Tag Archives: Toraño

Toraño, CAO, Punch and Hoyo Cigars and a Contest!

Torano ExodusI kind of got stuck in the General Cigar tray of the humidor this week and revisited a few cigars that I may not have really liked the first time around (or subsequent times as it turns out). I started out with the Toraño Exodus on Sunday, not even thinking that it might have been the only cigar in my humidor that was seasonally appropriate. Someone brought this to my attention and I quipped that I had passed it over several times over the past few months since I didn’t really like it the first time I smoked it last summer. Age has benefited this cigar, that was an IPCPR show sample in the 5″ x 54 robusto size. This latest version of the Exodus, the first since General Cigar bought the brand, has a Honduran San Augustin wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf binder and Dominican, Honduran and Mexican fillers. I didn’t care for this the fist time I smoked it, but this one six months later was pretty darned tasty, it still started off a little sour, but it was greatly improved.


CAO_ConsigliereI followed that later in the day with a CAO Consigliere Associate, the robusto in the line that is basically the return of the Sopranos line, without the licensing fees that went along with the original. This is a 5″ x 52 robusto, and the first time I smoked this was in Las Vegas the night before the trade show opened when I ran into Rick Rodriguez and Ed McKenna of CAO at the Circle Bar in the Venetian Hotel. I had not previous experience with the Sopranos line, and I was told that this used the same blend as the original, Brazilian wrapper, Honduran binder and Colombian, Dominican, Nicaraguan fillers. I like sweetness in a cigar, and this cigar doesn’t have much sweetness, but it’s a god smoke if you like cigars on the savory end of the spectrum, which will come up again.  Monday I went with one of my favorites from CAO, the Flathead in the v660 Carb size, the one that placed high in Cigar Aficionado’s list a couple of years ago, I really like the Flathead line, although the 770 is a bit unwieldy.  I still liked the Consigliere, it was a nice cigar.


Punch_Signature_PitaLast night I went back to the Punch Signature Pita. I’ve liked a lot of Punch cigars, I should like this one too, but it’s another one that doesn’t hit my palate right, I’m afraid. It’s a classic 6″ x 50 toro, with a Ecuador Corojo wrapper, Connecticut Habano binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, what’s not to like?  I’ve smoked this in this size and the Robusto size, neither of which tripped my trigger unfortunately. It was lacking any sweetness and was very leathery to me. Certainly there are people who like this profile, it doesn’t thrill me. I can’t tell you how many Punch Rothchilds I smoked in the 90s!


Hoyo_RobustoTonight I picked out a year old Hoyo Robusto, the first couple I smoked last year I had draw problems with, I’ve also enjoyed a great many Hoyo de Monterrey cigars over the years, and the newest Hoyo La Amistad General Cigar made with AJ Fernandez last year is a really good smoke. This Hoyo has a Habano shade grown wrapper from Esteli, an Ecuador Sumatra binder, and Esteli, Ometepe and Pennsylvania fillers. I enjoyed this cigar a lot more now that it draws right, although it’s another cigar on the savory side, but it smoked well and I enjoyed it.  I think I would still lean toward the La Amistad when making a choice, but the Hoyo exceeded expectations.



ContestSince I smoked a bunch of General Cigar products this week, and I have some goodies still hanging around, it’s a great time for me to have another giveaway! This is the last of the goodies I received a few months ago, we have a cool CAO Flathead Steel Horse metal sign, a Punch bobblehead, a Macanudo Colibri cutter (similar to the CAO cutter I used all week which worked great!) and a pair of La Gloria Cubana Cigar Scissors. As sometimes happens around here, I get sloppy when I’m packing the box and cigars fall in, previous winners can attest to this.  Usual rules apply, leave a comment on this blog post to enter, I’ll select a winner next Wednesday, April , 26, 2017.


