Sunday, April 23, 2017

Psyko7 Connecticut Robusto 4/23/17

 
Appearance 
The light brown colored wrapper has a couple prominent veins but has a silky looking finish. The seams are tight. There is a light oil sheen and a small amount of tooth. The filler is well packed with no soft spots. 

Aroma 
Hay, cedar on the wrapper. Hay, oats, sweetness and a hint of cinnamon spice.

Prelight Draw 
Cedar, graham cracker, marshmallows and spice.

1st
Initial draws are very sweet. Along with notes of cedar there are some light hay notes. There is a tiny bit of spice developing. The ash is light gray and flaky. It has a smooth almost effortless draw and the burn is spot on. Strength is edging up from mild to medium. 

2nd
The ash gets tighter with almost no flake. The spice becomes like allspice. The strength kept moving right through medium to medium+. Smoke production is medium. The spice becomes more like a paprika. The finish is long with notes of cedar, graham cracker, marshmallow and paprika spice. The ash holds firm til removal at each 3rd. 

Final/3rd
The spice begins to dominate the flavor profile. The other flavors are still present on the finish. 

Overall
The Psyko7 Connecticut Robusto provides an enjoyable smoking experience. A mildly flavorful profile with a perfect burn and draw. The balance is spot on till the final/3rd. 
Thank you to Rachel from marketing at @VenturaCigarCo for the samples for review.

 




 

 

 

 

All Out Kings The 4th Pose 4/22/17

 
Appearance 
A very attractive dark brown Belicoso with a couple prominent veins. The seams are tightly rolled with the slight mottling making them apparent. It's a very oily wrapper with a lot of tooth. The filler bunch is well packed with no soft spots. 

Aroma 
Earthy, cocoa, cedar on the wrapper. Earthy, cedar, sweetness and a hint of spice at the foot.

Prelight Draw 
Very sweet, molasses, brown sugar, earth and cinnamon. 

1st
The initial draws are earthy with cedar and cinnamon notes alongside. A very leathery texture becomes very apparent. The draw is good and the burn is off by 45*. The ash is a medium to dark gray, tight on the slower burning side and flaky on the faster burning side. There is a black pepper presence but it's balanced by the brown sugar. By the end of the 1st/3rd the burn has self corrected to 22* with the application of basic physics. The ash was very strong when I removed.

2nd
The strength is medium+. Smoke production is in the high range. The ash is getting lighter. The finish is long with notes of earth, leather, cedar, brown sugar, black pepper and cinnamon spice. Observation of the working end of the cigar, the cone(Ligero) is off center and combined with a few tiny tunnels are responsible for the uneven burn line. 

Final/3rd
The burn has almost fully self corrected at the start of the final/3rd. The cinnamon spice becomes warm cinnamon and balances the black pepper halfway through the final/3rd. The burn has fully self corrected at the midway point as well. 

Overall 
The All Out Kings 4th Pose Belicoso provides an enjoyable smoking experience. A consistent flavor profile with a good draw. The All Out Kings is a collaboration from Caldwell, Jonathan Drew and Willie Herrera.
 
 
 

Diamond Crown Black Diamond Radiant 4/16/17

 
Appearance 
A dark chocolate colored wrapper with a few prominent veins. Seams are tight and you really have to search to find them. The cigar has a bit of tooth and a small amount of oil sheen. The filler is well packed with no soft spots. The band is beautiful with nice color contrast and an easy to read font. 

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

Prelight Draw 
Earth, black licorice, faint raisin, chocolate, cedar, spice.

1st
The initial draws bring deep earthy, bold cedar and a nice nutmeg spice notes to the palate. The texture is very chewy and is a trait of the Conn. Sungrown wrapper. The body and strength are in the med+ range. The draw is perfect. The burn is almost perfect with a couple small waves. There is a pinch of black pepper alongside some fruity sweet notes joining the profile. The ash is salt&pepper gray and stacked. There are some brown sugar notes joining in the profile. Ash held solid till removal.

2nd
Smoke production is at the low end of high. The balance of the profile is perfect with none of the flavors taking a dominant role. The finish is long with chewy notes of earth, cedar, chocolate, raisin, brown sugar, red fruit and nutmeg spice. The ash gets a bit flaky. The spice has transitioned to a nutmeg/cayenne pepper mix. Very tasty spice but well balanced in the profile. 

Final/3rd
A leathery texture joins the profile. The aforementioned flavors remain consistent through to the nub.

Overall
Diamond Crown Black Diamond Radiant provides a very enjoyable smoking experience. A very well balanced and flavorful profile with a perfect draw and slightly wavy burn.
 
 

Manuel Quesada 70 Toro 4/15/17

 
Appearance 
A beautiful chocolate colored wrapper with a few prominent veins. The seams are tightly wrapped. There is a nice oily sheen and a bit of tooth. The cigar is well packed with no soft spots.

Aroma 
Earthy, cedar on the wrapper. The same at the foot with a hint of spice. 

Prelight Draw 
Earth, cedar, dried red fruit, a hint of raisin and cinnamon spice.

1st 
Initial draws bring lots of cedar notes to the palate.  Very woody start. The spice starts to pinch the edges of the tongue. Ash is medium gray and flaky. Draw is spot on. Burn has a slight wave. Very woody with an earthy undertone. Burn is spot on at halfway in 1st/3rd. Removed the ash at 1 3/4" as it was looking suspect, revealing a double wide tunnel just off of center but I can see the end. 

