Posts Tagged With: 92

Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro

Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro. The Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year 2019. Many of my followers praise this cigar on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media accounts. So it’s time for me to review this cigar as well. To see if it lives up to the hype. A 96 score isn’t very common, so our expectations are high.

A.J. Fernandez is responsible for the production. But Aging Room is a creating of Rafael Nodal, who’s now the head of product capability of Altadis U.S.A. But before that, he was the owner of Boutique Blends and that was or is the umbrella for Aging Room. This Aging Room blend is a Nicaraguan puro.

The cigar looks great. A dark and oily wrapper. Smooth yet impressive. With a beautiful black, gold, and white ring. The secondary ring pops with its bright orange and gold. This cigar screams “pick me, you won’t regret it”. The box-press is flawless and the cigar feels well constructed. The cigar has a thick and strong barnyard aroma.

The cold draw is flawless. The flavor is spice and pepper. The first puffs are earthy, with black dark roast coffee and pepper. Lots of pepper. Soon some wood and leather join the earthy and spice flavors of the cigar. There’s also a dry nutty flavor in the profile. After a third, there is black pepper, sweetness, earthiness. Some toast and roasted coffee beans show up as well. Even though it’s a strong cigar, the flavors are round. There is not mean harshness. The pepper is growing in strength. All flavors are tied together with some citrus acidity. Near the end the pepper really becomes powerful.

The draw is flawless. The ash is salt and pepper colored. But it breaks easy. The burn is straight. The smoke is good, thick enough and full enough. This cigar is a full-body cigar, full flavor yet with plenty of balance. The smoke time is two hours and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I want a box

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, 92, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez, Aging Room | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Asylum Seven 11/18

Asylum Seven 11/18. In 2012, former Camacho owner Christian Eiroa came back to the cigar industry after finishing his non-competition clause that he had to sign upon selling Camacho to Davidoff. His comeback was a partnership with former Camacho and Davidoff sales rep Tom Lazuka. Asylum Cigars was a success from day one. To commemorate the 7th birthday of Asylum, the company released the Seven in 2019. Two sizes, limited to 1000 boxes of each size.

One of the sizes is the signature 11/18 size. Named after the birthday of Christian’s mother. It is a figurado, 6 inches long with a 48 ring foot and head. But in the center, the cigar is ring 54 thick. The blend is made of Honduran tobacco as the filler and binder with a Nicaraguan wrapper. The cigars come in single coffins. The CLE Cigar Factory is where the cigars are rolled.

If you don’t know the story of the shape of the cigar, you might think that the roller isn’t very good. But when you know the cigar should look thicker in the middle, it is intriguing. The wrapper is dark, leathery. The big ring, black with a golden skull is a bit dark and sinister. But the colors of the ring come back in the coffins tying it all together. The cigar has a strong aroma of dry wood.

The cold draw is fantastic. Spicy oak. Once lit, the cigar gives a strong coffee aroma with some sugar and spice. Cinnamon and pepper show up. There is a little bit of tongue burn on the tip of the tongue. Soil makes an entrance in the flavor profile as well. The cigar then turns to wood, with a little bit of pepper. Before the second third, the flavors change again. The wood remains, but now with soil, leather, coffee, pepper, and sweetness. The second third starts strong with spice, pepper but now with some chocolate as well. The chocolate gets stronger, with leather, soil, coffee plus some acidity, and sweetness. Earthiness returns and the flavors are beautifully round.

The cigar produces a lot of smoke. The ash is white and dense. The draw is fantastic. The burn is quite alright. This is a strong cigar, full of flavor. Powerful. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a great cigar but very expensive.

Categories: Honduran cigars, 92, Asylum, El Aladino | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Liga Privada Bauhaus

Liga Privada Bauhaus. Over the past few years, Drew Estate has done some exclusive releases for the European market. For example an Undercrown Shade vitola for the German John Aylesbury Group. And the original release of the Undercrown Maduro Flying Pig was a project for the Dutch group Compaenen. Both John Aylesbury and Compaenen are independent tobacconists combining buying power. But never has there been a European exclusive Liga Privada. Until now. Last December Drew Estate made an announcement. There would be a European exclusive Liga Privada Bauhaus. And it’s available now.

The Liga Privada Bauhaus gets its name from the architectural movement Bauhaus. The Short Robusto pays extra attention to leaf placement within the cigar. The blend takes the European cigar enthusiasts through a newly curated experience. The cigar measures 4½x50 and comes in elegant blue boxes of 12 cigars. The cigars use filler from Nicaragua and Honduras. The binder is bold Brazilian tobacco. The wrapper is a rich earthy Connecticut Broadleaf capa. The cigars come from the rolling tables of the Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua.

