As 2014 came to an end things slowed down a bit here at CM. The holiday season is always a busy one but we still got around to 11 reviews, released our Favorite Cigars of 2014 List and covered the big news of the month. After the jam packed Noviembre 2014 edition the Diciembre 2014 edition will be a bit sparse in comparison. As I explained in the last edition, the Monthly Rundown is a a recap of the reviews, columns or news that we’ve featured on our site from the previous month.
So without further ado, let’s get to our Rundown of the month of December, 2014.
The Latest covers the current ongoing’s at Cigarmemoir.com. Anything relating to the site itself falls under this category. For December 2014, we did our final collaboration blind cigar review with Blindmanspuff.com and announced the candidates for the Cigar Industry Awards by the Cigar Media Association, a group we are a member of.
This was the final appearance of one of our contributors on Blind Man’s Puff. Matt blindly reviewed the Cubanacan Soneros Habano Claro Toro.
Jan 2, 2015: Cigar Industry Awards Announcement
Even though the press-release itself wasn’t posted until January 2nd of 2015, I’m including it on this list because it has to do with 2014. Here’s an excerpt from the Cigar Media Association press-release.
“The Cigar Media Association is pleased to announce the 1st Cigar Industry Awards. With the establishment of the Cigar Media Association in 2014, the 14 members involved in the association wanted to create an award ceremony where they could honor and celebrate the companies and individuals in the cigar industry. This marks the first time a collaborative effort among various brands of the cigar media have come together for such a process.”
Two cigars we reviewed were head and shoulders above the rest of the pack in December: The La Colmena Unico Especial by Warped Cigars which made our Favorite’s of 2014 list and a “vintage” Fuente Fuente Opus X Super Belicoso with almost two years of age on it. Each received a II. Memorable, the second highest rating in our Class & Quality system, but Kyle just about tipped the scale in favor of I. Unparalleled in his Opus X Super Belicoso review and would have except for some minor burn problems. In the almost 2 years that we’ve been pumping out reviews we’ve yet to give a cigar our highest rating, but you never know when that could change.
“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.”
“There is no denying this cigar is worth every penny, plus some. The construction was nearly flawless and smoked longer than expected. The smoke output was incredible with an unlimited amount of earthy tobacco aroma. I hate to talk about price, but at this price point, this is the best cigar I’ve ever smoked. The longer I smoked this cigar, the more I wanted to bust out my wallet and buy a cabinet of 50. This cigar is as satisfying as it comes so do yourself a favor and go snag a box!”
“This particular sample of the Barracudo Maduro was ugly to look at, yet still provided some charm in its own way. The same thing could be said about smoking it. The delivery of the flavors was unique and the excellent sweet cream provided necessary balance to the bitter hoppy finish yet the crack near the head of the cigar made for an annoying smoking experience that affected smoke production and burn. Without these flaws I would have no issue awarding a III. Satisfying ranking because I truly enjoyed the flavor. Hopefully its problems were mainly caused by mishandling during shipping and they aren’t a regular occurrence.”
“The Witchcraft is a unique and hearty cigar that’s a little rough around the edges but provides a steady combination of good flavors. I loved how the sweetness complimented the dark, robust characteristics. It also featured a few interesting, albeit small, transitions from third to third. The truly unique shape not only affects how it smokes, producing a big open draw with tons of smoke, but is likewise awesome to look at. The Witchcraft is a showpiece cigar because of the wild “bell” shape and rings of lighter tobacco that adorn the first inch of the cigar. The level of “craft” required in its construction made me savor it in a way I might not have otherwise.”
“There’s no doubt this cigar is fantastic to look at. Not only that, it smokes great too. I could really feel the Cuban-like experience from the this roller’s work. The half way point for this cigar is really where it shined. All of the flavors showed their face and complemented each other very well, but in the beginning and end, they didn’t seem to always be there. This cigar would have definitely received a higher rating if it was as complex the entire way because I really enjoyed what it had to offer. It’s great smoking cigars that are made in the US and this one is surely a pleasant smoke.”
