90

Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma

Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma. This is a special release from Drew Estate for the online cigar community Cigar Dojo. And it’s not the first time that Drew Estate releases a cigar for Cigar Dojo. They aren’t the only company that does so. But the difference is that all others are small batches. Drew Estate did release the original Undercrown Maduro Dojo as a small batch. But for a few years, it is a regular production cigar. And last year a new regular production for Cigar Dojo came on the market. The Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma.

For the Undercrown Sun Grown Dogma, Drew Estate reaches for the same blend as the other Undercrown Sun Grown cigars. But in a 5×54 Robusto Extra format. That means that this cigar comes with Nicaraguan filler and a binder from the United States. A Connecticut-grown Habano binder to be precise. The wrapper is Sumatra but from Ecuador, not from Sumatra, Indonesia.

The wrapper is light brown with a few bumps. It is not too oily and it looks like it has a single cap instead of the Cuban-style triple cap. The red and gold ring is beautiful though. The lion with the crown and the secondary band with the DOGMA name. The foot is protected with another small ring in the same color scheme. The construction feels alright. The cigar has a surprising aroma that includes milk chocolate.

The cold draw is quite loose with a hay flavor. But after lighting, the cigar tastes like coffee, mud, with a little acidity. But there is also a toasted cashew flavor, spice, and sweetness. The flavors turn to a tardy nuttiness with a hint of vanilla. Mildly creamy, but with a little roughness at the back of the throat. The nuttiness remains noticeable during the remainder of the first third with a muddy and slightly citrus flavor. The second third still has that nuttiness, but now with leather. There is still a bit of a bite in the back of the throat. There is a bit more sweetness. And pepper shows up as well, but it is not overwhelming. The final third has leather, mud, coffee, nuts, pepper, and spice. The pepper picks up, with some sweetness. The nutty flavor becomes stronger as well.

The draw is a bit on the loose side. But the smoke makes up for it in a way only Drew Estate cigars can. The ash is white, snow-white. The burn is okay, but not razor-sharp. The cigar is medium to full in both body and strength. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? In another size yes

Categories: 90, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dias de Gloria Robusto

Dias de Gloria Robusto is a tribute to the glory days of Cuban tobacco. To the cigars that Ismael Fernandez, the father of A.J. was smoking back in Cuba before he left his home country to work in Nicaragua. But of course without being able to use Cuban cigars. So A.J. went out to create a blend that resembles the old Cuban style with tobaccos from Nicaragua. The cigar was recommended to me as a great smoke.

For that, he is picking aged tobacco from his four oldest farms in Esteli. And for years, Fernandez has been setting aside tobacco with the Dias de Gloria in mind. “I want everyone to enjoy it like the glory days of old Cuba.,” he said during the release of the Dias de Gloria line.

The cigar looks good, but that doesn’t say anything about the wrapper yet. Because the wrapper is hardly visible. There is a red, yellow, and golden band with a very biblical picture. Then a golden and red secondary band with the A.J. Fernandez name and then a piece of cedar covering the rest of the cigar. With a piece of red cloth protecting the foot. Underneath the cedar is an oily, reddish-brown wrapper, smooth to the eye and velvet to the touch. The cigar feels evenly packed. The aroma is strong, hay and not surprisingly, cedar.

The cold draw is fine, cedar with dry wood. Once lit the cigar gives leather, wood, soil, coffee, and red pepper. The flavors are a little harsh, not very round. There’s also a sweetness, almost like refined sugar. But that doesn’t hide the mean punch this cigar gives. The sweetness turns more to a spiced sweetness like cinnamon. With oak, soil, and leather. The cigar still has a bit of a mean bite. It’s already tough to retrohale the cigar. Wood becomes stronger, but the cigar irritates the back of the throat. The second third starts with plenty of sweetness, now more of caramel sweetness. There’s also oak, soil, and leather with pepper. If the flavors were more round, the Dias de Gloria would be a great cigar. But that mean bite, that was there in all samples smoked, take away a lot of the pleasantries that this cigar offers. The mouthfeel is dry. A citrus acidity shows up, which helps to take away some of the roughness. There’s also a mushroom flavor with a lot of red pepper. The final third isn’t as mean, but red pepper overpowers the underlying flavors of oak and soil. There is no balance.

