Posts Tagged With: Maduro

CAO La Traviata Maduro Evil Snowman

In 2013 CAO releases two limited edition versions of their La Traviata line, one of the only CAO lines that I like. I found both of the limited editions, Angry Santa and Evil Snowman, at Corona Cigars in Orlando, at the downtown location in February 2014 and I bought one of both 6 1/2 x52 Toro sized cigars just to try, as I do with every new CAO line as I do love their creativity in lines, packaging etc although most of their lines turn out to be a disappointment for me. But La Traviata was a good one, so my expectations for this limited edition is quite high.


The Evil Snowman is based on the La Traviata Maduro line, the cigar is made at the STG factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The wrapper is a Connecticut broadleaf, the binder is from Honduras while the filler is from both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Only 21.000 cigars were rolled so I guess I was quite lucky that I was able to buy one of the last singles Corona had lying around in their huge humidor and that for the very reasonable price of 7 dollar even though that was little over the MSRP of $6.60


The wrapper is dark, smooth, oily but the construction is a bit wrinkly, yet evenly firmed and the head is beautiful. But lets not kid anybody, the ring catches the eye first. Donald Trump would say “it’s huge” and he’s right because the ring is over 3 inch long. Its shiny black with an image of an angry, evil snowman that could come straight out of a Tim Burton movie and the snowman is smoking a CAO La Traviata. The smoke forms the letters CAO. The aroma is medium strong and reminds me of dark chocolate and hay.


I punched the cigar and the cold draw is perfect. I taste a very mild raisin flavor before lighting the cigar with my vintage Ronson. After lighting I taste a full coffee. After half an inch I taste spicy, peppery wood with a little citrus. Soon after it’s wood with a pepper on the back of my tongue and a metallic flavor. After a third I taste pepper, wood and a faint cocoa powder with a soil flavor. Slowly the cocoa gets stronger and a little more of a chocolate flavor. With an inch and a half to go I taste nuts, spices, pepper and wood with a little lime.


The draw is almost perfect. The light gray ash isn’t really firm but it sure is pretty. The smoke is medium full in volume and thickness. The burn is straight, no touch up needed. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, but I never found the CAO la traviata Maduro worth getting again so that’s no surprise.

Score: 87
number87

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Categories: 87, CAO, Nicaraguan cigars, STG Nicaragua | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigar of the month November

It’s the end of the month again, so as in every month before this year I will rank the cigars I reviewed this month from best rated to lowest rated. This month I rated 14 cigars, some old, some very new and with a spread of the four most prominent cigar countries.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Joya Red Half Corona with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Joya Red Half Corona (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Tatuaje RC233 Figurado (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Long Live the King my style is jalapeño Lancero (Dominican Republic) 93 points
4) Alec Bradley Lost Art Robusto (Honduras) 92 points
4) La Sagrada Familia Maduro pre-release Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Todos Las Dias Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
7) Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Gran Reserve Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Gran Reserve Torpedo (Nicaragua) 90 points
9) Viaje Zombie Antidote (Honduras) 90 points
10) A. Flores El Trovador Petit Belicoso (Dominican Republic) 90 points
11) Davidoff 702 #2000 (Dominican Republic) 88 points
12) Partagas Serie D#5 (Cuba) 87 points
13) San Pedro de Macoris Ecuador Robusto (Dominican Republic) 87 points
14) San Pedro de Macoris Brazil Robusto (Dominican Republic) 86 points

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La Sagrada Familia Maduro Robusto

Last year Tom Mulder, a cigar aficionado from The Netherlands, released his first cigar under the name La Sagrada Familia. I have known Tom for quite a few years and had we talked about his ideas years ago, and it was or is nice to see his dream come out. He partnered up with the oldest factory in Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua and released a three vitola series in The Netherlands, starting from there and will slowly but surely spread to other countries.


