Raices Cubanas

Raices Cubanas, Danli, Honduras

Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Twisty

Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion. For the last few years, the British cigar retailer Cgars Ltd has been creating limited editions under the name Orchant Seleccion. It started in 2007 as a collaboration with Habanos distributor Hunters & Frankau. They approached Orchant with the idea to hand-select boxes of cigars that he thought were outstanding. Then add an ‘Orchant Seleccion’ ring and sell them exclusively through his C. Gars Ltd shop. Up till today, approximately 20 different Cuban cigars are part of the Orchant Seleccion. But all in a limited number of boxes, and gone is gone. But it’s not limited to Cuban cigars anymore.


In the last few years, Orchant found several producers of New World cigars to create a limited edition exclusively for Cgars Ltd and Turmeaus Tobacconist. Davidoff created one. Regius did an Orchant Seleccion, just like Oliva. Alec Bradley did one and last year Drew Estate created three different sizes under the Orchant Seleccion name. Those are the lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight. But recently the Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion made a comeback. Not as a rerun of the old version, but the same blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos. Yet in three different, smaller, sizes. Including a rare, unique twist on the Culebra. Shorter and thicker than a regular Culebra, and with the name Twisty. The other two sizes are the Orchie and the Pointy. The Twisty is the last of the three cigars that will be reviewed.


The three cigars are intertwined, but not as much as a regular Culebra. That’s impossible because of the length and the thickness of the cigar. The Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Twisty is shorter and thicker than any other Culebra on the market. The wrapper is dark and oily. A little rustic too, with some veins and bumps. But the shine makes the cigar look tasty. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma has hints of hay with some acidity. It’s quite mild.


The cold draw is good. Spicy raw tobacco, a little harsh but in a pleasant way. After lighting there’s an explosion of coffee with some dark chocolate and pepper. The coffee and dark chocolate get accompanied by some marzipan sweetness. There is also a little salt and licorice. At the end of the first third, there is some harshness. Wood, earthiness, dark bitter chocolate, herbs, and pepper are on the palate. There is also a slightly burned flavor, something all three cigars have in common. The final third has the complexity of dark chocolate again. It’s coffee, wood, leather, and pepper. But now with a mild sweetness as well.


The draw is fantastic. And the smoke is thicker and fuller than on the other two Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion. The burn needed a touch-up or two. The white ash is firm and dense, but flaky. Even though this is the most accessible cigar of the three, it is also the least balanced. But it has character. The cigar is medium-full bodied, full-flavored. The smoke time is one hour and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a few as conversational pieces
number90

Categories: 90, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , ,

Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Pointy

Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion. For the last few years, the British cigar retailer Cgars Ltd has been creating limited editions under the name Orchant Seleccion. It started in 2007 as a collaboration with Habanos distributor Hunters & Frankau. They approached Orchant with the idea to hand-select boxes of cigars that he thought were outstanding. Then add an ‘Orchant Seleccion’ ring and sell them exclusively through his C. Gars Ltd shop. Up till today, approximately 20 different Cuban cigars are part of the Orchant Seleccion. But all in a limited number of boxes, and gone is gone. But it’s not limited to Cuban cigars anymore.


In the last few years, Orchant found several producers of New World cigars to create a limited edition exclusively for Cgars Ltd and Turmeaus Tobacconist. Davidoff created one. Regius did an Orchant Seleccion, just like Oliva. Alec Bradley did one and last year Drew Estate created three different sizes under the Orchant Seleccion name. Those are the lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight. But recently the Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion made a comeback. Not as a rerun of the old version, but the same blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos. Yet in three different, smaller, sizes. Including a rare, unique twist on the Culebra. Shorter and thicker than a regular Culebra, and with the name Twisty. The other two sizes are the Orchie and the Pointy. The Pointy is the second of the three cigars that will be reviewed.


The wrapper looks quite similar to the Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Orchie. Colorado Maduro colored, leathery with a long thin vein. But the green waterspot is missing. That makes the cigar ecstatically a little more pleasing. The dark, detailed ring is exactly the same. The O on the ring does have similarities with the Oliva logo. The aroma of this short, pointy cigar is darker than of the Orchie. More manure and barnyard than spices.


