Posts Tagged With: habanos

Cohiba Lancero

Cohiba Lancero. These Cohibas come in two varieties. One as a diplomatic gift and as a regular production cigar. But the question is, are they exactly the same? To figure that out, I grabbed Cohiba Lanceros from a Diplomatic box and from a regular production box. Both with the same box code date of June 2020. And both from the El Laguito factory.

With the diplomatic version smoked, reviewed, and published last Monday, it is now time for the regular production version. This 7½x38 classic and elegant cigar consists of Cuban tobacco, all from the Vuelta Abajo region in Pinar del Rio. It was the first Cohiba size and Fidel Castro’s personal favorite. Even in a market that’s favoring bigger ring gauges, the Cohiba Lancero remains a cigar with a lot of attraction. Due to the history, it is here to stay. This is the only regular production Lancero from Habanos together with the Montecristo Especial.

Compared to the diplomatic version of this cigar, the look is not as good. The band is the same, with the same security features. But the wrapper itself has more veins and looks rougher. The Colorado color is nice though. The cigar feels a little softer than the Diplomatic one. The aroma is stronger. Barnyard and manure.

The cold draw is a bit of a struggle. There is air coming through the cigar but the resistance is more than it would be in a perfect situation. There is a dry, mild spicy wood flavor. Once lit the cigar releases a mildly sweet coffee and leather flavor. The leather really shines in the retrohale. The mouthfeel is dry, due to the leather and a little bit of sourness. Then a bit of white pepper shows up. There is also a slightly nutty flavor and baking spices. Leather and smooth nuts are the main flavors, but it’s mild and soft. Slightly creamy even. The second third starts with subtle leather, coffee, a bit of earthiness, nuttiness, and baking spices. So far the flavor profile is quite similar to the diplomatic version. The sweet baking spices that were so pleasant in the diplomatic version are appearing in this cigar as well. With some pepper at the halfway mark. Smooth, subtle, and elegant. And it all comes together with a little bit of citrus. The cream has a bit of a vanilla flavor. The nuttiness and pepper get a bit stronger.

The actual draw is good, better than the cold draw. Just as with the diplomatic version, the ash isn’t strong. It breaks off easily. The ash is a bit lighter in color though. The smoke is quite thin. The burn is straight. This is a medium cigar in both body and flavor. Subtle, smooth, and pleasant. The flavor profile between this cigar and the diplomatic one from the Monday review are so similar that it’s safe to say that both are the same. Since the cigar is a little softer, there is a bit of tar built up that didn’t occur in the other lancero. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would smoke one again, but it is an expensive cigar.

Categories: 90, Cohiba (Habanos), Cuban cigars, El Laguito | Tags: , , , ,

Cohiba Lancero Diplomatic Gift

Cohiba Lancero Diplomatic Gift. Everybody who knows a bit about Cuban cigars knows that Cohiba was the brand of Fidel Castro. And that the lancero was his vitola of choice. For the first 18 years of the brand, it was not available commercially. Cohiba cigars were for Cuban officials and diplomatic gifts. Now the brand is commercially available, even in the famous and classic Lancero size. But that does not mean that the Cuban government has another diplomatic gift. Cohiba Lancero is still the gift of choice but in a different box. The question is, are these the same regular production cigars or is it a different blend? Let’s find out.

Through sources, I managed to get Cohiba Lancero cigars from a diplomatic box, with a box code of June 2020 and regular production Cohiba Lancero with the same box code. The review of the regular production will follow this Friday. Both cigars are made at El Laguito, the famous Cohiba factory. The size is exactly the same, the ring is the same. And I suspect that the blend is the same, but we will know in a few days.

