Posts Tagged With: 89

Cohiba Lancero (vintage)

A few months ago a few friends came over to my place to hang out and smoke a few cigars in my mancave. One of them gave me a Cohiba Lancero with at least 15 years of age on them. Now as you know, I’m not the biggest fan of Cubans but I know that the vintage Cubans are a completely different animal. That’s because back then the tobacco got the time to ferment properly, the cigars got time to marry flavors, the soil wasn’t depleted yet and the strain of tobacco was better and stronger. Add that to my love of lanceros and you’ll understand that I was very pleased with his kind and generous gift.


In 1963 the blend was rolled for the first time and it became the   personal cigar for Fidel Castro and it was only available in this lancero vitola. It didn’t have a brand name until 1966 when the Cohiba name was chosen and it became the official diplomatic cigar for the Cuban government but in 1984 the brand was released officially and became available worldwide except for America. New lines were added and Cohiba became the flagship of the Cuban cigar industry.


This 7.6×38 lancero has a pale, veiny wrapper and it looks a bit crooked. The ring is an old version of the Cohiba ring, no gold, no embossing, no hologram and I bet that if I posted a picture of it in one of the many cigar groups people would scream FAKE. The cigar has a nice triple cap with a small pig tail and it feels evenly packed. I smell a faint hay smell, but there isn’t much aroma to it anymore.


I cut the cigar and the cold draw is a bit tight. An elegant cigar deserves an elegant light, so I grabbed me vintage Ronson varaflame instead of desegregate the cigar by using a flaming hot torch. The flavor is a mild lemon with leather, old flavors, without question this is a vintage cigar. After half an inch I taste gingerbread and some sweetness. Halfway I taste pepper too, still with the sweet gingerbread and a vanilla like sweetness.


The draw is good, not perfect. The smoke is quite thin though, costing points in the final score. The light gray ash isn’t very firm. The burn is good, pretty straight and slow. This medium bodied and medium flavored cigar is very smooth and balanced, subtle as only a vintage cigar can be. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would love to smoke more, the low score mainly has to do with looks and smoke. Flavors were great. I nubbed it.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Cohiba (Habanos), Cuban cigars, El Laguito | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Cigar of the month March

Last month I reviewed 15 cigars and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst, and the worst was really terrible. One of the lowest ranking cigars on my blog ever!

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Don Lino Africa Kifaro with a 94 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Don Lino Africa Kifaro (Nicaragua) 94 points
2) Cornelius & Anthony Aerial Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
3) Casa Fernandez Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
4) La Aurora Para Japon Sumo (Dominican Republic) 91 points
5) Liga Privada #9 Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
6) Montecristo Half Corona (cuba) 90 points
7) C.A.O. Anaconda (Honduras) 90 points
8) Viking Horseman Toro (Dominican Republic) 90 points
9) Don Lino Africa Gorilla Knuckle (Nicaragua) 89 points
10) Quesada 70th Anniversary Toro (Dominican Republic) 89 points
11) Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan (Honduras) 86 points
12) Micallef Gomez Sanchez Herencia (Nicaragua) 80 points
13) Avo XO Intermezzo (Dominican Republic) 79 points
14) Avo Dominant 13th Toro (Dominican Republic) 79 points
15) Di Grisogno For Women Only Corona (Dominican Republic) 73 points

 


 

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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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Falto Delirio

This is the third Falto review this month, but hey, I’m running out of cigars starting with an F for this effffin february series of reviews and I have to make good on my promise to Luis Falto to review the cigars he gracefully send me years ago. I’m already late on my promise. On the website of La Garita cigars you can find their points of sales in the USA, on the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.


The delirio is a 6 1/2×42 Lonsdale, a very classic cigar size that is much underappriciated nowadays just like other classic vitolas like corona and lancero, its a shame because thinner cigar are so much more dynamic and flavorful. This Falto Delirio Cabinet Selection is made from Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, a Dominican binder and a Dominican Corona wrapper and has been aged in my humidor for 8 years.


The wrapper is dark but dull with a few minor veins. The ring is beautiful, and the secondary ring has the same look. The cigar feels well constructed and is beautifully capped with a nice rounded head. The aroma is quite strong and is a mixture of floral smells with sawdust from dark wood.


I used one of my Xikar cutters to decap the cigar. The cold draw is easy, I taste a peppery dry leaves taste. I lit the cigar with a soft flame. Straight from the start I taste vanilla, icing sugar and coffee. After a third I taste fresh wood, a mild pepper and dried herbs and spices. The flavors gain strength and get a little mean. Halfway the vanilla comes back, with a floral touch. In the final third the dried herbs return with some icing sugar and dried chilies.


