July 15, 2018

Sindustry (2018) Lancero (7 x 38) by Black Works Studio






Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Black Works Studio’s Sindustry is back for a second year in a row.

Sindustry features the same tobacco components that were on the first edition, including a San Andres Maduro wrapper with a Nicaraguan Habano binder and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigar is available in the same three sizes (Robusto, Toro, and Lancero) and also brings back the rabito cap and closed footer.

“This vintage of Sindustry is the perfect balance between strength and flavor. It’s big and rich with a wide spectrum of flavors. Sindustry is one of my personal favorite cigars and I’m very excited to [sic] about this release hitting retailers,” said James Brown, creator of Black Works Studio and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.


Blend Profile
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Fabrica OveTheja Negra)


Vitolas Available
Sindustry is being released in three sizes. The Robusto and Toro sizes will be available in 20-count boxes while the lancero will be produced in 16-count boxes.

Robusto: 5 x 50 (SRP $10.00)
Toro: 6 1/4 x 48 (SRP $10.50)
Lancero: 7 x 38 (SRP $10.00) REVIEWED TODAY



The cigar is dark and skinny. It's well made and features a pigtail cap. The robusto and toro had a closed foot but the lancero did not.





The test draw after cutting the pigtail from the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a buttery boysenberry, chocolate, and a deep, dark roasted black coffee. There was a massive amount of black pepper which I rated at an 8 1/2. There are a lot of dark notes in this cigar but plenty of sweetness to counteract them. The cigar has a powerful taste to it. I expect it to hit full bodied rather quickly.




About 1/2 inch in the flavors settled down nicely. The boysenberry changed to a nice cedar with brown sugar and butter. There were still plenty of chocolate and black coffee notes. The pepper remained very good. The flavors settled down into a very nice, dark cigar.




The first third (23 minutes) the flavors continued as they were at the 1/2 inch point. The flavors are very dark and sweet. The cigar is also very powerful. I'd call it full bodied at this point. The finish is one of black coffee and chocolate with plenty of lingering black pepper. The black pepper is a course ground, powerful tasting black pepper. For the first third I rated the cigar a 93.




The second third (40 minutes) had some light anise notes mixing with the cedar. There are still buttery, chocolate notes and lots of black coffee. The cigar is still full bodied and the pepper is still very good. The finish now has some buttery notes on the chocolate and black coffee. The lingering black pepper is very good. I held the second third score at a 93.




The cigar lasted 57 minutes. For a small ring gauge cigar it is very powerful. The anise somehow changed into a cocoa type flavor. There remained plenty of cedar, chocolate, and black coffee. There were flashes of nutmeg but they were faint. The pepper may have toned down slightly but it was still very nice. The finish was unchanged. This was a good, powerful, skinny, fairly short burning cigar. It was quite impressive and I highly recommend it. I also had the other sizes; robusto and toro, and the toro was just as good. The robusto, with it's larger ring gauge, was slightly less impressive than the lancero and toro. But, this has been a very enjoyable, powerful cigar. The final third held the 93 rating. You can purchase these cigars HERE.


Overall Score: 93

July 14, 2018

One Off Piramides by Illusione Cigars (6 1/8 x 52)






Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Last year, Dion Giolito the founder and owner of Illusione Cigars announced he was bringing the OneOff brand back to market.

OneOff was created by Andrea Molinari in 2001. Molinari was a tobacconist who ran a La Casa del Habano in Milan, Italy. After failing to get his own brand made in Cuba, he turned to the Plasencia family, who would create the cigars at Segovia Cigars S.A. A year later, Molinari turned to Felipe Gregorio (owned by Philip Wynne) to handle his U.S. distribution. By 2004, distribution would move to Paul Giacalone of Massachusetts. Eventually, Plasencia stopped making the cigars and Molinari would sell the brand to Cuban Crafters. However, being a grandfathered brand under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deeming Regulations, it was an appealing brand for someone like Giolito to bring into his portfolio.

