Stogies Exclusive Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town Cigar

Stogies Exclusive Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town Cigar

This is a special treat, a lancero limited edition Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador blend made exclusively for Stogies World Class Cigars of Houston. The “H-Town” cigar’s official release date is set for December…

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Illusione Epernay Cigar Review: A “New Classic”

Illusione Epernay Cigar Review: A “New Classic”


Le Petit/Petit Corona: 4 1/2 x 44

Café Rosado Wrapper with Nicaraguan Binder and Filler, consisting of Criollo and Corojo tobaccos.

This has easily become a “new classic” for me. I find myself smoking various vitolas of the same blend, but most often the “Le Ferme” and “Le Petit” sizes ( Robusto and Petit Corona). The Epernay from Illusione is a medium bodied cigar that is mild to medium in strength and medium to full in flavor. The first few draws have notes of cedar, oak, and honey which gradually build to a more earthy, complex smoke. Also quite notable is a lovely floral note, making this cigar quite unique.

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illusione-epernay-cigar-petit

This is a cigar where you can very clearly notice the difference between strength and flavor. If you’ve struggled to find the difference in previous smokes, this cigar may bring in a nice perspective.  In most cases I look for flavor to overpower the strength, keeping the role of the strength to compliment the overall smoking experience. Here the delineation of strength and flavor are very prominent and are done so in favor of the cigar’s complete profile.

A Note on Strength

Just because something is mild in strength doesn’t mean it must be the same in flavor. And just because something is full in strength doesn’t necessarily mean it is full in flavor. This can be seen in our beers and whiskies, too. Often we can be surprised by the ABV hidden behind a flavorful beverage and other times we may have to hunt through the strength to understand all the hidden subtleties. The strength of a cigar or beverage isn’t a good or bad thing, just something to consider, especially when it comes to  your mood and the experience you are looking to achieve. I love strong and flavorful coffee, for example, but in small amounts and not all the time. There is a time and place for everything. The more we understand these qualities the better decisions we can make in selecting our cigars and spirits.

The “New Classic” Cigars

The selection of cigars I consider myself calling “New Classics” is constantly growing. This is a category I would define as a relatively new cigar that is regularly available. That is to say it isn’t a limited release or limited edition; it is a cigar that is generally accessible to anyone at anytime. Though new, you want a cigar that has been around for at least a year or so, showing that it has been established and is here to stay on the market.

With so many new cigars available, it is a golden age for cigar smokers (oh, and craft beer drinkers and vintage cocktail imbibers). Options are everywhere and more and more people are looking to have their focus be on quality, history, and the overall experience.

That being said, which cigars do you think qualify as a “New Classic” cigar? Quality and taste are high on the list, but are there certain tastes you are looking for, or certain styles? Is price an issue and where does it weigh on order of importance? Do we have a stronger relationship with the people making our cigars or the country of origin of the tobaccos? I’d love to hear your thoughts and see where we all meet.

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Happy Halloween: Tatuaje Mini Mum Cigar Review

Happy Halloween: Tatuaje Mini Mum Cigar Review

For Halloween this year I decided to begin the evening with my favorite little monster, the Mini Mum from Tatuaje. The Little Monsters was a limited series released by Tatuaje this year in addition to the new Monster. Each year a “monster” is released, with past cigars including the Frank, Boris (or the Frank out of costume), Drac, Face, and Wolfman. This year the Mummy was released, and in anticipation of the official Mummy cigar, a mini mum was included in the Little Monsters box.

I’ve been enjoying the mini mums I’ve been able to purchase very much. Being a limited release, it has been difficult to find more. My preferred vitola lately has been the corona, or petit corona whenever available, which made this box an extra treat. Out of the little monsters included in this box, the Mini Mum is my favorite. The flavors make me think of autumn with notes of white pepper, nuts, wood, cedar, and a nice sweetness in the aroma. The strength of the cigar is a medium to medium plus that builds into a full bodied smoke towards the finish.

