The 9th 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=4798... A special thanks goes out to Nathan (nwb) for running the drive again.
December Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of December. 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.
Prelight the wrapper had a nice cedar smell with an open draw and a firm build.
The first third my pallet enjoyed tastes of sweet grass and cream. As the cigar progressed a very light note of black pepper could be detected. The burn was uneven but the ash was strong with no flakes.
In the second third the black pepper was slowly taking over. Leaving the grassy cream to the background. The cigar did canoe and required a touch up with the lighter.
The ending was a pleasant black pepper show. The sweetness and mildness that started the cigar all but forgotten. Though the burn never did even up, it did not require any more from the lighter. The ash held the whole time never flaking off.
I gave it a 3.5 for the burn and relight. I also would like to have been able to detect something other than black pepper at the end.
Prelight it had a nice grass/Earth smell to it. The draw was a bit too open. First third the burn tunneled. I had to give it a quick touch up, but had a few issues with the burn for the rest of the cigar. I enjoyed the Oak, Coco, and Almond flavors that danced on my palate. The second third the burn started canoeing but did not require any relights or touch ups. The flavors were the same for me. The last third the burn went wavy, but again required no touch ups. The flavor profile was more of Coco and Strong coffee. The ash was strong enough not to flake but was easily released from the cigar when needed.
This was a very nice smoke. Had this one on the herf last night and was able to enjoy every little bit of it down to the nub. I would actually rate this cigar a straight medium and would recommend it to anyone for sure. The cigar was extremely well constructed with just a slight vein in the middle which would normally cause burn concern but did not in this case. Prelight notes are scents of cedar, rich spice and earth. The cut was flawless and clean. The burn was razor sharp down to the nub and required no babysitting at all which is definitely a huge plus. Baked bread, pepper and spice is discernible throughout the experience. I would highly recommend this cigar to anyone who likes a bit of flavor and consistency.
Very nice looking cigar colorwise and it looks to be well constructed. Cut was good with only a little issue with the triple cap. Prelight draw was nice with hints of cedar and spice. Upon lighting, the strength of the cigar was evident with pepper and some pickling spice with cedar and chocolate. As I progressed, these flavors would fade in and out with varying intensities. The reason for 3.5 star review was as a result of the band being glued to the wrapper which has been the case for each of these that I have smoked. It caused a split condition which I have experienced several time in this box. As for flavor, I would recommend this cigar and can't pass it up for the price.
Golden brown wrapper, slightyly on the dry side. There are 2-3 small, yet prominent veins in the bottom half of the cigar. Cap is off a bit, but applied well. Well packed, with little give when pinched. A nice floral n tobacco smell off of the foot.
Light & Burn: 14 Points of 15 Possible
The burn was spot on, save for a couple of moments where it got a touch uneven. Ash was solid, holding on until I coaxed it off. The colors were a nice mixure of black, gray and white, with some nice striping. Burn was slow n easy and required no re-lights. Smoke volume was light in the beginning, but opened up at the mid point.
Construction: 25 Points of 30 Possible
The draw was tight in the beginning, and didn't open up until the halfway point of the cigar. I've had worse, but it was a tough go at the start. The wrapper, despite having 2-3 veins, was well applied. The cap was a bit crooked, but stayed intact after applying my v cutter.
Flavor: 33 Points of 35 Possible
The cigar started off a bit rough, and slightly bitter, but I attribute most of that to the tight draw. As the draw opened up, I got a nice floral, salty, sweet tobacco flavor. Further in, a nice creaminess joined in, with wisps of burnt caramel. The cigar finishes with the floral hints up front, less sweetness, but plenty of cream. Other than the first quarter inch, this cigar was very smooth, with little spice.
Once the draw opened up, it was obvious that this cigar was born on an island south of our eastern coastline. Having the strong floral n saltiness was a dead giveaway! It was the perfect cigar to smoke with my morning coffee, and would smoke another one anytime. Thank you for supporting CG with your sponsorship, and for letting me play, Colin!!
