Tabacalera del Oriente

Tabacalera del Oriente, Tarapoto, Peru

Plasencia Year of the Ox

Plasencia Year of the Ox. This year Plasencia is one of the many brands that jump on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar bandwagon. And it’s the first time that the Nicaraguan cigar mogul does it. It’s been only a few years since Plasencia made the call to create cigars with the family name, but with their knowledge, background, and reputation they were able to secure a good portion of the market. And this year they want some of the Asian market as well.

From the moment the press release of this cigar came out, I was intrigued. Not because of the story behind the cigar, but because of the €35 price. Yes, there are more expensive cigars. We even reviewed more expensive cigars. But all those cigars had something that justified the price. Vintage tobacco or rare tobacco for example. There is nothing in the press release or information that justifies this price, so there’s only one way to find out if this cigar is worth it. One thing is for sure, you’re getting a lot of Nicaraguan tobacco in this 7×58 Figurado.

The looks are impressive, a 7×58 Figurado is always a head-turner. The milk-chocolate brown wrapper is oily and smooth. There are three rings, all with the same red and gold color scheme. Red and gold are important colors that stand for wealth in Chinese culture. The shape is immaculate. The aroma is surprisingly mild, just some wood and hay. Lack of cellophane around the cigar did cause some damage during transport on the head and the foot.

The cold draw is fine despite the damage on both samples smoked. Wood, sultanas, and raw tobacco are the flavors in the cold draw. The first flavor is cedar, with a lot of pepper and some caramel. The sweetness then turns more to a marshmallow sweetness with mild spices like cumin in the retrohale. There is also some toast and vanilla, with a bit of white pepper. Mellow, balanced, sweet but mostly interesting. The cumin flavor gets a little stronger. Ceder slowly shows up. The sweetness turns more to molasses, with more cedar, spices, and a bit of white pepper. There is a hint of old book flavor that is classic of Connecticut Shade tobacco. But it is very mild. Around halfway there are baking spices, like gingerbread spices, but still with sweetness. There is also a little bit of leather. The flavor profile is quite unique. The sweetness is consistent, different kinds of sweetness but overall a constantly sweet cigar. Natural sweetness and very pleasant. In the final third there’s more leather, cedar, spices, and pepper. Even till the final puffs, it’s easy to retrohale the cigar. The very last few puffs have dark chocolate and mocha with pepper and cedar. But the mocha is fantastic.

The draw is great. The light gray ash is a bit coarse but seems to hold on nicely. The burning cigar has a nice toasty aroma to it. There are some issues with the burn. It had to be touched up a few times. The smoke is nice and thick. This cigar is balanced, smooth, and very tasteful. Medium in strength, full in flavor. It is a great smoke, high-end for sure. Does it justify the high price tag? Partially yes as it is a unique cigar with tremendous tobacco. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I loved it, but €35 is a lot of money.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, 92, Plasencia, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , ,

Flor de Selva Year of the Ox

Flor de Selva Year of the Ox. For the last few years, Flor de Selva is one of the many brands releasing a cigar to celebrate the Chinese zodiac calendar. And just as others, Maya Selva and her team choose to go for a bigger cigar for this year. It is the Year of the Ox, and an Ox is known for its strength and size. So going for a 6×56 Toro Extra does make sense.

It is a very limited release, with most of the boxes going to China and Hong Kong. But special boxes of two cigars were made for relations such as cigar media. And I was one of the lucky recipients of a box. The cigar itself is made in Honduras, with a Honduran binder. There is also Honduran tobacco in the filler, together with Nicaraguan tobacco from Jalapa. Jalapa is bordering Honduras. The wrapper is Nicaraguan as well.

It is a good-looking cigar. Big and impressive. With a nice Maduro wrapper from Nicaragua. Smooth, oily, and no distracting veins. The off-white Flor de Selva ring looks great on the dark wrapper. The Year of the Ox ring stands out because of the yellow and red. But the two rings clash a little. The construction feels great. The cigar has a strong aroma of charred wood with hay and straw.

