Tag Archives: Sascha Illyvich

Cigar Review: CAO Flathead v660 carb

This is a cigar I first tried at Highland Cigar Company back several months ago as it was a release from 2017’s IPCPR.  The line, inspired by hotrods and muscle cars, came out from CAO as a tribute to the hot rod craze, as even the boxes come with pinup girls and artwork attributed to the engines.

CAO Flathead v660 Carb

Created by General Cigar’s Rick Rodriguez and Ed McKenna, the Flathead 660 is a bulky, jet black box pressed cigar with no veins, a simple red and silver band with the frontmark present.  A quick cold draw from punch at the cap gives us dried plums and dark fruits.

Lighting up the cigar presents us bittersweet cocoa and chocolate notes, a touch of pepper.  As the cigar smokes, the flavors intensify and I start to taste the dark fruit, though I’m unable to identify it.  (My problem, not the cigars)  Closing with a medium finish, the spices increase in intensity, making this a great value cigar that definitely lives up to the hype.

Cigar Review: Señorial Maduro Toro

The Señorial by Jose Blanco was a hit, but what could be better that this? 

If you said a Maduro version, you’re goddamn right!  Wrapped in a San Andreas wrapper, with Dominican fillers, Las Cumbres is knocking things out of the park. 

The pre-light starts off with raisin and what I’d describe as terroir.  Once lit, strong spice and oak come through.  The cigar burns evenly with an enjoyable amount of smoke.

Señorial Maduro by Las Cumbres/Jose Blanco

Black pepper starts to show itself in the second third, and on the final notes, we taste oak and mellow flavors.  Overall, it’s a really satisfying cigar with a good, even burn line, good construction and a fantastic presentation.

Hint of vanilla.

The oak comes through stronger at the halfway point with the black pepper being nuanced.

Cigar Review: Camacho Criollo

This was a re-branded cigar from Camacho, owned by Davidoff now and I have to say, the cigar is good but I hate these ugly bands. Big, bold, yes but horrible LOL! The first few notes from the foot of this medium brown torpedo include plum, raisin, tobacco and chocolate.

Cold draw confirmed those findings only adding an orange zest sweetness. That was rather different for my palate even though I’ve been smoking cigars as long as I have.

Taking the first few puffs gave a good draw, with a lot of gray, semi sweet smelling smoke along with robust pepper and hints of leather. As it developed, the taste of wood slides over the palate to continue through most of the cigar. The burn line was good, clean. Well constructed.

Cigars I’m looking forward to in 2018

I have this one cigar that..honestly I know so little about because there’s some mystery behind it, but all I can tell you is that it’s supposedly reminiscent of the Opus Double Corona NOT made by A. Fuente.   It’s a fairly lengthy cigar made by Purity Cigar Group and when I can post a pic of it, I will.

It might be my new years smoke.

I’m looking forward to the ACC S. E. 12 year – which I’ve reviewed in a video here. It’s a great smoke and a fantastic way to ring in the new year at Highland Cigar Company.

Though who knows. I hear Highland is doing a Drew Estate/Kristoff event on New Years Eve – so I imagine drink pairing but probably no official review from me LOL!

Cigar Review – Cubo Toro

The prelight draw is heavily raisin with notes of wood.

Strong wood notes start the cigar off. Chocolate sweetness and light bodied flavors of cardamom. Slightly tight draw.

The flavors are consistent with some chalkiness but he draw isn’t top notch. The chocolate and cocoa persists along with hints of baking spices.

Draw improved. Cigar is well constructed and holds ash well.

The flavors hold well with some of the cocoa and baking spices disappearing or lessening.

Cigar review – Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli

The Alec BradleyBlack Market line has enjoyed a lot of success over the years – as a refined, softer, more sensual (I know) version of the Tempus/Prensado lines IMO, but the newest extension features a unique blend of tobacco from Estella, home of fantastic Nicaraguan tobacco. The viola I smoked for this review was the 6X52. The same basic packaging is the same, only the box color is orange. Same with the sleeve.

