Posts Tagged With: Gran Corona

Muestra de Saka Nacatamale

Muestra de Saka Nacatamale. A beautiful 6×48 Gran Corona from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. And if that name doesn’t ring a bell, Steve Saka will probably do. If Steve Saka doesn’t ring a bell, then you seriously need to upgrade your cigar knowledge. Saka was the first cigar blogger. Then he became a marketing consultant for J.R. Cigars, CEO for Drew Estate, and for a few years, he’s the owner, blender, and the face of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.

This Muestra de Saka Nacatamale is the second cigar in the Muestra de Saka line. And the first regular production, as the inaugural cigar was a limited edition. Named after a traditional Nicaraguan dish. It’s not the last time that Saka named a cigar after food though. The filler tobacco is all from one farm in Jalapa, Esteli. Add a Nicaraguan binder and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and you have the ingredients for this cigar. Made in Esteli, at Joya de Nicaragua. This cigar was a gift from Puros Asia, the Malaysian distributor for Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.

The first thing that catches the eye, after it’s taken out of the coffin, is the lack of a cigar ring. The Muestra de Saka Nacatamale has a cloth foot ring. Include the coffin, and this is something that stands out in a humidor. Fluorescent yellow with red letters spelling Muestra de Saka, and black letters Nacatamale printed over the red letters. The wrapper is oily, yet has some veins. The dark color isn’t even everywhere, it’s lighter around the veins. But that makes this cigar intriguing. The cap has a little tail, but it’s no flag tail or pigtail. Just a little 2-millimeter tail. The construction feels fantastic. And the aroma is delicious, dark, spicy, and intense.

The cold draw is flawless with a spicy taste. Once it, it’s dark roast coffee with some red chili and sweetness. The flavors turn to grassy, nutty, spicy, and leathery. There is an earthy cinnamon flavor with some pepper, well blended and balanced. The coffee returns, and there is slight dark chocolate. The retrohale has a mildly sweet and mild spice flavor, close to nutmeg. The second third starts earthy with coffee. The smooth spices, with a little pepper, dominate the cigar. There is also some earthy chocolate. The final third has dark flavors, some oak, leather, spices, some black pepper. There is also a hint of sweetness and freshness. The oak gets stronger, with roasted tones. Roasted coffee returns as well. The finale has a little more black pepper.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is almost Drew Estate like. Thick, full, white, and plentiful. The light-colored, almost white, ash breaks easily though. It’s so well balanced and so smooth that it doesn’t feel like a medium to a full-bodied cigar. But it is though, and it’s also full-flavored. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Hell yeah

Categories: 93, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Muestra de Saka, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Ramon Allones Superiores

This cigar is an exclusive release for the La Casa del Habano franchise. That is a franchise owned by Habanos. The shops are only allowed to sell Cuban cigars and are held to a high-quality standard. In exchange, the La Casa del Habano shops get a preferred status when it comes to stock. And they get exclusive cigars, that are only available at the La Casa del Habano outlets.

This Ramon Allones Grand Corona is a 5.6×46 cigar and was originally released in 2009. Back then, La Casa del Habano releases were regular production cigars. In later years, Habanos decided to turn the LCDH exclusive releases into limited editions too, so the Gran Corona is no longer being produced. When the cigar was released, the price tag in The Netherlands was €9,70. And that is decent for an exclusive Cuban cigar.

The cigar has a nice Colorado colored wrapper. The cap is slightly darker though, quality control didn’t pick that up. And it passed the color sorting table too. The wrapper has a mild oily shine and thin veins. The construction feels ok, although there is a spot near the head that feels harder. I hope it’s just a piece of the stem close to the binder and will not give draw issues. The classic Cuban barnyard aroma is quite mild. The combination of the Ramon Allones ring and the La Casa del Habano ring isn’t a perfect match.

The cold draw is good. Raw tobacco is what I taste, quite spicy. Right from the get-go, I taste a slightly metallic, pepper with leather and soil. After a centimeter, I taste pepper with some creamy chocolate. The flavors remain in the same part of the flavor wheel. Some nuts, some leather, a little pepper. All smooth and mellow. The metallic and cream are gone though. No real outspoken flavors. The flavors stay the same for the longest time, this cigar is like a slow-moving creek. Pleasant, calming but not exciting. In the final third, the cigar gets more character. More power, more pepper, and a minty aftertaste.

The draw is great. The ash is light colored and beautiful, like a stack of coins. The burn is good. The smoke is decent in thickness and volume. I would say this is a medium bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. The smoke times is an hour and twenty-five minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe, why not? But not often.

number89

Categories: 89, Cuban cigars, Ramon Alones (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , ,

Montecristo ‘A’

Years and years ago, before I discovered that Cuban cigars and me aren’t a match made in heaven and that I prefer Nicaraguans better I ran into this Montecristo A in a shop in Antwerp, Belgium. It was Huis Verloo, a very renowned shop that is now part of the Davidoff group but back then it was independent and a must visit for every cigar and liquor aficionado due to their huge collection in both items. Now as I said, it was a long time ago and even though I wasn’t a knowledgeable as I am nowadays I knew I had to buy that cigar as it was pretty rare and hard to find as this was pre La Casa del Habano in the Benelux era. I don’t have the box code for the cigar as I did not understand the importance of that either back then, but it is at least 7 years old and I haven’t had the courage to smoke it but today that’s going to change. I’m going to light it and review it.


The cigar is the longest Habanos in production I think as this Gran Corona measures 9.3 inch and it has a 47 ring gauge. Now I smoked a few ‘A’ sized cigars before and I always liked the size. The construction feels ok, there is a little bit of a soft spot at a third but not too much too really complain about, the overal look is good also due to the nicely glued triple cap. The ring is the classic, simple Montecristo brown ring with white letters that has been copied so often. The wrapper is a nice medium brown with tooth and due to the tooth it feels like fine sanding paper. I smell a mild vanilla and wood aroma.


I punched the cigar and the cold draw surprised me, guess this is a lucky day because the draw is flawless. I taste a spicy and peppery hay flavor before I lit the cigar with a soft flame lighter. Those flavors are gone the moment the flame hits the tobacco, it’s all leather then. Due to the size the smoke feels cool in my mouth. After a centimeter I taste leather but with a tiny hint of orange. The structure of the flavors feel creamy. The leather is slowly getting stronger and the orange is gone in a few puffs.  Still in the first third I get a minty flavor with the leather. The draw starts to get a little tight so I cut the cigar to widen the opening compared to the punched hole and that solves the issue. It’s still mainly leather and the minty flavor now also has a hint of orange again.


After a third I the leather fades away a bit and I taste a mild chocolate with the leather. The cigar also has some pepper and a fresh aftertaste. Halfway I taste toast with leather and pepper. Soon after the toast changes to wood, with still leather and pepper. After two thirds I taste nuts with a good amount of pepper.


I’m very happy with the great draw, I’ve had lesser experiences especially with Cuban cigars. The smoke is thin though and low in quantity too. The ash is salt and pepper colored, you can clearly see the layers in the ash and it’s reasonable firm. The burn is straight and slow. The cigar is medium to medium plus bodied with a full flavor. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, and that has nothing to do with this cigar but I’m not taking a risk of buying a very expensive cigar with my bad experiences with Cuban quality control. On a regular priced cigar I’m willing to take a risk but in crazy €50 or more price tags I won’t.

Score: 88

88

Categories: 88, Montecristo (Habanos), Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

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