Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Pendelton's cigar page 1)A--------------------------E

One of the many questions I am often asked is, "should I keep my cigars in the cellophane
wrapper, or should I remove them from the wrapper before placing them in my humidor?"
The answer is quite simple! Are you a connoisseur of cigars or a cigar smoker? Do you
savor each puff, or do you simply smoke? If you are a connoisseur of cigars, then by all
means, you should leave them in the cellophane wrapper! If you are just a cigar smoker,
it is perfectly fine to remove them from their plastic sleeves and place them in your humidor!
Why you ask? Only because a connoisseur of cigars cannot have his or her cigars intermingle
with the others! Each individual cigar has its own unique smell and taste that will eventually
be compromised over time if all the cigars are removed from their protective sleeves; while
cigar smokers really couldn't care less, one way or the other! The choice is clearly yours!!!

                                The Pendelton reaming device made from a thin gauge white metal clothes hanger

I'm surprised K. Hansotia has not found a way to cleverly market an intricate reaming device to his loyal following of avid cigar fans!

                                                                      5 Vegas (Nicaraguan) Churchill

This cigar measures approximately 7 x 50, and looks only somewhat appealing. These cigars
were handmade in Nicaragua, but are not packaged for export. As I remove the cellophane, and
run my nose up and down the wrapper, I can smell a sweet chocolate nougat, like a marathon
bar or something! Clearly, this shouldn't be! The inner core is sweeter than honey, and almost
borders on that of melted caramel/milk chocolate!!! How uncanny! The cold draw tastes like
the outer shell of an M&M, and that's all I can say about it. Upon lighting, I find this is the
closest thing to pipe tobacco without having to go "Black & Mild!" Anyone looking to release
the smoke through their nostrils should not even hesitate, because there will be no sting! The
burn is 75% perfect, but the ash will fall when you least expect it to, leaving you to wipe your
pants! After the initial boom, this stick continues to burn great, but does not really seem to go
anywhere. At around the 4" mark, this cigar has gone out and needs to be relit. Overall, this is
a good cigar that can be smoked on any occasion, just be sure to carry plenty of matches!


                                                                       5 Vegas Gold Torpedo

Removing this cigar from its cellophane wrapper, I can smell that of wood paneling.
While the inner core smells like sun dried seaweed, the cold draw is impeccably smooth,
but tastes like old newspaper. Upon lighting, I find some extremely bitter notes within!
There is a medium to moderate amount of smoke in the draw, and the band peels off
quite effortlessly. Allowing the smoke to escape from your nostrils will hurt, but I find
this cigar is changing for the better. Even though this cigar appears to be getting slightly
better, there is still a sourness of rancid resin within its core, which irks me. On a scale of
1-10, I would give this cigar a 4, and that's only because of how beautiful it looked before
I attempted to smoke it! No matter how much I smoke, that terrible taste still prevails.

                                                5 Vegas Triple-A Corona

This cigar smells like a newly made saddle, and the core smells about the same.
Judging from the way it feels, it seems to me this cigar is rolled as tight as one
of those little Italian De Nobili Cigars! The taste kind of reminds me of one as well,
only the texture of the wrapper leaf is not as course, and the overall color is not
as black. This cigar produces a nice amount of medium-bodied whitish/blue smoke,
and if you chew, try not to swallow! Without a doubt, this is one full-bodied cigar!
Not as chocolaty as it is peppery, this little corona is certainly a winner! Two thumbs
up for this baby!!! This is definitely not a cigar to be smoked on an empty stomach!
At the three-inch mark the flavor intensifies, but does not change from there.

