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Casdagli Club Mareva Gran Mareva

Casdagli Club Mareva Gran Mareva. A cigar that found its origin in 2010, when Marko Bilic opened his cigar club in Split, Croatia. The name of the club is Club Mareva. And to celebrate the opening of the now-famous club, Jeremy Casdagli created a cigar line for that special event. The Club Mareva line. Fast forward to 10 years later, there are 5 sizes in the line, of which some regular productions. Others were temporarily available.

The cigar, as most of the Casdagli lines, hail from the Dominican Republic. From the small Kelner Boutique Factory. The rollers use Brazilian Cubra tobacco as the wrapper. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and the United States. The cigar measures 5½x42.

A pigtail and a closed foot are always bonus points when it comes to looks. The cigar has a nice chocolate-brown wrapper with very few veins for Brazilian tobacco. The simple black ring with gold print is decent but it would not make us be drawn to the cigar in a humidor of a good tobacconist. The construction feels great. The aroma might not be strong, but it has depth. Musky with spices.

The cold draw is fine, mildly spicy. The first puff is s slap in the face, but a good slap. An explosion of flavor. Wood, spices, pepper, and leather. But immediately complexity and depth. This cigar doesn’t waste time. After that first explosion, the flavors do mellow out a bit. Grass, green herbs, and a little salt. Still very pleasant. The mouthfeel is quite dry. The dryness makes the cigar spicier, with a hint of chocolate. There is an earthy tone with some wood. The cigar gets more hay, more pepper, and a little leather. The last third has more of a wood flavor, with some sweetness and pepper.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is plentiful and the thickness is very nice. The ash is white as the hair of an old sailor. The burn is uneven though. This is a medium-full cigar, both in body and flavor. Well balanced, but front-loaded. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a good value for money cigar.

Categories: 90, Bespoke, Dominican cigars, KBF | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro. In 1995 the oldest premium handmade family-owned cigar manufacturer in America, J.C. Newman, released the super-premium Diamond Crown line. That was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company. And it was a shock back then as all cigars came with a ring gauge of 54. That was considered insanely big back then. Now 60 seems to be the norm, unfortunately, and 54 is a pretty regular ring gauge.

In 2003, the Diamond Crown Maximus followed. Stronger, bolder. As with all Dominican made cigars for J.C. Newman, they come from the Tabacalera Fuente factory. This time with Dominican filler and binder. The wrapper is sun-grown El Bajo from Ecuador. The No.4 is a 6×50 toro. This cigar was a gift from Bobby Newman when we met a few years ago.

The wrapper is dark, oily, but has some wrinkles reminiscent of old skin, wrinkled under the relentless sun. Yet it helps to give the cigar character when it comes to looks. It’s needed because the band is slick and fancy. Colorful, shiny with plenty of gold. The construction feels good, the cigar seems evenly filled. The aroma is strong, dark chocolate with barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is good. Hay and the complex bitterness of dark chocolate are the flavors in the cold draw. The first puffs are earthy with dark chocolate. The earthiness intensifies. There’s also a hint of leather. Suddenly there is coffee as well. Later on, there’s also some pepper. But the first part of the cigar is mainly soil, leather, coffee, and chocolate. After a third, the cigar opens up. Now there is more sweetness, nice citrus acidity and the flavors aren’t so dark anymore. There is wood, licorice to be more precise. In the final third, the cigar gets more sweet wood and more spice. Yet the earthiness and coffee remain. The spice really picks up. It becomes a pepper bomb at the end.

The draw is good, slightly tight but all within limits. The white ash isn’t all too firm, the handheld vacuum did come out once or twice during the review. The smoke can be thicker and there could be more volume. The burn is slow and straight. The cigar doesn’t have much evolution, but it is solid all the way. The smoke time is three hours. This is a strong cigar, full in flavor and body.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like it a lot but I’d pick the Black Diamond over this one.

Categories: 90, Diamond Crown, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , ,

Pachuche Liga Azul Tronco

Pachuche Liga Azul Tronco, a big cigar hailing from the Dominican Republic but it’s a Swiss cigar brand. And strongly enough, there are quite a few cigar brands with roots in Switzerland. Davidoff is the most famous one. But brands as ADVentura, Gilbert de Montsalvat, Vegas de Santiago, El Sueno, Patoro, Cavalier Geneve, and Skull 77 all have their roots in the Central European country. So does Pachuche.

