Tuesday, December 20, 2011



The next new KRISTOFF is the COROJO LIMITADA. This cigar is almost a puros Nicaraguan cigar. The wrapper is Nicaraguan Corojo with a Nicaraguan Habano binder. This is followed by a mix of Nicaraguan and Dominican filler. This should be an interesting smoke.

In my ritualistic lighting of my cigar I begin to draw on my stick. The overwhelming flavor is the Nicaraguan corojo and is a nice pleasant surprise being that I don’t smoke too many Corojo wrapped cigars. The smoke has started out very smooth and has a touch of pepper and toasted nut giving a smooth taste to the cigar. The construction of the stick is nothing less than what I have become to expect from this great company. Even burn and nice ash close out the points on which this cigar is constructed. I am really enjoying this smoke and have lost track of time. At the halfway point I am totally relaxed and I rest easy thinking of how I could easily sell this cigar. The experience of this smoke is right up there with the Liga Privada and the La Serina, although completely different tasting smokes they are all in the same class. With the cigar down to a third left I’ve decided to take out my tweezers and attempt to smoke it all the way through. At the end of this smoke I’m prepared to buy a box and maybe buy one for a gift…



The first of the 2 new Kristoff cigars is the GC MADURO. This line is named for Kristoff owner Glen Case, one heck of a cigar man. His namesake cigar consists of a Brazilian Maduro wrapper, a Honduran binder and filler containing Dominican and Honduran leaf. I will be smoking my favorite size a 6x60.

The night starts with a warming of the entire stick and then ceremonial act of lighting my cigar with my trusty piece of cedar. The first initial flavor to hit my palette is sharp spice of the Maduro. This is accompanied by chocolate and espresso. The burn and draw are excellent and showing me why this cigar has the reputation it does. One of flavor, quality, and consisitency.
As I get one third of the way in the spice has evened out and is allowing the surrounding flavors to take off. The smoke is very smooth for a Maduro and is very enjoyable. At the halfway point the smoke has become an awesome experience. The ash is intact and the burn is even and consistent.
The taste has stayed the same and is making me want more to keep in my humidor. The ash is a consistent grey and the plume of smoke is almost an Ivory color. With a third left the smoke is still very enjoyable and is making me wish it would never end…

The KRISTOFF GC MADURO is an excellent smoke and would be most enjoyed with a nice glass of Glen Livet. I highly recommend that you run out and try one if you can…



The CRUZADO DANTES by ILLUSION CIGARS is a cigar that consists of a Nicaraguan criollo wrapper and a Nicaraguan binder. The filler is a blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran broadleaf. I’ve never had an Illusion before so this will be a true test…

With an empty cigar lounge because its 9 am I’ve decided to smoke this uninterrupted and give it my full attention. Taking the time to wet my cigar down then warm it with a lit piece of cedar, then warm the foot and begin to draw on the stick I get a true first taste of this first time smoke. The flavor I first taste is a hint of toasted nut and nutmeg. This is a pleasant and new taste and it is giving me a new experience. The construction is good with a firm wrap and an attractive appearance.

About a third of the way in the cigar has picked up a slight spiciness and a peppery flavor. The burn is great and the ash is solid grey even though the ash is small. The plume of exhaled smoke is filling the quiet lounge and I’m wishing there was someone here to share the experience with. The stick is a mix in strength between medium and full depending on your palette. At the halfway point the taste and strength has completely smoothed out and has become almost creamy.

The construction has held up and is very impressive. As I get to a third left the spiciness has picked up and is a nice change. The changeover has been gradual and smooth. The stick has been a pleasure to smoke and I’m ready to say that I will smoke this again…

The CRUZADO DANTES by ILLUSION is a good smoke if you are looking for something new and are willing to smoke a good product. This gem is something I would give a friend if they wanted to enjoy a nice medium to full bodied smoke…

Tuesday, December 6, 2011



Along with the Liga Undercrown Drew Estates this year released another cigar and it’s called MY UZI WEIGHS A TON. The UZI is a formidable stick in that it only comes in a 60 ring.

The UZI for this review is the size that I like, 6 inch by 60 ring. As with every review I light my stick with a piece of cedar as to keep the flavor true, and then draw in my first mouth full of smoke. The flavor right away takes me by surprise. I was expecting to have the same taste of a Liga but the first thing that comes to mind is an oak flavoring followed by chocolate. Accompanying these flavors is a slight spiciness and is telling me that this is a completely different direction that Drew Estates is taking. The draw and burn are excellent and the white plumes of smoke are slowly taking over the atmosphere in the lounge.

As I get a third of the way in the ash is attached showing no signs of faltering. The solid white ash is thick and its only contrast is the red glow of the cherry when I draw off the stick. At the halfway point the taste has stayed the same but the spicy flavor is a little more apparent. Also the ash is still attached and is showing off its great construction.

The experience of smoking a totally new blend for Drew Estates is always an adventure and never a letdown. With a third left the spiciness is consistently getting more dominate and is making my mouth water for more. I really don’t want this to end and probably won’t.

The UZI is one of the better smokes I have enjoyed this year. Drew Estates once again has not let me down and is making great strides into the non-infused market. So with a smile on my face and burnt finger, from smoking it too short, I give this new cigar realistic thumbs up and say if you can get them buy them by the box… thick smoke and long ashes…

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The Undercrown is the latest undertaking by Drew Estates. Described as an inverse LIGA #9 this cigar literally is that. The stick has a Mexican Negro San Andres wrapper instead of the usual Connecticut broadleaf giving the smoker a spicier flavor. This should be quite a treat.

After digging around town I finally found a piece of cedar to light my cigar. As I begin I lightly warm the foot and begin to draw in the spicy smoke. Right away I am reminded why LIGA PRIVADA has become one of my favorite cigars. The spice is accompanied by a hint of chocolate and slight oak flavor, bringing me back to the first time I smoked a Liga. Although the undercrown tastes like a #9 the strength is slightly less, leaning toward a medium smoke. The unmistakable Ligero blend is as excellent as the original and I am really enjoying this smoke. The construction is nothing less than perfect. The draw and burn are even and ever so great. The plume filled room has an awesome aroma and is leading me to want to by a box. At a third of the way in the ash is as sturdy as a prelit cigar. The ligero and San Andres wrapper are working so good together I’ve decided to take the smoke on the road. I arrive at the casino and am smoking in a packed house. About 10 minutes into being there men and women are constantly asking what kind of cigar this is. All ages are telling me that it is the most pleasurable smelling cigar they have ever had the pleasure of being around. With its no offensive aroma it makes for a good evening. Now I’m down to the halfway point and the construction has not let me down. The ash is still as sturdy as when it started and the burn is extremely even. The flavor is, if you can believe it, has actually gotten better and is making me realize that if I smoke anything else tonight no matter what it is will taste like a white owl. After not paying attention I’m down to the nub and it still hasn’t changed flavor and has made me compitent that I will finish this with burnt fingers and lips…

LIGA PRIVADA has done it again. The UNDERCROWN is one of the best cigars I’ve ever had and has even caused me to get some next week. I think I will buy 2 boxes and stock my humidor with them… Buy this cigar by the stick or by the box. It's AWESOME!!!! THE BEST DEAL I HAVE SEEN SO FAR IS AT ROCKY CIGARS.COM in Syracuse New York. Go out and buy some before they are all out!!!...

