91

Balmoral Añejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Massivo

Since Balmoral started with the Añejo series, several releases have been done. It started with the Añejo 18, which got a follow-up release a year later in another vital. Then the Añejo XO was launched. An Oscuro version came on the market and now a Connecticut version. It was launched in the USA in 2018, and in 2019, some European countries saw the cigars appear.


The wrapper is American grown Connecticut Shade. From the Connecticut River Valley. As a binder, Indonesian Sumatra was used. And the filler for this blend comes from Pennsylvania, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. The Brazilian tobacco comes from the Mata Norte region and is one of the more exclusive Brazilian tobaccos.

The wrapper is pale. It has a cheesy brownish color. The bright white and blue ring, with the embossed gold letters, is clean and contemporary. The cigar feels well constructed, the triple cap is nice. The cigar has a strong aroma. It smells like fresh cut young wood, pepper and sawdust.

The cold draw is good, with a mild tobacco flavor. After lighting, I taste a sweet young wood flavor, mildly bitter. Then a mild peppery harshness shows up too. I taste a strong dry leather flavor as well, with wood. After half a centimeter my fear becomes reality. That slightly sweet yet clearly musty flavor that is typical with Connecticut Shade wrappers shows up. I also taste some cinnamon. The cigar has young wood, leather, cinnamon, pepper, salt, and that mustiness. The flavors are balanced, nuanced and there is plenty of dynamics going on. In the final third, I still taste a mixture of the flavors mentioned above, but with a growing pepper and peanut. The peanut flavor disappears quickly. The finale lacks pepper, but taste more grassy and leathery.


The draw is great. The smoke is very thick, and a lot when it comes to volume. The burn is razor sharp. The ash is dense but breaks off easily. The cigar is mild to medium in body, medium-full flavored. The blend is fantastic if it wasn’t for my personal hatred towards the mustiness.

Would I buy this cigar again? Due to the mustiness, no. But it is an interesting blend with perfect construction

number91

Advertisements
Categories: 91, Agio Caribbean Tobacco Company, Balmoral, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Tatuaje Nuevitas Jibaro No.1

One of the first Tatuaje Cigars ever released was the Tatuaje Nuevitas. And those were not made at El Rey de Los Habanos, the factory owned and operated by the Garcia family. It was the only Tatuaje line ever made outside of the family, at Tabacalera Tropical. But in 2007, Pete Johnson discontinued the cigar and all Tatuaje cigars since have been made at My Father Cigars.


In 2018, Johnson re-released the brand. This time made at My Father S.A. in Esteli. It is a Nicaraguan Puro with a Corojo 99 wrapper. The name comes from a Cuban village and the Jibaro name is Puerto Rican slang for a farmer. The Tatuaje Nuevitas Jibaro is Johnson’s tribute to farm rolled cigars and based upon a farm rolled Cuban cigars he had years ago while visiting the Caribbean paradise.

At first glance, you think something is wrong with the cigar. The wrapper looks damaged at the foot, but that’s how Johnson intended it to look. An unfinished foot, mimicking the not perfect looking farm rolled cigars. The dark brown, oily, wrapper has some clear, yet thin, veins which fit the theme of a rustic looking cigar. The simple, orange and white ring, is small, timeless yet doesn’t look dated. The cigar has a perfect triple cap and feels well constructed. The aroma is quite strong, it smells like oak and farm animals.

The cold draw is great, I taste pure raw tobacco, which is quite spicy. From the start, I taste coffee and soil. It’s a pretty mild start, where I expected a front-loaded cigar. The moment the burn hits the wrapper, pepper joins in and it’s a strong pepper. After a few more puffs, toast and leather join in with the coffee, soil, and pepper flavors. Slowly the flavors evolve to more earthy, with some oak and a hint of dark chocolate. On the background, I taste something that comes close to nutmeg. After a centimeter, the flavors are more those of spices, with dark chocolate and pepper. And the spices are things like cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice. There is also a little citrus acidity. Then suddenly, at the beginning of the second third, a dominant hazelnut flavor shows up, with some leather, and pepper. The pepper is gaining strength. The final third has more wood, with pepper. In the last part of the cigar, I taste hay, leather and lots of pepper.

