Dominican cigars

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Robusto

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Robusto. A motorcycle brand with history. And history in cigars as well, as this is not the first time the name is connected to cigars. The first time it appeared was in the mid-1990s when business partners Philip Zanghi and Rocky Patel founded Indian Tabac. Zanghi’s father was once the owner of the Indian Motorcycle brand, and Philip had the right to make cigars under the name. When Zanghi sold his stock to Patel and left the cigar industry, the name remained with Patel. When the company started carrying Patel’s name, the Indian Tabac cigars were slowly discontinued.


And then Zanghi came back in the scene. First with Debonaire and then he regained the rights for Indian Motorcycles when it comes to tobacco. There are currently three lines. The first in a Habano, the second a Maduro. And there’s also a Connecticut version, which is exclusively for Canada for now. The cigars are made at De Los Reyes factory in the Dominican Republic. The wrapper is Connecticut Broadleaf. The binder comes from the Dominican. The filler is a blend of Central American tobaccos.


This cigar starts with bonus points for looks. The wrapper is dark as night, oily, leathery and smooth. And the ring is amazing. Beige outwearing, smudged like a motorcycle mechanic with oily hands touched it. And then the Indian logo with a red glossy metallic background. This cigar is quite a looker. It feels well packed. The aroma is mud, hay and wet horses.


The cold draw is good. It’s spicy with a raw tobacco flavor. Right from the start, it’s coffee. Strong dark roast coffee. And some salty nuts as well. The flavor is very pleasant. There’s also some toasted wood in the flavor palate. After a few puffs, the coffee mellows out and the cigar gets a soil flavor, with some spices and pepper. And there is a slightly metallic flavor as well. After a centimeter, it’s soil with pepper, sweetness and some citrus. After a third, it’s still earthy with pepper, some sweetness and now I taste a hint of chocolate and leather as well. Halfway the cigar gets some more chocolate and a little hay, but those are supporting flavors for the earthiness and pepper. In the final third, leather is replacing the earthiness. And there is some walnut in the flavor too.


The draw is great. The smoke is good, not spectacular but good. The ash is flaky and splits a little bit. This cigar is medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored. The burn is pretty straight. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? For 7,25 euro? Yes

number91

Categories: 91, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Indian Motorcycles | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Gurkha Ghost Gold Shadow

Gurkha Ghost Gold Shadow. Gurkha is a controversial brand. For most people, it is a ‘love it or hate it’ brand. And when you have to believe the social media, most cigar smokers are in the hate it section. Yet, the sales numbers don’t seem to show that, as the brand is selling like hotcakes. Our personal experience is more negative than positive. Yet, as cigar geeks with an open mind, we give each new blend a try. The regular Gurkha Ghost is a good cigar, so maybe this follow-up Gurkha Ghost Gold is good too.


The cigars are made at PDR in the Dominican Republic. It has the same filler and binder as the regular Gurkha Ghost. The fillers are from the Dominican, Nicaragua, and the United States. The wrapper is replaced. Instead of the dark Brazilian Arapiraca, Gurkha uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper for the Ghost Gold blend. And as it turns out, it’s an updated version of an old blend. That means it will be grandfathered in if the FDA gets their way. The FDA is currently trying to regulate premium cigars and it will be close to impossible to have new blends on the market. Since this is an old blend, it would be grandfathered.


The cigar looks great. The foot is closed. The ring is the same as the regular Ghost line, yet with gold instead of silver. The wrapper is dark and very oily. It’s almost glossy. The cigar has the right sponginess. The triple cap is beautiful. The aroma is dark, hay with charred wood.


