Dominican cigars

Kristoff San Andres Robusto

All Kristoff cigars are made at the Charles Fairmorn factory on the Dominican Republic but when this San Andres blend, with the Mexican San Andres maduro wrapper, Ecuador habano binder and Nicaraguan filler was released they were made by PDR. Production moved to the Fairmorn factory though, that’s what Glen Case told me at the intertabac trade show. The cigar I’m smoking for a review is from the latter factory, I still have some made by PDR, maybe I should do a back to back review.


Not only the factory changed, but Kristoff has been making changes, updating the rings and the packaging too, just an upgrade. The loose tobacco in the boxes disappeared, at least in Europe due to legislation where the loose tobacco, which was actually tobacco waste, would have gotten taxed too, increasing the price per cigar just because of packaging so the decision was made to stop using that. The rings all got a little nicer look to it, a little fresher.


The shiny, almost pitch black, and smooth wrapper looks amazing. The updated ring is brushed golden with off white lettering, all looking sharp and fresh. The cigar, with the classic Kristoff pigtail and folded foot, feels evenly packed and the cigar has a medium strong aroma, a mixture of campfire and manure.


I used my butterfly cutter and get an open draw, quite spicy and peppery. After lighting I taste coffee, soil and spices. After a few puffs I also taste a caramel sweetness. After half an inch I taste more agave syrup like sweetness with a little leather and cumin. After an inch I also taste some peanuts and pepper. Halfway I taste a pleasant sweet chocolate hazelnut spread like flavor with a spicy and peppery edge. Soon after I taste vanilla and pepper. The final third is woody with spices and pepper.


The draw is a little open yet the smoke is plentiful and thick. The light gray ash and has nice rings. The burn is straight. This is a medium full bodied cigar, full of flavor and a lot of evolution. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Charles Fairmorn, Dominican cigars, Kristoff | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gurkha Celler Reserve Edicion Especial Koi

At the intertabac trade show, Juan Lopez from Gurkha cigars, gave me this small and fat perfecto, 4×58, from the Gurkha Cellar Reserve Edicion Especial blend and after a quick glimpse on the Gurkha website I learned that it’s made with an eighteen year old corojo wrapper of which only a 1000 boxes were made for each of the four vitolas, a pretty small release.


The Cellar Reserve Edicion Especial is a follow up for the Cellar Reserve Limitada, a limited edition version of the regular Cellar Reserve with a 15 year old wrapper. This Edicion Especial was released in 2014 and was followed by the Cellar Reserve Platinum and the Cellar Reserve 21 years. So if I like this one, I will have to start looking for the other blends too.


I love the shape, a shape made famous or popular again by Drew Estate with their flying pigs and if this was a Drew Estate cigar it would be a flying piglet due to the size. The wrapper has a nice latte color and a little shine from the oil in the leaf. The ring is huge, copper colored with golden and black text, very detailed, including batch number and I like it. The shape is great, including a small pigtail and the cigar is evenly packed. The cigar has a medium aroma of manure and barnyard.


I cut the cap off, the cold draw is tight so just to be sure I grab my draw poker but I hope the tight cold draw only is because of the shape. I taste pepper and some citrus.  I lit the small foot, i taste some mild coffee. The draw opens up right after I pass the tip. The cigar changes to pepper, sweet wood and herbs. Halfway I taste sweetness and a mild harsh leather and wood combination. The flavor doesn’t change much from there.


The draw is great passed the small pointy tip. The smoke is medium thick and full. The ash is firm and light gray. The burn is pretty straight. There isn’t much evolution. This is a medium bodied and medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? No

Score: 87
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Categories: 87, Dominican cigars, Gurkha, Tabacalera Las Lavas | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Avo The Dominant 13th

In 2002 Ave started with a yearly limited release and in 2013 they went for the number 13 as a theme. It was the 13th limited edition as the first year they released two, one of the USA and one for Europe, it was 2013 so they put 13 cigars in a box and named it “the dominant 13th” which is a musical term and is a direct connection to Avo’s legacy as a great jazz musician. Today would have been his birthday, so I decided to publish this review as a tribute.


Only 9000 boxes of this 6×52 toro were made for a worldwide release and the box came with a USB stick with a short video, songs by Avo, information about the brand and a screensaver. The cigars have a mixture of Dominican filler tobacco with one Peruvian leaf, a Dominican binder and a Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper. I have one single cigar in my possession, I guess I bought it since I liked the La Trompeta, the 2012 limited edition a lot and wanted to try this one too but somehow it ended up in my humidor instead of in my mouth. Time to change that and light it up.


