March 01, 2015

Flores y Rodriguez 10th Anniversary Reserva Limitada Robusto (4 1/2 x 52)

Video review HERE.

The Flores y Rodriguez 10th Anniversary Reserva Limitada scommemorate the 10 year anniversary of the PDR Cigars.  It debuted at the 2014 IPCPR in Las Vegas.

The cigar will celebrate ten years of the collaboration between Abe Flores and the Rodriguez brothers coming together to form the Pinar del Rio brand.

“We’re really excited about the release of the FyR Reserva Limitada. It gives us a great sense of pride to have been making cigars for 10 years now. I’ve learned a lot over these years and I continue to work hard to be the best cigar maker I can be. Having produced several cigars that made last year’s Top 25 I feel that we have to work even harder”, saids Abe Flores of PDR Cigars in a press release.

Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Olor
Filler: Piloto Cubano (7 Year Old), Nicaraguan Jalapa

Vitolas available:
Robusto: 5 x 52 (SRP $9.00) (REVIEWED TODAY; my sample measured 4 1/2")
Grand Toro: 6 x 54 (SRP $10.00)
Wide Churchill: 5 1/8 x 58 (SRP $11.00)

The wrapper is a beautiful reddish brown color. The cigar has a nice density for a short cigar.

The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were a boysenberry/sweet cedar mix with red pepper. I rate the red pepper at a 7.5. The finish was a roasted almond with some lingering red pepper. The cigar is medium bodied and I can see it moving up later. It's a nice, sweet mix to start.

About 3/4 inch in there is some buttery notes mixes in with the boysenberry and cedar. The sweetness is elevated. The cigar is still medium bodied but it's moving up. The finish is now a cream base with some influence of the roasted almonds. The improved sweetness was nice.

At the lower band the red pepper is now a black pepper. The sweetness and buttery notes are elevated. This is one of those cigars that you must smoke slowly to get the full effect. 

The cigar ended with more sweet cedar notes rather than boysenberry notes. There were also some dry wood notes which took away some of the buttery notes. The black pepper rally came out on the finish from the final third onward. The cigar ended at medium to full bodied. It burned almost perfectly. This has been a very good cigar and it was new to me. I am happy to have obtained them at the Big Smoke. Look for them in your local shop. You won't be disappointed.

Score: 92

February 28, 2015

Villager Cigars Cabarete Maduro Toro Largo (6 x 54)

Video review HERE.

Villager Cigars produced today's cigar; the Cabarete Maduro Toro Largo, a 6 x 54 box pressed maduro that has a beautiful oily wrapper with plenty of shine.

These cigars are produced out of Tabacalera Palma in the Dominican Republic and incorporate tobacco from Jochi Blanco's farms.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro
Binder: Cuban Seed
Filler: Pilot Cubano, Criollo, San Vincente, and Cubano Ligeros

Available in these sizes:
Corona: 4 1/2 x 46
Robusto 5 1/4 x 50
Toro Largo: 6 x 54 (REVIEWED TODAY)
Torpedo Largo: 6 1/4 x 52
Gordo: 5 x 60

The cigar is simply beautiful. It has a sharp box press. Here is a shot of the foot.

The test draw after cutting the cap was excellent. The initial flavors were full of dark notes; coffee, molasses, citrus, cocoa, and black pepper rated at a 7 1/2. There are a lot of sweet notes in the cigar. It's a nice mix.

About one inch in the flavors  have settled down into a few differences; Dark coffee, dark semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa, and brown sugar. The molasses notes are subsided somewhat. The cigar is medium bodied. The finish is a pronounced sweet cream with some lingering black pepper. 

About 2 inches in you get a lot of the dark chocolate notes, cocoa, and brown sugar notes. The black coffee is holding down the base. There are sweet citrus flavors mixed in the other flavors that make it very nice. The coffee is a strong dark roasted coffee. The pepper has really improved on the finish. On the front end the pepper is close to an 8 at this point. The cigar is still medium bodied.

