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Wednesday
Aug222012

Davidoff Anniversario No. 1

Background

Paul recently sent me a bunch of sticks to try and the Davidoff Anniversario No. 1 was among them. Weighing in at 8 2/3 x 48, Davidoff describes the format as a “Giant Double Corona”. Each Anniversario No. 1 is presented in a beautiful cedar tube that sports the Davidoff logo on it. I couldn't find much more about the history of the cigar other than it was made in honor of Zino Davidoff's 80th birthday in 2006. The series is available in three sizes the No.1 (Giant Double Corona), No. 2 (Churchill), and No. 3 (Toro). The Davidoff website describes the blend as;

...characterized by surprising lightness, dominated by a rich, intense aroma. The tobacco harmonize perfectly in these ideally balanced cigars, exquisitely presented in unique and elegant packaging.

With retail price of about $36.00 a single, I have high hopes for this stick. So let's burn it!

Stogie Stats

Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Strength: Mild
Vitola: Giant Double Corona
Size: 8 2/3 x 48
Age: Unknown
MSRP: Around $36.00 a single
Number Smoked: 1

Review

The Davidoff Anniversario No. 1 has a beautiful milk chocolate colored wrapper which contrasts nicely with the white and gold Davidoff band. Davidoff knows how to do presentation right and this cigar is no exception. There is a lot of hay and some mild tobacco on the pre-light aroma and draw which is not surprising given my experience with the brand in the past.

The cigar takes the flame easily. The initial few draws seem a bit snug but not terrible. Initial flavors include hay with some very mild sweetness. I find myself drawing too hard on each pull because the flavor and amount of smoke is so light. Consequently, the stick begins burning a but hot and I detect some bitterness. This quickly subsides as I back off on each pull and the draw opens up a bit after about the first inch.

The cigar is extremely mild in both strength and flavor. A light nuttiness emerges after the first couple of inches and the sweetness becomes a little stronger which is very enjoyable. Unfortunately, this doesn't last long before the stick settles back into the mundane hay and mild sweetness that it began with. This continues through the last third while I keep anticipating something more. Nothing changes as I nub the cigar which I cannot help but feel was disappointing.

Conclusion

The Davidoff Anniversario No. 1 just didn't impress me. I found the flavor profile and strength to be too mild and mundane for my liking. Construction was decent but I suppose performance does not mean much if you don’t enjoy the smoke. To be fair, I acknowledge that I only had one to smoke and that it is possible that this smoke was just aged out.

In conclusion, I would say “Try One" if you like mild cigars and have a spare $36 burning a hole in your pocket. Personally, I would purchase two Davidoff Colorado Claro's, if given the choice.

Tuesday
Aug142012

Review: Paul Garmirian Symphony 20 Limited Edition - Bombones Extra

Background


The Symphony 20 was released in 2010 in a single size, the 6 x 52 Connoisseur. This was followed up with the 4.5 x 52 Short Robusto and the 6 7/8 x 57 Salomone in 2011. During IPCPR this year (2012), P.G. has released two additional sizes, the 6 x 52 Belicoso and the focus of this review, the 3.5 x 46 Bombones Extra.

The following information about the blend is provided on http://www.pgcigars.com;


Covered with the greatest wrapper we have ever seen (dark, oily, and smooth) it is combined with four complex fillers and a Havana seed binder.

Living in the New England, where the weather can be harsh during the Winter months, I am always on the lookout for shorter smokes that are satisfying. Additionally, the Symphony 20 blend has always been enjoyable for me, so I was eager to try the smaller format. So without further ado, let's burn this baby.


Stogie Stats


Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Unknown (some speculate Ecuadorian Habano)
Binder: Havana Seed
Filler: Four different tobacco's
Strength: Medium
Vitola: Bombones Extra
Size: 3.5 x 46
Age: N/A
MSRP: About $220.00 (Box of 25)
Number Smoked: 2

Review


The P.G. Symphony 20 Bombones Extra appears to be well constructed. The wrapper is not as dark and oily as the original Connoisseur but neither was last years Short Robusto and Salomone. The stick is adorned with the simple but classy, red and gold PG Gourmet Series band and a second band that has “Symphony 20” printed on it. The cigar appears to be well rolled and the pre-light aroma is earthy. After cutting the triple cap with a straight cut, the pre-light draw is perfect and serves up lots of earthy, sweet tobacco.

