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crowned heads luminosa

it is rare that I find a mild bodied cigar that I really like, but I really enjoyed this. quality tobacco flavor with hints of coffee and chocolate in the first third. started out with a bit of a pepper kick, but toned down as it progressed. 2nd third brought a peanut butter note every so often. stayed true in the final third, razor sharp burn and decent draw. never went above mild/medium and no off flavors in the final 3rd.

it was unique in that most milder cigars I have tried and enjoyed tend to have a "creamy" note, which wasn't present here. luminosa is more like an intense cigar's mellow cousin, but it wasn't "watered down" and retained a good amount of complexity. if i could only take one cigar to a deserted island and it had to be mild/medium bodied, based on my current cigar knowledge this would be it.

body: mild/medium
Strength: average
rating: 9/10
 
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hey all, just a quick note to the surprisingly greater than 0 number of people who actually read this thread... it's on hiatus for the time being, if that wasn't obvious. i'm back to one cigar a week at most, a higher % of which have been ccs, which I am not worthy to review, and non-ccs have all been cigars I've covered already. it was a nice diversion in the midst of the covid19 universe.

my apologies again to illusione fans who were offended, it was one of my faves back in the day and I'm sure I just got an unlucky couple of sticks. also, admittedly there are a few brands missing in this thread... *cough* viaje, room 101, davidoff, carrillo, my father, tom moore, fuente, etc, etc, etc, *cough* I may fill in a few of these in time. until then, i'll be around on the forum. :LOL: :cigar:
 
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Thanks for the update. I didn't get to read this the first time around. On a bit of a hiatus myself. Good to get a reminder of stuff I used to smoke, but haven't in a while.
If you're smoking them and have an opinion, don't know why you think you're not worthy. People appreciate a fresh perspective and/or want to bag on differing viewpoints.

Strange about the Illusiones. Although, I haven't smoked a fresh one in quite a while. Except for the Epernay D'Aosta, which wasn't as good as the older ones (yet).
 
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If you're smoking them and have an opinion, don't know why you think you're not worthy. People appreciate a fresh perspective and/or want to bag on differing viewpoints.
haha, yeah. my main opinions regarding ccs are 1, F Castro, and 2, they are the best of the best, despite myths the domestic cigar industry tries to string along about their quality. to date, if I'm smoking a cc I'm enjoying myself 100% of the time, even brands I've enjoyed a little less than others like MC.
 
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Strange about the Illusiones. Although, I haven't smoked a fresh one in quite a while. Except for the Epernay D'Aosta, which wasn't as good as the older ones (yet).
yeah, they were two different marques sourced from two different states. *ducks* but to be fair i think "real" cigar reviewers smoke a few of the same cigar before writing their reviews in case one happens to be an outlier. it happens.
 
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I've had a few '08 CCs recently that were getting tired and not up to my expectations. Still smokable but not "enjoying myself 100% of the time". But I know what you mean. If I'm smoking something that isn't quite ready, I'm still enjoying it all the time.

I've never been a fan of the Ultra, but that one sounds like its more up your alley. I'm not very forgiving either. If I smoke an outlier, I'm not very likely to give them another chance. Not enough smoking and too much stock.
 
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Got the anti-bomb from @srduggins today.

155031

:unsure: At first I thought it was a joke and that he had sent me a killer MAW bundle, but he assured me that the majority of these cigars do, in fact, suck pretty bad (except for a few of the non-ccs, which he threw in to be nice.) Hence, I will review what I can of these in the coming weeks in this thread. Stay tuned for the srduggins burn pile series, or, a newbie learns a lesson part 1. :LOL:
 
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2008 H Upmann Magnum 50

155032

This was pretty horrible. I could tell that it is cuban tobacco but the flavors were really weak. Construction seemed ok, nice draw and no burn issues. The worst thing about the experience was the aftertaste. Definitely had a bit of wet rag flavor and some ashtray mixed it. Let it die out in the first third.

body: F-Castro
Strength: huh?
rating: dud

and i felt I am a bit overdue on something, which I'll address next.
 
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illusione ultra (re review)

really nice intense cigar. perfectly crafted, smooth draw all the way down, and no touchups needed. the first third brought a nice roasty flavor, which was well suited for removing the stains of cuban duds off of the roof of one's mouth.

as it progressed into the 2nd third, I started to notice the baking chocolate coming through in the mix. I also started to notice a pretty strong nic buzz. I'm guessing they call these "ultra" for a reason.

In the final third, the chocolate had ramped up and I probably got the biggest punch of an espresso flavor in a cigar to date. I let it go out in the final third because of the strength, definitely a nice, intense palate cleanser. highly recommended if you like strong sticks. :cigar:

body: full+
Strength: strong
rating: 8/10
 
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1999 Bolivar Coronas Gigantes

155062

My 2nd cc from the @srduggins burn pile. This was actually a fairly decent 20 year old cigar, although definitely the weakest cc I've tried to date, likely a function of it's age, and amusing because Bolivar is typically such a strong blend. I probably would have preferred a newer smoke (or, ignoring age, at least one with all of it's "flavor") so I'm glad I didn't pay hundreds for this wherever aged ccs are b/s/t for outrageous prices. This cigar was rolled when I was 18, which is an interesting thought since I just turned 40 this month.

