Posts Tagged With: Gajane

Oro de Esteli Robusto

Oro de Esteli, this is a bundle cigar and I can’t find a lot of information about the cigar online. It’s for sale in a few European countries like the United Kingdom, Italy. Sweden and The Netherlands. I got this cigar from the distributer just to try it, since I never smoked it. What I know about this cigar is very little, obviously the 5×50 size and that it’s made in Esteli, Nicaragua. I think its made by Horizon tobacco, but I’m not sure and according to an English website the cigar is made from Nicaraguan filler and binder with an Ecuadorian wrapper, Connecticut seed.


When I release the cigar from the cellophane I see a light brown wrapper with a few thin veins and it feels quite silky with a shiny yet simple band. The band is brown with golden outlines, an abstract drawing of tobacco leaves in gold and the words ‘oro de esteli’ and ‘totalemente a mano’ in white. The letters aren’t completely centered and the band looks a bit cheap even though its a nice paper quality. The construction feels good and the cigar has quite a strong aroma of manure, wood, hay and horses.


I cut the cigar with my Xicar cutter to find a loose draw with a mild tobacco flavor that leaves a spicy and tingly feeling on my lips. After I lit the cigar with a soft flame lighter I taste cedar and coffee with a hint of leather. After little over an inch I taste cedar with a mild nutmeg but it’s also mild musty but that must be the Connecticut shade that always gives me that mustiness. Halfway it’s more of a mild cocoa, nutmeg, cedar mix with a musty undertone. Soon after I also taste a little licorice. After two thirds I taste some nutty flavor with nutmeg and pepper. At the end the pepper is getting strong.


The draw is loose. The smoke is medium both in volume and thickness. The ash is white and dense. The burn is quite straight. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is little over an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? No, it’s a typical easy bundle cigar, great for budget smokers or beginners but I’m far from a beginner. And since most cigar smokers aren’t cigar geeks that know and want more from a cigar I think this could be one of those cigar thats can be a good seller in any shop.

Score: 83

83

 

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Categories: 83, Nicaraguan cigars, Oro de Esteli | Tags: , , , , ,

Don Ibarra Black Label

A few years ago I was visiting one of my accounts in my previous job as a sales representative and the owner of the shop, Marjolein Hartman from Hartman Cigars in Amsterdam (and now also co-owner of the La Casa del Habano in Amsterdam) said she received some samples from a cigar manufacturer looking to break into the Dutch market called Don Ibarra with a white ring. Now is it not allowed to sell straight to shop owners due to the Dutch tobacco law so I was surprised by this tactic. She said she smoked one and gave me two of the other cigars to try to see if the company I worked for would be interested. I never gotten around to smoke the samplers though and I knew that my then employer wouldn’t be interested anyway since he didn’t like unknown brands.

Years later I see the brand pop up again, this time distributed by a competitor of ours, so through the right channels but I forgot all about the samples I still had laying around in my 5300+ cigar stash. I only found out about them when I lost my job and inventoried my stash in my online account at stogierate.com.  A few weeks later I happen to be at the office of the said distributer for some consulting work and the owner gave me a Don Ibarra to smoke, a belicoso, and this is the review. As far as the blend I have to admit, I don’t know, all I know is that Don Ibarra is a Dominican made cigar. The belicoso is 5 inch long with a ring gauge of 50. I also have a robusto and a gordo and I will review them all in this one review.

Don Ibarra Black Label Belicoso


The wrapper looks good, medium to dark brown and a bit leathery with just one visible and not too thick vein. The part above the ring is a bit shiny, while the bottom part of the cigar is quite dull. The ring itself is made from shiny paper, the background is black with white gothic lettering around a white colored crest and thick golden outlines, all too shiny for my personal preference but the color combination is good. The construction feels good, no complaints there. The cigar has a strong and pleasant raw tobacco flavor with a tiny bit of ammonia. I cut the cigar to find an easy cold draw with a harsh raw tobacco flavor that fits the aroma.


I used a soft flame to light the cigar. The first hit of flavors is a little harsh, bitter coffee and some ashy flavor. The harshness gets a little less strong quickly and the coffee turns to more of a wooden flavor with a bite. Halfway the cigar turns herbal with a little harsh pepper and some cedar.


The draw is very good, a little loose from being perfect. The ash is white, full in volume and there is plenty of it. After lighting the cigar and a few puffs only one side kept lit so I had to relight the other part which caused a crooked burn. The ash is white, dense and firm. There is some evolution in the cigar and the flavor to body ratio of the medium bodied cigar is good. The smoke time is seventy five minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? No this is not a cigar for me.

Score: 86

86

Don Ibarra Black Label Gordo


The wrapper has a nice, even, dark brown color with little tooth and it is quite oily. It’s one of the most beautiful wrappers I have seen in a long time. The construction feels great, the cigar is beautifully finished, its just astonishing. The cigar has a strong aroma of hay, just like the robusto, but with some wood added to it. The ring is exactly the same as the other cigars in this line up.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is fine and I taste raw tobacco. I taste dirt and coffee after lighting. Not a lot changes in the first inch, but that’s to be expected from a thick ring gauge cigars. Halfway I taste wood and dirt with a little lime. Near the end some pepper shows up.


The draw is fine and the smoke is white, thick and a good volume. The white ash is firm and dense. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is about ninety minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? It’s not a bad tasting cigar, just too boring for me. It would have scored much higher with a better evolution.

Score: 85
number85

Don Ibarra Black Label Robusto


The wrapper is very oily, very shiny but has discolorations, like darker smears on a medium brown color and a few veins. The construction feels good and the head if flat as can be. The ring is identical as the belicoso. The cigar has a strong hay smell, like you’re standing in a hay barn.


