cinnamon

Cigar Review | Protocol Nightstick


” We wanted to follow up the extraordinarily successful Protocol K9 with something special for the Cigar Dojo community! We wanted the Dojo Nation to have a very memorable cigar experience, so we blended this beauty especially with them in mind! I hope you guys enjoy the Night Stick as much as we do; We actually love it and am sad that it will not be a regular-production cigar. I made myself a few extra because I know they are going to sell out fast!

– Juan Cancel, co-owner of Cubariqueno Cigar Co
A  med dark brown wrapper with a slight sheen on this  6 1/2 x 54 Toro Gordo. A show band with a hand seemingly waiving a nightstick towards you.

Cigar Dojo enthusiasts and stick connoisseurs alike swarmed and claimed all 500 Limited Edition bundles of 10 from Famous Smoke Shop. Both online and at an in -store release party.

Priced at $89.99 per 10ct bundle, the Protocol Nightstcick is comprised of an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper. The 6 1/2 x 54 Toro Gordo boasts both binder and fillers fron Nicaragua, including fillers from Condega and Jalapa. The Nightstick was manufactured at the La Zona factory in Nicaragua.


The Pre-Light

On Point is exactly how this cigar hits the eye. It is very inviting and makes you want to smoke it immediately. My patience was certainly tested early on, as I really wanted to see what the hype was all about. I tend to let any newer cigar rest awhile before lighting up as a rule. But, I had also heard from a few folks that the cigar needed a little time. Needless to say, I also had a few people rave about it. The quintessential yet cliche, “One person’s trash” ideal was ultra present in this case. The good part of course, is that I get to find out for my damn self!

Packed well and firm with a slight spring to it, this officer’s club is triple capped with tiny veinage along the wrapper. Is veinage an actual word? If not, you gon learn today! on the wrapper I’m getting an almost sour musk and faint leather. the foot is blessing me with chocolate, a raisin or fig like nuance and cardboard. Honestly, the cold draw is lack luster and not providing any real previews to the ProDojo Show. A generic baccy and that same cardboard from the aroma test are all that I can detect.

Packed well and firm with a slight spring to it, this officer's club is triple capped with tiny veinage along the wrapper.

First Third | Walking The Beat

Initial puffs from the Protocol NightStick were earthy and mineral driven with a hint of bitter cocoa. Already, I’m getting the impression that this cigar is carrying youth but has potential if the contents are allowed time to blend and marry. However, we are only a few puffs in so before I jump on the bandwagon, let’s see what comes.

It started slow but midway thru the first third, the spice picked up bringing the flavor along with it. There was a nice combination of caramel and raisin, parallel to a generic leather (pleather). The potent spice was a cinnamon and black pepper tandem coated with a touch of brown sugar.

This 6 1/2 x 54 Toro Gordo , boasting it's original band with a hand holding a nightstick is burning seamlessly for the first few puffs.

“Damn, Damn, Damn!” My 5 to 7 minute flavor explosion was short lived by burn and draw issues. The cigar kept dying on me and the burn/mascara line suffered right along with it. As I sit and pray for a revival, the room is filling with aromas of charred oak and leather.

Second Third | Ping Pong Smoke

Starting off with the coining of a new phrase: “Ping Pong Smoke”, the flavors of the Nightstick are going back and forth. Although this isn’t a new occurrence, this is the first time I named it. LOL! Basically, on one puff, I want to throw the cigar across the room into a wall. On other puffs, I want to rub the cigar against my chest and talk dirty to it. Actual flavors are consistent with the 1st third when they are on the good side of the ping pong table. At this point, it’s less of me talking dirty to it and more of the cigar just doing me dirty.

Ther burnline and flavors took a major hit as the cigar progressed. The ash was flaky from constant re-lighting.

I’m reassured of my original assessment and in agreement with a few of my fellow smokers that this collab definitely needs a moment to get right. It might even be really good by my next birthday. Ughh! It went out completely by the half way point after fighting with it and numerous re-lights.

Final Third | Go With Your Gut

Ther burnline and flavors took a major hit as the cigar progressed. The ash was flaky from constant re-lighting.

Lesson of the day is to trust your instincts. It got you this far in life. I literally re-lit this Nightstick at least 8 times. In any other case I would have tossed this cigar along time ago, but for the sake of this review, I kept fighting. Of course, the constant relighting, puffing and correcting destroyed any chance of getting back to the tasteful yet brief moment in the first third. And although the cigar isn’t getting ample time to heat up it is a complete sponge at this point. So soft to be exact that my fingers are imprinted in the cigar itself.

 Although the cigar isn't getting ample time to heat up it is a complete sponge at this point.  So soft to be exact that my fingers are imprinted in the cigar itself.

The closing flavors are wood and pepper balanced out by sheer frustration and disappointment. For the record this was my first experience with protocol and I have 2 more of these for later review, which I’m hoping and assuming will be better experiences. I try not to judge cigars on the first attempt but I also like to share my initial experiences with the Family.

