Dutch cigars

Don Labalet Robusto

After I came back from Intertabac 2016, where I met some old friends, made some new ones, I looked at all the cigars that have been given to me and cataloged them in my online humidor at Stogierate.com. Some of the cigars have been reviewed in the last few months, some others will still be reviewed. The information on most of the cigars was easy to find but I had one cigar, Don Labalet Robusto, that was just no information to be found on and I tried hard but couldn’t remember who gave it to me. And with no information I mean literally no information online I just didn’t have a clue what it was, who made it and where it was from. Fast forward two weeks later, I got a message from Kevin Dooms who works at Gajane, a distributer of premium cigars in The Netherlands, I’ve known Kevin for a few years as his parents own a nice tobacco shop in Zwijndrecht and I used to visit them as a sales rep for The Longfiller Company. At Intertabac we spoke about me being unemployed at the moment, and that I needed a contract to bring my Singaporean wife, whom I just married, over to The Netherlands.


So Kevin, his employer Steph, his colleague Cees and I meet up for lunch at their office and after lunch they give me a cigar, guess what, its a Don Labalet Robusto. And then I found out more about the cigar. Gajane is not only active in The Netherlands but also in Sweden and France and in Sweden they also produce snus (known as dip in the USA) and cigarettes. One of their employees is a Cuban refugee, Osmel Lavalier Castellanos, and it turned out that he used to be a cigar roller back in Cuba. So now, next to his regular job at Gajane, he rolls cigars for and at events. Gajane Netherlands brought him over for a few events and the moment Osmel landed at Schiphol airport he asked “do you have cigar rings?” and that was countered by “do you have a name for the cigar?”. They settled on the name Don Labalet, as that is Osmel’s second name and had bands printed quickly. As far as the blend, I have no idea what tobaccos are used for this specific cigar.


The wrapper has a milky brown wrapper and a very flat head, that makes it great to punch. There is a little damage and I can see a much darker binder. The cigar has a double band, the foot ring is bronze colored with 3 golden stars and black lettering that says “Don Labalet” while the regular ring is black with red and yellow, a white D and a black L. The construction feels great and you can see the Cuban influence in the beatiful triple cap. The cigar has a mild sweet aroma. I’m smoking this cigar during the day instead of my regular routine of reviewing in the evening.


As I said, the head is very flat so I punched the cigar and the cold draw is great, I taste a mild spicy raw tobacco flavor. I light the cigar with my Ronson varaflame. The first flavor is a mild coffee, more latte than regular coffee. After a centimeter i taste a mild and muted cinnamon and a caramel like sweetness on top of a wood flavor. After an inch I lost the caramel but instead I taste a mild milky chocolate with the wood and the muted cinnamon. Halfway it’s a dry wood, muted cinnamon and a dominant caramel sweetness again. After two thirds the wood gets replaced by nuts, the cinnamon is gone and the caramel is still dominant. Soon after there is a herbal spicy flavor too with the retuned cinnamon and the caramel. The last few puffs are peppery.


The smoke is medium thick but I get a lot of smoke. The ash is beautiful light gray, almost white, with some darker accents and quite firm. The draw is perfect and the burn is straight. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored, a great morning cigar that I think, would not be suitable after a dinner. The cigar is well balanced and for an ‘event only’ cigar not related to any brand this cigar surprises me pleasantly. The smoke time is little over an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? That will be impossible since its an event only cigar and I don’t know if the same sort of tobacco is available for the next event.

