Monthly Archives: May 2021

Smoking Jacket Short Robusto

Smoking Jacket Short Robusto. A cigar line hailing from the Dominican Republic. From Hendrik Kelner, the son of cigar industry legend Henke Kelner. The man who Davidoff turned to when he left Cuba. The man who created the first cigars for AVO. A true master. His son Hendrik is the owner of the Kelner Boutique Factory. Kelner has an affinity for smoking jackets. Something he calls a long lost tradition of elegance and good taste. He honors the smoking jacket by releasing cigars under that name. With artwork that matches the name.

According to Hendrik Kelner, the mastermind behind the Smoking Jacket, this was a hard one. It took time to develop. Experimental blending was necessary to create the Smoking Jacket Short Robust. When the blend was complete, it turned out to be 60 % Dominican, 20 % Nicaraguan, and 20% Kelner Family Reserve tobacco. The 9-year-old Dominican wrapper is wrapped around a double binder. Binder coming from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The Nicaraguan leaf comes from Condega. The Dominican binder is Cotuí. The filler comes from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. This Short Robusto measures 4½x56 and is quite thick for a short robusto.

The Dominican wrapper is beautiful. Colorado colored, smooth, oily. The red ring is pretty, with the lapels of a smoking jacket. On the back, smoking jacket is written. But no clue where it’s from, or who makes it. So there is some mystique to it. The cigar itself feels quite heavy for a short cigar. The construction feels good. The head of the cigar is perfectly capped. The medium-strong barnyard aroma is quite pleasant.

The cold draw is fine and releases a nice, spicy flavor. Once lit, there is a smooth coffee bitterness with some acidity to balance. Earthiness, and a hint of cocoa. There is leather as well. The mouthfeel is creamy, this is a very textured smoke. Then wood shows up. This cigar is changing flavors quickly, but all nuanced so it’s not going from one shock into another. It keeps the experience very interesting. The wood slowly gets stronger, with a mild musty, vintage flavor added. After a third, there is also a nice nutty flavor. Hazelnuts and cashew. With a mild sweetness. Later on, a floral yet mild soapy flavor shows up too. And a little bit of pepper on the lips. The final third starts with that vintage flavor again. It’s hard to describe. The mouthfeel is still textured, creamy. With wood, earthiness, leather, spices, and a little pepper. Every few puffs, there is a little bit of chocolate as well.

The draw is great. No complaints about the burn either. The smoke could be a little thicker, fuller. And there could be a little more of it. The burn is quite straight, with no issues at all. This cigar is medium-bodied, medium flavored. Very interesting due to the nuances. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes and no. This cigar did not wow me, but intrigued me.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars

Bugatti Signature Robusto

Bugatti Signature Robusto. Yet, you read that well. A cigar with the Bugatti name. But the Italian German car brand is not just making cars. They entered the luxury market too with bags, cigar accessories, and cigars. Cigars are made at the Blue Star factory from Abe Flores. Known for the PDR, A. Flores, and Flores y Rodriguez cigars. Last year, I reviewed the Bugatti Ambassador. This review is for another Bugatti cigar, the Signature. Bugatti is not the only car brand in the cigar market. Bentley makes cigars with Joya de Nicaragua. Porsche is in the accessory business just as Lamborghini. There are Ferrari accessories as well, but we don’t know if those are legit.

There is some contradicting information about the blend online. Different websites mention different wrappers, different binders, and different fillers. Our information tells us the wrapper is Habano from Ecuador. The binder is a decade old Piloto Cubana from the Dominican Republic. The tobaccos inside the cigar come from Nicaragua, The United States, and Brazil. But we would like to put a disclaimer here. Due to all the contradicting information, we can’t be 100% sure that we have the blend correct. The size of this robusto is 5×52

The cigar is quite good looking. A thick, oily, and dark wrapper. With two shiny rings, a smaller golden ring with Signature in a classic font. The top ring is black with gold. The black has a carbon fiber print and the Bugatti name and logo. The construction feels good. The shape of the cigar is good, the head is nicely rounded. The cigar has strong charcoal, barbecue aroma. Charred wood, aromas like that.

