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.

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Categories: Misc

Dalay Limited Edition 2019 Robusto Extra

Dalay Zigarren is a German shop, since 1998, and they now have shop exclusive blends made, which they import themselves too. They also have great relationships with some manufacturers and that’s why they are able to get some store exclusive cigars, like a store exclusive RoMa Craft Wunderlust later this year.


This cigar is blended by master blender Michael Grossklos, who’s also working for Dalay. And for this cigar, unique original tobacco seeds have been used. The tobacco is grown without modern fertilizers and pesticides as you can read in this article on Ministry of Cigars. Dalay has sent me a few of these cigars to try.

The wrapper is oily, medium dark, with thin veins. The cap is nice. I love the ring, bushed black colored with golden letters, simple yet classy. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma of charred wood. It reminds me of a smoldering campfire the morning after a late night smoke with friends at the fire pit.

The cold draw is a little loose, yet spicy with a distinct tobacco flavor. The first puffs are sweet with nutmeg, toast and a dash of slight pepper. The flavors are interesting, quite unique and different from the usual coffee, soil and leather start that most cigars have. After two centimeters, the mouthfeel is mildly creamy and buttery. Then I also taste some hazelnuts and grass, with the spices and the pepper. After a third, I taste cedar with nutmeg, a dash of pepper and vanilla. I also taste some leaves. Halfway I taste some musk too, with the wood, pepper, and spices. The final third starts with vanilla, nutmeg, leather, and pepper. The cigar clearly gains some strength. Near the end, I taste green herbs, with leather and wood with a strong peppery coffee and final flavors.

The burn is good although I needed to correct it once. The draw is good too. The light-colored ash is flaky and coarse. The smoke is decent, could be a little ticker. I would say this is a medium-full bodied cigar, full flavored with plenty of evolution. Unique is a good description. And a must try if you’re a cigar geek. The smoke time is two hours exactly

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want more.

number91

Categories: 91, Dalay, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Altragrazia | Leave a comment

Tobacco Lords Cunninghame

Robert Graham 1874 is probably the oldest liquor and tobacco shop in Scotland. And in 2017, they decided to have their own cigars made. They reached out to Joya de Nicaragua and together they created two blends. The Tobacco Lords Maduro and Tobacco Lords Natural. The name refers to the historical tobacco merchants from the 1770s, who were all based in Glasgow. And they were important. At a certain moment in time, half of all the tobacco in Western Europe was stored in Glasgow. And owned by the tobacco lords.

 


One of those lords was William Cunninghame. And he was a man or low morale. Born in 1731, he went to the USA as an apprentice at the age of 15. He quickly climbed the ranks and when he went back to Glasgow in 1762, he was the manager of a huge tobacco plantation. He became a partner in the company. But in his megalomanic world, that wasn’t enough. So he changed the name of the company to his name. Their huge sailing ship was named Cunninghame as well. He wanted his name on everything. Besides tobacco, he bought and sold human slaves. And he bought tobacco cheap by squeezing the growers dry. He sailed luxury items to the United States, sold them on credit to the tobacco farmers. And then used that credit to purchase the tobacco way below market value. He retired at the age of 49. And 218 years after his death, he has another thing with his name on it. The Robusto size of the Tobacco Lords Natural

 

The cigar has a dark shade for Connecticut Shade. The cigar is well-formed, with a nice rounded head. The wrapper has some veins, it’s not the prettiest wrapper around. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma. It’s like standing in a hay shed, but at the end of winter. Not a fresh hay smell, but hay from a few months old.

 

The cold draw is fine. And I am certain it is a Connecticut shade wrapper now because of the musty yet spicy flavor. The first flavor is musty sweetness, classic Connecticut Shade. It changes to spice sweetness with the classic mustiness. After a centimeter, the flavors are still musty with sweetness, but now with added leather. And a mild creamy mouthfeel. After a third, I taste faint milky chocolate. That fades away quickly and it is sweet and musty again. With sometimes some leather, sometimes some wood. But all mild. Near the end, I suddenly taste a very floral flavor.

 


The draw is good. The ash is white and firm. The smoke is good. The burn is flawless. This is a medium bodied, medium flavored cigars. There is some evolution, but it’s not a lot. The smoke time is two hours and ten minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? Nope!