Since my bout with the ProDojo collab, I was blessed with a regular production Protocol and I was very impressed and satisfied. This negative experience will not tarnish the image of either company in my eyes. Hell, I’m not even mad at the cigar because I will certainly be smoking it again once I feel it has had a decent amount of time in the humidor. I’m no expert or Cervantes, but my thought is that this NOT a blend issue but a time thing.

Thank you again for taking the time and sharing this experience with me. As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback. Stay smoking and keep trying new things. Don’t be afraid to wander outside of your usual lane and be willing to give cigars that didn’t move you a second chance. There are many variables at play when it comes to what you can and cannot taste. On that note, I say Cheers and Salute to my Family of the Leaf!

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 | 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 | Bespoke Club Mareva: Grand Mareva

The Grand Mareva was launched by Bespoke cigars at the opening of the International Private Member cigar club in Split, Croatia. Club Mareva adopted this cigar as its “House Cigar” and the emblem on the band is the club’s logo.

I have been really diving into the Bespoke line in recent weeks and I’m quite impressed by some of their blends. Anytime the name Kelner is involved with a cigar, you have to at least be curious. With that being said, I was enthusiastic and ready to begin this journey thru the Bespoke halls of tobacco!

This particular cigar was blended by Hendrik Kelner Jr. of the world renown Kelner family of Master blenders at the KBF factory in the Dominican Republic.

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap.
  • Wrapper – Brazillian
  • Binder – Dominican
  • Filler – Aged Nicaraguan, Dominican & USA
  • Size – 5,6″ x 42

Pre Light

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap

The Gran Mareva has the color of a damp wet paper bag and a curled pigtail cap. It is rustic looking with a slight sheen, some pronounced veins and a closed foot. There are aromas of soil, nuts and a mild Dominican funk coming off the wrapper. I twisted off the curly pigtail, leaving a tiny raw opening. However, the draw was wide open, even with the closed foot still intact. On that note, the cold draw gave me hay, musk and a mild sage. Also, I had that crystal crunch in my mouth that you get from certain cigars. Almost as if there were sugar crystals up in the club. LOL!

First Third|Up In The Club

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap

Once I convince myself that this isn’t a Drake OVO cigar, I spark this little bad boy up. Initial flavors are toasty and dark as the closed foot burns away. It’s almost a charred thing going on. Soon after, it opens up and blossoms into floral cuts with a thumping bass consisting of some powerful cinnamon, cardamom and cracked peppercorn. The club is lit! The retro tastes like cream and rose petals sandwiched between 2 honey teddy graham crackers. There’s also a brief cameo appearance of a metallic nuttiness on the track. I think this song is called, “Wow Complex!”

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap

Second Third|Up In Here, Up In Here!!!

The savory flavors of Sage, Cardamom, salted Nuts and a floral backdrop are dominating the sweet tones. However, the DJ is slowly mixing in a raisin melody, making an even more complex mix. All this partying is stirring up room notes of sweet, creamy baking spice. Who brought monkey bread up in the club!? Towards the end of this track the raisin beat started morphing into a black cherry with cedar moving to the forefront.

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap

Final Third|Slow it Down

As the mood in the spot dies down and the music slows up a bit, the flavors are straight forward and to the point. There’s Honey, Charred Cedar and Dried Fruit bringing the party to a close. While the Slow Jams are playing, the texture of the smoke is smooth and you can still get subtle hints of that baking spice thru the nose. The charred wood is actually tolerable as far as taste but it leaves a bitter finish on the tongue. As a result, the lights came on and the bouncers yelled, “It’s time to go!!!”

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap

All I can say at this point is that if you have not experienced any of Bespoke’s Cigars, do yourself a favor and check them out. The only gripe I have with Bespoke is that the price point on a lot of their sticks is out of my usual range. At the same time, I’m a hypocrite! Because as a cigar adventurer, if I feel the urge to try something, Im going for it regardless of price. The problem arises when I actually like the cigar. I can’t be paying that price too often Family! LOL. Again, I thank you guys for taking the time to experience this ride with me.

CHEERS & SALUTE. Until next time. – Oasis

Cigar Review | Southern Draw Cedrus The Hogan

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I review the Southern Draw Cedrus The Hogan. This Belicoso Fino comes in at 5 ½ x 52 and retails for $11.99. These come packed in unique boxes of 10 with each cigar standing upright. The cigar was made to honor Phil and Shelly Hogan, friends and early supporters of the brand. The blend features an Indonesian Sumatra Bosuki TBN wrapper concealing a Nicaraguan Habano binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

Southern Draw Cedrus

The wrapper produces a light leathery aroma, while I smell raisin out of the foot. On the cold draw, I pick up wine notes. Once lit, this stick blows tons of smoke. The draw offers cedar with sweet cocoa. Through the nose, I find more cedar with spicy nuttiness. The finish hits me with red pepper, cocoa, and molasses.

