Category: The Monday Review

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

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.

The Monday Review – 5/4/2020 – Flor de Oliva Maduro

The Monday Review:

Flor de Oliva Maduro
May 4, 2020

Cigar Name: Flor de Oliva Maduro
Company Name: Flor de Oliva
Line:
Maduro

MSRP (per stick): $3.25
Size: 5 x 50
Role Type: Robusto Maduro

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 1.5
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 1.5
Roll/Burn Rating: 2.0
Flavor Rating: 1.5
Value Rating: 4.0

Description:The Flor de Oliva Maduro has a Connecticut Maduro wrapper and a Nicaraguan filler and binder. The real selling point for this cigar is it’s price point, at times dropping below $3. It has a great amount of flavor and solid construction for a cigar at that kind of price point. It has a blended earthy flavor that was very reminiscent of a Punch After Diner. That being said the subtlety and depth to the flavor is not there and there are under tones that are not the most pleasant (I am guessing this is a bi-product of the cheaper construction). The burn is a hair fast but not bad and it has a good consistent draw. One additional point that happens to go against this cigar is the collar. I know this is a bit petty but the collar of the cigar seems to scream cheap mass market cigar, I hope this is a point they fix as it is not hard to do.

Comments: If someone comes up to me and asks if there are any really good cigars you can buy for $5-$6 a stick, I eagerly start to rattle off a list while dreaming of smoking some of them right then and there. However if someone comes up to me and asks if there are any really good cigars you can buy for $2-$3 a stick, I start to think really hard like there should be a great answer to that question, and then grudgingly admit I don’t know of anything good just a few that are passable.

This is one of those cigars where you run into a dilemma while trying to give it an overall rating. In this case the dilemma is do you rate how good it is compared to all cigars, or how good it seems to be given it’s price point. For us here at ChristianCigarSmoker we like to compare all cigars on a more even field, so while a great price point can give an overall rating a bit of a boost it does not dictate the entire review. The bottom line is this is a very good $2-$3 cigar but it is defiantly still a $2-$3 cigar!

At the end of the day, if you are in a real money crunch and you can’t afford a good $5 stick, the Flor de Oliva is a great option. And remember, if a cigar snob makes fun of you for what you are smoking, just say “at least it’s not an Acid!”

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

P.S. – I had this post ready on Monday and forgot to hit publish, hence the Tuesday date on the post. My bad.

The Monday Review – 4/27/2020 – Invictus MMXII Legions

The Monday Review:

Invictus MMXII Legions
April 27, 2020

Cigar Name: Invictus MMXII Legions
Company Name: Tre J Cigars
Line: Invictus

MSRP (per stick): $5.25
Size: 5.5×46
Role Type: Corona

Flavor Profile: Full-Bodied

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

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

Description: The Invictus MMXII Legions is part of the Invictus MMXII line from Tre J (presumably the MMXII which is roman numerals for 2012, is the year of the cigars first creation). This cigar has a Dominican Criollo ‘98 and Piloto Cubano filler, a Dominican Republic binder, and an Ecuador Habano wrapper. The Legions is a 5.5×46 Corona however the line also has the Centurio, a 5.25×50 Robusto, and the Emperor a 6x 54 Toro.

The Legions has a great look with a classy collar and a solid draw. Invictus is the strongest cigar from Tre J, that being said, although it certainly full-bodied, it is far from over powering. This cigar has a very complex taste profile, and while it is very well balanced it also somehow manages to convey a sense that the flavor is moving. It is as if the earthy, sweet, and woodsy flavors were doing a bit of dance where each would step forward over the life of the stick. Sometimes it seems like a cigars flavors are fighting each other as they try to gain dominance, however in this case it was more as if the flavors were stepping to a choreographed movement as they moved in and out with just a hint of spice in between.

Comments: Tre J Cigars has 2 primary lines the the Invictus line, which this cigar is a part of, and the Vicarious line. The vicarious line has 4 distinct cigars with very different flavor profiles. The Invictus line however, has just one flavor profile in 3 different roles, meaning this review will give you a solid understanding of the whole line, unlike a single review of a Vicarious cigar. The name Invictus was inspired by a poem by William Ernest Henley in which the last two lines are: “I am the Master of my fate, I am the Captain of my soul.”

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.