Guillen Cigars/GDW

Guillen Cigars, Esteli, Nicaragua

Reserva Miraflor Corona

Reserva Miraflor, I wrote reviews about the old batch, aged or even vintage Nicaraguan cigars, about 8 years old. But they are back, made by the same Nicaraguan blender, Raphael Guillen, and again, in cooperation with Andrew Wood, who’s a tobacco broker nowadays and just started his new webshop where brands from small, independent cigar manufacturers will be sold. And with the code ‘CIGARGUIDE’ you will get 30% off on www.untoldleaf.com


The cigar, 5 1/2×42 in size, is made with a wapper from Ecuador, a Habano variety. The binder comes from Indonesia while the filler is all Nicaraguan. I have smoked a lot of Reserva Miraflor in the past, but I don’t think I ever smoked this particular vitola, I did smoke a lot of the robusto and toro though.


The wrapper is dark, almost maduro, with a dark reddish glow. It has a leathery feel to it, probably because it is a sun grown wrapper. The ring is simple, gold on black, glossy. The cigar looks well constructed, the shape and triple cap are perfect and the cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is strong, barnyard with hay and cows.


I cut the cigar with a guillotine cutter. The cold draw is good, quite peppery in taste. After lighting I taste toast with a hint of cocoa. The flavor changes to spices, herbs but still with that bitter sweetness of cocoa. The cigar is spicy yet balanced, no harshness, it’s a smooth spice bomb. In the final third I also taste a little vanilla. 


The draw is perfect and so is the thick, white smoke which fills the room. The ash is dark though and not to firm. The cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored. There isn’t a lot of evolution but in this cigar I don’t mind, since I like the flavors so much. The burn is straight. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes.

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

Desconicido Corona

My friend Andrew Wood, who is a cigar broker and helps companies to bring their cigars into the USA and who’s on the forefront of the fight against the FDA, started his career in tobacco with GDW cigars, a small Nicaraguan factory that produces a few cigars including the Reserva Miraflor & the Don Fernando. One of the cigars they made but I had never smoked was this Desconocido. And now they are back, only for sale through www.untoldleaf.com so I finally had the opportunity to try one.


Andrew said that he loved this cigar and that it was likely his favorite, yet I see that it’s made with a Connecticut Shade wrapper and that makes me weary, that’s a wrapper I don’t care much about. The binder is a Nicaraguan Habano and the filler is all Nicaraguan too. The size of the cigar is 5 1/2×42.


The cigar has an oily, yellow brown wrapper, a little more color than most of the Connecticut Shade cigars I have seen. I see thin veins and a bright red ring with black letters in a curly font. The construction feels good, the cigar feels evenly packed with a nice rounded cap. The aroma is relatively strong, it reminds me of fresh cut wet grass.


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is perfect and sweet, marzipan like, with a spicy aftertaste. After lighting I taste a strong full coffee. After a quarter of an inch I taste a sour flavor but also some vanilla. After a third I taste peanuts with a mild mustiness from the Connecticut Shade wrapper. Halfway I still taste peanuts with some pepper and honey. Near the end I also taste some vanilla again.


The draw is great. The smoke is light gray. The ash is medium gray in color. The burn is straight. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s not my cigar but if you’re into mild cigars this is a must try, especially with 30% off if you use the CIGARGUIDE code

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Desconocido, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , ,

Casa Pineda Robusto

Back in the day, before Facebook took over, cigar forums were the way that cigar smokers would socialize an I did that on Club Stogie (RIP) and the follow up of CS Cigar Asylum. That’s where I met Andrew, who had his own brands made in Nicaragua and Aldrin, a student from Florida, amongst others. Aldrin and I helped out Andrew a bit and as a thank you he released a limited batch of cigars bearing our names, Don Fernando for me and Casa Pineda for Aldrin. And the small batch is back, exclusively for Untold Leaf.


As I remember, this was my least favorite of all cigars coming from GDW and mainly because of the wrapper, a Connecticut Shade. And that’s my least favorite of all wrappers in the world. The binder is an Indonesian leaf and the filler is from Nicaragua. According to the website this cigar is the perfect cigar in-between a Connecticut and a Habano and that makes me want to revisit this 5×50 robusto


The wrapper is light, almost pale and the bumpy binder shows itself underneath the thin wrapper, making the cigar look a bit like a teenage girl. The ring, pitch black and glossy with golden letters, looks nice. As for the construction, no complaints, the cigar feels and looks well made, evenly packed, nice triple cap and beautiful in shape. The aroma is dry, like dry hay and straw on a dusty old hayshed.


