Posts Tagged With: robusto

Rocky Patel Tavicusa Robusto

I visited Nicaragua twice, two years in a row. Once with a friend, just visiting cigar factories to see how the process takes place and to learn about tobacco growing, drying, fermenting and rolling cigars. In a week time, we learned a lot, yet we only scratched the surface. And we only got to see a few factories, Oliva, Drew Estate, Joya de Nicaragua and My Father Cigars.

A year later, I went with a journalist, photographer and cigar distributor to write a book. And we visited the mentioned factories plus La Zona, Padron, A.J. Fernandez and Rocky Patel’s Tabacalera Villa Cuba SA aka Tavicusa. And that’s where this cigar is blended, rolled and named after to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the small factory in Esteli.

The moment I saw the cigar, I knew it was a Rocky Patel. The label and typography gave that away immediately. The white with blue and gold ring has the TAVICUSA name in Roman style letters, the secondary ring is blue with white and gold and has the RP logo. The wrapper is dark, with a few veins, leathery. The triple cap looks great and the cigar feels well packed. The aroma is strong, barnyard, stable, that kind of work.

I used a butterfly cutter to cut the cigar.

The cold draw has a strong milk chocolate flavor with raisin and dry tobacco. After lighting, I taste that chocolate with some earthy flavors. I taste a mild peanut flavor too with some pepper. It’s actually more peanut butter than peanut, sticky and creamy. Then the cigar turns to a mildly sweet, more vegetal flavor profile with a bit of leather. After an inch, I taste dry leather, some nutmeg, and a metallic sweetness with some mild pepper. The sweetness gains some strength, just as the pepper, and that peanut butter returns for a short few puffs. After a third, I taste some nuttiness too. Halfway its pepper and sweetness, with some mild nuts and leather. Some herbal flavors show up too. I also taste some oak. The pepper is strong in the final third, very strong, with a little sweetness to go with it and some wood.

The ash is white, relatively firm. The smoke is decent, could be a bit thicker though. The burn is great and the draw is flawless. This cigar, with a smoke time of two hours and thirty minutes, is full bodied and full flavored

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

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Categories: 92, Rocky Patel, Tavicusa | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

El Piño Blanco Corojo Robusto

Last year, Dutch tobacconist Mariska Kelch from Tabakado in Eindhoven, started her own brand. The brand is called El Piño Blanco and is made in Nicaragua. The brand is created in a collaboration with David Blanco from Blanco Cigars. Plasencia, related to Blanco by blood, is responsible for producing the cigars. They come in two lines, Maduro and Corojo.


I smoked this €5,50 robusto in the Maduro version and that was a nice, enjoyable budget cigar. I had the Corojo version too, so I wanted to see if that was just as nice of a budget cigar. Both lines come in three sizes, I do have the other vitolas but I’m not sure if I will smoke these or hand them out to other reviewers to give Mariska and the brand more airplay.

The wrapper looks nice, not too oily but certainly not dry. A single cap, with some pimples. A simple yet clean cigar ring, good quality print. I can see a few thin veins on the cigar, all rolled flat to give the cigar a nice, smooth look. The construction feels good. The aroma of the cigar is darker than expected, it’s a deep barnyard, swamp and forest smell.

The cold draw is good and has a spicy, raw tobacco flavor. Right from the get-go, I taste espresso with pepper and sugar. Cane sugar to be precise. After a few puffs, I also taste cedar and mushrooms. After half a centimeter I taste a musty flavor, with mushrooms. The sweetness and the coffee disappeared. The spice is still there though. The worst mustiness disappears, yet the flavor lingers around on the background. I now taste some saltiness with cedar and green herbs. After a third, I taste a dry cedar with some mild pepper and low-grade milk chocolate. The mustiness and mushrooms are getting stronger again. In the final third, cedar and sweetness return. The sweetness becomes the main flavor, with grass and green, spicy herbs as support. The pepper is growing in strength in the last inch as well.

Blna
The ash is white, strong and firm. The smoke is decent, quite full and thick. The burn is pretty straight. Evolution is decent. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is one hour and forty minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I would not, I stick to the Maduro

number87

Categories: 87, El Piño Blanco, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

El Piño Blanco Maduro Robusto

This cigar is only available in The Netherlands, and as far as I know, only in one shop: Tabakado in the city of Eindhoven. And that’s because the cigar is blended by the owner of the shop, Mariska Kelch. I have known Mariska for years, when I started visiting the shop as a sales rep, her father was in charge but he was grooming Mariska to be the chief of the shop and she’s doing great. I saw her progress from just a daughter and employee to a shot caller and I am amazed by her progress.

