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Archive for the ‘Full Reviews’ Category

Liga Privada Único Serie Dirty Rat

15 Mar

The Cigar Sasquatch likes things big, and at 5×44, the Liga Privada Único Serie Dirty Rat fits nicely into that ideal.

Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. The Dirty Rat is a MASSIVE cigar. How else could a cigar feature 7 different tobaccos unless it was absolutely enormous? And that’s not all that’s big about the Dirty Rat. The flavors….

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Liga Privada Único Serie Dirty Rat (5x44)

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Posted in Coronas, Full Reviews, Maduro

 

Man O’ War Ruination

19 Feb

At the risk of pulling a cheese-ball tie-in, I’m using the smoking of the Man O’ War Ruination Belicoso (5 2/3×56) as an excuse to talk about a recent opportunity I had to spend some time with the US Army out in the desert. See, because Man O’ War… Army… Oh, never mind.

I had no shortage of respect for the individuals who provide the armed defense of these United States before spending several days with them in the middle of the Mojave Desert. And I don’t want to overstate what I was doing, either. All I can say is that after this experience, trying out a few Humvees, saddling up in one or two more “specialized” tactical vehicles, and hearing the kind of stories that only combat veterans can share, my respect for these men and women in uniform has only grown, as has my gratitude. And I’m a little jealous of their equipment.

Photo of Man O' War Ruination Belicoso Cigar

Man O' War Ruination Belicoso (5 2/3x56)

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Excalibur Maduro #1

12 Feb

The great American humorist Will Rogers was famously quoted as having said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” I can’t claim to be so magnanimous with people, but I will say this: I never smoked a Hoyo I didn’t like. And the Excaliburs are among the best.

There is a great deal of history behind the Excalibur line and its relationship with Hoyo de Monterrey, but for now, reflect upon Cuban cigar master Estelo Padron smuggling small quantities of tobacco seed off the island, and cigar legend Frank Llaneza roving around Central America finding the best places to grow it, eventually bringing Nicaraguan leaf back to Cuba, to showcase its quality.

This is another example of a cigar that is neither new nor little-known, but its classic status is based on one simple precept: Roll great tobacco into well-made cigars, and do it year after year without fail. This is what makes Excalibur a legend.

Photo of Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur #1 Maduro cigar

Excalibur #1 Maduro (7¼x54)

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Posted in Churchills, Full Reviews, Maduro

 

Montecristo #2

29 Jan

My current obsession with Connecticut-wrapped cigars has driven me to extremes. From massive Presidentes, to tiny Petite Coronas, big rings to small rings, box-pressed to, well, not box-pressed, I’ve smoked them all. But rarely have I wandered into territory such as this.

In my reviews, as in life, I generally attempt (sometimes flailing) to follow the advice of poet Robert Frost, when he suggested that it’s a good idea to get off the beaten path. I try to feature cigars that are either new or rare, perhaps less well known, or which are in some way rather mysterious or unique. Occasionally I venture to review a classic cigar, one that is neither new, nor rare, nor little known, but which may be a curiosity to you, the reader, because of its exceptionality. But few cigars are as well-known—or as controversial—as this one.

Notoriety has its price, and in this case, it’s a steep one. So categorize this review however you wish, into either the “Is it worth the price” category, or perhaps into the “Is it as good as everyone says” category. Or finally, you may wish to sort this review into the “Is it as overrated as I’ve heard” category. Regardless, I present to you the Montecristo #2.

Photo of Montecristo #2 Torpedo Cigar

Montecristo #2 (6x50)

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Oliva Connecticut Reserve Toro

25 Jan

I apologize in advance for what you’re about to read.

I’ve got this friend who likes to compare just about everything to a turd sandwich. Yes, you read that right. It usually goes down like this:

Me: “The mashed potatoes at that restaurant are delicious!”
Him: “Yeah, well you could put that much gravy on a turd sandwich, and it would probably be edible.”

