Wednesday Cigar Contest: Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley Robusto From Gotham Cigars

Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley RobustoTwo weeks ago I published a review of the Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley Robusto, and I really liked the cigars. As a result, many of you purchased the cigars at their introductory price, and I’m looking forward to hearing how people liked them. It makes me feel a little anxious when I convince people to open their wallets. If it makes you feel better, I bought a couple of fivers of them myself, so I voted with my wallet too. Once again, the cigars are 5″ x 50 Nicaraguan puro, with a sun-grown Jalapa wrapper, a double binder from Jalapa and Esteli, and filers from Condega and Jalapa. It’s medium to full and has lots of sweet tobacco flavor. I just smoked another tonight and was equally impressed.  Anyway, the folks at Gotham Cigars have offered to sponsor today’s cigar giveaway!

The rules are the same as always, leave a comment here, must be over 18.  Two winners chosen at random next Wednesday, will receive a five pack of the Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley Robusto along with a Gotham Cutter and matches. Many thanks to Stephanie and Manny at Gotham Cigars for today’s giveaway!

 

On another note, listen to Kiss My Ash Radio Saturday, there may be someone familiar appearing in their “Bloggers Corner” segment. That’s it for now, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

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El Centurion, a Couple Cigars at Cigar Brothers and a Viva Republica and a Test

ElCenturian_RobustoI mixed it up a little this week. I had determined that whatever was up with my tasters last week had passed, hence the Bugatti post, so I pushed forward.  My methodology for determining this, not that you asked, was to smoke familiar cigars for a few days. Fairly straight forward, and it also lets me enjoy some favorites, like a Nica Rustica, La Sirena and BCP’s SixZero Robolo. So I grabbed a My Father Cigars El Centurian Robusto, which is 5¾” x 50, which is a bit long for a rubusto, but I’m OK with that. The blend, from what I can tell, is a sungrown Criollo 99 wrapper, with Nicaraguan fillers of four varietals,  Criollo, Corojo Habano, and Sancti Spiritus. I typically don’t care for Criollo 99, there’s just something about it that I don’t get excited about. While I think the El Centurian is a good cigar, it certainly performed well, was well constructed and didn’t have an objectionable flavor, it just isn’t one of the cigars that I might reach for again. Nothing wrong with it, just not in my wheel house, it’s a shame because I really like the presentation and want to like it. I never had the pleasure of smoking the original blend of this cigar.

 

Yesterday I met up with Mike C., who, along with his daughter, are producing WineadorArt, and we visited Cigar Brothers Cigars in Berwyn, PA.  There’s a couple of things I like about this shop, one of the brother’s who owns the place EPCarillo_NewWaveCTResis named Craig, nothing not to like there, right?  It’s in an old house, with the store on the lower level and the lounge in the upstairs rooms, of which there are two. Hanging out there is basically like being at home and being able to smoke and watch TV, it’s small enough for intimate conversation with out interuptions or distractions. The weakness is the lack of a large space for events, and, my opinion, maintaining proper storage conditions in the store area, which is one large humidified space. We bought some cigars and went upstairs to smoke. I started with an E.P. Carillo New Wave Reserva Connecticut Belicoso D’Oro. This cigar is 5.7″ x 52 with a well-formed torpedo head. It’s got an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf Binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. I enjoyed this  cigar, but I was expecting something a little more Connecticut Shade, if that makes sense. The wrapper was darker than I expected, which intrigued me and lead to the purchase. It burned well, and was tasty enough, just fairly un-UC_Torounique to me. It was a great cigar to just sit and smoke during conversation without having to think about it. I bought a couple more which I’ll leave in the humidor for a while and revisit. I then moved on to the Undercrown Shade in a toro size. Cigar Brothers had these very reasonably priced and I like them well enough to want to keep some on hand, so I added to the inventory I had at home. While this cigar smoke fairly well, I got the sense that it was not quite as dry as I prefer, going back to what I mentioned about the challenges of having your store be a humidor. I might have had better luck than Mike since the cigars I chose had thinner wrappers, and his selections for the day had thicker wrappers that suck up more humidity. Picking your spot in the shop to buy cigars you plan to smoke there I think is key, and take the ones in the area closer to the humidifiers home to leave in your humidor for a while. I hate to criticize, because I love everything else about the shop (especially Craig’s dogs, who visit from time to time), but having a over-moist cigar be a disappointment in a great environment is a bummer.