                                                                                               Alec Bradley Black Market Robusto


To the nose, this wrapper leaf smells very unappealing. Almost as if it has been soaking in three week-old sweat of a filthy derelict,
then rolled in manure and left to cure in the midday sun; something beyond vile. However, judging by its appearance, I can only
say it looks quite lovely! Poking a tiny hole in the cap, the draw is phenomenal! Taking a dry toke (or cold draw, as it is commonly
referred to) is very reminiscent of the way a pre-Cuban would taste, before the initial light. That delightful airiness only prevalent
in a well aged cigar! The smoke is unusually light for a Maduro cigar, and even as it flows unrestrained, the wrapper burns slightly
uneven. Releasing some smoke from my nostrils immediately dispels the theory of any filler leaves being aged, as I recoil in shock
from my sinuses being scorched! After the first inch, flavors of oaken branches slowly give way to a more earthy taste, and the
smoke has become heavier. The ash is now drooping in a very pronounced manner, and will soon fall. Nothing special so far. This is
not a cigar I would smoke at my daughter's wedding, but more so, at a funeral. It's definitely not a Graycliff by any stretch of the
imagination, and so I must categorize it under "A" for average. Something to smoke while pulling weeds, perhaps. Before an hour
is up, the deformed cap is hanging like a botched bris, and so I carefully remove it and throw it to the ground in disgust! That's not
supposed to happen with good cigars. The cigar has now become rugged; like something Clint Eastwood would smoke while muttering
indistinguishable words and following a trail that leads absolutely nowhere. . . This cigar is slowly nearing its end. As I look up into
the summer sky, I realize, life is but a requiem for another day, lost in passing.

                                                                                                                    Alec Bradley Maxx Brazil Churchill

This cigar can be immediately identified by its beautiful reddish brown wrapper leaf! Upon bringing it to my nose, the smell is identical
to that of the finest honed leather! Upon lighting, I find it to be a delightful smoke; one that really doesn't change too much from start
to finish. A very tasty smoke, I must say! As I get down to the last inch and a half, it has become hot without warning, and should be
laid to rest the moment it becomes unbearable to smoke. I am at a political convention, and so my review is brief.

                             Alec Bradley Prensado - Double Toro

Never before have I seen such a perfectly rolled cigar! The Corojo wrapper is a shade of reddish brown
and black that looks elegantly eerie. The wrapper leaf smells earthy, and somewhat  dirty while the inner
core smells bold and spicy. I cannot wait to smoke this! Upon lighting, very thick clouds of full bodied smoke
that have begun to appear are sucked up into the atmosphere, and some stingy threads of saliva tingle the
back of my throat as I swallow! I notice it is burning unusually fast and extremely uneven for such a high
rated cigar, and did I forget to mention, I also had to ream it. As I puff, the cigar feels very hot below the ash.
It has become spongy and feels like a water balloon. It is now burning so unevenly that I must cut the ash off
with a scissor and start again. As I snip the ash off, I can see that only half of the cigar is burning and that is a
very bad sign! Even though I dried it out for a month, I did however, return it to the humidor for a week. All things
said, and taking everything into consideration, I can only attribute it to my own lack of judgment. I must admit, it
doesn't happen often, but when a cigar that burns hotter than jet fuel begins to go out after only three minutes,
it is way too moist to smoke! Even though it felt very firm from the start. Regardless of that, the cigar should not
feel like a sponge! This one feels like a tube of toothpaste left in a car with the windows rolled up at 107 degrees!
As I reach the four inch mark, the entire cigar is red hot and the sound of squeaky boots can be heard. "What the
fuck is going on?" I can feel this cigar is made with very little tobacco and that disappoints me. As I return, the cigar
is very hot and is desperately trying to go out. That squeaking sound is seriously beginning to grate on my nerves,
making me feel like I am in a cartoon strip! I just want to throw it against the wall and smoke something else, but I
will not do that. It is hard to concentrate on flavors, when your main goal is centered upon keeping the damn thing lit!
Uphill battles can rarely be won, but when you're hanging off a cliff with both hands, you can never win. I am not crazy
about the rush of nicotine making me feel like I have just smoked an entire pack of cigarettes and will shortly black out,
but I am genuinely trying to write an honest review here! As I get down to the three inch mark, the cigar is being a little
more cooperative, and so I will say the nutty flavors have melded into what I can only describe as cocoa. If this was my
first cigar, I would certainly never smoke again; and so I say to everyone who is looking to smoke a cigar for the first time,
do yourself a favor and buy a Nat Sherman 489 Tubo No. 2. "You will thank me, I'm sure!"

