Posts Tagged With: sandy cobas

El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserva Maduro Churchill

There are days that you walk into your man-cave, cigar shop, garage, deck or wherever you usually smoke your cigars and you feel like you want a long smoke, something other than the usual robusto sized smokes. I had that feeling today when I finished dinner, cleaned the kitchen, brushed my teeth and did a load of laundry. I felt like a mindless action movie and a long cigar. And I was lucky enough to have the time for that, the location for that (my fully equiped man-cave) and plenty of cigars, so I walked into my walk-in humidor, looked around and saw this beauty from a factory I rate highly since the day I walked in there, El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserva Maduro Churchill.


Now the first time I ever came across El Titan de Bronze was in may 2009, it was my first trip to the USA, it was well before I found a job in the industry but I was a passionate cigar smoker and cigars brought me to the USA, it was a road trip with a few guys from Cigar Asylum and every night we had a herf in another state with other guys from Cigar Asylum. Our first stop was Miami and you can’t do Miami without going to Calle Ocho, especially when you’re a cigar smoker. We walked to El Rey de Los Habanos, the factory of Don Pepin Garcia, but it was impossible to see the workers there so we crossed the street to El Titan de Bronze, a factory we never heard of, but once we walked in the owner Sandy Cobas welcomed us like old friends and showed us around, told the history of the place and she noticed that we were more interested than regular tourists so she showed us the aging room, let us smell the different tobaccos and her husband got us Cuban coffee. Instead of a 10 minute visit like we expected we stayed over 2 hours. Now the amazing part, 18 months later and about 90lbs lighter I walk into the factory again, Sandy looks at me and says “wow, you lost a lot of weight”, I was surprised that she recognized me a year an a half later even with my weight loss. Since then I make it a tradition to stop by El Titan every time I’m in Miami.


This El Titan de Bronze Gran Reserva Maduro Churchill is a bit longer than the classic Cuban Churchill, 7 1/2×50 instead of 7×50 but I don’t mind. The cigar is made with filler from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras, an Ecuadorean binder and a Brazilian wrapper. The dark Brazilian wrapper has a rustic look to it with tooth and here and there some ’stripper glitter’ shine from minerals. The aroma is strong, it reminds me of a walk in the woods in the late summer, right before the leaves start to fall. The construction feels good and the triple cap is placed very straight and sharp. The cigar has a double ring, the bottom ring is a small red ring with quite thick gold lining and white letters with thin golden shadow saying Maduro in a beautiful font while the regular band has the same red color, a little thinner gold lining, a golden crest with white letters T B accompanied by golden tobacco leaves. On the top there is a white banner with red letters El Titan de Bronze and beneath the crest white curly letters Gran Reserva. On the back there is a white thick banner saying ‘hand made little Havana Miami’. The print quality is pretty good, especially the gold shadow on the white letters.


I punch the cigar and the cold draw is a bit tight, but I can always cut the cigar later if this becomes an issue. I taste pepper on my lips and some raisin on the tip of my palate. I lit the cigar with my Ronson varaflame lighter from the late 1960’s. The first puffs bring me straight back to little Havana, sweet strong Cuban coffee soon with a dark chocolate aftertaste. After an inch I taste peanuts with some pepper and a little honey. On the background I still taste some of that dark chocolate. After a third I mainly taste chocolate with some minor nut flavor on the background. Halfway I taste nutmeg with a little metallic flavor and a bit of salt with the chocolate on the background. Slowly some pepper shows up again. The salty peanut flavor makes a comeback. The cigar gains some strength, mainly the pepper but the peanuts grow stronger too. At the end I taste nuts and a very strong pepper.


The draw is good after I cut the cigar, tried a few puffs with the punch but a cut worked better. The smoke is a little thin with a decent amount. The ash is light, almost white, dense and firm. The cigar is medium plus bodied, medium flavored. There was some nice evolution and the ratio was great. The smoke time was an hour and forty-five minutes, just a little bit longer than that mindless action movie I watched, The Mechanic.

Would I buy this cigar again? When I’m in Miami again I’ll visit Sandy again and buy some cigars.

Score: 91
91

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Categories: 91, American cigars, El Titan de Bronze, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze | Tags: , , , ,

Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda

Whenever I am in Miami, and that used to be once a year, I would always stop by El Titan de Bronze to say hi to Sandy Cobas. And every time I said I went to El Titan people would ask me “did you see Willy, their master blender?” and the answer would always be “no”. For some reason, I always missed Willy when I went to that beautiful, cozy, wonderful and small factory on Calle Ocho that I love so much. And then Willy left, Drew Estate made him an offer he couldn’t refuse so he made the transfer. Then I met Willy, at the Drew Estate offices when I dropped by to say hello to Jonathan. Ever since, whenever I’m at El Titan de Bronze I run into Willy there too, it’s weird but funny.


