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PointFivePast's Achievements


Marevas (2/5)

  1. Not going to lie, I was a bit intimidated by this review theme at first. I don't typically use a point rating scale for my daily smokes (just ones I post reviews of) and tend to put cigars into categories of "BUY A BOX NOW!", "Would buy if I saw the right price", and "Won't be hunting these down". No real sense of purpose, just a general feeling of if I need more of cigar or not. However, I thought "Why not look back through my posts and see what I have rated 90 in the past?" and so I dug up a review I did of these RyJ Exhibicion #4s last September. Original RyJ Exhibicion #4 Review from September. I gave them a 90 there and seemed to imply there was potential to revisit. Having only read the end of my conclusion I figured I would stop there, smoke the same stick (still have one!), and review again while linking to the original and then compare against the review in the conclusion here. I haven't read of any of my original notes from September so this should be an interesting little mashup. On to the cigar! Initial Impressions: Overall construction is fantastic... good fill, supple wrapper, perfect smoothness from a bit of oil in the leaf. Aroma at cold is a mix of light clover honey with an over-the-top floral component; floral reminds of baby wipes in its almost artificial seeming intensity though it is not unpleasant. Cold draw presents dark berries and light cherry as well a bit of chocolate halfway between milk and dark chocolate. Bit of sweetness here not quite like molasses, lighter than that... barley malt syrup maybe? Cutting the end reveals three or four distinct visible stems with one even pushing the wrapper outward at the shoulder of the cap. Draw is perfect though with no signs of plugging; this should make for an interesting review. First Third: Cigars starts with some sweetened bran cereal and a robust, spicy cedar. Some medicinal cherry notes wrap themselves around a very intense oak core. This oak is intense, like sticking your head inside an used, heavy toast wine barrel after its been cleaned and sat outside for a year. An inch in and the woods soften a bit while the retrohale maintains an intense pepper spice. For being six years old, this cigar is still rather rough and tumble. Creamy cherry appears like that inside a cordial. Distinct bitterness on palate that may be a part of the oak component. Hard to tell as it is intense and hangs around at the end of many of the exhales. Second Third: Purged cigar for the first time. Bitter oak note continues despite my best efforts. Bright cedar in the high tones, medicinal cherry in the middle, and heavy oak on the low... a very woody cigar so far. At times the creamy cherry cordial softens the woods but they seem to return often. Spice on retrohale picks up... some sort of sharp pepper note so intense I take a break from doing any retros. A touch of artificial banana flavor now. Not much change noted in this third, very consistent throughout. I purge before entering the next third. Final Third: Cedar finally begins to soften a bit, presumably for good. Pleasant floral notes of fruit blossoms (indistinct type) coming in now with a bit of smoked paprika. Oak returns then fades again as cigar softens. I suspect the stems at the bottom may be a factor through the entire cigar and responsible for this tannic bitterness that reminds so much of oak. Bit of nuts here an there that alternate between walnuts and almonds. Herbs coming in now (oregano, thyme, basil) with a bit of lemon alongside. Spice profile takes on a bit of cinnamon and a hint of barnyard here, reminds me of an elephant cage almost. If you know that smell, its rather distinct and I can't shake it as a descriptor here. Artificial banana returns with some accompanying Lucky Charms marshmallow, the little freeze dried ones in the cereal. From there on out its just general toasty tobacco at the end of the cigar, surprisingly little bitterness on the finish considering how much has been present previously. Conclusion and Score: Time to compare against my review from last summer. Overall, the profile matches up pretty well. I'd previously noted sweet cedar, cherry, peaches (not present this time around), cinnamon, chocolate, barnyard, bran cereal, and oak. Evolution didn't follow the same trajectory but it all seems to be there. The biggest difference is this bitter oak note with tannins which I am 100% convinced is due to the presence of some stems running through this cigar. If I had an x-ray machine available it would have been fascinating to look at the inside of this cigar before smoking. My dentist is right across the street... perhaps I should have run in there to see if they could have zapped a few images of this cigar! I'd love to give this higher marks but the stems effected the flavor too much despite not impacting the draw at all. I'm going to give this cigar 83/100 this time around with major points deducted for that overpowering oak. It wasn't actually as unpleasant as it sounds but definitely obscured many of the flavors I may have experienced otherwise. Oddly enough, my last rating was 90/100 with room to move to a 92 or 93 with some improvement. This cigar was not that but I still stand by my impressions that the RyJ Exhibicion #4 is stick I'd like to get a box of. I'll be keeping my eyes out as I've now smoked through all of mine in the humidor and will be relying RyJ Mille Flours for my cherry hit in the coming month. Thanks for reading and I hope you are all staying safe out there!
