Monthly Archives: December 2016

New rating system

From now on I’ll be working with a ‘100’ score system like a lot of magazines and websites do, that will make it easier to compare cigars and to make a top 25 at the end of the year.

How will I rate the cigars? Well, the maximum amount of points a cigar can get is 1000. Yes, not 100 but 1000 and at the end I’ll convert that into a .. out of 100 score. On the background I’ll store that bigger number, just in case several cigars get the same rounded number at the end of the year when I compile the ‘top 25’ list. Makes it a little more fair I think.

First of all, all reviews are mine, so its all about my preferences. Its just me, one person, not a group of reviewers, only the opinion of one guy. And just like everybody else I have preferences, for example, I never ever had a Connecticut Shade cigar I liked, so don’t expect to see a highly rated Connecticut Shade stick on my blog.

Flavor is key, construction is also important but less important than flavor. So how do I rate?
Wrapper -> How does it look? 50 points
Ring -> How does it look? Good paper? Nice print? 50 points
Construction -> How does the cigar’s construction feel? 50 points
Aroma -> How is the smell, the strength of it, how pleasant? 50 points
Ash -> How is the color? Is it firm? 50 points
Burn -> Is the burn even? Does it burn fast or slow? Does it die quickly? 100 points
Smoke -> Color, thickness, amount? 50 points
Draw -> Is the draw flawless, is it tight or loose? 100 points
Flavor part 1 -> is it nice? 100 points
Flavor part 2 -> is it nice? 100 points
Flavor part 3 -> is it nice? 100 points
Evolution -> is it a boring cigar of is it dynamic? 100 points
Body-flavor ration -> is it balanced? 100 points
That adds up to a 1000, I’ll divide that by 10 and then round it up to a full number. That’s the final score but the unrounded number is used at the end of the year to determine the spot in the top 25 of 2017.

Example:

Wrapper -> 35/50
Ring -> 37/50
Construction -> 43/50
Aroma -> 25/50
Ash -> 39/50
Burn -> 87/50
Smoke -> 39/50
Draw -> 90/100
Flavor part 1 -> 87/100
Flavor part 2 -> 93/100
Flavor part 3 -> 89/100
Evolution -> 76/100
Body-flavor ration -> 99/100
Total Score: 839    839/10=83,9 –> final score 84
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Categories: Misc | Leave a comment

Montecristo Sublime

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

I got this Cuban cigar from a member of a Dutch board that is a true Cuban aficionado, and I’m quite the opposite. It’s a 6½x54 limited edition from 2008.
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The wrapper is shiny yet with a lot of pimples and a big vein. The construction feels good and the cigar has a mild barnyard aroma. The cold draw is good, spicy and floral.
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I taste a floral flavor with coffee and an earthy tone. After a centimeter its floral with sweetness and some cedar in the aftertaste with some herbs.
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After a third I taste floral flavors with herbs and a mild sweetness that don’t change until the 2/3rd mark where I taste the floral with some leather. The floral flavor gains strength with the leather on the background and herbs with the floral flavor as the aftertaste.
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The smoke time was an hour and forty five minutes with a good draw and a lot of smoke. The light gray ash is firm. I would consider this cigar medium in both flavor and body with an ok burn. There isn’t a lot of evolution in this cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Nope!

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

Categories: Montecristo (Habanos), Nicaraguan cigars | Leave a comment

Marc’s mystery cigar

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

Because of my work in the industry I met a lot of distributers in other countries as well, and one of them is Marc D’Argembeau, a cigar distributer in Belgium who had a few brands in common with my then employer so we helped each other out on occasion when we had stock and he didn’t or the other way around. One day Marc gave me an unbanded cigar and he wouldn’t tell me what it is.
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I could think of two sources for this cigar, either it could be a pre-release or test blend either from Quesada for the Casa Magna Dominicana or from Marc’s son in law Didier Houvenaghel, who owns a few brands like La Ley and Nicarao.
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The cigar was wrapped in cellophane and has a nice dark oily wrapper with a few thin veins. The construction feels hard but the cold draw is great and I tasted slightly bitter herbs. The cigar measured 5½x54.
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I taste herbs with some sweetness and earthy flavors. After a centimeter I taste a little harsh herbal flavor with some pepper. Soon after I also taste some cocoa. After a third the cocoa grows with some herbs and coffee. Halfway I taste herbs again with a little bit of pepper and some citrus in the aftertaste. After two thirds the citrus gets a little stronger with herbs and a little bit of chocolate. Near the end the pepper gains some strength again.
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This cigar lasted me an hour and twenty minutes and produced a lot of thick smoke. The draw was great and the white ash is frayed but firm. The burn I had to correct once. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I don’t even know what it was, so how could I?

