Cigars by factory

Eiroa The First 20 Year Prensado

Little over 20 years ago Christian Eiroa entered the cigar business with his father Julio and the brand Camacho. They built the brand to be one of the famous Honduran cigars before they sold it to Davidoff, rumored for a whopping 40 million dollars, in 2008 with Christian being an employee and Julio retiring. But that last part changed. In 2012 Christian started his CLE brands and Tabacaleras Unidas, opening the El Aladino factory in Danli while Julio Eiroa kept growing tobacco and started producing cigars with his other son Justo under the names Aladino, Rancho Luna and Tatascan.


The tobaccos used for this Eiroa the first 20 years lines are all grown by Julio Eiroa in the Jamastran valley of Honduras and that makes this a Honduran puro. I’m smoking the 6×46 Prensado that Christian himself gave me at the Intertabac trade show. The binder is supposed to be a very special tobacco that hasn’t been used in over 50 years, and special tobacco was always a trademark for the Eiroa family, they used specific proprietary tobacco for Camacho too.


The wrapper feels like velvet and is very dark, it doesn’t have much shine and I can see a thin vein. The well printed ring is red with golden letters and some black details. It says the Eiroa name and salut, amor, pesetas that Eiroa uses for all his cigars. It looks very nice. The cigar feels well constructed and the medium strong aroma reminds me of manure.


I cut the cigar and I taste floral notes and pepper. The draw is great. After lighting I taste coffee, mild sweet and mild bitter, with a hint of pepper. After almost an inch I taste earthy flavors with pepper and a mild lemon. After a third I taste a mild sweet earthy flavor, a bit floral and vanilla like. There is pepper on the background. All of a sudden I taste salt too. The final third starts out stronger with more pepper and salt on a bit of earthy flavor.


The draw is great and the smoke is thick and full. The fragile ash is dark. The burn is good. The medium bodied cigar is nice, balanced and medium flavored. The smoke time is ninety minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wouldn’t mind smoking them more often.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Eiroa, El Aladino, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

La Sirena Merino Robusto

In 2009 Arielle Ditkowich started La Sirena cigars with a cigar made at My Father Cigars in Nicaragua and three years later she released the second La Sirena line, the La Sirena Merlion made on the Dominican Republic at the La Aurora factory which isn’t a surprise because back then the cigars were distributed by Nestor Miranda’s Miami Cigar & Co, who’s the distributer of La Aurora in the USA, and has a few private labels made by My Father. So the connections are all there.


I met Arielle briefly when I visited Miami Cigar & Co a few years ago and she handed me this Merlion Robusto. I had smoked the My Father made La Sirena cigar but never this one and it’s time to do it now. The cigar is made with Dominican, Nicaraguan and Brazilian filler, a Brazilian binder and a corona from Ecuador wrapper.  La Sirena released two more lines, the Oceano and the Old School, the last one is made at NATSA where the Oceano is made at Quesada on the Dominican Republic. Or at least, were made by? Since 2014 there have been stories that La Sirena would move production to La Zona, but the La Sirena website still mentions NATSA, La Aurora and My Father.


The wrapper is a nice reddish brown, soft to the touch with a nice shine and a few thin veins. The ring is amazing, only shaped and huge with lots of shiny silver and just a little red and blue with a drawing of a mythical creature, a mermaid lion mix, a merlion. And since my wife a native Singaporean I have a connection with merlions, as that is the most famous statue of Singapore. The cigar has a mild manure aroma and the construction feels good, evenly packed , the shape is good and the cap is nice.


I used my xikar cutter to decap the cigar. The cold draw is a little loose, mild peppery and woody. After lighting I taste a strong coffee flavor with a little cedar. After a third I taste cedar with a little spice and pepper. Halfway I taste cedar with a nutty flavor and a slightly stronger pepper. The final third is spicier, with more pepper and a hint of chocolate.


The draw is good. The smoke is white with a grayish glow, it’s medium thick and full. The burn is razor sharp. The salt & pepper colored ash is firm. The cigar had a few years of age and it shows, as it’s very mellow and smooth. Medium bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? A single or maybe a fiver.

