Kaywoodie Super Grain #61 Refurb

I have the honor of fixing up a few pipes for a fellow smoker and friend. This Kaywoodie had a very unique shape and it caught me eye. I have seen a couple others like it but the grain is truly amazing on this one. Here are the “before” and “after” pictures of the goods!

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Stem:
This stem was oxidized but not nearly ask bad as other stems I have cleaned. The problem was that there was a fairly deep tooth dent in the bottom of the stem near the button. When the oxidation was removed, it showed that there was slight cracking in the stem at the deepest spot of the dent. So I wet sanded the oxidation off of the stem with 500 grit sandpaper. When all of the oxidation was removed, I used an activated charcoal mix to patch the dent/cracking. After two layers of patching, I was confident that it would come out even. I then wet sanded the patch with 500 grit. Once the patch was completely smooth to the stem I proceeded with wet sanding using 1000 grit followed by 1200 grit. I used pipe cleaners and high proof vodka to clean out the stem. To get the tenon shiny again I used steel wool to clean it up. The stem tended to turn too far into the shank, so I used my heat gun to heat it up and twist it back to its original position.

Bowl:
These bowls are always a challenge. The odd shape doesn’t really allow me to use a traditional reamer. I have a couple of knives that I use for pipes like these to remove the charcoal and layers inside the bowl. The inside then gets the dust cleaned out with q-tips and vodka. I then topped the bowl, removing nicks and burns from the top with sanding. The the top of the bowl gets re-stained to match. I cleaned the shank with high proof vodka, q-tips, and pipe cleaners.

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Thanks for looking!

Charter Oak Broadleaf Toro Cigar Review

One of my friends was visiting me at the shop and asked if I had ever tried a Charter Oak. I told him that I really hadn’t been too adventurous lately and I hadn’t heard of it. He hooked me up with the toro in the Broadleaf. So here we go!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadlead
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Vitola: Toro, 6×52

Appearance & Smell:
Tis broadleaf appears to have a nice oil to it. The wrapper also has a good grit. The cigar also looks well constructed. The smell is deliciously sweet and carries notes of cedar.

Smoke Preparation:
I was feeling a little froggy and decided to go with a v-cut. I used a no-name inexpensive plastic cutter to put a v-cut on it. I did use my trusty Xikar Enigma double torch to light the cigar evenly.

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Burn & Draw:
The burn was just lovely! This cigar had an even burn throughout the entire smoke. I didn’t have to touch it up once. The draw was just as fantastic. It is always a pleasure to have a well-constructed cigar that you don’t have to maintain, just smoke.

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Strength & Body:
I suspect that this cigar was meant to have a little more kick than I actually picked up. For me it turned out to just be a medium. It was so smooth that I wouldn’t be afraid to give it to the newest of smokers. The flavor was out-of-this-world! Deliciously complex and surprisingly buttery!

Final Thoughts:
Well, I always go in skeptical when cigar smokers (not reps or industry people) give me cigars and tell me they are great. I have been given a few skunks. You know the type of smokes, $4-$5 cigars that people swear are just as good as Padrons but you can’t make it through more than a quarter. I was really pleasantly surprised by this cigar! I should have known because the guy I got it from has probably smoked more than I have and that’s saying something! I would buy this for myself any day of the week.

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Providencia El Santo Cigar Review

I was contacted by a representative of Providencia Cigars to see if I would be interested in bringing them into my humidor. I had never heard of the company and I was more than willing to learn about them and their cigars. They sent me some information and some samples to check out. The El Santa was the first cigar that I had a chance to try. Here is the rundown!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: Sumatra Nicaraguan Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan
Vitola: Torpedo

Appearance & Smell:
The appearance is a little rugged. The wrapper has some nice toothless to it. It has a beautiful brown tone. The smell is very much rich cocoa and earthiness.

Smoke Preparation:
I used my Xikar Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the cap. I lit the cigar with my Xikar Enigma double torch to get an even light on the cigar.

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Burn & Draw:
The draw was really nice and smooth. The burn stayed consistently even throughout the entire smoke. I was even outside in the wind and the cigar burned even as long as I kept it rotated.

