American cigars

El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserve Cameroon

The cosy little factory on the corner of 8th and 11th in Little Havana, Miami, might be my favorite factory in the world. Not only because they produce great cigars but also because of the warm welcome I get every time I step in the door. Owner Sandy and her family are great people, I met them in 2009 when I was on vacation, I was expecting a 10 minute tour but spend over 2 hours talking tobacco with Sandy and much to my surprise she immediately recognized me when I came back 18 months later, 90 pounds lighter.

The Gran Reserve Cameroon is a Cameroon version of their El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserve line and it’s made with filler from the Dominican and Nicaragua, a binder from Ecuador and my favorite wrapper: Cameroon. The line exist out of 4 sizes (Churchill, Toro, Robusto, Corona) but sometimes, when possible more vitolas are adde like torpedo, robusto gordo, short robusto, belicoso, corona gorda and two different perfectos. In this three vitola review I will share my thoughts on the toro, torpedo and the belicoso.

Toro

 

 

The 6×52 Toro has a toothy, almost sanding paper like, medium dark wrapper with only one thin vein but with a waterspot on the back. The ring is nice, very simple, just black with a copper outline, a curly font saying El Titan de Bronze and in normal letters gran reserve. On top and bottom it repeats Cameroon. Simple yet well printed. The construction is awesome, as always, I have not had an El Titan made cigar with less than an impeccable construction. And the aroma is strong, a rich and deep manure but also with some floral notes. In the final third I taste a mild salty peanut flavor, with mild spices and some floral flavors.

 


I cut the cigar with a flat cut. The draw is great yet quite tasteless, just a hint of floral sweetness. After lighting I taste the same floral sweetness with a little bit of cinnamon. Mellow but nice. After a third the cigar become less sweet, more herbal with something nutty too, very subtle and mellow. The strength is picking up.

 


The draw is great. The cigar is very mellow, mild to medium in body, medium in flavor. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume. The firm, light gray, ash looks like a stack of coins with the nice thin lines. The burn is straight. Smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

 


Would I buy this cigar again? Mellow, mild but very tasty.

Score: 91
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Torpedo

 


Another vitola that isn’t always available is this 6 1/2×54 torpedo. You can see that this wrapper must come from another batch as it doesn’t have the same tooth and the shade is a little lighter too with even some changing colors from the head of the cigar towards the foot. The wrapper also has more veins. The ring is identical as the others and so is the flawless construction. The aroma is just as strong but not as deep and less manure, not floral but more herbal with even some ground pepper aroma.

 


I cut the cigar with a double guillotine cutter and the cold draw is just perfect. I taste spicy tobacco with a little pepper. I decided to light the cigar with a long matchstick. Straight from the start the herbal spices of the Cameroon wrapper shine. After an inch I taste herbs and spices, of which pepper is dominant and I also taste some lime. Halfway I taste a strong cinnamon flavor and I love it! Slowly the flavor changes to cedar but still with a cinnamon and spicy peppery undertone.

 


The draw is fantastic and the ash is white and firm. The smoke is quite thick, quite voluminous but a little gray instead of white. The burn needed a little touch up. This cigar is medium bodied and full flavored. The evolution is subtle yet clearly noticeable. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

 


Would I buy this cigar again? When I get back to Miami I’ll buy a box.

Score: 93
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Belicoso


This 4 1/2×54 vitola is one of the ‘when available’ vitolas of the series and I guess I was lucky to be able to get one. I like the size, the cigar looks so cute, short and chubby. The ring is exactly the same as the toro, and the wrapper has the same color and tooth, but it feels a little oilier, a little sticky even. There are not waterspots on this cigar. The construction is flawless again, it feels evenly packed, the shape is gorgeous, it’s quality work. The aroma is almost the same as the toro, but a little more manure and a little less floral.


I cut the cigar, the draw is phenomenal. I taste a little bit of a floral flavor with some spice.  After lighting I taste earthy yet spicy flavors. Soon I taste a salty, spicy flavor with wood and licorice. Halfway I also taste a bit of floral sweetness with the other flavors, and a slightly growing pepper. The final third is very peppery and spicy.


