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Davtian Primus Robusto

I met David Davtian briefly at the Intertabac trade show. It was a brand I heard mention before but I never saw or tasted, any of their cigars. And after starting Ministry of Cigars, I had to look into the brand a bit. And to my surprise, they only have two sizes for each blend. And each size is blended differently, for the optimal taste with the specific size.

This 5×54 round Davtian Primus is made from an Ecuadorian wrapper. It has a Dominican Olor binder. The wrapper contains Viso and Seco from San Vicente in the Dominican Republic. And both Seco and Ligero from a Criollo 98 kind. That tobacco also comes from the Dominican Republic

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The cigar has a beautiful Colorado wrapper. It is mild oily with some veins. The head is beautifully rounded. But the reason why the cigar doesn’t speak to me is the ring. It is silver with black, but the logo and the overall feel of the ring are too bland for me. I get an ‘I’ve seen this before’ feeling, it reminds me a bit of a Zino ring. The quality is great, yet it doesn’t speak to me. The aroma is mild, and I smell a mild ammonia smell. Add some barnyard and that’s your Davtian Primus aroma.

The cold draw is great. I taste raw tobacco. After lighting, I taste pepper, coffee, earth, penny bun mushroom, and softwood. There is a little cream. The cigar is mellow, typically a classic smooth Dominican cigar. Not very interesting. Cedar, a bit of cream, some leather. If I didn’t know better, I would expect this to be a Connecticut Shade cigar because of the smoothness and the mild mustiness that comes with Connecticut Shade. The mustiness disappears. The main flavors are wood, mushroom, and pepper. Yet it is all smooth and mild. After a third, I taste more sweetness with the mushrooms and the pepper. The cigar loses the mushroom and turns more to oak and pepper. There is a little bit of hay in the flavor too.

The draw is great. The burn is good. The smoke is quite alright. The ash is light colored and pretty dense. This is a mild to medium bodied cigar, medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, this is not up my alley so to say.

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Categories: 87, Davtian, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , ,

VegaFino Exclusivo Benelux 2018

VegaFina is a brand made at Casa de Garcia on the Dominican Republic. And Casa de Garcia is the largest cigar factory in the country. It’s part of Altadis. And Altadis is part of Imperial Brands. But for how long is the question. Imperial Brands is trying to sell their premium cigar division. That includes their Dominican cigar factory but also their stake in Habanos. And the shares in several Habanos distributors worldwide.


Habanos was probably the inspiration for this Exclusivo Benelux. Habanos has been releasing regional editions for over a decade. This is the first time VegaFina released a regional edition for the Benelux. Probably hoping to mimic the success of the Cuban regional editions. For that, they blended a 6×56 cigar. The filler is from the Dominican and the United States. The binder is from the Dominican. As a wrapper, they used Mexican Criollo.

The cigar has a nice Colorado Claro colored wrapper. The veins are thin and pretty. Where the regular VegaFina ring has a brushed silver color, the designers picked a shiny silver for the secondary ring. That makes the rings look odd. The Benelux flag design is a nice addition to the additional ring. The construction feels good. The aroma is mild, with a wooden nose. The secondary ring is not glued straight, it’s not correct on the detail level.

The cold draw is good. It tastes spicy with a strong raw tobacco flavor. Stronger than expected from a brand that is known for milder cigars. After lighting, I taste a very mild nutty flavor with some citrus. The flavors are very mild. Coffee, leather, citrus and some sweetness. The cigar is boring with little flavor and no evolution in the first third. After a third, I taste some pepper, wood and a hint of chocolate. And there is still a little acidity left. It then picks up in strength a little, with young, fresh wood and some sugar. But it remains mild. Halfway the cigar turns medium bodied with wood, nuts, minty freshness, and pepper. The wood turns a little charred. In the final third, leather makes a comeback.

The burn was crooked but corrected itself. The ash is whiter than white. The smoke is poor, in volume and thickness. The cigar starts very mildly, then slowly grows to medium-full. Both in flavor and strength. The smoke time is two hours and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nope

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Categories: 87, Casa de Garcia, Dominican cigars, VegaFina | Tags: , , ,

Viking Valhalla Robusto

Viking is the brand of the Norwegian cigar distributor Hakon Aanonsen. His company sigar.com has been distributing cigars for over two decades in Norway and previously Aanonsen owned the brands Amero, Chess, and Hawk. Those brands were made by a small factory in the Dominican Republic and the project failed.


