Tuesday, September 29, 2009


CAO LX2 (Ligero times 2)
Size- 5x52
Shape- Robusto
Wrapper- Nicaragua
Binder- Honduras
Filler- Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Flavor- Full Bodied

This is my first LX2. I have heard good things about this smoke. I don't know much about it, other than it is a full flavored smoke.

I would normally stay away from anything Ligero. But this came in a free 5 pack when I purchased my Brazilla Box Press. Along with a free CAO T-Shirt and a cool CAO Lx2 caring case that holds 2-3 smokes depending on size. I owe this one to Dave from CAO Cigars and the guys at OVTC.
More always, the review that I am giving is what I am getting from this Cigar and you may experience something different than I. I have not read any other reviews about this Cigar.

Construction is good. It does have that strong barn yard aroma to it. Packed pretty tight and very firm to the touch with no give. Wrapper is beautiful with a nice glow to it. No noticeable defects. BEAUTIFUL..

Pre-light draw is nutty yet I also get a hint of tea with an easy pull.
Time to light,
First third is smooth so far. I am getting the same flavors at this point nutty/tea but Kind of creamy. Not allot of resting smoke but a nice cloud from the puff. Ash is a little flaky but still an even burn on the wrapper.
Second third I am getting a little spice but not much. Ash is still flaky but still a nice even burn. It is a very consistent burn and flavor no real complexity to it, (yet)
Final Stretch The strength of the cigar is coming in to play. Feeling the cigar buzz with a little white pepper notes but still smooth with an earthy swing to it. Now I am getting the cigar sweats and the buzz is starting to intensify. I think I just got SUCKER PUNCHED and it wasn’t by Sally.
This is what I was afraid of. As those of you know that have read my reviews before, I am not much of the full flavor/body cigar smoker and this one is really hitting me. At the end of the smoke and I am laid back as I type this into my iPhone note pad. (Love this phone)

I will say it was a very good smoke with a consistent flavor and a steady even burn. I will have to invest in a box of these.

I give this a great rating of 5 out of 5 smokes

As always,


BIG Pimpin.

Join the Club! Free Cigars!

Who doesn't love free cigars?  Everyone loves free cigars!

The B&B Cigar Club has decided to give away a 5-pack of Indian Tabac Super Fuerte Maduro Torpedos to one of you lucky followers. If you are already a follower of the blog, you’re already entered. If you're not a follower, you better get with the program!  Simply click the "Follow" button to the right of the B&B logo and sign up as a follower of the blog.

The contest will run until October 13, 2009, so you have two full weeks. At that time, we will randomly select one of our followers to receive the free 5-pack of cigars. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

Good luck and thanks for your continued support of The B&B Cigar Club.

-Da Byrdman, Big Pimpin', & The Champ-

Monday, September 28, 2009

Caught Cheatin' with a Blondie

Disclaimer:  Da Byrdman has never smoked an infused cigar of any kind and never intended to smoke an infused cigar in his life until the Acid Blondie Belicoso by Drew Estate.

Now that the official "disclaimer" business is out of the way, let me say thank you again to Terri Beck for providing the Acid Blondie Belicoso by Drew Estate for this review.  Before I get into my impressions from this cigar, here is the tale of the tape:

ACID Blue Label Blondie Belicoso by Drew Estate
Size:  54 x 5"
Shape:  Belicoso
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder:  Nicaraguan
Filler:  Nicaraguan
MSRP:  $5 - $7 single; $105/box of 24

Appearance:  Golden brown wrapper with 1-2 small veins
Construction:  Excellent construction with no real flaws in the wrapper.  Firm to the touch but not packed too tightly.
Pre-light Aroma:  Loads of floral/botanical spice. (I'm not sure if I should light it and smoke it or use it as an air freshener, but I like it).
Pre-light Draw:  Sweet tea flavors with a hint of honey and mild sweet tobacco.

