Smokeasy's top 4 memorable smokes for the month of January
A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva Maduro (PDR Cigars)
This cigar was launched in 2018 as the 4th addition to the A Flores 1975 Gran Reserva line (Corojo 2006, Sungrown, and Desflorado). The Corojo 2006 was my favorite, especially the Half Corona which I affectionately refer to as "lil bastard"; however, I just got my hands on this Maduro about a month ago, and I think it may be my absolute favorite of the entire PDR Cigars portfolio. I started with 10, I have none left - time to put this in regular rotation...
Country of origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Mexico San Andres Maduro
Binder: Olor Dominican Republic
Filler: Corojo Dominican Republic; Habano Nicaragua
Vitolas (5): Robusto (5" x 52); Grand Toro (6" x 54); Torpedo (6½" x 52); Double Magnum (6" x 60); Half Corona (3½" x 46)
Medium-full bodied | Medium-full strength
Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo (Joya de Nicaragua, SA) By far, the boldest, most robust cigar of the entire Joya de Nicaragua portfolio - and of course, my favorite! This is one cigar I definitely keep in rotation, but primarily in cycles. I've been smoking these for many years now, but just added a few back to the humidor as of late. The Pesadilla is my favorite vitola - nice, short and stocky cigar with a torpedo-like head. This is classified as "extra strength" and "extra full-bodied" and that should be respected. Novices need not even pick up this stick; just don't do it to yourself. It's very spicy with a pungent barnyard aroma, and retrohaling may feel like the hairs in your nostrils are being singed. This is definitely one of my favorite morning sticks with a mug of Cafe Bustelo though...
Country of origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: NIcaragua Corojo Oscuro
Vitolas (6): Poderoso (6" x 54); La Niveladora (6" x 52); El Martillo (5½" x 54); Peligroso (5" x 44); La Pesadilla (4¾" x 60); Azarosa (4½" x 52)
Full bodied | Full strength
Leaf By Oscar Maduro (Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.)
This is the one cigar that I definitely spend the most time with the pre-light ritual of admiring the aesthetics. You just can't help being intrigued by a cigar wrapped in an actual raw natural tobacco leaf instead of cellophane. And you can't help but to gently unwrap in attempts to keep the entire leaf intact. Leaf by Oscar was originally started as a house blend cigar for "Island Jim" Robinson’s Leaf and Bean in the Strip retail store in Pittsburgh, PA. The line consists of 4 blends: Connecticut, Maduro (my favorite), Corojo (will only smoke if my Maduro is not in stock!), and Sumatra. This is a stick that whenever I see it in a brick-and-mortar, I just have to pick up at least 2, sometimes 4.
Country of origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
Vitolas (2): Toro (6" x 50); Double Toro/Gordo (6" x 60)
Medium-full bodied | Medium strength
CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft (CAO Cigars; General Cigar Company)
When CAO released the Flathead line within their New Age portfolio in 2013, I fell in love with the V554 Camshaft, and smoked it quite frequently Subsequently, the Flathead Steel Horse was released and captured my attention for awhile. Blender/Ambassador of CAO Cigars, Ricky Rodriguez, and his team sought to do things a little but differently - refine the original Flathead blend with a shortened fermentation phase to lock in the tobacco’s native flavors and added a longer aging process. The blend is the same as the original Flathead, except the Nicaraguan binder was replaced with a Connecticut broadleaf binder in efforts to create a fuller bodied offering. They got me with this one - I'm hooked...
Country of origin: Honduras
Wrapper: US (Connecticut broadleaf)
Binder: US (Connecticut Habano)
Filler: Dominican Republic; Nicaragua
Vitolas (2): Camshaft (5½" x 50); Carb (6" x 60)
Full bodied | Medium strength