Now back in february 2014 I went to Nicaragua and at the time my then employer had dropped Drew Estate, they didn’t sign with Agio yet so all the new stuff was not distributed in The Netherlands. While at the Gran Fabrica Drew Estate JD gave me a box of the Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda with the words “you can’t get these, enjoy them”. Jonathan is a great and generous person and not just because he gave me a box of cigars. These Nicaraguan made cigars with an Ecuadorean habano wrapper didn’t do it for me so fresh but now that I aged them a bit they became much better, so it’s time to do a review.


The wrapper is actually quite mild for a habano wrapper, but I guess the clouds in Ecuador that make their connecticut naturally shade grown did their work on this habano too. I see a thin veil from the bottom almost to the top and it gives the cigar some character, like a scar can make someone more attractive. The aroma is quite strong, it reminds me of hay and a sweaty horse smell. The ring is simple yet beautiful, its a square, white with simple red letters saying Herrera Esteli imported from Nicaragua with a thick golden outline. On the sides there is a whole bunch of text about the cigar being made with the best tobacco at the Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and its too much to copy it all. If you want to read it, go buy a Herrera Esteli.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is good with a flavor of hay and quite some pepper. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and taste a strong yet mildly sweet espresso. After a few puffs there is also a mild salty flavor to the cigar, which is quite nice. After an inch I taste a mild caramel, some nuts, pepper and cedar. There is a mild harshness to the flavors in the front of my mouth. Right before the halfway point the nutty flavor is getting a little stronger just like the pepper. After two thirds the nuttiness is gaining strength and is now up to par with the pepper. In the aftertaste I get a very mild minty flavor. The nuts are a mix of salted peanuts, walnuts and macadamia.


The smoke is fantastic, just like all Drew Estate cigar this Herrera Estelí has a lot of thick smoke. The ash is white too, dense and firm. The draw is flawless. The burn is good, not perfect though but good. The smoke time is a hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, and I know there is a limited edition lancero out there somewhere, I want one or two to try

Score: 90

90

Categories: 90, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Herrera Esteli, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Warped Little Havana Corona Gorda

There are a lot of cigar groups on Facebook and in some of those groups people like to combine days with cigar brands, like Tatuaje Tuesday and Fuente Friday. Since I have so many unpublished reviews and need to post a lot I decided that this week will be a week dedicated to the weekday – cigar combinations and I came up with a few of my own.

This week I will post a review every day, monday to sunday, all with the name tied to the weekday, here’s the list:

Murcielago Monday
Tatuaje Tuesday
Warped Wednesday
Taboo Thursday
Fuente Friday
Santiago Saturday
Sosa Sunday

Warped Wednesday – Warped Little Havana Corona Gorda

Back in the day, I think it was somewhere in 2007, I joined the Club Stogie board and left when it turned into Puff. The eleven moderators of Club Stogie started Cigar Asylum and I joined there and I’ve been a member since. But back then Kyle Gellis from Warped was just a young entrepeneur, his brand existed but wasn’t really active, he sold some cigars on the board and that was it. He has a small stash and when it was sold out it was sold out, it was more of a hobby than a company back then, or at least, that was my impression.

 


I’m very impressed with what Kyle did since the last time I’ve seen him at a cigar event at one of the Smoke Inn shops back in 2010 I think. He’s now one of the highest rating boutique brands and that without a huge social media outreach like other small brands. Because I’m not in the USA since he released all his new cigars I haven’t had the chance to smoke them, I did try to convince my previous employer to start distributing the Nicaraguan made Warped blends but he wouldn’t as he isn’t good with boutique brands. But I still have two, almost a decade old, test blends and two, just as old, Warped Little Havana Private blend cigars, one 5.5×44 Corona Grande and one torpedo and I will review the corona grande today on Warped Wednesday.

 


Now Kyle never confirmed or denied that these cigars were made by El Titan de Bronze but seeing his ties to that factory, the name of the blend and the fact that he did say that these were Miami made cigars I am fairly sure that they are made by Sandy Cobas and her team. The cigar has a beautiful deep dark brown color with beautiful thin veins and just looks mouth watering. The construction feels good, all evenly packed, no soft spots or plugs with a beautiful cap. The ring is simple, just a small back ring with a toxic green colored Warped in a fancy font. On the back side, and I love this detail, it says private blend 8/27/08 so I know exactly when the cigar was made. The aroma is still there after all these years, wood but not the fresh wood kind, a hint of dark chocolate and some floral notes.

