Cigars by country

Fonseca 30th Anniversary Toro

You can consider this a vintage cigar since it was a limited edition release to celebrate Matasa’s 30th year in business. Now if Matasa doesn’t ring a bell, maybe Quesada does. And Matasa is the name of their factory on the Dominican Republic, Fonseca is on of the brands they make. And they celebrated their 30st birthday back in 2003, thats 15 years ago.

 


The cigar sports a Dominican wrapper. Now that doesn’t turn heads anymore but when it was released it was a novelty. Fuente just released the Opus X, the first cigar with a Dominican wrapper, and together with this Fonseca Matasa 30th anniversary La Aurora and La Flor Dominicana released cigars with Dominican wrappers and that was it. The cigar was released in two vitolas, a 6 1/2×52 Toro and a 5 3/4×54 Perfecto and in total 30.000 cigars were made.

 


The wrapper is dark and oily, leathery but beautiful. The construction feels good although the cap could have been placed a bit nicer. The ring is pretty, glossy black, popping gold, bright red and clear fonts. I like it. And then the aroma, strong and complex, like a Indonesian rendan spice mix.

 


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is fine, I taste some sweet raising followed by some pepper on my lips. A nice strong coffee is the first thing I taste after lighting. After half an inch I taste herbs, spices and a mild dark chocolate. After an inch it’s herbs and a mild peppery flavor. Every few puffs I taste some chocolate too. The flavors then change to meaty with a mild pepper. At the beginning of the final third the pepper gains a little strength. Slowly the pepper is getting stronger towards the end.

 


The draw is good. The white smoke is medium thick and full. The gray ash is dense and firm. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Don’t think that would be possible

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Fonseca, Quesada Cigars | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flor de Oliva Maduro Robusto

Oliva is, for me personally, an underrated factory. When you ask me about my favorite factories I won’t spit out Oliva because they are never on top of my mind even though I visited the factory twice, met Jose Oliva and Gilberto Oliva several times and worked for the European distributor for years. Yet, every time I smoke an Oliva cigar, it doesn’t matter if its an O, O Maduro, G, V or Melanio cigar I am impressed and I know I am smoking a great cigar.


And within the range of Oliva cigars there is one cigar that is underrated more than any other cigar and it’s the Flor de Oliva Maduro. I had so many people tell me “I won’t smoke this because it’s a budget cigar and it can’t be good” but when I gave them one they were all impressed by the flavor and quality of this budget cigar. And to be honest, I don’t smoke them often but when I do this cigar, in combination with the low price, surprises me time after time.


The wrapper is dark and oily with some clear veins. It looks much better than some maduro wrappers on premium cigars of other companies. The ring is brown on glossy paper with a shaded Oliva logo and the Flor de Oliva name, in the Flor de Cana font in gold. The details on the edges of the ring are in gold too. Now although the overall look of the ring is much better than the old ones, it does seem to stand out a little less than the old one. The construction feels good and the cap is placed nicely. From what I understand these cigars are rolled by the most inexperienced rollers in the factory but the one that did this one can be promoted. The aroma is quite strong and reminds me of a stable with a mixed aroma of straw, urine, animals and manure.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is a bit tight. I taste nothing. After lighting I taste a mild coffee with chocolate. After half an inch I taste a nice chocolate and wood flavor with some sweetness. That flavor remains until the final third, when the flavors turn to herbal, the sweetness disappears and a very mild white pepper shows up.


The draw is good. The smoke is white, quite full and I get a decent amount of smoke. The white ash is firm and dense. The burn is flawless. This medium bodied and medium flavored cigar is nice yet not very dynamic. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Great budget humidor filler.