The first third reminded me of a weaker Montecristo blend with plenty toned down "bready" flavors. The mouthfeel was smooth with no pepper anywhere in sight, and there was also a bit of a sweet aftertaste. The flavors seemed to get weaker still as the cigar progressed. The second third was the mildest section, and although there was a little bit more flavor than pure oxygen there was also an occasional offensive note. However, the cigar corrected itself within minutes each time this occurred. It regained a bit of its strength towards the end, and I let it go out with maybe 2 in. remaining. The draw was pretty snug all the way down, and it needed a touchup here or there but nothing out of the ordinary.

This wasn't a bad experience at all, but I definitely prefer cigars with more flavor as I'm sure most on this forum likely do. Maybe an extreme lightweight who only smokes Davidoffs would have really enjoyed this.

Body: mild
Strength: mild
Rating: 7.5/10
 
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2012 Tatuaje Little Boris

Another entry in the @srduggins burn pile series, which he mentioned has gone a little flat. I'm gonna have to disagree with him on this one, in fact this may have been the best non-cc I've ever smoked if it hadn't gone a little sour in the final third. I've actually never heard of this cigar, and after doing some research it seems Pete was going to release a complement to the monster series devoted to actors who play monsters but this is the only one that got released. Too bad, maybe there could have been a "Raimi" to make up for the fact that there wasn't an "Ash" in the original monster series. (and I know, I know, but "Raimi" just sounds cooler than "Campbell.") How did you miss that one, Pete? Or if he isn't a fan of obvious puns, he could have called it the Join Us. Oh well.

Back to the review. The first 2/3 of this one was cigar heaven, complimented by a growler of pumpkin beer and crisp dry fall air outside. Started out as a chocolate and brownie blast, with that mellow chocolaty aroma I get in a lot of Padrons only kicked up a few notches. Smooth smoke with no pepper tingle and perfect construction with an easy draw and no touchups needed. The 2nd third continued the chocolate blast with occasional notes of black cherries and graham crackers in the mix.

In the final third it did go a little sour. I tried to wait it out but the sour note wasn't going anywhere. Guessing it doesn't need more age since it is a 2012. Let it die out with maybe 2 in. left. I honestly wouldn't mind buying a box of these only expecting to smoke the first 2/3, which clocked in close to an hour, and hopefully the sour note was an isolated incident. I've only been able to try a few of the monster series, loved the few I've tried and this is more reassurance to myself that they aren't all marketing and hype.

Body - full
Strength - average
rating - 9/10
 
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Glad you enjoyed it. I did just say it was past its prime. This has been one of my favorite Tats of all time - and I've smoked quite a few - just wasn't as good as it was a few years ago.
 
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Glad you enjoyed it. I did just say it was past its prime. This has been one of my favorite Tats of all time - and I've smoked quite a few - just wasn't as good as it was a few years ago.
trying one of these in it's prime is my new number one cigar mission. looks like it may not be too difficult...


anyone know where I can get a box of these? I don't care if it's a dress box.
 
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2015 H Upmann No 2

The latest entry in the @srduggins burn pile series was decent. Tasted like most cc’s I’ve smoked, only with a bit of an aftertaste, although not nearly as bad as the first one I tried. I wouldn’t have any problem smoking more of these. Not much more to add on this one. A good example of how cc’s can be solid 8/10 sticks, but aren’t all 10/10 sticks.

Body: medium
Strength: average
Rating: 8/10
 
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2010 Trinidad Fundadores

The latest entry in the @srduggins burn pile series and my first Trinidad. It started off similar to the burn pile Bolivar CG: flavorless with the occasional oxygen note coming thru here and there. I decided to let it go out after about 20 minutes and fired up a fresh Partagas instead because it was the weekend and I wanted to enjoy myself. Later, after I had finished the Partigas curiosity prompted me to clip about 1/3 of the Trinidad and light up what was left. I was surprised to pick up some decent flavors on the shorter Trinidad with a whole cigar of fatigue on my palate. I saved what was left for when my palate had recovered.

In round 2, now about the size of a petit corona, the cigar definitely had some great Cuban bready/grassy flavors with some orange dreamsicle on the retrohale, but it was a bit on the mild side. Not going to dispute that it was past its prime. Not sure what was going on here. The cigar was a lancero style, so maybe the already diminished flavors in the mild smoke was getting filtered by the tobacco in the long cigar itself before I clipped it? Whatever was going on, it was a decent smoke to try for free and there was nothing offputting about it. An enjoyable experience and I'm glad I thought to give it another chance.

Body: Mild/Medium
Strength: Low
Rating: 7.5/10
 
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Last one I smoked had an off flavor to it. Glad you at least had something you could smoke. I think I'll fire a (hopefully better) one up tomorrow.
 
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Smoking a L'Atelier SS lancero from the same batch (12/2016) as the one I gave you for the MAW (not the burn pile). This cigar is terrific! Similar to the Tat Halloween we smoked, but better IMO. Richer, sweeter, dark chocolate and espresso flavors and less of the charred steak. The wrapper is some bizarre leaf called Sancti Spiritus and really expresses itself in the lancero format. A cross between the irksome Pelo de Oro and Criollo strains that is mold resistant. Full body, Full flavor but only medium strength (so far). It also has some earth and tea notes with mild pepper in the retrohale. Not really changing a lot, but who cares when its this yummy. No rush to smoke this as it seems to have plenty of stuffing to continue aging. Hope you don't mind me posting a simple review in your thread on something you may end up posting here as well. The final third everything was more subdued or my palate went numb.
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It wants to go out at the half way point, but I tap the ash and toast it back up with my lighter. I think this wrapper is less flammable and on a cool, light windy day I'm smoking it a little faster (and double puffing to keep it burning) than normal for a lancero, but it doesn't seem to hurt the flavors.
 
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