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Steenbok Robusto

Steenbok Robusto. This Honduran puro is a Dutch cigar brand, made at Compania Hondurena de Tabacos in El Paraiso, Honduras. That’s where brands such as Kuuts, Miro, Placeres, and Zapata are made as well. The brand is founded by two cigar aficionados, Johan Loomans and Brigitte Altena, from The Netherlands. The brand was released in 2018. The packaging of the cigars is cool, silver tins containing either the robusto, mini-robusto, or the half corona. The cigars are for sale in The Netherlands only for now.


The blend is made of all Honduran tobacco and with that, it’s one of the few Honduran puros on the market in The Netherlands. The robusto measures 5×50, the classic robusto size. Steenbok Cigars handed us this sample at the Intertabac trade show in Dortmund, Germany last September.


The ring is huge and white. But what makes it stand out is that the brand isn’t printed. The letters are cut out so the wrapper is forming the name of the cigar. Handmade in Honduras is printed though, but in a color very close to the wrapper. The wrapper is bumpy with a few veins. And right over the ring, there is some discoloration due to water drops during fermentation. The construction feels good though. The burned wood aroma is quite strong.


The cold draw is great with a mild coffee and strong tobacco flavor. Once lit, the cigar produces a sweet coffee flavor. Some grassy flavors show up and match the coffee in strength. There’s also a little bit of leather and some pepper. The cigar has quite some sweetness too, and a bit of a dusty aftertaste that is typical for Connecticut Shade. But this cigar doesn’t have a Connecticut Shade wrapper so its a question where that comes from. There’s also a little nuttiness. The flavors also get some wood and herbs. But it’s all mild and sweet. The cigar is not unpleasant but lacks character. After a third, the cigar turns very creamy, with vanilla and some more pepper. And now the cigar is getting more interesting. After two thirds, the flavors are creamy, buttery with wood and pepper. The finale brings a lot of pepper, what a difference from the start


The draw is great, and the cigar produces a good amount of smoke. The burn is great. The ash is firm but dark. The cigar is smooth and balanced. Medium-bodied at best, medium flavored. The start lacks character but the cigar gains traction halfway. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, it’s a nice smooth medium cigar for a very nice price
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Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Steenbok | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Joya de Nicaragua Numero Uno L’Ambassadeur

Joya de Nicaragua Numero Uno L’Ambassadeur. That is a long name for a unique cigar. You can call it the Nicaraguan Cohiba or Trinidad, as the history shares some resemblance. All three were diplomatic gifts before being released commercially years later. The Joya de Nicaragua Numero Uno was released this year, after surfacing as an event only cigar last year. The production is limited to 1500 boxes a year, and only one size is available. That’s this Lonsdale called L’Ambassadeur, which is a reference to the diplomatic history of this cigar.


In the past, the Nicaraguan government used another Joya de Nicaragua cigar as the official gift. That was the Antaño 1970, a strong cigar. With the Numero Uno, they went for a milder cigar. The Connecticut Shade wrapper from Ecuador is much milder tobacco than the strong wrapper and blend from the Antaño. The filler and binder tobaccos are all from Nicaragua.

The pale wrapper looks decent. There is some shine from the oil, thin veins. It’s just a typical thin and brittle Connecticut Shade wrapper. The blue from the big cigar ring pops, it’s a nice contrast from the pale yellowish-brown wrapper. The cigar has a triple cap with a little pigtail. The construction feels good, with the right amount of bounce. The aroma is medium in strength. It has that grassy hay aroma that you can expect from Connecticut Shade wrappers.