A year ago I teased Big Pimpin' incessantly about the Acid Kuba Kuba that he smoked one night while we were out at a local bar.  Now here I am reviewing yet another Acid cigar from the same blue label portion of the line, but this time it's the Blondie Belicoso.  I have seen the original Blondie in stores on many occasions and just decided to walk on by, but with the release of the new Blondie Belicoso, Blondie's phatter (yes with a "ph") and more shapely sibling, I figured I'd give it a whirl.

1st third:  Upon lighting the cigar and taking the first couple of puffs, I was introduced to loads of smoke and the sweetest taste I have ever encountered from a cigar wrapper.  The wrapper was so sweet that I felt as if it overpowered the intital flavor of the smoke.  The wrapper almost felt syrupy and slightly sticky in my hands and on my lips.  The smoke was initially woody with a bit of toast on the finish.  The ash was firm and gray with an almost flawless burn line.  Progressing further, the flavor started to pick up more of the floral infusion; however, the wrapper flavor was still very sweet and strong.  This wrapper was so sweet that I think I licked my lips more than LL Cool J.  Toward the end of the first third, the cigar was giving off lots of aromatic resting smoke.  The ash was over an inch in length and still holding firmly.  The overall body was mild and very smooth.

2nd third:  As I neared the halfway point of the cigar, the flavor picked up a hint of rose hips (never imagined I would use rose hips to describe cigar flavors but that's what I was getting).  The rose hips were really complementing the sweetness of the wrapper and the smoke was very delightful.  The draw was pretty much effortless; however, it was not causing the cigar to burn at an accelerated rate.  The floral notes were continously intensifying along with the aroma of the resting smoke.  Each puff produced a bouquet of aromas and clouds of thick white smoke that were a real delight to the senses.

Final third:  Drawing into the final phase, the cigar started to heat up and while the rose hips were dying away, the toast that was present in the first third returned.  The botanical aromas in the resting smoke were starting to diminish with each puff and the aroma was becoming more and more "like a cigar".  As I brought the cigar to a nub, the toasted woodiness was stronger on the exhale and retro-hale but the cigar continued to remain very mild and smooth in body.  The botanicals completed died off by the time I nubbed this cigar and the heat continued to intensify (as it should given the shape).

Overall:  For my first infused/flavored cigar, it was definitely an above average smoke.  I would call this cigar a "change-up" compared to the usual "fastballs" that I smoke (e.g. Cain, Man O'War Ruination).  I would definitely say that this cigar is worth the investment of a 5-pack for someone who looks for a change of pace but is not an infused cigar smoker.  If infused cigars are to your liking, this is a definite homerun hitter.

Verdict:  4 out of 5 Smokes

Until next time, fly straight and fly high with long ashes

-Da Byrdman-



Maker=Drew Estate
Wrapper/leaf= Maduro/Ecuador



Let me just say it's been over a year since I had anything from Drew Estate. The last one I had was a KUBA KUBA with a Connecticut wrapper (I think). As I said, it was last summer.

Construction is very good. A little firm. No give to the touch. Nice oily wrapper. VERY POTPOURRI aroma. I feel like I am in a flower shop.

The pre-light draw is floral/sweet of course. Why did I expect anything different?

After the first quarter, most of the initial floral fades down, but it is still noticeable. It is giving off a great amount of resting and puff smoke which is nice. Draw is effortless. The ash is tight and holding firm. Very even burn. I can see that my taste of cigars has changed. Last year I would be able to smoke a few of these with no problem.

At this point it would be something that I would have every once in while. I will have to say It is giving me a very light buzz (SHOCKING). Once you get past all of the beautiful sweet aroma this turns out to be a very nice smoke.

At the halfway point, it starts to taste more like a regular maduro cigar except for the sweetness you get on your lips from the wrapper. This was a nice change of pace. It is something that I may buy as a single.

It was a good Cigar, but just a tad too sweet for me to have on a regular basis.

As always,

Happy Smokin,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Joya De Nicaragua

Joya De Nicaragua Clasico.