While Giolito hasn’t disclosed details, production is being handled at Aganorsa Leaf’s Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.(TABSA) factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The cigar is being released in ten-count boxes in eight sizes:  +53 Super Robusto (5 3/4 x 48), Canonazo (6 1/8 x 52), Cartuchos (3 7/8 x 52), Corona (5 1/2 x 42), Corona Gorda (5 3/8 x 46), Julieta (7 x 47), Piramides (6 1/8 x 52) REVIEWED TODAY, and Robusto (4 7/8 x 52).



I bought a 4 pack sampler from Small Batch Cigar and paid $62.80 so these average around $15 per cigar. 

The cigar is a golden brown in color and well made. The wrapper is smooth with no veins. It has a nice feel in the hand.





The test draw after taking the minimum from the pointed cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a pink grapefruit, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and earthy black coffee.  There was black pepper which I rated at an 8. 




At the first third (38 minutes) I still had the same flavor notes as previously described but the nutmeg notes are coming out a little more. The sweetness is tangy and thick. Almost like the sweetness from white chocolate. There is a lot of sweetness from the brown sugar and the cinnamon notes are quite tingly. The pepper remains very good. The finish is a combination of cream and nutmeg with a modest amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. For the first third I rated the cigar a 92. Very good, sweet flavors.




At the second third point (1 hour 14 minutes) the cigar is burning evenly. The nutmeg notes and earthy black coffee is much more elevated now. Those flavor notes have equaled the sweeter notes. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged. With the elevated nutmeg and black coffee taking away some of the sweeter notes I am lowering the score to a 90 at this point.




The cigar ended at 1 hour 45 minutes. The cigar continued on the same trajectory as before with the nutmeg and black coffee notes elevating even more. The citrus notes became a cedar with a slight sweetness. The finish was unchanged and the strength was medium to full bodied. The cigar started out very nice and seemed to go downhill for me. While I love nutmeg and black coffee in a cigar there have to be an equal amount (or more) sweeter notes. For the final third I lowered the score to an 87.


Overall Score: 90 (89.66)

July 13, 2018

Drew Estate releases Liga Privada 10 - Year Aniversario to commemorate the 10th Year of Liga Privada




Friday, July 13, 2018 — Miami, FL – Drew Estate announces today Liga Privada 10 - Year

Aniversario, a cigar that we spared no expense in creating to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Liga Privada. The 10 - Year Aniversario will be displayed in Drew Estate’s Booth at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow held, July 14-17, 2018 in Las Vegas Nevada.

Our dedication to collaborate with the most renowned growers in the Connecticut River Valley resulted in the next chapter of Liga, the Liga Privada 10 - Year Aniversario. This full throttle beast of peppery spice is swathed in a robust Criollo capa from the heart of the Valley, where we grow the mighty leaf that graces Liga Privada. Featuring a San Andres Otapan Negro Último Corte capote that adds razor sharp spice and burn to a core blend of well-aged Nicaraguan and Honduran tripa leaf.

Packaged in 10 count boxes featuring a unique Cola de Pescado head, and Pies Tapado foot, the Liga Privada 10 - Year Aniversario toro, 152mm x 52, is available with an MSRP of $179.00 per box.

From the Wynwood Safehouse, “The hard work began deep in the Valley, hunting for the dense lush leaf required to turn our dream cigar into a reality. This cigar symbolizes the bond of partnership between farmer and manufacturer to grow a Criollo Capa that is worthy of unmatched celebration. Exclusively grown for Drew Estate, I challenged Willy Herrera and the factory team at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate to create the cigar that could live up to the Broadleaf Bully that we have come to love, to celebrate the 10 years of Liga Privada.”

The production is limited to only 10,000 cigars or (1,000 boxes) of the Liga Privada 10-Year Aniversario Toro celebrating the 10-year anniversary. The Robusto, Corona Doble, and Torpedo sizes will be available in the future after additional crop harvests.

