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Toys for Tots Drive 2022 By: SenorPablo
The 2022 Marine Toys for Tots drive was a great success.  This was the way to earn the Toys for Tots badge for being a contributor.  If you gave a kit for auction, won an auction, or donated at least $20 you were awarded the badge. A special thanks goes out to Emerson (McBryde) for stepping up to run the drive again this year.  
January Points Contest is Under Way! By: SenorPablo
The points contest is under way for the month of January.  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.

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Member Geek Critiques  [All Geek Critiques]

CAO Arcana Mortal Coil Toro January 2023 90
CG Rating

Written by Cigar Geeks Member: (Brlesq)
This cigar was enjoyable. It was well-constructed, had a perfect draw, and just enough complexity in flavor to keep it interesting, while the notes that were present are all quite nice. I think that... Read More
CAO Arcana Mortal Coil Toro January 2023 90
CG Rating

Written by Cigar Geeks Member: (junglepete)
This was a pretty good cigar. It's been a while since I have had something from CAO and I was interested in trying this blend. Thanks goes out to Chuck for sponsoring this critique. The flavor pro... Read More
CAO Arcana Mortal Coil Toro January 2023 93
CG Rating

Written by Cigar Geeks Member: (McBryde)
I liked the cigar. It hit my palate quite nicely, and I am not usually a huge fan of most CAO stuff. It seemed like a young cigar, and I think it would be a great candidate cigar for some aging. I loo... Read More
CAO Arcana Mortal Coil Toro January 2023 96
CG Rating

Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Kent (05Venturer)
Big thanks to Chuck for sponsoring and letting me review this fantastic cigar. It was a great Christmas Eve morning smoke. As noted previously I have smoked several of these previously and find that ... Read More
CAO Arcana Mortal Coil Toro January 2023 89
CG Rating

Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Brian (ninfiction)
I'd like to thank Chuck for providing the cigar for this review. I found the cigar very enjoyable; the profile was right up my ally. Just a bit of a one trick pony in my opinion. I might have t... Read More

Vendor Geek Critiques  [All Geek Critiques]

Camacho Liberty 2021 September 2021 87
CG Rating

Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Steve Ladd (Caveman Steve)
All in all, this was real pleasure to smoke. The performance of the cigar itself overcame the lack of complexity in flavor by a goodly margin. I'm anxious to try another one after dinner to see how ... Read More
Camacho Liberty 2021 September 2021 83
CG Rating

Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Nick (nkowal)
The Camacho Liberty 2021 was a bit of a disappointment given the high bar I have for the Liberty series. But that might also just be about resetting expectations about what the Liberties are going for... Read More
Camacho Liberty 2021 September 2021 92
CG Rating

Written by Cigar Geeks Member: (nirab)
I really enjoyed this cigar. The oak notes were perfect with the coffee and pepper, and the natural sweetness was very pleasant. My entire experience smoking this cigar was excellent, and I look forwa... Read More
Camacho Liberty 2021 September 2021 86
CG Rating

Written by Cigar Geeks Member: (tuck0411)
Pretty nice smoke, this one, the uneven burn and needed maintenance aside. Flavor for days and if I hadn't known I'd have sworn this one had more Nicaraguan tobacco in it given the spicy profile, but ... Read More
Camacho Liberty 2021 September 2021 89
CG Rating

Written by Cigar Geeks Member: (Murphy223)
Thanks to Kevin (wescat) and Bruce for allowing me to participate. This one was fun. Overall, I enjoyed this cigar from start to finish. I'm glad I picked up a few because it is one I'd smoke again. ... Read More

Member Reviews  [All Cigar Reviews]

Cigar Rating
Illusione 888 (Necessary and Sufficient) Candela 4 Star Rating
By: tuck0411 (01/31/2023 01:08 PM)
Humidor time: 262 days in mine, unknown in someone else's...
Humidimeter reading: Head: 65, foot - 61
Appearance and construction: A few veins, a light sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a single shallow V-cut and PLD was moderately open. (8/10)

Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium-bodied profile with a spicy retro and notes of wood, citrus, spice, and a hint of butter. The spice in the nose faded after a few puffs with the other flavors staying consistent through the first third after which the citrus started to fade a bit with the butter hint gradually ramping to a full note by the end of the 2nd third where it stayed through the remainder with the wood/spice combo maintaining throughout. Pretty tasty, overall, if not quite completely in my wheelhouse for this type of blend. Strength was about medium. (31/35)



Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately easy draw, smoke volume a bit below optimal, and a wavy burn to start. I quickly gave it a second shallow V-cut and this helped to improve smoke output slightly but it was still only near the low side of optimal. The burn evened out through the first third with the ash falling at 1 1/4" leaving no cone behind. Post-ashing, smoke output continued to slowly improve and finally reached optimal about the half way point. Things were then uneventful down to the nub with draw and smoke output remaining optimal from the mid-point on. (16/20)

Overall impression: A pretty decent candela, this one, with sufficiently nice flavors for this type of blend but it was drug down just a bit by the slightly tight draw and reduced smoke output in the first half.  Good enough to smoke again, though. (29/35)

Burn time: 1:28
Rating: 84
Lost & Found (formerly B/C/S, Impromptu) 15 Minutes of Fame LE Lancero 4 Star Rating
By: tuck0411 (01/30/2023 12:32 PM)
Humidor time: 261 days
Humidimeter reading: Head - 69, foot - 62
Appearance and construction: A few veins, an oily sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a punch and PLD was moderately tight. (8/10)

Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium+ profile with a spicy retro and notes of wood, coffee, and spice. The spice in the nose faded after a few puffs with the other flavors mellowing just slightly but otherwise staying consistent through the first half after which the flavors ramped back up and became a bit more intense through the remainder.  No transitions to note apart from the changing intensity, but this was quite flavorful if just a bit heavy on the wood. Strength was about medium. (29/35)



Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately easy draw, smoke volume on the low side of optimal, and an even burn to start. I quickly gave it a single shallow V-cut on top of the initial punch and this helped to improve smoke output slightly. The burn stayed even through the first third with the ash falling at 1" leaving a small cone. Smoke output was continuing to improve and reached optimal shortly after the first ashing. Things were then very uneventful down to the nub with draw and smoke output remaining optimal from the first third on. (19/20)

Overall impression: This one came from Small Batch as one of their COTM selections awhile back and was a pretty nice smoke, if not quite within my wheelhouse, flavor-wise.  As a side-note, this stick is the reason Robert Caldwell and Privada CC are no longer doing business together.  This cigar was a re-creation of a stick Caldwell provided to Privada known as "The Cookie", which I reviewed some time ago. Apparently, Privada had an agreement with Caldwell that The Cookie would be an exclusive, which apparently was an agreement that Caldwell understood differently, hence this cigar. Since this one's release, there's been bad blood between the two camps with Brian Desind, owner of Privada, calling Caldwell a liar in one of his videos, and Caldwell making snide remarks about a "certain cigar club" in at least one of his videos. The name of this stick even seems to be a dig at Privada, but who knows.  At any rate, re-reading my review of The Cookie, there are some similarities in the profile, mainly that I reported a strong coffee note in that one, but I also reported black pepper and didn't mention the strong wood note I got in this one, so I don't know how well Caldwell actually succeeded in recreating The Cookie. In any event, this was a pretty nice smoke and I'd smoke it again although it's not one I'd buy more of given its not-quite-my-thing profile. (30/35)

Burn time: 1:23
Rating: 86
Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro 3.5 Star Rating
By: druid (01/30/2023 10:48 AM)
Solid, BPd, dark leather wrap, no veins & good oils.  PLA spicy leather; PLT dry earth; PLD moderate.  A quick light, a moderate draw, a great burn, & a faintly fruity leather smoke.  Earth, leather & a fair bit of black pepper to begin.  A tinge of mintiness appears in the retro & black coffee & minerals in the palate.  Well into the 1st 1/3 cocoa notes appear mitigating the minerals somewhat.  The flavor strength is medium plus.  Past the 1/2 the coffee is more potent & the pepper is mostly in the retro.  In the final 1/3 the earth, coffee & minerals rule as the other notes fade; the finish follows this format.  The body is near full.  Good but the Azulejo is way better.  (89)
Patina Connecticut Rustic 4 Star Rating
By: tuck0411 (01/29/2023 11:21 AM)
Humidor time: 260 days in mine, unknown in someone else's...
Humidimeter reading: Head - 67, foot - 62
Appearance and construction: A few minor veins, a light sheen, an uneven wrapper shade, and a firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a double shallow V-cut and PLD was moderately open. (8/10)

Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of mild tobacco. The light gave a medium-bodied profile with a spicy retro and notes of light wood, spice, and citrus. The spice in the nose faded after a few puffs with the other flavors staying consistent throughout. No transitions to note but this was quite flavorful with plenty of spice to keep things interesting while not being anything amazing or unique for a conny blend. Strength was about medium. (31/35)



Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately easy draw, smoke volume slightly below optimal, and an even burn to start. The burn stayed even through the first third with the ash falling at 1 1/4" leaving a nice cone. Smoke output was slowly improving by this point and reached the low side optimal shortly into the 2nd third. Things were then uneventful down to the nub apart from a bit of self-correcting waviness in the burn line in the last third. Draw and smoke output remained at the low side of optimal from the 2nd third on. (18/20)

Overall impression: This one came from our first pass last year and was a pretty good slow-burning morning smoke with reasonably nice medium flavors and decent construction although it was a bit tightly packed and suffered a bit with slightly reduced smoke output. Good enough to smoke again, though. (30/35)

Burn time: 1:19
Rating: 87
Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Robusto Extra 4.5 Star Rating
By: tuck0411 (01/28/2023 03:24 PM)
Humidor time: 285 days
Humidimeter reading: Head - 66, foot - 60
Appearance and construction: A few minor veins, a light sheen, box-pressed, a silver cloth foot-band, and a moderately soft pack with no soft spots... Gave it a single shallow V-cut and PLD was moderately open. (9/10)

Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of rich tobacco. The light gave a full-bodied profile with a spicy retro and notes of charred wood, leather, spice, and hints of black pepper and something sweet. The spice in the nose faded after a few puffs with the other flavors mellowing just a bit through the first third and the body receding towards medium/full. The charred wood also faded into the 2nd third with the leather ramping and the sweet hint manifesting as a hint of chocolate which stuck around through the remainder. Very tasty, overall, and real close to my wheelhouse for a fuller smoke. Strength was about medium or a bit better. (33/35)



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 a small cone. Things were then very uneventful down to the nub with draw and smoke output remaining optimal throughout. (20/20)

Overall impression: This one came from Privada CC as one of their "Brian's Box" selections awhile back and was the 2nd vitola I've had from this blend, the toro being the first. My review of that one shows a very similar experience both with flavors and construction and I rated it similarly. Just a really good smoke all-around for anyone who likes a stronger profile. (33/35)

Burn time: 1:23
Rating: 95
Espinosa Especial No.5 4.5 Star Rating
By: druid (01/28/2023 10:32 AM)
A fairly firm, chocolate brown stick, no veins & a low oil sheen.  PLA rich, slightly barn-y earth; PLT rich wine-y earth; PLD moderate.  A fairly easy light, an even burn, a moderately tight draw, & an earth & leather smoke.  Leads are earth, a bit of leather & a very mild bit of pepper.  Nuts-almost a toasted peanut- come on immediately.  The earth deepens at the onset of 2nd 1/3, a chocolate-like flavor joins & the pepper, while still a hint in the mouth, powers up a bit in the retro.  At the 1/2 the chocolate turns to caramel & builds, mixing nicely with the earth.  A faint wood note joins near the end, coloring the earth, caramel & nut finish.  The body is medium plus.  A wonderful, chewy smoke.  (94)
CLE Plus 2013 Toro 4.5 Star Rating
By: tuck0411 (01/27/2023 03:36 PM)
Humidor time: 284 days
Humidimeter reading: Head - 66, foot - 52
Appearance and construction: A few veins, a light sheen, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a single shallow V-cut and PLD was moderately open. (8/10)

Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium-bodied profile with a spicy retro and notes of wood, spice, and hints of citrus and butter. The spice in the nose faded after a few puffs with the other flavors staying consistent through the first half or so after which the butter hint faded and the citrus ramped to a full note where it stayed through the remainder with the wood and spice maintaining throughout. Very tasty, overall, and pretty much right in my wheelhouse for this type of spicy, medium blend.  Strength was about medium. (33/35)



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 a cone. Things were then very uneventful down to the nub with draw and smoke output remaining optimal throughout. (20/20)

Overall impression: This one came from Privada CC as one of their "Brian's Box" selections awhile back and was the 2nd vitola I've had from this blend, the robusto being the first. My review of that one shows it was a very similar experience to this one, both with flavors and construction. These are just a really good smoke all the way around and I'd easily smoke it again and may have to get more. (33/35)

Burn time: 1:23
Rating: 94
Privada Cigar Club Farm Rolled Mexican Robusto by Rojas 4.5 Star Rating
By: tuck0411 (01/26/2023 03:48 PM)
Humidor time: 283 days
Humidimeter reading: Head - 64, foot - 61
Appearance and construction: A few minor veins, an oily sheen, a closed foot, a light box-press, and a moderately soft pack with no soft spots... Gave it a single shallow V-cut and PLD was moderately open. (9/10)

Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of rich tobacco. The light gave a full-bodied profile with a spicy retro and notes of black pepper, charred wood, leather, spice, and a hint of creamy, buttery chocolate. The spice in the nose faded after a few puffs with the other flavors staying consistent through the first two thirds after which the profile intensified with a hint of mint coming in during the last third. Very flavorful, overall, and pretty close to my wheelhouse for a fuller blend. Strength was about medium. (33/35)



Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately 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 a cone. Things were then uneventful down to the nub with draw and smoke output remaining optimal throughout. (20/20)

Overall impression: And Rojas goes four for four with this farm-rolled pack. Yet another great smoke from this brand with all boxes emphatically checked.  This was a very similar smoke to the toro of apparently the same blend that I had a couple of days ago. I got some leather in this one that I didn't report in that one, and the minty hint in the last third, but otherwise it was a very similar profile.  In any case, both were very tasty and I'd probably buy more of them if I knew what they were with bands on them.  Great smokes.  (33/35)

Burn time: 1:24
Rating: 95
Illusione Original Documents ~HL~ (Holy Lance) 3.5 Star Rating
By: tuck0411 (01/25/2023 05:01 PM)
Humidor time: 282 days
Humidimeter reading: Head - 65, foot - 63
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 so gave it single shallow V-cut on top of the punch and PLD was moderately open. (7/10)

Flavor: PLA gave a whiff of rich tobacco. The light gave a medium/full profile with a spicy retro and notes of black pepper, leather, wood, and spice. The spice in the nose faded after a few puffs with the other flavors staying consistent through the first third after which I started getting a hint of chocolate which hung around through the remainder with the other flavors maintaining throughout. Very tasty, overall, and pretty close to my wheelhouse especially after the chocolate hint showed up to balance the spice. Strength was about medium or a bit better. (32/35)



Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately tight draw, thin smoke volume, and an even burn to start. I quickly gave it a 2nd shallow V-cut on top of the previous cuts and this helped to improved smoke output but only slightly. The burn stayed even through the first third with the ash falling past 1" leaving a small cone. Smoke output was continuing to improve by this point and reached the low side of optimal shortly into the 2nd third. Things were then uneventful down to the nub apart from the burn getting a bit lopsided in the last third right before the nub. Draw and smoke output remained at the low side of optimal from the 2nd third on. (13/20)

Overall impression: This one was a bit tightly packed for its own good resulting in reduced draw and smoke output most of the way through, but it was still a pretty good smoke with great leathery, spicy flavors that always hit my palate just right. It's hard to tell if the "Original Documents" sticks are all the same blend or not from the information available at the brand's website, but assuming they are this is the third vitola I've had from this blend and my reviews of the first two show a similar experience with the construction, but I did enjoy the flavors in this one quite a bit more than the first two. Maybe at some point I'll get one that's perfectly constructed and I'll be able to give it a proper assessment. (27/35)

Burn time: 1:14
Rating: 79
Privada Cigar Club Farm Rolled Sumatra Corona by Rojas 4.5 Star Rating
By: tuck0411 (01/25/2023 11:15 AM)
Humidor time: 281 days
Humidimeter reading: Head - 70, foot - 64
Appearance and construction: A few minor veins, a light sheen, a closed foot, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it a double shallow V-cut and PLD was moderately tight. (8/10)

Flavor: PLA gave a faint whiff of tobacco. The light gave a medium/full profile with a spicy retro and notes of coffee, wood, and spice. The spice in the nose faded after a few puffs with the other flavors staying consistent throughout. No transitions to note, and there was more going on here than I can describe, but this was very flavorful and enjoyable all the way through with the sense I sometimes get that quality tobacco was used in the blend. Strength was about medium. (32/35)



Smoking characteristics: The light produced a moderately easy draw, smoke volume on the low side of optimal, and an even burn to start. The burn stayed even through the first third with the ash falling past 1" leaving a small cone. Smoke output was improving by this point and reached optimal shortly into the 2nd third. Things were then uneventful down to the nub with draw and smoke output remaining optimal from the 2nd third on. (19/20)

Overall impression: Another very nice smoke from this Rojas farm-rolled pack. Flavors, check, construction, check, with nothing much to dislike here at all. One more stick to go from this pack and we shall see if Rojas can go four for four... (32/35)

Burn time: 1:03
Rating: 91

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Illusione 888 (Necessary and sufficient) Candela 6.75" x 48
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Lost & Found 15 Minutes of Fame LE Lancero 7" x 38
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Patina Connecticut Rustic Robusto 5" x 52
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Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Robusto Extra 5.5" x 56
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CLE Plus 2013 Toro 6" x 54

   
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