Posts Tagged With: 88

Carlos Toraño Single Region Series Jalapa Robusto

In 2010 Carlos Toraño jumped the bandwagon of cigars made from tobaccos from a certain area, like Plasencia does with the Reserve Organica, Perdomo with the Lot 23 and the Cubans with Pinar del Rio (or at least they claim …) but didn’t stick to one plantation as Plasencia and Perdomo do but widens the parameters by making it a single region instead of a single lot. Still, I like the concept as an experiment to see what you can do with tobaccos from one region. Toraño chose to do this in Jalapa, the most northern tobacco region in Nicaragua, close to the Honduran border.


Now the cigar is a Nicaraguan pure, of course with a name and concept like that, but made in Honduras. The size of the cigar I smoked is a 5×52 robusto but there are several other vitolas. I have no idea if the cigars are still being made after General Cigars purchased the brand a few years back. I had this cigar in my humidor for a few years now, I can’t recall when I bought this but it must have been on one of my trips to the USA so 2014 or earlier. And I don’t think that this concept was a success for Toraño since there were no other Single Region lines introduced, even though there are plenty of options like Esteli, Condega, Ometepe, Jamastran and several Dominican regions.


When I release the cigar from the cellophane I notice some discoloration and the top ring gets stuck in the cellophane, so I have to rip it open to put the ring back on the cigar. The wrapper looks good, a deep brown color with some oil and just one vein, quite a nice looking cigar. The rings compliment the wrapper very well, the top ring is white with burgundy outlines and with the Toraño family logo on each side of the burgundy text single region. The second ring is smakker, burgundy with golden embossed lines and white letters saying serie Jalapa. The cigar feels well packed and evenly packed too with a nice round head. The aroma is medium strong and a mixture of lemon and dog poop.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is fine and I taste peppery raisin. After lighting I taste coffee and earthy flavors with pepper. The coffee is replaced by green herbs like rucola with earthy flavors and pepper. After a third the flavors mellow out a bit to soil, nutmeg, a little salt and a peppery aftertaste. Halfway I taste wood, soil and mild salty nuts. The wood and soil slowly disappear and I’m struck with the nuts and pepper but after two thirds I taste raw carrots too, and I like carrots. The carrot flavor disappears quickly too and the pepper gets stronger.


The draw is fine. The smoke is medium full in both volume and thickness. The ash is quite dark but firm. The burn is slow but uneven. This cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored with a nice slow evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe a single when I am at a shop but no box for my humidor.

Score: 88
number88

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Categories: 88, Honduran cigars, Latin Cigars de Honduras, Torano | Tags: , , , ,

Cigar of the month August

August was a month of 12 published reviews, including one with the name I used as a nickname on forums like Club Stogie and Cigar Asylum when forums were still the place to be.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

La Preferida 452 with a 95 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) La Preferida 452 (Nicaragua) 95 points
2) Ave Maria Argentum (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Guayacan Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Leon Jimenes Don Fernando (Dominican Republic) 92 points
5) Xiphos Habano Robusto (Costa Rica) 92 points
6) Undercrown Sun Grown Belicoso (Nicaragua) 91 points
7) E.L.V.I.S. Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserva Maduro Churchill (USA) 91 points
9) Casa Magna Domus Magnus Tiberus (Nicaragua) 90 points
10) Winston Churchill by Davidoff The Artist (Dominican Republic) 90 points
11) Ahuriba Light Corona (Aruba) 90 points
12) Swag Lancero (Dominican Republic) 88 points

 

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

Swag Elite

Swag is one of the brands that falls under the Boutique Blends company of Rafael Nodal, just like the better known Aging Room. And I knew nothing about this cigar when I bought it on a trip to Florida a few years ago, I just saw a lancero that I didn’t know and never smoked so I bought it. The price tag is still attached, I paid $ 6.46 for it, and today I’m smoking it as part of my series of lancero reviews.


A google search taught me that the cigars are made at Tabacalera Palma, which isn’t a surprise considering its part of Boutique Blends and it’s a Dominican puro. The 7×40 lancero is completely made with Dominican Habano Ligero tobacco, from filler to binder and wrapper.


The cigar is almost completely covered with wax paper with the Swag logo, a nice way of wrapping the cigar. The ring is burgundy with white letters and several golden, black and red lines on top and bottom. The foot ring has the same color scheme but says Puro Domincana. The shape is beautiful, well finished head and the construction feels good too. The wrapper is mild oily, has an espresso color but with a reddish glow and it looks smooth. The aroma is mild and woody.


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is good. I taste a peppery flavor. After lighting it with my vintage Ronson. I taste a cinnamon and other spices flavor with some sweetness and pepper. The cigar gets peppery, with some nutty wood and a maple syrup sweetness. After a third I taste sharp wood with pepper. The cigar is a bit harsh and a both ashy halfway because the cigar starts to bleed tar. I cut a piece off to rescue the cigar. The ash flavor is gone but the cigar continues to be peppery and slightly harsh.


