Posts Tagged With: toro

Perla del Mar Maduro Toro

I got this 6 1/4×54 Toro named G from a Davidoff sales rep, since Davidoff distributes J.C. Newman cigars here in The Netherlands but except for the fact that it’s a Newman brand I knew nothing about the cigar so I went to the Newman website where no information on this cigar is to be found. Then I went to the dedicated Perla del Mar website and again, no information at all. It’s time for Newman to update their web appearance, their websites but also their social media.

 


The websites of the large online retailers gave me enough information though. This cigar is made in Esteli, at the Pensa factory owned by J.C. Newman and it’s the follow up on the Perla del Mar Connecticut Shade cigar that’s been available for a while. The brand is an old Cuban brand and refers to “the pearl of the ocean” which was once Cuba’s nickname. The filler and binder are Nicaraguan wrapped in a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and the cigar has a pretty good price point of less than 7 dollar.

 


When I remove the cellophane I see a beautiful, box pressed, dark cigar that reminds me of a candy bar. Dark chocolate color, slightly dull with a beautiful ring, blue gold and white with an image of an old ship and golden letters on a blue banner. The secondary ring is in the same style and coloring. The cigar feels a little squishy and under packed but the shape is great and the triple cap is very nice. The aroma is strong and a mildly acidic hay and straw smell with some pepper.

 


I punched the cigar for a change. The cold draw is good and peppery. After lighting I taste spicy and peppery coffee. After half an inch I taste some dark chocolate with cedar with some green herbs. After a third I taste the same but now with a mild salt and a growing pepper. Halfway I taste a mild cedar with cocoa and a lot of pepper.

 


The draw is great. The light gray ash is dense, firm and has nice rings. The smoke is white, full and thick. The burn is straight as can be. The cigar lacks a little evolution. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would not mind smoking them more often.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, PENSA, Perla del Mar | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Espinosa Habano Toro

La Zona is quite a new factory but it’s easy to say that I’m a fan. Not only for the great cigars they make, but it’s also a cozy factory downtown Esteli and with the best spot to sit, have a cup of coffee and a cigar on the balcony, overlooking the city with the mountains in the background and just enjoy life. It was one of my highlights of my second trip to Nicaragua, the time that I went for the Cigaragua book.


This is not the time where I bought this 6×52 Espinosa Habano Toro though. I bought it a year earlier when I spend a week in Florida after traveling to Nicaragua. I guess I bought it at one of the Smoke Inn locations or otherwise at the Island Smoke Shop on Key Largo. it’s, as far as I know, Nicaraguan puro with, as the name says, habano wrapper.


When I take the cigar out of the cellophane I see an oily, smooth, glossy wrapper with thin veins. I love the ring, broken white background, golden details, the Espinosa logo in white on a red background, a light blue banner saying Espinosa and a small white banner ‘hecho en la zona’. The foot ring has the same text but with red letters on a light blue background. The cigar feels evenly packed, is squishy in a good way. The cap is decent but not perfect. The cigar has a medium strong aroma of barnyard with a little black pepper.


I used my xikar cutter, the cold draw is great. The flavor is spicy, some lemon, mild peppery. After lighting I taste a nice coffee, smooth and tasty. After half an inch I taste spices, all spice, very nice. The flavors are smooth. After a third I still taste the spices but now with some vanilla and pepper. The final third is more woody, still with the spices and a bit pepper.


The draw is great. The light gray ash is firm and pretty. The smoke is white, thick and great in volume. The burn is straight. The cigar is smooth, medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is almost two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box.

Score: 93

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Categories: 93, Espinosa, La Zona, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Toro & Conchita

I have smoked and reviewed several Vegas de Santiago cigars and I like that I see more and more cigars coming from Costa Rica. I thing that there are some good things happening south from Honduras and Nicaragua and the more choice we have, the better, as long as the quality is good. And I never had a complaint about Vegas de Santiago.