Don't know anything about this cigar. It is a 5x60 Toro size. Filler-Nicaraguin, Wrapper-Connecticut.

As I have stated before with my reviews, this is about what I get out of the cigar. I have not read any other reviews about this cigar. I will say it was hard to find any information about it (size, binder, wrapper).

There are 2 small splits at the end of the cigar. Don't know how this will affect the burn, but we will see. The rest of the cigar looks good.

Pre-Light draw gives off a smooth creamy note.
First initial burn there were 2 holes that sparked a small flame but nothing major. They did fix themselves. Nice burn for the first 1/4 pretty even after the outburst. Damn, the wind just blew my ash off. Getting a lite pepper taste but not much else and I am passing the first 1/3. There is a lite sting on the back of the throat after exhaling of the smoke. Don't know how that works.

Change of flavor, this is good. Getting a Woodie flavor. WOW, now I am getting a sweet (like honey) flavor. I am coming up on the half way point and it is starting to change. I wasn't getting much in the beginning but now it is giving me a few different flavors, Nutty, earthy.

This stick is confusing me. The flavors stop coming,(what happen?) and it is now stagnant. It started to give me a rush of flavors for a few puffs and then it stopped, and I was just passing the half way point.

The flavors are no longer there. I am getting much of nothing. Just a bit of a creamy note. Like it was in the beginning.

I am not overly impressed with this cigar. It started slow and tried to pick up 1/4 of the way through then it went back to the way it was in the beginning. I would have to say it is a very mild smoke, and for me to say that means it is VERY MILD. There was no kick to it at all for me. As you all now I am not a full body smoker. But after having this smoke I needed a Camacho Corojo BAD!!!!

In the end, it left nothing to be desired.
Again, this is my personal feeling. You may get something totally different and it may work for you.

As always,



Monday, September 21, 2009

Great Expectations . . . Clasico Disappointment

This week I decided to review a cigar that I have never tried before:  the Joya de Nicaragua Clasico Criollo Toro.  I received this cigar in a sampler from my good friend & tobacconist Terri Beck.

Here's the brief skinny on this cigar:
Vitola:  5 x 60 Toro
Price:  A box of 25 retails for $74.99 at texcigars.com
Wrapper:  Nicaraguan Criollo Capas
Binder:  Cuban-seed Nicaraguan
Filler:  Cuban-seed Nicaraguan

Construction: A couple of prominent veins in the wrapper but consistent color, dark, & oily with a double seam cap.  Firmly packed but not too tight.

Pre-light:  Pre-light aroma is strong "barnyard" tobacco.  Pre-light draw has a good mix of milk & dark chocolate flavors.  As I clipped the head and lit this cigar, I had great expectations for a smorgasbord of flavor highlighted by the milk & dark chocolate notes on the pre-light draw.

1st Third:  Rich, woody chocolate  flavors jumped out on the first few puffs.  The cigar produces a decent amount of resting smoke; however,  not alot of smoke resulting from each puff.  The ash is white and solid with flecks of grey. Coming to the end of the 1st third this cigar has been pretty one-dimensional so far with a body in the medium range.

2nd Third:  The Clasico is still giving me chocolate notes with a raisin-like note on the finish.  The body is still medium and not a lot of action otherwise.

Final third:  The cigar is still giving off bitter dark chocolate flavors w/raisins on the finish.  Overall I have not had any burn issues or construction issues, but I wish I had just to give me something to write about because the cigar itself has given me very little.

In closing, I had great expectations for this cigar especially after reading other reviews on the Joya de Nicaragua AntaƱo line.  Suffice it to say that the Clasico is a "clasico disappointment".  Lack of overall flavor & complexity can never save a cigar in my opinion no matter how good the construction and overall appearance may be.  Think of a cigar like a good burger, you don't want it to be a mess all over you but if it's good you can live with it.  Some good cigars that produce major burn issues or have construction issues may still get a pass from me if the flavors and complexity warrant that I keep smoking them.  The Joya de Nicaragua Clasico Criollo is one I can do without.  My recommendation is. . . "One and Done!"  Proceed with caution on this one and only buy singles at best.

