Monthly Archives: January 2022

Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma

Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma. This is a special release from Drew Estate for the online cigar community Cigar Dojo. And it’s not the first time that Drew Estate releases a cigar for Cigar Dojo. They aren’t the only company that does so. But the difference is that all others are small batches. Drew Estate did release the original Undercrown Maduro Dojo as a small batch. But for a few years, it is a regular production cigar. And last year a new regular production for Cigar Dojo came on the market. The Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma.

For the Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma, Drew Estate reaches for the same blend as the other Undercrown Sun Grown cigars. But in a 5×54 Robusto Extra format. That means that this cigar comes with Nicaraguan filler and a binder from the United States. A Connecticut-grown Habano binder to be precise. The wrapper is Sumatra but from Ecuador, not from Sumatra, Indonesia.

The wrapper is light brown with a few bumps. It is not too oily and it looks like it has a single cap instead of the Cuban-style triple cap. The red and gold ring is beautiful though. The lion with the crown and the secondary band with the DOGMA name. The foot is protected with another small ring in the same color scheme. The construction feels alright. The cigar has a surprising aroma that includes milk chocolate.

The cold draw is quite loose with a hay flavor. But after lighting, the cigar tastes like coffee, mud, with a little acidity. But there is also a toasted cashew flavor, spice, and sweetness. The flavors turn to a tardy nuttiness with a hint of vanilla. Mildly creamy, but with a little roughness at the back of the throat. The nuttiness remains noticeable during the remainder of the first third with a muddy and slightly citrus flavor. The second third still has that nuttiness, but now with leather. There is still a bit of a bite in the back of the throat. There is a bit more sweetness. And pepper shows up as well, but it is not overwhelming. The final third has leather, mud, coffee, nuts, pepper, and spice. The pepper picks up, with some sweetness. The nutty flavor becomes stronger as well.

The draw is a bit on the loose side. But the smoke makes up for it in a way only Drew Estate cigars can. The ash is white, snow-white. The burn is okay, but not razor-sharp. The cigar is medium to full in both body and strength. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? In another size yes

Categories: 90, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

El Coyote Robusto

El Coyote Robusto. A cigar that appeared in December of 2019. First only in Belgium and Luxemburg, but the cigars are slowly available in more markets such as The Netherlands and Switzerland. The Belux importer and distributor, Central American Trading is the owner of the brand. And the cigar is the work of three people, Abe Flores, Marc D’Argembeau, and Phillipe van Wilderode.

D’Argembeau is de founder of CAT, but Van Wilderode is the owner for a few years. D’Argembeau’s logistical company is the worldwide distributor for Flores’s cigars. The trio created a three-size line with Nicaraguan filler and binder. The wrapper comes from an undisclosed country “which has become a must for quality wrappers” according to El Coyote cigars. That could be Ecuador, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, or the Dominican Republic. The robusto for this review measures 5½x54.

This is a sexy-looking cigar, an intense colored wrapper, not extremely dark but the wrapper looks rich and oily. The band is stylish, gray with a silhouette of ‘El Coyote’ Phillipe van Wilderode in black, and the name in copper print. The cigar feels solid and has a nice triple cap. The cigar has an unusual aroma, strong green herbs such as lovage and parsley.

The cold draw is fine, quite dry with raw spicy tobacco as the flavor. And a little pepper on the lips. The cigar has a nice dark spice flavor, with cedar and nuts. There is a thick, creamy, dark sugar sweetness. Almost like almond paste, but with some dark sugar as a supplement. There are still dark spices, and the mouthfeel slowly becomes dry again. A little leather is a reason for the dry feel. Near the end of the first third, the cigar gives pepper. The second third starts with the almond paste again, with oak, leather, and a bit of soil. The paste flavor makes it quite a unique smoke. The retrohale is pleasant with some mild spices. The dark spices, wood, and pepper make a wonderful combination. There is balance. At the end of the second third, there is hay with pepper. In the end, it’s wood with pepper and a minty freshness. And peanuts, a surprising flavor.

The smoke is very nice, thick, white, and plenty in volume. The ash is light in color and a little frayed. The burn is nice. Straight and slow. The construction is good. This is a medium cigar in body but full in flavor with plenty of evolution. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Most definitely

Categories: 92, Dominican cigars, El Coyote, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Flor de Las Antillas Maduro Short Robusto.

