Posts Tagged With: 89

Alec Bradley Project 40 05.50

Alec Bradley Project 40 05.50 Robusto. Earlier this year, Alec Bradley released Project 40. Alan Rubin, owner and founder of the cigar brand, found inspiration in science. “Project 40 is a generally accepted concept in multiple industries with the end goal to find how a service or product can have a positive impact on the mind and body. Since cigars bring people together, cause for relaxation and create positive experiences, I asked myself why this concept should not be applied to premium cigars. This was my inspiration for Alec Bradley Project 40,” Rubin said. Rubin is a firm believer that cigars have a calming effect. And that belief is backed by several scientific research projects. It is a science-based fact that if people relax and wind down, the stress levels drop. And lower stress means a lower risk of cardiac arrest and other illnesses. And smoking cigars forces you to slow down and relax. Therefore a cigar is stress-reducing.

To make the cigars, Alec Bradley went to Nicaragua. But not to their regular address in Nicaragua, Plasencia Cigars. Instead, they picked J. Fuego to roll the Project 40 blend. The blend is made with Nicaraguan fillers and a Nicaraguan wrapper. The binder is a Brazilian Habano leaf. The cigars are named after the sizes. All are straight cigars, parejo. There is a 5×50 version called 05.50. Then there are a 06.25, a 07.50 and a 06.60. I reviewed the 05.50 robusto, a cigar Bradley Rubin gave us at the Intertabac trade show.


The Colorado colored wrapper has a big vein in the front of the cigar. The ring should have been placed differently so that the vein would be on the back, making it a more appealing cigar. The secondary ring is metallic sky blue with the words experimental series. The main ring is white with gold and a big Project 40 logo. On the backside, the whole idea behind project 40 is explained. The construction feels good. The cigar has an aroma of hay and the aroma is medium strong.


The cold draw is great. Flavors from the cold draw are raisin, wood, and raw tobacco. After lighting the first flavors are harsh, almost like medicinal cough medicine. There is some sweetness, some leather, some spices, earth, and wood. But it’s not a great start, to say the least. The harshness gets a little less strong, some cinnamon comes through. But the cigar still remains unbalanced. After a centimeter, the flavors are sweet and fresh, young wood with some pepper and spice. It slowly evolves to sweetness with wood, soil, leather, toast, pepper, and grass. Unbalanced, unrefined. After a third, it’s coffee with earthiness and sweetness, yet still, with that unrefined, slightly harsh, finish. The cigar then picks up in sweetness, pepper, and oak. The other flavors are gone. In the final third, the cigar gets more refined with sweetness, pepper, wood, and vegetal flavors. It turns to sweetness and cedar, with a hint of pepper. The cigar feels more balanced now, and even a tad creamy. The retrohale is pleasant now.


The draw is great. The ash is white and quite firm. The burn is good, not perfect but good. And the cigar produces a nice amount of white smoke. It’s a medium-bodied, medium flavored cigar. But it’s harsh, unrefined and unbalanced.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nope.

number89

Categories: 89, Alec Bradley, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Davtian Habana Torpedo Rojizo

Davtian Habana Torpedo Rojizo. This is the second Davtian blend that Ministry f Cigars is smoking and reviewing. The brand was founded by the Armenian businessman and cigars aficionado David Davtian in 2011. That was 8 years after Davtian became a retailer and distributor for several Non-Cuban brands for Armenia. And five years after he became the chairman of the Armenian Association. He traveled to all the cigar producing countries in the Caribbean and decided that the Dominican Republic would be the country for his own brand. Davtian Cigars was born. Last may, we reviewed the Davtian Primus Robusto Gordo.


There isn’t a lot of information about Davtian cigars on the web. None of the other major cigar media outlets have articles on the brand. And the Davtian website does offer some information, but not all. It took some digging to found out that the cigars are made at El Puente Cigar Factory. And the information for the blend is more detailed than with most producers. Yet the information from what country the tobaccos come from is lacking. The information is too detailed for most cigar smokers in our opinion.

The cigar has a rough looking wrapper. Leathery, dry, yet not unappealing. The tip of the torpedo leans a bit to the right though. The burgundy and silver ring looks good, high quality paper and printing. The logo is very detailed. The cigar has a strong barnyard, manure and hay aroma. It feels evenly packed with the right amount of sponginess.