As all Liga Privada cigars, this is a looker. A stunning black and oily wrapper with character due to the fine veins that run over the leaf. The classic white, gray, and gold band form a beautiful contrast. The Bauhaus name is printed big on the ring. The triple cap is beautiful. The relatively small size fits the look. The construction feels good. The aroma is surprisingly fresh. Fresh wood, floral, and herbal, almost lavender-like.

The cold draw is a little on the easy side. The flavors in the cold draw are floral with a nice spicy kick. From the get-go, this cigar is peppery, sweet, earthy with some leather. It’s in your face immediately, aggressive but in a good way. Almost instantly toast and wood join the previously mentioned flavors. There’s also some coffee. Complex, many strong flavors are battling in the mouth. After the first centimeter, the cigar mellows out a bit without losing its strength. The flavors calm down with spice, nuts, soil, wood, and leather now more in balance. Slowly dark roast coffee takes the spot for the most dominant flavor. Halfway there is more wood with the dark roast coffee. Yet there is also a dry grassy flavor with spice and sweetness. Some puffs later a slightly acidic flavor shows up as well.

The draw is fine. And the air purifier is always working overtime when smoking a cigar from Drew Estate. The burn is nice and straight. The ash is fine when it comes to firmness, yet the color is yellowish-brown. This cigar is full of body and strength. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I can buy bigger Liga Privada cigars for less, so I don’t think so

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Plasencia Year of the Ox

Plasencia Year of the Ox. This year Plasencia is one of the many brands that jump on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar bandwagon. And it’s the first time that the Nicaraguan cigar mogul does it. It’s been only a few years since Plasencia made the call to create cigars with the family name, but with their knowledge, background, and reputation they were able to secure a good portion of the market. And this year they want some of the Asian market as well.

From the moment the press release of this cigar came out, I was intrigued. Not because of the story behind the cigar, but because of the €35 price. Yes, there are more expensive cigars. We even reviewed more expensive cigars. But all those cigars had something that justified the price. Vintage tobacco or rare tobacco for example. There is nothing in the press release or information that justifies this price, so there’s only one way to find out if this cigar is worth it. One thing is for sure, you’re getting a lot of Nicaraguan tobacco in this 7×58 Figurado.

The looks are impressive, a 7×58 Figurado is always a head-turner. The milk-chocolate brown wrapper is oily and smooth. There are three rings, all with the same red and gold color scheme. Red and gold are important colors that stand for wealth in Chinese culture. The shape is immaculate. The aroma is surprisingly mild, just some wood and hay. Lack of cellophane around the cigar did cause some damage during transport on the head and the foot.

The cold draw is fine despite the damage on both samples smoked. Wood, sultanas, and raw tobacco are the flavors in the cold draw. The first flavor is cedar, with a lot of pepper and some caramel. The sweetness then turns more to a marshmallow sweetness with mild spices like cumin in the retrohale. There is also some toast and vanilla, with a bit of white pepper. Mellow, balanced, sweet but mostly interesting. The cumin flavor gets a little stronger. Ceder slowly shows up. The sweetness turns more to molasses, with more cedar, spices, and a bit of white pepper. There is a hint of old book flavor that is classic of Connecticut Shade tobacco. But it is very mild. Around halfway there are baking spices, like gingerbread spices, but still with sweetness. There is also a little bit of leather. The flavor profile is quite unique. The sweetness is consistent, different kinds of sweetness but overall a constantly sweet cigar. Natural sweetness and very pleasant. In the final third there’s more leather, cedar, spices, and pepper. Even till the final puffs, it’s easy to retrohale the cigar. The very last few puffs have dark chocolate and mocha with pepper and cedar. But the mocha is fantastic.

The draw is great. The light gray ash is a bit coarse but seems to hold on nicely. The burning cigar has a nice toasty aroma to it. There are some issues with the burn. It had to be touched up a few times. The smoke is nice and thick. This cigar is balanced, smooth, and very tasteful. Medium in strength, full in flavor. It is a great smoke, high-end for sure. Does it justify the high price tag? Partially yes as it is a unique cigar with tremendous tobacco. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I loved it, but €35 is a lot of money.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, 92, Plasencia, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , ,

Flor de Selva Year of the Ox

Flor de Selva Year of the Ox. For the last few years, Flor de Selva is one of the many brands releasing a cigar to celebrate the Chinese zodiac calendar. And just as others, Maya Selva and her team choose to go for a bigger cigar for this year. It is the Year of the Ox, and an Ox is known for its strength and size. So going for a 6×56 Toro Extra does make sense.

