McChrystal’s Aztec Snuff Review

Aztec

I was lucky enough to receive a friendly bombing/gift from a friend on a FB group I am a part of. The package had a variety of snuffs for me to try out and to see what my snuff preferences would be. Well, first up is McChrystal’s Aztec!

I had heard of McChrystal’s but had not tried any of their snuffs up to this point. I had never heard of the Aztec blend until I received this sample. It has a lighter brown color to it. My friend sent the sample in a snack bag so I can also see that it is VERY fine.

Whoa boy! In the forefront is heavy chocolate but it’s a really nice cocoa. Something that I picked up that I don’t see in a lot of other reviews is a little bit of sweet spice. There is definitely chocolate but there is a bit of cinnamon in the background. Nicotine level was about a mild to medium.

All in all, I really liked this snuff! It’s not overly sweet even though the cocoa is heavy. If I could find this for a good price, I would definitely add some to my cellar!

Have you tried the McChrystal’s Aztec snuff? What were your thoughts?

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AJ Fernandez Dias de Gloria Review

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AJ Fernandez has really made a name for himself in the cigar industry over the last few years. He really made waves when he introduced the Oval to the world and since then, the man has been busy! Blending cigars for his own name and for a variety of other cigar makers, he is not stop on his road to success. AJ dropped the Dias de Gloria at the 2019 IPCPR. Let’s see what this cigar is all about!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto, 5.5×52

Appearance & Smell
It’s hard to tell because I forgot to turn my flash on the camera but this has a medium brown wrapper color that is almost reddish. The pre-light smell was rich earth and nutmeg.

Smoke Preparation
I used a Xikar Xi1 to put a nice flat cut into the cap and a Xikar Enigma double torch to get an even light on the end.

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Burn & Draw
Wow, this cigar was VERY well rolled. The draw was not too tough at all but it had the perfect resistance. Even though this was the robusto size, it burned for an hour and 10 minutes with me steadily smoking. I didn’t have to touch up the cigar once, it burned evenly throughout the entire smoke. I knocked off my first ash out of habit but after that, I just let the ash go to see how long it got. It was very well constructed and not a flaky ash.

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Strength & Body
The strength was a solid medium. I could see one of the longer vitolas getting into a medium-plus towards the end of the cigar but the robusto size was a solid medium. The body was really interesting. For the first third of the cigar there was a really rich earthy and cedary taste but it was rather boring. Once I got towards the middle of the cigar I started to enoy it much more. I picked up a little bit of red clay and some sort of sweet spice like cinnamon or nutmeg. Those flavors danced around each other going into the last third. In the last third the cedar came back into play but not nearly as strong as the first third.

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Final Thoughts
I’m torn! I really didn’t enjoy the smoke until about the middle. This cigar MSRPs at about $9-$10 and I’m not sure I would pay that much to not enjoy the first half of my cigar. The second half was really good though… ugh! I think I might give this one a try again in the future to see if the first half has anything else to give me or if this cigar was just a fluke. Let me know if you try it and what you think!

Source: IPCPR
Brand Information: AJ Fernandez

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Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru Review

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Graycliff? Who is Graycliff? Well, Graycliff is a lesser-known brand in the cigar industry. Some might say it’s a boutique brand but they have been around quite awhile. They have gained a following through multiple online venues. The only cigar brand coming out of the Bahamas, they have their own factory and resort. Let’s get into this smoke!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Costa Rican Habano
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Honduran, Costa Rican, Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Bahamas
Vitola: Uncut PG (Piccolo 4.25×46)

Appearance & Smell
This wrapper has a light milk chocolate color to it. It also displays a fair amount of toothiness to it. It’s not overly rough but it’s not a super smooth cigar either. The smell of the cigar has a lot of earthiness, light cocoa, and some wet leather.

Smoke Preparation
I used a Xikar Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the cap of the cigar and a Xikar Enigma double torch to evenly light the end.

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Burn & Draw
The cigar lit very evenly even though it had a loose/uncut foot. The burn stayed very even throughout the smoke, I didn’t have to re-light or touch-up once during the smoke. The draw was pretty light, very easy draw. The easy draw/looseness led to a rather flaky ash. The picture above was taken after the loose foot had already fallen off. That is about the length of ash that it got to before falling off each time.

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Strength & Body
The strength of this cigar really never got beyond a mild plus. The earthiness that I had smelled before lighting stayed very consistent throughout the smoke. In the second third I picked up some red clay and in the final third there was the addition of leather.

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Final Thoughts
In my local store, this cigar retails for $12. Do I think it’s worth it? I’m not so sure. I enjoyed the cigar enough but for such a mild smoke with very little complexity, I don’t think it warrants the $12 price tag. I do know that it costs a little more coming out of the Bahamas but I still think it needs to be a little more competitive on pricing. If you like mild cigars with earthiness, red clay, leather, and with a hint of cocoa, then you might enjoy this cigar if you can find it at a good price.

