An introduction

Cigarguide is a website with reviews of cigars from all over the world. Some cigars have been given to me by the blog sponsors, others I have bought or traded or have been gifted to me by friends.

About me: Born in 1972 I started to smoke cigars on a vacation to Singapore and Indonesia december 2005. At Singapore airport we bought some Cohiba Siglo II, Montecristo #4 and Romeo y Julieta tubos #2 which we smoked in Indonesia, every night a cigar and a glass of whisky. I liked that so much that I decided to keep smoking cigars when I got back.

On the way back I maxed out my creditcard at the cigarshop at Singapore airport. Back in The Netherlands I smoked a few cigars a week and noticed different flavor profiles in different cigars. That sparked an interest, before I always thought a cigar was just a cigar, so I started to look for information online and discovered that cigars are just like wine, whisk(e)y, cognac, lots of different flavors depending on the blend, the soil, the tobacco used, the shape and more. Smoking cigars became more than a nice way of spending the evening, it became a passion.

Here I am, a few years later and I visited places I never thought of visiting before I smoked cigars, made lots of new friends both here in The Netherlands as in the United States, Canada, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Germany, England, Belgium and Asia. I got to meet a few of the key figures in the industry and have even worked as a cigar sales rep. Who could imagine that the handful of cigars I bought halfway across the world would have such an impact on my life, such a positive impact.

Now as for the reviews, those are my reviews, my thoughts and my opinion and mine alone. Maybe you agree with my opinion, maybe you don’t, it doesn’t matter because every single review on every single thing in the world is an opinion and we all have our opinions. I’m just lucky enough to live in a country where I can voice my opinion, unlike a lot of people even in cigar producing countries. Feel free to comment if you agree or disagree or have any questions, but keep it respectful.

Categories: Misc

Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro

Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro. The Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year 2019. Many of my followers praise this cigar on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media accounts. So it’s time for me to review this cigar as well. To see if it lives up to the hype. A 96 score isn’t very common, so our expectations are high.

A.J. Fernandez is responsible for the production. But Aging Room is a creating of Rafael Nodal, who’s now the head of product capability of Altadis U.S.A. But before that, he was the owner of Boutique Blends and that was or is the umbrella for Aging Room. This Aging Room blend is a Nicaraguan puro.

The cigar looks great. A dark and oily wrapper. Smooth yet impressive. With a beautiful black, gold, and white ring. The secondary ring pops with its bright orange and gold. This cigar screams “pick me, you won’t regret it”. The box-press is flawless and the cigar feels well constructed. The cigar has a thick and strong barnyard aroma.

The cold draw is flawless. The flavor is spice and pepper. The first puffs are earthy, with black dark roast coffee and pepper. Lots of pepper. Soon some wood and leather join the earthy and spice flavors of the cigar. There’s also a dry nutty flavor in the profile. After a third, there is black pepper, sweetness, earthiness. Some toast and roasted coffee beans show up as well. Even though it’s a strong cigar, the flavors are round. There is not mean harshness. The pepper is growing in strength. All flavors are tied together with some citrus acidity. Near the end the pepper really becomes powerful.

The draw is flawless. The ash is salt and pepper colored. But it breaks easy. The burn is straight. The smoke is good, thick enough and full enough. This cigar is a full-body cigar, full flavor yet with plenty of balance. The smoke time is two hours and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want a box

Categories: 92, Aging Room, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Asylum Seven 11/18

Asylum Seven 11/18. In 2012, former Camacho owner Christian Eiroa came back to the cigar industry after finishing his non-competition clause that he had to sign upon selling Camacho to Davidoff. His comeback was a partnership with former Camacho and Davidoff sales rep Tom Lazuka. Asylum Cigars was a success from day one. To commemorate the 7th birthday of Asylum, the company released the Seven in 2019. Two sizes, limited to 1000 boxes of each size.

