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Martel's Marvelous Musings on Magnificent Miasmas of Merit

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  • BigshizzaBigshizza Posts: 15,579 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Great to have you back and writing again. I really like hearing about local hangouts and the atmosphere! Thanks
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    I wanted to like this smoke. I really did.

    But I didn't.

    I was almost there. It tantalized me with some great flavors but raked me with some sharp teeth, too. It found ways to drive me mad but then stopped short. Wait, this reminds me of this one time in college...yes, this was the cigar equivalent of blue balls.

    Most of the problems I had with this cigar were construction. It was really tight. It had a hard draw. It ashed easily if I wasn't careful with it, but I had to give it several touch-ups so I stopped being careful. This thing was just too high maintenance.

    As far as flavor goes, let me just tell you about the bad. Sour milk. That's what I got from it. Sour milk. Not on every puff, but on enough that I just couldn't finish.

    I will say that this cigar displayed the flavor I've come to describe as "sand" which I think I've mentioned on a couple of other reviews. I find the flavor interesting, but I'm never quite sure I like it or not. I guess it really depends on what other flavors are in the profile, too.

    I won't go seeking these out again. I like the Ashton VSG, but I'm experiencing a love/hate relationship with DPG blends under any label. So much so, that if I don't like one, I suspect I won't like them a second time around. But even in the ones I don't like, there are hints of greatness. When I like a Pepin cigar, I really like it. When I dislike it, I know exactly why I dislike it, and I hate that I have to dislike it. I have hope every time I try a new (to me) blend of his that it will be a home run.
    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 robusto has close to 10 months on it at this point and I just about dug it out from the bottom of my ziploctubodor II. I really liked it. I was expecting more bits and pieces from the mixed filler, but didn't have any problems at all. It did ash really quickly compared to some more premium sticks, but I've had some premiums that had that problem and tasted like ****. Since this one tasted like a toasted coconut mocha, I'll take the ash.

    It toasted nicely during a morning drizzle and nicely complimented a Kona blend coffee. Other than the short-ash, the cigar wanted to go out during the final third. I was expecting something because I felt a different firmness to the cigar right around the band. When I got there, to just below the band, it pretty much wanted to extinguish itself. The draw had tightened for the last quarter inch before this, and while I could still suck in comfortably, it was a noticeable difference. Since at this point the cigar was starting to burn a little hot, I wasn't bummed about setting it down, but I might have nubbed this one had it stayed lit.

    It's been a while since I've tried one of the house blends. I know I've disliked some and enjoyed others. Put this on the enjoy list and stock up the humi! It's not terribly complex and doesn't evolve much through the smoke, but it smokes smooth and tastes good. What more can you want? Part of the reason I picked this was because of the rain this morning...knowing the humidity might mess with the burn I didn't want to be disappointed in missing out on an expensive cigar. This low-cost alternative came through and outperformed many a "super prem-prem."
    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 ✭✭✭✭
    The cigar is classy looking, I'll give it that.

    Okay, okay, I'll give it more than that. I wasn't expecting much after all the Gurkha threads I've read. This is my first. It's a long, Connecticut-wrapped Churchill with a simple yet elegant band. It's a fairly uniform light color and has a good tobacco aroma. Not much from licking the cap, but the pre-light draw is aromatic. The draw is also like just breathing in air through pursed lips. It's almost too easy, in fact.

    This is a fairly tame cigar. Cedar and leather, but only lightly so. Some toasted nuts and a light hint of pepper. Not really sweet or creamy, though.

    Aside from the too easy draw, there weren't any construction issues with this stick, which had a few months on it. The flavor wasn't bad, but it was pretty forgettable. I'd smoke it again, and the price isn't bad at all, I suppose, but I would much prefer an Oliva Connecticut Reserve, even at twice the 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.
  • ddubridgeddubridge Posts: 3,978 ✭✭✭
    Must be I buy all the ones with perfect draw. This gurkha always seems to burn perfect for me.

    Glad to hear your thoughts on it. Keep up the great work!
  • HeavyHeavy Posts: 1,591 ✭✭✭
    Never had the churchill but have had plenty of the torps, although it's been a while since I've even had one of those. Always enjoyed it though, especially for the cost. Enjoying your reviews .
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    ddubridge:
    Must be I buy all the ones with perfect draw. This gurkha always seems to burn perfect for me.

