Posts Tagged With: 82

Nestor Reserve Maduro Torpedo

I bought these cigars years ago, at least 9 years, at Cigars International when I was trying out all kinds of budget cigars and this Nestor Reserve Maduro Torpedo came in dirt cheap bundles, the price per stick was about $2 and with a very favorable euro dollar conversion rate at that time they were a steal. I remember that I liked them back in the day so when I found one lingering in an assorted box in my humidor I decided to light it for a review.


I know that the cigars are made by Plasencia in their Honduran factory, but I don’t know a lot about the blend. I guess they are discontinued as I can’t find them anywhere anymore, I did find a cigar with a similar ring but with an added ‘vintage’ to the ring and these were all sold out too. I did find some old reviews, usually I don’t read them to prevent being influenced but I started reading to find out the blend and I found it. A maduro wrapper from Honduras, a Cameroon binder which isn’t a type of leaf used as a binder a lot because it’s expensive tobacco, so to find it in a budget cigars is quite a surprise. The filler is made from tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua.


This cigar is intimidating, especially with the cellophane removed. It is big, with a length of 6 1/2 inch, box pressed but what makes it intimidating is the almost pitch black wrapper which is smooth yet oily and looks amazing. The construction feels good and the pointy head is reasonably straight. The ring is simple, shiny white with a golden N and a banner saying Nestor. It fits the budget price of the cigar. The aroma is quite strong and reminds me of charred wood after a fire mixed with hay that has been in a stable with sheep or cow overnight and is soaked in animal urine. Now when I write it down like that it sounds absolutely nasty, but it’s not that bad.


I cut the cigar with my xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is fantastic. The flavor is just a little sweetness. After lighting I taste a strong espresso like coffee. After an inch I taste a metallic fresh wood flavor, harsh on the tip of my tongue. Halfway I still taste a harsh, strong wood with some lime and now with some pepper on the inside of my lips. The final third starts with dry nuts, pepper and cumin, less harsh than before. At the end it’s a harsh pepper again.


The draw is perfect. The burn is a bit off though and needs a few touch ups. The smoke is grayish and medium thick. The ash is a bit frayed. The medium full cigar is medium flavored with some evolution but no complexity. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. I remembered these as chocolate bombs but I didn’t get any of that now.

Score: 82
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Categories: 82, Honduran cigars, Nestor, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aruhiba Natural Robusto

Yes, cigars come from unexpected places, its not just the well known cigar countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic taking advantage of their climate but other countries too. Maybe you have smoked a Mexican or Costa Rican cigar, those are relatively easy to get, then there are some cigars made in Colombia and Panama but on Aruba, one of the Dutch Antilles? Yes, there is a small cigar producer there too.


I got two different cigars from a fellow cigar aficionado a few years back that went on vacation to Aruba and ran into the shop and bought a few as souvenirs. He gave me the Aruhiba Light and this Aruhiba Natural. My expectations aren’t high but the light, which I smoked before, surprised me pleasantly. I do not know anything about the blend at all, but I expect that they use some, or maybe only, tobacco from their own island farm.


The cigar has a yellowish brown wrapper that almost looks and feels like old paper but on the back there are a few veins. The ring is white with red letters and a gold lining, neatly printed. The construction feels good. The aroma is medium strong and smells musty, like walking into a house that has been abandoned over a decade ago.


I cut the cigar, the draw is fine. I taste spicy tobacco with a mild acidity like a piece of lemon candy. I taste a muted, mildly musty, cedar flavor after lighting. This has the Connecticut flavor that I don’t like at all yet the creaminess of the flavors, butter like, is great. After a third I taste nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices, a little harsh but also a little sweet. The last part starts woody with a mild smokey and toasty flavor.


The draw is good, the smoke is medium in both thickness and volume. The ash is close to white. The burn was uneven at times. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time in forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. It had some nice components but overall it’s a no.