Southern Draw Cedrus

Twenty-five minutes in, the first third closes out. On the draw, I pick up a hint of cedar with raisin and brown sugar. Through the nose, red pepper and cinnamon mix. The finish gives me cinnamon with roasted coffee and light molasses. Strength settles at a medium while body is very full.

Southern Draw Cedrus

The second third finishes at forty-five minutes. The draw offers toast with more cedar and distinct flavor of sunflower seeds. On the retro-hale, I’m greeted with more cinnamon alongside coffee. The finish consists of bold espresso with fading molasses notes and hints of vanilla. Both strength and vanilla sit at medium-to-full.

Southern Draw Cedrus

One hour and fifteen minutes in, the final third wraps up. Brown sugar returns on the draw with cinnamon and some sweet cocoa. There is no change through the nose. I find flowery earth, citrus, and molasses on the finish. Strength and body finish out at a solid medium-to-full.

The Southern Draw Cedrus The Hogan is a phenomenal cigar. It hits all the right notes on flavor pulling you back in with every puff, and there’s enough complexity to keep things interesting. Every minute of this smoke is a treat. Construction is top notch, and smoke output is plentiful. If you haven’t tried this cigar, you’re missing out. Watch for this to hit top 25 lists everywhere.

Smoke on!

-CutLightSmoke

Cigar Review | Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art Robusto

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art. For this review, I smoke the Robusto size, a 5 x 52 box-pressed cigar. It retails for $9.90. This cigar is a follow up to the original Alec Bradley Prensado which earned #1 cigar of the year from Cigar Aficionado. The blend consists of a Honduran wrapper with a Honduran and Nicaraguan double binder as well as Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers.

Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art

The cold draw offers me an oaky wine flavor. The wrapper puts off a muted earth aroma, and I smell toast out of the foot. Once lit, I pick up creaminess with black pepper. Through the nose, toast and black pepper find my sinuses. The finish hits me with bitter black pepper.

Thirty minutes in, the first third produces earth, leather, and buttery cream on the draw. Through the nose, a sweet toast takes over. Black pepper and almond are dominant on the finish. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.

Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art

The second third gets me to one hour. On the draw, black pepper blends with leather. The retro-hale offers up a pleasant cinnamon and toast combo. A lingering finish of black pepper and char complements black licorice. Strength and body remain the same.

An hour and a half in, the cigar winds down to an end. The draw offers no changes on this third, while I taste floral earth with a spicy cinnamon on the retro. Coming through on the finish is black pepper with earth and the return of almond. It closes out at medium-to-full to both strength and body.

Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art

The Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art is a good cigar. I’ll leave it at the word good. It’s got some nice flavors and moderate complexity. Burn and smoke output is spot on. It just doesn’t blow me away. It’s not bad, but it’s not mind-blowing, either. It’s worth a try, but I personally prefer the original Prensado at least when it smokes well – I’ve had a few of those that just weren’t the same level of quality as most. Give this Lost Art a try before you commit to a box.

Smoke on!
-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | RoMa Craft Tobac Wunder|Lust Robusto

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the RoMa Craft Tobac Wunder|Lust in the 5 x 50 Robusto size. This European exclusive cigar features a dark Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper covering an Indonesian binder and undisclosed fillers. It retails for 8.75 EUR which is about $10.86 per cigar. The cigars come packed in large 40-count boxes.

RoMa Craft Tobac WunderLust Robusto

On the cold draw, there is sour raisin flavor. The wrapper produces a leathery aroma, while I smell dried fruit out of the foot. Once lit, I pick up light leather, cedar, and white pepper. Through the nose, I find nutty caramel. The finish gives me black and red pepper with nutty leather.

RoMa Craft Wunder|Lust

Twenty-five minutes in, the first third ends. I pick up nutty cocoa and leather with spicy cinnamon on the draw. Through the nose, I find spicy caramel alongside a mellow nuttiness. Smoky walnut and leather blend with black pepper on the finish. Strength and body settle in at the medium-to-full mark.

RoMa Craft Wunder|Lust

At the hour mark, the second third comes to a close. On the draw, grassy earth comes through with leather and spicy cinnamon. The retro-hale sees no change with more spicy caramel and nuttiness. The finish is also much like the first third. Strength and body remain consistent.

RoMa Craft Wunder|Lust

The final third finishes up around an hour and a half. I get black pepper, earth, and leather on the draw. Through the nose, spicy cinnamon and red pepper blast my sinuses. Bombs of black pepper dominate the finish. Strength and body finish at medium-to-full.

RoMa Craft Wunder|Lust

The RoMa Craft Wunder|Lust is an excellent cigar. Complexity is moderate, but the flavors that come through are delicious throughout. The burn was a bit wavy, but it always corrected itself, so I can’t knock it on that. As with every RoMa Craft cigar I’ve smoked, the Wunder|Lust delivers a memorable experience that I highly recommend.

Smoke on!
-Noah (CutLightSmoke)