Another variation goes like this:

Me: “The cigars are okay, but for a buck-fifty each, it’s hard to complain.”
Him: “Yeah, well I can get a turd sandwich for a buck-fifty, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat it.”

Ignoring the obvious question of, “Who sells turd sandwiches for a buck-fifty,” I have to admit, most of the time he’s got a point. So borrowing from his little nugget of colloquial gold, allow me to state the following:

“You could wrap a turd sandwich in a Connecticut Shade wrapper, and it would probably be smokable.”
Fortunately, that’s not what we have here.

Photo of Oliva Connecticut Reserve Toro

Oliva Connecticut Reserve Toro (6x50)

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Macanudo Cru Royale Toro

15 Jan

The reviews I prepare for you, the gentle reader, are not done blind. Certain reviewing authorities do provide blind ratings in an attempt at parity, although I would argue, many of those authorities can most certainly spot the classic or highly-noted cigars, bands on or off. My cigar buddies often wonder aloud whether I can name a cigar based solely on taste, or identify the growing region or nation of origin without the benefit of advance knowledge, but I assure them, I could name any cigar in the Sasquatch-a-Dor without its band in three tries or less, without having to smoke it, just based on appearance. So any such challenge would have to be conducted truly blindly, as in blindfolded. As I’m not inclined to permit them to commence pulling cigars at random and lighting them up for me to sample under a blindfold, they’ll have to go on speculating about my tasting prowess.

But one thing I can say for certain is, I would never have guessed this cigar.

Photo of Macanudo Cru Royale Toro Cigar

Macanudo Cru Royale Toro (6x54)

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Avo #2

11 Jan

“I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like.”

Most of us have heard that famous quotation, and I must admit, many cigar lovers echo that sentiment whole-heartedly. They’ve got a few cigar brands they know and love, and they stick to them religiously. There are a number of reasons for this. A new cigar smoker may be afraid to try something new for fear of running afoul of a cigar that’s too dark, too big, or too strong for his fledgling set of skills. I remember what it was like as a young Sasquatch, standing in the walk-in humidor at the mall, physically intimidated by the big scary monsters on the shelves. But as we grow out of those fears, many of us still tend to stick to our core cigars, now because of frugality—we know what we like, and we don’t want to waste time or money on some unknown stick that turns out to be a piece of garbage. And finally, there’s something to be said for simple brand loyalty. Ask a Coke lover, “Is Pepsi okay?” and you’ll quickly get a sense of what I mean.

Photo of Avo #2 Cigar

Avo #2 (6x50)

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Posted in Full Reviews, Natural, Toros

 

Nub 464T Series Part 1: Habano

08 Jan

Today I embark on a four-part series featuring Nub Cigars from the Oliva Cigar Company. Nubs have strikingly large ring gauges and interestingly short lengths, a concept intended to maximize the ‘sweet spot” of a cigar. They are available in four different wrappers and a variety of stubby vitolas, each with a length of 4 inches or less, and a ring gauge of no less than 58. In pipe smoking, something of these dimensions would be called a “nose warmer.”

For this series of reviews, I’ve selected the 464T, a Torpedo (4×64), in each of the Habano, Cameroon, Connecticut, and Maduro wrappers. I’ll be delivering these reviews separately, in no particular order.

Photo of Nub Habano 464T

Nub Habano 464T (4x64)

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H. Upmann 2000 Millennium

21 Dec

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As I sit outside on this cold and wet December day, I’m reminded how good we really have it in Southern California. I know I won’t get much sympathy from our Northern and Mid-Western readers when I complain that I’m suffering through blustery 50-degree weather outside to bring you this review. Yeah, I know. We’ve got it pretty good.

But whatever your weather, one sure way to warm yourself this season is with a great cigar. And that’s just what I’ve got here, in the H. Upmann 2000 Millennium (6¾x46).

Photo of H. Upmann 2000 Millennium Cigar

H. Upmann 2000 Millennium (6¾x46)

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Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas #4

18 Dec

I rarely get to use the word “magnificent” in a review. Delightful? Sure. Remarkable? Absolutely. But magnificent? Not so often.