The wrapper is quite salty. And the cold draw is a bit tights because of the closed foot. The flavors are raw tobacco and salt. Once lit the draw is fine. The flavors are wood, salt, leather, earthy and coffee from the start. There is some sweetness at the background as well. The sweetness becomes stronger, and a little creamy. There’s a mild chocolate flavor to the sweetness too. There’s some pepper as well. So far, this cigar hits almost every section of the flavor wheel in the diagram below. And all within the first ten minutes. Then it turns to nuts and wood, with spices. This cigar has a very dynamic start. The chocolate sweetness remains while the cigar gets more peppery and spicy, with some hay flavors as well. The wood is still there, with leather. After a third, it’s nutty and woody with leather and pepper. The pepper is growing. The mouthfeel is dry. The final third starts out with nuts, salt, spices, pepper, and leather.


The draw is great. The smoke is good but could be a little thicker. The burn needs corrections every now and then. The dark gray ash isn’t really firm. This cigar is medium-full, both in body and flavor. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes. Is it better than the regular Gurkha Ghost? Not in my book, but this is still an enjoyable cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? Every once in a while

number90

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Gurkha, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Davtian Primus Robusto

I met David Davtian briefly at the Intertabac trade show. It was a brand I heard mention before but I never saw or tasted, any of their cigars. And after starting Ministry of Cigars, I had to look into the brand a bit. And to my surprise, they only have two sizes for each blend. And each size is blended differently, for the optimal taste with the specific size.

This 5×54 round Davtian Primus is made from an Ecuadorian wrapper. It has a Dominican Olor binder. The wrapper contains Viso and Seco from San Vicente in the Dominican Republic. And both Seco and Ligero from a Criollo 98 kind. That tobacco also comes from the Dominican Republic

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The cigar has a beautiful Colorado wrapper. It is mild oily with some veins. The head is beautifully rounded. But the reason why the cigar doesn’t speak to me is the ring. It is silver with black, but the logo and the overall feel of the ring are too bland for me. I get an ‘I’ve seen this before’ feeling, it reminds me a bit of a Zino ring. The quality is great, yet it doesn’t speak to me. The aroma is mild, and I smell a mild ammonia smell. Add some barnyard and that’s your Davtian Primus aroma.

The cold draw is great. I taste raw tobacco. After lighting, I taste pepper, coffee, earth, penny bun mushroom, and softwood. There is a little cream. The cigar is mellow, typically a classic smooth Dominican cigar. Not very interesting. Cedar, a bit of cream, some leather. If I didn’t know better, I would expect this to be a Connecticut Shade cigar because of the smoothness and the mild mustiness that comes with Connecticut Shade. The mustiness disappears. The main flavors are wood, mushroom, and pepper. Yet it is all smooth and mild. After a third, I taste more sweetness with the mushrooms and the pepper. The cigar loses the mushroom and turns more to oak and pepper. There is a little bit of hay in the flavor too.

The draw is great. The burn is good. The smoke is quite alright. The ash is light colored and pretty dense. This is a mild to medium bodied cigar, medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, this is not up my alley so to say.

number87

Categories: 87, Davtian, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , ,

VegaFino Exclusivo Benelux 2018

VegaFina is a brand made at Casa de Garcia on the Dominican Republic. And Casa de Garcia is the largest cigar factory in the country. It’s part of Altadis. And Altadis is part of Imperial Brands. But for how long is the question. Imperial Brands is trying to sell their premium cigar division. That includes their Dominican cigar factory but also their stake in Habanos. And the shares in several Habanos distributors worldwide.


Habanos was probably the inspiration for this Exclusivo Benelux. Habanos has been releasing regional editions for over a decade. This is the first time VegaFina released a regional edition for the Benelux. Probably hoping to mimic the success of the Cuban regional editions. For that, they blended a 6×56 cigar. The filler is from the Dominican and the United States. The binder is from the Dominican. As a wrapper, they used Mexican Criollo.

The cigar has a nice Colorado Claro colored wrapper. The veins are thin and pretty. Where the regular VegaFina ring has a brushed silver color, the designers picked a shiny silver for the secondary ring. That makes the rings look odd. The Benelux flag design is a nice addition to the additional ring. The construction feels good. The aroma is mild, with a wooden nose. The secondary ring is not glued straight, it’s not correct on the detail level.

