“Smoked Up” No.98

It has been a few months since my last “Smoked Up” and a lot has been going on since then. Through a chain of good and not so good events, I am now an official homeowner! I closed on the house a month and a half late, so that itself was a headache and involved a few sleepless nights. Got the house and was planning on remodeling it while living in the current house. That plan went to hell in a hand basket in no time and had to move into the new house “under construction”. Things have finally started settling down at the new house, but there are many things I want to still do to it. I just have to prioritize projects versus finances.

I had planned on going to the 2015 IPCPR trade show in New Orleans a few weeks ago seeing it was really close to home. But with me pouring money hand over fist into a new home, it wasn’t financially possible for me. A few manufacturers reached out to me and sent me some samples of their new cigars and now that things have settled down, I will be trying to get out a review or if possible two a week.

This issue of “Smoked Up” will be more of a “quick hit” of a portion of the cigars I had in my absence on here, with a few thoughts of them. Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few months and thanks for sticking around with NTA.

 

 
Island Jim No.2
Island Jim No.2: Got this cigar a Tinderbox that moved out of a mall and into their own location with a cigar lounge and actual bar. That’s a great thing to see in these days of indoor smoking bans and other legalities. If you are ever in Mobile, AL stop by the Tinder Box. The cigar was pretty good, had nice medium to full flavors of a white pepper, charred wood and cocoa among others. A good smoke, but a bit overpriced at $11+ for me.

 

 
Leaf by Oscar Sumara
Leaf by Oscar Sumatra: I have head lots of good things of this cigar and finally got my hands on one at the previously mentioned Tinder Box. I got to sit down and enjoy this cigar, just wished the bar was open or had a cup of coffee to enjoy with the smoke. The whole protective leaf idea threw me off and didn’t realize till a bit into it, I wasn’t supposed to smoke it! Once I removed it, the cigar got a lot better and more manageable as the protective leaf kept ashing on me! Great smoke, just waiting for the maduros to come back in stock as I heard they are even better.

 

 
Regius Red Label
Regius Red Label: I don’t buy too many boxes of cigars. But this cigar will most likely make my top cigar list of 2015; so I got a box. The 10ct boxes make them easier on the wallet, seeing they are about $12.50/each. The Red Label is an “ok” smoke if you ask me, I think their core line is better though. I had a get together with a handful of my local BOTLs one evening and passed a few of these out. Every one agreed it was a pretty good smoke. The price is about right I believe, but its not a cigar I could afford to smoke on a regular basis.   

 

 
Evil Genius White Chapel
Evil Genius White Chapel: When I see a new cigar come out that has an odd name, fancy box or gimmick I usually stray away from them. A local shop starting carrying these after the IPCPR trade show and talked highly of them. So, I put the odd brand name aside and grabbed a few of the petite coronas. The size is great for the 100* days of south MS and not badly priced. The shop owner told me “They are pretty stout, a few guys couldn’t finish it!” “Well, I’ll show them” I said not being the one to be showed up by someone. I finished it and got to admit, it did have a good bit of power (three types of ligero), but it wasn’t the strongest smoke I have ever had. Had some decent flavors in it, but started to remind me more of the Oliva Cain lines where the strength overpowered the flavors.

 

 
Evil Genius Black Chapel
Evil Genius Black Chapel: I had this cigar prior to the White Chapel seeing its stated to be a lesser strength. I got to admit, I liked this cigar a lot more than the White Chapel. Had pretty good leathery, woodsy flavors that went well with a cup of coffee. I also got some sweetness out of the smoke from the Brazilian wrapper that’s aged in Rum barrels for a few months prior to rolling. Overall, this is one of the cigars I will grab when looking for a quick smoke in the morning with a cup of coffee.

 

 
Don Benigno
Don Benigno: This is another “new” cigar to me that was brought in from the IPCPR trade show. That is one thing I like about that particular shop is they will give the smaller boutique cigar lines a try and don’t worry too much bout the “higher ended” cigars. This cigar is from Costa Rica and I got to say I was impressed with it! It had a sharp black pepper note with creamy notes of leather and coffee. A cup of chicory coffee would be the perfect pariring with this cigar.

 

 
Ramone Allones
Ramone Allones(new label and blend): General Cigar has reblended and rebanded the Ramone Allones cigar. I can say I have never had a non-Cuban Ramone Allones until now. I mainly saw them online and mainly at a online retailer that I refuse to shop with, never found one locally or abroad in my travels. This cigar is a total opposite of its Cuban Counterpart. Had full dark “meaty” flavors with undertones of cocoa and coffee. Overall I was quite surprised with it and will do a full review of it soon.

 

 
Davidoff N Primeros
Davidoff Nicaragua Primeros: I don’t smoke too many Davidoff cigars, the price is not at where I would like to spend on a cigar, unless its a special occasion. There is nothing wrong with the cigars, don’t get me wrong, but I think there is more hype value associated with the brand than anything. None the less, the Nicaraguan line from them is a great smoke that offers me more bang for my buck. This small cigar is a great lunch break smoke that I really enjoyed. But the $35 for 5 is had to fork over when you look at what else you can get for $7.