    Glad to hear your thoughts on it. Keep up the great work!
    It burned a little fast, but it burned evenly. I tried to slow down but just didn't like it enough to force myself to go that much slower. It really took nothing to keep it going. I suppose I just like my draw to offer a little resistance, but if you're looking to not work at all, this cigar was great for draw.
    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.
  • I have very different experiences with opus, one time I love it another time not so much, I don't know if it is the cigars or me
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    I have very different experiences with opus, one time I love it another time not so much, I don't know if it is the cigars or me


    Yeah, like I said on that one, I suspect it had just a little age. More like "rest" than "age". I haven't been at this long enough to try and age anything myself, so I can't say what it would be like in a few years. But from my limited experience, and from listening to others, I suspect that process might level out your experience with this particular cigar.

    Then again, like I said, great smoke but questionable on value.
    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 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm smoking one awesome cigar right now. Fuente Hemingway Short Story Maduro. Yummm. MORE PLEASE!

    Couldn't wait for the real review to post that.
    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.
  • curtpickcurtpick nunyobusynezPosts: 2,757 ✭✭✭
    Martel:
    I'm smoking one awesome cigar right now. Fuente Hemingway Short Story Maduro. Yummm. MORE PLEASE!

    Couldn't wait for the real review to post that.

    One of my favorites in the Signature size !
    Family, Friends, Golf, Cigars, Fine Whiskey, Good beer.... is there anything else ?  Follow on instagram @crguy1961
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    I haven't kept as extensive a journal recently, and I've not been keeping up or catching up on my reviews, so I want to post just a couple of quick thoughts...

    Viaje Super Lance: Great taste but I had terrible burn problems with this cigar. I couldn't even keep it lit. Since I didn't find it relaxing to fight with it, I turned it into a yard gar and started mowing the grass while trying it. That way, when it went out, I wouldn't feel so ripped off. It really did taste good, though.

    Carlos Torano Dominico: Innocuous mild cigar. Slow to light and burn properly, but no major burn issues once it got going. Nothing offensive in the flavor profile, but nothing special, either. Good value cigar, but not something I'd seek out.

    Don Pepin Garcia Original "Blue": Overall, I like this better than the Cuban Classic. Curious if any of the more cigar-wise brothers out there can describe what's going on here. It seems they are similar in many ways, but the CC has a lot more spice and more "moss/peat/earth". The Blue seems more balanced with notes of those, but nothing over-dominant in the profile, so I notice more of other flavors like leather, etc. The biggest complaint about this cigar is uneven burn. Some problems evened themselves out, but I did give one touch-up and one relight at halfway, and some more after that, too.

    Full Short Story Review will come before too long.
    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.
  • allsmokedupallsmokedup Posts: 751 ✭✭
    Martel:
    Don Pepin Garcia Original "Blue": Overall, I like this better than the Cuban Classic. Curious if any of the more cigar-wise brothers out there can describe what's going on here. It seems they are similar in many ways, but the CC has a lot more spice and more "moss/peat/earth". The Blue seems more balanced with notes of those, but nothing over-dominant in the profile, so I notice more of other flavors like leather, etc. The biggest complaint about this cigar is uneven burn. Some problems evened themselves out, but I did give one touch-up and one relight at halfway, and some more after that, too.



    I enjoy reading your reviews, however brief. I had the opposite experience with the DPG Blue vs. CC. I found the Blue to be significantly more spicy than the CC. But then, my CCs are from Dec 2011Early 2012. I've only had one Blue and it was also older, the cello had yellowed significantly and I was surprised to be hit by all the pepper.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    Fascinating. I had pepper in the Blue, but not over the top. I guess pepper may not have been as dominant in the CC as the note on the Blue indicated, but it gave me an overall impression of being stronger than the Blue. I've said this before with the flavor/strength profile of DPG blends. I either really like them, or I really don't like them. The Blue is the closest to a "meh" I've had from any of his sticks. I liked it, but wasn't overwhelmed by it.

    allsmokedup:
    Martel:
    Don Pepin Garcia Original "Blue": Overall, I like this better than the Cuban Classic. Curious if any of the more cigar-wise brothers out there can describe what's going on here. It seems they are similar in many ways, but the CC has a lot more spice and more "moss/peat/earth". The Blue seems more balanced with notes of those, but nothing over-dominant in the profile, so I notice more of other flavors like leather, etc. The biggest complaint about this cigar is uneven burn. Some problems evened themselves out, but I did give one touch-up and one relight at halfway, and some more after that, too.



