Monthly Archives: December 2019

Tobacco Lords Speirs

Alexander Speirs was one of the biggest tobacco traders from Glasgow. And Glasgow was once the epicenter of the European tobacco trade. During the mid of the American revolution, approximately half of all tobacco in Western Europe was stored in Glasgow. And Alexander Speirs owned twenty percent of that. Most of it came from his own plantations in Virginia. He was not only influential in Europe, but his brother in law was nobody less than George Washington. He married the sister of George Washington’s wife.


The Scottish cigar and liquor shop Robert Graham 1874 created this cigar. For that, they worked with Joya de Nicaragua. And they came up with two blends. One Maduro and one Natural. With their Scottish blood, they used the Tobacco Lords history to create the name. The cigars don’t carry the name of the size, but the name of one of the tobacco lords from the 1770s. The Maduro robusto is named after Alexander Speirs.

The wrapper is matt. The rings look good. Red with silver lettering and a black circle with a sailing ship. The foot ring is red with the name of the tobacco lord in white. The cigar looks good, feels good and smells good. The aroma is strong. And it’s a mixture of dark chocolate with straw and wood.


The cold draw is perfect. The flavor is weird, pleasant but weird. Black licorice with some raw tobacco and soil. Unusual. Once lit, it’s an instant ground coffee, leather and soil flavor mix. With a dry mouthfeel. On the background, there’s a little milk chocolate sweetness. After a few puffs, it’s all coffee with marzipan. After a centimeter, the cigar turns to green herbs and hay. The cigar evolves into more grassy with green herbs. And the mouthfeel is more buttery. After a third, its a creamy, grassy, wooden, and leathery taste. A little chocolate shows up too, very faint. And walnuts. There’s also a little bit of pepper. In the final third, the nuts pick up in strength. The flavors are all nuts, leather and a bit of citrus.

The draw is phenomenal. Just the right amount of resistance. And that helps to create thick smoke. The burn is a bit off but manages to correct itself each time. The ash is light colored. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. Well balanced and smooth. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, they are worth it.

number93

Categories: 93, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars, Tobacco Lords | Tags: , , , , ,

Arturo Fuente Opus X 20th anniversary Father & Son

Arturo Fuente Opus X 20th anniversary Father & Son. In 1995, Arturo Fuente released a new cigar. The Arturo Fuente Opus X. It was a prestigious project for the Fuente family. Against all odds, they grew wrapper in the Dominican Republic. Where everybody said it couldn’t be done, Fuente did it. They grew Habano seed tobaccos under a cloth and created a rich and beautiful wrapper. The Opus X was the first premium Dominican puro. It became a highly sought after cigar, available in limited quantities. And now, 25 years later, that is still the case.

In 2015, Carlito Fuente released his tribute to the original Fuente Fuente Opus X. He said he wanted to blend something that made his grandfather and father proud. Something that brought him to his childhood, something that made him happy. And that was the 20th Anniversary. Available in four different vitolas. A 61/2×52 Figurado with the name God’s whisper is the most prolific. But there’s a torpedo as well, 6⅜x52, with the name power of the dream. Then there’s a 5¾x52 Robusto called Believe. And the fourth cigars is the one being reviewed. The 6¼x49 Father & Son.

The cigar has a Colorado Claro colored wrapper, hidden from the eye with a piece of cedar. Once removed, the wrapper is clear, smooth, yet it looks a bit dry. The aroma is quite mild, sawdust and wood. The cigar feels good, well packed and evenly packed. The shape and cap are perfect. And then the ring. The classic Opus X ring in blue instead of red. A secondary ring in the same colors, on the same high-quality paper, says 20 years. 100 out of 100 points for the ring. The foot of the cigar clearly shows different tobaccos, with different colors.


