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Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto

Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto. One of the latest releases of Rocky Patel, released at the IPCPR trade show in July 2019. The number 6 is named after the test blend. Several test blends were made, and the 6th blend was picked. So that became the Rocky Patel Number 6. The cigar is available in several sizes, and for this review, we selected the 5½x50 Robusto.


Unlike most of the recent releases by Rocky Patel, this cigar is made in Honduras. For the last few years, most new cigars came from Patel’s factory in Nicaragua, Tavicusa. But this Number 6 is made at El Paraiso in Danli, Honduras. The blend consists of filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Honduras. The binder is Honduran. And as a wrapper, Patel and his team picked a Honduran Corojo

The black and golden ring is huge. It covers half the cigar, and then there is another ring at the foot. But the matte black details, shiny gold and white letters work well together. The wrapper, as far as we can see, has a few thin veins. The color is great, and there is a light oily shine. The cigar feels well constructed. The medium-strong aroma is woody with some hay.


The cold draw is good, with a flavor of hay and allspice. The first puffs give coffee and dirt with pepper. There are spices as well. After that, it’s spicy and strong leather that tickles the back of the throat. Soon after the nuttiness from the Corojo wrapper shows up as well. To balance everything, there’s mild fruity citrus. The flavors change to nuts, leather, wood, hay, and sweetness. In the final third, the cigar has more wood, the sweetness and pepper are still there. The nut flavor is gone. The cigar starts to tingle in the back of the throat again.


The draw is great. The pepper and salt colored ash isn’t very firm though. The smoke is thick and plentiful and the burn is straight as an arrow. This is a medium-full bodied cigar, full-flavored. Well balanced, with character. But it’s not smooth. This is a cigar for a more experienced cigar smoker. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

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Categories: 92, El Paraiso, Honduran cigars, Rocky Patel | Tags: , , ,

Charatan Colina Robusto

Charatan Colina Robusto. The name Charatan might not be known to many cigar smokers unless you are familiar with the British market. Charatan is a brand founded in Britain, and only available there for now. The brand was founded by Frederick Charatan in 1863 as a pipe brand. He carved Meerschaum pipes and briar pipes. Frederik’s son Reuben took over the business and until 1960, it was a family business. Dunhill Tobacco of London acquired the brand and launched Charatan pipe tobaccos, which were a success. And in the early 21st century, Charatan cigars came on the market. These cigars were blended specifically to the preferences of the British cigar smokers. The brand quickly became the best selling new world cigar in the United Kingdom.


Fast forward, 2 years ago, the British tobacco distributor Tor Imports acquired the brand. The production was moved to Joya de Nicaragua and the blend was tweaked to attract a new generation of cigar smokers. Ministry of Cigars reviewed the new blend last year. Tor Imports also released a limited edition to commemorate the ownership. The Charatan Colina. And that name has a meaning. Colina means hill. Tor means hill. Add that Tor Imports is located on top of a hill in Devon, U.K., and you will see the significance of the name. The cigar is made in one size only, 5½x52, in limited production. The filler is all Nicaraguan. The binder and wrapper are Indonesian. Besuki for the binder, and shade-grown tobacco from Java as a wrapper.


The wrapper is dark for a shade-grown wrapper. The ring looks very much like a Davidoff ring, white with golden dots, but not as high quality as Davidoff. The logo has a unicorn, which embodies the craft and heritage of Charatan. It is a symbol of mythology, individuality, and as the national animal of Scotland – of quintessential Britishness. The wrapper is dark, Colorado Maduro colored with beautiful smudges. The triple cap is gorgeous, and the cigar feels well constructed. The cigar has a strong aroma. Green spices, stock cubes, that kind of aroma.