The Liga Azul is the third blend that the company released. There are four blends available at the moment, all made at Tabacalera William Ventura. This Liga Azul is the mildest and smoothest with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. All the other tobacco is from the Dominican Republic. The artwork on the cigar is designed by the half Mexican, half Swiss artist Patrick Küng, a childhood friend of brand founder Camillo Bazzell. Küng used his Mexican heritage as an inspiration

The wrapper is pale, yellowish-brown like autumn leaves. The greenish right with the Cinco de Mayo kind of skull is a big contrast with the bright metallic blue foot band that says Liga Azul in big, white letters. For the size, the cigar feels very light. Yet there are no soft spots or signs of underfilling of the cigar. The head is quite flat. The cigar has this manure aroma, which is quite strong.

The cold draw is quite loose and brings sweetness to the palate. Once lit, the cigar gives hay and immediately that musty old book flavor of Connecticut Shade wrappers. There is a mild sweet creaminess to the cigar as well. Slowly some acidity shows up with a hint of white pepper. Slowly the flavors change to cedar and earthiness. Still with that typical Connecticut Shade mustiness though. The cigar is very smooth and mild. The mouthfeel is very creamy, which is pleasant. The flavors remain the same until halfway when a little bit of leather and green herbs show up. But it’s all mellow and smooth. There is a hint to toasted bread every few puffs as well. In the final third, the cream and sweetness return. But with some pepper and nuts.

The draw is a bit on the loose side. But it is still within acceptable margins. The ash is like a stack of dimes, beautifully layers of ash in different tones of gray. The smoke is thick and full. The burn is razor-sharp. This cigar does have balance and a lot of smoothness. It is a mild to medium smoke in strength, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s still a Connecticut Shade cigar.

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Pachuche, Tabacalera William Ventura | Tags: , , ,

El Viejo Continente Maduro Lancero

El Viejo Continente Maduro Lancero. El Viejo Continente is the brand of Daniel Guerrero. A life long cigar enthusiast who partnered up with Emiliano Lagos to create cigars to his likings. And that’s how El Viejo Continente was born. There are several lines available, in several sizes. But Guerrero is also responsible for The Circus cigars.

The cigars come from Esteli, Nicaragua. From American Caribbean Cigars, a factory that made and makes cigars for Carlos Toraño, Gurkha, and Leccia. But also for El Viejo Continente and a few lines they own themselves. The El Viejo Continente Maduro line consists of Nicaraguan filler tobacco. The binder is Habano from Ecuador. The wrapper is Mexican. From San Andres, but that’s almost a given when it’s Mexican Maduro.

This cigar isn’t a looker. The Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper looks rough. But it has sparkles of the minerals from the rich soil and that’s always a good sign. The silver and gray ring matches the darkness of the wrapper. The construction feels good. The aroma is strong and is a mixture of hay and chocolate.

The cold draw is perfect. With a herbal flavor, including mint. The first puffs are coffee and sugar. Then leather shows up with a hint of herbal spice. And there is also cocoa powder, dry but nice. The flavor changes are nuanced and subtle. After a third, the cocoa or dark chocolate flavor gets stronger, with a slight metallic undertone and some black pepper. Halfway some grassy and hay flavors join the spicy cocoa. The mouthfeel is a little creamy. The retrohale reveals more spice and a little wood. The final third is stronger with more pepper and more of an edge. It’s no longer pleasant to retrohale due to the pepper. The cocoa disappears and wood is more pronounced.

The draw is great. The light-colored ash breaks easily though, no long cones with this cigar. The burn is good, although smoking a lancero is a balancing act. Smoke it slow enough to prevent the cigar from getting too hot and thus bitter. And smoke it fast enough so you don’t have to relight it often. That last part failed a few times, but it’s a user error and not a cigar error. The cigar is smooth yet has a bit of an edge that gives it character. The smoke is decent. The smoke time is two hours and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I love lancero sizes so yes

Categories: 90, American Caribbean Tobacco S.A., El Viejo Continente, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Muestra de Tabac Trifecta Double Claro Habano

Muestra de Tabac Trifecta Double Claro Habano. The third and final blend of the Muestra de Tabac Trifecta series. A big and thick perfecto with a dual wrapper. Not barberpole style but one wrapper on the bottom half, and one on the top half. Since both sides are cut, it is up to the smoker to decide what side to light. That makes this concept stand out from other dual wrapper cigars. Last year, I did reviews of the Muestra de Tabac green and black.

Patrick Potter is the blender of this cigar, but Joey Febre and Patrick Potter came up with the concept. The cigars come from the small factory Tabacalera La Perla in Esteli, Nicaragua. The patent of this concept is pending. The name is confusing though considering the popular Muestra de Saka cigars from Dunbarton Tobacco. Too close to comfort in our opinion. But that’s something for Tabac Trading Company to decide on.

