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.
October Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of October. 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 had a Cedar smell. The build was firm with a really open draw.
The first third had flavors of raisins and leather with a hint of white pepper. The ash was strong but starting to flake. The burn was really uneven and required touching up.
The second third was more leather and white pepper with a hint of raisins. The burn got worse and required more attention. The ash was really starting to flake, though I suspect this is due to the horrible burn.
The last third was stronger white pepper with a hint of leather. The bad burn and flaking ash was too much for me, I tossed in the towel before finishing.
Rich damp earthy prelight aroma. Nice dark oily wrapper. Cap was a little sloppy. Cut ok, but unraveled just a bit after lighting. Easily fixed. Solid feeling construction.
Foot toasted evenly and lit nicely. First flavor was a nice rich tobacco, with a subtle sweetness lingering. Would almost say chocolate, but can't quite place it. Almost like coffee with a chocolate creamer. There is a little pepper on retro, but more red pepper along with some nuttiness. Lingering mineral taste. Creaminess soon turned into more of a nutty flavor. Still lots of dark rich tobacco. Towards the end of 1st third, there was a chocolate covered cherry flavor. The chocolate didn't last long, but the cherry surprisingly did.
Around midway point, a bitterness picked up along with more mineral and some spice. It wasn't too bad for a while, but eventually became more and more bitter. Finally, I had to toss the stick around the start of the last third. I really enjoyed the 1st third of this cigar. So much so, that I was expecting a high 4 rated cigar. Unfortunately, the majority of the cigar was a let down.
Prelight. Wrapper had a very nice cedar smell to it and was firm. The draw is open with a taste of Mild sweet cream, oak, and a hint of spice.
First third. Burn was very even with a nice salt and pepper ash. I was tasting mild spice, sweet cream and black coffee. The coffee was more in the background with the mild spice being dominate.
Second third. The coffee was still in the background, but the cream slowly disappeared. The dominate flavor was a Spice and pepper mix. Not too strong or overpowering. The burn got uneven at the seam and did require 1 touch up.
Last third. The burn evened out and never had an issue with the ash. The flavor of spice and pepper grew in intensity with each puff.
The finish of this cigar left me wanting another. I docked 1/2 a star for the touch up, but over all it was a very nice smoke.
Let me start by stating that I have tried both the original release 2015 and the subsequent 2016 releases, and the 2015 release is far superior. It arrived packed in a cheesy looking wooden keg that couldn't be used as a humidor, but makes a nice container for cigar bands.
Now to the cigar: A dry looking, dark brown wrapper. Excellent construction. Burn line is spot on. No touch ups required. Flavors of leather, coffee, some oakiness, and dried fruits. A little sweetness and creaminess. Not much pepper spice on the first half, but definitely picks up on the second half. Medium in body on the first half, developing and finishing to medium full. Paired really well with a dopplebock beer.
Note: Price is due to an exception La Palina sampler deal on Cigar Page In the La Palina line it is easy to get lost in the Kill Bills and other and forget about the Red Label. With MSRP at about $8 it pushes the edge of a good cigar at a good price but with many having sitewide discounts it easily falls into that range. Well constructed, that holds a great ash. Well withinthe medium profile with some light spices that really pick up in the retrohale along with baked bread flavors. This is a solid smoke, don't miss it
The Flor de las Antillas MAM-13 Toro, is a regional cigar made for the Mid-Atlantic Mafia. The MAM are a group of five cigar retailers - Cigars & More (Ala.), Burn’s Tobacconist (Tenn.), Emerson’s Cigars (Virginia), Havana Connections (Virginia) and Tinderbox of the Carolinas (North Carolina/South Carolina).
The wrapper is Nicaraguan Sun Grown, is a vein-heavy softer wrapper on the darker side in color. When cut the cold draw had cocoa notes with soft roasted nut flavor coming through under the cocoa. The curious thing was the cocoa notes were not as strong once lit. The draw is firm but I used my new Xikar VX2, V-cutter, which may have increased the firmness of the draw. I tend to a firmer draw when smoking a cigar.
After lighting, there was a taste of nutmeg and white pepper. As you continue to enjoy the first few draws you begin to get notes of cedar joining on the finish of each draw. As you pass into the last third of the cigar the cedar notes change to oak. The nutty notes increase and the cocoa returns on the finish, but it is ever so light.
As the cigar neared the finish it had enough strength without being overpowering. My experience was that the burn was even and consistent. All-in-all a very enjoyable smoke.
I really like this smoke, I like the bigger ring gauge cigars and this is one of the best. I get notes of wood, spice, and a touch of pepper maybe. I always keep my humidor full of these, as it is a daily favorite. If you are in to bigger smokes then this is a good starting point and you might stop searching after you have it.
This is the best value cigar on the market. A unique profile that is always consistent, and full of great flavors. It doesn't matter what you smoked before it because it stands out every time. Perfect burn, consistently reliable. A real winner!