Category: SMOKERS SECTION

Cigar Review: Macanudo Gigante Maduro

Maduro

One of the unique things about reviewing cigars is that I get to try out cigar’s from brands I have been fond of, but did not delve much deeper into beyond a couple sticks from those particular brands. Last year the gentleman I buy cigars from pushed me to try the very expensive Macanudo Inspirado (upon further research this price point was due to the heavy import price he paid), and while I really enjoyed the Inspirado, I did not try anything beyond that single stick I purchased. Fortunately however, recently I got to revisit this brand when Anthony over at Cigar’s City threw in a couple sticks from the Maduro line for me. Enter the Macanudo Gigante Maduro, not an overly complex cigar, but a light cigar that is complimented by subtle flavours of cocoa and woods that make for a comfortable smoking experience.

The Maduro’s packaging is nothing special. The Maduro has a dark brown wrapper that feels relatively smooth to the lips. In addition, the overall construction of the Maduro is fairly sturdy; both Maduros that I received cut with ease. The cigar sports a classy band, with black and gold comprising the logo over top a white and brown base.

The Maduro is what I would describe as having struck a fine balance between a mild and mid-bodied cigar  – the Maduro draws smooth and light like a mild bodied cigar would, but carries the thickness of smoke that I’m more accustomed to from a mid-bodied cigar. The initial flavour of the Maduro is pleasant, with a quality tasting tobacco complimented by light woods and cocoa flavours. About half way through the cigar the flavour stays consistent with the light cocoa flavour becoming slightly more predominant. The only gripe I had with the two I smoked was the poor quality of the ash, which lead me to ashing more then I wanted to. The Maduro is not overly complex, and the flavours never build up like you might expect from the initial puff’s, but with the light flavours the Maduro does carry it provides a consistently comfortable smoking experience.

The Gigante Maduro is not the most complex cigar, but it is a well balanced mild cigar that makes for a pleasurable smoking experience. The Maduro is an excellent cigar for new comers to cigar smoking, or simply for smokers who wants something that is not too overwhelming but delivers excellent taste. The Gigante Maduro has earned it’s place in my humidor, and for that, I recommend this cigar to smokers of all types.

If you want to try this, and other cigars, I suggest you check out Cigars City!

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Smokers Lounge, Week 3

What I’m Smoking

Anthony over at Cigar’s City has kept me fairly occupied with his last shipment of cigars, but I’ll wait to release those reviews individually. In the meantime, I actually tried a new cigar I had never tried before today, the Don Tomas Maduro.

Don Tomas Maduro

I bought this cheap cigar having never tried this brand before, and I have to say, I was surprised. It was only $5 dollars for a single, and while I will not say this cigar was overly complex, it did provide a relatively good smoking experience. The construction of this cigar was quite sturdy, and it burnt relatively well (slightly lop-sided, but nothing extreme). Reiterating, the cigar itself does not do much to separate itself flavour wise, but the flavour itself tastes like a quality tobacco. As far as I’m concerned for the price, you cannot go wrong with this cigar. Definitely a worthwhile experience overall, and I will definitely be buying these more often.

So, What are YOU smoking?

Cigar Review: Diesel Wicked

Diesel Wicked Cigar

The Diesel line-up of cigars is something I had been meaning to try for awhile. An acquaintance of mine had only positive things to say about Diesel’s line up, and noted that the selection he had tried had some very unique flavours not as common in most cigars he was smoking at the time. Interesting. So when Anthony over at Cigar’s City told me he was throwing in a couple sticks from Diesel I was excited that I would finally get to try out this brand. The good news is that the Wicked is a well constructed, robust cigar that does sport some very unique flavours. The bad news is that unique flavours do not always equate to making a cigar worthwhile, as is the case with the Wicked.