The draw is good and the smoke is amazing. It’s plentiful, white, and thick. The ash is white and dense. The burn is nice and straight. There is nothing bad to say about the construction of this cigar. The flavors are all right, but the mean and harsh taste definitely takes its toll on the score. This is a strong, full-bodied, and full-flavored cigar. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, A.J. Fernandez makes better cigars than this.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, 90, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez, Dias de Gloria | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Papi Toro by David Ortiz

Big Papi Toro by David Ortiz. A name that will probably not ring a bell for cigar enthusiasts outside of countries where baseball is a big sport. But David Ortiz is a baseball hall of fame star with the nickname Big Papi. He’s Dominican and a lover of the leaf. Whenever he was in the Dominican Republic, he was often hanging out at Tabacalera El Artista after being introduced to the Rodriguez family. Smoking cigars at the factory one day the idea came up of a Big Papi cigar and that’s when things start to happen.

The Big Papi Toro is a 6×54 Toro. It comes with an Ecuadorian Habano Claro wrapper. The binder is Dominican grown Criollo 98. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Tabacalera El Artista makes the cigars in a collaboration with the former Boston Red Sox star. There is also a 7×60 version with the name The Slugger. That’s another reference to his baseball days, where Ortiz was a hard-hitter aka a slugger. And the most famous baseball bat is the Louisville Slugger.

The cigar looks impressive, thicker than the ring 54 it is. The wrapper has an even color with a few sharp veins. It is slightly oily with a perfect triple cap. The ring is red and white, a tribute to the Boston Red Sox where David Ortiz played for so long. And his classic pose is on the ring as well. The foot ring is red cloth. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium-strong stable aroma.

The cold draw is fine with a flavor that comes close to a cinnamon roll with some pepper. Once lit there is some sweetness, leather, spice but mostly dark roast coffee. Strong and bitter, but acceptable bitter. The first flavors fade away to a wood and nut flavor. Cedar gets stronger with a hint of honey. Yet there is a lack of balance and a little harshness in the flavor. The second third starts with wood, nuts, leather, and pepper. Slowly more sweetness, pepper, and spice take over. Wood and leather are the main flavors, with pepper as support. The mouthfeel is a bit dry. The final third has some soil with a hefty dose of pepper. There is still a little unbalance in the cigar.

The draw is fine. The ash is white and dense. One big white cone, not even layers with ash. The cigar gives a good amount of smoke. The burn is good. The cigar has a little unbalance and a little harshness. It almost tasted like the cigar was a bit too dry, even though it’s stored in 67% humidity. The smoke time of this medium-full bodied, medium flavored cigar is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like El Artista cigars but this one isn’t my favorite

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera El Artista | Tags: , , , ,

Stallone Castaño San Andres Robusto

Stallone Castaño San Andres Robusto. Up until a few months ago, we never heard about this brand. Only when Todd Vance joined Stallone Cigars the brand came on our radar. Vance is an industry veteran who spent time with A.J. Fernandez, Cornelius & Anthony, and Padilla Cigars before joining Stallone Cigars. And our first thought was “Sylvester has a cigar brand”? But this brand has got nothing to do with the movie star. It is the brand from an Italian American, Tony Barrios, who’s a rodeo champion. He loves his stallions, and the world for stallions in Italian is Stallone. But skeptic as we are, we suspect that the fact that Sylvester Stallone is a famous brother of the leaf did play a part in picking the name.

The Castaño San Andres is part of the Cowboy Series. It features a Mexican San Andres wrapper over Nicaraguan filler and binder. The cigars come from the small Tabacalera La Perla. The same factory as the Muestra de Tabac. And that’s another brand whom we suspect picked the name to rub shoulders with a well-known brand. But again, we suspect, we don’t know for sure. But let’s focus on this 5½x52 Robusto, one of the three sizes available. Our experience with the cigars coming from Tabacalera La Perla is positive, so we have high hopes.

The sun-grown San Andres wrapper from Mexico has a leather-look, dry leather. Like the face of an old cowboy or fisherman, who’s been beaten by the sun for decades. It gives the cigar character. The triple cap is a bit rough on the eyes as well. The copper and gray ring has the silhouette of a stallion and the name of Tony Barrios. The secondary ring is in the same style and color as the name of the cigar. The cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is medium strong and quite dark. Like a forest in the early morning, when everything is still wet from the night.

The cold draw is a bit on the loose side and leaves a dry leathery flavor on the palate. The first puff is soil, coffee, and sourness. Strong coffee. But then the leather starts to shine, with citrus, oak, and pepper. Soon the cigar starts to mellow out a bit. With dry flavors, leather, and earth. But with citrus acidity and some sweetness. The citrus is becoming quite strong, with a nice sweetness to balance it out. Then the leather and pepper grow stronger while the citrus disappears. The mouthfeel is still dry. There is a nutty flavor in the retrohale. The second third starts with the nuttiness, dark spices, pepper, and hay. The cigar is a little rough, not smooth, or with a lot of nuances. But it does not bite or leave a tickle in the throat. Halfway there is a hint of chocolate behind the leather, pepper, soil, and oak. Hay and pepper are becoming the dominant flavors. There is still some nuttiness as well. The last part of the cigar is wood, leather, soil, and pepper.

