Cigars by country

Amero Short Robusto

Amero, a Norwegian brand made in the Dominican Republic. You might think, hey, that sounds familiar and you are right, its the same Norwegian guy that own Viking cigars and his first attempt to make it in the industry was a collaboration with Willis Cabrera of the now also defunct Cabreras cigars. Together they made Amero, Chess and Hawk cigars.


Before the collaboration fell apart I met Hawk at the Intertabac trade show and he gave me a few samples to try, this Amero short robusto is the last of them so why not say goodbye with a review right?  Since the cigar never took off and the company is defunct I can not find any information about the blend, except that they used 2 to 3 year old tobacco to produce the cigar.


I like the 4×50 size, the cigar looks so cute as my wife would say and the little pig tail adds to the cuteness. The medium dark brown wrapper looks okay, it has a few veins. The ring is nice, green with the image of the American dollar bill where all the conspiracy theories are about and then Amero written in shiny golden letters. The construction feels good and like I said, the pig tail finishes the cigar. The cigar has a mild aroma that is a mix between acid and cinnamon.


I cut the cigar with a double blade guillotine cutter. The cold draw is fine and taste like spicy raisins. After lighting I taste a mild bitter coffee flavor. After half an inch I taste a mildly harsh cinnamon. Halfway I taste cinnamon and peper, slightly harsh. The final third starts harsh with pepper and cedar.


The draw is good, the smoke is thick and huge in volume. The ash is medium gray, layered and reasonable firm. The burn is good. The cigar is medium, both in strength and in flavor. The smoke time is forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I won’t.

Score: 82
number82

Advertisements
Categories: 82, Amero, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Cabreras | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

La Flor Dominicana Airbender Villano Lancero

My previous employer was, for some time that I worked there, the distributor of La Flor Dominicana and through my work I had the pleasure to meet Litto both in my home country of The Netherlands, in Germany during the Intertabac trade shows and in the United States where Litto went out of his way a few times and cut into his secret family time to meet me for a lunch. That’s where I also met his sons, Litto jr and Antonio, who’s now heavily involved in the business as a blender of the Capitulo, Chapter and La Nox lines
While I was employed with that company La Flor Dominicana released the ‘airbender’ series, some say its named after Litto’s favorite Avatar  cartoon character but according to Litto the name comes from the fact that we bent the air when we smoke.


We carried 3 sizes and once they released the lancero the begging started. Me begging my employer that is. I love lanceros while my previous employer hates them as they are hard to sell. Eventually he caved, ordered 40 boxes, which I all sold. Well, I sold 38 to accounts and bought 2 myself. The cigar is made of Dominican filler and binder, all from the La Flor Dominicana farms wrapped in an Ecuadorean Habano wrapper.


The wrapper is nice and dark, shiny with a leathery look. The construction feels good and the cigar is well made with a nice pigtail to top. There is a mild aroma that smells a bit like an open field early in the morning, right around sunrise when the dew is still lingering. The ring has a black oval in the centre with the curly LFD letters in gold surrounded by golden leaves on a medium brown background. On the bottom is says La Flor Dominicana in white and air bender in golden letters right above an Egyptian looking golden decoration. Next to the LFD logo, on both sides, there are two ninja swords in white and a small golden tobacco leaf. The ring is well printed on good quality paper.


Due to the small ring gauge and the pig tail I have no choice but to cut the cigar and I used my Xikar to do so. The cold draw is perfect and peppery. My trusted Ronson was used to light the cigar. I instantly taste espresso with a little chocolate aftertaste. After a centimeter I taste vanilla, cocoa, pepper and a little lemon. After a third it’s mainly pepper with just a little bit vanilla and some leather with a lemonade aftertaste. Halfway I also taste a little bit of sweetness but the pepper is still very dominant with leather as the main support. The pepper remains dominant but the leather disappears, just like the sweetness. Only the nice citrus flavor remains in the aftertaste. After two thirds I taste a little spice too, cumin to be more precise. Slowly I also taste some wood.


