black pepper

Cigar Review | Highclere Castle Victorian Toro

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the new Highclere Castle Victorian in the Toro size. This 6 x 52 cigar is a follow up to the original Highclere Castle – a cigar created for its namesake made by Foundation Cigar Company which became my #1 cigar of 2017. The return features a similar blend with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder, and Nicaraguan fillers. It retails for $15.

Highclere Castle Victorian

Pre-Light

On the cold draw, I pick up a dried fruit flavor. The wrapper produces an earthy barnyard aroma while I smell rich tobacco out of the foot. Once lit, I pick up buttery toast. Through the nose, I taste a little cocoa and toast. On the finish, strength and body are immediately present with cocoa, toast, and cinnamon.

Highclere Castle Victorian

First Third

The first third closes out at thirty-five minutes. On the draw, I pick up buttery toast with black pepper. Through the nose, cedar blends with earth and more buttery toast. The finish offers roasted coffee with light cocoa and a little black pepper. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.

Highclere Castle Victorian

Second Third

The second third ends around one hour. Black pepper steals the stage on the draw with notes of hazelnut. On the retro-hale, I find more black pepper and buttery toast. The finish is delicious with roasted coffee and hazelnut. There is no change to strength or body.

Highclere Castle Victorian

Final Third

An hour and a half in, the cigar finishes out. On the draw, black pepper mixes with cedar and vegetal earth. Through the nose, floral notes appear with black pepper. The finish explodes with additional black pepper and potent nutmeg. Strength still floats around medium-to-full, but body jumps to full in this final third.

Highclere Castle Victorian

In Summary

The Highclere Castle Victorian is an excellent cigar. It burns great and puts out plenty of smoke. Flavors work well together, and complexity is sufficient. For $15, I expected a little more depth, but it was still a fantastic experience and a worthy follow-up to the original Highclere Castle cigar.

It’s hard to compare to the original as it’s a very different cigar. The original is much lighter but more refined. Regardless, the Highclere Castle Victorian definitely holds its own, and I highly recommend it.

Smoke on!

-CutLightSmoke

Cigar Review | Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Corona Gorda

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the new Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro. For this review, I smoke the Corona Gorda, a 6 x 46 box-pressed stick. It retails for $10. The blend consists of a super dark Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper and all Nicaraguan tobaccos within.

Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro

The cold draw on this cigar gives some dried fruit flavor. The rich, dark wrapper produces a potent manure aroma, while I smell a bit of the same out of the foot with dried fruit. The first light produces copious amounts of spice and body.  

Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro

Twenty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I find black pepper spice with coffee and bitter cocoa. Through the nose, a spicy black pepper blends with leather. The finish gives me more bitter cocoa and leather. Strength settles in at medium, while body is extremely full.

Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro

The second third gets me to fifty-five minutes. The draw hits me with rich cocoa and dark espresso. On the retro-hale, there is a massive amount of cayenne pepper dominating my sinuses. The finish is a delightful mix of black licorice and black pepper. There is no change to strength or body.

Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro

The final third wisps away at one hour and twenty minutes. On the draw, more cocoa blends with cinnamon and coffee. Through the nose, flavors remain consistent. The finish hits me with black pepper, cedar, and leather. Strength finishes out at medium, while body ends at the ceiling.

Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro

The Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro is an excellent cigar. It displays delicious, bold flavors without being too strong, and complexity is sufficient. Construction is perfect, and the cigar billows with smoke. It’s competitively priced and competes well with similarly priced cigars. You may not like this if you only smoke mild-bodied blends, but for everyone else I highly recommend picking up a bunch of these.

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Alec Bradley Magic Toast Robusto

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Alec Bradley Magic Toast in the Robusto size. This 5 x 52 cigar retails for $8.95 and sports an extremely dark wrapper leaf from Honduras. Inside, there are both Nicaraguan and Honduran binders as well as fillers from both of those same countries.

Alec Bradley Magic Toast

The cold draw is snug with a mossy flavor. The wrapper produces a rich dark cocoa aroma, while I smell chocolate and strawberry out of the foot. The first light hits me with buttery cedar and black pepper. Through the nose, spice kicks up with red pepper and more cedar. The finish gives me cocoa and cinnamon.

Alec Bradley Magic Toast

Twenty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. I pick up cocoa and black pepper on the draw. Through the nose, dried fruit blends with walnut and floral notes. The finish offers up some dark chocolate with raspberry and clove. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.

Alec Bradley Magic Toast

The second third brings me to one hour. I find more black pepper on the draw with the addition of vegetal earth. The retro-hale consists of buttery toast and more floral notes. The finish is delightful with sweet chocolate and marshmallow flavors reminiscent of hot cocoa. There is no change to strength or body.

