Posts Tagged With: GDW Cigars

Cigarguideblog Top 25 cigars of 2017

On January first of 2017 I switched from the rating system I had been using for 10 years to a 100 point scoring system for three main reasons:

– I could compare scores for myself
– The companies I reviewed cigars from could use the scores to promote their cigars, and that would make my number of visitors grow too
– I could make a top 25 at the end of the year.

The old system I’d been using for so long came from an old (I think it was Hungarian) website, an online humidor, that is no longer online and now that I’ve been using a 100 point score system for a year I no longer want to go back to my old system. How I come to my 100 point score is explained here (insert link)

The last few years I also updated my blog very irregularly due to my work, as part of the industry and the strict Dutch laws it could be considered advertising and I didn’t want to take any risk, even though my reviews are in English and I reviewed a lot of cigars that I didn’t represented. I just did a few reviews to keep the site alive but since parting ways with my then employer in June of 2016 I did a weekly review until the end of the year. To make a new start on the blog I decided to change a few things, like the set up of the review to make it a bit more personal, the 100 point score and a review every Wednesday and Sunday. As a lancero lover I also decided to write a lancero review every 15th of the month, even if the 15th wasn’t a Wednesday or Sunday and to top it off I also wrote a few special reviews on special dates or a series of reviews.

Out of the 156 cigars I reviewed, here’s my top 25 cigars of 2017:

1) Jas Sum Kral Kralot Pre-release Toro (Nicaragua) with a score of 95
2) Balmoral Anejo XO FT127 Lancero (Dominican Republic) with a score of 95
3) Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Toro (Nicaragua) with a score of 95
4) Warped Little Havana Toro (USA) with a score of 95
5) Undercrown Manifesto (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
6) Oliva Masterblend 1 Churchill (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
6) Don Fernando Corona (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
8) Kilo Toro (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
9) Oliva Masterblend 2 Robusto (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
10) Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Toro (USA) with a score of 94
11) Jas Sum Kral Da Cebak A (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
11) Mi Querida Churchill (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
11) My Father 911 Commemorate Robusto (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
14) La Sagrada Familia Robusto (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
14) Ilja VIII A by My Father (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
14) 601 La Bomba Napalm (Nicaragua) with a score of 94
17) Alec Bradley Tempus Nicaragua Robusto (Honduras) with a score of 93
17) Joya Red Half Corona (Nicaragua) with a score of 93
19) Tatuaje RC233 Figurado (USA) with a score of 93
20) Plasencia Alma Fuerte Figurado (Nicaragua) with a score of 93
21) Oliva Classic Natural Churchill (Nicaragua) with a score of 93
22) RomaCraft Wunderlust Robusto (Nicaragua) with a score of 93
23) Viking Viking Robusto (Dominican Republic) with a score of 93
23) Viking Nordic Warrior Churchill (Dominican Republic) with a score of 93
25) Jas Sum Kral CRNA NOK Toro (Nicaragua) with a score of 93
25) Puros de Hostos Commendador Lancero (Dominican Republic) with a score of 93
25) Long Live the King my style is jalapeño Lancero (Dominican Republic) with a score of 93

Now you might think “hey, that’s 27 cigars” and you’re right but the Jas Sum Kral CRNA Nok, the Puros de Hostos Commendador and the Long Live the King scored exactly the same rating on my 1000 point system so they share the 25th spot, just like the Oliva Masterblend 1 and the Don Fernando share the 6th spot, the Jas Sum Kral Da Cebak, Mi Querida and the My Father 911 commemorate cigar share spot 11, La Sagrada Familia, Ilja VIII and 601 share spot 14, Alec Bradley Tempus Nicaragua and Joya Red share spot 17 and both Viking cigars share the 23rd spot brotherly. Maybe for the next year I need to come up with a divider, if you have suggestions, please let me know.

The breakdown

So I scored 156 cigars in 2017 and the average score is 88,6 so 89 but to end up in the top 25 you had to score at least 92,8 and the average of the top 25 is 93.7

Now looking at the countries, Nicaragua rules the top 27 with 19 entries, the Dominican Republic scores 5, then a surprising number three with 2 entries from the USA and 1 Honduran cigar. That means no Cuban, Costa Rican, Panamanian, Mexican, Peruvian and Dutch cigars made the cut.