The first thing you will notice with the Diesel Wicked is it’s distinct extended red band that is placed at the tip of the cigar; probably added not only for visual appeal but to foreshadow that it tastes different than most cigars you will try. Additionally, the standard band itself is a weird mesh up of pink font with a charcoal background. The Diesel Wicked itself feels like care was placed into it’s construction, with a weight that feels slightly heavier than most cigars of this size, and a wrapper that feels relatively smooth. Conversely, cutting the cigar was fairly easy and did not damage the wrapper at all. Nice.

I had been told the Diesel Wicked was a full bodied cigar, and the cigar definitely makes you aware of it’s full bodied nature in the first few puffs by overwhelmingly tasting like a harsh charcoal. Fortunately this awful charcoal taste subsides and you are greeted by a more pleasant flavours that I can describe as tasting of wood and leather. Unfortunately there is an after taste that I can best describe as tasting like a sweet meat. While I thought that maybe this weird sweet meat flavour might subside or possibly become less pronounced to make way for the otherwise pleasant wood and leather flavours, it doesn’t. Unfortunately it actually felt like this meaty flavour only became more pronounced as I puffed on this cigar. It was only until the last quarter of the Wicked that it felt like this gross meaty flavour subsided, but for obvious reasons this is not ideal for a full bodied cigar such as the Wicked. Otherwise, if you enjoy nice thick draws of smoke, the Wicked delivers on this front, but it’s a matter of whether or not you want to endure the gross meaty flavour that accompanies those thick draws of smoke.

I had high hopes for the Diesel Wicked, but it mostly failed to deliver. With that being said, I am staying open minded about the rest of Diesel’s line-up, and hoping that maybe the Wicked was simply the black sheep of the bunch. The cigar does have it’s allure by offering nice construction and an appealing extended band design that is sure to entice naive buyers, but that is pretty much where the positives of this cigar stops. To be fair, I might just be the odd man out in disliking the meaty flavour of the Wicked, but unless you want to plop down whatever the cost of your cigar shop might be charging for this stick, I suggest steering clear of the Wicked.

If you are interested in trying the Diesel Wicked cigar, check out Cigar City.

Smokers Lounge, Week 2

What I’m Smoking

With the holidays coming to an end I have been smoking less. In turn, I only sat down for one cigar this week.

Romeo y Julieta No 2

I had been meaning to try this cigar for awhile, but due to other cigars I had been smoking at the time, this one has been in my humidor for about a two months now. The packaging follows the striking white and red tube that is standard amongst the Romeo y Julieta line. The band also follows the same colour’s as the tube does. The construction of this cigar is nice, and I found it fairly easy to cut this one. The burn is relatively nice, with the ash staying fairly strong throughout. However, with all these pluses, comes the most negative aspect of this cigar: the taste. Unfortunately, unlike the number one, the number two seems to have an unfortunate after taste that I would describe as bitter sweet. The gross after taste did not go away until I was about a quarter done this cigar. The base tobacco itself is fine, but it is brought down by the overwhelming bitter sweet after taste. Overall, I doubt I will buy another one of these, and if I’m feeling like a cigar in this line, I will most certainly stick to the number one.

How unfortunate.

So, What are YOU smoking?

Smokers Lounge, Week 1

I am starting this series to discuss recent cigars I have tried throughout the week and more importantly I’m using this platform as an opportunity to interact with you, the reader, as much as possible. I encourage feedback and observations related to what cigars you are smoking or are interested in.

What I’m Smoking

With Christmas and New Years passing I was randomly gifted quite a few different cigars from family and friends. I got an overwhelming of variety store cigars, which unfortunately I ended up giving away since some of them were downright gross. Over the course of last week I probably smoked four different cigars but I’ll focus on the three that stick out in my mind however.

Century Sam Coronas
Before I really appreciated cigars and thought it was cool to smoke cigars, I would pick these up due to the cheap price point. As far as I’m concerned, these have no place in my humidor. To be blunt, the tobacco is cheap as fuck, and the flavour reflects this. I ended up with over ten of these at Christmas time, and I probably only got half way through one of them. I appreciate the kind gesture, but not my sort of cigar; I’ll probably end up giving away the remainder to the less picky.

