Posts Tagged With: Box pressed

Undercrown Dogma 2019 Toro

Undercrown Dogma 2019 Toro. This box-pressed toro was released in 2019 to commemorate the 5th birthday of the collaboration between Drew Estate and the online cigar community Cigar Dojo. In 2014, the two teamed up for the initial release of the Undercrown Dogma, and that collaboration has been repeated several times since. The cigars are expected to be released in The Netherlands soon, as a limited-edition. Although the coronavirus pandemic may cause some delay in the planning.


The cigars are box-pressed. It’s a 6×56 Toro made at Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. The cigars use a Mexican San Andres wrapper. The binder comes from Connecticut. It’s a Habano binder, harvested using the stalk-cut method. That means that the whole plant is cut at the stalk, instead of leaf by leaf. And then hung upside down to dry. For the fillers, Mata Fina from Brazil is used in combination with Nicaraguan tobacco.


The box-pressed cigar has a rustic, rough-looking wrapper. Dark and oily. The rustic look and the darkness make the cigar look very tasty. The rings are impeccable. Dark blue and gold, all printed in high quality. The cigar feels a little soft though. But box-pressed cigars are made with less tobacco than round cigars, so that’s no surprise. The cigar has a strong aroma of hay.


The cold draw is perfect. The flavor is a mixture of raw tobacco and dusty milk chocolate. Very unusual. Once lit, the cigar has a sour coffee and wood flavor. Slowly pepper and sweetness come into play as well. The sourness fades away and is replaced by soft floral notes. There’s even a hint of milk chocolate. The cigar balances out with coffee, sweetness, and wood. But it is a bit rough in the back of the throat. There is also a flavor best described as old leather. The roughness in the back of the throat fades away. The cigar gets more pepper, wood, and leather. But the sweetness hasn’t disappeared either. The second third starts with leather, pepper, and more milk chocolate. American milk chocolate, which is a world apart from European milk chocolate. The cigar moves to a more woody flavor profile, with some acidity soon after. In the last third, the mouthfeel is dry. There is a distinct nut flavor, with leather, wood, and pepper.


The smoke is superb, as is always the case with Drew Estate. Thick, full, and enough to make the fire brigade drop by. The draw is great. The ash is white and firm. And the burn had to be corrected once or twice. The smoke time of this full-bodied, full-flavored cigar is two hours and fifty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, I will stick to the regular Undercrown Maduro

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Categories: 90, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , ,

Asylum 13 Oblongata

Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata, a line introduced at the IPCPR 2017 but only introduced to the international markets in 2019. An interesting concept, where two cigars with an identical blend and size are sold but in a different shape. The Medulla is a round cigar. The Oblongata is box-pressed. And the Medulla Oblongata is the part of the brain that controls involuntary reactions. Breathing, coughing, sneezing, hiccups etcetera. And now the brain has to decide which of the two is the best. The round Medulla or the box-pressed Oblongata.


The blend is identical to the Asylum 13 Corojo. It’s an all Honduran cigar with a Corojo wrapper. The only difference is the priming of the tobacco. The Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata utilizes tobacco from higher priming. By using leaves from the higher of the plant, the flavor profile is different than the original Asylum 13 Corojo. The cigars are rolled in the El Aladino factory in Danli. The factory is owned by Christian Eiroa. Asylum Cigars is a partnership between Eiroa and Tom Lazuka.


Just like the Medulla, the cigar is wrapped in wax paper for ¾ of the cigar. Once removed, the Colorado colored Corojo wrapper is revealed. It does have some veins, but thinner than the ones on the Medulla. The cigar has the right amount of bounce when softly squeezed. And just like the Medulla, the aroma is medium strong. It’s dried wood and stable as well.


