I've fallen behind on my cigar reviews, and now I'm rushing to make up for it by year's end.
In November, I took a weekend trip to Las Vegas with some friends, and we went to the Big Smoke event on Friday night. I had some objections to how it was organized--it felt like a cattle call for the first hour as all 500 guests scrambled madly between vendor booths to get their free cigars-- but even so it was a lot of fun, the food was excellent, and I got to shake hands with Rocky Patel and Carlos Fuente, Jr.
The best part, I walked away with 39 premium-brand cigars, most of which I had never tried before. This should provide me with plenty of review fodder for 2013.
Size: 6.0 x 52
Tobacco: Nicaraguan Puro
I enjoyed this cigar at Shaun's house, lounging on a chilly night by his open fire pit with a glass of Aberlour 10-year old single malt. The wrapper was very dark, close to being black. I performed the finger test, since I've heard tobacco leaves never get this dark without addition of some sort of dye, but this cigar passed, so I assume it was all-natural.
The cigar had a dense, slightly bittersweet pre-light odor, common among maduros. It started with just a hint of a bite and some pronounced charred meaty flavors, but it quickly settled into a very medium body with just the barest hint of coffee. The filler leaves were packed too tight, which caused a tight draw and some dryness at the head. It canoed slightly a few times, but nothing too bad.
All in all, a very average, unremarkable cigar. Nothing I'd go out of my way to find again.