Aanonsen tried again, but this time with a new concept and a new factory. Ernesto Perez Carrillo is the manufacturer of the cigars and with the Viking brand, the Norwegian heritage is celebrated. First, there were the Viking, Norseman and the Nordic Warrior. Now there is a new blend, Valhalla.

The ring is a tin alloy, just like on the other Viking cigars. It is just not as detailed as the other Viking rings. Black and gold, with a two-headed goat. The cigar has a small pigtail. The wrapper is deep dark brown with no visible veins. There is a medium-strong aroma. The smell is located in the animal section of the flavor wheel, horse, cow, leather, those kinds of smells.


The cold draw is a bit loose with raw tobacco flavors. After lighting, I taste cinnamon, coffee, and earth. There a faint vanilla flavor as well. I also taste dried leaves. Quite quickly the flavors turn floral with spice, a bit harsh though and unrefined. After a third it’s still a floral cigar, but with a lot of pepper and some vanilla. Still a little rough and unrefined. Halfway the cigar becomes less harsh, more balanced with some wood, pepper, spices, and grass. In the second third, I taste carrots, raw carrots. With pepper. And the cigar turns to a wood, earth and leather flavor profile, with a little bit of pleasant chocolate. The chocolate is creamy.


The draw is quite loose and I had to correct the burn several times. The smoke is thick and plentiful. The ash is salt and pepper colored, it’s firm and dense. I would say this cigar is medium-full, both in body and flavor. The smoke time is about an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? I think I will stick to the Viking Viking blend or the Nordic Warrior

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Categories: 87, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera La Alianza, Viking | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Maria Mancini 2017 Toro Lindo

For over twenty years, the German manufacturer Schuster Cigars has the Maria Mancini cigars made in Honduras. And for the last couple of years, there’s a limited edition. For 2017, the company went for a 6×52 Toro Lindo. And I had the chance to try this 8 euro cigar for free, the only condition was that I had to review it. Good deal ain’t it?


The tobacco used in the filler is Nicaraguan, Honduran and Brazilian. Add a Honduran wrapper and binder, and there’s your Maria Mancini 2017 Toro Lindo. I smoked the Maria Mancini 2016 limited edition and that was a pretty decent cigar, so if this one is in the same range it should be an enjoyable smoke.

The cigar doesn’t look too good, to be honest. The cap comes in a darker shade than the wrapper and the final cap is glued to the cigar in a sloppy way. The ring is dated and the foot ring is too simple too. The rings don’t match with each other either. A professional designer could and should have done a better job. Updating the rings and logo would be something that will bring the looks of the cigar to a higher level. The wrapper looks a bit leathery, it feels leathery and greasy. Oily might be a better description. The construction feels good. The strength of the aroma is medium. I smell a little ammonia and barnyard aromas.


The cold draw is good. I taste dry tobacco, mildly peppery, with some raisin sweetness. At first, I taste leather and mud. After a few puffs, I taste some green herbs, mushroom, grass and a metallic flavor. Some chocolate shows up too, with a growing pepper flavor. I also get faint vanilla. The cigar has an ashy aftertaste, with red pepper. After an inch, I taste soil with a little spice and sugar water. After a third, I taste soil, green herbs but now with something that comes close to Nutella, but more of a cheap knock-off store brand. There’s also a little grass. Halfway the cigar turns a little sweeter, still with pepper and earthy flavors though. The cigar remains peppery, earthy and sweet but now has some grassy flavors too. With about an inch and a half left, pepper is the main flavor, but supported by the sweetness and still the earthiness. There’s also a coffee bean flavor. Even closer to the end, the coffee beans turn into a high quality 80% dark chocolate.


The sloppy cap comes off after the first puffs, first creating false air before I removed it completely. The draw is great, just as the burn and the firm, light-colored ash. The cigar is medium flavored, medium to full-bodied. 

The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? No, too earthy for me.

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Categories: 87, Honduran cigars, Maria Manchini | Tags: , , ,

El Piño Blanco Corojo Robusto

Last year, Dutch tobacconist Mariska Kelch from Tabakado in Eindhoven, started her own brand. The brand is called El Piño Blanco and is made in Nicaragua. The brand is created in a collaboration with David Blanco from Blanco Cigars. Plasencia, related to Blanco by blood, is responsible for producing the cigars. They come in two lines, Maduro and Corojo.


