Posts Tagged With: Gordo

Reel Grande Torpedo

Now this is a cigar that lives up to its name, it’s huge. And i’m not a fan of huge cigars. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind long cigars but I do mind thick cigars as 99 out of a 100 times it’s a waste of good tobacco and I never understood the appeal of the ‘big, bigger, biggest’ rat race that was going on in the land of cigars the last few years.


I don’t know much about this cigar, except that it was given to me a few years ago by a friend and that it’s made in Nicaragua by Plasencia. I don’t know if they released it themselves, if it was a private label and if so, for who it was made. I don’t know the filler, the binder nor the wrapper, all I know is that it was a budget cigar and that I had it in my humidor for a minimum of 8 years.


The Real Grande Torpedo is a 7×60 pyramid with a rough, thin, sun grown wrapper that feels dry. The shape is a little off, the cigar won’t stand up straight on a flat surface. The ring is decent though, burgundy with black, yellow and gold. It says it’s a limited edition.  The cigar has a mild smell that reminds me of a vanilla lemon cake.


Well, due to the vitola my only option is to cut. The cold draw is good, tasteless though. After lighting I taste a mild coffee, very mild. The flavor is unrefined and slightly harsh. After half an inch the cigar is harsh with a very musty cedar. Halfway I taste bitter wood with some floral sweetness.


The draw is fine. The dense ash it light gray. The smoke is thin and low in volume. The burn is decent. This medium bodied, medium flavored cigar has hardly any evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. And why do cigar manufacturers release cigars like this with horrible tobacco? Where is your pride? What is your goal? Cigars like this will not sell and kill your reputation!

Score: 80

Red balloons with ribbon - Number 80

Red balloons with ribbon – Number 80

 

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Categories: 80, Nicaraguan cigars, Reel Grande, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Cigar of the month July

July was a month of 21 published reviews, here’s the list from best to worst, with a surprising winner

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Gurkha Havana Blend Toro with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Gurkha Havana Blend Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Don Pepin Garcia series JJ Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Espinosa Maduro Corona Gorda (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco OR Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) El Centurion Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Bucanero Z Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
7) Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro Toro (Dominican Republic) 91 points
9) Wilson Adams Mr. Wilson Lancero (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Mbombay Vintage Reserve Salomon (Costa Rica) 91 points
11) Bucanero Z Churchill (Nicaragua) 91 points
12) El Criolito Half Corona (Dominican Republic) 91 points
13) Don Pepin Garcia Blue Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
14) La Antiguedad Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
15) Punch LE 2013 (Cuba) 90 points
16) Alec Bradley Tempus Naturel Robusto (Honduras) 90 points
17) Don Payo El Baron Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
18) E.P. Carrillo Encore Robusto (Dominican Republic) 89 points
19) Royal Danish Havana Blend Robusto (Nicaragua) 88 points
20) Vegas de Santiago Gran Reserva Gordo (Costa Rica) 84 points
21) Navarre Petit Robusto (France) 82 points

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Vegas de Santiago Gran Reserva Maria la Gorda

Over the almost fifteen years that I’ve been smoking I have smoked a lot of brands, a lot of variety cigars, some I liked, some I didn’t like but one of the brands that I smoked almost from day one and still like today is the Costa Rican brand Vegas de Santiago. And they like me, they know my blog and at the Intertabac trade show they asked me to come over and handed me some samplers including this Gran Reserva, a blend unknown to me and I can’t find it on their website either.

 


I did found some information on the website of a German retailer and it turns out that it’s a very budget friendly bundle cigar, less than 5 euro for this 6×60 and the, now discontinued torpedo with the same blend once scored 94 points for Cigar Journal and earned the “best buy” title. I can’t find any information about the blend though.

 


The milk chocolate colored wrapper has a mild reddish glow but no oil. It feels a bit like velvet. The ring is copper colored with dull golden edges and white letters, very simple. The cigar feels well constructed and the shape is good, the cap is nice. The medium strong aroma is typical barnyard.

 


Because of the big ring I decided to grab my punch instead of a cutter. The cold draw is great, the flavor is mild savory. After lighting I taste a sweet flavor with a mild coffee bitterness. Due to the big ring gauge the flavors are muted. A quarter of an inch in I taste pepper with cedar. After a third I taste cedar, pepper and honey. The flavor doesn’t change much, only the pepper grows stronger.

