Posts Tagged With: San Andres

RoMa Craft Neanderthal SGP

RoMa Craft Neanderthal SGP. This cigar was originally released as an annual limited edition for Riverside Cigar Shop and Lounge of Jeffersonville, Ind. and Serious Cigars of Houston, Texas. But the cigar is now available at more retailers. The first time the cigar was seen was at the IPCPR trade show in 2014. The Neanderthal was a new release that year with one regular production size and this size limited to two stores and a total production of 250 boxes a year. The line has grown to more sizes since then.

This 4¼x52 vitola is made with tobacco from four different countries. The outside is a Mexican wrapper from San Andres. Underneath is an American grown Connecticut Broadleaf binder. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and The United States. Pennsylvania to be more precise. And it is a double Ligero, which is dubbed Green River Sucker One. It contains two to three times more nicotine than Ligero grown in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The cigar looks great. The head is flat as a dime, which is a unique feature for RoMa Craft. As far as we can recall, this is the only company that flattens the head like this. The wrapper is dark, oily, and smooth. The ring doesn’t have letters but the neanderthal name is embossed. The only thing printed on the label is a small RoMa Craft logo. The construction feels perfect. The cigar has a strong aroma. Charred wood, barnyard, and spices.

The cold draw is fantastic. Mild spicy, with great air resistance. Straight from the start, the power flexes its muscles. Coffee, leather, earthiness, pepper, and spice. Or, as Skip Martin would say “well-fermented tobacco”. Slowly more flavors develop. Sweetness, with smokey hickory flavors, almost like a barbecue. With pepper, earthiness, coffee, and leather. Leather, hickory, spices, and pepper remain the main flavors. The flavors turn more to leather and wood with pepper around the halfway point. With a dry mouthfeel. The flavors don’t really change after that. But it’s still a darn tasty cigar.

The draw is great, just like the burn. The cigar produces a lot of smoke, thick, white smoke. The pepper and salt colored ash is reasonably firm. The cigar is strong. It is full-bodied without a doubt. But still balanced. The flavors are full as well. The smoking time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes.

Categories: 92, Nica Sueno, Nicaraguan cigars, RomaCraft | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

JFR Lunatic Loco Maduro El Loquito

JFR Lunatic Loco Maduro El Loquito. This is the latest addition to the JFR brand. The brand exists since 2005 when Aganorsa Leaf released the line for brick & mortar stores. JFR stands for Just For Retailers. In 2014, a new JFR line emerged, the JFR Lunatic. And last year, Aragorsa expanded the JFR brand with the Lunatic Loco. In different blends, including Habano and Maduro. And all three sizes are perfectos. El Loquito measures 4¾x60, El Loco is 4¾x70. El Gran Loco is a crazy 5½x80 Perfecto.

The JFR Lunatic Loco Maduro is made with tobaccos from Aganorsa Leaf as the filler and the binder. Aganorsa grows tobacco in Nicaragua. The wrapper is Maduro from San Andres in Mexico. The El Loquito is the smallest of the three cigars and the size is similar to Drew Estate Flying Pigs. The El Loquito even includes a pigtail.

The cigar looks good. An evenly dark Maduro wrapper. It is not very oily but the color of the wrapper works with the ring. The ring is dark blue, almost black, with silver details. And that silver really pops, making the design stand out. The construction feels good. A pigtail is always a plus when it comes to aesthetics. The aroma is very mild, wood, and manure.

The cold draw is fantastic. It has a strong raisin aroma with some white pepper. After lighting the cigar has a thick creamy dark chocolate flavor with some earthiness and a hint of leather. The leather slowly gets the center stage, but the dark chocolate isn’t far behind. The creaminess disappears and the mouthfeel turns dry. In the first third, the flavors remain leather, wood, dark chocolate but then some black pepper and nutty flavors show up. There is also some sweetness. Halfway the dark chocolate disappears and makes place for hay. But the oak, earthiness, and leather are the dominant flavors. In the final third, the dark chocolate returns as a supporting flavor.

The draw is great. The smoke could be a bit thicker, which would score higher. The burn is slow and straight. The salt and pepper colored ash is quite firm. This is a full-bodied cigar. The flavors are medium-full as well. Balanced, yet due to the thick ring gauge, the cigar isn’t dynamic. The smoke time is four hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I might.

