Deadwood Tobacco Leather Rose

Deadwood Tobacco Leather Rose. The Deadwood Tobacco series is an interesting project. One of the oldest Drew Estate accounts is based in Deadwood, South Dakota. And Deadwood is just a stone-throw away from Sturgis. Sturgis is the home of the largest motorcycle gathering in the world, with 500.000 visitors each year. Miss Vaughn Boyd was the owner of Deadwood Tobacco and she wanted a blend exclusively for her shop. She worked with the Drew Estate team and the Sweet Jane was born. Surprisingly, that sweet, infused cigar became a big hit at the Sturgis motorcycle event. Big, hairy, heavily tattooed bikers fell in love with the infused, sweetened cigar.

The line grew. Crazy Alice came along, just as Fat Bottom Belly. The demand for the cigars was so high, that Drew Estate asked Miss Boyd if they could offer the cigars to other shops, nationwide. Miss Boyd allowed it, and the popularity grew even bigger. This summer, the long lost sister Leather Rose returned to Deadwood. She is the bad-ass sister, who left Deadwood to rob banks and cause havoc. But she’s back with her sisters now, as a more robust and spicier version of the other Deadwood blends. The blend for this 5×54 Torpedo is undisclosed. The wrapper is Maduro, that’s all Drew Estate would disclose. But the origin of the wrapper, binder, and filler is a mystery.

The cigar looks a little rough and intimidating. The torpedo has a sharp head. The dark, slightly rough Maduro wrapper gives it a mean look. Add the spiderweb and the Cinco de mayo kinda lady on the ring and this is a cigar that is kinda scary. Kind of Halloween as well, without the pumpkin spice. But the looks fit with the story of the bad sister of the bunch. The construction feels good. As for the aroma, well, let’s say it’s unique. A mixture of smoked eel, Eau de toilet, and charred wood. Not unpleasant though.

The cap is sweetened, much to our disliking. As expected, the sweetened wrapper overpowers the flavor of the burning tobacco. Underneath the cotton candy sweetness, there is some citrus, wood, and leather. Slowly there is some roasted coffee bean flavor as well, and the sweetness seems to lose a little bit of strength. In the second third, pepper and wood are getting stronger.

The smoke is typical Drew Estate. A building on fire would not produce as much smoke as the Leather Rose. The ash is pepper and salt colored. The burn is beautiful. Due to the overwhelming cotton candy sweetness, this cigar isn’t balanced. It’s medium to medium-full bodied, full-flavored. Too bad the full flavor is mostly sweetness. The perfect smoke and fantastic construction play a big part in the 90 rating. Based on flavor alone, the cigar would rate much lower. The smoke time is one hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. I’ll stick to traditional cigars.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars

Gilberto Oliva Reserva Toro

Gilberto Oliva Reserva Toro. A tribute to the man who started the Oliva Cigar Company in Nicaragua in 1995. But that doesn’t mean that the family wasn’t in tobacco before. It all started with Melanio Oliva in 1886. Melanio Oliva, the family patriarch, grew tobacco in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. Gilberto, Melanio’s grandson, fled to Spain and later Nicaragua after the Cuban revolution and after his family’s plantations were taken from them by the thieving Cuban regime. In Nicaragua, he became a tobacco grower again. With his sons Gilberto, Carlos, and José, he created Oliva Cigars. In 2017, at age 86, Gilberto Oliva passes away. Ministry of Cigars was lucky enough to have sat down with this industry legend at the Tabolisa factory in 2014.

To honor their father, Jose, Gilberto Jr, and Carlos created the Gilberto Oliva Reserva line. In the same way, as they did with their great grandfather Melanio. For the Gilberto Oliva Reserva line, they turned to an Indonesian Sumatra wrapper. The binder is from Ecuador. The filler is Nicaraguan, with at least some but probably all coming from the Oliva family farms. Besides producing cigars, Oliva also grows tobacco in Esteli, Condega, and Jalapa. The Oliva Cigar Company is now part of the Belgian family-owned J. Cortes brand.

The cigar is quite good looking. A smooth and oily Colorado Maduro colored Indonesian Sumatra wrapper. At first glance, cigar smokers might not recognize this as an Oliva cigar. The classic logo with the big O is missing from the ring. Dark red, gold, and brown create a more classic looking logo. The construction feels immaculate. A nice triple cap finishes the look. The cigar has a mild spicy aroma.

