Charlie’s Month in Smoke, vol. 6
No baby yet, though his arrival is expected any day now. Fortunately, I’ve got a coolidor full of cigars to help me anxiously pass the time. It hasn’t quite been a month since my last entry in this series, but I figure no one’s keeping score exactly, so it should be ok.
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!
Punch Rare Corojo 2012 – I picked this bad boy up at the Partagas 1845 launch event hosted by Leesburg Cigar & Pipe last month. Brian reviewed last year’s version, the 10th Anniversary edition that actually featured a corojo wrapper (imagine that). This was the first of three cigars I smoked during my best friend’s bachelor party in fabulous Atlantic City, New Jersey a few weeks ago. After a really peppery cold draw, it produced a lot of rich, creamy smoke with wood, leather, and nut flavors. I’d have to say it was ultra smooth, and the ash was strong and quite white. Not bad at all, and worth picking up again.
Partagas Benji Menendez Master Series – Making its second appearance in my Month in Smoke series, this was the cigar released at the Benji Menendez event hosted by W. Curtis Draper last fall. I still have a few of these left, and I dug one out for the bachelor party weekend in AC. As always, it didn’t disappoint. A perfect draw and burn, plus lots of big leather and coffee flavors. A great way to relax at Xhibition Bar in Harrah’s after a daytime poker tournament (I didn’t win, but I survived longer than everyone else in my party).
Zino Platinum Z-Class – This cigar I actually smoked in my hotel room during the bachelor party weekend. Even though we had a smoking room, after 45 mins of six or so of us puffing away on cigars, hotel security had to come up to silence the alarms and disable the smoke detectors. Before lighting up, the Z-Class smelled of chocolate and dark fruit. While smoking, I noticed dry baking spice, leather, cocoa, and some earth. The ash was kind of exploding on me a little bit, and I wasn’t exactly disappointed when I had to pitch it early in order to head back down to the casino floor.
Man O’ War Ruination – I think I got this stick in an AJ Fernandez sampler pack from “the devil’s site.” The wrapper smelled of coffee, while the foot gave off a strong earthy aroma. It felt firmly packed, but the cold draw was nice and open, offering up some faint earth. Right off the bad, the Ruination produced tons of smoke and caused a bit of a tingling sensation in my throat. Early flavors were woodsy and chocolately. Construction was perfect with a thin burn line and a nice white ash. Flavors started to mellow out as the power ramped up. A creaminess developed — almost like egg nog. In the end, there was lots of power, but I had hoped for more in the flavor department. And although there was a long-lasting nicotine punch, it wasn’t unbearably intense.
Emilio AF2 – It’s no secret that this is one of my favorites. I don’t typically gravitate towards larger cigars, but I think this blend is best enjoyed in the 6×58 BMF format. The problem is, I don’t always have enough time to smoke such a large cigar (especially in the heat of the day in my work attire), but sometimes you just have to make time. This particular stick delivered tons of flavor, particularly wood, leather, and coffee. No question about it: the AF2 smokes like a dream.
La Casita Criolla – Another cigar that made it into my Top 5 of 2011, the LCC is one of my go-to sticks, and something I’ll often offer to newer smokers as a example of an all-Connecticut Broadleaf cigar featuring an earthy-based flavor profile. I really enjoy the earth, caramel, and cream flavors, as well as the nice twang that ties everything together.
EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut – Another repeat appearance on my Month in Smoke, it’s definitely one of the best Connecticut-wrapped cigars on the market, and an excellent choice for first cigar of the day paired with a good cup of coffee. The wrapper on this stick was mottled and only gave off some faint aromas. Flavors included cream, spice, coffee, sweetness, and chocolate. The salt-and-pepper-colored ash was slightly flaky, and the burn was somewhat ugly but well-behaved. A great smoke with enough complexity to keep me interested, which isn’t always the case with Connecticut wrappers.