The Evil Dr. Moki's Group Blind Taste Test #1

moki

el Presidente
Cigar #6, Cuban San Cristobal de la H. La Punta, 2001 (5.5" x 52) - everyday


Image courtesy of enerjay

bfreebern said: Tight prelight draw, had a slight press to it. Not a lot of smoke, with toast/floral/citrus coming through. Ash was dark gray.

bfreebern guessed: Origin: Nicaguaran - Price: Everyday - Age: 2 years - Marca: ?? unknown - Rating: 5/10

BlindedByScience said: Hmm…..that oh so familiar shape; where have I seen it before (snicker)? An interesting shape that progresses from the already cut torpedo shaped head to a nicely box pressed foot. The box pressed foot is about 21 mm on a side. The cigar, sans cap, is about 130 mm long.

The wrapper is a beautiful chocolate milk color, with only the smallest of veins apparent. The pre-light draw is very open, surprisingly so. Hints of nutmeg and light, sweet spices come through in it’s pre-flame tasting. If I had to guess before the flame, I would guess this to be a very mild cigar….let’s find out.

Hmm….well, of course it looked like a Shark. And, as luck would have it, I spent a wonderful hour and a half on the deck yesterday afternoon with an OpusX Double Corona with almost four years of down time on it, so the delicious complexity of the OpusX was reasonably fresh in my mind. I’d never smoked a Camroon shark, and I started off wondering if this was just that. But, from first light, it was clear to me that there was something just not right about this smoke. It started off super mild, almost flavorless. Really, almost without any flavor at all. The smoke was wonderfully fragrant and floral, but not OpusX like in any way. It was almost tasteless. At about the 1/3 point some bitter, grassy flavors became apparent….but nothing more. Not pleasant; very “hay” like and very two dimensional. I kept rolling it in my fingers, drawing slowly and deliberately and looking at it, in some disbelief. No magic happened. Mechanically, this smoke had an almost completely open draw and just didn’t feel “right”. It just blew my mind; I kept waiting for something good to happen….and it never did. By the halfway point, some really bitter metallic tastes became painfully apparent. I wanted to be blown away; I wanted to savor and love this smoke but the magic wasn’t there. By the time I was into the back third the metallic, bitter tastes were rather overwhelming and certainly not pleasant. I gave up with about 1” of cigar left. It wasn’t getting better, it was getting worse.

Cards on the table time. It dawned on me; I have to call this as a Shark copy. I can’t believe this was a Fuente product, and certainly not an OpusX. It looked right, but that’s where the resemblance ended.

BlindedByScience guessed: Origin: Dominican Republic - Price: Everyday - Age: 2 years - Marca: A “fake” Shark (OpusX 77) - Rating: 3.5/10

Brickhouse said: Good smoking cigar. I didn't have any adverse affects that made me think negatively of it. Obviously well put together. I thought it tasted of vanilla throughout with some toasted nuts. Also seemed to be a very earthy/woody cigar. Full of flavor throughout, but it just wasn't necessarily my kind of taste. It wasn't bad, but it didn't beg for my attention. Reminiscent of the BBF, but it seemed to fall short of the richness I usually find in those.

Brickhouse guessed: Origin: Cuba - Price: Everyday - Age: 4 years - Marca: San Cristobal de la Habana - Rating: 6/10

enerjay said: Smooth and creamy, in the last 1/3 of the cigar it did get a little hot. I have little experience with aged cigar. Feel free to send me all you like.

