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

Casa Cuevas Reserva Maduro Toro

Casa Cuevas Reserva Maduro Toro. A cigar that as far as we know is only available in the United States, New Zealand, and the Dominican Republic. And it’s a relatively new brand yet not a new family. The Cuevas family is growing tobacco and making cigars for decades. Since 1890 to be exact. In the early 2000s, the Casa Cuevas brand was sold for a while. But then the family returned to making cigars for others. Until 2016, when the Casa Cuevas line returned. In a way, the story of the Cuevas family is similar to the El Artista brand and even Plasencia. All three are around for a long time, but only recently started making cigars for themselves instead of just producing for others.

This Casa Cuevas Reserva Maduro Toro is made with a Mexican San Andres wrapper. The binder is Piloto Cubana from the Dominican Republic. The filler contains tobacco from Ometepe, Nicaragua, and from the Dominican Republic. For this review, I smoked the 6×50 Toro. Other sizes available are a 5×52 Robusto and a 6¼x52 Torpedo.

The cigar looks good. The wrapper is dark, very dark. But evenly dark, and a bit on the dry side. The blue, white, and silver ring is similar to the new world Romeo y Julieta ring. The construction feels great and the triple cap is flawless. The cigar smells like dark chocolate and soil. Bittersweet and intense.

The cold draw is a bit tights. Quite spicy yet with a dark chocolate undertone. After lighting the cigar gives dark chocolate, earthiness, coffee. Bittersweet flavors with black pepper. In the second third, the dark chocolate is still the main flavor, but now with hay, coffee, and soil. The pepper tones down a bit. There is a hint of citrus. The cigar is balanced, yet not smooth. Halfway it’s still possible to retrohale without too much spice in the nose. The mouthfeel is still dry. In the final third, more wood shows up with some leather. But the spice and the dark chocolate are still going strong as well.

The draw is good, better than in the cold draw. The smoke is thick, white, and full. The burn is straight. The ash is almost white, yet it breaks quite easily. This cigar isn’t very strong, but the flavors are bold. The cigar is balanced. The evolution isn’t spectacular, but the overall flavors are good. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Las Lavas | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

H. Upmann Royal Robusto

H. Upmann Royal Robusto. A cigar that was first born in 2011 and exclusively available at the La Casa del Habano franchise stores all around the world. It’s a staple since and has a good reputation within the world of Habano lovers. And it was about time that review another H. Upmann cigar, this Royal Robusto seems a good choice.

Like all Habanos, this is a cigar entirely made of Cuban tobacco. A puro, with wrapper, binder, and filler from the beautiful Caribbean island. It measures 5⅜x52 and that makes it an Edmundo. In Cuba, cigars have a factory name and an “outside” name. For the outside world, this is a Robusto, yet in the factories, it’s an Edmundo. A size that is best known for the Montecristo.

The wrapper is wrinkled like an old lady. Or your fingertips after spending too much time in a bathtub. But it has some shine to it from the oil. Even though the red of the secondary ring isn’t exactly the same as the red in the classic H. Upmann logo, the rings don’t clash. The construction of the cigar feels good. The aroma is mild floral.

The cold draw is good and has a b.t of a floral flavor. Lit the cigar releases sweetness with floral flavors and creamy coffee. There is a little salty undertone as well. The sweetness turns to vanilla. But there is also a little bit of pepper. After a third, some nutty flavor is the most dominant. There is also cedar, floral notes, and sweetness. Close to the final third, sweetness and cedar grow in strength.

The draw is fantastic. The burn is good and the cigar releases a nice amount of smoke. The ash is quite dark but relatively firm. The cigar is well constructed. The flavors are balanced, well rounded, and smooth. This is probably a cigar with a few years of age on it. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

VegaFina Fusion Edition

VegaFina Fusion Edition. There are many collaborations in the cigar industry. Blenders working together. Factories working together. There are some well-known collaborations. Drew Estate making the coffee-infused Java for Rocky Patel. Or Drew Estate and Robert Caldwell working on the All Out Kings. And in the past, Drew Estate worked with Illusione for the Nosotros. A.J. Fernandez works with Jochi Blanco for the San Lotano Dominicana and with Altadis USA for some blends. The T is a project of Robert Caldwell, Matt Booth, and A.J. Fernandez. Many more collaborations happen. But last year, one was announced that piqued my interest.

