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

H Upmann Magnum 56 Edicion Limitada 2015

H Upmann Magnum 56 Edicion Limitada 2015. This Cuban marca and vitola recently made a comeback in a jar. But the original release is an edicion limitada and that is the one we are reviewing. It is the only Cuban cigar with this specific size of 5⅞x56.

As is the case with any Cuban cigar, the blend only consists of Cuban tobacco. All younger than 3 years otherwise it would be a reserva or gran reserva. But it is a limited edition, so according to Habanos, higher quality of tobacco is used for this production.

The cigar looks thick and big. The dark wrapper helps, and the few veins make it look like a mean powerhouse. If this cigar was a guy at a bar, you would not pick a fight with him just on appearance. The triple cap looks great and the embossing on the ring is a nice touch. The construction feels good. The woody aroma is mild.

The cold draw is very loose, easy. Something not very Cubaneqsue. The first puff is in your face. Wood, leather, soil, coffee, and sweetness. And there is some spice in the aftertaste. The flavor mellows out to a nice cedar, earthy, and coffee. There is a little pepper in the aftertaste. The second third starts with a dry mouthfeel. Leather, cedar, and hay. Even in a blind smoke, it would be clear that this is a Cuban cigar. Halfway the cigar is all about toast. The spice and pepper pick up in the final third, but even then it is possible to retrohale.

The draw is easy, maybe too easy. But the cigar gives plenty of nice, thick smoke. The burn is straight. Even after leaving the cigar for a couple of minutes, there was no reason to relight. The ash is on the darker side of the color scheme. It is a medium-bodied cigar, medium-full on the flavor spectrum. The smoke time is two hours twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It was not bad, but I can get better for less.

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

Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto

Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto. This blend was released in 2019 but there are rumors that it’s actually an old blend that made a return under a new name. Yet those rumors are unconfirmed and thus I won’t say that it is the same cigar unlike one of the largest cigar retailers in the USA. Their website claims “This cigar has received a packaging & name update. Previously known as Brittania Reserva, the Shade Grown is the same exact blend under a new name.”

The blend consists of a Honduran Connecticut Shade wrapper. The binder is Cuban seed tobacco from the Dominican Republic. The filler is all Cuban seed, from both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The robusto measures 5½x54 and it’s made at the Von Eicken Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic. The factory is better known under the previous name: Charles Fairmorn.

The cigar starts off with bonus points for looks. It doesn’t get any better than with a pigtail and a closed foot in my book. This cigar has both. Add a simple yet sophisticated band and you’re halfway there. That the velvet-like smooth wrapper isn’t very oily and a bit pale in color doesn’t even matter anymore. The wrapper is not very light in color for a Connecticut Shade wrapper though. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is mild and quite woody.

The cold draw is fine, yet quite flavorless. The first five minutes of smoking give a mild flavor. The typical mustiness of Connecticut Shade, much like old books, with some sweetness. But it is Honduran Connecticut, and that means that the mustiness isn’t as distinct and strong as with Ecuadorian of Connecticut grown Connecticut Shade. After a third, some young wood shows up, with some spice, and leather. But the musty Connecticut flavor is still around. The retrohale gives a bit of a nutmeg and cinnamon flavor. There is a herbal spice noticeable on the back of the tongue. Halfway a hazelnut flavor shows up. Which is a pleasant change of pace, but not unexpected. Honduran Connecticut Shade often has a nutty flavor as well. The sweetness gets stronger. In the final third, there is a spicy yet sweet cedar flavor with a tangy acidity.

The draw is flawless. The ash is quite dark and the burn had to be corrected a few times. The smoke is fine. When it comes to construction, there are no complaints. Yet this is a cigar mild to medium in body and mild to medium in flavor. The classic Connecticut Shade mustiness is the dominant flavor and if you don’t like that, this is not your cigar. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. There are plenty of Kristoff cigars that I love but this isn’t one of them.

Categories: 88, Charles Fairmorn, Dominican cigars, Kristoff | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Circus Twister Torpedo

The Circus Twister Torpedo. A barber pole that represents the knowledge and know-how of the cigar blenders. It is related to El Viejo Continente, as Daniel Guerrero is the owner and blender of both brands. Previously I did a review of the Circus Maduro Lancero. But today we smoke the barber pole Twister. Unlike the Lancero, the Twister is part of the line since the original release.

