October 12, 2014

Roberto P. Duran La Punta (6 x 54)

Video review HERE.

On the heels of their successful introduction of the Azan line of cigars in 2013 Roberto Duran Cigars is now introducing their premium line. This is the Roberto P. Duran. It pays homage to their Cuban roots and uses only premium tobaccos. Today's vitola is the La Punta, a 6 x 54 torpedo.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Crillo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan and other Latin America tobaccos (unknown)

Available in these sizes:
The Rio Toa (5 x 52)
La Punta (6 x 54) REVIEWED TODAY
Tainos (6 x 56)
Cocique Guama (6 x 60)

The cigar is beautiful and light in color. It's a little darker than a Connecticut wrapper and silky smooth looking. It has a nice density. It feels heavy in the hand.

I took the minimum cut from the cap and the test draw was great. The initial flavors were a sweet, tangy tangerine citrus with white chocolate and notes of dry nuts. The pepper is rated at an 8 and tastes like white pepper. The cigar is medium bodied at this point but I expect it to ramp up. The initial flavors are very impressive.

About 3/4 inch in the cigar is going along nicely but now there are brown sugar and nutmeg notes. The sweetness of brown sugar is very nice. The finish is very sweet. It is one of sweet cream with some brown sugar influence. There is a lot of lingering white pepper, which is very nice. The ash is salt and pepper in color and the cigar is burning evenly.

With about 3 inches remaining the citrus is the primary flavor. The roasted nuts are very noticeable. The nutmeg is subtle and the white chocolate is secondary. The brown sugar continues to give a lot of sweetness to the cigar. The cigar is approaching medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged but I love the lingering white pepper.

The cigar did not have any major changes to the end. The citrus notes dominate, followed by the roasted nuts and brown sugar. I lost the white chocolate and nutmeg but that's ok. The cigar is now full bodied. The cigar continued to ramp up throughout. The finish is unchanged but again, I love the lingering white pepper!
A few notes: in the last 10 days General Cigar bought Torano Cigars. Jack Torano was hired by Roberto Duran Cigars and now will be working with them.

This cigar is very good. If your palate is similar to mine you will love this cigar. Truly worthy of a premium cigar. Loved it! Look for these at your local shop.

Score: 93

October 11, 2014

S. C. Sit Down no. 21

While this is the smaller of the two yearly events it is always attended by some hard core cigar lovers. The group was small; around 20 or so people but this group raised $600 for SisterCare, Inc.! Pretty good for such a small group. I had some cigars left over from the spring event so everyone left happy. Here are some pics of the day.

Thanks to everyone who attended. It is noteworthy that Eric Webster, who normally attends both the spring and fall events could not be here today but he still sent a check for SisterCare. Eric's a class act!

I hope to see everyone at the big spring event scheduled for the weekend after The Masters; Saturday, April 18th, 2015. 

October 09, 2014


(Miami, Florida) October 9, 2014— Roberto Pelayo Duran is proud to announce that Jack Toraño of the Toraño cigar family will now oversee sales in Florida and the Caribbean for Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars. This announcement comes only days after the announcement of the hiring of Miguel Shoedel and Frank Cuden.

Jack Toraño spent 3 years with Toraño Family Cigar Company as Director of Marketing until its acquisition by General Cigars.

Roberto Pelayo Duran said: “Jack Toraño was an integral part of Toraño Family Cigar Company and we are ecstatic to have him on board at Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigar Company. Jack is very well known as he has travelled extensively and his popularity, charisma and four generations of tobacco heritage will go very far in helping us expand our brand.”

Jack Toraño said: “I wanted to take the time to find the company that matches my vision. I am excited to be working with Roberto Pelayo Duran who is as passionate about cigars as I am. Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars is truly a boutique cigar company which owns its tobacco fields and creates their own cigars. The fact that we will be involved in everything from tobacco field all the way to the valued customer is what brought me here. Roberto Duran is creating a stellar team and I am happy to call Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars my new home.

Roberto P. Duran began his life’s work in his homeland of Havana, Cuba where tobacco grabbed a hold of him, and never let go. Supervising the production of cigar manufacturing in Cuba was only the beginning as he later went on to assemble and manage distribution of all Cuban cigar brands for Asia at The Pacific Cigar Company Ltd. The creation of Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars has given Roberto the platform to introduce a brand of cigars that offer the same quality, construction, and detail which he exceeded from those he supervised while in Cuba. Roberto P. Duran’s brands include Azan Cigars, Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigar, Neya, and Baracoa.

