April 13, 2014

Guayacan Robusto (5 x 50)

 Video review HERE.

Guayacan Cigars are another boutique find by Gary Griffith and House of Emilio Cigars. The Guayacan website has very little to say about their cigars. Here is what I found.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

The cigar is well made and has a very ornate band. I love the look of the band. The cigar feels somewhat dense. Here is a shot of the foot.

The test draw after cutting the cap was just a bit firm but very workable. The initial flavors at light up were some sweetness from a cedar and citrus combination, roasted nuts, and coffee.

About 3/4 inch in the flavors are very similar to what I got initially but there are also dry hay notes. The cigar is medium bodied with white pepper rated at a 7. The finish is a sweet cream with some roasted nut tones and a little lingering white pepper.

About 1 1/2 inches in the cigar has picked up in the sweet flavors. Now there is more of a nutmeg and cedar combination. There is some richness coming from the roasted nuts. It is almost a buttery flavor. The dry hay notes have disappeared, which does not hurt my feelings. The coffee is still the base flavor. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is still medium bodied.

With about 1 1/2 inches remaining I'm almost 70 minutes in. This is a slow burning robusto. The sweet notes now are mainly cedar. The roasted nuts are subtle and the coffee notes are very strong. The finish is about the same. The cigar now is medium to full bodied, or very close. 

The cigar ended at medium to full bodied but very close to full bodied. The cedar remained, the roasted nuts are secondary, and the coffee is holding the base. The finish is unchanged. This has been an interesting cigar with some nice twists. The roasted nuts with their buttery notes were very nice around the midpoint. This is a cigar well worth trying. Look for them at merchants that carry House of Emilio cigars. Another nice find by Gary!

Score: 91

April 06, 2014

Gonzo Vintage 2007 Trajabador (5 x 56)

Video review HERE.

Gonzo is made by Epicurean Cigars and marketed by House of Emilio. As the name implies the tobaccos used in this cigar are from the 2007 crop. 

Wrapper: Broadleaf
Binder: Double Binder San Andres Mexico and Jalapa
Filler: Jalapa and Condega (Nicaraguan)

Available sizes:
Trajabador: 5 x 56 (reviewed today)
Petite Corona: 5 1/2 x 48
Toro: 6 x 52
Lancero: 6 1/2 x 38
Perfecto: 6 1/2 x 52

The cigar is well made and has a nice oily wrapper. It has a nice feel in the hand. Here is the foot.

The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were an overwhelming amount of coffee notes and earth, slightly sweet cedar and black pepper rated at an 8. The cigar comes across as medium to full bodied right out of the gate. The finish is one of roasted nuts with coffee undertones. The coffee notes in the cigar are very close to espresso.

About 3/4 inch in the flavors are about the same as above but you can add roasted nuts. The lightly sweet cedar is now more of a nutmeg with a touch of sweetness. The nutmeg is almost lost in the heavy amounts of coffee, which I will now call espresso, and earth. This is a heavy dark toned cigar.

About 1 3/4 inches in the cigar seems to be trying to balance out. The sweet notes now taste like cedar again and they are a little more intense. The cigar is not balanced but it's a lot closer than it was. The espresso, earth, and roasted nuts have slightly decreased and the sweet cedar has slightly increased. The finish has a touch of cream now. The notes of roasted nuts and coffee are still the main players in the finish. The cigar is still medium to full bodied.

The cigar did not change much. Here at the end the espresso seemed to go back to a black coffee; not quite as intense as the espresso earlier. The roasted nuts were also heavy at the end; from the midpoint to now. The earthiness was still in play. The pepper remained good and the finish was unchanged. This has been a good cigar but it's all about personal preference. If you like a heavy dark noted cigar you will probably like this cigar. Previously I said the cigar seemed to be evening out. Here at the end it reverted back to one of heavy dark notes; probably a 65/35 split of coffee/earth/roasted nuts to sweet cedar. This has been a good cigar with nice flavors although it's not the type I gravitate to normally. Try them for yourself.

Score: 88

April 05, 2014

La Musa Melete Toro (6 x 50)

Video review HERE.

La Musa Melete is the second blend in the Greek themed series. Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars had this to say about Melete:

The Melete blending was completed earlier this year, and yields a somewhat stronger, but equally complex cigar as compared to the original.

As far as the name goes, in Greek mythology, Melete (Μελέτη) was one of the three original (Boeotian) Muses, though there were later nine.

From the House of Emilio website:
Muses are here to inspire. La Musa Cigars pay tribute to a dear friend of ours known to do just that. Mousa, is a unique blend, produced in Esteli, Nicaragua from carefully selected tobaccos. This cigar will be limited in quantity based on harvest conditions. A true masterpiece in the finest

These cigars are available in 5 sizes;
Robusto 5x50
Toro 6x50 (reviewed today)
Torpedo 6x52
Corona 5 1/2x46
Lancero 7x40

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

This is a Nicaraguan puro. The cigar is extremely well made with no defects. The wrapper has a nice semi-gloss sheen. Here is a shot of the foot.

