Posts Tagged With: Connecticut shade

Viking Norseman Toro

I have reviewed two of the three Viking blends, the Viking and the Nordic Warrior and both ended up in my top 25 of 2017 so my expectations for the third blend are high, yet on the other hand, it is a Connecticut shade wrapper so that might be the downside of smoking this cigar. The cigar is made with Ecuadorian Connecticut, Nicaraguan Habano and Dominican Piloto as filler, a Connecticut Broadleaf from the USA as binder and an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade as wrapper.

 


Ernesto Perez Carrillo and his La Allianzia factory are responsible for the production of this Norwegian owned brand, that honors the sea dwelling Vikings with this Norseman blend. The seas were a dangerous place with the small Viking ships so these Norseman had to be extremely brave.

 


I love the ring on any of the viking cigars, metal rings, a tin alloy and this one is black & golden with a norseman face. The cigar itself looks great too, a medium brown wrapper with a shaggy  foot that shows off the broadleaf binder. The contrast between the Connecticut Shade and the Broadleaf is huge and it makes the cigar look even tastier. The shape is flawless, the head perfectly round. This cigar is well made. The aroma is strong and reminds me of wood and vegetable stock.

 


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is a little open. I taste pepper on my lips. After lighting I taste coffee with some sweetness and a nice citrus acidity to balance it all out. After half and inch I taste spicy and peppery dry cedar. Then I taste a growing white pepper flavor. There is a very mild Connecticut Shade mustiness but much minder than other Connecticut Shade wrapped cigars. Halfway I taste sweet and slightly musty cedar with white pepper in the aftertaste.

 


The draw is a bit loose, the ash quite dark and frayed. The smoke is thick, white and full. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and flavored with a smoke time of an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked the other Viking cigars better because of the wrapper.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera La Alianza, Viking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Di Grisogono for women only Corona

Today is international women’s day so this De Grisogono Geneve For Women Only cigars, a 5 1/2×42 Dominican made cigar seems like the right fit. If you have never heard of those cigars, you’re not alone since De Grisogono Geneve is a Swiss jewelry and watch company and not a cigar company and I don’t think these cigars were ever released seriously. Now I do think its complete bullshit to advertise certain cigars as ‘women only’ or ‘for men’ as Oliveiros did with their XXL. There are just good cigars and bad cigars, thick cigars and thin cigars and both are made for men & women. Women can enjoy the same cigars as men and vice versa. Now hold your horses, before you start screaming ‘snowflake’, ‘liberal’ or even ‘libtard’, i’m not saying men and women are the same, there are undeniable biological differences, there are fields of expertise in which women preform better, other fields men preform better so I won’t be saying we are the same as women, i’m only saying men & women don’t need ‘only for this gender’ cigars, it’s bull crap.


A friend of mine had a bunch of these cigars, he said the came from a hotel in Switzerland and he gave me a couple. The cigars are made in the Dominican Republic with Dominican filler and binder and a Connecticut Shade wrapper from the USA and it appears that there was a 6×52 Torpedo too but that didn’t have the For Women Only behind the name.


The cigar has a black ring, glossy, with a golden logo and white lettering saying De Grisogno Geneve and on the back gold letters saying FOR WOMEN ONLY. The cigar is quite dark for a Connecticut Shade wrapper and you can see a thick vein from the binder underneath the thin wrapper. The cigar feels evenly packed and the shape of the head is nice. When I smell the cigar I smell nothing, nothing at all.


Due to the thin ring gauge I decided to cut. The cold draw is good yet almost flavorless. After lighting I taste a nasty coffee and wood. After a quarter of an inch I taste some wood and petroleum. Halfway it’s a little stronger wood, mild hazelnut and still a mild petrol flavor. The final third starts harsh and bitter, I now taste that typical mustiness that comes with Connecticut Shade but at least the petrol has gone.


The draw is great yet the smoke is thin and medium in volume. The light colored ash is dense and firm. The burn on this medium bodied and medium flavored cigar is straight. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Never!

