Posts Tagged With: figurado

Cigar of the month August

August was a month of 12 published reviews, including one with the name I used as a nickname on forums like Club Stogie and Cigar Asylum when forums were still the place to be.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

La Preferida 452 with a 95 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) La Preferida 452 (Nicaragua) 95 points
2) Ave Maria Argentum (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Guayacan Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Leon Jimenes Don Fernando (Dominican Republic) 92 points
5) Xiphos Habano Robusto (Costa Rica) 92 points
6) Undercrown Sun Grown Belicoso (Nicaragua) 91 points
7) E.L.V.I.S. Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserva Maduro Churchill (USA) 91 points
9) Casa Magna Domus Magnus Tiberus (Nicaragua) 90 points
10) Winston Churchill by Davidoff The Artist (Dominican Republic) 90 points
11) Ahuriba Light Corona (Aruba) 90 points
12) Swag Lancero (Dominican Republic) 88 points

 

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Categories: Cigar of the month, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ave Maria Argentum

Before I started to work for a Dutch cigar importer & distributer, I used to order online from the USA and one of the cigars that I ordered a lot was the Diesel Unholy Cocktail. When I started to work for that importer & distributer I felt like I couldn’t do that anymore since it was not a legal thing to do as its considered tax evading, you are only allowed to import tobacco if you have a license with the exemption of 50 cigars that you carry across the border in person and because all my accounts were cigar shops that feel the pain of this import. But I did miss my Diesel Unholy Cocktails. So I kept asking my employer if there was a way to import these but everytime he would reply “these are made for the wholesaler that is part of Cigars International so they probably won’t sell to us anyway”. Well, after three years of nagging he finally decided to mail Meier & Dutch and much to his surprise and my happiness they were open to the idea. On top of that I ran into the responsible person a few weeks later at Tabacalera Oliva in Esteli, Nicaragua and that sealed the deal.


We started with the Diesel, Manowar and a few other cigars and slowly expanded our business with Meier & Dutch but right before the Cigaragua shop was opened I got fired as my employer had his doubts if I would be a good shopmanager. He’s wrong, but as an employee you don’t always get a chance to prove that. Too bad, because a lot of new items came in just to be sold in that shop and nowhere else in The Netherlands. Amongst those cigars is this Ave Maria Argentum, just like the Diesel Unholy Cocktail and the Manowar made by A.J. Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua. I have been to the factory and its very impressive, huge, clean and I could roam free without a chaperone, something that didn’t happen anywhere else. I met Abdel too a few times, now that his English improved we can actually hold a conversation, something that was impossible before because of my lack of Spanish.


What I notice first is the shape and the color, It’s almost a flying pic but there is just a tiny difference in shape. The cigar is a 5×58 perfecto. The color is striking because its almost black, I have never seen a wrapper this dark and you can see that the sun did its work as the surface of the toothy wrapper looks like leather. Well, thats as far as you can see the wrapper because the ring is huge, and to add to that they added a second ring too. The second ring is black with big silver lining and the word Argentum written in font that makes me think of medievel times and knights. The real ring has the same black & silver theme going on with a knight, the english crest and a banner with silver letters ave maria. On the back the ring has a red cross. I like the look of the ring. The cigar feels rock hard I just hope it doesn’t have a tight draw and the strong aroma reminds me of a hay stack in a field surrounded by some cows and an angry bull.


I couldn’t punch the cigar so I had to cut it with my flat cut. The cold draw is great with some pepper on my lips. I lit the cigar carefully, expecting a tight start but from that the start the draw is good and I taste coffee with chocolate. Once the burn gets to the thicker part the flavors open and I taste cedar, pepper, cinnamon and a hint of cacao. I also taste a little sweetness, icing sugar like sweetness. The sweetness is getting a little stronger, just like the cedar. After a third I taste a nice spice mix with sugar and pepper, this is the sweetness I expect from a Maduro wrapper like this. Halfway the base flavor becomes nutty with pepper and a little bit of sweetness. Slowly but surely the cigar gets stronger and so does the pepper, the nuts change to wood.


The draw is wonderful. The ash is light colored, dense and firm. The burn had to be corrected once but that always happens to me when lighting a cigar with a foot like that. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume. The cigar starts out medium bodied but evolved to full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? This is a great cigar!

