Posts Tagged With: PDR

Gurkha Ghost Shadow

I have done a handful of Gurkha reviews and to be honest, most weren’t that impressive to me. I think the problem with the brand is that they don’t have DNA, their cigars are all made in different factories, the brand focusses on marketing and does crazy stuff with super expensive cigars dropped in super expensive alcohol and other marketing tricks. That doesn’t help the reputation of the brand amongst serious cigar smokers like me. But this Gurkja Ghost, I always thought that one was quite enjoyable, maybe because it’s made at PDR, a factory I like.


Now, even though most of the cigars are a miss, I can’t say the same about their sales manager Juan Lopez, I met him years ago in Miami in a cigar bar, the next day me and my friend went to the Gurkha office and that’s beautiful. From the outside its a boring office building, the first floor is just cubicles but then upstairs a beautiful lounge, like you’re back in 1800’s Asia, with a huge bar full of expensive liquor and a secret room where all the blends are kept. And Juan hooked us up with cigars, backpacks, knives and all sorts of cool items. So it was cool to see Juan at Intertabac this year, where he handed me a few cigars to smoke.


The wrapper is typical Brazilian arapiraca, a bit rough to look at with sturdy veins, not thick but sturdy. The color is dark and even though, so that makes up for it and the ring fits the wrapper. It is black and silver, with the Gurkha logo and scary lettering saying ghost. The ring is different than what you usually find in humidors. The construction is great, the triple cap is straight. The cigar has a strong earthy smell, earthy as if you’re walking in nature, early in the morning after a good rainfall.


I cut the cigar with a butterfly cutter from Xikar. The cold draw is good. I taste tobacco and some pepper. I taste a strong coffee after lighting the cigar with my soft flame lighter. A few puffs later I taste a mild acidic oak with cocoa bean. Halfway I taste a mild pepper with some lime and wood. A little later some honey sweetness shows up too. The final third I taste a nice, mildly sweet, wood with some spices, all balanced though. The flavors become very nice, wood, mocha, sugar, chocolate all in a creamy way.


The draw is great, the light ash has beautiful rings and it’s firm. The smoke is medium thick, medium full. The burn is close to perfect. I would call this cigar medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a pleasant cigar, not the best I had but enjoyable.

Score: 91
number91

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Categories: 91, Dominican cigars, Gurkha, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A. Flores El Trovador

Abe Flores handed me this 4 1/2×50 Petit Belicoso of El Trovador when he was in Amsterdam a few weeks ago and to be honest, I had never heard of the cigar. That’s not strange because they haven’t been available on the Dutch market yet even though the cigars were released on the American market over a year ago. The translation of El Trovador is The troubadour which is fitting since Abe Flores used to be a professional bass player when he was younger.


Even though the cigar is made at the PDR factory on the Dominican Republic, there is not a shred of Dominican tobacco in this cigar. The filler is vintage Nicaraguan, the cigar spots a double Nicaraguan binder and the wrapper is from Ecuador. And for the artwork Abe found inspiration in Cuba again, since this is a upgraded and updated version of the Montecristo label. The sad part is, and I told Abe, that his cigars are good enough not to need copied Cuban rings.


The reddish yet dark Ecuadorian Rosado wrapper looks great on this box pressed cigar, you can see the veins in the wrapper but since they’ve been flattened the surface is smooth. The cigar is well rolled with a beautiful top and a simple, clear and well printed dark brown ring with golden details and white lettering. The aroma is strong and dark, charred wood like with a little barnyard aroma.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is perfect, I taste tobacco and pepper.  After lighting I taste coffee and pepper. Soon it changes to leather with a tiny bit of dark chocolate. After a third I taste a carrot like flavor with pepper. Halfway I taste cedar with spices, pepper and a hint of cacao. I also get some floral notes.


The draw is perfect. The light colored ash is firm and dense. The smoke started out thin but turns thicker and filler quick. This cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour exactly.

Would I buy this cigar again? This is a nice short smoke, I would get more.

Score: 90
number90

Categories: 90, A. Flores, Dominican cigars, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The mancave

I mentioned my mancave a few times, in posts about the swag I received for example and when I showed off my lancero humidor and a few people reached out to me to show the mancave.

The last two days I’ve been rearranging all the swag because I needed to give Cornelius & Anthony the proper prime real estate after the bomb they send me. And because now everything is nice and tidy I took the opportunity to make a little video and shoot some pictures.

Categories: Misc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Viaje Circa 45 No.1

Now here is a cigar I know nothing about, well, almost nothing. All I knew was what Andre Farkas told me when he gave me this cigar at Intertabac 2016 and that was that this cigar is made for the European market and that it’s made by PDR in the Dominican Republic. Thank goodness for my (little yet sufficient) understanding of the German language and the cigarworld Dusseldorf website so I can provide some information on this cigar. The blend is named Circa 45, I don’t know if I would mention 45 in a cigar that is mainly for the German market but thats just me, and that it consists of a Ecuadorean Corojo wrapper, an Indonesian binder and Dominican fillers and that the line consists from 3 vitolas, of which I’m smoking the 5×52 No.1.


I met Andre a few years ago, when he came to The Netherlands to promote the Viaje brand and I was working for what was then his importer/distributer. That relationship well through, Viaje is no longer available on the Dutch market, but I still hang out with Andre for a bit when we run into each other at the Intertabac trade show in Dortmund. I know Viaje is available on the German market, I have no idea what other countries carry Viaje. The wrapper on this Circa 45 isn’t the prettiest, the color is a bit pale brown and it has a big ugly vein on the side of the cigar, the triple cap is nice though. The band is simple, it doesn’t distinguishes the cigar, at first glimpse I thought it was a Jose Marti or Punch, while the sides and the back are a copy of a Cuban Bolivar ring. I’m used to better rings from Viaje. The construction feels good, not soft spots, no knots and the aroma is a medium strong ammonia.


I used my butterfly cutter from Xikar and that created a loose cold draw without a lot of flavor. I lit the cigar with my soft flame. I taste a nice, strong espresso right from the start, slightly bitter on my tongue. After a centimeter I taste wood with a little lime on the roof of my mouth. I also taste a very mild creamy chocolate flavor. The chocolate disappears quickly and I now taste dry spices like nutmeg with some wood. It bites a bit in the back of my throat and makes my mouth very dry.


Past a third the cigar turns sour and bitter and it’s because I’m reviewing the cigar otherwise I would have put it away. I think Andre had an off day when creating this blend, this is so sub par for Viaje. The bitterness disappears halfway while the sour flavor tones down. Now it’s wood with some lemon. After two thirds I taste some charred wood with the lemon flavor that is gaining strength again.


The smoke is thick and there is a lot, the color is off white. The draw is a bit loose. The ash is light gray with black stripes and clearly layered. It is still firm though. The burn is great on this medium bodied, medium flavored stick. The cigar does has evolution and the ratio is oke. The smoke time is about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I had many great Viaje cigars that I would love to smoke again but this isn’t one of them.

Score: 83

83

Categories: 83, Dominican cigars, PDR Cigars, Viaje | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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