Cigars smoked: 156
Highest score: 95
Lowest score: 73
Average score: 89

Now broken down per country:
Flag USA
Cigars smoked: 5
Highest score: 95
Lowest score: 73
Average score: 89


flag costa rica
Costa Rica:
Cigars smoked: 3
Highest score: 91
Lowest score: 90
Average score: 90

flag cuba
Cigars smoked: 12
Highest score: 92
Lowest score: 84
Average score: 88

flag dominican
Dominican Republic:
Cigars smoked: 38
Highest score: 95
Lowest score: 72
Average score: 82


Flag honduras
Cigars smoked: 15
Highest score: 93
Lowest score: 79
Average score: 90


Flag Mexico
Cigars smoked: 7
Highest score: 86
Lowest score: 73
Average score: 90


flag nicaragua
Cigars smoked: 73
Highest score: 95
Lowest score: 77
Average score: 91


flag netherlands
Cigars smoked: 1
Highest score: 89
Lowest score: 89
Average score: 89


flag panama
Cigars smoked: 1
Highest score: 89
Lowest score: 89
Average score: 89


flag peru
Cigars smoked: 1
Highest score: 82
Lowest score: 82
Average score: 82

Now what do these numbers say? It is too simple to say that the average per country is which country I like best because I haven’t smoked an equal amount of cigars per country. But it is safe to say that my preferences are more met by Nicaraguan and Honduran cigars then by any other country.

If you look at the average scores between the Dominican Republic and Cuba you might say I prefer Cuba over the Dominican but I reviewed a lot of Dominican budget cigars and only premium cigars from Cuba so if I cut those budget cigars out, the average of the Dominican Republic shoots back to 90, all those budget cigars definitely effected the average for the Dominican Republic.

Categories: Misc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigar of the month August

Just like every month I post the list of cigars I published that month in rating order, highest to lowest and in August I rated 15 cigars

The cigar with the highest rate in August is:

Don Fernando Corona with a 94 score.
Now as for the complete list of cigars I published at Cigarguideblog in August:

1) Don Fernando Corona(Nicaragua) 94 points
2) Mi Querida Sakakhan (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) 601 La Bomba Napalm (Nicaragua) 94 points
4) La Sagrada Familia Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
5) Illusione ~hl~  Lancero (Honduras) 91 points
6) Rosalones Reserve Corona (Nicaragua) 91 points
7) Royal Danish Regal Blend Belicoso (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) Indian Motorcycles Habano Robusto (Dominican Republic) 90 points
9) La Gloria Cuban Medaille D’Or #3 (Cuba) 89 points
10) Capadura 808 Robusto (Dominican Republic) 88 points
11) Capadura 808 Robusto (Dominican Republic) 87 points
12) Juan Clemente Club Selection #2 (Dominican Republic) 82 points
13) Juan Clemente Classic #2 (Dominican Republic) 82 points
14) Capadura 848 Robusto (Dominican Republic) 80 points
15) Capadura 898 Robusto (Dominican Republic) 72 points


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

Don Fernando Corona

Years ago, while very active on Cigar Asylum, I met Andrew Wood. He just finished high school and teamed up with an exchange student from Nicaragua and his brothers to make cigars in the small factory their family had. At least, that is how I remember the story. That small company, Guillen Diaz Wood aka GDW Cigars and the factory Guillen Cigars made two blends that because very popular very quickly on the board, Reserva Miraflor and Goviado. Popular in a way with a certain crowd that I can only compare to the decidation of the Jas Sum Kral crowd. And maybe, if Facebook would have been as big as it is now, those brands would still be around. But unfortunately they are not and Andrew has moved on to be a tobacco broker in Texas, Tabacos Mundial, and he helps quite some brands to get their goods to the US Market.

Now back in that day I helped Andrew a few times with planning, with the set up of group buys and I also arranged some group buys from The Netherlands, my country of origin, as Reserva Miraflor and Goviado became quite popular here too. And Andy appreciated it, he showed that in a very special way.

In may of 2009 I went on my first trip to the USA, with 3 other guys I did a road trip all along the east coast, we flew to Orlando, drove to Key Largo and from there all the way up to upstate New York. From there we flew to Las Vegas to spend the last few days of our trip. And about 30 other people from Cigar Asylum decided to come to Vegas too, to herf with us, including Andrew, with an amazing gift.

My nickname on Cigar Asylum is Don Fernando and Andy had a special blend made for me and gifted me a box of Don Fernando cigars with the Dutch flag incorporated on the box and on the ring. In total he had 24 boxes made, 6 boxes of Corona, Torpedo, Toro and Robusto, the other boxes were sold on the forum. I still have a few of the cigars left and it seemed appropriate to review the Don Fernando Corona on my birthday.

The wrapper feels silky but has a few veins running over the medium dark and oily wrapper. The construction feels good, and I must add that I had never had a cigar from Guillen Cigars that had any construction issue. The cigar is well capped with a triple cap. The ring is printed on shiny paper and is red white and blue colored, like our flag, with a silhouette of a cigar smoking man wearing a panama hat, as I did in those days. On the side it says Don Fernando and the ring has a double outline in black. The aroma is still quite strong, it reminds me of wood and pepper.

