Wednesday, April 23, 2008

“O” man this is one tasty cigar…

After a short Caribbean vacation last week that permitted me to treat myself a few Cubans, I settled into an Oliva Series O natty to do some paper work and play a bit of catch-up.

I chose the Robusto and wasn’t disappointed.

This is a Nicaraguan Puro so the tobacco profile says this should be a rather full bodied cigar. The wrapper was deftly stretched around the cigar and showed a vague spotting not too noticeable but there as I looked closely. The wrapper, just a bit darker than a true natural in color, looked like it was set to deliver some flavor. The cap was just perfect on this cigar lending to the quality of Oliva cigar construction. These guys are good. The Guillotine snipped it perfectly.

The ignition went well, and the initial flavor was bold and very spicy. The spicy flavor lasted through the first inch and slowly mellowed. The next 20 minutes of this cigar was woody and less spicy. The ash was a nice white color and it held up until I tapped it into my ashtray. From the middle on I detected yet another flavor change…this time even more mellow with a hint of anisette in the background…delicious. I noticed the smoke was almost white as I got into this stick. Like any fine cigar this one hit its peak around the 2/3-1/2 mark. It was flavorful, but not harsh, it was incredibly smooth and mellow at this point. This one was getting “Nubbed”.

At some time for most smokers your palate calls for more taste…and your begging to move away from milder blends. For anyone looking go try a bit more full flavored cigar this one is recommended. You’ll be led into the full-flavor not hit over the head with it. It has all the making of a great cigar.

Wrapper: Sun-Grown Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano

Purchase Oliva Series “O”

Friday, April 4, 2008

There’s “Nub”-in else like this cigar

I had my cigar buddy/barbeque chef Mark plunk down two Nub Cigars at my back table in the store the other day. It was about 3 pm and I’d been there since 5am so taking a cigar break from the days activities didn’t take much convincing. Mark offered me my choice of wrappers- Connecticut or Cameroon- since this is African Cameroon, the real thing; I took full advantage of the proposition and was I happy with my Cameroon choice. New ideas- genuinely new ideas- don’t come along all that often in this business and the notion of the “Nub” cigar intrigues me.

I was eager to get an up-close look at the 464 Rounded Torpedo (there is a 4x66 Box Pressed version available in the same wrapper). It’s extreme in most measures, short, fat, dense, heavy, and perhaps best of all flavorful. As I took a close look I could see the open end was jammed with tobacco, it appears more so than a cigar of a typical ring gauge. The wrapper was first rate in color, lack of noticeable veins, and perfectly finished at the torpedo point. As a Torpedo I had the advantage of clipping the end quite easily and I wondered if the large round heads on the 60, 66 ring gauge versions would need a bit more care to clip so nicely.

I used my standard two match stick grip to get this baby lit and while the cigar was not completely ignited at first the end quickly took on an even and complete burn in less than a minute. This may not be an indoor cigar for many smokers as I noticed right away this stick gives off a lot of smoke, likely due to the extremely large ring and dense packing of tobacco. The flavor was mild, with a medium amount of tobacco flavor. I could taste a nutty and sometimes piney flavor coming through. The taste of the smoke repeatedly registered on the back of my tongue.

At the halfway point this cigar continued to impress me and the flavor got richer from mid-way on. One of the unique features of a Nub as explained to me by the company rep was that these are so dense that they can stand on the “ash end” upright even after the mid point. Well I had to see and to my surprise its true- my cigar stood on its almost 2 inch ash.

You get the idea from this photo from the Nub Cigar site

At just 4 inches this is no quick-smoke. After about 45 minutes I was only half way through the cigar with plenty of ammo left to be smoked.

This cigar lasted longer than I had time…at about 75 % smoked I doused it to move on to some pressing issues, like getting home….but I know that I can’t wait to try another NUB.

Purchase Nub Cigars

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

No Foolin', that's a tasty Maduro

When a fellow “Brother of the Leaf “strolled in who I hadn’t seen in a while we caught up on his new job and his new born Girl and enjoyed an after lunch cigar. My choice for our visit was an Oliva Series G Maduro Robusto.

At 4 ½ x 50, it was typical in length and ring but as with most Oliva cigars there was nothing else typical about this cigar. First, in appearance it was box pressed, but not subtly. These are some serious squared off sides. It hangs a bit different in the mouth with these edges, but nicely so. The same holds true for how it feels in the fingers. The dark wrapper was a Connecticut Broadleaf, not veiny at all with a rather sweet, but woodsy aroma.

The lighting went as good a one would expect, one wooden match did the trick and the foot was hot and ready to burn. A neat, even black ring quickly developed and I was not disappointed in the burn for the entire smoke, it was even, slow, and steady.

As we talked and laughed I got a floral taste every so often, along with a woodsy flavor. This stick was smooth from foot to finish. Along the way I enjoyed the nice very white ash that delveloped and I noted the amount of smoke was not overwhelming. The Oliva Series G Maduro Robusto is a nice 20-25 minute cigar.

My friend Frank was enjoying a Rocky Patel Connecticut, a cigar I am eager to get to in the near future. As our conversation slowed my cigar reached its end and happily it was no more than a nub when I doused it with a few drops from my bottled water.
The weather up here made a mad dash into the its outdoors to enjoy the sun, as outdoor cigar season can only be just around the corner.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Cuban-Seed Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano