Archive for the ‘spice’ Tag

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche Cigar Review

I have been under the gun as of late, and hadn’t had the chance to kick out all the reviews I would like, but I am still sticking to the promise of at least one a week. This week’s is Drew Estate’s infamous Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche.

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

Outside of mail order, I hadn’t been able to find the Cafe Con Leche in any of the local brick and mortar shops. A few had looked into them for me, with no prevail. I finally gave in and mail ordered a few. I hadn’t tried a dual-shade wrapper prior to the Cafe con Leche, and I was quite interested to see how it turns out. The Negra, and Dulce, although both coffee infused cigars have very different tastes. Not to mention torpedoes are my vitola of choice.

The Good Stuff: The Cafe con Leche is a limited edition half-breed of the rich, dark, Tabak Especial Negra Maduro and the creamy, smooth Tabak Especial Dulce. Combine those two magnificent cigars together, add a bit of torpedo, and the outcome is pure genius. The Cafe con Leche is composed of aged, coffee infused Esteli-grown Nicaraguan long filler wrapped with a dark, Connecticut Broadleaf maduro foot and head, and a soft shade-grown Connecticut leaf.

Size: 5.5 x 54  –  Wrapper: Connecticut Maduro/Connecticut  –  Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

Prelight: Outside of the obvious dual-shade wrapper, the Cafe Con Leche sports incredible construction. I was unable to find any soft spots, or signs of unwrapping. There are two prominent veins, but nothing to worry about. The Cafe Con Leche sports two beautiful bands on both the head and foot of the cigar. I have always loved the bands on all the Drew Estate cigars, and this is no exception. I honestly think the thought put into the marketing, and appearance of cigars is almost as important as the construction of the cigar itself. Upon unwrapping the cigar is scented with strong cocoa, and coffee aromas. Especial in the maduro regions. The light body of the cigar is scented with hints of spice, chocolate, and light creamy coffee. The cigar is packed full and loose with medium colored filler tobacco.

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

Drew Estate Tabak Especial Cafe Con Leche

First Smoke: This Tabak Especial lit up real quick under my little single flame torch. The first few draws is as expected, remarkably sweet. Being that I love infused cigars, that’s a great thing. The cap itself is very sweet. You are immediately thrown into a frenzy of dark chocolate, mixed with rich, raw, espresso like coffee. The Cafe Con Leche produces large amounts of very dark, thick smoke. The smell of the smoke is amazing, and not annoying at all. The cigar is increasingly sweet after a few puffs, but not overpowering in anyway. At this point the burn is PERFECT, lets hope that keeps up. I got over an inch and a half before the ash gave out.

Halfway There: The taste of the cigar evens out a bit as you get to the lighter shaded body of the Cafe con Leche. The cap of the cigar is still really sweet, but the smoke itself is well balanced, and incredibly smooth. I could go at this one all night if possible. The flavor is still holding tight with the strong, raw coffee and rich chocolate. Honestly, I can’t think of anything better to infuse a cigar with other than coffee. Oddly I can say this cigar would probably go really well with a glass of milk. Too bad I’m lactose intolerant.

Finish: I nubbed the hell out of this cigar. The Cafe con Leche had a perfect burn all the way through. I never had to touch it up. Drew Estate has always been known for perfection and the Tabak Especial is no exception. Towards the nub of the cigar the chocolate coated espresso bean taste increased in strength, as well as the tobacco as well. This made quite an enjoyable finish, a bit strong, but well balanced.

Overview: This is one hell of a cigar. Due to the looser construction the nub itself burnt a bit hot, but nothing unbearable. I absolutely love the Tabak Especial line from Drew Estate, and I am really glad all the trouble I went through to get this cigar payed off. I would recommend it not only to an infused smoker, not only to a non infused smoker, but to anyone interested in starting cigars. The medium-bodied experienced was very smooth, and would win over even the toughest of critics.