The cold draw is great. And once lit, the cigar is earthy, spicy with a little salt. The cigar remains slightly salty, with herbal flavors, a little coffee, and soil. There is a little bit of grass and sweetness too, that show up in the retrohale. The flavors are smooth, mellow, and balanced. The cigar slowly develops more of a spice flavor palate. Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice., but with some earthiness, leather, and pepper. The sweetness becomes stronger, with a citrus sourness. There is also a slight nuttiness. The cigar gets more character, without losing the smoothness. More dry flavors, such as hay and dried wood. But still with the pepper, the spices, and the nuttiness. The final third starts sweet with nuts, pepper, and spices. The sweetness is like liquid sugar. The sweetness slowly evolves to marzipan though. With nuts, spices, pepper, leather, and wood.


The draw is great. The ash is like a stack of white and gray dimes. The smoke is good, blueish, and decent in volume and thickness. The burn is quite straight and slow. The cigar starts smooth, mellow, and well balanced but lacks character at first. That character shows up later, without losing the balance and smoothness. This is a medium-bodied cigar, medium-full flavored with an interesting evolution. The smoke time is three hours

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box
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Categories: 92, Charatan, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Kristoff GC Signature Series Robusto

Kristoff GC Signature Series Robusto. Glen Case hit a mid-life crisis in the early 2000s and wanted to do something else than the financial services he provided for close to 20 years. As an avid cigar aficionado, he pursued a dream of becoming a cigar brand owner. And he did. In 2004 he founded Kristoff cigars, named after his son Christopher. After doing his homework, Case settled for the Charles Fairmorn factory in the Dominican Republic as his manufacturing partner. And now, 16 years later, the Kristoff cigars are sold in every corner of the world. And praised by cigar magazines and cigar blogs for years.


The Kristoff GC Signature Series was released mid-2011 at the IPCPR Trade Show. The blend was created for the cigar smoker with a well-educated palate and who likes a full-bodied cigar. To create a blend with notes that would entice these experienced, demanding smokers Case and the blenders used a Brazilian Maduro wrapper. For the binder, they took a Dominican leaf. The filler consists of all Cuban seed tobacco, from Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. The robusto that we are reviewing measures 5½x54.


Kristoff cigars always look cool. The pigtail and closed foot are always bonus points for looks. The thick, dark and oily Brazilian Maduro wrapper isn’t the cleanest looking wrapper ever. But for a Brazilian wrapper, it looks good. And it looks very tasty. The ring is quite simple, yet the embossing and that the red on the front fades to back make it stand out. The cigar feels well made. The aroma is divine, dark chocolate with a little spice although the aroma could be a bit stronger.


The cold draw is always an issue with closed footed cigars. But once lit, that issue is solved. Pepper with espresso, strong, in your face. The flavors then turn a bit more to wood and dry leather. But the dark chocolate that was promised shows up too. As always with a closed foot, the start of the cigar is a little rough, it’s hard to get the burn going. The retrohale gives notes of dried fruit. Dark chocolate is the main attraction, with spice, coffee, wood, and dried fruit as support. After a third, there’s still dark chocolate with creamy, thick sweetness, leather, wood, and mild black pepper. But there is also a salty flavor. The dark chocolate and dried fruit are the baselines, with a growing pepper flavor. There’s also more sweetness and a little citrus. The chocolate flavor is thick, it’s like slowly melting a piece of 70% dark chocolate in your mouth. It coats the whole palate. The final third still has that dark chocolate with dried fruit. But there is also pepper, spice, leather, and an earthy flavor. The chocolate remains the strongest flavor, yet the pepper grows. And there is still some wood as well. Near the end, a nut flavor shows up as well, while the pepper mellows out. Hazelnuts to be precise.