Monday, November 28, 2011


The P.D.R. Capa Habano is the latest addition to the Pinar Del Rio line. It is a Dominican Habano wrapped cigar with an Ecuadorian binder and a Nicaraguan filler. This will be an interesting review being as though I personally haven’t been huge fan of PDR yet, however, Abe Florez has built a huge following for this brand. I am always happy to try a new blend...and I hope to be impressed.

Smoking in the cigar lounge tonight I start my ritualistic lighting of my cedar to first warm my cigar then lighting the foot I initiate the smoking experience. It has a good light and burn. The initial flavor that catches my taste is cedar and a little pepper. The pepper is leaving a remains on my tongue but not enough to stop me from analyzing this cigar. Then cigar construction is appealing but I notice right away the ash is less than desirable. I enjoy he look of a sturdy ash. The ash has fallen off three times since the light and I’m only a third into it. The flavor however is staying consistent and is a redeeming feature of this smoke.

At the halfway point the smoke has picked up a little spiciness and is still tasting good. The strength is medium bodied and is staying that way. With the cigar mostly gone the cigar taste wise has been one of the better tasting PDR’s but I wish to see these cigars hold their ash. It's just my preference.

The PDR Capa Habano 1878 will be enjoyed by someone who likes any of the other Pinar Del Rio blends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011



The Tatuaje 7th Capa especial Sumatra is another great product from Pete Johnson. The same excellence that this company has shown through the years in other lines shows in this cigar. The 7th Capa is a great smoke but this will be the first time that I’ve tried the Sumatra wrapper in this blend. Paired with the unique Sumatra wrapper is a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan filler making for a medium to full smoke. The master of all masters Don Pepin Garcia has blended this cigar so I know I won’t be disappointed.

With my ritualistic lighting of my stick with a piece of cedar I begin to draw. The beginning taste is no surprise a black pepper flavor accompanied by a nice spiciness that makes my tongue tingle. The burn and draw are as expected and leave no mistake that this is a Tatuaje cigar. The strength has started off medium but I know that further on it will change to something more to my usual strength. As I move a little further in I pick up an ever so slight taste of oak and I am pleasantly surprised.

About a third of the way in the pepper and spice has evened out and is now beginning to change to a little stronger cigar. The thick white plumes of smoke are starting to fill the lounge and I am really glad I choose this stick to smoke this afternoon. The construction is awesome and the ash shows no signs of faltering.

As I pass the halfway point the cigar is starting to show me that I wasn’t wrong. The strength has moved almost totally to full and the flavoring has regulated to smooth tasting pepper and spice. The ash is still there and shows no sign of flaring or falling off.

I had to do some local driving so I decided to smoke along the way. The cigar is wonderful and is no longer changing. It has become what I had suspected a full bodied smoke but extremely smooth. Without skipping a beat I have now thoroughly smoked the gem to the nub. The Don Pepin blended TAT 7th Sumatra has left me wanting more and I will sorely miss the pure enjoyment of it.

The TATUAJE 7th CAPA ESPECIAL SUMATRA is an excellent smoke. I highly recommend this cigar to anyone and especially to TATUAJE smokers. Try it I guarenty you won’t be disappointed… BUY A BOX FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! I will be receiving gifts at Rocky’s if any one feel the Christmas spirit and I will share…

Tuesday, November 22, 2011



The 601 La Bomba is the latest endeavor by the joint venture of EO and Rocky Patel. This cigar is a complete Nicaraguan creation from the Nicaraguan Habano wrapper followed by a Nicaraguan binder and a complete Nicaraguan blend. This smoke should be quite enjoyable.

In my traditional ceremony of lighting my cigar with a piece of cedar I first warm the foot and get the venture underway. At my first draw I’m hit immediately with a nice spicy flavor with a slight peppery distinctiveness. The draw and burn is exactly what I expected from the great Patel construction and it is starting the smoke with great pleasure. The spicy flavor is reminds me of a La Flor Dominicana DL and is a nice change of approach for this awesome cigar company. For the first time since my exile from the metropolises I am enjoying a cigar bar and loving the experiences. A third of the way through I’m getting asked “what is that great smelling cigar?” and it’s my pleasure to respond “it’s a rocky”. Due to the construction of this gem the ash is still attached and is sturdy and a dark shade of gray. At the half way point the taste and flavor is as consistent as when I first lit it. The ash is still attached and I’m exhaling great plumes of white smoke. The aroma has now filled the cigar bar and brought many smiles to peoples faces. With two thirds gone the change over, if you want to call it that, has become a little more spicy and I will most likely smoke this until there is nothing left. After I’m down to the nub I realize I don’t have my trusty tweezers and substitute a tooth pick. At the end I smoiked the ash right through past the safe point and finish with nothing left but ash!!

The 601 LA BOMBA is one of the best 601’s or ROCKY PATEL blended cigars I have ever had the pleasure to smoke. I recommend this cigar to anyone who likes Rocky or a spicy cigar. This cigar was an AWESOME smoke and a pleasure to review. Go out and buy a box. You won’t regret it!!!!


The latest cigar by Montecristo is the New York Edition. It is a full Dominican cigar Dominican filler, binder, and wrapper all grown in the Dominican Republic. The cigar is box press with a 54 ring and is 6 inches long.

The MONTECRISTO NEW YORK is going to be interesting to smoke because it’s not my normal blend. I tend to enjoy Nicaraguan full bodied smokes and quite honestly most full bodied Dominicans don’t live up to expectations. So in my slowly becoming popular lighting with a piece of cedar, I warm the entire cigar and begin to draw in the essence of this stick. The first thing I notice is a spicy sensation on my lips teasing my sense of what I am smoking. The strength is more than what I have been expecting from a Dominican and is a pleasant surprise. The draw is good but the burn is uneven and still reminds me that I’m smoking a Montecristo. Have to relight it to even the burn is disappointing and is taking away from the pleasure of sitting back and truly enjoying the flavor. Not even a third of the way through the ash has ended up in my lap and has slightly annoyed me. With the construction of a box press the ash usually stays attached longer than a third and is a sturdy stick. The flavor is still good and my willingness to put the construction to the side is starting to outweigh the disappointment that is forming because of the ash issue. At the halfway point the ash is small but the flavor has picked up and is making for a tasty smoke. The boldness has evened out and is becoming smoother making for a pleasant experience. I have gotten a drink of Jameson to test the virility of being able to enjoy it in a true lounge setting and it seems to compliment it well. At a third left the flavor is still dominating the smoke and the lack of construction is not playing into the equation anymore. The burn has completely evened out and the plumes of white smoke are steadily becoming the atmosphere in the lounge. Getting to the nub the stick has started to become a slight bit bitter and I think I will stop so I don’t ruin my experience anymore.

The MONTECRISTO NEW YORK is a good full bodied smoke. If you take out the construction issues of the stick and just go on flavor and strength it is a thoughly enjoyable smoke. If you like a La Flor Dominicana or anything else with spice I recommend trying this as long as you can handle the poor construction you will enjoy it…

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

La Sirena by Miami Cigar

LA SIRENA PRINCE by Miami Cigars

The LA SIRENA is another one of Nestor Miranda’s and Don Pepin’s new line of cigars. The grandmasters of blending are teaming a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper and a dual Nicaraguan habano and Nicaraguan Corojo binder with Nicaraguan Criollo ‘98 and Nicaraguan Corojo ‘96 filler, this should not be a disappointment at all. The size of the cigar is 5 inches long by a 50 ring. It is called the Prince.