The Spanish owned, Dominican made VegaFina brand is growing on us. And when they said they would collaborate with the largest cigar factory in China, Great Wall Cigar Factory, it was an immediate ‘must-try’. The cigars come from the rolling tables of the factory in Shifang. But the blend does not contain any Chinese tobacco. The wrapper and binder are Dominican. The filler is Dominican, Brazilian, and Indonesian. Indonesian tobacco is the only Asian influence in the blend. The cigar comes in a 6×52 Pyramid and will be available globally later this year. With the exploding demand for luxury goods in China, this is a very smart move from VegaFina owner Tabacalera.

The cigars came to me without a ring. That has to do with plain packaging rules. So I judge the ring with the pictures we have from the Ministry of Cigars article about the Fusion Edition. The ring has the VegaFina look but with added elements from Chinese culture such as a dragon and a painting of the Great Wall of China. The cigar itself has a beautiful, smooth, Colorado Maduro colored wrapper. It feels like velvet. There are little imperfections. The cigar feels well constructed. There is a nice, medium-strong aroma of a stable. Hay, musk, and leather.

The cold draw is good with an earthy profile. The earthiness is strong in the first puffs with pepper. There is a sweetness of dried fruits, but also leather and wood. The cigar starts with a flavor bomb. The cedar is more pronounced in the retrohale. Slowly the wood gets stronger with a little sour twang. The flavor palate gets more leather, more wood, and a little nuttiness. But there is still some dried fruit sweetness, earthiness, and citrus acidity as well. The cigar continues on the same path with the sweetness, and wood as the main flavors. There are hints of pepper, sometimes some slight dark chocolate shows up. Every now and then there is some leather or earthiness. All the way in the background there is that twang of acidity that binds everything together. In the final third, the aftertaste is slightly minty. With cinnamon that shows up, hay, leather, wood, spice, and sweetness.

The draw is great. The ash is white and dense. It’s firm and pretty. The burn is slow and straight. The amount of smoke and the thickness is good. This cigar is medium in body but full in flavor. There is character, and it’s a surprise that this Chinese made cigar is so pleasant. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I enjoyed it.

Categories: 91, Chinese Cigars, Great Wall Cigar Factory, VegaFina | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cimarron Connecticut Robusto

Cimarron Connecticut Robusto. In 2018, Tabacalera El Artista released the Cimarron. And not just in one blend, but in three. Once with a Connecticut Shade wrapper, one with a Maduro wrapper. And a third one, with a Habano wrapper exclusively for Germany. Recently, a soft box-pressed toro was launched as a Dominican exclusive. Ram Rodriguez, the third generation to work at Tabacalera El Artista, was heavily involved in the blending process. And as he is not a fan of Connecticut Shade tobacco, blending the Connecticut version was hard to do. In a Zoom conversation, Rodriguez said he feels like he succeeded. And that the Cimarron is a Connecticut Shade blend that is suitable for the smokers that don’t like Connecticut Shade wrappers. That includes me, I dislike Connecticut Shade with a passion.

Tabacalera El Artista is around since 1965, but most of the time, they have been on the background. Going and trading tobacco, making private labels, and no-name bundle cigars. But the last few years, Tabacalera El Artista is coming in strong with great blends under their own brands. And as tobacco growers, they are innovators. The filler of the Cimarron uses T13 tobacco, a hybrid. Created by Tabacalera El Artista. The company is also responsible for bringing back Negrito, an old tobacco variety. It was very popular in the mid-1900s but lost popularity. Ram Rodriguez brought it back as a tribute to his grandfather. Tabacalera El Artista uses Dominican Negrito in many of its blends. The wrapper on this 5×54 Robusto comes from Honduras, which is different from Ecuadorian or American Connecticut Shade.

The wrapper is quite dark for a Connecticut Shade. It has a thin, long, vein on the side. The classic looking ring is clean and clear. White, green, and gold are a color combination that works well. The cigar has a beautiful triple cap and feels well constructed. The aroma is medium strong, the aroma is that of a freshly cut down apple tree mixed with straw.