This year Tom will release a second line, the La Sagrada Familia Maduro and just as with the regular La Sagrada Familia there will be a small charity connected to the cigar, part of the proceeds go to projects in Nicaragua under the #bepartofthefamily hashtag. Last year it was a charity for single mothers that made a living by recycling paper, I don’t know what Tom’s next project will be. Anyhow, it’s good to see that some of the proceeds flow back to the people in Nicaragua that need our help most. If any of you out there want to help out in Nicaragua with a donation, please visit the website of my friend Asha who runs a charity in Nicaragua called Atrapa Suenos.


Back to the cigar, I smoked a pre-release but Tom told me the ring will be exactly the same as the ring on his core line, just black and gold, therefore I rate the ring the same as I rated the core line. The wrapper is dark and is leathery, both to the touch and to the eye. the triple cap is perfect but the cigar feels rock hard to the touch. Evenly hard though, so I don’t expect any problems with draw. The aroma is medium strong, earthy and leathery with something of a dark chocolate smell too.


I cut the cigar with my Joya de Nicaragua branded Xikar cutter which seemed appropriate considering the cigar is made there.  The cold draw is good and quite peppery. After lighting the cigar with my classic Ronson varaflame I taste peppery coffee, quite strong. After a few puffs it chances to chocolate with a little pepper though. After an inch the flavor is more toasty with a little cocoa. After a third I still taste some toast but with an earthy flavor and a very little lime. The final third is earthy with pepper. The cigar surely gets spicier, without becoming too spicy. The earthy flavor turns into something I would describe as carrot, that’s what comes closest.


The draw is great and the smoke is thick, full and white. The burn is straight as an arrow. The white ash is dense and firm. The cigar has a nice evolution. I would say this is a medium plus bodied cigar, full flavored. The smoke time is surprisingly long, almost two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, no doubt.

Score: 92
number92

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your reviewer with Tom Mulder (La Sagrada Familia)

Categories: 92, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, La Sagrada Familia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigar of the month July

Late 2016 I had the plan to post a review every Wednesday and every Sunday in 2017 with an added review on the 15th of each month as a series of Lancero reviews but I reviewed so many cigars that I had to post more, so for a few cigars I did a ‘full series review in one’, I added a few special dates to commemorate certain people, celebrate birthdays, last month I did a full week of review and this month I posted two extra Oliva Master Blend reviews so that the 1, 2 and 3 were posted in line. So, just like last month, there are more cigars rated this month than I expected to do. And the first 4 cigars all came very close to each other, with just tenths of a points in difference.

The cigar with the highest rate in July is:

Oliva Master Blend 1 Churchill with a 94 score.

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published at Cigarguideblog in July:

1) Oliva Master Blend 1 Churchill (Nicaragua) 94 points
2) Oliva Master Blend 2 Robusto (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Jas Sum Kral Da Cebak A (Nicaragua) 94 points
4) Ilja VII by My Father A (Nicaragua) 94 points
5) Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Sumatra Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Oliva Master Blend 3 Torpedo (Nicaragua) 92 points
7) Illusione ~hl~ Maduro Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
8) Lars Tetens Steampunk Toro (USA) 92 points
9) Don Pepin Garcia series JJ Maduro Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Puros de Hostos Box Pressed Toro (Dominican Republic) 91 points
       Vegas de Santiago D8 Robusto (Costa Rica) 91 points
12) Puros de Hostos Churchill (Dominican Republic) 91 points
13) Romeo y Julieta #2 Tubo (Cuba) 87 points
14) Padilla Artisan Perfecto (Nicaragua) 87 points
15) Te Amo World Selection Series Nicaraguan Blend Robusto (Mexico) 86 points
16) Te Amo World Selection Series Mexican Blend Robusto (Mexico) 85 points
17) Te Amo World Selection Series Honduran Blend Robusto (Mexico) 80 points
18) Te Amo World Selection Series Cuban Blend Robusto (Mexico) 79 points
19) Te Amo World Selection Series Dominican Blend Robusto (Mexico) 76 points

 

 

 


The first 12 cigars all rated 91 or higher, with two cigars with the exact same score on the 10th spot. The complete top 12 I would smoke again with pleasure. Number 14 on the list is one of the best looking cigars I ever smoked though but the top 6 are all limited editions that cannot be bought anymore.