The cold draw is good. It tastes spicy with a strong raw tobacco flavor. Stronger than expected from a brand that is known for milder cigars. After lighting, I taste a very mild nutty flavor with some citrus. The flavors are very mild. Coffee, leather, citrus and some sweetness. The cigar is boring with little flavor and no evolution in the first third. After a third, I taste some pepper, wood and a hint of chocolate. And there is still a little acidity left. It then picks up in strength a little, with young, fresh wood and some sugar. But it remains mild. Halfway the cigar turns medium bodied with wood, nuts, minty freshness, and pepper. The wood turns a little charred. In the final third, leather makes a comeback.

The burn was crooked but corrected itself. The ash is whiter than white. The smoke is poor, in volume and thickness. The cigar starts very mildly, then slowly grows to medium-full. Both in flavor and strength. The smoke time is two hours and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nope

number87

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

PDR Dark Roast Robusto

Coffee flavored cigars are popular. Several popular brands have a coffee infused cigar line in their portfolio. Drew Estate even has two with the Tabak Especial and Isla del Sol. Plus they produce the Java for Rocky Patel. The Nub Cafe from Oliva is a popular coffee infused cigar, but there are more. And last year, PDR decided to jump on the train as well. But their coffee infused cigars are different.

Where the other brands choose to sweeten the wrapper, PDR decided not to do so. So their ‘roast series’ are natural cigars, just infused with coffee. No other techniques, no sweetened wrapper, pure cigars, and coffee.

The PDR Roast series come in three blends, just like the Nub Cafe. The Natural Roast has an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. Then there’s the Medium Roast with a Sun Grown Claro wrapper from Ecuador. The version that Ministry of Cigars is reviewing is the PDR Dark Roast. That one has a Brazilian Maduro wrapper and is supposedly the strongest of the blends. There are three sizes available. There are a 51/4×44 Corona, a 6×52 Toro and the 5×52 Robusto that we are reviewing.

The cigar looks amazing. A dark oily wrapper. Closed foot and a knot on the head. A dark glossy ring, simple and clear. A huge glossy foot ring with the PDR logo. This cigar stands out. There are a few veins on the wrapper, but for a Brazilian Maduro wrapper, it looks smooth. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice bounce when you squeeze it. The cigar has a strong aroma of dark chocolate and coffee. More chocolate than coffee, which is quite surprising.

The cold draw is great, even with the closed foot. There is some artificial sweetness but it’s not on the lips as with other infused cigars. Once lit, there is dark roasted coffee as expected, with some artificial sweetness. The bitterness of the coffee is quite complex. Soon the artificial sweetness takes over, with coffee and chili pepper as supporting flavors. After a few puffs, there’s coffee with mud. That artificial sweetness does not do the cigar any favors. But at least it’s not stuck on the lips, something that happens with for example the Nub Cafe lines. Halfway the cigar gets spicier, the artificial sweetness is less. There’s coffee, pepper, herbs, leather, and wood. The mouthfeel is mild creamy. In the final third, the cigar turns a little bitter. With pepper, coffee and that artificial sweetness again. The pepper is strong. Near the end, there’s wood with the pepper. The sweetness disappears just like the coffee.


The draw is good, a bit loose maybe. And the smoke is fantastic, thick and white. The burn is wonky and had to be corrected. The light-colored ash isn’t very firm. This cigar is medium-full bodied. The flavors are medium. This cigar would have been better with less artificial sweetener. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I don’t think so

number89

Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, PDR, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Diamond Crown Black Diamond Radiant

J.C. Newman and Arturo Fuente have been working together for decades. And all of Newman’s Dominican cigars are made at the Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cya factory. Including this Diamond Crown Black Diamond Radiant. It is a short robusto extra, where the short stands for the 4 ½ inch length, and the extra is in the 54 ring.