  2. Oregonian myself and just started getting back in to whisky in general after a few years of exploring other spirits. Went to try and find Weller and some stores practically laugh you out for even asking. But then other states people covet the Eagle Rare and it’s all over the place here. At least the pricing is controlled so if you can find “rare” bourbon it’s usually priced fairly instead of hiked up. Then there’s times like today when I went to pick up a bottle of Mellow Corn today just for mixing and it’s $23 on the bottom shelf. Thought it was a price error but nope, that’s what they’re charging ?
  3. Haven’t had any of their whiskeys yet but the Absinthe they do is superb. Pretty solid list of reliable, budget friendly whisky. I usually keep an Eagle Rare around the house as it’s only ~$33USD here and not hard to find. The store is out sometimes out but it’s not like trying to buy Weller! ? For mixing, I usually go Old Grandad BiB at ~$22USD.
  4. If I take notes on the smoke in my notebook I’ll usually tape the band in there at the end of the page. All other bands are currently being thrown in an empty candle jar though over the years I stored them in cigar boxes, jars of all sizes, and other various vessels. I keep telling myself that someday they’ll be used for a grand project but seems that I’ve never managed to actually make that happen ?
  5. It's finally time... I'm going to lay flame to my first Regional Edition I ever received. Got this stick as part of a trade back when I first got in to CCs around late 2014 so I have no idea of box code or exact roll date. As with many new collectors, it promptly went in to a box of Grail-type smokes that I didn't trust myself to be able to enjoy. There it sat, waiting patiently. At first, the ER band was enough to keep me away and the fact that it was not from a country so readily available at the Netherlands or Spain added even more prohibition. After a couple of years I knew there were no more of these on the market (primary or secondary) so now this was truly an unrepeatable experience... add in more fear of smoking it. A couple months ago I found this cigar and decided to find a reason to smoke it. Enter this competition and it seems the stars have aligned! Initial Impressions: To start with, the petit belicoso is probably one of my favorite vitolas. Great size in the hand, the ease of draw of a well cut pyramid cap, perfect length of smoke... whats not to love? Construction on this stick feels good; firm with just a bit of give, well applied cap, no knots can be felt inside. Aroma at cold is simply stunning, giving off a sweet honey note that reminds me of sweet mead - ever so slightly fermented. There's a bit of dry hay and a unique note of sweet mesquite as well as some cedar and saddle blanket coming off the foot. Cold draw reveals more mesquite, sweet and spicy with a rick smokiness, and maybe a touch of cumin. Enough about the aromatics... on to the cigar! Paired up with a Campo Viejo cava for a beverage. First Third: Draw is absolute perfection with heavy smoke production from the very beginning. Instantly recognizable as a Ramon Allones in the flavor profile. Dried fruit (apricot and dates), honey, nougat, very soft flavors though the intensity is a solid medium. Reminds me of a Turkish delight. The flavors are elegant and well-behaved, perhaps even a bit tame, but you can recognize that this must have been rambunctious in it's youth. Hints of nuts (cashew?) coming through now but very faint. Spice flits in and out with a profile like the pickled ginger you get with sushi. The nougat is consistent... does anyone know about Zero bars? A candy bar I used to like as a kid that was just all white nougat on the inside; this is that in a cigar. Just wrap that nougat in a bit of cedar and bind it shut with some dried fruit jelly and you have this cigar. Second Third: Leaving bands on not for posterity but for fear of removing them before the glue softens. Construction has been flawless so far with a spot on burn, zero relights, ash that holds forever, and tons of smoke production. Why can't all CCs have this level of quality in the roll? As for flavor, hints of marzipan and mildly sweet, eggy bread like challah. Spice is still present but mostly as an aroma in the nose instead of on the palate and the profile has become all clove. The nougat of before has been replaced by a holistic note of Graham cracker. Flavors are still mild in theme but medium in intensity. Around the halfway point I notice the floral components gaining strength taking the entire profile in the direction of jasmine-infused green tea. A rye quality has also begun to appear with a bit of a spicy spearmint. Final Third: Profile returns to the nougat, fruit and nuts of the opening. Rye spice hangs around a bit and occasionally the Graham cracker notes return. Stewed fruit comes in with more intensity than the dried fruits of earlier. Flavors stay relatively clean even