 

 

Gurkha Hudson Bay
Gurkha Hudson Bay: Gurkha has been one of those companies that are too hit and miss for me to really follow and like to try their new stuff. I saw this cigar in a shop recently and grabbed one just for the sake of trying a new cigar. The $10+ price tag was about 3 times as much as I would have paid for it. It wasn’t too bad for the first inch or so, but after that it was almost like the UFC Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia fight…. lights out! The cigar seemed to just shut off, the flavors got too muddled, bland and off to me, so I pitched it right there.

 

 
EPC La Historia
EP Carrillo La Historia: I can count on two maybe three fingers how many EPC cigars I don’t like, this is not one of them! I absolutely love this cigar and each time I see one at a B&M, I grab one whether I want one at the moment or not. I have acquired a few to sit and age, but this cigar is smoking great right now. One of EPC’s best smokes ever produced. I put it up there with the original Dark Ritual, its that good.

 

 
EPC 5th
EP Carrillo Fifth Anniversary: An almost total opposite of the previously mentioned cigar, this is a testament to what EPC can do. This cigar is not as bold and out there as the La Historia, its more on the mellow side, but with great flavors. This is a cigar I don’t see too much and really need to stock up on. I think it will be a cigar that I will get a hankering for one day and be upset with myself if I don’t have any stashed away.

 

 
Camacho 1962
Camacho 1962 Short Perfecto: Back when Camacho was not “Bold is Back” was the 1962 line. This was one of my first ever box purchases and this cigar came from that box. Its a no nonsense cigar, no thrills or wow factors, but just an all around classic style cigar. The size is on point and wish the perfecto shape would be the next 6×60 fad. The flavors change slightly in the cigar as the ring gauge grows, but not enough to make it overly complex. Great early morning smoke with a cup of coffee.

 

 
Buho
Buho Primero: This cigar name means “Owl”…. An owl is not something you think of when it comes to a cigar, but what ever floats your boat. I tried this cigar a few weeks back and to be honest with you it reminded me of a flat coke. I knew this cigar could be better, but it just didn’t cut the mustard for me. It was similar to the lines in tastes like a Fuente Short Story, yet a few of the flavorful leaves were missing in the blend. Not something I particularly liked, but won’t give up on it as I may try another one just to give it a second shot.

 

 
Fuente 2010 Anejo
Arturo Fuente Anejo (2010): This cigar never fails me. Fresh or aged, its a great smoke! I actually forgot I had a few of these this old and when I was organizing my wineador after moving I found them. It was a nice treat after a long day of remodeling and moving. The strength has mellowed off a good bit and the flavors as well. But its rounded off nicely and smoothed off any roughness that I would sometimes get from the smaller ring gauged Anejos.

 

 
Blanco Sumatra
Blanco Sumatra: This cigar has been around for a little bit as the band still has the “Los” on it. Its lost much of the strength it barely had to begin with, but it still paired nicely with some coffee. Talking to David Blanco at an event recently he said he blended that cigar to be paired with coffee. I think he did a good job with it, just the cigar looses some flavor over time.

 

 
JDN Rosalones
Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones: I think of this cigar as the JDN’s second cousin. Its not the powerhouse that many JDN cigars are. This is a lot more mellower smoke that has some great flavors and an interesting sweetness that keeps me coming back to the blend in a small size. For the money, its an even better smoke as I paid about $4 0r $5 for it.

 

 
Viaje Summerfest OR
Viaje Summerfest OR (2010): This was one of the first LE Viaje cigars that really shocked me as a great unique smoke. I had acquired quite a few of these original release Summer Fests that came out in 2010 (I think the year is correct). The name of the cigar says to me “Smoke in the summer time!!” But here in MS, the Summer time is a time for shorter smokes, this was a healthy sized torpedo. None the less, I braved the summer nighttime muggy & humid weather to enjoy this cigar. Great smoke that’s aged nicely, but I think they have met their prime or soon will as most of the spicy kick I remember in the smoke is almost gone.

 

 
Camacho ABA
Camacho American Barrel Aged: The new fad recently seems to be lets smoke-cure the tobacco, throw it in old whiskey barrels or roll it in a New Jersey meat processing facility. A lot of blenders are doing something to their tobacco to make their cigar’s smoke different and unique from the cigar next to it on the shelf. The Camacho American Barrel Aged is one of them. Camacho has put this cigar in the media cross hairs big time as I see it in online and print media. Its a good cigar, don’t get me wrong. I am just still on the fence about how much I like it. Its bold, its smokey and it pairs well with whiskey, so I guess Camacho hit their mark in the blending.

 

 
Punch Signature
Punch Signature: Punch used to be just Punch; boy those were the days. Now there is the Grand Cru, Gran Puro, Bareknuckle, Uppercut, Rare Corojo, and now the Signature. I got to admit, many of the lines I like, but not much will beat the maduro core line Punch! I prefer the maduro Punch cigars over the naturals, so when I got ahold of the Signatures, I was skeptical of the corojo wrapper. But to my surprise, I really enjoyed the smoke, maybe even more than the maduro core line! Lets put it like this, I smoked one one day and one the very next day. Its a full bodied smoke, that almost doesn’t feel like a full body smoke as the flavors take the spotlight over the strength.

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