Author Archives: cigarguide

La Estrella Polar Robusto

La Estrella Polar Robusto. In may, Scandinavian Tobacco Group announced that they would start distributing a new brand in Europe. La Estrella Polar, the polar star. And two weeks later, during the TFWA Asia Pacific Trade Show, Ministry of Cigars sat down with Stephan Brichau. Brichau is the international sales and marketing manager premium cigars for the Danish tobacco giant. He sponsored some cigars, but said: “this is a cigar aimed for the budget smoker, it’s between the 3 and 3.50 Euro, keep that in mind while smoking”.

The cigar is available in this 5×50 Robusto or a 6×60 Gordo. The wrapper comes from Ecuador. The binder is from Indonesia. It is from the 2013 harvest. The fillers come from Nicaragua and Colombia. The cigars are made by General Cigars. General Cigars is part of the STG group. But since General Cigars has factories in Honduras, Nicaragua and on the Dominican Republic, it’s unclear where the La Estrella Polar is being produced.

The cigar has a nice, sun grown, wrapper. Quite dark although not Maduro or Oscuro dark. It ranks in the Colorado Maduro class. It’s quite oily, with just one thicker vein. The ring is a bit simple and screams ‘BUDGET CIGAR’. Big, white with mustard colored outlines, blue letters, and a red flag. The wrapper is too pretty for a simple ring like this. The construction feels good. The aroma is medium strong. Wet straw, a little ammonia and green herbs is what comes to mind.

The cold draw is great. The flavors are raw tobacco with spices on the tip of the tongue. And a mild gingerbread in the aftertaste. At first, there’s a slightly bitter, unrefined coffee with pepper. Quickly a powdered sugar flavor joins the coffee. The cigar is still unrefined, slightly harsh. There’s also some sourness. The sourness disappears quickly but is replaced by chocolate milk of a very low grade. Slowly some soil flavor shows up too, still with coffee as the base. The mouthfeel is slightly buttery. The sweet chocolate milk is getting stronger after a third. Halfway the flavors change to musty wood with pepper and leather. In the final third, the cigar starts to get more refined. The sweetness is strong with a leafy flavor and pepper. There’s even a little leather flavor at the end of the cigar, right before the pepper gains serious strength.

The draw is great. The ash is like a stash of dimes, but a short stack as it breaks off quickly. The smoke is nice and thick. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I’m too spoiled to smoke budget cigars. But for a budget cigar, this isn’t too bad.

number89

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Categories: 89, La Estrella Polar, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Maria Mancini Edicion Limitada 2018 Corona

Maria Mancini is over twenty years old. And all those times the cigars have been made in Honduras. The brand is owned by the 100-year-old German August Schuster Zigarren from Bunde. They are one of the oldest cigar manufacturers in Germany, and one of the last German cigar producers still standing. For the last few years, they have released a Maria Mancini limited edition every year. In 2016 it was a Maria Mancini Robusto Particular. In 2017 the size was a Toro Lindo. For 2018, several sizes were made.

For the review, I chose the Corona Colorado. That’s a 5½x46 Corona sized cigar.

Not a lot has been revealed about the cigar. Even though the brand is over twenty years old, the factory is unknown. And the blend for the 2018 Edicion Limitada is undisclosed as well. The only thing that’s know is that the filler is from both Honduras and Nicaragua. Where the wrapper is from, or the binder is a mystery.

The cigar has a nice pig tail. The Colorado colored wrapper has thin veins. The ring is a bit dull. The image of Maria Mancini could use a little update, that would make the cigar more appealing in the humidor. The aroma is very nice. Spicy and green. Like lovage and natural fertilizer. The construction feels good.

The cold draw is a little loose. I taste raw tobacco, a little harsh, with some salt. The first puff gives a strong, bitter, coffee and leather flavor. The bitterness is a bit too strong. After a few puffs, some vanilla shows up. The bitterness slowly mellows down to an acceptable level. The vanilla is getting stronger, with a grassy flavor and some green herbs. Even though there is more balance and sweetness, the coffee and leather are lingering around. There’s some pepper in the flavor as well. The green herbs are getting stronger after a third. That goes for the vanilla and the sweetness too. With some pepper, leather, soil, and wood as supporting flavors. The flavors remain the same in the last part. Some coffee, some leather, some pepper, and a lot of sweetness. The final third is quite enjoyable with at the end some nuts.