With about 2 inches remaining the cigar has reached medium to full bodied. There are overwhelming dark coffee notes. The brown sugar is mixing very well with the dark chocolate. The dry cocoa gives some extra sweet notes. The citrus notes are now very fine but you can still pick them up. The black pepper is very good in this cigar. I'm a big fan of pepper in general but the black pepper in the cigar is fantastic. 

The cigar ended much like the last segment with the exception of some faint dry cedar notes mixed in with the other flavors. Again, the pepper is great especially on the finish, which remained unchanged. The cigar ended medium to full bodied. If you like maduros with nice sweet notes as I described and plenty of black pepper you will love this cigar. I enjoyed it very much.

Score: 92

February 23, 2015

Montecristo Social Club Kicks Off 2015 National Roadshow With First Events in South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE & MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The Montecristo Social Club kicks off its 2015 Roadshow with a back-to-back premium cigar cocktail hours at two leading venues.

The first Montecristo Social Club event is Thursday evening, February 26 at Morton’s Steakhouse in Fort Lauderdale.
The second takes place Friday evening, February 27 at Smith & Wollensky’s Steakhouse in Miami Beach.

The social events for adult premium cigar smokers feature complimentary premium cigars and lively discussions. “Every element of the cigar lifestyle will be celebrated during the event,” Montecristo Social Club organizers said. “It promises to be the perfect place to swap tips and share recommendations.” Participants also will be treated to the new ROMEO Anejo by Romeo y Julieta.

Cigar expert and lecturer Larry Palombo will be in attendance to lead a discussion on the crafting of premium cigars “from seeds to hand-rolled masterpieces.” Following his remarks, Palombo will be available to answer questions.  

The Montecristo Roadshow Tour series will travel to 11 cities over the course of 2015.

The first Montecristo Social Club event of 2015 takes place at Morton’s Steakhouse, 500 East Broward Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, for tickets The Miami event is at Smith & Wollensky’s, One Washington Avenue, South Park Pointe, Miami Beach, for tickets Each event costs $30 for Montecristo Social Club members and $45 for nonmembers. For more information about how to join and the club 

February 21, 2015

Headlines Second Edition Page 1 (5 1/2 x 60)

Video review HERE.

Headlines Cigar has been re-blended and re-branded for a new launch in 2015. Arby Sosa from Antillian Cigar Corporation, as the exclusive distributor for Headlines Cigar, collaborated with Dee from Fusion Cigar and the Master Blender, Don Amadiz in creating this blend.

Headlines Cigar is being made out of the Tabacalera Real factory in Tamboril, Dominican Republic. 

The Headlines Second Edition is a maduro with a Dominican Habano Oscuro wrapper and a Dominican Piloto Cubano binder. Nicaraguan and Dominican Piloto Cubano are used for the ligero and Dominican Andullo and Dominican 20-20 make up the rest of the filler. The strength of the Headlines Second Edition is also full-bodied and will MSRP between $7.50-$8.50.

Arby Sosa of Antillian Cigar stated, "I've never been a part of creating an all-Domincan Puro, so this was an exciting project for me. It took over 6 months to perfect both blends, but we are all impressed with the final result. I believe in this cigar and hope all cigar fans will venture out and try this one, and I know they will be happy."

Available sizes:
5 1/2 x 60; Page 1 (REVIEWED TODAY)
6 x 54 torpedo; Page 2 
6 x 50; Page 3 

Each size comes in 20-count boxes, with MSRP set for between $7.50 and $8.50 per stick.

The cigar is very dense. It is a medium to dark brown. Here is a shot of the dense foot.

After cutting the cap the test draw was very good. The initial flavors were a combination of sweet boysenberry and licorice. There is quite a bit of earth notes. There is black coffee at the base. The cigar is medium to full bodied because of the dark notes. The pepper is a white pepper rated at a 7.

About 1 1/2 inches in the cigar is not burning evenly but I want to let it try to do it on it's own. The flavors are now a boysenberry and sweet cedar. The licorice notes have gone away but the sweetness has elevated. The earthiness has toned down. The coffee remains at the base. Before when I said the cigar was medium to full bodied I am revising it back to a medium. The flavors have evened out somewhat.

