Thursday, December 20, 2012

Liga Privada No. 9 Review



Information:
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper origin: Connecticut
Wrapper type: Connecticut Broadleaf Oscuro
Filler: Honduran & Nicaraguan
Length: 5”
Ring: 52
Cost: $13.00



Appearance (0-20): Liga Privada cigars have become the unicorn in the cigar world for some people.  They are rarely seen at some Brick and Mortar stores, and you need to grab them while you can.  The most notable thing for me is how beautiful the wrapper is on this thing.  The very deep, rich brown color of the wrapper makes your mouth water.  Examining closely, you will notice a very grainy wrapper, which is loaded with oils.  The band around it is somewhat simple, yet still very well done.  The signature Liga Privada symbol is adorned on the side, along with the LP No. 9 written in script.  How would you not want to pick this up and buy it?

Score: 20

Construction (0-20): The No. 9 seemed to be very well constructed.  I clipped off the cap, yet it seemed to unravel a bit.  The good news was that it seemed to have a double cap, which peeled off without having any issues.  The cigar lit up quickly and evenly, probably because of the large amount of oils in the cigar itself.  While the burn wasn’t razor sharp, it was pretty even throughout the smoke.  Even when it burned uneven, it did correct itself without worry.  The draw was excellent, and produced HUGE amounts of smoke.  Additionally, the ash was a beautiful white color that really held on for close to 2 inches.


Score: 19

Strength (0-20): Listed as full, I don’t think it ever really got all the way up that scale.  It was a solid medium-full cigar, but never 100% full.  That could also just be me, but I’ve only come across a few cigars that hit that totally full factor.

Score: 18

Flavor (0-20): After lighting up the cigar, the first inch was somewhat harsh.  Not that it was terrible, but the smoke was very dense and the flavor was quite bitter.  Luckily, things seemed to open up and the flavors were more robust throughout the smoke.  There was an overall theme of a bitter dark chocolate flavor, coupled with some coffee and sweeter milk chocolate mixed in.  The flavors were nicely done, yet it seemed to have no real complexity once you get into the cigar.  The chocolate picked up a bit in the last third, and burned right to the nub.  While I never really got the great complexity and transitions that I truly enjoy in a cigar, the flavor were still nicely done.
Score: 17

Value (0-20): In the LP line, I’ve only smoked the FFP, No. 9, and Undercrown thus far.  They are all different smokes, but I still enjoy the Undercrown for its value/flavor combo.  While the No. 9 was a strong cigar in its own right, pushing up to $13 retail gives you an enormous variety of other cigars that you can buy. I’ve heard from many people, that you may enjoy the T52 much more if you didn’t enjoy the No. 9 (and vice versa). 

Score: 16

Additional Notes: Smoked at Cigars International paired with coffee.

Overall (0-100): Well looking back at the review, I truly did not do that on purpose.  The scores go from 20, 19, 18, 17, and 16.  I feel as though there is a lot of hype around these smokes, and that can add to anticipation and willingness to grab one to try.  The cigar itself is beautiful and constructed very well overall.  My main two issues were that the flavors were somewhat stagnant during most of the whole smoke, and the higher MSRP.  Once you hit $13, I could pick probably 5 cigars that I might smoked before I grabbed a No. 9.  That is not to say that the cigar isn’t good, it’s just that I am very high on price/value/flavor combo.  I always go back to the Ramon Bueso Genesis, that in my opinion, the absolute best cigar on the market for the price.

Score:  90



Monday, December 17, 2012

Ezra Zion Reagan Honor Series



Information:
Wrapper: Cuban Seed Sun Grown Habano
Filler / Binder: Nicaragua, Cuban seed
Length: 6”
Ring: 52
Cost: $12.50


Appearance (0-20): I enjoyed the presentation right off the bat. I’m a sucker for a good box pressed cigar, and this has all the makings of one. The habano wrapper has a very nice tint to it, and it is wrapped very well. There were very few small veins along the exterior and it was very silky to the touch. The black and gold bands portray something almost royal, backing this being part of the honor series. The top band actually reminds me a lot of an upscale designer label for clothing or cologne – again giving the impression of something of status. The bottom band is what denotes this as being the Reagan, part of the Honor Series. This is a good beginning to the cigar for sure.
Score: 19

