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San Jeronimo Maduro Robusto

San Jeronimo is a born in the community of which is named after. San Jeronimo Valley is located near Copan, Honduras. And Copan is known for its tobacco and the Mayan ruins. The original San Jeronimo cigars trace back almost 80 years ago, to 1940. The brand is distributed by Kafie Cigars but made at Tabacalera San Jerónimo in Danli, Honduras.

The owner of San Jeronimo is Oscar Orlando Ferrera. He’s been making the cigars for over twenty years. But they only gained access to the United States after signing a distribution agreement with Kafie Cigars. And that expanded into international distribution as well. Dr. Gaby Kafie wanted to help San Jeronimo as it has a lot of Honduran history. And Kafie, Honduran born, is proud of that history.

The cigar isn’t good looking, to be honest. The wrapper does have some oil but also very pronounced veins although not thick. And the ring is too much. The golden outlines are too thick and don’t fit with the picture of the tobacco fields. The color scheme is off. And the picture is too detailed to be printed on a small ring to look good. The cigar feels good though. The triple cap is nice. The aroma is strong. Hay and wood.

The cold draw is good. It has a mixture of flavors. Raw tobacco, pepper, spice, and raisin come to mind. Once lit, coffee is the main flavor. Not bitter, nice and smooth but flavorful. With some wood and some pepper. Some grass shows up as well, with a little acidity to balance it all out. After a centimeter, it’s wood, soil, and milk chocolate. The flavors are a little dusty though. Halfway the cigar gets more sweet, more fruity citrus as well. With some milk chocolate and leather. And then some nuts show up. In the final third, the flavors are no longer muted. Leather, pepper, soil, sweetness, and citrus flavors are all clear and full. The nuttiness and pepper are gaining strength.

The draw is great. The ash is a stack of dimes. The burn is flawless. The smoke is a little thin. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The flavors seem muted. Halfway the amount of smoke picks up as well. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Buy no, smoke if gifted, yes
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Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, San Jeronimo, Tabacalera San Jerónimo | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Ramon Allones Superiores

This cigar is an exclusive release for the La Casa del Habano franchise. That is a franchise owned by Habanos. The shops are only allowed to sell Cuban cigars and are held to a high-quality standard. In exchange, the La Casa del Habano shops get a preferred status when it comes to stock. And they get exclusive cigars, that are only available at the La Casa del Habano outlets.

This Ramon Allones Grand Corona is a 5.6×46 cigar and was originally released in 2009. Back then, La Casa del Habano releases were regular production cigars. In later years, Habanos decided to turn the LCDH exclusive releases into limited editions too, so the Gran Corona is no longer being produced. When the cigar was released, the price tag in The Netherlands was €9,70. And that is decent for an exclusive Cuban cigar.

The cigar has a nice Colorado colored wrapper. The cap is slightly darker though, quality control didn’t pick that up. And it passed the color sorting table too. The wrapper has a mild oily shine and thin veins. The construction feels ok, although there is a spot near the head that feels harder. I hope it’s just a piece of the stem close to the binder and will not give draw issues. The classic Cuban barnyard aroma is quite mild. The combination of the Ramon Allones ring and the La Casa del Habano ring isn’t a perfect match.

The cold draw is good. Raw tobacco is what I taste, quite spicy. Right from the get-go, I taste a slightly metallic, pepper with leather and soil. After a centimeter, I taste pepper with some creamy chocolate. The flavors remain in the same part of the flavor wheel. Some nuts, some leather, a little pepper. All smooth and mellow. The metallic and cream are gone though. No real outspoken flavors. The flavors stay the same for the longest time, this cigar is like a slow-moving creek. Pleasant, calming but not exciting. In the final third, the cigar gets more character. More power, more pepper, and a minty aftertaste.

The draw is great. The ash is light colored and beautiful, like a stack of coins. The burn is good. The smoke is decent in thickness and volume. I would say this is a medium bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. The smoke times is an hour and twenty-five minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe, why not? But not often.

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Categories: 89, Cuban cigars, Ramon Alones (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jas Sum Kral Nuggs Maduro

Jas Sum Kral Nuggs Maduro. This is the amped-up version of the Jas Sum Kral Nuggs Habano, which we reviewed a few weeks ago. The Habano has 20mg of CBD, this Maduro version has five times as much, 100mg. And, as we explained in the review of the Jas Sum Kral Nuggs Habano, the whole process is patented by Jas Sum Kral. Everything was re-engineered from scratch. The company had to reinvent the needles to inject the CBD. They had to create new trays in which the cigars are shipped, so they won’t have to handled manually at the laboratory. And that is all patented as well, so any company that wants to create a CBD cigar this way has to go through Jas Sum Kral.


