Posts Tagged With: limited edition

Rocky Patel ALR robusto

Back in 2015, I visited Rocky Patel’s Tavicusa factory in Esteli, Nicaragua while visiting the country for the Cigaragua book. And there I and my partners got to smoke a few test blends. And one of those test blends could well have been this Aged, Limited & Rare since the cigars were produced later that year and then stored for three years.

The cigar, made with Nicaraguan filler and binder and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, was aged for three more years after rolling. And only 90% of the production of 100.000 cigars will come to market, as Rocky decided to keep 10% as a personal stock. So only 1500 boxes of 20 are available in three sizes.

The rings of the cigar look a lot like they are part of the vintage series, a simple top ring with the Rocky Patel logo on shiny white paper and a secondary right with the name of the blend in the same style and the same paper, just like the vintage lines. The wrapper is dark, oily and leathery. The triple cap looks great, the cigar has the right amount of bounce when I massage it. The cigar has a complex, deep aroma of earthy and vegetal origin.

The cold draw is flawless with a dry tobacco flavor. After lighting, I taste a spicy coffee and leather. After a few puffs, I also taste some hay, sweetness, and tobacco. Slowly the cigar changes to pepper, leather, wood, and nutmeg. After an inch, I taste hazelnut and walnut with pepper and hay. Halfway I taste a spicy mixture of hay, green herbs, pepper, and leather. Then mild bitter chocolate shows up on the background as well, and the peppers gain some strength. In the final third, I taste pepper, some wood, and the flavors are a bit creamy. A few puffs later I taste wood, cedar, and oak, again with pepper and a bit of hay. Near the end, I taste some carrot too, with hay and pepper. A strong pepper, Nicaraguan all the way.

The draw is fantastic. The smoke is good and the ash is pepper and salt colored, reasonably firm. The burn is good and slow. The cigar is full flavored, full-bodied. The flavors aren’t subtle, but well balanced and married well after being aged for several years. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? Without a doubt.

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Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, Rocky Patel, Tavicusa | Tags: , , , ,

Maria Mancini Edicion 2016

Maria Mancini, I had seen the brand in Germany and I knew it was made in Honduras as the ring says so, but I don’t think I ever smoked one until now. I started digging around, and to my surprise, this brand has a history of over 20 years. The owner of the brands are the German cigar manufacturers Schuster Zigarren but the cigars are handmade in an undisclosed factory in Honduras.


Maria Mancini is prominent in a book of a German writer, Thomas Man, but she was also a real-life aristocrat in from Italy, with a troubled arranged marriage in France, causing her to flee back to Italy. Later she returned to France to become an important fighter for women’s rights. And now she has a cigar named after her, which makes the circle round since most factory workers are females. And jobs give them the chance to some independence.

The dark wrapper is oily and smooth. The cigar has a bright red footing with bold golden lines and the number 2016. The regular Maria Mancini ring is classic, white it brushed golden outlines and details. In the middle, there’s a drawing of the historical Maria Mancini and it says ‘Honduras’ and ‘Hechos a Mano’. The construction feels good, the head is beautifully rounded. The aroma is quite strong, a little pepper, a faint tar and farm animals is what I recognize.

When I wet the cap before the cut, I taste a lot of salt. The cold draw is perfect, I taste sultanas, pepper, and dry tobacco. After lighting, I taste coffee and leather with plenty of pepper. Soon I taste a woody flavor with some lime and sugar. After a centimeter, it’s leather, soil, and pepper. I also taste some nutmeg. After a third, I still taste the leather. The pepper grows, yet the sweetness is still there. The final third starts with some nutty flavors. The finale is noticeably stronger, with charred wood, pepper and a bit of cream.

The smoke is medium in thickness and volume, it has a brownish-white color. The burn is a bit uneven. The ash is fine. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I smoke this cigar again? Yes, I won’t buy a box, but a few singles I wouldn’t mind smoking again

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Categories: 88, Honduran cigars, Maria Manchini | Tags: ,

La Estancia Edicion Especial Toro Gordo

Meerapfel & Sohne isn’t a well-known name outside the cigar industry, but within the industry, they are one of the bigger names. Being in business for over 140 years as tobacco growers, tobacco traders and cigar distributors for companies like Fuente and Padron. They are huge and have huge stockpiles of tobacco in their warehouses worldwide.

