Welcome to The Smoking Gun! You might be asking yourself, “why The Smoking Gun” and “what will I find if I keep reading?” I thought long and hard about a name for this blog. I settled on “The Smoking Gun Cigar Review” because I wanted a name that would be memorable and one that would let you know that I’m interested in the facts.

I’ve been told, by many people, from in and outside the cigar community, that I have a fantastic palate. I’ve been asked time and again to taste new cigars for people and to let them know what flavors I picked up. But truth be told? Taste is an esthetic (taste really IS a matter of taste). Just because I can get a hint of dusted almond or a mild hint of clover honey doesn’t mean you will. How many people even know how clover honey tastes? Some people have more taste buds than others and can really detect more individual tastes, just like some people can see better than 20/20. It doesn’t mean they’re “super human.” It just means their vision is better than what is considered normal, average sight.

So—here’s the problem: Let’s say I review Cigar A and I tell you that I taste a light hint of vanilla and nutmeg in the second third of the cigar (the middle part). Let’s say you buy that cigar because you really like vanilla and nutmeg. Let’s say—ends up—you can’t taste either. You’d stop trusting my reviews, right?

So—I’m gonna focus on the essentials of cigar smoking. What do you want to know about your fellow cigar enthusiast’s stick? When you’re sitting around with your friends at your local brick and mortar retailer, or on your patio, or around a campfire? Here’s what I want to know:

What are you smoking?

Who makes it?

Where’s it from?

What other sizes are available? (My friends tend to like larger ring gauges, where I prefer smaller ones, so I always ask).

How much does it cost?

How well is it constructed?

What’s the blend (or, at least, the wrapper)?

How did it light?

How’s the draw?

How does it burn?

Is there a predominate flavor/taste?

Did it change as you smoked it?

How would you describe its strength: mild, medium, or strong?

Would you smoke it again?

Should I try it?

Do you have an extra that you’ll give me? (OK. I wouldn’t ask that, but I’d be thinking it!)

I’ve sat in cigar shop after cigar shop and smoked cigars with friends all over the world. These questions ALWAYS come up. So, why go into so much detail about what hints of flavors I taste in each puff? I just want the facts about what my friends are smoking, and you probably do too.

The Smoking Gun, or in latin, In flagrante delicto, is defined as “in blazing offence.” So, I will set blaze to each cigar and tell you what I think. I hope you won’t take offense!