The draw is perfect. The smoke is white, thick and full. The light gray ash is firm and dense. The burn is good. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? They aren’t available in The Netherlands so there is no use in answering this question.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, Falto, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flor de Selva Maduro Robusto

When I started working for my previous employer in 2011, my first real job in the cigar industry after blogging about cigars for years, we had a a good number of brands in our portfolio including Flor de Selva, but our portfolio grew and grew with more brands like Alec Bradley, Joya de Nicaragua, My Father, Tatuaje, PDR, Perdomo, A.J. Fernandez and thats when you have too many brands to focus on all of them and some will just be forgotten about. Flor de Selva was one of the brands that didn’t get any focus anymore and of course, if you don’t focus and pay attention to a brand it will die. That’s what happened with Flor de Selva for us. Then all of a sudden, after we already decided to discontinue, one of our small competitors started distributing Flor de Selva and I must admit, they did a good job since they revived the brand and it’s now seen in a lot of humidors in The Netherlands.


We never carried the Flor de Selva maduro, but the other distributer does so I got my hands on this Honduran made 4 3/4×50 robusto, made with a Honduran maduro wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder and filler tobacco from Jamastran and Azacualpa that according to the Maya Selva website pairs well with Japanese whiskey. The cigar has a beautiful, dark and oily wrapper with a few minor veins and a beautiful constructed cap. The ring is actually a double ring, one where you usually find a ring and one on the foot. Now the one on the foot is different than the one displayed on the Maya Selva website, that one is white and fits the regular band, the one I got had a burgundy footboard with white letters saying Maya Selva Cigars in handwriting. The regular band is simple, white with green/gray lines, a picture of a goddess in the same color and Flor de Selva written on it. Its a thick quality paper so it doesn’t look cheap. The construction feels good.


Maybe it’s me, maybe i’m getting a head cold but I don’t smell much, only a little wood and a little soapy aroma. I straight cut the cigar and I taste a soapy but peppery flavor with a perfect draw. As usual I’m using a soft flame to light the cigar. Right from the get go I taste a full wooden flavor with a little bit of coffee. After a few puffs I also taste some sweetness as you can expect from Maduro leaf and the Brazilian binder. Soon the flavors are mildly bitter with some lime, the aftertaste is floral. Now I read the term floral often and never fully understood it in a cigar but now it does.


After a centimeter I taste soap like in the cold draw and with a bitter and mild peppery sensation in the back of my throat. The soap disappears and replaced by a little milk chocolate and the bitterness is now a sanding sensation on the back of my throat with a light licorice flavor. Halfway the cigar has a burnt wood flavor with cilantro, and I think that that’s where the soapy flavor comes from too, too much cilantro gives a soapy taste. There is also a little hint of vanilla. After two thirds I taste sweetness again and soon after some freshness too, on a bed of spicy green herbs and cedar. Near the end I also taste nuts, with sweetness, some pepper and a little bit of chocolate.


The smoke is thick and plentiful. The draw is perfect. The burn is frayed. The ash is gray with dark lines, the ash isn’t dense but still firm. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is and hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, even though there were some nice flavors in there and the finish was strong, the soapy flavor is not my cup of tea.

Score: 89

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Categories: 89, Flor de Selva, Honduran cigars, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Cigar of the month January

In 2018 I will do a cigar of the month again and here’s the list for january, 15 cigars, in order from most liked to least liked.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Drew Estate Undergrown Sun Grown Flying Pig with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Drew Estate Undercrown Sun Grown Flying Pig (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) C.A.O. Fuma em Gorda Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Balmoral Añejo XO Gran Magnifico (Dominican Republic) 93 points
4) Plasencia Alma del Campo Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Quesada 40th Anniversary Toro (Dominican Republic) 91 points
6) Gurkha Ghost Robusto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
7) Kristoff CG Robusto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
8) Epic Maduro Lancero (Dominican Republic) 90 points
9) Vegas de Santiago D8 Corona (Costa Rica) 90 points
10) Micallef Gomez Sanchez Esperiencia Prominente (Nicaragua) 89 points
11) Vegas de Santiago D8 Short Robusto (Costa Rica) 89 points
12) Vegas de Santiago D8 Corto (Costa Rica) 89 points
13) Vegas de Santiago D8 Toro (Costa Rica) 88 points
14) Xiphos Connecticut Robusto (Costa Rica) 88 points
15) Romeo Y Julieta EL 2016 (Cuba) 86 points

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Vegas de Santiago D8 serie

In july I wrote a review on the Vegas de Santiago D8 robusto. I smoked a lot of Vegas de Santiago cigars back before I started working in the industry, ordering straight from the factory in Costa Rica and always liked the cigars especially when you looked at them from a price quality point. And when I consulted for a small cigar importer in The Netherlands I pointed them to Vegas de Santiago as we lack Costa Rican cigars on the Dutch market.

