Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oliveros Classic Review


Information:
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper type: Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Length: 7”
Ring: 50
Cost: $1.60

Appearance (0-20): Just from looks alone, I was a little apprehensive of the Oliveros Classic. While the outer Sumatra wrapper was one that had a decent tone, I could see some major veins as well as some ripples in the tobacco. Not a great way to begin. But the band itself is simple and inviting, so that’s a plus. Hmm… cant rate it too low based on the appearance, but it definitely doesn’t deserve a high score either.
Score: 12

Construction (0-20): Yikes. I felt throughout the cigar and there were some major pockets that were definitely under stuffed. Again, this didn’t give me the warm fuzzies about trying this particular blend. I clipped the end and what did I find? A lot of broken filler… wonderful. So I get beyond my issues and light it up – the burn looks like its going to consume a quarter of the cigar, its absolutely beginning to run up the side almost immediately, and the draw is awfully loose. I knew at that point that if this one didn’t have a taste that knocked my socks off, it was going to be a long dreadful cigar for me.
Score: 5

Strength (0-20): Mild. More mild than mild in fact, if there is such a thing.  I had some hints in the cigar that it could transcend into the medium range (at about the 1/3 mark of the cigar), but it failed terribly as it seemed to depart from that particular path. The cigar, throughout the burn, is mild. Nothing more, nothing less. So if you expect only mild, I guess it makes sense…
Score: 10

Flavor (0-20):.Smooth and creamy. Some nutty flavors but really it was mainly cream. Unfortunately I can’t talk to the complexity of the cigar because it wasn’t complex at all. The same boring flavor resides throughout. Still not the worst cigar I have ever had, but it’s completely uninspired and honestly is just mediocre at its absolute best.
Score: 8

Value (0-20): I had no idea the price of the stick when I picked it out of the humidor to give it a smoke – which is often typical, considering I get all kinds of mix packs and give anything a try. So finding out this one was going for about $1.60 a stick isn’t surprising. Then again, it is. So as a value proposition, I wouldn’t trade a good $8 cigar I like for 5 of these. 10 of these would still even be questionable, even if I only planned on giving them to people who know nothing about cigars.
Score: 5

Additional Notes: Paired with coffee, in my own garage. And thank god I had coffee. I fear to think about what this might have tasted like without anything on my palette.

Overall (0-100): If you feel like throwing a cigar out halfway through, its likely one of these. Thankfully I have had some other Oliveros blends, so I know they aren’t all total dogs… but this one sure was. Do yourself a favor and avoid these at all costs. Dreadful stick with an absolutely terrible experience overall. Huge thumbs down.
Score: 40




Monday, January 30, 2012

Alec Bradley American Classic Blend Review


Information:
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper origin: Honduras
Wrapper type: Connecticut
Filler: Nicaraguan
Length: 6.0”
Ring: 50
Cost: $4.50

Appearance (0-20): When I picked this up I thought to myself – “really? Is this an Alec product?” I am so used to AB’s beautiful appearance on the outside that this one threw me a bit. There was a pronounced vein or two, but nothing TOO terrible. Thankfully was tightly wrapped, but I found that I was pretty disappointed in the label.  Perhaps I am looking for too much with the simple and bold things they normally put out. This one just seems busy – red, white, blue, black, gold, silver – yuck. Five different fonts on one band? -  Unnecessary. It looks like someone got a little carried away here.
Score: 12

Construction (0-20): At least AB does get one thing right here – the construction is a good one. The cigar was solid where it needed to be, but more than enough looseness to draw through appropriately. After lighting this blend up, I found it kept a relatively even burn and a nice ash to it that held for quite sometime. Not perfect mind you, but still an above average build.
Score: 17

Strength (0-20): Billed as a mild-medium, I was surprised to find this hitting the medium range quite consistently. It started out in the mild spectrum, but each bit that was smoked it seemed to increase in intensity. However I will admit, you don’t get much more than a medium smoke out of this in the long run.
Score: 16

Flavor (0-20):.Smooth and creamy. I fully anticipated it to continue with that sort of flavor throughout, but damn was I surprised. As you move from one portion to the next, you find a robust variety of undertones:  pepper, cedar, espresso, nuts, etc. It’s so complex that it really took me off guard as some of those flavors are ones that I personally wouldn’t expect from a Connecticut wrapper. Well played Alec… well played.
Score: 18

Value (0-20): This particular size (the toro) was about $4.50, which to be honest isn’t a terrible price by any means. Actually for as complex as a stick as this it, I am surprised it’s not a little more. Granted, the price tag didn’t seem utterly surprising to me when I picked it up initially to take a look at it.
Score: 18

Additional Notes: Paired with chocolate milk, which I have to say, was quite delicious. The cigar was smoked at CI, my normal prowling grounds.