                                                                                                                          Amerada Perfecto Special - (Circa 1956)

Even with a wormhole, this cigar is a joy to smoke! It was as dry as a bone when I lit it, but I can not believe how good it tastes!
After fifty years, it is still rich and chocolaty and will only get better as it burns. Sometimes, there is nothing quite like an aged cigar!

                                                                                  Arganese Nicaraguan Robusto

The only cigar I ever smoked that began as a double espresso with bitter attributes of unsweetened chocolate,
and magically transformed itself into a delightful milk latte with the essence of toffee and a hazelnut core! I am
now watching the smoke in the light as it leaves my lips, lifting up to slowly encircle the building like a ghost with
a hidden agenda! Halfway down, the chocolate flavors become more robust as they change into a dark roasted
coffee again. Very tasty and certainly noteworthy! Was it exceptional? "No, but it was an enjoyable smoke!

                                                                                      Arturo Fuente Hemmingway Classic

This cigar is literally a joy to behold! I must be very careful when clipping the head of this cigar. . .
Its wonderful old fashioned perfecto shape burns flawlessly, and is creamy and buttery right from the start!
If ever there was a cigar you would want to age, it is this one! A perfect smoke from the start that gets
better as it burns. Unfortunately, I cannot document further as I am entertaining guests.

                                                           Black Pearl - (La Perla Habana Black) Oro Toro

Before I begin, I just want to state that these little cigars are rolled tighter than a mini-baseball bat! Wow,
am I impressed!!! Let's just hope I can smoke them! First off, the outer leaf of this cigar appears to be quite
spicy and tingly to the nose. With a fragrance of snuff intermingled with calcified animal dung, the scent is
almost intriguing! The inner core smells of horse hair and hay, and is both mild yet aromatic to the senses,
while the cold draw possesses the qualities of both nuts and wood on my awaiting palate. Upon lighting,
I find this cigar a bit too strong to be released through my nostrils. The taste is of unsweetened chocolate,
burnt espresso beans, and caramelized molasses! A crack around the ash indicates where it will fall. I
cannot believe how tight this cigar is rolled, but yet it smokes so smoothly! Considering how slow it is
burning, I am sure it will burn for a long time, and the smoke is anything but billowy. This cigar is too tight
for an uneven burn, so you need not worry about that; just try not to leave it unattended for too long. After
awhile, the caramelized flavor gives way to a taste very reminiscent of the finest steak sauce! Definitely a
cigar to be smoked in the evening hours! Be careful, for just a wave of the hand will cause the ash to fly off
into your friend's drink! It is that delicate!!! Toward the end, there is only a resinous taste of burnt coffee.

                                                                      Black Pearl - (La Perla Habana Rojo Robusto)

Upon removing this cigar from its cellophane wrapper, I can only smell a mild hint of manure; if that.
The inner core is robust and inviting, like snuff intermingled with honey to produce a tasty treat! This
little cigar is rolled tighter than the handle of a horse riding crop whip, and so I am almost sure the
draw will be clogged somewhere. Using a punch, I find (to my surprise) the draw is undeniably
perfect! On the cold draw however, there is very little to ascertain. Upon lighting, I find this black
cigar to be uncompromisingly smooth! Releasing the smoke from one's nostrils should be avoided at
all cost! This cigar is best smoked at the twilight of the day, come evening. For a cigar that is darker
than a Santa Clara, the smoke emitted is lighter than a Hoyo! One of the key elements to a good cigar
is in its band. If the band can be removed flawlessly, then it is a top of the line cigar. If it comes off
removing some of the paint, then it is an adequate cigar. If however, the band cannot be removed
without compromising the cigar leaf, or the band itself, then it is usually a cigar best left in the cigar
store! This cigar band comes off better than it looked on the cutting press! All in all, this is a very
one dimensional cigar, but due to its high nicotine content, allows the smoker to daydream in 3-D!

