Dominican cigars

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Toro

Indian Motorcycles is part of House of Debonaire, owned by Philip Zanghi. He entered the cigar business in the mid-1990s with his business partner Rocky Patel but in 2002, he sold his shares to Patel and focussed on other parts of the tobacco industry. In 2012, Zanghi returned with Debonaire cigars and in 2015 he was able to purchase the rights to Indian Tabac from Patel and released the Indian Motorcycle Cigars.

 

Made at De Los Reyes in the Dominican Republic.

The cigar is made with American grown Connecticut Broadleaf as a wrapper, a Dominican binder and tobaccos from Central America as filler. As a side note, Zanghi’s father used to own the Indian Motorcycle trademark for a while in the past, so there is family history to the brand. And it seems fitting that Zanghi relaunched the Indian name into the cigar industry.

 

The cigar looks good, a dark leathery wrapper, which also feels leathery. The construction seems flawless. The wrapper is beautiful, although the binder has a few bumps that you can see underneath the dark wrapper. The ring is one of the best in the business with a feel that fits the Indian Motorcycle brand. A faded, beige and yellow ring with the Indian face on a metallic red background. It just stands out and I love it. The cigar also has a strong aroma of animals, pepper, and hay.

 

The cold draw is flawless and reminds me of Dutch chewy spiced honey cake rolls. After lighting, I taste leather and soil, with a little bit of the ginger that I had in the cold draw. On the background, there’s a faint metallic and citrus flavor with cane sugar sweetness. But those flavors are mild. After a centimeter, the metallic flavor and the leather are leading, with some caramel and gingerbread on the background. After a third, I taste spice, leather, some wood, and pepper. The mouthfeel is quite dry. Halfway I taste leather, caramel, dark chocolate, and some hay. Pepper is slowly getting stronger. Somewhat later that pleasant gingerbread returns too. The pepper with the gingerbread and cinnamon are the start of the final third. The finale is pepper and wood

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The draw is close to perfect with a straight burn and white dense ash. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume at first but becomes thicker and fuller along the way. This is a medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored cigar with a smoke time of two hours and twenty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want a box

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Categories: 92, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Indian Motorcycles | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Debonaire Habano Robusto

I had heard about Debonaire, yet I had never smoked one. I had smoked Indian Motorcycle cigars though, which are also owned by Phil Zanghi and made at the De Los Reyes factory. And that factory is growing on me with Puros de Hostos, Saga, and Indian Motorcycle, so I had high expectations from this Debonaire Habano.

 


The cigar was recommended to me by several people, people whose opinion matter to me in the cigar industry. People like Mariska from Tabakado for example, who had been trying to get Debonaire distributed in The Netherlands for a while, calling all distributors before one finally decided to pick up the brand and making both Indian Motorcycles and Debonaire available on the Dutch market.

 


The cigar has a nice Colorado colored wrapper that looks a bit rough on the cap though. The ring is big, gold and brown, with white letters. The print quality is high and it gives the cigar a luxurious look. The aroma, barnyard, and swamp, isn’t too strong. Construction wise, the cigar feels a bit hard.

 


The cold draw is a bit on the tight side, yet acceptable, quite spicy with raw tobacco and pepper. After lighting, I taste toast and leather, with a hint of cinnamon. After a few puffs, I taste wood, leather, and grass. After a centimeter, I taste a grassy and woody metallic flavor with a creamy mouthfeel. After a third, I taste a grassy and hay with nutmeg mixture. Halfway I taste toast with cinnamon again. Then the cigar turns to cedar, spice and red chili pepper. The final third its all about pepper and cinnamon, on full blast. Near the end, I also taste hazelnuts.

 


The draw is great. The ash is white and firm, yet the burn I had to correct. The smoke is good. The flavors, medium strength, are mellow and very suitable for Cuban cigar aficionados. The strength is medium too. The smoke time is two hours twenty minutes

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Would I buy this cigar again? No, I won’t. It’s a good cigar, just not for me. I would, however, suggest people to give it a try unless you are into strong, full-flavored, bold, cigars.

