The 8th Annual Cigars for Troops drive is complete. This was 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=4297... A special thanks goes out to Nathan (nwb) for running the drive again.
July Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of July. 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.
With the hype machine behind a cigar that was a joint project with Jonathan Drew, Robert Caldwell, and Willie Herrera, I was pretty skeptical it could live up to the billing. And then the MSRP is almost $14, so even more reason for pause. But this cigar delivers big time, and while I don't know that I would stock up at $14, I have already found some sub-$10 and stashed some. They are good!
The look is very Caldwell, with a nice matte band with the crown, as many Caldwell releases have been around royal themes. The wrapper is oily and smooth, and this one feels packed to the gills. The draw was perfect, and it produced a good amount of smoke on the pull. Surprisingly, it produced almost no smoke when at rest, maybe I just expected it to be like a Liga and still pump smoke, and of course that was no reason for concern. The ash was super tight and bright white, and would hold for as long as I would let it. Superb construction.
The first one I smoked I was fishing and not totally focused, but kept thinking, damn this is a good smoke. So I pulled another once I had a bit more time to make sure I wasn't just enjoying the fishing. Right from the first puff, I knew this was one I was going to keep around.
The start is very earthy, with black coffee and dark chocolate in the background, as well as a pretty good kick of black pepper. It doesn't take long for the pepper to start ramping up, and a caramel sweetness joins in as a welcome complement. The black coffee remains a background note throughout the smoke, but the dark chocolate and caramel become more intense as time goes on, pairing nicely with the fairly heavy black pepper and earthy vibe going on. There is a definite oaky, bourbon note I am finding as well. Towards the final third a meaty, chewy flavor comes through, something I love to find in a cigar. It wasn't there the whole time like some other smokes I have had, but it definitely came out during the final third. And the retrohale, wow! I thought it may be to strong to go back as much as I wanted, but it was nicely balanced and lighter than I thought on the black pepper, so I found myself blowing through all to frequently. A nice citrusy note on the retrohale, with some black pepper, earth and oak, but not overwhelming at all.
A fine effort indeed from three giants of the cigar industry, and I have already picked up a few of the coronas as well. Keep and eye out and put some of these in your rotation if you can afford them or find a deal, as they are really in my wheelhouse and worth the coin.
Had been looking forward to trying this cigar. I have not had the V, but I enjoy the rest of Oliva's cigars very much so I thought I would try the Melanio.
Rest: 2 weeks
Construction: flawless, beautiful wrapper, maybe a little underfilled, but nothing to get crazy about.
Burn/Draw: this stick was all that I ask for in a cigar - a straight, consistent burn with no touch-ups required. The draw was maybe a TAD on the loose side (I'm nitpicking), causing the first 1/2 to burn a little faster than I had hoped for. About 20 minutes for the first 1/2. Draw tightened up perfectly in the second 1/2, 60 minutes total.
Flavors: I did not get the deep transitioning flavors that others mention. Plenty of coffee and dark chocolate flavors, but nothing too complex, light spice not overpowering at all. I will let my other stick sit for a few months and re-visit the flavors.
Nice look, it has a light sweet, spicy smell, beyond the quality tobacco. As this is a dry cigar, it does not need to be humidified, but I have tried in both way: - smoked in dry - smoked after 2weeks in humidor
The cigar itself is cutted in both end.
After lighting: - in both case it burns not so fast, it burns evenly, or in case of a misburn, it corrects itself wery well. - In case your cigar is humidified, it become a bit stronger than in dry.
An instantly classic looking cigar. Beautiful, deep brown/red hued wrapper that is paired with a vintage looking double band. Simple, yet spectacular. V-cut, lit up and away we go...first profile is of slightly sweet tobacco, a faint touch of pepper, and a bit of spice. Heading towards the midpoint, the cigar transitions into a wonderful mix of light, sweet coffee, sugar, tobacco, along with a spruce like spiciness...wow! I've never found this spruce like spice in a cigar before. The cigar finishes well, with a perfect burn, ash and draw. AJ is blending some great stuff these days, and I'd put this one at the top of list. One top notch smoke indeed!
This was a decent smoke, especially for the price. Fairly smooth with only a bit off pepper about the 2nd third in. Overall lots of earth and light wood notes. Good burn and construction throughout, I did not have to relight this at all. I will definitely be getting more of these.
This is a firm-cored cigar overlaid with a darkly-mottled, slightly rough wrap with a couple tiny veins & scattered oils. PLA earth & barn; PLT rich earth & chocolate malt; PLD moderate. Toast & lights are normal, the burn was mostly even, the draw remains moderate, & the smoke is a bit minty. Starters are earth, dark roast coffee, a faint chocolate-y sweetness & a cedar tang. Black pepper is present but mild. The chocolate becomes more pronounced in the 2nd half & the pepper turns to red, though still not overpowering. A mixed bag of spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg & even clove, creep in. The finish is a medium length, tangy melange with a heavy cedar note. The body is a mid- to high--medium. I don't know what the reviewer over at that "other" site was smoking but I give this tasty treat a 91. Certainly the best AVO I've had to date.
Smoked this outside on a cool morning with a cup of vanilla coffee. Beautiful honey colored wrapper. No veins, no knots, just beautiful smooth cuban wrapper. Cut was easy and perfect, just taking a bit off the top. Pre-Light draw was a bit tight, felt down the cigar and found a knot right about where the band is. Worked this out a little bit with my finers. Light was easy and created a nice dark ash. Plenty of volume of smoke, and draw is much better then before. Very mild, with just hints of floral notes and honey. Ash has held on for about 1.5" now and nice and layered with bands of dark ash mixed with grey almost white. 2/3 flavor didn't change at all and no burn issues or draw issues. Smoking this faster then I usually do to keep it from going out. Still has volumes of thick smoke and not burning hot at all. Last third, still tastes great and burning fantastic. The draw got a little easier once I got past that knot that was around the band. This is a fantastic early morning smoke, mild-med, lots of smoke and just a delight to be able to enjoy. I've got 4 more of these, so maybe I need to got another cab and put them down, maybe not for 7 years. Only rated this at a 4 because of the tight draw and the knot around the band.
This is a semi-firm cigar with a smooth, light-colored wrapper, a couple veins & is shiny with oils. PLA sweet grass & cocoa; PLT bread, bamboo & citric acid; PLD easy. Toasts/lights easily, the draw is airy, the burn stays even with no work, and the smoke is citrus & black pepper. Leather, toast, nuts & black pepper combine with a background citrus-y note. The pepper fades back in the first half as cedar notes creep in. The pepper waxes & wanes throughout the 2nd half. The fairly short finish is citrus, cedar and tangy. The body I found to be a mid-medium, occasionally moving into the upper end but not over the full line. Another nice Perdomo product.