The 10th Annual “Cigars for Troops” drive is underway. This is a great opportunity to give back to those who protect our freedoms and earn the coveted "Troop Supporter" badge at the same time. You can find information here: http://www.cigargeeks.com/community/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=5087... A special thanks goes out to Nathan (nwb) for running the drive again.
Toys for Tots Drive 2018
If you have not seen it, the 2018Marine Toys for Tots drive is in full swing. This is an excellent opportunity for the brotherhood to contribute to a great organization that provides gifts for those less fortunate children in time for Christmas. A special thanks goes out to Emerson (McBryde) for stepping up to run the drive this year. Also, we are introducing a new Toys for Tots badge this year for being a contributor. If you gave a kit for auction, win an auction, or donate at least $25 you will earn the new badge
January Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of January. The 26 members with the most points for the month have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Famous Smoke Shop. You can read the details HERE. To view the previous month's contest results see here.
Humidor time: 172 days at 69% Wasn't a fan of the Kuba Kuba when I had one of those awhile back, so wasn't particularly looking foward to smoking more of these flavored sticks, but in the interests of making space in the humidor for better stuff this one was next up for the flame. It looked nice with only a couple of smallish veins in the dark, smooth Maduro wrapper but PLA was not promising as the sweetish flavor was quite prominent. Oh well, once more into the breach...
Gave it a punch and PLD was good. Toast and light was followed by a good draw and adequate smoke. Burn started a bit wavy and slanted. Taste was decent and better than expected but the sweet flavor infusion was up front and overpowering any decent tobacco flavors that might have been otherwise present. The burn self-corrected prior to the first ash being knocked off at 1 1/2" and stayed pretty even through the rest of the smoke.
Not much else to say about this one other than the burn was never troublesome beyond getting occasionally wavy but always self-correcting. Flavor stayed fairly consistent through the first half with the infused part of it fading in the second half and the Maduro aspect provided by the wrapper becoming more noticeable. I would like to try these blends, this one and the Kuba Kuba, without the infusion as it would likely be quite nice. I suspect this tobacco is also being used in other Drew Estate sticks, so maybe that could happen...
Overall, this was a pretty good smoke down to the nub, in spite of the added flavor, but that does drag the rating down from what it might have been. Burn time: 1:29
Humidor time: 108 days at 69% Still in break mode from the Gurkha herd-thinning here and after the enjoyable smoke I had yesterday with the Cohiba N50 decided this one should be next up. It was a promising looking stick with the dark, albeit somewhat veiny wrapper and PLA detecting the aroma of rich, quality tobacco underneath.
Gave it a punch and PLD seemed open enough. Toast and light and the draw was good with plenty of smoke. The burn started a bit wavy but self-corrected. Flavors were nice with hints of earth and leather and just a bit of spice on retro.
The first of the fine ash fell off at just past 1". The burn again got a bit wavy before and after the 2nd ash chunk leaving but again self-corrected with the help of frequent turning of the stick while puffing. A slight hint of cocoa showed up near the beginning of the 2nd third.
The rest of this smoke was uneventful and the flavor was more or less consistent with a bit more spice showing up in the nostrils in the 2nd half as usually happens with most sticks in my experience. I smoked this one down to a one inch nub before dumping it.
Overall this was an enjoyable and flavorful smoke all the way through and it didn't cause me any grief with the burn so it's an easy four star stogie and one I'd do again. Good thing I have another one in the humi! Burn time: 1:49
I got this cigar from Nirab and didn't smoke it originally because I thought he sent me a dog rocket.........I was wrong, sorry Brian! This was a nice burning cigar, well built, nice draw and a ton of flavor. Bold, spicy and medium full flavored to say the least. It had a lot, did I say a lot? of spice, pepper and leather. The only thing missing was some chicharrone's to go with it.
Humidor time: 107 days at 69% Decided to take a break from the ongoing Gurkha conflagration and smoke something worthwhile for a change. OZZ traded me this one awhile back and given that I had yet to smoke a Cohiba of any sort, it seemed like a good candidate for tonight's after-dinner smoke.
