Archive for February, 2012

Cuban Stock Royal Selection Torpedo

Posted: February 28, 2012 in Cigar
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Up for a review this afternoon is an excellent cigar… The Cuban Stock Royal Selection Torpedo.

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Cigar: Cuban Stock Royal Selection
Size: Torpedo #2 6.25 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Strength: Medium/Full
Time in humidor: never got there!

Before smoke meal: IHOP breakfast sampler for dinner
Paired with Thailand French Roast coffee

Many thanks to Cuban Stock Cigars for providing this sample for review!

The Cuban Stock Royal Selection is a master blend of the best Dominican grown tobacco aged in a wine barrel for 6 years, with a dark Ecuador wrapper which is shiny and silky. This cigar is full of rich coffee and nut flavors, and is medium to full bodied and super smooth. After all, they treat the tobacco for years, and the results are an absolutely royal class cigar.

Brief History:
Cuban Stock Cigar ‘s factory is located in Santiago, Dominican Republic and has been established since 1995. Some of you may know them under their original name Crown David Cigars. Since their product recognition was so strong with their consumers, it seemed like a natural transition to change the company’s name to reflect their flagship cigar, Cuban Stock. They are now Crown David, Inc, DBA Cuban Stock Cigar Co. Their first cigar was the “Cuban Stock” cigar. The name Cuban Stock name seemed such a natural choice since they were using many authentic Cuban cigar making traditions. They used tobacco grown from Cuban seeds, fermented their cigars using old Cuban techniques, capped the cigars Cuban style, and used traditional style packaging. As they grew, they added very unique cigars to their line. The original Cuban Stock became known as the Cuban Stock Classic. The next in creation was the Cuban Stock Royal Selection followed by the Cuban Stock Reserve. They continued with the Chubbys line, one of the first 60 ring gauge cigars to emerge in 1999. Then Exquisito Double Capa followed. It showcased a most unique cigar with two contrasting wrappers and came in unique shapes. In 2000, they started to make the most delicious flavored cigars, the Delicioso. In 2004, they came out with the Joya de Havana, using 100% Honduran tobacco. It became an immediate hit, bold and tasty. In the 2009 New Orleans trade show, they were proud to launch two extremely great cigars; they introduced the Cuban Stock Extra and the Chubbys Ultimate. It took 6 years to get to the final product, starting by choosing the location to grow the tobacco, continued by perfecting the unique agricultural environment in which the tobacco grew. They spent 6 months perfecting their final tobacco blend for a superior smoking experience. Both the Cuban Stock Extra and the Chubby Ultimate are aged in wine barrels. Their labels were the final step in showcasing these amazing tasting and looking cigars, and the rustic boxes made them just perfect.

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Appearance and Construction:
This stick is simply a work of art! It had a dark oily wrapper and a rectangular box press. I would say the wrapper was just shy of a maduro shade and reminded me of the color of a coffee bean. The wrapper has some significant medium sized veins and there is a fair amount of tooth especially on the sides. The Cuban Stock Royal Selection has a dual band system. The one near the cap is eye catching and has colors of cream, red, black and gold. The band at the foot is a nice touch and protects the foot. Cigars just don’t come made any better than this.

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Flavors:
To start off, this cigar had a perfect draw prior to being lit. The pre-lit draw taste was earthy and very pleasant. It reminded me of Green tea, with an earthy taste. The first third of the cigar offers some wonderful coffee notes that are easily identifiable. It had a pleasant aroma and a taste of peppers and spice right off the bat. It also had a very bright red burn at the beginning.

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The Royal Selection was very peppery and earthy during the 1st inch, but then this torpedo smoothed out with the pepper dissipating, leaving an earthy smoke that had hints of leather and a slight spice flavor.

As we enter the second third of the cigar, the aging process is noticeable as the cigar begins to offer notes of black cherry. At this point in the smoke, I was reminded of why I love cigars. There’s nothing more relaxing. My thoughts here were simply “This is a fine cigar!” At this point the taste of pepper was completely gone, and what remained was a very smooth earthy tobacco taste with a touch of cinnamon and some cedar tones.

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The final third of the cigar there are notes of cherry, oak and some nuts on the finish that made this nice cigar with a decent complexity.
This cigar stayed consitent past the midpoint, then developed some nice complexity with some dried fruit flavors creeping in during the last 1/3. I would say it was medium-full in body.
The burn of the cigar is extremely even and it produces a nice amount of smoke. I loved it!

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The draw and burn were perfect throughout. This stick smoked slowly and evenly, and stayed lit very well. I smoked this for an hour and a half! To be honest, i expected this cigar to be excellent, and was not disappointed. The aging in wine barrels gave this cigar a nice sweetness, but note this is not a flavored or infused cigar. The notes are no different then others normally found in a cigar. I was so impressed with this cigar that I can’t wait to get my hands on more of them. A pleasant surprise and a very good smoke!

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Conclusion:
This is an excellent cigar! It’s one of my new favorites! It smells wonderful. It looks beautiful. It’s a pleasure to hold and to smoke. It was well made and the tobacco is of very high quality. I loved its complexity and smoothness. I would strongly recommend picking up one of these sticks if not a few at your local tobacconist. If they don’t carry them, encourage them to start!

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Kristoff Ligero Maduro Torpedo

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Up for review is a Kristoff Ligero Maduro Torpedo…

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I picked up this cigar from Cigar InternationaI. I’d never had one, so I grabbed a five pack. I love the oily appearance & shaggy foot, as well as the tight torpedo cap. I prefer using my regular double bladed cutter on a torpedo and a punch on a regular cap. This was obviously a torpedo. I paired this cigar with a Coke over ice. I never really drank much though because the cigar taste was so incredibly pleasant!

Wrapper: Brazil

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican, Nicaragua

Size: Maduro Torpedo 6 1/8 x 52

Price: Around $6.00

Pull up a chair, kick back, and relax because it is time for my first official cigar review. This time around, I will discuss what the Kristoff Maduro Torpedo has to offer.

History:
The Kristoff brand of cigars is produced by Exclusive Cigars, a boutique manufacturer founded in 2005. The Kristoff Maduro line was released in 2007 as a follow-up to the Kristoff Criollo line that preceded it in 2006. The Maduro is a Cuban-style cigar produced using the same traditional methods that made Cuban cigars so popular in the first place.
The Kristoff Maduro Torpedo measures 6 1/8 x 52. Other than the Torpedo, three other sizes are offered from the line: the 5 ½ x 54 Robusto, the 6 ½ x 56 Matador, and the 7 x 50 Churchill. The Torpedo’s filler is a blend of aged Nicaraguan Cuban-seed and Dominican Cuban-seed tobaccos. The binder is Dominican, and the cigar is finished off with a Brazilian Maduro wrapper. If you are not a fan of the Maduro wrapper, the Kristoff is also offered with a Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper. Made in the Dominican Republic, the Maduro Torpedo is considered to be medium-bodied.

Looking at it, the Kristoff Maduro Torpedo seems to be a pretty standard stick. Not much flair is used to draw attention to it, but then again, its meant for smoking and not to look pretty. The Maduro wrapper gives the cigar a rich, dark color and also allows you to see plenty of oiliness when put under light. There are some large veins that are noticeable and the stick feels pretty firm when given a quick feel.

Pre-smoke & Construction:
Taking a whiff before lighting uncovers an earthy scent, and the cold taste is a bit sweet. There are two unassuming bands near the head of the cigar that are light brown in color and almost hard to see. The top band shows the Kristoff name and the smaller band beneath it displays the Maduro label. The wrapper had a dark, oily appearance with no visible flaws. The smell coming off of the wrapper and foot had a woody smell. The cigar was pretty evenly packed, with only a minor soft spot or two. The pre-light draw had a little resistance, and had dark, somewhat earthy flavors.

Flavor:
Upon first puff you’re met with earth and toasted almonds. The blend then transitions into a medium body as light hints of spice make their way through your senses. After lighting up the Maduro Torpedo, the first third brought one word to my mind: Smooth. There were earthy notes way in the back ground. Woodiness and sweet co-co seemed to be dominant, but there was a nice coffee flavor mixed in there as well.

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The cigar burns very nicely. It’s a nice, rich, floral smoke as the blend burns absolutely perfectly. It produces long, white ash and has an even burn. This is one cigar where keeping the lighter close by is not necessary, as touch-ups and re-lights aren’t needed. I experienced two interruptions: a phone call and a trip to the restroom, neither of which the cigar ever burned out. The former was only a minute or two, and without going into details, the latter took a bit longer. I had expected the cigar to have burned out, but alas it did not. I loved that it maintained being lit as a cigar typically doesn’t do as well if relit.

