The Annual “Cigars for Troops” drive is under way. 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=5385... A special thanks goes out to Nathan (nwb) for running the drive again.
Toys for Tots Drive 2020
The 2020 The Marine Toys for Tots drive is under way again this year. This is the way to earn the Toys for Tots badge for being a contributor. If you give a kit for auction, win an auction, or donate at least $20 you will be awarded the badge A special thanks goes out to Emerson (McBryde) for stepping up to run the drive again this year.
March Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of March. 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: wrapper is mostly smooth with visible seams and a couple greenish “moles”, spots. The wrapper has a sweet raisin like aroma. Lightly squeezing the cigar led to noticeable softness throughout. Either my other cigars are on the dryer side or this one is slightly over humidified. I performed a straight cut for the perfect draw.
Postlight: cigar took to toasting and lighting well. It did start a bit uneven but that could have been me, it seems to be self correcting. Smooth mild earth flavors to start. Huge amounts of smoke. Retrohale has a medium pepper hit giving the cigar a medium strength. The smoke is oily and fresh tasting. First ash at 1.25” leaving behind a small cone. Cigar burning great, basically smoking itself between puffs.
2/3: flavors of earth and floral are dominant. Retrohale produces more toast with a lingering spice. Next ash at 1.5”. I had to give a slight touch up. Still smoking well medium body and strength. No noticeable flavor transitions. Band comes off easily with no wrapper damage.
3/3: cigar burning well with another 1” ash. Still picking up the oily floral on the lips. I am getting sweet earth. Cigar is still medium body and strength. Cool smoke down to the nub. Smoke time 1:45min. I would buy more for aging.
Prelight: wrapper construction average, seams noticeable, good color, nice cap,toothy. Cigar doesn’t have a heavy dry aroma, mostly earth. Cigar is packed tight. There was no sponginess throughout. I used a straight cut as I suspected the draw to be tight. Draw was moderately tight, not the most snug I’ve had.
Postlight: cigar took a bit longer to get an even toast. Burn line started off a bit uneven, slightly touching up to help it out. Ash is flaky from the start and starting to bloom, appears to be burning hotter on the outside diameter. Flavors of mostly earth, strength is mild with no Retrohale spice.
2/3: first band comes off easily with no wrapper damage. Burn is better and ash is holding up. Flavors are beginning to transition to a more nutty/toasty profile. Almost picked up a baking spice as well. First ash over 2”. Ash is very flaky and came almost completely apart when hitting the tray. Needing multiple puffs now to keep a good burn line. Last band comes off smooth but revealing a few wrapper imperfections. Wrapper starting to split about 2” crack revealing the binder.
3/3: wrapper is almost all split and ash is getting wonky. Flavors are decent so still chugging along but construction has really hindered this cigar. Cigar is medium body now with strength still mild. Flavors more earthy now losing the nutty/toast sweetness. Next ash held a little better at 1.25”. Ended the smoke at 1:20min.
Rock solid, light brown wrapper, no veins & plenty of oils. PLA honey wheat; PLT a saucy flavor; PLD mod. A normal light, an even burn, a mod easy draw, & a salty, corky smoke. There are woods, earth, a bit of pepper &, like the PLT, a saucy or gravy flavor.to begin. Before the 1/2 the profile turns cardboard-y & charry in turn for a while, then reverts back to some decent flavors. It alternates this way throughout. In the final 1/3 there are massive wrapper issues & the stick disintegrates. The finish is cedar, earth, a bit of spice &, oddly, that saucy-gravy note. The body is medium. Tried to like it but too many issues.