The cold draw is a bit tight. And the flavors are pepper, raw tobacco with a minty freshness. The Oblongata starts exactly like the Medulla. Muted, salty, and dusty. With a little bit of nutmeg. The salt remains, some cedar shows up too. But all still muted. There is some leather as well. Slowly the cigar gets more sweetness, more cedar, and some pepper. The cedar is stronger in the retrohale. The second third starts salty, with pepper, green herbs, cedar, and leather. The cigar turns more spicy and salty, with leather, cedar, and earthiness. The flavors remain the same throughout the third part. There seems to be less evolution than in the Medulla.


The draw is better after the cigar is lit. The ash is white and dense. The cigar is smooth, balanced. The burn is beautifully straight. The smoke could be a little thicker though, and bigger in volume. Although it picks up in the last third. This cigar is medium in body and strength. But it’s smooth and balanced throughout the cigar. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe

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Categories: 90, Asylum, El Aladino, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Antigua Esteli Segovia Maduro Toro.

Antigua Esteli Segovia Maduro Toro. The first time we ever saw or heard the brand was on social media. At first, we figured it would be one of those private labels again that try to make a few bucks before disappearing into the swamp. The swamp where many other small private labels have been buried over the years. But the more we looked into Antigua Esteli, the more we were intrigued. And the more we wanted to try one of those cigars. We connected with owner and founder Art Garcia and learned more about the brand. It’s more than just a simple private label. Garcia runs his own crew at the factory, his rollers, blenders and buys the tobacco himself. In September we finally met at the Intertabac trade show and weaseled a few cigars so we could finally smoke them


We scored the Antigua Esteli Segovia Maduro Toro. That’s a 6×56 cigar, made in Nicaragua. The fillers and binder are all Nicaraguan. The tobacco comes from four different regions in Nicaragua. The wrapper comes from the San Andres region in Mexico. The shape is unusual, it’s not fully box-pressed, it’s not round but it’s semi box-pressed.


The cigar looks beautiful. An evenly dark, smooth and oily wrapper. Great shape with a triple cap. The cigar feels well constructed. The ring is detailed, with tobacco fields, the logo. And both the American and Nicaraguan flags in a banner combining the two countries. The secondary ring says Segovias Maduro. The aroma is strong, barnyard, wood, and forest come to mind.


The cold draw is easy, and it leaves a peppery flavor on the lips. A tingling sensation. Add a raw tobacco flavor to it, and that’s what the cold draw tastes like. Once lit, there is a mix of coffee, leather, soil, spices, and pepper. The bitterness of the coffee is a nice contrast with the creaminess of the mouthfeel. Soon it’s more coffee with leather and spices. There’s also a bit of citrus, and the mouthfeel remains creamy. After a third, it’s a toasty coffee flavor with wood, spices, and pepper. Still creamy though. The creaminess makes the flavors feel silky smooth. The final third starts with ice cream without the numbing cold of ice cream. Vanilla sweetness, cream, and roasted coffee beans. Then the coffee returns, with way more pepper than before.


The draw is great, and the burn is straight as an arrow. The ash is white, but a bit brittle. The cigar produces a lot of smoke. The flavors are all smooth, round, and soft. Yet medium to medium-full in flavors, and medium in strength. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will
number91

Categories: 91, Antigua Esteli, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Blanco Above & Beyond Unwilling

Blanco Above & Beyond Unwilling. David Blanco, the CEO of Blanco Cigars, has a background in the military. Just as his father. And that background prompted them to create a cigar for the heroes that sacrificed all. For those that paid the ultimate price. Not just in the armed forces, but also in the civil service. As a former deputy sheriff and Chicago Fire Department paramedic, David Blanco knows first hand about those sacrifices. On top of his civil service, he served close to 30 years in the American Army. Both in active duty, National Guard and Reservist. He served 18 months in the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Enduring Freedom which brought him to Afghanistan. And at the same time, his father was serving in Iraq. Currently, Blanco is still an active jumpmaster for the United States Army Reserve. He joins veterans at World War II memorial jumps over Europe every chance he gets.


