Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 79

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!

Curivari Buenaventura Toro
It’s been a few weeks since I last lit up a Buenaventura, and that’s long enough for me. As before, great smoke at a wonderful price. This week I decided to pair it with a sweet, somewhat peaty scotch named Ardmore, possibly the cigar’s equal in terms of quality-to-cost ratio. The resulting par was excellent. The scotch seemed to really magnify the woody and vanilla notes in the cigar. I recommend both the cigar and the scotch highly.

Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 Robusto
This week I returned to another old favorite, the often hard to find Liga Privada T52. In a world where the newest releases fly off shelves and older (often not by much) proven blends quietly collect dust, the T52 has incredible staying power. As I lit it up, I was reminded why: it’s delicious. There are many other earthy, smoky cigars out there, but the T52 has succeeded in retaining its uniqueness. This particular one had a sweeter profile than average, I noted a sweetness like toffee early on and plenty of that down-and-dirty earth that I so enjoy throughout. Some ’em when you find ’em.

J.D. Howard Reserve Single Action LE 2015
While I’m making good progress smoking my cigar collection into something more manageable, I’m also keeping my eyes peeled for new and interesting smokes hitting the shops. This week the item of interest is the elegantly sized J.D. Howard Single Action. After smoking number of larger ring gauges lately, I felt like a castaway catching the first glimpse a rescue ship when I saw these petite lanceros. Of course I did my best to reserve judgement until after smoking it, because anything can happen once fire enters the equation. Nothing out of the ordinary did, but it could have. The flavor and perfect burn were additional sources of happiness. The profile was a predominantly a mix of earth, wood, pepper and caramel, with the both the caramel and earthiness fading in later stages to reveal a great aromatic wood and touches of vanilla sweetness. If you haven’t tried one, I can assure you it’s worth a shot. I plan to reload before they run out.

J. Fuego Sangre De Toro Corona **
A couple years ago I picked up a deal on a bundle of Sangre De Toros. I think it was shortly after Jesus Fuego changed the band designs. I thought I was all out of them at this point, but I found another as I rustled through the humidor. The thing I noticed as I smoked through this bundle is that they’re pretty good, but lack the intensity of flavor that they had when the line first came out, and when compared with Sangre De Toros off the shelf today. It could be the result of age, but I suspect there was something up with this bundle from the beginning. Not that there’s anything wrong with the syrupy, spicy, woody, grassy and herbal flavors this cigar produced, it just seemed muted. This is one of those times when you’re better served buying fresh one at your local B&M.

Ortega Wild Bunch Island Jim **
The local stock of Ortega Wild Bunch cigars is dwindling, and what’s left is fairly old. As you know, there are few things I like more than buying a well-aged cigar at original MSRP. Forget free cigars, free aging is where it’s at. And this Island Jim has aged marvelously. I noted roasted nuts, butterscotch (sometimes just butter), cinnamon, lightly fruity sweetness and a great cedar flavor that emerged toward the end. I’m going to have to grab a few more before they disappear.

* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them is suspect. My opinions (and the junk on my desk) 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.