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“Smoked Up” No.1

Its a new year and I am going to try out a few ideas this year. I did a small editorial on Trends of 2012 and will do a few more articles as time passes of things on my mind in the cigar world. Another new (to me) thing I am going to try is a line of “week in review” articles. These “Smoked Up” articles are not in-depth reviews like my weekly ones. But, just a quick few thoughts on some of the cigars I smoke on a day to day basis to give you a vaster array of cigars to read up on. Since 2013 starts on a Tuesday, it will be the start of the “research” on my “Smoked Up” series. I will publish my thoughts of the cigars, from the prior week, during the middle of the following week. I am going to try to do this weekly, but it may be bi-weekly. I haven’t decided yet, just depends upon time restraints and opinions of the readers. So keep an eye out for it and let me know what you think of the cigars and the article.

El Triunfador Lancero Original Release: I found a hand full of these about a year or so ago tucked away at a shop in New Orleans. These were originally released in 2008, so this cigar could possibly be 4 years old. I dug deep in my humidor to find this one for my first cigar of 2013. Overall had a firm draw that was almost too firm for my likings. Notes of  a creamy-like black pepper, some wood flavors, with a few hints of chocolate here and there. Towards the end, the creamy dropped off the pepper and became a little more bolder note. The cigar has mellowed a bit since I first had one a year or so back. Its a good solid medium bodied smoke that burned quite well, just drew a little firm for me.


 

Espinosa La Zona – Habano Robusto: The counterpart of my cigar of the year, the La Zona lines are the “economical”  lines from Espinosa Cigars. This cigar had a very nice draw to it, a pretty good burn and held ash nicely. Notes of a semi spicy black pepper with very faint undertones of the buttered toast offered in the Connecticut line. Also, there was a slight citrus zest to it towards the end with some woody flavors mixed in as well. With about an inch and half left, the flavors got bitter, so i laid it to rest there. It was a decent budget smoke, but didn’t hold water compared to the Connecticut. Although it has a tad bit more body to it. Would make for a good yard ‘gar or for your non-cigar smoking buddies who want a cigar.

 

Tatuaje – Miami – Unicos Torpedo: I have had very few Tatuajes that let me down and the Unicos was one that didn’t. Had a creamy woody smoke that burned and drew well with about an 1/8″ cut from the torpedo tip. There were nice hints of black pepper here and there, though not overpowering. Somehow, I nicked the wrapper and it unraveled some but didn’t affect the burn much. I was gifted this cigar from a friend off a Secret Santa pass and I believe there is some bit of age on it.  Overall it was a pretty good cigar, no frills, just a solid smoke. The one thing that would draw me away from this cigar again is the $10+ price tag. It is just a tad bit out of my sweet spot price range.

 

Viaje – Oro Collector’s Edition 2012: I have almost stopped chasing LE cigars, yet the good guys at Habana Port (Covington, LA) had them om the shelf back in December, so I figured, “Why not?” Its a very weird perfecto shape with a long small tubular foot. The draw started off extremely tight until past the odd foot, yet didn’t loosen up much from there. Flavors of a sweetened pepper & dense hardwood at the start. Around half way, I got a bit of hay or dried grass along with the pepper from the first portion. A little taste of cocoa note bounced around past the half way mark & some cedar towards the end. Overall, the cigar had good flavors, yet the draw sucked! If it would have opened up more, I would have really liked this smoke. But this is another reason why I don’t chase many LEs anymore.

 

Man O War – Puro Authentico: AJ Fernandez has his hands in many cigars, whether you know it or not. This is a Cigar.com (CI) exclusive and has always been a favorite of mine.  Its only available in one size; a closed foot corona. And I’m fine with that, though it would be interesting to try in a somewhat larger ring gauge. When toasting the foot, make sure to get a good full toast to get through the closed foot. Good draw and burn with a full-ish body to it. Great full flavors of earth, leather and pepper bounce around my palate. You can catch these on sale from time to time for a little over $3 and well worth the money. Another good cigar that won’t break the bank.

 

Cuban Crafters – Honduran Fuerte  – Cuban Corona: These are a bundle cigar that I got for a kick around smoke. No frills, decent flavor, but major construction issues. The caps come off easily after cut,  off burn, the draw is great on some, way tight on others. This one drew so-so; a bit on the thick side. They do well with about a year rest to let the flavors settle down some (this one is easily a year+ old). Nice melowed flavors of hay, an easy pepper and slight caramel undertones. The flavor stayed pretty consistent with little change the length of the cigar. I’d like to try these in a larger size to see if the draw is any looser.

 

La Aurora – Maduro – No.4: I have enjoyed La Aurora cigars ever since I started enjoying cigars. They make some of the best medium bodied, yet flavorful cigars in my opinion. I like the “regular” & Corojo lines, but never tried the maduro line. The draw, burn & construction of it was your typical La Aurora; very good. The draw was a little thick, but wasn’t an issue at all. Nice medium flavors of chalky chocolate with some nice cedar and slight pepper showing through more as it progressed. I liked this cigar and want to try it in a few other vitolas. Not my favorite La Aurora, I still prefer the Corojo line.

 

Espinosa – La Zona Conneticut – Robusto: Revisiting my 2012 COTY , I find that it still empresses me a lot. Still the same type of buttered toast flavors with subtle hints of wood and nuts. It drew right on with a slight lean towards “milkshake thick”. No construction issues except for a few lapped ashes. The burn on it was superb, with no touch-ups or relights. Still worthy of my COTY, which was odd to me seeing its a mild-medium smoke; I usually prefer more medium-full  bodied smokes. Each time I have one, it still surprises me that its an economical smoke.




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