October 19, 2019

Casa Fernandez Aniversario 2019 (6 3/4 x 52 Perfecto)
















Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
At the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Aganorsa Leaf introduced a box-pressed perfecto offering in its Casa Fernandez Aniversario line. The cigar will be a limited production offering of 250 ten-count boxes and will only be made available to IPCPR attendees. The Box Pressed Perfecto will be the sixth installment in the Aniversario line.

The Aniversario Perfecto features 100% Nicaraguan tobacco grown on the Aganorsa farms. The cigar features a Corojo ’99 wrapper over binder and fillers from the Jalapa and Estelí regions. The perfecto is a 6 3/4 x 52 offering rolled at the company’s Miami, Florida factory by a single roller. Pricing is set at $13.99 SRP per cigar.



The cigar is absolutely beautiful and expertly made. It has a dense feel in the hand.





The test draw after taking the minimum from the pointed cap was a bit tight so I used the PerfecDraw to open the draw. The initial flavors at light up were fantastic; extremely sweet, tangy orange citrus, lots of brown sugar and cinnamon, lots of caramel notes, smooth, creamy nutmeg, and a black coffee base. There was a lot of black pepper rated at an 8. Even at this early stage there is quite a bit of lingering black pepper. The cigar has started off very good. All the flavor notes except the black coffee are very high. The black coffee is about 75% strength as compared to the other notes. A very good start.




At the first third (45 minutes) the lead flavor has become a citrus/cedar flavor. The nutmeg became leathery. The cinnamon, brown sugar, and caramel are still very nice. The black coffee base is nice but not particularly noticeable. The cigar is a low grade medium to full bodied. The finish is a nutmeg with caramel influence and nice lingering black pepper, although it's not as intense as it was at the outset. I rated the first third at 95.




By the second third (1 hour 32 minutes) the lead flavor has changed to a cedar. The brown sugar is lighter. The black coffee notes and leathery nutmeg have greatly risen. The cinnamon has also decreased. The finish has leather, nutmeg, and just a hint of caramel. The caramel on the front end is greatly decreased. The lingering black pepper is pretty good. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The cigar made a big transition from the first third to the second third. I rated the second third at 92.




The cigar lasted an incredible 2 hours 12 minutes. An amazing burn time. Not a lot changed in the final third but a touch of sweetness was lost. I had the same flavor notes, however; cedar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, light caramel notes returned, heavy leathery nutmeg and heavy black coffee. The cigar ended full bodied. The finish is unchanged from the last segment. The cigar made a big transition after the first third. It got quote dark and leathery with decreased sweetness. I rated the final third at 91.


Overall Score: 92.67

October 17, 2019

Lords of England Maduro Toro (6 x 50)








Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Pure Aroma Cigars, best known as the makers of the D’Crossier brand of cigars, is set to resurrect an old Cuban brand. The company has brought back the Lords of England line. This was a Cuban brand that was introduced to the U.S. market in 1905.

Lords of England was a cigar line that was originally popular in Europe. It carried the trademark of the Estabrook & Eaton Cigar Company. Around 1905, Don Gustavo Bock introduced the cigar to the U.S. market. Once introduced, Lords of England became a popular cigar in hotels and cigar clubs in the U.S. Bock produced the brand out of Havana, Cuba. Bock was a partner in Henry Clay & Bock Company. Eventually, that company was purchased by American Tobacco Trust (which Bock would head up.)

The brand eventually became dormant and disappeared from the market. However, the history of the brand caught the attention of Pure Aroma Cigars owner Santana Diaz.

“In my research, I found out that the Bock company produced at least three different versions of this elegant cigar. A modest version came in large cedar boxes of 50 in several shapes and sizes with the Lords of England logo stamped in brilliant colors with the Estabrook & Eaton name engraved in the middle, a tribute to the original English importers and distributors of that cigar,” commented Diaz in a press release.

“The second and third version bore the name of Don Gustavo Bock and E&E, and it was considerably more upscale with an elegantly wrapped box designed with bright colors, gold filigree, and classical themes – a fitting precursor to the highly designed cigar labels and boxes of modern times. Bock was really the father of the modern cigar, as we know it. After all he introduced the Cuban ring and was the architect of the big business approach to producing and marketing fine cigars,” added Diaz. “It is around 114 years since the Lords of England was introduced in this country. I’d like to recapture some of that history of my native island and make the Lords of England cigar the premium brand it once was.”

