Tabaccos de Costa Rica

Tabaccos de Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica

Xiphos CR Habano Robusto

I did a series of reviews on Xiphos cigars, both of their Costa Rican offerings as well as their Nicaraguan offerings but I missed one. The Costa Rica made Xiphos CR Habano Robusto and I guess it’s time to smoke and review this 5×54 robusto now.


The blend of this cigar consists of Peruvian and Dominican fillers, a binder from Peru and a hybrid Habano wrapper from Ecuador. I liked all the Xiphos cigars that I smoked, even the Connecticut scored high for a Connecticut Shade cigar so I have some expectations for this stick.


The wrapper is gorgeous, a reddish coffee brown color, a few thin veins and a very nice glossy shine from the oils in the leaf. The rings are the blind and silver ones, as mentioned in the other reviews and the Greek theme fits the name. The finish of this cigar is great, a great cap, good shape, it feels evenly packed and well constructed. The aroma is strong, it reminds me of horses and spices.


I flat cut the cap, the cold draw is perfect. I taste some dry sweetness and pepper. After lighting I taste a smooth coffee, very flavorful. After half an inch the flavor changes to more woody with a little lime. Halfway I get spicy cedar with floral notes, some sweetness and a little pepper. The pepper slowly gets a little stronger.


The draw is great. The ash is beautifully layered, light gray in color and firm. The burn is straight. The smoke is medium thick and full. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored, very smooth and nice. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a perfect morning cigar.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Costa Rican cigars, Tabaccos de Costa Rica, Xiphos | Tags: , , ,

Mbombay Vintage Reserve Salomon

One of my Dutch friends is a big fan of Mbombay and he gave me a cigar that I smoked for a yet to be published review just a few weeks ago. And I liked it, I can’t remember the final score but I knew I liked it. And then, while in Singapore two weeks ago, my friend Nuzli, a great designer who’s doing some photoshopping for Mbombay gave me a brand new cigar, the Mbombay Vintage Reserve, both in a Salomon and in a Lancero vitola. I’m smoking the Salomon now.


I reached out to the Mbombay instagram account for some background information, we exchanged two or three messages but I haven’t gotten any information yet. I blame that on the IPCPR which is this weekend so brand owner Mel Shaw is probably crazy busy at the moment. Hopefully I get some information soon. Maybe it’s the same blend as the limited edition Vintage Reseve 1973 that got released at IPCPR 2016, but I simply do not know.


The cigar has a light brown wrapper with quite some thin veins, it looks oily and I have my suspicion that it’s a Connecticut Shade wrapper even though it’s not as pale as most Connecticut Shade cigars. I love the shape of a good Salomon and the cigar feels well packed but with the right amount of sponginess. The ring however, I think a better job could have been done. Whenever you walk into a humidor, all the other Mbombay cigars stand out because of the artwork while this one, well, let me put it that way, if I was browsing a humidor I would, at first glance, think that it’s a Davidoff cigar. White oval ring with dots and a thin secondary ring is kind of their trademark. At second glance you see a peacock, very detailed and nice but a far cry from the colourful and unique artwork from the other Mbombay cigars. The cigar has a strong aroma, straw and hay come to mind with a little pepper.


The cold draw is fine with a woody aroma. After lighting I taste that classic Connecticut Shade flavor, something I don’t like, but the flavor is mild and some sweetness actually make it enjoyable. After a centimeter I taste cedar, sweetness and some lemon, with that Connecticut Shade touch. After a third I taste a creamy, buttery cedar with a hint of vanilla and that Connecticut Shade flavor. Halfway I taste the cedar and Connecticut Shade flavor with a mild chocolate and a growing cayenne pepper. In the final third the cedar is still creamy with a little bit of vanilla and the cayenne but the Connecticut Shade mustiness as I call it is getting the overhand. Near the end the cigar gets spicy and peppery, suddenly it gains strength too.


The draw is fine. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness, but beautifully white. The smoke gets thicker and I see more of it once the burn reaches the thicker part of the cigar. The ash is almost silver and black, with thin rings. The burn is straight as an arrow. I would say this is a medium strong cigar, medium flavored and well balanced. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again?  Depending on the price, I might. This is one of the few Connecticut Shade cigars out there that I like.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Costa Rican cigars, Mbombay, Tabaccos de Costa Rica | Tags: , , , , ,

Bespoke Salomone

Before the Bespoke brand was released in The Netherlands the distributer handed some samplers to a few of his resellers and one of them, my friend Berry, owner of Van Lookeren in Amsterdam, gave me this Costa Rican made salomone to try.
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I love the shape and the milky chocolate colored wrapper has a few veins. I spot a little damage and I feel a soft spot in the middle and the tip is a bit crooked. The aroma is pleasant. The cigar band needs some work, what’s on that black band? It’s a drawing of a fan, but with what? The predraw is fine, sweet with quite some pepper.
102515bespokesalomon2
I light the cigar and direct after the tip I have to relight. I taste white pepper with some wood. The pepper slowly fades away and a little bit of leather appears. It is a nice combination with the wood and after three centimeter I also taste some citrus.
102515bespokesalomon3
After a third I taste a mild pepper, leather, wood an toast. The leather slowly grows and the citrus returns. The flavors are very subtle. It’s leather and toast, pepper and citrus with a slowly growing toast. The last third starts with toast and some leather, the white pepper is gone but slowly reappears, and slowly grows stronger, just as the leather. At the end it’s a nice mixture of the toast, leather and pepper.
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The draw is fine but I also get false air. I get enough smoke which is medium thick. The silver gray ash isn’t too firm but the burn is sharp, only at the end I have to correct once. This cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored and lasted me for two hours.
102515bespokesalomon5
Would I buy this cigar again? I would if it wasn’t €12,80 fixed price here.

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

Categories: Bespoke, Costa Rican cigars, Tabaccos de Costa Rica | Tags: , ,

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