Posts Tagged With: Maduro

La Sagrada Familia Maduro Robusto Extra

La Sagrada Familia Maduro Robusto Extra. The second blend of the Dutch cigar brand La Sagrada Familia. Dutch cigar enthusiast Tom Mulder fell in love with cigars on a trip to Cuba. Back home he became a regular at the Van Dalen Cigars shop in Den Bosch where he met Sasja van Horssen. After many years of friendship, Mulder approached Van Horssen with a question. That question was “can you introduce me to cigar manufacturers that can produce a cigar for me?”.

Mulder and Van Horssen talked to Juan Martinez from Joya de Nicaragua. And with Joya on board as a manufacturer, Mulder flew to Nicaragua. The first blend, a Habano version, was a success. It sells well in The Netherlands so a second blend was waiting to happen. And it is this La Sagrada Familia Maduro. Made with filler from Esteli, Nicaragua. Add a Dominican binder and an Ecuadorian Habano Maduro wrapper, and you have the La Sagrada Familia Maduro line. I did review the pre-release many years ago.

The cigar looks good. A slightly rough, yet evenly dark wrapper. Oily and a bit weathered under the scorching sun during the growing process. The black, gold, and white ring pop on the dark background. The aroma is deep and strong. Complex barnyard aromas. The triple cap is perfect. The cigar feels packed, hard.

The cold draw is good, with a mild honey flavor and a little kick in the aftertaste. The first flavors are dark, earthy, and leathery with the bitterness of dark chocolate. But not the flavor of dark chocolate. And there’s a hint of white pepper. The pepper gains power, and some honey supports it in the background. At the end of the first third, there is a bit of a liquor flavor, almost like rum-soaked dark chocolate. The Maduro sweetness kicks in during the second third. But not overwhelmingly. Nicely balanced with spice, wood, and leather. There’s even a milk chocolate flavor noticeable. The flavors become more complex. Wood, hay, chocolate, leather, and spices. Wood becomes the main flavor, with hay, white pepper, and honey.

Due to the thickness of the wrapper and the fact that the cigar is packed, it takes a little effort to get the burn going. But once it goes, it’s beautifully straight and slow. And the draw is fine, even though the cigar feels hard. The ash is light in color and firm. Not firm enough to survive a drop from the ashtray on the desk though. But that’s a user error, not a cigar error. The smoke is good. The strength is medium-full, just as the flavor. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it, but I like the Habano blend better.

Categories: 91, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, La Sagrada Familia, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

El Viejo Continente Maduro Lancero

El Viejo Continente Maduro Lancero. El Viejo Continente is the brand of Daniel Guerrero. A life long cigar enthusiast who partnered up with Emiliano Lagos to create cigars to his likings. And that’s how El Viejo Continente was born. There are several lines available, in several sizes. But Guerrero is also responsible for The Circus cigars.

The cigars come from Esteli, Nicaragua. From American Caribbean Cigars, a factory that made and makes cigars for Carlos Toraño, Gurkha, and Leccia. But also for El Viejo Continente and a few lines they own themselves. The El Viejo Continente Maduro line consists of Nicaraguan filler tobacco. The binder is Habano from Ecuador. The wrapper is Mexican. From San Andres, but that’s almost a given when it’s Mexican Maduro.

This cigar isn’t a looker. The Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper looks rough. But it has sparkles of the minerals from the rich soil and that’s always a good sign. The silver and gray ring matches the darkness of the wrapper. The construction feels good. The aroma is strong and is a mixture of hay and chocolate.

The cold draw is perfect. With a herbal flavor, including mint. The first puffs are coffee and sugar. Then leather shows up with a hint of herbal spice. And there is also cocoa powder, dry but nice. The flavor changes are nuanced and subtle. After a third, the cocoa or dark chocolate flavor gets stronger, with a slight metallic undertone and some black pepper. Halfway some grassy and hay flavors join the spicy cocoa. The mouthfeel is a little creamy. The retrohale reveals more spice and a little wood. The final third is stronger with more pepper and more of an edge. It’s no longer pleasant to retrohale due to the pepper. The cocoa disappears and wood is more pronounced.

