The Oliva Serie V Melanio was one of the most hotly anticipated releases of last year. Though it did receive an initially lukewarm reaction it has cemented itself as a fine example of a high-quality, regular release stick. I have personally sampled several of these cigars and have enjoyed them, though they didn’t quite blow my mind in the way I would have hoped. Still, as a big fan of Maduro cigars in general,
I have been harboring the Tatuaje Black Label Lancero in my humidor since December 2012 and, tonight, I felt it was time to finally taste it. The Tatuaje line in general receives a significant amount of critical acclaim, yet I will admit that I have had very little to do with these cigars. The time has come to make remedy of that situation.
The Black Label Lancero, like most Tatuaje smokes, is understated in appearance. The band is about as minimal as you can get, with the simple cursive label adorning a field of black with little embellishment. The cigar itself does the talking, and does it well with the appearance of a browned cypress knee suggesting a period of dormancy. Because this smoke has aged for a bit, there was some light crystalline structure forming on the wrapper which you regularly find on the ages Padron lines.
The cigar lit exceptionally easily, and immediately gave off large plumes of thick white smoke. Initial flavors were direct though not imposing. Some cedar and spice which gave way to softer flavors of more wood, likely oak, and sugar cane.
The next third shifted subtly into dark coffee and bread. The sweetness continued, and even introduced a fine cinnamon flavor on the tail end. This third was marked by its dryness, the coffee reminiscent of a rough grind that suggests the flavor of a proper roast without the necessity of water to unlock the aroma.
The fina third continued the trend, the coffee flavor deepening and introducing some leather and fine aged tobacco flavors as the smoke reached its climax. The sweetness of the stick very nearly disappears toward the end of the smoke, regressing back to its woodsy origin.
This stick was interesting yet accomplished that feat without too many stark transitions. I find blending of this nature a rarity in an a climate where deep flavors and sharp contrast seem to define most high end sticks. While I definitely love smokes of that type, it is nice to have a cigar treat you to a meandering journey evey now and again, as if it has the ability to anticipate your expectation then satisfy it almost casually. This is an easy cigar to recommend and served as a great introduction to the Tatuaje line.
Paired with: Glenlivet 12
In one of our recent discussions on Facebook I posed the following question:
What are some of the experiences that pair best with cigars?
I posed it because, far from being metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, there are certain activities that, when paired with a cigar, enhance both the smoke and the activity in a very direct way. In my opinion, this pairing works very similarly to the interplay between a fine smoke and a tasty whiskey, wine or cognac. Sometimes they exist distinctly, but when you find that perfect duo they come together to make the experience richer all around.
I proposed that some of my favorite activities while smoking were watching horror movies and playing chess. For me, a smoke intensifies my concentration nike fußballschuhe günstig during both of these experiences while also forcing me to slow down and relax. Many of our Facebook fans offered answers that similarly captivated and inspired me. I will share a few selections here, so that anyone who missed the discussion can enjoy these intriguing cigar and experience pairs.
Unsurprisingly, many of the pairings were based in camaraderie. James Wingenbach offered one such pairing of “A Graycliff Crystal Series and glass of Balvenie Craibbean Cask with some of my best friends by the fire pit.”
Sam Park offered a similar sentiment, offering the important differentiation between drink choices with his pairing suggestion of “Smoking with my buddy on a cruise. On deck and the cigar lounge. Beer on deck and scotch in the lounge.” Sounds good to us, Sam.
Of course, many of us enjoy some time alone with a cigar, enjoying the introspective nature of a quality smoking experience. Such a pairing was offered by Andrew Cigal, who enjoys, “Getting off watch and smoking a cigar off the fantail of my ship at night during a thunderstorm.” A chance to reflect on a hard days work and life in general? You bet.
Fan Paul Neely might even be taking it too far. He shared his experience of pairing a cigar while “Fishing. I almost went over a 6 foot water fall trying to keep an aristoff maduro lit.”
Many of our enlisted fans enjoy the bond of brotherhood over a fine cigar. We heard several such suggestions. Patrick Moran likes, “Sitting in the Senior Enlisted side of the club in Dubai, UAE, drinking a perfectly poured draft Guinness, smoking a fine Cuban with two shipmates from the USS Bunker Hill.”
