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Todos Las Dias Toro

If you’re fluent in Spanish you might see the error in the name of the cigar, and brand owner/blender and industry legend Steve Saka explained in a facebook post a few months ago the story behind that name. Now I scrolled back on his Facebook posts but he’s so active that I couldn’t find it anymore, but it was a funny story about misunderstanding the language (which I, as a non Spanish speaker understand), trademarks and eventually using the wrong name as a tribute to a mentor and to bypass copyright laws.


Anyway, I was in Cigaragua in Amsterdam the day the cigars landed in The Netherlands and smoked one right out of the box. Since it was my third cigar of the day I could not do a review on the spot with my tainted taste buds but the next day Juan Martinez from Joya de Nicaragua gave me another cigar that I stashed away for a review, this one.


The wrapper is amazing, like dark coffee but with some sparkling minerals, oily and with only a few very thin veins, this cigar is a looker. That’s being magnified by the simple yet sophisticated rings, a diamond shaped ring in silver van black with a logo and beautiful decorations and a foot ring in the same colors with the Todos Las Dias name in a curly font. The cigar feels rock hard though, but without any softer spots so I figure that won’t be a problem. The head of the cigar is perfectly round. The cigar has a medium strong aroma of hay, grass and charred wood.


My Joya branded cutter is working overtime this week since it’s the 4th Joya made cigar in a row. The cold draw is on the tight side of good. I taste a sticky raw tobacco flavor with a little pepper. The cigar starts out smooth and a little sweetness and coffee. Slowly the flavors pick up, creamy chocolate with some pepper show up too. The cigar is smoother than I expected. After a third I still taste the creamy chocolate and pepper but now with a little splash of lime. Halfway I also taste an earthy flavor, still creamy. The final third starts woody with pepper and a mild salty flavor which is hard to describe. The pepper gets stronger and the dominant flavor.


The draw is great, the smoke is on the thin side though. The burn is straight. The ash is white with dark spots and firm. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored but still smooth. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Another winner from Steve Saka.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars, Todos Las Dias | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

La Sagrada Familia Maduro Robusto

Last year Tom Mulder, a cigar aficionado from The Netherlands, released his first cigar under the name La Sagrada Familia. I have known Tom for quite a few years and had we talked about his ideas years ago, and it was or is nice to see his dream come out. He partnered up with the oldest factory in Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua and released a three vitola series in The Netherlands, starting from there and will slowly but surely spread to other countries.


This year Tom will release a second line, the La Sagrada Familia Maduro and just as with the regular La Sagrada Familia there will be a small charity connected to the cigar, part of the proceeds go to projects in Nicaragua under the #bepartofthefamily hashtag. Last year it was a charity for single mothers that made a living by recycling paper, I don’t know what Tom’s next project will be. Anyhow, it’s good to see that some of the proceeds flow back to the people in Nicaragua that need our help most. If any of you out there want to help out in Nicaragua with a donation, please visit the website of my friend Asha who runs a charity in Nicaragua called Atrapa Suenos.


Back to the cigar, I smoked a pre-release but Tom told me the ring will be exactly the same as the ring on his core line, just black and gold, therefore I rate the ring the same as I rated the core line. The wrapper is dark and is leathery, both to the touch and to the eye. the triple cap is perfect but the cigar feels rock hard to the touch. Evenly hard though, so I don’t expect any problems with draw. The aroma is medium strong, earthy and leathery with something of a dark chocolate smell too.


I cut the cigar with my Joya de Nicaragua branded Xikar cutter which seemed appropriate considering the cigar is made there.  The cold draw is good and quite peppery. After lighting the cigar with my classic Ronson varaflame I taste peppery coffee, quite strong. After a few puffs it chances to chocolate with a little pepper though. After an inch the flavor is more toasty with a little cocoa. After a third I still taste some toast but with an earthy flavor and a very little lime. The final third is earthy with pepper. The cigar surely gets spicier, without becoming too spicy. The earthy flavor turns into something I would describe as carrot, that’s what comes closest.


