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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: , , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dalay Affentanz Hell

The German retailer Dalay is owned and operated by real cigar aficionados. And ones that have the guts to take bold decisions. One of those decisions was to create its own cigar brand. The brand carries the same name as the shop, Dalay. It is sold all over Germany. And in 2017, two limited editions were released under the name ‘affentanz’. That’s German for monkey dance. Another bold decision to use that name. In the current political climate, some might consider that racist.

The Dalay Affentanz Hell is the Connecticut Shade version of the Affentanz. There is only one size available, a 5×52 belicoso with a very sharp head. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Brazil. The binder is Dominican. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade. The cigars have a price tag of €9,50.

The wrapper is light, it has that yellow-brown color of Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade which I find unappealing. The construction feels good, but the cigar looks a bit off with the steep point. The rings are cool, with a funny peeled banana logo and a monkey on the back. The woody aroma is strong.

The cold draw is great. I taste spicy licorice and pepper, but with that faint Connecticut Shade mustiness which I hate. The first puffs are harsh, strong. I taste coffee, leather, and earthiness. The leather is the most pronounced flavor. There is also a little grass, plus some sweetness from Brazilian tobacco. The flavors evolve to more wood with leather. But there is some sweetness and even a creamy chocolate flavor. All slightly harsh though, the flavors aren’t rounded. After a third, the flavors get more refined. I taste leather, chocolate, nuts, grass, and sweetness. In the final third, the dreaded Connecticut Shade flavor shows up, but it is faint. The flavors remain the same until the end, except for growing pepper.


The draw is great. As is the smoke. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The smoke time is one hour and thirty minutes

.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s still a Connecticut Shade cigar, but not a bad one

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Categories: 90, Dalay, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Zauberberg | Tags: , , , , ,

Gurkha Ghost Gold Shadow

Gurkha Ghost Gold Shadow. Gurkha is a controversial brand. For most people, it is a ‘love it or hate it’ brand. And when you have to believe the social media, most cigar smokers are in the hate it section. Yet, the sales numbers don’t seem to show that, as the brand is selling like hotcakes. Our personal experience is more negative than positive. Yet, as cigar geeks with an open mind, we give each new blend a try. The regular Gurkha Ghost is a good cigar, so maybe this follow-up Gurkha Ghost Gold is good too.


The cigars are made at PDR in the Dominican Republic. It has the same filler and binder as the regular Gurkha Ghost. The fillers are from the Dominican, Nicaragua, and the United States. The wrapper is replaced. Instead of the dark Brazilian Arapiraca, Gurkha uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper for the Ghost Gold blend. And as it turns out, it’s an updated version of an old blend. That means it will be grandfathered in if the FDA gets their way. The FDA is currently trying to regulate premium cigars and it will be close to impossible to have new blends on the market. Since this is an old blend, it would be grandfathered.


The cigar looks great. The foot is closed. The ring is the same as the regular Ghost line, yet with gold instead of silver. The wrapper is dark and very oily. It’s almost glossy. The cigar has the right sponginess. The triple cap is beautiful. The aroma is dark, hay with charred wood.


The wrapper is quite salty. And the cold draw is a bit tights because of the closed foot. The flavors are raw tobacco and salt. Once lit the draw is fine. The flavors are wood, salt, leather, earthy and coffee from the start. There is some sweetness at the background as well. The sweetness becomes stronger, and a little creamy. There’s a mild chocolate flavor to the sweetness too. There’s some pepper as well. So far, this cigar hits almost every section of the flavor wheel in the diagram below. And all within the first ten minutes. Then it turns to nuts and wood, with spices. This cigar has a very dynamic start. The chocolate sweetness remains while the cigar gets more peppery and spicy, with some hay flavors as well. The wood is still there, with leather. After a third, it’s nutty and woody with leather and pepper. The pepper is growing. The mouthfeel is dry. The final third starts out with nuts, salt, spices, pepper, and leather.


The draw is great. The smoke is good but could be a little thicker. The burn needs corrections every now and then. The dark gray ash isn’t really firm. This cigar is medium-full, both in body and flavor. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes. Is it better than the regular Gurkha Ghost? Not in my book, but this is still an enjoyable cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? Every once in a while

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

Charatan Robusto

Tor Imports is one of the several distributors of premium cigars in the United Kingdom. Probably the most important independent distributor of New World cigars. They carry a whole range of well-known brands, but they also have a private label blend. Not just cigar, but also pipe tobacco. The name of the brand? Charatan, house of Edgeworth. Tor Imports owner Scott Vines shared some samplers with Ministry of Cigars during the 2018 Intertabac Trade show. A few were saved for review purposes.