The draw is perfect. The light gray ash is dense and firm. The burn is a bit off, but just a little bit. The smoke is white, reasonably thick and medium in volume. The cigar is medium full bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? Next time I’m in Miami.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, 93, American cigars, El Titan de Bronze, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze | Tags: , , , ,

El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserva Maduro Churchill

There are days that you walk into your man-cave, cigar shop, garage, deck or wherever you usually smoke your cigars and you feel like you want a long smoke, something other than the usual robusto sized smokes. I had that feeling today when I finished dinner, cleaned the kitchen, brushed my teeth and did a load of laundry. I felt like a mindless action movie and a long cigar. And I was lucky enough to have the time for that, the location for that (my fully equiped man-cave) and plenty of cigars, so I walked into my walk-in humidor, looked around and saw this beauty from a factory I rate highly since the day I walked in there, El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserva Maduro Churchill.


Now the first time I ever came across El Titan de Bronze was in may 2009, it was my first trip to the USA, it was well before I found a job in the industry but I was a passionate cigar smoker and cigars brought me to the USA, it was a road trip with a few guys from Cigar Asylum and every night we had a herf in another state with other guys from Cigar Asylum. Our first stop was Miami and you can’t do Miami without going to Calle Ocho, especially when you’re a cigar smoker. We walked to El Rey de Los Habanos, the factory of Don Pepin Garcia, but it was impossible to see the workers there so we crossed the street to El Titan de Bronze, a factory we never heard of, but once we walked in the owner Sandy Cobas welcomed us like old friends and showed us around, told the history of the place and she noticed that we were more interested than regular tourists so she showed us the aging room, let us smell the different tobaccos and her husband got us Cuban coffee. Instead of a 10 minute visit like we expected we stayed over 2 hours. Now the amazing part, 18 months later and about 90lbs lighter I walk into the factory again, Sandy looks at me and says “wow, you lost a lot of weight”, I was surprised that she recognized me a year an a half later even with my weight loss. Since then I make it a tradition to stop by El Titan every time I’m in Miami.


This El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserva Maduro Churchill is a bit longer than the classic Cuban Churchill, 7 1/2×50 instead of 7×50 but I don’t mind. The cigar is made with filler from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras, an Ecuadorean binder and a Brazilian wrapper. The dark Brazilian wrapper has a rustic look to it with tooth and here and there some ’stripper glitter’ shine from minerals. The aroma is strong, it reminds me of a walk in the woods in the late summer, right before the leaves start to fall. The construction feels good and the triple cap is placed very straight and sharp. The cigar has a double ring, the bottom ring is a small red ring with quite thick gold lining and white letters with thin golden shadow saying Maduro in a beautiful font while the regular band has the same red color, a little thinner gold lining, a golden crest with white letters T B accompanied by golden tobacco leaves. On the top there is a white banner with red letters El Titan de Bronze and beneath the crest white curly letters Gran Reserva. On the back there is a white thick banner saying ‘hand made little Havana Miami’. The print quality is pretty good, especially the gold shadow on the white letters.


I punch the cigar and the cold draw is a bit tight, but I can always cut the cigar later if this becomes an issue. I taste pepper on my lips and some raisin on the tip of my palate. I lit the cigar with my Ronson varaflame lighter from the late 1960’s. The first puffs bring me straight back to little Havana, sweet strong Cuban coffee soon with a dark chocolate aftertaste. After an inch I taste peanuts with some pepper and a little honey. On the background I still taste some of that dark chocolate. After a third I mainly taste chocolate with some minor nut flavor on the background. Halfway I taste nutmeg with a little metallic flavor and a bit of salt with the chocolate on the background. Slowly some pepper shows up again. The salty peanut flavor makes a comeback. The cigar gains some strength, mainly the pepper but the peanuts grow stronger too. At the end I taste nuts and a very strong pepper.


