Tony takes on a blind review challenge
After a week long hiatus due to an absolutely terrible cold that I caught at the tail end of the previous week I am finally smoking cigars again and back here with a super fun blind trade. Recently Daniel roped me in on a little blind trade action that he was setting up. Basically the way it worked was we were to exchange cigars with someone chosen at random. The cigars were to be 1 Criollo/Corojo labeled “C”, 2 value sticks (under $6) and 2 premium cigars (over $6). I was lucky enough to hook up with a buddy of mine, Hogman21 on twitter, better knows as Mike from MikesStogies.com. If you haven’t checked out his site, drop in and show him some comment love. He’s got a hell of a fun insight on cigars, great selection, honest reviews, and a badass accent.
Any who, these will be ridiculously loose reviews with only the high and low notes from the cigars. I will finish each one of with my guess on what cigar it was and then the actual cigar in question. This was a hell of a humbling experience and showed me that what I throught is true; I know nothing about cigars. Prepare for some foot-in-mouth action as I take on a few smokes that had I known what they were, I probably would have never picked up and smoked for myself.
Cigar “C” (Criollo/Corojo).
– This cigar sports some beautiful construction
– A few veins but nothing to cause concern
– Quite a bit of loose tobacco hanging out around the body of the cigar
– The larger boxed press cigars are one of my favorite vitolas
– Very sweet tobacco and cedar scent before lighting
– Clipped clean
– Very mild with a ton of sweetness
– Crap loads of cedar during the first third
– Wavy burnline and very loose ash
– Getting some coffee and cream notes into the second third
– Citrusy aftertaste and slight leather
– Ridiculously smooth with no nicotine hit on the finish
– Subtle, sharp spice notes into the last third.
– Finished slightly harsh
This cigar was dead on. I really enjoyed it. The mild, smoothness mixed with the bolder, easy to decipher flavors made for a perfect, relaxing cigar.
My first guess was the Punch Rare Corojo, but it didn’t pack enough flavor. My final Guess was CAO’s Criollo. Country, Honduras/Dominican Republic. Which cigar was it?
Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve – Country, Honduras
– Another well constructed cigar
– Two huge veins running through the body of the cigar
– Very, very grassy and earthy scented
– Picked up some naturally tobacco, earth tones, and oats off the cold draw
– The first prominent flavor was Cedar, which pretty much masked the other flavors
– Very easy, loose draw
– Super bright, extremely tightly compacted ash. It held on for almost 2 inches.
– Cigar burns very slow
– Picking up some spice and pepper into the second third
– Slight nicotine kick, not anything too crazy
– The burnline is getting really thick
– Pepper faded into the second third
– Started to pick up a stale, cardboard taste into the final third
– Flavor went straight downhill, very bland
– Harshness REALLY built up
This cigar started out awesome but quickly went downhill. If it’s a value stick it’s totally worth it, but it would be nice to see it in a smaller size.
My guess? First thought was an Illusione Epernay but the flavor would have stayed consistent all the way through. Country, Nicaragua. Which was it?
The Black Pearl Morada – Country, Nicaragua
– Very dark, oily wrapper
– Good construction with a few nicks in the wrapper
– Very firm to the touch
– Woodsy and fruity scented
– Clipped easily
– Prelight tasted light straight up prunes and tobacco
– Cedar, cocoa and coffee flavors
– Extremely smooth
– Very large draw with lasting smoke
– Very light ash, but it was very flaky an fell off before each inch
– Got a little pepper, and a ton of wood into the second third
– No nicotine feeling
– No harshness built up towards the end.
– Finished very clean with hints of pepper and a ton of wood
This cigar was right up my alley and I know I have had this before. One of the better Maduro cigars.
Final guess – Either the CAO Traviata Maduro or the CAO MX3. Country, Nicaragua. How close was I?
CAO Traviata Maduro – Country, Nicaragua (which I reviewed here)
– Hefty cigar
– Smells like a leather factory
– Beautiful construction
– Very earthy cold draw with some cashew
– Starts of very spicy with lots of pepper
– Tons of cocoa, can’t really taste tobacco
– Very tight ash, held on for 2 inches before falling off
– Tons of coffee flavors into the second third
– Pepper faded, cigar has become a bit bland
– Very uneven burn with no need to touch up
– Last third finished very boring
– No nicotine, smooth and creamy
– Perfect morning cigar
This cigar was unfulfilling but may be perfect for an early morning smoke. Very smooth with no harshness at all.
My guess? Oliva Serie O Maduro – Country, Nicaragua. What cigar was it?
Perdomo 10th Anniversary Maduro – Country, Nicaragua (which Daniel reviewed here)
– Very unique scented with hints of sweet tobacco and alcohol
– Very heavy cigar
– Perfect construction
– Cigar feels damp
– Broadleaf for sure
– Very Dark wrapper
– No pepper, tons of cedar and slight alcohol right out of the gate
– Alcohol faded into a very sweet tobacco
– MASSIVE, effortless draw producing lots of thick smoke
– I wrote “very sweet” 3 times. Must have been VERY sweet
– Wavy burn, needing touch ups
– Slight nicotine kick
– Wavy burnline with very loose ash
– Burns very quickly
– Nutmeg flavor coming through in the final third
– Body ramped up in the final third
This was a very pleasant cigar. I really enjoyed the complex flavors, mid-ranged to higher body, and effortless experience.
My guess – A. Fuente – Country, I haven’t the slighted idea. What could this cigar be?
ANOTHER Rocky Patel? REALLY?!?! Rocky Patel Decade Edicion Limitada – Country, Nicaragua
I often say that Rocky Patel hasn’t really made many cigars that have been able to catch my attention. No matter what, I always remain open-minded. I just have had too many of their cigars that I hadn’t liked. I don’t want to go out and spend money on a stick that odds are I’m not going to be into. If anything, Mike’s selection really has me second guessing my decision to ignore the brand. Blind reviews are the perfect example on subjectivity and just how much the mental notes about a brand can make an impression on taste/flavor and overall purchase. No matter how transparent one may think they are, there is always a bit of favortism in there.
I had so much fun with this blind review. It just goes to show just how hard it is to really nail down any given cigar. I was actually impressed with how close I got on a few of these sticks. I figured I’d be way the heck off. The country is probably the easiest characteristic to pick up.
Now comes a few questions. Is this something you have done? How did you enjoy it? Would you like to see more blind reviews? This has something that has came up in the past. I know that these are uber-bareboned reviews but if you are interested in seeing more in-depth blind reviews, let us know!
On a side note, we have some awesome things coming up on the site VERY soon. We have another giveaway sponsored by Bonita Smoke Shop, and our thoughts on the top ten cigars of the year! Stay tuned.