Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The People's Review: Coming back to raise some Cain!

In the immortal words of the original People's Champ (slightly modified): "FINALLY...THE CHAMP HAS COME BACK TO THE B&B BLOG!" Yes indeed after a pretty lengthy hiatus yours truly DC's People's Champ is back to bring you another installment of "The People's Review!" As always this disclaimer:

"The views and opinions expressed in this posting are those of myself and do not necessarily reflect those of the B&B Cigar Club."

Ok now that we got that outta the way let's get right into this! Recently I was gifted this cigar that I decided to review by one of our loyal followers and winner of our first contest, Mr. Keith Hollar (thanks again bro! You can follow Keith on Twitter @Keith1911). The cigar is the venerable Cain F! This cigar was touted as the strongest of the new line created by Sam Leccia, maker of the Nub Cigar (@SamLeccia or @NUBCIGAR on Twitter); an all-ligero cigar that according to Sam went through a triple fermentation process along with some aging to create the ultimate smooth ligero cigar. According to http://www.nubcigar.com/ the Cain F is made up of 32% Esteli Ligero, 25% Condega ligero, and 25% Jalapa ligero all rolled into one very fine looking cigar! Here's the tale of the tape if you will of the Cain F I was about to smoke:

Vitola: Toro 6" x 60

Filler: Nigaraguan Ligero

Binder: Nic Ligero

Wrapper: Nic Habano

Strength: Full

I'm going into smoking this cigar expecting it to be a powerhouse. You can also read a review of the Cain F pre-release by Big Pimpin here: http://bandbcigarclub.blogspot.com/2009/12/mystery-smoke.html. LET'S GET ON WITH THE SHOW!


In checking out this cigar, it's very packed full of Nicaraguan tobacco (BTW I'm a huge Nic cigar fan) and in inspecting it there are no soft spots to speak of so I don't expect it to tunnel. The cigar is quite veiny but shouldn't pose any issues with the burn. Gave it a snip with my cutter and upon examining the cold draw I get a nice draw with a little bit of resistance. The cigar is giving off flavors of tobacco mixed with coffee & mocha just off the cold draw so let's light it up and see what we get!

The Beginning

This cigar is starting off very nicely with a very reasonable amount of spice on the back of the throat mixed in with a milk chocolate flavor and some coffee notes. There's also some hints of grass mixed in as well (as I've mentioned in past reviews I'm usually not a fan of overly Earthy cigars. Just a little earthiness is doable). As I mentioned, I'm tasting the spice more towards the back of my pallet and throat yet on the retrohale it's a little less noticable. This cigar was touted as a powerhouse cigar and it is not dissapointing as it is very full-bodied starting out and really giving me a nic buzz early yet remaining very smooth (from the triple fermentation process that the blend went thru in its creation)! I'm working with a very good draw with a lot of smoke coming from each puff. I'm continuing to taste a mixture of sweet chocolate, spiciness and earthiness as I'm smoking this Cain. The ash on this cigar is a greyish-white color and is holding pretty solidly with a nice even burn. BTW the nic buzz is getting stronger as I hit the halfway point (good thing I ate before this otherwise I don't know if I will be able to finish this plus it is VERY humid out here!!)

Halfway Point

Hitting the halfway mark of the Cain F and the spice has faded a bit to the background but the milk chocolate is still hanging around (tastes like I just had a Hershey's Kiss). Ok I'm at a point now where the flavors are starting to become difficult to decipher; there seems to be a bit of a burnt flavor mixing in here with the chocolate but the other flavors are a little hard to figure out (they are bad flavors just hard to decipher). The strength has NOT changed at this point...it is STILL very full-bodied and it is hitting me very much with a nic buzz. One thing to point out is that one of my neighbors is playing some classic old school R&B: a little Babyface "Soon as I Get Home" got a brotha grooving as I smoke this cigar! But I digress...I am noticing that a faint spice is evident on my pallet on the finish (I wondered where it went to!). Still very earthy moving forward with a mixture of coffee and burnt tobacco. The construction on this cigar is impeccable as the ash has remained solid with no flaking or no need for touching up the burn! Love it! Also loving this buzz I'm getting from it even with the humidity!

