La Gloria Cubana Serie R (No. 5) Natural – Appreciating a Real Classic

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Earlier this week, a friend brought over some cigars and handed me La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 5, the Natural version as opposed to the Maduro. Venturing back into the smoky world of cigars, he talked about how he used to smoke them as for their reliability and excellence. He did not oversell the experience. It’s Fourth of July weekend, and my guess is that you’re looking for something tried, true, and with no fuss. You need reliability, but it’s a party, so you want something that goedkope voetbalshirts kopen packs a little more potency than usual. And if you’re bringing several cigars for friends and family, you don’t want to break your piggy bank. The Serie R No. 5 is about $6.50-7.50 well spent.

In production since 1999, La Gloria Cubana Serie R earns a solid reputation as being full-flavored without being overpowering, a workhorse of a cigar with flashes of bold and spicy flavor. The Natural has an Ecuadoran wrapper, and is stuffed with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. It’s a good mix, but maybe my taste buds are burnt or on vacation already – to me, this was quite a sweet cigar. I toasted the foot of the smoke and started off with great bitter chocolate flavors, like cocoa powder straight from the Hershey’s tub. Smoke output started slowly but consistently. I have a tendency to smoke cigars quickly and goedkope voetbalshirts they often grow hot, minimizing flavor; I slowed down and tried to focus more on the first third. Soon the bitterness moved into sweeter milk chocolate flavors. The smoke became more prevalent and plumes soon filled my entire back porch.

With the last third, the sweetness of the La Gloria Cubana Serie R receded and settled down into earthier, woodsy effects and flavors. It did require a little bit of tending than earlier, but I found it worth the effort. I was happy to take part in my friend’s tradition and have already committed to making it my own.

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The Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro – “WHOA.”


I sat down with the Perdomo 20th (Maduro) on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, right as floods began invading Austin and before we realized what kind of damage would be done here and in the surrounding area. It also happened to be my birthday weekend, and I had looked forward to the Perdomo for some time. Stephen has smoked it before, but it’s never before been reviewed on the site. It was a hell of a birthday gift.

Some smokes take time to develop, only revealing their true characters at the end of the last third or even later. The Perdomo immediately hit me with a wallop of rich cocoa flavor. I quote, from my notebook, “WHOA!” The cigar has a slightly flattened shape, but if I feared that the Perdomo would resemble the disaster that was the Alec Bradley Puro Diamond Cut, that anxiety was instantly put to rest.

On the second third, the rich cocoa mellowed out into more of a milk chocolate flavor. The Perdomo features amazing, prolific smoke production, and it was a still night in between the rainstorms, making it a perfect atmosphere for smoke rings. The flavor grew less bold and more nuanced, with dried cherries threaded or coating throughout the chocolate. If you’d described that to me it wouldn’t be my first choice, but trust me on this. Light coffee flavors also complimented this part of the cigar.

Finally, the last third deepened into something richer, with more heavy syrup. The smoke was almost liquid. When I stood up to take a quick break, I realized how woozy the Perdomo had turned me. Normally these kinds of smokes are few and far between for me, and I definitely respect the power that the Perdomo 20ths possess.  And since I had been drinking a coffee, there was no element of other intoxicants there to muddle (or enhance, depending on who you ask) the experience.

With a price hovering around $8.00 per single, the Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro is an immediate buy. Enjoy the flavors, the boldness, and getting your ass kicked.

The CAO LX2: Tricky Draw But Alluring Flavor Through and Through

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The CAO LX2 (which stands for “ligero times two”) prides itself on its potency. A hybrid across the board, the cigar sports Dominican and Nicaraguan longleaf filler, a Honduran binder leaf, and a relatively dark Nicaraguan wrapper. Like a custom computer or a built-for-speed automobile, the combination suggests a smoke with unique potential, maximizing for enjoyment and pulling together its disparate characteristics to create something better than its parts.