 


I cut the cigar and unfortunately damage the cap because I used the cheap freebie cutter that was in my reach instead of getting up and getting one of my Xikar or Palio cutters. The cold draw is great and has a floral taste with a peppery aftertaste. A vintage cigar needs to be lit with a vintage lighter so I grabbed my Ronson varaflame and lit the cigar. I taste spices like nutmeg, cinnamon with a caramel like sweetness. After a few puffs I taste oak with the spices and a mild peppery aftertaste. After a third I taste peppery floral flavors with a mild cedar. Slowly the spices and cedar get stronger, a little lime shows up too and the pepper is also on the rise. Near the end the floral flavor is back and with some strength. I also taste a little salt

 


The draw is perfect and so is the smoke. White, thick, plentiful, just the way I like it. The burn isn’t completely straight though. The ash however is firm, and a beautiful light gray. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The evolution is great in this complex and extremely well balanced cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish.

Score: 95
number95

Categories: 95, American cigars, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze, Warped | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Toro

A few years ago, while working for a cigar importer/distributer I met Courtney Smith who was working for one of the brands we distributed, La Palina. Courtney left La Palina, I left the company I was working for but at intertabac last September we ran into each other again. Courtney gave me a few cigars of the company she’s with now, Cornelius & Anthony. I smoked most at the show but kept a few samples for reviews.

Cornelius & Anthony is quite new to the premium cigar game but not new to the tobacco industry. The family behind the brand has been growing tobacco in Virginia for over 150 years and 5th generation Steven Anthony Bailey decided it was time to branch out to the premium cigar business and honoring the first Bailey to enter the business he named the brand after him: Cornelius and added his own second name Anthony to it. They came out with 4 lines, 3 made in La Zona in Esteli, Nicaragua and one by El Titan de Bronze in Miami. And the last one I’ll be reviewing today. The line is called Cornelius and the cigar is made from Nicaraguan and Dominican filler with a binder and wrapper from Ecuador. I smoked the 6×50 toro. The band is very detailed and beautifully designed, just like the artwork on the boxes. The wrapper has a beautiful color, only a few small veins, a light shine and a silky feel. The triple cap on the well rounded head finishes the looks of the cigar. There is a distinct barnyard aroma. The construction feels good and the cold draw, that leaves me with some pepper on my lips, is flawless.

Lighting the cigar with my trusted vintage Ronson soft flame is very easy and at first I taste a nice full but medium coffee flavor and after a few puffs I also taste a nice nuttiness. After half an inch it’s still mainly coffee what I taste. The nuttiness disappeared but I taste some spices instead and some pepper on my lips.

After a third i taste a nice wooden flavor, the coffee is completely gone. I also taste a nice amount of chili pepper. Halfway the pepper mellows out, it doesn’t disappear but it’s not as strong as before. There is still wood though. After two thirds I still taste wood with some pepper but there is a nice fresh minty aftertaste that I like a lot. At the end I taste some nuts again.

The burn is straight with a beautiful light colored ash. The draw is fantastic, just the right amount of resistance. The cigar is medium bodied and it gave me a nice amount of thick smoke. The ash is reasonable firm, but not firm enough for a long ash competition. The cigar is well balanced, the body – flavor ratio is spot on. The cigar lasted me for over an hour and a forty five minutes and I needed to bring out my cool JSK nub tool.

Would I buy this cigar again? If only they were for sale in Europe, which will probably never happen due to high import taxes on tobacco shipped from the USA.

Score: 94

94

Categories: 94, American cigars, Cornelius & Anthony, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze | Tags: , , , , , , ,

El Titan de Bronze redemption sun grown robusto

I used google to find some background info on this cigar and learned that this cigar is made in Miami with Nicaraguan filler, binder and Ecuadorian Sun Grown Habano wrapper and is made by Pablo Romay. Upon feeling this 5 x 50 robusto I found some softer spots in the cigar, which made me worry about the burn. The wrapper has a lot of veins, including a big fat one, and feels dry. The veins are covered by 2 bands, so the appearance is still acceptable. The predraw is just fine and gives me a bit of a dry woody flavor.
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I light the cigar and taste a full coffee flavor combined with a little pepper. The flavor is definitely full. After about an inch, the coffee turns into leather and some wood and I can taste an aftertaste of pepper in the back of my throat. But leather is the main flavor.
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After a third, the cigar becomes somewhat bitter and harsh, I don’t like this at all, but since I set my mind on reviewing this sucker I keep on smoking. Right at the halfway point there is a creamy chocolate flavor fighting the bitterness and that fight continues right till the turning point.
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The smoke on this cigar is just fine, full & thick. I have absolutely no complaints on the razor sharp burn, but the ash is a bit frayed. I consider this to be a full flavored medium bodied cigar.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, it started out nice, but the second part of the cigar wasn’t good enough and the cigar didn’t recover enough in the last part to make up for the bitter taste in the middle.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 5 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: American cigars, El Titan de Bronze, Tabacalera El Titan de Bronze | Tags: , , , , ,

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