    I enjoy reading your reviews, however brief. I had the opposite experience with the DPG Blue vs. CC. I found the Blue to be significantly more spicy than the CC. But then, my CCs are from Dec 2011Early 2012. I've only had one Blue and it was also older, the cello had yellowed significantly and I was surprised to be hit by all the pepper.
    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 ✭✭✭✭
    I went back and read my full initial review of the CC again. I noticed more hay than pepper, but I did note the pepper was there. I've tried the cigar again, and felt the same way. I was hit with something unpleasant that I couldn't put my finger on. I wound up giving one of these to a buddy and loved being around while he smoked it, but I don't like it much myself. Funny how I can't put my thumb on it, but whatever I didn't like about the CC wasn't present with the Blue. But whatever really intrigued me about the CC also seemed to be missing or lessened. Hmmm.
    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 ✭✭✭✭
    I could smoke these all the time if every one is as good as this one was. The fact that they aren't as readily available as the Cameroon version is a shame, even though I understand reasons why. This cigar was rich, smooth, and balanced. A hint of strength, but not too much was evident. It had a classic Maduro sweetness. The ash was tight and didn't fall off until the nub (granted it's a short little thing). The shape is pleasing to the eye and didn't offer me any problems with light or burn, even though I suspected there might be some because of the shape. I never noticed anything harsh or unpleasantly bitter. The draw was right. I only wish this had lasted longer. I don't feel like boring you with the list of flavors I was noticing, but it was complex. I'll have to track these down when they come available.
    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 ✭✭✭✭
    I picked up this Corona Gorda from the discount bin at a local shop. It was a great price for the stick, coming in at around $4. It had a rich look to the dark wrapper, even if the band was 'meh'.

    Prelight, there wasn't much of anything from a smell, a lick, or a draw. Once lit, I got the impression of richness. It was umami in a cigar, but not much else. But now I want an umami burger.

    So, this cigar had some richness from the wrapper and was smooth to smoke, but it didn't have a lot of flavor which meant it was also not very complex. I had this paired with a cognac, so maybe that had something to do with it, but it just didn't do much for me. It wasn't a bad experience, instead, it was just another cigar. I've had both better and worse at the same price point, and I would consider this better than the bad notes of some better cigars, but I would also consider it worse than the good points of some worse cigars. They would have highs and lows where this cigar did not. It simply was. And it 'was' right down the middle.

    Let me add, right down the middle can be a good thing (field goal!) but it can also be boring and ineffective (politician), or a bad thing (down the middle of the road into oncoming traffic). With this cigar, it would depend on your mood, I suppose, because you can take my statement any of these ways.
    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 ✭✭✭✭
    Pepper and strength. Spice and burning wood. Strength. Wow. Let me gasp and wheeze; get me some water; I'm choking here.

    Okay, it wasn't bad at all, but it was...strong.

    I will say, I had nightmares all night after smoking this. I never remember dreams, but I had four nightmares that night and remembered all of them. I don't really think it had anything to do with the stick, but when I smoke the next one, I'll let you know.

    For now, I don't think I'll search out any more of these. Definite AJ feel to this cigar. I like a lot of AJ's blends, but some aren't my style, and I think this one falls into that category. I can see the quality in it, and I didn't find flaws in it, just not my preference for a smoke.
    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 ✭✭✭✭
    Best Macanudo I've ever had.

    Okay, if that statement doesn't impress you, maybe it shouldn't, but this actually isn't bad at all. I smoked this in either an Ascot or Caviar size, going by the regular Mac size list. But the size isn't listed on the ccom site for the CR, so I'm not sure. It was skinny and not long enough to be a lonsdale. I could google it and look on other sites, but don't feel much like doing that, so...

