Cigars by factory

Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma

Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma. This is a special release from Drew Estate for the online cigar community Cigar Dojo. And it’s not the first time that Drew Estate releases a cigar for Cigar Dojo. They aren’t the only company that does so. But the difference is that all others are small batches. Drew Estate did release the original Undercrown Maduro Dojo as a small batch. But for a few years, it is a regular production cigar. And last year a new regular production for Cigar Dojo came on the market. The Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma.

For the Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma, Drew Estate reaches for the same blend as the other Undercrown Sun Grown cigars. But in a 5×54 Robusto Extra format. That means that this cigar comes with Nicaraguan filler and a binder from the United States. A Connecticut-grown Habano binder to be precise. The wrapper is Sumatra but from Ecuador, not from Sumatra, Indonesia.

The wrapper is light brown with a few bumps. It is not too oily and it looks like it has a single cap instead of the Cuban-style triple cap. The red and gold ring is beautiful though. The lion with the crown and the secondary band with the DOGMA name. The foot is protected with another small ring in the same color scheme. The construction feels alright. The cigar has a surprising aroma that includes milk chocolate.

The cold draw is quite loose with a hay flavor. But after lighting, the cigar tastes like coffee, mud, with a little acidity. But there is also a toasted cashew flavor, spice, and sweetness. The flavors turn to a tardy nuttiness with a hint of vanilla. Mildly creamy, but with a little roughness at the back of the throat. The nuttiness remains noticeable during the remainder of the first third with a muddy and slightly citrus flavor. The second third still has that nuttiness, but now with leather. There is still a bit of a bite in the back of the throat. There is a bit more sweetness. And pepper shows up as well, but it is not overwhelming. The final third has leather, mud, coffee, nuts, pepper, and spice. The pepper picks up, with some sweetness. The nutty flavor becomes stronger as well.

The draw is a bit on the loose side. But the smoke makes up for it in a way only Drew Estate cigars can. The ash is white, snow-white. The burn is okay, but not razor-sharp. The cigar is medium to full in both body and strength. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? In another size yes

Categories: 90, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

El Coyote Robusto

El Coyote Robusto. A cigar that appeared in December of 2019. First only in Belgium and Luxemburg, but the cigars are slowly available in more markets such as The Netherlands and Switzerland. The Belux importer and distributor, Central American Trading is the owner of the brand. And the cigar is the work of three people, Abe Flores, Marc D’Argembeau, and Phillipe van Wilderode.

D’Argembeau is de founder of CAT, but Van Wilderode is the owner for a few years. D’Argembeau’s logistical company is the worldwide distributor for Flores’s cigars. The trio created a three-size line with Nicaraguan filler and binder. The wrapper comes from an undisclosed country “which has become a must for quality wrappers” according to El Coyote cigars. That could be Ecuador, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, or the Dominican Republic. The robusto for this review measures 5½x54.

This is a sexy-looking cigar, an intense colored wrapper, not extremely dark but the wrapper looks rich and oily. The band is stylish, gray with a silhouette of ‘El Coyote’ Phillipe van Wilderode in black, and the name in copper print. The cigar feels solid and has a nice triple cap. The cigar has an unusual aroma, strong green herbs such as lovage and parsley.

The cold draw is fine, quite dry with raw spicy tobacco as the flavor. And a little pepper on the lips. The cigar has a nice dark spice flavor, with cedar and nuts. There is a thick, creamy, dark sugar sweetness. Almost like almond paste, but with some dark sugar as a supplement. There are still dark spices, and the mouthfeel slowly becomes dry again. A little leather is a reason for the dry feel. Near the end of the first third, the cigar gives pepper. The second third starts with the almond paste again, with oak, leather, and a bit of soil. The paste flavor makes it quite a unique smoke. The retrohale is pleasant with some mild spices. The dark spices, wood, and pepper make a wonderful combination. There is balance. At the end of the second third, there is hay with pepper. In the end, it’s wood with pepper and a minty freshness. And peanuts, a surprising flavor.