The cold draw gives a bit more resistance than desired. After the cigar is lit, there is a beautiful mixture of sugar, grass, and dark spices. Full, rounded, smooth. Slowly a little pepper and leather show up too. Black pepper. The spice is a mixture of nutmeg and cinnamon. It is more pronounced in the retrohale. After a third, cedarwood shows up as well. The dark spices remain, with sweetness, and there is even a hint of vanilla. If there is any cigar that makes resembles Coca-Cola in a dry form, this is it. But better. Because there is also cedar, black pepper, and some earthy flavor. The Final third has all of the flavors mentioned above, with some citrus and floral flavors. These flavors remain until the end. Only the mouthfeel changes and becomes a bit dry.

The draw is good. The ash is white as ash can be, a sign of tobacco from potassium-rich soil. The burn is straight and slow. The smoke is thick. It’s white and there is a lot of it. This is a cigar medium in body yet full in flavor. Well balanced and very pleasant, yet the cigar could use a little more character. The smoke time is three hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box

Categories: Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | 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: , , , , ,

Muestra de Tabac Pennsylvania Connecticut Figurado

Muestra de Tabac Pennsylvania Connecticut Figurado. Earlier this year, Ministry of Cigars published a review of the Muestra de Tabac Brazilian Mata Fina & Sumatra. A thick perfecto with two wrappers. Not in a barberpole style, but half and half. The cigar is open at both sides, for the smoker to decide which side to smoke first. A patent-pending concept by Patrick Potter & Joey Febre from Tabac Trading Company. But it’s not the only blend using this concept. There are two more.

The blend we are reviewing today is the Pennsylvania & Connecticut Figurado. With on one side Pennsylvania Broadleaf. The other side is wrapped in Connecticut Shade. The filler and binder are Nicaraguan. This 5½x64 thick cigar. Patrick Potter is responsible for blending the cigar. It’s made at Tabacalera La Perla, a small Tabacalera in Esteli, Nicaragua.

Looking at the cigar, we are pleased that the Pennsylvania wrapped part of the cigar is a bit longer than the Connecticut Shade side. The comments on the ring remain the same. We love the idea that the ring can be read from both sides. Yet the idea could have been designed a little better. The Pennsylvania broadleaf looks manly and rough like broadleaf is supposed to look. It makes the Connecticut shade look even paler than it is. The shape is nice. The cigar feels good. No soft ends as with the Brazilian Mata Fina & Sumatra we reviewed before. The aroma is strong. A lot of spice, hay, soil, and barnyard.

The cold draw is fantastic. It delivers spice and pepper with a lot of hay. Immediately after lighting its spice, pepper, and soil that hits the palate. The classic Connecticut Shade mustiness is there, but faint and muted. Sweetness and dark chocolate bitterness replace the spice and pepper. The earthy flavor remains, but now with leather. The complexity and bitterness of the dark chocolate are delicious. There is still pepper on the top of the palate. Black pepper, and it’s growing in strength. The cigar loses some of the dark chocolate and turns more to hay with pepper in the final stages of the first third. The second third starts with that dark chocolate again, with pepper, leather, and wood. Once the cigar reaches the Pennsylvania wrapper, there is more black pepper. The flavors get a little rougher, yet also a little creamy. The intense dark chocolate flavor is a winner. A strong spice shows up too, almost like gingerbread. There’s also a faint hint of vanilla. The vanilla and cream disappear. Spices, pepper, leather, wood is what the cigar gives. With some salt in the finale.

The draw is fantastic. The burn is great too. The cigar produces plenty of smoke, although it’s a bit thin. The light-colored ash is fine. The cigar is balanced, the dark chocolate bitterness makes it complex and intense. This is a full-bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. The smoke time is three hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want more!

