Posts Tagged With: 87

Viking Valhalla Robusto

Viking is the brand of the Norwegian cigar distributor Hakon Aanonsen. His company sigar.com has been distributing cigars for over two decades in Norway and previously Aanonsen owned the brands Amero, Chess, and Hawk. Those brands were made by a small factory in the Dominican Republic and the project failed.


Aanonsen tried again, but this time with a new concept and a new factory. Ernesto Perez Carrillo is the manufacturer of the cigars and with the Viking brand, the Norwegian heritage is celebrated. First, there were the Viking, Norseman and the Nordic Warrior. Now there is a new blend, Valhalla.

The ring is a tin alloy, just like on the other Viking cigars. It is just not as detailed as the other Viking rings. Black and gold, with a two-headed goat. The cigar has a small pigtail. The wrapper is deep dark brown with no visible veins. There is a medium-strong aroma. The smell is located in the animal section of the flavor wheel, horse, cow, leather, those kinds of smells.


The cold draw is a bit loose with raw tobacco flavors. After lighting, I taste cinnamon, coffee, and earth. There a faint vanilla flavor as well. I also taste dried leaves. Quite quickly the flavors turn floral with spice, a bit harsh though and unrefined. After a third it’s still a floral cigar, but with a lot of pepper and some vanilla. Still a little rough and unrefined. Halfway the cigar becomes less harsh, more balanced with some wood, pepper, spices, and grass. In the second third, I taste carrots, raw carrots. With pepper. And the cigar turns to a wood, earth and leather flavor profile, with a little bit of pleasant chocolate. The chocolate is creamy.


The draw is quite loose and I had to correct the burn several times. The smoke is thick and plentiful. The ash is salt and pepper colored, it’s firm and dense. I would say this cigar is medium-full, both in body and flavor. The smoke time is about an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? I think I will stick to the Viking Viking blend or the Nordic Warrior

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Categories: 87, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera La Alianza, Viking | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Maria Mancini 2017 Toro Lindo

For over twenty years, the German manufacturer Schuster Cigars has the Maria Mancini cigars made in Honduras. And for the last couple of years, there’s a limited edition. For 2017, the company went for a 6×52 Toro Lindo. And I had the chance to try this 8 euro cigar for free, the only condition was that I had to review it. Good deal ain’t it?


The tobacco used in the filler is Nicaraguan, Honduran and Brazilian. Add a Honduran wrapper and binder, and there’s your Maria Mancini 2017 Toro Lindo. I smoked the Maria Mancini 2016 limited edition and that was a pretty decent cigar, so if this one is in the same range it should be an enjoyable smoke.

The cigar doesn’t look too good, to be honest. The cap comes in a darker shade than the wrapper and the final cap is glued to the cigar in a sloppy way. The ring is dated and the foot ring is too simple too. The rings don’t match with each other either. A professional designer could and should have done a better job. Updating the rings and logo would be something that will bring the looks of the cigar to a higher level. The wrapper looks a bit leathery, it feels leathery and greasy. Oily might be a better description. The construction feels good. The strength of the aroma is medium. I smell a little ammonia and barnyard aromas.


The cold draw is good. I taste dry tobacco, mildly peppery, with some raisin sweetness. At first, I taste leather and mud. After a few puffs, I taste some green herbs, mushroom, grass and a metallic flavor. Some chocolate shows up too, with a growing pepper flavor. I also get faint vanilla. The cigar has an ashy aftertaste, with red pepper. After an inch, I taste soil with a little spice and sugar water. After a third, I taste soil, green herbs but now with something that comes close to Nutella, but more of a cheap knock-off store brand. There’s also a little grass. Halfway the cigar turns a little sweeter, still with pepper and earthy flavors though. The cigar remains peppery, earthy and sweet but now has some grassy flavors too. With about an inch and a half left, pepper is the main flavor, but supported by the sweetness and still the earthiness. There’s also a coffee bean flavor. Even closer to the end, the coffee beans turn into a high quality 80% dark chocolate.