Construction (0-20): The initial feel was prefect. I couldn’t locate any spots to be concerned with when pertaining to either over or under stuffing of tobacco. The initial cut yielded almost no excess tobacco at all. After cutting, the draw was absolutely perfect, with just the slightest resistance and a touch of some kind of chocolate. So far, so good. The Reagan lit up easily, striking an even balance. Had it stayed like this I would have been absolutely delighted with the construction. The unfortunate thing is – it didn’t. The cigar canoed on me. Taking a look at the side, you can see that it appeared to be an issue with how the tobacco was set. I touched this up a bit and got it back to an even state. From there the ash held extremely well (2 inches+) and it burned completely evenly.
Score: 16

Strength (0-20):  I haven’t seen too much on this out there just yet, so given that it’s a habano wrapper with Nicaraguan tobaccos, I expected a medium to full sort of cigar. I would say it delivers that very well.
Score: 18


Flavor (0-20): The initial puffs have a natural sweetness to them with a beautiful spicy counterbalance on the retrohale. Its sugary taste has something of a vanilla undertone and its extremely creamy. The prelight taste comes through also, mixing some chocolate into the mix before long. As you progress, the vanilla begins to morph and a distinct caramel taste comes out with the spice on the retrohale fading back just a tad. There are some interesting background flavors that blend in too, giving both a leathery flavor and a slightly smoky accent. In the home stretch, I found the chocolate flavor to come back in full force, blending perfectly with the caramel tones. This was truly an enjoyable smoke with masterful transitions.
Score: 19

Value (0-20): Given the intense flavors in this, and even despite some construction issues, I would still consider this to be a good value at $12.50. Although it doesn’t top a couple of other cigars in the price range, I still believe it belongs in the top tier of the $10-20 range.
Score: 18

Additional Notes: Smoked at Cigars International, paired with water.


Overall (0-100):  If you have smoked an ACID cigar in the past and thought it was a little too overwhelming – perhaps this is a better cigar to look at. This Ezra Zion offering has all of the sweet characteristics of an infused cigar without the overpowering nature to it. The flavors are woven perfectly, giving a really unique and enjoyable smoke throughout, especially considering the transitions are nearly seamless. At $12.50, it’s a bit pricey but well worth every cent. While there was a construction issue with mine, I would actually ponder grabbing a few more of these to test it out before giving a final verdict if that is indicative to the entire line, or if I just got a bum stick – though there are some other factors that should be considered anyhow: box pressed cigars are notorious for construction / burn problems, this could simply need some time to sit, etc. But again, even with the canoeing, I still found this to be a delightful smoke and would recommend it to others. 

Score: 90

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Emilio AF2 Review




Information:
Country:
Wrapper origin: Ecuador
Wrapper type: Ecuadoran Habano Oscuro
Filler: Nicaragua, Pennsylvania Ligero
Length: 6.5”
Ring: 52
Cost: $7.50

Appearance (0-20): Being the first Emilio cigar that I am smoking, I really didn't know what to expect.  This particular stick, the AF2, is sporting a dark brown habano oscuro wrapper.  There are no noticeable blemishes, soft sports, or prominent veins that are of any concern.  The rolling of the cigar also seems to be very well done.  The band is kept quite simple, using only a copper background and some text to signify the Emilio AF2 blend.  I’m not going to dock any points for the band, but it could use some artwork to grab some attention.

Score: 17

Construction (0-20): Being the first Emilio cigar that I am smoking, I really didn’t know what to expect.  This particular stick, the AF2, is sporting a dark brown habano oscuro wrapper.  No blemishes to speak of as mentioned earlier, and the rolling of the cigar also seems to be very well done.  The band is kept quite simple, using only a copper background and some text to signify the Emilio AF2 blend.  I’m not going to dock any points for the band, but it could use some artwork to grab some attention.

Score: 18

Strength (0-20):  Accompanied with excellent flavor, this stick gives you a decent kick as well. Med-full to Full, you will enjoy a full flavored and full bodied cigar.