The cold draw is just perfect. Mild spicy with some sweetness in the flavors. After lighting, a very balanced and smooth mixture of spice, coffee, and sweetness is tasted. The flavors then turn wood, with spices, and leather. There’s also some faint vanilla and grass. All smooth flavors, balanced, like an aged cigar. After a centimeter, a nice fresh lemon flavor binds everything together. The sweetness is molasses, and it’s getting a bit stronger. The mouthfeel is creamy, buttery. The spice and pepper get some strength after a while. The main flavors turn to wood and sweetness, but the sweetness is different than the molasses tasted earlier. After a third, the cigar gets meatier in mouthfeel, with wood and vanilla as main flavors. Halfway the coffee returns, with gingerbread spices and vanilla. The flavors remain smooth and balanced all the way through the cigar. The strength does pick up in the final third though.

The draw is great. The smoke is good too, not spectacular but good. The light-colored ash is firm and dense. The burn is sharp. The cigar is very smooth and balanced. Medium-bodied, medium-full flavored without any harshness at all. The smoke time is three hours, fifteen minutes. Nubbed it till my fingers and lips burned.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, even with this price, I want to smoke it on special occasions
number94

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

Illusione Rothchildes

Illusione Rothchildes. Dion Giolito launched this cigar in early 2013. And it was one of the first Illusione projects coming from Nicaragua. Not the first, but it was the start of a massive shift from Honduran Illusione cigars to Nicaraguan Illusione cigars. And nowadays, most Illusiones are made at TABSA Tabacalera Valle de Jalapa SA. That’s the factory owned by Aranorsa Leaf. They are big tobacco growers and cigar manufacturers. Not only for their own brands, such as Casa Fernandez, but also for others including Illusione.


The Illusione Rothchildes comes in a 4½x50 size and is reasonably priced. It’s all Nicaraguan filler and binder. The wrapper is a dark, Mexican, San Andres Maduro wrapper. A few years ago, Illusione released a Connecticut Shade offspring in the same size. And also only available in cabinets of 50, just like the original.


The cigar looks good. Even though it was purchased less than a year ago, the cellophane is already golden. That shows the amount of oil in the wrapper. The wrapper is dark, toothy and kinda scary. Intimidating because of the darkness and the pimples. With a nice, simple, classic ring. The shape is good, yet the cap is sloppy. The aroma is strong. Wet soil, wood, and charcoal.


The cold draw is good. It has flavors of raw tobacco, sweetness, and spice. Straight from the start, strong yet sweet espresso. With toast, spices, and pepper. The sweetness is quite strong. After a few puffs, some leather and grass join the flavor wheel. The mouthfeel is slightly buttery. The pepper and sweetness become the predominant flavors. Then suddenly the pepper is gone. The cigar is sweet with leather, toast, and spices. Halfway, the cigar has a nice floral and mild chocolate flavor, balanced with some pepper and spices. Then wood shows up, with the spices. The floral flavor is a nice finish, and the pepper gives it a nice kick.


The draw is fantastic. The smoke is thick and amazing in volume. The ash is white, yet not to firm. This is a full-bodied, full-flavored cigar. The smoke time is one hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I’m thinking of a 50 cab box.

number92

Categories: 92, Illusione, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , ,

Winston Churchill The Late Hour Robusto

Winston Churchill The Late Hour Robusto. When Davidoff acquired Camacho in 2008, they changed everything. They reblended the Camacho blends. They redesigned the packaging and the rings. And with that, they lost a lot of the Camacho fanbase. It took the brand years to recover from all the changes. But they hit the bullseye when Davidoff introduced the barrel-aged series for Camacho. The tobaccos for those cigars are aged in liquor casks. The Camacho American Barrel Aged used bourbon barrels. And for the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged, barrels from the Nicaraguan rum brand Flor de Caña are used. The cigars are so popular, that Davidoff decided to use the same technique for the Winston Churchill Late Hour.


For the Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour, Davidoff placed Nicaraguan viso from Condega in barrels. They picked scotch barrels from the Speyside region. The tobacco was aged for an additional six months inside those barrels before being used as filler in the cigar. Together with more Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. The binder comes from Mexico and the wrapper is a dark Habano wrapper from Ecuador. They are available in a 7×48 Churchill, 6×54 Toro, and a 5×52 Robusto. Ministry of Cigars is reviewing the robusto.