The smoke is fantastic. Thick, white and full. The draw is good, although it could have been a little tighter. The ask is quite firm and has a nice light gray color. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s the best of the three Maria Mancini cigars I smoked so far. But I think I’ll pass.

number90

Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Maria Manchini | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

PDR Dark Roast Robusto

Coffee flavored cigars are popular. Several popular brands have a coffee infused cigar line in their portfolio. Drew Estate even has two with the Tabak Especial and Isla del Sol. Plus they produce the Java for Rocky Patel. The Nub Cafe from Oliva is a popular coffee infused cigar, but there are more. And last year, PDR decided to jump on the train as well. But their coffee infused cigars are different.

Where the other brands choose to sweeten the wrapper, PDR decided not to do so. So their ‘roast series’ are natural cigars, just infused with coffee. No other techniques, no sweetened wrapper, pure cigars, and coffee.

The PDR Roast series come in three blends, just like the Nub Cafe. The Natural Roast has an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. Then there’s the Medium Roast with a Sun Grown Claro wrapper from Ecuador. The version that Ministry of Cigars is reviewing is the PDR Dark Roast. That one has a Brazilian Maduro wrapper and is supposedly the strongest of the blends. There are three sizes available. There are a 51/4×44 Corona, a 6×52 Toro and the 5×52 Robusto that we are reviewing.

The cigar looks amazing. A dark oily wrapper. Closed foot and a knot on the head. A dark glossy ring, simple and clear. A huge glossy foot ring with the PDR logo. This cigar stands out. There are a few veins on the wrapper, but for a Brazilian Maduro wrapper, it looks smooth. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice bounce when you squeeze it. The cigar has a strong aroma of dark chocolate and coffee. More chocolate than coffee, which is quite surprising.

The cold draw is great, even with the closed foot. There is some artificial sweetness but it’s not on the lips as with other infused cigars. Once lit, there is dark roasted coffee as expected, with some artificial sweetness. The bitterness of the coffee is quite complex. Soon the artificial sweetness takes over, with coffee and chili pepper as supporting flavors. After a few puffs, there’s coffee with mud. That artificial sweetness does not do the cigar any favors. But at least it’s not stuck on the lips, something that happens with for example the Nub Cafe lines. Halfway the cigar gets spicier, the artificial sweetness is less. There’s coffee, pepper, herbs, leather, and wood. The mouthfeel is mild creamy. In the final third, the cigar turns a little bitter. With pepper, coffee and that artificial sweetness again. The pepper is strong. Near the end, there’s wood with the pepper. The sweetness disappears just like the coffee.


The draw is good, a bit loose maybe. And the smoke is fantastic, thick and white. The burn is wonky and had to be corrected. The light-colored ash isn’t very firm. This cigar is medium-full bodied. The flavors are medium. This cigar would have been better with less artificial sweetener. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I don’t think so

number89

Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, PDR, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Revolution Toro

As I mentioned in the previous two Revolution reviews, this cigar was part of a sampler with three sizes. I smoked the short robusto and the robusto previously. And they were night and day, even though both scored low with a 79 and an 82 score. Today, I’ll be reviewing the toro. And hopefully the progress continues, but my expectations are low.

If it wasn’t for the mixture of Nicaraguan and Mexican tobaccos in the filler, this cigar would have been a Mexican puro. The binder and wrapper are from Mexico. And the cigars are made at the Nueva Matacapan de Tobacos from A. Turrent.


The wrapper is extremely rough and that combined with the simple ring makes it an unappealing cigar. The construction feels good though and the aroma is strong, very strong. Barnyard, farm animals and swamp is what I smell.

The cold draw is great. I taste a little wood, some pepper, and tobacco. After lighting, I taste wood with cinnamon and leather. The cinnamon is quite nice, but there’s an overall flavor that makes that the cinnamon doesn’t shine. A little stale harshness. After a centimeter, I taste cinnamon with leather, sweetness and a little salt. The sweetness has some vanilla notes in it. I taste also some grass and a hint of chocolate. The salt gets a little stronger. The final third starts with a nice, sweet, coffee flavor with some green herbs and pepper. The cinnamon returns with earthy flavors and wood.

The draw is fantastic. The firm ash is white. The smoke is okay. The burn is good. This is a medium bodied, medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and fifty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Nope, no, njet, nee, nein.

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Categories: 82, Mexican cigars, Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos, Revolution | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A.J. Fernandez New World Cameroon Churchill

I love Cameroon wrapper, that is my favorite wrapper in the world. And I love all cigars made by A.J. Fernandez. So when I heard that Fernandez was releasing a new cigar with a Cameroon wrapper, I was over the moon. Unfortunately, it took some time for them to reach Europe. And by that time, I had left Europe.

I was happy to see the cigars pop up at the webshop of a Malaysian cigar shop. I decided to drop a few dollars on this cigar. The price was a little higher than what I would pay in Europe or America, but I figured it would be worth it. And I know that the Malaysian tobacco tax is high, so I wasn’t being ripped off by the shop. They charged a fair price and carried some more rare cigars. Time to light this Nicaraguan filler, Nicaraguan binder and Cameroon wrapped 7×48 Churchill.


Let’s start with the ring. It is the regular New World ring with the classic artwork of boats arriving into the new world. The outside of the rings is green, instead of red that’s used on the regular New World line. And green fits, when I think of Africa, I think of green. The secondary ring is gold with green, and red letters. It fits the theme. The wrapper has a nice even color, it doesn’t look as rough and brittle as most Cameroon wrappers, it’s quite pretty actually. The construction feels flawless. The cigar has a dry aroma, dried wood, a little charcoal, those kinds of smells.

The cold draw is perfect. The flavor of the cold draw is plain and pure raw, well fermented, tobacco. After lighting, I taste some licorice, tobacco, and leather. Then the signature Cameroon spice joins green herbs and spices. That comes with coffee and pepper. There’s still some wood too, softwood like pine. And then I also taste some hay, with a mildly creamy mouthfeel. After a third, it is all spices and green herbs, with some citrus and sweetness. The mouthfeel turned to dry. The strength in body and flavor is medium so far. The sweetness reminds me of milk chocolate. In the final third, I pick up some pepper again with oak, spices, herbs and roasted coffee. Suddenly the pepper picks up and becomes the dominant flavor. I was waiting for that to happen. Near the end, I taste licorice through the pepper again, making the flavors go full circle

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The draw is perfect. The light-colored ash is coarse though. The burn is flawless and the smoke is thick. This cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. It has that typical Cameroon spice and herb profile which I love. The smoke time is two hours and twenty-five minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, once in a while

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Categories: 91, New World, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

Jas Sum Kral Toothpick 2.0 Habano

A few days ago, we smoked and reviewed the Jas Sum Kral Toothpick 2.0 Maduro. This is a medium filler from Tabacalera Aragon and Jas Sum Kral. It uses small pieces of tobacco in combination with long leaves, creating a medium filler. Or Cuban sandwich as it is called as well. The cigar comes in one size only, a 5×50 robusto. But in two blends, that Maduro version and a Habano version.

This is a review of the Habano Toothpick 2.0.

The blend for both cigars is exactly the same. But the wrapper is not. This Habano version has a Habano wrapper from Ecuador. And these two cigars are exactly the cigars to give to somebody who claims that cigar wrappers are only aesthetic and don’t do anything for the flavor. Because they do, and when they smoke these two cigars, they will know


The wrapper isn’t even in color. It has a gradually changing color from dark to lighter, which is clearly seen around the edging where the wrapper overlaps. It looks like a thin wrapper, with clear, fine veins. The cigar feels good, looks good and this time, the white part of the ring is on top. That and the lighter shade of wrapper indicates that this is the Habano version. The cigar has a leathery smell, like a horse saddle. That combined with hay and wood.

The cold draw is a bit tight and spicy. I taste pepper on my lips. After lighting, I taste leather, wood, soil with pepper and sweetness. Soon the sweetness turns to sugar, with wood and pepper. After a third, I taste hazelnuts and chocolate, almost Nutella like. With pepper. Very nice and flavorful. The cigar than evolves to more pepper, less chocolate. Some wood is noticeable too, with leather.

The draw is a bit on the tight side. The smoke is a little thin because of that. The burn is great though, as well as the ash. The cigar is medium bodied, medium-full flavored. There is a nice evolution in the cigar. The smoke time is one hour and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I have a box of 50, so, for the time being, I have enough stock.

number91

Categories: 92, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Aragon | Tags: , , , ,

Jas Sum Kral Toothpick 2.0 Maduro

Jas Sum Kral owner Riste decided to utilize leftover tobaccos from his other blends with this mixed filler called Toothpicks. The name probably refers to the small pieces of tobacco that can get in between your teeth while smoking shredded pieces of tobacco, used in short filler or medium filler cigar. He created a Maduro and a Habano blend, both with the same filler and binder, but with a different wrapper.