Score: 82

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Categories: 82, Ahuriba Cigar Factory, Aruban cigars, Aruhiba | Tags: , , ,

Cigar of the month July

July was a month of 21 published reviews, here’s the list from best to worst, with a surprising winner

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Gurkha Havana Blend Toro with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Gurkha Havana Blend Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Don Pepin Garcia series JJ Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Espinosa Maduro Corona Gorda (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco OR Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) El Centurion Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Bucanero Z Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
7) Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro Toro (Dominican Republic) 91 points
9) Wilson Adams Mr. Wilson Lancero (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Mbombay Vintage Reserve Salomon (Costa Rica) 91 points
11) Bucanero Z Churchill (Nicaragua) 91 points
12) El Criolito Half Corona (Dominican Republic) 91 points
13) Don Pepin Garcia Blue Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
14) La Antiguedad Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
15) Punch LE 2013 (Cuba) 90 points
16) Alec Bradley Tempus Naturel Robusto (Honduras) 90 points
17) Don Payo El Baron Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
18) E.P. Carrillo Encore Robusto (Dominican Republic) 89 points
19) Royal Danish Havana Blend Robusto (Nicaragua) 88 points
20) Vegas de Santiago Gran Reserva Gordo (Costa Rica) 84 points
21) Navarre Petit Robusto (France) 82 points

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Navarre Short Robusto

Premium handmade longfillers are usually made in the Caribbean with Nicaragua, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Honduras as main manufacturers but there are also factories in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Peru but outside those countries you won’t find many hand made premium longfillers made. Shortfiller yes, longfillers no. I know that there is some production on the Canary Islands, I know of two producers in Indonesia and then Hedon in France that produces this French puro Navarre in the border region with Spain.


The company started, went belly up, restarted, disappeared from the scene again and is back again now. I found a short robusto (4×48 according to online sources but a little longer than that on my cigar measuring tool) in my humidor and because of the tax band I recognize I bought this cigar in Belgium a few years ago. I did review several Navarre cigars in the past but never with my 100 point scoring system so here we go.


The wrapper is a bit rough looking but has a beautiful deep, yet not dark, reddish brown color. The construction feels good and the triple cap is immaculate. The ring is beautiful, vertical banners of different shades of red with a copper horizontal line on top and bottom on white paper, white letters saying Navarre and the same copper in a banner saying France. The aroma is mild, a little wood and manure.


I punched the cigar and the cold draw is a bit tight, still within margins. I taste a bit of sweet wood with a little spice. After lighting I taste espresso and cedar. After half an inch I taste mild, dry cedar with a strong cilantro or parsley flavor. After a third the cigar gets a bit nasty, not harsh but just not very nice tasting. The final third doesn’t change much.


The draw is good, better than the cold draw. The ash is smeared but firm. The burn is beautiful but the smoke is only medium in thickness and volume. This is a mild cigar, medium flavored. The smoke time is fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, not worth the €7,50 I paid. It’s strange as in my memory the cigar was quite alright.

Score: 82
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Categories: 82, French cigars, Hedon Cigars, Navarre | Tags: , ,

Cigar of the month February

February was a special month, the shortest month of the year but also because I turned it into a full month of F reviews, so there is a top 28.

The cigar of the month is a shared position this month, identical scores for:

Casa Fuente Lancero/Flores y Rodrigues CRV Azul Robusto

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Casa Fuente Lancero (Dominican Republic) 93 points
2) Flores y Rodriguez CRV Azul Robusto (Dominican Republic) 93 points
3) Fratello Bianco II (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Falto Lonsdale (Dominican Republic) 92 points
5) Falto Gran Reserva Especial Perfecto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
6) Flor de Cielo Maduro Salomon (Nicaragua) 91 points
6) Flores y Rodrigues Cabinet Seleccion Maduro Robusto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
8) Flor de Las Antillas Benelux (Nicaragua) 91 points
9) Flores y Rodriguez 10th anniversary Figurado (Dominican Republic) 90 points
10) Flores y Rodriguez CRV Roja Robusto (Dominican Republic) 90 points
11) Falto Robusto (Dominican Republic) 90 points
12) Flores y Rodriguez Cabinet Seleccion Habano Canonazo (Dominican Republic) 90 points
13) Fonseca 30th Anniversary Toro (Dominican Republic) 90 points
14) Falto Delirio (Dominican Republic) 89 points
14) Flor de Selva Maduro Robusto (Honduras) 89 points
16) Flor de Oliva Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 88 points
17) Famous Nicaragua Robusti (Nicaragua) 88 points
18) Fuentes Crucet Habanero Toro (USA) 88 points
19) Famous Nicaragua 3000 Gordo (Nicaragua) 87 points
20) Fuego Sangre de Toro Toro (Honduras) 87 points
21) Fonseca Classic Robusto (Dominican Republic) 86 points
22) Felipe Gregorio Dos Capas Churchill (Dominican Republic) 83 points
23) Flor de Oliva Torpedo (Nicaragua) 83 points
24) Fumadores Churchill (Nicaragua) 83 points
25) Flor de Gonzales Torpedo (Nicaragua) 82 points
26) Funadores Corona (Jamaica) 80 points
27) Flor de Filipinas Corona (Phillipines) 77 points
28) Flor de Canaria Corona (Canary Islands) 71 points

