Posts Tagged With: General Cigars

Don Tomas Clasico Robusto

I have several assorted boxes of cigars in my humidor, and I dedicated one box as ‘review box’. I sorted one of the assorted boxes out and if I had just a single cigar of a brand it would go into the review box, if I had multiple cigars in the box one would go into the review box while the rest stayed in the assorted box. And every time I go for a review I pick one from the review box. Today it was the Honduran Don Tomas Clasico Toro, a cigar made by General Cigars.


Now the cigar is named robusto but the 5 1/2 inch length is actually right in between a 5 inch robusto and a 6 inch toro. The ring gauge is 50, just as with a classic robusto or toro. I must have had this in my humidor for a few years since the cellophane started to discolor but I have no recollection on how old the cigar is, where I got it and how much it was. I know its a cheap cigar though.


The wrapper is a nice medium brown and quite oily, on the back I see one thick vein though that should have been flattened. The rest of the wrapper is flawless. The construction feels a bit hard, but evenly hard and because of the big vein I mentioned the head of the cigar isn’t beautifully rounded. The ring is very simple, black with golden edges, a yellow ring around it with black letters Don Tomas, topped with a golden crown and at the bottom yellow letters clasico on a black back. The ring is glossy and looks a bit tacky, the print quality isn’t the best I have seen. The aroma is quite strong, barnyard and lemon, that’s what I smell.


I punched the cigar and the raisin flavored cold draw is fine. After lighting I taste coffee with some grass. After half an inch I taste salted peanuts. After a third the cigar turns a little harsh. I taste some cinnamon and vanilla. The final thirds is mildly salted peanuts again with vanilla and some mint.


The smoke is decent, in thickness and volume. The draw is fine. The light gray ash is firm. The burn is pretty straight. This cigar is medium in body and flavor with a low evolution level. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, even though it’s a budget cigar I won’t.

Score: 80

Red balloons with ribbon - Number 80

Red balloons with ribbon – Number 80

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Categories: 80, Don Tomas, Honduran cigars, Honduras American Tobacco SA | Tags: , , , ,

Uppercut by Punch Robusto

In 2008 or 2009 Punch had a competition between test blends they released and the winner would be officially released. And this Uppercut by Punch was the winner. As far as I know the cigar is made in Honduras with Nicaraguan filler, including some Ometepe, a Nicaraguan binder and an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Since I don’t see them being sold anywhere and the special website is offline I’m guessing it was either a limited edition or not the success that General Cigars hoped for.


I love the name, for two reasons. First a punch is a hit and so is an uppercut plus that it’s won a competition between test blends, another ‘fight’ reference. Knock Out by Punch could have been a great name too, or a follow up. I don’t know where I got or bought this cigar, I don’t know when but I know it must have been a few years ago since the cellophane is starting to discolor and become yellow. I’m smoking the 5 1/2×50 robusto sized cigar. There were two other vitolas too.


As I said, the cellophane is starting to turn yellow from the oils in the dark and rustic Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, which is quite bumpy. The construction feels evenly packed with a nice flat head and beautifully placed triple cap. The cigar has two rings, the foot ring has a panoramic picture of the Ometepe volcano in Nicaragua with a black band underneath saying Ometepe with golden letters and golden linings on both sides of the black band and above the volcano. The top ring is dark blue with thick golden outlines, then a golden crown and the word Uppercut above a small red circle with golden letters Punch. The cigar has a mild dusty chocolate aroma.


I cut the cigar with my xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is great and I taste raw tobacco and dried grapes. After lighting the cigar with my torch (single jet) I taste coffee with sugar and some lemon. After a quarter of an inch I taste some peanuts. After an inch all I taste is salt, peanuts and some chocolate. The flavors slowly change to salty peanuts with lemon and pepper, quite a lot of chili peper. The final third starts with cedar and nuts with quite some pepper. I get dark chocolate with pepper some puffs later.


The draw is amazing and the smoke is thick and full. The ash is white, dense and firm. The burn is straight as can be. This is a medium full bodied and full flavored cigar with a smoke time of an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? This was a decent cigar and I read it was cheap so I would get a few.

Score: 90
number90

Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Honduras American Tobacco SA, Punch | Tags: , , ,

Macanudo Inspirado Mareva

Macanudo, still rumored to be the best sold brand worldwide, but never has it been one of my favorite brands. I tend not to like cigars from the big companies as to me those cigars lack soul and character. I mean, compare it to McDonalds vs a one off hamburger joint with quality products and passionate staff, its a world of difference. Brands owned by the big companies tend to be the same, instead of making great cigars and earning a living with them its making as much money possible with tobacco no matter what, to satisfy the shareholders. Those companies have no pride in what they are doing, while the family owned companies pride themselves in the quality they produce. I mean, look what Davidoff did with Camacho, it was a great product, Davidoff bought it, rebranded and reblended it and now its nothing but a marketing product without a soul. The moment Imperial Tobacco took a 50% stake in Habanos the quality went down considerably and now its all about limited editions, regional editions etc but the quality and the soul of the cigars dropped or are lost. Scandinavian Tobacco, owner of General Cigars, is the worst and I lost all my respect for them when I found out that they supported the FDA ruling about premium cigars.

