This is the first iteration of our Monthly Rundown. A recap of the reviews, columns, news etc. that we’ve featured on our site from the previous month. Our plan is to do one “edition” for each month throughout the year. Since this is the first edition, I’ll be including a little bit of late October and some of early December, but in our second edition it will only feature things posted in the previous month.
The last few months’ have been big for CM. First, we finished our site overhaul and redesign in early October, which was a surprising amount of work. In addition to the reviews we’ve been writing since the creation of CM, we’ve started to cover some industry news and have added a new member to the team, Kyle Freeman. Kyle used to do video reviews under Kyle’s Cigar Reviews—his own project—but he’s become our full-time video reviewer and has been a fantastic addition to the team.
So without further ado, let’s get to our Rundown of the month of November, 2014.
The Latest covers the current ongoing’s at Cigarmemoir.com. Anything relating to the site itself falls under this category. For this month, we’ve got a video made by Kyle explaining our Class & Quality system and how it works. Also we were featured in 4 collaboration blind cigar reviews on Blindmanspuff.com.
Matt, David and Josh hooked up with Blind Man’s Puff to blindly review what we later found out was the Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro (Pre-release)
We announced the arrival of Kyle Freeman of Kyle Cigar Reviews to the Cigar Memoir team. He also made a welcome video for all of his YouTube followers.
Matt and Josh hooked up with Blind Man’s Puff for the second time to blindly review what we later found out was the Total Flame Premium Perfecto (Pre-release).
For the third time one of our reviewers is featured on Blind Man’s Puff. David went solo this time and blindly reviewed what turned out to be the Rocky Patel Prohibition Broadleaf Toro (Pre-release).
Our fourth appearance on Blind Man’s puff. This time it was Josh and David, who blindly reviewed what turned out to be the Sindicato Maduro Toro.
Occasionally we’ll get a unique written piece from our own Louis A. Rodriguez. His creativity and insight were essential at the inception of CM. He is the brainchild behind our Class & Quality system and his prose always make for excellent reading…that is…whenever we can actually get him to write something. We’ll take what we can get. His latest column is a first person account of a re-energized past-time, the straight-razor shave.
“It is a cliché that what is old becomes new again. That things that were in style become passé, are forgotten and eventually, experience a resurgence. Often times there is no real reason, the seeming nine lives of bell bottom jeans come to mind. Sometimes however, there is a deeper reason. The sense that something has been lost in favor of disposable convenience. As entire years in people’s lives have become a mere click away from deletion at any moment naturalist and artisan movements have sprung up in rebellion of the digital era.”
We reviewed a lot of solid cigars this last month and half but a few stood out: the Tatuaje TAA 2014, Undercrown Flying Pig by Drew Estate and the TIERRA Santa Robusto by Hermosa Cigars. Each received a II. Memorable, our second highest rating in our Class & Quality system.
The TIERRA Santa by Hermosa Cigars was guest reviewed by Aaron Loomis of Blindmanspuff.com. Since we had been featured on BMP doing blind reviews in their format we invited Aaron to do a cigar review in our format. Matt and I felt it would be difficult for either of us to be impartial in reviewing the TIERRA Santa because of our friendship with Scott de la Peña, owner of Hermosa Cigars. Sending them to Aaron, an unbiased source, worked out nicely.
There were a couple of Vintage Reviews in the mix as well. An AVO Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary aging since 2011 and a Tatuaje Seleccion de Cazador Tainos aging since 2007.
“Nothing about this cigar popped out at me but at the same time I enjoyed it throughout. I wish it would have provided a more pronounced sweetness, which would have served as a counter-balance to the intense pepper, but that is a minor quibble. If you like peppery cigars with some medium Nicaraguan flavors than you’ll like this one.”
“The AVO 85th is a wacky cigar. It’s one of those cigars you pick up and smoke to keep your palate guessing and your mind engaged on the constant interplay of complexity and flavor. True aficionado’s will savor it and enjoy the intense white pepper but most new smokers won’t know what to think of it. The fact that the main flavors are so much different from most cigars on the shelves makes it unique. Oddly enough, what made this an interesting smoke – the complexity and uniqueness – is also what hindered it slightly. I didn’t smoke this at release but as it’s smoking now I feel like it is a rebellious teenager, close to adulthood, who still needs few years to grow up and settle down. Only time will tell.”
“The La Jugada Nunchuck is my favorite full bodied Nicaraguan release of the year. The change from peppery in the first third to nutty and creamy in the latter two thirds was fantastic. There were shifts in flavor from third to third with excellent complexity and balance throughout. About the only negatives—and they were minor—were the slightly gritty mouth-feel and a burgeoning charcoal note in the final inch and a half. The La Jugada Nunchuck by Moya Ruiz is an extremely III. Satisfying cigar that’ll make a perfect night-cap to big meal.”
“My main thought whilst smoking this cigar was “this is deceptively strong”. Usually strength follows with deeper, darker flavors but the 5 Year Anniversary delivers it with a grin while its lighter flavors dupe you. Easily the strongest cigar from E.P. Carrillo since the company launched 5 years ago. My main reason for giving this a V. Pedestrian is the intensity of the flavors never matched the strength. I kept hoping it would develop more sweet or savory characteristics but it continued to parch my palate and deliver a somewhat arid smoke. Complexity was decent with mostly subtle changes from third to third. Construction was inconsequential to the experience which is basically a good thing. Overall, an unbalanced cigar that had some high points but definitely not something I’d go back to often.”
This was Kyle’s first review as a member of the team so there were a few kinks to sort out. After this review he did a write-up for the Class & Quality in our FINIS section like the rest of our reviews. Still, a great review for a great cigar. He gave this a II. Memorable which is the second highest on our scale.