When the duo met David Blanco, they started talking about creating their own cigar. That resulted in the El Piño Blanco line. Unfortunately, Johan Kelch was not around to see the final product as he suddenly and tragically passed away three years ago, but I know he would be very pleased and very proud of Mariska’s achievements. And while smoking this cigar, I had to think of Johan a lot. He was one of my best accounts, one with a manual though and our conversations always had the same pattern, first Johan would complain about something, then we would have a hard but fair argument before we would do business. Good business, and even though the discussions were hard and heated, we had the utmost respect for each other and liked each other a lot. Johan was also the first retailer to call me and wish me luck on my future path after me and my employer parted ways. I hate that I will never get another chance to smoke a cigar with him.

The cigar looks very nice, the shape is perfect with a well-rounded head, triple cap. I have a feeling that the wrapper is cooked through, in a slurry of tobacco, to make it look darker. When I wet my finger and rub the cigar, my fingers will taint and you can see a lighter shade under dark spots. Now that doesn’t have to mean anything and could be just for aesthetic reasons. And honestly, the cigar looks great. The simple black, green and white ring is clean, the brand name is clear, the tobacco leaf on the ring looks nice. The cigar has a nice touch, I can’t feel any plugs. The smell is medium strong, sawdust and a little bit of manure are what I smell.

The cold draw tastes like raisin, the draw is good though. Right at the get-go, I taste coffee but also a chewy flavor, like portobello mushroom with some leather. After half a centimeter I still taste the mushroom with the leather and some very mild milk chocolate. After a centimeter, I taste hay, dried grass with a bit of American milk chocolate. After a third, the cigar still has the hay with American milk chocolate flavor, but now with some herbs and pepper. When I say American milk chocolate, think Hersey. That’s different than European milk chocolate, a little more chemical. Halfway the cigar gets woody, cedar, with the chewy flavor again and some pepper. In the final third the flavors aren’t muted anymore. I taste wood, milk chocolate, a mild pepper, some herbal flavor. The pepper is getting stronger, now it’s a full-blown Nicaraguan cigar.

The smoke is thick and white. The draw is great. The white ash is beautiful. I had to relight the cigar once, but the burn is sharp. The cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored. This is a nice budget cigar that would is great to have around for the days where you smoke more than one cigar and don’t want to break the bank. This is a medium bodied, medium-full flavored cigar with a strong finish. The smoke time is about two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a good budget cigar, always nice to have a bundle in the humidor

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Categories: 89, El Piño Blanco, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , ,

Room 101 Conjura Edicion Robusto

Conspiracies and cigars, it turns out that it’s not only Dion Giolito from Illusione that mixes those two together, but in the 2010 limited edition Room 101 Camacho and Matt Booth did that too. The cigars were made at Camacho before the Eiroa family sold it to Davidoff for an insane amount of money (well done Eiroa family!) and were a limited release. And the conspiracy this cigar is referring to is the story about the poisoned cigar that the CIA wanted to give to Fidel Castro.


Now I hope that this multi country blend, with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, an Honduran binder and a Rosado wrapper from an undisclosed country isn’t poisoned, that would mean this would be my last review and there is still so much to write about. So I hope that the 9 years of aging made the poison very ineffective so I can live another day.


The box pressed robusto looks good, nice shape, nice triple cap, good construction. The wrapper doesn’t have the rosado glow though, its just medium brown with a little tooth. The rings are beautiful, the top ring is black and silver with LTD in very curly letters in sliver, conjure edition in white. The secondary ring is silver and black, silver background and a lot of writing in black. Room 101, La Familia, Ciento-Uno, Limitada, Specially blended by Camacho Cigars. The cigar has a nice spicy and herbal aroma, like a vegetable stock cube.


After cutting the cigar I get a great cold draw with a sultana flavor. After lighting I taste a mild dark coffee flavor with a little saltiness. The flavors are quite dry and after a short while I taste wood. After a third I taste a pleasant yet unusual mixture of licorice, peanuts and herbal freshness. Halfway I taste some pepper with a mild musty wood. The musty flavor goes away, I’m stuck with dry wood with some herbs.