Categories: 90, Casa Fernandez, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | 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: , , , ,

Tatuaje Fausto IT MM19

Tatuaje Fausto IT MM19. This is a release exclusively for Italy, in a limited production of 4000 cigars. And this is the second year in a row that Italy received an exclusive Tatuaje. The Fausto line saw the light in 2011, even though the blend was released as a store exclusive limited edition in 2009. Pete Johnson created the Tatuaje T110, a short robusto, for a shop in Hawaii. The T stands for thermonuclear and it was the strongest Tatuaje ever made. The cigar became such a hype that the limited edition turned into a regular production line with the Fausto name. But the T110 size never re-appeared with this blend.


The Fausto blend consists of Nicaraguan filler and binder. The regular production Fausto sports an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper but for both the Italian exclusive releases, Johnson went for a Mexican San Andres wrapper.

The cigar looks fantastic. A very dark Mexican San Andres wrapper with a nice triple cap. The red & black Tatuaje Fausto ring is the main ring. The secondary ring is a ring that Tatuaje uses for the Mexican Experiment and other limiteds. White with red and green. The two rings don’t match together, which is aesthetically not appealing. The Fausto IT MM19 feels well constructed. The aroma is strong, pepper with barnyard and charred wood.


The cold draw is good. Except for some pepper, the cold draw doesn’t have much flavor. With the reputation of Fausto, you’d expect a punch in the face but the cigar starts mellow. Smooth coffee, almost like a latte with a little bit of spice and pepper. After a few puffs, there is some citrus, leather, spice, toast, and pepper. The cigar then evolves with a little more sweetness and dried grass. Slowly the cigar transforms into a leathery, peppery cigar with some wood and spices. After a third, the cigar has a sweetness that is hard to describe, almost vegetal. There are pepper and leather as well. At this point, the strength of the cigar isn’t hidden anymore. It starts to live up the reputation. Halfway it’s pepper with wood and leather. And there is also a little chocolate in the background.


The draw is flawless. The light gray ash is dense and beautiful. The burn is straight. The Tatuaje Fausto isn’t a smoke bomb, but the cigar produces a nice amount of medium thick smoke. It’s a full-bodied cigar, but because of the balance, it doesn’t feel that strong in the first third. But then the power really picks up. This is a full-flavored cigar. The smoke time is two hours and forty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I could

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

Illusione Rothchildes

Illusione Rothchildes. Dion Giolito launched this cigar in early 2013. And it was one of the first Illusione projects coming from Nicaragua. Not the first, but it was the start of a massive shift from Honduran Illusione cigars to Nicaraguan Illusione cigars. And nowadays, most Illusiones are made at TABSA Tabacalera Valle de Jalapa SA. That’s the factory owned by Aranorsa Leaf. They are big tobacco growers and cigar manufacturers. Not only for their own brands, such as Casa Fernandez, but also for others including Illusione.


The Illusione Rothchildes comes in a 4½x50 size and is reasonably priced. It’s all Nicaraguan filler and binder. The wrapper is a dark, Mexican, San Andres Maduro wrapper. A few years ago, Illusione released a Connecticut Shade offspring in the same size. And also only available in cabinets of 50, just like the original.


The cigar looks good. Even though it was purchased less than a year ago, the cellophane is already golden. That shows the amount of oil in the wrapper. The wrapper is dark, toothy and kinda scary. Intimidating because of the darkness and the pimples. With a nice, simple, classic ring. The shape is good, yet the cap is sloppy. The aroma is strong. Wet soil, wood, and charcoal.


The cold draw is good. It has flavors of raw tobacco, sweetness, and spice. Straight from the start, strong yet sweet espresso. With toast, spices, and pepper. The sweetness is quite strong. After a few puffs, some leather and grass join the flavor wheel. The mouthfeel is slightly buttery. The pepper and sweetness become the predominant flavors. Then suddenly the pepper is gone. The cigar is sweet with leather, toast, and spices. Halfway, the cigar has a nice floral and mild chocolate flavor, balanced with some pepper and spices. Then wood shows up, with the spices. The floral flavor is a nice finish, and the pepper gives it a nice kick.


The draw is fantastic. The smoke is thick and amazing in volume. The ash is white, yet not to firm. This is a full-bodied, full-flavored cigar. The smoke time is one hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I’m thinking of a 50 cab box.

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Categories: 92, Illusione, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , ,

Kafie 1901 San Andres Toro

 

This is one of the four Kafie 1901 lines that are in existence right now. The other ones are the Kafie 1901 Sumatra, Connecticut, and Don Fernando Maduro. This cigar is blended with tobacco from five countries. The filler has tobacco from Brazil, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The binder comes from Honduras. The wrapper is Mexican San Andres. The line comes in several sizes but for this review, I smoked a 6×54 Toro.