The cold draw has some freshness, but also green herbs and a mild salt flavor. The draw itself is fine. The cigar starts with a nice, spicy yet sweet coffee and earthy flavor. The coffee gets replaced by cedar very quickly. The flavors are smooth, flavorful but smooth. Leather and coffee return, with a nice Maduro sweetness. The second third has a thick, dark chocolate flavor with some dark spice and pepper. Slowly there’s more wood, leather, and some hay. But the spice is never far away. It is all balanced and smooth. In the final third, there is more black pepper and more leather.

The draw is great. The light gray ash is like a stack of quarters. The smoke is decent in volume and thickness. This is a medium to full-body cigar. The flavor is full, yet smooth. The burn is straight. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? If possible

Categories: 92, Flor de Selva, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , , ,

Villa Zamorano Reserva Robusto

Villa Zamorano Reserva Robusto. A budget cigar released in the summer of 2018 by Maya Selva. It’s a brand extension for the already established Villa Zamorano cigars that are available all over Europe. The line was released in 2018 and won a cigar trophy from Cigar Journal a year later. The best value Honduras award went to Villa Zamorano Reserva

The Villa Zamorano Reserva is a Honduran Puro. Made with exclusively Honduran tobaccos. The wrapper comes from Jamastran, from the Habano strain. The robusto is a classic 5×50 size. With a Cuban triple cap. Other sizes available are the Intenso, Expreso, Corona, No.15, El Gordo, and Churchill. For this review, we chose the Robusto vitola.

The cigar is good looking. A nice, evenly colored wrapper. Colorado Maduro in color. And quite smooth looking, without big veins. The triple cap isn’t perfect though. The ring could use an update. This is a budge cigar and the ring shows it. Simple, not flashy at all. The secondary ring is bright red with white. The main ring is brown, black, and orange with white letters. The rings don’t match. The construction feels good. The aroma is strong. Wood, hay, and barnyard with a mild pepper tingle in the nose.

The cold draw is good. Earthy with green herbs is the taste of the cold draw. Once lit, the cigar releases a nice smooth coffee flavor. The coffee remains but with green herbs, salt, and a little grassy flavor. The flavors then change to soil with cinnamon sweetness, nutmeg. There is still a grassy or hay flavor on the background as well. Slowly the cigar turns toasty with nuts and sweetness. But all a little rough around the edges. The spice flavor is very nice, and after a third, it’s accompanied by leather and wood. There was a bit of a flavor that made the cigar less enjoyable. But halfway that layer is gone. The cigar gets more spices with a little pepper. There is a slight harshness in the back of the throat. The final third starts with spice and floral notes. The cigar gets creamy as well. Some pepper shows up in the last part. The finale has pepper and nuts.

The draw is great. The flavors are balanced and smooth. Yet a little rough around the edges. The smoke is nice and thick. The burn needed a touch up once. It’s a medium-bodied cigar, medium-flavored too. With a good construction and firm, light-colored ash. The evolution in this cigar is remarkable for a budget cigar. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? For €3,90, yes probably I would

Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente, Villa Zamorano | Tags: , , , , , ,

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Lancero

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Lancero. Like all names in the Hiram & Solomon portfolio, this cigar gets his name from the freemason world as well. The ‘traveling man’ name stems from the ancient masonry. Master masons were often required to move from job to job over long distances. And when in a new area, local masons or the local lodge would vouch for such a ‘traveling man’. Fouad Kashouty and George Dakrat use the Plasencia Cigars factory in Esteli, Nicaragua for all the Hiram & Solomon lines. That includes this traveling man, the online Hiram & Solomon line with a Lancero in the line-up

This blend is made with tobaccos from four countries. The wrapper and binder are from South East Asia. From Indonesia. And if you want to get even more precise, from Sumatra where the Dutch introduced tobacco over four centuries ago. And later, the Sumatra seeds would be introduced into Cameroon to become the legendary Cameroon tobacco. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Brazil. Arapiraca from Brazil is used. Habano from Nicaragua is the last component in the blend. The Nicaraguan tobacco comes from Jalapa near the Honduran border and the volcanic island of Ometepe. The lancero is 7×38, but last year I reviewed the 6×60 Gran Toro.

Just because of the vitola, this cigar looks elegant. Skinny, long, a lancero is always beautiful. Add a purple, silver, and black ring and you have a cigar that stands out. The wrapper is a Colorado colored Indonesian Sumatra wrapper. To the eye and the touch, the wrapper is dry. The veins are thin. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is of charred wood, medium in strength.

