Posts Tagged With: 88

Dunhill Signed Range Corona

Alfred Dunhill opened his shop in London in 1907. In the 1930s he used his name for a cigar brand too, coming from Cuba. From that, he built an empire. Cigars, pipe tobacco, cigarettes, pipes, you name it and it carried the Dunhill name. But an era has come to an end. The current owners of the Dunhill name, British American Tobacco, discontinue everything except for the cigarettes. BAT is one of the worlds biggest players on the cigarette market and decided to focus on that completely.

 

These cigars, made in Esteli by General Cigars, were introduced in 2014. Or reintroduced is a better word, with a new blend. It’s got a Nicaraguan wrapper, Cameroon binder, and filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. I smoked the 5½x42 corona.

 

The cigar has a boring looking ring, old and in dire need of an upgrade. This ring does not appeal to younger cigar smokers at all. The cigar has a nice triple cap but the feet is cut at an angle. The cigar won’t stand up straight. The construction feels good. The aroma is strong. I smell barnyard with some musty hay.

 

The cold draw is perfect. I taste a fruity citrus acidity with some nutmeg and cardamom seeds. After lighting, I taste that citrus nutmeg and spice combination, with a little added pepper. It’s a mild start, but pleasant. After half a centimeter, I taste some leather and nuts, with nutmeg and a little citrus. There’s also faint vanilla. The flavors are all mild and a little dusty. After an inch, I taste more leather and spice. The mouthfeel is dry. The second third starts with leather, hay, and some pepper. At the halfway point, I taste toast with leather, dried leaves, and some sweetness. The final third starts with grass, hay, and pepper. The finale has some nuts and pepper.

 

The draw is great, the burn is good and the smoke is medium thick and full. The light-colored ash is flaky but firm. This is a medium bodied cigar, mild to medium flavored but there is evolution and the cigar does grow in strength. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes

.

Would I smoke this cigar again? No, it’s too boring for me

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Categories: 88, Dunhill, Nicaraguan cigars, STG Nicaragua | Tags: , , ,

Undercrown Shade Flying Pig

By now, the story of the Flying Pig is probably known. When Drew Estate started making cigars, people said that they would only become successful when pigs would fly. And successful they became. Then Steve Saka, back then CEO of Drew Estate, found the Flying Pig vitola. He was in Tampa and found a 100-year-old catalog from an old cigar factory., That catalog had the Flying Pig vitola, but under another name. Saka decided to make the cigars, in the Liga Privada #9 blend as a limited edition. And as a salute to the naysayers, the cigars were called Flying Pigs.

The Liga Privada lines were so popular that Drew Estate asked the rollers to stop smoking them. So the rollers switched some tobaccos, leaving out the rare ones. That line became the Undercrown. And the Undercrown got so popular that offshoots appeared. The second Undercrown blend to be released was the Undercrown Shade. That’s a milder version of the Undercrown blend, with a Connecticut Shade wrapper from Ecuador. The binder is Sumatra. The fillers come from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Drew Estate released a sampler with three different Undercrown Flying Pigs. Royal Agio, the distributor of Drew Estate in several European countries, provided me with a sampler.

The cigar looks great. The shape is unique and the pigtail is the icing on the cake when it comes to looks. The cigar feels good. The Connecticut Shade wrapper has a mild shine. The veins are thin. The white with the gold color scheme for the rings are well chosen. It fits the color of the wrapper. The logo is great too, an upside-down crown with a lion’s face. The aroma isn’t mild. It’s spicy, herbal and strong. But also smells like straw.

The cold draw is good, with a raw tobacco flavor. Once lit, a mild coffee and leather flavor is tasted. With salt that is. There’s also some cedar wood. But the flavors are smooth like the volume isn’t cracked open. Elevator music in a cigar, that idea. After a few puffs, there is some acidity and grass. The mouthfeel is mild creamy. Once the cigar opens up when the burn is passed the small foot, the flavors get stronger. Nutmeg, a bit of pepper, leather but also that Connecticut Shade mustiness. And that last part is the downside of all Connecticut Shade cigars. After a third some marzipan sweetness shows up, faint and on the background. The final third packs a little more power. Sweetness, pepper, leather, and wood. But still creamy with a little salt. The mustiness tones down a lot.