The draw is great and the smoke is thick, full and white. The burn is straight as an arrow. The white ash is dense and firm. The cigar has a nice evolution. I would say this is a medium plus bodied cigar, full flavored. The smoke time is surprisingly long, almost two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, no doubt.

Score: 92
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your reviewer with Tom Mulder (La Sagrada Familia)

Categories: 92, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, La Sagrada Familia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ortega Wild Bunch Fast Eddie Eight Ball

Ortega Wild Bunch
Eddie Ortega is a cigar industry veteran and in his years in the industry he met a lot of characters so in 2012 he came up with this idea of a limited edition each month for 2013, all named after one of the characters he met along his journey through the tobacco industry and he named them the Dirty Dozen. Then Drew Estate amicably asked him to change the name just as they did with Alec Bradley’s dirty hooligan because of their Dirty Rat cigar and just like Alan Rubin before Ortega decided to change the name into the Wild Bunch, but the idea stayed the same.

Now these were all micro releases and by the time I visited the USA a lot of them were sold out so I won’t be reviewing the whole series, just the ones that I was able to get my hands on and still have in my possession. I miss a few, namely Crazy Jack, Honest Abe, Tony the Boss, Warrior Joe and Big Bad John although I reviewed the Crazy Jack before in my old rating system. I will post the 7 other reviews in line, one each day, for the next week.

Fast Eddie Eight Ball


Is it a faith or just a stroke of coincidence that the Fast Eddie is released in August? I mean, August is my birth month and Fast Eddie is a 6 1/2×38 Lancero, my favorite vitola. Made with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler this cigar is the thinest of the series. The ring is in the same style as the others and has an 8 ball between Fast and Eddie on the banner. The wrapper has a sharp vein on the top half, a beautiful pig tail and a beautiful dark chocolate color with a leather look. The cigar feels well packed. The aroma is medium full, a little ammonia with dry grass and a hint of barnyard.


Due to the thin ring I could not punch the cigar so I cut it. The cold draw is fine, I taste spicy sultana. After lighting I taste a nice medium strong spice mix with a little pepper in the aftertaste. The flavor is smooth and slowly turns to toast, chocolate with nutmeg and a little pepper. Halfway the cigar gets a floral flavor with some toast and a mild pepper. Near the end the pepper grows.


The draw is good and the ash is white, dense and firm. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness.  The cigar is medium bodied and medium to full flavored, subtle and complex with a good burn. The smoke time of this smooth cigar is an hour and forty five minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? If only that was possible

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Ortega | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigars of Habanos Custom Rolled 52

As you might have read in a few of my older reviews, my wife is from Singapore so it’s natural that I’ve been to Singapore more than a few times and during my travels I met a few fine cigar aficionados there that I always try to meet up with and have a smoke or two when I’m in town. And since I have a huge stash of cigars and the prices here in Europe are much nicer than the insane prices in Singapore I always bring something to share, on my last trip it was a Undercrown Flying Pig, but one of the original releases, the limited edition for The Netherlands since my friend Jason had never smoked a flying pig.


Jason offered me a cigar in return that I had never smoked, a custom rolled cigar in the Cohiba Behike 52 size, made for the famous Hong Kong based webshop Cigars of Habanos. I guess they are so close to the management of Habanos and such good clients that they can have custom rolls made with Cuban tobacco to sell on their website. Since the best Cubans in general are the custom rolled or farm rolled cigars, because the rollers take time to create something good instead of rushing the cigars out, I am curious about this cigar.