Guantanamera Cristales
I had seen these cigars at the shop I frequent, but avoided them since I assumed they were low-tier cuban cigars as a result of the price point (I’ve seen singles selling from $3 to $6). As I have learned though, not all cheap cigars are entirely terrble, but unfortunately that is not the case with the Cristales. The shop I buy from always stores their cigars well, but the two I bought were relatively dry. Both burnt really poorly and this resulted in both cigars ashes being lop sided. The cigar’s flavour is relatively mediocre, with the flavour getting better as it burned, but still tasting generally bland. I must say, this cigar is a step up from most cigars that you get from a variety store (a lot of variety stores as well as the shop seem to carry these), but I would rather smoke the ones listed in my variety store cigars write up than smoke these again.

Romeo Y Julieta Cigarillos 
As far as cigarillos go, I always dug the Romeo and Julieta cigarillos. These were a pleasant little gift this Christmas, but of course, they may be too harsh for those who do not like the thickness of smoke from cigarillos. The tobacco tastes quite good in these, giving them a full flavour. There is not a whole lot I have to say about these, but they do carry the striking Romeo Y Julieta packaging, and burn relatively well for a cigarillo. I like to have a pack of these on hand for random walks or when I’m working in my study. I recommend these if you are in the market for some nice cigarillos.

So, What are YOU smoking?

Cigar Review: Partagas Black Label

images

My first foray into the Partagas line of cigars was the Presidente, without derailing this review too much, I liked the Presidente quite a bit and have been fond of Partagas cigars ever since. When I was informed that I would be getting to try the Partagas Black Label cigar I was excited as it has been a year since I last touched a Partagas branded cigar. I smoked my Black Label cigar soon after I got it, and while I enjoyed it, I could not recommend it to a casual or amateur cigar smoke; this cigar is the definition of bold tobacco in a full bodied package. Thick smoke and excellent burning time, but not as flavoured as some might expect.

When I received my Black Label cigars, they did not come packaged in anything distinctive – simply plastic wrapped and bare. The cigar is accompanied by an eye catching band, using gold accents, with a black base and white lettering. The first thing you will notice about the cigar itself is that it is very thick and sports a dark brown wrapping. The bare minimum packaging is probably attributed to the fact that these cigars came from their original box. Of course, as a smoker you should not base your entire opinion of cigars on the packaging, but for the sake of this review, I think you the reader, should know all aspects of the cigar at hand. Regardless, both Black Label cigars that I received cut nice, and the wrapper failed to lose any integrity tin either of the cigars that I had cut. The wrapper is not incredibly soft, but it is not rugged either, it has a level of stiffness to it that does not seem to be the result of poor storage.

The Black Label’s flavouring is not that complex, and tastes predominantly of a bold well-rounded tobacco. Within the first five minutes of the burn however, you are greeted to an almost bitter cocoa flavouring. Reiterating, the tobacco is the most predominant flavour in this cigar, but unlike other full bodied cigars I have tried of this size the after taste from the tobacco never becomes overwhelmingly bitter. The best way to describe the taste of the tobacco would be smooth but bold. About half an hour in, I would say the flavour stays consistent. An aspect of the Black Label that makes it enticing is it’s excellent draws accompanied by nice thick smoke. The only issue I have had with the Black Label is that it appears to burn unevenly, and while I initially chalked this up to me not lighting this thick cigar properly, attempts at preventing uneven burning in my second Black Label proved futile. The ash is a light grey, and stays quite structured throughout the burn, meaning you will not be ashing the Black Label too often. In addition, the burn time of this cigar is most pleasant, with both Black Label cigars lasting me within the hour range. Furthermore, even down to the last quarter of this cigar it did not taste of harsh filler tobacco like you might expect from a cigar of such thickness, which goes to show the excellent crafting of this cigar. I must note however, that for less seasoned smokers the boldness of the flavour and thickness of the smoke may be off-putting.

