Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 90

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!

7-20-4 Factory 57 Robusto
Like I said when I mentioned lighting this one up on Instagram, it’s been too long since I’ve had a 7-20-4. These things happen when you’re doing your best to stay on top of the new cigar blends hitting the market every year. As a consumer, it’s a good problem to have, and I bought this cigar without a second thought. The cigar got off to an impressive, flavorful start- molasses, vanilla, chocolate and a touch of graham cracker. Before long it developed a citrusy creaminess that carried the cigar through to a conclusion of mocha and wood with a little caramel and pepper. The Factory 57 had a pristine burn, producing perfect white ashes. It’s a cigar I would encourage you to try.

Arturo Fuente 858 Sun Grown **
I lit up another cigar this week with numbers in its name, the Fuente 858 Sun Grown. I’m not sure how old it is, but the smart money is on it being old enough for the double asterisk. I don’t smoke 858’s often, but they always impress me as a no-frills-just-good cigar. This experience did nothing to change that. It offered a solid profile of leather, chocolate, a little fruity caramel sweetness and cedar. The only real surprise is that the cedar flavor wasn’t more dominant with all the time resting in the cedar sleeve. No complaints, I’d smoke it again any time.

Davidoff Escurio Robusto *
One of those week’s pleasant surprises was the arrival of some Davidoff Escurio samples in the mail. You gotta hand it to them, even the packaging for samples was impressive, winning brownie points with me with the thoughtful inclusion of proper cigar matches. It’s a new offering from Davidoff with a blend inspired by “a night in Rio” featuring Brazilian tobaccos. As nice as that may be, our readers are more interested in what happens when fire comes into the equation, and I was only too happy to oblige. I lit one up the night they arrived. There was a lot going on with the Escurio, I noted nuts, dark chocolate, caramel, pepper, deep berry sweetness, earth, espresso and a sweet tartness. You might call it a festive profile. It’s early days yet for the Escurio, it’ll be interesting to see how they are with a little time.

Ortega Serie D Maduro No. 6 **
This week I lit up a few more well aged Serie D Maduros, and was again very pleased with the experience. Though they weren’t any older than those I’ve burned in past weeks, they seemed to taste a little better. Could be anticipation, or just the way your taste for a particular cigar can grow the more you smoke them. Whatever the case may be, I was impressed with the rich, earthy chocolate notes and seemed to pick up more on cinnamon and vanilla aspects of the profile. And it seems fitting to smoke some old favorites before the mad rush of new cigars at the Trade Show. (I’ll be there, get ready for the annual avalanche of videos.)

ROMEO by Romeo y Julieta Aging Room Copla
Another new cigar I lit up this week was the interesting collaboration between Altadis and Aging Room cigars. It’s a new line in the more recent, bolder ROMEO theme. It sure is a flashy cigar, but more visually appealing to me than the original ROMEO. Perhaps for that reason, I had high hopes for it. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. From the start it had an herbal sourness that became overwhelming and unpleasant by the halfway point. I also noted some leather and caramel in it, but it was hard to get past the dominant sourness. It occurs to me that this may have something to do with the newness of the cigar (right off the truck), so I’m not writing it off yet. I plan to give it a month or so and try it again. Until then, proceed with caution.

* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them is suspect. My opinions (and an irritable wireless router) 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.