Crowned Head – Las Calaveras 2017

Holy crap! Am I really posting a blog on the correct day? Yes, this is real. Today it was the Las Calaveras 2017 and it was fantastic! Smoked it earlier today when it was 70 degrees F and a slight breeze. This cigar goes for $10.75 and it is an Ecuadorian Habano Maduro wrapper with a Nicaraguan Binder and Filler.

Initial thoughts are that the wrapper had a nice oily feel to it. Definitely had a strong smell of pepper to it which I haven’t really experienced before either. Well constructed and only one noticeable vein running about 2/3 down the side.

So the cold draw gave off flavors of sweet leather, once lit, the first flavor that was picked up was just general baking spices.

As the first third kept going, roast coffee and a nutty flavor started to become apparent. There was a peculiar taste that I really enjoyed that I can only relate to that smell of an old style colonial hearth if you’ve ever been to a re-enactment village in the USA before.. a little leather and cardamom as well.

Moving on to the second third!

Second third starts to put off a wood like flavor with some more coffee and nut flavors. Cardamom became more apparent as well and leather is now a stronger flavor. Black pepper starting to show its face which is tolerable for now.

Just me trying to be fancy!

As the final third ran its course, I was incredibly surprised that a strong cocoa flavor started to form which was absolutely tasty! This thing had awesome smoke output with lots of flavor and it had no burn issues at all. This cigar is getting a 4.25/5 leaves. Damn good cigar Crowned Heads. Keep making cigars great again! 😎

Dapper Cubo Maduro

Hey guys, my life has been and seems to be seemingly more crazy as it goes on and I apologize for the last two inconsistently published blogs.

So I smoked a Dapper Cubo Maduro which boasts a damn near flawless, beautiful Mexican San Andreas wrapper, and then a Nicaraguan binder and filler. Almost no visible veins on the wrapper, and it had a nice oily wrapper. Smelled almost like a semi-sweet chocolate from the outside. The cold draw had an orange citrus like flavor to it.

Right upon light-up, the smoke already was full of flavor! I picked up right away on some citrus notes followed by a deep coffee and cream flavor. Further into the first-third, semi-sweet chocolate became more apparent also. Heading towards the second-third, roast coffee became pretty abundant. Hint of clove but not much.

Second-third is where roast coffee became very prominent. Started to pick up on hints of leather as well as a bit of black pepper. The cigar had a nice earthiness and cocoa to it at this point. Slight bitterness as well which was pleasant, almost like cardamom..

Look at that beautiful, full ash. This cigar was built with a lot of care and attention. The final third I only really could pick up on roast coffee and black pepper. Small amount of leather too. This was a damn good cigar that was medium-full flavor and medium strength. Definitely worth $10 if you ever find yourself face-to-face with this masterpiece!

Thank you Dapper for letting me try this fantastic cigar.

4.5/5 leaves

Chief Cool Arrow – Chingonomo 8x60x44

Wow, sorry for the delay on this weeks blog guys. Life has been incredibly hectic, trying to find a job and other plans I had tended too. So this monster was given to me from someone on Reddit. Steve from Dapper Cigars. I want to apologize because I was supposed to be writing a review for the Cubo Maduro from Dapper but something came up and I had to put it out and relight it later.. didn’t think it would’ve been a fair review but there is a second Cubo Maduro to be reviewed this up coming Friday! On to the review!

Holy cow, if only this thing came with a bow, even though it can’t be fired properly from a bow, it sure was fired up properly to smoke! So this stick does have a very unique shape… the cigar also had a bit of a spongy, light feel to it for a cigar of its stature. The Chingonomo is a Mexican wrapper with a Honduran binder. The fillers are a mix from the Dominican Republic, Pennsylvania and Nicaragua. It MSRP’s at $14.50. It only had one sizable vein running down the middle.

So upon cutting the cigar, the cold draw had a very citrus heavy taste. It almost tasted like smelling an orange Fanta. Once lit, the citrus notes were definitely in the forefront still. Cocoa and leather were kind of a light after taste along with a small hint of licorice. Definitely picked up on some cedar and black pepper as well.

Quite the tasty cigar. The ash is also holding together very well. Cedar and orange becoming the strongest flavors in this cigar and it is wonderful! I just want to take a moment to point out how beautifully simple this band is also.

As I began to move into the second-third, citrus still took to the front of the flavor. Espresso notes and dark chocolate are beginning to pop up which is tasting more like a Jaffa cake. If you’ve never had one, it is a sweet biscuit with a delicious orange marmalade on top which is covered with a thin chocolate shell.

The closer I got to the end of the second-third, the wrapper started to crack and lift itself up. I was slightly concerned but it didn’t cause a problem like I thought it would. Cedar, espresso, leather and black pepper all become very powerful at this point kind of masking the citrus flavor.