The wrapper from this Maduro comes from San Andres, Mexico. The cigars are rolled at Tabacalera Aragon in Esteli, Nicaragua. The filler is a mixture of three different Nicaraguan tobaccos. One from Jalapa, one from Esteli and the third one from Ometepe. Wrapped in an Indonesian binder and the Mexican wrapper you have the Toothpick Maduro. Only available in a 5×50 vitola.

I love the ring. The ring is mirrored in one white and one black side. The black has white letters, the white has black letters and they are exact copies. But when the black side is up, you’re smoking the Maduro, when the white side is up, you’re smoking the Habano. The ring is designed by the Singaporean designer Nuzli Hakiim. The wrapper is dark, oily and smooth. The construction feels good, the cap is nice. The cigar has a medium strong woody aroma.


The cold draw is good, with an oaky taste. After lighting, I taste nuts, earth, coffee, and wood. Almonds and cinnamon are noticeable too, with a little bit of pepper and some butter. The Maduro wrapper causes the cigar to have a mild sweetness. After half a centimeter, it’s a wooden, chocolate flavor with some nutmeg spices and a little sweetness from the Maduro wrapper. The second third starts with some salt, pepper, leather and a lower grade chocolate flavor. Not an unpleasant mix, but also not as pleasant as a dark chocolate flavor. The flavors aren’t clean and crisp. These flavors go on for the rest of the cigars, with sometimes some oak, sometimes some cedar. But mostly chocolate, nuts, and pepper.

The draw is amazing. The burn needed some corrections. The smoke is thick and full. This is a medium bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. The smoke time is one hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for European or Asian prices, they are more expensive than premium longfillers. But for American prices, yes.

number90

Categories: 90, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Aragon | Tags: , , , ,

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Gran Toro

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Gran Toro. Hiram & Solomon is the brand of Fouad Kashouty and Nasir Dakrat. The couple met during freemason gatherings. And they became friends. Both cigar aficionados were surprised that they could not find any freemason cigars. So they decided to create a brand that uses the freemason shield in the logo. And in freemason spirit, parts of the proceeds will flow back into the community through charity.


The Traveling Man is made at the Plasencia factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. David Blanco from Blanco Cigars was involved in the blending of the cigar. And the blend is interesting because of the use of Indonesian Sumatra. Most Sumatra tobacco used comes from Ecuador. Yet for the Traveling Man, Hiram & Solomon use Sumatra from the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Add an Indonesian binder. And Brazilian, Dominican and Nicaraguan wrapper and you have the Hiram & Solomon Travelling Man. The Gran Toro size is 6×60.

The cigar looks good. I like the purple ring with the Freemason logo. The cigar has a nice shade of color and just two thin veins on the backside. The construction feels good. The aroma is strong. I smell hay and straw.

The cold draw is great. The hay and grass flavor is strong in the cold draw. After lighting, the first flavors are best described as dusty and earthy with some sweetness. There’s also a slight hint of pepper. The marzipan sweetness is fantastic. After a few puffs, some leather shows up too. And some grass. The mouthfeel is a little buttery. In the first third, the flavors stay consistent but that’s expected with a big ring cigar. The flavors maintain in the second third, although I taste some licorice too. There are slight changes, subtle, with some vanilla showing up every now and then. Same goes for pepper, but overall this is a consistent cigar. The final third is much better. The pepper picks up, allspice shows up and it’s good.


The draw is flawless. The burn is straight. The ash is light colored and firm enough. The smoke is quite thin. This is a medium bodied, medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Only in a thinner version

number89

Categories: 89, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Orchant Selección by Drew Estate Heavyweight

This is the third size of the Orchant Seleccion by Drew Estate and it’s called Heavyweight. The line is a limited edition, exclusively for C.Gars Ltd and will be sold online and in their Turmeaus shops. Managing Director for C.Gars Ltd is Mitchell Orchant and he’s been giving his name to hand selected boxes of Cuban cigars for a few years. And since 2014, a Non-Cuban limited edition is made for the Orchant Seleccion. In the past, Oliva, Davidoff, Regios, Alec Bradley and now the Orchant Seleccion by Drew Estate. In three sizes, all with a 46 ring. The Lightweight was reviewed two days ago. Yesterday Ministry of Cigars reviewed the Mediumweight. And this is the review of the Heavyweight.