Humidor time: 447 days in mine, unknown in someone else's... Humidimeter reading: Head - 64, foot - 62 Appearance and construction: A few veins, a light sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a punch and PLD was moderately tight. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium/full profile with a spicy retro and notes of black pepper and spice. The spice in the nose backed off somewhat with the other flavors mellowing through the first third, then BAM, about half way through the 2nd third a strong, very tasty coffee note appeared. I was starting to get more smoke out of it at this point, so that probably contributed to the uptick in flavor, but at any rate, it was a very nice 2nd half of this stick. Strength was medium at best. (23/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately tight draw, thin smoke volume, and an even burn to start. I quickly gave it a double V-cut on top of the initial punch but this helped only slightly with improving draw and smoke output. Both did gradually improve, though, as the smoke progressed. The burn stayed even through the first third with the ash dropping just past 1" leaving a small cone. Things were then uneventful down to the nub with draw and smoke output approaching optimal in the 2nd third but never quite getting there through the remainder. (21/25)
Overall impression: I'd like to try this one again and hopefully get one that draws well right from the get-go as I suspect the flavors I got in the last half of this stick might make an earlier appearance. At any rate, the first half was pleasant, but the last half was crazy delicious. I wish I could give this one a higher rating, but that first half was just no comparison to the 2nd. (29/35)
Humidor time: 447 days in mine, unknown in someone else's... Humidimeter reading: Head - 65, foot - 54 Appearance and construction: A couple minor veins, a light sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a punch and PLD was moderately open. (13/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium/full profile with a spicy retro and notes of black pepper, black coffee, spice, and a hint of leather. The spice in the nose faded a bit with the other flavors remaining consistent through the first third, then the spice ramped up both in the nose and on the palate towards the end of the first third. A hint of dark chocolate appeared in the 2nd third followed closely by a note of something resembling BBQ'd meat covered in tangy sauce. This stuck around only briefly and most of the flavors then faded through the last third. Very tasty, overall. Strength was about medium. (24/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced an easy draw, good smoke volume, and an even burn to start. The burn stayed even through the first third with the ash falling at 1 1/4" leaving no cone behind. The burn got wavy, then lopsided in the 2nd third, but managed to self-correct just before I was about to give it a touch-up. Things were then uneventful down to the nub. Draw and smoke output were optimal throughout. (23/25)
Overall impression: It's been nearly two years since I had this blend in the short robusto and my review of that one shows that I enjoyed this one quite a bit more. Suspect my palate has developed enough to where I can appreciate the flavors properly and there is plenty of flavor here to be enjoyed. Construction was decent, too, so I'd happily smoke more of these. (32/35)
Humidor time: 447 days in mine, unknown in someone else's... Humidimeter reading: Head - 72, foot - 71 Appearance and construction: Several prominent veins, a light sheen, and a firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a wide-ring punch and PLD was moderately tight. (11/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium/full profile with a spicy retro and notes of wood, spice, and coffee. The spice in the nose mostly faded with the other flavors remaining consistent throughout. Not bad but not really close to my wheelhouse. Strength was medium most of the way through, then ramped towards full in the last third, probably due to the frequent puffing I was doing to get through it. (18/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately easy draw, OK smoke volume, and an even burn to start. I quickly gave it a single V-cut on top of the initial punch to try and open the draw a bit more but this had little effect. The burn stayed even through the first third with the ash dropping at 1 1/4" leaving a small cone. A 2nd V-cut was applied post-ashing, but again, this had little effect. The burn continued even through the remainder with draw and smoke output reaching the low side of optimal part way through the 2nd third but neither ever reached fully optimal down to the nub. I dumped it sooner than I normally would at about 1" left as the nicotine was starting to take a toll on my brain. (18/25)