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: Graycliff Cigar Company

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Nub Cappuccino (Single Roast) Review

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When I first started smoking cigars, I was pointed to the flavored section. I smoked quite a few of the Tatiana cigars and Java cigars. After awhile, I switched to non-flavored cigars and I haven’t smoked many flavored recently. At the time, Nub did not have a flavored line of cigars. Within the past few years, Oliva has added flavored cigars to the Nub lineup. Today I am reviewing the Nub Cappuccino (Single roast). Let’s take a look!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Sumatra
Binder: I had difficulty finding a reputable source that says exactly what the binder is.
Filler: Again, I had trouble finding reputable sources for this information.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Vitola: 4×38 (438)

Appearance & Smell
It has a very nice medium brown wrapper. The wrapper is pretty smooth with a few visible veins. The cigar smells like coffee but it is not as strong as I thought it would be. I expected to pick up a lot more sweetness but I was pleasantly surprised to not be overwhelmed by sugar.

Smoke Preparation
I used a Xikar Xi1 to get a nice flat cut on the cap of the cigar. Pre-light draw tasted faintly like coffee and a little bit like oak. I lit the cigar with a Xikar Enigma double torch.

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Burn & Draw
The draw was a little bit tighter than a prefer. The cigar made me work a little harder to get good smoke. From the beginning this cigar did not burn evenly. It may be related to the tight draw but there is no way of knowing for sure. I had to touch it a few times to try and even it up but it never worked.

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Strength & Body
The strength was about a mild to medium which was a pleasant surprise. Most flavored cigars tend to stick strictly in the mild realm, so it was nice to have a cigar that pushed into medium strength just a little. From the light up there was an unusual bitterness. Every now and then I would get random sweet/coffee notes but the over all taste was old/bitter.

Final Thoughts
There was some aspects of this cigar that I was happy about and some that I was not very happy about at all. I enjoyed that it was just mild and boring and the size was nice for a faster/shorter smoke. Unfortunately, it burned uneven the entire smoke, it was a tight draw, and the cigar had a consistent bitterness that never varied into other tastes. This cigar retails for about $5-$6 a piece. Even with the inexpensive price tag, I don’t think I will be giving this one a whirl again. I could only get halfway through the cigar before I had to give up, so the picture below was the last.

Source: Given as a gift

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Medico Windsor Golden Grain Refurb

This was a pipe I picked up in an estate pipe lot online. It reads “Windsor Golden Grain” on the first side of the shank and it reads “Made in London England” on the second side of the shank. Check out the transformation below!

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Stem
This stem had a lot of oxidation on is so I started it off with a bleach bath. The stem was then wet sanded with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. Once all the oxidation was off and the stem was smooth, I sanitized and cleaned the inside with high-proof vodka and pipe cleaners. There is a tiny bit of oxidation left around the logo on the side of the shank because I wanted to preserve the stem stamp. The final touch on the stem was to buff it with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Bowl
I started the bowl with a good topping with a rough grit sandpaper follow by 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. The bowl then got a good reaming to get out all of the char and gunk. The inside of the bowl and shank were then cleaned with q-tips and highproof vodka until all of the char/tar was removed. The inside of the bowl got a professional grade coating. To finish off the bowl it also got the buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax. Check out the final product below!

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I think it turned out pretty darn nice!Let me know your thoughts below!

Straight Grain Pipe Refurb

This is a no-name Straight Grain pipe. I sincerely believe that this pipe was a “second” from a higher company and they didn’t put their name on the pipe due to the sand pits/fills. Check out the before and after pictures below!

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Stem
Nasty! I took an extra tenon picture just so the oxidation on the stem would be apparent. This stem started with a bleach bath. From there I wet sanded it with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit until all of the oxidation was removed. I then sanitized/cleaned the inside of the stem with high-proof vodka and pipe cleaners. To finish it off, it received a buffing of red tripoli then carnauba wax.

Bowl
The bowl needed a little bit of topping to remove char, so I lightly topped it with 500 grit sandpaper. The inside of the bowl received a good reaming. Once the reaming was complete, I sanitized and cleaned the inside of the bowl/shank with q-tips and high-proof vodka. Once dry and completely clean, I put in a professional grade bowl coating. I dyed the sand pits to match the bowl a little bit better. The bowl was also finished with a buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax.

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I think it turned out very nice! Let me know your thoughts on the refurb. Thanks for looking!

Adsorba Bruyere Extra Pipe Refurb

Hey folks! This beauty is hitting eBay right now. Check out the before and after pics!

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Stem
Oh man! Can you say “GROSS”?!That stem is nasty. I started with a bleach bath, gave it a quick rinse and then hit it with some steel wool. Right after that, I gave it a wet sanding with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. I then scrubbed the mess out of the inside of the stem with pipe cleaners, q-tips, and a high-proof cheap vodka. The outside of the stem was then buffed with red tripoli and then carnauba wax.

Bowl
Well, the bowl was pretty well worn, lots of char in the bowl, and lots of char on the rim. I had to sand off the entire stain. I wet sanded the outside with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. I also sanded the top of the bowl the same way. I then took a pipe reamer to the inside only to find tiny little cracks in the char. To get out all of the char dust and to sanitize, I cleaned the inside of the bowl with q-tips and high-proof vodka. The scrubbing included the shank to sanitize. Once all of the crud was removed, I then put a heavy bowl coating on the inside to make it uniform once more and smooth for a good smoke. I re-stained the outside with a red stain, then sanded with micro-mesh 1500+. AFter than sanding, I re-dyed it again but with brown. The double dyeing gives the bowl grain more depth.

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Ahhhhh, that looks and feels much better! If you would like to see the pipe (if it’s still listed), you can check the link here: Adsorba Bruyere Extra Pipe

Thanks for reading!