The Blanco Above and Beyond cigars honor those heroes. Part of the proceeds of the cigars goes to charities that help families of fallen service members, or survivors of tragedies while serving. And the cigars represent that. When a service member gets killed, the family members get an American flag, neatly folded into a triangle. All for sizes of the Above & Beyond are torpedos so that the head of the cigars can get a triangle-shaped blue ring with white stars. That resembles the American flag that the family members of fallen servicemen and women get. The cigar itself is a rebranded classic from Blanco Cigars, the American Legion cigar. The wrapper comes from Nicaragua. It’s a Rosado Habano wrapper. The binder is Honduran. The fillers come from both Nicaragua and Honduras.


The cigar has a beautiful reddish-brown wrapper. The point of the torpedo is extremely pointy and sharp for a cigar, The black and silver ring has the American flag. The Blanco name is written in the colors of the fire brigade, police and paramedics. Their logos are on the back of the ring as well. There is a text printed as well, probably the pledge of alliance but since we are not American, we don’t know for sure. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong. Wood, horses and a little ammonia comes to mind. After a third, it’s pepper, toast, spices, sweetness but now with wood as well. The mouthfeel is quite dry.


The cold draw is loose. The pre-draw is a little dry, with nutmeg and slightly wet hay. But those flavors are faint. Once lit, there is a bitter grassy flavor with spices and pepper. Not unpleasant, but quite unrefined. Soon, the cigar gets more balanced and the flavors get more rounded. The nutmeg and spices start to shine through. When some sweetness shows up, the bitterness fades away. After half a centimeter, the cigar has a sweet toasted flavor, with cinnamon and pepper. Halfway the cigar has a salty, licorice flavor with toast, spices, and pepper. The cinnamon-like sweetness returns, with wood, salt, licorice, and toast. The licorice flavor remains strong, with spices, wood, and pepper.


The smoke is thick and plentiful. The draw is good. The burn is a little off but doesn’t have to be corrected. The cigar is medium to medium full-bodied. The flavors are medium-full as well, with enough evolution to keep the cigar interesting all the way. The smoke time is two hours fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, once in a while

number90

Categories: 90, Blanco Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , , ,

San Lotano Maduro Robusto

A.J. Fernandez made a name for himself by creating cigars for others. Others like Padilla, Rocky Patel, Gurkha but mostly for Meier & Dutch, the wholesaler who’s affiliated with the biggest online shops through their parent Scandinavian Tobacco Group. And I’m talking about some of my favorite brands like Diesel, Man O War, La Herencia Cubana and more. And with the San Lotano A.J. Fernandez released a line bearing his own name and for his own company, which turned out the start of something beautiful. The name of the cigar comes from a brand dat A.J.’s grandfather started in Cuba.

 

 


The San Lotano came out in three different blends, Connecticut, Habano and Maduro and later there came spinoffs in the shape of San Lotano Oval Habano & Maduro, Requim Connecticut, Habano & Maduro, San Lotano The Bull, San Lotano 54S and limited editions. But this is one of the blends that started it all, a Mexican San Andres wrapper, Honduran binder and filler from Honduras and Nicaragua in a box pressed 5×52 robusto vitola.

 

 


The cigar is dark, with a dry, leathery wrapper. The ring is quite simple, black with a green square and golden letters saying San Lotano, then a yellow banner with A.J.’s name on a red backdrop. A secondary black ring says Maduro. The cigar is well constructed with a beautiful cap. The aroma is strong and reminds me of dark chocolate with pepper. Near the end the cigar is earthy again with lots of pepper.

 

 


The cold draw is a bit loose, with a sweet and sour, spicy flavor. After lighting I taste an earthy, coffee flavor with some pepper. Bold and strong. After half an inch I taste soil with pepper. After a third I taste some dark chocolate, earth and pepper. The final third starts leathery, peppery and with some cocoa.

