Posts Tagged With: Cigar aficionado Top 25

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
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Categories: 91, My Father, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull

The La Flor Dominicana Andalusian bull, what can I say? It was released in the summer of 2016 and hit the spot, or to make a reference to the name, it hit the bull’s eye, as it became #1 on the Cigar Aficionado top 25 of 2016. Now you want to know about the name? Why does a Dominican cigar a name that refers to the Spanish region Andalusia and a bull? Well, La Flor Dominicana owner Litto Gomez was born in Spain, so this is a link to the country of his birth. The writing on the ring is the handwriting of Pablo Picasso, who loved to paint bulls and the green in the ring is a reference to the green in the flag of Andalusia. Bull fighting is a big sport in Andalusia, hence the silhouet of the matador on the ring


The cigar, which has an odd shape, measures 6 1/2×64 and comes from an old mold that Litto Gomez found while on business in Belgium. The blend, which is a cooperation between Litto and his son Tony, consists of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper from corojo seed, wrapped around a binder and filler from the Dominican Republic which include Criollo ’98, Pelo d’Oro and a hybrid tobacco. Tony Gomez gave me this cigar at the Intertabac trade show in Dortmund last september.


Now that I released the cigar from the cellophane I notice how thick it really is. I mean, I read it was a 64 ring gauge but it looked thinner wrapped in cellophane. The coffee colored, mild shiny, smooth wrapper looks delicious. The green ring with golden details, the black silhouette, the golden letters, its a piece of art and when you know something about the meaning of the ring, as I tried to explain in the first paragraph of the review, it’s even better. Cigar Rings did an awesome job printing this. The shape is quite unique, its slightly different than a regular pyramid, the blunt head is wrapped perfectly and the cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is strong and reminds me of a spice cabinet in an Asian kitchen.


I cut the cigar. The raisin and herbal cold draw is great with a little pepper in my lips. After lighting I taste coffee with herbs and pepper. After a few puffs I taste herbal soil and half an inch later I also taste a mild metallic flavor. After an inch I taste coffee again, earthy and with a hint of chocolate and lime. Halfway the flavors have slowly changed to an earthy flavor with chocolate. Slowly the pepper returns, just like the lime.


The draw is great and the smoke is medium in thickness and volume. The light gray ash is dense and very firm. The burn is pretty straight. This cigar is full bodied and medium full flavored. The balance is spot on, and the smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Once they become available in my country I’ll grab a box.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Dominican cigars, La Flor Dominicana, Tabacalera La Flor | Tags: , , , , , ,

Rocky Patel Royale Robusto

Back in the day, while I was working for a cigar distributer I ran into Rocky Patel at Intertabac. At that time Rocky didn’t have a distributer in The Netherlands, a small player was interested but I snatched Rocky away from him and brought him to us. And we did quite alright, Rocky wasn’t our biggest selling brand but it was getting momentum and we did some great events with his European director Kolja Kukuk and even Rocky managed to do a few events in The Netherlands and it was always fun.


One of the cigars I smoked most was this Rocky Patel Royale, made in his Nicaraguan factory, a factory I visited, with an Ecuadorean Sumatra wrapper and filler tobacco from Nicaragua and Honduras. This cigar made it to the top 10 of Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 a few years ago and I did do a review of the toro some time ago but have never reviewed the robusto and never done a review with my 100 point scoring system so here we go.


When I release the 5×52 box pressed cigar from the cellophane I notice a beautiful, dark, mild toothy and oily wrapper that just looks amazing. The construction fels great and the triple cap looks good too. The ring is beautiful, golden with a dark reddish brown color writing and RP logo although the print quality could be a little better around the letters. The second, smaller ring, is in the exact same style and says Royale. Simple yet tasteful. And the aroma is strong and a classic stable and barnyard smell.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is perfect and flavorful. I taste hay, raisin and wood. After lighting I taste coffee and peanuts. Slowly I start tasting herbs and pepper too while the coffee disappears. After a third it’s spicy green herbs with some peanut, salt and pepper. Halfway there is a stronger nut, not just peanuts, flavor with a hint of chocolate and still the green herbs with some white pepper. The pepper slowly builds up to a nice and strong flavor.


The draw is fantastic, just the right amount of resistance. The smoke is thick and full. The light gray ash is firm. The burn is good yet not perfect. This cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again?  Yes, I will always have some in stock.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Rocky Patel, Tavicusa | Tags: , , , , , ,

Rocky Patel Royale Toro

This Rocky Patel Royale Toro was number 5 in the Cigar Aficionado top 25 of 2014 so I had to try it. The cigar is made in Rocky’s Nicaraguan factory, in the city of Esteli. The cigar is made of Nicaraguan tobacco with a double binder, a Connecticut shade and a broadleaf wrapper, to make the cigar flavorful but smooth and it has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.
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The cigar is dark and the wrapper looks a little rough. The cap is poorly constructed. The construction feels good though and the cigar has a strong leather and stable aroma. The cold draw is fine and I taste raisin.
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I taste some toasted bread, but toasted a little too long. That burned flavor quickly disappears and I’m stuck with a strange vegetable flavor and a little bit of pepper until there is some toast again, but now not over burned. The flavors are dry and slowly I taste some citrus and wood. The citrus disappears again; I taste a nice wood flavor with some toast.
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After a third I also taste some spices like nutmeg with the wood. Very pleasant, not to full or strong but pleasant. The citrus comes and goes, sometimes with a little bit of chili pepper. The last third has more of a pepper in the aftertaste, I taste more leather, its stronger and more dominant. Slowly I get some chili pepper but without becoming too peppery.
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The smoke is decent in thickness and the ash is quite dark with beautiful rings, but also flaky and not very firm in the beginning, later on the color of the ash turns lighter. The smoke also gets thicker along the way. The burn is quite even although I had to correct it once after an inch. The smoke time is about 2 hours.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a perfect cigar for after breakfast on a sunny day, sitting in the garden enjoying a day off.

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

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Bolivar Royal Corona

A nice, light brown, rough wrapper, not pretty but touch with lots of veins, a great construction and a nice smell of hay & stable aromas, that was my first impression of the Bolivar Royal Corona.
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I could taste several wood flavors, mostly cedar with some earthy tones, and soon the flavors became creamy. The typical Cuban leather is missing in the beginning but shows up after half an inch. The creamy flavor comes and goes and right before being halfway through the cigar the leather grows in strength, and is accompanied by some chocolate.
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Throughout the cigar the cedar & earthy notes are consistently noticeable as a base on which the leather & the chocolate can play their part. The final note is to the chocolate, before the turning point is reached.
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Lots of smoke, and I mean LOTS of smoke, the draw is fine, the ash is almost silver and firm. The burn is fantastic. A true full bodied full flavored modern day classic.
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Would I buy this cigar again? You betcha, one of my favorite cigars!
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Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 9 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: , , , ,

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