Greg Natsch similarly shared, “Sitting around a campfire, having a drink and watching the fire. Having a smoke after hours in the field with Fussball hallenschuhe other troops. Sitting with my dog under the tree and relaxing. Watching the Searchers with my late Brother in Arms.”
Jarame Flores offered a pairing we had never heard of, and which we will have to try (though admittedly with some trepidation). His suggestion? “Having a cigar while sitting under the hot Afghanistan sun and having a Monster energy drink.”
All of these and more highlight the range of experiences that we believe can be enhanced with a good cigar, good company, and some time to ourselves to spend as we please. We hope all of you get a chance to enjoy these experiences or something similar soon. And please, share with us when you do!
So, let me first state that I am not writing this review to cash in on the death of James Gandolfini or anything. The man was a fantastic actor and, though his character Tony Soprano did love cigars, it would cheapen his life to state that I was buying this cigar “in tribute” to him or something.
That morbid necessity out of the way, I will say that I was and am a tremendous fan of The Sopranos, and believe that it was the best show of all time. The hulking, urban bear and dangerous mafioso that was Tony detské kopačky Soprano opened the doors for a love of many things, and his passion for cigars certainly compounded what was already a growing interest of mine. I later found out that CAO had introduced
The Illusione 888 was one of those sticks that I had always seen, always wanted to try, but somehow kept putting off in favor of more recently released or hard to find sticks. However, this past weekend while perusing the shelves with Dan I decided it was time to give it a try. I wanted to find one of particularly good quality, but fortunately that was not too difficult as every cigar in the box was remarkably consistent.
So what does that consistency entail? For one, the wrapper has an incredibly pleasant texture like new suede, and in the box we found each had a reasonable amount of plume. The color is medium-leather with a substantial thickness to it. There are minimal lacne kopacky Nike veins and the cigar seems to be rolled with the perfect mount of give. The foot gives off a pleasant aroma of dried grass and earth.
The cigar lights easily and I am immediately treated to good smoke production and the flavor of myriad spices. I can definitely detect black pepper in abundance, but throughout the first third I also get allspice and even a little nutmeg.
In the second third the spices drop off to reveal some leather and coffee. The combination gradually synthesizes until the two flavors become somewhat reminiscent of the aroma of a well-worn library or study. For me, this brings up memories of late hours of study and I feel that this cigar would actually be an excellent addition to an evening of research. The fact that this cigar is relatively slow-burning adds to this case.
The final third changes very little from the second. If anything, there is a slight sugary sweetness that pervades the leather and coffee, though the scarpe calcetto Nike distinction is subtle. Construction remains excellent, finishing out in a satisfying, perfectly shaped nub.
The Illusione 888 is an amazing cigar that I probably should’ve tried sooner. I feel that it has a place in nearly any setting where time is not a factor and intellectual engagement is on the menu (think philosophical discussion, reading, or even a good-natured debate).
Paired With: Ri
(P.S. Don’t forget our Follow the Flying Pig Contest is still open! Enter here for a chance to win a Feral Flying Pig!)
Alright, alright. I know we’ve done a BUNCH of Liga reviews lately, and I also know that a LOT of reviewers have already given their take on this cigar. But guess what? We smoke what we like at Cigar and Whiskey, and what’s more, we have a good reason for smoking this particular stick at this particular time (all shall be revealed very soon…)
Enough with the cryptic stuff, let’s get in to the stick! The Feral Flying Pig is a truly beautiful cigar, with a vaguely perfect shape that fattens into a wide ring gauge. The stick is oily, dark brown and excellently textured like a well-worn suede. It’s a cigar that, even if it weren’t for its rarity, would immediately command attention.
Lighting the Feral Flying Pig is a joy due to the tapered shape. You only need light a small area then after a few puffs you have a wide, glowing foot. And man, those first puffs are classic Liga Privada. Chocolate mixes with black pepper that gradually fades into white before disappearing almost entirely. The chocolate lingers in prominence through the first third.
The second third moves from a cocoa sweetness to a syrupy maple. There is also a smoky campfire aroma that mixes with the maple to become something deep and woodsy, living up to the name of “feral” very well.
The final third sees the campfire transition into rich, dark coffee while the maple syrup turns into full-on molasses. Be warned, this richness is quite potent, with a nicotine kick too match. If you’re not ready it can definitely put you on your butt. Nonetheless, this is an excellent end to a great smoke.