I used a cheap cutter to take the cap of the cigar. I only received this cigar yesterday so it’s right of the truck. The cold draw is great, spicy and peppery. After lighting I taste a fresh wood with coffee, strong and bold. After half an inch I taste cinnamon with a mild pepper plus a Connecticut mustiness. After a third it’s more a classic Connecticut in flavor but spicier. Halfway I taste hay with a mild harsh mustiness, typical for Connecticut Shade, and an agave syrup sweetness.


The draw is flawless and the smoke is white, full and thick. The burn is straight as an arrow. The light gray ash is relatively firm. There is a decent evolution, the cigar is medium full bodied and flavored, quite strong for a Connecticut Shade. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Still not digging Connecticut Shade wrappers.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Casa Pineda, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Reserva Miraflor Robusto

Reserva Miraflor, oh, I smoked so many of those cigars in the 2009/10/11 era before they were discontinued, after that I smoked them every now and then, not wanting to burn through all of them too quickly but now they are back so I grabbed the last robusto that I had and decided to review it while I send it to a fiery death.

 


This Nicaraguan puro is related to the Don Fernando, Don Payo and Goviado, all of these cigars were made and blended by the Guillen brothers at their GDW factory in Esteli, Nicaragua and the cigars, especially this brand, gained a lot of momentum on Cigar Asylum. They were spice bombs, lets see what age did to these cigars.

 


The ring is simple and not of the best quality, black and gold, but the wrapper looks good, nice and dark, with a few small yet mean looking veins. The construction feels good, evenly packed, with a nice shape. Just like the Goviado this cigar still has quite some aroma after all these years, its a stable aroma with a little of a floral smell too.

 


I used a butterfly cutter to decap the cigar. The cold draw is great, spicy, peppery yet with some marzipan sweetness. After lighting I taste cinnamon, a flavor I love, with a little pepper. After a centimeter the pepper is getting stronger. After a third it mellows out again and near the middle I taste marzipan, pepper, spices and leather. Near the end the cigar is spicy.

 


The draw is amazing, the cigar is smooth and well balanced. The smoke is thick and full. The light colored ash is firm and has nice rings. The burn is great. The cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored. The changes between this aged version and a fresh one are incredible and it proves that it’s not just Cuban cigars change with age. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Hell yes. And it’s possible again, a new batch has been made for a new boutique webshop http://www.untoldleaf.com I will be reviewing the new batch soon.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars, Reserva Miraflor | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Don Fernando Corona

Years ago, while very active on Cigar Asylum, I met Andrew Wood. He just finished high school and teamed up with an exchange student from Nicaragua and his brothers to make cigars in the small factory their family had. At least, that is how I remember the story. That small company, Guillen Diaz Wood aka GDW Cigars and the factory Guillen Cigars made two blends that because very popular very quickly on the board, Reserva Miraflor and Goviado. Popular in a way with a certain crowd that I can only compare to the decidation of the Jas Sum Kral crowd. And maybe, if Facebook would have been as big as it is now, those brands would still be around. But unfortunately they are not and Andrew has moved on to be a tobacco broker in Texas, Tabacos Mundial, and he helps quite some brands to get their goods to the US Market.

Now back in that day I helped Andrew a few times with planning, with the set up of group buys and I also arranged some group buys from The Netherlands, my country of origin, as Reserva Miraflor and Goviado became quite popular here too. And Andy appreciated it, he showed that in a very special way.


In may of 2009 I went on my first trip to the USA, with 3 other guys I did a road trip all along the east coast, we flew to Orlando, drove to Key Largo and from there all the way up to upstate New York. From there we flew to Las Vegas to spend the last few days of our trip. And about 30 other people from Cigar Asylum decided to come to Vegas too, to herf with us, including Andrew, with an amazing gift.

My nickname on Cigar Asylum is Don Fernando and Andy had a special blend made for me and gifted me a box of Don Fernando cigars with the Dutch flag incorporated on the box and on the ring. In total he had 24 boxes made, 6 boxes of Corona, Torpedo, Toro and Robusto, the other boxes were sold on the forum. I still have a few of the cigars left and it seemed appropriate to review the Don Fernando Corona on my birthday.


The wrapper feels silky but has a few veins running over the medium dark and oily wrapper. The construction feels good, and I must add that I had never had a cigar from Guillen Cigars that had any construction issue. The cigar is well capped with a triple cap. The ring is printed on shiny paper and is red white and blue colored, like our flag, with a silhouette of a cigar smoking man wearing a panama hat, as I did in those days. On the side it says Don Fernando and the ring has a double outline in black. The aroma is still quite strong, it reminds me of wood and pepper.


