August 18, 2019

Morphine 2019 Lancero (7 x 38)









Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Black Label Trading Company’s annual limited release Morphine is returning for the sixth consecutive year. This year’s release features three previously released vitolas in the line: Lancero, Short Robusto, and Box Pressed Corona Gorda.

“I can’t believe it’s been six years since our first Morphine release. To celebrate we have brought back one of my favorite vitolas, the 7×38 Lancero. The other vitolas are old favorites also, the short Robusto and the Box Pressed Corona Gorda. This years vintage is rich and earthy with bold spice on the retro. The key note flavors are raisin, black cherry and a big blast of anise on the finish. This vintage is one of the best yet!” said James Brown, creator of Black Label Trading Company and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra in a press release.


Blend and Origin
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Fabrica Oveja Negra


Vitolas Offered
Short Robusto: 4 1/2.x 50 (20 count boxes, MSRP $10.50/cigar) 
Corona Gorda Box Press: 5 1/2 x 46 (18 count boxes, MSRP $10.50/cigar)
Lancero: 7 x 38 (12 count boxes, MSRP $11.50/cigar) REVIEWED TODAY



The cigar is dark and pencil-like; long and thin. It has an average feel in the hand for a lancero.





The test draw after cutting the pigtail cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a tangy citrus/cedar combination, brown sugar, some cinnamon, quite a bit of nutmeg, light leather, sweet chocolate, and black coffee. There was nice black pepper initially rated at an 8. 




At the first third (23 minutes) there is more of a cedar flavor rather than citrus/cedar. I still had nice brown sugar, cinnamon, leather, nutmeg, chocolate, and black coffee. The leather and nutmeg seem to be combining to make a nice flavor. The black pepper remains very good. The finish is nutmeg, a little brown sugar, and chocolate with a nice amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is close to full bodied so I'll call it full bodied. There is a creaminess to the nutmeg and leather combination that is very nice. There is substantial sweetness as well as substantial dark notes. The cigar is in a nice balance right now. The cigar is powerful tasting and powerful feeling. I rated the first third at 94.




As I completed the second third (40 minutes) the cedar was somewhat subtle but the brown sugar was still coming through along with some tingly cinnamon. There was light to medium leather, nutmeg, chocolate, and black coffee. The pepper was still good. The cigar is definitely full bodied. The finish is pretty much unchanged. I like the creaminess of the nutmeg and leather. It's quite pleasing. Even with the dip in cedar the cigar did not lose anything. I held the rating of 94 for the second third. 




The cigar lasted 56 minutes. In the final third the sweetness decreased. The leather notes and chocolate notes also decreased. The black coffee notes increased. There was very little cedar, some brown sugar but in a decreased amount, a little cinnamon, a lot of nutmeg, decreased chocolate, light leather, and a lot of black coffee. The finish has a lot more nutmeg now but there is still sweetness there. The cigar is very full bodied. This has been a very good cigar and it's a tick better than the short robusto. I lowered the final third rating to 92. You can purchase these cigars HERE.


Overall Score: 93.33

August 14, 2019

Protocol Official Misconduct Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46)







Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
At the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show, Cubariqueño Cigar Company launched the Protocol Official Misconduct Corona Gorda. It’s the first line extension to the Protocol Official Misconduct which was launched last year.

The Protocol Official Misconduct Corona Gorda comes in a 5 5/8 x 56 format and will become the second size in the line joining the Toro that was released last year. Like the Toro, the Corona Gorda features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers from the Estelí and Jalapa regions of Nicaragua. Production is handled at the La Zona factory located in Estelí, Nicaragua.

The cigars will be presented in ten-count boxes with pricing set at $99.40 MSRP per box.



Blend and Origin
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: La Zona SA


Corona Gorda: 5 5/8 x 46 REVIEWED TODAY
Toro: 6 x 50



The cigar looks very nice and is a great size. It has an average feel in the hand for a cigar of this size.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were noted immediately. It takes no time to wait for the flavors to develop. They are a nice, sweet, tangy, almost candy-like orange citrus, tons of cinnamon, brown sugar, white chocolate, some nutmeg, and a rather light black coffee base. There is an incredible sweetness in the orange citrus, white chocolate, and brown sugar. There was black pepper initially rated at 7 1/2. Really nice, sweet start.




