Posts Tagged With: Year of the rat

Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat

Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat. Although this is a special one and not released because of the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. This cigar was released in 2016. And it is made for the lounge that Drew Estate opened that year at the BB&T Center in Sunrise Florida. The BB&T Center is the home base of the Florida Panthers, an NHL team. And this Liga Privada Year of the Rat is a commemorative cigar for the 1996 Championship. In 1996, the Florida Panthers won the Stanley Cup, the most prestigious prize in ice hockey. And according to the legend, one of the players killed a rat with his stick in the dressing room before the first match of the season. And then scored two goals. The rat became a good luck talisman for the season, and 1996 was ‘the year of the rat’ for the Florida Panthers.


The 5½x46 Grand Corona was given to us a few years ago by Jessi Flores. Back then, Flores was still part of the Drew Estate family, before venturing out on his own. At one of the Intertabac Trade Shows, Flores shared a few Liga Privada Unico cigars with us. This Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat is made at the famous Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. For the filler, tobaccos from Nicaragua and Honduras are used. The binder comes from Brazil. The wrapper is the famous Connecticut Broadleaf that Drew Estate loves to use. The cigars were sold for $14 per piece and were packed in boxes of 10.


The cellophane was starting to turn yellow by the oil in the wrapper. The cigar looks great, dark and oily. The wrapper looks thick, yet the veins are thin. The cap looks odd, it has a flag tail but the cap is prolonged and looks like a hat on top of the cigar. The regular Liga Privada ring is used, but as always with the Unico series, the text has been altered. This says Year of the Rat. The construction feels flawless. The aroma is strong, oak and roasted coffee beans.


The cold draw is perfect with quite some pepper in the flavor profile. A little salt as well. Once lit there is coffee with a slightly salty flavor. Then there is dark chocolate, the 80% pure type accompanied by some leather and cedar. There is some sweetness, nuttiness, and a mild buttery mouthfeel. After a while, a mild black pepper shows up as well, with some grassy flavors. The flavors then evolve to black coffee, leather, soil with a mild peppery aftertaste. The nut flavor is making a comeback, with the pepper and some sweetness. In the last third, the flavors are pretty much the same. Leather, coffee, wood, dark chocolate, and pepper.


The draw is flawless. The smoke is a classic Drew Estate smoke. Thick, full, white and there is plenty of it. The ash is white and nice. The burn is pretty straight. Because the cigar has aged, the flavors are well rounded while still packing strength. Both in flavor and strength. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I would

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Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Davidoff Year of the Rat

Davidoff Year of the Rat. Of all those cigars using the Chinese Zodiac calendar, Davidoff is the original one. It is the Swiss brand that decided to release a limited edition for each of the Chinese zodiac years. And due to the success, other companies followed. Even the king of limited and region editions, Habanos, followed suit. But the most anticipated release every year is the Davidoff year of cigar.


For the year of the rat, the Davidoff blenders went with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Dark, oily and beautiful. They wrapped that around a Semilla B binder from Nicaragua. For the fillers, the blenders selected viso tobacco from Esteli and Condega in Nicaragua. And blended that with viso and second from the Dominican republic into a 6×52 sized toro.

The cigar looks fantastic. The dark, Maduro colored, Habano wrapper is mouth-watering. Beautifully colored, oily with a few veins. The shape is perfect, just like the cap. And the dark, oily wrapper is a beautiful backdrop for the glossy white, and classic, Davidoff ring. The secondary ring is red with gold and tells you it’s the cigar for the year of the rat. The barnyard aroma is quite strong. The cigar feels well constructed.


The cold draw is great, with flavors of pepper, the bitterness of dark chocolate, raw tobacco and leather. Immediately after lighting, the bitterness of dark chocolate is there. Complexed bitterness. With mushrooms, leather, and pepper. The mouthfeel is dry. The nice bitterness of the dark chocolate remains, but now with sweetness, ginger and mushrooms. The aftertaste is a nice mellow pepper. The dark chocolate becomes even more pronounced, with pepper on the background. Other flavors are leather, mushrooms, hay, and pepper. Later on, the cigar has oak, pepper, ginger, and leather. The second third starts with coffee, hazelnuts, pepper, and a grassy flavor. There is also oak and leather in the second third. The final third has oak, coffee, pepper. The mouthfeel is a little creamy. The cigar then turns to leather, oak, and pepper.


