Posts Tagged With: 90

Tambo Churchill

Indonesia has a long tobacco history. But most of the tobacco is used for dry-cured shortfillers. Premium cigars are scarce, yet there are a few brands out there. Tambo is one of them, and this was given to me by the Indonesian Tambo distributor when I met him in Malaysia for the CSWC Qualifier in Kuala Lumpur.


There are two sizes available, a 6×50 Toro with the name Churchill and/or Super Robusto and a corona with the name short corona.

The unique feature of this cigar is Tambolaka tobacco. That is Indonesian tobacco, and after drying it is rolled up tightly in ten feet poles. Those poles are then bound together tightly with rope so the tobacco can age. They age up to five years before being cut. Most of it is used as pipe tobacco, but some end up in cigars like Tambo.

The wrapper is amazing. Smooth, a beautiful color brown, smooth veins. If someone would have told me that this is high-grade HTL I would believe it. The cigar comes with a small pigtail. The construction feels good. The ring is a bit simple though, but it provides all the necessary information. The aroma is strong. I smell hay and straw. 

When I wet the cap to cut the cigar, I notice how salt the wrapper is.

The cold draw is great. The cigar is salty yet sweet. After lighting, I taste bitter coffee with sugar. Quickly the flavors change to leather, pine, soil and a little bit of pepper. Slowly some creamy chocolate shows up. After a third, I taste come citrus acidity as well, faint but still. The salt, pepper, and chocolate remain the main flavors, with some wood, tobacco, and leather on the background. Some nutty flavor shows up, with the lingering chocolate. I taste some hay too, while the salt loses some of its strength. The mouthfeel is a little dusty. The salt fades way even more in the final third. And secretly, the strength has grown from mild to medium in the beginning, to medium-full where I am now. Tambolaka tobacco is known for its strength, to that could be the reason.

The burn is great. The ash is white, firm and like a stack of coins. There is enough smoke, which is light blue to white. This cigar starts mild to medium but grows to medium-full. Both in strength and in flavor. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, not a box, but a fiver for sure.

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Categories: 90, Indonesian cigars, Tambo | Tags: , , ,

Bolivar Super Coronas Edicion Limitada 2014

I don’t smoke many Cuban cigars anymore, due to the many issues with Cuban tobacco and cigars. But when I was still smoking cigars, my favorite brand was Bolivar. Not the best Cubans I have smoked, that title goes to the discontinued Punch Black Prince from the late 1990s. But a regular production favorite, that was Bolivar.

A friend gave me this Bolivar Super Coronas Edicion Limitada 2014 recently and I decided to do a review. I like the 5½x48 size, 44 would have been even better but I can live with a 48. And with five years of aging, this has the potential to be a great smoke, if the quality control is up to par.


The cigar looks good, a perfect triple cap on an even brown wrapper. No veins. The specific brown of the wrapper fits perfect with the Bolivar ring. And that ring is one of the nicer Cuban rings in my humble opinion. The gold comes back in the Edition Limitada ring, so it all fits. The cigar feels well constructed. Even though the cigar has been aged for a few years, I still smell some ammonia under the hay aromas.

The cold draw is Cuban. And I mean to say that the cold draw is tight, very tight. And that causes a mild cold draw flavor of just tobacco. After lighting, I taste sweet coffee and leather. The leather and sweetness become the main flavors, all nice and strong, yet smooth. On the background, I taste some minty green herbs, some freshness like lemon basil. About a centimeter in, I taste a mixture of leather, sweetness and white pepper. But the underlying complexity of fruity citrus acidity and fresh herbs make the cigar very interesting. Halfway the flavor is mainly leather, with some earthiness and a little spice. I taste a hint of hazelnuts and still that fruity vinegar. Then suddenly I taste roasted coffee beans. Then I get his with a nice dose of chocolate as well, but with that coffee flavor on the back. A few puffs later, there’s also a faint vanilla aroma off just a short while. The leather is getting a little bit stronger and the pepper turns from white to red. The pepper gains strength in the final third, with cocoa and roasted coffee beans on the background.

The draw is tight. And a tight draw affects the smoke, which was poor. The burn is good, and the ash is like a stack of dimes before it breaks off. The cigar is complex. The smoke time of this medium-full flavored and bodied cigars is two hours and twenty-five minutes

. It scored a 90 but could have been a 93 with better construction and smoke.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would not mind a box, or two

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Categories: 90, Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars | Tags: , , ,

Casa de Torres Edicion Especial Robusto

This Casa de Torres brand is a 20+-year-old brand, created by the German cigar manufacturer and distributor Schuster. They make dry cured short filler cigars out of Bunde, Germany but also have premium cigars made in Honduras under the Maria Mancini brand and these Casa de Torres in Nicaragua. The Casa de Torres Edicion Especial was released in 2006.