Diaz is teaming up with Tabacalera Perdomo to produce the cigar. The Lords of England line returns in two blends – the Lords of England Connecticut and the Lords of England Maduro which feature an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade and Mexican San Andres wrapper respectively. Both cigars are available in three sizes: Robusto, Toro, and Churchill. Each is packaged in 25-count boxes.

“Believe me, I have worked diligently to find the right blend of tobaccos to recreate this Cuban legend,” commented Diaz.

Today I am looking at the maduro version of the Lords of England in the toro size.



Lord of England Maduro
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera Perdomo SA



Available vitolas:
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50 REVIEWED TODAY
Churchill: 7 x 50




The cigar is well made and dark brown in color. It has an average feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a very pronounced, sweet, tangy orange citrus, lots of cinnamon, a touch of brown sugar, low levels of nutmeg, a lot of a sweet chocolate, and a nice black coffee base. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. There is a lot of sweet orange citrus and a lot of sweet chocolate. This is a very good start.




At the first third (33 minutes) the cigar is a nice surprise. I knew nothing about this brand or this cigar before purchasing them. I based my purchase on the fact that Perdomo made them. The orange citrus with the high cinnamon content is extremely nice. And, combine those notes with a very sweet chocolate and the flavor notes are fantastic. The cigar is medium bodied but it seems to be moving up. The finish is sweet chocolate and nutmeg with a nice amount of lingering black pepper. I like this cigar at this point very much. I rated the first third at 95.




At the second third the cigar started changing. It moved to the dark side. There are a lot more coffee notes and the chocolate is more pronounced. The tangy, sweet orange citrus is reduced to a normal level. There are some mollasses notes in the mix also. The cigar is now full bodied. The finish is unchanged. With the turn to the darker side and losing some sweet notes I rated the second third at 93.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 19 minutes. The cigar kept getting a little darker. The front end flavor that I loved, the sweet, tangy orange citrus, was greatly decreased. There are now heavy coffee, chocolate, and nutmeg notes. The cinnamon was also decreased. The cigar is still very full bodied. The finish actually has a little more sweetness but it's still one of chocolate and nutmeg. With the massive change I lowered the final third score to 90. I was disappointed with the way the cigar progressed. It was fantastic in the first third. I suppose it was blended to get darker toward the end but it got a little too dark for me.


Overall Score: 92.67

October 15, 2019

Drew Estate and Pappy Van Winkle Go Brick & Mortar with Barrel Fermented


Tuesday, October 8, 2019 — MIAMI, FL - Drew Estate unveils today the national release of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Barrel Fermented Cigars exclusively to brick and mortar Drew Diplomat Retailers. Until now, Barrel Fermented has been sold exclusively through Pappy & Company at pappyco.com, owned and operated by the Van Winkle Family.

The Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented cigar is a long-filler, premium cigar rolled in limited quantities at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Estelí, Nicaragua. Deep barrel fermentation is the key process that makes this expression vastly different from anything on the market. Hand selected leaves from Kentucky are packed into small torquettes (or bundles of tobacco), which are then loaded strategically into oak bourbon barrels. Water is then added, while immense pressure is applied to the torquettes via railroad jacks. The tobacco is removed 2-3 times per year, shaken out, then repacked. The total process of fermentation takes 12-18 months, leaving a truly unique flavor profile and aroma.

This historic cigar features a barrel fermented “tapa Negra” wrapper over a Mexican San Andres base wrapper, as well as aged Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, personally selected by Jonathan Drew.  PVW Barrel Fermented is presented in hand-crafted boxes of 10, sold in brick and mortar stores exclusively by Drew Diplomat Retailers in the following vitolas: Robusto (5 ¼” x 52), Toro (6 x 52) and Churchill (7 x 48).



In addition, Drew Estate announces the release of the Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Flying Pig to be sold exclusively through Pappyco.com. This cigar is a 3 15/16” x 60 flying pig vitola, which remains one of the most consumer demanded sizes in the Drew Estate portfolio.