The cold draw is a bit tight. It leaves a spicy raw tobacco flavor on top of the palate. Once lit, the cigar releases sweetness, floral notes, and cedar. There is also some spice. The spice slowly gets stronger. Nutmeg and a little pepper, but all covered in a very nice sweetness. Slowly leather and soil join the party, with the return of cedar. The floral flavors are still around. Everything is well balanced and smooth. At the end of the first third, there is also some chocolate. Milk chocolate to be more precise. With the leather, spice, and pepper. But all subtle. The second third also brings a faint vanilla flavor with a little freshness. A little later a fresh, green, grassy flavor is noticeable. The pepper gets a little stronger without overpowering the other flavors. It all remains very balanced and subtle.

The draw is very good. The length of the cigar cools the smoke down, making it very pleasant to smoke. The burn is straight. The ash is almost white. But due to the small ring gauge, the ash breaks easily. The cigar is smooth and balanced. The cigar has depth and nice complexity. The smoke time is two hours fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box or two boxes.

Categories: 93, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , ,

Flor de Selva Year of the Rat Toro

Flor de Selva Year of the Rat Toro. A few years back, Davidoff started with an annual limited edition based on the Chinese zodiac calendar. And several companies followed, including Maya Selva for her Flor de Selva brand. We know of at least 7 companies that release cigars based on the Chinese zodiac calendar now. But being born in the year of the rat, married to someone with Chinese heritage and living in South East Asia, this year is special. That’s why I will be reviewing several ‘Year of the Rat’ cigars this year.


The Flor de Selva Year of the Rat is a 6×52 Toro. It retails for 19 euro in Germany, Europe’s largest cigar market. The cigar is made from tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua. The wrapper comes from Honduras. The binder is Nicaraguan. And the filler contains tobacco from both countries.

The cigar has two rings. The simple faded yellow and greenish Flor de Selva ring. But the foot ring sets the cigar apart from the rest of the Flor de Selva lines. It’s red, the Chinese color of prosperity. And it combines the image of the rat with Mayan hieroglyphics, merging Honduran and Chinese cultures together in this cigar. The wrapper is Colorado colored, with a sharp thin vein on the side. It isn’t the best looking cigar out there, but it’s also not the worst looking cigar. The construction feels great. The nose is nice. A warm aroma of hay and wood, medium strong.


The cold draw is nice, with a nice tobacco flavor. After lighting it’s a mellow and sweet coffee with soil flavor. There is some toast and a nice mix of gingerbread spices as well. The flavors are mellow, smooth and well balanced. There’s a slow evolution to cedar with the spices, toast, and sweetness. The aftertaste has a hint of white pepper. The sweetness is pure honey. The mouthfeel is creamy. Slowly the pepper gains more strength but the honey toast with cedar remains the base flavor for the cigar. In the second third, leather shows up and it’s a beautiful combination with the growing white pepper, toast, spices, and honey. In the final third, the cigar gets stronger, with more pepper, leather, and wood. The toast is dissolving, just like the honey. And the balance starts to disappear as well. And then the sweetness returns. The cigar now has a flavor profile of pepper, sweetness, and cedar with leather.


The draw is phenomenal. The light gray ash is a bit flaky. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is good in volume but could be a bit thicker for a higher score. This is a medium-bodied, full-flavored cigar. The balance was spot on in the first two thirds, with a silky smooth flavor profile. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s expensive but I wouldn’t mind a few more
number92

Categories: 92, Flor de Selva, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , ,

Skel Ton Robusto

A few months ago, we saw a picture of a cigar on Facebook. And that picture intrigued us. The ring of the cigar was the most unique we had seen in a while, and one of the best we had ever seen. It turned out that it was a cigar by a German aficionado, Tonio Neugebauer. He released the cigars in 2016. Ministry of Cigars published about the cigars last month. Neugebauer and Han Hilderink, owner of the Whisky & Cigar Lounge in Gronau, decided to send us a sampler. As cigar nerds, we are excited to smoke new cigars so here we go.