 

number86

 

 

Categories: 86, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars, Tobacco Lords | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fuente Lonsdale vintage 2001

Now, this cigar has a back story to it, because it was made before I started smoking cigars so I did not buy it fresh off the shelve and store it for 18 years. No, the worldwide Fuente distributor has such a huge, climate-controlled, warehouse full of cigars and raw tobacco that they lost three pallets of cigars and they were recently found while moving to a newer, bigger warehouse.


The Dutch Fuente distributor bought all the cigars and is selling them for very reasonable prices, you might even consider it cheap, since this vintage lonsdale sells for 9 euro, if they are still available. I was lucky enough to buy a pack of five of these cigars.

The wrapper is still smooth and oily after all those years in storage, but the color has changed into a yellowish brown. The cellophane is golden brown too. The 6×44 cigar feels smooth, I can’t detect any soft spots or plugs. The ring is simple, classic, Cubanesque. Just a red base, golden details and A. Fuente Gran Reserva in white letters. The one thing that sets them apart from the old school Cuban labels is the small green edge with the golden line at the bottom. The aroma is mild, hay and manure are what I smell.

After cutting I get a great cold draw, with a surprisingly peppery and mint flavor. After lighting, I taste a lot of leather, strong for a vintage cigar yet smooth. There is an earthy undertone with some hay. After half a centimeter I taste caramel with green herbs with a musty hint. The years have done this cigar good, it’s so complex, the subtle flavors are all over the board. I am also tasting cinnamon and cream. Then after a centimeter, I taste creamy cedar with a little salt and honey. I also taste a little hint of hazelnuts. I also taste licorice after a while, quite salty but with a slightly sour undertone. A little past a third I taste caramelized leather with a hint of pepper. Halfway I taste a toasted, leathery and creamy flavor. The nutty flavor returns in the final third with some pepper. The pepper gains some strength.

The ash is white, yet the smoke has a brownish color. It’s quite plentiful though. The draw is flawless. The ash isn’t firm though. The burn is razor-sharp. This cigar is smooth, complex, medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is one hour and fifty minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? I wish I had the opportunity
number94

Categories: 94, Arturo Fuente, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Pyranos Robusto

I don’t know anything about this cigar, nothing at all. It was sponsored by Schuster cigars for review purposes. After lighting, I googled the cigar just to find limited information. Just the price, the size and that it’s a Nicaraguan Puros. And that there’s also a corona and a toro available.


I used google to get as much info on this cigar as I could. But that was just a little. All I found was on a German website. The cigars are € 9,80 per piece and they are Nicaraguan Puros. So Nicaraguan filler, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan wrapper. The factory is undisclosed.


A fantastic oily, shiny, almost lacquered wrapper. Triple capped, beautifully shaped. At first, I thought the ring was a bit lame, but then I noticed the odd shape and I liked that. It’s a black ring, with yellow and red stairs on it, Pyranos in gold and yellow letters saying it’s a Longfiller. The Schuster logo is on the back. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium strong, deep, almost charred, aroma.

The cold draw is perfect, with a strong raw tobacco flavor. After lighting, I taste an earthy coffee flavor with some spicy green herbs and a dash of mild pepper. The sweetness reminds me of nougat. Slowly the wood becomes the main flavor, but smooth with a smooth cane sugar sweetness. After a third, I taste fresh wood, with green herbs. Slowly the pepper is gaining some strength. Halfway I taste spices, nutmeg, allspice, that kind of flavors. Add in some grass and mild vanilla, and that’s what I taste. The final third starts with a nice, deep, wooden flavor with a strong pepper. The flavors slowly evolve to smooth wood with soil, and still that pepper.


The draw is flawless. The smoke is thick, full and plentiful. The light-colored ash is not too firm, it’s decent. The burn is straight. I would say this is a medium bodied, medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is one hour and twenty-five minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? It’s not a bad cigar, but I had better.

number89

Categories: 89, Nicaraguan cigars, Pyranos | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Balmoral Añejo XO Gran Toro

In 2012, Agio introduced the Balmoral Añejo 18 series with an 18-year-old wrapper. That cigar was such a hit that the next year another batch was released until the company ran out of wrapper that old. Yet the demand was so high, that the company decided to tweak the blend and use that blend for a new Añejo line, the Balmoral Añejo XO, introduced in 2014. After that, the Añejo lines got more offspring with Oscuro or Connecticut wrappers for example. And the lines were introduced to the US market too.