The test draw after cutting the cap was perfect. The initial flavors at light up were sweet cedar and citrus combination. At the back end of those you have a low grade cocoa flavor. The pepper is a white pepper rated at a 7.5. The citrus is very sweet and I would call it an orange. It combines very nicely with the sweet cedar. The light cocoa is also very nice. The cocoa also has notes of dry wood but they are faint. The finish is a little odd in that it is a dry wood and toast flavor with some lingering pepper.

About one inch in the flavors are about like they started. A nice feature is the candy like citrus flavor rises above the cedar notes after you expel the smoke. It's almost a secondary effect but it is very nice. The cocoa notes give the finish a very long finish. The finish has changed to a very nice, long cocoa flavor with some dry toast notes. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. The flavors in this cigar are very different for a Nicaraguan cigar but they are very nice.

The cocoa notes have increased in intensity as the cigar burns. They mix very well with the sweet cedar and citrus. They add a lot to the cigar. The finish is still one of cocoa and there are a lot more dry toast notes. The cigar is a solid medium bodied cigar at this point. This cigar is making little changes every 1/2 to 1" and I'm anxious to see where it goes.

With about 2 inches remaining the cocoa notes have decreased a touch and the sweet cedar have moved to the front. Again, little changes. Everything else is about the same. 

As the cigar ended there were sweet cedar with underlying cocoa notes, and dry wood notes. We haven't heard about the dry wood notes since the beginning. The finish did not change. The cigar ended at a hair over medium bodied although not quite medium to full bodied. Gary Griffith has done it again. Somehow he finds some amazing cigars at some small boutique factories in Nicaragua. This is a great cigar. Great flavors that made little changes here and there. Don't let the plain band fool you. This cigar is a winner!

Score: 92

March 31, 2014

Sindicato Cigars (new on the scene)

Sindicato Cigars is a new type of company — an evolution within the cigar industry. Our goal is to create a cigar company whose mission is to put the tobacco retailer and its customers first. Tobacconists can trust Sindicato Cigars to create superior brands that they can whole-heartedly support. Consumers can trust that Sindicato Cigars will create superior blends catering to their needs. How can we make this Statement?
Sindicato Cigars is led by a Board of Members who are amongst the top minds in the cigar industry. With multiple decades of experience, our Board is completely understanding of both the needs of retailers and the desires of consumers across America.
We promise to continually work to make the blends consumers are craving while maintaining the highest level of craftsmanship and quality.

James Colucci
President & CEO

Dickson Wier, formerly of Altadis, is the local rep for Sindicato. Look for them at your local cigar shop.

They have 3 brands:

Hex is a unique and special cigar made from aged rare tobaccos carefully selected and blended in Condega, Nicaragua. The wrapper is a rich, dark Ecuadorian Habano wrapper crafted by the finest torcedors to create an unforgettable smoking experience. This bold and hearty smoke will deliver complex flavors and is destined to become a favorite of cigar smokers.

100% handmade in the Dominican Republic, Casa Bella is a superior cigar and an exceptional value. This cigar features a delicately balanced blend of hand selected tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The cigar is highlighted by a beautiful Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, allowing Casa Bella to deliver a smooth, flavorful mild to medium bodied smoke.

Affinity is made with Superior aged Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos masterfully blended and finished with a flawless Connecticut seed wrapper grown in Ecuador. The cigar delivers a rich, flavorful and complex taste profile that will satisfy the smoker seeking a medium bodied Connecticut wrapped cigar.

March 30, 2014

Inch Short Run 2014 No. 62 (5 x 62)

Video review HERE.

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, the pioneer of the large ring gauge cigars, has a new edition to the Inch series; the Inch Short Run 2014.
The Short Run 2014 is offered in 3 sizes;
No. 60; 5 7/8 x 60
No. 62; 5 x 62 (reviewed today)
No. 64; 6 1/8 x 64

Wrapper: Dominican Corojo '06
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo '99
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan

The cigar is dense and well made. There is a lot of tobacco packed into this cigar.

The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors took awhile to pin down but they were sweet cedar, black licorice, earth, dry wood, and white pepper rated at a 7. The finish is dry wood and a touch of cream and some lingering white pepper.

One inch into The Inch the licorice flavors have gone away. What you are left with is a sweet cedar with some citrus influence which gives the cigar a twang and dry oak. The finish is a oaky cream. The cream notes improved at this point. The cigar is medium bodied. 

Around the midpoint the cigar is consistent. You have the same flavors and strength. Nothing has really changed; sweet cedar and citrus, and a lot of dry oak.

This has been a very consistent cigar. It really did not change after the first inch other than the cigar hit medium to full bodied status about 3/4 the way through. This has been a good, solid cigar. I did not find anything outstanding about the cigar but it was quite good. A nice addition to the Inch series.

Score: 89

March 29, 2014

Nomad S-307 Toro (6 x 50)

Video review HERE.

