Isabela Cigars

June 21, 2021

Protocol Cigars announces newest addition to Lawman Series; Bass Reeves



Protocol cigars is proud and honored to announce the third installment in the Lawmen series that will debut at the 2021 PCA Trade Show, The Protocol Bass Reeves. The Protocol Bass Reeves, like the other installments in the Lawmen Series, is being offered in both in natural and maduro. The Lawmen Series is a more classic, traditional, refined, and regal look Protocol Cigars has been offering since it’s launch of the Protocol Sir Robert Peel. The Lawmen Series is the company’s concept where they pay homage to the men and women of law enforcement who spend hours working tirelessly to catch the bad guys. 



Bass Reeves was one of the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshals in history. During his long career in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory, Bass Reeves arrested more than 3,000 dangerous criminals. In 1875 he was sworn in as a U.S. Deputy Marshal. “Bass Reeves was the inspiration for The Lone Ranger and we tried to incorporate that into the design of the packaging. We added a white horse and incorporated silver into the design on the vista and band because The Lone Ranger’s horse was named silver. We can not think of a more deserving historical law enforcement figure to get a cigar in their honor!” Said Kevin Keithan. 


The Protocol Bass Reeves comes in a 6x52 box pressed toro in a 10 count box. It is being produced at the San Lotano Factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua under the watchful eye and tutelage of Erik Espinosa. The MSRP is $119.50 per box. “Bass Reeves was blended with tobacco leaves from the different growing regions of Nicaragua. Both were blended to have  incredible taste and balance. The maduro is a dark habano with sweet subtleness. The natural is a nutty sumatra with a delicious underlying spice note.” Added Hector Alfonso Sr. Espinosa’s Master Blender. Juan Cancel added, “We are proud to feature Bass Reeves as the newest addition to the Lawmen Series. I feel it truly shows the diversity of the law enforcement community as a whole, that men and women from all races and ethnicities come together to serve the public at large.”


The Protocol Bass Reeves

Vitola: 6x52 Box Press

10 Count Boxes $119.50


Natural:

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua


Maduro:

Wrapper: Nicaragua Dark Habano

Blinder: Nicaragua 

Filler: Nicaragua



June 20, 2021

Dissident Home 2021 (6 x 52 Box Pressed)





Video review HERE.


(Description provided by Dissident Cigars)

Dissident has shipped HOME 2021 to qualifying retailers.

“This is my third year to release HOME. It has become a highly anticipated release amongst the fans of Dissident, and I know they’ll enjoy it as they have with the previous two years”, states Benjamin Holt. 


Blend and Origin:

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Ecuador Maduro & Corojo

Binder: Ecuador

Filler: Nicaragua

Box Press Toro – 6 x 52 (20 count) MSRP $14.00


Dissident Home 2020 was my Cigar of the Year for 2020. Let's see how this year's version stacks up against last year's version.


The cigar is just as beautiful as last year's. There are very few differences in the presentation of the two cigars.

2020 version


2021 version



The cigar has an average feel in the hand.




The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were plum, citrus peel, light caramel, nutmeg, light leather, and black coffee. There was black pepper rated at 8. A nice, dark, scratchy start. The black pepper is quite rough and scratchy. Quite a different start from the 2020 version.



At the first third (33 minutes) the flavors have changed a bit. The plum is now more of an orange citrus/cedar combination with brown sugar, caramel, light leather, light nutmeg, and black coffee. There is still a lot of black pepper. The finish is plum, nutmeg, and very good lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium to full bodied and very good at this point. I rated the first third 95.




As I moved through the second third (58 minutes) there was another change. The flavors now are a nougat with cedar, caramel, brown sugar, elevated leather notes, and elevated black coffee notes. The black pepper has increased and is around 8 1/2. The finish is nougat with a ton of lingering black pepper. The cigar is now full bodied. This cigar is quite different from the 2020 version. With the elevated leather and black coffee it lost a little. I rated the second third 93.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 15 minutes. About the same as the 2020 version. This cigar is very different from the 2020 version. In the final third I had nougat, cedar, leather, and black coffee. The finish is nougat and black coffee with a lot of lingering black pepper. The cigar is full bodied. The black pepper is probably the star of this cigar. It's very good. But it can't carry a cigar. I rated the final third 92.