Score: 90

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, La Sirena, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CAO Pilon Robusto

A few years back, while I was still working for The Longfiller Company, the largest independent cigar importer in The Netherlands, I walked into the office one day and my employer said “Stijn Elbersen was here and he left a box of CAO Pilon Churchill, I love them, try one”. I was surprised for two reasons, first that Stijn visited our office, Stijn is an important manager at STG, a company that we didn’t do much business with at the time, and that my employer, who’s very loyal to what he likes, only a few brands that he enjoys a lot, liked a CAO. I grabbed a cigar, lit it and I was under impressed.


At the last Intertabac trade show I ran into Stijn and Rick Rodriguez, we spend some time chatting and they gave me the Fuma em Gorda, Anaconda and this CAO Pilon Robusto. The Pilon is quite unique as a very old method of fermenting the tobacco has been used for the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Nowadays fermentation is done in huge, rectangle stacks, creating more heat than the Pilon style, which is done in smaller, round, stacks. Due to the smaller stacks the temperature is lower, so it takes longer for the leafs to fully ferment but it also leads to a bigger reduction of ammonia and sugar. Add some Nicaraguan filler and binder from Esteli and Ometepe to the wrapper and there you have the CAO Pilon.


The wrapper feels lacquered, its coffee colored with a nice shine and a long thin vein. The beige ring is big and simple, stylish with black letters pilon in the centre and the CAO logo. The size 5×52 is mentioned as well as Rick Rodriguez’s signature. The triple capped head is beautifully rounded and the cigar feels evenly firm everywhere. The aroma is lacking though, I don’t smell a lot when I sniff the cigar.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is good, I taste a mild sweet raisin flavor. After lighting I taste a nice smooth coffee. Slowly the flavor changes to smooth cedar with floral notes. Halfway I still taste the cedar, with the floral notes, a little vanilla and pepper. The pepper fades, the floral and vanilla notes are getting stronger. Near the end I taste some toast and pepper.


The draw is great and the white ash is very dense. The smoke is thick and full. The burn is decent. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s better than I remembered but nah.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, CAO, Nicaraguan cigars, STG Nicaragua | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Viaje Platino Lancero

While browsing through my Lancero humidor to pick a lancero for this months “15th on the month” lancero review this Viaje Platino Lancero caught my eye and I decided that it would be the lancero of the month. I’ve had it in my possession for a long time so I don’t know if this is one of the regular release Viaje Platino Lanceros or if it came from the Trifecta release but anyway, its a lancero, it’s Viaje and it’s aged.


The cigar is made in Honduras at Raices Cubanas, where most Viaje cigars are rolled. It’s a Nicaraguan puro though, with a Nicaraguan Corojo 99 wrapper in a 7 1/2 x38 size. Now if this cigar is part of the Trifecta release, then the cigar was rolled in Februari 2011, if its from the regular release the cigar is even older so we can talk about an aged, almost vintage, cigar here, which will have an effect on the flavor, let’s find out.


The cellophane wrapper cigar has it’s foot protected with a piece of cloth. There are two rings, a beige ring with the green viaje logo and silver outlines and a secondary, beige ring with silver letters saying platino. The wapper is quite dark with thin veins all over, it feels like velvet. The cigar feels evenly packed, with the right amount of bounce when you squeeze it gently and it has a nice small pigtail. The medium strong aroma is deep and dark, like dark chocolate with some pepper and a muddy soil.


The cold draw is good, I taste sultanas and white pepper. After lighting I taste a spicy yet mildly acidic coffee. After a few puffs I also taste a honey like sweetness too. After half an inch I taste some soil with a lot of pepper. After a third I taste dry wood with pepper, herbs and a little floral flavor on the background. Halfway the floral gets a little stronger just like the pepper, and I also taste a little lemon. The cigar mellows out to the end.


The draw is great with a thick and full smoke. The dark ash is not very firm. The burn is good on this well balanced full bodied, full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas, Viaje | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Mayimbe Robusto

Every time I am in the United States I visit cigar shops to buy single sticks of cigars I can’t get back home and that are to my interest, either because I know and like the manufacturer, I know and like the brand, I read good stuff about the cigar or it looks cool to me. Now early 2014 I spend a week in Esteli, Nicaragua and then spend a week in Florida, a few days in Miami and a few days in Orlando. And of course in both cities I visited some shops and in one of those shops I found a cigar that I really wanted to try but because of the limited production never expected to see: A.J. Fernandez’s Mayimbe Limited Edition 2013. Only 2500 boxes of 10 were made in 4 sizes so finding them months after their release was just luck I guess.