It is a very limited release, with most of the boxes going to China and Hong Kong. But special boxes of two cigars were made for relations such as cigar media. And I was one of the lucky recipients of a box. The cigar itself is made in Honduras, with a Honduran binder. There is also Honduran tobacco in the filler, together with Nicaraguan tobacco from Jalapa. Jalapa is bordering Honduras. The wrapper is Nicaraguan as well.

It is a good-looking cigar. Big and impressive. With a nice Maduro wrapper from Nicaragua. Smooth, oily, and no distracting veins. The off-white Flor de Selva ring looks great on the dark wrapper. The Year of the Ox ring stands out because of the yellow and red. But the two rings clash a little. The construction feels great. The cigar has a strong aroma of charred wood with hay and straw.

The cold draw has some freshness, but also green herbs and a mild salt flavor. The draw itself is fine. The cigar starts with a nice, spicy yet sweet coffee and earthy flavor. The coffee gets replaced by cedar very quickly. The flavors are smooth, flavorful but smooth. Leather and coffee return, with a nice Maduro sweetness. The second third has a thick, dark chocolate flavor with some dark spice and pepper. Slowly there’s more wood, leather, and some hay. But the spice is never far away. It is all balanced and smooth. In the final third, there is more black pepper and more leather.

The draw is great. The light gray ash is like a stack of quarters. The smoke is decent in volume and thickness. This is a medium to full-body cigar. The flavor is full, yet smooth. The burn is straight. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? If possible

Categories: 92, Flor de Selva, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , , ,

Liga Privada #T52 Flying Pig

Liga Privada #T52 Flying Pig. The fifth and last cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I reviewed a lot of Year of the Rat cigars, but not this sampler. The complete sampler went up in smoke. The Liga Privada Nasty Fritas went up in smoke earlier, just as the Ratzilla, the Velvet Rat, and the #9 Flying Pig.

After the success of the Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig, Drew Estate decided to release the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig a year later. The name comes from Jonathan Drew. When he went to Nicaragua to make cigars, people said “he will be successful when pig fly”. So when Drew Estate was successful, JD named a cigar after the disbelievers. The wrapper comes from Connecticut. It’s a Sun Grown Habano that’s been stalk cut. It means that the whole plant is cut and dried, instead of individual leaves. Brazilian Mata Fina makes the binder. The filler is from Honduras and Nicaragua.

As with the Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig, or for that matter any flying pig in the Undercrown line as well, the cool shape gives the cigar bonus points for looks. Drew Estate makes two Flying Pigs and one Feral Flying Pig for the Liga Privada series. Undercrown has three, Sungrown, Shade, and Maduro. The wrapper is even darker and oilier than the #9, with the same leathery, toothy look. The ring is the same design but the gray is brown and the silver logo is copper now. The cigar feels hard but evenly hard. The aroma is slightly dusty with hay, almost like an empty hay shed after the winter.

The cold draw is fine. Once lit the cigar gives coffee, earthiness, dark chocolate, and leather. Dark flavors. The cigar remains earthy and dark, with a hint of dark chocolate. But some spice and sweetness come in as well. The mouthfeel is warm and pleasant. Comforting almost. The retrohale gives notes of roasted nuts. After a third, there is a slight acidity with the earthiness and coffee. There’s also some pepper, but mellow and in the background. The flavors are complex. There is a slight bitterness that hints at dark chocolate or durian without the dark chocolate or durian flavor. Dark spices and pepper are lingering around the corner. Coffee isn’t far gone either. The mouthfeel is turning creamy. The sweetness gains strength, but smokey with an almost meaty mouthfeel. The smoke feels thick, almost textured. With nice barbecue spices. Near the end, the cigar gets more pepper but with a minty aftertaste.

It’s hard to keep the cigar lit in the beginning. But that gets better after half an inch. But once the cigar is burning, it is on. The smoke fills the office and the extraction fan works overtime. The draw is great. The ash is dense and firm. This is an interesting cigar with complex aromas. It is full-bodied and full of flavor. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I smoke this cigar again? I prefer a slightly thinner ring gauge.

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, 92, Liga Privada, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate | Tags: , , , , ,

Liga Privada Velvet Rat

Liga Privada Velvet Rat. The third cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I smoked a lot of Year of the Rat cigars during the Year of the Rat. But this sampler wasn’t in our possession back then. It is now, so the complete sampler will go up in smoke. The Liga Privada Nasty Fritas went up in smoke earlier, just as the Ratzilla.