October 08, 2014


(Miami, FL)- October 8, 2014--One picture, eleven cents: #LA111th. La Aurora turns 111 years old today and wants to celebrate with all the smokers in the world, inviting them to toast with Guillermo and Michelle León in celebration of such a special date. That being a reason to celebrate is also a reason to “give back.”  The company has announced a target to collect funds for one of the social programs supported by La Aurora. For every picture received by the brand’s social media, 11 cents will be donated to the Patronato de Lucha contra la Diabetes de Santiago de los Caballeros, a local institution that fights against diabetes disease. La Aurora will also use all the pictures received to adorn their tabaquería, in the factory, in an effort to make everyone feel part of La Aurora Family. The campaign "Become part of the family" invites everyone to have their own picture hung in La Aurora's facilities and we want to fill it all!

"La Aurora is a family and we want to invite all our friends from all around the world to join our family on this very special day in which we accomplish 111 years of history," said Guillermo León, president of La Aurora. "We want to share the joy of this celebration with all our employees, our International distributors, the tobacco shops and with all smokers and friends, with a double challenge. We aim to fill the factory walls with the pictures of so many friends and make a generous contribution to the research of such a cruel disease as diabetes.”

The hash tags that will be used to collect the pictures, on Twitter, Face book (https://www.facebook.com/LaAuroraCigars) and Instagram are #LA111th.

La Aurora's commitment is to keep everyone informed about their progress and the evolution of the factory walls. Become part of the family…

About La Aurora Cigars

La Aurora is the original cigar factory in Dominican Republic. Its master craftsman roll the best quality premium cigars since 1903, 111 years ago today. Located in Santiago de los Caballeros, the premium cigar capital of the world, La Aurora is a family owned company headed by Guillermo León, a fourth generation tobacco artisan, and is a symbol for all the Dominican people.

About the Patronato de Lucha contra la Diabetes

Between 8% and 10% of the global population is affected by diabetes, a disease that has turned into a world health problem, as it is not about social or economic level to develop it. Till now, there has been no programs to prevent and educate people about the fight against this disease in Dominican Republic nor to help people affected by it. Known as the "Epidemic of the century", this disease has no cure and its treatment costs are very high. The Patronato de Lucha Contra la Diabetes de Santiago is a NGO created to help and service people affected by diabetes with poor economic resources in Cibao Region.

About Miami Cigar & Co.
Miami Cigar & Co. proudly celebrates its 25th Year in the cigar industry. Founded by Nestor and Mariana Miranda, Miami Cigar & Co. has become one of the premier distributors of premium cigars boasting a portfolio which includes Tatiana, Don Lino and the Nestor Miranda brands. Miami Cigar &Co. also serves as the exclusive United States distributor for La Aurora, S.A and all Viva Republica brands.

October 05, 2014

Cohiba Nicaragua En Crystale (5 x 50)

Video review HERE.

(from the General Cigar/Cohiba website)
Cohiba Nicaragua is the brand’s first cigar to be blended and handcrafted in Nicaragua.  A luxurious expression of the flavor and complexity of Nicaraguan tobacco, Cohiba Nicaragua is made with the finest hand-selected leaves from Estelí and Jalapa, and crowned with a lustrous Colorado oscuro wrapper. Cohiba Nicaragua ushers in an entirely new dimension of taste to the Cohiba portfolio.

These cigars were debuted at this year's IPCPR in Las Vegas. 

(from the Cigar Aficionado website)
It's made in Nicaragua at the Scandinavian Tobacco Group Estelí S.A. factory, and contains mostly Nicaraguan tobacco. Before production started on this brand, General made all of its Cohibas in the Dominican Republic.

Cohiba Nicaragua cigars come in four sizes: N45 at 4 inches by 45 ring gauge ($9.99); N54, 5 1/2 by 54 ($13.99); N60, 6 by 60 ($14.99); and N50 En Crystale, a 5 by 50 cigar that comes in a glass tube ($12.99).

All sizes will be packaged in 16-count boxes, save for the tubed N50 En Crystale, which will come in boxes of eight.

Cohiba Nicaragua should start shipping to retail shops in early October.

This is a beautiful cigar. The Honduran wrapper is reddish brown and very well made. The cigar feels very heavy in the hand. It has great density.

