Posts Tagged With: limited edition

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco

When I was working for the largest independent cigar importer & distributer of The Netherlands one of the brands we handled was Joya de Nicaragua, and the best sellers were the very inexpensive Clasico, Rosalones and Cabinetta series, way better than the still very affordable Antaño and Antaño Dark Corojo lines. So when Joya de Nicaragua released their Cuatro Cinco to celebrate their 45 years in the industry my employer just looked at the prices and said “an 8 euro Joya, lets not do that, that price is way off compared to the 3 euro Clasico of 5 euro Antaño.”. Now a few weeks later I went on my first trip to Nicaragua and one of the factories I visited was Joya de Nicaragua. Juan Martinez welcomed me, we sat down in the conference room where a box of each of their offerings was displayed and asked “do you want to smoke something?”. I said “I don’t see the cuatro cinco, I would love to try that one and I would love a sample for my employer”. Juan got me a box, and the day I got back home, I drove to my employers shop, handed him the box, he smoked one and ordered every box that Joya still had in stock, not that that was a lot, only 80 boxes of the 4500 made were left so I handed him that sample right on time. Today is The Sandinista Revolution day, and since the factory has so much history with the rise of the Sandinista’s, it feels like a good day to publish this review today.


The cigar is a 6×54 toro extra, slightly box pressed and made completely from Nicaraguan tobacco, a true puro. The cigars were so popular that the company tweaked the blend a little, going from a all Nicaraguan cigar to a mostly Nicaraguan cigar with barrel aged ligero fillers, a Dominican volcano binder and the same wrapper as the original release. The new cuatro cinco reserva especial isn’t a limited edition, but will be produced in low numbers on a continues basis and is available in four vitolas instead of the just one in the original cuatro cinco release. I will be reviewing one of the reserva especial too in a later stage.


The ring is something special, they are actually two rings but on top of each other. The bottom ring is a bit bigger than the upper ring so you can see the golden ring with the white Joya de Nicaragua logos stick out on both the top and bottom side of the black ring. Now in the reserva especial this has changed to a silver bottom ring. The black ring has a golden Joya de Nicaragua logo with 4 horizontal lines on each side, one side says 1968 and the other one 2013. Above the logo is says edition limitada in cursive letters and underneath the logo it says cuatro cinco in big letters. This also changed with the reserva especial into white letters and a white logo with some golden details. This is how you can tell the difference when you see the cigars in the shop, and if you find the golden one, get it! On the inside of the ring, and I know this from previous cuatro cincos I smoked, you will find a drawing of either some vulcanos as a tribute to Nicaragua, hands as a tribute to the rollers or the factory. The clark wrapper feels silky and looks amazing with no visible big veins. The construction feels very good and the barnyard aroma is quite strong.


I punched the cigar and got a great cold draw with a pretty strong raisin flavor. I lit the cigar with a soft flame. I taste some earthy flavor, leather, coffee and cocoa. After half a centimeter I taste cedar, spices and a little chocolate. After half an inch it’s cedar with a little nutmeg and pepper. After a third I also taste a mild sugar. Halfway I taste walnut with pepper. Slowly the pepper is getting stronger. At the end I taste cedar with the pepper.


The draw is close to perfect, just the right amount of resistance. The ash is dense and firm, dark gray in color. The burn is good although I needed a touch up halfway. The smoke is thick and great in volume. The cigar is medium bodied and full flavored, well balanced and plenty of evolution. The smoke time is two hours and five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? That would be impossible but I’ll settle for the reserva especial instead.

Score: 92
92

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

Royal Danish Havana Blend Short Robusto LE 2014

Royal Danish, the name would suggest that the cigar comes from Denmark but no, it is a Nicaraguan puro made in Esteli, Nicaragua at the Plasencia Factory for the Danish brand owner Jan Vistisen and that’s the only connection to Denmark as there is. I did a few reviews on the Royal Danish Regal Blend in the past, but now its time to light the Havana Blend Short Robusto, which is a limited edition according to the ring. I can’t find any more information since the company doesn’t have a proper website. I did however found out that today is Jan Vistisen’s birthday, a good reason to publish a review of his brand.


According to a 2014 interview in Cigarjournal  this Havana blend is a cheaper but not lesser blend than the flagship Regal blend that I reviewed before and I recall liking the Regal blend so I got my hopes up high for this 4×52 small cigar. Due to the lack of information I can’t write a longer intro, so let’s focus on the cigar. (edit: after removing the foot ring I noticed an url printed on the inside http://www.havana-blend.com  with a little info but the website hasn’t been updated since 2014 though.)