From Little Havana, Miami, Master Blender Willy Herrera, “It was a deep honor to be entrusted with adding the next chapter to Liga Privada and leading the Factory Blending Team. I am proud to report that the harvests of the Connecticut Criollo by our farmers were successfully fermented at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, and the cigars have been aging for this celebration. We have worked out the details in regard to fermentation time, style, and temperature. Much like we had to learn with No. 9 Broadleaf and T52 Habano, we continue to increase the amount of Connecticut Criollo we can ferment.  This does not come with insignificant risk as one small mistake can ruin the entire crops we have harvested. Our farm team is already planting the next harvest of Connecticut Criollo for this upcoming growing season, however this cigar will be extremely limited for the next few years as we continue to invest in our ability to manufacture with this exquisite tobacco.”

July 12, 2018

Drew Estate Announces Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo



Thursday, July 12, 2018 — Miami, FL – Drew Estate announces today that Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo will join the Liga Privada No. 9 and Liga Privada T52 brand family. Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo will be displayed in Drew Estate’s Booth at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow held, July 14-17, 2018 in Las Vegas Nevada.


Patience and a never-ending drive to craft the world’s most exceptional cigars are deeply rooted in the 10 year history of Liga Privada. Maintaining the core tenants of the Liga firebrand, the H99 features a Corojo capa from the heart of the Connecticut River Valley, where we grow the mighty leaf that graces Liga Privada with a San Andres Otapan Negro Último Corte capote over a core blend of well-aged Nicaraguan and Honduran tripa leaf. The marked contrast between naturally sweet tobacco spice with dense earthy layers produces a luxuriously rich smoke that fully reveals itself in an epic finish.

The Liga Privada H99 toro is packaged in a 24 count box, 152mm x 52, with an MSRP of $343.92 per box. Additional sizes are planned for future release.

From the Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew, President and Founder of Drew Estate, “Following the revolution in Cuba, the Corojo seed took roots in Florida, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Growing Corojo in new climates produced mixed results and much heartache for those who chose to grow it. By creating hybrids of Corojo the leaf was reborn keeping all of its spice and potency intact.  Hibrido or Hybridization is a farm-level process utilized for decades to create tobacco that is disease resistant, but also to display the qualities of an unmatched capa.”

From Little Havana, Miami, Willy Herrera Master Blender, “We started the process of fermenting Connecticut Corojo alongside Connecticut Criollo tobacco at the factory. The factory team and I conjured up numerous blends but ultimately, we selected the blend featuring the Otapan Negro Ultimo Corte capote for its spiciness that pairs with the sweetness of corojo. Our job now is to continue working with the farmers to increase the wrapper yield with each harvest year over year. It’s been long hours preparing for the national release. This leaf is unique.”

July 11, 2018

VILLIGER CIGARS TO SHOWCASE THE VILLGER LA VENCEDORA IN NEW 6X60 VITOLA AT 2018 IPCPR




(Miami, Florida) July 11, 2018— Villiger Cigars, which is celebrating its 130 year Anniversary, unveiled its first ever full-bodied Villiger Cigar brand, the Villiger La Vencedora in early 2018. Villiger Cigars will now unveil the Villiger La Vencedora “Gordo” which is a new 6X60 size vitola at the 2018 IPCPR in Las Vegas. Reviews by consumers and media alike have been strong as the Villiger La Vencedora received a 92 rating by CigarSnob Magazine, a 92 Four Star rating by Cigar Journal, and a 90 rating by Cigar Aficionado.

Rene Castañeda, President of Villiger North America said,” The Villiger La Vencedora has been very well received and so much so that there has been demand to introduce a 6X60 vitola. We look forward presenting this new size and seeing all of our friends and colleagues at the 2018 IPCPR in Las Vegas.”

The Villiger La Vencedora Gordo will come in 25 count boxes with an MSRP of $10.50.



About The Villiger La Vencedora: The Villiger La Vencedora is the follow up blend to the Villiger La Flor De Ynclan which attained a top 10 ranking in Cigar Aficionado Magazine’s top 25 Cigars for 2017. The Villiger La Vencedora which translates to “The Victor” is the first ever full-bodied Villiger cigar, and carries a special meaning to Villiger Cigars chairman of the board, Heinrich Villiger.

The years 2016 and 2017 have served as breakthrough years for Villiger Cigars. The company mostly known for creating premium machine manufactured cigars, made a huge splash in the handmade premium market. The Villiger San’Doro Colorado, Villiger La Libertad, and the most recent, the Villiger La Flor De Ynclan have all garnered high ratings, and multiple top 25 rankings. For Heinrich Villiger, it meant it was time to unveil a legacy brand to complete the Villiger handmade premium cigar portfolio.

The Villiger La Vencedora or “The Victor” represents to Heinrich Villiger the arrival of Villiger Cigars to the premium handmade cigar segment. It was time, in his opinion, to push to the envelope and create a legacy cigar that will serve as a proper follow up to the acclaimed Villiger La Flor De Ynclan brand. This Nicaraguan puro wrapped in a beautiful Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro, boasts a potent full-bodied smoking experience, featuring highly seasoned, hearty flavors.

The Villiger La Vencedora will be expressed in three sizes:

Robusto (5x50) MSRP: $9.00

Toro (6x50) MSRP: $9.50

Churchill (7x50) MSRP: $10.0

July 10, 2018

Drew Estate Announces Herrera Esteli Re-Branding, including Brazilian Maduro & Miami Line Extensions




Tuesday, July 10, 2018 — Miami, FL- Today Drew Estate announces the rebranding of the Herrera Esteli flagship brand, as well as the national release of the Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro and Herrera Esteli Miami. The entire, updated Herrera Esteli brand will be displayed in Drew Estate’s Booth at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow, held July 14-17, 2018 in Las Vegas Nevada.


The Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro features a dense Plantation Grown Mata Fina wrapper, over a Connecticut River Valley Broadleaf binder with fillers from Nicaragua. Manufactured at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro was blended by Willy Herrera is presented in 5 vitolas:

Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro Robusto Grande 5 ¼ x 52 MSRP $227.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro Toro Especial 6 x 52 MSRP $241.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro Lonsdale 6 x 44 MSRP $231.94/Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro Fino 6 x 52 MSRP $269.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro Short Corona Gorda 5 7/8 x 46 MSRP $203.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro



The Herrera Esteli Miami is crafted by level 9 rollers from Cuba at the El Titan de Bronze on Calle Ocho in Little Havana, Miami, – Willy Herrera’s Family Factory and the oldest remaining Fabrica in Little Havana. Like the Short Corona size featured at the 2016 IPCPR Tradeshow, the complete Herrera Esteli Miami line is expertly crafted with a lavish Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper over a rich Ecuadorian Sumatran binder with select fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The new look of Herrera Esteli Miami features a black and gold color tone and is only available to Drew Diplomat Retailers in the following 5 vitolas:

Herrera Esteli Miami Robusto Grande 5x50 MSRP $109.97/ Box of 10
Herrera Esteli Miami Toro Especial 6x52 MSRP $117.47/ Box of 10
Herrera Esteli Miami Lonsdale Deluxe 6.5x44 MSRP $112.97/ Box of 10
Herrera Esteli Miami Piramide Fino 6.5x54 MSRP $127.47/ Box of 10
Herrera Esteli Miami Short Corona Gorda 5 3/4 x 48 MSRP $97.97/ Box of 10
Herrera Esteli Miami



From Little Havana, Willy Herrera, Master Blender of Drew Estate, “The Herrera Brazilian Maduro is my expression of the floral and earthy Brazilian Mata Fina tobacco. We use it typically as a binder or accent tobacco in the filler but I wanted to showcase its dynamic and unique texture. I really like the black and gold color tone of the Herrera Esteli Miami and how it fits into the brand portfolio with multiple vitola expressions in the Miami blend. Working with my family on this brand takes me back to my blending roots and sincerely excites me.”

