June 26, 2016

Camacho Powerband Toro (6 x 50)

Video review HERE.

(Description below taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Since it’s historic relaunch in 2013, Camacho Cigars has used to month of June to launch its major release for the year. 2016 will be no exception as Camacho has announced its second installment of its Master-Built series with the Camacho Powerband. The new Camacho Powerband keeps to the brand’s theme around “boldness”.

In a press release announcing the PowerBand, Camacho described this cigar as being “inspired by the power, performance and acceleration associated with a classic V-twin engine, built to galvanize a brotherhood of freedom seekers.”

In order to achieve the goal of this theme, Camacho designed a proprietary bunching process. In a press release Dylan Austin, Vice President of Marketing for Davidoff of Geneva USA explained, “As our master builders in the Dominican Republic did with the first release in the (Master Built) series, American Barrel-Aged, they’ve drawn inspiration for this new concept from a category and way of life that amplifies and reflects Camacho’s Live Loud world. Each Powerband cigar is built to capture the rush of adrenaline, force of acceleration and blast of endorphins felt barreling down the open road full tilt on an iconic V-twin motorcycle. To bring this experience to life, we’ve completely redefined the bunching of a premium cigar, utilizing proprietary processes that can be performed only by a handful of skilled rollers in the factory. Once again, they’ve pushed the limits of what a cigar could be.”

The blend consists consists of a Habano 2000 wrapper, Negrito San Andres binder from Mexico, and fillers from Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Included are three different ligeros, including two corojo ligeros from Esteli and Honduras as well as San Vincente ligero from the Dominican Republic.  The PowerBand will be available in three sizes: Robusto, Toro, and Gordo priced $11.00 to $13.00. The three sizes will be available in a sampler priced at $39.99.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Binder: Mexican San Andres Negrito
Filler: Esteli Nicaragua Corojo Ligero, Honduran Corojo Ligero, Dominican San Vincente Ligero, Dominican San Vincente, Viso, Dominican Piloto Cubano
Country of Origin: Not Disclosed

Vitolas Available

Robusto: 5 x 50
Gordo: 6 x 60

The cigar is well made and has a beautiful oily wrapper. The test draw after cutting the cap had a touch of firmness but was very workable. The initial flavors were black licorice, black coffee, sweet dark chocolate, and black pepper rated at an 8. The flavors of the cigar make the cigar medium to full bodied. It's too early to feel any ligero.

About 1 1/2 inches in the black licorice notes are morphing over to a brown sugar and I got some citrus notes also. The coffee is very prominent. The black pepper is increasing somewhat. The finish is a sweet cream with some lingering black pepper. The cigar is still medium to full bodied. The citrus notes are subtle and I get flashes of them here and there.

Close to the midpoint I confirmed the previous description. I had a little doubt that those notes were going to stick but they did. The finish is now cream and cocoa with black pepper. The ligero is starting to be felt. I expect the cigar to reach full bodied very soon.

With a couple inches remaining the coffee and chocolate notes are very dominant. The other flavors of brown sugar, citrus, and now; dry wood, are all secondary. The cigar is full bodied in power now but the flavors are still medium to full bodied. I am calling it full bodied due to the feel of the ligero.

The cigar ended at full bodied, both in strength and flavors. The ligero is a little sneaky. It is not going to knock you down but you can feel it. For me, this cigar did not have enough of the sweeter flavors to counteract the heavy coffee and dark chocolate notes. If you're looking for a full bodied cigar with plenty of ligero and dark notes this may be for you. But don't expect any significant sweeter flavors. This cigar just does not have them.

Score: 89

June 25, 2016

Villiger San'Doro Claro Toro (6 x 50)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
At the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show, Villiger Cigars launched the Villiger San’Doro line.  The San’Doro line is being launched in three blends: San’Doro Claro, San’Doro Colorado, and San’Doro Maduro.

The San’Doro name pays homage to the times of Christopher Columbus.  The name San’Doro is actually derived from “Indorum Sana Sancta” which translates to “Sacred Herb of India”. During the time of Columbus’ expeditions, many thought he had found the route to India and when tobacco was brought back, it was referred to as “Indorum Sana Sancta”.