The smoke is very nice, thick, white, and plenty in volume. The ash is light in color and a little frayed. The burn is nice. Straight and slow. The construction is good. This is a medium cigar in body but full in flavor with plenty of evolution. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Most definitely

Categories: 92, Dominican cigars, El Coyote, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Flor de Las Antillas Maduro Short Robusto.

Flor de Las Antillas Maduro Short Robusto. In 2012, My Father Cigars won the Cigar Aficionado top 25 with the Flor de Las Antillas Toro. Winning that award boosts sales, but because of the quality, the cigar remains popular until today. But as with most successful cigars, there will be offspring. Either in new sizes or a similar blend with a different wrapper. For a new Flor de Las Antillas, My Father Cigars chose to go with a Maduro one.

So in 2016, a new line appeared. The Flor de Las Antillas Maduro, with several box-pressed cigars. The filler and binder remain Nicaraguan, with tobaccos from the family farms. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habano Sun Grown Oscuro. Of all the sizes, we picked the 4½x50 Short Robusto to review. And to be honest, since we love the regular blend so much, we never smoked the Maduro before if presented with a choice.

The box press looks good on this dark, leathery, and oily wrapper. It is quite even in color and there is one vein running on the side of the cigar. The ring does not differ from the prize-winning Flor de Las Antillas, yet there is a secondary band that reveals this is the Maduro version. But even without the ring, the color of the wrapper would reveal that. The foot of the ring is protected by a maroon piece of cloth. This cigar is strong when it comes to aroma. The moment it’s unwrapped from its cellophane coat, a strong smell of manure and fermenting grass hits the nose. And even though that does not sound appealing, the aroma is actually quite nice and comforting.

The cold draw is fine, with both a sweet and savory flavor. Once lit there is a distinct flavor of dark chocolate, but with raw wood, spices, leather, and soil. It bites a bit in the back of the throat. After a few puffs it mellows down and the bite is gone. Dark chocolate is still the strongest flavor with some pepper and wood. The Maduro sweetness joins in and the mouthfeel is a bit creamy. The cigar now tastes like cake with wood, soil, and pepper. Unique, something never experienced before. The second third starts off with oak and hay. There is still a hint of dark chocolate. And a dry grassy flavor. The cigar has balance and a nice Maduro sweetness. A little walnut flavor joins halfway, with more white pepper. In the final third, the cigar becomes stronger with more pepper. A lot of pepper, the kind of pepper Don Pepin was famous for in his early American & Nicaraguan years. With a nice sweetness of dried fruits. Wood also becomes stronger. Oak to be more precise. But still with a hefty dose of pepper and licorice.

The draw is great. The ash is white and dense. The cigar produces plenty of smoke. The burn is decent. It is a medium to medium-plus cigar in body, medium-plus in flavor as well. The smoke time is long, two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It is a nice cigar but the regular Flor de Las Antillas is better IMHO.

Categories: 92, Flor de las Antillas, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Dias de Gloria Robusto

Dias de Gloria Robusto is a tribute to the glory days of Cuban tobacco. To the cigars that Ismael Fernandez, the father of A.J. was smoking back in Cuba before he left his home country to work in Nicaragua. But of course without being able to use Cuban cigars. So A.J. went out to create a blend that resembles the old Cuban style with tobaccos from Nicaragua. The cigar was recommended to me as a great smoke.

For that, he is picking aged tobacco from his four oldest farms in Esteli. And for years, Fernandez has been setting aside tobacco with the Dias de Gloria in mind. “I want everyone to enjoy it like the glory days of old Cuba.,” he said during the release of the Dias de Gloria line.

