91

Antigua Esteli Segovia Maduro Toro.

Antigua Esteli Segovia Maduro Toro. The first time we ever saw or heard the brand was on social media. At first, we figured it would be one of those private labels again that try to make a few bucks before disappearing into the swamp. The swamp where many other small private labels have been buried over the years. But the more we looked into Antigua Esteli, the more we were intrigued. And the more we wanted to try one of those cigars. We connected with owner and founder Art Garcia and learned more about the brand. It’s more than just a simple private label. Garcia runs his own crew at the factory, his rollers, blenders and buys the tobacco himself. In September we finally met at the Intertabac trade show and weaseled a few cigars so we could finally smoke them


We scored the Antigua Esteli Segovia Maduro Toro. That’s a 6×56 cigar, made in Nicaragua. The fillers and binder are all Nicaraguan. The tobacco comes from four different regions in Nicaragua. The wrapper comes from the San Andres region in Mexico. The shape is unusual, it’s not fully box-pressed, it’s not round but it’s semi box-pressed.


The cigar looks beautiful. An evenly dark, smooth and oily wrapper. Great shape with a triple cap. The cigar feels well constructed. The ring is detailed, with tobacco fields, the logo. And both the American and Nicaraguan flags in a banner combining the two countries. The secondary ring says Segovias Maduro. The aroma is strong, barnyard, wood, and forest come to mind.


The cold draw is easy, and it leaves a peppery flavor on the lips. A tingling sensation. Add a raw tobacco flavor to it, and that’s what the cold draw tastes like. Once lit, there is a mix of coffee, leather, soil, spices, and pepper. The bitterness of the coffee is a nice contrast with the creaminess of the mouthfeel. Soon it’s more coffee with leather and spices. There’s also a bit of citrus, and the mouthfeel remains creamy. After a third, it’s a toasty coffee flavor with wood, spices, and pepper. Still creamy though. The creaminess makes the flavors feel silky smooth. The final third starts with ice cream without the numbing cold of ice cream. Vanilla sweetness, cream, and roasted coffee beans. Then the coffee returns, with way more pepper than before.


The draw is great, and the burn is straight as an arrow. The ash is white, but a bit brittle. The cigar produces a lot of smoke. The flavors are all smooth, round, and soft. Yet medium to medium-full in flavors, and medium in strength. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will
number91

Categories: 91, Antigua Esteli, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Condega Serie F Maduro Robusto

The Condega brand was founded by Eduardo Fernandez. He came into the business in 1998 as a tobacco grower and years later he founded the brand Condega. The brand was particularly popular in Spain because of the price-quality point, but it was also sold in the United States. But since Fernandez, famous for his Aganorsa leaf, is more interested in growing tobacco than selling cigars, the brand never really took off outside of Spain. And that’s where the Spanish tobacco distributor Gesinta comes in. Their premium cigar division, Casa del Tabaco, purchased the brand from Fernandez for the international markets. In the last few years, the brand is quickly expanding distribution to other European countries, Africa, and the Middle East. Fernandez still holds the rights for Condega on the American market.


The Serie F Maduro only comes in one vitola. That’s the 5×50 Robusto. And it’s the only Condega cigar that isn’t a Nicaraguan puro. The Maduro wrapper comes from Mexico. It’s grown in the San Andres region. The binder and wrappers are all Aganorsa leaf from Nicaragua. The Condega cigars are known for their great price-quality point. In The Netherlands this cigar is 5 euro, in Germany, it’s even cheaper with a price tag of €4,70. And that for a Maduro robusto, packed in a box instead of a bundle.


The wrapper looks good, beautiful Maduro darkness. And it’s natural darkness, as you can see darker smears, it’s not evenly dark. The cigar looks well constructed, with a triple cap. It has the right amount of bounce when squeezed gently. There aren’t thick, ugly veins on the wrapper, so the cigar looks smooth. And the aroma is medium strong with stable, barnyard and wood smells.


The cold draw is smooth. The flavors are pepper, wood, and hay. Right from the start, the cigar is sweet with coffee, pepper, and earthiness. But without the bitterness that often comes with a strong coffee flavor at the beginning of a cigar. There’s a hint of spices too. And then suddenly a lot happens, wood, coffee, spices, pepper, sweetness, and hay. The mouthfeel is quite creamy. The flavors are smooth yet full. After that, the explosion of flavors mellows out, it’s now wood with some spices and a bit of pepper. Halfway the cigar gets very nutty, with sweetness and pepper. There are hints of grass and wood too, but those are faint. The creamy nuttiness is the dominant flavor. The mellow, creamy nuttiness continues to be the main flavor of the cigar, with wood and sweetness. There’s also a faint leather flavor as well.


