Thursday, July 30, 2009

NUB Limited Edition 460 Habano

This will be short and sweet, just like a NUB.

This evening we (B&B) are chillin on the deck with some Latin Jazz and a couple of NUB Cigars. My self I have a NUB Limited Edition and Byrd has the new CAIN. Which is also posted.

The L.E. is wrapped in a Connecticut/Habano wrapper which looks like a Barber Pole or a candy cane.

The first draw was very smooth with a nice amount of smoke and nice flavor. It has a very steady burn and a nice white ash with creamy notes. (Starting to feel the affects of the Wray & Nephew 126 Proof Rum) FIRE.

Back to the stick, Half way through and a very lite hint of spice but still smooth. Still has a nice ash and a good burn. The flavors remain consistently smooth, creamy and easy on the buds.

Bringing it in for the final leg. Ash is a little flaky, Spice note is gone and it is smooth sailing.

Finished off very nice. All in all a good smoke. I would say it was a mild smoke with nice flavors.

NUB Limited Edition 460 Habano.

Happy smokin!!

Big Pimpin

Smokin' Some Good Cain

Smokin’ Some Good Cain

The Latin jazz on the XM radio in the background and the humidity of a warm post-rain summer night gives the feeling of being on an island beach even though I’m just sitting at home with Big Pimpin’ on the deck. I chose the Cain toro given to me this past weekend at NUB Live by the man himself, Sam Leccia (thanks again buddy). The Cain cigar (toro size) is a sight to behold, unbanded, with impeccable construction and a nice oily sheen that intensifies from the foot to the head. The pre-light draw screams all ligero flavor, but the spicy pepper kick is surprisingly dampened. The first couple of draws are effortless and confirm that this cigar is “straight ligero” as advertised. Subsequent puffs reveal a woody caramel finish that is reminiscent of the “toasted” cracker jacks without the sugary sweetness. The smoke produced on exhaling is bountiful, thick, white, and creamy but the power of the ligero is ever-present. Passing smoke through the sinuses is effortless and buttery with no burn or “heat” characteristic of other ligero powerhouses. The ash is a salt & peppery complexion that’s firm and holds for the first inch and a half to two inches.

Into the second third, the ligero is picking up speed like a roller coaster nearing the crest of the "big drop". The pepper and spice is becoming more prevalent when exhaled through the sinuses and there is a slight spicy tinge on my tongue, yet this cigar remains smooth & velvety. I fully anticipated that this cigar was going to put me down for the count and it probably would have if it were not for the balancing smoothness that makes enjoying the ligero flavor effortless. Sneaky is not an adequate word to describe the effect but this is definitely a "chill out" cigar as opposed to the gut punch experienced from other double ligeros. Mind you, this cigar is "straight" ligero.

I couldn’t stop praising this cigar going into the final third. For someone who loves full-bodied cigars, I was in my world and yet the smoothness reminded me of a mild to medium cigar. As evidenced by the nub left in the ashtray, with a roach I could still enjoy this cigar for another 20 minutes until it burned my lips. Amazingly the cigar stayed cool in the final third and although the flavor intensified once again with more peppery spice, toasted woodiness and leather, the balance of the cigar just made me want to keep coming back for more. I call this cigar the “B-2 Stealth” because you know going in that it’s going to be a strong full-bodied flavor bomber and do a fair share of damage, yet it quietly flies in under the radar undetected and lulls you to sleep all while giving you every bit of the power of the ligero that it contains. Big Pimpin’ can attest that it takes a lot to get me excited when someone says “full-bodied” and I thought I had met my new all-time favorite, for the time being, when Jerry Cruz aka The Great Torpedo from Stogie Review (big up Stogie Review posse) turned me on to the Man O’ War Ruination. Cain provided all of the power and even more of the flavor but the delivery is unparalleled in my opinion. Having had the toro size in the Cain lineup, I would love to do a head-to-head with the Ruination Robusto #2 and the Cain Double Toro size.

In closing, I think any lover of full-bodied, full-flavored cigars owes it to himself/herself to give Cain a try. Look for it in the coming weeks. Until next time…fly straight and fly high.

