Monthly Archives: December 2020

Por Larranaga Gran Robusto Exclusive Países Bajos 2017

Por Larranaga Gran Robusto Exclusive Países Bajos 2017. This cigar was released mid-2018, which is not too much of a delay when it comes to exclusivo regional releases. Habanos manages to release limited editions and regional editions often to be delayed for over a year, or even longer. This release was limited to 100.000 cigars, 10.000 boxes of 10 pieces. And Habanos wouldn’t be Habanos if an unknown amount of the cigars were labeled incorrectly. Not a first for a cigar from the Exclusivo Regional series.

Por Larranaga is an old brand. The brand was founded in 1834, which makes it almost 200 years old. Even though it’s a small brand, it has some hardcore fans. The brand is used by several distributors as Exclusivo Regional over the years. 5th Avenue (Germany), France, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Asia Pacifico, Switzerland, and Peru all had one or more Por Larranaga regional editions. This is the only Por Larranaga exclusivo for the Dutch market.

The Colorado colored wrapper isn’t the most beautiful one. It has veins, a lot, and looks wrinkly. The glossy golden ring is so shiny that it’s overkill. It makes the white letters hard to see. But the white letters work with the white dots on the secondary ring though. The triple cap looks good. There are no soft or hard spots on the cigar. The aroma is very mind, it’s slightly woody with cardboard.

The cold draw is a bit tight, with a gingerbread spice taste. The first puffs are a bit sour and dry at the same time. Dusty even. Some honey tries through breakthrough the citrus acidity, but it fails. The sweetness, acidity, and dusty flavor aren’t a joy. After a third, some wood, leather, and soil show up with some spices. The leather and cedar are slowly growing, and there is even a hint of milk chocolate. The honey sweetness returns. There’s also a hint of hazelnuts.

The ash is dark and not very firm. The burn is straight tough. The smoke is decent in volume, but it’s thin. The draw is good, a little tight but still way within margins. The cigar is quite boring with a very slow build-up. Medium-bodied and medium-flavored at most. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No

Categories: 87, Cuban cigars, Por Larranaga (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Mombacho Liga Maestro Gordo

Mombacho Liga Maestro Gordo. The Mombacho Liga Maestro was first released in 2013 or 2014, just for the international markets. In 2015, ten tobacconists in the United States were selected to sell the cigar as a limited edition. It was such a success, that a year later the line was released on the American market as well. That was nine years after Mombacho Cigars was born. Cameron Heaps took Spanish lessons in Granada. He met the family that owned a cigar factory. They shared their secrets, and with partner Markus Raty, Heaps founded Mombacho Cigars.

Even though this size is called Gordo, it’s shorter and thinner than what the market sees as a gordo. Usually, a Gordo means 6×60, yet the Mombacho Liga Maestro Gordo is 5×54. It’s more of a Robusto Extra size. As all Mombacho cigars, this is a Nicaraguan puro. The wrapper is Nicaraguan Sun Grown Habano.

The cigar looks fantastic. A dark, almost Maduro wrapper. There are a few minor veins, but with the darkness of the wrapper and the rings, it gives the cigar character. The rings are beautiful as well. Matte gold on black, simple, classic, but tasteful. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong. Charred wood, barnyard, and forest smells.

The cold draw is a little on the tight side. The flavor is pure raw tobacco, nothing else. Maybe some black pepper on the lips, but that’s it. Once lit the cigar surprises. Due to the dark appearance, a strong smoke was expected. Yet the flavors are soft and smooth. Some creamy coffee, a little spice, some earthiness, but all soft. Those flavors are immediately followed by leather, cedar, and walnuts. There is also a savory sweetness, even though that sounds contradictory. The black pepper from the cold draw shows up. Cedar gets a little stronger as well. The sweetness moves more to honey. The leather creates a dry mouthfeel. The second third starts with peppery cookies, spiced shortcrust cookies with the name spekulaas. Every few puffs there is a hint of chocolate. There are a little honey sweetness and citrus acidity as well. Right before the cigar goes into the final third, a little salty peanut flavor shows up. With pepper, wood, leather. The mouthfeel is dry yet creamy. The sweetness completely disappeared. The sweetness returns later on though. The chocolate still shows up every few puffs. Then the cigar takes a turn toward different woods, with pepper and a mild nutty flavor.

The draw is fine. The burn is great, at a certain moment it looked crooked but it corrected itself. The smoke is decent in volume and thickness. The light-colored ash is firm, very firm. The medium to medium-full bodied cigar is smooth. Yet it fails to grab the attention due to a lack of character. The flavors are medium-full. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Once in a while

Categories: Casa Favilli, Mombacho, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Casdagli Traditional Grand Cafe

Casdagli Traditional Grand Cafe. This is the first Casdagli cigar to be made in the Dominican Republic. It was released in 2012 under the name Bespoke. Bespoke started with custom rolled Cuban cigars. Then moved to Costa Rica and the company started to gain traction. The Grand Cafe name is a tribute to Bespoke’s first customer, the Grand Cafe in Minsk, Belarus. More on the Bespoke/Casdagli cigar history can be found here.

Two years ago, Bespoke was renamed to Casdagli Cigars. But the blend didn’t change. In a Zoom chat with Jeremy Casdagli and a group of cigar enthusiasts from New Zealand, Canteros.nz, Casdagli’s distributor, offered to sponsor some cigars for reviews. The package arrived soon after and included these Casdagli Traditional Grand Cafe. The cigars are made with Brazilian Cubra as a wrapper. A binder from the Dominican Republic. And filler from Peru, Nicaragua, and the Dominican. It measures 7½x39.

The cigar is a looker. Slender and long. Colorado to Colorado Maduro in color. Oily wrapper. Closed foot and a pigtail. With a classy, traditional-looking ring. Green and gold with a vintage picture in the center. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma. Classic barnyard, manure, earthy aromas.

The cold draw is surprisingly good. Even with a closed foot, the draw is great. It leaves a mildly spicy, peppery flavor on the lips. Straight from the start, there is a strong yet sweet coffee flavor. With strong, we don’t mean espresso, but full flavor. It then turns more towards wood flavors, with a little spice. Not pepper, but spice. Yet there is still some coffee on the background. The flavors slowly evolve into earthy, leathery wood, with cumin. But the flavors are rounded, well balanced, and smooth. The second third has a classic mixture of wood, earthiness, leather, coffee with some sweetness. There is a little vanilla. All flavors are brought together by some citrus. The mouthfeel is creamy. The final third leans more towards leather and wood, but with a creamy mouthfeel. Suddenly there is a slight chocolate flavor as well.

The draw is amazing, just like the copious amounts of smoke the cigar produces. The burn is beautiful. The ash is salt and pepper colored, but it’s not too firm. This cigar is balanced, smooth, well rounded. Elegant in both size and flavors. Traditional, not a powerhouse heavy in ligero. This is a cigar that would fit into every past decade without being outdated of old-fashioned. It’s medium-bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

Categories: 91, Bespoke, Dominican cigars, KBF | Tags: , , ,

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Lancero

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Lancero. Like all names in the Hiram & Solomon portfolio, this cigar gets his name from the freemason world as well. The ‘traveling man’ name stems from the ancient masonry. Master masons were often required to move from job to job over long distances. And when in a new area, local masons or the local lodge would vouch for such a ‘traveling man’. Fouad Kashouty and George Dakrat use the Plasencia Cigars factory in Esteli, Nicaragua for all the Hiram & Solomon lines. That includes this traveling man, the online Hiram & Solomon line with a Lancero in the line-up

This blend is made with tobaccos from four countries. The wrapper and binder are from South East Asia. From Indonesia. And if you want to get even more precise, from Sumatra where the Dutch introduced tobacco over four centuries ago. And later, the Sumatra seeds would be introduced into Cameroon to become the legendary Cameroon tobacco. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Brazil. Arapiraca from Brazil is used. Habano from Nicaragua is the last component in the blend. The Nicaraguan tobacco comes from Jalapa near the Honduran border and the volcanic island of Ometepe. The lancero is 7×38, but last year I reviewed the 6×60 Gran Toro.

Just because of the vitola, this cigar looks elegant. Skinny, long, a lancero is always beautiful. Add a purple, silver, and black ring and you have a cigar that stands out. The wrapper is a Colorado colored Indonesian Sumatra wrapper. To the eye and the touch, the wrapper is dry. The veins are thin. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is of charred wood, medium in strength.