Score: 89

89

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Categories: 89, Don Labalet, Dutch cigars | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Heeren XVII robusto corto

I didn’t know anything about these Heeren XVII cigars and their website doesn’t tell me much either, just that these are tripa corta cigars with a Cuban sungrown wrapper and that they are made in The Netherlands. The name comes from the V.O.C., the Dutch East India Company, the “17 gentleman” as you translate the name of the cigar, were what you now would call the board of directors. The whole line consists of three sizes and I smoked the robusto corto, a 4×54 smoke.
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The wrapper has the color of dark chocolate with a few thin veins, and it is mild oily. The construction feels good, except for one soft spot near the top of the cigar. The cigar smells like a wet horse. The predraw is a bit loose and I taste pepper.
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I taste espresso, mild bitter and strong with some pepper in the back of my throat. A quarter of an inch later I taste wood with a hint of chocolate.
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After three quarters of an inch I taste mainly herbs with some wood and I get a dry mouth. Halfway I still taste the herbs and wood, but the flavors aren’t getting any better, they are actually starting to become slightly unpleasant. Near the end the flavors get worse and I taste a lot of pepper.
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This cigar lasted me fifty minutes, which is quite long for a short tripa corta. I got enough smoke, thick as well. The ash is quite dark and firm. The burn and draw are good. This cigar is medium flavored and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, this just isn’t my kind of cigar

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 5 / 10

Categories: Dutch cigars, Heeren XVII | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Sigarenplatform grande corona especial

A friend of mine was named mayor on a Dutch cigar board and to celebrate his election he had cigars made, Dutch dry cigars, with a band with their logo and he called it the “sigarenplatform grande corona especial”. I don’t know anything about the blend, who made it, I just know the size which is 5½x42. He asked me to review one, even though I am the owner & admin of a competitive board. I usually don’t smoke dry cigars, I don’t like them, but I can’t refuse a request from a friend.
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The wrapper is quite dark and it has a lot of veins. The construction is a bit soft. The cigar has a mild barnyard smell. The predraw is fine and I taste a nice and spicy, dry tobacco.
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I taste coffee with some sweetness and autumn leaves. the flavors are full but surprisingly smooth for a dry cigar and mild musty. Usually dry cigars are sharp in flavor but what I taste in the first third isn’t bad at all, I like it.

 

After a third I get that sharp flavor that I expected and I get an acidic flavor. The cigar is a lot less pleasant. The acid gets milder but the cigar stays sharp and spicy, this is exactly why I don’t like dry cigars.
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The smoke time is forty-five minutes, which is not bad for a dry cigar of this size. The draw is good and I get more smoke than expected. The light colored ash is coarse and reasonably firm for a short filler dry cigar. The burn is ok, only a little bit crooked. This cigar is medium flavored and medium bodied. Because it is a pre-cut short filler I got some small pieces of tobacco in my mouth while smoking.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, Dutch dry cigars aren’t my thing

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 5 / 10

Categories: Dutch cigars, Sigarenfabriek Van 't Veen, Van 't Veen | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Olifant vintage Amersfoort

This small 4¾x30 cigar from the Olifant vintage line is available at Paul de Wilde in Amersfoort only. If I am not mistaken, this cigar is a release to commemorate the 750th birthday of the city of Amersfoort. One of the guys on my Dutch board is a regular at Paul de Wilde and we traded some cigars, including this Olifant vintage.
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The wrapper is light colored, dull and has lots of veins. The construction feels good but the predraw is somewhat easy, although, it is a shortfiller, so that may explain the easy draw. I taste raisin and dry tobacco.
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I taste herbs that are mild spicy on the tongue. After a quarter of an inch the cigar becomes a little bit sweet and very spicy, the flavors are sharp. After an inch I taste some wood and nuts, but still sharp.
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After two thirds I taste a lot of black pepper with some wood and nuts. Unfortunately the sharpness of the flavors kill the fun.
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This small shortfiller lasted me twenty-five minutes. I got a good draw, a little easy, but not bad. The smoke is plenty and thick. The ash is light colored, frayed and not firm. The burn is very good. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Nope

Appearance: 6 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 5 / 10

Categories: Dutch cigars, Olifant, Sigarenfabriek de Eenhoorn | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Olifant fidelio