Carrie Van Winkle Greener, Co-Founder of Pappy & Company notes, “In the past five years, we have been fortunate to see this brand partnership grow as we have combined our strongest brand assets from the bourbon and cigar industries into a one of a kind product, unlike anything else sold in the market. We are excited to see how this partnership grows in the future and are grateful to have collaborated with Drew Estate, who shares our like-minded commitment to quality, craftsmanship and authenticity.”

From the Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew Founder and President of Drew Estate adds, “This is a historic partnership for the worlds of premium cigars and premium spirits. After five years of friendship, teamwork, and product/brand development - we are ready to move into the second phase of our aligned vision. The ongoing consumer demand for the BARREL FERMENTED expression is incredible ... and we have discovered that hundreds of our brick and mortar stores were reaching out to the Van Winkles about carrying this specific line extension in their stores, even if they had to pay full retail price.  While the entire barrel fermented line will remain available for online purchase exclusively at Pappy & Company, the Van Winkle and DE families have come together with a brick and mortar only opportunity for our DDRP customers who wish to sell the product. This is a game changer in every way. The BARREL FERMENTED is highly sought after, priced right, and is now going to have carefully controlled brick & mortar distribution nationwide.”

The Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented is available at Drew Diplomat brick and mortar retailers (as well as online at pappyco.com) in the following vitolas:

• Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Robusto (5 ¼” x 52) MSRP $140.00/box of 10.

• Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Toro (6 x 52) MSRP $150.00/box of 10.

• Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Churchill (7 x 48) MSRP $160.00/box of 10.

The Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Flying Pig ( 3 15/16” x 60) will be available exclusively through pappyco.com in a 12 count box with an MSRP of $191.80


October 13, 2019

CAO Session Bar (toro) (6 x 49)







Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
At the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show, General Cigars introduced a new offering under its CAO brand called CAO Session.

CAO Master Blender Rick Rodriguez was inspired to create CAO Session from spending time smoking cigars in his “man cave” in his garage. He was looking to create an everyday cigar that could be something special.

To create this cigar, Rodriguez went to the Dominican Republic. He teamed up with his former Team La Gloria colleague Yuri Guillen, who serves as the factory manager for General Cigar Dominicana. It’s the first CAO cigar created in the Dominican Republic in over a decade – with the last one being the CAO Vision.



Blend and Origin
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: General Cigar Dominicana


Vitolas Offered
Garage: 5 1/4 x 55 (SRP $8.59)
Bar: 6 x 49 (SRP $8.99) REVIEWED TODAY
Shop: 6 x 60 (SRP $9.59)




The cigar is very dark and contrasts nicely with the burnt orange foil band. The cigar has a nice feel in the hand. 





The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were somewhat unusual. The front end flavor is a cedar/plum, some brown sugar, a touch of cinnamon, quite a bit of nutmeg, semi-sweet chocolate, and a black coffee base. There was a nice amount of black pepper which I rated at 7 to 7 1/2. The cedar/plum flavor is quite different but it's nice and keeps your interest. 




At the first third (26 minutes) the plum-like flavor is still there. There is some earthiness that has popped up but by and large the flavors are like I initially described. The cigar is medium bodied but leaning heavily toward medium to full. The finish is one of chocolate and nutmeg with a nice amount of lingering black pepper. This is an interesting cigar. It has interesting flavors with plenty of dark notes but also adequate sweetness. I rated the first third at 92.




At the second third (53 minutes) the flavor notes are flowing along just about like they have been previously. The nutmeg is very smooth which gives an overall smoothness to the cigar. The chocolate has a touch of sweetness but not a lot. Most of the sweetness comes from the cedar/plum combination. And, there is a touch of brown sugar. The cigar is quite dark but it has enough sweetness to make it a nice maduro. The cigar is a high grade medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged. Nothing much has changed so I maintained the previous score of 92 for the second third.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 16 minutes. In the final third the sweetness decreased while the nutmeg and coffee notes increased. The cigar is full bodied. The finish is unchanged. The cigar got darker with less sweetness but it's still something I could smoke again. Nice price point. This is not the best maduro I've had but it's not bad. I lowered the final third score to 90 with the decreased overall sweetness and elevated darker notes. 


