January 28, 2015

"UNTAMED" BY LA AURORA, BEST 2014 DOMINICAN CIGAR OF THE YEAR AWARD



(Miami, Florida) January 28, 2015 - 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. La Aurora “Untamed” was unveiled last July in the IPCPR Show, in Las Vegas.



The Dominican Cigar Review panel of experts concluded that due to Untamed’ s perfect balance between flavor and body,  and superior construction,  a FIVE STAR rating and the award of Best Dominican Cigar in the year 2014 should be awarded.



Untamed by La Aurora is a new development, that combines the tradition of a century, working with the best tobaccos in Cibao Valley, with the will to stay ahead of the curve to provide the market new and distinct products.



La Aurora’s team has achieved an incredible cigar that 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.



Guillermo León, president of La Aurora, has shown his satisfaction for the award: "La Aurora’s team has created a really incredible cigar, going beyond our traditional products.  They have successfully created an innovative product that works because of the enormous quality of its tobacco leaves". Untamed is, for La Aurora, a step towards the future for a company which boasts a centenary in tradition.



Untamed by La Aurora Robusto is 5 x 50, but the complete gama is:



Gran Untamed 7x58

Belicoso 6 1/4 x 52

Gran Toro 6 x 58

Toro 5 3/4 x 54



About La Aurora

Founded in 1903 by the Leon Family, La Aurora is the original cigar factory in the Dominican Republic with a portfolio that includes its namesake brands, La Aurora and Leon Jimenes, as well as, La Aurora Preferidos, Guillermo Leon & Fernando Leon brands.



Follow La Aurora on Social Media: Facebook: La Aurora Cigars, Instagram: @LaAuroraCigars

January 25, 2015

Viaje Holiday Blend 2014 (4 1/2 x 56)





Video review HERE.


Viaje Holiday Blend 2014 marks the fifth batch of the Viaje Holiday Blend to be released since its inception in 2009, and it also marks the return of this blend after a one year absence. The 2013 version of the Holiday Blend was cancelled due to production delays.

The Holiday Blend is a Nicaraguan puro that features a Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper.

The cigar size is 4 1/2 x 56 - the size that was originally targeted for the cancelled 2013 release.

The cigar features an unfinished foot. Here is a shot of the foot.




After cutting the cap the test draw was effortless. The initial flavors were a black licorice, leather, dark coffee which tastes like espresso, and black pepper rated at an 8. There are a lot of dark notes in this cigar to start off.


1 inch in and the cigar made a huge transformation. The licorice notes have now changed to a sweet cedar with some butteriness, dry wood, dark coffee, and light leather. The cigar is very sweet. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is dry wood and sweet cream with an average amount of lingering black pepper.



At the band the ash is still intact. The espresso is indeed a dark roasted black coffee. The sweet, buttery cedar is so sweet it reminds me of cake icing. There are dry wood notes that are smokey and light leather notes. The finish is very sweet also; sweet cream and dry wood. The cigar has really gotten very good.



The cigar stayed true to the end. I really enjoyed the extreme sweetness of the cedar. The light butter notes made it even better. The burn was pretty good throughout. The cigar maintained medium to full bodied. This has been a great cigar and one of the best Viaje's that I've had. I purchased this cigar locally so they should still be around on shelves at shops that carry Viaje cigars. Try them. You won't be disappointed.


Score: 94

January 24, 2015

Psyko Seven Toro (6 1/4 x 48)






Video review HERE.


From the Ventura Cigar Company comes the Psyko Seven Toro. It is handmade in the Dominican and contains tobaccos from 6 countries.

The Psyko Seven Toro is comprised of:
Leaf Type: Dominican Hybrid
Wrapper Color: Natural
Wrapper Origin: Dominican
Binder: Mexican Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero, Peruvian Pelo de Oro, Honduran Holancha Seco, Dominican Hybrid, and Lancaster Ligero

The band, or prescription pad, takes up almost the entire cigar! It is easily removed and the standard Ventura Cigar Psyko Seven band remains. Here is what the prescription pad band looks like:




The foot of the cigar:



After cutting the cap the test draw was very good. The initial flavor was one of fresh baked bread. It quickly transitioned into one of red licorice and sweet tangerine with some dry roasted almonds. There was white pepper at a 6 1/2 or 7. The cigar is medium bodied at this early stage. The finish is one of bread and red licorice with a nice amount of lingering white pepper.


About 2 inches in the flavors changed to candy like tangerine citrus, which reminds me of the baby aspirins we took as children. I loved those things! Also, attached to those are dry cocoa notes. These combine for a very nice flavor. Some of the dry cocoa is also noticed on the finish. The bread notes are fading but still subtle on the finish. There are also red licorice notes on the finish. On the front end the red licorice has faded. The roasted nuts are still there on the front end.