The draw is great, just the right amount of resistance. The cigar is full-flavored, yet medium to medium full-bodied. The light-colored ash isn’t firm. The smoke could be a little thicker though, but just a bit. The burn had to be corrected once. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes. The cigar is well balanced, smooth and full of flavor.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box

number91

Categories: 91, Condega, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , , ,

Neya F8 Gringo Ligero Typhoon

Neya F8 Gringo Ligero Typhoon. Roberto P. Duran has been in tobacco all of his life, and so have his ancestors. The family roots in tobacco trace back to the 1920s in Cuba. The Robert P. Duran brand might not be one of the first brands that pop up when you speak to cigar smokers in Europe or the USA. But the brand is very popular in South East Asia. It has a strong fan base in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Ministry of Cigars joined the CSWC qualifier in Kuala Lumpur. Inclusive of the ticket was a 5 count cigar caddy and a few cigars. This cigar, the Neya F8 Gringo was one of the cigars included in the package. It’s made by Nicatabaco and Robert P. Duran.

The cigar has an Ecuadorian Corojo Maduro wrapper. The fillers and binders are grown in Nicaragua. The wrapper is most likely from Duran’s own Azan plantation. The Duran family grows tobacco in Ecuador. The line was released in 2014, shortly after the Neya Classic line. The F8 is supposed to be the amped-up version of the Neya Classic. It replaces the Ecuador Habano wrapper with this Corojo Maduro. There are seven lines available, we are reviewing the 5×58 Gringo

The cigar looks good. A dark leathery wrapper with tooth and some veins. A beautiful deep blue ring with golden details and the drawing of a lady. The secondary ring shows the F8 logo and says Ligero typhoon. That promises some strength. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong. Barnyard and burned wood is the smell of the cigar.

The cold draw is fantastic. And gives a slightly sweet espresso flavor. After lighting, the espresso is strong. The right amount of bitterness softened with some sweetness. It’s a great start. There’s also a hint of leather. The flavors remind me of old school coffee-flavored candy that I used to like as a kid. There’s also a little bit of pepper and some fruity acidity. After a while, the flavors change to toast, coffee, leather with that fruity aftertaste. Slowly the flavors become a little less strong and a little spicier. After a third, a mild vanilla taste is noticeable next to the spice and pepper. The flavors are strong yet mellow and smooth. With a creamy mouthfeel. The vanilla disappears again. Due to the big ring gauge, the cigar isn’t very dynamic, but the coffee, leather, wood, pepper, sweetness, and citrus mixture is very nice.


The draw is fantastic. The ash is white and firm. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness. The burn is good. This is a strong cigar, yet balanced. Full-bodied, full-flavored. The smoke time is three hours and twenty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want a box
number91

Categories: 91, Neya, Nicaraguan cigars, Nicatabaco | Tags: , , , ,

Rocky Patel LB1 Robusto

Rocky Patel LB1 Robusto. Rocky Patel makes cigars in Honduras and Nicaragua. And even though he started out in Honduras, last few years he focussed on Nicaragua for production. Almost all of the new blends came out of his Tavicusa factory in Esteli. That factory is owned by Rocky Patel and his partner Amilcar Perez. The Honduran production is made at El Paraiso, a factory owned by Plasencia. But Patel has a special relationship, which allows them to use his own methods, his own people and his own standards for his brands. It’s sort of a lease deal.


This Rocky Patel LB1 is made at that El Paraiso factory. And it’s one of the two new blends that were recently released, made in Honduras. It’s quite normal for cigars to have a factory code during the blending process, and for the LB1 Patel decided to keep that factory code as the name. The cigar is made with tobacco from Honduras and Nicaragua in the filler. The binder is also Nicaraguan. The Nicaraguan tobaccos come from Patel’s farm in Esteli. The wrapper is a Habano wrapper from Ecuador.

The cigar is a looker. A very dark yet smooth wrapper. But the foot has been cut by a drunken torcedor. When placed on a table, foot down, it leans like the Tower of Pisa. The wrapper is evenly in color and smooth. The white and copper-colored ring contrasts the darkness well. The ring is quite simple, yet a little too overwhelming. There’s too many lines, stars, shapes so it makes the ring distracting. The barnyard and manure aroma is quite strong.