The Don Luis line is named after the Cuban cigar master Don Luis Santana Lamas, who cured the tobacco for Vegas de Santiago and rolled some of their production. The filler is undisclosed Caribbean tobacco while the binder and wrapper both are from Ecuador, the binder is a Habano 2000 and the wrapper a Connecticut.

Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Toro


The wrapper is smooth and oily but has a thin vein popping out which should have been flattened or put on the back side of the cigar. The ring is super simple, just white with gold and a logo, well printed though. The cigar feels like its evenly packed and well constructed. The cigar has a medium strong aroma of barnyard and old wood.


I used my butterfly cutter to decap the cigar. The cold draw is great and I taste pepper and raisin. After lighting I taste coffee with a little salt. The flavor changes to a slightly salt wood, smooth and nice, with a little vanilla. Halfway the cigar is all about cedar with a little salt and a mild acidity. I also taste a little nuts, pepper and sweetness. The nut flavor is getting stronger with a nice mix of pepper, vanilla, sugar and cumin.


The draw is fantastic, nothing to complain about. The ash is light gray and very firm. The smoke is medium to full in thickness and volume. The burn is razor sharp. The cigar is well balanced and smooth. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.


Would I buy this cigar again?  Yes

Score: 90
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Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Conchita


This 5×35 sized cigar looks like something I should enjoy, I love thin ring gauges. The wrapper is Connecticut but with a reddish, almost rosado, glow and quite oily. The ring is simple and the cigar feels well made. The aroma is faint barnyard.


The cigar is so thin that punching isn’t an option, so I grabbed my Xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is on the good side of tight. I taste a little tobacco. After lighting I taste a very pleasant, sweet and balanced coffee. Halfway I taste a mild milk chocolate with the coffee and sweetness. In the aftertaste I get some black pepper. At the end I taste some nutmeg and cumin too.


The draw is just a little tight but not tight enough to create problems. The smoke is a little thin because of the draw. The light colored ash is firm and the burn is straight. This is a medium bodied, medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour.


Would I buy this cigar again? I think I will.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Costa Rican cigars, Tabacalera Vegas de Santiago, Vegas de Santiago | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Cigar of the month March

Last month I reviewed 15 cigars and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst, and the worst was really terrible. One of the lowest ranking cigars on my blog ever!

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Don Lino Africa Kifaro with a 94 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Don Lino Africa Kifaro (Nicaragua) 94 points
2) Cornelius & Anthony Aerial Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
3) Casa Fernandez Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
4) La Aurora Para Japon Sumo (Dominican Republic) 91 points
5) Liga Privada #9 Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
6) Montecristo Half Corona (cuba) 90 points
7) C.A.O. Anaconda (Honduras) 90 points
8) Viking Horseman Toro (Dominican Republic) 90 points
9) Don Lino Africa Gorilla Knuckle (Nicaragua) 89 points
10) Quesada 70th Anniversary Toro (Dominican Republic) 89 points
11) Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan (Honduras) 86 points
12) Micallef Gomez Sanchez Herencia (Nicaragua) 80 points
13) Avo XO Intermezzo (Dominican Republic) 79 points
14) Avo Dominant 13th Toro (Dominican Republic) 79 points
15) Di Grisogno For Women Only Corona (Dominican Republic) 73 points

 


 

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Avo The Dominant 13th

In 2002 Ave started with a yearly limited release and in 2013 they went for the number 13 as a theme. It was the 13th limited edition as the first year they released two, one of the USA and one for Europe, it was 2013 so they put 13 cigars in a box and named it “the dominant 13th” which is a musical term and is a direct connection to Avo’s legacy as a great jazz musician. Today would have been his birthday, so I decided to publish this review as a tribute.


Only 9000 boxes of this 6×52 toro were made for a worldwide release and the box came with a USB stick with a short video, songs by Avo, information about the brand and a screensaver. The cigars have a mixture of Dominican filler tobacco with one Peruvian leaf, a Dominican binder and a Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper. I have one single cigar in my possession, I guess I bought it since I liked the La Trompeta, the 2012 limited edition a lot and wanted to try this one too but somehow it ended up in my humidor instead of in my mouth. Time to change that and light it up.