After doing a little research I discovered that this cigar is rated as a full bodied smoke. The teaming of two such master blends should make for a great smoking experience. I personally am a big fan of PEPIN’S work such as the MY FATHER and all of the Pepin main line of cigars.

I begin with warming the cigar with a lit match slowly rotating the short stick to warm the complete outer wrapper. I then take my trusty piece of cedar, lit it, then warmed the foot of this gem. As I begin to draw on it I notice right away that this is no ordinary Pepin blended cigar. It has a bold strength right at the onset leaving me to wonder if I had died and gone to heaven. The flavors rushing around my taste buds were phenomenal. I could taste coffee, pepper and a hint oak making my mouth water for the next draw.

The construction is nothing more than great. The burn is not fast and is letting me enjoy the cigar without worrying that it will be gone in 20 minutes. The plume of smoke is white and is filling my cigar room with the aroma of a nice and smooth Maduro. The robust flavor is adding a little spice to my excitement and making me rethink what I want for Christmas this year.

A third of the way down the ash is still attached and is showing no signs of falling. The spiciness of this pleasure is taking over and is giving my taste a nice turn over treat. I am really enjoying this smoke.

I decided since I’m having on of the best smoking experiences of my year that I would open a little cognac and give myself the experience that you get from a fully functional cigar lounge. At the halfway point the cigar is awesome and the ash is still attached. The construction of this stick leaves no mistake as to who is blending this absolute wonder. The ash is solidly gray and smooth, no curls or flaring, and makes me think that I may have a solid ash for the rest of my smoke. The bold strength and awesome complexity of the ride is as consistent as when it started.

I’m enjoying this so much that I have already gotten my tweezers out. On the way to the nub I have already put the tweezers on it and am hoping that I will be able to finish it without the ash falling (I should have taken a picture). After a hour and a half smoke the ash finally fell and the heat has warmed the tweezers to the point that I can’t touch them with my lips. This is a hell of a cigar.

The LA SIRENA by MAIMI CIGAR is one of the best smokes of this or any other year. Anyone who enjoys a full bodied cigar that is complex and tasty MUST try this. One of the main things on your Christmas list should be this cigar. Buy one or buy a box you won’t be disappointed!!!

Tatuaje Fausto


The Fausto is one of the new lines, released July 2011, from Tatuaje cigars. The mostly Nicaraguan cigar consists of Nicaraguan filler accompanied by a Nicaraguan binder and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The size is a Churchill that measures 6.5 inches long by a 48 ring which is an odd sizing for a Churchill. The products that Tatuaje has been putting out has been awesome so this has a lot to live up to.

I light my piece of cedar to first warm, then light, my cigar. With the first draw the spice and peppery flavor hit me immediately. Accompanied by a caramel and slight oak flavor this cigar has completely taken me by surprise. The medium strength is hidden by the awesome taste. This TATUAJE taste nothing like any other I’ve had before. It is giving me hope that I will never want to stop smoking medium strength cigars. After a third gone and the draw, taste and burn are staying as they started. The puffy almost white ash is light and I don’t expect it to stay long. This is another extremely well constructed cigar and deserves to wear the Tatuaje label. After each tug on this stick I look to make sure I’m smoking a Tatuaje, it smokes like no other that I ever had. The flavor is smooth yet spicy and I like the way it presents itself. At the halfway point and everything is working the way it is supposed to. This is truly a good cigar and will live among the top of the top at Tatuaje. The last third of the cigar has given me a little more caramel and a little less spice. It’s nice that it settles down and lets you experience the full effect of the blend. The finish is as good as it started and makes a good afternoon smoke while watching the game.

The TATUAJE FAUSTO is a great smoke and should be enjoyable to anyone who likes a medium smoke. I recommend trying one and enjoy the experience…

7-20-4 by Kurt Kendall Dog Walker

7-20-4 by Kurt Kendal

The 7-20-4 is a cigar that has got a Brazilian Matafina wrapper accompanied by a Costa Rican binder and filler containing Nicaraguan, Honduran, Mexican, and Columbian long leaf. This size is called the dog walker as it measures 4.5 inches long by a 48 ring making it truly a short walk cigar.

Even though it’s called a dog walk cigar it’s just too cold out to walk so I will be enjoying this in my nice warm smoking room. The 7-20-4 is a nice smoke. Lighting it in my customary way of using a piece of cedar, I draw on the little stick. With no disappointment, the cigar sparks to life giving me memories of its big brothers. With every draw the pepper and cedar mix well on my palette. This stick, as with the others, is a pleasure to smoke. Consistently drawing well due to the excellent construction I have admired since I first started smoking 7-20-4’s. Halfway through the smoke and flavor is as consistent as when it began. The ash is a nice solid gray and lasted half the smoke. The expelled smoke is filling the air and making me glad to be alone in my fortress of solitude. As I get to the nub I take out my trusty tweezers and start to suck down the remnants of the little smoke that did.

The Kurt Kendall 7-20-4 dog walker is exactly that, if you like a 7-20-4 and don’t want to waste a bigger one, then this cigar is for you. My expectations of this cigar were happily matched to my realization that this is a great smoke. I feel this cigar won’t disappoint you if you’re looking for a shorter timed smoke. Kurt Kendall has the blend down to a savory science and will leave you with a great admiration for his products…

La Aurora BME Nicaragua


The La Aurora B.M.E. Nicaraguan is the second in the line that I have tried. A mix of a Nicaraguan wrapper with a Dominican Corojo binder and filler containing Dominican Corojo, Ligero, Nicaraguan and Peruvian leaves will make for an adventurous undertaking. We will see if this cigar lives up to its brother, the Brazil.

Ceremonially lighting my piece of cedar and warming the foot, I take my first couple of puffs. The flavor is a little surprising in that it is starting off with a oak seasoning. It’s a little rough in the back of my throat and is giving me memories of a Perdomo Lot 23. I think it’s the mix of Corojo and the Nicaraguan broadleaf wrapper that is sending my taste buds into a tizzy. The draw is good and it is burning evenly. About a third of the way in, the change from oak to a peppery Ligero is very welcome. The change over is smooth and is making me rethink how this cigar smokes. The construction of the stick is also very reminiscent of the Lot 23. It holds the ash well and is a solidly packed cigar. The more I draw, the spicier it gets. The Ligero is definitely taking over and this cigar is evolving into a tasty treat. At half way, it is definitely living up to the B.M.E. name and has become a pleasure of a smoke. The almost white ash is smooth and fluffy and the expelled smoke is slowly thickening in the room. The ease at the way this draws makes the smoke more enjoyable and gives me the feeling of contentment as I sit here in my smoking chair. When I get to the nub, I realize that the Ligero taste is starting to dissipate and instead of getting out my tweezers I decided to end this on a high note.

The LA AURORA B.M.E. NICARAGUAN is a good smoke and I recommend that if you like a Perdomo or a spicy cigar like a La Flor Dominicana, this is the cigar for you. This is a medium to full bodied smoke depending where your taste and experience lies. Enjoy…

San Lotano Connecticut


This San Lotano has an Ecuadorian wrapper with a Honduran binder. The filler is a mix of Nicaraguan and Dominican long filler. I will be smoking a robusto which measures 5.5 inches long by 54 ring.