One of the sizes is the signature 11/18 size. Named after the birthday of Christian’s mother. It is a figurado, 6 inches long with a 48 ring foot and head. But in the center, the cigar is ring 54 thick. The blend is made of Honduran tobacco as the filler and binder with a Nicaraguan wrapper. The cigars come in single coffins. The CLE Cigar Factory is where the cigars are rolled.

If you don’t know the story of the shape of the cigar, you might think that the roller isn’t very good. But when you know the cigar should look thicker in the middle, it is intriguing. The wrapper is dark, leathery. The big ring, black with a golden skull is a bit dark and sinister. But the colors of the ring come back in the coffins tying it all together. The cigar has a strong aroma of dry wood.

The cold draw is fantastic. Spicy oak. Once lit, the cigar gives a strong coffee aroma with some sugar and spice. Cinnamon and pepper show up. There is a little bit of tongue burn on the tip of the tongue. Soil makes an entrance in the flavor profile as well. The cigar then turns to wood, with a little bit of pepper. Before the second third, the flavors change again. The wood remains, but now with soil, leather, coffee, pepper, and sweetness. The second third starts strong with spice, pepper but now with some chocolate as well. The chocolate gets stronger, with leather, soil, coffee plus some acidity, and sweetness. Earthiness returns and the flavors are beautifully round.

The cigar produces a lot of smoke. The ash is white and dense. The draw is fantastic. The burn is quite alright. This is a strong cigar, full of flavor. Powerful. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a great cigar but very expensive.

Categories: 92, Asylum, El Aladino, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro. In 1995 the oldest premium handmade family-owned cigar manufacturer in America, J.C. Newman, released the super-premium Diamond Crown line. That was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company. And it was a shock back then as all cigars came with a ring gauge of 54. That was considered insanely big back then. Now 60 seems to be the norm, unfortunately, and 54 is a pretty regular ring gauge.

In 2003, the Diamond Crown Maximus followed. Stronger, bolder. As with all Dominican made cigars for J.C. Newman, they come from the Tabacalera Fuente factory. This time with Dominican filler and binder. The wrapper is sun-grown El Bajo from Ecuador. The No.4 is a 6×50 toro. This cigar was a gift from Bobby Newman when we met a few years ago.

The wrapper is dark, oily, but has some wrinkles reminiscent of old skin, wrinkled under the relentless sun. Yet it helps to give the cigar character when it comes to looks. It’s needed because the band is slick and fancy. Colorful, shiny with plenty of gold. The construction feels good, the cigar seems evenly filled. The aroma is strong, dark chocolate with barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is good. Hay and the complex bitterness of dark chocolate are the flavors in the cold draw. The first puffs are earthy with dark chocolate. The earthiness intensifies. There’s also a hint of leather. Suddenly there is coffee as well. Later on, there’s also some pepper. But the first part of the cigar is mainly soil, leather, coffee, and chocolate. After a third, the cigar opens up. Now there is more sweetness, nice citrus acidity and the flavors aren’t so dark anymore. There is wood, licorice to be more precise. In the final third, the cigar gets more sweet wood and more spice. Yet the earthiness and coffee remain. The spice really picks up. It becomes a pepper bomb at the end.

The draw is good, slightly tight but all within limits. The white ash isn’t all too firm, the handheld vacuum did come out once or twice during the review. The smoke can be thicker and there could be more volume. The burn is slow and straight. The cigar doesn’t have much evolution, but it is solid all the way. The smoke time is three hours. This is a strong cigar, full in flavor and body.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like it a lot but I’d pick the Black Diamond over this one.

Categories: 90, Diamond Crown, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Undercrown Shady XX by Drew Estate

Undercrown Shady XX by Drew Estate. When you think “cigars and hip-hop” there is one brand that jumps out. It is Drew Estate. Hip-hop originated in New York, just as Drew Estate. And everybody at Drew Estate loves hip-hop, it is the music you hear at their booth during every trade show. So when Shady Records was looking for a cigar company to collaborate with, Drew Estate was the obvious choice. And so happens. In 2014, 10 tobacconists in the Detroit area had the opportunity to sell Undercrown Shady cigars. These were a limited edition. It was a success, so the next editions were distributed through Drew Diplomat retailers all over the USA.