The cold draw is flawless, with a raw tobacco flavor. Once it, the cigar is salty with soil, coffee, and green herbs. There is a slight white pepper on the palate as well. The flavor then turns to something best described as black licorice with some dry leather and a little bit of coffee. The mouthfeel is chewy. The flavors are dark and become even darker with a burnt flavor. Burnt barbecue wood, pepper, green herbs. But a little evasive to the back of the throat. The cigar becomes more approachable, less burnt. More wood with dark roast coffee and pepper. The cigar then turns to earthiness, dark roast, pepper, and a little bit of a nutty flavor. The nutty flavor disappears as quickly as it showed up though. The pepper gains strength. A little sweetness shows up too. Near the end, it is dark wood, dark roast coffee, and very strong pepper.


The draw is good. The smoke is good, enough in volume yet it could be a tad thicker. The burn had to be corrected a few times. The ash is darker than the ash on the Orchie. The cigar is not balanced in the first third but balances out in the rest of the cigar. It’s a medium-full to full smoke. Full-flavored. Dark flavors, something we call a ‘winter’ cigar as it fits with the mood that comes with the shorter, darker days. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe

number89

Categories: 89, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , ,

Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Orchie

Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion. For the last few years, the British cigar retailer Cgars Ltd has been creating limited editions under the name Orchant Seleccion. It started in 2007 as a collaboration with Habanos distributor Hunters & Frankau. They approached Orchant with the idea to hand-select boxes of cigars that he thought were outstanding. Then add an ‘Orchant Seleccion’ ring and sell them exclusively through his C. Gars Ltd shop. Up till today, approximately 20 different Cuban cigars are part of the Orchant Seleccion. But all in a limited number of boxes, and gone is gone. But it’s not limited to Cuban cigars anymore.


In the last few years, Orchant found several producers of New World cigars to create a limited edition exclusively for Cgars Ltd and Turmeaus Tobacconist. Davidoff created one. Regius did an Orchant Seleccion, just like Oliva. Alec Bradley did one and last year Drew Estate created three different sizes under the Orchant Seleccion name. Those are the lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight. But recently the Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion made a comeback. Not as a rerun of the old version, but the same blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos. Yet in three different, smaller, sizes. Including a rare, unique twist on the Culebra. Shorter and thicker than a regular Culebra, and with the name Twisty. The other two sizes are the Orchie and the Pointy. The Orchie is the first of the three cigars that will be reviewed.


The Colorado Maduro colored wrapper has a spot on the wrapper. A green spot, which happens when a drop of water hits the leaf while drying. It does not change the flavor of the cigar but it just alters the look. There is one long, thin vein running over the cigar. The wrapper has a leathery look. The smell is amazing, sweet with spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. The cigar feels good, evenly packed. The head is well rounded, with a nice triple cap. The ring is dark, with lots of details.


The cold draw is great. The raw tobacco flavor is spicy and strong. The first flavors are charred wood, spice, and leather. The spices include cumin, cloves and more. It’s delicate, subtle yet the cigar quite strong and in your face. There’s also a little sweetness and acidity. After a few puffs, some coffee shows up. Overall the flavors are a bit charred, burned. The flavors remain dark in the second third as well. Wood, soil, coffee. In the final third, there is more pepper, a little salt, and a strong earthiness with some coffee. The pepper grows and there is a hint of very dark chocolate.


The draw is great. There is enough smoke, it is quite thin though. The ash is white with some black smears. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium-bodied, medium flavored. In the final third, the cigar becomes stronger, both in body and in flavor. The smoke time is one hour and forty-five minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe

number90

Categories: 90, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas

Alec Bradley Magic Toast Robusto

The name Magic Toast comes from when Ralph Montero and Alan Rubin inspected the tobacco fields. Their flight got delayed, they weren’t able to reach the factory in time so they decided to inspect the tobacco fields instead. And when they saw the high quality of the tobacco that was growing, they grabbed a bottle of whisky from their luggage and made a toast, a magic toast.

I’m smoking this very dark Maduro cigar as a magic toast to friends. My buddy Mac passed away earlier this year of a massive heart attack. He was only 51. And then another friend, Paul, took his life a few days before smoking this cigar. He lost his wife a year ago and couldn’t live life without her. And this is all while a third friend is fighting for his life, he’s in a coma after a brain aneurysm. I’m toasting to them.

