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Entries in 2 - The Angler (2)

Tuesday
Nov292011

Review: Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva

Background

Another new cigar released at the 2011 IPCPR show, was the Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva. The following information was obtained from the Casa Fernandez website about the Miami Reserva;

Miami is a 100% Nicaraguan Puro utilizing a variety of Authentic Cuban seeds and 'AA' Tobacco leaf from Aganorsa.  The cigar's blend is comprised of Medio Tiempo Maduro, Ligero, and Viso from specific Aganorsa Tobacco farms in Jalapa Valley, Condega Valley, and Esteli in Nicaragua.

The Miami Reserva is only available in one size, a 5.75 x 54 Toro and is sold in boxes of fifteen. Let’s get burning.

Stogie Stats

Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Strength: Full
Vitola: Toro
Size: 5.75 x 54
Age: N/A
MSRP: About $9.00

Review

The cigar is very firm except a soft spot towards middle. The pre-light draw is free and I can detect flavors of tobacco and cedar. The wrapper is dark, oily, and veiny with a simple but elegant band.

A blast of pepper accompanies the first draw. The pepper continues with the addition of some leather and wood. I can already feel the strength of this cigar and I am glad I had a good size meal prior. The draw and burn are great and there is lots of smoke on every pull. The ash is holding well beyond an inch and the aroma has an exotic spice to it. The pepper settles down after about the first inch and there is now some spice mixed with the wood when retro haled. The finish is short but smooth and there is a hint of sweetness on occasion.

The second third continues with a lot of wood, spice, and a burnt caramel sweetness on the finish.  The ash is no longer holding and the burn is very jagged. This is no surprise as this is where the soft spot is. The draw remains fantastic, however. The strength has not settled down but I am managing it. The spice when passed through the sinus' has intensified to the point where it makes me think twice about trying it again.

At the beginning of the last third the burn has corrected itself. The flavors continue with the same core flavors experienced during the first two thirds. The burnt caramel on the finish comes and goes and the draw remains great. I never nub this stick mostly due to amount of time spent smoking it. After about 90 minutes, there was still a good inch and a half left. What is left is burning great and there are no construction issues.

Conclusion

I found the Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva enjoyable and very satisfying but not something I would seek out due to its strength and lack of complexity. The burnt caramel and spice was interesting but I just felt a bit bored with it after 90 minutes. The construction gets an A+ and if you are looking for a long smoke, the price is right. There is a lot of tobacco packed in this stick. In the end, I am going to give the Miami Reserva a Stogie Geeks Rating of "The Angler". Not bad but not memorable IMHO. I think it would be a great stick to reach for as a yard gar or while wetting a line.

Thursday
Nov172011

Review: Gurkha Evil Robusto

Background

I honestly don't have a lot of background about this cigar. After spending an hour searching the internet, I will share what I do know. The Gurkha Evil was released at the 2009 IPCPR in New Orleans. There are five sizes in the series including the XO (6 x 60), Torpedo (6.5 x 53), Toro (6 x 50), Churchill (7 x 52), Corona (5 x 43), and the Robusto (5 x 50). Most retailers list the stick as being full in body and strength. The Gurkha website doesn't have much information on the blend but I did find some marketing material that described the flavor profile as 'evil". Um, OK. Lets just get to burning!

Stogie Stats

Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Brazilian
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Nicaraguan
Strength: Medium/Full
Vitola: Robusto
Size: 5 x 50
Age: N/A
MSRP: $7.00-$8.00

Review

The pre-light aroma is full of sweetness and earth. The wrapper is a milk chocolate brown, oily, and has no visible flaws. The cigar band covers about a full third of the length of the stick and is printed in a newspaper type fashion. The presentation is well done and this stogie looks and smells fantastic! The cigar feels rock hard and after cutting the cap, the pre-light draw does feel a bit tight. What little flavor I detect mirrors the smell.

After thoroughly toasting the foot, the initial draw is perfect and I am greeted with a lot of earth. As the first third proceeds, the draw continues to prove my initial assessment of being tight wrong and I begin to pick up some subtle sweetness and nuttiness. The earth is still the dominant flavor and the finish has some wood and dryness to it. The ash seems to only want to hold for about 3/4 of an inch before falling but I would rate the burn as above average.

The second third continues with the same earthy core, subtle sweetness, and occasional nutty flavors. Burn and draw are still great but I am beginning to get bored with the flavor profile. Unfortunately, the flavors never change up for me.

The last third continues along this route with the exception of more dryness and wood on the finish. It borders on harshness but isn't too over the top. I stop at about 1 1/2 inches from my cut due to boredom and frustration with the flavor profile, however. The cigar ends with me wishing I had a second glass of water to counter the dryness.

Conclusion

I know its a short review, but what can I say? While the Gurkha Evil provided a unique flavor profile, it just didn't keep my attention. The construction was good but due to the lack of complexity and the dull flavor profile, I am giving the Gurkha Evil Robusto A Stogie Geeks Rating of "The Angler". It was enjoyable enough to smoke while working around the yard, fishing, or doing some other activity, but not worth my undivided attention on a Friday evening. The price point is a bit high in my opinion but I you can find them for a reduced price on occasion. Grab one, try one, and you decide!