The 7th Annual Cigars for Troops drive is over and was very successful with over 1600 cigars donated and sent off to the very deserving! Great job Geeks! A special thanks goes out to Nathan (nwb) for running the drive again.
The 2015Marine Toys for Tots drive raised a very generous total of over $2000 that was passed along to Toys for Tots. This was a excellent opportunity for brotherhood to contribute to a great organization that provides gifts for those less fortunate children in time for Christmas. A special thanks goes out to Brad (Longhorn) 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 CI. You can read the details HERE. To view the previous month's contest results see here.
The Montecristo Monte Monte is a bulky cigar. The wrapper is brown with visible seams and veins. It is firm with a textured feel. The barrel has an aroma of earth with some cocoa. The foot smells of hay. The foot roasted nicely and the cigar lit easily producing much smoke. The initial flavor was bready with with a light flavor of roasted nuts. There was a drying sensation to the pallet and tongue. The burn was uneven. The ash was gray and brown in color. It was flakey and there was a lot of fly ash. The flavor of bread held with hints of leather and white pepper coming through later in the smoke. The draw was very easy. The smoke was abundant and smooth. The wrapper crack a little halfway through the smoke but this did not cause any smoking problems. The cap got rather spunky by the half way point. The cigar is an okay smoke, but it will not be a routine cigar for me.
Cut with dual guillotine, close to end. Foot pack was quite tight and cold draw was a little tight. Cut a little bit more into shoulder, and cold draw opened up nicely.
1st 3rd enjoyed with the end of a bottle of Houblon Chouffe.
Notes of pencil shavings coming through! Not as pronounced taste as expected, but signature dry woody notes present. Light pepper on tongue, stronger on retrohale. Burn is good, wandered a bit but self corrected
Into 2nd 3rd, opened a Brewdog Paradox Compass Box imperial stout (whisky cask aged).
Ash dropped halfway through 2nd 3rd. Flavour staying consistent, mellowed a bit with a light sweet grass note coming through. Light pepper lingering aftertaste.
47 minutes in halfway, getting more dry peppery sweetness. Burn wandered a bit but again self corrected no problem. Medium nicotine. Taste seems developed now, more coherent body like a well made sauce that has been slowly simmered. Pepper more integrated. Time for some music. Sade - Soldier of Love (video). She's awesome.
Last 3rd. Getting some mellow toasted notes. Body has developed beautifully now into a full mouthfeel. 1 hour 6 mins. Warm pepper starting up. Still medium nicotine. Burn deciding to wander again but not worried! Spice on lips. Something new in the flavour I can't put my finger on, very tasty. Warm toasted tobacco.
Poured second half of bottle of Paradox Compass Box. Great big imperial stout going well with this cigar. 1:16 burn still not corrected so used lighter. Not a problem.
Now at end of last 3rd, getting into extra time! Ash holding on but I knocked it off. Had to add more flame as outside was slowing down. Smoking well, strength and spiciness increasing. Sade still playing on YouTube! Flavour still great, spicy pepper all over, but holding medium body.
1:26 getting to nub but still enjoying it. Smoke has warmed up now, pepper and dryness have receded, still wonderful taste. 1:34 really heating up now but harshness and bitterness controlled. 1:39 still going, fingers getting warm. Had to add flame as it is struggling to burn. Recovered and flavour is still fine. 3/4" nub now smoking well. Honey! 1:45 I don't want this to end, but it has to.
1:50 ok, all done. Great cigar, I feel this one is a benchmark for me. The flavour is amazing, although I feel a little love/hate with the full on dryness / woodyness. A solid 4.5.
A big, meaty box-pressed cigar, this is one that you better put aside 2 hours to smoke! Dark wrapper, great construction, lots of billowy smoke. Has a lot of nuances going on: spicy, peppery, sweetness, woodiness, and leather. Enough power and smoke that retrohales might leave you sneezing. Reminds me more of a Tatuaje profile than most CAO cigars. Started off as a strong 4 stars, and finished at 4.5 stars. Definitely worth trying if you can get your hands on one. I believe this was a one-and-done release in 2013.
