Monthly Archives: September 2021

Cohiba Lancero Diplomatic Gift

Cohiba Lancero Diplomatic Gift. Everybody who knows a bit about Cuban cigars knows that Cohiba was the brand of Fidel Castro. And that the lancero was his vitola of choice. For the first 18 years of the brand, it was not available commercially. Cohiba cigars were for Cuban officials and diplomatic gifts. Now the brand is commercially available, even in the famous and classic Lancero size. But that does not mean that the Cuban government has another diplomatic gift. Cohiba Lancero is still the gift of choice but in a different box. The question is, are these the same regular production cigars or is it a different blend? Let’s find out.

Through sources, I managed to get Cohiba Lancero cigars from a diplomatic box, with a box code of June 2020 and regular production Cohiba Lancero with the same box code. The review of the regular production will follow this Friday. Both cigars are made at El Laguito, the famous Cohiba factory. The size is exactly the same, the ring is the same. And I suspect that the blend is the same, but we will know in a few days.

A lancero always looks elegant. The slender posture of such a classic size is such a refreshing change from the fat cigars that dominate humidors and sales nowadays. And when that elegant cigar comes with a small pigtail it is a bonus. Add a nice Colorado color wrapper, smooth and clean and you have an eye-catcher. The Cohiba band is a work of art, with many security features to help cigar enthusiasts from getting scammed by counterfeiters. More on that in our series on fake Cubans and on our series about Vrijdag Premium Printing. There aren’t any knots noticeable. But the aroma is very faint, a little barnyard, that’s it

The cold draw is a bit tights and quite spicy for a Cuban cigar. Once the cigar is lit, there is coffee and leather. But that specific Cuban coffee and leather flavor just cannot be copied, just like Cuban cigar cannot copy specific flavors from other countries. There is also pepper. Some sweetness and some sourness show up. The sourness makes the mouth feel dry. The retrohale is soil. When the ash breaks after just a centimeter, a nutty flavor appears. At the end of the first third, there are dark spices with some pepper. Still with coffee. The second third mellows out a bit. A nice mixture of coffee with some caramel sweetness. But also dark spices and hay. All smooth and well balanced. The mixture of baking spices with white pepper makes this cigar very enjoyable. There are some sweetness and some citrus acidity to balance everything.

The draw is very good. The burn is great and the smoke is fine as well. The dark ash is fragile though, it won’t hold for more than one centimeter. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. There are nuance and balance. Just like the shape, the flavors are elegant. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would smoke one again, but it is an expensive cigar.

Categories: 90, Cohiba (Habanos), Cuban cigars, El Laguito | Tags: , , , ,

Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Dedacas El Embargo

Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Dedacas El Embargo. That is a mouth full. Not just by name, but also by size, a 6×60. This cigar is exclusively for Europe. And the name suits, as Europe was the continent where Joya de Nicaragua sold its cigars when the Reagan presidency installed an embargo against Nicaragua and the Sandinista regime. The embargo was in place until 1990.

The Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas blend stems from the 50th anniversary of the oldest cigar factory in Nicaragua. It is part of the Obras Maestras selection, the best Joya de Nicaragua has to offer. As for the blend, nobody but the master blenders at Joya de Nicaragua know. The blend is a company secret. The cigars come in boxes of ten and are available exclusively in Europe.

It’s a 6×60 but at first glance, it doesn’t look much bigger than the toro due to the semi box press. The beautiful oily wrapper is dark and leathery. The cream color of the ring with the red and golden print is beautiful as well. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is medium strong. Darm wood with green herbs is the best way to describe the aroma.

The cold draw is fine with dry spices. The first flavors are toast, leather, with spices. The flavors slowly intensify. After a while, coffee and a hint of vanilla appear. Slowly towards the end of the first third, the mouthfeel gets thick and meaty. With more wood, spice, and pepper. The cigar picks up more coffee and spice. With some earthiness, wood, and leather. It’s getting stronger. The final third starts with coffee and soil. The cigar is too strong to retrohale. The finale is earthy, woody, with coffee and pepper.

The draw is great. Thanks to the semi box-press the 60 ring gauge isn’t that bad. The ash is light in color and quite firm. The burn is beautiful and the smoke is thick. It is a full-body cigar with lots of flavors. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I’d take the Diadema over this size. But it is a great smoke.

Categories: 91, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Casdagli Club Mareva Gran Mareva

Casdagli Club Mareva Gran Mareva. A cigar that found its origin in 2010, when Marko Bilic opened his cigar club in Split, Croatia. The name of the club is Club Mareva. And to celebrate the opening of the now-famous club, Jeremy Casdagli created a cigar line for that special event. The Club Mareva line. Fast forward to 10 years later, there are 5 sizes in the line, of which some regular productions. Others were temporarily available.

