Posts Tagged With: figurado

Tatuaje RC233

A lot of times people ask me ‘what’s your favorite cigar’ and that is always a hard question to answer as it depends on the moment of the day, the mood I’m in, what I smoked recently and other variables, as cigar smokers you will recognize this, but my answer is always the Tatuaje RC233, not just because its a great cigar but also for a sentimental reason and I’m going to tell why. Back in 2009 I visited the United States for the first time, a road trip all along the east coast and a few days in Las Vegas. And as a cigar aficionado what do you do when you’re in Miami? You go to 8th SW street, aka Calle Ocho, the Cuban quarters of Miami and stroll around the cigar factories, the shops and watch the Cuban seniors play dominos as the Maximo Gomez park. Now back in 2009 La Gloria Cuban was still a working factory, so right there you had a hotspot with El Titan de Bronze, La Gloria Cubana and El Rey de Los Habanos, the factory of Don Pepin Garcia. Now I must say, El Titan was the highlight for me as Sandy Cobas, the owner, took a few hours of her time to show us everything, not just the work floor but also the tobacco storage and the aging room for the fresh rolled cigars but at El Rey de Los Habanos I bought some cigars too including a cigar I had only heard about: Tatuaje RC233.


Now the story goes that only Jaime Garcia and José ‘Don Pepin’ Garcia roll this cigar due to its complicated size. The RC stands for Retro Cuban and the 233 stands for the millimeters length of the cigar, 233 mm is 9.17 inch, and the cigar is perfecto shaped. Its not a cheap cigar either so I was waiting for the perfect moment to smoke the cigar, it had to be something special. That special day came later that year, november 15th, when my first (and only) nephew Simon was born. I smoked the Tatuaje RC233 that night. My next trip to the States I bought a 10 count box and I’ve been smoking one a year, always on november 15th and once he turns 21 I hope he joins me. I smoked one yesterday and decided to write a review even though its not a Wednesday or Sunday, just like I did on a few other special dates.


As I said, the cigar is a figurado, a double perfecto to be precise with a length of 9.17 inch and the thickest part of the cigar has a ring gauge of 55. It is a Nicaraguan puro, but rolled in Miami, even to this date, in very limited numbers. So limited that 3 years back they didn’t even had them in the humidor of the beautiful My Father headquarters. Now the looks of the cigar, apart from the size, makes it stand out in any humidor. The upper part is covered in shiny silver foil, with a simple yet stylish ring, white with a light blue lining on the bottom, black letters TATUAJE RC SERIES and the Pete Hassel Johnson logo and a red and orange lining on top.  The construction is flawless and that feeds my believe in the story that these are only rolled by Don Pepin of Jaime themselves, they are level 9 rollers and I don’t see a lot of people roll a cigar this shape and size so beautifully. The color of the wrapper reminds me of the old dark oak cupboard my grandmother had in her living room, but then with a little tooth and the aroma is a medium strong barnyard aroma.


Because of the shape I had to cut the cigar. The cold draw is fine and i taste some raisin but with some pepper on my lips. I lit the cigar with my soft flame vintage Ronson.  The cigar has a coffee flavor with a little pepper, but it’s mild. After the small tip I taste leather with some herbs and pepper. After an inch I taste some chocolate too but leather is the main flavor. After a third it’s a nice, not too strong, pepper with a little freshness. Slowly the leather changes to cedar, but the mild chocolate, the pepper and the fresh aftertaste still remain. Halfway the chocolate is getting a little stronger but so does the pepper. I taste some leather again too. The chocolate then drops, it’s leather and pepper with some herbs. The cigar makes my mouth dry. Some cedar joins the leather, the herbs and the mild pepper.


The smoke is medium thick at the start but it gets thicker. The draw is perfect. The burn is straight as an arrow. The ash is firm, dense and it’s salt and pepper colored. This cigar is medium bodied, not the full body you expect from Tatuaje but it’s well balanced. The smoke time is little over two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? In 3 years I need to get a new box, anybody has an idea on where to get them?

