Posts Tagged With: 90

San Lotano Requiem Habano Gran Toro

San Lotano Requiem Habano Gran Toro. Even though A.J. Fernandez was already blending and producing cigars for years, he was only producing for others. And a lot of his blends were hits on the market. So it was time to release a brand for himself. Drawing inspiration from his family’s past in Cuba, Abdel Fernandez came up with San Lotano. That’s the name of the brand his family had before the revolution. Since the release in 2010, San Lotano has seen many offsprings in different blends, and even in oval sizes.

The San Lotano Reqiuem comes in a Habano, Maduro, and Connecticut version. For this review, we picked the Habano in a 6×60 size. Fernandez names it Gran Toro, others call it a Gordo. But the name doesn’t matter, it is a monster of a cigar. The cigar consists of Nicaraguan and Honduran filler. The binder is Nicaraguan with a Brazilian Habano wrapper. San Lotano is also the name of a farm and a cigar factory in Nicaragua. Both are owned by A.J. Fernandez, but the San Lotano factory isn’t the large factory in Esteli.

This cigar is a monster with its 6×60 size. It feels heavy. And for a Brazilian wrapper, it actually looks good. Often Brazilian tobacco looks a bit rough, but there are only two veins here that attract the eye. And they are not even that thick. The construction is good with a perfect triple cap. The green and beige ring is beautiful, the secondary ring matches the top ring. The cigar has a strong aroma of forest smells, wood, and dark spices.

The cold draw is good with a flavor of wood, spice, and pepper. Once lit it is raw wood with cinnamon toast on the palate. The sweet toast is very nice. There is some leather in the retrohale. Slowly but surely pepper shows up. Black pepper. The cigar has balance, but due to the filler wrapper ratio, it misses a bit of character. Halfway wood gets stronger with a hefty dose of Nicaraguan pepper. This is the kind of pepper that both Nicaragua and A.J. Fernandez are famous for. The sweetness is more powdered sugar now. But there is also a roughness in the back of the throat. Wood gets stronger again with some leather and hazelnut. The final third is all pepper, pepper, and pepper.

The draw is a tad easy. The smoke is thick and there is a good amount of it as well. The ash is white and dense. The burn is straight. This is a cigar that is medium-full in body and flavor. The signature of A.J. on the inside of the ring is a nice touch. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? In a smaller vitola yes, in this 60 ring gauge no.

Categories: 90, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fonseca Delicias 2014

Fonseca Delicias 2014. A review of the same blend and size as our review recently. But from a different vintage. And the reason for this is a conversation with a fellow cigar enthusiast about the aging of cigars. Our conversation partner says that the Fonseca Delicias get stronger with age, unlike any other cigar. That’s worthy of a test. So last Friday’s review was a young cigar from 2019. The review of today’s Fonseca Delicias is a cigar with a production date of 2014.

Thanks to La Casa del Habano Kuala Lumpur we were able to get one Fonseca Delicias from 2014 and once from 2019. The Fonseca Delicias is a pre-1960 vitola, but it’s only a premium handmade cigar since 2002. Before it was a machine-made petit corona. The cigar measures 4 ⅞x40. Unfortunately, we do not have the box code, so we can’t say from which factory or which month this cigar came. We only know it’s a cigar from 2014.

What goes for the 2019 version goes for the 2014 version as well. The cigar is not visible due to the white wax paper. The ring is on the outside of the paper, so once you remove the paper it is a naked cigar. Compared to the sample from last Friday, this wrapper has more veins. The color is also a little dull. But the construction feels better. The aroma is mild, with a bit of an old, dry wood smell.

The cold draw is fine, with a nice dose of pepper. After lighting there is a hint of coffee but the main flavor is honey. There is a hint of wood and some white pepper. The sweetness continues to be dominant, but in the background, there’s wood, spices, and leather. There is a bit more pepper in the flavor profile than in the younger version. After a third, there is a wood flavor with sweetness. But it is a bit dry and dusty. There is also a hint of pepper. There is less balance but more character than in the younger version of this cigar. It is still a sweet cigar, but not as overly sweet. The sweetness is no longer honey, but more sugar syrup. In the retrohale, there are a few green herbs. There is a hint of vanilla. Some citrus shows up as well. The wood and leather return, but the sweetness remains the base of this cigar. Near the end, there is leather, pepper, and marzipan sweetness.

The draw is fine. The smoke is good. The ash is light in color and firm. The burn is great. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. It is slightly stronger than the younger Fonseca Delicias, but it remains a medium cigar at most. There is definitely more character in the older version. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, they are cheap and pleasant.