The cold draw is fine. It gives a lot of flavor, raw tobacco and raisins. After lighting it’s earthy, coffee, pepper, nutmeg, and a little muted sweetness. Then some slightly harsh grass flavor shows up too, with a hint of milk chocolate. The classic Connecticut Shade mustiness isn’t as strong as in most Connecticut Shade cigars, but it is there, looming on the background. The flavors then evolve to soil, leather, citrus, pepper, and salt. The mouthfeel is a bit creamy. The cigar turns grassy again, with cedar. The mustiness is no longer lingering on the background. Halfway the cigar is creamy with old leather, licorice, and sweetness. And for a while, there is a black licorice flavor. After two thirds, it’s the old leather with spices, pepper, cedar, and that typical Connecticut mustiness. In the final part, the cigar is creamy with toast, cedar, sweetness, and pepper.


The draw is fantastic. And since thinner ring cigars are harder to roll than the ticker cigars, a compliment to the rollers is well deserved. The ash is white. And the smoke is decent, both in thickness and volume. The burn is good. This cigar is mild to medium-bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, it’s not suitable for my palate.

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

Siempre Sun Grown Toro

Siempre Sun Grown Toro. Earlier this year, I was approached by one of our contacts who’s working for a European cigar distributor. His question was if I ever heard of Dapper Cigar Company. And honestly, the answer was no. So I googled them, and the brand sparked my interest. They provide a lot of information about the blends on their website. As cigar media, that’s something we love. That cigar distributor decided not to take on Dapper Cigar Company. But another distributor in The Netherlands did, Kelch Trading introduced Dapper Cigars on the Dutch market.


The Siempre Sun Grown Toro sports a Sun Grown Sumatra wrapper from Ecuador. The binder is Connecticut Broadleaf from the United States. The filler comes from Honduras and three regions of Nicaragua. Those are Ometepe, Jalapa, and Esteli. On the website, Dapper Cigar Company even discloses the growers of the wrappers and some of the farms where the wrappers are grown. That kind of information is often hard to, or impossible, to find. The Siempre Sun Grown line was introduced in 2016.


The cigar looks great. The toothy wrapper is dark and oily. The triple cap is flawless. And the orange and gold ring just pops from that dark background. The cigar feels well constructed, we couldn’t find any plugs or soft spots on the touch. The aroma of the cigar is like charred wood and farmyard.


The cold draw is great. The flavors are meaty and earthy before the cigar is lit, with pepper on the tongue. Once lit, the cigar is earthy, spicy, and sweet. Add in some coffee, and that’s the flavor profile in the first puffs. The earthiness and pepper are the main flavors. And the flavors are meaty in mouthfeel. Slowly some spices and dry wood show up too. The pepper mellows out a little bit. Then suddenly it’s espresso with pepper and some citrus acidity. The pepper gets a bit stronger after a third, with a thick, creamy mouthfeel. There’s pepper, spices, wood, coffee, and earthiness. The pepper has a little bite every now and then. After two thirds, a leathery, peppery, cocoa flavor shows up as well. The cigar picks up in strength, power, and pepper. Then the coffee flavor returns as well.


The draw is good. The ash is a little dark though. The burn was alright, although it needed a touch up now and then. The smoke is medium thick and full. This cigar is balanced, although sometimes the pepper has a little bite. The cigar is medium to medium-full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is three hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I liked it. It matched my profile.

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Categories: 90, Dapper Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Montecristo Tubos 2003

Montecristo Tubos 2003. This is a gift from a collector and trader of Cuban cigars. The man is a friend of Ministry of Cigars, and he donated a few aged and vintage cigars for us to review. This particular cigar was made in 2003 and comes from the collection of a Greek collector, who has a very well designed aging system for his cigars.

Montecristo was founded in 1935 when Alonso Menendez bought the Particulares Factory and the two brands they made: Particulares and Byron. Then he changed the name into Montecristo. Menendez’s favorite book was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Later on, he bought the H. Upmann factory. And that gave birth to Hunters & Frankau, the exclusive Habanos distributor in the UK. Hunters were the exclusive distributor for Montecristo, Frankau had the rights to H. Upmann. They merged and are still active today. The Corona Grande in the tubos was released somewhere in the 1970s and is still in production today.

The cigar looks good. Colorado Claro in color, no veins that make it unappealing. The wrapper is soft like velvet. The ring is simple, classic. Just a small brown ring with the white Montecristo logo. The aroma is amazing. Strong, cocoa and hay but mainly cocoa.