The sloppy cap comes off after the first puffs, first creating false air before I removed it completely. The draw is great, just as the burn and the firm, light-colored ash. The cigar is medium flavored, medium to full-bodied. 

The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? No, too earthy for me.

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Categories: 87, Honduran cigars, Maria Manchini | Tags: , , ,

El Piño Blanco Corojo Robusto

Last year, Dutch tobacconist Mariska Kelch from Tabakado in Eindhoven, started her own brand. The brand is called El Piño Blanco and is made in Nicaragua. The brand is created in a collaboration with David Blanco from Blanco Cigars. Plasencia, related to Blanco by blood, is responsible for producing the cigars. They come in two lines, Maduro and Corojo.


I smoked this €5,50 robusto in the Maduro version and that was a nice, enjoyable budget cigar. I had the Corojo version too, so I wanted to see if that was just as nice of a budget cigar. Both lines come in three sizes, I do have the other vitolas but I’m not sure if I will smoke these or hand them out to other reviewers to give Mariska and the brand more airplay.

The wrapper looks nice, not too oily but certainly not dry. A single cap, with some pimples. A simple yet clean cigar ring, good quality print. I can see a few thin veins on the cigar, all rolled flat to give the cigar a nice, smooth look. The construction feels good. The aroma of the cigar is darker than expected, it’s a deep barnyard, swamp and forest smell.

The cold draw is good and has a spicy, raw tobacco flavor. Right from the get-go, I taste espresso with pepper and sugar. Cane sugar to be precise. After a few puffs, I also taste cedar and mushrooms. After half a centimeter I taste a musty flavor, with mushrooms. The sweetness and the coffee disappeared. The spice is still there though. The worst mustiness disappears, yet the flavor lingers around on the background. I now taste some saltiness with cedar and green herbs. After a third, I taste a dry cedar with some mild pepper and low-grade milk chocolate. The mustiness and mushrooms are getting stronger again. In the final third, cedar and sweetness return. The sweetness becomes the main flavor, with grass and green, spicy herbs as support. The pepper is growing in strength in the last inch as well.

Blna
The ash is white, strong and firm. The smoke is decent, quite full and thick. The burn is pretty straight. Evolution is decent. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is one hour and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I would not, I stick to the Maduro

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Categories: 87, El Piño Blanco, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , ,

Lempira Puros

This is a brand that I know nothing off, yet I have several different blends in my collection that I probably got from one of the Intertabac trade shows I visited. All I know, after a visit to my friend google, is that it is a Honduran brand, that the cigars are made in Danli and there are 8 different blends.

Now I don’t have all 8 blends, I have five and I will review them all in this one big review, I’m reviewing the Cachique, Minister, Patuca, President and Princess so the Lempa, Live and Payday are missing.  If I ever get my hands on those cigars I will review them too and add them to this review.

Lempira Puros Minister Toro


The Lempira Puros Minister is a blend of Honduran Tobacco with a Mata Fina wrapper and it only comes in a 6×52 toro size, so guess which vitola I am reviewing today: the toro. The wrapper doesn’t look Brazilian to me, it’s to smooth and thats a good thing. Its medium dark with a mild reddish glow, a few thing veins and a leathery feel. The construction feels good, well filled with a flawless triple cap and a well rounded head. The ring is simple, it’s red with golden outlines and the simple Lempira Puros logo in gold, the foot ring has the same color scheme. The gold doesn’t really pop. With a better design and better print quality the cigar would look more desirable. The aroma is quite mellow but also dusty, like walking into a wood working shed that has been abandoned for a few years.


I decided to go for a punch this time. The cold draw is good, mild spicy. After lighting I taste a sweet spicy coffee. The sweetness is slightly chemical. After half an inch I taste a little chemical floral sweetness with an unrefined edge. Soon after some pepper shows up too. Halfway I taste wood and a floral sweetness. The final third starts peppery.


