Charlie’s Month in Smoke, vol. 8

Let’s see… what have I been up to lately? I’m loving my new role as a father, am busy with interesting work at my job, and still dealing with contractors & my homeowner’s insurance claim following the lightning-induced power surge several weeks ago. Hey, two out of three ain’t bad, right? And I’ve got plenty to look forward to, including taking some time off of work for my first IPCPR. So I suppose it’s hard to complain. Oh yeah, I’ve been smoking some great cigars, too, and I’m sure you’d much rather hear about that than my personal life…

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!

Partagas 1845

Partagas 1845 – Making its second appearance in my Month in Smoke series, this latest addition to the Partagas line really fills a niche in between the fuller-bodied Partagas Black and the more medium-bodied Partagas (red label). A nice chocolately start is backed up with an effortless draw, great smoke production, and enjoyable flavors throughout. A hearty “thank you” goes out to the fine people at General Cigar for sending me a sampler pack. I’m very much enjoying smoking my way through all the vitolas.

Montecristo Churchill

Montecristo Churchill – This cigar was handed out by the folks who put together my company’s annual summer barbecue earlier this month. As I’ve come to understand, there are quite a few serious cigar smokers at my office, including a VP and one of the co-founders. The company goes out of its way to keep its employees happy, as evidenced by this box of cigars shared by several of us at the picnic. It was definitely a crowd pleaser, left a great ash triggering a “longest ash” contest among us (I lost), and did a great job of keeping the conversation lively and lifting the spirits of everyone involved.

Arturo Fuente Cuban Corona Vintage

Arturo Fuente Cuban Corona Vintage – Two short days after the birth of my son, I was the best man in the wedding of my best friend (who, in turn, served as my best man 3 years ago). The wedding was held at the Newseum in Washington DC, and featured a cigar bar on the rooftop balcony. There were more cigars (two boxes) than cigar smokers, so I grabbed two of these: one to smoke at the wedding and another to save for later. The first didn’t pan out so well, due to the questionable conditions in which the cigars were stored (who knows how many days before the wedding these boxes were purchased and left outside a humidor), and the fact that I kept having to run inside to perform my best manly duties. The second stick, however, turned out much better after a few weeks recovering in my humidor. The wrapper smelled of compost, which was joined by chocolate coming from the foot. The cold draw was a bit snug with some floral chocolate. Once lit, I was greeted by tons of cedar, with some graham, cream, and cinnamon notes. The draw was somewhat snug but produced lots of creamy smoke. The burn was pretty good, if a bit jagged, and left an ugly, dark gray skeletal ash. Later on, a peppery tingle developed, and a relight was required towards the end.

Liga Privada Dirty Rat

Liga Privada Dirty Rat – I chose this cigar (my first Dirty Rat that had been resting for some time) as a pre-celebratory selection the night before Independence Day. I didn’t get much from the pre-light inspection, save for an open cold draw. The first few effortless puffs produced an almost absurd amount of dense, luscious smoke, which continued through the cigar. Initial flavors included charred meat with a blast of pepper. The somewhat flaky ash was a medium gray and held on for about an inch. Other flavors soon developed, including dark bread, molasses, cedar, and what I logged in my notes as reminiscent of “pine needle.” Another blast of pepper came in after the halfway point, along with some musty compost. Wrapping things up, I detected peppery meat and raisin. All in all, a great smoke with a wonderfully evolving flavor profile.

Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig

Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig – On the Fourth of July itself, I sat out on my deck to watch an intense light show combining several illicit fireworks displays (always my favorite way to celebrate our independence as citizens) with some powerful lightning in the distance. Joining me was another rare treat: a Flying Pig. The wrapper on this one was especially toothy, and like most Liga Privadas, it produced tons of dense smoke. My palate picked up some sweet and very salty notes, along with a dark, dark chocolate. Later, I was treated to an intensely peppery meat and a hint of band-aid. The burn started a bit crooked but was easily corrected with some encouragement, while the medium gray ash held on for more than half the length of the cigar.

Flor de las Antillas by My Father

Flor de las Antillas by My Father – This latest release by My Father Cigars is something I’d been looking forward to for some time now. I finally picked one up at the cigar shop closest to my office, and proceeded to light it up at my first opportunity. The wrapper had a milk chocolate hue, with some visible veins & seams and a rounded press. It gave off a faint aroma of earth and leather, while the foot was more of a spicy mocha. The cold draw offered just the right amount of resistance and some faint earth flavors. In the first third, I noted milk chocolate cocoa and baking spice, with some red pepper flake and lots of toasted wood. The draw was great, smoke production was fantastic, and the burn was decent with a sold, medium gray ash. The second third featured mostly woody notes, and seemed to be very dry on my palate. I was pleasantly surprised to pick up cinnamon cookie in the final third, as the typically excellent My Father draw, burn, and smoke continued as I took the cigar down to a nub. The Flor de las Antillas is definitely milder than your typical My Father cigar, while still coming in as a solid medium with enjoyable flavors, albeit less rich & deep than some of their other offerings.

Tatuaje Series P

Tatuaje Series P – It’s hard to fine a better cigar for the price than the Series P. The wrapper on this one gave off a whiff of band-aid (something I’m noticing more & more lately), while the foot and cold draw presented dark fruit and peppery chocolate. Upon lighting, the excellent draw produced a great amount of smoke, with tingly wood, leather, earth, and dark fruit notes. Later, I picked up more dark fruit and a touch of syrupy sweetness developing. The burn was spot-on (save for a single minor touch-up), and the white ash was phenomenal for a mixed-filler cigar.