Paul 74 – Light brown wrapper, prominent veins, some soft spots, draw very firm, no aroma on the wrapper. First and last 1/3: Grassy and bitter, light amount of thin smoke, mild strength, light body and short finish, off flavors, very bitter aftertaste, draw very difficult. Artie’d it at 1”. Un-smokeable.
Rob 79 – There is an oily smooth light brown wrapper. Unfortunately, there is a 1 square cm hole in the wrapper near the head of the cigar. Two prominent veins are apparent in the wrapper, but with tight invisible seams. Light up provides a full but slightly bitter smoke output. It has a smooth mouth feel with a general tobacco flavor. It has a reasonably good burn, but a rather fast burning pace. Again, very smooth, but no spice or pepper which would have complimented the vegetal flavors at this time. At the 1/2 mark, still a smooth vegetal flavor, but still no surprises or kick in the smoke. At the 3/4 point, the wrapper is falling apart and peeling off the stick. No transitions nor spices surfaced within the smoke at all.
Jim 89 – Medium brown wrapper with distinct veins wrapped around this robusto. Starting out with a smooth creaminess with toasted marshmallows mixed in along with some very strong cedar that mellowed out as soon as the cigar heated up. The burn is relatively even but a bit jagged. The ash is very firm and hanging on tight. Draw is very good. Hitting the halfway point and not seeing much change. This cigar is pretty mellow smoke and seems to get more mellow as I continue. Finally some change! I am now getting a distinct citrus finish combined with the bready flavors of a soft pretzel. The smoke is still creamy and smooth with only very slight notes of the initial cedar. The burn went uneven the second half and I had to level off several times. Personally I tend to go with a more full strength cigar. That being said, I really did enjoy this cigar. Although it is not a complex cigar, the flavors stayed consistent, well balanced and I ended up smoking it down to the nub. I could see pairing this with a vodka martini or a glass of chardonnay.
Artie 84 – This claro robusto looks eerily similar to the Cusano 18 I reviewed (and hated) in the previous round. With not much of a cold nose and an almost plugged draw, I’m not feeling too optimistic about this stick. After taking a small tweaking screwdriver to drill holes in the cut cap, I was able to get enough draw to light the cigar. Once lit, I’m getting a grassy/herbal taste, not unexpected from a claro. There is, however, a slight white pepper tingle on the tongue that keeps it interesting. Mid way, the cigar gets a nutty flavor and the grassiness dies down. At this point I find myself enjoying the cigar…somewhat. It’s not unpleasant. At the nub it’s a fairly satisfying cigar, but not one I would smoke again.
Will 86 – Nice fat robusto with a toothy colorado wrapper, dense and heavy in the hand. Nice triple cap. The cold nose was toasty tobacco with a hint of red pepper, one sneeze. Cold draw was the same with some toasted coconut thrown in. Once lit the coconut was accompanied by lemon zest and a long minty finish. At the 15 minute mark the cigar is burning razor sharp and the draw is fine, salty leather is now front and center. At 30 minutes in, the flavor is consistent with little change. Medium body and flavor, let it go at 45 minutes as the flavor never really blossomed.