The smoke is thick and full but the ash is quite dark and a bit flaky yet still firm. The draw is perfect. The cigar is full bodied, full flavored and quite well balanced. The burn is sharp. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? It’s no longer available on the dutch market but I still have a box left.

Score: 92

92

Categories: 92, Dominican cigars, La Flor Dominicana, Tabacalera La Flor | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VegaFina Sumum 2013

VegaFina, a brand owned by Altadis and made on the Dominican Republic at Casa de Garcia. Now I did smoke a few of the regular VegaFina cigars and was totally unimpressed by those mild and boring Connecticut Shade wrapped cigars that had nothing to offer for me so when someone handed me this 6×55 Sumum 2013 limited edition it ended up in my humidor as I steered away from it just because of the brand name. But now that I’m smoking from my humidor, assorted box by assorted box, for review purposes I ended up with this VegaFina Sumum 2013 as one of the last cigars from the box I wanted to be empty. So here it goes.


While googling the cigar for some information I read something that sparked my interest, the wrapper of the cigar is Cameroon and that is probably my favorite wrapper on the market. I just love the spiciness of it. The binder comes from Nicaragua and the filler is from both Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. Only 20.000 of these cigars were made, 2000 boxes of 10 cigars, so on hindsight it was a very nice gift that I didn’t appreciate as much as I should have. I’m sorry for that.


The cigar has a medium brown wrapper with very fine tooth and a few veins. Like all Cameroon wrappers it is quite thin. The construction feels good but the head isn’t perfectly round and the cap is a bit sloppy. The aroma is quite strong and all I can say is: manure. The cigar has two rings and they don’t match, the main ring is silver gray with a black lane and gray letters on the side. The front has a black circle with VegaFina logo in silver. The second rind has the same gray outlines with a black line added but the rest of the ring is a dark orange with black letters and doesn’t fit the main ring. The print quality is high though.


I punched the cigar and the cold draw is fine without a real flavor. After lighting I taste coffee with some pepper and sugar. After half an inch I taste a nice mild nutty flavor with spices and a faint vanilla. After an inch I taste the herbal spice that the Cameroon wrapper is known for with some wood. Halfway it’s cedar with a lot of pepper. The final third starts with nuts and pepper.


The draw is is great. The ash is amazing, light colored and very dense, also firm. The smoke is medium thick, could be thicker. The draw is fantastic. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, even a Cameroon wrapper can save a VegaFina.

Score: 87
number87

Categories: 87, Casa de Garcia, Dominican cigars, VegaFina | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Father 9/11 Ecuador Rosado Habano Robusto

As we all know, on september 11th 2001 the western world got shocked by an attack on our freedom by terrorists. The World Trade Centre in New York City was targeted by two airplanes and in the chaos 3000 people lost their life, including 343 brave fire fighters who came to the rescue. 10 years later My Father Cigars and Casa de Montecristo teamed up to commemorate their brave offer with a limited edition box, 343 made, with 9 Ecuadorean Rosado Habano and 11 Nicaraguan Habano Oscar wrapped cigars and all the proceedings from this box went to charity. I was lucky enough to buy a box of a fellow aficionado in need of some cash a few months later. I had smoked a few but never reviewed one, and there isn’t a more appropriate day than today.


The box, white with a custom logo that looks like a fire fighters batch with the twin towers on the shield says “we will never forget” both on the top as on the front of the box and it is hand numbered. My box in box 233 of 343. inside there is a piece of paper with the following text: ‘In tribute of the fallen heroes o 9/11 and in the spirit of remembrance, honor and hope My Father Cigar Company and Casa de Montecristo join to comemorate the 10th anniversary of the 343 fallen firefighters of 9/11. Presenting our special limited production blend of My Father Cigars with 9 Ecuadorian Habano Rosado and 11 Nicaraguan Habano Oscar in each box. 343 boxes are produced to honor the 343 fallen firefighter heroes’.


