Monday, January 3, 2011

Well, again I haven't been good about posting. But I haven't been doing anything exciting. I just play with Madigan, enjoy her sense of humor, and eat. Actually I have been able to enjoy a few cigars this Fall. Some of which I will now share comments upon from Dave and myself. I did find that if you want a good Irish single malt you will have to go some to beat Tyrconnell. And no one came close to bumping OBan from the top of the Scotch board in the man shed. Guinness extra stout and Shakespeare stout from Rogue brewing remain my top two stouts for 2010. But I did try several that were very good. Maybe I should be reviewing some beers and single malts, eh? Well, here goes with cigar reviews:

The Pastor and the Shrink - Cigar reviews for your Mind and Spirit
8/23/2010 The Man Shed
Randy Gibbs and Dave Anderson review the Casa ToranoRobusto 4 3/4 x 52Carlos Toranos$3.00 as part of a samplerAccording to the Torano's website this cigar is comprised of an Ecuador-Connecticut Wrapper, a Nicaraguan Binder and filler that is Honduras/Nicaragua and a family blend of Central& South American Tobaccos. This was originally the Torano's private family blend. This cigar as you can see from the picture is a lovely light brown color with an almost flawless wrapper. It is tightly packed and we could fine no soft spots or sponginess. After clipping we found the draw to be perfect with just the right amount of resistance. The cigar lights easily and the initial tastes are smooth and creamy with a slight peppery finish. It has just enough bite on the end to let you know that its there. It produces an abundance of thick smoke with a creamy mouth feel. Tonight we are pairing our smoke with a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. This is a classic English Stout, rich and full bodied, but not sweet. We are also having a bump of the Man Shed's favorite Irish Whiskey Tyrconnell single malt.This cigar is clearly in the mild to medium strength profile. By the midway point we are both really enjoying this smoke. It has held its flavor and although relatively mild it has some complexity to it. Along with the peppery finish the cigar has a toasty and nutty flavor as well. It was a good night in the Man Shed! We both really enjoyed this cigar smoking it right down to the nub. It burned very well, although it developed a slightly wavy burn line it was nothing that needed a touch-up nor did the cigar ever go out, a testament to its excellent construction. The cigar, although mild, held up to the strong stout and the smooth Irish whiskey giving us a wonderful and diverse set of complimentary flavors. We gave this cigar a 4 as it was both a great smoke and an excellent value. We will definitely be smoking more of these in the future (hopefully very soon) and I would not be surprised to see this cigar in our best new smokes (for us) of 2010 or for this cigar to flirt with the elite rarely given 5 score.

The Pastor and the Shrink - Cigar reviews for your Mind and Spirit
8/20/2010 The Man Shed Randy Gibbs & Dave Anderson review Rocky Patel 15th AnniversaryBox pressed Robusto 5x50$9.50 B&M shop.
According to information I gleaned from the web the RP 15th features an Ecuadorian grown Habano wrapper, a Nicaraguan (Jalapa) grown binder and a Nicaraguan filler. During an interview with Cigar Afficiando about this cigar Patel reported that the cigars are made with triple caps, the bunching is done entubado style, a slow process where each filler leaf is rolled in a sort of tube, and the cigars get two binder leaves rather than simply one. "We wanted it triple capped, rolled the Cuban way, all by hand," said Patel. "I think it changes the flavor profile. The flavor is different."This is a dark and oily looking cigar. It is firm to the touch with some slightly spongy places midway down the cigar. It has some small veins but is a good looking cigar. I'm not a fan of the label as it does not stand out from the cigar with the type of contrast created by the Decade label.Randy and I clip the cigar and I find the draw to be very nice. Randy reports that his cigar is a little tighter than he likes but he does not perceive it to be problematic. The cigar lights easily and has a nice earthiness quality to it. The initial taste are that of cocoa and espresso. There is a dryness and bitterness that is nice and not overpowering.The cigar burns relatively well, although about a third of the way into it a slight runner develops that requires a touch up. The draw continues to be very nice and produces an abundance of thick smoke.Midway through the cigar the flavor profile is holding. Randy reports that he continues to pick up the flavors of earth and espresso. The cigar has mellowed out a little but there is still that dryness, slightly bitter finish.Tonight we are pairing this smoke with a bottle of Saboteur Brett Barrel Brown Ale that my brother Rob gave me. This beer has a fruity sweet nose, the taste is equally sweet and it is highly effervescent. It was too sweet for my taste, reminding me of grape soda. Neither Randy or I were fans so we abandoned it for a dram of Red Breast Irish Whiskey.The longer I smoked the cigar the more trouble I had with burn issues. It went out on me twice. Randy also had some burn issues but not as significant as mine only requiring one relight and a couple of touch ups. We both liked the cigar but given the burn issues and the price I gave it a 3. Randy was leaning toward a 4 until he considered price and then he settled on a 3 as well. We are both big Rocky Patel fans but there are several cigars he produces that we enjoyed more than this one. It was good, but it was no Decade.