The cigars are made in Nicaragua, at one of the factories of Plasencia. The cigars are made with an H-Blend wrapper from Ecuador. Two binders are used, one from Indonesia and one from Nicaragua. And the filler comes from Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. There are only three sizes available. Those are a 6×44 Corona, a 5×54 Robusto, and a 6×52 Toro. For this review, we are smoking the 5×54 Robusto. The retail price is very reasonable at €6,90.


This cigar scores points on the looks. The ring is amazing, high-quality gold printing, a very detailed skeleton. And a cloth foot ring with the test ‘live your dreams’. 100 points for the ring alone. The wrapper looks great too, Colorado to Colorado Maduro in color. Evenly colored with thin, sharp veins. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is deep manure, earthy smell. It’s medium-strong.


The cold draw is perfect. The flavor in the cold draw is quite dry, dry cedar, hay, and raisin. The first puffs give me that dry flavor again, earthy, leathery with coffee. There’s also a pleasant, spiced sweetness and freshness which comes close to anise. To all changes to gingerbread spices with a mild sweetness and some citrus. Combined with cedarwood. The sweetness gets stronger, it’s like powdered sugar. The spices and the wood are still noticeable too. The mouthfeel is dry. After a third, it’s sweet coffee again. Halfway the flavors are a mix of leather, grass, spices and a little pepper. All with a pleasant dose of sweetness and a little citrus acidity. In the final third, the wood returns and it’s strong. With pepper and leather. But still smooth and balanced. Coffee returns too, all with sweetness and even a little custard creaminess. The gingerbread spices, pepper, sweetness, and wood are the dominant flavors in the last part of the cigar.


The draw is great. And the ash is white and firm. The burn is razor-sharp. The smoke is thick and white. This cigar is medium-bodied, medium to full-flavored with a pleasant smoothness. The flavors are balanced all the way through the cigar. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box

number92

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Skel Ton, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , ,

Don Duarte Reserva Pyramid

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

 


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

 


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

 


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

 


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

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

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

Cuba Libre Epicure

This is the last of the Cuba Libre cigars I have in my possession and I must have had this for at least 6 years. I bought a box from an online source in the United States years ago to try out some budget cigars and included in those ‘let’s see if this is a good steal’ shipment was a box of this Honduran made Cuba Libre. The cigars are produced at the Plasencia factory in Danli.


There is not a lot of information available online, except for the wrapper, which is corojo and that the filler is Honduran with a Nicaraguan binder. There are a few vitolas, Churchill, Corona, Gordo, Robusto, Toro en Torpedo and I’m smoking the 6×50 box pressed toro. I have no idea if the other vitolas are box pressed too. And the cigars are still on the market and still a bargain with $65 for a box of 20 cigars.


The corojo wrapper of this box pressed cigar is great, a nice even milk chocolate color with one flattened thin vein. The wrapper feels silky and the cigar has a strong aroma which is a mixture of light minty and chocolate aromas and darker smells like grass and charred wood. The construction feels good yet the wrapper is a little pinched at the cap. The ring is nice a thick golden edge on a blue backdrop and white tobacco leaves. In the center there’s a burgundy circle with golden dots and a golden, dotted, outline. The centre is white with blue letters Cuba Libre. And I hope that Cuba will be liberated soon, but that has got nothing to do with this cigar though.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is fine and I taste raisin and leather. After lighting the cigar with a single jet flame I taste leather with some cinnamon and honey. After a third the cigar gets a little spicy, still with a leather flavor as a base. Halfway I taste a fresh minty, almost toothpaste like flavor with leather. Near the end some pepper shows up too and grows to a nice strength.


The smoke is a little thin, and the color is quite dark for cigar smoke. The ash is very fragile. The burn is decent but not fantastic. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored with a slow but certain evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I’m looking for a budget cigar I’ll consider this, it’s a $3 stick. The flavors are good, with a better draw, burn and smoke the score would be a few points higher.

Score: 85
number85

Categories: 85, Cuba Libre, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , , ,

Nestor Reserve Maduro Torpedo

I bought these cigars years ago, at least 9 years, at Cigars International when I was trying out all kinds of budget cigars and this Nestor Reserve Maduro Torpedo came in dirt cheap bundles, the price per stick was about $2 and with a very favorable euro dollar conversion rate at that time they were a steal. I remember that I liked them back in the day so when I found one lingering in an assorted box in my humidor I decided to light it for a review.