The draw is great. The smoke is white, quite thick and a decent volume. The burn is straight. The ash, a bit flaky, is almost white. The cigar is medium full bodied and flavor. The smoke time is almost two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a nice and unique cigar but not exactly up my alley.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Honduran cigars, Rancho Jamastran, Room 101 | Tags: , , , ,

Anoranzas Robusto

I had to google this cigar and learned that the line was released in 2012 by Miami Cigar & Co, that part I knew as Barry Stein from the Cigar Authority used to work for Miami Cigar & Co and gave me a shirt of the brand once when I visited him in Florida. But since the Miami Cigar & Co website doesn’t mention the brand anymore I think they are discontinued.


What I learned was that this line, who’s name is something like nostalgia in Spanish, is a tweaked version of the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2011. The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro, made at My Father Cigars, from all Nicaraguan tobacco, including a double binder and a Habano Oscuro wrapper. I don’t know how I got this cigar and how old it is, but it’s a few years old a least.


The box pressed cigar has a dark chocolate wrapper, slightly oily and I have to look closely to see the seems. The ring is bold, white with gold and some green at the bottom, simple classic decorations and the name written in golden letters and a hint of green. The cigar is slightly box pressed with a flattened head. The construction feels good. I smell a medium strong toasted aroma with some barnyard.


After cutting the cigar I find a perfect cold draw. I taste some spices. After lighting I taste coffee with some mint and nutmeg with a velvet and creamy feeling in my mouth. The nutmeg, some citrus and pepper replace the coffee, the minty flavor only exists in the aftertaste now. The pepper slowly grows. There is also a sugar sweetness. Halfway I taste cocoa too, with some wood and a mild pepper. In the final third the nutmeg is back with some cinnamon. The finale has the cocoa with pepper.


The draw is fantastic. The color of the smoke is light gray, medium full in volume, medium in thickness. The ash is gray with a yellow brown touch. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full bodied. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I could find them

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, Anoranzas, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Debonaire Habano Robusto

I had heard about Debonaire, yet I had never smoked one. I had smoked Indian Motorcycle cigars though, which are also owned by Phil Zanghi and made at the De Los Reyes factory. And that factory is growing on me with Puros de Hostos, Saga, and Indian Motorcycle, so I had high expectations from this Debonaire Habano.

 


The cigar was recommended to me by several people, people whose opinion matter to me in the cigar industry. People like Mariska from Tabakado for example, who had been trying to get Debonaire distributed in The Netherlands for a while, calling all distributors before one finally decided to pick up the brand and making both Indian Motorcycles and Debonaire available on the Dutch market.

 


The cigar has a nice Colorado colored wrapper that looks a bit rough on the cap though. The ring is big, gold and brown, with white letters. The print quality is high and it gives the cigar a luxurious look. The aroma, barnyard, and swamp, isn’t too strong. Construction wise, the cigar feels a bit hard.

 


The cold draw is a bit on the tight side, yet acceptable, quite spicy with raw tobacco and pepper. After lighting, I taste toast and leather, with a hint of cinnamon. After a few puffs, I taste wood, leather, and grass. After a centimeter, I taste a grassy and woody metallic flavor with a creamy mouthfeel. After a third, I taste a grassy and hay with nutmeg mixture. Halfway I taste toast with cinnamon again. Then the cigar turns to cedar, spice and red chili pepper. The final third its all about pepper and cinnamon, on full blast. Near the end, I also taste hazelnuts.

 


The draw is great. The ash is white and firm, yet the burn I had to correct. The smoke is good. The flavors, medium strength, are mellow and very suitable for Cuban cigar aficionados. The strength is medium too. The smoke time is two hours twenty minutes

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Would I buy this cigar again? No, I won’t. It’s a good cigar, just not for me. I would, however, suggest people to give it a try unless you are into strong, full-flavored, bold, cigars.

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Categories: 89, De Los Reyes, Debonaire, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Torano Vault Blend A-008 Robusto

The story goes that the Toraño Family kept a journal of all the blends they toyed with since 1982, even the ones that didn’t make it, and that the journal was kept in a vault. And that in the late zeroes Charlie Toraño was playing around with the old blends his father experimented with, found one he liked but couldn’t get one of the ingredients and fixed that with a second binder from the vulcanic island of Ometepe.


To me that sounds like an amazing marketingstory, straight out of the mind of a marketeer, but of course I can’t prove it. I knew Toraño was having it difficult, so a good story could help. In the end it didn’t and the company got sold to STG/General Cigars. But this blend got released in 2011, before STG swooped Toraño up. The blend consists of a Colorado wrapper from Nicaragua, two binders, one from Ometepe and the other from Jamastran in Honduras. The filler comes from Esteli and Condega in Nicaragua.


