News and Reviews

2017 Camacho Liberty Review

June 27, 2017


This is the 15th anniversary of the Camacho Liberty.  This year they have chosen to forgo the iconic 11/18 perfecto size in favor of a 6 x 54 'Super Toro'.  The blend is Medium-Full, and the company says it is the most Nicaraguan tobacco ever used in a Camacho.


The Blend:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Honduran Corojo
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic


Appearance and Construction (15 POINTS)
I don't really pull presentation into the equation, but its worth taking note.  The box of cigars itself is gorgeous.  Inside the cigars are laid out in 20 individual cedar coffins, and in each coffin the cigars are tissue wrapped.  Also within each coffin is a neat little lapel pin, so i guess that counts for something.  The actual cigar looks and feels great. Hazelnut brown wrapper with a nice sheen to it.  Aesthetically, there is nothing not to like here. 15/15


Flavor (25 POINTS)
Rich and velvety even on the cold draw.  The flavors are mellow and nuanced without becoming boring like some other cigars at higher price points can become. Hay, caramel, wood, and a nice balanced underlying spice.  No detectable bitterness or anything otherwise unpleasant.  23/25


Smoking Characteristics (25 POINTS)
This is where this cigar is at its finest.  Razor sharp burn, excellent smoke production, cool smoke and just an all around enjoyable smoke.  No maintenance or touchups required on this cigar.  The smoking experience is flawless and luxurious. 25/25


Overall Impression (35 POINTS)
I've got nothing bad to say about this cigar at all.  Overall it's another great addition to the annual Liberty Release, and my favorite thus far. Truly one of my favorite new cigars I've smoked this year.  33/35


Final Score: 97 (Phenomenal Cigar)


Final Thoughts:
This cigar is great, even considering the $20 price point. Compared to other cigars in the $18+ price point this cigar stands up.  My previous favorite limited release in this range was the Caldwell Last Tsar and the 2017 Liberty may have just taken the title.  I'll be sure to enjoy a few more of these while they are still around, and I would urge any smoker to get out there and give one of these a go.

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Stack Cigars is Back!

After a long and drawn out battle with PayPay, Stack Cigars is back in action!  

We've trimmed our offerings, and launched our very own cigar brand. The First blend out is the Stack Lancaster, a medium to full bodied cigar draped in a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper and produced by the AJ Fernandez.  Be sure to check it out in the shop!

Stack Premium Cigars will be the feature of the shop for the foreseeable future, but we will offer some of our favorite brands alongside our own. Keep an eye out for new additions to the shop and limited releases.

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1502 Ruby Review

The 1502 line is blended by Enrique Sanchez and produced Placentia's.  Enrique describes his core original three blends, the Emerald, Ruby, and Black Gold, as breakfast, lunch, and dinner respectively.  The Ruby is supposed to be a flavorful yet medium bodied cigar earning it it's 'lunch' designation.  They produce 7 vitolas of this cigar, but for this review Matt and I decided to smoke the newest addition to our shop, the Corona (5 1/2 x 42). 

The Blend: 

Wrapper: Ecuador 

Binder: Nicaragua 

Filler: Nicaragua 

  

Appearance and Construction (15 POINTS) 

The Ecuadorian wrapper on this cigar is a fairly dark shade of brown, so much so that if I held this cigar next to the Emeralds habano wrapper I would have thought it to be a maduro.  It is a fairly oily and smooth wrapper to the touch.  Matt found his cigar to be a little to firm for his liking, but also had some soft spots.  Both mine and Matts cigars had some fairly pronounced veins, but nothing that ultimately affected the smoking experience.  I have it a 12/15, Matt gave 10/15 

 

Flavor (25 POINTS) 

Aroma off the foot of the cigar is pretty robust.  The cold draw gives a sweet molasses flavor, wood, and hay.  Upon lighting the cigar, I find the flavors of the cigar are rich and complex, but still so smooth and so balanced that I have a hard time identifying specific flavor notes.  As the cigar progresses, the molasses from the cold draw persists, along with notes of rich wood, dark chocolate, and a light black pepper spice that dances on the back of the pallet.  Neither Matt or myself could detect any bitter or otherwise undesirable flavors. Both of us gave 24/25 for flavor. 