The cigar is the exact same size as the Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla, which we reviewed a few days ago. But the wrapper is different, even though it comes from the same area. The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is from higher priming, which means, from higher on the plant. And that equals to stronger, as these leaves are smaller and receive more sun during the growing period.

Just at first glance, you know this is a tasty cigar. A thick, beefy wrapper. Dark, toothy, and leathery with plenty of natural oils. The flag tail is a nice finishing touch to the looks. The simple ring allows the beautiful wrapper to be the center of attention. The construction feels good. A little hard, but evenly hard. The aroma is strong but has a surprising smell of an old wardrobe that hasn’t been opened for a few months. Mixed with some cedar that is.

The cold draw is a little on the easy side. It has an earthy flavor with some sweetness. The cigar has a herbal, spicy profile with a reminiscence of stock cubes. Add some white pepper and you’re there. A sugary sweetness is there as well, with some acidity to bind it all together. In the background, an earthy flavor is showing up. Soon to be followed by a hay flavor. The flavor in the retrohale is sweet but dusty. Slowly the cigar becomes more earthy with milk chocolate. But with a nice twang of citrus, balanced out by sweetness. After a third, the earthiness becomes the dominant flavor. The sweetness grows in strength but there is also some dark spice noticeable. Especially in the retrohale, nutmeg, and cinnamon. That milk chocolate flavor is still lingering in the background. The sweetness is almost raisin-like. The chocolate flavor changes to dark chocolate and becomes stronger. The sweetness turns to vanilla, and the pepper grows in strength. Suddenly there is a honey roasted peanut flavor, unusual but nice. With a balanced dose of pepper.

This is a Drew Estate cigar so the smoke is plentiful. The draw is great. There is not a single complaint about the straight burn either. The cigar is related to the Ratzilla, with the same earthiness. Yet there are subtle differences and this is more of a velvet smoke. So the name is chosen pretty well. The ash is light-colored. This is a cigar that is medium-full in both body and flavor. The smoke time is three hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I love this Liga Privada Velvet Rat

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla

Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla. The second cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I reviewed a series of Year of the Rat cigars. But this sampler wasn’t in my possession back then. It is now, so I will smoke this Drew Estate Liga Privada series of Year of the Rat cigars. The complete sampler will go up in smoke. The Liga Privada Nasty Fritas went up in smoke a few days ago.

The cigar is a 6¼x46 Corona Gorda. The wrapper comes from the Connecticut River Valley. It is grown under the full sun, making it a broadleaf wrapper. But as with any Liga Privada, the harvesting and curing of the tobacco are far from ordinary. Instead of each leaf picked by hand, the whole plant is chopped down. And then hung to dry. This method is called stalk-cutting. The binder is a sweet Brazilian Mata Fina. The filler comes from Nicaragua and the neighbor to the north, Honduras.

The cigar looks good. A thick, leathery, dark, and toothy wrapper. The flag tail is a nice finishing touch. The classic Liga Privada ring is simple yet tasteful. The construction feels good. The cigar has a slight wooden aroma, like fresh sawdust.

The cold draw is fine, with a mild spicy taste. After lighting, the cigar gives sweet coffee with red pepper. The flavor palate evolves to leather with cedar, mildly sweet yet with a spicy edge. Complex and interesting. The cigar is surprisingly mellow, with hints of gingerbread. It’s not a Liga Privada powerhouse, even though it’s not tame either. The base flavor turns to earthiness. The sweetness tastes almost like honey. After a third, there is more earthiness with milk chocolate, slightly creamy. The flavor profile remains a mixture of earthiness, leather, wood with some spices and pepper. In the final third, the sweetness gains some strength. But it’s still a very earthy cigar. Coffee makes a comeback though. Earthiness is by far the prominent flavor, without overpowering the dark spices, sweetness, leather, and pepper. The balance is great, resulting in a smooth smoke. The final puffs have a little more sweetness and a little more pepper.

