Category Archives: Cigars

Cigar Review – Ultra Luxury: ACC S. E. 1960 Oak Sherry Barrel

 

1960 Oak Sherry Barrel by ACC Cigars, atop the Don Cervantes Travel humidor

At first glance, this dark cigar looks like it’s going to be a powerhouse.  The band has a very old world Cuban feel to it in design and because it matches well with the darkness of the leaf, it makes it harder to see.

But for a cigar with such a hefty price tag ($2,500 per cigar), I have my suspicions. Yet, the website (Yamantaka Global) says the cigar is the same vintage tobacco as the 1950s Cubans. It’s obvious that this cigar is also rolled entubado like everything else ACC does. What that means is that the cigars are rolled in a tube-like fashion, and require a higher skill level of roller, else the attrition rate of production becomes really high since older tobacco is more susceptible to damage.

I’ve smoked enough ACC cigars to know the quality behind them has always been top notch, but this is hands down, the most expensive cigar on the market, and the most expensive cigar I’ve ever smoked to date.

Cutting the cigar and doing a pre-light draw reveal really smooth flavors that are a little hard for me to identify, and I’m drinking water with this cigar.  Upon lighting, the cigar has a smooth taste, with mellow notes of sherry and oak, as one would expect, from a cigar with this name.  (Reminds me of the style used by Drew Estate to make their barrel aged cigars.)

The cigar has a beautiful draw, sending a plethora of almost sweet, white/gray smoke into the air.  That trademark ACC scent isn’t present on this cigar though, but that’s okay. The feel of the cigar in my fingers suggests plenty of tobacco in the blend and at first puff, one would think, would have a tight draw. But no, the draw is excellent as I mentioned earlier.

Medium bodied, but full flavored, the oak becomes soft vanilla notes across the palate.  If I searched hard enough, I tasted the lightness of sherry, making me wonder what style of sherry they used for the casks.

Solid cigar all the way through though.  And a great start to me getting into higher premium cigars!

 

Cigar Review: Raices Cubana Distributed by Alec Bradley

Raices Cubanas 1941 starts with a medium-brown Honduran wrapper that’s glistening with oils. A careful blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers lies just beneath, encased in a Nicaraguan binder.

Raices Cubana – Distributed Alec Bradley

The review:  This is the 6X60 size and normally I shy away from that large a ring gauge (with the exception of Padron) but this cigar definitely didn’t disappoint.

Pre-light draw is very raisiny. The initial puffs are nutty and semi-sweet   Black pepper features prominently up front once the cigar gets going.  A good amount of smoke plumes from the foot.

The cigar has a very easy draw for being packed so full of tobaccos.  The burn line started off uneven but I chalk that up to my lighting technique, and a touch up fixed that.

Flavors at the second third include cocoa spice and red pepper. The cigar becomes mellow at this point while maintaining softer flavors wth hints of wood and black pepper.   By now I’m really enjoying the complexity of the cigar.

The final third of the cigar is where it gets interesting.  First, we had that red pepper bit, then black pepper, and finally?  Vanilla Coffee Bean!  YES!  ha!

This is definitely a medium to full bodied smoke though.

Cigar Review: Montecristo by AJ Fernandez

The Montecristo line isn’t a line I normally gravitate to, not with all the boutique blends coming out from some of today’s hottest blenders, but I picked it up in my local shop here in Decatur.  (Got Cigars?  232 Ponce De Leon) at the suggestion of the owner.

What can I say to start with?

Montecristo by AJ Fernandez

The backstory:

Made in Nicaragua at the A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, Fernandez worked with Altadis’ Grupo de Maestros to develop this new Montecristo, which consists of Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, Mexican San Andrés binder and filler from Nicaragua and Honduras.

Montecristo Crafted By A.J. Fernandez will come in five sizes: Churchill at 7 inches by 50 ring gauge; Figurado, at 4 by 52; Gordo at 6 by 58; Robusto, 5 by 52; and Toro, 6 by 50. The Montes, which are all box-pressed, are set to retail from $9.95 to $12.50 and come in 10-count boxes

The Review:

This oscuro cigar starts off with solid wood and white pepper notes.  The box press is firm in the hand, but not razor sharp like the Padron Anniversarios for example.  Light brown in color, with a solid pre-light draw, the flavors emerging from that were pretty light to my taste.   Upon lighting, the cigar showed not only an even burn, but consistency of the following:  Said white pepper, wood, with a touch of honey and bread at the back of the tongue.

 

The second and final third of the cigar maintain that consistency with one exception.   The flavors balance out more and the Montecristo draws better.   I’d say this is a medium-bodied cigar.  Would I grab another?  I sure would.

Cigar Review – Don Cervantes Presidente

I can’t believe I’ve smoked like a dozen of these beauties and never once reviewed the cigar here.  

This is the Don Cervantes Presidente Churchill, a 7X50 cigar made in conjunction with ACC Cigars and the folks at MATASA, specifically, Manuel Quesada, of FONSECA and Casa Magna fame.  

