Saturday, August 29, 2009

Oliva Serie O Double Toro

While I've had many Oliva cigars, I've never really taken the time to break down the Serie O line. I actually went through a whole box of Serie O Maduro Double Toros last summer without even making a single observation or writing a single note (my only excuse was the mass quantities of Jagerbombs I drank with Big Pimpin all last summer). Well, this year I decided to at least make a feeble attempt at righting a past wrong by sitting down to review an Oliva Serie O cigar. Unfortunately, my local B&Ms did not have any maduro double toros so I bring you the Oliva Serie O Double Toro Habano.

This 6 x 60 Nicaraguan Puro monster chunk of a stick is grown in Esteli, Condega, & Jalapa Valley.

Wrapper: Oily, Sun-grown Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Purchase Price: $6 - 7 (approx.)

The construction of this cigar was very good. It was firm when pinched but not hard. The wrapper was oily and very consistent in color with a few veins, but certainly nothing that would appear to diminish the character of the cigar or cause burn problems. The pre-light flavor was strong tobacco but not peppery. The aroma was a smell so familiar to me especially in stronger cigars, pure barnyard hay!

As I began puffing away in the first third, the burn was very even with a compact gray ash. The predominant flavor was rich tobacco with some hints of spice and a little pepper on the finish. Due to the ring gauge, this behemoth produced gobs of thick white smoke with each puff. Once I put it down to take a drink from my "liquid crack" aka Ron Zacapa 23, the cigar produced a very light resting smoke.

Into the second third approaching the halfway point, the strength settled into a medium-bodied range but not overpowering while the flavor began to show some hints of leather. However, after I praised the cigar earlier for having no cosmetic issues that should lead to burn problems, I had a hole burn through the wrapper about 1/8" below burn line.

I had been herfing away for about a solid 75 - 80 minutes before I finally began pulling into the home stretch with this cigar. Let me just add that there had not been a dull moment of smoking experience in the first two thirds of this stick. The final third began with mild sweetness (like creamed coffee), some pepper on the tip of my tongue, and a stronger but pleasant spice flavor. The creepy weird "blowhole" burn somehow managed to correct itself, and it never caused any real problems with me enjoying this cigar. The cigar finished well into the medium-bodied range with lots of leather in the final third. Overall the cigar is loaded with good flavor and complexity yet it remains balanced. It provides a good 90 - 120 minutes of burn with tobacco, coffee, woody spice, & leather flavors. For the price point, I would recommend getting a box of these especially if you like a nice thick ring cigar that will give you loads of flavor but not put you "down for the count" when you're out herfing with your friends. That's all for this edition, but be sure to check back for upcoming posts on the CAO MX2 Box-press and the Alec Bradley Select Cabinet Reserve (SCR).
Fly straight and fly high . . .
-Da Byrdman-

Thursday, August 27, 2009

EL Cobre Torpedo

This is my first El Cobre, which is created by Oliva. I don't know much about this Cigar except that it is considered to be a full body smoke, which as you all know I have not been a fan of this type of smoke. I never read other reviews before I do a review of a cigar. I don't want their review to influence my smoke. But I am giving it a shot.

Pre light it has a strong aroma to it with a hint of Walter Payton (sweetness). It has a dark Maduro wrapper that is not all that pretty. I would show you a picture but the iPhone has a suckie camera and my digital is not charged. Oh well.

Dry pull gives you a dark chocolate flavor. On to the smoke. 11:06pm.

First third, nice even burn, nice white ash. Gives off a nice white smoke. I am getting allot of bitter flavor though. Back to the smoke. After a few more puffs, I am getting a toastie/Nutty flavor, if that's possible.

Halfway through and getting a cigar buzz with a little spice flavor at this point. This is when I would normally put it down. Damn, have to relight. Draw is gettin a little tight, don't know why. Cut the tip down a little more and all is good.

WOW!!! this is really kickin my tail. The cigar is down to the band and I am really feelin the full body of the stick, but I am still pushing forward. Flavors are still a little bitter like a rich dark Cocoa and a little spice on the back soft palate.

Coming down the final leg at just past 12:40am Thursday morning. I am sure this smoke may not take 1:40 min. to smoke for the experienced full body smokers, but I had to lay off a little.

In the end it was a very good Cigar and would recommend it to take a place in your humidor. The burn was consistent and even all the way to the finish. The ash did get a little flakie after the relight but nothing serious. Very good smoke.

Happy Smokin,


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Upcoming Local Cigar Events (Aug. - Sept.)

