Tag Archives: Sascha Illyvich

Cigar Review: CAO Zócalo

This is a monster of a cigar but it has flavor and some depth to it. I had this at Russia’s (Got Cigars?) in Decatur as we’re thinking of carrying it.

  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Morron
  • Binder: African Cameroon
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Factory: STG Estelí (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Limited Edition (3,500 boxes of 20 cigars)
  • 6X60 in this size and will probably retail for just around $9.

From CigarDojo

“As promised with CAO’s announcement of their Pan-Am Tour at the beginning of April, the company released details on a new limited release over the weekend. The CAO Pan-Am Tour is a virtual tour throughout the focal points of the Pan-American Highway, beginning in Mexico with the new CAO Zócalo.”

Now, the review:  The first thing about this cigar honestly is that it’s hella packed full of tobacco.  I used a V-cut and took a pull, getting nothing really special off the cold draw.

But that’s not how I judge a cigar anyway, so lighting it up, I took a puff.  Then another, and got it good and going.  The first thing to note was the sweetness from the Cameroon binder imparting distinctly.  The flavors were mellow and medium with hints of spice.  Consistent throughout the first third and a half, until warmer flavors pick up.  The taste of red pepper becomes evident.  The draw is excellent, and the cigar retains a good bit of ash before I knocked it off.

The Zócalo.finishes with a combination of that sweet, earthy taste and mild pepper notes.

 

Underwood cellars sparkling NV Rose

It’s nice to go where they remember you even after you haven’t visited in eons!  I picked up another can of wine.  Yes, you read that right.  

Underwood Cellars is located in Oregon and is part of the Union Wine Company. 

The folks at Wahoo Wine and Provisions keep Underwood Cellars cans of wine in stock and out of my own natural curiosity I had to try one.  I’ve had the Cabernet Savignon, the Pinot Noir and now I’m trying the Sparkling Rose.

I have to be honest.  The snob in me is disgusted LOL!

PInk Sparkling Rose…

But honestly?  This is one of the better cans of wine I’ve had in a long time. In fact, for a rose, since I’m not overly fond of those to begin with, it was pretty tasty.  The nose was typical, but the flavors were lingering tart cherry, blueberry and almost a candy heart sugariness that’s oddly light and refreshing.

I’ll go back for the other two cans mentioned and do reviews on them when I can.

The bubbles are light and approachable without being too dry

Big takeaway here?  Oregon is known for stellar Pinots.  But wine in a can?

Blew my mind too, but remember, a can of wine is HALF A BOTTLE haha!

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.