Overall Score: 91.33

October 12, 2019

Dias de Gloria Short Churchill by AJ Fernandez (6 1/2 x 48)








Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
At the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, AJ Fernandez Cigar Company launched a new line known as “Días de Gloria.”

The name translates to “days of glory”. According to a report by Cigar Aficionado, the name pays homage to the period of Cuban history prior to the 1959 Cuban revolution. It’s a cigar that incorporates tobaccos from four of Fernandez’s farms in Nicaragua: Finca los Cedros, La Lilia, La Providencia 1, and La Soledad.

The cigars come in four sizes: 
Robusto (5 1/2 x 52)
Toro (6 x 56)
Gordo (6 x 58)
Short Churchill (6 1/2 x 48) REVIEWED TODAY

Production is handled out of the Tabacalera Fernandez factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Dias de Gloria had a limited release a few years ago following the enactment of the deeming rule regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).



Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan



The cigar comes in a cedar sleeve with a red band at the foot. It has a light to average feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were (in order of percentage) a sweet orange citrus, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, leather, and black coffee. There was a nice amount of black pepper rated at 7 1/2. The cigar is quite sweet and has lots of cinnamon notes just behind the sweet orange citrus. Nice start.




At the first third (22 minutes) the cigar tastes fantastic. You now have a citrus/cedar combination, still plenty of cinnamon notes, sweet caramel, plenty of nutmeg, plenty of leather, and a black coffee base. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is one of caramel and nutmeg with plenty of black pepper. This cigar is already falling in line with my other top rated cigars of the year but this cigar has more sweeter notes. The cigar also has power with plenty of darker/lower notes. This is a very good cigar. I rated the first third at 96.




Moving through the second third (43 minutes) the flavor notes keep popping. The sweet citrus/cedar combination is very nice. Combine that with above average cinnamon notes, and sweet caramel. The nutmeg and leather are somewhat elevated bringing the cigar in more of a balance. The nice black coffee base continues to be unchanged. The cigar is full bodied. The finish is still one of caramel and nutmeg but the caramel notes are somewhat toasted at this point. There is quite a bit of lingering black pepper, too. I toyed around with raising the second third score but wanted to leave wiggle room for the future so I maintained the score of 96 for the second third. A very good cigar so far. 




The cigar lasted 1 hour 2 minutes. Not as long as I had hoped but it has a smaller ring which may have played into the shorter burn time. The cigar had the same flavor notes in the final third as it did in the first third. They were almost identical. The cigar is full bodied. The finish is unchanged. This is a very good cigar with plenty of sweet notes, lower level notes, and power. It has just about everything I want in a cigar. I maintained the score of 96 for the final third. A must-try cigar that you can purchase HERE. The entire line can be seen and purchased HERE.



Overall Score: 96

October 08, 2019

Cabañas, the Oldest Cuban Cigar Brand, Now Reenvisioned by Jaime and Pepin Garcia


BURLINGTON, N.C. – JR Cigar is introducing a modern take on a classic heritage brand: Cabañas.

Handcrafted in Nicaragua by Don Pepin Garcia, this cigar uses some of the most exclusive and aged Cuban seed tobaccos grown in Nicaragua to recreate thetraditional experience. It is crafted with a Habano Rosado wrapper, Jalapa and Esteli binders and all Nicaraguan filler.

This is a rich and creamy medium-to-full-bodied cigar with hints of coffee, molasses and a touch of spice. It is hand crafted with the same quality and expertise that characterizes My Father Cigars.

“Jaime and I wanted to pay tribute to the oldest Cuban brand, Cabañas, by interpreting our vision of the traditional Cuban flavors and aromas, using interesting tobaccos grown in Nicaragua from selected original Cuban seeds,” said Maestro Pepin Garcia.

Offered in 20-count boxes, Cabañas is available in four sizes: a 7 x 50 Churchill ($9.90 per cigar, $178.20 per box); 5 x 50 Robusto ($8.75 per cigar, $157.50 per box); 6 x 56 Toro Gordo ($10.50 per cigar, $189.00 per box); and 6.12 x 52 Torpedo ($9.55 per cigar, $171.95 per box). All  will be available this month  exclusively at www.JRcigars.com


October 06, 2019

Tatuaje ME II Toro (Mexican Experiment) (5 3/4 x 50)












Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
ME II is an updated and different blend from the ME and will be a full-time production. The ME II are produced at the My Father Cigars factory.

