Reviewed by James Stone (September 2000)
Me, a Taste Tester!!!! When I read I had been chosen, the first thing I thought of. Holy tobacco leaves batman! Does C.GARS Ltd know my new address! Just in case I better fire off an email. After a few days had past, a familiar package was on the dining room table when I returned from work. Inside.... 3 beautiful looking ERDM Choix Supremes. I decided to let them rest a couple days from their journey, but celebrated their arrival with a Partagas Presidente.
After a really lousy day of work, I decided it was time, so, I pulled out one of the ERDM's and a Becks beer, sat on the porch, and watch the rain.
Nice chocolate brown wrapper, firm, and silky smooth to the touch, with an oily sheen. A nice clean cut with the Xikar and the cap pops off. Prelight draw, hints of mocha, and spice. Although the wrapper was split about a 3/4" it didn't affect the light. Very nice draw, lots of smoke, medium strength. This cigar smoked like most of the other cigars from an ISOM. Even burn, firm dark grey ash, and finished off strong and flavourful, a real lip burner. After a couple of days, travelling between my two houses, I settle down too enjoy the second cigar.
Nice chocolate brown wrapper, very little veins, the cigar had a spongy feel, loosely wrapped I surmised. Silky smooth, and oily sheen a really nice looking cigar. The draw was to easy, just as I had suspected, this cigar was loosely rolled. Although the cigar tasted good, it burned badly, tunneled and need frequent relighting. I had high expectation based on the first cigar, but instead this became a very forgettable cigar. The very next day I lit up #3, since I have smoked a few ERDM CS, I have never had a bad one until yesterday. No way could I have two in row.
Nice chocolate brown wrapper, very little veins, this cigar felt firm, silkly smooth, and oily sheen a really nice looking cigar. Perfect draw, nice prelight taste. The burn started uneven right from the start, I'm saying not again. The burn stayed uneven for the first 1/3, then evened out. The cigar finished off like number 1, flawless and strong, the taste stayed with me for a while after I had nubbed it.
Although #2 was a bust, I really enjoyed these cigars. I have only smoked the Choix Supreme from ERDM because it is one of the largest smokes they make. I would definitely recommend this smoke. I already have it as part of my rotation. Thanks Mitch for the opportunity.
Reviewed by Joe Gellman
I have to apologize for what I am about to do, but it is so very apropos of this cigar: "Between sips, what pure aroma Rises from a steaming cup of coffee, Between puffs on a delicious Havana: The two compliment each other, And both our characters Sit in savory dialogue Discussing questions Of field and farming" Ricardo del Monte (1828-1909)
Made in the Lazaro Pena factory in Havana, located at San Carlos 816 (I mention the address in the hope that anyone who gets to Havana will go there and tell whoever is in charge how much I enjoy this vitola), this cigar is unique in flavor and an absolute must for every smoker of Puros. A perfect 5 x 48 (127 x 19), this cigar is a marvel of construction, and the paradigm of what a robusto ought to be. Every one I received was rolled to perfection. Upon opening the box I got a whiff of Nirvana to come; you hear about the "interesting" smell of a box of Cubans, but this is the one that sets the example for the rest.
A fully aromatic cigar, the nuances which develop are legendary. The color of this cigar is classified as "Maduro," meaning a wrapper of brown tones. There was no reddish color to the wrapper and the oil which had developed made the brown tones deep and rich to the eye.
While the cigar was not as smooth as many other robustos, it was very pleasant to the eye. The wrapper was, however, for the most part, even, without veins, and each one was made by the same hand. On a weird note it is to be noted that many writers have measured this cigar from 5 to 5 1/8 x 48 to 49. I guess it depends on the way the cigar is stored, it's moisture content, or simply a bad ruler.
Another weird note: I think this is the perfect robusto for any smoker. I simply cannot say enough about this cigar.
The cigar was rich, silky, and smooth, to the touch. The cigar promised what it delivered, a grand smoke deserving of praise.
Before lighting the cigar I noted a soft, sweet, earthy aroma. I placed this marvel in my mouth and thought of the time, in my youth, when I was lying in a field of California Poppy, pulling their grassy roots out and chewing on them....what can I say, I'm strange.
The head had three strands of wrapper which cut as a hot knife through cold butter. I used a punch on the second smoke and it was, likewise, like the first.
The foot of the cigar looked as if cut by a laser, and the tobacco was rolled hypnotically, foretelling of an even burn.
The cigar was firm without any soft spots, never becoming fragile or mushy.