Now the cigar, that comes in bundles and without ring to reduce costs, has no ring and that creates an issue since I rate the ring for my final score. So what I do is don’t rate it and divide the final number with 95 instead of 100 to offset the lack of the ring. The silky smooth and oak looking wrapper has a few veins. The cigar is well packed, quite hard to the touch but evenly hard and the tiny flag cap makes it a nice looking cigar. The mild aroma is quite interesting, it smells like sweet cookie dough with a little vanilla.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is a little on the loose side with a spicy sultana flavor. After lighting with a torch I taste coffee with some sugar. Soon after the flavors change to cedar and cinnamon with some icing sugar. After a third I taste some cedar with fresh cut green herbs, cilantro and basil. Halfway I taste cedar with cinnamon and vanilla, all subtle and balanced. Near the end the cigar gets sweeter and spicier again with a little pepper.


The draw is fine and the smoke is thick and white. The light colored ash is firm and the burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The cigar is subtle and balanced. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it so yeah.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Cuban cigars, Custom Rolled (Habanos) | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Rocky Patel Royale Robusto

Back in the day, while I was working for a cigar distributer I ran into Rocky Patel at Intertabac. At that time Rocky didn’t have a distributer in The Netherlands, a small player was interested but I snatched Rocky away from him and brought him to us. And we did quite alright, Rocky wasn’t our biggest selling brand but it was getting momentum and we did some great events with his European director Kolja Kukuk and even Rocky managed to do a few events in The Netherlands and it was always fun.


One of the cigars I smoked most was this Rocky Patel Royale, made in his Nicaraguan factory, a factory I visited, with an Ecuadorean Sumatra wrapper and filler tobacco from Nicaragua and Honduras. This cigar made it to the top 10 of Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 a few years ago and I did do a review of the toro some time ago but have never reviewed the robusto and never done a review with my 100 point scoring system so here we go.


When I release the 5×52 box pressed cigar from the cellophane I notice a beautiful, dark, mild toothy and oily wrapper that just looks amazing. The construction fels great and the triple cap looks good too. The ring is beautiful, golden with a dark reddish brown color writing and RP logo although the print quality could be a little better around the letters. The second, smaller ring, is in the exact same style and says Royale. Simple yet tasteful. And the aroma is strong and a classic stable and barnyard smell.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is perfect and flavorful. I taste hay, raisin and wood. After lighting I taste coffee and peanuts. Slowly I start tasting herbs and pepper too while the coffee disappears. After a third it’s spicy green herbs with some peanut, salt and pepper. Halfway there is a stronger nut, not just peanuts, flavor with a hint of chocolate and still the green herbs with some white pepper. The pepper slowly builds up to a nice and strong flavor.


The draw is fantastic, just the right amount of resistance. The smoke is thick and full. The light gray ash is firm. The burn is good yet not perfect. This cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again?  Yes, I will always have some in stock.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Rocky Patel, Tavicusa | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

La Flor Dominicana Airbender Villano Lancero

My previous employer was, for some time that I worked there, the distributor of La Flor Dominicana and through my work I had the pleasure to meet Litto both in my home country of The Netherlands, in Germany during the Intertabac trade shows and in the United States where Litto went out of his way a few times and cut into his secret family time to meet me for a lunch. That’s where I also met his sons, Litto jr and Antonio, who’s now heavily involved in the business as a blender of the Capitulo, Chapter and La Nox lines
While I was employed with that company La Flor Dominicana released the ‘airbender’ series, some say its named after Litto’s favorite Avatar  cartoon character but according to Litto the name comes from the fact that we bent the air when we smoke.


We carried 3 sizes and once they released the lancero the begging started. Me begging my employer that is. I love lanceros while my previous employer hates them as they are hard to sell. Eventually he caved, ordered 40 boxes, which I all sold. Well, I sold 38 to accounts and bought 2 myself. The cigar is made of Dominican filler and binder, all from the La Flor Dominicana farms wrapped in an Ecuadorean Habano wrapper.