The 5×52 cigar comes in a dark, almost black, wrapper which has a bit of a sandpaper touch to it. The foot ring is silver with thin black letters saying Blend A-008 while the main ring is black and silver, with the Toraño logo and name in silver on the black background and VAULT written in black on the silver background. The construction feels good the shape looks good, the cap is good. The cigar has a strong aroma, like tar on an old shed in a sunny day mixed with hay and cows.


After cutting the cigar I taste a strong oak with pepper with a perfect cold draw. And after lighting I taste a strong espresso with some cane sugar. After a centimeter the sugar is gone, I taste some coffee, not as strong as before. I also taste a hint of nutmeg. After a third I taste some sort of sweetness that I can’t explain. It’s not honey, it’s not sugar but it’s nice. The other flavor is wood. Halfway the sweetness disappears and all I taste is a meaty wood. The flavors slowly change into coffee again towards the end.


The draw is just perfect, yet the black and white as is a bit coarse. The smoke is thick but not exactly white, there is some brownish glow in the smoke. The cigar is medium bodied and flavored with a good burn. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I don’t know if these cigars are still made, since Toraño is now part of STG, but I wouldn’t mind another fiver.

Score: 90

number90

Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Torano | Tags: , , , ,

Indian Motorcycle Maduro Robusto

Indian Motorcycle cigars, weren’t they around during the cigar boom? Indeed, but under the name Indian Tobac but with the same guy behind the wheel, Philip Zanghi, who’s father was once the owner of the Indian Motorcycle Company. Philip brought Rocky Patel in as partner, Rocky bought Philip out and renamed the brand to Rocky Patel Premium Cigars when the time and quality was there, the Indian name disappeared from the cigar scene.

 


Until about 3 years ago, Philip Zanghi has his own factory, De Los Reyes, now on the Dominican Republic and makes several brands like Debonaire and this new Indian Motorcycle cigars in Habano and Maduro. I reviewed the Habano, now its time to smoke the maduro. Made with a multi blend filler from both Nicaragua and the Dominican, a Dominican binder and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

 


The wrapper is dark, leathery and toothy, but it matches well with the Americana ring. Beige and black, with the Indian logo on a red metallic background. I like the red in the ring, it gives it an extra luxurious feel. The cigar feels good, the cap and shape are good. The cigar smells like grass after a rain pour, fresh and pleasant.

 


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is good with a dry wood flavor and a hint of chocolate. After lighting I taste coffee with a little cocoa. After half an inch I taste more of a dry leafy and hay, still with a bittersweet cocoa though. Halfway the cocoa flavored is getting stronger but I also taste a little pepper. The pepper disappears again, I’m back to the wood with the cocoa.

 


The draw is great, the ash is white as can be. The smoke is medium thick, medium full and white. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a pleasant cigar.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Indian Motorcycles | Tags: , , ,

Mbombay Habano Robusto

A Dutch friend of mine was raving about Mbombay for a while, a brand that back then, and we’re talking about 4 years ago, never ever heard of. He gave me two to try, I smoked one, which I liked, and kept the other to write a review. But since I have so many cigars, the review had to wait for a while.


The cigars are made in Costa Rica with a blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan and Dominican filler, a Dominican binder and a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The owner of the brand is a shop owner in Palm Springs, California, Mel Shah, who decided to open a cigar shop after his career in IT. Now he is a brand owner too, with distribution all over the USA.


The wrapper looks amazing, dark, smooth and oily as far as I can see. And that’s not far because the cigar has a ring that covers most of the cigars. It is a very detailed ring with all Indian symbols and figures I guess. The construction feels good and I love the closed foot. The cigar has a mild manure aroma.


After I cut the cigar I notice a tight cold draw but then I remember the closed foot. I taste raw tobacco with a mild minty flavor. After lighting I taste white ground pepper and soil. Medium in strength. After a few puffs I taste some sweetness with the white pepper and cedar, clean clear cedar. The pepper disappears quickly. After a third I taste more agave syrup like sweetness. Halfway it’s cedar with sweetness and just a little spice. At the end I taste a little nuts too.


The smoke is white and quite thick. The draw is great after the foot opens. The white ash is firm. The burn needed some help, but I blame the ventilator in the back of the room for that. The evolution is subtle, the cigar is medium bodied, medium plus flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Costa Rican cigars, Mbombay, Tabaccos de Costa Rica | Tags: , , ,

Rocky Patel ALR robusto

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

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

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

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

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

Would I smoke this cigar again? Without a doubt.

number91

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

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