I’m a fan of a lot of cigars that are being made by A.J., not only his own brands but also cigars he makes for Meyer & Dutch (I love the Diesel, Man O’War Skull Crusher, Ave Maria) and the Nicoya brand. So when I read about the Mayimbe I was curious to try it even thought the 56 ring is a little above my preferred thickness. Now this cigar isn’t limited just to be a limited, it’s limited because of the tobacco. The Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper isn’t limited, the Nicaraguan binder from A.J. Fernandez farms isn’t limited, the Honduran filler isn’t limited but the Nicaraguan filler is, its a leaf called Privado and it’s been grown by A.J. Fernandez on a small farm and he’s been working on it for years. So no marketing “limited edition” as so many companies do, inspired by Habanos (who nowadays manufacure more limited releases than regular production between the regional editions, limited editions, reserva and anejados) but a true limited edition because they are out of tobacco. And that’s what a limited should be, limited because of a limited amount of tobacco.


The Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper is darn, like a piece or dark chocolate, with a few veins and a nice triple cap. The construction feels good and the head of the cigar is beautifully rounded. The aroma is full and its like standing on the attic in a hay shed on a rainy afternoon. There are two rings on the cigar, one on the foot which is about a centimeter high, pitch black with the A.J. Fernandez logo in red letters and gold lining in a white circle with gold lining. The main ring is big with a curved top. The bottom part is black, the top part is brown and I don’t like the color brown on cigar bands unless its the exact same color as the wrapper which this isn’t. There is golden lining and swirls and in big black letters Mayimbe. A.J. Fernandez is written in smaller black letters. On the back there is the Mayimbe logo and the words “Esteli, Nicaragua” in golden letters. Now the band isn’t ugly but the brown color is, almost any other color would have been a better fit. I punched the cigar because of the thickness. The pre draw is good and I taste raw tobacco with little bit of a thinner aftertaste.


I lit the cigar with my soft flame and I taste a strong coffee flavor with a little caramel sweetness which are both quickly replaced by oak. A centimeter in I also taste some lemon in the aftertaste. After a third the cigar changes to a mix of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon with a mild peppery aftertaste, like ground white pepper. Halfway the flavor turns to cedar with nutmeg and that white pepper aftertaste. It’s all well balanced. After two thirds the oak is back. At the end I taste nuts with a little more pepper.


The smoke is huge! Thick and abundant, I love it. The ash is light colored but a bit frayed. It’s also firm. The draw is fantastic. The burn is pretty straight but I had to correct once. The cigar is medium bodied and medium to full flavored. The cigar is nub tool good. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? That is not possible. I would love to smoke this blend in a 48 ring.


Score: 91

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Categories: 91, Mayimbe, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull

The La Flor Dominicana Andalusian bull, what can I say? It was released in the summer of 2016 and hit the spot, or to make a reference to the name, it hit the bull’s eye, as it became #1 on the Cigar Aficionado top 25 of 2016. Now you want to know about the name? Why does a Dominican cigar a name that refers to the Spanish region Andalusia and a bull? Well, La Flor Dominicana owner Litto Gomez was born in Spain, so this is a link to the country of his birth. The writing on the ring is the handwriting of Pablo Picasso, who loved to paint bulls and the green in the ring is a reference to the green in the flag of Andalusia. Bull fighting is a big sport in Andalusia, hence the silhouet of the matador on the ring


The cigar, which has an odd shape, measures 6 1/2×64 and comes from an old mold that Litto Gomez found while on business in Belgium. The blend, which is a cooperation between Litto and his son Tony, consists of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper from corojo seed, wrapped around a binder and filler from the Dominican Republic which include Criollo ’98, Pelo d’Oro and a hybrid tobacco. Tony Gomez gave me this cigar at the Intertabac trade show in Dortmund last september.


Now that I released the cigar from the cellophane I notice how thick it really is. I mean, I read it was a 64 ring gauge but it looked thinner wrapped in cellophane. The coffee colored, mild shiny, smooth wrapper looks delicious. The green ring with golden details, the black silhouette, the golden letters, its a piece of art and when you know something about the meaning of the ring, as I tried to explain in the first paragraph of the review, it’s even better. Cigar Rings did an awesome job printing this. The shape is quite unique, its slightly different than a regular pyramid, the blunt head is wrapped perfectly and the cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is strong and reminds me of a spice cabinet in an Asian kitchen.