First notes on the cigar start off with fruit – really light apricot and wood. The same sort of medium blend sensuality of this cigar is present but the fruity flavors overshadow them up until the first half of the cigar, then wood and light spice/pepper notes pick. Up.

The draw, like all Alec Bradley cigars I’ve reviewed is good, and a plentiful amount of smoke comes with each satisfying puff. Ash holds on for about an inch before falling off. Overall, a unique blend and a great extension to the Black Market Family.

Cigar Review – Cubo Toro

The prelight draw is heavily raisin with notes of wood.

Strong wood notes start the cigar off. Chocolate sweetness and light bodied flavors of cardamom. Slightly tight draw.

The flavors are consistent with some chalkiness but he draw isn’t top notch. The chocolate and cocoa persists along with hints of baking spices.

Draw improved. Cigar is well constructed and holds ash well.

The flavors hold well with some of the cocoa and baking spices disappearing or lessening.

Cigar Review: Diesel Grind torpedo

I managed to pick up the diesel grind torpedo at got cigars here in Decatur. This was a new blend from AJ Fernandez and came out at this last year’s IPCPR convention in Las Vegas. I’ve smoked two so far and the notes are consistent.

The cold draw really flavor heavy like fruit. From the first light, woodsy taste came across on the first few puffs. Raisin and plum prelight draw.

The first thing I noticed about this cigar was the rustic, basic look of the entire packaging. Simple wooden boxes of 20 cigars, band at the foot only in blue. Reminiscent of a simpler time.

When I lit up the cigar, the first thing I got was toast notes along with heavy earth and white pepper. Around the second third the cigar picks up in body, more intensity on the earthy flavors. Dirt, tobacco. Help the medium bodied finish go out on a good note. The cigar has a good, esau draw. It burned consistently nad had white-ish gray ash.

Decent cigar for a good price.  I’d call it a value smoke, honestly.

Henry Clay Tattoo by Pete Johnson

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know

Henry Clay Tattoo by Pete Johnson

my favorite non luxury (read, not super ultra premium) cigars has been made by Pete Johnson. In everything of his I’ve smoked, I have found immense pleasure.

The Re-Imagined Henry Clay was no different.

The pre-light draw is really more mellow than anything else – like mulled wine and candy. This is a box press cigar with plenty of heft in the fingers.

The original Henry Clay band remained, but the addition of a second band just below it in typical Tatuaje-style font added to the aesthetic.

The first few puffs elicit cedar and hints of pepper along with that sweetness described earlier. The draw is good with wood notes sneaking up along the rest of the other flavor.

Flavored are much more mellow than expected. Hints of mint. Good draw. Gray smoke.   It’s a fairly complex smoke, something I would expect from Pete Johnson and Don “Pepin” Garcia. 

Sweet red pepper comes into play. Odd juice-like notes. Still solid burn and draw.

I was really happy to see Pete still kicking around and doing new things.

Wine review: 9 mile road langhorne creek Shiraz 2013

This is another hit from First Leaf Wine Club.  I’ve been enjoying the half case shipments when I could pick them up and I think you’ll enjoy them too. Unlike my preferred Underground Cellar, Firstleaf is a curated wine program in the more traditional sense of the word – that is, you buy in and are sent wine at specified time periods.

Deep red in color, slight purple tinge. The nose is mostly berry and herbaceous, but once the wine opens up, the herbal notes tone down just a bit. I was pleasantly surprised to not get hit in the face with typical, strong pepper notes from Shiraz, this wine is softer than that.

The flavor is very herbaceous, but hints of pepper, cherry and vanilla come through. Medium long finish and enjoyed with pepper steak and roasted garlic potatoes.

When things settle in for me I’ll start posting about the various wine regions I’m getting bottles from. I think you’ll be excited, just as I am!