IPCPR 2010 New Cigars In Brief

IPCPR Cigars In Brief
As is the case every year after the IPCPR tradeshow, the questions come pouring in about the new cigars introduced. What was your favorite? What surprised you? What should I be on the look out for? What did you think about such-and-such cigar? The truth is that with all the hustle to get the Twitter Brother of the Leaf Cocktail Hour ready and film the video interviews, I really didn’t smoke as many cigars as I have in shows past. So in the week following the show, I made it my mission to smoke my way through to some answers. (It bears noting that what follows is not a complete list of the new cigars at IPCPR or even the ones in the TBOTLCH press kit, but it does cover my progress so far.)

As you read this, keep in mind that these are all free trade show samples, the majority of them directly out of the Twitter Brother of the Leaf Cocktail Hour press kit. For the most part, the following reflects one smoke and one quick opinion. Of course, there is the chance that the product that reaches the shelves will be noticeably different than what I describe below, due possibly to blending changes, the benefits of additional aging, more ideal storage conditions, or other factors.

Standout Smokes
Cigars that for one reason or another really impressed me, and as the implied by the title of this section, really stood out from the pack. I recommend trying these as soon as they hit the shelves at your local tobacconist.

CAO La Traviata Maduro
Surprisingly different from the natural La Traviata. Very rich, could swear I tasted peanut butter and chocolate. Smoked with morning coffee, great pairing. Will need spend more time with it to decide it takes steals the title of “my favorite CAO cigar” from it’s natural brother. (Check out Walt’s thoughts on it here.)

EP Carrillo Core Line
Ernesto told me he was going for cigar that tasted like a cross between the Edition Inaugural (a favorite of mine) and the current Short Run. What he brought to the table is a cigar that reminds me a lot of the Edicion Inaugural, only with fuller flavor and body. Simply put, a great smoke.

Gran Habano Azteca
Great rich flavor and impressive price, and probably the cigar that surprised me most. This cigar is going to give the Liga Privada a run for it’s money. One person told me that he tasted coca cola in the flavor profile.

La Caridad Del Cobre La Charada No. 64
This cigar wastes no time in dishing up some beautiful lingering, whole-mouth-coating flavor, and burns every bit as nicely. Roasted nuts, caramel, earth and a little wood. Excellent. If this single smoke is a fair representation of the line, it’s box-worthy.

Macanudo Cru Royal
Beautiful toothy, oily wrapper and a beautiful burn. Syrup, light grass, and a distinct pineapple flavor. Hands down the best Macanudo I’ve ever had, and really want to smoke another! Well done, General.

Master by Carlos Torano
This cigar opened up with a coffee and velvety aromatic cedar flavor that made me say wow. As the cigar progressed, leather, nuts and chocolate appeared and were no less impressive. This cigar is just beautiful and every complex puff is a rich reward. I can’t wait to smoke another.

Pinar Del Rio Clasico Culebra
One of the best tasting Connecticut wrapped cigars I’ve had in a while. Though not technically a new release, these have apparently changed from the ground up recently: new tobacco, new farms, new factory, new bands, etc. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the culebra from Don Leoncio that Walt, Jerry and I split. The word is that they fresher they are the better, so don’t wait to light one up.

Good Smokes
Cigars that are worthy of your time and your dime, but didn’t wow me quite as much as those listed above.

262 Paradigm
A solid, enjoyable smoke, if not all that exciting. Did not notice much in the way of flavor transition. This was one of the first cigars I lit up in New Orleans, and to be honest, I was a little distracted at the time.

A.J. Fernandez San Lotano Maduro
An interesting and respectable maduro that early on tastes like a cup of coffee with ample cream and sugar, and develops savory, smokey meat flavor, pepper and some anise as it progresses.

Alec Bradley Maxx Connecticut
A decent, though jaw-breakingly sized, Connecticut that offers up slightly sweet creamy and bready flavors.

Avo Heritage
Caramel, wood, slightly spicy grass on a creamy base. Outside of the recent Limited Editions, Avo’s best.

Brickhouse Mighty Mighty
Though bigger than I’d like, I do like the way the additional filler smooths out that caramel mustard flavor combination.

CAO Brazilia Corcovado
CAO gets in on the short, large ring gauge format with this line extension to the Brazilia. It’s been a while since I smoked a Brazilia, but this chubby little smoke seems richer than I remember them being. An enjoyable mix of sweetness, savory wood, cocoa and coffee.

CAO LX2 Sixty
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this new, hefty addition to the LX2 line. I suspected more filler might take of the bite out of the cigar, but it might also mean significantly more ligero than other sizes. It seems I was right on both counts, the Sixty features the same dark pepper, coffee and wood flavors, but smoothed out a bit and it does seem to pack more of a punch than the smaller vitolas.

Don Diego Fuerte
Not a bad little smoke. Burns well and offers of some enjoyable chocolate and espresso flavors.

El Primer Mundo
Still love it. (Check out my recent review for more details.)

El Titan De Bronze Redemption Maduro Corona
Not a new line, but a new size. And this smaller ring gauge really makes that San Andreas wrapper shine. It’s a little smoking a rich milk chocolate candy bar with a little spice.

Flor De Gonzalez 90 Miles
Wispy smoke and a tad tight on the draw. Syrupy copper zing, cocoa, nuts and earth. Very enjoyable. Not really relevant to the cigar itself, I really like the picture featured inside the box lid and in advertising.

Guillermo Leon
Spice, syrupy grass, blueberry sweetness and the occasional butteriness. One of the more interesting and complex La Aurora cigars I’ve had in a while. It will be interesting to see how this cigar evolves with some humidor rest.

Hoyo De Monterrey Reposado en Cedros
Much like the new Macanudo, this Hoyo has taken a departure from the well known band. Rich roasted nuts, nougat, cinnamon and butterscotch. A light, but solid stick. Recommended if you have a sweet tooth and don’t feel like making an ice cream sunday.

Jesus Fuego 777 Zero
A tasty, creamy, earthy, bready connecticut that burns very nicely.

La Aurora Corojo
A cigar that just begs for the company of an ice cold Presidente. Grass, spice and enjoyable wood smoke character to this stick.

La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Obelisco
A solid smoke that looks more interesting than it tastes. That is not to say its mix of coffee, chocolate and caramel is bad or even necessarily boring (though it does remind me of a number of other cigars), it just hard to top the unique new vitola format.

La Palina Alison
This Graycliff-made cigar with feminine name and a picture of a lady band may surprise you. It delivers a hefty parcel of smoky savory wood, leather and espresso flavors.

La Sirena
This unbanded, toothy, darkly wrappered smoke offered up equally dark chocolate, coffee and syrupy wood flavors with a touch of spice.

Nestor Miranda Art Deco
A cigar that’s a pleasure to the eyes both before lighting and as it burns. I picked up an enjoyable combination of grass, apple and caramel from this retro looker.

Room 101 LTD Conjura
Right out of the cellophane the Conjura had a very pronounce raisin aroma both on the wrapper and at the foot. Once lit, the unbanded sample produced a pronounced and spicy vegetal/grass flavor with a little raisiny sweetness.

Smokes I Didn’t Care For
Everybody’s preferences differ, and some cigars just don’t do it for you. Here is the one that didn’t do it for me. And considering how many new smokes were introduced this year, I’m really impressed that there was only one!

Torano Single Region Serie Jalapa
An interesting cigar that seems to fuse some of the potency of a brewery with molasses, nuts and some of that infamous Nicaraguan zing. I didn’t care for it, but I have to give it kudos for uniqueness.