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Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Maduro Sublime

On July 22nd of 2007 Jerry Cruz from the famous Stogiereview website had a son, JJhis little robusto as he called him, but only three and a half months later tragedy hit and little JJ passed away from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The first cigar Jerry smoked after little JJ was born was the Don Pepin Garcia series JJ and for the first few years stogiereview had a “Smoke a JJ for JJ” day on july 22nd. I don’t know if that still takes place, but I felt I had to smoke and review this cigar on JJ’s 10th birthday even though I have never met Jerry, we are still part of a community and I hope he finds comfort in the knowledge that little JJ is not forgotten. Jerry, brother, this is for you and your wife.


I had this cigar in my humidor for years, so it is aged and depending on your definition of vintage it might even qualify for that. The cigar is made by My Father cigars ofcourse, and it is a Nicaraguan puro, with a Nicaraguan maduro wrapper, Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo filler and a Nicaraguan binder. The JJ comes from José and Jaime, the father & son team from My Father, José ‘Don Pepin’ Garcia and his son Jaime. By the time this cigar was released it was the first maduro wrapped cigar under their own name and still, up to today, the Garcia family doesn’t use a lot of maduro wrappers for their own production, the only other line I can think of is the Flor de Las Antillas Maduro but correct me if I’m wrong. They do use and have used maduro wrappers on cigars they produce for other companies though.


Once I take the cigar out of the cellophane, that started to discolor, I see a beautiful dark wrapper with lots of tooth, that makes it feel like leather and a sparkle from the minerals. The wrapper is gorgeous, nothing more nothing less. The same goes for the rings, instead of full white as My Father used for the regular JJ series, the maduro series uses the same rings but then in beige. Like I said, this cigar has been aged so it has the older rings. The bottom ring is small and just says “Series JJ Maduro” in beautiful golden letters on a beige ring with a thin red line and golden dots as decoration. The other ring is curved, it has a beautiful curly font saying Don Pepin Garcia with golden and red decorations around it. On one site there is a small image of the Cuban flag and a Cuban shield while the other side has the American flag and the statue of liberty. Behind that there is a decorative figure with the letters DPG that remind me of Pete Johnson’s logo after he learned he couldn’t use the Flor de Lis no more. The print quality of the rings is immaculate too. The cigar feels quite hard, but that doesn’t have to be an issue and the triple cap is nicely done. As for the aroma, as a teenager my little sister was having horse riding classes and sometimes I had to pick her up from the stables, the aroma of the cigar reminds me of those stables and it is medium strong.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is great and tastes like a mix of raisin, milk chocolate, pepper and lemon. As usual I used a soft flame to light the cigar and I taste a mellow coffee with a little lemon. After just a few puffs I also taste some leather and slowly the coffee disappears. After an inch it’s all leather with some lemon and added pepper. After a third the pepper gets stronger while the lemon turns to lime. Halfway the leather gets weaker while cedar shows up, the lime and continuously growing pepper are still there too. Halfway the leather replaces the cedar again, although the cedar lingers around in the aftertaste. After two thirds it’s leather with pepper, a hint of vanilla and a minty aftertaste. The final few puffs gave me nuts.


The smoke is medium thick. The ash is white, dense and firm. Even in the ash you can see some sparkles of the minerals. The draw is excellent. The burn is pretty straight. This cigar is medium full bodied and equally flavored, there is a good balance between flavor and body and enough evolution. The smoke time is little over an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I’m glad I still have a full box of these puppies.

Score: 91
91

Categories: 91, Don Pepin Garcia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigar of the month May

Over the last month I reviewed 14 cigars and the cigar of the month may is:

Balmoral Anejo XO FT Lancero with a 95 score.

This month I smoked a unicorn that scored high, something I never expected to smoke, I smoked the best lancero I had in a long long time, and the best cigar I’ve smoked this year and the three worst cigars I rated for my blog since my new rating system came in place. So the reviews were all over the board.