Once I take the cigar out of the cellophane I notice a very soft, almost velvet like, wrapper with a mild shine and a beautiful mocha color. The binder must be a different story as I see a lot of bumps under the wrapper, fellow cigar aficionado Joe Jackson would say “like a klingon beauty queen” as in his ‘Akward Age’ lyrics. The construction feels good though but the cap is a bit small. I love the rings, a matte brown with a broken white and Avo logo but what makes the ring so beautiful is the thin, shiny, silver line and the silver A in the logo. The second ring uses the same color scheme with a small silhouette of Avo on the ring and the word The Dominant 13th. The barnyard aroma is strong, a little ammonia, a little manure, deep and dark.


I punched the cigar. The cold draw is a little loose. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and I taste licorice, coffee and some sugar. After half an inch I taste cedar with licorice and nutmeg, a weird combination that doesn’t sound appealing and doesn’t taste good either. After a third I taste wood and nutmeg, the flavors have a greasy feeling to it. Halfway I taste this spicy, mild burning, wood. The final third starts peppery, woody and with a tiny bit of honey. Later I taste mint with pepper and confectioners sugar.


The draw is great and no complaints about the smoke either, thick, white and full. The burn needs correcting straight from the start though. The ash is dark yet firm. I miss complexity in this medium bodied, medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? That’s a simple no!

Score: 79
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Categories: 79, Avo, Dominican cigars, O.K. Cigars | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Quesada 70th Anniversary Toro

As you may have figured just from the name, this cigar was created to celebrate the 70th birthday of Manuel Quesada, the man behind Matasa & Quesada cigars, the Dominican Fonseca, Casa Magna, Heisenberg and all other Quesada lines. And for his birthday he took Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, a Sumatra binder and a Dominican wrapper to make an old school cigar with balance and flavor but also with a modern twist.


The cigar is only available in two vitolas, the favorite vitolas of Manuel Quesada and those are the 6×50 Toro and a 6×52 Belicoso. Raquel Quesada gave me a toro during the most recent Intertabac trade show and a few other Quesada cigars, including the Quesada 40th that I reviewed in January. Today I will review the Manuel Quesada 70th Toro.


The smooth and oak colored wrapper is fat and oily, it looks great and tasty with a deep color and nice thin veins. The ring is black and golden, old school with lettering that I would call ‘Wild West’ as you see that kind of lettering in Western movies. It simply says Quesada with small Manuel in a golden banner above the name and 70 below the name. The cigar feels well packed, evenly, and the cigar is beautifully capped. The strong barnyard aroma is nice.


I decapped the cigar with a double guillotine. The draw is open. I taste pepper and sultanas. After lighting the cigar with a soft flame and I taste coffee, sweetness, spices and wood. After half an inch I taste a nice citrus twang with wood, oak to be more precise and some pepper. After an inch it’s still a citrus twang but now with wood, leather and some nuts. Halfway I taste that citrus but now with a chocolate paste, like the bread spread. Then the flavor changes to citrus, pepper and wood. I also taste a hint of vanilla. Near the end I taste wood, herbs, a little mint and some pepper still with the acidic twang.


The draw is good, a little open but still good. The smoke is medium plus in thickness, a beautiful white color and quite a lot. The light gray ash is a bit frayed yet firm. The burn is pretty straight. This is a medium plus bodied and medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked the 40th anniversary better.

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, Quesada, Quesada Cigars | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan

Candela, the green wrapper, has lost a lot of the charm and popularity over the years. If you go back to World War II, most cigars were candela wrapped due to the high demand. Farmers in the Partido region of Cuba used fires to cure the tobacco in the barns but the temperature raised too high, curing the tobacco in 3 days instead of the usual long process that naturally turns the wrapper yellow and then brown. So a lot of farmers started to use that method, those cigars were distributed to the American soldiers and that’s what they wanted to smoke after the war too.


