78

La Rica Churchill

I remember smoking this cigar early in my cigar life and liking it, then I remember smoking it years later and not liking it anymore. Let’s see if this tubed Churchill makes the first category or the latter one. I tried to find some information online and only saw the cigar mentioned on Belgian and U.K. based websites, nowhere else, so I’m guessing these cigars aren’t available in the USA.


The cigars are made in Nicaragua, that I know, because it says so on the tube, Hecho a mano Nicaragua natural. And the tax ring around the cigar tells me I bought this in Belgium, most likely at Huis Verloo in Antwerp for the price of € 7,50.


The milk chocolate colored wrapper isn’t the best looking wrapper I have ever seen, to put it mildly. It has a few medium thick, unflattened veins and a color that looks just a bit off. The ring is simple, yellow and black with a abstract sun and black letters La Rica.  The construction has an even feel but the cap could look better. The aroma is quite pungent, acidic with some milk chocolate.


After cutting the cigar I taste a little sweetness and pepper with a great draw. After lighting I taste coffee, but a bit harsh. The cigar doesn’t improve, no the contrary, the cigar gets meaner. After a third I taste a harsh, mean wood with vinegar. The vinegar fades away. I still taste a mean woody flavor, but bid with some straw and a mild pepper. The flavors are getting meaner and more harsh in the last third, yet there is also a bit sweetness.


The draw is fine, the ash is dark though. The ash is medium in volume and thin. The color is gray. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium full bodied and unfortunately medium flavored. It lasts two horrible hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? If it wasn’t for a review I would not have finished the cigar.

Score: 78
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Categories: 78, La Rica, Nicaraguan cigars | 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
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Categories: 78, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , ,

Sultan Churchill

In 1990 a certain Mr. Yan decided he would create a cigar for diplomatic use of the Sultan’s Palace in Jogjakarta, a place that I visited on the same trip that started my cigar passion back in 2005. I didn’t see this cigar though. The cigar is an Indonesian puro and the tobacco comes from within the walls of the Java kingdom, is aged for five years and being rolled at the oldest factory of Java that was established a century ago. And I decided to publish this review on the day that the Dutch government declared defeat in the Indonesian independence war back in 1949 after a bloody 4 year war, a part of the Dutch history that we cannot and should not be proud of since the Dutch behaved like animals.


Tobacco cultivation and cigar manufacturing is staple in Indonesia, but most of the tobacco is ment for short fillers, dry cured cigars that are still very popular in western European countries like Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. Only a little of the tobacco is used for longfillers but one of the strains of tobacco made its way to Latin America and is being grown locally and used in premium longfillers after all, that tobacco is named after the Indonesian island it came from: Sumatra.


The cigar is 7×50 but for some reason it looks a bit thicker. The wrapper is smooth and soft and has a bit of a green glow to it, but its smooth, the one visible vein has been rolled flat. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice look to it. The ring is nice, its not a glossy ring but matte and starts with a black ring on the bottom with green letters saying ‘hand made long filler aged tobacco’, then a golden ring with black letters saying ‘original’ and then a white square on a green background with green wings and a black crest with golden letter Sultan. On the green there are some figures in a language I don’t recognize in a golden print. On the side the ring says “Cigar van Java” which means ‘cigar from Java’ in golden letters. The mild aroma reminds me of a walk through the forrest.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is great and i taste a spicy herbal flavor. I lit the cigar with a jet flame. I taste herbs and cinnamon. After an inch I taste dry soil, herbs, pepper and lemon. After a third the cigar gets a little harsh with a strong pepper flavor but a different flavored pepper than for example a Nicaraguan cigar. Halfway I taste a nasty tar flavor so I cut a piece of. The tar is gone but the cigar remains harsh and unpleasant.


The draw is flawless and the light colored ash is beautiful and firm. The smoke is too thin and too low in volume for my liking. The burn is alright. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for the $13 msrp. This cigar doesn’t fit my profile but it’s nice to try it and taste the difference in tobaccos between Asia and Latin America.

Score: 78
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Categories: 78, Indonesian cigars, Sultan, Taru Martani | Tags: , , , ,

708 Connecticut Junior

708 Cigars is the brand of two Chicago brothers that run a shop and are, at least from what I learn on the internet, involved with Drew Estate in some Arab countries as distributers but I don’t know exactly what that deal is. I know I got these cigars as a sampler from a company that is thinking about bringing them to the Dutch market. And there is the Drew Estate connection again, the owner of that company is a close personal friend of Jonathan Drew.


I only have the 4×44 Junior in this Connecticut Shade blend, I smoked the same vitola and a Churchill in the barberpole version once before though. The website of 708 cigars doesn’t tell me anything except for the size and that they come in 20 count boxes but the description for the filler, binder and wrapper is proprietary according to the website.


The wrapper is pale, its got veins, it’s wrinkly at the head and the cap is placed by, what it appears to be, a novice roller. The cigar feels evenly filled though. The ring is nice colored, in bathroom or kitchen colors, gray with beige and the logo looks like a hand written 708. The print quality is good. The cigar has a full aroma and all that comes to mind is poop, poop and manure, which is poop too.


I cut the cigar on a Sunday morning, since it’s a Connecticut Shade I think this could be a morning smoke. When I wet the tip I notice a sweetened tip, that’s a downer. The cold draw is loose and I taste chemical sweetness. After lighting I taste coffee with that chemical sweetness. After a quarter of an inch the cigar turns spicy too. But that chemical sweetness destroys it all. Halfway the sweetness disappears, I taste spicy cedar now, a little on the harsh side. The harshness grows and I have to toss the cigar.


The draw is loose, but the thick, white and voluminous smoke makes up for it. The ash is black and white with thick layers. This mild to medium bodied and medium flavored cigar has a smoke time of thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Hell no!

Score: 78
number78

Categories: 708 Cigars, 78, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , ,

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