The draw is great. The light gray ash looks nice. The smoke is medium full in thickness and volume. The cigar lacks evolution. It’s medium bodied, medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again? Nah

Score: 87
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Lempira Puros Patuca Robusto 


This Honduran puro has a Habano seed wrapper that is so dark it could easily pass as oscuro. The Patuca blend comes in two robusto sizes, 4 3/4×50 or 4×56 and I’m smoking the thinnest of the two. The wrapper is dark and extremely toothy. Just touching the wrapper reminds me of touching my weekend beard. I can’t complain about the construction, just like the Minister the cigar has a beautifully placed triple cap, a well rounded head and feels evenly packed. The ring is the same set up, just now with black instead of red, but same dull gold. The aroma is quite strong and reminds me of tar.


I cut the cigar with my butterfly cutter. The cold draw is great. The wrapper is quite sweet, the flavor from the cigar is more herbal. After lighting I taste coffee. The cigar is spicy, peppery with a little bit of a Maduro sweetness. After half an inch the cigar tastes a little harsh. After a third I taste sweet but dry wood. The final third is dry wood, harsh with a splash of lemon.


The draw is great. The smoke is medium thick and full. The burn is good, pretty straight. The cigar is medium full flavored and bodied. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? Meh

Score: 85
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Lempira Puros Princess Corona


This 5 1/2×42 Corona has a Habano wrapper which has a nice medium brown color and a leathery touch. I see two thin veins running over the leaf and it’s just a good looking cigar. The well placed cap, the even construction and the contrast with the rings help too. The rings are the same as the others but in white, which makes them pop a little more and look just a little bit better. The aroma is mild and smells more like a classic barnyard then any of the other Lempira Puros cigars.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is good with a mild floral, mild harsh and acidic. After lighting I taste the same flavors as in the cold draw. Slowly the cigar gets more acidic, a citrus acidity but with a weird harsh flavor on the background. Halfway I taste more of a woody flavor with some floral sweetness. Near the end the cigar gets more peppery and stronger.


The draw is great. The smoke is thick, white, the volume is great. The light gray ash is quite firm. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The burn is good. The smoke time is an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? Nope.

Score: 86
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Lempira Puros Chachique Torpedo


The Cachique is a puro with fillers from Jamastran and a Honduran Habano wrapper. The cigar is only available in a 6×52 torpedo.  The wrapper is medium dark brown but has a thick vein that doesn’t help the esthetics of the cigar. The construction feels good, evenly filled, with a nice cap and a good shape. The ring is purple with a dull gold,  just like the foot ring. If the gold popped a little more I would rate it higher, but the color combination is nice. The cigar has a strong hay smell with a little manure to it.


I used a cheap cutter to take the cap off. The cold draw is great, it’s pepper with wood. After lighting I taste wood with a little cinnamon. After a third I taste wood, with a chemical vanilla and some nutmeg. I also taste some peanut. The flavors take a turn to unpleasant wood and cumin.


The draw is great. The ash is light with darker smears. The white smoke is thick and voluminous enough. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again? No

Score: 85
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 Lempira Puros President Corona

 

I love this 6×42 vitola and I hope this Honduran blend with a Mata Fina wrapper is just as nice as the vitola. The wrapper feels like leather, is medium dark brown and has no big veins. The construction feels good and again, the cap is placed perfectly, the cigar is evenly filled, the torcedor is well trained. The ring is the same as the others, but this time in a blueish silver color. The medium strong aroma is acidic, like fresh urine.


After cutting I try the cold draw. I taste a slight harsh wood with great resistance. After lighting I taste some sharp wood and a little coffee. Soon it changed into some moldy sweetness with a little cayenne in the aftertaste. The cayenne disappears but now I taste that sweetness with musty, moldy and sharp wood. Halfway I taste some bitterness with a slight acidity. The final third starts harsh with spices, pepper and wood.