The cold draw is fine. Spicy, with some sweetness. Once lit, the cigar has a strong coffee flavor, with spice and pepper. The barbecue taste that is in the aroma is also in the flavor. Hickory, brown spices, herbs, pepper. Combined with leather and coffee. The mouthfeel is thick. Slowly the cigar gets a little salty, with hay, brown spices, toast, earthiness, leather, and that hickory barbecue wood. At the end of the first third, some nuttiness shows up. The wood and barbecue flavor fades away. Halfway the nut flavor becomes strong, with pepper, and a little leather.

The draw is good. The ash is salt and pepper colored, but with more pepper than salt. The burn is straight, but the wrapper is so thick and leathery that it takes some effort to keep it burning. This cigar is bold, not nuanced. In your face flavors, quite strong. Medium to medium-full bodied. The perfect cigar for after a heavy meal or during a backyard barbecue party. The smoke is good, thick enough, and good enough in volume. The cigar gains strength too, starting out medium going to full. The smoke time is three hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

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

Illusione OneOff Corona

Illusione OneOff Corona. A cigar that was released in the early 2000s but is a part of the Illusione book of cigars since 2017. The owner of the La Casa del Habano Milan had been trying to get a custom made cigar line from Cuba. After many attempts and just as many negative responses from Habano, he tried Nicaragua. Plasencia created the OneOff brand for him, with Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. Since then, the rights to the brands were sold a few times. And in 2017, Dion Giolito acquired it.

He moved the production to Tabacos Valle de Jalapa aka TABSA. It’s a factory in Esteli, Nicaragua where most of Illusione’s cigars are made. The factory is owned by Eduardo Fernandez from Aganorsa Leaf. Of course, the blend changed as well. OneOff is now a Nicaraguan puro, and available in many sizes. Brian Motola from Illusione gave us this 5½x42 Corona after the Intertabac trade show 2019 when we met for a cigar at Cigaragua in Amsterdam.

The first thing that stands out is the ring. Orange, with the international peace sign in white. No name, no mention of Illusione anywhere. Nothing. Just that white peace logo on an orange ring. Mysterious. It tickles the curiosity. The Colorado colored wrapper looks fine. The construction feels good. The cigar smells a little acidic, even though it has been stored for almost a year in our humidor. Hay and ammonia, medium strong.

The cold draw is fine. With a spicy hay aroma. Once lit, there’s leather, coffee, soil, gingerbread spices, and a mild black pepper in the retrohale. The sweetness gains some strength with the leather and pepper as base flavors. The leather remains, but wood is joining the palate with hay. The sweetness is gone. There is still a hint of pepper, but it’s faint. There is also a faint milk chocolate flavor. The chocolate slowly grows. The cigar is smooth, balanced, and easy-going. The final third has pepper, leather, and that lingering milk chocolate. Some licorice shows up too. A spicy, salty yet minty flavor appears too.

The draw is great. This cigar produces a lot of beautiful white smoke. The burn is good, there was a minor issue at the beginning that was auto-corrected. This is an easy-going, smooth, and balanced cigar. Not a lot of character, but very pleasant. The smoke time of this medium-bodied, medium-full flavored cigar is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer the Illusione Rothchildes, which are more budget-friendly as well.

Categories: 90, Illusione, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , ,

Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Sun Grown Regente

Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Sun Grown Regente. A line re-introduced in 2016, and as almost always with Perdomo, it came with sisters. Many Perdomo lines come in Connecticut Shade, Sun Grown, and Maduro. At first, the line came on the market in 2005, with vintage tobaccos from the 1991 harvest. Nick Perdomo Sr purchased that tobacco in 1995, so by the time it hit the market, the tobacco was true vintage. When the tobacco was all used, the line disappeared. But it returned in 2016, again with vintage tobaccos from the Perdomo tobacco library.

During episode 13 of The Philip & Ferdy Cigar Show, the guys were introduced to this cigar. That was at Cigar Malaysia at the Ansa Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Extra cigars were purchased to review this cigar. All the tobacco in this blend is Nicaraguan. The same goes for the Maduro version. The only Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage blend that isn’t a Nicaraguan puro is the Connecticut version. That blend uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.

The cigar looks amazing. The shiny, oily, reddish-brown wrapper is flawless. The sharp veins that are visible are from the binder. And then the ring, one of the prettiest in the game. Copper-colored, glossy with different shades of brown and lots of gold. The only other colors used are some black and white for the Perdomo logo. The cigar feels well constructed. It has a medium-strong aroma of hay and wood.

