Posts Tagged With: Andrew Wood

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

E.L.V.I.S. Torpedo

Years ago, and I mean a decade ago, I joined a cigar forum/board called Club Stogie and it was a fountain of knowledge and friendships. But then some investor bought the place and two other boards, fused them together to puff.com and the vibe was gone, it sucked so I was happy that the 11 Club Stogie moderators decided to start their own new boars, Cigar Asylum and I’ve been a member since day one, somewhere in 2008.


Now because of all the friendships made there me and another Dutch member got the idea to do a roadtrip and when we talked about that on the board 2 Florida based botl’s said they wanted to join in. So in the spring of 2009 we flew to Orlando, picked the other guys up and started on an epic road trip all along the east coast, from Key Largo all the way up to Rochester, NY  with a herf every single night, and then we flew to Las Vegas for the final chapter of the trip. Over 30 people flew from all over the US to Vegas to herf with us those days. Andrew Wood from GDW Cigars, who’s also responsible for the Don Fernando cigars, Reserva Miraflor and Goviada, had a special batch and blend made for the Vegas days called ELVIS, which stood for Epic Las Vegas International Smoke. And I have a few of these cigars left.


Now I can’t tell you anything about the cigar except the looks because I don’t know anything about the blend. And it’s been years since I smoked one so I don’t even know what it tasted like anymore. All I can tell you is that the cellophane started to discolor and that the cigar feels like velvet when I take it out of the cello. The cigar has a medium brown color and a few veins. The top of the torpedo is well finished and the construction feels good. The strong is quite strong for an 8 year old cigar and reminds me of hay and horses. Then the ring, well, it was just a small batch, not for retail purposes so the print quality isn’t super high, but hey, most companies, especially the small ones, wouldn’t even put a ring on for the occasion, and the ring is cool. Its a black and white Elvis but the middle part is turned around, I mean, the top and the legs of Elvis are in black on a white background his torso is white on a black background and in golden lettering it says ELVIS 2009 and then in black Las Vegas Cigar Asylum. Pretty cool right, if you were there.


It’s a torpedo so punching is not an option so it’s butterfly cut time. The cold draw is good and I taste some raisin but then I get a strong pepper on my lips. I taste a strong sweet coffee flavor. After a centimeter the sweetness is strong with some pepper and a little bit of coffee and leather. After an inch I taste a mild chocolate flavor with some pepper. Halfway I taste a metallic flavor, some wood and a lot of pepper and still that sugary sweetness. Near the end the pepper gains more strength.


I would like to see the smoke thicker and more in volume. The draw is perfect. The ash is gray, dense and firm. The burn is straight. This cigar is medium bodied, full flavored, well balanced and with a good evolution. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Thats impossible

Score: 91
91

Categories: 91, E.L.V.I.S., Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Don Payo El Baron Toro

A few days ago I smoked and reviewed the Don Payo El Baron Toro and now I’m smoking and reviewing it again. That might look like overkill, but it’s not. The big difference between the cigars is the age, the one that I smoked a few days back was an old one, probably close to ten years old while this cigar is pretty fresh, smoking it a few days apart will really show the difference and what age did to the blend.


Don Payo El Baron is a cigar made by Guillen Cigars and the cigar, just like their other blends, disappeared for a few years but are now back, exclusively for the website Untold Leaf (use ‘CIGARGUIDE’ for 30% off). The batches are still small, just like a decade ago, and the cigar is hard to find, yet under 6 dollar if you use the 30% off code.


The wrapper is not to my liking when it comes to color, a yellowish brown wrapper, with thin veins, quite oily though. The ring could use an overhaul but I do like the fact that Guillen Cigars sticks to the glossy black & gold for all their cigars except for the Don Fernando, which is in the colors of The Netherlands. The cigar feels good, no hard or soft spots, the shape is fine too. The aroma is quite strong, herbal like rocket salad.


After cutting the cigar I taste a mild spicy and grassy flavor with a cold draw that is a little bit tight. After lighting I taste grass with cinnamon and cedar. After a centimeter I taste some cedar with pepper and a mild musty Connecticut Shade flavor. After a third i also taste a honey sweetness. Halfway I taste a bit of marzipan with green herbs and pepper. The final third is cedar with a little pepper again. There is also a mild acidity.