 

Smoking Characteristics (25 POINTS) 

The draw for this cigar is exactly what I look for in a cigar, while Matt found it a little tight for his liking.   As the cigar progressed Matt found the draw more enjoyable. Matt's cigar maintained a perfect burn, requiring no touch-ups, while mine did need some maintenance, specifically in the final half.  The smoke was cool and smooth for the duration of the cigar. Matt:24/25, Josh 21/25 

Overall Impression (35 POINTS) 

The Ruby is an enjoyable cigar and one that both Matt and I could see ourselves smoking again and again.  It offers just enough flavor and complexity to keep things interesting, but maintains a nice medium body that could easily make this an any time of day kind of smoke. There just wasn't much negative to say about the Ruby.  Matt: 28/35, Josh 33/35. 

 

Individual Scores: Matt: 86, Josh: 90 

Final Panel Score:  88 (Great Cigar) 

  

Final Thoughts: 

At a price point under $6 for the corona size, this is a cigar both of us can easily recommend for a box purchase.  The beauty of this cigar from a tobacconist's standpoint is that it can be recommended to almost any smoker as it is mild enough for newbies, but flavorful and interesting enough for long-time smokers.  If you haven't tried anything from Enrique's 1502 line, this is an excellent introdution to the line, and certainly a cigar that’s worth a try. 

 

Check it out in our Store! 

http://stackcigars.com/products/1502-ruby

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E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015 Review

For the last 6 years, the folks at E.P. Carrillo have a limited production cigar dubbed the Short Run.  This year’s blend had only 1,500 boxes of each size made.  The 2015 Short Run is being offered in 3 vitolas; a 5x50 robusto called the Napoleon, a 6x52 toro called Vencedores, and a 6x60 called Imperlos.  Three of us will be chipping in for this review, myself, Matt and Ed. We decided to smoke the 6x52 Vencedores.

 

The Blend:

Wrapper: Criollo Jalapa 98

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

 

Appearance and Construction (15 POINTS)

 Of the 3 cigars being smoked for this review, 2 of them are nearly flawless looking. Matt and Ed both had smooth cigars with beautiful wrappers.  Mine was somewhat rough looking, with some fairly pronounced veins but nothing that ended up affecting the overall smoking experience.  The color was consistent across all three cigars, and construction felt solid and consistent. Josh and Matt each took off a few points for Appearance and Construction, while Ed gave it 15 out of 15.

Flavor (25 POINTS)

Pre-light aroma had a pleasantly sweet tobacco and cocoa scent.  The cold draw gave some slightly deeper earthy tones that balanced nicely with the still present sweetness.  First light offered some tones of baking spice with earthiness and hints of leather.  Continuing through the first third, the cigar picks up the lightest touch of peppery spice.  Flavor through the first half of the cigar was mild to medium, and picks up a bit of steam into the second half giving off medium body and flavor. Ed: 25/25, Matt: 23/25, Josh: 23/25

 

Smoking Characteristics (25 POINTS)

All three of us had perfect draws on this cigar, but 2 required some maintenance to maintain a perfect burn. Ash held well into the second third. We all experienced a slight amount of hot smoke and unpleasantness in the final third of the cigar, but only just slightly. Most of the critique in this category was fairly nit-picky, and overall this cigar offered a smooth and enjoyable smoking experience. Ed: 20/25, Matt: 22/25, Josh: 22/25

 

Overall Impression (35 POINTS)

Our biggest critique of this cigar is that the flavors offered were tasty, but left us a little wanting.  We all like a fuller body and fuller flavor cigar, and this cigar got there in its final moments, but left us a little bored through the first half. A very good cigar, just not the cigar for me. Ed: 30/35, Matt: 26/35, Josh: 29/35.

