Sunday, December 18, 2011

Punch CRA Toro

I've liked Punch cigars since the first time I tried one. I don't know what it is about them. So I was thrilled when I looked at the bag of cigars I got at the Seattle Cigar Expo in the summer and saw this one. And I decided it was finally time to light this up.

Before I did light up, I cut it with my Shuriken and took a hit off the wrapper and foot aromas. The wrapper had a pungent tobacco aroma. From the foot I got aromas of mustiness and cocoa...very nice! The cold draw I sampled was what I would describe as a musty tobacco flavor.

Upon lighting up, this cigar is instantly medium in strength and body and medium-full in flavor. The flavors I picked up were coffee and herbal flavors. Very strong herbal flavors, in fact. Several times throughout the cigar I was reminded of the scent that oregano has. There is a hint of ammonia but nothing that makes the stick unpleasant. It's just barely there. I recently bought a box of another cigar brand that's made in Honduras and this cigar reminded me somewhat of those cigars. So it seems that the flavors I was detecting are characteristic of Honduran cigars (even though this isn't a puro or anything). Half way through, the texture took on a very buttery feel.

Overall I'd say that this experience definitely does NOT have me feeling any less love for Punch. This was a truly great smoke. If not for the lack of real estate available in my 2 humidors, I would definitely buy a box of these now. This one showed great potential for aging as well. I'd say if you're a fan of medium-full flavored cigars and you like other Hondurans you'd be missing out if you don't try a few Punch cigars.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

EP Carillo Core Line Torpedo

There has been much ado about Ernesto Perez-Carillo since he started his own label. It seems everything he releases has such great buzz. And yet...most of his cigars barely breach medium strength (based on reviews I've read). It goes to show that someone can create cigars with less than punch-you-in-the-face strength that are still talked about by most serious smokers.

This was what came to mind when I was at the Seattle Cigar Expo perusing the wares of some of Seattle's finest B&Ms and spotted the EP Carillo Core Line Torpedo. And I realized that, with all I'd heard at the time, I couldn't confirm any of it because I hadn't smoked any yet. So, with that, I felt I was left with no choice.

I waited until I could give this cigar the attention I felt it should get. EPC is a legendary dude, so I wanted to make sure I could focus on the cigar. When I took a sample of the wrapper and foot aroma, I didn't notice anything special. It was actually somewhat plain. The cold draw was about the same. Then I lit up...

Upon lighting there was a little pepper, woodiness and nutiness. Immediately the draw was great. The burn started out crooked (as many cigars that I smoke seem to do) but quickly recovered and evened out. In fact, the burn got crooked several times throughout my experience and always evened itself out. It was pretty impressive.

After the first inch or so, the pepper flavor disappeared and the cigar held firm to the woody/nutty flavors with a natural sweetness that was pretty good. That pepper reappeared at about the half-way point but was reasonably muted.

Overall, this was a good mild-medium smoke that was decent. I wasn't blown away or anything, but I could tell that EPC makes some reliable and consistent smokes. I imagine most people would pick this to go with morning coffee or in the early afternoon after a light lunch. If you like a cigar that's a good companion while you're engaged in some other activity, but still relaxing, this might be right up your alley.