The cold draw is a bit tight. It leaves a spicy raw tobacco flavor on top of the palate. Once lit, the cigar releases sweetness, floral notes, and cedar. There is also some spice. The spice slowly gets stronger. Nutmeg and a little pepper, but all covered in a very nice sweetness. Slowly leather and soil join the party, with the return of cedar. The floral flavors are still around. Everything is well balanced and smooth. At the end of the first third, there is also some chocolate. Milk chocolate to be more precise. With the leather, spice, and pepper. But all subtle. The second third also brings a faint vanilla flavor with a little freshness. A little later a fresh, green, grassy flavor is noticeable. The pepper gets a little stronger without overpowering the other flavors. It all remains very balanced and subtle.

The draw is very good. The length of the cigar cools the smoke down, making it very pleasant to smoke. The burn is straight. The ash is almost white. But due to the small ring gauge, the ash breaks easily. The cigar is smooth and balanced. The cigar has depth and nice complexity. The smoke time is two hours fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box or two boxes.

Categories: 93, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , ,

Barreda O21 Toro

Barreda O21 Toro. Until a year ago, this brand wasn’t on our radar. We had never heard from it. But at Intertabac 2019, we met Oscar & Stephanie from Barreda Cigars. Barreda Cigars is a small boutique factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. They provided us with a few samples. We reviewed and liked Don Chico Ecuador. Art Garcia’s Antigua Esteli is made at the Barreda factory as well. That cigar also scored high when we reviewed it.

The next cigar from Barreda is this O21. It comes in three sizes, we have the 6×52 Toro. It’s made with Nicaraguan fillers. The binder comes from Indonesia. The wrapper is Ecuadorian Habano, Sun Grown. The cigars come in boxes of 21. Another play with the O21 name. You have to be 21 to legally smoke a cigar in many American states and many other countries around the world.

The cigar looks good, very good. A dark, oily wrapper. Smooth, almost no veins. The triple cap looks great. But the color on the wrapper makes the cigar look cheap, to be honest. The purple and silver just don’t work on this cigar. The name is good though, as in many countries or states you have to be 21 to smoke. The cigar has a good aroma of hay, straw, and barnyard.

The cold draw is great. The flavors in the cold draw are vegetal with coarse black pepper. Once lit, the cigar releases a mild coffee flavor, creamy but also with some leather. The cigar slowly moves towards more wood and earthiness but still with creamy coffee. The next flavor that shows up is honey roasted almonds. Sweet yet roasted nuts. The second third starts with coffee, honey, black pepper, leather, and earthiness. Those flavors remain until the finale when pepper becomes the main flavor.

The construction is good. Good draw, good burn. Nice white yet coarse ash. Enough smoke, and it’s thick enough too. The cigar is balanced, smooth yet could use a little more character. This is a medium-bodied and medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would pick the Don Chico Habano/Ecuador if I smoke another Barreda.

Categories: 90, Barreda, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Barreda | Tags: , , ,

The Circus Maduro Lancero

The Circus Maduro Lancero. Late last year, Daniel Guerrero from El Viejo Continente announced the release of a lancero in The Circus line. A Maduro lancero with a Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos from Ometepe and Jalapa. But information on that cigar is hard to find. There is no mention on the website of American Caribbean Cigars, the website of the factory. Nor on the website of El Viejo Continente, which could use an update in our opinion anyway. Both websites offer little to none information on the blends, availability, news, reviews, or any other information that can be useful. We feel that a better website and better accessible information would really help the brand.

The cigars are made at American Caribbean Cigars, a factory once almost acquired by Gurkha Cigars. The series is a tribute to all the people that worked with master blender Daniel Guerrero during the creation of this cigar. It took Guerrero and his people four years to make the blend. The first four sizes were named with the team in mind. The Magician represents the ingenuity of the team where the Harlequin is the fact of always wanting to make it. The Twister stands for the knowledge and the know-how of the blenders. And the Canon is the final shot, an explosion of flavors. The lancero is not part of the original release vitolas.

The cigar looks good. The Maduro wrapper is almost black. It’s oily with a few thin, sharp veins. The red foot band and the red with gold label are a beautiful contrast with the darkness of the wrapper. A nice pigtail finishes the look. The ring has a picture of a circus tent to keep the theme alive. The cigar feels well made. The aroma has a reminiscence of hay and is quite strong.

