Posts Tagged With: belicoso

HR Signature Belicoso

HR Signature Belicoso. The Robaina name is legendary in the cigar industry. And all because of one man, Alejandro Robaina. The only person who ever had a brand named in his honor by Habanos, the marketing and distributing arm of the Cuban cigar industry. That’s how famous and well-respected he was. Now, he was not a cigar roller, he was a tobacco farmer. But he made the best tobacco in Cuba, and not just occasionally, but year after year, decade after decade. And his grandson Hiroshi Robaina is keeping the family tradition alive.


But Hiroshi took it a step further. He is also growing tobacco outside of Cuba. And in 2014, he created his own brand. Made in Esteli, with Nicaraguan and Ecuadorian tobaccos. The HR brand took off, then went silent for a bit but is now back full force with a new team and a new company name: La Familia Robaina. This HR Signature Belicoso is made with Nicaraguan filler and binder. The wrapper comes from Ecuador, and it’s a sun-grown Habano.


The cigar has a nice Colorado to Colorado Maduro colored wrapper. The closed foot makes the cigar look even better. The ring is a carbon copy of the Cuban Vegas Robaina ring, brown and gold. But this time it says HR instead or VR. The wrapper feels old looks leathery. The construction seems good. The cigar has the aroma of wood and hay.


The cold draw is good, with a leathery, spicy raw tobacco flavor. After lighting the cigar gives plenty of pepper, spice, and grass. The flavors then turn a little burned. Then it turns to wood, soil, and pepper with a hint of chocolate. The cigar gets more power, more pepper, and some sweetness. And then, in the final part of the first third, it’s sweet coffee. The second third starts with an amazing combination of coffee, leather, sweetness, spices, and pepper. In the final third, the cigar gets more wood and leather. All with a nice dose of Nicaraguan pepper.


The draw is good. The burn is great and the cigar produces the right amount of smoke. This cigar is full-flavored and full-bodied. The ash is white and dense. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Most definitely

number92

Categories: 92, HR, La Corona, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Dalay Affentanz Affezibel Belicoso

Dalay Affentanz Affezibel Belicoso. Dalay Zigarren is a German cigar shop. It’s located in Saarbrucken. It’s a La Casa del Habano but also a cigar shop with non-Cuban cigars. And they have their own distribution plus lines of cigars. In 2017, two limited edition cigars in the Dalay range showed up. The Dalay Affentanz Affezibel and the Dalay Affentanz Hell. Made in the Dominican Republic, blended by Michael Grossklos Jr. That’s the shade version of the Affentanz. This is the review of the broadleaf Affentanz.

The cigars are made at Tabacalera Zauberberg. The later Dalay limited edition release was also made at that factory. The blend leans on Dominican tobacco for filler and binder. With some Brazilian in the filler as well. The wrapper is American grown Connecticut Broadleaf. And it’s oily, as the cellophane already started to color. Even though the cigars are less than two years old.

The cigar looks great. A rustic looking wrapper yet velvet to the touch. There are a few veins, but it fits the darkness of the leaf. Affentanz means monkey dance in German, and the white ring has an image of banana peels. And a monkey face on the back. The secondary ring says limited edition in German, 2017 and Sauberberg. The cigar feels well constructed. And the aroma is strong, very strong. Dirt, manure, and mud are what comes to mind.

The cold draw is great. The cigar gives a raw tobacco flavor with pepper and sweetness. Once lit, it’s all about spicy coffee. A few puffs later, the leather shows up too. The mouthfeel is quite dry at this stage. There’s also a nice sugar sweetness. The flavors then bounce from grass to leather, spice, sweet, and pepper. All balanced, all smooth but with a pleasant bite. It has character. After a third, it’s dry wood with chocolate. Still with a dry mouthfeel. The flavors remain in the same spectrum, but with a lot of dynamics. Sometimes leather is leading, other times it is a tobacco flavor. Then wood. All with a nice balance. There’s a mild pepper on the background. And the flavors are all nicely toasted. Including the strong chocolate flavor that shows up every now and then. The mouthfeel changes to creamy. In the final third, the pepper picks up a lot.