This is one of the darkest wrappers I have ever seen. Dark and oily. Smooth and beautiful. Almost unreal how dark it is. The blue ring is very detailed, and the font reminds me of old school magic shows. The paper quality is high, just like the print. The construction feels good. And the cigar has a strong aroma, wood, and hay.

The cold draw is great. I taste raw tobacco with a hint of dark chocolate. Once lit I taste peppery dried grass, coffee and a lot of dark chocolate. A few puffs later I also taste leather. But the chocolate is the main flavor. High quality, extra dark chocolate. There is a mild acidity to tie all the flavors together. The mouthfeel is mild creamy. Halfway I taste coffee with chocolate, leather, hay and dried leaves. The chocolate remains the base flavor, but with changing levels of pepper, leather, wood, spices, and hay. Very nice.

The draw is great. The ash is light colored and quite firm. The smoke could be a bit thicker, but it gets better the further I progress in the cigar. And I had to correct the burn in the beginning. This is a medium bodied, full flavored cigar with lots of nuances. Well balanced. I’m a fan

Would I buy this cigar again? You betcha.

number93

Categories: 93, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , ,

Alec Bradley Fine & Rare RS10=(86) 2018

For the last couple of years, Alec Bradley is releasing a limited edition. Well, two actually, the Filthy Hooligan and the Fine and Rare. Where the Filthy Hooligan is more of a gimmick for St Patrick’s day, the Fine & Rare is an ultra-premium cigar. The first release utilized 9 or 10 different kinds of tobacco. And every year, Alec Bradley is making something special from their Fine & Rare release.

For the 2018 release, they used a size that was used before. A 6½x56 Parejo Toro Gordo. And all they disclosed about the cigar was the origin of the wrapper. The wrapper comes from Honduras. The binder and filler are undisclosed.

Where not much of the blend is revealed, there are still a lot of details known. The ring reveals a lot. It has the roll date. In this case that’s between March 26 and April 1st of 2017. The number of boxes, 2500, is mentioned on the ring. The total production of the week van 638. The release date of 24 October 2018 is printed on the ring. As well as the names and signatures of the rollers Juan Carlos Artica and Wilmar Jose Valerio. But that’s not all, supervisors and quality control also signed the ring.

he Colorado colored wrapper looks great. Thing veins, a little shine of the oil. The construction feels great too but what do you expect when the rollers, supervisors and quality controllers are mentioned by name on the ring. They can’t afford to deliver a plugged cigar. And as mentioned in the intro, the ring tells a lot. The rolling date, the weekly production, who rolled it, the number of boxes. The aroma is medium strong and would be best described at barnyard.

The cold draw is great. Yet it doesn’t have a lot of flavors. Mild raw tobacco is all that is noticeable. The cigar starts with a nutty, toasty flavor. And a little bit of coffee. The cigar is very creamy. With some fresh acidity on the background that comes close to green apple. Slowly some leather and pepper shine through, while the green apple disappears. The flavors are all subtle and smooth so far. The sweetness in the cigar is best described as caramel, salted caramel as there is a salty flavor too. The nut flavor returns, with leather, pepper, and salt as backing vocals. After a third, the sweetness and the pepper are the stronger flavors. But they remain smooth, soft and complex. There’s also a grassy undertone. Slowly a minty freshness shows up in the aftertaste. The sweetness changes from caramel to powdered sugar. In the final third, there is a distinct milk chocolate flavor with hay and pepper. The sweetness turns to caramel again. Near the end, I taste nuts again, with sweetness and leather. There’s also a hint of coffee in the last few puffs

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The draw is great, the perfect amount of air flow resistance. The ash is light colored. The burn is beautiful. The smoke is thick and white. The cigar is smooth and complex. Medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is four hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for 25 euro, although it’s a good smoke. Yet if I have to choose between a Cohiba BHK or this Alec Bradley Fine and Rare, I know I’ll get this one.

number93

Categories: 93, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , ,

Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Natural Robusto

Two days ago, in the review of the Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Habano, I mentioned prejudice and named a few of my cigar related prejudices. And this cigar ticks not one but two boxes, being a budget cigar and having a Connecticut Shade wrapper. And that combination makes me wonder why I punish myself with this whole month of budget cigars and even adding Connecticut Shade to the mix.


The cigar has a Connecticut wrapper but the Alec Bradley website doesn’t specify where it is grown. The binder is Nicaraguan and the filler comes from both Nicaragua and Honduras. This is the final blend from the Spirit of Cuba series. I also notice that only a 5×50 robusto is mentioned on the website where before there were other vitolas too.