    I liked this cigar. If the price is right, I'd definitely buy it. The dark wrapper was oily and just peppery enough. There was some bitter chocolate and another flavor I'll call tree bark, even though I won't claim to have ever tasted tree bark. This flavor wasn't really moss, nor was it peat, or earth, but something similar to all those flavors, thus, tree bark. You tell me what it is, and I'll let you know if you're right. Somewhere between 2/3 and the nub, the stick plugged on me, so I couldn't finish that last little bit. I couldn't clear it and a relight wouldn't stay lit because I couldn't get a good draw. This disappointed me, because the cigar seemed to get better the longer I smoked it.

    At any rate, for the larger sizes, these still seem to be priced a little high, but not badly overpriced. The box rate might be about right for a single, in my mind anyway, unless there are consistent problems with draw. I suspect my problem had a lot to do with tar and a small rg.

    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: 3,978 ✭✭✭
    Martel:
    Pepper and strength. Spice and burning wood. Strength. Wow. Let me gasp and wheeze; get me some water; I'm choking here.

    Okay, it wasn't bad at all, but it was...strong.

    I will say, I had nightmares all night after smoking this. I never remember dreams, but I had four nightmares that night and remembered all of them. I don't really think it had anything to do with the stick, but when I smoke the next one, I'll let you know.

    For now, I don't think I'll search out any more of these. Definite AJ feel to this cigar. I like a lot of AJ's blends, but some aren't my style, and I think this one falls into that category. I can see the quality in it, and I didn't find flaws in it, just not my preference for a smoke.
    I'm interested to know what kind of age this cigar had on it?
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    ddubridge:
    Martel:
    Pepper and strength. Spice and burning wood. Strength. Wow. Let me gasp and wheeze; get me some water; I'm choking here.

    Okay, it wasn't bad at all, but it was...strong.

    I will say, I had nightmares all night after smoking this. I never remember dreams, but I had four nightmares that night and remembered all of them. I don't really think it had anything to do with the stick, but when I smoke the next one, I'll let you know.

    For now, I don't think I'll search out any more of these. Definite AJ feel to this cigar. I like a lot of AJ's blends, but some aren't my style, and I think this one falls into that category. I can see the quality in it, and I didn't find flaws in it, just not my preference for a smoke.
    I'm interested to know what kind of age this cigar had on it?

    I had two in my humi. I can't find the date from one, but it came in later than the other. The first one was received on 2/22, so almost 8 months on my end if it was that stick...but I don't know which it was. The other would have been 3 months in my humi. Both came from bros on here, so no telling how much before that.
    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: 3,978 ✭✭✭
    Martel:
    ddubridge:
    Martel:
    Pepper and strength. Spice and burning wood. Strength. Wow. Let me gasp and wheeze; get me some water; I'm choking here.

    Okay, it wasn't bad at all, but it was...strong.

    I will say, I had nightmares all night after smoking this. I never remember dreams, but I had four nightmares that night and remembered all of them. I don't really think it had anything to do with the stick, but when I smoke the next one, I'll let you know.

    For now, I don't think I'll search out any more of these. Definite AJ feel to this cigar. I like a lot of AJ's blends, but some aren't my style, and I think this one falls into that category. I can see the quality in it, and I didn't find flaws in it, just not my preference for a smoke.
    I'm interested to know what kind of age this cigar had on it?

    I had two in my humi. I can't find the date from one, but it came in later than the other. The first one was received on 2/22, so almost 8 months on my end if it was that stick...but I don't know which it was. The other would have been 3 months in my humi. Both came from bros on here, so no telling how much before that.
    I feel like they are much more mellow with age. I brought the one I just got from thehilk on vacation. It was good but I didn't remember how powerful that cigar can be. Mine also mellowed significantly after the first 1/4.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 9,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ddubridge:
    Martel:
    ddubridge:
    Martel:
    Pepper and strength. Spice and burning wood. Strength. Wow. Let me gasp and wheeze; get me some water; I'm choking here.

    Okay, it wasn't bad at all, but it was...strong.

