Uncategorized

Hiram and Solomon Traveling Man Lancero

Hiram and Solomon LanceroHiram and Solomon popped up on my radar a couple years ago when I was looking for a smoke in a not so pleasant downtown cigar shop and I spotted their band. Since at the time it was something new to me I picked up a few sticks and gave them a try. Turned out they were pretty good and next time I was back downtown I went into the same shop to get some more and for some reason they had stopped carrying them. Bummed I left the store empty handed and started looking elsewhere, and of course it didn’t take long to find them. Recently I ran into Fouad, George and their rep Heather (who just happens to also be a DR Member) in town and as we were talking the conversation lead to the new Traveling Man lancero that is being released. After smoking one with them I knew I wanted to write about it so I brought a couple more back to try and this is what I found.

Construction wise, it doesn’t have that traditional rigid nearly hard feeling that most lanceros have, this has a bit of give to it. The wrapper has a lovey milk chocolate color to it with a nice velvet sheen and there is very minimal veining. The seams are tight and there are no areas that fill unfilled. The smell from the body and the foot reminds me of smoked foods and hay. The cap cuts off easily and with no damage to the cigar, pre-light flavor has a slight sweetness on the tongue along with rich tobacco flavors. The draw is easy and offers little resistance. It lights easily and burns evenly. For a lancero it produces plenty of medium weighted smoke with a bread like consistency. The initial flavor is mild but well balanced.

The first half is slightly sweet and creamy with a bit of barnyard notes. There is a hint of pepper hidden in the finish but is not very noticeable. The smoke production for this cigar is fantastic giving large amounts of the same medium weight smoke noticed from the initial light. While the ash does drop off fairly easily the burn is even.

Once reaching the second half of the cigar the sweet and creamy taste remains but now the pepper flavor is more apparent along with other spices and a light woodsy taste. The burn continues to be razor sharp and the smoke is full. At no time did I need to touch up or re-light this cigar.

This really did end up being a great cigar. Hiram and Solomon describe it as being a “medium body blend that is masterfully encased in a silky Sumatran wrapper from the island of Indonsia. The thick smoke is rich in aroma with a hint of spice and coffee on the palate. The Finish is soft and subtle as a creamy texture melds with notes of cocoa leather.” While I enjoy most things from Hiram and Solomon this one has become a quick go to for me. It has a great construction, great flavor and a great burn time. If you haven’t had a chance to try their line yet I would recommend starting with the Traveling Man lancero, its strong enough for someone that likes a fuller body but the creaminess of it makes it feel light enough for everyone.

Size – 7 x 38

Wrapper – Sumatra Indonesian

Binder – Indonesian

Filler – Arapiraca, Habano Jalapa, Habano Ometepe and Dominican

Price: $8.50

Website: Hiramandsolomoncigars.com

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints

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.