The Herrera Esteli Habano and Herrera Esteli Norteno are receiving a new look for IPCPR 2018. Each will be presented in unified Herrera Esteli Branding and will now be packaged in 25 count boxes. Willy Herrera adds, “The uniform packaging for the Herrera Esteli line has elements of classic Cuban inspired branding mixed with modern simplicity. I loved the classic cabinet boxes, but it was time to partner with our retail tobacconists and create a more cohesive space for Herrera fans to find my blends on the shelf.”

Herrera Esteli Habano blend features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Honduran Binder, and filler leaves from Nicaragua, presented in the following core vitolas:

Herrera Esteli Habano Robusto Grande 5 ¼ x 52 MSRP $227.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Habano Toro Especial 6 x 52 MSRP $241.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Habano Lonsdale 6 x 44 MSRP $231.94/Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Habano Piramide Fino 6 x 52 MSRP $269.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Habano Short Corona Gorda 5 7/8 x 46 MSRP $203.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Habano




Herrera Esteli Norteno blend showcases extensively aged tobaccos from the Esteli, and Jalapa growing regions of Nicaragua, coupled with a spicy Honduran Binder, and a rich, bold Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper in the following core vitolas:

Herrera Esteli Norteno Robusto Grande 5 ¼ x 54 MSRP $227.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Norteno Toro Especial 6 x 52 MSRP $241.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Norteno Lonsdale 6 x 44 MSRP $231.94/Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Norteno Piramide Fino 5 x 50 MSRP $269.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Norteno Short Corona Gorda 5 7/8 x 46 MSRP $203.94/ Box of 25
Herrera Esteli Norteno


We will no longer be supporting the 28 & 75 count refillable display trays or the 25 count refill bundles for tobacconists. Condensing to only 25 count boxes across the entire brand except for our limited production vitolas is really my vision of creating a cohesive brand experience. As we continue to collaborate with fine tobacconists around the country as well with our Tienda Exclusivas, we will also be updating the branding.


For full coverage of Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro, Miami and all of Drew Estate’s IPCPR national releases check out our 2018 #DEIPCPR promotion at www.drewestate.com/IPCPR.

July 09, 2018

Drew Estate announces Undercrown Dojo Dogma release for Drew Diplomat Retailers

Monday, July 9, 2018 — Miami, FL – Drew Estate announces the Undercrown Dojo Dogma will be returning to Drew Diplomat Humidors across the United States. “Dogma” was created originally to celebrate the one year anniversary of the online cigar community Cigar Dojo, a mobile application available on the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play Store. Undercrown Dojo Dogma will be displayed in Drew Estate’s Booth at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow, held July 14-17, 2018 in Las Vegas Nevada.
The Undercrown Dojo Dogma features a tweaked blend of the original Undercrown Maduro Corona ¡Viva!, comprised of a Mexican San Andres wrapper, Connecticut Stalk Cut Habano Binder, and Nicaraguan and Brazilian Mata Fina fillers. Unique from the core vitolas of the core line of Undercrown, the Dogma is box pressed in a 6 x 56 vitola packaged in a commemorative soft pack of 10. 

From the Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew President & Founder of Drew Estate, “DE absolutely loves the Dojo community and app because it represents the finest in cigar fellowship and technology. Dojo Dogma signifies our commitment to this distinguished community with a deep sense of purpose, as Dogma was created with intense, heartfelt passion. This is probably my favorite limited edition to date, along with the ShadyXV."
From Colorado, Dojo Master Sensei, “Working with Jonathan and Drew Estate was a dream come true for the Dojo team throughout 2013/2014 and we could not have been more impressed with the final product. The return of the DOGMA is something we have always wanted to do, as the cigar's unique shape and amped-up blend make for a stunning profile. We can't wait for more enthusiasts to experience the legendary DOGMA first-hand!"
The Undercrown Dojo Dogma will be released at the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival on August 25, 2018 in Broomfield, Colorado with the team from Cigar Dojo, Drew Estate, and John Drew Brands.