The San Lotano Connecticut is a little smaller than my normal smoke but I decided to try something new. Using my piece of cedar I begin to light my cigar and draw in a mouth full of smoke. The initial taste was a smooth and creamy flavor of hazelnut and a little oak. The cigar has a good draw and a great burn. The strength is medium bodied and as I smoke it further it begins to pick up spice. About halfway through I the spice and pepper has taken over. This is turning out to be a great smoke and the strength of the cigar has stayed consistent. The spice reminds me of a cross between a La Flor Dominican and a Brickhouse. The cigar is well burning and taste great. When I hit a third of away the cigar the flavor has stayed consistent and the smoke is awesome. I took out my tweezers and finished it right down to the nub.

The SAN LOTANO CONNECTICUT is a good smoke and I think it’s a smoke people will enjoy. The cigar is peppery and spicy and will give you a great ride. I recommend this cigar to anyone who likes a good smoke….

Sunday, November 6, 2011



The Black Market by Alec Bradley ....the Interent has been burning with buzz on how good this cigar is so I have finally got one to try. The Black Market is an attractive cigar and looks to be excellently constructed. The composition of this cigar is a wrapper consisting of Nicaraguan broadleaf, a Sumatra binder, and Panamanian / Honduran filler. I will be smoking a Toro and if this is as good as the reports say then it will be a treat.

Using a nice piece of cedar I light my cigar with care and ease. The first thing I notice is the excellent draw and the ease that the cigar works on my taste buds. The flavor is a little leathery due to the Sumatra binder. The next thing I taste is a little spice and pepper mixed with a little woodsy flavor making for an interesting blend. The strength of this stick is medium and I am having no problem inhaling with each draw. The smoke is forming a nice plume and the ash has a nice deep gray appearance. Smoke filling the room is leaving a nice aroma and the cigar is going down smooth.

At a third of the way down the ash is still attached and is solid to the touch. The smoothness of this smoke is giving me an awesome smoking experience and I want this to never end. Now I’m at the halfway point and a nice flavor or caramel has taken over making a terrific change and giving my senses a totally new outlook on this cigar. The high regards that this cigar has gotten is well deserved and makes me wonder why any one would want to compare this with any other Alec Bradley. Getting down to a little past two thirds gone and the flavor is still right there and shows no sign of letting go. When I got to the nub I started to use my tweezers and smoked it until there was nothing left to hold on too. This cigar never went ashy even when that was all that was left. This was an amazing treat and I can’t wait until the next time I get one!!

The BLACK MARKET by ALEC BRADLEY is one of the best cigars I have ever had. I HIGHLY recommend this cigar to any one who is looking for a smoke to knock your socks off. I plan on asking Santa for a box for Christmas and hope he is listening right now! I can’t say enough about this cigar and hope everyone’s experience is as good as mine. Buy one or buy a box you won’t be disappointed…

A. Turrent Puro Corojo


The A. Turrent Puro Corojo is manufactured by Altadis Corporation. They are known for Montecristo, Romeo y Juliette, Siglo and Teamo. The size I will be smoking is a Gran Toro which measures 60 ring by 6.5 inches long. The cigar is constructed with San Andres’ Corojo wrapper accompanied by a Corojo binder and San Andres’ Corojo and Nicaraguan Corojo.

I light my cigar with a piece of cedar and begin to draw on the massive stick I notice that the draw is a little tight but not so tight as to make me suffer. It has a good burn and you can taste the Corojo immediately. The flavor is a little bothersome to the back of my throat but that is to be expected with an A. Turrent product. After growing accustomed to the flavor the Corojo dances across my taste buds awakening a flavor not sensed in a long time. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a pure Corojo smoke and it took me by surprise, the Corojo flavor is exciting me to open my mind to this company again. With the cigar half gone the Corojo flavor is effervescent and is making me realize how long and how much I’ve missed a Corojo smoke. The ash is sturdy due to the tight great construction of this gem. I’ve been smoking this stick for about an hour and it is awesome. I have a little more than a third and the flavor is starting to dissipate. The cigar is now down past a third and the flavor is almost gone being replaced by an ashy taste, plus the stick has also started to unravel as it begins to heat up. As the cigar finishes it reminds me of a Teamo in that it’s a good smoke two thirds of the way and finishes with great disappointment.

The A. TURRENT PURO COROJO is a good cigar for someone who likes a TEAMO or a SIGLO. I think that if you are someone who smokes a cigar and doesn’t always finish it you will enjoy this smoke.

Thursday, November 3, 2011



The San Lotano Habano is a mostly Nicaraguan cigar. The construction of the stick is attractive and looks to be a good smoke. The wrapper is Brazilian Habano, the binder is Nicaraguan, and the filler is Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Dominican. The mix of these three different leaves should make for an interesting smoke. The size I will be smoking will be a Toro, which measures 6 inches long by a 54 ring.

The night starts off with the traditional lighting of my piece of cedar. Lighting the cigar the first thing I notice is a nice flavor entering my mouth and it is smooth. The cigar has an excellent draw and the burn is quite good. The exhaling smoke is thick and white. As the smoke fills the room I notice that the smoke is almost ivory and leaving a pleasant smell in what has become my favorite room in the house.

One third of the cigar is gone and due to the excellent construction the ash is still attached. The ash has a dark gray color and is smooth to the touch. The taste of the Habano is not out of the ordinary. The Habano is not plain tasting but it lacks the complexity of the Oval. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good smoke but it doesn’t challenge the senses. The actual flavor is good for a beginner.

The most prominent flavor would be the Habano wrapper. It has a leathery taste accompanied by a medium strength that is good for a night at your local lounge. At the halfway point, the cigar is still consistent in the way it tastes and burns. The ash has finally come off and is in one piece. This cigar is very well constructed and even though it’s not a complex smoke, it is still enjoyable.

The draw is still as good as when I first lit it and the burn is even. Two thirds gone, the smoke has picked up strength and is more like what I normally smoke. The finish of this cigar is great. I took out the tweezers and smoked it until there was nothing left.

The SAN LOTANO HABANO is a good smoke. The pleasure of the surprise ending was worth the journey. This Habano is a completely different animal than the OVAL but I still recommend trying it. The cigar is a nice change if you’re looking to move up from a light strength cigar. It will broaden you horizons and leave you wanting more…

Wednesday, November 2, 2011



The San Lotano Oval is a new product by A.J. Fernandez. The wrapper is a four year aged habano 2000, a Nicaraguan binder and a mix of Nicaraguan, Honduran and A.J.’s secret blend. This combination makes for a mysterious smoke. The size I have chosen is the Toro. The measurements are 6 inches long by a 54 ring making this a good size to enjoy.

I begin as normal and light my piece of cedar and warm the end of the cigar. As I initially draw in the flavor I realize a woodsy and leathery taste that makes for a good enjoyable smoke. I also sense a light taste of caramel but very gentle. The cigar is burning very even and the draw is nice and smooth. This cigar has a distinctive and very pleasing taste. About a third of the way in the hint of caramel is more abundant and is pleasing my palette. The ash is still intact and is showing off its excellent construction. As I pull on this cigar the cherry of the end illuminates the darkness of the room casting shadows of expelled smoke on the walls. The Oval is pleasing all my senses and leaving me wanting more. At the half way point the caramel flavor is prominent and the cigar has taken on a new life. The ash is still gray and very sturdy. The cigar started medium-bold and now has become bold in strength and is a pleasure to smoke. The change over occurred at the half way point and was a little sharp but not overly. (It didn’t turn me off) The Oval has a dark appearance but doesn’t taste that way until a little past half, then you realize your smoking a bolder smoke. Two thirds gone and it begins to loose the caramel taste and the woodsy takes over. My palette is enjoying the change and that reminds me of the way the El Baton smokes. The Oval is now down to the nub and is ready to be finished, the flavor is all but gone and is being replaced by an ashy taste. Smoking it down to the nub is not recommended but was necessary for this review.