Score: 73
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Categories: 73, Di Grisogono, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Cornelius & Anthony Aerial Robusto

I told the story about this brand a few times in my previous reviews of the Cornelius, Venganza, Daddy Mac and the Señor Esugars so I won’t repeat the story of five generations and why the name Cornelius & Anthony is chosen. I also won’t repeat how I got to know the brand, that I knew Courtney Smith from her previous company. I will just tell that when she gave me the first batch of cigars in 2016 it was just the Daddy Mac, Venganza and Cornelius (that eventually made my top 25 of the year) but at intertabac 2017 she gave me the other blends, the Señor Esugars, the Meridian and this Aerial.


The aerial is made in Esteli, Nicaragua at the La Zona factory of Erik Espinosa. The blend consists from Nicaraguan fillers, a USA grown binder and a Connecticut Shade grown in Ecuador. And even though my preferences changed the last year and I dislike Connecticut Shade less than before it’s still not my favorite wrapper. But as always I go in with an open mind, maybe this is the Connecticut shade that will wow me.


The wrapper is latte colored, relatively dark for a shade grown Connecticut wrapper and it has a soft sandpaper feeling. The ring is amazing, detailed, very well printed but the secondary ring is orange with white letters and doesn’t fit with the Cornelius and Anthony ring because of the color in my opinion. The construction feels good but the triple cap has a bit of a color difference. The cigar has a strong smell, its manure all over.


I used my Xikar butterfly cutter and decapped the cigar. The cold draw is fine, I taste a mild raisin flavor with some spice on my lips. The trusted vintage Ronson took care of the lighting. I taste a spicy coffee and earthy flavor with a hint of sweetness. After a centimeter I still taste the sweetness but now with wood and spices. The sweetness reminds me a bit of marzipan. The cigar lacks the Connecticut Shade mustiness and that’s a plus in my book, it’s quite spicy and sweet. Halfway the spices tone down, the sweetness remains with wood. A mild pepper shows up too. The flavor slowly changes to a vanilla sweetness on wood with a bit of lime and pepper.


The draw is great, the smoke is medium on volume and thickness. The light gray ash is firm. The burn is pretty straight. This is a balanced, medium bodied cigar, medium full flavored. The smoke time is ninety minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yea, this gets my seal of approval and made a very small list of Connecticut Shade cigars that I enjoy.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Cornelius & Anthony, La Zona, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cigar of the month January

In 2018 I will do a cigar of the month again and here’s the list for january, 15 cigars, in order from most liked to least liked.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Drew Estate Undergrown Sun Grown Flying Pig with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Drew Estate Undercrown Sun Grown Flying Pig (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) C.A.O. Fuma em Gorda Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Balmoral Añejo XO Gran Magnifico (Dominican Republic) 93 points
4) Plasencia Alma del Campo Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Quesada 40th Anniversary Toro (Dominican Republic) 91 points
6) Gurkha Ghost Robusto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
7) Kristoff CG Robusto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
8) Epic Maduro Lancero (Dominican Republic) 90 points
9) Vegas de Santiago D8 Corona (Costa Rica) 90 points
10) Micallef Gomez Sanchez Esperiencia Prominente (Nicaragua) 89 points
11) Vegas de Santiago D8 Short Robusto (Costa Rica) 89 points
12) Vegas de Santiago D8 Corto (Costa Rica) 89 points
13) Vegas de Santiago D8 Toro (Costa Rica) 88 points
14) Xiphos Connecticut Robusto (Costa Rica) 88 points
15) Romeo Y Julieta EL 2016 (Cuba) 86 points

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Xiphos Connecticut Robusto

Last year I reviewed two of the three Xiphos cigars that are made in Costa Rica, today I will tell you about my experience with the third Costa Rican offering from Xiphos, the Connecticut robusto. And there is a danger in having me rate a Connecticut, even though my dislike for the wrapper is decreasing, its still at the bottom of my wrapper list, even below Candela.


The cigar is made from a Peruvian binder, filler from Peru and the Dominican Republic and a wrapper from Ecuador, a Connecticut as the name suggests. The 5×50 robusto is made at the Tobaccos de Costa Rica factory, just like the other CR cigars from Xiphos.


When I remove the cellophane I notice the shine on the light colored wrapper. The wrapper is beautiful, it feels like velvet and its smooth yet a little too light for my liking. The ring is fantastic, like I wrote on the other Xiphos reviews, these rings are just perfect. In the middle of the cigar I feel a softer spot and the head of the cigar is uneven and the cigar has that typical musty Connecticut shade aroma, medium strong, like in an old, abandoned hay shack that has been empty for years.


