JC Newman El Baton Robusto Review

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The reason this review comes about is because a customer asked me to bring this cigar into my shop. I try to be as accommodating as possible for my customers when I have the shelf space. I brought in the El Baton Robusto and Belicoso. Both retail for $6.99 which I think is a good deal for an “everyday smoke”. I decided to give the robusto a whirl and here we are!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
The El Baton website does not give specifics about what type of tobacco from Nicaragua they use, just that it is from Nicaragua.

Appearance & Smell
This has a toothy, medium brown wrapper. It has some veins but the veins seem very fitting and not overbearing. The smell is earthy and a little oaky.

Smoke Preparation
I used a Xikar X1 to put a flat cut on the cigar. The cut was good and appears to have no construction problems.

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Burn & Draw
The lighting process was easy and the cigar seemed to take an immediate and even light. The draw was nice, not too easy and not too hard, just an easy medium. As the cigar went on, it did start to burn unevenly a bit. You can see the unevenness in the picture above. Then it even back out which you can see in the next pic.

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Strength & Body
Immediate impression is that it is a medium. As it goes on, it gains a little more strength. So medium plus at max. There was not a lot of complexity in terms of flavor variation and transitions. It was rather bland overall.

Final Thoughts
This cigar had good construction which is expected of anything coming from JC Newman. When it came to flavor and actually enjoying the smoke, it really wasn’t there for me. I found it to be bland and boring. Would I smoke it again and give it another chance? Yes. The notes of earthiness and oak weren’t bad but it got boring. I would be willing to give them another shot to see if my palate picks up something new. At an “everyday smoke” price, it’s well constructed and would be one that I could give out at any occasion and not feel bad about price or strength. Perhaps I will give it another chance soon!

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Sourced: Locally
Brand Information: El Baton Website

Peterson Tankard Pipe Refurbish

A friend sent me a Peterson Tankard that he had picked up. He asked me to make it shine like new again. So here are the before and after pics of the process! It’s hard to tell in the before pictures but there was a decent amount of oxidization that had occurred to the stem. I usually get better pictures than this so I’m sorry for the poor lighting/pictures. Trust me though, it really was an awesome refurb!

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Stem
Even with the flash on my camera, it’s hard to tell that there was quite a bit of oxidation that needed to be removed. I wet sanded the stem using 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. The stem was then sanitized and cleaned on the inside. The stem is finished with a buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Bowl
This bad boy was pretty clean on the inside. There wasn’t a lot of carbonation that had to be removed. BUT the bowl had some serious ghosting, whatever tobacco that was smoked in this pipe before was very strong. So I reamed the bowl down and added a professional grade bowl coating after sanitation to help dispel any remaining ghosting (per request of my friend). The shank was then cleaned and sanitized as well. The metal ring was shined up with some fine steel wool. The bowl was finished with a quick buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax.

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I’m sorry that the lighting isn’t that great in these pictures. The transformation really was awesome! My friend will receive his pipe back soon and I can’t wait for him to light it up. Thank you for reading about this refurb and let me know your thoughts! Thanks!

Golden Grain Pipe Refurb

This was another pipe that came to me in a lot of estate pipes. It’s a beautiful little Golden Grain. The grain in the bowl was gorgeous, so I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on the stem to make the whole pipe stand out again. Here are the before pictures:

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Stem
The stem had some fairly heavy oxidation, so I wet-sanded it with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. The tooth marks were shallow enough that they came out with the oxidation removal. The stem was finished up with a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

Bowl
I reamed the char/layers out of the bowl and sanitized it with vodka. The vodka helped to clean out the extra carbon and dust. The shank received the same vodka cleaning with q-tips as well. The top of the bowl had some buildup, so I topped it by dry-sanding with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. Then I re-stained the top to match the rest of the bowl. The bowl was also buffed with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Here are the after pics!

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Thanks for looking!

Wellington Churchwarden Refurb

This was a nifty pipe that came to me in a lot that I purchased from an estate sale. It looked like it had been smoked once or twice but it still had a sale price sticker on the bottom of the stem near the button. I thought it was odd that it wasn’t removed when it was smoked. I’m not sure if it was the original sale price sticker or a second hand sale price sticker but it’s cool either way!

Here are the before pictures!

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Stem
This pipe had quite a bit of oxidation. It looks like it had some water/liquid spots on it from long ago. Luckily I didn’t have to fight with tooth marks! A quick wet-sanding with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. It was finished with a quick buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax. I did remove the sticker to gain uniformity in the vulcanite.

Bowl
Since the bowl only seemed to be smoked once or twice, there wasn’t a lot to clean out. I did a very light reaming and cleaned/sanitized it with q-tips and vodka. There were a couple spots on the outside that needed a quick buff, so they were also buffed with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Here is the finished product!

 

 

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The pipe turned out perfect! It’s hard to tell from the lights and reflections but the button end on each side of the stem turned out awesome! I can’t wait for this pipe to find a new home!

Thanks for taking a look!

H. Upmann Banker Ingot Rose (Limited)

Back at it with a new cigar! This cigar was just released this summer and it is a limited release. It’s the H. Upmann Ingot Rose! The original Banker line has been out for about 3 years now. Last summer they released a limited edition version of the Banker called the “Ingot LE”. This year the limited edition is called the “Ingot Rose”.

I love the original Banker blend but I missed out on the limited Ingot LE last year. I was excited to get into this Ingot Rose this year and see what all the fuss is about! So here we go!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Dominican Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Churchill, 6.75×48

Appearance & Smell
I can tell a difference in the smell between the original Ecuadorian Habano and this new limited edition Dominican Habano. The Habano smells more earthy than the original. The cigar appears to not have as much oil on/in the wrapper as the original. It also appears to be slightly lighter in color tone. The logo and paper all have a rose-gold type color to them and it definitely catches the eye.

Smoke Preparation
For this cigar I chose to use a flat cut with a Xikar Xi1 cutter. The pre-light cold draw was surprisingly mellow and there were not any prominent flavors that stood out. I lit the cigar with a Xikar Enigma double torch lighter.

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Burn & Draw
This cigar lit up with ease and immediately started giving off a decadent aroma and smoke. The draw was perfect for my preference, not too hard and not too easy. The airflow to the draw was good and helped to keep an even burn throughout the entire cigar. The smoke was rich and plentiful! The ash also held well throughout the smoke, I was able to do 1 inch ashes and could have gone longer.

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Strength & Body
This cigar was a solid medium in the strength department. There was not a lot of deviation throughout the cigar when it came to the strength. Some cigars really pick up strength but this stayed very consistent. The body wasn’t overly complicated by any means. There weren’t a bunch of flavor changes or complexity. With the straight forward flavor profile, it is what I would call an “easy” smoke. Anyone could smoke it. It had some nuttiness, little bit of sweetness, and definitely cream. This would be a delicious after-dinner smoke with an evening drink!

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Final Thoughts
As a fan of the original Banker line I definitely came into this smoke with high expectations! With that being said, I did expect a little bit more from the Ingot Rose. It was a good smoke. Solid construction. Solid burn. I think I just expected more in terms of flavor complexity. Maybe a little more nuttiness or spice would have built it up a little more. I plan on buying at least two more to possibly age and I might buy another couple to re-review due my bias coming into this first smoke.

Have you smoked one yet? What did you think? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Info: Altadis- H. Upmann