The cold draw is fine. With a flavor profile of salt, raw tobacco, and a little nut. After lighting, there is coffee, citrus, pepper, leather, and soil. A nutty flavor shows up too, with cedar. All with nice citrus that binds it together. The mouthfeel is meaty. The cedar gets a little stronger, there is some spice as well. The acidity disappeared. The second third starts with pepper, nuts, and sweetness. The final third has more wood, leather, and soil. But still with pepper, spice, and even some coffee.

The draw is fantastic. The burn is good. In the beginning, it looked like there would be an issue but the burn corrected itself. A good amount of smoke, with a nice thickness. Construction on the cigar is great. The light-colored ash is reasonably firm. The cigar is medium-full bodied. And full-flavored. Yet all while being smooth. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Due to the price not often.

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

Hiram & Solomon Veiled Prophet Monarch

Hiram & Solomon Veiled Prophet Monarch. In 2018, Hiram & Solomon released this cigar as a limited edition. Only 500 boxes were produced of the 6×54 Veiled Prophet Monarch. Back then, the Grand Monarch was the only regular production cigar from the line. A 7×60 monster. But the feedback was so positive, that the Monarch vitola became regular production as well. And there is even a third size nowadays, a Lancero.

The cigar is made in Esteli, Nicaragua. Just like all other blends from Hiram & Solomon, the cigars are made at the Plasencia Cigars factory. The cathedral of tobacco as the locals call it. For the filler, tobaccos from Peru and two regions of Nicaragua are used. The binder comes from Indonesia. The wrapper is Arapiraca from Brazil.

The Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper is dark and oily. For a Brazilian wrapper, it’s good looking. Usually, Brazilian wrappers are a little rough on the eyes. The Masonic logo is present on the ring. Silver-colored on a nice burgundy backdrop. The ring never reveals the veiled prophet name. The cigar feels soft though, slightly underfilled. The aroma is intense, not strong but intense. Sawdust, dark chocolate, and wood.

The cold draw is very easy. Most likely due to the soft construction. It is spicy though, slightly bitter raw tobacco. The first puffs are full of coffee with spice. There’s also a nice sweetness to it, almost like candy. Add earthiness and that’s the flavor profile in the first fifteen minutes. Then a very nice nut flavor shows up. Macadamia, hazelnut, cashew, that kind of nuttiness. With wood, pepper, sweetness. Complex and interesting. Then a milk chocolate flavor shows up with leather and wood. Halfway that is replaced by roasted coffee beans and more spice. The nuttiness returns, but this time the pepper is the dominant flavor.

The draw is a bit loose, but not to the extent that it’s bothering the performance. The smoke is great. The burn had to be corrected a few times. The cigar has plenty of evolution but is well balanced all along. Medium to medium-full in strength. Medium-full to full in flavor. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, and I want to try the lancero too

Categories: 91, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars, Plasencia | Tags: , , ,

Cubo Sumatra Toro by Dapper Cigars

Cubo Sumatra Toro by Dapper Cigars. Dapper Cigars. Dapper Cigar Company is an American cigar company. Their home base is Fresno, California. Not a place where you would expect a cigar company to be honest. But that’s just their base, as the cigars are all coming from Nicaragua. Dapper Cigar Company has several brands, La Madrina, Siempre, El Borracho, Cubo, and the brand new Desvalido. And I reviewed a few cigars, thanks to the Dutch distributor, Kelch Trading.

The Cubo Sumatra re-visits the original release of the Cubo brand. Blended nearly five years later, the Sumatra line builds on a half-decade of further work with premium Nicaraguan tobaccos. This version uses more other Nicaraguan tobacco than the original and more American grown Connecticut Broadleaf. The Sumatra Rosado wrapper and the Nicaraguan binder remain from the original blend. Raul Disla oversees the production at NACSA in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The aroma of the cigar, once it’s released from the cellophane, is fantastic. Strong, musky, with freshly roasted coffee. The cigar has a beautiful, silky, and leather looking wrapper. The construction feels good, with no soft spots or plugs noticeable. The ring is pretty, a lot of black and gold with a white chapel on a purple and pink background. But it’s a little too crowded, too many details on such a small piece of paper.