1) Balmoral Anejo XO FT Lancero (Dominican Republic) 95 points
2) Undercrown Manifesto (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Alec Bradley Tempus Nicaragua Robusto (Honduras) 93 points
4) JSK CRNA NOK Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
5) Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro Robusto Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Santiago Connecticut Robusto (Nicaragua) 89 points
7) Macanudo Inspirado Mareva (Honduras) 88 points
8) 708 Juniors Barber Pole (Dominican Republic) 85 points
9) Antonius Red Label Robusto (Dominican Republic) 85 points
10) Romeo Y Julieta Gran Reserva Wide Churchill (Cuba) 84 points
11) 708 Shaggy Barber Pole (Dominican Republic) 82 points
12) Macarena Maduro Toro (Mexico) 75 points
13) Macarena Naturel Toro (Mexico) 73 points
14) Gasparilla Pirate Fest Churchill (USA) 73 points

 

Balmoral is a Dutch company, so as a fellow Dutchy i’m happy that we still master the art of making great cigars.

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Macarena Big Robusto Natural & Maduro

So I was at the office of a cigar distributer in The Netherlands and he shows me a few bundles of cigars and asks if I know anything about these sticks. I didn’t, and I actually didn’t know anything about them at all. It’s a brand called Macarena and they come in a natural and a maduro version. Only thing I know is that they are made by A. Turrent in Mexico, so I was surprised to see these bundles at their office since A. Turrent has another distributer in The Netherlands. The only thing I had to say straightaway was “Oh, I hope its better than the song”. Then the question came up, are these medium fillers or longfillers, a sharp knife brought the answer: longfiller and pretty well constructed too I might add.

Now I got a Big Robusto, 5 1/2×54, of both the natural and the maduro version, to try and give my honest opinion about these cigars and I must say, i’m a bit scared since I was told that the general opinion of the test panel wasn’t too positive, add that to my previous experiences with Mexican cigars, I don’t think I will be in for a treat. Don’t get me wrong, some Mexican tobacco used in a blend is great but all Mexican cigars I smoked so far didn’t fit my palette . But I have to keep an open mind, forget the prejudice and smoke it anyway. Maybe thinking about the times I met Alejandro Turrent, who’s a nice guy, and the Mexican parties they hosted at the Intertabac trade show for years can counter effect the negative associations.

To get more info on the cigar I decided to turn to google but that didn’t help me either, except more confusion. It turns out that there’s also a company on the Canary Islands that has a cigar names Macarena but I could only find a registry and information on the Mexican Macarena in English still wasn’t to be found anywhere. I did find a few Romanian web shops that sell this Macarena from A. Turrent but my Romanian isn’t what it used to be, and it didn’t use to be much anyway so that wasn’t really helpful either. So basically, except the size of 5 1/2×54 and the producer I have got nothing to tell about this cigar.

Macarena Big Robusto Natural


Back to the cigar, which looks aren’t very appealing. The color of the cigar is a milky chocolate, thats fine, but its a rough looking wrapper, with big veins and the cap isn’t glued nicely so it frayed. The construction feels good enough though. The ring is very old fashioned, it could be a ring from the 40’s. It has a yellow and gold lining with a white circle. In that circle is a portrait of a woman wearing a pearl necklace. Underneath the woman there is a red banner that says Macarena. On the sides the backdrop is red with the golden lining and on both sides a yellow banner with red letters that says “henco a mano”. The quality of the printing is very good though, sharp lines and the gold really pops, too bad that the image is so old fashioned in a boring way. The aroma is medium strong and is a mixture of hay and licorice.


Due to the not so pretty cap I decided to use my straight cut on this cigar instead of punching it. I get absolutely no air through the cigar, the wrapper gives me a little pepper on my lips and I also taste raw tobacco. To be able to smoke the cigar I use a draw poker and it’s not just a plug somewhere but the whole cigar is one big plug and I have to use force to get the draw poker through. Even after the draw poker the draw is still tough. I light the cigar with a soft flame.