The draw is great, the cigar is well made. The smoke is good in volume but could be a bit thicker. The light gray ash is dense. It isn’t firm though. The burn is great. I would call this cigar full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? This isn’t my cigar.

Score: 88
number88

Categories: 88, Dominican cigars, Swag, Tabacalera Palma | 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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Royal Danish Havana Blend Short Robusto LE 2014

Royal Danish, the name would suggest that the cigar comes from Denmark but no, it is a Nicaraguan puro made in Esteli, Nicaragua at the Plasencia Factory for the Danish brand owner Jan Vistisen and that’s the only connection to Denmark as there is. I did a few reviews on the Royal Danish Regal Blend in the past, but now its time to light the Havana Blend Short Robusto, which is a limited edition according to the ring. I can’t find any more information since the company doesn’t have a proper website. I did however found out that today is Jan Vistisen’s birthday, a good reason to publish a review of his brand.


According to a 2014 interview in Cigarjournal  this Havana blend is a cheaper but not lesser blend than the flagship Regal blend that I reviewed before and I recall liking the Regal blend so I got my hopes up high for this 4×52 small cigar. Due to the lack of information I can’t write a longer intro, so let’s focus on the cigar. (edit: after removing the foot ring I noticed an url printed on the inside http://www.havana-blend.com  with a little info but the website hasn’t been updated since 2014 though.)


The first thing that I notice is a nice metallic hologram sticker with a year, 2014, and Royal Danish Cigars written on it. Usually there is a barcode sticker, sticky tape or nothing so this sticker stands out and I like it. The ring is pretty, its black with golden dots, the Danish shield in the centre with a crown and Royal Danish Cigars written in white letters. The ring will not get the exact same and high score as the regal blend even though the rings look alike but that’s because the stone that’s on the Regal ring isn’t on the Havana blend ring. The foot ring is golden with black letters saying Limited Edition and a black oval with golden letters saying Havana Blend. In my opinion the black and gold should have been switched to make it more modest. There is a piece of yellow lint running from the foot of the cigar all the way over the head to the other side of the foot, which is not seen very often and makes the cigar stand out in a humidor. The wrapper has a nice deep brown color and no visible veins but the cap has a slightly lighter color, but it looks good. The construction feels and looks great. The aroma is medium strong and pure straw and hay.


I punched the cigar, the draw is a little tight and I taste raisin with a mild cedar. After lighting the cigar, with a single jet flame for once, I taste coffee with a little citrus. After a few puffs I taste earthy flavors with cocoa, lime and chili peppers. After an inch I taste a mild metallic earth flavor with a peppery aftertaste. Halfway I taste nuts with lemon. The nuts get stronger and a little pepper shows up at the background and aftertaste. The final third starts with pepper, sticky chocolate and a little nuts.


The draw is a little on the tight side and that causes the smoke to be thinner than I like. After a quarter of an inch I decided to cut the cigar and that improved both the draw and the smoke a little. The ash is light gray and reasonably firm. The burn is slow but not completely straight. The evolution is good and this medium full bodied cigar is also medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would like to try one with a better draw before I give my final verdict.

Score: 88
number88

Categories: 88, Nicaraguan cigars, Royal Danish | Tags: , , , , ,

Cigar of the month April

In April I published 16 reviews and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Guayacan Corona Gorda with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Guayacan Corona Gorda(Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Xiphos NR Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Espinosa Habano Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Reserva Miraflor Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Alec Bradley Pryme Torpedo (Honduras) 92 points
6) Kristoff San Andres Robusto (Dominican Republic) 92 points
7) Alec Bradley Nica Puro Churchill (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) A.J. Fernandez New World Puro Especial Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
9) Perla Del Mar Maduro Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Toro (Costa Rica) 90 points
11) Casa Pineda Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
12) Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Corona (Costa Rica) 90 points
13) Cohiba Lancero (Cuba) 89 points
14) Cavalier de Geneve Toro (Honduras) 88 points
15) Gurkha Reserva Edición Especial Koi (Dominican Republic) 87 points
16) Kings Cigars King of Kings Habano Cuadrado (Nicaragua) 84 points

 

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Cavalier of Geneva White Series Diplomate

About a year ago I was at the office of one of the premium cigar distributers in The Netherlands and I noticed a cigar that I had never heard of, had never seen and didn’t know nothing about. I mooched a sampler, as a cigar geek I’m always curious about new cigars. It turned out its a cigar from a Swiss company called Cavelier but the cigar is Honduran made and I think it’s made by Plasencia in Danli. Company founder Sebastian Decoppet went to Honduras and developed the blend with Adin Perez from Plasencia, that’s why I expect that Plasencia makes the cigars too.


Now the blend is a secret but contains tobacco from Honduras, Nicaragua, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Paraguay. I googled and found them on a Swiss webshop for about 12 euro’s for this 5 1/2×56 Diplomate. The cigar looks good, a nice medium dark brown wrapper with a oily shine to it, I see a few veins but it doesn’t make the wrapper look any less appealing. The ring is simple but quite nice, a thick white ring with a golden print of a man and a horse and on the back in very small curly letters the name of the brand. Now what makes the cigar stand out is a square of gold leaf glued to the wrapper. Cavelier isn’t the first or the only brand that does it, Daniel Marshall has one, Royal Danish has one and I bet there will be more but Cavelier only has a centimeter square and therefore I dare to smoke it. I smoked the Daniel Marshall one and that was a once but never again experience. The construction feels good. The aroma isn’t strong, it has a little ammonia and some hay.


