Posts Tagged With: Exclusivo

Saint Luis Rey Herfing exclusivo Medio Oriente

Saint Luis Rey Herfing exclusivo Medio Oriente. That is the 2017 Regional Edition for the Middle East. Even though this cigar is part of the 2017 Regional Edition program, the cigar is available since 2019. It is limited to 7500 boxes of 10 cigars. Saint Luis Rey is an 80-year-old brand with only one regular production vitola. It is used for some regional editions though. Until 1993, the brand was only available on the English market and it was created by a British firm. It is considered one of the fuller Cuban Marcas with tobaccos from the Vuelta Abajo and the Semi Vuelta regions.

The size of the Saint Luis Rey Herfin exclusivo Medio Oriente is 5½x54. This is Robusto Extra size, but Habanos calls it Duke. It’s only the 8th time that this size is produced. The only regular production size in this vitola is Partagas Serie E #2. All the other releases are limited editions or regional editions. The Partagas Serie E #2 is a 2011 release. The other releases are Romeo y Julieta Duke (2009) and Bolivar Soberanos (2018) as limited editions. The French market saw the Ramon Allones Hexagone as the 2016 Regional Edition. That same year, The Netherlands had the La Gloria Cubana Platino. This Saint Luis Rey Herfing is from the 2017 Regional Edition program. From the 2018 Regional Edition program, the Punch Duke (Mexico) and Quai d’ Orsay Baalbeck (Lebanon) come in this vitola.

The wrapper looks nice. It is quite dry, it feels like fine sandpaper. The color is nice, Colorado brown. The construction feels good. The Saint Luis Rey ring never stood out from the crown, red with gold and white letters. The crown on the center of the ring is just a big blur. The secondary ring is the iconic regional edition ring and doesn’t match with the regular ring. The cigar has a nice, medium strong aroma. Barnyard with forest aromas is released.

The cold draw is great, with a nice yet spicy floral flavor. After lighting the cigar releases spice, cedar, leather, coffee, and some black pepper. It’s all leather, wood, coffee, and earthiness in the beginning, with a little pepper. The mouthfeel is dry. There’s a little nut flavor, with hay, pepper, salt, leather, and wood. After a third, the cigar turns more floral with softwood. The walnut flavor gains strength, just as the black pepper. The nuts and pepper remain dominant, with support of wood. There’s also some salt.

The draw is loose, too loose. Although it improves along the way. That creates a wonky burn. It’s hard to keep this cigar lit in the beginning. The ash is dark but relatively firm. This cigar is medium-full bodied and medium-full flavored. The smoke is good. Not quite refined or nuanced although that changes after a third. The smoke time is three hours and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s quite expensive so no, but I enjoyed it.

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, Saint Luis Rey (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Bolivar Libertador Edición Francia

Bolivar Libertador Edición Francia. This cigar is released three times. First in 2006 as an edicion regional for France. A year later, another batch was released, also for the French market. This particular cigar hails from the second release. Those releases came in boxes of 10 or dress boxes of 25. The cigar that we smoke for this review comes from a dress box of 25. In 2013, the cigar returned as a semi-regular production but exclusively for the La Casa del Habano franchise stores. The La Casa del Habano version only comes in ten-count boxes though.

I was gifted this beautiful, fat cigar by a friend. We were smoking a cigar pairing it with Cohiba cognac by Martell at his beautiful home. He brought out a box of these beauties and said “why don’t you do a review of these”. A task we happily accepted. The 6½x54 Sublimes has a reputation, and we had never smoked one. So to be able to review a vintage version is an opportunity we could not pass.

The cigar looks good. A nice, evenly colored wrapper. Just one vein. But the wrapper looks dry. Not dry as in no moisture, but dry as in not oily. The triple cap is beautiful. The regular Bolivar ring, with the gold, yellow and brown looks good on the shade of the wrapper. As with most Cuban rings, the exclusivo ring and the regular ring don’t really match. The cigar feels quite hard. There isn’t a lot of aromas left after thirteen years of aging.

The cold draw is good. Lightly salty with a little bit of black pepper. Once lit, the salt and pepper are hardly noticeable. The cigar has a nice honey sweetness with leather. The flavor then turns to dry leather, sweetness, and cedar. Mellow and smooth, this cigar tells you it’s aged. The second third starts with a pronounced coffee flavor, with spices, leather, cedar, and honey. The flavors gain strength as well. The mouthfeel gets dry with coffee, earth, honey, and leather. The same flavors keep lingering around, one stronger than the other and then switching. The honey remains pronounced. Coffee keeps coming back, with leather. In the final third, the earthiness is getting stronger with some more spice and pepper. It has that typical flavor of an aged Cuban cigar that cannot be found in any other cigar in the world.