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Strength & Body: 
The strength presented itself as a medium for the first half of the cigar and then it stepped up into a medium plus during the second half of the cigar. The body was very nice. It had a couple flavor transitions that included: Spice, cocoa, earthiness, and oak.

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Final Thoughts:
This was a pretty darn good cigar. I will definitely be looking into the price points and consider bringing it into my retail humidor. It is always pleasant to find smaller cigar companies that are making well-constructed cigars with great flavor.

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Alpha Absinthe Maduro Robusto Review

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I had seen an advertisement or mention of absinthe infused cigars somewhere. The idea intrigued me and I was curious about what they would be like. I have only seen them in one local shop on the other side of town. That day I opted for the La Aurora ADN. Well, I finally got around to trying one of the Alpha Absinthe Infused cigars! Here is my take on the smoke:

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Olor Domincano
Filler: Honduran
Infusion: French absinthe, 15 different herbs
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Robusto, 5×50

Appearance & Smell:
This cigar looks very well constructed. It has a few larger veins in the wrapper but nothing to be bothered by. The smell is… different. It’s hard to pick out distinct smells when there are so many!

Smoke Preparation:
I went back to my trusty Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on it and my Xikar Enigma double torch to get it evenly lit.

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Burn & Draw:
The draw was perfectly fine. Not too tight, not too loose, just enough resistance to keep it well lit. The burn stayed pretty even for the most part, I only had to touch it up once or twice.

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Strength & Body:
I smoked this cigar, it really stayed in the medium to medium plus range. That San Andres wrapper definitely gives it some nicotine kick. As for the body… well, it’s complicated. When I first heard of this cigar, I thought it was strictly absinthe that it was infused with. Even when I smoked it I didn’t know that there were 15 different herbs used to infuse it also. So as I was smoking it and trying to pick out distinct flavors, I was having a hard time. It’s a bit overwhelming, perhaps too many herbs?

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Final Thoughts:
If you want something “different”, this would be great for you! Would I try it again? Yes, I would. Would I go to a shop looking for it specifically? Probably not. Construction, draw, burn, everything was perfect but the confusion on the pallet really left me wanting a more distinct direction for the cigar. It didn’t live up to what I had hoped it would.

Source: A friend
Brand Information: Alpha Cigars

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Camacho Corojo Toro Review

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It’s been a hot minute since I have indulged in any of the Camacho blends. I have smoked this blend before but it’s been at least two years if not longer! Also, you will notice that this cigar is a bit cracked at the foot. Every cigar smoker wants the perfect smoke but we have all had that one cigar that got smooshed, got cracked, or the cap started coming off after the cut. Sometimes things don’t go perfectly. So I decided to smoke this cigar and review it anyway. Enjoy!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder: Corojo
Filler: Honduran
Country of Origin: Honduras
Vitola: Toro, 6×50

Appearance & Smell:
The appearance has a color that is a little bit lighter than I remember it being but it is beautiful. Very light veins, generally smooth. As I said before, the foot was slightly cracked on this one. The bright red band is eye-catching. The smell is RICH, earthy, with a hint of deep spice.

Smoke Preparation: 
I had my Xikar Xi1 nearby, so I put a flat cut on the cigar. To light it, I used my Xikar Enigma double torch to get an even light on it.

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Burn & Draw:
Wow! Even though the foot was cracked, it burned perfectly even from the start! I didn’t have to touch up this cigar once. The draw was nice, maybe just a hair too easy but it didn’t burn too quickly.

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Strength & Body: 
This cigar is touted as a really full body cigar on multiple reviews and descriptions. It only came off to me as a medium plus. It was a really nice balance of strength and complexity. There was quite a bit of stout earthiness and spice throughout the smoke. Some deeper notes of cocoa and sweet spice could be tasted when I got deeper into the smoke.

