August 31, 2014

1875 Romeo y Julieta Bully (5 x 50)






Video review HERE.


This cigar is fresh off the 2014 IPCPR in Las Vegas. This version of the RyJ consists of:

Wrapper: Indonesian Shade (TBN) Select Vintage 2010
Binder: Aged Dominican Piloto
Filler: Aged Dominican and Olor

The TBN stands for "Tembakau Bawah Naungan" which translates to "Tobacco Under Sheet" or "Shade Grown Tobacco".

(from Cigar Coop's website)
1875 represents the year that the Romeo y Julieta brand was established in Cuba and pays tribute to the Shakespearean tragedy. While there are cigars branded in the Romeo y Julieta line with 1875, this is a different cigar. (This is noted by the 1875 appearing before the "Romeo y Julieta" name as opposed to the existing lines where 1875 appears after the "Romeo y Julieta" line.

The 1875 Romeo y Julieta is being launched in five sizes plus a cigarillo-like offering.

Dos: 5 1/2 x 44
Bully: 5 x 50 Reviewed Today
Tres: 6 x 50
Churchill: 7 x 50
Gordo: 6 x 60
Petit Bully: 4 x 38 (cigarillo)


These cigars will be available only in  brick and mortar shops.


The cigar is well made and dense feeling in the hand.




The test draw after cutting the cap had a touch of firmness but it was very workable. The initial flavors were a tangy orange citrus with hickory and cream tones. The citrus seems to also have cedar mixed in with it. The pepper is a black pepper rated at a 7.5. The cigar is very sweet. There is a nice mix of flavors, in fact. The creaminess filters over to the finish. You get it immediately. Cream goes straight from the front end to the finish seamlessly. There is a touch of lingering pepper on the finish but not much.


Close to an inch in I am satisfied with my initial flavor assessment. I am very surprised at the orange citrus notes in this cigar since it is Dominican. I am use to those notes in the typical Nicaraguan cigar but not typically in a Dominican. I'm not complaining, mind you; just surprised. I am noticing aspects of red pepper in the cigar now but I want to see if it continues. The cigar is mild to medium at this point. The sweetness of the citrus/cedar is very nice!




At the lower band there are now some roasted nut flavors on the front end. The hickory is somewhat subdued but the citrus/cedar is still going strong. The red pepper did continue and is very nice. The finish is still a heavy, thick sweet cream. There is more lingering pepper now on the finish which is also a black/red combination.



In a nutshell, this is the best cigar Altadis has put out in years. Here at the end the same notes apply; sweet orange citrus/cedar, roasted nuts, red and black pepper, and cream. All of them are still in play. The finish continued with the sweet cream with lingering red and black pepper. The cigar ended as medium bodied. This is not a powerful cigar. It is a tasty cigar. If anyone of you have a similar palate as mine you should try this cigar. It is very, very good. I thoroughly enjoyed this cigar. They should be on store shelves now or very soon so look for them! I was very impressed.



Score: 94

August 30, 2014

Cubanacan Habano Piramide (6 1/8 x 52)






Video review HERE.


Cubanacan Cigars are part of the Tarazona Cigar empire. The Habano is the second edition from Cubanacan following their successful Connecticut cigar. 

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaragua

Available in the following sizes:
Chato (4.5 x 42)
Rothschild (5 x 50)
Piramide (6 1/8 x 52) Reviewed today
Churchill (7 x 50)
El Gordo (6 x 60)


The cigar is a beautiful shape. The wrapper is oily and has a well made piramide cap.




The foot:




After cutting the cap the test draw was a bit firm but workable. The initial flavors were freshly tanned leather, sweet cedar with cream undertones, and quite a bit or roasted nuts. The pepper is a black pepper but not a strong black pepper. I rated it at a 7.5. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. The finish is a toasted cream with some influence of the roasted nuts. There is also an average amount of lingering pepper.



At about one inch in the leather notes have really picked up. This is a very meaty cigar and it reminds me of a steak! The cedar is the secondary flavor but it's far behind the leather notes. The cream is tailing off but the roasted nuts are holding the base. 



About 1 1/2 inches in the burn is a little off but I am letting it self-correct. The meaty leather notes are the main flavor but the sweet cedar has made a resurgence. It is really moving up. There are also a lot more roasted nuts. The cigar is better tasting now, to me. The heavy leather notes without much sweetness was a bit much.



With about 2 1/2 inches remaining the cigar's burn issues did self correct. The primary flavor is still the leather but the sweet cedar and nuts have pulled almost even with the leather. The flavors are almost in an even split. The roasted nuts are also developing some creaminess to them. The cigar is still medium bodied and I thought it would have moved past that by now. The finish is about the same as before.