The draw is great. The light-colored ash breaks easily though, no long cones with this cigar. The burn is good, although smoking a lancero is a balancing act. Smoke it slow enough to prevent the cigar from getting too hot and thus bitter. And smoke it fast enough so you don’t have to relight it often. That last part failed a few times, but it’s a user error and not a cigar error. The cigar is smooth yet has a bit of an edge that gives it character. The smoke is decent. The smoke time is two hours and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I love lancero sizes so yes

Categories: 90, American Caribbean Tobacco S.A., El Viejo Continente, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Buffalo Ten Maduro Toro

Buffalo Ten Maduro Toro. When the first rumors about this release surfaced, the name was a mystery. At first, the suggestion was made that it is a cigar for the Buffalo Cigar Festival. But in a conversation with Ram Rodriguez from Tabacalera El Artista, the truth was revealed. The name is chosen because it’s a cool sounding name. Of course, the people behind Buffalo Cigar Festival love the name, but they are not the inspiration. Rodriguez wanted to make a value cigar, one size, simple packaging, and simple artwork. The 10 in the name comes from the first proposed packaging. Bundles of 10 cigars. But eventually, the cigars were released in bundles of five cigars.

The cigar measures 6×52 and is box-pressed. Almost rectangle, much like the Factory Press from La Flor Dominicana. Very sharp edges. This is a five-country cigar blend, with a Mexican wrapper. A Maduro from San Andres. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and the USA. The Colombian tobacco is used for the slightly acidic flavor, that helps to bind all flavors together. But the tobacco that is most rare is the binder. It’s a Dominican Negrito. Very dark tobacco that was popular 50 to 60 years ago. But it disappeared. Tabacalera El Artista and the Dominican Agricultural Society brought it back to life. It’s hard tobacco to grow, with relatively low yields. So it’s not used often.

The cigar looks amazing. Not just to smoke, but also to eat. The sharp box-pressed shape and the dark chocolate color make this cigar look like a candy bar. Add a simple, clean, and slick white ring and you have an amazing looking cigar. The wrapper is Colorado Maduro colored, with one flattened vein. It’s toothy and feels like fine sandpaper. The ring is white, simple, clean with print in the same color as the wrapper. The two components on itself look fine, yet the combination is extremely pleasing on the eyes. The box press is so sharp, it is almost as sharp as the La Flor Dominicana Factory Press cigars. The construction feels good. The aroma is earth and leather.

The cold draw is flawless. The flavor is earthy. Once lit, the cigar has coffee, soil, sweetness, and herbal spices. The flavors then change to soil, leather, chocolate, pepper, and spice. Leather gets stronger with cedar and pepper. The mouthfeel is dry. The second third starts with cocoa powder. Dry. Add some leather and a hint of acidity to bind everything together. The flavors slowly change to more leather, spices, soil, and wood. With still a hint of chocolate, pepper, and acidity. The final third starts with that dry chocolate or cocoa flavor again. Pepper, leather, and wood are there too. With a hint of sweetness. The mouthfeel is still dry now, but also sticky. There is a spice flavor that is hard to describe, with wood, pepper, and chocolate.

The draw is fantastic, the right amount of airflow and resistance. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar produces plenty of thick white smoke. The ash is almost white as well. Firm also. The cigar doesn’t have a lot of evolution. But it is balanced and flavorful. The Buffalo Ten Maduro Toro is a medium-bodied, medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is three hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? A 92 rated cigar for a value price? Damn right!