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Final Thoughts:
I thought this was a delicious smoke! For the $8-$9 price, I think it is definitely worth it. If you don’t like spice, then avoid this cigar like the plague! But if you enjoy spice in your smoke, this is a cigar you should give a try!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: Camacho Cigars

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Dunhill Pipe Refurb

Ooooweeeee! I got this pipe 2-3 years ago in a lot I bought on eBay. I kept putting off the refurb because it looked like a no-name pipe to me. Upon closer inspection, I found that the stem had a dot on it. The dot looked yellow because of the severity of the oxidation to the stem. But after I found the dot, I whipped out my trusty magnifying glass and took a closer look at the writing on the bottom of the bowl/shank. I could make out a “Du” and “England” and a few numbers. I thought to myself, could it be? Is it possible that this is a Dunhill? It is indeed! Here are the goods:

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Those first two pics I took on the fly and prior to a bleach bath for the stem. Here is after the bleach bath:

 

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Stem:
After the bleach bath on the stem, I wet sanded to get the remaining oxidation off. I used 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. In addition to the hole in the stem, the end of the stem had been deformed. I used a patching solution to slowly layer on the hole and build it back. I then used more of my patching solution to rebuild the walls near the button on both sides to even it up. I then cleaned/sanitized the inside of the stem. I finished the stem with a buffing of red tripoli and then a buffing of carnauba wax.

Bowl:
The bowl was in better condition than the stem. I reamed the bowl clean of old carbon build up. I then sanitized/cleaned the inside of the shank and the bowl with a very high proof vodka. After the bowl/shank dried out, I added a professional grade bowl coating to the inside of the bowl. The bowl was then finished with a buffing of red tripoli and light buffing of carnauba. I didn’t buff the sides too much because I didn’t want to get wax stuck in the crevices.

Here is the final result:

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Thank you for checking it out!

Punch Signature Robusto Review

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The Punch Signature hit the shelves of retailers about 3 years ago. I have seen it in many shops but was never drawn to grab one. It’s time to change all of that! I picked up the Punch Signature robusta. Here’s the Breakdown:

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Binder: Connecticut Habano
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan
Vitola: Robusto, 5×54

Appearance & Smell
It has a nice milk chocolate color to the wrapper. A few veins but it’s not overly toothy. It looks well rolled. It has a small crack on the foot. The smell has some earthiness, nuttiness, and a little bit of pepper.

Smoke Preparation
I used my trusty Xikar Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the cigar. I also used my Xikar Enigma double torch to get it evenly lit.

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Burn & Draw
The draw on this smoke was perfect. It wasn’t too tight or too loose, it was just a really nice middle-of-the road draw. The burn was pretty even throughout the smoke. Anytime it would start to burn crooked, it would correct itself. I didn’t have to touch it up once!

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Strength & Body
This cigar was a solid medium. The cigar never seemed to deviate from medium even towards the end of the cigar. I can see why this is a popular favorite for many cigar smokers, it definitely provides a variety of flavors in the body! I picked up some earthiness, oak, red pepper, and a little bitter nuttiness.

Final Thoughts
Would I purchase this again? Maybe. Even though it had some nice body to it, perfect draw, and perfect burn, it just wasn’t gold to my pallet. I have nothing against it at all and would be more than willing to suggest it to customers in my own humidor. It just didn’t speak to me. For the price, it would make an excellent “everyday” smoke for some cigar smokers!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: Punch Cigars

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Padilla Miami Cigar Review

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I remember a few years ago hearing some about the Padilla Miami from a rep. I don’t recall ever smoking one though! One of my friends, David, was kind enough to gift me with 7 cigars from his personal collection. The Padilla Miami was one of them! From my research and understanding, they aren’t made anymore or it was possibly limited (one site says it was extremely limited). Either way, it was very generous and I am happy to take it back with a few years with this smoke. David said he thinks they have been in his humidor about 6-7 years. So remember it could have changed a bit over time! Here we go!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: 2002 Corojo Cuban-seed wrapper
Binder: ???
Filler: Nicaraguan
Vitola: Torpedo. 6×52

Appearance & Smell
This cigar has a rich brown wrapper with a tint of reddish to it. It’s a little bit toothy also. It has some vines but they are not overly noticeable when you are holding it. It looks and feels well-constructed. During the aging process it looks as if it was very well taken care of. The smell is deep, earthy, and spicy.