Now why Shady Records wanted a cigar is simple. The label is the creation of Eminem and Paul Rosenberg, his manager. Rosenberg is an avid cigar smoker. Sometimes it is as simple as that. The Undercrown Shady XX is the 20th anniversary of Shady Records. It is a bolder version of the Undercrown Maduro. The wrapper is Mexican San Andres Maduro with an American Connecticut Habano binder.

The cigar looks mean. A leathery dark wrapper on a short, stomp box-pressed bellicose. The blue and gold band with the lion looks great and the secondary ring with the Shady Records logo matches it. The construction feels great. The cap is smooth and pretty. The cigar has a strong dark aroma. Dark wood, soil, and barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is good. The flavors in the cold draw are raw tobacco and dark chocolate. Wood, leather, and spices. Full, Nicaraguan, bold like the lyrics of Eminem. There is some toast and roasted coffee as well. A few puffs later, a peanut flavor shows up. With plenty of pepper. The cigar is impossible to retrohale due to the strength. The cigar turns earthy, with cedar. Spicy and strong. The final third has pepper, cedar, earthiness, nuts, and roasted coffee beans.

Due to sad family circumstances, I’m not smoking this cigar in my well-ventilated office but in a shed in my parent’s garden. With a heater and the door closed. Within minutes this cigar leaves you gasping for air due to the thick and heavy smoke. The burn is even and the firm ash is white. The draw is good as well. This is a strong cigar in body and flavor. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I actually prefer the regular Undercrown Maduro

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Romeo y Julieta Tacos Edicion Limitada 2018

Romeo y Julieta Tacos Edicion Limitada 2018. When we hear the word tacos, we don’t automatically think about cigars. On the contrary, we don’t think of cigars at all. We think of the tasty Mexican dish. Yet Habanos called the 2018 Limited Edition of Romeo y Julieta ‘Tacos’. Maybe they hope it is just as delicious?

The cigar measures 6⅝x49 and is a Grand Corona, almost a Churchill in size. When it was released, the price per cigar in The Netherlands was 18 euro. Which isn’t cheap, but not overly expensive for a Cuban Edicion Limitada either. The cigar we are reviewing today comes from La Casa del Habano Almere in The Netherlands

The cigar looks elegant because of the size. The wrapper has a nice dark shade for a Cuban cigar, yet it isn’t smooth. The veins stick out. And as most of the time, the two different rings don’t really match. The classic, classy Romeo y Julieta ring with a bolder, less classy edicion limitada ring. The construction feels fine. A bit hard, but evenly hard. The aroma is classic Cuban, manure, and cedar.

The cold draw is a little tight. It is quite spicy for a Cuban cigar. The first flavors are green herbs, leather, and a little acidity. The flavors then change to toasted bread. The toast gets a little stronger with some vanilla sweetness. Still, in the first third, the cigar turns to cedar with some sweetness. Halfway the cedar and vanilla are a bit stronger, with a little bit of white pepper. The final third starts with cedar, soil, leather, sweetness, and vanilla. More floral notes show up. The cigar gains more strength and flavor. More spice also.

The draw is a little tight, but that’s normal with Cuban cigars. The ash is light-colored with dark smears. The smoke is decent. The burn is pretty straight. This is a medium cigar in both body and flavor. This cigar took two hours and thirty minutes to smoke.

Would I buy this cigar again? Meh

Categories: 88, Cuban cigars, Romeo y Julieta (Habanos) | Tags: , , , ,

Liga Privada Bauhaus

Liga Privada Bauhaus. Over the past few years, Drew Estate has done some exclusive releases for the European market. For example an Undercrown Shade vitola for the German John Aylesbury Group. And the original release of the Undercrown Maduro Flying Pig was a project for the Dutch group Compaenen. Both John Aylesbury and Compaenen are independent tobacconists combining buying power. But never has there been a European exclusive Liga Privada. Until now. Last December Drew Estate made an announcement. There would be a European exclusive Liga Privada Bauhaus. And it’s available now.

