The 2014Marine Toys for Tots drive is over, and the very generous brotherhood here pulled together for an amazing $1,595.16. This is a great accomplishment that will go 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.
November Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of November. The 35 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.
Prelight: Smoked with 230 days of humidor time and a straight cut. Presents with a smooth, medium brown wrapper with no visible veins and tight seams. It has a sweet honey aroma, not dissimilar to the Ezra Zion Bee’s Knees cigar…mmm. The prelight draw was on the loose side. Paired with New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon.
First Third: The first few draws started with outstanding complexity and a subtle sweetness. This fleshed out into a woody and floral profile with light cinnamon accents and cinnamon-like spice. Some graham cracker sweetness also came in on the finish. The smoke was copious, although a bit airy.
Second Third: The wood flavors became a bit more earth- and underbrush-like with a funky overtone. The spice stayed, but the cinnamon from the first third turned into a heavy clove with associated increase in spice, which lingered long after the finish. The smoke started coating my palate and reaching into my throat…so I hit the throttle on the bourbon a little bit.
Final Third: In a less-than-stellar second third, an funky, sappy green wood flavor on the draw, which reached back into my throat, did nothing to improve my mood. On top of that, the baking spices started to fade. The one bright spot towards the end was the occasional toffee or burnt caramel on the finish and the aromatic, meaty smoke.
Verdict: I wouldn’t smoke this cigar again, though I would probably give the same blend in a different vitola a shot. Some of the complexity in the first half was really outstanding. Overall, I’ll call it “very good,” 86/100.
What a fine smoke. Beautiful golden wrapper with slight veins and an even fill. The burn was a bit wonky, but nothing overly troublesome. Tons of smoke from a perfect draw. Slightly flaky white ash.
If you had handed me this cigar without a band, I may have guessed a very good cuban, but a bit more kick. Tons of cedar, leather, acidic notes all complemented by a good bit of pepper. Really had a wow factor going on. Just a joy to smoke, especially in my favorite vitola.
I will be stashing some of these, an amazing smoke that flies under the radar.
Nice smooth stick with a slight box press.No major viens ,a little dry to the touch with a nice firm pak.The draw is perfect and the smoke output is great. The flavours are some coco,leather,some sweetness like honey.There is alot of pepper on the reto at the start but it tapers off and more of a sweetness comes through with some spice. The smoke time is around 1hr.20min.and I smoked it to the nub.You don't need to take much of a draw to get alot of smoke.The strengh is a medium full. Really enjoyed this stick remained smooth and cool till I couldn't smoke anymore.The ash only fell off three times in the entire smoke.Would not hesitate to smoke again in fact I will look for some for the humi.
A true go-to for a regular production cigar. I rated the Las Calaveras 2014 a five star, and I truly find this blend as close as you can get to it. This short robusto is a great format for it as well.
Dark, beautiful stick with a nice oily sheen. The blue band sets off against the dark wrapper perfectly. Burn was slightly wobbly at times, but always corrected itself. Tons of thick smoke, perfect draw, firm white ash.
The main thing I love about this cigar is the peppery steak note that dominates for me. So damn tasty. Yes, there is some smoky oak, dark chocolate, espresso, leather, rich earthy tobacco, just tons going on. But the fact that this cigar smokes like a great steak keeps me coming back. And no colories!
I am excited that this is around in regular production so my last 2014 Las Calaveras don't have to be rationed quite so tightly. Another great smoke, also awesome in the Corona Gorda vitola.
Nice looking brown oily wrapper. Solid box press with with no feeling of soft spots or voids. This baby feels packed. I wasn't sure how I was going to cut this being 70 ring gauge but my guillotine was able to get around enough of the cap to make a clean cut. Great tobacco aroma with hints of hay.
Light & Burn: 11 Points of 15 Possible
Cigar lit with ease which I was curious about since this was by far the largest ring gauge I'd ever smoked. Solid white ash which lasted about half way in. Plenty of smoke volume throughout the cigar. 1/3 of cigar burn was slightly wavy 2/3s had to perform a touch up on one of the corners. 3/3 only had about half of the cigar burning correctly and needed to relight the one side.
Construction: 23 Points of 30 Possible
Very open draw which wasn't always easy given the side of thing thing and the box press. Hard to get a nice seal sometimes when taking a draw. Wrapper appeared to be quite fragile as I had a few cracks around the cigar even pre-lite. The cracks didn't really affect the enjoyment that much. I would just be careful with it.
Flavor: 25 Points of 35 Possible
1/3 - cigar started off medium bodied with tobacco, hay, wood and some spice with Hints of caramel. 2/3 quickly ramped up to medium/full to full and flavor profile didn't change to much except for maybe a hint of pepper every few draws. 3/3 again the flavor profile didn't change much and I was surprised at the flavors I was getting as I would expecting something different before I started to smoke it.
Being color of Oscuro I would expect this cigar to be a lot darker than it was. Cigar lasted about 1 hour. I enjoyed the cigar. I would smoke this blend again but probably not this vitola again. Thanks Chuck for putting this together.
The gold was next step up to the regular macanudo in flavor. Itt had just enough more flavor but still had the creamy mildness that made that cigar so popular. I smoked it with coffee and it was the perfect pairing. A good creamy cedar flavor in a perfect cool burning cigar.
This is a pretty good cigar but still a bit young. The potential is high for this being a great smoke with a few more months rest. White pepper and a smooth tobacco for the first inch. The rest of the cigar had a nice cocoa, leather, and cream. Every once in awhile there is a touch of bitter coffee that I think is going to smooth out with time. Smoke output is thick and burn was very good but needed a couple touch ups when left sitting to long. It paired very well with a Wasatch Brewery Black O' Lantern Pumpkin Stout. " /img>
A beautiful barber-pole smoke. The wrappers are evenly spaced and seams tight as can be. Some light oiliness, more so on the darker leaf. The burn is exceptional, especially considering the wrapper changes. Razor sharp. Nice firm ash, perfect draw, good smoke output. Really remarkable construction from a difficult roll.
Flavor wise, a very pleasant mix of coffee, wood, leather and earth. I didn't get much connecticut influence in this one, but it had two years rest so that may explain some of that. Medium plus in strength. Around midway lots of cocoa notes enter which play nicely with the rest of the flavors.
The wrapper combo didn't add as much competition as some barber-pole smokes I have had, but it was still a delicious, well made smoke. Can't argue with that.
I'm the second reviewer to have received this particular cigar as a gift from Brlesq, and with almost 5 years of age on it, I'd been looking forward to this one.
The box press looks excellent on this thing. Nice rounded square edges, good filling, great color and feel, and slight resistance on the draw.
Out of the slightly yellowing cello, this stick sang "chocolate" to me on the pre-light, and indeed after lighting, I was convinced I had a deep, rich candy bar on my hands. However, it quickly settled into a long, reliably smooth smoking experience, losing the hint of sweetness that it began with, but staying pretty flavorful.
I had to re-light once during an hour and forty five minutes, but the burn line was very even, and smoke production was quite decent.
Churchills are usually a bit long for my experience, but this cigar did right by me.