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Muestra de Saka Nacatamale

Muestra de Saka Nacatamale. A beautiful 6×48 Gran Corona from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. And if that name doesn’t ring a bell, Steve Saka will probably do. If Steve Saka doesn’t ring a bell, then you seriously need to upgrade your cigar knowledge. Saka was the first cigar blogger. Then he became a marketing consultant for J.R. Cigars, CEO for Drew Estate, and for a few years, he’s the owner, blender, and the face of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.

This Muestra de Saka Nacatamale is the second cigar in the Muestra de Saka line. And the first regular production, as the inaugural cigar was a limited edition. Named after a traditional Nicaraguan dish. It’s not the last time that Saka named a cigar after food though. The filler tobacco is all from one farm in Jalapa, Esteli. Add a Nicaraguan binder and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and you have the ingredients for this cigar. Made in Esteli, at Joya de Nicaragua. This cigar was a gift from Puros Asia, the Malaysian distributor for Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.

The first thing that catches the eye, after it’s taken out of the coffin, is the lack of a cigar ring. The Muestra de Saka Nacatamale has a cloth foot ring. Include the coffin, and this is something that stands out in a humidor. Fluorescent yellow with red letters spelling Muestra de Saka, and black letters Nacatamale printed over the red letters. The wrapper is oily, yet has some veins. The dark color isn’t even everywhere, it’s lighter around the veins. But that makes this cigar intriguing. The cap has a little tail, but it’s no flag tail or pigtail. Just a little 2-millimeter tail. The construction feels fantastic. And the aroma is delicious, dark, spicy, and intense.

The cold draw is flawless with a spicy taste. Once it, it’s dark roast coffee with some red chili and sweetness. The flavors turn to grassy, nutty, spicy, and leathery. There is an earthy cinnamon flavor with some pepper, well blended and balanced. The coffee returns, and there is slight dark chocolate. The retrohale has a mildly sweet and mild spice flavor, close to nutmeg. The second third starts earthy with coffee. The smooth spices, with a little pepper, dominate the cigar. There is also some earthy chocolate. The final third has dark flavors, some oak, leather, spices, some black pepper. There is also a hint of sweetness and freshness. The oak gets stronger, with roasted tones. Roasted coffee returns as well. The finale has a little more black pepper.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is almost Drew Estate like. Thick, full, white, and plentiful. The light-colored, almost white, ash breaks easily though. It’s so well balanced and so smooth that it doesn’t feel like a medium to a full-bodied cigar. But it is though, and it’s also full-flavored. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Hell yeah

Categories: 93, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Muestra de Saka, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Oscar Superfly Maduro Super Corona

Oscar Superfly Maduro Super Corona. In 2019, Oscar Valladares released the Super Fly Maduro. A cigar inspired by the 1970s in style. Funky colors, bigger than life. A bold smoke, that came in a velvet lined box to further enhance that pimp look and feel of the line. Earlier this year, Oscar released another Super Fly line, with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.

Valladares says this is the strongest cigar he makes. It’s the first time he used Dominican tobacco in one of his blends. The wrapper comes from San Andres in Mexico. The binder is Honduran. The filler comes from Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Canteros, the New Zealand distributor for Oscar, sponsored Ministry of Cigars with this cigar. This is the 5¼x45 Super Corona. Other sizes available are 6×54 Super Toro and the 6½x60 Super Gordo

The cigar looks great. A very dark wrapper, slightly dry and leathery is the perfect match for the funky ring. The ring breathes 1970s funk and pimp. An unusual shape, shiny purple, and gold, typography from that era. This is a cigar to smoke while watching Shaft or any other blaxploitation movie from the 1970s. Or Jackie Brown, which is Tarantino’s tribute of blaxploitation. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong and woody.

The cold draw is flawless and releases some brown spices in the flavor profile. Dry spices, dry wood, and a mild cocoa flavor are the flavors that start the cigar. The cigar turns more to a dark chocolate flavor profile. With brown spices as supporting flavor. Some sugar sweetness shows up as well. With a hint of leather over the chocolate, earthiness, and wood. Wood, sweetness, and brown spices are the main flavors. After a third, the cigar is too strong to retrohale. The pepper in the nose is too strong. The wood and leather get more pronounced, the sweetness fades away. A little citrus acidity shows up to balance all flavors out.

