Länge: 17.78Durchmesser: 1.59 TAM
For any of our readers that don't already know Drew Estate's Unico Series is what they do with their experimental cigars that don't fit in any other line but are too good to ditch such as the Feral Flying Pig. The L40 is John Drew's stab at a lancero which he doesn't actually favour. It is technically not a lancero as the ring gauge is 40 not 38 (hence L40) because he felt that he couldn't fit the blend he wanted into a 38 ring gauge. The length is 7" and the smoking time about two hours. This is billed as a strong cigar and not for beginners so take your time or greet the toilet. I did the former. The wrapper looks like a Maduro but it is patchy in colour almost like a bad dye job but apparently it is a Connecticut leaf. It was quite soft to the touch and had a sweet cocoa scent. Once cut the draw was very light and tasted of earth and pepper. This cigar lit easily and was soon producing lots of smoke and I mean lots. Even at rest it was billowing forth. The ash was a dense almost white and had the same texture as a Montecristo that I smoked a few weeks ago. The ash dropped at an inch and then every inch after that. The burn line was perfect and for the first five inches I could just walk away and leave this without fear of it going out like some that die when you look away from then. In fact it was so good that I sorted out all my packaging collection (boxes and bubble wrap) in the back of the garage. However when it got to the final two inches it wouldn't stay alight despite three relights so I let it go. As for the flavour? It started out mild with a nutty flavour and a hint of pepper on the finish. After the first inch it became more creamy with that same peppery finish. Into the second third and it developed a mineral like taste for a while until the creaminess reasserted itself at the half way mark. The pepper went away for a while and the nuttiness returned till the final third when the mineral taste and pepper staged a comeback necessitating a purge to take the edge off it. In summary this was a good cigar overall with transitions and interesting flavours but give me a Cohiba Lancero any day.
Länge: 11.43Durchmesser: 2.38 TAM
With its oscuro wrapper and chunky shape this cigar is a butch little tyke. Coming in at 4.5" x50 it contains a combination of Mexican and Dominican fillers with a US wrapper. Mine was very firmly packed almost to the point of being hard and smelled earthy. What my lovely wife describes as dung. Once cut the draw was tight and tasted as it smelled. It lit nicely and burned dead straight and even but I just couldn't grow to like it. The overall taste was dry and earthy and to my amazement it had a hint of beetroot! Where the fuck did that come from, not my favourite vegetable I have to say. This cigar was turning me green at the gills so I just let it go out and looked for something else.
Länge: 8.89Durchmesser: 1.51 TAM
For such a long name one would expect a lot more than 3.5" x38 and added to that this cigar was the fastest burner I have ever smoked. I was actually watching the burn line move towards me. It was stored at 65% for those who like to know. This Davidoff is all Dominican with a Connecticut Shade wrapper that has a slight sweetness to it's scent. The cigar was quite springy and once cut had an easy draw that was dry and slightly earthy. The burn was dead straight and no relights were required in its 25 minutes of life. Flavour remained unchanged and was a slightly bitter roast walnut taste with a bit of a cigarette aftertaste. The smoke felt very dry and tannic and the last inch was too warm to smoke comfortably. Not one I could recommend or will buy again.
Länge: 10.16Durchmesser: 1.59 TAM
This is the second petit corona I have tried from the Flavours range and like the Moontrance this has a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers with a Colorado Maduro Cameroon wrapper. This cigar is flavoured with Baileys and white chocolate. The wrapper is quite toothy with a matte finish and smelled faintly of vanilla and chocolate. It was firmly packed with a soft foot and the size was 4" x40. Being a petit corona with quite a flat cap I kept my cut short. The cold draw was very light but had no distinctive flavours except a slight sweetness from the wrapper. Once lit it gave off plenty of smoke with a very smooth mild flavour and a roasted nut finish. The burn evened out nicely and stayed true till the end with a medium grey ash that flowered a little but nothing that affected the experience. That slightly bitter roast nut flavour appeared every now and again but mainly the flavour had hints of sweet vanilla but sadly no Baileys. There was no pepper at all from this stick and as you can see it lasted very well. Definitely preferred this to the Moontrance.
