Posts Tagged With: 93

Reserva Miraflor Robusto

The last of the reviews for my friend Andrew for this year, unfortunately I must say, because I enjoyed each and every cigar he send me to be reviewed, even the Connecticut Shade ones. Not that I would buy all blends, since Connecticut Shade isn’t my wrapper of choice, but I enjoyed them. And the other blends, Goviado, Don Fernando and Reserva Miraflor are cigars I would buy boxes from if I had the cash and storage, and if I wasn’t moving to another part of the world soon, where importing tobacco is super expensive.


I reviewed the Reserva Miraflor before, but not this vitola from the new batch, the resurrected Reserva Miraflor as I call them. I told the story about the brand, how I got to know them, how I got to know Andrew, how the cigars vanished from the earth, how they suddenly returned again, so I won’t go into that again. If you missed the story, read the old Reserva Miraflor reviews and you’ll find out.


The wrapper is dark, it feels a bit dry and looks like thin leather with a few veins. The ring is glossy black with gold. The cigar feels heavy, dense and well packed. I can’t detect any soft spots or plugs. The shape and cap are nice. The cigar has a full barnyard and manure aroma.


I took the cigar to Thailand so no gabby cutter, just a simple free cutter that I dared to take on a ‘carry on only’ flight. The cold draw is a little tight and I taste some gingerbread in the cold draw. After lighting I taste a syrup sweetness, gingerbread and an earthy flavor. The well balanced flavors remain until after an inch a nice acidity joins the earthy, sweet gingerbread flavor. Then the flavors slowly change to a sticky mild milky chocolate with still some some spices, more like the Dutch speculaas cookies though. In the finale I taste toast, cinnamon and gingerbread again with dark chocolate bitterness and a hint of vanilla.


The draw is great, the smoke is light blue, medium thick and full. The dense ash is light colored and quite firm. The burn is razor sharp, especially considering that I’m smoking outside with a breeze that could potentially effect the burn. The cigar is medium full in both body and strength. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? With the discount on untoldcigar.com that I mentioned in earlier reviews it’s a no brainer, I have to have more.

Score: 93
number93

Advertisements
Categories: 93, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars, Reserva Miraflor | Tags: , , , , , ,

El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserve Cameroon

The cosy little factory on the corner of 8th and 11th in Little Havana, Miami, might be my favorite factory in the world. Not only because they produce great cigars but also because of the warm welcome I get every time I step in the door. Owner Sandy and her family are great people, I met them in 2009 when I was on vacation, I was expecting a 10 minute tour but spend over 2 hours talking tobacco with Sandy and much to my surprise she immediately recognized me when I came back 18 months later, 90 pounds lighter.

The Gran Reserve Cameroon is a Cameroon version of their El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserve line and it’s made with filler from the Dominican and Nicaragua, a binder from Ecuador and my favorite wrapper: Cameroon. The line exist out of 4 sizes (Churchill, Toro, Robusto, Corona) but sometimes, when possible more vitolas are adde like torpedo, robusto gordo, short robusto, belicoso, corona gorda and two different perfectos. In this three vitola review I will share my thoughts on the toro, torpedo and the belicoso.

Toro

 

 

The 6×52 Toro has a toothy, almost sanding paper like, medium dark wrapper with only one thin vein but with a waterspot on the back. The ring is nice, very simple, just black with a copper outline, a curly font saying El Titan de Bronze and in normal letters gran reserve. On top and bottom it repeats Cameroon. Simple yet well printed. The construction is awesome, as always, I have not had an El Titan made cigar with less than an impeccable construction. And the aroma is strong, a rich and deep manure but also with some floral notes. In the final third I taste a mild salty peanut flavor, with mild spices and some floral flavors.

 


I cut the cigar with a flat cut. The draw is great yet quite tasteless, just a hint of floral sweetness. After lighting I taste the same floral sweetness with a little bit of cinnamon. Mellow but nice. After a third the cigar become less sweet, more herbal with something nutty too, very subtle and mellow. The strength is picking up.

 


The draw is great. The cigar is very mellow, mild to medium in body, medium in flavor. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume. The firm, light gray, ash looks like a stack of coins with the nice thin lines. The burn is straight. Smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

 


Would I buy this cigar again? Mellow, mild but very tasty.