The cigars are made at the brand new El Viejo Continente Cigar factory. Previously El Viejo Continente and Circus came from American Caribbean Cigars. The series is a tribute to all the people that worked with master blender Daniel Guerrero during the creation of this cigar. It took Guerrero and his people four years to make the blend. The first four sizes were named with the team in mind. The Magician represents the ingenuity of the team where the Harlequin is the fact of always wanting to make it. The Twister stands for the knowledge and the know-how of the blenders. And the Canon is the final shot, an explosion of flavors

This cigar is a looker. The two-tone wrapper is cool. The head of the torpedo is immaculate. The bright, colorful ring stands out. This is a cigar you will notice in a full humidor. The construction feels good. The aroma is strong and dark, pure manure.

The cold draw is a bit loose, with a dry sultana flavor. The first puffs are dried leaves with a little bit of a clove flavor. Slightly toasted as well. There is also a mild sweet flavor, almost like agave syrup. The cigar gets a bit of a sweet floral flavor, with dried leaves. Slowly the sweetness gets stronger, almost cotton candy-like although not as overpoweringly sweet as those. The second third welcomes some cedar, leather, and more dark spices to the palate. The cigar is smooth and edgy at the same time. The toast makes a comeback with just the right amount of sweetness and a little cream. It’s almost like having a piece of toast with butter and cane sugar. Later on, there is a dark chocolate bitterness. The final third has an acidity with hay. The finale has a blast of pepper.

The draw is fine. The smoke is plentiful, yet the color is gray. The light gray ash is dense and firm. The burn is beautiful. This is a well-balanced cigar, medium in body, medium-full in flavor. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I smoke this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 91, American Caribbean Tobacco S.A., Nicaraguan cigars, The Circus | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Cimarron Maduro Robusto

Cimarron Maduro Robusto. Cimarron is an area in the south of America. It runs from Colorado to Oklahoma. But this cigar doesn’t come from that area, nor does it contains tobacco from the area. It is a cigar by Tabacalera El Artista, a Dominican cigar manufacturer & tobacco grower. Ministry of Cigars did a review of the Cimarron Connecticut before.

Tabacalera El Artista is around since the 1960s. As tobacco growers and as cigar manufacturers. But up until a few years ago, most of the cigars El Artista made were private labels for others. With the new generation coming in, things change. Brands for themselves, plus the return of some ancient tobaccos. Tobaccos with low yield, but specific flavors that were almost eradicated such as Dominican Negrito. And newly developed varieties such as T13, completely crossbred and developed by Tabacalera El Artista. Both of these tobaccos are in the Cimarron Maduro. The wrapper is Mexican though. And the filler also has some Colombian tobacco to create the necessary acidity for balance.

The cigar looks amazing. A toothy, dark, almost black wrapper. It is oily, and it feels like fine sandpaper. The construction feels great. The fresh green, white, and gold band stands out on the dark wrapper. The aroma is deep, a mixture of dark chocolate with barnyard.

The cold draw is fine and the flavor of raw tobacco with spice and roasted coffee shops up on the palate. Straight from the start, there are flavors such as coffee, earth, and dark chocolate, balanced by some sweetness and acidity. The coffee, acidity, and sweetness remain and are in perfect balance. In the background, there’s some spice. Toasty flavors show up as well, and they bring back the dark chocolate. After the first third, the main flavors are oak and dark chocolate. There is white pepper as well. A little dry licorice shows up in the background. The retrohale gives a peppery flavor. Oak and dark chocolate are the flavors in the mouth. The cigar remains dark in flavor. Oak, soil, and dark chocolate with some support of acidity to balance things out, sweetness, and pepper. In the last third, leather makes a comeback. With the previously mentioned flavors still in the mix. Wood, acidity, and pepper are getting stronger. Oak to be more precise than wood in general. The finale is very peppery.

The draw is good. The ash is very light in color, creating a beautiful contrast with the dark wrapper. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is plentiful and thick. This is a full-bodied cigar, full of flavor as well. It could use more evolution, but it’s still a pleasant cigar for a very reasonable price. The smoke time is three hours

Would I buy this cigar again? A fiver maybe.

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

Hiram & Solomon Grand Architect Toro

Hiram & Solomon Grand Architect Toro. When Hiram & Solomon introduced the Grand Architect in 2019 the company had something to say. “It is appropriate that a society founded on the principles of architecture, which symbolizes the terms of that science to moral purposes, and whose members profess to be architects of a spiritual temple should view the Divine Being, under whose holy law they are constructing that edifice, as their Master Builder or Great Architect. Sometimes, but less correctly, the title Grand Architect of the Universe is found.”

