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!!


Cigar Review | Gurkha Ghost Angel Torpedo Tubo

The Gurkha Ghost is a highly rated cigar that was released in 2012. I have heard a lot about how people either love this cigar or just simple hate Gurkha Cigars in general. Having heard all of the hype and all of the hate, I had to give the Gurkha Ghost a try.

Kaizad Hansotia, the owner of Gurkha Cigars, stated that, “The Ghost is so popular, that I made a 7 X 70”.

I have had my share of big ring gauge cigars and I haven’t been overly impressed. The cigar I reviewed, the Gurkha Ghost Angel Torpedo Tubo, is in the following size and construction:

Gurkha Ghost Angel Torpedo Tubo

Size: 6 X 52
Vitola: Torpedo
Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca Maduro
Binder: Criollo
Filler: Dominican/Nicaraguan
Price: $8.00

Gurkha Ghost Angel Cigar Review

Dimensions, Zest & Flavours

What are the flavours? The Gurkha Ghost has a zesty black pepper spice on the tip of my tongue and a long finish in the back of my mouth. The Brazilian wrapper provides more earthiness and the salty licorice. I described the flavour in the video as Egyptian Absinthe as from what I know it’s a salty licorice type spice and can be used to create the alcoholic drink of the same name.

Transition Alert

There was an unexpected transition to flour and earth. It was a welcoming chalky taste that really accentuated the dry feeling in the mouth.

Draw, Smoke Output & Finish

The cigar has dry smoke with little smoke output. The draw is medium and became tighter right after the cold draw. The finish is long and medium body.

Strength, Vim & Vigor

This cigar is medium+ in strength and I wouldn’t recommend it to a beginner. I did get a slight buzz from the cigar before I put it down. But I really smoked this cigar passed its flavour wheelhouse as I just felt like puffing it welled passed its beautiful band.

Time of Smoke & Value

I ended the video review at 90 minutes, the cigar went on for another 35 to 40 minutes down to the nub.

Final Thoughts

Gurkha Ghost Flavour WheelThis is not a cigar taste that I expected from Gurkha after having the Royal Challenge Maduro. The cigar didn’t burn well the whole time and I had to do a touch up. I admit, after the touch up and the halfway point the smoke picked up and the cigar leaned more towards full body with the flavours noted above picking up in strength.

Did I enjoy?

Yes and No. I don’t know if I like the flavour profile. Though I did enjoy trying something in a different profile. Overall the cigar worked for me, I think I enjoyed. The burn issues were not pleasant and the lack of sweetness is not something I expected so I think that confused me. Why not ask me and find out more. You never know if I changed my mind.

You can watch the Gurkha Cigars Official Release Cask Blend on YouTube as well as many other iROBUSTO cigar reviews there too.

Cigar Review | Quesada Oktoberfest Bavarian

This Quesada Oktoberfest Bavarian cigar has been aged under great conditions in my humidor since October 2013 when Quesada released a new line-up of Oktoberfest Cigars. Due to its success they released a 2014 line-up and will likely release a 2015 line.

The Quesada Oktoberfest Bavarian is a decent cigar and when a cigar doesn’t have many dimensions there is no need to invent descriptions as this cigar is very straightforward. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad cigar, it only means it lacks transitions and a plethora of flavors.

Because it was an Oktoberfest themed cigar, I decided to pair it with some some beer once I got to the half way point.

Quesada Oktoberfest

Vitola: Robusto
Name: QUESADA Oktoberfest Bavarian 2013
Size: 5.5”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Dominican Cibao Valley
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican Cuban Seed Criollo, Olor Viso, Ligero
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic

El Cibao, is a region of the Dominican Republic

The Quesada Oktoberfest Bavarian 2013 is part of a series of cigars:

Quesada Oktoberfest Bavarian 5.5″ X 52 (Featured in this cigar review)
Quesada Oktoberfest Das Boat 6″ X 52 Torpedo
Quesada Oktoberfest Kurz 4″ X 50 Short Robusto
Quesada Oktoberfest Krone: 5″ X 43
Quesada Oktoberfest Kaiser Ludwig: 6″ X 49 (Box Pressed)
Quesada Oktoberfest Uber: 6″ X 65
Quesada Oktoberfest Salomon Press: 6 3/4″ X 50/33 (Event)

Presentation of the Bavarian

The Quesada Oktoberfest has a thick gummy dark wrapper that surrounds a core that is not firmly packed. The wrapper seems very thick and oily. The cigar smells of deep dark sweet tobacco. There is nothing overly noticeable other than this smell. It’s very welcoming and fresh. The was purchased in Germany and features the colors of the German flag on the band.

Zest & Flavours

The cigar has a peppery feel on the roof of the mouth and retrohale. For the most part, the flavours are mostly spicy with earthy undertones. Each puff’s finish has a mineral taste that coats the mouth and allows you to swallow the flavour.

Draw, Smoke Output & Finish

Draw has a medium to light resistance and it has decent smoke output. The finish is on the long side.

Quesada Oktoberfest

Strength, Vim & Vigor

The cigar lingers above the medium in body and strength profile. Flavours are strong. The draw is medium to light and it has decent smoke output. As we get through the cigar the flavours and strength pick up. This is when I cracked open a cold beer, a simple San Miguel from a can. It paired well as the spice from the cigar matched the hops and alcohol flavour of the beer. Generally I find beer to pair well with cigars that have some spice. It cuts down any bitterness that could start to take over the cigar towards the end.

Dimensions and Balance

I found this cigar very simple, it had mostly spicy mineral tones so I would say it was nothing more than two-dimensional. I would call this a “straightforward pull no punches” profile.

Price and Value

The cigar sells around $7.00 and considering that I enjoyed it for approximately 2 hours with a beer, I would say it’s a decent value. If you’re looking for tons of transitions and complexity to add to the value, that will not be the case with this cigar. With its strong spice and earthy tones, you do get enough flavour in every puff to call this cigar a good one. I would give it a better than average value for money if a strongish medium plus bodied cigar is your thing.

When I was in Germany in 2013 I purchased this cigar from Cigar World. You can get very competitively priced cigars when you shop there.

Meet in the Middle Cigar Show EP5

Title: Quesada Heisenberg Corneta Cuadrada
Description: EPISODE 4 – AIRED 04/12/2015
The Heisenberg Cigar is a mystery. From its cryptic cigar band to the story behind Heisenberg, this cigar is interesting. Probably the best quote you’ll hear on a cigar review show was when Leander quipped on this secret blendedcigar, “Wouldn’t it be something if the Heisenberg Cigar turned out to be floor shavings!”

Did the Meet in the Middle crew solve the equation of this mysterious, bugle shaped cigar? Or was the Heisenberg all hype no substance.