The blend is made with a Maduro wrapper from the Mexican San Andres region. The binder comes from Indonesia. The fillers are all Nicaraguan. The cigar comes in one size only so far, a 5×48 Robusto. But with a hefty manufacturer suggested retail price of 24 dollars. The CBD makes the cigar pretty expensive. And since the CBD is injected in the United States, it’s highly unlikely that the cigar will ever be sold in the E.U. as there is a tariff for American tobacco products. Cuban cigars are hit with the same tariff, yet Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic are tariff-free. Due to anti-drug laws and the lack of proper laboratories, it’s impossible to inject the cigars with CBD in those countries.

The wrapper is amazing. Dark, smooth, shiny, oily with just one thing vein. The ring could be printed in a higher quality though, especially for an expensive cigar like this. The construction feels great. The cigar has a nice aroma of wood and straw.


The cold draw is great, mild woody with a slight bitterness on the tongue. After lighting it’s wood, spice, leather and dark chocolate. There’s a slight saltiness as well. There’s a hint of powdered sugar. The cigar has a slight bitterness that could be caused by the CBD. The pepper disappears, there’s a slight spice spiciness, with wood, leaves, and sweetness. After a third, it’s that slight bitterness with some pepper, spices, and wood. Halfway the cigar is still a little bitter, a little harsh wood and spices. Once the ring is reached, the point where according to Jas Sum Kral, the CBD is injected, a stronger bitterness appears. There’s also a bit of coffee and gingerbread spices.


The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The draw is great. The smoke is a little thin and gray. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar is medium-bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for this price
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Categories: 89, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Aragon | Tags: , ,

Kafie 1901 San Andres Toro

 

This is one of the four Kafie 1901 lines that are in existence right now. The other ones are the Kafie 1901 Sumatra, Connecticut, and Don Fernando Maduro. This cigar is blended with tobacco from five countries. The filler has tobacco from Brazil, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The binder comes from Honduras. The wrapper is Mexican San Andres. The line comes in several sizes but for this review, I smoked a 6×54 Toro.

 

Kafie Cigars is the dream of Dr. Gaby Kafie. He gave up his career as a medical professional to pursue his dream and passion of being a cigar maker. And a coffee producer. He now has his own brands, his own factory and with his business partner, he also has a box factory. And a cellophane producing plant, all in Honduras. The only thing lacking is a tobacco growing operation, but Gaby Kafie isn’t pursuing that at the moment. Recently he changed the name of the factory from Tabacalera Kafie y Cia to Tabacalera La Union

 

The dark wrapper does have some color differences. And the wrapper at the head seems a bit folded up. But the cigar still looks good, quite intimidating due to the dark wrapper. The wrapper itself isn’t oily, rather dry. The thin veins combined with the color make it look like a mean cigar. The red, almost burgundy, and silver ring is nice. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is medium strong, it is leathery with sawdust.

 

The cold draw is a bit easy with a raw tobacco and leather flavor. The first puffs are interesting. Spices like nutmeg, pepper but also coffee. And with a natural sweetness from the Mata Fina tobacco. After a while, leather, wood, and grassy flavors show up too. The flavors remain with the spices, pepper, and leather. Halfway it’s still cinnamon, nutmeg, leather but not also coffee, pepper, and some sweetness. In the final third, the cigar becomes more grassy with wood. The pepper is still there.

The draw is great. The smoke is thick and white. The burn needed to be corrected though. Just once, in the beginning. The cigar is medium-full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is two hours ten minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, I would. Because it’s unique in flavor.

number89

Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, Kafie, Tabacalera La Union | Tags: , , , ,

La Estrella Polar Robusto

La Estrella Polar Robusto. In may, Scandinavian Tobacco Group announced that they would start distributing a new brand in Europe. La Estrella Polar, the polar star. And two weeks later, during the TFWA Asia Pacific Trade Show, Ministry of Cigars sat down with Stephan Brichau. Brichau is the international sales and marketing manager premium cigars for the Danish tobacco giant. He sponsored some cigars, but said: “this is a cigar aimed for the budget smoker, it’s between the 3 and 3.50 Euro, keep that in mind while smoking”.