Score: 93

93

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Categories: 93, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Tatuaje | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Viaje Zombie Antidote

Well, halloween is behind us, we need an antidote against the zombies that have been plaguing us for the last week and Dr. Andre Farkas came up with a vaccin, the Viaje Zombie Antidote. I just love this cigar, a syringe shaped cigar that comes in a plastic medicine bottle with a funny label mimicking a real prescription bottle with all warnings and all, rewritten of course for the cigars and zombies. Unique packaging with a lot of humor and I like that. The cigar that I’m smoking comes from the original 2014 release.


The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro yet it classifies as a Honduran cigar since it’s made at Raices Cubanas in Danli. It’s the first skinny Zombie cigar from Viaje with a 44 ring and a 6 1/2 inch length and as a lover of skinny cigars I dig that vitola. Because of the tempered foot it’s not a lonsdale but a figurado, yet it has lonsdale length and ring. My previous employer carried Viaje for a short time and I met Andre Farkas because of that, we hung out in The Netherlands for a few days with Abe Flores from PDR and we met at Intertabac a few times. Once we got these Zombie Antidotes in I bought a jar just because of the way it looks, it’s a nice showpiece


Once I release the cigar from its cellophane I smell a feces smell, not a barnyard aroma but human feces and its medium strong. The cigar has a few soft spots and it looks like the cigar is a little under filled. The wrapper is beautiful though, quite dark, mild oily, smooth with a thin long vein running over half the cigar. The ring is simple, its about an inch high, white with a red cross, blood spatter and blue letters “Zombie Antidote” on one side and the words “single dose” and Viaje Pharmaceuticals on the backside. The cigar has a triple cap that is placed neatly.


Since the tapered end is at the foot I could use my punch to prepare the cigar for smoking. The predate is great, more resistance than I expected with the soft spots in the construction. I taste hazelnut with some pepper in the cold draw. After lighting the cigar with a soft flame I taste a nutty espresso with some nutmeg. The flavor changes to wood with some cinnamon and a chili pepper aftertaste. After a third I also taste a faint sweet chocolate on the background, far on the background. Halfway I taste more spices like nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon with some oak and citrus. The cigar gets darker in flavor with a nice mix of spices and pepper. Near the end I taste some nuts, lemon and pepper, quite strong.


The smoke is white, thick and full. The ash is coarse, frayed and covered with black smears but firm. The draw is close to perfect, just like the burn. The cigar is medium bodied yet full flavored. With a better construction the cigar would have scored a point higher. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I still have three quarters of a jar.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas, Viaje | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cigar of the month September

It’s the end of the month, so it’s time to publish my list. What’s the best cigar I rated this month and what’s the worst?

The cigar with the highest rate in September  is:

My Father Commemorate 911 Rosado Habano

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) My Father Commemorate 911 Robusto (Nicaragua) 94 points
2) Alec Bradley Fine & Rare Torpedo (Honduras) 93 points
3) La Flor Dominicana Airbender Lancero (Dominican Republic) 92 points
4) Rocky Patel Royale Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Undercrown Shade Flying Pig (Nicaragua) 91 points
6) Cornelius & Anthony Venganza Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
7) Arturo Fuente Opus X BBMF (Dominican Republic) 90 points
8) H. Upmann Mag 46 (Cuba) 89 points
9) Bunch Toro (Nicaragua) 88 points
10) Vega Fina Summum 2013 Toro (Dominican Republic) 87 points
11) Bunch Robusto (Nicaragua) 84 points
12) Amero Short Robusto (Dominican Republic) 82 points
13) Bunch Short Robusto (Nicaragua) 82 points

 

 

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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

Arturo Fuente Opus X BBMF

There are cigars out there that you save for special occasions, maybe because the cigar is discontinued, maybe because it’s a unicorn, maybe a limited edition from a year that has special meaning to you, maybe because it’s very hard to find or maybe because the price tag is insane. I’ve been lucky enough to smoke a few unicorns and very expensive cigars like the Daniel Marshall 24k torpedo, but today I’m reviewing this Arturo Fuente Opus X BBMF because I got great news, my wife who’s from Singapore just got her MVV, that’s a permit to move to The Netherlands to stay with me and build a new life here. Now if that’s not a special occasion worthy of smoking the most expensive cigar from my stock then I don’t know what is.