The cigars are naked, and with that I mean that except for cellophane, they have no rings. Now usually I give points for rings too, that is impossible now so instead I gave points for the box and the whole thought behind this limited edition and just because of that I have given it the full 50 points. The cigars can only be kept apart by the color of the wrapper, and thats only a slight color difference. The wrapper is quite dark with a little tooth, a long thin vein and some oil, it looks beautiful but a ring would have finished it. The construction is immaculate, the triple cap is flawless and the cigar has a strong barnyard aroma, even after 6 years I still smell some ammonia.


I punched the cigar and when I try the cold draw, which is flawless, I taste a very spicy, peppery and acidic flavor. The first flavors I taste after I lit the cigar with my soft flame are dark roast black coffee with some toast. Quickly some sugar appears with spices. After an inch the flavors have changed to coffee, nutmeg, pepper, a hint of cocoa and some citrus. Then all of a sudden the flavors change to toast, pepper and chocolate with a citrus aftertaste. And after that I taste nuts with pepper. After two thirds the pepper becomes the main flavor.


The draw is great, quite flawless. The ash is rough, silver gray in color with black smears but it’s firm. The burn is a little crooked. The smoke is quite thick and plenty in amount. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored with a lot of evolution. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish! I hope My Father releases this blend as a new regular line.

Score: 94
94

Categories: 94, My Father, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bunch Robusto, Short Robusto & Toro

Bunch is a private label made for a Portuguese cigar importer & distributer that imports several brands from Nicaragua and decided to have a label of his own. He ended up at Plasencia for his cigars, like many other people that want a private label, from retailers that want a house brand to big names that want something else they can’t make at their own factory, like the Casa Magna for the Dominican cigar family Quesada or at their regular factory like Alec Bradley who uses Raices Cubanas in Honduras for most of their productions except the Nicaraguan made Alec Bradley’s that are produced by Plasencia. And Rocky Patel’s operation in Honduras is actually a Plasencia factory dedicated to Rocky Patel, under supervision from Rocky Patel but still Plasencia owned.

I smoked the Bunch Petit Corona late 2015, today I’m reviewing the Robusto and I will review Toro and a Short Robusto in this series review too. The Petit Corona had a good start but a poor finish, let’s see what a little more length and the thicker ring gauge will do to the cigar.

Bunch Robusto


The wrapper looks amazing, dark, smooth, oily, shiny, the veins were obviously pressed before using the wrapper to create an even smoother look and it works. This wrapper is gorgeous. It doesn’t fit the ring, unfortunately, because the ring is simple and without class. Just a pale yellow to beige with a light brown letters Bunch and a simple tobacco leaf on each side and vertical stripes in two brown/green colors both on top and bottom of the cigar. The ring should elevate the cigar, persuade me to buy it but this one doesn’t. If I would buy this cigar it would be because of the wrapper. The construction is flawless, on the touch it feels evenly packed and the head is beautifully shaped, round and even. The aroma is quite strong, barnyard, stable, a little manure so typically a well fermented tobacco aroma.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is good. I taste a bit of a raisin flavor, mild spicy. After lighting I taste a mild salty coffee and peanut flavor. After half an inch the flavor changed to a mild chocolate soil flavor with some acidity. After a third I taste pepper with some lemon and a little bit of nuts. The final third starts with a strong pepper over the soil flavor.


The draw is great and the smoke is voluptuous, thick and full. The ash is quite dark and with clear layers. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored at most. The evolution is non existent though. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again? No. It’s not an unpleasant cigar but boring because of the lack of evolution.

Score: 84
number84

Bunch  Short Robusto

The short Robusto measures 4½ x52 and has the exact same ring as the Robusto. The dark wrapper is oily, smooth and pretty. The construction feels good and the cigar looks well made. The aroma is  quite strong and a classic barnyard smell.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is a bit tight. I taste raisin with some spice that I can’t identify. After lighting with a single jet flame I taste a mildly acidic dirt flavor. After a few puffs I also taste a decent amount of sweetness. After half an inch the acidity, which is lemon like, grows a bit in strength. After that there is no real evolution which makes the cigar quite boring. The flavors are not fantastic either, a bit rough around the edge. I don’t know the price of the cigar but it tastes like a budget cigar.