The draw is great. The ash is as white as snow. The smoke is thick and plentiful. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored. To stay in the 70s mood, this cigar is dy-no-mite! It’s groovy, or the bomb. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? This cigar is so groovy, I want more.

Categories: 93, Honduran cigars, Leaf by Oscar, Oscar Valladares Tobacco Factory | Tags: , , , , ,

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Lancero

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Lancero. Like all names in the Hiram & Solomon portfolio, this cigar gets his name from the freemason world as well. The ‘traveling man’ name stems from the ancient masonry. Master masons were often required to move from job to job over long distances. And when in a new area, local masons or the local lodge would vouch for such a ‘traveling man’. Fouad Kashouty and George Dakrat use the Plasencia Cigars factory in Esteli, Nicaragua for all the Hiram & Solomon lines. That includes this traveling man, the online Hiram & Solomon line with a Lancero in the line-up

This blend is made with tobaccos from four countries. The wrapper and binder are from South East Asia. From Indonesia. And if you want to get even more precise, from Sumatra where the Dutch introduced tobacco over four centuries ago. And later, the Sumatra seeds would be introduced into Cameroon to become the legendary Cameroon tobacco. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Brazil. Arapiraca from Brazil is used. Habano from Nicaragua is the last component in the blend. The Nicaraguan tobacco comes from Jalapa near the Honduran border and the volcanic island of Ometepe. The lancero is 7×38, but last year I reviewed the 6×60 Gran Toro.

Just because of the vitola, this cigar looks elegant. Skinny, long, a lancero is always beautiful. Add a purple, silver, and black ring and you have a cigar that stands out. The wrapper is a Colorado colored Indonesian Sumatra wrapper. To the eye and the touch, the wrapper is dry. The veins are thin. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is of charred wood, medium in strength.

The cold draw is a bit tight. It leaves a spicy raw tobacco flavor on top of the palate. Once lit, the cigar releases sweetness, floral notes, and cedar. There is also some spice. The spice slowly gets stronger. Nutmeg and a little pepper, but all covered in a very nice sweetness. Slowly leather and soil join the party, with the return of cedar. The floral flavors are still around. Everything is well balanced and smooth. At the end of the first third, there is also some chocolate. Milk chocolate to be more precise. With the leather, spice, and pepper. But all subtle. The second third also brings a faint vanilla flavor with a little freshness. A little later a fresh, green, grassy flavor is noticeable. The pepper gets a little stronger without overpowering the other flavors. It all remains very balanced and subtle.

The draw is very good. The length of the cigar cools the smoke down, making it very pleasant to smoke. The burn is straight. The ash is almost white. But due to the small ring gauge, the ash breaks easily. The cigar is smooth and balanced. The cigar has depth and nice complexity. The smoke time is two hours fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box or two boxes.

Categories: 93, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , ,

Tyrannical Buc Maduro Magnum 48

Tyrannical Buc Maduro Magnum 48 by Jas Sum Kral. Last year, Jas Sum Kral released a few new blends. The one that received most of the attention was the Nuggs. And of course, as Jas Sum Kral was the first premium cigar brand that came with a CBD infused cigar. The only way to create that cigar was to back-engineer the whole process. Spraying leaves with a CBD solution like some other others do result in low-quality cigars at a high price. So Jas Sum Kral hired an engineer and came up with a much better way. A way they patented, so nobody can copy it. But it took away a lot of the attention that this Jas Sum Kral Tyrannical Buc would have gotten otherwise. Named after Riste Ristevski’s nickname Riste Buc, this blend is a sleeper.


The Tyrannical Buc comes in several sizes. And in two blends, one with a Connecticut wrapper which Ministry of Cigars reviewed earlier. And it was smoked during a Philip & Ferdy Cigar show. But there is also a Maduro version. The blend is identical for both versions, except for the wrapper. The filler comes from Nicaragua and Pennsylvania, USA. The binder is Nicaraguan. And the Maduro version sports a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper from the USA. For this review, we smoked the 4×48 Tyrannical Buc Maduro Magnum 48.

Ever since Jas Sum Kral was released, we have been amazed by its band. The details on the bands are amazing. And that’s why this Tyrannical Buc ring is such a letdown. The ring is simple, a little too simple to our taste. Just a white ring with a drawing of a T-Rex. Now the detail is nice. Jas Sum Kral means I am king, and the t-rex is wearing a crown. The dark wrapper is oily, veiny, and intimidating. Even though the cigar is less than a year old, the cellophane already started to discolor. The cigar feels well constructed. It has a strong smell of hay, barnyard, and some floral notes.


