Sunday, November 26, 2017

Caldwell Midnight Express Robusto 11/26/17


 Appearance
A chocolate brown colored wrapper with plenty of mottling. The seams are wrapped tight but are visible due to the mottling.
There is a lot of oil sheen on this cigar. The filler bunch is well packed but there are a few soft spots.

Aroma
Earthy, fruity, cedar and very faint spice on the wrapper. Fruity, raisiny, cedar and spice.

Prelight Draw
Earthy, fruity, raisin, molasses, cedar and spice.

1st
The initial draws bring notes of molasses and espresso an interesting mix. There is a tiny bit of spice in the background. The ash is medium gray and fairly tight with a little flake. The draw & burn are spot on. The spice is tasting like a warm Pimenton(Spanish Paprika). The ash held on til removal but was looking very suspect.

2nd
There is a faint cocoa powder note bringing even more sweetness to the molasses notes. The smoke is at the high range. The finish is long with notes of earth, molasses, espresso, cocoa powder and a warm Spanish paprika.

Final/3rd
The earthy, molasses, espesso, cocoa powder and warm Spanish paprika flavors continue into the final/3rd. The burn gets a bit uneven due to the Ligero cone being off center. The profile remains consistent right to the nub.

Overall
The Caldwell Midnight Express Robusto provides a very enjoyable smoking experience. A very flavorful profile with a perfect draw and burn til the final3rd when the burn was a bit uneven.

La Barba Red Corona 11/25/17


 Appearance
A medium brown colored wrapper with a couple prominent veins. The seams are tight. There is a nice oily sheen on the wrapper. Filler bunch is well packed with no apparent soft spots.

Aroma
Barnyard, dry hay, toast and mild cinnamon spice on the wrapper. Barnyard and spice at the foot.

Prelight Draw
Dried fruit, cedar and cinnamon spice.

1st
The initial draws bring notes of cedar with a pinch of citrus. The ash is medium gray and stacked with a little flake. Burn is a bit wavy and the draw is a tic or 2 on the snug side. With the help of simple physics the burn line has self corrected. The ash seems to be tightening up. Cinnamon spice notes are beginning to join in the profile.

2nd
The dried fruit and citrus notes come together nicely to cleanse the palate. Some crushed red pepper notes join the profile. Draw opens up. Strength is at medium+. Smoke production is at the medium range. A dark roast coffee note joins the profile. The finish is long with notes of cedar, dried fruit, citrus, dark roast coffee and a cinnamon/red pepper spice combo. Burn goes off 10* due to a small tunnel on the side.

Final/3rd
Burn begins to self correct and is quickly at a small wave. The coffee notes become more prominent with a dash of black pepper. The black pepper takes over the profile, fortunately it’s at the nub.

Overall
The La Barba Red Corona provides an enjoyable smoking experience. A flavorful and very complex profile, changing up the flavors right up to the nub. The draw was good once it opened up and the burn was mildly erratic.

The T Robusto by Booth, Caldwell and AJ Fernandez 11/24/17


 Appearance
A dark chocolate colored wrapper with a couple small veins on an otherwise silky wrapper. If not for a little bit of mottling the seams might be invisible. There is a light oil sheen on the wrapper. Filler bunch is well packed with no apparent soft spots.

Aroma
Earth, cedar and soft leather on the wrapper. Earth, cedar, soft leather and a hint of spice at the foot.

Prelight Draw
Cedar, earth and spice

1st
The initial draws bring notes of very earthy cedar. The ash is salt&pepper gray and stacked. Draw is perfect. Burn has a very slight wave.

2nd
Strength is at medium+. A nice creamy dark chocolate note joins the profile. Burn line is now razor sharp. The finish is long with notes of cedar, earth, dark chocolate and a cinnamon/black pepper spice combo with a soft leather texture. Smoke production is at the high range.

Final/3rd
Strength moves to med/full.
The black pepper is beginning to dominate the profile and continues to dominate right to the nub.

Overall
The T Robusto by Booth, Caldwell and AJ Fernandez provides an enjoyable smoking experience for the 1st 2/3’s of the cigar. A flavorful and well balanced profile (1st 2/3’s) with a near perfect burn and perfect draw.

The Late Hour Winston Churchill Robusto by Davidoff 11/23/17


 Appearance
A dark chocolate brown colored wrapper with a couple of prominent veins. The seams are tightly wrapped. The filler bunch is well packed with no apparent soft spots. A very light oil sheen is evident.
The bands are very attractive with great color contrast.

Aroma
Barnyard and a hint of spice on the wrapper. Aged tobacco at the foot.

Prelight Draw
Dried fruit sweetness, cedar and a hint of spice.

1st
Initial draws bring notes of cedar and a faint spice in the background. It has a very leathery texture. The draw is effortless, the burn is razor sharp. The ash is salt&pepper gray and stacked with a little flake. Dark roast coffee notes join the profile. Strength is already at medium+.

2nd
The smoke production is at the high end of medium range. The spice notes have become more prominent as black pepper. Halfway into the 2nd/3rd some sugary sweet notes join the profile and help to balance out the black pepper notes. The finish is long with notes of cedar, dark roast coffee, sugary sweetness, black pepper spice and a leathery texture.

Final/3rd
Strength moves to med/full.
Draw & burn are still spot on. Flavor profile remains consistent right to the nub.