                                               Camacho Room 101 - '305' Robusto

This cigar smells a little bit like dog excrement on the bottom of a sneaker, while the core smells
kind of like the interior of a new Lexus, and that is good! As soon as I lit this, I could tell it was a
full-bodied cigar. It reminded me of the last drag of a Pall Mall cigarette, right before your fingers
burn! The taste it imparts on my tongue is a cross between silver tarnish, and a piece of bread
left in a toaster to become charcoal. Not a very enjoyable cigar. There aren't too many cigars
out there that can make my palate recoil, like a shot of vodka when you crave water! You just
know it's wrong. My urge to write has been suppressed by the need to retire to my sleeping
quarters. If I had to describe this cigar in three words, it would be bitter, putrid, and burned.

                                                              Cedro Real

I will first start off by saying that these cigars can only be purchased in Nicaragua, and the
odds of finding them anywhere here in North America are slim to none.  Its measurements
are 7 x 3-1/2, with an end that appears to be almost box-pressed. Upon examining them,
one can see how hideous they look in that bundle of twenty five! In fact, they all appear
to be overly moist and spongy to the touch, and as I proceed to remove one from its soft
plastic wrapper, this cigar feels as though it has absorbed too much moisture! The light
brown color has switched to a pale yellow, and the smell is unlike any cigar I have ever
smelt, having an aroma of stale beer and rancid molasses. Also, the odds of finding one
without a clog are equivalent to that of picking four out of six numbers correctly on any
given lottery ticket, so you better have a good reaming device on hand for the unveiling!
The cold draw tastes like Guinness stout that has spilled on an antique countertop, while
the inner core has a scent reminiscent of weeds that have been infused with doppelbock!
Upon lighting, I find the smoke flows through my nostrils with greatest of ease. This cigar
has an undefinably sweet taste, like that of sugared licorice which has melded together in
a copper pot; and yes, I am reaching! The sweetness is not exceedingly overwhelming,
however, it is still somewhat pleasant, in an odd kind of way. Nothing exceptional here.

                              Clasico V Natural Presidente

The smell of the external wrapper leaf is not very appealing. In fact, it smells
almost identical to polish being applied to heavily tarnished brass! The inner
core smells similar to the fumes released from the toxins of Comet scouring
powder eating away at a copper surface, while the cold draw tastes like rolled
up pages of an antiquated novel from the eighteenth Century! (No joke) Upon
lighting, I find the draw itself to be impeccable! The older these sticks are, the
better they will burn! Having an unusual size, it's measurements are 8 x 50,
and for some odd reason, I feel they would be the perfect accompaniment to a
Christmas dinner! Maybe Santa would like one too. Be not afraid to release the
smoke through your nostrils, for it is quite mild! If properly aged, these cigars
can be left unattended for long periods of time without the worry of relighting!
The smoke released from my mouth is white and thin, yet on the same token
becomes thick and billowy. Take caution with the ash, as it is extremely fragile
and has a tendency to drop off without warning. This is a perfect smoke to
have anytime at all, but I find it more enjoyable toward evening. Having aged
these cigars for almost two years, the taste is similar to a pre-embargo Cuban
which has morphed into a Robert Burns that has been neatly tucked away in
the back room of an old VFW Post! The taste has now become vegetal.