Categories: 91, Muestra de Tabac | Tags: , , , ,

Viking Valhalla Churchill

Viking Valhalla Churchill. This is a cigar with a little bit of history. For more than 20 years, sigar.com is a distributor for cigars in Norway. The company had private labels such as Amero and Chess before discontinuing them. A new private label was released. One that celebrated the Nordic history. Viking Cigars. The fourth blend, released in 2018 is the Viking Valhalla. And that’s when things get confusing. Viking Cigars is not American Viking Cigars, so that’s already a very similar name. But when it comes to Valhalla, things are more complicated. Scandinavian Tobacco Group owns the Valhalla trademark. Viking sells a cigar named Valhalla. Freyja sells cigars under the Valhalla name. And Royal Danish sells cigars with Valhalla on the ring. 

All Viking cigars for sigar.com are produced in the Dominican Republic. At La Alianza, the factory of industry veteran Ernesto Perez Carrillo. For the Valhalla, Perez Carrillo and Hakon Aanonsen from sigar.com used an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The duo never disclosed the filler and binder. There are four vitolas available. You can read several other Viking reviews on the site. For this review, the 6½x54 Churchill is selected.

The cigar looks great. A thick, dark, greasy, oily wrapper. The pigtail fits the look. The dark ring, black with gold and typical Nordic design. The cool thing about this ring is that it isn’t paper. It’s a metal alloy. Not sturdy, so you can bend it around the cigar. The only thing is that this ring isn’t as detailed as the rings on the other three Viking lines. But still, unique and pretty. The cigar feels well constructed. There is a strong barnyard aroma with hay and straw.

The cold draw is good. A mild wood flavor with some floral notes. Lit there is a mixture of herbs, coffee, sweetness, leather, and earthiness. Quickly after some salty wood shows up, which disrupts the balance in the cigar. The salty wood isn’t the most pleasant experience. It’s a little rough. The mouthfeel is thick and sticky. A walnut flavor slowly starts to come through. The salty flavor disappears, and the balance returns. The flavors are more rounded now. Black pepper shows up too. The pepper and walnuts are more pronounced. The walnut is persistent, the pepper changes from black to red chili. The mouthfeel remains thick, meaty, and creamy, like a mousse. There is some leather in there as well. In the final third, the cigar gets slightly rough again. There is a red pepper tongue bite.

The draw is great. The white ash is firm. Thick white smoke in large quantities. When it comes to those aspects, this cigar delivers. The burn is straight as a ladies man. This cigar is medium-bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I will stick to the Viking Viking or Viking Nordic Warrior.

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera La Alianza, Viking | Tags: , , , , , ,

MAB Reserve Natural Lancero

MAB Reserve Natural Lancero. If you never heard of this cigar, that is not your lack of knowledge. This brand is quite big in Slovakia but you can’t find it easily outside Slovakia. The main cigar importer and distributor for Slovakia is the company behind the MAB brand. It’s their private label, and they sell a lot of them at their Dom Cigar Shops in the country. Outside of Slovakia, I only encountered the brand in The Netherlands, and only for a brief period of time.

There are several European cigar importers with private labels. I am surprised that none of them do a quid pro quo. It’s easy for one distributor to say to another “if you distribute my brand in your territory, I will distribute your brand in mine”. If My&Mi would do that, this Dominican made cigar would be available in more countries. And the blend with Dominican filler and binder with a Cuban seed wrapper would get more attention.

The cigar looks good. A nice dark and oily wrapper. A pigtail is always bonus points when it comes to presentation. The beige ring with gold and dark red is simple. A nice ring would make the cigar look better. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma of hay, barnyard, and livestock smells.

The cold draw is great. There is a little bit of chocolate in the cold draw, but also leather. After lighting, the cigar has coffee, earthy notes, a bit of dark chocolate, hay, and pepper. The flavors evolve to salt and spices. The flavors change again. Leather, salt, wood, and pepper. The spice and wood get a little sweet note. The sweetness gets more pronounced with dark spices and wood. In the end, leather makes a comeback while the sweetness disappears.

The draw is fantastic. Lanceros are not only one of the most difficult vitolas to smoke, they are also one of the most difficult cigars to roll. This one is fantastic, kudos to the torcedor. The ash is light in color, dense, and firm. The burn is straight as an arrow and slow. The smoke is thick and white. Plentiful too. This cigar is medium in body and medium in flavor. It starts without balance, but halfway that balance is rectified. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I need a few more to make up my mind about this cigar.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars

Kristoff Vengeance Toro

Kristoff Vengeance Toro. A cigar introduced in 2018, even though the name is much older. The name was discontinued in 2011, but the blend wasn’t. The old Vengeance blend is now the Kristoff GC Signature Series. Ministry of Cigars reviewed that cigar before. But the name was put on ice for seven years while Kristoff was focussing on further building the brand on the global market.

