Posts Tagged With: Cameroon

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

Leon Jimenes Don Fernando

My nickname on several different cigar forums is Don Fernando, my actual name is Ferdinand so it seemed like a good nickname back then.  And when the opportunity rose to buy a couple of the illusive Leon Jimenes Don Fernando cigars I had to bite, I mean, with that name I just had to have them. It was the personal blend and vitola for Don Fernando León Asensio, someone we all know from La Aurora and who passed away in the spring of 2009.


The size of this corona is 5 5/8×42 and that makes it a #4 if you compare it to Cuban sizes, or you can just say corona. The cigar is made with Dominican tobacco and a Cameroon wrapper, which sets it apart from the regular Leon Jimenes Corona which has a Connecticut Shade wrapper.


The wrapper looks very smooth for a Cameroon wrapper and is clearly darker than Connecticut Shade so it is a Don Fernando for sure. There is only one thin, flattened vein on the back. The ring is the same as all other Leon Jimenes, red with gold but for some reason the print quality looks better than any of the other Leon Jimenes cigars I have seen and smoked. The construction feels great, the cap is good just like the shape of the cigar. The cigar has a mild aroma which smells very floral with lavender and other flowers.


I cut the cigar with my Xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is fine, I taste floral flavors. A classic vitola deserves a classic light so I used a match. I taste coffee with honey sweetness. The classic Cameroon spice and herbs shine in a cigar with this small ring gauge. After a third the cigar gets a little strength, I taste a little nut, herbs and pepper. Halfway the cigar gets very floral but with a little pepper.


The draw is awesome, the smoke is thick but not crazy thick and a good amount of it. The dense ash is white. The burn is flawless. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored but smooth, well balanced. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I can find the real deal, yeah.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Dominican cigars, Leon Jimenes, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , ,

Don Lino Africa Kifaro & Gorilla Knuckle

Nestor Miranda from Miami Cigar & Co and owner of the Don Lino brand, is an avid hunter and one of his hunting trip in Africa gave him the inspiration to create the Don Lino Africa line. It has been a few years since I smoked one, as they are discontinued, but I remember that I used to love this blend of Cameroon, Mexican, Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco.

The Don Lino Africa line didn’t come out with cigars, all African named of course, but also cool accessories like ash trays and humidors with African prints. As of the African names, think of Kifaro, Duma, Tembo, Punda Milia and all those names come from the Massai and are names for the big African animals. As far as I know My Father Cigars produced the cigars for Miami Cigar & Co.

Don Lino Africa Kifaro


This is a 6 1/4×52 torpedo with a dark, oily Nicaraguan Habano wrapper that looks great, the color is dark chocolate and I see a few minor veins. The construction feels great and the tip of the cigar is straight. The ring is beautiful, it has a very African color pattern with zebra stripes on the background, some burgundy, a lot of yellow and a big curly and stylish A on the front and Don Lino Africa on the side on a high quality paper and print. The cigar even has an African smell, or well, as I would expect an African savanna to smell in the morning.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is fine with a toasty, raisin, peppery and minty flavor. After lighting I taste a peppery and sweet minty toast. After half an inch I taste spices, toast, lime and honey. After an inch I taste nutmeg with toast and pepper, all well balanced. Halfway I taste a strong pepper with honey and a little lime. The honey disappears and is replaced with a nice dose of lemon.


The draw is fantastic and the smoke is thick and full. The white ash is dense. The burn is decent but not perfect, it went rogue a little but it corrected itself. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored, well balanced with great evolution. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again? I wish they made a comeback.

Score: 94

 

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Don Lino Africa Gorilla Knuckle


I bought a box of these when the cigars were discontinued and these were the only remaining vitola, usually I wouldn’t buy a cigar with a 58 ring gauge but hey, I wanted some Don Lino Africa while they lasted. The ring is just as pretty as the kifaro as it’s the same ring but the wrapper looks a tiny bit lighter, just a shade though and has more veins. The tip also looks to be more in a curve and the cigar has a dryer aroma, more hay and straw than the Kifaro.


I cut the cigar, punching was no option because of the size. The cold draw is fine, I taste a mild raisin sweetness. After lighting I taste a sweet espresso with cinnamon. The espresso fades away, the cinnamon grows stronger and gets a little harsh edge, but it’s still very enjoyable. After a third I taste sugar and vanilla. In the final third I taste vanilla, cinnamon, wood and a peppery aftertaste, a little harsh but still enjoyable.


The draw is great. The smoke is thick, full, voluminous and white. The burn is a little uneven. The light colored ash is dense and firm. The cigar is medium plus bodied and flavored. The smoke time is fifty minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? Impossible

Score: 89
number89


Categories: 89, 94, Don Lino, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Fuente Crucet Habanero 87

Now this is a cigar I had to google to be honest, because I never heard of the brand and that’s no surprise because their Facebook hasn’t been updated since 2009, they have no website and the latest review on a blog that I can find is from 2008 as well. So I guess this boutique brand disappeared as quickly as it emerged to the market.