Score: 94
94

Categories: 94, Ave Maria, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

Casa Magna Domus Magnus Tiberius

I used to work for the Dutch distributer of Casa Magna, next to the Casa Magna Colorado we also carried the Honduran made Casa Magna Oscuro and the Casa Magna Domus Magnus Primus and Optimus and they sold, except for the oscuro. The Domus Magnus I smoked a lot too, great cigar for a great price. We even introduced it at the first Dutch Big Smoke in 2010. Fast forward to 2014, Quesada released a second Domus Magnus year with a few new sizes including this Casa Magna Domus Magnus Tiberius but they weren’t on the international price list so we couldn’t order them.


A year later I went to Nicaragua with Marcel Langedijk and Jesaja Hutubessy, a journalist and a photographer for the book Cigaragua they wanted to publish and I was the one that arranged the whole trip. If you write a book about Nicaraguan tobacco and cigars you cannot ignore the Plasencia family so even though we didn’t do any business with them I made an appointment. During our meeting there Nestor Andres Plasencia handed me a Casa Magna Domus Magnus Tiberius and explained me that the strange shape actually came from a Bic lighter, they made a mold out of the shape of the lighter to make this 6×54 figurado and they used nothing but Nicaraguan tobacco. I lit the cigar and fell in love.


Right after I returned from the trip we needed to place an order at Quesada, I requested the latest international price sheet and again, no Domus Magnus II mentioned so I started to push a little and within a few days Raquel Quesada got me prices and we placed a big order for The Netherlands. Now the cigar looks good, it has a medium brown wrapper, like dark oak, with a nice pigtail. The construction feels good and the wrapper looks nice with some marbling and hardly any veins. The cigar has two rings, a foot ring in black with small red vertical lines, golden outline and golden lettering D. Magnus II Limitada. The normal ring has that same red & black vertical striping and the golden outline on the sides and back and a big yellow logo on the from with a red banner. The brand name Casa Magna is printed in golden and on a small banner at the bottom it says D. Magnus II limitada. I smell a mild woody aroma.


Due to the unusual shape I had no choice but to cut and I used my Xikar XI2 cutter for that. The cold draw is good and I taste some woody and pepper flavors. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and taste a pleasant coffee flavor. After a few puffs I also taste cedar and a little metallic flavor. This is not how I remember the cigar when I first smoked it. After a centimeter I taste mild peanuts with still some metallic flavor. After a third i also taste a little bit of cocoa.

Right before I reach halfway the metallic flavor is gone, I now taste herbs, toast and wood. After two thirds I taste some faint cocoa again. After that the cigar gets spicier again and the metal flavor returns too, but faint. The finish is great.


The draw is flawless and the ash is light colored, dense and firm. The shape of the cigar doesn’t feel weird or unusual as you might suspect. The smoke is medium thick and medium in amount. The burn is quite straight. The cigar is full bodied and medium full to full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, even if it was just to see if this is a dud or that the one I smoked in Nicaragua stood out from the rest.

Score: 90

90

Categories: 90, Casa Magna, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Mbombay Vintage Reserve Salomon

One of my Dutch friends is a big fan of Mbombay and he gave me a cigar that I smoked for a yet to be published review just a few weeks ago. And I liked it, I can’t remember the final score but I knew I liked it. And then, while in Singapore two weeks ago, my friend Nuzli, a great designer who’s doing some photoshopping for Mbombay gave me a brand new cigar, the Mbombay Vintage Reserve, both in a Salomon and in a Lancero vitola. I’m smoking the Salomon now.


I reached out to the Mbombay instagram account for some background information, we exchanged two or three messages but I haven’t gotten any information yet. I blame that on the IPCPR which is this weekend so brand owner Mel Shaw is probably crazy busy at the moment. Hopefully I get some information soon. Maybe it’s the same blend as the limited edition Vintage Reseve 1973 that got released at IPCPR 2016, but I simply do not know.


