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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

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

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