I had hoped this was the case for the CAO LX2. I’ve enjoyed different lines from CAO in the past, and the Brazilia “Gol!” cigar was one of my go-to favorites during my time in the humidor. I lit this CAO on the back porch with Stephen earlier this April.

The burn took a little adjusting. The fire wanted to canoe to one side, but that’s just a simple matter of turning the cigar the correct way. After some maintenance, the LX2 settled down. The first third tasted rich, woodsy, and with more than a generous helping of black pepper. There’s not a lot of spice in the LX2, otherwise – just a solid heft of flavor that floats along smoothly and without fuss. While still avoiding the canoeing issue, the second third transitioned into something toastier and sweeter. This is one of the cool things about smoking cigars: certain things are delicious that might sound odd if combined in actual ingredients for a meal. The second third sported a graham cracker-like crust or toast, but also had earthy and sweeter tones of wheat and hay. It’s a transporting aspect.

Unfortunately, the issues with the burn continued for the remainder of the cigar. By the final third, I was tending to the LX2 as much as I was noting its flavors and experience. The draw seemed quite tight, tighter than most cigars I’ve enjoyed, but the flavor remained worth it. After the woodsiness of the first third and golden wheat of the second, the finish seemed something like a chalky dark chocolate. Dry, almost powdery and bitter, but still delicious.

Remember the potency we’d expected at the beginning? Maybe I’m just a nicotine fiend, but this cigar did little to knock me over, such as, say, the Perdomo 20th might (which we will review next week). Still, the tastes were involving and out of the ordinary, the maintenance was not too big of an issue, and the price point on these remain reasonable from $6-8. Distributors in our area (Central Texas) are out at the moment, but pick the CAO LX2 up here if you need it sooner than later. Flavor-hounds, rejoice in this custom-built cigar.

The Alec Bradley Nica Puro Diamond Cut – 10% Diamond, 90% Rough

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A couple of weeks ago, before the hard rains hit and Central Texas began filling up to its brim, Stephen and I visited SPEC’s in search of the CAO LX2. I’ve had that smoke before – it’s excellent, but it’s been discontinued in our area. Need to run through it one more time to write a thorough review. With the LX2 unavailable, I asked the humidorian for something new and fresh.

You gamble when you ask a salesman which cigar matches up with your taste, may or may not result in a transcendent experience, etc. As a fodboldtrøjer børn former humidor clerk, I was often instructed or incentivized to promote certain lines over others, regardless of quality. This is all in the game and makes it worth doing a little research before you hit the humidor. Since I entered SPEC’s on the fly, I did not do my research this time around.

The gentleman led me to the Alec Bradley Nica Puro Diamond Rough Cut, which I picked up promptly and took home. I love a good Nicaraguan, and the Diamond Rough Cut is a Nicaraguan on all three fronts: wrapper, binder, and filler. I thought the name “Diamond Rough Cut” alluded to the way the tobacco was arranged or cut. Instead, the cigar makers performed a box cut on this limited edition and squeezed it a little, giving the cigar a lopsided square shape. Or, a diamond, if you want to get picky about it. Either way – this seems lazy to me, and it’s not a great foundation on which to lay an entire line of cigars.

Don’t read any further if you’re picky about technique. My first cut on the cigar was a little small, so I tried to trim the edge to open it up and allow for a better draw. This works on regularly-rolled cigars. With the “diamond cut,” the trim unraveled a significant portion billige fodboldtrøjer of the bottom third. It’s possible this affected my draw. The cigar burned hot for the majority of the smoke, worsening as I got down to the last third. In turn, the heat affected the flavor profile and I could not pinpoint anything remarkable about the smoke. Even if the heat intensified during the process, I expected to be able to pick up some notes on the first third. Nah. Just tasted like burning wood.

I take full responsibility for my carelessness on that first cut. But my gut tells me that there were more issues intrinsic to the cigar. How, barring sickness or a brain injury, can you not taste a single interesting flavor on a smoke? Mainly, I overpaid for the Alec Bradley name, the “novelty” of the cut/squeezed trapezoid shape, and my own ignorance. Don’t make my mistake.

