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Stallone Castano

Stallone Cigars popped up on my radar in July of last year while looking for guests to have on the DR Thursday Night Virtual Herfs. Even though I didn’t know Stallone Cigars thankfully, through our network of members, we know Todd Vance. Todd had just been appointed the North American Vice President for Stallone and he was asked to be on the show. As it turns out Stallone was started back in 2014 by Tony Barrios and was being distributed in Europe and South America but was being released to the US in 08/20. After spending a couple of hours chatting with him and Tony I decided I should pick up a variety of their cigars and see what I thought. For this first review I started with the Stallone Castano toro.

The Castano has a dark brown look which makes sense as the name Castano translates to chestnut and this matches the wrapper’s color. It is a soft box press and feels firm in the hands and doesn’t have that lose kind of pillow feeling a lot of box pressed cigars can have. The seams are tight, there is some light veining and a slight bit of tooth. From both the body and foot there are light odors of earth, hay and fruit. Construction remains intact after cutting the double cap. The pre-light draw is easy draw with flavors of sweet tobacco and fresh baked bread.

In the first third I get the taste of bitter dark chocolate and pepper but shortly after lighting the spice diminishes and becomes more creamy. There is a medium resistance on the draw, with a good burn line and offers a light weighted smoke that fills the room.

Moving into the second third the flavor is mellow, creamy, a touch sweet while having some grass notes on the retrohale. The burn remains sharp and the ash hold tight until knocked off.

For the final third the spices return along with a charred wood flavor making for and enjoyable finale to the cigar. The burn never required touch ups during the smoke and construction held up until I put the cigar out as a nub.

I found the Castano to be a more mild/medium cigar vs the listed medium/full but of course everybody’s palate is different. Now this doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I found this to be a pleasant cigar to smoke and think it would be a very approachable cigar to smokers of any variety. Easily could be paired with most anything but suggest coffee, black tea or a peaty scotch. I picked up a few of each of the Stallone blends and look forward to trying each.

Wrapper – San Andres 

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan

Price: $6.80 – $10.25 depending on vitola

Website: https://www.stallonecigars.com

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 pints

Plasencia Reserva Original

The Reserva Original from Plasencia had been staring at me through the glass door in one of my humidors for a while now so, I decided it was time to light it up and see what I thought. Touted by Plasencia as the first and only cigar on the market made solely with tobacco certified by the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) and in the same way Nicarao Indians did over 500 years ago. It debuted at, the then named, IPCPR show in 2017 but was originally an exclusive cigar for Famous Smoke Shop for years prior. Plasencia has been around for ages, growing and rolling tobacco for a variety of big name companies, which I touched on this in the Alma Del Fuego review written a while back, but as they continue to produce more and more blends for themselves there’s always something new to try.

Taking a good look at the cigar the wrapper is dark brown in color with small but noticeable veining and some mottling. The seams are visible but tight, it is smooth to the touch, firm when pressed and no dead spots could be found in the construction. The smell from the body was chocolate, roasted coffee beans and hay. From the foot I picked up a distinct odor of sweet dried fruit.

The triple cap cuts easily and does not damage the construction of the cigar. Of the few I smoked pre-light draw varied between light and medium in resistance. It has as a rich sweet tobacco flavor along with hints of spice.

The first third of the cigar started off creamy with a bit of spice and cedar flavors that linger on the tongue. The burn was even and it produced a fair amount of pleasant smelling light weighted smoke.

Creeping into the second third the creamy flavor stays but now I’m getting the sweeter flavors of the dried fruit noticed when smelling the foot. There is still spice and cedar on the retro hail (if you like doing that sort of thing). The burn continues in an even manner and smoke production is ample.

In the final third the flavors become a bit more difficult to describe. The cedar and spice are present but also salt and sweet when pressing the tongue to the roof of the mouth. Over all it finishes as a nice mellow smoke. The burn stays even for the duration and the smoke doesn’t fail to satisfy and fill the room.