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Categories: 89, De Los Reyes, Debonaire, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Robusto

Indian Motorcycle cigars, weren’t they around during the cigar boom? Indeed, but under the name Indian Tobac but with the same guy behind the wheel, Philip Zanghi, who’s father was once the owner of the Indian Motorcycle Company. Philip brought Rocky Patel in as partner, Rocky bought Philip out and renamed the brand to Rocky Patel Premium Cigars when the time and quality was there, the Indian name disappeared from the cigar scene.

 


Until about 3 years ago, Philip Zanghi has his own factory, De Los Reyes, now on the Dominican Republic and makes several brands like Debonaire and this new Indian Motorcycle cigars in Habano and Maduro. I reviewed the Habano, now its time to smoke the maduro. Made with a multi blend filler from both Nicaragua and the Dominican, a Dominican binder and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

 


The wrapper is dark, leathery and toothy, but it matches well with the Americana ring. Beige and black, with the Indian logo on a red metallic background. I like the red in the ring, it gives it an extra luxurious feel. The cigar feels good, the cap and shape are good. The cigar smells like grass after a rain pour, fresh and pleasant.

 


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is good with a dry wood flavor and a hint of chocolate. After lighting I taste coffee with a little cocoa. After half an inch I taste more of a dry leafy and hay, still with a bittersweet cocoa though. Halfway the cocoa flavored is getting stronger but I also taste a little pepper. The pepper disappears again, I’m back to the wood with the cocoa.

 


The draw is great, the ash is white as can be. The smoke is medium thick, medium full and white. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a pleasant cigar.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Indian Motorcycles | Tags: , , ,

Saga Short Tales Tomo VI

To be honest, in my early days as a cigar aficionado, I smoked some cigars from the Reyes family and I never liked those. Then I smoked Puros de Hostos, a private blend made at the De Los Reyes factory owned by the Reyes and I loved that one. Then Indian Motorcycle and Debonaire and those are great cigars too. So my prejudice against the factory has disappeared.


I got this Saga Short Tales Tomo VI at an event in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The Saga brand honors the story of the 5 generations Reyes working in the family and the Short Tales is a series of cigars, all with different blends that commemorate the tobacco and the cigars. The cigars are packed in boxes that look like books.


The cigar is almost a 6×60, a size I don’t particularly care about, yet somehow, the cigar doesn’t look that big and thick. Maybe it’s the dark, oily wrapper, with the big vein which makes it look like a prison-hardened criminal from a Hollywood B movie. Maybe it’s the golden ring, with the brown dots and brown letters Saga, accompanied by a green ring with golden squares and golden lettering saying Short Tales, but the cigar looks only slightly bigger than a regular robusto, yet the 5½x58 is correct as proven by our Heretics measuring tool. The cigar feels good, pretty tightly packed but no plugs of soft spots. The aroma is strong, it’s like walking into a stable full of horses.


The cold draw is great, with a dark chocolate and pepper taste to it. Straight from the start, the main flavor is a strong coffee flavor with some pepper soon to be followed by some caramel. There’s also a leather taste. After a centimeter, I taste some dark chocolate with the leather and a little spice. After an inch, I still taste the leather, but now with pepper and an earthy flavor. The bittersweet flavor of dark chocolate is still lingering around. After a third, I taste hay. A few puffs later I taste nuts too, walnuts. Some wood shows up too, reminds me of oak. The final third starts leathery again, with pepper and herbs. The walnut is getting stronger. Near the end, the pepper grows a lot in strength.


The ash is quite dark, yet firm. The draw is great, not too loose, not too tight. The smoke is medium thick and full. The cigar is full flavored, medium-full bodied. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? I want a box

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Categories: 92, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Saga | Tags: , ,

Arganese Maduro Ambassador

This is an oldie, and it fits that I’m smoking it today, on the 12th birthday of my blog. Years ago, I think about a decade ago, I approached Arganese and asked them for a sampler to review and they shipped me some. I did review them back then, but I found one in my humidor so I’m going to give it a redux. The Arganese website is offline, I have no idea if they are still in business.