 

Kafie Cigars is the dream of Dr. Gaby Kafie. He gave up his career as a medical professional to pursue his dream and passion of being a cigar maker. And a coffee producer. He now has his own brands, his own factory and with his business partner, he also has a box factory. And a cellophane producing plant, all in Honduras. The only thing lacking is a tobacco growing operation, but Gaby Kafie isn’t pursuing that at the moment. Recently he changed the name of the factory from Tabacalera Kafie y Cia to Tabacalera La Union

 

The dark wrapper does have some color differences. And the wrapper at the head seems a bit folded up. But the cigar still looks good, quite intimidating due to the dark wrapper. The wrapper itself isn’t oily, rather dry. The thin veins combined with the color make it look like a mean cigar. The red, almost burgundy, and silver ring is nice. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is medium strong, it is leathery with sawdust.

 

The cold draw is a bit easy with a raw tobacco and leather flavor. The first puffs are interesting. Spices like nutmeg, pepper but also coffee. And with a natural sweetness from the Mata Fina tobacco. After a while, leather, wood, and grassy flavors show up too. The flavors remain with the spices, pepper, and leather. Halfway it’s still cinnamon, nutmeg, leather but not also coffee, pepper, and some sweetness. In the final third, the cigar becomes more grassy with wood. The pepper is still there.

The draw is great. The smoke is thick and white. The burn needed to be corrected though. Just once, in the beginning. The cigar is medium-full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is two hours ten minutes

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, I would. Because it’s unique in flavor.

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Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, Kafie, Tabacalera La Union | Tags: , , , ,

Room 101 Series SA Robusto

Room 101, that is one of those brands that never really grabbed my attention. I know it is the brand of jewelry designer Matt Booth, who last year said goodbye to the cigar industry just to return a couple of months later in a collaboration with Robert Caldwell. Since the cigars never made it to Europe  I never got in on the Room 101 hype. I don’t know where and how I got this cigar.


The cigar is made in Honduras with a Mexican San Andres natural wrapper, a Honduran binder and filler from both Honduras and the Dominican Republic. If the information I read online is correct, than Christian Eiroa was involved in blending this cigar. I don’t know where the cigars were being rolled though, but I guess at the Camacho factory if Eiroa was involved indeed.


The wrapper is not as dark as you would expect from a San Andres wrapper, but this is not the usual San Andres maduro wrapper, its a natural wrapper. its leathery by look and by touch. The ring is something special, brown with brushed gold, just a face of an ancient Asian statue and the SA letters on the side. The cigar looks good and the head is perfectly rounded. The cigar has a strong smell of barnyard with sawdust.


After cutting the cigar I taste raisin and dry tobacco. The cold draw is fine. After lighting I taste cinnamon and allspice, quite strong. After a few puffs the flavors get smoother and I taste some honey. After a third it’s more a fresh cedar taste with just a little bit of cinnamon. The flavors are quite dry. Halfway I taste something sharp on the tip of my tongue but I can’t put my finger on the exact flavor. When the sharp flavor disappears I taste wood again, with honey, salt and a hint of cinnamon.


The draw is fine. The smoke is medium full in thickness, medium in volume and white of color. The ash is pepper and salt colored. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I was expecting more from this cigar.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Honduran cigars, Rancho Jamastran, Room 101 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Guayacan Maduro Robusto

In 2013 Noel Rojas, blender and owner of Guayacan and of the Tabacalera New Order of the Ages factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, showcased his Guayacan Maduro at the IPCPR trade show but the cigar never got released due to inconsistency in the tobacco. A year later, July 2014, he showcased it again in a slightly different blend with Nicaraguan tobacco and a Mexican San Andres wrapper and that cigar did hit the market. The cigar were made at the Tabacalera Aromas de Jalapa factory, owned by Rojas back then before he moved on to his new factory after leaving the distribution deal with House of Emilio too. I met Noel in person in Esteli in May 2015 and his cigars are available on the Dutch market because of my involvement. I reviewed the Guayacan Habano earlier this year and I also reviewed some private labels made by Noel Rojas for others like the Kilo made for Barry Stein and Jas Sum Kral made for Riste Riatevski.


