Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 102

Drew Estate

The time has really flown by the past couple of weeks, and for a good part of it I was smoking cigars and drinking unusual beers in the exotic and mysterious places like Alabama and Oregon. I was also a guest on a local radio show talking about beer. Everything else is hazy. Imagine me slowly emerging for the shadows, possibly with a item of seasonally-inappropriate clothing. Like a scarf. Initially you’re terrified, but then I ask you for a light because my cigar went out. Oh, it’s just Brian, he’s back now. So that means…

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!

Camacho Connecticut Corona
Another reason my time since the last Week In Smoke is a blur is the bourbon and cigar dinner I attended on Sunday. This Camacho Connecticut was one of the cigars that were handed out during the event, but I didn’t actually get to it until the next day. That’s for the best, after five gallons of Woodford Reserve, even a hearty Connecticut doesn’t stand much of a chance. Once lit it produced creamy cedar flavors and a touch of sour dough. Further in there was increased cedar and pepper, but also some vanilla notes. It’s a solid smoke that deserves some kudos for burning well on one of our more humid days.

Davidoff Yamasá Robusto *
One of the cigars I was really looking forward to trying this week was the new Davidoff Yamasá. I’ve been on a bit of a Davidoff kick lately with my love of their trinity of Nicaraguan-themed cigars- the Davidoff Nicaragua, the Avo Syncro Nicaragua and even The Griffin’s Nicaragua. And their Escurio was no slouch either. Fair warning though, I lit this one up just as soon as the elaborate star-shaped box left the delivery truck. (It really would take a video to do the box justice. Let’s just say it unrolls into five diamond-ish sections.) The warning really isn’t necessary though, the cigar burned well, and produced a lot of enjoyable and unique flavor. I noted a creamy, earthy butterscotch combination to start. As it burned, it was joined by dense herbal earth, clove, baker’s chocolate, sweet cinnamon and coffee. I really enjoyed this one, and look forward to seeing it in the shops.

GTO Hypnotic Toro *
I was given this GTO Hypnotic by someone I met during my various travels recently. He was a fan of them, and said I had to try one. I recognized the GTO name, but not the Hypnotic line. I decided to keep it that way as I smoked it, let the cigar and not the internet do the talking. (Also, at the time it was inconvenient to do much googling.) So I lit it up. Wait, is that… Is that a sweetened cap? Indeed it is. As you might expect, the flavor profile was a sweet one, with initial notes of honey and vanilla giving way eventually to less sweet creamy earth and mild spices. While cigars with sweetened caps and other forms of “after market-enhancement” are decidedly not my jam, I will give this one credit for not being as over-the-top as some.

Guayacan Rojas Reserve Gordo *
It’s a great time for cigar enthusiasts. IPCPR is nigh, new cigars are myriad, the weather is welcoming, and the heavy bureaucratic hand of the FDA has not quite yet crushed the industry. One of the many new cigars I got recently was the Guayacan Rojas Reserve. (Well, new to me, they were actually introduced at last years trade show.) Noel Rojas was kind enough to supply me with this dark, hefty cigar weighing in at the ever-popular 6 x 60. Ordinarily I find sticks of that size to seem a little washed out in terms of flavor, but not so here. The Rojas Reserve was packed with full-bodied flavors of leather, chocolate, espresso and good pepper hit. There were also sweeter notes of caramel, but they played much less of a role. I also noted that cigar was really chocolaty at the end, which I enjoyed, and that my lips felt like they were catching on fire well before the burn line was anywhere near the end. This cigar should do very well with fans of big bold cigars.

La Riqueza Cabinet Petit Robusto **
I’m not entirely sure how old this cigar is or even where I got it, but it has spent years of quiet rest in the humidor. Shooting from the hip, I’d say it’s in the neighborhood of three years old. Somewhere along the way the cigar picked up some interesting wrapper discoloration that is more prominent in the picture I took that it was in real life. It’s also worth noting that this is one of the non-box pressed cabinet vitolas. And it tasted like like candy. Surprisingly spicy candy. Toward the end, there were definite similarities between it and Red Hots. There were also elements that had mellowed out considerably more than the spices, so there wasn’t a ton of complexity to it. But it was a lot of fun to smoke. I miss this line.

* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them is suspect. My opinions (and a strange desire to put a bird on it) 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.