The SAN LOTANO OVAL by A.J. FERNANDEZ is a good product and I recommend trying it. The OVAL has a great taste and has a lot of changes. It is not a complex smoke but it is a palette challenging experience. If you prefer a cigar like this then you will enjoy it. If you are a beginner then I recommend that you smoke this with ease.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

American Classic Blend by Alec Bradley


On to my next choice the AMERICAN CLASSIC BLEND by ALEC BRADLEY. This cigar has a Honduran Connecticut wrapper with a Sumatra binder. Its filler is a blend of Panamanian and Honduran leafs, which will make for an interesting smoke. I will be smoking my favorite size, the Gordo, which should give me a long smoke. Alec Bradley has been right on with the blends lately so this should be interesting.

Taking my usual piece of cedar and lighting the monster I notice the awesome draw and medium strength right away. The first initial draw gives me memories of the family blend D3 which is my favorite of that blend. The blend has a nice taste of hazelnut with a slight woodsy flavoring. The exhaling smoke is thick and very white. The combination of the draw and burn allows the cigar to progress quicker than I initially thought it would. The ash is a nice dark gray and is very sturdy showing the excellent construction of the cigar. This stick is very consistent in its taste, no change over and evenly dancing across my taste buds. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a cigar that hasn’t had a lot of complexity and it’s a nice change. At a third gone, the ash has finally fell off and the cherry red end is showing in all its glory. The burn is still great and the draw is consistently staying the same. With the glass of bourbon I have, the cigar is a good match. At the halfway point the cigar is still going strong and has not changed of in any way. The flavor has stayed the same along with the strength. The simplicity of this blend is surprising me and leaving me not to want this to end. As I get to the nub I pick up a slight spiciness but not very noticeable. The spice is a pleasant slight change and it has caused me to get my tweezers out to see if it gets any stronger as I finish. With the tweezers, I can hold it with less than a quarter of inch left and the spicy change has not taken over. This has been a quite enjoyable smoke.

The AMERICAN CLASSIC BLEND is a good everyday smoke. I can’t think of anything wrong with this cigar. If you’re looking for a consistent non challenging everyday smoke this is for you. The blend is straight forward and it has an excellent draw. Keeping a box on hand would be a smart idea and always leave you with a smile when you’re done smoking it!

La Aurora BME Brazil

LA AURORA B.M.E. BRAZIL from Miami Cigars

Today I chose to smoke a LA AURORA B.M.E. BRAZIL. It is a mostly Dominican cigar with a Brazilian wrapper. The binder is Dominican Corojo and the filler is a mix of Dominican Corojo, Ligero, Nicaraguan and Peruvian leafs. This should make for an interesting and tasty blend. The size I have chosen is a Toro. The dimensions are 6.5 inches long by 54 ring which I think will be a good size to sample.
I am lighting the cigar with a piece of cedar and as I take my first draw the blend is very unique. It is unique in the sense that it tastes like no other La Aurora I have ever had before. I can immediately taste the Ligero and that is a pleasant taste for me. The draw is awesome even though it is a tight rolled cigar and has a hard feel to it. The smoke emanating from the end is a bluish gray and the burn is o.k.. It has started off as a medium bodied cigar and is promising to be a good smoke. Draw after draw it gets to be more and more ligero flavored. About a third of the way in the ligero is being accompanied by a slight taste of Corojo and is making the smoke ever so enjoyable. The burn has not worked as well as I thought it would. It’s good but not even and is making me wonder if I should relight it to even the burn. I’m into the halfway point and I have to keep reminding myself that I’m smoking a La Aurora. This cigar is awesome in flavor and making me rethink all the things I have ever said about this company. In the past I thought they were tasteless and extremely light but this is a totally different animal. At two thirds the strength and flavor has stayed consistent ant the burn has completely evened out. This is a pleasure to smoke. The draw is as good as when it started and the ligero flavor is making my mouth water for more. This cigar has taken me by complete surprise and has turned out to be a gem of a smoke.
The LA AURORA B.M.E. BRAZIL is a great smoke and I recommend that if you like a ligero smoke or are looking for something new to try this or buy a box and keep it for your special friends. If this smoke is this good I can’t wait to try the others. They come with different wrappers Brazil, Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Ecuador. If the others taste as good, I’m in for a treat.

Monday, October 24, 2011


The Tatuaje La Casita Criolla is a cigar that is made from 100% Nicaraguan Broadleaf tobacco. The wrapper, filler and binder are all Nicaraguan. The size I smoked was a corona which is not my normal size. However, the best way to test something is to try it in a different style than the normal size that is usually smoked. The corona measures 46 ring by 5 5/8 length, a good size for a detailed review on a Tatuaje. This cigar had a lot to live up to because of the other products that have come out from this wonderful company.

Using cedar to light my smoke so the first draw would be uninhibited taste, I warmed the end of the cigar and began to draw life into this masterpiece. The first taste that hit my palette was a nutty flavor with a hint of spice. This cigar has an awesome draw and burned as even as anything could.
After the first couple of minutes the room filled with a nice white, thick plume of smoke. The air smelled as nothing I experienced before. The flavor of this cigar was very unique and I immediately had flashes of the first time I smoked a Liga Privada, not the same taste but the experience of something new. This cigar was like no other Tatuaje I have ever had before.
About a third of the way in the cigar begins to change ever so slightly as not to give you a distasteful reaction. It begins to get a little bolder but not a heavy bold. It was very impressive. With every draw the La Casita Criolla makes you wish that this smoke never ends. At the half way point the cigar is still changing not to displace you but leave you wanting more. Every time I draw the cherry glows as bright as a planes red beacon and the exhale of smoke fills the room with white thick smoke. The ash is thick and grey still intact with half the stick gone. This cigar is well constructed and the blend is a very unique tasting treat. The master blender of this cigar needs to be thanked for this masterpiece.
Two thirds into the cigar the reward for choosing this smoke is apparent there is no other Tatuaje that smokes or tastes like this. When I got to the nub I took out my tweezers and smoked until the ash came through. (I burnt my lips but it was well worth it). Even as the La Casita Criolla came to the end it never lost that great taste and never got that ashy flavor.

The LA CASITA CRIOLLA by TATUAJE is one of the beast cigars I have ever had. If you are looking to smoke something new and exciting I HIGHLY recommend this cigar. I found the next cigar I will buy by the box and will smoke and recommend over and over again!!! I can’t say enough about this GEM and recommend it for anyone looking for something new….



This ALEC BRADELY PRENSADO is the biggest ring that this company puts out. The measurements are 62 ring by 6 inch length. The wrapper is Trojes Honduras, binder is Nicaraguan and the filler is a mix of Trojes Honduran and Nicaraguan. This cigar is the closest to the size I normally smoke. The Prensado is the higher end smoke of ALEC BRADELY and is compared to the PADRON 1926 as a cheaper alternative.

