Artie 88 – Dark brown and smooth to the touch, this corona feels firm, with no soft spots. It’s got a closed foot, which I like a lot, and the cap is well formed. The unlit stick has the sweet smell of well-cured tobacco. The draw is firm, but unobstructed, and the cigar lights easily. My first impressions are that it’s a very strong cigar, with loads of in-your-face spice that makes the tongue tingle. One inch in, my mouth starts to get a bit dry, and I’m wishing the cigar had more seco leaves to balance out all the intense ligero I’m tasting. Perhaps a larger ring gauge vitola might be better balanced. Mid way the cigar retains its intense pepper spice, but the flavor remains unchanged. This is not a complex smoke, but it’s a satisfying cigar. Towards the nub a bitter chocolate flavor is present. This is a cigar that delivers a lot of kick, but lacks a balanced flavor profile.
Paul 87 – Mottled medium brown wrapper, shiny and oily, no soft spots, sweet cocoa aroma, medium veins, very good draw, cocoa and leather on the cold draw. First 1/3: Leather, oak, tart, excellent draw, medium strength and body, short finish, ash falls off at 1/2″. Second 1/3: Scalloped burn line, flavors constant, mild retrohale, finish slightly longer, ash very flaky, still medium, very acidy. I am salivating like one of pavlov’s dogs. Oak and leather notes. Last 1/3: Strength increases to full and the nicotine comes on strong, less smoke, richer and deeper flavors, burn scallops, the nicotine became overwhelming and I had to put it down. Smoke this one on a full stomach.
Will 75 – 5.5 x 50 busto, nice oily oscuro wrapper with a closed foot. The cold nose was like a molasses cookie with red pepper, cold draw was all raisins upon ignition the flavors were muddled with dark roasted coffee with a hint of sugar. Flavor was consistent but got more bitter with each draw, set it down for 5 minutes but nothing changed as I resumed (did not have to re-light). At the 15 minute mark this stick became so soft and spongy that it was un-smokeable. As Dean wormer said, “Zero Point Zero”.
Rob 88 – This is one of the nicest looking cigars I have smoked in a long time. The term beautiful is befitting. The wrapper is a dark brown maduro. It is silky smooth, has literally no visible veins and is triple capped. It has a very nicely done closed end foot. The stick actually looks good enough to eat! Well, lets get to the smoking…. Initial impression is a slight bitter flavor with a very very long finish. There is a slight black pepper on my tongue after one inch. It now has a much shorter finish along with a wanky burn. By the time I got another inch in, the burn had self corrected and was reasonably straight. The flavor continued with a tobacco vegetal influence along with the black pepper. I was not able to detect any maduro wrapper sweetness to the smoke throughout the stick. By the time there was one and one half inches left, I started to feel the nicotine kick in, and the smoke ended.
Jim 84 – Appearance is a very dark brown shaded cigar (almost oscuro), feels lightly packed as I can squeeze this cigar with ease. The foot is closed. Initials draws are full strength of coffee, earth and a strong black pepper on the back of my throat. Draw is very easy with a lot of thick smoke. After about an inch into the burn, the flavors have mellowed out. Burn has been wavy but with relatively even ash that is loose and falling off on its own. Coffee and earth flavors are in better balance but also now detecting some unsweet cocoa. At this point, there is just a very slight black pepper finish. Strength is between medium to full. Being that it is loosely packed, this cigar is burning quite fast. At halfway point, the burn went uneven and flamed out. I had to cut to even out and re-light. As I enter the final third of the cigar the flavors are starting to getting muddy. I’m trying to smoke it slower in attempt to counter-effect this change. The middle of this smoke was very good and was improving but the balance really fell off in the last third. In my opinion me this is a decent but just an average cigar.