The draw is good after I cut the cigar, tried a few puffs with the punch but a cut worked better. The smoke is a little thin with a decent amount. The ash is light, almost white, dense and firm. The cigar is medium plus bodied, medium flavored. There was some nice evolution and the ratio was great. The smoke time was an hour and forty-five minutes, just a little bit longer than that mindless action movie I watched, The Mechanic.

Would I buy this cigar again? When I’m in Miami again I’ll visit Sandy again and buy some cigars.

Score: 91
91

Categories: 91, American cigars, El Titan de Bronze, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze | Tags: , , , ,

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: , , , ,

Lars Tetens Steampunk Toro

Infused cigars, I have reviewed a few because a friend, who sadly passed away a few months ago at the early age of 55, send a few as a joke, but I hate them. I mean, why would you mess up beautiful tobacco? My guess is that the infused cigars use low quality tobacco and mask the taste with chemical enhanced flavors. I mean, you don’t see beautiful single malt whisky being infused right, only low grade industrial made vodka or low grade white rum get that kind of treatment and in my opinion its the same with tobacco. Either smoke the good stuff or don’t smoke at all but leave the chemically ‘enriched’ crap alone, that stuff is bad and gives traditional cigars a bad reptutation, attracks minors to try cigars and therefore causes politicians and FDA to screw with our hobby. Infused cigars are the bridge between cigarettes and cigars and there shouldn’t be a bridge, there should be a lot of distance between those two.


Now, years ago I wrote a horrible review on the Lars Tetens Gorillafinger and a few months ago I was approached by Josh Allison from Lions of Luxury who asked me if I was willing to review some other Lars Tetens cigars. I agreed and he send me the traditional Greenwich torpedo and the infused Steampunk toro. Infused you say? Yes! Did I jump from joy, exited to try another infused cigar by Lars Tetens? No! But at least this isn’t a fruit flavored, tropical or vanilla infused cigar, actually, it doesn’t even say what it’s infused with and that by itself is a little intriguing. So I’m writing this review with an open mind and I really hope that this is the first infused cigar that I will like. And if you’re curious about this cigar, surf to urbanluxlife.com and order, use ja10 for a 10% discount, but please keep in mind: if you’re not in the USA and it’s not legal to order online/import tobacco, don’t do it, I am not responsible if you willingly break the law.


The first thing I did when I released this 6×50 toro from the cellophane is smell the cigar, as the infused thing made me curious on what the smell might be, and I didn’t even had to smell up close, as soon as the cello was removed I smelled an aroma that was a mixture of fruity white wine, apple and stale beer. The aroma is strong but I don’t like it much and the cigar loses points on that (read [this] on what I rate on). The construction feels good though and the cap is nicely placed. The Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper looks very tasty, beautifull dark wrapper with thin veins, a nice oily glow and a leathery touch. The cigar has two rings, the top ring is a beautiful dark metallic ring with metallic red outlines and a dragon and golden letters on beautiful paper but the 2 inch big foot ring is multi colored on a much lower grade paper and looks like a elementary school project. If the footband was as beautiful as the top ring I would have rated it higher, this is another quarter of a point lost so even before lighting this cigar already faces a lower score, the smell and the foot ring already cost a full point of the final result.


When I wet the cap to punch it I taste a mild tangerine sweetness. The cold draw is fine and I taste a mild fruity and peppery flavor, but the fruit isn’t a terrible chemical flavor though. I lit the cigar carefully with a soft flame and I taste a metallic flavor, wood and a hint of tangerine. I also taste some pepper. After an inch I taste the pepper with some wood and some creamy berry flavor, like ice cream. Soon after I taste nutmeg with cedar and pepper. I like the creaminess of the cigar, a mixture of butter and ice cream and after a third it’s clearly a peppery blackberry flavor that I only tasted in the original release of the Don Pepin Garcia Black Robusto. Halfway I taste a mild freshness in the aftertaste and the main flavor is now a spice mix with the blackberry flavor as support. There’s also some pepper. Some time later I taste something that reminds me most of paprika potato chips with pepper, cedar and that blackberry ice cream in the aftertaste. Slowly the pepper gets stronger with the berry as aftertaste.