I know that the cigars are made by Plasencia in their Honduran factory, but I don’t know a lot about the blend. I guess they are discontinued as I can’t find them anywhere anymore, I did find a cigar with a similar ring but with an added ‘vintage’ to the ring and these were all sold out too. I did find some old reviews, usually I don’t read them to prevent being influenced but I started reading to find out the blend and I found it. A maduro wrapper from Honduras, a Cameroon binder which isn’t a type of leaf used as a binder a lot because it’s expensive tobacco, so to find it in a budget cigars is quite a surprise. The filler is made from tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua.


This cigar is intimidating, especially with the cellophane removed. It is big, with a length of 6 1/2 inch, box pressed but what makes it intimidating is the almost pitch black wrapper which is smooth yet oily and looks amazing. The construction feels good and the pointy head is reasonably straight. The ring is simple, shiny white with a golden N and a banner saying Nestor. It fits the budget price of the cigar. The aroma is quite strong and reminds me of charred wood after a fire mixed with hay that has been in a stable with sheep or cow overnight and is soaked in animal urine. Now when I write it down like that it sounds absolutely nasty, but it’s not that bad.


I cut the cigar with my xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is fantastic. The flavor is just a little sweetness. After lighting I taste a strong espresso like coffee. After an inch I taste a metallic fresh wood flavor, harsh on the tip of my tongue. Halfway I still taste a harsh, strong wood with some lime and now with some pepper on the inside of my lips. The final third starts with dry nuts, pepper and cumin, less harsh than before. At the end it’s a harsh pepper again.


The draw is perfect. The burn is a bit off though and needs a few touch ups. The smoke is grayish and medium thick. The ash is a bit frayed. The medium full cigar is medium flavored with some evolution but no complexity. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. I remembered these as chocolate bombs but I didn’t get any of that now.

Score: 82
number82

Categories: 82, Honduran cigars, Nestor, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , , ,

Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan

Candela, the green wrapper, has lost a lot of the charm and popularity over the years. If you go back to World War II, most cigars were candela wrapped due to the high demand. Farmers in the Partido region of Cuba used fires to cure the tobacco in the barns but the temperature raised too high, curing the tobacco in 3 days instead of the usual long process that naturally turns the wrapper yellow and then brown. So a lot of farmers started to use that method, those cigars were distributed to the American soldiers and that’s what they wanted to smoke after the war too.


Nowadays the tobacco is more of a gimmick and that’s exactly the way Alec Bradley thought of it when they decided to use a Candela wrapper for a limited edition of the Black Market. And they picked the green themed St. Patrick’s day as the occasion for this cigar to b released. The cigars, made at the Plasencia factory in Honduras instead of Raices Cubanas, were a hit and the Filthy Hooligan became a returning release, with tweaks in the blend and eventually even becoming a barberpole cigar. But this cigar is from the original 2013 release, a 6×50 toro with a Nicaraguan Candela wrapper, Nicaraguan and Honduran double binder and filler from Nicaragua and Panama.


I wouldn’t buy this if I was a regular consumer in a cigar shop, just because of the look. The wrapper is a pale grayish green with a clear vein, it looks dry and brittle. The ring is cool, just like the regular Black Market but with some green, a clover and the Filthy Hooligan name. The cigar feels well constructed, the triple cap is nice and the overall shape is good. For a supposedly mild cigar that aged for 5 years, the aroma is strong yet grassy, not green grass but mowed wet grass.


After cutting the cigar I taste a surprisingly peppery cold draw. After lighting I taste a sharp, metallic flavor over some grassy base flavor. There’s a little pepper too, white pepper. After half an inch I taste cedar with a little pepper. After a third the cigar gets harsh, I taste a little pepper, cedar and some salt. Halfway I taste the metallic flavor again, with salt and still that harshness on the tip of my tongue.


The draw is fine. The dark ash is coarse and not very firm. The smoke is thick. The burn is straight. This is a mild to medium bodied medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, just as I remembered the OR was the Filthy Hooligan I liked least.

Score: 86
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Categories: 86, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , , , ,

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