It’s the eve of Independence Day, and I have a four day weekend ahead of me. Then it’s five long work days before heading to Vegas for the IPCPR show. I’ll be throwing out videos and photos from the show as wireless access allows. We are looking forward to bringing unique content from the show. Gee, I hope there’s something new and interesting there to see! Anyway, I smoked a few cigars this week. starting with a Gurkha Ghost Asura (6″x52) Sunday evening. This is a cigar that was released at last years IPCPR show, and has a Brazilian Arapiraca Maduro wrapper. I picked this cigar up a few weeks ago at Señor Juan’s Cigars in Belmar, NJ. It being New Jersey, it was not inexpensive! Anyway, this is a heck of a nice cigar. It burned very nicely and had a pleasing flavor with some coffee flavors. The website notes cinnamon in the profile, which I didn’t get, but will look for the next time I smoke one. In truth, I’ve only ever gotten cinnamon once in a cigar, and that was a Havana Bolivar Coronas Gigantes many years ago which was gifted to me by my friend Bruce at a party at my house. I can still remember smoking it in the house and looking at it in amazement. This was many years ago! Anyway, The Ghost was a nice cigar, and the holographic band is pretty darned cool.
Monday evening I grabbed the Villiger NicaRoma Habano for my evening walk. Once again, this is a budget cigar made with 60% long filler and 40% picadura (scraps). This one, as the name implies, has a Habano wrapper. One would never know this is a mixed filler cigar as it burned well and, with a V-cut, it didn’t leave scraps in the mouth. It’s a solidly medium cigar that has a nice flavor and is a pleasure to smoke. I think I liked this as much as the Maduro I smoked last week.
Tuesday I selected the Villiger NicaRoma Connecticut, similar to the above cigar, but with a Honduras grown Connecticut wrapper. Like it’s siblings, this isn’t a pretty cigar, just a solid mild to medium cigar with a decent flavor. I enjoyed this one quite a bit, I would rank this third after the Maduro and Habano, but that’s just my personal preference. These all have Nicaraguan fillers and binders, with the only difference being the wrapper. Nice, smooth, flavorful cigars that won’t break the bank. Try them if you see them.
Recently I send some of these to a reader who left a comment that prompted me to declare a spontaneous contest. Agent86 smoked a couple of the cigars, including the Villiger NicaRoma Maduro and was kind enough to send a review. So Agent86 is now an honorary Craig for the day, here’s his thoughts on the Maduro:
Agent 86 reporting from a top secret assignment. Recently I had the pleasure of trying a couple of smokes courtesy of our own CigarCraig. This was a pleasant surprise and the smokes were different enough to draw me out of my semi-retirement to report on them.
First up is the NicaRoma Maduro from Villiger. I know Craig recently reviewed these on here, but I want to see if I had any impressions different than his. This was a Toro with a Mexican San Andreas Maduro wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. Craig has more information in his write up about the actual make of this cigar.
After unwrapping the cigar I took the time to feel and smell it. The feel of the cigar is really loose, almost too much so for my preference. The smell was actually very non-descript without anything in particular to set it apart. After lighting it produced a dark grey and black ash that flaked and crumbled quite frequently. The cigar also was prone to going out in the first half requiring three relights.
One thing that is very unusual to my tastes with this cigar is that it actually seemed more like two cigars. The first half was a medium flavor, medium strength cigar with a lot of bitterness and kind of a “tarry” flavor to it. Not altogether good or bad, just kind of uninspiring. The second half is a different story. After the halfway point the cigar started to really open up and the flavors expanded. The bitterness I detected faded down to a tolerable level and there were some really good flavors with just a bit of spice. The really strange part was that the strength increased too. By the time I got down to the last couple inches it was actually pretty strong and left me feeling more than a bit light-headed.
I’m not positive on what the pricing on these would be around where I live, if they were available, but as a budget cigar it would work for a pleasant change of pace. If it came out at 7 bucks or higher though I think I would stick with a Gran Habano #3. This is a competent budget smoke, but not something I think will ever replace any of my regulars.
Thank you to Agent86 for sharing his experience with that, and considering his second review, I chose to smoke a Leccia Black myself tonight. It’s a unique smoke, for sure. The example I smoked was a bit tighter than I would like, but it still had the smoky, barbecue flavor that the “Darkfire” tobacco that is featured in this cigar. This is a nice smoke, and I have one more that I’ll let rest for a while. Here’s what AgentCraig86 had to say:
The second cigar that I would like to review is the Leccia Tobacco Black, also courtesy of CigarCraig. This, as was mentioned on here, is part of the new line from Sam Leccia, Black and White. I have had mixed impressions of Sams cigars in the past when he was working for his previous employers, so I really didn’t know what to expect.
The Black Robusto I picked out had a nice firm construction and the “cow pasture” smell I expect from a good stronger flavored cigar with the added boost of a smoky odor that was particularly pleasant. The cigar lit well, burned evenly and had a nice grey ash that held together 3/4 of the length of the smoke.
The flavors started out pleasant, but not anything really different from any other medium/full flavor cigar. After the first couple inches though things really changed. A nice strong smoky flavor similar to that of good barbecue or a pleasant campfire started to make itself known. This flavor continued all the way to the end of the cigar and remained on the taste buds even after the cigar was done. The strength of the smoke never went beyond medium for me, but the flavors stayed nice and strong, but never overpowering. It was so pleasant I was able to smoke this cigar far past where I normally would have. Also, something was different about the cigars construction since it never became too hot for my fingers or lips. I guess all the time rolling Nubs gave Sam a few extra tricks for helping someone squeeze out those last few minutes of cigar enjoyment.
If this cigar becomes available locally and isn’t too expensive I could easily see it becoming one of my regular smokes.
Reporting from parts unknown, Agent 86 is out.
Once again, thanks to Agent86 for sharing his experiences with us. I’m always happy to include reviews from readers, especially on prizes they won here, even if it was an impromptu contest I made up on the spot. There are rumors of some pretty good contests coming on the horizon, so stay tuned! Also, if you’re shopping this weekend, take a look at BestCigarPrices.com, they have a special page with some specials for CigarCraig.com readers.
That’s it for now, please try not to blow anything up this weekend! Keep it safe and smoke a bunch of great cigars! I’ll be enjoying a cookout tomorrow with family and will smoke something exceptional after they’ve left (I make a point to wait until the grandchildren leave before sitting down to enjoy a smoke). My wife and I also celebrate our wedding anniversary on July 4th, so Happy Anniversary to my greatest supporter.
Until the next time,