-Da Byrdman-

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Battle with a Man O' War Ruination

After hearing Jerry Cruz aka The Great Torpedo rave about these on Twitter and then seeing his review on, I broke down and decided that I had to try them for myself. Yes, I’m talking about the Man O’ War Ruination. I managed to snag a 5-pack from CI with a couple of Padilla ’68 Salomons for $25. The vitola was the Robusto #2 (60 x 6”). I sat down with Big Pimpin’ (the other B in B&B) and commenced to pull a draught Heineken and get into this much anticipated cigar. The wrapper was a lush reddish brown with a nice oily sheen. The cigar was well constructed, firm, and had only one predominant vein but otherwise was very neat. The pre-light aroma was that “barnyard goodness” that stinks so good. This is usually the aroma that accompanies many of the full-bodied cigars; something akin to the smell of barnyard hay. The pre-light draw was spicy and definitely fit the full-bodied profile. The first third started with a jet blast of peppery spice that caused me to sink a little lower in my deck chair because I knew I was going to be in for quite a ride. There was a slight sweetness on the finish that remained throughout the first 3rd that was akin to licorice but not as strong. The second third became creamy smooth and left a buttery texture on my palate and I continued to puff away. I didn’t have any problems with the draw or the burn although I did have to re-light after my wife called (that’s another story for another blog entry). After pulling another Heineken and a glass of Balvenie Doublewood scotch, I strapped my self in for the finish. The final third was all leather and really earthy but oh so good. No matter how fast I puffed the Ruination, it never got hot not even down to the nub. All in all, the total smoking experience (that’s putting it lightly) lasted about 2 hours and it was one hell of an experience. I did get the “cigar sweats” on my cheeks just below my eyes and I could feel a light rumble in my belly (good thing I ate those hot dogs before I smoked this one). I was still feeling the kick from the cigar as much as an hour after I had put it out. Needless to say, I slept like a baby and dreamt of the next rumble with the Man O’ War Ruination. If you like full-bodied cigars, do yourself a favor and get a box of these because you’ll burn through a 5-pack quick. Thanks again to The Great Torpedo for turning me on to this gem. 

The Final Verdict:  5 Smokes

Until next time. . .Fly straight and fly high.

-Da Byrdman-

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Northern Virginia Cigar Enthusiasts Herf

Well it's been a full year since I last attended a NoVA cigar enthusiasts meetup so I figured I'd venture out and reaquaint myself with group and drum up some new candidates for the B&B monthly herfs. The event was held at Carpool in Arlington on the patio. Since they announced there would be free cigars, the turnout was pretty high. They were offering Montecristos and Romeo y Julieta Reservas and they went fast. I did manage to snag a Monte that someone left behind in their haste to exit so all was not lost. I met about four or five new people like Marvin (, Marty, The People's Champ (Social Cigar in the house), and few other guys whose names escape me at the moment but all very cool and certainly made the night enjoyable. As for smoking, I started the night with a NUb 466 Habano (my staple) and as has been the case with this particular box I'm working from, all of the ashes are flaky & downright messy though the flavor & burn still seem to be pretty consistent. I enjoyed a Sam Adams Summer Ale with the NUb before moving to a table with my old acquaintances Nick & Scott from the J. Gilberts herf. I then proceeded to enjoy an Alec Bradley Tempus Centuria. This was only the second one I had ever smoked but it didn't disappoint. Definitely in the medium range (for me) and certainly flavorful. The most notable flavor was the coffee and slight cocoa at the outset and the leather toward the final third. Definitely a slow burner that was even & only required a slight touch-up. As an aside, I did manage to see my buddy Chief before he left. Hopefully I can start copying him on reviews that I post to the blog here. Anyway, after sharing several anecdotes and talking about a myriad of cigars & cigar-friendly establishments, it was time to go. I passed out my card, said my goodbyes, & proceeded to finish my Alec Bradley Tempus on the ride home. I didn't throw it out of the window until the nub was on the fingertips & I was exiting I-95 in Stafford. Next update will be after I get the Man-O-War Ruinations & the Indian Tabac Super Fuertes.

Until then. . .Fly straight & fly high! Happy Smoking!

-Da Byrdman-