Score: 91
number91

 

 

Torpedo

 


Another vitola that isn’t always available is this 6 1/2×54 torpedo. You can see that this wrapper must come from another batch as it doesn’t have the same tooth and the shade is a little lighter too with even some changing colors from the head of the cigar towards the foot. The wrapper also has more veins. The ring is identical as the others and so is the flawless construction. The aroma is just as strong but not as deep and less manure, not floral but more herbal with even some ground pepper aroma.

 


I cut the cigar with a double guillotine cutter and the cold draw is just perfect. I taste spicy tobacco with a little pepper. I decided to light the cigar with a long matchstick. Straight from the start the herbal spices of the Cameroon wrapper shine. After an inch I taste herbs and spices, of which pepper is dominant and I also taste some lime. Halfway I taste a strong cinnamon flavor and I love it! Slowly the flavor changes to cedar but still with a cinnamon and spicy peppery undertone.

 


The draw is fantastic and the ash is white and firm. The smoke is quite thick, quite voluminous but a little gray instead of white. The burn needed a little touch up. This cigar is medium bodied and full flavored. The evolution is subtle yet clearly noticeable. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

 


Would I buy this cigar again? When I get back to Miami I’ll buy a box.

Score: 93
number93

Belicoso


This 4 1/2×54 vitola is one of the ‘when available’ vitolas of the series and I guess I was lucky to be able to get one. I like the size, the cigar looks so cute, short and chubby. The ring is exactly the same as the toro, and the wrapper has the same color and tooth, but it feels a little oilier, a little sticky even. There are not waterspots on this cigar. The construction is flawless again, it feels evenly packed, the shape is gorgeous, it’s quality work. The aroma is almost the same as the toro, but a little more manure and a little less floral.


I cut the cigar, the draw is phenomenal. I taste a little bit of a floral flavor with some spice.  After lighting I taste earthy yet spicy flavors. Soon I taste a salty, spicy flavor with wood and licorice. Halfway I also taste a bit of floral sweetness with the other flavors, and a slightly growing pepper. The final third is very peppery and spicy.


The draw is perfect. The light gray ash is dense and firm. The burn is a bit off, but just a little bit. The smoke is white, reasonably thick and medium in volume. The cigar is medium full bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? Next time I’m in Miami.

Score: 91
number91


 

Categories: 91, 93, American cigars, El Titan de Bronze, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze | Tags: , , , ,

Cigar of the month July

July was a month of 21 published reviews, here’s the list from best to worst, with a surprising winner

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Gurkha Havana Blend Toro with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Gurkha Havana Blend Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Don Pepin Garcia series JJ Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Espinosa Maduro Corona Gorda (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco OR Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) El Centurion Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Bucanero Z Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
7) Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro Toro (Dominican Republic) 91 points
9) Wilson Adams Mr. Wilson Lancero (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Mbombay Vintage Reserve Salomon (Costa Rica) 91 points
11) Bucanero Z Churchill (Nicaragua) 91 points
12) El Criolito Half Corona (Dominican Republic) 91 points
13) Don Pepin Garcia Blue Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
14) La Antiguedad Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
15) Punch LE 2013 (Cuba) 90 points
16) Alec Bradley Tempus Naturel Robusto (Honduras) 90 points
17) Don Payo El Baron Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
18) E.P. Carrillo Encore Robusto (Dominican Republic) 89 points
19) Royal Danish Havana Blend Robusto (Nicaragua) 88 points
20) Vegas de Santiago Gran Reserva Gordo (Costa Rica) 84 points
21) Navarre Petit Robusto (France) 82 points

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Espinosa Maduro Corona Gorda

Erik Espinosa doesn’t come from a long line of cigar makers, in fact, he started his career as a UPS driver bringing deliveries to cigar shops, thats when he got introduced to cigars. That led to working in a cigar shop, which led to owning a brand with Eddie Ortega and when they decide to part ways he started his own factory, La Zona, in Esteli. A factory that is now quite renowned and makes a few high rated, well received blends, not just for his own company but also for others like Moya Ruiz, Cornelius & Anthony and La Sirena. And I’ve had the pleasure to sit on the deck of the factory with cuban style coffee and a nice Hector Alfonso blended cigar, I wouldn’t mind doing that every day. Oh and Happy Birthday Hector!!