The cold draw is a bit tight. 2003 is a year where the tobacco wasn’t rushed through fermentation yet, but it was at the end of a period where a lot of new rollers were hired. And with new, unexperienced rollers and not enough quality control, the early 2000s are notorious for having a bad draw. The cold draw has a mild leathery and strong hay flavor. From the moment the cigar is lit, the flavors are soil and coffee with a hint of marzipan sweetness. After a few puffs, leather shows up. A centimeter in, the cigar tastes like leather with chocolate. There’s still some of the marzipan sweetness lingering around in the aftertaste. The cigar than turns to leather with toast and some salt. The flavors are mild, smooth and mild. This is a great morning cigar after a light breakfast. Halfway there’s a strong hazelnut flavor, with toast, leather, pepper, and green herbs. There’s chocolate too. The final third has pepper, wood, leather, toast, and nuts. It’s still smooth but the flavors are much stronger than in the beginning.


The draw is a bit on the tight side, but still acceptable. The ash is light gray and quite dense. But not firm at all, it breaks off easily. The smoke is thick for a Cuban cigar. And white. The burn is very straight. This is a medium-bodied, medium flavored cigar. It starts out mild but grows to medium-full flavored. The smoke time is one hour and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? With 16 years of age? I would love to.

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

CAO Nicaragua Tipitata

CAO Nicaragua Tipitata. CAO started with country-inspired blends before the company founder Cano Ozgener sold the brand to tobacco giant Scandinavian Tobacco Group. And STG is the parent of General Cigars, so CAO is now part of that family. When STG moved CAO from Tennessee to their headquarters in Virginia, some of the staff refused to move and started Crowned Heads. That’s when Rick Rodriguez was promoted by General Cigars to be the blender and face of the CAO brand. And he continued with the country inspired series.

Most cigar smokers have seen, heard about the CAO Brazil, CAO America, CAO Colombia and the CAO Italia. And probably smoked a fair amount as they are very popular. So for the next of the CAO country-inspired blends, Rodriguez went back to the CAO roots: CAO Nicaragua. The cigar utilizes Nicaraguan tobacco from different regions in the filler and binder. But it’s not a Nicaraguan puro. The blend worked better with a wrapper from Jamastran, Honduras. Jamastran borders the Jalapa valley, it’s just on the Honduran side of the border.

The colorado colored wrapper has a nice shine. But it also has some veins. The cigar feels well constructed. The cap is decent. The ring is in accordance to the country inspired series. The same shape, with Nicaraguan blue and white. The details and letters are in gold, with a red CAO logo. The consistency of the rings in the series is good. The aroma is strong. Cedar, barnyard, sheep and hay is what comes to mind.

The cold draw is flawless. Peppery raisins are the flavor that is released from the cold draw. The start is classic. Coffee, leather, some cinnamon-like spices, and pepper. Basic, yet well balanced and nice. This is not a front-loaded cigar that blows you away from the start. Then the flavors change to more of dry leaves, mushroom flavor with leather and grass. There’s also some sweetness, and after a centimeter, there is a cedar flavor as well. The flavors are a bit dusty and musty though. All of a sudden the cigar has a mild gingerbread flavor with more sweetness and some citrus. Halfway I taste some vanilla with cedar and spices. The final third has a minty fresh aftertaste. And nuts, with cedar and pepper.

