Sunday, October 1, 2017

Undercrown Sungrown Gran Toro 10/1/17


 Appearance
A beautiful dark and somewhat rough looking cigar with only 1 prominent vein. Seams are tight & cap is well done. It has a nice oily sheen. Filler bunch is well packed with no apparent soft spots.

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

Prelight Draw
Earth, cedar, sugary sweetness and spice.

1st
Initial draws bring notes of earth, cedar and spice in bold fashion. The draw is a bit snug. The burn is perfect. There are candy sweet notes joining the profile. The spice so far is a mix of warm cinnamon and a pinch of black pepper. The ash is light gray and tight. About an inch in the black pepper tapers back a bit. Ash dropped at 1 1/4”. Burn is off by 11*. The sweet notes have tapered off. With the help of simple physics the burn is self correcting, only to get a bit erratic due to a couple tunnels and the Ligero cone being off center.

2nd
Smoke production is in the medium range. The finish is long with notes of earth, cedar and warm cinnamon spice with a pinch of black pepper. Tunnels are gone and burn has fully self corrected. Draw has opened up nicely. Smoke production is at the high end of medium. Strength and body are at medium. The Ligero cone is split by two 1/4” tunnels at the center but the burn is still good. The flavor profile is consistent with notes of cedar & earth with warm cinnamon spice and a pinch of black pepper spice. Just past halfway in the 2nd/3rd the black pepper moves from a pinch to a dash.

Final/3rd
The black pepper increases again to a full note, beginning to overpower the rest of the blend. After about a dozen draws the black pepper fades into balance with the rest of the profile. Some of the candy sweetness re-emerges and remains right to the nub.

Overall
The Undercrown Sungrown Gran Toro provides a mostly enjoyable smoking experience. A flavorful profile through the first 2/3’s gets overpowered by black pepper notes in the final/3rd. The draw & burn were good after the halfway point of the cigar. If you’re a fan of black pepper you will probably enjoy this cigar. Not in my wheelhouse. Available wherever Drew Estate products are sold.

Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed Toro 9/24/17

 
Appearance 
A beautiful Habano Oscuro wrapper with a couple prominent veins. The seams are tightly wrapped and difficult to spot. There is a nice oily sheen. The cigar is well packed with no apparent soft spots. The bands are quite attractive and contrast nicely. 

Aroma 
Earth and spice on the wrapper. Earth and spice at the foot.

Prelight Draw 
Earth, molasses, dried red fruit and cinnamon spice.

1st
The initial draws bring notes of earth and cedar with a pinch of cinnamon spice. The ash is medium gray and stacked. The draw is perfect and the burn has a slight wave. Strength is a solid medium but leaning to medium+. As I was holding the cigar over the ashtray and rotating to inspect the erratic burn line at 1 1/2" in, the ash dropped. I notice a couple of tunnels on the faster burning side.

2nd
A creamy espresso note joins the profile. The subtle sweetness of dried fruit joins the flavor profile. With the help of simple physics the burn line quickly self corrects. The finish is long with notes of earth, cedar, creamy espresso, dried fruit and cinnamon spice. 

Final/3rd
Flavor remains consistent into the final/3rd and all the way to the nub. Strength finished at medium+. 

Overall
The Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed Toro provides an enjoyable smoking experience. A very flavorful and well balanced profile with a perfect draw and mildly erratic burn. Definitely one of the best Davidoff's I've had.
 
 

Por Larrañaga Robusto (DR) new blend 9/23/17

 
Appearance 
A light brown colored wrapper with a couple prominent veins. There is  a bit of mottling as well. The seams are tight. It has a nice oily sheen. The filler is very firmly packed with no apparent soft spots. 

Aroma 
Barnyard, hay and a hint of spice on the wrapper. Cedar, hay at the foot.

Prelight Draw 
Dried fruit, cedar, hay and a mild spice. 

1st
Initial draws bring notes of cedar and hay. There is just a faint bit of spice on the tongue and palate. The draw is perfect. The burn is off slightly. Smoke production is medium. The ash is light gray and mostly tight with a little flake. The spice is developing into a nutmeg. 

2nd
The cigar has that DR Signature flavor note. Some call it a twang but definitely DR. Some nutty notes join the palate. Strength is a solid medium. The wrapper develops a couple vertical cracks. Burn is still erratic due to a tunnel at the center. 

Final/3rd
With the help of simple physics the burn self corrects just into the final/3rd. Flavor profile remains consistent through to the nub. 

Overall
The Por Larrañaga Robusto provides a somewhat enjoyable smoking experience. A consistent flavor profile with a great draw and erratic burn. 
This is a new Dominican version of an age old Cuban brand. I still favor the Cuban version which is typical of Dominican made versions of Cuban brands.
 
 

Kristoff TAA 49 Salamon 9/17/17

 
Appearance 
A dark brown colored wrapper with several prominent veins. The wrapper has some mottling but the tightly wrapped seams are difficult to spot at first glance. It has a little bit of tooth as well as a nice oily sheen.

Aroma 
Heavy barnyard, earth, cedar and dried fruit sweetness on the wrapper. Foot is almost closed. 

Prelight Draw 
Very sweet dried fruit, cedar, a hint of metallic and spice.

1st
The initial draws bring notes of cedar, faint dried fruit and a combination of spices like cinnamon, black pepper and crushed red pepper all in equal parts. The ash is salt&pepper gray and stacked with a little flake. Draw & burn are spot on. Some mild espresso notes have joined the profile. Burn develops a slight wave late in the 1st/3rd.

