I was monitoring the JR Cigar forum last night because everyone was in bed at Cigar Pass. They were having a terrific "knock down - drag out" discussion over Lew's latest special offer. He is selling an Astral Favorito, which normally retails for 贱 for อ.95 per box up until Wednesday, August 8th. People were fussing because the box was not to their liking and the shape was not to their liking, etc. Finally, the man, Lew himself, came onto the forum and told them to shut the heck up, and send the cigars back if they are not satisfied! I nearly laughed my arse off! Typical grumpy Lewism. LOL! These cigars normally retail for ŭ.80 per stick, but he is selling these for อ.95 per box of 25 up until 8/08. Is that a no brainer or what? :shocked:
I finally decided to run by JRs today on the way home from visiting customers, and check it out. What the heck! The employees in the store in Statesville were not even aware that the cigars were on sale, contained aged tobacco, were a potential hot item, etc. I had to advise them, but that's OK!
Specifications and Tasting Notes:
ASTRAL FAVORITOS (25 per box)
Medium brown, natural wrappers only.
Vitolae: 48 x 7" Slightly tapered to a point.
Producer: Centro America Cigar, Co. - Honduras
Normally retails for 贱, now อ.95
Lew said online last night that these cigars were in a warehouse in Honduras that had been closed for some time. He also said that the cigars contained tobacco that was between 3 and 5 years old. THAT'S WHAT GOT MY ATTENTION!!!! Three to five year old cigars for basically ũ.25 a stick....gotta check 'em out! The boxes are new, the tobacco is old - according to Lew. This cigar is different from the last Favoritos in that they don't have the lighting foot, but rather are cut cleanly across.
The light brown appearance/wrapper of the cigar is good for a dog rocket. The shade of the wrapper is very similar to that of a Cohiba Esplendido that is in the humi. Neatly rolled, very tiny veins in the wrapper leaves. Cheapo band.
The cigar that I am smoking, as I type this, was rolled semi-properly. The only thing that I have to say is that it is "way underfilled." Can you say "Pillsbury Doughboy?"
Cigar lit easily. Nice light gray ash. Burning perfectly even and symetrical. Zero runners. Draw is too good - whatta ya expect from a loose cigar. The first ash dropped off by itself at a full two inches long...nice. The second one was just as long. Plentiful blue smoke.
Taste: This is a MILD cigar that displays notes of sweet tobacco initially, then changes to a prevalent cedar taste. It then changed back to sweet about 2/3 of the way down. Not bad. The last 1/2 of the cigar was not nearly as good though.
I knew that this cigar would be mild, since I smoked a few of these when I started my cigar journey with the milder smokes. Mucho cedar taste, which I personally don't favor, but it makes for a nice change of pace. Wait a minute...here comes the sweet tobacco taste again! There is a lingering taste of cedar, sweet tobacco, and cardboard in the last half - maybe I need another sip of coffee. The first 1/2 of the cigar is good - the second half was not as great! At this price you can toss them over the rail halfway down and not worry about the cost. Probably not a "nubber," but that's just my humble opinion.
For a newbie smoker on a budget or those who regularly smoke Consuegra to keep their costs down...this is a good change of pace cigar. If they had not been on special I wouldn't have ever bought them though.
Personal Grade: C+/B- Cigar Aficionado Grade: Probably around a 83 would be my guesstimate. Not the best cigar that I have ever smoked by a long shot, but not the worst either. I am not going to send them back, since they were soooo cheap. I can always use them to kill grub worms in the yard if they DON'T improve with further aging. As Lew said last night, what the heck do you expect for ũ.25 per stick.
PS: If you haven't tried any Connies (Consuegra) with dark wrappers, buy those instead of the Astrals. They are better initially, even cheaper, and age wonderfully. Also try the El Credito (La Gloria Cubana) bundles that are made from the left overs at the end of the day. They are a cheap smoke also, and they age very well. The El Creditos are spicy/peppery and aging tones down their harshness. Also, the Magic Mountain Torpedo samplers are really cheap at JR, and they are a much better cigar...rated <90> by Cigar Aficionado. I smoked a few of them and they taste good now but will get much better with age. I bought a couple more of the Torpedo sampler boxes to stick into the humidor.
Just some suggestions for those on a budget.....looking for something different.
This is a good cigar for ũ.25, but I would have been P.O.'ed to have paid ŭ.00 for this stick. Humidor time will help these smokes. I will put these in my Coolerdor, and try one occasionally. If you like to smoke inexpensive stogies, and prefer the taste of sweet tobacco/cedar...give these a try. They probably won't last long for this price. I wanted the Cigar Pass members to be aware of this.
Again, Opus X/Cuban/Premium Cigar smokers need not apply - unless you like this combination of flavors!