The San’Doro Claro features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigars is being produced at Tabacalera Oliva in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The cigar is golden brown and has an average density feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was effortless. The initial flavors were heavy sweet cream notes with black pepper rated at an 8. There were several subtle flavors along with the cream. They were cinnamon, orange citrus, and brown sugar. These were all quite subtle and hardly noticeable but perhaps they will blossom. There was also a nice black coffee base. The cigar is mild at this point.

1 1/2 inches in some of the subtle flavors are gaining strength. There are now more of the orange citrus and brown sugar. The cream is still the lead flavor and the black pepper remains very good. The citrus and brown sugar are secondary. The finish is a sweet cream with a lot of lingering black pepper.  The cigar is still mild to medium bodied. 

At the band, close to the midpoint, the cream notes are no longer the dominate flavor. There are now fairly even amounts of cream, citrus, and light caramel notes (in place of the brown sugar). The finish is unchanged and the pepper remains very good on both ends.

The citrus notes came out a little more at the end. The cream notes became secondary to the citrus. The caramel notes became a toasted caramel flavor. There was coffee at the base. The pepper remained very good throughout. The finish did not change much. The cigar ended medium bodied in strength. This was a good Connecticut shade cigar. This would make a good first cigar of the day or perhaps the last cigar after having several cigars during the day. Look for these anywhere that sells Villiger cigars.

Score: 90

June 23, 2016


The Joya family is proud to present Joya Black, a follow up to the very
well-received Joya Red launched in 2014. is new blend is a continuation of
e orts from the factory to introduce contemporary, innovative products to the

Th e JOYA line changed the way smokers enjoyed Nicaraguan cigars with the
introduction of Joya Red, a medium bodied, full avor smoke specially designed
and blended for the modern smoker. e new Joya Black follows in these footsteps
and takes the experience up a notch by incorporating a dark Mexican wrapper and
Nicaraguan llers. Modern in Spirit, fuller in Flavor and Stronger in Attitude,
this cigar provides a complex smoke, perfect for those who want more.

Both Joya Red and Joya Black were engineered by the youngest executive team in
the industry, along with the most senior Master Blenders of Nicaragua. Together
they created JOYA, a line-up of cigars that represents the more approachable and
adventurous side of Nicaragua's very rst, and most authentic, cigar factory.

“Since its inception, the JOYA brand has pushed the limits of our factory and
showcased a new side of our people and our products. Varying from fun, and easy
smokes like Joya Red, to sophisticated and more complex smoking experiences
such as the new Joya Black, and together with new upcoming variants, JOYA's
portfolio will continue to generate excitement among modern smokers and make
their smoking journey much more rewarding.“ Juan Ignacio Martínez, President of
Joya de Nicaragua, said.

 " This is Joya de Nicaragua’s rst cigar to feature a Mexican San Andres Negro
wrapper. We have had these wrappers available for some time and we wanted to
create a blend with rich Nicaraguan tobacco, yet without the overpowering
strength. e result is a balanced, rich and pleasant smoking experience - the type
of experience the new JOYA brand is known for as demonstrated by the release of
Joya Red" said, Mario Perez, Factory Manager.

Joya Black will be available in 20 count boxes and will be priced similarly to Joya
Red, ranging from $5.50 to $8.00 per cigar. It will be available in the following sizes:

• Robusto (5 ¼ x 50)
• Toro (6 x 52)
• Doble Robusto (5 x 56)
• Nocturno (6 ¼ x 46)

Joya Black will be available to all retailers and will be presented during the upcoming
IPCPR 84th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas in July 2016.
Drew Estate will distribute the brand in the U.S. as JDN’s exclusive distributor. Joya
Black will also be available worldwide through our International Marketing Division
and JDN’s partners.

June 18, 2016

Fratello Bianco II (6 x 50)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
The Fratello Bianco is the second line to be introduced into Omar de Frias‘ Fratello Cigars’ portfolio. This all-new line becomes Fratello Cigars’ first maduro blend.

The Fratello Bianco is an all-new blend highlighted by a San Andres Maduro wrapper. The remainder of the blend is a multinational blend. In fact the blend features tobaccos from five countries. The cigars are being made at an undisclosed factory in Nicaragua.

Wrapper: San Andres Negro (Mexico)
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Nicaraguan, Peruvian, and Pennsylvania (U.S.) Broadleaf
Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Vitolas Available:
The four sizes of the Fratello Bianco share the same blend composition. There are three regular production offerings. These are packaged in twenty count boxes. There is also a special event only size.

