Dominican cigars

Debonaire Maduro First Degree

Debonaire is the brand of Philip Zanghi. Zanghi first made his steps into the cigar industry in the 1990s in a partnership with Rocky Patel. They were both new to the business. With Zanghi’s connection with Indian Motorcycles, they formed Indian Tobac. In a later stage, Patel bought Zanghi’s shares. Zanghi ventured into other parts of the tobacco industry.

But returned to cigars in 2011 with Debonaire. First only with the Habano, but in 2014 he released the Debonaire Maduro too. And now there’s a third blend, Daybreak, with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.

The Debonaire Maduro is made at the De Los Reyes factory on the Dominican Republic. That factory is owned by the Reyes family. The 5th generation Reyes has entered the business, and that says a lot about the long lasting love affair with tobacco. For the filler Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco is used. The binder is also from the Dominican. The wrapper comes from the USA. It’s a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro.

The dark wrapper is toothy and rough. It could easily be mistaken for Brazilian Mata Fina by the looks. But the aroma is good and strong. There is a strong earthy smell to the cigar with some pepper. The shape is great and makes the cigar look cute. That little tampered foot eases the rough look on the wrapper. It’s like an ugly kid with a cute outfit that makes it adorable. The construction feels good.


The cold draw is surprisingly good. With that tampered foot, a tighter cold draw was expected. The flavors are very peppery. The first hit is a strong earthy coffee. Once the cigar opens up, the Maduro sweetness shines through too. There’s also a hint of extra dark chocolate. That chocolate is slowly becoming the dominant flavor. The flavors remain practically the same all throughout the cigar. The bigger sizes will probably offer more variety in flavor. The finale brings strong bittersweet chocolate with some wood.

The draw is great. The smoke is thick and full. The color is a bit off-white. The ash is quite dark. The burn was straight until one side hit a big vein. Then it gets crooked and had to be corrected. This is a medium-full flavored and bodied cigar. The smoke time is an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, for the occasions where I don’t have a lot of time.

number90

Categories: 90, De Los Reyes, Debonaire, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Patoro Serie P Jeroboam

Patoro Serie P Jeroboam. This is a Swiss cigar brand. But the cigars are Dominican made. They are made at De Los Reyes. Other brands that are made at that factory are Puros de Hostos, Indian Motorcycle, Debonaire, Saga and more. Ministry of Cigars reviewed the Saga Short Tales Tomo VI, Debonaire Habano, Debonaire Maduro, and the Indian Motorcycle Maduro from the same factory. And now the Patoro Serie P Jeroboam, which is a perfecto shaped cigar. The filler and binder are Dominican. The wrapper is Cameroon according to the Patoro website. But there are a few vitolas exclusively for the American market. And those are wrapped in a Brazilian Maduro wrapper.

When we bought this cigar, we didn’t know anything about it. It was recommended by a retailer in The Netherlands. He had got them in, we never smoked it, so we bought a few to review. Something unknown, odd shape, why not try it? With a price tag of 11 euro, it’s not a cheap cigar and it’s probably hard to find now. Patoro is no longer available on the Dutch market as the distributor stopped selling premium long fillers (again). And no other distributor has taken on the brand yet.

The shape looks cool. Because of the curve at the foot of the cigar, it looks a bit like the Opus X Chili Pepper. Yet not as curved as that cigar. The ring is simple, glossy orange with a P and a star. No further information. The oily wrapper has a few veins. The construction feels good. The aroma is good. A mixture of chocolate, pepper, and wood.

For the shape, the cold draw is surprisingly easy. And it tastes peppery yet sweet. Once lit, the flavors are coffee with sweetness and leather. Then some nice spices show up. All-spice, cinnamon, and gingerbread. All quite sweet but pleasantly sweet. The mouthfeel is dry. The flavors remain the same in the first half, but then wood shows up. Still with the spice and some pepper. The sweetness remains strong as well. Slowly there’s more leather and even a little vanilla.

The draw is great. The burn is beautiful. And the light-colored ash is firm. The smoke is nice white and plentiful. This is a medium-full bodied cigar. The flavors are also medium-full. And well rounded. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? 11 euro is a bit too high priced. If it was 8 euro I would not hesitate.

number90

Categories: 90, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Patoro | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arturo Fuente Opus X 20th anniversary Father & Son

Arturo Fuente Opus X 20th anniversary Father & Son. In 1995, Arturo Fuente released a new cigar. The Arturo Fuente Opus X. It was a prestigious project for the Fuente family. Against all odds, they grew wrapper in the Dominican Republic. Where everybody said it couldn’t be done, Fuente did it. They grew Habano seed tobaccos under a cloth and created a rich and beautiful wrapper. The Opus X was the first premium Dominican puro. It became a highly sought after cigar, available in limited quantities. And now, 25 years later, that is still the case.

In 2015, Carlito Fuente released his tribute to the original Fuente Fuente Opus X. He said he wanted to blend something that made his grandfather and father proud. Something that brought him to his childhood, something that made him happy. And that was the 20th Anniversary. Available in four different vitolas. A 61/2×52 Figurado with the name God’s whisper is the most prolific. But there’s a torpedo as well, 6⅜x52, with the name power of the dream. Then there’s a 5¾x52 Robusto called Believe. And the fourth cigars is the one being reviewed. The 6¼x49 Father & Son.

The cigar has a Colorado Claro colored wrapper, hidden from the eye with a piece of cedar. Once removed, the wrapper is clear, smooth, yet it looks a bit dry. The aroma is quite mild, sawdust and wood. The cigar feels good, well packed and evenly packed. The shape and cap are perfect. And then the ring. The classic Opus X ring in blue instead of red. A secondary ring in the same colors, on the same high-quality paper, says 20 years. 100 out of 100 points for the ring. The foot of the cigar clearly shows different tobaccos, with different colors.