The cigar produces a lot of smoke. Beautiful blue smoke. The draw is fine. The dense ash is light in color. The burn is straight. It is a medium to medium-full cigar. Both in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it but want to try a few other Stallone Cowboy Series first.

Categories: 90, Nicaraguan cigars, Stallone, Tabacalera La Perla | Tags: , , , , ,

Acid 20 Robusto

Acid 20 Robusto. Just like a few days ago, a review of the ACID 20 Robusto. But the last Acid 20 was smoked safari style to avoid the artificial sweetness of the sweetened cap. That worked in a way, as the sweetness wasn’t stuck on the lips. But the cigar still wasn’t very nice. Let’s see of smoking the same cigar, but this time in the way the blenders intended will create a different experience.

The ACID 20 is a cigar that celebrates 20 years of Acid. It is a popular brand that took the United States by storm and made Drew Estate a serious player. Slowly ACID is becoming available in more countries and has an international following now. Some people love it, others loathe it. The cigar has a Mexican San Andres wrapper. The binder is Indonesian and the filler Nicaraguan.

The flat cap is nice to see. The almost chrome ring with the black 20 is nice. Only the foot band mentions the brand name and the line. The dark wrapper looks intimidating because of a vein on the face of the cigar. The aroma is strong. It’s floral like some shampoo or detergent, not natural. The construction feels great.

Just licking the cap before cutting leaves an artificial sweet flavor on the palate. With some spice. The cold draw confirms that these are the two flavors. The cold draw is fine though, but that artificial sweetness is so overpowering that it makes the experience a bit unpleasant. Once lit, the sweetness seems to tone down a bit but it remains prominent. There is an earthy flavor in the background. The sweetness isn’t as overpowering as in other Acid cigars we smoked. There is a floral flavor, some herbs, leather, and cedar. Smoking the cigar in the direction it’s intended creates a different experience. The second third starts quite mellow. A little bit of soil, a few herbs, some floral notes, and sweetness. There is some pepper but it is extremely mild. There is a lot of balance in the flavor. Unlike many infused or flavored cigars, where the artificial flavors overpower the natural flavors of tobacco. In the final third, there is more soil and a little more pepper. The floral and artificial sweetness remains. The end has some earthiness again.

The draw is fabulous as is the smoke. But the smoke is always great with Drew Estate cigars. The burn is great and the ash has a browning yellow color. It is not too firm. The cigar has way more balance if you smoke it this way instead of safari style. It is much more pleasing to the palate. The smoke time is two hours. This cigar medium in both body and flavor.

Would I buy this cigar again? I still don’t like the artificial sweetness.

Categories: 90, ACID, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

San Lotano Requiem Habano Gran Toro

San Lotano Requiem Habano Gran Toro. Even though A.J. Fernandez was already blending and producing cigars for years, he was only producing for others. And a lot of his blends were hits on the market. So it was time to release a brand for himself. Drawing inspiration from his family’s past in Cuba, Abdel Fernandez came up with San Lotano. That’s the name of the brand his family had before the revolution. Since the release in 2010, San Lotano has seen many offsprings in different blends, and even in oval sizes.

The San Lotano Reqiuem comes in a Habano, Maduro, and Connecticut version. For this review, we picked the Habano in a 6×60 size. Fernandez names it Gran Toro, others call it a Gordo. But the name doesn’t matter, it is a monster of a cigar. The cigar consists of Nicaraguan and Honduran filler. The binder is Nicaraguan with a Brazilian Habano wrapper. San Lotano is also the name of a farm and a cigar factory in Nicaragua. Both are owned by A.J. Fernandez, but the San Lotano factory isn’t the large factory in Esteli.

This cigar is a monster with its 6×60 size. It feels heavy. And for a Brazilian wrapper, it actually looks good. Often Brazilian tobacco looks a bit rough, but there are only two veins here that attract the eye. And they are not even that thick. The construction is good with a perfect triple cap. The green and beige ring is beautiful, the secondary ring matches the top ring. The cigar has a strong aroma of forest smells, wood, and dark spices.

