Posts Tagged With: Connecticut shade

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

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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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

Joya de Nicaragua Clasico Toro

This review is part of a challenge, normally I wouldn’t review this cigar as it has a Connecticut shade wrapper and that wrapper and I just don’t get along.

The wrapper is beautiful, light and thin with a few veins. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is that of a barnyard. The predraw is fine, and I taste pepper.
I taste a classic Connecticut shade mustiness with some pepper. After three puffs I taste sweet wood with some pepper on the background. The mustiness stays but gets company from citrus after a centimeter.

After a third I taste pepper with some wood, halfway the cigar gets spicier but the mustiness stays. After two thirds the cigar gets sharp with pepper, wood and the mustiness. It gets better but it’s still not my cup of tea.


The draw is fine and I get a nice amount of smoke. The light gray ash is reasonably firm. The burn us beautiful. This mild cigar lasted me an hour and 45 minutes


Would I buy this cigar again? No, I just don’t like Connecticut shade. If you do, I would buy it as the quality is great and the price is amazing.


Appearance: 7
Construction: 8
Draw: 9
Burn: 9
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 5
Aroma second part: 6
Aroma third part:  7
Categories: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Joya de Nicaragua classico robusto

This 5×50 robusto with the Connecticut shade wrapper comes from the oldest cigar factory in Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, which is famous for its Antano series, which used to be the strongest cigars in the world. About a year ago they started to cooperate with Drew Estate, but this Classico Claro blend is an old blend where Drew Estate had no involvement in. The cigar is new to the Dutch market and has a 3 euro price tag.
The wrapper has a pale yellow wrapper with color differences, lots of small veins and a small band which color-wise doesn’t match the cigar. The smell is of straw, but strong and musty. The construction is a bit soft. The predraw is fine with a spicy but musty flavour.
I taste an earthy flavour and lots of musty straw with a spicy aftertaste. On the background I also taste some sweetness. There is also a mild bitter flavour on the back of my throat. After half an inch I taste some pepper too, the flavors are still musty. After that I taste a sugar sweet and musty wood with some herbs and some straw.
Halfway I taste a light milk chocolate flavour on the background. The cigar gets less musty and a bit more spicy on the tongue. The chocolate seems to disappear pretty quickly again. After two thirds I taste wood, herbs and a hint of cinnamon, the flavors are mild spicy. Near the end I taste red pepper and the cigar gets really spicy
This cigar lasted me for an hour and twenty minutes. I got plenty of smoke, which started out thin but got thick quickly. The smoke is beautiful white. The light colored ash is coarse and not very firm. The burn is great. This cigar is medium to full flavoured and medium bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? No I wouldn’t. This ain’t a bad cigar but I just don’t like Connecticut shade

Appearance: 6 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Oliva Connecticut reserve torpedo

If you read my reviews often, you might know that I strongly dislike Connecticut shade wrappers. They all taste musty to me. So when I got this 6½x52 Oliva Connecticut Reserve torpedo for review purposes I was anticipating a bad review, although I remembered that the Oliva Connecticut Reserve toro wasn’t bad at all for a Connecticut shade wrapped cigar.
The light colored wrapper has a few veins but I can’t say it’s oily. The cigar has a mild barnyard and spices smell. The construction is great, as always with Oliva. The predraw is fine, I taste raisin with a peppery aftertaste.
I taste that so recognizable musty Connecticut shade flavor with some chocolate like sweetness and coffee. There are some herbs in the aftertaste. For a Connecticut shade wrapper, this isn’t bad at all. After half an inch I taste a bit of hay, the coffee has disappeared. I still taste a little bit of chocolate and I also taste some nuts.
After an inch I taste mild musty herbs and some pepper. On the background I taste some musty milk chocolate. Halfway hay becomes the main flavor with some herbs and spices as support. After two thirds the cigar gets a little more bite. Herbs and pepper are the main flavors now.
This cigar lasted me for seventy five minutes. The draw is great and I got plenty of thick smoke. The pepper and salt colored ash is ugly, frayed but firm. I had to correct the burn a few times. This cigar is medium to full flavored and medium bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? No, even though this cigar is much better compared to other Connecticut shade cigars it still is a Connecticut shade wrapper which I don’t like