The wrapper is nice and dark, shiny with a leathery look. The construction feels good and the cigar is well made with a nice pigtail to top. There is a mild aroma that smells a bit like an open field early in the morning, right around sunrise when the dew is still lingering. The ring has a black oval in the centre with the curly LFD letters in gold surrounded by golden leaves on a medium brown background. On the bottom is says La Flor Dominicana in white and air bender in golden letters right above an Egyptian looking golden decoration. Next to the LFD logo, on both sides, there are two ninja swords in white and a small golden tobacco leaf. The ring is well printed on good quality paper.


Due to the small ring gauge and the pig tail I have no choice but to cut the cigar and I used my Xikar to do so. The cold draw is perfect and peppery. My trusted Ronson was used to light the cigar. I instantly taste espresso with a little chocolate aftertaste. After a centimeter I taste vanilla, cocoa, pepper and a little lemon. After a third it’s mainly pepper with just a little bit vanilla and some leather with a lemonade aftertaste. Halfway I also taste a little bit of sweetness but the pepper is still very dominant with leather as the main support. The pepper remains dominant but the leather disappears, just like the sweetness. Only the nice citrus flavor remains in the aftertaste. After two thirds I taste a little spice too, cumin to be more precise. Slowly I also taste some wood.


The smoke is thick and full but the ash is quite dark and a bit flaky yet still firm. The draw is perfect. The cigar is full bodied, full flavored and quite well balanced. The burn is sharp. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? It’s no longer available on the dutch market but I still have a box left.

Score: 92

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Categories: 92, Dominican cigars, La Flor Dominicana, Tabacalera La Flor | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oliva Master Blend 3 Torpedo

After the 2003 release of the Oliva Master Blend 1, the 2005 release of the Master Blend 2 Oliva released a third Master Blend, the Master Blend 3 in 2006. The company did not disclose how many cigars were released but next to the box releases in the robusto, torpedo and Churchill sizes they also released a sampler with those three vitolas and a 5×54 double robusto.


The cigars aren’t tattooed as explained in the Master Blend 2 review which I published yesterday. And in the last 11 years there has been no follow up to the Master Blend series, so we are still waiting for the Master Blend 4. The Master Blend series consisted of 3 vitolas, I smoked the Churchill for the Master Blend 1  review, the robusto for the Master Blend 2 review so lets go for the torpedo for this Master Blend 3 review, then I covered all vitolas and all releases


The sharp head of the cigar is what I notice first, combined with the box pressed with rounded corners it makes the cigar quite unique in shape. The ring is almost identical to the Master Blend 1 and 2, except for a little difference in color and a 3 of course. There is no mention of the number of released cigars though and the tattoo is missing. The construction feels good and the dark wrapper feels a leathery. The cigar has a strong aroma, it smells like walking through the woods early morning after a rainfall, wood, plants and animal droppings.


I cut the cigar. The perfect cold draw is spicy and peppery with sultanas. After lighting it with a soft flame I taste a nice smooth mixture of coffee, honey, cedar, cumin and lime. After an inch I taste cedar, nutmeg, pepper and lime. Halfway the pepper gets stronger with cedar. The final third starts with wood, a little pepper and a little lemon. Near the end I taste coffee again.


The draw is fine and the smoke is medium plus thick, medium plus in volume and beautifully white. The ash is dense and white but not too firm. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar is medium plus bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a good cigar but I like the 1 and 2 better.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Illusione ~HL~ Maduro

After releasing the Illusione ~HL~ natural Dion Giolito, owner of the brand, had some empty boxes left over and instead of letting them go to waste he decided to create the same vitola in the candela and maduro blends he already made for other vitolas of Illusione. As a certified lancero whore I’m not complaining about this decision.


Like the other lanceros from Illusione, this one is made at Raices Cubanas in Honduras too. So it classifies as a Honduran cigar even though the wrapper is from Mexico and the filler and binder are Nicaraguan, no Honduran tobacco is used for this 7 1/2×40 elegant cigar. The Mexican San Adres wrapper is stalk cut, a technique where not the individual leaves are picked but the whole plant is cut down and hung to dry upside down.