    I will say, I had nightmares all night after smoking this. I never remember dreams, but I had four nightmares that night and remembered all of them. I don't really think it had anything to do with the stick, but when I smoke the next one, I'll let you know.

    For now, I don't think I'll search out any more of these. Definite AJ feel to this cigar. I like a lot of AJ's blends, but some aren't my style, and I think this one falls into that category. I can see the quality in it, and I didn't find flaws in it, just not my preference for a smoke.
    I'm interested to know what kind of age this cigar had on it?

    I had two in my humi. I can't find the date from one, but it came in later than the other. The first one was received on 2/22, so almost 8 months on my end if it was that stick...but I don't know which it was. The other would have been 3 months in my humi. Both came from bros on here, so no telling how much before that.
    I feel like they are much more mellow with age. I brought the one I just got from thehilk on vacation. It was good but I didn't remember how powerful that cigar can be. Mine also mellowed significantly after the first 1/4.
    Hey Drew, are we talkin 5-6 months or well over a year? I've still got one from our trade 5 months ago and wondered if i should try it or rest it more. ( I just checked and it's a skull crusher instead of a little devil. ) Same question anyway. Try it or rest it?
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    Didn't look awful. Smelled good. Some rich sweetness and slight pepper on the lick and pre-light draw.

    Then I took a long match to this thing and the trouble started. Maybe I'm biased after all the Gurkha bashing I see everywhere, but this was not a great experience, which is a shame because it wasn't a bad tasting cigar at all.

    The initial light had a nice red glow all around, but one edge of the wrapper stopped burning almost immediately. Touch up. Then, the other side started canoeing. Touch up. I smoked for a while with no problem and was enjoying some outside time throwing stuff around with the kid. Then it got all wonky again. Touch up. The kid went inside so I sat down to relax. Plugged up with tar. Had to cut it again to open it up. Touch up. Ash didn't look like it was rolled evenly, as much as you can tell the pattern of the roll from the ash. Then again, it never ashed evenly with the burn problems. Oh, another touch up. This could have been a good long smoke. It burned slowly...too slowly and tried to die. Touch up. Another plug, this time it seemed to be deeper into the remaining third of the cigar. Ruined the draw and hard to stay lit. Touch up.

    Why did I bother? Well I wanted to give this thing a chance. I didn't want to be told I hadn't given it a real shot. Then I heard a pop. The thing didn't explode, but the wrapper started to peel. I was near the end at this point and just set it down instead of another. Touch up.

    Seriously, Gurkha, how much do you charge for this thing? Nice flavors, but I've had better $8-9 list-price cigars. But oh, I forgot, your pricing schemes are a joke. Over $25 for a single? Nope. Wouldn't touch it at $10. Maybe an $8 cigar for flavor, maybe even more, but the construction issues killed it.
    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 ✭✭✭✭
    Trying (but not too hard) to see what the difference is between this blend and the Oval. I'm really liking this one as I smoke it, but am noticing some similarities to the Oval, for sure. Makes sense from AJ that there's some pepper. Like the oval, this is burning really fast after a difficult initial light. The wrapper didn't want to light, but the inside was ready to take off.

    The draw is really light, and the ash is falling with some regularity after almost an inch. The look to this cigar is nice. The wrapper is rich looking; the band is understated but goes well with the look of the cigar.

    So the pepper mellows after the first third. There's some nice creaminess to the cigar, too. Like a pan sauce from a pepper-crusted steak. Yum. The pepper is always there at times, but sometimes, it's more of a feel and at others it's more of a taste. Not sure how else to describe it.

    Beware the retro. It'll clear your sinuses and make the eyes water.

    I didn't eat enough for lunch to be smoking this thing, but wow, I liked it. Just wish it would burn longer. It's only a robusto, but still, I can usually get anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on the stick. Usually, I clock a robusto in right under an hour, like 55 minutes. This one is probably going to be 40-45 minutes by the time I'm done, including the toast and light time.

    I spoke too soon...the burn slowed near the end of the second third. I'm getting my full hour, now. Lots of toasted grain near the end of this. Maybe roasted pumpkin seeds that are slightly over-roasted, but that could be my imagination talking since I'm looking at a pumpkin on my porch. The pepper has declined a lot as I near the end of the smokeable portion of this cigar leaving mostly these toasty flavors and an impression of strength. I'm not having a lot of residual feel in my mouth and don't expect to be tasting this into the evening, but we'll see.