The ALEC BRADELY PRENSADO DOUBLE T is rated as a bold smoke and due to the size may not be for everyone. The 62 ring is very intimidating and will give the illusion that it is a lot of cigar. The Double T is a thick ring and should be punch or V cut if not familiar with this size. I like to use a piece of cedar to light all my first time cigars to get the purest initial taste.

At initial light I warm the end and begin to draw on this big stick. The first taste of flavor I get is a woodsy nutty blend. The draw is good and the flavor is smooth. This cigar starts off with medium strength and promises a great smoke. It tastes like a Prensado torpedo and has the same strength and draw. The smoke from my exhale is white with a hint of grey. With each draw the flavor begins to dance around my taste buds and gives me flashbacks of the first time I had a Prensado. As I draw the red from the glowing cherry gives the smoke an ominous color to the exhaled smoke. About a third of the way in the medium strength begins to change and become bolder. The double T is still burning evenly and the draw has not changed. For as thick as this cigar is it is still a pleasure to smoke.
At the half way point the Double T has changed completely to bold and the flavors a more distinct, A lot nuttier flavor than when it started it has captivated my palette. The ash is still attached and is thick and shows no signs of falling off. The smoke is thick and is filling the room which makes me glad I choose this cigar for the night. I’m two hours into this smoke and down to the nub.
The Double T has not disappointed me and with less that an inch left on this smoke I can still hold it in between my fingers. It’s not hot and is still burning evenly. The flavor is still there and after two hours the ashy taste has stayed away.

The ALEC BRADELY PRENSADO DOUBLE T is a great smoke and I recommend that if you like a big cigar to try it. It is well worth the cost and worth the time to smoke it. If you’re a fan of ALEC BRADELY you need to have this in your humidor and enjoy it with your friends….

Monday, June 27, 2011

Macanudo Cru Royale Lonsdale

Size: 6 ½ X 42
Shape: Lonsdale
Origin: Dominican Republic
Body: Medium
Wrapper: Equadoran Habano
Binder: Proprietary Dominican “La Vega Especiale”
Filler: Brazilian Mata Fina, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua Viso

I would like to start this post by issuing a formal apology to all its readers. I believe that I spent so much time complaining about being unable to get outside for a smoke due to the cold that the heavens have heaped a bunch of heat on us all. I am prepared to accept full blame and I hope that you all will forgive me. However, I have to admit that it’s nice to get outside for a smoke again.

On my way outside for a smoke in the park, I picked up a Macanudo Cru Royale Lonsdale to enjoy. Passing this stogie beneath my nostrils, I noted distinct sugar cane and earth notes. Drawing through it, I tasted sugar cane and earth again, but I also noticed a touch of hay to the flavor of this blend.

First light was a little under impressive, offering a sharp quality that was unpleasant. After a few puffs, this sharpness wore off and revealed a really tasty profile of sugar cane, leather, and peat. Exhaling through the nose brought the sweetness of the sugar cane note to the forefront, which was very enjoyable.

Towards the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second, I noticed that a cashew note had crept in to subtly support the rest of the profile. This note helped to provide some depth and complexity as well which was very much appreciated.

As this stick progressed, the profile held strong, rarely wavering or changing until the third quarter. At this point, the sweet sugar cane note subsided slightly but remained strong in the blend.

Despite the overall lack of complexity during this smoke, I found it to be very tasty and very relaxing. It’s perfect for an afternoon smoke in the park. I would definitely smoke this stick again and I highly recommend that anyone who is a fan of medium bodied stogies give this a try.

Presentation: 8/10 – The band is simple and to the point, displaying an attractive combination of blue, silver, and black. The lettering is clearly legible and is placed around what appears to be a coat of arms.

Appearance: 8/10 – Rugged, smooth, thinly veined, and displaying dark and rich earth tones, this stick really looks great.

Construction: 32/35 – Solid throughout with just a little give. The draw was excellent: open, but with a little bit of resistance. The only issue I had with this stick was that it ran a few times. It did, however, fix itself in the long run.

Flavor: 42/45 – I really enjoyed the overall flavor profile that this cigar offered. There was one major drawback though. At first light, this stick exhibited a sharp and unpleasant taste that I definitely did not enjoy. Beyond that, this stick has a first rate profile that I found very relaxing.

Overall: 90/100 – I really enjoyed this stick. It was well constructed, tasted great (for the most part), and was very relaxing. I highly recommend that anyone out there who enjoys a solid medium bodied smoke should give this stick a whirl.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Berger & Argenti Classico Rothchild

Size: 5 X 50
Shape: Rothschild
Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua
Body: Medium - Full
Wrapper: Ecuadorian "Desflorado" Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan Corjo
Filler: Nicaraguan

Now that the frigid days of winter are behind us, one would think they could venture outside for a smoke with the temperature hanging out in the 50s and 60s for the last week. However, you have to remember that it is April and we all know what that means. I think an old idiom says it best, “April showers bring May flowers.”

So with my tail firmly between my legs I retreated indoors once again to the comfortable confines of my local tobacconist. The smoke for the day: the Berger & Argenti Clasico Rothschild.

I'll tell you what, Berger & Argenti make one good looking cigar. Sliding this guy out of its cellophane, I immediately noticed how smooth, silky, and evenly colored the wrapper on this stick was.

After that cursory glance at this beautiful stick, I went straight for the head. Snip! Prelight flavors in the nose were of sugar cane and rich, fertile earth. Drawing on this guy displayed notes of sugar cane and leather on the palate. This was shaping up to be one sweet little smoke.

Without a moment to spare, I put flame to the foot of this baby. Immediately, I was soothed by the sweet sugar cane flavor, awakened by the coffee notes, and saddled with the notes of leather that flooded my palate on first light.

Progressing through the first quarter, the notes of sugar cane, earth, and leather held strong and mingled, creating a complex experience on the palate. Pure notes of unsullied tobacco goodness made themselves present at first as well. These were most noticeable when the three main flavor notes mingled perfectly.

Once the second quarter began, I started to take note of the body of this stick. At first it felt like a medium bodied cigar at best, but by the second quarter, it became clear that I was smoking a delicious medium-full bodied smoke. As I made this discovery, I also noted how well the flavors were holding on. No bitterness had crept in and I continued to be in a state of pure cigar heaven.

Unfortunately, my bliss was not to last. A sharp note accompanied by a lingering bitterness became present during the third quarter of the Rothschild, taking focus away from the delicious flavors that this cigar was providing. By the end of the third quarter, I could no longer stand to smoke this stick due to the intensity of the bitterness in the profile.

Setting this guy down, I pondered how a cigar that could start off with such a phenomenal profile could deteriorate to quickly towards the end. I suppose this could be likened to a runner with poor training. If you sprint out of the gate and don't pace yourself, you're sure to lose in the end. Sadly for this smoker, this is just what the Clasico Rothschild did.

Presentation: 8/10 – I really love Berger & Argenti's bands. They're classy and simple and I like that. I have to take a point off because there is nothing attention grabbing about it. Spotting this stick from across the room may be a challenge.

Appearance: 9/10 – This is a great looking cigar. The wrapper is smooth and unwrinkled, there are very few visible veins, it has a nice oily sheen, and the color is very consistent. Top notch.

