Archive for August, 2009

The hypeThis well constructed churchill is 7 inches long and 48 ring gauge. The Rocky Patel Vintage Connecticut 1999 Churchill is aged seven years and is a smooth multi – country blend. The genuine Connecticut wrapper finishes off construction made from a Nicaraguan binder, and a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The Rocky Patel Vintage Connecticut 1999 Churchill presents flavors of nuts, mild spice, wood and a creamy finish tops it all off and makes the flavor enjoyable for hours. The mild strength and good flavor make this a great morning cigar. The Rocky Patel Vintage Connecticut 1999 Churchill is a good choice for smokers of every preference.”

The reviewI bought a box of these from and I decided to share them with some of my friends today. These, like every Rocky Patel are very well-packaged and look as inviting as any premium cigar should. The cigar is firm and well-made with a delightful prelight aroma that hints of the mild goodness that awaits…This stick lit very easily and I was enjoying billowing clouds of white smoke in no time. The draw was effortless and the first puff was mild and nutty, coating my palate with creamy goodness. I found this cigar to be very mild, safe for a beginner but flavorful enough that any aficionado would enjoy it. While some of my friend disagreed and though this was more medium-bodied, one thing that my friends and I agree on is that while tasty, this cigar lacked the complexity one would expect from a Rocky Patel. The flavor of this stick was leathery, nutty and creamy throughout – all the way to the nub. I don’t mind that it had such a uniform taste, I’m just a little surprised. Great cigar, good for any occasion or experience level.

The Hype – “Just when you thought you’ve tried them all, CAO goes and does something like this…the CAO Black ’VR’, a delicious extension to the insanely popular CAO Black line. Dark, daring and downright delightful, the CAO Black ’VR’ boasts a jet-black Brazilian wrapper to generate a wealth of flavor. An initial burst of coffee bean smacks the palate only to be tamed by a rich, super-smooth aftertaste. Midway through, a zesty note hits the tongue and nose while the finish becomes slightly sweet. And then, the inevitable nub. Medium to full-bodied and loaded with toasty, rich flavors. The burn is razor sharp, producing a bright white ash and volumes of thick, blue smoke. Truly amazing.”

The Review – I won a box of these off at an insanely good price. I’m a big fan of the CAO brand and enjoy the quality of their products. This is a corona-sized flavor explosion that I definitely underestimated!

The cigar is firm in the hand and prelight aroma is earthy and nutty with hints of ammonia. Once I got rid of the irritating foot band, this cigar lit very easily and burned uniformly for about 45 minutes. First draw was smooth and the blueish smoke quickly enveloped me in earthy goodness. The smoke is strong, definitely not high on the spousal acceptance factor. The first taste was burnt toast, but as a puffed at it, the flavor mellowed to a firm espresso that was quite enjoyable. Half-way through, a hint of pepper emerged and flavor started to intensify. Approaching the final third, I had to put it down and let it rest as the flavor had intensified to the point of being slightly unpleasant. After a few minutes I resumed and enjoyed a strong, but satisfying finish. Firm gray ash maintained about 3/4″.

I tasted this one in my mouth for hours after and even into the next day, but it blended well with my breakfast cappuccino, so I can’t complain.

I really enjoyed this one and I’ll be trolling the CB for more good deals!

The Hype – “One of the cigar world’s highest ranked and most difficult to find cigars, C.A.O. Italia (when it can be found at all) is always limited to the purchase of one or two sticks at a time. Only because we have been begging for them, buying all we could get, hoarding the minuscule number we were allotted for the last twelve months, we have a very modest amount for sale. We’re now making the C.A.O. Italia available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The incredible secret to the C.A.O. Italia is the Habano seed brought to Italy forty years ago and carefully nurtured in the Benevento region of southern Italy. The result of this is the production of a unique earthy-sweetness in the seed. It is this remarkable seed that is transported to Honduras where it is meticulously cultivated. With its New World-Old World origins, this wrapper is perhaps the most unique in any cigar today. Certainly it produces a cigar that the renowned Robb Report includes among the “Best of the Best” for 2005.

Few cigars have burst on the scene with as much fanfare as the C.A.O. Italia, and few have garnered the attention of the cigar cognoscenti, captivating their highly cultured palates. Now it is your turn to experience the cosmopolitan flair of the C.A.O. Italia with its Italian, Nicaraguan, and Peruvian blend of long fillers.”

The review – I bought a box of these from Thompson Cigar last year and they’ve been maturing nicely in my large humidor. I figured today was as good a day as any to try one…The cigar is truly beautiful, with a dark wrapper that shows minimal veinage. The stick is solid and a little heavy in the hand. Prelight aroma is decidedly strong alfalfa with hints of ammonia. The cigar was a little difficult to light, even though storage humidity was carefully controlled. Once lit though, it maintained a good burn with uniform gray ash at about 1″.

The smoke on this cigar is a billowing white/gray that smells like my grandfather’s study…cedar and oak. The cigar is definitely full-bodied, and I was glad that I was drinking Sprite with this one to keep the palate clean. Others have mentioned a stiff draw, but I found this one to be quite pleasant. I smoked this cigar for almost an hour and a half without even realizing it. The first third of the cigar was strong and woodsy, but still quite enjoyable. I noticed a slight nicotine buzz after the first hour and saw changes in the flavor profile at that point also. The flavor started to mellow into a peppery creaminess that was a great finish to this fine cigar. CAO has again delivered on their promise of premium cigars. I’ll be ordering another box…

The hype – “Cuban Honeys are one of the best-selling flavored lines in the country. Cuban Honeys are entirely handmade with premium long-filler Cuban-seed leaves from the Dominican Republic.

Cuban Honeys Label

Cuban Honeys Label

The review – This much-hyped little cigar sat in my humidor for a long time before I gave it a chance. The label is a kitchy  yellow with a sketch of a “Cuban Honey”. Prelight aroma definitely hints of almonds and the tip has a sweet amaretto taste. This stick lit very easily and was an easy draw. Smoke smells quite pleasant and doesn’t smell artificial at all. First draw was a little harsh and it took a few puffs to mellow enough to discern distinct flavors. I noticed a distinct earthy overtone, with hints of leather and sweet spice. The amaretto flavor didn’t really come through to my mouth as flavor, but the smoke did start to smell like burnt biscotti after a while. This stick smoked for about 40 minutes and held a firm gray ash that peaked at about 3/4″. Like most flavored cigars, the finish was a little harsh, but not unbearable.  This little honey wasn’t particularly exciting, but was pleasant enough that I’d definitely smoke one again.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dyllan Thomas

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