Score: 88
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Categories: 88, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flor de Oliva Naturel Torpedo

When I was a novice cigar smoker, little over 10 years ago, someone handed me a Flor de Oliva. I think it was a robusto, but I’m not sure. I was shocked to see that a cigar could be so cheap as my experience back then was mostly with Cuban cigars. But boy, I was in for a surprise because back then Flor de Oliva was a sweetened cigar, instead of pectin Oliva used sugar water to glue the Flor de Oliva cigars, maybe to mask the harsher tobacco used for this budget cigar?


Oliva stopped using that method years ago, they updated the whole line with new rings but I am smoking an old one. Unsweetened but still with the old ring so it must have some age to it by now. Not only the ring is a sign that it’s an older cigar but also the tax stamp that has been changed from a single cigar stamp to a box stamp a few years back.


The wrapper isn’t a looker, it has some veins, it looks a bit rough, it feels like dry leather but then again, it is a budget cigar so you can’t expect Oliva to use their best wrapper leaf for this line. The ring is simple, blue and red with thick white borders, golden tobacco leaves in the red part and white letters Flor de Oliva in the blue part. The font is exactly the same als de Flor de Cana font, Nicaragua most famous rum. The construction feels good but the head of the cigar has a weird tip. The cigar has quite a strong aroma of hay and straw.


When I wet the cap before cutting I taste sweetness and that makes me think this is a vintage one. About 7 years ago Oliva changed from sweetened to unsweetened tips and this might be an oldie. After cutting I don’t taste the sugar anymore. The draw is easy and I taste raw tobacco.  After lighting I taste a muted, slightly musty, cedar with cinnamon. The mustiness disappears immediately, I taste nutmeg and cinnamon, slightly harsh. After a third the cigar turns harsh. After I cut a little piece off the cigar is still harsh but now with the nutmeg and cinnamon.


The draw is loose, the smoke is thick, white and full. The burn needed a few touch ups. The light colored ash is firm and dense. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full bodied. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I love Oliva but this one not so much.

Score: 83
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Categories: 83, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Flores y Rodriguez Cabinet Selección Maduro Robusto

Just as the Habano Cabinet Selección, the maduro version of this Cabinet Seleccion all comes from the same tobacco seed originally cultivated in the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba but now grown on the Dominican Republic, and that makes this cigar a Dominican Puro too, something that was said to be impossible before Arturo Fuente managed to grow wrappers for their Opus X on the island.


The wrapper on the maduro version is of course darker, but also thicker because it has had more sun hours and opportunities to grow. There is more natural sugar in the leaf because of the extra sunlight so I expect this cigar to be a little bit sweeter but it can’t be a one on one comparison with the Habano since I’m smoking a different vitola for this review, the 5×52 Magicos.


The first thing I notice when I get the cigar from the cellophane is that the wrapper is thicker and more leather like than the velvet wrapper on the Habano. The veins are thicker and this cigar looks more manly. The rings are exactly the same. The cigar has a nice aroma of dark chocolate, quite strong.


I punched the cigar, I taste raw tobacco, a little cocoa and pepper with a great draw. I lit the cigar with a torch because my soft flame ran out of gas. I taste coffee with some chocolate bitter sweetness. The coffee disappears but the chocolate gets stronger. Halfway I taste spicy fresh Wood with still a hint of dark chocolate. The final third is woody and peppery with a little bittersweet flavor on the background.


The draw is flawless and the smoke is white, thick and voluminous. The salt and pepper colored ash looks good. It’s very firm and the burn is straight. This is a medium full bodied and flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I like this one more than the Habano.

Score: 91

Categories: 91, Dominican cigars, Flores y Rodriguez, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flor de Filipinas Corona

Flor de Filipinas is a hand made longfiller from, surprise surprise, the Philippines. Tabaqueria de Filipinas makes an array of different cigars including these Flor de Filipinas since 1993 when Gabriel Ripoll started the factory after working in tobacco for decades.


The Flor de Filipinas is blended with Cuban seed filler and binder, grown on the Phillipines and a wrapper from the Indonesian island Java where a lot of tobacco is grown but most of that tobacco is used for dry cured short filler cigars like Meharis, Olifant, Oud Kampen, Hajenius, Cortes and many more brands that are popular in Western Europe.