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Oliva – NUb – Cain Habano Ligero Belicoso Cigar Review

I don’t even know where to start with this review, but I am extremely lucky to have gotten my hands on one of Oliva Cigars newest products, The Cain Habano Ligero.

Cain Straight Ligero Habano

Cain Straight Ligero Habano

Being that I am new to cigar reviews, I spend a lot of time reading other sites and blogs. One name stood out as of late and its all over the internet. The Cain Straight Ligero is all over twitter, blogs, review sites, and even the buzz in local stores. Needless to say I jumped at the first chance to get my hands on one of these bad boys that I could, getting a pre-release kit courtesy of Sam Leccia himself. He was kind enough to send a few of these out before release to cigar reviewers all over the Internet.

The Cain line of cigars (at this point I believe is is just a habano, and a maduro) are the newest release from the nimble hands of Sam Leccia, maker of the famous NUb cigar line. The Cain will be announced to the world at this year’s International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Event that took place this past week in New Orleans and is by far one of the most anticipated cigars to make face in this years event.

Cain Straight Ligero

Cain Straight Ligero

The Good Stuff: The Cain Straight Ligero cigar is, as obvious of its name, a ligero based cigar. Ligero tobacco is the absolute top leaves from the tobacco plant. These leaves are not only said to be the strongest of the entire plant due to the excessive amount of sun they absorb, but the most flavorful as well. Taking it one step further has always been a trend when it comes to Sam, and the Cain in no doubt withholds that tradition with its triple fermentation process. Easily said, the ligero tobacco leaves are fermented three different times, producing massive amounts of heat withdrawing the strongest, and most flavorful tobacco possible while at the same time producing the longest burning tobacco. Although the Cain states “straight Ligero” the tobacco in this cigar are blended with Seco tobacco to produce a true burn.

Cain Straight Ligero

Cain Straight Ligero

Size: 5×50  –  Wrapper: Ligero Habano  –  Filler/Binder: Ligero  –  Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua

Prelight: The Cain I happened to receive was a Belicoso (torpedo) habano. Which is actually my favorite shape. The construction of this cigar is magnificent. Absolutely no flaws, or soft spots. When I recieved my package UPS did a good job banging the hell out of the box, so I wasn’t sure what condition the contents would be in. The Cain Habano boasts a very dark, very smooth, chocolaty brown wrapper. This actually threw me off, and for a while I thought I actually had received the maduro. From what I hear I’m not the only one who made that mistake. There were very little veins. The banding itself is remarkably simple. A black and gold band, stating the words Cain Straight Ligero is soft script; the perfect touch, the Cain speaks for itself.

First Smoke: As a trend in most traditional cigars I have had recently the Cain Habano took quite some time to get lit under the gun of my single flame colibri butane torch. The first tastes were that of a woodsy cedar arrangement, followed shortly by sharp pepper spice. The Cain’s spice was incredibly strong and flavorful, and at times actually tickled the back of my throat while the strength of the tobacco made my eyes water. The draw was decent sized, and very thick. It wasn’t wrapped too tight, just tight enough not to let the immense taste over-power the smoker. The Cain, even in its beginning stages, has to be by far the strong cigar I have ever smoked. The scent of the Cain was well-paired with its cedaresque smells, mixed with that of leather and spice. The ash built up for well over an inch before giving way.

Cain Straight Ligero

Cain Straight Ligero

Halfway There: I am so taken by the strength of the Cain, and the length of the burn. I can’t believe I have been going at this cigar for over an hour an I am barely reaching the halfway point. I’m not babysitting this guy either, I am hitting the hell out of it and the remarkably smooth smoke, with the great flavor is allowing me to do so. The taste is still hanging in there, and has yet to change, or decrease. The strength of the Cain has increased a bit by this point, while the burn is INCREDIBLY perfectly even.

