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OK, I jut got back from a week-long cruise on a boat with a cigar bar. Since it was my birthday week, I decided to treat myself, both with cigars and booze. Unfortunately, I didn't bring a notebook, but do remember the more memorable cigars, so here goes:

First night on the ship I went with the Graycliff 1666. This was a great little cigar. What impressed me the most was the distinct notes of vanilla and caramel. These two set this cigar apart from a lot of other cigars I've had lately.

Next night was my birthday, so I went with my Gurkha Royal Salute, which I'd been saving for a special occasion. Since it's infused with Remy Martin King Louis XIII, I thought that would be a nice drink to pair it with. I decided to treat myself to a glass of KLXIII for a mere $77 a glass (believe it or not, that's about half of the price you'd expect to pay on land). Both the cigar and the cognac were wonderful. The cigar had an initial sweetness to every draw, both on the pre-light and while burning. It wasn't overbearing and didn't make the cigar taste flavored. Just a nice grape-like sweetness on the draw which was immediately replaced by notes of wood, coffee and cocoa. Truly a great cigar. The cognac, while wonderful, was not that far above Remy XO to justify the 10x price difference. Still, it was worth it to say I've tried it.

Next was my God of Fire 2005 Carlito Churchill. While this was a great cigar, I don't know if it really lives up to the hefty price tag. I remember notes of wood and coffee along with a nice lingering spice on the tongue long after the draw. I was lucky enough to meet some other cigar lovers who also happened to be directors on the ship. We got to talking shop and one guy offered to bring in a bottle of Don Julio Anejo Real (tequila), which was absolutely amazing. Didn't taste anything like any tequila I'd ever had before. More like a scotch. Great bunch of guys running that boat, so I promised to send them some of the local hand rolled cigars from around here that some of you guys have tried and loved so much.

I also picked up a Cohiba ISOM while I was in Grand Cayman (Georgetown) at Casa del Habana (apparently one of the only trustworthy stores, as it's owned by the Cuban government). Another nice cigar, but I can find legal cigars much easier and much cheaper that are much better. In case any of you happen to travel down there, Casa del Habana isn't the easiest to find. Aside from that, nobody knows about it or where it is. There's also a Churchill's cigar shop in a small strip mall where Margaritaville is. If you walk out of Margaritaville and take a left, look for a small red sign that says "cigars". Casa del Habana is near that, set back in a little alley-way, so the storefront is hardly visible from the street.
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Comments

  • Sounds like you had a great time and some great smoked. In my opinion I think the Carlito might need a little more ago to it even though they are supposed to be aged 2 years. I had a Royal Salute last week and it got bitter near the last 2 - 2 1/2 inches. I also have a Graycliff 1666 that I have been saving. Maybe I'll smoke it in a couple of months.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Hmmmm, I am going to have to get my hands on one of those Greycliff 1666's. That discription of Vanilla and carmel are two flavors I love to find in a cigar.

    I am not talking about the overdone or completely phoney flavors of most infused sticks. I am talking about a natural flavor which comes thru in certain cigars and it just makes me smile when I get this from a new cigar I haven't tried before.

    The Perdomo Lot 23's have this flavor to them.

    Also I smoked one each of the VigllantE (C.Com's one day special last week) and can report that even fresh from the box both the natural and the Maduro's are very tastey smokes for the money. They are both mild in body but nicely balanced in flavor and they too develop a hint of these carmel flavors. Great deal for the price !!
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    I do have some more 2005 Carlitos and a 2004 Carlito. I'm planning on aging those as long as I can. At least now I know they're a good smoke and it'll be worth the age.