The wrapper is medium dark brown, a little darker than milk chocolate, wrinkly and has a sandpaper feel to it. The construction feels good but the cap is poorly handled. The ring is simple, red with a greenish logo and details and in small white letters the name of the cigar. There is a mild woody and barnyard aroma to the cigar. All by all, I wouldn’t pick this cigar up at a shop because of the looks and the mild aroma.


I used a double guillotine to cut the cigar. The cold draw is a bit tight. I taste a weird mild musty yet warm, almost cinnamon like flavor, mild and muted. The flavors change to a pasty mild herbal flavor. After that it’s a musty cinnamon again.


The draw is okay, nothing more than that and the gray ash breaks quickly. The gray smoke is thin and low in volume. The burn is good. There isn’t much of an evolution. This is a mild to medium bodied and flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No

Score: 77
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Categories: 77, Flor de Filipinas, Phillipian cigars, Tabaqueria de Filipinas | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Fuente Crucet Habanero 87

Now this is a cigar I had to google to be honest, because I never heard of the brand and that’s no surprise because their Facebook hasn’t been updated since 2009, they have no website and the latest review on a blog that I can find is from 2008 as well. So I guess this boutique brand disappeared as quickly as it emerged to the market.


From what I read this was a mom & pop cigar factory in Miami where mom was in charge of the blend and their two cigars, the habanera 78 and habanero 87 were inspired by their offspring Desiree and Jeyson, who were born in Havana (hence the Habanera & Habanero name) in 1978 and 1987. The filler and binder are Dominican and the wrapper is Cameroon.


The Cameroon wrapper has a dark, coffee, color with some thin veins and feels like dry leather. The construction feels good, the single cap is positioned good and the cigar has a simple yet nice ring, brown with golden print and a backdrop with the map of Havana. The aroma is strong and all I can say is manure.


I cut the cigar, the draw is perfect and I taste a peppery yet mind hay flavor. After lighting I clearly taste the Cameroon wrapper, mild sweet and pretty herbal and spicy. Now the flavor is very nice yet hasn’t changed halfway. After that a mild milk chocolate joins the herbs just like some salt. Slowly the flavors change to cinnamon stick that I used to buy at the candy booth at the carnival when I was a young kid. The cigar also gets more strength.


The draw is great and the white ask is dense and firm. The smoke is medium full in thickness and volume, the ash is white. The burn is great. This is a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Won’t be possible. And if I could I wouldn’t, fine tasting cigar yet very one dimensional

Score: 88
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Categories: 88, American cigars, Fuente Crucet | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Flores y Rodriguez Cabinet Selection Habano Canonazo

In 2012 PDR Cigars introduced another Dominican puro during the IPCPR trade show and it was this Flores y Rodriguez Habano Cabinet Selection. The name Flores y Rodriguez comes from Abe Flores and his partners, the Rodriguez brothers and together they are responsible for the brand.


All the tobacco used in this cigar comes from the one Cuban seed from the Vuelta Abajo region, the best tobacco region of Cuba, that was brought to the Dominican Republic to be cultivated. And this cigar is the result, Cigar Journal rated it a 95 point cigar. I smoked the 6 3/4×58 Canonazo, the other vitolas in the series are a 5×52 Magicos, a 6×52 Genios and a 6 1/2×52 Unicos (Belicoso)


The milky brown chocolate wrapper has a few veins and feels like velvet. The cigar feels well constructed and the triple cap is placed nicely. The ring is simple, a classic shape with a oval on the front the outlines are gold, the sides are blue and white vertical stripes and the face of the ring is burgundy with white letters and a golden crest on a blue background. The medium strong aroma reminds me of horses.