The smoke is thick and full. The draw is fine, but the burn is a bit crooked and I had to relight twice. The dark ash is quite firm. 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, boring cigar.

Score: 82
number82

Bunch Toro


The 6×50 toro has a nice, shiny, medium dark wrapper but I feel a few soft spots in the construction. The ring is the same as the other vitolas, so not too pretty. The cigar looks good when it comes to shape and triple cap. The aroma is strong and is a classic barnyard smell.


I cut the cigar with a xikar guillotine cutter and I taste spicy, peppery sultanas with a perfect cold draw. I lit the cigar with a single flame torch and taste coffee with wood. After half an inch I taste a mild bitter cedar with black pepper and some minty nutmeg. Halfway the cigar gets very peppery, classic Nicaraguan with a base of cedar and a little nutmeg. This is the best Bunch so far. The final third starts with strong pepper and dry wood and toast. The pepper is growing in strength and is overpowering all other flavors.


The draw is great and the smoke is full and thick. The ash is a little flaky, quite dark. The burn needs some correction. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is two hours.


Would I buy this cigar again? This is the best Bunch but there are better cigars available.

Score: 88

Categories: 82, 84, 88, Bunch, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cornelius & Anthony Venganza Robusto

Imagine, you’re fifth generation in a certain industry, you and your ancestors have done really well and your company is making good money but for the last two decades health organizations and lobbyists have been bashing your industry, legislation has become heavier and heavier over the years, the numbers of consumers are on the decline worldwide what would you do with possibly industry ending legislation in the future? Keep on going the path you’re on now and possibly see the company vanish in two or three generations or expand into a growing segment of the industry, a segment that has less of a stigma and less legislation? That was the question Steven Bailey from S&B Brands was facing, his family has been farming tobacco for roll your own tobacco and cigarettes for 150 years but with current and pending legislation that is now becoming dangerous ground to depend on. So he made the choice to enter the premium hand made cigar industry as well with a new brand called Cornelius & Anthony, a tribute to the first Bailey to grow tobacco, Cornelius Bailey and Anthony is Steven’s second name.


The brand came out with four lines, the Cornelius, which I was the first review I posted this year, the Daddy Mac (will make you jump jump) named after his father Mac, who everybody in the company calls Daddy Mac, the Meridian and the Venganza. The first one is produced in Miami at the famous El Titan de Bronze factory on SW 8th street, ala Calle Ocho in the Cuban district Calle Ocho in Miami, the other three lines are made in Eric Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. I consider myself a lucky man that I’ve been to both factories, I spend quite a few hours at El Titan de Bronze and have sat on the balcony at La Zona, overseeing Esteli, with a great cigar, good coffee and the entertaining company of Hector Alfonso.


This 5×50 Robusto, made with Nicaraguan filler and binder wrapped into an Ecuadorian wrapper, was a gift from Steven, Courtney Smith and Todd Vance when I met them at Intertabac 2016. I knew Courtney from her stint with La Palina and we talked about cigars and she gave me a handful of the Venganza, Daddy Mac and Cornelius to try. When I take the cigar out of the cellophane I feel a smooth wrapper, which is medium dark with a nice oily shine to it. The cigar feels well packed but at the top, where the beautiful triple cap ends, I feels a soft spot all around the head of the cigar. The ring is beautiful, very detailed with gold, white and black on an olive green background and a secondary ring in red with gold with the venganza name on it. The cigar has an aroma that comes close to the dry food we fed the sheep when I was a kid. Not that I was a farmer, we had a farm field behind our house and the farmer that owned that land had sheep and cows, in the spring when the sheep had lambs he gave us a 100lbs bag of dry food and asked to give that to the sheep every evening so he wouldn’t have to come by every day and me and my sister loved feeding those fluffy friendly walking bundles of wool.


I punched the cigar and found a very easy cold draw with a mild bitter cocoa and tea flavor. I taste a mild bitter wood with coffee and earthy notes. I also taste some chocolate. Slowly I start to taste a growing pepper too and a little sweetness. After a third I taste nuts with pepper, very nice. The pepper grows stronger.


