In my first "Cigar Round-up," I used the AFP 10-point scale and added in some additional notes to more fully round out my impressions of the cigar. One of the additional scales I added was "Flavor" on a 10 scale, which seemed to repeat to some degree the "Flavor" portion on the AFP scale. In further thinking through my methodology, I realized that what I was trying to convey was "Complexity of Flavor" instead of just "Did it taste good to me?" in this extra "Flavor" scale. In light of that, I will change that rating to "Complexity" going forward.
Panacea Maduro (size unknown)
This was a fairly potent smoke that I found lacking in the flavor department to back it up. It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't that good either. A little spice and some black coffee notes, but nothing dominant.
CAO America, Monument (6.25" x 54)
Overall sweet flavor of the Connecticut wrapper. Mild spice near the middle third. Not exquisitely flavored, but not bad.
ITC 10th Anniversary, Toro (6.5" x 52)
Aroma gave nothing more than "tobacco" before lighting. It begins as a mild-to-medium smoke with some creaminess and hints of caramel. The remainder was mild, creamy and toasty. Not a bad mild stogie from Rocky Patel (unlike the Vintage 1999, which is mild and bland to the extreme). Rumor is that this was originally supposed to be the blend for the Decade; glad it didn't work out that way!
La Gloria Cubana Serie 5, Number 5 Maduro (5.5" x 54)
Some spice right from the start along with some mellow chocolate and coffee notes. Draw is excellent but ash is crumbly and resembles an exploding banana peel. Spice increases throughout while keeping the balance of the other mellower flavors.
Arturo Fuente, Double Chateau Fuente Natural (6.75" x 50)
Immediately starts in with characteristic Fuente spice, something I didn't really expect from a natural-wrapper stogie. This one did not want to burn straight and had to be touched up repeatedly. Draw is very good. Spicy, but also just a touch of creamy sweetness. Spiciness abates a bit in the 2nd third.