The smoke is thick, white and full. The draw is perfect, the right resistance. The ash is gray and firm with a perfect burn. This medium bodied cigar is complex and without the smell and the mild tangerine and berry flavor it could pass for a traditional cigar. The cigar has plenty of flavor and an hour and a half smoke time.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, much to my surprise I really liked this cigar.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, American cigars, Lars Tetens, Lars Tetens Factory | Tags: , , , ,

Warped Little Havana Corona Gorda

There are a lot of cigar groups on Facebook and in some of those groups people like to combine days with cigar brands, like Tatuaje Tuesday and Fuente Friday. Since I have so many unpublished reviews and need to post a lot I decided that this week will be a week dedicated to the weekday – cigar combinations and I came up with a few of my own.

This week I will post a review every day, monday to sunday, all with the name tied to the weekday, here’s the list:

Murcielago Monday
Tatuaje Tuesday
Warped Wednesday
Taboo Thursday
Fuente Friday
Santiago Saturday
Sosa Sunday

Warped Wednesday – Warped Little Havana Corona Gorda

Back in the day, I think it was somewhere in 2007, I joined the Club Stogie board and left when it turned into Puff. The eleven moderators of Club Stogie started Cigar Asylum and I joined there and I’ve been a member since. But back then Kyle Gellis from Warped was just a young entrepeneur, his brand existed but wasn’t really active, he sold some cigars on the board and that was it. He has a small stash and when it was sold out it was sold out, it was more of a hobby than a company back then, or at least, that was my impression.


I’m very impressed with what Kyle did since the last time I’ve seen him at a cigar event at one of the Smoke Inn shops back in 2010 I think. He’s now one of the highest rating boutique brands and that without a huge social media outreach like other small brands. Because I’m not in the USA since he released all his new cigars I haven’t had the chance to smoke them, I did try to convince my previous employer to start distributing the Nicaraguan made Warped blends but he wouldn’t as he isn’t good with boutique brands. But I still have two, almost a decade old, test blends and two, just as old, Warped Little Havana Private blend cigars, one 5.5×44 Corona Grande and one torpedo and I will review the corona grande today on Warped Wednesday.


Now Kyle never confirmed or denied that these cigars were made by El Titan de Bronze but seeing his ties to that factory, the name of the blend and the fact that he did say that these were Miami made cigars I am fairly sure that they are made by Sandy Cobas and her team. The cigar has a beautiful deep dark brown color with beautiful thin veins and just looks mouth watering. The construction feels good, all evenly packed, no soft spots or plugs with a beautiful cap. The ring is simple, just a small back ring with a toxic green colored Warped in a fancy font. On the back side, and I love this detail, it says private blend 8/27/08 so I know exactly when the cigar was made. The aroma is still there after all these years, wood but not the fresh wood kind, a hint of dark chocolate and some floral notes.


I cut the cigar and unfortunately damage the cap because I used the cheap freebie cutter that was in my reach instead of getting up and getting one of my Xikar or Palio cutters. The cold draw is great and has a floral taste with a peppery aftertaste. A vintage cigar needs to be lit with a vintage lighter so I grabbed my Ronson varaflame and lit the cigar. I taste spices like nutmeg, cinnamon with a caramel like sweetness. After a few puffs I taste oak with the spices and a mild peppery aftertaste. After a third I taste peppery floral flavors with a mild cedar. Slowly the spices and cedar get stronger, a little lime shows up too and the pepper is also on the rise. Near the end the floral flavor is back and with some strength. I also taste a little salt


The draw is perfect and so is the smoke. White, thick, plentiful, just the way I like it. The burn isn’t completely straight though. The ash however is firm, and a beautiful light gray. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The evolution is great in this complex and extremely well balanced cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish.

