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.
February Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of February. 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.
I bought one of these at a shop since I hadn’t seen the maduro blend before. So glad I did, this was an excellent cigar. The cold aroma was like Swiss Miss hot cocoa and it felt a little light weight. Cap held up fine to a punch cut and cold draw was fairly open, glad I didn’t give it a full cut. I wondered if this thing was gonna burn too hot from how light the pack was.
The burn was perfection the whole way, and the ash held on for inches and was tight, wasn’t expecting that. It started mild-medium in strength and body and both grew to at least medium-full after the first third, it was a nice progression there. Smoke production built as well, solid producer after that first third.
Flavors started with that same baked bread note that the natural has but was also earthy with a distinct peat flavor and something a little bitter (coffee or dark chocolate), but not much sweetness at all. The peat faded a bit after the first third and the profile became more like coffee, white pepper, leather, and just a tad earthy, with the baked bread note still coming and going. Retrohale was nice and strong in the middle half and some of the cocoa is detected there.
At one puff/minute it never got too hot even to the last inch. If you like a maduro on the earthy side this one is worth trying. 403 days in the humidor. Easily earned 4 stars.
Received this in the Small Batch Cigar of the Month Club.
Rested for 78 days @ 65%
Appearance: 14/15 - a slick wrapper, dark color, with a nice triple cap finished off with a fan tail. Love the Corona Gorda vitola. This stick had a predominant vein running the entire length of the stick.
Smoking Characteristics: 18/25 - Really disappointed with the burn on this one. Toasted it correctly, but a few puffs in the burn started to run. Caught up to itself, only to run again. Now 1" in, the burn is getting very lopsided so I had to touch it up. Soon after, another touchup. By the halfway point, the cigar was tunneling badly and went out. Re-light, back up and running, but having to puff very frequently to keep it going.
Taste: 18/25 - I wasn't feeling the profile of this one right off the bat, but I was hoping it would develop and live up to the reviews I've read about it. Unfortunately this was not the case, harsh and bitter, with a bite to it like eating red hots candy but not in a good way. I don't know if the burn issues made this so harsh or what, but I ditched this one halfway through. Never got anything worth mentioning.
Overall: 25/35 - disappointed. If you gave this to me blind I would say it was a $7 cigar. It didn't burn well, smoke well, or taste good. Giving it 2 stars mostly for the appearance and the fan tail cap.
The La Boheme Musico is a good looking cigar with a Colorado colored wrapper and a colorful brand band. The cigar is well made. It is firm and smooth. The burn was even and the pace was slow. The ash was gray and sturdy. The smoke was smooth. The initial flavors were complex. There was tobacco with herbal hints and a very light hint of pepper. The cigar became harsh in the last third. There was a bitterness in flavor and the smoke had a bite. Not a great cigar, but considering the price, not all bad.
This stick was dated from 2007, part of the sampler that Colin (shakinghorizons) put together for me.
Appearance: 14/15 - this is an old cigar, 11 years old. I'm sure a good amount of handling over the years so a little bit of foot damage and the wrapper is on the dry side. Totally expected and acceptable.
Smoking Characteristics: 23/25 - The draw was pretty tight, about as tight as I would tolerate. It still produced a good amount of smoke but it took a little more effort than I prefer. The burn was impeccable, ash was thick and packed solid. It was actually more of a white ash than the charcoal grey I'm used to seeing in Cubans.
Taste: 25/25 - I can't really describe the taste of this other than to say it was unlike anything I've ever tasted. No spiciness, no tingle. It was a distinctly sweet fruity tasting smoke that made you want to eat it. It made me think of Juicy Fruit gum, weird I know but that's what it was. Continued this way for most of the cigar, the last third got a little more coffee and earth mixed in with it.
Overall: 34/35 - This was my first Bolivar. I smoked it on Saturday morning around 11am in my local lounge with a cup of coffee and a slice of pound cake. So a nice comfortable setting, first cigar of the day, this one received my total focus. Smoked until about 1/2" left, this was an awesome experience and I thank Colin very much for including this one in the sampler. I don't expect any of the younger BBF's can compare to this, but if this is what it's capable of, then it's certainly worth hiding some in the back of the tupperdor.
Nice milky light brown wrapper, offset by a red band. Prelight was mostly spice and a little hay. First light produced cream, leather, and spice. Nothing overbearing. Retro was a little floral. Quickly changed to toast and tobacco, but kept a creamy nuttiness. Spice faded, but lingered in the background. (Savory cooking spices) Leathery tobacco joined midway. Retro got nuttier in final third. Still smooth and creamy through the end. Construction was absolutely flawless and smoke was abundant throughout. Absolute gem when it comes to construction. Flavor was solid.
Very close to a perfect cigar. The first 2/3 were sublime. I smoked this one after letting it rest for about six years. It had a perfect draw, perfect burn and the flavors were quite complex. Lots of wood, leather and bready type flavors, lots of creamy smoke and just a hint of pepper. The last third it lost some of it's flavor, but I still liked it quite a bit. No harshness and a good way to spend an hour and a half.
