Thursday, September 24, 2009

Camacho 1962 Lonsdale - Adequate at Best

Not much to say about this cigar. It has a good light, burn and draw, and brings occasional flavors of robust wood and earth for a nice quick 45 minutes. For a narrow-ring cigar, it produces a hefty and satisfying volume of smoke. However it is a bit on the dry side, and veers into bitterness now and then. Not the Camacho you dream of.

If you manage to win a 5-pack of these on for 7 bucks, like I did, consider yourself well-served. But do NOT pay full price expecting a luxurious smoke. It's just not there. Great for doing yardwork or snarfing down in your car with the top down. Or whiling away an hour in the garage on a rainy day.

For a much better lonsdale-sized Camacho, try the corojo cetros.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Perfection: Padron 1964 Maduro Imperial

What a difference a shade makes! About a year ago I wrote a negative review of the Padron 1964 Imperial (natural) which drew several comments along the lines of "are you out of your frigging mind -- this is a great cigar!" Well, that was a natural, and I stand by my word.

Now for the maduro. This is, simply put, one of the finest cigars you will ever smoke. If you like maduro flavor and medium-to-strong intensity, you will not find a smoother, finer burning, more perfect drawing, cloud-of-smoke-producing pleasure stick. The flavor is rich and, although not especially tantalizing at first, soon develops very pleasing characters of nuttiness, wood, chocolate and spice which peak in the middle and continue to the very last inch.

This cigar is extremely expensive ($14 per stick online, last time I checked -- assuming you can actually find it in stock anywhere) but in this case you are actually getting the perfection that the extra dollars imply. Very few expensive cigars live up to their hype.

Padron, I'm a believer. Maduro, that is. Black gold. Superstar.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Don Pepin Garcia Blue Generosos

After having smoked two of the Don Pepin Garcia Blue Generosos (toro) I can understand why people go ape-wild over this strong and flavorful cigar, which is apparently wrapped in dark corojo but tastes more like a sweeter maduro.

My main complaint is that it is rolled rather tightly, limiting the fullness and making you work hard for the flavor. Some people like drawing hard on a cigar; I don't.

For a similar-tasting Pepin cigar with an easier draw, I'd recommend the 5 Vegas Miami Churchill or torpedo. The 5 V Miami line is substantially cheaper and, to my taste, just as good and maybe even better than the Blue.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good Affordable Perdomo: Reserve Limited Oscuro "E"

It is always refreshing to find a cigar in the lower price range that smokes well and tastes great. The Perdomo Limited Edition Oscuro "E" (toro sized) fits the bill, and is available in boxes for around $60. You can also try it in singles that often go on auction at I won mine for $3.00 and it was worth every penny.

If you're a fan of Perdomo Lot 23 maduros, you will probably like the Oscuro, which is a darker, heavier cigar with a firm yet not prohibitive draw. Typically I prefer an easier draw but in this case the firmness works, allowing for a slower intake of dense, tangy smoke with predominantly hardwood flavors and a dollop of fruitiness - cherry comes to mind.

This cigar performed well from beginning to end, leaving this world as a tiny, stubby nub. I look forward to trying other sizes in this line.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Plugged 5 Vegas Miami Toro

It's always a downer when you light up a well-regarded cigar only to find it's thick as a brick and tighter than a nun's habit.

The single 5 Vegas Miami toro in my possession (which I won at cigarbid several weeks ago) turned out to be completely plugged and unsmokeable. I was really looking forward to it, considering how pleasurable the other sizes have been, especially the wonderfully complex and tasty Miami Churchill.

I can only hope the poor construction of this stick was an anomalie. If you've had similar experiences I'd like to know. Can I count on the 5-V Miami toro or is cramped rolling/plugging going to be a recurring theme?


Friday, September 4, 2009

A surprisingly decent mild: Tierra del Sol Maduro robusto

In a reckless move to "offset the shipping charges" after winning an expensive 5-pack of Rocky Patels at, I bid a lousy 5 bucks on several five-packs of "Tierra del Sol" maduros. This is Perdomo's super cheapo line, and both the naturals and the maduros are described in promotional blurbs as "mild but flavorful."

Not being a mild fanatic, I was skeptical, especially after learning I'd won 15 of these bargain-basement stogies. No need to kick myself however, because these are decent smokes, and about as good as you can hope to get in mild. Good because they are maduros, so they actually have some body and flavor (unlike your run-of-the-mill Connecticut-shade snorers).

As a lover of full-powered cigars who's had my share of jitters after lighting up a Camacho after breakfast, I would highly recommend trying a Tierra del Sol maduro instead. Think of it as a "morning cigar" that won't leave you bouncing off the walls.

You will find hints of flavor reminiscent of Lot 23 maduros and 826 Slow-Aged maduros. The Tierra del Sol is a mere shadow or ghost of those cigars, admittedly, but no one promised you anything more.

Worth a buck a stick if you can get it that cheap. I'll hang on to a few of these for those rare occasions when low-wattage appeals, and give the rest to my mild-loving friends for Christmas.