IPCPR Report

Posted by Jack | in IPCPR 2014 | on 15 Aug 2014 | at 6:32 AM | 2931 views

When you are handed a large pile of free premium cigars to smoke, you don't ask many questions...you just grin and say thanks while inwardly cackling like a jackal.  That is, unless they are from the IPCPR.  Samples from the much talked about show are a literal mixed bag...you never know what you are getting into.

I took the large quantity of samples I was handed and split them into two piles.  The first pile consisting of cigars I know by reputation and the second pile being those of unknown quality or quantity.

I will admit that the second pile gave me what I have been referring to as the cigar-blahs.  Smoking bland or boring blends many times in a row when  you are used to smoking the cigars you love really can take the Mickey out of a bloke pretty quick.  Now, that is not to say that the were all duds.  In fact the upside to this experience is that when I came across something exceptional it really stood out.

Rather than bombard you with review after review, I chose to provide a pretty concise list of what I smoked, what I liked about it and what I didn't.  I understand that making cigars is a labor of love most of the time.  From seed to smoke (sorry Gary), a cigar is lovingly crafted to bring customers an experience that you can't get from any other product.  I will try with all my might to be honest and blunt with my dislikes while trying hard not to make anyone mad....but I think some of these things need to be said.

Cigars flagged with a 1 are the ones I knew would probably be good....cigars flagged with a 2 were the unknowns.

  • Blue Mountain Cigars El Three Some (2):  Marketing theme not withstanding, this actually is a pretty good smoke.  Three wrappers....guessing here but it looks like Ecuadorian Connecticut, habano, and oscuro.  Nuts, wood, dried fruit....but that name...sheesh!  Off the cuff, 90.
     
  • Cohiba Nicaragua (2):  Awesome cigar!  This one really took me by surprise.  While the Cohiba line is typically good, I tend to steer clear of them.  I call them the Sony of the Cigar Industry....because you are paying for the name.  However you look at the brand, this new Nicaraguan blend is stellar.  I had it smoked to a nub before I could review it but I would have given it a 92.  Smooth and well balanced with leather, nuts, and cream.
     
  • Dunhill 1907 (1):  A rich and densely flavored cigar that I enjoyed until the final third where it turned bitter on me.  I would love to give these another go.  Off he cuff rating would be 88.
     
  • Epicurean Mojo (1): Way to go, Steven! This one was excellent.  Review forthcoming. 
  • EP Carillo E-Stunner (2):  I know this was released last year but II never got the chance to try one.  Enjoyable yet lacking any star power.  Something I could smoke with a morning cup of coffee.  89.
     
  • Ezra Zion Tantrum PA (1):  Insanely intense like it's little brother but nothing different....still a great smoke.  90.
     
  • Gurkha Cellar Reserve Solara (corojo) (2):  I admit that I feel Gurkha cigars are hit or miss with me and a lot of other folks....this new Cellar Reserve is spicy with cedar and pepper.  Surprisingly good but not as good as I would have thought for 18 year old tobacco.  90.
     
  • Gurkha Cellar Reserve maduro (2):  Now we are talking!  Easily one of the best in the bunch.  Old leather, creamy and sweet from start to finish.  Another one I will go back to for a review and then some.  94.
     
  • Gurkha Extreme (2):  So just when Gurkha had me on their side of the fence they threw this thing at me.  Power without balance is harshness and this one had harshness in spades.  I had trouble even finishing it.  80.
     
  • Joya Red (1):   These actually landed on my doorstep while the show was underway.   To say I was blown away would be an understatement.   Unique and delicious all around.   Check out the full review.
     
  • Nomad C-276 (2):  Fred Rewey has some great and rather under appreciated blends under his belt and this new Nomad is grade-A excellent.  Probably his best cigar to date.  If another one crosses my path I will review it with aplomb.  92.
     
  • Padilla Cava (2):   Padilla is one of the brands that had really faded over the past few years.   When they first hit the market they were amazing...but since their blends changed leaving them with nothing to differentiate them from the rest of the run of the mill cigars out there.   Other than the Connecticut and the Miami line (if you can find them), I haven't really had a Padilla that really did anything for me....until now.   The Cava is delicious.   Creamy smooth with notes of wood, coffee, and oak, I enjoyed every puff and plan on going back for more.   Expect a well deserved review.
     
  • Quesada 40th Anniversary (2):  Very mild and uneventful.  Beautiful to look at but it didn't do much for me.  Quesada knows his stuff but I still think the Oktoberfest is the best in his lineup.  88.
     
  • Quesada Heisenberg (1): Scratch what I just said....the Heisenberg is the best Quesada.  Loads of sweet caramel and spices.  An excellent blend that I could smoke over and over again.  Watch for a review in the near future.  Off the cuff: 92
     
  • Rocky Patel Catch 22 (2):  Of all of the brands out there, Rocky Patel cigars are the ones I avoid on principle.  I admit I used to smoke his stuff when I was a greenhorn...back when Rocky was a small outfit.  Over the past few years I have only had one that did anything for me.  So it was with reluctance that I lit this one up....and to my utter amazement it was pretty darned tasty.  Sweet and woody and very well made with a retail price that borders on insanely cheap.  A cigar I would smoke a few more times.  91.
     
  • Rocky Patel Prohibition BL (2):  I won't even go into the fact that we already have an absolutely fantastic prohibition based line of cigars on the market.  I will go into the fact that the broadleaf version of Rocky's is pretty boring.  It had some root beer flavors and earth but it's an uninspired cigar that uses the laurels of the wrapper to carry it along.  85.
     
  • Rocky Patel Prohibition M (2):   There are three cigars that are wrestling for the top spot on my top 25 list this year and all three sport the Mexican San Andres wrapper leaf.   Sadly, the Rocky Patel Prohibition M isn't one of them. I recall asking myself while smoking it...how can someone get Mexican San Andres so wrong?   I still don't know, but this cigar needs a lot of work.   80.
     
  • Rocky Patel Super Ligero (2):   The last Rocky on my list...and it is another uninspired attempt at strength that misses the mark by turning out harshness.   81.
     
  • RoMa Craft Neanderthal (1):   I mentioned that three cigars were wrastlin' for numero uno and this is one of them.   Easily one of the best cigars I have tried in recent memory.   Check out the review.
     
  • Sabor de Esteli by Noel Rojas (1): I was looking forward to this cigar and sadly it didn't do anything for me.  Some pepper and woody notes and that is about all I could get.  I will certainly try another one or two of these because I just can't fathom a Noel Rojas that isn't a darned good cigar.  Off the cuff, 89.
     
  • Torano Vault Red Label (2):   Another very pleasant surprise.   The red label Vault is really aromatic and sweet with some woody notes and creamy coffee.   91.

So there we have it.  Again, not wanting to be overly harsh or anything, but by and large the IPCPR cigars haven't impressed much so far.  I still have a few more to review out of bag number 1 so stay tuned for those.  Please keep in mind that these were my initial reactions to these cigars and like most cigars they change over time so maybe some age will work some magic on the ones I didn't care for.  We'll see.


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