The draw is great. The ash is light gray and looks like a stack of dimes. The smoke is good, not super thick but still thick enough. And the volume is nice too. The cigar is balanced but has character. This is a full-bodied, full-flavored cigar. The smoke time is three hours. The burn is good as well.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s expensive, but I enjoyed it

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Categories: 91, Cigars Davidoff, Davidoff, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Brick House Year of the Rat

Brick House Year of the Rat. J.C. Newman is one of the companies that entered the Chinese Zodiac cigar game with the Brick House brand. But unlike the other brands, Brick House is not using a red-colored box or red-colored rings. In fact, except for the size and the flag tail, you can’t tell the difference between a regular production Brick House or this limited edition. Unless you see the beautiful black box with the painting of the rat and the limited-edition text.


We were unable to find any information about this cigar online, so we suspect that the blend is the exact same as the Brick House Classic. And a classic is. An old brand that was discontinued during the Great Depression. But it has been resurrected by Eric and Bobby Newman about a decade ago. This time as a Nicaraguan cigar, with Nicaraguan fillers and binder. The wrapper comes from Ecuador. And this 6¼x52 toro with the flag tail isn’t a regular production size.


The cigar feels silky. The evenly colored Colorado wrapper is smooth and almost veinless. The nice cap, a flag tail, sets the cigar apart from regular production Brick House cigars. Since there is no secondary ring for the year of the rat, the flag tail is the only sign this is a special release. The Brick House ring is a nicely shaped ring with yellow, red, black and gold color schemes. Classic and stylish. The cigar feels well constructed. The wood aroma is strong.


The cold draw is strong. Just as the flavors of raisin, raw tobacco, and pepper. Once lit the mouthfeel is thick. Hints of dark chocolate, leather, wood, soil, and coffee, all with a bit of pepper. It’s a bit hard to keep the cigar lit in the beginning. But once that problem is solved, the cigar releases sweetness with the bitterness of dark chocolate, and some dry wood flavors. Slowly the flavors become more woody with green herbs, pepper, licorice, and some sweetness. After creating more airflow, the flavors are more chocolate, more pepper, and a bit of salt. All with a creamy mouthfeel. Halfway there is coffee with chocolate, spices, pepper and a hint of citrus. The finale is wood, pepper, green herbs, and leather.


The draw is decent, not the best draw but also not bad enough to complain. The smoke is thick and full. Especially after creating a little bit more of a draw using the cigar redeemer tool. The burn is good. The smoke time of this cigar is exactly three hours. This is a medium-full bodied, medium-full flavored cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? If it’s priced within the same range as the regular production Brick House, yes.

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Categories: 90, Brick House, Nicaraguan cigars, PENSA | Tags: , , , , ,

VegaFina Year of the Rat Toro

VegaFina Year of the Rat Toro. In the last few years, more and more cigar brands are using the Chinese Zodiac Calendar as a reason to release a limited edition cigar. VegaFina is one of those brands. The Dominican cigars started releasing cigars for the Year Of series with the Year of the Dog. After the Year of the Pig, it’s time for the Year of the Rat. Altadis is part of Imperial Brands, although not for long anymore. Imperial Brands is selling its premium cigar division, which includes the Tabacalera de Garcia factory in the Dominican Republic, their portfolio of brands and their 50% stake in Habanos. According to rumors, a Chinese company acquired the premium cigar division yet by the time of writing this review, nothing has been confirmed.

The cigar measures 5⁹⁄₁₀x52 and it comes with a pigtail. The cigar is made in the Dominican Republic, at Altadis’s Tabacalera de Garcia. Tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic are used for the filler. The binder comes from Nicaragua. Altadis did not reveal from which country the wrapper came. But they did mention it’s a Habano 2000 wrapper.