The cold draw is a bit though. The flavors are leather and pepper, spicy. But it feels a bit like wet leather, making the draw a bit draggy. Once lit, its pepper and cinnamon toast with espresso. The flavors then evolve to a mixture of soil, leather, coffee, sweetness, and a hint of citrus. The cigar is mellow, and the flavors settle for cinnamon toast with a little pepper, sweetness, and grass. Halfway some wood, more soil, and leather show up, but still with the spiced toast and sweetness.


The draw is good. Better than the cold draw. The white smoke is thick and plentiful. The salt and pepper colored ash is quite firm. The cigar is mellow and well balanced. Where the darkness of the wrapper would suggest it’s a strong, full-bodied cigar, it’s actually not. It’s a medium-bodied, medium flavored, balanced and smooth cigar. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, I think so.

number91

Categories: 91, El Paraiso, Honduran cigars, Rocky Patel | Tags: , , , , ,

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Robusto

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Robusto. A motorcycle brand with history. And history in cigars as well, as this is not the first time the name is connected to cigars. The first time it appeared was in the mid-1990s when business partners Philip Zanghi and Rocky Patel founded Indian Tabac. Zanghi’s father was once the owner of the Indian Motorcycle brand, and Philip had the right to make cigars under the name. When Zanghi sold his stock to Patel and left the cigar industry, the name remained with Patel. When the company started carrying Patel’s name, the Indian Tabac cigars were slowly discontinued.


And then Zanghi came back in the scene. First with Debonaire and then he regained the rights for Indian Motorcycles when it comes to tobacco. There are currently three lines. The first in a Habano, the second a Maduro. And there’s also a Connecticut version, which is exclusively for Canada for now. The cigars are made at De Los Reyes factory in the Dominican Republic. The wrapper is Connecticut Broadleaf. The binder comes from the Dominican. The filler is a blend of Central American tobaccos.


This cigar starts with bonus points for looks. The wrapper is dark as night, oily, leathery and smooth. And the ring is amazing. Beige outwearing, smudged like a motorcycle mechanic with oily hands touched it. And then the Indian logo with a red glossy metallic background. This cigar is quite a looker. It feels well packed. The aroma is mud, hay and wet horses.


The cold draw is good. It’s spicy with a raw tobacco flavor. Right from the start, it’s coffee. Strong dark roast coffee. And some salty nuts as well. The flavor is very pleasant. There’s also some toasted wood in the flavor palate. After a few puffs, the coffee mellows out and the cigar gets a soil flavor, with some spices and pepper. And there is a slightly metallic flavor as well. After a centimeter, it’s soil with pepper, sweetness and some citrus. After a third, it’s still earthy with pepper, some sweetness and now I taste a hint of chocolate and leather as well. Halfway the cigar gets some more chocolate and a little hay, but those are supporting flavors for the earthiness and pepper. In the final third, leather is replacing the earthiness. And there is some walnut in the flavor too.


The draw is great. The smoke is good, not spectacular but good. The ash is flaky and splits a little bit. This cigar is medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored. The burn is pretty straight. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? For 7,25 euro? Yes

number91

Categories: 91, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Indian Motorcycles | Tags: , ,

RoMa Craft Cromagnon Aquitaine Mode 5

RoMa Craft is Mike Rosales and Skip Martin. Where Martin was a retailer, Rosales had his own Costa Rica made brands. When Martin’s shop got destroyed by a Hurricane Ike, he started working with Rosales to mail order a house blend. That way, he could still serve his customers even though the shop was destroyed. The blends from Costa Rica didn’t work, so the duo teamed up with Esteban Disla in Nicaragua. The cigars became so popular, that the trio opened their own factory, Nica Sueno. Nica Dreams.

That first line was the Cromagnon, named after an early human. The Aquitaine is an offspring. It’s named after the region in France where remains of those early humans are found. The cigar uses Nicaraguan fillers from three regions. The binder is Cameroon. The wrapper is a Habano 2000 from Ecuador. The cigar comes in different sizes. RoMa Crafts international distributor Schuster Cigars sponsored us this 5×50 Perfecto. The name of this vitola is Mode 5.