The second third saw in increase in coffee flavor. The woodiness decreased, and the sweet co-co/chocolate picked up in strength. It was more of a sweet creamy flavor. There was a slight cinnamon left in the aftertaste.

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The last third had an increase in that sweet, cinnamon spice. It left a nice lingering tingle in the mouth and on the lips. The smoke became creamier, and resembled caramel. When passing smoke though the nose, the increase in strength was very noticeable. Coffee was up next, along with co-co or chocolate. The woody notes fell into the background, but would pop out from time to time.

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Conclusion:

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Wow what a nice cigar. The combination of creaminess, sweetness, spice, body… everything about this smoke hit the spot for me. There isn’t really anything more I can say. Try this medium to full bodied cigar! This is one super elegant maduro! With a hearty flavor, a smooth finish, and some sweet notes that bring relief from some of the spice, Kristoff Maduro delivers!

This past Tuesday night, a couple of my good ole cigar-smoking buddies and myself jumped into the Jetta and road tripped up and over to Tulsa, OK. We drove the 2 hour and 15 minutes simply to attend the Classic Cigars Oliva Event! And it was very well worth it!
Downtown Tulsa is growing, and trying to find a parking spot around all the construction demonstrated the growth. But, again, it was well worth it.
Classic Cigars is located at 118 N. Boston Ave. This is their second location. The original is in Owasso. Here’s a pic upon arriving…

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Upon arriving at CC’s, Chris was at the cash register, and Jack, the Oliva Sales Rep, was at his left with a display of their selections. When walking into the store front, you immediately are confronted by beautiful inventory. CC had a large selection of cigar humidors, Xicar traveling humidors, as well as cutters, lighters, pipes, pipe tobaccos and other varieties of merchandise.
It’s a very clean store that’s been open for business just 4 months now. As you enter the store, immediately you see two more doors further inside. This is where someone driving by might have thought the place was dead… Because from the looks of things outside, it was pretty quiet. But, it’s here that you see these two doors…

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The door on the left takes you into a huge, beautiful humidor fully stocked with anything and everything you could imagine!

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However, the door on the right takes you to the bar and lounge area, and it’s beautiful as well!
As soon as you enter this area, there’s an increase in aroma, music, conversations, leather furniture, pub tables, big screen tv’s, and anything and everything else you would come to love and expect when looking for a great place to chill and enjoy a beer or a cigar.

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Each table was beautifully decorated with ashtrays as well as cigar cutters and reading materials for those who might even be visiting the bar on a solo trip. As you walk in through what I referred to as the “corridor” you have leather couches and chairs on your right and the bar is on your left. The waitresses/bar tenders are super friendly, and all had incredible knowledge of different beverages as any excellent bartender should. Here’s a pic of our table…

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Did I mention that we were there on MardiGras? It was a great night full of free desserts and sample mixtures from the bar, not to mention a couple free cigars we scored from purchasing Olivas back in the shop as well as free MardiGras beads to help set the mood for the evening. Our waitress was a trip… Morgan, she kept us laughing every time she came by.

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As you pass the bar, the restrooms were on your left followed by a wheelchair ramp on the far right for handicap access. The ceilings are very tall, giving the feel of an industrial type old warehouse made into cigar bar. It was great. It was also very well ventilated, drawing up the smoke pretty quick. These guys have seriously thought of everything!

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Passing the restrooms, leads you to the area referred to as “The Pit.” It’s a nice room where we found ourselves hanging out most of the night.

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This is my buddy Aaron with Nina Weiss. Before the night was over, this guy had scored himself a sample box of Olivas from one of the raffles.

Over all, I give Classic Cigars two thumbs up! Everything about this place was just awesome!
Plenty of seating, plenty of cigars, plenty of drinks. The staff were outstanding. The conversations were wonderful. If you are headed to Tulsa, put Classic Cigars on your list! It’s a must!

Classic Cigars Cigar Lounge
Chris & Nina Weiss
http://www.classiccigarsok.com

118 N. Boston
Tulsa, OK 74103
(918) 960-2646

Here We Go!

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

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 Here’s a pic of me on a backpacking trip I take every year with one of my best friends, Brad Grizzle.  This was last year’s trip, and due to bad weather, we were unable to go this past year.  I was smoking a Romeo & Julieta Habana Cuban. This is located at Hawksbill Crag…

This has been a while in the making and yet, here we are… This will be a fun little setup, and I’ll continue to learn as I go, but I look forward to reviewing great cigars here!