Archive for the ‘el paso’ Tag

Cruzado Dantes Cigar Review

Another one of Dion Giolito’s masterpieces is under review this week. The Cruzado.

Cruzado

Cruzado

I have heard of these cigars, but most shops locally in El Paso, Texas don’t even carry Illusione cigars, so unless I was to receive these as a gift or trade, I probably never would have got my grubby little paws on one.

Luckily, a great little shop by the name of Tobacco Road recently jumped on the Illusione bandwagon and not only started stocking Illusione cigars, but Cruzado as well. Adam, the owner of the shop, actually gifted me a few of the Cruzado cigars in hopes to spread word of the brand. If you’re ever in town, Tobacco Road is a must-stop.

The Good Stuff: As stated earlier, the Cruzado line of cigars is another line blended by the mastermind himself, Dion Giolito. The Cruzado line was released in mid 2008. With the success of Dion’s Illusione lines the Cruzado had quite a bit of hype to live up to. Unlike the full-bodied Illusione cigars the Cruzado is best described as a medium to full, with complex flavors, soft spices atop leather and general creaminess. The size I have recieved is the Dantes Robusto. The Cruzado is blended by Dion, and then rolled in the Raices Cubanas along with the rest of the Illusione line.

Size: 5 x 48 –  Wrapper: Nicaragua Criollo  –  Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan/Honduran  – Strength: Medium

Cruzado

Cruzado

Prelight: The Cruzado’s wrapper is very firm to the touch. There were no soft spots whatsoever, actually quite the opposite. The wrapper was nice and oily, but at the same time it seemed a bit firmer than what I was used to. As most of Dion’s cigars the Cruzado sports a nice, rounded triple cap. I really wish more cigar manufacturers would take a que from Cuban construction and triple wrap their caps. The cap seems to be the only portion of the cigar I ever really have any problems with. not only is the wrapper a nice, milk chocolate shade of brown, but it also carries with it chocolate scents with hints of spice. The foot of the Cruzado smells very leathery with notes of nutmeg.

Cruzado

Cruzado

Cold Draw: I cut this particular cigar using my Palio double-bladed cutter. The cut was very clean, and there were no signs of misconstruction upon the slice. The cold draw was very spicy, with timid hints of what I could only categorize best as German pastry.

First Smoke: The Cruzado was wrapped a bit too tight for my liking. I was able to pull a decent draw off of the cigar but it took far more hits than I am used to. Almost instantaneously I was smacked in the face with a burst of pepper I wasn’t expecting. Other flavors were oats, bread, spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, leather, and again the German pastry. The Cruzado didn’t leave much of an aftertaste, just the slight lingering tobacco taste that is expected when smoking cigars. The burn started off well but is beginning to get slightly wavy. It’s still too early into the cigar to tell how this will affect the overall experience. The Cruzado is a great retro-hale cigar, clean, non-burning. I got about and inch and a half into the Cruzado before the ash gave way for the first time.

Cruzado

Cruzado

Halfway There: Shortly after I reached the halfway point the draw began to open up a whole lot more. I was no longer having to hit this cigar three or four times to get the massive burst of smoke I wanted. The burn line did get a bit wavy and I had to touch it up, I don’t see any further issues with it though. The flavors are holding their own. At this point the pepper is no longer in the mix, more spice, vanilla, oats, and bread. I’m really quite surprised how slow this cigar is burning. The smoke is thick and very light in color where as the ash is a whole lot darker than what you would normally expect out of any cigar. It’s not really flaky, but it isn’t really packed either.

cruzado5

Cruzado

Finish: There was a slight harshness to the nub of the Cruzado, but not anything serious. It may be in part to the massive smoking I did early into the cigar. The Cruzado finished very smooth otherwise. There was no nicotine feel. Overall the Cruzado was an incredibly smooth smoke. The pepper made a quick return towards the end of the cigar, but just enough to effect the aftertaste. After the halfway touch-up I had no further burn issues at all. The flavors finished off very Vanilla Coffee Creamery, with Oaky Leather and hints of pepper.