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

Fonseca Delicias 2019

Fonseca Delicias 2019. Not too long ago, Ministry of Cigars was talking to a fellow cigar enthusiast about the aging of cigars. And how some cigars age well, others don’t. That some blends are great for aging, and others aren’t. One thing that came up was that aging mellows cigars over the years. Our conversation partner said that only with the Fonseca Delicias he feels it’s different. That these cigars are stronger with a few years of age. This sounds intriguing, so we are putting it to the test.

Thanks to La Casa del Habano Kuala Lumpur we were able to get one Fonseca Delicias from 2014 and once from 2019. The Fonseca Delicias is a pre-1960 vitola, but it’s only a premium handmade cigar since 2002. Before it was a machine-made petit corona. The cigar measures 4 ⅞x40. Unfortunately, we do not have the box code, so we can’t say from which factory or which month this cigar came. We only know it’s a cigar from 2019.

At first, you can’t see the cigar because of the wax paper. This is the only Cuban marca that comes in was paper. And even one of the sizes of the Nicaraguan Fonseca by My Father Cigars comes in wax paper as a tribute to the Cuban version. The ring is red, golden, and white. Classic in style and shape. The ring is around the wax paper so once it’s removed, the cigar is naked. The wrapper is quite dark for a Cuban cigar. There are a few veins, but nothing thick or ugly. The cigar feels a bit hard. There is an earthy smell to the cigar with a little bit of ammonia.

The cold draw is tight. With a bit of a dark spice flavor. Once lit the draw is fine. There is a leathery coffee flavor with some cloves. The flavor then turns to mud, with a thick mouthfeel and a bit of sweetness. The sweetness is enhanced in the retrohale. A little pepper shows up in the same retrohale. The sweetness is mild, yet still the strongest flavor. The cigar is a bit creamy. The sweetness is still there halfway with some pepper and spice. Vanilla and pepper take over, with a hint of wood. The evolution is subtle. In the end, the cigar gains a bit more pepper, more strength, and there is even a nutty flavor.

The draw is fine. But the silver-gray ash isn’t very firm. The cigar is mild and smooth. Quite sweet. An early morning cigar. Not a cigar to blow your mind, but pleasant. It fits the price range. The smoke is fine. The burn is great, nothing to complain about. The cigar is mild to medium in body. The flavor is medium. The smoke time is one hour and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a great cigar to start the day

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

Stallone Alazán Corojo Robusto

Stallone Alazán Corojo Robusto. Up until a few months ago, Stallone Cigars was a company we never heard of. But then they hired Todd Vance as Vice President of Sales. And we got some samples of which we reviewed the Castano San Andres Robusto two months ago. Today we review the Alazan Corojo. Both are named after stallions, the big inspiration behind the brand. Owner Tony Barrios is a prize-winning rodeo cowboy.

The cigars come from Las Villas Cigars, previously known as Tabacalera La Perla. It is a small factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The Stallone Alazán Corojo Robusto is a 5×54 box-pressed Robusto. It is made with a Brazilian Corojo wrapper. The binder comes from Ecuador with Nicaraguan filler.

The wrapper of this box-pressed cigar is beautiful. A nice reddish glow on the smooth and oily wrapper. There is a clean triple cap. The tiny veins are minor and do not take anything away from the aesthetics of the cigar. The ring is pretty. Gray with a stallion and metallic outlines and name. The secondary band has the same colors with the line name in red. The construction feels good. The aroma of the cigar fits with the theme, horses.

The cold draw is fantastic. It gives a herbal flavor. Once lit there is leather and coffee. It then changes to coffee with dark spices. The mouthfeel is a bit dry. The flavor then changes to cedar with spices and herbs. At the end of the first third, there is some pepper and sweetness as well. The second third starts with pepper, dark spices, leather, and soil. It slowly evolves to wood, grass, pepper, spices, and leather. Pepper is growing, black pepper. The mouthfeel stays dry, with a bit of a rough edge. But not unpleasant rough. Wood is getting stronger. The final third has way more pepper and an unusual mushroom flavor. The finale has wood, herbs, pepper, and mushroom.

The draw is great. The ash is light in color, dense, and firm. The burn is good. The smoke is thick, plenty in volume, and white as can be. There is a good balance. This cigar is medium to full in strength, medium in flavor. With Brazilian tobacco, there was an expectation of more sweetness. And with Corojo, there was an expectation of nuts. But those flavors weren’t really there. The smoke time is two hours and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I like it.

