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Cigar Reviews, Quick Hits
2008-04-23 10:06
by Will Carroll

I've saved up some notes over the last couple weeks and even though I didn't get a lot of response on the last one, I'm doing it again. I hope to have more on why later this week. I'm knee deep in what might be the hardest piece I've ever done, in the sense that it's being actively a bitch to get quotes for. I'll have it finished soon ... or else Aaron Schatz might kill me.

Ok, the reviews:

* Another CI Legend, this time "Green", which is the Rolando Reyes version. Reyes makes Puros Indios, which is kind of like the Buick of cigars. This one was a cigar for people that want to smoke cigars but don't like them. There was virtually no flavor to the first half, but there was a lot of smoke. If you were making a movie about playing poker or someone wanted to get that dramatic effect of light in smoke, this one would work great. It's not bad, but it's so innocuous as to seem a prop. Worse, it was described in the catalog as "intense and flavorful." I'm very curious what kind of cigars Robin smokes on How I Met Your Mother. Has Barney blogged about this? The show is so detailed that someone probably knows.

* The next to last Legend in the sampler was "Grey," by Cusano. I like Cusano's though they're far from a first choice. The double Connecticut wrapper was solid and held up the best of any of the Legends so far. I was worried because for the first inch, it was very mild and I was worried that the Green might have been prelude. Then a big hit of cedar hit. It stayed mild, but pleasant. The construction was flawless and the draw and feel were top notch. If you like Cusano but want a bit cheaper stick, this one's definitely worth trying.

* I love Gurkhas. Seeing one of their more recent blends at my local store at a reasonable price made it a no brainer. The Ancient Warrior is much darker than I normally go for and with a Brazilian wrapper, it looked different as well. It was kind of mottled, not in a bad way, but something like marbling in a steak. It started out very much like a strong CAO (that's a compliment) with initial pepper and leather, but at the halfway point, a sharp change brought in vanilla and cedar. It was very warm and stayed all the way to the nub. Good cigar, but not so good that I'd pick it over a Centurian.

* And then the big one. Not in size, but certainly in quality. A Greycliff Professional might be the best smoke I've ever had. Beautifully constructed, I really didn't want to like it knowing that the price (about $20 per) wasn't something I wanted to get used to. Problem is, I really, really could. The smoke stayed consistent despite some subtle changes. It went from a mild spice at the start to a very warm wood about an inch in. At just before the halfway point, it slid from woody to peaty, not drastic, but like a Springbank Scotch. At the end -- and I took this thing until I couldn't hold it -- there was some coffee there. Again, the price is insane, but I can understand why it is what it is. I'm told they age well, so I'm going to try holding the rest I got in this batch for a couple months. I'm not sure I can wait.

2008-04-23 11:29:33
1.   Sliced Bread
Hey, you nailed the Greycliff experience. Definitely worth the splurge.
I'm a one-a-week smoker myself (ok, occasionally two, or three), and the Greycliffs were in my rotation -- until I recently burned the last one.
Gotta try one of those Ancient Warriors you describe.

I'm no good at reviewing cigars, or identifying woods or fruits, and I'm bad with names - but I recommend the Diplomas by Camacho (smooth and very potent), anything by L'Aurora, and the San Cristobal Classico, a little cheaper but very similar to Ashton's VSGs which are remarkably consistent. Those are pretty much my usual smokes, but I always enjoy suggestions.
Thanks for yours!

2008-04-23 12:08:45
2.   Will Carroll
I have a La Aurora ready to go. I've had some bad experiences with Camachos, but I'll look for that one. I hate Ashtons and don't actually like most of the Fuente stuff, which I still cant explain. One of the local sportstalk guys, Eddie White, is a hardcore Ashton guy. We've had some interesting discussions about Ashton vs Gurkha.
2008-04-23 12:29:32
3.   Sliced Bread
I'll give you this, the Ashtons don't have a lot of character, they're not complex, but the VSGs are a nice, clean, straightforward smoke. They burn beautifully, and don't linger. Sorta like the Amstel Light of cigars. Consistent, tasty enough, but not much to talk about.
The San Cristobals are more interesting, and the Camachos will knock yer socks off. Great flavor, (I think "leathery" might apply) and very powerful. If you have one sitting down, your knees will wobble when you get up.
2008-04-23 12:47:24
4.   Sliced Bread
Oh, and if you want to insult Eddie White's Ashtons try this line I heard last weekend at a party.
Bunch of us are lighting up, and a guy's father asks his son how he liked a certain cheap cigar he'd recommended from J&R. The son goes "I use them as fire starter."
We all start cracking up, and dad asks "Why?! Too dry? No good?"
Son says "Both, but they're cheaper than kindling."

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