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

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

Liga Privada Unico UF-13

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

I was in Miami one day and Pedro Gomez hooked me up with these, then still unreleased Liga Privada Unico UF13 cigars. The cigars look amazing with the dark wrapper, that shines from the oil, and the cute pigtail. I see a few veins.
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I cut the cigar with my Xikar cutter and the cold draw was great, I taste some acidic flavors with wood.
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Once lit I taste a full espresso flavor with a hint of wood and some pepper, but the wood disappears quickly. After a centimeter I taste wood again with some coffee and herbs. After an inch I taste more herbs and the cigar is nice and spicy. Halfway I taste more herbs and walnuts, I am loving this cigar. Near the end I taste wood again.
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The smoke time is an hour and a half exactly with a lot of smoke, a great draw and light gray firm ash. I would say this is a full bodied and full flavored cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I would love to but these never made it across the ocean.
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Appearance: 9
Construction: 8
Draw: 9
Burn: 8
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 9
Aroma second part: 8
Aroma third part: 8

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Leave a comment

Liga Privada Unico A

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

This is another Liga Privada Unico, but this one is not for sale, it’s a cigar that you can only get at Drew Estate events in boxes of 2. The cigar is 9 inch long with a 47 ring gauge and it’s a vitola that I like a lot.
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The wrapper is dark, shiny and oily with a few thick veins and a nice little pigtail. The construction feels good and the cigar has a floral aroma to it. The cold draw is perfect.
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I taste earthy flavors, coffee and herbs and the flavors paid fantastic with the vanilla from the Zaya rum I’m drinking. I also taste some sweetness in the cigar after a centimeter but the herbal flavors are dominant, and the earthy flavors are there to support it. I taste a little pepper in the aftertaste.
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After a third I taste herbs with a hint of pepper and a little floral flavors but halfway that changes to herbs, earthy flavors, pepper and leather. After two thirds some salted licorice joins the flavor party and I get a fresh aftertaste.
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Even though this cigar is so long it only lasted me for two hours. The draw was great and like any Liga Privada the smoke was out of this world. The ash is dark, flaky and far from firm. I had some burn issues with this well balanced full bodied and full flavored cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I would love to, still have a few but only the Ilja edition.

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

Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Leave a comment

Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

When Drew Estate started their factory in Nicaragua most of the people in the industry said “these guys will make it when pigs fly” but they were wrong. But Jonathan and Marvin didn’t take it badly and as a joke they decided to create a cigar called Flying Pig when they achieved what they had in mind.
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The first Flying Pig was the Liga Privada #9, that was a huge success so it wasn’t a surprise that the second release of the limited edition Flying Pig was one of the Liga Privada T52 blend. And that’s the one I’m reviewing.
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The dark wrapper looks great and oily with a beautiful pigtail. The cold draw is amazing and I taste pepper, raisin and dry tobacco.
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After lighting the cigar I taste earthy flavors with coffee and a hint of chocolate, after that the flavors change to pepper, herbs and that earthy flavor, the cigars is nice and spicy with a little bit of sweetness. Halfway I taste spicy herbs with a peppery aftertaste. The flavors change to wood with herbs and pepper towards the end.
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The smoke time was an hour and fifteen minutes with a great draw, a lot of smoke and a good burn. The light colored ash is firm. I would call this cigar full bodied and full flavored
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Would I buy this cigar again? I would love to, still have a few.

Appearance: 10
Construction: 8
Draw: 8
Burn: 8
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 8
Aroma third part: 9

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

Non Plus Ultra Petit Corona

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

This Non Plus Ultra cigar was a private label for a Dutch cigar distributer that had a shop with the same name. The name of the shop then changed to Oliva Cigar Lounge, Studio Tobac Cigar Lounge and now is called Van Dalen Cigars Den Bosch and these Non Plus Ultra cigars have been off the market for a long time. They are still sold under the name Gil Gonzalez Davilla for a specific cooperation of Dutch cigar shops.
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The cigars were once made by Carlos Torano before he sold that part of the company to Swedish Match, years before he sold the remaining part of his company. The wrapper of the 5×40 petit corona is chocolate brown and looks nice. The ring is very simple. I smell hay and wood. The construction feels good and the cold draw, which tastes like raisin and herbs is good.
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I taste a nice coffee flavor, the cigar is quite spicy and after a centimeter I taste soap with soft wood and smooth herbs. After taking a sip of water I taste hazelnuts.
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After a third I taste sharp, harsh herbs and burned wood, charcoal like, but luckily that burned sensation disappears quick. Halfway I taste a mild creamy wood with herbs that is replaced by sweet herbs and spices with a sharp edge near the end.
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The smoke time is an hour exactly. The draw was fine, but I got little smoke. The ash is white. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The ash is frayed but firm and the burn is good.