The cigar, as most of the Casdagli lines, hail from the Dominican Republic. From the small Kelner Boutique Factory. The rollers use Brazilian Cubra tobacco as the wrapper. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and the United States. The cigar measures 5½x42.

A pigtail and a closed foot are always bonus points when it comes to looks. The cigar has a nice chocolate-brown wrapper with very few veins for Brazilian tobacco. The simple black ring with gold print is decent but it would not make us be drawn to the cigar in a humidor of a good tobacconist. The construction feels great. The aroma might not be strong, but it has depth. Musky with spices.

The cold draw is fine, mildly spicy. The first puff is s slap in the face, but a good slap. An explosion of flavor. Wood, spices, pepper, and leather. But immediately complexity and depth. This cigar doesn’t waste time. After that first explosion, the flavors do mellow out a bit. Grass, green herbs, and a little salt. Still very pleasant. The mouthfeel is quite dry. The dryness makes the cigar spicier, with a hint of chocolate. There is an earthy tone with some wood. The cigar gets more hay, more pepper, and a little leather. The last third has more of a wood flavor, with some sweetness and pepper.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is plentiful and the thickness is very nice. The ash is white as the hair of an old sailor. The burn is uneven though. This is a medium-full cigar, both in body and flavor. Well balanced, but front-loaded. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a good value for money cigar.

Categories: 90, Bespoke, Dominican cigars, KBF | Tags: , , , ,

Black Works Studio Killer Bee Green Hornet

Black Works Studio Killer Bee Green Hornet. In 2016, James and Angela Brown made the Black Works Studio Killer Bee Green Hornet a regular production cigar. Before it was only available as an event-only cigar. Black Works Studio is the experimental sister of Black Label Trading Company, owned by the Browns.

The cigar measures 5×48 and is the bigger brother of the Killer Bee. The filler and binder are Nicaraguan. But the wrapper is the star of the show. Ecuadorian Maduro with little pieces of Ecuadorian Candela. Not in a barber pole style, but a thin swirl at the head and a closed candela foot. The cigars come from Nicaragua, from the factory that the Browns own: Oveja Negra.

This cigar is killer, not just in the name but in looks as well. A beautiful oily Maduro wrapper, and then three thin candela lines in the head. The last half centimeter of the foot is candela as well. It is a closed foot. The black ring has fading green letters and fits perfectly. This is one of the best-looking cigars in ages. The head is beautifully rounded. The cigar has a nice aroma of hay and sawdust.

There is nothing to say about the cold draw. Because of the closed foot, there is virtually no draw at all. But the head of the cigar leaves some pepper and spice on the tip of the tongue. Once lit its grass. No surprise as that is the characteristic of candela. There’s also some coffee with a hint of sweetness. Once the candela is gone, it’s dark chocolate. Dark chocolate with soil and pepper. At the end of the first third, there’s also some citrus and leather with the coffee, soil, and white pepper. The second third has some wood, leather, soil, dark roast coffee, spice, and sweetness. The flavors are balanced, with the right amount of aggression. It’s not smooth, but also not rough. The sweetness is of dried fruits. The final third has more toast and leather. The mouthfeel becomes dry. Dark chocolate and some spice remain as well. The pepper grows a bit in strength.

The cigar gives a lot of smoke, straight from the start. The draw is great. The ash is light gray and reasonably firm. The burn is straight. It is a medium to full cigar in body. The flavor is medium in strength. The smoke time is one hour and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I enjoyed it thoroughly so yes.

Categories: 93, Black Label Trading Company, Nicaraguan cigars, Oveja Negra | Tags: , , , , , ,

Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro

Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro. The Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year 2019. Many of my followers praise this cigar on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media accounts. So it’s time for me to review this cigar as well. To see if it lives up to the hype. A 96 score isn’t very common, so our expectations are high.

A.J. Fernandez is responsible for the production. But Aging Room is a creating of Rafael Nodal, who’s now the head of product capability of Altadis U.S.A. But before that, he was the owner of Boutique Blends and that was or is the umbrella for Aging Room. This Aging Room blend is a Nicaraguan puro.

The cigar looks great. A dark and oily wrapper. Smooth yet impressive. With a beautiful black, gold, and white ring. The secondary ring pops with its bright orange and gold. This cigar screams “pick me, you won’t regret it”. The box-press is flawless and the cigar feels well constructed. The cigar has a thick and strong barnyard aroma.