At the first third (19 minutes) the flavors continue to be amazing. The orange citrus is extremely sweet. The brown sugar is in the perfect amount. The white chocolate is still there also. The cinnamon is very intense. The black pepper is moving up. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper combine to make an amazing flavor. The black coffee base is still somewhat subtle but in a nice amount. It gives the cigar depth but is not overpowering. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is one of citrus, brown sugar, nutmeg, and what I would call a cinnamon residue with nice lingering black pepper. This cigar is very impressive and is hitting on almost all my cylinders. I rated the first third at 96.




As I moved through the second third (41 minutes) the only change was the white chocolate notes became subtle. The cigar remained very sweet. The black pepper and black coffee have intensified. The cigar remains medium to full bodied. The finish is about the same in flavors but the percentages have changed; a little more nutmeg followed by brown sugar and cinnamon. The cigar has not lost a beat in enjoy-ability. I easily maintained the rating of 96 for the second third




The cigar lasted 1 hour 2 minutes. I gave the cigar every chance to drop. I smoked it to the point of almost burning my fingers. But the cigar did not yield. The only change in the final third was the addition of caramel. It seems the white chocolate was morphing through the second third into a nice, sweet caramel. Take the flavors in the second third and add caramel. You have sweet, tangy orange citrus, brown sugar, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black coffee, which elevated in the final stages giving the cigar a nice depth. The cigar is a low grade full bodied. The finish is unchanged. This is a very good cigar. I very much enjoyed it. Juan, Bill, and the folks at La Zona came up with a fantastic cigar in the Official Misconduct Corona Gorda. Simply fantastic. I held the rating of 96 for the final third. Don't miss this cigar in the midst of all the new cigars this year from Protocol. You'll be sorry if you do. To get these amazing cigars you can purchase them HERE.


Overall Score: 96

August 11, 2019

Morphine 2019 Short Robusto (4 1/2 x 50)










Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Black Label Trading Company’s annual limited release Morphine is returning for the sixth consecutive year. This year’s release features three previously released vitolas in the line: Lancero, Short Robusto, and Box Pressed Corona Gorda.

“I can’t believe it’s been six years since our first Morphine release. To celebrate we have brought back one of my favorite vitolas, the 7×38 Lancero. The other vitolas are old favorites also, the short Robusto and the Box Pressed Corona Gorda. This years vintage is rich and earthy with bold spice on the retro. The key note flavors are raisin, black cherry and a big blast of anise on the finish. This vintage is one of the best yet!” said James Brown, creator of Black Label Trading Company and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra in a press release.


Blend and Origin
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Fabrica Oveja Negra


Short Robusto: 4 1/2.x 50 (20 count boxes, MSRP $10.50/cigar) REVIEWED TODAY
Corona Gorda Box Press: 5 1/2 x 46 (18 count boxes, MSRP $10.50/cigar)
Lancero: 7 x 38 (12 count boxes, MSRP $11.50/cigar)



The cigar is almost jet black. It looks like a stick of dark chocolate. The cigar is finished with a pigtail cap.





The cigar has an average feel for a short robusto.





The test draw after cutting the pigtail from the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a citrus/cedar (mostly cedar), a little brown sugar, cinnamon, and cream, quite a bit of nutmeg, and a ton of espresso and unsweetened dark chocolate. The espresso and dark chocolate make up about 70% of the flavors at the outset. There was a large amount of black pepper which I rated at 8 1/2 initially. 




At the first third (17 minutes) the cigar has settled down quite a bit. The mostly cedar (slight amount of citrus), brown sugar, and cinnamon are much more definable now. The espresso has greatly toned down and it's more of a stout black coffee. The unsweetened dark chocolate has also decreased to a more manageable amount. There's still plenty of nutmeg. The cigar is full bodied right away. The finish is one of sweet cream and lots of lingering black pepper. There is no longer cream on the front end but it does show up on the finish. The cigar is impressive. I rated the first third at 93.