Cruzado

Cruzado

Overview: Although the Cruzado had great flavors, and was extremely smooth, it was just a little on the light side for my taste. This isn’t to say I won’t have it again. I actually think the Cruzado will be one of the few Medium smoke I will have in my regular rotation. This is a perfect cigar for novice and casual smokers.

Cruzado

Cruzado

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Isla Del Sol Churchill by Drew Estate Cigar Review

Trying to kick out another review before the week’s end, this time Drew Estate’s Isla Del Sol Churchill comes up to the plate.

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Isla Del Sol Churchill

First and foremost, before getting into this review I want to state something. This is a value cigar. And with most value cigars it’s very easy to just bomb them in a review, and give them the worst possible recognition. But, I am not going to base this review on the Isla Del Sol’s comparison to other coffee infused cigars. I will base this review on the value of this cigar, and at about $3.50 a stick for a Churchill, in a B&M store, that value is pretty high.

The Good Stuff: As stated before, The Isla Del Sol is a value line cigar, for the coffee enthused cigar smoker. The Isla Del Sol is a complex mix of Nicaraguan tobaccos wrapped in a beautiful Sumatra leaf. The Isla Del Sol is then, carefully infused with Sumatran Manheling Bean Coffee and shaped to perfection.

Size: 7 x 50  –  Wrapper: Natural Sumatra  –  Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Prelight: First of all, the churchill, by far, is my least favorite shape. I like the thick, toothy cigars. I’m not a real big fan of the long slender ones, but at this price, I couldn’t resist.  The first thing I noticed was the Dual band. I know it’s a waste of paper, but I think it brings a lot of elegance to the cigar itself. The bottom band which I failed to snap a picture of, just very thin, and located just at the foot of the cigar. It contains the words “Sun Blessed” where as the head of the cigar sports a very large, embossed band with a sun, and the Isla Del Sol branding on it. The cigar is VERY soft, and has very large veins. Usually I don’t care much about veins but these may pose a problem in the burn. One wrapper defect, directly in the center of the body there are two large cracks. I hope that they remain the same size, and don’t grow any.  Outside of those I don’t see any other imperfections.

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Isla Del Sol Churchill

First Smoke: Wow, this is one sweet cap. I don’t mind that, one bit, but I can already hear people complaining about it. A few puffs in the sweetness mellows out though. The first tastes are that of raw coffee, cocoa, graham cracker and roasted nuts. I am actually pretty impressed by the taste of this cigar. It’s no where near as potent as the Tabak Especial’s, but its pretty close. Most of the flavor that I am pulling from the Isla Del Sol seems to be concentrated in the wrapper. The filler tobacco isn’t that great tasting, but that was expected. The draw is very week, I have to puff it about 3 times to get the draw I want out of it. I think a lot of that has to do with the shape of the cigar though. The burn is pretty even I must say, but the Isla Del Sol burns a lot faster that I expected. I was actually surprised that I got well over and inch and a half of ash off this cigar before it gave out.

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Halfway There: The Isla Del Sol continues to burn incredibly fast. In the picture above you can see the cracking in the wrapper. It actually gave me little problems at all, I burned straight through them. The weakness of the draw is still really getting to me. I am having to puff the hell out of this cigar to get the smoke I am looking for, and I know this will wreak havoc on the nub when I get there. The taste of the Isla Del Sol has leveled off a bit. The cocoa has worn off and is now being replaced with a raw coffee/pie crust. It’s not that bad at all actually. I have had to touch it up only once or twice, even then it probably wasn’t needed. I am just a pain in the butt when it comes to burns.

Finish: The Isla Del Sol took me only a bit over an hour to get down towards the nub. It had to be the quickest burning cigar I have ever had. I wanted to keep going down to the very head of the cigar, but since I was hitting the cigar like a beast to get the draw I wanted, the nub was pretty toasted, bitter, and harsh. I gave up way earlier that I usually do. One a good note, the flavors remained coffee-consistent throughout the length of the cigar.