I used a guillotine cutter to decap the cigar. The cold draw is good, spicy and peppery. After lighting I taste spicy and herbal cedar and toast with some pepper in the aftertaste. After half and inch I taste toast with cinnamon and sweetness, caramel like. After an inch I taste French toast with a little sugar. After an inch I taste a mild wood and cinnamon flavor. Halfway it’s toasty with a mild peanut butter flavor, surprising but nice. After that I taste toast with sugar and a little nutmeg. Near the end the cigar is sweet but with a nice peppery aftertaste.


The draw is good, as to be expected from a big ring cigar. The smoke is full, thick and white. The salt and pepper colored ash has nice rings. The ash is firm too. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored, well balanced and pleasant. Evolution is very good for a big ring cigar yet the flavors don’t pop. The burn is great, straight and slow. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? The blend yes, this vitola maybe, the smaller ones for sure.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Flores y Rodriguez, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Falto Robusto

Back in 2010 I reviewed three Falto cigars and earlier this month I reviewed the Falto Lonsdale and the Falto Gran Reserva Especial Perfecto, now its time for the Falto Robusto. All the cigars are from the same, very generous, sampler that Luis Falto send me back in 2010 so we can say that these cigars are well aged by now.


The 5×50 Falto Robusto is made at La Aurora Cigars from Dominican filler and binder with a Sumatra wrapper grown in Ecuador. When the Falto was introduced it was as a small batch cigar, only 160 boxes of this blend would be produced on a yearly basis, I don’t know if the limitation is still in place and where these cigars are sold. I guess with a limited production like that they will all be sold at the cigar lounge Luis Falto owns in Puerto Rico


The wrapper is quite dark, like black coffee with a thin long vein running over it. The construction feels great and the cigar is nicely shaped with a beautiful head. The blue, yellow and golden ring is gorgeous, I just like the color combination, the sharpness, the clean design. The aroma is mild and reminds me of hay.


I cut the cigar and the cold draw is perfect. The flavor is of raw tobacco. After lighting I taste a nice, full, smooth coffee. After half an inch a perfectly balanced sugar sweet and lemon sour flavor takes over with coffee on the background.  After a third I taste I taste herbs with some acidity. Halfway done wood shows up too. The flavors then change to a nice mild spice mix with some sweetness and a little pepper. Near the end the cigar gets more peppery and sweeter.


The draw is fantastic, the burn crisp and straight, the smoke medium thick and gray. The ash is white to light gray, dense and firm. This is a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar with a good evolution and a great balance. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a very pleasant first cigar of the day kind of stick.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Falto, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Flor de Las Antillas Benelux

In 2012 My Father Cigars released their, what I suspect is their best seller and most praised cigar yet, the Flor de Las Antillas. A Nicaraguan puro that was the first ever My Father Cigars cigar that made the #1 spot on the Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year list. The cigar got released during the 91st birthday of Federal Cigars but it wasn’t ment to be a limited edition, just a pre-release.


Due to the success a few vitolas were made as limited editions, like a lancero but also a 5 3/8×58 gordo for the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg) when the two distributers Marc (Belgium and Luxemburg) and Sasja (Netherlands) requested a limited edition of the same blend for their countries. As I was working for Sasja I sold these and they sold well. I have one left in my collection, I guess that’s worthy of a review in ff’in february right?


The cigar comes packed in cellophane and has the regular Flor de Las Antillas ring, the very detailed, century old, oricinally Cuban artwork, high quality paintwork and a foot ring made of of cloth, burgundy colored with golden letters BENELUX to show it’s a limited edition. The mocha colored wrapper is clearly sun grown, not only because it’s mentioned on the ring but you can see that the sun did its work on the wrapper. I see some veins too. The construction feels good and the cap is placed decent. The aroma is strong and barnyard or stable before it’s cleaned.


