Category Archives: Cigar Reviews

Don Pepin Garcia “Original” 6X62

pepin-blue-6x60-copy1Now let me preface this review with my humble opinion: To me, there are only three 60 ring gauge + cigars worth smoking and those are the Padron SI-15/#4, 601 La Bomba and the gigantic La Flor Dominicana Digger, but like everything else he does, Don Pepin’s first venture into massive girthtitude is a success!

As stated before, this Don Pepin Original is 6×62, but isn’t light on flavor or “airy” like most 60+ ring gauge cigars. In fact, in the first third, this smoke has the same spicy and full flavor that is common among the Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label cigars.

In the second third, the same spicy flavor was consistent but a hint of fruitiness was evident along the line of straw or raspberries. The draw on this monster is effortless and the burn through the second third is a little crooked but not bad.

In the last third, the fruity/berry flavor dies out, but the spiciness is ever consistent. The Draw remains perfectly effortless and the burn evens itself out nicely. This Full bodied smoke is definitely a required smoke for any Don Pepin or big cigar fan.

That should do it for this time around. As always, Happy Smoking!

The Mayor

Gurkha Ghost Review

Gurkha-Ghost

Despite all the perks that come with being The Mayor of Cigars, it doesn’t pay the bills, so unfortunately I must have a day job, or should I say night job. I work the graveyard shift at a hotel that happens to haunted by the former managers husband who lived in room 302. You’re probably saying to yourself “Bull! I don’t believe in ghosts.” Or “What does this have to do with cigars?” Well, I’ve never seen “Arnold” the friendly ghost but something does keep creeping people out in room 302 and this is a perfect segway into my next cigar review of the Gurkha Ghost.

The Ghost is the newest line from Gurkha and was their giveaway cigar at this year’s Great Smoke. This smoke has a very dark Brazilian Arapirica maduro wrapper with a Dominican Criollo binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. I smoked the Toro size, which is right around 6×56 in size.

Now I will warn you, and as previously read in past reviews, Gurkha isn’t my favorite brand, but the Ghost may be a real winner. The cigar is consistent all the way through with a sweet, herbal flavor that is strong in the beginning, mellows out in the middle, and then picks up again at the end of the smoke. Another interesting characteristic of the Ghost is that it is very smoky; in fact between the flavor and the tons of smoke it puts off, it reminds me of a past Gar Shop Top Ten cigar, the Undercrown from Drew Estate. The Ghost has great construction and is very full bodied. On top of all this, the Ghost wins the award thus far for best band with its silver and black label. Overall I rate the Ghost 4 out of 5 flames and is our first contender for the 2013 Top Ten.

So if you’re planning your next ghost hunt or just kicking back watching a horror flick and need a heavy smoke, pick up a Gurkha Ghost and Happy Smoking!

The Mayor

Reposted with permission from thegarshop.com

LFD Digger Review

LFD Digger copy

Greetings and salutations to my fellow habitual cigar enthusiasts and Weekend Warriors alike. Let me introduce myself. My name is Bill, and I hold the unofficial title of the director of culinary affairs at the Smoke Inn in not so historic Port St.Lucie, Florida aka “The Pizzle”. My desk is adjacent to my good friend and fellow cigar enthusiast D.A. Mayor. I am also a charter member of the Smoke Inn Irregulars.

Like most cigar smokers, I started as a casual cigar smoker. When I first started smoking in high school “I was on a budget” (had to throw that one in there for you Bandit). I would smoke any cheap sticks whenever my friends and I would get together and hang out. Like my palette for food, my taste for cigars has changed over the years. Today I smoke daily, and mix it up depending on my mood or activity. My preference now is definitely for a quality medium to full maduro stick.

The other day I was sitting in the shop with D.A. Mayor smoking a La Flor Dominicana (LFD) DL660 Maduro when Matt, the manager of the Smoke Inn in the “Pizzle”, walked in with his weekly supply of fresh sticks. He said “Billy Boy, I got something for you I know you’re going to love”. D.A. Mayor and I stood there with bated breath like little kids on Christmas day waiting to see what Matt was going to pull from the box. To my surprise he pulled out of the box the “Digger” by LFD. For those of you who are not familiar with this bad ass stick, it is by far one of the largest stogies I’ve ever seen. It has an impressive 60 ring gauge and is a massive eight and half inches long and full of the finest Dominican double ligero binder and filler, wrapped nicely in a beautiful slightly oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Trust me when I tell you that even Linda Lovelace would think twice about taking this bad boy on!