When I lit the cigar it flashed to life as if it were waiting for me all its short life. From the first draw to the last life-sucking drag, ample amounts of smoke were produced, never too much, never wanting. The aroma upon lighting was almost honey-sweet with a slight undertone of woodiness.
Having a little age, this cigar was full bodied and had lost all its green, worrisome, tones. If I have ever used the term "ambered" it is a perfect assessment for this cigar.
The burn was even throughout. The aromas never got out of hand and were fine for indoor smoking. The ash was a deep gray, perfect concentric rings from start to finish, crusty to the touch, and when cut it proved to be fully burned and the color was the same to the end.
The cigar never burned hot, and was cool at all times. Towards the last half of the cigar the smoke seemed to dance in the still air and the flavors only grew to a crescendo at the last. I have to admit to a slight taste of spice at the last inch, but I was caught up in the smoke to detail what spice this was...perhaps that of burnt honey...sorry.
The downside of this cigar is the lack of power for smoking after a hearty meal. While I might smoke this cigar at any time of day, I think this is a superb early morning smoke to be enjoyed with a strong cup of coffee (see poem).
Were I you, reader, I might beg C.GARS Ltd to part with a few of these wonders. Anyone want to venture a guess if I liked the cigar? ===============
I liked the cigar.
Reviewed by Joe Gellman (27th November 2000)
The first time I did a tasting note on this cigar I was rife with enthusiasm and a poetic line came to mind. I promised myself that if I were to revisit this cigar I would be less profuse in my praise. Sorry. Again, if you want any changes let me know.
As I opened my box of ERD Choix Supreme, boxed in February, 2000, I was transported back to Havana, at La Bodeguita del Medio. It is January, 1999 and I am sitting beneath a bit of graffiti written by Salvador Allende, "Cuba is free, Chile waits." Overpriced food and moderately decent mojitos are served. Back home my wife is fuming over my trip. I am mindful of what Kipling wrote in The Betrothed: "For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick O'Teen." My choice was clear, light up a 'choice' cigar and, thus, I lit a Choix Supreme.
Although most consider this a Robusto, it is actually a Hermoso No. 4. Its ring gauge is 48 whereas a Robusto is 50. To the well trained eye (i.e., my ruler) you can tell the Hermoso is 1/10 inch longer than a Robusto. This vitola is presented in either a box of 25 or a cabinet of 50, though I have yet to be fortunate to buy the cabinet or see it advertised. (Nota bene: I described this vitola as a Robusto in my first review. I guess we all make typos.)
The first aromas to brush your sense of smell is that of deep, rich, moist soil where only the finest tobacco is grown. Next, your sense of sight is treated to an intense, lush, dark brown cigar whose body is oily, smooth, and without a blemish. This was in contrast to my last notes where my selection was not as smooth.
The entire box was rolled to perfection; not a blemish, not an uneven banding, not a soft spot, not a cap or foot aslant. All in all, this cigar was part of great quality control.
The cigar lit well and burned without hesitation, throughout the entire smoke. The ash was solid and deep gray, bonded to the end, having to be coaxed to join its brothers in my ashtray.
The aroma which filled the room was mild and sweet. The first flavors were of a light spice peppered with fresh wood. The cigar lacked (happily) any herbaceous undertones which I have found to linger in this particular vitola and, fortunately, developed an ambered flavor which fused with gentle spice. This is not a flashy cigar, it is simply a great, light smoke. Have it with a mojito, a daiquiri, or a cold bottle cerveza negra.
I guarantee that you cannot be disappointed with this cigar. It is exactly what every smoker wants; a cool, smooth, flavorful, cigar to be smoked with most everything other than a heavy meal. Smoke this one on a cool autumn evening and you will feel part of the scenery rather than apart from it.
I've sampled this after dinner with a pint of cider. I absolutely love it. It's like eating dark chocolate with a pinch of salt. Perfect balance between sweet and bitter. Good draw and even burn. Well priced for what you get. This will always be in my humidor from now on.
I heard that they taste even better if aged for 3+ years. Really curios to try one.
Well, After a lot of thought I simply can not fault this cigar. Fantastic build quality. Brilliantly smooth and leathery brown wrapper, no veins on the surface and felt solid in the hand. The cap came off with ease and did not start unfurl the wrapper. Lit without any issue with a nice consistent burn. Near perfect draw, some may consider slightly light for their liking. Wonderfully thick, creamy smoke fills the mouth upon every draw, teasing the palate with a plethora of light to medium, to medium flavours light woods, sweet creams, delicate hints of cocoa even some fuller more leathery tastes towards the end. Truly a magnificent cigar worthy of the title El Rey del Mundo.