The draw is good. The light gray ash is pretty and quite firm. The flavors of the cigar are smooth and balanced. In the first third, it’s clear that this is an aged cigar. The cigar starts to show character in the second third, before that it was mellow at best. The smoke is now nice and thick. White and a good volume of smoke as well. This cigar starts mild and grows to medium-full. Both in flavor and strength. The smoke time is three hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Boxes with this age are impossible to find.

Categories: 91, Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Por Larranaga Gran Robusto Exclusive Países Bajos 2017

Por Larranaga Gran Robusto Exclusive Países Bajos 2017. This cigar was released mid-2018, which is not too much of a delay when it comes to exclusivo regional releases. Habanos manages to release limited editions and regional editions often to be delayed for over a year, or even longer. This release was limited to 100.000 cigars, 10.000 boxes of 10 pieces. And Habanos wouldn’t be Habanos if an unknown amount of the cigars were labeled incorrectly. Not a first for a cigar from the Exclusivo Regional series.

Por Larranaga is an old brand. The brand was founded in 1834, which makes it almost 200 years old. Even though it’s a small brand, it has some hardcore fans. The brand is used by several distributors as Exclusivo Regional over the years. 5th Avenue (Germany), France, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Asia Pacifico, Switzerland, and Peru all had one or more Por Larranaga regional editions. This is the only Por Larranaga exclusivo for the Dutch market.

The Colorado colored wrapper isn’t the most beautiful one. It has veins, a lot, and looks wrinkly. The glossy golden ring is so shiny that it’s overkill. It makes the white letters hard to see. But the white letters work with the white dots on the secondary ring though. The triple cap looks good. There are no soft or hard spots on the cigar. The aroma is very mind, it’s slightly woody with cardboard.

The cold draw is a bit tight, with a gingerbread spice taste. The first puffs are a bit sour and dry at the same time. Dusty even. Some honey tries through breakthrough the citrus acidity, but it fails. The sweetness, acidity, and dusty flavor aren’t a joy. After a third, some wood, leather, and soil show up with some spices. The leather and cedar are slowly growing, and there is even a hint of milk chocolate. The honey sweetness returns. There’s also a hint of hazelnuts.

The ash is dark and not very firm. The burn is straight tough. The smoke is decent in volume, but it’s thin. The draw is good, a little tight but still way within margins. The cigar is quite boring with a very slow build-up. Medium-bodied and medium-flavored at most. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No

Categories: 87, Cuban cigars, Por Larranaga (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Punch Sir David Exclusivo Hong Kong

Punch Sir David Exclusivo Hong Kong. Sir David Tang is a legend in the world of the Habanos, especially in Asia. He is the founder of Pacific Cigar Company, the Habanos distributor for a large part of Asia and Oceania. He started PCC in 1992 and made Cuban cigars extremely popular all over Asia, and in Hong Kong specifically. So popular, that Cuba appointed Sir David Tang as the honorary consul for the Caribbean island in Hong Kong. He was also a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and the French government honored him as Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres In August 2017, Sir David Tang passed away in London from liver cancer. Completely in his style, he planned a farewell party after doctors gave him only 2 months to live. But right before the party took place, his illness caught up to him and he passed. A year later, Habanos and PCC paid tribute to this remarkable man by releasing a regional edition for Hong Kong in his honor, the Punch Sir David.

 

The release consisted of 1200 cabinets of 50 cigars of his favorite brand Punch. And in a slightly shorter size than his preferred vitola, the Double Corona. The Punch Sir David is a Paco sized cigar, 7⅛x49, where the Punch Double Corona measures 7⅝x49. All the tobacco is grown, cultivated and curated in Cuba. 

 

The oily wrapper is Colorado colored. It has a few veins and rougher spots. But then again, it’s a long cigar, so it’s hard to get perfect wrapper leaves for double coronas. Since there is only so much tobacco in Cuba, the resources for these specific wrappers are scarce. The cigar feels evenly filled, yet a little under packed. The shape is good, the triple cap is great looking. The cigar has the regular Punch ring, and the famous red, silver and white exclusivo ring. But for this release, the ring had a crown with the name of Sir David, to commemorate him. The aroma is mild. A little wood with some ammonia is the smell of the cigar.

 

 The cold draw is a bit easy. With a salty raisin flavor. The salt is still there after lighting. But that’s not the only flavor. There’s hay as well, and leather. Slowly a fruity flavor and pepper show up too with a mild cedar. Some sweetness shows up too, with some grass and spices. Now that might all sound very flavorful, but the flavors are muted. They are there, but they are mellow and not outspoken. After half an hour, the cigar turns floral with a little harshness on the back of the throat. There’s also leather, soil, and some spices. The flavors come out of their shell a little more, they get more pronounced. At the end of the first third, the pepper grows and a hazelnut flavor shows up. In the second third, the cigars remain floral with pepper. There’s also some leather and spice. The flavors are no longer muted. The cigar gains strength as well, with a much stronger pepper over a floral base. The final third starts with cedar again, soil, leather, and pepper. The pepper slows down for a bit, before returning strong again. Some toast shows up too. 