The draw is good. The burn is great. The ash is white and firm. The smoke is nothing like other Drew Estate products. Drew Estate is known for its smoke bombs. But this Undercrown Shade Flying Pig produces just a medium volume of smoke. It is not very thick, and gray instead of white. The cigar is mild to medium flavored. It’s also medium bodied. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I will never buy any Connecticut Shade cigars again.

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Categories: 88, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , , ,

Kings Cigars Conde Robusto

The last couple of years you see a rise in the use of Mexican San Andres wrappers and one of the companies that has been utilizing this wrapper in one of their lines is the boutique brand Kings Cigars. I met Pete from Kings Cigars a few years back in Cigar Cellar in Miami and he handed me a few sticks to bring to my then employer, who wasn’t interested but of course I kept a few sticks for myself to enjoy too. Amongst them this Conde Robusto, which I’m publishing on Kings day in The Netherlands


As I said, the cigar used a San Andres Maduro wrapper from Mexico but the cigar is made in Nicaragua in 5 different vitolas, 5×52 robusto, x650 toro, 7 1/2×50 double corona, 7×52 Churchill and a 6 1/2×54 torpedo. I’m smoking the robusto for this review. The binder is a Nicaraguan habano while the filler is completely Nicaraguan too. According to the website Kings Cigars has two factories but I wonder if they own factories or if they have their cigars made by others, my request for information never got a reply.


The wrapper is dark, oily, velvet but also has a few veins, but because of the darkness of the wrapper the veins don’t bother me. The cigar feels evenly packed and looks well finished. The ring is nice, green and blue with a golden crown and a black eagle on good quality paper. The cigar has a distinct, medium full, aroma that you get when you walk into a stable that’s used for cows.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is good, spicy, lemony and a little mint. After lighting I taste some coffee with powder sugar sweetness. Soon it changes to a chili vanilla melted ice cream flavor. After a third I taste some pepper with a creamy chocolate. Halfway the cigar turns herbal with some oak and pepper.


The draw is great. The burn is good too and the pepper and salt colored ash is alright. The smoke is medium full in thickness and medium in volume. This cigar is medium bodied and flavored with a smoke time of an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Don’t think so.

Score: 88
number88

Categories: 88, Kings Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Nestor Miranda Special Selection Connecticut Coffee Break

There was a time, back in the day, that I used to be an avid bomber, but also got bombed a lot. And for a while I added rings to cigars of who bombed me and what date I received the bomb. This was one of the cigar that still had the ring, even though is says “Slavac, 10/20/2009”. So that means that this cigar is at least a decade old but I also read that the cigar was only introduced in 2012 as a regular production. I have no idea if this was a regular production, or where information got mixed up.


I probably never smoked it because of the wrapper, as I have written many times before, I am not a fan of Connecticut Shade wrappers. I tried many, and the number of Connecticut Shade cigars I like can be counted on the fingers of one hand. All I can hope is that this My Father Cigars made 4½x50 Short Robusto aka Coffee Break, with its Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and filler from the Dominican, Nicaragua and Honduras is to my liking.


The wrapper has a light, yellow brown color. It also has a few clear veins, I don’t like the color much. The ring is much better, two tone gray and white with copper colored linings, special selection written in that copper color and Nestor Miranda special selection in red. On the back, where the ring is glued together you can find the Miami Cigar & Co logo. The cigar looks well made, it feels well made too. The aroma is mild peppery and manure.


After cutting I taste nothing actually with a good draw. After lighting I taste the classic Connecticut shade mustiness with sweetness, sugar sweetness. Halfway I taste the mustiness, with a sharp edge, sugar and a mild salty peanut flavor.


The draw is great, the light colored ash is firm and the burn is quite alright. The white smoke is thick and full. This is a mild cigar, medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? That Connecticut Shade still isn’t my kind of wrapper.

Score: 88
number88

Categories: 88, My Father Cigars, Nestor Miranda, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Nat Sherman 1930 Gran Robusto

Nat Sherman is a well established brand, almost 90 years old and the 1930 series refers to the year that the cigar brand was founded, 1930. The same year as the sport club in the Dutch town where I grew up, and before my current home country was even an independent country of its own. So there is a lot of history, and the brand is still there, with an iconic shop in NYC, which I hope to visit one day.