Until next time fly straight and fly high. . .

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Champ's first review: RyJ Habana Reserve

[Disclaimer] The views and opinions of this review are that of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the B & B Cigar Club and its members. Also, the contributor is not an expert...this review is for informational purposes only.

Greetings enthusianados and enthusianadas out there...The Champ is here and I'm ready to give you my first review for the blog! This review will be on the Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserve. The first time I had this cigar back in May, I was leery of it since most RyJs are mild to medium bodied, which doesn't fit my pallet. But when I tried it, I was floored by it! So today, I'll give you a little insight into this offering!


  • Filler: Mix of long-leaf Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan
  • Size: Toro 6.00" x 54"
  • Strength classification: medium-to-full bodied

Pre-light construction and draw:

This cigar has a smooth feel to it but it has some very noticeable veins to it; the veins almost look like stitches. Giving it a gentle squeeze, it's not soft at all but not firm either. It really feels like the cigar is packed full of those Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos. The pre-light draw gives off a nice draw with a slight bit of resistance to it. The flavors I got from the pre-light draw were chocolate and coffee on the pallet with some spice on my lips.

Light up and First 1/3:

Once I light this cigar, it starts off with a fine helping of spice on the pallet. The spice was mixed with some earth tones along with some hints of coffee with cream and some notes of cocoa as well. The spice lingers for a while on the pallet and on the back of my throat; spice is also present when retro'd through the nose. The beginning is definitely med-to-full flavored and the strength is on the full side of medium bodied to start. The mixture of sweetness and spice is equal and well-balanced, which is something to look forward to as this cigar continues. Construction-wise the draw is good and it's producing a lot of white and creamy smoke; the burn is a little off and the ash on the cigar is a little flaky with a dark greyish color on it.

The spice on this cigar has faded just a bit as we move into the halfway point but it does still linger in the back of the pallet. The burn is still not quite right and I had to touch it up a bit with my lighter and the ash was quite crooked as it burns. The first stage ends with a slight but pleasant toasty flavor that mixes with the coffee flavor.

Halfway point:

The flavor has shifted and I'm getting more earthy tones than anything else. The strength has really intensified as well, especially doing the retro through the nose I get a serious buzz. The spice that I got from the first third of this cigar is pretty much gone and the other flavors have either faded away or moved towards the back of the pallet. The coffee flavor is gone and the cocoa has shifted to the background. Further into this stage and the coffee is trying to creep back into the equation and so is another bit of sweetness. I had a little bit of ash fall on my clothing and the touch-up I gave the burn helped to correct it. The draw remains very consistent and continues to give off a lot of smoke even though the flavor isn't as out there as it was in the beginning. The ash has a weird look to it and didn't look very solid yet it held on the cigar and didn't completely drop off.

Down the home stretch:

As I come down the home stretch, some spice has returned and it's not a peppery spice like I experienced at the start. The spice was more of a sweet cinnamon spice...a welcome change IMHO. The strength is really full bodied as I continue to get a nic buzz from retroing through the nose. The earth tones that were prevalent through out the halfway stage are starting to fade and they give way to a combination of burnt toast and coffee along with a quick hit of sweet fruit, almost like a banana, and the brief return of those cocoa notes from earlier. The burn was finally even and the ash was a little more solid. The end, however, was a little flat so I let it go after that.

The People's Verdict:

Before I give the verdict, I must explain my system. I use 5 adjectives when giving a verdict so here they are and what they mean for future reviews:

  • Epic Win = A must buy
  • Win = Would recommend it
  • Meh = I don't dislike it but I wouldn't recommend it unless it improves
  • Fail = I don't like it too much and wouldn't try it again unless gifted to me
  • Epic Fail = Would not recommend it to anyone, even someone I don't like!