I cut the cigar and the cold draw gives me a perfect amount of resistance. I taste a little raisin flavor, pepper and spices all before lighting. After lighting it, with a soft flame ofcourse, I taste a nice coffee with a little bit of chocolate. I also taste some toast. After a centimeter I taste wood with toast and some sweetness. After a third it’s more of a dark chocolate flavor with a good amount of pepper in the back of my throat. Halfway it’s mostly pepper with a hint of dark chocolate and some metal. After two thirds it’s full on pepper but now with some nuts.

The smoke is thick and plentiful, just how I like it and the draw is perfect. The ash is almost white, dense and firm. The burn is sharp as can be. The evolution is fantastic. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes. This cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish that was possible, I would love to have a few extra boxes.

Score: 94

Categories: 94, Don Fernando, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

E.L.V.I.S. 2009

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

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

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

Casa Pineda corona

Andrew, owner of Guillen Cigars, not only made cigars with my nickname in honor of our friendship, he also made cigars for Aldrin aka S0lefule 0ne in honor of their friendship, and I bought a box of those cigars in honor of my friendship with both of them. The Casa Pineda, as this cigar is called, is made out of Nicaraguan filler and binder with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. The light colored wrapper on the 5.5 x 42 corona looks smooth and silky with a few minor and one big vein. The cigars come in a pretty white wooden box and are individually packed in cellophane. Once released the cigar has a nice aroma of straw. The construction feels good and the predraw is just fine.
When I light the cigar I can taste a light coffee aroma, a bit sour and a bit spicy in the front of my mouth. The sour flavor is not unpleasant, and after about half an inch the coffee is replaced with some spicy wood. Halfway the sourness fades away and some white pepper shows up. After 2/3rds its just wood only.
In the beginning the burn caused some concerns, but it corrected itself. The ash is pretty light colored. The smoke is plenty, thick and white. I would call this cigar medium bodied, medium flavored. The construction and draw are good, but I expect nothing less from Guillen cigars, never had a badly constructed or plugged cigar from them.
Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe, if Andy have some left when the box I bought is empty.
Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Casa Pineda, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Don Fernando belicoso

About 15 months ago I joined Club Stogie and met a lot of BOTL’s that I now call friends. When Club Stogie was sold to Jon Caputo and turned from a friendly jungle into a commercial website with posh mentality most of my friends moved to Cigar Asylum, a new forum started by the 11 moderators from Club Stogie. Cigar Asylum has been my virtual home since and the friendships that started on Club Stogie grew stronger, so strong that I decided to go on a US trip and meet as many inmates as possible. One of my new friends is Andrew Wood, owner of Guillen cigars, and he came to Las Vegas for E.L.V.I.S. (Epic Las Vegas International Smokefest) with a huge surprise, a gift that left me speechless, overwhelmed and not worthy. Andy had a small batch of cigars made in honor of our friendship, Don Fernando’s. They come, individually packed in cello, in a 20 count gray box with the Dutch flag and the band shows a picture of a man smoking a cigar while wearing a Panama hat, like I often do. Only 24 boxes were made, 6 boxes toro, 6 boxes corona, 6 boxes robusto and 6 boxes belicoso.
The Don Fernando is a Nicaraguan puro, made with tobacco from Jalapa and Estelí. The Belicoso I smoked had a 6 x 52 size and as soon as I remove the cello I smell a full barnyard aroma with some straw. The smooth oily wrapper is quite dark and has only one vein running over it. The predraw gives me the right amount of resistance and I taste some raisin in the predraw.
I can taste lots of coffee and some toast, roasted flavors and after about half an inch some cedar shows up, soon to be followed by a light chocolate flavor. The coffee, wood and chocolate flavor sticks with me for quite a while, at least for the first third of the cigar, and then the coffee and chocolate slowly fade away. They are replaced by a bit of pepper that sticks to the top of my tongue. It’s a mild pepper, not overpowering like some Oliva V, Don Pepin Garcia or El Cobre’s tend to do sometimes. The final third starts with creamy chocolate, the pepper is gone and the wood is on the background, providing a nice base for the creamy chocolate.
This full flavored, full bodied cigar produces a lot of smoke. The ash is gray and firm, the pictures clearly show that and the burn is phenomenal. Straight as a razorblade and the cigar doesn’t die if you don’t puff often. Because of that slow burn, the temperature stays low and makes the cigar fantastic nub material.
Would I buy this cigar again? Hell yeah, I bought 2 boxes and some singles but I want more now they are still available.
Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 9 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10
Name: 10
Packing: 10
Band: 10

Disclaimer: I might be a little bias about this cigar ;)

Categories: Don Fernando, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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