I think I wrote this before, but my opinion on Balmoral wasn’t that highly until they released that Añejo 18. From the first puff I loved that cigar, and actually, the Balmoral Añejo XO FT Lancero is still one of the highest scoring cigars on cigarguideblog.com ever. So it’s time to see if this 6×52 Gran Toro comes closes. The blend, with Dominican, Brazilian and Nicaraguan fillers, a Dominican binder and a Sungrown Arapiraca wrapper from Brazil is the same, only the vitola is different.

The rings are beautiful, classic yet elegant with a nice color scheme of gran, beige and gold. The foot ring has the same vibe. The wrapper is quite dark, without getting Maduro or Oscuro dark though, just a nice reddish brown dark. There’s one large vein on the back of the cigar, but for a Brazilian wrapper, this cigar looks smooth. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong, a little acidic with wood and barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is amazing, with strong raw tobacco and raisin aromas. After lighting, I taste coffee, espresso-like, strong, with a little pepper. Then liquid cane sugar shows up, with leather and wood. The leather is the main attraction. The wood with a nice sweetness becomes the main flavor after a centimeter, with some green herbs as well. All flavors are peppery too. After a third, the leather returns, with still the pepper, the sweetness, and some citrus. The mouthfeel it buttery, creamy. I also taste some soil and a mild metallic flavor. Halfway I taste more wood, still that mild metallic flavor and leather. The final third is creamy with pepper and leather. Near the end, the sweetness returns, with green herbs, pepper, and nuts.

The draw is flawless. The smoke is thick and full. The ash is quite dark, but firm and with nice black rings. I would call this cigar medium-full bodied, full flavored. The sweetness of the Brazilian wrapper ties all the flavors together. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

number91

Categories: 91, Agio Caribbean Tobacco Company, Balmoral, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Merciless Toro by JdN

Up until recently, I had never heard of this cigar even though I’m a fan of Joya de Nicaragua. I had never heard of it because it’s a house blend for the American based online retailer Famous Smoke. But I ran into them when I was browsing the website of Malaysian retailer Borneo Cigars. I was placing an order anyway, so I added these.

The cigars utilize Nicaraguan fillers with a Dominican binder and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The only vitola Borneo Cigars was selling was the 6×50 Toro. The price was really good, around 5 euro per cigar, so I decided to pull the trigger and get myself a few. I mean, I was placing an order anyway so why not add a few from one of my favorite factories?

The wrapper is dark, rough and intimidating. With the reputation of Joya de Nicaragua producing strong cigars, the name, and the looks, this cigar is intended to strike fear. The wrapper feels like fine leather. The construction is flawless and the ring is gorgeous. Black with silver and a popping red. The aroma is strong, manure is what I smell.

The cold draw is fine, with a spicy and dry raw tobacco and raisin flavor. Right from the start, I taste dry leather with coffee. I also taste mushrooms and oak. After a few puffs, the cigar gets more of a soil and cedar flavor, with a little salt. The mouthfeel is dry. The cigar leans very much to the wood, earth, and vegetal spectrum of the flavor wheel. After a centimeter, I taste some nutmeg and cumin, with some milk chocolate sweetness. I also get some metallic flavors. The milk chocolate gets stronger and finally, I taste some pepper too. After a third, I taste some toast with roasted almonds and sugar. The pepper is still there. The second third starts sweeter, but it’s aspartame sweetness. I also taste some citrus. Halfway the cigar is earthy, woody with milk chocolate and citrus. The cigar has some butter creaminess to it now. In the final third, the chocolate is getting stronger supported by some leather. The mouthfeel is creamy yet dry. In the final puffs, I taste some thin mints too.


The draw is great, the ash is like a stack of coins. Firm and dense. The smoke is decent, could be a bit thicker. I would call this cigar medium-full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want more

number90

Categories: 90, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Merciless, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Quai d’Orsay 54

The brand Quai D’Orsay has a French name for a reason. The cigars, named after a district of Paris, was created as a mild cigar especially for the French market and still is only available in a select number of countries. The brand was created in 1974, and only low numbers were produced. It almost got extinct in 2015, when only the Coronas Claro was remaining but in December 2017 Habanos revived the brand with two brand new vitolas, the Quai D’Orsay 50 and 54.