The cold draw is just perfect. Mild spicy with some sweetness in the flavors. After lighting, a very balanced and smooth mixture of spice, coffee, and sweetness is tasted. The flavors then turn wood, with spices, and leather. There’s also some faint vanilla and grass. All smooth flavors, balanced, like an aged cigar. After a centimeter, a nice fresh lemon flavor binds everything together. The sweetness is molasses, and it’s getting a bit stronger. The mouthfeel is creamy, buttery. The spice and pepper get some strength after a while. The main flavors turn to wood and sweetness, but the sweetness is different than the molasses tasted earlier. After a third, the cigar gets meatier in mouthfeel, with wood and vanilla as main flavors. Halfway the coffee returns, with gingerbread spices and vanilla. The flavors remain smooth and balanced all the way through the cigar. The strength does pick up in the final third though.

The draw is great. The smoke is good too, not spectacular but good. The light-colored ash is firm and dense. The burn is sharp. The cigar is very smooth and balanced. Medium-bodied, medium-full flavored without any harshness at all. The smoke time is three hours, fifteen minutes. Nubbed it till my fingers and lips burned.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, even with this price, I want to smoke it on special occasions
number94

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

Winston Churchill The Late Hour Robusto

Winston Churchill The Late Hour Robusto. When Davidoff acquired Camacho in 2008, they changed everything. They reblended the Camacho blends. They redesigned the packaging and the rings. And with that, they lost a lot of the Camacho fanbase. It took the brand years to recover from all the changes. But they hit the bullseye when Davidoff introduced the barrel-aged series for Camacho. The tobaccos for those cigars are aged in liquor casks. The Camacho American Barrel Aged used bourbon barrels. And for the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged, barrels from the Nicaraguan rum brand Flor de Caña are used. The cigars are so popular, that Davidoff decided to use the same technique for the Winston Churchill Late Hour.


For the Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour, Davidoff placed Nicaraguan viso from Condega in barrels. They picked scotch barrels from the Speyside region. The tobacco was aged for an additional six months inside those barrels before being used as filler in the cigar. Together with more Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. The binder comes from Mexico and the wrapper is a dark Habano wrapper from Ecuador. They are available in a 7×48 Churchill, 6×54 Toro, and a 5×52 Robusto. Ministry of Cigars is reviewing the robusto.

The cigar looks good, a very dark, oily and smooth wrapper with a vein or two. A beautiful black and golden ring with the classic silhouette of Winston Churchill with a cigar in his mouth. A secondary with the name of the line and the size complete the look. The aroma is quite strong. A little wood, some chocolate, and barnyard. The cigar feels well filled, with the right amount of sponginess.

The cold draw is easy. The cigar has a raw tobacco flavor and indeed something whisky as well, but faint. The cigar has some sweetness, coffee, and whisky after being lit. There are some leather and some wood. And it’s the wood that has that whisky feel to it. After half a centimeter, some acidity shows up with pepper. The flavors don’t really change, but they intensify. They get stronger and a mild vegetable flavor is added. The mouthfeel is dry. Halfway the cigar gets a little bitter, harsh. With the wood, leather, pepper, and acidity. The bitterness tones down but remains, just like the rest of the flavors.


The draw is loose, a little too loose. The smoke is good though. The light-colored ash is quite firm. But the burn had to be corrected. The smoke time is two hours and ten minutes. This cigar is medium-bodied, medium flavored.

Would I buy this cigar again? I had high hopes for this cigar but it didn’t deliver.

number87

Categories: 87, Cigars Davidoff, Davidoff, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Dalay Affentanz Hell

The German retailer Dalay is owned and operated by real cigar aficionados. And ones that have the guts to take bold decisions. One of those decisions was to create its own cigar brand. The brand carries the same name as the shop, Dalay. It is sold all over Germany. And in 2017, two limited editions were released under the name ‘affentanz’. That’s German for monkey dance. Another bold decision to use that name. In the current political climate, some might consider that racist.

The Dalay Affentanz Hell is the Connecticut Shade version of the Affentanz. There is only one size available, a 5×52 belicoso with a very sharp head. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Brazil. The binder is Dominican. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade. The cigars have a price tag of €9,50.

The wrapper is light, it has that yellow-brown color of Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade which I find unappealing. The construction feels good, but the cigar looks a bit off with the steep point. The rings are cool, with a funny peeled banana logo and a monkey on the back. The woody aroma is strong.

The cold draw is great. I taste spicy licorice and pepper, but with that faint Connecticut Shade mustiness which I hate. The first puffs are harsh, strong. I taste coffee, leather, and earthiness. The leather is the most pronounced flavor. There is also a little grass, plus some sweetness from Brazilian tobacco. The flavors evolve to more wood with leather. But there is some sweetness and even a creamy chocolate flavor. All slightly harsh though, the flavors aren’t rounded. After a third, the flavors get more refined. I taste leather, chocolate, nuts, grass, and sweetness. In the final third, the dreaded Connecticut Shade flavor shows up, but it is faint. The flavors remain the same until the end, except for growing pepper.


The draw is great. As is the smoke. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The smoke time is one hour and thirty minutes

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Would I buy this cigar again? It’s still a Connecticut Shade cigar, but not a bad one

number90

Categories: 90, Dalay, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Zauberberg | Tags: , , , , ,

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: , ,

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: , , , , ,

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: , , , , ,

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