Nicaraguan cigars

Cubo Sumatra Toro by Dapper Cigars

Cubo Sumatra Toro by Dapper Cigars. Dapper Cigars. Dapper Cigar Company is an American cigar company. Their home base is Fresno, California. Not a place where you would expect a cigar company to be honest. But that’s just their base, as the cigars are all coming from Nicaragua. Dapper Cigar Company has several brands, La Madrina, Siempre, El Borracho, Cubo, and the brand new Desvalido. And I reviewed a few cigars, thanks to the Dutch distributor, Kelch Trading.

The Cubo Sumatra re-visits the original release of the Cubo brand. Blended nearly five years later, the Sumatra line builds on a half-decade of further work with premium Nicaraguan tobaccos. This version uses more other Nicaraguan tobacco than the original and more American grown Connecticut Broadleaf. The Sumatra Rosado wrapper and the Nicaraguan binder remain from the original blend. Raul Disla oversees the production at NACSA in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The aroma of the cigar, once it’s released from the cellophane, is fantastic. Strong, musky, with freshly roasted coffee. The cigar has a beautiful, silky, and leather looking wrapper. The construction feels good, with no soft spots or plugs noticeable. The ring is pretty, a lot of black and gold with a white chapel on a purple and pink background. But it’s a little too crowded, too many details on such a small piece of paper.

The cold draw is good. With just a raw tobacco flavor and some black pepper. After lighting the palate gets hits with spices and milk chocolate. There is also a nice sugary sweetness. Slowly leather shows up as well with some wood. The mild chocolate makes a comeback. Halfway the wood gets stronger, still with a hefty dose of sugar. But well balanced. In the final third, there is also a macadamia nut flavor with leather, wood, and sweetness. The finale is leather with a hint of black pepper.

The burn is good, just like the draw and the smoke. Nothing out of the ordinary. A reasonably thick smoke, enough in volume. Good air resistance in the draw. And a straight burn that needs no correcting. The cigar is smooth with some complexity and depth, although the complexity fades a bit. The ash is dark gray. This is a cigar medium to full in body, medium in flavor. The smoke time is three hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, a good price-quality ratio

Categories: 90, Dapper Cigars, Nicaraguan American Tobacco SA, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Henk Maori Haka Gaudi

Henk Maori Haka Gaudi. Now the Maori Haka part of the name is known. We explained that in our previous Henk Maori Haka review. But where the Gaudi name comes from is a mystery to us. It’s probably named after the famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. And most likely that has something to do with the odd shape of the cigar. It’s a perfecto yet different. It is more of a combination of a torpedo and a perfecto. A rounded head, then slowly getting a thicker base to be ended with the classic salomones tip. Remarkable, unusual, just like Gaudi’s designs. (Edit: HENK owner Heiko Poerz confirmed the cigar is named after the architect)

The cigars are made at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez with vintage, aged, and rare tobaccos from the tobacco library of Abdel Fernandez. The Belgian master blender Didier Houvenaghel and HENK owner Heiko Poerz worked together to create something special for HENK. The tobaccos are all Nicaraguan and this figurado measures 5×56. The cigar is yet to be released and it will be released in porcelain jars.

A cigar with a tattoo instead of a cigar band is always an eye-catcher. Especially when the tattoo has a Maori design. Add a pigtail and an unusual shape and you have a cigar that everybody wants to smoke. That is until they see the price tag. Due to the limited production, the extra aging, and the rare tobaccos, the cigars aren’t cheap. The oily wrapper looks sharp. Colorado colored with one thin, sharp vein. Beautiful shape. A strong aroma of hay and spices.

Due to the shape of the foot, the cold draw is a bit tight. Plenty of spice in the cold draw though. Red pepper, nutmeg but also raw tobacco. Once lit, there is a nice bitter coffee flavor with cedar and spices. Then a whole range of subtle, complex flavors shows up. All perfectly balanced. Pepper, sweetness, leather, soil, still with coffee. The flavors are intense, deep, and balanced. Yet slowly, coffee and sweetness tend to become the dominant flavors, with spice and pepper as the strongest of the supporting flavors. The cigar gets more intense in the second third. Stronger, more outspoken. Some dark chocolate, a little bit of salt and citrus to enhance the flavors, wood, leather, coffee. It’s all there, in a beautiful mix. In the last third, the missing link shows up: nuts. With more pepper, creamy chocolate, spice, leather, and wood.

