Cigars by factory

Arganese Maduro Ambassador

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


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

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


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

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

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

Score: 90

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Categories: 90, Arganese, Arganese Dominicana, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Room 101 Series SA Robusto

Room 101, that is one of those brands that never really grabbed my attention. I know it is the brand of jewelry designer Matt Booth, who last year said goodbye to the cigar industry just to return a couple of months later in a collaboration with Robert Caldwell. Since the cigars never made it to Europe  I never got in on the Room 101 hype. I don’t know where and how I got this cigar.


The cigar is made in Honduras with a Mexican San Andres natural wrapper, a Honduran binder and filler from both Honduras and the Dominican Republic. If the information I read online is correct, than Christian Eiroa was involved in blending this cigar. I don’t know where the cigars were being rolled though, but I guess at the Camacho factory if Eiroa was involved indeed.


The wrapper is not as dark as you would expect from a San Andres wrapper, but this is not the usual San Andres maduro wrapper, its a natural wrapper. its leathery by look and by touch. The ring is something special, brown with brushed gold, just a face of an ancient Asian statue and the SA letters on the side. The cigar looks good and the head is perfectly rounded. The cigar has a strong smell of barnyard with sawdust.


After cutting the cigar I taste raisin and dry tobacco. The cold draw is fine. After lighting I taste cinnamon and allspice, quite strong. After a few puffs the flavors get smoother and I taste some honey. After a third it’s more a fresh cedar taste with just a little bit of cinnamon. The flavors are quite dry. Halfway I taste something sharp on the tip of my tongue but I can’t put my finger on the exact flavor. When the sharp flavor disappears I taste wood again, with honey, salt and a hint of cinnamon.


The draw is fine. The smoke is medium full in thickness, medium in volume and white of color. The ash is pepper and salt colored. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I was expecting more from this cigar.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, Rancho Jamastran, Room 101 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don Duarte Reserva Pyramid

About a decade ago I met up with a now retired cigar distributer in Amsterdam who was introducing a new cigar brand, Don Duarte, and the owner of the brand, señor Duarte, was there as well at the beautiful shop of Hajenius. I smoked a few cigars and I did like them. The brand never took off, I haven’t seen them in shops for a while now and when I look online I can only find them on German webshops.

 


A few years back I was helping an account to re-arrange his humidor and found this Don Duarte Reserve Pyramid. The account said “I had it for so long, it’s the last one, take it” so I did. And now it’s time to review this Plasencia made Nicaraguan puro with the H-2000 oscuro wrapper.

 


The thick wrapper is dark, it looks and feels like leather. The cigar has the right amount of sponginess, the shape of the cigar is great too. The ring is brown with silver and golden details, a classic crest and a knights helmet. The cigar has a vegetable and wooden aroma.

 


After cutting the cigar I taste some raw tobacco. After lighting I taste coffee and leather with some spice and pepper. After a few puffs I taste a mix of spices with sweetness and a little pepper, well balanced. After a third I taste wood and spices, it reminds me of a forest in the autumn. Halfway the cigar is more leathery, woody and spicy. The flavor remains like this till the end.

 


The draw is perfect. The smoke is perfectly white, thick and full. The ash is light gray and coarse. The burn is good. This is a medium full bodied and flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I can find them I get some.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Don Duarte, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , ,

Graycliff G2 Toro

Graycliff, I always thought they were made on the Bahamas but I was wrong. Some are made on the Bahamas indeed, but it turns out some are made in Nicaragua too. I think, but I am not sure, that these are made by A.J. Fernandez. Well, it doesn’t matter, all that matters is: is it any good?


I got this cigar from a Dutch friend, since the brand isn’t available on the European market it’s a mystery to me where he got them as he has never been to the USA or the Bahamas, yet he shared this Nicaraguan made cigar with me. The filler is Dominican and Nicaraguan, the wrapper is an Ecuadorian Connecticut.


The wrapper is quite dark for a Connecticut Shade cigar with a few very clear and relatively thick veins. The bright yellow ring has 5 black stars, the Graycliff G and a 2. Those two things combined wouldn’t make me grab the cigar in a store humidor. The construction feels good though, the shape of the cigar is fine. The aroma is quite like hay, grass and straw.


I used a plastic cutter to take off the cap. The cold draw is great with a mild salty flavor. After lighting the salt remains with some spices. The flavor doesn’t change much. After a third the cigar gets a little rough. The flavors are still salty and mild, but have a little mean edge. The cigar also gets more grassy and green in flavor, like green leaves. Near the end I taste a pleasant oak flavor.