At Intertabac I spoke with Marc Nieman, the owner of Vegas de Santiago and he told me that their cigars will be available on the Dutch market soon and thanked me for my help. He gave me a bunch of cigars to review too, including a couple of sizes of the D8. Instead of writing separate reviews I decided to combine all reviews in one.

Vegas de Santiago D8 Short Robusto


This is the smallest of the cigars I recieved, a 4×50 short robusto that I can’t find on the Vegas de Santiago website. The ring is white with a red square and golden details and letters that quite pop, a nice ring. The wrapper is dark, oily and smooth. The construction looks and feels good. The cigar has a mild straw aroma.

I punched the cigar. The cold draw is perfect, I taste a mild raisin flavor.
After lighting the cigar with a soft flame I taste a mild citrusy coffee. After a few puffs the cigar is floral. After a third I taste the floral flavor but with a mild peanut flavor and a tiny bit of salt. Halfway it’s floral and vanilla with some wood. In The final third I taste some red pepper too.


The draw is fantastic. The burn is equally fantastic. The salt and pepper ash is firm. The smoke is full. This is a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar with a smoke time of seventy five minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? This is a nice cigar, if the price is right I will.

Score: 89
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Vegas de Santiago D8 Corto


The corto is a nub sized cigar, 4×60, a size I don’t smoke often because I’m not a fan of big ring gauges. The ring is the same as on the short robusto but the wrapper looks a shade lighter in color and a little less oily. The construction looks and feels good, while the aroma is mild and reminds me a bit of sawdust.


I get a good cold draw, grassy, spicy and raw tobacco flavored. The cigar is so thick that I used a jet flame to light it. I taste toast, cinnamon, chocolate and some honey sweetness. After a third I taste honey cedar. Halfway some mild red pepper shows up in the aftertaste. Near the end the pepper gets stronger but not overpowering.


The draw is good and the light gray ash has nice thin rings, it’s firm and dense. The burn is razor sharp but the smoke is thin. The cigar has a decent evolution for a big ring gauge cigar but it’s not as dynamic as the corona. The body and flavors are medium. The smoke time is a hour exactly.


Would I buy this cigar again? I actually liked the sweetness a lot, I disliked the ring gauge.

Score: 89
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Vegas de Santiago D8 Corona


I love the corona size, a vitola that doesn’t get the spotlight it deserves and is blown away by the thicker robusto, toro and gordo sizes but it remains in my top 5 of favorite vitolas. Again, the ring is the same and the wrapper has the same shade as the court, yet it has a little tooth to it and feels more leathery because of that. The cigar looks good and the construction feels good too.  A mild acidic aroma with some straw is what I smell.


I decapped the cigar with a flat cut. The cold draw is a little tight and quite peppery. After lichting I taste sweet coffee with pepper. After half an inch I taste cedar, lime, pepper and toast. After that I taste nuts, toast and some pepper. Halfway Its wood with herbs and a rocket salad pepper.


The draw is a little tight. The smoke is good, nice volume, nice thickness, beautiful white color. The ash is light gray, dense and firm. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is and hour and fifteen minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? Apart from the tightness in the draw this is a very pleasant cigar so yes!

Score: 90
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Vegas de Santiago D8 Canonazo


A classic toro size, 6×52, yet it has a double name on the Vegas de Santiago website, Canonazo and Toro but ‘m fine with either, call it what you like, a cigar is a cigar. Same ring again and a leathery  chocolate brown wrapper with a beautiful reddish glow. The construction feels good and the cigar looks well rolled. The aroma is mild, its a bit of a barnyard aroma.


I cut the cigar and found a great draw with a mild acidic and raisin flavor. After lighting I taste a mild and creamy coffee. After a few puffs I taste walnuts with coffee. After an inch i taste a creamy vanilla with some honey. Halfway an acidic flavor is dominant with some honey and a little cream. The final third starts with a honey cedar.


The draw is fine and the smoke is thick and white. The burn is pretty straight. The light gray ash is coarse. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored with a nice evolution. The smoke time is two hours.


Would I buy this cigar again? I stick to the robusto.

Score: 88
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Categories: 88, 89, Costa Rican cigars, Tabacalera Vegas de Santiago, Vegas de Santiago | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Micallef Experiencia Habano Prominente

At the intertabac trade show my buddy Nasier introduced me to a brand that was completely new to me, Micallef. He knew them because they visited the shops he works at to find out if there would be place for their brand on the Dutch market, so when Nasier saw them at the trade show he introduced me. I got some cigars for a review and this Experiencia Habano Prominente is my first try of any of the Micallef cigars.