In 2018 the brand was re-introduced. But since the original blend is still in use, it came with a new blend. A dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over an Indonesian binder. Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos are used as filler. The Kristoff Vengeance is available as a 6½x60 Perfecto, 6×60 Gordo, 5×50 Robusto, and a 6¼x54 Toro. The last size is the one that is being reviewed.

The cigar looks scary. The very dark wrapper. The black ring with the silver-colored print. The oiliness of the wrapper. The closed foot and the rugged pigtail. This cigar just looks intimidating. The construction feels good. The strong aroma has hints of a barnyard, oak, charred wood, and roasted coffee beans.

The cold draw is surprisingly loose. Usually, a closed foot will give some issues in the cold draw. There is a fresh woody flavor in the cold draw. Once lit it has sweet, yet strong, coffee. The mouthfeel is dry, with coffee, nuts, a little black pepper. A hint of milk chocolate shows up too, with more black pepper. There is some sweetness of dried fruit. Acidity shows up with wood. Almost like red wine vinegar. The cigar mellows out when it comes to dynamics. Wood, earthiness, leather with black pepper, and a hint of milk chocolate are what remain in the first third. The chocolate slowly gets stronger, just as the sweetness. There is still a lot of wood, supported by earthiness, leather, and dried fruits. In the final third, there is nuttiness behind the chocolate. All with wood, black pepper, and earthiness as supporting flavors. Coffee returns.

The draw is fantastic. The pepper and salt colored ash has thick rings but it is firm. There are copious amounts of thick, white smoke. The burn is good. The cigar isn’t as strong as the looks. It’s medium to full-bodied. Medium to full-flavored as well. The smoke time is three hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would pick the GC series. This is good, but the GC Signature series fit my profile better.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Villa Zamorano Reserva Robusto

Villa Zamorano Reserva Robusto. A budget cigar released in the summer of 2018 by Maya Selva. It’s a brand extension for the already established Villa Zamorano cigars that are available all over Europe. The line was released in 2018 and won a cigar trophy from Cigar Journal a year later. The best value Honduras award went to Villa Zamorano Reserva

The Villa Zamorano Reserva is a Honduran Puro. Made with exclusively Honduran tobaccos. The wrapper comes from Jamastran, from the Habano strain. The robusto is a classic 5×50 size. With a Cuban triple cap. Other sizes available are the Intenso, Expreso, Corona, No.15, El Gordo, and Churchill. For this review, we chose the Robusto vitola.

The cigar is good looking. A nice, evenly colored wrapper. Colorado Maduro in color. And quite smooth looking, without big veins. The triple cap isn’t perfect though. The ring could use an update. This is a budge cigar and the ring shows it. Simple, not flashy at all. The secondary ring is bright red with white. The main ring is brown, black, and orange with white letters. The rings don’t match. The construction feels good. The aroma is strong. Wood, hay, and barnyard with a mild pepper tingle in the nose.

The cold draw is good. Earthy with green herbs is the taste of the cold draw. Once lit, the cigar releases a nice smooth coffee flavor. The coffee remains but with green herbs, salt, and a little grassy flavor. The flavors then change to soil with cinnamon sweetness, nutmeg. There is still a grassy or hay flavor on the background as well. Slowly the cigar turns toasty with nuts and sweetness. But all a little rough around the edges. The spice flavor is very nice, and after a third, it’s accompanied by leather and wood. There was a bit of a flavor that made the cigar less enjoyable. But halfway that layer is gone. The cigar gets more spices with a little pepper. There is a slight harshness in the back of the throat. The final third starts with spice and floral notes. The cigar gets creamy as well. Some pepper shows up in the last part. The finale has pepper and nuts.