 

A few years ago, the company decided to use some of the old tobacco in a cigar. And that resulted in the La Estancia, a cigar made in Honduras with new world binder and wrapper, but the filler contained Cuban tobacco, of which the oldest dated back till the 1970s. And now they created a limited edition, the La Estancia Edicion Especial. It’s made in three vitolas with the best tobacco that the Meerapfel family had saved for a special project. And the cigar is special, just the price of 32 euro for the Toro Gordo proves that.

 

The wrapper is Colorado colored, with thin veins. It’s not the best looking wrapper. The ring is overwhelming in gold. The regular La Estancia ring, with the old map as a background, has been used as a base, then a whole lot of gold colored paper has been added, both on top and underneath, with a small gap in between. In the bottom part, you can read ‘edicion especial’. The foot ring is small with one red star. While touching the cigar, the cigar feels evenly filled. I can’t detect any soft spots or plugs. The medium strong aroma reminds me of sawdust 
.

 

The cold draw is quite easy and reminds me of sultanas. Right from the start, I taste leather. It’s a bit musty too. The mustiness disappears and is replaced by some spices. The cigar is slightly peppery. It’s a smooth cigar, with some sweetness. It would not surprise me if the filler contains aged Cuban tobacco, it has that distinct flavor. Halfway I taste a little cedar, mold creamy with some leather. All flavors are distinct, complex. This is really a high-end cigar made from premium tobacco. The final third is a bit peppery with cedar, it’s creamy too with some herbal flavors. The cigar gets stronger, more potent, with more pepper. while remaining creamy, smooth, complex and woody. I also taste an earthy flavor, soil.

 

The ash is light colored. It’s firm and dense. The burn is a little uneven, I had to correct it. The cigar is subtle, smooth. The draw is great. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness. The cigar is very subtle, smooth and full of nuances. It’s very hard to review this cigar. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, once in a while because of the price though

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Categories: 91, Honduran cigars, La Estancia | Tags: , ,

La Jugada Nunchuck

When I started working in the cigar industry as a sales rep, one of the retailers I connected most with was a retailer in Amsterdam. I had seen him once or twice before my employment but I heard that he had a terminal illness. It wasn’t long before he was my best customer, I would even come in on days off to smoke a cigar with him. His illness went in ups and downs, in his down I visited him a couple of times at home, in a period of up he came to my mancave to smoke a cigar. One of the last things I said to him was “on your next up, I have a cigar, or actually two fused together, that I want to share with you”. Unfortunately the next ‘up’ never came. Today would have been Berry’s birthday, so I’m smoking this cigar for him now.


The cigar I was talking about is the La Jugada Nunchuck, a 7×54 Nicaraguan puro that is fused together like a nunchuck, as the name would suggest. The cigar is made at La Zona, the small yet beautiful factory of Erik Espinosa in downtown Esteli. The brand however is Moya Ruiz. As I said, it is a Nicaraguan puro with a Habano Oscuro wrapper and the cigar was released in 2014 as a limited edition of 10.000 cigars.


The appearance is unique, with a huge white ring binding the cigars together, gray lines, a red ‘splash’ star and then La Jugada Nunchuck written on top of that. The H in nunchuck are actually nunchucks. The foot of the cigar is protected with red cloth.  The wrapper s dark, yet smooth. The cigars feel well packed. I smell a mild cocoa aroma when I sniff the cigar.


After cutting I try the cold draw, which is a little on the loose side but within margins. I taste pepper. Immediately after lighting I taste an earthy, coffee and leather mix with pepper. After half an inch I taste chocolate in the aftertaste. After an inch i taste pepper, wood, milky chocolate with s nice acidity. The flavors are strong but smooth, you can taste that it’s a well aged cigar. After a third i taste wood with pepper, the strength is picking up. The pepper is getting stronger. There’s also a little acidity to keep all flavors balanced. Halfway I taste a kind of peanut flavor with the wood, pepper and acidity. Then, a little before the final third, I taste coffee again. The final third has less pepper, more coffee and more acidity, without turning sour. The finale is woody with herbs and pepper.