The LFD Chisel is my regular go to stick! So naturally I had to step up to the plate and purchase two Diggers to see how they would smoke. Typically, I won’t buy such a big stick, because I find the flavor changes half way through and they tend to draw hard and burn unevenly. Today I finished work for the day at 5:15 PM and could not wait until I got to the shop to light up the Digger. So I sparked it up in the car at 5:26PM in route to the shop. When I got to the shop D.A. Mayor had just finished smoking the Digger and raved about it. We got to talking and we wondered how big of an ash this stick would hold. To my amazement, I was able to hold an ash on better than half the stick. Keep in mind we are talking about an 8 ½ inch stick here. Just for kicks, I laid the stick out horizontally three times without losing the ash. I got to about a half inch from the band before the ash finally fell. At no time did the draw or flavor change from start to finish. It took me all of 2 hours and 45 minutes to crush the beast.

For those of you who enjoy a full body stick this is a must have! The best part of all was this gem is an exceptional value at the incredible price of $10.00 a stick.

WARNING: As with all Double Ligero sticks they are not for the faint of heart. You also must make sure you only smoke this one on a full stomach or the Digger will put you in the Grave!!!!!!

Cheers,

Chef Billy

Reposted with permission from thegarshop.com

Padron 1964 Anniversary Diplomatico Review

Dak on Toasted Foot

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of accusations flying around the Mayor’s office. The chief of these accusations is that I like every cigar that I review. To be completely honest, I didn’t enjoy every single cigar I’ve reviewed and though I am open to trying any and every cigar out there, there are cigars and brands out there that I don’t particularly enjoy. That said, just because I enjoy a cigar does not mean everyone will share my opinion, just like some cigar enthusiasts might enjoy a cigar I don’t particularly care for. That is the beauty of smoking cigars, that every smokers tastes are subjective and I try to write from the stand point of informative, though I am not afraid to throw my own opinion out there from time to time.

That said I will be reviewing a cigar from one of the greatest cigar makers in the world, the Padron 1964 Anniversary Diplomatico. I will say up front that the Diplomatico is a cigar I’ve smoked before and is one of my favorite special occasion smokes. At $15.50 a pop, this 7×50 Nicaraguan boxed pressed monster is one that you want to save for those special moments like birthdays, anniversaries or other special celebrations.

The first third of this cigar begins with an effortless draw and a noticeable spicy flavor, yet it is not overpowering while there were also woody flavors as well. The one feature I love about Padrons is that they are consistent, and as usual, the Diplomatico kept the hint of wood flavor but the main feature of the cigar switched to a light sweet flavor that is very enjoyable. By the final third of this smoke, the light sweet flavor gave way to the smoky flavor that was consistent throughout the cigar. Overall this medium to full-bodied smoke had a good burn and excellent draw. As usual, I could find nothing to complain about and will be holding a few of these box pressed beauties in my humidor to smoke on Christmas and New Year’s.

The Mayor

Reposted with permission from thegarshop.com

Drew Estate Undercrown Review

undercrown photo

Every once in a while, a cigar comes along that really surprises me in a good way that I wasn’t expecting. The latest being the Undercrown by Drew Estate. I had heard a little bit about this cigar and from what I heard is that it was essentially a smoke in the Liga Privada line, which isn’t entirely incorrect, but the real story behind the cigar was that Drew Estate asked their torcedores to not smoke the regular quantities of cigars they were making, so they had some of the best torcedores in the factory make cigars especially for them. In turn, the cigars turned out so well that Drew Estate felt it was necessary to release to the public in large quantities.

Now the cigar I was generously given by “Honest” Abe Dababneh was a 5×54 robusto that is wrapped in Otapan Negro Ultimo Corte, with T52 Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut and cured habano binders and filled with Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Cuban Seed. The Undercrown will come in boxes of 25 and the robusto is priced at $7.45 a stick.

Now let’s get to the good part, the actual cigars tastes. In the first 2 or 3 puffs, the Undercrown is kind of spicy but after that it transitions to a light, earthy flavor with some spice in there for good measure. At this point it was a medium bodied smoke with good construction and the flavors were very good.

In the second third of the Undercrown the earthy flavors with spicy notes continues to be the predominate taste I get, which is surprisingly good since I’m not big on the earthier cigars. Still a solid medium bodied cigar but the flavor lightens up towards the end, the draw gets a little firm, but not so much that it hurts the quality of the cigar. The burn is a bit jagged at this point, but again not bad enough to complain.

The last third of the cigar finds that the flavors switch entirely to predominantly spice with some earthy undertones that is an excellent change of pace. The flavor of the Undercrown remains this way until the end of the smoke. The draw on the cigar was again firm, but not firm enough to make me complain, just worth mentioning. The only negative I could find was that it did burned jagged and I had to touch up a small portion of it before it began canoeing too bad.

Overall, I found the Undercrown to be a very good cigar that I would probably try again at some future point and would be a lot better if it was allowed to age for a while. So, until next time, Happy Smoking!

The Mayor

Reposted with permission from thegarshop.com

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