Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 80

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!

1502 Black Gold Toro
I’ve enjoyed the 1502 cigars I’ve had, but I don’t come across them often. So I tend to space them out. This Black Gold was, I believe, the last of my most recent purchase. I don’t have too much to add to what I’ve said about them in the past. This time it was all about roasted nuts, coffee, and some creamier, sweeter notes like caramel or toffee. It was a fine smoke, but if memory serves me, the perfecto vitola edges it out a little.

5 Vegas Relic
A while back I picked up one of these 5 Vegas Relics because I remembered not liking it when they first came out. It was for an unusual reason- not because it was harsh or produced bad or weak flavors, but because the combination struck me as disagreeable. Like flavors that didn’t seem to go together. I’ve wanted try it again ever since to see if it was just a bad batch. Now, years later I finally am. And it doesn’t taste much like I remember. That’s probably a good thing. I tasted a lot of darker flavors, muddy earth, dark chocolate, espresso, leather and pepper, but it had a syrupy sweetness and an interestingly buttery mouthfeel. Nothing really seemed out of place this time around, and despite minor burn issues, it seemed like an OK smoke.

Curivari Buenaventura BV 500
If it seems like you just read about the Buenaventura on Stogie Review, you’re right. I mentioned one in the last Week In Smoke. This time, I’m burning the smallest size, one down from last week’s vitola (which I incorrectly identified as “toro” instead of its actual name, “BV 560 Gordo”). In comparing the two, I’ve found this size to be a little more intense in terms of flavor than the other. I noted more cream and vanilla in the BV 560 Gordo than in the BV 500 which had more prominent toasty/breadiness. Both are great smokes, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I could see deciding which to smoke based upon my mood and what I am eating or drinking at the time. I can confirm that the BV 500 pairs nicely with a neat pour of Bookers, and seems better suited to the task than the BV 560 Gordo.

La Flor Dominicana Air bender Maduro
The decorative curing barn humidor may be long gone at this point, but I still occasionally come across the Air Bender Maduro, which I prefer to the regular version. I’m not sure how old this one is, but it delivered a solid experience of earth, chocolate, coffee bean, savory pepper and a sweet grassy acidity. In all, a good choice and consistent with previous smokes.

Viva Republica Propganda The Big Lie *
Austin, the area rep for Miami and La Aurora products, stopped by my local shop this week and I stole this Viva Republica out of his white leather hipster travel humidor, while at the same time making fun of his haircut. Some would call that unnecessary and excessive. And I would agree, that haircut is really over the top. But he’s a good guy, so we overlook his shortcomings. In terms of the cigar, no lie, it was an enjoyable smoke. I noted chocolate, mocha and cinnamon, with lighter touches of pepper and cedar. Austin said it has been described as tasting like “Mexican hot chocolate”. I can see that.

* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them is suspect. My opinions (and this Booker’s headache) 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.