The ash is coarse and light colored. The draw and burn are flawless. The smoke is thick and full. This is a medium bodied and flavored cigar. Thank god the smoke time is just an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? No no no.

Score: 84

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Categories: 84, 85, 86, 87, Honduran cigars, Lempira Puros | Tags: , , ,

Cigar of the month January

Since the end of the year is an expensive month for most of us, I decided to smoke and review some budget cigars for the month of January. I wish I hadn’t though, even though some budget cigars preformed really well, and others had a good price-quality ratio, I rather pay a few dollars extra and have an almost guaranteed cigar enjoyment.

As for this month, the cigar with the highest rating is:
Diesel Unholy Cocktail with a 95 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Diesel Unholy Cocktail Belicoso (Nicaragua) 95 points
2) Calixto Lopez Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
3) Nica Libre Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
4) Blue Ribbon Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
5) Joya Black Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
6) Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Corona (Honduras) 89 points
7) Flor de Oliva Lancero (Nicaragua) 88 points
8) Benchmade Toro (Nicaragua) 87 points
9) Schizo Maduro Robusto (Honduras) 87 points
10) Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Habano (Honduras) 87 points
11) Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Natural (Honduras) 86 points
12) Cuba Libre Epicure (Honduras) 85 points
13) Schizo Robusto (Nicaragua) 85 points
14) Miami Mafia Torpedo (Nicaragua) 85 points
15) Chincalero Fuerte Picadillos (Nicaragua) 84 points
16) Non Plus Ultra Maduro Toro (Honduras) 84 points
17) Berger & Argenti Mooch Maduro Corona (Nicaragua) 84 points
18) Reposado Maduro Toro (Nicaragua) 84 points
19) Oro de Esteli Robusto (Nicaragua) 83 points
20) Jose L Piedro Cazadores (Cuba) 83 points
21) Nestor Reserva Maduro Torpedo (Honduras) 82 points
22) La Flor de Rosa Churchill (Nicaragua) 82 points
23) Don Tomas Clasico Robusto (Honduras) 80 points
24) Reposado Habano Toro (Nicaragua) 79 points
25) La Rica Churchill (Nicaragua) 78 points
26) Cucaracha Nub (Nicaragua) 77 points
27) JR Edicion Limitada Robusto (undisclosed) 77 points
28) Oro de Esteli Robusto (Nicaragua) 77 points
29) Quorum Toro (Nicaragua) 73 points

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Benchmade Toro

I remember that close to a decade ago people were raving about the new La Aroma de Cuba, blended by Don Pepin but owned by Ashton but back then the cigar wasn’t available in Europe. When it finally got released, under the name La Aroma del Caribe due to copyrights, Ashton simultaneously released their budget medium filler Benchmade, also made at the My Father Cigars factory and I remember that I didn’t dislike them, which is rare for a budget cigar. But I haven’t smoked them in years, time to revisit the cigar for this budget month.


The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro, from filler to wrapper, everything comes from Nicaragua. There are 5 sizes, a 5×50 robusto, a 5 1/2×54 gordo, a 6×50 toro which I’m smoking, a 6 1/2×46 cazadores and a 7×50 churchill. And even though it’s a budget cigar, they don’t come in bundles but in boxes, which make them look worth more than what you pay for.


The cigar has a dark wrapper with some black smears and spots, it looks very tasty. The construction feels good and I like the little pig tail. The broken white ring shows a bunch of drying tobacco leaves and the name benchmade in golden letters. The aroma is faint, I smell a bit of a barnyard aroma.


I just twisted the pigtail off and the cold draw is good, it’s quite spicy and peppery. After lighting I taste spicy strong leather. The leather remains with a little sweetness yet the spice never disappears. After a third I taste cinnamon with still some leather. Halfway I taste some French toast with leather and pepper. The final third is peppery with a hint of sugar and cinnamon. The finale has the leather flavor again.


The draw is good, as can be expected from a mixed filler cigar. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness, it has a brownish color. The ash, with wide rings, has that same brown color. The burn is nice, the cigar isn’t boring due to the evolution. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a nice snack cigar.