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Isla Del Sol Churchill

Overview: Again, this cigar is a heck of a value. Would I smoke it again? Yes, totally. Would I buy it again? I would if I catch a few at a B&M, this won’t be a cigar I will go chasing after. Would I recommend it? Probably not, unless its to someone actually looking for a decent priced infused cigar. This is the perfect cigar to have laying in your humidor for those days when you want a quick smoke, but you aren’t sure if you will have the time to finish, or are just looking for something a bit different. I would totally recommend keeping a few on hand for such moments.

Camacho Corojo Monarca Cigar Review

This week’s review (although a little late) is Camacho’s Corojo Monarca.

Comacho Corojo - Image courtesy of cigar.com

Comacho Corojo - Image courtesy of cigar.com

Although I am an infused cigar smoker, these were sent to me via a campaign Camacho was running. I’m not going to go into details, just know that because of this campaign I will not be posted any pictures of the cigar I took myself. There is good reason for this, and if you wish to see some just shoot me a message and I’ll send them right over. Outside of the Liga Privada No. 9 this will be my first tradition cigar review, so go easy on me.

The Good Stuff: The Camacho Corojo is one of the strongest cigars in the world, it boasts a complex blend of strong tobacco grown in Honduras from a rare seed smuggled out of Cuba during the embargo. Camacho Corojo is a connoisseurs cigar in that it is appreciated by enthusiasts who have over a decade in the hobby and a distinctive and experienced palate capable of differentiating all of the complexities of this cigar. Camacho Corojo is full-bodied and full-flavored. The annual production of Camacho Corojo is limited, making them difficult to come by at times.

Size: 5 x 50  –  Wrapper: Corojo  –  Flavor: Full-bodied  –  Country: Honduras

Prelight: The cigar is made-up of a dark, rich, oily wrapper that is extremely well constructed. The wrapper itself is very “maduroesque” looking. The cigar itself is very soft, with no noticeable signs of problem areas. There are quite a few larger veins but nothing that will get in the way of enjoyment. The sent of the cigar is very earthy, and almost dirty (but in a good way). The cigar sports a very rounded double cap.

First Smoke: This cigar took quite a bit of time and maneuvering to get lit properly. That caught me a bit off guard as well as how tight the draw seemed to be. After a few larger hits the draw loosened up quite a bit and became incredibly large with huge clouds of very thick smoke. The first tastes were that of a strong cedar flavor, backed by lots of spice, and even a bit of leather. The strength of this tobacco is definitely evident in this smoke. I remember turning to my wife and actually saying “Holy crap this is a strong cigar”, a few times.  The cigar is burning pretty even at this point, but it did ash a whole lot sooner than I though. About a quarter of an inch in. Hopefully this isn’t a trend.

Halfway Through: I am still blown away by the massive strength of this cigar. I’m used to “girly” infused cigars, nothing of this magnitude. It keeps things interesting. The flavor is still very consistence. My tongue and throat are taking a beating to the black pepper spice taste. Its really good actually. The burn is remaining consistent, and the ash is staying on a lot longer now. The only downfall is I am having to touch this cigar up quite a bit for the burn to remain evenly lit. A lot of people mind this, I don’t. Any excuse to play with fire keeps me entertained.

Finish: As much as I wanted to nub this cigar I couldn’t quite make it. I’m not used to these massively powerful cigars, and quite frankly it kicked my ass a bit. I admit defeat. I did get pretty close though. The taste remained almost perfectly consistent throughout the smoke, where as the cigar itself started out incredibly strong and only grew as I smoked it. One note is the fact that I walked away from this cigar with very little after taste. My mouth was a bit puckered by the strength of the tobacco, but it didn’t have that cigar aftertaste to it.

Overview: The Camacho Corojo is one hell of a cigar. I wouldn’t recommend it to any beginner cigar smoker, but definitely a seasoned one. This cigar left me very light headed, and in awe of its flavor, and power-packed strength. I will have this one again I am sure.