ABOUT DREW ESTATE
Founded in New York City in 1996, Drew Estate has become one of the fastest growing tobacco companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars”, Drew Estate has led the “Boutique Cigar” movement by innovating new elements to the tobacco industry with their unique tobaccos and blending styles that attracting new and traditional cigar enthusiasts. In their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the Nicaraguan headquarters, Drew Estate produces a variety of brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Herrera Estelí Norteño, Isla del Sol, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Larutan by Drew Estate, Nica Rustica, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Tabak Especial, Undercrown, Florida Sun Grown, and Java by Drew Estate.

Altadis U.S.A. Unveils line up and new offerings for IPCPR Show



FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Ahead of this year’s IPCPR show, Altadis U.S.A. is unveiling updates and introductions that will be showcased at the trade show.
Leading the way are two Nicaraguan offerings from the Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta 1875 lines.
Following the success of the H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez, Altadis will debut H. Upmann Connecticut, in collaboration with the Grupo de Maestros. Rounding out the introductions, will be an Aging Room Quattro Connecticut and Nicaragua selection. Other releases include the next iterations of past limited editions from Montecristo, Artisan Batch Series III and the Grupo de Maestros Private Batch IV.



Montecristo Nicaragua Series
The legend continues with the Montecristo Nicaragua series. This cigar is the 4th addition to the core range of Montecristo, which includes the iconic White, Classic, Original and Platinum series. The Montecristo Nicaragua is a rich and complex tasting cigar, with a medium to full bodied flavor profile. Conceived by Rafael Nodal and AJ Fernandez and handcrafted at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez, in Esteli, Nicaragua. Montecristo Nicaragua delivers a memorable smoking experience and is a good recommendation for all types of adult premium cigar smokers. 




H. Upmann Connecticut
H. Upmann Connecticut is a cigar that challenges the characteristics of a traditional Connecticut cigar – a complex, robust Connecticut that breaks the mold of the creamy Connecticut blend and continues the bold offering brought to life by the H. Upmann Nicaragua by AJ Fernandez. H. Upmann Connecticut was conceived by Rafael Nodal and The Grupo de Maestros, and features carefully selected tobaccos, which are rolled at the Tabacalera de Garcia factory in La Romana, Dominican Republic. H. Upmann Connecticut pays tribute to the upcoming 175th Anniversary of the brand in 2019.




Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua
America's most beloved cigar gets a Nicaraguan makeover. Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua is an exciting addition to the iconic Romeo y Julieta 1875 brand family. This Nicaraguan puro is a medium-bodied cigar, delivering a complex and balanced flavor profile. Produced in Nicaragua by the Plasencia family, the Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua will complement the rich history of the brand.





Brand: Montecristo Grupo De Maestros Private Batch IV
For years the brotherhood of the Grupo de Maestros, the master blenders and cigar makers, have been making their own private blend of Montecristo cigars from a special combination of tobacco. Now, once again, these cigars are available to you, but only in extremely limited quantities. Combined, the Grupo de Maestros have over 200 years of cigar-making experience and have united to create a rarified experience for cigar enthusiasts worldwide. These rare cigars are specially made with their own certificate of authenticity.  After aging, the cedar shelves were taken down and made into trunk boxes, while preserving the natural wear, giving each box its unique character.





