Origin : Honduras Format : Toro Size : 5.5 x 55 Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Filler : Nicaraguan, Honduran, Dominican, Peruvian Binder : Brazilian Hand-Made Price : ~$7 each More info about purchasing CAO MX2 cigars...
The CAO MX2 Box Press sports a dark brown wrapper with a contemporary looking black and silver band along with a secondary band stating “Box-Press,” just in case you couldn’t feel or see the sharp box press on this cigar. There are some pretty big veins on this cigar which pop out from the rest of the wrapper. The wrapper also has a wrinkled look in some areas especially near the head of the cigar.
The cigar has a nice medium draw that produces thick billowing clouds of smoke. The burn line is slightly uneven and is rather thick and somewhat bubbly. The ash is a medium gray color and has just a bit of flowering, but held on quite well. The body is medium to full and the strength is average.
The CAO MX2 Box Press offers a light earthy core with heavy notes of chocolate and espresso. There is some slight pepper to this cigar but is balanced pretty nicely with the rest of the cigar. The flavors don’t change much throughout the cigar but overall very good flavors.
I’ve smoked plenty of the regular MX2’s and have not been overly impressed. This cigar however, is a winner. I’m not sure if it’s the blend with some different tobacco in it, or if it is the box press that gives it a different flavor profile, but the flavors are much more rich and pronounced.
Brenne Estate Cask is a French whisky distilled in Cognac. Production is limited to 30,000 bottles a year, and it’s matured in French Limousin oak barrels before being finished in young Cognac casks. The farm that produces Brenne Estate Cask has been in operation since the 1920s and has been making single malt whisky since the early 2000’s.
The barley used in Brenne Estate Cask is organic and locally grown. The soil in the Cognac region apparently has a nice pH balance which helps to produce a smooth distillate. Since Brenne has only been bottling their whiskies for the past few years, this is an entirely new experience for me. Let’s see how Cognac’s unique soil and Brenne’s innovative distillation processes pan out!
You will pay around $50-$60 for a bottle of Brenne, which is significantly more expensive than a lot of whiskies I have tried, but still in a reasonable range. The bottle has a simple, classic design with minimal flourishes and a bright blue label. The blue contrasts beautifully with the deep amber liquid inside.
Opening the bottle, I detect so many aromas that it takes me a few minutes to start sorting them out. There are a lot of fruit aromas here, and I can’t be entirely sure what they all are, but I think I am picking up pineapple, peach (or apricot), and maybe even coconut—but that might be vanilla. There is something a bit citrusy in here, and a hint of something else candy-ish, maybe licorice. Basically, I feel like I just walked into a candy store full of fruit gum drops and other sweets.
This tastes exactly like it smells—like you are strolling through a dime store candy aisle. I am getting pineapple for sure, maybe banana, and definitely peach or apricot. There may be raspberry in here too. It’s just packed with sweetness, but there is a hint of something tart here too. The tartness balances out the sweetness so that it isn’t overwhelming. There is also a subtle taste of something grounding and mature in the backdrop, maybe oak. I think if not for that oak, the subtle tartness, and a hint of spice that weaves through it all, this would be an odd experience, and a bit too “high pitched” for me. But the oak and tartness round out the flavors nicely, bringing them back to earth.
… Not for long though. The finish here is nothing; it just evaporates. I wasn’t sure what to think of this whisky at first, but I found myself gulping down more to make up for the nonexistent finish.
So in short? It’s good stuff, but not what you usually picture when you head out to buy some whisky. It’s very sweet, but not too sweet. If you are a candy lover, this is like a party in a bottle. I think since this is a different kind of whisky, it may also appeal to people who usually don’t drink it. A very interesting and unique purchase.
Lately I have reviewed some of the newer releases from Cuba’s finer cigar producers (like the Juan Lopez Don Juan), and I found myself wandering down memory lane and I gravitated towards the one cigar that I have consistently enjoyed over multiple vintage years. Hoyo de Monterrey has released the Epicure #2 line some time ago and it has brought them success over the years. I recently pulled out one of their older, more aged releases to see if time had been good to this cigar, and had it found a new place amongst my old favorites. I have consumed the 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 versions of this smoke in a variety of 25 and 50 cabinet boxes.
The San Cristobal is blended by the illustrious Don Pepin Garcia and is rolled in his factory in Estelí’ Nicaragua for Ashton Cigars. This was Pepin’s first cigar with the Levin’s (owners of Ashton) and was debuted at the RTDA (now known as IPCPR) back in 2007.