I cut the cigar and the cold draw gives me a perfect amount of resistance. I taste a little raisin flavor, pepper and spices all before lighting. After lighting it, with a soft flame ofcourse, I taste a nice coffee with a little bit of chocolate. I also taste some toast. After a centimeter I taste wood with toast and some sweetness. After a third it’s more of a dark chocolate flavor with a good amount of pepper in the back of my throat. Halfway it’s mostly pepper with a hint of dark chocolate and some metal. After two thirds it’s full on pepper but now with some nuts.


The smoke is thick and plentiful, just how I like it and the draw is perfect. The ash is almost white, dense and firm. The burn is sharp as can be. The evolution is fantastic. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes. This cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish that was possible, I would love to have a few extra boxes.

Score: 94
94

Categories: 94, Don Fernando, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Don Fernando toro

About a year and a half ago my friend Andrew, co-owner of Guillen cigars, hooked me up with some Don Fernando cigars, a gift that left me speechless and humbled. Nicaraguan puros in four sizes, Belicoso, Corona, Robusto and Toro.
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The medium brown wrapper has lots of veins and some spots and darker stripes. The size of this toro is 6×50. The barnyard smell is medium strong. The construction seems a little soft and that results in a little bit loose predraw, which is quite flavorless.
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I taste a nice and warm wood flavor with some earth and soon a huge dose of pepper. The cigar is creamy, almost buttery. After an inch the flavor changes to herbs, quite spicy with some nutmeg and other spices. I even taste some chocolate.
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After a third I taste more pepper. The chocolate and spices have gone. I taste herbs and pepper and the flavors are mild creamy. A few puffs later I taste a dry and quite strong wood flavor again. Halfway I taste herbs with some wood and lots of pepper with some chocolate. The flavors are still a little bit creamy and buttery. After two thirds I taste herbs, wood and sharp cinnamon. The creaminess fades and is hardly noticeable anymore. Near the end the cinnamon becomes the main flavor.
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It took me two hours to finish this cigar, but I enjoyed every minute. The draw is a bit loose. I got an amazing amount of extremely thick smoke. The burn is good. The salt and pepper colored ash is frayed but reasonably firm. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied, I even had a little bit of a vitamin N overdose.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I wish, they are all sold out

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 9 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Don Fernando, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , ,

E.L.V.I.S. 2009

In june 2009 a Dutch friend & me visited Las Vegas with two friends from Florida. A bunch of other friends from Cigar Asylum flew to Las Vegas too to herf with us, which was amazing. While planning our trip and this herf, the Las Vegas part of the trip got the name E.L.V.I.S. which stands for Epic Las Vegas International Smokefest. Andrew Wood from Guillen Cigar was coming too, so I asked him to make a special E.L.V.I.S. cigar. Unfortunately the cigars were stuck in customs, but we were able to buy bundles short after I got back home in The Netherlands.
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The first thing I notice is the beautiful shape, the top of the cigar is quite slender. The cigar has a nice color of milk chocolate and the wrapper only has a few minor veins. The cigar has a nice hay smell. The construction feels good. The wrapper has a dry leather look to it. The predraw of this 6 x 50 torpedo is good and I taste raisin.
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First flavors I get are earth and coffee but after an inch the coffee disappears. Wood takes the place of the coffee. The flavors are quite dry.
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Halfway I taste some herbs and wood, the cigar is mild sweet too. After ⅔ the wood gets stronger, the cigar is still a bit sweet and the earth flavor is gone.
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The smoke time of this one dimensional but pleasant cigar is 90 minutes. The draw is good and I got a reasonable amount of smoke. The burn is good and the firm ash is light colored. I would call this a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I still have half a bundle, so no. This was a limited production, I don’t evne know if Andy has any left.

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

Categories: E.L.V.I.S., Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Goviado belicoso

This is the second blend from Guillen cigars, the maker of Reserva Miraflor, and named after a nature reserve in Nicaragua. The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro made in Esteli.
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The cigar, wrapped in cellophane, has a pretty sharp top and the wrapper has a silky feel too it. The wrapper has the color of milk chocolate and only has a few minor veins. The aroma reminds me of horse and hay. The predraw is fine and leaves a mild peppery raisin flavor on my palate.
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I taste a full coffee flavor, mildly bitter and after half an inch I can also taste some earthy tones and a caramel like sweetness on the background.
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After an inch the coffee disappears and I get a herbal flavor with an earthy flavor, some caramel and a chocolate flavor that sticks to the palate. The earth flavor becomes dominant while the caramel and chocolate disappear slowly. Halfway the caramel returns but only as a mild flavor on the background. The main flavor is the earth flavor with some coffee with the caramel background.
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I got a lot of thick white smoke from this cigar and the draw was just fine. The ash is silver gray and firm, but frayed. I had some minor burn issues, it was just a bit crooked. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I liked it a lot.

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

Categories: Goviado, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , ,

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