The cold draw is flawless. The flavor is spice and pepper. The first puffs are earthy, with black dark roast coffee and pepper. Lots of pepper. Soon some wood and leather join the earthy and spice flavors of the cigar. There’s also a dry nutty flavor in the profile. After a third, there is black pepper, sweetness, earthiness. Some toast and roasted coffee beans show up as well. Even though it’s a strong cigar, the flavors are round. There is not mean harshness. The pepper is growing in strength. All flavors are tied together with some citrus acidity. Near the end the pepper really becomes powerful.

The draw is flawless. The ash is salt and pepper colored. But it breaks easy. The burn is straight. The smoke is good, thick enough and full enough. This cigar is a full-body cigar, full flavor yet with plenty of balance. The smoke time is two hours and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want a box

Categories: 92, Aging Room, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Asylum Seven 11/18

Asylum Seven 11/18. In 2012, former Camacho owner Christian Eiroa came back to the cigar industry after finishing his non-competition clause that he had to sign upon selling Camacho to Davidoff. His comeback was a partnership with former Camacho and Davidoff sales rep Tom Lazuka. Asylum Cigars was a success from day one. To commemorate the 7th birthday of Asylum, the company released the Seven in 2019. Two sizes, limited to 1000 boxes of each size.

One of the sizes is the signature 11/18 size. Named after the birthday of Christian’s mother. It is a figurado, 6 inches long with a 48 ring foot and head. But in the center, the cigar is ring 54 thick. The blend is made of Honduran tobacco as the filler and binder with a Nicaraguan wrapper. The cigars come in single coffins. The CLE Cigar Factory is where the cigars are rolled.

If you don’t know the story of the shape of the cigar, you might think that the roller isn’t very good. But when you know the cigar should look thicker in the middle, it is intriguing. The wrapper is dark, leathery. The big ring, black with a golden skull is a bit dark and sinister. But the colors of the ring come back in the coffins tying it all together. The cigar has a strong aroma of dry wood.

The cold draw is fantastic. Spicy oak. Once lit, the cigar gives a strong coffee aroma with some sugar and spice. Cinnamon and pepper show up. There is a little bit of tongue burn on the tip of the tongue. Soil makes an entrance in the flavor profile as well. The cigar then turns to wood, with a little bit of pepper. Before the second third, the flavors change again. The wood remains, but now with soil, leather, coffee, pepper, and sweetness. The second third starts strong with spice, pepper but now with some chocolate as well. The chocolate gets stronger, with leather, soil, coffee plus some acidity, and sweetness. Earthiness returns and the flavors are beautifully round.

The cigar produces a lot of smoke. The ash is white and dense. The draw is fantastic. The burn is quite alright. This is a strong cigar, full of flavor. Powerful. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a great cigar but very expensive.

Categories: 92, Asylum, El Aladino, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , ,

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro. In 1995 the oldest premium handmade family-owned cigar manufacturer in America, J.C. Newman, released the super-premium Diamond Crown line. That was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company. And it was a shock back then as all cigars came with a ring gauge of 54. That was considered insanely big back then. Now 60 seems to be the norm, unfortunately, and 54 is a pretty regular ring gauge.

In 2003, the Diamond Crown Maximus followed. Stronger, bolder. As with all Dominican made cigars for J.C. Newman, they come from the Tabacalera Fuente factory. This time with Dominican filler and binder. The wrapper is sun-grown El Bajo from Ecuador. The No.4 is a 6×50 toro. This cigar was a gift from Bobby Newman when we met a few years ago.

The wrapper is dark, oily, but has some wrinkles reminiscent of old skin, wrinkled under the relentless sun. Yet it helps to give the cigar character when it comes to looks. It’s needed because the band is slick and fancy. Colorful, shiny with plenty of gold. The construction feels good, the cigar seems evenly filled. The aroma is strong, dark chocolate with barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is good. Hay and the complex bitterness of dark chocolate are the flavors in the cold draw. The first puffs are earthy with dark chocolate. The earthiness intensifies. There’s also a hint of leather. Suddenly there is coffee as well. Later on, there’s also some pepper. But the first part of the cigar is mainly soil, leather, coffee, and chocolate. After a third, the cigar opens up. Now there is more sweetness, nice citrus acidity and the flavors aren’t so dark anymore. There is wood, licorice to be more precise. In the final third, the cigar gets more sweet wood and more spice. Yet the earthiness and coffee remain. The spice really picks up. It becomes a pepper bomb at the end.