The draw is great. The white ash is medium in thickness and volume. The white with black spots ash is firm. The burn is great. This medium bodied and flavored cigar has a smoke time of an hour and a half approximately, I don’t know exactly since I was forced to take a break, due to the fire brigade evacuating the whole block due to a gasoline smell.

Would I buy this cigar again?  I’m not liking the Connecticut Shade myself, so I won’t, but it you like that wrapper, please order.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Don Payo, Guillen Cigars/GDW, 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
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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: , , , , , , ,

Desconicido Corona

My friend Andrew Wood, who is a cigar broker and helps companies to bring their cigars into the USA and who’s on the forefront of the fight against the FDA, started his career in tobacco with GDW cigars, a small Nicaraguan factory that produces a few cigars including the Reserva Miraflor & the Don Fernando. One of the cigars they made but I had never smoked was this Desconocido. And now they are back, only for sale through www.untoldleaf.com so I finally had the opportunity to try one.


Andrew said that he loved this cigar and that it was likely his favorite, yet I see that it’s made with a Connecticut Shade wrapper and that makes me weary, that’s a wrapper I don’t care much about. The binder is a Nicaraguan Habano and the filler is all Nicaraguan too. The size of the cigar is 5 1/2×42.


The cigar has an oily, yellow brown wrapper, a little more color than most of the Connecticut Shade cigars I have seen. I see thin veins and a bright red ring with black letters in a curly font. The construction feels good, the cigar feels evenly packed with a nice rounded cap. The aroma is relatively strong, it reminds me of fresh cut wet grass.


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is perfect and sweet, marzipan like, with a spicy aftertaste. After lighting I taste a strong full coffee. After a quarter of an inch I taste a sour flavor but also some vanilla. After a third I taste peanuts with a mild mustiness from the Connecticut Shade wrapper. Halfway I still taste peanuts with some pepper and honey. Near the end I also taste some vanilla again.


The draw is great. The smoke is light gray. The ash is medium gray in color. The burn is straight. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s not my cigar but if you’re into mild cigars this is a must try, especially with 30% off if you use the CIGARGUIDE code

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Desconocido, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Goviado Belicoso

Many moons ago, and we are talking 2007/2008 era, I met Andrew Wood online on Club Stogie, which turned into Cigar Asylum and back then he wasn’t a tobacco broker but with two Nicaraguan friends, the Guillen brothers, he ran a little factory GDW Cigars. Back in the day I reviewed the Reserva Miraflor, Casa Pineda, Goviado and Don Fernando, a cigar he made for me as a thank you. The Don Fernando got another review last year and made my top 25. And now the cigars are coming back exclusively for the website untoldleaf.com ! Good news because that means that I can smoke the few remaining old ones that I have.

 


Now as far as I know these cigars are from 2010 or 2011 and made completely from Nicaraguan tobacco. It was rumored that some tobacco was even the same tobacco as used by Padron and that Padron took the Guillen brothers under their wings but I don’t know the details of that, or even if its just a rumor or the truth. All I know is that I liked the cigars back then and I can’t wait to try the new ones.

 


The cigar has a very pointy tip and that probably caused the roller to have a little trouble since the cap is not the best I have ever seen. The ring is black and gold, quite simple, just like the Don Mayo from the same factory and the Reserva Miraflor, although all the logo’s are different on each line. The construction feels good and the coffee brown wrapper looks good, with one thick vein running from the foot till about a third of the cigar. Even after all these years the cigar still packs a strong aroma, a stable like smell without any ammonia.

 


The cold draw is great. After lighting I taste a herbal coffee, smooth but with a little kick. Soon a nice sweetness shows up, like powdered sugar.  After an inch I taste a mild leather with a little spice and the powdered sugar. Halfway I get more pepper from the cigar. The final third starts a bit nutty, with a little pepper and sugar. There’s also a bit of a herbal flavor.

 


The draw is great, fantastic construction. The smoke is good, not super thick or full but more then enough. The white ash is dense and firm. The burn is straight. The smoke time of this smooth medium bodied medium full flavored cigar is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes. And it’s possible again. I will review the fresh ones soon.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Goviado, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Reserva Miraflor Robusto

Reserva Miraflor, oh, I smoked so many of those cigars in the 2009/10/11 era before they were discontinued, after that I smoked them every now and then, not wanting to burn through all of them too quickly but now they are back so I grabbed the last robusto that I had and decided to review it while I send it to a fiery death.

