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Maria Mancini Edicion Limitada 2018 Corona

Maria Mancini is over twenty years old. And all those times the cigars have been made in Honduras. The brand is owned by the 100-year-old German August Schuster Zigarren from Bunde. They are one of the oldest cigar manufacturers in Germany, and one of the last German cigar producers still standing. For the last few years, they have released a Maria Mancini limited edition every year. In 2016 it was a Maria Mancini Robusto Particular. In 2017 the size was a Toro Lindo. For 2018, several sizes were made.

For the review, I chose the Corona Colorado. That’s a 5½x46 Corona sized cigar.

Not a lot has been revealed about the cigar. Even though the brand is over twenty years old, the factory is unknown. And the blend for the 2018 Edicion Limitada is undisclosed as well. The only thing that’s know is that the filler is from both Honduras and Nicaragua. Where the wrapper is from, or the binder is a mystery.

The cigar has a nice pig tail. The Colorado colored wrapper has thin veins. The ring is a bit dull. The image of Maria Mancini could use a little update, that would make the cigar more appealing in the humidor. The aroma is very nice. Spicy and green. Like lovage and natural fertilizer. The construction feels good.

The cold draw is a little loose. I taste raw tobacco, a little harsh, with some salt. The first puff gives a strong, bitter, coffee and leather flavor. The bitterness is a bit too strong. After a few puffs, some vanilla shows up. The bitterness slowly mellows down to an acceptable level. The vanilla is getting stronger, with a grassy flavor and some green herbs. Even though there is more balance and sweetness, the coffee and leather are lingering around. There’s some pepper in the flavor as well. The green herbs are getting stronger after a third. That goes for the vanilla and the sweetness too. With some pepper, leather, soil, and wood as supporting flavors. The flavors remain the same in the last part. Some coffee, some leather, some pepper, and a lot of sweetness. The final third is quite enjoyable with at the end some nuts.

The smoke is fantastic. Thick, white and full. The draw is good, although it could have been a little tighter. The ask is quite firm and has a nice light gray color. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s the best of the three Maria Mancini cigars I smoked so far. But I think I’ll pass.

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Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Maria Manchini | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Jas Sum Kral Toothpick 2.0 Maduro

Jas Sum Kral owner Riste decided to utilize leftover tobaccos from his other blends with this mixed filler called Toothpicks. The name probably refers to the small pieces of tobacco that can get in between your teeth while smoking shredded pieces of tobacco, used in short filler or medium filler cigar. He created a Maduro and a Habano blend, both with the same filler and binder, but with a different wrapper.

The wrapper from this Maduro comes from San Andres, Mexico. The cigars are rolled at Tabacalera Aragon in Esteli, Nicaragua. The filler is a mixture of three different Nicaraguan tobaccos. One from Jalapa, one from Esteli and the third one from Ometepe. Wrapped in an Indonesian binder and the Mexican wrapper you have the Toothpick Maduro. Only available in a 5×50 vitola.

I love the ring. The ring is mirrored in one white and one black side. The black has white letters, the white has black letters and they are exact copies. But when the black side is up, you’re smoking the Maduro, when the white side is up, you’re smoking the Habano. The ring is designed by the Singaporean designer Nuzli Hakiim. The wrapper is dark, oily and smooth. The construction feels good, the cap is nice. The cigar has a medium strong woody aroma.


The cold draw is good, with an oaky taste. After lighting, I taste nuts, earth, coffee, and wood. Almonds and cinnamon are noticeable too, with a little bit of pepper and some butter. The Maduro wrapper causes the cigar to have a mild sweetness. After half a centimeter, it’s a wooden, chocolate flavor with some nutmeg spices and a little sweetness from the Maduro wrapper. The second third starts with some salt, pepper, leather and a lower grade chocolate flavor. Not an unpleasant mix, but also not as pleasant as a dark chocolate flavor. The flavors aren’t clean and crisp. These flavors go on for the rest of the cigars, with sometimes some oak, sometimes some cedar. But mostly chocolate, nuts, and pepper.