Finish: When all was said and done the Cain Habano took me little over two and a half hours to smoke down to the nub. Again, I was going at this cigar like a champ. I am so blown away at the consistency in burn, flavor, and strength. Even towards the very end of this cigar, it was still a very smooth, enjoyable smoke. I took this down and one sitting, needless to say I was a bit light-headed and disoriented when I stood up for the first time.

Cain Straight Ligero

Cain Straight Ligero

Overview: The Cain is one hell of a cigar, and anyone who has had one should be privileged. Because of the strength, and flavor, I wouldn’t recommend this cigar to any novice smoker, or those with weak stomachs. But anyone who has ever enjoyed a few good, stronger cigars this one’s for you. I would buy this again, and plan to do so in the very near future.

Ambrosia Vann Reef by Drew Estate Cigar Review

Finally getting around to finishing up the review for the Ambrosia – Vann Reef cigar from Drew Estate I had recently.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

These were part of a gift sent over to me. Prior to receiving them I had yet to hear of the Ambrosia line which struck me odd as I am such a huge Drew Estate follower.

The Good Stuff: Jonathan Drew, founder and  Production Director of Drew Estate is always looking for new blends, spices, oils, and aromas to concoct his next infused cigar. The Ambrosia line is nothing short of his best. Ambrosia is very similar to the ACID line in construction but is infused with only the best spices and botanicals found throughout Europe and Asia giving it a very unique taste. From Clove to Star Anise, Ambrosia cigars are nothing short of masterpiece.  Each Ambrosia Vann Reef Cameroon Cigar is carefully blended with sweet, mild tobaccos from Drew Estates’ own hand – tended fields in the mountains near Esteli, Nicaragua and wrapped with rich Cameroon tobacco. It is said that these infused cigars are in fact the toughest blends produced by Drew Estate to date.

Size: 5×50  –  Wrapper: Cameroon  –  Flavor: Medium  –  Country: Nicaragua

Prelight: Upon unwrapping the cellophane you are hammered with a smell of fresh cloves, hints of pine, and sweet ginger. The wrapper is a creamy medium brown with very small veins. The construction is as close to perfect as it gets. There are no soft spots. The Ambrosia Vann Reef cigar sports a very rounded cap and its wrapped very tight, maybe even a bit to tight for my liking. The construction reminds me very much of the ACID liquid.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

First Smoke: One noticeable difference between the ACID Liquid and the Ambrosia Vann Reef is lighting. The Liquid took quite a bit outta my little colibri butane torch to get started where as the Vann Reef lit up right away. The first tastes are a little hard to nail. The clove by far is the most overpowering flavor, followed closely by notes of ginger, pine, toasted nuts, and even green tea. The draw is really tight, which I am not a fan of. I’d rather burn the heck out of my hands than deal with a tight draw, but for sake of the review I’ll deal with it. The draw itself is pretty large and incredibly thick, this part I do like. The Vann Reef isn’t very strong at the beginning, hopefully that adjusts a bit further in the smoke as well. The cigar begins burning very evenly. I got over an inch and a half before the ash first gave way which was pretty far considering it was a windy day out on my patio. This cigar was paired up with a Lindeman’s Peche Peach Lambic beer. An almost perfect combination. One note is the Ambrosia line banding is very un-like all the other Drew Estate cigar lines. Most of the others are very detailed, and embossed with hints of metallic silver and gold ink. A lot of time goes into their banding. The Ambrosia line, not so much. I can totally see where he was going with it (tiki – india, asia, Eurpoe spices) but it caught me a bit off guard.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Halfway There: There are still absolutely no signs of any flaws. Drew Estate is known for the perfection in construction and this cigar represents that to its fullest. The strength has increased a bit, but not too much. The draw is still very creamy but much too tight. At this point I ended up giving the cigar another quick cut, increasing the draw drastically. Now that’s what I am talking about. The flavor doubled. More clove, Pine, and tea but what taste almost paired up with floral and leather-ish notes. It’s incredibly tasty. The draw has increased as well. I have yet to have to touch up this cigar and it is still burning perfectly. No unwrapping or cigar flaws whatsoever.