The cold draw is great. It releases a flavor sometimes found in liquor-filled bonbons. But then with hay as well, just as pepper. Straight from the start, the cigar gives dark chocolate, sweetness, hay, leather, earthiness, and pepper. The flavors are powerful, yet balanced and creamy. It evolves to wood with chocolate, pepper, spice, and leather. The second third brings more dry wood and hay. But there is still chocolate, leather, and earthiness. The cigar remains woody, with hay, chocolate, pepper, and sweetness. There are gingerbread spices in the retrohale.


The draw is good. Just like the firm ash. The burn is quite straight. The cigar releases a good amount of light blue smoke. The light-colored ash is firm. This is a medium-full to a full-bodied and full-flavored cigar. Balanced, smooth, powerful. This is a perfect example of how the same filler and binder with a different wrapper can be a completely different cigar. The smoke time is an hour and three quarters.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

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Categories: 93, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Aragon | Tags: , , , ,

Henk Maori Masterpiece

Henk Maori Masterpiece. Henk is a luxury brand, mostly focussed on suitcases and travel bags. But designer and owner Heiko Poerz is also an avid cigar smoker for over thirty years. With his eye for detail, his and his attitude to always go for the best, he was unhappy with the cigars that were on the market. Nothing reached perfection for his palate. So he asked his friend, master blender Didier Houvenaghel, for help to create a cigar that would be tailor-made for Poerz. Houvenaghel makes cigars at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez, so automatically, Henk cigars would be made there as well. Houvenaghel and Poerz created a blend with vintage tobaccos. The tobacco is expensive, but since Poerz doesn’t compromise quality, he pushed on. His obsession with cigars also created a whole line of accessories, including the Cigarbone and the Minibone.


The Maori name is a tribute to a mutual friend of Poerz and Houvenaghel. The friend is Maori, and when the cigar was in the development stage, the three friends met up in Bali, Indonesia. Poerz jokingly mentioned that the wrapper had the same color as their friend’s skin. The line suddenly had a name, a tribute to their Maori friend. That resulted in a Maori style tattoo logo for the cigars, and names related to the Maori heritage such as the Haka. The Henk Maori Haka scored 94 and ended up on the 4th place of Ministry of Cigars Top 25 of 2019. The Henk Maori Masterpiece is a limited edition figurado. It measures 6½x64 and is made with vintage tobaccos from Nicaragua. The cigars were released in 2018, in very limited production. The cigars came in a travel humidor with 7 cigars, limited to 200 travel humidors. And 12 humidors with 52 cigars. There are also a limited number of refills and singles available.


The cigar looks amazing. The shape is fantastic, and the small pieces of Maduro wrapper on the foot and the head make the cigars pop. The unfinished head and the tattoo make this cigar stand out in any humidor. The wrapper is Colorado Maduro colored, dry and has some veins. Without the veins, the cigar would have hit 100 out of 100 points. It feels pretty packed but evenly packed. The dark manure smell is medium strong.


The cold draw is good. There is a hint of milk chocolate but also a lot of pepper in the cold draw. Straight from the start, there is coffee, slightly bitter but on a pleasant level. The draw is surprisingly good from the start. Usually, there is a bit of a tight draw until the burn reached the thicker part of the foot. There are herbal sweetness, pepper, and fresh leather flavors as well. The retrohale gives more spice and cedar. The cigar has a nutmeg and cinnamon sweetness. At the thickest part of the cigar, there is cedar, soil, pepper, and sugary sweetness. The cigar is very pleasant in the retrohale. Coffee and toast show up, still with the cedar, sweetness, pepper, and spices. The mouthfeel is creamy. The spices turn to gingerbread spices, with cedar, leather, sweetness, and pepper. The mouthfeel is still creamy. In the last third, the cigar picks up more strength. Retrohaling is no longer an option. Wood, leather, coffee, spices, and pepper are the main flavors.