The wrapper is quite dark for a Connecticut but it has an ugly and long vein all over the front of the cigar. The ring is the same as the others with a red base color this time, its not as cool as the black from the Corojo but better than the yellow from the Habano. The construction seems good, no plugs of soft spots. The aroma reminds me of cedar, white pepper and dog poop.


I used a cutter to take the cap off. The cold draw is good, with a mild sour and sweet flavor. After lighting I taste sweetness with a hint of pepper. After a third the sweetness is gone, I taste a little wood with allspice, muted though. Halfway it’s acidity with that musty Connecticut Shade flavor. Slowly the cigar gets a little harsh too. The final few puffs are wood with powdered sugar bad a bit pepper.


The draw is perfect and the smoke is thick. The ash is white and firm. The burn is great. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and flavored.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nope

Score: 78
number78

Categories: 78, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , ,

Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Corojo Robusto

Yesterday I posted a review of the Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Habano robusto and today I’m publishing the second offering from the three blend Spirit of Cuba series, a Cuban sandwich style cigar from Honduras which is very budget friendly. And I hope I like this one better because I only want to write good things about Alec Bradley, since they are great people, a great company and have been nothing but good to me. Yet, with my experience with budget cigars and the Spirit of Cuba Habano I’m afraid that smoking this cigar isn’t going to be a ride to heaven.


Just like the habano, this cigar is a Cuban sandwich style cigar, that means both longfiller and shortfiller as a filler. And the filler comes from Nicaragua and Honduras, the binder is Honduran and the wrapper, corojo as the name suggests, comes from Nicaragua.


When I grab the cigar I noticed that the ring is almost the same but black instead of soft yellow and that makes the ring look much better, classier and more expensive. The wrapper is even a shade darker too with a nice shine from the oils. The cigar feels like velvet and it is well packed. The aroma is medium strong and it reminds me of dark chocolate with a little bit of pepper.


I used a dual blade guillotine cutter to open the cigar. The cold draw is good, I taste dry herbs. After lighting I taste coffee. Slowly it changes to cedar with herbal aromas. The final third is more vegetable with pepper, quite nice. Near the end I taste salted peanuts.


The draw is great, but then again, it’s a medium filler so that’s not a surprise. The ash is quite dark. The smoke is medium full. The cigar is medium bodied and flavored. The evolution is what I expected from a budget cigar, not too much. The burn is good. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? This is not a bad budget cigar.

Score: 89
number89

Categories: 89, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas

Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Habano Robusto

We all have our prejudice, also when it comes to cigars, and I’m not different than any other cigar smoker, I have them too. Some are prejudice towards cigars not coming from Cuba, others are prejudice towards vitolas, towards certain wrappers or brands in general. I admit, I have a prejudice against big ring gauges, certain brands and I used to have a prejudice against Connecticut Shade wrappers although in the last year and a half I smoked a few that I liked a lot which changed my attitude against Connecticut Shade. Another prejudice? Budget cigars, I think most of them are not worth the little money they cost.


So when I was working for the Alec Bradley distributor and we got the Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba series in I flat out refused to try them, I sold them and sold them good but hadn’t smoked them, now for budget month I will and I start with the Habano. Made in Honduras as a Cuban sandwich with a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder and filler from Mexico, Nicaragua and Honduras and when I was selling these the retail price was €2,50 for a robusto


The cigar actually looks good, a smooth and dark wrapper, no visible veins and a nice head. The construction feels good too, yet the well printed ring looks a little cheap though. Its soft yellow with a sun in the centre and gold printed letters Spirit of Cuba plus a small green banner with the Alec Bradley name. The aroma is medium strong and smells like poop.


I cut the cigar which led to a great cold draw with a mild lemon and spicy flavor. The first puff after lighting is a powdered coffee flavor. There is also a lemon flavor. The first third the flavor doesn’t change but then a little spice shows up. Halfway I taste nutmeg, spice and a little lemon. The spice picks a bit up a bit but that’s it.


The draw is great. The ash is dark but with nice rings. The smoke is white and thick. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is little over an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? nah, price quality is great but  I rather pay double and get something better.