I: 6 1/4 x 44
III: 5 x 56
Event Exclusive: 5 x 44

The cigar is a dull shade of dark brown and well made with no bumps or blemishes. The cigar has an average feel in the hand for a toro size cigar.

The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors were fudge, dry cocoa, and black coffee. There were black pepper notes rated at a 7. A very dark noted cigar to start.

About 1 1/2 inches in there is a slight touch of orange citrus at the bottom levels. Primarily you have the dark notes of fudge (with little sweetness), dry cocoa, and black coffee. The pepper is increasing slightly. The finish is cocoa and cream with a modest amount of lingering black pepper.

At the midpoint the coffee notes are very much elevated. The fudge and dry cocoa are secondary. The orange citrus is very much decreased. It is slightly there at this point. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged, as well as the pepper. This continues to be a very dark noted cigar with little sweetness.

With about 2 inches remaining the orange citrus is gone now. There is, however, a touch of brown sugar in it's place. It adds little sweetness to the overall flavors, however. 

The cigar continued on it's path from the last segment. This has been a lightly sweet, very dark noted cigar. It burned evenly and had a good draw. The cigar made only minor changes. If you are one who likes very dark  noted cigars with little sweetness this is for you. For me, I prefer a maduro with significant sweetness. This would be a good cigar after a very sweet dessert.

Score: 89

June 14, 2016


One-of-a kind venue opened its doors in the epicenter of Miami’s Downtown Brickell area.

MIAMI – Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar in Brickell-Miami officially opens its doors to the public after an invitation-only “Gold” carpet event attended by VIPs, city officials and local celebrities. Prime Cigar’s first location in Boca Raton, set them apart as the premier cigar bar in South Florida. Prime Cigar is partnering with Tabacalera USA to unveil a one of kind cigar and whisky lounge. The new establishment looks to thrive in the heart of Miami’s business district, at Brickell’s newly built 1100 Millecento residential tower.

Prime Cigar’s founders, Jason Reznik and Ryan Leeds, celebrated in grand style, as they treated over 300 event guests, to an evening of live music, cocktails, catered food, and a variety of select Montecristo cigars. Guests were also treated to a special Johnnie Walker tasting. Hosted by a Master Whiskey expert, the tasting featured a traveling showcase trunk, with every expression of the brand. Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar finally became a reality after Jason and Ryan along with Javier Estades, Head of Premium Cigar Operations for Tabacalera USA, cut the ceremonial ribbon with oversized scissors. Ryan and Jason were later presented with a “Salute” by Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado. Local celebrities in attendance included Tito Puente Jr., world renowned Cuban- American artist Carlos Navarro, and VH1 reality star and recording artist Jane Castro.

Jason Reznik Javier Estades, and Ryan Leeds

The location of the 4,700 square foot Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar, was strategically chosen. Brickell has become one of Miami’s most dynamic neighborhoods, where business and nightlife seem to live together seamlessly. The upscale bar and lounge, will features a walk-in humidor, full-bar stocked with exclusive and hard to find whiskeys, members’ lounge, and private board room. Custom furniture and design elements (which exude simple elegance) will please the cigar aficionados, or those looking for a unique experience, for a rare whiskey, craft cocktails, or a nightcap. The establishment also features a “vintage collector’s room,” which houses unique and vintage cigars.

One important feature that sets Prime Cigar apart is the state-of-the-art air control system. This innovative system provides 80 tons of A/C, and replaces 100 percent of the air constantly. This system was of great importance to Leeds and Reznik, as they wanted customers to enjoy themselves in the upmost comfort.

Prime Cigar was born out of close bond between father and son. Ryan Leeds’ father passed away in a tragic accident, which led Leeds to ponder the meaning of life, with friend and business partner, Jason Reznik. Ryan retired from his career in banking which spanned two decades, and put his efforts into creating Prime Cigar in Boca. Inspired by the lessons and experiences of his father, Ryan created a space which celebrates their love of cigars, good whiskey, and luxury comforts.

Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar invites the Miami-Dade public to experience ‘sophisticated relaxation.’