Overall (0-100): The moral of the story on this one could be broken down to: don’t judge a cigar by its band – but unfortunately that’s what any consumer does. I hold AB to a high standard when it comes to their design, but this one fell flat in that area. HOWEVER, the cigar’s taste and value are spectacular. Want a complex cigar that won’t put a huge hurting on your pockets? Ignore the gaudy band and pick one of these up.
Score: 81

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cohiba Extra Virtuoso Review


Information:
Country: Dominican
Wrapperorigin: Equador
Wrappertype: Sun Grown Sumatra
Filler: NicaraguanLigero and Dominican Piloto Cubano Ligero
Length: 6”
Ring: 52
Cost: $12.50

Appearance(0-20): Cohiba is a household name that everyoneknows.  The Extra Virtuoso was designedto be a full flavored cigar for its product line.  The cigar looks great, and well puttogether.  The wrapper isn’t oily as someother dark cigars can be, and the band looks nice. As seen in the picture, theband is black with the Cohiba lettering that gives it a boutique look.

Score: 16

Construction(0-20): The EV was a solid smoke, and definitelya Cohiba product.  It feels well packed,and burned so.  There were no issuesthroughout the whole smoke, although the ash was a bit flakier than I generallylike.  The ash held on and was even as Ismoked it all the way down.  No issues onthe draw side either, with respect to how tightly it was packed.
Score: 17

Strength(0-20): For being a labeled a full bodiedcigar, I didn’t see this here.  When Ismoke a full cigar, I like to feel it about halfway through; this didn’t havethat.  It is also promoted to have someligero filler, but the strength wasn’t where it should be for what has beenadvertised.

Score: 15

Flavor(0-20): In the flavor department, it seemedto have the same flavor throughout other than the first inch.  It starts off with the earth and pepper, butmoves into a earthy-woody flavor through the rest of the stick.  There was nothing unenjoyable about it, but Iwas left wanting more.
Score: 15

Value(0-20): I got this stick cheaper in asampler pack, but for the $12.50 price point I would say no way.  The right price for this stick should be inthe $8.00 range, but Cohiba has the brand power to price things where theywant.

Score: 14

AdditionalNotes: No real pairing here, just a fewsips of Gatorade. Smoked at Cigars International.

Overall(0-100): Overall, the smoke was enjoyable. I’msomeone who likes to have different and strong flavors throughout, and this didn’tdeliver.  If the flavor isn’t there, thenthe strength should be.  Pairing thiswith the price point, it’s not something that I would be looking for again.Then again, I would definitely smoke it again if someone handed it to me.

Score: 77

Friday, January 27, 2012

Don Pepin 601 Blue Label Maduro Review




Information:
Country: Nicaraguan
Wrapper origin: Connecticut Broadleaf
Wrapper type: Maduro
Filler: Nicaraguan
Length: 6.18”
Ring: 52
Cost: $8.00

Appearance(0-20): The cigar looked well put together,and had the usual Pepin quality.  Looking at it, you can tell that it will be a good smoke. No blemishes, just some very small veins. It had a light oily look, similar to some Liga Privada’s. The band has a nice bright blue color, with the large 601 to signify the cigar.

Score: 16

Construction(0-20): The cigar is a boxed pressed maduro, and the construction wasn’t as tight as I generally see in some other boxed pressed cigars.  After smoking it,the draw was absolutely perfect. There were no issues getting smoke from it,and boy did it let off some smoke.  The601 burned even and cool all the way down to the nub, with no touch ups or re-lights.
Score: 17

Strength(0-20): The blue label wasn’t overpowering,but it wasn’t a walk in the park either. You could definitely feel this cigar if you smoke on an empty stomach. The cigar is listed as med-full, but I would say that it closer to a full medium smoke. Although not an overly strong cigar,it really makes up for it in the flavor department.

Score: 17

Flavor(0-20): Right from the initial light, the cigar has great flavor. It starts off very spicy, and I was expecting that throughout. After about an inch, the spiciness goes away and moves more towards an earthy-woody experience.  The whole stick was flavorful and very consistent from start to finish. I would be curious to have a cigar that has the spicy profile throughout that the first inch had.
Score: 18
Value(0-20): For roughly around $8.00, the 601hold its own. There are no gripes about where this stick is priced.  I’d certainly pick up another and smoke it,but it’s not a cigar that I’m busting down my shops doors to go buy.

Score: 17

Additional Notes: No real pairing here, just a few sips of Gatorade. Smoked at Cigars International.

Overall(0-100): Wrapping up, this is everything that it is advertised to be. Its not a “knock your socks off cigar”, but the flavor is definitely there.  It was a relaxing smoke because the draw was perfect, no touch-ups, and the ash held on like a premium cigar should. Definitely would smoke this one again.