The draw is great, after a rocky start. But that rocky start is normal with a closed foot. The burn is good. The white ash is quite firm. The smoke is sufficient, but it would be nicer if the smoke was thicker. The cigar is balanced yet a little rough around the edges. In a good way, it’s not smooth. But it shows character with balance, and that’s always good. The flavors are both in your face, yet with subtle flavors beyond the baseline flavors. That makes the cigar intriguing. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want boxes!
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Categories: 92, Charles Fairmorn, Dominican cigars, Kristoff | Tags: , , , ,

Mi Querida Triqui Traca 552

Mi Querida Triqui Traca 552. When Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust owner Steve Saka was asked to make a firecracker for 2 Guys Smokeshop, he obliged. He was not the first to make a 2 Guys exclusive limited-edition firecracker. The shop has one made annually, it’s always a 3×50 sized cigar with a long tail mimicking a firecracker. For the Mi Querida version of the firecracker, Saka tweaked the blend to be a little stronger. That cigar was a hit, and last year the blend was released as regular production in two sizes. A 5×52 Robusto and a 6×48 Toro. Out of respect for the 2 Guys smoke shop, Saka never released the original vitola.


But he kept a link to the original release. Firecrackers tied together are called Triqui Traca in Nicaraguan slang. And that’s the name of the new blend, Mi Querida Triqui Traca. The cigars are made at the NACSA factory, under the watchful eye of Raul Disla. The binder and filler are all Nicaraguan. The wrapper is a high-grade Connecticut Broadleaf from the United States. The cigars are available for Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust distributors worldwide.


The wrapper is thick, leathery, dark, and oily. It looks tasty. The elegant thin ring is firecracker red with a golden print. It’s the same as the original Mi Querida, except in another color. But if you look closely, there is embossing on the ring as well. Just by the looks, this cigar is going to be strong and tasty. The cigar feels well constructed, the cap is impeccable. The cigar has a strong aroma of wood and barnyard.


The cold draw is great. It has a dry taste of hay. The first puff is strong coffee with spices. There is a bitterness that comes close to dark chocolate, complex but without the chocolate flavor. There is also hay and sweetness. A little leather is noticeable in the retrohale. The sweetness grows a little, just as the hay and vegetable flavors. There is a hint of dark chocolate and some pepper as well. The pepper and leather pick up, with some hay. That all while the sweetness makes space for some herbs and spices. In the second third, the power picks up. More wood, leather, but also more dark chocolate and spices. There’s still pepper as well. It’s getting harder to retrohale. There are some hard to describe flavors as well, earthy, muddy but that is not precise enough. Halfway there’s also some walnut. In the final third, coffee returns. With earthy flavors, wood, pepper, and spices. The walnut flavor is lingering on the background. Some citrus acidity ties all the flavors together.


The draw is fantastic. The first third is smooth, balanced yet with character and complexity. Not as strong as suspected. The smoke is thick and full. The burn is straight and slow. The cigar has a great evolution and built up. It starts medium strong, smooth and balanced, and grows to a strong yet balanced and complex cigar. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I can’t wait to get my hands on more

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Categories: 92, Mi Querida, Nicaragua American Cigars S.A., Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Robert Graham 145th Anniversary Robusto

Robert Graham 145th Anniversary Robusto. This cigar celebrates the 145th anniversary of the Scottish liquor shop and tobacconist. They are famous for their own bottling as well. But when whiskey lover and cigar aficionado Stephen Johnstone acquired Robert Graham 1874 in 2014, he started working on private label cigars as well. The Tobacco Lords cigars saw the light. We reviewed the Tobacco Lords Maduro Spiers and the Tobacco Lords Natural Cunninghame before.


The limited-edition Robert Graham 1874 145th Anniversary Robusto, Johnstone looked to Didier Houvenaghel from DH Boutique Cigars. With Houvenaghel, he created a Nicaraguan puro with some vintage tobaccos. All the tobaccos used are from 2012, 2013, and 2014. With a Criollo wrapper, Pelo D’Oro binder and Pilato Cubano and Criollo 98 fillers. The cigars are only available in a 5×50 Robusto. Only 145 numbered boxes of 10 were made. Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez manufactured the cigars.


The cigar looks great. A nice, smooth yet oily Colorado colored wrapper that shows a few thin veins. A very small glossy black foot ring with golden lettering. The regular ring is glossy black to with very detailed golden printing on top. The cigar feels good, with the right amount of bounce when squeezed gently. The shape of the head is immaculate. The aroma is medium strong hay smell.


