Monthly Archives: July 2019

Tatuaje Nuevitas Jibaro No.1

One of the first Tatuaje Cigars ever released was the Tatuaje Nuevitas. And those were not made at El Rey de Los Habanos, the factory owned and operated by the Garcia family. It was the only Tatuaje line ever made outside of the family, at Tabacalera Tropical. But in 2007, Pete Johnson discontinued the cigar and all Tatuaje cigars since have been made at My Father Cigars.


In 2018, Johnson re-released the brand. This time made at My Father S.A. in Esteli. It is a Nicaraguan Puro with a Corojo 99 wrapper. The name comes from a Cuban village and the Jibaro name is Puerto Rican slang for a farmer. The Tatuaje Nuevitas Jibaro is Johnson’s tribute to farm rolled cigars and based upon a farm rolled Cuban cigars he had years ago while visiting the Caribbean paradise.

At first glance, you think something is wrong with the cigar. The wrapper looks damaged at the foot, but that’s how Johnson intended it to look. An unfinished foot, mimicking the not perfect looking farm rolled cigars. The dark brown, oily, wrapper has some clear, yet thin, veins which fit the theme of a rustic looking cigar. The simple, orange and white ring, is small, timeless yet doesn’t look dated. The cigar has a perfect triple cap and feels well constructed. The aroma is quite strong, it smells like oak and farm animals.

The cold draw is great, I taste pure raw tobacco, which is quite spicy. From the start, I taste coffee and soil. It’s a pretty mild start, where I expected a front-loaded cigar. The moment the burn hits the wrapper, pepper joins in and it’s a strong pepper. After a few more puffs, toast and leather join in with the coffee, soil, and pepper flavors. Slowly the flavors evolve to more earthy, with some oak and a hint of dark chocolate. On the background, I taste something that comes close to nutmeg. After a centimeter, the flavors are more those of spices, with dark chocolate and pepper. And the spices are things like cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice. There is also a little citrus acidity. Then suddenly, at the beginning of the second third, a dominant hazelnut flavor shows up, with some leather, and pepper. The pepper is gaining strength. The final third has more wood, with pepper. In the last part of the cigar, I taste hay, leather and lots of pepper.

The draw is close to perfection. The right amount of air resistance without becoming tight. The smoke has a good density and volume. The burn is straight. But you have to concentrate not to let the burn die. This is a full-bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. There is a heavy nicotine content in this blend. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, no box though, but a fiver.

number91

Categories: 91, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , , ,

Alec Bradley Fine & Rare RS10=(86) 2018

For the last couple of years, Alec Bradley is releasing a limited edition. Well, two actually, the Filthy Hooligan and the Fine and Rare. Where the Filthy Hooligan is more of a gimmick for St Patrick’s day, the Fine & Rare is an ultra-premium cigar. The first release utilized 9 or 10 different kinds of tobacco. And every year, Alec Bradley is making something special from their Fine & Rare release.

For the 2018 release, they used a size that was used before. A 6½x56 Parejo Toro Gordo. And all they disclosed about the cigar was the origin of the wrapper. The wrapper comes from Honduras. The binder and filler are undisclosed.

Where not much of the blend is revealed, there are still a lot of details known. The ring reveals a lot. It has the roll date. In this case that’s between March 26 and April 1st of 2017. The number of boxes, 2500, is mentioned on the ring. The total production of the week van 638. The release date of 24 October 2018 is printed on the ring. As well as the names and signatures of the rollers Juan Carlos Artica and Wilmar Jose Valerio. But that’s not all, supervisors and quality control also signed the ring.

he Colorado colored wrapper looks great. Thing veins, a little shine of the oil. The construction feels great too but what do you expect when the rollers, supervisors and quality controllers are mentioned by name on the ring. They can’t afford to deliver a plugged cigar. And as mentioned in the intro, the ring tells a lot. The rolling date, the weekly production, who rolled it, the number of boxes. The aroma is medium strong and would be best described at barnyard.

The cold draw is great. Yet it doesn’t have a lot of flavors. Mild raw tobacco is all that is noticeable. The cigar starts with a nutty, toasty flavor. And a little bit of coffee. The cigar is very creamy. With some fresh acidity on the background that comes close to green apple. Slowly some leather and pepper shine through, while the green apple disappears. The flavors are all subtle and smooth so far. The sweetness in the cigar is best described as caramel, salted caramel as there is a salty flavor too. The nut flavor returns, with leather, pepper, and salt as backing vocals. After a third, the sweetness and the pepper are the stronger flavors. But they remain smooth, soft and complex. There’s also a grassy undertone. Slowly a minty freshness shows up in the aftertaste. The sweetness changes from caramel to powdered sugar. In the final third, there is a distinct milk chocolate flavor with hay and pepper. The sweetness turns to caramel again. Near the end, I taste nuts again, with sweetness and leather. There’s also a hint of coffee in the last few puffs

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The draw is great, the perfect amount of air flow resistance. The ash is light colored. The burn is beautiful. The smoke is thick and white. The cigar is smooth and complex. Medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is four hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for 25 euro, although it’s a good smoke. Yet if I have to choose between a Cohiba BHK or this Alec Bradley Fine and Rare, I know I’ll get this one.

number93

Categories: 93, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , ,

Oliva Baptiste Toro

A friend gave me this cigar and said: “I think you will like this one”. He knows that I love Oliva cigars. And I had never heard of this one before, even though at my previous job we distributed the brand. And we were warehousing Oliva for all international accounts. Plus I’ve been to the factory twice. So my curiosity was sparked.

The cigar is made exclusively for Famous Smoke Shop. It’s a Nicaraguan filler, Nicaraguan binder, and Ecuador Habano wrapper cigar. The cigar is in between box-pressed and oval. The one that I smoked is a 5½x54 Toro and they are dirt cheap. If you buy them by the box, you only pay 4 USD per cigar, for a premium, hand-made stick and that’s a bundle price yet they come in boxes.

The wrapper is dark, a bit rustic with one big vein on the bottom front. The backside of the ring reminds me of the Oliva series V. The shape of the front too, but red instead of brown. The aroma has burned notes, charred woods with something floral. The shape is in between oval and box pressed. The construction feels good.

The cold draw is perfect with raw tobacco as the flavor. After lighting, I taste sweet coffee, strong though. There’s also soil and pepper. Soon a faint leather shows up too, with a minty freshness. After a few puffs, I taste roasted nuts, caramel, cinnamon, spicy green herbs, and some pepper. The leather lingers around on the background. After a third, I taste sweet grass with some leather and citrus. The caramel sweetness is the dominant flavor, very pleasant, smooth with some spice coming from green herbs and pepper on the background. The flavors are well balanced. I get some toast too. The flavors are mild creamy with a hint of vanilla. There’s a little bitterness on the tip of my tongue. Halfway I taste some oak, with pepper, roasted nuts, coffee beans, and caramel. The flavors slowly change to a more spice based flavor. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin with a little minty freshness. There’s also a little earthy flavor with some oak. The sweetness has disappeared, the pepper turned to white pepper. The cigar has a little oak, leather, pepper, sweetness, spices, nuts, coffee. So many flavors, all balanced and smooth.

This is a cigar that I could smoke every single day, over and over again.

The draw is great. The ash is quite dark and not firm. The burn is pretty straight. This is a medium bodied, full flavored cigar. It just fits my flavor preferences like a glove. With a better-looking wrapper and a better burn, I could have scored a 95. I thoroughly enjoyed it for exactly two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I ordered a box before I was done typing this review.

number92

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , ,

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

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: , , , , ,

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: ,

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: , , ,

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: , , ,

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