For this post, I’m reviewing cigars I like with coffee, and also the very first two cigars I had ever had at the very place where I had them. Caffeinated nostalgia for the win!
King Corona has one of my favorite espresso drinks, the Cafe Corona, a blend of espresso and steamed milk and just enough cayenne caramel to warm your tongue and pleasantly sweeten the beverage. While I’m usually not a sweets person, this is one of the only “not blacker than my soul” coffees I will imbibe because it’s really just that good. And I like spicy.
For Sunday cigars, I opted to jump into the wayback machine and picked out the first two cigars I had ever smoked. A Java by Drew Estate and an Oliva Series G. And I bought them at King Corona, so it was a happy memory. I also have found that I do tend to favor the boxed press cigar, but maybe because I also like the Huey Lewis and the News song “Hip to Be Square.” As I started with the Cafe Corona, I also started with the Java. I know some cigar folks out there are not fans of flavored or infused cigars, but I like when they’re very well done as they can have a completely different mood suffuse through the smoke. The Java is definitely a sweeter than most cigars, and the only thing it’s really infused with is a strong coffee flavor. I’ve had some of the other renditions, but I really prefer just the simple Java. The ring for the cigar is very plain, but it’s a bit of ‘simpler is better.’ When you smell it pre-lit, the smell is mostly coffee and a tinge of leather.
After lighting, the first thing that I noticed when I smoked it the first time and when I have smoked it each time since, is that the wrapper is very sweet. Almost on the edge of cloying, but not quite. As this is a cigar based on coffee, the coffee aroma is definitely the strong suit of this cigar and it will be prevalent through the whole stick, but it actually seemed strongest in the middle. Here it blended with a bit more of a leathery aroma and a bit of chocolate. The draw is medium, making the foot a bit more of a challenge. I do find that this cigar does smoke rather quickly, so perhaps the tighter draw is to help one savor it. While I enjoyed this stick, I would regard it as a dessert cigar, or something to help someone with a sweet tooth (like me) acclimate to the world of cigars. It’s certainly very sweet, but there is always a time for such a thing.
Then we go on to the Oliva Series G, which while good with the last bit of my coffee, really opened up when I switched to a glass of the house Merlot. This cigar is a prize winner, and it’s easy to see why. The aroma of the stick is light cedar with some leathery notes before lighting, but the leather takes over after it’s lit. At the mid-point, this had more of a leathery coffee profile, and then it finished with a mostly coffee cedar aroma.
This cigar smokes very cleanly and the draw is smooth and even. I did have some difficulty getting a good foot on this one, but I’ve had success on other occasions. The smoke does tend to linger on the palate, making this a bit stubborn on the breath after it’s done, but it’s not a deal-breaker on this stick. This is a solid cigar that would be a great stick with coffee, bourbon, whiskey, or beer. Will definitely see this one again.