90

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: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , , , ,

San Jeronimo Habano Natural Robusto

San Jeronimo Habano Natural Robusto. A cigar distributed by Kafie Cigars, yet it’s not produced at Tabacalera Kafie y Cia. San Jerónimo is the oldest brand in existence in Honduras. It gets its name from a tobacco-producing region. According to the owner, Oscar Orlando Ferrera, the brand is around since the 1940s.

The San Jeronimo Habano Natural Robusto is a classic Robusto. That means 5×50. The filler tobaccos are from Nicaragua and Honduras. The binder is Honduran while the wrapper comes from Ecuador. The other two blends of San Jeronimo are a Connecticut and a Maduro. The artwork on all three cigars is the same, except for a different color foot ring.

The cigar feels a bit light. But that should not be an issue. The wrapper is decent, with some sparkles of minerals. It’s slightly oily and has a few veins. It’s Colorado colored. The construction feels good. As for the ring, what goes for the San Jeronimo Maduro goes for the San Jeronimo Habano as well, as the rings are identical. 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 aroma is strong, very strong, and surprising. It’s all milk chocolate.

The milk chocolate is mildly present in the cold draw, but spicy straw is more prominent. The cold draw gives a good air resistance though. But once the cigar is lit, the milk chocolate is clearly noticeable again. There are a slight acidity and dry yet soft young wood. Then all of a sudden there is a toffee flavor, extremely unusual but quite nice. There is also a little spice. The sweetness is getting stronger and slightly creamy. Halfway the cigar is sweet, yet tangy. Like a sweet and sour Asian dish, but without the carbs from the rice. The balance is there, with a little spice. In the final third, the cigar has wood, leather, earthiness but with plenty of sweetness as well. A little rough around the edges, but that adds character. There are also dark spices in the flavor profile

The draw is great. The pepper and salt colored ash isn’t very firm. But the burn is great, and so is the smoke. This cigar has balance, it’s quite smooth but there is also a rough edge that gives it character. It is medium in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, San Jeronimo, Tabacalera Kafie y Cia | Tags: , , , ,

Condega Serie F Mini Robusto

Condega Serie F Mini Robusto. A brand that is on the market since 2002 in the United States, and since 2006 in Spain. But in the last few years, the brand sees expansion with the speed of light. The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, France, and other European countries are supplied. Outside Europe, countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Israel, Jordan, and Angola are also selling Condega. Since the Spanish distributor acquired the rights to market the brand internationally, the brand is booming. More on the history of Condega is in Ministry of Cigars article about the brand.

The cigars are made in Nicaragua. By Aganorsa Leaf and its factory TABSA. Eduardo Fernandez, the owner of Aganorsa Leaf, is the founder of the brand. The late Arsenio Ramos is the blender. Aganorsa is famous for Corojo, and this cigar is heavy on Corojo 99. It’s the wrapper. It’s also the binder. And combined with Criollo 98, it’s also in the filler. This mini robusto measures 4½x50 and you can find it below 4 euro in many European countries. The brand is extremely budget-friendly.

When it comes to looks, this cigar isn’t a winner. The wrapper is wrinkled like an old lady who’s been soaking in a bathtub for an hour. But the ring is nice. It is the ring that Habanos uses as inspiration for the Partagas Serie D #4. The Condega ring is the original. And it looks better, cleaner, and sharper than the Partagas version. Although, Condega is slowly changing the design to move away from the unwanted association with Partagas. Many people think that Condega is stealing from Partagas, but it’s the other way around. The construction feels good though. The cigar has a mild floral aroma.

The cold draw is fine. There isn’t much flavor in the cold draw, just some earthiness, and salt. Once lit, the experience is different. Brown spices, with cinnamon as the leading flavor. Cedar, smooth coffee. The flavors are creamy, like cappuccino with a hint of chocolate. The chocolate is slowly getting stronger, still creamy as in chocolate milk. Halfway the classic Corojo nuttiness shows up. Still creamy, with that dark chocolate in the back of the throat. Then there is coffee again, with dark chocolate, some pepper, and that nuttiness. All with a hint of cream. The flavors aren’t changing much. The pepper gets stronger, there is a little more cedar. But the balance is nice, the flavors are great.

