Category: The Monday Review

Every Monday ChristianCigarSmoker releases a brand new cigar review on the Monday Review!

The Monday Review – 8/10/20 – Quick Draw (Connecticut)

The Monday Review:

Southern Draw – Quick Draw (Connecticut)
August 10, 2020

Cigar Name: Quick Draw (Connecticut)
Company Name: Southern Draw

MSRP (per stick): $4.99
Size:
4.5 x 44
Role Type: Corona Gorda

Flavor Profile: Mild

OVERALL RATING: 3.0
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 3.0
Roll/Burn Rating: 2.5
Flavor Rating: 3.5
Value Rating: 3.5

Description: The Southern Draw Quick Draw comes in three distinct blends: Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Habano. This review focuses exclusively on the Connecticut, for a deeper look at the other blends check out their reviews from our review library HERE. The Quick Draw (Connecticut) is a Corona Gorda with a light traditional Connecticut coloring and a small pigtail cap. At 4.5 x 44 it is the smallest cigar made by Southern Draw, and at $4.99 per stick it is also the cheapest. For it’s small size it packs a great length of smoke, and for it’s low price it packs great flavor and quality.

The Quick Draw (Connecticut) has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and a Nicaraguan and Honduran filler. Like all Southern Draw Cigars it is made in Nicaragua.

Where the Pennsylvania puts you in mind of deep woody flavors with rich undertones, the Connecticut is more reminiscent of fresh cut lumber with sharp and slightly spicy undertones. This cigar has a less floral taste than some Connecticuts do. Instead it has flavors more inclined towards citrus and mild spice. The end result of this is a fresh and crisp flavor while remaining mild bodied. If I play a game of word association with myself the term that this cigar brings to mind is craftsman. This cigar does tend to start very mild but deepen with flavor over the life of the smoke (this is much better than if it progressed the other way around).

I have noticed a slight difference in the construction of the Connecticut as compared to the Habano and Pennsylvania. I believe this is due to the soft nature of the Connecticut wrapper. This impacts the mouth feel and the burn of the stick. On these points I prefer the other 2 sticks in the line. However, I seem to have the best draws when smoking the Connecticut. I am not sure if this has just been coincidence or if there is something about the soft nature of the wrapper that opens the draw a bit.

Comments: First off, I like to admit my bias right off the bat, and in this case I have working at cross purposes. On the one hand, I tend to have a general taste that moves away from the Connecticut flavor profile. I try to compensate appropriately in reviews to account for this. On the other hand, I have to admit I am a big fan Southern Draw. The main reason I am a fan is every cigar I have ever had from them has been excellent. They ooze quality and flavor, and the construction of each stick is consistent and very solid. As a bonus this seems to be a company with deep Christian roots and a passion for doing good in this world. Some of their cigar names even sport biblical names (Jacob’s Ladder and Rose of Sharon). For more cigars with biblical names check out our article “Biblical Cigars – The Complete List”.

As for the Quick Draw line, the only real complaint I have about them is that there isn’t more of each stick. It does have a good long smoke for it’s size, but a 4.5 x 44 is a bit small for my taste. Seeing as this is Southern Draw’s starter cigar it has incredible quality, and at just under $5 good value as well. The price point is not out of this world given it’s small size, but given the quality it is hard to complain too much.

If I am looking for negatives, I would say that while still good, the draw is a bit more tight than I like. A fact that has some irony given the name of the cigar is Quick Draw! Otherwise, my only knock is that the other cigars in Southern Draws line up (at lease that I have had) are even better than this one. In the end, if you like a smaller cigar this should go on your must try list.

Reviewers Note: This review is part of the Quick Draw series, for information on the other cigars in this series check out the Pennsylvania or the Habano.