The Espinosa Maduro is one of the lines that Espinosa makes for his own cigar company, the name is a clear sign of that, but he also produces 601, Murcielago and the award winning Laranja for Espinosa Cigars. The line consists of four vitolas, three of them are box pressed (the robusto, toro & belicoso) while the 5 5/8 x46 Corona Gorda is round and has a pig tail. I’m smoking that particular cigar for a review today.


The Mexican maduro wrapper is very dark and leathery with a few veins, it’s not the best looking wrapper but for some reason I like it, the color and the texture just match up perfectly. The rings are gorgeous, beige with golden outlines, a red dot with the Espinosa logo and a light blue banner with the Espinosa name in red letters, and a smaller banner saying ‘hecho en la zona’ and then a deep blue detail. The foot ring brings back the deep blue with a golden edging and the same letters as the Espinosa name but now saying Maduro. The cigar looks a little crooked but the construction feels great and the triple cap with pig tail is placed perfectly. The aroma is quite strong and reminds me of cocoa, I live in an area with several cocoa factories so I know that smell all too well. I also smell a bit barnyard too.


I cut the cigar with my xikar guillotine. The cold draw is fine, I taste raisin and dark, creamy chocolate with some pepper. After lichting the cigar I taste coffee and dark chocolate with a hint of white pepper. After half an inch I taste dry grass with cedar and pepper. After an inch I taste oak with some rucola. The second third starts peppery with some fresh wood on the background. Halfway I also taste a little lime. Right before the final third I get a mild cocoa with a little mint and a strong yet balanced pepper. The final third starts meaty with some pepper. I taste some sweetness and it’s perfectly balanced with some acidity and pepper. Slowly some dark chocolate and cocoa shows up with some white pepper.


The draw is perfect, just the right amount of resistance. The smoke is thick and white. The ash is white too and very dense. The burn is straight and slow. This cigar is full flavored, medium to full bodied. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I hope they get introduced to the Dutch market soon.

Score: 93

Categories: 93, Espinosa, La Zona, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Toro

As part of the My Father Toro Selection I’m smoking the Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Toro and I timed the review on this date, July 22nd for the exact same reason as last year. I’m doing it for Jerry Cruz, on the birthday of his son, JJ, that would have been 11 today if he didn’t tragically pass away from sudden infant death syndrome after just three and a half months old.


The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro, made with Nicaraguan filler and a Criollo binder and wrapper from Corojo tobaccos. The cigar was blended by Jose ‘Don Pepin’ Garcia and his son Jaime together and that’s where the JJ comes from. This was actually the first blend that was released under the Don Pepin name. In 2011 My Father actually released a limited edition of this blend in a Short Robusto size in honor of Jerry’s son who he nicknamed ‘Little Robusto” and the proceeds went to charity, 300 boxes were made and even though I wish I could do a review on that specific cigar I don’t think I’ll be able to get my hands on it.


The wrapper is latte colored and a little wrinkled, with a vein on the front bottom half. The rings are nice, white with white gold lettering, on the side it shows details of America, Cuba and Nicaragua and the secondary ring is in the same style, saying series JJ. The construction feels good with a nice triple cap. The foot of the cigar is protected with a little piece of cloth. The aroma is strong, a little acidic stable aroma, animals, hay and cow urine.


The cold draw after the cut is great and it’s flavorful, pepper, sweetness, a little lime and raisins. After lighting I taste a tangy blackberry flavor. After a few puffs I also taste a little cinnamon. After half a centimeter I taste the cinnamon and blackberry, dry and subtle. I remember this cigar to be much bolder, but a few years of rest mellowed the cigar out and I like it. After an inch I taste wood, a little spice and still that blackberry. Slowly I taste a subtle pepper too. Near the end the blackberry flavor returns with a lot of pepper.


The draw is great. The smoke is medium thick and full. The light gray ash is a bit coarse. The burn is good. The cigar is subtle, smooth and flavorful. Medium bodied and flavored.  The smoke time is close to two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I’m getting a box just to age them.