as the cigar darkens a bit in tone towards the end. If anything, the final third is a repeat of everything that came before just with a rapid cycling of flavors instead of clean, singular expressions. Cigar strength stays at a sold medium for both intensity and nicotine. Conclusions: Word to the wise... don't wait forever! This cigar was beautiful and elegant in it's profile but I wish I has known it in youth... what a bruiser it could have been! Perhaps the advice is buy everything by the box so you can smoke them over the years. In any case, the cigar scores extremely high on construction and ease of smoking. Loved the fact that it carried such a recognizable Ramon Allones profile. Received this in trade so not sure of original cost but Halfwheel's review from a few years ago indicates this was about $25 USD on initial release... steep to be sure but ERs do have country specific taxes I suppose. I would say to those who have these in their humidors, "Lucky you! Revisit them if you haven't recently," but I don't know that I would search out more of these personally at that price point. Overall, great smoke that has aged well and may yet have a couple turns left in it... I could see the Turkish delight profile perhaps gaining sweetness and some cream over time. Me personally, I can deal with a bit more punch in my flavors. I give this cigar a 93/100 for great construction and a solid expression of high end Ramon Allones DNA. The only detractors for me are slight lack of depth and transitions (a couple more twists in the story would be nice) and the price compared to the overall experience... but no one buys ERs for the value! Thanks for reading and hope everyone is having a good Easter weekend even with the strangeness in the world today.
  6. Just had my first Dip 2 in years a week or so ago and I had the same thought: Partagas Sourdough meets Monte Cocoa. Great review!
  7. Been resting these since receiving them late last year. Haven’t wanted to jump in as this will only be my third Cohiba ever but at some point you have to try them just to have a reference as they age! Rather windy today but the cigar is already clipped so I’m going ahead anyway. Aroma at cold is sweet and honey-like over a core of classic tobacco. Slight tangy note like cheese (Parmesan?) and just a hint funky. Cold draw is clean, zero funk, slightly sweet and full stone fruit, peaches specifically. Fantastic. Construction is good but features a flawed cap (lifting slightly, terrible glue job) and slight crack in wrapper appearing behind the band. Hopefully this won’t present any issues. 1/3: Right out the gate cigar I’m getting sweet, dry hay and a touch of lemongrass. Citrus notes linger in retrograde but it’s a distinct note of lemongrass in the palate. Just under medium body, delightfully restraint. Pretty smooth given the youth of this cigar. Hints of butter come in with the arrival of cedar... cedar will continue through a majority of this cigar. Bit of nutmeg appears an inch in but the lemongrass and cedar define this third. 2/3: You can see the crack here that I mentioned earlier. It’s holding steady and not affecting the burn or smoke production so not a big deal. This picture also helps highlight the stunning wrapper color, nice dark Colorado. Yum. Cedar softens now and stone fruit starts to come in instead of citrus or lemongrass. Hint of bread dough. No real creaminess but I’m sensing a potential for it to develop with some aging. PISTACHIO MACHIATTO?!? Comes through clear as day... as though Starbucks made a caramel macchiato but replaced caramel with a pistachio syrup like the flavor of pistachio ice cream. I can’t make this up, one of the oddest and most distinct flavors ever. Wild. Wind continues to throw the burn off here and there but the cigar does a great job of staying lit and keeping an even burn underneath the wrapper and catching itself up. Pistachios coming through still, less sweet now, with a bit of salt and black pepper. Hints of sweetness pop back in here and there with a bit of a vanilla quality. 3/3: Staying just at the threshold of medium bodied with relatively mild nicotine, very pleasant. Lemongrass comes back in a bit and the fruitiness switches from stone fruit to something more like pineapple. Flavors starting to darken and muddy as we get near the end but the cigar still has a brightness to it with not much in the way of bitterness. Overall, absolute stunner with some unique favors, a few twists and turns, and a good level of class for this freshman entry in to the humidor. 93/100 right now with some real potential for the long haul. Picked up a six pack to try but now I might just have to buy a box. I don’t smoke a whole lot of $18-20 cigars but I see why people swear by these. If there was one I’d keep around it would likely be a Cohiba Robusto. Thanks for reading and thanks to El Pres for keeping these weekend reviews interesting! Hope you all are staying safe and healthy out there!