The draw is too loose, so loose that it will effect the rating in a negative way but only with half a point as the draw gets better along the way. The smoke is thick and full. The burn is a little off but I didn’t have to correct the burn. The pepper and salt ash is firm. This is a full bodied, full flavored cigar. The cigar is well balanced and has depth. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes! They will be available in Germany.

Score: 91
91

Categories: 91, Cornelius & Anthony, La Zona, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Alec Bradley Fine & Rare Torpedo (2012)

Because it’s George Sosa’s birthday today I’m publishing an Alec Bradley review.

In 2011 Alec Bradley released a limited edition cigar that was pretty rare, with only 1000 boxes of 10 Toro’s, 100 boxes of 10 Torpedo and 11 boxes with 10 Toro, 10 Torpedo and 10 Perfecto for charity events. Now the 10 and 11 theme might look confusing but the 10 makes sense because 10 different tobacco’s were used to blend this cigar and the 1111 boxes make sense because the cigar got released on 11/11/11. I think I smoked one or two of the cigars back in the day, but I can’t remember for sure.  But I do have some of the later years, and the oldest one I have is the torpedo that was released the next year.


The blend was changed a little bit to a Honduran wrapper, Honduran binder and filler from Honduras and Nicaragua but still 10 different tobaccos used. For the shape Alec Bradley went with a torpedo and the production was doubled from 1000 boxes of 10 to 2000 boxes of 10. The MSRP got raised to by $2.50 to $16.50. For Alec Bradley this cigar is what the Opus X is to Fuente, the Family Reserve is to Padron, the Cohiba is to Habanos and the Melanio is to Oliva, their masterpiece. Not I’m not comparing the cigar to those other brands, it’s just to reference how big of a deal this cigar is to Alec Bradley.


The wrapper, as far as I can see it because of the huge ring, is dark, oily, shiny and smooth. The ring is huge but also very detailed, its a beige color with black details and then a huge white label with a lot of information like the roll date, the release date, the signature of the roller team, the quality control supervisor, how many cigars were produced that week and how many boxes were released in total (2000 as I said before). It’s very nice that the rollers are included on the ring and get credit for their skills. The construction feels flawless and the tip of the cigar is beautiful and sharp. The aroma is stronger than I expected and reminds me of cacao, hay and a little bit of a barnyard too.


I cut the cigar with my Xikar xi2 cutter. The cold draw is perfect and I taste dry tobacco, raisin and pepper. I taste coffee with lime and pepper right after lighting it with my vintage Ronson. After a few puffs I also taste nutshell, chocolate and cedar, complicated straight from the start. After a quarter of an inch i taste cedar, oak and pepper, all the other flavors have disappeared. After an inch some chocolate shows up too. Slowly the chocolate grows in strength and a toasted flavor shows up too, with some lemon in the aftertaste.


The smoke is thick, full and white. The draw is great. The ash is salt & pepper colored but coarse. The burn is slow but I had to touch it up a few times. This cigar is medium bodied, medium full flavored, pretty  complex and very well balanced. The final third starts with hazelnut and walnut with caramel, a little salt and pepper. The nuts and pepper get stronger. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? For a special occasion. I can’t justify the price, there are cigars that give me the same level of enjoyment for less.

Score: 93
number93

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

Arturo Fuente Opus X BBMF

There are cigars out there that you save for special occasions, maybe because the cigar is discontinued, maybe because it’s a unicorn, maybe a limited edition from a year that has special meaning to you, maybe because it’s very hard to find or maybe because the price tag is insane. I’ve been lucky enough to smoke a few unicorns and very expensive cigars like the Daniel Marshall 24k torpedo, but today I’m reviewing this Arturo Fuente Opus X BBMF because I got great news, my wife who’s from Singapore just got her MVV, that’s a permit to move to The Netherlands to stay with me and build a new life here. Now if that’s not a special occasion worthy of smoking the most expensive cigar from my stock then I don’t know what is.