Score: 87
number87

Categories: 87, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , , ,

Di Fazio Maduro Robusto

First of all, I don’t know how I got this cigar, where I got this cigar, what the msrp of this cigar is, how long I had it. All I know is that it’s made in Honduras at Raices Cubanas and that I know because I googled the cigar. And it turns out that it’s made by a TV executive from Venezuela with Italian roots, Carmelo di Fazio and that the brand saw the light in 2009. I don’t know if they are still in business, I haven’t seen their name later than an announcement that they became an advertiser on cigarobsession but their own website is offline, so I guess Carmelo is back to making TV again.


The article I read on the Cigar Aficionado website mentions that the blend of this cigar is Honduran and Nicaraguan filler with a Honduran binder and a Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper. Further google searched learned that they had cigars made in Nicaragua too but no online shop has stock or sells the cigars anymore, and I guess that confirms my expectations that Di Fazio cigars is out of business.


The wrapper is almost black and so evenly black that I suspect this to be a cooked wrapper, a process where the wrapper leaf is dipped in a tea brewed with leftover tobacco and veins, making the wrapper turn darker. It’s a beautiful wrapper though with thin veins. The ring is pretty too, white with golden details and a yellow and brown shield and a black banner with golden letters saying Di Fazio. The cigar feels evenly filled, the cap is placed immaculate, the torcador knew what he or she was doing. The cigar has a mild aroma that reminds me of chocolate.


I cut the cigar with a xikar cutter. The cold draw is fine, a little taste right but within margins. I taste mint, wood and pepper. After lighting I taste wood and coffee. After a quarter of an inch I taste a mix of spices like cumin and nutmeg with some caramel, wood, peanut shells and white pepper. Soon I taste peanuts, wood and a little lime and mint. Halfway I taste wood, some licorice, pepper and a flavor I can’t identify but like a lot, quite meaty. The meaty flavor with a smokey barbecue flavor and some pepper mark the start of the final third. Near the end I taste wood with some peanuts an hazelnuts.


The draw is great, no complaints. The silver gray ash is firm and the burn is straight. The smoke is thick and full. This is a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish, I liked it.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Di Fazio, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , ,

Alec Bradley Tempus Naturel Terra Nova

Now Alec Bradley was one of those brands that for me was always ‘middle of the road’, never had any issues, they were all oke, none were unlikeable but also non wowed me. That was until George Sosa gave me a Tempus Nicaragua Terra Nova on one of our trips through The Netherlands, where I worked for the distributer of Alec Bradley and some other brands. The Tempus Nicaragua and the Mundial stood out for me, but it made me sit down and really focus on some Alec Bradley cigars and that made me realize the Black Market is better than I had in mind. Now I’m going to focus on the Alec Bradley Tempus Natural Terra Nova.


Now the Alec Bradley Tempus Nicaragua is a Honduran cigar because it’s made at Raices Cubanas, just like the Alec Bradley Tempus Natural. The Terra Nova is a 5×50 robusto and the blend consists from Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, a Honduran binder and also a Honduran wrapper. All the other vitolas have names coming from latin, like Centuria, Magnus & Magistri amongst others. Now my latin is non excisting so I couldn’t tell you more about it if my life depended on it.


Back to the cigar itself, once I release it from its cellophane jacket I see a quite dark wrapper with some veins and a shine from the natural oils in the leaf. The construction feels good and the triple cap is very beautifully placed. The cigar has a strong aroma of manure but without ammonia and charcoal. The ring is gorgeous. I will start with the small ring at the foot, its brown with golden outlines, small golden dots and white letters saying Natural. Then the real ring, its big, flashy with lots of gold, silver, a brown banner with white letters saying Alec Bradley and right in the centre the red oval with the AB letters in white. The quality of the print is amazing.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is on the tight side of good and I taste metallic raisins with a hint of pepper. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and taste coffee with a caramel like sweetness. Half an inch in I taste chocolate, sweet tasty chocolate. After a third the cigar gets some spices, a woody flavor with a pepper aftertaste. The caramel is still around too. Halfway I taste lemon with some nuts, the pepper is getting stronger and slowly the chocolate returns.


The draw is good, the smoke is medium thick and in volume but it’s getting better along the way. Unfortunately the burn is crooked. The ash is dark gray, layered and firm. The cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes, shorter than usual for a robusto but I think that has to do with the corrections I had to make on the burn.

Would I buy this cigar again? I will stick with the Nicaragua

Score: 90
90

Categories: 90, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas

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