February 06, 2011

Super Bowl 2011 reviews!

Ah yes, the Super Bowl! The wait is over. Now, finally it's time for the big game. And like most of you I have some special cigars ready. Today I'm reviewing 2 very different cigars. Both were picked up on our recent December, 2010 cruise. The first is from a small shop in Key West. The second is from another small boutique shop at the famous Graycliff Hotel.

Barber pole Nicaraguan from Key West Cigar Club (6 3/4x50)

This cigar is rolled for the Key West Cigar Club by 2 Cuban rollers that live in Key West. I was actually in the shop when they came in to speak to the owner. These barber pole cigars use Nicaraguan tobacco. When I learned that I knew I had to try them. Although I do not know much about the wrapper it appears to be an alternating natural and maduro, or dark natural mix. It appears to be fairly well made.

The cigar started with almond spice with vanilla notes and some pepper. The draw was firm. At the midpoint there are no major changes. The cigar is consistent. I do not detect the usual Nicaraguan taste. The finish is average with light almond notes. The cigar lacks significant flavor. Not a bad cigar just not very remarkable. It improved in the final 1/3. The spice flavors got a little more intense. If you happen to like raw almond notes in your cigars you may like these. You can try them when you're in Key West.

Score: 82

Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru (purple label) Salomone (7x56/54)

This is a monster of a Graycliff! It is absolutely beautiful. Salomone's have always been a favorite shape for me. I love looking at them! I previously reviewed a Graycliff Grand Cru over Thanksgiving, 2010. In that review I gave the number 2, a torpedo cigar, a score of 91. I am very much looking forward to reviewing this cigar. Now, are they expensive? Oh yes! Try about $30 apiece! All Graycliff's are expensive. But, this is Super Bowl Sunday. A day for special cigars. This easily fits that category.

It started with a spice of raw almonds and light vanilla with some nice black pepper. The draw is quite firm. After about 3/4 inch there were rich vanilla notes. After another 1/2 inch there are light orange citrus notes. The vanilla notes are the most prominent with the almond notes close behind. The vanilla is fairly rich. The finish is long with raw almond notes. Approaching the midpoint the vanilla notes are quite rich. The pepper seems more intense at this point also. The finish at this point is more of a vanilla flavor. The cigar is medium bodied. This version of the cigar is very different from the torpedo I previously reviewed. So far there are no Grapefruit citrus notes. Interesting. There are, however, some light orange citrus notes just past the midpoint. The final 1/3 was about the same as it was at the midpoint. This is a hoss of a cigar that is quite expensive. I found it enjoyable but not as much as the torpedo (no. 2) was.

Score: 89

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