Construction: 33/35 – The draw was effortless on this firmly packed beauty. I did have a few burn problems though.

Flavor: 38/45 – This smoke started off very strong with sugar cane, earth, and leather notes dominating the profile. Unfortunately, the delicious experience that I started out with deteriorated into an extremely bitter one by the end.

Overall: 88/100 – As usual, Berger & Argenti nail the presentation and appearance of the cigar. The construction is very good, providing an effortless draw. This time, the flavor was even wonderful... right up until the half way point. I think that this is a cigar that I may try again, but just for the first half. I guarantee that the second half of a Clasico Rothschild and I will probably never cross paths again.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pinar Del Rio 1878 Capa Oscura

Size: 5 X 52

Shape: Robusto

Origin: Dominican Republic

Body: Medium
Wrapper: Dominican Republic Habano Oscuro
Binder: Dominican Republic Habano
Filler: Dominican Republic (Corojo, Habano, Criollo 98)

Smoke Clock: 1 hr 10 mins

With the recent chilly resurgence, I was forced inside in order to enjoy my evening smoke. Fortunately for me, my local shop didn’t mind a bit. The smoke for the evening: PDR 1878 Capa Oscura.

The first thing I noticed about this stick was how attractive it was. A beautiful and rich color covered the wrapper and the pig tail and closed foot helped to make this a delightful stick to behold. Once I was done ogling it, I cut and dove in.

A pre-light sniff revealed notes of sugar, spice, and earthen undertones which had me raising my lighter quicker than a hound chasing a hare. As soon as fire struck tobacco, I tasted sugar cane with a hint of butter. What a start!

Progressing into the first quarter, the note of butter became more dominant. When the profile became overall creamy and the flavors began to mingle I tasted vanilla bean ice cream. Delicious!

As the stick progressed, I intermittently tasted hints of coffee and earth, while the profile remained dominantly vanilla bean in nature.

Advancing into the third quarter, the flavor profile remained much the same. The vanilla bean ice cream accompanied by coffee and earth notes, which served to enhance the delicious vanilla bean flavor, continued through the end of the cigar.

Even though this stick seemed relatively one-noted, it was extremely tasty and never became bitter. I only set this guy down because it was starting to burn my fingers. The only drawback was the burn. From start to finish, if the burn wasn’t wavy it was in a full out sprint. I had to touch it up two or three times. Despite the unfortunate burn, this stick provided this smoker with an excellent experience, one that I highly recommend you try yourself.


Presentation: 9/10 – Now this, ladies and gents, is what I call a well presented cigar. The band is simple, well designed, attractive, and bold. If I walked into any B & M and glanced around the room I would immediately be able to spot this stick(if it was in plain sight, of course).

Appearance: 8/10 – As I stated earlier, this is one pretty stick. The wrapper is dark and oily with a well executed pig tail at the head and closed foot. However, two thick veins stood out and even though the seams were nearly invisible, they weren’t quite.

Construction: 31/35 – This stick was firm throughout but had a few soft spots, which indicated slightly inconsistent density. This may have accounted for the poor burn that I experienced with this stick. However, the draw was great, providing just a little bit of resistance.

Flavor: 43/45 – This blend was extremely well executed, providing me with a lot of delicious and consistent flavor throughout the entirety of the smoke. No bitterness was detected even down to the nub.

Overall: 91/100 – This cigar is masterfully blended, very attractive, and beautifully presented. This is a veritable home run in my book. If you haven’t tried this stick yet you are missing out.

Monday, March 14, 2011

La Gloria Cubana Serie N Generoso

Size: 5 ¾ X 49
Shape: Generoso
Origin: Dominican Republic
Body: Medium to Full
Wrapper: Equadoran Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoke Clock: 1 hr

We are now in the early teasing days of spring, where it’s almost possible to go outside for a smoke, but it’s still just a bit too cold. With the promise of warm days of puffing outside ahead, I retired to my local smoke shop to escape the current chill. My smokeable companion for the afternoon: La Gloria Cubana Serie N Generoso.

After a neat clipping of the cap of this stick, I passed it beneath my nose. I detected earth, leather, and a pronounced spice which got me pretty revved up to get this baby lit. On the draw I experienced leather accompanied by a natural sweetness. After that, I was seriously ready to burn this baby.

Touching fire to the foot, I tasted sweet earthen coffee. Throughout the first quarter, the smoke was copious and creamy, wafting away in thick clouds as I exhaled. After a few puffs, the sweetness picked up, leading to a long mocha finish. This was a solid start to a tasty stick to say the least.

Leading into the 2nd quarter, the profile developed into a complex array of flavors that I lovingly refer to as compost. Sweet mocha lingered on my palate after ever puff. Towards the end, a hint of spice emerged in the nose, but just for a moment before retreating to the background of the profile. Once this occurred, I was able to detect it in the distant background and was glad that the spice note had made its presence known.

As the 3rd quarter began, the profile returned to sweet earthen, leathery, rich compost flavors. The richness and depth of the profile increased during this quarter, rewarding this smoker with a long luxurious finish.

This was a great smoke and an excellent sister blend to the Serie R. Much more mellow and luxurious than the R (in my opinion), the N provided an absolutely delightful smoking experience; one I hope to soon repeat.

Presentation: 8/10 – The color and contrast of the La Gloria emblem are proudly displayed all over the band. The seal, complete with an attractive woman, is placed over a large and dramatic “N.” Classic, to the point, and easily readable, this is one of the better bands I’ve seen. An interesting addition of a tobacco leaf “N” is stuck to the outside of the wrapper. This is an interesting presentation concept, to say the least.

Appearance: 7/10 – This stick was rough and bumpy, providing a rolling hills type appearance. The wrapper was dark and oily with a clearly visible seam.

Construction: 32 /35 – Applying some pressure, this cigar appears to be rock solid, yet provides a decent draw with a punch cut. The burn was wavy overall, but didn’t take away from the experience.

Flavor: 43/45 – The complex profile of sweet and rich earth, leather, and cocoa came together to create a sweet compost note that I really enjoy.

Overall: 90/100 – Overall, this cigar provided a very consistent and delicious smoke and didn’t require a lot of maintenance. I would definitely smoke this guy again and if you haven’t, I highly recommend that you do.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Arturo Fuente King T

Size: 7 X 49
Shape: Double Corona
Origin: Dominican Republic
Body: Medium
Wrapper: USA Grown Connecticut Shade
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Smoke Clock: 1 hr 15 mins

Sitting inside my local tobacconist’s shop on a calm Monday, I decided to light up a smoke that I suspected would be a little on the mild side, the Arturo Fuente King T.

This stick is presented in a beautifully designed tube with white and black contrasting top and bottom parts. Opening the tube reveals a solid stick encompassed by a lovely tan Connecticut wrapper. The oily sheen that I discovered on the wrapper had me eager to get this stick lit.

Once I had the foot toasted, I gave this stick a thorough light and was inundated with a transcendent sweetness supported by a light cashew note, subtle leather, and just the right amount of spice.

As this stick burned into the first quarter, I really began to fall in love. I began to taste what I can only describe as a cream soda flavor, a flavor that I’ve heard referred to as purely Cuban and one that I had never experienced before. This cream soda flavor was complemented by notes of oak and cedar with leather & sweet cream lingering on the palate after each puff.