The cold draw is fine, yet the flavor is musty and dry. Like moldy straw with some spices. That musty flavor remains, although lesser in strength after lighting. It’s accompanied by pepper, coffee, and a lot of leather. After a few puffs, the musty flavor disappears. The cigar now has hints of sweetness, spices, wood, leather, and pepper. It then turns to sweetness, wood, leather, soil, and pepper. The sweetness grows, but with an unusual mixture of spices. The leather, wood, and earthiness are still there as well. At the end of the first third, a nutty flavor shows up too. The cigar is easy to retrohale. The cigar becomes smoother. With balanced, smooth spices, pepper, cedar, grass, and toast.


The draw is very good. The light-colored ash is quite coarse. The smoke is thick, full and white. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar is well balanced. It’s a medium to medium-full bodied cigar, yet full-flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? They are pricy but I would not mind a box

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Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Robert Graham 1874, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez

Pachuche Liga Roja Robusto

Pachuche Liga Roja Robusto. Pachuche is a brand we had never heard of until last September. The Swiss brand has been available for a few years, but only in Switzerland. Yet they are ready to expand, and secured distribution in Norway so far. Pachuche shared a booth with Viking Cigars at the Intertabac trade show, and Viking introduced us to Camillo Bazzell. Pachuche is Dominican slang for torcedor, a cigar roller.


The Liga Rojo is the second blend created out of the four Pachuche blends. It was created by Christian Bazzell, Camillo’s father, with the help of master blender William Ventura. The cigar is made with Dominican filler and binder. The wrapper is Mexican San Andres. There are three sizes available, we smoked the 5×50 Robusto for this review. The artwork on the cigar is designed by the half Mexican, half Swiss artist Patrick Küng, a childhood friend of Camillo Bazzell. Küng used his Mexican heritage as an inspiration.


The cigar looks good. The pastel green ring has a very detailed Mexican skull. The metallic foot ring makes clear what line of Pachuche you are smoking. The leathery wrapper is dark, almost Oscuro. But it’s oily, with tooth and almost without veins. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma of leather and wood.


The cold draw is good. It tastes like dry tobacco and raisin. Once lit, the cigar has a nice flavor of dark wood like oak. But with leather, soil and a little bit of a dark roast coffee. All very balanced and smooth on the palate. That changes to more leather, with grass, herbs, sweetness, and pepper. The second third starts with toast, leather, wood, and pepper. The flavors then become leather with pepper. But there’s also some chocolate and floral notes. The cocoa becomes a little stronger. In the final third, there is hay, leather, wood, chocolate, and a lot of pepper.


The white ash is dense and firm. The draw is good. The smoke is decent. The burn is pretty even as well. The cigar is well balanced, smooth and has character. It is a medium-full bodied cigar, full-flavored. The flavors are crisp. The smoke time is an hour and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

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Categories: 92, Dominican cigars, Pachuche, Tabacalera William Ventura | Tags: , , ,

Don Duarte Reserva Robusto

Don Duarte Reserva Robusto. A brand that may not ring a bell with many cigar smokers. But it has a history to it. About a decade ago, the brand had some traction in Europe. But due to health-related reasons, Roger Duarte Rodriguez had to put everything on hold. Now the brand is back and available in a few countries. The Nicaraguan puro with the H2000 Oscuro wrapper that we are reviewing is from the personal stash of Don Duarte and has been aged for a decade.


The great grandparents of Don Roger Duarte Rodriguez, Don Rafael Rodriguez, and Juana Lanuza de Rodriguez, were one of the founders of Esteli. Don Rafael Rodriguez was a tobacco grower and one of the first to export tobacco out of Nicaragua. And his great grandmother on the Duarte side, Dona Maria Duarte Boza, owned a small tobacco manufacturing plant in Masaya. They processed tobacco from Ometepe and turned them into small cigars called Chilcagres. So tobacco runs through the blood of the Managua born entrepreneur. He acted as President of Tabacalera Tropical, which is now known as Aganorsa Leaf. That’s where he met the legendary Evelio Oviedo who blended the Don Duarte cigars.


