Monthly Archives: August 2010

Vegas de Santiago Chaman torpedo

And yet another Vegas de Santiago revisit, this time I revisited the Vegas de Santiago Chaman, which I reviewed back in 2007. I revisited it because I decided to break open the sampler Rudi send me, as explained in yesterdays review of the Vegas de Santiago puro torpedo. This cigar has the same size as the Puros, 6×52.
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I like the band, simple but stylish. The wrapper of this cigar is smooth and silky, light colored and only has a few thin veins. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine too and I taste raisin with a mild pepper. The cigar has a wood smell.
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I taste coffee with some pepper on the top of my tongue. The coffee turns into an earthy flavor. The pepper disappears and I taste a mild chocolate on the background. The flavors remind me of a Cuban cigar. If this was a blind tasting, this part of the cigar would definitely put me on the wrong track. The flavors are dry and almost powdery, both the earth flavor and the chocolate.
100831vegasdesantiagochamantorpedo3The dry powdery earth and chocolate flavors don’t change for a while and then, somewhere between midway and two thirds the flavors change into wood and earth, the chocolate has gone and the cigar doesn’t taste like a Cuban anymore, although it is still very nice (I don’t go with that ‘Cubans are better than non Cubans’ stigma). Near the end the cigar gets more spicy and peppery.
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The smoke time of this torpedo is an hour and twenty five minutes. I got lots of smoke that was reasonable thick. The silvergray ash is quite firm. The draw is good and the burn is even better. This cigar is full flavored and medium to full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I might, seems like I like them better now then I did 3 years ago

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

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Categories: Costa Rican cigars, Tabacalera Vegas de Santiago, Vegas de Santiago | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Vegas de Santiago puros torpedo *revisited*

This Vegas de Santiago puros torpedo was one of my favorite daily cigars when I started smoking and I reviewed back in the day. I still light one every now and then. They are affordable and nice. And about a year and a half ago I exchanged some mails with Rudi about sampler, when I decided to bomb 18 of my American friends with a Vegas de Santiago sampler. Rudi gave me a great deal on the sampler, which contained torpedo of all the 5 different blends that Vegas de Santiago released so far. Much to my surprise, one of those samplers arrived at my doorstep as Rudi found it appropriate to thank me for bringing business to his company and sending his cigars to my friends of whom most never heard of Vegas de Santiago before.
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The cigar is a 6×52 torpedo with a maduro wrapper, packed in cellophane. The torpedo has a nice shape and contains a few veins. The construction feels good and the cigar has a deep barnyard smell. I like the simple band, nothing fancy but it tells you all you need to know. The predraw is good and I taste a mild spicy tobacco.
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I taste a pleasant but dry wood flavor with some mild bitter coffee. After an inch the coffee turns into an earth flavor.

Some time later I taste mainly wood, dry but pleasant with a mild chocolate in the aftertaste and some herbal spiciness. Halfway and further it is only herbs and wood, the chocolate has gone and won’t return.
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The smoke time of this cigar is an hour and a half. The draw and burn are good and I get a decent amount of medium thick smoke. The ash of this full flavored and medium full bodied cigar is firm
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Would I buy this cigar again? I still have a few left, but once they are gone I will order a new bundle.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Costa Rican cigars, Tabacalera Vegas de Santiago, Vegas de Santiago | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Illusione culebra

Two years ago I was in a trade with an American friend, I would send him some Partagas Culebras and he would send me the Illusione Culebra. Soon after I got it I smoked one with two friends at an Amsterdam herf and made a quick ]review. As I didn’t took pictures back then I decided to light another for some pictures and write another review while I was at it.


I love the box, the logos and especially the stamp of a box code, so you know when this cigar is produced, just like with Cuban cigars. I wish all non Cuban cigarmakers would do that. These specific 6½x33 Illusione Culebras are made in august of 2008.


The cigars come, unlike the Partagas, without a band and with little pieces of rope instead of the red ribbon which leave a mark in the wrapper. The wrapper is mocha colored with some pimples and veins. The construction feels good and I have a flawless predraw that leaves a salty tobacco flavor on my palate. This cigar is too thin to punch so I have to grab my palio to cut it.


I taste a full and spicy coffee flavor with some wood. After an inch the coffee disappears. I get a strong pepper taste on my tongue with a smooth woodflavor on the background.

After puffing for a while I only taste herbs and spices, the wood has disappeared. Even though the flavors are spicy, they are still smooth. The wood flavor makes a comeback as a support of the herbal flavors. The flavors are mild creamy and the spices bite a little on my tongue.


A little passed the middle I taste a mild minty flavor with the herbs and spices and far far away on the background even a little hint of chocolate.

The chocolate disappears almost immediately again and the herbal flavors are getting stronger. Then suddenly after two thirds I get a dominant wood flavor that sticks until I have to lay the nub to rest in my ashtray.

The smoke time of this culebra is about one hour and twenty five minutes. The draw is fine and the burn is straight as an arrow. This full flavored medium bodied cigar gives me a nice amount of medium thick smoke. The ash is light colored and not firm at all.