At the second third (39 minutes) I had a little citrus but mostly cedar, a lot of cinnamon mixing with the nutmeg making a nice flavor, brown sugar, unsweetened dark chocolate and stout black coffee. The black pepper is more in the range of 7 to 7 1/2 now so it's toned down. The cigar is still full bodied. The finish is now one of cream and nutmeg with nice lingering black pepper. The cigar has not changed enough to change the score so I rated the second third at 93.




The cigar lasted only 51 minutes. It's a short powerhouse. In the final third the cigar seemed to revert back to the way it initially started with decreased sweetness and very elevated unsweetened dark chocolate and black coffee, almost tasting like espresso again. The cigar is very full bodied. The finish is unchanged. This is a very good, powerful cigar with plenty of dark notes and plenty of sweetness for the most part. I'll be comparing this to the lancero version soon. With the decreased sweeter notes and elevated dark notes I rated the final third at 92. You can purchase these cigars HERE.


Overall Score: 92.67

August 10, 2019

Las Calaveras EL 2019 LC54 (5 1/2 x 54)










Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
For the sixth year in a row, Crowned Heads has released its annual limited edition cigar, Las Calaveras. Since it was introduced in 2014, each release has featured a different wrapper. For the Crowned Heads Las Calaveras EL 2019, the release features an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper, the wrapper used on the first release of Las Calaveras.

Las Calaveras 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. In the past, the bands of each release of Las Calaveras have contained the initials of four individuals who have passed away. This year, the cigar contains the initials of one person – the late Cano Ozgener, founder of CAO Cigars who passed away last June. Crowned Heads co-founders Jon Huber and Mike Conder both worked with Ozgener at CAO Cigars.


Blend and Origin
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.


LC46: 6 x 46
LC50: 5 x 50
LC54: 5 1/2 x 54 REVIEWED TODAY
Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52 (sampler only)


The cigar is nice looking and well made. It has a nice feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a nice, sweet orange citrus, a lot of cinnamon and brown sugar to go along with it, light leather, quite a bit of nutmeg, and a nice black coffee base. Initially there was black pepper rated at 7 1/2.  A pretty good start.




At the first third (27 minutes) this cigar has much more sweetness than the LC46. Sometimes a larger ring can yield more sweetness and in this case it does. I still had the nice orange citrus with hints of sweet apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, elevated nutmeg, background leather notes and a somewhat subtle black coffee base. The cigar is a high grade medium bodied. The finish is nutmeg, citrus, and brown sugar. There was a nice amount of lingering black pepper. I rated the first third at 92.




At the second third (56 minutes) the sweetness has ticked up. The citrus with drips of sweet apple are sweeter. There were still nice sweet notes of brown sugar and cinnamon. The nutmeg is nice and not intrusive. There were still light leather and black coffee notes. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is very enjoyable. I rated the second third at 93.




The LC54 lasted 1 hour 19 minutes. In the final third the sweetness and flavors dropped back to the way they were in the first third. The cigar is full bodied. The finish is unchanged. This has been a good cigar and a better size than the LC46. This larger ring gave the cigar nice flavors. I rated the final third at 92. You can purchase these cigars HERE.



Overall Score: 92.33

August 07, 2019

VILLIGER CIGARS TO PRESENT THE VILLIGER LA FLOR DE YNCLAN IN NEW TORO SIZE



The Villiger La Flor de Ynclan Toro will come in an elegant 10 count box.

(Miami, Florida) August 7, 2019— Villiger Cigars announces that the Villiger La Flor de Ynclan will be presented in a new Toro 6X52 size. The Villiger La Flor De Ynclan robusto in 2017 garnered a 93 rating, ranked as the number 10 cigar in the world by Cigar Aficionado Magazine and voted the 2017 number 6 cigar in the world by Tobacco Business Magazine. (Torpedo, 94 score, 2017 and Lancero, 95 score, 2018 by me.)

The medium- bodied Villiger La Flor de Ynclan was described in Cigar Aficionado Magazine during their unveiling of the best cigars in the world in these words: “The cigar is a fantastic smoke, sweet and charming from first puff to last, anchored by simple-yet-pleasing notes of chocolate and salt, and then refined by more precise intonations of walnut and orange marmalade. “

Heinrich Villiger and Master Blender Matias Maragoto once again came together to tweak the Villiger La Flor De Ynclan. Feeling that the blend could once again be improved on, the Toro 6X52 was agreed upon.