Flor de Las Antillas Maduro Short Robusto. In 2012, My Father Cigars won the Cigar Aficionado top 25 with the Flor de Las Antillas Toro. Winning that award boosts sales, but because of the quality, the cigar remains popular until today. But as with most successful cigars, there will be offspring. Either in new sizes or a similar blend with a different wrapper. For a new Flor de Las Antillas, My Father Cigars chose to go with a Maduro one.

So in 2016, a new line appeared. The Flor de Las Antillas Maduro, with several box-pressed cigars. The filler and binder remain Nicaraguan, with tobaccos from the family farms. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habano Sun Grown Oscuro. Of all the sizes, we picked the 4½x50 Short Robusto to review. And to be honest, since we love the regular blend so much, we never smoked the Maduro before if presented with a choice.

The box press looks good on this dark, leathery, and oily wrapper. It is quite even in color and there is one vein running on the side of the cigar. The ring does not differ from the prize-winning Flor de Las Antillas, yet there is a secondary band that reveals this is the Maduro version. But even without the ring, the color of the wrapper would reveal that. The foot of the ring is protected by a maroon piece of cloth. This cigar is strong when it comes to aroma. The moment it’s unwrapped from its cellophane coat, a strong smell of manure and fermenting grass hits the nose. And even though that does not sound appealing, the aroma is actually quite nice and comforting.

The cold draw is fine, with both a sweet and savory flavor. Once lit there is a distinct flavor of dark chocolate, but with raw wood, spices, leather, and soil. It bites a bit in the back of the throat. After a few puffs it mellows down and the bite is gone. Dark chocolate is still the strongest flavor with some pepper and wood. The Maduro sweetness joins in and the mouthfeel is a bit creamy. The cigar now tastes like cake with wood, soil, and pepper. Unique, something never experienced before. The second third starts off with oak and hay. There is still a hint of dark chocolate. And a dry grassy flavor. The cigar has balance and a nice Maduro sweetness. A little walnut flavor joins halfway, with more white pepper. In the final third, the cigar becomes stronger with more pepper. A lot of pepper, the kind of pepper Don Pepin was famous for in his early American & Nicaraguan years. With a nice sweetness of dried fruits. Wood also becomes stronger. Oak to be more precise. But still with a hefty dose of pepper and licorice.

The draw is great. The ash is white and dense. The cigar produces plenty of smoke. The burn is decent. It is a medium to medium-plus cigar in body, medium-plus in flavor as well. The smoke time is long, two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It is a nice cigar but the regular Flor de Las Antillas is better IMHO.

Categories: 92, Flor de las Antillas, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Dias de Gloria Robusto

Dias de Gloria Robusto is a tribute to the glory days of Cuban tobacco. To the cigars that Ismael Fernandez, the father of A.J. was smoking back in Cuba before he left his home country to work in Nicaragua. But of course without being able to use Cuban cigars. So A.J. went out to create a blend that resembles the old Cuban style with tobaccos from Nicaragua. The cigar was recommended to me as a great smoke.

For that, he is picking aged tobacco from his four oldest farms in Esteli. And for years, Fernandez has been setting aside tobacco with the Dias de Gloria in mind. “I want everyone to enjoy it like the glory days of old Cuba.,” he said during the release of the Dias de Gloria line.

The cigar looks good, but that doesn’t say anything about the wrapper yet. Because the wrapper is hardly visible. There is a red, yellow, and golden band with a very biblical picture. Then a golden and red secondary band with the A.J. Fernandez name and then a piece of cedar covering the rest of the cigar. With a piece of red cloth protecting the foot. Underneath the cedar is an oily, reddish-brown wrapper, smooth to the eye and velvet to the touch. The cigar feels evenly packed. The aroma is strong, hay and not surprisingly, cedar.