Alec Bradley Magic Toast

The final third ends at one hour and thirty minutes. Black pepper and black licorice mix well on the draw. I see no change of flavors through the nose. The finish displays smoky cedar and black pepper. Nearly all elements of sweetness drop off in this final third. Strength and body finish out at medium-to-full.

Alec Bradley Magic Toast

The Alec Bradley Magic Toast is an excellent cigar. It offers a ton of complexity with many dark, dessert-like flavors. Construction is absolutely perfect with ash stacking like quarters. To top it off, the price is extremely competitive at just a hair under $9. This is one of the best Alec Bradley cigars to date, and I highly recommend giving it a try.

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Nasty Fritas

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Nasty Fritas. This little cigar is a 4 x 52 short pyramid featuring a Connecticut Broadleaf Oscuro wrapper and Brazilian Mata Fina binder. The fillers consist of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos originating from the trimmings of the Liga Privada No. 9 and T52. The cigar retails for $6.25 and comes packed in boxes of 50 for $325.

Thirty minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I pick up a mix of cocoa and leather. Through the nose, I find some mild cedar flavor. The finish offers lingering black pepper spice with a hint of cocoa. Strength and body settle in at medium.

The second third ends at fifty minutes. The draw displays the same flavors with some added pep. On the retro-hale, there is more cedar with the addition of black pepper. The finish is delicious with a hearty blend of bold cocoa, black pepper, and espresso. Strength and body jump slightly to medium-to-full.

The final third wisps away around one hour and fifteen minutes. I see no change to the flavors on the draw. Through the nose, black pepper and cinnamon spice up my sinuses. The finish gives me bombs of black pepper and dark cocoa. There is no change to strength or body.

The Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Nasty Fritas – what a mouthful – is a solid small cigar. Complexity is on the low end, but the flavors I picked up on this cigar were excellent. Construction is spot on, and it even burns slower than expected. If you enjoy any of the Liga Privada line of cigars, you will enjoy this. It won’t blow your mind, but it’s certainly a tasty little smoke with a good price point. I highly recommend trying it out.

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Viva La Vida Robusto

As you guys may have already figured by now, I like to do reviews on cigars that could be considered “Under the radar”, or “Quiet riots.” As a result, you may be privy to read about something you may have not otherwise been exposed to. But in this case, if you haven’t seen or heard of this cigar in your chat groups, trips to the local lounge or on numerous IG stories, then you’re probably living La Vida Hermit! LOL

This cigar is a collaboration from Artesano Del Tobacco and AJ Fernandez, who I have to say is one of my favorite Master craftsman across the board. The guy is sheer genius and he doesn’t break our pockets trying to experience his masterpieces. With a 25yr history in the tobacco game, Artesano Del Tobacco is a small boutique company out of new York City. Formerly known as New York Cigar Inn, housing the only Cigar Aficionado lounge in the world, they changed their name before reaching out to AJ to create the “Live The Life” cigar.

  • APPEARANCE – The cigar is dark brown with a reddish hue to it. There isn’t a seam in sight and there are tiny vascular vein patterns with one or two slightly more visible veins. The rugged single cap is the only non perfect component of this cigars build and I like it.
  • AROMAS – The wrapper smells like puppy fur, wood and Autumn leaves. No BS, Autumn leaves!!! From the foot I’m getting wood, chocolate and chalk. Oddly, the aroma coming from the cap is a more intense smell of musky earth

First Third | Fiesta Caliente

I was power blasted up front with a combination of red and black pepper. There was a caramel like sweetness that came in behind it , cleaning up the mayhem. I love when spice is done correctly. I don’t mind having my mustache singed as long as the flavor is “Vida”. In the retro, I’m getting a spicy cinnamon citrus kind of flavor and that’s totally enjoyable. I can’t put my finger on the specific type, but there’s a nutty component at play in the nasal nuances. The finishing touch at the end is a rather pleasant toasty oak. I’m completely satisfied and impressed with the first third experience.

Second Third | The Hype is Justified

The toasted/charred oak is ramping up but it’s borrowing an element of sweetness from elsewhere. It’s probably clinging to the now baking spices that started as a cinnamon spice in the first third. The citrus vibe that I was experiencing is now a more darker fruity element. My nose is still tingling from the pepper spice. However, my head isn’t buzzing and the strength is not overpowering. Along with the pepper spice on the retro, I’m getting a nice rich leather attached to hints of molasses. Rounding things out at the finish and in between puffs, there is a solid aged dry tobacco. This is one of those flavors that move the spirit of any so called cigar connoisseur.

Final Third | La Vida Loca

Wow. I told myself several times that I would not use Ricky Martin song references for this cigar. However, I digress because this thing is crazy! This cigar is jumping to and fro and moving around in the most insanely flavorful way. Notes from the first third are returning and nuances from the second are morphing in and out. So basically, you could light this cigar from the front, back or middle and it would still be a hell of a party. And let’s not forget, this is only the Robusto.

