Cigars...Strudel...& Hollowpoints
APRIL 22, 2012 12:32PM

Cigar Review- Chess Extreme Corojo

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Wrapper - Nicaraguan Corojo,

Binder - Dominican Olor,

Filler - Nicaragua (Ligero '98 & Seco Corojo).

Size: 4 x 60

Price: $6.00 (Price fluctuates dependent on amount purchased)

The large Chess band with the blend band below it is very attractive. It catches the eye immediately.

Thanks to Ken Ballone of Rancho Maduro for the taste.

Smoke Magazine gave the Chess Extreme Corojo blend a 91 in Summer 2010.




Initial sniffing of the wrapper brings with it mostly hay but a tad bit of cinnamon at the foot.


chess 1


Construction is good. Very solid, no soft spots. There are quite a few veins, but all in all a pretty good looking stick.

First of all, I’m a sucker for corojo. I love the spiciness that a Nicaraguan corojo wrapper brings to the flavor profile of a cigar. Add Nic ligero and seco corojo as the filler and you have a home run to right field.

The story of Chess is one of mystery and intrigue. Only because Ken Ballone, of Rancho Maduro, had one obstacle after another placed in front of him to get his cigars delivered so he could sell them. The manufacturer teased him with small amounts all the while promising the motherload would appear at any moment. This did go on for a while and when they arrived, only this month, Ken was able to return the defibrillator that he kept at home.

Rancho Maduro is the only online store to carry Chess Cigars. He works out of Reno, NV.

So if you want them, you must go to http://www.shop.ranchomadurocigars.com/main.sc.

Upon lighting up, I get a cedar and spice blast. The cinnamon I smelled at the foot now shows up as a teaser on the palate.




The burn line is a little uneven but that’s my fault. I always have trouble with lighting up 60 ring gauge sticks. One must be patient, which I’m not.

The stick bellows out smoke like a Pittsburgh chimney. At the first half inch, I would have to call this a mild/medium cigar.

The spice ramps up quickly. It has some other spiciness to it, but I would say exotic cooking spices…spices you might find in Indian cooking. The spiciness isn’t red or black pepper but more identifiable to those spicy cinnamon toothpicks we bought as kids.




Since this stick is only 4” long, it is easier to describe it in halves, rather than thirds.

The first half can be characterized by a flavor profile that is building in strength and body so that it might flourish in the second half. The spicy cinnamon and flavors of cedar are what drives the first half.

The huge ash is like a rock at the end of the cigar. I am impressed with the cap. Normally, by now, I’m spitting out bits and pieces of detritus, but not here. The cap is obviously made by true experts and adds a little extra joy to the experience.

The second half mellows out a bit. The flavors congeal and become one complex experience. The spiciness tails off. The stick begins to get a nice creaminess to it. The cinnamon is gone.

Just past the halfway point, I get zapped with spice. Huge dollops of red hot spice! The whole stick is changing character again. This is marvelous.




The last half booms with creaminess and spice. A very nice end to such a small package.





And now for something completely different:

99% of my stories that have absolutely nothing to do with my review are about my jaunt in the music business. I confess that playing and producing was a fine time in my life. So here goes…..The recording studio and rehearsal studio were in two sided by side buildings. Our office was in the rehearsal studio and either me or my partner would try to be there while a band played. We were able to keep an eye on them and make sure they didn’t steal anything; which they all did, often.

We had an extreme punk band record and rehearse with us on a regular basis. These guys were so tweaked on speed that no song was over 1 minute long. They would often ask me what I thought of the new colors on their tri-spiked hair that was at least 9” or more atop their heads, women too.

They rehearsed one Saturday night and invited every punk in the Western Hemisphere. This scared my partner and I half to death. People were pissing on the walls of the rehearsal studio…the inside, not the outside. They were vomiting on the floor. They were tearing the furniture up.

So we called the police and the cops turned out like it was a terrorist attack. At least a dozen cop cars were outside our building. Two cars were K-9 units.

We identified ourselves as the owners and the cops began to club everyone but us. They let the dogs (I would like to add that these German Shepherds were the size of Wooly Mammoths) off their leashes to eat the punks.

It was complete chaos. I stood at the entrance of my studio as I watched the handcuffed punks delivered outside and into a Paddy wagon. The cops were having the time of their lives and often winked at me in appreciation.

When it was over, my studio looked like Dresden after the fire bombing. The last guy out was the band leader and he screamed he wanted his money refunded. He screamed so hard, that spittle was awash over my face. Before the punk could spew his last secretion, he got a baton squarely on the top of his head….his knees buckled, and was upright only due to the help of Long Beach’s finest.






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