Monthly Archives: January 2020

Maria Mancini Edicion Especial Corona

Maria Mancini Edicion Especial Corona. This Honduran brand is owned and distributed by Schuster Cigars from Germany. The 110-year-old company is making cigars in Bunde, Germany. But besides making their own cigars, the company distributes RoMa Craft worldwide and a few brands on their German home market as well, including Debonaire. And they own a few Caribbean made brands, such as Iron Shirt, Maria Mancini, Casa de Torres and more.


Maria Mancini is sold in several countries, and in several blends. This is the Edicion Especial in a corona size. According to the Cigarworld website, it is a Honduran Puro. So the filler, binder, and the sun-grown wrapper all come from Honduras. The 5½x44 corona was introduced in 2004 and has been for sale since. And the price? In Germany, this cigar has a fixed price tag of €4,60, making it a budget cigar.


The cigar looks good. A nice Colorado Maduro colored wrapper, with some slight and thin veins. It is almost leathery looking. The ring is a bit outdated, old fashioned with red, white and gold. It could use an update. The cigar has a nice aroma, quite strong. It smells like leather and forest. The construction feels good. The cap is close to perfect.


The cold draw is good. It has flavors of raw tobacco, spice, and raisin. The first puffs are Cuban coffee. Strong coffee with loads of sweetness. A few puffs later, the cigar has some citrus acidity and the flavor of old leather, still with some sweetness. The first third ends with cedar, leather, soil, and sweetness. The overall flavor is old, not mold but just old. The second third starts out with sweetness, hay, and grass. All of a sudden, there is a strong milk-chocolate flavor. There is a mild nuttiness as well. Halfway pepper shows up. The cigar gets more character with pepper, chocolate, nuts, and leather. These flavors are consistent to the end but are changing in strength along the way. Sometimes the chocolate is clearer, then the nuts, then the pepper.


The draw is great. The silver-colored ash looks good but isn’t firm. The smoke is okay, not bad but also not thick and full. This is a medium-bodied and medium flavored cigar. The burn is straight. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. It’s an enjoyable cigar for the money, but I rather pay 2 euro more and get something better

number89

Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, Maria Manchini | Tags: , , ,

Rocky Patel LB1 Robusto

Rocky Patel LB1 Robusto. Rocky Patel makes cigars in Honduras and Nicaragua. And even though he started out in Honduras, last few years he focussed on Nicaragua for production. Almost all of the new blends came out of his Tavicusa factory in Esteli. That factory is owned by Rocky Patel and his partner Amilcar Perez. The Honduran production is made at El Paraiso, a factory owned by Plasencia. But Patel has a special relationship, which allows them to use his own methods, his own people and his own standards for his brands. It’s sort of a lease deal.


This Rocky Patel LB1 is made at that El Paraiso factory. And it’s one of the two new blends that were recently released, made in Honduras. It’s quite normal for cigars to have a factory code during the blending process, and for the LB1 Patel decided to keep that factory code as the name. The cigar is made with tobacco from Honduras and Nicaragua in the filler. The binder is also Nicaraguan. The Nicaraguan tobaccos come from Patel’s farm in Esteli. The wrapper is a Habano wrapper from Ecuador.

The cigar is a looker. A very dark yet smooth wrapper. But the foot has been cut by a drunken torcedor. When placed on a table, foot down, it leans like the Tower of Pisa. The wrapper is evenly in color and smooth. The white and copper-colored ring contrasts the darkness well. The ring is quite simple, yet a little too overwhelming. There’s too many lines, stars, shapes so it makes the ring distracting. The barnyard and manure aroma is quite strong.


The cold draw is a bit though. The flavors are leather and pepper, spicy. But it feels a bit like wet leather, making the draw a bit draggy. Once lit, its pepper and cinnamon toast with espresso. The flavors then evolve to a mixture of soil, leather, coffee, sweetness, and a hint of citrus. The cigar is mellow, and the flavors settle for cinnamon toast with a little pepper, sweetness, and grass. Halfway some wood, more soil, and leather show up, but still with the spiced toast and sweetness.


