Posts Tagged With: Intertabac

Gurkha Celler Reserve Edicion Especial Koi

At the intertabac trade show, Juan Lopez from Gurkha cigars, gave me this small and fat perfecto, 4×58, from the Gurkha Cellar Reserve Edicion Especial blend and after a quick glimpse on the Gurkha website I learned that it’s made with an eighteen year old corojo wrapper of which only a 1000 boxes were made for each of the four vitolas, a pretty small release.


The Cellar Reserve Edicion Especial is a follow up for the Cellar Reserve Limitada, a limited edition version of the regular Cellar Reserve with a 15 year old wrapper. This Edicion Especial was released in 2014 and was followed by the Cellar Reserve Platinum and the Cellar Reserve 21 years. So if I like this one, I will have to start looking for the other blends too.


I love the shape, a shape made famous or popular again by Drew Estate with their flying pigs and if this was a Drew Estate cigar it would be a flying piglet due to the size. The wrapper has a nice latte color and a little shine from the oil in the leaf. The ring is huge, copper colored with golden and black text, very detailed, including batch number and I like it. The shape is great, including a small pigtail and the cigar is evenly packed. The cigar has a medium aroma of manure and barnyard.


I cut the cap off, the cold draw is tight so just to be sure I grab my draw poker but I hope the tight cold draw only is because of the shape. I taste pepper and some citrus.  I lit the small foot, i taste some mild coffee. The draw opens up right after I pass the tip. The cigar changes to pepper, sweet wood and herbs. Halfway I taste sweetness and a mild harsh leather and wood combination. The flavor doesn’t change much from there.


The draw is great passed the small pointy tip. The smoke is medium thick and full. The ash is firm and light gray. The burn is pretty straight. There isn’t much evolution. This is a medium bodied and medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? No

Score: 87
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Categories: 87, Dominican cigars, Gurkha, Tabacalera Las Lavas | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cigar of the month March

Last month I reviewed 15 cigars and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst, and the worst was really terrible. One of the lowest ranking cigars on my blog ever!

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Don Lino Africa Kifaro with a 94 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Don Lino Africa Kifaro (Nicaragua) 94 points
2) Cornelius & Anthony Aerial Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
3) Casa Fernandez Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
4) La Aurora Para Japon Sumo (Dominican Republic) 91 points
5) Liga Privada #9 Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
6) Montecristo Half Corona (cuba) 90 points
7) C.A.O. Anaconda (Honduras) 90 points
8) Viking Horseman Toro (Dominican Republic) 90 points
9) Don Lino Africa Gorilla Knuckle (Nicaragua) 89 points
10) Quesada 70th Anniversary Toro (Dominican Republic) 89 points
11) Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan (Honduras) 86 points
12) Micallef Gomez Sanchez Herencia (Nicaragua) 80 points
13) Avo XO Intermezzo (Dominican Republic) 79 points
14) Avo Dominant 13th Toro (Dominican Republic) 79 points
15) Di Grisogno For Women Only Corona (Dominican Republic) 73 points

 


 

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Micallef Herencia

The second cigar that I’m smoking of this brand, I got it at intertabac. And let’s go a little deeper into the brand. Micallef is a cooperation between two families, the Micallef family and the Gomez Sanchez family. The Gomez Sanchez family entered the tobacco industry in 1934 in Cuba when the patriarch of the family started working in a tobacco factory in Pinar del Rio at age 11. He worked for some well known factories like H. Upmann before fleeing Cuba and ending up on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria.


His daughter in law, Migdalia Sanchez, also had a background in tobacco and was so knowledgable that Habanos send her to conventions all over the world. She too fled the country and both her and the rest of the family ended up in Mexico where they continued growing tobacco and making cigars until she started a factory in Esteli, Nicaragua too. With her two sons in the company too, this is really a family business with a heritage so it’s perfectly legitimate to create a cigar called herencia. The cigar has a msrp of 13 dollar.


