Author Archives: cigarguide

Tatuaje Monster Mummy

It’s almost halloween, monster time, a yearly occurrence where grown ups dress up in scary or funny costumes, decorate their houses and where kids go trick or treat. It’s a typical American thing, thank god, although its spreading worldwide like an epidemic. And as you probably get from the intro I am not a big fan of Halloween. Here in The Netherlands we do have a similar thing called Carnaval, but again thank god, not in the area where I live but in the south of the country people dress up in weird costumes and get hammered for 5 days in a row, hold parades, cheat on their significant others and contract STD’s every year late winter and I hate it. Been there once to participate and didn’t like it at all. How about the kids you might ask? Well, on the 11th of the 11th, we call that Sint Maarten, they go trick or treat with little lanterns, singing songs and I love that.


But I found a good use for Halloween this year, since its about monsters I broke the seal on my Tatuaje Mummy, that’s the 2012 Monster Series version. I didn’t have the dress box, it comes from a plain box and it was the first year the Monster cigars officially made it to Europe, plain boxes only though. The only time a dress box made it to Europe was the Jekyll, the Tatuaje Monster of 2014 and we have only seen the 2012, 2013 and 2014 versions on the European market. This 7 3/4×47 long cigar is a Nicaraguan puro with a sun grown criollo wrapper and the blend is based on the Tatuaje Black Label, which is a cigar I love.


When I release the cigar from the cellophane wrapper I notice the closed foot and the brittle feel of the wrapper. The wrapper has a nice darkness to it and is rustic at the bottom half, the top half is more smooth and has a mild oily shine. The construction feels very good. The aroma is strong, a deep and dark manure smell. Then we come to the ring, Tatuaje always has very simple, slim rings and this cigar isn’t an exemption to the rule. Its gray with white lettering, the cursive Tatuaje as seen on all Tatuaje rings with thick letters MONSTER and HALLOWEEN on each side and the PHJ logo on the back of the ring.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is great, the right amount or resistance in air flow. I taste a medium strong pepper with a little lemon edge. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and I taste coffee, pepper and lemon with a little sugar like sweetness. The pepper slowly gets stronger. After an inch it’s all pepper with a lemon aftertaste but it’s not a super strong and overpowering pepper. After a third the peper does get that strong but with some cedar and a hint of cinnamon as a base flavor. The aftertaste is still a little lemon like acidic. Halfway the pepper mellows out a bit and the woody and cinnamon background gets more predominant. In the aftertaste I now get a little freshness. After two thirds i taste some nuts too, pecan and macadamia, with the pepper, a little lemon and the freshness.


The draw is perfect and the white smoke is thick and plentiful, like the Vatican when a new pope is elected. The ash is light gray with dark smears, dense and firm. The burn is almost straight. The cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is a little short for a long cigar, only an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? It was a limited edition from 2012 so that would be impossible. The cigar lost some points on esthetics but flavor wise I loved it.

Score: 88
88

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Categories: 88, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Xiphos CR Short Panatella

Xiphos, I read the name here and there in the cigar groups on Facebook but I didn’t really know much about the brand, the cigars, where they were made, blends, the idea behind the cigars. Until earlier this month, when I recieved a box from a very generous sender who wanted my opinion on the cigars. I got a nice jar with five different types of cigars, all in a pair and even three of these small Xiphos CR short panatella.


The CR Short Panatella is made in Costa Rica as you might have guessed from the CR in the name, in a place called Puriscal. Now my geography of Costa Rica is a bit rusty so I’ll google where that is after reviewing the cigar. The cigar is rolled Cuban sandwich style, 60% of the leaves used are longfiller, the remaining 40% is short filler. The filler consists for Peruvian, Nicaraguan and Dominican tobacco with a Peruvian binder and Connecticut wrapper from Ecuador.


Just from looking at the wrapper you wouldn’t think its a Connecticut wrapper as it has a nice medium brown color and it’s quite oily and smooth. The ring is shiny, blue with silver decorations in Greek style and the Xiphos name in Greek letters. A nice detail, the X in Xiphos is made out of swords, and Xiphos is the greek word for sword. The construction feels good, no soft spots and the cigar bounces nice back when I gently squeeze it. The cigar has a nice fresh hay smell with a little acidity to it.


I cut the cigar and the cold draw is perfect and I taste a like tea. After lighting with my Ronson varaflame I taste coffee, cinnamon and some cream. After a centimeter I taste a creamy cedar with a little lime. Halfway I also taste a little pepper. The pepper disappears while the cigar picks up a little strength, I still taste a creamy cedar flavor but now with a hint of vanilla in the aftertaste.


The draw is great, no flaws here. The amount of smoke is amazing from a small, short, Cuban sandwich cigar. The white ash isn’t that fork but that’s not expected from a thin Cuban sandwich. The burn is great. I would call this cigar mild to medium bodied and medium flavored, it’s smooth. The smoke time surprised me, much longer than I expected with an hour and five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? This is a great morning smoke.

Score:  90
number90

Categories: 90, Costa Rican cigars, Puriscal Factory of Tobaccos, Xiphos | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Viaje Zombie Super Shot

Its almost halloween, the time for monsters and zombies. Now zombies are a very American thing I think, nowhere in the world are so many people believing that a zombie outbreak could really occur, nowhere in the world are people preparing so much against a zombie outbreak and even the American government has zombie battle plans. As a rational European being that is hilarious. I remember I was in Orlando a few years ago, at Corona Cigar Downtown location and a group of people, dressed as zombies walked by. It was right at the time that the Russians were about to invade Ukraine for the Krim area and when another cigar aficionado, that those zombies tried to scare, laughed them off, the zombie seriously said “but when the Russians drop the bomb on the Ukraine we will all turn into zombies”. I was shocked for two reasons, the first that someone could actually believe that and the second that an American citizen had a clue what was going on in the world. And it made me realize that if I am wrong and a zombie apocalypse will happen a lot of people will get killed just because they will sit and laugh when the zombies appear thinking it are actors, just like what happened in Orlando.


I must admit, I never had much for zombie movies or tv shows but that changed after the arrival of The Walking Dead, I am hooked on that show and on the spin off Fear the Walking Dead, although the first season of the Fear the Walking Dead was difficult to get through, but it got much better. And I’m not the only one, it has been a hit from day one and zombies are more popular then ever. We even saw some cigars smoked in the show and the Abraham character is a known cigar smoker in real life. As zombies are popular, so is the merchandise and everything zombie related. Now I don’t know if Andre Farkas from Viaje got his inspiration there but he has had a zombie line since 2011, a year after The Walking Dead appeared. And he also had a line called Super Shot, a shotgun shell sized cigar in a cardboard old style shotgun shell box.


In 2013 he combined the two with the Zombie Super Shot, the Zombie blend in the Super Shot size. He kept the box style packaging but now with a Zombie on the outside and a bullet hole in the head of the zombie when you open the box. Even though this cigar is made at Raices Cubanas in Honduras it is a Nicaraguan puro with a Nicaraguan Criollo 98 wrapper. The size is exactly like the smallest of the Nubs, the original ‘short and fat’ cigar, 3 1/2×54 and thats about as thick as it should get in my humble opinion, I’m not a fan of thick cigars. Once I open the box I see short dark cigars, darker than I expected, a little smudged dark wrapper with a few thin veins and a closed foot, I checked a few but on none of them the triple cap was applied nicely. The construction feels good though. As the cigars have no ring I will score the colorful box with the zombie and the combined Zombie and Super Shot logos and I like it, its something else than a wooden box or a cellophane or paper bundle, I like the detail that the box opening is a bullethole in the zombie’s head. Very creative work. The aroma is quite strange but not too strong, it smells a bit like mild peppery licorice.


I punched the cigar to find a surprisingly good cold draw, I expected it to be tight due to the closed foot. I taste some raisin with a mild spices aftertaste. I lit the cigar with a soft flame. I taste coffee with earthy notes and after a few puffs some pepper too. After that I also taste spices, a bit vanilla and nutmeg. Halfway I taste earthy smoked flavors with some pepper and a little bit of citrus twang. The pepper is getting stronger, much stronger. The coffee returns a little later still with the pepper. The pepper mellows out and then I taste earthy flavors and nuts until the end.


The smoke is thick, white and decent in amount. The draw is great. The burn is oke, not perfect though and the dark ash is frayed yet firm. The cigar is medium bodied and full flavored. Even though it’s a small cigar it lasted me an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Impossible

Score: 90
90

Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas, Viaje | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Ortega Wild Bunch Da Byrdman Boys Club

Eddie Ortega is a cigar industry veteran and in his years in the industry he met a lot of characters so in 2012 he came up with this idea of a limited edition each month for 2013, all named after one of the characters he met along his journey through the tobacco industry and he named them the Dirty Dozen. Then Drew Estate amicably asked him to change the name just as they did with Alec Bradley’s dirty hooligan because of their Dirty Rat cigar and just like Alan Rubin before Ortega decided to change the name into the Wild Bunch, but the idea stayed the same.

Now these were all micro releases and by the time I visited the USA a lot of them were sold out so I won’t be reviewing the whole series, just the ones that I was able to get my hands on and still have in my possession. I miss a few, namely Crazy Jack, Honest Abe, Tony the Boss, Warrior Joe and Big Bad John although I reviewed the Crazy Jack before in my old rating system. I will post the 7 other reviews in line, one each day, for the next week.

Da Byrdman Boys club

 


The november edition, and unfortunately the last of the one Wild Bunch series I have, is named after Ashley Byrd, co-founder of the B&B cigar club in Washington. It’s a 6×54 Toro Gordo with a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper over Nicaraguan tobaccos. The wrapper is dark, I can see some stripper glitter from the minerals but also two thick veins. The construction feels good and the ring is consistent with the rest of the series, I like them very much, all of them. The aroma is a strong stable aroma with ammonia like the hay is drenched in urine and is in dire need of replacement.

 


I punched the cigar and get a great cold draw with a sultana flavor. After lighting I taste a spiced coffee. After a few puffs the cigar is floral and vanilla sweet. After a third the cigar changes, now I taste dry herbs with still vanilla. The cigar stays dry and turns to dry wood, mild spicy, cumin and peppery.

 


The draw is fantastic. The firm ash is light gray. The white smoke is thick and full. The burn is straight as can be. This cigar is medium plus bodied and full flavored with a nice evolution. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

 


Would I buy this cigar again? Again that would be impossible.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Ortega | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ortega Wild Bunch Gearhead Gary Crankshaft

Eddie Ortega is a cigar industry veteran and in his years in the industry he met a lot of characters so in 2012 he came up with this idea of a limited edition each month for 2013, all named after one of the characters he met along his journey through the tobacco industry and he named them the Dirty Dozen. Then Drew Estate amicably asked him to change the name just as they did with Alec Bradley’s dirty hooligan because of their Dirty Rat cigar and just like Alan Rubin before Ortega decided to change the name into the Wild Bunch, but the idea stayed the same.

Now these were all micro releases and by the time I visited the USA a lot of them were sold out so I won’t be reviewing the whole series, just the ones that I was able to get my hands on and still have in my possession. I miss a few, namely Crazy Jack, Honest Abe, Tony the Boss, Warrior Joe and Big Bad John although I reviewed the Crazy Jack before in my old rating system. I will post the 7 other reviews in line, one each day, for the next week.

Gearhead Gary Crankshaft


September brought us the Wild Bunch Gearhead Gary Crankshaft, a 6×52 torpedo with a Habano Maduro wrapper from Ecuador over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The wrapper has the color of autumn leaves and is oily. The ring fits the rest of the series and the cigar feels well packed, the shape of the torpedo is flawless. The cigar doesn’t only have the look of autumn leaves, it even smells like a forest in the fall, I imagine an early morning hike and smelling this.


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is a little on the loose side. I taste a mild spicy hay with a peppery aftertaste. After lighting I taste a full coffee with cedar and some sweetness. The sweetness is getting stronger quickly. After a third I taste spices and herbs with a little metallic aftertaste. Halfway the cigar gets a nutmeg and fennel flavor. The final third starts sweet again but with cedar and spices. Near the end I get a dry feeling in my mouth with dried herbs as flavor with some floral notes.


The draw is a little easy but within margins. The smoke is thick and full. The light colored ash is quite firm. The burn is straight. I would call this cigar medium full flavored. The smoke time is two hours.


Would I buy this cigar again? Impossible, but I would like to.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Ortega | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ortega Wild Bunch Fast Eddie Eight Ball

Ortega Wild Bunch
Eddie Ortega is a cigar industry veteran and in his years in the industry he met a lot of characters so in 2012 he came up with this idea of a limited edition each month for 2013, all named after one of the characters he met along his journey through the tobacco industry and he named them the Dirty Dozen. Then Drew Estate amicably asked him to change the name just as they did with Alec Bradley’s dirty hooligan because of their Dirty Rat cigar and just like Alan Rubin before Ortega decided to change the name into the Wild Bunch, but the idea stayed the same.

Now these were all micro releases and by the time I visited the USA a lot of them were sold out so I won’t be reviewing the whole series, just the ones that I was able to get my hands on and still have in my possession. I miss a few, namely Crazy Jack, Honest Abe, Tony the Boss, Warrior Joe and Big Bad John although I reviewed the Crazy Jack before in my old rating system. I will post the 7 other reviews in line, one each day, for the next week.

Fast Eddie Eight Ball


Is it a faith or just a stroke of coincidence that the Fast Eddie is released in August? I mean, August is my birth month and Fast Eddie is a 6 1/2×38 Lancero, my favorite vitola. Made with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler this cigar is the thinest of the series. The ring is in the same style as the others and has an 8 ball between Fast and Eddie on the banner. The wrapper has a sharp vein on the top half, a beautiful pig tail and a beautiful dark chocolate color with a leather look. The cigar feels well packed. The aroma is medium full, a little ammonia with dry grass and a hint of barnyard.


Due to the thin ring I could not punch the cigar so I cut it. The cold draw is fine, I taste spicy sultana. After lighting I taste a nice medium strong spice mix with a little pepper in the aftertaste. The flavor is smooth and slowly turns to toast, chocolate with nutmeg and a little pepper. Halfway the cigar gets a floral flavor with some toast and a mild pepper. Near the end the pepper grows.


The draw is good and the ash is white, dense and firm. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness.  The cigar is medium bodied and medium to full flavored, subtle and complex with a good burn. The smoke time of this smooth cigar is an hour and forty five minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? If only that was possible

Score: 92
number92

 

Categories: 92, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Ortega | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ortega Wild Bunch Wild Bill Cheroot

Eddie Ortega is a cigar industry veteran and in his years in the industry he met a lot of characters so in 2012 he came up with this idea of a limited edition each month for 2013, all named after one of the characters he met along his journey through the tobacco industry and he named them the Dirty Dozen. Then Drew Estate amicably asked him to change the name just as they did with Alec Bradley’s dirty hooligan because of their Dirty Rat cigar and just like Alan Rubin before Ortega decided to change the name into the Wild Bunch, but the idea stayed the same.

Now these were all micro releases and by the time I visited the USA a lot of them were sold out so I won’t be reviewing the whole series, just the ones that I was able to get my hands on and still have in my possession. I miss a few, namely Crazy Jack, Honest Abe, Tony the Boss, Warrior Joe and Big Bad John although I reviewed the Crazy Jack before in my old rating system. I will post the 7 other reviews in line, one each day, for the next week.

 

Wild Bill Cheroot


Wild Bill Cheroot is a 6×46 Corona Gorda with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper around Nicaraguan filler and binder. The ring is in the same style and with an ace of spades between Wild & Bill at the bottom banner. The wrapper is nice dark with a thin vein, quite oily and a velvet feel. The cigar feels well packed and the little pig tail makes the cigar a looker. The aroma is quite strong and smells a lot like a spice mix that you smell when you’re walking passed Asian street food in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia or Singapore.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is flawless and mild spicy. After lighting I taste a nice spiced coffee. The flavor changes to a pleasant toast with spices, pepper and vanilla. The flavors are very smooth and balanced. Halfway the pepper grows in strength. Slowly a mild acidity shows up too. The pepper becomes really strong and overpowering, that it disturbs the balance.


The draw is amazing and it results in a thick full smoke. The salt and pepper colored ash is quite firm. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The burn is good. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a nice cigar and if I would be able to get a few I would, but would smoke them in the morning.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Ortega | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ortega Wild Bunch Dandy McCoy Empire State

Eddie Ortega is a cigar industry veteran and in his years in the industry he met a lot of characters so in 2012 he came up with this idea of a limited edition each month for 2013, all named after one of the characters he met along his journey through the tobacco industry and he named them the Dirty Dozen. Then Drew Estate amicably asked him to change the name just as they did with Alec Bradley’s dirty hooligan because of their Dirty Rat cigar and just like Alan Rubin before Ortega decided to change the name into the Wild Bunch, but the idea stayed the same.

Now these were all micro releases and by the time I visited the USA a lot of them were sold out so I won’t be reviewing the whole series, just the ones that I was able to get my hands on and still have in my possession. I miss a few, namely Crazy Jack, Honest Abe, Tony the Boss, Warrior Joe and Big Bad John although I reviewed the Crazy Jack before in my old rating system. I will post the 7 other reviews in line, one each day, for the next week.

Dandy McCoy Empire State


The may release of the Wild Bunch is the Dandy McCoy, a 6×48 box pressed toro with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and filler from Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua. The wrapper is dark, has clear veins and a lot of tooth, it feels like leather and looks a bit like it too. The ring has a cartoon of Mr. McCoy, and I have to admit, I have no idea who this is based on, in the same style as the other releases. The cigar feels a little under filled to be honest but the smoke time should tell of it is or not. The aroma is medium full, slightly acidic and woody.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is great. I taste floral flavors, mild and fresh. After lighting I taste a mixture of coffee, hay and toast. Soon I taste toast with sweetness, like sugar water. The second third the cigar starts to feel dry with sweetness, nutmeg, carrot and straw. Halfway I taste coffee again with some dark chocolate. There is a honey like sweetness.


The draw is amazing and the smoke is thick, full and white. The firm ash is gray and leans to the side. The burn is even. The medium bodied, full flavored cigar has a smoke time of an hour and fifteen minutes.

Ortega
Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, not the best Wild Bunch.

Score: 90
number90

Categories: 90, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Ortega | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ortega Wild Bunch Island Jim Wahoo

Eddie Ortega is a cigar industry veteran and in his years in the industry he met a lot of characters so in 2012 he came up with this idea of a limited edition each month for 2013, all named after one of the characters he met along his journey through the tobacco industry and he named them the Dirty Dozen. Then Drew Estate amicably asked him to change the name just as they did with Alec Bradley’s dirty hooligan because of their Dirty Rat cigar and just like Alan Rubin before Ortega decided to change the name into the Wild Bunch, but the idea stayed the same.

Now these were all micro releases and by the time I visited the USA a lot of them were sold out so I won’t be reviewing the whole series, just the ones that I was able to get my hands on and still have in my possession. I miss a few, namely Crazy Jack, Honest Abe, Tony the Boss, Warrior Joe and Big Bad John although I reviewed the Crazy Jack before in my old rating system. I will post the 7 other reviews in line, one each day, for the next week.

Island Jim Wahoo


The march release of the wild bunch is a tribute to Island Jim Robinson, a shop owner in Pittsburgh. The cigar is a 6 1/2×52 toro that is made at My Father Cigars with Nicaraguan filler and binder and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The wrapper has a nice coffee color with some darker smudges and flattened veins, it’s quite oily. The construction gives a little and the cap is placed perfectly. The ring is in the same style as the Iron Mike one, so red with a blue cartoon, this time of Island Jim and a banner with the name. For the banner color Cigart picked a light yellow. The cigar has a strong aroma of hay and ammonia.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is great, I taste sultanas. After lighting I taste a fresh coffee flavor.  After half an inch I taste a floral flavor. The floral flavor gets stronger with a little spice and citrus. After a third the cigar gets peppery with honey. Halfway I taste a muted cedar with lemon. The pepper fades away and after a third I taste cedar, wood, fennel and some anise.


The draw is great. The ash is almost white, dense and firm. The burn is good and the smoke is medium full. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored with a decent evolution. The smoke time is an hour and fifty minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? That’s impossible.

Score: 89
number89

 

Categories: 89, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Ortega | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ortega Wild Bunch Iron Mike I-Beam

Eddie Ortega is a cigar industry veteran and in his years in the industry he met a lot of characters so in 2012 he came up with this idea of a limited edition each month for 2013, all named after one of the characters he met along his journey through the tobacco industry and he named them the Dirty Dozen. Then Drew Estate amicably asked him to change the name just as they did with Alec Bradley’s dirty hooligan because of their Dirty Rat cigar and just like Alan Rubin before Ortega decided to change the name into the Wild Bunch, but the idea stayed the same.

Now these were all micro releases and by the time I visited the USA a lot of them were sold out so I won’t be reviewing the whole series, just the ones that I was able to get my hands on and still have in my possession. I miss a few, namely Crazy Jack, Honest Abe, Tony the Boss, Warrior Joe and Big Bad John although I reviewed the Crazy Jack before in my old rating system. I will post the 7 other reviews in line, one each day, for the next week.

Iron Mike I-Beam


Iron Mike was the february release and the blend of this 4 4/7×54 robusto gordo is made out of all Nicaraguan tobacco with a Habano Oscuro wrapper. The cigar is made at My Father Cigars in Esteli. The cigar is dark and smudgy with a lot of tooth, it feels like sandpaper and leather. There is a small dent in the construction after a third but the cigar looks well shaped with a nice cap. The rings are all great, created by cigars, rd with a silver banner with the name of the cigar at the bottom and a cartoon Iron Mike in the centre. The medium full smell is a little acidic, ammonia with straw.


I decided to punch. The cold draw is perfect and tastes like well fermented tobacco with a little spice. After lighting with a cheap flame classic soft flame lighter I taste coffee. After half an inch the coffee is gone and I taste pepper with cream. The flavors are mild and feel muted, like there is something holding them back. Halfway the pepper turns mild with some cilantro and chocolate.


The draw is a little on the loose side. The white smoke is thick and full. The grainy ash is light gray, close to white, once the ash breaks it becomes very flaky. The burn is great, straight as can be. The cigar is medium bodied yet mild to medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minu


Would I buy this cigar again? Impossible, but if I could I wouldn’t.

Score: 87
number87

Categories: 87, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Ortega | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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