The Quai D’Orsay 54 is a Robusto extra, 5.3 inches long with a ring of 54. The blend is supposed to be mild yet complex and refined to go with the refined taste of the French palate. Now I personally like the bolder cigars, strong and with bold flavors so I wonder if this cigar and I will go together. I haven’t smoked the brand in ages, but from a decade ago I remember liking the Coronas Claro. I don’t know the box code of the cigar, but I know it’s at least 9 months old.

The wrapper is yellowish brown. Not as pale as Connecticut Shade, yet still quite light, a little dry with a water spot or two. No thick veins though, and a beautiful triple cap. I love the ring, it pays homage to the classic 1974 label yet with an updated 21st-century feel, due to the refreshed lettering, the added golden logo and the complete shine of the high-quality label. The aroma is mild and I smell quite some ammonia. The cigar feels a bit underfilled.

When I wet the tip of the cigar to properly cut it, I notice that the wrapper is very salty.


The cold draw is a bit loose, with a sweet and peppery raisin flavor. From the start, I taste a metallic flavor, quite strong, with hay, grass, and sugar. The metallic fades away quickly, and then I taste grass, sugars green herbs and mild white ground pepper. Some toast shows up too. After a centimeter, it’s toast with sweetness and white pepper. The flavors are stronger than I expected, the pepper is slowly growing but the flavors are also a little harsh and bite a little due to the young tobacco. The mouthfeel is mildly creamy. The second third has typical Cuban leather, with pepper, walnut, and sweetness. The sweetness has a bit of a vanilla aroma. Halfway the pepper is strong, a little more subtle than a full blast Nicaraguan pepper but it could fool a less experienced smoker. There’s also a hint of cedar in the flavor. The nut flavor is still there, and it’s getting more on the foreground. In the final third, I still taste the nuts but now with cedar and a more balanced pepper. Near the end, the pepper grows in strength again.

The cigar has a loose draw with plenty of smoke coming from the burn. The ash is dark. This cigar is medium-full flavored. Unfortunately, the cigar had a bad case of tunnel burning. Luckily I managed to fix the issue to a point where the cigar remained smokeable. The cigar is medium bodied and has a smoke time of close to two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? The moment Habanos starts to ferment and age the tobacco properly and manages to secure some quality control I will, but in the current state, I won’t.

number83

Categories: 83, Cuban cigars, Quai d'Orsay (Habanos) | Tags: ,

Maria Mancini 2017 Toro Lindo

For over twenty years, the German manufacturer Schuster Cigars has the Maria Mancini cigars made in Honduras. And for the last couple of years, there’s a limited edition. For 2017, the company went for a 6×52 Toro Lindo. And I had the chance to try this 8 euro cigar for free, the only condition was that I had to review it. Good deal ain’t it?


The tobacco used in the filler is Nicaraguan, Honduran and Brazilian. Add a Honduran wrapper and binder, and there’s your Maria Mancini 2017 Toro Lindo. I smoked the Maria Mancini 2016 limited edition and that was a pretty decent cigar, so if this one is in the same range it should be an enjoyable smoke.

The cigar doesn’t look too good, to be honest. The cap comes in a darker shade than the wrapper and the final cap is glued to the cigar in a sloppy way. The ring is dated and the foot ring is too simple too. The rings don’t match with each other either. A professional designer could and should have done a better job. Updating the rings and logo would be something that will bring the looks of the cigar to a higher level. The wrapper looks a bit leathery, it feels leathery and greasy. Oily might be a better description. The construction feels good. The strength of the aroma is medium. I smell a little ammonia and barnyard aromas.


The cold draw is good. I taste dry tobacco, mildly peppery, with some raisin sweetness. At first, I taste leather and mud. After a few puffs, I taste some green herbs, mushroom, grass and a metallic flavor. Some chocolate shows up too, with a growing pepper flavor. I also get faint vanilla. The cigar has an ashy aftertaste, with red pepper. After an inch, I taste soil with a little spice and sugar water. After a third, I taste soil, green herbs but now with something that comes close to Nutella, but more of a cheap knock-off store brand. There’s also a little grass. Halfway the cigar turns a little sweeter, still with pepper and earthy flavors though. The cigar remains peppery, earthy and sweet but now has some grassy flavors too. With about an inch and a half left, pepper is the main flavor, but supported by the sweetness and still the earthiness. There’s also a coffee bean flavor. Even closer to the end, the coffee beans turn into a high quality 80% dark chocolate.


The sloppy cap comes off after the first puffs, first creating false air before I removed it completely. The draw is great, just as the burn and the firm, light-colored ash. The cigar is medium flavored, medium to full-bodied. 

