Monthly Archives: December 2015

Manowar Side Project Phalanx

This is another A.J. Fernandez made cigar for Maier & Dutch in the beautiful factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. I had the opportunity to visit the factory and I was impressed by the sheer size of the facility. Like the name says, it’s a side project from the successful Manowar cigar series. I got this one from the Manowar sampler and the previous side project from that sampler blew me away so I have high expectations.
The cigar is big and dark, it looks like it’s not for the faint of hearted. I feel a dent behind the band, but the construction feels good otherwise. The dark wrapper is smooth and oily. The cigar has a nice aroma, a mixture of dark chocolate and barnyard. The predraw is fine, I taste raisin and then loads of pepper in the aftertaste.
I taste coffee with some chocolate bitterness and sweetness while there is a little bit of pepper in the aftertaste. After half an inch it’s like 65% dark chocolate with a little bit of citrus and some wood. The pepper in the aftertaste is growing in strength. After two centimeter I taste spices, pepper, sweetness and a little bit of that chocolate bitterness.
After a third it’s spicy wet wood, lots of pepper and some sweetness. The acidity returns with that mild chocolate bitterness. The pepper isn’t that strong anymore, but it returns. This cigar is pretty dynamic. The chocolate like bitterness mellows out and gains strength all the time, it’s like a roller coaster in strength. The pepper throws punches.
The draw is fantastic and the smoke is ok, a good amount of smoke but not thick enough to be great. The ash is light but firm. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored. The burn is great. The cigar lasted me well over 2 hours.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, but I’ll buy the skull crusher more often.

Appearance: 9
Construction: 9
Draw: 9
Burn: 8
Smoke & ash: 7
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 8
Aroma third part: 8

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

Padron Damaso Robusto

It’s been ages ago that Padron released a new regular production cigar but a few months ago they did, and much to everybody’s surprise it came with a Connecticut shade wrapper. Now I hate Connecticut shade with a passion, never smoked one I really liked, but it’s Padron so I wanted to try it anyway. Cesar Gadea from Padron provided me with a sampler.
The triple cap isn’t the sharpest I’ve ever seen, actually the whole wrapper is a bit rough but I love the white Padron band. The yellowish brown color isn’t that appealing either. The construction feels good and the cigar has a sour barnyard smell to it. The draw is incredibly easy with hardly no flavor.
I taste wood with some sweetness and some spice, more flavor than you’d expect from a Connecticut shade cigar. I also taste that classic Connecticut shade mustiness which I don’t like. I also taste some sweetness. The flavors weaken though.
After a third it’s wood, some sweetness and the mustiness and slowly the mustiness slowly gets stronger. After two thirds a little bit of pepper shows up. The cigar also gets harsh.
The draw is like sucking air thou a big hose, that’s easy the draw is. The ash is quite dark, flaky but firm. The smoke is good, just thick enough, just plentiful enough. The burn is good too. It’s a mild cigar with mild to medium flavor. Due to the easy draw it lasted me for just an hour.
Would I buy this cigar again? No, another Connecticut shade I don’t like.

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

Categories: Cubanica, Nicaraguan cigars, Padron | Tags: , ,

Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Crazy Jack

Now, not being from America nor living there and with Ortega not being distributed outside of the USA, I don’t know much about this series. I found a few during one of my trips to Florida, but not all of them so there won’t be a full series of reviews, but the ones I do have I will review. And being obnoxious as I am, I’ll start with the last one from the series, number 12 of 12, first.
This cigar is big, 7×58, made from only Nicaraguan tobacco. The dark wrapper feels silky, the cigar itself feels well constructed. The smell is pungent, a strong barnyard aroma. The predraw is fine, I taste pepper and raisin.
I taste coffee and a funny mild black licorice flavor right at the start. The licorice disappears almost right away, I’m stuck with some spicy wood flavors. The flavors aren’t really strong or bold, like you would expect from the looks of it. After 4 centimeter  I still taste the wood but a little pepper shows up too.
After a third it’s wood again without the pepper, only in the aftertaste I can still taste it. Classic big ring gauge, no dynamics at all. The pepper slowly returns. Halfway the cigar gains some strength, both in body and flavor. Pepper slowly gets stronger. After two thirds pepper is the main flavor but the cigar is far from a pepper bomb but it’s slowly turning into one.
The draw is fine and the ash is a nice light gray ash. After a centimeter the burn looked to go crooked but I was able to correct it without relighting. The ash isn’t really firm. The smoke is thin. This cigar is mild to medium flavored and medium bodied. This monster of a cigar lasted me three hours.
Would I buy this cigar again? Ring 58 is too much for me, so no and I expected much more flavor.

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

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Ortega | Tags: , ,

Leaf by Oscar maduro toro

I kept hearing good stuff about the Leaf by Oscar cigars, the Honduran made cigars that are individually wrapped in an extra leaf as packaging instead of cellophane. Great novelty, sets the cigar apart from all the others and the tobacco packaging instead of cello makes it feel like a more natural product but on the other side: tobacco is more expensive than cello, so is this unique packaging worth the extra costs? Guess only Oscar’s accountant can answer that question.
The band around the packaging feels like thin cardboard but once removed I could unwrap the cigar. It’s almost like unwrapping a Christmas present. Inside I find a very dark toro with a few flat veins. The wrapper looks and feels dry. When I wet it a little it stains my finger, which makes me wonder if this is a natural maduro or if they enhanced the color. The construction, with a triple cap, feels good and the cigar has a nice charcoal straw aroma. The predraw is fine, peppery and spicy.
At first I taste a toasty, peppery barbecue flavor. This cigar reminds me of fire cured cigars I smoked in the past and which I didn’t like. After a centimeter and a half the flavors change to charcoal wood, the pepper is gone and the barbecue mellowed out a lot.
After a third I taste toasted wood, spices and pepper, although the pepper is mild. After two thirds the cigar gets better, I get a little sweetness with wood. The cigar also gets a smoky flavor, like a good whisky, I bet this would pair nice. The pepper returns, the sweetness picks up too.
The smoke is thick and white, just the way I like it. The ash is a very light gray, dense and firm. The burn is straight as an arrow. This cigar is full flavored, medium to full bodied and it lasted me for an hour and forty five minutes
Would I buy this cigar again? No, it was nice to try this one but I’ll leave it at this.

Appearance: 9 (the packaging plays a part in this rating)
Construction: 8
Draw: 9
Burn: 9
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 6
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 8

Categories: Honduran cigars, Leaf by Oscar, Oscar Valladares Tobacco Factory | Tags: , , ,

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