Artie 92 – This corona looks very rustic with a thick oscuro wrapper, and veins that pop out like those of a weight lifter. It’s cold nose is earthy, with suggestions of mint and oregano. Cap looks solid and the foot shows only fair bunching. Upon cutting, the draw is almost plugged, but I think there is enough airflow to smoke. I can see the tobacco has been compressed at the cap. Time to buy a V cutter. That might have helped. Surprisingly, once lit I get loads of smoke, in spite of the firm draw. As it starts to warm up, strong bittersweet chocolate notes bath the tongue. So far, this is a super tasty stick. Further in, I get a wonderful flavor of freshly baked baguette. Halfway, the flavors evolve into mint and chocolate deliciousness. Although the wrapper split due to the extremely low humidity of winter, this cigar never lost flavor and was smooth to the nub. This was a really enjoyable cigar.
Rob 91 – This is a beautiful oscuro oily wrapped cigar. There are tight invisible seams with a double cap. It is a very hard pack with an initial snug draw. There are huge plumbs of smoke with a toasted not, slightly bitter finish. The finiish is quite long and lasts until the next puff. Reminds me well done meat. The bitterness passed almost immediately upon heating up. There is a very creamy smoke with a bright white ash. There is an oily coating in my mouth from the smoke. The nutty flavor is dissipating. No spice or pepper present. A perfectly sharp razor burn is highlighting the smoking. I used a punch to open the stick, and that was not a good choice even though it is only a corona vitola. At the half way point I am getting a tar build up in the cap. Once I removed the cap entirely, the tar disappeared and the draw greatly improved. Now more open, the smoke and flavor started pouring out. Very earthy tone with a bit of chocolate. The razor sharp burn is accented by a noticeably cool smoke. At the 2/3 point the nuts and earth are gone. Now I am getting a chocolate flavor with a black pepper zing across my tongue with a fairly quick fade. The draw stayed perfect as did the cool smoke until the very end.
Paul 82 – Maduro brown wrapper, mottled almost black in places, cap falling off, no soft spots, medium veins, very light tobacco aroma, very deliberate draw. First 1/3: Lots of smoke, continues to smoke in the ashtray, light gray ash falls off at 1”, light tobacco and malt, razor sharp burn, light burn on the retrohale. Second 1/3: mild plus , light body , very short finish, little flavor. Last 1/3: Draw still deliberate, no changes, less smoke. Great construction, but little flavor.
Jim 87 – This cigar has a beautiful dark brown maduro wrapper and has a nice deep and rich fragrance. Flavors begin immediately after lighting. Dark and rich unsweetened chocolate, coffee and earth. Smoke is ample and burn is wavy and slightly uneven. At first I don’t think I am picking up any spice but there was a very slight cinnamon like finish that developed on my taste buds. Strength is slightly above medium. The burn evened out as I progressed. This cigar stayed pretty consistent throughout the experience. It got more earthy and slightly bitter in the last third. It was a good cigar but I was wanting a little more complexity.
Will 74 – Very dark corona, densely packed with a large rift about 3 inches long, possibly a stem pushing through. The cold nose has a floral soap aroma with black pepper, cold draw is fungal and earth. Upon ignition this cigar is immediately bitter chocolate with a sulphur odor. Nasty, I let it sit for 5 minutes and let it burn a bit. Nothing has changed, except the bitterness is accompanied by a musty, moldy flavor. At the 10 minute mark, I let it go. Absolutely horrible, one of the worst tasting cigars I have ever experienced. Interested to see what the rest of the panel thought. If I purchased at a B&M would demand a refund.