The draw is good. Better than the cold draw. The white smoke is thick and plentiful. The salt and pepper colored ash is quite firm. The cigar is mellow and well balanced. Where the darkness of the wrapper would suggest it’s a strong, full-bodied cigar, it’s actually not. It’s a medium-bodied, medium flavored, balanced and smooth cigar. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, I think so.

number91

Categories: 91, El Paraiso, Honduran cigars, Rocky Patel | Tags: , , , , ,

ACID Kuba Arte

Drew Estate Acid Kuba Arte. A limited edition Drew Estate Acid to commemorate 20 years of Drew Estate Acid Kuba. And they come packed in pieces of art. Water towers containing 20 cigars and a boveda pack. All the water towers are hand pained by New York based street artists. That is a tribute to the art side that Drew Estate always had, from day one. The company was founded in Brooklyn, and the 5 artists all have roots in that burrough of New York as well. Back in the day, Jonathan Drew was sitting on a rooftop in Brooklyn, and he saw water towers and graffiti. Now he brings it back together.

The cigar is infused. Premium tobaccos have been used though. From a beautiful American grown broadleaf Maduro wrapper to the hearty Nicaraguan fillers. Add am Indonesian binder and you have the blend. Drew Estate uses a unique infusion method, one of the best kept secrets in the industry to turn the cigars into the ACID lines. People love it, or hate it. There is no in-between. They sell like hotcakes, yet a lot of natural cigar smokers look down on the acid lines.


The cigar looks great. A dark, oily wrapper. No visible veins. The cigar is slightly box-pressed. The ring is in graffiti style, and mentions it’s a limited edition. The aroma is strong, once removed from the cellophane you can immediately smell a chemical aroma that is unusual for cigars. It reminded us of toilet cakes, liquid soap and flowers. The cigar looks and feels well constructed. While wetting the cap, before cutting it, the chemical taste is pretty strong.


The cold draw is pretty good. The wrapper leaves a sweet flavor on the lips, the tobacco itself has some pepper. The first puffs are overpowered by the sweetness of the wrapper. The unnatural sweetness. Once the initial shock of the unnatural sweetness is gone, it’s not that bad. Sweetness, with some spices and pepper. A little coffee shows up, and the pepper mellows out. The floral, chemical sweetness is still very dominant. There are hints of dried leaves and leather on the background as well. After a third it’s still sweet, floral sweet, with pepper, leather, and toast on the background. Halfway the sweetness is at a level where it’s actually pleasant, although still a bit too strong. The flavors remain the same, with that dominant sweetness, some pepper, leather and toast.


The draw is fantastic. And the smoke is plentiful, like with the natural premium cigars from the same factory. The light colored ash isn’t very firm. The cigar is medium bodied, yet full flavored although the flavor isn’t very natural.

Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer natural cigars but this wasn’t bad

number90

Categories: 90, ACID, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Debonaire Maduro First Degree

Debonaire is the brand of Philip Zanghi. Zanghi first made his steps into the cigar industry in the 1990s in a partnership with Rocky Patel. They were both new to the business. With Zanghi’s connection with Indian Motorcycles, they formed Indian Tobac. In a later stage, Patel bought Zanghi’s shares. Zanghi ventured into other parts of the tobacco industry.

But returned to cigars in 2011 with Debonaire. First only with the Habano, but in 2014 he released the Debonaire Maduro too. And now there’s a third blend, Daybreak, with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.

The Debonaire Maduro is made at the De Los Reyes factory on the Dominican Republic. That factory is owned by the Reyes family. The 5th generation Reyes has entered the business, and that says a lot about the long lasting love affair with tobacco. For the filler Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco is used. The binder is also from the Dominican. The wrapper comes from the USA. It’s a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro.

The dark wrapper is toothy and rough. It could easily be mistaken for Brazilian Mata Fina by the looks. But the aroma is good and strong. There is a strong earthy smell to the cigar with some pepper. The shape is great and makes the cigar look cute. That little tampered foot eases the rough look on the wrapper. It’s like an ugly kid with a cute outfit that makes it adorable. The construction feels good.