Would I buy this cigar again? I might just have to get myself a new box.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Honduran cigars, Illusione, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Exile perfection No.1

I bought this cigar when I was in the USA last year and it was the packaging that caught my attention. I love the combination of the name Exile and the print of the New York Daily Mirror front page of the day that Kennedy announced the embargo on Cuba. The Exile cigars were made by Nicaraguan American Tobacco S.A. for Cuban Imports, which was then owned by Mike & Albert Argenti, who now run Berger & Argenti. The brand is now discontinued. I paid $ 6.50 for this smoke.
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When I unwrap the cigar I see a dark, almost black and leathery Ecuadorian sun grown wrapper which is quite oily. The band is tasteful. The construction feels good but the predraw is a bit on the hard side. I taste some raisin and tobacco. The cigar has a mild hay smell.
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I taste a strong coffee flavor without becoming bitter and I also taste some cedar wood. The flavors are rich and deep. After an inch the coffee disappears and all I taste is a dry and smooth cedar flavor and a pleasant flavor I don’t recognize.
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Halfway the flavors gain some strength and are joined by some leather. After two thirds I also get some cacao and some nuts. The leather becomes the dominant flavor with a herbal background. All the other flavors have disappeared. The nut flavors makes a strong comeback though, with some power.
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The smoke time of this 5½x49 figurado is an hour and fifteen minutes. The draw is a bit on the hard side but it gets better the longer I smoke. The ash is compact of structure, white of color and firm. I got a decent amount of smoke, but the smoke is a bit thin. The burn is good. This cigar is medium to full flavored and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? They are no longer made, so I might have to pick up a box somewhere

Appearance: 9 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Exile, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Esteli | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Padilla series ’68 torpedo

Ernesto Padilla honors his father with this Padilla Series ’68 cigar line. His father was arrested and imprisoned in Cuba in 1968 after publishing a collection of poetry that criticized the communist Castro regime. I bought this cigar when I was at the Padilla factory & lounge on Calle Ocho in may 2009, so this cigar has been resting for over a year in my humidor. There is a text on the band ‘Corojo 05 0775’ and I wonder what those numbers mean.
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This cigar has a nice dark wrapper with some thick veins. The cigar has a unpleasant hay smell with a hint of fish, something I never smelled in a cigar before. The construction of this 6.1×52 cigar feels good and the predraw is just fine. It tastes mild spicy. Even though this cigar is rolled in Honduras, it is made from Nicaraguan tobacco, Havana seed tobacco from Esteli and Condega for the filler and a corojo wrapper.
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At first I taste a nice and quite spicy coffee. The feeling in my mouth is quite dry. I also taste some herbs. After half an inch I also taste some wood. The coffee has disappeared and there is some pepper in the aftertaste. There’s also a little sweetness on the background.
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Halfway the cigar tastes like sweet but dry wood with some herbs. After two thirds the cigar becomes spicy again.
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I enjoyed this cigar for exactly an hour. The draw was fine and so was the burn. The smoke was thick and there was plenty of it. The ash is light colored with some black spots and it was quite firm. I got a huge flame when purging this full flavored and full bodied cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I think so.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

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

Punch Royal Selection 11

This cigar was gifted to me by a Dutch friend on a herf at my place, so I don’t know the exact box code, all I know is that the cigar is a few years old and that Habanos is discontinuing them, so if you like these my advice is to stock up.
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The silky wrapper is nice and smooth but pale brown. I notice a few water spots and veins on the wrapper. The cigar has the classic Cuban barnyard smell. The construction feels good although the predraw is on the hard side. I taste dry tobacco.
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I taste that recognizable Cuban leather flavor with some sweetness. The sugar like sweetness slowly gains some strength. Halfway I also taste an Earth flavor and the sweetness gets a little weaker. This cigar is typical Cuban.
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The sweetness disappears all together and the classic Cuban mixture of earth and leather flavors grows in strength. I also taste some toast, which slowly becomes stronger. Near the end I also taste something fresh, a herbal freshness and some mild spice.
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This 5½x46 cigar lasted me for an hour and twenty minutes and I got plenty of smoke, even though it was thin. The draw is good and I can’t complain about the burn either. The ash is medium dark gray and not very firm. I would say that this cigar is medium to full flavored and medium bodied. When I purged it, I only got a small flame.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Depends, if I see a good deal, I might get a box. If I don’t see a good deal, well, then I won’t get a box.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, La Corona, Punch (Habanos) | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Bauza pyramid

I remember that I smoked a Bauza cigar a few years ago, when I was still a novice cigar smoker and I remember that I was impressed back then. I never saw them again, until I was in Antwerp earlier this year and I saw some cellophane wrapped 5½x52 pyramids in the walk in humidor of Huis Verloo. It had a pretty steep price tag of € 9,20, but with my previous experience in my mind I decided to pick one up and review it. I can’t find much information online on who makes them, just that the filler and binder are Dominican wrapped with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
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The wrapper looks nice and dark, although there are some color differences and there are a few long veins visable. The top of the cigar is quite sharp. The construction feels good and the predraw is fine. I taste tobacco with some pepper on my tongue. The cigar has a stray and hay smell which is quite strong.
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I taste a smooth coffee flavor which slowly turns to earth with some wood. After an inch the cigar gets a bit ashy.
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After a third I taste earth and herbs, the wood and the ash flavor are gone. Earth is the main flavor. This cigar is flat and kind of boring. The cigar gets a bit spicy after two thirds.
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This cigar lasted me for almost an hour and a half and it wasn’t half as good as I remembered. The smoke is thin, but I get a decent amount of it. The draw is good, just like the burn. The silvery gray ash is quite firm. This cigar is both medium flavored as medium bodied. I got a nice flame when I purged.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, I smoked better cigars.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