 

Individual Scores: Ed: 90, Matt: 90, Josh: 87

Final Panel Score:  89 (Great Cigar)

 

Final Thoughts:

At a price point under $10.00, this cigar is a pretty good value for what you get. Ed would say it’s worth trying and I would rate it for at least a 5-pack.  I’d recommend this cigar to smokers of La Gloria Cubana, Inch, and even fans of Fuente cigars.  Overall, this was another great limited release from E.P. Carrillo, and definitely worthy a spot in your humidor.

 

 

 

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Black Label Trading Company Reviews Part 2: Salvation

Continuing my series of the Black Label Trading Company core line, next up is the Salvation. The description on the BLTC website describes it as “Medium bodied with notes of leather, cedar, and a beautiful herbal finish”. For this review I smoked the Salvation in a robusto (5 x 54)

 

The Blend:

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Habano

Binder:Honduras

Filler: Nicaragua

 

Appearance and Construction (15 POINTS)

The appearance of this cigar is very attractive. This sun grown wrapper is very smooth to the touch, leathery, and has no obtrusive veins. The reddish brown tint to this one seperates it in color to the other sticks in the Black Label line. Overall with no protruding veins, soft spots, or other flaws I gave the Salvation 15 out 15 for appearance and construction.

 

Flavor (25 POINTS)

Aroma off the foot offers a lot of sweet chocolate and some grassy notes. The cold draw gives the same flavors and adds just a little bit of wood. Right upon lighting the cigar I'm hit with chocolate, caramel, and oak. Some spice is detectable on the retrohale, but there is almost none on the pallet. Flavors pick up steam going into the second third, adding more wood, smoke, and leather. Nutty flavors accompany the chocolate and while flavor never gets very full, they are fairly robust and interesting. There are no undesirable flavors through the first half of the cigar. In the final third I got some charcoal flavor in addition to all the previously mentioned notes, but the cigar burned a little hot and some of the flavors turned a little bitter. 22 our of 25.

 

Smoking Characteristics (25 POINTS)

The draw for this cigar was great with just enough resistance. The ash was compacted tight and held nearly halfway through the smoke for 2 of the 3 cigars smoked. On 2 of the cigars the burn got a little wonky and required some touchup, but overall very good in this category, 22 out of 25

Overall Impression (35 POINTS)

Overall this was a true medium bodied smoke with medium flavor. It was interesting and tasted great, but it isn't all the time I want a cigar in this range. I'd happily smoke this again, but it wouldn't be an everyday smoke for me. 30 out of 35.

 

Final Score:  89 (Great Cigar)

 

Final Thoughts:

At a price point of $9.00 I could recommend this cigar to lots of smokers. For me I'd rate it at a 5 pack, but I have a feeling that there are a lot of smokers that would enjoy this for a box-split, or even a full box. If you're the kind of smoker that been smoking other medium cigars like Monte Cristo's or RyJ, and you want something without much more body but more interesting flavor, this could be a new favorite for you. If you like something a with some more kick to it, this cigar is still worth a shot and could be a great stick to grab in the morning with a cup of coffee.

 

 

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Nomad Esteli Lot 8613 Review

Esteli Lot 8613 is the 5th regular production cigar line from Nomad.  The name '8613' is a play on the name of Nomad's Esteli LE lot 1386, as Fred Rewey says that his newest cigar offers a similar experience to his former Limited Edition.  All of us at Stack Cigar were very excited for this blend, so myself, Josh E, and Ed all sat down to smoke and review it as a group.  We all picked up the Coronita size (5 1/2 x 46) for this review

 

The Blend:

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

 

Appearance and Construction (15 POINTS)

The outer appearance of this cigar is attractive.  Myself and Josh E. both noticed some fairly pronounced veins below the band, but otherwise the cigar looks great.  There were no detectable soft or hard spots along the length of the cigar.  Both Josh's gave a 13 in this category, while Ed gave a perfect 15.