 

 


The ash is light gray, firm and with nice rings. The draw is great, the smoke is quite thick and full. The burn is decent, not perfect but no touch up needed. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored with a nice evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

My Father Le Bijou 1922 Boxpressed Torpedo

A few years ago My Father released the My Father Le Bijou 1922 series, it was the follow up to the regular My Father line, the line Jaime & Janny Garcia created to honor their father Jose ‘Don Pepin’ Garcia and he in his place honored his father with this Le Bijou 1922 blend. At that time I was working for the Dutch distributer of My Father Cigars and we added this line to our portfolio in several different vitolas, including the Box Pressed Torpedo.


Now for some reason the line didn’t sell, it is a great cigar but I guess time wasn’t right to compete with the Cubans in their price range I think because quality and flavor wise I would pick this Nicaraguan puro with the beautiful Pelo de Oro wrapper over any Cuban cigar any day but the sales numbers changed when Cigar Aficionado picked the Box Pressed Torpedo to be the #1 cigar of the year 2015. Since we stopped carrying the cigar we quickly had to order a few hundred boxes and even with a €13 price tag I wrote a record number just in pre-orders and the week they got in we received another shipment of highly awaited cigars too so it was a madhouse at the office, the boss was in Nicaragua on a business trip and I spend all week helping our warehouse staff to get all shipments out to break the company record with a landslide.


Once I release this 6 1/8 x 52 box pressed cigar from its cellophane packaging I smell a strong barnyard aroma. The construction feels good and the pointy tip of the cigar stands out, it looks more pointy than most torpedos I have seen. The dark wrapper looks leathery because of the tooth, the thin veins and the mild shine, you can see that the sun did its work. The rings are pretty, I like the fact that the bottom ring has a gap on top where the pointy bottom of the upper rings fits in. The bottom ring has a golden background with curly black letters saying Le Bijou 1922 while the bitter top ring has a pink white circle with the golden My Father logo, golden decorations and a pink banner underneath with golden letters. I don’t think these rings are printed by Vrijdag, their gold is a bit more shiny and of a higher quality but the rings are still beautiful.


I cut the cigar with a flat cut since punching is no option with a torpedo. The cold draw is great with a very peppery flavor, the famous Pepin twang from his old days is back. After lighting the cigar with a soft flame I taste coffee and leather with a very tiny bit of chocolate. After a centimeter i taste a meaty charred wood, which is nicer than it sounds with some spice and pepper. Slowly the flavors change to wood with a bit of metal and pepper. After a third the pepper gets stronger with a little wood as a base flavor. Halfway I had to cut the cigar a little more, i had cut it really small and that caused some tar build up. After cutting a little more I taste nuts, lime, wood and pepper, a very Nicaraguan flavor profile. The pepper gets stronger towards the two thirds and become the dominant flavor by far but I also taste a little nuts.


The draw is great. The smoke is reasonable thick and medium plus in amount. The burn is straight. The ash is white, dense and firm. This well balanced full bodied cigar is full flavored with a nice evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I have over half a box left. It’s a great cigar but not my number 1

Score: 91
91

Categories: 91, My Father, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Cigar of the month July

Late 2016 I had the plan to post a review every Wednesday and every Sunday in 2017 with an added review on the 15th of each month as a series of Lancero reviews but I reviewed so many cigars that I had to post more, so for a few cigars I did a ‘full series review in one’, I added a few special dates to commemorate certain people, celebrate birthdays, last month I did a full week of review and this month I posted two extra Oliva Master Blend reviews so that the 1, 2 and 3 were posted in line. So, just like last month, there are more cigars rated this month than I expected to do. And the first 4 cigars all came very close to each other, with just tenths of a points in difference.

The cigar with the highest rate in July is:

Oliva Master Blend 1 Churchill with a 94 score.