Drew Estate ACID Def Sea Subculture Cigar Review

I have had a Drew Estate ACID – Subculture Def Sea perfecto sitting in my humidor for quite sometime. Due to the strong following of this guy I have picked it up numerous times when looking for that perfect smoke, but then placed it back into my humidor for lack of a day “worthy” of taking this one down.

Drew Estate ACID Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

Drew Estate ACID Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

If I am not mistaken the only place you can get these are through Cigars International. They’re awesome, and provide super quick shipping out of Pennsylvania.

I would imagine most other subculture blends will be equally hard to find. I have been blessed to have stumbled across 2 other subculture cigars. One was the largest cigar I have ever had. The ACID Hawg. This one was found in my hometown of El Paso, Texas at Kern Place cigars. The place is great, and Brad, the owner is an amazing conversationalist. They have two locations on the West side, one in the Cincinnat Entertainment disctrict and the other a bit further down mesa. They also have one (in which I frequent most often) snuggly hidden just off Lee Trevino on the east side.

The other is the ACID Toast. This I was lucky enough to receive in an infamous Acid Tin. Contents of these tins vary, but they are incredibly easy to find.

The Good Stuff: The entire subculture line boasts “taking cigar manufacturing to new limits”. Each small batch cigar is not only aged an extra year, but is also the most intuitive of infused blends. The ACID Def Sea is no exception. The Def Sea is a smoothly blended cigar wrapped in Sumatra seeded tobacco leaves and infused with the insane blend of flavors from honey water, to jasmine.

Size: 6 x 52  –  Wrapper: Sumatran  –  Strength: Medium  –  Shape: Perfecto  –  Country: Nicaragua

Prelight: The ACID def sea is a perfecto shaped cigar. This means it holds a torpedo shape at both the foot, and the head. Torpedos have to be my favorite shapes as they burn almost perfect every time. The cigar holds a very oily, creamy, dark Sumatra wrapper. It’s very close to a maduro, but no where near as sweet. Sadly from the picture above you can see that my cigar didn’t come in the best condition. Not only does it have a few cracks but the head of the cigar looks like its been smashed one time too many. Outside of that the cigar is great in construction, I can’t image how hard it is to roll one of these.

First Smoke: Kinda funny, but every time I smoke a cigar my wife takes the shaving from the head left on my cutter and sucks on it. Since she isn’t a cigar smoker this is how she bases her reviews. Oddly enough she looked at me with a sad face. She obviously gave this one a thumbs down. Being a man, I felt my review would be much different. The first hit was enormous. That had to be the best part of this cigar outside of the shape. It sports a very large, thick draw. Not nearly as big as the Ambrosia Kaya I reviewed recently, but large none the less. The taste. This is what caught me by surprise. Maybe I’m not a Jasmine fan but I really didn’t like the flavor produced by this cigar. It was really sweet (a good thing), with hints of honey, jasmine, pine, and cedar. The cigar itself wasn’t that flavorful at all and actually felt more like I was smoking a traditional cigar than an aromatic. The cigar was very easy to light, and burned very clean.

Halfway There: Another surprise was the fact that shortly after the first few draws not only did the cigar ash off (not even a half inch in, this may be due to the condition the cigar was in), but the burn seemed to have a mind of its own as you can see here:

Drew Estate Acid Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

Drew Estate Acid Subculture Def Sea Perfecto

One minute its burning great, the next its powerful on one side, then the other. It was kinda interesting to watch. Also note in the picture you can see the wrapping beginning to come undone.

The flavor is still there and hasn’t increased as of yet. As much as I would like it to. The draw has increased a bit and again, its the best part so far.

Finish: On a good note, outside of the image above there were no further defects in the wrapping. The cigar finished very smooth, but still lacked in flavor. I didn’t take it to the nub, but close enough to call it quits. This cigar just wasn’t as “Action-Packed” as I was hoping for. The cigar was still very smooth, and did not increase in strength as I smoked along.