The cigars are made at the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. And there’s a similarity with the Tobacco Lords for Robert Graham 1874. Not coincidentally, as Tor Imports is a supplier of Robert Graham. And imports and distributes the Tobacco Lords cigars in the United Kingdom. Tor Imports didn’t reveal a lot about the blend. After online searches, we believe that this cigar is a Nicaraguan puro.

The first thing that stands out is the ring. White with gold and a very Davidoff feel to it. Which was copied by MBombay’s MQBA as well. And because of the dots around the logo, there’s some Rocky Patel in there as well. The Colorado colored wrapper is a bit dry. The different color of the fillers can be seen clearly in the foot of the cigar. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong. It’s strong hay and straw smell.

The cold draw is a bit tight, with a grass and hay taste. A little spicy as well. From the start, the cigar is nutty, earthy, and toasty. Some sweetness shows up too and there is also some grassiness. The flavors are smooth, not very outspoken. But they are there and they are good. After a third, some pepper shows up. It’s earthy, mildly spicy, with some sweetness and nuts. The nut flavor is mild though. The flavors are all well balanced. The nuts disappear halfway, it’s now mainly earthy with pepper and some acidity. Near the end, the nuttiness returns.

The draw is on the tight side of good. The smoke is decent. The ash is light colored and firm. The burn is straight and slow. This cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The cigar is nice, yet not very exciting. The smoke time is an incredible two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I will. A single every now and then

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

Jas Sum Kral Nuggs Habano

Jas Sum Kral Nuggs Habano. In the last few years, more and more scientific research is showing the positive effects of Cannabidiol. That is one of the two main components of marijuanaIt is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis, but not the one that gets you high. That’s the THC. But it is the part of the marijuana plant that has the medicinal benefits, and scientific studies are proving that. Since it’s getting legal in more and more states in the United States, and countries worldwide, it was a matter of time before cigar manufacturers started to experiment. But spraying cigars with CBD oil is ineffective and resulted in unsmokeble cigars. That’s when Jas Sum Kral owner Riste Riatevski hired a laboratory and a chemist to completely re-engineer the process. With success, as they managed to break it down and infuse cigars without altering the flavor, yet remain the positive effects of CBD. And it’s patented, so Jas Sum Kral is the only company that can make cigars this way.

Jas Sum Kral released the Jas Sum Kral Nuggs. That is a cigar with its unique CBD infusion technique. So unique that even the needles that distribute the CBD in the cigar had to be designed by the company and those are patented too. According to Jas Sum Kral, the CBD can’t be detected by any modern equipment nor by sniffing dogs. And every single batch is tested by a third-party laboratory. The blend is not disclosed officially, but is the same as for the Nuggs Maduro, except for the wrapper. That means an Indonesian binder and Nicaraguan fillers. It’s only available in a 5×48 Robusto for now.

The first noticeable thing is the cellophane. It’s cut and that is done so all the cigars can be injected with the CDB. Jas Sum Kral created special trays, all cigars arrive at the laboratory in a vertical position so they can be injected with the CDB solution without human handling. That saves time and cost. The aqua green ring has the golden Jas Sum Kral logo but the print quality could be better. It’s such a detailed ring, it deserves a better quality finish. The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper has a few veins. The closed foot, something Jas Sum Kral is known for, is absent. But that is a result of the CDB injection, closed feet weren’t possible. The cigar feels good, well filled. The aroma is strong, hay and barnyard.

 

Because I was traveling light, I could not bring a cutter. I used my fingernail to cut the cigar. The cold draw is perfect with a mild sweet hay taste. The cigar has a dry taste, leather, soil, and almonds. The cigar gets a little sweet with grass and hay as well. After a centimeter, there is a slight bitterness, medicinal like. The marzipan like sweetness gets a little stronger. There’s soil, leather, wood, and sweetness. After a third, pepper shows up too. The bitterness gets stronger, to a level that it’s slightly unpleasant. The bitterness comes and goes. There’s also some gingerbread flavor. In the final third, the bitterness is gone

 

The draw is fantastic. The ash is white, dense and firm. The smoke is good, nice and thick. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. The smoke time is an hour and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If it was better priced.

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

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.

number90

Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Maria Manchini | Tags: , , , ,

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.

number90

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.

number90

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

number90

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

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