At the end the flavors remained fairly even but I give the nod to the leather notes. The cigar ended medium bodied. The finish remained about the same but the roasted nut flavors had more of an impact at the end. This has been a good, basic habano cigar. Had this cigar had more richness and possibly some buttery notes in the nut flavors it would have been better to me. However, this is a good cigar and I would buy more of them.



Score: 90

August 24, 2014

Black Abyss Banshee (by JR Cigars) (5 x 50)






Video review HERE.


Black Abyss is a brand-new handrolled premium cigar crafted for JR Cigars by José “Jochy” Blanco, the guy who grows the leaf for a bunch of Boutique Blends cigar brands, including Aging Room and Swag, both of which have collected tons of high ratings in cigar magazines (the Aging Room Quattro F55 Concerto took second place in Cigar Aficionado's top 25 of 2013

Black Abyss is handmade at Tabacalera Palma in the Dominican Republic.

Jochy Blanco’s Black Abyss is made in four sizes (each featuring a somewhat sinister name: Banshee, Cerberus, Hydra, and Wraith) packed in boxes of 20 cigars.

Wrapper Color: Dark Brown / Maduro
Packaging: Box of 20
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper Type: San Andres
Binder: Corojo
Filler: Cuban Seed Criollo 98/Olor/Dominicano/Piloto Cubano


The cigar is a very dark brown and has a nice feel in the hand.




The test draw after cutting the cap had some firmness but workable. The initial flavors at light up were heavy espresso, sweet cedar, boysenberry, and black pepper rated at a 7. The espresso is the overwhelming flavor. This is very dark noted cigar. The finish at this early stage is a toasted cream with some nice lingering black pepper.



A little over an inch in the espresso toned down just a tad. You know have some earth and cocoa. The cocoa mixes nicely with the sweet cedar. The boysenberry is tailing off making room for the cocoa notes. The finish is about the same. The cigar is medium to full bodied at this point.




About 2 inches in the cocoa is getting a little stronger. You have a little richness and buttery-ness in the cedar and cocoa. The espresso is still the lead flavor and there is some earthiness at the base. The added sweetness and richness from the cocoa is a good thing.




At the end some of the hints of boysenberry came back. The butter notes tailed off. You still have the sweet cedar and cocoa but I lost the richness. There are also some notes of dry wood. The espresso is still very prominent. The cigar ended up at medium to full bodied but it's close to full bodied. The finish is about the same but the cream is a little thicker. For the price point these cigars are well worth trying. You can get a 10 pack of these for $30. It would have been nice to have more richness throughout but not a bad mix of flavors. If you like heavy espresso cigars with some sweetness these may be right up your alley!




Score: 88

August 23, 2014

Perdomo Double Aged Vintage Connecticut Epicure (6 x 56)






Video review HERE.


This is the highly anticipated new cigar from Nick Perdomo; the Double Aged Vintage. At this point only the Connecticut version is available. The Sun Grown and Maduro versions will be available in late September or shortly thereafter.

This cigar is made of only the finest 12 year old fillers, binders, and wrappers. They are bale aged for 10 years and aged an additional 2 years in charred, white oak bourbon barrels. 

The cigar is available in 5 sizes:
Robusto: 5 x 56
Epicure: 6 x 56 (reviewed today)
Churchill: 7 x 56
Gordo Extra: 6 1/2 x 60
Salomon: 6 1/8 x 60


The cigar is very dense feeling in the hand and well made.




After cutting the cap the test draw was very good with a touch of firmness. The initial flavors immediately after light up were sweet citrus, cream, white pepper rated at a 7.5 to 8. After a minute or two the citrus was defined as a sweet, candy-like orange citrus. There were cream notes attached to the citrus and some subtle nutmeg.


About one inch in the citrus, nutmeg, and cream are all even. You have the same amount of each. There are coffee notes at the base. The white pepper remained very good. The finish was a thick, sweet cream with some nice lingering white pepper. The cigar is mild to medium at this point. This is a very smooth cigar with meaty-ness. The cigar has depth.



At the band the lead flavor is the orange citrus. The secondary flavors are nutmeg and cream. Those two flavors combine to give a faux flavor of white chocolate which coats the entire palate. The finish is still a sweet cream but there are now accents of citrus. The cigar is a low grade medium at this point.



Just past the midpoint the citrus notes are still the lead flavor. The nutmeg has become very subtle and the cream notes are also somewhat subtle. The coffee notes are still around but there are now notes of roasted nuts mixed with the citrus. The finish is pretty much unchanged. The cigar is medium bodied. The white pepper remains very good on both ends.



