Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tatuaje Ambos Mundos Sumatra

As I continue to delve into the world of Tatuaje Cigars, made by Pete Johnson, tonight's review will be on the Ambos Mundos Sumatra Robusto. From the Tatuaje website, Ambos Mundos is translated to mean "both worlds" as in "The Best of Both Worlds". This cigar was touted as an entry into the bargain cigar market by Pete Johnson and comes with a price tag in the $5 - $6 range depending on your local taxes. None of my local B&Ms are authorized Tatuaje dealers so I made this purchase at Leesburg Cigars.

Vital Stats:
Vitola - Robusto
Size - 5 x 50
Wrapper - Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder - Nicaragua
Filler - Nicaragua

Construction: The wrapper is a slightly mottled cocoa-brown with a couple of pronounced veins & many smaller veins running throughout the leaf. The cap is the Tatuaje signature Cuban triple cap. The cigar is firm to the touch; however, I do not anticipate any issues with the draw.

Pre-light: Aroma is a rich barnyard tobacco odor that gets your attention right away. Cold draw is not too tight or loose and produces no real spice or pepper but the same rich tobacco flavor as the aroma.

First impressions: First few puffs are somewhat peppery on the middle of my tongue and on the retrohale. I am also getting a hint of cinnamon type spice on the retrohale. The cigar is producing a fair amount of smoke but very little residual or resting smoke. Further in, the peppery spice has calmed and the cinnamon has turned into more of a licorice flavor that is very nice with the tobacco undertones. The strength is mild, while the flavor is squarely into the medium range. The ash is holding strong for the first inch with a light gray color. The burn line is decent with no need for a touch up.

Halfway point: The cigar is rather woody at this point with a cedary sweetness on the retrohale. The licorice is still present, but it has taken a backseat to the cedar flavor. The cigar is much smoother while the flavor has definitely picked up The strength has remained relatively mild. The ash let go after about two inches. The spice and sweetness on the retrohale is really enjoyable and the cigar is producing an ample amount of smoke. I'm really surprised at the mildness in strength with this flavor intensity. The resting smoke is also very aromatic with that same sweet yet toasty cedar characteristic. It gives a slight tinge to the nostrils.

Home stretch: The licorice flavor is now coming back to the forefront. The burn is a little wavy, but I see no real need for a touch up. After removing the band the flavor is somewhat meaty & the sweetness has mellowed.

Final thoughts: I really love the complexity of this cigar and the way the flavors heighten & mellow throughout. For the price point, this an excellent cigar when you're looking for good flavor with less power. I have been searching for the perfect "lawnmower" smoke and I think this is it. With a burn time of a little over an hour, this would be great for the golf course if you want to know that you have a cigar without having it shake you to death while standing over a 6 ft putt.


4 out of 5 smokes

Until the next time . . . Fly straight & fly high.  Happy Smoking.
-Da Byrdman-

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tips for Big Smoke in Vegas

This is just a quick note for those of us that are going to Big Smoke in Vegas for the first time this weekend.
This is a Blog courtesy of Stogiepro and he gives some helpful tips for the event. I suggest you read it.
Da Byrdman and I will be there and we will have allot to post to the blog page when we return. So keep an eye out....

Happy Smokin,

Big Pimpin

From the mind of The People's Champ - B&Ms: The key element to our passion

I was sitting around recently and a thought came to my mind that I wanted to share with my fellow enthusiasts. This post is just my opinion and this does not reflect, in any way, the views and opinions of the B&B Cigar Club.

In this day and age of technology, more and more enthusiasts are using the World Wide Web to shop for their favorite cigars. The amount of traffic cigar retailer sites receive has seemingly risen recently given the low prices that are offered and the current economic climate on top of the mounting tobacco taxes being levied by the Federal Government and local governments. Sites like Cigar Bid (hosted by Cigars International), Holts, J.R., Famous, etc. are readily available to provide your favorite brand at a price too good to pass up. But in the midst of this current economic state of affairs, we as enthusiasts must not forget about the one place, the one mainstay that brings us together and provides a safe haven to enjoy our passion away from the criticism and attacks from anti-smoking opponents: the Brick and Mortar (B&M) Tobacconist shop! These shops are available to you as a place to go to enjoy a good drink, a good cigar and, most importantly, the company of great people who share in this passion. Many jurisdictions in this country have banned smoking in public places; think about it, depending on where you live you can't light up a cigar in a bar with a nice adult beverage with friends or in a restaurant after a nice dinner. There are even establishments that operate in jurisdictions without smoking bans that don't allow cigar smoking (yet allow cigarette smoking); there are a few of those establishments in Virginia that fall into that category. It is because of all of those factors that B&Ms should not be ignored! The Champ is not advocating that you ignore shopping on the Internet if you are on a budget and would like to be thrifty with your purchasing of cigars but if you live in an area that has a shop close by, please show some support for that shop...with more and more municipalities enacting crippling and strict smoking bans, these shops could no longer exist without the support of ordinary Joes like you or me. Me personally, I've made one Internet purchase in the 9+ years that I've been smoking's nothing against Internet retailers at all but I am of the mind state that I want to see what I want already in front of me to inspect and say "Yes I want this one" plus I like to have a place to go to enjoy what I purchase and you just have an appreciation for the unique characters and personalities that you'll find in a shop. Don't let these small businesses go belly up in these tough your local B&Ms! I want to give a big thank you to Gary Irvin, President of the Friends of Brick and Mortar Tobacconists Association, for his continued efforts to highlight the importance of these precious shops! Mr. Irvin, along with great B/SOTLs who own, operate, or just work in B&Ms are leading the charge to keep these places in existence so we enthusiasts can have our safe haven! You can check out his organization here:

One other thing I wanted to mention that was on my mind: speaking of going into B&Ms for all your cigar needs, the one thing you'll find in B&Ms that you may not find blends! Some online retailers have their brands that they sell but you can't sleep on what your local shop may have blended and had rolled to sell to you. Some of those house blends are just as good, if not better, than the well-known brands we all know (and either truly love or seriously hate). One example: there's a B&M in Alexandria named The Cigar Palace and they have their own house blend that comes in several different lines (including a Camacho Trip Maddie knockoff that from talking to people who have tried it say it is just as good if not better than the actual Trip maddie) and one of my favorites from their house blends is the Sungrown Maduro line. And the best part about Cigar Palace and their house blends is the excellent deal you get on them: Buy 4 and get 1 free...with most of their lines going for under $8 a stick you can't beat that! Yes we all love the Camachos, the Tatuajes, the Montecristos, the Cohibas, etc. but you can't deny that those little known brands made exclusively for B&Ms can be just as good and won't put a strain on your wallet. So not only should you support your local B&Ms but you should also give their house brands a fair may find your everyday, go-to cigar.

This is The Champ saying keep lighting up those good cigars and let the smoke take you away! Cheers and enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The People's Review of the Rocky Patel Patel Bros

FINALLY THE CHAMP HAS COME BACK TO THE B&B BLOG!!! That's right The Champ is back after a bit of a hiatus to bring you yet another edition of "The People's Review" and today's review is of one of the new offerings from Rocky Patel the Patel Brothers. Here's the story behind this cigar courtesy of Rocky's homepage:

"For the first time in his company's history, Rocky Patel has collaborated with his brother Nish to create a full-bodied powerhouse cigar blend. The duo worked for years to find a robust and unique wrapper to accompany a special Nicaraguan filler and binder blend. A breakthrough came in the form of a beautifully dark and oily broadleaf wrapper selected from the tobacco fields of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. For each of their efforts, they decided to call the rich and bold cigar PATEL BROTHERS. "

This is one of the new blends released by RP (along with the Summer Collection 09, 1961, and Autumn Collection 09) and I was pretty psyched to try it out again since I had an intro to it before this review and it kicked my a$$! Here are the specs on this stogie:

Vitola: Torpedo 6.25" x 52

Filler: Nicaraguan

Binder: Nicaraguan

Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf

Strength: Full

Let's get into reviewing this new cigar!

Pre-light construction and Draw

Taking the cigar out the cello, I notice the wrapper is quite oily yet it's pretty toothy with some prominent veins showing. A little squeeze tells me the cigar is packed full of that good Nicaraguan tobacco yet it does have some give to it. After I clip the torpedo cap, the draw is near effortless with just a slight touch of resistance. The flavors I get off the cold draw include strong hints of chocolate with a mixture of spice and a sort of dairy flavor. Let's get it lit and get to it!

First Third

It's lit and right off the bat that combo of chocolate and dairy with spice hits early! The combo is chocolate milk with a black pepper spice and a sort of dirty flavor finish. The spice is really strong off the start and I can feel the tingle on the nostrils and the back of my throat; with the retrohale I am getting a serious nic buzz indicative that the cigar is quite full in strength. Continuing on I'm getting a nice touch of pecans mixed in with the other prevailing flavors (this mix is extremely enjoyable). I paired this cigar with a glass of 2007 Liroc Cuvee Reserve red wine, which was a pretty decent pairing but with these early flavors I think a good tawny port would be perfect! The finish on this cigar is very lengthy and pleasant; the aroma coming off this cigar is also phenominal! The draw is perfect so far and it gives off a lot of creamy thick smoke; it's burning a touch hot off the start but nothing that isn't manageable. Just noticed another flavor addition: that earthy dirt flavor has changed to more of a hay flavor mixed in with some raisins (it's very nice!) The ash on this cigar is a nice greyish white color and it's holding pretty solid so far plus the burn is slow and even, which is a plus! The spice that was so present off the start is starting to fade a little bit yet I can still feel it tingle through the nose; there's also a toasty flavor that's introduced to the fold with the other earlier flavors sans the strong pepper and even some leather notes! So far, this cigar is all over the place with the flavors and the ash is holding firm at 2" yet starting to flake a little bit (possibly due to the chill in the air as I smoke this) so I am looking forward to what the rest of this cigar has to offer!