The Pastor and the Shrink - Cigar reviews for your Mind and Spirit
8-17-2010 The Man Shed
Randy Gibbs (AKA - The Pastor) and Dave Anderson (The Shrink)
Brick HouseToro - 6 x 52J.C. Newman$ 6.00+ The Cigar ChateauWrapper: Havana Subido, Filler: Nicaraguan, Binder: Nicaraguan
Randy and I first tried this cigar in 2009 and we really enjoyed it. In fact it made our list of Favorite new cigars from 2009. We decided to smoke it again to see if it was as good as we remembered.These are really good looking cigars with minimal veins and a slight oily sheen on the wrapper. They were firm to the touch with no evidence of soft spots or sponginess. They are adorned with a simple and yet elegant label. The construction of these beauties is top notch.After clipping the cigars we test the draw and it is perfect, just the right amount of resistance. We light them up and settle in for a couple of hours of conversation, adult beverages and hopefully a repeat of a great smoke. The cigar produces copious amounts of smoke that have a nice silky mouth feel and an enjoyable secondary aroma. This cigar burns really well, with only a slightly wavy burn-line, but no runners and it is self-correcting. It has a mild-medium strength profile with a slight spiciness on the finish that lingers in the back of the mouth.Tonight we are pairing our smoke with some of Randy's son Ben's English Pale Ale and a bump of Auchentoshan Single malt scotch. The beer has a nice balance of hoppiness and bitterness. The scotch has a very light nose, with sweet and spice flavors followed by a clean finish and a lingering burn.At the midway point we are both really enjoying this cigar. It has held a consistent medium strength profile and the spiciness at the finish remains although it has mellowed slightly. It has a slight taste of earth and cedar. It continues to burn well although we both had to make minor touch ups.In the end we were pleased that this cigars was as good as we had remembered it to be. It's flavor was very consistent and it burned very well. We appreciated that the spiciness held throughout the time we smoked it and that the burn issue were minor. We do not smoke these very often as we have never seen them come up in online specials. We generally only smoke them when one of us gets to a B&M shop that carries them.We rated it a 4 - Great Cigar - one we will definitely smoke again, would not hesitate to recommend to a friend and that we would keep in our humidor. Who knows if we get the opportunity to smoke some more of these they may make their way into the rarefied air of a 5.

The Pastor and the Shrink - Cigar reviews for your mind and spirit 9-2-2010 The Man Shed Randy Gibbs and Dave Anderson review the CAO Black Bengal 6 X 50 - part of a sampler $3.00 Typical price point online $4.00 - $5.00 Randy was not a fan of CAO cigars (having had some previously bad experiences with them) when I gave him a Brazilia Gol to try. He liked that cigar as well as the Italia. Thus, we were on a run of good experinces with CAO cigars. I had ordered a CAO sampler that came with a couple of CAO Blacks, which neither of us had smoked before. The bonus was that I had read a number of reviews of this cigar that were very positive so I was anticipating a great smoke. In reading up on this cigar I found that it has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with a Honduran binder and a mixture of Nicaraguan, Honduran, Mexican filler tobaccos. We unwrapped the cigar from its cedar cocoon and gave it a close look over. It's a fairly light tan in color and mostly firm to the touch a slight spongy spot about a third of the way down the length of the cigar. It was dry looking with no sheen to the wrapper. We clipped it and the draw was very good. We lit the cigars and sat back to enjoy a cool evening in the Man Shed. We paired our smoke with some Dark Truth Stout from Boulevard Beer and a bump of Cardhu Single Malt Scotch. Although the Dark truth is a fairly strong beer everything I have read about this cigar and its medium body indicates it should stand up nicely to this potent beer.I took a few long puffs off this cigar and I'm not liking it at all. It is really strong with an acrid taste on the finish. Not wanting to bias Randy I keep my initial reaction to myself. I also know that sometimes it takes a little while for my palate to adjust to a cigar so I don't want to make any rash judgment. That said, however, this is an unusual experience for me. I've smoked a lot of very strong cigars so it's not that. There is something else going on with this smoke, a a harshness that stays in my mouth long after the smoke is gone. I'm thankful for the strong beer and the scotch but even they cannot remove this taste from my mouth.When we hit the one-third mark I ask Randy about his thoughts and I can tell from his facial experience it is not good. He is having the same experience that I am. He cannot identify that lingering taste but he knows he does not like it. I should mention that the cigar is burning very nicely with a very thin burn line and a nice tight ash. At the half-way point Randy has this to say, "at this point it's not quite a spitter but it has not made a case for itself". I shake my head in agreement, this is very disappointing. The Dark Truth and the Cardhu on the other hand were quite enjoyable. I'm not sure I could have made it through the cigar without the strong influences of these drinks. The bitterness of the cigar was that bad.Randy ended up finishing his cigar. I gave up with about a 1/4 of it to go, I just couldn't tolerate it anymore. We both felt like it had burned very well and had a really nice draw but the taste never recovered from it's initial harshness. It was not that this cigar was just to strong for us. We have smoked a lot of strong cigars (Diesels, Cains, Man-of Wars to name a few) this was caustic and unpleasant. We ended up giving it a 2 which means we might smoke it again if someone gave it to us, but otherwise we will avoid it like the plague. Generally when we have a bad experience with a cigar the first time we will give it a second chance, but since we both had such a bad experience with the cigar we may be less inclined to try it again. We are not giving up on all CAO's as there are some we really like, but we may have given up on this one.

Thanks Dave for posting these over on your Web site. We are ready for our 2010 year in review.

No comments: