Cigars by brand

Viking Valhalla Robusto

Viking is the brand of the Norwegian cigar distributor Hakon Aanonsen. His company sigar.com has been distributing cigars for over two decades in Norway and previously Aanonsen owned the brands Amero, Chess, and Hawk. Those brands were made by a small factory in the Dominican Republic and the project failed.


Aanonsen tried again, but this time with a new concept and a new factory. Ernesto Perez Carrillo is the manufacturer of the cigars and with the Viking brand, the Norwegian heritage is celebrated. First, there were the Viking, Norseman and the Nordic Warrior. Now there is a new blend, Valhalla.

The ring is a tin alloy, just like on the other Viking cigars. It is just not as detailed as the other Viking rings. Black and gold, with a two-headed goat. The cigar has a small pigtail. The wrapper is deep dark brown with no visible veins. There is a medium-strong aroma. The smell is located in the animal section of the flavor wheel, horse, cow, leather, those kinds of smells.


The cold draw is a bit loose with raw tobacco flavors. After lighting, I taste cinnamon, coffee, and earth. There a faint vanilla flavor as well. I also taste dried leaves. Quite quickly the flavors turn floral with spice, a bit harsh though and unrefined. After a third it’s still a floral cigar, but with a lot of pepper and some vanilla. Still a little rough and unrefined. Halfway the cigar becomes less harsh, more balanced with some wood, pepper, spices, and grass. In the second third, I taste carrots, raw carrots. With pepper. And the cigar turns to a wood, earth and leather flavor profile, with a little bit of pleasant chocolate. The chocolate is creamy.


The draw is quite loose and I had to correct the burn several times. The smoke is thick and plentiful. The ash is salt and pepper colored, it’s firm and dense. I would say this cigar is medium-full, both in body and flavor. The smoke time is about an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? I think I will stick to the Viking Viking blend or the Nordic Warrior

number87

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Categories: 87, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera La Alianza, Viking | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Casa de Torres Edicion Especial Robusto

This Casa de Torres brand is a 20+-year-old brand, created by the German cigar manufacturer and distributor Schuster. They make dry cured short filler cigars out of Bunde, Germany but also have premium cigars made in Honduras under the Maria Mancini brand and these Casa de Torres in Nicaragua. The Casa de Torres Edicion Especial was released in 2006.

The brand is only for sale in a few countries, but the biggest fanbase is located in Germany, the home turf of Schuster.

The twentieth year of the brand was celebrated with a limited edition made at Nica Sueños, the factory owned by RoMa Craft although the regular production cigars are made in an undisclosed factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The binder and filler are Nicaraguan, the wrapper is Costa Rican and the cigars are very nicely priced.


The cigar has a medium brown color, a little darker than hay. The shape is good, the wrapper doesn’t have any big, ugly veins. The ring, white, blue and gold is clean, simple and good looking due to great printing quality. The cigar has a nice medium-strong aroma of a forest after a rainfall.


The cold draw is great, with a spicy raw tobacco flavor. After lighting the cigar is spicy, with grass and hay before I taste some leather and a bit of salt. Some sweetness is showing up which reminded me of icing sugar. The sweetness stays where the other flavors disappear, or better, get replaced by cedar with some pepper. The pepper is slowly growing and the grass returns, yet all still covered in that icing sugar. After a third, there’s herbs, pepper, and a very mild nutty flavor. A few puffs later, I taste some soil and vanilla with the herbs, spices, and sweetness. The final third has leather, sweetness, some cedar, spice, and pepper, all mildly salty. The finale is peppery with lots of wood.

The draw is amazing. The silver-gray ash is firm and dense. The smoke is quite thick. The cigar is medium bodied, medium-full flavored. And with the (fixed) price of € 5,10 in Germany, it’s a steal. The evolution is alright, the cigar is better than what I expected for the price. The smoke time is one hour and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a fine budget cigar.

number90

Categories: 90, Casa de Torres, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Balmoral Añejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Massivo

Since Balmoral started with the Añejo series, several releases have been done. It started with the Añejo 18, which got a follow-up release a year later in another vital. Then the Añejo XO was launched. An Oscuro version came on the market and now a Connecticut version. It was launched in the USA in 2018, and in 2019, some European countries saw the cigars appear.


The wrapper is American grown Connecticut Shade. From the Connecticut River Valley. As a binder, Indonesian Sumatra was used. And the filler for this blend comes from Pennsylvania, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. The Brazilian tobacco comes from the Mata Norte region and is one of the more exclusive Brazilian tobaccos.

The wrapper is pale. It has a cheesy brownish color. The bright white and blue ring, with the embossed gold letters, is clean and contemporary. The cigar feels well constructed, the triple cap is nice. The cigar has a strong aroma. It smells like fresh cut young wood, pepper and sawdust.

The cold draw is good, with a mild tobacco flavor. After lighting, I taste a sweet young wood flavor, mildly bitter. Then a mild peppery harshness shows up too. I taste a strong dry leather flavor as well, with wood. After half a centimeter my fear becomes reality. That slightly sweet yet clearly musty flavor that is typical with Connecticut Shade wrappers shows up. I also taste some cinnamon. The cigar has young wood, leather, cinnamon, pepper, salt, and that mustiness. The flavors are balanced, nuanced and there is plenty of dynamics going on. In the final third, I still taste a mixture of the flavors mentioned above, but with a growing pepper and peanut. The peanut flavor disappears quickly. The finale lacks pepper, but taste more grassy and leathery.


The draw is great. The smoke is very thick, and a lot when it comes to volume. The burn is razor sharp. The ash is dense but breaks off easily. The cigar is mild to medium in body, medium-full flavored. The blend is fantastic if it wasn’t for my personal hatred towards the mustiness.

Would I buy this cigar again? Due to the mustiness, no. But it is an interesting blend with perfect construction

number91

Categories: 91, Agio Caribbean Tobacco Company, Balmoral, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Revolution Robusto

A while ago I got myself a Revolution sampler, Mexican cigars by Turrent. The sampler contained a short robusto, a robusto, and a toro. I reviewed the short robusto, now I’m smoking the robusto and later on, I will review the toro to see how much difference there is between one blend in different sizes, although the ring gauge is all within the 52-56 range.

The cigar leans heavy on Mexican tobacco. The wrapper is San Andres Habano, the binder is San Andr

es Corojo. The filler is a mixture of Mexican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. The robusto is 5¼x56 in size. Which is quite thick for a robusto. And thicker than I usually smoke, considering my love for skinny cigars.

The wrapper looks rough, dry and with veins. Since it’s Mexican, I might compare it to Danny Trejo, who’s also a tough looking, scarred Mexican. But at least he’s a great actor, and after smoking the Short Robusto, I can’t say this is a good cigar. The same cheap looking ring. The aroma is quite strong, wood, old wood is what I get. The construction feels good.

The cold draw is good, with a slight metallic flavor and some cinnamon. I immediately get hit with a floral, earthy flavor but flowers gone bad. There’s some sour cinnamon as well, and it burns on the tip of my tongue. I taste sugar at the back of my throat. Then the flavors change to cinnamon and pine. There’s some red pepper in the flavor as well. The second third starts with that cinnamon again, pepper, vanilla, and leather. The flavors are slightly harsh, unrefined. Halfway I taste salty licorice with some sourness. Still unrefined though. Slowly the cigar is getting harsh again. The flavors are now earthy, leathery and dark wood. The final third starts very peppery. And the pepper grows a lot in strength, it’s bold, unrefined, strong and it bites my lips. On the background, I taste that cinnamon sweetness.


The burn is a bit wonky. The ash is black and white. The ash is quite firm. The draw is good. There is an evolution in the cigar, but it’s unbalanced. This is a medium bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. The smoke time is two hours

Would I buy this cigar again? No

number82

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

My Father La Opulencia Robusto

My Father Cigars is one of my favorite factories. Most of the cigars they make, whether it is for their own company, for Tatuaje, for Ashton, for Crowned Heads or other I like them. And I have been lucky enough to have visited the factory on multiple occasions. And I had an amazing dinner on the hacienda of My Father Cigars, surrounded by tobacco fields. Sweet memories that make me only appreciate their cigars more.

The La Opulencia has Nicaraguan Corojo, Criollo, and Habano as filler. There’s a double binder, Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo. The wrapper is from Ecuador, it’s a Rosado Oscuro type of leaf. I smoked the robusto and my expectations were high. Since I’m a fan, and I had never smoked this one before, I was really looking forward to it. The artwork on the box comes from the old La Opulencia brand, which is a discontinued Cuban brand. The artwork is from the late 1800s and it fits with the themes My Father chose for Antiguedad, Flor de Las Antillas and La Gran Offerte which are also discontinued Cuban brands. For those lines, the original artwork was used too.


The cigar looks good, with its dark wrapper. The wrapper feels like velvet. The aroma is strong, soil, barnyard, forest kind of aromas. The cigar has a green, cloth, food band to protect the foot of the cigar. The regular, pinkish, my father ring is on top with a secondary ring in the same style. The secondary ring carries the name La Opulencia. The construction feels great, the triple cap is beautiful.

The cold draw is perfect. The cigar has a little spice, yet a quite dry tobacco aroma. Straight from the start, I taste coffee, leather, chocolate, soil, and oak. This is full flavored. The chocolate is getting a little stronger. But the leather is lingering around, just like roasted coffee beans, some citrus freshness, and hay. There is a nice, spicy, fruity sweetness that compliments the milk chocolate flavor. After a third, the classic My Father/Don Pepin Garcia pepper starts to shine through. After a third, I still taste the chocolate, although it’s turning into dark chocolate. The pepper is still there on the background and aftertaste, with some hay and leather. The mouthfeel is buttery, creamy. Halfway, I taste roasted coffee with chocolate, pepper, some sweetness, and leather, all well balanced and tied together with some citrus. In the final third, I taste more roasted coffee beans, pepper, some oak and leather with citrus. The nuances are great, so there is evolution even though the base flavors are constant. Near the end, I taste more nuts, still that chocolate, pepper, and leather with that buttery mouthfeel.

The ash is salt and pepper colored. Flaky but firm. The burn is good, not perfect but good. The ash is medium thick and full. This cigar starts out medium bodied, full flavored but creeps up to full bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes yes yes

number93

Categories: 93, My Father, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Tatuaje Nuevitas Jibaro No.1

One of the first Tatuaje Cigars ever released was the Tatuaje Nuevitas. And those were not made at El Rey de Los Habanos, the factory owned and operated by the Garcia family. It was the only Tatuaje line ever made outside of the family, at Tabacalera Tropical. But in 2007, Pete Johnson discontinued the cigar and all Tatuaje cigars since have been made at My Father Cigars.


In 2018, Johnson re-released the brand. This time made at My Father S.A. in Esteli. It is a Nicaraguan Puro with a Corojo 99 wrapper. The name comes from a Cuban village and the Jibaro name is Puerto Rican slang for a farmer. The Tatuaje Nuevitas Jibaro is Johnson’s tribute to farm rolled cigars and based upon a farm rolled Cuban cigars he had years ago while visiting the Caribbean paradise.

At first glance, you think something is wrong with the cigar. The wrapper looks damaged at the foot, but that’s how Johnson intended it to look. An unfinished foot, mimicking the not perfect looking farm rolled cigars. The dark brown, oily, wrapper has some clear, yet thin, veins which fit the theme of a rustic looking cigar. The simple, orange and white ring, is small, timeless yet doesn’t look dated. The cigar has a perfect triple cap and feels well constructed. The aroma is quite strong, it smells like oak and farm animals.

The cold draw is great, I taste pure raw tobacco, which is quite spicy. From the start, I taste coffee and soil. It’s a pretty mild start, where I expected a front-loaded cigar. The moment the burn hits the wrapper, pepper joins in and it’s a strong pepper. After a few more puffs, toast and leather join in with the coffee, soil, and pepper flavors. Slowly the flavors evolve to more earthy, with some oak and a hint of dark chocolate. On the background, I taste something that comes close to nutmeg. After a centimeter, the flavors are more those of spices, with dark chocolate and pepper. And the spices are things like cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice. There is also a little citrus acidity. Then suddenly, at the beginning of the second third, a dominant hazelnut flavor shows up, with some leather, and pepper. The pepper is gaining strength. The final third has more wood, with pepper. In the last part of the cigar, I taste hay, leather and lots of pepper.

The draw is close to perfection. The right amount of air resistance without becoming tight. The smoke has a good density and volume. The burn is straight. But you have to concentrate not to let the burn die. This is a full-bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. There is a heavy nicotine content in this blend. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, no box though, but a fiver.

number91

Categories: 91, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , , ,

Alec Bradley Fine & Rare RS10=(86) 2018

For the last couple of years, Alec Bradley is releasing a limited edition. Well, two actually, the Filthy Hooligan and the Fine and Rare. Where the Filthy Hooligan is more of a gimmick for St Patrick’s day, the Fine & Rare is an ultra-premium cigar. The first release utilized 9 or 10 different kinds of tobacco. And every year, Alec Bradley is making something special from their Fine & Rare release.

For the 2018 release, they used a size that was used before. A 6½x56 Parejo Toro Gordo. And all they disclosed about the cigar was the origin of the wrapper. The wrapper comes from Honduras. The binder and filler are undisclosed.

Where not much of the blend is revealed, there are still a lot of details known. The ring reveals a lot. It has the roll date. In this case that’s between March 26 and April 1st of 2017. The number of boxes, 2500, is mentioned on the ring. The total production of the week van 638. The release date of 24 October 2018 is printed on the ring. As well as the names and signatures of the rollers Juan Carlos Artica and Wilmar Jose Valerio. But that’s not all, supervisors and quality control also signed the ring.

he Colorado colored wrapper looks great. Thing veins, a little shine of the oil. The construction feels great too but what do you expect when the rollers, supervisors and quality controllers are mentioned by name on the ring. They can’t afford to deliver a plugged cigar. And as mentioned in the intro, the ring tells a lot. The rolling date, the weekly production, who rolled it, the number of boxes. The aroma is medium strong and would be best described at barnyard.

The cold draw is great. Yet it doesn’t have a lot of flavors. Mild raw tobacco is all that is noticeable. The cigar starts with a nutty, toasty flavor. And a little bit of coffee. The cigar is very creamy. With some fresh acidity on the background that comes close to green apple. Slowly some leather and pepper shine through, while the green apple disappears. The flavors are all subtle and smooth so far. The sweetness in the cigar is best described as caramel, salted caramel as there is a salty flavor too. The nut flavor returns, with leather, pepper, and salt as backing vocals. After a third, the sweetness and the pepper are the stronger flavors. But they remain smooth, soft and complex. There’s also a grassy undertone. Slowly a minty freshness shows up in the aftertaste. The sweetness changes from caramel to powdered sugar. In the final third, there is a distinct milk chocolate flavor with hay and pepper. The sweetness turns to caramel again. Near the end, I taste nuts again, with sweetness and leather. There’s also a hint of coffee in the last few puffs

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The draw is great, the perfect amount of air flow resistance. The ash is light colored. The burn is beautiful. The smoke is thick and white. The cigar is smooth and complex. Medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is four hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for 25 euro, although it’s a good smoke. Yet if I have to choose between a Cohiba BHK or this Alec Bradley Fine and Rare, I know I’ll get this one.

number93

Categories: 93, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , ,

Oliva Baptiste Toro

A friend gave me this cigar and said: “I think you will like this one”. He knows that I love Oliva cigars. And I had never heard of this one before, even though at my previous job we distributed the brand. And we were warehousing Oliva for all international accounts. Plus I’ve been to the factory twice. So my curiosity was sparked.

The cigar is made exclusively for Famous Smoke Shop. It’s a Nicaraguan filler, Nicaraguan binder, and Ecuador Habano wrapper cigar. The cigar is in between box-pressed and oval. The one that I smoked is a 5½x54 Toro and they are dirt cheap. If you buy them by the box, you only pay 4 USD per cigar, for a premium, hand-made stick and that’s a bundle price yet they come in boxes.

The wrapper is dark, a bit rustic with one big vein on the bottom front. The backside of the ring reminds me of the Oliva series V. The shape of the front too, but red instead of brown. The aroma has burned notes, charred woods with something floral. The shape is in between oval and box pressed. The construction feels good.

The cold draw is perfect with raw tobacco as the flavor. After lighting, I taste sweet coffee, strong though. There’s also soil and pepper. Soon a faint leather shows up too, with a minty freshness. After a few puffs, I taste roasted nuts, caramel, cinnamon, spicy green herbs, and some pepper. The leather lingers around on the background. After a third, I taste sweet grass with some leather and citrus. The caramel sweetness is the dominant flavor, very pleasant, smooth with some spice coming from green herbs and pepper on the background. The flavors are well balanced. I get some toast too. The flavors are mild creamy with a hint of vanilla. There’s a little bitterness on the tip of my tongue. Halfway I taste some oak, with pepper, roasted nuts, coffee beans, and caramel. The flavors slowly change to a more spice based flavor. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin with a little minty freshness. There’s also a little earthy flavor with some oak. The sweetness has disappeared, the pepper turned to white pepper. The cigar has a little oak, leather, pepper, sweetness, spices, nuts, coffee. So many flavors, all balanced and smooth.

This is a cigar that I could smoke every single day, over and over again.

The draw is great. The ash is quite dark and not firm. The burn is pretty straight. This is a medium bodied, full flavored cigar. It just fits my flavor preferences like a glove. With a better-looking wrapper and a better burn, I could have scored a 95. I thoroughly enjoyed it for exactly two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I ordered a box before I was done typing this review.

number92

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , ,

Dalay Limited Edition 2019 Robusto Extra

Dalay Zigarren is a German shop, since 1998, and they now have shop exclusive blends made, which they import themselves too. They also have great relationships with some manufacturers and that’s why they are able to get some store exclusive cigars, like a store exclusive RoMa Craft Wunderlust later this year.


This cigar is blended by master blender Michael Grossklos, who’s also working for Dalay. And for this cigar, unique original tobacco seeds have been used. The tobacco is grown without modern fertilizers and pesticides as you can read in this article on Ministry of Cigars. Dalay has sent me a few of these cigars to try.

The wrapper is oily, medium dark, with thin veins. The cap is nice. I love the ring, bushed black colored with golden letters, simple yet classy. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma of charred wood. It reminds me of a smoldering campfire the morning after a late night smoke with friends at the fire pit.

The cold draw is a little loose, yet spicy with a distinct tobacco flavor. The first puffs are sweet with nutmeg, toast and a dash of slight pepper. The flavors are interesting, quite unique and different from the usual coffee, soil and leather start that most cigars have. After two centimeters, the mouthfeel is mildly creamy and buttery. Then I also taste some hazelnuts and grass, with the spices and the pepper. After a third, I taste cedar with nutmeg, a dash of pepper and vanilla. I also taste some leaves. Halfway I taste some musk too, with the wood, pepper, and spices. The final third starts with vanilla, nutmeg, leather, and pepper. The cigar clearly gains some strength. Near the end, I taste green herbs, with leather and wood with a strong peppery coffee and final flavors.

The burn is good although I needed to correct it once. The draw is good too. The light-colored ash is flaky and coarse. The smoke is decent, could be a little ticker. I would say this is a medium-full bodied cigar, full flavored with plenty of evolution. Unique is a good description. And a must try if you’re a cigar geek. The smoke time is two hours exactly

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want more.

number91

Categories: 91, Dalay, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Altragrazia

Tobacco Lords Cunninghame

Robert Graham 1874 is probably the oldest liquor and tobacco shop in Scotland. And in 2017, they decided to have their own cigars made. They reached out to Joya de Nicaragua and together they created two blends. The Tobacco Lords Maduro and Tobacco Lords Natural. The name refers to the historical tobacco merchants from the 1770s, who were all based in Glasgow. And they were important. At a certain moment in time, half of all the tobacco in Western Europe was stored in Glasgow. And owned by the tobacco lords.

 


One of those lords was William Cunninghame. And he was a man or low morale. Born in 1731, he went to the USA as an apprentice at the age of 15. He quickly climbed the ranks and when he went back to Glasgow in 1762, he was the manager of a huge tobacco plantation. He became a partner in the company. But in his megalomanic world, that wasn’t enough. So he changed the name of the company to his name. Their huge sailing ship was named Cunninghame as well. He wanted his name on everything. Besides tobacco, he bought and sold human slaves. And he bought tobacco cheap by squeezing the growers dry. He sailed luxury items to the United States, sold them on credit to the tobacco farmers. And then used that credit to purchase the tobacco way below market value. He retired at the age of 49. And 218 years after his death, he has another thing with his name on it. The Robusto size of the Tobacco Lords Natural

 

The cigar has a dark shade for Connecticut Shade. The cigar is well-formed, with a nice rounded head. The wrapper has some veins, it’s not the prettiest wrapper around. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma. It’s like standing in a hay shed, but at the end of winter. Not a fresh hay smell, but hay from a few months old.

 

The cold draw is fine. And I am certain it is a Connecticut shade wrapper now because of the musty yet spicy flavor. The first flavor is musty sweetness, classic Connecticut Shade. It changes to spice sweetness with the classic mustiness. After a centimeter, the flavors are still musty with sweetness, but now with added leather. And a mild creamy mouthfeel. After a third, I taste faint milky chocolate. That fades away quickly and it is sweet and musty again. With sometimes some leather, sometimes some wood. But all mild. Near the end, I suddenly taste a very floral flavor.

 


The draw is good. The ash is white and firm. The smoke is good. The burn is flawless. This is a medium bodied, medium flavored cigars. There is some evolution, but it’s not a lot. The smoke time is two hours and ten minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? Nope!

 

number86

 

 

Categories: 86, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars, Tobacco Lords | Tags: , , , , ,

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