earth

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 | Padilla Finest Hour Maduro

“…Padilla told me The Finest Hour is just that. Each cigar is a celebration and for those of us who love cigars, it is in fact our finest hour when we smoke.” -Brian, Privada Cigar Club

This week’s offering is a cigar that was featured in my monthly Privada Cigar Club box. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present The Finest Hour Maduro from Ernesto Padilla. I like to consider myself an adventurer and hunter when it comes to cigars. Therefore, I knew Privada was the perfect fit for me. The cigars are already well aged for the most part. Also, the cigars are rare, hard to find or club exclusives that only the members can get a hold of. And, the price is RIGHT!!!

This cigar is adorned with a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro Oscuro wrapper with fully aged Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers. Let’s get into it.

Pre Light Inspection

As mentioned, The Finest Hour has a deep dark brown colored wrapper with a rustic appeal to it. The seams are very noticeable and there are tiny veins all over. Funny to me, was the weirdly oblong and lumpy cap on this cigar. I’m pretty sure it probably just this stick.

On the wrapper, I got aromas of wood, soil and ink. The foot smells of powdered chocolate, roasted coffee, earth, toast and mineral. I got almost nothing on the cold draw but dry hay. The cigar is firm with a slight bounce.

First Third | Let’s Smoke

The cigar lit very easily. It started with a dry woody and minerally anchor with black pepper and a subtle raisin and ink flavor that I detected in the cold draw. As I get into it, there’s a barely sweet tobacco parallel to that pencil shaving mineral flavor that I usually can’t stand. Right now it is tolerable but, we shall see. Billowing smoke is present from both the foot and head of the cigar after each puff. Cocoa powder and roast coffee are present in the retrohale. Also, there is that slight fruity molasses in the nose.

Technically, these flavors would be a hit in any cigar. However, the not so super enjoyable pencil and dry wood flavors are running the show. The raisin, molasses, cocoa and coffee nuances are not yet at an impressive level.

Second Third | The Finest Third

“My god, the dead has arisen!” Rich meaty earth and that dried fruit have taken over and I couldn’t be happier. the molasses is also creeping around, leading me to believe that The Finest Hour translates to “Second Third” in Padillan. LOL. I’ve got a substantial but enjoyable white and red pepper zing dominating my olfactory zone. Meanwhile, there’s a very very light brown sugar on the finish but a more prominent black pepper and cinnamon lingering on the tongue after each hit. This is certainly the Finest Third!

Final Third | Sigh!

I really thought we were headed to bliss but we’ve actually reverted back to the first third. No matter how hard I try, the cigar is either burning too hot or dying out. As a result, I’m puffing excessively causing the already lack luster flavors to be accompanied by bitterness and tongue bite. I think its fair to add that this might not be an issue in another sample. That goes for any cigar when you have issues with the burn or draw. With that being said, I would certainly try this cigar again.

Well family, we know they can’t all be tear da roof off experiences when it comes to cigar smoking. The experience is always worth it though. I can guarantee to you many of my fellow Privada Cigar Club Brothers and Sisters fell in love with this cigar. That’s the beauty of diversity and cigars. And, I appreciate hearing about others experiences, good and bad.

I recommend any of you guys that share that cigar bounty hunter spirit to look into joining this monthly cigar club. Brian is very accessible and he grinds hard for the club, hunting and tracking down gems and exclusive collaborations.

I appreciate you guys stopping by and taking the time to share this experience with me. Please don’t hesitate to leave comments, thoughts and opinions. Also, feel free to share with friends, family and all of our FOTL!!

CHEERS & SALUTE

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

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 CRAFT 2018

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the RoMa Craft Tobac CRAFT 2018. This new cigar is limited to 2,000 boxes of 10 and is a follow up to the last CRAFT release from a few years ago. It’s a 5 x 60 figurado shaped almost like a baseball bat. Each cigar retails for $15.

RoMa Craft Tobac CRAFT 2018

There are two wrappers on this cigar – an Ecuadorian Connecticut Dark Candela and a Pennsylvanian Broadleaf. Inside, the blend features an Ecuadorian Habano Ligero binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Pennsylvania.

The box these cigars come packaged in is noteworthy. It’s a solid cedar box with a cedar insert displaying an Ernest Hemmingway quote right on top of all the cigars. The lift-off lid is secured by a custom-made steel wrap of sorts that has the company logo stamped out of it. I’ve seen this steel band turned into some pretty “crafty” stuff (see what I did there?)

RoMa Craft Tobac CRAFT 2018

Pre-light, the cold draw tastes just like a chocolate bar. The foot produces a grassy aroma, while I smell chocolatey earth off the wrapper. Once lit, I get earthy grass from the closed candela foot, and it quickly transitions to black pepper. Through the nose, nutty toast and pepper make an appearance. The finish gives me grassy earth, chocolate, and vegetal leather.