The cold draw is great. The cigar has the flavors of raw tobacco, but with a mild, marzipan-like, sweetness. After lighting there’s a sweet coffee. Yet the cigar keeps dying. Once that is solved, the flavors are dry. Mild spicy, like gingerbread, with toast and leather.And then, after twenty minutes, a hefty pepper shows up. Red pepper, that makes the lips tingle. The flavors then evolve to leather, soil, pepper and a little sourness. Not citrus acidity, but more sour. The cigar is nothing more than decent at this point. With a mild buttery mouthfeel. The cigar turns dry. With leather, pepper, green herbs, and a little sweetness. The mouthfeel is very dry too. In the final third, the cigar gets stronger, yet sweeter. With more pepper, leather and dry tobacco. Theres even a little woody flavor in the final third.

The cigar keeps dying in the beginning. It has to be relit over and over again before it finally stays lit. The cigars were stored in perfect humidity, so it’s not an over or under humidification issue. The draw is great. The smoke is light gray. It’s also thick and voluminous. The ash is light gray, its a little flaky yet firm. The burn needs to be corrected on several occasions. This cigar is medium full bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nah

number89

Categories: 89, Davtian, Dominican cigars | Tags: , ,

Maria Mancini Edicion Especial Corona

Maria Mancini Edicion Especial Corona. This Honduran brand is owned and distributed by Schuster Cigars from Germany. The 110-year-old company is making cigars in Bunde, Germany. But besides making their own cigars, the company distributes RoMa Craft worldwide and a few brands on their German home market as well, including Debonaire. And they own a few Caribbean made brands, such as Iron Shirt, Maria Mancini, Casa de Torres and more.


Maria Mancini is sold in several countries, and in several blends. This is the Edicion Especial in a corona size. According to the Cigarworld website, it is a Honduran Puro. So the filler, binder, and the sun-grown wrapper all come from Honduras. The 5½x44 corona was introduced in 2004 and has been for sale since. And the price? In Germany, this cigar has a fixed price tag of €4,60, making it a budget cigar.


The cigar looks good. A nice Colorado Maduro colored wrapper, with some slight and thin veins. It is almost leathery looking. The ring is a bit outdated, old fashioned with red, white and gold. It could use an update. The cigar has a nice aroma, quite strong. It smells like leather and forest. The construction feels good. The cap is close to perfect.


The cold draw is good. It has flavors of raw tobacco, spice, and raisin. The first puffs are Cuban coffee. Strong coffee with loads of sweetness. A few puffs later, the cigar has some citrus acidity and the flavor of old leather, still with some sweetness. The first third ends with cedar, leather, soil, and sweetness. The overall flavor is old, not mold but just old. The second third starts out with sweetness, hay, and grass. All of a sudden, there is a strong milk-chocolate flavor. There is a mild nuttiness as well. Halfway pepper shows up. The cigar gets more character with pepper, chocolate, nuts, and leather. These flavors are consistent to the end but are changing in strength along the way. Sometimes the chocolate is clearer, then the nuts, then the pepper.


The draw is great. The silver-colored ash looks good but isn’t firm. The smoke is okay, not bad but also not thick and full. This is a medium-bodied and medium flavored cigar. The burn is straight. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. It’s an enjoyable cigar for the money, but I rather pay 2 euro more and get something better

number89

Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, Maria Manchini | Tags: , , ,

San Jeronimo Maduro Robusto

San Jeronimo is a born in the community of which is named after. San Jeronimo Valley is located near Copan, Honduras. And Copan is known for its tobacco and the Mayan ruins. The original San Jeronimo cigars trace back almost 80 years ago, to 1940. The brand is distributed by Kafie Cigars but made at Tabacalera San Jerónimo in Danli, Honduras.

The owner of San Jeronimo is Oscar Orlando Ferrera. He’s been making the cigars for over twenty years. But they only gained access to the United States after signing a distribution agreement with Kafie Cigars. And that expanded into international distribution as well. Dr. Gaby Kafie wanted to help San Jeronimo as it has a lot of Honduran history. And Kafie, Honduran born, is proud of that history.

The cigar isn’t good looking, to be honest. The wrapper does have some oil but also very pronounced veins although not thick. And the ring is too much. The golden outlines are too thick and don’t fit with the picture of the tobacco fields. The color scheme is off. And the picture is too detailed to be printed on a small ring to look good. The cigar feels good though. The triple cap is nice. The aroma is strong. Hay and wood.