Now that I've gotten that out the way here's the verdict for the RyJ Habana Reserve Toro: this cigar is a win for me. Despite the shaky construction, the flavor is on point. Even though this particular cigar had some moments of "meh" its flavors were all over the place and they all were enjoyable! This is a cigar that medium-to-full bodied aficionados can enjoy due to its strength and flavor (it is recommended you have a full stomach as it does get intense once you get halfway through it) and the price point is very affordable (under $10 retail) so go out and grab one and give it a try.

This is The Champ saying keep smoking those great cigars and let the smoke take you away! Enjoy and cheers!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Greetings and salutations fellow enthusiasts! This post you are about to read is an introduction to the newest contributor to this great group known as the B & B Cigar Club. Before I introduce myself, I would like to extend a hardy and genuine thank you to Big Pimpin and Da Byrdman for inviting me aboard! I really look forward to providing my input in this great passion!

NOW! As Mike Myers said "Allow myself to introduce...myself." I go by my nickname The Champ and I am what many would call a True Native Washingtonian (I was born in D.C., raised in D.C. and still live in D.C.) and I have been into cigars for a little over 9 years. I started smoking cigars when I turned 18 and haven't looked back since that day. My tastes in cigars has evolved over the years from the flavored variety and mild smokes when I started out to my current love of medium-to-full bodied cigars. I keep my mind open to new and different cigars thought I always go back to the stronger ones.

As for reviews, I will make this statement that another BOTL made when he does reviews: I AM NOT AN EXPERT!!! What I describe in my reviews is based off what I experience when smoking. My reviews and opinions are unbiased and not influenced by anyone or anything except the one factor that matters the most: my pallet. The beauty of being a cigar enthusiast is that our tastes are different. My hope is that my reviews will provide you with the info to make an open-minded decision about your next new cigar experience.

Once again, thank you to the B & B Cigar Club for allowing me this opportunity to be a contributor and I look forward to being an integral part of this great club. And to all the enthusiasts in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and Northern Va.) can follow me on Twitter @DCsPeoplesChamp to hear about local herfs and events (along with hearing about them here!) so check me out there. Looking forward to my time here! So sit back with a fine cigar and let the smoke take you away!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

B&B Cigar Club Herf @ Alto Plaza - "We Will Never Forget"

The B&B Cigar Club would like to personally thank everyone that attended last night's herf at Alto Plaza in Centreville, VA. We definitely had a wonderful time and enjoyed being able to share in the pleasure of good spirits, food, & cigars as well as pay tribute to those who lost their lives eight years ago. We've posted some pictures of the events (click the post title to view).

Thanks again to everyone for making this herf a success.

-Da Byrdman-

Friday, September 11, 2009

We Will Never Forget

Normally I don't do this but out of respect for my brother, Paul aka Big Pimpin, I'll put the "P.A." hat on and share my thoughts on this special day of reverence.

We will never forget where we were on this day some eight years ago when life as we know it changed for thousands of Americans and the meaning of patriotism and freedom changed for a whole nation. We will never forget the images that were burned into our minds and the pain we felt in our hearts as we watched on TV the many people who lost their lives at the hands of a band of terrorists. We will never forget the volunteers and hoards of "First Responders" who rushed to the scene at Ground Zero, The Pentagon, and a small yet now very hallowed field in Pennsylvania. We will never forget the faces covered in ash and dust and the cloud that settled over the New York skyline.

We will never forget the two rays of light that would become the rays of hope that symbolized this country's "Never Quit" spirit. We will never forget the subsequent and ongoing efforts of our military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom and continue to put their lives on the line daily for us in the aftermath of this great tragedy.

My prayer is that no matter what you believe or what your faith may be, you treasure, honor, cherish and believe in the words "ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL". Those words make each of you my brother and my sister and are the very reason that WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET. On behalf of the B&B Cigar Club, we wish to say thank you to all of those who gave their lives and to those who risked their lives trying to save others on 9/11. We salute you, we pray for you, and we will never forget you.

