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Second Time Around

After the wonderful time I had with the Brick House Churchill , I had high expectations for the Brick House Maduro Robusto. I received this smoke gratis from a smoking comrade who recently bought a box of these smokes.

Brand/ Name of Cigar: Brick house Maduro

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Size: 5 X 54

Wrapper: Brazilian Ampiraca

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Shape: Robusto

Where and When smoked: Los Angeles , Ca. 5.7.17

Appearance/ Construction:

The appearance is classic Maduro with a no-nonsense wrapper but somewhat coarse looking.  It is well constructed with no apparent soft  or hard spots.  Not particularly oily to the touch . The two bands make a nice pairing to the wrapper.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

A spicy start with a mix of pepper, nuts and slight chocolate. It’s a medium blend but not overly complex. Lets see how the smoke develops in the second third.

Smoking Characteristics: 

Good burn factor , very even with no issues or construction concerns. It smoked true with a grey ash.

Conclusion/Overall Impression:

Maduro cigars are becoming more of my cigar routine. The flavor might have certain similarities but the concept for me is each smoke should be noted for a distinct profile.

I would not consider this cigar a bad cigar but the second and third section left a bitter taste on my palate. This knocked down the smoke down a couple of pegs. It was a middle of the  pack type of cigar. If you want a real pleasing blend this was not it.  OK is I  would call it.

Final Thoughts:

Appearance/ Construction: 3.8 out of 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 3 out of 5

Smoking Characteristics: 3.5 out of 5

Conclusion/Overall Impression: 3.2 out 5

If someone handed you this cigar  it would be smoked and  then probably thank them. Might try it again.

*Credit: Frank Gerechter, Urban Fishing Pole Cigars

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

La Aurora 107: A powerful Cigar

Sitting at The Lone Wolf Lounge about to review the La Aurora 107 Toro, I got engaged in a conversation about cigar reviews. The question arose by a fellow cigar member who is a  relative newcomer to the world of cigars. He claimed that most of the reviews he has read have been “bullshit.” His point is all the descriptions of the smokes he has partaken in are not very accurate.
Language such as pepper, oak, blackberry really do tell an accurate story of what the cigar is really like. The descriptors are so vague they are not doing justice to the cigar experience. What is the difference between white pepper and black pepper?
The owner of the lounge was also involved in this discussion and commented that reviews should take into account how the cigar is indulged. Is it in a quiet lounge or with a group of friends? Is the cigar smoked with a beverage , and how the cigar was stored?
My answer was the descriptors are subjective but it gives you a base to judge it on. As for all other factors there are valid and perhaps the review should mention the surroundings of the experience.

Brand/Name of Cigar: Aurora 107 
Cigar shape: Toro
Length and Gauge: 5.5 x 5.4
Strength: Medium- full
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Dominican
Binder: Dominican
Price: $ 7.13 a cigar , box of 21, $139. 87
Where and when smoked: Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, Los Angeles, 3/13/17

aurora107

Appearance / Construction:

Dark chocolate brown wrapper with an oily feel, Had a very clean look with no obvious faults or imperfections. The band was also pleasing to the eye with a strong presentation.

Flavor/ Taste and Aroma:

Initial blast of strong pepper. Looking for other flavors such as chocolate or nuts but if they were there, the pepper was the predominant taste. It was a powerful start, gave the cigar a strong identity. Smooth though out so the taste while strong was not overpowering or unpleasant. Very rich blend.

Smoking Characteristics:

Uneven burn. Not a game changer because of this but hopefully won’t impact the enjoyment of the smoke. Burned steady and slow, with a grey ash.

As the cigar smoked down, the ash evened itself out a bit. Stayed full bodied, smooth to the palate with good, peppery flavor. If you like a strong smoke, you will like this blend. There are no subtle notes of other flavors. You are smoking a no nonsense cigar. The draw did correct itself a bit with one relight. I believe the uneven burn was a minor blip and not a real factor in the cigar.

Conclusion/Overall impression:

The Aurora 107 Toro made a statement for a rich, smooth full bodied blend. The audience for this type of cigar is a seasoned smoker who likes to sit down for an hour or so, and be challenged in a positive way.

aurora2107

Here are the numbers: 
Appearance/ Construction; 3.5 out of 5
Flavor/ Taste and Aroma; 4 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 4 out 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression: 3.8 out of 5

Final thoughts:

Fell slightly flat for a smoke which is a must have for your humidor. Might be part of my cigar mix every so often. Good price point so it that is a big factor in your cigar mind, you would consider this. Worth trying and of course make your own judgement.

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

Lavida Habana: Age Before Beauty

What makes a great cigar? This issue has been debated I suspect since the first cigar was rolled. Still, some of the basic concepts are straightforward. Cigar construction, appearance, how the blend holds throughout the smoke. Three different folks can smoke the same cigar and come up with different thoughts in every aspect of the totality of the smoke.
The reason I (Frank) mention this is a new cigar and is more of a challenge. There is no track record so the first impression is very important. If you have a good experience more than likely the review will be better. So a reviewer needs to make careful considerations in describing what he smoked. Ideally, the cigar in question needs to be aged properly, and perhaps smoked again.

Brand/Name of Cigar : Lavida Habana / LH Premium Colorado 

Size: 6 x 60
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Nicaragua, Peru and Brazil
Shape: Gordo
Price: Single $ 8.24
When and where smoked: 2/21/16, Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge, West Los Angeles, Ca

lavida habana

Appearance/ Construction:

Densely packed and oily to the touch. Very classy looking smoke, like the red and black band. Several small veins were evident but would not consider this a flaw. No soft spots. This looks like a big smoke and looking forward to a long ride.

Smoking Characteristics:

First third got immediate hints of orange which I did not expect, a pleasant surprise. Burn was even, medium body. As I smoked further hints of mint? Chocolate? Not sure exactly. Whatever it was, very subtle, not overpowering. Smooth draw, no harshness, plenty of grey smoke and ash.

Two thirds into the smoke, some tunneling occurred yet did not find this a distraction or an impact on the blend. However, I was waiting for an additional pop of spice and this didn’t happen. Was thinking the smoke would crank up a bit.

Conclusion/ Overall Impression:

The flavor profile never really took off. I did not get any more complexity which was somewhat of a come down. Overall this was a good smoke but not a powerful one. I thought it would be more of a kick ass cigar.  This is not necessarily a bad thing for those cigar dudes who like a pleasant but not overpowering blend.

lavida habana2

Frank’s overall rating of this cigar:

Appearance/ Construction: 4 out of 5
Smoking Characteristics: 3 out of 5
Conclusion/ Overall Impression; 3.5 out of 5

Will try this cigar again down the road. I think another couple of months in the humidor will give it a more hearty blend.

*Credit: Frank “Bo” Gerechter,  The Urban Fishing Pole (http://theurbanfishingpole.blogspot.com/)