I taste coffee and wood, slightly bitter. After a centimeter I taste wood with some sweetness that comes close to a low quality honey. After a third I taste a mild bitter wood with only a little bit of milk chocolate. Halfway I draw 4 more holes in the cigar, finally the draw gets a bit better and I taste a nut flavor that pleases me. After two thirds a minty aftertaste shows up. Slowly I also taste some pepper with the nuts and the mint and it’s actually nice near the end.


The draw is horrible and because of that the smoke is thin and poor in amount. The ash is salt and pepper colored. It’s quite firm. The burn is good, not straight as an arrow but good enough. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe one to see what the cigar is like with a better draw, but pure out of curiosity and not because I like the cigar. But truth be said, it wasn’t as bad as I expected and the issue with this cigar is more on the technical side as it is on the tobacco side.

Score: 73

73

Macarena Big Robusto Maduro


The ring of the maduro version is exactly the same as the natural version, a well printed but old fashioned image of a lady on a white oval, a yellow background with golden lining and a red banner with the name of the brand, and red banners with henco a mano on the sides. The wrapper isn’t very pretty, dark, rugged and just from the looks I would guess its Brazilian. The cap looks a bit better than on the natural version though. The construction feels a little hard, I’m hoping the draw is better than last weeks Macarena. There isn’t much of an aroma, but what I smell is urine drained hay.


I cut the cigar with a straight cut by Xikar and test the cold draw. It’s a huge difference with natural version, this cigar has a good draw with a spicy taste. I use a soft flame to light the cigar. The taste is woody with a mild bitterness. After a few puffs all I taste is a mild bitterness with sweetness. The flavors do feed my thoughts on the wrapper being Brazilian. After a centimeter I taste licorice, I like the candy since I’m Dutch so I don’t mind but it’s not good enough to love the cigar. Slowly I start tasting a little pepper too. The licorice gets a little salty. In between halfway and two thirds I taste licorice with a rotten wood flavor, salt and a tiny bit of pepper but it’s not very nice. Then the flavor changes to paprika flavored potato chips and perfume with a peppery aftertaste, this is the most weird tasting cigar I ever smoked, and I smoked a lot.


The draw is reasonable but the smoke is very thin and there isn’t a lot of it. The ash is pepper and salt colored and reasonably firm. The burn is good, straight and I didn’t have to touch up or correct. This cigar is medium bodied and mild to medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? No, it’s not worth to give it another try.

Score: 75
number75

Categories: 73, Macarena, Mexican cigars, Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro Robusto

When I started smoking Perdomo wasn’t available on the Dutch market, but I read about the brand a lot on Facebook, Club Stogie and later Cigar Asylum. Then I got bombed a few times so I had my chance to smoke a few Perdomo cigars but the brand didn’t impress me much and even after my first trip to the USA, back in 2009, where I tried a bunch of other Perdomo cigars it was just an okay brand for me. But then I smoked the Lot 23 maduro and I liked it a lot, and in my memory it is the best Perdomo cigar that I have smoked. Now in the most recent years Perdomo became available here, the company I used to work for distributed them so I tried several new Perdomo lines and even though its been a long time since I smoked that Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro, in my mind it’s still a great cigar. I wonder if I still like it so much, so I grabbed one for a review.


Now, what I remember from the conversation I had with Nick Perdomo about this cigar at Intertabac years ago, is that all the tobacco comes from a specific piece of one of his fields, lot 23, and the line started as an experiment. I guess the experiment was a success since the line had been available on the market for years and with three different wrappers, a Connecticut Shade, a Sun Grown (or Habano as its called in the USA) and this maduro wrapper and in an array of sizes. I picked the last 5×50 robusto I had in my stash, I still have a toro that I may or may not review in the future. As all the tobacco comes from Lot 23, which is on a farm in Nicaragua this is automatically a Nicaraguan puro.


