God of Fire cigars are made by the Fuente family and were first released in 2004. These are pretty hard to come by and I had never really looked for them because of their price tag. However, I recently got the opportunity to try one and I was curious to see if these "super-premium" cigars are worth the dough. The one I have for review is the 2006 Don Carlos blend, which I believe is an original release, as they are no longer available in individual coffins.
We're done reviewing 2009 Edicion Limitadas and the news is already out with 3 new smokes programmed for 2010. A short robusto, a robusto and a grand robusto - how original! Nevertheless, they sound quite good and I'll make sure to sample all of them. Will probably begin by securing a box of those Trinidads though. Without further ado, here is the list:
This little puppy, known as Christian's Blend, is currently unique to the Signature Blends travel bag, which only includes 4 CLEs, is an extremely limited and hard to find cigar. Thanks to Matt for hooking me up on the BOTL forum.
The Exile line of cigars is made in Esteli, Nicaragua at the Nicaraguan American Tobacco Factory (NATSA). They come in two wrappers: the Ecuadorian Sumatra or a USA-grown Connecticut broadleaf. This cigar comes wrapped in a copy of the front page of the New York Daily Mirror from the day the Cuban embargo started (1962). In looking at websites that sell the cigar, it seemed that they do not use the newspaper wrapper anymore. The Exile Rosado comes in a few sizes: Perfection No. 1 and No. 2 (both perfectos); a Robusto, and today’s featured cigar, a Churchill.
Now that 2010 is in swing and things have settled down at home, I finally have time to enjoy one of my all-time favorite pastimes – enjoying great, flavorful smokes and sharing that happiness with all my fellow cigar lovers out there. Today we will review the Padilla Series 68 Robusto.
Martin, a good friend of mine, recently asked me to help him set up a blog about whisky, his long-time passion. The result is available at WhiskyCritic.com (check it out!) and Martin will be writing monthly whisky reviews for CigarInspector.com. Enjoy!
An Cnoc (which was known as Knockdhu until 1994) has a history which I think summarises the Scottish way of thinking beautifully. John Morrison, who founded the distillery, discovered several springs at the bottom of Knock Hill. What was the first thing that came to mind upon discovering freshwater springs? Why, whisky, of course! And so he bought the land and opened a distillery, heartwarming stuff (poor pun very much intended, I’m almost ashamed to say). Like Aberlour, and many other distilleries, Knockdhu were forced to put production on hold during WW2 due to restrictions on barley supplies.
An Cnoc have decided to approach the market with a focus on being modern, almost a bit Americanised if you will, which sets them apart from most other Scottish distilleries who put heavy focus on tradition. While their whisky is indeed traditionally distilled, their website contains something as controversial as cocktail recipes – you wouldn’t find that on Laphroaig’s website. Now, me being a traditionalist myself, I’m not generally one to mix my whiskey with anything but ice or water – I leave that to the kids. That said, I did try the ‘Apple Mac’ (50ml An Cnoc, 30ml Ginger wine, topped with pressed apple) and I have to admit it was quite nice.
Inspired by the Apple Mac cocktail, I decided to make some homemade apple & whisky sauce – bloomin’ gorgeous! If you want to try it for yourself, I used a basic apple sauce recipe from James Martin which I found on the BBC website and added 50ml An Cnoc during step 1 in the recipe. Try it in a roast pork sandwich, it’s to die for.
I have, of course, tried it neat as well. The nose is elegant with a peachy, heathery sweetness and hints of citrus/orange and herbs. On the palate there are hints of chewy toffee, vanilla and haulm – as well as what you would expect from the nose. A decent whisky by all means, but nothing spectacular.
Eye: Medium golden.
Nose: Elegant, peach, heather, citrus and herbs.
Palate: Same as nose with added hints of vanilla, toffee and haulm.
The name Davidoff is nearly synonymous with luxury. The name also has a reputation for quality and excellence. There is a lot of great information about the man and the company on their website Davidoff.com. One other commonly held perception of Davidoff is mild cigars and there are many smokers in the cigar community that mistake “mild” to mean “flavorless”. The Special R is the first Davidoff cigar I have had the pleasure of trying. No matter what line of Davidoff Cigars you might be interested in, the fact is they are all pretty expensive, almost universally costing more than $10 a piece. With my predisposition towards strong robust cigars, I admit that I allowed their mild reputation and lofty price tag keep me away up until now.
I have a friend who is a fan of Davidoff and more precisely their blender Henke Kelner. I have listened to him rail against the the idea that Davidoff only makes mild cigars and one of the lines he liked to use as an example of a more robust offering is the “Special” line of Davidoff cigars. So I was happy to be able to review this particular Davidoff. The Special R is not a mild cigar. I found it to be a solid medium bodied smoke with robust flavors balanced by excellent subtleties making for an engaging smoke. A core of smooth and chewy flavors of espresso and earth were complemented by more subtle notes of oak and nuts and an almost buttery feel on the palate. At times I picked up flashes of slightly sweet, almost caramel like notes on the finish. The construction was exquisite with a perfect burn, nice ash, and a spot on draw. I found the Davidoff Special R to be a very enjoyable, elegant smoke.