Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 78

It’s once 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 cigar 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 The Lineage Robusto
Alec Bradley has done a good job of producing a considerable number of better than average cigars over the years. When you consider how good average has become in the cigar world, that’s saying something. In keeping with that, it was probably the stick I enjoyed the most in this Week In Smoke. There was quite a bit going on flavor-wise and it was all good. The rich, viscous smoke laid down flavors like almonds, sweet earth, wood, chocolate and coffee bean with sweet notes and spices. And then, right toward the end when I thought the party was over, I picked up a great coconut note. I think I’ll have to find more of these.

Arturo Fuente 858 Candela
Thanks to colder than usual weather this year, pollen season around here didn’t really get going until right around St. Patrick’s Day. I lit up this festive candela even as I felt the familiar nose tickle start to appear. I sneezed a few times, but it didn’t keep me from enjoying this 858. Most of the year I pass on candela-wrapped cigars, but this one is a good choice for the holiday. The one I lit up was sweet, a little creamy, grassy and cedary.

Don Diego Fuerte Corona
Looking for something different than my current favorites, I dug through my humidor until I spotted this Don Diego Fuerte. As I recall from previous experiences with the cigar, it was more about strength both in terms of flavor and power than nuance. It does say “Fuerte” on the band, after all. That seemed to be the case again here, though this stick is probably more aged than previous smokes. In terms of flavors, it seemed like a muddy combination of earth, black tobacco, wood, acidic-sweet pepper and coffee. Not my favorite, but it seems like it would be an OK choice for strong food and drink. Though if you’re looking for a nicotine kick, there are more potent options out there.

Foyle Epee
The last Foyle cigar I smoked was actually given to me by Jonathan Drew at a trade show. He told me it was a great smoke. As I recall, he was right. But it wasn’t this vitola, I believe it was more toro-ish. In this case I picked up a little unpleasant bitterness in what otherwise seemed like good cigar. I noted oak, earth, espresso with some sweet notes and spices. At this point I’d say it’s a tie, one great one, one not so great. I’ll keep an eye out for a tiebreaker in my travels.

La Barba Robusto *
The humidor digging continued with this La Barba, another single I picked up along the way. For anyone keeping track, I’ll say it was a sample, but I’m just not sure. I know I noticed it a few times looking through the humidor and I’m sure I planned to smoke it well before now. It was one of those cases where my expectations we actually pretty accurate, which doesn’t happen all that often. Perhaps I’ve had it before and just forgot. No matter, it was a solid smoke with a creamy profile of wood, bread and perhaps some nuts.

Ortega Cigars Wild Bunch Crazy Jack
I also lit up this large installment of Eddie Ortega’s Wild Bunch. It was originally released at the tail end of 2013, so I’ve had this one a while. The cigar was a little larger than I’d prefer, but the experience was in enjoyable in the flavor department, so that didn’t bother me much. I noted earth, chocolate, oak, nougat, pepper, spices and pepper. A pretty solid smoke if you happen to come across them.

* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them is suspect. My opinions (and these five pints of green Guinness) are my own, your response to them is your own. All your base are belong to us.

** 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 or instagram. If you’d like to see these lists constructed in real time, follow Brian on twitter or instagram. If you don’t, you’ll make the Fail Whale cry. And he’s ugly when he cries.