The draw is great. The flavors are balanced and smooth. Yet a little rough around the edges. The smoke is nice and thick. The burn needed a touch up once. It’s a medium-bodied cigar, medium-flavored too. With a good construction and firm, light-colored ash. The evolution in this cigar is remarkable for a budget cigar. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? For €3,90, yes probably I would

Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente, Villa Zamorano | Tags: , , , , , ,

Davidoff Puro d’Oro Eminentes

Davidoff Puro d’Oro Eminentes. The eminent is the toro in the line up of the Davidoff Puro d’Oro line. The line was introduced in 2010, with the Eminentes as a line addition in 2011. This particular cigar is a well-aged cigar from the personal collection of the Managing Director UK for Davidoff Distributors U.K. For some reason, the golden Davidoff ring is missing except for the foot ring. According to the Managing Director UK, this cigar is from 2009, making it a pre-release. And that could be the reason for the missing ring.

The cigar is slightly larger and thicker than a regular 6×50 toro. It measures 6¼x52. And it’s one of the Dominican puros from Davidoff. All the tobacco in the cigar is aged for a minimum of five years. And the wrapper, hailing from Yamasa, is developed by no other than Henke Kelner himself.

The cigar looks good. It looks better with just the foot ring in extremely glossy gold color. The embossing on the ring gives the ring more grandeur. The Colorado colored wrapper is smooth, oily, and silky. The little pigtail is a nice touch. The construction feels great. A mild yet spicy aroma finishes the pre-light experience

The cold draw is easy. The cold draw gives a spicy wood and soil flavor. Once lit, it’s all about strong black coffee. Coffee, coffee, and coffee. Slowly some soil and charred wood join the coffee. The flavors are dark yet very pleasant. A faint nut flavor shows up as well, with some spices. Slowly some sweetness shows up too with faint leather. But the coffee never disappears completely. The coffee remains the base flavor, but now with a little more spice, some grass, earthiness, and leather. Halfway the flavors turn. The coffee mellows down, wood becomes more dominant with some sweetness, white pepper, and spices. The final third is more wood, with still some coffee, and an increasing dose of pepper.

The draw is great. The smoke is thick and full, and plenty in volume. The burn is slow and straight with firm white ash. This is indeed a full-bodied cigar from Davidoff, full-flavored as well. Even though the cigar packs a punch, it never gets mean. The balance is fantastic. The smoke time is four hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes. This is a Davidoff I truly enjoyed.

Categories: 91, Cigars Davidoff, Davidoff, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Por Larranaga Gran Robusto Exclusive Países Bajos 2017

Por Larranaga Gran Robusto Exclusive Países Bajos 2017. This cigar was released mid-2018, which is not too much of a delay when it comes to exclusivo regional releases. Habanos manages to release limited editions and regional editions often to be delayed for over a year, or even longer. This release was limited to 100.000 cigars, 10.000 boxes of 10 pieces. And Habanos wouldn’t be Habanos if an unknown amount of the cigars were labeled incorrectly. Not a first for a cigar from the Exclusivo Regional series.

Por Larranaga is an old brand. The brand was founded in 1834, which makes it almost 200 years old. Even though it’s a small brand, it has some hardcore fans. The brand is used by several distributors as Exclusivo Regional over the years. 5th Avenue (Germany), France, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Asia Pacifico, Switzerland, and Peru all had one or more Por Larranaga regional editions. This is the only Por Larranaga exclusivo for the Dutch market.

The Colorado colored wrapper isn’t the most beautiful one. It has veins, a lot, and looks wrinkly. The glossy golden ring is so shiny that it’s overkill. It makes the white letters hard to see. But the white letters work with the white dots on the secondary ring though. The triple cap looks good. There are no soft or hard spots on the cigar. The aroma is very mind, it’s slightly woody with cardboard.

The cold draw is a bit tight, with a gingerbread spice taste. The first puffs are a bit sour and dry at the same time. Dusty even. Some honey tries through breakthrough the citrus acidity, but it fails. The sweetness, acidity, and dusty flavor aren’t a joy. After a third, some wood, leather, and soil show up with some spices. The leather and cedar are slowly growing, and there is even a hint of milk chocolate. The honey sweetness returns. There’s also a hint of hazelnuts.

The ash is dark and not very firm. The burn is straight tough. The smoke is decent in volume, but it’s thin. The draw is good, a little tight but still way within margins. The cigar is quite boring with a very slow build-up. Medium-bodied and medium-flavored at most. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No

Categories: 87, Cuban cigars, Por Larranaga (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

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