This herencia is only available in a torpedo shape, in two blends, a maduro and a habano and I’m smoking the latter. The wapper is aged Nicaraguan habano with a Sumatra binder from Ecuador and filler from Nicaragua and Honduras. The wrapper looks nice in color but the vein on the top makes the head of the cigar a little rough on the eyes. The ring is the same as on the Esperiencia with the expiation that the greenish blue is now completely blue. The shape is good and the cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is mild to medium strong and classic barnyard.


Since it’s a torpedo I have not option to cut the cigar, it has to be s flat cut and so happened. The cold draw is good, I don’t taste much, just some dry tobacco. After lighting I taste an unpleasant wood. Some sugar shows up too, but the cigar is getting a little harsh. Halfway I also taste a little pepper. The final third starts with a little cinnamon and wood, but harsh and unpleasant. On my lips I taste pepper.


The draw is fine but the light gray ash has big gaps and isn’t very firm. The ash is thick and full. The burn is good. This is a medium bodied and medium flavored cigar that lacks evolution. The smoke time is short, an hour and five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Look at the score and you’ll know the answer.

Score: 80

Red balloons with ribbon - Number 80

Red balloons with ribbon – Number 80

 

Categories: 80, Micallef, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Liga Privada #9 Belicoso

I remember getting my first Liga Privada, that was back in 2009 on a road trip along the east coast. We had a herf at every stop and one of the guys in Fayetteville, NC, handed me a Liga Privada and said it was one of his favorite cigars. I saw ‘Drew Estate’ on the ring and said NO! NO! but he persuaded me, said it wasn’t infused and a great stick. I smoked it and loved it, a lot. Although it seems that the flavor and quality changed a little over the years due to different years of crops.


There are only a few pairs of rollers that are allowed to roll these cigars and only in a limited quantity per day. If you have been to the Drew Estate factory you probably have seen them sitting in a room apart from the main factory floor. That room is only used to roll the Liga Privada #9 and T52. The #9 is made out of Nicaraguan and Honduran filler, a Brazilian binder and Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The Belicoso is 6×52 sized.


The wrapper looks amazing, dark, oily, leathery, its just a pleasant cigar to look at. The ring is simple yet tasteful, on one side there is the lion shaped Liga logo in silver on a black background while the rest of the ring is off white with gray lettering saying Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and then in a curly, almost hand written, font in black letters Liga Privada #9. The cigar feels well constructed and the shape is beautiful with a little flat head on the belicoso shape. The aroma is unique, its like a fence that has been tarred a week ago, you still smell a bit of the tar but it’s not overpowering anymore.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is great, spicy and peppery. The first flavors after lighting are coffee and cocoa. After half an inch the cigar is spicy and meaty. The flsvors are dark with a little red pepper. After a third I taste meaty wood with some sweetness, spices and pepper. The cigar taste different than how I remember Liga Privada. A title chocolate shows up too. Halfway the cigar tastes like cedar, herbs and peppery, just like I remember. The final third is cedar, herbs, pepper and carrot. The pepper fases away.


The draw is great and the smoke, I don’t know what Drew Estate is doing to their cigars but they are all smoke bombs, thick, full and white. The dense and firm ash is white as can be. The burn is pretty straight. This is a full bodied, full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I have some stashed away

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

CAO Amazon Anaconda

The final release of the CAO Amazon trilogy is the CAO Amazon Anaconda, made in Honduras with a rare Brazilian wrapper leaf, a Habano from the Bahia region, a Nicaraguan binder and filler from Colombia, the Dominican Republic and the two rare Brazilian tobacco’s used in the Amazon Basin and Amazon Fuma em Corda, namely the Braganca and Guma em Corda tobacco. And because of the rarity of the tobacco, this will be a limited run again.


As I wrote in the review of the CAO Amazon Fuma em Corda, this cigar was handed to me during the Intertabac trade show and I was happy to receive both the Fuma em Corda and the Amazon Anaconda because I really liked the Amazon Basin. I’m looking forward to smoking this 6×52 toro, and I hope I like it as much as I liked the Amazon Basin.


