This is my first time compiling one of our blind reviews, so I hope I do OK, and that all of you can follow along.
Cigar Weekly has a tradition of doing blind reviews of new and/or boutique cigars whenever the maker asks.
Cigar Weekly's blind reviews are scored by a panel, and averaged using 7 criteria within a 50 point scale.
We do not require that the maker be an advertiser, nor do we charge a fee for these reviews.
We do ask the maker to send the cigars to a central location, and provide $35 to reimburse some of the shipping charges. All cigars are de-banded and shipped to the volunteer reviewers by priority mail.
How it works: Cigar Weekly members volunteer for the task, and are asked to complete the review by smoking both samples within a two to three week window. They are requested to take copious notes, and then to enter their data into an online form. It's the 21st century, right? We used to use paper…
The results are compiled, scores tabulated, and then the article is written up for publication.
Interested in participating? Well, you need to be a member of the forums! You can register – it’s always free – at http://j.mp/cw-reg
Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at Cigar Guys Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review called ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 9AM to 11AM. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on Cigarweekly.com, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.
This week’s selection is the La Antiguedad from Jose Pepin Garcia and My Father Cigars.
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: CW sent several reporters to the IPCPR show in New Orleans this summer. Jeff Slatton (jeffslat) was one of those reporters, and he files this review of Perdomo's Special Craft Series Sungrown line, which has been blended to accompany various craft brewed beers.
This is a compilation of three reviews of the Special Craft Series. In case you are not familiar with these Perdomos, they were specially blended to complement craft beers. For the sungrown, I chose a Stone Brewery RuinTen triple IPA. It is recommended for Amber, heavier Lager, IPA and Oktoberfest brews.
The Cigar Guys Radio Show Smooth Draws Pick of the Week
As they’ve done each week, Alan and Gary stopped in at the Cigar Merchant of Roswell to meet with owner Scott Baily, as well as select and smoke the ‘Smooth Draws Cigar of the Week Selection’. This past week, Scott chose the Alec Bradley Post Embargo.
A CIGAR IS MORE THAN TASTE
Alan Rubin, of Alec Bradley Cigars, came on the scene in 1996. His cigars have experienced a meteoric rise, winning more Top 25 ratings than those of any other maker of cigars. These cigars include the Prensado (which happened to be the 2011 Cigar of the Year), the Tempus, Nica Puro, Black Market and Maxx.
At the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show and Convention, Alec Bradley Cigars showed off a new release called the Post Embargo. This line was to represent the hope of a new era that would end the Cuban embargo and allow all cigar producers to be on a level playing field, where consumers could compare and contrast cigars from everywhere.
When I first saw the packaging and label of the Post Embargo, I thought the label would make a great T-shirt for Captain America to wear to a costume party. And the gigantic box reminded me of Rocky Patel’s steamer trunk when he came out with Cargo.
Monday November 9, 2015
José Blanco has cigar tobacco in his blood. His great-grandfather, grandfather and father all farmed tobacco in Tamboril, Santiago, Dominican Republic. José's uncle, Arnaldo Blanco, founded Tabacalera Palma in 1936, and it is still producing cigars in the Dominican Republic. José Blanco learned the family business of cigar making and tobacco farming while growing up, and rolled his first cigar at age 16.
For 30 years, José served as a member of the La Empreza Leon Jimenes (former owners of La Aurora) tasting panel - even as he held jobs in other industries. In 1999, he joined La Aurora full-time, and was eventually named Sales Director, although he continued to hone his skill at blending tobacco.
Blanco retired from La Aurora in 2011 in order to start his own brand. But he served for two years as Senior Vice President of Joya de Nicaragua. There, he learned about Nicaraguan tobacco, and honed his blending skills further. In 2013, he moved back to the Dominican Republic to set up his own shop.
Cigar name: The First 20 Years
Cigar brand: Eiroa
Vitola reviewed: Robusto
Looking over this box-pressed robusto cigar, I take notice of the chocolate-colored wrapper with small veins, course texture and almost non-existent seams. It is on the softer side of firm and feels light, fitting well in my hand as I hold it like a pool cue. This is a visually desirable cigar.
7 inches x 50 ring gauge
“You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometimes well you just might find / You get what you need.” – The Rolling Stones, 1968.
We all want to experience our own personal ‘World’s Greatest Cigar’ – the best cigar we’ve ever had. We can probably stop looking now. Some of us spend decades looking for that penultimate cigar, but few of us ever find it. Yeah, you can’t always get what you want. Nevertheless, like the Rolling Stones sang, sometimes you get what you need. In a cigar scenario, this amounts to getting a satisfactory cigar at a fair price.
THE CIGAR IS MORE THAN TASTE
Along with the cigars Jeff (Cigar Weekly’s jefslat) has sent me from the IPCPR batch, there is one that has no band. And I have no idea what it might be. So here goes.
This cigar has a delicious, dark pre-light aroma that makes my mouth water. The deep brown wrapper is leathery, and has only a few small veins. The cigar feels firm but not hard, and the draw is perfect.
Cigar Name: The Inkwell
Cigar Brand: Sawtelle Cigars
Vitola Reviewed: Torpedo, box-pressed
Strength: Medium to medium-full
Price: 5-pack $35.00
Studying the construction, I took note of the oily wrapper. The seams were tight and even, and there were small veins that were consistent with those of most cigars. The box-press brought sharp corners to this torpedo vitola. The cigar reviewed had one very minor flaw on a corner due to the box-pressing procedure. However, none of the others I received in my 5-pack had this flaw.
Some might ask, “Why give this idiot cigar samples to review? He’s no expert.” Those people would be right. I’m not an expert. And I might be an idiot.
When it comes to cigars, I’m an amateur, and not a professional. I’m not part of the cigar industry. I am a cigar enthusiast - just a guy who’s been enjoying cigars for 25 years. And like anyone who does something for that long, I have learned a thing or two. My palate is not the most sophisticated. But, what I lack in talent, I make up for in effort. I speak for the average guy that buys his own cigars. That’s why I contribute to CigarWeekly.com, and that’s why they publish me.
This post is a review of three more cigars that have been introduced or marketed at the recently completed International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association’s annual trade show. What I have to say about the Crux Classic Toro, the Foyle Epee and the La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse is - to quote Dennis Miller - just my opinion. I could be wrong. Remember, I’m an amateur.