The draw is amazing. The burn had to be corrected a few times though. There is a good amount of thick, white smoke. The ash is white and firm. This is a smooth, balanced, and flavorful cigar. But it packs strength too, even though it’s smooth and creamy. It is a full-bodied, full-flavored cigar. Balanced, smooth and full of character. The smoke time is three hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? For a very special occasion
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Categories: 93, Henk, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Daniel Marshall by Carlos Fuente – XXXVIII Limited Edition

Daniel Marshall by Carlos Fuente – XXXVIII Limited Edition. Earlier this year, Daniel Marshall announced a very special limited edition for his 38th anniversary. A cigar made for him by no other than Carlito Fuente, to honor their decades’ long friendship. As Marshall said “Carlos and I grew up together from boys to men sharing similar values, commitment to quality and an unrelenting quest for the best. What joins us together, the golden thread that runs through our veins and drives us to live our dreams is a commitment to creativity in all we do a richness of character and generosity of spirit.” Fuente called making the cigar a great honor and thanked Marshall for the opportunity. The cigar will be sold at 38 locations worldwide and is already highly sought after.

The cigar is a Dominican puro, with all tobaccos grown at Chateau de La Fuente. Some of the tobacco is aged up to 12 years. Marshall and Fuente did not reveal how many cigars are released. The cigar is only available in a 6⅜x52 Torpedo and comes in exclusive Daniel Marshall travel humidors. The humidors can carry up to 20 cigars but come with 8 of these limited edition masterpieces. As Carlos Fuente said “What a huge honor and privilege this project has been for me. It was a calling of the heart for a special friendship that I have cherished and appreciated for long before most anyone reading this knew anything about cigars. Thank you Daniel Marshall for being who you are and have been consistently all these many, many years.” Ministry of Cigars will add a thank you to Daniel Marshall for sponsoring this unicorn.

The cigar has a smooth, Clara colored wrapper. Silky and delicate. The torpedo is semi box-pressed and feels evenly filled. The cigar has two rings, a white and gold primary ring, with Marshall’s signature. The secondary ring is gold, but unlike many limited-edition rings, this is not a copy from Habanos. It’s gold with black and has a row of dots but that’s where the similarities stop. The font is different, the letters aren’t black. This ring is embossed, and much more upscale than the Habanos rings. You can see the effort and love poured into the design. The aroma is strong, deep spices such as cumin mixed with a barnyard aroma. Very pleasant, complex, and promising.

The cold draw is perfect, with a smooth leather flavor. From the start, there is honey with a slight citrus acidity, smooth leather, and a little earthiness. Add a little red pepper on the lips and you’ll get the flavor of this cigar. The honey sweetness remains, with wood, earthiness, pepper, spices, and some salt. The flavors already show complexity. Slowly coffee shows up as well, with some citrus again. The honey sweetness remains, just like cedarwood and pepper. Slowly the flavors turn more to cedar with white pepper. There is still some sweetness and citrus though, but more on the background with some coffee. The cigar slowly turns to more of a coffee-flavored cigar. But the flavor changes are very nuanced, very smooth, and very complexed. There is some sweetness, yet it is no longer honey but more like cane sugar. In the final third, there’s pepper with a smooth silky milk chocolate. The flavors are so smooth that even in the last third, retrohaling is not an issue. Cedar shows up on the palate again. Still with the milk chocolate and pepper.

The draw is phenomenal. The smoke is plentiful. It’s thick, it’s white, it’s voluminous. The light gray ash is firm, like a stack of dimes. And the burn? It’s straight. This is a medium-bodied and medium flavored cigar. But it’s balanced, complex, and smooth. This is a cigar best enjoyed in solitary. It deserves full attention. Experience as a cigar smoker and a good palate are required to fully ‘get’ this cigar. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish I could

Categories: 93, Daniel Marshall, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , , ,

Cuatro Cinco Edicion Asia by Joya de Nicaragua

Cuatro Cinco Edicion Asia by Joya de Nicaragua. A blend introduced in 2013, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Joya de Nicaragua. In one size, a toro. But the blend was so popular that Joya de Nicaragua decided to tweak it a little bit. And that tweaked blend was introduced as a regular production line a year later. In four sizes. Toro, Torpedo, Double Robusto, and Petit Corona. The line is part of the Obras Maestras series, the top of the line blends of Joya de Nicaragua. The flagship lines. Earlier this year, Joya’s distributor in Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, and Macau, Cigraal introduced a limited edition for Asia of this blend. In the consul size, a vitola used in other Joya de Nicaragua lines. But the sales aren’t limited to those four markets. Several other countries, like Malaysia and even the United Kingdom, have seen the introduction of this limited edition as well.

The Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Edicion Asia is made with the same tobaccos as the regular production. That means Nicaraguan fillers with a Dominican binder. The wrapper is Nicaraguan criollo. The size is unique to the Cuatro Cinco blend, yet not to Joya de Nicaragua. The Gran Consul, a 4¾x60 bullet head cigar, is part of the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño and the Antaño Dark Corojo lines. Although, in the Dark Corojo series, it’s called La Pesadilla instead of Gran Consul. 

The cigar looks fantastic. A dark wrapper and the semi box-pressed shape of the cigar makes it look like a chocolate bar. The foot ring with the Pixiu and the Chinese Lucky Clouds give the cigar an Asian touch. The big, black, and glossy ring with the white and gold logos cover almost half the cigar. But the high quality and the contemporary design give the cigar grandeur. The construction feels good. The bullet head is perfectly shaped. Even the aroma smells Asian, with spices and herbs.

After cutting just a tiny bit off the cap, there is a fine cold draw. The flavor has hints of dry, young wood with some spicy sweetness. Once lit, the cigar shows hints of coffee, walnut, and spice. The pepper is getting stronger and it’s a mixture of black and red pepper. There is also some hay and wood. There is a nice powdered sugar sweetness in the retrohale. Coffee, pepper, and soil are getting stronger, with a hint of leather. There’s also a cinnamon sweetness. The second third starts with more spices like cumin and cinnamon. There is also some coffee, sweetness, pepper, and dark wood. Some nuts show up too. Ad the end of the second third, a faint vanilla flavor shows up too

The draw is fine. The burn had to be corrected once. The smoke was thick, white, and full. The cigar is well balanced, yet strong. Full-bodied and full-flavored without question. The ash is white and firm. The flavors are dark, yet balanced. The smoke time is two hours and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wouldn’t mind a box or two


Categories: 93, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars

Muestra de Saka Chubby Unicorn

Muestra de Saka Chubby Unicorn. Now, this is a true unicorn. Steve Saka created the Muestra de Saka Unicorn as a joke, to see if it was possible to sell a $100 cigar. But he did it with the best tobaccos he could find, not messing around with his integrity and reputation. Much to his surprise, they sold like hotcakes. He only makes 1000 Muestra de Saka Unicorns a year and last September he told me that he has backorders for at least 7000 Unicorns. And then he gave a Muestra de Saka Chubby Unicorn.


The Chubby Unicorn is a tweaked version of the Muestra de Saka Unicorn. Saka felt it could be a bit better with an extra leaf, so he made the Chubby Unicorn. Yet he has no intention to produce them for a commercial release. It is too much of a hassle, it takes up more time, energy and effort than it’s worth. The Chubby Unicorn is even more of a unicorn than the annual release. During our conversation, which took place at the launch of the Sin Compromiso El Amsterdammer, Saka did not comment on the blend. Neither did he go into specifics of the cigar.


The cigar looks great. The shape is beautiful. The wrapper is dark and oily. The veins are thin yet clear, but it fits the color and the shine. The ring looks handwritten. The cigar feels well constructed. We suspect that the same pair of rollers responsible for the Muestra de Saka Unicorn is responsible for the Chubby Unicorn as well. The aroma is woody.


The cold draw is amazing, even though only the cap was cut. The small opening gives an amazing draw though. The flavors are thick and nutty. The start is very leathery but with sweetness and cloves. Leather, soil, coffee, and spices held together by some sweetness if that comes after the initial puffs. Soon to be joined by some pepper and wood. Slowly the cigar evolves to more nutty flavors, as in the cold draw. But with wood, leather, spices, and pepper. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Some dark chocolate shows up as well. The leather makes a comeback right before the end of the first third. The second third is mostly nuts, with some soil, pepper, and wood. In the final third, the nut flavors are gone. It’s wood, leather, and pepper galore in the end.


The draw is phenomenal. The cigar produces a thick, full smoke in copious amounts. The burn is a little uneven though and had to be corrected. The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The cigar is both full-bodied and full-flavored. It is well balanced though with a lot of character. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I smoke this cigar again? I wish

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Categories: 93, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Nicarao Especial 2015 Reserve Robusto

Nicarao Especial 2015 Reserve Robusto. A limited-edition from DH Boutique Cigars. Only 480 boxes of 21 cigars of the Nicarao Especial 2015 Reserve Robusto were released. They were spread over the 30+ countries where the cigars from Didier Houvenaghel are being distributed. The cigars aren’t available in the United States.