The draw is within the ‘good’ margin but on the easy side of it. The ash is quite dark yet firm. The smoke is thick and full. The burn is straight as can be. The cigar is smooth, full flavored and medium full bodied. The smoke time is almost two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish

Score: 94
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Categories: 94, La Jugada, La Zona, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Cigar of the month February

I decided to make February Fernandez month, all cigars I reviewed for this month are made at the A.J. Fernandez factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, a factory I have visited in 2015 and a factory that produces some of my favourite cigars.

The cigar with the highest rating last month are two cigars with the exact same score:

San Lotano Pigskin & Man’o’war Skull Crusher with a 94 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) San Lotano Pigskin (Nicaragua) 94 points
1) Man’o’war Skull Crusher (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Ave Maria Divinia (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Ave Maria Reconquista  (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) San Lotano Maduro Lancero (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) San Lotano Habano Lancero (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Man’o’war little devil (Nicaragua) 92 points
8) San Lotano Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
8) San Lotano The Bull Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
10) Man’o’War 52C (Nicaragua) 92 points
11) Man’o’War Ruination Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
12) Reposado Habano Salomon (Nicaragua) 91 points
13) La Herencia Cubana Perfecto (Nicaragua) 91 points
14) Reposado Maduro Salomon (Nicaragua) 90 points
15) Man’o’war Phalanx (Nicaragua) 90 points
16) La Herencia Cubana Fuerte Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
17) Ave Maria Churchill (Nicaragua) 90 points
18) Man’o’war Torpedo (Nicaragua) 90 points
19) Man’o’war Virtue Torpedo (Nicaragua) 89 points
20) Puro Autentico Maduro (Nicaragua) 89 points
21) Puro Autentico Ligero (Nicaragua) 89 points

 

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

San Lotano Oval Pigskin Super Smoke Figurado XLVIII

A few years ago A.J. Fernandez released this 6×60 figurado version of the San Lotano Oval for two retailers, one in New York and one in New Jersey as a gimmick for the Superbowl that was being held in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. And I happened to get this cigars a few years later from a Dutch BOTL who got his hands on a box. And what better day to publish this review than on another Superbowl Sunday right?


Now the San Lotano Oval is a well known line and you would expect that this cigar has the exact same blend, but a review by William Cooper taught me that the blend is different and actually one of the many test blends of the Mayimbe, a cigar that I loved. The cigar has filler tobacco from Nicaragua and Honduras, a Nicaraguan binder and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.


I love the shape of this cigar, its a piece of art. It’s a fat perfecto but then oval pressed too, very unique. The head is pointy while the foot is blunt. The wrapper is oily, coffee colored and with a silky feel. The cigar has the regular San Lotano Oval ring, the black with golden letters and the yellow banner ‘by A.J. Fernandez’ yet there is a secondary black ring with the AJF logo in red and golden letters on a white background. The aroma is strong, I live in a small town with plenty of farm fields surrounding a lake. The aroma of the cigar reminds me of early morning walks through the fields, a smell of fresh grass, cows, herbs and the dawn of a new day.


The only way to decap this cigar is with a cutter due to the shape. The cold draw is surprisingly easy, I expected a tight draw due to the pointy foot. I taste a tangy peppery cedar. After lighting I taste a beautiful mix of acidity, nutmeg, espresso and wood. The acidity mellows out and the cigar gets spicier and stronger with more pepper. After half an inch I taste more cedar with some spices.  After a third the cigar is mellow, warm flavors, wood with warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon,very pleasing. Halfway the cigar becomes stronger with a hefty pepper on a base flavor of wood.


The draw is flawless, the smoke is thick and full. The burn is straight and the gray ash is firm, with nice rings. The cigar has a lot of dynamic and evolution, especially for a 60 ring cigar. The cigar ranges from medium but grows to full, just like the flavor. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? That would be impossible.

Score: 94
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Categories: 94, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , ,

JR Edicion Limitada Robusto

Another mystery cigar to me, this JR Edicion Limitada. All I know it’s a house blend for the JR Cigar shops and judging from the pictures on the website and the size it could be the JR Edicion Limitada Alternative Behike 54, although this cigar is a little smaller than the advertised size, but then again, I must have had this cigar for years so it could be an old, no longer available version with a different blend at all. The size is 5 1/4 x54.