Finish Line

Coming into the finish the milk chocolate flavor is making a comeback mixing in with the notes I experienced from the halfway point. Still not getting the spice I had at the beginning which is something I was expecting at this point in the cigar. The ash is starting to become a little flaky but it looks to be fixing itself; the burn is still fairly even and there is still a lot of smoke! Getting to end it's starting to become a little hot and bitter so I'm letting it die...now it's time for the VERDICT!


This cigar is a definite WIN in my book...any full-bodied cigar smoker would enjoy this cigar! I think with a little more aging more flavors would explode from this blend and this would definitely become an epic win cigar. Anyone who's had a ligero cigar and thought "it's too harsh to enjoy" would love this one because it's ultra smooth!

Thanks for reading and keep enjoying fine quality cigars and let the smoke take you away!

-DC's People's Champ

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Litto Bends Elements with The AirBender Line by La Flor Dominicana

In the words of hip-hop legend Rakim, "It's been a long time…" but I'm finally back with another cigar review. After looking for new employment, being worried about not having a job and ultimately having my employer extend my current employment, it feels good to sit down and finally share my thoughts on a cigar. Today's cigar of choice is the latest release from La Flor Dominicana, The AirBender. I must say that I smoked this cigar several months ago (March to be exact), but I have been awash in some many other things that I am finally putting my thoughts down. I managed to snag one in each size of the AirBender line from Jack Schwartz Importer out of Chicago as an "early-release" back in February 2010. Of course now, you can get the AirBender at most of your local tobacco shops with prices that range from $6.50 to $9.00 depending on which size vitola you choose.

For my review, I chose the Matatan, a firmly-packed robusto coming in at a 50-ring x 5" size. The cigar has a habano wrapper and is a Dominican puro. Here's the tale of the tape:

MSRP: $6.50 approx.

Size: 5 x 50

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Pre-light: On the surface, I am noticing a few prominent veins running through the wrapper leaf; however, I do not anticipate any burn problems. While the cigar is firmly packed, I have noticed a soft spot just under the band. The cigar has a rich barnyard aroma with some chocolate notes on the pre-light draw.

1st third: Right off the bat this cigar hits me with notes of rich tobacco, wood & spice. While the burn is slightly uneven, the cigar is putting off a sweet aroma that is very atypical of most cigars that I enjoy, but it is very good. The cigar is also giving off lots of resting smoke and resembling the appearance of burning incense instead of a cigar. The smoke is really thick and coats my palate almost from the very start. The cigar is definitely medium to full-bodied but not really strong. The wood notes seem to be the most dominant as I near the end of the first third. The ash is beginning to flower and is a flaky whitish gray. The cigar burns slowly which means more time to enjoy it and it also allows itself to correct the previous burn issues.


2nd third: Entering the mid-point of the cigar, I am experiencing plumes of thick white smoke and loads of wood and spice especially on the retrohale. The flavor is now definitely full-bodied; however, the strength is still centered in the medium range. The sweetness I mentioned earlier is still present and when mixed with the smoked wood note really reminds me of a hickory or mesquite type of flavor. I am beginning to experience a slight nicotine kick but nothing that would sit me down or make me put the cigar down. The ash has managed to hold on to the halfway point (approx. 2.5") before finally falling off. The spice on the retrohale has dissipated, but the smoke is still very heavy and creamy on my palate.


Final third: This cigar has "kicked it up a notch" and is now in the full range in terms of strength. The prominent flavor is still the smoked wood and really reminds me of barbeque. The flavor is definitely full-bodied. The resting smoke that was prevalent in the early stages of the cigar has dissipated as I near the end of the cigar.


Closing Thoughts: Given that this review was performed several months ago, I have had several opportunities to re-visit this cigar, but this is the first time I have looked at my notes. I must say that every AirBender I have smoked since this one has been spot on with this review and the more they have aged in just the short three month period, the better they have gotten to me. I must say that everyone's taste is different, but I really enjoyed this cigar. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I was able to pick up a box at an event at Cigar Connection in Arlington, VA and fortunate enough to have Litto Gomez sign the box himself. For the price, this is another winner from La Flor Dominicana and definitely worth the investment in a box for immediate enjoyment or aging.