No complaints about the cold draw. It’s good, with a gingerbread flavor. After lighting there is some coffee, but most striking is the buttercream flavor. Old fashioned buttercream with a hint of vanilla. Although the vanilla only shows up in the retrohale. The sweetness of the Maduro wrapper shines through in this blend, but there is also a hint of white pepper. Slowly a grassy flavor shows up too, with some citrus. The earthiness and dark chocolate show up too, with leather, while the buttercream and vanilla fade. Slowly a dried leaf flavor shows up too while the grass is gone. After a third, the mouthfeel is thick and oily. The cigar now moves into a flavor profile of dark wood, forest soil, and leather with some black pepper. The cigar gets more earthy with coffee. Near the end, the cigar has some chocolate, coffee, wood, and spices.

The draw is great. The smoke is full and thick. The light gray ash isn’t very firm though and breaks easily. The burn is straight. The flavors are balanced. This is a medium-bodied and medium flavored cigar, balanced, with evolution. The smoke time is three hours. It could have lasted longer, but the cigar turned bitter.

Would I buy this cigar again? I enjoyed it a lot, so yes


Categories: 91, American Caribbean Tobacco S.A., Cigars by brand, Nicaraguan cigars, The Circus | Tags: , , , ,

Davtian Trinidad Robusto Gordo

Davtian Trinidad Robusto Gordo. The brand was founded by the Armenian businessman and cigars aficionado David Davtian in 2011. That was 8 years after Davtian became a retailer and distributor for several Non-Cuban brands for Armenia. And five years after he became the chairman of the Armenian Association. He traveled to all the cigar producing countries in the Caribbean and decided that the Dominican Republic would be the country for his own brand. Davtian Cigars was born. Ministry of Cigars reviewed the Davtian Davtian Trinidad and the Davtian Primus Robusto Gordo last year.

According to the Davtian website, this cigar measures 5×57. But the cigar doesn’t look that tick. The Herics cigar tape was brought in as the judge and the cigar came in as a ring 56, which is still way thicker than the cigar looks. The blend information on the website is pretty detailed. Not much is known about the factory though. Tabacalera El Puente is a factory in the Dominican Republic. In Santiago to be precise but the website is empty and not much information is found online.

The cap is a nice twist cap, like a flat pigtail. The black and matte silver ring has a nice, unusual shape. It doesn’t say which line it is though, so you need to have access to the internet to know which blend you’re smoking. The Colorado Maduro colored wrapper looks leathery, with one thin, sharp vein on the side. The cigar feels well constructed, there are no knots of soft spots detectable. The aroma is full, thick with a barnyard and dried softwood smell.

The cold draw is smooth. The flavors in the cold draw are not. Sharp, strong, dry, and peppery. Once lit, the cigar has a dry yet full flavor of coffee with leather, and spice. The flavors are dry, very dry. The coffee fades away, the leather and the spice remain with some earthiness and dry dark wood. Slowly cinnamon becomes more dominant, with a little white pepper. After a third, the cigar tastes like dry leather, strong spice, white pepper, and has some acidity as well. On the border of the final third, the cigar shows signs of cocoa powder as well, with the previously mentioned flavors. In the final third, the cigar turns more to dry wood, spice, earthiness, yet without losing the leather.

The draw is a bit on the loose side. There is a good amount of white smoke coming from the cigar. The ash is firm yet a little coarse. The color is light gray. The burn is okay, not razor sharp but on the other hand, it doesn’t need correction either. This is a medium to medium-full bodied cigar, medium flavored. Even though the mouthfeel is very dry, it’s enjoyable. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Possibly.

Categories: 89, Davtian, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera El Puente | Tags: , , , ,

Tyrannical Buc Maduro Magnum 48

Tyrannical Buc Maduro Magnum 48 by Jas Sum Kral. Last year, Jas Sum Kral released a few new blends. The one that received most of the attention was the Nuggs. And of course, as Jas Sum Kral was the first premium cigar brand that came with a CBD infused cigar. The only way to create that cigar was to back-engineer the whole process. Spraying leaves with a CBD solution like some other others do result in low-quality cigars at a high price. So Jas Sum Kral hired an engineer and came up with a much better way. A way they patented, so nobody can copy it. But it took away a lot of the attention that this Jas Sum Kral Tyrannical Buc would have gotten otherwise. Named after Riste Ristevski’s nickname Riste Buc, this blend is a sleeper.