The cigar is available in this 5×50 Robusto or a 6×60 Gordo. The wrapper comes from Ecuador. The binder is from Indonesia. It is from the 2013 harvest. The fillers come from Nicaragua and Colombia. The cigars are made by General Cigars. General Cigars is part of the STG group. But since General Cigars has factories in Honduras, Nicaragua and on the Dominican Republic, it’s unclear where the La Estrella Polar is being produced.

The cigar has a nice, sun grown, wrapper. Quite dark although not Maduro or Oscuro dark. It ranks in the Colorado Maduro class. It’s quite oily, with just one thicker vein. The ring is a bit simple and screams ‘BUDGET CIGAR’. Big, white with mustard colored outlines, blue letters, and a red flag. The wrapper is too pretty for a simple ring like this. The construction feels good. The aroma is medium strong. Wet straw, a little ammonia and green herbs is what comes to mind.

The cold draw is great. The flavors are raw tobacco with spices on the tip of the tongue. And a mild gingerbread in the aftertaste. At first, there’s a slightly bitter, unrefined coffee with pepper. Quickly a powdered sugar flavor joins the coffee. The cigar is still unrefined, slightly harsh. There’s also some sourness. The sourness disappears quickly but is replaced by chocolate milk of a very low grade. Slowly some soil flavor shows up too, still with coffee as the base. The mouthfeel is slightly buttery. The sweet chocolate milk is getting stronger after a third. Halfway the flavors change to musty wood with pepper and leather. In the final third, the cigar starts to get more refined. The sweetness is strong with a leafy flavor and pepper. There’s even a little leather flavor at the end of the cigar, right before the pepper gains serious strength.

The draw is great. The ash is like a stash of dimes, but a short stack as it breaks off quickly. The smoke is nice and thick. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I’m too spoiled to smoke budget cigars. But for a budget cigar, this isn’t too bad.

number89

Categories: 89, La Estrella Polar, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

PDR Dark Roast Robusto

Coffee flavored cigars are popular. Several popular brands have a coffee infused cigar line in their portfolio. Drew Estate even has two with the Tabak Especial and Isla del Sol. Plus they produce the Java for Rocky Patel. The Nub Cafe from Oliva is a popular coffee infused cigar, but there are more. And last year, PDR decided to jump on the train as well. But their coffee infused cigars are different.

Where the other brands choose to sweeten the wrapper, PDR decided not to do so. So their ‘roast series’ are natural cigars, just infused with coffee. No other techniques, no sweetened wrapper, pure cigars, and coffee.

The PDR Roast series come in three blends, just like the Nub Cafe. The Natural Roast has an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. Then there’s the Medium Roast with a Sun Grown Claro wrapper from Ecuador. The version that Ministry of Cigars is reviewing is the PDR Dark Roast. That one has a Brazilian Maduro wrapper and is supposedly the strongest of the blends. There are three sizes available. There are a 51/4×44 Corona, a 6×52 Toro and the 5×52 Robusto that we are reviewing.

The cigar looks amazing. A dark oily wrapper. Closed foot and a knot on the head. A dark glossy ring, simple and clear. A huge glossy foot ring with the PDR logo. This cigar stands out. There are a few veins on the wrapper, but for a Brazilian Maduro wrapper, it looks smooth. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice bounce when you squeeze it. The cigar has a strong aroma of dark chocolate and coffee. More chocolate than coffee, which is quite surprising.

The cold draw is great, even with the closed foot. There is some artificial sweetness but it’s not on the lips as with other infused cigars. Once lit, there is dark roasted coffee as expected, with some artificial sweetness. The bitterness of the coffee is quite complex. Soon the artificial sweetness takes over, with coffee and chili pepper as supporting flavors. After a few puffs, there’s coffee with mud. That artificial sweetness does not do the cigar any favors. But at least it’s not stuck on the lips, something that happens with for example the Nub Cafe lines. Halfway the cigar gets spicier, the artificial sweetness is less. There’s coffee, pepper, herbs, leather, and wood. The mouthfeel is mild creamy. In the final third, the cigar turns a little bitter. With pepper, coffee and that artificial sweetness again. The pepper is strong. Near the end, there’s wood with the pepper. The sweetness disappears just like the coffee.