Olifant (Elephant) is a Dutch cigar maker with a huge history and they are still one of the top producers of high quality dry shortfiller cigars in The Netherlands and actually the only dry cigar I like. These 8×44 Fidelio are from the Vintage 1987 series. The series got that name because of the Sumatra sandleaf wrapper that was harvested in 1987. In the box there is a leaflet which explains why the cigars got the name and even a map of all the farms in Sumatra and from which farm (Sampali) this particular batch of tobacco comes from. I got this box for helping a local B&M out when they were redecorating.
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The wrapper has a lot of veins and is light colored. I don’t like the looks of this cigar. The band is quite nice with a golden elephant. The construction feels good and the cigar has a mild wood smell. The top of the cigar is a bit round, so I decide to cut it instead of punching. The predraw is fine and I taste some sweet raisin with some spices in the aftertaste.
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The flavors are sweet, smooth and mild herbs. After an inch the flavors get a little spicy and less sweet. The herbs get a bit stronger.
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The spices gain some strength and every now and then I taste some chocolate in the background. After ⅔ I no longer taste the sweetness. The cigar is now peppery and spicy.
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This shorfiller lasted me about 75 minutes, which is long for a shortfiller. I got a nice amount of smoke, but it started out very thin and got better along the way. The draw and burn are good. The light colored ash is frayed and not firm at all. This cigar is medium to full flavored and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I still have half a box.

Appearance: 6 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Dutch cigars, Olifant, Sigarenfabriek de Eenhoorn | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Villiger export

An Australian friend gave me a tin of Swiss machine made cigars made my Villiger. These Villiger Export special edition tins with a print of the Matterhorn mountain contain 6 paper wrapped and box pressed cigars. On the inside of the lid it says “Villiger Export – Simply good tobacco. Each cigar is enriched with fine Cuban tobacco and wrapped in high quality natural leaf from Sumatra. From this unmistakable combination each Villiger Export gets its special character. Therefore we guarantee with our name” in both English, French and German.
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When I unwrap the cigar from the paper I see a nice medium brown, veiny but oily wrapper. The cigar has a strong peppery wood smell, a bit like some roll it yourself tobacco. The predraw is fine and tastes like tobacco. The cigar doesn’t have a band.
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I taste a bitter coffee flavor but the bitterness fades away quickly. After half an inch I taste cardboard which is a little acidic.
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After ⅓ the acidic flavor is gone and the cardboard is getting spicy. Halfway the cigar turns harsh and nasty. Soon after that I taste herbs, but still harsh and bitter.
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This short cigar lasted me about 20 minutes and I don’t think I could have handled it much longer anyway. The draw is good and I can’t complain about the amount of smoke either. The ash is frayed and has a salt & pepper color. The burn is good too. This short smoke is full flavored and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? BLEGH!!!

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 5 / 10
Aroma third part: 4 / 10

Categories: Dutch cigars, Villiger | Tags: | Leave a comment

Peter Heinrich spezial sweet

Peter Heinrich is a famous name in the German tobacco world and he owns three shops in Cologne including a La Casa Del Habano. This is his house blend shortfiller. This box arrived at my doorstep right before the last Amsterdam herf straight from Germany, pmwz wanted to bomb Adam at the herf and Adam didn’t mind me trying one of these Spezial Sweet for review purposes.
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The 6 x 28 cigar has an aroma of sweet liquorices and the wrapper is pretty ugly with lots of veins. The construction feels good and I have no complaints about the predraw.
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The sweet liquorices taste that I smelled returns on my palate after lighting the cigar and I can also taste a hint of wood. My first thought was “this might make a nice pipe tobacco”
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The flavors fade away a bit, the cigar becomes tasteless with the sweet liquorices as an aftertaste. Near the end the cigar gets a little harsh and burns on my tongue.
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I get lots of smoke from this thin cigar and the draw is just fine. The smoke is dark gray at the beginning but turns white after a third. The ask looks a bit like sand, structure wise.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, but I wouldn’t mind trying this tobacco in a pipe.