enerjay guessed: Origin: Cuban - Price: Premium - Age: 10 years - Marca: San Cristobal - Rating: 9/10

insight said: This cigar started off very bitter with otherwise subdued flavors. It had a slight cedar taste but more like burning woodchips than what I typically mean when I say 'cedar'. This was pretty persistent throughout the smoke, leaving me without too much to say. There was a little bit of coffee in the final third but that is about it. The first half was largely unpleasant but the second half was acceptable, although certainly subpar. Even if this turns out to be a 1492 I stand by my thoughts: didn't like it

insight guessed: Origin: Honduran - Price: Everyday - Age: 1 year - Marca: Rocky Patel - Rating: 2/10

grateful1 said: Nice smoke. leathery notes, not a lot of 'burn' on the lips. A lot of smoke and fantastic draw. Earthy with some spice(just a little). Medium strength with a nice nicotine buzz. It had a 'moment' in the middle that taste odd - sharp taste on the buds. Light salt on the finish. If it was a dryer smoke, I'd say it was an Uppmann.

grateful1 guessed: Origin: Cuban - Price: Everyday - Age: 10 years - Marca: Diplomatico - Rating: 7/10

NorCalCigarLover said: 5 1/5 inch, 53 ring. Light brown colored wrapper, noticeable veins, bumpy with green/grey spots. Great pre-light aroma of earth, farm and manure. Initial lighting tastes of grass, sweet tobacco, floral, minimal spice and minor chemical taste. Develops into a medium strength with full flavors. Woody, floral, nutty taste throughout with almost no spice. The last 2 1/2 inces were the best, simply outstanding for my palate, I didn't want this cigar to end. If someone were to ask me what a Cuban cigar taste like, this would be a it!

NorCalCigarLover guessed: Origin: Cuban - Price: Everyday - Age: 2 years - Marca: San Cristrobal la Punta - Rating: 8/10

sinnyc said: A rough, slightly veined, light-medium wrapper covers a hard-bodied cigar with a very firm pre-light draw. Lit easily but the draw is tight – hopefully it will open up a little.

Initially, there are some cedar tones along with vanilla bean and caramel and the very slightest touch of peppery spice on the finish. The wood and pepper soon fade and the taste resolves into more of an earthy tobacco flavor with nougaty accents. The smoke is a touch drying in the mouth. The burn is a bit off but looks like it won’t be an issue. The ash, a light-medium grey with some darker streaks, is pretty firm and lasted a good 2 inches. The draw was so tight I stabbed the cut with a paper clip half a dozen times to open it up. As we get through the halfway point, the flavors of this medium strength cigar remain as above but with, again, hints of wood and a slight “tang” on the finish – not spice but….something. I am thoroughly enjoying this cigar.

Early on, a few things make me think this could be a Monte No. 2: the rough appearance, slightly uneven burn, and even the look of the ash, but the tastes are tugging me elsewhere. I am going to go with a Bolivar Belicoso Fino.

sinnyc guessed: Origin: Cuban - Price: Premium - Age: 2 years - Marca: Bolivar - Rating: 8/10

Smokyballs said: Burned toast, wet cardboard. Poorly fermented tobacco. Hard, near impossible draw. This can't be anything but a BBF! I hate these!

Smokyballs guessed: Origin: Cuban - Price: Premium - Age: 2 years - Marca: Bolivar Belicoso Fino - Rating: 1/10

tone-ny said: The wrapper was dark and had slight veining throughout and its ash was medium grey in appearance. Burn was even and consistent throughout. I did have to relight it once towards the end.

This cigar was a Montecristo No. 2. One of my favorites and it was an aged version of the cigar, my estimate is mid 1990s. Initial light produced a strong spice throughout. Had creaminess to it, with hints of cocoa and vanilla, but with a strong nose to it. What an enjoyable cigar, this version was an aged example of how this cigar with age is one of the better ones out there. I could smoke a box of this vintage and never get tired of it.

tone-ny guessed: Origin: Cuban - Price: Premium - Age: 10 years - Marca: Montecristo - Rating: 8/10

.....