The cigar has a light brown wrapper with quite some thin veins, it looks oily and I have my suspicion that it’s a Connecticut Shade wrapper even though it’s not as pale as most Connecticut Shade cigars. I love the shape of a good Salomon and the cigar feels well packed but with the right amount of sponginess. The ring however, I think a better job could have been done. Whenever you walk into a humidor, all the other Mbombay cigars stand out because of the artwork while this one, well, let me put it that way, if I was browsing a humidor I would, at first glance, think that it’s a Davidoff cigar. White oval ring with dots and a thin secondary ring is kind of their trademark. At second glance you see a peacock, very detailed and nice but a far cry from the colourful and unique artwork from the other Mbombay cigars. The cigar has a strong aroma, straw and hay come to mind with a little pepper.


The cold draw is fine with a woody aroma. After lighting I taste that classic Connecticut Shade flavor, something I don’t like, but the flavor is mild and some sweetness actually make it enjoyable. After a centimeter I taste cedar, sweetness and some lemon, with that Connecticut Shade touch. After a third I taste a creamy, buttery cedar with a hint of vanilla and that Connecticut Shade flavor. Halfway I taste the cedar and Connecticut Shade flavor with a mild chocolate and a growing cayenne pepper. In the final third the cedar is still creamy with a little bit of vanilla and the cayenne but the Connecticut Shade mustiness as I call it is getting the overhand. Near the end the cigar gets spicy and peppery, suddenly it gains strength too.


The draw is fine. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness, but beautifully white. The smoke gets thicker and I see more of it once the burn reaches the thicker part of the cigar. The ash is almost silver and black, with thin rings. The burn is straight as an arrow. I would say this is a medium strong cigar, medium flavored and well balanced. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again?  Depending on the price, I might. This is one of the few Connecticut Shade cigars out there that I like.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Costa Rican cigars, Mbombay, Tabaccos de Costa Rica | Tags: , , , , ,

Cigar of the month June

In June I published 16 reviews and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Soloman with a 95 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Soloman (Nicaragua) 95 points
2) Xiphos NR Habano Robusto (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Reserva Miraflor Corona (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Don Payo El Baron Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Don Lino 1898 Robusto (unknown) 92 points
6) MUWAT Baitfish Gary (Nicaragua) 92 points
7) Cornelius & Anthony Meridian Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
8) Viking Viking Churchill (Dominican Republic) 91 points
9) Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Lancero (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Herrera Esteli Corona Gorda (Nicaragua) 90 points
11) El Baton Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
12) Desconocido Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
13) H. Upmann Magnum 54 (Cuba) 89 points
14) Quesada Reserva Privada Toro (Dominican Republic) 89 points
15) Casa de Alegria Criollo Corona (Nicaragua) 87 points
16) Gomez Sanchez Leyenda Figurado (Nicaragua) 85 points

 

 

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Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Soloman

Jas Sum Kral owner has his own two day cigar festival every year, Ristefari, and for the inaugural 2017 edition he decided to make a limited edition of his Red Knight cigar in a Salomon shape, called to soloman. Only 1000 of the cigars were made, 100 boxes of 10, and they were only for sale during Ristefari with a MSRP of $12. And I got two of them now, a gift from Riste.


When these 7×58 cigars were made, Riste still had his cigars made at Tabacalera NOA, owned by Noel Rojas. That partnership has sailed, Jas Sum Kral is now made in the small factory of Roniel Aragon, a previous employer of Noel Rojas who ventured out on his own. As for this vitola, Jas Sum Kral made it again but in a variation of the Zlatno Sonce blend for Ristefari 2018 and I reviewed the cigar last month.


I am not a fan of big ring gauges but in a shape like this I don’t oppose it. I mean, one of my favorite cigars is actually shaped like this. The wrapper is a tad darker than what I’m used to from Jas Sum Kral, it goes towards a dark chocolate color and it has a mild leathery look. The construction feels great, the shape is beautiful. The aroma is quite mild, woody and a bit soapy.


After cutting the cigar I taste a spicy peppery flavor with a perfect resistance. After lighting it’s pepper and coffee, earthy flavors. There is also a cane-sugar tasting sweetness. The sugar is getting stronger with cedar and pepper as support flavors. Secretly the cigar gains strength and I taste something that reminds me a bit of carrots. It’s not exactly carrot but it is similar. I tasted this a few times before in cigars, and I like it. The sweetness remains, the carrot disappears, it’s now a wooden flavor with some green leafy herbs, a little cinnamon and pepper. Little passed the midway point it’s oak with pepper and spicy green herbs, the sweetness is gone. The pepper grows and becomes dominant in the final third, it blows all other flavors away.