Score: 87
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Categories: 87, Benchmade, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Habano Robusto

We all have our prejudice, also when it comes to cigars, and I’m not different than any other cigar smoker, I have them too. Some are prejudice towards cigars not coming from Cuba, others are prejudice towards vitolas, towards certain wrappers or brands in general. I admit, I have a prejudice against big ring gauges, certain brands and I used to have a prejudice against Connecticut Shade wrappers although in the last year and a half I smoked a few that I liked a lot which changed my attitude against Connecticut Shade. Another prejudice? Budget cigars, I think most of them are not worth the little money they cost.


So when I was working for the Alec Bradley distributor and we got the Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba series in I flat out refused to try them, I sold them and sold them good but hadn’t smoked them, now for budget month I will and I start with the Habano. Made in Honduras as a Cuban sandwich with a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder and filler from Mexico, Nicaragua and Honduras and when I was selling these the retail price was €2,50 for a robusto


The cigar actually looks good, a smooth and dark wrapper, no visible veins and a nice head. The construction feels good too, yet the well printed ring looks a little cheap though. Its soft yellow with a sun in the centre and gold printed letters Spirit of Cuba plus a small green banner with the Alec Bradley name. The aroma is medium strong and smells like poop.


I cut the cigar which led to a great cold draw with a mild lemon and spicy flavor. The first puff after lighting is a powdered coffee flavor. There is also a lemon flavor. The first third the flavor doesn’t change but then a little spice shows up. Halfway I taste nutmeg, spice and a little lemon. The spice picks a bit up a bit but that’s it.


The draw is great. The ash is dark but with nice rings. The smoke is white and thick. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is little over an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? nah, price quality is great but  I rather pay double and get something better.

Score: 87
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Categories: 87, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , , ,

5 Vegas Classico, Gold, Gold Maduro & A

I have four different 5 Vegas cigars in my stash and I wanted to review them, but ran into the problem that I just don’t know enough about the cigars to write individual reviews. The information on internet is also confusing, but what they all have in common is that th brand is owned by Cigars International or Meier & Dutch, which is the wholesale division of Cigars International and that they have the cigars made, probably by several different factories as some are said to be Dominican and others are said to be Nicaraguan.

As I said, I have four different blends, but also four different vitolas, so it will be hard or impossible to decide what’s the best blend after reading the four reviews, that would only be fair if the vitolas would have been the same. Don’t draw any conclusions on the results of my testing, just read them as entertainment and maybe get some of these cigars if my review made you curious.

5 Vegas Classic Torpedo

This Nicaraguan made cigar has Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, and a medium brown Sumatra wrapper with tooth and a leather feel. The shape of the head is amazing, never seen a torpedo so pointy. The ring is classic, simple but printed on high quality, glossy paper. Its a red circle with white and golden outlines, some details in gold and 5 Vegas in white. The construction feels great, and that shape, awesome. The cigar has a strong aroma to barnyard with milk chocolate.


Because of the shape I have no option but to cut the cigar and I used my Xikar butterfly cutter for it. The cold draw is fine and I taste dry, well fermented tobacco, mild spicy. After lighting I taste coffee, a nice tasty coffee. After a few puffs I  taste fresh wood with coffee and cinnamon. After a third I taste cinnamon with a little citrus and some wood and a carrot like flavor. Then the flavor changes to a mild milk chocolate with cedar, cinnamon, lime and honey. The final third starts with nuts and pepper. Then all of a sudden a floral flavor shows up with some white pepper.


The draw is great. The dense ash is white. The burn is good. The smoke is medium thick and full. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? I might, depending on the price.