I smoked this €5,50 robusto in the Maduro version and that was a nice, enjoyable budget cigar. I had the Corojo version too, so I wanted to see if that was just as nice of a budget cigar. Both lines come in three sizes, I do have the other vitolas but I’m not sure if I will smoke these or hand them out to other reviewers to give Mariska and the brand more airplay.

The wrapper looks nice, not too oily but certainly not dry. A single cap, with some pimples. A simple yet clean cigar ring, good quality print. I can see a few thin veins on the cigar, all rolled flat to give the cigar a nice, smooth look. The construction feels good. The aroma of the cigar is darker than expected, it’s a deep barnyard, swamp and forest smell.

The cold draw is good and has a spicy, raw tobacco flavor. Right from the get-go, I taste espresso with pepper and sugar. Cane sugar to be precise. After a few puffs, I also taste cedar and mushrooms. After half a centimeter I taste a musty flavor, with mushrooms. The sweetness and the coffee disappeared. The spice is still there though. The worst mustiness disappears, yet the flavor lingers around on the background. I now taste some saltiness with cedar and green herbs. After a third, I taste a dry cedar with some mild pepper and low-grade milk chocolate. The mustiness and mushrooms are getting stronger again. In the final third, cedar and sweetness return. The sweetness becomes the main flavor, with grass and green, spicy herbs as support. The pepper is growing in strength in the last inch as well.

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The ash is white, strong and firm. The smoke is decent, quite full and thick. The burn is pretty straight. Evolution is decent. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is one hour and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I would not, I stick to the Maduro

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Categories: 87, El Piño Blanco, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , ,

Lempira Puros

This is a brand that I know nothing off, yet I have several different blends in my collection that I probably got from one of the Intertabac trade shows I visited. All I know, after a visit to my friend google, is that it is a Honduran brand, that the cigars are made in Danli and there are 8 different blends.

Now I don’t have all 8 blends, I have five and I will review them all in this one big review, I’m reviewing the Cachique, Minister, Patuca, President and Princess so the Lempa, Live and Payday are missing.  If I ever get my hands on those cigars I will review them too and add them to this review.

Lempira Puros Minister Toro


The Lempira Puros Minister is a blend of Honduran Tobacco with a Mata Fina wrapper and it only comes in a 6×52 toro size, so guess which vitola I am reviewing today: the toro. The wrapper doesn’t look Brazilian to me, it’s to smooth and thats a good thing. Its medium dark with a mild reddish glow, a few thing veins and a leathery feel. The construction feels good, well filled with a flawless triple cap and a well rounded head. The ring is simple, it’s red with golden outlines and the simple Lempira Puros logo in gold, the foot ring has the same color scheme. The gold doesn’t really pop. With a better design and better print quality the cigar would look more desirable. The aroma is quite mellow but also dusty, like walking into a wood working shed that has been abandoned for a few years.


I decided to go for a punch this time. The cold draw is good, mild spicy. After lighting I taste a sweet spicy coffee. The sweetness is slightly chemical. After half an inch I taste a little chemical floral sweetness with an unrefined edge. Soon after some pepper shows up too. Halfway I taste wood and a floral sweetness. The final third starts peppery.


The draw is great. The light gray ash looks nice. The smoke is medium full in thickness and volume. The cigar lacks evolution. It’s medium bodied, medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again? Nah

Score: 87
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Lempira Puros Patuca Robusto 


This Honduran puro has a Habano seed wrapper that is so dark it could easily pass as oscuro. The Patuca blend comes in two robusto sizes, 4 3/4×50 or 4×56 and I’m smoking the thinnest of the two. The wrapper is dark and extremely toothy. Just touching the wrapper reminds me of touching my weekend beard. I can’t complain about the construction, just like the Minister the cigar has a beautifully placed triple cap, a well rounded head and feels evenly packed. The ring is the same set up, just now with black instead of red, but same dull gold. The aroma is quite strong and reminds me of tar.


I cut the cigar with my butterfly cutter. The cold draw is great. The wrapper is quite sweet, the flavor from the cigar is more herbal. After lighting I taste coffee. The cigar is spicy, peppery with a little bit of a Maduro sweetness. After half an inch the cigar tastes a little harsh. After a third I taste sweet but dry wood. The final third is dry wood, harsh with a splash of lemon.