As the cigar ended the orange citrus was still the lead flavor. Attached to it were notes of subtle cream and roasted nuts. The nutmeg has gone away. The cigar ended at the upper end of medium bodied. You can feel the ligero at this point. This has been a very good cigar. I am very much anticipating the Sun Grown version. These are quite limited and only available at Perdomo's top stores. So, if  you find a shop that has them grab them up. They will go fast!



Score: 92

August 17, 2014

My Father Connecticut Robusto (5 1/4 x 52)






Video review HERE.


This is another cigar that was sent by Justin Lacy for me to review. He sent 2 of these cigars. Thank you
Justin for your generosity.

(from the My Father website)
My Father Connecticut is going to be an extension of the already existing line My Father and My Father Le Bijou; the cigar is blended by Jose "Pepin" Garcia and his son Jaime Garcia at the My Father Cigar Factory in Nicaragua : It features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Nicaragua Corojo 99 Binder and Nicaragua Habano-Criollo filler, all the tobacco coming out of the Garcia's farms with the exception of the wrapper which comes from Ecuador. This cigar also features a very unique aromatic leaf that gives the cigar aromas and flavors; a special fermentation process was given to this particular type of tobacco in order for it to release all the aromas and flavors that the Garcias were looking for to finish the last touch of this blend.


Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Nicaragua Habano-Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo 99


The cigar features the typical My Father band as the top band and a separate band beneath it signifying the fact that it is the Connecticut line. There is also a black band around the foot.

The cigar is obviously well made and very light in color; much lighter than the typical My Father cigar. The cigar is triple capped and dense.




The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a nice orange citrus and nutmeg combination. There was a tremendous amount of white pepper which I rated a 9! If you like pepper it's a fantastic flavor! There are also black coffee notes at the base with some underlying roasted nuts. You cannot miss the white pepper when you light up this cigar! But...will it last???


About one inch in the initial flavor assessment is correct but you can also add some light cream. The sweet nutmeg is the primary flavor with the citrus secondary, while the cream gives both a creamy flavor. The roasted nuts and coffee are still in play. The finish is a sweet cream with some nice lingering white pepper. The cigar is medium bodied at this point.



At the lower band the citrus notes made a jump forward. The roasted nuts are also more prominent along with the sweet cream. On the finish the sweet cream is a little thicker and sweeter.



At the upper band I lost the cream notes, but the roasted nuts have some buttery flavor to them. The nutmeg is again the lead flavor followed by the citrus. The coffee notes are still in play. The white pepper has toned down from it's original intense flavor to a 7 or 7 1/2. However, on the finish the white pepper has intensified. It is very nice and adds to the sweet cream  and (now) roasted nuts nicely.



The cigar ended with the citrus notes but they are a little fainter along with the roasted nuts, which have lost a lot of their buttery flavor. I also lost the nutmeg. The coffee maintained the base. The white pepper remained at a 7 to 7.5. The lingering pepper remained very, very good. The finish was unchanged. The cigar ended on the upper range of medium bodied. Had this cigar maintained the high level of pepper that it stated with I would have rated it higher as I am a pepper fan. This is a lighter cigar from My Father and I'm sure it's targeted to draw in the lighter cigar lovers. A very good cigar and on shelves now. Fresh from the IPCPR in Las Vegas.



Score: 91

August 16, 2014

262 Cigars Revere Lonsdale (6 1/2 x 44)





Video review HERE.

NOTE ADDENDUM AT END OF REVIEW

First of all, this cigar was sent to me by one of my avid blog readers; Justin Lacy. He actually sent me 2. I sampled one of them last night to get a feel for the cigar. Today I am doing the actual review. This particular size of the 262 Revere was made exclusively for the J. Shepherd Cigar Shop in Louisville, Kentucky.


262 Cigars is all about our freedom to smoke cigars. They very much want the government to stay out of the cigar business. With this in mind they came out with the Revere line which is named for Paul Revere, and American Patriot.

This is a Nicaraguan Puro comprised of:

Wrapper: Nicaragua: Jalapa Valley
Double Binder: Nicaragua: Esteli, Jalapa
Fillers: Nicaragua: Esteli, Jalapa, Condega

This is a nice looking cigar with an oily wrapper. The cap is finished off with a twist; almost like a short pigtail. Here is a hot of the foot.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a lot of dry wood and earth with a decent amount of pepper. It doesn't last long. About 3 minutes later they changed over to subtle sweetness of cedar and dry cocoa, coffee, cream, earth, and dry wood. The pepper is a black pepper rated at a 7.5. 