The draw is great, the ash is light in color, a little frayed and with clear rings. The burn is good. The smoke is medium thick, grayish and medium of volume. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? That wouldn’t be possible.

Score: 95
number95

Categories: 95, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Noa | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Gomez Sanchez 1RA Generacion Leyenda #2

This cigar is part of the Micallef brand yet its called Gomez Sanchez after the family that the Micallef’s partnered up with to create their cigars. The 1ra generacion leyenda No.2 is blended by Don Pedro F. Gomez, the patriarch of the family before his death and his grandsons make the cigar now in his honor. I got this cigar at the intertabac trade show in September 2017.


The blend consists of aged Nicaraguan, Dominican, Honduran and Ecuadorian tobaccos, of which the Ecuadorian Habano the wrapper is and after rolling the cigars are aged for another year before they are shipped out to distributers and/or retailers, something Cubans should pay attention to. The blend is only available in one vitola, a torpedo, which they like to call a tempered figured, and I just realized that all Micallef and Gomez Sanchez blends are available in one vitola.


The first thing I see is the shape, its a torpedo but with a very long and pointy head. The second thing I notice is the ring, that is so different from the ones with the Micallef names, instead of that eastern European feel this feels much more Spanish influenced, darker colors, brown, orange, red and golden with open parts in the ring, which is a nice detail. The Gomez Sanchez name in gold on an orange ring, over a brown bottom. Then just underneath that another brown ring with golden outlines and the leyenda no.2 name and a footing in the same colors with Micallef family, Gomez Sanchez Family. The wrapper is smooth and very dark, like dark chocolate. The shape is unique and the cigar feels well made. The aroma is medium strong and reminds me of a barnyard.


Even though the skinny head of the cigar, the cold draw is great after a cut with my double guillotine cutter. I taste a sticky, thick, sultana flavor. After lighting I taste a weird, meaty and sticky flavor. The flavor doesn’t change much except that it turns a little sweeter and a little pepper shows up. After a third I taste that meaty, sticky wood, sort of like a wood paste, with some sugar. The final third is woody, sweet, a little spicy and peppery. The final puffs are peppery.


The draw is great. The ash is white and dense. It’s not too firm, it breaks easily. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume. The burn is decent. This is a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Because of the premium msrp of 20 dollars I had high expectations that weren’t met, not by far.

Score: 85
number85

Categories: 85, Micallef, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull

The La Flor Dominicana Andalusian bull, what can I say? It was released in the summer of 2016 and hit the spot, or to make a reference to the name, it hit the bull’s eye, as it became #1 on the Cigar Aficionado top 25 of 2016. Now you want to know about the name? Why does a Dominican cigar a name that refers to the Spanish region Andalusia and a bull? Well, La Flor Dominicana owner Litto Gomez was born in Spain, so this is a link to the country of his birth. The writing on the ring is the handwriting of Pablo Picasso, who loved to paint bulls and the green in the ring is a reference to the green in the flag of Andalusia. Bull fighting is a big sport in Andalusia, hence the silhouet of the matador on the ring


The cigar, which has an odd shape, measures 6 1/2×64 and comes from an old mold that Litto Gomez found while on business in Belgium. The blend, which is a cooperation between Litto and his son Tony, consists of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper from corojo seed, wrapped around a binder and filler from the Dominican Republic which include Criollo ’98, Pelo d’Oro and a hybrid tobacco. Tony Gomez gave me this cigar at the Intertabac trade show in Dortmund last september.


Now that I released the cigar from the cellophane I notice how thick it really is. I mean, I read it was a 64 ring gauge but it looked thinner wrapped in cellophane. The coffee colored, mild shiny, smooth wrapper looks delicious. The green ring with golden details, the black silhouette, the golden letters, its a piece of art and when you know something about the meaning of the ring, as I tried to explain in the first paragraph of the review, it’s even better. Cigar Rings did an awesome job printing this. The shape is quite unique, its slightly different than a regular pyramid, the blunt head is wrapped perfectly and the cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is strong and reminds me of a spice cabinet in an Asian kitchen.