Before I got Noel a distribution deal in The Netherlands with my then (and now previous) employer Noel send me a few boxes of cigars as a sampler, most of which I handed out to my employer and some of our regular customers to get their impression but of course I kept a few for myself and in hindsight I should have kept more. The cigar that I’m smoking is a 5×50 robusto that comes wrapped in cellophane. Once I get the cigar out of the cellophane I see a beautiful almost very dark wrapper with a very fine tooth and my mouth starts to water as my brain thinks of a chocolate bar. There are no big veins visible. The construction feels good and the cigar has a pretty triple cap. The ring is also a piece of art, the edge of the paper is printed in a bright and beautiful gold, there is a black backdrop with a golden crown on top and a red banner with the brand name beneath the crown and a smaller red banner with ‘by Noel Rojas” at the bottom. In between there is a scenic picture of a tobacco barn and a tobacco field underneath a beaming sun. The cigar has a mild sweet aroma mixed with wood, I don’t smell any ammonia.


I punched the cigar and find the cold draw to be great. I taste dry raisin with pepper. I lit the cigar with my Ronson varaflame. Instantly I taste coffee. It’s not a bitter coffee but a nice coffee with spices. Soon after chocolate joins the spiced coffee. The flavors are very dry, guess I need to drink a lot of water with this cigar. The flavors remind me of autumn.


After a third I taste wood, autumn leaves and a tiny bit of cocoa. The cigar still gives me a dry mouth. Halfway the cocoa changes into a flavor that reminds me of chocolate paste that you use on a slice of bread. There is also a little sweetness from the Maduro wrapper and warm spices. On the background I also taste some macadamia nuts. After two thirds the chocolate changes back to cocoa powder with the leaves and some spices. There is a nice pepper in the aftertaste without becoming to overpowering. At the final puffs I taste some nuts again with a strong pepper.


The draw is great, close to perfect. The smoke is medium thick and I would have liked to see thicker smoke and more of it. The burn is sharp and leaves a white ash. The ash is firm. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored with a decent amount of evolution and a good balance.

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

Score: 92

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Categories: Guayacan, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Noa | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cigar of the month April

In April I published 16 reviews and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Guayacan Corona Gorda with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Guayacan Corona Gorda(Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Xiphos NR Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Espinosa Habano Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Reserva Miraflor Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Alec Bradley Pryme Torpedo (Honduras) 92 points
6) Kristoff San Andres Robusto (Dominican Republic) 92 points
7) Alec Bradley Nica Puro Churchill (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) A.J. Fernandez New World Puro Especial Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
9) Perla Del Mar Maduro Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Toro (Costa Rica) 90 points
11) Casa Pineda Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
12) Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Corona (Costa Rica) 90 points
13) Cohiba Lancero (Cuba) 89 points
14) Cavalier de Geneve Toro (Honduras) 88 points
15) Gurkha Reserva Edición Especial Koi (Dominican Republic) 87 points
16) Kings Cigars King of Kings Habano Cuadrado (Nicaragua) 84 points

 

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kristoff San Andres Robusto

All Kristoff cigars are made at the Charles Fairmorn factory on the Dominican Republic but when this San Andres blend, with the Mexican San Andres maduro wrapper, Ecuador habano binder and Nicaraguan filler was released they were made by PDR. Production moved to the Fairmorn factory though, that’s what Glen Case told me at the intertabac trade show. The cigar I’m smoking for a review is from the latter factory, I still have some made by PDR, maybe I should do a back to back review.


Not only the factory changed, but Kristoff has been making changes, updating the rings and the packaging too, just an upgrade. The loose tobacco in the boxes disappeared, at least in Europe due to legislation where the loose tobacco, which was actually tobacco waste, would have gotten taxed too, increasing the price per cigar just because of packaging so the decision was made to stop using that. The rings all got a little nicer look to it, a little fresher.


The shiny, almost pitch black, and smooth wrapper looks amazing. The updated ring is brushed golden with off white lettering, all looking sharp and fresh. The cigar, with the classic Kristoff pigtail and folded foot, feels evenly packed and the cigar has a medium strong aroma, a mixture of campfire and manure.


I used my butterfly cutter and get an open draw, quite spicy and peppery. After lighting I taste coffee, soil and spices. After a few puffs I also taste a caramel sweetness. After half an inch I taste more agave syrup like sweetness with a little leather and cumin. After an inch I also taste some peanuts and pepper. Halfway I taste a pleasant sweet chocolate hazelnut spread like flavor with a spicy and peppery edge. Soon after I taste vanilla and pepper. The final third is woody with spices and pepper.


The draw is a little open yet the smoke is plentiful and thick. The light gray ash and has nice rings. The burn is straight. This is a medium full bodied cigar, full of flavor and a lot of evolution. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Charles Fairmorn, Dominican cigars, Kristoff | Tags: , , , , ,

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