                                       Cohiba Espléndido

This cigar has a faded brown wrapper that is slowly losing its luster. I cannot say
with any degree of accuracy just how this cigar smells, because it has absorbed
the smell of every other cigar in my humidor. I will say that the core is a cross
between wood and stale honey. Upon lighting, I find this cigar to be bold and
intriguing, producing deep clouds as white as snow! The only two flavors I can
taste are of Pistachio nuts and wood. Judging from the smoke and the smoke
alone, I would say it's a true Cuban! There is a caramel sweetness within it, that
does not have the ability to move me. The ash is burning perfectly, and requires
no additional attention. This cigar which is medium-bodied all the way, almost
falls slightly into a mild category. Most certainly, a better cigar to have with a
short glass of single malt served neat, than with a glass of Opici homemade
Barbarone! Fidel Castro once said, that if you light just the tip of a Cohiba, it
will always connect to burn perfectly, but I did not try that, because I do not
wish to be the one in the fold to get fucked! For it to burn this well, I have no
doubt that it is a very well made cigar, but well made or not, if it doesn't propel
me into writing, then there is nothing I can write. As I get down to the two-inch
mark, the warmth of roasted peanuts coats my palate, and it is good!

                                    Cookie Jar Perfecto

This cigar has a very faint smell of unwashed laundry, and the blemish you
see in the picture is not the wrapper leaf unraveling! I will now snip the tip,
and hope it doesn't crumble. That went better than expected! On the dry toke,
I can denote the sweetness of cinnamon. Upon lighting, I find that similar to the
Meisterrunde, but not as powerful, is the overwhelming taste of pirate's cologne!
Before the first inch, the taste of cologne melds into Middle Eastern spices deliciously
infused with rich dark chocolate! The smoke which escapes my lips is a yellow to
moderate green color, but the flavors return to perfumy. It's interesting when you
look at an old cigar and think of all that was happening in the world when it was being
created. Those days are gone, and I can find nothing exceptional about this cigar.


These wonderful cigars have been attentively preserved by my grandfather, who could always be seen with a Camel cigarette dangling from his lips or an upside-down pipe in the rain!
On the factory seal that I carefully opened with a razor blade, reads the following words, "50 cigars, class A tobacco, FAC. No. 1819 1st DIST. PA. NOVEMBER 1931." This cigar has
absolutely no smell, and by carefully working together with the cold draw and my upper sinuses, I can imagine myself standing inside a Cuban museum! Upon lighting, I find this cigar
to have a shockingly bold flavor! Regardless of how strong it may be, it easily flows from my nostrils without stinging. I can taste unrefined chocolate, along with a quarry of long
forgotten spices and the bottom of president Herbert Hoover's cigar filled ashtray! Back then all cigars we made with Cuban filler leaves.

Anyone can purchase a Cuban cigar legally, providing it was one made before October of 1960! Hence the term, pre-embargo. People tell me all the time, that when the United States finally ends the Cuban embargo, they will begin to stock pile their humidors full of Cuban cigars, which is the very last thing I will do, and if you give me a moment, I would like to explain why. As it is, Cuban cigars are way overpriced, and the moment we end the U.S. trade embargo to Cuba, they're going to raise the price even higher. This in turn is going to lower all the other brands that are currently for sale by internet cigar merchants! In other words, you will probably pay $80 for one authentic Cohíba, while I pay $100 for a box of Gurkha's. . . The choice is yours!

As I get down to the 2" mark, the little cigar is literally bursting with coffee flavors! I am now enveloped in smoke and delighted by the rich and tarry taste it has provided.
A few of the aged filler leaves remain on my lips, and are immediately wiped away! As it burns down further, the deep and rich resiny flavor becomes ever so prominent!

                                                               Diesel Corona

This cigar smells like the inside of an expensive shoe store! The inner core smells much more
subtle, like very refined snuff. There is not even a hint of aged tobacco in this cigar, so by all
means, do not let any smoke escape your nostrils! Aside from that, this little cigar is truly a
delightful smoke! I would be more than happy with a box of these wonderful cigars, but I really
enjoy documenting different cigars! As I get to the three inch mark, I notice it is getting hot.
At the two inch mark, the swallow is overwhelmingly strong! These coronas are still very fresh,
and so they can be expected to go out when left unattended for a brief period of time. As I
approach the 1-1/2" mark, the taste becomes extremely tarry and hot. At the one inch mark,
I begin to feel queasy from the nicotine absorption, and this cigar is swiftly laid to rest. . .

