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Archive for June, 2008

Here’s a picture of CAO’s 4th of July America Sampler.

It may be interesting to try the “reverse” barber pole perfecto.

Click here for more details.

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Old Cigar Store in Indy

I was visiting my in-laws in Peru, Indiana (exactly) with my wife a few weeks back.  We decided on my way back home to swing into Indianapolis to kill some time.

Check out this old brownstone downtown.  It is now a steakhouse, but the original facade is still up.  Pretty sweet!

Here’s a blurb on it from the ‘net, “Significance: Visually and architecturally, the Louis G. Deschler Company Building is a significant structure in the Indianapolis Union Station-Wholesale District. The rich architectural details of the Louis G. Deschler Company Building contrast in style to that of its neighbors to the north, both of which were built during the decade following the Civil War. The appearance of the facade is due to the apparent artistic sense of the owner who seemed to be aware of the value of having surroundings appropriate to the clientele which he wished to attract. The individualization of the building with the name and date of the founding of the business was another attempt to add to the respectability of the business and its owner.”

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Size:  5″ x 50

Vitola:  Robusto

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Origin: Nicaragua

The Benchmade cigar is a new from Ashton by Don Pepin Garcia (what isn’t he making?) that is created to set the benchmark for inexpensive cigars.  That crown has been held by Oliva (the Flor de Oliva bundles) for quite some time.  We’ll see.

The pigtail head is loosely tied so that when you punch it or clip it, it kinda begins to unravel on you.  It has a nice easy draw as I expect out of a mixed filler (some short filler and long filler) cigar, but often times as a result of underfilling the cigar, see evidence below.

The flavors are straightforward Pepin, medium-bodied and strength with a little bit of pepper and earth with a hint of cocoa.  The ash is flaky, decent smoke volume, but the cigar does begin to heat up halfway through.  And of course being a mixed filler, there is no complexity. 

I guess I can’t really expect much from a mixed filler and this does nothing for me to reward it the new king of the cheapo stogie, that still belongs to Oliva

Rating: 80 (B-)

Benchmade sizes

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Size:  9″ x 47

Vitola:  Giant

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra           

Origin: Dominican Republic

This is one huge ass cigar.  It’s actually a little frightening as it is nine inches of Litto Gomez Ligero.  This is a special release cigar that I picked up at Capital City Cigars.

It has unbelievably shiny wrapper, and after I punched it and took a draw I found it nice and even, no easy task for a giant cigar like this.

Here’s the cool part… it wasn’t as spicy as I feared.  It actually was smooth and refined for the first 6 inches or so.  Traces of coffee and leather were dominated by a smooth woodiness and a core of spice.  But this wasn’t so spicy to turn you green… until the last three inches. 

The last third of the cigar was very strong, and due to al; of the ligero near the head, it started to burn funky and then it extinguished itself and after multiple relights I had to give up on it.  But, the first two thirds of this cigar was really good, so can’t really give it a bad score, but I need to ding it for the construction at the end.

Rating: 84 (B)

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Size:  4 3/8″ x 42

Vitola:  Petite Corona

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf        

Origin: Nicaragua

Pete Johnson?  Pepin Garcia?  Have you heard of these guys before?  Well if you haven’t, then you must have clearly stumbled upon this blog by accident.  The creators of Tatuaje (tah-to-ah-hey) and Cabaiguan (kah-bei-gWAHN ) have joined forces again to bring back a long dead brand from Cuba.  La Riqueza means “the wealth” or “the riches” in Spanish, and guessing by the two individuals involved in this cigar, I can only guess how this is going to be a rich, full-bodied cigar.  These are not available at Capital City Cigars yet, but I’m sure you’ll find them there soon.  Here’s a brief write up on the line.

Now there has been buzz on this cigar for quite a while, so I couldn’t wait to be one of the first few to review it.  Normally I wait a month or so before firing up a fresh cigar, but I couldn’t wait!

Isn\'t this all artsy-fartsy...

I punched the tiny little cigar and it drew very easy.  After lighting it, the first puff gave me the impression of a sweeter version of the Tatuaje Cabinet blend.  The burn was dead even, and this is always surprising with the thicker broadleaf strain.

Spicy and peppery with a core of leather and tobacco with just a nice touch of sweetness form the wrapper… we’re in business now!

Look at that frosty mug!

Halfway thru I began to taste how “not fresh” the cigar was.  There was definitely a touch of harshness on the palate that required me to “sip” the cigar a little more.  It certainly will lose that edge thru proper aging and humidification.  La Riqueza is going to be yet another winner in Mr. Johnson’s and Mr. Garcia’s stables.

Rating: 87 (B)

La Riqueza box art

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Perdomo Champagne band

Size:  4 ¾ ” x 56

Vitola:  Perfecto

Wrapper: Connecticut Shade

Origin: Nicaragua

This cigar is also one of my Go-To cigars.  This is a great inexpensive and consistent example of a good Connecticut Shade wrapped cigar.  You can find it at my favorite cigar shop – Capital City Cigars.

The Perdomo Reserve Champagne line is supposedly a seasonal release, but you can find them in just about every cigar store that carries the Perdomo Reserve line.

The “F” size, which stands for figurado, is not my favorite size (the Robusto is) in the line but certainly does well in a pinch.

This is a funny looking figurado, as its more of a hybrid between a perfecto and a pyramid, where the pyramid has tapered shape from the head to the foot.  It looks like a perfecto with the pointed foot cut off.

This cigar differs from the robusto as it does not have a peppery flavor in the first ¼”.  This cigar starts out a lot milder and smoother.

This stick had very typical Connecticut Shade wrapped cigar flavors, such as wood and creamy light coffee.  But there was a subtle undercurrent of spice that keeps the taste buds perked.  I really enjoyed this cigar, try one if you get the chance.

Oh, and in the Fall, when Starbucks has it’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes available (I swear they lace those things with crack), this cigar is the perfect accompaniment.

Rating: 92 (A)

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Size:  5 1/8″ x 50

Vitola:  Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade

Origin: Dominican Republic

Author’s Note: I am, and will always be, very biased to Kelner-made cigars.  So bear this in mind when you read this review.

This cigar is one of my Go-To cigars.  Whenever I can’t find something in the store that fits my taste for the day, I can always go over and grab a Domaine.  The Domaine AVO is also a unique cigar that consistently gives you the same flavor and great construction cigar after cigar.

This particular cigar is from a box I bought in May of ’06 (from Capital City Cigars of course!) that I’ve been aging.  I am interested to see what a little time does to one of my favorite cigars.

The draw is perfect, the construction is perfect and the burn is dead even.  Of course this IS a Henke Kelner  cigar, so I really expect nothing else.

The first inch of the cigar yields a woodiness that is not as dry as other Kelner cigars.  I also pick up coffee bean with just a touch of creaminess.

Amazingly, the “sweet spot” shows up a little over an inch into the cigar.  Anise and the non-dry woodiness abound!  This, to me, is a result of the aging.

Not much changes for the rest of the cigar, but I enjoy it right down to the nub.

The Domaine is not a complex cigar, but it gives me the tastes and consistency I love.

I certainly recommend aging your favorite cigars, patience pays off and if you like them fresh, wait until you try them with some age!

Rating: 93 (A)

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