Gene Arganese iss a businessman, loved cigars, so he started his own factory. The Maduro is made with Dominican binder and filler, wrapped in a Brazilian Mata Fina Maduro wrapper. And I remember that I used to like this cigar a lot, my review back then said I would buy this cigar again.

The wrapper is typical Brazilian Mata Fina, it’s rustic, rough looking, but that’s the type of tobacco. The cigar feels well constructed and looks pretty. The rings are clean, white with golden outlines, the Arganese crest in the middle while the secondary ring has golden letters Maduro Ambassador. Clean and simple, yet clear and pretty.  The cigar has a dark aroma, manure, and dark vegetables.


After cutting I get a great draw, the Maduro sweetness shines through with a little pepper. After lighting, I taste chocolate, sweetness, and coffee. The cigar doesn’t have bold flavors or changes, just a smooth and slow transition to stronger dark chocolate, cedar, and pepper. The final third still has dark chocolate but mainly pepper.

The draw is flawless. The smoke is full and thick. The cigars are smooth with a straight burn. The light gray ash isn’t too firm. The cigar is medium bodied, medium-full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Don’t think they are being produced anymore.

Score: 90

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Categories: 90, Arganese, Arganese Dominicana, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , ,

Nat Sherman 1930 Gran Robusto

Nat Sherman is a well established brand, almost 90 years old and the 1930 series refers to the year that the cigar brand was founded, 1930. The same year as the sport club in the Dutch town where I grew up, and before my current home country was even an independent country of its own. So there is a lot of history, and the brand is still there, with an iconic shop in NYC, which I hope to visit one day.


Nat Sherman is one of the many brands that doesn’t have a factory of it’s own and shares that fact with a lot of well known and respected brands. To have the 1930’s series made they reached out to Manolo Quesada on the Dominican Republic who created this cigar with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, a Dominican binder and Dominican wrapper. I smoked the 5¼x54 Gran Robusto.


The cigar must have some age to it as the cellophane started to turn yellow. The wrapper has a nice medium brown color with some reddish glow. The ring is simple, off white with red linings, the name in red and the year 1930 in silver. Simple yet stylish, art deco style. The cigar feels good, no plugs or soft spots, the shape is immaculate. The mild aroma is dark, like mosh in a forrest after a rain pour.


The cold draw is good, I taste a mild sultana flavor, with a little spice. After lighting I taste coffee, mild, with some pepper. After an quarter of an inch I taste peppery wood with a hint of honey. After a third the cigar has a bit of a cedar flavor with herbs and a little pepper. Near the end the cigar gains some strength.


The draw is good, but it was hard to keep the cigar lit in the first inch. The light gray ash is dense and firm. The smoke is thin, blueish in color. The burn is good. This is a mild to medium cigar, medium flavored. There isn’t much evolution in the cigar. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, but that was written before I lit the cigar. The way that the mother company of this brand is pushing in favor of regulation makes it certain I will never spent a dime on Nat Sherman cigars ever!

Score: 88
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Categories: 88, Dominican cigars, Nat Sherman, Quesada Cigars | Tags: , , ,

JR Edicion Limitada Robusto

Another mystery cigar to me, this JR Edicion Limitada. All I know it’s a house blend for the JR Cigar shops and judging from the pictures on the website and the size it could be the JR Edicion Limitada Alternative Behike 54, although this cigar is a little smaller than the advertised size, but then again, I must have had this cigar for years so it could be an old, no longer available version with a different blend at all. The size is 5 1/4 x54.


I had this cigar in my humidor for years, way before I moved into my current home with walk-in humidor, so it was stashed in a cooler for a long time without a blank ring with hand written information on how I got it, when I got it and where I got it, if it was a bomb, a trade or a buy, although I can’t imagine me buying this stick especially since I never ordered at JR in my life so it must have been a trade, a bomb or a gift.