A lancero always looks elegant. The slender posture of such a classic size is such a refreshing change from the fat cigars that dominate humidors and sales nowadays. And when that elegant cigar comes with a small pigtail it is a bonus. Add a nice Colorado color wrapper, smooth and clean and you have an eye-catcher. The Cohiba band is a work of art, with many security features to help cigar enthusiasts from getting scammed by counterfeiters. More on that in our series on fake Cubans and on our series about Vrijdag Premium Printing. There aren’t any knots noticeable. But the aroma is very faint, a little barnyard, that’s it

The cold draw is a bit tights and quite spicy for a Cuban cigar. Once the cigar is lit, there is coffee and leather. But that specific Cuban coffee and leather flavor just cannot be copied, just like Cuban cigar cannot copy specific flavors from other countries. There is also pepper. Some sweetness and some sourness show up. The sourness makes the mouth feel dry. The retrohale is soil. When the ash breaks after just a centimeter, a nutty flavor appears. At the end of the first third, there are dark spices with some pepper. Still with coffee. The second third mellows out a bit. A nice mixture of coffee with some caramel sweetness. But also dark spices and hay. All smooth and well balanced. The mixture of baking spices with white pepper makes this cigar very enjoyable. There are some sweetness and some citrus acidity to balance everything.

The draw is very good. The burn is great and the smoke is fine as well. The dark ash is fragile though, it won’t hold for more than one centimeter. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. There are nuance and balance. Just like the shape, the flavors are elegant. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would smoke one again, but it is an expensive cigar.

Categories: 90, Cohiba (Habanos), Cuban cigars, El Laguito | Tags: , , , ,

Romeo y Julieta Tacos Edicion Limitada 2018

Romeo y Julieta Tacos Edicion Limitada 2018. When we hear the word tacos, we don’t automatically think about cigars. On the contrary, we don’t think of cigars at all. We think of the tasty Mexican dish. Yet Habanos called the 2018 Limited Edition of Romeo y Julieta ‘Tacos’. Maybe they hope it is just as delicious?

The cigar measures 6⅝x49 and is a Grand Corona, almost a Churchill in size. When it was released, the price per cigar in The Netherlands was 18 euro. Which isn’t cheap, but not overly expensive for a Cuban Edicion Limitada either. The cigar we are reviewing today comes from La Casa del Habano Almere in The Netherlands

The cigar looks elegant because of the size. The wrapper has a nice dark shade for a Cuban cigar, yet it isn’t smooth. The veins stick out. And as most of the time, the two different rings don’t really match. The classic, classy Romeo y Julieta ring with a bolder, less classy edicion limitada ring. The construction feels fine. A bit hard, but evenly hard. The aroma is classic Cuban, manure, and cedar.

The cold draw is a little tight. It is quite spicy for a Cuban cigar. The first flavors are green herbs, leather, and a little acidity. The flavors then change to toasted bread. The toast gets a little stronger with some vanilla sweetness. Still, in the first third, the cigar turns to cedar with some sweetness. Halfway the cedar and vanilla are a bit stronger, with a little bit of white pepper. The final third starts with cedar, soil, leather, sweetness, and vanilla. More floral notes show up. The cigar gains more strength and flavor. More spice also.

The draw is a little tight, but that’s normal with Cuban cigars. The ash is light-colored with dark smears. The smoke is decent. The burn is pretty straight. This is a medium cigar in both body and flavor. This cigar took two hours and thirty minutes to smoke.

Would I buy this cigar again? Meh

Categories: 88, Cuban cigars, Romeo y Julieta (Habanos) | Tags: , , , ,

Hoyo de Monterrey Primaveras

Hoyo de Monterrey Primaveras, a cigar for the Chinese zodiac calendar. For the Year of the Ox. It is the second official Habanos release for the Chinese zodiac calendar after the Romeo y Julieta Maravillas. Although the Spanish distributor tested the water a year earlier with a Cohiba Robusto in special packaging. Since the Ox is a strong animal, it is kind of surprising that Habanos went for one of the milder cigars, Hoyo de Monterrey, and not for a bold Bolivar. My expectations are low, as I never liked Hoyo de Monterrey.