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





Filed under Contest, Review

Another Crossfire, a New Toraño, a Cordoba & Morales and a New Hoyo

Crossfire_SanAndres_ToroI’m off to a late start today, my apologies. I typically get up early on Sundays, but I had a late nap last night that kept me up in to the wee hours, then a migraine put me down for a few more hours. Not that anyone is likely siting around on a Sunday morning waiting me to post this nonsense. I selected another Crossfire cigar this week, this one was the San Andrés in a toro format. Sadly, I can find very little info on these new offerings, the card that was in the bag with the samples has background info and outdated pictures, and the website is behind the times as well. The only thing I can say is that this has a dark, Mexican San Andrés wrapper, at least that’s what the name on the band would imply. I tend to believe it, as this was a tasty smoke, although it started out a bit differently than I’m used to a San Andrés wrapped cigar starting. This cigar was nice, smooth and medium bodied, and I’m accustomed to a “dirtier” start. About halfway through the cigar I had to stop and remind myself I wasn’t smoking a Padrón of some sort, but it took some time to get to that point.  Damn fine cigar, I think I’ll get to the one banded Arapiraca next, it looks tasty.


Torano_Exodus_RobustoFriday evening I took a walk with a Toraño Exodus Robusto, the new iteration of the Exodus from General Cigar Co.  Exodus has been around a long time. I can remember enjoying Toraño Exodus cigar in the early part of the 2000s, and especially enjoyed the Exodus 50 years which came out a few years back (was it ’09?). The new version has some interesting components. The wrapper is a lower priming Honduran leaf from the San Agustin Valley, reminding me of the CAO OSA Sol s little, although darker. The binder is Connecticut Broadleaf, and the filler blend is Mexican, Dominican and Honduran. There is a lot going on in the blend, and the cigar is quite nice. It’s got some nutty, leathery qualities and a bit of pepper. It was quite interesting. I haven’t had a chance to try the colorfully packaged Vault line yet, it shares the same easily-mistaken-for-another-brand bands and bright colors as this new Exodus. Good cigar despite the band, which would have been a brilliant idea if someone hadn’t come out with it a couple of years ago.


CordobaMorales_ClaveCubana_RobustoYesterday I spent the morning putting insulation in our living room, an unpleasant job, but far less unpleasant than tearing down drywall (I am NOT looking forward to taking the ceiling down…). After getting cleaned up from that, and getting everything back in place, I sat down with another cigar from the IPCPR show, the Cordoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca robusto. This was a great looking little box pressed robusto, with a dark San Andrés wrapper (another one!  Yay!). I wasn’t expecting this to be as strong as it was, perhaps the “white label” name associates with mild to me, I don’t know, but it was a strong cigar for a before dinner cigar. No bother, I loved this cigar. It had a great black coffee kind of flavor, which I love, and it really hit my palate the right way. Great box press, and a wonderful little cigar. Besides the Mexican wrapper, the rest of the cigar is Nicaraguan, with Jalapa, Esteli and Ometepe represented in the blend.


Smoking the new Hoyo de Monterrey made in partnership with AJ Fernandez - @hoyocigars @ajfcigarsAfter dinner yesterday I just had to try the new Hoyo La Amistad, another IPCPR show sample. This is another interesting new offering from General Cigar, and another collaboration with AJ Fernandez. Hoyo was traditionally a Honduran cigar, this one is made in Nicaragua. The wrapper is Ecuadoran Habano, binder is a Nicaraguan leaf cultivated by AJ Fernandez in Esteli. The filler blend features tobacco from Esteli, Ometepe, Condega and Jalapa. A pre-light sniff of the 5″ x 54 robusto had that distinctive “barnyard” aroma, and the flavors were very unique and interesting. This was another cigar I really enjoyed, it had some “bright” flavors and was almost full bodied. It did have some dried fruit sweetness and a little spice. Hoyo_La Amistad_RobustoThis is a winner cigar for me, It’s different from what I usually like, but very tasty. If you’re wondering why there were a couple of collaborations with General Cigar and AJ Fernandez this year, think about who AJ Fernandez has been making a ton of cigar for over the last few years, Cigars International, right? Now, think of who owns Cigar International, Swedish Match/Scandinavian Tobacco, which also happens to be the parent company of General Cigar. Its more complicated than that, but you get the jist. It doesn’t hurt that Abdel Fernandez grew up near the Hoyo de Monterrey farm in Cuba, so he has that connection to the brand.  So far, out of the new releases from General Cigar this year, I haven’t found one I don’t like yet, Foundry Time files is a winner, Partagas Ramon y Ramon is a winner, and the Toraño Exodus and Hoyo La Amistad are also winners.


That’s plenty from me today, until the next time,




1 Comment

Filed under Review

Nomad, Capo de Mundo, El Centurian, Neya and Torano Cigars and a Contest Winner

Nomad_TherapyConnecticut_ToroIt’s been a long week for me, we had a holiday weekend, then four days of trying to wrap up a thirteen year career at my day job, and prepare people to take care of all the stuff I did. Now I’m between jobs, I start the new one next week, don’t you know I manage to break a couple molars Thursday?!  Who knows what the dentist will say when I get there Tuesday, there might be a smoking hiatus in my future…but I’m hopeful that they can be saved.  Anyway, I have a bunch of cigars worth talking about today, so let’s get on with it. Monday I managed an early cigar, so I chose a Nomad Therapy Connecticut. The Therapy line comes in three blends, two sizes each (Toro and Robusto) and goes to retailers in refillable trays. This isn’t a bundle cigar though, it’s a really nice, high quality smoke. This one had an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, San Andrés binder and Nicaraguan filers. I enjoyed this for a milder, very smooth, yet quite flavorful shade cigar. It burned well, drew well, and tasted good. Another very nice cigar from Fred Rewey, and I’m looking forward to trying his new SA-17.


CapodeMundo_Maduro_RobustoTuesday I smoked a cigar  bought on a visit to a shop in Ridley Park, PA a few months ago. We were in the area for another event and ran across Jacoub’s Cigars, a nice little cigar and hookah shop with a lounge and a well appointed walk-in humidor. I picked a few cigars up that I hadn’t tried yet, including some of Jacoub’s own brand, Capo de Mundo. I bought robustos in the maduro and Corojo, but they also have a Connecticut version. As one would expect, I smoked the maduro first. The Capo de Mundo was a good smoke, it had what one would expect from a maduro cigar, cocoa/coffee and a little bit of sweetness, all things I like. I don’t know that $9 is an appropriate price point though, I get that it’s a small production, that certainly plays in to the price, but I didn’t find that it had enough going for it to warrant the price. This would be a great $5 cigar for me, but there are many other cigars from $5 up to the $9 range that excite me more. I’m afraid this was unremarkable, not a bad cigar at all, just not different from a hundred other maduros. I look forward to seeing what the Corojo brings to the table. This, my friends, is about as close to a negative review you will get from me.


ElCenturianFriday evening my wife wanted to get out, so we went to the King of Prussia Mall, which is probably the largest shopping mall on the east coast. One of the very nice things about this mall is that it has a cigar shop which my wife refers to as “Husband Day Care”, something she borrowed from Dave Garofalo at Two Guys in New Hampshire. Anyway, it’s certainly nice to stop in for a cigar instead of wondering through racks of ladies clothes in various stores. International Tobacco has a nicely stocked walk in humidor (is a Davidoff retailer) and a bar with coffee and soda available. I bought a handful of My Father El Centurian H-2K-CT in the Corona size, which is closer to a robusto at 5½” x 48, not that I’m complaining, that’s a near perfect size as far as I’m concerned. This cigar has a hybrid Habano 2000 wrapper grown in Connecticut, wrapped around components grown and processed by the Garcias in Nicaragua. This was a terrific smoke, with that typical My Father spice in the beginning then some nice sweet, savory flavor throughout. It turns out that this size was perfect for the time it took my wife get tired of shopping, after 30 years I have a good idea how long it takes. I’m glad I bought a few, I love the size and it’s a tasty and interesting cigar. It was nice to be able to relax with a nice cigar, baseball on the TV and pleasant conversation with other patrons and Tom, the owner. If I could afford it, I’d send my wife shopping more often :-).