Score: 90
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5 Vegas A Artisan (Robusto)


The 5 Vegas A is a bit of a confusing name, since A is also a vitola but this line, which is made in Nicaragua with a Costa Rican Maduro wrapper, comes in different vitolas, including an A. The wrapper is dark and oily with one fat vein at the back of the cigar. The construction feels good and the cap is nicely placed. Both rings look goo, the foot ring is gold with a white square with triple A on it while the regular ring is like the classic 5 Vegas logo but black and gold instead of red and gold and the ring is bitter making room for an additional A underneath the logo. Classy. The cigar has a nice, medium strong aroma that reminded me to my last trip at the zoo, when I walked into the primate encounter.


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is good, spicy tobacco is what I taste. After lighting with a single jet I taste coffee. And after a few puffs I taste pepper too. Slowly some caramel shows up with pepper while the coffee fades away. There’s also a little acidity. After a third I also taste some wood. Halfway I taste a nice dark wood with a toffee flavor and some pepper. I also taste some dark chocolate. The flavors slowly turn to wood with spices and pepper, the mouth feeling is dry.


The draw is good. The smoke is good too, medium full in thickness and volume. The ash is decent, medium gray. The burn is straight. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored. The evolution is good.


Would I buy this cigar again? I should.

Score: 91
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5 Vegas Gold Maduro Corona

 


Now this is a cigar of which I know a little more, it is made by Plasencia in Nicaragua. The cigar is made with Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, a Honduran binder and Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper. The wrapper is sturdy, thick, dark and rustic. It looks rough but in a good way, like you know you’ll get flavor from it. The construction feels good. The ring is great, great quality printing on beautiful glossy paper with nice colors. I see copper, gold, shades of brown and white, very detailed and it fits with the rustic wrapper. The aroma is a mixture of fresh wood chips and barnyard.


I used a butterfly cutter to decap the cigar. The cold draw is nice, mild acidic yet peppery. After lighting I taste coffee and chocolate powder. Soon the flavors change to a dark wood with herbs and some Maduro sweetness. After an inch I taste wood with some Maduro sweetness and a bit of a vanilla floral flavor. The flavors are dry. The cigar gets more herbal, more peppery yet the mild vanilla floral flavor remains on the background.


The draw is great and the smoke is thick and full. The light colored ash is a bit frayed. The burn is good, pretty straight. This is a medium bodied and medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is almost an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again?  Meh, decent cigar but nothing more than that.

Score: 88
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5 Vegas Gold Toro

This 5 1/2×55 box pressed Toro is made in Honduras with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper over a Honduran binder and Honduran fillers. The wrapper looks pale but smooth. The ring doesn’t help much to lift up the pale color of the wrapper because the wrapper is a two tone gold with just a tiny bit of white and red and makes the appearance of the cigar even more bland. The construction feels good and the cigar is nicely finished. The medium strong aroma reminds me of a flog of sheep that just took a dump.


I used a xikar cutter to cut the cigar. The draw is great, I taste dry grass with a little kick. After lighting I taste a mild coffee and dirt flavor. After half an inch I taste a floral flavor with a little salt. After a third I taste a salty cedar, very mild and smooth, with just a hint of the Connecticut Shade mustiness. Near the end I get more pepper.


The draw is flawless, the smoke is nice and thick. The light gray ash is firm. This is a mild to medium bodied and flavored cigar with a nice burn. The cigar is smooth yet lacks evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? This is too mild for me.

Score: 87
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Categories: 5 Vegas, 88, 90, 91, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leon Jimenes Doble Maduro Ambassador

The Leon Jimenes Doble Maduro Ambassador is a 4 1/2×38-60 figured and I can hardly find any information on the internet except a lot of German webshops that sell them, they must be very popular there but nowhere else. Or maybe they are a country exclusive? I don’t know. The whole line, consisting of a short robusto, robusto, double perfecto, corona, Churchill, a 7×58 Gigante and this figured is very reasonable priced from €6,50 till €8,20. Mine is bought a few years back at Cigarworld in Dusseldorf.