The cold draw is good. It has a mixture of flavors. Raw tobacco, pepper, spice, and raisin come to mind. Once lit, coffee is the main flavor. Not bitter, nice and smooth but flavorful. With some wood and some pepper. Some grass shows up as well, with a little acidity to balance it all out. After a centimeter, it’s wood, soil, and milk chocolate. The flavors are a little dusty though. Halfway the cigar gets more sweet, more fruity citrus as well. With some milk chocolate and leather. And then some nuts show up. In the final third, the flavors are no longer muted. Leather, pepper, soil, sweetness, and citrus flavors are all clear and full. The nuttiness and pepper are gaining strength.

The draw is great. The ash is a stack of dimes. The burn is flawless. The smoke is a little thin. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The flavors seem muted. Halfway the amount of smoke picks up as well. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Buy no, smoke if gifted, yes
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Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, San Jeronimo, Tabacalera San Jerónimo | Tags: , , , ,

Ramon Allones Superiores

This cigar is an exclusive release for the La Casa del Habano franchise. That is a franchise owned by Habanos. The shops are only allowed to sell Cuban cigars and are held to a high-quality standard. In exchange, the La Casa del Habano shops get a preferred status when it comes to stock. And they get exclusive cigars, that are only available at the La Casa del Habano outlets.

This Ramon Allones Grand Corona is a 5.6×46 cigar and was originally released in 2009. Back then, La Casa del Habano releases were regular production cigars. In later years, Habanos decided to turn the LCDH exclusive releases into limited editions too, so the Gran Corona is no longer being produced. When the cigar was released, the price tag in The Netherlands was €9,70. And that is decent for an exclusive Cuban cigar.

The cigar has a nice Colorado colored wrapper. The cap is slightly darker though, quality control didn’t pick that up. And it passed the color sorting table too. The wrapper has a mild oily shine and thin veins. The construction feels ok, although there is a spot near the head that feels harder. I hope it’s just a piece of the stem close to the binder and will not give draw issues. The classic Cuban barnyard aroma is quite mild. The combination of the Ramon Allones ring and the La Casa del Habano ring isn’t a perfect match.

The cold draw is good. Raw tobacco is what I taste, quite spicy. Right from the get-go, I taste a slightly metallic, pepper with leather and soil. After a centimeter, I taste pepper with some creamy chocolate. The flavors remain in the same part of the flavor wheel. Some nuts, some leather, a little pepper. All smooth and mellow. The metallic and cream are gone though. No real outspoken flavors. The flavors stay the same for the longest time, this cigar is like a slow-moving creek. Pleasant, calming but not exciting. In the final third, the cigar gets more character. More power, more pepper, and a minty aftertaste.

The draw is great. The ash is light colored and beautiful, like a stack of coins. The burn is good. The smoke is decent in thickness and volume. I would say this is a medium bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. The smoke times is an hour and twenty-five minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe, why not? But not often.

number89

Categories: 89, Cuban cigars, Ramon Alones (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , ,

Kafie 1901 San Andres Toro

 

This is one of the four Kafie 1901 lines that are in existence right now. The other ones are the Kafie 1901 Sumatra, Connecticut, and Don Fernando Maduro. This cigar is blended with tobacco from five countries. The filler has tobacco from Brazil, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The binder comes from Honduras. The wrapper is Mexican San Andres. The line comes in several sizes but for this review, I smoked a 6×54 Toro.

 

Kafie Cigars is the dream of Dr. Gaby Kafie. He gave up his career as a medical professional to pursue his dream and passion of being a cigar maker. And a coffee producer. He now has his own brands, his own factory and with his business partner, he also has a box factory. And a cellophane producing plant, all in Honduras. The only thing lacking is a tobacco growing operation, but Gaby Kafie isn’t pursuing that at the moment. Recently he changed the name of the factory from Tabacalera Kafie y Cia to Tabacalera La Union

 

The dark wrapper does have some color differences. And the wrapper at the head seems a bit folded up. But the cigar still looks good, quite intimidating due to the dark wrapper. The wrapper itself isn’t oily, rather dry. The thin veins combined with the color make it look like a mean cigar. The red, almost burgundy, and silver ring is nice. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is medium strong, it is leathery with sawdust.

 

The cold draw is a bit easy with a raw tobacco and leather flavor. The first puffs are interesting. Spices like nutmeg, pepper but also coffee. And with a natural sweetness from the Mata Fina tobacco. After a while, leather, wood, and grassy flavors show up too. The flavors remain with the spices, pepper, and leather. Halfway it’s still cinnamon, nutmeg, leather but not also coffee, pepper, and some sweetness. In the final third, the cigar becomes more grassy with wood. The pepper is still there.