 

The draw is good. The ash is light-colored and frayed. The smoke is fine and the burn is straight. The cigar is balanced and smooth. It’s a slow starter, with muted flavors in the beginning but it opens up. Medium-bodied turning into full-bodied and medium flavored turning into full-flavored. The smoke time is three hours and twenty minutes.

 Would I buy this cigar again? Too rich for my blood, but I would love to

number91

Categories: Cuban cigars, Punch (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , ,

Tatuaje Fausto IT MM19

Tatuaje Fausto IT MM19. This is a release exclusively for Italy, in a limited production of 4000 cigars. And this is the second year in a row that Italy received an exclusive Tatuaje. The Fausto line saw the light in 2011, even though the blend was released as a store exclusive limited edition in 2009. Pete Johnson created the Tatuaje T110, a short robusto, for a shop in Hawaii. The T stands for thermonuclear and it was the strongest Tatuaje ever made. The cigar became such a hype that the limited edition turned into a regular production line with the Fausto name. But the T110 size never re-appeared with this blend.


The Fausto blend consists of Nicaraguan filler and binder. The regular production Fausto sports an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper but for both the Italian exclusive releases, Johnson went for a Mexican San Andres wrapper.

The cigar looks fantastic. A very dark Mexican San Andres wrapper with a nice triple cap. The red & black Tatuaje Fausto ring is the main ring. The secondary ring is a ring that Tatuaje uses for the Mexican Experiment and other limiteds. White with red and green. The two rings don’t match together, which is aesthetically not appealing. The Fausto IT MM19 feels well constructed. The aroma is strong, pepper with barnyard and charred wood.


The cold draw is good. Except for some pepper, the cold draw doesn’t have much flavor. With the reputation of Fausto, you’d expect a punch in the face but the cigar starts mellow. Smooth coffee, almost like a latte with a little bit of spice and pepper. After a few puffs, there is some citrus, leather, spice, toast, and pepper. The cigar then evolves with a little more sweetness and dried grass. Slowly the cigar transforms into a leathery, peppery cigar with some wood and spices. After a third, the cigar has a sweetness that is hard to describe, almost vegetal. There are pepper and leather as well. At this point, the strength of the cigar isn’t hidden anymore. It starts to live up the reputation. Halfway it’s pepper with wood and leather. And there is also a little chocolate in the background.


The draw is flawless. The light gray ash is dense and beautiful. The burn is straight. The Tatuaje Fausto isn’t a smoke bomb, but the cigar produces a nice amount of medium thick smoke. It’s a full-bodied cigar, but because of the balance, it doesn’t feel that strong in the first third. But then the power really picks up. This is a full-flavored cigar. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I could

number92

Categories: 92, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , , ,

Sin Compromiso El Amsterdammer

Sin Compromiso El Amsterdammer. Last February, Ministry of Cigars broke the news that Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust would make their first international store exclusive for Cigaragua. He would make 200 boxes of 13 Bullet Head Gordos called Sin Compromiso El Amsterdammer. The name of the cigar is a tribute to the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, where Cigaragua is located. And citizens from Amsterdam are Amsterdammers. The cigars were released yesterday at a launching event, which was Steve Saka’s first-ever international event for Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.

The wrapper for this cigar is grown in Mexico in the same way as Japanese fruit growers grow their crops. The bottom leaves are removed, forcing more nutrients to the top. That creates bolder wrappers. The binder comes from Ecuador and the fillers from Nicaragua. The cigar is made at the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The cigar has a Celtic looking ring and a cedar sleeve. The cedar sleeve says Sin Comprimoso but that’s all the info. If you don’t know anything about this cigar, the ring and packaging won’t tell you anything either. The bullet head looks great and the wrapper is dark and smooth. It’s actually quite intimidating to see. The cigar is also slightly box pressed. It feels good, with the right amount of bounce. The aroma has hints of charred wood.

The cigar starts out with a very unusual wooden flavor, with some sweetness. And some barnyard flavors, soil. The flavors evolve to more wet soil with some orange peel. It changes to burned wood. It burns a little on the tongue, a slight harshness but it’s not unpleasant. Some dark chocolate shows up too, and it makes the mouthfeel a bit creamy. The burned wood stays the predominant flavor in the first part. After a third, I taste some peanuts with the burned wood. Halfway it’s all soil with almond paste or marzipan sweetness. Rustic is a great word to describe this cigar. The sweetness gets stronger. The burned wood remains the main flavor, but now with nuts. Walnut and hazelnut. And finally some pepper too. There’s some vanilla in the retrohale.