Overall impression: This was a very slow-burning smoke, which wasn't surprising given the tight pack, and the struggle factor was definitely elevated, not because it burned wonky or anything, but because of the restricted draw and smoke output and my increased puff rate to get it over with. I probably should have dumped it sooner... At any rate, not a stick I'd be very interested in smoking again as the flavors were not much to write home about, either. (21/35)
A solid core, a dark brown, flawless wrapper with a bit of very shallow tooth, & a nice oil sheen. PLA damp earth, grain & a barn hint; PLT an earthy, barn-y flavor; PLD moderately easy. A mod easy light, an even burn, a moderately easy draw, & a leather smoke. Wood, earth, a bit of creaminess & a hint of pepper start things. Shortly before the 1/2 the wood become cherry but not sweet. The spice is more prevalent & increases in the retro. The finish is earth, spice with a hint of cream and, only now, the cherry wood actually adds a bit of sweetness to the trailing note. The body is a high medium skirting the full line. Great construction & nicely spicy. (90)
Humidor time: 446 days in mine, unknown in someone else's... Humidimeter reading: Head - 65, foot - 59 Appearance and construction: A few veins, a light sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it two clips with the guillotine and PLD was open. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium/full profile with a spicy retro, a note of black pepper, and a noticeable aroma of some kind of incense. Never got that from a smoke before... The spice in the nose faded somewhat with the pepper also fading through the first third and the incense aroma disappearing as well. The remainder of the first third and part of the 2nd was a very pleasant, more subdued profile than I was getting initially, then the spice ramped back up in the latter half of the 2nd third along with the appearance of a tangy, citrusy note that gradually strengthened into the last third along with something else that resembled a kind of meaty flavor. This was very tasty, overall, and the last third was easily the best part of this stick. Wow, very nice. Strength was about medium. (24/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately easy draw, OK smoke volume, and a wavy burn to start. I quickly gave it a third clip and this succeeded in improving both draw and smoke output. The burn evened out through the first third with the ash falling at 1 1/4" leaving a small cone. Draw and smoke output reached optimal in the 2nd third and stayed there for the duration. (23/25)
Overall impression: A very nice smoke from Erik Espinosa with both flavor and construction checking all the right boxes. The filler leaves in this are apparently a secret, but they must be on the exotic side to produce that incense aroma I was getting at the beginning. At any rate, I'd easily do this one again. Great smoke! (32/35)
Dos Hermanos Robusto. It has Brazilian and Dominican filler, Indonesian Bezuki binder and Indonesian Sumatra wrapper. Construction is not great. Seams are not very tight, cigar feels a little soft and it's made with a single cap. The draw is open but still good. Burn line is a little wavy but needed only couple of touch ups. Toward the end, with about an inch left, cigar started falling apart. Not a lot of complexity but flavors are pleasant and pretty well balanced. I detect some wood, nuts, coffee, hay with some mustiness, mild red pepper and a little bit of sweetness. Black coffee is probably the best pairing for this cigar. There are no significant changes from the beginning to the end. Though overall it was enjoyable there is nothing special about this cigar.
Humidor time: 446 days in mine, unknown in someone else's... Humidimeter reading: Head - 65, foot - 57 Appearance and construction: A few veins, an oily sheen, and a moderately soft pack with no soft spots... Gave it two clips with the guillotine and PLD was moderately open. (12/15)
Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium/full profile with a slightly spicy retro and notes of black pepper and coffee and just a hint of sweetness. The spice in the nose faded quickly with the other flavors remaining consistent throughout. Not bad but not amazing. Strength was about medium. (21/25)
Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately easy draw, decent smoke volume, and a slightly wavy burn to start. The burn stayed wavy through the first third with the ash falling at 1 1/4" leaving no cone to speak of. It continued wavy in the 2nd third, then got lopsided and a touch-up was needed. Same story in the last third with another touch-up. I gave it a third clip after the 2nd ashing to try and open the draw a bit more and this succeeded to a small degree with smoke output approaching optimal through the remainder. (17/25)
Overall impression: The struggle factor was a bit higher than I like with this one given the maintenance needed to keep it on track. And the flavors were merely OK and nothing to write home about so it's not one I'd be looking to smoke again unless it were handed to me. It appeared to be a very aged stick with the celo being quite yellowed and almost brown, but I'm not sure all that age did much for it... (23/35)