The cigar has a nice dark wrapper, leathery with some tooth and one vein. The ring is simple, black with golden details and letters and the edicion limitada is a rip off from the Cuban rings, the gold is a bit dull and the paper quality isn’t that high. The construction feels good, no hard or soft spots and the head is beautifully rounded with a nice triple cap. There is a faint chocolate aroma to the cigar, thats all there is when I smell the cigar.


I cut the cigar with my xikar cutter and the cold draw is great. The taste is a little peppery with some oak. After lighting the cigar I taste dark oak, slightly burned. After half an inch i taste toast with some honey and tar, the tar makes the cigar not too pleasant. After an inch it’s oak with tar and pepper. I checked the head of the cigar but there is no tar build up to cause the nasty flavor. After two thirds the tar gets a little less and the peper is getting stronger.


The draw is fantastic, perfect. The smoke is fine but a little thicker would have been nice. The firm ash is white with black smears. The burn is reasonably straight. There isn’t a lot of evolution in this medium bodied medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No! This cigar is boring and not very nice.

Score: 77
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Categories: 77, Dominican cigars, JR | Tags: , ,

708 Connecticut Junior

708 Cigars is the brand of two Chicago brothers that run a shop and are, at least from what I learn on the internet, involved with Drew Estate in some Arab countries as distributers but I don’t know exactly what that deal is. I know I got these cigars as a sampler from a company that is thinking about bringing them to the Dutch market. And there is the Drew Estate connection again, the owner of that company is a close personal friend of Jonathan Drew.


I only have the 4×44 Junior in this Connecticut Shade blend, I smoked the same vitola and a Churchill in the barberpole version once before though. The website of 708 cigars doesn’t tell me anything except for the size and that they come in 20 count boxes but the description for the filler, binder and wrapper is proprietary according to the website.


The wrapper is pale, its got veins, it’s wrinkly at the head and the cap is placed by, what it appears to be, a novice roller. The cigar feels evenly filled though. The ring is nice colored, in bathroom or kitchen colors, gray with beige and the logo looks like a hand written 708. The print quality is good. The cigar has a full aroma and all that comes to mind is poop, poop and manure, which is poop too.


I cut the cigar on a Sunday morning, since it’s a Connecticut Shade I think this could be a morning smoke. When I wet the tip I notice a sweetened tip, that’s a downer. The cold draw is loose and I taste chemical sweetness. After lighting I taste coffee with that chemical sweetness. After a quarter of an inch the cigar turns spicy too. But that chemical sweetness destroys it all. Halfway the sweetness disappears, I taste spicy cedar now, a little on the harsh side. The harshness grows and I have to toss the cigar.


The draw is loose, but the thick, white and voluminous smoke makes up for it. The ash is black and white with thick layers. This mild to medium bodied and medium flavored cigar has a smoke time of thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Hell no!

Score: 78
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Categories: 708 Cigars, 78, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , ,

Heisenberg Robusto

Imagine being a theoretical physicist, doing great discoveries like the uncertainty principle and winning a nobel price when you’re just 31 and all you will be remembered by is a fictional meth dealer with terminal cancer and your field of science is mocked by one of the most popular comedy series ever where a total but brilliant nut job named Sheldon Cooper is playing a theoretical physicist. I bet Werner Heisenberg, born on this day in 1901, would be turning in his grave if he knew.


But some people still remember his uncertainty principle, people like the Quesada family, and they created a cigar around this theory. The only thing they revealed was the size, nothing more nothing less, no blend whatsoever, nothing, so that people had to smoke it completely blank and without prejudice. A quote from the original press release said “The Heisenberg project is named after the scientific formula of the same name that proves the fundamental limits of precision: in other words, no matter how much we know about something we will never know everything; the more we focus on one aspect, the less we know about another. The Heisenberg project has two intentions: to dispel the stereotypes that limit our ability to enjoy a cigar and remind aficionados that sometimes its best to sit back, relax, and just enjoy a smoke without over analyzing it. To put it simply, “Embrace Uncertainty!” Before writing this review I googled Werner Heisenberg and his theory but even the simplest of explanations gave me a headache, so I quit reading and decided to focus on the cigar en embrace the uncertainty.