The draw is close to perfection. The right amount of air resistance without becoming tight. The smoke has a good density and volume. The burn is straight. But you have to concentrate not to let the burn die. This is a full-bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. There is a heavy nicotine content in this blend. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, no box though, but a fiver.

number91

Categories: 91, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , , ,

Dalay Limited Edition 2019 Robusto Extra

Dalay Zigarren is a German shop, since 1998, and they now have shop exclusive blends made, which they import themselves too. They also have great relationships with some manufacturers and that’s why they are able to get some store exclusive cigars, like a store exclusive RoMa Craft Wunderlust later this year.


This cigar is blended by master blender Michael Grossklos, who’s also working for Dalay. And for this cigar, unique original tobacco seeds have been used. The tobacco is grown without modern fertilizers and pesticides as you can read in this article on Ministry of Cigars. Dalay has sent me a few of these cigars to try.

The wrapper is oily, medium dark, with thin veins. The cap is nice. I love the ring, bushed black colored with golden letters, simple yet classy. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma of charred wood. It reminds me of a smoldering campfire the morning after a late night smoke with friends at the fire pit.

The cold draw is a little loose, yet spicy with a distinct tobacco flavor. The first puffs are sweet with nutmeg, toast and a dash of slight pepper. The flavors are interesting, quite unique and different from the usual coffee, soil and leather start that most cigars have. After two centimeters, the mouthfeel is mildly creamy and buttery. Then I also taste some hazelnuts and grass, with the spices and the pepper. After a third, I taste cedar with nutmeg, a dash of pepper and vanilla. I also taste some leaves. Halfway I taste some musk too, with the wood, pepper, and spices. The final third starts with vanilla, nutmeg, leather, and pepper. The cigar clearly gains some strength. Near the end, I taste green herbs, with leather and wood with a strong peppery coffee and final flavors.

The burn is good although I needed to correct it once. The draw is good too. The light-colored ash is flaky and coarse. The smoke is decent, could be a little ticker. I would say this is a medium-full bodied cigar, full flavored with plenty of evolution. Unique is a good description. And a must try if you’re a cigar geek. The smoke time is two hours exactly

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

number91

Categories: 91, Dalay, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Altragrazia

Balmoral Añejo XO Gran Toro

In 2012, Agio introduced the Balmoral Añejo 18 series with an 18-year-old wrapper. That cigar was such a hit that the next year another batch was released until the company ran out of wrapper that old. Yet the demand was so high, that the company decided to tweak the blend and use that blend for a new Añejo line, the Balmoral Añejo XO, introduced in 2014. After that, the Añejo lines got more offspring with Oscuro or Connecticut wrappers for example. And the lines were introduced to the US market too.

I think I wrote this before, but my opinion on Balmoral wasn’t that highly until they released that Añejo 18. From the first puff I loved that cigar, and actually, the Balmoral Añejo XO FT Lancero is still one of the highest scoring cigars on cigarguideblog.com ever. So it’s time to see if this 6×52 Gran Toro comes closes. The blend, with Dominican, Brazilian and Nicaraguan fillers, a Dominican binder and a Sungrown Arapiraca wrapper from Brazil is the same, only the vitola is different.

The rings are beautiful, classic yet elegant with a nice color scheme of gran, beige and gold. The foot ring has the same vibe. The wrapper is quite dark, without getting Maduro or Oscuro dark though, just a nice reddish brown dark. There’s one large vein on the back of the cigar, but for a Brazilian wrapper, this cigar looks smooth. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong, a little acidic with wood and barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is amazing, with strong raw tobacco and raisin aromas. After lighting, I taste coffee, espresso-like, strong, with a little pepper. Then liquid cane sugar shows up, with leather and wood. The leather is the main attraction. The wood with a nice sweetness becomes the main flavor after a centimeter, with some green herbs as well. All flavors are peppery too. After a third, the leather returns, with still the pepper, the sweetness, and some citrus. The mouthfeel it buttery, creamy. I also taste some soil and a mild metallic flavor. Halfway I taste more wood, still that mild metallic flavor and leather. The final third is creamy with pepper and leather. Near the end, the sweetness returns, with green herbs, pepper, and nuts.