The draw is great. The burn is razor sharp. The ash is white and has the shape of a stack of dimes. The smoke is good, a nice thick, voluminous white smoke. The cigar is medium bodied, medium-full flavored. The flavors are balanced, rounded and smooth. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box
number92

Categories: 92, Dalay, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Zauberberg | Tags: , , , ,

Dalay Affentanz Hell

The German retailer Dalay is owned and operated by real cigar aficionados. And ones that have the guts to take bold decisions. One of those decisions was to create its own cigar brand. The brand carries the same name as the shop, Dalay. It is sold all over Germany. And in 2017, two limited editions were released under the name ‘affentanz’. That’s German for monkey dance. Another bold decision to use that name. In the current political climate, some might consider that racist.

The Dalay Affentanz Hell is the Connecticut Shade version of the Affentanz. There is only one size available, a 5×52 belicoso with a very sharp head. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Brazil. The binder is Dominican. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade. The cigars have a price tag of €9,50.

The wrapper is light, it has that yellow-brown color of Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade which I find unappealing. The construction feels good, but the cigar looks a bit off with the steep point. The rings are cool, with a funny peeled banana logo and a monkey on the back. The woody aroma is strong.

The cold draw is great. I taste spicy licorice and pepper, but with that faint Connecticut Shade mustiness which I hate. The first puffs are harsh, strong. I taste coffee, leather, and earthiness. The leather is the most pronounced flavor. There is also a little grass, plus some sweetness from Brazilian tobacco. The flavors evolve to more wood with leather. But there is some sweetness and even a creamy chocolate flavor. All slightly harsh though, the flavors aren’t rounded. After a third, the flavors get more refined. I taste leather, chocolate, nuts, grass, and sweetness. In the final third, the dreaded Connecticut Shade flavor shows up, but it is faint. The flavors remain the same until the end, except for growing pepper.


The draw is great. As is the smoke. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The salt and pepper colored ash is firm. The smoke time is one hour and thirty minutes

.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s still a Connecticut Shade cigar, but not a bad one

number90

Categories: 90, Dalay, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Zauberberg | Tags: , , , , ,

Cigar of the month January

Since the end of the year is an expensive month for most of us, I decided to smoke and review some budget cigars for the month of January. I wish I hadn’t though, even though some budget cigars preformed really well, and others had a good price-quality ratio, I rather pay a few dollars extra and have an almost guaranteed cigar enjoyment.

As for this month, the cigar with the highest rating is:
Diesel Unholy Cocktail with a 95 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Diesel Unholy Cocktail Belicoso (Nicaragua) 95 points
2) Calixto Lopez Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
3) Nica Libre Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
4) Blue Ribbon Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
5) Joya Black Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
6) Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Corona (Honduras) 89 points
7) Flor de Oliva Lancero (Nicaragua) 88 points
8) Benchmade Toro (Nicaragua) 87 points
9) Schizo Maduro Robusto (Honduras) 87 points
10) Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Habano (Honduras) 87 points
11) Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba Natural (Honduras) 86 points
12) Cuba Libre Epicure (Honduras) 85 points
13) Schizo Robusto (Nicaragua) 85 points
14) Miami Mafia Torpedo (Nicaragua) 85 points
15) Chincalero Fuerte Picadillos (Nicaragua) 84 points
16) Non Plus Ultra Maduro Toro (Honduras) 84 points
17) Berger & Argenti Mooch Maduro Corona (Nicaragua) 84 points
18) Reposado Maduro Toro (Nicaragua) 84 points
19) Oro de Esteli Robusto (Nicaragua) 83 points
20) Jose L Piedro Cazadores (Cuba) 83 points
21) Nestor Reserva Maduro Torpedo (Honduras) 82 points
22) La Flor de Rosa Churchill (Nicaragua) 82 points
23) Don Tomas Clasico Robusto (Honduras) 80 points
24) Reposado Habano Toro (Nicaragua) 79 points
25) La Rica Churchill (Nicaragua) 78 points
26) Cucaracha Nub (Nicaragua) 77 points
27) JR Edicion Limitada Robusto (undisclosed) 77 points
28) Oro de Esteli Robusto (Nicaragua) 77 points
29) Quorum Toro (Nicaragua) 73 points