Duran Neya_BigJackYesterday was a two cigar day, after getting some things done around the yard and house, I sat down with a Duran Premium Cigars Neya F8 Big Jack. I really like the flavor of the F8 line, I’ve only smoked this size and the 6 x 60 Yankee, and they come in a bunch of sizes, some of which are quite close to one another (5 x 52 Patriot, 5 x 58 Gringo, 6 x 56 Toro, 6 x 60 Yankee,6½ x 54 Loyalist and 7 x 70 Big Jack). One can assume that this range might be trimmed in the coming years if the FDA requires mega-bucks approvals for each size. Anyway, the line features an Ecuador Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and fillers, and smoked really well. It’s sweet and smooth and quite good to my palate. the “Big Jack” is a 7″ x 70, named after the very recently former marketing and sales manager Jack Toraño, who has just left the company to join General Cigars as the face of the Toraño brand, a wonderful move in my opinion. Having an actual Toraño on board for the centennial of the brand is certainly key, and Jack is well known and loved in the industry. Anyway, the Big Jack was a tasty cigar and took me well over two hours to smoke. My only gripe with the cigar (and I’m sure Jack never tires of hearing this), is it’s just too damn big! I’ll happily smoke any size in this line, but 70 ring gauge is ridiculous. Great cigar though, even down to the last inch and a half, and after sitting id down and running an errand. I’m sure Jack’s talents will be missed at Duran Premium Cigars, but I’m glad to see him “home” with his family brand.


Torano_CRA_ToroAfter dinner, I dug deep and found a Toraño toro with a Cigar Rights of America band, which came either when I joined CRA in 2009, or renewed the year after. I have no idea what the blend on this toro was, it had the  burgundy Toraño band like on the Casa Toraño line along with the CRA secondary band. I have a bunch of the CRA cigars in the humidor from renewing every year, I’ve yet to get a CRA Opus or Liga yet though. This cigar was just fine. Good, savory flavors, and a razor sharp burn with a flat ember. The ash fell off by itself a couple times, no big deal as I was out walking, had it done that on my new patio carpet I might have been annoyed. Certainly you can’t run out and buy these, so my opinion means nothing really, except to go join the CRA if you haven’t already and maybe you’ll get one of these, or some other good cigars. Which is a good segue to the final paragraph of this post!




FDA ShirtLast week I offered a T-shirt (which I purchased from Smoke Inn) and a handful of cigars from my humidor, including a few that I threw in over the course of the week that weren’t pictured. I honestly thought the turnout would be better than it was. Maybe I didn’t include enough great cigars, or maybe it’s a commentary on the over-all apathy among the cigar smoking public, I don’t know. It’s good for the folks who entered, as it increases the odds. Trust me, when these FDA regulations take effect, it’s going to be much harder for me to have giveaways! Anyway, thanks to all that entered, and thanks for Abe dropping by and commenting and for his dedication to the cause. He certainly won’t be able to offer his Micro-Blend series with the regulations as they are. So, the winner of the T-shirt and cigars from CigarCraig’s humidors is…..KOPTim. Tim, please send your contact info so I can get this stuff to you, or, better yet, if I remember correctly, you’re in the area, lets meet up for a smoke and hand-off! Thanks for all who entered and shared, you can still go to https://www.smokeinn.com/FDA/ and buy a shirt or two to support the cause.


That’s more than enough for today! Look for a single cigar focused mid-week post or two as I have a bunch of interesting samples to get to and I’ve been rather selfishly smoking for myself this week! I also want to get a few posts in the bank, so to speak, in case there’s some dental interruption (fingers crossed). Until the next time,







Filed under Contest, Review, Stores

Guest Reviews: The Brick by Toraño and Viaje Exclusivo

As you may or may not know, my father, Paul Vanderslice, passed away on Thursday morning, he would have been 81 today.  I am honored to present not one, but two reviews from honorary Craigs today. These two gentlemen generously lent their talents to give me a day off, which I greatly appreciate. The upside for you, the reader, is that you are treated to some actual cigar reviews. 🙂 My dad was a career music educator, US Navy veteran, lover of baseball and Moosehead beer, and a good dad. He touched a great many lives in his career, and he worked right up until the end of his life as a church choir director.  We will miss him, and, although he was almost 81, he left us too early. I’ve been dipping into some of my best cigars over the last couple days as I think about life. Please enjoy these reviews from honorary Craigs for a Day, Anthony and Jeff, many thanks to them.