The draw is great. The light gray ash is bending to the left. The burn is decent, it’s not straight but not so bad that I had to correct it. The smoke is quit thick. The cigar, with a smoke time of an hour and fifteen minutes, is mild in body, flavor and evolution.

Would I buy this cigar again? This cigar doesn’t do it for me.

Score: 85
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Categories: 85, Graycliff, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

Nestor Miranda Art Deco Robusto Grande

I have not seen this cigar in a few years, and I got this one from Nestor Miranda at one of the Intertabac trade shows five or six years ago. The cigar, which was released in 2010 in the USA is made at the My Father Cigars factory in Nicaragua and the cigar has Dominican and Nicaraguan both in the filler as in the binder, as the cigar has a double binder. The wrapper is Nicaraguan Corojo.


Nestor Miranda is the founder and owner of Miami Cigar & Co, a Miami based company and I think that the name and ring design were inspired by Miami’s most iconic area: Miami Beach! Even though it’s officially another town as Miami, most see it as part of Miami. And Miami Beach is famous for it’s art deco scenery, the hotels, the art, it all comes from the Art Deco area and a lot of details are still seen on the streets.


The wrapper is bitter chocolate brown with some lighter smears, a thin vein runs over it. The wrapper is a looker. The ring is typical art deco style, pastel green, red, art deco silver letters. It fits the theme. The cigar looks and feels good and has a strong leather aroma.


I sliced a thin part of the cap off. The cold draw is great, I taste tea and raisin. After lighting I taste earthy flavor and coffee. After half an inch I taste earth with spices and a very faint cocoa. After a third the cigar has a woody base flavor with spices and a little pepper. Halfway the pepper is replaced by cinnamon. Later a flavor best described as raw carrot shows up.


The draw is great. The white smoke is pretty full and the burn is good. The ash is medium dark and not very firm. The cigar is medium full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I can find them.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, My Father Cigars, Nestor Miranda, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

La Imperiosa Dukes

La Imperiosa is the regular production version of the limited edition Las Calaveras. That’s a cigar made by My Father Cigars for Crowned Heads, a company that rose from the Nashville ashes of CAO, when it got sold to General Cigars and had to move to Virginia. A few people from the old management didn’t want to leave the Nashville community and started Crowned Heads.


The Las Calaveras limited edition was so popular, customers kept asking for more so Crowned Heads decided to release it as a regular production under a different name and in different sizes than any of the limited editions. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan filler and binder wrapped in an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper.


The wrapper is dark, it looks almost black and its a nice contrast with the maroon and gold ring. The cigar feels well constructed with a perfect triple cap. The aroma is quite mild, I smell ammonia   sawdust plus vegetables and herbs.


After cutting a thin slice of the head I taste raw tobacco, with a close to perfect draw. After lighting I taste some nutmeg with mild leather. Soon I taste hay with a little pepper. There’s also some sticky honey sweetness. After an inch the pepper is strong, with honey and leather. The flavors remain but after midway I taste something fresh too, and more pepper. In the final third I taste wood while the cigar gets hot. There’s also a lot of Nicaraguan pepper.


The draw is perfect. The white ash is dense. The smoke is full and thick. The burn is fine, a little uneven, but within margins. The cigar is medium bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a good cigar, I expected a little more after all the raving reports I heard about it though.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, La Imperiosa, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

La Jugada Nunchuck

When I started working in the cigar industry as a sales rep, one of the retailers I connected most with was a retailer in Amsterdam. I had seen him once or twice before my employment but I heard that he had a terminal illness. It wasn’t long before he was my best customer, I would even come in on days off to smoke a cigar with him. His illness went in ups and downs, in his down I visited him a couple of times at home, in a period of up he came to my mancave to smoke a cigar. One of the last things I said to him was “on your next up, I have a cigar, or actually two fused together, that I want to share with you”. Unfortunately the next ‘up’ never came. Today would have been Berry’s birthday, so I’m smoking this cigar for him now.


The cigar I was talking about is the La Jugada Nunchuck, a 7×54 Nicaraguan puro that is fused together like a nunchuck, as the name would suggest. The cigar is made at La Zona, the small yet beautiful factory of Erik Espinosa in downtown Esteli. The brand however is Moya Ruiz. As I said, it is a Nicaraguan puro with a Habano Oscuro wrapper and the cigar was released in 2014 as a limited edition of 10.000 cigars.


The appearance is unique, with a huge white ring binding the cigars together, gray lines, a red ‘splash’ star and then La Jugada Nunchuck written on top of that. The H in nunchuck are actually nunchucks. The foot of the cigar is protected with red cloth.  The wrapper s dark, yet smooth. The cigars feel well packed. I smell a mild cocoa aroma when I sniff the cigar.


