If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been reviewing a few mainstay cigars recently, such as this, the Excalibur Cigarillo. That’s not to say I have anything against them. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The truth of the matter is we got all the new stuff from IPCPR last year and had to review all of them. This left the poor mainstays in the darkness of the bottom shelf in my humidor. Alone, cold, and unloved. Well it was about time we dug them up and gave them some attention with today’s Excalibur Cigarillo review.
Now I know some of you out there are uninterested in cigarillos, and don’t consider them real cigars. I urge you to consider this: Excalibur Cigarillos are one of the most searched for cigars in the United States, and a top seller in the world. From the most stuffy café in the heart of Paris, Hollywood Boulevard in Cali, to the Piazza del Popolo in Rome, people world over smoke these little pups because they’re pretty damn amazing for what they offer- a cheap, quick smoke that offers a great flavor and appealing aroma. Continue reading
Mild, small cigars… okay, you might be thinking that they’re not for everyone, but I’ll go on record saying, yeah, I think they are. Hence, the Macanudo Ascot.
When I took a trip to the General Cigar factory in Santiago in the Dominican Republic, there were just gazillions of premium hand rolled cigars everywhere. I not only had my pick of the litter of tasty treats to choose from, but so did the thousands of people working there. But what took me by great surprise is that so many of the employees were smoking the Macanudo Ascot. In fact, the guy who was enjoying them the most was then, CEO of the company, Daniel Núñez. Continue reading
Imagine walking into a smoke shop (for argument’s sake, let’s call it “Leaf“). You’re greeted by the friendly folks at the retail counter. You wade past wood shelves neatly lined with humidors, pull open a heavy wooden door, and proceed into the 2,000 square foot humidor.
“Can I help you find anything?” the clerk behind the counter asks.
As you ponder the myriad of cigars before you, how are you feeling? Confident? Confused? Excited? Overwhelmed? There’s no right answer; but I’d like to address a couple cigar misconceptions I’ve noticed are held by many beginner to intermediate level cigar enthusiasts.
The first misconception is that many cigar smokers focus too much on wrapper color. Believing that the wrapper color is indicative of the cigar’s strength, the tendency is to reach for an extra-pale shade grown wrapper. This is one of the cigar misconceptions that can cause a smoker to take a pass on a stick they might really enjoy.
While there may be a slight correlation between strength and wrapper color, it’s unreliable at best. The color of a wrapper has more to do with the actual flavors of a cigar than with its strength. That comes from the filler blend, and the ligero leaves, in particular. Located at the top of the tobacco plant, these leaves receive the most nutrients and sunlight, and are therefore the strongest and fullest-flavored.
The second of the cigar misconceptions I’m addressing today is that smaller cigars are less potent. Anyone who has ever smoked a fresh Fuente Fuente OpusX “Power Ranger” can tell you this one is dead wrong. Sure, a smaller vitola may look less imposing, but its diminutive diameter makes for a stronger smoke.
Counter-intuitive? Sure, but if you think about it, the smaller ring gauge means that you are smoking a greater ratio of wrapper leaf to filler blend. The result is more concentrated flavors than offered by its larger-ring counterpart. While a Churchill may have more total tobacco than a Lancero, its milder-tasting smoke may be easier on the novice- or occasional-smoker’s palate.
One final word: there’s no substitute for experience, but good advice goes a long way. Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for advice from the guy or gal behind the counter. High-quality smoke shops like Leaf take pride in training their staff to cater to your taste preference and experience on a personal basis.