Thursday, October 31, 2013

Experience the Corona Gold Series

Today, we have several cigars from Corona Cigar Co. We are going to look at their Gold series which comes in a Natural, Sun Grown, Maduro, and Dos Capa. I will be smoking the Churchill size 7” x 50, for all of the reviews.

Corona Gold Series Natural

Pre-light:Glancing at the cigar you will notice the wrapper, which has a beautiful satin finish that looks almost perfect. Slight veining is visible, but the appearance of the wrapper seems to be seamless. The cigar has a slight sweet hay aroma. The band features a white background with gold lettering and logo. It's simple and very classy. The cigar uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and a binder and filler from the Dominican.

Light & First Third: Using a cedar match, I couldn’t help but notice how easily the cigar lit. The draw is perfect and allowed for a nice start to the cigar. Notes of dry hay and hints of white pepper are fresh on the palette from the start. As mentioned, the cigar is drawing perfectly and releasing beautiful plumes of white smoke.  It's moving from more of a mild flavored cigar to a stronger tone of pepper with tones of roasted walnuts.

Second Third: The cigar profile begins to really pick up during the second third of the smoke. In addition to the flavors already noted, I began to notice tones of fruit. They are light, but are found lurking in the background. It's quite enjoyable and adds to the cigar tremendously. It continues to produce vast amounts of aromatic white smoke and the burn has been perfect.

Final Third: The final third begins with a flavorful bit of baking spices on the palette. It's a new flavor that I didn’t notice in any portions of the cigar up to this point.  The cigar continues on with a core of hay, pepper, and spice for the remaining portion of the smoke. It is mild-bodied, but has lots of flavor characteristics that make it very intriguing. It's definitely not a typical profile that you would expect from a cigar with a Natural wrapper.

Final Thoughts: This is an excellent cigar that features a nice flavor profile. The draw and burn are exceptional and the changing flavor profile keeps the cigar interesting. It's an excellent everyday cigar that I would smoke without hesitation.

Corona Gold Series Sun Grown

Pre-Light: This is a beautiful looking cigar to say the least. The Sun Grown wrapper is rich looking with a nice oily patina to it. The cigar has some slight veining and is crafted in the Cuban tradition with bunching of the fillers, and then topped off with a triple cap. A premium Habano 2000 wrapper is used, while a recipe of Dominican fillers are used to complete the blend profile.

Light & First Third: Lovely notes of cream and sweet cedar are noted on the start. The burn is cool and smooth right out of the gate with lots of blue-white smoke coming off the foot. A smooth profile that's mild-bodied is consistent throughout the first third. I can't wait to see what the rest of the cigar has to offer!

Second Third: The second third has notes of citrus. It brings a nice touch to the cigars flavor profile, and it's sitting well on my palette. Next, I began to notice some overtones of oak, with a touch on the back of black pepper. It's not overpowering, but a great change to the cigar. Also, at this point, the burn, draw, and smoke have been superb. It's an impressive cigar that's featured a cool burn.

Final Third: The profile picks up a bit in the final third with notes of earth showing through, and bits of leather on the back. The sweet cedar is still in the profile, along with tones of baking spices. Overall, the cigar has a mild to medium-bodied profile, and has been consistent throughout. A bit of spice sits on the back of the tongue, which gives the cigar a slightly stronger tone. It finishes up with notes of hazelnut and dried apricots.

Final Thoughts: I'm a sucker for Sun-Grown wrappers and this is no exception. Great construction, nice flavoring, and a sweet aromatic smoke make this an instant winner, in my book. I definitely would give this a rating of “Must Buy!” This is an excellent smoke that can easily rival the best of any everyday cigar on the market.

Corona Gold Series Dos Capa

Pre-Light: The Corona Gold Series Dos Capa is another magnificent looking cigar. It features a dual wrapper that has a matte finish and smells of earth and dark chocolate. The construction is firm and feels solid. Like the rest of the cigar line, it's rolled "entubado" and finished off with a triple cap. Also, like the rest of the Corona Gold Series, it uses a blend of Dominican tobacco for both the binder and fillers. Let's dive in and see what we find.

Light & First Third: A rich earthy overtone is ripe on the palette from the start. The flavors that I'm picking up are that of leather, grass, and bark. The draw is smooth and the burn is crisp and clean. While I'm getting a lot of rich dark tones, the cigar itself is mild to medium-bodied, at this point. It's been an excellent start to the cigar. Now on to the second third!

Second Third: The second third starts with notes of green pepper and coffee. The cigar has moved to more medium-bodied with the flavors picking up somewhat. A bit further in, and I've noticed the green pepper fade into the back, and the coffee mellows out. Delectable tones of spices, leather, and wood begin to combine for a flavor burst of premium goodness. It finishes off with notes of coffee, pepper, spices, and earth.

Final Thoughts: This is a great medium-bodied cigar that's loaded with a rich flavor profile. The double wrapper gives the cigar a great depth. It releases vast amounts of dark earthy notes laden with coffee and spice. It's excellent construction, and large plumes of aromatic smoke are all added bonuses. This is a must-try, if you love cigars!

Corona Gold Series Maduro  

Pre-Light: The wrapper used is Oscuro Maduro has a rustic look to it, along with a nice matte finish. The color on the wrapper is a dark chocolate and it shows very little veining with several tiny bumps. The cigar smells of earth, chocolate, and coffee which creates a beautiful aroma. I'm looking forward to lighting this one up...

Light & First Third: The cigar starts off with a smooth sweet note, and with a touch of earth and wood in the background. I was expecting some really harsh earthy notes, but was surprised to find the cigar so mild and smooth. I worked the cigar a bit longer and have about a one-inch of ash on the foot. At this point, it begins to take on a dark earthy profile with lots of black coffee on the palette. This is a pretty consistent flavor found throughout the first third.