Fuente shocked the cigar industry with the Opus X, the first Dominican puro, while everybody said that no wrapper could be grown on the Dominican Republic and the Opus X became a legendary cigar, the flagship of the Dominican cigars. Fuente branched off the Opus X with the Anejo and with limited edition with extreme names as chili pepper or pussy juice, weird shapes like footballs and they combined it in this perfecto with a shaggy head and the name Big Bad Mother Fucker aka BBMF. Its a Dominican puro, completely out of Sun Grown Rosado grown on the Chateau de la Fuente and if you can find these cigars the price tag is insane, I haven’t seen them cheaper than $275 online.


In my ratings the cigar scores points for the ring and the construction and with the high quality, very detailed, distinguished ring and the awesome shape of the cigar, with the beautiful maduro tip and the crazy head that looks like a masai haircut this cigar scored incredibly high on that department. The wrapper, chocolate milk brown, is flawless with one vein at the back. It feels a little oily and has a deep reddish glow. And the aroma, which is medium strong, has a complexity to it which is unique. I smell some ammonia but also spiced and herbs.


Due to the head I have no option than to cut. The cold draw is good and I taste pepper. After lighting I taste coffee and pepper and the initial draw is tight but that’s probably because of the shape. And indeed, once I am passed the Maduro foot the draw opens up. The flavor changes to toast then too with pepper and herbs. The pepper grows strong, with toast as a supporting flavor. Halfway the toast gets a little stronger and now with a little acidity but pepper is still the main flavor. The final third starts with a mellowed out pepper. The pepper gains strength again though.


The draw starts difficult but opens up soon but it’s hard to keep the cigar lit in the beginning and the burn is uneven and keeps giving me issues.  The silver gray ash is dense and firm. The smoke is medium at max and the burn and smoke rating completely destroy the high rating the cigar got for looks. This is a full flavored full bodied cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. Insane price, too many burn issues.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Arturo Fuente, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Arturo Fuente Añejo 77 Shark

There are a lot of cigar groups on Facebook and in some of those groups people like to combine days with cigar brands, like Tatuaje Tuesday and Fuente Friday. Since I have so many unpublished reviews and need to post a lot I decided that this week will be a week dedicated to the weekday – cigar combinations and I came up with a few of my own.

This week I will post a review every day, monday to sunday, all with the name tied to the weekday, here’s the list:

Murcielago Monday
Tatuaje Tuesday
Warped Wednesday
Taboo Thursday
Fuente Friday
Santiago Saturday
Sosa Sunday

Fuente Friday – Fuente Añejo Shark

Within a year after lighting my first cigar, which was a Cohiba Siglo II by the way, and reading a lot of information about the hobby I decided to smoke an Arturo Fuente Opus X because that was supposed to be the bomb. I can’t say that it was a bad cigar, because it wasn’t, but it was a let down, it’s an expensive cigar, the expectations were sky high and it didn’t give me the satisfaction that I thought it would give me so I stayed away from Opus for a few years until I was given an Opus X Shark. The size was intriguing, a box pressed foot with a torpedo top? How cool! And after smoking that cigar I was a believer, what a great stick, still expensive but worth the money. I guess I was just too unexperienced when I smoked my first Opus X.

 


And then you tell everybody that the Opus X shark is one of the best cigars that you’ve ever smoked until a few friends, who’s opinions about cigars I respect highly, say “nah, good cigar but the Fuente Anejo shark is better”. So the hunt began and I found some that I loved. About 3 years later my then employer got a lot of boxes is for a decent price of €22.50 per cigar so I bought a few and tonight I feel like lighting one for a review. Now if you don’t know the story about the Anejo, a hurricane left Fuente with a shortage of Opus X wrapper and instead of halting the production they decided to use a different wrapper, a 5 year old Connecticut Broadleaf that had been aging in cognac barrels and called the line Anejo. So in essence it’s an Opus X with a different wrapper.

 


The wrapper is beautiful, a flawless, dark, rustic wrapper with a silky touch and a little oil. The construction is unique and very good with that box pressed foot and the torpedo head. The aroma is mild and reminds me of a barnyard. The cigar has a cloth foot ring to protect the foot and a red ring with the golden Fuente logo and white letters A. Fuente Anejo. It surprises me that they went for the regular Fuente logo and not a twist on the Opus X logo as this cigar comes closed to Opus X than to a regular Fuente.

