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Candela Review thread.

jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,265 ✭✭✭✭✭
It seems that candelas have been a "hot topic" over the past few weeks ...
Between St. Patrick's day, the "buzz" surrounding the AB Hooligan release, and Brett's (90+ Irishman) Candela Thread --- it seems that quite a few BOTLs have been lighting them up lately.

So in an effort to not hijack the Cigar 101 "Candela Thread" --- I was thinking we could make this a collaborative candela review thread.

You smoked a candela?
Cool! What did you think?
Post a quick write up here (and/or post a link to your review if it's in a different thread) so we can centralize the candela reviews, compare notes and come to a conclusion on what makes candelas so "mysterious".... since they're not a staple in most humidors the way that sun-grown ecuadorians or shade-grown connecticuts are .... and help out the average cigar smoker (myself included) who often passes over candelas because they don't know what to expect.

So let's "de-mystify" them.
And in an effort to figure out which candelas are worth searching for, which ones should be avoided -- which ones are over-hyped, and which ones are under-appreciated -- I hope that you all will share your thoughts/reviews here.


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I'll kick it off with a review of the:
LFD Double Claro No. 50

I should have known better than to comment that I'd be searching for some candelas soon, because we all know that BigShizza can't leave well enough alone and he'll take any opportunity he can to bomb an unsuspecting BOTL into oblivion. Well a few days after my foolish comment, a lovely package from Jim showed up on my doorstep which included (among other things) a moss green colored, LFD Double Claro robusto cigar.
It was like Christmas came early, because I've only smoked 1 candela before (and it was a while ago) so I was extremely excited to see that Jim had sent me a few candelas and saved me a trip to the B&M. I was eager to fire one up.

So I placed the LFD candela on the top shelf of my glass-top humidor, and peered in at least once a day but every time I looked, the exotic green wrapper seemed like some kind of alien specimen amongst all of the other chocolate brown and sandstone colored wrappers. The green called to me --- and I was just itching to put fire to it.
So after resting it for a little more than a week, I could barely wait any longer when Saturday afternoon presented the perfect opportunity to put an orange flame to the LFD's olive drab wrapper.
It was a lovely afternoon - about 70 degrees, sunny; the dog was outside sleeping in the grass, my wife was inside baking & I had just finished up a few hours of yard work and had also hooked up the stereo in the garage.

I opened the garage door, set up a lawn chair, cranked up the radio and clipped the cap with my XI cutter.
The cold draw revealed a very mild creaminess, slight grass (not nearly as much grass as I expected), and maybe a slight tingle of black pepper. I grabbed my single-torch Lotus lighter, gently toasted the foot and had the cigar burning evenly and smoothly in no time.
The cigar started off with very similar flavors as the cold draw - smooth and creamy, slightly sweet, mild grass, a bit of fresh cut hay, and a the slight spice of black pepper on the back of the throat.
I was surprised by this, in a good way --- but it didn't remind me of an LFD and wasn't what I expected from a candela. Instead it was more reminiscent of the creamy, silky smooth Dominican flavors that I've encountered in the Angelenos by Fuente.
The burn was razor sharp, the ash was holding on well, and it was putting out a good amount of smoke.

However, as I approached the halfway point --- things changed dramatically. :-/
I had been puffing at a regular interval and the cigar was going great but all of the sudden the smoke output diminished and became almost non-existent.
Almost all of the flavors disappeared too and they were replaced by a burnt/charred wood, overly smoky flavor -- and the only flavor that remained from the first 1/3 was the slight tingle of black pepper.
Something wasn't right.
The cigar was acting like it had gone out on me ... but I didn't think that was possible since I had been paying close attention to it and was focusing on the smoke.
I forgot to mention that the smoke seemed to be getting hot too ..... Hmmm.....curious.

Kept puffing, no luck. Tried to knock the excess ash off and relight, no luck. Unsure of what else to do I thought I'd set it down for a minute, re-cut below the ash and get a "fresh" start hoping to relight it a little past the 1/2 point.
Figured I could salvage the second 1/2, at least the last 1/3 of it and get a little more out of the smoke .... but when I clipped it back I discovered the source of my trouble .... a little charred spot amongst all of the fresh unburnt leaves was a clear indictment of my problem .... a big fat stem had burned fast and out of control while I unknowingly puffed away, only making things worse. Bummer.
I clipped it back a little more, thinking I'd get below the stem and relight it but the small charred spot was still there. So I clipped a little more, and a little more, and by the time I got past the charred stem there wasn't much left to hold onto and I'd have probably burnt my beard trying to relight it.

Dang it. I've smoked lots of LFDs in the past and this was the first and only one I've had an issue with.
The first third of this smoke was fantastic, not at all what I expected from a candela but it's pleasant mild flavors were thoroughly enjoyable. Aside from the stem, the construction and the burn were fantastic and if the remaining 2/3 would have been equally as great as the first 1/3, these would be on my "buy a box" list.

I will pick up another one of these, I won't be letting 1 stem in 1 cigar ruin the LFD Double Claro for me because like I said -- I've had great success with previous LFDs and I really enjoyed the flavor profile before things went south.
I'll update this post when I revisit this cigar, but in the meantime I have a couple other candelas from Jim that I need to get to.