The cigar has a closed foot. That always gets a cigar a few bonus points for aesthetic reasons. The wrapper is dark, leathery, oily and beautiful. The brown ring fades away on the dark wrapper. The secondary ring is gold with black text. The triple cap is beautiful. And even after ten years, the cigar still has a nice, medium-strong aroma of wood and barnyard. The construction feels good.


The cold draw is tight, due to the closed foot. But there is flavor in the cold draw. Gingerbread comes to mind and black pepper. The first flavors after lighting the cigar are wood, leather, spices, and a pleasant sweetness. Some pepper and coffee show up as well but mellowed out after a decade of aging. The aging also makes the cigar easy to retrohale. In the second third, there is more pepper but again mellow. With spices, leather, and even a hint of chocolate. Slowly there are coffee flavors, spices, leather, and even a little fruity acidity. Near the end, the cigar gains a lot of pepper, spice, but there is also some sweetness, wood, and leather.


The draw is great. The ash is white. The white blueish smoke is sufficient but could be a little thicker. The cigar is mellow, smoothed out due to the decade of aging. It’s still medium-bodied, medium flavored though. The cigar is well balanced, it has character. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, no doubt

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Categories: 92, Don Duarte, Nicaraguan cigars, Plasencia | Tags: , , , ,

El Viejo Continente Mare Nostrum Robusto Extra

El Viejo Continente Mare Nostrum Robusto Extra. At the latest Intertabac trade show, last September, El Viejo Continente released their latest blend. The Mare Nostrum, inspired by and named after the Mediterranean Sea. El Viejo Continente founder and master blender Daniel Guerrero sees the Mediterranean Sea from his balcony in Barcelona every morning. He loves the view so much, it inspired him to create this blend. And the Romans called the Mediterranean Sea “Mare Nostrum” so the name fits perfectly.


El Viejo Continente never disclosed the blend, but Guerrero did say that he used Nicaraguan, Dominican and Brazilian tobacco. The blend is available in a 4¾x50, 4¾x56, and a 5½x56 vitola.


The cigar is almost completely covered in blue rings. First a big El Viejo Continente ring, in blue. Then a secondary ring that looks a lot like the Cuban Regional Edition rings, but with blue instead of red. And it says Mare Nostrum. And then a blue foot ring. But the blue of the foot ring is not the same color. That makes it aesthetically unappealing. The blue of the secondary ring has the same motive as the main ring on closed inspection, which is a cool idea. The wrapper looks very leathery with some tooth. It feels well constructed. It has a strong aroma of sawdust and cocoa powder.


The cold draw is good. With a sweet yet spicy raw tobacco flavor. After lighting, its strong espresso with pepper. Earthy and dark. Wood, sweetness, and leather slowly show their presence too. The soil gets stronger with a little bit of metallic touch to it. Slowly earthy dark chocolate shows up too. Halfway the cigar brings more pepper with more dark chocolate. The soil and leather are still there, but more on the background.


The burn is great, just like the draw. The cigar produces a good amount of smoke, with a good thickness. The rings are glued on with pretty strong glue, making it almost impossible to take them off without destroying them. This is a full-bodied, full-flavored cigar with a smoke time of two hours forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

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Categories: 92, American Caribbean Tobacco S.A., El Viejo Continente, Nicaraguan cigars

HR Signature Belicoso

HR Signature Belicoso. The Robaina name is legendary in the cigar industry. And all because of one man, Alejandro Robaina. The only person who ever had a brand named in his honor by Habanos, the marketing and distributing arm of the Cuban cigar industry. That’s how famous and well-respected he was. Now, he was not a cigar roller, he was a tobacco farmer. But he made the best tobacco in Cuba, and not just occasionally, but year after year, decade after decade. And his grandson Hiroshi Robaina is keeping the family tradition alive.