Appearance: 5 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 5 / 10
Aroma third part: 5 / 10

Categories: Dutch cigars, Peter Heinrich | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Wotje Havana robusto

Wotjes is a brand especially made for tobacconist W. Otten in Maastricht, a beautiful city in the south of The Netherlands and I heard a lot about those cigars that is a robusto size, which is an unusual vitola for a dry cigar and they are made with 5 different wrappers. Java, Sumatra, Brazil, Manila and Havana. They are sold in dress boxes of 25 and in samplers of 10, with 2 of each wrapper. I had to go to Maastricht for work last week and decided to treat myself to a sampler. This is the review of the Havana wrapper.
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The wrapper of this 4 ½ inch ring 46 robusto has some veins and is light of color. The aroma is a barnyard aroma. I can taste dry leather with some sweetness. Of the 5 Wotjes, this is the one that packs the most flavor, although the flavors fade away a bit. Halfway the sweetness is gone and some spices accompany the leather.
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The draw is fine and the smoke is ok. The burn is good.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Don’t think so

Appearance: 5 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: Dutch cigars, Sigarenfabriek Hovens, Wotje | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Wotje Java robusto

Wotjes is a brand especially made for tobacconist W. Otten in Maastricht, a beautiful city in the south of The Netherlands and I heard a lot about those cigars that is a robusto size, which is an unusual vitola for a dry cigar and they are made with 5 different wrappers. Java, Sumatra, Brazil, Manila and Havana. They are sold in dress boxes of 25 and in samplers of 10, with 2 of each wrapper. I had to go to Maastricht for work last week and decided to treat myself to a sampler. This is the review of the Java wrapper.
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The wrapper of this 4 ½ inch ring 46 robusto has a lot of veins and the aroma reminds me of dry hay and some pepper. The predraw is fine and leaves a leathery taste on my lips.
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After lighting the cigar I can taste some sweet leather, but not a lot. The flavor is quite mellow and low in volume and leaves me with a dry taste in my mouth. The little flavor that was noticeable slowly fades away until I taste nothing at all. If I try real hard I do find a faint flavor of chocolate. Once the cigar reached the halfway point it gets a little spicy, but nothing to write home about.
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The smoke is quite thick and white, the ash is white too and the aroma is quite nice, a bit sweet. The burn is allright.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Not a chance

Appearance: 5 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 5 / 10
Aroma third part: 5 / 10

Categories: Dutch cigars, Sigarenfabriek Hovens, Wotje | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Wotje Brazil robusto

Wotjes is a brand especially made for tobacconist W. Otten in Maastricht, a beautiful city in the south of The Netherlands and I heard a lot about those cigars that is a robusto size, which is an unusual vitola for a dry cigar and they are made with 5 different wrappers. Java, Sumatra, Brazil, Manila and Havana. They are sold in dress boxes of 25 and in samplers of 10, with 2 of each wrapper. I had to go to Maastricht for work last week and decided to treat myself to a sampler. This is the review of the Brazil wrapper.
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The wrapper is dark, rough and has a lot of veins. The size of this robusto shaped dry cigar is 4.5 inch with a 46 ring. The predraw is fine and the aroma reminds me of hay & straw combined with a damp horse. The flavor is the famous Brazilian sweetness, something I don’t like. I am not a fan of Brazilian tobacco anyway. The structure of the smoke is warm and the flavor I can taste is musty hay. At the end the cigar becomes a bit spicy. The cigar produces more than enough smoke and the ash is white.
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Would I buy this cigar again? A simple NO is the only answer to this, but lovers of dry cigars or Brazilian tobacco might like this cigar a lot
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Appearance: 6 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 5 / 10
Aroma second part: 5 / 10
Aroma third part: 5 / 10

Categories: Dutch cigars, Sigarenfabriek Hovens, Wotje | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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