 


I had to use my xikar cutter instead of my preferred punch due to the vitola. The cold draw is fine and I taste a sweetness with some pepper and a bit of a cognac flavor, very mild though. I taste coffee with some metal and peanut shells.  After three puffs I taste coffee with some pepper and a little natural sweetness. After a centimeter I taste a caramel like sweetness with wood and a hint of cognac. Slowly the flavor changes a little with a little citrus added to dark oak, mild caramel and some black pepper. Halfway I taste caramel, lime, pepper and nuts, all subtle and soft yet not mild. A little later I taste coffee again with some chocolate and pepper. The final part is nice salty, nutty, peppery and woody.

 


The white ash is super dense and very firm. The smoke is medium thick, I prefer more smoke, but the draw is great. The smoke is great, slow and pretty straight. The cigar is flavorful yet subtle, a cigar for experienced smokers, not because of the strength but because of the complexity. The cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is a hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Every once in a while as a treat.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Arturo Fuente, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigar of the month March

Over the last month I reviewed 9 cigars and the cigar of the month march is:

Undercrown Flying Pig XLR with a 92 score.

March was the first month I rated a cigar below 80 points, but then again, the Undercrown Flying Pig XLR was a very pleasant surprise so overall it was a good month with two cigars that let me down.

Now as for the complete list of cigars I smoked in March for Cigarguideblog:

1) Undercrown Flying Pig XLR (Nicaragua) 92 points
2) Rocky Patel Super Ligero Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
3) La Flor Dominicana NOX Toro (Dominican Republic) 92 points
4) Kristoff Pistoff Corona Gorda (Dominican Republic) 91 points
5) Alec Bradley Black Market Robusto (Honduras) 90 points
6) Don Labalet Robusto (Netherlands) 89 points
7) Fratello Boxer Torpedo (Nicaragua) 89 points
8) Viaje Circa 45 #1 Robusto (Dominican Republic) 83 points
9) Plasencia Reserva Organica Limitada 2001 Torpedo (Nicaragua) 77 points

The Undercrown Flying Pig was a huge surprise as it was not the gimmick I suspected it was.

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

Undercrown Flying Pig XLR

Now years ago, before Agio (Balmoral) and Drew Estate partnered up and decided to distribute each others products on their home market, the company I worked for was the official Drew Estate distributer in The Netherlands. Now, don’t think Drew Estate dumped us for Agio, months before Drew Estate and Agio partnered up we decided to stop distributing Drew Estate. Even though we stopped distributing we still maintain a very friendly relationship with everybody at Drew Estate, I’ve been at Jonathans house in Miami, I’ve been to the factory in Esteli twice and all after our professional relationship ended, so we are good.


Jonathan loves The Netherlands and because of that we were able to get something cool, exclusive for the Dutch market back in 2012. We decided to go with Undercrown Flying Pigs, the Flying Pigs made their appearance in the No.9 and T52 blends but were never done in the Undercrown blend. Drew Estate made little less than 200 boxes of 12, just for the Dutch market and they sold out quick. Being close to the fire I snagged a few boxes myself but up till today I have not smoked one myself, time to change that. These cigars have had almost 5 years of age to them. The Flying Pig is a unique shape, a short little perfecto 4 1/2×60 with a pig tail (how can you call it a flying pig if it doesn’t have a pig tail right?). The name comes from the early days of Drew Estate when people said Drew Estate would make it as a company ‘when pigs fly’ and the flying pig series is their answer to the skeptics. The blend is a little tweaked from the regular Undercrown and consist from a San Andres Negro wrapper, a double binder (Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Sun Grown Habano) and filler from Brazil (Mata Fina) and Nicaragua (Habano).


The wrapper is gorgeous, dark, almost no veins, the pig tail is beautiful. The ring is the regular Undercrown right with the up side down crown with a lion head on top in blue and gold, the sides say undercrown but the nice detail is that on one side it’s mirrored and the back of the band shows the Drew Estate logo, the famous Manhattan Bridge. The construction is flawless and thats a testament to the quality of the rollers since this vitola is a pain in the ass to make according to Jonathan. The cigar has a strange but pleasant aroma, a medium strong aroma of a forest after rainfall in the autumn.