The brand is only for sale in a few countries, but the biggest fanbase is located in Germany, the home turf of Schuster.

The twentieth year of the brand was celebrated with a limited edition made at Nica Sueños, the factory owned by RoMa Craft although the regular production cigars are made in an undisclosed factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The binder and filler are Nicaraguan, the wrapper is Costa Rican and the cigars are very nicely priced.


The cigar has a medium brown color, a little darker than hay. The shape is good, the wrapper doesn’t have any big, ugly veins. The ring, white, blue and gold is clean, simple and good looking due to great printing quality. The cigar has a nice medium-strong aroma of a forest after a rainfall.


The cold draw is great, with a spicy raw tobacco flavor. After lighting the cigar is spicy, with grass and hay before I taste some leather and a bit of salt. Some sweetness is showing up which reminded me of icing sugar. The sweetness stays where the other flavors disappear, or better, get replaced by cedar with some pepper. The pepper is slowly growing and the grass returns, yet all still covered in that icing sugar. After a third, there’s herbs, pepper, and a very mild nutty flavor. A few puffs later, I taste some soil and vanilla with the herbs, spices, and sweetness. The final third has leather, sweetness, some cedar, spice, and pepper, all mildly salty. The finale is peppery with lots of wood.

The draw is amazing. The silver-gray ash is firm and dense. The smoke is quite thick. The cigar is medium bodied, medium-full flavored. And with the (fixed) price of € 5,10 in Germany, it’s a steal. The evolution is alright, the cigar is better than what I expected for the price. The smoke time is one hour and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a fine budget cigar.

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Categories: 90, Casa de Torres, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Merciless Toro by JdN

Up until recently, I had never heard of this cigar even though I’m a fan of Joya de Nicaragua. I had never heard of it because it’s a house blend for the American based online retailer Famous Smoke. But I ran into them when I was browsing the website of Malaysian retailer Borneo Cigars. I was placing an order anyway, so I added these.

The cigars utilize Nicaraguan fillers with a Dominican binder and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The only vitola Borneo Cigars was selling was the 6×50 Toro. The price was really good, around 5 euro per cigar, so I decided to pull the trigger and get myself a few. I mean, I was placing an order anyway so why not add a few from one of my favorite factories?

The wrapper is dark, rough and intimidating. With the reputation of Joya de Nicaragua producing strong cigars, the name, and the looks, this cigar is intended to strike fear. The wrapper feels like fine leather. The construction is flawless and the ring is gorgeous. Black with silver and a popping red. The aroma is strong, manure is what I smell.

The cold draw is fine, with a spicy and dry raw tobacco and raisin flavor. Right from the start, I taste dry leather with coffee. I also taste mushrooms and oak. After a few puffs, the cigar gets more of a soil and cedar flavor, with a little salt. The mouthfeel is dry. The cigar leans very much to the wood, earth, and vegetal spectrum of the flavor wheel. After a centimeter, I taste some nutmeg and cumin, with some milk chocolate sweetness. I also get some metallic flavors. The milk chocolate gets stronger and finally, I taste some pepper too. After a third, I taste some toast with roasted almonds and sugar. The pepper is still there. The second third starts sweeter, but it’s aspartame sweetness. I also taste some citrus. Halfway the cigar is earthy, woody with milk chocolate and citrus. The cigar has some butter creaminess to it now. In the final third, the chocolate is getting stronger supported by some leather. The mouthfeel is creamy yet dry. In the final puffs, I taste some thin mints too.


The draw is great, the ash is like a stack of coins. Firm and dense. The smoke is decent, could be a bit thicker. I would call this cigar medium-full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want more

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Categories: 90, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Merciless, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Tatuaje RC Series No.1

I just love the Tatuaje RC 233, it was the cigar I smoked when my only nephew was born (although I later married and now I have more nephews and nieces from my wife’s side of the family) and I smoke one a year, on his birthday. I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years and continue to do that as long as possible. But the cigars aren’t easy to come by, so I’ll have to find a reliable source, that will ship to Asia.

I was happy to find out that Pete Johnson decided to create three new cigars, exclusively for Europe, within the RC series. Three parejo cigars with a little flag tail, but without the silver foil, and a tweaked blend. He used an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigars come in three sizes, 4 3/4 x 52, 5 5/8 x 54, and 6 1/2 x 56. For this review, I smoked the first one.

The cigar looks great, beautiful triple cap with flag tail, a nice oily medium brown wrapper with a velvet touch. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium strong wood and barnyard aroma. The rings don’t match, the classic brown Tatuaje ring and the colorful RC ring are too different in style to fit together. If I was in charge, the brown ring would not be on the cigar.