    I like this cigar, but feel like it is missing some component that would make it great. Maybe something that would impart floral in the flavor mix? Maybe a bit more creaminess throughout. Not sure. Good cigar, and I got it for a great price, so I'm happy. It's been an afternoon well-spent on the porch.

    photo IMAG0308_zps2302022f.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.
  • onestrangeoneonestrangeone Austin, TxPosts: 2,441 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Martel:
    Didn't look awful. Smelled good. Some rich sweetness and slight pepper on the lick and pre-light draw.

    Then I took a long match to this thing and the trouble started. Maybe I'm biased after all the Gurkha bashing I see everywhere, but this was not a great experience, which is a shame because it wasn't a bad tasting cigar at all.

    The initial light had a nice red glow all around, but one edge of the wrapper stopped burning almost immediately. Touch up. Then, the other side started canoeing. Touch up. I smoked for a while with no problem and was enjoying some outside time throwing stuff around with the kid. Then it got all wonky again. Touch up. The kid went inside so I sat down to relax. Plugged up with tar. Had to cut it again to open it up. Touch up. Ash didn't look like it was rolled evenly, as much as you can tell the pattern of the roll from the ash. Then again, it never ashed evenly with the burn problems. Oh, another touch up. This could have been a good long smoke. It burned slowly...too slowly and tried to die. Touch up. Another plug, this time it seemed to be deeper into the remaining third of the cigar. Ruined the draw and hard to stay lit. Touch up.

    Why did I bother? Well I wanted to give this thing a chance. I didn't want to be told I hadn't given it a real shot. Then I heard a pop. The thing didn't explode, but the wrapper started to peel. I was near the end at this point and just set it down instead of another. Touch up.

    Seriously, Gurkha, how much do you charge for this thing? Nice flavors, but I've had better $8-9 list-price cigars. But oh, I forgot, your pricing schemes are a joke. Over $25 for a single? Nope. Wouldn't touch it at $10. Maybe an $8 cigar for flavor, maybe even more, but the construction issues killed it.
    Pretty much my experance as well, they do have some blends I like the taste of, I won't buy anymore, when what I have is gone I'm done with Gurkha.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    First impression. This cigar is understated in appearance with a plain white on red "Cameo" band, but the wrapper, upon closer inspection, is just about flawless. It looks like it may have a triple cap with that pigtail topping it off. The wrapper feels dry, almost with a fuzz to it, and the cigar smells like musk. The lick doesn't taste like much, but a pre-light draw is musky, sweet, and slightly peppery (white pepper).

    photo IMAG0309_zps8f315986.jpg

    After a slow, gentle toast, the burn on this evens out quickly. Some great flavors on this. Some slight chocolate, roasted peanuts, and more white pepper. I really like this cigar so far and am surprised I haven't heard more about it. Some rich flavors here. Smoked paprika? Maybe cinnamon? Something fruity, but rich. Maybe plantains? Some floral overtones like a good Gewurtztraminer, but these aren't a prominent note. Chocolate comes and goes throughout.

    Retro is smooth despite being heavy on the pepper-white pepper again. Some vinegar notes on the retro too. I don't find this feel particularly pleasant, but it does remind me a little of a good balsamic. Again, this cigar tends to heavier flavors over light ones, but it doesn't give an impression of strength. No real punch, but a definite pinch or pucker on this one. Some sour/acerbic qualities to go with the variety of flavors.

    Very solid smoke. Lasted about an hour and 30 minutes or more taking it slow and easy. Left about 2.5 inches at the end when it died on me after an interruption and didn't want to ruin it with a relight for that last half inch to an inch of smokable cigar.
    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 ✭✭✭✭
    From the start my initial impression is that I'm not going to enjoy this cigar, but it will hold my interest. We'll see if that holds true as I continue smoking it. In any event, I'm grateful to Jim Bigshizza for sending it a while back as part of the noob music trivia contest that I barely qualified for at the time. Looking back at those winnings and holy cow, those were some good smokes...DPG CC, Opus X, this Anejo, San Cristobal, Ashton VSG, LFD DL chiselito, Viaje, LadC EE. I've recently reviewed the CC, liked the Opus X, thought the Elegencia was a great mild stick and love the VSG. The chiselito is one of my favorite smokes and I'm saving that Viaje for a while because the last one I smoked had all kinds of burn issues and I'm hoping I forget about those before I light the next one since I really liked the flavors. But I'm waaaayyyyy off topic now.

