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Martel's Marvelous Musings on Magnificent Miasmas of Merit

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  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    Blech. I did not like the taste of this and couldn't smoke it for more than an inch. Having said that, I loved the aroma in the air and would love to be around someone else smoking it. Odd combination, but there it is.

    Now that you've read the bottom line review, errr, make that top line review, let me give you a few more notes on this.

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    The cigar had an almost dusty feel to it and an easy draw. The foot was unfinished, and toasted easily. I had no problems lighting this cigar and the burn transferred to the wrapper quite easily. It was a pleasure to light. Here are three pictures of the unfinished foot...

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    And band off...

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    This reminded me of doing wine tastings with my wife. She likes ungodly sweet and fruity wines that might as well be grape juice or fruit punch in my mind. I like something dryer with a lot of complexity. This cigar may have complexity, but it is overwhelmed by the sweetness and floral qualities. I was really hoping I might like this cigar as a change of pace kind of thing. I haven't tried any infused cigars, but this non-infused stick will get passed like a fruitcake if any more come my way. Fair warning.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    Smoked this almost ROTT from a March Madness deal here at ccom. I love this place.

    I've not really enjoyed the Connys I've smoked so far, for the most part. I like flavor, and they just don't have much. I know, I know, it's subtle. Anyway, I've had connys that were okay before this smoke, but this one was fabulous. I gave it near perfect marks for construction and very high marks for flavor. The strength was mild throughout.

    photo IMAG0269_zps3f7ab830.jpg

    At first look after removing this from the wrapper, there are some almost green hues to the wrapper, which also seems to be translucent in spots, almost. It's mostly a nice golden color; it does have several seams and veins. The overall appearance is pleasantly interesting. I am concerned about one tiny bit of wrapper that got left outside the cap and some stuck to the band when I removed it. Neither proves to be an issue. The cigar smells lightly like tobacco and farm. The cap tastes creamy, and after the cut, the draw is just a little tight. I do get one or two flakes after cutting this one. Goes with the territory.

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    After a long slow toast while I sip my coffee, this lights and warms up well. It remains creamy and mild, just like the pre-light draw, but with distinct tobacco flavors. Into the first third, the cream becomes a cream sauce with the addition of salt and mild black pepper flavors. The ash on the foot is very white, which surprises me considering there isn't a lot of contrast from the wrapper. The cigar also puts out a good amount of smoke and just has a good overall feel to it, even though it is kind of on the large side at 6x60. As I retrohale in the first third-I'm really not good at this technique, yet-the cigar reminds me of a wood fire made from unseasoned, green twigs. There are lots of woodsy aromas in the air as well. The ash holds strong all the way through this third that has been marked by pleasant cream and wood flavors. It's mild but really tasty.

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    Now at the second third, there is a hint of sweetness to the stick. Not much, but noticeable. The ash finally falls, and the only wonky burn I experienced with this cigar happens for a few puffs at this point. It evens out again on its own and I never have to even worry about it beyond noting it. I'm really enjoying this cigar at this point, if you couldn't tell. There aren't a whole lot of new notes in the second third, but the mixture varies as to what is predominant. It stays interesting and goes well with my Venetian Reserve coffee from Kroger (it's my go-to morning coffee). I also note that the 2nd ash fall also happens in this third and is much shorter than the first.

    photo IMAG0279_zps92f0e296.jpg

    In the final third, the cigar picks up a little strength and a hint of bitterness. The pepper comes out in a little more strength and there is less cream and a touch more wood. But that reverses and the cream finishes out strong. The cigar had a perfect burn, or at least the best I've had in a cigar to this point. It was well constructed, and it had great flavors. This will be high on my list of favorites...certainly the highest rated Connecticut wrapper I've smoked.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    This cigar has a really high price tag as a single. I got a deal from March Madness for a fiver and picked it up with a mix of other stuff, including the Oliva from my last review. I wouldn't pay full price for one of these...not worth it. I'll let some age acquire and see how these are after a while.

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    Pre-light, this cigar has a soft foot and firm middle. The band was stuck to the wrapper...this is becoming common on some of my cigars. I smell hay and some molassesey sweetness, which I taste as well. After a toast and light, I notice a pretty harsh finish on this until it gets nice and warm. After 1/4 of an inch, it is much better, but my palate is reeling. I get the feel of pepper, but not much pepper flavor. It is woodsy and the ash is flaky. The burn on this is really wonky, and it eventually caught up to itself but is still very irregular.

    photo IMAG0282_zpsa3c038ad.jpg

    The second third begins with the third ash fall of this cigar. It is mellowing and smoothing out. We shall see. There is a nice feel to the smoke, now. Cedar is strong with a hint of citrus, maybe grapefruit. There is also some richness. Ohhhh, is this the elusive toasted marshmallow? Maybe just a hint of blackened marshmallow on a stick. There is also a slight bitter espresso flavor.

    The burn is once again really uneven. The flavors get harsh again, but not awful-harsh. There's something that fits about this harshness. Some people might like it, but it is an over-toasted, almost burned nut flavor that just isn't my favorite.

    Not nearly as nice as my last smoke. I'll try this one again after a bit more rest. This one only had a week or so, and I wonder how it will age. It could stand to have some mellowing and melding of flavors at time. I worry that there are construction issues with this cigar. Overall the construction looked decent, but I had so many burn problems, I ended up lowering the marks. Strength was a bit over medium. Flavor was what I had a difficult time with on this stick. Sometimes good and rich, at other times harsh and nasty.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 6,030 ✭✭✭✭
    IMO greycliff is like Gurkha to much cash for what you get! I did enjoy the double expresso but haven't had much luck with anything else. I should try more but for the price point ill smoke padrons all day
    Money can't buy taste
  • beatnicbeatnic Posts: 4,133
    Lee.mcglynn:
    IMO greycliff is like Gurkha to much cash for what you get! I did enjoy the double expresso but haven't had much luck with anything else. I should try more but for the price point ill smoke padrons all day
    This
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    beatnic:
    Lee.mcglynn:
    IMO greycliff is like Gurkha to much cash for what you get! I did enjoy the double expresso but haven't had much luck with anything else. I should try more but for the price point ill smoke padrons all day
    This
    Live and learn, I guess.
    mmmmm. Padrons.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Could just be that it was little too moist rott. You mentioned it came in a MM deal, so it hasnt had a long time to settle in at a stable rh, sometimes this takes weeks to a couple months. I hate getting a **** draw, so I try to give new sticks at least a solid month of rest.

    Thanks for the honest review! I have only had a couple graycliffs and while mine smoked fine and tasted good, they certainly were not worth the $20 price tag (which I did not pay!). As others mentioned, Id buy em in a sampler or good deal on a 5-er, but otherwise Ill pass.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    Could just be that it was little too moist rott. You mentioned it came in a MM deal, so it hasnt had a long time to settle in at a stable rh, sometimes this takes weeks to a couple months. I hate getting a **** draw, so I try to give new sticks at least a solid month of rest.

    Thanks for the honest review! I have only had a couple graycliffs and while mine smoked fine and tasted good, they certainly were not worth the $20 price tag (which I did not pay!). As others mentioned, Id buy em in a sampler or good deal on a 5-er, but otherwise Ill pass.
    This is about what I feel. When I saw them on the deal, I thought I might as well try them because I'm not smoking too many $20 cigars; except for the ones gifted to me by brothers on here. I've bought a few in the $12-$16 range, but not as high as $20, yet. I don't regret the purchase, but I would have at full price.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    Coming from the folks at Ashton and Pepin Garcia, this little milder than medium corona was a really good smoke.

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    The cigar is really nice looking, but there is a spot where the wrapper is peeling. Otherwise it is smooth and golden. It looks great on the Stogie Stand sitting in the morning sunlight on my glassed-in balcony. The cigar smells mild with nothing really overwhelming me to write about. Not a lot of taste from the cap. The pre-light draw is a little firm, but it toasts and lights easily and opens up quickly.

    photo IMAG0291_zps37b5f915.jpg

    There is a peppery finish on this, but it doesn't hit you on the draw at all. There is a light wood aroma and taste. There's another flavor that I describe with question marks..."it tastes like sand smells??? not unpleasant, though." I know a lot of what we perceive as taste is actually smell, but there's a complex interplay between the sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami receptors and the olfactory sensors in your nose to create that perception. Whatever this is, I like it...and it has nothing to do with having a gritty feel! Pick up a handful of clean, dry sand sometime and breathe it in. Just don't sniff too hard. I won't be held responsible for sand in your nose.