Second Third: Much like the end of the first third, the cigar continues on with dark coffee and earth. I found additional notes of leather, bark, and some undertones of spice. None of the flavors found to this point have been harsh or overpowering. It has been mild to medium-bodied, full-flavored, and a great smoke, so far. Nearing the final portion on the second third, the notes of baking spices pick up. The cigar is beginning to move more towards a full-bodied profile.

Final Third: Roasted walnuts start things out on the final third. This is followed up with more coffee and spices. The smoke has been superb with an excellent draw and dead even burn. The construction is great with the cigar consistently holding a one to two-inch ash on the foot. I nubbed the cigar out and it finished consistent with the rest of the cigar profile. It has lots of earth and coffee, with sporadic notes of leather, wood, and spice.

Final Thoughts: This is a great everyday cigar that I would definitely have as an afternoon smoke. It's well constructed with a good flavor profile from start to finish. If you like Maduro cigars, this would be an excellent choice.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monte by Montecristo Cigars

Today, we're looking at a new cigar from Montecristo, called Monte. As many of you know, Montecristo has a long storied history. You can check the cigar history section of the blog for a more in depth look at the brand and its history. The Monte is quite the impressive cigar, so let's dive in and take a look.

The cigar uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that's quite impressive. I couldn’t find any flaws in the wrapper, and it has a nice oily patina finish to it. A double binder from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic encases a blend of long fillers from the Dominican. The cigar feels firm in the hand, and I haven't noted any soft spots in the cigar.

Light and First Third:
I'm smoking the 6x60 size and it lit quite well. I used an extra long cedar match and in no time smoke was bellowing off the foot. I was greeted with a nice profile of baking spices right out of the gate. They were strong, but not overpowering and very pleasing on the palette. The second wave revealed lots of nice floral notes. They were light, but prevalent, and notes of sweet prunes were found alongside it. Towards the end of the first third, the cigar turns to a more peppery profile with cinnamon tones in the background.

Second Third:
The second third of the cigar continues on with a light peppery backbone with touches of spice. The cigar is smoking very smooth with lots of smoke still coming off the cigar. The draw has been great and the burn is nice and even. I'm attributing the aromatic spices to the Dominican Olor binder that’s used. It's very flavorful and adds to the cigar profile quite nicely. The Nicaraugan Corojo, which is the second binder used, is adding lots of depth to the cigar with a nice peppery aftertaste.

Final Third:
The cigar is a break from the regular Montecristo lines. The Monte, to this point, is very robust with lots of complexity and flavor. The cigar has performed perfectly in every category, as you would expect from a Montecristo cigar. At this point, I’m picking up notes of nuts, spices, and a touch of orange peel. The peppery notes are still showing through, but are much more balanced in the final third of the smoke. The Monte finishes out with a refined, rich spice and a black pepper overtone.

Final Thoughts:
This is an impressive smoke that's equally balanced from start-to-finish. It's an excellent cigar if you're looking for a mid-afternoon to late night smoke. The cigar has loads of flavor that keep you intrigued from the get-go. I'm adding the Monte to my new personal favorite list, and it will become a regular in my humidor. While it breaks from the traditional Montecristos, it's a definite winner and you should enjoy it, if you like robust flavorful cigars. It's a must-smoke cigar in my book. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Order Your Monte by Montecristo Here!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rocky Patel Royale Sumatra

Today, we are looking at the Rocky Patel Royale. Known for being one of the hottest cigar brands on the market, Rocky Patel Cigars continues to amaze us by producing outstanding cigars year after year. I'm smoking the Toro box pressed size for this review. Let's check it out together...

The cigar has a sweet tone, along with nice hints of coffee. The sumatra wrapper is dark with a slight oily leather finish. After a quick check, there are no soft spots found in the cigar. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Sumatra, the binder is Nicaraguan, and the fillers are triple ligero from Nicaragua. The wrapper is securely rolled, as the seams are very hard to see. A Cuban style touch is added with the triple cap completing a very nice looking cigar.

Characteristics and Flavors:
Lighting up, it's evident that a substantial amount of Ligero leaf tobacco has been used. The start of the cigar is marked with rich earth and coffee notes; hints of pepper are in the background. Large wafts of smoke are easily produced, thanks to the smooth airy draw. The flavors are not harsh in anyway; actually, they are very refined. While I'm not a particular fan of the box pressed shape, I have to say the cigar feels fairly comfortable in the mouth. The ash forming on the foot is a dark gray with splotches of black showing through. Overall, it's been an excellent start to the cigar.

Entering the second third of the cigar, hints of caramel start to emerge. The RP Royale has consistently remained very smooth. With the vast amounts of Ligero used, I wouldn’t expect such a smooth flavor profile. Whether this has to do with the type of Ligero or any fermenting, I'm not sure. Normally, I would expect a very spicy and peppery backbone, but so far the flavors are very mild to medium-bodied with just touches of both coming through. The core remains with an earth and coffee backbone. The ash is holding strong at four inches.

The final third features a stronger earthy tone. Dry walnuts are found with the coffee notes remaining. The strength picks up some, giving off a medium-bodied overtone. The burn has been perfect, after the initial light, I haven’t had to touch the cigar at all. Also, the draw has been spot on. It's airy, light, and pleasant to smoke.

Final thoughts:
This is another great cigar from Rocky Patel. It's very consistent, has a great flavor profile, and is of excellent quality. The Royale would work well as an afternoon smoke, or if you prefer, an after dinner cigar. It doesn’t knock you off your feet, but it gives you some strength with an excellent flavor.

Order Your Rocky Patel Royale Sumatra Cigars