The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were a massive amount of red pepper, which I rated at a 9! There is a mix of cinnamon and orange citrus, which goes along well with the red pepper. There are also some cream notes mixed in. The orange citrus is tangy and there are nice cinnamon notes to go along. A very good start.

3/4 inch in I would add black coffee as a base. The other flavors are correct. The finish is a sweet cream with a lot of lingering red pepper. I can't over emphasise the amount of red pepper in this cigar. It's amazing!

2 inches in there was a minor burn issue but it's correcting on it's own. The flavors now are a tangy, sweet cedar and cinnamon. There is a brown sugar sweetness to the flavors. The red pepper is still popping and the coffee is holding the base. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. It will probably increase. The red pepper may have toned down just a touch but there is still a massive amount.

Past the halfway point I removed the band and the ash is still intact! Very impressive. The cigar still has the same flavor notes. Notice the time. At just past halfway the cigar is almost an hour old!

With only about an inch left I am well over 1 hour 15 minutes in. This is a slow burning robusto, which is a good thing. There is a little richness in the cedar and cinnamon. I have lost the cream notes and I still have the coffee notes. However, there are now charred cedar notes. The finish is the same. Again, the red pepper is the star of this cigar. If you like red pepper you will love this cigar. Combine that with the sweet cedar and cinnamon along with charred cedar and coffee you have a very tasty cigar.

Oh, by the way, the ash did finally drop. Here it is in the ashtray. That's a 3 inch ash! Impressive.

The cigar finally ended at the 1 hour 28 minute mark! That's a long time for a robusto. The star of this cigar is the red pepper; hands down. But, the sweet cedar and cinnamon were a great addition. The charred cedar gave it an interesting addition. The black coffee did a great job holding the base.
We all know that Nicaragua is the hotbed of tobacco right now and the General Cigar folks and Cohiba have done a fantastic job on this cigar. This cigar runs around $12.99 each but when you get an hour and a half from it you get a pretty decent deal. A big tip of the hat to General Cigar and Cohiba. I loved this cigar and highly recommend it to everyone. Try it and taste the amazing red pepper and sweet cedar and cinnamon. Fantastic cigar.

Score: 95

October 04, 2014

Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Sun Grown Epicure (6 x 56)

Video review HERE.

The Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Sun Grown is the second installment in the series. Like the previous Connecticut version these are only available at Perdomo's top accounts. 

All the cigars in this series are a blend of Perdomo’s finest and most cherished 12 year old fillers, binders, and wrappers. These rare tobaccos have been carefully bale aged for ten years and then barrel aged for an additional two years. Using a proprietary double‐aging process, each leaf of seco, viso, ligero, binder, and wrapper is aged in charred, white oak bourbon barrels. This unique double‐aging process ensures the perfect color, texture, aroma, and flavor in these tobaccos, making each cigar a well‐balanced and full‐flavored smoking experience.

The cigar is beautiful and very well made. The wrapper is almost flawless. It is dense. Here is a  hot of the foot.

After cutting the cap the test draw was a bit firm. The initial flavors were sweet and tart orange citrus, graham cracker, and roasted nuts. The sweetness reminds of the Sweet Tarts you had as a kid. The pepper is a white pepper on the draw and black pepper on the finish. The cigar is medium bodied at this early point.

About one inch in the flavors are combining nicely. There is also light leather notes. The finish is one of a french vanilla cream with nice lingering black pepper. I like the fact that there is white pepper on the front end and black pepper on the finish. The cigar is still medium bodied.

2 inches in there are now nutmeg notes and nice butter notes. All the flavors are combining nicely with a richness. The cigar is approaching medium to full bodied. There is a pleasing sweet, buttery flavor to the cigar. The finish is still a cream but some of the buttery notes are moving over to the finish also.

At the band the ash is still intact! Look at that! The flavors are very even now. They still have the buttery notes and richness. The cigar is definitely medium to full bodied now. The finish is unchanged. 

About 2 inches remaining and the front end sweet flavor is now more of a sweet cedar. The other notes are still in play; graham cracker, roasted nuts, leather, and nutmeg. The cigar is medium to full bodied and the finish is unchanged.

The cigar ended much like the last segment. The sweet cedar is the sweet flavor with the other notes still in play. The cigar is now full bodied. It reached this point at the 3/4 point. Nick has done a great job with this sun grown cigar. The buttery richness really made the cigar enjoyable. Quite impressive.

