Saturday, December 1, 2012

Oliva-Serie O Maduro

Brand: Oliva
Blend: Serie O Maduro
Vitola: Toro (6x50)
Paired with: water
TV/Movie/Other: NFL, Falcons vs. Saints
Smoked at: Cigar Jacks

I purchased this cigar at one of my local cigar shops, Cigar Jacks. They also happen to have a smoking room, so I decided to smoke it there. This stick has a dark maduro wrapper that is pretty much free of veins and imperfections. I cut it with my V-cutter and lit it with a triple torch lighter, toasting the foot before taking a draw. The draw was just how I like it, not too loose and not too tight.

Right off the bat, I caught some fairly mild spice and touches of dark wood. On the aftertaste, there are notes of coffee, but they have more of a light coffee taste to them. The burn throughout the first inch to an inch was fairly wiggly. However, the burn always corrected itself with a little time. At the inch and half mark, very faint vanilla notes sneaked into the aftertaste, which really surprised me. Along with the vanilla came hints of light cedar, which juxtaposed perfectly with the darker wood tastes. The strength hovered around the medium mark.

Throughout the next inch or two, the burn suffered. There was a fair bit of canoeing, as well as what I'd like to call invasion. The burn kept going below the ash and curving up under some of the unlit wrapper. I never had to correct it, however.The flavours, though, were still very good. Dark cocoa appeared in the second inch and came back with a stronger spice and wood taste.

The spice on this cigar is beginning to intensify as I approach the final two and a half inches of the cigar. After retrohaling, there is a sweetness that lingers on the palate for a while. The burn decided to cooperate, and stayed fairly even. The cocoa is beginning to get a bit bitter, and in lieu of the above sentence, the burn went all wonky again. As I approached the nub, it never got hot. I set it down and let it die.

Final verdict: dark, woody, with hints of cocoa, vanilla, and spice. A few burn issues. Overall, a great smoke. 91/100

I would like to make a point about Cigar Jacks. It is a great little smoke place with good prices and great people. If you are ever in the area, go. You won't regret it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Movember Cigar Raffle

Hey brothers and sisters of the leaf,

Chad Nottingham here.
I'm here to announce that Leaf and Flame, one of my favourite cigar forums on the web, is hosting a MASSIVE raffle to support men's health and cancer research.

Seriously, $2000 of cigars and accessories are being raffled off, with all proceeds going to charities such as LIVESTRONG!

Donations can be made for the following amounts, and each donation is worth a certain amount of entries:
A donation of $3 = 1 entry
A donation of $5 = 2 entries
A donation of $10 = 5 entries
A donation of $20 = 12 entries
A donation of $50 = 35 entries
A donation of $100 = 80 entries More information can be found at that link right over there <----

Keep calm and smoke on,

Illusione-888 Candela

Brand: Illusione
Blend: 888 Candela
Vitola: Churchill (6.75x48)
Paired with: water
TV/Movie/Other: Reddit

I got this cigar in a trade with a fellow Redditor, but one thing I have to clarify is that this 888 is about an inch shorter than it should be. It was damaged prior to my trade and he had to cut about an inch off. That being said, the cigar is a light green colour with a single band with Illusione on it. I cut it with my V cutter and lit this thing with my single torch lighter. Very definitive wood flavours met my palate right off the bat. The burn is even, and it produces a good amount of smoke.

In the second inch of this smoke, I'm starting to get some spice elements. Unfortunately, I'm also having problems with the wrapper. A crack formed about a half inch below the burn, as well as a bit of unraveling around the head of the cigar. The flavours I'm getting now are reminiscent of a grassy sweetness. The burn is still fairly even, and the smoke volume has decreased a touch. About 2 inches in, there is a very pronounced bourbon style spice, which is quite nice.

After this, the grassy tastes have all but gone away. The smoke and burn are the same, but the cigar has gotten quite strong and spicy. I did not expect this. The spiciness continues through the last inch of the cigar, along with a strong wood flavour like the beginning of the cigar.