The origins of this one of the two Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas #4s in the Sasquatch-a-dor are mysterious to say the least. Of the few things I can be sure, I know that the rare Cameroon wrapper was laid down in 1996, and aged at least 10 years before rolling (hence the “Decadas” demarcation). Given that, it’s probably also safe to say that it has been in storage in its shiny glass tubo for 4+ years, resisting temptation, and perfectly protected from the drooling of its various owners that whole time.

Until today.

Photo of the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas #4

Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas #4 (7¼x48)

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Posted in Churchills, Dark Natural, Full Reviews

 

Cigar Sasquatch Special Edition: Graycliff “Fresh Rolled”

12 Dec

Cigars are as unique as the people who enjoy them, and every once in a while, you run into one (a cigar or a person) that defies categorization. On a recent trip to the Bahamas, a member of the Cigar Sasquatch team was privileged to visit the Graycliff cigar factory in Nassau, and sample their fine goods. Among the many treasures he returned with was a small handful of freshly rolled cigars, hand-made while he watched. These are the Graycliff Fresh Rolled.

Cigar production in the 21st century is like manufacturing in almost any other industry, at least in certain aspects. Separation of job functions is central to efficiency, and a visit to a cigar factory may expose you to strippers, bunchers, rollers, and the famous torceadors, along with dozens of other functionalities. And of course there are inspections at almost every step in the process.

In the case of the Graycliff Fresh Rolled, these many functions are consolidated into one person, in this instance, a gentleman named Maurice.

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Posted in Dark Natural, Figurados, Full Reviews, Natural, Special Edition, Torpedos

 

Rocky Patel The Edge Lite Toro (6×52)

07 Dec

“Why would anyone bother smoking a mild cigar? It’s flavor we want, and with it comes strength! So if you want a cigar with loads of flavor, you’re going to have to smoke something strong.”

The above statement is not merely hyperbole. It symbolizes a prevalent ideal in cigar making, one that is embraced by cigar smokers the world over, and that is this: Flavor = Strength. Or to be more accurate, that strength is a requisite of flavor. Like love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other. And while that statement is total hogwash, it shows us that the true Holy Grail of cigars is a mild cigar with lots of flavor.

Enter The Edge Lite. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cigar Sasquatch- Villiger 1888 Robusto

14 Aug

There is no reality. There is only perception.

That statement is at the heart of the question, “If a tree fell in the woods and no one was there to hear it, would it make a sound?” The short answer is, of course, “Who cares.” From a physics standpoint, the answer is yes, the falling tree creates pressure waves in the air known as sound. But from a philosophical standpoint, the big answer is vaguely similar to the short answer: Who cares.

The world is what we imagine it to be. The very notion of “Self-Awareness” has the precondition of “Aware,” without which, there is no self Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Full Reviews, Natural, Robustos

 

Cigar Sasquatch- Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Robusto

07 Aug

Like any other cryptozoological cigar lover, the Cigar Sasquatch loves a pleasant surprise. But when it comes in the form of an incredible cigar, when I expected just an above-average smoke, well, then I get really excited.

We’ve talked about expectations before, and the dangers of having them unmet. But thankfully, sometimes the opposite is true. I once read that one of the greatest joys in life is doing a kindness in secret, and having it discovered by accident. A similar joy is when we experience some wonderful occurrence which was entirely unlooked for. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Full Reviews, Maduro, Robustos

 

Cigar Sasquatch- La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel

31 Jul

The strength of a honey bee is not in the sting but in the wing.

Bees appear to be aerodynamically incapable of flight. But they don’t let that bother them. They overcome gravity, not just with furious flapping of their undersized wings, but with a tiny, nearly imperceptible flourish at the peak of each wing stroke that shifts the balance of air pressure just enough to send them airborne.