In the cellophane and with my humidor lights the cigar didn’t look at that dark but once I get it out of the cellophane and in good light I notice how dark and oily the wrapper is, it’s almost black. It has two medium thick veins on the back of the cigar and a leathery feel to it. The construction is great with a neatly placed triple cap. The ring is about an inch in height, it’s pretty simple with a thick brown ring at the top and bottom and beige in between. On the top brown line it says Perdomo in beige letters, the bottom says Esteli, Nicaragua. On the beige there is a simple black drawing of a tobacco barn and a few palm trees. The paper is quite thick and has some embossing. The aroma is medium strong and all I can say is barnyard.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is great. I taste a mild pepper with some cocoa. Right after carefully lighting the cigar with my Ronson varaflame I taste Cuban coffee, strong yet sweet. After a quarter of an inch i taste caramel with oak. After half an inch chocolate shows up too, dark chocolate. After a third I taste caramel, some citrus, wood and some toasted bread. Halfway I taste wood, toast and a little black pepper. Slowly the wood gets stronger with spices like nutmeg and a little cumin. A little later, but still in the second part, I start to taste nuts, walnut and hazelnut to be more precise. The final third starts with the nuts, cedar and a little bit of pepper. A few puffs later I taste peanuts with a little salt and more pepper.


The ash is almost white with darker smears, it’s firm too. The smoke is white, thick, full and it makes my air purifier work at full speed. The draw is flawless but all Perdomo cigars undergo a draw test before the wrapper is applied so that’s no surprise. The burn is pretty straight. This medium to full bodied cigar is very flavorful. The cigar has a lot of evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a medium priced cigar yet very flavorful and good.

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Perdomo, Tabacalera Perdomo | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Jas Sum Kral Maduro Toro

Jas Sum Kral might be the most talked about cigar of 2016 on social media. It’s the brand of Riste Riatevski and he uses the social media like nobody else in order to get his brand name out and sell his cigars. His Red Knight is blended together with Noel Rojas and made in Noel’s factory Tabacalera NOA. Riste is from Macedonian decent and the name Jas Sum Kral means “I am king” in his native language. The first release was just a 6×52 toro with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over a double binder, one Mexican San Andres and one Nicaraguan Jalapa and undisclosed filler. I’ve been in touch with Riste on Facebook for some time and got my hands on one of this original release Red Knight toros through an account of mine, Hans van de Wittenboer from Piet van Kuyk Cigars in Eindhoven, and it blew me away. So much that I asked my then employer, the largest independent premium cigar importer in The Netherlands to take on this brand, which he initially denied.


When the new vitolas came out, a lancero, lonsdale and robusto, I asked Riste for the international wholesale prices, called a few of my Facebook savvy accounts to see if they were interested, wrote a nice order and got back to my employer with everything worked out, the fixed retail prices and the biggest order Riste had until that moment. With so many boxes pre-sold my employer couldn’t say no any longer and The Netherlands became the first international market where the Jas Sum Kral brand was available. A few months later I parted from that employer and in my last week I used the company discount to buy some Joya Red Half Corona for my wife, her favorite cigar, and Jas Sum Kral Red Knight in all sizes for me. A review of the lancero can be found here (in my old scoring method, maybe I’ll do one in my new 100 point method later this year).


I finally met Riste in person at Intertabac 2016 last september and he gave me a new Jas Sum Kral Maduro toro, a cigar (6×52) that will only be released for international markets since it wasn’t ready for the dreaded august 8 deadline and can’t be introduced to the American market unless the FDA ruling is changed. I smoked one right at the show and decided to keep one for a review, this review. The ring is the same as for the Red Knight and is designed by the Singaporean designer Nuzli Hakiim who makes the most beautiful photos for his Instagram. The design is very detailed with great us of black, burgundy, gold and white letters on a good quality thick paper. The wrapper is beautifully dark, with some even darker spots, and two veins on the side and it’s leathery to the touch. The shape of the cigar is a bit off, it’s not completely round, the sides feel a little flattened but it feels evenly filled. The cigar has a dark aroma, a little bit charred and a wet dog with a hint of ammonia.


I decided to cut the cigar with my xi2 cutter from Xikar instead of punching it. The draw is fine and cold I taste dry raisin with a little spicy and peppery aftertaste. As almost every time when smoking indoor I lit the cigar with a soft flame and straight away I taste coffee, strong, bold and bitter. Soon I taste meaty and peppery flavor. The pepper is becoming really strong, maybe even too strong. Even the smoke smells peppery. After a centimeter I also taste some dark chocolate but with a lot of pepper.