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is very good. The cigar doesn’t have a lot of flavor unlit. After lighting I taste a mild coffee. After half an inch I taste a mild cedar with a little bit of the Connecticut Shade mustiness that I don’t like a lot. There is some white pepper in the aftertaste. After a third it’s a slightly acidic cedar. Halfway the acidity is gone, the cigar is more herbal now with a cedar undertone. The final third is mild nutty with some acidity.


The draw is phenomenal, the right amount of air flow. And the smoke is great too, thick and plentiful, the only thing that would make it better was if the color was white. The light colored ash is layered and firm. The burn is straight. This is a mild cigar, medium flavored with a nice evolution. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. But if you like mild cigar and/or Connecticut Shade wrappers you will probably like it. It is a good cigar, just not for my palate.

Score: 88
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Categories: 88, Costa Rican cigars, Puriscal Factory of Tobaccos, Xiphos | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Manowar Virtue Toro

Years ago, before I worked in the cigar industry, I used to order some Meier & Dutch cigars in America, cigars like the Diesel Unholy Cocktail, Manowar, Reposado and a few others but once I started working for a Dutch distributer I couldn’t do that anymore for a couple of reasons, first one that it’s illigal to import tobacco without a license, secondly that I needed to keep all my customers, the shop owners, happy and ordering online from America was a needle in their eye. But damn, how I missed my Diesels and Manowars.


I started bugging my employer to see if he could import and distribute them. He said “Meier & Dutch is part of STG, they will never allow it” but after more pushing and handing him all contact info he decided to send a mail. A few weeks later I ran into Alex Svenson, general manager of Meier & Dutch, in Nicaragua and that settled the deal. STG saw our success and is now starting to distribute those cigars in other European countries too. Late september the Manowar Virtue was introduced to the Dutch market and Alex handed me this one in person.


The Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper is silky and smooth without veins and the triple cap looks good. The construction feels fine. The cigar has a strong hay and straw aroma with some ammonia or something else acidic. Now I used to be a avid opponent of Connecticut Shade tobacco, but the last few months I finally started to enjoy it, so I’m looking forward to this cigar. The ring is the regular manowar ring, but in silver and white and that makes the mask quite hard to see. An other color combination should have worked better but on the other hand, the combination looks good with the pale wrapper.


I cut the cigar with my Xikar cutter, the cold draw is fine but I don’t taste a lot. After lighting I taste a mild coffee flavor, mild sweet and a little rough around the edge. After a centimeter the cigar remains mild, a little coffee, sweetness and a little pepper. The mild harshness I tasted is completely gone. Halfway The cigar is very creamy with a little vanilla and a little pepper. Near the end the pepper grows in strength, it’s white pepper.


The draw is good, could have been a hair tighter to be perfect. The smoke is thick, full and plentiful. The light gray ash shows clear rings. The burn is razor sharp though. This cigar is mild, both in flavor and body. It’s also a quite monotone cigar. The smoke time is about and hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, this is too mild for me, and not enough flavor.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Undercrown Shade Flying Pig

Last march I published a review of the Undercrown Flying Pig, original release, and it became the Cigar of the month march. Soon after that someone with ties either to Drew Estate or their local distributer Royal Agio contacted me (I of course know who he is and for whom he works, but I won’t disclose that information on his request) and asked me if he could use that review since the cigar was being re-released in The Netherlands and that was fine by me, as it would help promote my blog too so a fine win-win.


During our chat he asked me if I had smoked the Undercrown Shade Flying Pig and since they haven’t been released in The Netherlands I could only reply negative. He offered to send me one as a thank you which I gladly accepted. A few months earlier I would have declined due to the wrapper but recently I’ve been starting to enjoy Connecticut Shade wrappers and this cigar is made with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, a Sumatra binder and filler from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Not too long after a package arrived with 2 Balmoral Anejo Lanceros (cigar of the month May), two Kentucky Fire Cured Robusto and two of the Undercrown Shade Flying Pigs.