With about 2 inches remaining the flavors have changed a bit. They are now partly the baby aspirin orange flavor combined with a sweet cedar, dry cocoa, and a lot of brown sugar. The cigar is still medium bodied but wants to move in a medium to full direction. The finish is bread, baby aspirin orange, and dry roasted almonds, along with a very nice amount of lingering white pepper. Because of the ring gauge of this cigar being a 48 it is burning a little quicker than other toro cigars.




The flavors at the end are pretty much like they were in the previous segment. I enjoyed the baby aspirin orange flavors with the sweet cedar. The white pepper moved up to a solid 7 on the front end but was very good on the finish. The finish ended with the baby aspirin orange notes and fresh bread. The cigar ended at a solid medium bodied. It never reached medium to full bodied. This has been a very flavorful cigar. Although not powerful, it is indeed flavorful. These are available by going HERE. I very much enjoyed this cigar.


Score: 92

January 19, 2015

Headlines Cigar, a Dominican Puro, is Re-Launched for 2015



Miami, Florida - January 9, 2015 - 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 Headlin
es Cigar, collaborated with Dee from Fusion Cigar and the Master Blender, Don Amadiz, in creating these two amazing Dominican Puro blends. 

Headlines Cigar is being made out of the Tabacalera Real factory in Tamboril, Dominican Republic. Headlines First Edition is made with a Pennsylvania seed wrapper grown in the Dominican Republic and a Dominican Olor binder. Dominican Criollo 98 and Dominican Piloto Cubano are used for the ligero and Dominican Criollo 98 and Dominican Olor are used for the seco. The strength of Headlines First Edition is full-bodied and will MSRP between $7.50-8.50.

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."
About Antillian Cigar Corp:
Antillian Cigar Corporation is the manufacturer of the popular brands of Sosa Classic, 60 by Sosa, Sosa Underground and Macabi. The Sosa cigar tradition began with Don Juan Sosa, a small tobacco grower in the fertile Taguasco region of Cuba at the turn of the century. By the 1920's, his farm had become one of the largest tobacco-producing haciendas in Cuba. Over the next 30 years, Don Juan's son, Arturo, and grandson, Juan, manufactured cigars for sale in Cuba and abroad. In 1964, Arturo and Juan opened their first factory in Miami, FL.  The factory closed in 1980 and moved operations to the Dominican Republic. In 1996, Juan B. Sosa began with the Fuente family and manufactures various lines of cigars of out the Fuente factory.  Today, the legacy of quality, handmade cigars made in the Cuban tradition continues with master blender, Juan B. Sosa, alongside his wife, sons and nephews.

January 18, 2015

Roma Craft CroMagnon Aquitaine Cranium (6 x 54)






Video review HERE.


The Aquitaine contains the same long-filler, full-bodied blend found in the US Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapped CroMagnon, including its unique Cameroon binder. However, the Aquitaine features a beautiful Ecuador Habano Ligero wrapper selected from the best tobacco we could find. This eighth and ninth priming ligero leaf is thick, oily and has amazing texture.

The filler leaf for this blend was acquired from three separate growing regions in Nicaragua: Esteli, Condega and a small farm north of Esteli on the Honduran border, Pueblo Nuevo. 


Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Ligero
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaragua


Available sizes:
The Knuckle Dragger, a 4 x 52 Petit Robusto - ($6.25)
The Mandible, a 4 ½ x 60 Petite Gordo - ($7.25)
The Mode 5, a 5 x 50 Short Perfecto - ($7.00)
The EMH, a 5 x 56 Robusto Extra - ($7.75)
The Anthropology, a 5 ¾ x 46 Grand Corona - ($7.25)
The Cranium, a 6 x 54 Gran Toro - ($8.25) REVIEWED TODAY

Store Exclusive/Event Only
The Atlatl, a 7 x 38 Lancero - ($9.50)


The cigar is well made and has a nice, dense feel in the hand.




The test draw after cutting the cap was effortless. The initial flavors were boysenberry and dry wood. There was a large amount of black pepper which I rated at an 8. Very nice black pepper especially when retro haled.


About 1 inch in the sweet boysenberry flavors continue. There are also sweet cedar and white chocolate. The pepper remains very good. The white chocolate carries over to the finish where there is a nice amount of black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied at this point.