Blend information:

Filled with rare aged tobaccos from Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, Presidente is wrapped with an aged, golden Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. In demand by almost every top cigar brand in the world, the Presidente’s tobacco is fermented for nearly a year, then bundle aged for an additional year. The Presidente’s ash burns white and beautifully, and this outstanding cigar’s long finish is unique among cigars.  The Presidente comes wrapped in the famous “P” Cigar jacket.

Presidente by Don Cervantes – a Premium aged handmade in conjunction with Manuel Quesada of MATASA

The notes on the cigar are as follows:  It starts off with a spicy kick to it, my thoughts are this is Quesada’s signature, and I taste red and black pepper, along with mulled wine.  The pre-light draw is airy, with notes of leather and very faint cedar.

Upon lighting, the cigar draws perfectly and the ash holds very steadily due to entubado bunching used to create a more complex blend.  Once the cigar gets going, the consistency of flavors are as follows:  Definite pepper notes, red and black of course, with hints of white pepper and mellow wood notes.  The cigar also has meaty notes.  I’ve heard roast beef, but I personally can’t place that all too familiar and delicious taste, yet I won’t lie. It’s damn fine. The ash holds on quite well and when I can find my picture of this cigar literally standing on its ash, I’ll post it

Look at that ash!

The cigar mellows over the course of the smoke, becoming more balanced and refined thanks not only to the various blends in the cigar but the extensive age of the leaves used to make it. An average age of 12 years, along with a longer fermentation period only enhance the cigar.

Honestly, like everything else I’ve smoked from ACC, this is a very welcome addition to my humidor, even at the premium price one would pay for it.

Ladies Night to return to Highland Cigar Company!

Bourbon and cigar pairing + training only $15, brought to you by @bulleit Bourbon and @kimbercy! Our featured drink, “Sweet Seduction” only $10. Bring your business cards and come experience the RETURN of Ladies Night at Highland Cigar Company. See you soon! (Yours truly will be behind the bar all night 😉) #cigarlife #atlnights#bartender #atlantabartender #bulleitbourbon #womenandcigars#highlandcigarco #sweet #valentinesday #ladiesnight #events#goinguponatuesday #trysomethingnew #cigarlifestyle #grownandsexy#networking #rockypatelcigars #giveaways#fun #wedothis

And yes I’ll be there!

Cigar Review – Oliveros Gran Retorno

Created by industry talent Rafael Nodal, the man behind Aging Room, and the owner of Boutique Blends, this new line extension provides cigar lovers with a new experience.

The Gran Retorno is a new line extension from Oliveros and Rafael Nodal.

The Oliveros line I’d smoked a few years back and while thought the line was solid, was unimpressed, but that may just be my tastes.   This cigar, on the other hand, was a definite winner.

The pre-light draw shows leather along with spice and that rich raisin or plum. Lots of chocolate too.
The initial light is a good mix of tobacco, wood, light nuanced spice and maybe cocoa. The leather/cedar combo makes for interesting taste with a background of something floral.  Then the taste changes to wood.
Then the taste sweetness up. Not cloyingly but more muted.
About the beginning of the second third, the spice is light but present.    The cigar had a great burn and draw, along with a solid feel in the hand.
The final third grew in intensity but wasn’t over the top. More prominent pepper and more floral, almost like wintergreen

Cigar Review – La Jugada Habano

I picked up this cigar in an assortment for a really good deal from the fine folks at Tampa Humidor and I must say, the unknown sampler bags are out of this world in value.  You have to make sure you can get them, as they tend to fly off the shelves quickly.

Anyway, the La Jugada cigar was new to me.  Moya Ruiz cigars makes this powerhouse of a cigar and I must admit, the overall impression of it left me wanting more of them.

The prelight draw has a really sweet taste o it. Light and free I expect the draw to be very good. The cigar feels light in the hand.
The first few puffs are really wood heavy with pepper on the back end. The Habano wrapper flavor really comes through wot almost loam?  Smoke in the mouth is rather thick.
The second third continues with the same, flavors being consistent and balancing out with white pepper coming out on top and continue into the final bit of the cigar.  I’d also detected some cashew notes, almond notes.
Overall, this is going to be a cigar I keep in my regular rotation.

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year and that means we’ve got a lot more to get through in the realm of smoking and drinking!  Yes, the FDA’s bullshit ruling on new cigars will make it very difficult for innovation in flavor but there are plenty of cigars on the market that we will be trying, many of whom slipped in just before the FDA deadline.

As to drinking?  What would you like to see in the new year?   Seeing as how I’m in bourbon country, that may be the way I take this for a little while.

Also, there’s a class I’m in the process of developing that’s aimed at writers on drinking, sex, and booze.  I’ll probably throw in my two cents about cigars too LOL!

The folks at Highland Cigar Company are still doing tastings on Tuesdays so you’ll get more updates from me on those.  Those blog posts will probably be shorter though, due to the amount of notes I can take on a one-ounce pour of any given spirit.

I know I want more wine in my life, and I want more wine education, seeing as how I’ve forgotten much of what I used to know on viticulture and being an oenophile.  Maybe I’ll pick random regions from France of Spain and find wines to suit and taste.  We will see.  All I know is that 2017 promises to be even better for the White Wolf Indulgence lifestyle.

Happy New Year!