Categories: 92, Buffalo Ten, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera El Artista | Tags: , , , , ,

Casa Cuevas Reserva Maduro Toro

Casa Cuevas Reserva Maduro Toro. A cigar that as far as we know is only available in the United States, New Zealand, and the Dominican Republic. And it’s a relatively new brand yet not a new family. The Cuevas family is growing tobacco and making cigars for decades. Since 1890 to be exact. In the early 2000s, the Casa Cuevas brand was sold for a while. But then the family returned to making cigars for others. Until 2016, when the Casa Cuevas line returned. In a way, the story of the Cuevas family is similar to the El Artista brand and even Plasencia. All three are around for a long time, but only recently started making cigars for themselves instead of just producing for others.

This Casa Cuevas Reserva Maduro Toro is made with a Mexican San Andres wrapper. The binder is Piloto Cubana from the Dominican Republic. The filler contains tobacco from Ometepe, Nicaragua, and from the Dominican Republic. For this review, I smoked the 6×50 Toro. Other sizes available are a 5×52 Robusto and a 6¼x52 Torpedo.

The cigar looks good. The wrapper is dark, very dark. But evenly dark, and a bit on the dry side. The blue, white, and silver ring is similar to the new world Romeo y Julieta ring. The construction feels great and the triple cap is flawless. The cigar smells like dark chocolate and soil. Bittersweet and intense.

The cold draw is a bit tights. Quite spicy yet with a dark chocolate undertone. After lighting the cigar gives dark chocolate, earthiness, coffee. Bittersweet flavors with black pepper. In the second third, the dark chocolate is still the main flavor, but now with hay, coffee, and soil. The pepper tones down a bit. There is a hint of citrus. The cigar is balanced, yet not smooth. Halfway it’s still possible to retrohale without too much spice in the nose. The mouthfeel is still dry. In the final third, more wood shows up with some leather. But the spice and the dark chocolate are still going strong as well.

The draw is good, better than in the cold draw. The smoke is thick, white, and full. The burn is straight. The ash is almost white, yet it breaks quite easily. This cigar isn’t very strong, but the flavors are bold. The cigar is balanced. The evolution isn’t spectacular, but the overall flavors are good. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera Las Lavas | Tags: , , , ,

Oscar Superfly Maduro Super Corona

Oscar Superfly Maduro Super Corona. In 2019, Oscar Valladares released the Super Fly Maduro. A cigar inspired by the 1970s in style. Funky colors, bigger than life. A bold smoke, that came in a velvet lined box to further enhance that pimp look and feel of the line. Earlier this year, Oscar released another Super Fly line, with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.

Valladares says this is the strongest cigar he makes. It’s the first time he used Dominican tobacco in one of his blends. The wrapper comes from San Andres in Mexico. The binder is Honduran. The filler comes from Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Canteros, the New Zealand distributor for Oscar, sponsored Ministry of Cigars with this cigar. This is the 5¼x45 Super Corona. Other sizes available are 6×54 Super Toro and the 6½x60 Super Gordo

The cigar looks great. A very dark wrapper, slightly dry and leathery is the perfect match for the funky ring. The ring breathes 1970s funk and pimp. An unusual shape, shiny purple, and gold, typography from that era. This is a cigar to smoke while watching Shaft or any other blaxploitation movie from the 1970s. Or Jackie Brown, which is Tarantino’s tribute of blaxploitation. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong and woody.

The cold draw is flawless and releases some brown spices in the flavor profile. Dry spices, dry wood, and a mild cocoa flavor are the flavors that start the cigar. The cigar turns more to a dark chocolate flavor profile. With brown spices as supporting flavor. Some sugar sweetness shows up as well. With a hint of leather over the chocolate, earthiness, and wood. Wood, sweetness, and brown spices are the main flavors. After a third, the cigar is too strong to retrohale. The pepper in the nose is too strong. The wood and leather get more pronounced, the sweetness fades away. A little citrus acidity shows up to balance all flavors out.

The draw is great. The ash is as white as snow. The smoke is thick and plentiful. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored. To stay in the 70s mood, this cigar is dy-no-mite! It’s groovy, or the bomb. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? This cigar is so groovy, I want more.