The Brick by Toraño – by Craig Anthony Lund (Agent 86)


I just want you to know my prayers and my brothers prayers are with you. We had the same kind of situation a couple years ago and it is one of the hardest things to do. All I can say is to think of all the good times. I know my brother and I talked about all of the great times we had with our father, most of which involved cigars (at least for the last 10 years or so).


For tonight I decided to revisit one of my regular favorites, in fact one that Craig has already reviewed, though he was having some dog issues that night. I don’t pretend to have quite as exciting of a review as that one, but I am quite content to be enjoying my cigar from the sedate location of my couch while watching Expedition Unknown. This cigar is The Brick, from Toraño. This one is in the Churchill size because, quite frankly, I’m somewhat of a size junkie with cigars lately and would much rather be having the 6X60 BFC but my local B&M doesn’t have it right now. The Brick is a nice, big, box pressed cigar with a dark, chocolaty look. The wrapper is a nice even color with a couple of prominent veins. The smell fresh out of the cellophane is the rich smell of a recently turned field of dark soil.


Upon using my punch the wrapper cracked, this is a problem I have seen a few times with this cigar, I believe it has to do with Toraño using a thin wrapper. Of course this particular one had been in my humidor for a while and apparently I had let the humidification level drop a bit. Hopefully this won’t affect the flavor. Right after taking my first draw I noticed the sweet flavor and large amounts of smoke. Not a lot of cigars give quite the level of smoke that these do, the larger one puts out even more. As it burns the ash is a nice light grey and holds together really well. The flavors are strong in chocolate and coffee with just a hint of a peppery taste. The burn remains pretty consistent as it goes, with just a little bit of canoeing that required a touch up from the lighter. As I smoke this cigar, there isn’t a huge change in the flavor profile or strength. It is exceptional at remaining completely consistent beginning to end. The pepper notes rise and fall but the chocolate and coffee flavors remain steady throughout. As I got past the mid point the ash did flake up a bit and I wound up ashing my keyboard a couple of times.


As I reach the end this cigar remains as just a nice pleasant smoke with a great flavor. It doesn’t really vary in taste or intensity as it reaches the end. All in all this is a really great cigar with a solid, medium body and a consistent medium flavor until the end. The best part of this is that the cigar is priced right. I find it rare to find such a good, solid stick for under 5 bucks. Also, this is one of the least marked up cigars in my local area coming in at $4.60. The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper is thin, but holds together pretty well, though I have had some cracking and splitting on other ones I’ve had. I have in the past really disliked Sumatra wrappers but with this cigar it really melds well with the Honduran binder and filler. I really lean heavily toward the Nicaraguan made cigars, and this is one out of Nicaragua that really shows why. If you’re looking for a really solid stick at a great price this is the one. It works perfectly for a good every day smoke and works well in every situation as long as you have the time, it does burn pretty slow and steady.


Viaje Exclusivo Double Edged Sword II – by Craig Jeff Oda (jjo)


Hello all.  I am an unofficial member of the Casas Fumando cigar review website, and a long-time fan of Cigar Craig.  When Craig put up his last post alerting us to the condition of his father and asking for a contribution of a review, I didn’t hesitate to volunteer what little I could for a guy who I consider to be not only a great BOTL, but a good friend.  We have communicated via email over the last few years, and I have always had a great deal of respect for not only his blog, but for his viewpoints on ethics and life in general.  I have not yet met Craig in person, but hope to someday, and I am honored and grateful that he would allow me to contribute to his blog in a time of need.  I would like to dedicate this review in honor of Paul Vanderslice, and hope that you will all join me and Casas Fumando in wishing the all the best to his family.  With that in mind, I scrapped the review that I had originally had set up, and went ahead with one of a limited release that carries a bit more cachet to it.