Score: 85

La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale Review


Information:
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper origin: Honduras
Wrapper type: Connecticut
Filler: Nicaraguan and Mexican
Length: 5.7”
Ring: 47”
Cost: $4.50

Appearance (0-20): Much like the Montecristo I reviewed, I had no real complaints with the way the cigar looked. No visible blemishes or major veins were present and the wrapper looked to have some nice aging on it. There were some minor veins, but nothing of great consequence. It was tightly wrapped, and the label was pretty neat in terms of the artwork on it - olden style picture of a woman with a nice bright gold background.
Score: 16

Construction (0-20): No major complaints with the construction, although there were some slight lumps that I could feel. Nothing to be alarmed about, but still… that sort of packing worries me. But the cigar lit up with ease and was nothing but enjoyable throughout the stick. It burned extremely evenly, almost to the point where it was completely equal each time I puffed. The puffs themselves were perfect since this had a very nice draw to it. Still, the packing could have been a potential issue.
Score: 15

Strength (0-20): Like most La Gloria Cubana cigars that I have smoked, this one is billed as a full bodied experience. This bad boy doesn’t disappoint. It begins for me in the medium to full range with quite a bit of spice that’s nearly overpowering, but levels out to a smooth and rich flavor. As the cigar progresses it creeps over the line into the full realm and hovers there for the remainder. Thankfully the cigar stayed consistent for me, in terms of strength, throughout the burn.
Score: 18
Flavor (0-20): So you light this up and BOOM – pepper in your mouth. You get a nice creamy spice that’s almost musty in nature. That’s right; it’s the Connecticut wrapper showing its true colors. But then something changes. Remember how I said in the strength section that the cigar levels out? When it does, it’s dominated by toast, tobacco flavor, and more spice. But the mixture, albeit powerful and robust, is very well done and really imparts you with an earthy and almost rustic taste. Unfortunately for this cigar, that’s about as complex as we get. Some random other notes of sweetness get thrown in but the reality is – the Retro Especiale stays relatively the same through the rest of the burn – complexity is sacrificed for consistency.
Score: 15

Value (0-20): $4.50 a stick? Yes please. When I had this cigar I immediately popped up to check if I saw the price correctly. Yep. The larger size for $5.50? Uh…. Yep. I literally had to stop myself from buying a box on the spot. I said “remember dude – you have a wedding to pay for and do you really need more cigars with a full humidor?” but just because I didn’t give into temptation that time doesn’t mean I won’t soon….
Score: 19

Additional Notes: No drink pairing for this one other than some water. The cigar was smoked at CI, my normal prowling grounds.

Overall (0-100): If you are looking for a nice heavy smoke on a budget – this one is absolutely for you. But be warned, the construction may be a cause for concern and the complexity drops by the second half of the cigar. However if you are the type that the complexity isn’t a worry for you, and you are just looking for flavor, consider giving my score an additional bump of 0.1, up to a 4.25.
Score: 83

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Montecristo White Belicoso Review



Information:
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper origin: Ecuador
Wrapper type: Connecticut
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan
Length: 6”
Ring: 52”
Cost: $7.50

Appearance (0-20): As is standard with most Montecristo cigars, I had no real complaints with the way the cigar looked. No visible blemishes or veins were present and the wrapper looked to have some nice aging on it. The wrapper was silky to the touch. The label was the standard for Montecristo – simple but elegant.
Score: 18
Construction (0-20): Again no complaints at all with the construction. The cigar lit up with ease and was nothing but enjoyable throughout the stick. It burned relatively evenly and had a very nice draw to it. The cigar itself felt firm, but wasn’t overpacked in any way.
Score: 17
Strength (0-20): From all of the reading I have done on this cigar, it’s supposedly the medium to full range. I was hoping for something more on the full side of things, but it was absolutely a medium bodied cigar. Regardless, the heft of the cigar was pretty spot on for what it was.
Score: 17

Flavor (0-20): This is where the meat and potatoes of this cigar really lie. The cigar began very smooth and mellow with a nice wood taste to it. But once you were through about a third of the cigar the flavors melded into something more – pepper and cream. The pepper was very understated while the creamy nature took center stage, leaving a delicious taste on the tongue. When I hit the last third, I found that the flavor almost evened out between the cream / pepper and wood tastes. It was a little heavier at this point, but still in the medium range. I absolutely enjoyed the creamy complexity this cigar put forth.
Score: 18

Value (0-20): The pricepoint of $7.50 a stick isn’t a bad one, but it also isn’t something I would be running out the doors to buy up as many as I can. I would say its likely appropriately priced and could be viewed as a slight bargain depending on your spending habits.
Score: 16

Additional Notes: No drink pairing for this one other than some water. The cigar was smoked at CI, where the climate is always right and the people are always… interesting?

Overall (0-100): The cigar’s taste is definitely its strong point that would keep me coming back, and with a price of $7.50 its right in the comfort zone of most consumers but isn’t an enormous bargain of any kind. The overall feel of the cigar was one that left me pretty relaxed, so I would say it was absolutely successful. I would have this one again, and likely will…
Score: 86



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome

For a long time both myself and my brother have enjoyed the wonderful world of cigars, and again on multiple occasions we have thought about writing up some reviews. Yet... we never did for some reason. Call it being lazy, not really knowing if it would be useful, or whatever else you want - but when it came down to it we just never took that extra step to begin a blog. Well, that changes today.

Welcome to what hopefully becomes a favorite spot for cigar lovers. Welcome to The Cigar Broskies - a blog that is dedicated to the wonderful world of cigars, and our interaction with them...

Enjoy!