Nowadays the tobacco is more of a gimmick and that’s exactly the way Alec Bradley thought of it when they decided to use a Candela wrapper for a limited edition of the Black Market. And they picked the green themed St. Patrick’s day as the occasion for this cigar to b released. The cigars, made at the Plasencia factory in Honduras instead of Raices Cubanas, were a hit and the Filthy Hooligan became a returning release, with tweaks in the blend and eventually even becoming a barberpole cigar. But this cigar is from the original 2013 release, a 6×50 toro with a Nicaraguan Candela wrapper, Nicaraguan and Honduran double binder and filler from Nicaragua and Panama.


I wouldn’t buy this if I was a regular consumer in a cigar shop, just because of the look. The wrapper is a pale grayish green with a clear vein, it looks dry and brittle. The ring is cool, just like the regular Black Market but with some green, a clover and the Filthy Hooligan name. The cigar feels well constructed, the triple cap is nice and the overall shape is good. For a supposedly mild cigar that aged for 5 years, the aroma is strong yet grassy, not green grass but mowed wet grass.


After cutting the cigar I taste a surprisingly peppery cold draw. After lighting I taste a sharp, metallic flavor over some grassy base flavor. There’s a little pepper too, white pepper. After half an inch I taste cedar with a little pepper. After a third the cigar gets harsh, I taste a little pepper, cedar and some salt. Halfway I taste the metallic flavor again, with salt and still that harshness on the tip of my tongue.


The draw is fine. The dark ash is coarse and not very firm. The smoke is thick. The burn is straight. This is a mild to medium bodied medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, just as I remembered the OR was the Filthy Hooligan I liked least.

Score: 86
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Categories: 86, Alec Bradley, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Viking Norseman Toro

I have reviewed two of the three Viking blends, the Viking and the Nordic Warrior and both ended up in my top 25 of 2017 so my expectations for the third blend are high, yet on the other hand, it is a Connecticut shade wrapper so that might be the downside of smoking this cigar. The cigar is made with Ecuadorian Connecticut, Nicaraguan Habano and Dominican Piloto as filler, a Connecticut Broadleaf from the USA as binder and an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade as wrapper.

 


Ernesto Perez Carrillo and his La Allianzia factory are responsible for the production of this Norwegian owned brand, that honors the sea dwelling Vikings with this Norseman blend. The seas were a dangerous place with the small Viking ships so these Norseman had to be extremely brave.

 


I love the ring on any of the viking cigars, metal rings, a tin alloy and this one is black & golden with a norseman face. The cigar itself looks great too, a medium brown wrapper with a shaggy  foot that shows off the broadleaf binder. The contrast between the Connecticut Shade and the Broadleaf is huge and it makes the cigar look even tastier. The shape is flawless, the head perfectly round. This cigar is well made. The aroma is strong and reminds me of wood and vegetable stock.

 


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is a little open. I taste pepper on my lips. After lighting I taste coffee with some sweetness and a nice citrus acidity to balance it all out. After half and inch I taste spicy and peppery dry cedar. Then I taste a growing white pepper flavor. There is a very mild Connecticut Shade mustiness but much minder than other Connecticut Shade wrapped cigars. Halfway I taste sweet and slightly musty cedar with white pepper in the aftertaste.

 


The draw is a bit loose, the ash quite dark and frayed. The smoke is thick, white and full. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and flavored with a smoke time of an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked the other Viking cigars better because of the wrapper.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera La Alianza, Viking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigar of the month February

February was a special month, the shortest month of the year but also because I turned it into a full month of F reviews, so there is a top 28.

