Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 22

Drew Estate

It’s time again for another issue of Brian’s The Week In Smoke. In case this is your first Week in Smoke, be advised that it covers many (though not necessarily all) of the cigars I’ve smoked in the past week (or the past month, or however long it has been since the last issue), along with a couple of quick thoughts that came to me at the time. These are not full reviews, but quick blurbs based on a single smoking experience. As such, they may be influenced by the natural variations that occur from one cigar to another. Your mileage may vary. (If I know the cigar well enough to comment, I may mention if an experience strays from what understand to be the norm.)

An appearance in The Week in Smoke does not preclude nor guarantee a future in-depth review. Whenever possible, I’ve linked to more a thoughtful and thorough review of the cigar in question. (Or maybe I’ve linked to a photo of Jerry The ‘Stache. You won’t know until you click.) Enjoy!

Alec Bradley Family Blend VR1
I don’t know it for a fact, but I suspect the VR1 is the only size of the Family Blend I’ve ever smoked. It just looks right to me. It’s never let me down in the flavor department, either and this is no exception. It was full of creamy decadence that coats the palate and lingers. Cream, butterscotch, hints of vanilla even a touch of candied ginger which were followed later by leather, coffee chocolate and pepper. The dark gray ash that bordered on black was an interesting contrast to the profile. I look forward to my next one.

Byron Serie Siglo XX (Reserva 5 Anos) Habaneros *
Feeling magnanimous one evening, a friend decided to break out some spirits and a few cigars hidden away in his humidor. The Byron he handed me was very good he said, but very spendy, ringing in somewhere near fifty bucks a stick. I’d never heard of it, but after thinking about it a while I vaguely recalled seeing a booth at one trade show or another featuring Lord Byron’s likeness. It turns out he was right, it was a very good smoke. (And based on a little research he wasn’t far off on the price, with local taxes considered.) I wasn’t taking notes at the time, but I recall a savory creaminess to the profile, rich coffee, leather, earth and some very enjoyable sweet notes. I’d love to smoke it again, but price and availability or formidable barriers.

Bugatti by Perdomo Epicure
This shiny, flawless looking smoke is a collaboration between Perdomo and Lotus, and it came recommended by a local retailer. I can see why. The mouth-coating bready and often syrupy flavors were impressive. I noted cedary, toast, and sourdough with earth and cinnamon appearing further in. I could definitely see myself smoking more of these in the future.

Ezra Zion Inception Gran Robusto *
Emilio recently picked up distribution of the Ezra Zion brand, which is where this sample originated. But this isn’t my first Ezra Zion, I believe I smoked this same cigar at their booth at this year’s trade show. They seemed like a good group of guys. In terms of the cigar, it’s a pepper bomb. Aside from the noted leather, nuts, an occasional herbal and smoky qualities and lingering cherry-like sweetness. It burned a little rough at times and needed a touch up or two, but didn’t get too far out of line. A bold beginning from a newer cigar company.

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown Epicure
I haven’t had many Perdomos recently (excluding the cigars featured for this Week In Smoke), so I decided to take advantage of local special on Perdomo lines to catch up. I remembered enjoying the Exhibicion Sun Grown so I figured the 20th Anniversary Sun Grown wasn’t a bad choice. It started off woody and spicy, but before too long it seemed to erupt in rich sweet syrup, that seemed a little like maple syrup. The cigar calmed down a little into a consistent creamy bourbon, wood and spices profile. I think the Epicure vitola is a little large for my preference, but there’s not denying it was a tasty cigar. Definitely worth trying.

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro Epicure
When I realized that I forgot to take a picture of the Sun Grown, I thought, no matter, I’ll just make up for it by following up with the 20th Maduro I picked up at the same time. I liked the Sun Grown, and had high hopes for Maduro. I wasn’t disappointed here either. The bourbon flavor kicked in earlier in the Maduro than it did in the Sun Grown, and it was full of decadent rich chocolate wood, cream, more bourbon, hints of vanilla and later touches of leather and pepper. Fantastic.

* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them is suspect. My opinions are my own, your response to them is your own. No amount of comment trolling will change that.

** I have too many smokes, and this denotes that the smoke in question has been sitting in one of my humidors for at least a year, and thus qualifies as “aged”. If my collection continues to grow, the chances are good I’ll be on that Discovery Channel show about people who hoard stuff and face eviction.

Some of the pictures in Brian’s The Week In Smoke first appeared on twitter. If you’d like to see these lists constructed in real time, follow Brian on twitter. If you don’t, you’ll make the Fail Whale cry.

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