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Would I buy this cigar again? Nah

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

Categories: Honduras American Tobacco SA, Nicaraguan cigars, Non Plus Ultra | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

My Father Lounge Exclusive Toro

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

I bought this My Father Lounge Exclusive at the My Father Lounge at their headquarters in Miami, but they are for sale at the lounge at Cigarworld in Dusseldorf too. The cigar has an extra ring that says it’s a lounge exclusive cigar.
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The Colorado wrapper has a few thin veins and a beautiful triple cap. The construction feels good and the cigar has a barnyard aroma. I punched the cigar and found a great cold draw with a raw tobacco flavor.
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The flavors are spicy coffee and pepper and soon some sweetness too while the coffee makes place for toast with a hint of cinnamon on the background. After a centimeter the pepper disappears and I taste wood with a hint of citrus and herbs in the back of my throat. After an inch the hint of cinnamon returns.
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After a third I taste creamy wood with some spice, herbs and a very mild citrus acidity. Halfway I taste more wood and more citrus, both a little bit creamy with some sweetness. After two thirds I taste cinnamon again with herbs and some chocolate, the flavors aren’t creamy anymore. Near the end I taste some nuts too.
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This cigar lasted me two hours with a great draw and a lot of smoke. The burn was fantastic and the frayed as was firm. This cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored. The cigar got well balanced after a third and its clearly a step up from their cigars from the early days.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I should drive to Cigarworld in Dusseldorf soon and buy a few more

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

Categories: My Father, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Leave a comment

Arturo Fuente Opus X Double Corona

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

I have no idea how I got this cigar, all I know it has some age on it and it has been bought at a Belgian shop as the cigar has a Belgian tax band. The cellophane has a golden Opus X print on it.
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The reddish brown wrapper is beautiful with 2 veins. The construction feels good and the wrapper feels silky. The aroma is mild. The cold draw is great and gives a spicy flavor. As for the ring, drop dead gorgeous.
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I taste a spicy cigar, herbs and pepper, coffee and citrus. A lot of complexity and spicier than I remembered from my previous Opus X experiences. After a centimeter I taste citrus, herbs and honey that slowly change into herbs with a citrus aftertaste. After a third I taste honey again with citrus, herbs and a little cedar and right before I reach the middle of the cigar I taste some pepper too. The flavors are well balanced and complex.
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After two thirds I taste cedar with some citrus and later on the herbs again with a hint of pepper. Near the end the pepper gets very strong.
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The smoke time was a whopping two hours and forty five minutes. The draw was amazing and I got a lot of thick smoke from the cigar. The ash is light colored, dense but not too firm. The burn is almost perfect. This is a full flavored full bodied and complex cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Every once in a while, great cigar but that price tag, dayum

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

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

Tatuaje Monster Series Mummy

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

In 2012 the Tatuaje Monster series finally made it to Europe. Well, only to The Netherlands and only 50 of the plain boxes. These 7¾x47 Churchills are made by My Father cigars.
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The ring is simple and the cigar has a closed foot, something I always like. I don’t see a lot of veins. The construction feels good, and the cigar has a silky feel to it. The aroma is strong and reminds me of horses. The cold draw is easy and mild spicy
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The herbal, pepper and nutmeg flavors that I taste are strong and spicy on a layer of earthy flavors, more a muddy flavor. After half an inch the mud changes into a pleasant metallic flavor with spicy herbs.
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Slowly the cigar gets more herbal with a little licorice on the background. The flavors are very dry. Halfway I taste some nutmeg again with some hazelnut and cinnamon. Slowly some pepper shows up too. After two thirds is dry herbs again but now with the nutmeg and cinnamon.
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This cigar lasted me an hour and forty minutes. The draw is fine and the amount and thickness of the smoke are good too. The light ash is reasonably firm. The burn is straight. This was a cigar with an unusual flavor profile.
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Would I buy this cigar again? That would be impossible

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

Categories: My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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