Categories: 90, Nicaraguan cigars, Stallone, Tabacalera La Perla | Tags: , , , ,

H Upmann Magnum 56 Edicion Limitada 2015

H Upmann Magnum 56 Edicion Limitada 2015. This Cuban marca and vitola recently made a comeback in a jar. But the original release is an edicion limitada and that is the one we are reviewing. It is the only Cuban cigar with this specific size of 5⅞x56.

As is the case with any Cuban cigar, the blend only consists of Cuban tobacco. All younger than 3 years otherwise it would be a reserva or gran reserva. But it is a limited edition, so according to Habanos, higher quality of tobacco is used for this production.

The cigar looks thick and big. The dark wrapper helps, and the few veins make it look like a mean powerhouse. If this cigar was a guy at a bar, you would not pick a fight with him just on appearance. The triple cap looks great and the embossing on the ring is a nice touch. The construction feels good. The woody aroma is mild.

The cold draw is very loose, easy. Something not very Cubaneqsue. The first puff is in your face. Wood, leather, soil, coffee, and sweetness. And there is some spice in the aftertaste. The flavor mellows out to a nice cedar, earthy, and coffee. There is a little pepper in the aftertaste. The second third starts with a dry mouthfeel. Leather, cedar, and hay. Even in a blind smoke, it would be clear that this is a Cuban cigar. Halfway the cigar is all about toast. The spice and pepper pick up in the final third, but even then it is possible to retrohale.

The draw is easy, maybe too easy. But the cigar gives plenty of nice, thick smoke. The burn is straight. Even after leaving the cigar for a couple of minutes, there was no reason to relight. The ash is on the darker side of the color scheme. It is a medium-bodied cigar, medium-full on the flavor spectrum. The smoke time is two hours twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It was not bad, but I can get better for less.

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Cimarron Maduro Robusto

Cimarron Maduro Robusto. Cimarron is an area in the south of America. It runs from Colorado to Oklahoma. But this cigar doesn’t come from that area, nor does it contains tobacco from the area. It is a cigar by Tabacalera El Artista, a Dominican cigar manufacturer & tobacco grower. Ministry of Cigars did a review of the Cimarron Connecticut before.

Tabacalera El Artista is around since the 1960s. As tobacco growers and as cigar manufacturers. But up until a few years ago, most of the cigars El Artista made were private labels for others. With the new generation coming in, things change. Brands for themselves, plus the return of some ancient tobaccos. Tobaccos with low yield, but specific flavors that were almost eradicated such as Dominican Negrito. And newly developed varieties such as T13, completely crossbred and developed by Tabacalera El Artista. Both of these tobaccos are in the Cimarron Maduro. The wrapper is Mexican though. And the filler also has some Colombian tobacco to create the necessary acidity for balance.

The cigar looks amazing. A toothy, dark, almost black wrapper. It is oily, and it feels like fine sandpaper. The construction feels great. The fresh green, white, and gold band stands out on the dark wrapper. The aroma is deep, a mixture of dark chocolate with barnyard.

The cold draw is fine and the flavor of raw tobacco with spice and roasted coffee shops up on the palate. Straight from the start, there are flavors such as coffee, earth, and dark chocolate, balanced by some sweetness and acidity. The coffee, acidity, and sweetness remain and are in perfect balance. In the background, there’s some spice. Toasty flavors show up as well, and they bring back the dark chocolate. After the first third, the main flavors are oak and dark chocolate. There is white pepper as well. A little dry licorice shows up in the background. The retrohale gives a peppery flavor. Oak and dark chocolate are the flavors in the mouth. The cigar remains dark in flavor. Oak, soil, and dark chocolate with some support of acidity to balance things out, sweetness, and pepper. In the last third, leather makes a comeback. With the previously mentioned flavors still in the mix. Wood, acidity, and pepper are getting stronger. Oak to be more precise than wood in general. The finale is very peppery.

The draw is good. The ash is very light in color, creating a beautiful contrast with the dark wrapper. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is plentiful and thick. This is a full-bodied cigar, full of flavor as well. It could use more evolution, but it’s still a pleasant cigar for a very reasonable price. The smoke time is three hours

Would I buy this cigar again? A fiver maybe.

Categories: 90, Cimarron, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera El Artista | Tags: , , , ,

Cohiba Lancero

Cohiba Lancero. These Cohibas come in two varieties. One as a diplomatic gift and as a regular production cigar. But the question is, are they exactly the same? To figure that out, I grabbed Cohiba Lanceros from a Diplomatic box and from a regular production box. Both with the same box code date of June 2020. And both from the El Laguito factory.