The draw is flawless. The smoke is thick and full. The ash is quite dark, but firm and with nice black rings. I would call this cigar medium-full bodied, full flavored. The sweetness of the Brazilian wrapper ties all the flavors together. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

number91

Categories: 91, Agio Caribbean Tobacco Company, Balmoral, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

My Father La Gran Oferta Lancero

I still remember the first cigar from My Father Cigars that I ever smoked. That was before it was called My Father cigars and before they moved to Nicaragua. Back in the day, when they only had that small El Rey de Los Habanos factory on Callo Ocho in Miami. It was the first release of the Don Pepin Garcia Black Label and I’ve been a fan since. And lucky enough to have visited that small factory, the main factory in Esteli and the new small operation in the My Father HQ in Miami.


I bought this My Father La Gran Oferta Lancero in Amsterdam. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan filler and binder, all grown on the My Father plantations. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado, a wrapper that is high on my favorite list. So this cigar already starts with +++, one plus for the factory, another plus for the wrapper and the third + for the vitola.

The dark reddish wrapper is oily, with some tooth. The triple cap is nice with a small pigtail. Contrary to the Flor de Las Antillas and La Antiguedad, the old artwork isn’t used on the ring, just on the boxes. The cigars have the regular My Father ring with a secondary ring mentioning La Gran Oferta. The foot is protected by a piece of cloth. The aroma is strong, hay and farm animals are what I get. The construction feels good.

The cold draw is good and reminds me of pepper and sultanas. After lighting, I taste a strong espresso flavor. Soon it’s more leather with green herbs. I get some nutmeg too with a little bit of black pepper. There is some hay in the flavor too. After an inch, I taste cinnamon sweetness with some mild pepper on the background. There’s also some dried leaves. After a third I taste a little leather again, sweet yet dry. Halfway it’s leather and cinnamon, some mild wood, pepper, and sweetness. In the final third, the pepper is picking up. I also taste some citrus and some cinnamon. Then some nuts show up, macadamia to be precise.

The ash is light colored. Not very firm though. The burn is good, just a few little touch-ups. The draw is flawless. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness but it gets thicker along the way. The cigar is medium at most, well balanced and rounded, mellow and smooth. The smoke time is two and a half hours

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it so yes

number91

Categories: 91, My Father, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Room 101 Conjura Edicion Robusto

Conspiracies and cigars, it turns out that it’s not only Dion Giolito from Illusione that mixes those two together, but in the 2010 limited edition Room 101 Camacho and Matt Booth did that too. The cigars were made at Camacho before the Eiroa family sold it to Davidoff for an insane amount of money (well done Eiroa family!) and were a limited release. And the conspiracy this cigar is referring to is the story about the poisoned cigar that the CIA wanted to give to Fidel Castro.


Now I hope that this multi country blend, with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, an Honduran binder and a Rosado wrapper from an undisclosed country isn’t poisoned, that would mean this would be my last review and there is still so much to write about. So I hope that the 9 years of aging made the poison very ineffective so I can live another day.


The box pressed robusto looks good, nice shape, nice triple cap, good construction. The wrapper doesn’t have the rosado glow though, its just medium brown with a little tooth. The rings are beautiful, the top ring is black and silver with LTD in very curly letters in sliver, conjure edition in white. The secondary ring is silver and black, silver background and a lot of writing in black. Room 101, La Familia, Ciento-Uno, Limitada, Specially blended by Camacho Cigars. The cigar has a nice spicy and herbal aroma, like a vegetable stock cube.