    There is also an herbal quality to the smoke that comes along in the first third. At first I think Thyme and Sage, but I revise that quickly. It isn't sage, it's Rosemary straight from the bush. Nice and fresh and aromatic, but not overpowering. I'm reminded of going to college in SoCal, where the athletic center had these giant rosemary bushes right outside the entrance. They smelled so good. I take a retrohale at about this point. The retro hits hard on the back of the palate, but not so hard in the nose itself. Lots of walnuts. This cigar has a very cool draw...it's like inhaling the morning air in temperature. But it never has any burn problems and carries a tight, strong ash. Nothing in the smoke has been terribly complex, despite what my review may lead you to think. It's all been pretty straightforward.

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    Do you see the smoke in the sunlight in this picture? That's why I included it.

    This smoke is a fuhgeddabouditt kind of cigar, but it was anything but forgettable. It had a razor burn the whole way, with a clean, straight ash when it finally fell. I was interrupted in the final third and couldn't quite finish, which really disappointed me. But these things happen. I respected the gar and didn't attempt a relight. At under six bucks a stick, I really enjoyed this as a mild smoke; maybe not quite as much as I enjoyed the Oliva Connecticut Reserve (which, btw, comes in a lonsdale for some of you who like smaller rgs) but pretty close, and a bit cheaper (except for those lonsdales).

    I don't have time to post pictures right now, but I didn't want to fall too far behind on my reviews. It's been a busy week without a lot of time for smokes or writing out my notes.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • ddubridgeddubridge Posts: 3,979 ✭✭✭
    Killer descriptors. I love being able to smell and tasate the cigar just from reading a review.

    Nice review Eric.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭
    Martel:
    I haven't tried any infused cigars, but this non-infused stick will get passed like a fruitcake if any more come my way. Fair warning.
    Martel, while the natural line is not an infused stick. Pipe tobaccos are used in it. Many times even the non-aromatic pipe tobaccos use something in curing process. I'm not sure if this happens with the tobaccos use in the natural line but it very well could. Curious if anyone knows more?

    I personally like the Naturals but I do keep them out of my humi. Just in case.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    madurofan:
    Martel:
    I haven't tried any infused cigars, but this non-infused stick will get passed like a fruitcake if any more come my way. Fair warning.
    Martel, while the natural line is not an infused stick. Pipe tobaccos are used in it. Many times even the non-aromatic pipe tobaccos use something in curing process. I'm not sure if this happens with the tobaccos use in the natural line but it very well could. Curious if anyone knows more?

    I personally like the Naturals but I do keep them out of my humi. Just in case.
    I did not know that that DE naturals used pipe tobacco. Huh.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    madurofan:
    Martel:
    I haven't tried any infused cigars, but this non-infused stick will get passed like a fruitcake if any more come my way. Fair warning.
    Martel, while the natural line is not an infused stick. Pipe tobaccos are used in it. Many times even the non-aromatic pipe tobaccos use something in curing process. I'm not sure if this happens with the tobaccos use in the natural line but it very well could. Curious if anyone knows more?

    I personally like the Naturals but I do keep them out of my humi. Just in case.
    I did not know that that DE naturals used pipe tobacco. Huh.
    That's what two different reps told me. The only issue about DE is the lie about everything. Think I'm joking ask a rep, they'll tell you. The story behind Undercrown, BS, the story on how the MUWAT got its name, BS. How long different tobaccos are aged, so on and so on ...
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    madurofan:
    Gray4lines:
    madurofan:
    Martel:
    I haven't tried any infused cigars, but this non-infused stick will get passed like a fruitcake if any more come my way. Fair warning.
    Martel, while the natural line is not an infused stick. Pipe tobaccos are used in it. Many times even the non-aromatic pipe tobaccos use something in curing process. I'm not sure if this happens with the tobaccos use in the natural line but it very well could. Curious if anyone knows more?