The first thing that I notice is a nice metallic hologram sticker with a year, 2014, and Royal Danish Cigars written on it. Usually there is a barcode sticker, sticky tape or nothing so this sticker stands out and I like it. The ring is pretty, its black with golden dots, the Danish shield in the centre with a crown and Royal Danish Cigars written in white letters. The ring will not get the exact same and high score as the regal blend even though the rings look alike but that’s because the stone that’s on the Regal ring isn’t on the Havana blend ring. The foot ring is golden with black letters saying Limited Edition and a black oval with golden letters saying Havana Blend. In my opinion the black and gold should have been switched to make it more modest. There is a piece of yellow lint running from the foot of the cigar all the way over the head to the other side of the foot, which is not seen very often and makes the cigar stand out in a humidor. The wrapper has a nice deep brown color and no visible veins but the cap has a slightly lighter color, but it looks good. The construction feels and looks great. The aroma is medium strong and pure straw and hay.


I punched the cigar, the draw is a little tight and I taste raisin with a mild cedar. After lighting the cigar, with a single jet flame for once, I taste coffee with a little citrus. After a few puffs I taste earthy flavors with cocoa, lime and chili peppers. After an inch I taste a mild metallic earth flavor with a peppery aftertaste. Halfway I taste nuts with lemon. The nuts get stronger and a little pepper shows up at the background and aftertaste. The final third starts with pepper, sticky chocolate and a little nuts.


The draw is a little on the tight side and that causes the smoke to be thinner than I like. After a quarter of an inch I decided to cut the cigar and that improved both the draw and the smoke a little. The ash is light gray and reasonably firm. The burn is slow but not completely straight. The evolution is good and this medium full bodied cigar is also medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would like to try one with a better draw before I give my final verdict.

Score: 88
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Categories: 88, Nicaraguan cigars, Royal Danish | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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Mayimbe Robusto

Every time I am in the United States I visit cigar shops to buy single sticks of cigars I can’t get back home and that are to my interest, either because I know and like the manufacturer, I know and like the brand, I read good stuff about the cigar or it looks cool to me. Now early 2014 I spend a week in Esteli, Nicaragua and then spend a week in Florida, a few days in Miami and a few days in Orlando. And of course in both cities I visited some shops and in one of those shops I found a cigar that I really wanted to try but because of the limited production never expected to see: A.J. Fernandez’s Mayimbe Limited Edition 2013. Only 2500 boxes of 10 were made in 4 sizes so finding them months after their release was just luck I guess.


I’m a fan of a lot of cigars that are being made by A.J., not only his own brands but also cigars he makes for Meyer & Dutch (I love the Diesel, Man O’War Skull Crusher, Ave Maria) and the Nicoya brand. So when I read about the Mayimbe I was curious to try it even thought the 56 ring is a little above my preferred thickness. Now this cigar isn’t limited just to be a limited, it’s limited because of the tobacco. The Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper isn’t limited, the Nicaraguan binder from A.J. Fernandez farms isn’t limited, the Honduran filler isn’t limited but the Nicaraguan filler is, its a leaf called Privado and it’s been grown by A.J. Fernandez on a small farm and he’s been working on it for years. So no marketing “limited edition” as so many companies do, inspired by Habanos (who nowadays manufacure more limited releases than regular production between the regional editions, limited editions, reserva and anejados) but a true limited edition because they are out of tobacco. And that’s what a limited should be, limited because of a limited amount of tobacco.


The Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper is darn, like a piece or dark chocolate, with a few veins and a nice triple cap. The construction feels good and the head of the cigar is beautifully rounded. The aroma is full and its like standing on the attic in a hay shed on a rainy afternoon. There are two rings on the cigar, one on the foot which is about a centimeter high, pitch black with the A.J. Fernandez logo in red letters and gold lining in a white circle with gold lining. The main ring is big with a curved top. The bottom part is black, the top part is brown and I don’t like the color brown on cigar bands unless its the exact same color as the wrapper which this isn’t. There is golden lining and swirls and in big black letters Mayimbe. A.J. Fernandez is written in smaller black letters. On the back there is the Mayimbe logo and the words “Esteli, Nicaragua” in golden letters. Now the band isn’t ugly but the brown color is, almost any other color would have been a better fit. I punched the cigar because of the thickness. The pre draw is good and I taste raw tobacco with little bit of a thinner aftertaste.


I lit the cigar with my soft flame and I taste a strong coffee flavor with a little caramel sweetness which are both quickly replaced by oak. A centimeter in I also taste some lemon in the aftertaste. After a third the cigar changes to a mix of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon with a mild peppery aftertaste, like ground white pepper. Halfway the flavor turns to cedar with nutmeg and that white pepper aftertaste. It’s all well balanced. After two thirds the oak is back. At the end I taste nuts with a little more pepper.