Score: 95
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Categories: 95, American cigars, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze, Warped | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Gasparilla Pirate

Now this is a mystery cigar to me, I don’t know where its made, who makes it (although I have an idea), what year it’s from, what the blend is and what the msrp is since I can’t find any information online about this cigar. Another mystery is how I got this cigar, I really have no idea. But all the mystery makes reviewing this cigar extra fun, since I don’t know what to expect, my opinion can’t be tainted by reading other reviews or people telling me about this stick.


All information I have is from the cigar ring, which says ‘henco a mano’ so it’s a handmade cigar and ‘Florida’ and that throws me off the trail on the manufacturer since a sticker on the glass tube mentions S. Plasencia Tobacco 1885 so I would have guessed Honduras or Nicaragua and as far as I know Plasencia doesn’t have a factory in Florida. The sticker also mentions “Gasparilla Pirate Fest, official collectible premium cigar” and on that info I did find that this cigar must have been given out or sold in Tampa at the Gasparilla Pirate Fest that is held there every year. And I have been in Tampa a few times, but never during the Pirate Fest, and that will probably never happen either, and I know for sure I haven’t bought this cigar during my visits there so its still a mystery how I got it.


The cigar comes in a glass tube, as mentioned before, with a transparent sticker with golden print that makes it hard to read. The size is 7×48 and the vitola is called Pirate. The cigar feels good although the triple cap shows some curves. The wrapper has a chocolate color and has a lot of tooth, it feels a bit like sandpaper. The ring is gold with a black circle and a white pirate ship in the circle. Under the black circle it says Gasparilla in black letters. Above the black circle there is a cutout in white with some green, red and golden party decorations. On the back the ring is red, green and gold with golden letters honcho a mano Florida. To be honest, the whole color scheme makes the cigar look tacky. And then the aroma, have you ever been to the toilet of a pub or venue at the end of the night, or the next morning before the cleaners did their job? If you have, then you know what I’m talking about. It’s strong but not pleasant.


I cut the cigar with my xikar cutter, the cold draw is good. I hardy taste anything, just a little dry tobacco. I lit the cigar with my soft flame and taste an acidic coffee. After three puffs I also taste a little sweetness. After half an inch it’s lemon with some honey and that’s it. After a third I still taste the lemon but now with a faint chocolate and some musty cedar. The final third is wood with a little bit of pepper.


The salt and pepper colored ash is not firm at all. The smoke is thin and medium in amount. The burn is good though, just like the draw. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is a boring hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No! Boring! This is a typical event cigar for tourist who normally don’t smoke cigars. It’s not a bad cigar, just boring.

Score: 73
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Categories: 73, American cigars, Gasparilla | Tags: , , , ,

Lars Tetens Greenwich Torpedo

I think it was late 2008 or early 2009 when I did a box split with another cigar aficionado from The Netherlands. Now that was something I did more often but this was a special box, the Lars Tetens Gorillafinger and it might be the worst cigar I have ever smoked, although the Cremosa Cubana is a close competitor. And I handed these cigars out as jokes, I have seen people puke after just one puff or turn pale with every puff they took. The Lars Tetens chocolates were good though, but those Gorillafingers were horrible. Then I heard he left the cigar business but the last few months I see his brand pop up on social media again, with new blends, both infused and non infused. Then I got approached by Josh Allison from urbanluxlife.com who’s involved in the distributing of Lars Tetens cigars. He told me that my review of the gorillafinger was giving them a lot of trouble, which was very nice to hear for me as it means that my blog is read, and asked me if I was willing to try the new blends and give Lars Tetens a chance to redeem himself. As a firm believer in second chances I said yes, but I also said that if I didn’t like the cigars I would write that too.


Josh send me both the Greenwich and the Steampunk, the first cigar that I’m reviewing is the Lars Tetens Greenwich Torpedo, a 5 1/2×54 American puro with filler from Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia, a Connecticut Shade binder of high grade and a Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper. As far as I’ve been told the cigars are rolled in Pennsylvania, in an undisclosed small factory run by Lars Tetens himself. The only other American puro I smoked, as far as I know, is the La Casita Criollo by Pete Johnson and I like that one a lot, so the expectations are rising. Josh also offers a 10% discount on his Lions of Luxury website with the code ja10, I hesitated to post this offer because I used to be working as a sales rep in The Netherlands and in that position I always opposed to order online abroad since its against the Dutch law and I am pro supporting your local B&M, but most of the visitors of my blog are based in the USA anyway. If you’re not from or living in the USA, please check your countries regulations first, I am not responsible for any confiscations of legal issues! And support your local shops too, they are the ones enabling our hobby with their knowledge and hard work.