When I cut the cigar and try the cold draw I taste a quite spicy and peppery raisin and dry tobacco flavor with a close to perfect draw. I also notice my dislike to big ring cigars but that aside. After lighting I taste a peppery vanilla cream. After half an inch I also taste some lime with the creamy vanilla but the pepper is gone, instead there is some dry herbal flavor in the aftertaste. After an inch the pepper returns. Halfway I taste more pepper with some wood and some lime, on the back there is some licorice. I also still taste some creamy vanilla. The final third is creamy vanilla, nuts, pepper and herbs. The pepper fluctuates in strength.


The draw is fantastic. The ash is gray and has clear rings. The ash is firm too. The light gray ash is medium thick and medium in volume. The burn is a little off but no need for corrections though. The cigar is medium full in flavor and strength with a decent evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? The cigar is too thick for me, love the blend but in a different size.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Flor de las Antillas, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Casa Fuente Lancero

In 2009 I went to the United States for the first time, for a three week trip. The first two and a half weeks were all about a road trip on the east coast, all the way from Key Largo to Rochester in Upstate New York with a herf with people from Cigar Asylum each night. It was a great trip and made friends for life. For the final few days we flew from Albany NY to Las Vegas where about 30 BOTL and SOTL showed up and we smoked a lot. Now as a cigar aficionado you cannot visit Las Vegas without visiting Casa Fuente, which we did every day while we were there. And I bought a sampler of their house blend, the Casa Fuente that is sold only there and back then not available online but I recently saw them for insane prices at an online retailer.


Now back then I wasn’t in love with the lancero vitola yet, that came later when I had more smoking experience, which in my opinion you need before you are able to fully enjoy a lancero so I didn’t look for them. But a few years later I met Charlie Minato from Halfwheel at Intertabac in Dortmund and he hit me with a few cigars that weren’t available in Europe, including some Roma Craft and as a final surprise he says “I know you love lancero’s” and hits me with a Casa Fuente Lancero. Now am hardly ever at a loss for words, but this time I was. What a gift. I mean, Opus X filler and binder with a Cameroon wrapper, which is a wrapper I love, in my favorite vitola, hallelujah! And since I didn’t like Las Vegas and I never want to go back unless I have a very good reason I never expected to get my hands on these.


The cigar is partly wrapped in cedar with a nice orange piece of cloth on the foot. When I take the cigar out I see a nice, medium brown wrapper with tooth, a small water spot and minor thin veins. The construction feels good and the pig tale is always a nice extra touch. The ring is amazing, a beautiful dark brown, like a dark chocolate mousse color with thick golden outlines, very detailed and orange pin striping. The letters Casa Fuente are in gold and orange in a curly font with a black shadow. The ring is very detailed. As for the aroma, since the cigar has been wrapped in cedar for a few years that’s what I smell, cedar.


I cut the cigar since it’s too small to punch. The cold draw is great and I taste hay with a pepper aftertaste. It’s easy to light the cigar with a soft flame and I taste Cuban coffee right from the get go. After a few puffs it’s coffee with lemon. The coffee disappears and I taste a metallic flavor with some unsalted peanuts. After an inch I taste spicy cedar with some chocolate. After a third the spices disappear, now it’s cedar with some herb and lime. It then turn ashy, which is not very pleasurable to say the least, then I realize it’s because tar build up.

To get rid of the tar I cut off a little extra piece of the cigar. That helps ofcourse the flavor is now nice bitter like 72% dark chocolate. Soon some lemon and cedar shows up too. I also taste some spices again, nutmeg and pepper. After three quarters I taste nuts with spices and a little citrus. The spices are a mix that consist of nutmeg, cinnamon and more, the nuts are still there with some cocoa.


The draw is great. The cigar gives me a lot of smoke. The ash is white and very dense and firm. The burn is straight as an arrow and slow. The cigar is medium bodied. There is a lot of evolution and flavor. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? Since Las Vegas is not in the plans it will be close to impossible.

Score: 93

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your reviewer with Jeremiah Meerapfel, Cynthia & Liana Fuente

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Categories: 93, Arturo Fuente, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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