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Monday Review – 8/3/20 – Juarez Willy Lee

The Monday Review:

Juarez Willy Lee
August 3, 2020

Cigar Name: Juarez Willy Lee
Company Name: Crowned Heads
Line: Juarez

MSRP (per stick): $6.95
Size: 6×54
Role Type: Toro

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 2.5
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 2.0
Roll/Burn Rating: 3.0
Flavor Rating 2.5
Value Rating: 2.5

Description: The Juarez Willy Lee is a 6 x 54 Toro, it is made in Nicaragua, with a blended Nicaraguan and Dominican filler, an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder, and a Mexican San Andres wrapper. The Juarez also comes in a 5 x 56 and a 4 3/4 x 52 Robusto. This cigar was inspired by Johnny Cash and is made by Crowned Heads as an affordable alternative to the Jericho Hill cigar line. The predominate flavors that comes through the profile is a woodsy oak, floral, and crisp freshness. This cigar leaves a semi-dry finish that has just a slight hint of chalkiness, that is not unpleasant. A solid preforming cigar with straight forward flavors that are not overwhelming and good draw and burn.

Comments: They say that the Juarez was created by Crowned Heads as an affordable alternative to the Jericho Hill line. In this case I wish they wouldn’t have told me that. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of an affordable alternative to the Jericho Hill, as that is a great cigar line. However in this case finding this out raised two problems for me. One, it raised my expectations for this cigar above the point where it could deliver. I never expected it to be as good as the Jericho Hill but I did expect more than I got. The other problem is that when you tell me it is an alternative to a more expensive line, I expect it to have a similar flavor profile that reminds me of that other line and the Juarez isn’t even close. In fact, the Juarez reminds me exactly not at all of the Jericho hill by flavor, feel, and smoke. If you told me the Juarez was an affordable alternative to a different line I might have guessed something like the Punch Gran Cru, or the Room 101 6×60.

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Monday Review – 7/20/20 – The Black Diamond

The Monday Review:

The Black Diamond – Emerald
July 20, 2020

Cigar Name: The Black Diamond – Emerald
Company Name: Diamond Crown
Line: Black Diamond

MSRP (per stick): $20.50
Size: 6×52
Role Type: Parejo

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 4.0
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 4.5
Roll/Burn Rating: 3.5
Flavor Rating 4.0
Value Rating: 2.5

Description: The Black Diamond line sports three different cigars. This review is is specifically for the Black Diamond Emerald, which is a 6 x 52 Parejo. However, each of the three cigars is very similar in most respects and the other two sticks are the Black Diamond Radiant (4.5 x 54 Robusto) and the Black Diamond Marquis (5.25 x 56 Corona). The Black Diamond is aged 5 years and has a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, and a Dominican filler and binder. It evokes a broad flavor palette that includes definite notes of chocolate, leather, pepper, and cream.

Comments: The Black Diamond line is produced through the combined efforts of the Fuente family and JC Newman Cigars, although it is distributed under the Diamond Crown name. With these two power house names behind the stick it was no surprise to me that it was a very good smoke.

I had the opportunity to smoke one just recently at the Davidoff Lounge in Tampa just outside of Ybor City. Which I felt was fitting given the proximity to a large part of the JC Newman operation. This is one of those cigars that has a bit of a reputation and for that reason it has gathered both its avid fans and stalwart critics. I end up being closer to the side of the fan, yet without being enamored with every aspect of the stick. The Black diamond is the quality you would want or expect from a $20.50 cigar, but neither does it exceed expectations.

The thing about this cigar that stands out most to me is the superb way the various flavors blend together during the smoke. I find this cigar to have more peppery notes than many other reviewers. For me when it comes to cigars with notes of spice or pepper, a little is often nice but as soon as it starts to get strong, instead of blending with the other flavors, the spice or pepper starts to fight and clash with the other flavors. In the black diamond I detect a boldness to the spice and pepper flavors, that at the same time does not feel like it is in a fight for dominance, but rather part of a harmonious dace with the other flavors that are present.

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Monday Review – 7/6/20 – Southern Draw, Quick Draw

The Monday Review:

Southern Draw – Quick Draw (Pennsylvania)
July 6, 2020

Cigar Name: Quick Draw (Pennsylvania)
Company Name: Southern Draw

MSRP (per stick): $4.99
Size:
4.5 x 44
Role Type: Corona Gorda

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 3.5
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 3.5
Roll/Burn Rating: 3.0
Flavor Rating: 4.0
Value Rating: 3.5

Description: The Southern Draw Quick Draw comes in three distinct blends: Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Habano. This review focuses exclusively on the Pennsylvania, for a deeper look at the other blends check out their reviews from our review library HERE. The Quick Draw (Pennsylvania) is a Corona Gorda with a maduro coloring and a small pigtail cap. At 4.5 x 44 it is the smallest cigar made by Southern Draw, and at $4.99 per stick it is also the cheapest. For it’s small size it packs a great length of smoke, and for it’s low price it packs great flavor and quality.