Score: 18

Flavor (0-20): Right off the bat, you are sprayed in the face with a pepper blast.  There is a nice compliment of chocolaty sweetness to accompany it during the first third of the cigar.  The pepper flavor subsides a bit for the second third, and balances out with a vanilla bean and caramel, before bringing back some spice for the final third.  The blend was enjoyable throughout the whole stick, and has my personal favorite of a very spicy stick with great sweet balance.  The flavors were full, and mingled very well together as they transitioned through the cigar.
Score: 20

 
Value (0-20): $7.50 for a torpedo!? Sign me up immediately for a 5 pack, and potentially a box.  The blend was excellent, and there were no negative factors that were of note. Great pricing!

Score: 19

Additional Notes: Smoked at Cigars International, paired with coffee.  After some further reading, it turns out that my favorite blender, AJ Fernandez, created this particular cigar. 

Overall (0-100): Well I smoked this cigar blindly, never hearing about Emilio cigars before.  This cigar was excellent to my standards, and I will likely be buy a 5 pack or box to start some aging on them. I look forward to the next bunch of Emilio cigars in the reviewing pipeline.  I also want to thanks Gary Griffith, of Emilio cigars, for giving my brother and I the opportunity to smoke and review some sticks!

Score:  92



Friday, December 7, 2012

L'Atelier Surrogates Crystal Baller





Information:
Country:
Wrapper origin:
Wrapper type: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Length: 5.75
Ring: 56
Cost: $8.00

Appearance (0-20): I tend to smoke darker and fuller cigars, but this was suggested to me by a friend at Cigars International.  Out of the 4 “Surrogates,” he said that I would enjoy this one the best.  Inspecting the stick, it had a light brown habano wrapper.  There are some small veins on the wrapper, but nothing that is worrisome.  The wrapper was fairly simple, only using simple text and one yellow “crystal ball.” While nothing really jumped out to me, nothing caused me any concern either.

Score: 17

Construction (0-20): The cap didn’t seem to be fully wrapped on, but it clipped off easily without any issues.  The cigar light up very easily, while giving way to a nice smooth draw.  The burn line was even right down to the nub, and the ash held on extremely well.  The ash was a light gray color, and tapped off easily at close to 2 inches. 

Score: 18

Strength (0-20): This one sits smack dab in the middle of medium, and it just works!  Any more strength wouldn’t give the flavors full development, and any less would make it bland.  Spot on.

Score: 18

Flavor (0-20): Right from the initial light, I got some great creamy flavors.  There was no harsh start to the cigar, just some very subtle bits of spice.  The smooth creamy definitely will stay with you the full length of the cigar, but you’ll encounter some other notes that really give a nice balance.  The second third of the cigar gave off some sweet wood and vanilla flavors.  The notes were somewhat hard to pinpoint, but they complemented each other extremely well.  I enjoyed the blend so much, that I burned it right down to my fingertips. 
Score: 19

Value (0-20): At $8.00, I think this competes well with anything else on the market.  The smooth flavors were robust, and lasted from beginning to end. Well done!

Score: 18

Additional Notes: Smoked at Cigars International, paired with Southern Tier Pale Wheat Ale

Overall (0-100): As mentioned before, I most likely wouldn't have ever picked this stick up unless recommended.  Luckily I did, because this cigar was fantastic.  With little to no expectations, this Surrogate was quite memorable and will be a repeat purchase.  The flavors blended well, the burn was great, and the price was right.  I’ll probably delve into the rest of the Surrogates lineup.

Score:  90


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guillermo Leon Signature


Information:
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper Origin: Ecuadorian
Filler / Binder: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru, Cameroon
Length: 5”
Ring: 50
Cost: $9.00


Appearance (0-20): Although the wrapper choice is not my typical (I usually prefer a rich maduro), there’s a lot to like about the Guillermo Leon Signature. It’s wrapped well and had a nice contrast between the wrapper and the band – with a good choice of colors there. The red, black, and silver of the band along with a lion’s head look elegant but not overdone. No major veins are visible, no cracks, blemishes, etc. The wrapper felt both soft and silky.
Score: 19

Construction (0-20): Initial cut revealed quite a bit of excess tobacco, though the cut was clean. The feel of the cigar was decent, though it felt slightly loose. That same loose feeling traversed over to the smoking realm, as the prelit draw was also a bit too… open? There just wasn't enough resistance through the entirety of the cigar. Okay, not a huge deal overall, just more a preference. While the burn remained straight, the ash didn't hold well and was very flaky.
Score: 15

