Dominican cigars

Casdagli Club Mareva Gran Mareva

Casdagli Club Mareva Gran Mareva. A cigar that found its origin in 2010, when Marko Bilic opened his cigar club in Split, Croatia. The name of the club is Club Mareva. And to celebrate the opening of the now-famous club, Jeremy Casdagli created a cigar line for that special event. The Club Mareva line. Fast forward to 10 years later, there are 5 sizes in the line, of which some regular productions. Others were temporarily available.

The cigar, as most of the Casdagli lines, hail from the Dominican Republic. From the small Kelner Boutique Factory. The rollers use Brazilian Cubra tobacco as the wrapper. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and the United States. The cigar measures 5½x42.

A pigtail and a closed foot are always bonus points when it comes to looks. The cigar has a nice chocolate-brown wrapper with very few veins for Brazilian tobacco. The simple black ring with gold print is decent but it would not make us be drawn to the cigar in a humidor of a good tobacconist. The construction feels great. The aroma might not be strong, but it has depth. Musky with spices.

The cold draw is fine, mildly spicy. The first puff is s slap in the face, but a good slap. An explosion of flavor. Wood, spices, pepper, and leather. But immediately complexity and depth. This cigar doesn’t waste time. After that first explosion, the flavors do mellow out a bit. Grass, green herbs, and a little salt. Still very pleasant. The mouthfeel is quite dry. The dryness makes the cigar spicier, with a hint of chocolate. There is an earthy tone with some wood. The cigar gets more hay, more pepper, and a little leather. The last third has more of a wood flavor, with some sweetness and pepper.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is plentiful and the thickness is very nice. The ash is white as the hair of an old sailor. The burn is uneven though. This is a medium-full cigar, both in body and flavor. Well balanced, but front-loaded. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a good value for money cigar.

Categories: 90, Bespoke, Dominican cigars, KBF | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro. In 1995 the oldest premium handmade family-owned cigar manufacturer in America, J.C. Newman, released the super-premium Diamond Crown line. That was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company. And it was a shock back then as all cigars came with a ring gauge of 54. That was considered insanely big back then. Now 60 seems to be the norm, unfortunately, and 54 is a pretty regular ring gauge.

In 2003, the Diamond Crown Maximus followed. Stronger, bolder. As with all Dominican made cigars for J.C. Newman, they come from the Tabacalera Fuente factory. This time with Dominican filler and binder. The wrapper is sun-grown El Bajo from Ecuador. The No.4 is a 6×50 toro. This cigar was a gift from Bobby Newman when we met a few years ago.

The wrapper is dark, oily, but has some wrinkles reminiscent of old skin, wrinkled under the relentless sun. Yet it helps to give the cigar character when it comes to looks. It’s needed because the band is slick and fancy. Colorful, shiny with plenty of gold. The construction feels good, the cigar seems evenly filled. The aroma is strong, dark chocolate with barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is good. Hay and the complex bitterness of dark chocolate are the flavors in the cold draw. The first puffs are earthy with dark chocolate. The earthiness intensifies. There’s also a hint of leather. Suddenly there is coffee as well. Later on, there’s also some pepper. But the first part of the cigar is mainly soil, leather, coffee, and chocolate. After a third, the cigar opens up. Now there is more sweetness, nice citrus acidity and the flavors aren’t so dark anymore. There is wood, licorice to be more precise. In the final third, the cigar gets more sweet wood and more spice. Yet the earthiness and coffee remain. The spice really picks up. It becomes a pepper bomb at the end.

The draw is good, slightly tight but all within limits. The white ash isn’t all too firm, the handheld vacuum did come out once or twice during the review. The smoke can be thicker and there could be more volume. The burn is slow and straight. The cigar doesn’t have much evolution, but it is solid all the way. The smoke time is three hours. This is a strong cigar, full in flavor and body.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like it a lot but I’d pick the Black Diamond over this one.

Categories: 90, Diamond Crown, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , ,

Pachuche Liga Azul Tronco

Pachuche Liga Azul Tronco, a big cigar hailing from the Dominican Republic but it’s a Swiss cigar brand. And strongly enough, there are quite a few cigar brands with roots in Switzerland. Davidoff is the most famous one. But brands as ADVentura, Gilbert de Montsalvat, Vegas de Santiago, El Sueno, Patoro, Cavalier Geneve, and Skull 77 all have their roots in the Central European country. So does Pachuche.

