Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nice Article, Cigar Scholar!

I read this rant from Cigar Scholar a while ago in Cigar Aficionado "letters" section, and it stuck in my mind ever since. Nice work, Cigar Scholar! I agree with you totally.

How many articles can a man be expected to read about golf, swiss watches, online gambling, and more golf? An endless number, apparently. And the celebrity interviews are conducted at about a 7th grade level.

I also love the fact the five over-entitled bald guys can make or break a cigar brand based on their dubious palates. By dubious I mean, half the cigars they love are just awful dogs. Yes, it's subjective. Yes, no two people are alike. Exactly my point.

One thing I concede: Their cigar reviews are pithy and creative. How many flavors can YOU taste in a cigar? Blueberry? Birch? Teakwood? Lets face it, there are 5 or 6 basic types of cigars, with minor variations in between and the occasional wacko from Drew Estate. Once in a while a cigar tastes really different - but jeeze not all 75 cigars in the issue! Oh well, its fun and I keep buying the magazine like a sucker. Love-hate, like the Scholar says...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Casa Magna Colorado gran toro

The Casa Magna Colorado robusto won first place in Cigar Aficionado's "Best Cigars of 2008" and I've been wanting to try one ever since.

Unfortunately my local cigar shop has only the "gran toro" size, not the robusto. The Casa Magna Colorado gran toro is an adequate full-bodied cigar with a pleasing coffee flavor, but leaves me less than awed. Though well-balanced, it lacks complexity and remains static with little or no development through the ample 90-minute duration. The last third really shouldn't have been smoked. (I don't expect all cigars to deliver all the way to the nub, but it's a nice perk if they do).

On the whole the Case Magna Colorado gran toro is a straightforward full-strength experience, as good as some of the darker (and more expensive) Rocky Patels and Montecristos I've smoked, and much better than the 5-Vegas AAA (which has similar flavor characteristics but runs toward the bitter).

I would still like to try the Casa Magna robusto and hopefully I will find one without having to buy a whole box.

For those of you who have tried the fabulous Casa Magna petite corona  (i.e. the "Pikito") be forewarned that the gran toro has little in common with it. It's as if the two cigars were made with completely different tobaccos, though I'm guessing a subtle variation in the blend alone might account for it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brick House robusto

So I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll... No, I'm not about to tear down this nice flavorful Nicaraguan Puro with a searing review that takes Cigar Aficionado to task for giving it a #17 ranking in its list of the best cigars of 2010.

No need to do that, because the Brick House robusto is indeed a well-constructed medium-bodied cigar with a slightly wheaty, earthy flavor (at times) and an occasional rich moment that uplifts you and makes you hope it will continue that way to the nub (which it doesn't).

I paid less than 7 bucks for this in a cigar shop, which is mighty economical in my highly-taxed region. Because of this, I grudgingly concede that the Aficionados were onto something.

This stick burns well and holds its flavor consistently. However, it wasn't strong enough, rich enough, or complex enough for me to want to buy again. After the halfway mark, it lost a lot of steam, which is the opposite of what I look for as I smoke--namely more steam, full speed ahead.

To my mind, this is not "best cigar of the year" material. But that's just me. Maybe you'll love it, like so many other reviewers have of late. It is not a dog, and worth trying if you like medium strength.