From what I read this was a mom & pop cigar factory in Miami where mom was in charge of the blend and their two cigars, the habanera 78 and habanero 87 were inspired by their offspring Desiree and Jeyson, who were born in Havana (hence the Habanera & Habanero name) in 1978 and 1987. The filler and binder are Dominican and the wrapper is Cameroon.


The Cameroon wrapper has a dark, coffee, color with some thin veins and feels like dry leather. The construction feels good, the single cap is positioned good and the cigar has a simple yet nice ring, brown with golden print and a backdrop with the map of Havana. The aroma is strong and all I can say is manure.


I cut the cigar, the draw is perfect and I taste a peppery yet mind hay flavor. After lighting I clearly taste the Cameroon wrapper, mild sweet and pretty herbal and spicy. Now the flavor is very nice yet hasn’t changed halfway. After that a mild milk chocolate joins the herbs just like some salt. Slowly the flavors change to cinnamon stick that I used to buy at the candy booth at the carnival when I was a young kid. The cigar also gets more strength.


The draw is great and the white ask is dense and firm. The smoke is medium full in thickness and volume, the ash is white. The burn is great. This is a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Won’t be possible. And if I could I wouldn’t, fine tasting cigar yet very one dimensional

Score: 88
number88

Categories: 88, American cigars, Fuente Crucet | Tags: , , , ,

Falto Gran Reserva Especial Prominent

I got this 4 1/2×4.7 perfecto in a sampler from Luis Falto a few years back and they came unbanded in a ziplock, written what cigars they were on the ziplock bags. But i’s unfair to judge them on the ring because this lacks one so I took a good look at the other Falto cigars, that had rings, and to the pictures on the internet to rate them.


The cigars are made at La Aurora with filler and binder from the Dominican Republic but with one of my favorite wrappers, Cameroon. I just love the herbal spiciness from that specific type of wrapper, I don’t think I ever had a Cameroon wrapped cigar that I didn’t enjoy so I have my hopes up for this cigar. Actually, when I think of it, the best cigar that I had from La Aurora was wrapped in Cameroon too.


As I said, I am judging the ring on internet pictures and other cigars and I love the ring. The blue and gold match, the logo is playful but classy, the highlights are perfect. This is one mighty good looking ring. The wrapper itself is typical Cameroon, the greenish brown wrapper with the small tooth, the veins, the brittleness. The construction feels great, the cigar is well packed, the cap and the little opening at the foot are great, this has been done by a skilled roller. There is a mild aroma of herbs when I smell the cigar.


I cut the cigar and the cold draw is fantastic. The flavor is a bit sweet and minty. After lighting I taste soil and herbs. After a few puffs I get that Cameroon spice but with honey and pepper. After a third I taste nutmeg, cumin, lemon and some pepper.


The draw is perfect, straight from the start. The ash is white and firm. The burn is quite straight. The smoke is good, medium full. This is a medium bodied full flavored cigar with a smoke time of an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? I still have some but I would buy them if they were available here.

Score: 91
number91

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Categories: 91, Dominican cigars, Falto, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , , ,

VegaFina Sumum 2013

VegaFina, a brand owned by Altadis and made on the Dominican Republic at Casa de Garcia. Now I did smoke a few of the regular VegaFina cigars and was totally unimpressed by those mild and boring Connecticut Shade wrapped cigars that had nothing to offer for me so when someone handed me this 6×55 Sumum 2013 limited edition it ended up in my humidor as I steered away from it just because of the brand name. But now that I’m smoking from my humidor, assorted box by assorted box, for review purposes I ended up with this VegaFina Sumum 2013 as one of the last cigars from the box I wanted to be empty. So here it goes.


While googling the cigar for some information I read something that sparked my interest, the wrapper of the cigar is Cameroon and that is probably my favorite wrapper on the market. I just love the spiciness of it. The binder comes from Nicaragua and the filler is from both Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. Only 20.000 of these cigars were made, 2000 boxes of 10 cigars, so on hindsight it was a very nice gift that I didn’t appreciate as much as I should have. I’m sorry for that.


The cigar has a medium brown wrapper with very fine tooth and a few veins. Like all Cameroon wrappers it is quite thin. The construction feels good but the head isn’t perfectly round and the cap is a bit sloppy. The aroma is quite strong and all I can say is: manure. The cigar has two rings and they don’t match, the main ring is silver gray with a black lane and gray letters on the side. The front has a black circle with VegaFina logo in silver. The second rind has the same gray outlines with a black line added but the rest of the ring is a dark orange with black letters and doesn’t fit the main ring. The print quality is high though.