The draw is great. The smoke is thick and white. The burn needed to be corrected though. Just once, in the beginning. The cigar is medium-full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is two hours ten minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, I would. Because it’s unique in flavor.

number89

Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, Kafie, Tabacalera La Union | Tags: , , , ,

La Estrella Polar Robusto

La Estrella Polar Robusto. In may, Scandinavian Tobacco Group announced that they would start distributing a new brand in Europe. La Estrella Polar, the polar star. And two weeks later, during the TFWA Asia Pacific Trade Show, Ministry of Cigars sat down with Stephan Brichau. Brichau is the international sales and marketing manager premium cigars for the Danish tobacco giant. He sponsored some cigars, but said: “this is a cigar aimed for the budget smoker, it’s between the 3 and 3.50 Euro, keep that in mind while smoking”.

The cigar is available in this 5×50 Robusto or a 6×60 Gordo. The wrapper comes from Ecuador. The binder is from Indonesia. It is from the 2013 harvest. The fillers come from Nicaragua and Colombia. The cigars are made by General Cigars. General Cigars is part of the STG group. But since General Cigars has factories in Honduras, Nicaragua and on the Dominican Republic, it’s unclear where the La Estrella Polar is being produced.

The cigar has a nice, sun grown, wrapper. Quite dark although not Maduro or Oscuro dark. It ranks in the Colorado Maduro class. It’s quite oily, with just one thicker vein. The ring is a bit simple and screams ‘BUDGET CIGAR’. Big, white with mustard colored outlines, blue letters, and a red flag. The wrapper is too pretty for a simple ring like this. The construction feels good. The aroma is medium strong. Wet straw, a little ammonia and green herbs is what comes to mind.

The cold draw is great. The flavors are raw tobacco with spices on the tip of the tongue. And a mild gingerbread in the aftertaste. At first, there’s a slightly bitter, unrefined coffee with pepper. Quickly a powdered sugar flavor joins the coffee. The cigar is still unrefined, slightly harsh. There’s also some sourness. The sourness disappears quickly but is replaced by chocolate milk of a very low grade. Slowly some soil flavor shows up too, still with coffee as the base. The mouthfeel is slightly buttery. The sweet chocolate milk is getting stronger after a third. Halfway the flavors change to musty wood with pepper and leather. In the final third, the cigar starts to get more refined. The sweetness is strong with a leafy flavor and pepper. There’s even a little leather flavor at the end of the cigar, right before the pepper gains serious strength.

The draw is great. The ash is like a stash of dimes, but a short stack as it breaks off quickly. The smoke is nice and thick. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I’m too spoiled to smoke budget cigars. But for a budget cigar, this isn’t too bad.

number89

Categories: 89, La Estrella Polar, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

PDR Dark Roast Robusto

Coffee flavored cigars are popular. Several popular brands have a coffee infused cigar line in their portfolio. Drew Estate even has two with the Tabak Especial and Isla del Sol. Plus they produce the Java for Rocky Patel. The Nub Cafe from Oliva is a popular coffee infused cigar, but there are more. And last year, PDR decided to jump on the train as well. But their coffee infused cigars are different.

Where the other brands choose to sweeten the wrapper, PDR decided not to do so. So their ‘roast series’ are natural cigars, just infused with coffee. No other techniques, no sweetened wrapper, pure cigars, and coffee.

The PDR Roast series come in three blends, just like the Nub Cafe. The Natural Roast has an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. Then there’s the Medium Roast with a Sun Grown Claro wrapper from Ecuador. The version that Ministry of Cigars is reviewing is the PDR Dark Roast. That one has a Brazilian Maduro wrapper and is supposedly the strongest of the blends. There are three sizes available. There are a 51/4×44 Corona, a 6×52 Toro and the 5×52 Robusto that we are reviewing.

The cigar looks amazing. A dark oily wrapper. Closed foot and a knot on the head. A dark glossy ring, simple and clear. A huge glossy foot ring with the PDR logo. This cigar stands out. There are a few veins on the wrapper, but for a Brazilian Maduro wrapper, it looks smooth. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice bounce when you squeeze it. The cigar has a strong aroma of dark chocolate and coffee. More chocolate than coffee, which is quite surprising.