The Liga Azul is the third blend that the company released. There are four blends available at the moment, all made at Tabacalera William Ventura. This Liga Azul is the mildest and smoothest with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. All the other tobacco is from the Dominican Republic. The artwork on the cigar is designed by the half Mexican, half Swiss artist Patrick Küng, a childhood friend of brand founder Camillo Bazzell. Küng used his Mexican heritage as an inspiration

The wrapper is pale, yellowish-brown like autumn leaves. The greenish right with the Cinco de Mayo kind of skull is a big contrast with the bright metallic blue foot band that says Liga Azul in big, white letters. For the size, the cigar feels very light. Yet there are no soft spots or signs of underfilling of the cigar. The head is quite flat. The cigar has this manure aroma, which is quite strong.

The cold draw is quite loose and brings sweetness to the palate. Once lit, the cigar gives hay and immediately that musty old book flavor of Connecticut Shade wrappers. There is a mild sweet creaminess to the cigar as well. Slowly some acidity shows up with a hint of white pepper. Slowly the flavors change to cedar and earthiness. Still with that typical Connecticut Shade mustiness though. The cigar is very smooth and mild. The mouthfeel is very creamy, which is pleasant. The flavors remain the same until halfway when a little bit of leather and green herbs show up. But it’s all mellow and smooth. There is a hint to toasted bread every few puffs as well. In the final third, the cream and sweetness return. But with some pepper and nuts.

The draw is a bit on the loose side. But it is still within acceptable margins. The ash is like a stack of dimes, beautifully layers of ash in different tones of gray. The smoke is thick and full. The burn is razor-sharp. This cigar does have balance and a lot of smoothness. It is a mild to medium smoke in strength, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s still a Connecticut Shade cigar.

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Pachuche, Tabacalera William Ventura | Tags: , , ,

Mustique Blue Robusto

Mustique Blue Robusto. Earlier we did a review on the Mustique Red Robusto. A value cigar from the Dominican Republic. And guess what, we did not care much for it. And that’s an understatement. If every cigar was like the Mustique Red, we would quit smoking cigars today. But fortunately, there are many good cigars out there as well. Today it is time to try the brother of the Red, the Blue.

Just as the red version, this cigar comes from Tabacalera de Garcia. The largest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic, and possibly even the world. It has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over Dominican filler and binder. It measures 5×50.

The Colorado-colored wrapper has a nice shine to it. It looks a bit leathery, especially at the foot. The appearance is much better than the red version. The cigar feels a lot better as well, not as spongy. But the aroma is not as good. It smells a bit like lovage after someone emptied his bladder on the plant.

The cold draw is good. There is a little spice in the flavor, with green herbs. That lovage that’s also in the aroma, fortunately, the pee aroma isn’t in the taste too. Once lit there is leather, wood, herbs, and pepper. The flavors slowly change to cedar with a mild walnut flavor and black pepper in the background. Not unpleasant. Halfway the cigar gives cedar, soil, leather, and hay. With some black pepper in the background. For the price, this isn’t a bad cigar. It is so much better than the red version. The nuttiness picks up, hazelnuts with pepper. The flavor intensifies with more wood and black pepper. But there is earthiness and leather too.

The draw is a bit tight. The burn is straight. Due to the tight draw, the smoke isn’t big either. The ash is light gray and quite strong. The construction of the cigar is decent. The body of this cigar is medium-full with medium flavor. The smoke time is two hours and five minutes.

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

Categories: 89, Casa de Garcia, Dominican cigars, Mustique | Tags: , , , ,

VegaFina Year of the Ox

VegaFina Year of the Ox. One of the many brands that create a cigar commemorating the Chinese zodiac calendar. And a fitting review for today as the Year of the Ox starts today. VegaFina joined the brands that celebrate Chinese New Year a few years ago. Last year, Ministry of Cigars reviewed the VegaFina Year of the Rat.

This cigar is big, 6¼x56. Just like Davidoff, who started the Chinese zodiac theme cigars, the people behind VegaFina picked a big ring cigar. Maybe because the Ox stands for strength, and because it’s a big animal? The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The binder and wrapper are Nicaraguan as well. As the wrapper, a Habano 2000 tobacco was chosen. Tabacalera de Garcia takes care of the production of the cigars.

I received the samples naked due to plain packaging regulations. But we know that the cigars have the normal VegaFina ring and the second ring in red. With an ox and Chinese characters in golden print. The cigar looks impressive, not only due to its size. But also due to a nice, chestnut brown and oily wrapper with a few thin veins. The triple cap is a nice bonus. The cigar feels well constructed, with no soft spots at all. The medium-strong smell is a mixture of hay and a little ammonia.