Picked this up from the B&M and smoked 3 days later
Appearance: 15/15 - I couldn't find a bad thing to say about the appearance of this cigar, and I usually always find something. Pretty sure this had a quadruple cap on it, the color of the wrapper was a beautiful medium brown and the band is nothing short of gorgeous.
Smoking Characteristics: 24/25 - burn and draw were both perfect. The had just the right amount of resistance for me, using a straight cut. The burn from start to finish was straight as an arrow, ash held on for just over 1". The ash had those night little rings in, I love to see those rings stack up as I smoke my way through. Very visually appealing for me.
Taste: 23/25 - this was not a flavor bomb by any means, but the flavors it did have were very very nicely done. A creamy, buttery, cedar type of flavor. Definitely got a caramel type of finish on this one. Speaking of the finish, it was perfect, lingering just enough to coat the tongue and move on before the next draw. Just a bit of a spice on the retro hale, enough to keep things lively.
Overall: 34/35 - Smoke time was 1 hour. This was a really enjoyable smoke. I would definitely buy a box of these, I highly recommend you give this cigar a try. No it is not an a** kicker by any means, it is more of a refined smoke that you need to pay attention to. Subtle but very flavorful. I smoked this cigar on a nice Saturday morning out on the deck with a coffee and a slice of banana bread. The combination of the 3 worked great together - the smooth creaminess of the smoke, with the bitter coffee and the sweet banana bread - I would highly recommend this combo!
So this is the last of the Xiphos cigars I have that I haven't tried yet and I have been holding off on trying it as I am afraid that the Habano and Maduro blends have skewed my perspective a bit and I wont give this one a fair shake, so with an open mind and some fresh coffee I am going to see what this connecticut mix has to offer. As expected, it look's good, double blue and silver chrome bands highlighting a nice specimen of a wrapper, some minor veins but a nice oily sheen, solid cannon and nice tobacco aroma from the foot. Cut's well and draw is good with a sweet oat flavor prior to the application of fire. Nice start with cream, almond and biscuit flavors with just a hint of spice in the retro and some toast and wood. Complex start to this one but very smooth and a good amount of smoke production. The almond takes on a more walnut flavor and some of the sweetness has faded but aside from that the flavors have remained pretty consistent. The burn has been pretty strait and the ash is holding solid and a light grey with black fleck's. The sweetness comes back in the last third, still getting the walnut almond mix and cream but I am also detecting some espresso note's and the spice has ramped up a bit. A very enjoyable cigar. I don't usually like a milder smoke but this one has me rethinking that a bit. A really good set of flavors and they were right there, slap you in the face flavors, not the usual concentrate really hard and work the smoke around on you're pallet trying to detect something. Burn was right on and smoke production was good. Really, I can't fault this one much at all and I guess I am going to have to pick up some more of these to keep on hand. They are better then the Undercrown Shade any day of the week in my opinion.
Age: 88 days, but cellos were dark yellow when I received them. Drink: Bulleit Rye
Strong musky earth prelight aroma. Smooth construction. No soft spots. Beautifully rolled salomon, but felt very light in the hand. Cap cut cleanly. Razor sharp burn from start to finish, even as the shape changed. Plenty of smoke. Ash held strong for about 1.5 inch chunks.
First light produced very strong classic leathery tobacco. A little pepper and spice lingers on the palate. Not really getting much difference on the retrohale at this point. As the shape opened up a bit, a woody flavor showed up that wasn't quite cedar, but a stronger wood. Also accompanied by a slight citrus taste. Nothing is too strong at this point, but instead everything is blending together smoothly with a spice always present in the background. (Making it hard to pinpoint the exact flavors) A little nuttiness showed up towards the end of the first third. Not a creamy or roasted nut like usual, but more of a salty peanut flavor. The nuttiness was more prevalent on the retro, but was a bit creamier then.
Bitterness started to pick up towards the midway point, but it wasn't that unpleasant. It was more of a citrusy bitterness, almost like grapefruit. This flavor, combined with leathery tobacco continued to dominate rest of the cigar. I switched to Tann's Gin during 2nd half and it paired perfectly with this profile.