Illusione Gigantes

Pre-light:

Well it’s big and has a surprisingly easy draw it does have a hint of hay on the cold draw and I personally am really not down with hay flavor in my sticks.

First third:

Gray ash with darker bands burn line a bit wobbly but nothing needing correction and plenty of smoke output. Surprisingly mellow for such a large smoke and thankfully no hay! Slight note of some type of baked goods touch of pepper and a splash more baked goods on the retro.

Second third:

Ash fell with burn and smoke still doing well. The baked goods flavor reveled itself to be scones also present in the retro in addition to the mild pepper.

Final third:

Have a small unravel at the tip I can blame on myself due to my deep cut on the cap I also keep all my large sizes, odd shapes, and infused cigars in a humidor with slightly lower RH than my main one. It may all be in my head but I think it improves the burn and draw on those types of cigars if they are a touch on the drier side. Burn, smoke, and flavor all remain in a happy place…. added a bit of creaminess about halfway thru this third.

Final Thoughts:

Surprisingly mild and enjoyable smoke. Pepper notes never got above mild. In my experience the bigger smokes tend to have a gimmicky feel and be pepper bombs. This stick is neither. I will definitely keep a few around.

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Watchman Habano Toro Premium Hand Rolled Cigar

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Pre-light:

Attractive milk chocolate habano  wrapper. Some veins noticeable in the leaf. Nice firm feel, solid and sturdy. Earthy, sweet aroma from the foot. Pleasant fermented tobacco smell from the body. Ample draw, with a light taste of tea and leather.

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Burn:

First Third:

Strong coffee, leather and earthy flavors. Nice light grey to white ash. Smoke output medium, with a clean burn line. Thick, oily wrapper. A little pepper on the retrohale. Flavors becoming more complex near the end of the first third. Picking up some graham cracker, vanilla and less pepper on the retrohale. Ash still holding on strong. 20180821_213642.jpg

Second Third:

Smoke output picking up. Very smooth with nutty flavors emerging. Pecan pie, leather, coffee and graham cracker flavors developing nicely. Ash dropped about halfway through the stick. Burn line slightly crooked, but straightened out without a touch up. Smoke output now ample. Pepper flavor milder on the retrohale. 20180821_213627.jpg

Final Third:

Completely even burn line. Draw and smoke output excellent. Buttery, nutty coffee flavors. Strength and spice picking up. Leather, spice and pepper, earthy notes on the retrohale. Smooth and strong. Ash holding on every inch and a half before dropping off. The last inch and a half, the pepper is almost gone leaving a sweet nutty flavor with a nice nicotine kick.20180821_213530.jpg

Final Thoughts:

A good solid cigar. Excellent performance throughout. Complex flavors emerging as the smoking progressed. Definitely a must have in your humidor.

 

 

601 Labomba Warhead IV by Espinosa

Pre-light:

Cool foot band, long pigtail(fuse), and a soft box press. Cold draw a touch tight with hint of wet oak leaves.

Burn:

First third:

Strong and Spicy but not overly so. Very peppery on the retohale with nice smoke output and a straight crisp burn line. About half an inch in strong black coffee starts to overtake the damp oak. Coffee and spice both present in the retro. Bumped my stand and lost the ash at about an inch.

Second third:

Smoke and burn still good. All pepper and coffee now. Very spicy retro. Had to let it sit for a bit to yell at dogs and it went out but lit right back up and continued to burn like a champ.

Final third:

Smoke and burn both ample and consistent for the entire smoke. Started to pick up some creaminess to go with the coffee about halfway thru this third. Even a touch of cream on the retro with the pepper. Not an especially complex cigar but nails what I believe it is going for a solid strong stick for experienced smokers.

Finale thoughts:

Started with a fiver and will get more in the future. Have yet to have a disappointing smoke from Espinosa.

LEEF by Craig (fun&dangerous)

Forward:

I’ve seen this type of cigar around a lot lately what with the Leaf by Oscar and James…… well do I have a treat for you guys! I got a LE LEEF by Craig! These were produced in very limited numbers and I was lucky to get my hands on one of these beauties! Due to the exotic nature of these sticks with the extra wrapper and all it took a couple more pieces of gear and time to get her going but man what a unique smoking experience.

Pre-burn:

Got some scissors to cut off the excess leaf then clipped both ends with the cutter just to be sure I had good airflow. *(pro tip) cold draw smelled and tasted of redman chew and leaves. Airflow was good if a bit dusty (got lots of tobacco bits in my teeth).

Burn:

First half:

Good airflow very “Smokey” with a brief flare up at the start. The label and “next level” extra wrapper both burned nicely. Taste a little like yard leaves and Post it notes but nice overall.

Second phase:

About an inch in the outer wrapper caught some wind and burned off in a brilliant flash! After putting out my Umbros( which melted a bit to my leg) it left a beautiful char down the entire cigar!! I have never seen anything like it! Outstanding! It kept the burning oak and maple leaf flavor and picked up a melted glue and charred Seabass with acorn chutney taste especially on the retro.

Finale thoughts:

After figuring out the nuances of smoking this type of stick you’ll find the extra eq., time, and danger are well worth it!

Ramon Allones torpedo by AJ Fernandez

Pre-light:

Firm, smooth draw if a touch tight, and light taste of dry earth and leaves.

Burn:

First third:

White ash, good burn line, flavor of light roasted coffee and a hint of blackened marshmallow. Draw and smoke output were both lacking but with another snip of the tip both preformed top notch. Near the end of the first third started picking up roasted peanuts and a peppery spice on the retrohale.

Second third:

Ash has fallen around the inch mark, burn and smoke are still kicking. All things roasted: nuts and coffee flavors still mostly peanuts on the retro with pepper picking up near the end of this third.

Final third:

Burn and smoke still great no touch ups needed and pepper continues to build. Fabulous smoke on the milder side of my palette till the last couple inches when it gains spice and strength. Nicotine crept in after the last half inch. Overall a great smoke as are most of AJs sticks will 100% be looking for some more.

Watchman Cigars box press

27286371-6D40-4F7D-B75C-F809CB19F7FC.jpegPre-light:

A crisp box press with a lambs ear texture. Cold draw has nice air flow and brings a light touch of barnyard.

A2722932-CAAD-432C-8A48-0F9F744E44E2Burn:

first third:

sharp burn line, beautiful white ash, great draw with ample smoke output. Taste of light earth and pepper with a hint of unidentifiable baked goods. More pepper on the retrohale

0765B0AA-2AA4-454D-A95D-4A409D59CA3F.jpegSecond third:

ash fell around start of the second third burn and smoke output still on point. Pepper present but toned down and the baked flavor is still hanging out. Near the end of this third the pepper kicks it up a notch especially on the retro.

8304166D-8B16-4965-A6F0-9AD430560AC5.jpegFinal third:

burn and smoke continue to perform well. Becoming spicier, the baked goods flavor is completely gone, and picking out a hint of peppermint? Yep the minty taste is present in the retrohale as well. Ash falls about every inch or so.

1B77CF35-6A72-4C9D-9649-232B2E64DFAD.jpegFinal thoughts:

good solid cigar with classic flavors and a few unexpected but welcome notes making an appearance. And I’m a sucker for a box press. I will definitely smoke more when I can get them.