The Liga Privada Bauhaus gets its name from the architectural movement Bauhaus. The Short Robusto pays extra attention to leaf placement within the cigar. The blend takes the European cigar enthusiasts through a newly curated experience. The cigar measures 4½x50 and comes in elegant blue boxes of 12 cigars. The cigars use filler from Nicaragua and Honduras. The binder is bold Brazilian tobacco. The wrapper is a rich earthy Connecticut Broadleaf capa. The cigars come from the rolling tables of the Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua.

As all Liga Privada cigars, this is a looker. A stunning black and oily wrapper with character due to the fine veins that run over the leaf. The classic white, gray, and gold band form a beautiful contrast. The Bauhaus name is printed big on the ring. The triple cap is beautiful. The relatively small size fits the look. The construction feels good. The aroma is surprisingly fresh. Fresh wood, floral, and herbal, almost lavender-like.

The cold draw is a little on the easy side. The flavors in the cold draw are floral with a nice spicy kick. From the get-go, this cigar is peppery, sweet, earthy with some leather. It’s in your face immediately, aggressive but in a good way. Almost instantly toast and wood join the previously mentioned flavors. There’s also some coffee. Complex, many strong flavors are battling in the mouth. After the first centimeter, the cigar mellows out a bit without losing its strength. The flavors calm down with spice, nuts, soil, wood, and leather now more in balance. Slowly dark roast coffee takes the spot for the most dominant flavor. Halfway there is more wood with the dark roast coffee. Yet there is also a dry grassy flavor with spice and sweetness. Some puffs later a slightly acidic flavor shows up as well.

The draw is fine. And the air purifier is always working overtime when smoking a cigar from Drew Estate. The burn is nice and straight. The ash is fine when it comes to firmness, yet the color is yellowish-brown. This cigar is full of body and strength. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I can buy bigger Liga Privada cigars for less, so I don’t think so

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Pachuche Liga Azul Tronco

Pachuche Liga Azul Tronco, a big cigar hailing from the Dominican Republic but it’s a Swiss cigar brand. And strongly enough, there are quite a few cigar brands with roots in Switzerland. Davidoff is the most famous one. But brands as ADVentura, Gilbert de Montsalvat, Vegas de Santiago, El Sueno, Patoro, Cavalier Geneve, and Skull 77 all have their roots in the Central European country. So does Pachuche.

The Liga Azul is the third blend that the company released. There are four blends available at the moment, all made at Tabacalera William Ventura. This Liga Azul is the mildest and smoothest with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. All the other tobacco is from the Dominican Republic. The artwork on the cigar is designed by the half Mexican, half Swiss artist Patrick Küng, a childhood friend of brand founder Camillo Bazzell. Küng used his Mexican heritage as an inspiration

The wrapper is pale, yellowish-brown like autumn leaves. The greenish right with the Cinco de Mayo kind of skull is a big contrast with the bright metallic blue foot band that says Liga Azul in big, white letters. For the size, the cigar feels very light. Yet there are no soft spots or signs of underfilling of the cigar. The head is quite flat. The cigar has this manure aroma, which is quite strong.

The cold draw is quite loose and brings sweetness to the palate. Once lit, the cigar gives hay and immediately that musty old book flavor of Connecticut Shade wrappers. There is a mild sweet creaminess to the cigar as well. Slowly some acidity shows up with a hint of white pepper. Slowly the flavors change to cedar and earthiness. Still with that typical Connecticut Shade mustiness though. The cigar is very smooth and mild. The mouthfeel is very creamy, which is pleasant. The flavors remain the same until halfway when a little bit of leather and green herbs show up. But it’s all mellow and smooth. There is a hint to toasted bread every few puffs as well. In the final third, the cream and sweetness return. But with some pepper and nuts.