The cigar looks good, but that doesn’t say anything about the wrapper yet. Because the wrapper is hardly visible. There is a red, yellow, and golden band with a very biblical picture. Then a golden and red secondary band with the A.J. Fernandez name and then a piece of cedar covering the rest of the cigar. With a piece of red cloth protecting the foot. Underneath the cedar is an oily, reddish-brown wrapper, smooth to the eye and velvet to the touch. The cigar feels evenly packed. The aroma is strong, hay and not surprisingly, cedar.

The cold draw is fine, cedar with dry wood. Once lit the cigar gives leather, wood, soil, coffee, and red pepper. The flavors are a little harsh, not very round. There’s also a sweetness, almost like refined sugar. But that doesn’t hide the mean punch this cigar gives. The sweetness turns more to a spiced sweetness like cinnamon. With oak, soil, and leather. The cigar still has a bit of a mean bite. It’s already tough to retrohale the cigar. Wood becomes stronger, but the cigar irritates the back of the throat. The second third starts with plenty of sweetness, now more of caramel sweetness. There’s also oak, soil, and leather with pepper. If the flavors were more round, the Dias de Gloria would be a great cigar. But that mean bite, that was there in all samples smoked, take away a lot of the pleasantries that this cigar offers. The mouthfeel is dry. A citrus acidity shows up, which helps to take away some of the roughness. There’s also a mushroom flavor with a lot of red pepper. The final third isn’t as mean, but red pepper overpowers the underlying flavors of oak and soil. There is no balance.

The draw is good and the smoke is amazing. It’s plentiful, white, and thick. The ash is white and dense. The burn is nice and straight. There is nothing bad to say about the construction of this cigar. The flavors are all right, but the mean and harsh taste definitely takes its toll on the score. This is a strong, full-bodied, and full-flavored cigar. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, A.J. Fernandez makes better cigars than this.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, 90, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez, Dias de Gloria | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Papi Toro by David Ortiz

Big Papi Toro by David Ortiz. A name that will probably not ring a bell for cigar enthusiasts outside of countries where baseball is a big sport. But David Ortiz is a baseball hall of fame star with the nickname Big Papi. He’s Dominican and a lover of the leaf. Whenever he was in the Dominican Republic, he was often hanging out at Tabacalera El Artista after being introduced to the Rodriguez family. Smoking cigars at the factory one day the idea came up of a Big Papi cigar and that’s when things start to happen.

The Big Papi Toro is a 6×54 Toro. It comes with an Ecuadorian Habano Claro wrapper. The binder is Dominican grown Criollo 98. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Tabacalera El Artista makes the cigars in a collaboration with the former Boston Red Sox star. There is also a 7×60 version with the name The Slugger. That’s another reference to his baseball days, where Ortiz was a hard-hitter aka a slugger. And the most famous baseball bat is the Louisville Slugger.

The cigar looks impressive, thicker than the ring 54 it is. The wrapper has an even color with a few sharp veins. It is slightly oily with a perfect triple cap. The ring is red and white, a tribute to the Boston Red Sox where David Ortiz played for so long. And his classic pose is on the ring as well. The foot ring is red cloth. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium-strong stable aroma.

The cold draw is fine with a flavor that comes close to a cinnamon roll with some pepper. Once lit there is some sweetness, leather, spice but mostly dark roast coffee. Strong and bitter, but acceptable bitter. The first flavors fade away to a wood and nut flavor. Cedar gets stronger with a hint of honey. Yet there is a lack of balance and a little harshness in the flavor. The second third starts with wood, nuts, leather, and pepper. Slowly more sweetness, pepper, and spice take over. Wood and leather are the main flavors, with pepper as support. The mouthfeel is a bit dry. The final third has some soil with a hefty dose of pepper. There is still a little unbalance in the cigar.