Now the cigar, which is slightly box pressed and comes protected by cellophane. Once I remove the cellophane I get hit by a strange smell. The aroma reminds me of applejuice, or even more apple cider, and it is that I know this is a non infused cigar otherwise the aroma would make me think otherwise. The aroma is strong. The cigar has two rings, the top ring is beautiful, a metallic shiny colored ring with red metallic lines and golden colors letters, on top is has a latin text and my latin is non existing so I can’t tell you what it says and the main text is Lars Tetens in a curly font with a handdrawn logo that looks like a cartoonesque version of the Rolex logo on one side and a crest with swords on the other side. The backside has a gray embossed and a red dragon printed. I love the band but unfortunately the big foot band doesn’t match up to it and that one looks like a photocopied ring with the same Latin text, a white square with the name and a logo and some full color pictures of art. If it was my brand I would change that bottom ring immediately. The dark wrapper is flawless, no big veins, just beautiful. The construction feels good and I like the point on the torpedo, which is sharp.


Because of the torpedo size I had to cut the cigar, punching is no option, so I grabbed my Xikar and then got a great cold draw. I do taste some sour apple, a flavor I smelled too, but the taste isn’t as strong as the aroma. I also taste some pepper. After lighting the cigar, with a torch this time, I taste a nice sweet earthy flavor with a little bit of that apple, the combination is unique but pleasant. The subtle sourness of the apple makes the cigar refreshing and a great mix with the nutmeg and cinnamon that I taste after a few puffs. After an inch I taste some cocoa and I little pepper. Halfway I still taste some of the apple with the spices. The flavors evolve into more peppery with sweetness, oak and spices.


The draw is great and the smoke plentiful yet medium thick while i like very thick smoke. The gray ash shows beautiful layers and is quite firm. The burn is straight and slow. The cigar is flavorful, full flavored and full bodied. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? This cigar is quite unique yet the hefty $19 price tag is too hefty for me to purchase a box. But a single every now and then if possible I would. I have to say, Lars Tetens has redeemed himself. I wasn’t expecting a cigar of this quality from his hands to be honest but credit is where credit’s due, hats off.

Score: 93
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Categories: 93, American cigars, Lars Tetens, Lars Tetens Factory | Tags: , , , ,

Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Toro

A few years ago, while working for a cigar importer/distributer I met Courtney Smith who was working for one of the brands we distributed, La Palina. Courtney left La Palina, I left the company I was working for but at intertabac last September we ran into each other again. Courtney gave me a few cigars of the company she’s with now, Cornelius & Anthony. I smoked most at the show but kept a few samples for reviews.

Cornelius & Anthony is quite new to the premium cigar game but not new to the tobacco industry. The family behind the brand has been growing tobacco in Virginia for over 150 years and 5th generation Steven Anthony Bailey decided it was time to branch out to the premium cigar business and honoring the first Bailey to enter the business he named the brand after him: Cornelius and added his own second name Anthony to it. They came out with 4 lines, 3 made in La Zona in Esteli, Nicaragua and one by El Titan de Bronze in Miami. And the last one I’ll be reviewing today. The line is called Cornelius and the cigar is made from Nicaraguan and Dominican filler with a binder and wrapper from Ecuador. I smoked the 6×50 toro. The band is very detailed and beautifully designed, just like the artwork on the boxes. The wrapper has a beautiful color, only a few small veins, a light shine and a silky feel. The triple cap on the well rounded head finishes the looks of the cigar. There is a distinct barnyard aroma. The construction feels good and the cold draw, that leaves me with some pepper on my lips, is flawless.

