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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

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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

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

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.

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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

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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.

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

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

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

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.

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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.

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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

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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

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

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