I punched the cigar due to the 56 ring. The cold draw is very easy. I taste a mild pepper and raw tobacco. I taste coffee with a sharp bitterness. The sharpness goes away and is replaced by a caramel like sweetness. After an inch I still taste coffee with caramel, it’s still mildly bitter. After a third I taste wood with a nice bitterness and some honey. Halfway the flavors all of a sudden change to spices and wood with a fresh minty aftertaste.


Once I reach the 24 karat gold leave I taste a metallic flavor with the previous flavors, luckily it isn’t as bad as in the Daniel Marshall 24k torpedo. The spice is getting stronger, I also taste a strong pepper on the tip of my tongue. Once I’m passed the gold leave the metallic flavor is gone.


The smoke is medium thick to full and I get a good amount of smoke too. The draw is quite easy. The burn is a little off and needed to be corrected twice. The ash is firm, its grey with a little black. The cigar is medium plus bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, it was a decent cigar but there are better cigars available for less money.

Score: 88

88

Categories: 88, Cavelier, Nicaraguan cigars | 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 Oliva Maduro Robusto

Oliva is, for me personally, an underrated factory. When you ask me about my favorite factories I won’t spit out Oliva because they are never on top of my mind even though I visited the factory twice, met Jose Oliva and Gilberto Oliva several times and worked for the European distributor for years. Yet, every time I smoke an Oliva cigar, it doesn’t matter if its an O, O Maduro, G, V or Melanio cigar I am impressed and I know I am smoking a great cigar.


And within the range of Oliva cigars there is one cigar that is underrated more than any other cigar and it’s the Flor de Oliva Maduro. I had so many people tell me “I won’t smoke this because it’s a budget cigar and it can’t be good” but when I gave them one they were all impressed by the flavor and quality of this budget cigar. And to be honest, I don’t smoke them often but when I do this cigar, in combination with the low price, surprises me time after time.


The wrapper is dark and oily with some clear veins. It looks much better than some maduro wrappers on premium cigars of other companies. The ring is brown on glossy paper with a shaded Oliva logo and the Flor de Oliva name, in the Flor de Cana font in gold. The details on the edges of the ring are in gold too. Now although the overall look of the ring is much better than the old ones, it does seem to stand out a little less than the old one. The construction feels good and the cap is placed nicely. From what I understand these cigars are rolled by the most inexperienced rollers in the factory but the one that did this one can be promoted. The aroma is quite strong and reminds me of a stable with a mixed aroma of straw, urine, animals and manure.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is a bit tight. I taste nothing. After lighting I taste a mild coffee with chocolate. After half an inch I taste a nice chocolate and wood flavor with some sweetness. That flavor remains until the final third, when the flavors turn to herbal, the sweetness disappears and a very mild white pepper shows up.


The draw is good. The smoke is white, quite full and I get a decent amount of smoke. The white ash is firm and dense. The burn is flawless. This medium bodied and medium flavored cigar is nice yet not very dynamic. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Great budget humidor filler.

Score: 88
number88

Categories: 88, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , ,

Fuente Crucet Habanero 87

Now this is a cigar I had to google to be honest, because I never heard of the brand and that’s no surprise because their Facebook hasn’t been updated since 2009, they have no website and the latest review on a blog that I can find is from 2008 as well. So I guess this boutique brand disappeared as quickly as it emerged to the market.


From what I read this was a mom & pop cigar factory in Miami where mom was in charge of the blend and their two cigars, the habanera 78 and habanero 87 were inspired by their offspring Desiree and Jeyson, who were born in Havana (hence the Habanera & Habanero name) in 1978 and 1987. The filler and binder are Dominican and the wrapper is Cameroon.


The Cameroon wrapper has a dark, coffee, color with some thin veins and feels like dry leather. The construction feels good, the single cap is positioned good and the cigar has a simple yet nice ring, brown with golden print and a backdrop with the map of Havana. The aroma is strong and all I can say is manure.


I cut the cigar, the draw is perfect and I taste a peppery yet mind hay flavor. After lighting I clearly taste the Cameroon wrapper, mild sweet and pretty herbal and spicy. Now the flavor is very nice yet hasn’t changed halfway. After that a mild milk chocolate joins the herbs just like some salt. Slowly the flavors change to cinnamon stick that I used to buy at the candy booth at the carnival when I was a young kid. The cigar also gets more strength.


The draw is great and the white ask is dense and firm. The smoke is medium full in thickness and volume, the ash is white. The burn is great. This is a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Won’t be possible. And if I could I wouldn’t, fine tasting cigar yet very one dimensional

Score: 88
number88

Categories: 88, American cigars, Fuente Crucet | Tags: , , , ,

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