The Tyrannical Buc comes in several sizes. And in two blends, one with a Connecticut wrapper which Ministry of Cigars reviewed earlier. And it was smoked during a Philip & Ferdy Cigar show. But there is also a Maduro version. The blend is identical for both versions, except for the wrapper. The filler comes from Nicaragua and Pennsylvania, USA. The binder is Nicaraguan. And the Maduro version sports a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper from the USA. For this review, we smoked the 4×48 Tyrannical Buc Maduro Magnum 48.

Ever since Jas Sum Kral was released, we have been amazed by its band. The details on the bands are amazing. And that’s why this Tyrannical Buc ring is such a letdown. The ring is simple, a little too simple to our taste. Just a white ring with a drawing of a T-Rex. Now the detail is nice. Jas Sum Kral means I am king, and the t-rex is wearing a crown. The dark wrapper is oily, veiny, and intimidating. Even though the cigar is less than a year old, the cellophane already started to discolor. The cigar feels well constructed. It has a strong smell of hay, barnyard, and some floral notes.


The cold draw is great. It releases a flavor sometimes found in liquor-filled bonbons. But then with hay as well, just as pepper. Straight from the start, the cigar gives dark chocolate, sweetness, hay, leather, earthiness, and pepper. The flavors are powerful, yet balanced and creamy. It evolves to wood with chocolate, pepper, spice, and leather. The second third brings more dry wood and hay. But there is still chocolate, leather, and earthiness. The cigar remains woody, with hay, chocolate, pepper, and sweetness. There are gingerbread spices in the retrohale.


The draw is good. Just like the firm ash. The burn is quite straight. The cigar releases a good amount of light blue smoke. The light-colored ash is firm. This is a medium-full to a full-bodied and full-flavored cigar. Balanced, smooth, powerful. This is a perfect example of how the same filler and binder with a different wrapper can be a completely different cigar. The smoke time is an hour and three quarters.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

number93

Categories: 93, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Aragon | Tags: , , , ,

Sinistro the Last Cowboy Maduro Corona

Sinistro the Last Cowboy Maduro Corona. To be honest, up until less than a year ago, this brand was under our radar. We had seen the name mentioned a few times, but that’s about it. We didn’t see many pictures on social media, no reviews and therefore Sinistro didn’t catch our attention. But then Trent Firmin from Firmin Cigars in Australia started importing the brand. Of course, Ministry of Cigars published about that and we had to source information about Sinistro. Around Christmas, a package showed up from Australia with a Christmas present, a few cigars including this Sinistro Last Cowboy Maduro Corona.

The Sinistro cigars are produced at La Aurora, the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. For this blend, Piloto Cubana from the Dominican Republic is used as a filler. The binder is Mexican San Andres. The Maduro wrapper is USA grown Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. There is also a Connecticut Shade version available, with a Cameroon binder. The cigar we review is the 5½x42 Corona

The cigar stands out. Not just by the ring gauge of 42, a size which has been overshadowed by bigger ring gauges in the last decade. But because of the foot of the cigar. The last half-inch is wrapped in Candela, and the foot is closed. The rest of the cigar has a rustic, dark, and oily Maduro leaf as the wrapper. The gray ring has the sketch of a cowboy with his six-shooters. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is pleasant, wood, straw, and cocoa powder.

The cold draw is a bit tight due to the closed foot. It’s pretty spicy and peppery, with a hint of chocolate. The cigar starts bitter, earthy, and musky. Slowly the cigar gets some sweetness and chocolate combined with the earthiness. Once the burn passed the Candela part of the wrapper, the flavors became more pleasant, less bitter. There is still a coffee bitterness, with earthiness but now the main flavor is wood. Oak to be more precise. The mouthfeel is creamy. The wood remains the dominant flavor, with some spice and toast. The wood is smooth in the retrohale. There is a hint of Maduro sweetness as well. The cigar grows in strength, without changing much of the flavor profile.

The ash is white, firm, and dense. The draw is fantastic. The smoke is thick and white. And there is plenty of it. The burn is fine. There is balance in the cigar, after the first centimeter. A good medium to a medium-full bodied and medium-full flavored cigar. It’s quite one-dimensional but if the flavor is good, that is not too much of an issue. The Sinistro the Last Cowboy Maduro Corona lasted an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I will

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars

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