Chairman of the Board Heinrich Villiger said, “The Villiger La Flor de Ynclan seems to be a blend that we keep going back to. Over ten Years ago Matias Maragoto and I began on this journey to create a blend that would pay homage to the Pre-Revolutionary style of Cuban cigars. Although, the brand has received many important accolades, I still felt that the blend can be an even better version of itself. We expect the Villiger La Flor de Ynclan in this new Toro size to be an upgrade from the already highly rated robusto vitola.

The Villiger La Flor de Ynclan in Toro 6X52 Toro size will come in elegantly packaged 10 count boxes.

MSRP: $13.00

August 06, 2019

THE “CUEVAS RESERVA” BY CASA CUEVAS CIGARS IS NOW SHIPPING!



(Miami, Florida) August 6, 2019— Casa Cuevas Cigars, makers of handmade premium cigars announce the Cuevas Reserva Natural and Cuevas Reserva Maduro is now shipping to retailers. The Cuevas Reserva was introduced to the public at the 2019 IPCPR in Las Vegas.
The Cuevas Reserva Maduro features a Mexican San Andres wrapper, a Dominican, Pilloto Cubano binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan (ometepe) fillers, this blend is a personal favorite of Luis Cuevas Sr. as it boasts a full-flavor smoking experience, in a perfectly balanced medium to full-bodied cigar.


The Cuevas Reserva Natural features an Habano binder with a mix of fillers from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and the U.S.A., all wrapped in an Ecuadorean Connecticut wrapper. This blend provides a perfectly smooth smoking experience which features nuanced earthy flavors.



President of Casa Cuevas Cigars, Luis Cuevas Jr. stated: “The Cuevas Reserva for my father was supposed to be the Cuevas signature brand back well over a decade ago. As with all things in life, plans always change. I am proud to have worked closely with my father and my son Alec Cuevas, who is now part of the family business recreating this blend.  I am ecstatic that this brand has come full circle, as we can now present it as a family project to the consumer.”



The Cuevas Reserva’s are beautifully packaged in vintage Cuban style 20 count boxes.

Both blends are initially released in three vitolas with more to follow in the future.



Vitolas:                       

                                     Natural          Maduro                                       

6X50         Toro             $9.90              $10.90

61/4 X 52 Torpedo      $10.40            $11.40

5x52          Robusto      $9.50              $10.50

August 04, 2019

RoMa Craft Tobac Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Jefferson (4 1/2 x 50)






Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
The RoMa Craft Tobac Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 is a new cigar blend that was originally a shop exclusive to Famous Smoke Shop in Easton, Pennsylvania. Today it is available nation wide. 

The cigar name pays homage to the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. It was in 1791 when the first tax on any product was imposed by the United States federal government on whiskey. When farmers in Western Pennsylvania protested the team, this led to the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. When the project was announced Eric Guttormson, owner of Cigar Dojo commented, “When Skip (Martin) approached me with his idea for the Whiskey Rebellion cigar, I couldn’t have been more excited. I love the cigars Skip and Michael (Rosales) produce and tying this release to the Whiskey Rebellion seemed like the perfect fit in today’s battle over government overreach.”



Blend Profile
The blend to the Whiskey Rebellion 1794 incorporates a similar binder and filler profile to the other blends in the Intemperance line. The difference is that this cigar uses an Ecuadorian Habano Ligero wrapper.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Binder: Indonesian Besuki
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Nica Sueno)



Cigar Dojo (Robusto): 5 x 50
Hamilton: 4 x 46
Jefferson: 4 1/2 x 50 REVIEWED TODAY
Mc Farlane (Perfecto): 5 x 50
Bradford: 5 x 56
Washington: 5 1/2 x 54



The cigar has an average feel in the hand for a short robusto.





The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were cedar, a lot of sweet cream, brown sugar with light cinnamon, earthy nutmeg, and a black coffee base. At the outset it seems to be a white pepper which I rated at a 7. The cream is very sweet and is a primary flavor at the outset. 