Overview: Would I try this cigar again? Probably not. Would I suggest it to anyone else? Yes, especially if it is someone that solely smokes traditional cigars, or has a fear of infused cigars. I’m not at all unimpressed with this cigar. A lot of work goes into the subculture line and it clearly shows. The flavors in this guy just wasn’t my cup of tea. I still have the “Toast” in my humidor, and the “Hawg” was one hell of a cigar. It actually took me two days to smoke that one down (thank god, and my wife for my Cigar Savor).

Drew Estate ACID Cold Infusion Tea Cigar Review

I know its been well over a week, but with Fourth of July and my wife’s birthday all hitting close to the same time I’ve had little chance to sit down and lay down a review. I have had quite a few smokes though, another Java Maduro, A Tabak Especial Maduro, An ACID Liquid, a Drew Estate Naturals – Dirt Torpedo. All wonderful cigars. But there is one that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about.

Drew Estate ACID Cold Infusion Tea:

Drew Estate - ACID - Cold Infusion Tea

Drew Estate - ACID - Cold Infusion Tea

This was another one of the first smokes I have ever had and again, one of my favorites. Outside of coffee the next great additive to a cigar…TEA.

Not only are these great cigars, but for the price… UNBEATABLE. I picked this one up from the local El Paso brick and mortar shop “Tobacco Tin”. These guys are AMAZING. If you are local, or visiting definitely check them out. They have shops on both the east and west side of town with a MASSIVE selection in both. Not to mention top notch service!

On To The Good Stuff:

Strength: Medium  –  Size: 6 3/4 x 44  –  Wrapper: Natural Connecticut  –  Country: Nicaragua

Cold Infusion Tea is part of the ACID Gold line of infused cigars. These Cigars are carefully infused using Drew Estate’s secret infusion process with notes of everything from floral, to peach cobbler (no joke).

Prelight: This cigar has to be one of the best scented ACIDs ever created. The scent isn’t as strong as the Acid Blue’s but it is unbelievably enticing. The construction again, was impeccable. No visible veins. There were small amounts of filler tobacco found hugging the outside of the cigar, but these quickly brushed off with a soft blow. I usually tend to like shorter, fatter cigars. This one is just the opposite. Its long narrow construction forms a perfect fit in your hands making for a comfortable wield.

First Smoke: Again, I am using a Cuban Crafters double bladed “Perfecto” blade and a single flame standard colibri butane torch. I’m really tied to this cutter, but I may choose a Xikar double blade once I can convince myself its worth it. And as far as the torch, I’ll probably hold on to this guy until its death. At first, this cigar produces a VERY smooth draw. Scratch that, UNBELIEVABLY smooth draw. The only downfall was it didn’t produce as much smoke as I am used to. A lot of that has to do with the shape. The taste is remarkable. A pallet full of fruits, hints of what I think is green tea, and floral scents. The taste is in no way overpowering. It’s lightly infused not flavored. The burn was perfectly even and ash held on for at least a good inch before falling off.

Halfway There: This came to me as a surprise but about halfway through the cigar the draw begins to increase. The flavor stays the same making for an incredible smoke. It felt as if the cigar gained strength well into the smoke. Could this be due to the shape as well?!? I’m not too sure but it was a great surprise. The cigar is still burning even.

Finish: I took this guy all the way down to the nub. I was “in the zone” so I even took it into the “danger zone”, and my burnt lips didn’t regret it. Unlike the surprise halfway through this cigar, the draw and taste remained consistent. It was almost like I wasn’t even close to reaching its end. The wrapper held its shape all the way through with no signs of unwrapping keeping a consistently even burn.

Overview: This is a great cigar for many reasons. If you are new to smoking, or to smoking infused cigars, then this is the perfect introductory smoke. Not too harsh, not too powerful, and not too flavorful. If you have been turned off by ACID cigars because of the heavy scent and flavor then this is a good medium and definitely worth a shot. And of course, if you love infused cigars, and ACID brands, then this is right for you.