ABOUT PRIME CIGAR & WINE BAR Founded in 2010, Prime Cigar & Wine Bar is a cigar bar and lounge featuring premium cigars, top-shelf spirits and fine wines. Prime Cigar delivers a sophisticated relaxation experience to all its guests and boasts a state-of-the-art air control system, ensuring a comfortable smoke-friendly environment.

About Tabacalera USA

Tabacalera USA oversees the Fort Lauderdale-based premium cigar division of Altadis U.S.A., the manufacturer and marketer of such classic hand-made cigars as Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and VegaFina. Tabacalera USA is also responsible for the North Carolina-based 800-JR Cigar and its affiliates. Tabacalera USA’s affiliates operate premium cigar production facilities in the Dominican Republic and Honduras. For more information about Tabacalera USA, please contact Mark Smith at mark.smith@itgbrands.com.

For more information on Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar, please contact Creativas Group at: info@creativasgroup.com. Photographs and interviews are available by request. Follow on social via @ Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar

Creativas Group Inc. provides public relations and marketing counsel to national brands, recognized special events and leading non-profit organizations. For more information: www.creativasgroup.com.Follow us on social media @CreativasGroup.

June 12, 2016

Fratello Toro (6 1/4 x 54)

Video review HERE.

(Description take from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Fratello Cigars launched their first release in 2013 called Fratello.  Fratello Cigars is being launched by Omar de Frias who is based out of Northern Virginia.  de Frias is a former professional basketball player and long-time cigar enthusiast. 

In terms of the name Fratello, de Frias explained in a press release, “Fratello, has been my nickname since college, means brother in Italian and embodies the true nature of this industry, camaraderie, family and friendship.”

The blend features tobaccos from three countries.  There is a Peruvian component in the filler. There is Nicaraguan tobacco in the wrapper as well as in the filler.  The binder is Ecuadrian Sumatra.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan, Peruvian

Vitolas Available:
Fratello is currently available in four sizes.  Each size will be available in boxes of 20:

Corona: 5 1/2 x 46
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 52
Toro: 6 1/4 x 54 (REVIEWED TODAY)
Timacle: 6 x 60

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

The test draw after cutting the cap was good with a touch of firmness. The initial flavors were tea, leather buttery cream, black coffee, and black pepper rated at a 7 1/2.

Only about 1/2 inch in the flavors changed and settled down. They are now a sweet strawberry-like flavor, buttery cream, light leather, and black coffee. The leather tones down the sweet strawberry flavor and the sweet strawberry tones down the leather. The cigar is medium bodied. The finish is a buttery cream with a little lingering black pepper; not much.

1 1/2 inches in you can tell this will be a long smoke. The flavors are the same but now there is more richness. I attribute the added richness to the butter. 

At the midpoint the leather notes are manageable. The primary flavors of strawberry and butter with black coffee are intact. The cigar is still medium bodied at this point.

With over 2 inches remaining we are well over an hour! Now the strawberry notes have some brown sugar. The leather is light. There is still some buttery notes. The coffee is still at the base. Everything else is about the same.

At the end the brown sugar really kicked in with the strawberry flavor. At times the strawberry seemed to want to morph over to a sweet, tangy orange citrus but it never really did. The leather was very mild at the end. The butter and coffee were still around. The cigar reached medium to full bodied and really wanted to move to full bodied. The finish was influenced by the strawberry notes and had a nice cream flavor with an upgraded lingering black pepper. This cigar got better as it went on. You wound up with some significant power out of this cigar too. Good cigar.

Score: 92

June 11, 2016

L’Atelier Côte d’Or (7 x 47)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
In 2015, L’Atelier Imports, introduced a new limited edition cigar called L’Atelier Côte d’Or. This is L’Atelier’s second limited cigar release following the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine (L’Atelier Imports’ annual limited edition cigar made available only to retailers that attend the IPCPR Trade Show). With the Côte d’Or, it features two key tobacco components. First up, it incorporates Pelo de Oro tobacco in the filler – a tobacco that typically has low yield because it is susceptible to disease and mold. Secondly, the cigar is finished with an Ecuadorian Sancti Spiritus wrapper – a tobacco that is a staple found on all of the L’Atelier branded cigars.