But Hiroshi took it a step further. He is also growing tobacco outside of Cuba. And in 2014, he created his own brand. Made in Esteli, with Nicaraguan and Ecuadorian tobaccos. The HR brand took off, then went silent for a bit but is now back full force with a new team and a new company name: La Familia Robaina. This HR Signature Belicoso is made with Nicaraguan filler and binder. The wrapper comes from Ecuador, and it’s a sun-grown Habano.


The cigar has a nice Colorado to Colorado Maduro colored wrapper. The closed foot makes the cigar look even better. The ring is a carbon copy of the Cuban Vegas Robaina ring, brown and gold. But this time it says HR instead or VR. The wrapper feels old looks leathery. The construction seems good. The cigar has the aroma of wood and hay.


The cold draw is good, with a leathery, spicy raw tobacco flavor. After lighting the cigar gives plenty of pepper, spice, and grass. The flavors then turn a little burned. Then it turns to wood, soil, and pepper with a hint of chocolate. The cigar gets more power, more pepper, and some sweetness. And then, in the final part of the first third, it’s sweet coffee. The second third starts with an amazing combination of coffee, leather, sweetness, spices, and pepper. In the final third, the cigar gets more wood and leather. All with a nice dose of Nicaraguan pepper.


The draw is good. The burn is great and the cigar produces the right amount of smoke. This cigar is full-flavored and full-bodied. The ash is white and dense. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Most definitely

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Categories: 92, HR, La Corona, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Flor de Selva Year of the Rat Toro

Flor de Selva Year of the Rat Toro. A few years back, Davidoff started with an annual limited edition based on the Chinese zodiac calendar. And several companies followed, including Maya Selva for her Flor de Selva brand. We know of at least 7 companies that release cigars based on the Chinese zodiac calendar now. But being born in the year of the rat, married to someone with Chinese heritage and living in South East Asia, this year is special. That’s why I will be reviewing several ‘Year of the Rat’ cigars this year.


The Flor de Selva Year of the Rat is a 6×52 Toro. It retails for 19 euro in Germany, Europe’s largest cigar market. The cigar is made from tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua. The wrapper comes from Honduras. The binder is Nicaraguan. And the filler contains tobacco from both countries.

The cigar has two rings. The simple faded yellow and greenish Flor de Selva ring. But the foot ring sets the cigar apart from the rest of the Flor de Selva lines. It’s red, the Chinese color of prosperity. And it combines the image of the rat with Mayan hieroglyphics, merging Honduran and Chinese cultures together in this cigar. The wrapper is Colorado colored, with a sharp thin vein on the side. It isn’t the best looking cigar out there, but it’s also not the worst looking cigar. The construction feels great. The nose is nice. A warm aroma of hay and wood, medium strong.


The cold draw is nice, with a nice tobacco flavor. After lighting it’s a mellow and sweet coffee with soil flavor. There is some toast and a nice mix of gingerbread spices as well. The flavors are mellow, smooth and well balanced. There’s a slow evolution to cedar with the spices, toast, and sweetness. The aftertaste has a hint of white pepper. The sweetness is pure honey. The mouthfeel is creamy. Slowly the pepper gains more strength but the honey toast with cedar remains the base flavor for the cigar. In the second third, leather shows up and it’s a beautiful combination with the growing white pepper, toast, spices, and honey. In the final third, the cigar gets stronger, with more pepper, leather, and wood. The toast is dissolving, just like the honey. And the balance starts to disappear as well. And then the sweetness returns. The cigar now has a flavor profile of pepper, sweetness, and cedar with leather.


The draw is phenomenal. The light gray ash is a bit flaky. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is good in volume but could be a bit thicker for a higher score. This is a medium-bodied, full-flavored cigar. The balance was spot on in the first two thirds, with a silky smooth flavor profile. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s expensive but I wouldn’t mind a few more
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Categories: 92, Flor de Selva, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , ,

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