A little past the midpoint the flavors are still the sweet cedar. The boysenberry notes are fading. The earthiness has elevated again and there is a lot of coffee notes at the base. The cigar is heavy on the darker notes right now. The cigar is medium to full bodied now. The finish is a toasted cream with some earthiness and lingering white pepper. The cigar has made some changes but it seems it is still going through the change process.

The cigar ended with the sweet cedar and some dry wood notes. It still had earth and coffee notes. The cigar ended at medium to full bodied. The finish was unchanged. For those of you who like earthy cigars this should make a nice cigar for you. The cedar was very nice and sweet. As you could tell there were several sweet flavor changes throughout the burn. You will get a long smoke out of this cigar as you can see. 

Score: 88

February 15, 2015

My Father "S" Special (5 x 50)

Video review HERE.

In early 2011, there were rumors that there was a special cigar being handed out at My Father cigars events called the My Father S Special. It came in a red cardboard three-pack in only the 5 x 50 Robusto size. You got them when you purchased a box of cigars at My Father events.

The blend was rumored to be similar to the El Centurian blend, which was Pepin's first limited edition cigar back in 2006. Even the bands were strikingly similar. You can see the similarities between the two bands.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

The cigar is well made and sports a medium to light brown wrapper. The density is nice. Here is a shot of the foot.

The test draw after cutting the cap was perfect. The initial flavors at light up were a sweet, dry cedar, licorice, red pepper and black pepper. The red pepper is noticed attached to the dry cedar and licorice. The black pepper is primarily noticed on the finish. It lingers very nicely. The finish flavors are a cream and licorice combination.

About an inch in the flavors have settled down into a dry cedar and a sweet, rich cedar. You can taste both; the dry wood of cedar, as well as the rich, buttery, sweet cedar. The red pepper is still mixed in with those flavors. The transition from red to black pepper is very nice. The cigar is medium bodied. I really love the overall sweetness of the cigar.

With about 1 1/2 inches remaining the cigar has stayed true to the flavors I got at the 1 inch point. But now there are also some deep, brown sugar flavors. I noticed these about an inch ago and they seem to give the cigar depth.

I very much enjoyed the buttery cedar and the dry cedar. The two peppers; red and black, were also very nice. The cigar is really only medium bodied so it's not overly powerful. This has been a very good cigar and my only complaint is they are not a regular production cigar widely available at your local shop. Nonetheless, this is a truly great cigar. If you attend a My Father cigar event be sure to make the necessary purchase so that you can try these fantastic cigars!

Score: 94

February 11, 2015

Punch Signature...coming soon!

We are teasing out details about Punch Signature, a soon-to-be-released Honduran-made collection, over the next few weeks leading to the launch. Punch Signature will ship on March 2 and will be a full-time addition to the line.

We have enlisted Mr. Punch, the brand’s mascot, to serve as the voice of the campaign. Weekly updates revealing new information about Punch Signature will be posted on the brand’s website.

In addition, cigar smokers are encouraged to interact with Mr. Punch leading to the launch. Mr. Punch will create custom memes on cigar-related photos submitted on Twitter or Instagram (@PunchCigars), with the hashtag #NiceBurn. Photos can also be submitted via email to Cigar smokers can visit the Punch website to see what Mr. Punch has to say about their photo. They can also visit PunchCigars on Facebook for details on Punch Signature.

Full blend details have not yet been released.  

Master Blender Agustin Garcia hinted that Punch Signature “was inspired by the original Punch” and that it “mixes tradition with modern tastes.” He also said that he and his team “spent three years developing the blend.”

Here is info on the box and band…
The band is a re-creation of artwork developed in the 1800s for the first Punch cigars. The back of the band features Mr. Punch and his dog, Toby - a throwback to the original Mr. Punch character.

The Punch Signature box is a mix of old and new. The presentation is bold with color blocking and features an acrylic window to showcase the band, even when the box is closed. The lid features the script typeface that was originally used in the 1800s. Each cabinet-style box holds 18 cigars, to maximize retailer shelf space.

February 08, 2015

La Aurora Untamed Robusto (5 x 50)

Video review HERE.