 


Now I’m not saying that everybody in those accountant & marketing managers run company have no passion about tobacco, I had the pleasure of talking with Benji Menendez while he was still working for General Cigars, I met Rick Rodriguez on several occassions and those guys have a passion for cigars, I bet there are more people like that but they don’t run the company. Ernesto Perez Carrillo sold his La Gloria Cuban to General Cigars and was contractually stuck there for 10 years but the moment the contract expired he started his own company again where he makes cigars with a soul, with character. Now there are always exemptions, a company like Gurkha is small and privately owned yet for me they fall into the categorie of the soulless cigars as its nothing but a marketing scheme and Hantosia doesn’t even smoke cigars as far as I know, thats a company without passion either.

 


Now on the cigar, a few years ago General Cigars released a new blend, at first just for the European market, Macanudo Inspirado. The blend consists from a mixture of Nicaraguan, Honduras and Dominican filler with a Jamastran, Honduras binder and a posada wrapper from San Augustin in Honduras. It later got released in the United States too, there were line extentions, a second and a third Inspirado line were released but this 5 1/8×42 mareva was created especially for the ‘cigar smoking world championship’ organized by my friend Marko Bilic. Now I see cigar smoking as relaxation and for me a competition with cigar is an absurd idea, but the world championship is a success so I’m probably in the minority with my opinion and that’s okay.

 


The cigar comes in cellophane and once unwrapped I see a medium brown but pale wrapper. The wrapper looks fine when it comes to veins and all, but the color is a little pale as I said. The construction feels good and the cap is beautifully constructed. The ring is fine, its a reddish orange with golden outlines, a golden macanudo logo and lettering over some faded white text, the gold print is actually very well done. The cigar has a pretty strong aroma that I can only compare with cow manure but I couldn’t smell any ammonia so thats good.

I cut the cigar guillotine style, the cold draw is very easy and I can’t imagine people being able to smoke this cigar over two hours. I taste some raisin, hay and a lot of pepper. I lit the cigar with a soft flame. I taste bitter coffee with a chocolate aftertaste. After a few puffs it’s bitter coffee with sugar aftertaste. The bitterness disappears and makes place for a mild freshness and a woody yet sweet flavor. After a third the flavors are sharp and a little harsh. Halfway the flavors are less harsh, I now taste cedar with herbs and spices. The sugary sweetness is still there too.

 


The draw is easy but not too loose. The ash is medium gray and layered. It’s also quite firm. The burn is a bit uneven. The smoke is plentiful and medium thick. The cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored. The body flavor ratio and the evolution are good. The smoke time for me is about an hour so if I competed I wouldn’t even be close to the top of the charts.

Would I buy this cigar again? I love the vitola, I don’t love the cigar though as it lacks soul and character.

Score: 88

88

Categories: 88, Honduran cigars, Macanudo | Tags: , , , , , ,

Gil Gonzales Davila conqestador

When I visited my local cigar shop to get a lottery ticket I noticed that he had some new longfillers in his small assortment. He mostly sells shortfillers, cigarettes and lottery tickets and has only a few longfillers so I was surprised to see a sampler of Gil Gonzales Davila longfillers, a Honduran cigar. It was a sampler containing 5 cigars, an Emperator (Churchill), a Conquestador (Torpedo), a Soldado extra (extra corona), a Soldado (corona) and a Capitan (Robusto), all with a natural wrapper. All except the emperator are available as maduro too.

Tonight I tried the torpedo, the top was a bit crooked, but hey, that’s what you cut off so I can’t have any problems with that. The wrapper is pretty, a bit oily. The feel is good, and the predraw is easy. The construction of this cigar is good. It smells a bit like manure, but it’s just a light scent. The cigar is easy to light and the burn is close to perfect. The ash is light gray and pretty firm, and the cigar gives a medium to light smoke.

I can hear you think, why isn’t he writing about the flavors? Well, that is easy, this cigar has a tremendous lack of flavor. It is way too light for a medium or experienced smoker. It might be a nice cigar for a starter, but I have smoked and learned a lot in the last 18 months and I am definitely too experienced to enjoy a starter cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? No.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 5 / 10
Aroma third part: 5 / 10

Categories: Gil Gonzales Davila, Honduran cigars, Honduras American Tobacco SA | Tags: , , ,

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