 


The draw is good. The light gray ash is firm. The smoke is medium thick and in volume. The burn on this medium bodied and medium flavored cigar is straight. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not in this ring gauge, that’s for sure.

Score: 84

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Categories: 84, Costa Rican cigars, Tabacalera Vegas de Santiago, Vegas de Santiago | Tags: , , ,

El Baton Double Toro

A few months ago I was gifted four cigars made by J.C. Newman and it made me look into that company a bit more. Those cigars were the El Baton Double torpedo, Perla del Mar Maduro G, the Brick House Connecticut Toro and this one. There was a reason I was never really interested in that company and never even had visited them on my trips to Tampa and that was loyalty. My previous employer distributed J.C. Newman for a while in the past, sold more than they expected and instead of being happy and working with my employer J.C. Newman came up with crazy new demands, stopped the line of credit and it eventually ended up in a law suit that Newman lost yet the relationship was killed. Sales never bounced back up either, not with STG nor with Davidoff who have distributed them since.


While looking into Newman I learned that they have a huge history, in Tampa with their factory and a private cigar museum, close ties with the Fuente family and that they are the first people to pack cigars in cellophane which is now an industry standard expect for Cuba. I also learned that they started a factory in Nicaragua in 2010, where I was under the impression they had cigars made for them like many others. The company actually started in 1895 in Ohio with a home made table and $50 worth of tobacco. It took 60 years and two world wars before the company settled in Tampa, where it still remains.


Just like Oliva, J.C. Newman calls this 6×60 a double toro, while I would call it a gordo. It’s a vitola that I don’t like, never have and probably never will but I will try new cigars in that size anyway when asked. The ring is the same as on the previous El Baton review, but its the same blend so there’s no surprise. The wrapper is a bit lighter in color, yet its still quite dark with a few veins. Construction wise there’s nothing wrong, the cigar feels good, looks good, cap is good, just a well made cigar. The aroma is of dark wood and stable, like being inside an old wooden barn.


I used my cutter for this big ring cigar, mainly because I couldn’t find my punch. The cold draw is fine, I taste a mild gingerbread with pepper. I taste gingerbread, coffee and sugar after lighting. After half an inch I taste nutmeg, spices, wood and pepper. After I drank some water I taste a lot of salt. After a third I taste salt, wood and pepper. Halfway the pepper is getting stronger and stronger. Then all of a sudden the pepper almost disappears and I’m left with salty wood. In the final third the pepper returns again.


The draw is fantastic. The smoke is medium full, it’s light gray. The light gray ash is dense and firm. The burn is good. This cigar is full flavored and bodied. The cigar has a good evolution. The smoke time is 2 hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a great cigar, just a little too thick for me.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, El Baton, Nicaraguan cigars, PENSA | Tags: , , , ,

Cigar of the month May

In may I published 19 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 Lonsdale with a 96 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lonsdale (Nicaragua) 96 points
2) Goviado Lancero (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Jas Sum Kral Zlatno Sonce Soloman (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Viaje Platino Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
5) Goviado Torpedo (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull (Dominican Republic) 91 points
7) Eiroa the first 20 years Prensado (Honduras) 91 points
8) Alec Bradley Post Embargo Robusto (Honduras) 91 points
9) Mayimbe Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) La Sirena Merloin Robusto (Dominican Republic) 90 points
11) Aging Room Solera Fantastico (Dominican Republic) 89 points
12) Brick House Connecticut Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
13) C.A.O. Pilon Robusto (Nicaragua) 89 points
14) La Gloria Cuban Duke (Cuba) 87 points
15) Don Ibarra Natural Belicoso (Dominican Republic) 86 points
16) Don Ibarra Natural Robusto (Dominican Republic) 86 points
17) Undercrown Shade Gordito (Nicaragua) 86 points
18) Don Ibarra Natural Gordo(Dominican Republic) 85 points
19) Gurkha 125h anniversary Rothschild (Dominican Republic) 79 points

 

 

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

Undercrown Shade Gordito

One, this is going to be a tricky one, straight from the start this cigar has two things against it: It’s a 60 ring gauge and it has a Connecticut shade wrapper, although that last part isn’t a problem as it used to be anymore since my preferences are changing and my hate for Connecticut Shade wrappers has faded a little, there are even some Connecticut Shade cigars that I like including the Undercrown Shade Flying Pig.


