CIGAR REVIEWS FROM NCL CRUISE:
1. Hand-rolled Guatemalans
During the cruise, I got sick and was quarantined for two days in my room, so I completely missed the horseback riding excursion in Guatemala. When I was finally released from captivity, my friends had bought one of these beauties for me.
I hate to pan a gift, but truthfully it tasted like smoking grass clippings from the backyard. This is not an exaggeration. I should have stayed in my room.
2. Cohiba (Cuban)
Most memorable cigar of the trip. I’ve reviewed Cuban Cohibas before. This was a robusto that Steve Laster gifted to me. Definitely stronger than the larger Cuban Cohibas I’ve had. More spice, less earth. Reminiscent of the Cuban RyJ Romeo #2
Mike Gross gave me back in '06.
3. Don Pepin Serie JJ
Size: 5 x 50
Tobacco: Nicaraguan puro
I’ve said it before. Pepin makes great cigars, but they almost all taste the same.
The Natural is hardly distinguishable the Cuban Classic. Burst of pepper at beginning and end.
The Maduro is slightly more tame. i.e., the burst of pepper is not quite as strong. Similar to Pepin’s 5 Vegas Miami blend. This is the cigar that precipitated my 2-day illness, but I'm blaming it on the lobster, not the smoke.
Update 8-22-10: Cigars Direct sent me a Don Pepin Series JJ Maduro robusto shortly after I wrote my original review. It was, again, a very memorable cigar. The second time around, I picked up more pronounced leather flavor underneath the pepper spice.
4. 5 Vegas Cask Strength
Size: 6 x 52
Binder: Dominican Republic
Price: ~$6.75 each
Corojo wrapper. All ligero fillers.
I smoked this a while ago, and I should have taken better notes. Here is what I remember: A very strong cigar. Not spicy, per se, but strong . Consume with scotch or bourbon (no ice). Don't attempt it with American beer.