The size is a Hermosos No.1, a size that is not used for any regular production. I received the cigar from Pacific Cigar Company after being invited to the world wide virtual premiere of the cigar. The special packaging for this even included a beautiful cardboard tube with Chinese prints. But the cigars for commercial release come in a stunning box. A box worthy of a display and up to par, or even better looking, than the Behike packaging.

There are rumors that Cuba has a problem with growing wrappers for the last few years. And that that is the reason why larger cigars are so hard to find, as production numbers are low due to the shortage of wrappers. And looking at the wrapper of this Hoyo de Monterrey Primaveras, it could be true. The wrapper isn’t what you’d expect from a limited, expensive Habanos release. It’s a little rough, with lots of small veins. The wrapper also lacks oil. It has the classic Hoyo de Monterrey band with a red and golden ‘Year of the Ox’ foot band. The cigar feels a little spongy. The aroma is mild, wood and sawdust are the smells.

The cold draw is good. It has a bit of a salty peanut flavor. The first puffs are typical Cuban. It’s that Cuban leather that you can’t get in any cigar from anywhere else. There’s also a little bit of coffee in the flavor profile and some honey. Slowly some herbal and peppery flavors introduce themselves. The cigar slowly gains some strength. For a Hoyo de Monterrey, this is quite a strong cigar although it’s still nothing compared to full body Cubans such as Bolivar, Partagas, or even Cohiba. For the fans of Nicaraguan cigars, this is a medium body at max. The second third starts with that Cuban leather again, with a little soil, coffee, and pepper. here is also a wood flavor, but it’s not cedar. And a mild sweetness that comes close to honey. In the final third, the sweetness gets more pronounced and there is a nutty flavor. Slowly more pepper shows up as well. The cigar also has a herbal freshness. The finale is strong, much stronger than any regular production Hoyo de Monterrey.

The ash is silver-gray like the hair of an elderly gentleman. It’s not too firm though. The draw is fantastic. It is obvious that Cubatabaco and Habanos really invested in improving the quality of the rollers and quality control in the last few years. Plugged Habanos aren’t as common as they used to be. The burn is a little wonky but corrects itself every time. The smoke is good. The cigar is medium in body and flavor with a strong finish. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes

Would I smoke this cigar again? No, even though this is an enjoyable Hoyo de Monterrey, it is too darn expensive.

Categories: 91, Cuban cigars, Hoyo de Monterrey (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Montecristo Dantes Edicion Limitada 2016

Montecristo Dantes Edicion Limitada 2016. Even though this cigar is part of the 2016 Edicion Limitada program, it is actually a 2017 release. More often than not, special releases by Habanos come to the market with a delay of a year or more. Since the cigar for this review was purchased as a single a few years ago, the exact box code with the manufacturing date isn’t known.

The cigar is a Grand Corona with the Cuban factory name Hermoso No.1. It measures 6⅝x48. It is a size that is not in use for any Habanos regular production. San Cristobal de La Habana had three different releases in this size from 2004 till 2009. Romeo y Julieta’s Edicion Limitada 2003 is this size. And the Hoyo de Monterrey Primaveras 18 for the Chinese year of the Ox is this size.

The cigar looks rough, but that might be the traveling and being stored without cellophane in a full humidor. The wrapper itself is smooth though, Colorado colored and oily. The triple cap is flawless. Due to the gold in the Montecristo logo, the Edicion Limitada ring does not clash appearance-wise. The aroma is mild with hints of hay and wood.

The cold draw is good. It releases dark spices and hay. The first puffs are slightly bitter from coffee but with green herbs. A little salty as well. Slowly some sweetness shows up, but with a salty undertone. There’s also classic Cuban leather. The taste does bite the tongue a little though. Some hay shows up, the leather remains with some green herbs. The cigar is quite boring, one dimensional. After a third, the flavors pick up a little. Wood, soil, coffee with green herbs. The tongue bite is gone. Dark spices show up as well. A mild cocoa flavor follows, with some sort of licorice. Walnuts, leather, and spices push the other flavors away. The cigar is picking up in strength and flavor. It gets more character and depth. Cinnamon, leather, wood, and pepper. A slight hazelnut flavor shows up as well. The last third is really enjoyable.