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published at Cigarguideblog in July:

1) Oliva Master Blend 1 Churchill (Nicaragua) 94 points
2) Oliva Master Blend 2 Robusto (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Jas Sum Kral Da Cebak A (Nicaragua) 94 points
4) Ilja VII by My Father A (Nicaragua) 94 points
5) Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Sumatra Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Oliva Master Blend 3 Torpedo (Nicaragua) 92 points
7) Illusione ~hl~ Maduro Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
8) Lars Tetens Steampunk Toro (USA) 92 points
9) Don Pepin Garcia series JJ Maduro Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Puros de Hostos Box Pressed Toro (Dominican Republic) 91 points
       Vegas de Santiago D8 Robusto (Costa Rica) 91 points
12) Puros de Hostos Churchill (Dominican Republic) 91 points
13) Romeo y Julieta #2 Tubo (Cuba) 87 points
14) Padilla Artisan Perfecto (Nicaragua) 87 points
15) Te Amo World Selection Series Nicaraguan Blend Robusto (Mexico) 86 points
16) Te Amo World Selection Series Mexican Blend Robusto (Mexico) 85 points
17) Te Amo World Selection Series Honduran Blend Robusto (Mexico) 80 points
18) Te Amo World Selection Series Cuban Blend Robusto (Mexico) 79 points
19) Te Amo World Selection Series Dominican Blend Robusto (Mexico) 76 points

 

 

 


The first 12 cigars all rated 91 or higher, with two cigars with the exact same score on the 10th spot. The complete top 12 I would smoke again with pleasure. Number 14 on the list is one of the best looking cigars I ever smoked though but the top 6 are all limited editions that cannot be bought anymore.

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

Puros de Hostos Churchill & Box Pressed Toro

I’ve not written about the Puros de Hostos Lancero before and thats a surprise. This Dominican boutique brand that I came across while being part of the tasting panel for the Belgian/Dutch cigar magazine El Gusto blew me away. It had such an amazing palate that I brought a cigar to my then employer and even though the price was relatively high we decided to start carrying the cigars, and for a while they sold like hotcakes. For this review I will smoke two cigars, the Churchill and the Box Pressed Toro.

The unique thing about the Puros de Hostos Commendador is that the tobacco is fermented four times, while usually tobacco is fermented twice and Habanos prides themselves for fermenting the Cohiba tobacco three times. Yet Gustavo de Hostos, who’s also a crooner, diplomat and businessman, wanted to ferment to tobacco four times before the cigars were made and so it is done. As a proud Dominican he wanted a Dominican puro, so all tobacco used is Dominican.

Puros de Hostos Comendador Churchill

I just love the look of a Churchill sized cigar, long and du to the length the cigars look thiner then they are. This one measures 7×48. The wrapper is a milk chocolate brown with hardly any vins, it looks thin and fragile but it isn’t. The rings are very busy with a lot of patterns in gold on a black label and the foot ring has the same, a nice golden lettering but the decorations make it information overload. The construction has the right amount of sponginess and a beautifully formed cap. The aroma is very mild and is a mixture of mild chocolate and mint.


Since it’s a Dominican puro I decided to cut the cigar with the xikar cutter from the procigar festival 2014, that came with the gift box. The cold draw is great, a perfect amount of resistance. I taste spicy raw tobacco and a hint of mint. After lighting I taste a mild acidic earthy flavor. Slowly the lime like acid gets a bit stronger, with the earthy flavor and some black pepper. After an inch the lime fades a bit and is replaced with a little bit of honey. After a third I taste a beautiful, well balanced, mixture of citrus, pepper, wood, earthiness with a hint of spices and if I snowed this cigar blind I wouldn’t have guessed it’s Dominican. The flavors grow in strength without losing the smoothness. The pepper turns to white pepper and is predominant. Suddenly the honey returns, with some fresh wood, dill and the white pepper. The final third starts with chocolate with wood, honey and pepper. Then the flavor gets nutty for a bit with a lime and pepper aftertaste. Near the end the cigar turns woody with a nice sweetness.


The draw is just perfect, nothing less. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume but it’s getting thicker and thicker along the way. The light gray ash is beautifully layered and quite firm, but it’s crooked though. The burn is pretty straight. I would call this cigar medium full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is two hours.


Would I buy this cigar again? I want more, the flavor profile is unique.