 

VivaRepublica_Advanced Warefare_PetiteSince I had already smoked two cigars while out, when I got home and took Macha for her walk, I went small, with a Viva Republica Advanced Warefare Petite. This 4″ x  41 little guy packs a punch, it’s a peppy little cigar! It’s made at La Aurora in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, with Dominican, Nicaraguan and Pennsylvanian leaf in the filler blend. Jason Holly, the brand owner, is a Pennsylvania guy and works for Miami Cigar and Co. as a brand ambassador, among other things. So this was a perfect smoke for the half-hour or so it took Macha and I to make our mile-plus walk. Burn was perfect, it was quite satisfying for a short smoke and it fit the situation well. It’s a great cold weather cigar because it’s loaded with flavor, although it’s tough handling small cigar with gloves.

 

The folks at Bobalu Cigars in Austin, TX have this clever test on their site. Here’s a link, or you can take it right here if whatever you’re reading on supports the embedded page. I thought it was very challenging and well done. Tell you what, I’ll send a 5-pack to the first person to match my score, take a screenshot of your score and post it in the comments or if you can’t do that be prepared to e-mail it as proof. Deadline for entry is Next Sunday, Feb. 14. Good luck!

Test Your Cigar Knowledge

 

 

That’s enough from me for now, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Bugatti Cigars Ambassador Robusto

  1. Bugatti_Ambassador_RobustoIf the worst thing I can say about a cigar is that the company website is annoying, I guess that’s pretty good. Before I get into the cigar, let me bitch about the website a little. If one is going to have music playing on a website, please allow me the option of turning it off. As much as I love Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene, a 30 second loop playing over and over gets annoying. I shouldn’t have to mute my whole system while the site is open. I know, cigar company websites are a pet peeve of mine and your sick of hearing me bitch, but it’s a necessary marketing tool in 2016, and it’s really not hard to keep them updated, user-friendly and free of typos.  Rant over.  All that being said, the Bugatti Ambassador Robusto is a really good smoke.  Bugatti cigars used to be made by Perdomo, but they have re-tooled and returned to the market with some new blends, which I suspected were coming out of PDR, and was able to verify that suspicion through some research (I did ask directly, but received no response). The cigar is 5″ x 52 and is beautiful to look at. It has a Ecuador Habano wrapper that is smooth, milk chocolate-brown and has a distinct triple cap, with Dominican and Nicaraguan BugattiAmbassadorBoxfillers. Construction on the samples I smoked was perfect, they cut well, drew well and smoked perfectly. Considering these are priced in the $10 range, this should be a given. I was impressed with the medium bodied, smoothness of the smoke, with sweet, creamy flavors with a hint of spice. There was an interesting change about midway though that caught my attention, an increase in the exotic spice flavor.  I had some trouble letting these go, and smoked them to a nub. The presentation is very nice, the bands have a mix of holographic, prism lettering on a background of a black carbon fiber design, with red accents, and the boxes look really slick as well. These come in a Toro as well as a half corona in tins (which is what tipped me off to the PDR connection), I would happily sample either size if I were to encounter these in a store. My research didn’t turn up many outlets for this line, so I’m not sure where you might find these, but if you happen to come across this cigar it’s certainly worth a try. I enjoyed them fully.

 

That’s all for now, Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Duran Premium Cigars, Henry Clay, San Lotano and Six Zero

I’m having some palate issues lately. I don’t know if it’s a low-grade head cold that is barely there, or what.  I take that into account on the cigars I’ve smoked this week, nothing has been really satisfying or quite right.  I should just not even talk about cigars, but it’s Sunday and I don’t have anything else to do!  My first clue was a Duran Signature robusto.  I first chalked it up to thinking this just Snowmight not be a cold weather cigar. Jack Toraño dropped a challenge on Facebook the other night, offering some prizes which I respectfully asked not to be included, I don’t like entering contests, I like having them! I get enough goodies anyway, I prefer to let other people have the chance. Anyway, he wanted a picture of folks with their dogs, I have one of those. Extra points if you were in the snow, got snow, and additional credit if you’re smoking a cigar, I do that every night. So I grabbed my last Duran. I was going to go for the kill and get a picture of me and Macha, in the snow, smoking a Naya F8 Big Jack, the 7″ x 70 in their line named after Jack, but it was cold and I wasn’t wiling to commit three hours to a cigar just then…that’s an obscenely large cigar. I’ll smoke it one day when it’s warm and I have no place to be for a few hours. Anyway, I enjoyed the cigar, but there was something just not there with the flavor. Granted, this is a refined, complex and delicate blend, and smoking it in the cold sometimes isn’t conducive to the proper enjoyment of such a cigar, but this was the first hint that something was off.