The cold draw is fine with a mild wooden flavor. Once lit, the cigar has a spice, oak, sweetness, but also a little bit of that old book Connecticut flavor. The cigar does have some bitterness that is classic Connecticut Shade as well, but all the while it’s creamy too. There are pepper, cedar, and leather. The sweetness is almost marzipan like. Halfway the first third, there is a slightly nutty flavor as well. After a third, the cigar is woody with nuts, some sweetness, soil, and leather. Halfway, the nuttiness of the flavors is enough to fool the smoker into thinking it’s a Corojo wrapper. There is no sign of the classic Connecticut profile, just a nice and spicy nuttiness that fits more into a Corojo profile. The final third is a beautiful mix of different woods, soil, leather, and nuts. The pepper is still there but balanced and on the background. The finale is peppery and strong.

The draw is fine while the smoke is thick and nice. The burn is straight. The grayish ash is firm. The cigar is medium in both body and flavor. There is a nice evolution in the cigar. All along with the cigar, there is a little roughness that gives the mildness some edge. Without that roughness, the cigar would be boring. The smoke time is three hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s one of the few Connecticut’s I enjoyed.

Categories: 90, Cimarron, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera El Artista | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Toro

Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Toro. A cigar created to honor and commemorate Julius Caeser Newman. The Eastern European immigrant that started J.C. Newman Cigar Company in 1895. The company is still going strong, with the fourth and fifth-generation now in charge. It’s the oldest, still existing cigar brand in the United States. J.C. Newman makes cigars in Tampa, Florida, and Esteli, Nicaragua. The Dominican cigars from J.C. Newman, including those Diamond Crown Julius Caeser are made at Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia. Fuente and Newman have a long-lasting relationship. Not only a working relationship when it comes to cigar production. The companies also work together for distribution and charity. The Cigar Family Charity Foundation is the brainchild of Carlito Fuente and the brothers’ Eric & Bobby Newman.

In 2010, the Newman family released this line. With Dominican filler and binder, wrapped in an Ecuadorian Havana wrapper. There are several sizes available, but the sampler that Bobby Newman gave Ministry of Cigars contained this 6×52 Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Toro. If you think that Julius Caeser is written wrongly, you are right and wrong. When the young Newman came to the USA as an immigrant, immigration officers wrote his name incorrectly. Newman never corrected it, and he was known as Julius Caeser for the rest of his life. And for decades after, due to the family heritage and the cigar line carrying his name.

The cigar has an oily, Colorado Maduro colored wrapper. There are some veins. It’s clearly a sun-grown wrapper. Not just the color gives it away, but also the texture and the veins. The ring is Roman Empire inspired with columns and an image of an emperor with a golden wreath. Now it’s the question, is the emperor on the ring Julius Caesar or an image of Julius Caeser Newman, the founder of the J.C. Newman Cigar Company? The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong, vegetal, and earthy.

The cold draw is spicy, peppery, and full of flavor. After lighting, there is a salty, earthy coffee flavor. The same flavors show up in the retrohale as well, but with a little cedar as a bonus. There is a little spice, which comes close to paprika. Very unique and something we never tasted in a cigar before. Slowly the cigar moves to nutty tones, with ground black pepper, leather, and earthy flavors. The earthy flavors are starting to dominate the palate, with pepper as its main accomplice. But the pepper isn’t overpowering, it’s balanced. But after a few puffs, the flavors change to wood. There is a lot of dynamics in the first part of the cigar. The cigar mellows out after that, not in flavor strength, but in dynamics. The wood flavor is the main flavor, with pepper, spices, earthiness, and leather as supporting flavors. After the first third, some dried grass shows up as well. Later on, there is also some citrus and sweetness to go with the previously mentioned flavors. As well as very faint milk chocolate. Cedar gets more pronounced in the retrohale. At the beginning of the final third, the flavors change to leather with pepper, spice, and still that earthiness. The finale sees a lot of pepper.

The draw and the burn are both great. The right amount of resistance, and a very straight burn. The smoke is decent, it could have been a bit thicker though. The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The cigar is balanced. It’s a medium to full-bodied cigar, full-flavored. Bold almost. The smoke time is three hours exactly.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like it a lot but it’s too expensive for a regular smoke.

Categories: 92, Diamond Crown, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , ,

My Father Fonseca Robusto

My Father Fonseca Robusto. A Nicaraguan Fonseca, only available in the United States and possibly the Dominican Republic. Because the trademark that My Father Cigars acquired from Quesada Cigars in December of last year is only valid there. Cubatabaco owns the trademark for the Fonseca brand in the rest of the world. And now the new cigar is released. It’s highly anticipated, as My Father Cigars has been making fantastic cigars for years. The company won the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 list twice in the last decade. Not many companies can say that.