2nd
The smoke production is at the high end of medium. The earthy notes fade a bit allowing the sweetness of the dried fruit to be more noticeable. Flavors are well balanced. The spice ramps up becoming like warm cinnamon. The tunnel caused the burn line to go off but it's already self correcting. 

Final/3rd
Smoke production is at the low end of high. Burn line is back to razor sharp. Strength and body are at medium. Good to the nub.

Overall 
The Manuel Quesada 70 Toro provides an enjoyable smoking experience. A consistent flavor profile with a nice draw and pretty good burn.
 
 
 

 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Havana Soul Maduro Toro 4/9/17

 
Appearance 
A dark chocolate colored wrapper with a couple prominent veins. The seams are tight and visible due to the mottling. There is a little tooth and a very minimal amount of oil sheen. It's a firm cigar well packed with filler and has a nice weight. 

Aroma 
Earthy, cedar, molasses on the wrapper. Chocolate, cedar and a faint hint of spice at the foot.

Prelight Draw 
Earth, molasses, plum, pomegranate and cinnamon/nutmeg spice.

1st
The initial draws are earthy and snug. The sweeter notes are in the background and come out in the finish which is long. There is a pinch of black pepper mixed in. The draw seems to be loosening and the burn line is off by 7*. The ash is light gray and mostly tight with a bit of flake. Burn moves to 10* off.

2nd
After removing the ash I see the culprit for the uneven burn, a tunnel 1/4" wide and the ligero(cone or slowest burning point) is off center where it should be. The smoke production is at the high end of medium. The tunnel is gone and the burn quickly self corrects. Strength is medium+. Burn and draw are now near perfect. The black pepper increases to a dash. The finish is long with notes of earth, cedar, molasses and a mild cinnamon spice with a dash of black pepper. The Ligero cone has moved to center where it belongs. 

Final/3rd
The spice becomes warm cinnamon with the black pepper fading to a pinch. The cinnamon is more like a paprika/crushed red pepper mix now. The rest of the flavors remained consistent thru to the nub.

Overall
The Havana Soul Maduro Toro provides an enjoyable smoking experience. The consistent profile is balanced and has complex spice notes throughout. 
The Havana Soul is made at AJ Fernandez.
Thank you to Kole from @cigarking for the sample for review.
 
 

Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua 5.5x54 4/8/16

 
Appearance 
The first thing I notice is the contrast between the colorful albeit cheap looking band and the dark wrapper leaf. The dark wrapper is quite attractive with very little in the way of veins. The seams are tight and only visible due to the slight mottling of the wrapper. It has an oily and toothy finish.

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

Prelight Draw 
Fruity, earthy, cocoa, cedar, salt.

1st
Initial draws bring leathery, earthy notes of cedar. There is a faint hint of spice that gets stronger into the finish. Some almond notes join the profile. A tunnel is causing a V shape on one side of the cigar. The draw is a bit snug. The burn is beginning to self correct. The ash is light gray and mostly tight with a little flake. Draw loosens up about an inch in. Some fruity notes appear late in the 1st/3rd. 

2nd
Interestingly it takes a few successive draws to get a good smoke production going. Upon removing the ash to start the 2nd/3rd I notice a huge tunnel(5/16" diameter) in line with the original one. Draw is snug again and doesn't produce much smoke. The burn issue has become more like a wide u shape. Midway in the 2nd the draw loosens up and smoke production increases. Burn line is about 60*. Some meaty notes join the profile. Strength moves to medium+. 

Final/3rd
Spice is a warm cinnamon. The tunnel ended up being about 5" in length. 

Overall 
The Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua provides a mildly enjoyable smoking experience. The flavorful and balanced profile were hard to focus on due to the poor construction. I have another and I'm hoping the next one provides a better experience.
 
 


 

Blind Man's Bluff Robusto 9/22/16

 
Appearance 
A medium brown wrapper with a few prominent veins. The seams are well rolled and tight. There is a nice oily sheen on the wrapper. 

Aroma 
Cedar, barnyard, spice and earth on the wrapper. Cedar, honey & earth at the foot.

Prelight Draw
Bready, cedar and a honey sweetness with a definite spicy kick.

1st
Initial draws bring notes of cedar, bread, honey sweetness and a warm cinnamon spice. Draw is perfect. Burn had a wave but is already self correcting. The bread is of the white variety as opposed to a wheat. The ash is medium gray and stacked. Strength is medium so far. Smoke production is in the medium+ range. 

2nd
Strength moves to medium+ to start the 2nd. Spice tapers off to a mild cinnamon. Burn has fully self corrected by midway in the 2nd. A nice creamy cashew joins the profile. The spice is headed back to warm cinnamon. 

Final/3rd
Strength is still medium+. Draw and burn are still spot on. Finish is long with cedar, bread, honey, cashews and warm cinnamon spice all well balanced. The flavor profile remains consistent through the final/3rd.
Overall the Blind Man's Bluff provides a very enjoyable smoking experience. A very flavorful and well balanced blend by Robert Caldwell @CaldwellCigars 
Check your local B&M and give it a go.