“The La Colmena Unico Especial is unique, classic, varied, balanced and complex with exceptional construction. It stays smooth to the very nub and entertains throughout. There was an odd moment in the first third where everything went a little haywire but it dissipated almost as quickly as it arrived. I’ve also smoked the 5.5×44 Amado No. 44, and while it’s a nice cigar, I feel that the Unico Especial provides the superior experience—an experience that every connoisseur should seek.”
“Comparing this cigar to the Arturo Fuente Opus X doesn’t make sense to me at all. I understand they are in the same price point, but they really don’t have many similar flavors and the depth this cigar is no where near an Opus X. That being said, I still really enjoyed what this cigar had to offer and thought the flavors were nice and the construction was beautiful. Looking for a pleasant smoke that delivers rich tradition and superb construction, look no further.”
“What I really enjoyed about the Bill Bromley Butter was its classic Connecticut style leanings. Lately the industry has been trending towards full-bodied cigars with lots of pepper but the Butter stays in the mild-medium range with excellent balance, creamy qualities and an easy-going character. If mild-medium Connecticut’s are in your wheelhouse you’ll love this Sumatra wrapped blend. If you’re a full-bodied guy it probably won’t be your cup of tea. The construction was fantastic on all 3 samples, with perfect triple caps, a perfect draw and excellent burn qualities. In our opinion, Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. are producing some of the best Honduran cigars on the market, and the Butter is just more evidence of that.”
“The Capitulo II left me wanting more and yet left me not wanting more at the same time. The flavors were lackluster and “run of the mill” LFD to me. The profile wasn’t balanced & the strength was anything but forgiving. I wanted more because I wanted to see what LFD was going for when they blended this, but I wanted less when the conclusion was it wasn’t amounting to anything special. Will this cigar age well? All signs point to “yes”. LFD’s tend to age beautifully, but I’ll smoke every last Chapter 1 before I come back to its successor.”
“With nearly 2 years of additional age in my wineador, this cigar shined and produced some of the best flavors I have ever had. The construction was also very good with fantastic smoke output, perfect draw, and a strong ash. This cigar received a II. Memorable rating from me, but it is pushing an I. Unparalleled rating. My biggest factor for not being able to bump up the quality was due to the pretty bad burn line throughout most of the cigar, especially the first half. Every component of the smoking experience has to come into play when rating and to get an I. Unparalleled rating, it as to be perfect. That being said, this was a memorable experience that lasted for 2 hours.”
“If you enjoy strength in a cigar, this one is for you. But not only is it strong, it’s very smooth and delivers a full flavor experience that does make a few transitions. The construction on almost every single one I smoked was nearly perfect and the only thing that ever gave me a problem was removing the band. It’s such a nice band, but with so much glue it’s almost impossible to get the band off clean and intact. This is a very satisfying cigar that had a burn time of 2 hours on average.”
The huge news in December was the announcement on the 17th that the U.S. was expanding business, economic & political ties to Cuba. While the embargo was not lifted, it was the first step in that direction since the embargo was instituted in 1960. What does it all mean for smokers in the U.S.A? Nothing, at the moment. Until trade is formalized and the embargo lifted, don’t expect to find Cuban Cigars on the shelves here in the U.S. The other big news was dominated by Davidoff with their refining of their AVO lines and the big launch of the re-blended and re-branded Davidoff Winston Churchill.
- Dec 3: Warped Cigars Adding New Vitola to Flor Del Valle In February
- Dec 3: Viaje Shows Off 2014 Holiday Line-up
- Dec 4: Edgar Hoill Shows OSOK Lighters by Vertigo
- Dec 5: Espinosa Premium Cigars to Release The Backroom Series
- Dec 8: La Flor Dominicana Releasing Football Themed Cigar For Arizona
- Dec 9: Davidoff Winston Churchill Cigars Revealed at Pre-Launch Event in New York City
- Dec 12: La Hoja Cigars Re-branding
- Dec 13: AVO Cigars Refined and Redesigned
- Dec 14: Kafie 1901 Cigars Announces Connecticut Blend for February 2015 (Update)
- Dec 15: La Flor Dominicana Announces Release of 707 Ligero
- Dec 16: Warped Cigars Reveals “Las Brumas”
- Dec 17: U.S. Government Expands Business, Economic & Political Relations with Cuba
- Dec 17: Boveda to Self-Distribute
- Dec 30: Drew Estate Reveals “Smoking Monk”