I went to their website to get any background on the cigars and this cigar, 5 1/2×58 is made with a four year old Nicaraguan habano wrapper, a four year old Mexican San Andres Habano wrapper and filler from Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. As far as I understood from the website, the family has two factories, one in Esteli, Nicaragua and one in Veracruz, Mexico and this cigar seems to be made in Esteli. The msrp for this cigar is $13


The wrapper is a nice, medium brown color, like a coffee with a little splash of soy milk, it has a little bit of tooth. The construction feels flawless and the head is flat as can be. The ring, well, that looks kinda eastern European to me, and let me explain that. There is another brand, Bossner, Russian owned and they have these over the top designed ring, very Russian stylistics and this ring has a bit of that but in a more modest way. The red and gold letters, the crest, the golden medals and yes, maybe its a prejudice because of the name too, I will admit that. The ring is nice though, just not something I would design or have designed for my brand if I had one. The ring is in two parts, the eastern European top with a greenish blue bottom that just said Gomez Sanches Family. The foot ring is in the same color with golden and white lines saying experencia. The cigar has a medium strong smell of horses.


I cut the flattened head. The cold draw is good. I taste raw tobacco and herbs. After lighting the cigar with my vintage lighter I taste sweet coffee. Soon some walnut shows up too. After an inch I get sweet wood, red pepper and nuts. Halfway the cigar gains in strength and the flavors are getting cleaner and stronger. The honey sweetness, the pepper and the wood are also more balanced. The cigar turns more full bodied in the final third. The honey like sweetness is still there with some soft wood, a hint of truffle creamy chocolate all with a little rough edge. The flavors are becoming a little creamy too. The end is very peppery.


The draw is good enough not to complain but not perfect either. The grayish smoke is thin and low in volume but the smoke is getting thicker and white along the way. The ash is light gray with dark smears. The ash is dense and firm too. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored in the beginning but the second part is more full on both accounts and more to my liking. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for $13, shave a few dollars off and I’ll be happy to light one again, the last part was very enjoyable.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Micallef, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigar of the month December

The final month of 2017 so the final ‘cigar of the month’, tomorrow I’ll be posting my top 25 but for now I focus on what December 2017 brought me.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V Figurado (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Viking Nordic Warrior Churchill (Dominican Republic) 93 points
3) C.A.O. Amazon Basin Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Cornelius & Anthony Señor Esugars (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Bespoke Tradicional Cottontail (Dominican Republic) 91 points
6) Punch Platino Double Corona (Cuba) 90 points
7) Xiphos Habano Lonsdale (Costa Rica) 90 points
8) Colon Lancero (Panama) 89 points
9) C.A.O. Angry Santa Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
10) Manowar Virtue Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
11) C.A.O. Evil Snowman (Nicaragua) 87 points

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Colon Especiales Lancero

I think it’s about 10 years ago that the Panamanian brand Colon was introduced to the Dutch market with the release of a super premium perfecto for a crazy €45+ price tag which created some buzz. But the cigar didn’t sell much and neither did their better priced non limited edition cigars even though they were a nice smoke. Maybe it was the unknown brand, the fact that they came from Panana or the market wasn’t ready for it yet but I haven’t seen the brand in the recent years.


The cigar is a Panamanian puro and you could call it organic as the manufacturer claims the tobacco hasn’t been treated with pesticides not grown on artificial fertilizer. The tobacco comes from the mountainous area of Panama and until the 70’s this was the official diplomatic cigar of Panama. I can’t recall how I got my hands on this lancero, but I am looking forward to smoking it. It’s been a while since I smoked the brand, and I recall liking it, and then in my favorite vitola, I have high expectations.


The 7 5/8×40 lancero doesn’t come packed in cellophane, like most non Cubans. The wrapper looks a bit pale but not Connecticut shade pale and has a silky touch.I see one spot at the foot of the cigar like something in the filler is trying to break out, its like a pimple on a teenager but otherwise the wrapper looks beautiful. The construction feels good too and the triple cap is applied perfectly. After all these years of aging without the cellophane the cigar has little aroma left, I only smell a little bit of hay. I like the ring, which is very simple with a white background, a brown band onderneath with white letters saying especiales. On the white ring there are golden dots in the shape of Panama with dark brown letters Colon with a yellow stripe inside and small letters Panama. Very simple yet tasteful and the Panama shape makes it special.


A 40 ring cigar isn’t easy to punch, unless you have a tiny punch, so I cut the cigar. The cold draw is easy with a mild citrus and pepper flavor. After slowly setting fire to the cigar I taste some citrus but after two puffs also coffee, leather and pepper. The strength of the flavors surprise me. After an inch I taste wood with some pepper. After a third I taste spicy and peppery nut flavor. I also taste some caramel. Halfway I taste spices, slightly bitter but in a good way, with just a tiny bit of wood and the pepper has gone. Soon after I also taste a hint of cocoa, the caramel sweetness is gone.


The smoke is quite thick and plenty in volume. The draw is great too. The burn is straight as an arrow. The light colored ash is quite firm. The cigar is medium bodied and full flavored but it could have a little more evolution. The balance is great though. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it but there are better lanceros out there.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Colón, Panamanian cigars | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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