P1000682The Viaje Exclusivo Double Edged Sword II was released in 2013 as a more widely available (700 jars of 19 cigars) follow-up to the ultra-limited 2010 Double Edged Sword, of which only 125 boxes of 25 were released.  The 2013 version comes in a slightly different vitola:  a 6.5×50 open footed perfecto, as opposed to the original’s 5.75×52 double torpedo shape.  According to halfwheel.com, it was manufactured at Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L.  While the price of this cigar is something that would normally cause me to hesitate in grabbing one, this one was generously sent to me just over a year ago by Mike Forry of Stogie Review and Stogie 411 as part of a pay-off of a wager on last year’s Super Bowl, so a big “thank you!” to Mike.


Wrapper:  Nicaraguan Criollo

Binder:  Nicaraguan

Filler:  Nicaraguan

Size:  6.5×50 Perfecto, with an open foot

Price:  $18.63

Smoking time:  1 hour, twenty minutes

Pairing:  Silver City Brewery – The Giant Made of Shadows Belgian strong ale




The Viaje Double Edged Sword II comes draped in a reddish milk chocolate brown wrapper showing some minor veins and a few soft spots, including a rather large one just above the lower band which identifies the cigar as a part of the Viaje Collector’s Edition series.  There are also a couple of minor cracks present in the wrapper.  There is not much of an aroma to the wrapper, but that may be due the fact that it has been sitting un-cellophaned in my humidor for over a year.  The scent off the foot is mostly a mild tobacco.  Upon clipping the sharply pointed cap, I experience a nice draw, with light, mild spice, tobacco, and a hint of cedar.




First third

P1000683Firing up the $18.63 Double Edged Sword II with my trusty $2.69 Hong Kong torch, I’m greeted by light charred wood, pepper, and cedar, all of which are surprisingly light on the retrohale.  A half inch in, the cedar had moved to the forefront as the charred flavor recedes, and the pepper has strengthened on both the palate and retrohale.  A slightly sweet spice plays in the background, while the burn that started out quite wavy is trying to even itself out.  While the Double Edged Sword II started out needing double puffs to get a good amount of smoke, by the 1” mark, this is no longer necessary.




Middle third

P1000686Rolling into the second third of the Viaje DES II, the cedar continues to lead the way, with toasty bread, white pepper, some aged tobacco mustiness, and the lightly sweet spice also in the mix.  The ash had held on for the entire first third, but not wanting to tempt fate, I tapped it off into my ashtray. Subsequent ashings would be in the 1” – 1-1/2” range, with one of them landing unceremoniously in my lap.  The burn has continued to waver, but I have not had to think about touching it up, and it has burned through that largish soft spot without a problem.  At this point, it has been right at a solid medium in terms of body, and at the lower end in strength.  The smoke has been smooth both on the tongue and retrohale, but has been leaving a peppery tickle in the back of the throat.




Final third

P1000687Entering the final third of the DES II, the burn has continued to meander, but has not been a problem at all, nor have the few cracks and soft spots affected the smoking characteristics of the cigar.  The flavors have remained pretty much unchanged, although they have gotten a bit deeper and more cohesive, and I’m beginning to feel a slight nicotine kick.  With 1-1/2” left, some char has re-emerges, but a quick purge takes care of that.  I’m duly impressed by the lack of harshness and how cool it smokes all the down to a little nub.




The Viaje Double Edged Sword II was surely an enjoyable smoke that behaved quite well despite my misgivings on construction when I first did my extended once-over.  I can’t say, however, that I think it is worth the $18+ asking price.  A more realistic $10 – $12 would be more in my ballpark, but if Mike wants to send me another, I would gladly smoke and enjoy it, lol!  I would also add that based on how slowly the first third went, I was expecting it to be an hour and a half smoke, but the middle section went pretty quickly.