The draw is good, a bit loose maybe. And the smoke is fantastic, thick and white. The burn is wonky and had to be corrected. The light-colored ash isn’t very firm. This cigar is medium-full bodied. The flavors are medium. This cigar would have been better with less artificial sweetener. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I don’t think so

number89

Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, PDR, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Gran Toro

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Gran Toro. Hiram & Solomon is the brand of Fouad Kashouty and Nasir Dakrat. The couple met during freemason gatherings. And they became friends. Both cigar aficionados were surprised that they could not find any freemason cigars. So they decided to create a brand that uses the freemason shield in the logo. And in freemason spirit, parts of the proceeds will flow back into the community through charity.


The Traveling Man is made at the Plasencia factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. David Blanco from Blanco Cigars was involved in the blending of the cigar. And the blend is interesting because of the use of Indonesian Sumatra. Most Sumatra tobacco used comes from Ecuador. Yet for the Traveling Man, Hiram & Solomon use Sumatra from the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Add an Indonesian binder. And Brazilian, Dominican and Nicaraguan wrapper and you have the Hiram & Solomon Travelling Man. The Gran Toro size is 6×60.

The cigar looks good. I like the purple ring with the Freemason logo. The cigar has a nice shade of color and just two thin veins on the backside. The construction feels good. The aroma is strong. I smell hay and straw.

The cold draw is great. The hay and grass flavor is strong in the cold draw. After lighting, the first flavors are best described as dusty and earthy with some sweetness. There’s also a slight hint of pepper. The marzipan sweetness is fantastic. After a few puffs, some leather shows up too. And some grass. The mouthfeel is a little buttery. In the first third, the flavors stay consistent but that’s expected with a big ring cigar. The flavors maintain in the second third, although I taste some licorice too. There are slight changes, subtle, with some vanilla showing up every now and then. Same goes for pepper, but overall this is a consistent cigar. The final third is much better. The pepper picks up, allspice shows up and it’s good.


The draw is flawless. The burn is straight. The ash is light colored and firm enough. The smoke is quite thin. This is a medium bodied, medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Only in a thinner version

number89

Categories: 89, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Pyranos Robusto

I don’t know anything about this cigar, nothing at all. It was sponsored by Schuster cigars for review purposes. After lighting, I googled the cigar just to find limited information. Just the price, the size and that it’s a Nicaraguan Puros. And that there’s also a corona and a toro available.


I used google to get as much info on this cigar as I could. But that was just a little. All I found was on a German website. The cigars are € 9,80 per piece and they are Nicaraguan Puros. So Nicaraguan filler, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan wrapper. The factory is undisclosed.


A fantastic oily, shiny, almost lacquered wrapper. Triple capped, beautifully shaped. At first, I thought the ring was a bit lame, but then I noticed the odd shape and I liked that. It’s a black ring, with yellow and red stairs on it, Pyranos in gold and yellow letters saying it’s a Longfiller. The Schuster logo is on the back. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium strong, deep, almost charred, aroma.

The cold draw is perfect, with a strong raw tobacco flavor. After lighting, I taste an earthy coffee flavor with some spicy green herbs and a dash of mild pepper. The sweetness reminds me of nougat. Slowly the wood becomes the main flavor, but smooth with a smooth cane sugar sweetness. After a third, I taste fresh wood, with green herbs. Slowly the pepper is gaining some strength. Halfway I taste spices, nutmeg, allspice, that kind of flavors. Add in some grass and mild vanilla, and that’s what I taste. The final third starts with a nice, deep, wooden flavor with a strong pepper. The flavors slowly evolve to smooth wood with soil, and still that pepper.


The draw is flawless. The smoke is thick, full and plentiful. The light-colored ash is not too firm, it’s decent. The burn is straight. I would say this is a medium bodied, medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is one hour and twenty-five minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? It’s not a bad cigar, but I had better.

number89

Categories: 89, Nicaraguan cigars, Pyranos | Tags: , , ,

El Piño Blanco Maduro Robusto

This cigar is only available in The Netherlands, and as far as I know, only in one shop: Tabakado in the city of Eindhoven. And that’s because the cigar is blended by the owner of the shop, Mariska Kelch. I have known Mariska for years, when I started visiting the shop as a sales rep, her father was in charge but he was grooming Mariska to be the chief of the shop and she’s doing great. I saw her progress from just a daughter and employee to a shot caller and I am amazed by her progress.