2nd
Upon inspection of the foot after removing the ash I observe the Ligero cone is off center. Hence the wave. The strength is medium. Smoke production is at the low end of medium. About 1/2" in to 2nd/3rd the cone is at center and burn self corrects. The finish is long with notes of cedar, dried fruit, espresso and the spice combo. 

Final/3rd
Starting the final/3rd the burn & draw are still spot on. The strength has moved up to medium+. The flavor profile remains consistent right to the nub. 

Overall 
The Kristoff TAA 49 Salamon provides an enjoyable smoking experience. A very well balanced and flavorful profile with a great draw and burn. It's available at TAA shops nationwide. 
Well done Glen @GlenCase brand owner of @kristoff_cigars
 
 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Monte by Monte/AJ Fernandez Toro 9/16/17

 
Appearance 
A beautiful dark milk chocolate colored wrapper with a couple prominent veins. The wrapper does have a little mottling, making one of the seams not covered by a band visible. The seams are tightly wrapped with the exception of a small portion of the cap. The mostly matte finish wrapper leaf appears to be soaked in oil(yes that's a good thing). The filler is well packed with no apparent soft spots. The bands are very attractive with great contrasting colors.

Aroma
Earthy, sweet on the wrapper. Earth, cedar and sweetness with a faint hint of spice at the foot.

Prelight Draw 
Earthy, spicy, cedar and dried red fruit.

1st
The initial draws bring notes of earthy cedar and spiced espresso. The draw is just a tiny bit snug but I'm confident it will open up. The burn is mostly straight with a slight wave. The ash is light gray and mostly tight. At the 1 1/2" point the draw opens up nicely. Strength is at medium+ already. 

2nd
After removing the ash and inspecting the working end I notice the Ligero cone is off center causing the uneven burn. Smoke production is in the medium range. The finish is long with notes of earth, cedar, red fruity sweetness, espresso and  a nutmeg/warm cinnamon spice. The burn line is self correcting as the cone gets closer to center where it belongs. Dark chocolate notes join the profile. Strength moves to med/full. 

Final/3rd
Rolling into the final/3rd there are creamy cashew notes joining the profile. Now that the cone is dead center the burn is spot on and the smoke production picks up to the low end of high. Strength is at full. Great flavor right to the nub. 

Overall 
The Monte by Montecristo and AJ Fernandez provides a very enjoyable smoking experience. A very flavorful profile with nice complexity. Finally a non Cuban Montecristo that I enjoy. 
 
 

The Last Tsar Churchill by Caldwell Cigars 9/10/17

 
Appearance 
A reddish brown colored wrapper with a couple prominent veins. The seams are mostly tight. There is a bit of mottling as well as some tooth. There is a nice oily sheen covering the cigar. The filler is well packed with no soft spots. 

Aroma 
Barnyard, cedar and sweetness on the wrapper. The same at the foot.

Prelight Draw 
Cedar, molasses, black licorice and spice

1st
The initial draws bring notes of cedar with a pinch of molasses sweetness and a dash of warm spice. The draw is just a tiny bit snug. The burn has a small wave. The ash is salt&pepper gray and stacked. Burn gets really erratic, about 60* and the ash curls in 2 different directions. I begin implementing simple physics immediately. Upon removal of the very suspect ash at the end of the 1st I inspect the working end and find 3 tunnels and the cone off to one side causing the erratic burn. 

2nd
Self correction continues and is down to 30*. Smoke production is at the high end of medium. The finish is long with notes of cedar, molasses, black licorice and red pepper spice with a dash of black pepper. The draw has opened up nicely. Ash has been very flaky. Late in the 2nd the burn has fully self corrected. Some nutty notes join the profile. 

Final/3rd
Flavor profile remains consistent into the final/3rd. Light coffee notes join the profile. Strength remained medium+ til now when it moves to med/full. 

Overall
The Last Tsar Churchill by Caldwell Cigars provides a moderately enjoyable smoking experience. With a nice flavor profile, good draw and erratic burn. A bit pricy for what it delivered. 
 
 

Guardian Of The Farm Apollo by Warped Cigars and Casa Fernandez Lonsdale 9/9/17

 
Appearance 
A light brown colored wrapper with a couple of thin veins. The seams are tightly wrapped and difficult to find. It also has a good amount of tooth. The cigar has a very light oil sheen.

Aroma 
Cedar, leather and a hint of spice on the wrapper. Closed foot.

Prelight Draw 
Cedar, dried fruit, leather, graham cracker and a mild spice.

1st
The initial draws bring notes of cedar, leather and a mild cinnamon spice. There is a pinch of salt joining the profile. The draw is perfect and the burn is spot on as well. The ash is medium gray, stacked and a little flaky. 

2nd
The strength & body are in the medium range. Smoke production is low. The profile has a creamy texture. About the midway point dried fruit notes join the profile. The burn gets a bit erratic around the midway point as well. The finish is long with notes of cedar, light earth, mild dried fruit and cinnamon spice. Smoke production bumps up to medium. The burn fully self corrects late in the 2nd/3rd. 

Final/3rd
The cigar has been on the dry side on the palate causing me to sip water continually to moisten the palate. The spice becomes more like a crushed red pepper. The burn gets a bit erratic again due to a couple small tunnels. A very light coffee note joins the profile while most of the sweetness fades. Flavor remains consistent to the nub.

Overall
The Guardian Of The Farm  Apollo Lonsdale provides an enjoyable smoking experience. A nice albeit dry flavor profile with a great draw and mildly erratic burn. The cigar is a collaboration from Warped  Cigars and Casa Fernandez.