The draw is amazing. The burn needed some corrections. The smoke is thick and full. This is a medium bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. The smoke time is one hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for European or Asian prices, they are more expensive than premium longfillers. But for American prices, yes.

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Categories: 90, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Aragon | Tags: , , , ,

Tambo Churchill

Indonesia has a long tobacco history. But most of the tobacco is used for dry-cured shortfillers. Premium cigars are scarce, yet there are a few brands out there. Tambo is one of them, and this was given to me by the Indonesian Tambo distributor when I met him in Malaysia for the CSWC Qualifier in Kuala Lumpur.


There are two sizes available, a 6×50 Toro with the name Churchill and/or Super Robusto and a corona with the name short corona.

The unique feature of this cigar is Tambolaka tobacco. That is Indonesian tobacco, and after drying it is rolled up tightly in ten feet poles. Those poles are then bound together tightly with rope so the tobacco can age. They age up to five years before being cut. Most of it is used as pipe tobacco, but some end up in cigars like Tambo.

The wrapper is amazing. Smooth, a beautiful color brown, smooth veins. If someone would have told me that this is high-grade HTL I would believe it. The cigar comes with a small pigtail. The construction feels good. The ring is a bit simple though, but it provides all the necessary information. The aroma is strong. I smell hay and straw. 

When I wet the cap to cut the cigar, I notice how salt the wrapper is.

The cold draw is great. The cigar is salty yet sweet. After lighting, I taste bitter coffee with sugar. Quickly the flavors change to leather, pine, soil and a little bit of pepper. Slowly some creamy chocolate shows up. After a third, I taste come citrus acidity as well, faint but still. The salt, pepper, and chocolate remain the main flavors, with some wood, tobacco, and leather on the background. Some nutty flavor shows up, with the lingering chocolate. I taste some hay too, while the salt loses some of its strength. The mouthfeel is a little dusty. The salt fades way even more in the final third. And secretly, the strength has grown from mild to medium in the beginning, to medium-full where I am now. Tambolaka tobacco is known for its strength, to that could be the reason.

The burn is great. The ash is white, firm and like a stack of coins. There is enough smoke, which is light blue to white. This cigar starts mild to medium but grows to medium-full. Both in strength and in flavor. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, not a box, but a fiver for sure.

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Categories: 90, Indonesian cigars, Tambo | Tags: , , ,

Bolivar Super Coronas Edicion Limitada 2014

I don’t smoke many Cuban cigars anymore, due to the many issues with Cuban tobacco and cigars. But when I was still smoking cigars, my favorite brand was Bolivar. Not the best Cubans I have smoked, that title goes to the discontinued Punch Black Prince from the late 1990s. But a regular production favorite, that was Bolivar.

A friend gave me this Bolivar Super Coronas Edicion Limitada 2014 recently and I decided to do a review. I like the 5½x48 size, 44 would have been even better but I can live with a 48. And with five years of aging, this has the potential to be a great smoke, if the quality control is up to par.


The cigar looks good, a perfect triple cap on an even brown wrapper. No veins. The specific brown of the wrapper fits perfect with the Bolivar ring. And that ring is one of the nicer Cuban rings in my humble opinion. The gold comes back in the Edition Limitada ring, so it all fits. The cigar feels well constructed. Even though the cigar has been aged for a few years, I still smell some ammonia under the hay aromas.

The cold draw is Cuban. And I mean to say that the cold draw is tight, very tight. And that causes a mild cold draw flavor of just tobacco. After lighting, I taste sweet coffee and leather. The leather and sweetness become the main flavors, all nice and strong, yet smooth. On the background, I taste some minty green herbs, some freshness like lemon basil. About a centimeter in, I taste a mixture of leather, sweetness and white pepper. But the underlying complexity of fruity citrus acidity and fresh herbs make the cigar very interesting. Halfway the flavor is mainly leather, with some earthiness and a little spice. I taste a hint of hazelnuts and still that fruity vinegar. Then suddenly I taste roasted coffee beans. Then I get his with a nice dose of chocolate as well, but with that coffee flavor on the back. A few puffs later, there’s also a faint vanilla aroma off just a short while. The leather is getting a little bit stronger and the pepper turns from white to red. The pepper gains strength in the final third, with cocoa and roasted coffee beans on the background.