When the duo met David Blanco, they started talking about creating their own cigar. That resulted in the El Piño Blanco line. Unfortunately, Johan Kelch was not around to see the final product as he suddenly and tragically passed away three years ago, but I know he would be very pleased and very proud of Mariska’s achievements. And while smoking this cigar, I had to think of Johan a lot. He was one of my best accounts, one with a manual though and our conversations always had the same pattern, first Johan would complain about something, then we would have a hard but fair argument before we would do business. Good business, and even though the discussions were hard and heated, we had the utmost respect for each other and liked each other a lot. Johan was also the first retailer to call me and wish me luck on my future path after me and my employer parted ways. I hate that I will never get another chance to smoke a cigar with him.

The cigar looks very nice, the shape is perfect with a well-rounded head, triple cap. I have a feeling that the wrapper is cooked through, in a slurry of tobacco, to make it look darker. When I wet my finger and rub the cigar, my fingers will taint and you can see a lighter shade under dark spots. Now that doesn’t have to mean anything and could be just for aesthetic reasons. And honestly, the cigar looks great. The simple black, green and white ring is clean, the brand name is clear, the tobacco leaf on the ring looks nice. The cigar has a nice touch, I can’t feel any plugs. The smell is medium strong, sawdust and a little bit of manure are what I smell.

The cold draw tastes like raisin, the draw is good though. Right at the get-go, I taste coffee but also a chewy flavor, like portobello mushroom with some leather. After half a centimeter I still taste the mushroom with the leather and some very mild milk chocolate. After a centimeter, I taste hay, dried grass with a bit of American milk chocolate. After a third, the cigar still has the hay with American milk chocolate flavor, but now with some herbs and pepper. When I say American milk chocolate, think Hersey. That’s different than European milk chocolate, a little more chemical. Halfway the cigar gets woody, cedar, with the chewy flavor again and some pepper. In the final third the flavors aren’t muted anymore. I taste wood, milk chocolate, a mild pepper, some herbal flavor. The pepper is getting stronger, now it’s a full-blown Nicaraguan cigar.

The smoke is thick and white. The draw is great. The white ash is beautiful. I had to relight the cigar once, but the burn is sharp. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. This is a nice budget cigar that would is great to have around for the days where you smoke more than one cigar and don’t want to break the bank. This is a medium bodied, medium-full flavored cigar with a strong finish. The smoke time is about two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a good budget cigar, always nice to have a bundle in the humidor

number89

Categories: 89, El Piño Blanco, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , ,

Debonaire Habano Robusto

I had heard about Debonaire, yet I had never smoked one. I had smoked Indian Motorcycle cigars though, which are also owned by Phil Zanghi and made at the De Los Reyes factory. And that factory is growing on me with Puros de Hostos, Saga, and Indian Motorcycle, so I had high expectations from this Debonaire Habano.

 


The cigar was recommended to me by several people, people whose opinion matter to me in the cigar industry. People like Mariska from Tabakado for example, who had been trying to get Debonaire distributed in The Netherlands for a while, calling all distributors before one finally decided to pick up the brand and making both Indian Motorcycles and Debonaire available on the Dutch market.

 


The cigar has a nice Colorado colored wrapper that looks a bit rough on the cap though. The ring is big, gold and brown, with white letters. The print quality is high and it gives the cigar a luxurious look. The aroma, barnyard, and swamp, isn’t too strong. Construction wise, the cigar feels a bit hard.

 


The cold draw is a bit on the tight side, yet acceptable, quite spicy with raw tobacco and pepper. After lighting, I taste toast and leather, with a hint of cinnamon. After a few puffs, I taste wood, leather, and grass. After a centimeter, I taste a grassy and woody metallic flavor with a creamy mouthfeel. After a third, I taste a grassy and hay with nutmeg mixture. Halfway I taste toast with cinnamon again. Then the cigar turns to cedar, spice and red chili pepper. The final third its all about pepper and cinnamon, on full blast. Near the end, I also taste hazelnuts.

 


The draw is great. The ash is white and firm, yet the burn I had to correct. The smoke is good. The flavors, medium strength, are mellow and very suitable for Cuban cigar aficionados. The strength is medium too. The smoke time is two hours twenty minutes

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Would I buy this cigar again? No, I won’t. It’s a good cigar, just not for me. I would, however, suggest people to give it a try unless you are into strong, full-flavored, bold, cigars.

number89

Categories: 89, De Los Reyes, Debonaire, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

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