Burning into the second quarter, the complexity to the profile remained, but the less dominant flavors slipped further into the background, allowing the sweet cream soda note to really take the fore front. Evanescent wisps of smoke floated up from my cigar as I reveled in the lingering finish that each puff brought to my palate. In this moment, I was in heaven.

With the third quarter came the return of the oak and cedar notes which had retreated during the second quarter of this smoke. Their return provided some welcome complexity, although the purity of the cream soda flavors was missed. At this point, I really began to notice how medium bodied this smoke actually was. With this realization came a hearty spice note which was most noticeable through the nose, providing a tingle in my senses which again elevated the sweet soda quality that this cigar provided.

As I lay this stick aside, the lingering sweetness, cashew, and leather left me craving another almost immediately. Given easy access to another of these sticks, I would not hesitate to light it up post haste to get another taste of that fabled Cuban flavor.

Presentation: 9/10 – In addition to the tube, this stick comes double banded with one band at the shoulder and the other at the foot. The shoulder band is very attractive and bumps this stick up to my second highest presentation grade. Even though the band at the foot is also attractive, it feels a bit unnecessary to me and so, no perfect for this stick.

Appearance: 7 /10 – The wrapper is consistently colored, oily, and thinly veined. Drawbacks are the wrinkled appearance of the wrapper and the visible seams.

Construction: 32/35 – Very nice draw to this consistently firm stick, especially given that I used a punch cut on this guy. However, the burn was a bit uneven at times.

Flavor: 44/45 – Purity, complexity, consistency, and just downright yummy, this stick hits the mark in the flavor department.

Overall: 92/100 – Awesome flavor with a long and delectable finish accompanied by excellent construction and a knock out presentation makes this stick one for the record books. The next time you get a chance, burn one of these. You will not be sorry you did.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kristoff Criollo

Size: 6 ½ X 56

Shape: Matador

Origin: Dominican

Body: Medium to Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan

Smoke Clock: 1hr, 5mins

Avoiding the winter chill, I poured myself a cup of coffee (courtesy of my local shop), nestled into a comfy chair, and lit up what was to be an eventful smoke: the Kristoff Criollo.

Prelight aromas were rich with earth & leather leading the way. There was also an unmistakable sweetness present that got my mouth watering. A little pre-light draw showed off the wide open construction of this stick with complex flavors complemented by an underlying sweetness. Man was I ready to light this baby!

Putting a flame to the foot, I tasted sweet earth and leather right off the bat. After a few puffs, pepper with underlying hints of nuts crept in, followed later in the first quarter by light cocoa and coffee notes. It was at this point that the adventure really began because, unfortunately, the wrapper began to fall apart on me.

Working my way through this mild tragedy, the flavor profile smoothed and balanced into the second quarter, eliciting dominant earth and leather notes with subtle nut and cocoa supporting. The sweetness that I tasted at first continued to hang around, coming and going in subtle waves.

As much as I was enjoying the flavor, I was NOT enjoying the disintegrating wrapper. By the time I’d reached the third quarter, the wrapper was in such a state of disarray that I finished the job and smoked the rest of the stick sans-wrapper. Not surprisingly, the flavor changed, making this an informative, although annoying, occurrence.

With the wrapper gone, the pepper in the profile ramped up substantially and the sweetness all but vanished. (I suppose that tells us where all the sweet flavors were coming from.) Earth and coffee notes also ramped up, turning this into a great black coffee accompanying smoke.

Reaching the end, I lay this stick to rest. I must say that flavor wise, this is probably my favorite of the Kristoffs that I’ve smoked. The draw was excellent and I didn’t experience any serious burn issues. My only problem with this stick was that the wrapper came off completely; starting with a few cracks that eventually caused the demise of the entire leaf. If this occurrence did not repeat itself on other Kristoff Criollos, this would be a smoke that I would reach for again. Even now, I would reach for one with the hope that it would keep its wrapper on.


Presentation: 6/10 – I really dislike their bands. However, this band is a little better than their others. More contrast guys, more contrast! I’d like to read these bands clearly, please.

Appearance: 8/10 – Before it vaporized, the wrapper was virtually seamless, oily, consistent in color, and thinly veined. It did have that wrinkled appearance that I’ve come to associate with Kristoff, but that’s ok. This stick also featured a rough cut foot and a pig tail cap.

Construction: 34/35 – Bang, wiiiiiiiiiiiiizz, phew, kapow! Fire off the big guns for this category because they really did a stellar job assembling this smoke. I just wish the wrapper hadn’t exploded.

Flavor: 43/45 – Excellent flavor clarity, purity, and blending. I just wish the wrapper hadn’t fallen off.

Overall: 91/100 – If the wrapper hadn’t violently ripped itself from the cigar, this would’ve been an incredible overall experience. Even considering this unfortunate fact, I really enjoyed this cigar. The construction was spot on and the flavors were delicious. I’d recommend picking one up to try. I sincerely hope that yours only causes metaphorical explosions - on your taste buds.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Kristoff Ligero Maduro Matador

Size: 6.5 X 56

Shape: Matador

Origin: Dominican Republic

Body: Full Powerhouse
Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican, 70% Ligero

Smoke Clock: 1hr 15mins

While outside the wind wildly whipped the white falling snow, I was warm and cozy inside and puffing away at a delicious and overpowering cigar: the Kristoff Maduro Ligero. With 70% ligero filler, this cigar ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie.

From first light I could tell this cigar was going to lay me out. Fortunately, the flavor profile matches the body blow for blow.

Rich dark chocolate, earth, and coffee notes washed over my palate as I adjusted to power of this cigar. After a few puffs, I began to taste a mingling of flavors that could only be described as blackened chicken. Before long, however, the profile and body smoothed out, allowing caramel notes to emerge with dark roasted coffee as the forerunners in the blend.

As the cigar evolved, I toted a nice degree of spice joining in part way through the second quarter. As the third quarter began, notes of cashew and walnut began to emerge, complimenting the coffee note beautifully and providing an added sense of depth to the blend.

Being quite drunk at the end of the third quarter, I lay this stick to rest. As I took a few moments to relax and sober up, I considered whether this was the strongest cigar I’d ever smoked. It took no more than the consideration of a moment to give the answer: yes, without question.


Presentation: 7/10 – Kristoff’s style of presentation, in theory, is nice: simple, straightforward, masculine. However, in the execution, they fall short. This band is nice, but unless I manage to find just the right light I can’t read the small print on the band primarily due to the lack of contrast in the colors they use. What gives?

Appearance: 8/10 – Pretty nice looking cigar here. The wrapper is near seamless with a few very thin veins running the length of the stick and exhibits a dark brown color mottled by lighter earth tones. The choices to leave the foot rough and add a pig tail to the head are interesting visual touches that I appreciate.

Construction: 33/35 – This stick is extremely solid, yet has a great draw. This smoke burned quite evenly until the half way mark when it began to run a bit. The run fixed itself, so no major marks off.

Flavor: 43/45 – This cigar exhibited purity, complexity, and depth to the flavor profile while never becoming bitter. The blackened chicken taste at the beginning was a little disconcerting though.

Overall: 92/100 – As you can see by the 92 to your left, this cigar fared pretty well in my book. I’m not sure I can say I’d reach for them though as this blend had yours truly nearly doubled over drunk. If what you’re after is a delicious, complex, and extremely full bodied smoke, this is a pal you should shake hands with.