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.
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.
For such a budget cigar I was very surprised by the quality of this little cigar. Sweet floral notes throughout. Great construction, burn, and smoke output. Starts off a little tight but opens up with the perfecto tip burn off. The ash held on for more than half the cigar, and it was a good smoke up till the end.
A big cigar for a lengthy smoke. Excellent construction, draw was a bit firm. Typical Montecristo notes, but somewhat lighter in flavor than other Montes. I find the Anejodos series a bit gimmicky. Box code on this was Feb '07. I've smoked some Montecristo #2's from 2007, and they were a little better than this one. Still a better than average cigar, but just an average Cuban cigar.
This stick came in a sample pack from Mike's Cigars. Precut the cigar was quite firm to the feel.the color was a decent colorado color, and even all the way through. The stick was cut with a v cutter, wnd lit with a quad torch. The cold draw was a bit hard, and after the light it remained a bit stiff through out the smoke. There was not a ton of smoke on this stick, and there were a couple of times it needed a touch up. There was definately some heavy spice and pepper to the smoke, and it was present all the way through. There were some slight leather undertone about the midway point, then were masked by the pepper again.
This smoke is a diamond in the rough. No fancy markings or big trademark logos, just a solid cigar with a simple band. The flavor starts out with a nice kick of pepper and cream. There are big flavors of fresh cut cedar well balanced with leather notes. The spice levels out pretty quickly and leaves hues of chocolate and sweetened coffee that really smack on the palate. The smoke is delicious and flavorful throughout. Top notch construction, burn, ash, etc. Fantastic. Very impressed.
There will be a can of these in storage from now on. A great "everyday" stick that can be found for under $4 now. This puts them in the category of the Illusione ~R~ for an insanely good price point on a great tasting cigar.
My favorite vitola looks great wrapped in a speckled, leathery wrapper with some light veining and tight seams. Classic red and gold band. The burn is razor sharp producing a bright white ash and thick plumes of smoke. No touch-ups required. Draw is good if just a tad on the open side.
While the flavors are familiar, the overall profile is unique. Fuller than I expected from the jump, but smooth. Spicy, but not red pepper or full on black, gentler. Lots of cedar, coffee, leather and straight up delicious tobacco. The retrohale loses the spice and brings in more cedar and a bit of sweetness. I didn't find a lot of transition, moreso balanced and nuanced. A great cigar to relax and just enjoy without overthinking.
If you find a can on sale, snap them up. I would pay MSRP of $7+ for these, but on sale these could become a staple smoke for me.
Beautiful, dark brown oily wrapper with one the sweetest floral smells that I have experienced. Perfect burn, near perfect draw. Strong retrohale. Very complex, with changes throughout the experience. Cedar, citrus, honey, red pepper, graham cracker, buttered toast, some earthiness. Wow! Medium strength, full bodied. Not the typical L'Atelier profile.
Think of what blending distilled spirits or coffee beans does to the final product. The blender sacrifices the uniqueness of the individuals to obtain a smoother product. All cigars are blends, of course, but this cigar is one that made me think of that process. It was smooth and pleasant, but it lacked any of the power of other premium cigars. For that reason, I think many geeks would not be drawn to this cigar a second time. I did enjoy it, though. Like I stated, it was a pleasant smoke, bringing to mind baking spices like cocoa, cinnamon, and nutmeg, flavors which I enjoy. I would have rated it higher if not for a mild but persistent mineral taste in the last half. The burn was fine. This is a cigar light in body and in strength and, even in the toro size, serves well as a morning smoke. It also serves as proof that maduro wrappers do not always mean strength or a strong taste.
Smooth, medium body and tasty but not a lot of smoke on each draw. A Becks Dark beer accompanied the cigar. The cigar brought out the hidden spice and critus in the beer and the cigar was never supplanted by the beer.
Slightly tight draw and the first third of the cigar was very bland. It had a strong nicotine kick at the end and developed a nice earthy and leathery flavor with lots of smoke. It was decent, but there are way better cigars out there.