MBombay, La Sirena, EP Carillo, Inka Secret Blend and a Quesada Cigar

MBombay_Classic_ChurchillIt’s gotten darned cold here in PA, my enclosed porch is nice, but tonight I’m sitting in a Cigar Cigars store that’s two miles from home smoking a Quesada Oktoberfest that was on the half off table. Nice smoke, just getting it going. Sunday I smoked a couple Churchill sized cigars, a MBombay Classic with a Connecticut shade wrapper that was fantastic. It was creamy and well behaved and kept me company while I was on the phone holding for Verizon to no avail. Great afternoon cigar, ultra-premium well balanced and tasty. Not something you see everywhere, but worth finding. Later I had a La Sirena Trident Churchill from the original My Father made production and these are aging nicely. I look forward to comparing it to the new La Zone made line. Speaking of La Sirena, I wrote an article about the Oceano in the current issue of Prime Living magazine, which can be found on page 55 of the on-line version.  It’s nice to see a main stream magazine featuring a Cigar Notes piece in very issue. I’m proud to be a part of it.


EPCarillo_Core Maduro_EncatoMonday I lit up an EP Carillo Core Maduro Encanto that I brought back from the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival. This cigar had a gnarly CoConnecticutroadleaf Maduro wrapper, very rustic. I usually find this to be a good sign! I was right, it was a really tasty cigar, loads with rich, dark flavors of espresso and dark cocoa. I haven’t smoked a great many EP Carrillo cigars over the past couple years.  Of course, I was a fan of the La Gloria Cubana line going back to the mid-90s, but I haven’t gotten around to sampling many of Ernie’s newer cigars. This one was a winner, right up my alley. The ugly broadleaf wrapper is really quite tasty and ads a nice sweetness.  Another great smoke with a great draw and burn.


InkaSecretBlend_coronaLast night I selected a cigar that’s due for its US launch in a couple weeks, but has been exclusively available at CGars Ltd in the UK. I’ve smoked a couple of these in various iterations over the years, and remember an interesting evening sitting at Casa Fuente in Vegas with Mitchell Orchant and his manufacturer in Peru, Genaro, testing prototypes. There was an ashtray loaded with cigars that only had an inch smoked, which brought questions from the waitstaff. Clearly they have improved the smokability of these as every one they lit up that night seemed to be plugged. I remember running into Genaro at the Draw Tester booth at the IPCPR sho and he was looking into the machines. Anyway, this is a Peruvian Puro and I like Peruvian tobacco. The cigar was 6″ x 46, had a roll reminiscent of a Havana, a bit on the loose side, but had a great burn and draw. There was a nice sweetness and it was a really great smoke. I have smoked the 6×60 size and think the 6×46 size is a better representation of the blend.


imageThis Quesada Oktoberfest is really good, even in the 6×60 size. Very rich and flavorful, but the shop closed at 7pm, so I had to take the rest of the cigar home to finish on the porch. I tried taking the dog for a walk, but the temps are in single digits and neither of us were happy about it. It’s a long burning cigar, well worth the $5 I paid for it from the discount rack.  I suppose the size didn’t sell well, but it was  a really tasty cigar, and I am quite glad I picked up a couple. It was very nice, with a savory flavor to it. The Cigar Cigars shop is only two miles from home, so I can see visiting it with some regularity.  It’s got a nice selection and a Montecristo Lounge that while I haven’t set foot in yet, looks comfortable. I’m happy sitting in the front of the store as it’s quite comfortable as well.


That’s about it for today.  I need to get it together and get Mark’s goodies shipped out to him. I need to find a big enough box to hold it all!  I’ve been slacking. Until the next time,





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12 Responses to MBombay, La Sirena, EP Carillo, Inka Secret Blend and a Quesada Cigar

  1. jjo

    Man, they didn’t even give you a byline on that article! Great to see cigars getting some attention in a mainstream publication, though.

    That MBombay is a great AM smoke. I had the chance to try it out, and really enjoyed it. A little pricey, but worth it. Gotta be the Peruvian in there, right?

    • It’s properly attributed in the print version, and the ISSUU.com version, I’m working on getting them to put my name on the web version, like they do with the other articles…

  2. Dan Colley

    I’m interested in what you call the “draw tester”. Is that some type of machine used to test cigars? I would like to have a little information about what they are and how they work. I read somewhere that CAO’s Vision line is 100% tested for draw before being sleeved. I was curious as to how they test the draw with a cover on the head of the cigar. I assume they must test them before they put the cap on, but don’t know enough about draw testing to have any idea.

  3. Lloyd Ladrillono

    Nice little write-up in Prime Living, Craig! Is that a regular gig for you now?

    • This was my fourth article in the magazine, so, yes, it seems to be that I’m the regular Cigar Notes guy. they keep asking for articles, I keep sending them, they keep printing them, so I guess it’s working!

  4. JScott

    Negative 24 today in the Madison, WI area. Way too cold to smoke outside. I wish I had a smoke shoppe only a couple of miles from my home. Nearest one is 47 miles from door to door. Well worth the trip! I also enjoyed your cigar review in Prime magazine. Nice job

    • Joel, you must really like WI to put up with that nonsense! I find that the older I get, the less tolerance I have for cold weather. I’m really beginning to understand the whole “snowbird” thing…I gotta find a way I can “winter” someplace warm (like Nicaragua) 🙂 Sounds like Commish figured it out! If I were in your position I think I’d get a heated shed or garage to smoke cigars!

  5. Commish

    Actually left JScott behind in Wisconsin and spending the next 7 weeks in Arizona and have been able to enjoy a cigar every day since I’ve been here! Sorry Joel!! I have tried the Carillo, good one. Stay warm!

  6. Nice review, and I second that it’s WAY too cold outside to enjoy it! Does anyone have any tips for storing cigars in winter? Although I use a humidor, the air is very dry here. Seems to such all the moisture out of everything.

    p.s. My first visit to your site and it’s a great resource. Bookmarked and will be back!

    • Drew – thanks for stopping in, I always look forward to peoples contributions via the comments. To answer your humidor question, I think my coolerdors are much easier to deal with with the changing seasons than the regular humidors. The fact that they seal up pretty air tight and are insulated minimizes the swings in the ambient temps and humidity. Fortunately, my other humidors seal pretty well and I rarely have a problem. Nearly 20 years doing this has taught me that cigars just like to be reasonably warm and reasonably moist, they don’t know how to read a hygrometer or thermometer. Finding a balance is key since different cigars seem to like different humidities too… but that’s a whole nuther blog post…

      • Thanks for the reply Craig! You anticipated my followup question above reference how different cigars prefer different humidity levels. I guess at some point I have to accept some risk and continue store my limited collection together. I’m interested to learn more, if you find time to craft a post about it.

        I’ll have to check into the coolerdor, might be cost effective means to increase my storage capacity!

        Thanks again.

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