The draw is tight. And a tight draw affects the smoke, which was poor. The burn is good, and the ash is like a stack of dimes before it breaks off. The cigar is complex. The smoke time of this medium-full flavored and bodied cigars is two hours and twenty-five minutes

. It scored a 90 but could have been a 93 with better construction and smoke.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would not mind a box, or two

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

Casa de Torres Edicion Especial Robusto

This Casa de Torres brand is a 20+-year-old brand, created by the German cigar manufacturer and distributor Schuster. They make dry cured short filler cigars out of Bunde, Germany but also have premium cigars made in Honduras under the Maria Mancini brand and these Casa de Torres in Nicaragua. The Casa de Torres Edicion Especial was released in 2006.

The brand is only for sale in a few countries, but the biggest fanbase is located in Germany, the home turf of Schuster.

The twentieth year of the brand was celebrated with a limited edition made at Nica Sueños, the factory owned by RoMa Craft although the regular production cigars are made in an undisclosed factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The binder and filler are Nicaraguan, the wrapper is Costa Rican and the cigars are very nicely priced.


The cigar has a medium brown color, a little darker than hay. The shape is good, the wrapper doesn’t have any big, ugly veins. The ring, white, blue and gold is clean, simple and good looking due to great printing quality. The cigar has a nice medium-strong aroma of a forest after a rainfall.


The cold draw is great, with a spicy raw tobacco flavor. After lighting the cigar is spicy, with grass and hay before I taste some leather and a bit of salt. Some sweetness is showing up which reminded me of icing sugar. The sweetness stays where the other flavors disappear, or better, get replaced by cedar with some pepper. The pepper is slowly growing and the grass returns, yet all still covered in that icing sugar. After a third, there’s herbs, pepper, and a very mild nutty flavor. A few puffs later, I taste some soil and vanilla with the herbs, spices, and sweetness. The final third has leather, sweetness, some cedar, spice, and pepper, all mildly salty. The finale is peppery with lots of wood.

The draw is amazing. The silver-gray ash is firm and dense. The smoke is quite thick. The cigar is medium bodied, medium-full flavored. And with the (fixed) price of € 5,10 in Germany, it’s a steal. The evolution is alright, the cigar is better than what I expected for the price. The smoke time is one hour and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a fine budget cigar.

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Categories: 90, Casa de Torres, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Merciless Toro by JdN

Up until recently, I had never heard of this cigar even though I’m a fan of Joya de Nicaragua. I had never heard of it because it’s a house blend for the American based online retailer Famous Smoke. But I ran into them when I was browsing the website of Malaysian retailer Borneo Cigars. I was placing an order anyway, so I added these.

The cigars utilize Nicaraguan fillers with a Dominican binder and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The only vitola Borneo Cigars was selling was the 6×50 Toro. The price was really good, around 5 euro per cigar, so I decided to pull the trigger and get myself a few. I mean, I was placing an order anyway so why not add a few from one of my favorite factories?

The wrapper is dark, rough and intimidating. With the reputation of Joya de Nicaragua producing strong cigars, the name, and the looks, this cigar is intended to strike fear. The wrapper feels like fine leather. The construction is flawless and the ring is gorgeous. Black with silver and a popping red. The aroma is strong, manure is what I smell.