The Quick Draw has a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and a Nicaraguan and Honduran filler. Like all Southern Draw Cigars it is made in Nicaragua.

It has a unquestionably deep woody flavor with rich undertones. Many reviews mention cocoa and espresso tones and while I definitely detect those notes, the flavor that is more on the nose for me is pecans. The flavors have a smooth blend and a great finish that is just slightly dry (kind of like pecans do). As a bonus this cigar has a very pleasant aroma and a full flavored cold draw that entices you to light it up.

Comments: First off, I have to admit I am a big fan Southern Draw. In fact, I am surprised it has taken us this long to review one of their cigars and I am sure it will not be the last. The main reason I am a fan is every cigar I have ever had from them has been excellent. They ooze quality and flavor, and the construction of each stick is consistent and very solid. As a bonus this seems to be a company with deep Christian roots and a passion for doing Good in this world. Some of their cigar names even sport biblical names (Jacob’s Ladder and Rose of Sharon). For more cigars with biblical names check out our article “Biblical Cigars – The Complete List”.

As for the Quick Draw, the only real complaint I have about it is that there isn’t more of it. It does have a good long smoke for it’s size, but a 4.5 x 44 is a bit small for my taste. Seeing as this is Southern Draw’s starter cigar it has incredible quality, and at just under $5 good value as well. The price point is not out of this world given it’s small size, but given the quality it is hard to complain too much.

If I am looking for negatives, I would say that while still good, the draw is a bit more tight than I like. A fact that has some irony given the name of the cigar is Quick Draw! Otherwise, my only knock is that the other cigars in Southern Draws line up (at lease that I have had) are even better than this one. In the end, if you like a smaller cigar this should go on your must try list.

Reviewers Note: This review is part of the Quick Draw series, for information on the other cigars in this series check out the Connecticut or the Habano.

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Monday Review – 6/29/20 – Pantheon Imperator by AJ

The Monday Review:

Pantheon Imperator by AJ
June 29, 2020

Cigar Name: Pantheon Imperator
Company Name:
AJ Fernandez
Line: Pantheon

MSRP (per stick): $6.00
Size: 5 x 50
Role Type: Robusto

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 1.0
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 3.5
Roll/Burn Rating: 2.5
Flavor Rating: 0.5
Value Rating: 0.5

Description and Comments: First a note of context—just to see what it would be like, I smoked this cigar as soon as i received it in the mail. It will be interesting to see if some time in the humidor changes my impressions. If so, I will write an update. I paired this robusto with water.

The appearance and construction would indicate that it could be a good smoke. There is a sweet-looking drawing of Zeus on the throne that adorns the band. But the wrapper cracked as soon as i clipped the cap, and had an annoying flap that sucked a lot of joy from the ritual of smoking. The thing is, even though it had been in the mail, there weren’t any indications that the cigar had dried out. Now—the highlight of this stick for me—the cold draw. I really detected cocoa very strongly, with some pleasant leathery notes. The tobacco had a pleasant bite on the lips. It lit up well, but from there it was downhill. My first two puffs were mostly pepper, and a short hint of something pleasant. Once it had a nut-like taste on retrohale. Weak pepper hung around at the beginning, but by the second third of smoking, it was nearly tasteless, except for a few harsh chemical notes. I barely got through half of it before putting it off. The burn line was angular, but stayed consistent.

I have loved nearly every AJ Fernandez offering that I have tried, which is why i chanced this bargain baby from them (I got a 5 pack for $7, for a $6/ea retail cigar). However, as memorable as Zeus is in Greek Mythology, that’s how forgettable this cigar is. Again, to be fair, i won’t give up on this until it has had ample rest in the humidor. Stay tuned…

Person Reviewing: CigarBenjy (aka. Ben Bolser)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Monday Review – 6/22/20 – Slaughterhouse Toro Maduro

The Monday Review:

Slaughterhouse Toro Maduro
June 22, 2020

Cigar Name: Slaughterhouse Toro Maduro
Company Name: Slaughterhouse

MSRP (per stick): $2.25
Size: 6 x 50
Role Type: Toro

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 3.0
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 2.5
Roll/Burn Rating: 2.5
Flavor Rating: 2.5
Value Rating: 5.0

Description: The Slaughterhouse Toro Maduro is an extremely economical cigar made with a Dominican wrapper, Mexican sumatra binder, and various fillers. One great feature of this cigar is that it has a ton of flavor without needing to present with over powering strength during the smoke. It defiantly has a profile that falls within the earthy family of flavors.The flavors tend to sit more on the sweet side of the earthy spectrum but with a nice balancing of subtle spice that creates a rich balanced smoke usually reserved for cigars in a much higher price range. This review is for the Toro Maduro, however, there are a number of other sticks in the slaughterhouse line that have a similar profile. They are: the Churchill (7×48), Churchill Maduro (7×48), Toro (6×50), Robusto (5.5×50), and Robusto Maduro (5.5×50).

Comments: There is one thing about the Slaughterhouse Toro Maduro that is straight eye-popping…the price point. Are there great cigars available for under $10? You better bet your behind there are, and it is a robust list. Are there good cigars for between $4-$6? Yes, but the list is defiantly a lot shorter than the list of anything under $10. Are there any good cigars for under $4? If you are looking for really great quality, the answer is no. If you are looking for something that would be solid if it were priced at $6-$10, I know of only one cigar line: Slaughterhouse. The Toro Maduro has an MSRP price point of $2.25, giving it the smoking value of something 3 times it’s price. So if your cigar budget is down to the last drops, this is the cigar that might just save the day. I have found this to be a great cigar for when I am doing something like golfing and not really paying a ton of attention to the depth of cigar enjoyment, or just when funds run low and I want to save some cash.

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Monday Review – 6/15/20 – Camacho Triple Maduro

The Monday Review:

Camacho Triple Maduro
June 15, 2020

Cigar Name: Camacho Triple Maduro
Company Name: Camacho

MSRP (per stick): $10.70
Size: 5 x 50
Role Type: Robusto

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 3.5
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 4.0
Roll/Burn Rating: 3.5
Flavor Rating: 3.5
Value Rating: 3.5


Description and Comments: I smoked this one on a pleasantly sunny afternoon, pairing it with water, and Very Old Barton bourbon (neat). I love maduro cigars, so the “triple maduro” has always interested me. This stick sports a toothy chocolate brown wrapper. On the cold draw I tasted cocoa, leather, sweetness. After lighting up, the first puff sensation was strong black pepper. The draw was surprisingly easy, almost airy, and the thick white smoke that billowed after each puff therefore seemed mysterious. Pepper continued for the first inch and nothing else, even on retrohale, until the second third, where it mellowed out and I detected coffee, leather, cedar, and something sweet. Here is also where I noted a significant nicotine buzz, telling me that the phrase on the band “It’s our big, bold smoke for our big, bold smokers” is on the level! All pepper was gone by the second third. I lost interest in the flavors and put it off with about 1.5 inches left.

The burn line was fairly straight, with any irregularities correcting themselves without my having to reach for a torch. Had to relight it once about halfway through—I had neglected it for a few extra minutes—and it lit up quickly and evenly, and for the last part of my smoking, put out even more thick, white smoke.

Overall I enjoyed this cigar, but not enough to rave about it and buy more in the near future. However, I will look forward to the remaining four sticks in my humidor.

Person Reviewing: CigarBenjy (aka. Ben Bolser)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Monday Review – 6/8/2020 – San Cristobal Revelation Legend

The Monday Review:

San Cristobal Revelation Legend
June 8, 2020

Cigar Name: Revelation Legend
Company Name:
San Cristobal
Line: Revelation

MSRP (per stick): $7.75
Size: 6.25 x 52
Role Type: Toro

Flavor Profile: Medium/Full

OVERALL RATING: 4.0
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 4.0
Roll/Burn Rating: 3.5
Flavor Rating: 4.0
Value Rating: 3.5

Description: The San Cristobal Revelation Legend is a 6.25 x 52 press roll toro with a Nicaraguan filler and binder, and an Ecuadorian wrapper. It is made by My Fathers Cigars. The San Cristobal brand was started in 2007 by Ashton, and the Revelation line was introduced in 2013. This is a medium to full bodied cigar that has a core of strong earthy sweetness, shot through with flavors of rye.