The wrapper has a mild oily shine to it and is beautifully dark, like a thin chocolate bar. Unfortunately the cigar wasn’t wrapped in cellophane and that caused a little damage at the foot. The tiny pigtail is a nice detail. The construction feels great. The cigar has a mild floral aroma. The ring is identical to the regular Illusione ~HL~ ring but only in a different color, brown with golden letters and black outlines instead of white with golden letters and golden outlines.


I cut the cigar and the cold draw is great. I taste a little pepper and a little citrus before lighting the cigar. After lighting with a soft flame I taste coffee. Soon I also taste chocolate. After a centimeter I taste spices with cedar and a little pepper. I also taste a tiny bit of chocolate sweetness. After a third I taste cedar with some spices and a little white pepper in the back of my mouth. Slowly a chocolate flavor returns. The flavors then change to toast with pepper and citrus. The flavors don’t change much anymore but become stronger and only some citrus shows up. Especially the pepper grows in strength.


The draw is just fine, no complaints at all. The smoke is thick and plentiful. The ash is fragile and light colored. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium bodied yet full of flavor. The smoke time is an hour and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like this one the best from the three blends and all three are worthy of another purchase.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Honduran cigars, Illusione, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Lars Tetens Steampunk Toro

Infused cigars, I have reviewed a few because a friend, who sadly passed away a few months ago at the early age of 55, send a few as a joke, but I hate them. I mean, why would you mess up beautiful tobacco? My guess is that the infused cigars use low quality tobacco and mask the taste with chemical enhanced flavors. I mean, you don’t see beautiful single malt whisky being infused right, only low grade industrial made vodka or low grade white rum get that kind of treatment and in my opinion its the same with tobacco. Either smoke the good stuff or don’t smoke at all but leave the chemically ‘enriched’ crap alone, that stuff is bad and gives traditional cigars a bad reptutation, attracks minors to try cigars and therefore causes politicians and FDA to screw with our hobby. Infused cigars are the bridge between cigarettes and cigars and there shouldn’t be a bridge, there should be a lot of distance between those two.


Now, years ago I wrote a horrible review on the Lars Tetens Gorillafinger and a few months ago I was approached by Josh Allison from Lions of Luxury who asked me if I was willing to review some other Lars Tetens cigars. I agreed and he send me the traditional Greenwich torpedo and the infused Steampunk toro. Infused you say? Yes! Did I jump from joy, exited to try another infused cigar by Lars Tetens? No! But at least this isn’t a fruit flavored, tropical or vanilla infused cigar, actually, it doesn’t even say what it’s infused with and that by itself is a little intriguing. So I’m writing this review with an open mind and I really hope that this is the first infused cigar that I will like. And if you’re curious about this cigar, surf to urbanluxlife.com and order, use ja10 for a 10% discount, but please keep in mind: if you’re not in the USA and it’s not legal to order online/import tobacco, don’t do it, I am not responsible if you willingly break the law.


The first thing I did when I released this 6×50 toro from the cellophane is smell the cigar, as the infused thing made me curious on what the smell might be, and I didn’t even had to smell up close, as soon as the cello was removed I smelled an aroma that was a mixture of fruity white wine, apple and stale beer. The aroma is strong but I don’t like it much and the cigar loses points on that (read [this] on what I rate on). The construction feels good though and the cap is nicely placed. The Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper looks very tasty, beautifull dark wrapper with thin veins, a nice oily glow and a leathery touch. The cigar has two rings, the top ring is a beautiful dark metallic ring with metallic red outlines and a dragon and golden letters on beautiful paper but the 2 inch big foot ring is multi colored on a much lower grade paper and looks like a elementary school project. If the footband was as beautiful as the top ring I would have rated it higher, this is another quarter of a point lost so even before lighting this cigar already faces a lower score, the smell and the foot ring already cost a full point of the final result.