The draw is a bit on the loose side. But it is still within acceptable margins. The ash is like a stack of dimes, beautifully layers of ash in different tones of gray. The smoke is thick and full. The burn is razor-sharp. This cigar does have balance and a lot of smoothness. It is a mild to medium smoke in strength, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s still a Connecticut Shade cigar.

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Pachuche, Tabacalera William Ventura | Tags: , , ,

Pappy van Winkle Tradition Coronita

Pappy van Winkle Tradition Coronita. A cigar by Drew Estate in collaboration with the famous bourbon brand Pappy van Winkle. Where the fermented cigars are exclusive to the Pappy van Winkle shop. But then the two released the Pappy van Winkle Tradition. It’s available to all Drew Diplomat retailers. There are five sizes available, plus one event only vitola. And a seventh vitola just for Jonathan Drew to hand out.

The 4×46 Coronita is one of the five regular production sizes. The cigar is made with an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. The binder comes from Indonesia. The Dominican Republic and Nicaragua take care of the filler tobaccos. Willy Herrera is responsible for the blend. The cigars come from La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua.

Most of the cigar is hidden with a large ring. A ring with an old picture of a cigar-smoking gentleman. Could it be Pappy himself? The same picture is on the Family Reserve bottles of bourbon. The part of the wrapper that is visible is beautiful. Dark, oily, and smooth. The construction feels good. The aroma is quite strong. Dark, musky, and wood.

The cold draw is great. The flavor is leathery. The first puffs after lighting are strong, leathery with some sweetness, hay, earth, and wood. The mouthfeel is thick. The retrohale is very nice. The cigar has a sweetness that pairs well with bourbon I guess. The sweetness is gaining strength with some spice and a hint of dark chocolate. There is still that slight alcohol flavor as well. The final third has more cedar and a little spice. There is still some leather.

The draw is amazing. The smoke is classic Drew Estate, full and a lot of it. The burn is straight and the ash is reasonably firm. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. There is not a lot of evolution, but then again, it is a short cigar so there isn’t much room for that. It is well balanced and smooth. The smoke time is one hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I really liked this cigar, but 15 dollars for a petit corona is a bit much.

Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Muestra de Saka Unstolen Valor

Muestra de Saka Unstolen Valor. We feel that Steve Saka doesn’t need any introduction. The first cigar blogger back in the day, then a consultant for JR Cigars. Former CEO of Drew Estate, where he changed the course of the company from infused cigars to a hugely successful portfolio of traditional cigars as well. And since 2015 owner of Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust, his own company. With fantastic blends, several of whom ended up in the Ministry of Cigars top 25 of 2019 and 2020.

The Muestra de Saka line is a selection of unique blends and vitolas. The 2020 Muestra de Saka release is different than other years though. Why? Well, it is the blender. Where all Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust blends are from the capable hands of master blender Saka himself, this cigar is the vision and skill of Raul Disla. Disla is the factory manager of NACSA, one of the two factories that make cigars for DTT. This blend of Nicaraguan cigars is so good that Saka deems it worthy to carry the Saka name. And to give credit where credit is due, the name is unstolen valor. Unstolen, because Disla gets all the credit, Steve Saka isn’t shy telling people that this is a Disla blend.

The wrapper on this cigar is stunning. Dark, oily, no thick veins, just a beautifully almost lacquered wrapper leaf with thin veins. Like the skin of an African goddess. The lack of a ring makes the appearance of the wrapper even more noticeable. The only ring on the cigar is a bright yellow cloth ring on the foot with Muestra de Saka and Unstolen Valor printed. The cap is perfect, and the cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is strong, barnyard, hay, and moist soil.

The cold draw is a bit loose but flavorful. A spice bomb. Once lit it’s a spice bomb too, pepper, herbs, but with coffee, and soil. Full, in your face as only Nicaraguan cigars, can be. After a few puffs, the initial blow is over. The flavors are still there, but with more nuance now. It’s then when some wood and sweetness make an appearance. The cigar then becomes woodier, with leather, herbs, and cocoa. The leather slowly takes control, with pepper as its lieutenant. And where the cigar was in your face at the beginning, it’s subtle and nuanced now. Yet without losing any of its strength. The pepper mellows out, the cigar is now all about leather and wood, with a tiny supporting role for earthiness and cocoa. The rest of the first third is a beautiful mixture of leather, cocoa, wood, earthiness, with just enough spice and pepper to keep it very interesting. The leather gains strength, thick, dark leather. There is a faint vanilla flavor. The final third has a lingering metallic flavor, and wood takes over from leather. There are some spices, but the most predominant spice is pepper.
The cigar ends as it started, strong, bold, in your face with coffee, earthiness, and a lot of pepper.

The draw is fantastic. The ash is like a stack of dimes. And a good, stable stack as well. The burn is straight and slow. The smoke is decent, quite thick and full but not Drew Estate style smoke. This is a full-body cigar, full of flavor too. The smoke time is three hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 93, Muestra de Saka, Nicaragua American Cigars S.A., Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Plasencia Year of the Ox

Plasencia Year of the Ox. This year Plasencia is one of the many brands that jump on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar bandwagon. And it’s the first time that the Nicaraguan cigar mogul does it. It’s been only a few years since Plasencia made the call to create cigars with the family name, but with their knowledge, background, and reputation they were able to secure a good portion of the market. And this year they want some of the Asian market as well.

From the moment the press release of this cigar came out, I was intrigued. Not because of the story behind the cigar, but because of the €35 price. Yes, there are more expensive cigars. We even reviewed more expensive cigars. But all those cigars had something that justified the price. Vintage tobacco or rare tobacco for example. There is nothing in the press release or information that justifies this price, so there’s only one way to find out if this cigar is worth it. One thing is for sure, you’re getting a lot of Nicaraguan tobacco in this 7×58 Figurado.

The looks are impressive, a 7×58 Figurado is always a head-turner. The milk-chocolate brown wrapper is oily and smooth. There are three rings, all with the same red and gold color scheme. Red and gold are important colors that stand for wealth in Chinese culture. The shape is immaculate. The aroma is surprisingly mild, just some wood and hay. Lack of cellophane around the cigar did cause some damage during transport on the head and the foot.

The cold draw is fine despite the damage on both samples smoked. Wood, sultanas, and raw tobacco are the flavors in the cold draw. The first flavor is cedar, with a lot of pepper and some caramel. The sweetness then turns more to a marshmallow sweetness with mild spices like cumin in the retrohale. There is also some toast and vanilla, with a bit of white pepper. Mellow, balanced, sweet but mostly interesting. The cumin flavor gets a little stronger. Ceder slowly shows up. The sweetness turns more to molasses, with more cedar, spices, and a bit of white pepper. There is a hint of old book flavor that is classic of Connecticut Shade tobacco. But it is very mild. Around halfway there are baking spices, like gingerbread spices, but still with sweetness. There is also a little bit of leather. The flavor profile is quite unique. The sweetness is consistent, different kinds of sweetness but overall a constantly sweet cigar. Natural sweetness and very pleasant. In the final third there’s more leather, cedar, spices, and pepper. Even till the final puffs, it’s easy to retrohale the cigar. The very last few puffs have dark chocolate and mocha with pepper and cedar. But the mocha is fantastic.

The draw is great. The light gray ash is a bit coarse but seems to hold on nicely. The burning cigar has a nice toasty aroma to it. There are some issues with the burn. It had to be touched up a few times. The smoke is nice and thick. This cigar is balanced, smooth, and very tasteful. Medium in strength, full in flavor. It is a great smoke, high-end for sure. Does it justify the high price tag? Partially yes as it is a unique cigar with tremendous tobacco. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I loved it, but €35 is a lot of money.

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Plasencia, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , ,

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