PLA detected sweet Nicaraguan goodness within the dark and slightly veiny wrapper. Gave it a punch and PLD seemed a bit tight. Toast and light, and the draw was indeed a bit constricted, although smoke volume was acceptable. The predominant flavor was leather with just a bit of spice and this didn't change much through the course of the smoke. The burn started lop-sided, probably due to my amateur lighting skills. After a few tight puffs, I gave it the double-guillotine treatment and the draw opened up a bit.
The burn continued lop-sided for a good bit, but with considerable turning of the stick while puffing, it eventually mostly self-corrected by the time I knocked the fine, grey-white ash off at 1 1/2" in. After the 2nd ash chunk left, the burn again got wavy and I finally gave it a touch-up with 1 1/2" left before smoking it to a 1/2" nub.
Overall, a very nice, flavorful, mostly well-behaved smoke, which is what I've come to expect from Nicaraguan sticks, unlike those shoddy and unruly Honduran Gurkhas, sigh. I look forward to smoking more Cohibas and I think I may torch up a Red Dot tomorrow... Burn time: 1:37
Humidor time: 130 days This one looked fairly unimpressive with a few veins in the wrapper, but it turned out to be a somewhat better smoke than a few other Gurkhas I've had recently.
Gave it a punch and PLD seemed open enough. Toast and light resulted in an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an initially uneven burn which self-corrected in the first half inch. Unusual for a Gurkha... Taste was pleasant in the medium range, but nondescript without any particular hints I could pick out apart from decent quality tobacco. No spice on retro, so that was a plus.
The ash was much finer than your average Gurkha and I knocked the first chunk off at 1 1/2", after which the burn got wavy but again self-corrected. What, a self-correcting Gurkha?? Almost unheard of.... The band came off easily without trying to take any of the wrapper with it. Wow, we may have a winner here...
After the second ash chunk hit the tray, the stick got tired of being smoked or something and gradually went out on me with about 3" left. OK, now this I'm familiar with... Re-lit and continued to puff with a bit of spice finally showing up to make things interesting in the nostrils. I gave it one more touch-up before dumping the one inch nub.
Overall, a pretty good smoke for a Gurkha, but as usual, not one I'd go looking for again. Burn time: 1:56
Humidor time: 22 days at 69% OZZ was over last evening for a smoke, so after dinner I grabbed a couple of these from the humi and we each lit one up. In hindsight, I probably could have picked a milder stick for a pre-bedtime smoke....
Caveat: I have not yet smoked a real Oliva Serie V, so can't make a comparison there, but I see Junglepete has already done that for the double robusto vitola of this blend and confirmed that this is probably the Serie V.
Examining the stick pre-light, I was hard-pressed to see why it was a 2nd. No visible flaws in the wrapper, not even a single prominent vein was present. OZZ reported the same for his stick.
Gave the pointy end of this perfecto a single cut with my double-guillotine. PLD seemed open enough and not in need of a second cut, so toast and light of the nipple followed. Got the expected easy draw and plenty of creamy, oily smoke. I'm a noob at lighting this vitola and didn't fire it up very evenly, so the burn started a bit lop-sided, eventually requiring a touch-up a half inch in. My fault, not the stick's.
The flavor profile was nice - hints of earth and leather and a bit of spice on retro, although not so much that I couldn't enjoy the frequent nasal exhale. The spice did increase somewhat in the final third.