The cigar, like all regular production Hiram & Solomon cigars, comes from Nicaragua. They are made at Plasencia Cigars and David Blanco from Blanco Cigars is part of the blending team. The tobacco from Paraguay is pretty rare. It is part of the filler, together with tobacco from Esteli and Jalapa. The binder is Habano Seco from Jalapa. The wrapper is Nicaraguan Corojo. There are several sizes available but for this review,I smoke a 6×52 Toro.

The cigar has a bit of a reddish glow on the wrapper. It is smooth and mild oily. The ring is different than other Hiram & Solomon rings, it doesn’t have the Masonic logo. But it is in the same style and recognizable as part of the Hiram & Solomon line. Baby blue with gold, high-quality print work. The cigar feels well constructed. The barnyard or petting zoo aroma is pleasant and strong.

The cold draw is a bit tighter than perfect. It leaves a mixture of raisin and white pepper on the lips. The cigar gives coffee, herbs, sweetness from the start. There is also a bit of leather. There is a strange but pleasant salt flavor as well. After a few puffs, leather, herbs and wood take over. The flavors are smooth, but with a little edge. The balance is there, but a bit more character would have been nice. The second third starts with wood, leather, herbs, white pepper, and a bit of sweetness and hay. The sweetness is very distinct while the pepper grows a bit. Right before the cigar moves in the third the cigar gives wood, leather, soil, pepper, and a bit of cinnamon. There is more character now. Wood and leather getting stronger, with cinnamon and white pepper as support. The finale is full of strength, very nice in flavor with cinnamon, leather, pepper, and wood.

The draw is fine. The ash is salt and pepper colored, it is also a bit frayed. The cigar produces a good amount of medium-thick smoke. The burn had to be corrected once. This cigar is medium to full in body and in flavor. The cigar starts out mellow and easy, but slowly there’s more character. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

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

Categories: 91, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , ,

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut Robusto

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut Robusto. Yes, Connecticut Shade and I know I said I would stop reviewing Connecticut Shade wrappers. It just doesn’t fit my profile. But the guys as Cigaragua in Amsterdam really sold this cigar to me, claiming it is a must-try Connecticut Shade. We heard it before, but trusting their judgment I am going to give it a try.

For this blend, Nick Perdomo grew Cuban seed filler and binder on his farms in Nicaragua. The filler and binder are all higher priming leaves And he uses Connecticut Shade from Ecuador as the wrapper. But he ages the wrapper 8 years and then an additional 8 months in bourbon barrels. This to ensure the creamy and rich flavor complements the high priming filler and binder. This Robusto is 5×56.

The cigar looks good. As with any Perdomo band, the quality is outstanding. Detailing is good, embossing is fantastic, beautiful color schemes. The wrapper itself is not so pale for a Connecticut Shade wrapper. It is smooth. The cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is strong, spice and wood.

The cold draw is a bit loose, with that typical old book flavor that is Connecticut Shade. But with cinnamon this time. At first, there is creamy coffee with white chocolate and sweetness. The old book or library flavor from the cold draw is nowhere to be seen yet, which is a positive. That distinct flavor is always the letdown of Connecticut Shade cigars. This cigar doesn’t have that flavor at the start. The cream is thick, with sweetness and cedar. Slowly some spices show up too, but it’s mainly cream, cedar, and a hint of white chocolate. The aroma of the cigar has a little bit of a toasty smell. The cigar is pleasant to retrohale. Halfway there is a mild peanut flavor with sweetness, cream, mild white pepper, and a little bit of pepper. And there is a little bit of salt. The cigar gets more cedar and caramel, a little leather, spices, and pepper complement these main flavors. Near the end, there are nuts and pepper. And as a farewell also a nice coffee flavor.

The draw is great. The light gray ash is firm. The cigar releases plenty of thick smoke. This is a mild to medium cigar in body. But more than that in flavor, medium for sure. The burn is decent. This is a smooth cigar, with balance. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I think this is the first traditional Connecticut Shade cigar that I really like

Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, Perdomo, Tabacalera Perdomo | Tags: , , ,

Cohiba Lancero

Cohiba Lancero. These Cohibas come in two varieties. One as a diplomatic gift and as a regular production cigar. But the question is, are they exactly the same? To figure that out, I grabbed Cohiba Lanceros from a Diplomatic box and from a regular production box. Both with the same box code date of June 2020. And both from the El Laguito factory.