Due to technical difficulties the video jumps to the midpoint. From about the 1 1/2 inch point until now you have a nice sweet cedar with dry cocoa notes, black pepper AND red pepper rated at an 8+ in intensity, dry wood and coffee at the base. The finish is a combination of cream and dry cocoa with a mixture of red and black lingering pepper. The cigar is a solid medium bodied and shows signs that it may go a little fuller. I must say, the introduction of red pepper really made the cigar tasty!




The cigar ended with the sweet cedar with a little richness from the dry cocoa, dry wood, coffee, and the amazing flavor of black and red pepper. The finish was unchanged. The cigar ended on the upper side of medium bodied. I was very impressed with this cigar. Of course, I love Nicaraguan tobaccos and this cigar delivered. Remember, this particular size is only available at J. Shepherd Cigar Shop but hopefully it is a good representation of the other vitolas. Thank you Justin Lacy for sending this to me to try. It was a great cigar!



Score: 92

ADDENDUM

Upon reading my review the owner of J. Sheppherd Cigar Shop has made all my blog readers a generous offer. A nice discount on 262 cigars! Read below for various sizes and pricing.

They come in a corona (7.95), robusto (8.50) , lancero (9.25) , Toro (9.95) and our store exclusive, the Limited Edition pigtailed Lonsdale (9.50). All come in 20 count boxes, except the Lonsdale which comes in a box of 10. Anyone wanting to order from your readers can use the code TIMROLLINS and I will take 10% off any singles and 15% off a box purchase. If someone would like a Lonsdale box (95.00 retail) we will have $75 box special for them.  Our minimum order is just six cigars and usually come with a bonus stick(s).

All orders come directly to me as your personal cigar concierge. Call me directly at 502.741-9125.

Jason Sheppherd

August 12, 2014

A.J. FERNANDEZ CIGARS PROUDLY UNVEILS A.J. FERNANDEZ DOCUMENTARY




(Miami, Florida) August 11, 2014— A.J. Fernandez Cigars, recognized for creating some of the most acclaimed cigars in the industry proudly unveils a 13 minute documentary which went live today and can be seen on the home page of their website at:  www.ajfernandezcigars.com.



A.J. Fernandez, who has blended consistently highly rated cigars, is documented in a way that gives the viewer just a glimpse of the passion and expertise which has led many to consider him a tobacco prodigy.



Kris Kachaturian, Managing Partner of A.J. Fernandez Cigars said: “I have always stated that A.J. Fernandez will be known as a legend in the cigar industry in only a few years. I felt it was important to take advantage of the present time to document our journey. For those who are not able to visit our factory, we present them with this documentary which will bring the factory to them.”



Public Works, an award winning boutique creative agency based out of Denver, Colorado spent a week at the factory in Nicaragua and created a very unique documentary. The film is composed of beautiful cinematography, music, time lapse photography, education, and history in a way which communicates the A.J. Fernandez Cigars story in a very soulful manner.



The documentary is being announced on the heels of A.J. Fernandez’s unveiling of his latest brand, New World, which was created along with his father Ismael Fernandez who recently joined A.J. Fernandez Cigars after his retirement from the Plasencia family.



To view the documentary please visit:  www.AJFernandezcigars.com.

August 10, 2014

Ortega Serie D Black Robusto (5 x 52)






Video review HERE.


Cigars smoked for review: 1


This is the newest cigar from Eddie Ortega. It was debuted at this year's IPCPR in Las Vegas. This is the only sample I have to review. These cigars are made in the My Father cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli)


This cigar is different from the other Serie D cigars in that it's round and not box pressed. It is well made and dense.





It is also triple capped.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a very sweet orange citrus, subtle nutmeg and cream, and a ton of black pepper rated at an 8.5. The black pepper filters over to the finish where there are almond notes with orange citrus notes. The cigar is medium bodied at this early point.


About one inch in the sweet orange citrus continues and it's dominate. The nutmeg are subtle and the cream notes take the edge off the other flavors. There are roasted almonds now on the front end. The finish is now one of a sweet cream that reminds me of a whipping cream. The lingering black pepper remains very good.



At the midpoint the orange citrus is still dominant. The nutmeg still mixes nicely with the citrus and the cream still tones down the sharp edges of the other notes. The roasted almonds are still around and there are now black coffee notes. The finish is now one of a combination of orange citrus and cream, much like an orange creamcicle. The cigar is medium to full bodied now.



You will get almost exactly one hour out of this cigar. The orange citrus notes are still the lead player along with subtle cream and almond notes, with the coffee at the base. You lost the nutmeg notes. The finish was unchanged. The black pepper remained very good throughout the cigar. It remained medium to full bodied. This was a very good cigar from Eddie which I enjoyed quite a bit. Look for these on shelves now. This is a winner for Ortega!



Score: 93