“This is the 4th release of the TAA line from Tatuaje and comes in a 6×52 toro. They went back to the ’11 and ’12 band after not using it in 2013. The blend features all Nicaraguan binder and filler with a very dark brown Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Total smoke time was 1 hour and 40 minutes. If you can get your hands on one, make sure you give it a try and grab a few more for home!”
“The Undercrown by itself is a fantastic experience, but the Flying Pig vitola takes it to another level that makes you want to buy more and hoard for yourself. The balance of flavors is where this cigar shines to where you don’t want to put it down. On top of that, the construction was nearly flawless which makes this a cigar to remember.”
“I don’t often like to compare one company’s cigars to another’s but in this case I feel it’s a compliment rather than a disservice. The Santeria is in the same arena as Anniversary Padron Maduro – in terms of flavor and the smooth delivery. The effortless draw produced voluminous smoke, full of flavor while the burn was steady as a rock. While it’s probably the least unique Epicurean I’ve had the pleasure of smoking, it is also the most elegantly balanced and enjoyable. This was right on the cusp of II.Memorable, so I’m eager to try the other vitolas to see how they compare.”
The D’Crossier Imperium Class Vintage is the best cigar I’ve ever had that heavily features Costa Rican tobacco. The first half of this cigar exhibits a mouth-watering syrupy finish with solid complexity and balance but does lose a bit of both in the second half. The pepper was sharp and intense but somehow never overpowered the experience. This is the first cigar from D’Crossier we’ve reviewed and I hope it’s not our last.
“It’s hard not to enjoy this little cigar; the flavors are fantastic, the construction is superb, and the price point is within budget. If you are looking for a cigar to treat yourself during a lunch break or when you’re in a hurry, this could be your next go-to smoke. This is our first review from Crux Cigars and I’m sure it won’t be our last.”
“The first half of the Sabor De Estelí Maduro Toro really showed off the kind of quality coming from Tabacalera Aromas de Jalapa, unfortunately some harshness crept in by the final third and it fell a bit short of its potential. Complexity of the flavors in the profile was fairly solid and it was a well-blended, well-constructed cigar that simply needed a little more rest. Until the latter half, one of the more balanced and enjoyable San Andrés Maduro’s I’ve had this year and a cigar with a lot of aging potential.”
“I think the age took away more from this cigar instead of complimenting it. Although the flavors & smoke texture were very refined, I couldn’t help but to feel like its profile had been “hollowed-out” to an extent. There was always that notion running in my mind, “This is really good, but something’s missing.” I account this to the age. I think perhaps 3-5 years of age on this cigar would have let it reach its pinnacle.
I’ve almost been criticizing this Tainos for an entire paragraph now, but that’s because I (and Josh) love this blend, and certainly had high expectations considering the 7 years of age. With that said, it was still a very enjoyable smoking experience. There was no point in smoking where I felt like I was “put-off” in any way. The flavor shifts from the second to final third were a unique experience as well. I can’t remember the last cigar I smoked that had such a distinct coriander note.”
Guest review featuring Aaron Loomis of Blindmanspuff.com
“With the performance of this cigar being excellent, I could really focus on the flavors that were being presented. These flavors paired very well each other. In the second third, this cigar became dynamic, with the three core flavors changing each of their ratios from draw to draw. I really had to keep in mind to not rush the next draw to see what I was going to get next. All of the secondary flavors complimented the core flavors when they appeared which made for appealing slight transitions from time to time.”
“The Señorial is a solid offering from Jose Blanco’s Las Cumbres Tabaco. While it provides a little more pepper kick than I’m usually after, it’s loaded with richness and plenty of complexity for the seasoned palate. My sample came from IPCPR in late July of this year and I still feel like it’s 3-6 months away from being special; there was a little harshness that I suspect will dissipate with age. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent construction of this sample which was just about perfect. If you’re looking for a medium-full bodied, rich Dominican based cigar, look no further than the Señorial.”
When we went ahead with the redesign of CM we decided we would begin to cover cigar industry news. Too be honest, we’re off to a bit of a rocky start as we try to make the necessary connections with manufacturer’s to get the latest cigar press-releases and news. So we are missing coverage of much of what has happened in the industry last month. Regardless, this is an area that will improve and in time we hope to be a great source of information for smoker, store-owner, and manufacturer alike.
- Nov 5: Davidoff to Revamp Winston Churchill Line
- Nov 5: Sam Leccia on the State of General Cigars and Leccia Tobacco
- Nov 6: Viva Republica Announces Limited-Edition Fund-raising Cigar
- Nov 9: Drew Estate Announces “Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve” Premium Handmade Cigars
- Nov 10: Viaje Shows Off Thanksgiving Line-up
- Nov 12: Warped Cigars Announces Don Reynaldo (Update)
- Nov 12: Mombacho Cigars Announces New Factory, Casa Favilli
- Nov 14: La Flor Dominicana Announces El Carajón
- Nov 16: El Primer Mundo Ends Distribution Agreement with PDR Cigars
- Nov 19: What We Know About the Davidoff Oro Blanco (Update)
- Nov 19: Cigar Federation Announces The Buckingham by Crowned Heads
- Nov 19: Drew Estate Releases Liga Privada Único Serie Ratzilla To Drew Diplomat Retailers
- Nov 21: Drew Estate Announces Undercrown ShadyXV Premium Cigar And Partnership with Shady Records
- Nov 25: A.J. Fernandez to Introduce the New World Connecticut Exclusively for Event at “Cigar Inn”
- Dec 2: Warped Cigars Adding New Vitola to Flor Del Valle In February
- Dec 3: Viaje Shows Off 2014 Holiday Line-up