In brief synopsis, this cigar finished beautifully. Still spicy yet sweet, with a woody rich tobacco core. The fruity-dark berry nuances are still dancing around my olfactory warehouse via retrohales. I pretty much smoked this Robusto down to my fingernails. Roach clip worthy for sure. LOL!

In a nutshell, all i can say is that this cigar is a must try. The hype is there, but it lives up to it in every sense. As I said earlier, I’ve only smoked the Robusto vitola. But you can be sure I will be trying all of the sizes.

I’d like to to thank you all again for taking the time to share this cigar smoking experience with me. As always, I look forward to the feedback and conversation about these experiences whether it’s in opposition or agreement. I’d also like to send a special Salute to my Barrel Burner Sisters & Brothers of the Leaf. I know you guys are HERFing heavy with the Vida this weekend.

CHEERS & SALUTE

Cigar Review | Cornelius & Anthony The Gent Robusto

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Cornelius & Anthony The Gent in the Robusto size. This box-pressed 5 x 52 cigar retails for $8.50. It features an Ecuadorian Rosado wrapper with a binder from the United States and fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras.

Cornelius & Anthony The Gent

The cold draw produces a slight oak flavor. The wrapper gives off a chocolatey leather aroma, while I smell dried fruit. Once lit, I pick up white pepper and cedar on the draw. Vanilla and cinnamon come through on the retro-hale. The finish hits me with light black pepper and some coffee.

Cornelius & Anthony The Gent

Thirty minutes in, the first third finishes. On the draw, I pick up some white pepper with brown sugar and coffee. Through the nose, mint blends with cinnamon and vanilla. The finish lingers with spicy nutmeg, toast, and prune. Strength and body settles in at a stout medium-to-full.

Cornelius & Anthony The Gent

The second third gets me to one hour. I find more white pepper on the draw with leather and floral notes. The retro-hale consists of cinnamon and toast. On the finish, there is more spicy nutmeg with black pepper and ginger. I see no change to strength and body.

Cornelius & Anthony The Gent

The final third closes out at an hour and a half. On the draw, white pepper gives depth to citrus and more floral notes. Through the nose, my sinuses are blasted with bombs of black pepper and cinnamon. The finish offers black pepper with char and earth. Strength and body finish out at medium-to-full.

Cornelius & Anthony The Gent

The Cornelius & Anthony The Gent Robusto is an excellent cigar blend that offers great complexity and flavor. Construction is top-notch with a smooth draw and plentiful smoke. The flavors on this thing really work well together, and I enjoyed every last puff. Cornelius & Anthony continues to put out quality cigars. This cigar ranked as my #13 cigar of 2018, and I highly recommend trying it.

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Jajoreo Cigars

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the first offering from Jajoreo Cigars. The Jajoreo is a box-pressed Toro measuring 6 x 52. It retails for $10 and is rolled in the Rodriquez Olivan Factory in the Dominican Republic. A super oily Dominican Habano 2000 wrapper conceals a Honduran binder and Nicaraguan long-fillers. Construction appears very rustic.

Jajoreo Cigars

The wrapper produces a potent flowery chocolate aroma while I smell the same out of the foot. Once lit, my tongue is greeted with cinnamon and vanilla. Through the nose, there is sweet graham cracker and cinnamon. The finish displays white pepper and flowery earth.  

Jajoreo Cigars

Twenty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I pick up black pepper with Dominican twang and a distinct saltiness. Through the nose, vanilla blends with potpourri. The finish gives me black pepper with cocoa and earth. Both strength and body settle in at medium.

Jajoreo Cigars

The second third wraps up right at the one hour mark. I find cinnamon and spicy black pepper on the draw. On the retro-hale, brown sugar melts together with more vanilla and a hint of coffee. The finish sees no noticeable changes. Strength and body creep up the high side of medium.

Jajoreo Cigars

The final third ends at an hour and a half. This Jajoreo charges full steam ahead in the final third. Black pepper and Dominican twang dominate the draw. Through the nose, flowery earth and spicy cinnamon pair up. Bombs of black pepper blast me on the finish with notes of earth and cocoa. Strength and body finish out at medium-to-full.

The Jajoreo is a nice entry into the crowded cigar market. It didn’t blow me away, but it’s a good cigar. The pre-light and lit aroma is amazing on this thing, and it will immediately fill a room with huge clouds of aromatic smoke. Complexity was decent, and the flavors presented were enjoyable. Construction is spot on, though a bit rustic in appearance. I won’t rush out to buy a box, but I do recommend giving it a try.

Smoke on!

-CutLightSmoke