January 02, 2011

New Years, 2011

The New Year's weekend started off very nicely with temperatures in the mid-60's and clear blue sky.
It has been several weeks since I could attend to the yard so today was the day to play catch up! With the yard clean and groomed it was time for some cigar reviews. I made it back inside by halftime of the Clemson/South Florida game.

The cigars reviewed this weekend are:

  • Esteban Carreras Connecticut Toro
  • Arturo Fuente Casa Fuente Double Robusto 
  • Arturo Fuente Anejo Reserva #77, Shark

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Esteban Carreras Connecticut toro (6x52)

A nice looking, apparently well made cigar with a light Connecticut wrapper. I am fairly  unfamiliar with this brand so I am anxious to try the cigar. I received it from a Secret Santa swap that SocialCigar.com put on. I received some nice cigars from my Secret Santa and several that I will be reviewing.

The cigar started with light notes of cinnamon and vanilla spice and light pepper. The draw was very good. The finish was fairly long with some creamy vanilla notes. I would call this cigar mild at best. While it has nice flavor it is quite subdued for my normal tastes. Around the midpoint I detected some roasted almond notes but again, they were subtle. Around this point the spice seemed to intensify slightly, which was a nice surprise. The second half of the cigar was definitely better than the first. All the flavors were sharper. The vanilla notes were sweeter. There was more pepper too. Even the finish was longer. I believe this is the mildest version of the Esteban Carreras cigar line-up. They show several others on their website that are probably fuller bodied. It's almost like I'm smoking 2 different cigars. It significantly changed, and for the better in my opinion. At this point the cigar is medium bodied. If I scored the cigar by halves the first half would score an 84 simple due to it's mildness. The second half was much better and would score around 89. I really enjoyed the second half and could easily smoke a cigar like that again, probably for a morning cigar or the first cigar of the day. If you are a fan of milder cigars and don't want anything heavy you should try this cigar. You will probably like it.

Score: 87

After a nice dinner at Longhorns we stopped by the Tobacco Merchant for awhile. While there I picked up an Avo Heritage churchill. Then, back home to watch the South Carolina/Florida State game. The Heritage is a good cigar that I reviewed in early December: http://tinytimblog.blogspot.com/search?q=avo+heritage

New Year's Day, 2011

My New Year's Day tradition is to smoke Cuban cigars and this year was no different. Oh, there may be other cigars but there will always be a nice Cuban cigar, or cigars! Today I chose the monster smoke, Vegas Robaina Don Alejandro.

An absolutely beautiful cigar that tastes fantastic. Vegas Robaina Don Alejandro was previously reviewed with very high marks. Amazingly good cigar!

Arturo Fuente Casa Fuente Double Robusto (5 3/4x52)

Since this is New Years Day I decided to have the "almost impossible to get" Arturo Fuente Casa Fuente! These cigars are (suppose to be) only sold at the Casa Fuente shop in Las Vegas, where I purchased mine. You can, however, find them online. I was not able to find this particular size online so it may only be sold in Las Vegas. Our company went to Las Vegas for a conference in June of 2008. One afternoon, after a long day of meetings, we walked up the street to Casa Fuente. While there I purchased a couple cigars with one of them being the Casa Fuente. I paid a staggering $30 for it! I have had it in my humidor ever since. It has been calling to me ever since. Well, today I decided it should fulfill it's destiny.

This cigar has a Cameroon wrapper with the guts of a tweaked Opus X. I am not sure what the actual binder and filler are other than Opus X components.

It started with a very peppery, sweet caramel/vanilla spice. The finish was fairly long with sweet vanilla notes.  There is a lot of pepper in the spice. It actually overwhelms the caramel/vanilla. I happen to like that but some may disagree. The cigar carries quite a bit of hype with it which can cloud the actual cigar smoking experience. I am trying to forget that this is a $30 cigar and just judge it on it's own merits. The finish is quite pleasing, leaving a sweet vanilla coating on the palate and tongue. To be honest, I don't detect the usual Opus X notes, or they are not obvious. I'd call the cigar medium bodied.

At the midpoint I could taste the Opus X. The main difference is the sweetness. The pepper is lingering at this point also. I really love that about a cigar that has it. The cigar had a very good draw and burned evenly. There were no changes in the cigar as it smoked from this point onward except it seemed to become more full bodied. It stayed very consistent in flavor. I enjoyed it quite a bit but I can't say it's better than an Opus X. The price point makes this a very rare cigar for me. I'm glad I got an opportunity to smoke one. This is a very good cigar but not earth shattering.

Score: 89

Sunday, January 2, 2010

Arturo Fuente Anejo Reserva #77, Shark (5 5/8x54)

A very dark cigar that is a torpedo shape. The cigar is also box pressed at the foot and midpoint. It rounds back out at the cap. Very unique. One of the most difficult cigars to find on any given day, Anejo is Spanish for "Aged refined". The wrapper is 7 year old Connecticut broadleaf maduro, the binder is unknown, and the filler is the Anejo blend (combination of Opus X, Hemingway, and Don Carlos) The Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrappers that are cured in cognac barrels for 6-8 months after they've been aged. The cigar started with spice consisting of coffee, raw almonds, molasses, and light vanilla with nice black pepper. The finish is fairly long with slightly sweet molasses and faint raw almond notes.

After an inch and a half the sweet molasses notes really came forward. The vanilla notes are subdued but noticeable. This is not a super-sweet maduro. The black coffee is nice though and very give the cigar a full bodied flavor. At the midpoint the cigar had citrus notes mixed in the spice. The pepper is even stronger at this point. The cigar makes some notable changes during the smoke. In the final third the coffee notes became subdued and the sweet spice took on a citrus/raw almond tone with the molasses taking a backseat. The pepper stayed consistent. Very good cigar. These make a nice treat. I really enjoyed it.

Score: 92

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