The Undercrown lines all have a different blend, it’s not just a different wrapper but a whole new blend to begin with, both for the Undercrown Shade as the Undercrown Sun Grown. The Shade is made from Dominican Criollo, Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo with a Sumatra binder and an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. While all the blends differ, the vitolas in all the lines are the same.


The wrapper is pale and smooth, as a Connecticut Shade should be and a little shiny. The ring is the regular undercrown ring in white and gold, that means a golden lion on a turned around crown on a white background. The foot ring is white with golden letters shade and golden outlines. The construction feels good and the cigar is well shaped, a well rounded head. The cigar has a distinct aroma of grass and those broth cubes you can buy at the supermarket to make soup.


I punched the cigar as I tend to do with big ring gauges. The cold draw is perfect. The cold draw is almost flavorless, just a hint of raisin. After lighting with a soft flame I taste a mild leather and peanuts flavor. After a few puffs I taste sugar too. And then I get that typical Connecticut Shade mustiness. After an inch I taste a mild leather with sugar and that mustiness. Only halfway the flavor changes a little, a bit of pepper joins. The pepper slowly gains some strength. With an inch to to the cigar turns.


The draw is great. The light colored ash is dense and firm. The burn needed some corrections. The white smoke is medium in thickness and volume. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, The wrapper and the vitola are a no.

Score: 86


number86

Categories: 86, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars, Undercrown | Tags: , , , , ,

Kings Cigars King of Kings Habano Cuadrado

Early 2014 I went to Nicaragua but spend a few days in Florida afterwards and in a cigar lounge in Miami I met Pete from Kings Cigars. Now I can’t recall the name of the shop, but it was a hangout for a lot of industry people as Barry Stein (Cigar Authority, but back then employed by Miami Cigar & Co), Juan Lopez (Gurkha) and a few reps from other companies were there on their night off too. And Pete handed me a few cigars to try and to see if I could convince my then employer to import the cigars to The Netherlands. And what better day to post this review than on kings day?


I smoked a few cigars but a few ended up lost in my huge stash of cigars. After losing my job I took some time to reorganize my walk-in humidor and put my complete stash in stogierate so I know what I have and can actually find the cigars in the humidor. And I started to pick cigars from one assorted box to review, once that one is empty I’ll go to the next and so on and on. Today I grabbed the Kings Cigars King of Kings Habano Cuadrado, a box pressed 6×64 and all I know about this cigar is that it’s made in Nicaragua with Nicaraguan filler and binder and a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and the Cuadrado is the only vitola with this blend.


When I take the cigar out of the cellophane I feel a smooth, almost silk, wrapper. The wrapper has a few thin veins and a medium dark color, like a cafe latte. The construction feels good, evenly packed. The ring is all printed, dark with gold and red, a golden crown over a crest and a banner with “king of kings”. The ring is not special though, it won’t really stand out in a humidor. The aroma is strong, its a mix of hay, straw, barnyard and fresh wood.


I punched the cigar since it’s so thick. The cold draw is on the loose side. The flavor of the cold draw is raw tobacco and hay with a spicy undertone. I lit the cigar with a soft flame but a jet flame would be more effective with a 64 ring gauge. I taste coffee, earthy flavors. After half an inch I taste a mild musty sweetness. It’s a Connecticut Shade mustiness but much milder. The aftertaste has a lingering pepper. Halfway I taste nutmeg, chili and honey. Before the final third I taste pepper and wood with a little honey.


The draw is too loose for my liking. But the smoke is plentiful yet medium thick. The ash is a bit coarse, light colored with dark smears. The ash is firm too. This medium bodied cigar is also medium flavored. The evolution is what I expect from a big ring cigar, not spectacular, not a lot of dynamic. The smoke time is an hour and thirty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again?  if there was a smaller version I would consider it but this is too much for me.

Score: 84
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Categories: 84, Kings Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , ,

Cigar of the month February

February was a special month, the shortest month of the year but also because I turned it into a full month of F reviews, so there is a top 28.