Categories: 93, Honduran cigars, Leaf by Oscar, Oscar Valladares Tobacco Factory | Tags: , , , , ,

The Circus Maduro Lancero

The Circus Maduro Lancero. Late last year, Daniel Guerrero from El Viejo Continente announced the release of a lancero in The Circus line. A Maduro lancero with a Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos from Ometepe and Jalapa. But information on that cigar is hard to find. There is no mention on the website of American Caribbean Cigars, the website of the factory. Nor on the website of El Viejo Continente, which could use an update in our opinion anyway. Both websites offer little to none information on the blends, availability, news, reviews, or any other information that can be useful. We feel that a better website and better accessible information would really help the brand.

The cigars are made at American Caribbean Cigars, a factory once almost acquired by Gurkha Cigars. The series is a tribute to all the people that worked with master blender Daniel Guerrero during the creation of this cigar. It took Guerrero and his people four years to make the blend. The first four sizes were named with the team in mind. The Magician represents the ingenuity of the team where the Harlequin is the fact of always wanting to make it. The Twister stands for the knowledge and the know-how of the blenders. And the Canon is the final shot, an explosion of flavors. The lancero is not part of the original release vitolas.

The cigar looks good. The Maduro wrapper is almost black. It’s oily with a few thin, sharp veins. The red foot band and the red with gold label are a beautiful contrast with the darkness of the wrapper. A nice pigtail finishes the look. The ring has a picture of a circus tent to keep the theme alive. The cigar feels well made. The aroma has a reminiscence of hay and is quite strong.

No complaints about the cold draw. It’s good, with a gingerbread flavor. After lighting there is some coffee, but most striking is the buttercream flavor. Old fashioned buttercream with a hint of vanilla. Although the vanilla only shows up in the retrohale. The sweetness of the Maduro wrapper shines through in this blend, but there is also a hint of white pepper. Slowly a grassy flavor shows up too, with some citrus. The earthiness and dark chocolate show up too, with leather, while the buttercream and vanilla fade. Slowly a dried leaf flavor shows up too while the grass is gone. After a third, the mouthfeel is thick and oily. The cigar now moves into a flavor profile of dark wood, forest soil, and leather with some black pepper. The cigar gets more earthy with coffee. Near the end, the cigar has some chocolate, coffee, wood, and spices.

The draw is great. The smoke is full and thick. The light gray ash isn’t very firm though and breaks easily. The burn is straight. The flavors are balanced. This is a medium-bodied and medium flavored cigar, balanced, with evolution. The smoke time is three hours. It could have lasted longer, but the cigar turned bitter.

Would I buy this cigar again? I enjoyed it a lot, so yes


Categories: 91, American Caribbean Tobacco S.A., Cigars by brand, Nicaraguan cigars, The Circus | Tags: , , , ,

Herrera Esteli Maduro Toro Especial

Herrera Esteli Maduro Toro Especial. Another blend by master blender Willy Herrera for Drew Estate. This blend was released in 2018, 7 years after his move to the big cigar manufacturer. But he rose to fame as a blender at the small Miami based El Titan de Bronze. That small factory in Little Havana is owned and operated by his in-laws and that’s where Jonathan Drew found Herrera. One of the promises that Drew made was a cigar with the Herrera name, although that did take some time and effort as Frank Herrera, the cigar lawyer, had registered his name and used it for cigars as well.


The Herrera Esteli Maduro is made in Nicaragua, at the Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. For the blend, Herrera took Nicaraguan filler from Drew Estate’s tobacco library. He blended that with a Connecticut Broadleaf binder from the Connecticut River Valley and a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. There are five sizes available, but for this review, we decided on the 6×52 Toro Especial.


The cigar has that typical Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. Dark but kind of rough looking, with a few veins. For a Mata Fina, it’s actually quite smooth, but it’s rougher than the average Maduro. The blue and golden ring with white letters is a copy of the original Herrera Esteli, just in a different color scheme. The cigar feels well rolled. The triple cap is beautiful. And the cigar has a strong aroma. Sweet straw with some charred wood comes to mind.

