Cuesta Rey 1884: Plugged Pain To Nutty Friend In 3 Smokes

Cuesta Rey 1884 LonsdaleI honestly don’t remember why I picked up the 5-pack of 1884′s. I think it was the newly purchased, but empty humidor. Or maybe it was the enticing write up on TodaysCigar. But I’m glad I did. I feel like I learned a thing or two from smoking it, and it rewarded me with at least one extremely pleasurable smoking experience.

Cigar Stats
Size: 6 3/4 x 44 (Lonsdale)
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic

The Pre-Smoke
These cigars have an inconsistent feel when given the squeeze test. The first one I tried seemed to be the worst offender, and consequently the one with the most burn issues. (More on that later.) The second and third cigars seemed a bit more solid, with less uneven give. They also happened to look less and less ugly with each passing cigar (and no, I didn’t smoke all three of them back to back). The second and third cigars had fewer noticeable bumps, and while they all had pretty prominent veins, they actually seemed to be placed very specifically to create a cool pattern. Especially on the third one.

The cigar also had a pleasant sweet, almost caramel smell before lighting.

The Burn
This cigar is another good example of never judging a box by a single cigar. The first one I smoked had nothing but trouble. It went out at least 3 times and plugged up twice. Fortunately, it gave me the opportunity to try out my new, super-premium Brian’s Draw Poker. The following two cigars burned much more nicely, requiring at most a single slight touch up. Each of these cigars produced a good solid inch to inch and a half of ash before dropping.

The Flavor
This is a cigar that really rewards you for taking your time. Draw issues with the first cigar made me smoke it too fast and resulted in a harsher charred flavor than those that followed. The second was my favorite, it was a rich nutty flavor from the foot to the nub, beginning with a creaminess in the first third and ending with a bit of cinnamon and hints of sweet almond just at the beginning of the final third. The third cigar was very similar, though less creamy. However, it had an amazingly tasty initial 2 or 3 puffs. If the entire cigar tasted like the first 3 puffs of that third cigar, I’d buy a bunch of boxes, quit my job, run into the hills, start talking to myself and never smoke another type of cigar. Fortunately for other manufacturers (and my wife, and myself), it doesn’t smoke that way. It was that tasty.

Another thing I noticed in the third smoke was that the burning cigar smelled delicious. I’m not talking about the smoke, the actual cigar. It was like toasted hazelnuts. I probably looked pretty silly smelling the unlit end of the cigar between puffs, but I didn’t care. And it helped that nobody was around to laugh at me either. This was just too good a cigar to waste putting on on somebody’s forehead. :)

The Price
With shipping, I picked a five pack of these guys up from the troubled (and possibly finished) TodaysCigar for $4.33 a cigar. I don’t think that’s a terrible price for a cigar of this size, a bit high maybe, but I think in the future I might pick up the #47 (robusto) and hope for a price in the low $3 range. This cigar was a perfect companion for the 2 hour season finale of 24, but it’d be nice to be able to invest slightly less time in it and save a buck or two at the same time.

The Verdict
The first one I smoked, I really didn’t enjoy, but the second I loved just as much as I hated the first. The third secured this cigar in the buy-more-column. I wouldn’t say this was my favorite cigar, but I can see picking one up from time to time. Well, let’s put it this way, there’s a good chance I’ll have at least one of these my humidor. If I had to give it a letter rating, I’d give it either a B- or a B. (It gets the B if I don’t encounter any more burn issues with the ones I have left.)

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