafted smokes, at a reasonable price point. The cigar in question was a real crowd pleaser for the full bodied fans. Actually those who are partial to medium profiles should give the cigar a try.

Final Thoughts and Numbers:

Appearance and Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 4 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 4 out of 5
Overall : 4 out 5

The Punch Gran Puro Santa Rita is a classic win. It has all the markings of a outstanding smoke with the added bonus of a reasonable price.

*Credit: Frank “Bo” Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole.

Snatch Premiere Party

The Lone Wolf Cigar Company was present at the Snatch Premiere Party, a new TV show by Crackle at the Culver Hotel, in Culver City. Check out the pictures of the event!

Manuel Quesada 70th Announced

At today’s Procigar tour at the Quesada Cigars factory in the Dominican Republic, the company formally announced its newest release: Manuel Quesada 70th.

The cigar is made in honor of Manuel “Manolo” Quesada Jr., who turns 70 in April. Quesada Jr. himself blended the cigar and as of now, he’s apparently not telling anyone what it is.

It’s offered in his two favorite sizes: Toro (6 x 50) and Belicoso (6 x 52)—both of which are priced at $12.95 per cigar. The Manuel Quesada 70th is limited to 1,000 boxes of 10 cigars in each size.

“My uncle has dedicated his life to cigars and all of us at Quesada cannot express in words how proud we are of him,” said Terence Reilly, gm of Quesada Cigars, in a press release. “Whether you know him well or have never met him personally, smoking the MQ 70 gives the aficionado an opportunity to connect with Manuel through the taste and avor of this blend. It truly exemplies his palate.”

*Credit: Halfwheel

Cigar Aficionado Was Right

Best cigar of the year rankings are always anticipated. They create discussions, thoughts and sometimes anger. I like reading about them but most of the time have not smoked the majority of the cigars in the rankings. Cigar Aficionado magazine, the mostly well respected publication, put Rocky Patel’s sun grown maduro in the number 2 slot in 2016. Maduro cigars are not my favorites but I do appreciate a well made cigar regardless how the blend is formulated. Rocky Patel cigars are for some the pinnacle of cigar making. For others they are the Walmart of smokes. Plenty choices but of dubious quality.
Here is my thoughts on the 2016 #2 ranked cigar from CA. It’s a toro smoke and not the robusto shape that were reviewed by Cigar Aficionado.

Brand/ Name of Cigar: Rocky Patel/ Sun grown Maduro Special Reserve
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Sungrown Connecticut Broad leaf Maduro
Binder: Dual Binder, Nicaragua
Shape: Toro
Where and When smoked: Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles, Ca. 2/19/17

Appearance/ Construction: 

Almost a flawless cigar with a dark chocolate wrapper, box pressed and an oily touch. There are several large veins showing but totally not an issue. The cigar band completed the smoke giving it a very luscious look. The construction was outstanding.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

Initial foray was a very choice chocolate flavor with a hint of black spice in the mix. Also some notes of vanilla as we progress through the first third. The flavor was consistent with a medium strength profile no harsh or bitter hints as some maduro smokes get.

 Smoking Characteristics:

The burn was straight, cool with a pleasing to the eye grey ash. No problems with uneven patterns.  Smoke continued to be faithful with the chocolate flavor.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

This is a dynamite cigar with all aspects that makes the Rocky Patel Sungrown Maduro a world class cigar. The Rocky Patel brand has been an enigma to me as they can produce such a fabulous smoke and also make run of the mill smokes. I understand manufacturers need to appeal to all price points and tastes but I hope Rocky keeps aiming for a higher plane.


Final Thoughts:

Here is the number breakdown.

Appearance/Construction: 4.5 out of 5
Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 4.5 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 4.2 out of 5
Overall: 4.3 out of 5

This is a total winner from Rocky and suggest go out a buy a assortment of all sizes.

*Credit: Frank “Bo” Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole

Super Bowl or Super Cigar?

Heading to the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge shortly to see the Pats hopefully win. Still not decided what cigars to bring to the event. However, here is a smoke that for many has Super Bowl winner all over it.

Brand/ Name of Cigar:

Monticristo/ #4
Country of Origin: Cuba
Size: 5.1 x 42
Wrapper: Cuban
Binder: Cuban
Filler: Cuban
Shape: Petit Corona

Where and when smoked: Long Wolf Cigar Lounge, 1/17

Appearance/ Construction:

Solid feel without any plugs, striking chocolate brown wrapper and depending on the light it has different hues. Small veins are noticeable but not really a fault.  The cigar band is simple and very classic looking.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma:

The first initial third was a smooth medium experience with a mix of pepper and earthy overtones. The description was similar to other Cuban cigars I have tasted. Experienced cigar smokers enjoy this, novices might not. Aroma is so subjective I rarely blog on this aspect but in this case, the aroma was very farm like.

Smoking Characteristics:

The burn was slow, methodical without any hot spots or large problems. However, I did notice an uneven burn in the second third of the smoke. It managed to self correct so overall, it did not cause much impact in the overall enjoyment of the cigar.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

The Monti #4 is reputed to be the best selling Cuban cigar in it’s inventory. It has been a staple for many years and this is very understandable. For cigar smokers,  this is what is thought of when you think of Cuban cigars.  It never fails to bring satisfaction, but as a representative of a truly outstanding cigar it is not quite there. This is a lack of overall complexity which I think is the result of it’s small size, not of  any deficient quality. Otherwise this is a top line smoke.

Final Thoughts:

If this is available in your cigar world, always have them in your staple. Of course availability may hinder this but as Cuban cigars are somewhat more available, I think you can score them.

