12/1/15

Covadonga Torpedo - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
10:15am
My ashtray has a layer of frost on it. Can we just skip to the schlock review, gentlepersons?

THE CIGAR
Covadonga Cigars
Covadonga Torpedo
Ecuadorian sun-grown wrapper
Nicaraguan Ligero, Colombian Bolado, Honduran Seco
6 1/2 x 54
PRELIGHT
Tight, even, near invisible seams with veins which don't appear a threat to redirect the burn. Nice amount of spider veins. Smidgen of sheen. Well-crafted cap. All around a smooth enough hand-feel with a bit of short and oiled shaved peach fuzz very fine grit sandpaper texture. All on a rich brown even-complected canvas of a wrapper with a reddish under-tone. Foot tobacco is a matte version of the wrapper with a tick up of the red under-tone and a couple of darkish dirty blonde high-lights. Nice average density on display there.

Back to the hand-feel, nice bit of weight, but not weighty. Charmin test shows an evenly packed medium firmness with a nice give and springy response. A bit cumbersome in the hand at a 54 RG, but nothing tragic.

Schnoz notes are a mild sweet hay tobacco with a hint of mocha on the shaft. At the foot, mocha deepens and a raisin note is added. I nibble off the cap and on a medium+ resistance pull, I get mocha and sweet tobacco notes with a touch of raisin and a larger touch of baker's spices. Cold finish is a fruity thing.

LIGHT
Toasting the foot lets loose an aroma of burning leaves and a fired up wood stove. Very Autumnal. First hot pull is of earth and wood, heavily toasted -- almost scorched -- not charred or bitter. Second pull is retro-haled and there's a warm yeasty back-note with a primarily sweet warm spices and raisin note. Almost like a cinnamon bun, but less sweet, sans sickly frosting. Third hot pull makes me think I'm in a wood oven bakery, firing up morning pastries. Finish is a sweet note of fruity tobacco and is of medium legs. Mouth-feel is creamery butter and was try at the first pull, but now moistens up.

Draw is down a notch to dead medium. heated construction holds fine. burn is cool and gives off a toasty -medium volume footnote of sweet tobacco and wood. Ash is medium grey to charcoal and builds in flaky ladder rungs (cue mention of laying my schmatta/hankie out on my lap). Burn-line is thick and ragged and I retouch. Perhaps I didn't catch it well out here on my porch.
ACT I
Even with the somewhat loosening draw, I feel like I'm not getting as much smoke in my smoke-hole as I like. Flavors are very darkly toasted so I wouldn't say it's a smooth affair. Dependant upon your view, though, it might be mellow. I will say the bakery is not artisan, it is blue color and the offerings are meant to warm you and stick to yer ribs till it's time to crack open your lunchbox.

Profile is -medium. Ash is a fercockt and darkening. Raisin fruitiness is still there in the undertone of the draw and onto the shorter than prior finish. Primary draw notes are earth and wood, which also work into the finish. Retro-hale adds a sharpening of the primary notes and a rough spice that I wouldn't call pepper. The sort of thing that a bit more age would mellow. Burn needs a near total redo as we approach--

ACT II
Sweet spices resurface on the draw and aid in lengthening the finish. Ash is a flaky mess and flicks off the foot as I pull. Burn-line is a bit bettered. The ash is as powdery as you'd imagine in my tray and on my keyboard and in my lap and I like it, gentlepersons. I am an unabashed smoker. I like the coarseness and flakes -- they serve to keep away joggers wearing neon colored Lycra. I start thinking of handicapping tomorrow's Portland Meadows card. Nesquik powder rests on my palate. I'm getting more schmokey now at the mid-point. Mouth-feel is a yeasty sweet hay and ticks the body up to an honest medium. I'd say medium profiled across the board.

Primaries are nice enough tobacco with notes of earth and wood, each inherently sweet and a toasted raisin bread. Under-tones are dusty sweet spices and occasional laces of Nesquik and truckstop coffee -- although the coffee hasn't made an appearance in a good bit. Retro-hale is the gruff spiciness but its not entirely unkind and winks with a bit of good humor s it faces a long workday.

Packing has loosened a tick and a half, but it's not much concern. Burn is a friggin' mess and that ain't a concern neither. I'm loving my Covadonga stogie. It's not requiring of kid's gloves or frou-frou jive. It's a smoker. I'm a smoker. We have much in common. We should get a drink -- maybe play some dominoes, after work.

ACT III
As a bit of a mid-point transition ends and the final act begins, we have simmered down to a still cool and less flavorful smoke that is all tobacco woodsiness and earth with now a toasted wheat bread emerging. Sweet spices and raisins have left. As has the Nesquik. Coffee beans are on the -medium legged finish with remaining draw notes. Profile ends at a medium. Burn is a silly mess. Ash is again darker and just as flaky of a powder. Draw is the same. Pack softens a tick.

As the band point nears, the stick heats up and I'm already thinking toothpick. It's hard to explain, but this Covadonga got a lot of character. A leathery crisp mulch sets in and I ride the thing out. I think I taste Nesquik again...
NOTES
It won't impress a connoisseur. But as a conasewer, I had a good time. Again, another Covadonga stogie done right.

"We are not just trying to sell you a cigar we are introducing you to a lifestyle," says the Covadonga website. 

I prefer this lifestyle to others I've encountered. I'm put in mind of craft beer swillers looking down on a cold Bud, but being unable to emabarrassingly embrace its "Drinkability." Cova has smokeability. Sans pretense.

PAIRINGS
Coffee or cola. I almost wanna say grape soda...thankfully, I can -- because this is my blog.

FINAL GRADE
****B****

EPILOGUE
11:40am
I had a good time in four countries, and it took me about 90 minutes. What am I gonna do with the rest of my day?

There's an important almost GOTCHA caveat at play here. At the price point of this cigar, it flirts heavily with 'faux dive.' But have you ever had a bad time flirting?

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