I’d love to tell you that this hard to find stick is all hype, but I cannot. In my opinion, this is the epitome of the Liga Privada line. The only thing that keeps me from making this a universal recommendation is the fact that if you aren’t properly prepared it can almost certainly overwhelm you. Nonetheless, grab this if you can, you won’t regret it.
…in fact, why not give us a chance to let you try one? Stay tuned for our next post with details on Cigar and Whiskey’s first contest, Follow the Flying Pig!
Sometimes after work I make a little run around all of the local cigar shops in my area. Normally I just visit, talk shop with the employees, grab a few cigars to add to my humidor, and then make my leave. Sometimes, however, I walk in and find something truly special. So it was when I walked into one of my local shops recently and came upon a box of Drew Estate’s new Liga Privada Unico Serie release, the UF-13 Dark. As a huge Liga Privada fan, I knew that I had to snag it at once before some else did!
Once I got home I opened the box and was treated to one of the more interesting cigars I have ever seen. The appearance is odd but elegant, featuring a camisetas de futbol baratas pigtail cap with a piece of fanned wrapper sticking out to create some flair. The wrapper is the same dark mottled brown of other Liga cigars, one that is rugged and luxurious all at the same time. The foot smells of earth and dark chocolate.
After first light I am immediately greeted with some characteristic black pepper along with a meaty, nutty flavor like smoke and walnuts. This ramps up relatively quickly to include brown sugar and a bit of leather. Delicious! Of course, it wouldn’t be Liga without a ton of smoke production, and I am not at all disappointed on that front.
The second third keeps the flavors of the first, though they gradually condense into a blended sweetness reminiscent of brown sugar stirred into a hazelnut-flavored cream. I also get the lightest hints of black coffee, though they are momentary bursts that appear and disappear throughout the third.
As I enter the final third the sweetness continues to deepen into what is initially a dry-cocoa, then progresses to something more akin to a molasses. This is fotbalove dresy eventually joined by milk chocolate and just a touch of light pepper, like the faintest dust of cayenne.
The UF-13 was a fantastic stick and one I definitely recommend if you can get your hands on it!
Paired With: McKenna 10 Year
So, if you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that I am a fan of limited edition cigars. Call it what you will, but I suppose I enjoy the spirit of the hunt and when I find something hard to find I pounce. So it was that in early January I stumbled upon half a box of the Oliva Serie V Maduros, a limited annual release. I bought what I could, eagerly brought them home…and promptly forgot about them until now. Still, I when I rediscovered them in the back of my humidor I knew that now was as good a time as any to light one up!
The cigar is very attractive, and I would expect no less from this much loved Oliva line. The cigar has a firm pack and a chocolatey brown wrapper with no discernible veins. The band looks very similar to the regular Serie V, which is all good as far as I’m concerned. The Serie V Maduro cuts easily and gives off a tasty earth and brownie aroma from the foot. Prelight draw is perfect with just the right amount of resistance.
The first light immediately offers some black pepper similar to what you might find in a Liga Privada No. 9. This is maintained, though lessens almost immediately as some cedar appears. The cedar deepens throughout the third until it transforms into a rich, deep earthy flavor. That earth and black pepper continues until the earth initially becomes more sweet until it billige fotballdrakter breaks and becomes far more flavorful, approaching something like a ripe plum. I thought this would carry until the second third but was surprised as, with just a few minutes left in the first, I get some dry cocoa, something floral like rose water, and a well-worn leather flavor. It tastes like an older bowling bag smells, minus the sweat.
The second third finally begins, but many of the complex flavors drop off quickly as the cocoa becomes a darker German chocolate complete with a characteristic bitterness and a finish like black cherries. The black pepper softens into white pepper, adding a soft spice to the chocolate. This continues throughout the second and into the last third.
The final third, as mentioned, keeps the pepper and chocolate. There is not much left to report, until the cigar gets a bit warmer with about fifteen minutes to go. Sometimes this is unpleasant, but in this case it causes a transition to a toasty campfire flavor. With just five minutes to go the cigar requires a relight, which doesn’t change the flavors but makes everything taste a fotballdrakter bit more fresh. With that, the cigar concludes.
Aside from the minor issue towards the end, the cigar was very rich, complex and enjoyable. There was just the right amount of smoke production which is substantial but not overt. This was an incredibly enjoyable cigar, so if you come across any I highly recommend you pick some up!
Paired With: Tom Sims 4yr