In addition to the Mexican San Andres wrapper, ME II features Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos.

ME II is packaged in 15-count cabinet boxes. 

The cigars are produced in four sizes: 
Robusto (5 x 54)
Toro (5 3/4 x 50) REVIEWED TODAY
Belicoso (5 x 52)
Churchill (6 1/2 x 48)



This cigar, like the ME is very dark and has an average feel in the hand. This cigar is also box pressed.




The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a pink grapefruit peel, nutmeg, and lots of unsweetened dark chocolate and lots of a full bodied black coffee. Basically there are 4 flavors and none of them are very sweet. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2 to 8. At the outset this cigar is darker noted the less sweetness than the ME toro that I reviewed yesterday.




At the first third (30 minutes) the flavors were exactly like they were at the start. This cigar is targeted to someone who likes extremely dark notes with little to no sweetness. The flavors are actually very nice and if the cigar had sweetness it would be very good. But, with little to no sweetness the cigar is fairly one dimensional. The cigar is full bodied even at this early stage. The finish is a low level amount of dark chocolate and a little lingering black pepper. I rated the first third at 85.




As I moved through the second third (1 hour 5 minutes) I lost a significant amount of the pink grapefruit peel. That was our only "sweet flavor". There is only a hint of it now. There remains plenty of nutmeg and tons of unsweetened dark chocolate and black coffee. The pepper remains the same. The finish is unchanged; straight unsweetened dark chocolate. The cigar remains full bodied. With the significant loss of the only somewhat sweet flavor I lowered the second third score to 83.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 24 minutes. In the final third I actually lost the nutmeg notes. I didn't see that one coming. So, I was left with unsweetened dark chocolate and lots of a full bodied black coffee. The cigar is still very full bodied and the finish is unchanged. The lingering black pepper has increased and is pretty nice. One positive is this cigar is a little slower burning than the ME toro so you'll get a little longer burn time. There are no sweet notes in this cigar at all. I rated the final third at 80. But, if this cigar sounds like something you would like you can purchase them HERE.


Overall Score: 82.67

October 05, 2019

Tatuaje ME Toro (Mexican Experiment) (5 3/4 x 50)







Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
ME is a limited one-time production based on the original Tatuaje Mexican Experiment which was released back in 2011.

In addition to the Mexican wrapper, ME features a Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. The ME will be packaged in 15-count bundles. They are produced in the My Father factory in Esteli.

The ME cigars are produced in four sizes: 
Robusto (5 x 54)
Toro (5 3/4 x 50) REVIEWED TODAY
Belicoso (5 x 52)
Churchill (6 1/2 x 48)



The cigar is a fairly sharp box press and very dark. It has an average feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were a morphing of an orange citrus and grapefruit, dashes of cinnamon, dark chocolate, a subtle nutmeg, and a full bodied black coffee. The odd thing with this cigar is the defined citrus. I don't find that in a lot of maduro cigars. 




At the first third (29 minutes) I had basically the same flavors but there is more nutmeg now and also a touch of brown sugar. The sweetness comes from the citrus and a touch of brown sugar. The flavor mix for this maduro is very intriguing. The coffee notes are heavy, as well as the dark chocolate notes. But you have the sweetness from the citrus and light brown sugar to counteract the darker notes. The nutmeg gives the cigar smoothness but does take away a touch of sweetness. The sprinkling of cinnamon was a nice touch. The finish is a lot of dark chocolate and just a touch of nutmeg with some nice lingering black pepper. The cigar is a high grade medium bodied. I like the flavor mix at this point. I rated the first third at 93.




At the second third (52 minutes) the citrus notes seem to be increased but the sweetness did not increase with them. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged. The sweetness went down just a little so I lowered the second third score to 92.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 17 minutes. In the final third the citrus notes decreased while the nutmeg, dark chocolate, and black coffee elevated taking away a substantial amount of the sweetness. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged. I lowered the final third score to 90. This cigar had some unique flavors and overall I enjoyed it but it did lose some sweetness in the final third. Still, a good maduro cigar. You can purchase both the ME and ME II cigars HERE.


Overall Score: 91.67