The cold draw is surprisingly good. With that tampered foot, a tighter cold draw was expected. The flavors are very peppery. The first hit is a strong earthy coffee. Once the cigar opens up, the Maduro sweetness shines through too. There’s also a hint of extra dark chocolate. That chocolate is slowly becoming the dominant flavor. The flavors remain practically the same all throughout the cigar. The bigger sizes will probably offer more variety in flavor. The finale brings strong bittersweet chocolate with some wood.

The draw is great. The smoke is thick and full. The color is a bit off-white. The ash is quite dark. The burn was straight until one side hit a big vein. Then it gets crooked and had to be corrected. This is a medium-full flavored and bodied cigar. The smoke time is an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, for the occasions where I don’t have a lot of time.

number90

Categories: 90, De Los Reyes, Debonaire, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Bolivar Coronas Extra Vintage 2003

Bolivar Coronas Extra Vintage 2003. You won’t find any of these cigars post-2012, as the cigar was discontinued in that year. But the sample that we are reviewing is from 2003. This is one of the many cigars that Habanos and Cubatabaco have discontinued in the last 20 years in favor of thicker cigars that seems to be catered for the American market. The American market is a no-go area for Cuban cigars, yet a big portion of the yearly production of Cuban cigars ends up in the United States through webshops anyway. And Habanos is catering to that market, by making Cuban cigars thicker and thicker as that’s where the demand from the United States is. Small rings suffer the consequences of that trend.


As for this particular cigar, it comes from the collection of a serious collector of Cuban cigars in Greece. The cigars have been aged for 16 years in the box, which led to the cigar being box-pressed. But not a factory box-press, a natural box-press.


The Colorado Maduro wrapper looks great. Beautiful color, nice shine. On the side of the cigar are a few veins. The Bolivar ring is the classic one. The portrait of Simon Bolivar on a yellow background. But honestly, if Simon Bolivar saw the way he was portrayed, the artist would probably be killed on the spot as it’s not a flattering painting. The triple cap is nice and the cigar feels well packed. No hard spots, no soft spots even though the cigars come from some troublesome years when the Cuban industry had a lot of issues with the construction of cigars. That came through an influx of new rollers and declining quality control. The aroma is almost gone, there are a mild forest and barnyard smell.


The cold draw is good and has a spicy flavor. Pepper, cinnamon, and toast. Once lit, the flavors are muted. Mild. A little leather with some spices. A faint pepper. But from Bolivar, more is to be expected. A little sweetness shows up underneath the leather. Slowly the pepper gets a little stronger, and some earthiness replaces the leather. The leather doesn’t disappear at all though, and a mild toast flavor is noticeable after a third as well. Halfway the cigar picks up white pepper. The sweetness is getting more pleasant and the flavors seem to pick up a little. There’s even a hint of milk chocolate and some cedarwood.


The draw is fine and the silver-gray ash is nice. The smoke is good, thick, enough volume and white. The cigar is medium-bodied, and overall medium flavored. It started mildly flavored but the flavors progressed to get better and stronger. The smoke time is two hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Nope
number87

Categories: 87, Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas Diadema

That’s one of the two vitolas that Joya de Nicaragua released of this blend. And the Cinco Decadas stands for the 50th anniversary of the factory. Opened in 1968 and still standing. It’s the oldest factory in Nicaragua and carries a lot of history. Even though the factory has been renovated and restored after the revolution, there are still bullet holes in the building. During the renovation, those were preserved. To remind everybody about that era, from 1979 to 1990. Esteli was one of the epicenters of the revolution. And the Joya de Nicaragua factory was the highest building in town. So it was used as a sniper outpost, and therefore being shot at a lot too. Yet the building survived, and Joya de Nicaragua is bigger and stronger than ever.

Last year, at the 50th birthday of Joya de Nicaragua, the company released a book. And this line. Both called Cinco Decadas, five decades. The book was written by Nick Hammond, click here for an interview. Joya de Nicaragua did not reveal much about the cigar. They only said that some of their best Nicaraguan tobacco is used in the blend. But not what kind of tobacco. Or if it’s a 100% Nicaraguan cigar. There are only two vitolas, this diadema, and a 7×50 Churchill. Again with a link to history, as these are vitolas rolled back in the day as well. The cigars have been received well, with scores high in the 90 by several established magazines and blogs.