Halfway Point

Time to move on to the halfway point and the spice has completely faded away but the flavors of chocolate milk, pecans and raisins are still around. Finish continues to be very lengthy and leaving a very sweet pleasant flavor on the pallet. The integrity of the ash is starting to waiver a bit as the ash is getting pretty flaky-looking; the draw on this cigar is still on point and still giving off a lot of smoke. Now I'm starting to get some black coffee notes with a slight touch of leather and the absence of earthiness from earlier on in the cigar. Even in this flavor transition the strength has remained pretty full-bodied. Now the ash has gone from pretty flaky to jagged?! Yes it had a weird mouth-looking shape to it at one point but outside of that those sweet flavors are still hanging around. Now I'm starting to notice that the spice is slowly trying to make a comeback though not as powerful as it was in the beginning. Also, have to give my cigar a little touchup as the burn is getting a little more uneven...pretty uneventful way to end this section.

Final Stretch and The People's Verdict

As I'm coming down the home stretch and this cigar isn't really changing flavors at this point. Mostly, it's the same notes of chocolate milk, pecans, raisins with a little earthiness and a small amount of spice. The only notable flavor addition was a slight hint of berries paired with black coffee (the berries I reckon is a nod to the Winter Collection to which this cigar was suppose to mimic) but other than that it's basically a repeat of the beginning sans spice. Burn wasn't as even and the ash was flaky.

The People's Verdict: MEH

I give this one a "MEH" simply because the beginning of this cigar gave me high hopes of a strong cigar that's super flavorful yet after the first 1/3 of the cigar it was basically 1 dimensional and at one point was flat. I won't completely write this cigar as it is a new release so I will say that with some humi time this cigar could possibly be a great offering from RP so go out and get one or two and let them sit for a while and I'm sure they will be on point! Once again, this is The Champ saying keep lighting up them good cigars and let the smoke take you away!

Cheers and Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Perdomo Habano Corojo Toro

After a lengthy hiatus, Da Byrdman is back with another cigar review.  This time I decided to give my first cigar from Tabacalera Perdomo a shot.  I chose the Perdomo Habano Corojo primarily because of the look of the cigar itself and the banding.  I found myself hoping that I was not the victim of pretty packaging.

Here's the tale of the tape:
Perdomo Habano Corojo

Vitola: Toro
Size: 54 x 5.5"
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan
Filler:  Cuban-seed Nicaraguan
MSRP:  $6.50

Construction:  Oily wrapper with no real veins to speak of and firmly packed yet springy to touch.
Pre-light:  The cold draw is full of cedar and tobacco flavor.  No real evidence of spice or pepper.

1st third:  For this review I decided to pair the cigar with my favorite rum, Ron Zacapa 23, just in case the cigar proved to be a disappointment.  The initial puffs were slightly bitter and somewhat dry; however, further smoking yielded some pepper, lots of cedar, and an overall woodiness to the cigar.  The cigar produced a generous amount of resting smoke and had a very even burn.  Further into the cigar, I began to pick up a flavor similar to licorice along with a sweet spice on the retrohale.  The cigar produced a voluminous amount of thick, white smoke.  The body was definitely medium/full while the strength was in the medium range with no noticeable nicotine kick.

2nd third:  As I progressed further, I continued to pick up more cedar and sweet spice as the dominant flavors at this point in the cigar.  I also picked up some peppery notes on the tip of my tongue along with hints of coffee and some leather toward the lower end of the 2nd band.  The cigar seemed to be very consistent and quite enjoyable.  The body was definitely full while the strength remained in the medium range.

PhotobucketFinal third:  After removing the band, I noticed that the coffee note that appeared briefly in the middle of the cigar was absent and the leather flavor & texture had intensified.  The cedar and spice components remained intact throughout.  As the cigar burned to a nub, I was definitely satisfied with my first Tabacalera Perdomo experience.

In closing, while this would not necessarily be an "everyday" cigar for me, I would definitely invest in a box of these if your palate is geared for fuller flavors with less strength. 

Overall I would give this cigar 3 out of 5 smokes.

Be sure to leave me a comment below.  Until next time . . .Happy smoking.