The concept is great, but it forces the smoker to choose. What side to light, and what side to puff on. The Habano side is a little longer than the Candela side, so let’s light the Candela side. The ring is mirrored so it looks right whatever side you decide to light. The Habano wrapper is oily and leathery. The Double Claro side looks a bit dry and more delicate. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma of barnyard and hay.

The cold draw is great. There is a funny milk chocolate flavor in the cold draw, with spices. If you flip the cigar and cold draw the Double Claro side, the cigar has more of a dry hay flavor. Once lit, the flavors are dry. Dry wood, dry leaves, and dry leather. The dry mouthfeel continues, while the flavors change to licorice and cloves. The Candela leaf gives a bit of a grassy flavor, but the flavors are quite mild. There’s also a little acidity. Halfway, when the wrapper is almost changing, things pick up. There is a little more sweetness, some more cloves, some pepper. The grassy flavor is gone. The cigar is getting a little stronger. Once the Habano wrapper is reached. The cigar gets pepper and sweetness. But also a distinct flavor that is best described as dry autumn leaves. Leather returns, with a nice dose of underlying pepper. There’s also a little nuttiness that grows towards the end.

The draw is great. The light gray ash is quite firm. The smoke is good. The first part of the cigar, with the Candela wrapper, is mild. It’s not really captivating. The burn is decent and needed a touch-up once or twice. The second half of the cigar packs more flavor and strength. The difference in the wrapper is clearly noticeable. The smoke time is three hours and thirty minutes.

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

Categories: 90, Muestra de Tabac, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera La Perla | Tags: , , , , ,

Partagas Serie P No. 2

Partagas Serie P No. 2. And Serie is a little bit of an overexaggerating here. As this is the only regular production size in the ‘series’. The Series P is a 2005 release, in this size, and this size only. It comes in boxes of 10 and boxes of 25. There is one other release with this blend. That is a 5×50 Petit Pyramid, only available in jars for the travel and duty-free market. And as far as we know, it’s a limited edition. So the Partagas Serie isn’t a series, but a one-off. The Petit Pyramid is a 2009 release. In the last 15 years, no other sizes of the Partagas Serie P have surfaced.

As always with Cubatabaco and Habanos, the cigar is a Cuban puro. That means the filler, binder, and wrapper are all from the island. This cigar was purchased as a single cigar, without looking at the box code. Therefore it’s a mystery in what factory this cigar is made. In Cuba production of brands is spread over several factories. It’s not one factory for one brand or two brands. But any brand can be made in a whole group of factories. The production month and date are unknown too. But it’s at least a year old.

The cigar doesn’t really look good. Colorado colored wrapper with small veins. But one nasty looking vein om the back. The ring is the same as the iconic Partagas Serie D ring. Red with gold letters. Something Partagas copied from Condega, not the other way around as many people think. The cigar feels a bit hard. The tip is a little crooked. Overall not the best looking cigar. But also not so bad that it looks unsmokable. The aroma is mild yet nice. Floral, fresh linen, those kinds of flavors. Like a hamper full of freshly washed clothes.

The cold draw is great. The freshness of the aroma is represented in the cold draw. Floral, minty. Once lit, the cigar tells a different story. Leather, dry leather. Although there is some floral flavor as well. And some spice. Brown spices grow in strength, with some cedar, leather, and earthiness. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy. After a third, the cigar gets more floral sweetness and even a hint of vanilla. Combine that with cedar, brown spices, and a little bit of orange peel acidity, and that’s what this cigar gives. The cedar, smooth and creamy, gets more pronounced. There is a hint of black pepper, floral notes, and toast. The flavors increase in strength a little, but not much.

The draw is great. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is thick enough, there is volume enough, nothing to complain about when it comes to smoke. The cigar starts out mellow, mild. Mild bodied, which is not common for the medium to medium-full Partagas blend. And mild flavored. That raises the question of whether this is an aged, or even vintage, cigar. The cigar remains smooth until the end. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? This is a nice morning smoke.

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, Partagas (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Bugatti Signature Robusto

Bugatti Signature Robusto. Yet, you read that well. A cigar with the Bugatti name. But the Italian German car brand is not just making cars. They entered the luxury market too with bags, cigar accessories, and cigars. Cigars are made at the Blue Star factory from Abe Flores. Known for the PDR, A. Flores, and Flores y Rodriguez cigars. Last year, I reviewed the Bugatti Ambassador. This review is for another Bugatti cigar, the Signature. Bugatti is not the only car brand in the cigar market. Bentley makes cigars with Joya de Nicaragua. Porsche is in the accessory business just as Lamborghini. There are Ferrari accessories as well, but we don’t know if those are legit.