Northern Virginia Cigar Enthusiasts

Late Summer Herf @ eCitie (Tysons Corner) - Aug. 25 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Early September Herf @ Carpool (Arlington) - Sept. 8 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Virginia Wine Festival Herf @ Bull Run Park - Sept. 19 11:00 am - until

Cigar Dinner @ Old Glory BBQ (Georgetown) - Sept. 23 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

For more info go to (

CAO "Lady Liberty" Events

Havana Connections - Sept. 15 & 16 (

OVTC - Sept. 18 (

Burke Cigar - Sept. 20 (

Other Club Herfs

Da Champ's Monthly Herf - Aug. 29th @ Bailey's (Ballston Commons Mall in Arlington) 6:00 pm - 12:00 am
The B&B Cigar Club Monthly Herf - Sept. 11 @ Alto Plaza ( 6:00 pm - 12:00 am

Hope to see you there. Fly straight & fly high. . .

-Da Byrdman-

Saturday, August 22, 2009

5 Vegas Serie A


This is one that has been in the humidor for over a year.

I would stay away from it at first because it was to much for me. But now that I have become a more seasoned smoker I am ready to tackle this one.

Pre-light draw gives me a hint of tea flavor, but just a hint. The construction is good, it does have a few veins but not bad. We will see how it holds up. This is a 7 in x 50 ring considered to be Medium to Full bodied. It has a dark wrapper that has that stank Oder to it.

Steady even burn that gives off a pretty good amount of smoke with a puff. The flavor is pretty consistent of tea. I did get a hint spice on the back of my throat a few times, but that has gone away. I am not getting much else at this point.

Hour and thirty minutes later into the smoke. Getting a light buzz and this is all from the cigar. No alcohol with this review, only water. Since it has been awhile with this 5 Vegas, I wanted to get all the flavor of the Cigar and no distractions.

Remember, this has been sitting for over a year, so I may be getting different flavors.

Cigar sweats are setting in, 2 hours 15 min. later. This is a long smoke. I haven't had one like this in a veeerrryyy long time. Da ByrdMan has finished of 2 (Camacho Coyolor, NUB 464 Maduro) while I am still on this one. 2 hours 30 minutes later and I am done. It had a consistent flavor from beginning to end with a steady burn. No issues with having to relight.

I will say I did handle this one allot better than the first time one year ago. So I have come along way.

Next up will be the ????? Not sure, you will just have to wait and see.

Another B&B Herf/Review in the books.

Happy Smokin,

Big Pimpin.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hector Ain't As "Macho" As Da Byrdman!

Once again, I find myself ready to light up and review a couple of cigars with Big Pimpin and again I have no idea what I want. I go to my desktop humi in the study and begin to rifle through all of the cigars in the tray and below deck. I pass on everything in there before I stumble across the Camacho Coyolar Puro aka Camacho Black.

Until recently, I had only had one or two Camacho cigars in my life, but lately I'm finding myself picking up Corojos whenever I go to OVTC. On a recent trip to another B&M, I could not find any Corojos, so I decided to purchase the Coyolar Rothschild. It has been sitting in the bottom of my humidor next to the last LFD Double Ligero Chisel Maduro for about three weeks until this fateful night. Typically when I think of Camacho cigars, I think of Hector "Macho" Camacho just by virtue of word/name association. Now I'm anxious to see how much fight is in this little rascal.

Just so you have an idea of what I'm up against, here's the "Tale of the Tape":

Camacho Coyolar Puro Rothschild
50 ring x 4.5 inches
Wrapper: Coyolar (Honduras)
Binder: Coyolar (Honduras)
Filler: Coyolar (Honduras)
MSRP: $5.35

This cigar is a Honduran puro meaning that the entire cigar (wrapper, binder, & filler) is all from Honduras. The construction appears to be very solid with an oily wrapper that is somewhat toothy and has some veins. The cigar is packed firmly, but it's not hard indicating that the draw should be okay. I snip the cap and take a draw to reveal a sweet tobacco flavor with a slight peppery spiciness on the back of my throat. Upon toasting and lighting, the first puff is a blast of pepper and tangy spice that lights up my tongue and my palate. The retrohale is extremely volatile and I think all of my nose hairs have been burned away. I put the cigar down to re-group, only to notice that this stick of "pepper dynamite" is giving off very little resting smoke. Having "manned up", I take a couple of puffs and watch billowing white clouds of aroma-filled smoke waft into the night air from my deck. Between the dog and Big Pimpin, they think I'm high by the way I'm gazing at the smoke, especially after I comment that I'm not sure if the gin or the cigar has me buzzin'. For a short cigar, that I am herfin' like a champ, the burn is surprisingly cool and very flavorful. As the first third draws to a close, I am enjoying slightly sweet notes of smokey tobacco and the onset of dark roast coffee.

Moving into the second third, this cigar is still a pepper & spice powerhouse. Where similar cigars tend to mellow out and settle into a creamier range, this bad boy is still hitting my tongue like Tyson with "bad intentions". The ash is firm and manages to hold on for the first inch and a half before falling on the table just short of the ashtray. The body on this cigar is definitely moving into the full range although I am not experiencing the "cigar sweats" that usually come from tangling with a full-bodied powerhouse. As the middle of this cigar is winding down, I am starting to pick up a bit of leather while the dark roast coffee note is still holding on. For a short smoke, I have to admit that this cigar is long on power & flavor (Note to self: DO NOT underestimate the short smokes).

