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Posted: 1/5/2012 12:27:01 AM EDT

I have been a cigar smoker for about 15 years now. However, I have always stuck to the name brands like Fuente, H Upmann, Romeo y Julieta, Monte Cristo etc. Now that I have been exposed to Cbid, there are ton more smokes out there that I havent seen before. So I am looking for input from you guys that have bought samplers and can give me the go/no-go on some of them. I tend to prefer a full flavor, spicey smoke but wont turn away from a good creamy medium bodied smoke.

Here are the ones i have been looking at.

5 vegas

Black Pearl

Pirate Gold


Drew Estate (my uzi)

Padilla Black bear

La Sirena

La Aroma cubana (I think Tarkington said these were GTG)

Give me your thoughts and other suggestions. Any input will be appreciated (good, bad or indifferent)

I picked up my first Rockey Patel today. A decade robusto. I have heard a few good things about them so I figured I would pick it up as it was the last one in the cigar shop.

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:32:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 6:20:29 AM EDT
Listen to Elder...

Stay away from the 5 Vegas....they will disappoint you.
The Black Pearl line is OK but not my favorite.
Pirate Gold is NOT a treasure...

La Aroma and La Gloria are fine smokes.....IMMENSA is LOVE!!!
MOW is a can't miss selection...but if you score an Armada...tighten up your socks and eat a heavy meal before....IT WILL KNOCK YOU ON YOUR ASS!
The Special Edition Fig is my favorite of them...Runination next.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 7:00:35 AM EDT

Black Pearl robusto was my favorite everyday smoke for the longest.

The wrapper used to be black, but lately lighter and a little different taste.

Still like them, (though not as much) so I buy a box now and then if I can get them under $40.

eta: try the padilla miami instead of the black bear
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 8:43:04 AM EDT
The only ones on you list I have any experience with personally is:

La Sirena:
The Prince (5 x 50)
medium-full. Flavors of tobacco, rich mushroomy earth, leather and nut hints
I rated 96

5 Vegas:
Cask Strength (5.7 x 54)
I rated 85

Classic Fifty Five (5.5 x 55)
I rated 90

Gold Maduro The Brick (5.5 x 55)
I rated 90

Limitada 2011 Belicoso (6.25 x 52)
I rated 96 (I rate on taste alone, and then subtract points if needed for construction and/or burn issues)
Mild-medium.Mild spice,mostly mushroomy earth,, leather hints, sweetish cedar/woody hints.nutty flavor replaces earth in 2nd 1/2, else no changes.

Miami M5 (5.5 x 55)
I rated 85

Series A Apotheosis (5.5 x 55)
I rated 90

I only had tasting notes on any 5 Vegas for the Limitada, as these were some of the first cigars I smoked after I started using an online "virtual humidor" section of another cigar forum , but before I started somewhat meticulously tracking age, taking tasting notes,  and rating cigars, as it was becoming apparent this added to my enjoyment, and made for a great refence for what to purchase more of in the future, and what to not bother with again

For the ratings shown, I personally rate based on taste alone, and then subtract points if needed for construction and/or burn issues). For me, <90 is something I'm unlikely to smoke again, unless I got it as a surprise gift for free, 90-94 is something i would smoke again, but only if I got them for a  good price, or as a gift. 95+ are ones I REALLY liked, and have added to my list of ones to buy a box of, 1/2 to start smoking immediately, and 1/2 of which is put aside for aging for various and re-tasting at increasing intervals, to decide whats a good amount of aging for each cigar, which aren't worth the wait (IE: aging doesn't change my opinion on them for whatever reason), and to see what length of time gives me a great cigar, but with the minimal amount of waiting and willpower to wait, needed (no point in sitting on a cigar for 5 years, if they are great after 2yrs, and then remain unchanged beyond that.)

this may seem very anal (and it is, honestly), but I find all of it to add serious enjoyment to the hobby, and to be of very valuable and practical use for me in getting the most bang for my buck, avoiding wasting time and money, and getting the best out of my cigars.

If the mods have no problem with it, I will gladly post (or send via IM on request, a link to the forum with the "virtual humidor", database, and forum member reviews, I use. I didn't include it as I could understand how it could be considered rude and/or improper to link to another cigar forum , in this one.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 2:58:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 3:41:38 PM EDT
Try a La Flor Dominicana DL-700 or a DL-654.  Maduro's of course.  A good Padrod 1964 is a nice smoke as well.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 3:45:09 PM EDT
See if you can find a box of Maria Mancini's... you will not be disappoint!
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