The cold draw is great, even with the closed foot. There is some artificial sweetness but it’s not on the lips as with other infused cigars. Once lit, there is dark roasted coffee as expected, with some artificial sweetness. The bitterness of the coffee is quite complex. Soon the artificial sweetness takes over, with coffee and chili pepper as supporting flavors. After a few puffs, there’s coffee with mud. That artificial sweetness does not do the cigar any favors. But at least it’s not stuck on the lips, something that happens with for example the Nub Cafe lines. Halfway the cigar gets spicier, the artificial sweetness is less. There’s coffee, pepper, herbs, leather, and wood. The mouthfeel is mild creamy. In the final third, the cigar turns a little bitter. With pepper, coffee and that artificial sweetness again. The pepper is strong. Near the end, there’s wood with the pepper. The sweetness disappears just like the coffee.


The draw is good, a bit loose maybe. And the smoke is fantastic, thick and white. The burn is wonky and had to be corrected. The light-colored ash isn’t very firm. This cigar is medium-full bodied. The flavors are medium. This cigar would have been better with less artificial sweetener. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I don’t think so

number89

Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, PDR, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Gran Toro

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Gran Toro. Hiram & Solomon is the brand of Fouad Kashouty and Nasir Dakrat. The couple met during freemason gatherings. And they became friends. Both cigar aficionados were surprised that they could not find any freemason cigars. So they decided to create a brand that uses the freemason shield in the logo. And in freemason spirit, parts of the proceeds will flow back into the community through charity.


The Traveling Man is made at the Plasencia factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. David Blanco from Blanco Cigars was involved in the blending of the cigar. And the blend is interesting because of the use of Indonesian Sumatra. Most Sumatra tobacco used comes from Ecuador. Yet for the Traveling Man, Hiram & Solomon use Sumatra from the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Add an Indonesian binder. And Brazilian, Dominican and Nicaraguan wrapper and you have the Hiram & Solomon Travelling Man. The Gran Toro size is 6×60.

The cigar looks good. I like the purple ring with the Freemason logo. The cigar has a nice shade of color and just two thin veins on the backside. The construction feels good. The aroma is strong. I smell hay and straw.

The cold draw is great. The hay and grass flavor is strong in the cold draw. After lighting, the first flavors are best described as dusty and earthy with some sweetness. There’s also a slight hint of pepper. The marzipan sweetness is fantastic. After a few puffs, some leather shows up too. And some grass. The mouthfeel is a little buttery. In the first third, the flavors stay consistent but that’s expected with a big ring cigar. The flavors maintain in the second third, although I taste some licorice too. There are slight changes, subtle, with some vanilla showing up every now and then. Same goes for pepper, but overall this is a consistent cigar. The final third is much better. The pepper picks up, allspice shows up and it’s good.


The draw is flawless. The burn is straight. The ash is light colored and firm enough. The smoke is quite thin. This is a medium bodied, medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Only in a thinner version

number89

Categories: 89, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Pyranos Robusto

I don’t know anything about this cigar, nothing at all. It was sponsored by Schuster cigars for review purposes. After lighting, I googled the cigar just to find limited information. Just the price, the size and that it’s a Nicaraguan Puros. And that there’s also a corona and a toro available.


I used google to get as much info on this cigar as I could. But that was just a little. All I found was on a German website. The cigars are € 9,80 per piece and they are Nicaraguan Puros. So Nicaraguan filler, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan wrapper. The factory is undisclosed.


A fantastic oily, shiny, almost lacquered wrapper. Triple capped, beautifully shaped. At first, I thought the ring was a bit lame, but then I noticed the odd shape and I liked that. It’s a black ring, with yellow and red stairs on it, Pyranos in gold and yellow letters saying it’s a Longfiller. The Schuster logo is on the back. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium strong, deep, almost charred, aroma.

The cold draw is perfect, with a strong raw tobacco flavor. After lighting, I taste an earthy coffee flavor with some spicy green herbs and a dash of mild pepper. The sweetness reminds me of nougat. Slowly the wood becomes the main flavor, but smooth with a smooth cane sugar sweetness. After a third, I taste fresh wood, with green herbs. Slowly the pepper is gaining some strength. Halfway I taste spices, nutmeg, allspice, that kind of flavors. Add in some grass and mild vanilla, and that’s what I taste. The final third starts with a nice, deep, wooden flavor with a strong pepper. The flavors slowly evolve to smooth wood with soil, and still that pepper.


The draw is flawless. The smoke is thick, full and plentiful. The light-colored ash is not too firm, it’s decent. The burn is straight. I would say this is a medium bodied, medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is one hour and twenty-five minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? It’s not a bad cigar, but I had better.

number89

Categories: 89, Nicaraguan cigars, Pyranos | Tags: , , ,

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