I've been going through a really good stretch over the past few months - despite being a new, first time father, I've had enough free time to enjoy at least 5 cigars a week, and typically many more. Unfortunately, a streak of good luck, good weather and free time came to an end this week as I was only able to get out 3 times this week. (Side note - this isn't completely true. I know for a fact that I smoked a Herrera Esteli Lonsdale Club and a Camacho Triple Maduro Robusto at the very least in addition to these 3, but some times you smoke just to smoke - not to take pictures and make notes.) So, without further adieu, I give you this week's abbreviated Week in Review:
Tatuaje Black Label Lancero - I've always been a fan of the Tatuaje Black Label - in fact, it might have actually drawn me to the Lancero vitola as the Petit Lancero is just a fantastic, fantastic smoke. Back in December, Pete Johnson released 1,000 boxes of the Black Label Lancero (previously only available with the Culebra as part of the Old Man & the C) strictly to NY & NJ retailers to support Hurricane Sandy relief. As soon as I heard these were available, I picked up a box (actually, a funny story is that I originally set out to split a box with someone and when we realized the boxes were just $100, we each bought our own box). When I first smoked these in December, I thought they were great, but now in mid-July, I think they may have gotten even better. Fantastic construction in a Lancero vitola with medium-to-full strength that delivers a bit of spice on the backend, and, while I got sweetness when I first smoked this, an abundance of wood flavors have now taken over.
Villiger Colorado Robusto - I'm not sure where I've been, but I haven't had a Villiger Cigar before. I know my local B&M has had them for awhile, and I've seen lots of discussion about them, but, for some reason, I just never indulged. This changed when I stepped into my local shop the other day and pulled this one off the shelf. A shiny Nicaraguan Colorado wrapper with red and glaringly gold bands caught my eye and I gave this baby a guillotine cut and lit her up. I'm not sure what the dominant flavors were - there was a touch of spice, but mainly a woodiness that really delivered for me. I'd consider this a medium cigar that might not have been the most complex cigar I've ever smoked, but was extremely enjoyable and kept me intrigued as I nubbed the end.
Nica Rustica - I've often preached this, but this should be evidence to everyone - it pays to frequent your local B&M! If you frequent this site, you know that, due to a combination of family responsibilities and weddings, I was unable to attend IPCPR this year as I stayed behind while the rest of the CigarFed crew went and watched over the site! So, while everyone came home talking about all the amazing products about to hit the market, I wallowed in my own despair. That is until I walked into Barrister Cigars and spoke to Dave. I met Dave over a year ago, and I've been a multiple time weekly patron of the shop ever since. As I walked in, Dave asked me if I asked for any samples from him. I said, "No!". He then asked if I wanted to try anything, and after initially saying, "Everything!", I told him I was very eager to try the Nica Rustica and out he pulls one for my sampling. I had my V-cutter on me so, oddly, I V-Cut this and lit her up. Immediately, I could tell that this was a unique cigar - and one that will be extremely popular. I'm not a huge fan of Undercrown outside of the Corona Viva, but I'd take this any day over a UC (the Viva is admittedly a close call for me), and, considering the price point, I'd probably go to this 7 times out of 10 over a Liga (that's not to say its better than the Liga, just that it is very good and, at a much lower price point, will attract me more). Really interesting flavor profile - like chocolate and nutty at the same time with a little spice. Legitimately unlike anything else I've ever smoked and I'm curious to not only hear what others think when they smoke it, but see how the flavors develop over time. These are expected to start hitting stores in October and I cannot wait as I can see this become part of my regular rotation!
And that's the week. I apologize for the shortened week, but this gives you more time to enjoy all of our IPCPR coverage! Check it out - new content at 2pm and 4pm EST daily - and I'll try to smoke more for next week's review!