 

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Flor de Gonzalez Torpedo

A brand I know nothing about except that they had some buzz about their 90 miles line, a blend I know nothing about so I went down to google and found on www.stogierate.com that this is a Nicaraguan cigar with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with a Sumatra binder and filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. And that the size is 6 1/2 x52. And that their own website is down at the time of my google search.


On the website of Famous Smoke I found the story about the brand, founded in 1993 in Florida by Arnando Gonzalez who fled Cuba in 1980. In 1997 he opened a factory in Nicaragua where most of his cigars are made nowadays. The factory is now run by his daughter while Arnando operates farms in Ecuador where he grows different kinds of tobacco including the Sumatra and Connecticut Shade used for this cigar.


The wapper is a pale Connecticut shade and even though I am slowly changing my opinion on Connecticut Shade wrappers I still don’t like the pale look. The wrapper, except for the color, looks fine though, smooth and it has a velvet feel to it. The ring is boring and simple, yet of good printing quality. White with silver lining and silver green letters saying Flor de Gonzalez cigars, simple as can be. The construction feels good and the head of the cigar is very pointy, I like that. The aroma is medium strong and reminds me of a mix of tarred wood baking in the sun and charcoal, not a very usual smell, but also not completely unpleasant.


I cut the cigar, guillotine style, double blade. The cold draw is loose with a mild spicy and minty flavor. After lighting it with a jet fame I taste coffee with lemon. After a few puffs I taste a spicy harshness too, the flavors are not very refined. The flavors change to sweet, slightly harsh, wood and coffee. After a third I taste a minty fresh and sweet wood with a harsh edge. Halfway the cigar is peppery and still a little harsh. The final third starts with cedar, spice and a little honey.


The draw is a little loose but the smoke is fantastic, thick, full and a lot. The ash is light gray, firm, dense. The burn is a bit uneven though. The evolution is good and this is a medium bodied yet medium to full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Even though this cigar doesn’t have the Connecticut mustiness I still won’t smoke it again. Harsh, unrefined, there is much better out there.

Score: 82
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Categories: 82, Flor de Gonzalez, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , ,

Cigar of the month September

It’s the end of the month, so it’s time to publish my list. What’s the best cigar I rated this month and what’s the worst?

The cigar with the highest rate in September  is:

My Father Commemorate 911 Rosado Habano

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) My Father Commemorate 911 Robusto (Nicaragua) 94 points
2) Alec Bradley Fine & Rare Torpedo (Honduras) 93 points
3) La Flor Dominicana Airbender Lancero (Dominican Republic) 92 points
4) Rocky Patel Royale Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Undercrown Shade Flying Pig (Nicaragua) 91 points
6) Cornelius & Anthony Venganza Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
7) Arturo Fuente Opus X BBMF (Dominican Republic) 90 points
8) H. Upmann Mag 46 (Cuba) 89 points
9) Bunch Toro (Nicaragua) 88 points
10) Vega Fina Summum 2013 Toro (Dominican Republic) 87 points
11) Bunch Robusto (Nicaragua) 84 points
12) Amero Short Robusto (Dominican Republic) 82 points
13) Bunch Short Robusto (Nicaragua) 82 points

 

 

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Amero Short Robusto

Amero, a Norwegian brand made in the Dominican Republic. You might think, hey, that sounds familiar and you are right, its the same Norwegian guy that own Viking cigars and his first attempt to make it in the industry was a collaboration with Willis Cabrera of the now also defunct Cabreras cigars. Together they made Amero, Chess and Hawk cigars.