The cigar of the month is a shared position this month, identical scores for:

Casa Fuente Lancero/Flores y Rodrigues CRV Azul Robusto

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Casa Fuente Lancero (Dominican Republic) 93 points
2) Flores y Rodriguez CRV Azul Robusto (Dominican Republic) 93 points
3) Fratello Bianco II (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Falto Lonsdale (Dominican Republic) 92 points
5) Falto Gran Reserva Especial Perfecto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
6) Flor de Cielo Maduro Salomon (Nicaragua) 91 points
6) Flores y Rodrigues Cabinet Seleccion Maduro Robusto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
8) Flor de Las Antillas Benelux (Nicaragua) 91 points
9) Flores y Rodriguez 10th anniversary Figurado (Dominican Republic) 90 points
10) Flores y Rodriguez CRV Roja Robusto (Dominican Republic) 90 points
11) Falto Robusto (Dominican Republic) 90 points
12) Flores y Rodriguez Cabinet Seleccion Habano Canonazo (Dominican Republic) 90 points
13) Fonseca 30th Anniversary Toro (Dominican Republic) 90 points
14) Falto Delirio (Dominican Republic) 89 points
14) Flor de Selva Maduro Robusto (Honduras) 89 points
16) Flor de Oliva Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 88 points
17) Famous Nicaragua Robusti (Nicaragua) 88 points
18) Fuentes Crucet Habanero Toro (USA) 88 points
19) Famous Nicaragua 3000 Gordo (Nicaragua) 87 points
20) Fuego Sangre de Toro Toro (Honduras) 87 points
21) Fonseca Classic Robusto (Dominican Republic) 86 points
22) Felipe Gregorio Dos Capas Churchill (Dominican Republic) 83 points
23) Flor de Oliva Torpedo (Nicaragua) 83 points
24) Fumadores Churchill (Nicaragua) 83 points
25) Flor de Gonzales Torpedo (Nicaragua) 82 points
26) Funadores Corona (Jamaica) 80 points
27) Flor de Filipinas Corona (Phillipines) 77 points
28) Flor de Canaria Corona (Canary Islands) 71 points

 

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Fratello Bianco II

The first time I ran into the Fratello brand was when I was in Nicaragua in 2015 with my then employer, journalist Marcel Langedijk and photographer Jesaka Hizkia for the Cigaragua book. At the Joya de Nicaragua factory I saw cigars being packed that I never heard of, Fratello, and asked about them since I’m a cigar geek and new brands spark my interest. It turned out Joya de Nicaragua makes those cigars for Omar de Frias.


Last year at Intertabac I met Omar, a huge guy, who used to work for Nasa. I think he launched satellites into space with his bare hands, that’s how tall and strong he is. He handed me one of his Fratello cigars which I reviewed and this year at intertabac he handed me his second line, the Fratello Bianco, a 6×50 Teachers Pet aka Fratello Bianco II. The cigar is made with filler from the USA, Peru and Nicaragua, a Dominican binder and wrapper from Mexico.


While the name Bianco might make you think this will be a Connecticut Shade wrapper, as was my first thought when I heard the name, it is not. The Mexican San Andres wrapper is dark. There is some oil to the wrapper but it’s dry on the tough with a few veins. The unusual shaped white ring with red letters and silver details fits the dark wrapper. The construction feels good and the shape of the cigar looks good, but I have to add that I can’t remember if I ever had a cigar made by Joya that didn’t have great construction. The cigar has a medium strong, vegetable like, aroma, cauliflower, broccoli kinda smell.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is perfect. I taste dry tobacco with a hint of dark chocolate. After lighting, with matchsticks this time, I taste chocolate. After half an inch some dry vegetable taste joins the chocolate as a supporting flavor. After a third I taste some cinnamon too. Halfway I taste chocolate, pepper and nuts. In the final third I taste wood, a bit charred, vanilla and pepper. The pepper grows near the end.


The draw is perfect and the white ash is firm. The white smoke is thick and medium full in volume. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is almost two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Oh Yes, oh yes. I used a nub tool, that’s how good it is.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Fratello, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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