Soon after a cedar flavor shows up as a backdrop for the pepper and after a third I taste a mild metallic flavor. The pepper is still the main flavor although it’s not too overpowering anymore. Halfway the cedar and metal get accompanied by chocolate as support to the jalapeño pepper. The background flavors change to wooden notes towards the ⅔rd mark. The aftertaste has some mint in it. After the ⅔ point I taste more of a salty walnut flavor with that metal and still the pepper. The final puffs are a toasty, nutty flavor with a lot of pepper.


The smoke is great, thick and luscious but I don’t like the gray color. The ash is white and dense. The draw is great. I had to touch up a few times to correct an uneven burn, I blame the thickness of the wrapper for that, but it does effect the score. This cigar is definitely full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half. Unfortunately I didn’t get to use my awesome Jas Sum Kral nub tool.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a pepper bomb, a few years ago I loved pepper bombs but my preferences changed a little. This is a great post barbecue cigar so I’ll buy a few for the summer season. But for other occasions I will grab the red knight.

Score: 90

90

Categories: 90, Jas Sum Kral, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Noa | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Oliva serie V Maduro Short Robusto Edición Europa 2010

In 2006 the Nicaraguan cigar producing and tobacco growing family of Oliva and their Oliva Cigar Company, not to be mistaken by the Oliva Tobacco Company who are also tobacco growers but not related, released their strongest cigar to their portfolio, the Oliva Series V and with succes, the torpedo made it into the top 25 of Cigar Aficionado the next year and the blend has been voted in that top 25 for 6 years in a row, an industry record. In 2008 Oliva released a limited edition maduro version of the Series V in a torpedo shape and a Broadleaf wrapper and repeated that in 2009 with a different wrapper, Nicaraguan Habano Maduro this time. In 2010 they changed the size to a 6×54 with yet another another wrapper, Mexican San Andres Maduro and they not only released a limited edition for the USA but also a different size just for the European Market. For Europe they picked a 4 1/2×50 Short Robusto, 1500 boxes of 10 cigars were made. I really loved the 2008 release but wasn’t impressed with the later releases until I smoked this one.


Now this review is not the only one this cigar. I gave a few to Brooks from Halfwheel.com a few years back and he posted a review. The prices mentioned on Halfwheel come from U.K. based websites and the U.K. has crazy taxes. In The Netherlands the cigar had a fixed price tag of €8,50. The cigar has been aging for a minimum of 6 years so the cellophane is discolored from the inside. The band is the normal Oliva serie V band, big, beautiful and printed in my home country of The Netherlands at Vrijdag Printing. The wrapper is dark, toothy, rough and leathery with some veins and it feels leathery. It is not a good looking wrapper when you base it on esthetics but it’s beautifully intimidating. The construction feels good. After a punch I had a tight draw so I made a cut with my xikar butterfly cutter and then the mild spicy cold draw was good. The aroma is thick, rich and deep, reminds me of a horse stable.


I managed to lit the cigar with the last remaining gas in my vintage Ronson and straight away I taste espresso with a lot of cane sugar, it’s like Cuban coffee. After a centimeter the espresso becomes a little milder and the sweetness also toned down a little. The flavors are getting a little toasty though.


Halfway I still taste sweetness but now with more earthy flavors and a little bit of pepper. This Maduro wrapper surely lives up to the ‘Maduro is sweeter’ people always say but it’s not overpowering. After two thirds I get more of a woody flavor with some pepper and the sweetness, which now reminds me of honey.


The smoke from this small cigar is medium thick, not as thick as I like and not as much as I like either so there go some points. The ash on the other hand is amazing, white and very dense. The burn is a little bit off but not enough to correct. The draw is great, but I always expect good draw from Oliva. This cigar is medium plus bodied and medium to full flavored. The smoke time of this enjoyable cigar is close to 90 minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? They are nowhere to be found, its been over 6 years since they were released but I’m glad I bought all the boxes I could find.

Score: 91

91

Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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