Welcome to another installment of "My Week (In Smoking) In Review"! Seems every week I've done this over the past 6 months or so, I've smoked some great sticks, I've smoked some bad sticks, and I've smoked several sticks that just were. This week is a bit unique as I went with 4 "name" brands and pulled out 4 winners! Let's check my thoughts...
L'Atelier LAT46 Selection Speciale - I reviewed this previously back in June, and this cigar definitely goes down as the cigar that turned me on L'Atelier as a brand. The burn and draw are absolutely perfect here signaling that my issues when I initially reviewed this were a bit of a fluke. Flavors present a nice spice that is not at all overbearing along with some wood notes. I also get an interesting sweet potpourri flavor there also as I make my way through the cigar, but I'm not sure exactly what to call it. I definitely prefer this blend to the original production LATs and maybe even the new MADs, and the size is perfect for me.
Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2013 - Let's put it this way - I'm not a huge fan of Alec Bradley as they've had more misses than hits in my book, and I thought last year's Fine & Rare was horrible so, for almost $20, I didn't even really consider picking this up even though I knew it was the original blend that was much better. Its been in my local shop for a few weeks now and I keep eyeing it, but passing it by for cheaper options. While in the shop the other day, that cigar started to be discussed and several people that have palates I trust suggested I smoke it. Boy, am I glad I did. I seem to remember the 2011 version being very medium, and I thought this was a bit stronger than that, but still similar flavors. A bit of spice off the light that turns into a creamy, leathery coffee throughout, and the flavors just get more intense as the cigar smokes. I still don't know that this cigar is worth the price, but I was delightfully surprised and think its one of the best Alec Bradley offerings I've had - worth going out of your way to track down.
EP Carrillo Core Short Run 2013 Robusto - After a very disappointing experience with the E-Stunner as I detailed last week, I wanted to quickly return to an EP Carrillo offering to reaffirm my enjoyment of the brand. Perhaps being a bit more skeptical of Carrillo after the E-Stunner experience, I notice that the wrapper on the Short Run isn't perfect either, but still definitely better than the E-Stunner - just a bit "splotchy". Pre-light draw seemed a bit tight so my heart started racing a bit that I was about to be turned off of the brand by 2 bad experiences in a row, but this all turned for naught as the draw was perfect once I actually lit this. Immediately off the light I get very earth flavors. As I continue to smoke, it becomes very creamy and smooth. The picture I included doesn't do this justice, but the ash on this thing is tremendous and is holding on for well over an inch at a time - absolutely great construction. Another great cigar from Ernie - one that just dumbfounds me even more about what the deal with the E-Stunner is.
My Father Lounge Exclusive - Friday night, in what is becoming a bit of a routine, my wife got home from work and gave me some along time. I jumped at the opportunity and pulled out something nice - the My Father Lounge Exclusive that someone bombed me in May (forgive me because I forget who!). I'm a huge My Father/Pepin fan, and this just seemed like a wonderful treat after a long week. The wrapper on the Lounge Exclusive is perfect - a solid sheath of deep, dark brown. On first light, the initial draws were that familiar Pepin strength and spice and I immediately knew I made a good choice. As I continue smoking the strength and spice becomes a bit muted and leather takes over, but the familiar Pepin flavorings linger subtly throughout. The draw was bountiful and burn was razor, razor sharp - maybe the most perfect burn I've ever experienced. As the cigar continues we get to a cappuccino-like flavor that finishes us off all the way to the nub. I might be biased because I'm a bit of a My Father fanboy, but this is another extremely enjoyable cigar and worth tracking down a My Father Lounge for!
Another great week of cigars - not a clunker in the group - 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!