A very solid smoke. I really like the San Andres wrappers, and this one has a nice flavor to it. Sweet, leathery, spicy, all playing very nice together. The look is very rough, a very rustic looking cigar - veins, small split, and lumpy - but the burn is perfect - razor sharp and needed no corrections. The ash is flaky white/gray with some black spots over the really rough spots. Holds about an inch. Cap was not even, but I v-cut so it was not an issue. I did have to double v-cut it, to get a proper draw. Finish is long. Strength is on the full side of medium. Overall, another good tasting Caldwell.
Got this cigar from the Hidden Treasure Sampler from CO, I think in my opinion the cigar was a little dull..could have been because of my humidor maintenance, was sorta bitter no real flavors stuck out, was medium full body, liiitle bit of chocolate flavors
This stick was off the hook..smoked this one outside my building..what can I say, rich thick smoke,creamy,oily,sweet notes, little Pepper,hint of cocoa and coffee,this stick is on the top of my list its a GOO!!!!
Picked this one out as a treat for a summer afternoon. I've long thought that the lovely band and the short, box-pressed belicoso look made this one of the more handsome cigars hanging out in my humidor. The wrapper is fairly bumpy/knobbly, and though there are many seams, they are quite fine. This is a well-packed and solid little stick, which hardly gives at all to a finger press.
Some seem to have problem with torpedos/belicosos, but the draw on this was neat with only one quick cut. Might be one of the first cigars I've ever had that I didn't get any fragments of tobacco in my mouth when I tried a cold pull. It sounds silly, but between that and the terrific dark earthy smell off this thing pre-light, it was winning points already.
I'm not a full-bodied smoker, and the first few puffs on this thing felt like being bludgeoned (in a pleasant way, mind you) with a velvet-clad hammer. The nicotine buzz came on quite quickly, and vast plumes of thick, velvety smoke made it a joy to puff on. I'm very grateful to have had a very solid lunch today!
Flavor was very good. Pepper in abundance, which I expected, but also rich and leathery. This isn't a flavor I really enjoy, but it was balanced by some sweetness and therefore not enough to send me packing. The ash held extremely well, and the burn line was almost immaculately crisp - no touch-ups required here.
My enjoyment was dragged down just a little in the last third or so, when the flavor of charred wood got to be more predominant, and the burn seemed to be pretty hot, despite infrequent puffs (and relatively high humidity in the humidor right now). Despite this, I'd compare this smoke favorably with a couple of the DE Liga Privadas that I've enjoyed. The construction, smoke production, and overall enjoyment factor were pretty on par with the Liga #9, even though the flavor was not quite as good.
I usually pass on anything from Gran Habano though I haven't tried very many of them, my perception being they're a lower end stick that I don't need to waste time on (never would've said that a couple years ago!). I got this from stogiedad in a blind sampler sale and I was pleasantly surprised.
The prelight aroma screams peanut and a little cocoa, especially at the foot. Cap held nicely, bands came off easily, and the foot toasted with ease.
You get the usual spice kick right off the bat, but the nutty and cocoa tones are definitely there and stick around most of the cigar. There are some oak notes and a touch of sweetness here and there. The retro was somewhat plain in the beginning but improved with some of those oak notes as the smoke progressed.
What holds the cigar back from a better rating is the draw is a little too open and the stick burned a little hotter than I like as a result. Oddly enough it also seemed like one that needed to be puffed more frequently than I like once I got past the halfway point and it eventually died with about 2 inches left despite my efforts to keep it stoked.
I'd smoke another if it came my way but no need to stock up.
Good smoke all the way through for the most part. Not very consistent, one stick will be wonderful but the next bitter. Overall even burn. Construction is on par with the rest of the JR Alternatives. Can't beat it for the price.
Wow! This is another cigar that I've smoked many of, but have never posted a review for. It's a great 30 minute cigar. It starts out with some spicy pepper, and then tones down to some sweet caramelly goodness over basic earthy flavor on the tongue, but retains a milder pepper through the nose. Once lit, I've never had to touch the little buggers up. The draw can be a little tight depending on how "wet" the individual cigar is, but it's never been a big issue. The crazy thing is that, in over 75% of the Short Stories I've smoked, the ash doesn't drop unless you knock it off somehow. A truly great cigar. A judicious shopper can get these at around $5 online and they don't go for much more than that at a good B&M. If you haven't smoked one of these little gems, I strongly recommend doing so.