The first thing you notice about the San Cristobal is the gorgeous band that this cigar sports. A very intricate band with a lot of color and a lot of gold accents, this cigar band is one of the best in the business in my opinion. The wrapper on the cigar is darker brown in color and has minimal veins. The roll is good and sports a Cuban style triple cap; a very nice looking cigar.
The San Cristobal has a nice free draw that produces a ton of smoke. The burn is quite uneven and required some touch up’s but nothing out of the ordinary. The ash is a medium gray color and has minimal flowering that does flake off in some areas.
Right off the bat you can tell this is a Pepin cigar. The San Cristobal starts off with some red pepper spice which mellows down after the first inch. After the initial blast the cigar settles into a nice combination of sweet cedar, coffee, and roasted almonds. Overall the cigar is nicely balanced and though the flavors do not change much between thirds, they have nice complexity on the palate. The body is medium to full as is the strength of the cigar.
I’ve smoked through quite a few of these San Cristobal’s and this cigar never disappoints. The flavor of the cigar is great and it balanced nicely. The only gripe I have is that for the price it could offer some a little more complexity between the thirds of the cigar, however this had never stopped me from picking up more of these cigars.
Once again we are partnering with CigarsFor.Me, an online cigar shop that recommends you cigars based on your personal tastes. You just answer a few questions about your preferences and the site will show you cigars you are most likely to enjoy. The selection is deliberately narrow as each cigar is hand-picked. Grayson Ervin, the founder of CigarsFor.Me, has five 5-pack samplers to give away to our readers. The best part is that those 5-packs will be personalized according to your Tasting Profile (you can see an example on the photo above).
In order to enter, just use the widget below. There are plenty of ways to enter, each one of them increases your chances to win. We really recommend you share this contest with your friends : not only you get more entries for doing this, but there's another incentive - we'll throw in another 5-pack for every 100 participants! Good luck!
Today we're publishing you a review by Joshua, who just joined the team - he brought a special grading system with him, check out his author page for more details!
The Punch Signature is a four-cigar collection, handcrafted in Honduras. It includes these frontmarks: Robusto (5” x 54, SRP per cigar is $6.79); Gigante (6” x 60, SRP per cigar is $7.39); Rothschild (4.5” x 50, SRP per cigar is $5.39) and Torpedo (5.75” x 52, SRP per cigar is $6.99).
To create Punch Signature, Master Blender Agustin Garcia and his team kept true to the original Punch blend by using tobaccos from the same countries of origin. Agustin Garcia said, “Punch Signature is inspired by Punch original blend. Think of it as a brother who has a lot of fire in him, but also respects tradition and the family name.”
Development of the Punch Signature blend began in 2012. Agustin and his team found a small batch of Ecuadoran tobacco they wanted to use, but had to ensure that they would have enough to make Punch Signature a full-time addition to Punch. They worked with a grower to cultivate a special Ecuadoran Corojo wrapper exclusively for this cigar. The wrapper is related to the original Cuban Corojo seed. The tobacco was aged, sorted and prepared for launch three years later.
The La Aurora Corojo has a light brown colored wrapper with a reddish tint to it. The cigar is a tad lumpy feeling but the overall construction seems good with its even seam lines and a neat torpedo head.
The La Aurora Corojo Belicoso draws like a dream proving tons of thick smoke. The burn is pretty even for the most part and the ash is fairly solid and compact.
The La Aurora Corojo starts with some spice upfront that quickly mellows down to show notes of light wood, creamy vanilla, and a raisin-like sweetness. As the second third approaches some cinnamon comes into play and I can’t help thinking of Sara Lee Raisin Cinnamon bread. As the second third fades into the final third, the spice picks back up but remains balanced with the rest of the cigar. The body of the La Aurora Corojo is mild to medium. Strength is average.
The La Aurora Corojo is a damn good cigar and in my mind and could be compared to a Cuban cigar. The cigar is very clean and crisp on the palate like a good Cuban and has the flavor profile of a Cuban cigar I have smoked, but I can’t put my finger on the name of it. The La Aurora Corojo is balanced perfectly and has a good amount of complexity for the money. If you enjoy a cigar in the medium category, go getcha some!
In 2013, Camacho did some rebranding and also updated a few of their blends to match up to their “Bold Standard” tagline. The new blend for the Camacho Corojo is similar to the old blend and remains a Honduran puro, but they have amped up the bold flavor and body with new primings. Let’s check it out.