Strength (0-20):  This is noted as being medium to full, and I think it strikes a nearly perfect balance between the two.
Score: 19

Flavor (0-20): The initial light gave some slight pepper flavor with a mixture of earthy tones. When moving throughout I felt that the earthy tone increased and added to it some leathery undertones along with some woodsy flavor. Along the final third those flavors backed off slightly and gave way for a taste of roasted nuts, coffee, and a slight sweetness.
Score: 19

Value (0-20): A $9.00 stick? For the flavors, spot on strength, and appearance – this is a solid buy.
Score: 18

Additional Notes: Smoked at Cigars International, paired with water.

Overall (0-100):  I’ll be honest – this one snuck up on me. This Aurora blend is both interesting and solid and I likely wouldn't have picked it up unless it was on the recommendation of a friend. It’s got very solid and complex flavors, which is to be expected with the array of tobaccos that are used in it. There’s nice pepper with a gradual decline of it that coincides with an upswing of sweetness. The smoke is thick and luxurious. So the knock on this one? Construction. In 3 out of the 4 of these I have had, I've had some sort of construction problems. While it definitely hurts the score, this one still had the backing to be able to sneak in with a 90 overall.
Score: 90






Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Diesel Wicked







Information:
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper type: PA Broadleaf
Filler / Binder: Nicaragua
Length: 6.2”
Ring: 56
Cost: $12.00

Pre Review Notes: Knowing my particular taste in cigars, one of the guys at the new Cigars International store in Hamburg, PA recommended the Diesel Wicked to me. Now anyone who knows me well also knows that I’m an avid reader and that this cigar would likely have pulled me in anyhow. The phrase “something wicked this way comes” is plastered on the box and on the cigar wrappers. For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s a line right out of Shakespeare, and more specifically from Macbeth.

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes. [Knocking]
Open locks,
Whoever knocks!



Appearance (0-20): Where do I even begin? The box is a nice black box with wicked inked in red to make it stand out all the more. Popping the box open revealed 7 beauties on the top row. Taking appraisal of one alone led me to a gorgeous and oily PA Broadleaf wrapper that has a nice rich color that feels somewhat rugged. A black band stretches across the top with Diesel written in red. The large foot band has wicked written out in cursive, with “something wicked this way comes” written along both the bottom as well as in a glossy background writing behind the word wicked. Taking a look at the foot, it looks nicely wrapped with decent chunks of ligero throughout. I’m betting I will be in for a pepper blast. There is one small blemish to note, which is a pinhole sized hole in the wrapper. While its nothing major by any means, it is the one thing that keeps this from having a perfect appearance score.
Score: 19


Construction (0-20): Tobacco is tucked pretty well into this beautiful belicoso. The initial cut gave a very small amount of debris to the point where it was nearly perfect. The prelit draw had just the right amount of resistance, and upon lighting it retained that pull. The burn was excellent through the first inch and a half, but unfortunately it began burning unevenly in the midrange of the cigar. I didn’t try to touch it up at all and let it burn and it eventually righted itself. The ash was nice and thick and held together well, with a charcoal gray tint to it.
Score: 17

Strength (0-20):  This one is listed as full, and it’s got the balls to back it up. Its full-bodied, full-flavored, and packs a spicy punch on top of it. When I am looking for something with some power, this one is the type of cigar I’m looking for.
Score: 20


Flavor (0-20): Light this one up and take a few puffs. Retrohale through the nose and be greeted by red and black pepper tastes and burns. It’s an outright slap to your senses to begin but before you know it, its faded into the background and is busy intermingling with other flavors. Rich tobacco flavors make this an almost juicy smoke, with wonderful roasted coffee flavors pushing the envelope. As you progress, Wicked tends to give a leathery taste with some additional spices entwining with it to create a really wonderful flavor. There are even some peaks and valleys of a woodsy flavor – much like campfire kind of taste. Superb complexity that is woven perfectly.
Score: 19


Value (0-20): $12.00 is the price for a single stick, but let me be honest here – its even more of a value when you buy it in the box of 13 to drop it to under $8.00 a stick. Still, I have paid much more than $12.00 for a cigar and it came nowhere near this one. Absolutely worth the price. 
Score: 19

Additional Notes: Smoked at Cigars International, paired with water.

