Posts Tagged With: Cigar Asylum

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

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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: , , , , , , ,

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

Goviado Lancero

Goviado was the second blend that Andrew Wood and Rafael Guillen released when they were running GDW Cigars, after their first success with Reserva Miraflor. Now you may think “success, never heard of it?” but we are talking pre-social media era and on Cigar Asylum these cigars were very populair and sold pretty good. And so did the Goviado.

 


I reviewed several Goviado vitolas in the past, but never this 6 3/4×40 lancero, and I wonder why. I mean, I love the blend and I love the vitola, so this blend in this vitola should have been on my radar way longer. Or it could be that this vitola wasn’t being made back then, only now that it resurfaced for the website untold leaf. When I speak Andrew I should ask him.

 


The wrapper is stunning, a deep chocolate brown, smooth wrapper. The black and gold ring has a nice design but the whole printing could have just be done a little better to make it look a tad more professional. The cigar itself though, it not only looks amazing but the construction feels good too, the right amount of resistance when I gently squeeze it, the shape, the head, it’s perfect. The cigar has a strong aroma, a little hay, a little manure, a little ammonia, a little dirt, a little wood all combined in one bold aroma.

 


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is a little tight. I taste a peppery raisin. After lighting I taste leather and pepper. The flavors are full, strong, bold. After a centimeter I taste a little bit of sugar too. After a third I taste wood with a little nutmeg. Halfway the cigar is smooth, wood with a little pepper. The flavor slowly progresses into a mild marzipan with a little salt. The flavors are perfectly balanced.

 


The draw is great, and the smoke is full, white and thick. The ash is a little coarse, light gray. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I hope they are still available after I moved to my new home country, I’ll get a box with my 30% CIGARGUIDE coupon.

Score: 93
number93

 

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

Casa Pineda Robusto

Back in the day, before Facebook took over, cigar forums were the way that cigar smokers would socialize an I did that on Club Stogie (RIP) and the follow up of CS Cigar Asylum. That’s where I met Andrew, who had his own brands made in Nicaragua and Aldrin, a student from Florida, amongst others. Aldrin and I helped out Andrew a bit and as a thank you he released a limited batch of cigars bearing our names, Don Fernando for me and Casa Pineda for Aldrin. And the small batch is back, exclusively for Untold Leaf.


As I remember, this was my least favorite of all cigars coming from GDW and mainly because of the wrapper, a Connecticut Shade. And that’s my least favorite of all wrappers in the world. The binder is an Indonesian leaf and the filler is from Nicaragua. According to the website this cigar is the perfect cigar in-between a Connecticut and a Habano and that makes me want to revisit this 5×50 robusto


The wrapper is light, almost pale and the bumpy binder shows itself underneath the thin wrapper, making the cigar look a bit like a teenage girl. The ring, pitch black and glossy with golden letters, looks nice. As for the construction, no complaints, the cigar feels and looks well made, evenly packed, nice triple cap and beautiful in shape. The aroma is dry, like dry hay and straw on a dusty old hayshed.


I used a cheap cutter to take the cap of the cigar. I only received this cigar yesterday so it’s right of the truck. The cold draw is great, spicy and peppery. After lighting I taste a fresh wood with coffee, strong and bold. After half an inch I taste cinnamon with a mild pepper plus a Connecticut mustiness. After a third it’s more a classic Connecticut in flavor but spicier. Halfway I taste hay with a mild harsh mustiness, typical for Connecticut Shade, and an agave syrup sweetness.


The draw is flawless and the smoke is white, full and thick. The burn is straight as an arrow. The light gray ash is relatively firm. There is a decent evolution, the cigar is medium full bodied and flavored, quite strong for a Connecticut Shade. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Still not digging Connecticut Shade wrappers.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Casa Pineda, 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: , , , , , , ,

Fundadores Corona

Before Facebook there were cigar forums to communicate with cigar aficionados all over the world and my favorite one was Club Stogie until it was sold by the owner to a investor that merged three big forums into one crappy one with a poor name, puff.com and puff is another word for homosexual in England, the feeling wasn’t the same and the new moderators acted like dictators. So the old moderator team created a new forum, Cigar Asylum and that became my favorite online hangout and I used to trade, bomb, buy and get bombed, visited the USA some times to herf with the guys and thats how I got a lot of cigars that I wouldn’t normally buy.