The cold draw is fine, with a spicy and dry raw tobacco and raisin flavor. Right from the start, I taste dry leather with coffee. I also taste mushrooms and oak. After a few puffs, the cigar gets more of a soil and cedar flavor, with a little salt. The mouthfeel is dry. The cigar leans very much to the wood, earth, and vegetal spectrum of the flavor wheel. After a centimeter, I taste some nutmeg and cumin, with some milk chocolate sweetness. I also get some metallic flavors. The milk chocolate gets stronger and finally, I taste some pepper too. After a third, I taste some toast with roasted almonds and sugar. The pepper is still there. The second third starts sweeter, but it’s aspartame sweetness. I also taste some citrus. Halfway the cigar is earthy, woody with milk chocolate and citrus. The cigar has some butter creaminess to it now. In the final third, the chocolate is getting stronger supported by some leather. The mouthfeel is creamy yet dry. In the final puffs, I taste some thin mints too.


The draw is great, the ash is like a stack of coins. Firm and dense. The smoke is decent, could be a bit thicker. I would call this cigar medium-full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want more

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Categories: 90, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Merciless, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Tatuaje RC Series No.1

I just love the Tatuaje RC 233, it was the cigar I smoked when my only nephew was born (although I later married and now I have more nephews and nieces from my wife’s side of the family) and I smoke one a year, on his birthday. I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years and continue to do that as long as possible. But the cigars aren’t easy to come by, so I’ll have to find a reliable source, that will ship to Asia.

I was happy to find out that Pete Johnson decided to create three new cigars, exclusively for Europe, within the RC series. Three parejo cigars with a little flag tail, but without the silver foil, and a tweaked blend. He used an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigars come in three sizes, 4 3/4 x 52, 5 5/8 x 54, and 6 1/2 x 56. For this review, I smoked the first one.

The cigar looks great, beautiful triple cap with flag tail, a nice oily medium brown wrapper with a velvet touch. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium strong wood and barnyard aroma. The rings don’t match, the classic brown Tatuaje ring and the colorful RC ring are too different in style to fit together. If I was in charge, the brown ring would not be on the cigar.

The cold draw is easy, with a spicy raw tobacco flavor and a hint of marzipan. After lighting, I taste pepper, earth, green herbs, and coffee. After that, the cigar gets a strong wood flavor, with some leather and the marzipan sweetness that I tasted in the cold draw. After a third, the cigar tastes like leather, oak with pepper and that mild marzipan. Halfway I taste wood with grass, hay and some citrus. On the background, there’s some leather too. After a third I taste pepper and nuts, walnut to be precise. The pepper is Nicaragua strong, chili pepper. The final few puffs are toasty, woody with still that pepper.

T
the draw is a little on the loose side of perfect but still great, the smoke is thick and luscious. The ash is firm and white. The burn needed a touch up once. The cigar is medium-full bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

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Categories: 90, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , ,

Torano Vault Blend A-008 Robusto

The story goes that the Toraño Family kept a journal of all the blends they toyed with since 1982, even the ones that didn’t make it, and that the journal was kept in a vault. And that in the late zeroes Charlie Toraño was playing around with the old blends his father experimented with, found one he liked but couldn’t get one of the ingredients and fixed that with a second binder from the vulcanic island of Ometepe.


To me that sounds like an amazing marketingstory, straight out of the mind of a marketeer, but of course I can’t prove it. I knew Toraño was having it difficult, so a good story could help. In the end it didn’t and the company got sold to STG/General Cigars. But this blend got released in 2011, before STG swooped Toraño up. The blend consists of a Colorado wrapper from Nicaragua, two binders, one from Ometepe and the other from Jamastran in Honduras. The filler comes from Esteli and Condega in Nicaragua.


The 5×52 cigar comes in a dark, almost black, wrapper which has a bit of a sandpaper touch to it. The foot ring is silver with thin black letters saying Blend A-008 while the main ring is black and silver, with the Toraño logo and name in silver on the black background and VAULT written in black on the silver background. The construction feels good the shape looks good, the cap is good. The cigar has a strong aroma, like tar on an old shed in a sunny day mixed with hay and cows.