Before the collaboration fell apart I met Hawk at the Intertabac trade show and he gave me a few samples to try, this Amero short robusto is the last of them so why not say goodbye with a review right?  Since the cigar never took off and the company is defunct I can not find any information about the blend, except that they used 2 to 3 year old tobacco to produce the cigar.


I like the 4×50 size, the cigar looks so cute as my wife would say and the little pig tail adds to the cuteness. The medium dark brown wrapper looks okay, it has a few veins. The ring is nice, green with the image of the American dollar bill where all the conspiracy theories are about and then Amero written in shiny golden letters. The construction feels good and like I said, the pig tail finishes the cigar. The cigar has a mild aroma that is a mix between acid and cinnamon.


I cut the cigar with a double blade guillotine cutter. The cold draw is fine and taste like spicy raisins. After lighting I taste a mild bitter coffee flavor. After half an inch I taste a mildly harsh cinnamon. Halfway I taste cinnamon and peper, slightly harsh. The final third starts harsh with pepper and cedar.


The draw is good, the smoke is thick and huge in volume. The ash is medium gray, layered and reasonable firm. The burn is good. The cigar is medium, both in strength and in flavor. The smoke time is forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I won’t.

Score: 82
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Categories: 82, Amero, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Cabreras | Tags: , , , ,

Bunch Robusto, Short Robusto & Toro

Bunch is a private label made for a Portuguese cigar importer & distributer that imports several brands from Nicaragua and decided to have a label of his own. He ended up at Plasencia for his cigars, like many other people that want a private label, from retailers that want a house brand to big names that want something else they can’t make at their own factory, like the Casa Magna for the Dominican cigar family Quesada or at their regular factory like Alec Bradley who uses Raices Cubanas in Honduras for most of their productions except the Nicaraguan made Alec Bradley’s that are produced by Plasencia. And Rocky Patel’s operation in Honduras is actually a Plasencia factory dedicated to Rocky Patel, under supervision from Rocky Patel but still Plasencia owned.

I smoked the Bunch Petit Corona late 2015, today I’m reviewing the Robusto and I will review Toro and a Short Robusto in this series review too. The Petit Corona had a good start but a poor finish, let’s see what a little more length and the thicker ring gauge will do to the cigar.

Bunch Robusto


The wrapper looks amazing, dark, smooth, oily, shiny, the veins were obviously pressed before using the wrapper to create an even smoother look and it works. This wrapper is gorgeous. It doesn’t fit the ring, unfortunately, because the ring is simple and without class. Just a pale yellow to beige with a light brown letters Bunch and a simple tobacco leaf on each side and vertical stripes in two brown/green colors both on top and bottom of the cigar. The ring should elevate the cigar, persuade me to buy it but this one doesn’t. If I would buy this cigar it would be because of the wrapper. The construction is flawless, on the touch it feels evenly packed and the head is beautifully shaped, round and even. The aroma is quite strong, barnyard, stable, a little manure so typically a well fermented tobacco aroma.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is good. I taste a bit of a raisin flavor, mild spicy. After lighting I taste a mild salty coffee and peanut flavor. After half an inch the flavor changed to a mild chocolate soil flavor with some acidity. After a third I taste pepper with some lemon and a little bit of nuts. The final third starts with a strong pepper over the soil flavor.


The draw is great and the smoke is voluptuous, thick and full. The ash is quite dark and with clear layers. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored at most. The evolution is non existent though. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again? No. It’s not an unpleasant cigar but boring because of the lack of evolution.

Score: 84
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Bunch  Short Robusto

The short Robusto measures 4½ x52 and has the exact same ring as the Robusto. The dark wrapper is oily, smooth and pretty. The construction feels good and the cigar looks well made. The aroma is  quite strong and a classic barnyard smell.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is a bit tight. I taste raisin with some spice that I can’t identify. After lighting with a single jet flame I taste a mildly acidic dirt flavor. After a few puffs I also taste a decent amount of sweetness. After half an inch the acidity, which is lemon like, grows a bit in strength. After that there is no real evolution which makes the cigar quite boring. The flavors are not fantastic either, a bit rough around the edge. I don’t know the price of the cigar but it tastes like a budget cigar.