Finish: I took this cigar relatively close to the nub. My head began to hurt so I gave in a bit earlier than usual. The only taste that still remains is the clove, and it is strong. I’m not a huge clove fan, but I did enjoy this cigar. A big brownie point was the fact that I didn’t have to touch this cigar up once. Perfect burn. The Vann Reef finished off creamy, and didn’t increase in strength a whole lot throughout the cigar. All in all it was a great aromatic.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Overview: The ambrosia line is definitely an acquired taste. I really enjoyed this cigar, however I wouldn’t recommend it if you weren’t a fan of infused cigars, or strong flavors period. The Ambrosia line is a great step-up alternative to clove smokers.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Kaya Cigar Review

I know this is the second cigar review this week, but by pounded out his review I will be all caught up. Not to mention its hard to contain the excitement of not only spreading the word of these cigars, but its getting really tough to fight the urge to smoke the next one.

The cigar I am talking about is Drew Estate’s Ambrosia – Kaya.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Kaya

Drew Estate Ambrosia Kaya

The Good Stuff: Jonathan Drew, the founder and production director of Drew Estate is known for his remarkable ability to stretch cigar infusions to new, never before heard of lengths. From the ACID lines, to the coffee infused Tabak Especial lines, no other cigar manufacturer can parallel Drew Estate. The ambrosia line is no exception. These cigars are a VERY complex mixture of the rarest spices from South Asia, and Europe infused with aged Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco grown at the Drew Estate farm in Esteli Nicaragua. It is said that these infused cigars are in fact the toughest blends produced by Drew Estate to date.

Size: 4 x 38  –  Strength: Full Bodied  –  Wrapper: Colorado Claro  –  Country: Nicaragua

Prelight: The first thing you notice about this cigar is its small size. Don’t let that fool you, this is one powerhouse cigar and packs a MASSIVE punch. The Kaya would be best classified as the “ACID Bondie” of the Ambrosia line. It’s comparable shade, wrapper, size, and cut are hard to overlook. Along with the round cap this cigar carries with it a small, entwined end. Although it looks a bit silly, I’m sure because of the size of this cigar it is necessary in order to protect against unwrapping. The Kaya is a very consistent cigar, it shows no visible veins, and absolutely no soft spots, and a very loose wrapping. As soon as you remove the cellophane you are engulfed with a massive clove scent, along with several spice, and botanical hints.

First Smoke: HOLY CRAP!! That about sums it up. This tiny little cigar produces the largest draw I have ever hit off of any cigar. HUGE clouds of very thick smoke. The flavor is much the same. The first flavor to hit the pallet is clove, followed closely by nutmeg, and even a bit of Cinnamon. The taste may be a bit over-powering, but that is the way I like it. Because of the cigars small stature I don’t foresee burning to be an issue, it’s going very even at this point. The cigar is VERY strong but overall smooth.

Halfway There: At this point this cigar is still a beast. The only downfall is due to it loose wrapping the sucker is burning QUICK. You may want to carry another one with you. The flavors continue to pound the pallet leaving the smoking craving more. The draw is even thicker as you progress and the burn is impeccable. I got almost halfway through the cigar before it finally ashed off. The cigar is still VERY strong at this point, but it is not bothersome in the least. It actually makes the draw quite creamy.

Finish: Incredibly this cigar has yet to loose its strength, its draw, or its powerful flavor. I really wish I had take another one with me as this cigar went much too fast (about 35 minutes). I smoked this one passed the nub, passed the danger zone, and all the way down until I could no longer hold the guy without burning my fingertips.

Overview: This is one hell of a cigar. I would consider it again, any day, anytime. It is VERY similar to the acid line in smoke, and quality. The main difference will be these taste. ACID cigars are pretty flavorful as is, most non-aromatic smokers despise them and should stay as far away from this cigar as possible. But any aromatic or ACID friendly smoker NEEDS to pick a couple of these up wherever they happen to find them available.