The cigars are made at the La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua. That’s the same factory that’s used to make the highly-rated Liga Privada lines as well. For the blend, Drew Estate and Mitchel Orchant sourced tobaccos from Latin America, North America, and Southeast Asia. The wrapper is a stalk-cut Habano from the United States. Stalk Cut means that the leaves aren’t harvested separately but the whole tobacco plant is cut down and hung to dry. The binder comes from the South East Asian Indonesia, from the island of Sumatra. For the filler, some USA grown and some Indonesian tobacco was blended with tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

The cigar looks great. It has a dark, oily wrapper, which looks like leather. It feels good when touched, with the right amount of bounce. No real veins visible so the cigar looks smooth, yet dangerous due to the color. The aroma is quite strong. It has hints of soil, wet soil, and barnyard. The cigar that we are smoking has the factory ring, not the rings that they will be sold with.


The cold draw is great. The flavors are raw tobacco with some spice and sweetness. In the beginning, there is coffee, leather, and salt. The flavors are quite mild. Even the pepper isn’t ‘in your face’. After a few puffs, the flavors get more pronounced. And that’s when some hay and cinnamon show up too. Slowly some leather shows up and the pepper is dominant. After a centimeter, the cigar turns to toast, leather, wood, and pepper. The toast, with some slight cinnamon, and lots of pepper are the dominant flavors now. The cigar leans heavy to the leather, toast and pepper part of the flavor wheel, yet with very mild citrus and sweetness to balance it out. Halfway the toast turns to coffee, the cinnamon disappears. Coffee with pepper and a slight leathery flavor. In the final third, a nutty flavor shows up under the pepper.

The smoke is super thick and plentiful as you can expect from Drew Estate. The draw is good, a little tighter than the two other Orchant Seleccion by Drew Estate sizes. The ash is light-colored with darker smears. The burn is good. The cigar is full-bodied, full-flavored yet balanced. And it doesn’t feel as strong as the lightweight. The smoke time is two hours fifteen minutes.

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

number92

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Orchant Selección | Tags: , , , ,

Orchant Selección by Drew Estate Middleweight

Mitchel Orchant is the managing director of the British cigar distributor and retailer C.Gars Ltd. The company runs two La Casa del Habano stores, a few regular tobacconist shops, and a webshop. And they are known for their auctions of hard to find, vintage, and aged cigars. But Mitchell Orchant has his Orchant Seleccion as well. He handpicks boxes of Cuban cigars with the British Habanos distributor Hunters & Frankau to be sold under his name. And in the last few years, several Non-Cuban cigar companies made a limited edition Orchant Seleccion as well. The 2019 edition is the Orchant Seleccion by Drew Estate.


The lightweight isn’t a lightweight at all, and knowing this is the same blend, we expect a strong cigar as well. The combination of Nicaraguan, American, Indonesian, and Dominican tobacco make for a strong yet balanced cigar. And with a longer smoke duration than the lightweight, we made sure we started this review with a full stomach. The cigars should be available on the market soon, Mitchell Orchant told Ministry of Cigars that C.Gars Ltd is awaiting the shipment and that the launch should be anytime soon.


The cigar looks good. The colorado Maduro brown wrapper has an even color. The wrapper looks like dark leather. It’s oily but has 2 veins that the lightweight was missing. The triple cap is placed nicely. The aroma has a wood and barnyard smell.

The cold draw is great. The flavor is tobacco with pepper. After lighting, there’s pepper with coffee, leaves, and tobacco. The flavors than change to peppery and salty wood. The flavors then go to more leather, with salt and citrus. This is completely different from the lightweight. The flavors are not as strong and outspoken as the lightweight. More salt, more citrus, no coffee. A little spice, leather, and soil are the main flavors. After a third, there’s a mild flavor of cinnamon toast. The mouthfeel is dry. And then there’s a strong floral flavor with pepper, coming out of nowhere. Slowly some hay shows up too, and the pepper mellows out without becoming weak. The floral flavor disappears. In the final third, the cigar tastes leathery, peppery with spices and sweetness. Well balanced, and with enough minor flavor changes to keep the cigar interesting.

The smoke is amazing again, as always with Drew Estate. The ash is white and strong. The burn is beautiful and the draw is fantastic. The cigar is full-bodied, full-flavored. The cigar is balanced. The smoke time is two hours.

would I buy this cigar again? No, I prefer the lightweight

number92

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars

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