The cigar looks good, a very dark, oily and smooth wrapper with a vein or two. A beautiful black and golden ring with the classic silhouette of Winston Churchill with a cigar in his mouth. A secondary with the name of the line and the size complete the look. The aroma is quite strong. A little wood, some chocolate, and barnyard. The cigar feels well filled, with the right amount of sponginess.

The cold draw is easy. The cigar has a raw tobacco flavor and indeed something whisky as well, but faint. The cigar has some sweetness, coffee, and whisky after being lit. There are some leather and some wood. And it’s the wood that has that whisky feel to it. After half a centimeter, some acidity shows up with pepper. The flavors don’t really change, but they intensify. They get stronger and a mild vegetable flavor is added. The mouthfeel is dry. Halfway the cigar gets a little bitter, harsh. With the wood, leather, pepper, and acidity. The bitterness tones down but remains, just like the rest of the flavors.


The draw is loose, a little too loose. The smoke is good though. The light-colored ash is quite firm. But the burn had to be corrected. The smoke time is two hours and ten minutes. This cigar is medium-bodied, medium flavored.

Would I buy this cigar again? I had high hopes for this cigar but it didn’t deliver.

number87

Categories: 87, Cigars Davidoff, Davidoff, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Dalay Affentanz Hell

The German retailer Dalay is owned and operated by real cigar aficionados. And ones that have the guts to take bold decisions. One of those decisions was to create its own cigar brand. The brand carries the same name as the shop, Dalay. It is sold all over Germany. And in 2017, two limited editions were released under the name ‘affentanz’. That’s German for monkey dance. Another bold decision to use that name. In the current political climate, some might consider that racist.

The Dalay Affentanz Hell is the Connecticut Shade version of the Affentanz. There is only one size available, a 5×52 belicoso with a very sharp head. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Brazil. The binder is Dominican. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade. The cigars have a price tag of €9,50.

The wrapper is light, it has that yellow-brown color of Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade which I find unappealing. The construction feels good, but the cigar looks a bit off with the steep point. The rings are cool, with a funny peeled banana logo and a monkey on the back. The woody aroma is strong.

The cold draw is great. I taste spicy licorice and pepper, but with that faint Connecticut Shade mustiness which I hate. The first puffs are harsh, strong. I taste coffee, leather, and earthiness. The leather is the most pronounced flavor. There is also a little grass, plus some sweetness from Brazilian tobacco. The flavors evolve to more wood with leather. But there is some sweetness and even a creamy chocolate flavor. All slightly harsh though, the flavors aren’t rounded. After a third, the flavors get more refined. I taste leather, chocolate, nuts, grass, and sweetness. In the final third, the dreaded Connecticut Shade flavor shows up, but it is faint. The flavors remain the same until the end, except for growing pepper.


The draw is great. As is the smoke. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The smoke time is one hour and thirty minutes

.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s still a Connecticut Shade cigar, but not a bad one

number90

Categories: 90, Dalay, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Zauberberg | Tags: , , , , ,

San Jeronimo Maduro Robusto

San Jeronimo is a born in the community of which is named after. San Jeronimo Valley is located near Copan, Honduras. And Copan is known for its tobacco and the Mayan ruins. The original San Jeronimo cigars trace back almost 80 years ago, to 1940. The brand is distributed by Kafie Cigars but made at Tabacalera San Jerónimo in Danli, Honduras.

The owner of San Jeronimo is Oscar Orlando Ferrera. He’s been making the cigars for over twenty years. But they only gained access to the United States after signing a distribution agreement with Kafie Cigars. And that expanded into international distribution as well. Dr. Gaby Kafie wanted to help San Jeronimo as it has a lot of Honduran history. And Kafie, Honduran born, is proud of that history.

