Archive for the ‘black’ Category

Tatuaje Black Tubo (First Impression)

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

As the title says, this is a first impression review. I bought the last tubo that Ed had in stock. He strongly suggested I try it, so I did. The only thing I know about this cigar is that Don Pepin Garcia blended it, and that there will be no more tubo’s for Tatuaje. You may want to pick a few up before it is too late! As usual, I paired this cigar with water.


Wrapper: Nicaragua Sun Grown Criollo Esteli

Binder/Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Torpedo 6 1/8 x 52

Price: $15.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper had a few good sized veins along with a rugged look (this isn’t a bad thing). Considering the tubo is cedar lined, it made sense that the wrapper and foot had that same smell. When I squeezed the cigar’s length, I found a few tight and soft spots, but nothing that concerned me. The pre-light draw had a little resistance, and had a dark sweet taste that I can’t describe.

I did several burn corrections, and the ash held for around one inch.



The first third opened up with an “In your face” pepper. But something was a little different then what I would except from a Don Pepin Garcia blend. This wasn’t the normal pepper I’m used to. It had a nice zing but had a unique flavor that I can’t describe. It didn’t take long for the pepper to calm and nice woody flavors to kick in.


The second third was very mellow with dominant woody and spicy flavors. The smoke feel became very smooth with a touch of creaminess. I detected wisps of earthiness from time to time. A coco-ish sweetness wrapped itself around the entire flavor profile, if that makes sense. Everything just leveled out and became well balanced.


The peppery spice, while very smooth and sweet, kicked up a notch in terms of strength in the last third. Sweet cocoa flavors melded perfectly with cedar and hints of coffee for a perfect mixture. Like before, the smoke feel was smooth and almost creamy. The flavors were common but had exceptionally balanced.



Wow Ed was right, this was a great cigar. It started as medium, but crept in to the full bodied range. The more I smoked it the better it got. If I were to complain, it would be about the price and several touch-up’s I had to do to the burn. I would keep a couple of these around for a special occasion if I could find them. You’ve got to try this cigar!

601 Serie black

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Those of you who follow this site probably read my reviews of other 601 cigars. So far I’ve enjoyed them. They are blended by Don Pepin Garcia for United Tobacco. For me, a typical Pepin blend punches you in the face to start, and then calms to what the cigar will become. As always, I smoked a couple of these with water and wrote my thoughts on the 601 black label.


Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Robusto 5 x 50

Price: Around $6.00


Pre-smoke & Construction:

The wrapper didn’t quite look like a typical Connecticut, and had a strange hue to the color. It was a little bumpy with medium veins. I picked up woody, earthy, and spicy notes when sniffing the wrapper. The cigar was consistently packed, and a little on the soft side. The draw was perfect, and had an interesting taste of spice, wood, and possibly leather or earth. It was a dark and dense flavor if that makes sense.

I didn’t do any burn corrections, and the ash held on for just over an inch.



The first third… Just as I suspected, I was greeted with a nice blast of pepper. It wasn’t a harsh or intense pepper, just a smooth and somewhat strong. Enough to grab your attention. Next in line was a woody flavor that was undeniable.


As I got into the second third, that full peppery sensation turned into more of a sweet spice. The smoke feel became thick and creamy. This led to a slight earthy and cedary aftertaste. The combination of these basic flavors were somehow unique and interesting.


The last third didn’t offer too much change. Most notably was an interesting earthy flavor that bordered on leather. The sweet spice remained along with the thick, creamy smoke feel. The woody component remained as well. Like I said, not a lot of change, but still enjoyable.



This was a good medium to full bodied cigar. I could see some people being turned off if they were expecting a mild cigar which is common to most Connecticut wrapped cigars. For me that wasn’t the case, and I really enjoyed the experience. Pick some up!

First Impression: CAO Black VR Maduro

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

I reached into my Cigars Direct CAO care package they sent me not too long ago, and pulled out tonight’s review. From what I understand, the Black VR line is what put CAO on the map over a decade ago. Since then they’ve continued to grow. I am rarely disappointed by a CAO cigar, so I was curious how this first impression cigar review would go. The routine – Glass of water, lighter, cutter, ashtray – Check.