I cut the cigar. The raisin and herbal cold draw is great with a little pepper in my lips. After lighting I taste coffee with herbs and pepper. After a few puffs I taste herbal soil and half an inch later I also taste a mild metallic flavor. After an inch I taste coffee again, earthy and with a hint of chocolate and lime. Halfway the flavors have slowly changed to an earthy flavor with chocolate. Slowly the pepper returns, just like the lime.


The draw is great and the smoke is medium in thickness and volume. The light gray ash is dense and very firm. The burn is pretty straight. This cigar is full bodied and medium full flavored. The balance is spot on, and the smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Once they become available in my country I’ll grab a box.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Dominican cigars, La Flor Dominicana, Tabacalera La Flor | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goviado Lancero

Goviado was the second blend that Andrew Wood and Rafael Guillen released when they were running GDW Cigars, after their first success with Reserva Miraflor. Now you may think “success, never heard of it?” but we are talking pre-social media era and on Cigar Asylum these cigars were very populair and sold pretty good. And so did the Goviado.

 


I reviewed several Goviado vitolas in the past, but never this 6 3/4×40 lancero, and I wonder why. I mean, I love the blend and I love the vitola, so this blend in this vitola should have been on my radar way longer. Or it could be that this vitola wasn’t being made back then, only now that it resurfaced for the website untold leaf. When I speak Andrew I should ask him.

 


The wrapper is stunning, a deep chocolate brown, smooth wrapper. The black and gold ring has a nice design but the whole printing could have just be done a little better to make it look a tad more professional. The cigar itself though, it not only looks amazing but the construction feels good too, the right amount of resistance when I gently squeeze it, the shape, the head, it’s perfect. The cigar has a strong aroma, a little hay, a little manure, a little ammonia, a little dirt, a little wood all combined in one bold aroma.

 


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is a little tight. I taste a peppery raisin. After lighting I taste leather and pepper. The flavors are full, strong, bold. After a centimeter I taste a little bit of sugar too. After a third I taste wood with a little nutmeg. Halfway the cigar is smooth, wood with a little pepper. The flavor slowly progresses into a mild marzipan with a little salt. The flavors are perfectly balanced.

 


The draw is great, and the smoke is full, white and thick. The ash is a little coarse, light gray. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I hope they are still available after I moved to my new home country, I’ll get a box with my 30% CIGARGUIDE coupon.

Score: 93
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Categories: 93, Goviado, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goviado Belicoso

Many moons ago, and we are talking 2007/2008 era, I met Andrew Wood online on Club Stogie, which turned into Cigar Asylum and back then he wasn’t a tobacco broker but with two Nicaraguan friends, the Guillen brothers, he ran a little factory GDW Cigars. Back in the day I reviewed the Reserva Miraflor, Casa Pineda, Goviado and Don Fernando, a cigar he made for me as a thank you. The Don Fernando got another review last year and made my top 25. And now the cigars are coming back exclusively for the website untoldleaf.com ! Good news because that means that I can smoke the few remaining old ones that I have.

 


Now as far as I know these cigars are from 2010 or 2011 and made completely from Nicaraguan tobacco. It was rumored that some tobacco was even the same tobacco as used by Padron and that Padron took the Guillen brothers under their wings but I don’t know the details of that, or even if its just a rumor or the truth. All I know is that I liked the cigars back then and I can’t wait to try the new ones.

 


The cigar has a very pointy tip and that probably caused the roller to have a little trouble since the cap is not the best I have ever seen. The ring is black and gold, quite simple, just like the Don Mayo from the same factory and the Reserva Miraflor, although all the logo’s are different on each line. The construction feels good and the coffee brown wrapper looks good, with one thick vein running from the foot till about a third of the cigar. Even after all these years the cigar still packs a strong aroma, a stable like smell without any ammonia.

 


The cold draw is great. After lighting I taste a herbal coffee, smooth but with a little kick. Soon a nice sweetness shows up, like powdered sugar.  After an inch I taste a mild leather with a little spice and the powdered sugar. Halfway I get more pepper from the cigar. The final third starts a bit nutty, with a little pepper and sugar. There’s also a bit of a herbal flavor.