The draw is fine. The ash is white and dense. One big white cone, not even layers with ash. The cigar gives a good amount of smoke. The burn is good. The cigar has a little unbalance and a little harshness. It almost tasted like the cigar was a bit too dry, even though it’s stored in 67% humidity. The smoke time of this medium-full bodied, medium flavored cigar is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like El Artista cigars but this one isn’t my favorite

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera El Artista | Tags: , , , ,

Stallone Castaño San Andres Robusto

Stallone Castaño San Andres Robusto. Up until a few months ago, we never heard about this brand. Only when Todd Vance joined Stallone Cigars the brand came on our radar. Vance is an industry veteran who spent time with A.J. Fernandez, Cornelius & Anthony, and Padilla Cigars before joining Stallone Cigars. And our first thought was “Sylvester has a cigar brand”? But this brand has got nothing to do with the movie star. It is the brand from an Italian American, Tony Barrios, who’s a rodeo champion. He loves his stallions, and the world for stallions in Italian is Stallone. But skeptic as we are, we suspect that the fact that Sylvester Stallone is a famous brother of the leaf did play a part in picking the name.

The Castaño San Andres is part of the Cowboy Series. It features a Mexican San Andres wrapper over Nicaraguan filler and binder. The cigars come from the small Tabacalera La Perla. The same factory as the Muestra de Tabac. And that’s another brand whom we suspect picked the name to rub shoulders with a well-known brand. But again, we suspect, we don’t know for sure. But let’s focus on this 5½x52 Robusto, one of the three sizes available. Our experience with the cigars coming from Tabacalera La Perla is positive, so we have high hopes.

The sun-grown San Andres wrapper from Mexico has a leather-look, dry leather. Like the face of an old cowboy or fisherman, who’s been beaten by the sun for decades. It gives the cigar character. The triple cap is a bit rough on the eyes as well. The copper and gray ring has the silhouette of a stallion and the name of Tony Barrios. The secondary ring is in the same style and color as the name of the cigar. The cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is medium strong and quite dark. Like a forest in the early morning, when everything is still wet from the night.

The cold draw is a bit on the loose side and leaves a dry leathery flavor on the palate. The first puff is soil, coffee, and sourness. Strong coffee. But then the leather starts to shine, with citrus, oak, and pepper. Soon the cigar starts to mellow out a bit. With dry flavors, leather, and earth. But with citrus acidity and some sweetness. The citrus is becoming quite strong, with a nice sweetness to balance it out. Then the leather and pepper grow stronger while the citrus disappears. The mouthfeel is still dry. There is a nutty flavor in the retrohale. The second third starts with the nuttiness, dark spices, pepper, and hay. The cigar is a little rough, not smooth, or with a lot of nuances. But it does not bite or leave a tickle in the throat. Halfway there is a hint of chocolate behind the leather, pepper, soil, and oak. Hay and pepper are becoming the dominant flavors. There is still some nuttiness as well. The last part of the cigar is wood, leather, soil, and pepper.

The cigar produces a lot of smoke. Beautiful blue smoke. The draw is fine. The dense ash is light in color. The burn is straight. It is a medium to medium-full cigar. Both in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it but want to try a few other Stallone Cowboy Series first.

Categories: 90, Nicaraguan cigars, Stallone, Tabacalera La Perla | Tags: , , , , ,

Oliva Serie V Melanio Edicion Limitada 2020

Oliva Serie V Melanio Edicion Limitada 2020. For the 4th year in succession, Oliva released a limited edition Oliva Serie V Melanio. According to the story, round versions of the normally box-pressed cigars have been aging in the factory for years. And every year, Oliva is releasing a new vitola. It started with the Double Toro, then the Robusto, Diadema, and now the 6×54 Toro. Only 3000 boxes of ten cigars are available globally.

The blend is exactly the same as the regular production Oliva Serie V Melanio. That means an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The only difference is that this cigar doesn’t get the box-press treatment and remains a round cigar. Although, to me, it looks like this cigar was rolled specifically for a special release as there is no 6×54 vitola in the regular production series.