The smoke is huge! Thick and abundant, I love it. The ash is light colored but a bit frayed. It’s also firm. The draw is fantastic. The burn is pretty straight but I had to correct once. The cigar is medium bodied and medium to full flavored. The cigar is nub tool good. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? That is not possible. I would love to smoke this blend in a 48 ring.


Score: 91

91

 

Categories: 91, Mayimbe, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , ,

Alec Bradley Pryme Torpedo

I used to live in a small apartment with more cigars than I could store properly in regular humidors so I had several coolers filled with five finger bags full of cigars so when I was looking to buy a house I specifically searched for a house where I could build a man cave and a walk-in humidor. And I bought that house in February 2014. I don’t know if I should be proud of should seek help, but the man cave and the walk-in humidor were the first room to be ready. That’s when I started to unpack my coolers and found some hidden gems that I didn’t knew I had. And because this is the 11th birthday of my blog, I decided to publish a review of one of my vintage cigars.


One of the hidden gems were a handful of the Alec Bradley Prime Gold Series torpedo, and I did know nothing about these so I reached out to my friend George Sosa, whom I spend many hours in the car and on events with, and he told me that this was from a limited edition from 2004 and only 1500 boxes were made. That only made me wonder where I got these cigars from as I lit my first cigar December 2005 on a trip to Singapore & Indonesia. Well, to cut a long story short, on George’s next trip to The Netherlands I picked him up from his hotel and surprised him with one of these cigars that he hadn’t smoked in a long time. Now that I am down to my last one, why not say farewell to this line with a beautiful review?


The cigar comes wrapped in ceder for the bottom two thirds, with a cloth foot ring in a beige yellow color and a print saying gold series on the cedar. When I remove the cedar I find a beautiful, mild oily Ecuadorean ligero wrapper with one thin vein. The construction feels goor and the head of the cigar is so pointy that it’s almost considered a weapon. The ring is great, yellow and purple colors with a colorful crest in the middle and a banner saying pryme. Only on the side there is mentioning of Alec Bradley in a beautiful but small purple font. After all these years the aroma faded, so all I smell is a mild wood aroma.


Due to the shape of the cigar I have no other option than to cut, for which I use my Xikar cutter. The cold draw is perfect and gives me a nice and spicy raw tobacco flavor with pepper on the lips. How else could I light this cigar other than with my Alec Bradley Burner? Straight from the start I taste a very nice coffee flavor with cedar. After a quarter of an inch I taste green herbs too and a bit of a citrus flavor. After an inch I taste citrus, wood, some nutmeg and a little pepper. After a third it’s green herbs like basil, parsley and thyme that I taste with a nice dose of pepper. Halfway I taste spicy cedar with a very faint cocoa powder. Slowly I taste more spices and with an inch and a half to go I clearly taste cinnamon with cedar, lemon and pepper.


The draw is immaculate. The smoke is medium plus is volume and thickness. The white ash is dense and firm. The burn is straight as can be. There is a complexity and depth you can only find in vintage cigars. The cigar is still medium full to full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? That won’t be possible but this cigar is pretty flavorful for a cigar with this age. I would not mind Alec Bradley bringing this blend back.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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

 


 

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Avo The Dominant 13th

In 2002 Ave started with a yearly limited release and in 2013 they went for the number 13 as a theme. It was the 13th limited edition as the first year they released two, one of the USA and one for Europe, it was 2013 so they put 13 cigars in a box and named it “the dominant 13th” which is a musical term and is a direct connection to Avo’s legacy as a great jazz musician. Today would have been his birthday, so I decided to publish this review as a tribute.


Only 9000 boxes of this 6×52 toro were made for a worldwide release and the box came with a USB stick with a short video, songs by Avo, information about the brand and a screensaver. The cigars have a mixture of Dominican filler tobacco with one Peruvian leaf, a Dominican binder and a Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper. I have one single cigar in my possession, I guess I bought it since I liked the La Trompeta, the 2012 limited edition a lot and wanted to try this one too but somehow it ended up in my humidor instead of in my mouth. Time to change that and light it up.


Once I take the cigar out of the cellophane I notice a very soft, almost velvet like, wrapper with a mild shine and a beautiful mocha color. The binder must be a different story as I see a lot of bumps under the wrapper, fellow cigar aficionado Joe Jackson would say “like a klingon beauty queen” as in his ‘Akward Age’ lyrics. The construction feels good though but the cap is a bit small. I love the rings, a matte brown with a broken white and Avo logo but what makes the ring so beautiful is the thin, shiny, silver line and the silver A in the logo. The second ring uses the same color scheme with a small silhouette of Avo on the ring and the word The Dominant 13th. The barnyard aroma is strong, a little ammonia, a little manure, deep and dark.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is a little loose. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and I taste licorice, coffee and some sugar. After half an inch I taste cedar with licorice and nutmeg, a weird combination that doesn’t sound appealing and doesn’t taste good either. After a third I taste wood and nutmeg, the flavors have a greasy feeling to it. Halfway I taste this spicy, mild burning, wood. The final third starts peppery, woody and with a tiny bit of honey. Later I taste mint with pepper and confectioners sugar.