There is some contradicting information about the blend online. Different websites mention different wrappers, different binders, and different fillers. Our information tells us the wrapper is Habano from Ecuador. The binder is a decade old Piloto Cubana from the Dominican Republic. The tobaccos inside the cigar come from Nicaragua, The United States, and Brazil. But we would like to put a disclaimer here. Due to all the contradicting information, we can’t be 100% sure that we have the blend correct. The size of this robusto is 5×52

The cigar is quite good looking. A thick, oily, and dark wrapper. With two shiny rings, a smaller golden ring with Signature in a classic font. The top ring is black with gold. The black has a carbon fiber print and the Bugatti name and logo. The construction feels good. The shape of the cigar is good, the head is nicely rounded. The cigar has strong charcoal, barbecue aroma. Charred wood, aromas like that.

The cold draw is fine. Spicy, with some sweetness. Once lit, the cigar has a strong coffee flavor, with spice and pepper. The barbecue taste that is in the aroma is also in the flavor. Hickory, brown spices, herbs, pepper. Combined with leather and coffee. The mouthfeel is thick. Slowly the cigar gets a little salty, with hay, brown spices, toast, earthiness, leather, and that hickory barbecue wood. At the end of the first third, some nuttiness shows up. The wood and barbecue flavor fades away. Halfway the nut flavor becomes strong, with pepper, and a little leather.

The draw is good. The ash is salt and pepper colored, but with more pepper than salt. The burn is straight, but the wrapper is so thick and leathery that it takes some effort to keep it burning. This cigar is bold, not nuanced. In your face flavors, quite strong. Medium to medium-full bodied. The perfect cigar for after a heavy meal or during a backyard barbecue party. The smoke is good, thick enough, and good enough in volume. The cigar gains strength too, starting out medium going to full. The smoke time is three hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Bugatti, Dominican cigars, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Illusione OneOff Corona

Illusione OneOff Corona. A cigar that was released in the early 2000s but is a part of the Illusione book of cigars since 2017. The owner of the La Casa del Habano Milan had been trying to get a custom made cigar line from Cuba. After many attempts and just as many negative responses from Habano, he tried Nicaragua. Plasencia created the OneOff brand for him, with Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. Since then, the rights to the brands were sold a few times. And in 2017, Dion Giolito acquired it.

He moved the production to Tabacos Valle de Jalapa aka TABSA. It’s a factory in Esteli, Nicaragua where most of Illusione’s cigars are made. The factory is owned by Eduardo Fernandez from Aganorsa Leaf. Of course, the blend changed as well. OneOff is now a Nicaraguan puro, and available in many sizes. Brian Motola from Illusione gave us this 5½x42 Corona after the Intertabac trade show 2019 when we met for a cigar at Cigaragua in Amsterdam.

The first thing that stands out is the ring. Orange, with the international peace sign in white. No name, no mention of Illusione anywhere. Nothing. Just that white peace logo on an orange ring. Mysterious. It tickles the curiosity. The Colorado colored wrapper looks fine. The construction feels good. The cigar smells a little acidic, even though it has been stored for almost a year in our humidor. Hay and ammonia, medium strong.

The cold draw is fine. With a spicy hay aroma. Once lit, there’s leather, coffee, soil, gingerbread spices, and a mild black pepper in the retrohale. The sweetness gains some strength with the leather and pepper as base flavors. The leather remains, but wood is joining the palate with hay. The sweetness is gone. There is still a hint of pepper, but it’s faint. There is also a faint milk chocolate flavor. The chocolate slowly grows. The cigar is smooth, balanced, and easy-going. The final third has pepper, leather, and that lingering milk chocolate. Some licorice shows up too. A spicy, salty yet minty flavor appears too.

The draw is great. This cigar produces a lot of beautiful white smoke. The burn is good, there was a minor issue at the beginning that was auto-corrected. This is an easy-going, smooth, and balanced cigar. Not a lot of character, but very pleasant. The smoke time of this medium-bodied, medium-full flavored cigar is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer the Illusione Rothchildes, which are more budget-friendly as well.

Categories: 90, Illusione, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , ,

Cubo Sumatra Toro by Dapper Cigars

Cubo Sumatra Toro by Dapper Cigars. Dapper Cigars. Dapper Cigar Company is an American cigar company. Their home base is Fresno, California. Not a place where you would expect a cigar company to be honest. But that’s just their base, as the cigars are all coming from Nicaragua. Dapper Cigar Company has several brands, La Madrina, Siempre, El Borracho, Cubo, and the brand new Desvalido. And I reviewed a few cigars, thanks to the Dutch distributor, Kelch Trading.