Final verdict: weird looking cigar with lots of wood, spice, and sweet grass flavours. Delicate wrapper, a few burn issues, and a full body. Overall, tasty smoke, but not for every day. 85/100

I did take pictures, but unfortunately, my phone bricked itself. I did, however, smoke this cigar down to the very nub. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Victor Sinclair-Series 55 Maduro

Brand: Victor Sinclair
Blend: Series 55 Maduro
Vitola: Churchill (7x48)
Paired with: Sprite
TV/Movie/Other: Reddit

I purchased this cigar on a whim on the CigarBid website. It had been sitting for about 2 weeks before I smoked it. It has a nice dark maduro wrapper, and aside from a vein or two, it's pretty smooth. I cut this cigar with my dual blade guillotine (a rarity for me) and lit it with my single torch lighter. Upon first draw, I'm met with deep earthy notes. The burn is even, and it puts off a fair bit of smoke. The ash is a light gray and not flaky at all. The cigar feels fairly firm and hefty. As I pass the first inch of the cigar, a very slight hint of charcoal floated into the smoke; however, this only occurred when deep draws were taken.

After about an inch and a half, the burn went way off kilter, but a couple quick puffs fixed it. The ash fell off a bit after that. I began to taste some slightly spicy flavours along with the lingering heavy earth tones. This is a fairly steady cigar, in terms of taste. It's not changing much, but yet it's not bad flavours to begin with. I am an hour into the smoke at this point, and only about 3 inches in. I like the pace that this stick burns at.

A word about the band before I go on. It's a nice gold and blue colour with a large '55' on it in blue. With about 3 inches left in the cigar, the taste is the same. The burn is going a little bit strange. I had to correct it a bit with my torch. Unfortunately, when I pulled off the band, a bit of the wrapper came with it. With two inches left on this guy, it began to get bitter, and that's when I set it on my cutter's holder and let it die.

Final verdict: full of dark, earthy flavours and occasional spice. Simple cigar. A few burn problems and a bitter end after a 1:31 smoking time. Not a bad smoke for the price, but not one I'd buy a box of. 73/100

Sunday, September 16, 2012

La Flor Dominicana-Double Ligero

Brand-La Flor Dominicana
Blend-Double Ligero
Vitola-Chisel (6x54)
Paired with: Vitamin Water Power-C
TV/Movie/Other: Reddit

I received this cigar in a trade with one of my fellow Redditors. I will admit, it is a rather strange cigar, looking more like some sort of, well, chisel! However, the wrapper had maybe one noticeable vein, and upon feeling, it is rather firm but still has a bit of give. I cut the end with my trusty v-cutter, and lit it up with matches. This LFD did put out a fair amount of smoke, but not as much as something like a Liga Privada Undercrown. Upon lighting, spicy notes immediately met my palate, and a dark wood smell and taste were coupled with the spice. There's also a strange salt note I cannot completely pin down as to what it is, but it's not bad in the least.

The burn at about an inch is a little bit wonky. I straightened it out with a match. The ash is kinda flaky, something I don't like much in a cigar, but perhaps that will change. At this point, the cigar is still very spicy, and the strength is something else: I'm a bit dizzy, and I'm sitting down! I'm having issues with the wrapper though; even though I straightened the burn out once, it still is going crazy on me. After straightening out the burn once again, a bloom of flavours hit my palate out of nowhere. A different kind of spice, cedar, and a touch of bitter chocolate were the ones I could pick out the best. The strength of the spice is also kicking my salivary glands into high gear.

There's almost a meaty flavour going on in the second third of this cigar, which is a bit odd, but I don't mind. Even as I type this, however, the spice is coming back like...I could insert a million metaphors for women here, but I won't. The burn has stopped with the constant canoeing, which I am very happy about. Weirdly enough, the cigar has actually gotten quite squishy in the middle as I approach the final third of the smoke. It began to grow hot and a touch bitter, and I let it die after that.

Final verdict: spicy, very strong, and full of flavour. A few burn issues, and a slightly bizarre shape. Nothing to be sneered at. 86/100

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mini-review-Joya de Nicaragua-Antano Dark Corojo

Brand-Joya de Nicaragua
Blend-Antano Dark Corojo
Vitola-Niveladora (6x52 box press)
Paired with-Coke

I received this cigar in a bomb from a fellow Redditor. It has an oily dark wrapper, and it is firm to the touch.   I cut this cigar with my V-cutter, and was not met with any immediate tastes upon a prelight draw. Upon lighting, the stick doesn't put off too much smoke, and the draw is fairly tight. Hints of earth mingle with the spicy pepper flavours at the very start. The burn is a bit off kilter at the beginning, but I let it be, and sure enough, it evened out.

About an inch or so in, cedar overtones kicked into gear. The burn is still fairly consistent, and the smoke output has increased slightly. Throughout the next third of this cigar, the flavours did not change at all, which was a major disappointment, as I had heard some good things about it. Around 2.5 inches left of the cigar, the burn went way off on me. After I fixed the burn, the flavours took a turn for the better, as sweet cocoa notes popped up. I had been on the verge of tossing it, but I kept it for a while longer. Soon after, however, the burn started to go awry as well as the smoke began to get bitter, so I put it out.

No picture with this one because my camera decided to be derp.

Final verdict: earthy, spicy, and sweet cocoa at the end. Quite a few burn issues, tight draw, and a bitter end. Overall, not worth the money one might pay for this stick. 65/100

Friday, August 17, 2012

Liga Privada-Undercrown (Stream of Consciousness Review)

For this review (which I will be doing a normal one later on), I'll be doing more of a stream of consciousness/poetic review rather than a true structure.

The night is cooler than normal for August. I sit out on my front porch writing this as I cut my Liga Privada Undercrown (Toro) with my Craftman's Bench V-cutter. Heh, Craftman's Bench. Reminds me of the crafting  bench in Minecraft. I pick up my box of matches that has a swordfish on the side, and proceed to toast the foot. Even before lighting, this thing is starting to smoke a bit. God, I already know I'm going to end up with a smoke bomb, and the first draw on this sucker confirms it. Smoke to the left of me, smoke to the right of me, smoke in front of me, wavered and wafted. See what I did there?

The strength seems to be hovering at medium right now for me. I'll see what it does-OH GOD eye seeking smoke. Pleasant woody flavours are intertwining with slightly spicy nuances. Y'know, for being a so-called "scrap cigar", these things are actually quite good. A bit overpriced, yes. The night is beautiful, and I'm glad I can enjoy it with a cigar like this. Crickets chirping, the occasional cicada, and that stupid neighbor kid driving up and down the street in his new car. All quips aside, the Undercrown is progressing just like I thought it would: getting stronger and spicier. I retrohale, smoke billowing out my nostrils, and I'm instantly hit with dark chocolate notes. Never had that in a Crown before.

Wind is picking up just a touch. All my smoke is going to my right now. The burn is also going a little catawampus on me. Heh. I like that word. It's so Southern, y'know? You don't really hear it anywhere else. Time to break out the matches again, methinks. There we go, and ahh damn, the ash is all over the keyboard. That's a downer. Speaking of which, I really need to get my hands on some Glenlivet 18. Time to put on some tunes for this smoke. Definitely feeling some Linkin Park. One note about the band: it's pretty. No, it's not an Opus X band, but for being so simplistic, it's quite neat, with the gold and blue Liga Privada emblem and the backwards and forwards Undercrown.

About a third of the way through at this point; I am a very slow smoker. The smoke bomb effect is still there, and I'm lovin' it, ba-da-ba-ba-ba. The burn is even at this point, and the flavours are fairly constant. Doing some business while smoking; killing 2 birds with one stone. Except the cigar isn't exactly a stone to kill. Anywho, let's check the nicotine levels on this sucker. After standing up and being a little lightheaded, this is still a medium strength cigar. Getting down to the last third of this stogie, and I have to say I enjoyed it. Let's see what it does with the last 2 inches. Gradually getting stronger, and spicier as well. Think it's time to get rid of this one.

*le toss*

Thursday, August 16, 2012

La Flor Dominicana-Airbender

Brand: La Flor Dominicana
Blend: Airbender
Vitola: Valiente (6.25x60)
Paired with: IBC Root Beer
TV/Movie/Other: Reddit and Mythbusters

I bought this cigar at my local B&M, City Cigar Co. The first thing to note is that this cigar has some heft to it. It was a 60 ring gauge, and the medium tan wrapper had a couple smaller veins, but was fairly smooth overall. I cut it with my V-cutter, and then took a prelight draw. This cigar started off in a way no other cigar I've smoked has: with cocoa notes. That was an immediate boost for this smoke. After lighting, very woody tones met my palate. The burn was fairly even, and there was a good deal of smoke.