 


The draw is great, fantastic construction. The smoke is good, not super thick or full but more then enough. The white ash is dense and firm. The burn is straight. The smoke time of this smooth medium bodied medium full flavored cigar is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes. And it’s possible again. I will review the fresh ones soon.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Goviado, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jas Sum Kral Zlatno Sonce Soloman

Jas Sum Kral took the social media by storm and the Red Knight was a super hit amongst boutique brand cigars, and the follow up, the Zlatno Sonce was a hit too, even with me and I dislike Connecticut Shade cigars with a passion. But yet, I am going to try this 7×58 Jas Sum Kral Zlatno Sonce Soloman limited edition, made for brand owner Riste’s yearly cigar weekend Ristevari, even though the box arrived at my doorstep today, so no rest, right of the truck.


The first cigars were made at the factory of Noel Rojas but under the supervision of Roniel Aragon. Now I don’t know what happened but Roniel left Tabacalera NOA, Riste left there some time later and now Roniel is making JSK in his new factory Tabacalera Aragon S.A., this is the first cigar that I smoke that comes out of that factory. Riste told me that the blend is a twist on the regular Zlatno Sonce blend, with a little tobacco from the Somoto canyon in Nicaragua as an added flavor. And rumor is that this blend might be used for the core line too. Somoto is an unknown area in Nicaragua, at the bottom of the canyon is one farm, owned by Carlos Javier Garcia Pereda. Riste and his partner Roniel Aragon visited the farm, late 2017, loved the leaf so much that they used it for the Soloman and maybe we will see more of the Somoto tobacco surface soon.


The cigar looks good, the wrapper is shiny, almost lacquered even though I dislike the yellow brown color. The ring is amazing, made by the Singaporean designer Nuzli Hakiim, is one of the best in the business. Very detailed, white and gold, lions, crest, just simply beautiful. The construction feels great, a really well made cigar. Since the cigars rested for 8 months before they got send to me I can’t smell any ammonia anymore, just a full smell of mud and hay.


I cut the cigar to find a perfect cold draw, spicy, peppery raisins. After lichting I taste a mild coffee with hay. After an inch I taste spice and herbs with a little buttery, meaty undertone. There is no hint of the mustiness that I usually get from Connecticut Shade. And the cigar is strong too for a Connecticut. Halfway I do taste it a little though but with spices and sweetness, I also taste some licorice. The final third also gets a hint of vanilla. Pepper shows up and it’s getting strong too.


The draw is great. The light gray ash is firm with beautiful layers. The white is a little thin. The burn is straight as can be. The cigar is medium full bodied, the strongest Connecticut Shade I ever smoked. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Love the blend, this vitola unfortunately is a limited edition.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Aragon | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Undercrown Shade Gordito

One, this is going to be a tricky one, straight from the start this cigar has two things against it: It’s a 60 ring gauge and it has a Connecticut shade wrapper, although that last part isn’t a problem as it used to be anymore since my preferences are changing and my hate for Connecticut Shade wrappers has faded a little, there are even some Connecticut Shade cigars that I like including the Undercrown Shade Flying Pig.


The Undercrown lines all have a different blend, it’s not just a different wrapper but a whole new blend to begin with, both for the Undercrown Shade as the Undercrown Sun Grown. The Shade is made from Dominican Criollo, Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo with a Sumatra binder and an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. While all the blends differ, the vitolas in all the lines are the same.


The wrapper is pale and smooth, as a Connecticut Shade should be and a little shiny. The ring is the regular undercrown ring in white and gold, that means a golden lion on a turned around crown on a white background. The foot ring is white with golden letters shade and golden outlines. The construction feels good and the cigar is well shaped, a well rounded head. The cigar has a distinct aroma of grass and those broth cubes you can buy at the supermarket to make soup.


I punched the cigar as I tend to do with big ring gauges. The cold draw is perfect. The cold draw is almost flavorless, just a hint of raisin. After lighting with a soft flame I taste a mild leather and peanuts flavor. After a few puffs I taste sugar too. And then I get that typical Connecticut Shade mustiness. After an inch I taste a mild leather with sugar and that mustiness. Only halfway the flavor changes a little, a bit of pepper joins. The pepper slowly gains some strength. With an inch to to the cigar turns.


The draw is great. The light colored ash is dense and firm. The burn needed some corrections. The white smoke is medium in thickness and volume. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, The wrapper and the vitola are a no.

Score: 86


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Categories: 86, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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