Smoke Preparation
I used my trusty Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the torpedo and a Xikar Enigma double torch to light it up

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Burn & Draw
You can see after the first picture, it looked to be burning a bit crooked but it corrected itself over the smoke. The draw was good but slightly tighter than many cigars today. It wasn’t overly tight though. I enjoyed it.

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Strength & Body
I thought this cigar would be a medium to a medium-plus…. Ooooowwweeee! It came in starting at a medium-plus and finished full. It had a great body to go with the strength! Cocoa notes stayed pretty consistent, red spice was evident, the earthiness also stayed from the original smell. It didn’t seem to get one-dimensional at all, it stayed fluid.

Final Thoughts
I am especially grateful to my friend for sharing some of his personal cigars. It was so very kind of him! Part of me is also sad that I won’t be able to get more! To hold that much strength and body with proper aging, this is one heck of a cigar! If you happen to have any left. I would suggest hanging on to them or only giving them out for special occasions. From my research they went for $8-$12 retail. Enjoy them if you have them!

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RoMa Craft Intemperance EC XVIII Industry Review

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This was my second RoMa Craft cigar ever. The Intemperance caught my eye the first time I saw it but this was my first chance to sit down and give it a try. Here are my thoughts on the staple of RoMa Craft!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican Republic
Vitola: Torpedo, 5.5×50

Appearance & Smell
This cigar has a beautiful appearance. A lovely wrapper that looks almost elegant with such a simple band on it. Not overly veiny, pretty smooth to the touch. The slightly loose foot gives the cigar a little flare. The smell gives me some hay, nuttiness, and cream.

Smoke Preparation
I decided to use my trusty Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on the cap. I also used a Xikar Enigma double torch to get the cigar evenly lit.

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Burn & Draw
I was quite impressed with the draw and the burn on this cigar! The draw had enough resistance to keep the cigar burning even if I set it down for a few minutes but it wasn’t too loose either. From the pictures you will be able to see the even burn and the way that this cigar held the ash was awesome.

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Strength & Body
I would definitely put this in the mild to medium category for strength. This cigar brought a lot more complexity to the table than a lot of other Connecticut cigars I have smoked. It was rather complex with flavors which kept me intrigued and interested in what was coming next as I smoked it.

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Final Thoughts
This was only the second RoMa Craft cigar I have ever smoked. This was a fantastic introduction to this company. I was very impressed with the blending and rolling of this cigar. I think for a small company RoMa Craft is making big moves! For the price ($7.59 at my local shop), I would definitely recommend grabbing this smoke. It would be perfect for hot, sunny days!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: RoMa Craft Tobac

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La Aurora Connecticut Robusto Review

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Blend Profile
Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan
Vitola: Robusto, 5×50

Appearance & Smell
It smells of nuts and cream. A slight hint of hay is also detectable. The color is a nice creamy colored Connecticut. The seams are noticeable but it doesn’t take away anything from the overall look. The two bands are simple but look good.

Smoke Preparation
I cut this cigar using a Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on the cap. I then used a Xikar Enigma double torch to light the cigar evenly.

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Burn & Draw
The draw was very easy. Almost too easy! But it did provide some really nice clouds of smoke. The burn was pretty even throughout the whole smoke. If the burn got uneven, it would even itself out without me having to touch it up.

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Strength & Body
The is definitely a mild cigar when it comes to strength. It started to push a little towards medium at the end, so I suspect that the toro and larger sizes will have a tiny bit more strength. The body was very nice. The nuttiness from the original smell was definitely there, hay, cedar, and earthiness all made appearances throughout.

Final Thoughts
If you are a person who enjoys a cigar in the morning from time to time, then this is a cigar for you! I can definitely imagine myself smoking this in the morning with a nice cup of coffee. If you enjoy milder cigars in general or on the gold course, this would also be a great cigar for you. It’s a tasty smoke and it’s not expensive.

Source: Gift
Brand Information: La Aurora Cigars

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