With the diplomatic version smoked, reviewed, and published last Monday, it is now time for the regular production version. This 7½x38 classic and elegant cigar consists of Cuban tobacco, all from the Vuelta Abajo region in Pinar del Rio. It was the first Cohiba size and Fidel Castro’s personal favorite. Even in a market that’s favoring bigger ring gauges, the Cohiba Lancero remains a cigar with a lot of attraction. Due to the history, it is here to stay. This is the only regular production Lancero from Habanos together with the Montecristo Especial.

Compared to the diplomatic version of this cigar, the look is not as good. The band is the same, with the same security features. But the wrapper itself has more veins and looks rougher. The Colorado color is nice though. The cigar feels a little softer than the Diplomatic one. The aroma is stronger. Barnyard and manure.

The cold draw is a bit of a struggle. There is air coming through the cigar but the resistance is more than it would be in a perfect situation. There is a dry, mild spicy wood flavor. Once lit the cigar releases a mildly sweet coffee and leather flavor. The leather really shines in the retrohale. The mouthfeel is dry, due to the leather and a little bit of sourness. Then a bit of white pepper shows up. There is also a slightly nutty flavor and baking spices. Leather and smooth nuts are the main flavors, but it’s mild and soft. Slightly creamy even. The second third starts with subtle leather, coffee, a bit of earthiness, nuttiness, and baking spices. So far the flavor profile is quite similar to the diplomatic version. The sweet baking spices that were so pleasant in the diplomatic version are appearing in this cigar as well. With some pepper at the halfway mark. Smooth, subtle, and elegant. And it all comes together with a little bit of citrus. The cream has a bit of a vanilla flavor. The nuttiness and pepper get a bit stronger.

The actual draw is good, better than the cold draw. Just as with the diplomatic version, the ash isn’t strong. It breaks off easily. The ash is a bit lighter in color though. The smoke is quite thin. The burn is straight. This is a medium cigar in both body and flavor. Subtle, smooth, and pleasant. The flavor profile between this cigar and the diplomatic one from the Monday review are so similar that it’s safe to say that both are the same. Since the cigar is a little softer, there is a bit of tar built up that didn’t occur in the other lancero. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would smoke one again, but it is an expensive cigar.

Categories: 90, Cohiba (Habanos), Cuban cigars, El Laguito | Tags: , , , ,

Cohiba Lancero Diplomatic Gift

Cohiba Lancero Diplomatic Gift. Everybody who knows a bit about Cuban cigars knows that Cohiba was the brand of Fidel Castro. And that the lancero was his vitola of choice. For the first 18 years of the brand, it was not available commercially. Cohiba cigars were for Cuban officials and diplomatic gifts. Now the brand is commercially available, even in the famous and classic Lancero size. But that does not mean that the Cuban government has another diplomatic gift. Cohiba Lancero is still the gift of choice but in a different box. The question is, are these the same regular production cigars or is it a different blend? Let’s find out.

Through sources, I managed to get Cohiba Lancero cigars from a diplomatic box, with a box code of June 2020 and regular production Cohiba Lancero with the same box code. The review of the regular production will follow this Friday. Both cigars are made at El Laguito, the famous Cohiba factory. The size is exactly the same, the ring is the same. And I suspect that the blend is the same, but we will know in a few days.

A lancero always looks elegant. The slender posture of such a classic size is such a refreshing change from the fat cigars that dominate humidors and sales nowadays. And when that elegant cigar comes with a small pigtail it is a bonus. Add a nice Colorado color wrapper, smooth and clean and you have an eye-catcher. The Cohiba band is a work of art, with many security features to help cigar enthusiasts from getting scammed by counterfeiters. More on that in our series on fake Cubans and on our series about Vrijdag Premium Printing. There aren’t any knots noticeable. But the aroma is very faint, a little barnyard, that’s it

The cold draw is a bit tights and quite spicy for a Cuban cigar. Once the cigar is lit, there is coffee and leather. But that specific Cuban coffee and leather flavor just cannot be copied, just like Cuban cigar cannot copy specific flavors from other countries. There is also pepper. Some sweetness and some sourness show up. The sourness makes the mouth feel dry. The retrohale is soil. When the ash breaks after just a centimeter, a nutty flavor appears. At the end of the first third, there are dark spices with some pepper. Still with coffee. The second third mellows out a bit. A nice mixture of coffee with some caramel sweetness. But also dark spices and hay. All smooth and well balanced. The mixture of baking spices with white pepper makes this cigar very enjoyable. There are some sweetness and some citrus acidity to balance everything.