The Partagas Black Label cigar is not for the casual smoker. In addition, I would argue that a cigar of this caliber deserves to be smoked sparingly due to it’s bold draws and long burning time. If you enjoy full bodied cigars and want something bold and long lasting, then this is the cigar for you. Throughout the full burn time, the tobacco’s boldness never becomes gross or bitter, and the accompaniment of the cocoa flavouring serve to make this a well rounded full-bodied cigar. For seasoned smokers who want something bold (note: that’s the keyword for today) then I give full recommendation for the Black Label cigar.

If you are interested in trying the Partagas Black Label cigar, check out Cigar City for excellent prices on this great full bodied cigar.

Cigar Review: Dunhill Signed Range Corona

dunhill

While many of my cigar smoking friends have said good things about Dunhill cigars, I have to admit, I avoided the these cigars based on the gentleman I used to buy my cigars from telling me that he disliked the Dunhill brand. Being an amateur, and more impressionable smoker at the time, I took his words quite seriously and did not bother to give the Dunhill‘s a fair shot. That is, until now. I can apologetically tell the cigar gods that I am glad to say that my opinion was completely unfounded, and out of all the cigars I have tried this year, the full-bodied Dunhill Signed Range Corona is one of the better ones.

The Dunhill is packaged in a sleek crimson red tube that is designed to hold air and keep out moisture – definitely to extend the cigars shelf life outside of a humidor. Upon sliding open the red container I was greeted with an aroma that could be described as spicy and sweet. The cigar’s band mimics the packaging by sporting a crimson red base with silver lettering and accents. The cigars wrapper seems standard, and the two I tried both cut well. The wrapper has a softness to it which makes placing it on your lips a comfortable experience.

The initial taste of the Dunhill Signed Range Corona is mediocre at best. As it burns however, the cigar’s taste builds, and you will find pleasant spices accompanied by a taste that I can describe as being almost fruity. The beauty of this cigar however, is that these flavours are not overwhelming, and serve to compliment the natural flavouring of the tobacco, not overtake it. In addition to the flavourful nature of this cigar, it must be noted that while the smoke draws thick, it is never a result of overwhelming filler tobacco, but a careful combination of all the flavouring this cigar has to offer. Approximately twenty minutes in, and a bit more than halfway through the cigar, the flavour is consistent but also seems to take on more of a leathery quality – which is a good thing. About two-thirds of the way through the cigar, you will notice that this cigar loses a bit of it’s flavour, but that is to be expected when smoking a cigar down to that point. The ash maintains a light grey, but does not have as much integrity as you would expect, and this lead to me ashing it more then I would have liked to; not a major take away from this excellent cigar, but it is a minor annoyance. The cigar has a relatively normal burning time for a cigar of this size, and both Dunhill’s I was sent lasted me approximately thirty to forty minutes. The cigar is medium to full bodied, and this may intimidate less veteran smokers, but for those who enjoy a quality full bodied experience, then this cigar is definitely worth giving a try.

The Dunhill Signed Range Corona is an excellent addition to any smokers humidor. The only negatives I can really surmise are minor ones that overall do not take away from the excellent build and taste of this cigar. If you are not interested in medium to full bodied cigars, and thick draws of smoke are something that you cannot handle in a cigar, then you may be turned off by the Dunhill Signed Range Corona. However, If you are looking for a full bodied experience that does not overwhelm with its flavour or tobacco, then the Dunhill Signed Range Corona is for you. Based on this cigar alone, I am interested to see what else Dunhill has to offer; maybe I’ll take a trip down to that gentleman’s cigar shop and ask him… Aha.

Check out Cigars City if you are interested in buying this excellent cigar.