ECCJ stands for European Cigar Cult Journal, which is a cigar magazine. Dion Giolito was asked to make this cigar for the celebration of the magazine's 15th anniversary. I have never read or seen the magazine, but I hear you can read it in both English and German, that’s pretty cool.
The look of the cigar is extremely weird. It looks like a big toe or a d size battery. The wrapper is beautiful, very smooth and oily. It’s in perfect condition and it really couldn’t get any better.
On the smell, the wrapper gives off a very nice woody and cinnamon aroma. The foot smells really light, but very sweet tobacco. The pre-draw was very good, not too loose, just the way I liked it and didn’t leave any aftertaste on my palate, which is okay.
I believe, without a doubt, that situational context affects any smoking experience. So to begin this review I am going to relay a short holiday story regarding this cigar. If this is something you wish to bypass, by all means do and just skip to the second paragraph. I will think no less of you and neither will the cigar. Having spent slightly more than the past year of my life married to my wonderful wife, I find, like many of you, that sometimes it requires a little bit of circus talent to juggle everything going on. As my wife and my families live about 2.5 hours apart, we both agreed that trying to make it to both Christmases every year would end up causing more stress than needed. To compromise, we alternate visiting one side of the family for Christmas and the other on Thanksgiving and New Years. This year was the first Christmas that we spent with her family. Everyone had a great time and I felt extremely welcome, as always, but certain holiday traditions and feelings associated with your own family on Christmas are almost impossible to recreate elsewhere. Fast forward to our arrival at my parents’ house for our pseudo Christmas celebration on New Years. It was joyous and you could tell that the family was happy to be together after being apart. After a hearty meal, with my wife and mother both asleep on the couches, my father and I decided to have a smoke. I brought him a Tatuaje J21, which he greatly enjoyed; although probably not as much as the one from my prior review. For myself I decided to try out the Carlos Torano Exodus 1959 50 Year Anniversary Short Churchill.
Interestingly, the weight of this cigar was less than other churchill-sized cigars in my humidor holding cell. It was densely packed, just didn’t have the same feel. Connecticut wrapper was in good shape but lacked in elegance (similar to Agent 3 when the Pittsburgh Penguins lose to any team on the planet). Complexities I’m not accustomed to from a Connecticut wrapper. Awesome aroma. Medium in body. Delicious. I was unable to identify flavors other than natural tobacco and some other complex flavors. That’s a first. Burning characteristics were spot-on.
This target demands your attention. If I smoked this cigar without a band, I would have put it in the $6-7 price range from the flavor complexities alone. If you come across the Slow-Aged 826 by Perdomo… interrogate without fail or price prejudice.
The Boss asked me one day through our regular communique via Twitter if I was interested in tracking down the CAO Sopranos "Soldier". I gladly jumped at the chance to review this target. CAO was the first brand of cigars I started smoking with regularity (the particular cigar I started with is quite popular - it's the Brazilia), so I was eager to attain this cigar and give it my full attention.
The Toraño Master cigars were released at the end of the summer this past year. I have been a big fan of the Toraño cigars, especially the Exodus 1959, so I was very excited to smoke and write about the Master which is a collaboration between the Toraño family and Master blender Felipe Sosa. You can refer to the previously published press-release for more details. Today’s featured cigar is the Toraño Master Churchill.
Background Info: This cigar is a partnership between Jesus Fuego and Xikar to create a new, exciting cigar for the market.
Mission Notes: I took a quick chance at a fast smoke between snow storms and realized that I had this beauty in my humidor. Looking it over, it is a rich, dark brown wrapper with few blemishes. The veins are visible but smooth, and the construction is very well done. The cigar has a rich aroma of earth and cedar on the prelight. After lighting it has a beautiful rich aroma and clean smoke. There is a light taste of cedar and a bit of chocolate. The draw is nice, with no tightness or blockage and the ash that develops is firm and light grey. This cigar remains pretty nice throughout, but doesn’t really develop into anything different. As I reach the nub I realize that I have thoroughly enjoyed this cigar and would love to have more, but there was really nothing there that set this apart and made me say “wow”.
Final notes: Great cigar, wonderful flavors, very mild to medium. Major problem: Nothing to really make it stand out amongst a lot of other great cigars out there. Not sure on the price point on these. If they are a lower priced smoke then I can really see them becoming a great everyday smoke. If not, then Xikar HC Habano Colorado could become lost in the crowd.
Many thanks to Austin from the 7th Street Reserve for taking these excellent pictures for my series of reviews.
The man behind the Tatuaje brand, Pete Johnson, has established a yearly tradition with his cigars: on each Halloween, a new blend is released, named after a classic monster from the film industry. In 2008, the Frank was released. Last year, it was time for the Drac and the Boris to burn their way into the cigar lovers’ hearts. Since all of these Halloween blends are limited editions and very hard to find, I managed to get my hands on a Boris only, missing the Drac. Only 1000 boxes of 10 Boris each were produced.
For this review, I smoked an aged Boris – and I have to say, it was worth the wait: aging conferred a unique flavor to the cigar, ramping up the Boris from “good”, as other have rated it, to a rather great level – in my books. Let’s get started and see in detail how this Halloween monster fares.