About an inch or so in, the cocoa made a slight comeback. The burn was still fairly even. The ash was a medium gray colour and a little bit flaky. A sweetness creeped into the smoke, and it was difficult to place exactly what it was. The ash on this cigar was amazing, lasting on the cigar for well over an inch and a half. The woodiness remained, and while there was not too much complexity in the smoke, it was smooth enough to let me enjoy it.

The last third of the cigar followed in the path of the first third. Cocoa note hidden amongst woody overtones; however, the burn on the last third was quite weird. It did not canoe on me, but it was very wiggly. With about an inch and a half remaining, the smoke began to get hot, and I put it out at that point.

Final verdict: medium/medium full bodied smoke, cocoa notes hidden under pronounced woody notes with a slight sweetness. Not very complex, but a nice smoke all in all. 83/100

Friday, August 10, 2012

Rocky Patel-15th Anniversary

Brand-Rocky Patel
Blend-15th Anniversary
Vitola-Robusto Box Press (5x50)
Paired with-water
TV/Movie/other-an awesome thunderstorm

I received this cigar with my new humidor. The previous owner, a Redditor like myself, had had the stick sitting in his humidor for quite a while. I left it in my humidor for about 2 weeks before I smoked it. It had a dark brown wrapper with only one vein that I could see. I lit this cigar with stick matches after cutting it with my V-cutter, and was immediately greeted by a spiciness that was not unlike Rocky Patel's low end stick, The Edge. The burn was nice and straight, which was pleasing, considering the last few cigars I've smoked have had burn issues. About half an inch in, woody overtones (oak perhaps) kicked my palate in the face, so to speak, as they were quite prominent.

After about an inch, however, the burn began to go wiggly on me. I let it alone, and it evened out. I had been sitting since light up, and when I stood up, I realized the strength of this cigar, or rather the nicotine content. It made me a little bit lightheaded. The cigar had not evolved very much since first light, which was disappointing. The wood flavours began to creep up on the spiciness, and that in and of itself had become a peppery spice, something that I do not like. The burn began to grow more and more jagged, and eventually it canoed on me. I had to fix that with a match or two. However, by this point I had about 2 inches left on the cigar, and the spiciness had returned in full force, getting stronger and stronger by the puff. I had to put it out because of this.

Final verdict-medium body cigar with lots of nicotine. Buzz factor: 6. Woody, spicy, peppery. Not much evolution throughout the cigar. Quite a few burn issues. 72/100

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Vitola-Belicioso (7x56)
Paired with-Coke Cherry

I received this cigar in a trade with one of my fellow Redditors, and it was sitting in my humidor for about 2 weeks before I smoked it. It has a jet black maduro wrapper and is a quite chunky 7x56 torpedo. Pre-light smells were oak and chocolate. Those same flavours are present upon first light, with a slight spice as well. After a few draws, the spice is still there, but there is a very predominant coffee aftertaste. Burn is fairly consistent as well. The ash was a fairly light gray colour, and held on for about an inch and a quarter before falling off. Right into my lap. 

The chocolate flavours came back at the end of the first third, as well as a pleasant earthiness. The burn was still very straight. By the halfway point, this thing had turned into a smoke bomb. Smoke all over the place, and it had a very nice smell to, smelling sweet and woody. A slight sweetness had also creeped into the taste as well. The oaky flavours were still there but fading, revealing the chocolate flavours and spice beneath. Overall, the taste stayed consistent from the 1/3 point through the halfway point.

A little bit after the halfway point, the sweetness disappeared, and the burn went a bit odd on me. The oaky flavours returned and stayed there, along with the spice and a new leatheriness. Eventually, with about 1.5 smokable inches left, a bitterness began to emerge, and I put it out at that point.

