Blind Panel Review

CIGma_Chi

Professor of Herfology
Hello gang,

In an effort to reintegrate myself into the Jungle, I figured I would share my latest foray into reviewing some cigars in the blind.

I am lucky enough to get to participate in the blind panel reviews for Smoke Magazine from time to time and I thought I would share my reviews with some of the cigars, along with pics, so you educated Gorillas can take your stabs at guessing what it is I smoked.

Now, mind you, I have no idea what the cigars were so I'll find out what they were when the magazine comes out. And I am by no means a connoisseur by ANY stretch of the imagination. I just tried to be honest and write down what I experienced. I start here with Cigar 5 because while I had my iPhone with me the whole time to jot notes, it never occurred to me to take pics and share the experience until #5. :)

The setting for all these cigars is my local B&M (Hoboken Cigars) during an extended lunch usually with a soda or a cup of coffee, black.

And now ... on with the show ...

Cigar 5
Aesthetics
This is a meaty, double-wrapped perfecto with a rustic wrapper that was dull and almost powdery in appearance. There was a little tooth to the leaf and no significant veining. While the double-leaf presentation was pretty, the leaves themselves weren’t exactly stunning ... but not offensive either.

Construction
While the cigar looks very firm and full, it proved to be slightly spongy and soft in spots. The pre-light draw was very easy and it clipped without any problems or loose fragments. Post light, the draw remained easy and never loose with a boatload of smoke with every pull. It took a healthy chewing with no problems and produced a solid white ash.

Flavor and strength
The initial draw yields a light papery flavor with minor hints of pepper and spice. The finish lingered a while with a sharp, woody bite though it quickly devolved into a milder, softer smoke. Light coffee notes worked their way forward and developed into a more textured, leathery flavor with bready notes and nutty highlights.

General Comments
This was not a bad smoke but it wasn’t particularly gripping either. Beyond the initial impressions, there wasn’t a development of a wealth of flavor. It’s by no means a complex smoke and did little to maintain an interest in the cigar’s intricacies. Towards the end, a bitterness emerged in the finish which made it hard to want to smoke it well into the final third of the cigar. 8.5
 

CIGma_Chi

Professor of Herfology
Cigar 6
Aesthetics
This looks like the classic cigar with a creamy, coffee colored wrapper that sported a little tooth. The smooth leaf looked a little dull but did give off some healthy oils on the fingertips. No big veins in the stick and a nice overall look.

Construction
This cigar feels very full and firm as indicated by the fully packed and well rolled leaf. It clipped cleanly and the pre-light draw proved to be very easy. Good feel between the teeth and handles the chewing well. The post-light draw was never a problem and came with a large volume of smoke. The burn was excellent and arrow straight throughout and produced a solid white ash.

Flavor and Strength
The pre-light draw carried some earthy notes which became nice, woodsy and cedary flavors on the light. There was an overall fresh sweetness in the finish complemented by touches of spice. It smoked very well though it opened up with a slight harshness. That mellowed considerable in very short time and eventually gave way to clean tobacco flavors and some anise notes at the midway point.

General Comments
This was a very enjoyable mild cigar. The mellow, light and almost creamy flavor would be great for beginners though more experienced palates not looking for a meaty punch will find plenty to enjoy as well. Never bland and consistently refreshing. Very nice. 9.0
 

CIGma_Chi

Professor of Herfology
Cigar 7
Aesthetics
This maduro has a rough, rustic, toothy and gritty look to it with deep leathery tones and a dull finish. This looks like a cigar that’s been in the saddle bag of a Pony Express rider for a few days. It promises to have some bite to it.

Construction
This was a firm stick with good spring and a tight roll. It clipped cleanly though the pre-light draw proved to be somewhat loose. After lighting, the draw remained loose but not empty as flavors came right through along with the light, wispy smoke. It burned well if not straight and produced a loose, flaky grey ash.

Flavor and strength
Great earthy flavors with strong leathery notes backed up a deep tobacco flavor from the first pull. There was some bite initially with meaty notes, hints of wood and charcoal, mineral flavors and licorice touches. The long finish was slightly bitter and harsh in the beginning but evolved into a tasty roasted coffee and chestnut affair that eventually settled into a nice soft, espresso flavor.

General comments
Maduro lovers will find this right in their wheelhouse as it was a good smoke that offered a nice array of flavors throughout the stick. Ultimately it promised more strength than it delivers but it remains a very tasty medium to full experience. Seasoned smokers will find plenty to enjoy and never be bored with the experience. 9.3
 

CIGma_Chi

Professor of Herfology
Cigar 8
Aesthetics
This silky maduro had a deep cocoa wrapper with a nice tooth and healthy oils. No distracting veins along the wrapper and full packed appearance. The deep brown suggests that this will be a strong cigar.

Construction
Very densely packed and firm, the cigar looks to be very tightly rolled. It feels solid between the teeth and doesn’t give much to a healthy chew. The pre-light draw is easy as as the post-light draw. It produced a decent volume of smoke and burned relatively well though it required a few touches of the lighter. A firm grey ash clung well throughout the smoke.

Flavor and strength
The pre-light taste produced an instant tingle on the lips and promised some strength in the smoke. There was a nice earthy aroma to the cigar and repeated pre-light draws yielded deep tobacco and leather notes that left spicy hints on the tongue. Post-light, the first pulls were loaded with earthiness, wood, anise, pepper and a general spiciness. The intial impressions however didn’t really develop into anything more than that.

General Comments
This was a hearty stick that looks more powerful than it is. It’s a good smoke that goes from an explosion of flavor very quickly into a mellow but textured smoke. There was no competition of flavors as one gave way to the other gradually. While the cigar was never bitter or harsh, there was nothing particularly noteworthy beyond the initial notes. A decent smoke. 8.8
 
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