I had this cigar in my humidor for years, way before I moved into my current home with walk-in humidor, so it was stashed in a cooler for a long time without a blank ring with hand written information on how I got it, when I got it and where I got it, if it was a bomb, a trade or a buy, although I can’t imagine me buying this stick especially since I never ordered at JR in my life so it must have been a trade, a bomb or a gift.


The cigar has a nice dark wrapper, leathery with some tooth and one vein. The ring is simple, black with golden details and letters and the edicion limitada is a rip off from the Cuban rings, the gold is a bit dull and the paper quality isn’t that high. The construction feels good, no hard or soft spots and the head is beautifully rounded with a nice triple cap. There is a faint chocolate aroma to the cigar, thats all there is when I smell the cigar.


I cut the cigar with my xikar cutter and the cold draw is great. The taste is a little peppery with some oak. After lighting the cigar I taste dark oak, slightly burned. After half an inch i taste toast with some honey and tar, the tar makes the cigar not too pleasant. After an inch it’s oak with tar and pepper. I checked the head of the cigar but there is no tar build up to cause the nasty flavor. After two thirds the tar gets a little less and the peper is getting stronger.


The draw is fantastic, perfect. The smoke is fine but a little thicker would have been nice. The firm ash is white with black smears. The burn is reasonably straight. There isn’t a lot of evolution in this medium bodied medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No! This cigar is boring and not very nice.

Score: 77
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Categories: 77, Dominican cigars, JR | Tags: , ,

Rocky Patel Summer 2008 Lancero

About a decade ago Rocky Patel decided to launch a limited release every season of the year, and the Summer 2008 series came with a lancero, that’s the only lancero made for the seasonal collections, which were discontinued in 2009, except for a one time return in 2012. I must have gotten this cigar in a trade or a bomb of some kind, but I couldn’t tell you with or from whom if my life depended on it.


The Summer 2008 collection was rolled at the old factory of A.J. Fernandez as Rocky didn’t have a Nicaraguan operation back then, and A.J. didn’t have the huge factory that he runs nowadays. The other offerings, next to this 7×38 lancero, were a robusto, toro and toro grande.. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan filler, a binder from Cameroon and a Sumatra wrapper grown in Ecuador.


A nice, latte colored, toothy wrapper with a sandpaper touch and an unique ring make this cigar stand out. The ring looks like a piece of diamond plate with a golden strip with red outlines and a red round RP logo. The secondary ring is golden with black lettering and a red outline. The construction feels good, no soft spots and the pig tail is a nice detail. I smell a mild yet dark barnyard aroma, almost like a freshly ploughed piece of farmland with natural fertilizer.


After I cut the cigar I taste pepper and some blackberry with the perfect cold draw. After lighting I taste the blackberry with cedar. There is also some sweetness and the mix is perfect. On the background I taste some pepper. Halfway the cigar gets spicier and stronger.


The draw is flawless. The smoke is thick, full and good in volume. The light gray ash with dark smears. It’s reasonably firm. The burn is good, pretty straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The evolution isn’t spectacular but the flavor is very nice. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Rocky Patel, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , ,

La Aurora 100 Años Belicoso

La Aurora is the oldest cigar factory, founded in 1903 and they wanted to celebrate their century long existence with a limited edition cigar, the cien años, of the 100 años for the non Spanish speaking cigar enthousiasts. The cigar wasn’t released till 2004 though due to delays at the factory and the right wrapper not being available, well, not in the quality the blenders wanted. The cigar was made with tobacco from 1996, all Dominican.


The demand was so high that in 2012 La Aurora did a small re-release of the blend, with a 4 year old Dominican Corojo wrapper. And with small I mean 20.000 cigars of the Belicoso, 20.000 Robustos and 20.000 Churchill sized cigars. The cigar that I’ll be reviewing probably comes from the second release, the 2012 release and I got it as a gift from a friend at my favorite cigar forum Cigar Asylum.