The cold draw is fine, with a mild yet intense dark chocolate taste. The first flavors are salty wood with a bit of leather. Slowly the cigar develops some leaf flavors as well, and mild chocolate. The expected sweetness from the Brazilian wrapper is lacking though. The mouthfeel is meaty, chewy. After a third, the flavors become more complex. It’s wood and grass, but then with a mix of sugar, pepper, spices, leather, soil, and toast. All those flavors are mild and balanced. Halfway the cigar gets a nice roasted coffee bean flavor with spices, pepper, and leather.


The draw is superb. And the ash is white and dense. The burn is good, not straight as an arrow but no corrections are needed. And the smoke is thick and full, a Drew Estate trademark. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes. This cigar is full-bodied, full-flavored.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I enjoyed it
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Categories: 90, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Herrera Esteli, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Antigua Esteli Segovia Maduro Toro.

Antigua Esteli Segovia Maduro Toro. The first time we ever saw or heard the brand was on social media. At first, we figured it would be one of those private labels again that try to make a few bucks before disappearing into the swamp. The swamp where many other small private labels have been buried over the years. But the more we looked into Antigua Esteli, the more we were intrigued. And the more we wanted to try one of those cigars. We connected with owner and founder Art Garcia and learned more about the brand. It’s more than just a simple private label. Garcia runs his own crew at the factory, his rollers, blenders and buys the tobacco himself. In September we finally met at the Intertabac trade show and weaseled a few cigars so we could finally smoke them


We scored the Antigua Esteli Segovia Maduro Toro. That’s a 6×56 cigar, made in Nicaragua. The fillers and binder are all Nicaraguan. The tobacco comes from four different regions in Nicaragua. The wrapper comes from the San Andres region in Mexico. The shape is unusual, it’s not fully box-pressed, it’s not round but it’s semi box-pressed.


The cigar looks beautiful. An evenly dark, smooth and oily wrapper. Great shape with a triple cap. The cigar feels well constructed. The ring is detailed, with tobacco fields, the logo. And both the American and Nicaraguan flags in a banner combining the two countries. The secondary ring says Segovias Maduro. The aroma is strong, barnyard, wood, and forest come to mind.


The cold draw is easy, and it leaves a peppery flavor on the lips. A tingling sensation. Add a raw tobacco flavor to it, and that’s what the cold draw tastes like. Once lit, there is a mix of coffee, leather, soil, spices, and pepper. The bitterness of the coffee is a nice contrast with the creaminess of the mouthfeel. Soon it’s more coffee with leather and spices. There’s also a bit of citrus, and the mouthfeel remains creamy. After a third, it’s a toasty coffee flavor with wood, spices, and pepper. Still creamy though. The creaminess makes the flavors feel silky smooth. The final third starts with ice cream without the numbing cold of ice cream. Vanilla sweetness, cream, and roasted coffee beans. Then the coffee returns, with way more pepper than before.


The draw is great, and the burn is straight as an arrow. The ash is white, but a bit brittle. The cigar produces a lot of smoke. The flavors are all smooth, round, and soft. Yet medium to medium-full in flavors, and medium in strength. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will
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Categories: 91, Antigua Esteli, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Condega Serie F Maduro Robusto

The Condega brand was founded by Eduardo Fernandez. He came into the business in 1998 as a tobacco grower and years later he founded the brand Condega. The brand was particularly popular in Spain because of the price-quality point, but it was also sold in the United States. But since Fernandez, famous for his Aganorsa leaf, is more interested in growing tobacco than selling cigars, the brand never really took off outside of Spain. And that’s where the Spanish tobacco distributor Gesinta comes in. Their premium cigar division, Casa del Tabaco, purchased the brand from Fernandez for the international markets. In the last few years, the brand is quickly expanding distribution to other European countries, Africa, and the Middle East. Fernandez still holds the rights for Condega on the American market.