The cold draw is fine, with a mild spicy taste. After lighting, the cigar gives sweet coffee with red pepper. The flavor palate evolves to leather with cedar, mildly sweet yet with a spicy edge. Complex and interesting. The cigar is surprisingly mellow, with hints of gingerbread. It’s not a Liga Privada powerhouse, even though it’s not tame either. The base flavor turns to earthiness. The sweetness tastes almost like honey. After a third, there is more earthiness with milk chocolate, slightly creamy. The flavor profile remains a mixture of earthiness, leather, wood with some spices and pepper. In the final third, the sweetness gains some strength. But it’s still a very earthy cigar. Coffee makes a comeback though. Earthiness is by far the prominent flavor, without overpowering the dark spices, sweetness, leather, and pepper. The balance is great, resulting in a smooth smoke. The final puffs have a little more sweetness and a little more pepper.

The draw is great and the smoke, well, it is a Drew Estate cigar. The burn is beautiful and slow. This cigar is medium-full. Both in flavor and body. It is well balanced. The light-colored ash is dense. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I love it

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Sun Grown Regente

Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Sun Grown Regente. A line re-introduced in 2016, and as almost always with Perdomo, it came with sisters. Many Perdomo lines come in Connecticut Shade, Sun Grown, and Maduro. At first, the line came on the market in 2005, with vintage tobaccos from the 1991 harvest. Nick Perdomo Sr purchased that tobacco in 1995, so by the time it hit the market, the tobacco was true vintage. When the tobacco was all used, the line disappeared. But it returned in 2016, again with vintage tobaccos from the Perdomo tobacco library.

During episode 13 of The Philip & Ferdy Cigar Show, the guys were introduced to this cigar. That was at Cigar Malaysia at the Ansa Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Extra cigars were purchased to review this cigar. All the tobacco in this blend is Nicaraguan. The same goes for the Maduro version. The only Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage blend that isn’t a Nicaraguan puro is the Connecticut version. That blend uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.

The cigar looks amazing. The shiny, oily, reddish-brown wrapper is flawless. The sharp veins that are visible are from the binder. And then the ring, one of the prettiest in the game. Copper-colored, glossy with different shades of brown and lots of gold. The only other colors used are some black and white for the Perdomo logo. The cigar feels well constructed. It has a medium-strong aroma of hay and wood.

The cold draw is fine. With a flavor profile of salt, raw tobacco, and a little nut. After lighting, there is coffee, citrus, pepper, leather, and soil. A nutty flavor shows up too, with cedar. All with nice citrus that binds it together. The mouthfeel is meaty. The cedar gets a little stronger, there is some spice as well. The acidity disappeared. The second third starts with pepper, nuts, and sweetness. The final third has more wood, leather, and soil. But still with pepper, spice, and even some coffee.

The draw is fantastic. The burn is good. In the beginning, it looked like there would be an issue but the burn corrected itself. A good amount of smoke, with a nice thickness. Construction on the cigar is great. The light-colored ash is reasonably firm. The cigar is medium-full bodied. And full-flavored. Yet all while being smooth. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Due to the price not often.

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Perdomo, Tabacalera Perdomo | Tags: , , ,

Drew Estate BOTL Lancero

Drew Estate BOTL Lancero. The online community Brothers of the Leaf aka botl.org. Starting in 2010, some manufacturers work with the community and release limited edition cigars. PDR was the first, with Drew Estate following two years later. Since 2013, Drew Estate released several versions of the BOTL.

In 2020, Drew Estate released three sizes for botl. The cigar has an American Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. There is an Ecuadorian Connecticut binder. The filler comes from Nicaragua. It is available in three sizes, Corona, Corona Gorda, and this 7×38 Lancero

This is not the prettiest cigar. But then again, most Connecticut Broadleaf cigars aren’t the prettiest in the humidor. The harsh sun is beating down on the plants every day, and just like the human skin, tobacco leaves start to look weathered under that constant violence from Mother Nature. But it fits the cigar, a thick oily rough looking wrapper, very dark with some rough veins. Add in the brown and copper-colored band with BOTL printed on it, and it does look appealing. The construction feels good. The aroma is a mixture of floral aromas and dark chocolate.

The cold draw is good. There is a spicy raw tobacco flavor in the cold draw. After lighting it’s very dark chocolate, like 85% or higher. The chocolate remains the main flavor but after a while, little floral flavors, vanilla bean sweetness, and a hint of the leather show up. Slowly towards the second third, there is a spice joining as well. There is coffee beneath the dark chocolate flavor too. The sweetness gets stronger while the dark chocolate bitterness tones down a bit. But it does not disappear. 

The ash is white as the hair of Gandalf. The smoke is a classic Drew Estate. That means thick, white, and a lot. The draw is great. The burn is straight as an arrow. This cigar isn’t as heavy as the appearance might suggest. It’s medium to medium-full in body and flavor. Well, balanced and the sweetness makes it very palatable. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , ,

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