The 6 1/4×52 Belicoso has a silky Dominican Corojo wrapper that is oily but also rough looking with a few major veins that haven’t been flattened before being used, too bad as that would made the cigar much better looking. The construction feels good yet the cap isn’t applied very neatly. The ring is beautiful, beautiful beige and brown colors with a detailed drawing of a lion and the factory name and line name in a modest font and color. Underneath is a second ring with a production number, much like Padron does with their 1928, 1964 and Family Reserve lines. I’m smoking #166571, but unfortunately there is no website where you can check the numbers for the batch #, the roller etc, that would be extremely cool. The aroma is still strong, dry hay, barnyard, stable and a little bit of ammonia like acidity.


I cut the cigar, as usual with my Xikar XI2 cutter. The cold draw is fantastic and leaves a spicy cedar flavor with some pepper on my lips.  After lighting I taste a smooth coffee and nutmeg flavor, very tasty. After a few puffs I taste coffee with spicy green herbs. After half an inch the coffee disappears and the cigar bites a little on my tongue. After an inch o taste leather with pepper, strong bold flavors. After a third I taste carrots with pepper, it’s a flavor I taste every now and then in a cigar but it’s rare. I also taste a very faint chocolate. The final third starts with the carrots and an earthy flavor with pepper on the background and aftertaste. That’s also the flavor combination till I lay the cigar till rest.


The draw is fantastic and the smoke is great, it’s thick, white and a good volume. The light colored ash is beautiful and firm. I had to touch up the burn a few times. There is a lot of evolution. The cigar is medium bodied but full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Impossible I guess, unless there is another release. And I would get a fiver then.

Score: 90

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Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, La Aurora, Tabacalera La Aurora | Tags: , , , ,

Camacho Double Shock Toro 2014 Limited Edition

When Davidoff took over Camacho they restyled and reblended the whole brand and possible took it to a new factory, or they renamed the factory, that I don’t know but instead of Rancho Jamastran these cigars come from Agroindustria LAEPE S.A according to Halfwheel. Included in the restyle was a yearly limited edition and in 2014 they went for the Double Shock, a barber pole cigar, and then 2 together in a big ring. the only difference is a red or a black foot ring, I hoped it meant that the two cigars had a different blend but no, and I think that is a bit of a miss by the Davidoff development team, it would have been so much more exciting if the cigars were different.


Now all the excitement has to come from it being a limited edition, a 1000 boxes with 10 pairs, were made in the sizes robusto, toro, Churchill, figurado and toro and I got my hands on a pair of toro’s which had an msrp of $11.50 but I don’t know if that’s for the pair or for a single cigar. Anyway, it doesn’t matter as I got the cigars as a gift. They never made it to my side of the pond commercially so I’m fortunate to have gotten these and i’m actually looking forward to smoking this 5 country blend with Ecuadorian Habano and Mexican San Andres wrapper, a Criollo binder and filler from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and the USA (Pennsylvania)


The cigar certainly stands out in the humidor, the only other “pair in one ring” I can think of is the La Jugada Nunchuck. The double wrapper is another eye catcher especially since the wrappers used aren’t the usual Maduro and Connecticut Shade or Candela but a Maduro an a Habano. The San Adres wrapper is nice dark and toothy while the Habano wrapper is a bit more brittle. The construction feels good on both cigars. I love the ring, the foot rings are red or black, nothing printed on it but there is some embossing so they aren’t boring. The big ring is black and red with a black scorpion in a red circle. Much to my surprise I found a bright embossed and a red embossed ring underneath the combined ring with a shiny metallic logo. The cigar has a mild floral aroma. I smoked the black label one, but not that it matters since they are both the same.


I punched the cigar, the draw is fantastic. I taste a mild cedar and a little raisin in the cold draw. I lit the cigar with my Ronson varaflame and I taste a nice, mellow coffee with a hint of pepper. After half an inch I taste cedar with a spicy grass flavor. After an inch I taste draw wood, like saw dust, with some nutmeg. Halfway I taste cedar, cilantro, nutmeg with a peppery aftertaste. The final third is a white pepper with cedar and some spices.


The draw is great and the light gray ash is beautiful and firm. The smoke is thin and the volume is poor. The burn is quite straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored with a moderate evolution. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I will smoke the other one but wouldn’t buy new ones if I could find them. I expected more from a cigar called double shock.

Score: 86
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Categories: 86, Agroindustria LAEPE S.A, Camacho, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

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