The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? No, too earthy for me.

number87

Categories: 87, Honduran cigars, Maria Manchini | Tags: , , ,

Tatuaje RC Series No.1

I just love the Tatuaje RC 233, it was the cigar I smoked when my only nephew was born (although I later married and now I have more nephews and nieces from my wife’s side of the family) and I smoke one a year, on his birthday. I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years and continue to do that as long as possible. But the cigars aren’t easy to come by, so I’ll have to find a reliable source, that will ship to Asia.

I was happy to find out that Pete Johnson decided to create three new cigars, exclusively for Europe, within the RC series. Three parejo cigars with a little flag tail, but without the silver foil, and a tweaked blend. He used an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigars come in three sizes, 4 3/4 x 52, 5 5/8 x 54, and 6 1/2 x 56. For this review, I smoked the first one.

The cigar looks great, beautiful triple cap with flag tail, a nice oily medium brown wrapper with a velvet touch. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium strong wood and barnyard aroma. The rings don’t match, the classic brown Tatuaje ring and the colorful RC ring are too different in style to fit together. If I was in charge, the brown ring would not be on the cigar.

The cold draw is easy, with a spicy raw tobacco flavor and a hint of marzipan. After lighting, I taste pepper, earth, green herbs, and coffee. After that, the cigar gets a strong wood flavor, with some leather and the marzipan sweetness that I tasted in the cold draw. After a third, the cigar tastes like leather, oak with pepper and that mild marzipan. Halfway I taste wood with grass, hay and some citrus. On the background, there’s some leather too. After a third I taste pepper and nuts, walnut to be precise. The pepper is Nicaragua strong, chili pepper. The final few puffs are toasty, woody with still that pepper.

T
the draw is a little on the loose side of perfect but still great, the smoke is thick and luscious. The ash is firm and white. The burn needed a touch up once. The cigar is medium-full bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

number90

Categories: 90, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , ,

Iron Shirt Robusto

I heard about this cigar at Intertabac 2018, and because of my friendship with Annemarie Schuster, I managed to mooch a few. Annemarie is the latest generation Schuster to be involved with the Schuster Cigars company, a 100-year-old family business from Bunde, Germany, where they still make dry cured shortfiller cigars. But Schuster cigars also have cigars made in Nicaragua and Honduras, plus they distribute a few brands in Germany and handle the international sales for RoMa Craft.


This Iron Shirt is a limited edition, made from a few bundles of rare tobacco, so it’s not limited just for the sake to make it limited. It’s limited because the tobacco was only available in a low quantity. The wrapper is Brazilian, the binder Nicaraguan and the filler is a mix of Brazilian and Nicaraguan tobacco. The cigar only comes in a 5×50 vitola.


The cigar is something that sticks out in any humidor. The long pigtail, the closed foot, the silver shiny oddly shaped ring with the Iron Shirt name. Add that to the dark, oily wrapper with tooth and veins and the mystique of no other brand or information on the cigar. It’s something that would tickle my curiosity as a cigar smoker. The cigar feels evenly packed. There’s a medium strong hay flavor.


The perfect cold draw gives me a raisin flavor followed by some white pepper. After lighting, I taste a leather, cedar and earthy coffee flavor with a mild metallic undertone in the first puff. After a few puffs, I taste nuts with that metallic flavor, some lime, pepper, and leather too. After a centimeter, I taste leather with a vanilla sugar sweetness and dried leaves. The metallic flavor is gone. After a third, I taste leather and nuts, with some spices. The mouthfeel is quite dry. Halfway I taste spices, a little vanilla, leather and some spicy green herbs with grass. The herbs remind me of rocket salad, that kind of spice. In the final third, the leather is strong, with a mild citrus flavor and dried leaves. Red pepper flakes show up too, hot and spicy. Near the end, I taste the metallic flavor again, with pepper and nuts.

The draw and the smoke are almost perfect. The right amount of resistance in the draw, nice thick smoke coming from the cigar. The ash is white, which indicates that the tobacco was grown on potassium-rich soil. This is a full flavored, full bodied cigar. No subtlety, just in your face flavors which I like. The smoke time is one hour and fifty-five minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I wish German webshops would ship internationally *Dalay Zigarren does, but they don’t have this in stock anymore*

number92

Categories: 92, Iron Shirt, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

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