The draw is great. The cigar produces white, dense ash. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is decent, it could be a little thicker though. The cigar is balanced yet characterful. Smooth yet powerful. It starts medium-bodied but ends medium-full. The same goes for the flavors. The smoke time is three hours, and we had to break out a nub tool to enjoy every possible minute of this fantastic cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? Even with the high price tag, I will

Categories: 94, Henk, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Royal Danish Double Ligero Short Robusto

Royal Danish Double Ligero Short Robusto. This is a cigar that is jam-packed with ligero fillers, making it a very strong cigar. Or at least, that’s what the warning on the label says. Double Ligero, extra strong. Blended in Denmark according to the ring, but made in Nicaragua. And that last part plays a big role in the new name of Royal Danish Cigars. The trademark for the brand is stripped by the Danish Royal Family. The new name is King of Ashes, House of Nicaragua.

This cigar is made in Nicaragua, but not a lot of the blend is revealed. Just that it’s packed with ligero fillers. The wrapper is Ecuadorian Habano. And the size, a 4½x54 Short Robusto. Even the manufacturer is undisclosed. Now, with the name change, it remains to be seen if this particular brand will return to the market. Time will tell.

The Colorado Maduro colored wrapper is rustic looking. The triple cap is a bit sloppy, making this cigar far from beautiful. The black and golden ring is nice though, with a Danish flag wearing a crown. The secondary ring is simple, white, and red. It only tells us that it’s double ligero, extra strong. And that the cigar is blended in Denmark. The construction feels good. The medium-strong aroma is woody.

The cold draw is good. The flavor is very spicy, very peppery. A tingling sensation on the lips before the cigar is even lit. The first puffs are strong, full of coffee, soil, pepper, dark chocolate, dry wood, and hay. With a little tickle in the back of the throat. Slowly the cigar gets more leather, some sweetness, yet still with pepper, coffee, and wood. The mouthfeel is very dry. The spices and sweetness gain strength, the wood, chocolate, and pepper remain while the other flavors disappear. The final third has more cedar, soil, pepper, and spices. There is also a little nuttiness. All balanced though, but strong.

The draw is fine, no complaints there. The burn is straight as an arrow. The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The light blue smoke has a good volume, yet it could be a tad thicker. This cigar is full-bodied, medium-full flavored. The strength does pack a lot of nicotine and can cause a light-headed feeling. The smoke time is one hour and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Once in a while

Categories: 89, Nicaraguan cigars, Royal Danish | Tags: , , ,

Drew Estate BOTL Lancero

Drew Estate BOTL Lancero. The online community Brothers of the Leaf aka botl.org. Starting in 2010, some manufacturers work with the community and release limited edition cigars. PDR was the first, with Drew Estate following two years later. Since 2013, Drew Estate released several versions of the BOTL.

In 2020, Drew Estate released three sizes for botl. The cigar has an American Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. There is an Ecuadorian Connecticut binder. The filler comes from Nicaragua. It is available in three sizes, Corona, Corona Gorda, and this 7×38 Lancero

This is not the prettiest cigar. But then again, most Connecticut Broadleaf cigars aren’t the prettiest in the humidor. The harsh sun is beating down on the plants every day, and just like the human skin, tobacco leaves start to look weathered under that constant violence from Mother Nature. But it fits the cigar, a thick oily rough looking wrapper, very dark with some rough veins. Add in the brown and copper-colored band with BOTL printed on it, and it does look appealing. The construction feels good. The aroma is a mixture of floral aromas and dark chocolate.

The cold draw is good. There is a spicy raw tobacco flavor in the cold draw. After lighting it’s very dark chocolate, like 85% or higher. The chocolate remains the main flavor but after a while, little floral flavors, vanilla bean sweetness, and a hint of the leather show up. Slowly towards the second third, there is a spice joining as well. There is coffee beneath the dark chocolate flavor too. The sweetness gets stronger while the dark chocolate bitterness tones down a bit. But it does not disappear. 

The ash is white as the hair of Gandalf. The smoke is a classic Drew Estate. That means thick, white, and a lot. The draw is great. The burn is straight as an arrow. This cigar isn’t as heavy as the appearance might suggest. It’s medium to medium-full in body and flavor. Well, balanced and the sweetness makes it very palatable. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , ,

La Sagrada Familia Sun Grown Toro

La Sagrada Familia Sun Grown Toro. Early 2017, Dutch entrepreneur and cigar aficionado Tom Mulder launched his La Sagrada Familia brand. As a passionate cigar enthusiast, Mulder thought about starting a brand. With help from his long-time friend Sasja van Horssen, he got in touch with Joya de Nicaragua. After a trip to Nicaragua and smoking several test blends, La Sagrada Familia was born.