I cut the cigar. The raisin and herbal cold draw is great with a little pepper in my lips. After lighting I taste coffee with herbs and pepper. After a few puffs I taste herbal soil and half an inch later I also taste a mild metallic flavor. After an inch I taste coffee again, earthy and with a hint of chocolate and lime. Halfway the flavors have slowly changed to an earthy flavor with chocolate. Slowly the pepper returns, just like the lime.


The draw is great and the smoke is medium in thickness and volume. The light gray ash is dense and very firm. The burn is pretty straight. This cigar is full bodied and medium full flavored. The balance is spot on, and the smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Once they become available in my country I’ll grab a box.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Dominican cigars, La Flor Dominicana, Tabacalera La Flor | Tags: , , , , , ,

Jas Sum Kral Zlatno Sonce Soloman

Jas Sum Kral took the social media by storm and the Red Knight was a super hit amongst boutique brand cigars, and the follow up, the Zlatno Sonce was a hit too, even with me and I dislike Connecticut Shade cigars with a passion. But yet, I am going to try this 7×58 Jas Sum Kral Zlatno Sonce Soloman limited edition, made for brand owner Riste’s yearly cigar weekend Ristevari, even though the box arrived at my doorstep today, so no rest, right of the truck.


The first cigars were made at the factory of Noel Rojas but under the supervision of Roniel Aragon. Now I don’t know what happened but Roniel left Tabacalera NOA, Riste left there some time later and now Roniel is making JSK in his new factory Tabacalera Aragon S.A., this is the first cigar that I smoke that comes out of that factory. Riste told me that the blend is a twist on the regular Zlatno Sonce blend, with a little tobacco from the Somoto canyon in Nicaragua as an added flavor. And rumor is that this blend might be used for the core line too. Somoto is an unknown area in Nicaragua, at the bottom of the canyon is one farm, owned by Carlos Javier Garcia Pereda. Riste and his partner Roniel Aragon visited the farm, late 2017, loved the leaf so much that they used it for the Soloman and maybe we will see more of the Somoto tobacco surface soon.


The cigar looks good, the wrapper is shiny, almost lacquered even though I dislike the yellow brown color. The ring is amazing, made by the Singaporean designer Nuzli Hakiim, is one of the best in the business. Very detailed, white and gold, lions, crest, just simply beautiful. The construction feels great, a really well made cigar. Since the cigars rested for 8 months before they got send to me I can’t smell any ammonia anymore, just a full smell of mud and hay.


I cut the cigar to find a perfect cold draw, spicy, peppery raisins. After lichting I taste a mild coffee with hay. After an inch I taste spice and herbs with a little buttery, meaty undertone. There is no hint of the mustiness that I usually get from Connecticut Shade. And the cigar is strong too for a Connecticut. Halfway I do taste it a little though but with spices and sweetness, I also taste some licorice. The final third also gets a hint of vanilla. Pepper shows up and it’s getting strong too.


The draw is great. The light gray ash is firm with beautiful layers. The white is a little thin. The burn is straight as can be. The cigar is medium full bodied, the strongest Connecticut Shade I ever smoked. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Love the blend, this vitola unfortunately is a limited edition.

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Aragon | Tags: , , , , , ,

Cigar of the month April

In April I published 16 reviews and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Guayacan Corona Gorda with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Guayacan Corona Gorda(Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Xiphos NR Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Espinosa Habano Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Reserva Miraflor Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Alec Bradley Pryme Torpedo (Honduras) 92 points
6) Kristoff San Andres Robusto (Dominican Republic) 92 points
7) Alec Bradley Nica Puro Churchill (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) A.J. Fernandez New World Puro Especial Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
9) Perla Del Mar Maduro Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Toro (Costa Rica) 90 points
11) Casa Pineda Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
12) Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Corona (Costa Rica) 90 points
13) Cohiba Lancero (Cuba) 89 points
14) Cavalier de Geneve Toro (Honduras) 88 points
15) Gurkha Reserva Edición Especial Koi (Dominican Republic) 87 points
16) Kings Cigars King of Kings Habano Cuadrado (Nicaragua) 84 points

 

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