After cutting the cigar I get a great cold draw with a sultana flavor. After lighting I taste a mild dark coffee flavor with a little saltiness. The flavors are quite dry and after a short while I taste wood. After a third I taste a pleasant yet unusual mixture of licorice, peanuts and herbal freshness. Halfway I taste some pepper with a mild musty wood. The musty flavor goes away, I’m stuck with dry wood with some herbs.


The draw is great. The smoke is white, quite thick and a decent volume. The burn is straight. The ash, a bit flaky, is almost white. The cigar is medium full bodied and flavor. The smoke time is almost two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a nice and unique cigar but not exactly up my alley.

Score: 91
number91

 

 

 

Categories: 91, Honduran cigars, Rancho Jamastran, Room 101 | Tags: , , , ,

Mbombay Habano Robusto

A Dutch friend of mine was raving about Mbombay for a while, a brand that back then, and we’re talking about 4 years ago, never ever heard of. He gave me two to try, I smoked one, which I liked, and kept the other to write a review. But since I have so many cigars, the review had to wait for a while.


The cigars are made in Costa Rica with a blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan and Dominican filler, a Dominican binder and a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The owner of the brand is a shop owner in Palm Springs, California, Mel Shah, who decided to open a cigar shop after his career in IT. Now he is a brand owner too, with distribution all over the USA.


The wrapper looks amazing, dark, smooth and oily as far as I can see. And that’s not far because the cigar has a ring that covers most of the cigars. It is a very detailed ring with all Indian symbols and figures I guess. The construction feels good and I love the closed foot. The cigar has a mild manure aroma.


After I cut the cigar I notice a tight cold draw but then I remember the closed foot. I taste raw tobacco with a mild minty flavor. After lighting I taste white ground pepper and soil. Medium in strength. After a few puffs I taste some sweetness with the white pepper and cedar, clean clear cedar. The pepper disappears quickly. After a third I taste more agave syrup like sweetness. Halfway it’s cedar with sweetness and just a little spice. At the end I taste a little nuts too.


The smoke is white and quite thick. The draw is great after the foot opens. The white ash is firm. The burn needed some help, but I blame the ventilator in the back of the room for that. The evolution is subtle, the cigar is medium bodied, medium plus flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Costa Rican cigars, Mbombay, Tabaccos de Costa Rica | Tags: , , ,

Rocky Patel ALR robusto

Back in 2015, I visited Rocky Patel’s Tavicusa factory in Esteli, Nicaragua while visiting the country for the Cigaragua book. And there I and my partners got to smoke a few test blends. And one of those test blends could well have been this Aged, Limited & Rare since the cigars were produced later that year and then stored for three years.

The cigar, made with Nicaraguan filler and binder and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, was aged for three more years after rolling. And only 90% of the production of 100.000 cigars will come to market, as Rocky decided to keep 10% as a personal stock. So only 1500 boxes of 20 are available in three sizes.

The rings of the cigar look a lot like they are part of the vintage series, a simple top ring with the Rocky Patel logo on shiny white paper and a secondary right with the name of the blend in the same style and the same paper, just like the vintage lines. The wrapper is dark, oily and leathery. The triple cap looks great, the cigar has the right amount of bounce when I massage it. The cigar has a complex, deep aroma of earthy and vegetal origin.

The cold draw is flawless with a dry tobacco flavor. After lighting, I taste a spicy coffee and leather. After a few puffs, I also taste some hay, sweetness, and tobacco. Slowly the cigar changes to pepper, leather, wood, and nutmeg. After an inch, I taste hazelnut and walnut with pepper and hay. Halfway I taste a spicy mixture of hay, green herbs, pepper, and leather. Then mild bitter chocolate shows up on the background as well, and the peppers gain some strength. In the final third, I taste pepper, some wood, and the flavors are a bit creamy. A few puffs later I taste wood, cedar, and oak, again with pepper and a bit of hay. Near the end, I taste some carrot too, with hay and pepper. A strong pepper, Nicaraguan all the way.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is good and the ash is pepper and salt colored, reasonably firm. The burn is good and slow. The cigar is full flavored, full-bodied. The flavors aren’t subtle, but well balanced and married well after being aged for several years. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? Without a doubt.

number91

Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, Rocky Patel, Tavicusa | Tags: , , , ,

La Estancia Edicion Especial Toro Gordo

Meerapfel & Sohne isn’t a well-known name outside the cigar industry, but within the industry, they are one of the bigger names. Being in business for over 140 years as tobacco growers, tobacco traders and cigar distributors for companies like Fuente and Padron. They are huge and have huge stockpiles of tobacco in their warehouses worldwide.