The wrapper has a nice, evenly, dark wrapper with a reddish glow and it’s got the rustic look you’d expect from Brazilian tobacco. To me, Brazilian tobacco always is a little rough on the eyes, or rustic might be a better description. The ring, which is a string of tobacco wrapped around the cigar like an anaconda wraps itself around a tree, finishes the look of the cigar. The construction feels and looks good although there is a little dent in the cigar where the wrapper string starts, I think the roller pressed too hard on that spot. The aroma is fresh, peppery and acidic, medium in strength.


I cut the cigar. The cold draw, which tastes like leather, pepper and raisin, is great. I taste leather after lighting, thick, fat, juicy leather. After a few puffs I also taste sweetness. After an inch I taste that juicy leather but now with sweet milky chocolate. After a third it’s leather and pepper. Halfway I still taste those flavors but now with a lot of floral sweetness. The final third starts with floral and vanilla sweetness, a little bit of leather, pepper and licorice. An interesting combination, quite unique. Near the end the leather gains more strength abs becomes a little dry, the pepper picks up too.


The draw is fine, the smoke it white, thick and plenty in volume. The light colored ash has nice rings. The burn is good, not perfect but good. The cigar is medium in body and strength. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? This is the Amazon I like least.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, C.A.O. Fabrica de Tabacos Honduras, CAO, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quesada 70th Anniversary Toro

As you may have figured just from the name, this cigar was created to celebrate the 70th birthday of Manuel Quesada, the man behind Matasa & Quesada cigars, the Dominican Fonseca, Casa Magna, Heisenberg and all other Quesada lines. And for his birthday he took Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, a Sumatra binder and a Dominican wrapper to make an old school cigar with balance and flavor but also with a modern twist.


The cigar is only available in two vitolas, the favorite vitolas of Manuel Quesada and those are the 6×50 Toro and a 6×52 Belicoso. Raquel Quesada gave me a toro during the most recent Intertabac trade show and a few other Quesada cigars, including the Quesada 40th that I reviewed in January. Today I will review the Manuel Quesada 70th Toro.


The smooth and oak colored wrapper is fat and oily, it looks great and tasty with a deep color and nice thin veins. The ring is black and golden, old school with lettering that I would call ‘Wild West’ as you see that kind of lettering in Western movies. It simply says Quesada with small Manuel in a golden banner above the name and 70 below the name. The cigar feels well packed, evenly, and the cigar is beautifully capped. The strong barnyard aroma is nice.


I decapped the cigar with a double guillotine. The draw is open. I taste pepper and sultanas. After lighting the cigar with a soft flame and I taste coffee, sweetness, spices and wood. After half an inch I taste a nice citrus twang with wood, oak to be more precise and some pepper. After an inch it’s still a citrus twang but now with wood, leather and some nuts. Halfway I taste that citrus but now with a chocolate paste, like the bread spread. Then the flavor changes to citrus, pepper and wood. I also taste a hint of vanilla. Near the end I taste wood, herbs, a little mint and some pepper still with the acidic twang.


The draw is good, a little open but still good. The smoke is medium plus in thickness, a beautiful white color and quite a lot. The light gray ash is a bit frayed yet firm. The burn is pretty straight. This is a medium plus bodied and medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked the 40th anniversary better.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, Quesada, Quesada Cigars | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Viking Norseman Toro

I have reviewed two of the three Viking blends, the Viking and the Nordic Warrior and both ended up in my top 25 of 2017 so my expectations for the third blend are high, yet on the other hand, it is a Connecticut shade wrapper so that might be the downside of smoking this cigar. The cigar is made with Ecuadorian Connecticut, Nicaraguan Habano and Dominican Piloto as filler, a Connecticut Broadleaf from the USA as binder and an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade as wrapper.

 


Ernesto Perez Carrillo and his La Allianzia factory are responsible for the production of this Norwegian owned brand, that honors the sea dwelling Vikings with this Norseman blend. The seas were a dangerous place with the small Viking ships so these Norseman had to be extremely brave.