The draw is fine. The burn is pretty good too. The ash is salt and pepper colored. A stack of dimes structure, but a loose stack. It drops often and won’t make long ash. The light blue smoke is decent in volume and thickness. The cigar starts quite mellow and boring. But the cigar gains in flavor, strength, and character. Overall the strength is medium but grows to full, and so is the body. The smoke time is two and a half hours

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I enjoyed it but I can get the same enjoyment out of cheaper cigars.

Categories: 89, Cuban cigars, Montecristo (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , ,

Partagas Serie P No. 2

Partagas Serie P No. 2. And Serie is a little bit of an overexaggerating here. As this is the only regular production size in the ‘series’. The Series P is a 2005 release, in this size, and this size only. It comes in boxes of 10 and boxes of 25. There is one other release with this blend. That is a 5×50 Petit Pyramid, only available in jars for the travel and duty-free market. And as far as we know, it’s a limited edition. So the Partagas Serie isn’t a series, but a one-off. The Petit Pyramid is a 2009 release. In the last 15 years, no other sizes of the Partagas Serie P have surfaced.

As always with Cubatabaco and Habanos, the cigar is a Cuban puro. That means the filler, binder, and wrapper are all from the island. This cigar was purchased as a single cigar, without looking at the box code. Therefore it’s a mystery in what factory this cigar is made. In Cuba production of brands is spread over several factories. It’s not one factory for one brand or two brands. But any brand can be made in a whole group of factories. The production month and date are unknown too. But it’s at least a year old.

The cigar doesn’t really look good. Colorado colored wrapper with small veins. But one nasty looking vein om the back. The ring is the same as the iconic Partagas Serie D ring. Red with gold letters. Something Partagas copied from Condega, not the other way around as many people think. The cigar feels a bit hard. The tip is a little crooked. Overall not the best looking cigar. But also not so bad that it looks unsmokable. The aroma is mild yet nice. Floral, fresh linen, those kinds of flavors. Like a hamper full of freshly washed clothes.

The cold draw is great. The freshness of the aroma is represented in the cold draw. Floral, minty. Once lit, the cigar tells a different story. Leather, dry leather. Although there is some floral flavor as well. And some spice. Brown spices grow in strength, with some cedar, leather, and earthiness. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy. After a third, the cigar gets more floral sweetness and even a hint of vanilla. Combine that with cedar, brown spices, and a little bit of orange peel acidity, and that’s what this cigar gives. The cedar, smooth and creamy, gets more pronounced. There is a hint of black pepper, floral notes, and toast. The flavors increase in strength a little, but not much.

The draw is great. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is thick enough, there is volume enough, nothing to complain about when it comes to smoke. The cigar starts out mellow, mild. Mild bodied, which is not common for the medium to medium-full Partagas blend. And mild flavored. That raises the question of whether this is an aged, or even vintage, cigar. The cigar remains smooth until the end. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? This is a nice morning smoke.

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, Partagas (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Saint Luis Rey Herfing exclusivo Medio Oriente

Saint Luis Rey Herfing exclusivo Medio Oriente. That is the 2017 Regional Edition for the Middle East. Even though this cigar is part of the 2017 Regional Edition program, the cigar is available since 2019. It is limited to 7500 boxes of 10 cigars. Saint Luis Rey is an 80-year-old brand with only one regular production vitola. It is used for some regional editions though. Until 1993, the brand was only available on the English market and it was created by a British firm. It is considered one of the fuller Cuban Marcas with tobaccos from the Vuelta Abajo and the Semi Vuelta regions.

