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Traficante El Paso – Cazadores

Traficante El Paso CazadoresAs the popularity of Traficante Cigar Company grows so does their line of available cigars. While they add new products to their catalog they also like to offer small batches of limited releases as well. The El Paso – Cazadores happens to be one of those pieces. Unlike most companies limited editions which are usually somewhere in the 10,000 range only 915 of these cigars will be produced.

The cigar is covered in a silky, oil rich wrapper that is the color of espresso and has medium veining but is smooth to the touch. The seams are nice and snug with a well-filled roll that felt consistent through the majority of the stick.

The odor from the foot is of heavy dark roasted coffee beans and from the body there are notes of wood and leather. The prelight draw is easy and offers a sweet fruitiness, which leaves me with high hopes for what the overall flavor of this cigar will be. The cap cuts with no problem and the cigar lights easily, the draw after being lit offers an appropriate amount of resistance.

The first flavors noticed are bitter dark chocolate and almonds with a long enjoyable finish that seems to last for days. As I continue through the stick the flavor intensifies offering some rich tobacco notes to the chocolate and almond. The burn is even, the smoke production is nice and full as well it produces a tight brownish grey ash that falls off easily when tapped.

As I approach the second half the flavor has really begun to intensify with the tobacco flavor becoming more noticeable and a dash of spice being added in. The finish is still long but now has an added sweetness to it helping to balance out the spice.

For a triple maduro this cigar isn’t for the casual smoker. It has a rich full-bodied flavor that is incredibly enjoyable. I would run out and grab some now while there’s still a few left, and don’t forget all DR members get 15% off on their website. Just contact us for the discount code.

 

Size: 6×52

Wrapper: Classified

Binder/Filler: Classified

Price: $10.08

Website: Traficantecigar.com

Rating: 4.4 pints out of 5

Cigars By Nicholas J: The Sea

Nicholas J CigarsWith all of the cigars out there being produced by what seems to be just a handful of companies it’s fun to change it up a bit and try something from more of a grassroots line. While rambling through various social media outlets I stumbled across Cigars by Nicholas J. After checking out their website I discovered that they are just that kind of company. They offer only two types of blends however they are available in a variety of vitolas and both blends have a story behind them. I chose to try The SEA, which is their Maduro wrapped medium-full cigar. This cigar was created to honor Nicholas J.’s father, Samy. The name, SEA, represents the initials for Samy’s first, middle, and last name.

The smell from the body is a mix of fresh cut pine and leather. From the foot there are much sweater notes, licorice and hay.

The overall appearance is a wrapper with a color of a dark roasted coffee bean and has a nice oily sheen to it, the seams are tight and well rolled. There is some veining but nothing that ruins the overall visual appeal of the cigar. The roll of the cigar feels full and even and it gives to pressure between the fingers without any damage to the structure of the cigar.

Cap cuts easily with no damage to the wrapper. Cold draw has a slightly sweet tobacco flavor, which always reminds me of fresh brewed tea.

It lights easily and my first impression is that it is a bit on the bitter side but within a couple of draws it quickly mellows to nice chocolate and citrus notes with a hint of leather.

Moving into the second third the flavor profile changes to a darker chocolate with a hint of pepper that starts to show up.

Reaching the final third the flavor deepens and becomes richer and the cedar notes become more apparent and more pepper starts to pick up on the back end.

During the course of the entire smoke the draw is easy and produces a fair amount of smoke that is light on the tongue. Ash holds tight until I knock it off and the burn is even without the need for a touch up.

Over all I enjoyed the experience. It was a good medium bodied cigar with some flavor profile changes that kept it interesting and easy to smoke. With the ability to buy sampler packs that contain 2 of each type of cigar ( The Sea and The Alma) for just a little over $30.00 its worth the investment to try a new smaller company that offers a more personal touch to their brand. In addition to reasonable prices customers can take advantage of the “Nicholas J Promise” where you can earn points with each purchase and once you’ve gained 70 points you get a free 25-count box! I recommend trying a couple and let me know what you think.

Filler and Binder: Dominican

Wrapper: Maduro

Price: $32.00 for a robusto sampler pack

Website: Cigarsbynicholasj.com

Rating 4.3 out of 5 pints.

 

Pappy Van Winkle Tradition

Pappy Van Winkle TraditionAs someone who drinks bourbon on a daily basis the idea of the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition cigar was an exciting event for me. Whether it had anything to do with the whiskey itself really didn’t matter it was the idea that a blend had been made for us whiskey drinkers and gotten the seal of approval from Julian Van Winkle himself. I might have been a little over zealous in texting photos to everyone I knew once I got them using the unicorn emoji and #bejealous but like I said I was excided. (What can I say, my friends and I are all immature.)

Willy Herrera made this particular blend during his tour of the Drew Estate factory in Nicaragua while deciding to join the Drew Estate team. Several other blends where given to Julian to sample and ultimately this was the one he found himself going back to and like that the Tradition was born. Now that we have the quick history behind it, on to the important stuff.

Construction of the cigar is solid as is the case with pretty much anything you get from Drew Estate. The seams on the wrapper are tight and even and the feel of the cigar throughout the body is full with no dead spots. The wrapper itself has very minimal veining giving it a smooth complexion. The color is a light roasted coffee bean with a just a hint of the oily sheen you’d expect from an Oscuro. The feel of the cigar is full but yielding to pressure between the fingers

The smell from the body is woodsy and semi-sweet. From the foot there is the distinct smell of raisins, leather and, perhaps it’s my imagination because of the excitement but bourbon as well. I choose a straight cut for this cigar and the cap comes off easily and has no effect on the integrity of the cigar. The pre-light draw is firm but not to the point that you feel you’re fighting with it. The pre-light flavor is that of fresh brewed tea and hay.

It lights easily and burns evenly as it starts with mild resistance on the draw. The cigar produced plenty of smoke that had a light mouth feel and had a nice sweet scent. The initial flavors to me were spice and pepper with a citrus finish but remained mellow making this an easy to smoke cigar and paired well bourbon. This flavor carries on for the first half of the stick.

The second half of the smoke shows the peppery flavor becoming slightly more prominent with the taste of fresh bread and hints of leather nudging its way on to the pallet. The ash was light grey and held tightly for the duration of the smoke, only falling off when requested. The burn stayed consistent and even through the duration of the cigar.

The overall construction of this cigar was top notch and the Belicoso size was perfect for me. The flavors were fantastic and were blended to the point that none of the flavors were overpowering but mingle together to as a great smoke. This made for a rich, complex smoke that you could either pay attention to all of the subtle nuances or just sit back and relax and enjoy. Not surprisingly this cigar paired very well with bourbon but could easily be enjoyed with coffee or sparkling water. If you happen to come across these pick up whatever you can because you will not be disappointed.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro

Filler: Indonesian and Dominican

Sizes: Coronita 4 x 46, Robusto Grande 5.5 x 54, Toro 6 x 50, Belicoso Fino 5 x 50

Also available in these sizes but only available in certain ways.

Churchill 7 x 48: Exclusively available at Drew Diplomat Spirits Retailers

Lonsdale 6.5 x 44: Box Exclusively at Drew Diplomat Rewards Events in October, November and December 2017

Corona 5.5 x 44: Available exclusively from Jonathan Drew and Julian Van Winkle

Price: $21.00-$26.00

Website: Drewestate.com

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints