The first thing I noticed about this cigar was the wrapper: an aromatic, slightly veiny, dark textured brown wrapper. I did not find any issues or problems with the wrapper or the construction of the cigar but holding it in my fingers, it did feel a bit on the dry side. I believe this is due to my own humidor and not reflective on the build of the cigar. The band of the cigar, a simple yet pleasing looking band, uses great typographical elements to really complete the look of the cigar on the whole.
In October 2010, I had the opportunity to visit the Plesencia factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. While there, I was fortunate enough to sample a very unusual cigar that was still in development. Named the Punisher, this stick took me by surprise. Its wrapper appeared to be infused with a chili-like substance that, upon placing in my mouth, created a warm sensation across my lips and tongue. This was something totally new in all of my cigar-smoking experience. But it was no gimmick. The Punisher smoked like a dream and had the richness and complexity of a truly great cigar. Today, the Punisher is in the final production stages and currently available as part of a Cigar.com sampler. All information about this cigar is closely guarded and its construction and resultant flavor is the result of a secret process. But the alchemy that is taking place at Plasencia’s factory is certainly working; as this cigar is exceptional is many ways. Having now smoked a number of the current Punisher iterations, I am pleased to report that lovers of strong cigars have a great new addition to their smoking rotation.
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.