The draw is great. The smoke is medium thick and full. The burn is good, pretty straight. The cigar is medium full flavored and bodied. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? Meh

Score: 85
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Lempira Puros Princess Corona


This 5 1/2×42 Corona has a Habano wrapper which has a nice medium brown color and a leathery touch. I see two thin veins running over the leaf and it’s just a good looking cigar. The well placed cap, the even construction and the contrast with the rings help too. The rings are the same as the others but in white, which makes them pop a little more and look just a little bit better. The aroma is mild and smells more like a classic barnyard then any of the other Lempira Puros cigars.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is good with a mild floral, mild harsh and acidic. After lighting I taste the same flavors as in the cold draw. Slowly the cigar gets more acidic, a citrus acidity but with a weird harsh flavor on the background. Halfway I taste more of a woody flavor with some floral sweetness. Near the end the cigar gets more peppery and stronger.


The draw is great. The smoke is thick, white, the volume is great. The light gray ash is quite firm. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The burn is good. The smoke time is an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? Nope.

Score: 86
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Lempira Puros Chachique Torpedo


The Cachique is a puro with fillers from Jamastran and a Honduran Habano wrapper. The cigar is only available in a 6×52 torpedo.  The wrapper is medium dark brown but has a thick vein that doesn’t help the esthetics of the cigar. The construction feels good, evenly filled, with a nice cap and a good shape. The ring is purple with a dull gold,  just like the foot ring. If the gold popped a little more I would rate it higher, but the color combination is nice. The cigar has a strong hay smell with a little manure to it.


I used a cheap cutter to take the cap off. The cold draw is great, it’s pepper with wood. After lighting I taste wood with a little cinnamon. After a third I taste wood, with a chemical vanilla and some nutmeg. I also taste some peanut. The flavors take a turn to unpleasant wood and cumin.


The draw is great. The ash is light with darker smears. The white smoke is thick and voluminous enough. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again? No

Score: 85
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 Lempira Puros President Corona

 

I love this 6×42 vitola and I hope this Honduran blend with a Mata Fina wrapper is just as nice as the vitola. The wrapper feels like leather, is medium dark brown and has no big veins. The construction feels good and again, the cap is placed perfectly, the cigar is evenly filled, the torcedor is well trained. The ring is the same as the others, but this time in a blueish silver color. The medium strong aroma is acidic, like fresh urine.


After cutting I try the cold draw. I taste a slight harsh wood with great resistance. After lighting I taste some sharp wood and a little coffee. Soon it changed into some moldy sweetness with a little cayenne in the aftertaste. The cayenne disappears but now I taste that sweetness with musty, moldy and sharp wood. Halfway I taste some bitterness with a slight acidity. The final third starts harsh with spices, pepper and wood.


The ash is coarse and light colored. The draw and burn are flawless. The smoke is thick and full. This is a medium bodied and flavored cigar. Thank god the smoke time is just an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? No no no.

Score: 84

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Categories: 84, 85, 86, 87, Honduran cigars, Lempira Puros | Tags: , , ,

Benchmade Toro

I remember that close to a decade ago people were raving about the new La Aroma de Cuba, blended by Don Pepin but owned by Ashton but back then the cigar wasn’t available in Europe. When it finally got released, under the name La Aroma del Caribe due to copyrights, Ashton simultaneously released their budget medium filler Benchmade, also made at the My Father Cigars factory and I remember that I didn’t dislike them, which is rare for a budget cigar. But I haven’t smoked them in years, time to revisit the cigar for this budget month.


The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro, from filler to wrapper, everything comes from Nicaragua. There are 5 sizes, a 5×50 robusto, a 5 1/2×54 gordo, a 6×50 toro which I’m smoking, a 6 1/2×46 cazadores and a 7×50 churchill. And even though it’s a budget cigar, they don’t come in bundles but in boxes, which make them look worth more than what you pay for.


The cigar has a dark wrapper with some black smears and spots, it looks very tasty. The construction feels good and I like the little pig tail. The broken white ring shows a bunch of drying tobacco leaves and the name benchmade in golden letters. The aroma is faint, I smell a bit of a barnyard aroma.


I just twisted the pigtail off and the cold draw is good, it’s quite spicy and peppery. After lighting I taste spicy strong leather. The leather remains with a little sweetness yet the spice never disappears. After a third I taste cinnamon with still some leather. Halfway I taste some French toast with leather and pepper. The final third is peppery with a hint of sugar and cinnamon. The finale has the leather flavor again.


