Posts Tagged With: Indonesia

Tambo Churchill

Indonesia has a long tobacco history. But most of the tobacco is used for dry-cured shortfillers. Premium cigars are scarce, yet there are a few brands out there. Tambo is one of them, and this was given to me by the Indonesian Tambo distributor when I met him in Malaysia for the CSWC Qualifier in Kuala Lumpur.


There are two sizes available, a 6×50 Toro with the name Churchill and/or Super Robusto and a corona with the name short corona.

The unique feature of this cigar is Tambolaka tobacco. That is Indonesian tobacco, and after drying it is rolled up tightly in ten feet poles. Those poles are then bound together tightly with rope so the tobacco can age. They age up to five years before being cut. Most of it is used as pipe tobacco, but some end up in cigars like Tambo.

The wrapper is amazing. Smooth, a beautiful color brown, smooth veins. If someone would have told me that this is high-grade HTL I would believe it. The cigar comes with a small pigtail. The construction feels good. The ring is a bit simple though, but it provides all the necessary information. The aroma is strong. I smell hay and straw. 

When I wet the cap to cut the cigar, I notice how salt the wrapper is.

The cold draw is great. The cigar is salty yet sweet. After lighting, I taste bitter coffee with sugar. Quickly the flavors change to leather, pine, soil and a little bit of pepper. Slowly some creamy chocolate shows up. After a third, I taste come citrus acidity as well, faint but still. The salt, pepper, and chocolate remain the main flavors, with some wood, tobacco, and leather on the background. Some nutty flavor shows up, with the lingering chocolate. I taste some hay too, while the salt loses some of its strength. The mouthfeel is a little dusty. The salt fades way even more in the final third. And secretly, the strength has grown from mild to medium in the beginning, to medium-full where I am now. Tambolaka tobacco is known for its strength, to that could be the reason.

The burn is great. The ash is white, firm and like a stack of coins. There is enough smoke, which is light blue to white. This cigar starts mild to medium but grows to medium-full. Both in strength and in flavor. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, not a box, but a fiver for sure.

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Categories: 90, Indonesian cigars, Tambo | Tags: , , ,

Sultan Churchill

In 1990 a certain Mr. Yan decided he would create a cigar for diplomatic use of the Sultan’s Palace in Jogjakarta, a place that I visited on the same trip that started my cigar passion back in 2005. I didn’t see this cigar though. The cigar is an Indonesian puro and the tobacco comes from within the walls of the Java kingdom, is aged for five years and being rolled at the oldest factory of Java that was established a century ago. And I decided to publish this review on the day that the Dutch government declared defeat in the Indonesian independence war back in 1949 after a bloody 4 year war, a part of the Dutch history that we cannot and should not be proud of since the Dutch behaved like animals.


Tobacco cultivation and cigar manufacturing is staple in Indonesia, but most of the tobacco is ment for short fillers, dry cured cigars that are still very popular in western European countries like Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. Only a little of the tobacco is used for longfillers but one of the strains of tobacco made its way to Latin America and is being grown locally and used in premium longfillers after all, that tobacco is named after the Indonesian island it came from: Sumatra.


The cigar is 7×50 but for some reason it looks a bit thicker. The wrapper is smooth and soft and has a bit of a green glow to it, but its smooth, the one visible vein has been rolled flat. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice look to it. The ring is nice, its not a glossy ring but matte and starts with a black ring on the bottom with green letters saying ‘hand made long filler aged tobacco’, then a golden ring with black letters saying ‘original’ and then a white square on a green background with green wings and a black crest with golden letter Sultan. On the green there are some figures in a language I don’t recognize in a golden print. On the side the ring says “Cigar van Java” which means ‘cigar from Java’ in golden letters. The mild aroma reminds me of a walk through the forrest.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is great and i taste a spicy herbal flavor. I lit the cigar with a jet flame. I taste herbs and cinnamon. After an inch I taste dry soil, herbs, pepper and lemon. After a third the cigar gets a little harsh with a strong pepper flavor but a different flavored pepper than for example a Nicaraguan cigar. Halfway I taste a nasty tar flavor so I cut a piece of. The tar is gone but the cigar remains harsh and unpleasant.


The draw is flawless and the light colored ash is beautiful and firm. The smoke is too thin and too low in volume for my liking. The burn is alright. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for the $13 msrp. This cigar doesn’t fit my profile but it’s nice to try it and taste the difference in tobaccos between Asia and Latin America.

Score: 78
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Categories: 78, Indonesian cigars, Sultan, Taru Martani | Tags: , , , ,

Bali Djanger panatela

Back in January 2006 my flight from the small Bali airport to Jakarta was delayed several hours so to kill the time I visited the only shop and I found a cardboard box with 10 cigars called Bali Djanger. The box mentions “hand made, pure Sumatra tobacco, made in Indonesia” I bought a box of those cheap cigars, just out of curiosity.
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I had a few left when I got back from Indonesia and put them away and forgot about them completely, until a few days ago I was transferring al my cigars from my old humidor to my new big one and I decided to smoke it again, for sentiment’s sake. I could remember that I didn’t like them to much when I smoked them sitting on the porch of a friend’s house in Jakarta, but to my surprise the cigar was better than I could remember, maybe because it has aged another 15 months.
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When I removed the plastic packing I could smell a distinct smell of hay, the cigar had a smooth and easy predraw, was easy to light and the burn was close to perfect. The smoke was rich and full and the ash was quite firm. There is nothing wrong with the construction of this cigar. It is a bit hard to name the flavors because the cigar is light bodied and I usually smoke medium to full bodied cigars, but I could taste a hint of leather and something sweet which at times became bittersweet, and when I reached the middle of the cigar there was a light cacao flavor noticeable.
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This cigar isn’t a top class cigar, but it’s not bad at all. Nice to have smoked.
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Would I buy this cigar again? If I’m in Indonesia again, I might buy it, just for the sentiment.
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Appearance: 7 /10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: Bali Djanger, Indonesian cigars | Tags: , ,

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