The Cubo Sumatra re-visits the original release of the Cubo brand. Blended nearly five years later, the Sumatra line builds on a half-decade of further work with premium Nicaraguan tobaccos. This version uses more other Nicaraguan tobacco than the original and more American grown Connecticut Broadleaf. The Sumatra Rosado wrapper and the Nicaraguan binder remain from the original blend. Raul Disla oversees the production at NACSA in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The aroma of the cigar, once it’s released from the cellophane, is fantastic. Strong, musky, with freshly roasted coffee. The cigar has a beautiful, silky, and leather looking wrapper. The construction feels good, with no soft spots or plugs noticeable. The ring is pretty, a lot of black and gold with a white chapel on a purple and pink background. But it’s a little too crowded, too many details on such a small piece of paper.

The cold draw is good. With just a raw tobacco flavor and some black pepper. After lighting the palate gets hits with spices and milk chocolate. There is also a nice sugary sweetness. Slowly leather shows up as well with some wood. The mild chocolate makes a comeback. Halfway the wood gets stronger, still with a hefty dose of sugar. But well balanced. In the final third, there is also a macadamia nut flavor with leather, wood, and sweetness. The finale is leather with a hint of black pepper.

The burn is good, just like the draw and the smoke. Nothing out of the ordinary. A reasonably thick smoke, enough in volume. Good air resistance in the draw. And a straight burn that needs no correcting. The cigar is smooth with some complexity and depth, although the complexity fades a bit. The ash is dark gray. This is a cigar medium to full in body, medium in flavor. The smoke time is three hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, a good price-quality ratio

Categories: 90, Dapper Cigars, Nicaraguan American Tobacco SA, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Saint Luis Rey Herfing exclusivo Medio Oriente

Saint Luis Rey Herfing exclusivo Medio Oriente. That is the 2017 Regional Edition for the Middle East. Even though this cigar is part of the 2017 Regional Edition program, the cigar is available since 2019. It is limited to 7500 boxes of 10 cigars. Saint Luis Rey is an 80-year-old brand with only one regular production vitola. It is used for some regional editions though. Until 1993, the brand was only available on the English market and it was created by a British firm. It is considered one of the fuller Cuban Marcas with tobaccos from the Vuelta Abajo and the Semi Vuelta regions.

The size of the Saint Luis Rey Herfin exclusivo Medio Oriente is 5½x54. This is Robusto Extra size, but Habanos calls it Duke. It’s only the 8th time that this size is produced. The only regular production size in this vitola is Partagas Serie E #2. All the other releases are limited editions or regional editions. The Partagas Serie E #2 is a 2011 release. The other releases are Romeo y Julieta Duke (2009) and Bolivar Soberanos (2018) as limited editions. The French market saw the Ramon Allones Hexagone as the 2016 Regional Edition. That same year, The Netherlands had the La Gloria Cubana Platino. This Saint Luis Rey Herfing is from the 2017 Regional Edition program. From the 2018 Regional Edition program, the Punch Duke (Mexico) and Quai d’ Orsay Baalbeck (Lebanon) come in this vitola.

The wrapper looks nice. It is quite dry, it feels like fine sandpaper. The color is nice, Colorado brown. The construction feels good. The Saint Luis Rey ring never stood out from the crown, red with gold and white letters. The crown on the center of the ring is just a big blur. The secondary ring is the iconic regional edition ring and doesn’t match with the regular ring. The cigar has a nice, medium strong aroma. Barnyard with forest aromas is released.

The cold draw is great, with a nice yet spicy floral flavor. After lighting the cigar releases spice, cedar, leather, coffee, and some black pepper. It’s all leather, wood, coffee, and earthiness in the beginning, with a little pepper. The mouthfeel is dry. There’s a little nut flavor, with hay, pepper, salt, leather, and wood. After a third, the cigar turns more floral with softwood. The walnut flavor gains strength, just as the black pepper. The nuts and pepper remain dominant, with support of wood. There’s also some salt.

The draw is loose, too loose. Although it improves along the way. That creates a wonky burn. It’s hard to keep this cigar lit in the beginning. The ash is dark but relatively firm. This cigar is medium-full bodied and medium-full flavored. The smoke is good. Not quite refined or nuanced although that changes after a third. The smoke time is three hours and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s quite expensive so no, but I enjoyed it.

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, Saint Luis Rey (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

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