The new blend is all Nicaraguan. And all the tobacco comes from the farms of the Garcia family. The wrapper is a shade-grown Corojo ’99 Rosado variety. For this review, I smoked the 5¼x52 Robusto. Other sizes available are a 5½x54 Belicoso, 5⅜x42 Cosacos, 4¼x40 Petit Corona, 6×55 Toro Gordo, and a 6¼x52 Cedros. The last one is wrapped in cedar. The Cosacos come with the iconic Fonseca wax paper. The brand is 130 years old, but since the Cuban revolution, there are two versions. One Cuban, owned by Cubatobaco for the international markets. And one new world version for the American market. Fun fact is that Don Francisco Fonseca, the founder of the brand, moved to New York and became an American citizen in the early 1900s while still operating the factory in Cuba.

The cigar looks great. The ring is fantastic. The designers managed to merge the iconic Fonseca logo and the style that My Father Cigar uses perfectly. It is detailed, beautiful, and printed on high quality. It’s immediately recognizable as both a My Father Cigars product and Fonseca. The wrapper is smooth and oily. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is surprisingly floral with hints of wood.

The cold draw is very good. Mild spicy with wood. Once lit, the cigar gives coffee, spice, wood, and soil. With a little bit of citrus acidity and sugary sweetness. There are some cinnamon and nutmeg in the retrohale. Soon the Corojo wrapper starts to release the signature nut flavor, with wood, pepper, and leather. There is still a little sweetness that balances everything out. After a third, the spice mix is almost like gingerbread. With wood, leather, and a little bit of nuttiness. The cigar has a nice spice sweetness undertone all along. Not sugary sweetness, but more the sweetness you get with cinnamon rolls, without tasting like a cinnamon roll. Halfway the cigar gets a little darker flavor profile, with more oak. The pepper slowly grows to that classic, strong pepper that made the Don Pepin Garcia cigars so popular and famous. The final third is more wood, even with some barbecue flavor, and pepper. Making it a great cigar to smoke during or after a barbecue.

The draw is fantastic. The cigar produces a lot of smoke. Thick, white smoke. The ash is light-colored and dense. The burn is straight and slow. The cigar is very balanced, smooth yet with plenty of character. The cigar starts out medium but slowly grows to full-bodied. It’s full-flavored. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want boxes, boxes, and boxes.

Categories: 94, Fonseca, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Muestra de Saka Nacatamale

Muestra de Saka Nacatamale. A beautiful 6×48 Gran Corona from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. And if that name doesn’t ring a bell, Steve Saka will probably do. If Steve Saka doesn’t ring a bell, then you seriously need to upgrade your cigar knowledge. Saka was the first cigar blogger. Then he became a marketing consultant for J.R. Cigars, CEO for Drew Estate, and for a few years, he’s the owner, blender, and the face of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.

This Muestra de Saka Nacatamale is the second cigar in the Muestra de Saka line. And the first regular production, as the inaugural cigar was a limited edition. Named after a traditional Nicaraguan dish. It’s not the last time that Saka named a cigar after food though. The filler tobacco is all from one farm in Jalapa, Esteli. Add a Nicaraguan binder and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and you have the ingredients for this cigar. Made in Esteli, at Joya de Nicaragua. This cigar was a gift from Puros Asia, the Malaysian distributor for Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.

The first thing that catches the eye, after it’s taken out of the coffin, is the lack of a cigar ring. The Muestra de Saka Nacatamale has a cloth foot ring. Include the coffin, and this is something that stands out in a humidor. Fluorescent yellow with red letters spelling Muestra de Saka, and black letters Nacatamale printed over the red letters. The wrapper is oily, yet has some veins. The dark color isn’t even everywhere, it’s lighter around the veins. But that makes this cigar intriguing. The cap has a little tail, but it’s no flag tail or pigtail. Just a little 2-millimeter tail. The construction feels fantastic. And the aroma is delicious, dark, spicy, and intense.