 

A few years ago, the company decided to use some of the old tobacco in a cigar. And that resulted in the La Estancia, a cigar made in Honduras with new world binder and wrapper, but the filler contained Cuban tobacco, of which the oldest dated back till the 1970s. And now they created a limited edition, the La Estancia Edicion Especial. It’s made in three vitolas with the best tobacco that the Meerapfel family had saved for a special project. And the cigar is special, just the price of 32 euro for the Toro Gordo proves that.

 

The wrapper is Colorado colored, with thin veins. It’s not the best looking wrapper. The ring is overwhelming in gold. The regular La Estancia ring, with the old map as a background, has been used as a base, then a whole lot of gold colored paper has been added, both on top and underneath, with a small gap in between. In the bottom part, you can read ‘edicion especial’. The foot ring is small with one red star. While touching the cigar, the cigar feels evenly filled. I can’t detect any soft spots or plugs. The medium strong aroma reminds me of sawdust 
.

 

The cold draw is quite easy and reminds me of sultanas. Right from the start, I taste leather. It’s a bit musty too. The mustiness disappears and is replaced by some spices. The cigar is slightly peppery. It’s a smooth cigar, with some sweetness. It would not surprise me if the filler contains aged Cuban tobacco, it has that distinct flavor. Halfway I taste a little cedar, mold creamy with some leather. All flavors are distinct, complex. This is really a high-end cigar made from premium tobacco. The final third is a bit peppery with cedar, it’s creamy too with some herbal flavors. The cigar gets stronger, more potent, with more pepper. while remaining creamy, smooth, complex and woody. I also taste an earthy flavor, soil.

 

The ash is light colored. It’s firm and dense. The burn is a little uneven, I had to correct it. The cigar is subtle, smooth. The draw is great. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness. The cigar is very subtle, smooth and full of nuances. It’s very hard to review this cigar. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, once in a while because of the price though

number91

Categories: 91, Honduran cigars, La Estancia | Tags: , ,

Don Duarte Reserva Pyramid

About a decade ago I met up with a now retired cigar distributer in Amsterdam who was introducing a new cigar brand, Don Duarte, and the owner of the brand, señor Duarte, was there as well at the beautiful shop of Hajenius. I smoked a few cigars and I did like them. The brand never took off, I haven’t seen them in shops for a while now and when I look online I can only find them on German webshops.

 


A few years back I was helping an account to re-arrange his humidor and found this Don Duarte Reserve Pyramid. The account said “I had it for so long, it’s the last one, take it” so I did. And now it’s time to review this Plasencia made Nicaraguan puro with the H-2000 oscuro wrapper.

 


The thick wrapper is dark, it looks and feels like leather. The cigar has the right amount of sponginess, the shape of the cigar is great too. The ring is brown with silver and golden details, a classic crest and a knights helmet. The cigar has a vegetable and wooden aroma.

 


After cutting the cigar I taste some raw tobacco. After lighting I taste coffee and leather with some spice and pepper. After a few puffs I taste a mix of spices with sweetness and a little pepper, well balanced. After a third I taste wood and spices, it reminds me of a forest in the autumn. Halfway the cigar is more leathery, woody and spicy. The flavor remains like this till the end.

 


The draw is perfect. The smoke is perfectly white, thick and full. The ash is light gray and coarse. The burn is good. This is a medium full bodied and flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I can find them I get some.

Score: 91
number91

 

Categories: 91, Don Duarte, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , ,

Blog at WordPress.com.