The numbers:

Appearance/ Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: 4. 2 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics : 3.5 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 4 out 5

*Credit: Frank “Bo” Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole.

La Flor Dominicana Brings Super Bowl Cigar To Texas

Football fans in the Lone Star State will have a special cigar to puff on during Super Bowl LI. La Flor Dominicana has crafted a new version of its Special Football Edition cigar—a unique figurado that dons a football-shaped cover leaf—and has sent it to Texas cigar retailers in anticipation of next Sunday’s big game.

“They have been made available only to LFD retailers in the state of Texas,” said Tony Gomez, vice president of La Flor Dominicana. As in previous years, the special cigars are only sold in the Super Bowl’s host state. Gomez added that out-of-state customers might be able to get their hands on them through Texas retailers that sell cigars online.

This year’s matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots at NRG Stadium in Houston is cause for the third release of this special cigar. Previous iterations, in different vitola sizes, were released in California for Super Bowl 50 and Arizona for Super Bowl 49.

La Flor Dominicana’s Special Football Edition for 2017 wears an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper over Dominican binder and filler. The football design on the wrapper, as well as the cap and a strip on the foot, is made from Connecticut-seed tobacco grown in Ecuador. Only 1,500 boxes of 10 have been produced, and the cigars carry a suggested retail price of $15 each.

The voluptuous figurado measures 6 1/2 inches with a ring gauge of 52 at its slimmest, swelling to 60 ring at its maximum girth. The foot of the cigar is an angular cut, which Gomez says was picked from a number of uncommon shapes.

“There’s no particular reason for the angular cut; we had about five different designs that we were choosing from and this was the one we liked best,” said Gomez.

La Flor Dominicana is no stranger to crafting esoteric vitolas. The Andalusian Bull, which was recently awarded Cigar Aficionado‘s Cigar of the Year for 2016, is also a unique figurado that brand owner Litto Gomez based off of an old cigar mold he found in Belgium.

The Special Football Edition for 2017 also isn’t the only La Flor Dominicana cigar that uses wrapper leaf as a canvas for eccentric designs. The Salomon Único cigars, a one-of-a-kind assortment of artfully constructed vitolas, was released to retailers last summer.

*Credit: Cigar Aficionado.

Davidoff 702 Series Launching Worldwide Next Month

In 2009, Davidoff released a limited edition cigar bearing the number 702, a name given to a unique hybrid-seed that was created using three different Cuban strands of tobacco. It was then grown in Ecuador and became the wrapper for the aforementioned cigar, the Davidoff Limited Edition 2009 Selección 702. Now, the seed and the number are back.

 

Next month, Davidoff will formally release seven cigars under the 702 name, each in some of the company’s most noted sizes. Five sizes will be offered internationally: Entreacto (3 1/2 x 43), No. 2 (6 x 38), 2000 (5 1/16 x 43), Special R (4 7/8 x 50) and No. 3 (6 x 50).

Two other sizes 702 Series Special T (6 x 52) and Double R (7 1/2 x 50) will be offered only in the U.S. However, the Entreacto and No. 2 will only be offered in Davidoff of Geneva since 1911 flagship stores in the U.S.

The cigars are offered in both boxes of 20, as well as soft boxes of four and five.

These cigars will use the aforementioned Ecuadorian wrapper from the 702 seed over the normal binder and filler. The idea is to give a twist to some of the company’s more iconic cigars.

“It is time to unexpect. Davidoff Masterblenders have taken on the challenge to reimagine and reinvent our most iconic cigars –2000, Special R, Special T, Aniversario No. 3 among others – and give them an exciting twist for those seeking a more intense, bolder taste experience,” said Charles Awad, svp global marketing and innovation at Oettinger Davidoff AG, in a press release. “These cigars, that have defined and refined Time, are wrapped in the new 702 ‘Habano’ wrapper from Ecuador to give them a bolder edge. The 702 Series is an exciting opportunity for those who have not yet had the chance to discover, or may want to rediscover, these iconic cigars.”

*Credit: Halfwheel

Best Cigar Of The Year, So Far

Brand/ Name of Cigar: Montecristo/ Pilotico/ Pepe Mendez
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 6.2 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican, Nicargua
Shape: Toro

Where and When Smoked: 1/1/2017

Appearance/ Construction: 
Attractive rich looking brown wrapper, slight veins showing but no obvious flaws or defects. Good looking labels which brings out the the oil in the wrapper. No soft spots in the handling of the cigar.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:
Initial third was very smooth with a combination of nuts and sweet hints of chocolate. Medium strength in the flavor with no hits of spice or pepper. Very consistent in the taste with no deviation from this combo. Aroma was sweet, not pungent with the nutty smoke dominating.

Smoking Characteristics: 
The burn was even with no hot spots or tunneling. The ash was a solid white but needed two re lights  during the second third of the smoke. No real apparent reason for this as the construction for the smoke appeared well made. Maybe I missed something in my initial look.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:
Price aside which is on the high end, I liked the overall quality of this cigar.  It was consistent in flavor however there was no wow factor in this smoke. The two relights were a bit baffling so maybe it was in my handling of the cigar.

Final thoughts:

Here are the numbers:
Appearance/ Construction: 4 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma: 3.5 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 3 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 3.5 out of 5

I appreciate a well crafted, thought out cigar which brings the consumer a variety of taste and flavor. Somehow the Montecristo Pilotico missed the mark for me. It fell a bit short on just about all avenues of an outstanding cigar.

*Credit: Frank “Bo” Gerechter, The Urban Fishing Pole.