El Triunfador Lancero (original release) Monday, Dec 20 2010 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Lancero 7.5″ x 38 ring

This is a rustic looking lancero. It has a very dark brown wrapper that is veiny and oily. The cigar is bumpy looking and topped off with a small pigtail cap. The draw is excellent for a Lancero. Don Pepin has some skilled rollers because he seems to put out a consistently good lancero no matter what line of cigars it is a part of. I saw online somewhere that this version of the El Triunfador is basically a Cabaiguan Maduro. I don’t know about the accuracy of that assertion, but I can tell you this is a darn good smoke. It packs a nice punch even after spending about 2 years in my humidor. It is a smooth smoke with strong flavors of wood and earth. It mellows a bit in the middle becoming predominately earthy with a bit of a coffee flavor in the background. The last third or so picks up again with lots of wood, earth, spice, and a subtle bit of licorice on the finish. I only have one more of these excellent cigars left. I’ll need to pick up a couple of the more recent vintage and see if they can live up to their forefather.

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Cohiba Coronas Especiales Thursday, Dec 16 2010 

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Country: Cuba
Size: Panetela 6.0″ x 38 ring

This was a gift I received a few years ago from one of the best BOTL’s on the planet.  AndyMiami is one of the most genuinely generous people on the planet.  He’s a good cook to boot.  Just check out his blog Andy’s Diner and you’ll see what I mean.  Just a friendly warning, don’t look at it while you’re hungry. I decided I have held onto this stick long enough and it is time to enjoy it with a nice glass of Zaya Rum to sip on.  Andy sent me this back in January of 2007 so this stick is at least 4 years old at this point so I figure it is probably ready.

The cigar is beautiful.  Cohiba’s seem to have a unique shade of light brown that no other cigar seems to duplicate.  It is topped with a small pig tail and dressed in the Cohiba band, it looks the part of an elegant and expensive cigar.    After clipping off the pigtail I took a test draw and predictably it was a little tight.  I find a tight draw to be very common with Cuban cigars.  It is annoying to me really, but this one wasn’t so bad as to cause me any issue.  It starts off better than any cigar I can think of.   Right off the bat the flavors are smooth and creamy with slightly sweet notes of vanilla and honey perfectly balanced with subtle brine and that classic Cuban twang.  During the course of the smoke I also picked up on coffee notes, as well as toasted bread and some occasional burst of pepper near the end.  The last third of the smoke was very robust and the strength of the cigar just continued to build and by the end it was quite a strong smoke.  The cigar was very complex and I enjoyed the way it built up in strength and body, starting out with creamy somewhat mild flavors and gradually transitioning into the more robust and earthy flavors near the end.  This cigar was a real treat.  Thanks Andy.  You ‘da man.

Slowing Down Tuesday, Dec 7 2010 

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Some of my more regular visitors have probably noticed I have slowed down quite a bit on the reviews lately.   I was excited to see my blog turn 5 years old this past June, but in a way it was bitter-sweet.  I have really enjoyed publishing this blog but lately I have felt a little burnt out.  Writing the reviews has started to become more like a chore rather than the fun it once was.  Because of this I want to take a step back for a little while, but I do not want to just go and kill this site that I have loving labored on for over 5 years now.  I have come up with an idea that I hope will allow the blog to survive until I am ready to get back into this again full-bore.  It may be on life support but I won’t let it die out completely.

I plan to continue to publish reviews as regularly as I feel the need to.  The difference is, most of them will be much shorter and without all the background information I usually put into a write-up on a cigar.  It will just be a brief description o the cigar and its flavors, and perhaps my opinion.  I’ll try to include photos with each short review as well.  This will hopefully keep fresh and new content coming up on the site yet not be so labor intensive for me as I research cigar and company to provide the kind of detailed reviews I have in the past.  Who knows, this could even lead to more postings if this turns out to be a fairly easy and fun way for me to post reviews.

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