After cutting the cigar I taste a strong oak with pepper with a perfect cold draw. And after lighting I taste a strong espresso with some cane sugar. After a centimeter the sugar is gone, I taste some coffee, not as strong as before. I also taste a hint of nutmeg. After a third I taste some sort of sweetness that I can’t explain. It’s not honey, it’s not sugar but it’s nice. The other flavor is wood. Halfway the sweetness disappears and all I taste is a meaty wood. The flavors slowly change into coffee again towards the end.


The draw is just perfect, yet the black and white as is a bit coarse. The smoke is thick but not exactly white, there is some brownish glow in the smoke. The cigar is medium bodied and flavored with a good burn. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I don’t know if these cigars are still made, since Toraño is now part of STG, but I wouldn’t mind another fiver.

Score: 90

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Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Torano | Tags: , , , ,

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Robusto

Indian Motorcycle cigars, weren’t they around during the cigar boom? Indeed, but under the name Indian Tobac but with the same guy behind the wheel, Philip Zanghi, who’s father was once the owner of the Indian Motorcycle Company. Philip brought Rocky Patel in as partner, Rocky bought Philip out and renamed the brand to Rocky Patel Premium Cigars when the time and quality was there, the Indian name disappeared from the cigar scene.

 


Until about 3 years ago, Philip Zanghi has his own factory, De Los Reyes, now on the Dominican Republic and makes several brands like Debonaire and this new Indian Motorcycle cigars in Habano and Maduro. I reviewed the Habano, now its time to smoke the maduro. Made with a multi blend filler from both Nicaragua and the Dominican, a Dominican binder and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

 


The wrapper is dark, leathery and toothy, but it matches well with the Americana ring. Beige and black, with the Indian logo on a red metallic background. I like the red in the ring, it gives it an extra luxurious feel. The cigar feels good, the cap and shape are good. The cigar smells like grass after a rain pour, fresh and pleasant.

 


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is good with a dry wood flavor and a hint of chocolate. After lighting I taste coffee with a little cocoa. After half an inch I taste more of a dry leafy and hay, still with a bittersweet cocoa though. Halfway the cocoa flavored is getting stronger but I also taste a little pepper. The pepper disappears again, I’m back to the wood with the cocoa.

 


The draw is great, the ash is white as can be. The smoke is medium thick, medium full and white. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

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

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Indian Motorcycles | Tags: , , ,

Arganese Maduro Ambassador

This is an oldie, and it fits that I’m smoking it today, on the 12th birthday of my blog. Years ago, I think about a decade ago, I approached Arganese and asked them for a sampler to review and they shipped me some. I did review them back then, but I found one in my humidor so I’m going to give it a redux. The Arganese website is offline, I have no idea if they are still in business.


Gene Arganese iss a businessman, loved cigars, so he started his own factory. The Maduro is made with Dominican binder and filler, wrapped in a Brazilian Mata Fina Maduro wrapper. And I remember that I used to like this cigar a lot, my review back then said I would buy this cigar again.

The wrapper is typical Brazilian Mata Fina, it’s rustic, rough looking, but that’s the type of tobacco. The cigar feels well constructed and looks pretty. The rings are clean, white with golden outlines, the Arganese crest in the middle while the secondary ring has golden letters Maduro Ambassador. Clean and simple, yet clear and pretty.  The cigar has a dark aroma, manure, and dark vegetables.


After cutting I get a great draw, the Maduro sweetness shines through with a little pepper. After lighting, I taste chocolate, sweetness, and coffee. The cigar doesn’t have bold flavors or changes, just a smooth and slow transition to stronger dark chocolate, cedar, and pepper. The final third still has dark chocolate but mainly pepper.

The draw is flawless. The smoke is full and thick. The cigars are smooth with a straight burn. The light gray ash isn’t too firm. The cigar is medium bodied, medium-full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Don’t think they are being produced anymore.

Score: 90

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Categories: 90, Arganese, Arganese Dominicana, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , ,

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