S’more Smoke: The Delightful Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo

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I lit up the Antaño at a good little cigar shop in Austin on one of those days when the sky only pretends that it will rain. I’d been angling for a Liga Privada, maybe a T52 or a Dirty Rat, and not really wanting to try anything new at the tail end of the week. But I opted at the last minute for an Antaño, something I’d never tried before. I toasted the foot first, took a puff, and realized I have never been so struck by flavor that immediate.

A good cigar may ease into something better, surprise you at the end, or even indicate something interesting at the very beginning. The Antaño demands attention from right out front. I quote from my notes – “Wow!!” For context, I’m not normally a two-exclamation mark kind of guy. The whole front third of this smoke stayed rich with lots of smoke production, and I noticed a little red pepper introduced after the initial wallop. I did have to keep rotating the Antaño so that the burn would stay even, but it was a joy to tend because of the richness of flavor.

The second third sweetened up a little bit but maintained most of its richness and depth. Sometimes, cigars forgo complexity for sweetness, and vice versa. The Billige fodboldtrøjer tilbud Antaño struck a perfect balance in this section. Along with the chocolate flavor from earlier, I experienced something like a toasted marshmallow and graham cracker. So, indeed, this is the most s’more-like cigar I’ve ever smoked. I don’t imagine anyone would take offense to that.

The Antaño peaked at the beginning and eased into a second third. The last third changed from graham cracker and oats to a grassier, almost nutty flavor. Seems like a weird transition (chocolate and red pepper to s’mores to Parmigiano Reggiano or hay), but worked just fine for me. Paired with just a little Donut Shop Keurig coffee, which they had at the store.  Nothing too fancy needed to pair with this $8 cigar. Strong buy.

Oliva Nub Habano #358

NubHabano358 2

It’s spring in Austin with a high of 73. That means barbecues, crawfish boils and me spending a little more time on the porch. I don’t want to belabor the point when I know a lot of you poor, Eastern Seaboard bastards are stuck with the Winter That May Never End, but the late March weather in Central Texas offers up a lot of optimism, cedar allergies and the feeling of something new.

This isn’t a new cigar for me, though. I’d been reminded of the Oliva Nubs by my friend, in the midst of discussing old standbys that we’ve enjoyed from the past. When I worked in a humidor, these Rothschilds were popular with the country club and lakeside retiree set. The Rothschild offers the pleasure of a quick, powerful smoke, with minimal fuss and need to maintain. I can see how the Oliva Nub would be ideal for the golf course or on the breezy dock.

You don’t have to be Mr. or Mrs. Moneybags to enjoy this cigar, though. Me, I’m just smoking it on my modest porch. I bought two for $6.70 each and I think it may be my go-to this season for a writing cigar.

The Habano #358, at least, is a potent smoke with a ton of smoke production. If you’re trying to blow smoke rings or want to teach a fellow smoker how, this may be the one for you. I split the gap between the lighter Connecticut wrapper and the Maduro, opting for the #358, thinking that it might be representative of the line as whole. It’s not too complex or fancy, and the flavor doesn’t change much as it’s only about a third the size of, say, a Churchill. It’s got some bold Nicaraguan filler that is woodsy and powerful, but lacks the fire or spice of a standard Padron or equivalent. Smoke time lasted about 25 minutes, but that could probably be shortened if you’re in a hurry.

I paired the Habano #358 with a Cuvee Coffee Black & Blue Nitrogenated Cold Brew, which added just a little sweetness to the smoke.

Liga Privada Undercrown Pig

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Sometimes I wonder if I’ve paid too much attention to Liga Privada.

But what can I say? They’ve produced some of my favorite smokes and they are consistently well-constructed and flavorful. So, at risk of overemphasizing one brand, I’ll dive into my thoughts on the Undercrown Pig.