Results Summary

Origin: 7 Cuban, 3 non-Cuban

Price: 0 budget, 6 everyday, 4 premium, 0 super-premium

Age: High: 10 years, Low: 1 year, Average: 4.5 years

Marca: San Cristobal: 3, Bolivar: 2, Montecristo: 1, Diplomatico: 1, Rocky Patel: 1, "fake" Opux X Shark: 1, Unknown: 1

Rating: High: 9/10, Low: 1/10, Average: 5.75/10

Cigar #6 was actually a: Cuban San Cristobal de la H. La Punta, 2001 (5.5" x 52) - everyday

Who nailed it: Enerjay, NorCalCigarLover, Brickhouse

....

Commentary

Our testers did pretty good this time in identifying this cigar as being Cuban (7/10), and kudos to 3 of our testers (Enerjay, NorCalCigarLover, Brickhouse) for nailing that this was indeed a Cuban San Cristobal. Interestingly, only 3 out of the 7 people who thought it was Cuban got the marca correctly.

Once again, what I find most interesting is the lack of any real trends in terms of the tasting notes, and the ratings. For the 5th consecutive time, some people loved it, some people hated it, and some people thought it was okay. People who did identify exactly what the cigar was tending to give it a much higher rating; perhaps because they are familiar with it and have enjoyed this cigar line before, the taste suits them?

This raises the interesting possibility of the idea of cigars as a "comfort food" of sorts... that is, perhaps people tend to like what they are familiar with? Or perhaps they are familiar with the taste because they like it enough to smoke the cigar often?

Either way, I'm really interested that there has been no consensus at all for any of these cigars, either in terms of our 10 testers universally loving the cigar, or universally hating it. Indeed, all of the average ratings thus far fall between the narrow range of 5.45 -> 6.94. Is individual taste that fickle, or is there something else at work here?

Once again, some people found the cigar to be very mild, and others were at the opposite end of the spectrum, thinking it was harsh. The tasting notes also varied.

Very curious. I'm interested to see what cigar #7 brings! :)
 

grateful1

Oh My!
Nice!

LOL - I put this smoke in the 00-01 range...but the draw had me believe it was a little older!
There I go, not trusting myself - again.

I don't have a lot of experience with this line, except with the Principe and this lines largest size.
Even though I rated this cigar high, I probably wouldn't buy a box, even aged.

Funny, even 'in' a lines range the cigars are different.

I agree with your 'comfort food' analogy. Anything that touches the senses fits in that category!

Some people can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi right off the bat...throw in a generic 'cola' and things might get interesting!

Edit to add - the 'nicotine buzz' kicked into high gear when I went inside....ohhh boy! :blush:
<not that the Trini Reyes, an hour before, helped!>
 

Infinity

Infinity - *Unbounded space, time, or quantity*
Our testers did pretty good this time in identifying this cigar as being Cuban (7/10), and kudos to 3 of our testers (Enerjay, NorCalCigarLover, Brickhouse)
Pretty good indeed...well done guys.

Brian
 

Smokyballs

The nap master
Man, my draw on this cigar was terrible and it instantly reminded me of a BBF. I fought the draw for over half of the cigar and finally threw it in the ashtray!
 

tone-ny

I smoke therefore I am!
Nicely done Enerjay, NorCalCigarLover and Brickhouse.

Another marca I seldom smoke. Moki must have sent me all the great versions of the cigars as they have all smoked flawlessly.

Got a head start on No. 7 :thumbs:
 

junkman_56

cigar smokin' caver
This is a great thread.
I really enjoy reading these blind taste test reviews.

It is very interesting to read about the differences that the participants taste in the same cigar.
 

LouieD

Is that a PSD4 you're holding?
Had one of these with 2 years of age a couple weeks ago and thought that it was a pretty good smoke.

Keep up the good work guys :thumbs: :thumbs:

All of the reviews have been very interesting.
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
I'd never had one of these before, but after smoking one, am rather glad.... :laugh:

Knowing Moki, I wondered that he'd thrown a "ringer" in the mix, just to stir things up a bit. I didn't know there were any vitolas that matched the characteristic "shark" shape, but now I've been schooled.