I thoroughly toast the foot and it takes the flame quickly. The first half opens with sweet tobacco, roasted nuts, and some mild cedar and spice. There is a certain amount of breadiness to the smoke. The cigar is smooth for the most part but does have an occasional bite to it. I suspect age will sort this out however. The draw and burn line are perfect and the ash holds for about an inch before falling.

The second half continues with the same but the spice and strength kicks up a bit. Although the flavor profile is a solid medium, the strength is approaching medium/full. I nub'd both sticks in about 35 minutes, burning my lips on each one. The nub remained firm in both instances and I was able to smoke it down to just under 3/4 of an inch.

Conclusion


The Paul Garmirian Symphony 20 Limited Edition Bombones Extra performed perfectly and it's flavor profile was inline with the aforementioned larger vitola's of the series. I did feel that this format didn't have quite the same strength as the larger sizes, however. I really enjoyed the size and felt fully satisfied with both samples I smoked. My one contention is the same with the series as a whole, it is just so expensive. I would smoke these on a regular basis if the Bombones Extra were not $8+ a stick. Nonetheless, the P.G. Symphony 20 Bombones Extra is certainly "Box Worthy" in terms of performance and smoking experience with the price being the one caveat. In conclusion, give it a try and decide for yourself.

Friday
Aug032012

Stogie Geeks Episode 25 - "Drunk, Funny and Interesting"

Download Episode 25 Here

Audio Feeds:

Video Feeds:

Stogie of the Week

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Untold Story Maduro

Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Strength: Medium/Full
Vitola: Perfecto
Size: 7 5/8 x 54
Age: ?
MSRP: About $16.00

This week we are drinking

What We Have Been Smoking

The complete list of all cigars discussed in this segment can be found on the Episode 25 Stogies Page.

Paul's List

See Paul's List, complete with pictures, ratings and mini-reviews on his Stogie Feed.

Tim's List

See Tim's List, complete with pictures, ratings and mini-reviews on his Stogie Feed.

Stogie Segment

Opinions on Limited Releases

Wednesday
Jul182012

Stogie Geeks Episode 24 - "Don't Believe The Hype or the Reviews"

Download Episode 24 Here

Audio Feeds:

Video Feeds:

Stogie(s) of the Week

Partagas 8-9-8 Varnished

Origin: Cuba
Wrapper: Cuban
Binder: Cuban
Filler: Cuban
Strength: Medium
Vitola: Lonsdale
Size: 6.75 x 43
Age:
MSRP: Box of 25 is about $220.00

This week we are drinking

Something....

What We Have Been Smoking

The complete list of all cigars discussed in this segment can be found on the Episode 24 Stogies Page.

Paul's List

See Paul's List, complete with pictures, ratings and mini-reviews on his Stogie Feed.

Tim's List

See Tim's List, complete with pictures, ratings and mini-reviews on his Stogie Feed.

Segment: Introduction to Cigar Sizes

Which cigar size do you buy when you want to try a blend? Which size would you smoke at certain times?

Corona - 5 1/4 x 44 ring gauge. The best for sampling the blend in my opinion. Around an hour smoking time.

Robusto - 5 x 50 ring gauge, also the best for sampling the blend. Smoking times may vary, but typically around an hour or more.

Toro - Very common size that is typically 6 x50. Same great experience as the Robusto but with a little longer smoking time.

Churchill - Typically a 7 x 47 or there about. Tim calls this the ideal golfing cigar. Great flavors with a long smoking time.

Belicoso/Torpedo - Torpedo is defined as being tapered at both the head and the foot, though I think of this as a double torpedo. Belicoso is tapered on the head and 5 to 5 1/2 inches long, though you will often find them in larger sizes and a variety of ring gauges. However, I typically do not see them in smaller ring gauges.

