Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 82

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 Nicaragua (White) Robusto *
This sample 1502 Nicaragua arrived in the mail this week and I lit it up that night. Can I just say how much I appreciate it when cigar shipments arrive sealed up with a humidipak? I love that, it can mean the difference between lighting a cigar up immediately and forgetting about it in the humidor for a day or 83. This cigar carries brings your palate four Nicaraguan growing regions, Esteli, Jalapa, Condega and the volcanic isle of Ometepe. As it burned I tasted earth, coffee, wood, spicy roasted nuts and some graham. I don’t think I’ve had a bad 1502 yet.

GTO Pain Killer Robusto
This week I also lit up a cigar from a mixed selection I picked up at a cigar event last year. I didn’t know much about the line when I lit it up, but the name Pain Killer seemed promising. The pollen here has been a pain lately, and I could use a short reprieve. I’ve since learned that it’s a Dominican puro, which are more common now than in times past, but still less common than the much loved Nicaraguan puro. The cigar turned out to be a pretty good smoke and I didn’t notice any pain while it burn, so it seemed to deliver on the name’s promise. Flavor-wise it offered a lot of creamy bread and toast with subtler notes of butter, cedar, cinnamon and vanilla. As the cigar neared its conclusion a little pepper emerged.

Leon Jimenes Don Fernando No 4 **
Some years ago the limited edition Don Fernando blend of Leon Jimenes had a short surge of popularity around the blogs and forums. It wasn’t a new cigar at the time, but it was probably new to many cigar smokers out there. I probably bought this cigar a few months after the buzz died down a bit. It’s an elegant size, and it burned well, producing flavors of dense earth and coffee with acidic, floral and grassy touches. It’s still a solid smoke, worth trying if you find it.

Ortega Wild Bunch Island Jim **
Ortega Cigar’s Island Jim is one of my latest campaigns to smoke up the well-aged stock at my local B&M. The remaining sticks have had just over two years to rest at this point and seem to have really hit their stride. This smoke was just full of creamy coffee, wood, leather, sweet spices and vanilla. Truth be told, this stick wasn’t quite as good as the preceding one, but it was still delicious. I can’t say yet if that is an indicator of them starting to get a little past their prime, or if it’s a fluke. Just to be on the safe side, I’m going to try to burn the rest very soon.

Padron Londres Maduro
I can be a creature of habit when it comes to Padrons. I almost always smoke the 3000 maduro. It’s good vitola, and is one of the easier ones to find. I nearly did again this week, but I snapped out of autopilot when I spotted this Londres. What a great little smoke and a good value. Rich, savory earth and dense cedar. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

* 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 secret stash of aged cigars) 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.