On to the next taste test and guesstimation...... :laugh:

Cheers, guys - B.B.S.
 

enerjay

Active Member
Nicely done Enerjay, NorCalCigarLover and Brickhouse.

Another marca I seldom smoke. Moki must have sent me all the great versions of the cigars as they have all smoked flawlessly.

Got a head start on No. 7 :thumbs:
Humm, seems to me I over saw a little chat couple days ago about the blind cigar review.

Now who was Moki talking to about the cigars? :whistling:

"spelling" :angry:
 

Strayvector

Like what you smoke, smoke what you like
Well done to the testers. Very interesting to me so see how others find this cigar. This is one of the cigars I've never enjoyed and I fall into the range of people finding these harsh. As a matter of fact, San Cristobal is the one Cuban marca that I avoid. I've tried all the vitolas several times and the only one that I've ever enjoyed was the principe. Something about the flavor profile does not suit me.
 

sinnyc

Tibi ipsi esto fidelis.
That was my first San Cristobal. Wow, I will have to look in to getting more :)

On a side note BBS, my cigar had none of the box pressing you saw on yours at all. Hmmm....
 

insight

Making friends everywhere!
Interesting stuff but I definitely stand by my review. Like I said, even if it was a 1492 it wasn't my cup of tea. The only SCDH I have had before was the principe and I definitely found it more pleasant than this one but hey, ymmv (obviously). FWIW mine was also VERY box pressed.
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
On a side note BBS, my cigar had none of the box pressing you saw on yours at all. Hmmm....
I could tell you I didn't drag an OpusX 77 out of the cabinet and compare the two.....but that would be a lie. They were virtually identical in size and profile. As has been pointed out, the lengths don't match but with the end cut off the review stick, it made it hard to tell.

I will say this - I have really tried to follow the spirit of the tasting and not "pre guess" or research the smoke under review. This one was the exception; the shape was a real give away, I thought. Unfortunately before I started smoking I figured (1) this had to be a Sand Shark or (2) a "fake" or a ringer that Moki-san put in the mix just to flummox the testers. As it has been proven I was painfully wrong on both counts...... :blush:

The taste points I made in my review were the "call 'em as I see 'em" truth. To my perhaps scorched palate, it was a very bland, boring smoke........ :(

Cheers, guys - B.B.S.
 

moki

el Presidente
That was my first San Cristobal. Wow, I will have to look in to getting more :)

On a side note BBS, my cigar had none of the box pressing you saw on yours at all. Hmmm....
They were all from the same sealed box... some may have been less "pressed" than others, though.
 

indyrob

You smell like my sausage!
Moki said:
Once again, what I find most interesting is the lack of any real trends in terms of the tasting notes, and the ratings. For the 5th consecutive time, some people loved it, some people hated it, and some people thought it was okay. People who did identify exactly what the cigar was tending to give it a much higher rating; perhaps because they are familiar with it and have enjoyed this cigar line before, the taste suits them?
I don't agree Moki. I do see a trend that BBS has pointed out. It might not be the trend you are seeking, but the observational prejudice caused BBS to think he was smoking a Shark. I'm sure that it played around in his mind the whole time that he was smoking which lead him to have a bad experience with a really good cigar. Had he not been swayed into thinking that this wasn't a 'fake' shark, he probably would have been able to review the cigar on it's own merits. All the tell's of a let down were mentioned in his review:

BlindedByScience said:
Hmm….well, of course it looked like a Shark. And, as luck would have it, I spent a wonderful hour and a half on the deck yesterday afternoon with an OpusX Double Corona with almost four years of down time on it, so the delicious complexity of the OpusX was reasonably fresh in my mind. I’d never smoked a Camroon shark, and I started off wondering if this was just that. But, from first light, it was clear to me that there was something just not right about this smoke. It started off super mild, almost flavorless. Really, almost without any flavor at all. The smoke was wonderfully fragrant and floral, but not OpusX like in any way. It was almost tasteless. At about the 1/3 point some bitter, grassy flavors became apparent….but nothing more. Not pleasant; very “hay” like and very two dimensional. I kept rolling it in my fingers, drawing slowly and deliberately and looking at it, in some disbelief. No magic happened. Mechanically, this smoke had an almost completely open draw and just didn’t feel “right”. It just blew my mind; I kept waiting for something good to happen….and it never did. By the halfway point, some really bitter metallic tastes became painfully apparent. I wanted to be blown away; I wanted to savor and love this smoke but the magic wasn’t there. By the time I was into the back third the metallic, bitter tastes were rather overwhelming and certainly not pleasant. I gave up with about 1” of cigar left. It wasn’t getting better, it was getting worse.
I'm not trying to critique BBS's review at all, just pointing out the things that I noticed. I've been guilty of the same thing numerous times before and will probably do it again in the future.
 

Brickhouse

J.C. Newman owes me royalties.
Well I'm not very scientific or anything but here's what happened with me on that cigar.

I had in fact had one La Punta previously. When I smoked it before I thought it was a cigar that fell short of the BBF...one of my favorites.

Initially when I started this cigar I was thinking BBF all the way, you can't help but let the shape try and tell you that. But as it went along it was obvious to me that it wasn't measuring up. This reminded me of the previous La Punta I had once had. So I took a shot, turned out it was correct.

Don't read this as a negative review on the La Punta, as you see I gave it a decent rating. I'm just saying that I've had a good number of great BBFs and it was apparent this was either an average one of those or a decent La Punta. I went with my instincts and picked La Punta.

Oh, and mine was also box pressed, but like B.B.S I just didn't think it had any Fuente flavor in it at all. So it was pretty obvious it wasn't an actual cameroon shark....had I thought about the possibility that Moki would throw in a fakie then my head probably would have been spinning, I just never considered it.
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
I don't agree Moki. I do see a trend that BBS has pointed out. It might not be the trend you are seeking, but the observational prejudice caused BBS to think he was smoking a Shark. I'm sure that it played around in his mind the whole time that he was smoking which lead him to have a bad experience with a really good cigar. Had he not been swayed into thinking that this wasn't a 'fake' shark, he probably would have been able to review the cigar on it's own merits. All the tell's of a let down were mentioned in his review:

< snip >

I'm not trying to critique BBS's review at all, just pointing out the things that I noticed. I've been guilty of the same thing numerous times before and will probably do it again in the future.
Yes and no. While I "thought" I knew what it was, and therefore the taste profile I should expect, I really wanted to like that cigar. I gave it a bad rating not because it didn't taste as expected, but because it was really flavorless and bitter (mine, to me, anyway). I recall thinking "....could this be a Cuban..??...." and the flavors just weren't happening. Had I known for sure what it was, I really believe I'd have rated it the same way.

FWIW - B.B.S.
 

indyrob

You smell like my sausage!
I don't agree Moki. I do see a trend that BBS has pointed out. It might not be the trend you are seeking, but the observational prejudice caused BBS to think he was smoking a Shark. I'm sure that it played around in his mind the whole time that he was smoking which lead him to have a bad experience with a really good cigar. Had he not been swayed into thinking that this wasn't a 'fake' shark, he probably would have been able to review the cigar on it's own merits. All the tell's of a let down were mentioned in his review:

< snip >

I'm not trying to critique BBS's review at all, just pointing out the things that I noticed. I've been guilty of the same thing numerous times before and will probably do it again in the future.
Yes and no. While I "thought" I knew what it was, and therefore the taste profile I should expect, I really wanted to like that cigar. I gave it a bad rating not because it didn't taste as expected, but because it was really flavorless and bitter (mine, to me, anyway). I recall thinking "....could this be a Cuban..??...." and the flavors just weren't happening. Had I known for sure what it was, I really believe I'd have rated it the same way.

FWIW - B.B.S.
Thanks for clearing that up for me.
 
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