The cigar looks good. The Ecuadorian wrapper is nice, evenly colored, and feels silky. It’s got enough oil. The color of the wrapper fits perfectly with the brown, red, and gold rings on the cigar. The red cloth band with the glossy golden 2020 on the foot pops. The triple cap is pretty. There are no hard nor soft spots noticeable in the cigar. The aroma is strong, raw tobacco and barnyard.

The cold draw is fine, quite spicy to taste with a little hazelnut as well. Once lit, it’s black pepper with dark roast coffee and an earthy flavor. A dried berry sweetness appears. There is also a lemon-like freshness. The berry flavor and lemon acidity remain, but there is a nice dose of white pepper as well. The spice, sweetness, and acidity keep each other well balanced. The second third still has that peppery yet sweet blackberry flavor, but now with toasted nuts, leather, coffee, and soil. The flavors are complex yet there is a nice, delicate balance. A mild hint of dark chocolate shows up halfway through the cigar. The mouthfeel is quite creamy. The berry sweetness is quite constant though out the cigar. The final third has oak, berry, and pepper with leather.

The draw is phenomenal. The light ash is dense and firm like a stack of quarters. The burn is fantastic too. The smoke is decent in volume and thickness. This is a full-bodied, full-flavored cigar. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , ,

Rocky Patel Quarter Century Robusto

Rocky Patel Quarter Century Robusto. And as the name suggests, it celebrates the 25th anniversary of Rocky Patel as a cigar manufacturer. In 1995, the 35-year-old entertainment lawyer set his first steps in the industry with Indian Tobac. Nobody would have imagined that twenty-five years later, the Rocky Patel brand would be so strong and one of the best-selling cigar brands in the world. The Indian-born Patel had no background in tobacco, and people were expecting him to fail.

But now, 25 years later, he’s a rockstar in the industry. And to celebrate Patel created the Quarter Century. With Nicaraguan filler that has been aging for a decade. A Honduran binder to bind it all together. And then a dark Mexican San Andres wrapper. After rolling, the cigars age at the factory in Nicaragua for an additional two years before being released on the market.

The dark wrapper looks a bit dry. But the color is great and there aren’t any ugly veins. The two rings match, red with light yellow lettering. The construction feels good. The head is a beautiful round shape with a perfect triple cap. The aroma is amazing, deep, strong, like standing in a barnyard early in the morning before the world comes back alive.


The cold draw is perfect. Dry in flavor, a bit earthy with hay. The first puff is coffee, dark roast. The cigar holds the coffee flavor but adds soil, leather, spices, and pepper. There is also a hint of extra dark chocolate. At the end of the first third, there’s also wood with some sort of nuttiness. The smoke is tickling the back of the throat. The rough edge is gone in the second third. There is a bit more red pepper. The cigar is more earthy now, but the coffee is still lingering in the background. The Maduro wrapper is also releasing its sweetness. The earthiness grows, with sweetness and spice on the tip of the tongue. The earthiness is the main flavor but in the end, a very strong pepper overpowers it.

The draw is great. The ash is light gray and reasonably firm. The burn is great. The smoke is good, thick enough, and enough volume. It is a full-body cigar, full of dark flavors as well. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? A fiver every now and then.

Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, Rocky Patel, Tavicusa | Tags: , , , , ,

Perdomo ESV Maduro Imperio

Perdomo ESV Maduro Imperio. Where the ESV stands for Estate Seleccion Vintage. Only the top 5 percent tobacco of Perdomo’s Finca Natalie is selected for the ESV series. Up until 2019, the ESV was a limited edition with releases in 2005 and 2016, but now it’s a regular production cigar although in small quantities due to limitations to the tobacco.

The regular production version is box-pressed instead of round. It is an all Nicaraguan cigar. The binder and filler are from Cuban seed tobaccos. The wrapper is a Nicaraguan Maduro. The imperio measures 6×54. I did a review of the ESV Sun Grown last year, that one scored a 92.

