Posts Tagged With: robusto

Black Works Studio Killer Bee Green Hornet

Black Works Studio Killer Bee Green Hornet. In 2016, James and Angela Brown made the Black Works Studio Killer Bee Green Hornet a regular production cigar. Before it was only available as an event-only cigar. Black Works Studio is the experimental sister of Black Label Trading Company, owned by the Browns.

The cigar measures 5×48 and is the bigger brother of the Killer Bee. The filler and binder are Nicaraguan. But the wrapper is the star of the show. Ecuadorian Maduro with little pieces of Ecuadorian Candela. Not in a barber pole style, but a thin swirl at the head and a closed candela foot. The cigars come from Nicaragua, from the factory that the Browns own: Oveja Negra.

This cigar is killer, not just in the name but in looks as well. A beautiful oily Maduro wrapper, and then three thin candela lines in the head. The last half centimeter of the foot is candela as well. It is a closed foot. The black ring has fading green letters and fits perfectly. This is one of the best-looking cigars in ages. The head is beautifully rounded. The cigar has a nice aroma of hay and sawdust.

There is nothing to say about the cold draw. Because of the closed foot, there is virtually no draw at all. But the head of the cigar leaves some pepper and spice on the tip of the tongue. Once lit its grass. No surprise as that is the characteristic of candela. There’s also some coffee with a hint of sweetness. Once the candela is gone, it’s dark chocolate. Dark chocolate with soil and pepper. At the end of the first third, there’s also some citrus and leather with the coffee, soil, and white pepper. The second third has some wood, leather, soil, dark roast coffee, spice, and sweetness. The flavors are balanced, with the right amount of aggression. It’s not smooth, but also not rough. The sweetness is of dried fruits. The final third has more toast and leather. The mouthfeel becomes dry. Dark chocolate and some spice remain as well. The pepper grows a bit in strength.

The cigar gives a lot of smoke, straight from the start. The draw is great. The ash is light gray and reasonably firm. The burn is straight. It is a medium to full cigar in body. The flavor is medium in strength. The smoke time is one hour and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I enjoyed it thoroughly so yes.

Categories: 93, Black Label Trading Company, Nicaraguan cigars, Oveja Negra | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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: , , , ,

Hiram & Solomon Entered Apprentice Robusto

Hiram & Solomon Entered Apprentice Robusto. The mildest of all the Hiram & Soloman cigars. Their entry-level cigar so to say. And named after the first degree of the masonry to make it fit. The Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason are the three degrees, and also the three core lines for Hiram & Solomon. The cigars are available in four different vitolas and in many countries around the world. The Hiram & Solomon Entered Apprentice Toro was the subject of a Philip & Ferdy Cigar Show episode.

The cigars hail from Nicaragua. From the Plasencia cigars factory. As the intention for this cigar is to be entry-level, Hiram & Solomon went for a Connecticut Shade wrapper. But not from Connecticut or Ecuador, where most Connecticut Shade wrappers come from. They got the wrapper from Honduras. The binder also comes from Honduras. For the filler, tobaccos from three countries are used. Rare tobacco from Paraguay, tobacco from Pennsylvania, United States. And the last piece of the puzzle is Habano from the Nicaraguan island of Ometepe.

The cigar looks good. The wrapper isn’t as pale as most Connecticut Shade cigars. There is one thick, unsightly vein on the side though. The ring with the Freemason logo is beautiful though. Blue and black with silver. The foot band mentions the line, Entered Apprentice. The cigar feels a bit soft. The triple cap is perfect. The aroma is mild. It smells a bit like a petting zoo.

The cold draw is a bit on the loose side. There is a mild minty flavor with some cedar. The first puff is sweet and bitter. Sugar and young wood, but with that classic Connecticut Shade old book flavor not far away. The sweetness remains and there is a hint of vanilla. The young wood changes to cedar and there is a bit of a moist mushroom flavor. There is no harshness nor pepper, so the retrohale is very pleasant. After a third, a mild nutty flavor shows up. Still with that Connecticut Shade mustiness lingering on the background. The sweetness remains and black pepper shows up. Still with cedar and that slight musty flavor. The pepper slowly gains strength, wood is still around with some leather. And that Connecticut Shade signature mustiness, although it is mild.