The draw is great and no complaints about the smoke either, thick, white and full. The burn needs correcting straight from the start though. The ash is dark yet firm. I miss complexity in this medium bodied, medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? That’s a simple no!

Score: 79
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Categories: 79, Avo, Dominican cigars, O.K. Cigars | Tags: , , ,

Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan

Candela, the green wrapper, has lost a lot of the charm and popularity over the years. If you go back to World War II, most cigars were candela wrapped due to the high demand. Farmers in the Partido region of Cuba used fires to cure the tobacco in the barns but the temperature raised too high, curing the tobacco in 3 days instead of the usual long process that naturally turns the wrapper yellow and then brown. So a lot of farmers started to use that method, those cigars were distributed to the American soldiers and that’s what they wanted to smoke after the war too.


Nowadays the tobacco is more of a gimmick and that’s exactly the way Alec Bradley thought of it when they decided to use a Candela wrapper for a limited edition of the Black Market. And they picked the green themed St. Patrick’s day as the occasion for this cigar to b released. The cigars, made at the Plasencia factory in Honduras instead of Raices Cubanas, were a hit and the Filthy Hooligan became a returning release, with tweaks in the blend and eventually even becoming a barberpole cigar. But this cigar is from the original 2013 release, a 6×50 toro with a Nicaraguan Candela wrapper, Nicaraguan and Honduran double binder and filler from Nicaragua and Panama.


I wouldn’t buy this if I was a regular consumer in a cigar shop, just because of the look. The wrapper is a pale grayish green with a clear vein, it looks dry and brittle. The ring is cool, just like the regular Black Market but with some green, a clover and the Filthy Hooligan name. The cigar feels well constructed, the triple cap is nice and the overall shape is good. For a supposedly mild cigar that aged for 5 years, the aroma is strong yet grassy, not green grass but mowed wet grass.


After cutting the cigar I taste a surprisingly peppery cold draw. After lighting I taste a sharp, metallic flavor over some grassy base flavor. There’s a little pepper too, white pepper. After half an inch I taste cedar with a little pepper. After a third the cigar gets harsh, I taste a little pepper, cedar and some salt. Halfway I taste the metallic flavor again, with salt and still that harshness on the tip of my tongue.


The draw is fine. The dark ash is coarse and not very firm. The smoke is thick. The burn is straight. This is a mild to medium bodied medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, just as I remembered the OR was the Filthy Hooligan I liked least.

Score: 86
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Categories: 86, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , , , ,

La Aurora Para Japon Sumo

Today it’s seven years ago that Japan got hit by a huge tsunami, killing over 15000 people and up till today over 2500 people are reported missing. More than 400,000 people were evacuated and over 150 square miles of Japan was flooded by the 65 feet waves that ultimately caused a nuclear disaster at the nuclear electricity plant at Fukushima.


Within a few weeks after the disaster La Aurora came up with a cigar of which the proceeds would go to the relief foundation and they had the perfect cigar for it. There was a limited amount of cigars of a new blend that had been aging for three years, Guillermo Leon quickly created a ring, called the cigar the Para Japon Sumo Robusto and two months after the tsunami the cigars were shipped to shops in America. Somehow I got one, I don’t know if I bought it or if it was a gift. The cigar is made with Cameroon, Brazilian and Dominican filler, Dominican binder and a Nicaraguan wrapper and only comes in one shape, a 5×50 robusto.


The milk chocolate colored wrapper is thin but looks good with a nice vein on the side. It feels like fine sanding paper. The ring is great, white with the rising sun of Japan, then a Japanse hand written font saying Para Japon and small La Aurora. The cigar seems well constructed with a good round head and a triple cap. The mild to medium aroma reminds me of a horse stable.


I cut the cigar and the cold draw is great. I taste a mild spicy, herbal flavor, soft and balanced. I lit the cigar with my trusted soft flame lighter. After lichting I taste a smooth five spice with dry leaves flavor, well balanced, with a little acidity on the back of my tongue. The cameroon tobacco is dominant in the flavor profile. The spices, a mild sweetness, some wood and dry leaves. After a third I think this cigar tastes like Christmas, if you know what I mean. The cigar is so smooth  I could retrohale, something I usually can’t. Halfway I get some vanilla too.


The draw is great. The smoke is thick, white and full. The light gray ash is dry, dense and firm. The burn is straight as an arrow. There isn’t much evolution in this medium bodied, medium flavored, smooth and well balanced cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? That would be impossible

Score: 91

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Categories: 91, Dominican cigars, La Aurora, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , ,

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

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