There’s a lot of talk about the distinction between strength and power. Power comes from position or influence, strength comes from effort and sacrifice, from willpower and drive Read the rest of this entry »

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Cigar Sasquatch- Oliva Serie V Double Robusto

17 Jul

One of the most highly acclaimed affordable cigar brands over the last year has been the Oliva Serie V, an all-ligero blend from the Oliva Cigar Company. This brand is the full-bodied brother to the lighter Serie G, and a spicier counterpart to the full-bodied Serie O. I chose the beefy Double Robusto (5×54).

This Nicaraguan puro features a hearty all-ligero blend of Jalapa longfillers, a Nicaraguan binder, and a beautiful sun grown Nicaraguan Habano wrapper. Roll is smooth and supple Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Full Reviews, Natural, Robustos

 

Cigar Sasquatch Independence Day Special- CAO America Potomac

03 Jul

I have to imagine the founding fathers were cigar lovers. Picture it. It’s July, 1776. You’re in Philadelphia, close to the Conestoga Valley, birthplace of the “Stogie.” You’re locked in a room with 50 or so lawyers and farmers. It’s hotter than hell, and humid, and you’ve been drinking brandy and rum since breakfast. Someone’s going to light a cigar.

So now we celebrate The Grand Experiment of a government by the people, a shocking idea, to be sure. John Adams suggested that “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” I’d say he hit it pretty close to the mark, but he left out one key ingredient… great cigars.

The CAO America was blended to celebrate America, and to showcase the best of America’s contribution to cigar making. I selected the “Potomac,” a beefy robusto Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Full Reviews, Maduro, Natural, Robustos

 

Cigar Sasquatch- Tatuaje Cojonu 2003

26 Jun

Cigar lovers, by their very nature, also often delight in the other gustatory pleasures, including fine foods, beers, wines, and liquors. The Cigar Sasquatch is no exception, and I’ve been privileged recently to experience a number of pinnacle moments in my life as a foodie and connoisseur of fine spirits. In the span of less than a month, I enjoyed the finest steak I’ve ever eaten, the best Bloody Mary I ever drank, and the finest and most expertly prepared piece of bacon (yes, bacon) I’ve ever had (not coincidentally, in the same meal, I also ate the best flapjacks I’ve ever had, too).

I also recently ate the spiciest food I’ve ever eaten. Read the rest of this entry »

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Thirsty Thursday: The Cigar Lover’s Guide to Fine Spirits

24 Jun

Nothing goes better with a great cigar than a great beverage, and I’m often asked what the best beverage is to drink with a cigar. The traditional alcoholic beverages to pair with cigars are brandies, whiskeys and rums, or if you prefer a non-alcoholic beverage, a delicious cup of coffee. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Cigars pair well with beverages with rich, vaporous, aromatic qualities, or that offer flavors that balance or enhance those of your cigar. But certain cigars are better suited to certain beverages, and vice versa. So how do you decide what to drink and when? Allow me to offer a few suggestions.

Winston Churchill is credited with having been the first notable cigar smoker to regularly dip his cigars in brandy or port. While I don’t necessarily recommend this practice (to each his own) Read the rest of this entry »

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Cigar Sasquatch Father’s Day Special- My Father #1

19 Jun

There are good dads and not-so-good dads. This one’s for all the good dads.

Fathers are interesting animals. They’re a strange hybrid of dictators and protectors, providers and punishers. They can be at times surly and tender, guarded and eruptive, emotional and stoic, understanding and demanding. Hard-wired to provide, they often have trouble receiving, and rarely will they ask for anything more than a cold drink, a comfortable chair, and a little peace and quiet.

But their duplicitous nature is not so complicated when you look at things form their perspective. They want little more than to see their children grow into good people, and they’re willing to do just about anything to make that happen. If that means being tough one minute and gentle the next, then that’s what they’ll do. And who could blame them? We children are a pain in the ass. Hands out, mouths open, heads in the clouds, feet going every-which-way, we’re a lot to deal with.

My Father Cigars were blended in secret by Jaime Garcia as a tribute to his father, Don Jose “Pepin” Garcia, and hand-made in Miami from rare Nicaraguan fillers, and finished in a flawless Read the rest of this entry »

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