    I personally really enjoyed the greycliff 1666. And the notes are definitely natural notes, not infused or artificially flavored/dipped types of notes. I actually found the perdomo lot 23 to have a slightly cinnamon or baked sweet cinnamon/sugar bread flavor to it. It could have even been hints of vanilla and caramel that I was hitting and just didn't recognize them for what they were at the time.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    Rob, you know how so celebrate a birthday .. Sounds like an amazing vacation..The 1666 is a fine cigar that I always enjoy, I think I need to pick up a few now that you mention them.. I am so impressionable.
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    was in grand cayman feb 07 - did not buy any cuban cigars - but regret that. at an island party we did have a cigar roller present supposedly rolling cigars with "cuban tobacco" which i seriously doubt- but was free (paid for by employer) whatever they were they were absolutely delicious . anyway sounds like a great birthday - when you wern't smoking cigars did you get to do any of the cool island stuff like the submarine dives or swimming with the 'rays ?
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    sounds like the 1666 will be one of my next purchases
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    We did parasailing in Labadee and snorkeling in Grand Cayman. Both were awesome.
  • Rob1110:
    I do have some more 2005 Carlitos and a 2004 Carlito. I'm planning on aging those as long as I can. At least now I know they're a good smoke and it'll be worth the age.

    I personally really enjoyed the greycliff 1666. And the notes are definitely natural notes, not infused or artificially flavored/dipped types of notes. I actually found the perdomo lot 23 to have a slightly cinnamon or baked sweet cinnamon/sugar bread flavor to it. It could have even been hints of vanilla and caramel that I was hitting and just didn't recognize them for what they were at the time.
    I got a bout 7 of the 2005, 8 of the 2006 but my 2004s are Don Carlos. I am also aging as long as possible. Are your 2004's in Cedar coffins?
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    Yeah, the 04 churchill is in a coffin as well as two of the 05 carlito robustos. Along with 4 carlito 05's not in coffins. Unfortunately, no don carlos.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    gmill880:
    at an island party we did have a cigar roller present supposedly rolling cigars with "cuban tobacco" which i seriously doubt- but was free (paid for by employer) whatever they were they were absolutely delicious .

    I recently had a hand rolled that a friend brought back from Aruba that sounded like the same deal - supposedly cuban tobacco. I had my doubts, but nonetheless it was a great cigar.
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    Sounds great/Yea they can call them whatever as long as I enjoy it thats what it's really all about
  • Rob1110:
    Yeah, the 04 churchill is in a coffin as well as two of the 05 carlito robustos. Along with 4 carlito 05's not in coffins. Unfortunately, no don carlos.
    If you get a chance, try toe GOF Don Carlos and let me know what you think. I like it better.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    Finally tried my first Pepin last night. I have a blue label and a cuban classic in my humi at home, but tried a cuban classic petit corona at the local cigar bar. I had already had a bucanero (see review in the bucanero thread) and some great pizza and just wanted a stronger cigar to finish the night off.

    The cap was very spicy and tasty before lighting, so I thought I'd be in for a ride with this one. Even upon lighting, there was a burst of spice and wood notes that was really nice but there was some serious punch to this one as well. Unfortunately, that all faded after about a quarter inch. The spice was almost gone and a sweet (maybe vanilla?) note joined in. This lasted for a half inch before changing to a more coffee/cocoa dominated profile. So in short, this was a great, complex little cigar, but the initial taste and light are a bit deceiving.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    Latest cigars:

    Bahia Blue Robusto - gifted to me by a friend. I wasn't expecting much from this as I haven't heard much about the brand and he picked up 20 for about $30, but I was pleasantly surprised. Very nice mild cigar, fairly consistent throughout. Burned evenly all the way through. Notes of sweet roasted nuts and coffee with cream. Not the most complex, but it might give the 5 vegas gold a run for its money.

    La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial Robusto. I loved the original blend and I loved this blend. Spicy on the pre-light draw with spicy tobacco on the head of the cigar - left a nice tingle on the tongue and lips. Spicy upon lighting which eventually mellowed and lead to woodsy, leathery characteristics and a distinctly sweet but pleasant undertone. This was a great cigar and very reasonably priced.