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 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: , , | Leave a comment

Berger & Argenti mooch robusto

When this cigar was released, our friends at Toasted Foot held a contest for the best tag line. The contest made it to Cigar Asylum where Kreth and I bantered a bit and I said ‘if you win the contest, let me mooch some cigars from you’. To cut a long story short, Kreth won the contest and shipped me a few.
The cigar is a 5×50 cigar with a double band, one at the place where you’d expect a cigar band, one in the middle and the foot of the cigar is wrapped in a print of an old newspaper bringing the news of the Cuban embargo. The wrapper is a bit yellow brown with lots of small veins. The construction feels a bit soft. The cigar also has a mild straw smell and an easy predraw. The cigar is made from Nicaraguan tobacco with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper
I taste a full earthy flavor, a little bitter and acidic and some sweetness. The bitterness disappears after a quarter of an inch and now I taste straw and chocolate, mild sweet and a tad acidic. After half an inch the cigar also gets a bit spicy and the acid flavor is gone. The looks and the taste of the wrapper confirm that it is Connecticut, a wrapper I dislike a lot.
After a third I taste more herbs, sweet and spicy with a hint of chocolate and that characteristic Connecticut flavor that I dislike so much. After two thirds I get an unpleasant bitterness with some chocolate and wood.
This cigar was good for an hour and I got a good amount of thick smoke. The ash is light gray colored but not firm at all. The burn and draw are good. This cigar is medium flavored and medium bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? No I wouldn’t

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: Berger & Argenti, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Esteli | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente King T

You have to hand it to Arturo Fuente, they don’t make much tubos but when they do, it is something spectacular, like this Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente King T, a 7×49 churchill with a Dominican filler and binder with a Connecticut shade wrapper.
The wrapper is light brown and oily with a few veins. The cigar has a piece of red band on the foot to protect it. The construction feels good and the cigar has a mild wood smell. The predraw is good.
I taste dry wood, mild spicy and after a quarter of an inch I taste a little bit of chocolate on the background. After two inch I get a little more chocolate with some herbs. The flavors are dry and a bit musty, which I get a lot from Connecticut wrappers.
Halfway I still taste wood with herbs. The chocolate is hardly recognizable and the musty taste has gone. The flavors no longer change until I reach the end, only the wood gets a bit stronger.
This cigar has a smoke time of an hour and fortyfive minutes. The draw was good. The light colored ash is reasonable firm. I had to correct the burn a few times. The smoke is thin. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored.
Would I buy this cigar again? Meh, Connecticut wrappers don’t do it for me.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: Arturo Fuente, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chateau Real magnum 46 claro

The Chateau Real brand is part of the Drew Estate family, a cigar company that really surprised me pleasantly with the Liga Privada, so I wanted to try the Chateau Real too. I smoked the magnum 46 with the claro wrapper. This is a 5 ⅝x 46 cigar made from aged Nicaraguan and Dominican tobacco. The cigars are new to the Dutch market and have a € 5.50 price tag.
Once I release the cigar from the cellophane I notice a typical Connecticut wrapper, which isn’t a good sign as I don’t like Connecticut wrappers at all. The wrapper is light colored, a bit yellow with thin veins. There are some soft spots in the construction. The cigar has a bit of a floral smell with wood. The band is simple. The predraw is fine, a bit sweet and floral.
I taste a sweet earthy flavor with a musty Connecticut taste to it, exactly what I dislike about Connecticut wrappers. After half an inch I taste earth and chocolate, the musty flavor has gone. After an inch and a half I taste a bit of hay and the mustiness is back again. The cigar is still a bit sweet.
Halfway I taste some dark chocolate again with the earthy flavor and the hay. After two thirds the cigar becomes ashy but that nasty flavor disappears soon. After that I get a strange chocolate flavor again with hay.
This cigar lasted me for a little over an hour. I got a decent amount of medium thick smoke. The draw was fantastic and the burn was straight. The ash is light colored and firm. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored.
Would I buy this cigar again? Simple answer: No.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: Chateau Real, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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