Overall (0-100):  Quickest way to put it – I smoked one cigar and before I was even halfway done, I purchased a box. This is rich, full flavored, and has quite a kick to it. Diesel went above and beyond with this blend for anyone who likes something that falls heavily into the full range of cigars. But don’t be fooled, this one absolutely has its wicked undertones.  
Score: 94


Post Review Notes: For anyone who is buying a box, you’ll find a little bonus in there. Hidden in the middle of the box is a small coffin that has written on it “open locks whoever knocks”. A cigar waits inside with no banding more than a simple red band at the bottom. Say hello to the next Diesel cigar. For buying a box of the Wicked, you get your hands on a prerelease - a wicked little surprise. If that doesn’t help you justify buying these in a box format… I don’t know what will.




Saturday, November 24, 2012

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro Review



 Information:
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper type: Maduro
Filler: Esteli, Jalapa, and Condega
Length: 6”
Ring: 56
Cost: $8.50

Appearance (0-20): Let me start off by saying that I generally don’t purchase or smoke Permodo’s.  Nothing against them, but I was never really “wowed” to go back to them.  Walking around Cigars International, they had a new stick that jumped out to me right away.  The wrapper is absolutely beautiful.  I chose the maduro over the sun-grown for now, as I like the richer flavors of maduros.  The wrapper is a deep, dark brown color that looks like on solid piece of tobacco leave.  You literally can almost not even see a seam from when it was rolled.  The band isn’t flashy, but catches your attention with the intricate gold, reds, and blacks.

Score: 19

Construction (0-20): The cap clipped off easily, and yielded a nice easy draw.  The burn was even all the way down and didn’t require any touch ups during the whole smoke.  The ash held on about 1.5 to 2 inches, while sporting a bright white color ash.  If you check out the picture, you can see the beautiful speckled white ash, along with the subtle box press shape.  Well done.  After some additional reading at CI, you will see that the wrapper extra fermented and placed in old bourbon barrels for 14+ months.

Score: 19

Strength (0-20): The smoke was more full flavored, then full strength.  Probably about medium to medium-full, it was well done and well balanced.

                                 Score: 18

Flavor (0-20): Initially there is some spice, but that rather quickly subsides.  The most prominent flavors were rich chocolate and coffee.  The flavors were strong and robust, and very consistent.  There are some small bits of woodiness, leather, and additional spice that show their faces here and there.  Personally, I would have like some additional spice due to the sweetness of the chocolate and coffee, but it was still well done.

Score: 18

Value (0-20): $8.50 starts to move in some more premium sticks, yet still doesn’t break the bank.  I think when you get close to $10, you need to offer something that is very well done.  Overall, everything was consistent and there were no real stumbling points.  As mentioned before, some additional spice would help with the balance, but still a strong value.

Score: 18

Additional Notes: Smoked at Cigars International, paired with coffee.

Overall (0-100): While Perdomo isn’t generally my cup of tea, I can honestly say that I was very impressed.  This is a cigar that I would buy a box of and not think twice.  I’d like to smoke the sun-grown wrapper for comparison, but the 20th Anniversary maduro was an excellent stick.

Score:  92


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Partagas Cifuentes Enero



Information:
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper origin: Honduras
Filler / Binder: Nicaragua
Length: 6”
Ring: 54
Cost: $4.50


Appearance (0-20): Not the prettiest stick in the world, the Cifuentes has quite a few larger veins across it. The tobacco does look well cured though, and the label is simple but conveys the name well with use of gold, white, and red. I can’t help but wonder how this is going to turn out, given its mediocre look.
Score: 14


Construction (0-20): The veins, of course, are a bit of a concern, and when looking at the top of the cigar, it seems some of it has become unwrapped slightly. The tobacco on the foot also sticks out slightly beyond the wrapper – not a huge deal, but odd when this isn’t a shaggy foot cigar. The initial feel is decent but there are some small pockets that feel a little less pressed than they should be. On the positive side it cut easily and with little debris, lit up well, and the ash (though slightly flaky on the end) held well despite an uneven burn.
Score: 16