Wrapper: Brazil

Binder: Brazil

Filler: Mexico, Dominican Republic

Size: 6 x 50

Price: $7.00


Pre-smoke and Construction:

The first thing I noticed was the black oily wrapper. It was so black that I suspect it was dyed. Anyway, it looked great with minimal veins. It had an odor of natural tobacco and sweet earth. The foot had a similar smell, with an added sweet spice. When I squeezed the length of the cigar, I found a couple minimal soft spots, but nothing that I was concerned about. The pre-light draw was good, with slight resistance. I found earthy notes on the pre-light draw.

The burn required a few touch up’s. As the second third came to a close, the wrapper started to lift on one side right at the burn line. I made it through with no problem, just a minor annoyance. The ash held for an inch or so. Overall no major complaints.



The first third greeted me with a sweet earthy flavor. After a little time coffee notes joined in with a subtle sweet spice through the nose.


The second third opened up a little and that sweet earth became mocha. It wasn’t strong or heavy but it was enjoyable. If I paid enough attention, I could still taste that sweet earthiness when passing the smoke through the nose. It took me a little while, but I found it hiding behind the mocha.


For the last third, mocha was the dominant flavor. It would occasionally morph into sweet caramel but for the most part stayed mocha. A slight bitter chocolate was noticed when exhaling through the nose, along with a sweet spice that gave it a little kick. With an inch to go, an interesting sweet, almost fruity flavor entered the picture as the mocha calmed down. Before my fingers started to burn, it was time to put this cigar down.



This was a decent medium bodied cigar. This was a slow smoker, taking about 1 hour and 45 minutes. I wasn’t WOW’ed by it, but it definitely had a flavor profile that held my interest. If you are a CAO fan I’d recommend you at least try a couple. You can get a five pack HERE if you so desire. Until next time…

Gurkha Black Dragon

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

I know Gurkha catches a lot of flack from a lot of people. I am one of those people who are extra critical of their marketing and slogans. At the end of the day, I usually have good experiences with their cigars. I can’t deny it. That’s why I reached for the Black Dragon tonight. After a hearty meal, I poured a few sips of The Glenlivet 12 year scotch, filled up a glass of water, and sat down for this review.

Wrapper: Connecticut Maduro

Binder: Cameroon

Filler: Dominican

Size: Robusto 4.25 x 52

Price: 6 to $7.00


Pre-light & Construction:

As always, the presentation of the cigar was a bit fancy. A small cedar band covered the foot, while a large band almost covered the rest of the cigar. Once removed, I found a nice dark maduro wrapper that looked rugged, oily, and just plain good. I squeezed the cigar and found it was very tight, which usually worries me. Despite the tightness, the draw was free with a perfect amount of resistance. Sniffing the wrapper revealed smells of cedar and earth. The foot had a similar smell, with a slight pepper added. The pre-light draw had a simple taste of tobacco, slight sweetness, and earth. I had to correct the burn quite a few times, and the ash was flakey, holding for a about an inch.



The first third had started off with simple earthy flavors. When I took a small sip of scotch and drew from the cigar, the flavor was warm and satisfying. When the scotch aftertaste wore off and I drew from the cigar, the flavor profile wasn’t nearly as satisfying. It was still decent though.


The second third picked up the pace a little. Coffee flavors appeared and grew to about the same strength as the earthy notes. I picked up a nutty flavor as well, but it was barely noticeable.


When I got to the last third, the coffee notes continued along with the earthy flavors. For sticking it out this long, I was rewarded with unidentified sweet flavors. I noticed a sweet earthy spice when passing through the sinus as well.



This was a decent medium to full bodied cigar. This isn’t the best Gurkha I’ve had. I’d take a Genghis Khan over this any day. I found myself getting bored with the flavor profile. I suppose this cigar doesn’t suit what I like in a flavor profile. If the flavors I described sound like something you’d like, by all means give the Black Dragon a try. It was by no means bad.

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