The cigar isn’t good looking, to be honest. The wrapper does have some oil but also very pronounced veins although not thick. And the ring is too much. The golden outlines are too thick and don’t fit with the picture of the tobacco fields. The color scheme is off. And the picture is too detailed to be printed on a small ring to look good. The cigar feels good though. The triple cap is nice. The aroma is strong. Hay and wood.

The cold draw is good. It has a mixture of flavors. Raw tobacco, pepper, spice, and raisin come to mind. Once lit, coffee is the main flavor. Not bitter, nice and smooth but flavorful. With some wood and some pepper. Some grass shows up as well, with a little acidity to balance it all out. After a centimeter, it’s wood, soil, and milk chocolate. The flavors are a little dusty though. Halfway the cigar gets more sweet, more fruity citrus as well. With some milk chocolate and leather. And then some nuts show up. In the final third, the flavors are no longer muted. Leather, pepper, soil, sweetness, and citrus flavors are all clear and full. The nuttiness and pepper are gaining strength.

The draw is great. The ash is a stack of dimes. The burn is flawless. The smoke is a little thin. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The flavors seem muted. Halfway the amount of smoke picks up as well. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Buy no, smoke if gifted, yes
number89

Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, San Jeronimo, Tabacalera San Jerónimo | Tags: , , , ,

Ramon Allones Superiores

This cigar is an exclusive release for the La Casa del Habano franchise. That is a franchise owned by Habanos. The shops are only allowed to sell Cuban cigars and are held to a high-quality standard. In exchange, the La Casa del Habano shops get a preferred status when it comes to stock. And they get exclusive cigars, that are only available at the La Casa del Habano outlets.

This Ramon Allones Grand Corona is a 5.6×46 cigar and was originally released in 2009. Back then, La Casa del Habano releases were regular production cigars. In later years, Habanos decided to turn the LCDH exclusive releases into limited editions too, so the Gran Corona is no longer being produced. When the cigar was released, the price tag in The Netherlands was €9,70. And that is decent for an exclusive Cuban cigar.

The cigar has a nice Colorado colored wrapper. The cap is slightly darker though, quality control didn’t pick that up. And it passed the color sorting table too. The wrapper has a mild oily shine and thin veins. The construction feels ok, although there is a spot near the head that feels harder. I hope it’s just a piece of the stem close to the binder and will not give draw issues. The classic Cuban barnyard aroma is quite mild. The combination of the Ramon Allones ring and the La Casa del Habano ring isn’t a perfect match.

The cold draw is good. Raw tobacco is what I taste, quite spicy. Right from the get-go, I taste a slightly metallic, pepper with leather and soil. After a centimeter, I taste pepper with some creamy chocolate. The flavors remain in the same part of the flavor wheel. Some nuts, some leather, a little pepper. All smooth and mellow. The metallic and cream are gone though. No real outspoken flavors. The flavors stay the same for the longest time, this cigar is like a slow-moving creek. Pleasant, calming but not exciting. In the final third, the cigar gets more character. More power, more pepper, and a minty aftertaste.

The draw is great. The ash is light colored and beautiful, like a stack of coins. The burn is good. The smoke is decent in thickness and volume. I would say this is a medium bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. The smoke times is an hour and twenty-five minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe, why not? But not often.

number89

Categories: 89, Cuban cigars, Ramon Alones (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , ,

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Robusto

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Robusto. A motorcycle brand with history. And history in cigars as well, as this is not the first time the name is connected to cigars. The first time it appeared was in the mid-1990s when business partners Philip Zanghi and Rocky Patel founded Indian Tabac. Zanghi’s father was once the owner of the Indian Motorcycle brand, and Philip had the right to make cigars under the name. When Zanghi sold his stock to Patel and left the cigar industry, the name remained with Patel. When the company started carrying Patel’s name, the Indian Tabac cigars were slowly discontinued.


And then Zanghi came back in the scene. First with Debonaire and then he regained the rights for Indian Motorcycles when it comes to tobacco. There are currently three lines. The first in a Habano, the second a Maduro. And there’s also a Connecticut version, which is exclusively for Canada for now. The cigars are made at De Los Reyes factory in the Dominican Republic. The wrapper is Connecticut Broadleaf. The binder comes from the Dominican. The filler is a blend of Central American tobaccos.