The final third had a very light leather taste. Cedar and dark chocolate still prominent but not as much as the black pepper which I thought became a little too over-powering.

All-in-all, it was a fantastic cigar. The smoke was thick and flavorful. Very well constructed and considering the size it was only a medium strength cigar. It was raining all day with a slight breeze so it made for a nice time to have this cigar. Took about two and a half hours and I give it a 4.25/5 leaves. I highly recommend this stick if you can find one!

RomaCraft Cromagnon

Hey guys! As you can all see, I quite literally just lit this up. I am actually writing this while I smoke it, kind of a new thing for me but I’ve smoked this stick like 5-6 times now. I love this cigar a lot.

RomaCraft started as just a couple dudes in a Texas garage who wanted a kick ass cigar.. thus their awesome company was born. I love everything they make but the Cromagnon for me takes the cake. It just has a nice dark, oily wrapper and so many flavor nuances.

As I work my way into the first third, I’m already picking up some nice cocoa notes. A little bitter earth notes that I also quite enjoy. Also boy oh boy does this thing smoke a ton. Very thick and smooth trails are flowing off this bad boy.

Beginning to pick up sort of a more espresso flavor over just cocoa. I wouldn’t say coffee because it is more bitter than coffee.. so yeah let’s go with espresso. Also a slight nutty flavor to it which is pleasing.

For the first time ever with this line, some burn line problems are occurring. Nothing severe that warrants a touch up.. not yet at least.

Bought a sampler of some different shock top flavors the other day. Decided to have one while smoking this stoagie. It’s actually a really refreshing palate cleanse and it is quite warm out tonight so it cools me off also!

Still can’t get over this smoke. It looks like milk. What a damn fine cigar folks. Also the ash is holding very well. You can definitely tell they take pride in rolling quality cigars. Those cocoa notes are definitely becoming more of a dark chocolate.

Very happily heading into the second-third. Ash is still holding on strong and I’m getting coffee with cream flavors now. The original bitterness toned down a lot. Also beginning to pick up some black pepper, a minimal but albeit noticeable amount. Leather is starting to also become apparent.

Took a picture of how well made the cigar is due to the resilience of the ash and it literally fell off as soon as I took this. LOL. Black pepper and leather are becoming the forefront of the cigar now. The chocolate is taking a back seat for sure now.

Still picking up the same flavors as before. Mainly BP though now. The final third is coming up and I will just be enjoying it now as always. Hope you had a nice read as I enjoyed writing it up!

– Zack

AJ Hoyo La Amistad Silver – 5.5 x 52

Hey guys! Before I get too far ahead of myself with this blog, I just want to give an honorable mention to Rob at Fox Cigars based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. I am by no means being paid to say this, he was just the first person I purchased from when I first started smoking stoagies and he has killed it with the deals and his customer service is incredible! You can find his website here – https://foxcigar.com

This cigar was good! I smoked it once before and I couldn’t stand it but couldn’t put my finger on why I couldn’t stand it… I am a man of reason, so I decided to give it another chance and what a great decision that was. This cigar is a dark Ecuadorian wrapper with a Nicaraguan filler and binder. It has a sort of hay like smell to it like the original La Amistad.

First Third – The primary notes I got from this cigar are pretty typical to Nicaraguan cigar which was a nice pepper-spice. Another flavor I am very fond of is that lovely, crisp, cedar flavor. There was a hint of grassy tones to it.

Second third – So the second third started to get a lot more interesting, I started to pick up a cracker flavor while smoking the second third. Cocoa started to pick up towards the back of the mouth as well and the black pepper became even more prominent than the first third. Overall so far, the experience with this cigar has been pleasant. Super even burn lines and have not had to retouch it with my torch at all.

Final third – Black pepper was the most prominent flavor towards the end of this cigar. I really like spicy food and I love the spice from Nicaraguan based cigars. Also was picking up some notes of leather which kind of helps mute the mega spice that some people don’t care for.

Overall, the smoke was very smooth and the ash was beautiful throughout. The aroma was kind of nice also, not super harsh. It was a gorgeous afternoon in the high 70’s and I got to watch a family of cardinals hop around in their nest about 5 feet away.

I give this cigar a 4/5 leaves. A pleasant surprise and I’m glad I gave it a second chance.

Once again, thank you Rob for selling this sampler at an awesome price and if you haven’t already, everyone should totally check out his awesome business!

– Zack

A Different Kind of Blog

Sorry for the late blog everyone! I was having a much needed vacation down in New Orleans. I went with my fiancé and her family and it was definitely a lot of fun.