The fine grey-white ash fell off in 2" chunks. The burn got a bit lop-sided in the last 3rd and would have needed a touch-up if I hadn't already had more than enough nicotine, so the nub got dumped with 1 1/2" left. Overall, a very enjoyable smoke and I'm glad I have more in the humi. Burn time: 2:03
For the record, I did some comparisons between the Serie V and the Liga V using data from CI's pages for each. The blends match, but the listed vitolas do not, to wit:
Serie V - Vitolas: Belicoso 5 x 54, Churchill Extra 7 x 52, Double Robusto 5 x 54, Double Toro (Gordo) 6 x 60, Lancero 7 x 38, Corona 5 x 43, Nub 4 x 60, Special V Figurado 6 x 60, Toro 6 x 54, Torpedo 6 x 56
Liga V - Vitolas: Same as Serie V plus: Churchill No. 1 6.7 x 48, Corona Extra 5.7 x 46, Perfecto 6.5 x 60. Minus: Nub 4 x 60, Special V Figurado, Toro 6 x 54
To summarize, the Liga V page has three vitolas listed that the Serie V page does not. There are also three vitolas listed at the Serie V page that are not listed at the Liga V page. Although, the Nub 460 probably shouldn't be counted as it would be listed as a "Nicaraguan Gordo 2nd". In any event, these discrepancies might be grounds for some remaining doubt as to which blend Liga V actually is.
Humidor time: 129 days at 69% Still burning through my over-stock of Gurkhas here and this one was next up for a fiery demise last evening. It's a hefty beast in the hand and had a decent appearance apart from one prominent vein in the dark wrapper
Gave it a punch and PLD seemed open. Toast and light, and draw was open with good smoke volume. Got hints of leather, coffee, a slight bit of chocolate, and a smooth retro on the initial draws. Pretty good so far. The burn started uneven and I gave it a couple of touch-ups shortly after the light.
The ash was very flaky and crumbly, similar to the sad G5 Avenger I smoked the previous night. A couple of inches in, the burn finally evened out, but it didn't last as further, frequent touch-ups were needed down to the nub. Flavors remained fairly consistent throughout with a bit of spice showing up in the nostrils towards the end, but they weren't amazing enough that I'd buy this one again what with the construction issues affecting the burn. Burn time: 2:06
solid cannon except at the foot were it get's a bit spongy, nice shade wrapper, smooth with a slight oily sheen, cap seem's well applied and over all construction seems good. Draw is good and has a mild tobacco flavor prelight. Mild start with tobacco and espresso as the main flavors and a hint of cream, spice in retro is almost non existent. Smoke production is good, ash is light grey, almost white in color and only held to about 3/4" before it dropped onto the desk. never really changed from start to finish. Not bad but nothing I will be looking for again.
I've managed to pick up about a half dozen of these cigars in various samplers over the years but have never got around to smoking one. I'd guess the one I smoked today had at least a year's worth of humi-time on it. The wrapper had a nice oily sheen to it and the cigar felt firm. The cap cut cleanly and the prelight draw was fine, giving a nice earthy taste. Once lit, the initial flavors were a mix of coffee, earth, and leather, with an overlying cedar and pepper spiciness. I found it to be just a little on the bitter side. The bitterness went away about halfway through. The pepper faded and was replaced by a nice creamy taste that lasted for the duration. The cigar produced ample amounts of smoke and although the burn-line wobbled a bit, it never required required any correction. The ash was a nice even light grey and dropped at about an inch. All in all, it was a good cigar, but not one I'd be likely to purchase by itself.
Humidor time: 128 days at 69% Was looking forward to this one based on the previous reviews here along with the fact the only previous box-pressed Gurkha I'd had was a pretty good smoke, that one being the East India Havana Blend. And this one looked quite nice with it's dark and oily wrapper and appearing mostly well-constructed apart from a couple of prominent veins.
PLA detected strong hints of chocolatey goodness. De-capped it with the double-guillotine and PLD was open. Toast and light and the draw was good along with smoke volume. Taste was not exactly as expected - more of a bitter dark chocolate taste, even bordering on sour although not unpleasantly so. I was also getting some leather and a walnut sort of flavor on retro. Not bad at all.
The burn started wavy and never settled down. The ash was very flaky and crumbly and falling off in small pieces within the first 1/2". I never got more than a one inch chunk before letting it go into the tray. After the first chunk left, the stick started tunneling and then tried to go out on me, so a re-light was needed. After this, nothing improved and several more touch-ups were needed. The initial flavors receded into a one-dimensional bitter/sour taste, so, along with the construction issues affecting the burn, I'd had enough and dumped the 2" nub. Very disappointing smoke and it's safe to say I won't be looking to get more of these. Total burn time: 1:26