Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 112

Drew Estate

You may have noticed I’ve been a little quiet since The IPCPR 2017 Complete Digest posted a few weeks back. Sadly, I haven’t been on vacation, well, I was for the last week. It’s that time of year, and I caught whatever crud du jour that was going around. I don’t know for sure, but I think it was a mild case of whooping cholera. It really took the wind of my sails for a couple weeks, and also the aromatic haze out of my office. Now that I’m over it, I’m looking over my smoking notes from before the plague and since, and 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!

Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark
The last cigar I lit up before the crud swept my leg was the Don Carlos Eye of the Shark. They had just hit my local shop again after a wait of several years, and I didn’t even hesitate. It’s a good thing I didn’t, I would have had to wait a couple weeks to enjoy it if I had. As before, it was a very enjoyable cigar. I noted grass, graham cracker, caramel, earth and a little fruity sweetness. The burn line was a little short of perfect, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment in the slightest.

Curivari Buenaventura Petit BV
Of course one of the first cigars I lit up when my vital signs stabilized was a Buenaventura. On this particular occasion, I had a nice little drive ahead of me, so I went a size up from my usual Mini BV. As the first smoke after a lengthy hiatus, it was bound to be a supremely enjoyable cigar. I think I enjoyed it more than I’ve ever enjoyed a Buenaventura before. Very creamy, notes of honey and vanilla, graham cracker, it was wonderful.

Dunbarton Todos Las Dias Robusto
It took me longer than it should have to get around to lighting up a Dunbarton Todos Las Dias. But then, it took me a while to cross paths with one in the cigar shop. I do have a trade show sample somewhere in my collection, but mild issue with humidor organization (or lack thereof) kept me from getting to it by the time I had recovered from the case of the crud. After talking to Steve Saka about it at the show, I definitely didn’t want to burn it until my senses returned to normal. It got off to a milder, earthy, chocolaty start. As expected, the cigar’s profile slowly grew fuller and denser. Pepper picked up, and sweeter notes of raisins and anise made appearances. It struck me as a good cigar I will have to smoke more of in the future, both clearly a Saka blend, but different than other ones of his I have tried.

Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Toro *
Drew Estate was exceedingly generous to us at IPCPR, which means I had numerous opportunities to smoke the new Pappy Van Winkle Tradition. As a fan of good bourbon, I felt like I had to try a cigar carrying such a prestigious name. Of course, this blend does not actually feature tobacco aged in the bourbon barrels (that’s the Family Reserve), but the blend was selected by the people responsible for the bourbon. And the story of Willy Herrera creating the blend as a guest visiting the Drew Estate facilities years ago is fun. (If you missed the story, Willy told us about it at IPCPR.) The important thing is it’s a good cigar, one that I think may actually better than original Family Reserve. (I’m going to withhold judgement on that for now.) In terms of flavor profile, I can see why a bourbon manufacturer would pick this blend. I picked up notes of wood, strong black tobacco, pepper and leather, with sweeter notes including butterscotch as the cigar progressed. This cigar seems destined for bourbon, but even without a good bourbon, you’re in for a treat here.

Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Sun Grown Regente
One of the new cigars I lit up this week was the Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Sun Grown. I was wandering through my local shops humidor when I noticed something shiny in the Perdomo section that I hadn’t seen before. Just after I lit it up, one of the regulars asked me if I had tried the new Perdomo yet, telling me it was pretty good. That was a good sign, and the regular was right. It was a pretty good smoke, getting off to a creamy, peppery start. As the cigar burned I also noted leather, wood, vanilla and earthy spices along the lines of cinnamon and nutmeg. My only complaint was some wrapper cracking toward the end. It wasn’t enough to really make much of a difference in my experience, but it didn’t look as nice. Otherwise, it burned well and produced attractive, solid ashes.

Tatuaje Monster Series The Michael
Another cigar I’ve been looking forward to is the latest installment of the Monsters series. I put in an order the first chance I got, and was not disappointed. Out of the cellophane the cigar had a rich, funky and honey-like wrapper aroma. The initial puffs were chocolaty, smokey and leather. As it warmed up I picked up some sweeter notes of vanilla and butterscotch, as well as graham cracker, cinnamon and wood. Further along there is a growth in wood and pepper, and the early light sweet notes transition into more of a raisin or prune. There is some power in this cigar, but it’s more than balanced out by the amount of flavor it delivers. In my notes I wrote that I was basically in love this stick by about an inch and a half in. I recommend trying it if you have a chance, and I look forward to smoking another.

* 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 hazy office) 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.