This cigar is a looker. A smooth, very dark, Maduro wrapper without any ugly veins. An almost metallic blueish gray ring with black and gold, very stylish. The Perdomo estate is pictured on the ring. The box press look works really well on this cigar. To the touch, this cigar feels very good with the right amount of bounce. And the aroma is strong, very strong. Oak, hay, and soil.

The cold draw is fine. A strong, spicy hay flavor is what comes to mind. The cigar starts with leather, earth, but mostly a slightly acidic and bitter dark roast coffee flavor. A good kind of bitter though. There is a hint of red pepper as well. The cigar turns dark and earthy, with a classic Maduro sweetness. Towards the second third, leather and a hint of dark chocolate join the earthy, peppery flavors. Even though the flavors are on the darker side of the flavor wheel, the cigar is creamy. With some nuts as well. The cigar slowly gets lighter in taste, not in strength or flavor, but on the flavor wheel. More chocolate, cream plus citrus acidity. Slowly leather shows up as well. The Maduro wrapper keeps releasing a subtle sweetness. The base flavor is earthiness with that Maduro sweetness, but with some black pepper to remaining interesting. The finale has a nice nutty flavor, with pepper, soil, and sweetness.

The draw is great. The ash is almost white and Nick Perdomo once told us that it’s because of the potassium in the soil. The burn is immaculate. Slow and steady, straight as can be. There is a good amount of smoke coming from the cigar. This is a full-body, full flavor cigar. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer the Sun Grown.

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Perdomo, Tabacalera Perdomo | Tags: , , , ,

Don Kiki Platinum Label Toro

Don Kiki Platinum Label Toro. This is a cigar that is not an annual limited edition but also not a regular production cigar. Cuban Crafters, the retail outlet that is part of the Don Kiki Berger emporium describes this as ‘only available once in a while. There are several sizes when available, but for this review, we are selecting the 6×50 Toro. The Don Kiki Berger empire includes tobacco plantations, Tabacalera Esteli, Cuban Crafters, Don Kiki Superstore, and K by Karen Berger. Karen is Don Kiki’s widow and she’s one of the leading ladies of the cigar industry.

The Don Kiki Platinum Label came on the market in 2015. Currently, it’s available in a select number of countries but Karen Berger is expanding international distribution. When the cigar was first available, the label was different but the blend of the cigar is still the same. It’s all Nicaraguan tobacco with an Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper. The filler is a mixture of tobacco from Esteli, where the factory is located as well.

The label is all silver and platinum. Either matte or glossy. The background is matte, with the Don Kiki logo and the words limited edition in glossy. The foot ring has a bit of a diamond plate look with Don Kiki 1957 embossing. The wrapper is oily and dark, hearty. The cigar feels very well constructed with a nice triple cap. The aroma of the cigar is medium-strong. Dark wood with some barnyard aroma is the best way to describe the smell.

The cold draw is fine with a little nutty flavor, but a bit dusty. After lighting the cigar opens with straw and sweetness. There is a hint of spice in the retrohale. A few puffs later a little leather shows up with some pepper. The sweetness is close to confectioners’ sugar. Slowly there is some wood and nuttiness. The nut and sweetness become the main flavor. The sweetness in the retrohale is almost cinnamon. There is still a bit of leather. The cigar is buttery creamy. Slowly more pepper and wood show up. And there is a hint of citrus to tie all the flavors together. The sweetness is still there. There are also more green herbs. Wood is still there, as the base flavor. The leather gets a bit stronger and the flavors turn a bit Cuban. Then the nuttiness is coming on strong, with a hint of coffee.

The draw is good, maybe a little too good, but all within margins. The smoke is thick and lush. The light gray ash is like a stack of dimes. The burn is straight and slow. This cigar is medium in body but full in flavor. The smoking time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

Categories: 91, Don Kiki, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Esteli | Tags: , , ,

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