The cold draw is fine, cedar with dry wood. Once lit the cigar gives leather, wood, soil, coffee, and red pepper. The flavors are a little harsh, not very round. There’s also a sweetness, almost like refined sugar. But that doesn’t hide the mean punch this cigar gives. The sweetness turns more to a spiced sweetness like cinnamon. With oak, soil, and leather. The cigar still has a bit of a mean bite. It’s already tough to retrohale the cigar. Wood becomes stronger, but the cigar irritates the back of the throat. The second third starts with plenty of sweetness, now more of caramel sweetness. There’s also oak, soil, and leather with pepper. If the flavors were more round, the Dias de Gloria would be a great cigar. But that mean bite, that was there in all samples smoked, take away a lot of the pleasantries that this cigar offers. The mouthfeel is dry. A citrus acidity shows up, which helps to take away some of the roughness. There’s also a mushroom flavor with a lot of red pepper. The final third isn’t as mean, but red pepper overpowers the underlying flavors of oak and soil. There is no balance.

The draw is good and the smoke is amazing. It’s plentiful, white, and thick. The ash is white and dense. The burn is nice and straight. There is nothing bad to say about the construction of this cigar. The flavors are all right, but the mean and harsh taste definitely takes its toll on the score. This is a strong, full-bodied, and full-flavored cigar. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, A.J. Fernandez makes better cigars than this.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, 90, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez, Dias de Gloria | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Papi Toro by David Ortiz

Big Papi Toro by David Ortiz. A name that will probably not ring a bell for cigar enthusiasts outside of countries where baseball is a big sport. But David Ortiz is a baseball hall of fame star with the nickname Big Papi. He’s Dominican and a lover of the leaf. Whenever he was in the Dominican Republic, he was often hanging out at Tabacalera El Artista after being introduced to the Rodriguez family. Smoking cigars at the factory one day the idea came up of a Big Papi cigar and that’s when things start to happen.

The Big Papi Toro is a 6×54 Toro. It comes with an Ecuadorian Habano Claro wrapper. The binder is Dominican grown Criollo 98. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Tabacalera El Artista makes the cigars in a collaboration with the former Boston Red Sox star. There is also a 7×60 version with the name The Slugger. That’s another reference to his baseball days, where Ortiz was a hard-hitter aka a slugger. And the most famous baseball bat is the Louisville Slugger.

The cigar looks impressive, thicker than the ring 54 it is. The wrapper has an even color with a few sharp veins. It is slightly oily with a perfect triple cap. The ring is red and white, a tribute to the Boston Red Sox where David Ortiz played for so long. And his classic pose is on the ring as well. The foot ring is red cloth. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium-strong stable aroma.

The cold draw is fine with a flavor that comes close to a cinnamon roll with some pepper. Once lit there is some sweetness, leather, spice but mostly dark roast coffee. Strong and bitter, but acceptable bitter. The first flavors fade away to a wood and nut flavor. Cedar gets stronger with a hint of honey. Yet there is a lack of balance and a little harshness in the flavor. The second third starts with wood, nuts, leather, and pepper. Slowly more sweetness, pepper, and spice take over. Wood and leather are the main flavors, with pepper as support. The mouthfeel is a bit dry. The final third has some soil with a hefty dose of pepper. There is still a little unbalance in the cigar.

The draw is fine. The ash is white and dense. One big white cone, not even layers with ash. The cigar gives a good amount of smoke. The burn is good. The cigar has a little unbalance and a little harshness. It almost tasted like the cigar was a bit too dry, even though it’s stored in 67% humidity. The smoke time of this medium-full bodied, medium flavored cigar is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like El Artista cigars but this one isn’t my favorite

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera El Artista | Tags: , , , ,

Stallone Castaño San Andres Robusto

Stallone Castaño San Andres Robusto. Up until a few months ago, we never heard about this brand. Only when Todd Vance joined Stallone Cigars the brand came on our radar. Vance is an industry veteran who spent time with A.J. Fernandez, Cornelius & Anthony, and Padilla Cigars before joining Stallone Cigars. And our first thought was “Sylvester has a cigar brand”? But this brand has got nothing to do with the movie star. It is the brand from an Italian American, Tony Barrios, who’s a rodeo champion. He loves his stallions, and the world for stallions in Italian is Stallone. But skeptic as we are, we suspect that the fact that Sylvester Stallone is a famous brother of the leaf did play a part in picking the name.

The Castaño San Andres is part of the Cowboy Series. It features a Mexican San Andres wrapper over Nicaraguan filler and binder. The cigars come from the small Tabacalera La Perla. The same factory as the Muestra de Tabac. And that’s another brand whom we suspect picked the name to rub shoulders with a well-known brand. But again, we suspect, we don’t know for sure. But let’s focus on this 5½x52 Robusto, one of the three sizes available. Our experience with the cigars coming from Tabacalera La Perla is positive, so we have high hopes.