The ash is beautifully white and firm. The burn isn’t quite perfect but doesn’t need correcting yet. The draw is amazing, perfectly rolled. The smoke is good. This cigar is full-flavored, heavy flavors but in fact, this is a medium-bodied cigar. The smoke time is one hour and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it, it’s unique for sure. But I don’t like the size, so no.

number92

Categories: 92, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars, Sin Compromiso | Tags: , , , , , , ,

VegaFino Exclusivo Benelux 2018

VegaFina is a brand made at Casa de Garcia on the Dominican Republic. And Casa de Garcia is the largest cigar factory in the country. It’s part of Altadis. And Altadis is part of Imperial Brands. But for how long is the question. Imperial Brands is trying to sell their premium cigar division. That includes their Dominican cigar factory but also their stake in Habanos. And the shares in several Habanos distributors worldwide.


Habanos was probably the inspiration for this Exclusivo Benelux. Habanos has been releasing regional editions for over a decade. This is the first time VegaFina released a regional edition for the Benelux. Probably hoping to mimic the success of the Cuban regional editions. For that, they blended a 6×56 cigar. The filler is from the Dominican and the United States. The binder is from the Dominican. As a wrapper, they used Mexican Criollo.

The cigar has a nice Colorado Claro colored wrapper. The veins are thin and pretty. Where the regular VegaFina ring has a brushed silver color, the designers picked a shiny silver for the secondary ring. That makes the rings look odd. The Benelux flag design is a nice addition to the additional ring. The construction feels good. The aroma is mild, with a wooden nose. The secondary ring is not glued straight, it’s not correct on the detail level.

The cold draw is good. It tastes spicy with a strong raw tobacco flavor. Stronger than expected from a brand that is known for milder cigars. After lighting, I taste a very mild nutty flavor with some citrus. The flavors are very mild. Coffee, leather, citrus and some sweetness. The cigar is boring with little flavor and no evolution in the first third. After a third, I taste some pepper, wood and a hint of chocolate. And there is still a little acidity left. It then picks up in strength a little, with young, fresh wood and some sugar. But it remains mild. Halfway the cigar turns medium bodied with wood, nuts, minty freshness, and pepper. The wood turns a little charred. In the final third, leather makes a comeback.

The burn was crooked but corrected itself. The ash is whiter than white. The smoke is poor, in volume and thickness. The cigar starts very mildly, then slowly grows to medium-full. Both in flavor and strength. The smoke time is two hours and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nope

number87

Categories: 87, Casa de Garcia, Dominican cigars, VegaFina | Tags: , , ,

La Gloria Cubana Duke Exclusivo Países Bajos

This cigar was released in september 2017 but it’s in the book as a 2016 release. I guess that’s the Cuban calendar. This cigar is a Duke size, 5.5 inch by 54, a robusto extra as some others would call it. And this cigar was a gift from my friend Nasier, who works at Van Lookeren, a tobacconist in Amsterdam with the nicest lounge in speakeasy style underneath the shop. If you’re ever in Amsterdam, go visit Nasier and the lounge, you won’t be disappointed.


I said it before, the marketing genius that came up with the regional editions is worth his weight in gold, and probably several times. The same, normal blend, just a different vitola, and added ring with the region it’s exclusive to and a limited number of boxes and the whole world goes crazy, everybody is hunting down these cigars. Even I fell for the scheme when the first regional editions hit the market and I’m not a Cuban cigar smoker.


The cigar looks good, the shiny wrapper looks good, light brown, brittle but tasty. The ring is yellow with a drawing of a lady in a red cape, golden outlines and a secondary ring in red and silver with white lettering. On one hand I like the consistency of the Cubans that they use the same design for the edicion regional rings, on the other hand, they don’t fit with the regular rings most of the times. The cigar has a flat head, feels evenly packed and even though it looked like the foot was crooked, the cigar stands up straight. The aroma of the cigar tells me it’s still very young, probably too young.


I used my double blade cutter to decap the cigar. The cold draw is fine and I taste a mild acidic raisin flavor with some pepper on the background. After lighting I taste coffee with nutmeg, a little pepper and dry cep. After half an inch I taste vanilla, nutmeg and leather. After a third I taste leather with a little vanilla and cedar. Halfway I taste cinnamon. The final third starts with a sharp and strong pepper with a citrus and vanilla base flavor. The wrapper tears and I had to remove it. The aftertaste is peppery with a minty undertone.


The draw is great, the smoke is thick and full. The ash is white with black smears, it’s a bit coarse. The burn is classic Cuban, all over the board and I had to correct a few times. This is a mild to medium bodied and medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, burn issues, wrapper issues at the final third and the cigar is too mild for me.

Score: 87
number87

Categories: 87, Cuban cigars, La Gloria Cubana (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

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