-Da Byrdman-

Monday, September 7, 2009

Smoke Signals: Points of Differentiation and the Future of the Cigar Industry

Smoke Signals: Points of Differentiation and the Future of the Cigar Industry

Thanks to our buddy Skip aka ChiefHava of Hava Cigar Shop and Lounge. This is definitely a MUST READ!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Alec Bradley Select Cabinet Reserve

For tonight's review I decided to pull out a cigar that I picked up during a recent shopping binge at John B. Hayes in Fair Oaks Mall. Now to preface this, I have smoked almost every Alec Bradley cigar in the Maxx lineup from the Ego to the Culture, the Curve, and the Freak. This is my first venture outside of the Maxx line in Alec Bradley cigars. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Alec Bradley Select Cabinet Reserve (SCR) Torpedo.

The Tale of the Tape
Wrapper: Trojes (Honduras)
Binder: Trojes (Honduras), Indonesia Embetunada
Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Price: $7-$8 range

Drink: Heineken (BeerTender on tap baby!)
Music: XM Backspin (I was in an Ol’ Skool Hip-Hop mood)
Appearance: Oily and toothy wrapper
Pre-light: The draw has hint of coffee flavor.

Here's the play-by-play:

1st Third – As I light the cigar and take the first couple of puffs I receive loads of spice and an ample amount of smoke; however the cigar surprisingly put off only a light resting smoke. I am beginning to get a slight bitterness on the tip of my tongue as I progress further into the cigar. I’m hoping that this subsides as the cigar rounds out. So far, the burn line is beautiful with a dark grey ash. As I puff away, I feel myself starting to wax poetic about my first Alec Bradley Maxx “The Ego”. As an aside, The Ego is one of the first cigars I began enjoying when I got back into cigars full time and it is a wonderful medium-bodied cigar for the price, but it takes FOREVER to smoke. I can’t finish that thing in less than two hours even if I switch over to “constant herf” mode. Back to the SCR, I am beginning to feel like I'm shaking my spice rack on my tongue & palate with each puff. I am getting several different flavors, so much so that it’s too difficult to narrow it down to just a couple. It seems woody yet slightly floral. The finish is lasting a couple of minutes on the palate. Progressing further into the 1st third, the bitterness is gone but that allspice kinda apple pie spice flavor is lingering with a toasted woodiness. Smoke is smooth & creamy like a mix of silk & butter (by the way why do fat guys like butter? It must be a Southern thing.)

2nd Third – Now I’m into the middle of the cigar and the burn is beginning to get raggedy and a hint of bitterness is back with some leather. The body is still in the mild to medium range. Just when I am beginning to get used to the flavors in the cigar, this stick change directions. This thing is moving like Barry Sanders on a 4 yard run. Now I am getting a slight touch of sweetness that lasts for a minute. Here we go again, either I'm hungry or this cigar just gave me a hint of roasted meat. The ash is managing to hold for about 2 inches before falling to the tray. Still cruising along in the mild to medium-bodied range.

Final Third – Into the home stretch, I find myself fighting with keeping the cigar burning but keeping it cool enough to enjoy the smoke. I’m still getting spice and now some leather but still the body is still holding in that mild to medium range. Not much strength from this particular cigar, but pretty good flavor. Amazingly I can still taste my beer (Heineken is a very light beer in flavor compared to most cigars) so this stick is not overpowering my palate. The burn line is starting to go south on me and this is trying to go out which is a shame because I like the complexity of flavors. After relighting, the spice potpourri is still delivering with wood and leather and the texture is still very smooth. I should've bought at least two of these because I think I'll have a different impression in a matter of a couple of months. As I near the final puffs the cigar yields a new flavor - hickory sort of smoked wood flavor which is proving to be very delightful.

Overall, I have enjoyed this experience minus the burn issues and the lack of strength, but I am trying to learn that every cigar does have to “hit you in the gut” or “sit you on your ass”. I would definitely add this to my repertoire as a late morning/midday smoke.