The size of the Saint Luis Rey Herfin exclusivo Medio Oriente is 5½x54. This is Robusto Extra size, but Habanos calls it Duke. It’s only the 8th time that this size is produced. The only regular production size in this vitola is Partagas Serie E #2. All the other releases are limited editions or regional editions. The Partagas Serie E #2 is a 2011 release. The other releases are Romeo y Julieta Duke (2009) and Bolivar Soberanos (2018) as limited editions. The French market saw the Ramon Allones Hexagone as the 2016 Regional Edition. That same year, The Netherlands had the La Gloria Cubana Platino. This Saint Luis Rey Herfing is from the 2017 Regional Edition program. From the 2018 Regional Edition program, the Punch Duke (Mexico) and Quai d’ Orsay Baalbeck (Lebanon) come in this vitola.

The wrapper looks nice. It is quite dry, it feels like fine sandpaper. The color is nice, Colorado brown. The construction feels good. The Saint Luis Rey ring never stood out from the crown, red with gold and white letters. The crown on the center of the ring is just a big blur. The secondary ring is the iconic regional edition ring and doesn’t match with the regular ring. The cigar has a nice, medium strong aroma. Barnyard with forest aromas is released.

The cold draw is great, with a nice yet spicy floral flavor. After lighting the cigar releases spice, cedar, leather, coffee, and some black pepper. It’s all leather, wood, coffee, and earthiness in the beginning, with a little pepper. The mouthfeel is dry. There’s a little nut flavor, with hay, pepper, salt, leather, and wood. After a third, the cigar turns more floral with softwood. The walnut flavor gains strength, just as the black pepper. The nuts and pepper remain dominant, with support of wood. There’s also some salt.

The draw is loose, too loose. Although it improves along the way. That creates a wonky burn. It’s hard to keep this cigar lit in the beginning. The ash is dark but relatively firm. This cigar is medium-full bodied and medium-full flavored. The smoke is good. Not quite refined or nuanced although that changes after a third. The smoke time is three hours and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s quite expensive so no, but I enjoyed it.

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, Saint Luis Rey (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

H. Upmann Royal Robusto

H. Upmann Royal Robusto. A cigar that was first born in 2011 and exclusively available at the La Casa del Habano franchise stores all around the world. It’s a staple since and has a good reputation within the world of Habano lovers. And it was about time that review another H. Upmann cigar, this Royal Robusto seems a good choice.

Like all Habanos, this is a cigar entirely made of Cuban tobacco. A puro, with wrapper, binder, and filler from the beautiful Caribbean island. It measures 5⅜x52 and that makes it an Edmundo. In Cuba, cigars have a factory name and an “outside” name. For the outside world, this is a Robusto, yet in the factories, it’s an Edmundo. A size that is best known for the Montecristo.

The wrapper is wrinkled like an old lady. Or your fingertips after spending too much time in a bathtub. But it has some shine to it from the oil. Even though the red of the secondary ring isn’t exactly the same as the red in the classic H. Upmann logo, the rings don’t clash. The construction of the cigar feels good. The aroma is mild floral.

The cold draw is good and has a b.t of a floral flavor. Lit the cigar releases sweetness with floral flavors and creamy coffee. There is a little salty undertone as well. The sweetness turns to vanilla. But there is also a little bit of pepper. After a third, some nutty flavor is the most dominant. There is also cedar, floral notes, and sweetness. Close to the final third, sweetness and cedar grow in strength.

The draw is fantastic. The burn is good and the cigar releases a nice amount of smoke. The ash is quite dark but relatively firm. The cigar is well constructed. The flavors are balanced, well rounded, and smooth. This is probably a cigar with a few years of age on it. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , ,

Bolivar Libertador Edición Francia

Bolivar Libertador Edición Francia. This cigar is released three times. First in 2006 as an edicion regional for France. A year later, another batch was released, also for the French market. This particular cigar hails from the second release. Those releases came in boxes of 10 or dress boxes of 25. The cigar that we smoke for this review comes from a dress box of 25. In 2013, the cigar returned as a semi-regular production but exclusively for the La Casa del Habano franchise stores. The La Casa del Habano version only comes in ten-count boxes though.