The ash is white, dense, and firm. The burn is slow and straight. The draw is good. The smoke is fine in volume and thickness. The cigar is medium in body and strength. The flavor is medium to medium-full. The cigar has some character and the Connecticut Shade mustiness is pretty mild on this one. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, there are better Hiram & Solomon cigars out there. But for a Connecticut Shade wrapper, this isn’t a bad cigar.

Categories: 89, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , ,

Mustique Red Robusto

Mustique Red Robusto. This is one of the many bundle brands available that never caught the attention of us at the Ministry of Cigars office until about a year ago. A friend gave us a handful of Mustique cigars, both the red label and the blue label. There is not a lot of information online about these cigars, just that Lubinksi is distributing them in Italy. And Kohlhase & Kopp distributes them in Germany.

Apparently, these cigars are 100% long-fillers, but for the price, we truly wonder. Maybe we should cut one open to see. The cigars feature an Ecuadorian wrapper with a Nicaraguan binder. The majority of the filler is Dominican with some Brazilian. What is known is that the cigar hails from the rolling tables of Tabacalera de Garcia. That factory is part of Altadis and it is the largest premium cigar factory on the island. The cigar measures 5×50 but come in several more sizes.

The Colorado-colored wrapper is a bit rough and the triple cap isn’t smooth-looking either. The bright red ring with the white letters is simple, which fits the bundle look of the cigar. The cigar feels a little spongy, slightly under-packed. But evenly spongy, there aren’t any soft or hard spots. The aroma is quite strong and pleasant. It is a barnyard aroma but it has some depth to it.

The cold draw is easy. The flavor from the cold draw is spicy and even a little harsh. Sour milk. Not as horrible as it sounds, but the first puffs have a slightly sour milk taste to them. To offset that flavor, there is pleasant cinnamon. And that makes this cigar Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. The mouthfeel is dry and sticky. The flavors slowly evolve to cedar, with pepper and sweetness. And the flavor profile confirms our suspicion that the wrapper is Ecuadorian Connecticut. That classic old book, old library musty and dusty flavor is unmistakably there. The sour milk flavor never goes away. It is lingering in the back and pops up every once in a while. The nice mix of dark spices and pepper counter the flavor, but still, it does not make smoking this cigar a fantastic experience. Then all of a sudden a very dry, old leather flavor shows up. It then turns to hay, grass, with some pepper. There is a little rough edge, but not enough to call the cigar harsh. The sour milk is gone though, and that’s a good thing. The remainder of the cigar gives cedar, spice, pepper, and that Connecticut Shade signature mustiness.

The draw is decent, it could have a little more air resistance. There is enough smoke coming from this cigar. The smoke is gray, not white or blueish as we like it. The ash is silver-gray and reasonably firm. The burn is good. The cigar is medium, both in the body as in flavor. This is a typical “you get what you pay” for cigar. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Quality over quantity. I rather pay three times the amount and smoke something I enjoy, than pay €2.70 for 3 of these so I could smoke more often.

Categories: 79, Casa de Garcia, Dominican cigars, Mustique | Tags: , , ,

San Jeronimo Habano Natural Robusto

San Jeronimo Habano Natural Robusto. A cigar distributed by Kafie Cigars, yet it’s not produced at Tabacalera Kafie y Cia. San Jerónimo is the oldest brand in existence in Honduras. It gets its name from a tobacco-producing region. According to the owner, Oscar Orlando Ferrera, the brand is around since the 1940s.

The San Jeronimo Habano Natural Robusto is a classic Robusto. That means 5×50. The filler tobaccos are from Nicaragua and Honduras. The binder is Honduran while the wrapper comes from Ecuador. The other two blends of San Jeronimo are a Connecticut and a Maduro. The artwork on all three cigars is the same, except for a different color foot ring.

The cigar feels a bit light. But that should not be an issue. The wrapper is decent, with some sparkles of minerals. It’s slightly oily and has a few veins. It’s Colorado colored. The construction feels good. As for the ring, what goes for the San Jeronimo Maduro goes for the San Jeronimo Habano as well, as the rings are identical. The golden outlines are too thick and don’t fit with the picture of the tobacco fields. The color scheme is off. And the picture is too detailed to be printed on a small ring to look good. The aroma is strong, very strong, and surprising. It’s all milk chocolate.