 


I love the ring on any of the viking cigars, metal rings, a tin alloy and this one is black & golden with a norseman face. The cigar itself looks great too, a medium brown wrapper with a shaggy  foot that shows off the broadleaf binder. The contrast between the Connecticut Shade and the Broadleaf is huge and it makes the cigar look even tastier. The shape is flawless, the head perfectly round. This cigar is well made. The aroma is strong and reminds me of wood and vegetable stock.

 


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is a little open. I taste pepper on my lips. After lighting I taste coffee with some sweetness and a nice citrus acidity to balance it all out. After half and inch I taste spicy and peppery dry cedar. Then I taste a growing white pepper flavor. There is a very mild Connecticut Shade mustiness but much minder than other Connecticut Shade wrapped cigars. Halfway I taste sweet and slightly musty cedar with white pepper in the aftertaste.

 


The draw is a bit loose, the ash quite dark and frayed. The smoke is thick, white and full. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and flavored with a smoke time of an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked the other Viking cigars better because of the wrapper.

Score: 90
number90

 

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera La Alianza, Viking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Montecristo Petit Robusto

Through a mutual friend I met Mike Choi at intertabac last september. Mike Choi is an authority when it comes to Cuban cigars, something which I’m not, my knowledge is in the non Cuban brands and more specifically Nicaraguan cigars. Mike opened his travel humidor and said “pick one, these are from the petit robusto selection” of which I never heard off. Anyway, I went for the Montecristo.


A search through google, and a little help from my friend, La Casa del Habano Almere owner, Yuri Dijkstra, pointed me in the right direction. It’s a sampler with five different Cuban brands all in the petit robusto size and I must say, the pictures look great. The brands included in the sampler are Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Partagas and H. Upmann. Two cigars of each brand are included in the sampler. Maybe I should try to find one for a series of reviews.


The 4×50 cigars looks cute even though the wrapper is a bit rustic. The color reminds me of milk chocolate and the ring is the simple, regular brown and white montecristo ring. Well printed though, by Vrijdag printing in The Netherlands. The construction feels good and the cigar looks good too. Yet, when I set the cigar on its foot there is a resemblance to the leaning tower of Pisa. The cigar has that typical Cuban manure smell, medium strong.


After lighting I taste vanilla, coffee and hazelnut. After half an inch I get some more sweetness, a hint of vanilla and pepper, hazelnut and leather. Halfway it’s leather with a vanilla sugar flavor followed by a strong pepper in the aftertaste. Near the end I taste nuts again with a very peppery finish.


I cut the cigar and the draw is great. I taste a mild white pepper. The smoke is full, yet it has a bit of a brownish gray smoke. The ash is dense and has nice layers. The cigar is medium full bodied, medium flavored. The burn is pretty good and straight. The smoke time is fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked the cigar so I hope I can find that sampler for a fair price.

Score: 90
number90

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, Montecristo (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fratello Bianco II

The first time I ran into the Fratello brand was when I was in Nicaragua in 2015 with my then employer, journalist Marcel Langedijk and photographer Jesaka Hizkia for the Cigaragua book. At the Joya de Nicaragua factory I saw cigars being packed that I never heard of, Fratello, and asked about them since I’m a cigar geek and new brands spark my interest. It turned out Joya de Nicaragua makes those cigars for Omar de Frias.


Last year at Intertabac I met Omar, a huge guy, who used to work for Nasa. I think he launched satellites into space with his bare hands, that’s how tall and strong he is. He handed me one of his Fratello cigars which I reviewed and this year at intertabac he handed me his second line, the Fratello Bianco, a 6×50 Teachers Pet aka Fratello Bianco II. The cigar is made with filler from the USA, Peru and Nicaragua, a Dominican binder and wrapper from Mexico.