I was gifted this beautiful, fat cigar by a friend. We were smoking a cigar pairing it with Cohiba cognac by Martell at his beautiful home. He brought out a box of these beauties and said “why don’t you do a review of these”. A task we happily accepted. The 6½x54 Sublimes has a reputation, and we had never smoked one. So to be able to review a vintage version is an opportunity we could not pass.

The cigar looks good. A nice, evenly colored wrapper. Just one vein. But the wrapper looks dry. Not dry as in no moisture, but dry as in not oily. The triple cap is beautiful. The regular Bolivar ring, with the gold, yellow and brown looks good on the shade of the wrapper. As with most Cuban rings, the exclusivo ring and the regular ring don’t really match. The cigar feels quite hard. There isn’t a lot of aromas left after thirteen years of aging.

The cold draw is good. Lightly salty with a little bit of black pepper. Once lit, the salt and pepper are hardly noticeable. The cigar has a nice honey sweetness with leather. The flavor then turns to dry leather, sweetness, and cedar. Mellow and smooth, this cigar tells you it’s aged. The second third starts with a pronounced coffee flavor, with spices, leather, cedar, and honey. The flavors gain strength as well. The mouthfeel gets dry with coffee, earth, honey, and leather. The same flavors keep lingering around, one stronger than the other and then switching. The honey remains pronounced. Coffee keeps coming back, with leather. In the final third, the earthiness is getting stronger with some more spice and pepper. It has that typical flavor of an aged Cuban cigar that cannot be found in any other cigar in the world.

The draw is good. The light gray ash is pretty and quite firm. The flavors of the cigar are smooth and balanced. In the first third, it’s clear that this is an aged cigar. The cigar starts to show character in the second third, before that it was mellow at best. The smoke is now nice and thick. White and a good volume of smoke as well. This cigar starts mild and grows to medium-full. Both in flavor and strength. The smoke time is three hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Boxes with this age are impossible to find.

Categories: 91, Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Por Larranaga Gran Robusto Exclusive Países Bajos 2017

Por Larranaga Gran Robusto Exclusive Países Bajos 2017. This cigar was released mid-2018, which is not too much of a delay when it comes to exclusivo regional releases. Habanos manages to release limited editions and regional editions often to be delayed for over a year, or even longer. This release was limited to 100.000 cigars, 10.000 boxes of 10 pieces. And Habanos wouldn’t be Habanos if an unknown amount of the cigars were labeled incorrectly. Not a first for a cigar from the Exclusivo Regional series.

Por Larranaga is an old brand. The brand was founded in 1834, which makes it almost 200 years old. Even though it’s a small brand, it has some hardcore fans. The brand is used by several distributors as Exclusivo Regional over the years. 5th Avenue (Germany), France, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Asia Pacifico, Switzerland, and Peru all had one or more Por Larranaga regional editions. This is the only Por Larranaga exclusivo for the Dutch market.

The Colorado colored wrapper isn’t the most beautiful one. It has veins, a lot, and looks wrinkly. The glossy golden ring is so shiny that it’s overkill. It makes the white letters hard to see. But the white letters work with the white dots on the secondary ring though. The triple cap looks good. There are no soft or hard spots on the cigar. The aroma is very mind, it’s slightly woody with cardboard.

The cold draw is a bit tight, with a gingerbread spice taste. The first puffs are a bit sour and dry at the same time. Dusty even. Some honey tries through breakthrough the citrus acidity, but it fails. The sweetness, acidity, and dusty flavor aren’t a joy. After a third, some wood, leather, and soil show up with some spices. The leather and cedar are slowly growing, and there is even a hint of milk chocolate. The honey sweetness returns. There’s also a hint of hazelnuts.

The ash is dark and not very firm. The burn is straight tough. The smoke is decent in volume, but it’s thin. The draw is good, a little tight but still way within margins. The cigar is quite boring with a very slow build-up. Medium-bodied and medium-flavored at most. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No

Categories: 87, Cuban cigars, Por Larranaga (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

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