The cold draw is good with a flavor of wood, spice, and pepper. Once lit it is raw wood with cinnamon toast on the palate. The sweet toast is very nice. There is some leather in the retrohale. Slowly but surely pepper shows up. Black pepper. The cigar has balance, but due to the filler wrapper ratio, it misses a bit of character. Halfway wood gets stronger with a hefty dose of Nicaraguan pepper. This is the kind of pepper that both Nicaragua and A.J. Fernandez are famous for. The sweetness is more powdered sugar now. But there is also a roughness in the back of the throat. Wood gets stronger again with some leather and hazelnut. The final third is all pepper, pepper, and pepper.

The draw is a tad easy. The smoke is thick and there is a good amount of it as well. The ash is white and dense. The burn is straight. This is a cigar that is medium-full in body and flavor. The signature of A.J. on the inside of the ring is a nice touch. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? In a smaller vitola yes, in this 60 ring gauge no.

Categories: 90, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Fonseca Delicias 2014

Fonseca Delicias 2014. A review of the same blend and size as our review recently. But from a different vintage. And the reason for this is a conversation with a fellow cigar enthusiast about the aging of cigars. Our conversation partner says that the Fonseca Delicias get stronger with age, unlike any other cigar. That’s worthy of a test. So last Friday’s review was a young cigar from 2019. The review of today’s Fonseca Delicias is a cigar with a production date of 2014.

Thanks to La Casa del Habano Kuala Lumpur we were able to get one Fonseca Delicias from 2014 and once from 2019. The Fonseca Delicias is a pre-1960 vitola, but it’s only a premium handmade cigar since 2002. Before it was a machine-made petit corona. The cigar measures 4 ⅞x40. Unfortunately, we do not have the box code, so we can’t say from which factory or which month this cigar came. We only know it’s a cigar from 2014.

What goes for the 2019 version goes for the 2014 version as well. The cigar is not visible due to the white wax paper. The ring is on the outside of the paper, so once you remove the paper it is a naked cigar. Compared to the sample from last Friday, this wrapper has more veins. The color is also a little dull. But the construction feels better. The aroma is mild, with a bit of an old, dry wood smell.

The cold draw is fine, with a nice dose of pepper. After lighting there is a hint of coffee but the main flavor is honey. There is a hint of wood and some white pepper. The sweetness continues to be dominant, but in the background, there’s wood, spices, and leather. There is a bit more pepper in the flavor profile than in the younger version. After a third, there is a wood flavor with sweetness. But it is a bit dry and dusty. There is also a hint of pepper. There is less balance but more character than in the younger version of this cigar. It is still a sweet cigar, but not as overly sweet. The sweetness is no longer honey, but more sugar syrup. In the retrohale, there are a few green herbs. There is a hint of vanilla. Some citrus shows up as well. The wood and leather return, but the sweetness remains the base of this cigar. Near the end, there is leather, pepper, and marzipan sweetness.

The draw is fine. The smoke is good. The ash is light in color and firm. The burn is great. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. It is slightly stronger than the younger Fonseca Delicias, but it remains a medium cigar at most. There is definitely more character in the older version. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, they are cheap and pleasant.

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

Fonseca Delicias 2019

Fonseca Delicias 2019. Not too long ago, Ministry of Cigars was talking to a fellow cigar enthusiast about the aging of cigars. And how some cigars age well, others don’t. That some blends are great for aging, and others aren’t. One thing that came up was that aging mellows cigars over the years. Our conversation partner said that only with the Fonseca Delicias he feels it’s different. That these cigars are stronger with a few years of age. This sounds intriguing, so we are putting it to the test.

Thanks to La Casa del Habano Kuala Lumpur we were able to get one Fonseca Delicias from 2014 and once from 2019. The Fonseca Delicias is a pre-1960 vitola, but it’s only a premium handmade cigar since 2002. Before it was a machine-made petit corona. The cigar measures 4 ⅞x40. Unfortunately, we do not have the box code, so we can’t say from which factory or which month this cigar came. We only know it’s a cigar from 2019.

At first, you can’t see the cigar because of the wax paper. This is the only Cuban marca that comes in was paper. And even one of the sizes of the Nicaraguan Fonseca by My Father Cigars comes in wax paper as a tribute to the Cuban version. The ring is red, golden, and white. Classic in style and shape. The ring is around the wax paper so once it’s removed, the cigar is naked. The wrapper is quite dark for a Cuban cigar. There are a few veins, but nothing thick or ugly. The cigar feels a bit hard. There is an earthy smell to the cigar with a little bit of ammonia.