 

HenryClay_StalkCutSo, not wanting to believe I was getting a cold, or that anything was out of the ordinary, I succumbed to the temptation to sample the recently received Henry Clay Stalk Cut. I also can’t help to compare it to the Henry Clay Tattoo, which was a collaboration between Altadis’ Groupo de Maestros and Pete Johnson, and was a very good cigar that was limited, sold out at the trade show last summer, and I wish I had bought more of.  I posted info on this cigar last week, and I didn’t find the wrapper to be as much  “a dark Connecticut Broadleaf Vintage 2012 wrapper” as much as a chocolate-brown wrapper. While I really enjoyed this cigar, and look forward to revisiting it in the near future, I found it milder than I expected too. Neither of  these are a bad thing, it was a great tasting (taking into account my afore-mentioned palate irregularity) and performed flawlessly. I will let the other samples I have rest for a while and see if they match up with my pre-conceived notion of what this cigar should taste like, not that it should taste like what I think it should taste like at all, I just think that if a brand has a certain profile, that should be taken into account with subsequent releases. I don’t imagine this was supposed to be a mild cigar and  blame my palate for that. That was a lot of words to say nothing…

 

SanLotano_Connecticut_LanceroYesterday I took an uncharacteristically early walk with a San Lotano Requiem Connecticut Lancero which was a trade show sample. Since it was before lunch, I wanted something which I perceived would be on the milder side, and this lancero jumped out at me. This is a 7″ x 38 lancero with a pigtail cap, very pretty and traditional.  The wrapper is a Equador Connecticut shade with Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan, Honduran and AJ Fernandez proprietary leaf.  This is a the cigar that really made me pain fully aware that something’s wrong with my palate. This was very bitter-tasting, off-puttingly so. I kept inspecting the head of the cigar to see if there was tar oozing from it, but there was not. Except for the bitter flavor it was a really enjoyable cigar to smoke (I know, weird, right?). The burn and draw were great and I smoked it well beyond the band (because I’m an optimist).  I have a lot of lanceros, and I’m always amazed at the skill it takes to roll this cigar to make it work right.  I look forward to smoking this again on a warm day, with a properly functioning palate.  I think this was a great smoke that I wasn’t physically able to appreciate.

 

SixZero_RoboloSo, in a last-ditch effort to see if it actually is my palate that’s off, I went with a cigar that I’ve smoked a bunch of and I feel like I’m familiar with. The Six Zero Robolo is a BestCigarPrices.com exclusive that’s made at Tabacalera Palma in the Dominican Republic, the same factory responsible for Aging Room, Señorial and so many other great cigars. This is a San Andres wrapped 4½” x 60 cigar that is generally loaded with rich, espresso flavors that hit me right. While this had a great flavor, it was a bit muted, confirming that I’m just not tasting things right.  I have a few review samples I’m sitting on that I was going to smoke for Wednesday’s post, but I think I[‘m going to wait a bit. I really hate it when this happens. Anyway, I dig the Six Zero, and the Robolo size is a bit of a guilty pleasure, it just works for me, what can I say. I always said I liked the Nub cigars, but wished they were longer. This one is a little longer and it’s just about right for me.  I know, I’m weird.

 

That’s a whole lotta nuthin from me for today, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley Robusto From Gotham Cigars

Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley RobustoTonight’s featured cigar is a great bargain cigar from Gotham Cigars, an internet retailer that’s been around for quite a long time.  I was thinking they were around since the early ’00s, and I look at their website and saw 2001, so I managed to remember something I guess. I’ve made purchases from them in the past and they went well.  They recently presented their Gotham Heroes series, starting out with this great cigar made by Alec Bradley, the  Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley Robusto.  I smoked a couple of these this week and was greatly impressed.  This is a 5″ x 50 robusto with a dark Nicaraguan wrapper, with Nicaraguan binder and fillers as well.  This was another cigar that I smoked early in the week and was happy to smoke again, and it’s a rare thing when I smoke the same cigar twice in a row.  In addition to the rich, dark hot cocoa flavors, there was a unique spice there too, as well as an almost toasty flavor.  The two samples I smoked also burned well, one with a punch cut, and one with a regular straight cut. I like these enough that I may take advantage of the introductory offer they have, an unbeatable $9.99 for a five pack, with shipping included.  I’m sure this isn’t the regular price, because $2 a piece is just too inexpensive for what you get in return. This is a tasty, well-behaved cigar at twice the price, and is right up there with my favorite cigars from Alec Bradley.

 

That’s all for now, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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