Friday, January 16, 2009

Keeping promises on two fine boutique cigars

A while back I promised two fine cigar makers that I'd review their cigars in this forum, and since I'm way overdue, I finally wanted to make good on them.

Last year I received a sampler package of Kinky Friedman Cigars, which included all five of his selections: The Governor (5¾" x 60), Kinkycristo (6¼" x 54 Torpedo), The Willie (6" x 48), Texas Jewboy (6" x 56 Torpedo), and Utopian (6" x 52).

The blend for all the frontmarks consists of an Honduran Habano Cuban-seed wrapper with a Honduran-Nicaraguan longfiller blend, and a Costa Rican binder.

All of the cigars were medium-bodied, full-flavored, and smoked wonderfully. I enjoyed them all so much, it was really hard to decide which one I like best, but I seemed to lean most toward the super-sized "Governor." The smoke was exceptionally smooth, creamy, earthy with subtle notes of spice and some coffee essences on the finish. The aroma was also outstanding on these cigars. If I had to compare them to a "more popular" brand, I'd have to say PadrĂ³n.

The Kinky Friedman line also not your typical "celebrity" cigar line. Kinky is a serious cigar smoker who seems to know as much, if not more, about making good cigars as he does about music and Texas politics - and all of the cigars are made with outstanding quality. If you're in the market for a good boutique cigar, I highly recommend them as a "must smoke." Additionally, a portion of Kinky's cigar profits to benefit his Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch.

* * *
Last year I also received a "care package" from Avalon Cigars. Located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, Avalon Cigars are another boutique brand well worth trying. They offer several line extensions that include Juke, Hellhound, Numbers, and White. My sampler was comprised of only the Juke and Numbers Series. They also have some of the neatest packaging I've seen, too.

Named after their ring gauges, the Numbers Series are limited edition cigars rolled in Miami FL. Most of the sizes have Cameroon wrappers (one of my favorites) in Oscuro and Natural, with one frontmark offering a more full-bodied blend capped with a Brazilian Maduro wrapper. All of the cigars were full-flavored, well-balanced, very smooth and had an appealing spiciness to them. The construction was also first-rate.

The Juke series also has a lot to offer. I was treated to the Juke Blue and Red Toros (6" x 50), both of which are box-pressed, and I enjoyed them tremendously. (They also make a Juke Ebony). The Juke Blue features a Maduro wrapper had a leathery pre-light flavor and offered a rich-tasting woody-earthy smoke. It reminded me a lot of the Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Maduro.

The Juke Red had a lot of similarities to the Rocky Patel Sun Grown. It offers a Rosado wrapper and I found it much fuller and spicier character. Lots of earthy, woody and peppery notes.

So there you have it: Two fine, premium, boutique selections for those of you who want to stray off the beaten path every once in a while. Kinky's cigars have been around for a while now, and Avalon shows great promise. Looks like the South is rising again!

If you've had a chance to try any of these cigars, please leave your comments. I'd like to know what you thought.

~ Gary Korb

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a problem with a lot of the high lighted links in your columns. Many times I would like to check on one of the offers you post just as the last one " Royal Nicaraguan selection" only to find the link got me nowhere and I just lost my patience trying to find it.
Otherwise I love the articles, very informative.
Thanks
Peter

Cigar Advisor said...

Peter: My apologies. It could be the HTML in the link was entered incorrectly. I always check the links to make sure they work, but I may have missed something. If you can point me to the problem link on the Royal Nicaraguan by sending me an email, I will be happy to look into it. - Gary