Länge: 10.16Durchmesser: 1.59 TAM
If there was ever such a thing as a breakfast cigar then this little beauty fits the bill perfectly. I don't know why CAO feel they need to dress it up in a cedar wrap and a ribbon as well as a band as once stripped off this is a good looking little cigar. It measures 4" x40 and the wrapper is a toothy Colorado Maduro that smells of vanilla and chocolate. It was quite firm with just a little spring and a touch of looseness at the foot and when cut the draw was quite tight. A gentle massage loosened it up nicely like it does for the ladies and the cold draw had a faint vanilla taste. The wrapper also has a slight sweetness to it but nowhere like an Acid. Once lit it launched straight in with a big burst of roasted nuts that settled down to a smoother milder version of the same taste with just a hint of vanilla from the wrapper that lasted all the way through. The burn was perfect and the ash dropped every inch and no relights were required. It was stored at 70%. There was no pepper at all in this cigar and I smoked it as far as I could before it got too warm, about half an hour. This petit corona is very much a proper little cigar and not a gimmick and I will definitely be buying more
Länge: 13.97Durchmesser: 2.10 TAM
It's a good looking torpedo measuring 5.5" x53 with a slightly toothy Colorado Claro wrapper with a slight spring to it and a sweet Cuban tobacco smell. The construction looked perfect with a slightly splayed foot and once cut the cold draw was smooth and the wrapper had a little saltiness to it, not much in the way of flavour unlit. The cut end revealed a very tightly packed filler. It lit easily and was soon producing lots of smooth creamy smoke with a leathery flavour and the saltiness from the wrapper also persisted for a while. The ash dropped in my lap at around the inch mark and the burn needed correcting about half way down. This stick needed three relights and was getting quite soft but not hot towards the end. After the half way mark sone distinct toasted nut flavours developed along with a little pepperiness that increased into the final third. Overall a very nice cigar that lasted me a good ninety minutes but with so many more cigars to taste I wouldn't go so far as to get a box yet.
Länge: 15.88Durchmesser: 1.83 TAM
The initial flavour was mild, creamy and leathery and delicious. There was no pepper at all in this cigar and even my wife admitted to liking the flavour when she tasted it. Into the second third and hints of vanilla started to develop into the palate but not enough to dominate the flavour. The final third developed a taste of roasted nuts, pecans maybe, but I couldn't put my finger on it.
Länge: 12.70Durchmesser: 1.91 TAM
This cigar will be familiar to many of you but this was my first and smoked at JJs where it was recommended by the member of staff who served me. It was an unbanded stick selected from a cabinet of 50 but I didn't think to ask the age. It measured 5" x 60 and the wrapper was almost paperlike in texture with a sweet Cuban tobacco scent. I didn't notice any sweetness at first but taking a draw immediately after tasting Mark's RASS I immediately noticed the delicate sweetness of smoke that was recommended to me. The overall flavour for me was mild and leathery until about half way through when I was surprised by a transition that was almost pine-like in its astringency. What I enjoyed most about this cigar was the total lack of pepper all the way to the end. Smooth and mild throughout, just how I like it.
Länge: 8.89Durchmesser: 2.22 TAM
This cigar was not originally intended for sale but to give away to the first fifty people at Brick House promotional events as a 'teaser' for what they offered. At 3.5" by 56 you can be excused for thinking they were taking on the Nubs. It is all Nicaraguan and the wrapper is Nicaragua Havana Subido Shade but looks more like a slightly oily Colorado Maduro and has a malty scent. This little stick is very firmly packed with very little give in it and the foot gave off an oaty aroma, first time I've picked that up. It punched perfectly and the cold draw was very easy with a flavour that again had malty cereal notes with a hint of cocoa on the cap where I dampened it to punch. The initial flavour was very mild and it produced lots of smoke, in fact there was no pepper in this cigar at all even at the end when it started to get warm. The initial flavour can only be described as 'clean', like that feeling you get from cold water when you've cleaned your teeth and very pleasant it was too. Eventually it settled into a clean cedar taste that stayed constant till the end which for slow smoking me was an hour but was intended to be half that apparently. The burn was perfect and the ash a firm light grey that was holding well till I dropped the whole cigar in my lap whilst taking a photo! Overall this was a very nice short smoke that I won't hesitate to buy again.
Länge: 10.16Durchmesser: 1.19 TAM
Having not enjoyed the RyJ Puritos I wasn't expecting much from this little 4" x 30 stick especially as the fill felt soft and loose. Nothing off the wrapper except a mild tobacco scent but then what a pleasant surprise. Once the initial burst of pepper from lighting it subsided it settled in to nice pecan flavours with a long creamy finish. The burn was perfect and it gave 25 minutes of smoking pleasure with plenty of smoke and nice fruity aroma when exhaled. The last inch got a bit warm and peppery but what do you expect from a little stick like this. Overall not bad at all and better than some big ones I've had.