Overall
The Late Hour Winston Churchill Robusto by Davidoff provides an enjoyable smoking experience. A well balanced and flavorful profile with an effortless draw and razor sharp burn.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Highclere Castle Corona by Foundation Cigar 11/19/17


 Appearance
A beautiful tan Ecuadoran Connecticut shade grown wrapper with a few prominent veins. The seams are visible but tight and well rolled. Very light oil sheen. Filler bunch is well packed with no apparent soft spots. Attractive band with great color contrast.

Aroma
Cedar, caramel and spice on the wrapper. A little dry tobacco and some spice at the foot.

Prelight Draw
Tangy citrus, cedar, caramel, cayenne pepper spice.

1st
Initial draws bring notes of tangy citrus and cedar with a mild red pepper spice. Draw is perfect and the burn is spot on so far as well. The ash is salt&pepper gray and stacked. Midway in the 1st a caramel sweetness joins the profile and the red pepper spice moves up a tick on the heat scale.

2nd
Ash held firm till removal at start of 2nd/3rd. On the working end the Ligero cone is dead center and no tunnels hence the perfect burn line. Smoke production is at the medium range. The spice becomes like cayenne pepper. Strength which started at medium moves to med/full. The finish is long with notes of tangy citrus, cedar, caramel and cayenne pepper spice with a bit of a leathery texture.

Final/3rd
A mild creamy cashew note joins the profile. Burn & draw are still perfect. The well balanced and flavorful profile carries through to the nub.

Overall
The Highclere Castle Corona by Foundation Cigar provides a very enjoyable smoking experience. A well balanced, complex and flavorful profile with a perfect draw and burn.
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A bit pricey at $11.95 for a Corona but definitely worthy of a spot in my humi.

Fratello Navetta Endeavor Toro 11/18/17


 Appearance
The bands are beautiful! Clean with nice contrast.
After removing the large foot band I inspect the cigar. A beautiful dark chocolate colored Ecuadoran Oscuro wrapper with several prominent veins and a good amount of tooth.
The seams are well wrapped but visible.
The wrapper has a nice oily sheen.
The filler is well bunched with no apparent soft spots.

Aroma
Very earthy, cedar and a hint of spice on the wrapper. Cedar and sweetness at the foot.

Prelight Draw
Baking chocolate, espresso and nutmeg spice

1st
The initial draws are rich and thick with chocolate and espresso. There is also a sugary/candy type of sweetness under the chocolate and espresso. The spice starts out as a mild nutmeg spice. Strength is medium+ already. The ash is medium gray and stacked. Draw and burn are spot on. Smoke production is at the high range. The nutmeg spice gets warmer and bolder.

2nd
Strength climbs to med/full. Almond notes join the profile. Burn and draw still spot on. The finish is long with notes of earth, chocolate, espresso, almond, an underlying sugary/candy sweetness and warm nutmeg spice. The ash tightens up to about 3 nickels between stack lines. A perfect amount of pectin glue allows for perfect band removal. The blend is very creamy late in the 2nd/3rd.

Final/3rd
The Navetta is very well balanced throughout. There is a dash of crushed red pepper joining the profile. The espresso notes become double espresso. Burn & Draw are perfect right to the nub.

Overall
The Fratello Navetta Endeavor Toro provides a very enjoyable smoking experience. A very rich, complex, well balanced and flavorful profile with a great draw and burn.
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Another homerun by Omar @FratelloCigars




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Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Toro by Drew Estate 11/12/17


 Appearance
A milk chocolate colored wrapper with a couple prominent veins. The seams are tightly wrapped. There is a very light oil sheen. The filler bunch is well packed with no apparent soft spots.

Aroma
Cedar with a touch of sweetness on the wrapper. Cedar, graham cracker and a hint of spice at the foot.

Prelight Draw
Cedar, vanilla, leather, bourbon and a bit of cinnamon spice.

1st
The initial draws bring notes of cedar, charred oak and cinnamon spice. The draw is a bit snug(feeling it in my cheeks right away). The burn has a slight wave. The ash is medium gray and mostly tight. The profile is very sweet. After removing the ash and inspecting the working end, I notice a tiny tunnel at the center.

2nd
The draw opens up immediately and with it comes increased smoke production now at the high end of medium range. Strength is a solid medium+. The ash gets a little flaky. The finish is long and sweet which no doubt comes from aging the wrapper in bourbon barrels. Smoke production is at the low end of high. Burn line is nearly perfect. The profile becomes a little more leathery than sweet just past the midway point of the cigar.

Final/3rd
The sweetness comes back into balance with the cedar, charred oak, leather and cinnamon spice. A 1/2” into the final/3rd the cinnamon spice becomes warm. Profile continues well balanced right to the nub.

Overall
The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Toro by Drew Estate provides a very enjoyable smoking experience. A very flavorful and well balanced profile with a good burn and draw.

An interesting story behind this blend. When Willy Herrera was interviewing for the “Master Blender” job he created 3 blends. The Herrera Esteli blend was chosen and he got the job. This blend was one of the other 2 that they set aside for future release.
The folks at Pappy Van Winkle wanted a cigar to launch to pair with their Bourbon. This is the blend they chose.
Well done Willy!
It is a bit pricey at $26.00 per cigar but it is right in line with the Pappy Van Winkle brand.