This cigar starts with bonus points for looks. The wrapper is dark as night, oily, leathery and smooth. And the ring is amazing. Beige outwearing, smudged like a motorcycle mechanic with oily hands touched it. And then the Indian logo with a red glossy metallic background. This cigar is quite a looker. It feels well packed. The aroma is mud, hay and wet horses.


The cold draw is good. It’s spicy with a raw tobacco flavor. Right from the start, it’s coffee. Strong dark roast coffee. And some salty nuts as well. The flavor is very pleasant. There’s also some toasted wood in the flavor palate. After a few puffs, the coffee mellows out and the cigar gets a soil flavor, with some spices and pepper. And there is a slightly metallic flavor as well. After a centimeter, it’s soil with pepper, sweetness and some citrus. After a third, it’s still earthy with pepper, some sweetness and now I taste a hint of chocolate and leather as well. Halfway the cigar gets some more chocolate and a little hay, but those are supporting flavors for the earthiness and pepper. In the final third, leather is replacing the earthiness. And there is some walnut in the flavor too.


The draw is great. The smoke is good, not spectacular but good. The ash is flaky and splits a little bit. This cigar is medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored. The burn is pretty straight. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? For 7,25 euro? Yes

number91

Categories: 91, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Indian Motorcycles | Tags: , ,

Gurkha Ghost Gold Shadow

Gurkha Ghost Gold Shadow. Gurkha is a controversial brand. For most people, it is a ‘love it or hate it’ brand. And when you have to believe the social media, most cigar smokers are in the hate it section. Yet, the sales numbers don’t seem to show that, as the brand is selling like hotcakes. Our personal experience is more negative than positive. Yet, as cigar geeks with an open mind, we give each new blend a try. The regular Gurkha Ghost is a good cigar, so maybe this follow-up Gurkha Ghost Gold is good too.


The cigars are made at PDR in the Dominican Republic. It has the same filler and binder as the regular Gurkha Ghost. The fillers are from the Dominican, Nicaragua, and the United States. The wrapper is replaced. Instead of the dark Brazilian Arapiraca, Gurkha uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper for the Ghost Gold blend. And as it turns out, it’s an updated version of an old blend. That means it will be grandfathered in if the FDA gets their way. The FDA is currently trying to regulate premium cigars and it will be close to impossible to have new blends on the market. Since this is an old blend, it would be grandfathered.


The cigar looks great. The foot is closed. The ring is the same as the regular Ghost line, yet with gold instead of silver. The wrapper is dark and very oily. It’s almost glossy. The cigar has the right sponginess. The triple cap is beautiful. The aroma is dark, hay with charred wood.


The wrapper is quite salty. And the cold draw is a bit tights because of the closed foot. The flavors are raw tobacco and salt. Once lit the draw is fine. The flavors are wood, salt, leather, earthy and coffee from the start. There is some sweetness at the background as well. The sweetness becomes stronger, and a little creamy. There’s a mild chocolate flavor to the sweetness too. There’s some pepper as well. So far, this cigar hits almost every section of the flavor wheel in the diagram below. And all within the first ten minutes. Then it turns to nuts and wood, with spices. This cigar has a very dynamic start. The chocolate sweetness remains while the cigar gets more peppery and spicy, with some hay flavors as well. The wood is still there, with leather. After a third, it’s nutty and woody with leather and pepper. The pepper is growing. The mouthfeel is dry. The final third starts out with nuts, salt, spices, pepper, and leather.


The draw is great. The smoke is good but could be a little thicker. The burn needs corrections every now and then. The dark gray ash isn’t really firm. This cigar is medium-full, both in body and flavor. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes. Is it better than the regular Gurkha Ghost? Not in my book, but this is still an enjoyable cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? Every once in a while

number90

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Gurkha, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

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