The name Côte d’Or translates to “gold coast”. It also is the name of the department in Eastern France that is the famous Burgundy wine growing region. One grape grown is the Pinot Noir – which is considered a high maintenance, temperamental plant. There is an analogy to Pelo de Oro as it is a high maintenance leaf to work with (it has been prone to mold). While both Pinot Noir and Pelo de Oro have low yields, both are known to produce high quality end products for wine and cigars respectively.

Sancti Spiritus is a tobacco leaf grown by the Oliva family with a seed from the Garcia family. It is a hybrid of Criollo and Pelo de Oro. The irony of it being used in this blend is that it was intended to be a replacement seed for Pelo de Oro – namely because of the problems associated with growing Pelo de Oro. The priming of Sancti Spiritus used on Côte d’Or is the same one that is used on the L’Atelier Selection Spéciale line.

Wrapper: Sancti Spiritus (Ecuador)
Binder: Nicaraguan (Double Binder)
Filler: Nicaraguan, including Pelo de Oro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (My Father Cigars SA)

A single vitola is being made – a 7 x 47 soft-pressed Churchill.

The L’Atelier Côte d’Or is packaged in ten count boxes. A total of 2,100 boxes (21,000 cigars) were produced.

Finally, this release priced at $16.00 is the most premium offering offered by L’Atelier Imports to date.

The cigar is a dark brown in color and has a dense feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the minimum from the cap was very good. The initial flavors were a sweet, juicy orange citrus, milk chocolate, and espresso. There was black pepper rated at an 8. Nice start.

About 1 1/2 inches in the flavors have not changed. The pepper is actually rated at an 8 1/2. It's very nice. The 3 main flavors on the front end are about even in intensity at this point. The finish is one of cocoa with a nice amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium to full bodied.

A little past the midpoint the espresso notes are very heavy. The chocolate notes are secondary and the citrus notes are third. The cigar is full bodied now. There are flashes of cocoa here and there on the front end. The finish still has cocoa notes and now there are coffee notes to go along with the pepper.

At the end I lost a lot of the citrus notes. You are left with primarily espresso notes and secondary chocolate notes. The cigar is still full bodied. The pepper remained very good. The finish did not change. This is a very dark noted cigar. This might be a good, long after dinner cigar. While not inexpensive it should be on your must try list. A good offering from L'Atelier.

Score: 91

June 05, 2016

Last Call by A. J. Fernandez (4 1/2 x 48)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
A.J. Fernandez has released the first cigar in a line called the Portfolio Series called Last Call. The Portfolio Series will be a series of personal and experimental blends that Master Blender A.J. Fernandez has worked on over past years. In the case of the Last Call, this was a cigar that started out as a personal blend for A.J. Fernandez.  Last Call will be released in a one size – a 4 1/2 x 48 vitola called Geniales and will be a brick and mortar exclusive.

According to a report by Cigar Insider, Last Call got its name because it would be the last cigar that Fernandez would give his guests who were at his house watching Monday and Thursday night Football.

Cigar Insider also reported Last Call will be a regular production cigar, but it is possible other sizes might be limited in production.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Select AJ Fernandez Nicaraguan Fillers
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)

Last Call will be available in one size – a 4 1/2 x 48 cigar called Geniales. The cigars are packaged in 25 count boxes. Retail price point: $5 per cigar.

The cigar is well made and a dark brown. It features an unfinished foot.

The test draw after cutting the cap was perfect. The initial flavors were brown sugar, white chocolate/caramel mix, coffee, and black pepper rated at an 8. The finish is a caramel/cream mix with a decent amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied at this point.

A little over an inch in the ash is almost completely white! The flavors are brown sugar, caramel, and thick molasses notes with some coffee at the base. The finish is about the same but there is some dry wood now. The pepper remains pretty good. The cigar is still medium bodied.

A little past the midpoint the caramel notes are still there and now there are dry cedar notes. I commented in the last segment that there was dry wood on the finish. There is also brown sugar with the caramel. The finish is about the same. The cigar is still medium bodied leaning toward medium to full. The thick molasses notes are pretty much gone.

The cigar ended much like it was in the last segment. The dry cedar had a lot of influence on the front end. It detracted from the caramel which is normally a rich flavor. The pepper remained good. The finish ended up with more of the caramel and cream. The dry wood was subtle. The cigar ended at medium to full bodied and took until late in the cigar to get there. These have a great price point so pick up a handful and enjoy them! Good, quick cigar.

Score: 91