The cold draw is flawless with a spicy taste. Once it, it’s dark roast coffee with some red chili and sweetness. The flavors turn to grassy, nutty, spicy, and leathery. There is an earthy cinnamon flavor with some pepper, well blended and balanced. The coffee returns, and there is slight dark chocolate. The retrohale has a mildly sweet and mild spice flavor, close to nutmeg. The second third starts earthy with coffee. The smooth spices, with a little pepper, dominate the cigar. There is also some earthy chocolate. The final third has dark flavors, some oak, leather, spices, some black pepper. There is also a hint of sweetness and freshness. The oak gets stronger, with roasted tones. Roasted coffee returns as well. The finale has a little more black pepper.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is almost Drew Estate like. Thick, full, white, and plentiful. The light-colored, almost white, ash breaks easily though. It’s so well balanced and so smooth that it doesn’t feel like a medium to a full-bodied cigar. But it is though, and it’s also full-flavored. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Hell yeah

Categories: 93, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Muestra de Saka, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Umnum Honduras Robusto

Umnum Honduras Robusto. A strange name for a cigar that’s gaining traction in Europe. Handmade cigars, from Nicaragua or Honduras depending on the blend. And dirt cheap. This robusto has a price tag of €2,30 in Germany, making it one of the cheapest handmade cigars on the market. Where the name Umnum comes from, we have no idea. Google didn’t tell us anything. The only umnum we found is a tiny village in the West Papua province of Indonesia. But that region is too cold to grow tobacco, and only the Nicaragua blend uses some Indonesian tobacco.

There are two blends. The first one is a Nicaraguan puro. I reviewed the Umnum Nicaragua Bond some time ago. The second blend is the Umnum Honduras. It’s made at an undisclosed factory in Honduras. The wrapper is Honduran with a Mexican binder. The filler tobaccos are from Nicaragua and Honduras. The robusto measures 5×50 but there are several other sizes available. From a Petit Corona called Bond to a 4¾x60 Jumbo and a few more in between.

The cigar doesn’t look like a cheap cigar. The ring is beautiful. Matte Black with a shiny copper-colored logo of a traditional image, probably Mayan. The wrapper itself is Colorado colored and has the looks of Corojo. Dryish, with the feel of fine sandpaper. The veins are thin. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is medium strong. It has forests smell with a hint of something like old urine. It’s not the most pleasant aroma we ever experienced, but also not the worst.

The cold draw is fine but has that dried dusty flavor of Connecticut Shade. Once lit there is a strong coffee flavor, slightly acidic. The flavor is a little rough around the edges. The coffee and acidity remain, but now with some sweetness, dried leaves, and musty wood. At the end of the first third, the cigar has a very unpleasant flavor. The sour flavor is ruining everything else. The second third is musty, dried leaves, and a little harsh. The acidity is still there but at a tolerable level. There is a bit of a burned wood and nuts flavor as well. The final third starts with peanuts. The acidity is completely gone. There is a bit more sweetness. The cigar completely changes from bad to great. A nice, balanced combination of black pepper, sweetness, leather, wood, coffee, and nuts. 

The construction is great. The draw, the burn, and the smoke are of high quality. Straight burn, although we had to correct it once, halfway. Thick, white smoke. Good draw. White ash. The flavors are medium to full. But not well rounded, too acidic. But the last third is a game-changer. It’s day and night. The smoke time is three hours fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Based on the first and second third, no. Based on the final third, yes.

Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, Umnum | Tags: , , , ,

Diesel Whisky Row Robusto

Diesel Whisky Row Robusto. Who owns Diesel Cigars is a bit of a mystery to most cigar enthusiasts. Despite popular belief, it is not a brand from A.J. Fernandez although Fernandez is the manufacturer responsible for the brand. But the brand isn’t in the hands of A.J. Fernandez, it’s just blended by his skillful hands. And the production takes place at his factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The owner of Diesel cigars is Scandinavian Tobacco Group, through Meier & Dutch. STG is the parent of General Cigars, Cigar.com, Cigarsinternational.com Thompson.com, Cigarbid.com, and more. Last year, they acquired Royal Agio as well. Meier & Dutch is a wholesale company that operates under the STG umbrella. The original Diesel Unholy Cocktail was only available at STG owned internet retailers in the past.