The wrapper is oily, almost glossy. There are some thin veins. The color is quite dark. The cigar feels well rolled. The ring is actually a double ring. The bottom ring is white and then there’s a brown ring on top. The brown ring has Aquitaine embossed into it and the RoMa Craft logo on the back. The cigar has a strong aroma, quite woody.


The cold draw is perfect with a spicy, peppery flavor. Like strong cinnamon. The first draw after lighting give me coffee. Strong coffee with some pepper. The flavors quickly change to pepper, green herbs and some leather. It evolves with more leather, some wood, a little nutty flavor. And all bound together with a faint sweetness. Classic flavors, all clean and pronounced. The flavors are pretty consistent. There are nuanced differences, but all in the flavor profile mentioned above. There’s a little floral flavor as well. After a third, some chocolate shows up as well, quite bitter, dark chocolate. The final third has more of a nut flavor. Hazelnut and walnuts.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is nice and thick. The color of the smoke is white. The light-colored ash is a bit flaky. The burn is quite straight. The cigar is medium-full bodied, medium flavored. Well balanced with clean flavors. The smoke time is one hour and fifty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box

number91

Categories: 91, Nica Sueno, Nicaraguan cigars, RomaCraft | Tags: , , ,

A.J. Fernandez New World Cameroon Churchill

I love Cameroon wrapper, that is my favorite wrapper in the world. And I love all cigars made by A.J. Fernandez. So when I heard that Fernandez was releasing a new cigar with a Cameroon wrapper, I was over the moon. Unfortunately, it took some time for them to reach Europe. And by that time, I had left Europe.

I was happy to see the cigars pop up at the webshop of a Malaysian cigar shop. I decided to drop a few dollars on this cigar. The price was a little higher than what I would pay in Europe or America, but I figured it would be worth it. And I know that the Malaysian tobacco tax is high, so I wasn’t being ripped off by the shop. They charged a fair price and carried some more rare cigars. Time to light this Nicaraguan filler, Nicaraguan binder and Cameroon wrapped 7×48 Churchill.


Let’s start with the ring. It is the regular New World ring with the classic artwork of boats arriving into the new world. The outside of the rings is green, instead of red that’s used on the regular New World line. And green fits, when I think of Africa, I think of green. The secondary ring is gold with green, and red letters. It fits the theme. The wrapper has a nice even color, it doesn’t look as rough and brittle as most Cameroon wrappers, it’s quite pretty actually. The construction feels flawless. The cigar has a dry aroma, dried wood, a little charcoal, those kinds of smells.

The cold draw is perfect. The flavor of the cold draw is plain and pure raw, well fermented, tobacco. After lighting, I taste some licorice, tobacco, and leather. Then the signature Cameroon spice joins green herbs and spices. That comes with coffee and pepper. There’s still some wood too, softwood like pine. And then I also taste some hay, with a mildly creamy mouthfeel. After a third, it is all spices and green herbs, with some citrus and sweetness. The mouthfeel turned to dry. The strength in body and flavor is medium so far. The sweetness reminds me of milk chocolate. In the final third, I pick up some pepper again with oak, spices, herbs and roasted coffee. Suddenly the pepper picks up and becomes the dominant flavor. I was waiting for that to happen. Near the end, I taste licorice through the pepper again, making the flavors go full circle

.

The draw is perfect. The light-colored ash is coarse though. The burn is flawless and the smoke is thick. This cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. It has that typical Cameroon spice and herb profile which I love. The smoke time is two hours and twenty-five minutes

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

number91

Categories: 91, New World, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

Oliva Serie V Maduro 2018 Double Robusto

Since 2008, Oliva has released a Limited Edition Maduro version of their popular Oliva Series V line. In the first few years, the company changed the wrapper until they found the right Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper and they have used that one since. And in the past, there was a limited Oliva V Maduro exclusively for Europe too. I loved the 2010 Short Robusto, that might be my favorite Oliva Series V Maduro ever.

I bought this cigar in Cigaragua, Amsterdam. Sasja, the owner, said I should really try this even though he knows I usually think that the natural is better than the yearly Maduro when it comes to the Oliva series V. I know he wouldn’t advise this if it really wasn’t as good as the natural, so I am going to give it a try.

The first thing I notice, or not notice might be a better description, is an added ring with either limited edition or Maduro written on it. It would be nice if Oliva would add a second ring, instead of just a little mention ‘Maduro especial’ on the regular ring. Especially with a year on the ring, that might add collector value, especially since the 6×60 Double Toro size is used every year and it’s hard to see which year you have when you don’t keep them in their own box.