In general, I find that the smaller ring gauge cigars tend to be a more intensified representation of a blend with both the strength and the flavor being amplified. This isn’t always the case but is a quality I have often observed. Since I smoked the Mummy in the mini version first, and loved it, I’m curious to see how the blend changes in the larger vitola.

I’ll have an update on the official Mummy comparison for you soon. Until then I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the little monster. Enjoy and have a Happy Halloween!

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Fuente Magnum R 44 Cigar Review

Fuente Magnum R 44 Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Rosado Sungrown
Binder & Filler: Dominican

This has been one of my favorite go to cigars this year. I adore most anything Fuente makes, however this one has been standing out to me, especially when you consider the price. It’s a hidden gem it seems as I don’t think it gets enough attention, but hopefully plenty of appreciation for those who have smoked and enjoyed it.

The Magnum R is a solid medium bodied cigar. The strength is on the milder side of medium and the flavor is on the medium to fuller side. I love it when flavor is more prominent than strength, and you can very clearly see that happening in this smoke. It is a wonderful balance that both mild smokers and full bodied smokers can enjoy alike.

As I smoke this cigar I get notes of wood, nuts, a slight sweetness and a bit of earth. There are some other nuances playing in that balance out the cigar very well, as if to tell a wonderful story. In this video I am smoking the Magnum R 44 which has a 44 ring gauge; it is the most recent size addition the the Magnum R line and has quickly become my favorite vitola in the line. If you prefer a larger ring gauge then you will also find those options available.

The sweetness is just enough, and I’ve been curious to play around with some pairings. Belgian beers come to mind. I’m also curious to bring out the subtle spice notes within the cigar by perhaps pairing it with a rye whisky. I’m thinking aloud here, but with the warmer weather I’m currently leaning towards a beer pairing or cocktail pairing. The beauty of a go to cigar is that it allows you the opportunity to experiment with many different pairing options! I’ll have more updates for you as I continue to explore them.

Many of us have go to cigars, do you also have go to pairings? I’d love to here what your favorite selection is to compliment your cigars.

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AKA Respect Cigar Review

AKA Respect Cigar Review

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Robusto “HOOAH” 5.5 x 50 Wrapper: Dark Ecuadorian Habano Binder: Honduran Corojo Ligero Filler: Dominican Republic Corojo Ligero and Honduran Corojo Ligero AKA, or American KickAss Cigars brings attention to being proud Americans and proud of our United States Military. A percentage of all sales are even donated to the Wounded Warriors [...]

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Cigar Review: Drew Estate Undercrown

This is a cigar I have been very excited about! Liga Privada fans already know what I am talking about- the Undercrown. A great cigar with a truly wonderful story:

 

“In early 2009 we asked our torcedores to smoke less Liga Privada cigars because they were leaving too few to be exported. This request was met with the disappointment you would expect, but rather than being disgruntled they responded by blending their own signature liga.

Incorporating many of the same rare tobaccos, but of different ages and primings, the cigar they created was no mere replacement. Rather it is an exceptional smoking experience of uncompromising quality and flavor that deserves to be smoked by all.

It is always the master makers who are heralded, but the reality is that great cigars are the product of many talented people, most of whom toil in factories with no publicity ever. They are the uncelebrated heroes who make all of our lives more pleasurable with the cigars they craft. And therefore, it is with great pleasure that we are now sharing their factory floor creation with you as Undercrown, borne of our worker’s ingenuity, resourcefulness and passion for a great cigar”

-Drew Estate

 

Cigars are more than the items we hold in our hands to consume- it connects us with the people who make them, the people we smoke with, and the people we have strong memories with. It’s a cultural experience that any cigar smoker in the world can relate to, but also a personal experience when it comes to our tastes and preferences. I think that is one of the great beauties of this pleasurable hobby. The story of this cigar reminds me of how important that connection is.

The Undercrown is a medium to full bodied cigar, balanced with lots of complexity. Notes of cocoa, spice,  and earth were present throughout the smoke. The construction is what you would expect from a Liga Privada- absolutely beautiful.

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