I punched the cigar and the cold draw is fine without a real flavor. After lighting I taste coffee with some pepper and sugar. After half an inch I taste a nice mild nutty flavor with spices and a faint vanilla. After an inch I taste the herbal spice that the Cameroon wrapper is known for with some wood. Halfway it’s cedar with a lot of pepper. The final third starts with nuts and pepper.


The draw is is great. The ash is amazing, light colored and very dense, also firm. The smoke is medium thick, could be thicker. The draw is fantastic. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, even a Cameroon wrapper can save a VegaFina.

Score: 87
number87

Categories: 87, Casa de Garcia, Dominican cigars, VegaFina | Tags: , , , , ,

Oliva serie G Robusto

A Nicaraguan classic with a Cameroon wrapper grown by the renowned Meerapfel family, who grows about 80% of all Cameroon tobacco. The blend has been a staple for Oliva for many many years, I’m reviewing the robusto.
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The thin Cameroon wrapper isn’t the prettiest, but then again, Cameroon wrapper usually isn’t the best looking wrapper anyway. A simple classic band rings the cigar that feels well constructed and has a minor hay aroma. The peppery  raisin flavored predraw is fine.
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Spicy flavors, like you expect from a Cameroon wrapper. The flavor is a bit harsh though, which I never tasted in any other Oliva G series before. It soon turns to green herbs with some sweetness.After a centimeter the harshness is gone, mildly sweet wood with some white pepper is what I taste.

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After a third the sweetness disappears, herbal flavors with pepper and some wood, halfway the sweetness returns but way on the background and way mild. The wood is the main flavor, by far. After two thirds I taste cinnamon and other spices too. Slowly a nutty flavor shows up, which I like a lot. Nutty flavor gets stronger with some sweetness.
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Nice amount of smoke, not too thick though but not too thin either. The ash is white, tight and firm. The draw is great. Burn is razor sharp. The cigar gave me an hour and 20 minutes of pleasure.
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Would I buy this again? Yes, it’s a nice change of pace.

Appearance: 7
Construction: 8
Draw: 8
Burn: 9
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 8

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , ,

Nub 358 Cameroon

This is one of the hyped up Nubs, the 3 ¾ inch small ring 58 with the Cameroon wrapper. The cigar has a strong aroma of manure, a light colored wrapper with small veins but the predraw is too light, too easy even though the cigar feels well constructed.
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After lighting I could taste that this cigar is made my Oliva due to their recognizable sweet flavor that you find in any Oliva blend, but it’s combined with a spicy herb flavor. Soon after it’s wood instead of the sweetness but the spicy herbs continue to be noticeable. Halfway I get a slight burning sensation which fades away soon and the wood & herbs are flavorful again. Only the last part of the cigar is really enjoyable.
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The draw is way too easy, but the close to perfect burn, the firm white ash and the amount of smoke are good.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, there are better cigars in the price range and the Nub habanos is better than the Cameroon.
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Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 6 / 10
Draw: 6 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part; 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Nub, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , ,

Oliva G toro tubo

This Oliva G toro was resting in my humidor for over a year and I finally smoked it. It is a nice 6 inch ring 50 cigar with a pretty Cameroon wrapper. The wrapper is almost without veins. The cigar feels well constructed from Nicaraguan Habano filler, Cuban seed Habano binder and Cameroon wrapper. The aroma reminds me of hay.
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I can taste full leather which becomes creamy after 2 inch, soft but spicy. Halfway the main flavor is a creamy chocolate with cedar and leather. When the creamy chocolate disappears the leather and cedar remain for the last part of the cigar.
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This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied with some vitamin N. The smoke is full and thick and the ash is quite dark. The draw is a bit too easy though.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Possibly, I liked this cigar
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Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 6 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , ,

H. Upmann vintage cameroon petit corona

I got this good looking cigar in a bomb from the same guy that bombed me all those flavored cigars, the packing is flawless, double banded and wrapped in cedar. Underneath the cedar is a bumpy oily wrapper. The aroma is light, a bit sweet and reminds me of milk chocolate. The predraw is just fine. The size is 5 x 42.
080726hupmannvintagecameroonpetitcorona1
I could taste some tobacco and wood, and after an inch it became a bit creamy. Halfway it’s still the same except that the creamy texture leaves a bit of a chocolate aftertaste in my mouth, and just for a short time I could taste some pepper.
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The smoke started poor but got better during the smoking. The burn is great & straight and the ash is quite dark. A medium smoke, both in flavor and in body.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, I would smoke it though if someone offers me one, but it won’t be my first choice
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Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6.5 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Dominican cigars, General Cigar Dominicana S.A.S., H. Upmann | Tags: , , ,

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