The milk chocolate is mildly present in the cold draw, but spicy straw is more prominent. The cold draw gives a good air resistance though. But once the cigar is lit, the milk chocolate is clearly noticeable again. There are a slight acidity and dry yet soft young wood. Then all of a sudden there is a toffee flavor, extremely unusual but quite nice. There is also a little spice. The sweetness is getting stronger and slightly creamy. Halfway the cigar is sweet, yet tangy. Like a sweet and sour Asian dish, but without the carbs from the rice. The balance is there, with a little spice. In the final third, the cigar has wood, leather, earthiness but with plenty of sweetness as well. A little rough around the edges, but that adds character. There are also dark spices in the flavor profile

The draw is great. The pepper and salt colored ash isn’t very firm. But the burn is great, and so is the smoke. This cigar has balance, it’s quite smooth but there is also a rough edge that gives it character. It is medium in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, San Jeronimo, Tabacalera Kafie y Cia | Tags: , , , ,

Tobacco Lords Signature Wide Robusto

Tobacco Lords Signature Wide Robusto. It’s the third release of the Tobacco Lords series. And the fourth blend, as the original release, is available as a Connecticut Shade and a Maduro version. The Connecticut Shade Cunninghame and the Maduro Speirs are reviewed by Ministry of Cigars as well. Just as the limited edition 145th Anniversary blend that was released last year. The Tobacco Lords is a private label for the British liquor and tobacco retail store Robert Graham 1874.

For the single-sized Tobacco Lords Signature, extra-aged tobacco is used. The filler consists of Nicaraguan tobacco. Then there is a Dominican binder and a Mexican wrapper from San Andres. The cigar comes in a 5×52 robusto size. It’s made at Joya de Nicaragua, just as the Tobacco Lords Maduro and Connecticut lines.

The cigar looks great. A Colorado Maduro colored wrapper from San Andres, Mexico. Smooth, velvet in touch, and oily. A beautiful black and golden ring, with a small ring to protect the foot as well. All in the same style. Beautiful to look at. Well rounded head with a triple cap. The cigar feels good to the touch. It has a strong musky aroma with dried wood.

The cold draw is a bit tight. But the flavors are strong, spicy peppery sultanas. Once lit, the cigar has some citrus, some sweetness, some mild leather. The sweetness gets stronger, with wood and floral flavors as support. Then there is some spice, wood, earthiness with the flavors mentioned before. All mellow and well balanced. The cigar slowly gains more strength. The second third starts with a little spice, coffee, a faint chocolate flavor, and leather. The mouthfeel is a bit dry. The chocolate becomes more predominant. It is slightly creamy. And a little bit of white pepper shows up too. The final third has a strong wood flavor, but balanced and well rounded.

The draw is good but on the tight side of good. The ash is almost completely white. It’s dense and firm. The burn is straight. The cigar produces a good amount of thick white smoke. The cigar is subtle and complex. Medium in body and strength. The extra aged tobacco really makes a difference. The flavors are well rounded and not harsh at all. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

Categories: 91, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars, Tobacco Lords | Tags: , , , ,

H. Upmann Royal Robusto

H. Upmann Royal Robusto. A cigar that was first born in 2011 and exclusively available at the La Casa del Habano franchise stores all around the world. It’s a staple since and has a good reputation within the world of Habano lovers. And it was about time that review another H. Upmann cigar, this Royal Robusto seems a good choice.

Like all Habanos, this is a cigar entirely made of Cuban tobacco. A puro, with wrapper, binder, and filler from the beautiful Caribbean island. It measures 5⅜x52 and that makes it an Edmundo. In Cuba, cigars have a factory name and an “outside” name. For the outside world, this is a Robusto, yet in the factories, it’s an Edmundo. A size that is best known for the Montecristo.

The wrapper is wrinkled like an old lady. Or your fingertips after spending too much time in a bathtub. But it has some shine to it from the oil. Even though the red of the secondary ring isn’t exactly the same as the red in the classic H. Upmann logo, the rings don’t clash. The construction of the cigar feels good. The aroma is mild floral.

The cold draw is good and has a b.t of a floral flavor. Lit the cigar releases sweetness with floral flavors and creamy coffee. There is a little salty undertone as well. The sweetness turns to vanilla. But there is also a little bit of pepper. After a third, some nutty flavor is the most dominant. There is also cedar, floral notes, and sweetness. Close to the final third, sweetness and cedar grow in strength.