Once I take the cigar out of the cellophane I notice a very soft, almost velvet like, wrapper with a mild shine and a beautiful mocha color. The binder must be a different story as I see a lot of bumps under the wrapper, fellow cigar aficionado Joe Jackson would say “like a klingon beauty queen” as in his ‘Akward Age’ lyrics. The construction feels good though but the cap is a bit small. I love the rings, a matte brown with a broken white and Avo logo but what makes the ring so beautiful is the thin, shiny, silver line and the silver A in the logo. The second ring uses the same color scheme with a small silhouette of Avo on the ring and the word The Dominant 13th. The barnyard aroma is strong, a little ammonia, a little manure, deep and dark.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is a little loose. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and I taste licorice, coffee and some sugar. After half an inch I taste cedar with licorice and nutmeg, a weird combination that doesn’t sound appealing and doesn’t taste good either. After a third I taste wood and nutmeg, the flavors have a greasy feeling to it. Halfway I taste this spicy, mild burning, wood. The final third starts peppery, woody and with a tiny bit of honey. Later I taste mint with pepper and confectioners sugar.


The draw is great and no complaints about the smoke either, thick, white and full. The burn needs correcting straight from the start though. The ash is dark yet firm. I miss complexity in this medium bodied, medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? That’s a simple no!

Score: 79
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Categories: 79, Avo, Dominican cigars, O.K. Cigars | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Quesada 70th Anniversary Toro

As you may have figured just from the name, this cigar was created to celebrate the 70th birthday of Manuel Quesada, the man behind Matasa & Quesada cigars, the Dominican Fonseca, Casa Magna, Heisenberg and all other Quesada lines. And for his birthday he took Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, a Sumatra binder and a Dominican wrapper to make an old school cigar with balance and flavor but also with a modern twist.


The cigar is only available in two vitolas, the favorite vitolas of Manuel Quesada and those are the 6×50 Toro and a 6×52 Belicoso. Raquel Quesada gave me a toro during the most recent Intertabac trade show and a few other Quesada cigars, including the Quesada 40th that I reviewed in January. Today I will review the Manuel Quesada 70th Toro.


The smooth and oak colored wrapper is fat and oily, it looks great and tasty with a deep color and nice thin veins. The ring is black and golden, old school with lettering that I would call ‘Wild West’ as you see that kind of lettering in Western movies. It simply says Quesada with small Manuel in a golden banner above the name and 70 below the name. The cigar feels well packed, evenly, and the cigar is beautifully capped. The strong barnyard aroma is nice.


I decapped the cigar with a double guillotine. The draw is open. I taste pepper and sultanas. After lighting the cigar with a soft flame and I taste coffee, sweetness, spices and wood. After half an inch I taste a nice citrus twang with wood, oak to be more precise and some pepper. After an inch it’s still a citrus twang but now with wood, leather and some nuts. Halfway I taste that citrus but now with a chocolate paste, like the bread spread. Then the flavor changes to citrus, pepper and wood. I also taste a hint of vanilla. Near the end I taste wood, herbs, a little mint and some pepper still with the acidic twang.


The draw is good, a little open but still good. The smoke is medium plus in thickness, a beautiful white color and quite a lot. The light gray ash is a bit frayed yet firm. The burn is pretty straight. This is a medium plus bodied and medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked the 40th anniversary better.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, Quesada, Quesada Cigars | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Viking Norseman Toro

I have reviewed two of the three Viking blends, the Viking and the Nordic Warrior and both ended up in my top 25 of 2017 so my expectations for the third blend are high, yet on the other hand, it is a Connecticut shade wrapper so that might be the downside of smoking this cigar. The cigar is made with Ecuadorian Connecticut, Nicaraguan Habano and Dominican Piloto as filler, a Connecticut Broadleaf from the USA as binder and an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade as wrapper.

 


Ernesto Perez Carrillo and his La Allianzia factory are responsible for the production of this Norwegian owned brand, that honors the sea dwelling Vikings with this Norseman blend. The seas were a dangerous place with the small Viking ships so these Norseman had to be extremely brave.

 


I love the ring on any of the viking cigars, metal rings, a tin alloy and this one is black & golden with a norseman face. The cigar itself looks great too, a medium brown wrapper with a shaggy  foot that shows off the broadleaf binder. The contrast between the Connecticut Shade and the Broadleaf is huge and it makes the cigar look even tastier. The shape is flawless, the head perfectly round. This cigar is well made. The aroma is strong and reminds me of wood and vegetable stock.

 


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is a little open. I taste pepper on my lips. After lighting I taste coffee with some sweetness and a nice citrus acidity to balance it all out. After half and inch I taste spicy and peppery dry cedar. Then I taste a growing white pepper flavor. There is a very mild Connecticut Shade mustiness but much minder than other Connecticut Shade wrapped cigars. Halfway I taste sweet and slightly musty cedar with white pepper in the aftertaste.