The cold draw is easy, with a spicy raw tobacco flavor and a hint of marzipan. After lighting, I taste pepper, earth, green herbs, and coffee. After that, the cigar gets a strong wood flavor, with some leather and the marzipan sweetness that I tasted in the cold draw. After a third, the cigar tastes like leather, oak with pepper and that mild marzipan. Halfway I taste wood with grass, hay and some citrus. On the background, there’s some leather too. After a third I taste pepper and nuts, walnut to be precise. The pepper is Nicaragua strong, chili pepper. The final few puffs are toasty, woody with still that pepper.

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the draw is a little on the loose side of perfect but still great, the smoke is thick and luscious. The ash is firm and white. The burn needed a touch up once. The cigar is medium-full bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

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Categories: 90, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , ,

Torano Vault Blend A-008 Robusto

The story goes that the Toraño Family kept a journal of all the blends they toyed with since 1982, even the ones that didn’t make it, and that the journal was kept in a vault. And that in the late zeroes Charlie Toraño was playing around with the old blends his father experimented with, found one he liked but couldn’t get one of the ingredients and fixed that with a second binder from the vulcanic island of Ometepe.


To me that sounds like an amazing marketingstory, straight out of the mind of a marketeer, but of course I can’t prove it. I knew Toraño was having it difficult, so a good story could help. In the end it didn’t and the company got sold to STG/General Cigars. But this blend got released in 2011, before STG swooped Toraño up. The blend consists of a Colorado wrapper from Nicaragua, two binders, one from Ometepe and the other from Jamastran in Honduras. The filler comes from Esteli and Condega in Nicaragua.


The 5×52 cigar comes in a dark, almost black, wrapper which has a bit of a sandpaper touch to it. The foot ring is silver with thin black letters saying Blend A-008 while the main ring is black and silver, with the Toraño logo and name in silver on the black background and VAULT written in black on the silver background. The construction feels good the shape looks good, the cap is good. The cigar has a strong aroma, like tar on an old shed in a sunny day mixed with hay and cows.


After cutting the cigar I taste a strong oak with pepper with a perfect cold draw. And after lighting I taste a strong espresso with some cane sugar. After a centimeter the sugar is gone, I taste some coffee, not as strong as before. I also taste a hint of nutmeg. After a third I taste some sort of sweetness that I can’t explain. It’s not honey, it’s not sugar but it’s nice. The other flavor is wood. Halfway the sweetness disappears and all I taste is a meaty wood. The flavors slowly change into coffee again towards the end.


The draw is just perfect, yet the black and white as is a bit coarse. The smoke is thick but not exactly white, there is some brownish glow in the smoke. The cigar is medium bodied and flavored with a good burn. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I don’t know if these cigars are still made, since Toraño is now part of STG, but I wouldn’t mind another fiver.

Score: 90

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Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Torano | Tags: , , , ,

Arganese Maduro Ambassador

This is an oldie, and it fits that I’m smoking it today, on the 12th birthday of my blog. Years ago, I think about a decade ago, I approached Arganese and asked them for a sampler to review and they shipped me some. I did review them back then, but I found one in my humidor so I’m going to give it a redux. The Arganese website is offline, I have no idea if they are still in business.


Gene Arganese iss a businessman, loved cigars, so he started his own factory. The Maduro is made with Dominican binder and filler, wrapped in a Brazilian Mata Fina Maduro wrapper. And I remember that I used to like this cigar a lot, my review back then said I would buy this cigar again.

The wrapper is typical Brazilian Mata Fina, it’s rustic, rough looking, but that’s the type of tobacco. The cigar feels well constructed and looks pretty. The rings are clean, white with golden outlines, the Arganese crest in the middle while the secondary ring has golden letters Maduro Ambassador. Clean and simple, yet clear and pretty.  The cigar has a dark aroma, manure, and dark vegetables.


After cutting I get a great draw, the Maduro sweetness shines through with a little pepper. After lighting, I taste chocolate, sweetness, and coffee. The cigar doesn’t have bold flavors or changes, just a smooth and slow transition to stronger dark chocolate, cedar, and pepper. The final third still has dark chocolate but mainly pepper.

The draw is flawless. The smoke is full and thick. The cigars are smooth with a straight burn. The light gray ash isn’t too firm. The cigar is medium bodied, medium-full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Don’t think they are being produced anymore.

Score: 90

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Categories: 90, Arganese, Arganese Dominicana, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , ,

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Manowar Torpedo

In the first part of 2008 Meier & Dutch together with A.J. Fernandez released what would become one of their success stories, the Man O’ War line, that has sprouted in many more lines and side projects in the last decade, but this blend with Nicaraguan filler, Honduran Habano binder and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper started it all.