The first blend is a cigar with Nicaraguan filler and binder. The wrapper is Habano from Ecuador. The cigars are popular in Tom’s home country The Netherlands. But when he left a few cigars at a cigar bar in Malaysia during a vacation, Malaysian cigar connoisseurs begged a distributor to carry the brand as well. And now the cigars are also available in Germany. Mulder isn’t looking for quick expansion but is adding more countries slowly.

The cigar looks good. A nice oily Colorado colored wrapper, without any thick veins. A simple ring, yet recognizable and clean in design. White, blue, and silver-gray. The cigar feels good. No detectable plugs of soft spots. The aroma is strong, deep, and intense. Spices, earthy, yet with some sweetness.

The cold draw is perfect. It leaves a spicy, mildly peppery, raising flavor on the palate. The cigar is mild earthy, mildly spicy but the main flavor is a creamy latte. The mouthfeel turns dry. As far as flavors go, some sawdust, caramel, spice, and leather show up. A little vinegar binds the flavors together. The coffee flavor remains, with some leather and hay. Then nutmeg and chocolate show up. At the end of the first third, the cigar has cedar, leather, coffee, pepper, and spices. The coffee remains in the second third, but now with a stronger acidity. The acidity mellows out, leaving more coffee, spice, and a little pepper to shine. The final third has more character. More wood, more leather, little earthiness. Some sweetness in the retrohale. There is a nice dose of pepper as well. All flavors are getting stronger.

The draw is flawless. The white ash is firm. The smoke is thick, white, and full. The burn is razor-sharp. It’s a medium-bodied, medium-full-flavored cigar growing to medium-full in strength. Well balanced and smooth. But the cigar loses character after a year of aging, so we suggest to smoke them when they are on the younger side. The last third had that character that was lacking in the first part. The smoke time is three hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

Categories: 92, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, La Sagrada Familia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

RoMa Craft Neanderthal SGP

RoMa Craft Neanderthal SGP. This cigar was originally released as an annual limited edition for Riverside Cigar Shop and Lounge of Jeffersonville, Ind. and Serious Cigars of Houston, Texas. But the cigar is now available at more retailers. The first time the cigar was seen was at the IPCPR trade show in 2014. The Neanderthal was a new release that year with one regular production size and this size limited to two stores and a total production of 250 boxes a year. The line has grown to more sizes since then.

This 4¼x52 vitola is made with tobacco from four different countries. The outside is a Mexican wrapper from San Andres. Underneath is an American grown Connecticut Broadleaf binder. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and The United States. Pennsylvania to be more precise. And it is a double Ligero, which is dubbed Green River Sucker One. It contains two to three times more nicotine than Ligero grown in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The cigar looks great. The head is flat as a dime, which is a unique feature for RoMa Craft. As far as we can recall, this is the only company that flattens the head like this. The wrapper is dark, oily, and smooth. The ring doesn’t have letters but the neanderthal name is embossed. The only thing printed on the label is a small RoMa Craft logo. The construction feels perfect. The cigar has a strong aroma. Charred wood, barnyard, and spices.

The cold draw is fantastic. Mild spicy, with great air resistance. Straight from the start, the power flexes its muscles. Coffee, leather, earthiness, pepper, and spice. Or, as Skip Martin would say “well-fermented tobacco”. Slowly more flavors develop. Sweetness, with smokey hickory flavors, almost like a barbecue. With pepper, earthiness, coffee, and leather. Leather, hickory, spices, and pepper remain the main flavors. The flavors turn more to leather and wood with pepper around the halfway point. With a dry mouthfeel. The flavors don’t really change after that. But it’s still a darn tasty cigar.

The draw is great, just like the burn. The cigar produces a lot of smoke, thick, white smoke. The pepper and salt colored ash is reasonably firm. The cigar is strong. It is full-bodied without a doubt. But still balanced. The flavors are full as well. The smoking time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes.

Categories: 92, Nica Sueno, Nicaraguan cigars, RomaCraft | Tags: , , , , ,

Condega Serie F Mini Robusto

Condega Serie F Mini Robusto. A brand that is on the market since 2002 in the United States, and since 2006 in Spain. But in the last few years, the brand sees expansion with the speed of light. The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, France, and other European countries are supplied. Outside Europe, countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Israel, Jordan, and Angola are also selling Condega. Since the Spanish distributor acquired the rights to market the brand internationally, the brand is booming. More on the history of Condega is in Ministry of Cigars article about the brand.