The cold draw is tight. With a bit of a dark spice flavor. Once lit the draw is fine. There is a leathery coffee flavor with some cloves. The flavor then turns to mud, with a thick mouthfeel and a bit of sweetness. The sweetness is enhanced in the retrohale. A little pepper shows up in the same retrohale. The sweetness is mild, yet still the strongest flavor. The cigar is a bit creamy. The sweetness is still there halfway with some pepper and spice. Vanilla and pepper take over, with a hint of wood. The evolution is subtle. In the end, the cigar gains a bit more pepper, more strength, and there is even a nutty flavor.

The draw is fine. But the silver-gray ash isn’t very firm. The cigar is mild and smooth. Quite sweet. An early morning cigar. Not a cigar to blow your mind, but pleasant. It fits the price range. The smoke is fine. The burn is great, nothing to complain about. The cigar is mild to medium in body. The flavor is medium. The smoke time is one hour and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a great cigar to start the day

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

Stallone Alazán Corojo Robusto

Stallone Alazán Corojo Robusto. Up until a few months ago, Stallone Cigars was a company we never heard of. But then they hired Todd Vance as Vice President of Sales. And we got some samples of which we reviewed the Castano San Andres Robusto two months ago. Today we review the Alazan Corojo. Both are named after stallions, the big inspiration behind the brand. Owner Tony Barrios is a prize-winning rodeo cowboy.

The cigars come from Las Villas Cigars, previously known as Tabacalera La Perla. It is a small factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The Stallone Alazán Corojo Robusto is a 5×54 box-pressed Robusto. It is made with a Brazilian Corojo wrapper. The binder comes from Ecuador with Nicaraguan filler.

The wrapper of this box-pressed cigar is beautiful. A nice reddish glow on the smooth and oily wrapper. There is a clean triple cap. The tiny veins are minor and do not take anything away from the aesthetics of the cigar. The ring is pretty. Gray with a stallion and metallic outlines and name. The secondary band has the same colors with the line name in red. The construction feels good. The aroma of the cigar fits with the theme, horses.

The cold draw is fantastic. It gives a herbal flavor. Once lit there is leather and coffee. It then changes to coffee with dark spices. The mouthfeel is a bit dry. The flavor then changes to cedar with spices and herbs. At the end of the first third, there is some pepper and sweetness as well. The second third starts with pepper, dark spices, leather, and soil. It slowly evolves to wood, grass, pepper, spices, and leather. Pepper is growing, black pepper. The mouthfeel stays dry, with a bit of a rough edge. But not unpleasant rough. Wood is getting stronger. The final third has way more pepper and an unusual mushroom flavor. The finale has wood, herbs, pepper, and mushroom.

The draw is great. The ash is light in color, dense, and firm. The burn is good. The smoke is thick, plenty in volume, and white as can be. There is a good balance. This cigar is medium to full in strength, medium in flavor. With Brazilian tobacco, there was an expectation of more sweetness. And with Corojo, there was an expectation of nuts. But those flavors weren’t really there. The smoke time is two hours and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I like it.

Categories: 90, Nicaraguan cigars, Stallone, Tabacalera La Perla | Tags: , , , ,

H Upmann Magnum 56 Edicion Limitada 2015

H Upmann Magnum 56 Edicion Limitada 2015. This Cuban marca and vitola recently made a comeback in a jar. But the original release is an edicion limitada and that is the one we are reviewing. It is the only Cuban cigar with this specific size of 5⅞x56.

As is the case with any Cuban cigar, the blend only consists of Cuban tobacco. All younger than 3 years otherwise it would be a reserva or gran reserva. But it is a limited edition, so according to Habanos, higher quality of tobacco is used for this production.

The cigar looks thick and big. The dark wrapper helps, and the few veins make it look like a mean powerhouse. If this cigar was a guy at a bar, you would not pick a fight with him just on appearance. The triple cap looks great and the embossing on the ring is a nice touch. The construction feels good. The woody aroma is mild.

The cold draw is very loose, easy. Something not very Cubaneqsue. The first puff is in your face. Wood, leather, soil, coffee, and sweetness. And there is some spice in the aftertaste. The flavor mellows out to a nice cedar, earthy, and coffee. There is a little pepper in the aftertaste. The second third starts with a dry mouthfeel. Leather, cedar, and hay. Even in a blind smoke, it would be clear that this is a Cuban cigar. Halfway the cigar is all about toast. The spice and pepper pick up in the final third, but even then it is possible to retrohale.

The draw is easy, maybe too easy. But the cigar gives plenty of nice, thick smoke. The burn is straight. Even after leaving the cigar for a couple of minutes, there was no reason to relight. The ash is on the darker side of the color scheme. It is a medium-bodied cigar, medium-full on the flavor spectrum. The smoke time is two hours twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It was not bad, but I can get better for less.

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

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