At the first third (28 minutes) the cedar is more pronounced and the brown sugar is defined. The cream notes have toned down. There is also a little cinnamon in the mix. There is quite a bit of earthy black coffee and nutmeg. The finish is one of sweet cream with nice lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. The cigar is nice but low key. It's not very interesting to me. I rated the first third at 90.




At the second third (45 minutes) the cigar is getting more earthy. The nutmeg flavor is more prominent. The black coffee is also getting quite earthy. These earthy notes are taking away a lot of the other front end sweeter flavors of cedar, brown sugar, and cream. The cigar is still medium bodied. The finish is unchanged. I lowered the second third score to 88.




The cigar lasted 1 hour. About what I expected. In the final third the cigar got more earthy and lost more sweetness. The cigar ended medium bodied. The finish is pretty much unchanged but there is also earthiness on it also. There was nice lingering black pepper (it changed over from white to black somewhere along the way). The problem I have with this cigar is the lack of sweetness and overabundance of earthiness. For the final third I rated the cigar at 86. To give these cigars a try you can purchase them HERE.


Overall Score: 88

August 03, 2019

Montecristo Espada Oscuro Guarde (6 x 50)









Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
It was back in 2014 when the Montecristo Espada first was introduced. Produced at the Plasencia factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, it not only marked the first time a Montecristo was produced in Nicaragua, but it would be the first Montecristo to feature all Nicaraguan tobacco.  Like the original Espada, the Montecristo Espada is also a Nicaraguan puro produced at Plasencia, but it uses a special Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper that was uncovered at the Plasencia factory. Altadis U.S.A. Head of Product Capability Rafael Nodal worked with Pedro Ventura of Altadis’ Grupo de Maestros team and the Plasencias to develop the final blend.

“I am honored to have worked together with the Grupo de Maestros and the Plasencia family on this project. I not only feel that we created a blend that is worthy of the Montecristo Espada name, but also added a new dimension to the smoking experience, with the addition of this special Habano Rosado Oscuro Wrapper,” commented Nodal in a press release.

Eddy Guerra, Sr. Brand Manager of Altadis U.S.A., added, “We are extremely excited about the Montecristo Espada Oscuro. The success of the original Espada we felt, gave us mandate to push the envelope, to give our customers another great blend that can proudly sport the Montecristo Espada band. This cigar will give the Espada adult smokers a nuanced smoking experience that will deliver on flavor and richness.”



Blend and Origin
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Rosado Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Plasencia S.A.



Ricasso: 5 x 54
Guarde: 6 x 50 REVIEWED TODAY
Quillon: 7 x 56



The cigar has 2 ornate bands that take up the majority of the cigar which has an average feel in the hand for a toro.





The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were a citrus/apple mix, quite a bit of brown sugar, a lot of cinnamon, nutmeg, and an earthy black coffee. Initially there was black pepper rated at an 8. 




At the first third (38 minutes) the flavors have mixed and adjusted so the cigar is a little different. You now have more of a cedar flavor with a dab of brown sugar, quite a bit of cinnamon, a combination of leather and nutmeg, and the earthy black coffee. The leather/nutmeg combination give a unique flavor which I happen to like. The leather/nutmeg combination really stands out. The finish is one of leather and cream. The leather in the cigar is somewhat subtle and not overbearing. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. The mix is very enjoyable. I rated the first third at 93.




About 3/4 inch in I noted leather notes. They were somewhat subtle but detectable.





At the second third (1 hour 5 minutes) things are still changing. You now have a little cedar, decreased brown sugar and cinnamon, increased leather, nutmeg, and black coffee. The cigar has flipped to a darker, less sweet version. The finish has a lot of coffee notes also along with leather and nutmeg. The lingering black pepper is very good in this cigar. The pepper on the front end is now about 7 1/2. The cigar is now full bodied. I rated the second third at 91 and hope it does not continue on this path through the final third.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 30 minutes. It stayed on the same trajectory which is not what I was hoping for. The cigar is quite dark and quite earthy. There is very little cedar and hardly any sweetness. The cigar is still full bodied. The finish is basically unchanged. I very much enjoyed the first third of this cigar but it quickly went dark and lost almost all sweetness. I rated the final third at 88. To try these cigars for yourself you can purchase them HERE.
 

Overall Score: 90.67