Another week, another set of reviews - all newer cigars to the marketplace. Again, I emphasize how important and valuable it is to frequent your local B&M. Not only are you supporting local, small businesses, but you never know who you will run into - two of this week's cigars were given to me by reps or owners who were in my local shop and offered me the opportunity to try their cigars. Additionally, two of the others were put aside for me because my tobacconist knew I'd want to try them as soon as they arrived. That type of customer service should be commended! Let's get to my musings...
AJ Fernandez El Mayimbe Robusto - Ever since these were announced, my buddy Craig (Midwest Rep for AJF) has been telling me how awesome these were going to be - he even named his Cigar Federation Fantasy Football team after this cigar! While I think the price on these is a little steep - even for a limited edition cigar - Craig was definitely right to hype these up as they're pretty darn good. These are full in every sense of the word - body, flavor and strength. At one point, even though I often praise myself for liking fuller-bodied cigars, I even found myself looking for some sugar water to "level me off" a bit. Started out with some moderate spice, but really mellowed out as it headed into the second third with a nutty chocolate-ness taking over. The best compliment I can give this cigar is that I started off smoking it thinking of how great this cigar would need to be to warrant the $17+ I paid for it in my local NJ B&M, and, yet, the other day I was back in my local shop and actually considered pulling another off the shelf. This cigar is that good!
Patel Family BOLD by Nish Patel Toro - As I stated above, it pays to frequent your local shops as I walked into my local B&M and the local RP rep was there and offered me the opportunity to sample the new BOLD offering from Nish Patel. I should start off by saying I'm generally not a fan of Rocky Patel cigars, and I was very forthcoming with my overall dissatisfaction with the brand prior to lighting up the smoke. I smoked about an inch of this cigar before I put it out - something I don't often do, but felt compelled to because of my overall dissatisfaction with this as well as my interest in utilizing my limited time to smoke something I actually planned to enjoy! The initial draws were so powerful that my sinuses actually hurt, which isn't necessarily bad, but it seemed strong just to be strong. I didn't even sense any real flavors beyond some sour flavor that I found to be incredibly unenjoyable. The flavor is definitely the issue here - its hard to pinpoint why, but something is "off" with it. Not a cigar that I'll be revisiting any time soon.
Ortega Cigar Co. Cubao No.3 Lancero - If you know me, you know I have a special affinity for Lanceros and I was so excited when Logan hit me with a Weasel Warhead with this inside! My understanding is that this new release of the Cubao is the same exact blend as the original and still made at My Father Cigars, but, honestly, it has been so long since I had one, I'm not even sure if I'd be able to tell the difference either way. I found the Cubao to be extremely spicy - especially on the retrohale - but in a good way and not taking away from my enjoyment. With a concerted effort to smoke this slowly to avoid any harshness or bitterness as I move along, I do find the cigar going out on me a couple of times in the first two inches, but this improves as I continue and I never experience the bitterness that is all-too-often a problem with Lanceros. The draw and smoke output are absolutely incredible for a Lancero, on the whole. Flavor is something substantial - to the point where I actually want to take a bite out of it - but I can't quite wrap my head around what it is. Either way, if you are a fan of Lanceros, track down a box of these, and, even if you aren't, consider it as these are tasty smokes!
AJ Fernandez Pinolero Maduro Robusto - When the Ortega Serie D Maduros came out, I was very excited because I found the Naturals to be amazing and I typically prefer Maduros so I was expecting the resultant cigar to be "orgasmic". In theory, that makes sense, but in practice, I found this Serie D Maduro to be a good cigar, but not "other-worldly". The Natural is a fantastic example of the Habano wrapper, and the Maduro is a pretty good cigar. I feel much the same way about the Pinolero and Pinolero Maduro. I thought the Pinolero was a fantastic cigar - one I've seen myself going to over and over again over the past year - and I expected to find the Maduro to be infinitely better. In reality, the Maduro was just okay. So far, it probably sounds like I didn't enjoy the Pinolero Maduro, but don't get me wrong, this is still an enjoyable cigar and I might actually prefer the Maduro over the Natural, but I just expected more based off of my preferences and how good the Natural was to begin with. A medium-full smoke with a very enjoyable sweetness.
Chinnock Cellars Pressoir Toro - Brian Chinnock, the owner of Chinnock Cellars, came into my local B&M the other day and handed me one of these. Apparently, this is a new Limited Edition blend that Chinnock Cellars is about to release in 10-count boxes that were blended by Master Blender Adin Perez and rolled in the Compania Hondurena De Tabacos factory in Danli, Honduras. Pressoir is a French word used to describe the device that winemakers have used for hundreds of years to press the fermented grape must to extract the alcoholic juice better known as wine. Surprisingly, the same word Pressoir is used to describe the device that cigar makers use to press their cigar molds to obtain the desired cigar shapes. Brian did note that these were still a little fresh and needed another month, but I was still eager to try it as I enjoyed the Terroir (blended by Willy Herrera) and wanted to see how this offering held up. Chocolate and mocha are the dominant flavors which you get immediately from the pre-light draw, but you can see where Brian was right - these flavors will become deeper and richer with time and haven't fully hit yet. First third is a little "lost", but flavor really starts hitting in the 2nd third. Solid medium cigar that's really going well with my morning iced coffee as I enjoyed the Manchester Derby (which City unfortunately dominated). I'd definitely track this down if you come across them because I think this has a lot of potential when it all comes together - which is at least a month off (if you listen to Brian).
A great week of cigars and some that I think you should go out of your way to try! Have you had any of these yet? Were your experiences similar or different? I always love to hear, so let me know. Thanks for reading! Goodbye for now!