Charlie’s Month in Smoke, vol. 3

Sorry again for the lack of content on my part, folks. It’s been a while since my last full review, and I have to thank Jerry for taking my normal slot last week. See, my wife & I just bought our first home, so things have been busy around here, to say the least. However, between all the trips to Home Depot and re-assembling furniture, I’ve been able to sneak in a few really nice smokes.

Here’s a recap of some of the cigars I’ve smoked since my last Month in Smoke, in addition to any I evaluated for a full review or featured first impressions. Some of these cigars may have already been reviewed by myself or another member of the Stogie Review crew, while others just might make it into a full-length review sometime in the future. Enjoy!

Tortuga Edicion Limitada 2011 – Jerry certainly uncovered a hidden gem with these. At least, I know I’d never heard of them until he picked some up at W. Curtis Draper. Jerry raves about the flavor and palate-coating smoke. Me? I enjoyed the peppery spice, tons of meaty & woody flavors, and a terrific draw.

La Herencia Cubana Core – These came to me by way of a sampler of Cigars International smokes made by AJ Fernandez. Right off the bat, I was digging the black pepper with lots of coffee and a great draw. Some musty notes developed, along with wood, butter, a subtle sweetness, and a hint of sourness. This cigar absolutely smoked like a dream, with a good amount of smoke, nice white ash, and razor-sharp burn.

Nestor Miranda Dominicano – Following a cold draw featuring lots of chocolate, I was greeted by some nice pepper on the tongue, together with a syrupy toffee flavor, which eventually developed into coffee and cream. It had a compact, medium-gray ash and a pretty straight burn line, but was a bit lacking in the smoke volume department. Although I picked up that slightly unpleasant Dominican twang I’ve found to be prevalent lately, all-in-all, it was pretty good for a stick from the DR.

EDIT: as pointed out by Charlie Minato from halfwheel, Dominicano is actually manufactured by My Father. Although, as the Miami Cigar website points out, the line was intended “pay tribute to the tobacco and cigar heritage of the Dominican Republic,” the binder and filler are both Nicaraguan, and it’s rolled in a factory outside the DR. The only component to the cigar that is actually Dominican is the wrapper. Sorry for the confusion, and thanks for the heads-up, Charlie M.!

262 Ideology – Despite the tricky square press, this stick provided an absolutely perfect draw. In the first half, I enjoyed the big meaty flavors, accompanied by cinnamon and a subtle sweetness. Burn was good, with a gorgeous light-gray ash and great smoke volume. In the second half, red pepper developed in a big way, while the meatiness endured as the strength grew to a solid medium-full. I preferred the first half to the second, but I still found the Ideology to be a very solid smoke.

My Father Special S – Apparently, this cigar is only handed out at My Father special events. Fortunately, I’ve got a buddy who scored one for me. Pre-smoke, there was a really nice & nutty cold draw. However, upon lighting up, the draw tightened as a thick burn line produced a dark gray ash. It provided nice, thick smoke, but the only real flavor notes I picked up were some breadiness along with a bit of spice that faded towards a relatively bland finish. Certainly not my favorite cigar from My Father, but perhaps it lost a bit of its luster during the long journey it took to get to my coolidor.

My Uzi Weighs a Ton – It took me quite a while to get an even light on this monster, and it required a few minor touch-ups along the way. I loved the beautiful, thick, toothy wrapper. Despite producing tons of nice smoke, I kept asking myself, where’s the flavor? A bit of wood? Bread? Overall, I found it a tad muted and boring, but then again, this was another stick I received as part of a trade, so I can’t account for questionable environmental conditions in transit.

Xikar HC Series Criollo – A easy draw but rather fast-burning, I’d characterize the smoke produced by this stick as being tingly but not the usual peppery note. I tasted coffee and cream, with some nuttiness and a hint of mint — almost like a nice flavored coffee. Stayed about the same throughout, save for a rush of black pepper in the second third.

Man O’War Virtue – Another CI stick manufactured by Abdel, the wrapper on this sample was a lovely example of Ecuadorian Connecticut: silky-smooth, no veins, and tiny seams. Once lit, the flavors were on the delicate side, with coffee & cream, black pepper, nuttiness, and lots of woody notes towards the end. A great draw and good burn, it produced lots of thin smoke. Overall, mild flavors that were overpowered by my morning coffee, but more of a nicotine hit than I expected. Certainly not bad, but I prefer the EPC New Wave.

About Charlie:
Charlie has been enjoying cigars since 2000 and generally prefers a medium-bodied, full-flavored smoke. A USAF vet, he currently works as a data scientist focusing on natural language processing and is pursuing a PhD in computer science in his spare time. Originally from Connecticut and now residing in Northern Virginia, Charlie is also a fan of football, science fiction, political philosophy, and single malt scotch. You can contact Charlie on Twitter @greenbacker.