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Diesel Unholy Cocktail

Before I got my job in the cigar industry, a job I’m no longer working in, I used to participate in ordering cigars from the USA even though that is legally not allowed in The Netherlands. It is allowed to bring in 50 cigars in person, but internet orders are prohibited. Yet I did it because of the huge difference in availability of cigars and the prices back then with a low dollar and a strong euro. And one of the cigars I bought often because I loved them for flavor and price was the Diesel Unholy Cocktail, made by A.J. Fernandez for Meier & Dutch, a wholesaler connected to cigarsinternational.com. But as soon as I landed my job I had to stop of course and hated that I could not buy these great cigars again.


After two years of nagging I finally got my employer so far that he said “ok, see if you can get in touch with them” and so happened, after a few mails and me accidentally running into my contact when I was visiting Esteli, Nicaragua, we agreed that we would distribute their cigars in The Netherlands. I made a selection from their exclusive cigars and of course I included the Diesel Unholy Cocktail and they were an instant hit in The Netherlands too, becoming a big part of our turnover. I just realized that I only have a few of these 5×56 belicosos left so I should do a review.


The cigar comes wrapped in cellophane and once I take the cigar out of that protective layer I see a dark  and rustic wrapper, very toothy and it feels a bit like sandpaper but the look fit the name and the flavor profile. The cigar only has a small foot ring, brown with a darker brown medieval font written Diesel and a smaller written diesel in a beige color. Simple but again, it fits the cigar. The construction feels great and the belicoso has a sharp head. The aroma is quite strong, I smell manure, a little ammonia and hay.


Since it’s a belicoso I have to cut the cigar and I do so with my Xikar cutter. The cold draw is perfect. I taste a spicy, peppery raisin flavor. Once I light the cigar I taste cocoa powder, dry cedar and coffee beans. Soon I taste pepper, a faint cocoa powder and a strong earthy flavor. After little over half an inch I also taste some nuts. After a third the main flavor is earthy with spices, peanuts, a little lemon and pepper. Every few puffs I taste some cocoa powder too. Halfway the cigar has a dark chocolate sweetness and bitterness with nutmeg, wood and pepper. The pepper is getting stronger just like the wood.


The draw is fantastic just as the smoke, which is thick and full. The ash is white, dense and firm. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is so full flavored and bold that it tastes like it’s a very full bodied cigar but truth is, it’s medium full. There is a lot of evolution. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Hell yeah!

Score: 95
number95

Categories: 95, Diesel, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , ,

La Aurora 100 Años Belicoso

La Aurora is the oldest cigar factory, founded in 1903 and they wanted to celebrate their century long existence with a limited edition cigar, the cien años, of the 100 años for the non Spanish speaking cigar enthousiasts. The cigar wasn’t released till 2004 though due to delays at the factory and the right wrapper not being available, well, not in the quality the blenders wanted. The cigar was made with tobacco from 1996, all Dominican.


The demand was so high that in 2012 La Aurora did a small re-release of the blend, with a 4 year old Dominican Corojo wrapper. And with small I mean 20.000 cigars of the Belicoso, 20.000 Robustos and 20.000 Churchill sized cigars. The cigar that I’ll be reviewing probably comes from the second release, the 2012 release and I got it as a gift from a friend at my favorite cigar forum Cigar Asylum.