Has this bad boy (Caldwell Long Live the King) the night we arrived. Boy was it a wonderful smoke. I couldn’t tell you all the flavors because we were drinking a bit, but I can say for one that it never put a bad taste in my mouth.

After smoking this lovely cigar we were kindly dragged into a bar known for its “HUGE ASS BEERS”. Pretty cheap $9 32oz beer if I am remembering correctly. Went up on the balcony with one of my long time friends who is also a fiancĂ© of my fiancĂ©’s younger sister.. small world.

After a few days of being in New Orleans and smoking stoagies we decided it was best to go explore some cool places. I am a huge history nerd and let me tell you, the WWII museum was well worth the $38 I think each ticket cost (including the 2 extra pay to play exhibits).

There were so many amazing displays and it seemed like being there for one day just couldn’t do it justice but that is unfortunately all we did. Below are just some of the many bad ass pictures that I was able to snag while there!

The days were hot! So much so that we just had to get our drink on. There was a bar that sold some absolutely delicious daiquiris which all of the men couldn’t get enough of.. the ladies on the other hand made constant fun of us because we kept sucking down these tutti fruity drinks the whole time. They were good, don’t judge!

We all ended up taking it fairly easy the rest of the trip and kind of all split up and did our own things. I sat outside a lot with my fiancé and had cigars and just soaked up some sun and the lovely breeze we got at night in the business district. Also went to a rooftop bar, first time experience for me. Super fun but not worth the extra money charged just to get a view. Hope you enjoyed a different kind of blog!

– Zack

2-fer Blog! Drew Estate Papas Fritas and AJ Hoyo La Amistad!

Hey guys! Just want to say thank you to the already consistent viewers who read this blog, it’s truly awesome knowing that there are already so many of you who enjoy what I’m writing about. Also don’t expect these 2-fer blogs all the time, I will just have a lot going on tomorrow and then I’ll be going to New Orleans all next week and I wanted to have something to make up for a lack of a blog next Friday…

So I had recently found some Papas Fritas at my local B&M which was very exciting! So the Papas Fritas uses a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro with a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and a Nicaraguan and Honduran blend for its filler. It is a smaller cigar as seen in the picture below at 4.5 x 44. While small, it surely packs quite the flavor punch!

During the first third of the cigar, I got a lot of caramel and a slight char to it. The aroma of it was kind of cinnamon like as well. The taste of flowers was kind of a hint to the back of my tongue, maybe not floral but just a sweetness.. Honey? I guess we could call it honey. There was a slight bite also kind of like a cardamom-esque taste that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

Second third changed slightly and opened up to a roast coffee flavor with a cool leather afterthought. Caramel is still pretty prominent in this cigar throughout this lovely experience. Black pepper is sneaking its way onto my tastebuds but it isn’t terrorizing them which is nice. The taste of leather is now becoming most prominent towards the end of the second third followed close behind by the black pepper.

Final third was short and sweet, all that was tasted was BP (I think I’ll start saying this now, less to type) and yes you guessed it, leather! Overall it was a lovely experience on a nice cool night. I paid $6 and it was totally worth it, giving the French Fries a 4.5/5 leaves.

Next up is the AJ Hoyo La Amistad! During my first blog, I said how cigars can be one dimensional and still be wonderful to the tastebuds and this was one of those times where that statement strikes true. The wrapper is a very pretty Ecuadorian Habano with splendid construction. The rest of the cigar are a blend of tobaccos from the Esteli, Condega and Jalapa regions of Nicaragua. The cold draw was hay-like and sweet like a raisin. Throughout the entire smoking of this stoagie, all I tasted was hay. The fact that I didn’t have a single burn issue and just how consistent the cigar kept its flavor was so relaxing. I didn’t have to sit there and focus on distinctions, I found the one and I could just enjoy the great company that I had while smoking it! This cigar took me about an hour and fifty-five minutes to complete. I smoked the sucker to the nub because that’s what it deserved. I give this cigar a 4/5 leaves.

Sorry about the lack of picture in this blog, I get so caught up in the cigars that I forget to snap a few pics now and again. Here is a picture of my cats to make up for the lack of cigar shots.

Illusione Rothchildes 4.5×50

Hey guys sorry for taking all day to write this blog, been a very long and crazy day! Also before I start, the blog is going to be posted every Friday. If you guys want more frequent blogs, please let me know and I will try my hardest to make it happen!

So todays blog we are featuring the Illusione Rothchildes. This sticks name pops up quite a bit on reddit and other forums whenever people are asking for a decent budget stick and so it was time to give it a try. It cost $5.50 at the local B&M and it is a San Andreas wrapper with a Nicaraguan filler and binder. My initial thoughts on this particular cigar was that the construction was very nice! Minimal veins from the wrapper if any at all and the smell of it was nice and earthy. It was a wonderful day outside too, unlike today unfortunately.