    I personally like the Naturals but I do keep them out of my humi. Just in case.
    I did not know that that DE naturals used pipe tobacco. Huh.
    That's what two different reps told me. The only issue about DE is the lie about everything. Think I'm joking ask a rep, they'll tell you. The story behind Undercrown, BS, the story on how the MUWAT got its name, BS. How long different tobaccos are aged, so on and so on ...
    I feel like a kid who just found out Santa isn't real, LOL! That sucks that they will jerk you around like that. Im familiar with the UC story of them being no.9 filler and different wrapper, cause rollers were smoking too many...will have to google muwat name.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm pretty sure the plain red and white Tat band with the name in slanted script and several fleur de lis is the Havana VI. Picked up a couple of these from my local B&M for a really good price. They had several vitolas, but I stuck with the robusto.

    photo IMAG0304_zpsa888f814.jpg

    I didn't take a lot of notes on this cigar. The cap tasted a little like cocoa. The cigar itself wasn't super aromatic pre-light. One cap fell right off when I cut the head. Hmmm. Never affected the smoke; it held together after that.

    This was kind of a smoke it and forget it cigar, too. It was a very quick burn, but tasted good without getting harsh. There was some pepper and maybe some bannana, but I marked that with a '?' on my notes. It was pretty consistent from start to finish. It was a good smoke.

    photo IMAG0309_zpsa61b3c7f.jpg
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • BigshizzaBigshizza Posts: 15,621 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This is one of those staples to have in the humi, very solid and consistent as well as enjoyable.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    Bigshizza:
    This is one of those staples to have in the humi, very solid and consistent as well as enjoyable.
    Yeah, I really did enjoy it. I'm gonna have to trek back to this particular B&M to see if they have more in stock. It was a great price for a cigar that is 'on order' from ccom every time I've checked.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I feel the same way about those Tat's. I've had a few, they are good, but I don't really remember anything super special about them.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Tat Havana and Miami lines (both red bands white writing) are awesome smokes and one of the most often looked over and underrated smokes that Pete makes but is one I wish I could always have in large stock in my humis. Love them and glad you enjoyed them Martel, great read and thanks for sharing!
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • Roberto99Roberto99 Posts: 1,077
    90+ Irishman:
    The Tat Havana and Miami lines (both red bands white writing) are awesome smokes and one of the most often looked over and underrated smokes that Pete makes but is one I wish I could always have in large stock in my humis. Love them and glad you enjoyed them Martel, great read and thanks for sharing!
    Are there vitolas that are better than others in these lines? I've heard somewhere the Miami lancero was awesome.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    This thing has finally convinced me I need to check my sizing chart I keep in my journal. The ruler must be stretched because I measured the stick at 7.5 inches and about a 56 rg. I've noticed length being off by quite a bit before, but the rg is usually close. I know this is a Toro, which is listed at 6.6x54. Must make my own ruler...

    photo IMAG0320_zps4bf8af8c.jpg

    Now to the review. The cigar has a meaty smell. Maybe even a fish odor, along with the standard smell of tobacco. At first draw, I notice salted meat and not much else until it's warmed up and about 3/4 in. into the burn. At that point, I start to notice pepper. It's not very complex through the first third, but not bad.

    photo IMAG0317_zpsacdf2df3.jpg

    At the start of the second third and on, some toasted nuts enter the mix. The cigar has displayed a good burn with a very regular ash. When the ash falls, it leaves a straight cherry. No cone in either direction, and there is no unevenness to the burn line. The draw is a little on the tight side, enough so that I found it difficult to smoke. Each puff was more work than it was relaxed.

    So, the Punch Uppercut didn't knock my socks off in the flavor department. What's there was good, but nothing outstanding and not much complexity. I gave it a "fair" rating. The strength was leaning toward the Full end of the spectrum, but didn't have any adverse effects from that strength despite this being a fairly large stogie. The stick looked nice and burned well, but the construction took a hit because it was so tight to draw. I didn't notice the pre-light draw being difficult, but once I lit this thing, it was a chore to smoke. I don't know if that's because of size, storage, construction, or some other factor or mix of factors, but it seriously ruined the smoke for me. One other note, the two bands on this cigar are awesome, if that plays into your enjoyment of the smoking experience; it does mine.

    photo IMAG0310_zpsad342cb3.jpg
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Roberto99:
    90+ Irishman:
    The Tat Havana and Miami lines (both red bands white writing) are awesome smokes and one of the most often looked over and underrated smokes that Pete makes but is one I wish I could always have in large stock in my humis. Love them and glad you enjoyed them Martel, great read and thanks for sharing!
    Are there vitolas that are better than others in these lines? I've heard somewhere the Miami lancero was awesome.
    Haven't had that one so can't say for sure, but the Robusto and Toro and Corona formats in both lines are stupendous that I've had.
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    LOL!! That ruler is waaaay off! That's kind of funny! I bet it got re-sized right before printing and some genius didn't think that would matter. haha!