  8. Oregon governor just released her version of Shelter-in-Pace to last until removed by the governor’s order. Going to get pretty quiet around here for a few weeks...
  9. Beautiful early spring weather reaching in to the mid 60’s here meaning it’s the perfect time to get some fresh air and leave the quarantine bubble. Wild couple of weeks here in the US and daily life is changing pretty quickly here on the west coast. The silver lining is plenty of time to call family and catch up, play some video games, and of course - smoke all the cigars! Picked a Trinidad Vigia with just over two years of age on it. This was my first box of Trinis ever and picked them up only because they were on an amazing sale. Just over four inches and a 54 RG is definitely not my size of choice but they were a reasonable cost of entry to the brand so what the heck. P.S. - if anyone knows how to rotate photos when uploading them, shoot me a PM ? Wrappers are definitely darker than most, with some lumps and veins. For Trinidad sort of being the successor to Cohiba, I’m a bit shocked at the wrapper quality. It’s not terrible but nothing like what I see on the handful of Cohibas I have. Aroma at cold is sweet manure and earth with a slightly musty quality. Cold draw is similar but with some cocoa and dark roasted coffee. I took care to make a quality cut and despite the cut end looking like absolute perfection, the draw is WIDE open. Let’s see how this goes... 1/3: Rich and robust with notes of bitter espresso, sweet woods, and burnt sugarcane. About a half inch in and the cigar is firing on all cylinders; bitterness drops off revealing sweet cedar and lightly roasted coffee. Vanilla pudding drifts in and out. The burn, however, is atrocious and requires frequent relights. Not sure if you can make it out in the picture but the wrapper/binder absolutely refuse to burn at the same rate as the filler. 2/3: Getting some rye toast now with a bit of orange zest. Sweetness drifts in and out and when it’s their its present with that vanilla which has now morphed in to straight vanilla bean as though cut right out of the pod. All of this eras around a rich core flavor of medium roast drop coffee. Pleasant and a surprising amount of changes for such a short and fat cigar. Burn is still awful, requiring constant maintenance. 3/3: As this cigar enters the home stretch, milk chocolate comes in to play. A quick purge lightens the smoke but does not affect the flavors. Smoke production has been fantastic this whole way despite the wind tunnel draw and god-awful burn. Chocolate playing a big part now having near completely replaced the coffee as the core flavor though the finish remains reminiscent of a cup of drip coffee. Number it for no good reason other than I was enjoying the weather. Conclusions: Hate the format, hate the draw, surprisingly pleased with the flavor profile. I suspect that in order to truly get to know Trinidad, I will need to pick up some Fundadores so I will be in my wheelhouse on RG. The Vigia just feels so chunky and I can’t help but think that the wind tunnel effect is simply an unfortunate side effect of the RG. I know you can roll a larger cigar right but I somehow suspect Cuba is just better at skinnies. Oh well, it was enjoyable enough. Flavor profile was interesting and a far cry from my usual diet of PLPC and HUHC. In any case, if you love larger cigars this might be the ticket but I would probably pass in the future, especially given the price. A better burn may have moved this cigar up five points or so but it still wouldn’t rank among the greats for me. 83/100. Thanks for reading and stay safe friends!
  10. SLR Series A paired with some dry Lambrusco. Smoking some discos before COVID discos me ?
  11. 184.4 lbs so I’m down a whole 0.8 lbs! Gyms closed due to COVID19 has not been a help and not doing well on trimming calories during work lunches. Time to redouble my efforts!
  12. Had to get back from a trip this weekend to return to my scale so hopefully I made it in time! 185.2lbs or 84.005kg is the heaviest I’ve ever been! ? Time to lose some of this!
  13. A frantic cleaning of the house before the lady comes back from a week visiting family. Cigars, documentaries (my forbidden TV indulgence), and video games have filled my evenings this week so now it’s time to bang out the honey-do list ?
  14. I too bought a box of Vegueros Mananitas early on (price was great for a newbie) and I loved them more than most. Still have a few from that box four years later and they actually age a treat as well! A word of advice on the JLP: smoke them within a couple of years. I have some 4-5 year old JLP Cazadores rolling around my humidor and they lost most of their punch with age. Now they just taste like musty old library books. Great golf smoked though as they are cheap enough that you don’t care too much if the wind ruins them or a buddy bums one!

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