Flavor (25 POINTS)

The pre-light experience on the 8613 is divine.  The foot puts off a strong aromatic scent, while the cold draw gives a lot of sweetness, walnut and grassy notes.   Upon lighting, there is a fair amount of spice up front, with a lot more on the retrohale.  The walnut flavor that I tasted on the cold draw persists through the first third of the cigar, accompanied by notes of leather, and mild woodiness. Josh and Josh both experienced a fair amount of bitterness in the second third, but Ed did not pick up any.  Into the final third, the cayenne and white pepper picks up, but the overall profile remains sweet and pleasant. Josh and Josh gave 22 out of 25 while Ed gave a perfect 25.

Smoking Characteristics (25 POINTS)

The draw on this stick was what I would call my perfect draw. Just enough resistance to not be completely open, but no need to work to take a draw.  The burn was impressively sharp for all 3 cigars, but Ed experienced some unevenness in the final third.  All three had ashes that extended well into the second 3rd.  Ed's cigar did even out before the end, and we gave 23 out of 25, while both Josh's gave perfect 25's for smoking characteristics. 

Overall Impression (35 POINTS)

All three of us were excited for this Nomad release, and all three of us felt our expectations were met.  This cigar, while not a powerhouse, certainly packs a punch and I would call it a full bodied cigar.  The flavors throughout were very enjoyable, and the term "aromatic" kept coming to mind. The smell of this cigar is just incredible and really added to the overall experience.  Because of the slight bitterness, both Josh's gave 33 in this category, while Ed gave a perfect 35.

Total Score: Josh M - 92, Josh E - 92, Ed - 98

Average Score:  94 (Excellent cigar)

 

Final Thoughts:

Myself and Josh E communicated very little about our scores while we were smoking, and still ended up with very similar scores.  We all were very impressed and welcome this addition to the Nomad cigar line into our shop with open arms.  Ed obviously thought very highly of this cigar with his rating of a 98, which on our scale puts it in the 'Perfect Cigar' category.  With affordable price points in the $8-9 range, we'd happily declare this a 'Box-Worthy' cigar.

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Black Label Trading Company Reviews Part 1: Last Rites

Black Label Trading Company is a newer cigar company that we are very excited to have here at Stack Cigars. Last Rites is one of the original six core lines introduced by Black Label when they got started in 2013. Despite being a core line they stick to their mantra of only making small batch cigars, so only a set number are produced each year. For this review I smoked the box-pressed robusto, which is a 5 x 54.

 

The Blend:

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro

Binder: Honduran

Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran

 

Appearance and Construction (15 POINTS)

The Last Rites is draped in a very lush looking dark chocolate brown wrapper. It is fairly oily and very smooth to the touch and has no protruding veins.  Feeling along the length of the cigar, there was was seemed to be some inconstancy in firmness, as their was a pretty noticeable soft spot just bellow the band.  Overall it is a very visually appealing cigar, and one that I couldn't wait to start smoking. Due to the soft spot, I gave this cigar a 13 out of 15 in this category.

Flavor (25 POINTS)

The flavors on this cigar were robust, enjoyable,and offered a lot to taste.  The Ecuadorian maduro wrapper brought a very nice natural sweetness on the lips overtop rich dark chocolate, earthiness, wood, and a light spice that lingered on the back of the palate. Overall very balanced and pleasant flavor, with enough body and complexity to keep my attention for the duration of the smoke.  At times I noticed a somewhat bitter and acrid flavor that hung around on the finish, but it was not enough to warrant more than a loss of a few points in score. 22 out of 25 for flavor.

Smoking Characteristics (25 POINTS)

The burn for the Last Rites was sharp and consistent for the duration of the smoke requiring no maintenance. The cigar's draw was completely wide open, which in my opinion isn't entirely a good thing. I like a little bit of resistance to the draw of a cigar, but this is strictly personal preference. I would rather a cigar breathe too openly, than be too tight.  Without anything else negative to say about this category, Last Rites gets a 24 out of 25.