    And how long had you had that stick in your humidor? 9 times out of 10 when I get a tight draw, it's simply that it hasn't been at the proper humidity for long enough. After being in the mail, or even in some B&M's cigars are overhumidified and kind of "swell" and restrict the draw. Letting them rest just at a stable rh lets them relax and get used to the surroundings.

    I've had practically zero draw issues since giving all of my sticks a good rest before smoking, and keeping rh below in the 64-69 zone. Only when I get too excited and smoke a acquired stick is when i'm disappointed with a tight draw.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • Poker_SlobPoker_Slob Posts: 1,269 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Maybe you got a bum stick. I've had quite a few with no problems at all. I really like the Uppercut, and for the price, they are box worthy IMO.
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    Poker Slob:
    Maybe you got a bum stick. I've had quite a few with no problems at all. I really like the Uppercut, and for the price, they are box worthy IMO.
    I liked the Uppercut as well, but I also liked the Havana VI...maybe just different pallets.
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    Ken Light:
    Poker Slob:
    Maybe you got a bum stick. I've had quite a few with no problems at all. I really like the Uppercut, and for the price, they are box worthy IMO.
    I liked the Uppercut as well, but I also liked the Havana VI...maybe just different pallets.
    Yeah, taste is subjective. When it comes to reviews by other people, I do enjoy reading about their experience, and if I see construction problems repeated as an issue in multiple threads, I take notice. But taste is funny. Sometimes a review will help me identify a flavor I can't quite put my finger on, but I think when it comes to flavor, you either like it or you don't. I really liked the Tat, but the Uppercut was a solid "meh" as I reflect back on them.

    Point being, if you like my reviews, I appreciate you reading, but I wouldn't take my flavor descriptions or whether or not I liked the flavors as gospel for your experience. I love to discuss the reviews and get opinions from others whose experiences are similar and different from mine. The feedback helps me solidify in my mind what is going on with each cigar. Thank you all for reading my posts.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • mmccartneydcmmccartneydc Posts: 3,407 ✭✭✭
    Ken Light:
    Poker Slob:
    Maybe you got a bum stick. I've had quite a few with no problems at all. I really like the Uppercut, and for the price, they are box worthy IMO.
    I liked the Uppercut as well, but I also liked the Havana VI...maybe just different pallets.
    Im with you guys. Recently, had my first upper cut and was wowed!
  • brianetz1brianetz1 St. Louis, MOPosts: 4,135 ✭✭✭
    thanks for the reviews Martel.....being a noob it is nice seeing someone review the cigars like an everyday cigar smoker and review everyday type of cigars. They really help me out.
  • Poker_SlobPoker_Slob Posts: 1,269 ✭✭✭✭✭
    In totally agree that taste is subjective. If I get a stick that burns like crap and needs a lot of attention, I tend to not like it. I love your reviews and follow as a regular. Thanks for posting.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    I haven't had much time to smoke or write recently. I still don't, but I need the break from other things so I want to get up at least one review.

    This cigar has a little pigtail cap and an aroma of cream and wood along with something floral or herby. It has a perfect draw before a toast and light with matches.

    photo IMAG0184_zps9a04263d.jpg

    After the first bit of warm-up where I'm down into the first third a bit, it hits me that I've finally found the elusive toasted marshmallow. Yum. I don't need to say much more, but the smoke has an easy retro heavy on cream and nuts-cashews to be exact.

    One of the best cigars I've ever smoked, thanks to Medic from my Newbie trade. I'm not going to over-analyze this one. It was dangerously good, and may send me down a road I'm not sure I'm ready to travel...
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
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