Score: 93
number93

Categories: 93, Don Pepin Garcia, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Gurkha East India Classic Havana Blend Toro

This is another gift from Juan Lopez, sales director at Gurkha cigars, at the intertabac trade show and I had to google some information for this review. I don’t read other reviews before writing mine, but I do read technical information like blend and factory. I couldn’t find what factory this cigar is made at but I do know that it’s made in Nicaragua with a blend that contains Nicaraguan tobacco and a Mexican San Andres wrapper.

 


The cigar is box pressed, some people like that, others hate it, I don’t care as long as it’s a good cigar. The pro of a box pressed cigar is that it doesn’t roll off the table or ashtray when you have to put it down. Box pressing the cigar also means a little less tobacco is used making the material costs a little cheaper but it takes more time to press the cigars making the production costs a little higher so costs wise it doesn’t make a difference for the manufacturer.

 


Anyhow, back to the cigar. The wrapper on this 6×54 cigar is dark, very dark and it’s beautiful, flawless. Too bad the top is a little wrinkled and the triple cap is placed a bit sloppy. The ring is gorgeous, off white with black writings and the Gurkha name in gold, the Havana blend in white with a gold background, clean, simple, stylish and well printed. The aroma is medium strong and ‘dry’ like in dried grasses, quite pleasant. Halfway some toasted bread joins the flavors.

 


I used my Xikar to cut the cigar. The cold draw, with a mild acidic woody flavor, is great. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and immediately I taste a beautiful, well balanced, mix of chocolate, coffee, sweetness, nutmeg, cinnamon and oak. After an inch the nutmeg and cinnamon remain with a bit of pepper, still well balanced. The pepper grows in strength and a dry chocolate joins the cinnamon. Just before the final third a fresh minty flavor shows up in the aftertaste and the pepper mellows out. Near the end the pepper is back full strength, ground black pepper.

 


The draw is great. The light colored ash is dense, firm and pretty. The smoke is thick and white. The cigar starts out medium bodied but grows to full bodied but the balance remains perfect. The flavors are full and clean. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Now I’ve had plenty of Gurkha Cigars that I didn’t like but this one hit the spot. Great cigar!

Score: 93
number93

 

Categories: 93, Gurkha, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Don Payo El Baron Toro

This is a gem that I found in my humidor, and it’s at least 8 years old. Don Payo El Baron Toro, a 6×50 Nicaraguan puro that was made by Guillen Cigars aka GDW Cigars, the guys that made Reserva Miraflor, Goviada and the Don Fernando cigars of which you find some reviews on my blog. And after 8 years it’s back, only at a website called untoldleaf.com though


When I grabbed this cigar from my humidor it reminded me of the Reserve Miraflor and Goviado because of the ring, but I wasn’t sure so I went to google and found an old inventory list of my humidor from 2010 where I posted that it was a cigars from GWD/Guillen so that confirmed my suspicion. And since I like the Reserve Miraflor, Goviado and Don Fernando cigars I might be in for a pleasant surprise.


The mocha colored wrapper is wrinkled like the skin of an 80 year old sailor, but it doesn’t have big veins and is quite oily and evenly colored. The ring is simple, black glossy paps, a golden picture of a woman in what seems to be a religious setting and the text Don Payo El Baron and handmade in Nicaragua on the back. Not the best quality print, but then again, what can you expect from a small factory that didn’t have any real sales back then. The construction is flawless, a well rolled, well shaped cigar with a strong aroma of wet straw and pepper.


I cut the cigar with my xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is great, I taste raisin and pepper. After lighting I taste coffee with some lemon. After half an inch I taste spices and sugar. The sweetness turns into maple syrup with some herbs and cedar, smooth and well balanced. Halfway the cigar is still nicely sweet with cedar and now also with some pepper. The sweetness slowly fades away. The cigar is very smooth. At the end I taste a nice dose of pepper.


The draw is marvelous. The smoke is plentiful but could be a bit thicker.  The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The burn is straight, this is a well made cigar. The cigar is smooth after 8 years of aging, well balanced, medium bodied and flavored. The smoke time is close to two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish.