The wrapper is dark, toothy, and oily wrapper. It has a vein running over the face of the cigar like a scar but it fits the rough looking, leathery wrapper. The ring is the classic, brown and golden Oliva Series V ring, well printed, nice and shiny. The cigar feels hard. The aroma is deep, strong, manure and charred wood.

The cold draw is good with a peppery raisin flavor. After lighting, I taste coffee, herbs, and pepper. There’s also some powder sugar, mild though. Soon I taste sweet toast, a bit like cinnamon toast. After a centimeter, I taste that cinnamon toast, pepper, and grass. Suddenly I taste some dark chocolate too. The second third starts with wood, spices, pepper, and leather. The final third starts with a strong chocolate flavor.

The draw is good, the smoke is white and good. The salt and pepper colored ash is quite dense and firm. The cigar is medium-full flavored and full bodied. The smoke time is 2 hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a decent cigar but I prefer the regular Oliva Series V double robusto.

number91

Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , ,

Diamond Crown Black Diamond Radiant

J.C. Newman and Arturo Fuente have been working together for decades. And all of Newman’s Dominican cigars are made at the Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cya factory. Including this Diamond Crown Black Diamond Radiant. It is a short robusto extra, where the short stands for the 4 ½ inch length, and the extra is in the 54 ring.

This cigar was given to me by a friend, who imports the brand in Malaysia. He said he wanted my opinion on the cigar before he pulled the trigger on bringing the blend in. That’s a lot of pressure, but I am up for the task. So here I go, smoking this cigar with Dominican filler and binder. The wrapper is a Havana seed wrapper from Connecticut. Broadleaf!

The wrapper is dark, smooth and oily. The big ring has a lot of silver which contrasts the darkness of the wrapper. The ring is bright, big and of good quality. The cigar feels good, the right bounce when I gently squeeze the cigar. And the aroma is good too, medium strong, barnyard and wood.

The cold draw is great. I taste an unsuspected gingerbread and pepper flavor in the cold draw. After lighting, I taste strong earthy and coffee flavors. But there is also gingerbread in the flavor and minty freshness. And I like that gingerbread flavor. The cigar is well balanced. The flavors go remain in the coffee, gingerbread, pepper, leather and soil profile, with sometimes some grass, sometimes some vanilla. All with a creamy mouthfeel, After a third, I taste high-quality dark chocolate in the cigar as well. Halfway the pepper gets stronger, with some leaves, chocolate, and spices.

The draw is good. There is a lot of smoke and the salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The burn is good too. This cigar is medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored. The smoke time is two hours and five minutes

.

Would I buy this cigar again? Due to the price, it will be once in a blue moon. But I do like it, a lot.

number91

Categories: 91, Diamond Crown, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , ,

Joya Silver Robusto

I always had a soft spot for Joya de Nicaragua. Ever since I smoked my first Antaño 1970, which was one of the strongest cigars available back then. And that soft spot grew once I got to know the company better when we became the official distributor for The Netherlands. I even visited the factory in Esteli twice.

Now, this Joya Silver is the latest release. Nicaraguan filler, Mexican binder, and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper make up this box pressed cigar. It’s the third installment of the ‘color’ series which started with the Joya Red, followed by the Joya Black and now the Joya Silver. I have not smoked this cigar prior to the review.


The box pressed cigar looks nice. The Habano wrapper has a nice color, even though the wrapper doesn’t seem very oily. The ring has a fresh, modern design. A white ring with silver letters and the Joya logo in red. Classy yet contemporary. The cigar feels well made. The aroma is strong, deep and complex. I smell leather, horses, soil and those kinds of aromas.


The cold draw is good, the flavors are pepper on the lips and raisin on the palate. I immediately taste cedar, leather, spices with a dash of citrus. There’s also some salt. The spices remind me of a bit of gingerbread. After half a centimeter I taste some sweetness too, mild though, with the gingerbread and the cedar. Halfway I also taste some pepper, wood, leather, and soil. The final third still has that nice gingerbread spice, with some leather and mild pepper. Later on, some spiced sweetness shows up too with some toast.


The smoke is incredible, so thick, so full. The draw is good. The ash is light colored but not firm. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar is medium bodied, medium-full flavored. The smoke time is 2 hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, always good to have them around
number91

Categories: 91, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Blog at WordPress.com.