Nat Sherman is one of the many brands that doesn’t have a factory of it’s own and shares that fact with a lot of well known and respected brands. To have the 1930’s series made they reached out to Manolo Quesada on the Dominican Republic who created this cigar with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, a Dominican binder and Dominican wrapper. I smoked the 5¼x54 Gran Robusto.


The cigar must have some age to it as the cellophane started to turn yellow. The wrapper has a nice medium brown color with some reddish glow. The ring is simple, off white with red linings, the name in red and the year 1930 in silver. Simple yet stylish, art deco style. The cigar feels good, no plugs or soft spots, the shape is immaculate. The mild aroma is dark, like mosh in a forrest after a rain pour.


The cold draw is good, I taste a mild sultana flavor, with a little spice. After lighting I taste coffee, mild, with some pepper. After an quarter of an inch I taste peppery wood with a hint of honey. After a third the cigar has a bit of a cedar flavor with herbs and a little pepper. Near the end the cigar gains some strength.


The draw is good, but it was hard to keep the cigar lit in the first inch. The light gray ash is dense and firm. The smoke is thin, blueish in color. The burn is good. This is a mild to medium cigar, medium flavored. There isn’t much evolution in the cigar. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, but that was written before I lit the cigar. The way that the mother company of this brand is pushing in favor of regulation makes it certain I will never spent a dime on Nat Sherman cigars ever!

Score: 88
number88

Categories: 88, Dominican cigars, Nat Sherman, Quesada Cigars | 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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
number91

 

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: , , , , , , , , , ,

Heisenberg Robusto

Imagine being a theoretical physicist, doing great discoveries like the uncertainty principle and winning a nobel price when you’re just 31 and all you will be remembered by is a fictional meth dealer with terminal cancer and your field of science is mocked by one of the most popular comedy series ever where a total but brilliant nut job named Sheldon Cooper is playing a theoretical physicist. I bet Werner Heisenberg, born on this day in 1901, would be turning in his grave if he knew.


But some people still remember his uncertainty principle, people like the Quesada family, and they created a cigar around this theory. The only thing they revealed was the size, nothing more nothing less, no blend whatsoever, nothing, so that people had to smoke it completely blank and without prejudice. A quote from the original press release said “The Heisenberg project is named after the scientific formula of the same name that proves the fundamental limits of precision: in other words, no matter how much we know about something we will never know everything; the more we focus on one aspect, the less we know about another. The Heisenberg project has two intentions: to dispel the stereotypes that limit our ability to enjoy a cigar and remind aficionados that sometimes its best to sit back, relax, and just enjoy a smoke without over analyzing it. To put it simply, “Embrace Uncertainty!” Before writing this review I googled Werner Heisenberg and his theory but even the simplest of explanations gave me a headache, so I quit reading and decided to focus on the cigar en embrace the uncertainty.


The cigar is a tad thin for a robusto with a 48 ring, but it does have the classic 5 inch length. I do like thinner cigars so i’m not complaining though. The wrapper is dark, smooth and oily and the black ring with silver edges and the formula for the uncertainty principle in silver compliments the wrapper. On the back the name Heisenberg is written in small letters. I’m glas Quesada didn’t pick blue for the colors. The construction feels good, the cap is placed nicely too. I smell a quite dark, yet not to strong, wood aroma.


I punched the cigar to find a great cold draw with a slightly salt and raisin flavor. The first puff after lighting is coffee with a hint of pepper. After half an inch i taste some nuts, a faint chocolate, some sweetness but all muted and slightly harsh. After an inch I taste salty lemon with some wood. Halfway the lemon grows strong with wood and pepper. After two thirds it’s just spicy oak.


The draw is great and the smoke is medium full in volume and thickness. The ash is light gray and dense, firm too. The burn is pretty straight. I would call this cigar medium to medium full bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time if an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? This cigar didn’t hit the spot for me.

Score: 88

number88

Categories: 88, Dominican cigars, Heisenberg, Quesada Cigars | Tags: , , ,

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

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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