Because of the pigtail punching the cigar is out of the question so I used a flat cut to cut the cigar. The cold draw gives me the right amount of resistance, with a hay and pepper flavor. I used a soft flame to light the cigar and straight on I taste some coffee, not bitter though and not too strong with a little pepper and a little wood. Soon I taste a wonderful cedar, a warm cedar with cinnamon, nutmeg and cocoa. Slowly the cocoa is taking the overhand and I also taste some cumin. Soon the nutmeg comes back with some lime.

After a third I taste dry leaves, hay and a little citrus and a little salt. The cocoa is back too, mild and on the background. The citrus is growing halfway. The cedar returns after two thirds again with a little cocoa on the background. Near the end, after I used my nub tool, I taste a nice amount of pepper with the cocoa.


The draw is very good. The smoke starts out medium thin and that surprises me since all Liga Privada and Undercrowns I smoked so far were smoke bombs. The smoke slowly gets thicker though. The ash is snow white and dense. The burn is good, not razor sharp but good enough not correct the burn.

Would I buy this cigar again? I’m glad I gave a few boxes left. I always thought that this was just a gimmick cigar but I like it better than the regular undercrown. This full flavored cigar is full bodied. The smoke time is about 90 minutes.

Score: 92

92

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bespoke Salomone

Before the Bespoke brand was released in The Netherlands the distributer handed some samplers to a few of his resellers and one of them, my friend Berry, owner of Van Lookeren in Amsterdam, gave me this Costa Rican made salomone to try.
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I love the shape and the milky chocolate colored wrapper has a few veins. I spot a little damage and I feel a soft spot in the middle and the tip is a bit crooked. The aroma is pleasant. The cigar band needs some work, what’s on that black band? It’s a drawing of a fan, but with what? The predraw is fine, sweet with quite some pepper.
102515bespokesalomon2
I light the cigar and direct after the tip I have to relight. I taste white pepper with some wood. The pepper slowly fades away and a little bit of leather appears. It is a nice combination with the wood and after three centimeter I also taste some citrus.
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After a third I taste a mild pepper, leather, wood an toast. The leather slowly grows and the citrus returns. The flavors are very subtle. It’s leather and toast, pepper and citrus with a slowly growing toast. The last third starts with toast and some leather, the white pepper is gone but slowly reappears, and slowly grows stronger, just as the leather. At the end it’s a nice mixture of the toast, leather and pepper.
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The draw is fine but I also get false air. I get enough smoke which is medium thick. The silver gray ash isn’t too firm but the burn is sharp, only at the end I have to correct once. This cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored and lasted me for two hours.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I would if it wasn’t €12,80 fixed price here.

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

Categories: Bespoke, Costa Rican cigars, Tabaccos de Costa Rica | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Man’o’War Special Edition Figurado

A while ago a Dutch friend called me and told me “monster deal of the day, Man O’ War special editionfigurado for just 50 bucks, I’m ordering a box, do you want one too?”. I jumped the gun, as I was dying to try these. I love the regular Man O’ War cigars, as a matter of fact, I like almost all A.J. Fernandez cigars, and this Man O’ War special edition figurado combines the Man O’ War blend with the Man O’ War ruination Habano wrapper. The cigar is a 7.1×58 figurado and comes in boxes of 10.
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The wrapper is dark, oily and silky with a few veins. I love the figurado shape. The cigar has a strong barnyard smell. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine and tastes peppery.
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I taste wood and nuts with pepper. The wood and pepper are the dominant flavors. The nut flavor disappears after ¾ inch and the pepper becomes less strong. On the background I taste a little bit of chocolate.
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The cigar turns flat, but pleasantly flat. Halfway I taste some herbs with pepper and wood, quite strong and full. After two thirds I get a lot of black pepper with some wood on the background.
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This cigar has a smoke time of an hour and forty minutes. The draw is great and the burn is phenomenal, usually I have issues with figurados but this burn was straight as an arrow from the start. The ash is almost white and firm. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
130216manowarspecialfigurado5
Would I buy this cigar again? Next time when they are ‘deal of the day’ I’ll have to pick up a new box

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 9 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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