The Serie F Maduro only comes in one vitola. That’s the 5×50 Robusto. And it’s the only Condega cigar that isn’t a Nicaraguan puro. The Maduro wrapper comes from Mexico. It’s grown in the San Andres region. The binder and wrappers are all Aganorsa leaf from Nicaragua. The Condega cigars are known for their great price-quality point. In The Netherlands this cigar is 5 euro, in Germany, it’s even cheaper with a price tag of €4,70. And that for a Maduro robusto, packed in a box instead of a bundle.


The wrapper looks good, beautiful Maduro darkness. And it’s natural darkness, as you can see darker smears, it’s not evenly dark. The cigar looks well constructed, with a triple cap. It has the right amount of bounce when squeezed gently. There aren’t thick, ugly veins on the wrapper, so the cigar looks smooth. And the aroma is medium strong with stable, barnyard and wood smells.


The cold draw is smooth. The flavors are pepper, wood, and hay. Right from the start, the cigar is sweet with coffee, pepper, and earthiness. But without the bitterness that often comes with a strong coffee flavor at the beginning of a cigar. There’s a hint of spices too. And then suddenly a lot happens, wood, coffee, spices, pepper, sweetness, and hay. The mouthfeel is quite creamy. The flavors are smooth yet full. After that, the explosion of flavors mellows out, it’s now wood with some spices and a bit of pepper. Halfway the cigar gets very nutty, with sweetness and pepper. There are hints of grass and wood too, but those are faint. The creamy nuttiness is the dominant flavor. The mellow, creamy nuttiness continues to be the main flavor of the cigar, with wood and sweetness. There’s also a faint leather flavor as well.


The draw is great, just the right amount of resistance. The cigar is full-flavored, yet medium to medium full-bodied. The light-colored ash isn’t firm. The smoke could be a little thicker though, but just a bit. The burn had to be corrected once. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes. The cigar is well balanced, smooth and full of flavor.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box

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Categories: 91, Condega, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , , ,

Debonaire Maduro First Degree

Debonaire is the brand of Philip Zanghi. Zanghi first made his steps into the cigar industry in the 1990s in a partnership with Rocky Patel. They were both new to the business. With Zanghi’s connection with Indian Motorcycles, they formed Indian Tobac. In a later stage, Patel bought Zanghi’s shares. Zanghi ventured into other parts of the tobacco industry.

But returned to cigars in 2011 with Debonaire. First only with the Habano, but in 2014 he released the Debonaire Maduro too. And now there’s a third blend, Daybreak, with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.

The Debonaire Maduro is made at the De Los Reyes factory on the Dominican Republic. That factory is owned by the Reyes family. The 5th generation Reyes has entered the business, and that says a lot about the long lasting love affair with tobacco. For the filler Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco is used. The binder is also from the Dominican. The wrapper comes from the USA. It’s a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro.

The dark wrapper is toothy and rough. It could easily be mistaken for Brazilian Mata Fina by the looks. But the aroma is good and strong. There is a strong earthy smell to the cigar with some pepper. The shape is great and makes the cigar look cute. That little tampered foot eases the rough look on the wrapper. It’s like an ugly kid with a cute outfit that makes it adorable. The construction feels good.


The cold draw is surprisingly good. With that tampered foot, a tighter cold draw was expected. The flavors are very peppery. The first hit is a strong earthy coffee. Once the cigar opens up, the Maduro sweetness shines through too. There’s also a hint of extra dark chocolate. That chocolate is slowly becoming the dominant flavor. The flavors remain practically the same all throughout the cigar. The bigger sizes will probably offer more variety in flavor. The finale brings strong bittersweet chocolate with some wood.

The draw is great. The smoke is thick and full. The color is a bit off-white. The ash is quite dark. The burn was straight until one side hit a big vein. Then it gets crooked and had to be corrected. This is a medium-full flavored and bodied cigar. The smoke time is an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, for the occasions where I don’t have a lot of time.

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Categories: 90, De Los Reyes, Debonaire, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

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