Overall Impression (35 POINTS)

All in all, this was a cigar that I really enjoyed.  Medium plus bodied cigars with a lot of flavor are right in my wheelhouse, and the wrapper on this cigar brought a kind of sweetness that really complimented the blend. I feel I could recommend this cigar to almost any smoker, as it had some body but certainly wasn't a powerhouse, and had lots of complex flavor without being overly spicy.  33 out of 35.

Total Score: 92 - Excellent Cigar

Final Thoughts:

Black Label Trading Company knocked this one out of the park.  I was a little skeptical  of the $12 price tag because that is such a competitive price point in the industry right now. After experiencing the cigar I am convinced that it is worth the cost and would happily recommend this cigar for a box-split. I will definitely be picking up more of these for myself soon, and can't wait to work my way through the rest of the line to see what else Black Label Trading Company has to offer.

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Review Methodology

Before we get into any actual reviews I'd like to take a second to lay out our structure for cigar reviews and what we're looking for when we are reviewing/rating a cigar.  We'll be borrowing the system developed by Cigar Aficionado Magazine and making a few tweaks.  Most cigar smokers will be familiar with the 100 count point system that we will use to judge the cigar based on the following traits; Appearance and Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression.  After assigning the cigars a score out of 100, we will also give a designation to how many we could see ourselves purchasing as a consumer.  We'll assign either Pass, Try, 5 pack, Box Split, or Box Purchase.  We assign these weighing how much we liked the cigar vs the price of the cigar.

The 100 point score will be us smoking the cigar and giving our opinion just on the merits of the cigar itself, not taking price into account. This system starts every cigar out at 100, and then deducts points in each category The rubric for the 100 point score is as follows;

Appearance and Construction (15 out of the possible 100)

This category is judged almost entirely before the cigar is lit.  Here we are looking at how the wrapper looks and feels, in addition to if their are any discernible hard or soft spots along the length of the cigar.  Points are deducted here for large veins, if the cigar feels dry, or if their is inconstancy in the feel of the the cigar.

Flavor (25 out of the possible 100)

Here we are trying to look at the flavor as objectively as possible, leaving the reviews personal preferences out of it.  Points will be deducted for harsh or overly bitter flavors, or general unpleasantness.

Smoking Characteristics (25 out of the possible 100)

A perfect cigar that has been stored properly should light easily, and burn evenly.  The draw should be comfortable and consistent. Points will be deducted if the cigar burns unevenly, tunnels, too quickly, if the draw is off, or if the smoke is unpleasantly hot.

Overall Impression (35 out of the possible 100)

All the categories up to here try to measure the cigar as objectively as possible.  If I don't like a lot of spice, and I'm reviewing a spicy stick, points would be deducted here, not under 'Flavor'.  This is where the reviewer can take his own personal preferences into account and give their opinion on the cigar.

 

The goal here is to give an easy to interpret rating of a cigar, and an evaluation of the price of a stick.  A cigar may receive a 92 rating, but only be recommended for a 'Try' because of an inflated msrp. Check out the Stack Cigar blog soon for updates on industry news, and our cigar ratings!

 

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Welcome to the new Stack Cigars site!

Welcome to Stack Cigars, and thanks for taking the time to check out our blog.   This first post will be to explain a little bit about why we created this online shop and why the inventory is what it is.  

The Stack Cigar online store is based out of The Smoke Stack, located in Moon Township, PA.  Our primary goal is to provide the same attention to detail, customer service, and selection that we offer in our brick and mortar location. Starting out, the inventory for Stack Cigars will simply be an extension of our humidors inventory. If you've visited our store you may have noticed that we've forgone storage for extra boxes in order to carry as many different blends of cigars as possible.  This is why there are so few full boxes available for purchase at launch, but we hope this means we will be able to focus our resources on keeping up with the latest new and limited cigars in the market.

Our focus for this site is limited release, small batch, and boutique cigars.  Keep checking out the site, follow us on social media, and subscribe to our newsletter to keep an eye out for all the exciting things soon to come at Stack Cigars.

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