Monday, March 29, 2010

Cu-Avana Intenso Gordo

The Cu-Avana Intenso gordo is a tasty, medium-bodied fat Rothschilde (4.5 x 54) with a lot of strightforward sweet/salty maduro flavor that maintains peak form until the last third. Even though you won't be nubbing this one, it's an excellent value for the money (I won a 5-pack for $7 on cigarbid) and a great way to spend 30 or 40 minutes. Just throw away the last third and go on about your business.

I find the gordo more sophisticated and enjoyable than the robusto. You'll be tempted to walk away from the robusto before it's done (too much power, too little nuance) but you'll wish the Gordo kept going longer - nice rushes of flavor and fullness up until the draw gets spotty and bitterness sets in.

Both these vitolas are excellent if you know what to expect and pick the right size for your mood.

Monday, March 15, 2010

La Flor Dominicana Ligero L-250 Oscuro

Wow, what an incredible little cigar! If you love the double ligero chiselito maduros, this cigar is very much like it, without the gimmicky duck-bill "chisel head." The leathery hickory flavor is in full evidence, the nice powdery mouth-feel is there, the draw is full, and the smoke is cooler than you'd expect in a petite corona.

This one smokes a bit sweeter than the chiselito, and demands patience, especially as you smoke it down toward the nub. I smoked it too fast at the end and got some bitter moments in the last third. That was my fault: If I had slowed down and waited another 30 seconds between puffs, it probaby would have been fine.

I smoked this in a fairly stiff breeze while manning the barbecue. I can only imagine the robust experience this would provide in a tranquil, wind-free environment.

It's not a cheap little cigar, but it's a good one.

Another overpriced Graycliff: Turbo

The Graycliff Turbo (6 x 60 fat torpedo) is a strong but relatively flavorless cigar. It burns and draws well. It has a few bitter moments after the midpoint, and gets repetitive and boring in the last third. Definitely not a "nubber."

That's about all I can say for it. Nothing special and not worth spending a lot of money - certainly not the 10 bucks it retails for on the web. I would compare its flavor to Padilla Achilles, 5 Vegas cask strength II (but weaker), or a very inferior second cousin to Pepin Garcia Series JJ.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Indian Tabac Classic Teepee

Another cheapo winner from Rocky Patel. This fat, easy-drawing corojo is called a "teepee" but unlike the maduro teepees, the shape is actually a large (6 inch long) torpedo.

Flavor, burn and draw are excellent and identical to the arrow (robusto). A most satisfying smoke, especially if you don't puff too fast. If you like corojos and appreciate Indian Tabac in general, you will not be disappointed. Take your time and let it burn cool.

I won a five-pack of these for only 5 bucks. The quality-to-price ratio of this brand continues to amaze me. I've paid three times as much for lousier smokes.

Padilla Miami torpedo

It's surprising how much different the Padilla Miami torpedo is from the Churchill, a fine-burning, noble cigar.

In short, the torpedo is a disappointment. It looks, feels and smokes like a completely different blend. The wrapper is lighter in color (a rather pukish brown) and smooth rather than toothy. Nor does the torpedo have any of the enjoyable flavor characteristics of the Churchill. The one I smoked burned hot, was constructed poorly (soft spots, jagged burn) and was just a lousy, disappointing blob that slowy unraveled in my fingertips. I didn't even bother trying to smoke the last third.

The Padilla Miami Churchill is a great specimen. Just don't bother with the torpedo.

Jericho torpedo

I know this brand has disappeared from the market but I just wanted to comment on the torpedo, a fine smoke very similar in character to the robusto which I reviewed a couple years ago; however the torpedo is a bit fuller and stronger.

These cigars age very well, developing a faint underlying sweetness below the full-bodied strength you expect from a Camacho. The draw and construction are perfect. Cigar performs well all the way to the nub.

Jericho was something unusual: A high-quality, low-price Camacho line, the likes of which we will probably never see again.