The La Aurora Untamed was debuted at the 2014 IPCPR. It uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. This marks the fourth major release by the company in the past two years to use this wrapper. 

The Dominican Cigar Review, noted as the most important cigar magazine in the Dominican Republic, has just made public its choice of “Untamed” by La Aurora as Cigar of the Year for  2014 giving it a FIVE STAR rating and the award of Best Dominican Cigar in the year 2014.

The cigar has no seco leaves in its blend: three different ligero Dominican leaves and a viso Nicaragua, with a binder harvested in Cibao Valley, Dominican Republic, and a precious Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper from the USA.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan

The Untamed is available in the following sizes:
Gran Untamed 7x58
Belicoso 6 1/4 x 52
Gran Toro 6 x 58
Toro 5 3/4 x 54
Robusto 5 x 50 (REVIEWED TODAY)

The foot of the cigar showing the density:

The cigar is well made and very dark. The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were boysenberry, sweet, creamy cocoa, dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, and black pepper rated at an 8.

3/4 inch in the initial flavors are right in line. The pepper may be even higher than initially stated. The finish has some dry cocoa, cream and lingering black pepper which is felt all around the palate. The coffee and dark chocolate notes are slightly elevated now. The cigar is at least medium to full bodied and I feel it will hit full bodied very soon. The sweet notes are not overshadowed by the dark notes. It is a very good mix.

About 1 1/2 inches in the boysenberry flavors are starting to taper off. Now I have a slightly buttery rich cocoa and cedar mix. The coffee and dark chocolate notes are still the same, as well as the pepper. The finish is also the same. The cigar seems to be full bodied now. 

The cigar had sweet cedar as the main flavor at the end. I lost a lot of the rich, buttery cocoa notes. The coffee and dark chocolate are still quite prominent. The pepper finished at an 8+. The cigar is definitely full bodied now. You can feel the ligero. This has been a fuller bodied La Aurora cigar than you're probably use to. I found it to be very enjoyable and it should be on shelves now. Very good cigar. 
You can purchase La Aurora Untamed cigars by going HERE.

Score: 92

February 07, 2015

Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres Toro (6 1/2 x 52)

Video review HERE.

This cigar was introduced at the 2014 IPCPR in Las Vegas. For their presentation the cigars are packaged with loose tobacco in Rocky Patel branded mason jars reminiscent of the Prohibition-era moonshine bootleggers. The jars are also packaged in crates reminiscent of the Prohibition era. Each jar contains 16 cigars.

The Prohibition comes in one size, a toro with a size of 6 1/2 x 52. It is also available in a Connecticut Broadleaf version.

The binder and filler incorporate Nicaraguan tobacco grown on the Rocky Patel farms.  The cigars are also being made at Rocky Patel's Tavacusa factory.

Wrapper: San Andres Mexican
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

The cigar's wrapper has a slight sheen. The cigar is quite dense.

After cutting the cap the test draw was very good. The initial flavors were noticed quickly. They were a sweet, juicy orange citrus, milk chocolate, coffee, and black pepper rated at a 7 1/2.

About 1 1/2 inches in the orange citrus has changed to a boysenberry and cedar mix. It is still very sweet. There are also plenty of milk chocolate notes and coffee at the base. There were also some dry wood notes. There is some richness in the milk chocolate and boysenberry/cedar mix. The cigar is medium bodied. The finish is a pronounced sweet cream with some lingering black pepper. 

Just past the midpoint with about 3 inches remaining the main flavors are cedar and creamy cocoa and both are still very sweet. The coffee notes have made a huge jump forward. The boysenberry notes have gone away. The milk chocolate is overshadowed by the intense coffee notes. The black pepper is up to an 8. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is medium to full bodied but barely. It is just at the line of medium to full bodied.

At the end the sweet cedar really came out and even had a few notes of dry cedar. The creamy cocoa took a backseat to the sweet cedar. The milk chocolate came back. The coffee remained very good and the pepper remained excellent. The finish was unchanged. The cigar ended at medium to full bodied. This cigar had a lot of sweet dark notes. The Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres is available at Famous Smoke Shop and sells for $8 each.

Score: 92