 


The draw is a bit loose, the ash quite dark and frayed. The smoke is thick, white and full. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and flavored with a smoke time of an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked the other Viking cigars better because of the wrapper.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera La Alianza, Viking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

La Aurora Para Japon Sumo

Today it’s seven years ago that Japan got hit by a huge tsunami, killing over 15000 people and up till today over 2500 people are reported missing. More than 400,000 people were evacuated and over 150 square miles of Japan was flooded by the 65 feet waves that ultimately caused a nuclear disaster at the nuclear electricity plant at Fukushima.


Within a few weeks after the disaster La Aurora came up with a cigar of which the proceeds would go to the relief foundation and they had the perfect cigar for it. There was a limited amount of cigars of a new blend that had been aging for three years, Guillermo Leon quickly created a ring, called the cigar the Para Japon Sumo Robusto and two months after the tsunami the cigars were shipped to shops in America. Somehow I got one, I don’t know if I bought it or if it was a gift. The cigar is made with Cameroon, Brazilian and Dominican filler, Dominican binder and a Nicaraguan wrapper and only comes in one shape, a 5×50 robusto.


The milk chocolate colored wrapper is thin but looks good with a nice vein on the side. It feels like fine sanding paper. The ring is great, white with the rising sun of Japan, then a Japanse hand written font saying Para Japon and small La Aurora. The cigar seems well constructed with a good round head and a triple cap. The mild to medium aroma reminds me of a horse stable.


I cut the cigar and the cold draw is great. I taste a mild spicy, herbal flavor, soft and balanced. I lit the cigar with my trusted soft flame lighter. After lichting I taste a smooth five spice with dry leaves flavor, well balanced, with a little acidity on the back of my tongue. The cameroon tobacco is dominant in the flavor profile. The spices, a mild sweetness, some wood and dry leaves. After a third I think this cigar tastes like Christmas, if you know what I mean. The cigar is so smooth  I could retrohale, something I usually can’t. Halfway I get some vanilla too.


The draw is great. The smoke is thick, white and full. The light gray ash is dry, dense and firm. The burn is straight as an arrow. There isn’t much evolution in this medium bodied, medium flavored, smooth and well balanced cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? That would be impossible

Score: 91

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Categories: 91, Dominican cigars, La Aurora, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Di Grisogono for women only Corona

Today is international women’s day so this De Grisogono Geneve For Women Only cigars, a 5 1/2×42 Dominican made cigar seems like the right fit. If you have never heard of those cigars, you’re not alone since De Grisogono Geneve is a Swiss jewelry and watch company and not a cigar company and I don’t think these cigars were ever released seriously. Now I do think its complete bullshit to advertise certain cigars as ‘women only’ or ‘for men’ as Oliveiros did with their XXL. There are just good cigars and bad cigars, thick cigars and thin cigars and both are made for men & women. Women can enjoy the same cigars as men and vice versa. Now hold your horses, before you start screaming ‘snowflake’, ‘liberal’ or even ‘libtard’, i’m not saying men and women are the same, there are undeniable biological differences, there are fields of expertise in which women preform better, other fields men preform better so I won’t be saying we are the same as women, i’m only saying men & women don’t need ‘only for this gender’ cigars, it’s bull crap.


A friend of mine had a bunch of these cigars, he said the came from a hotel in Switzerland and he gave me a couple. The cigars are made in the Dominican Republic with Dominican filler and binder and a Connecticut Shade wrapper from the USA and it appears that there was a 6×52 Torpedo too but that didn’t have the For Women Only behind the name.


The cigar has a black ring, glossy, with a golden logo and white lettering saying De Grisogno Geneve and on the back gold letters saying FOR WOMEN ONLY. The cigar is quite dark for a Connecticut Shade wrapper and you can see a thick vein from the binder underneath the thin wrapper. The cigar feels evenly packed and the shape of the head is nice. When I smell the cigar I smell nothing, nothing at all.


Due to the thin ring gauge I decided to cut. The cold draw is good yet almost flavorless. After lighting I taste a nasty coffee and wood. After a quarter of an inch I taste some wood and petroleum. Halfway it’s a little stronger wood, mild hazelnut and still a mild petrol flavor. The final third starts harsh and bitter, I now taste that typical mustiness that comes with Connecticut Shade but at least the petrol has gone.


The draw is great yet the smoke is thin and medium in volume. The light colored ash is dense and firm. The burn on this medium bodied and medium flavored cigar is straight. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Never!

Score: 73
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Categories: 73, Di Grisogono, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Flores y Rodiguez 10th Anniversary Figurado

Ten years after Abe Flores and the Rodriguez brothers went into business together and started PDR it was time to release an anniversary cigar and so they created this ‘Reserva Limitada’ line in four vitolas: Robusto, Figurado, Wide Churchill and Gran Toro. For this review I am smoking the 6 1/2×52 figurado that I have had in my humidor for approximately three years.