    Fuente Anejo No. 48. I picked up a few of these a while back at a pretty steep price and stuck them in my aging humi. Just stopped by another local shop yesterday and they had them considerably cheaper so I picked up a few more. I have to be honest, I wasn't entirely impressed with this cigar. Notes of black coffee, wood and....well, not much else. Maybe they need to age a bit before smoking, but I wouldn't recommend them on this particular stick. Performed well, but there's better out there for the money.
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947

    ROB try the anejo 77 and 55 decidedly different taste-these i don't think u will be dissapointed in

  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    Thanks. That shop had a few other sizes that they're going to put out when the 48's are gone. I'll pick a few up when I get a chance.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    From most of the reviews I've read the opus's and anejos do better with age. Now I haven't had any as of yet as I just got some over the last two months, but I am curious to give one of each a go soon. There was a review of an opus, I think it was a fuente, fuente and it was taken over a three year period, each year it was smoked from the same humi, and each year it had got better. So again some age will probably help. BTW, I have several 48's so I hope I like them.. =}
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    Been a while since I've reviewed anything but have had a few decent cigars lately. Thought I'd give this post an update.

    First on the list was the Zino Chubby. This was a nice mild cigar and my favorite shape: the perfecto. I have to comment on the mostly even burn on this one considering the usual burn issues with perfectos. Lit up nicely with a woodsy, creamy character. The overall flavor profile was very creamy with hints of sweet roasted nuts and a slight cedar characteristic. I'd recommend this if it weren't for the price. For what I paid, I'd rather go with an Ashton Classic, 5 Vegas Gold, or Perdomo Champagne - all similar smokes in profile for much less money.

    Next was the not-so-mild, new CAO Lx2. This was a beautiful cigar and I was really looking forward to this one and it did not disappoint at all. From the light, it was a burst of spice, pepper and oak followed by a cocoa, leather and dark coffee core that became more pronounced as the spice and wood faded. The middle of the cigar seemed to linger on a few prominent notes a bit long, but the notes were well done, so it wasn't too boring. By the end of the cigar, I felt the strength of it and had to set it to rest. I'd recommend this one to anyone looking for something closer to the full bodied range.
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947

    thanks for the review rob, the cao lx2 is one i've been wanting to try ......

  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    My last cigar was extremely disappointing. Yesterday I tried a DaVinci robusto. I wasn't expecting much and that's about what I got. Started off decent. Some spice and tobacco, then it just went flat and sour. I waited through half the cigar for something to happen, some notes to pick up, but nothing. I don't think I'll be going back to those.

    I also just realized that I had the ESG a few months back and never reviewed that. I had the robusto that was put out last year (21 year salute). This was a beautiful and complex cigar. Construction was top notch, burn was very even and it produced lots of smoke. Flavor started off spicy and woodsy and turned to a more cocoa like flavor with occasional floral or vanilla sweet notes, with the spice fading after the first inch. All in all, a beautiful cigar, but pricey. If you must try one, I say go for it, but as is with all other super premium $20+ cigars, perfection is a tough goal.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    Hey Rob, Sorry for you and the Da Vinci. It has been my experience that once a cigar gets flat and sour, they do not come back. Start over and just chalk it up to a bit of misfortune. <br. I never had a DaVinci, and with that review will not go out of my way to get any..
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    I know Phobic was interested in this one and I'm sure a few others around here might be as well. I just had my first Gurkha Blue Steel Robuso a little while ago.