Coming into the final third of the Coyolar, I am starting to get a mixture of spice and heat on the tip of my tongue with each draw. Remember earlier when I said that this cigar was burining cool for a short smoke? Well, it's about to make a liar out of me. Aside from the heat with each draw, the leather flavor is building and while the smokey tobacco flavor disappeared for a minute. . . guess who's back! I must say that this cigar has a longer finish than I anticipated with the flavors lingering on my palate for several minutes after each puff and even holding on between subsequent sips of the gin & tonic. The last few puffs are telling me it's time to wrap things up since the cigar is now starting to burn my fingers and my lips (plus it's turning bitter which is not good).

On the whole, I must say that the Coyolar Puro Rothschild did not disappoint from the standpoint of strength and it actually surprised me with the complexity of flavor and the way it "changed gears" on me between the middle and the end. This cigar has a long finish, great burn, and actually left me wanting more. Overall, a good cigar for the experience and the price point. If you like full-bodied, I would recommend giving the Camacho Coyolar a shot.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cigar Rights of America Announces New Site

Cigar Rights of America has re-tooled its website with many helpful and informative links from "Cigar News Headlines" to "CRA Member Tobacconist Shops" as well as details on the Cigar Ambassador program and ways to become a member. CRA has also begun releasing details of special "members only" cigar samplers that include gems from the likes of Padron, Tatuaje, La Flor Dominicana, Punch, and others.

If you value your right to be able to light up a good stogie in peace, then take the time to join this organization.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

CAO MX3 Robusto

After watching a podcast review by Jerry Cruz aka "The Great Torpedo" of, I decided to go to Draper's ( and pick up a CAO MX3. I ended up grabbing a 5 pack (plus a nice hat to boot). After two months in the humi it's finally time to give it a test drive.

The cigar is a 50 ring x 5 inch robusto with two bands (the lower band is Draper's) The MX3 is in CAO's Escaparate line which are exclusive cigars to certain retailers. The MX3 is a triple maduro (wrapper, binder, & filler). The wrapper is a dark, oily maduro with slight mottling and one small vein. The pre-light draw is slightly sweet and all-maduro.

The first third is very mild with a rich & flavorful bittersweet chocolate note. The cigar produces a light resting smoke. Subsequent puffs are producing a fair amount of dense white smoke. Smoke passed through the sinuses is light and very mild.

At the halfway point the cigar is still mild but gives a slight pepper taste on the tip of my tongue. The construction on this cigar is excellent and the burn is flawless with no need for a touch-up. Still getting loads of chocolate with little or no after bite but still a long finish no less.

The final third is still mild but the maduro flavor is awesome. While mild cigars are not my first choice (I'm a full-bodied beast), this is a flavor powerhouse. I can't escape the taste of this cigar as it is staying on my palate long after the nub has hit the ashtray. This is definitely made for the mild herfer who loves loads of flavor. I'll be sure to pass one to Big Pimpin' to get his take.

Overall, I like my cigars like my wife, smooth, full-bodied and strong. This cigar is not one that would be my first choice but I would absolutely make room in my humidor for a 5 pack anyday. Thanks again to Jerry for putting me on these.

As always fly straight and fly high.
Happy herfin',

Da Byrdman

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Camacho Corojo Monarca

This is about a 5 x 50 size cigar that is a Corojo wrapper, binder & filler. Considered to be a Full Body Cigar. It has a nice brown color with a great shine to it. Wrapped very nice with no visible defects. Some give to the touch. It has a coffee/cocoa sweet aroma to it. Nothing like what 'Byrdman' is having (Oliva Series O Robusto). Enough about the looks, let's smoke!! Found a twig upon cutting. Hope it doesn't effect anything. Good first draw, little bit of tea flavor, unsweetened that is. Giving off a good amount of smoke.

Half way through and I have hints of spice but not real strong. So far for me I would have to say this is a medium smoke, but time will tell. Only half way through. Nice steady even burn. Getting an earthy flavor with a little more spice and feeling a little cigar buzz. Leather/Spice & Spice/Leather is the flavor I am getting at this point.

Finished off pretty good. Nice amounts of spice/leather towards the finish. Didn't get to complex with flavors but all in all a very nice smoke. I will have to say it is a full body cigar at this point because I did this on an EMPTY stomach. I will have to try it again with a nice grilled steak before hand. I will have to put the Camacho Corojo Monarca in the rotation.

No problem with the twig that was in the wrapper..

This was a stretch for me to try because I typically have a mild to medium cigar. So to try something to be considered Full Bodied was tough. But it turned out pretty good. I just have to remember to eat something before I indulge myself to a full body cigar.

As always, Happy Smokin,

Big Pimpin of B&B.