Excellent construction and a really nice draw on this cigar. The burn was perfect throughout, but the flavor was a little bland. A little citrusy, a little woody at times, but nothing that made me all that excited. I really loved the creaminess of the smoke. Great mouthfeel. I've had two so far and both have been good, but not necessarily great.
Appearance: 15/15 - a simple band but you can tell by the wrapper that this is some quality tobacco. It has a triple cap and a closed foot. Packed solid as a rock, no complaints about this cigar.
Smoking Characteristics: 24/25 - this is how a cigar should be. Burn was on autopilot, draw had just enough resistance, and smoke output was creamy and plentiful. A good amount of smoke coming off the foot at rest too. Ash was solid for about 3/4”, had to make one minor touch up at start of the last third.
Taste: 23/25 - typical pepper start, but after 1” the spice goes away and this thing becomes super smooth and creamy. Heavy doses of bread, malt, and easy cream flavors. Hardly any spice at all even on the retro. Dare I say it got a little boring? Too much of a good thing kind of deal but I’m not complaining. This creamy malty flavor continued all the way until the last third when the spice came back and rounded out the flavors. Last third was a great mix of these 2 notes, cream and spice.
Overall: 34/35 - I don’t know why it seems so hard for cigar makers to produce a quality product like this, but this is what a cigar is supposed to be. A clean burn and a good draw that lets you really enjoy the experience, this is a high quality cigar that isn’t going to cost a fortune. I paid $7.50 each for a fiver. I would definitely recommend this to anyone. If you’re a fan of heavy pepper bombs then this is probably not going to be your favorite, but it’s a great experience for anyone nonetheless
Age: 161 days Drink: Black coffee (drink bourbon next time!)
Construction appeared to be flawless, with a beautiful chocolate wrapper accented with vanilla bands. Might need a new cutter, as clipping the cap left a small mess behind. Looks like when it tears instead of cutting cleanly, but haven't had that problem with this cutter yet. Prelight aroma was a faint leather with some cocoa powder. Cold draw actually tasted a little like the cherry flavored pipe tobacco my dad used to smoke when I was young. (So far, I'm getting chocolate covered cherries, but not expecting that once lit)
There was a bitterness immediately after lighting. Not a bad bitterness, but perhaps an espresso like flavor. I hadn't touched my coffee yet at this point, but thought it would go nicely. Turns out, the coffee mellowed things out for me. (Or things calmed down after a few draws) There was definitely some leather present. But it wasn't like a thick saddle leather, but more like the smell of a fine Italian sportscar interior. (Really enjoying this leather) The cocoa powder is still present, but very faint and only lingering after the leather subsides. Retro adds just a bit a pepper to the mix. Plenty of smoke output so far.
So far, I'm a little perplexed with this cigar. Everything seems to be bitter, but I guess a little bittersweet. Nothing is offensive, but all blending together nicely. I don't usually like bitter, but I'm liking this so far. Maybe "bitter" isn't the right word, but I can't think of another. Even the nuttiness I am starting to get on the retro is more like a walnut, leaving that waxy taste lingering on the palate.
After a while the cocoa picks up a little more, but again, it isn't overly sweet and more like hot chocolate powder mix. Perhaps it is because I thought of it earlier, but it does seem like I am starting to get the faintest cherry flavor. The ash appeared to be holding strong, but after I accidentally let it sit too long, I had to relight. I ashed all over myself immediately after. DOH!
As I progressed to the middle third, almost all of the bitterness subsided, leaving a semi sweet chocolate cherry. (Really wasn't expecting that) Retro adds a little creamy almond to the mix. Very enjoyable and goes great with my coffee. Just as I started to think things were going to get sweet and stay there, a little spice joined the party. This was a nice addition and kept me on my toes. The relight earlier may not have been my fault. I didn't think I had set it down that long, but wasn't sure. Towards the end of mid third, I had to relight again and I had to keep puffing the rest of the way to keep it lit.
In the final 3rd, the cherry was very present and the spice turned into a wood note. Not typical cedar, but more of an oak. This makes me wish it was later in the day, because a bourbon would be perfect with the cherry and barrel notes very prominent. In fact, that cherry pipe tobacco aroma I smelled earlier actually reminds me of bourbon now that I think about it. And the more I smoke at this point, the more I taste cherry and barrel spices from a good bourbon.
I must be going crazy, because my review of this cigar has been such a different one that anything I have read. I see a lot of people mention a "sweet note", but nobody labelled it. Perhaps they were getting some cherry. I also got a lot more complexity out of this stick than I have seen from others. This will definitely go on my list to smoke again. Next time with a bourbon.
(For my own sanity, I googled this cigar afterwards and all the retailers list cherry in their descriptions. They ain't wrong!)