The cigar is a tad thin for a robusto with a 48 ring, but it does have the classic 5 inch length. I do like thinner cigars so i’m not complaining though. The wrapper is dark, smooth and oily and the black ring with silver edges and the formula for the uncertainty principle in silver compliments the wrapper. On the back the name Heisenberg is written in small letters. I’m glas Quesada didn’t pick blue for the colors. The construction feels good, the cap is placed nicely too. I smell a quite dark, yet not to strong, wood aroma.


I punched the cigar to find a great cold draw with a slightly salt and raisin flavor. The first puff after lighting is coffee with a hint of pepper. After half an inch i taste some nuts, a faint chocolate, some sweetness but all muted and slightly harsh. After an inch I taste salty lemon with some wood. Halfway the lemon grows strong with wood and pepper. After two thirds it’s just spicy oak.


The draw is great and the smoke is medium full in volume and thickness. The ash is light gray and dense, firm too. The burn is pretty straight. I would call this cigar medium to medium full bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time if an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? This cigar didn’t hit the spot for me.

Score: 88

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Categories: 88, Dominican cigars, Heisenberg, Quesada Cigars | Tags: , , ,

Ashton Symmetry Prism

In the close to 30 years that Ashton has been on the market they have not been releasing line after line, limited edition after limited edition but they gradually build the brand unlike so many companies nowadays. I mean, they have the Ashton Classic, Aged Maduro, Puro Sol, Cabinet, VSG and limited release ESG series and then it went quiet for about 10 years until Ashton released their latest new line, the Symmetry. Now to be fair, Ashton does have two Nicaraguan brands that join in the rat race to release a new cigar every year, San Cristobal/Paradiso and La Aroma de Cuba/Del Caribe, but those are made by My Father Cigars while all Ashton named premium cigars are made by Arturo Fuente on the Dominican Republic. Today it’s Meera Levin’s birthday, a good day to publish this review. Happy birthday.


That was in 2014 but the production numbers were just enough to supply the American market so us Europeans had to wait till september 2015 where the cigar would be introduced at the Intertabac trade show. But we persuaded Ashton to supply the Dutch market a week early so we could debut the cigar at the Big Smoke we hosted a week before the show. So since Ashton is a classic company, with a classic reputation so we opted for the Prism, a 5.625×46 Corona, a classic size.


The cigar, made out of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco with a Habano wrapper from Ecuador, looks great when you get it out of the cellophane. The silky wrapper is quite dark, not maduro dark but still and has a few small veins that give it character. The ring it classic, and that fits Ashton like a glove, and I figure the ring is printed by Vrijdag in Eindhoven due to the extremely high quality of the gold print, they are the best in the world when it comes to that. The ring has a lot of gold on a white background and a light blue and red centre with golden letters Ashton, and underneath that a red banner with golden letters saying Symmetry. The construction feels good and the cap has been applied beautifully by a skilled roller. The cigar has a strong aroma of a barnyard but mixed with the aroma of a spice stall at a farmers market.


I cut the cigar with a guillotine cutter and the cold draw is great. There is not a lot of flavor in the cold draw, just some dry raisin with a little pepper. After I lit the cigar with a soft flame I taste some metallic coffee. After a few puffs the flavors are sweet and sour, lemon with sugar and some wood. After a centimeter I taste some pepper too and a little bit of chocolate. After a third I taste lemon with sugar and spices and a hint of pepper. Halfway I taste wood with some pepper and a little bit of spices.


The smoke is thick and the amount is great. The light colored as is dense and firm. The draw is great, flawless. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium bodied and full flavored, it could just use a little more evolution and it would be in my top 25. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Since they are no longer be sold in The Netherlands as the distributor felt they didn’t sell good enough I am forced to order a box online soon.

Score: 91
91

Categories: 91, Ashton, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia

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