The ash is white, dense and firm. The smoke is decent in volume and thickness. The draw is great. The burn is straight. This cigar is medium-bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nah
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Categories: 90, CAO, Nicaraguan cigars, STG Nicaragua | Tags: , , ,

Kafie 1901 Sumatra Robusto

Kafie 1901 Sumatra Robusto. The Kafie 1901 brand was founded by Dr. Gaby Kafie. Dr. Kafie’s roots are lay in Honduras, where he was born. His ancestors moved to Latin America from Europe in 1901, that’s why 1901 is prominent in the name. Dr. Gaby Kafie moved to the United States and became a physician. Yet, his Honduran roots, the family history in tobacco and his love for cigars and coffee brought him back to Honduras. He started his Tabacalera, Tabacalera Kafie. That factory now includes a cellophane making facility, cigar production, and a box factory. It’s Dr. Kafie’s mission to keep the cigar culture and tradition alive in Honduras. With a decreasing number of factories remaining, that’s an important reason for him to promote Honduran cigars worldwide.

In 2015, the brand released the third Kafie 1901 line. That is the Kafie 1901 Sumatra. It followed the Kafie 1901 Don Fernando Maduro and the Kafie 1901 Connecticut. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan and Dominican filler. The binder is grown locally, in Honduras by the Reyes family. The wrapper is Sumatra, but not from the Indonesian island with the same name. Even though the tobacco originated in South East Asia, seeds were brought to Ecuador. And that’s why there’s so many Ecuadorian Sumatra on the market. From the four sizes available,


The cigar is good looking. A Colorado colored wrapper with a thin vein. It feels like velvet. The head is perfect, beautiful round and nice. The burgundy and gold ring is classic and clear. The name is clear, which blend is clear, the ring gives you the information you need. The cigar has a medium-strong aroma. Its a mixture of hay with the inside of a barn after the animals left to graze outside.

The cold draw is great with a spicy raw tobacco flavor. Once lit, the cigar overpowers with strong coffee and spice. There’s slight citrus on the background and in the aftertaste. After a centimeter, the flavors change. The citrus, spice, and pepper remain. The coffee mellows out and is replaced with leather. And there’s a hint of sweetness. Slowly some salt comes in play as well. Halfway the cigar changes to wood with salt, pepper, and licorice. It’s a sudden change. A few puffs later, a little cocoa shows up on the background. After two thirds, the coffee is back. With spice, pepper, and sweetness. The chocolate, wood, and leather are gone. In the final third, the cigar gets a little more pepper but also a slight harshness that doesn’t do the cigar any good.


The draw is fantastic. And the smoke is white and thick. The light-colored ash is nice and firm. This cigar is full-flavored. The body is medium to medium-full. The smoke time is one hour and twenty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? A fiver would be nice

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Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Kafie, Tabacalera La Union | Tags: , , ,

Blanco Above & Beyond Unwilling

Blanco Above & Beyond Unwilling. David Blanco, the CEO of Blanco Cigars, has a background in the military. Just as his father. And that background prompted them to create a cigar for the heroes that sacrificed all. For those that paid the ultimate price. Not just in the armed forces, but also in the civil service. As a former deputy sheriff and Chicago Fire Department paramedic, David Blanco knows first hand about those sacrifices. On top of his civil service, he served close to 30 years in the American Army. Both in active duty, National Guard and Reservist. He served 18 months in the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Enduring Freedom which brought him to Afghanistan. And at the same time, his father was serving in Iraq. Currently, Blanco is still an active jumpmaster for the United States Army Reserve. He joins veterans at World War II memorial jumps over Europe every chance he gets.


The Blanco Above and Beyond cigars honor those heroes. Part of the proceeds of the cigars goes to charities that help families of fallen service members, or survivors of tragedies while serving. And the cigars represent that. When a service member gets killed, the family members get an American flag, neatly folded into a triangle. All for sizes of the Above & Beyond are torpedos so that the head of the cigars can get a triangle-shaped blue ring with white stars. That resembles the American flag that the family members of fallen servicemen and women get. The cigar itself is a rebranded classic from Blanco Cigars, the American Legion cigar. The wrapper comes from Nicaragua. It’s a Rosado Habano wrapper. The binder is Honduran. The fillers come from both Nicaragua and Honduras.