Brand: Montecristo Artisan Series III
Introducing the Montecristo Artisan Batch III, the third iteration in a series of limited edition cigars born from a private batch of our most precious tobacco.  Every leaf is delicately and carefully handpicked by just three of our Grupo de Maestros, who in turn, have handpicked an accomplished buncher and master roller to personally handcraft our entire collection. These collectible cigars are among our most highly coveted for their unique consistency in delivering a medium to full-bodied experience with coffee, creamy, earthy notes and of course, unprecedented artistry





Brand: Aging Room Quattro
Aging Room Quattro is the pinnacle and highest acclaimed brand in the Aging Room portfolio, rated 95 and ranked #2 cigar of the year by Cigar Aficionado in 2013! The QuattroF55 has been named Quattro original, with F55M becoming Quattro Maduro. Expanding the range also features a Connecticut and Nicaraguan wrapper, offering a total of four outstanding varieties, positioned as a boutique cigar brand with traditional Cuban roots.   

        

July 08, 2018

Ramon Allones Habano Oscuro Toro (6 x 52)






Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Over the past 18 months, AJ Fernandez has been involved in production for several high-profile iconic brands including Hoyo de Monterrey, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, and H. Upmann. Now Ramon Allones can be added to the list, however, this time things are a little different. Not only will Fernandez be handling production of the brand, he will be the exclusive distributor of the brand in the U.S.

Plans are for two Ramon Allones AJ Fernandez lines including a Habano Oscuro and Sumatra. The Habano Oscuro is planned to be a four-size box-pressed line including: Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 52) REVIEWED TODAY, Churchill (7 x 50), and Torpedo (6 1/2 x 54). At press time, the only details reported on the Sumatra is that it will be available in five sizes.

While known as a historic Cuban brand, the trademark for Ramon Allones is owned by General Cigar Company in the U.S. Under the arrangement, General will continue to own the trademark. In 2015, General moved the Ramon Allones under its Foundry Tobacco brand. Earlier this year, it had announced the Foundry Ramon Allones’ cigar was being discontinued.


Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
Filler: Nicaraguan



The cigar is very dark and well made. It has a dense feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were a tangy citrus that is engulfed in cinnamon and heavy leather. There is a nutmeg cream that binds everything together. It is very thick. There was a black coffee base. I noted black pepper which I rated at a 7 1/2. The cigar comes across (in flavor notes) as full bodied. I expect it to hit full bodied at some point. The cigar is what I would call "heavy" in flavor notes. 




At the first third (32 minutes) the cigar is coming across as a nice, powerhouse cigar. The main front end flavor is now tasting more like a sweet cedar instead of a citrus. There are still plenty of leather and nutmeg notes. There is also a lot of cinnamon notes mixed in with the other flavors and a touch of brown sugar. The cigar is full flavored and already feels full bodied. It feels quite powerful. The finish is a deep leather with some nutmeg notes and a nice amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is burning evenly. The flavors are very nice at this point. I rated the first third a 93.




The second third (1 hour 1 minute) had the cigar turning darker. The coffee notes are very prominent and I would now call it an espresso. It is very dark and deep in flavor. The other flavors of sweet cedar, cinnamon,  brown sugar, nutmeg, and leather are still very much in play but you can taste the elevated espresso notes. I am convinced the dark flavor is espresso but you might call it unsweetened dark chocolate. I'll stick with espresso. The cigar is definitely full bodied and you can feel it. The finish has more nutmeg notes to go along with the nutmeg and lingering black pepper. The cigar continues to be very good but with the elevated espresso notes which took away a portion of the sweeter notes I am lowering the 2/3 point score to a 92.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 33 minutes. In the final third the cigar turned even more darker. The espresso, leather, and nutmeg are now very prominent with the espresso being the lead flavor of those 3. The sweeter flavors are dwarfed by those darker notes. The cigar is very full bodied and I would suggest you have something on your stomach before smoking this cigar. The finish is unchanged. With the massive uptick in darker notes I am scoring the final third at an 90. This is a good, powerful cigar with a nice, sweet start that transitions into a dark noted cigar that is very full bodied. 


Overall Score: 92

July 07, 2018

Las Calaveras EL 2018 LC54 (6 x 54)





Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
For the fifth year in a row, Crowned Heads will have a release of its annual limited edition cigar Las Calaveras. The Crowned Heads Las Calaveras EL 2018 will once again feature a new blend, this time with a San Andres wrapper. The cigars are scheduled to reach retailers this June.