2 1/2 inches in the sweet notes continue. The boysenberry notes have toned down but the sweet cedar and white chocolate notes are very prominent. The cigar is medium to full bodied now. The ligero is sneaky. You can feel the ligero effects now. The black pepper is still very good and try retro haling to get the best amount of pepper. The dry wood notes act as a base for the cigar. The finish is about the same. 



The flavors continued to the end just like the last segment. The boysenberry flavors fade but you still get them here and there. By and large you have a nice sweet cedar and white chocolate. The wood notes were the base. The black pepper remained very good. The finish remained about the same. The cigar is a low grade full bodied; not overpowering but definitely full bodied. I appreciate Justin Lacy sending 2 of these cigars to me to sample. This has been a very good cigar with a lot of flavors that I really like. Nice price point on these so look for them at your local shop. Excellent cigar. Also, the band is actually 2 bands, one over the other. You can see the skull embossed on the bottom band in the pic of the bands below.

To try Roma Craft CroMagnon Aquitaine cigars go HERE.


Score: 93

January 11, 2015

Viaje Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat (5 x 58)





Video review HERE.


The Viaje Stuffed Turkey made its debut back in 2011 in a Criollo wrapped Nicaraguan puro in a 5 x 60 vitola as a part of Viaje's White Label Project (WLP) series.  The Stuffed Turkey is Viaje's Thanksgiving themed release.  A year later a Maduro version called the Viaje Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat was introduced. The 2014 editions (Dark Meat and White Meat) are 5 x 58 ring size. Today I am reviewing the Dark Meat version.

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua AGANORSA
Filler: Nicaragua AGANORSA


The cigar looks nice and dark and has a decent feel in the hand; nice density.



The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were espresso, chocolate, cocoa, earth, and dry wood. The black pepper is rated at a 7 1/2 to 8. 



26 minutes in and about 1 1/2 inches there is a bad burn issue. I had to break down and touch it up, which I hate to do. I'd rather the cigar even out the burn on it's own if it can. This time it could not. The flavors now are like a chocolate candy with an orange center. There are also dry cocoa and espresso notes. The earthiness has gone into the background due to the new orange citrus flavor. The finish is very light and one of a cream. It is quite subtle. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. 




About 48 minutes in and I have approximately 2 inches remaining. The sweet orange flavors have gone away but you are left with the chocolate, cocoa, and some butter notes, along with the massive expresso notes. And, of course, the pepper. The finish is about the same.




1 hour 10 minutes and we're at the end of the cigar. Again, I am having trouble with the wrapper burning evenly. There are flashes of orange/chocolate but they seem to come and go. The cocoa notes are still around and there is a little of the buttery notes. The espresso notes are a nice base. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged.
The burn issue really bothered me. The cigar had just about everything I look for in a maduro except more sweeter notes. I'd had liked it to hold the orange flavor mixed in with the chocolate. If fell a little short for me.



Score: 89

January 10, 2015

Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro (6 1/2 x 52)






Video review HERE.


The new Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon is the third in the Decade blend. The Decade Cameroon came about during testing of a new crop of Cameroon wrapper.  They wanted to test it with a known quantity, so they put it over the Rocky Patel Decade, and so the Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon was born.

Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

This cigar comes in 3 sizes:
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52 (REVIEWED TODAY)
Torpedo: 6 1/4 x 52


The cigar is very dense feeling in the hand. Here is a shot of the foot.




The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were sweet cedar, boysenberry, caramel, and an amazing amount of black pepper, which I rate initially at an 8 1/2! Great start!


About 3/4 inch in the black pepper continues to be fantastic. The cigar has settled down now into one of sweet cedar, caramel, and dry oak. The finish is one of a sweet caramel with quite a bit of lingering black pepper. If this cigar maintains the amount of black pepper it will be great! We'll see.



About 2 inches in the black pepper has toned down a bit. It is now a 7 1/2, which is not bad. The sweet cedar and caramel continue with some added brown sugar. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is medium bodied and I can see it moving to medium to full bodied soon. 



With about 2 1/2 inches remaining some of the caramel notes have weined a bit. There is still a lot of sweet cedar and dry wood. In fact, some of the dry wood notes have filtered over to the finish to go along with the caramel. The cigar is now medium to full bodied. The pepper is about the same. As you can see from the time you get a long smoke out of this cigar.



The cigar did not change much. The sweet cedar, brown sugar, and caramel continued. The dry wood was also still mixed in. The finish is unchanged from the last segment. The cigar hit full bodied about the 3/4 point. You can feel the ligero. The caramel dropping hurt the score some but not bad. You still had about 2/3 of the caramel that we started with. This has been a good cigar which should not be hard to find at all. Rocky Patel is in about every cigar shop so try them for yourself.

You can purchase Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon cigars HERE.


Score: 91