Well, Christmas Eve is tonight. Either you have all of your shopping done, or you are reading this in-line at Wal-Mart buying those last minute gifts. I got everything I could get as far as presents wise for the family. I smoked a dozen or so blocks of cheese for my girlfriend’s sister whom was giving them to a few friends as gifts. I also smoked a few blocks for me and my family to enjoy on Christmas Eve. I also made some smoked mozzarella wrapped in smoked prosciutto on a whim of how it would turn out. It turned out marvelously and will make a few more servings for us to eat at my parents house on Christmas Eve.
With this being the last “Smoked Up” before Christmas, I am wishing you all a safe and happy one. Eat, drink and smoke well. Enjoy your time with friends and family (even if its the in-laws). Don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas and not just presents, trees and lights.
La Palma Vargas – Anejo Robustitos: Hailing from the Canary Islands, I found very little information on this cigar. I found it at a local shop and the reddish brown wrapper stuck out amongst the other cigars in the humidor. I thought for $10… It better be good. The draw was pretty thick, the wrapper was ugly (except for the nice reddish brown color of it) and the burn was decent. The thick draw held back a lot of the potential of the smoke. The smoke was pretty mild in flavor strength, but did get some slight vegetal, woodsy and black pepper notes. Also mixed in were hints of cocoa and a very nice sweetness here & there that I wish were stonger. Was it worth the $10? Not hardly, the draw really held back any potential the smoke had to offer. It was a fairly smooth smoke that I will try again, but in no rush to do so.
The Crowned Heads – Headley Grange – Drumstick: This limited edition cigar is one of the few I actually searched for. I really liked the HG in smaller ring gauges, so the lancer was going to be right up my alley. Had awesome flavors of wood, a slight pepper and a nice slight sweetness. The flavor that was associated with the sweetness is similar to a rich cocoa or chocolate., It being on the last part of the smoke made it a pretty complex cigar! The draw was spot-on which is awesome seeing a lot of lanceros have a tougher draw. The ashes were tight, but didn’t hang on long. Over all it was a great cigar and suggest you to track some down. I grabbed 3 or 4 and hope to be able to score more next trip to the B&M.
Romeo Y Julieta – Nicaragua – Toro: There seems to be a few companies experimenting with Nicaraguan tobacco that would not typically do so. I was suggested to try it the last time I was at my local B&M. I usually never buy any RYJ that’s more than $10, let alone too many RYJs. Being a Nicaraguan Puro, I figured, why not. It had a nice cool smoke with “typical” Nicaraguan flavors, yet more smooth mellower. There was a nice spice and mellow peppery note that started off the cigar. There was a subtle creaminess as well as Would I buy again? Ehh… Maybe, but after I buy the Davidoff Nicaraguan Puro that’s not much more than RYJ.
Rocky Patel Freedom Robusto: My first thoughts on this cigar is that it was a “gimmick” cigar playing on the Freedom name. But when I first was given one from my buddy Tom, I thought, its worth a try. It actually surprised me and was quite a good smoke; so I bought a few more. Was no thrills, but a solid medium bodied smoke with sweet and woodsy flavors. It reminded me of a cross between a Fuente Hemmingway and a Rocky Patel Edge Sumatra. For about $6-7 this is a good smoke for the money. It wasn’t very complex, but a solid smoke from start to finish. Had a good construction that never gave me any issues.
EPC INCH No.62 Maduro: As you may know, I am not a big fan of many cigars over a 54ring gauge. The INCH line is one of the great blends that seems to belong into a large ring gauge. I used to smoke a lot of the 5×60 MUWAT, but those have fallen to wayside and the INCH now reigns as my favorite large ring gauged cigar. I love the dark and “meaty” flavors this cgar gives off. Nice deep cocoa, hints of coffee and some dark oaky notes make for a great cigar. The draw was a little thick as I had left it outside on the table after I got side tracked before smoking it; darn humid day.
Leccia Tobacco White Robusto: One of the two new lines from Sam Leccia is the White. I have tried both the White and Black labels and still prefer the White. This smoke was fairly smooth with a creamy black pepper note, hints of wood and healthy leathery notes. Had a wonderful draw and burn considering I was enjoying it under my carport in a rain storm. I wanted to enjoy this smoke with a cup of Sumatra coffee, but didn’t realize I was out of Sumatra coffee and wasn’t about to brave the cold rain to go get some. I think this would make for a fairly good pairing. Regardless, this is a good smoke and really worth a try if you have not done so yet.
Drew Estate Undercrown – Corona Viva: This is one of my go-to cigars. So much, that I bought a box here a few months ago. After a few months rest, these are performing quite better than before. They have smoothed off some, yet still maintain the great flavors. The best way I can describe it is meaty and peppery with a bit of smoothness to it. You have to learn to pace yourself with this particular size. Smoke it too fast and will give off foul/off flavors. Around half way, I got a bit of a coffee note that mingled in well and that’s just some of the things that get me to enjoy this cigar so much.
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