Today I am happy to report that we have crossed a new frontier in cigar legend: the monstrous JFR Lunatic by Casa Fernandez (formerly Tropical Tobacco). This is a TITANIC smoke – an 8 x 80(!) – and not for the faint of heart.
(For comparison I placed a Lunatic next to JFR’s already massive 770 and a “normal” sized smoke – an Ashton VSG robusto.)
(And, next to a book of matches.)
As the resident lunatic smoker of my home shop I was asked to review this beast. Russell kindly provided me with a free sample courtesy of Maritza of Fernandez.
I have smoked 80 ring-gauges before (such as the Asylum 6 x 80). I found them decent in flavor and consistency but a bit unwieldy. Damn near an inch and a half in width a standard 80 actually starts to hurt the jaw while smoking. It’s reminiscent of a visit to the dentist involving one of those devices which holds the mouth open. JFR has cured this by producing the Lunatic in a tapered or “pyramid” design. The cap end is about the size of a 60 RG. This makes the smoking process itself easier.
The taste is excellent – the same blend as ordinary JFRs. The cigar is well constructed and burns evenly. One distinct problem, though, is that the smoke does not hold it’s ash well. The ash produced is a clean, light gray color but after half an inch or so it but be tapped off in order to prevent an accident. With such a ridiculous girth the center of the ash is still active and could cause a burn if it fell off inadvertently.
Another problem (or benefit) of the Lunatic is the smoking time required. The smoke is immediately flavorful with no bitterness. It has a woody, earth Nicaraguan taste which is consistent. However, I estimate it would take at least three hours to finish this monster. Theoretically, it might take up to four hours. This is great for a fishing trip but might be overwhelming for average afternoon enjoyment. Again, I must warn that is not a stick for novices.
(Not a beginner cigar.)
In the end this may be too much of a good thing. I will likely stick with routine 6 x 60s and 7 x 70s for heavy flavor delivery. However, I did like the Lunatic immensely (pun…). I don’t have a rating system but I do like it. My description herein should suffice for you to make your own decision. I suspect this novelty will remain just that and only available for a short time or in limited quantity. For an estimated $10 it is really a bargain.
Of course, if you must have a GIGANTIC smoke look no further than Indigo’s Chief. At a foot and a half long it should last all day and then some. Good luck finding one. Better luck finishing one.
(As crazy a comparison as may be made…)
Whatever the size or flavor, remember,
(Yes, Rudyard, a good cigar is a smoke.)
For the skeptics and haters:
(The real lunatics are politicians and their enablers. Put that in your pipe and smoke it).