The draw is very good. The burn is great and the smoke is fine as well. The dark ash is fragile though, it won’t hold for more than one centimeter. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. There are nuance and balance. Just like the shape, the flavors are elegant. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would smoke one again, but it is an expensive cigar.

Categories: 90, Cohiba (Habanos), Cuban cigars, El Laguito | Tags: , , , ,

Casdagli Club Mareva Gran Mareva

Casdagli Club Mareva Gran Mareva. A cigar that found its origin in 2010, when Marko Bilic opened his cigar club in Split, Croatia. The name of the club is Club Mareva. And to celebrate the opening of the now-famous club, Jeremy Casdagli created a cigar line for that special event. The Club Mareva line. Fast forward to 10 years later, there are 5 sizes in the line, of which some regular productions. Others were temporarily available.

The cigar, as most of the Casdagli lines, hail from the Dominican Republic. From the small Kelner Boutique Factory. The rollers use Brazilian Cubra tobacco as the wrapper. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and the United States. The cigar measures 5½x42.

A pigtail and a closed foot are always bonus points when it comes to looks. The cigar has a nice chocolate-brown wrapper with very few veins for Brazilian tobacco. The simple black ring with gold print is decent but it would not make us be drawn to the cigar in a humidor of a good tobacconist. The construction feels great. The aroma might not be strong, but it has depth. Musky with spices.

The cold draw is fine, mildly spicy. The first puff is s slap in the face, but a good slap. An explosion of flavor. Wood, spices, pepper, and leather. But immediately complexity and depth. This cigar doesn’t waste time. After that first explosion, the flavors do mellow out a bit. Grass, green herbs, and a little salt. Still very pleasant. The mouthfeel is quite dry. The dryness makes the cigar spicier, with a hint of chocolate. There is an earthy tone with some wood. The cigar gets more hay, more pepper, and a little leather. The last third has more of a wood flavor, with some sweetness and pepper.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is plentiful and the thickness is very nice. The ash is white as the hair of an old sailor. The burn is uneven though. This is a medium-full cigar, both in body and flavor. Well balanced, but front-loaded. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a good value for money cigar.

Categories: 90, Bespoke, Dominican cigars, KBF | Tags: , , , ,

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro

Diamond Crown Maximus Toro. In 1995 the oldest premium handmade family-owned cigar manufacturer in America, J.C. Newman, released the super-premium Diamond Crown line. That was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company. And it was a shock back then as all cigars came with a ring gauge of 54. That was considered insanely big back then. Now 60 seems to be the norm, unfortunately, and 54 is a pretty regular ring gauge.

In 2003, the Diamond Crown Maximus followed. Stronger, bolder. As with all Dominican made cigars for J.C. Newman, they come from the Tabacalera Fuente factory. This time with Dominican filler and binder. The wrapper is sun-grown El Bajo from Ecuador. The No.4 is a 6×50 toro. This cigar was a gift from Bobby Newman when we met a few years ago.

The wrapper is dark, oily, but has some wrinkles reminiscent of old skin, wrinkled under the relentless sun. Yet it helps to give the cigar character when it comes to looks. It’s needed because the band is slick and fancy. Colorful, shiny with plenty of gold. The construction feels good, the cigar seems evenly filled. The aroma is strong, dark chocolate with barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is good. Hay and the complex bitterness of dark chocolate are the flavors in the cold draw. The first puffs are earthy with dark chocolate. The earthiness intensifies. There’s also a hint of leather. Suddenly there is coffee as well. Later on, there’s also some pepper. But the first part of the cigar is mainly soil, leather, coffee, and chocolate. After a third, the cigar opens up. Now there is more sweetness, nice citrus acidity and the flavors aren’t so dark anymore. There is wood, licorice to be more precise. In the final third, the cigar gets more sweet wood and more spice. Yet the earthiness and coffee remain. The spice really picks up. It becomes a pepper bomb at the end.

The draw is good, slightly tight but all within limits. The white ash isn’t all too firm, the handheld vacuum did come out once or twice during the review. The smoke can be thicker and there could be more volume. The burn is slow and straight. The cigar doesn’t have much evolution, but it is solid all the way. The smoke time is three hours. This is a strong cigar, full in flavor and body.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like it a lot but I’d pick the Black Diamond over this one.

Categories: 90, Diamond Crown, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , ,

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