The draw is fantastic. The burn is good and the cigar releases a nice amount of smoke. The ash is quite dark but relatively firm. The cigar is well constructed. The flavors are balanced, well rounded, and smooth. This is probably a cigar with a few years of age on it. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. The smoke time is two hours and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , ,

Cimarron Connecticut Robusto

Cimarron Connecticut Robusto. In 2018, Tabacalera El Artista released the Cimarron. And not just in one blend, but in three. Once with a Connecticut Shade wrapper, one with a Maduro wrapper. And a third one, with a Habano wrapper exclusively for Germany. Recently, a soft box-pressed toro was launched as a Dominican exclusive. Ram Rodriguez, the third generation to work at Tabacalera El Artista, was heavily involved in the blending process. And as he is not a fan of Connecticut Shade tobacco, blending the Connecticut version was hard to do. In a Zoom conversation, Rodriguez said he feels like he succeeded. And that the Cimarron is a Connecticut Shade blend that is suitable for the smokers that don’t like Connecticut Shade wrappers. That includes me, I dislike Connecticut Shade with a passion.

Tabacalera El Artista is around since 1965, but most of the time, they have been on the background. Going and trading tobacco, making private labels, and no-name bundle cigars. But the last few years, Tabacalera El Artista is coming in strong with great blends under their own brands. And as tobacco growers, they are innovators. The filler of the Cimarron uses T13 tobacco, a hybrid. Created by Tabacalera El Artista. The company is also responsible for bringing back Negrito, an old tobacco variety. It was very popular in the mid-1900s but lost popularity. Ram Rodriguez brought it back as a tribute to his grandfather. Tabacalera El Artista uses Dominican Negrito in many of its blends. The wrapper on this 5×54 Robusto comes from Honduras, which is different from Ecuadorian or American Connecticut Shade.

The wrapper is quite dark for a Connecticut Shade. It has a thin, long, vein on the side. The classic looking ring is clean and clear. White, green, and gold are a color combination that works well. The cigar has a beautiful triple cap and feels well constructed. The aroma is medium strong, the aroma is that of a freshly cut down apple tree mixed with straw.

The cold draw is fine with a mild wooden flavor. Once lit, the cigar has a spice, oak, sweetness, but also a little bit of that old book Connecticut flavor. The cigar does have some bitterness that is classic Connecticut Shade as well, but all the while it’s creamy too. There are pepper, cedar, and leather. The sweetness is almost marzipan like. Halfway the first third, there is a slightly nutty flavor as well. After a third, the cigar is woody with nuts, some sweetness, soil, and leather. Halfway, the nuttiness of the flavors is enough to fool the smoker into thinking it’s a Corojo wrapper. There is no sign of the classic Connecticut profile, just a nice and spicy nuttiness that fits more into a Corojo profile. The final third is a beautiful mix of different woods, soil, leather, and nuts. The pepper is still there but balanced and on the background. The finale is peppery and strong.

The draw is fine while the smoke is thick and nice. The burn is straight. The grayish ash is firm. The cigar is medium in both body and flavor. There is a nice evolution in the cigar. All along with the cigar, there is a little roughness that gives the mildness some edge. Without that roughness, the cigar would be boring. The smoke time is three hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s one of the few Connecticut’s I enjoyed.

Categories: 90, Cimarron, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera El Artista | Tags: , , , ,

My Father Fonseca Robusto

My Father Fonseca Robusto. A Nicaraguan Fonseca, only available in the United States and possibly the Dominican Republic. Because the trademark that My Father Cigars acquired from Quesada Cigars in December of last year is only valid there. Cubatabaco owns the trademark for the Fonseca brand in the rest of the world. And now the new cigar is released. It’s highly anticipated, as My Father Cigars has been making fantastic cigars for years. The company won the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 list twice in the last decade. Not many companies can say that.

The new blend is all Nicaraguan. And all the tobacco comes from the farms of the Garcia family. The wrapper is a shade-grown Corojo ’99 Rosado variety. For this review, I smoked the 5¼x52 Robusto. Other sizes available are a 5½x54 Belicoso, 5⅜x42 Cosacos, 4¼x40 Petit Corona, 6×55 Toro Gordo, and a 6¼x52 Cedros. The last one is wrapped in cedar. The Cosacos come with the iconic Fonseca wax paper. The brand is 130 years old, but since the Cuban revolution, there are two versions. One Cuban, owned by Cubatobaco for the international markets. And one new world version for the American market. Fun fact is that Don Francisco Fonseca, the founder of the brand, moved to New York and became an American citizen in the early 1900s while still operating the factory in Cuba.