The cigar is dark. And oily. With a beautiful wrapper, smooth yet intimidating. The shape is fantastic with a beautiful pointy head. The creme colored ring with golden details and the name in red is classic yet modern, it fits the brand and the blend. The construction feels good. The aroma is medium strong, And it smells like hay or straw in a musty shed.


The cold draw is great, even though only a small part was clipped. There are some leather and some sweetness in the cold draw. As well as a raw tobacco flavor. From the moment the cigar is lit, it’s all coffee. Strong, dark roast coffee. Then it turns to coffee, pepper, leather, and chocolate. This cigar starts strong. There are subtle hints of hay, sweetness, wood, and spices, that all come and go with each puff. The flavors are well balanced. After third, dark chocolate with coffee become the main flavors. Supported by leather and pepper. And sweetness best compared to dried fruits. All balanced by nice citrus acidity. Slowly a little mustiness shows up, but it’s not a Connecticut Shade mustiness. It’s different. The last third starts with a balanced, complex, dark chocolate flavor and pepper. The mouthfeel is creamy. There’s a hint of vanilla in the smoke too. There’s also that citrus acidity and some hay. A mild salty flavor is there as well.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is good, but a little thicker and more voluminous would have been fitting. The ash is white in color. Unfortunately, it’s not very firm. The burn is straight and slow. Keep puffing though, to keep the cigar lit. This is not a cigar you can rest and come back to a few minutes later. This cigar is full bodied, full flavored. Joya wanted to create something special for their 50th anniversary and clearly succeeded.

Would I buy this cigar again? Even though it has a high price, I want a box.

number95

Categories: 95, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Patoro Serie P Jeroboam

Patoro Serie P Jeroboam. This is a Swiss cigar brand. But the cigars are Dominican made. They are made at De Los Reyes. Other brands that are made at that factory are Puros de Hostos, Indian Motorcycle, Debonaire, Saga and more. Ministry of Cigars reviewed the Saga Short Tales Tomo VI, Debonaire Habano, Debonaire Maduro, and the Indian Motorcycle Maduro from the same factory. And now the Patoro Serie P Jeroboam, which is a perfecto shaped cigar. The filler and binder are Dominican. The wrapper is Cameroon according to the Patoro website. But there are a few vitolas exclusively for the American market. And those are wrapped in a Brazilian Maduro wrapper.

When we bought this cigar, we didn’t know anything about it. It was recommended by a retailer in The Netherlands. He had got them in, we never smoked it, so we bought a few to review. Something unknown, odd shape, why not try it? With a price tag of 11 euro, it’s not a cheap cigar and it’s probably hard to find now. Patoro is no longer available on the Dutch market as the distributor stopped selling premium long fillers (again). And no other distributor has taken on the brand yet.

The shape looks cool. Because of the curve at the foot of the cigar, it looks a bit like the Opus X Chili Pepper. Yet not as curved as that cigar. The ring is simple, glossy orange with a P and a star. No further information. The oily wrapper has a few veins. The construction feels good. The aroma is good. A mixture of chocolate, pepper, and wood.

For the shape, the cold draw is surprisingly easy. And it tastes peppery yet sweet. Once lit, the flavors are coffee with sweetness and leather. Then some nice spices show up. All-spice, cinnamon, and gingerbread. All quite sweet but pleasantly sweet. The mouthfeel is dry. The flavors remain the same in the first half, but then wood shows up. Still with the spice and some pepper. The sweetness remains strong as well. Slowly there’s more leather and even a little vanilla.