Score: 93
number93

Categories: 93, Don Payo, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Reserva Miraflor Corona

Reserva Miraflor, I wrote reviews about the old batch, aged or even vintage Nicaraguan cigars, about 8 years old. But they are back, made by the same Nicaraguan blender, Raphael Guillen, and again, in cooperation with Andrew Wood, who’s a tobacco broker nowadays and just started his new webshop where brands from small, independent cigar manufacturers will be sold. And with the code ‘CIGARGUIDE’ you will get 30% off on www.untoldleaf.com


The cigar, 5 1/2×42 in size, is made with a wapper from Ecuador, a Habano variety. The binder comes from Indonesia while the filler is all Nicaraguan. I have smoked a lot of Reserva Miraflor in the past, but I don’t think I ever smoked this particular vitola, I did smoke a lot of the robusto and toro though.


The wrapper is dark, almost maduro, with a dark reddish glow. It has a leathery feel to it, probably because it is a sun grown wrapper. The ring is simple, gold on black, glossy. The cigar looks well constructed, the shape and triple cap are perfect and the cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is strong, barnyard with hay and cows.


I cut the cigar with a guillotine cutter. The cold draw is good, quite peppery in taste. After lighting I taste toast with a hint of cocoa. The flavor changes to spices, herbs but still with that bitter sweetness of cocoa. The cigar is spicy yet balanced, no harshness, it’s a smooth spice bomb. In the final third I also taste a little vanilla. 


The draw is perfect and so is the thick, white smoke which fills the room. The ash is dark though and not to firm. The cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored. There isn’t a lot of evolution but in this cigar I don’t mind, since I like the flavors so much. The burn is straight. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes.

Score: 93
number93

Categories: 93, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars, Reserva Miraflor | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Goviado Lancero

Goviado was the second blend that Andrew Wood and Rafael Guillen released when they were running GDW Cigars, after their first success with Reserva Miraflor. Now you may think “success, never heard of it?” but we are talking pre-social media era and on Cigar Asylum these cigars were very populair and sold pretty good. And so did the Goviado.

 


I reviewed several Goviado vitolas in the past, but never this 6 3/4×40 lancero, and I wonder why. I mean, I love the blend and I love the vitola, so this blend in this vitola should have been on my radar way longer. Or it could be that this vitola wasn’t being made back then, only now that it resurfaced for the website untold leaf. When I speak Andrew I should ask him.

 


The wrapper is stunning, a deep chocolate brown, smooth wrapper. The black and gold ring has a nice design but the whole printing could have just be done a little better to make it look a tad more professional. The cigar itself though, it not only looks amazing but the construction feels good too, the right amount of resistance when I gently squeeze it, the shape, the head, it’s perfect. The cigar has a strong aroma, a little hay, a little manure, a little ammonia, a little dirt, a little wood all combined in one bold aroma.

 


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is a little tight. I taste a peppery raisin. After lighting I taste leather and pepper. The flavors are full, strong, bold. After a centimeter I taste a little bit of sugar too. After a third I taste wood with a little nutmeg. Halfway the cigar is smooth, wood with a little pepper. The flavor slowly progresses into a mild marzipan with a little salt. The flavors are perfectly balanced.

 


The draw is great, and the smoke is full, white and thick. The ash is a little coarse, light gray. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I hope they are still available after I moved to my new home country, I’ll get a box with my 30% CIGARGUIDE coupon.

Score: 93
number93

 

Categories: 93, Goviado, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Cigar of the month April

In April I published 16 reviews and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Guayacan Corona Gorda with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Guayacan Corona Gorda(Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Xiphos NR Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Espinosa Habano Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Reserva Miraflor Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Alec Bradley Pryme Torpedo (Honduras) 92 points
6) Kristoff San Andres Robusto (Dominican Republic) 92 points
7) Alec Bradley Nica Puro Churchill (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) A.J. Fernandez New World Puro Especial Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
9) Perla Del Mar Maduro Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Toro (Costa Rica) 90 points
11) Casa Pineda Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
12) Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Corona (Costa Rica) 90 points
13) Cohiba Lancero (Cuba) 89 points
14) Cavalier de Geneve Toro (Honduras) 88 points
15) Gurkha Reserva Edición Especial Koi (Dominican Republic) 87 points
16) Kings Cigars King of Kings Habano Cuadrado (Nicaragua) 84 points

 

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog at WordPress.com.