Strength (0-20):  Medium to full. Strikes nearly the perfect balance in the range, not particularly teetering either way too much.
Score: 19

Flavor (0-20): I think I was a little taken aback by this blend, as immediately it came off extremely smooth with some nice earthy flavors and a hint of pepper on the back end. There was some cream that mixed in at about the halfway point, with additional wood flavors. All in all… it was an enjoyable smoke.
Score: 17

Value (0-20): A $4.50 price isnt bad, but as you buy more (a box for example) the price comes down steadily and tops off around $3.50 per stick.  
Score: 17

Additional Notes: Smoked on my deck and paired with a delicious Centennial IPA from the Cape May Brewing Company out of Cape May, NJ

Overall (0-100):  While the look of this would lead you to believe it’s a mediocre cigar at best, it turned out to be pretty decent. The Cifuentes has a small amount of kick to compliment the earthy and woodsy flavors and benefits heavily from being a smooth smoke. The price point of $4.50 for this isn’t bad, though it wouldn’t crack my top 10 list of great cigars for under $5. However if bought in a box at the price of $3.50 per, it might just sneak on there. If you are looking for a bargain with some decent flavors, I’d pick some of these up and give them a try. For me it amounts to the perfect second cigar – a little cheaper but with some good flavors.
Score: 83


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfection X Review



 Information:
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper type: Rosado
Filler: Dominican
Length: 6.25”
Ring: 48
Cost: $16.00

Appearance (0-20): Generally when looking at an Opus X, it is under a glass case or behind the counter.  The first thing you notice is the incredibly intricate band.  There is a great amount of embossing and detail work, using the colors or red and gold to complement each other.  It really is an eye-catching band, and gives you a great feeling about the cigar to come.  There is also a cigar wrap, which is about ¾ the length of the cigar.  Pulling off the cedar tube reveals a lighter brown wrapper, with no physical flaws to speak of.  I’ve had this stick aging for over a year now, and am pretty excited to light it up.

Score: 19

Construction (0-20): Upon inspection, everything felt pretty solid.  No soft spots, odd wrapper seams, or any water marks or veins on the wrapper leaf.  Upon lighting, everything started off smooth sailing.  The draw was very nice, and the ash gave off a bright white color.  The ash also held on fairly well, except when the burn was very uneven.  It corrected itself on occasion, but required multiple touch-ups throughout the smoke.  Even worse, was that the cigar completely went out on two separate occasions.  Being my first Opus X, this was a huge let down.  Touching-up and re-lighting a cigar is something that shouldn’t have to be done during your experience.  Hopefully this was an anomaly for this stick, but definitely disappointed.

Score: 16

Strength (0-20): While most of the cigar sits in the medium range, it does pick up some intensity.  Depending on your smoking experience, you will find this in the range of medium or medium-full.  I think it was well done, and well balanced with the flavors incorporated.

Score: 18

Flavor (0-20): The flavor was super smooth, even right off of the initial light which can sometimes be harsh.  I encountered small bits of spice, but the overall flavor was sweet cedar and cocoa.  It filtered in some great creaminess that gave the Opus its smooth characteristic.  The second half of the cigar introduced some pepper, which was a welcome balance to the sweetness.  Overall, the whole stick was nicely balanced, flavorful, and smooth.  Well done.

Score: 19

Value (0-20): There is a lot of hype around Opus X cigars, and some people live by them.  Unfortunately for me, my first experience was good and bad.  For around $15.00, I think the price is actually a fair value.  Setting aside the fact the burn was absolutely horrendous; everything else seemed to work well.  I am wary to spend the money on another one, but I may in the future just to revisit the burn issues that I had.

Score: 17

Additional Notes: Smoked at CI, paired with water

Overall (0-100): After waiting a year to smoke this cigar and having a lot of hype surrounding it, I have mixed feelings for sure.  Just about every category was done nicely, but I keep coming back to the burn factor.  While there was no issues with the draw of a plugged stick, which can 100%  ruin a cigar, the burn did hamper me from sitting back and relaxing the whole time.  From a flavor standpoint, the profile was nicely balanced and flavorful.  Let’s hope the next cigar I purchase from Fuente has better construction.

Score:  89