Author Archives: cigarguide

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: , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , , ,

Royal Danish Double Ligero Short Robusto

Royal Danish Double Ligero Short Robusto. This is a cigar that is jam-packed with ligero fillers, making it a very strong cigar. Or at least, that’s what the warning on the label says. Double Ligero, extra strong. Blended in Denmark according to the ring, but made in Nicaragua. And that last part plays a big role in the new name of Royal Danish Cigars. The trademark for the brand is stripped by the Danish Royal Family. The new name is King of Ashes, House of Nicaragua.

This cigar is made in Nicaragua, but not a lot of the blend is revealed. Just that it’s packed with ligero fillers. The wrapper is Ecuadorian Habano. And the size, a 4½x54 Short Robusto. Even the manufacturer is undisclosed. Now, with the name change, it remains to be seen if this particular brand will return to the market. Time will tell.

The Colorado Maduro colored wrapper is rustic looking. The triple cap is a bit sloppy, making this cigar far from beautiful. The black and golden ring is nice though, with a Danish flag wearing a crown. The secondary ring is simple, white, and red. It only tells us that it’s double ligero, extra strong. And that the cigar is blended in Denmark. The construction feels good. The medium-strong aroma is woody.

The cold draw is good. The flavor is very spicy, very peppery. A tingling sensation on the lips before the cigar is even lit. The first puffs are strong, full of coffee, soil, pepper, dark chocolate, dry wood, and hay. With a little tickle in the back of the throat. Slowly the cigar gets more leather, some sweetness, yet still with pepper, coffee, and wood. The mouthfeel is very dry. The spices and sweetness gain strength, the wood, chocolate, and pepper remain while the other flavors disappear. The final third has more cedar, soil, pepper, and spices. There is also a little nuttiness. All balanced though, but strong.

The draw is fine, no complaints there. The burn is straight as an arrow. The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The light blue smoke has a good volume, yet it could be a tad thicker. This cigar is full-bodied, medium-full flavored. The strength does pack a lot of nicotine and can cause a light-headed feeling. The smoke time is one hour and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Once in a while

Categories: 89, Nicaraguan cigars, Royal Danish | Tags: , , ,

San Jeronimo Habano Natural Robusto

San Jeronimo Habano Natural Robusto. A cigar distributed by Kafie Cigars, yet it’s not produced at Tabacalera Kafie y Cia. San Jerónimo is the oldest brand in existence in Honduras. It gets its name from a tobacco-producing region. According to the owner, Oscar Orlando Ferrera, the brand is around since the 1940s.

The San Jeronimo Habano Natural Robusto is a classic Robusto. That means 5×50. The filler tobaccos are from Nicaragua and Honduras. The binder is Honduran while the wrapper comes from Ecuador. The other two blends of San Jeronimo are a Connecticut and a Maduro. The artwork on all three cigars is the same, except for a different color foot ring.

The cigar feels a bit light. But that should not be an issue. The wrapper is decent, with some sparkles of minerals. It’s slightly oily and has a few veins. It’s Colorado colored. The construction feels good. As for the ring, what goes for the San Jeronimo Maduro goes for the San Jeronimo Habano as well, as the rings are identical. The golden outlines are too thick and don’t fit with the picture of the tobacco fields. The color scheme is off. And the picture is too detailed to be printed on a small ring to look good. The aroma is strong, very strong, and surprising. It’s all milk chocolate.

The milk chocolate is mildly present in the cold draw, but spicy straw is more prominent. The cold draw gives a good air resistance though. But once the cigar is lit, the milk chocolate is clearly noticeable again. There are a slight acidity and dry yet soft young wood. Then all of a sudden there is a toffee flavor, extremely unusual but quite nice. There is also a little spice. The sweetness is getting stronger and slightly creamy. Halfway the cigar is sweet, yet tangy. Like a sweet and sour Asian dish, but without the carbs from the rice. The balance is there, with a little spice. In the final third, the cigar has wood, leather, earthiness but with plenty of sweetness as well. A little rough around the edges, but that adds character. There are also dark spices in the flavor profile

The draw is great. The pepper and salt colored ash isn’t very firm. But the burn is great, and so is the smoke. This cigar has balance, it’s quite smooth but there is also a rough edge that gives it character. It is medium in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, San Jeronimo, Tabacalera Kafie y Cia | Tags: , , , ,

Drew Estate BOTL Lancero

Drew Estate BOTL Lancero. The online community Brothers of the Leaf aka botl.org. Starting in 2010, some manufacturers work with the community and release limited edition cigars. PDR was the first, with Drew Estate following two years later. Since 2013, Drew Estate released several versions of the BOTL.

In 2020, Drew Estate released three sizes for botl. The cigar has an American Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. There is an Ecuadorian Connecticut binder. The filler comes from Nicaragua. It is available in three sizes, Corona, Corona Gorda, and this 7×38 Lancero

This is not the prettiest cigar. But then again, most Connecticut Broadleaf cigars aren’t the prettiest in the humidor. The harsh sun is beating down on the plants every day, and just like the human skin, tobacco leaves start to look weathered under that constant violence from Mother Nature. But it fits the cigar, a thick oily rough looking wrapper, very dark with some rough veins. Add in the brown and copper-colored band with BOTL printed on it, and it does look appealing. The construction feels good. The aroma is a mixture of floral aromas and dark chocolate.

The cold draw is good. There is a spicy raw tobacco flavor in the cold draw. After lighting it’s very dark chocolate, like 85% or higher. The chocolate remains the main flavor but after a while, little floral flavors, vanilla bean sweetness, and a hint of the leather show up. Slowly towards the second third, there is a spice joining as well. There is coffee beneath the dark chocolate flavor too. The sweetness gets stronger while the dark chocolate bitterness tones down a bit. But it does not disappear. 

The ash is white as the hair of Gandalf. The smoke is a classic Drew Estate. That means thick, white, and a lot. The draw is great. The burn is straight as an arrow. This cigar isn’t as heavy as the appearance might suggest. It’s medium to medium-full in body and flavor. Well, balanced and the sweetness makes it very palatable. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

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

La Sagrada Familia Sun Grown Toro

La Sagrada Familia Sun Grown Toro. Early 2017, Dutch entrepreneur and cigar aficionado Tom Mulder launched his La Sagrada Familia brand. As a passionate cigar enthusiast, Mulder thought about starting a brand. With help from his long-time friend Sasja van Horssen, he got in touch with Joya de Nicaragua. After a trip to Nicaragua and smoking several test blends, La Sagrada Familia was born.

The first blend is a cigar with Nicaraguan filler and binder. The wrapper is Habano from Ecuador. The cigars are popular in Tom’s home country The Netherlands. But when he left a few cigars at a cigar bar in Malaysia during a vacation, Malaysian cigar connoisseurs begged a distributor to carry the brand as well. And now the cigars are also available in Germany. Mulder isn’t looking for quick expansion but is adding more countries slowly.

The cigar looks good. A nice oily Colorado colored wrapper, without any thick veins. A simple ring, yet recognizable and clean in design. White, blue, and silver-gray. The cigar feels good. No detectable plugs of soft spots. The aroma is strong, deep, and intense. Spices, earthy, yet with some sweetness.

The cold draw is perfect. It leaves a spicy, mildly peppery, raising flavor on the palate. The cigar is mild earthy, mildly spicy but the main flavor is a creamy latte. The mouthfeel turns dry. As far as flavors go, some sawdust, caramel, spice, and leather show up. A little vinegar binds the flavors together. The coffee flavor remains, with some leather and hay. Then nutmeg and chocolate show up. At the end of the first third, the cigar has cedar, leather, coffee, pepper, and spices. The coffee remains in the second third, but now with a stronger acidity. The acidity mellows out, leaving more coffee, spice, and a little pepper to shine. The final third has more character. More wood, more leather, little earthiness. Some sweetness in the retrohale. There is a nice dose of pepper as well. All flavors are getting stronger.

The draw is flawless. The white ash is firm. The smoke is thick, white, and full. The burn is razor-sharp. It’s a medium-bodied, medium-full-flavored cigar growing to medium-full in strength. Well balanced and smooth. But the cigar loses character after a year of aging, so we suggest to smoke them when they are on the younger side. The last third had that character that was lacking in the first part. The smoke time is three hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

Categories: 92, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, La Sagrada Familia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

RoMa Craft Neanderthal SGP

RoMa Craft Neanderthal SGP. This cigar was originally released as an annual limited edition for Riverside Cigar Shop and Lounge of Jeffersonville, Ind. and Serious Cigars of Houston, Texas. But the cigar is now available at more retailers. The first time the cigar was seen was at the IPCPR trade show in 2014. The Neanderthal was a new release that year with one regular production size and this size limited to two stores and a total production of 250 boxes a year. The line has grown to more sizes since then.

This 4¼x52 vitola is made with tobacco from four different countries. The outside is a Mexican wrapper from San Andres. Underneath is an American grown Connecticut Broadleaf binder. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and The United States. Pennsylvania to be more precise. And it is a double Ligero, which is dubbed Green River Sucker One. It contains two to three times more nicotine than Ligero grown in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The cigar looks great. The head is flat as a dime, which is a unique feature for RoMa Craft. As far as we can recall, this is the only company that flattens the head like this. The wrapper is dark, oily, and smooth. The ring doesn’t have letters but the neanderthal name is embossed. The only thing printed on the label is a small RoMa Craft logo. The construction feels perfect. The cigar has a strong aroma. Charred wood, barnyard, and spices.

The cold draw is fantastic. Mild spicy, with great air resistance. Straight from the start, the power flexes its muscles. Coffee, leather, earthiness, pepper, and spice. Or, as Skip Martin would say “well-fermented tobacco”. Slowly more flavors develop. Sweetness, with smokey hickory flavors, almost like a barbecue. With pepper, earthiness, coffee, and leather. Leather, hickory, spices, and pepper remain the main flavors. The flavors turn more to leather and wood with pepper around the halfway point. With a dry mouthfeel. The flavors don’t really change after that. But it’s still a darn tasty cigar.

The draw is great, just like the burn. The cigar produces a lot of smoke, thick, white smoke. The pepper and salt colored ash is reasonably firm. The cigar is strong. It is full-bodied without a doubt. But still balanced. The flavors are full as well. The smoking time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes.

Categories: 92, Nica Sueno, Nicaraguan cigars, RomaCraft | Tags: , , , , ,

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