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

Don Lugo robusto

I was warned about the Thompson house blends and their aggressive sales policy, but they had an offer I could not refuse. A travelhumidor with some house blends for a price lower than what I had to pay for the same sort of travel humidor anywhere else, so I jumped the deal. Getting rid of the constant flow of emails from Thompson was a drag and well, due to the bad reputation, I was reluctant to light the cigars. Today I finally got myself to smoke one, to see if it could live up to the bad reputation. I picked the Don Lugo, made from Dominican olor and piloto tobacco with an Indonesian wrapper. This robusto has the standard 5×50 size.
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The Indonesian wrapper is quite dark, has some veins and is quite oily. The cigar has a big band. The construction feels good and the predraw is fine. I taste pepper and tobacco and I smell hay and wood.
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I taste a nasty and bitter coffee flavor with some spicy harshness. The coffee disappears and I get herbs with the spicy harshness.
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Halfway I also taste some sweetness with the herbs. After two thirds the sweetness disappears and I am stuck with the nasty, spicy and harsh herbs again.
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The smoke time of this nasty cigar is about an hour and ten minutes. The cigar gave me enough smoke, but the smoke was thin and gray. The ash is dark but not firm at all. Unfortunately this cigar is full flavored, it is medium to full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, and I warn you: STAY AWAY FROM THOMPSON HOUSE BLENDS!

Appearance: 6 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 5 / 10
Aroma second part: 4 / 10
Aroma third part: 4 / 10

Categories: Dominican cigars, Don Lugo | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Nosotros robusto

A few years ago Dion Giolito made an impressive entry into the cigar business with the launch of his brand Illusione that got great ratings and became an instant success. Now he teamed up with another young cigar maker Jonathan Drew and together they created the Nosotros, a name that translates to ‘us’. The cigar, with a Nicaraguan filler, Habano binder and a Corojo 99 wrapper comes in 8 different vitolas, Corona, Corona Larga, Robusto, Robusto Larga, Toro, “660”, Torpedo, & Churchill. I got my hands on a few robustos on a groupbuy on my dutch forum.
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This 5×50 robusto has a silky and oily Corojo 99 wrapper. The band is simple but nice and mentions the names ‘Dion’ and ‘Drew’ on the side. The construction feels good. The cigar has a firm barnyard smell. The predraw is good and has a taste of raisin and some mild spiciness.
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I taste a full earth flavor with some coffee and herbs. After an inch I also taste some wood and some chocolate spread in the aftertaste.
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Halfway the chocolate spread is gone, the herbal flavor gets stronger with some earth flavors on the background. The wood has disappeared. After ⅔ I taste some chocolate again while the herbal flavor becomes less strong. Near the nub the herbs grow stronger again.
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The smoke time of this cigar is about 75 minutes. I got a good amount of thick white smoke. The light colored ash is very firm. At certain times the burn got crooked but it corrected itself. The cigar is full flavored and medium to full bodied. I got no flame when I purged the cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I liked this cigar. Dion (with some help from Drew) did it again.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Nosotros | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.A.O. Tony Soprano

When I joined the late Club Stogie I got a private message from Eric, owner of Kioki Cigars, asking me for my address for a welcome package. I didn’t know anything about bombs and gave my address. Eric bombed the shit out of me and included in his bomb was this limited edition CAO Tony Soprano. Now I am not a CAO fan, but I am a Soprano fan so I was looking forward to this 6½x60 monster. And I read comments from other CAO haters that they liked both this and the La Traviata. I like the La Traviata too, so I hoped I would like this puppy too.
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The cigar looks great, a dark oily wrapper with just a few veins and three stylish band. The CAO band is nice with two thin bands on the big logo, then there is a band with the signature of Tony Soprano and the foot is protected by another big band which says “limited edition”. The construction feels good. The predraw doesn’t give me any problems and tastes like raisin. I smell a barnyard aroma on the cigar.
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I taste a mild to medium coffee flavor and after an inch and a half the flavor changes to earth.
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Halfway the cigar gets a bit sweet and after ⅔ I can also taste some wood. Such a big cigar, so little taste and development in flavors :(
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I wasted two good hours of my life on this very flat cigar. The draw is good but I only got a poor amount of thin smoke. The ash is light colored and firm. The burn of this mild to medium bodied and mild to medium flavored cigar is good.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Hell no. I loved the series, I hate the cigars

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 5 / 10
Aroma first part: 5 / 10
Aroma second part: 5 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: C.A.O. Fabrica de Tabacos Honduras, CAO, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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