While the name Bianco might make you think this will be a Connecticut Shade wrapper, as was my first thought when I heard the name, it is not. The Mexican San Andres wrapper is dark. There is some oil to the wrapper but it’s dry on the tough with a few veins. The unusual shaped white ring with red letters and silver details fits the dark wrapper. The construction feels good and the shape of the cigar looks good, but I have to add that I can’t remember if I ever had a cigar made by Joya that didn’t have great construction. The cigar has a medium strong, vegetable like, aroma, cauliflower, broccoli kinda smell.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is perfect. I taste dry tobacco with a hint of dark chocolate. After lighting, with matchsticks this time, I taste chocolate. After half an inch some dry vegetable taste joins the chocolate as a supporting flavor. After a third I taste some cinnamon too. Halfway I taste chocolate, pepper and nuts. In the final third I taste wood, a bit charred, vanilla and pepper. The pepper grows near the end.


The draw is perfect and the white ash is firm. The white smoke is thick and medium full in volume. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is almost two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Oh Yes, oh yes. I used a nub tool, that’s how good it is.

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Fratello, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Casa Fuente Lancero

In 2009 I went to the United States for the first time, for a three week trip. The first two and a half weeks were all about a road trip on the east coast, all the way from Key Largo to Rochester in Upstate New York with a herf with people from Cigar Asylum each night. It was a great trip and made friends for life. For the final few days we flew from Albany NY to Las Vegas where about 30 BOTL and SOTL showed up and we smoked a lot. Now as a cigar aficionado you cannot visit Las Vegas without visiting Casa Fuente, which we did every day while we were there. And I bought a sampler of their house blend, the Casa Fuente that is sold only there and back then not available online but I recently saw them for insane prices at an online retailer.


Now back then I wasn’t in love with the lancero vitola yet, that came later when I had more smoking experience, which in my opinion you need before you are able to fully enjoy a lancero so I didn’t look for them. But a few years later I met Charlie Minato from Halfwheel at Intertabac in Dortmund and he hit me with a few cigars that weren’t available in Europe, including some Roma Craft and as a final surprise he says “I know you love lancero’s” and hits me with a Casa Fuente Lancero. Now am hardly ever at a loss for words, but this time I was. What a gift. I mean, Opus X filler and binder with a Cameroon wrapper, which is a wrapper I love, in my favorite vitola, hallelujah! And since I didn’t like Las Vegas and I never want to go back unless I have a very good reason I never expected to get my hands on these.


The cigar is partly wrapped in cedar with a nice orange piece of cloth on the foot. When I take the cigar out I see a nice, medium brown wrapper with tooth, a small water spot and minor thin veins. The construction feels good and the pig tale is always a nice extra touch. The ring is amazing, a beautiful dark brown, like a dark chocolate mousse color with thick golden outlines, very detailed and orange pin striping. The letters Casa Fuente are in gold and orange in a curly font with a black shadow. The ring is very detailed. As for the aroma, since the cigar has been wrapped in cedar for a few years that’s what I smell, cedar.


I cut the cigar since it’s too small to punch. The cold draw is great and I taste hay with a pepper aftertaste. It’s easy to light the cigar with a soft flame and I taste Cuban coffee right from the get go. After a few puffs it’s coffee with lemon. The coffee disappears and I taste a metallic flavor with some unsalted peanuts. After an inch I taste spicy cedar with some chocolate. After a third the spices disappear, now it’s cedar with some herb and lime. It then turn ashy, which is not very pleasurable to say the least, then I realize it’s because tar build up.

To get rid of the tar I cut off a little extra piece of the cigar. That helps ofcourse the flavor is now nice bitter like 72% dark chocolate. Soon some lemon and cedar shows up too. I also taste some spices again, nutmeg and pepper. After three quarters I taste nuts with spices and a little citrus. The spices are a mix that consist of nutmeg, cinnamon and more, the nuts are still there with some cocoa.


The draw is great. The cigar gives me a lot of smoke. The ash is white and very dense and firm. The burn is straight as an arrow and slow. The cigar is medium bodied. There is a lot of evolution and flavor. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? Since Las Vegas is not in the plans it will be close to impossible.

Score: 93

93

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your reviewer with Jeremiah Meerapfel, Cynthia & Liana Fuente

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Categories: 93, Arturo Fuente, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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