The sun-grown San Andres wrapper from Mexico has a leather-look, dry leather. Like the face of an old cowboy or fisherman, who’s been beaten by the sun for decades. It gives the cigar character. The triple cap is a bit rough on the eyes as well. The copper and gray ring has the silhouette of a stallion and the name of Tony Barrios. The secondary ring is in the same style and color as the name of the cigar. The cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is medium strong and quite dark. Like a forest in the early morning, when everything is still wet from the night.

The cold draw is a bit on the loose side and leaves a dry leathery flavor on the palate. The first puff is soil, coffee, and sourness. Strong coffee. But then the leather starts to shine, with citrus, oak, and pepper. Soon the cigar starts to mellow out a bit. With dry flavors, leather, and earth. But with citrus acidity and some sweetness. The citrus is becoming quite strong, with a nice sweetness to balance it out. Then the leather and pepper grow stronger while the citrus disappears. The mouthfeel is still dry. There is a nutty flavor in the retrohale. The second third starts with the nuttiness, dark spices, pepper, and hay. The cigar is a little rough, not smooth, or with a lot of nuances. But it does not bite or leave a tickle in the throat. Halfway there is a hint of chocolate behind the leather, pepper, soil, and oak. Hay and pepper are becoming the dominant flavors. There is still some nuttiness as well. The last part of the cigar is wood, leather, soil, and pepper.

The cigar produces a lot of smoke. Beautiful blue smoke. The draw is fine. The dense ash is light in color. The burn is straight. It is a medium to medium-full cigar. Both in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it but want to try a few other Stallone Cowboy Series first.

Categories: 90, Nicaraguan cigars, Stallone, Tabacalera La Perla | Tags: , , , , ,

Vegas Robaina Famosos

Vegas Robaina Famosos. And this specific cigar is aged, or vintage depends on who you are asking. It is ten years old, it is from a box from 2011. It comes from the warehouse of Pacific Cigar Company, so there is no doubt that the aging took place in perfect conditions. PCC is one of the largest, probably the second largest, exclusive Habanos distributors in the world. Their territory spans from Australia to Japan and almost every country in between.

Vegas Robaina is a tribute to Alejandro Robaina, who was the best farmer in Cuba before his passing. He became a celebrity and was so important to the Cuban cigar industry that Habanos decided to create a brand in his name. The cigars came on the market in 1997, but nowadays there are only two vitolas made. The other vitolas are all a blast from the past, with the iconic Don Alejandro last produced in 2017. This year marks the 25th birthday of the brand, so Habanos might release a new vitola or an edicion limitada for the occasion.

The cigar has a light color. There are a few thin veins. The head is quite flat, but the triple cap is still beautiful. The construction feels good. The ring is simple and it’s been the same since 1997. Brown with gold. Hirochi Robaina, Alejandro’s grandson, is using the same style on his HR cigars from Nicaragua. The aroma isn’t very strong, but that’s normal for a cigar of a decade old. A little manure, wood, and spices.

The cold draw is a bit tight. There isn’t a lot of flavor in the cold draw. There isn’t a lot of flavors. Just a very mild leather with some dark spices. Maybe even some soil and cedar. But this cigar is clearly past its prime. After a while, it’s leather with honey, but all quite creamy. The flavors are still very mild. Halfway there is more flavor, more leather, more sweetness, more dark spices. It fits in with our experience with other aged and/or vintage cigars that the first half is often dull and boring with not a lot of flavor. And not just Cubans, the same thing goes for New World cigars of a certain age. The flavor changes a bit, the leather and honey remain but now with cedar. The cigar remains very creamy though. The honey sweetness gets stronger near the end. The last third is the most flavorful of the cigar, and the most pleasant.

The ash is salt and pepper colored. It is quite firm and doesn’t drop easily. The draw is a little tight, but nothing to really complain about. The smoke is decent. The burn is great. The cigar is smooth, calm, but lacks character. This one is aged too long. This cigar is mild to medium in body and in flavor. If the cigar performed all the way as it did in the final third, the score would have been a few points higher. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not if it’s 10 years old.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars

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