Origin : Nicaragua Format : Toro Gordo Size : 6 x 60 Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Filler : Nicaragua, Dominican Republic Binder : Ecuador Connecticut Hand-Made Price : ~$8-9 each More info about purchasing CAO Flathead...
Usually when you think about cigars, you think about Central and South America, where premium cigars usually are made. If cigars are going to have a regional theme, usually it is going to reflect some aspect of South or Central American culture.
CAO Flathead V660 cigars are made in Nicaragua, but they are an exception to the rule. Thematically, they are designed with a box-press shape which is intended to hearken to the engine blocks in classic American hot rods. You will notice the same theme reflected in the stylish retro design of the red and white bands as well as in the packaging (which even includes a cool vintage-style pinup). It is the kind of clever branding you might mistake as a gimmick, but these are definitely not just “novelty” cigars.
As of late, I had taken a bit of a break in reviewing some of the vast array of offerings that had recently hit the market. I even went as far as to branch off into some of the supposed finer Dominican and Nicaraguan sticks that were more readily available in my homeland. I had reviewed a Davidoff Chateau Margaux 1986 this past spring—a delightfully orgasmic Cuban smoke – here on Cigar Inspector and thought that there were no further mountains to climb, nor seas to sail; as that smoke was as technically perfect as they come –bar none.
Oh, how I was wrong… DEAD WRONG. I had reviewed the Ramon Allones 225th Anniversary stick here last fall, and proceeded to drain my favorite tobacconist’s stock of every box he could get his hands on. It would appear that I now have a new target in my sights to scarf up----evil grin----. Before I get into the meat of the review, I want to disclose that I tried every trick I knew to get this smoke to fail. I tried to light it unevenly, smoke it too fast, smoke it too slow, clip it incorrectly, and even let it douse itself and then relit it multiple times. Nothing I did caused this stick to fail—NOTHING. This is going to be a glowing review. This manufacturer has garnered very little notoriety and respect in our hobby, and I certainly hope that changes. They have earned it in my book.
Last Thursday we reviewed a line of cigars called Don Bernardo El Caballero. Thanks to Richard Galdieri from Don Bernardo, we had 10 three-packs to give away to our lucky readers, and here are the winners, chosen via randomizer.org:
Colin S Schaeffer
Doug M (heycoachdoug)
Congrats! Please send us your shipping address via any of our contact methods.
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A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Richard Galdieri about reviewing a cigar made by his company, Don Bernardo Cigars.
Don Bernardo is not a very well-known name in the cigar world yet, but Richard started in cigar manufacturing in 1989. You will not find a lot of information yet on this boutique line; El Caballero cigars come in three sizes: Montefino (52 x 6.5"), El Rey (57 x 6"), Robusto (50 x 5"). For this review, I tried out the Robusto.
Disclaimer: cigars for this review were provided free of charge.
Today we have a guest review by Chris, an aficionado from the UK who runs a YouTube channel called CigarHub Cigar Reviews. Enjoy!
I have seen very many cigars that are essentially fighting value for money, and this is probably my favourite contender to date. The budget features of this cigar seem be done in such a way that they almost have rustic characteristics, and they still deliver fully on the experience. Many, many nights I have paired this cigar with a cheeky glass of port or a nice rum and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, while paying peanuts.
Origin : Dominican Republic Format : Robusto Size : 5 x 52 Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano Sun Grown Filler : Dominican / Nicaraguan Binder : Dominican Blender : Abe Flores Manufacturer : PDR Cigars Hand-Made Price : $12.35 More info about purchasing A. Flores Gran Reserva...
The word “fine” has evolved in meaning through generations of English speaking people. “I feel fine” means you don’t have aches and pains, and the sarcastic “Fine!” means you’re done discussing a disagreeable subject and want to move on. But I like using the word “fine” in the more classical sense. To me, the word fine connotes something artisan; well made and of outstanding quality. Recently, I smoked a cigar that struck me as having all the elements that make for a truly fine cigar, the PDR A. Flores Gran Reserva Sun Grown Robusto.
If you are looking for an inexpensive rye whiskey, you may notice Knob Creek on the shelf at your local liquor store. It’d be hard to miss it; the label with the bold typeface is undeniably a standout. The cost isn’t high at all, ranging anywhere from $20-$40 or so.
What’s the story with this one? It’s made in small batches and aged in charred barrels. Knob Creek is at least 51% rye (in case you aren’t in the know, that is the principle difference between a rye whisky and a bourbon; a bourbon must be at least 51% corn).
That said, I’m not sure what the exact ratios are in Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, but it seemed to me I still detected a fair bit of corn. So while this falls into the category of rye whiskey, it seems to me that it would appeal to most bourbon drinkers.
You may already be familiar with Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon, which also contains some rye—but corn of course is the predominant ingredient. The presence of the rye always gives it a unique edge, so I looked forward to seeing this rye-based counterpart.
Knob Creek Bourbon comes with a cork stopper, but Knob Creek Rye comes with a screw cap. I prefer the cork, but no big deal. The packaging is otherwise easy to appreciate. Like I said, that eye-catching label features some great design work.
In the bottle, the whiskey I bought was a light golden color that was close to amber. I’ve noticed that there is some variation from bottle to bottle with this whisky. It can range anywhere from the light color I got to a medium-dark amber color.
After you get the cap off, you pick up strong notes of oak, caramel, and spices. In the backdrop there are also some subtle herbs that I can’t identify, but I think I pick up something which is giving the aroma a slightly astringent edge. It could be mint or ginger.
On the palate, oak is the strongest note, accompanied by caramel and vanilla. Just as I expected, spices are present, though not nearly as strong as I thought they might be. I am also certain now that the note I was picking up before is ginger. This gives it a bite, as does the strong alcohol content (100 proof). The finish is long and smooth and peppery with a hint of some kind of fruit that I can’t quite identify. Like I mentioned, to me this tastes similar to a bourbon, and actually pretty close to the Knob Creek Bourbon, but obviously the rye flavors are more pronounced.
While this is not the most innovative or amazing rye whiskey I have tried, it was plenty enjoyable, especially at the very reasonable price point. If you enjoy bourbons and want to try a rye whiskey which tastes similar, give it a try, especially if you find it for sale at the lower end of the price bracket.
Knob Creek Rye : Review Summary
Color: Medium golden amber.
Nose: Oak, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, ginger, herbs.
Palate: Oak, vanilla, spice, caramel, ginger, white pepper, fruit.
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