The draw is great. The burn is beautiful. And the light-colored ash is firm. The smoke is nice white and plentiful. This is a medium-full bodied cigar. The flavors are also medium-full. And well rounded. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? 11 euro is a bit too high priced. If it was 8 euro I would not hesitate.

number90

Categories: 90, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Patoro | Tags: , , , , ,

Alec Bradley Magic Toast Robusto

The name Magic Toast comes from when Ralph Montero and Alan Rubin inspected the tobacco fields. Their flight got delayed, they weren’t able to reach the factory in time so they decided to inspect the tobacco fields instead. And when they saw the high quality of the tobacco that was growing, they grabbed a bottle of whisky from their luggage and made a toast, a magic toast.

I’m smoking this very dark Maduro cigar as a magic toast to friends. My buddy Mac passed away earlier this year of a massive heart attack. He was only 51. And then another friend, Paul, took his life a few days before smoking this cigar. He lost his wife a year ago and couldn’t live life without her. And this is all while a third friend is fighting for his life, he’s in a coma after a brain aneurysm. I’m toasting to them.

This is one of the darkest wrappers I have ever seen. Dark and oily. Smooth and beautiful. Almost unreal how dark it is. The blue ring is very detailed, and the font reminds me of old school magic shows. The paper quality is high, just like the print. The construction feels good. And the cigar has a strong aroma, wood, and hay.

The cold draw is great. I taste raw tobacco with a hint of dark chocolate. Once lit I taste peppery dried grass, coffee and a lot of dark chocolate. A few puffs later I also taste leather. But the chocolate is the main flavor. High quality, extra dark chocolate. There is a mild acidity to tie all the flavors together. The mouthfeel is mild creamy. Halfway I taste coffee with chocolate, leather, hay and dried leaves. The chocolate remains the base flavor, but with changing levels of pepper, leather, wood, spices, and hay. Very nice.

The draw is great. The ash is light colored and quite firm. The smoke could be a bit thicker, but it gets better the further I progress in the cigar. And I had to correct the burn in the beginning. This is a medium bodied, full flavored cigar with lots of nuances. Well balanced. I’m a fan

Would I buy this cigar again? You betcha.

number93

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

Top 25 for 2019

In 2019, I published 239 reviews on cigarguideblog.com. Some of them I reviewed in 2018 but were never published before. And January was a punishment with the budget cigar month. I smoked some horrible cigars, but also some great cigars. And the winner for the 2019 cigar of the year is one of those budget cigars. It’s a cigar that you can find below 4 dollars in the United States. The number two of the list has a price tag of at least 10 times that amount, just to compare it.

The list leans heavy towards the Nicaraguan scale, although Arturo Fuente made the top 5 twice, with the vintage Fuente Lonsdale on spot #5. The only other country that made the top 25 is the Dominican Republic. Honduras and Cuba didn’t make the cut this year.

1) Diesel Unholy Cocktail with a score of 95
2) Arturo Fuente Opus X 20th Anniversary Father & Son with a score of 94
3) La Jugada Nunchuck with a score of 94
4) San Lotano Oval Pigskin with a score of 94
5) Arturo Fuente Lonsdale (vintage) with a score of 94
6) Manowar Skull Crusher with a score of 94
7) Sin Compromiso Intrepido with a score of 93
8) RoMa Craft Wunderlust Petit Belicoso with a score of 93
9) Ave Maria Divinia with a score of 93
10) My Father La Opulencia Robusto with a score of 93
11) Tobacco Lords Spiers with a score of 93
12) Undercrown Sun Grown Flying Pig with a score of 93
13) Orchant Selecction by Drew Estate Lightweight with a score of 93
14) Alec Bradley Fine & Rare RS10=(68) with a score of 93
15) Balmoral Signaturas Dueto Robusto with a score of 93
16) Illusione Rothchildes with a score of 92
17) Sin Compromiso El Amsterdammer with a score of 92
18) Manowar 52C with a score of 92
19) Saga Short Tales Tomo VI with a score of 92
20) Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Maduro Robusto with a score of 92
21) Manowar Little Devil with a score of 92
22) Orchant Seleccion by Drew Estate Heavyweight with a score of 92
23) Anoranzas Robusto with a score of 92
24) Indian Motorcycle Maduro Toro with a score of 92
25) Ave Maria Reconquista with a score of 92

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: ,

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