The 6 1/4×52 Belicoso has a silky Dominican Corojo wrapper that is oily but also rough looking with a few major veins that haven’t been flattened before being used, too bad as that would made the cigar much better looking. The construction feels good yet the cap isn’t applied very neatly. The ring is beautiful, beautiful beige and brown colors with a detailed drawing of a lion and the factory name and line name in a modest font and color. Underneath is a second ring with a production number, much like Padron does with their 1928, 1964 and Family Reserve lines. I’m smoking #166571, but unfortunately there is no website where you can check the numbers for the batch #, the roller etc, that would be extremely cool. The aroma is still strong, dry hay, barnyard, stable and a little bit of ammonia like acidity.


I cut the cigar, as usual with my Xikar XI2 cutter. The cold draw is fantastic and leaves a spicy cedar flavor with some pepper on my lips.  After lighting I taste a smooth coffee and nutmeg flavor, very tasty. After a few puffs I taste coffee with spicy green herbs. After half an inch the coffee disappears and the cigar bites a little on my tongue. After an inch o taste leather with pepper, strong bold flavors. After a third I taste carrots with pepper, it’s a flavor I taste every now and then in a cigar but it’s rare. I also taste a very faint chocolate. The final third starts with the carrots and an earthy flavor with pepper on the background and aftertaste. That’s also the flavor combination till I lay the cigar till rest.


The draw is fantastic and the smoke is great, it’s thick, white and a good volume. The light colored ash is beautiful and firm. I had to touch up the burn a few times. There is a lot of evolution. The cigar is medium bodied but full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Impossible I guess, unless there is another release. And I would get a fiver then.

Score: 90

number90

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, La Aurora, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , ,

Onyx Mini Belicoso

I know I smoked this cigar years ago, after I got bombed with these by a friend from Cigar Asylum, but I don’t really know anything about this cigar so I google. I found that this is a Dominican made cigar with tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Peru with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and that you can find this 5×52 mini belicoso for about 5 dollars a stick if you buy a box at the big online retailers. After doing a search on my own blog I found this review from 2009, and this cigar came from the same bomb so it is well aged.


Now my experiences with Peruvian cigars isn’t that positive so I hope that the Peruvian part of the filler isn’t very dominant. I guess it won’t be as most flavor comes from the wrapper anyway and Connecticut Broadleaf ranks very high in my list of favorite wrappers. The binder comes from Nicaragua. The name is a bit confusing as most belicoso that I know are about 5 inch long, torpedos are usually longer so I don’t get the ‘mini’ part of the name. I also have no clue on who makes these cigars.


When I get the cigar out of the cellophane I notice the box pressed shape and the dark oily wrapper with hardly any veins. The construction feels good and the cap is secure and neat. The aroma is quite strong and barnyard with manure all the way. The ring is simple yet beautiful, a vertical oval with a golden edge, black line and then a white base. Inside there is a smaller oval in black with golden outlines and golden letters Onyx in a vertical way. The white with black and gold theme is continued on the side where it says ‘handmade’ and ‘reserve’. The print quality is great.


I cut the cigar with my xikar butterfly cutter and the cold draw is fine. I read some bad stories about the draw but it looks like I’m lucky. I taste some wood and pepper. I lit the cigar with my Ronson soft flame. I taste earthy flavors, coffee beans and chocolate. After a few puffs I taste cinnamon with chocolate which changes to cedar with some lemon and pepper after half an inch. Halfway I taste cedar with pepper and a little bit of chocolate. The final third is cedar with nutmeg, cinnamon, a little pepper, some lime and chocolate.