Las Calaveras was introduced in 2014 as Crowned Heads’ limited edition line. The line pays homage to those who have passed away over the past year. As opposed to being a mournful symbol, it is intended to be a celebration of those lives and remembrances of those who are no longer with us. The line is produced by the Garcia family at My Father Cigars. Each year the blend has featured a different wrapper the Garcias are known for working with.

Las Calaveras EL 2014: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Las Calaveras EL 2015: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Las Calaveras EL 2016: Connecticut Broadleaf
Las Calaveras EL 2017: Ecuadorian Maduro
Las Calaveras EL 2018: San Andres Mexican

In addition to the San Andres wrapper, the Las Calaveras EL 2018 features a 100% Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigars will be available in three sizes (5 5/8 x 46, 5 x 50, and 6 x 54) – each presented in 24-count boxes. A total of 1,700 boxes per size will be produced.

Crowned Heads is also producing a four cigar sampler. It will contain one of each of the three sizes of the Las Calaveras EL 2018 as well as a bonus fourth size (5 1/2 x 56) that will only be available in the sampler. A total of 3,000 samplers will be made available.

“As 2018 marks the five-year anniversary of the Las Calaveras marca, we felt it apropos to utilize a Mexican San Andres (maduro) wrapper, which finishes a 100% Nicaraguan binder and filler blend. We also drew heavy packaging inspiration from the vibrant colors of the Dia le los Muertos holiday,” commented Crowned Heads co-founder Jon Huber in a press release.


Blend Profile
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (My Father Cigars SA)


Vitolas Available
LC46: 5 5/8 x 46 (SRP $9.95)
LC50: 5 x 50 (SRP $10.95)
LC54: 6 x 54 (SRP $11.95) REVIEWED TODAY

The four cigar sampler will have an SRP of $42.95




The cigar is nice looking and very dark brown. It is well made and has an oily wrapper. It has a nice, dense feel in the hand.






The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a tangy, dry cedar, brown sugar, tingly cinnamon, leather, and black coffee. There was black pepper which I rated at a 7. The front end flavors when mixed together give the flavor of a tart, sweet green apple. Strange, I know but you definitely get that type of flavor. About 1/4 inch in you get chocolate notes. They are sweet and a straight chocolate flavor. The leather is rather light but the cigar is somewhat leathery.




The first quarter (22 minutes) my initial assessment is confirmed. The flavors I initially described are still in tact and going along nicely. The tart, sweet green apple-type flavor when all the flavors are combined is still going strong. You have tangy, dry cedar, chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon, light leather, and black coffee. The cigar is burning fairly evenly. At this point I am rating the cigar a 93.






At the midpoint (45 minutes) there are a lot more chocolate notes and they are a dark chocolate with no sweetness. There are also a lot more black coffee notes. The other notes are still in play but the dark notes have equaled and slightly surpassed those. There are also nutmeg notes that are quite noticeable. The cigar has turned dark. The dark notes along with the nutmeg have taken away quite a bit of the initial sweetness. The cigar is medium to full bodied. With the uptick in dark notes I am lowering the midpoint score to a 91. 





The cigar ended at 1 hour 26 minutes. The cigar continued to turn darker and darker. There was not need to come back at the 3/4 point since nothing significant had changed. The dark chocolate and black coffee notes were prominent. There were also quite a bit of nutmeg notes. There was light leather and a touch of brown sugar. The nice, tart and sweet notes are gone. The cigar is full bodied. The finish is unchanged. From the start the cigar changed. It went from very sweet and tangy to dark and unsweetened. I would have preferred the cigar stay as it started through the first quarter. Since the cigar turned so dark noted I am lowering the second half score to an 88. You can try these cigars by going HERE. If you would like to try a 5 pack go HERE.


Overall Score: 91