The draw is good. The light-colored ash is firm. The smoke is fine. There is enough smoke, and it has a nice thickness and a nice color. The cigar is smooth, soft, and creamy. Medium-bodied, medium flavored. The burn is good. This is one of the best budget-friendly cigars available on the market. Balanced, smooth, flavorful, and easy on the wallet. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

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

JFR Lunatic Loco Maduro El Loquito

JFR Lunatic Loco Maduro El Loquito. This is the latest addition to the JFR brand. The brand exists since 2005 when Aganorsa Leaf released the line for brick & mortar stores. JFR stands for Just For Retailers. In 2014, a new JFR line emerged, the JFR Lunatic. And last year, Aragorsa expanded the JFR brand with the Lunatic Loco. In different blends, including Habano and Maduro. And all three sizes are perfectos. El Loquito measures 4¾x60, El Loco is 4¾x70. El Gran Loco is a crazy 5½x80 Perfecto.

The JFR Lunatic Loco Maduro is made with tobaccos from Aganorsa Leaf as the filler and the binder. Aganorsa grows tobacco in Nicaragua. The wrapper is Maduro from San Andres in Mexico. The El Loquito is the smallest of the three cigars and the size is similar to Drew Estate Flying Pigs. The El Loquito even includes a pigtail.

The cigar looks good. An evenly dark Maduro wrapper. It is not very oily but the color of the wrapper works with the ring. The ring is dark blue, almost black, with silver details. And that silver really pops, making the design stand out. The construction feels good. A pigtail is always a plus when it comes to aesthetics. The aroma is very mild, wood, and manure.

The cold draw is fantastic. It has a strong raisin aroma with some white pepper. After lighting the cigar has a thick creamy dark chocolate flavor with some earthiness and a hint of leather. The leather slowly gets the center stage, but the dark chocolate isn’t far behind. The creaminess disappears and the mouthfeel turns dry. In the first third, the flavors remain leather, wood, dark chocolate but then some black pepper and nutty flavors show up. There is also some sweetness. Halfway the dark chocolate disappears and makes place for hay. But the oak, earthiness, and leather are the dominant flavors. In the final third, the dark chocolate returns as a supporting flavor.

The draw is great. The smoke could be a bit thicker, which would score higher. The burn is slow and straight. The salt and pepper colored ash is quite firm. This is a full-bodied cigar. The flavors are medium-full as well. Balanced, yet due to the thick ring gauge, the cigar isn’t dynamic. The smoke time is four hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I might.

Categories: 90, Casa Fernandez, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , , , ,

Casa Cuevas Reserva Maduro Toro

Casa Cuevas Reserva Maduro Toro. A cigar that as far as we know is only available in the United States, New Zealand, and the Dominican Republic. And it’s a relatively new brand yet not a new family. The Cuevas family is growing tobacco and making cigars for decades. Since 1890 to be exact. In the early 2000s, the Casa Cuevas brand was sold for a while. But then the family returned to making cigars for others. Until 2016, when the Casa Cuevas line returned. In a way, the story of the Cuevas family is similar to the El Artista brand and even Plasencia. All three are around for a long time, but only recently started making cigars for themselves instead of just producing for others.

This Casa Cuevas Reserva Maduro Toro is made with a Mexican San Andres wrapper. The binder is Piloto Cubana from the Dominican Republic. The filler contains tobacco from Ometepe, Nicaragua, and from the Dominican Republic. For this review, I smoked the 6×50 Toro. Other sizes available are a 5×52 Robusto and a 6¼x52 Torpedo.

The cigar looks good. The wrapper is dark, very dark. But evenly dark, and a bit on the dry side. The blue, white, and silver ring is similar to the new world Romeo y Julieta ring. The construction feels great and the triple cap is flawless. The cigar smells like dark chocolate and soil. Bittersweet and intense.

The cold draw is a bit tights. Quite spicy yet with a dark chocolate undertone. After lighting the cigar gives dark chocolate, earthiness, coffee. Bittersweet flavors with black pepper. In the second third, the dark chocolate is still the main flavor, but now with hay, coffee, and soil. The pepper tones down a bit. There is a hint of citrus. The cigar is balanced, yet not smooth. Halfway it’s still possible to retrohale without too much spice in the nose. The mouthfeel is still dry. In the final third, more wood shows up with some leather. But the spice and the dark chocolate are still going strong as well.

The draw is good, better than in the cold draw. The smoke is thick, white, and full. The burn is straight. The ash is almost white, yet it breaks quite easily. This cigar isn’t very strong, but the flavors are bold. The cigar is balanced. The evolution isn’t spectacular, but the overall flavors are good. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Las Lavas | Tags: , , , ,

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