“Smoked Up” No.38

Well, the weather seems to be cooling off some down here in the south. That means it is somewhat easier to get out and do odd projects around the house that have been neglected this summer. As well as enjoy a few more cigars. I started getting my hunting/camping gear ready for this season and I am really looking forward to “getting back to nature soon.” We got a week long “man trip” hunting and camping trip coming up in October. Maybe I’ll catch a few nature & cigar pictures on the trip and share with you when I return.

Puro Vida Habano

I made it to two cigar events, for the same cigar company, this weekend. Previously, I told you about a local man who was wanting to get back to his family’s heritage and start up his own cigar company. He had a few blends made up then a few guys and I sat around one evening tasting them and giving him feedback on “more of this, less of that etc…” type of things. The project came to life and got up and going fairly quickly. The name was set at Puro Vida Cigars and three blends were made.  After the blends were tweaked and finalized, the launch was done this weekend at two local shops. I attended both to help promote a fellow BOTL and give my thoughts on the cigars to other cigar smokers. I don’t work for the company, just was involved in the taste testing stages. Well, the cigar came out pretty good. The changes we mentioned seemed to help the blends a good bit. There was a pretty good turnout at both events and the brand owner, Eddie, said he was hearing good things about the cigars and I did as well. He was also thinking about getting up a line of coffee to pair with his cigars. His Mother owns a substantial amount of coffee land in Nicaragua. I got a sample of some of the dark roasted whole beans and ground up a cup on Sunday, and another, and another. It was a pretty good cup of Joe that went well with the Ortega Serie D Natural I was smoking.


Cigar Views

VLH 648Viaje Late Harvest LH648 (2012): This is one of my favorite sizes when it comes to cigars. The blend is one of my favorites from Viaje as well. Its not top five or ten, but its close. I paired this cigar with some Flor de Cana 7yr Rum and Coke. The pairing did nothing for the cigar, in fact, it may have hindered it some. The smoke didn’t seem as good as I once remembered. I think the Rum overpowered a few of the key flavors in the smoke. The draw was slightly thick, the burn was absolutely horrible! I had to relight it a about three or four times, as well as numerous touch-ups to correct the off burn. I know my humidor RH is good, to be honest, its probably a little lower than I’d like it to be. So the storage of the cigar is not the reason of the issues. Overall, I got a few more resting in the humidor. I think I will let them rest more and not drink rum with it next time.


Diesel Hair of the Dog Diesel Hair of the Dog (Rabid): A fairly new line added to the Diesel line of cigars. I have had pretty good luck with some of the Diesel cigars; mainly Unholy Cocktail and the Coronas. I figured why not try this one, but the $10 price tag almost stopped me from doing so. It started off extremely spicy & in your face bold. About an inch or so, the spiciness mellowed off (almost completely). That left a black pepper & tangy wood notes to shine. On the backend of the smoke, there was a nice coffee or esspresso flavor that I liked & wished there would have been more of. The last inch or so really left me wondering “what happened to the good flavors?” As this cigar went from so-so to nice then to not-so-good. I can almost understand why its called “Rabid”, this cigar was all over the place! Overall, its almost worth a try for a vet smoker as its fairly full bodied or one to let rest. Worth the $10… No, maybe half that.


Puro Vida Habano 2Puro Vida Habano: This is the cigar that a few friends and I helped Eddie R. with the tastings. The first blend was not strong enough for most the guys there. We requested a leaf or so more of ligero to give it more “punch”. Well that’s exactly what Eddie got into the final blend and it worked out well! Had an awesome draw and burn. Nice woody notes with some black pepper here and there. The middle portion of the cigar is where it shined. The flavors mingled well, and the body seemed to ramp up in strength. I had two of these this weekend and neither one gave me any construction or taste issues. Look for an in-depth review on this cigar (and maybe the other blends) very soon.


Ortega SerieD N7Ortega Serie D Natural No.7: Paired this great smoke with some of the Nicaraguan grown coffee I mentioned before. I ground it fresh that morning and made a few cups in my espresso pot. The cigar, coffee & Dutch Caramel wafers made it easier on me getting out of bed on my day off. The cigar had great flavors of chocolate and a slight woodiness. Never had a bad or foul moment with this pairing. There is an Ortega event this weekend I am planning to attend and meet Eddie Ortega. I am looking forward to it and possibly get a few pics or interview with Eddie while there.


MOW LDMan O War Side Projects Little Devil: This cigar reminded me along the lines of the MOW Puro Authentico line of cigars. A nice “quick’ smoke that had awesome flavors, a slightly thick draw and good burn. This was the nightcap cigar for me after the last event on Saturday. As well as after a few local beers and a cocktail here and there. That being said, I didn’t pay much attention to the flavors, but for the $6, it was a decent smoke. One thing I didn’t like, was how it ended. I purged it a few times but I could see the flavors getting too “dark and bitter” for me. Maybe I was puffn’ on it too much, too fast. Or maybe that’s just how it is. I’d recommend the cigar, its worth a single or 5pk.



Cigar News

“Smoked Up” No.37 – NTA Views & News

Villiger Cigars Export Brasil – NTA (quick)Review

House of Emilio Announces Master Retailer Program

Emilio Cigars to release Draig Cayuquero

Guayacan Cigars Expands Offerings

Altadis USA introduces a completely new Juan Lopez cigar – Cigar Obsession

IPCPR CEO Bill Spann Resigns – The Cigarmy

The story behind Headley Grange Drumstick LE 2013 – The Crowned Heads

Blessed Leaf to Launch Cigar  – Cigar Coop

2013 BOTLâ„¢ Corona Coming in October – halfwheel

Camacho Cigars to Launch Ditka 89 Edition – Cigar Coop

Iconic Leaf Files Trademark Suit Against Kurt Kendall – halfwheel

Mike Bellody Launches MLB Cigar Ventures  – Cigar Coop

Crémo Cigars to Release Third Blend, the “Capa Caliente”  – halfwheel

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