The draw is good, slightly tight but all within limits. The white ash isn’t all too firm, the handheld vacuum did come out once or twice during the review. The smoke can be thicker and there could be more volume. The burn is slow and straight. The cigar doesn’t have much evolution, but it is solid all the way. The smoke time is three hours. This is a strong cigar, full in flavor and body.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like it a lot but I’d pick the Black Diamond over this one.

Categories: 90, Diamond Crown, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , ,

Undercrown Shady XX by Drew Estate

Undercrown Shady XX by Drew Estate. When you think “cigars and hip-hop” there is one brand that jumps out. It is Drew Estate. Hip-hop originated in New York, just as Drew Estate. And everybody at Drew Estate loves hip-hop, it is the music you hear at their booth during every trade show. So when Shady Records was looking for a cigar company to collaborate with, Drew Estate was the obvious choice. And so happens. In 2014, 10 tobacconists in the Detroit area had the opportunity to sell Undercrown Shady cigars. These were a limited edition. It was a success, so the next editions were distributed through Drew Diplomat retailers all over the USA.

Now why Shady Records wanted a cigar is simple. The label is the creation of Eminem and Paul Rosenberg, his manager. Rosenberg is an avid cigar smoker. Sometimes it is as simple as that. The Undercrown Shady XX is the 20th anniversary of Shady Records. It is a bolder version of the Undercrown Maduro. The wrapper is Mexican San Andres Maduro with an American Connecticut Habano binder.

The cigar looks mean. A leathery dark wrapper on a short, stomp box-pressed bellicose. The blue and gold band with the lion looks great and the secondary ring with the Shady Records logo matches it. The construction feels great. The cap is smooth and pretty. The cigar has a strong dark aroma. Dark wood, soil, and barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is good. The flavors in the cold draw are raw tobacco and dark chocolate. Wood, leather, and spices. Full, Nicaraguan, bold like the lyrics of Eminem. There is some toast and roasted coffee as well. A few puffs later, a peanut flavor shows up. With plenty of pepper. The cigar is impossible to retrohale due to the strength. The cigar turns earthy, with cedar. Spicy and strong. The final third has pepper, cedar, earthiness, nuts, and roasted coffee beans.

Due to sad family circumstances, I’m not smoking this cigar in my well-ventilated office but in a shed in my parent’s garden. With a heater and the door closed. Within minutes this cigar leaves you gasping for air due to the thick and heavy smoke. The burn is even and the firm ash is white. The draw is good as well. This is a strong cigar in body and flavor. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I actually prefer the regular Undercrown Maduro

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Romeo y Julieta Tacos Edicion Limitada 2018

Romeo y Julieta Tacos Edicion Limitada 2018. When we hear the word tacos, we don’t automatically think about cigars. On the contrary, we don’t think of cigars at all. We think of the tasty Mexican dish. Yet Habanos called the 2018 Limited Edition of Romeo y Julieta ‘Tacos’. Maybe they hope it is just as delicious?

The cigar measures 6⅝x49 and is a Grand Corona, almost a Churchill in size. When it was released, the price per cigar in The Netherlands was 18 euro. Which isn’t cheap, but not overly expensive for a Cuban Edicion Limitada either. The cigar we are reviewing today comes from La Casa del Habano Almere in The Netherlands

The cigar looks elegant because of the size. The wrapper has a nice dark shade for a Cuban cigar, yet it isn’t smooth. The veins stick out. And as most of the time, the two different rings don’t really match. The classic, classy Romeo y Julieta ring with a bolder, less classy edicion limitada ring. The construction feels fine. A bit hard, but evenly hard. The aroma is classic Cuban, manure, and cedar.

The cold draw is a little tight. It is quite spicy for a Cuban cigar. The first flavors are green herbs, leather, and a little acidity. The flavors then change to toasted bread. The toast gets a little stronger with some vanilla sweetness. Still, in the first third, the cigar turns to cedar with some sweetness. Halfway the cedar and vanilla are a bit stronger, with a little bit of white pepper. The final third starts with cedar, soil, leather, sweetness, and vanilla. More floral notes show up. The cigar gains more strength and flavor. More spice also.

The draw is a little tight, but that’s normal with Cuban cigars. The ash is light-colored with dark smears. The smoke is decent. The burn is pretty straight. This is a medium cigar in both body and flavor. This cigar took two hours and thirty minutes to smoke.

Would I buy this cigar again? Meh

Categories: 88, Cuban cigars, Romeo y Julieta (Habanos) | Tags: , , , ,

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