Posts Tagged With: event only

Don Labalet Robusto

After I came back from Intertabac 2016, where I met some old friends, made some new ones, I looked at all the cigars that have been given to me and cataloged them in my online humidor at Stogierate.com. Some of the cigars have been reviewed in the last few months, some others will still be reviewed. The information on most of the cigars was easy to find but I had one cigar, Don Labalet Robusto, that was just no information to be found on and I tried hard but couldn’t remember who gave it to me. And with no information I mean literally no information online I just didn’t have a clue what it was, who made it and where it was from. Fast forward two weeks later, I got a message from Kevin Dooms who works at Gajane, a distributer of premium cigars in The Netherlands, I’ve known Kevin for a few years as his parents own a nice tobacco shop in Zwijndrecht and I used to visit them as a sales rep for The Longfiller Company. At Intertabac we spoke about me being unemployed at the moment, and that I needed a contract to bring my Singaporean wife, whom I just married, over to The Netherlands.


So Kevin, his employer Steph, his colleague Cees and I meet up for lunch at their office and after lunch they give me a cigar, guess what, its a Don Labalet Robusto. And then I found out more about the cigar. Gajane is not only active in The Netherlands but also in Sweden and France and in Sweden they also produce snus (known as dip in the USA) and cigarettes. One of their employees is a Cuban refugee, Osmel Lavalier Castellanos, and it turned out that he used to be a cigar roller back in Cuba. So now, next to his regular job at Gajane, he rolls cigars for and at events. Gajane Netherlands brought him over for a few events and the moment Osmel landed at Schiphol airport he asked “do you have cigar rings?” and that was countered by “do you have a name for the cigar?”. They settled on the name Don Labalet, as that is Osmel’s second name and had bands printed quickly. As far as the blend, I have no idea what tobaccos are used for this specific cigar.


The wrapper has a milky brown wrapper and a very flat head, that makes it great to punch. There is a little damage and I can see a much darker binder. The cigar has a double band, the foot ring is bronze colored with 3 golden stars and black lettering that says “Don Labalet” while the regular ring is black with red and yellow, a white D and a black L. The construction feels great and you can see the Cuban influence in the beatiful triple cap. The cigar has a mild sweet aroma. I’m smoking this cigar during the day instead of my regular routine of reviewing in the evening.


As I said, the head is very flat so I punched the cigar and the cold draw is great, I taste a mild spicy raw tobacco flavor. I light the cigar with my Ronson varaflame. The first flavor is a mild coffee, more latte than regular coffee. After a centimeter i taste a mild and muted cinnamon and a caramel like sweetness on top of a wood flavor. After an inch I lost the caramel but instead I taste a mild milky chocolate with the wood and the muted cinnamon. Halfway it’s a dry wood, muted cinnamon and a dominant caramel sweetness again. After two thirds the wood gets replaced by nuts, the cinnamon is gone and the caramel is still dominant. Soon after there is a herbal spicy flavor too with the retuned cinnamon and the caramel. The last few puffs are peppery.


The smoke is medium thick but I get a lot of smoke. The ash is beautiful light gray, almost white, with some darker accents and quite firm. The draw is perfect and the burn is straight. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored, a great morning cigar that I think, would not be suitable after a dinner. The cigar is well balanced and for an ‘event only’ cigar not related to any brand this cigar surprises me pleasantly. The smoke time is little over an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? That will be impossible since its an event only cigar and I don’t know if the same sort of tobacco is available for the next event.

Score: 89

89

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Categories: 89, Don Labalet, Dutch cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

E.L.V.I.S. 2009

In june 2009 a Dutch friend & me visited Las Vegas with two friends from Florida. A bunch of other friends from Cigar Asylum flew to Las Vegas too to herf with us, which was amazing. While planning our trip and this herf, the Las Vegas part of the trip got the name E.L.V.I.S. which stands for Epic Las Vegas International Smokefest. Andrew Wood from Guillen Cigar was coming too, so I asked him to make a special E.L.V.I.S. cigar. Unfortunately the cigars were stuck in customs, but we were able to buy bundles short after I got back home in The Netherlands.
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The first thing I notice is the beautiful shape, the top of the cigar is quite slender. The cigar has a nice color of milk chocolate and the wrapper only has a few minor veins. The cigar has a nice hay smell. The construction feels good. The wrapper has a dry leather look to it. The predraw of this 6 x 50 torpedo is good and I taste raisin.
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First flavors I get are earth and coffee but after an inch the coffee disappears. Wood takes the place of the coffee. The flavors are quite dry.
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Halfway I taste some herbs and wood, the cigar is mild sweet too. After ⅔ the wood gets stronger, the cigar is still a bit sweet and the earth flavor is gone.
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The smoke time of this one dimensional but pleasant cigar is 90 minutes. The draw is good and I got a reasonable amount of smoke. The burn is good and the firm ash is light colored. I would call this a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I still have half a bundle, so no. This was a limited production, I don’t evne know if Andy has any left.

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

Categories: E.L.V.I.S., Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

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