    Pre-light looked and smelled nice, the cigar lit easily. Once lit, I noticed the draw was a bit tight and it seemed like the head of the cigar was rolled a bit tightly. Unfortunately, this led to draw problems and took away some points from the cigar. The initial flavor was very tobacco/earthy. Reminded me of some of the other gurkha blends in the legend series (legend, centurian, royal brigade) but closest to the legend itself. Some barnyard, hay, and leather notes mixed with a strong tobacco taste. No detectable spice here, which was actually a little disappointing. I would probably put the strength on the milder side of medium and the body/flavor closer to bland. There wasn't much evolution to this cigar, it just kind of hung on those few notes before becoming increasingly bitter. Maybe just a bad stick - who knows. I'll find out as I have another 19 of them in two different sizes to work out the kinks. Maybe some more rest will do them some good.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    I had one about a week or so ago and found it to be very enjoyable.. I agree with the single dominating flavor as being a toasty tobacco. I thought the burn and draw were very good. Urbi pointed out to me that the Costa Rican Maduro wrapper seems to be a popular trend with Gurkha lately, which is why it may remind you of other Gurkhas. I will rest a few and smoke a few soon, I like 'em.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Holding out on me aye..? lol. Well glad to hear about the blue steel. I didn't know you got boxes of them rob. Well I'm hoping you enjoy the others more. Good to know kas liked it. I have 6 of them that have been resting for a couple weeks. I'll light one up soon. The ESG 21 year salute is one that I've been eying, though it is pricey. Haven't been able to really find it anywhere though, My local shop only has the ESG. Rob would you say it is better than the ESG or about the same?
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    Phobes, the only ESG I've had is the 21 year salute. I bought one of the 20 year salutes (the churchill size that was originally released) but it's been resting since. Did you mean the VSG? If so, I'd say yes, the ESG was definitely more complex than the VSG. I enjoyed it a bit more, but 10 dollars more? Maybe. It's a special occasion smoke and I would (and have, multiple times) consider purchasing a few more to save for those special occasions.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    Finally broke out the Monecristo Media Noche Robusto I purchased back before the weather went stale up here in New England. I had been eyeing this cigar every time I opened my humi and couldn't wait to light it up. For all that anticipation, I honestly have to say, the biggest disappointment to this cigar was putting it down when I was done.

    The low down: construction was absolutely perfect on this cigar. The wrapper had minimal veins, and was wrapped tightly and perfectly. The feel was heavy but springy, not brittle or fragile at all. No soft spots or lumpy spots. The performance throughout the smoke was exactly the same - no burn draw or wrapper issues.

    Pre-light smell: Cocoa, cocoa and more cocoa. Not chocolate, but pure cocoa. The cigar actually smelled like it had been rolled in cocoa powder or sleeping in the same bed with lots of cocoa beans.

    The cigar lit nicely and evenly and the initial draw was, well...cocoa (didn't see that one coming, did ya?) and spice. The spice mellowed after an inch or so and some dark coffee or espresso notes became pronounced with the cocoa. The spice eventually returned and would fade and creep back in every inch or so. It gave a nice variation to the overall flavor profile of this cigar.

    About half way through, I noticed a subtle cinnamon flavor pairing with the cocoa (btw, the cocoa remained throughout the whole cigar) and coffee notes. Again, spice would fade in and out. This is when I noticed the strength of the cigar. I had eaten just before lighting up, but I still got a little light headed (actually, I still am as I'm typing this). Towards the end, I noticed an anise flavor in there as well.

    My recommendation: Actually, here's what I'm thinking doing some night over the summer. Make yourself a nice big pasta dinner and make sure you have just enough room for a cigar and a cup of fresh, strong, black coffee. This cigar is very full flavored and strong and though I wouldn't exactly call it a dessert cigar, it is definitely an after dinner cigar. I will be picking up more of these.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    Rob, The Media Noche is a good one. You did a good job reviewimg this one.. If you like cocoa, coffee, and spice, this one is for you. It didn't strike me as to full bodied but what I liked was the sweet and spicy aspects of the cigar.. also the construction, draw, and burn were near perfect.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    I'm intrigued, i think I mailed that one off in a bomb or something.. oh well.. thanks for the great review rob.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455
    Thanks Kas. I really enjoyed this one and totally agree with you, though I did find it a bit on the full side. Maybe I haven't been smoking enough lately. And Squirrel....get some. Seriously, I'd highly recommend this one. Hell, if I had any left, I'd offer to send you one.
  • sspl01sspl01 Posts: 11
    Hi,
        These are some innovative reviews about the cigar. These reviews are very interesting facts.



    Joe
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