Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pinar Del Rio 1878 Capa Oscura

Size: 5 X 52

Shape: Robusto

Origin: Dominican Republic

Body: Medium
Wrapper: Dominican Republic Habano Oscuro
Binder: Dominican Republic Habano
Filler: Dominican Republic (Corojo, Habano, Criollo 98)

Smoke Clock: 1 hr 10 mins

With the recent chilly resurgence, I was forced inside in order to enjoy my evening smoke. Fortunately for me, my local shop didn’t mind a bit. The smoke for the evening: PDR 1878 Capa Oscura.

The first thing I noticed about this stick was how attractive it was. A beautiful and rich color covered the wrapper and the pig tail and closed foot helped to make this a delightful stick to behold. Once I was done ogling it, I cut and dove in.

A pre-light sniff revealed notes of sugar, spice, and earthen undertones which had me raising my lighter quicker than a hound chasing a hare. As soon as fire struck tobacco, I tasted sugar cane with a hint of butter. What a start!

Progressing into the first quarter, the note of butter became more dominant. When the profile became overall creamy and the flavors began to mingle I tasted vanilla bean ice cream. Delicious!

As the stick progressed, I intermittently tasted hints of coffee and earth, while the profile remained dominantly vanilla bean in nature.

Advancing into the third quarter, the flavor profile remained much the same. The vanilla bean ice cream accompanied by coffee and earth notes, which served to enhance the delicious vanilla bean flavor, continued through the end of the cigar.

Even though this stick seemed relatively one-noted, it was extremely tasty and never became bitter. I only set this guy down because it was starting to burn my fingers. The only drawback was the burn. From start to finish, if the burn wasn’t wavy it was in a full out sprint. I had to touch it up two or three times. Despite the unfortunate burn, this stick provided this smoker with an excellent experience, one that I highly recommend you try yourself.


Presentation: 9/10 – Now this, ladies and gents, is what I call a well presented cigar. The band is simple, well designed, attractive, and bold. If I walked into any B & M and glanced around the room I would immediately be able to spot this stick(if it was in plain sight, of course).

Appearance: 8/10 – As I stated earlier, this is one pretty stick. The wrapper is dark and oily with a well executed pig tail at the head and closed foot. However, two thick veins stood out and even though the seams were nearly invisible, they weren’t quite.

Construction: 31/35 – This stick was firm throughout but had a few soft spots, which indicated slightly inconsistent density. This may have accounted for the poor burn that I experienced with this stick. However, the draw was great, providing just a little bit of resistance.

Flavor: 43/45 – This blend was extremely well executed, providing me with a lot of delicious and consistent flavor throughout the entirety of the smoke. No bitterness was detected even down to the nub.

Overall: 91/100 – This cigar is masterfully blended, very attractive, and beautifully presented. This is a veritable home run in my book. If you haven’t tried this stick yet you are missing out.

Monday, March 14, 2011

La Gloria Cubana Serie N Generoso

Size: 5 ¾ X 49
Shape: Generoso
Origin: Dominican Republic
Body: Medium to Full
Wrapper: Equadoran Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoke Clock: 1 hr

We are now in the early teasing days of spring, where it’s almost possible to go outside for a smoke, but it’s still just a bit too cold. With the promise of warm days of puffing outside ahead, I retired to my local smoke shop to escape the current chill. My smokeable companion for the afternoon: La Gloria Cubana Serie N Generoso.

After a neat clipping of the cap of this stick, I passed it beneath my nose. I detected earth, leather, and a pronounced spice which got me pretty revved up to get this baby lit. On the draw I experienced leather accompanied by a natural sweetness. After that, I was seriously ready to burn this baby.

Touching fire to the foot, I tasted sweet earthen coffee. Throughout the first quarter, the smoke was copious and creamy, wafting away in thick clouds as I exhaled. After a few puffs, the sweetness picked up, leading to a long mocha finish. This was a solid start to a tasty stick to say the least.

Leading into the 2nd quarter, the profile developed into a complex array of flavors that I lovingly refer to as compost. Sweet mocha lingered on my palate after ever puff. Towards the end, a hint of spice emerged in the nose, but just for a moment before retreating to the background of the profile. Once this occurred, I was able to detect it in the distant background and was glad that the spice note had made its presence known.

As the 3rd quarter began, the profile returned to sweet earthen, leathery, rich compost flavors. The richness and depth of the profile increased during this quarter, rewarding this smoker with a long luxurious finish.

This was a great smoke and an excellent sister blend to the Serie R. Much more mellow and luxurious than the R (in my opinion), the N provided an absolutely delightful smoking experience; one I hope to soon repeat.

Presentation: 8/10 – The color and contrast of the La Gloria emblem are proudly displayed all over the band. The seal, complete with an attractive woman, is placed over a large and dramatic “N.” Classic, to the point, and easily readable, this is one of the better bands I’ve seen. An interesting addition of a tobacco leaf “N” is stuck to the outside of the wrapper. This is an interesting presentation concept, to say the least.

Appearance: 7/10 – This stick was rough and bumpy, providing a rolling hills type appearance. The wrapper was dark and oily with a clearly visible seam.

Construction: 32 /35 – Applying some pressure, this cigar appears to be rock solid, yet provides a decent draw with a punch cut. The burn was wavy overall, but didn’t take away from the experience.

Flavor: 43/45 – The complex profile of sweet and rich earth, leather, and cocoa came together to create a sweet compost note that I really enjoy.

Overall: 90/100 – Overall, this cigar provided a very consistent and delicious smoke and didn’t require a lot of maintenance. I would definitely smoke this guy again and if you haven’t, I highly recommend that you do.