Fuente shocked the cigar industry with the Opus X, the first Dominican puro, while everybody said that no wrapper could be grown on the Dominican Republic and the Opus X became a legendary cigar, the flagship of the Dominican cigars. Fuente branched off the Opus X with the Anejo and with limited edition with extreme names as chili pepper or pussy juice, weird shapes like footballs and they combined it in this perfecto with a shaggy head and the name Big Bad Mother Fucker aka BBMF. Its a Dominican puro, completely out of Sun Grown Rosado grown on the Chateau de la Fuente and if you can find these cigars the price tag is insane, I haven’t seen them cheaper than $275 online.


In my ratings the cigar scores points for the ring and the construction and with the high quality, very detailed, distinguished ring and the awesome shape of the cigar, with the beautiful maduro tip and the crazy head that looks like a masai haircut this cigar scored incredibly high on that department. The wrapper, chocolate milk brown, is flawless with one vein at the back. It feels a little oily and has a deep reddish glow. And the aroma, which is medium strong, has a complexity to it which is unique. I smell some ammonia but also spiced and herbs.


Due to the head I have no option than to cut. The cold draw is good and I taste pepper. After lighting I taste coffee and pepper and the initial draw is tight but that’s probably because of the shape. And indeed, once I am passed the Maduro foot the draw opens up. The flavor changes to toast then too with pepper and herbs. The pepper grows strong, with toast as a supporting flavor. Halfway the toast gets a little stronger and now with a little acidity but pepper is still the main flavor. The final third starts with a mellowed out pepper. The pepper gains strength again though.


The draw starts difficult but opens up soon but it’s hard to keep the cigar lit in the beginning and the burn is uneven and keeps giving me issues.  The silver gray ash is dense and firm. The smoke is medium at max and the burn and smoke rating completely destroy the high rating the cigar got for looks. This is a full flavored full bodied cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. Insane price, too many burn issues.

Score: 90
number90

Categories: 90, Arturo Fuente, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones Reserva Robusto

A few years ago, during one of the Intertabac trade shows, Juan Martinez from Joya de Nicaragua offered me a Rosalones. It was a cigar I had heard of, I had seen pictures of, but never seen, touched or smelled as the only information I had came from Poland where they were being sold. Now it is important to know that I was working for the Joya de Nicaragua distributor for The Netherlands at that time. I was at the Joya de Nicaragua booth, I lit the cigar up, looked at the price sheet, did my calculations and placed an order right there and then. I was the sales representative, I wasn’t the one doing the purchases or at liberty too but the price quality was out of this world. I took another sampler, went to my employer, said “light this” and after he did that I said “these are the prices per size, and this is how much I ordered”. He just looked at me, took another puff on the cigar and said “go back and double the order”.


So at the last Intertabac trade show, in September 2016, I ran into Juan, Mario and Ivan from Joya de Nicaragua in their booth, which they shared with Steve Saka from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust and Omar de Frias from Fratello and even though I parted ways from that distributor they will welcomed me like an old friend. Juan handed me a spin off from the Rosalones serie, the Rosalones Reserva, a Nicaraguan puro with the same very affordable price range according to them (I didn’t ask for prices as it’s none of my business anymore). Since Juan knows that I prefer smaller ring gauges he gave me a 6 1/2×46 Corona instead of the Robusto or Toro.


After I release the cigar from the cellophane I instantly smell a nice aroma, woody with a little raspberry vinegar. The construction feels good and when I take a good look at the velvety feeling wrapper I se that its medium dark, quite dry looking with a few small veins. The double ring is brown and gold, quite simple. The bottom ring is brown with golden outlines and golden text saying reserva in bold letters while the top ring is golden with a brown flower, thin brown letters saying Rosalones and Nicaragua with a brown outline.