                                                                    Don Leo Family Reserve Perfecto

This cigar measures 5-3/4 inches in length, and swells from a 44 to a 50 ring gauge. Judging from its outward
appearance, it is beautifully constructed, and as solid as a mini baseball bat! This cigar has a musty smell of
an old Cuban factory where leaves are left to cure. On the dry toke, or should I say “the cold draw,” there is
a hideous taste of corrugated cardboard soaked in ethyl alcohol. Lighting the tip, I release some of the smoke
through my nostrils, where it flows out as mild as air! The burn is now flawless! This cigar has been rolled so
tight, I’m surprised it even smokes at all. At the one inch mark, there is now a stable balance of peanut shells
and unrefined caramel on my palate. As I surpass the 1" mark, the ash begins to burn slightly uneven and the
taste begins to change. It is 90% vegetal and 10% perfume! Since it is of such solid construction, the ash is
now showing some remarkable definition! When at last, the ash falls to the ground it almost resembles broken
shards of slate! Halfway down, all the flavors have begun to merge creating an interesting roasted toffee taste!

                                                      Don Prieto

Judging from its appearance, I would have to say this is a very well made cigar! As I remove
it from its cellophane wrapper, I can feel that it is nice and soft from being in my humidor for
thirteen years! The dimensions are 5-1/4 x 50, and I cannot wait to light it. The outer leaf has
only a faint aroma similar to that of new suede, but the inner core is more pronounced like the
smell of clean Bulldog! The cold draw is very subtle, and reminds me of an old shoe store. Upon
lighting, I release the smoke from my nostrils, and it deliciously sweet! It is a very nice cigar
with flavors that do not change, but sometimes it is a good thing!

                            E.P. Carrillo Elencos Series Elites

This cigar has me tearing apart my spice cabinet, in an attempt to isolate that smell!
There is definitely a scent of curry in there, but more so, a seasoning called, Oriental
Five Spices
by Spice Time! The inner core, on the other hand smells similar, but I
recognize that smell. . . It is the sweet smell of Asian pork floss! That delectable treat
which is fluffy in texture and looks like a pile of edible hair! I am now enthralled in the
mystery of how and where they grow this incredible wrapper leaf! Never before have I
found a cigar to be this enticing, and cannot wait to light up! On the cold draw, I feel I am
tasting an intense presence of long leaf chewing tobacco. Upon lighting, I can taste a mild
caramel flavor that slowly progresses into more mild nougat. The smoke is heavy, but not
thick and billowy. This is a cigar you can really chew on, without having to spit, and without
feeling queasy. I'd say it resembles an El Rey del Mundo, minus the leafy veins that make
those cigars feel so primitive! Unfortunately, I am not in any way enthralled with this cigar,
as it has failed to encaptivate me. When puffing vigorously, you will get a sharp taste of
ammonia, but only for a brief moment. If I had a box or two of these cigars, surely I would
not complain, but I would certainly opt out, when it comes down to buying any more!

                                              Est. 1844 Dos Capas Corona

This cigar has the look of a "barber's pole" and smells like a Ralph's Italian Ice! (The chocolate
ice in the paper cup. . .) While the inner core smells just like a Tootsie Roll! This cigar burns
perfectly producing a tremendous amount of billowy white clouds of smoke that hangs heavy
in the air. Another winner from AJ Fernandez! Even with a light and dark wrapper twirling 'round,
like a new-age barber pole, the taste doesn't appear to change, but that is neither here nor
there. I will say that it is very consistent in the way that it burns flawlessly, and the definition
of the ash is nothing short of spectacular! Only when nearing the 2-1/2 mark does this little
cigar begin to exhibit signs of potency; though it is not overpowering in the slightest degree!
There is now a predominant taste of toasted peanuts within an earthy core. After awhile,
the flavor intensifies and by the one-inch mark, this cigar is quietly laid to rest.