This cigar is made with all Nicaraguan tobacco. The wrapper comes from Jalapa, and it’s a rosado wrapper. That’s all the details we could find on this cigar. The size is 5 inches long with a ring of 52. This cigar was given to Ministry of Cigars by Houvenaghel during a get together with an Indonesian cigar manufacturer and Marc Benden from Cigarworld Dusseldorf.


The wrapper is smooth, soft, silky and reddish-brown. It looks really tasty. The ring is nice, green with black volcanos honoring Nicaragua. The yellow of the Nicarao brand name pops up. And that Houvenaghel didn’t copy the Habanos limited edition ring is a plus too. The shape of the cigar is great with a perfectly round head. The aroma is medium strong, wood, barnyard and something spicy.


The cold draw is fantastic, and it’s spicy. The cigar starts rough and powerful, with coffee, spices, and pepper. The bitterness is pleasant yet strong. After a few puffs, there is a clear cinnamon flavor. There is a unique sweetness too, like old candy. The flavors become richer, with wood, earthiness, coffee, spices, pepper, and sweetness. Rich yet smooth, so the cigar is easy to retrohale. The sweetness becomes stronger and leather shows up. There are some hay, toast, and spices. The second third starts with walnuts, pepper, and sweetness. The mouthfeel is dry. The flavors evolve. The main flavors are cocoa, leather, wood, and pepper. In the final third, there’s pepper, leather, cinnamon, nutmeg, and wood.


The draw is fantastic. The ash is white and dense. It isn’t firm though. The smoke is thick and white. The burn is straight. This cigar is complex, rich, yet smooth and balanced. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes

would I buy this cigar again? Yes

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Categories: 93, Nicaraguan cigars, Nicarao, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez

Balmoral Serie Signaturas Paso Doble Brindis

Balmoral Serie Signaturas Paso Doble Brindis. That is a long name. But a beautiful idea. Collaborations have been going on for the longest time in the cigar industry. But in the last few years, more and more occur. Balmoral joined the collaboration train in 2018 when they launched the Balmoral Serie Signaturas. Their maiden release was a collaboration with Ernesto Perez Carrillo, called the Dueto. Ministry of Cigars reviewed that cigar. And for the second annual release, Royal Agio teamed up with La Flor Dominicana. Boris Wintermans from Agio and Litto Gomez from La Flor Dominicana had known each other for years and joined forces for the Balmoral Serie Signaturas Paso Doble. A three size limited edition release. We are reviewing the Perfecto, which is called the Brindis. Brindis means toast, so cheers.


The Paso Doble is named after a military march. Its speed allowed troops to give 120 steps per minute. This march gave rise to a traditional Spanish dance, a musical genre including both voice and instruments, and a genre of instrumental music often played during bullfighting. The cigar is made from Dominican fillers, and the binder is also Dominican. The tobacco comes from the farm of La Flor Dominicana. The wrapper is a dark Ecuadorian Habano. We are reviewing the Perfecto, which is called the Brindis. Brindis means toast, so cheers.


The cigar looks amazing. The shape is eye-catching. And the little knot on top of the cigar is a beautiful finishing touch. The rings are huge. Deep blue, popping gold and the Balmoral Añejo gray with white. The design and print quality is top-notch. The details are amazing, up to the signatures of Boris Wintermans and Litto Gomez. The dark wrapper looks oily and leathery, evenly colored as well. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong, it reminds us of hay, straw, farmland, and wood.


The cold draw is great, with flavors of salty potato chips and pepper. After lighting, it’s a sweet espresso with pepper. Some leather is involved as well with a little bit of chocolate. The flavors evolve to soil, coffee, leather, spices, and pepper. Slowly it continues to change, subtle, with a little cream, a little vanilla, more dark chocolate. The pepper is there, but it’s mellow. The flavors fluctuate in strength, sometimes the pepper is dominant, then it’s the coffee and chocolate, then the earthiness. There isn’t much evolution, yet it’s never boring. In the last third, there’s a little salt as well.


The draw is perfect. The ash is quite dark, yet firm. The burn needed a few touch-ups. The smoke is fine. The flavors are balanced, smooth yet full. Just like the strength, that’s full too. The smoke time is three and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish
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Categories: 93, Balmoral, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera La Flor | Tags: , , , , ,

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