I cut the cigar with the Joya branded Xikar cutter and to keep it all in theme I’m using my Stinky ashtray that has been hand painted by Subculture Studios with Joya logos. The cold draw is perfect and I taste raisin and a little citrus. Since I don’t have a Joya lighter I used my vintage Ronson and straight up I taste a nice coffee with chocolate in the retrohale. After a few puffs it’s a little bitter coffee with some spices and cocoa. After a third the bitterness is gone, just like the coffee. I now taste wood, nutmeg and a little cocoa. The cocoa is slowly growing stronger towards the midst of the cigar. The chocolate is a great partner for the mild pepper and the hint of cedar. Near the end I taste nuts with a mint freshness.


The smoke is full, thick and white. The ash is dark gray, layered and firm. The burn is a little off, but not too much to grab the lighter to correct. The draw is just perfect. The cigar is medium to medium plus bodied yet full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, great budget cigar!

Score: 91

91

Categories: 91, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Royal Danish Regal Blend Queen #1

Danish cigars? Yes! But not made in Denmark though! The Danish have a long tradition with tobacco, dating back from the time when they traded with the West Indies as merchants and up till today Denmark is a major player in the pipe tobacco business, but back in the day the tobacco that the merchants brought from the West Indies was used for cigars too. And in the recent years two Danish entrepeneurs decided to go back into history and create their own brand & blend. I reviewed the Dominican made Splendid earlier this year and this exact same Royal Danish Regal Blend belicoso back in 2016, but since I now work with a 100 point scoring system I decided to do another review.


Royal Danish has cigars made in two different countries, Costa Rica and Nicaragua and as far as my knowledge goes, the Regal blend is made in Nicaragua at an undisclosed factory. The cigar should pack some punch as it has double ligero wrapped in a dark maduro wrapper. There is an ultra luxury edition of the same cigar with gold leaves and swarovski crystals but in my opinion, and without having smoked it, that is just a gimmick like the Daniel Marshall 24k gold torpedo that I reviewed last year too. I got this cigar as a sampler from the brand owner when my previous employer showed interest in distributing the brand, but the prices of these blends were just crazy high especially compared to other private labels made by the Plasencia family, so we said ‘no’. Another small distributer took Royal Danish on and Royal Danish added a few reasonable priced blends to the portfolio.


The first thing I notice when I want to release the cigar from the cellophane is how the cellophane is closed, not with a simple bar code sticker but a nice round, silver colored sticker with hologram and the text ‘2014 Royal Danish Cigars”. The rings and how the cigar is presented is so different and beautiful that in a shop it would worry me and would give me a Gurkha feeling. With that I mean that the packaging and marketing are more important than the cigar itself, and combine it with the ‘rare tobacco blah blah’ marketing of Royal Danish which I don’t fall for. But since I don’t score on marketing that won’t effect the score. The inch long foot ring is brown with red curly letters saying ‘Danish West Indies’, golden letters ‘Regal Blend’ and then a marketing story in black on a brown wrapper. On the bottom the roller had to put his initials. The oval top ring is black with the Danish crest and a golden crown. The crown has a crystal in it, which is unique, but what is most unique is the red ribbon running over the cigar from the foot to the top and then back to the foot. The construction feels good and the belicoso has a very sharp point. The wrapper is dark with one thin vein on the side of the cigar. The aroma is strong and I smell a mixture of barnyard, a dusty old abbandoned house and a foggy forest.


Punching is not an option with a belicoso so I used my Xikar to cut. The cold draw gives a bit more resistance than I prefer and I taste raisin and red pepper. After lighting it with my preferred soft flame I taste dark roast coffee with cane sugar. The sugar is quite strong. The sweetness is the strongest flavor but after half an inch i taste cedar and nutmeg too, with some white pepper on the background. Then out of the blue I taste a strong vanilla flavor. After a third I taste coffee with creamy vanilla and cedar. Halfway I taste nuts with still a little coffee, vanilla and a slowly growing pepper. The final third begins with cedar, vanilla, pepper and nuts, very flavorful and tasty.


The draw is fine, better than in the cold draw. The ash is salt & pepper colored and quite firm. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume. The burn is straight and slow. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored with plenty of evolution. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? If it was a third of the price, yes, but with the close to €20 price tag, nope!

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, Royal Danish | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.