The cigars are made from tobacco from three different countries. The filler is an aged Nicaraguan piloto cubano, with at least 7 years of age on it. The binder comes from the Dominican Republic and is a Dominican Olor while the wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habano.


This shape makes the cigar look special, somehow figurados make a cigar seem cooler, mor fancy. Add a mind shiny, smooth wrapper and it just rises your expectations. As for the ring, I have said that to Abe on many occasions, the PDR and Flores y Rodriguez cigars are good enough to stand on their own and not having to copy Cuban rings yet Abe Flores did it again, he copied the old green and white Ramon Allones ring, the one that was in place before the make-over by Habano and the secondary ring with the gold and black has a reminiscence with the Cuban limitada ring too, just slightly different. The rings are pretty and well printed, yet not unique. The construction feels and looks great. The cigar has a strong aroma of hay with some spice to it


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is good. I taste raw tobacco and pepper. After lighting I taste coffee and earthy flavors. After an inch the cigar is wood with herbs and a little pepper. Halfway I taste wood with a faint vanilla and some acidity to balance it out. The aftertaste is peppery and I taste a very faint milk chocolate too. The final third starts peppery with some wood as a base for the pepper. An icing sugar sweetness joins the spicy wood and the red pepper.


The draw is great. The smoke is medium thick and full, with a perfect white color. The light gray ash has nice dark rings and is firm. The burn is straight. This cigar is medium bodied and medium to full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? This is a pleasant cigar that I will smoke every now and then.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Flores y Rodriguez, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Falto Delirio

This is the third Falto review this month, but hey, I’m running out of cigars starting with an F for this effffin february series of reviews and I have to make good on my promise to Luis Falto to review the cigars he gracefully send me years ago. I’m already late on my promise. On the website of La Garita cigars you can find their points of sales in the USA, on the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.


The delirio is a 6 1/2×42 Lonsdale, a very classic cigar size that is much underappriciated nowadays just like other classic vitolas like corona and lancero, its a shame because thinner cigar are so much more dynamic and flavorful. This Falto Delirio Cabinet Selection is made from Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, a Dominican binder and a Dominican Corona wrapper and has been aged in my humidor for 8 years.


The wrapper is dark but dull with a few minor veins. The ring is beautiful, and the secondary ring has the same look. The cigar feels well constructed and is beautifully capped with a nice rounded head. The aroma is quite strong and is a mixture of floral smells with sawdust from dark wood.


I used one of my Xikar cutters to decap the cigar. The cold draw is easy, I taste a peppery dry leaves taste. I lit the cigar with a soft flame. Straight from the start I taste vanilla, icing sugar and coffee. After a third I taste fresh wood, a mild pepper and dried herbs and spices. The flavors gain strength and get a little mean. Halfway the vanilla comes back, with a floral touch. In the final third the dried herbs return with some icing sugar and dried chilies.


The draw is perfect. The smoke is white, thick and full. The light gray ash is firm and dense. The burn is good. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? They aren’t available in The Netherlands so there is no use in answering this question.

Score: 89
number89

Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, Falto, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fonseca 30th Anniversary Toro

You can consider this a vintage cigar since it was a limited edition release to celebrate Matasa’s 30th year in business. Now if Matasa doesn’t ring a bell, maybe Quesada does. And Matasa is the name of their factory on the Dominican Republic, Fonseca is on of the brands they make. And they celebrated their 30st birthday back in 2003, thats 15 years ago.

 


The cigar sports a Dominican wrapper. Now that doesn’t turn heads anymore but when it was released it was a novelty. Fuente just released the Opus X, the first cigar with a Dominican wrapper, and together with this Fonseca Matasa 30th anniversary La Aurora and La Flor Dominicana released cigars with Dominican wrappers and that was it. The cigar was released in two vitolas, a 6 1/2×52 Toro and a 5 3/4×54 Perfecto and in total 30.000 cigars were made.

 


The wrapper is dark and oily, leathery but beautiful. The construction feels good although the cap could have been placed a bit nicer. The ring is pretty, glossy black, popping gold, bright red and clear fonts. I like it. And then the aroma, strong and complex, like a Indonesian rendan spice mix.

 


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is fine, I taste some sweet raising followed by some pepper on my lips. A nice strong coffee is the first thing I taste after lighting. After half an inch I taste herbs, spices and a mild dark chocolate. After an inch it’s herbs and a mild peppery flavor. Every few puffs I taste some chocolate too. The flavors then change to meaty with a mild pepper. At the beginning of the final third the pepper gains a little strength. Slowly the pepper is getting stronger towards the end.

 


The draw is good. The white smoke is medium thick and full. The gray ash is dense and firm. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Don’t think that would be possible

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Fonseca, Quesada Cigars | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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