The draw is good, as can be expected from a mixed filler cigar. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness, it has a brownish color. The ash, with wide rings, has that same brown color. The burn is nice, the cigar isn’t boring due to the evolution. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a nice snack cigar.

Score: 87
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Categories: 87, Benchmade, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Schizo Maduro Robusto

After the success of the Schizo, with a Habano wrapper, it was no surprise that Asylum Cigars, the company owned by Christian Eiroa and Tom Lazuka, built on that brand and released a Schizo Maduro. Unlike the normal Schizo, which is made at the Nicaraguan NACSA factory, most famous for Steve Saka’s Mi Querida, this Schizo Maduro is made in Honduras in Eiroa’s own El Aladino factory.


The cigar is a so called Cuban sandwich, which means that it contains part longfiller and part scrap that was leftover. Not that it means it’s inferior product, just smaller pieces of tobacco. The filler and binder are Honduran, but the wrapper is a Mexican San Andres maduro


The cigar looks a little rough, dark and even a little intimidating. The construction is good, just like the finishing. The ring is the same as the regular Schizo but with an added mint green ring with the word Maduro. The aroma is quite mild, a bit floral and minty.


The draw is quite loose after a cut with a guillotine cutter. The cold draw is a bit minty, but faint. After lighting I taste coffee with chocolate and mint. After a third the mint disappears, I still taste coffee but the dark chocolate gains some strength and I taste some vinegar too. In the final third I taste wood and pepper too.


The draw is a bit loose, but the smoke is thick and white. The gray ash is coarse. The burn is good. I would call this cigar medium at most, both in flavor and body. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, it’s not a bad budget cigar though.

Score: 87
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Categories: 87, El Aladino, Honduran cigars, Schizo | Tags: , , , , , ,

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

CAO MX2 Robusto

CAO and me, it’s not a good marriage. I love the creativity of the brand, they always find a good theme to build a line around, cars, music, opera, it doesn’t matter, they always take the theme to the next level with the packaging, the names and the advertising yet most of their cigars are a let down to me, even the ones that get a lot of praise by the general public. And that’s also part of the fun of this cigar smoking hobby, everybody has their personal preferences. By the way, happy birthday Rick Rodriguez.


This MX2 is a highly praised line, a lot of my friends love this cigar, and I have had one years ago that didn’t made any impression so now I’m revisiting it after a few years to see if some aging did do the cigar good or that my preferences changed. Both are possibilities, I mean, if you browse old reviews of mine you’ll see I loved the big ring gauges and even wrote that me & maduro wrappers would never be friends, now I love the thinner cigars and the maduro wrapper, more recently I had to change my “I hate Connecticut shade” phrase since I smoked a few that I enjoyed, so maybe that will happen with CAO in general or at least this MX2 robusto.


The dark Connecticut Broadleaf looks dark and oily with hardly any veins. I see some lighter colored smears and I wonder if this is a boiled or painted wrapper. Underneath the Connecticut Broadleaf is a Brazilian binder, also maduro which explains the Mx2 name (maduro x 2) and fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras, Peru and the Dominican Republic. This 5×50 robusto seems well made with a well rounded head and a perfect  cap and it feels well constructed. The ring is unique yet nothing special, they are two black rings connected in the middle with silver lines and silver CAO MX2 writing on nice paper with a good printing quality. The aroma is medium strong and quite dark, manure with some moist wood.


I cut the cigar with a double bladed guillotine cutter and the cold draw is fine. At first I don’t taste a lot but then I clearly get a spicy taste on my lips with raisin and fresh wood. After lighting with my $2 single key flame that I bought in Singapore I taste coffee with a very mild sweetness. After half an inch I taste fresh wood with a little pepper. Soon after I taste some dark chocolate bitterness too, which I like. Halfway the cigar is just mildly bitter with a dirt flavor and pepper. The final third starts with dark chocolate and pepper. The flavors go back to the dirt and pepper again towards the end.


The draw is fantastic, just the right amount of resistance. The ash is quite dark, layered and firm. The smoke is reasonable in thickness and volume. The burn is fine. The cigar is medium plus bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nah

Score: 87

Categories: 87, C.A.O. Fabrica de Tabacos Honduras, CAO, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , , ,

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