From start to finish this was a thoroughly enjoyable cigar. As it has a medium body it’s an easy smoke and could be paired with just about anything. With its intriguing story of the tobacco used it makes this Nicaraguan puro both a great cigar as well as a novelty. Priced reasonably I would definitely recommend grabbing a handful next time you’re in your local B&M shop and see them, if you don’t see them ask them to bring them in, it doesn’t disappoint.

Wrapper – Nicaraguan

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan

Price: $7.50 – $10.00 depending on vitola

Website: https://www.plasenciacigars.com

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 pints

Whiff Industries: Clearing The Air

Way back in 2015 I got to sample some of the original Whiff Out Crystalline Ashtray Deodorizer and write a little review on it. Here we are in 2021 and now they have several new products on the market to fit a variety of personal tastes when it comes to clearing the air of smoke odor.

Whiff Industries still offers their original formula Crystalline Ashtray Deodorizer in the “Classic” scent but now also comes in “Vintage” (notes of cedar and vanilla) and “Rustic” (notes of cedar). This stuff is still my go to product for my ashtrays, especially my car however, since they have released a reed diffuser, wax melts and a spray I had to test them out.

I started with the Reed Diffuser since I see these things in nearly every bathroom I’ve ever been in and wondered how it would work in a larger smoke room. It comes in the same three scents, “Classic”, “Vintage” and “Rustic”, I went with the “Rustic”. I cracked it open, chucked the reeds in there and put it in my smoke room which is a 20′ x 15′ room and left it there for a day. When I came back the next morning for my breakfast cigar I was surprised that something that seemed so small could fill the room with a pleasant smell. I smoked my cigar then left, when I came back the following morning the diffuser had done its job clearing the room of all but a faint cigar smell. This was the case for the couple of weeks I tested it.

After the diffuser I moved on to the Odor Eliminating Wax Melts which comes in the same three scents as the crystals and diffuser so again I chose the cedar scent. Now these guys really do the job. After smoking my morning smoke, I let the wax melt and kept it going for about 20 minutes then left for the day. (Turning off the wax melter obviously.) When I returned the next morning the room smelled clean and fresh to the point that even the missus said it smelled good. Each pack has 6 cubes in it and can be re-melted up to 3 times and still get rid of cigar odor, you can use it more but it won’t eliminate the cigar smell just give the room a light scent.

Next it was on to the tough one…my car. I smoke in my car and I mean I smoke a lot in my car, to the point that only other cigar smokers will get in it. Now I don’t mean I’m a dirty person I keep my car clean but I live in south Florida so it’s hot all the time. Combine 90+ degree temperatures along with cigar odor and it’s a recipe for some serious smell. For this I decided to hit it with a combo of the crystals and spray. I started with adding the crystals to my car ashtray and then took off for a trip to Miami (about an 1 & 1/2 hour drive) and had two cigars on the way. Since I was on the freeway having all the windows down was not an option I could only keep one down about half way. When I arrived at my location I hit the car up with the Spray Deodorizer I sprayed a bit on my clothes* then closed up the car and headed into a meeting. 3 hours later I returned and was really impressed at how well these products worked together, the smell of cigars was practically eliminated. I’ve been doing this ever since then and my car smells great.

If you are looking for a solution to odors from your cigar lifestyle, Whiff Out is the way forward. All of their products work great however I personally am partial to the wax melts for the home or smoke room and the crystal/spray combo for the vehicle. All of it is available through there website, Amazon and a variety of B/M retailers so run out and grab some and keep your stuff smelling great.

  • Whiff Out 6 oz jar ashtray crystals $13.00 (all scents)
  • Whiff Out Reed Diffuser $17.00 (all scents)
  • Whiff Out Wax Melts $15.00 (all scents)
  • Whiff Out Spray $12.00 (all scents)

Website: Wiffindustries.comhttps://whiffindustries.com/shop/

*In the manufactures list of uses for the spray it is not directly stated to apply to clothes you are wearing but I figured what the hell I’d try it.