The Diesel Unholy Cocktail is so popular that the Diesel brand spawned into a whole series. And not exclusive through the STG stores anymore, but everywhere. Some lines even made it across the ocean to Europe. For the Diesel Whisky Row, the Diesel brand and Rabbit Hole distilleries collaborate. Rabbit Hole distilleries, a bourbon manufacturer, sends used barrels to A.J. Fernandez. Fernandez uses those barrels to age Mexican San Andres leaves. He uses them as a binder under an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. For the filler, he uses aged Nicaraguan tobacco from Jalapa, Condega, and Ometepe. Ministry of Cigars reviews the 5½x52 Robusto.

The first thing that makes this cigar stand out is the shape of the ring. It’s big and diagonally placed over the cigar. But then there is a partially round part as well. Pastel blue, brown, and gray. It has the Diesel logo and the Rabbit Hole Bourbon logo. The foot ring is big as well that says that the cigar is bourbon barrel-aged and it has the names of both Diesel and Rabbit Hole prominently on the ring. The Colorado Maduro colored wrapper is smooth looking. Right below the head, there seems to be a softer spot. The aroma is strong, barnyard, and manure.

The cold draw is great. There is a bit of an alcohol taste in the cold draw, but that could be just a mind trick. There is some spice on the lips as well. Once lit, there is leather, wood, soil, and citrus acidity. There is also an alcohol flavor to the cigar, so the barrel aging does work. The barrel aging brings out more vanilla from the wood. There is a nice toasted flavor, floral, with wood, leather, nuts, and that alcohol right on the edge. Halfway there is also some nutmeg in the flavor profile, or is it cinnamon? Slowly the flavors change to wood, leather, and chocolate. All with that alcoholic mouthfeel and slight pepper. The sweetness returns, the pepper gains strength, and all on a base flavor of wood and leather.

The construction is great. A lot of thick white smoke. Beautiful light gray ash. A great draw and a straight burn. The cigar is smooth, well-rounded flavors. The cigar is medium to full in body, full in flavor. The smoke time is three hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? On my next order

Categories: 91, Diesel, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , ,

Bolivar Libertador Edición Francia

Bolivar Libertador Edición Francia. This cigar is released three times. First in 2006 as an edicion regional for France. A year later, another batch was released, also for the French market. This particular cigar hails from the second release. Those releases came in boxes of 10 or dress boxes of 25. The cigar that we smoke for this review comes from a dress box of 25. In 2013, the cigar returned as a semi-regular production but exclusively for the La Casa del Habano franchise stores. The La Casa del Habano version only comes in ten-count boxes though.

I was gifted this beautiful, fat cigar by a friend. We were smoking a cigar pairing it with Cohiba cognac by Martell at his beautiful home. He brought out a box of these beauties and said “why don’t you do a review of these”. A task we happily accepted. The 6½x54 Sublimes has a reputation, and we had never smoked one. So to be able to review a vintage version is an opportunity we could not pass.

The cigar looks good. A nice, evenly colored wrapper. Just one vein. But the wrapper looks dry. Not dry as in no moisture, but dry as in not oily. The triple cap is beautiful. The regular Bolivar ring, with the gold, yellow and brown looks good on the shade of the wrapper. As with most Cuban rings, the exclusivo ring and the regular ring don’t really match. The cigar feels quite hard. There isn’t a lot of aromas left after thirteen years of aging.

The cold draw is good. Lightly salty with a little bit of black pepper. Once lit, the salt and pepper are hardly noticeable. The cigar has a nice honey sweetness with leather. The flavor then turns to dry leather, sweetness, and cedar. Mellow and smooth, this cigar tells you it’s aged. The second third starts with a pronounced coffee flavor, with spices, leather, cedar, and honey. The flavors gain strength as well. The mouthfeel gets dry with coffee, earth, honey, and leather. The same flavors keep lingering around, one stronger than the other and then switching. The honey remains pronounced. Coffee keeps coming back, with leather. In the final third, the earthiness is getting stronger with some more spice and pepper. It has that typical flavor of an aged Cuban cigar that cannot be found in any other cigar in the world.

The draw is good. The light gray ash is pretty and quite firm. The flavors of the cigar are smooth and balanced. In the first third, it’s clear that this is an aged cigar. The cigar starts to show character in the second third, before that it was mellow at best. The smoke is now nice and thick. White and a good volume of smoke as well. This cigar starts mild and grows to medium-full. Both in flavor and strength. The smoke time is three hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Boxes with this age are impossible to find.

Categories: 91, Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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