January 09, 2011

Weekend reviews; January 8 and 9, 2011

Not the best weekends as far as weather goes but hey, it's the weekend! Plenty of things to do inside as we prepare for our new carpet to be installed on the 18th. While the installers will move the furniture to complete the installation we still have to have all the little stuff off the floors. Today's job was the downstairs closet under the stairs. To be honest, everything is in pretty good shape. It will be nice to have the whole house filled with new carpet.

And of course, there are cigars to be reviewed. This weekend I am reviewing:

  • Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Toro
  • La Gloria Cubana Serie N 58
  • Liga Privada Unico Dirty Rat
  • Arturo Fuente Anejo Reserva no. 48

Saturday, January 8, 2010

Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Toro (6 1/2x52)

I first reviewed this cigar in the robusto version back on February 7, 2010. Back then I thought it was nice but not great. I gave it an average rating of 88. Will the toro be better? Rocky Patel makes some good cigars. Some I really like. Some are just so-so, in my humble opinion, but I truly respect Rocky and his work. The Olde World Reserve utilizes a corojo wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and filler. Now, as you know, I am in love with Nicaraguan tobacco right now. Perhaps this cigar will get better ratings than the robusto I reviewed a year ago.

The cigar appears flawless. A beautiful cigar with a dark brown wrapper. The cigar started with a peppery spice with leather and toned down cinnamon and light vanilla notes. The finish was nice and long with vanilla and leather notes. The draw was excellent. At the midpoint the cigar has not changed. As the cigar approached the end it remained consistent. The cigar is enjoyable but just doesn't have a rich spice. It is actually a little bitter. It appears my initial review was dead on.

Score: 88


La Gloria Cubana Serie N #58 (6 1/2x58)

This is another gifted cigar from my secret Santa. I reviewed one of his cigars last weekend and I am reviewing 2 more this weekend, with this being the first. A dark cigar, almost jet-black, utilizing a Capa Oscuro wrapper with Nicaraguan proprietary binder and filler. The Serie N was first introduced on August 10th, 2010. I am not sure but I believe this cigar came from the ICPCR release because it has the "N" in a different wrapper color on the wrapper. That is very cool.

If you check online for these cigars the regular production stock does not have the "N" on most cigars. Since I can't prove that this is a sample from the show I will wait to see if someone can verify this.I can, however, explain what the "N" signifies. Since the cigar uses a proprietary blend of Nicaraguan tobacco it bears the signature "N". I have read online that "not all the sizes have the "N" on them" so perhaps only this size bears the mark. I also saw where the first batch of these cigars would have the "N". One question I have concerns the darkness of the wrapper. Is it dyed? Is the "N" a separate wrapper or just a product of covering that spot to leave the letter on the wrapper while dying. So, I ran my finger nail across the letter and it is a separate, applied object. In any event, let's review the cigar.

The cigar is rough and bumpy. After cutting the cap I gave it a test draw. It was effortless. The first draws after lighting were very sweet. The spice is very rich with notes of vanilla, coffee, and cinnamon with a lot of black pepper. There are very sweet citrus notes in the spice also. I can't overstate how rich and sweet this spice is. This is one of the richest tasting cigars I've ever smoked. Full bodied but not overpowering. The finish is equally rich and sweet with thick notes of vanilla and light almonds. To make things even more bizarre, the richness of this cigar reminds me of ruby port. The burn was very even. After an inch or so the cigar's spice tasted like a sweet orange. At the midpoint the richness has not decreased at all. The spice has taken on a rich molasses flavor at this point. The ash tends to appear flaky but it is tight and the burn is still very even.

The embossed "N" is now consumed. Plenty of black coffee notes present along with significant black pepper. The finish is still one of rich vanilla and light almonds. This is definitely an evening cigar, a desert cigar. At the end the cigar had the same rich sweetness. This cigar surprised me in a very good way. A very enjoyable cigar.

Score: 92

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Liga Privada Unico Dirty Rat (5x44)
A small batch cigar from Drew Estate. These cigars are not cheap, at around $12 each at your local shop. The cap is finished in a pigtail.
First introduced on August 26th, 2010. Here is what I found while researching this cigar: The Unico Series will be batches of limited run special edition Liga Privada lines. The first in this series, Dirty Rat, is an intricate blend of spicy Nicaraguan & Honduran tobaccos capped in Drew Estate’s stalk cut Habano wrapper.
So, what the heck is stalk cut? Wikipedia says this:
Topping allows energy that would have produced a bloom to promote leaf expansion. At approximately four weeks after topping the tobacco is stalk cut using a knife that is shaped like a tomahawk. Each plant is speared, spiked or spudded (the terminology depending on the geographic location) onto a stick topped by a metal spear, spike or spud that fits over the stick. Each stick will contain five or six stalks. Sticks of green cut tobacco are most often allowed to field wilt for three or four days prior to hanging in a barn. Tobacco is allowed to air cure for eight or more weeks turning from the normal pale green to yellow and then to brown.
The cigar has a Habano wrapper, Brazilian binder, and Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Honduran filler. I expect this to be a powerful cigar, so let's see.
Nice cinnamon spice with grapefruit and vanilla notes and black pepper. The finish is long with semi-sweet vanilla and raw almond notes. The pepper is very intense especially when expelled through the nose. As far as the power, or strength of this cigar I'm calling it medium to full bodied. No changes in the cigar as I smoked it. Very consistent.
Score: 88

Arturo Fuente Anejo Reserva no. 48 (7x48)

A dark, well made cigar. Arturo Fuente Anejo is one of the world’s rarest cigars. It features a dark maduro wrapper that is aged in cognac barrels. Each cigar is aged for 5 years and then cured an additional 6-8 months in cognac barrels to bring out the full potential of the tobacco used. The anejo features a blend of select tobaccos from the Opus X, Hemingway, and Don Carlos line, giving it a rich and vibrant flavor. Usually only available during Christmas time and Fathers Day.
The first puffs were full of sweet spice with notes of vanilla, molasses, cinnamon, black coffee, and a ton of black pepper. The finish was sweet with vanilla notes and some lingering pepper. The draw is very good. After an inch and a half the spice was an ultra rich orange citrus flavor with vanilla undertones. This taste was amazing! The pepper really lingers on the palate. I can't overstate how rich this cigar is. The cigar is full bodied. This cigar is not from the current production. It was gifted to me a year or two ago and has been sitting in my humidor ever since. I do not know what the additional aging has done to the flavor but one thing is for sure, it hasn't hurt! 
At the midpoint the flavor changed to more of a rich cinnamon flavor mixed in the orange citrus. The cigar is changing quite a bit. The richness, however, is not changing. In the last inch and a half and the richness is still there. It finished with cinnamon, orange citrus, and vanilla with black coffee notes and the ongoing black pepper. A truly great cigar. I really enjoyed it.
Score: 94  

That will do it for this weekend. The Anejo really stood out as the best cigar of the weekend followed by the La Gloria Cubana serie N. Now we'll get ready for the ice/snow that is suppose to be here tomorrow. I hope it doesn't show up!

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