The cigar comes in six different vitolas, from a 6×44 corona to a 7.1×58 salomon with a 7 1/2×52 double corona 5 1/2×50 robusto, a 6 1/2×52 toro and a 6.1×54 torpedo. I’m smoking the torpedo as that was the one in the Man O’ War anthology sampler.


The wrapper is a nice, medium dark, brown, in between milk chocolate and dark chocolate. The ring is the regular Man O’ War ring like described two days ago. The cigar feels good and is well finished. It has a medium strong, deep, spicy and peppery aroma.


Due to the vitola I have no other option than to cut the cigar. The cold draw is fine and I taste a little peppery raising flavor. After lighting I taste wood, coffee and a little nutmeg. After a centimeter the basic flavor is wood, with nutmeg, cinnamon and ground black pepper. The pepper is getting stronger with a bit of vegetable flavor joining the wood as a base aroma. After a third I taste soil with some sweetness too. The cigar gets stronger, more woody, more peppery.


The draw is great. The smoke, with a little brown glow, is thick and full. The ash has that same brown tarnish as the smoke. The burn is straight, the cigar is full bodied and full flavored. I smoked slow and it took me two hours to finish the cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe, if they are on sale.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , ,

Ave Maria Barbarossa

Now when you read the sales pitch of this cigar you’re expectations will be raised since a few other cigar manufacturers, not affiliated with either this brand, Meier & Dutch, or A.J. Fernandez praised this cigar. So my curiosity led me to buying a few of those cigars including this 7×48 Churchill that is named Barbarossa.


The cigar, made in Esteli at the A.J. Fernandez factory, is created with Honduran and Nicaraguan filler and an Habano wrapper from Ecuador. The cigar comes in ten different vitolas, ranging from a corona up to a 7.1×60 salomones and everything in between, parejo’s, figurados, a range so wide that most people will find a vitola to their liking.


The medium brown, smooth wrapper has a reddish glow, something I like. There is also a little tooth. The ring is amazing, a nice shape, a knight in a white shirt with a red cross, like the knights from the crusades, detailed, high quality prints, its great. The cigar feels evenly packed, the triple cap is well placed. The aroma is medium strong, hay, straw with a little ammonia is what I smell


After cutting I taste a very spicy and peppery cold draw, which is a little loose. After lighting I taste nutmeg, cinnamon and cedar. After a third I taste wood with white pepper and herbal flavors. The wood becomes stronger, the pepper gets milder. In the final third I taste a flavor that I can’t place, it’s a warm, creamy flavor that is a little woody but not full on wood.


The smoke is amazing, thick, full, voluminous. The draw is a little loose, but not too much to complain. The ash is light colored. The burn is not great but not bad either. The cigar is medium full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s not a bad cigar, I won’t turn one down but buying? There are more and better options out there for me.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Ave Maria, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte Robusto

Before I started working in the industry, I think that was about 2011, me and my cigar smoking friends from The Netherlands were always looking for the latest finds from My Father and A.J. Fernandez that weren’t available here in The Netherlands, and the La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte was one of them. One of my friends, Jan, ordered a box and shared some with me, I think this specific cigar is a few years old by now.


The cigar is made by A.J. Fernandez at his factory in Esteli, like all cigars that I’m reviewing this month. The cigar, in this case a 5 1/2×54 robusto, is made from Nicaraguan filler and binder with a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper. As the name suggests, the wrapper is very dark and the cigar is probably quite strong.


The cigar is dark, leathery and oily. The ring is white with light brown, gold and copper detailing and logo, and it says La Herencia Cubana. Then there is a secondary ring that looks like the classic Cuban regional edition ring yet in green and silver instead of red and silver as the Cubans do. The cigar feels kind of hard but without any soft spots, the shape and the cap look nice. Even after all these years, the cigar has a strong aroma of a barnyard and a stable full of cows.


I was in the mood for a bold cigar and I expect this to fit my needs. I used a cheap plastic cutter. The cold draw is a little tight, I taste a mild milk chocolate flavor with pepper. After lighting I taste a dry earthy flavor with coffee. The earthy flavor is the dominant flavor but there is also a hint of cocoa. After a third I taste a buttery, sticky yet mild and slightly bitter chocolate with some wood and herbs. Slowly I taste some mint too. Halfway I taste wood, oak, with a little acidity. The end has a little black pepper.


The draw is good. The ash is medium dark and a little flaky. The smoke is medium thick and full. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and flavored. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, La Herencia Cubana, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , ,

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