Double Corona - 7 to 8 inches long and a ring gauge greater than 49.

6x60 - The name says it all.

Lancero - Roughly 7 x 38 ring gauge. Difficult to roll, often does not pour smoke, but delivers in the flavor department.

References:

http://www.tobacconistuniversity.org/glossary.asp

http://www.tobacconistuniversity.org/tobacco-college/apm-shapes4.asp

Wednesday
Jul182012

Review: Tatuaje Little Monsters

Background

In October 2008, Pete Johnson of Tatuaje released the first of the popular "Monster" series. The first release was dubbed the "Frank" and it was followed up with the "Drac" in 2009, the "Face" in 2010, and "Wolfman" in 2011. The 2012 release, the "Mummy", will be the fifth cigar created for this series. The popularity of the series combined with the limited number of boxes available have made them difficult to find. So when Pete announced the creation of all the previous Monster releases in smaller vitola's as part of a ten count sampler box, it was amid much fanfare. Like many others, I did not have a chance to try all the previous releases, so I was looking forward to doing so finally. The ten count box contains two cigars from each year, including the unreleased “Mummy”. Here are some specifics on each vitola and the wrapper used;

Tatuaje Mini Mum: 5 3/4 x 42 - Nicaragua Sun Grown Criollo Wrapper

Tatuaje Wolfie: 5 1/2 x 48 - Ecuadorian Sumatra Wrapper

Tatuaje Baby Face: 4 3/8 x 50 - San Andreas Mexican Wrapper

Tatuaje Lil’ Drac: 5 x 48 - Habano Ecuador Maduro Wrapper

Tatuaje Frank Jr: 5 5/8 x 44 - Connecticut Broadleaf USA Wrapper

I received my order just in time for Father's Day here in the US and I have been slowly working my way through the box.  I thought it might be fun to share some quick thoughts on each stick, but first, how about some eye candy?

My Thoughts

Most Disappointing: Wolfie

First let me begin by pointing out that this is just my opinion and yours may differ which is ok. I thought the Tatuaje Wolfie wasn't great but I thought it wasn't bad either. Flavors of oak and mild pepper dominated the profile. The cigar performed perfectly but overall I found this stick a bit boring. My advice is to try one. You may love it! I am happy I got a chance to try it, but in my opinion, it was not among the best of the bunch.

Most Versatile: Baby Face

The Face, released in 2010, is the only one of the Monster Series I have smoked previously. The younger brother to that release had a similar leathery profile with a peppery kick. I don't remember the original release having quite as much pepper as this little guy, however. Maybe it's the size or maybe it is the youth. I suspect a bit of both. Either way, an enjoyable smoke that should age as well as the 2010 release has.

Most Potential: Mini Mum

I think this stick might have the most aging potential of the bunch. The flavor profile was a nice balance of cedar, spice, and cream. I did have some issues keeping it lit but it is July and the humidity has been outrageous here in New England. Honestly, I am really looking forward to the release of larger vitola this Halloween and if they are as good as I think they may be, then I may just have to buy a box. Assuming I can find them.

Most Perplexing: Lil' Drac

The Lil' Drac’s flavor profile had me a bit perplexed but I loved every second of it. It had a bready base with an interesting hint of sweetness. I couldn’t quite place it but the sweetness is what catches and holds your attention. A great, easy going smoke that I had no issues nubbing. After I smoked the first one, I immediately reached for the second stick.

Most Delicious: Frank Jr.

The Frank Jr. was absolutely delicious! It poured those typical Connecticut Broadleaf flavors including cocoa, coffee, and pepper. The burn and draw were an A+ and copious amounts of smoke poured from every pull. It took me well over an hour to finish each one and I would certainly buy an entire box if it was ever re-released. Probably my favorite of the bunch.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I think the Little Monsters were an interesting and enjoyable way to spend $75.00. I do not regret my purchase and if you have the opportunity to grab a box, I would certainly recommend pulling the trigger. The remainder of Stogie Geek crew recently smoked the Little Monsters during the recording of Episode 23 and I recommend checking out the episode to get their thoughts on each stick. Stay smoky my friends!