First third – So right off the bat, leather was the very first note picked up from this cigar and boy was it prominent. The leather was so strong that it had tasted as if I walked into a leather store and just inhaled thru the mouth like a vacuum. As the cigar started to burn, floral notes and white pepper started to become more noticeable. The closer to the second third I started to pick up another flavor that I couldn’t quite put my finger on…

Second third – Cedar! It was cedar that I was tasting and boy was it good. Cedar is such a nice smell and taste, it just comes off as clean and crisp. The cedar had a slight char flavor too it which was nice as well! The white pepper definitely started to become more of a spicier black pepper. Still had notes of leather but not as strong anymore. The black pepper became a bit too harsh for me so I decided to go grab a 21st Amendment Brewery IPA which helped bring back some of the floral notes that I was enjoying in the first third as the IPA itself has a really nice crisp floral and hoppy flavor to it.

Final third – I want to say that I really enjoyed the final third, but unfortunately as the beer ran dry, the flavor went back to an overwhelming black pepper again which is not a favorite flavor of mine. About halfway through the final third it was smashed into the ash tray never to be smoked again.

I have to say, the aroma of the cigar was quite nice. The smoke itself was kind of harsh on the back of my throat but it could have been me smoking it to fast.. The cut was just a straight guillotine cut again which gave it a nice open draw. Nicotine content felt rather high in this cigar, kind of gave me a bit of a head change (I’m sure the beer helped that, lol). All in all I give it a 3.75/5 leaves, well priced and a decent enough cigar. Until next time!

– Zack

First blog – Kristoff Kristania Maduro 5.5×60

Hey guys, Zack here! Please excuse any grammatical errors and run on sentences; I am not an English professor. So a little background on me, I have had depression and anxiety for the large majority of my life and I still do. I was turned towards cigars by my fiancĂ©e’s dad about a year ago. I have to say, as an avid gamer, I used to use the alternate reality’s of games as an escape from my problems but once the monitor was off, they just came back to me. Cigars have been almost therapeutic for me though because I am able to really think about things that are bothering me and I can also focus on the outside surroundings and the cigar itself.

Anything I say in these blogs I want you all to take it with a grain of salt. I am still learning a lot every day when it comes to cigars. There are so many different brands that are good and bad. Also there can be very complex cigars like the one I am going to review or they can be very one-dimensional like other cigars that I have had. But just because a cigar can be one-dimensional, does not mean that it is bad!

Just as most people do I will break the cigar down into thirds -first, second and third. I want this blog to be about more than just cigars though, I will be sharing my initial thoughts and ending thoughts along with the atmosphere in which I smoked the stoagie and any pairings I had with it. On to the cigar…

Initial thoughts were that it was constructed very well! Wrapped nicely and no visible, large veins in the outer wrapper. The head of the cigar has a nice sweetness to it but also earthy so I relate it to that of a raisin. The band of the cigar has a nice minimalistic and dark color to it which I also enjoyed.

Cold draw and First third were very nice if I might say so myself. So the cold draw was very open which could also be because of my cut which was an straight cut with a guillotine cutter. The cold draw flavor was almost grape like but leaning more towards wine. The first third when I lit it, wasn’t the most complex third but still more complex than the final third. I kept getting a molasses/raisin flavor and some spicy qualities at first which I attributed to white pepper. The longer I worked on the first third, it became more clear that I was tasting cardamom and clove kind of like a nice chai tea.

The cigar got really fun during its second third. The first part of the second was a nice bitterness like espresso but also more cardamom heavy. As I got further into, I started to notice a dark chocolate flavor and then that turned into a black cherry flavor. I was drinking a diet cola with this cigar which changed that cherry/dark chocolate flavor into those tasty maraschino chocolate covered cherries. It was very tantalizing to my tastebuds as I haven’t been able to usually discern flavors like this before!

The final third is going to be a short description because then it becomes one-dimensional for me. All I got from it was strong black pepper and a hint of that chocolate covered cherries. Way more pepper though and it became overwhelming to my senses and not as enjoyable to continue smoking so I had to put it out halfway thru the last third.

Overall, the cigar was really nice. It was priced at about $7 at my local B&M which I believe to be a fair price for the cigar. The nicotine strength kind of snook up on me and knocked me over a bit towards the final third but it wasn’t terrible. The weather was a nice high 70’s to low 80’s with a wonderful breeze. I give this stick a 4/5 leaves.

Apologies for the long first read, I will try to formulate my thoughts about cigars a bit better in the future and I hope you were able to take something away from this blog!

– Zack