The cigar itself is beautiful. The Undercrown band is the same as that featured on their regular line, and the wrapper is an elegant dark chaussure de football pas cher chocolate in color. The construction, as with the rest of the Liga Privada pigs, is exceptional. The tight pigtail wrap and the fat perfecto shape makes this a cigar you’ll want to show off.

The flavors begin with a touch of black pepper and charred maple. Smoke is voluminous and absolutely fills the air. This is not a subtle cigar. The flavor continues throughout the first third and the burn remains excellent, producing a cake of ash that refuses to fall.

The second third sees the flavors deepen, the woodsy maple transitioning to syrup and the pepper taking on a slightly more cinnamon flavor. Construction maillot de foot personnalisé remains excellent, and the draw begins to loosen in a pleasant way. At this point I am at the thickest part of the cigar and the smoke is cool and pleasant.

The final third sees some chocolate flavors emerge. There is also a touch of something sweet and somewhat vegetal, close to coconut but not nearly as distinct. As it wraps up I also get a touch of leather.

Overall the Undercrown Pig impressed me. The flavors were decadent and, though not quite as intense as the Feral Flying Pig, were exceptional. This stick is difficult to find, but if you manage to grab one do it and don’t look back.

Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet Toro

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Though Texas has been spared the worst of the frigid winter that the rest of the country has experienced, the opportunities to relax and smoke in comfort have been few and far between. However, recently that situation has réplique oméga montres changed and we are getting more and more pleasant evenings worth sitting with friends, playing some poker, and enjoying cigars on Dan’s back porch.

In selecting my cigar for the evening, I wanted something new and decided to opt for a cigar that was generously provided for review by Famous Smoke Shop, the Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet Toro.

My experience with Romeo y Julieta has been limited. They are very popular, of course, but were still a brand I hadn’t replique montre suisse gotten around to trying. I think it is safe to say that the House of Capulet is the first time I’ve actually paid much attention to the brand but (spoiler alert) I will be paying much closer attention in the future.

To start, this is a very attractive cigar. The cigar itself is beautifully constructed with a smooth appearance and velvety feel. The band is classic Romeo y Julieta, and the styling of the thin white paper that covers the rest of the cigar creates an interesting dynamic, as though it is shrouded in a veil. I could wax philosophical on the possible metaphorical implications here, but frankly I’d rather discuss the flavor profile.

To start, I got an elegant leathery sweetness, a touch of dried plum, and just the slightest hint of brown sugar. These réplique rolex montres continued throughout the first third. Smoke production was also significant, creating excellent plumes of thick white smoke without becoming an overwhelming smokestack.

The second third saw an evolution of the flavors in the first. Above all a vanilla flavor emerged and took center stage with the leather, creating a fantastic combination. It was a truly luxurious flavor combination.

The final third kept those two flavors while adding an excellent crystalline sweetness with just a hint of salt, like fleur de sel sprinkled on top of a sugar cookie. The flavors were complex, but delicate. They seemed to melt as soon as they hit my taste buds.

The Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet Toro is an easy recommendation to make, and more than that served as a winning introduction to the brand itself. I will be seeking out more Romeo y Julieta and adding them to my rotation of fine smokes on a more regular basis.

If you are interested in picking up a Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet for yourself, you can do so right here.

Weekend Smoke: The Cromagnon Cranium

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Cromagnon. The name itself is vivid, conjuring up the primitive, the ancient, the powerful, the pure. Yes, not refined nor proper, but raw.

It is good that the name of the Cromagnon Cranium is so vivid, because there are no other identifying features on the cigar at all. No band, nothing. Just a heavy looking, veiny, almost black wrapper that looks as though it was lovingly rolled yet not particularly Imitazioni orologi italia fussed over. If it was a child, its father would have told it to get into some trouble, take some licks, and learn about the world.

That fluff aside, it smells delicious. Even without lighting it gives off the aroma of a fresh-baked brownie. It is tantalizing.

The cigar lights beautifully, and the first third absolutely delivers on the promise of the pre-light aroma. It is chocolate. Rich, yet milky. There is a touch of pepper, maybe jalape