When I was looking for cigars to smoke for the effffin february month I went through my database at stogierate.com and saw that I had a Fundadores from Jamaica. An online search told me that these cigars are made in Kingston with an American Connecticut Shade wrapper, a Mexican binder and a filler from Mexico and the Dominican Republic. I have the 5 1/2×42 Corona but there are more sizes available on cigarjamaica.com


The cigar is slightly box pressed and has a wrapper that is latte colored, with quite a lot of veins. The ring is simple, white with a drawing of a classic boat, golden letters and a thick golden outline, the sides are green with golden letters too. The construction feels good and the cigar is beautifully finished. The cigar has a musty smell, typical for Connecticut shade, like walking into an old hay shack.


Because of the small ring I had to cut the cigar. The cold draw is fine and I taste pepper on my lips. After lighting I taste a mild coffee with that typical Connecticut Shade mustiness. The coffee disappears and the mustiness changes to a mild and sweet musty cedar. Then the only flavor change is that the sweetness is replaced by a mild harshness. The flavor doesn’t change much anymore.


The draw is good, I expected worse. The ash is quite dark, dense but breaks easily. The gray smoke is thin and only reasonable in volume. The burn is straight as can be. This cigar is mild, both in body and in flavor. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. It was nice to smoke a Jamaican cigar for once but it’s not good enough to smoke again.

Score: 80

Red balloons with ribbon - Number 80

Red balloons with ribbon – Number 80

 

Categories: 80, Fundadores, Jamaican cigars | 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: , , , , , , , , ,

Warped Little Havana Corona Gorda

There are a lot of cigar groups on Facebook and in some of those groups people like to combine days with cigar brands, like Tatuaje Tuesday and Fuente Friday. Since I have so many unpublished reviews and need to post a lot I decided that this week will be a week dedicated to the weekday – cigar combinations and I came up with a few of my own.

This week I will post a review every day, monday to sunday, all with the name tied to the weekday, here’s the list:

Murcielago Monday
Tatuaje Tuesday
Warped Wednesday
Taboo Thursday
Fuente Friday
Santiago Saturday
Sosa Sunday

Warped Wednesday – Warped Little Havana Corona Gorda

Back in the day, I think it was somewhere in 2007, I joined the Club Stogie board and left when it turned into Puff. The eleven moderators of Club Stogie started Cigar Asylum and I joined there and I’ve been a member since. But back then Kyle Gellis from Warped was just a young entrepeneur, his brand existed but wasn’t really active, he sold some cigars on the board and that was it. He has a small stash and when it was sold out it was sold out, it was more of a hobby than a company back then, or at least, that was my impression.

 


I’m very impressed with what Kyle did since the last time I’ve seen him at a cigar event at one of the Smoke Inn shops back in 2010 I think. He’s now one of the highest rating boutique brands and that without a huge social media outreach like other small brands. Because I’m not in the USA since he released all his new cigars I haven’t had the chance to smoke them, I did try to convince my previous employer to start distributing the Nicaraguan made Warped blends but he wouldn’t as he isn’t good with boutique brands. But I still have two, almost a decade old, test blends and two, just as old, Warped Little Havana Private blend cigars, one 5.5×44 Corona Grande and one torpedo and I will review the corona grande today on Warped Wednesday.

 


Now Kyle never confirmed or denied that these cigars were made by El Titan de Bronze but seeing his ties to that factory, the name of the blend and the fact that he did say that these were Miami made cigars I am fairly sure that they are made by Sandy Cobas and her team. The cigar has a beautiful deep dark brown color with beautiful thin veins and just looks mouth watering. The construction feels good, all evenly packed, no soft spots or plugs with a beautiful cap. The ring is simple, just a small back ring with a toxic green colored Warped in a fancy font. On the back side, and I love this detail, it says private blend 8/27/08 so I know exactly when the cigar was made. The aroma is still there after all these years, wood but not the fresh wood kind, a hint of dark chocolate and some floral notes.

 


I cut the cigar and unfortunately damage the cap because I used the cheap freebie cutter that was in my reach instead of getting up and getting one of my Xikar or Palio cutters. The cold draw is great and has a floral taste with a peppery aftertaste. A vintage cigar needs to be lit with a vintage lighter so I grabbed my Ronson varaflame and lit the cigar. I taste spices like nutmeg, cinnamon with a caramel like sweetness. After a few puffs I taste oak with the spices and a mild peppery aftertaste. After a third I taste peppery floral flavors with a mild cedar. Slowly the spices and cedar get stronger, a little lime shows up too and the pepper is also on the rise. Near the end the floral flavor is back and with some strength. I also taste a little salt

 


The draw is perfect and so is the smoke. White, thick, plentiful, just the way I like it. The burn isn’t completely straight though. The ash however is firm, and a beautiful light gray. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The evolution is great in this complex and extremely well balanced cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish.

Score: 95
number95

Categories: 95, American cigars, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze, Warped | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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