After forty-five minutes, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I pick up grassy earth with bombs of black pepper and leather. Through the nose, toast blends with dark cocoa and a hint of sweetness. The finish displays an explosion of black pepper alongside dark cocoa and earth. Strength and body start off very full.

RoMa Craft Tobac CRAFT 2018

An hour and twenty-five minutes in, the second third ends. I find cocoa, espresso, and earth on the draw. On the retro-hale, black pepper blows through my sinuses with some toast and grassy notes. The finish hits me with even more bombs of black pepper on top of a slightly salty char. Strength and body remain at the full mark.

RoMa Craft Tobac CRAFT 2018

The final third gets me to two hours. Spicy black pepper and earth take over the draw. Through the nose, a very potent mix of black and red pepper ignite my senses. Spicy black pepper dominates the finish with some more char and hints of leather. Strength and body finish out at the full mark.

RoMa Craft Tobac CRAFT 2018

The RoMa Craft Tobac CRAFT 2018 is an excellent cigar. It’s got a healthy amount of complexity with very rich, bold flavors. Construction is impressively perfect, and smoke output was satisfying. It’s one of the stronger cigars on the market, so if you prefer a milder smoking experience, you will not likely enjoy this. However, if you can take the heat of a bold cigar, this is an exceptional option that you’ll smoke until your fingers burn. I highly recommend this one. Buy them all up if you can find them!

Smoke on!
-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Belicoso Fino

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition. For this review, I smoke the 5 x 50 Belicoso Fino. This cigar features a silky smooth Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper on top of an Indonesian binder with fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The retail price for this stick is a whopping $25.

Pappy Van Winkle Tradition

The wrapper puts off a raisin aroma, while I smell raisin and hay out of the foot. On the cold draw, I pick up airy oak. Once lit, I get some light cedar on the tongue with a salty, creaminess. Through the nose, I find toast and caramel. On the finish, there is cedar and black pepper.

The first third finishes after twenty minutes. On the draw, I get a simple mix of cedar and toast. Through the nose, a bland cedar pairs with a grassy flavor. The finish offers up black pepper alongside cinnamon and hints of cedar. Strength and body settle in at the medium mark.

Pappy Van Winkle Tradition

Forty minutes in, the second third closes out. I pick up earth and more cedar on the draw. On the retro-hale, sweet almond and toast pair up. Black pepper and leather dominate the finish. There is no change to strength or body.

The final third comes to an end at one hour. On the draw, I find earth and cedar. Through the nose, spicy toast takes over. The finish gives me bitter earth and some black pepper. Strength and body finish out at the medium mark.

Pappy Van Winkle Tradition

The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition missed the mark for me. It offers minimal complexity with unpleasant flavors popping up throughout. Construction was perfect, but this thing just didn’t deliver, especially when you consider the price. At $25, this cigar is very over-priced and it can’t compete with other sticks in the same price range. If you don’t mind dropping the coin, try it out, and let me know your thoughts. Otherwise, I recommend giving this one a pass.

Smoke on!
-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Cigar Review | Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas Robusto

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the new Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas in the Robusto size. This 5 ½ x 50 cigar features a Mexican San Andres wrapper on top of a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and fillers from Nicaragua. It retails for $9.55. The orange bands with a little bling to them make this one sharp looking cigar.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas

The wrapper produces a light barnyard aroma, while I smell cocoa and oatmeal out of the foot. The cold draw offers some raisin flavor. Once lit, I pick up very light cocoa and wheat. Through the nose, there is light cinnamon with little body. The finish hits me with black pepper and leather.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas

After thirty minutes, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, metallic earth and leather take the front seat. Through the nose, there is a simple earth flavor. On the finish, I pick up fruity cocoa with some black pepper. Strength and body settle in at a steady medium.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas

The second third gets me to one hour and ten minutes. I find a stale toast and black pepper on the draw – it doesn’t excite me. On the retro-hale, the earthy flavor now has an unpleasant sourness to it. The finish gives me bitter cocoa. There is no change to strength or body.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas

The final third puts me at one hour and forty minutes. The draw flavors improve with sweet earth and black pepper. Unfortunately, there is more of the same sour earth through the nose. Cocoa and black pepper dominate the finish. Strength and body finish out at a consistent medium.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas

The Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas simply didn’t wow me. It has a very simple flavor profile with minimal complexity and some harsh and unpleasant notes. Construction was pretty good, but overall, this cigar was a let-down. For $9.55, there are tons of other much better cigars I’d reach for first, and for that reason, I can’t recommend this one.

Smoke on!
-Noah (CutLightSmoke)