The cold draw is good. With just a raw tobacco flavor and some black pepper. After lighting the palate gets hits with spices and milk chocolate. There is also a nice sugary sweetness. Slowly leather shows up as well with some wood. The mild chocolate makes a comeback. Halfway the wood gets stronger, still with a hefty dose of sugar. But well balanced. In the final third, there is also a macadamia nut flavor with leather, wood, and sweetness. The finale is leather with a hint of black pepper.

The burn is good, just like the draw and the smoke. Nothing out of the ordinary. A reasonably thick smoke, enough in volume. Good air resistance in the draw. And a straight burn that needs no correcting. The cigar is smooth with some complexity and depth, although the complexity fades a bit. The ash is dark gray. This is a cigar medium to full in body, medium in flavor. The smoke time is three hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, a good price-quality ratio

Categories: 90, Dapper Cigars, Nicaraguan American Tobacco SA, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

San Pedro de Macoris Sun Grown Corona

San Pedro de Macoris Sun Grown Corona. A long name for a cigar. But a good name is you know the reason for it. The Royal Agio factory is located in the town of San Pedro de Macoris. And to honor the people from the town that works for Royal Agio, the Wintermans family named a cigar line after the town. A cigar line that started out with an Ecuador and Brazil blend. But now there is also a Nicaraguan blend and this Sun Grown blend. Royal Agio is now part of Scandinavian Tobacco Group and taken off the American market. What will happen with the brand is unsure of the new owners. Scandinavian Tobacco group doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to acquiring brands and doing them well. You can read more about Agio in articles about the history of the brand part one and part two on the affiliated site Ministry of Cigars.

This cigar is available in several sizes. A small Perla. A classic Robusto. The unavoidable Gran Toro. And then this 5⅞x42 Corona. The filler contains tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and the Agio signature Brazil. The binder comes from the Dominican Republic. The wrapper is Ecuadorian Habano. The San Pedro de Macoris lines are all budget-friendly. This corona comes in at €3.70 in Germany, the largest cigar market in Europe. But even the 6×52 Gran Toro comes in below 5 euro. Earlier I did a review of the San Pedro de Macoris Nicaragua Corona, San Pedro de Macoris Brazil Robusto, and the San Pedro de Macoris Ecuador Robusto.

The cigar looks nice. Somehow slender cigars look more elegant than robusto sized cigars or thicker. More sophisticated. The ring pops, matte black with bright yellow, red, blue, and silver. The wrapper is Colorado colored and feels like very fine sandpaper. The construction feels great. The medium-strong aroma is on the darker side of the palate Wood, earthiness, manure, those kinds of smell.

The cold draw is fine with a classic raw tobacco flavor. After lighting the cigar releases chocolate, coffee, leather, and soil. The mouthfeel is a bit sticky, thick, textured. Those flavors hang around for a bit, with some sweetness from the Brazilian tobacco, and a hint of black pepper. After a third, the flavors change to that cocoa flavor but with hay and more pepper. That hay becomes stronger and some cedar shows up as well. The mouthfeel remains textured and thick. In the last third, there is more cedar but the cocoa flavor deteriorates to a slightly unpleasant flavor.

The ash is dark, almost black. It is not firm either. The draw is fantastic. The smoke is thick and white. The burn is straight. This is a medium-bodied and medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No

Categories: 89, Agio Caribbean Tobacco Company, Dominican cigars, San Pedro de Macoris | Tags: , , , ,

Saint Luis Rey Herfing exclusivo Medio Oriente

Saint Luis Rey Herfing exclusivo Medio Oriente. That is the 2017 Regional Edition for the Middle East. Even though this cigar is part of the 2017 Regional Edition program, the cigar is available since 2019. It is limited to 7500 boxes of 10 cigars. Saint Luis Rey is an 80-year-old brand with only one regular production vitola. It is used for some regional editions though. Until 1993, the brand was only available on the English market and it was created by a British firm. It is considered one of the fuller Cuban Marcas with tobaccos from the Vuelta Abajo and the Semi Vuelta regions.