(PS - Big shout out to Jim for sending me this one and getting me to revisit candelas.
Thanks for the cigar buddy, bummer about the stem but what can you do ... it wasn't visible on the foot or else I'd have pulled it out before lighting.
Oh well .... guess I now have an excuse to visit the B&M ;-)

* I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

Comments

  • BigshizzaBigshizza Posts: 15,407 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Dammit John... Don't like it when that shizz happens!! :(:(
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,265 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bigshizza:
    Dammit John... Don't like it when that shizz happens!! :(:(
    It's all good Jim .... not your fault brother.

    I debated posting this since on one hand I said I'd post up a review for you.
    But I also didn't want you to feel bad about a "bum" cigar. Sorry probably should have PM you first.

    Seriously though, it's all gravy --- I'm just curious to hear how your LFD is, and I'm looking forward to the others you sent me.
    Now you better get your review posted too!!!

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Awesome idea, I was about to post up my own little candela review on the other thread.

    That is very strange that you had a somewhat negative experience as my candela did not want to cooperate either. Mine was simply rolled too tight, and after stuggling with it 1/3 of the way down I had to give up. It was like sucking a milkshake through a coffee stirrer.

    I still have a few notes and pics that I will share later!
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,265 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    Awesome idea, I was about to post up my own little candela review on the other thread.

    That is very strange that you had a somewhat negative experience as my candela did not want to cooperate either. Mine was simply rolled too tight, and after stuggling with it 1/3 of the way down I had to give up. It was like sucking a milkshake through a coffee stirrer.

    I still have a few notes and pics that I will share later!
    Weird.....

    My cigar was rolled well - not too loose or too tight, draw was fine, etc etc.
    Honestly didn't expect a thing, because it was burning perfectly for the first 1/3 or so ....
    I wish I'd have taken pics, didn't have my phone or ipad with me though ... but it must've been a pretty long stem, the cigar was a 5x50(?) and I'd bet the stem was 2 in long - that's about how far the charred spot went.

    Lookin forward to your pics & notes!

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This candela is from Long Ash Cigars in Tampa, Fl. I was really looking forward to this one, since the other in-house rolled cigars have been phenominal and it is my first candela.

    image

    the wrapper looked paper thin, and this cigar felt very firm to the touch. Unfortunately, this is because it was rolled too tight. I did, however, manage to get a few good flavors out before giving up on the impossibly tight draw.

    Upon first light I noticed a very dry spiciness, with some sweet, slightly floral notes. It was less grassy than I thought it was going to be, but every bit as sweet. The background spice and almost bkack pepper taste went very well. I can see enjoying these one a humid summer afternoon with an iced tea!!

    image

    the roll ended up being too tight, and I had to quit after the first 1/3, which is pretty disappointing as Iwas really enjoying what flavors I could get out of it. Between squeezing, rolling, and poking though to try and loosen it up, the delicate wrapper took a beating.

    image

    Sorry I cannot report more. I will be on the lookout for LFD and AF candelas for sure.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,265 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good review Gray, thanks for sharing your thoughts even though you weren't able to finish it.
    Sorry you got a bummer too --- hopefully this isn't a trend for candelas :-/

    I get the impression you were a little surprised by the flavor profile too ... good stuff but not what you would expect huh? At least that's how I felt.

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jgibv:
    Good review Gray, thanks for sharing your thoughts even though you weren't able to finish it.
    Sorry you got a bummer too --- hopefully this isn't a trend for candelas :-/

    I get the impression you were a little surprised by the flavor profile too ... good stuff but not what you would expect huh? At least that's how I felt.
    You are correct! I just wish I had a couple more to try out. Maybe Ill find some in Lexington when we go this week. The wife thinks we are househunting, but I'm really justing scouting out B&Ms!
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • BigshizzaBigshizza Posts: 15,407 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So, digging through the coolerador I stumble across a stick all by itself in a plastic bag. Upon closer inspection I notice it was/is a an Illusione Holy Lancero candela that resembled a snake shedding its green skin. After the shed it resembled one of those pepperoni sticks you get at the counter at a 7-11. I promise to do better!! The stick was a tad dried out but had some good flavors, I apologize to the cigar Gods for letting this one go *** up. image
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Why has not one single person had good luck with a candela??

    They are eluding review and remain quite mysterious!
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • BigshizzaBigshizza Posts: 15,407 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    Why has not one single person had good luck with a candela??

    They are eluding review and remain quite mysterious!
    Well screw Acids... Candelas need their very own humi
  • mmccartneydcmmccartneydc Posts: 3,407 ✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    Why has not one single person had good luck with a candela??

    They are eluding review and remain quite mysterious!
    The Viaje Shamrock that I had was amazing! Had almost a floral, lavender note to it. The wrapper was sturdy and had no cracks or tears and I am rough on them. I chew the tips and this one held just fine. Flavors were great too. Now I'm spoiled bc that was my first candela. Gonna try the hooligan next!
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    mmccartneydc:
    Gray4lines:
    Why has not one single person had good luck with a candela??

    They are eluding review and remain quite mysterious!
    The Viaje Shamrock that I had was amazing! Had almost a floral, lavender note to it. The wrapper was sturdy and had no cracks or tears and I am rough on them. I chew the tips and this one held just fine. Flavors were great too. Now I'm spoiled bc that was my first candela. Gonna try the hooligan next!
    So there is hope! Let us know how you like the hooligan
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
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