Länge: 10.16Durchmesser: 1.59 TAM
This cigar will be no stranger to most of you but what a little beauty it is. This has to be the perfect first cigar for a new smoker. Only 4" long with a ring gauge of 40 it has a Colorado Claro wrapper and mine had almost no scent at all. It was quite a loose fill and felt soft and springy but it burned perfectly all the way down to the nub giving off plenty of mild creamy nutty smoke. I really didn't want to put it down. Nothing complicated, no transitions, just 45 minutes of smoking pleasure. If you haven't tried it yet, buy some.
Länge: 10.16Durchmesser: 1.51 TAM
The wrapper is a dark matte maduro and has a rich chocolate scent and the foot has a hint of pepper. The stick is well packed with a little spring. A lot of American reviews talk of a poor draw on these but I found this to be quite the opposite. The draw was spot on with just a little resistance and the burn was perfect with no correction or relights required. The cold draw tasted mildly earthy. There was no initial burst of pepper on lighting and I was soon enjoying plenty of smoke with a roasted nut flavour and a rich fruity smell. The ash held on well for such a small stick and dropped in my lap at an inch and a half. A little pepper and a spice I couldn't put my finger on made an appearance in the second third and built up in strength to the end. Previously my go to short smoke was the Quintero Purito but it has been deposed by this little beauty, and the tin is so cool once you've spent ten minutes removing the damned stickers.
Länge: 12.70Durchmesser: 1.75 TAM
Known as Jesus Fuego's 'ugly little stick', I came across this unusual cigar in a 'Le Snob Guide to Cigars' that I got for Christmas and went looking for them. The story is that master blender Jesus and his father always tested blends by picking up a whole leaf and wrapping it round the blend of the day. This results in these ugly little sticks that are hand rolled without any form of press so no two are ever alike. He had the blend for his Natural range in his pocket in two of these samplers when a friend visited and this was all he had to offer him to smoke. The friend liked it so much he suggested that it should be the next vitola for that range. Great story don't you think? They are sold in packets of five in paper packets with a pull string at the top that rips it open. The cigars are 5" long with an average ring gauge of 44 and no cap, just light the fat end and stick the thin end in your mouth. They are very firm to the squeeze and the wrapper looks like a maduro with an oily finish and no raised veins. The wrapper is from Brazil, the binder from Costa Rica and the filler from Honduras and Nicaragua. The wrapper has no discernible scent other than tobacco and the unlit draw is very light and easy. It lit very easily and produced lots of smoke. It started off with a very mild and clean tasting tobacco flavour and burned very well indeed. The ash was a very pale grey; almost white, and was holding on at the inch and a half mark when it split in half length ways so I tapped it off. After about half way it produced a little pepper that came and went and the burn slowed down as it reached the fat bit. The flavour can only be described as like toasted walnuts with just a hint of bitterness and a clean mouth feel and it lasted a good hour for me with just one relight required. This is certainly one I shall be keeping for a short smoke and will probably attract some attention due to its unconventional look when everything else on the market is so tidy and regular nowadays.
Länge: 13.97Durchmesser: 2.26 TAM
The wrapper is a classic dark maduro colour which was oily with a bit of tooth to it. The scent was pure rich chocolate and the cold draw was very light and dry with a light mocha flavour. It took two attempts to light but humidity was very high in my garage which probably contributed to the need for frequent relights. Once lit and put down it smoked like an Autumn bonfire and smelt rich and fruity. For the first time I experienced an oily feel on my lips which was very pleasant and the smoke was light, sweet and clean tasting. After 25 minutes it started to develop coffee flavours too. The ash was a very light grey and compact and it held on well. The burn started to go slightly askew after the first inch but it corrected itself with no help needed. This cigar lasted me two hours and that clean mouth feel is still with me two hours later, highly recommended.
Länge: 13.02Durchmesser: 1.71 TAM
Here's a petit corona that will be known to a lot of you I suspect. Measuring 5.12" with a ring gauge of 43 this is a firmly packed little stick, no softies here though maybe a little springiness when squeezed. The wrapper was quite rustic looking with an oily look and the smell was simple good Cuban tobacco, I couldn't detect any flavour notes on this one. Once cut the unlit draw offered a little resistance and tasted peppery with a hint of caramel and gave my tongue a little chilli sting. The first few draws really surprised me because they were ever so slightly salty, haven't tasted that before. It settled down a very creamy and smooth smoke which needed a good drag to keep it going. This cigar wasn't plugged but she was going to make me work for it. The ash was a dark dirty grey and the burn was dead straight all the way but she needed a few relights, possibly due to the ambient humidity which was around 84%. The pepper increased throughout the hour and a quarter that it lasted and it started to get a bit bitter in the final third despite being purged. Not a cigar that I would turn down but equally not one that I would seek out.