The cigar looks good. A nice Colorado colored wrapper, oily and smooth. There is one thin, yet very noticeable vein on the back. The regular silver and white ring is used, with the glossy metallic red VegaFina logo. Then there is a secondary ring, red with gold, which represents prosperity and wealth in the Chinese culture. The ring says ‘year of the rat’ and a rat is pictured on the ring as well. The cigar feels a bit hard. The foot of the cigar is cut in a slight angle, making the cigar a leaning tower of Pisa. Now even though that’s an imperfection, we have seen it before with several different brands. The aroma is that of manure and oak. It’s medium-strong.

 

Even though the cigar felt a bit hard, the cold draw is fine. With a flavor of spicy raisins. Once lit, the cigar releases a lot of sweetness, sugar water sweetness. With pepper, green herbs and some coffee. Slowly the cigar gets wood in the flavor palate too. The flavor evolves to nutty toast with soil, leather, pepper, and sweetness. These flavors continue through the first third, with a nice sweet and white pepper aftertaste. The mouthfeel is buttery, creamy. The pepper is very mild and distinct. Halfway the pepper gets more pronounced and a little stronger. The sweetness turns into milk chocolate. The final third is sweet and peppery, with leather, wood, milk chocolate, and grass.

 

The draw is great. And the ash is firm, dense, and white as can be. The smoke is thin too and lacks a bit in volume as well. The burn is pretty straight. This is a medium-bodied, medium flavored cigar. The balance of this cigar is spot on. This cigar would be a good match with a nice smooth sipping rum.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

number91

Categories: 91, Casa de Garcia, Dominican cigars, VegaFina | Tags: , , , , ,

Flor de Selva Year of the Rat Toro

Flor de Selva Year of the Rat Toro. A few years back, Davidoff started with an annual limited edition based on the Chinese zodiac calendar. And several companies followed, including Maya Selva for her Flor de Selva brand. We know of at least 7 companies that release cigars based on the Chinese zodiac calendar now. But being born in the year of the rat, married to someone with Chinese heritage and living in South East Asia, this year is special. That’s why I will be reviewing several ‘Year of the Rat’ cigars this year.


The Flor de Selva Year of the Rat is a 6×52 Toro. It retails for 19 euro in Germany, Europe’s largest cigar market. The cigar is made from tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua. The wrapper comes from Honduras. The binder is Nicaraguan. And the filler contains tobacco from both countries.

The cigar has two rings. The simple faded yellow and greenish Flor de Selva ring. But the foot ring sets the cigar apart from the rest of the Flor de Selva lines. It’s red, the Chinese color of prosperity. And it combines the image of the rat with Mayan hieroglyphics, merging Honduran and Chinese cultures together in this cigar. The wrapper is Colorado colored, with a sharp thin vein on the side. It isn’t the best looking cigar out there, but it’s also not the worst looking cigar. The construction feels great. The nose is nice. A warm aroma of hay and wood, medium strong.


The cold draw is nice, with a nice tobacco flavor. After lighting it’s a mellow and sweet coffee with soil flavor. There is some toast and a nice mix of gingerbread spices as well. The flavors are mellow, smooth and well balanced. There’s a slow evolution to cedar with the spices, toast, and sweetness. The aftertaste has a hint of white pepper. The sweetness is pure honey. The mouthfeel is creamy. Slowly the pepper gains more strength but the honey toast with cedar remains the base flavor for the cigar. In the second third, leather shows up and it’s a beautiful combination with the growing white pepper, toast, spices, and honey. In the final third, the cigar gets stronger, with more pepper, leather, and wood. The toast is dissolving, just like the honey. And the balance starts to disappear as well. And then the sweetness returns. The cigar now has a flavor profile of pepper, sweetness, and cedar with leather.


The draw is phenomenal. The light gray ash is a bit flaky. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is good in volume but could be a bit thicker for a higher score. This is a medium-bodied, full-flavored cigar. The balance was spot on in the first two thirds, with a silky smooth flavor profile. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s expensive but I wouldn’t mind a few more
number92

Categories: 92, Flor de Selva, Honduran cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , ,

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