The cigar of the month is a shared position this month, identical scores for:

Casa Fuente Lancero/Flores y Rodrigues CRV Azul Robusto

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Casa Fuente Lancero (Dominican Republic) 93 points
2) Flores y Rodriguez CRV Azul Robusto (Dominican Republic) 93 points
3) Fratello Bianco II (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Falto Lonsdale (Dominican Republic) 92 points
5) Falto Gran Reserva Especial Perfecto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
6) Flor de Cielo Maduro Salomon (Nicaragua) 91 points
6) Flores y Rodrigues Cabinet Seleccion Maduro Robusto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
8) Flor de Las Antillas Benelux (Nicaragua) 91 points
9) Flores y Rodriguez 10th anniversary Figurado (Dominican Republic) 90 points
10) Flores y Rodriguez CRV Roja Robusto (Dominican Republic) 90 points
11) Falto Robusto (Dominican Republic) 90 points
12) Flores y Rodriguez Cabinet Seleccion Habano Canonazo (Dominican Republic) 90 points
13) Fonseca 30th Anniversary Toro (Dominican Republic) 90 points
14) Falto Delirio (Dominican Republic) 89 points
14) Flor de Selva Maduro Robusto (Honduras) 89 points
16) Flor de Oliva Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 88 points
17) Famous Nicaragua Robusti (Nicaragua) 88 points
18) Fuentes Crucet Habanero Toro (USA) 88 points
19) Famous Nicaragua 3000 Gordo (Nicaragua) 87 points
20) Fuego Sangre de Toro Toro (Honduras) 87 points
21) Fonseca Classic Robusto (Dominican Republic) 86 points
22) Felipe Gregorio Dos Capas Churchill (Dominican Republic) 83 points
23) Flor de Oliva Torpedo (Nicaragua) 83 points
24) Fumadores Churchill (Nicaragua) 83 points
25) Flor de Gonzales Torpedo (Nicaragua) 82 points
26) Funadores Corona (Jamaica) 80 points
27) Flor de Filipinas Corona (Phillipines) 77 points
28) Flor de Canaria Corona (Canary Islands) 71 points

 

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Famous Nicaragua 3000 Gordo

For years I’ve seen raving testaments about the Famous Nicaragua 3000 series on my favorite cigar forum www.cigarasylum.com but since Famous doesn’t ship outside the USA and I buy in local stores when I’m in America I never paid much attention to it. Now I read people guessing where the cigars were made, theories about what factory including the theory that Oliva made a Series X, sold them for a few weeks before Carlito Fuente talked to Jose Oliva about the X, since Fuente is famous for the Opus X and Oliva agreed to take them off the market and sold them as private label to Famous, creating the Famous Nicaraguan 3000 blend but thats a story I have never been able to confirm.


Well, in 2015  I was at Tavicua, which is the factory owned by Rocky Patel in Esteli, Nicaragua and I thought I solved the mystery when I saw Famous Nicaraguan cigars being made. But just now, while looking up some information on the cigar, I found out that there are several series of the Famous Nicaraguan line and the 6000 series is made at Tavicusa, so the mystery of the series 3000 continues.


The box pressed 6×56 cigar looks intimidating due to the sheer size and shape, but that might be me, since I don’t like big ring cigars. The cellophane started to discolor a little bit and I guess I have had this cigar in my humidor for about 5 years after a friend gave it to me at a cigar meeting in Ocala, Florida. The medium dark brown wrapper is very leathery, it looks like leather, it feels like leather and the cigar has a strong aroma of forrest smells and soap. The construction feels good although the cap is applied a little hasty as it seems. The ring is simple, two tone green with the Famous logo in golden, Nicaragua Selection in golden too and golden 3000 on the side. The print quality is good.


I cut the cigar with a guillotine cutter. The cold draw is fine. I taste spicy sultanas and black pepper. After lighting I taste coffee with extra sugar. After an inch I taste spicy greens like rucola with extra added black pepper. After a third I taste minty leather with lemony spice. Halfway the cigar is spicy with wood and pepper. The final third starts with mint, wood and nuts.


The draw is a little loose yet it doesn’t influence the amount or thickness of the smoke which is great. The dark ash isn’t very firm. The burn is straight. This is a medium bodied medium flavored cigar and the ring gauge makes it a not dynamic cigar. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not in this vitola, a Robusto or thinner I would try.

Score: 87
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Categories: 87, Famous, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

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