Final verdict-heavy, full bodied smoke. Oak and chocolate notes with a sweetness in the second third. Very solid burn for the most part with a slight bitterness at the very end. Great smoke. 91/100

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

5 Vegas-Classic

Brand-5 Vegas
Vitola-Torpedo (6x54)
Paired with-Minute Made Lemonade
TV/Movie/other-Family Guy

I bought this cigar off of Cigars International's MMAO program. It had been sitting in my humidor for about 2 weeks before I smoked it. It is a very pointy torpedo, and I chose to cut it with my V-cutter. Immediately after lighting, my palate was greeted with very prominent oaky overtones and creamy, latte like undertones. The burn at this point is a touch jaggy, but fairly straight otherwise. One thing came across immediately: this thing is a smoke bomb. There was an immense amount of smoke from this cigar, and I like that in a smoke. Upon retrohaling, there is a very slight hint of pepper.

About an inch in, I had to correct the burn a little bit with my dual torch lighter. The coffee flavours have vanished in favour of a leathery tone. The ash was still hanging on at about an inch and half, and it was a medium gray colour and flaky. Tastewise, the cigar has remained fairly the same, with the addition of some spice and a little bitterness. At about an inch and a half, the taste got very bitter, and I had to put if out.

Final verdict: oaky overtones and coffee flavours, a medium body, and a creamy finish. A couple burn issues and a bitter end darken the overall experience. Not a bad cigar overall. 81/100

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quesada-Seleccion Espana

Blend-Seleccion Espana
Vitola-Corona (5.5x42)
Paired with-Barq's Root Beer

Once again, I received this cigar in a trade with one of my fellow Redditors. It has a medium tan wrapper, and comes bound in a cool looking wrapper. The gold leaf center was a nice addition. It sat in my humidor for about a month and a half. I chose to cut this cigar with my trusty v-cutter. Upon lighting with my single torch lighter, my palate was met with peppery sweet overtones with a cedar undertone. The burn was quite wiggly at the start. The ash was a dirty gray, and was not flaky in nature. About a half an inch in, a slightly weird but refreshing taste of citrus (orange?) creeped in.

About an inch in, the burn was still wiggly, but not bad enough to warrant torch intervention. Woodier notes began to emerge and the ash seemed to still be holding strong; I was wrong on that last part though, because it fell off about 3 minutes later. The medium body really began to shine through in this part of the cigar, and the cedar begins to really shine through as well. The burn evened out, and the citrus notes made a return for a few puffs. The pepper was still there, though it was dulled quite a bit. At this point, it went out, and required a relight. Afterwards, there were some very tasty notes of oak mixed in with the cedar.

The burn, at about 2.5 inches in, had gone fairly caddywompus on me, but I waited and sure enough, it evened out. The peppery notes were hanging on, and the whole cigar in general had smoothed out and become more mellow. The ash had darkened and become a bit flaky; however, it hung on a lot better than before. Towards the 1.5 inch remaining mark, it began to get bitter, and I put it out at that point.

Final verdict: cedar and pepper notes, with a sweetness that coats the palate. Bitter end, and a few burn problems. Overall, not too bad. 80/100

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hoyo De Monterrey-Dark Sumatra

Brand-Hoyo De Monterrey
Blend-Dark Sumatra
Vitola-Espresso (4.5x50)
Paired With-Coke
TV/Movie-The Detonators

I received this cigar in a trade with one of my fellow Redditors. It came wrapped in a cedar spill, which was a very nice touch and one of my favourite additions to a cigar. It had been aging in my humidor for about a month and a half. I chose to cut this cigar with my standard V-Cutter. Upon lighting, an immediate spice met my palate, which fade after a few draws into heavy wood overtones.

The burn got a bit off kilter at the very beginning, but after about half an inch, it was as straight as a razor. The ash was a medium gray. A gripe that I had about this smoke was that it did not give off  a lot of smoke, but that did not ruin the experience for me. After about an inch, new hints of cocoa and sweet cinnamon come into play, which are very enjoyable. There is still a very solid taste of cedar, but it is not overpowering.

The ash was still holding on throughout the 1.5 inch mark. The spice returns for the second third, something I was not expecting. Right after I tasted that, the ash fell; it hung on for longer than I thought it would. Espresso hints creep into the stick as well. The burn started to be a little cockeyed as well, but nothing too bad, as it kept correcting itself. Cocoa flavours get much stronger towards the nub. An inch left on this cigar, it starts to burn a touch hot. I put it out at that point.

Final verdict: some tasty cocoa notes, with very prominent wood and cedar notes. A few burn issues, but nothing to be too concerned about. All and all, a fairly good cigar. 85/100