Lets start with the construction, it is immaculate and there are bonus points for the unique shape.  I love the little bomb size with the pig tail. The name is an inside joke, when Drew Estate started a lof of people in the industry said that “this company will make it when pigs fly” so after Drew Estate became an established company JD decided to name a cigar ‘Flying Pig” as a nod to the people that expected him to fail. The wrapper is pale with quite some shine and a few veins. I love the ring, I like the color scheme better than on the original Underground. The ring is white with the logo and all the details in gold and a second white ring with a golden outline and golden letters Shade. The ring print quality is high too. The aroma quite strong for a Connecticut Shade cigar with hints of straw, hay, leafs and grass.


I cut the cigar with my xikar butterfly cutter since punching wasn’t an option due to the pig tail. The cold draw is fantastic and tastes like raisin and hay. After lighting I taste a earthy flavor with a hint of pepper. I also taste some freshness and sweetness. After a third the cigar gets spicy and quite strong for a Shade cigar. I still taste the earthy flavor but with a little mustiness that belongs to Connecticut Shade wrappers with some lemon, salt and a strong pepper aftertaste. These flavors stick with the cigar till the end.


The smoke is typical Drew Estate, full, thick and a lot of it. And I love it. The draw is great, almost perfect. The burn needed a little touch up though. The white ash is firm and beautiful. The cigar is medium bodied and full flavored, stronger than I expected from a Connecticut Shade cigar. The smoke time is almost an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? They aren’t available here, and I prefer the Undercrown Flying Pig but this is a good stick.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigar of the month May

Over the last month I reviewed 14 cigars and the cigar of the month may is:

Balmoral Anejo XO FT Lancero with a 95 score.

This month I smoked a unicorn that scored high, something I never expected to smoke, I smoked the best lancero I had in a long long time, and the best cigar I’ve smoked this year and the three worst cigars I rated for my blog since my new rating system came in place. So the reviews were all over the board.

1) Balmoral Anejo XO FT Lancero (Dominican Republic) 95 points
2) Undercrown Manifesto (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Alec Bradley Tempus Nicaragua Robusto (Honduras) 93 points
4) JSK CRNA NOK Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
5) Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro Robusto Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Santiago Connecticut Robusto (Nicaragua) 89 points
7) Macanudo Inspirado Mareva (Honduras) 88 points
8) 708 Juniors Barber Pole (Dominican Republic) 85 points
9) Antonius Red Label Robusto (Dominican Republic) 85 points
10) Romeo Y Julieta Gran Reserva Wide Churchill (Cuba) 84 points
11) 708 Shaggy Barber Pole (Dominican Republic) 82 points
12) Macarena Maduro Toro (Mexico) 75 points
13) Macarena Naturel Toro (Mexico) 73 points
14) Gasparilla Pirate Fest Churchill (USA) 73 points

 

Balmoral is a Dutch company, so as a fellow Dutchy i’m happy that we still master the art of making great cigars.

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Padron Damaso Robusto

It’s been ages ago that Padron released a new regular production cigar but a few months ago they did, and much to everybody’s surprise it came with a Connecticut shade wrapper. Now I hate Connecticut shade with a passion, never smoked one I really liked, but it’s Padron so I wanted to try it anyway. Cesar Gadea from Padron provided me with a sampler.
121915padrondamaso1
The triple cap isn’t the sharpest I’ve ever seen, actually the whole wrapper is a bit rough but I love the white Padron band. The yellowish brown color isn’t that appealing either. The construction feels good and the cigar has a sour barnyard smell to it. The draw is incredibly easy with hardly no flavor.
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I taste wood with some sweetness and some spice, more flavor than you’d expect from a Connecticut shade cigar. I also taste that classic Connecticut shade mustiness which I don’t like. I also taste some sweetness. The flavors weaken though.
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After a third it’s wood, some sweetness and the mustiness and slowly the mustiness slowly gets stronger. After two thirds a little bit of pepper shows up. The cigar also gets harsh.
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The draw is like sucking air thou a big hose, that’s easy the draw is. The ash is quite dark, flaky but firm. The smoke is good, just thick enough, just plentiful enough. The burn is good too. It’s a mild cigar with mild to medium flavor. Due to the easy draw it lasted me for just an hour.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, another Connecticut shade I don’t like.

Appearance: 7
Construction: 7
Draw: 6
Burn: 8
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 6
Aroma third part: 5

Categories: Cubanica, Nicaraguan cigars, Padron | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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