The draw is great, just the right amount of resistance. The smoke is a little thin though. The ash is white, dense and firm. The burn is razor sharp. The cigar is smooth, medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen pleasant minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wouldn’t mind a box.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Dominican cigars, Onyx | Tags: , ,

Cigar of the month August

August was a month of 12 published reviews, including one with the name I used as a nickname on forums like Club Stogie and Cigar Asylum when forums were still the place to be.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

La Preferida 452 with a 95 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) La Preferida 452 (Nicaragua) 95 points
2) Ave Maria Argentum (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Guayacan Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Leon Jimenes Don Fernando (Dominican Republic) 92 points
5) Xiphos Habano Robusto (Costa Rica) 92 points
6) Undercrown Sun Grown Belicoso (Nicaragua) 91 points
7) E.L.V.I.S. Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserva Maduro Churchill (USA) 91 points
9) Casa Magna Domus Magnus Tiberus (Nicaragua) 90 points
10) Winston Churchill by Davidoff The Artist (Dominican Republic) 90 points
11) Ahuriba Light Corona (Aruba) 90 points
12) Swag Lancero (Dominican Republic) 88 points

 

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

Undercrown Sun Grown Belicoso

As I wrote in my review of the Undercrown Sungrown Flying Pig, this cigar was given to me by the man himself, Willy Herrera, at the intertabac trade show last year. I met Willy years ago, when he just started working for Drew Estate and have met him several times since mostly at the factory of his inlaws and the place where he got his claim to fame: El Titan de Bronze, a must see if you’re ever in Miami.


I have been to the Drew Estate HQ in Miami a few times, I have been to the factory in Esteli a few times and I can only say that I have mad respect for the company that Jonathan Drew built, starting from a push cart at the World Trade Center to one of the biggest and most modern factories in the world, from just cigar sales to being a major manufacturer and then rebranding yourself from a infused cigar manufacturer to a well respected and loved brand by serious cigar smokers, all the while being different then others with incorporating art, the style, the culture and of course the immense social media coverage. Kudos.


As the cigar, its a 6×52 Belicoso. The Ecuadorian Sumatra sun grown wrapper has a little tooth and a little oil. Maybe because the wrapper is bigger than on the Flying Pig, but it looks a little rougher and less smooth. The ring is the same, the classic Undercrown logo in gold on a red background and the foot ring is in the same color scheme. The construction feels good with a nice round head on the belicoso. The aroma is barnyard with manure, medium to full in strength.


Due to the shape cutting the cigar is my only option. The cold draw is great, with quite some pepper on my lips. After lighting I taste coffee. I also taste a little citrus and wood. After a quarter of an inch I taste more cinnamon and lemon, the coffee is gone. Some pepper shows up too. After a third it’s wood, pepper and some lime. Halfway I taste a mild peanut with lime and pepper. The final third is wood with pepper and a mild floral flavor.


The draw is great and the smoke is typical Drew Estate, thick, white and plentiful. The light gray ash is firm and dense. The burn is straight. The cigar starts medium bodied but turns full bodied, full flavored along the way. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Hell yeah

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , , ,

Cigar of the month May

In may I published 19 reviews and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lonsdale with a 96 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lonsdale (Nicaragua) 96 points
2) Goviado Lancero (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Jas Sum Kral Zlatno Sonce Soloman (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Viaje Platino Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
5) Goviado Torpedo (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull (Dominican Republic) 91 points
7) Eiroa the first 20 years Prensado (Honduras) 91 points
8) Alec Bradley Post Embargo Robusto (Honduras) 91 points
9) Mayimbe Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) La Sirena Merloin Robusto (Dominican Republic) 90 points
11) Aging Room Solera Fantastico (Dominican Republic) 89 points
12) Brick House Connecticut Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
13) C.A.O. Pilon Robusto (Nicaragua) 89 points
14) La Gloria Cuban Duke (Cuba) 87 points
15) Don Ibarra Natural Belicoso (Dominican Republic) 86 points
16) Don Ibarra Natural Robusto (Dominican Republic) 86 points
17) Undercrown Shade Gordito (Nicaragua) 86 points
18) Don Ibarra Natural Gordo(Dominican Republic) 85 points
19) Gurkha 125h anniversary Rothschild (Dominican Republic) 79 points

 

 

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