Lighting the cigar with my trusted vintage Ronson soft flame is very easy and at first I taste a nice full but medium coffee flavor and after a few puffs I also taste a nice nuttiness. After half an inch it’s still mainly coffee what I taste. The nuttiness disappeared but I taste some spices instead and some pepper on my lips.

After a third i taste a nice wooden flavor, the coffee is completely gone. I also taste a nice amount of chili pepper. Halfway the pepper mellows out, it doesn’t disappear but it’s not as strong as before. There is still wood though. After two thirds I still taste wood with some pepper but there is a nice fresh minty aftertaste that I like a lot. At the end I taste some nuts again.

The burn is straight with a beautiful light colored ash. The draw is fantastic, just the right amount of resistance. The cigar is medium bodied and it gave me a nice amount of thick smoke. The ash is reasonable firm, but not firm enough for a long ash competition. The cigar is well balanced, the body – flavor ratio is spot on. The cigar lasted me for over an hour and a forty five minutes and I needed to bring out my cool JSK nub tool.

Would I buy this cigar again? If only they were for sale in Europe, which will probably never happen due to high import taxes on tobacco shipped from the USA.

Score: 94

94

Categories: 94, American cigars, Cornelius & Anthony, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Padilla Miami Maduro Robusto

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

A few years ago I was in Miami with some friends and we hooked up with Ernesto Padilla, whom I met before, at El Titan de Bronze on Calle Ocho, there he gave me this Padilla Miami Maduro Robusto, a 5×52 robusto made by El Titan de Bronze.
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The beautiful dark wrapper feels silky and has a few thin veins. The double ring looks great on the dark cigar. The aroma reminds me of horses. The cigar feels tightly packed but the cold draw is great.
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I taste a lot of coffee with some sugar and herbs. Soon after its herbs, spicy and peppery that makes my throat dry. After a third I taste herbs with some toast and halfway I also taste nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon.
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After two thirds I taste more toast, some herbs, some pepper and the overall taste is quite spicy. The toast is gaining some strength and the pepper moves to the aftertaste and never gets too strong.
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This cigar lasted me an hour and forty five minutes. The smoke is thick. The burn is beautiful just like the white, firm and dense ash. This cigar is medium bodied and full flavored.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Unfortunately these aren’t for sale outside the USA.

Appearance: 8
Construction: 8
Draw: 8
Burn: 7
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 8

Categories: American cigars, Padilla, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze | Tags: , , , , ,

Bello Robusto

Last november I was walking around Calle Ocho in Miami and I stumbled onto Pedro Bello, a cigar maker whom I had never heard off. When I walked into the shop, I thought I saw Che Guevarra himself, but it turned out to be the owner Pedro Bello himself. He told me that he was one of the four companies that still rolls cigars in Miami, but he also owns a factory in Honduras. I got some of his cigars, promised to do some reviews and here I am, keeping that promise with a review of this 5×48 Bello robusto. As theirwebsite is under construction while I am writing this review, I can’t tell any specifics about the blend whatsoever.
121215bellorobusto1
I love the band, stylish with warm colors. The wrapper is nice and dark with one long thin vein. The wrapper is quite oily too. The construction is great and I smell some wood and hay from the cigar. The predraw is great and I taste raisin.
121215bellorobusto2
I taste a nice full coffee flavor with a hint of chocolate on the background. I like this. After half an inch I taste dry cacao with hay and wood and a hint of leather.
121215bellorobusto3
Halfway I taste dry herbs, mild sweet, with hay and wood. The flavors are full but smooth and complex. I also taste some nutmeg and clove. After two thirds I taste more herbs and the cigar becomes a bit sweeter.
121215bellorobusto4
This cigar lasted me fifty five minutes. The draw was amazing and I got a lot of smoke. The burn was great and the pepper & salt colored ash was firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied.
121215bellorobusto5
Would I buy this cigar again? It depends on the price, I liked it though.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 9 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: American cigars, Bello, Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co | Tags: ,

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