The cigars are made in Nicaragua. By Aganorsa Leaf and its factory TABSA. Eduardo Fernandez, the owner of Aganorsa Leaf, is the founder of the brand. The late Arsenio Ramos is the blender. Aganorsa is famous for Corojo, and this cigar is heavy on Corojo 99. It’s the wrapper. It’s also the binder. And combined with Criollo 98, it’s also in the filler. This mini robusto measures 4½x50 and you can find it below 4 euro in many European countries. The brand is extremely budget-friendly.

When it comes to looks, this cigar isn’t a winner. The wrapper is wrinkled like an old lady who’s been soaking in a bathtub for an hour. But the ring is nice. It is the ring that Habanos uses as inspiration for the Partagas Serie D #4. The Condega ring is the original. And it looks better, cleaner, and sharper than the Partagas version. Although, Condega is slowly changing the design to move away from the unwanted association with Partagas. Many people think that Condega is stealing from Partagas, but it’s the other way around. The construction feels good though. The cigar has a mild floral aroma.

The cold draw is fine. There isn’t much flavor in the cold draw, just some earthiness, and salt. Once lit, the experience is different. Brown spices, with cinnamon as the leading flavor. Cedar, smooth coffee. The flavors are creamy, like cappuccino with a hint of chocolate. The chocolate is slowly getting stronger, still creamy as in chocolate milk. Halfway the classic Corojo nuttiness shows up. Still creamy, with that dark chocolate in the back of the throat. Then there is coffee again, with dark chocolate, some pepper, and that nuttiness. All with a hint of cream. The flavors aren’t changing much. The pepper gets stronger, there is a little more cedar. But the balance is nice, the flavors are great.

The draw is good. The light-colored ash is firm. The smoke is fine. There is enough smoke, and it has a nice thickness and a nice color. The cigar is smooth, soft, and creamy. Medium-bodied, medium flavored. The burn is good. This is one of the best budget-friendly cigars available on the market. Balanced, smooth, flavorful, and easy on the wallet. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Condega, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , , ,

Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill

Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill. A new twist on an iconic cigar, well, that was the introduction of the Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill in 2010. A new vitola, shorter and thicker than the original Churchill. With 5⅛x55 its almost 2 inches shorter than the 7×47 Julieta No.2 as the Churchill is originally called. But much fatter. And the Romeo y Julieta Julieta No.2 is the reason why that 7×47 size is now known as Churchill. It was the favorite cigar of the British Prime Minister, who according to the legend, smoked 8 of these long, elegant cigars a day. That’s how they got known as ‘the Churchill cigars’, and later on just as Churchill.

Habanos is banking on the Churchill name. Since 2006, several new Romeo y Julieta sizes were introduced with the Churchill name incorporated. The short Churchills (4⅞x50) in 2006 is a classic robusto, but Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill gives the vitola a more prestigious name. Then this fat robusto sized Wide Churchill was introduced in 2010. 2012 was the year of the Petit Churchills. Any other brand would call these 4×50 cigars Petit Robusto, but Romeo y Julieta can use the name Churchill for all we care. As they are Churchill’s brand. There is also a 7½x56 Grand Churchill, but that was a special release in a humidor in 2018.

The cigar looks pretty good. Nicely shaped, no veins on the wrapper. Colorado colored with a beautiful triple cap. The white, red, and gold of the Romeo y Julieta ring go well with the secondary wide Churchill ring. And that ring is a tribute to the original Romeo y Julieta Churchill. That cigar used to come with just that golden ring. The construction feels good. The aroma is very mild, lightly toasted.

The cold draw is fine. The flavor is dried spices and cedar. Once lit, there is sweetness, pepper, grass, and a lot of coffee. Very flavorful straight from the start. The flavors are dry, and slowly cedar makes an entrance with some citrus. The mouthfeel is dry, but there is a pleasant vanilla sweetness. Floral notes as well, with the coffee and cedar. Then in the second third, there’s more dry leather, floral notes, cedar, vanilla, and a little bit of pepper. The final third is typical Cuban. Leather, coffee, cedar with a little spice. The mouthfeel is still dry. The finale also reveals some nuts and more black pepper.