After cutting I try the cold draw, which is a little on the loose side but within margins. I taste pepper. Immediately after lighting I taste an earthy, coffee and leather mix with pepper. After half an inch I taste chocolate in the aftertaste. After an inch i taste pepper, wood, milky chocolate with s nice acidity. The flavors are strong but smooth, you can taste that it’s a well aged cigar. After a third i taste wood with pepper, the strength is picking up. The pepper is getting stronger. There’s also a little acidity to keep all flavors balanced. Halfway I taste a kind of peanut flavor with the wood, pepper and acidity. Then, a little before the final third, I taste coffee again. The final third has less pepper, more coffee and more acidity, without turning sour. The finale is woody with herbs and pepper.


The draw is within the ‘good’ margin but on the easy side of it. The ash is quite dark yet firm. The smoke is thick and full. The burn is straight as can be. The cigar is smooth, full flavored and medium full bodied. The smoke time is almost two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish

Score: 94
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Categories: 94, La Jugada, La Zona, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

El Titan de Bronze Redemption Maduro Robusto

El Titan de Bronze, what a find that was back in 2009, when I visited Miami for the first time. As a tourist, just a cigar geek, not working in the industry back then. Strolling on Calle Ocho where I went to see the El Rey de Los Habanos factory of the Garcia family I noticed another factory across the street, walked in and had a blast of a time.


Sandy, the owner, noticed that me and my friends were more interested than regular tourist and she gave us the full tour, showed us the different raw tobaccos, the aging room, her husband went outside to get us Cuban coffee and the expected 15 minutes turned into more than two hours. What an experience. Back then I was 400lbs/180kg. About 18 months later I was back in Miami, I lost almost 100lbs, I walked back in, Sandy looks at me and says “wow, you lost a lot of weight”, she remembered me and I was shocked. I love that woman, and that factory that has gained a lot of fans in the last few years.


The Redemption Maduro is made with Nicaraguan filler and binder and a beautiful Mexican dark maduro wrapper. The wrapper is rustic, dark and intimidating with a big vein like a battle scar on the front. The white ring with blue letters and golden details is very detailed, well printed, high quality. The secondary ring fits the theme perfectly.  The cigar feels well constructed, no irregularities in the consistency. The cigar has a cauliflower smell to it, quite strong.


I used a cutter to cut the cigar. The cold draw is flawless, it tastes a little sweet. After lighting I taste coffee, but with Maduro sweetness. Slowly the flavor changes to chocolate and leather. The cigar gets more spicy and peppery with a hint of dark chocolate. In the final third I taste herbs too, with more pepper. Near the end a nice full pepper is all I taste.


The draw is great. The salt and pepper ash has nice rings. The burn is straight. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume. The cigar is smooth, medium bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I always get some when I’m in Miami.

Score: 91

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Categories: 91, American cigars, El Titan de Bronze, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze | Tags: , , , , ,

Nat Sherman 1930 Gran Robusto

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

A. Turrent Triple Corojo short robusto

in 2010 the Mexican cigar company A. Turrent released a triple maduro cigar, just as Camacho had done before and that was quite a success. It was almost or just as good as the Camacho one but at a third of the costs. And since it was such a success Turrent came with a follow up a year later, the A. Turrent Triple Corojo. This cigar is made with only coroja tobaccos, the filler comes from Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico, the binder is a corojo from Nicaragua and the wrapper comes from San Andres in Mexico.


It comes in seven sizes of which I will review the corona. The corona is the smalles vitola in the series and its not a classic corona size, it’s shorter and thicker and more a hybrid between a petit corona and a short robusto. The cigar feels rock hard, but is well shaped.


The wrapper is beautiful even though it shows some roughness that can be expected from corojo. A beautiful color, oily, just a little wrinkly. The ring is quite big, burgundy with the AT logo in white, surrounded by copper and black details. Well printed, good quality paper, bright letters.  I live in an area where there are a lot of cocoa factories and the aroma of the cigar reminds me of what I smell when the wind is blowing in the wrong direction.


The cold draw is kind of tight. I don’t really taste flavors, just a mild yet spicy tobacco. After lighting I taste a musty and mild peppery soft wood. That flavor remains for a while with honey in the aftertaste. The flavors remain the same for the first half, only the pepper is gaining a little strength. In the final third the pepper gets really strong.


After using a draw poker the draw became tolerable yet still tight. The smoke is thin, the volume is low too. The burn is straight. The ash is firm. The cigar is medium bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nah

Score: 86

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Categories: 86, Mexican cigars, Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos, Turrent | Tags: , , ,

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