Comments: I was first introduced to this cigar about 6 months ago by Mark Hall (the author of “The Cigar Blueprint”). He told me it was a great cigar with rye tones in it. The mention of rye sounded interesting to me as it is not a flavor you hear often when talking of cigars. The flavor was not what I expected and yet the rye he mentioned was undoubtable there. I would recommend this cigar to anyone who is a fan of subtle and complex flavors. It has become a staple cigar for me over the last few month, so I’m not just being nice and “blowing smoke”. There is a lot of flavor in this cigar and yet it is not a powerful flavor. It you are not sure what that means, well you will just have to try one and find out.

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Monday Review – 5/18/2020 – Tempus Nicaragua

The Monday Review:

Alec Bradley Tempus Nicaragua
May 18, 2020

Cigar Name: Tempus Nicaragua (Magnus)
Company Name: Alec Bradley

MSRP (per stick): $8.79
Size: 6 x 60
Role Type: Gordo

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 3.0
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 3.0
Roll/Burn Rating: 3.5
Flavor Rating: 2.5
Value Rating: 2.0

Description: This review was done specifically on the Magnus which is a 6×60 role of this cigar however the Tempus Nicaragua comes in 5 different roles. The other four are the Terra Novo (5×50 robusto), the Medius 6 (6×52 toro), the Centuria (7×49 Churchill), and the Imperator (6.125×52 torpedo).

The Tempus Nicaragua is a medium bodied cigar. A lot of reviews and Alec Bradley themselves advertise it as medium to full, but in my humble opinion it is more of a mild to medium. It is often described as having earthy flavors, but I disagree with this description. I think woody and nutty are far better descriptions of this cigars flavor profile. While the this cigar lacks a bit of back end depth to the flavor, it makes up for it by having a very clean finish.

Comments: When reviewing a cigar or any consumable, it is important to remember the difference between personal preference and objective quality. The biggest challenge for me in reviewing this cigar is that it does not meet my personal preferences at the same level as it’s objective quality. We all know that some types of vanilla ice cream are better than others, that is objective quality. But some people just prefer chocolate, and that is personal preference. To me this cigar is a bit vanilla, but a vanilla of good quality, left to my own preferences I may have given this cigar a 1.5 or 2.0, but it really is more deserving of a 3.0. So, if you are a fan of vanilla ice cream, I recommend you try the Alec Bradley Tempus Nicaragua (Ok, maybe that is taking the analogy to far, but I wanted to say it anyway).

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Monday Review – 5/11/2020 – Macanudo Cru Royale

The Monday Review:

Macanudo Cru Royale
May 11, 2020

Cigar Name: Cru Royale
Company Name: Macanudo

MSRP (per stick): $5.80
Size: 5 x 54
Role Type: Robusto

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 2.5
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 1.5
Roll/Burn Rating: 1.5
Flavor Rating: 2.5
Value Rating: 3.0

Description: With a smoking time of about an hour and a half the Cru Royale has an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper, Proprietary Dominican “La Vega Especiale” binder, and Brazilian Mata Fina, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua Viso filler. This review is of the Rubusto (5 x 54) but it also comes in Lonsdale (6 1/2 x 42), Gigante (6 x 60), and Toro (6 x 54). This cigar has a very nice mild blend of cedar and nutty flavors.

Comments: This is one of those cigars that is a really good all around cigar that comes at a very solid price. Many reviews will recommend this cigar, and it is a solid stick. With a nice blend of flavors and a good value, it seems unfair to be too negative, but there are two things that keep me from raving about this cigar.

First, there are problems with it’s construction. The outward appearance is inconsistent and vainy, the draw is restricted, and cap is too thick. Of these it is the thick cap that is most notable. In fact I don’t know if I have ever had a cigar with a cap this thick. It means that for someone like me that prefers a punch cut, you will have a very hard time getting deep enough to open the draw. I would highly recommend a wedge cut if you are smoking this cigar.

Second, it struggles to stand out from the pack. While the flavors are very good, this is just not a cigar you tend to remember. I admit this is something very subjective but still keeps this cigar from climbing up the rankings.

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.