The smoke is thick and full. The draw is fine, but the burn is a bit crooked and I had to relight twice. The dark ash is quite firm. This is a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? No, boring cigar.

Score: 82
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Bunch Toro


The 6×50 toro has a nice, shiny, medium dark wrapper but I feel a few soft spots in the construction. The ring is the same as the other vitolas, so not too pretty. The cigar looks good when it comes to shape and triple cap. The aroma is strong and is a classic barnyard smell.


I cut the cigar with a xikar guillotine cutter and I taste spicy, peppery sultanas with a perfect cold draw. I lit the cigar with a single flame torch and taste coffee with wood. After half an inch I taste a mild bitter cedar with black pepper and some minty nutmeg. Halfway the cigar gets very peppery, classic Nicaraguan with a base of cedar and a little nutmeg. This is the best Bunch so far. The final third starts with strong pepper and dry wood and toast. The pepper is growing in strength and is overpowering all other flavors.


The draw is great and the smoke is full and thick. The ash is a little flaky, quite dark. The burn needs some correction. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is two hours.


Would I buy this cigar again? This is the best Bunch but there are better cigars available.

Score: 88

Categories: 82, 84, 88, Bunch, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Juan Clemente Classic & Club Selection Small Robusto

I found two almost similar looking cigars in my humidor, the only difference is a little bit of a color difference on the rings and the wrapper so I thought it might just be discoloration of the ring due to aging, but who googling I found out that they are actually two different blends, the Juan Clemente Club Selection and the Juan Clemente Classic, both in a small robusto size of 4 1/2×48.

Juan Clemente is the brain child of the Frenchman Jean Clement who started his brand in 1975 at the state owned La Tabacalera factory. His focus was mainly on the European market back in the day but even though Jean Clemente passed away a few years ago, his cigars are still available worldwide, including the United States.

Juan Clemente Club Selection Small Robusto


The cigar looks good, a beautiful medium brown, smooth wrapper with one noticeable vein and a silky feel. The construction feels good but the head has two pimples like a teenager. The aroma is quite grassy and fresh to my surprise but it fits the white greenish ring. I say white greenish because the ring looks like it was white once but has a discoloration problem. The top ring is small, curvy and says Juan Clemente in golden letters while the foot ring says the same, but not in a curly font, with two golden lines, one above and one below the text.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is great and has a fresh taste of raw tobacco. After lighting I taste nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon all in a well balanced mix. I taste some pepper in the aftertaste. After a third I taste a harsh wood, nutmeg and pepper mixture. Halfway I taste a creamy, mild vanilla flavored wood with a little lime, though with a harshness that I don’t like. Near the end the harshness grows with sweet cinnamon.


The draw is fine, the smoke is thick and good in volume. The ash is white and firm. The burn is beautiful. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is fifty five minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? No!

Score: 82
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Juan Clemente Classic Small Robusto


The ring of this cigar is identical to the Club Selection, only in bright, glossy white instead of the strange color of the latter one. Compare the pictures and you can understand why I wasn’t convinced that it were two blends instead of one blend with a slightly discolored ring. The wrapper is a lighter shade, mild oily with a few minor veins. The construction has some softer spots, not too soft though but a little inconsistent with the rest of the cigar. The medium strong aroma is cocoa with fresh wood.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is fine but quite tasteless. While removing the foot ring the wrapper cracks as the ring was stuck to the wrapper, I hope that doesn’t influence the burn. I taste toast, nutmeg, chili flakes, vanilla and lime. Now that sounds like a flavor bomb but the flavors are muted. After half an inch the flavors aren’t muted any longer and I taste a sharp birch wood with chili flavor, a little on the harsh side. Halfway I taste toast with some walnut and a slightly harsh peppery birch.


The draw is fine and so is the smoke, which is thick enough, enough in volume and a nice white color. The almost perfect white ash is beautiful. I had to correct the burn a few times. This cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is about an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? No, I’ll pass.

Score: 82
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Categories: 82, Dominican cigars, Juan Clemente, La Tabacalera | Tags: , ,

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