The cigar has a beautiful reddish-brown wrapper. The point of the torpedo is extremely pointy and sharp for a cigar, The black and silver ring has the American flag. The Blanco name is written in the colors of the fire brigade, police and paramedics. Their logos are on the back of the ring as well. There is a text printed as well, probably the pledge of alliance but since we are not American, we don’t know for sure. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong. Wood, horses and a little ammonia comes to mind. After a third, it’s pepper, toast, spices, sweetness but now with wood as well. The mouthfeel is quite dry.


The cold draw is loose. The pre-draw is a little dry, with nutmeg and slightly wet hay. But those flavors are faint. Once lit, there is a bitter grassy flavor with spices and pepper. Not unpleasant, but quite unrefined. Soon, the cigar gets more balanced and the flavors get more rounded. The nutmeg and spices start to shine through. When some sweetness shows up, the bitterness fades away. After half a centimeter, the cigar has a sweet toasted flavor, with cinnamon and pepper. Halfway the cigar has a salty, licorice flavor with toast, spices, and pepper. The cinnamon-like sweetness returns, with wood, salt, licorice, and toast. The licorice flavor remains strong, with spices, wood, and pepper.


The smoke is thick and plentiful. The draw is good. The burn is a little off but doesn’t have to be corrected. The cigar is medium to medium full-bodied. The flavors are medium-full as well, with enough evolution to keep the cigar interesting all the way. The smoke time is two hours fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, once in a while

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Categories: 90, Blanco Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , , ,

ACID Kuba Arte

Drew Estate Acid Kuba Arte. A limited edition Drew Estate Acid to commemorate 20 years of Drew Estate Acid Kuba. And they come packed in pieces of art. Water towers containing 20 cigars and a boveda pack. All the water towers are hand pained by New York based street artists. That is a tribute to the art side that Drew Estate always had, from day one. The company was founded in Brooklyn, and the 5 artists all have roots in that burrough of New York as well. Back in the day, Jonathan Drew was sitting on a rooftop in Brooklyn, and he saw water towers and graffiti. Now he brings it back together.

The cigar is infused. Premium tobaccos have been used though. From a beautiful American grown broadleaf Maduro wrapper to the hearty Nicaraguan fillers. Add am Indonesian binder and you have the blend. Drew Estate uses a unique infusion method, one of the best kept secrets in the industry to turn the cigars into the ACID lines. People love it, or hate it. There is no in-between. They sell like hotcakes, yet a lot of natural cigar smokers look down on the acid lines.


The cigar looks great. A dark, oily wrapper. No visible veins. The cigar is slightly box-pressed. The ring is in graffiti style, and mentions it’s a limited edition. The aroma is strong, once removed from the cellophane you can immediately smell a chemical aroma that is unusual for cigars. It reminded us of toilet cakes, liquid soap and flowers. The cigar looks and feels well constructed. While wetting the cap, before cutting it, the chemical taste is pretty strong.


The cold draw is pretty good. The wrapper leaves a sweet flavor on the lips, the tobacco itself has some pepper. The first puffs are overpowered by the sweetness of the wrapper. The unnatural sweetness. Once the initial shock of the unnatural sweetness is gone, it’s not that bad. Sweetness, with some spices and pepper. A little coffee shows up, and the pepper mellows out. The floral, chemical sweetness is still very dominant. There are hints of dried leaves and leather on the background as well. After a third it’s still sweet, floral sweet, with pepper, leather, and toast on the background. Halfway the sweetness is at a level where it’s actually pleasant, although still a bit too strong. The flavors remain the same, with that dominant sweetness, some pepper, leather and toast.


The draw is fantastic. And the smoke is plentiful, like with the natural premium cigars from the same factory. The light colored ash isn’t very firm. The cigar is medium bodied, yet full flavored although the flavor isn’t very natural.

Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer natural cigars but this wasn’t bad

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

Debonaire Maduro First Degree

Debonaire is the brand of Philip Zanghi. Zanghi first made his steps into the cigar industry in the 1990s in a partnership with Rocky Patel. They were both new to the business. With Zanghi’s connection with Indian Motorcycles, they formed Indian Tobac. In a later stage, Patel bought Zanghi’s shares. Zanghi ventured into other parts of the tobacco industry.