Score: 91
number91

Puros de Hostos Comendador Box Pressed Toro

Now this cigar didn’t made it to the market in The Netherlands if I remember correctly, but I might be mistaken. Box pressed, some love it, some hate it and I am impartial to it as long as its a good cigar. This Puros de Hostos looks great, intimidating because of the length and ring gauge of 6 1/2×54 and the dark brown colored wrapper with a lot of oil. I see one vein on the left side of the cigar but that doesn’t make the cigar less of a looker. The construction feels good, well packed and most importantly, evenly packed. The ring is the same as the Churchill and the aroma is medium strong, its like standing in a hay stack.


Because of the 54 ring I opted to punch the cigar. The cold draw is a bit loose, I taste black pepper and raisin. After lighting I taste coffee and oak, with a little hint of pepper. After half an inch I taste spicy oak with cinnamon and a little sugar. After a third I taste lemon, oak, spices and a little white pepper. At the end I taste minty chocolate.


The draw is a bit on the loose side. The smoke is great, thick, white and a lot in volume. The ash is light gray and beautifully layered. The burn is pretty straight. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied, yet smooth, complex and has depth. The smoke time is exactly two hours.


Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Del Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Puros de Hostos | Tags: , , , , , ,

Fratello Boxer Box Pressed Torpedo

The first time I ever heard of the Fratello brand was in may 2015 when I was visiting the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Esteli, Nicaragua and I spotted the brand. I didn’t know what it was, so I asked Juan Martinez and he explained that it was a private label for a gentleman named Omar de Frias. Fast forward a year later, due to the new then pending TPD2 regulations the company I worked for bought 2 boxes of everything of all the brands we distributed and Joya de Nicaragua included every possible size of Fratello and Sobremesa too just to be sure and have these cigars registered on the Dutch market. Included were two boxes of Fratello lancero, a size that we don’t get a lot but as a lover of that vitola I snagged both boxes for myself


In september of last year I met Omar at the Joya de Nicaragua booth at Intertabac, we chatted a bit and he said “let me give you my favorite cigar” and handed me this 6 1/2×52 Fratello Boxer box pressed torpedo. A quick look on their website taught me that the cigar is made with filler from Nicaragua and Peru, a Ecuadorean Sumatra binder and a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper. As the name suggests, the cigar is box pressed. The wrapper has a nice medium dark wrapper, to reminds me of a bar of chocolate, with a few veins that rolled in a way you don’t see them on the face of the cigar. The ring is great, not a ‘straight’ ring with a diagonal written text but a true diagonal ring with a vibrant red color, white letters and black lining. The footboard is black with red lining and white letters.


The construction of this cigar feels very good, I can’t feel any plugs or soft spots but then again, I can’t recall ever having a bad rolled Joya de Nicaragua cigar. The aroma isn’t strong and quite spicy, a bit like paprika powder and other kitchen spices, quite unique. I used a flat cut to cut the cigar. The foot band was stuck to the cigar so I damaged the wrapper taking the ring off. The cold draw is great and I taste spicy raisins. I use a soft flame to light the cigar. I taste roasted coffee beans and an earthy flavor.


After a centimeter the coffee disappears and I taste that earthy flavor with a nice dose of refreshing lemon. The lemon tones down a little and I taste a little bit of cocoa with it. The earthy flavor is still the base of it all. After a third the earthy flavor is all I taste. Halfway the coffee returns with a little bit of lemon. Slowly the cigar gets a little spicy with a little parsley and pepper. The lemon gets stronger again. The pepper is slowly taking the overhand. I also taste a faint cocoa again. Near the end I taste pepper and a bit chocolate with a little nuts.


The draw is good even though I cut the cigar very close to the top and therefore not opening up all smoke channels. That does effect the smoke, that could be thicker and more luscious. The ash isn’t very pretty at the start but the color and the structure gets better along the way, it’s relatively firm. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar is medium full bodied and equally flavored. The smoke time is two hours exactly.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked the lancero better.

Score: 89

89

Categories: 89, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Fratello, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

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