The cold draw is great. There are raw tobacco and sultana flavors. After lighting, the first puffs are a little harsh. Wood, leather, coffee, and pepper. But after a few puffs, the cigar mellows out. Salty, herbal with leather, soil, and wood. Evilution moves on to a herbal, spicy, and salty milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is a bit creamy, and cedar is noticeable in the retrohale. The flavor then becomes spicy with young, wet leather as the base flavor. There is some sweetness. It comes close to agave syrup, the vegan alternative to honey. The sweetness becomes a little stronger. The cigar then moves to licorice, sweetness, leather, and herbs. A little salt ties it all together. The flavors are balanced, smooth yet bold. There are more leather and pepper starts to show up as well. The final third starts with wood and dark spices. There is plenty of cedar as well, although pepper becomes the dominant flavor at the end.

The draw is fantastic, open yet with the right amount of resistance. The ash is light-colored. The light-colored ash is decent yet not very firm. The burn is quite straight. The smoke is okay, but not too thick and plentiful. The cigar starts medium in body but turns to full later on. The flavor is full. The smoke time is three hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Even though it is a ring gauge too thick for me, yes I will.

Categories: 92, Casa de Garcia, Dominican cigars, VegaFina | Tags: , ,

Puro Ambar Legacy Robusto

Puro Ambar Legacy Robusto. Or should it be a Grand Robusto as it’s larger and thicker than the standard 5×50 Robusto Vitola? Anyway, the Puro Ambar brand is part of the portfolio Tabacalera El Artista. Recently the brand got an overhaul. New packaging and a new blend. But this is the old blend, with the old artwork. The line is around since 2011.

Tabacalera El Artista is not only a cigar manufacturer but also a cigar tobacco grower. And they are known for creating new varieties or bringing back old tobacco such as Dominican Negrito. The wrapper for the Puro Ambar is one of these exclusive tobaccos with the name 1900. It’s also part of the filler together with Criollo 98. The binder is Dominican Criollo 98 which is fermented in wine barrels.

The wrapper is dark. But a little rough with a few veins. It isn’t the best looking Maduro wrapper, but the rougher ones are often more flavorful. It’s oily and evenly colored. The white and brass rings match the wrapper, they compliment each other. Simple and clean in design. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is deep and dark. Manure and herbs. The herbs are very concentrated like vegetable stock cubes.

The cold draw is great, maybe even a bit on the loose side. There is a very mild cinnamon flavor in the cold draw. Once lit, the cigar releases wood with a dry sweetness. Soon these flavors are accompanied by leather and spice. The cinnamon and nutmeg are pretty pronounced in the retrohale. Halfway the cigar gets notes from dark roast coffee with sweetness, almost honey-like mixed with vanilla. The wood and leather are still in the flavor profile as well. Earthiness shows up with the bitterness and complexity of extra dark chocolate. Much like 80% dark chocolate. There is still spice and a little splash of pepper.

The draw is a bit on the loose side, but still acceptable. The burn isn’t razor-sharp but corrects itself so no touch-ups are necessary. The ash is salt and pepper in color, dense and firm. The smoke is thick and lush. This is a medium cigar, in body and flavor. And for its price, it is a very pleasant smoke. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Most likely yes

Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, Puro Ambar, Tabacalera El Artista | Tags: , , ,

Mustique Red Robusto

Mustique Red Robusto. This is one of the many bundle brands available that never caught the attention of us at the Ministry of Cigars office until about a year ago. A friend gave us a handful of Mustique cigars, both the red label and the blue label. There is not a lot of information online about these cigars, just that Lubinksi is distributing them in Italy. And Kohlhase & Kopp distributes them in Germany.

Apparently, these cigars are 100% long-fillers, but for the price, we truly wonder. Maybe we should cut one open to see. The cigars feature an Ecuadorian wrapper with a Nicaraguan binder. The majority of the filler is Dominican with some Brazilian. What is known is that the cigar hails from the rolling tables of Tabacalera de Garcia. That factory is part of Altadis and it is the largest premium cigar factory on the island. The cigar measures 5×50 but come in several more sizes.