With the diplomatic version smoked, reviewed, and published last Monday, it is now time for the regular production version. This 7½x38 classic and elegant cigar consists of Cuban tobacco, all from the Vuelta Abajo region in Pinar del Rio. It was the first Cohiba size and Fidel Castro’s personal favorite. Even in a market that’s favoring bigger ring gauges, the Cohiba Lancero remains a cigar with a lot of attraction. Due to the history, it is here to stay. This is the only regular production Lancero from Habanos together with the Montecristo Especial.

Compared to the diplomatic version of this cigar, the look is not as good. The band is the same, with the same security features. But the wrapper itself has more veins and looks rougher. The Colorado color is nice though. The cigar feels a little softer than the Diplomatic one. The aroma is stronger. Barnyard and manure.

The cold draw is a bit of a struggle. There is air coming through the cigar but the resistance is more than it would be in a perfect situation. There is a dry, mild spicy wood flavor. Once lit the cigar releases a mildly sweet coffee and leather flavor. The leather really shines in the retrohale. The mouthfeel is dry, due to the leather and a little bit of sourness. Then a bit of white pepper shows up. There is also a slightly nutty flavor and baking spices. Leather and smooth nuts are the main flavors, but it’s mild and soft. Slightly creamy even. The second third starts with subtle leather, coffee, a bit of earthiness, nuttiness, and baking spices. So far the flavor profile is quite similar to the diplomatic version. The sweet baking spices that were so pleasant in the diplomatic version are appearing in this cigar as well. With some pepper at the halfway mark. Smooth, subtle, and elegant. And it all comes together with a little bit of citrus. The cream has a bit of a vanilla flavor. The nuttiness and pepper get a bit stronger.

The actual draw is good, better than the cold draw. Just as with the diplomatic version, the ash isn’t strong. It breaks off easily. The ash is a bit lighter in color though. The smoke is quite thin. The burn is straight. This is a medium cigar in both body and flavor. Subtle, smooth, and pleasant. The flavor profile between this cigar and the diplomatic one from the Monday review are so similar that it’s safe to say that both are the same. Since the cigar is a little softer, there is a bit of tar built up that didn’t occur in the other lancero. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would smoke one again, but it is an expensive cigar.

Categories: 90, Cohiba (Habanos), Cuban cigars, El Laguito | Tags: , , , ,

Cohiba Lancero Diplomatic Gift

Cohiba Lancero Diplomatic Gift. Everybody who knows a bit about Cuban cigars knows that Cohiba was the brand of Fidel Castro. And that the lancero was his vitola of choice. For the first 18 years of the brand, it was not available commercially. Cohiba cigars were for Cuban officials and diplomatic gifts. Now the brand is commercially available, even in the famous and classic Lancero size. But that does not mean that the Cuban government has another diplomatic gift. Cohiba Lancero is still the gift of choice but in a different box. The question is, are these the same regular production cigars or is it a different blend? Let’s find out.

Through sources, I managed to get Cohiba Lancero cigars from a diplomatic box, with a box code of June 2020 and regular production Cohiba Lancero with the same box code. The review of the regular production will follow this Friday. Both cigars are made at El Laguito, the famous Cohiba factory. The size is exactly the same, the ring is the same. And I suspect that the blend is the same, but we will know in a few days.

A lancero always looks elegant. The slender posture of such a classic size is such a refreshing change from the fat cigars that dominate humidors and sales nowadays. And when that elegant cigar comes with a small pigtail it is a bonus. Add a nice Colorado color wrapper, smooth and clean and you have an eye-catcher. The Cohiba band is a work of art, with many security features to help cigar enthusiasts from getting scammed by counterfeiters. More on that in our series on fake Cubans and on our series about Vrijdag Premium Printing. There aren’t any knots noticeable. But the aroma is very faint, a little barnyard, that’s it

The cold draw is a bit tights and quite spicy for a Cuban cigar. Once the cigar is lit, there is coffee and leather. But that specific Cuban coffee and leather flavor just cannot be copied, just like Cuban cigar cannot copy specific flavors from other countries. There is also pepper. Some sweetness and some sourness show up. The sourness makes the mouth feel dry. The retrohale is soil. When the ash breaks after just a centimeter, a nutty flavor appears. At the end of the first third, there are dark spices with some pepper. Still with coffee. The second third mellows out a bit. A nice mixture of coffee with some caramel sweetness. But also dark spices and hay. All smooth and well balanced. The mixture of baking spices with white pepper makes this cigar very enjoyable. There are some sweetness and some citrus acidity to balance everything.