The size of the Saint Luis Rey Herfin exclusivo Medio Oriente is 5½x54. This is Robusto Extra size, but Habanos calls it Duke. It’s only the 8th time that this size is produced. The only regular production size in this vitola is Partagas Serie E #2. All the other releases are limited editions or regional editions. The Partagas Serie E #2 is a 2011 release. The other releases are Romeo y Julieta Duke (2009) and Bolivar Soberanos (2018) as limited editions. The French market saw the Ramon Allones Hexagone as the 2016 Regional Edition. That same year, The Netherlands had the La Gloria Cubana Platino. This Saint Luis Rey Herfing is from the 2017 Regional Edition program. From the 2018 Regional Edition program, the Punch Duke (Mexico) and Quai d’ Orsay Baalbeck (Lebanon) come in this vitola.

The wrapper looks nice. It is quite dry, it feels like fine sandpaper. The color is nice, Colorado brown. The construction feels good. The Saint Luis Rey ring never stood out from the crown, red with gold and white letters. The crown on the center of the ring is just a big blur. The secondary ring is the iconic regional edition ring and doesn’t match with the regular ring. The cigar has a nice, medium strong aroma. Barnyard with forest aromas is released.

The cold draw is great, with a nice yet spicy floral flavor. After lighting the cigar releases spice, cedar, leather, coffee, and some black pepper. It’s all leather, wood, coffee, and earthiness in the beginning, with a little pepper. The mouthfeel is dry. There’s a little nut flavor, with hay, pepper, salt, leather, and wood. After a third, the cigar turns more floral with softwood. The walnut flavor gains strength, just as the black pepper. The nuts and pepper remain dominant, with support of wood. There’s also some salt.

The draw is loose, too loose. Although it improves along the way. That creates a wonky burn. It’s hard to keep this cigar lit in the beginning. The ash is dark but relatively firm. This cigar is medium-full bodied and medium-full flavored. The smoke is good. Not quite refined or nuanced although that changes after a third. The smoke time is three hours and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s quite expensive so no, but I enjoyed it.

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, Saint Luis Rey (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Henk Maori Haka Gaudi

Henk Maori Haka Gaudi. Now the Maori Haka part of the name is known. We explained that in our previous Henk Maori Haka review. But where the Gaudi name comes from is a mystery to us. It’s probably named after the famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. And most likely that has something to do with the odd shape of the cigar. It’s a perfecto yet different. It is more of a combination of a torpedo and a perfecto. A rounded head, then slowly getting a thicker base to be ended with the classic salomones tip. Remarkable, unusual, just like Gaudi’s designs. (Edit: HENK owner Heiko Poerz confirmed the cigar is named after the architect)

The cigars are made at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez with vintage, aged, and rare tobaccos from the tobacco library of Abdel Fernandez. The Belgian master blender Didier Houvenaghel and HENK owner Heiko Poerz worked together to create something special for HENK. The tobaccos are all Nicaraguan and this figurado measures 5×56. The cigar is yet to be released and it will be released in porcelain jars.

A cigar with a tattoo instead of a cigar band is always an eye-catcher. Especially when the tattoo has a Maori design. Add a pigtail and an unusual shape and you have a cigar that everybody wants to smoke. That is until they see the price tag. Due to the limited production, the extra aging, and the rare tobaccos, the cigars aren’t cheap. The oily wrapper looks sharp. Colorado colored with one thin, sharp vein. Beautiful shape. A strong aroma of hay and spices.

Due to the shape of the foot, the cold draw is a bit tight. Plenty of spice in the cold draw though. Red pepper, nutmeg but also raw tobacco. Once lit, there is a nice bitter coffee flavor with cedar and spices. Then a whole range of subtle, complex flavors shows up. All perfectly balanced. Pepper, sweetness, leather, soil, still with coffee. The flavors are intense, deep, and balanced. Yet slowly, coffee and sweetness tend to become the dominant flavors, with spice and pepper as the strongest of the supporting flavors. The cigar gets more intense in the second third. Stronger, more outspoken. Some dark chocolate, a little bit of salt and citrus to enhance the flavors, wood, leather, coffee. It’s all there, in a beautiful mix. In the last third, the missing link shows up: nuts. With more pepper, creamy chocolate, spice, leather, and wood.

The draw is great. The cigar produces white, dense ash. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is decent, it could be a little thicker though. The cigar is balanced yet characterful. Smooth yet powerful. It starts medium-bodied but ends medium-full. The same goes for the flavors. The smoke time is three hours, and we had to break out a nub tool to enjoy every possible minute of this fantastic cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? Even with the high price tag, I will

Categories: 94, Henk, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , ,

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