I punched the cigar and the thickness of the wrapper stands out. The cold draw is great and I taste a little raisin. I taste soil, cedar, nutmeg and the flavors are a bit harsh and unrefined. After a third the cigar tastes like fresh wood with a faint milk chocolate. Halfway it’s that soil flavor again, sticky, thick and buttery. Near the end I taste a lot of pepper.


The ash is quite dark and frayed but still reasonable firm. The smoke is medium full in thickness and volume and the draw is great.  The burn needs help staying straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours.


Would I buy this cigar again? Nah

Score: 86
number86

Categories: 85, 86, Dominican cigars, Don Ibarra | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cavalier of Geneva White Series Diplomate

About a year ago I was at the office of one of the premium cigar distributors in The Netherlands and I noticed a cigar that I had never heard of, had never seen and didn’t know nothing about. I mooched a sampler, as a cigar geek I’m always curious about new cigars. It turned out its a cigar from a Swiss company called Cavelier but the cigar is Honduran made and I think it’s made by Plasencia in Danli. Company founder Sebastian Decoppet went to Honduras and developed the blend with Adin Perez from Plasencia, that’s why I expect that Plasencia makes the cigars too.

 


Now the blend is a secret but contains tobacco from Honduras, Nicaragua, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Paraguay. I googled and found them on a Swiss webshop for about 12 euro’s for this 5 1/2×56 Diplomate. The cigar looks good, a nice medium dark brown wrapper with a oily shine to it, I see a few veins but it doesn’t make the wrapper look any less appealing. The ring is simple but quite nice, a thick white ring with a golden print of a man and a horse and on the back in very small curly letters the name of the brand. Now what makes the cigar stand out is a square of gold leaf glued to the wrapper. Cavelier isn’t the first or the only brand that does it, Daniel Marshall has one, Royal Danish has one and I bet there will be more but Cavelier only has a centimeter square and therefore I dare to smoke it. I smoked the Daniel Marshall one and that was a once but never again experience. The construction feels good. The aroma isn’t strong, it has a little ammonia and some hay.

 


I punched the cigar due to the 56 ring. The cold draw is very easy. I taste a mild pepper and raw tobacco. I taste coffee with a sharp bitterness. The sharpness goes away and is replaced by a caramel like sweetness. After an inch I still taste coffee with caramel, it’s still mildly bitter. After a third I taste wood with a nice bitterness and some honey. Halfway the flavors all of a sudden change to spices and wood with a fresh minty aftertaste.

 


Once I reach the 24 karat gold leave I taste a metallic flavor with the previous flavors, luckily it isn’t as bad as in the Daniel Marshall 24k torpedo. The spice is getting stronger, I also taste a strong pepper on the tip of my tongue. Once I’m passed the gold leave the metallic flavor is gone.

 


The smoke is medium thick to full and I get a good amount of smoke too. The draw is quite easy. The burn is a little off and needed to be corrected twice. The ash is firm, its grey with a little black. The cigar is medium plus bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, it was a decent cigar but there are better cigars available for less money.

Score: 88

88

Categories: 88, Cavelier, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Inca Secret Blend Crystals Lonsdale

I got this cigar from a cigar distributer that asked me for my opinion so he can decide weather to carry these cigars or not. So I went online to learn something about the brand as I never heard of them. I did know that there is some tobacco cultivation being done in Peru, I once met a Dutch pensionado that made cigars in Peru with his Italian business partner, his cigars were okay but way to expensive for what you got. So the claim on the Inca Cigars website that they are the only Peruvian puro on the market isn’t true, Polman Recency is also a Peruvian puro.


What I read on the website is that Inca Cigars is partly owned by Mitchel Orchant, a name that a lot of European cigar aficionados will know as he was (or is) the face of C.Gars LTD and the factory is owned by Gennaro Lettieri which to me sounds quite Italian and what are the odds that two Italians own a cigar factory in a non traditional Cigar producing country? So I expect that the Polman Regency that I mentioned and smoked before is produced in the exact same factory. While browsing for information I got a little confused as the cigars are sold in the UK under the name Inka with a K and in the US under the name Inca with a C and Alec Bradley is handling the distribution in the US.


As for the cigar, its a 6×40 lonsdale btw, once I took it out of its cellophane wrapping I saw a very rustic wrapper with veins in a Connecticut shade like light color. The cigar has a pig tail which I like but the cap is huge and that combined with the rough appearance of the wrapper doesn’t make the cigar appealing. The construction feels good although all along the back I feel a ridge that probably comes from the cigar molds and as I wrote in the previous sentence, the cap looks horrible. The ring is beautiful though, with a nice blue background, white lettering, a picture of an Inca and golden details. It also says 100% puro and the back says “rich, smooth and satisfying’. The cigar has a very pleasant and quite full hay aroma.


I cut the cigar with a flat cut, the cold draw is a bit tight. I taste salty raisin with a spicy aftertaste. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and taste a spicy coffee with a citrus sour aftertaste. After a centimeter it’s mainly lemon like acidity. After an inch I taste some dry wood and a little bit of chocolate. After a third the cigar turns musty, like I’m smoking a Connecticut shade cigar. I also taste some acidity. After two thirds i taste some nuts, a little bit of pepper and still the acidity.


The draw is a little tight. The ash is silver gray and dense, but it isn’t firm. The smoke is medium thick and medium in amount. The burn is straight. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored at most. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, it might be appealing for the lovers of the milder Cubans but it isn’t a cigar for my palate.

 

Score: 82

82

Categories: 82, Inca, Peruvian cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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

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

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