P1000679Although I know that Craig is a teetotaler, I wanted to salute his father properly, and in my world, that is with a proper alcoholic beverage.  The Giant Made of Shadows from Bremerton, WA beer crafter Silver City Brewery is a limited seasonal release Belgian style strong ale aged in Temperanillo wine barrels, and sports an ABV of 9.9%.  If I didn’t already know that it had sat in wine barrels, I probably wouldn’t be able to identify the flavor that the barrels impart to the beer, but it is definitely there.  The Belgian fruitiness and deep malt give it a nice sweetness and makes for a nice match with the flavors of the Viaje Double Edged Sword II, without overwhelming it, while the wine barrels contribute a depth of flavor and roundness that goes quite well with the cigar.  I think that any Belgian style beer, and even a Dunkel, would provide a good complement to the DES II, as well.



Once again, thank you to these two great friends and long-time readers. Their contributions are always welcome here, along with anyone else who would like to be a Craig for a day.  I also appreciate all the thoughts and encouragement you’ve provided me with over the last very difficult week.


Until the next time,




Filed under Guest Review, Review

My Father Connecticut, Oliva Orchant, a Little PDR, and a Toraño

imageSunday afternoon I took the two mile trip to the cigar shop since it was bitterly cold and windy.  I finally smoked the My Father Connecticut Toro.  This is a 6½” x 54 Ecuador wrapped beauty is made from tobacco grown on the Garcia’s farms in Nicaragua (except the wrapper) and cut and lit nicely. I was quite impressed with everything about this cigar. It burned perfectly, had a great draw and gave me a nice hour and a half or so of relaxation. I have been spending more time at this shop, but still haven’t wandered into the Montecristo Lounge, I just sat out in the front in a leather chair watching some golf, perusing some magazines and hanging out. I know the former owner, who still works there, but he wasn’t there. This Connecticut shade wrapped cigar is a winner, great smoking experience.


Oliva_Orchant Seleccion_SkinnyMonday was another cold night, so I went with a smaller cigar, the “Skinny” corona in Mitchell Orchant’s Oliva  Orchant Seleccion.  I smoked the 4″ x 60 Chubby a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it. This 5″ x 43 corona was excellent, although different from the Chubby. The flavor was more direct, less smooth and mellow than the larger ring.  Obviously the wrapper to filler ratio makes a very big difference, and I’m very interested in trying the robusto in this line to see if it falls in the middle.  I love all cigars, sometimes I like the sharper, more focussed flavors of a smaller ring gauge, other times I enjoy larger rings, they are generally a little cooler. Mostly I like a longer smoke though, as every cigar is  mini vacation.  It’s a shame these aren’t available on this side of the pond, I’m finding them to be a bit more refined than the already pretty refined Oliva Serie V.


AFlores_Gran Reserva_HalfCoronaTinTuesday I opted for a really short smoke, the A. Flores Gran Reserva Half Corona, a 2006 Dominican Corojo wrapped little flavor bomb from PDR Cigars. It has Dominican Corojo and Nicaraguan Habano filler, Dominican binder, and packs a lot of flavor into a 3½” x 46 cigar. This is a great half hour smoke, and gives a big cigar experience in a small package. These are available in neat tins that are very handy, and are really delicious little cigars.  Perfect for a frigid and busy evening.


Torano_Exodus50Years_RobustoWe’ve been furnace shopping, as ours is failing, and finally came to a decision. The new furnace and water heater goes in Friday. To celebrate I grabbed a favorite, the Toraño Exodus 1959 50 Year, with the copper colored bands.  This tasty 5″ x 50 robusto has a dark Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, Honduran binder and Nicaraguan fillers. I really love the flavor of this cigar, it has a unique toasty cocoa flavor that is very appealing. this one has been in the humidor for a while, and I hope that the change in ownership doesn’t change the flavor of this smoke. This is probably my favorite in the Exodus series.


That’s it for now, it’s been a wild week with the furnace and all. Fortunately we are getting it replaced before it fails completely, it’s really the wrong time of year fro that nonsense, and we’ve been unhappy with the hot water since we moved in. I really don’t want the water heater failing, that tends to get messy and we just had new carpet (and walls) in the room adjacent to the room with all the mechanicals. We are REALLY looking forward to spring!  That’s it for now, until the next time,





Filed under Review