When I wet the cap to punch it I taste a mild tangerine sweetness. The cold draw is fine and I taste a mild fruity and peppery flavor, but the fruit isn’t a terrible chemical flavor though. I lit the cigar carefully with a soft flame and I taste a metallic flavor, wood and a hint of tangerine. I also taste some pepper. After an inch I taste the pepper with some wood and some creamy berry flavor, like ice cream. Soon after I taste nutmeg with cedar and pepper. I like the creaminess of the cigar, a mixture of butter and ice cream and after a third it’s clearly a peppery blackberry flavor that I only tasted in the original release of the Don Pepin Garcia Black Robusto. Halfway I taste a mild freshness in the aftertaste and the main flavor is now a spice mix with the blackberry flavor as support. There’s also some pepper. Some time later I taste something that reminds me most of paprika potato chips with pepper, cedar and that blackberry ice cream in the aftertaste. Slowly the pepper gets stronger with the berry as aftertaste.


The smoke is thick, white and full. The draw is perfect, the right resistance. The ash is gray and firm with a perfect burn. This medium bodied cigar is complex and without the smell and the mild tangerine and berry flavor it could pass for a traditional cigar. The cigar has plenty of flavor and an hour and a half smoke time.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, much to my surprise I really liked this cigar.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, American cigars, Lars Tetens, Lars Tetens Factory | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial

A few days ago I wrote about, and reviewed, the Tatuaje Cojunu 2012 and in the past I would have used the same introduction for this cigar, but late last year I decided to upgrade my blog, not only with a 100 point scoring system, a regular schedule of reviews, a monthly lancero review but also decided that my reviews needed to become a bit better, less lazy, more personal so I can’t get away with that anymore, and I don’t even want to get away with that anymore. So for the background story on the box and the Cojonu, please check my review from a few days ago.


Now the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial, what’s so special about it? Well, first of all, its special because of the wrapper used. Instead of an Ecuadorean Habano that was used on all previous Cojonu releases Pete Johnson decided to make a trio of cigars, one with the regular Ecuadorean Habano but also one with a Connecticut Broadleaf (see previous review) and this one, with a Sumatra wrapper from Ecuador. The size is, just like the Connecticut Broadleaf version 6 1/2×52 and box pressed. The wrapper is a little lighter in color than the broadleaf version but still relatively dark and it looks quite leathery, but still beautiful with no big veins. I do feel a little dent in the cigar right in the middle, hopefully that won’t affect the draw, smoke and smoking time. I have the same issues with the ring as with the Reserva, the bottom ring doesn’t fit the regular Tatuaje ring although because of the color white instead of black it’s less of an annoyance. The aroma is quite nice, like an earthy cacao aroma, medium strong.


Once again I used my punch, which has lately been my favorite way of decapping a cigar. The cold draw is great, with a mild taste or raisin and some ground white pepper. I used a soft flame to light the cigar and I taste a soft coffee with milky chocolate and nutmeg. The cigar is friendlier than the broadleaf version. The nutmeg replaced the coffee completely, the chocolate is still there but very weak, i also get some citrus. There’s also a hint of cinnamon in the flavor palate. The flavors are quite dry.


After a third I taste some toast with some hazelnut and still some of the spices. Halfway the cigar gets more toasty with some cedar and a cinnamon nutmeg mixture. Every few puffs I taste chocolate too. The cigar also gets spicier with mild pepper on the background. After two thirds I taste cedar with spices, a mild white pepper, citrus and a little freshness but it’s all replaced soon with nuts, pepper and citrus.


The smoke is medium thick and a decent volume. The draw is great. The ash is white, dense and firm. The burn is straight, but not as slow as the reserva. The cigar is very well balanced with plenty of evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer this blend over the reserva with the Connecticut broadleaf.

Score: 92

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Categories: 92, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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