But returned to cigars in 2011 with Debonaire. First only with the Habano, but in 2014 he released the Debonaire Maduro too. And now there’s a third blend, Daybreak, with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.

The Debonaire Maduro is made at the De Los Reyes factory on the Dominican Republic. That factory is owned by the Reyes family. The 5th generation Reyes has entered the business, and that says a lot about the long lasting love affair with tobacco. For the filler Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco is used. The binder is also from the Dominican. The wrapper comes from the USA. It’s a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro.

The dark wrapper is toothy and rough. It could easily be mistaken for Brazilian Mata Fina by the looks. But the aroma is good and strong. There is a strong earthy smell to the cigar with some pepper. The shape is great and makes the cigar look cute. That little tampered foot eases the rough look on the wrapper. It’s like an ugly kid with a cute outfit that makes it adorable. The construction feels good.


The cold draw is surprisingly good. With that tampered foot, a tighter cold draw was expected. The flavors are very peppery. The first hit is a strong earthy coffee. Once the cigar opens up, the Maduro sweetness shines through too. There’s also a hint of extra dark chocolate. That chocolate is slowly becoming the dominant flavor. The flavors remain practically the same all throughout the cigar. The bigger sizes will probably offer more variety in flavor. The finale brings strong bittersweet chocolate with some wood.

The draw is great. The smoke is thick and full. The color is a bit off-white. The ash is quite dark. The burn was straight until one side hit a big vein. Then it gets crooked and had to be corrected. This is a medium-full flavored and bodied cigar. The smoke time is an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, for the occasions where I don’t have a lot of time.

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Categories: 90, De Los Reyes, Debonaire, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Patoro Serie P Jeroboam

Patoro Serie P Jeroboam. This is a Swiss cigar brand. But the cigars are Dominican made. They are made at De Los Reyes. Other brands that are made at that factory are Puros de Hostos, Indian Motorcycle, Debonaire, Saga and more. Ministry of Cigars reviewed the Saga Short Tales Tomo VI, Debonaire Habano, Debonaire Maduro, and the Indian Motorcycle Maduro from the same factory. And now the Patoro Serie P Jeroboam, which is a perfecto shaped cigar. The filler and binder are Dominican. The wrapper is Cameroon according to the Patoro website. But there are a few vitolas exclusively for the American market. And those are wrapped in a Brazilian Maduro wrapper.

When we bought this cigar, we didn’t know anything about it. It was recommended by a retailer in The Netherlands. He had got them in, we never smoked it, so we bought a few to review. Something unknown, odd shape, why not try it? With a price tag of 11 euro, it’s not a cheap cigar and it’s probably hard to find now. Patoro is no longer available on the Dutch market as the distributor stopped selling premium long fillers (again). And no other distributor has taken on the brand yet.

The shape looks cool. Because of the curve at the foot of the cigar, it looks a bit like the Opus X Chili Pepper. Yet not as curved as that cigar. The ring is simple, glossy orange with a P and a star. No further information. The oily wrapper has a few veins. The construction feels good. The aroma is good. A mixture of chocolate, pepper, and wood.

For the shape, the cold draw is surprisingly easy. And it tastes peppery yet sweet. Once lit, the flavors are coffee with sweetness and leather. Then some nice spices show up. All-spice, cinnamon, and gingerbread. All quite sweet but pleasantly sweet. The mouthfeel is dry. The flavors remain the same in the first half, but then wood shows up. Still with the spice and some pepper. The sweetness remains strong as well. Slowly there’s more leather and even a little vanilla.

The draw is great. The burn is beautiful. And the light-colored ash is firm. The smoke is nice white and plentiful. This is a medium-full bodied cigar. The flavors are also medium-full. And well rounded. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? 11 euro is a bit too high priced. If it was 8 euro I would not hesitate.

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Categories: 90, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Patoro | Tags: , , , , ,

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