Charlie’s Month in Smoke, vol. 4

Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday that I was writing up another one of these. The new job is still keeping me super busy (in a good way), and there’s tons of work to do to prepare for the impending birth of my first son. Have no fear: I still find a way to make time for the important stuff, like smoking cigars.

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!

Kristoff Corojo Limitada – I’d been looking forward to plucking this one out of my coolidor for a while now. The gorgeous, oily wrapper and uncut foot were very tempting, and I finally found the right time to smoke it. The flavors were enjoyable — the best way to describe them would be a combination of Honey Nut Cheerios and black pepper, with the pepper fading towards the end. The burn was relatively good, with no touch ups required, but there was a bit of minor tunneling and the draw was a tad snug.

Alec Bradley MAXX Traditional – A rustic and veiny appearance gave way to lots of leather, wood, and tangy flavors — quite tasty. This cigar produced lots of smoke and had a good draw, but needed multiple minor touch ups to keep everything burning evenly. As it progressed, hazelnut and oak notes developed, along with some earthiness. I’m sure this’ll sound crazy, but I found that it paired fantastically with Diet Mountain Dew.

La Gloria Cubana Serie N – Every time I see one of these, I think of the story Michael Giannini told me last year about the Ns all over the place at the factory. This stick in particular had a lovely, dark & oily wrapper. At first, I noted pumpernickel along with a hint of sweetness. Later, woody notes developed, with perhaps a touch of caramel, along with some creaminess and just the slightest touch of cinnamon towards the end. The burn was sharp, the draw was great and it produced a good amount of smoke. I only wish the flavors were a bit bolder to still deliver at the end of a multiple-cigar day. You’ll want a fresh palate for these.

San Lotano Connecticut – Somewhat dry tasting, this cigar started off with cinnamon and wood flavors. Multiple cracks in the wrapper developed, which were worrying but never really caused any major problems. An inch or so in, coffee & cream came to the forefront as the cigar remained extremely well-balanced. It had a razor sharp burn and good smoke volume, but produced a bit too much resting smoke. Later, I picked up some vanilla wafer sweetness, more coffee & cream, and a bit of tingly mint as I nubbed it. More complexity than you’d expect from a Connecticut-wrapped cigar.

My Father No. 1 – How have we not done a full-length review on these yet? To me, this cigar is an absolute classic and ranks right up there as one of my favorites. Perfect burn, great draw, gorgeous ash. Lots of earth and wood together with black pepper and a touch of sweetness. Again, I’m awestruck by the thick, rich, creamy smoke this thing puts out as the burn line is barely a hair’s width. I also noted a hint of delicious twang along with cocoa developing towards the end. I enjoy these so much that I splurged for a full box to hand out as “It’s a Boy!” cigars when the big day finally arrives.

CAO La Traviata – We often recommend La Traviata for smokers who are just getting into premium hand-rolled cigars, and for good reason. It’s a real easy smoke and delivers some great flavors. A perfect “gateway cigar,” if you will. I noted tons of leather, chocolate, and black pepper. This one had a slightly tight draw, requiring me to puff quite vigorously to produce enough smoke. As a result, this led to canoeing requiring multiple touch ups. However, I’ve found this to be an exception, as most La Traviatas that I’ve smoked haven’t required anywhere near as much babysitting.

CAO OSA Sol – People tend to have strong feelings about this cigar, one way or another, but I’d say I fall on the positive side of the fence. The wrapper is the true star here, with the “bright” flavor that everyone picks up on and from which I get a somewhat green apple note. The rest of the flavor profile is dominated by a pleasant earthiness. I will, however, agree with the criticism that the flavors tend to fade away into blandness towards the end, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how the OSA Sol performs in the smaller sizes coming soon.

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.