The draw is very good. The burn is great and the smoke is fine as well. The dark ash is fragile though, it won’t hold for more than one centimeter. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. There are nuance and balance. Just like the shape, the flavors are elegant. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would smoke one again, but it is an expensive cigar.

Categories: 90, Cohiba (Habanos), Cuban cigars, El Laguito | Tags: , , , ,

Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Dedacas El Embargo

Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Dedacas El Embargo. That is a mouth full. Not just by name, but also by size, a 6×60. This cigar is exclusively for Europe. And the name suits, as Europe was the continent where Joya de Nicaragua sold its cigars when the Reagan presidency installed an embargo against Nicaragua and the Sandinista regime. The embargo was in place until 1990.

The Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas blend stems from the 50th anniversary of the oldest cigar factory in Nicaragua. It is part of the Obras Maestras selection, the best Joya de Nicaragua has to offer. As for the blend, nobody but the master blenders at Joya de Nicaragua know. The blend is a company secret. The cigars come in boxes of ten and are available exclusively in Europe.

It’s a 6×60 but at first glance, it doesn’t look much bigger than the toro due to the semi box press. The beautiful oily wrapper is dark and leathery. The cream color of the ring with the red and golden print is beautiful as well. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is medium strong. Darm wood with green herbs is the best way to describe the aroma.

The cold draw is fine with dry spices. The first flavors are toast, leather, with spices. The flavors slowly intensify. After a while, coffee and a hint of vanilla appear. Slowly towards the end of the first third, the mouthfeel gets thick and meaty. With more wood, spice, and pepper. The cigar picks up more coffee and spice. With some earthiness, wood, and leather. It’s getting stronger. The final third starts with coffee and soil. The cigar is too strong to retrohale. The finale is earthy, woody, with coffee and pepper.

The draw is great. Thanks to the semi box-press the 60 ring gauge isn’t that bad. The ash is light in color and quite firm. The burn is beautiful and the smoke is thick. It is a full-body cigar with lots of flavors. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I’d take the Diadema over this size. But it is a great smoke.

Categories: 91, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Casdagli Club Mareva Gran Mareva

Casdagli Club Mareva Gran Mareva. A cigar that found its origin in 2010, when Marko Bilic opened his cigar club in Split, Croatia. The name of the club is Club Mareva. And to celebrate the opening of the now-famous club, Jeremy Casdagli created a cigar line for that special event. The Club Mareva line. Fast forward to 10 years later, there are 5 sizes in the line, of which some regular productions. Others were temporarily available.

The cigar, as most of the Casdagli lines, hail from the Dominican Republic. From the small Kelner Boutique Factory. The rollers use Brazilian Cubra tobacco as the wrapper. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and the United States. The cigar measures 5½x42.

A pigtail and a closed foot are always bonus points when it comes to looks. The cigar has a nice chocolate-brown wrapper with very few veins for Brazilian tobacco. The simple black ring with gold print is decent but it would not make us be drawn to the cigar in a humidor of a good tobacconist. The construction feels great. The aroma might not be strong, but it has depth. Musky with spices.

The cold draw is fine, mildly spicy. The first puff is s slap in the face, but a good slap. An explosion of flavor. Wood, spices, pepper, and leather. But immediately complexity and depth. This cigar doesn’t waste time. After that first explosion, the flavors do mellow out a bit. Grass, green herbs, and a little salt. Still very pleasant. The mouthfeel is quite dry. The dryness makes the cigar spicier, with a hint of chocolate. There is an earthy tone with some wood. The cigar gets more hay, more pepper, and a little leather. The last third has more of a wood flavor, with some sweetness and pepper.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is plentiful and the thickness is very nice. The ash is white as the hair of an old sailor. The burn is uneven though. This is a medium-full cigar, both in body and flavor. Well balanced, but front-loaded. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a good value for money cigar.

Categories: 90, Bespoke, Dominican cigars, KBF | Tags: , , , ,

Blog at WordPress.com.