Score: 94

September 28, 2014

Quesada Oktoberfest Kaiser Ludwig (6 x 49)

Video review HERE.

(from the Quesada website)
Oktoberfest is one of the most famous festivals in the world. The yearly celebration attracts millions of people to Munich to partake in the festival, with millions more enjoying the famous beer produced for it. Traditionally, there is a cigar tent for Aficionados to enjoy a smoke with their brew. This year, the Quesada family has blended a cigar specifically to be paired with the flavorful Marzen-style beer produced for Oktoberfest. Blended with a variety of flavorful Dominican tobaccos, the Quesada Oktoberfest is available in very limited quantities. Enjoy them with your favorite Oktoberfest beer. Only released during the months close to October.

Made in: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Cibao Valley
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: DR Cuban Seed Criollo & Olor Viso & Ligero

Available in these sizes:
The Uber         6 x 65
The Bavarian 5 ½ x 52
Das Boot         6 x 52 Belicoso
Kaiser Ludwig (Box Press) 6 x 49 (REVIEWED TODAY)
Kurtz         4 x 50
Krone         5 x 43

The cigar is very dark; it's a dark natural. It is well made and this particular vitola is box pressed.

It is also triple capped.

The test draw after cutting the cap was effortless. The initial flavors at light up were earth, espresso, and dry wood. There is a spice similar to pumpkin spice and cedar with a minimum amount sweetness. The pepper is a black pepper rated at a 7.5. The finish is a cream with some spice influence. The ash is almost like snow. It's very light in color.

About 2 1/2 inches in there are more standard sweet cedar notes but the overwhelming flavors are espresso, dry wood and earth. This is a very dark noted cigar. The cigar is medium bodied at best. It looks like it would be fuller but it's not. The finish has a nice amount of lingering black pepper. The finish is one of a combination of the pumpkin spice and cream. The flavor breakdown is 80/20; dark notes to sweet notes.

Nothing much changed from the last point to the end. The only changes were the black pepper ticked up to an 8. The other notes of cedar, pumpkin spice, dry wood, earth, and espresso remained, for the most part, the same. The cigar was close to medium to full bodied. This cigar will appeal to those of you who like dark noted cigars with minimum sweetness. I found the cigar to be a little too heavy on the dark notes for my tastes.

Score: 88

September 27, 2014

E. P. Carrillo 5th Anniversary Toro (6 1/2 x 54)

Video review HERE.

This cigar, which debuted at this year's IPCPR, signifies 5 wonderful years for E. P. Carrillo. It comes in one size, toro, and is available in boxes of 10. Only 3000 boxes were made. The interesting point about these cigars is they contain no Dominican tobacco. That's a first (I believe) for Carrillo.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Ecuadorian Corojo '99
Filler: Nicaraguan

This cigar was provided by Justin Lacy of Kentucky. He actually sent me 2 cigars to sample. Thank you Justin for sending them for me to review.

The cigar is dense feeling  in the hand and well made.

It is also triple capped.

The test draw after cutting the cap was excellent. The initial flavors at light up were sweet orange citrus, sweet nutmeg, dry leather, and white pepper rated at an 8. 

About 3/4 inch in the flavors are like above but add in dry wood and black coffee. The leather is becoming more pronounced. One thing that I found odd; there is white pepper on the front end and black pepper on the finish. The finish was also one of a toasted cream. The cigar feels medium to full bodied at this point.

2 3/4 inches in the cigar is consistent. There are a lot of leather notes combining with a lot of sweet citrus and nutmeg. The dry wood is a little subtle and the coffee is the base.The pepper is unchanged; white on the front and black on the back. This is actually pretty cool. The cigar is still medium to full bodied. This is a very leathery cigar for the Carrillo's and out of the norm.

At the primary band the leather and wood are by far the primary flavors. The citrus has faded and you are left with some sweet nutmeg. The cigar is no longer in balance. The cigar is very medium to full bodied and very close to full bodied.

The cigar ended much as it was in the last segment although the sweet notes that came back are the citrus notes. The other notes are about the same. I would say the cigar is now full bodied. It took awhile to get there but it's full bodied now. This cigar is heavy on the leather but for the most part it had equal amounts of sweeter notes consisting of citrus and nutmeg. This is a very good cigar signifying the Carrillo's 5th anniversary.

Score: 92