The draw is fine, and the smoke is thick. Light blue, and good in volume. The ash is white with some darker smears. There is a little roughness in the flavors along the halfway mark. The burn is straight. This cigar is medium in strength and medium in flavor. The smoke time is two hours and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would not mind smoking it again

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars

Liga Privada 10 Anniversario

Liga Privada 10 Anniversario. A cigar released late 2018, which actually makes it the 11th year of Liga Privada as the first boxes were sold in 2007. But the packaging changed to the well known 24 count boxes in 2008. Plus new sizes were added that year. For two years, the cigar was a hidden gem, but then it took off to become the household name it now is. With many offsprings to come. T52, Unico series, Undercrown, Undercrown Sun Grown, Undercrown Shade. And that’s without going into all the different blends in Flying Pig sizes, a vitola reinvented by Drew Estate for the Liga Privada series.

Not being based in the United States, we never expected to be able to smoke this cigar. Only 1000 boxes of 10 cigars were released. Yet when we met up with Jonathan Drew in The Netherlands, he passed us a few cigars to smoke. And that included this unicorn. Made with a Criollo wrapper grown in the Connecticut River Valley. The binder is a rare Mexican San Andres Otapan Negro Último Corte. The fillers come from Honduras and Nicaragua. The cigar measures 6×52.

When it comes to looks, this cigar is a perfect 10. A dark, smooth, and oily wrapper. The closed foot. The unique cap, which is a hybrid of the classic pigtail and a flag tail. Add a skinny, contemporary, and slick black and silver ring and you have the best-looking cigar possible. The construction feels great too. And the aroma, it’s like walking into a leather store. Not overwhelmingly strong, but undeniably a leather aroma.

The cold draw is actually pretty good considering the closed foot. The flavors are toasty and spicy. Once lit, it’s coffee. Strong, black coffee, almost like espresso. But there is some leather too and some earthiness. There is a salty undertone. Slowly but surely toast and cedar comes through as well. The coffee remains the base flavor of the cigar, but now with some green herbs as well. Wood and sweetness get stronger, the mouthfeel becomes buttery. There is also a strong dark chocolate flavor. In the second third, the chocolate becomes stronger, it’s smooth, creamy, yet with spice and pepper. The final third still have that chocolate, with some earthiness. But it’s no longer creamy. There is a mild pepper, some spice, some wood, and a little hay. The wood is slowly taking over, but with sweetness. Suddenly the coffee returns, with dry wood, and spices. Sweetness and pepper completely disappeared.

It is a Drew Estate cigar so the smoke is copious. Thick, full, and voluminous. The draw is great. The white, dense ash is firm. The burn is sharp. The flavors are full and strong. The cigar is strong too. But it’s complex, intense, balanced, and full of character. A testament that full body and full-flavor can still be smooth. The smoke time is four hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? That’s impossible

Categories: 94, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Tobacco Lords Signature Wide Robusto

Tobacco Lords Signature Wide Robusto. It’s the third release of the Tobacco Lords series. And the fourth blend, as the original release, is available as a Connecticut Shade and a Maduro version. The Connecticut Shade Cunninghame and the Maduro Speirs are reviewed by Ministry of Cigars as well. Just as the limited edition 145th Anniversary blend that was released last year. The Tobacco Lords is a private label for the British liquor and tobacco retail store Robert Graham 1874.

For the single-sized Tobacco Lords Signature, extra-aged tobacco is used. The filler consists of Nicaraguan tobacco. Then there is a Dominican binder and a Mexican wrapper from San Andres. The cigar comes in a 5×52 robusto size. It’s made at Joya de Nicaragua, just as the Tobacco Lords Maduro and Connecticut lines.

The cigar looks great. A Colorado Maduro colored wrapper from San Andres, Mexico. Smooth, velvet in touch, and oily. A beautiful black and golden ring, with a small ring to protect the foot as well. All in the same style. Beautiful to look at. Well rounded head with a triple cap. The cigar feels good to the touch. It has a strong musky aroma with dried wood.

The cold draw is a bit tight. But the flavors are strong, spicy peppery sultanas. Once lit, the cigar has some citrus, some sweetness, some mild leather. The sweetness gets stronger, with wood and floral flavors as support. Then there is some spice, wood, earthiness with the flavors mentioned before. All mellow and well balanced. The cigar slowly gains more strength. The second third starts with a little spice, coffee, a faint chocolate flavor, and leather. The mouthfeel is a bit dry. The chocolate becomes more predominant. It is slightly creamy. And a little bit of white pepper shows up too. The final third has a strong wood flavor, but balanced and well rounded.

The draw is good but on the tight side of good. The ash is almost completely white. It’s dense and firm. The burn is straight. The cigar produces a good amount of thick white smoke. The cigar is subtle and complex. Medium in body and strength. The extra aged tobacco really makes a difference. The flavors are well rounded and not harsh at all. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

Categories: 91, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars, Tobacco Lords | Tags: , , , ,

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