This cigar was given to me by a friend, who imports the brand in Malaysia. He said he wanted my opinion on the cigar before he pulled the trigger on bringing the blend in. That’s a lot of pressure, but I am up for the task. So here I go, smoking this cigar with Dominican filler and binder. The wrapper is a Havana seed wrapper from Connecticut. Broadleaf!

The wrapper is dark, smooth and oily. The big ring has a lot of silver which contrasts the darkness of the wrapper. The ring is bright, big and of good quality. The cigar feels good, the right bounce when I gently squeeze the cigar. And the aroma is good too, medium strong, barnyard and wood.

The cold draw is great. I taste an unsuspected gingerbread and pepper flavor in the cold draw. After lighting, I taste strong earthy and coffee flavors. But there is also gingerbread in the flavor and minty freshness. And I like that gingerbread flavor. The cigar is well balanced. The flavors go remain in the coffee, gingerbread, pepper, leather and soil profile, with sometimes some grass, sometimes some vanilla. All with a creamy mouthfeel, After a third, I taste high-quality dark chocolate in the cigar as well. Halfway the pepper gets stronger, with some leaves, chocolate, and spices.

The draw is good. There is a lot of smoke and the salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The burn is good too. This cigar is medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored. The smoke time is two hours and five minutes

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Would I buy this cigar again? Due to the price, it will be once in a blue moon. But I do like it, a lot.

number91

Categories: 91, Diamond Crown, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , ,

Viking Valhalla Robusto

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


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

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


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


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

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

number87

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

Balmoral Añejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Massivo

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


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

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

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


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

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

number91

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

Dalay Limited Edition 2019 Robusto Extra

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


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

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

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

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

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

number91

Categories: 91, Dalay, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Altragrazia

Fuente Lonsdale vintage 2001

Now, this cigar has a back story to it, because it was made before I started smoking cigars so I did not buy it fresh off the shelve and store it for 18 years. No, the worldwide Fuente distributor has such a huge, climate-controlled, warehouse full of cigars and raw tobacco that they lost three pallets of cigars and they were recently found while moving to a newer, bigger warehouse.


The Dutch Fuente distributor bought all the cigars and is selling them for very reasonable prices, you might even consider it cheap, since this vintage lonsdale sells for 9 euro, if they are still available. I was lucky enough to buy a pack of five of these cigars.

The wrapper is still smooth and oily after all those years in storage, but the color has changed into a yellowish brown. The cellophane is golden brown too. The 6×44 cigar feels smooth, I can’t detect any soft spots or plugs. The ring is simple, classic, Cubanesque. Just a red base, golden details and A. Fuente Gran Reserva in white letters. The one thing that sets them apart from the old school Cuban labels is the small green edge with the golden line at the bottom. The aroma is mild, hay and manure are what I smell.

After cutting I get a great cold draw, with a surprisingly peppery and mint flavor. After lighting, I taste a lot of leather, strong for a vintage cigar yet smooth. There is an earthy undertone with some hay. After half a centimeter I taste caramel with green herbs with a musty hint. The years have done this cigar good, it’s so complex, the subtle flavors are all over the board. I am also tasting cinnamon and cream. Then after a centimeter, I taste creamy cedar with a little salt and honey. I also taste a little hint of hazelnuts. I also taste licorice after a while, quite salty but with a slightly sour undertone. A little past a third I taste caramelized leather with a hint of pepper. Halfway I taste a toasted, leathery and creamy flavor. The nutty flavor returns in the final third with some pepper. The pepper gains some strength.

The ash is white, yet the smoke has a brownish color. It’s quite plentiful though. The draw is flawless. The ash isn’t firm though. The burn is razor-sharp. This cigar is smooth, complex, medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is one hour and fifty minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? I wish I had the opportunity
number94

Categories: 94, Arturo Fuente, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: ,

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