The Colorado-colored wrapper is a bit rough and the triple cap isn’t smooth-looking either. The bright red ring with the white letters is simple, which fits the bundle look of the cigar. The cigar feels a little spongy, slightly under-packed. But evenly spongy, there aren’t any soft or hard spots. The aroma is quite strong and pleasant. It is a barnyard aroma but it has some depth to it.

The cold draw is easy. The flavor from the cold draw is spicy and even a little harsh. Sour milk. Not as horrible as it sounds, but the first puffs have a slightly sour milk taste to them. To offset that flavor, there is pleasant cinnamon. And that makes this cigar Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. The mouthfeel is dry and sticky. The flavors slowly evolve to cedar, with pepper and sweetness. And the flavor profile confirms our suspicion that the wrapper is Ecuadorian Connecticut. That classic old book, old library musty and dusty flavor is unmistakably there. The sour milk flavor never goes away. It is lingering in the back and pops up every once in a while. The nice mix of dark spices and pepper counter the flavor, but still, it does not make smoking this cigar a fantastic experience. Then all of a sudden a very dry, old leather flavor shows up. It then turns to hay, grass, with some pepper. There is a little rough edge, but not enough to call the cigar harsh. The sour milk is gone though, and that’s a good thing. The remainder of the cigar gives cedar, spice, pepper, and that Connecticut Shade signature mustiness.

The draw is decent, it could have a little more air resistance. There is enough smoke coming from this cigar. The smoke is gray, not white or blueish as we like it. The ash is silver-gray and reasonably firm. The burn is good. The cigar is medium, both in the body as in flavor. This is a typical “you get what you pay” for cigar. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Quality over quantity. I rather pay three times the amount and smoke something I enjoy, than pay €2.70 for 3 of these so I could smoke more often.

Categories: 79, Casa de Garcia, Dominican cigars, Mustique | Tags: , , ,

Bugatti Signature Robusto

Bugatti Signature Robusto. Yet, you read that well. A cigar with the Bugatti name. But the Italian German car brand is not just making cars. They entered the luxury market too with bags, cigar accessories, and cigars. Cigars are made at the Blue Star factory from Abe Flores. Known for the PDR, A. Flores, and Flores y Rodriguez cigars. Last year, I reviewed the Bugatti Ambassador. This review is for another Bugatti cigar, the Signature. Bugatti is not the only car brand in the cigar market. Bentley makes cigars with Joya de Nicaragua. Porsche is in the accessory business just as Lamborghini. There are Ferrari accessories as well, but we don’t know if those are legit.

There is some contradicting information about the blend online. Different websites mention different wrappers, different binders, and different fillers. Our information tells us the wrapper is Habano from Ecuador. The binder is a decade old Piloto Cubana from the Dominican Republic. The tobaccos inside the cigar come from Nicaragua, The United States, and Brazil. But we would like to put a disclaimer here. Due to all the contradicting information, we can’t be 100% sure that we have the blend correct. The size of this robusto is 5×52

The cigar is quite good looking. A thick, oily, and dark wrapper. With two shiny rings, a smaller golden ring with Signature in a classic font. The top ring is black with gold. The black has a carbon fiber print and the Bugatti name and logo. The construction feels good. The shape of the cigar is good, the head is nicely rounded. The cigar has strong charcoal, barbecue aroma. Charred wood, aromas like that.

The cold draw is fine. Spicy, with some sweetness. Once lit, the cigar has a strong coffee flavor, with spice and pepper. The barbecue taste that is in the aroma is also in the flavor. Hickory, brown spices, herbs, pepper. Combined with leather and coffee. The mouthfeel is thick. Slowly the cigar gets a little salty, with hay, brown spices, toast, earthiness, leather, and that hickory barbecue wood. At the end of the first third, some nuttiness shows up. The wood and barbecue flavor fades away. Halfway the nut flavor becomes strong, with pepper, and a little leather.

The draw is good. The ash is salt and pepper colored, but with more pepper than salt. The burn is straight, but the wrapper is so thick and leathery that it takes some effort to keep it burning. This cigar is bold, not nuanced. In your face flavors, quite strong. Medium to medium-full bodied. The perfect cigar for after a heavy meal or during a backyard barbecue party. The smoke is good, thick enough, and good enough in volume. The cigar gains strength too, starting out medium going to full. The smoke time is three hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Bugatti, Dominican cigars, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , ,

San Pedro de Macoris Sun Grown Corona

San Pedro de Macoris Sun Grown Corona. A long name for a cigar. But a good name is you know the reason for it. The Royal Agio factory is located in the town of San Pedro de Macoris. And to honor the people from the town that works for Royal Agio, the Wintermans family named a cigar line after the town. A cigar line that started out with an Ecuador and Brazil blend. But now there is also a Nicaraguan blend and this Sun Grown blend. Royal Agio is now part of Scandinavian Tobacco Group and taken off the American market. What will happen with the brand is unsure of the new owners. Scandinavian Tobacco group doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to acquiring brands and doing them well. You can read more about Agio in articles about the history of the brand part one and part two on the affiliated site Ministry of Cigars.