    Taking a step back, this cigar starts with a deep dark wrapper with a few veins and one wrinkle near the foot that detracts from the appearance. It is oily and bumpy. I got this as a bomb/prize winnings 8 months ago and the cedar had been removed but it was replaced in the cello. The cigar smells like heavily sweetened coffee with a dash of spirits-from the way the wrapper was aged in Cognac barrels maybe; I also smell some lingering cedar maybe from that missing wrapper. The draw adds some chocolate into the mix, but not heavily so. It is a little tight. The initial light suffered a bit from some gusty wind and I fear that I over toasted a bit. I didn't quite scorch it, but maybe got it just a bit too hot. Any off flavors seem to disappear less than a quarter inch in, so I don't think I ruined it, thank goodness.

    I got a distinct impression of watermelon just for a second with this cigar both on the pre-light and at about half an inch in. Never yet have I tasted or even heard of a watermelon cigar (except for flavored White Owls, but they don't count). It's almost like the near the rind portion, too. A little bit of green watermelon. Also tasting lots of toasted flavors that come and go. Toasted grain (whole-wheat toast), toasted coconut, toasted nuts, toasted caramel (is there such a thing?) I'm not experiencing a ton of sweetness that I thought I might get from the maduro wrapper. Sweet is subtle.

    I did a google search while smoking this and saw that Cigar Insider said this exact stick had "green apple" flavors. I'm sticking with watermelon, but okay, whatever. Some sort of juicy not quite ripe fruit. But I think watermelon, because the edge of watermelon isn't not-ripe, it's just got some qualities of the rind. Anyhooooooooo, back to the review.

    Nice ash (that's what she said) holding tight to the end of the stick. Over an inch in, and I can say without a doubt that I liked both the Opus X and the Maduro Hemingway much better. Oops, spoke too soon about the ash, sudden and surprising fall before a quarter past the inch. Lucky to avoid it in the lap; instead it's all over my patio table and now blowing into my lap and chair.

    Lots of cedar on the retro, along with some cinnamon, maybe. Some other spice at any rate. Like a spiced coffee in the nostrils. Except better than that sounds.

    Needed a relight near the end, and I want to finish this thing. It just up and died while it was resting. Wasn't sitting there long but I puffed and no smoke.

    Nearing the end, there are some other flavors that are starting to dominate, but I'm not sure what they are. Hitting more toward the back of the throat, but not in a tight or unpleasant way. Some rich, creamy dark espresso flavors are there. I'm right that this is really interesting. Lots of complexity. Some richness. Some rumbling in the gut. Good feel, nice amount of smoke. I was also right that it's not my favorite cigar ever. Well constructed, good burn, good quality overall. Worth the price probably if you like it, but I'm not going to choose to spend my money that way.

    So, I rank this third in the Fuente line of cigars I've tried behind the first place Maduro Hemingway and the second place Opus X. I would smoke all of them again, but I might just take out a mortgage on the rental home to buy a few boxes of those Hemingways or something like that.
    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.
  • beatnicbeatnic Posts: 4,133
    Good review. I love Anejos. One of the problems they may have is that when dry, that thick maduro wrapper just doesn't want to burn correctly. It's important to keep these on the moist end (68% - 72% rh). JMO
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    beatnic:
    Good review. I love Anejos. One of the problems they may have is that when dry, that thick maduro wrapper just doesn't want to burn correctly. It's important to keep these on the moist end (68% - 72% rh). JMO


    I didn't really have any burn problems. I tend to keep most of my cigars at a higher humidity than most...in that range. Any number of things may have made it go out at the point it did.

    I will say the flavors of this cigar lingered in my mouth quite pleasantly. Several hours after smoking it, I was loving it.
    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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