The Nomad S-307 is Nomad's newest Nicaraguan cigar and another brand from The House of Emilio and Gary Griffith. 

Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Factory: Tobacalera AJ Fernandez

Available sizes:
Toro (6×50) msrp $7.95
Robusto (5×50) msrp $7.75
Torpedo (6 1/2 x 52) msrp $7.95
Toro Grande (6 x 58) msrp $8.50
Corona (5.5 x 46) msrp $7.75

Available in boxes of 21 box pressed cigars.

The cigar is very dark and somewhat oily. It looks like a stick of chocolate. It has a nice density and is very well made.

After cutting the cap the test draw was very good. The initial flavors were sweet cedar with a touch of nutmeg, charred wood, espresso, and black pepper rated at a 7.5. The finish has charred oak notes on a sweet cream with some lingering pepper. 

About one inch in the cigar settled down like I initially described with the addition of dark chocolate. The lingering pepper on the finish has increased. The finish is one of a caramel flavor. The cigar is medium bodied. There are a lot of dark notes in this cigar with nice sweetness.

About 2 inches in the burn is quite unusual. Well, actually it's the ash. The burn is pretty even. At this point, on the retro hale you get the flavor of caramel just before the sweet cedar and the other darker flavors. The nutmeg notes are not noticeable at this point. The cigar is close to medium to full bodied now. The cedar has some tangy notes. The finish is still a caramel-like flavor, or tasted cream. 

At the band the charred oak notes are very much elevated. The little blast of caramel on the front end of the retro hale comes and goes but it's nice when you get it. The espresso and dark chocolate are holding the base. The cigar is now medium to full bodied. 

The espresso notes really came out at the end. The charred oak was very much attached to the cedar with it's tanginess. The dark chocolate notes were still floating at the base. The pepper ticked up to an 8. The finish remained the same. The cigar ended at medium to full bodied and burned evenly. This cigar is one of sweet cedar and a lot of dark notes. This is one of those cigars that would be a good after dinner cigar. This has been a very good cigar. My hats off to Gary Griffith for finding another great cigar!

Score: 92

Ezra Zion Tantrum (4.44 x 44)

Video review HERE.

Ezra Zion is another cigar from The House of Emilio and Gary Griffith. It has several blends in various sizes but this version, the Tantrum, is available in only one size and it's one that's easy to remember; 4.44x44. The actual size is called Prensado Pequeño. This is a Nicaraguan puro and in limited release. There were only 1500 boxes of 28 cigars released. 

Wrapper: Limited 1999 Cuban Seed, Corojo
Binder: Grade AA Nicaraguan Tobaccos Aged 5 to 7 Years
Filler: Grade AA Nicaraguan Tobaccos Aged 5 to 7 Years

The cigar is box pressed and well made. Here is a shot of the foot.

After cutting the minimum from the cap the test draw was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a sweet cedar, roasted nuts, and a lot of black pepper. There are light nutmeg notes. The black pepper is rated at an 8. Right away you get a lot of sweet cedar and roasted nut flavors. I will be smoking this cigar slowly to get the best flavors.

About 1/2 inch the black pepper has changed to a red pepper. There is a sweet, thick cedar and nutmeg combination with the roasted nuts. The pepper is very good. The finish is a toasted cream with a nice lingering black pepper. Did you get that? There is a red pepper on the front end and a black pepper on the finish! The cigar is medium bodied and very close to medium to full bodied.

About one inch in the roasted nuts are faint but the sweet, rich cedar and nutmeg are dominant. The pepper is still very good but the lingering pepper on the palate is fantastic. There is also a base flavor of coffee on the front end. The two peppers make the cigar very interesting and enjoyable.

About 1 1/2 inches in the ash is dropping quite a bit! The flavors are now evening out. The sweet cedar, nutmeg, roasted nuts (which are back), and the coffee are very even in intensity. The flavors are smooth. The finish is a graham cracker flavor. The lingering pepper has ticked down just a notch. The cigar is now a little over medium to full bodied and approaching full bodied very quickly.

With about 1 1/2 inches left the nutmeg notes have tailed off. The sweet cedar is prominent and there is a lot of charred oak attached to the cedar. The coffee is still the base. The pepper seems to be transitioning over to a black pepper on the front end. The finish is still  one of graham crackers. The lingering pepper on the finish has also tailed off a bit. The cigar is full bodied now. The cigar is slow burning and burns evenly when smoked slowly.

At the end the flavors were sweet cedar with a touch of richness and a brown sugar sweetness. There were charred oak notes. In the previous segment I stated that the red pepper seemed to be changing over to a black pepper on the front end. Here at the end I can taste both black and red pepper on the front end. Coffee remained the base. The finish remained one of graham cracker with a black pepper finish. The cigar ended up full bodied. This has been a fantastic cigar. I was totally impressed by the Tantrum. It would be nice if the cigar was available in a larger size as I hated for it to end!

Score: 93