This cigar is available in several sizes. A small Perla. A classic Robusto. The unavoidable Gran Toro. And then this 5⅞x42 Corona. The filler contains tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and the Agio signature Brazil. The binder comes from the Dominican Republic. The wrapper is Ecuadorian Habano. The San Pedro de Macoris lines are all budget-friendly. This corona comes in at €3.70 in Germany, the largest cigar market in Europe. But even the 6×52 Gran Toro comes in below 5 euro. Earlier I did a review of the San Pedro de Macoris Nicaragua Corona, San Pedro de Macoris Brazil Robusto, and the San Pedro de Macoris Ecuador Robusto.

The cigar looks nice. Somehow slender cigars look more elegant than robusto sized cigars or thicker. More sophisticated. The ring pops, matte black with bright yellow, red, blue, and silver. The wrapper is Colorado colored and feels like very fine sandpaper. The construction feels great. The medium-strong aroma is on the darker side of the palate Wood, earthiness, manure, those kinds of smell.

The cold draw is fine with a classic raw tobacco flavor. After lighting the cigar releases chocolate, coffee, leather, and soil. The mouthfeel is a bit sticky, thick, textured. Those flavors hang around for a bit, with some sweetness from the Brazilian tobacco, and a hint of black pepper. After a third, the flavors change to that cocoa flavor but with hay and more pepper. That hay becomes stronger and some cedar shows up as well. The mouthfeel remains textured and thick. In the last third, there is more cedar but the cocoa flavor deteriorates to a slightly unpleasant flavor.

The ash is dark, almost black. It is not firm either. The draw is fantastic. The smoke is thick and white. The burn is straight. 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

Categories: 89, Agio Caribbean Tobacco Company, Dominican cigars, San Pedro de Macoris | Tags: , , , ,

Davidoff tasting cigar figurado

Davidoff tasting cigar figurado. Pre-release cigars or test blends leak into the hands of cigar enthusiasts from time to time. But the Davidoff tasting cigar figurado isn’t either of them. Yet, it is a cigar that is not for sale. Honestly, I don’t know the story behind this cigar. All we know is that it comes from Davidoff. The cigar doesn’t have a ring but the sticker on the cellophane is clearly Davidoff and says “tasting cigar, not for sale”.

Davidoff Distributors managing director Roy Sommer is a friend of me. And he is responsible for gifting this unique cigar. A cigar of which we know nothing. The blend is unknown and there is literally no information to find online. The Herics Cigar Tape is useful so that at least the correct size is known. 6¾x52 in a figurado shape.

The Colorado to Colorado Maduro colored wrapper looks a little rough for a Davidoff cigar. But then again, this isn’t a cigar for sale so aesthetics aren’t part of the deal. The cigar also lacks a ring. The shape is wonderful, with an almost closed foot and all capped head. This cigar comes from a skillful roller, that is for sure. The construction feels great. The strong aroma is Cubanesque. The manure and barnyard aroma that you would expect from a good, slightly aged Habanos cigar.

The cold draw is surprisingly good. It gives pepper and chocolate. One lit, those flavors are gone. A dry sweetness with hay is the flavor profile at the start of the cigar. The sweetness remains, but now with leather, coffee, and earthiness. Sweet licorice shows up as well. After a third, there is some pepper too. But the main flavor is still sweet licorice. The leather gets stronger, but still with a lot of sweetness. In the retrohale, cedar is noticeable. Halfway the sweetness mellows out. It is still there, but not as strong anymore. In the final third, wood is the dominant flavor. Wood with peanuts and sweetness.

The draw is amazing. The white ash is pretty but not very firm. The burn is straight and slow. The flavors are smooth, balanced, and well rounded. The tobacco is probably aged. The smoke is plentiful, thick, and white. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes. The cigar is medium in body and flavor.

Would I buy this cigar again? Well, it is not for sale.

Categories: 91, Cigars Davidoff, Davidoff, Dominican cigars | Tags: , ,

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