The cigar looks great. The ring is fantastic. The designers managed to merge the iconic Fonseca logo and the style that My Father Cigar uses perfectly. It is detailed, beautiful, and printed on high quality. It’s immediately recognizable as both a My Father Cigars product and Fonseca. The wrapper is smooth and oily. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is surprisingly floral with hints of wood.

The cold draw is very good. Mild spicy with wood. Once lit, the cigar gives coffee, spice, wood, and soil. With a little bit of citrus acidity and sugary sweetness. There are some cinnamon and nutmeg in the retrohale. Soon the Corojo wrapper starts to release the signature nut flavor, with wood, pepper, and leather. There is still a little sweetness that balances everything out. After a third, the spice mix is almost like gingerbread. With wood, leather, and a little bit of nuttiness. The cigar has a nice spice sweetness undertone all along. Not sugary sweetness, but more the sweetness you get with cinnamon rolls, without tasting like a cinnamon roll. Halfway the cigar gets a little darker flavor profile, with more oak. The pepper slowly grows to that classic, strong pepper that made the Don Pepin Garcia cigars so popular and famous. The final third is more wood, even with some barbecue flavor, and pepper. Making it a great cigar to smoke during or after a barbecue.

The draw is fantastic. The cigar produces a lot of smoke. Thick, white smoke. The ash is light-colored and dense. The burn is straight and slow. The cigar is very balanced, smooth yet with plenty of character. The cigar starts out medium but slowly grows to full-bodied. It’s full-flavored. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want boxes, boxes, and boxes.

Categories: 94, Fonseca, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Umnum Honduras Robusto

Umnum Honduras Robusto. A strange name for a cigar that’s gaining traction in Europe. Handmade cigars, from Nicaragua or Honduras depending on the blend. And dirt cheap. This robusto has a price tag of €2,30 in Germany, making it one of the cheapest handmade cigars on the market. Where the name Umnum comes from, we have no idea. Google didn’t tell us anything. The only umnum we found is a tiny village in the West Papua province of Indonesia. But that region is too cold to grow tobacco, and only the Nicaragua blend uses some Indonesian tobacco.

There are two blends. The first one is a Nicaraguan puro. I reviewed the Umnum Nicaragua Bond some time ago. The second blend is the Umnum Honduras. It’s made at an undisclosed factory in Honduras. The wrapper is Honduran with a Mexican binder. The filler tobaccos are from Nicaragua and Honduras. The robusto measures 5×50 but there are several other sizes available. From a Petit Corona called Bond to a 4¾x60 Jumbo and a few more in between.

The cigar doesn’t look like a cheap cigar. The ring is beautiful. Matte Black with a shiny copper-colored logo of a traditional image, probably Mayan. The wrapper itself is Colorado colored and has the looks of Corojo. Dryish, with the feel of fine sandpaper. The veins are thin. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is medium strong. It has forests smell with a hint of something like old urine. It’s not the most pleasant aroma we ever experienced, but also not the worst.

The cold draw is fine but has that dried dusty flavor of Connecticut Shade. Once lit there is a strong coffee flavor, slightly acidic. The flavor is a little rough around the edges. The coffee and acidity remain, but now with some sweetness, dried leaves, and musty wood. At the end of the first third, the cigar has a very unpleasant flavor. The sour flavor is ruining everything else. The second third is musty, dried leaves, and a little harsh. The acidity is still there but at a tolerable level. There is a bit of a burned wood and nuts flavor as well. The final third starts with peanuts. The acidity is completely gone. There is a bit more sweetness. The cigar completely changes from bad to great. A nice, balanced combination of black pepper, sweetness, leather, wood, coffee, and nuts. 

The construction is great. The draw, the burn, and the smoke are of high quality. Straight burn, although we had to correct it once, halfway. Thick, white smoke. Good draw. White ash. The flavors are medium to full. But not well rounded, too acidic. But the last third is a game-changer. It’s day and night. The smoke time is three hours fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Based on the first and second third, no. Based on the final third, yes.

Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, Umnum | Tags: , , , ,

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