The double fermented wrapper on this cigar is a rare maduro, a Cuban seed Brazilian tobacco called Cubra and its a Colorado Maduro and gives the dark maduro wrapper leaf a reddish glow. The binder in Brazilian too and the filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Brazil and Peru. The cigars are part of the La Aurora family and made at their factory on the Dominican Republic.


I love the funny shape, it’s exactly the reason why I bought this cigar and not any of the other vitolas. And I guess you have to be a skilled roller to make a cigar in this shape and make it look beautiful with a flawless cap and an evenly filled construction. The reddish glow on the dark wrapper, that has some smears and a little tooth, make the cigar look even better. Too bad the Leon Jimenes rings are so dull. Red with a pale golden lining, a lion and a crown logo over the Leon Jimenes name but all blurry, the artwork needs an upgrade. The secondary ring is in the same color scheme and says Doble Maduro. The cigar has a medium strong barnyard and wood aroma.


I cut the cigar due to the small ring gauge at the head of the cigar. The cold draw is great, I taste some pepper and a little mint. After lighting I taste coffee with wood chips. Soon after I taste leather, chocolate and a little metallic flavor. After an inch I taste pepper with a little metal. After a third I’m tasting an unexpected mild orange flavor, something I never tasted in a cigar before. The feeling is a bit sticky. The final third starts with chocolate.


The burn is a little crooked. The ash is quite dark and firm. The draw is perfect. The smoke is thick and plentiful. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again?

Score: 87

Categories: 87, Dominican cigars, Leon Jimenes, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , , ,

San Lotano The Bull Robusto

I’ve always been a fan of A.J. Fernandez, from the day he emerged as master blender and manufacturer for a lot of the Maier & Dutch private labels, sold only through cigarsinternational and affiliated sites. I mean the Diesel Unholy Cocktail is one of my favorite cigars, I love most of the Man O Wars, Ave Maria’s etcetera and I’ve liked almost everything he made for himself too like the San Lotano lines, Last Call, New World and Enclave. But for some reason the San Lotano didn’t do much in The Netherlands. I guess that’s because we started with the weirdly shaped Oval line and that vitola didn’t went well with the Dutch public and tainted the San Lotano name for a lot of consumers.


San Lotano is an old Cuban brand that was owned by A.J. Fernandez grandfather but after the revolution th brand disappeared. Abdel brought it back with the San Lotano Oval, and later the round Maduro, Habano and Connecticut lines and a few years later this new The Bull, which is box pressed since that’s the best format for this specific blend according to Fernandez.  The cigar is made in Esteli with Nicaraguan filler and Binder and an Ecuadorean habano wrapper and comes in boxes of 10. I smoked the 5×54 robusto.


The cigar comes cedar wrapped and in cellophane. The cedar wrapping has the image of a bulls head printed on the wood. Once I remove that I see a dark and square pressed cigar, it looks like a mars bar, with one vein, which is also flattened. I see some mineral sparkles on the wrapper too and the cigar looks mighty tasty. And I immediately smell a quite strong aroma that is a mixture of a smoldering bonfire, cow dung and fresh pepper. The ring is of a thick paper, a black square with golden outlines, golden letters San Lotano and at the bottom a yellow and red banner with ‘by A.J. Fernandez’. Simple yet effective.


I punched the cigar and the cold draw is perfect, a little citrusy with some bitterness. I lit the cigar with my trusted vintage Ronson and taste espresso with some oak and a little sugar. A few puffs later I taste sweet and toasted oak flakes and some citrus. After an inch I taste black coffee, very dark chocolate and citrus. Halfway the cigar becomes less bitter, the bitterness was nice though, and a little more peppery. No more coffee but still oak with the bitterness of dark chocolate, a little sweetness, some pepper and citrus.


The white ash has some black smears and is firm. The smoke is thick and plentiful, just how I like it. The draw is flawless. The burn is good but not completely straight. This cigar is medium to full bodied, full flavored yet there isn’t a lot of evolution. The smoke time is little over and hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I stick to other AJ Fernandez cigars.

Score: 87

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Categories: 87, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , ,

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