 


This Nicaraguan puro is related to the Don Fernando, Don Payo and Goviado, all of these cigars were made and blended by the Guillen brothers at their GDW factory in Esteli, Nicaragua and the cigars, especially this brand, gained a lot of momentum on Cigar Asylum. They were spice bombs, lets see what age did to these cigars.

 


The ring is simple and not of the best quality, black and gold, but the wrapper looks good, nice and dark, with a few small yet mean looking veins. The construction feels good, evenly packed, with a nice shape. Just like the Goviado this cigar still has quite some aroma after all these years, its a stable aroma with a little of a floral smell too.

 


I used a butterfly cutter to decap the cigar. The cold draw is great, spicy, peppery yet with some marzipan sweetness. After lighting I taste cinnamon, a flavor I love, with a little pepper. After a centimeter the pepper is getting stronger. After a third it mellows out again and near the middle I taste marzipan, pepper, spices and leather. Near the end the cigar is spicy.

 


The draw is amazing, the cigar is smooth and well balanced. The smoke is thick and full. The light colored ash is firm and has nice rings. The burn is great. The cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored. The changes between this aged version and a fresh one are incredible and it proves that it’s not just Cuban cigars change with age. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Hell yes. And it’s possible again, a new batch has been made for a new boutique webshop http://www.untoldleaf.com I will be reviewing the new batch soon.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars, Reserva Miraflor | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Don Fernando Corona

Years ago, while very active on Cigar Asylum, I met Andrew Wood. He just finished high school and teamed up with an exchange student from Nicaragua and his brothers to make cigars in the small factory their family had. At least, that is how I remember the story. That small company, Guillen Diaz Wood aka GDW Cigars and the factory Guillen Cigars made two blends that because very popular very quickly on the board, Reserva Miraflor and Goviado. Popular in a way with a certain crowd that I can only compare to the decidation of the Jas Sum Kral crowd. And maybe, if Facebook would have been as big as it is now, those brands would still be around. But unfortunately they are not and Andrew has moved on to be a tobacco broker in Texas, Tabacos Mundial, and he helps quite some brands to get their goods to the US Market.

Now back in that day I helped Andrew a few times with planning, with the set up of group buys and I also arranged some group buys from The Netherlands, my country of origin, as Reserva Miraflor and Goviado became quite popular here too. And Andy appreciated it, he showed that in a very special way.


In may of 2009 I went on my first trip to the USA, with 3 other guys I did a road trip all along the east coast, we flew to Orlando, drove to Key Largo and from there all the way up to upstate New York. From there we flew to Las Vegas to spend the last few days of our trip. And about 30 other people from Cigar Asylum decided to come to Vegas too, to herf with us, including Andrew, with an amazing gift.

My nickname on Cigar Asylum is Don Fernando and Andy had a special blend made for me and gifted me a box of Don Fernando cigars with the Dutch flag incorporated on the box and on the ring. In total he had 24 boxes made, 6 boxes of Corona, Torpedo, Toro and Robusto, the other boxes were sold on the forum. I still have a few of the cigars left and it seemed appropriate to review the Don Fernando Corona on my birthday.


The wrapper feels silky but has a few veins running over the medium dark and oily wrapper. The construction feels good, and I must add that I had never had a cigar from Guillen Cigars that had any construction issue. The cigar is well capped with a triple cap. The ring is printed on shiny paper and is red white and blue colored, like our flag, with a silhouette of a cigar smoking man wearing a panama hat, as I did in those days. On the side it says Don Fernando and the ring has a double outline in black. The aroma is still quite strong, it reminds me of wood and pepper.


I cut the cigar and the cold draw gives me a perfect amount of resistance. I taste a little raisin flavor, pepper and spices all before lighting. After lighting it, with a soft flame ofcourse, I taste a nice coffee with a little bit of chocolate. I also taste some toast. After a centimeter I taste wood with toast and some sweetness. After a third it’s more of a dark chocolate flavor with a good amount of pepper in the back of my throat. Halfway it’s mostly pepper with a hint of dark chocolate and some metal. After two thirds it’s full on pepper but now with some nuts.


The smoke is thick and plentiful, just how I like it and the draw is perfect. The ash is almost white, dense and firm. The burn is sharp as can be. The evolution is fantastic. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes. This cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish that was possible, I would love to have a few extra boxes.

Score: 94
94

Categories: 94, Don Fernando, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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