Overall Score: 93.33

June 19, 2021

Macanudo Inspirado Brazilian Shade Toro (6 1/2 x 52)





Video review HERE.


(Description provided by General Cigar)

Macanudo has debuted a new Inspirado collection featuring a rare Brazilian wrapper and a proprietary Cuban-seed filler, marking the first time these tobaccos have been used with Macanudo. Called Macanudo Inspirado Brazilian Shade, the limited-edition line brings together masterful blending with expert agronomy for a one-of-a-kind smoking experience.

Steve Abbot, senior brand manager of Macanudo said, “Macanudo Inspirado Brazilian Shade required a significant investment in agronomy, spanning Central and South America. This blend speaks to the lengths that we as a brand will go to in order to bring excitement to premium cigar smokers, and we’re confident that cigar lovers will be drawn to the singular experience this blend delivers.”


Grown in the lush tropical Bahia region of Brazil according to the exact specifications of Macanudo’s agronomists, the proprietary Connecticut Shade wrapper is golden with a silky sheen. It crowns a Mexican San Andrean binder and a blend that features “Dominican Cubita,” a unique and proprietary sungrown tobacco cultivated on a one-acre plot in the bucolic region of Mao, Dominican Republic. This special tobacco lends a unique aroma and spicy notes to the smoking experience. When surrounded by Brazilian tobacco, Dominican Piloto Cubano and Nicaraguan Jalapa, the tobaccos come together to deliver a layered, medium-bodied smoke that hints of toasted nuts, cocoa and sweet earth.

Handmade by artisans at the General Cigar Dominicana factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic, Macanudo Inspirado Brazilian Shade will ship to retailers on May 4th and will be available in two sizes. The cigars will be presented in ten-count boxes designed to pay homage to the Brazilian flag.


Vitolas available:

Toro (6.5” x 52); SRP per cigar $10.49

Churchill (7” x 48); SRP per cigar $10.99


The band colors and the cigar wrapper color go well together. It gives me the illusion of a candela-type color to the wrapper but it's indeed a golden brown and 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 a lot of citrus peel, light orange citrus, brown sugar, earthy nutmeg, a nice black coffee base, and after the black coffee there is a lot of raw almond. There was black pepper rated at 7. An interesting start.



At the first third (32 minutes) the cigar is very much like it started. The cigar is slow burning and it's giving a good burn time. Sometimes with citrus peel you can get some bitterness and this is one of those times. The same flavor notes are still in play but now there is some bitterness. The finish is citrus peel and almond with average lingering black pepper. The cigar is mild to medium leaning toward medium. I rated the first third 87.




Moving through the second third (1 hour 8 minutes) the cigar improved. In this section I got light lemon notes to go along with the citrus peel, citrus, and brown sugar. There is still plenty of nutmeg. The almond notes are hardly there at this point. The black coffee is firmly holding the base and has gotten earthy. The cigar is now medium bodied. There is also not as much bitterness. I raised the score to 89 for the second third.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 40 minutes. A nice burn time. The citrus peel decreased in the final third. There is not much in the realm of citrus. The brown sugar is still there. There are also no lemon notes. There is still nutmeg and plenty of earthy black coffee. The cigar is medium bodied. The black pepper improved. The finish still has some citrus peel, brown sugar, and nutmeg with improved lingering black pepper. The cigar retreated a bit for me. I rated the final third 87.




Overall Score: 87.67

June 18, 2021

EMPIRE SOCIAL LOUNGE DOWNTOWN DADELAND TO CELEBRATE 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY AS THEY TRANSPORT GUESTS TO 1950’s HAVANA, CUBA



What: Empire Social Lounge Downtown Dadeland invites guests to “A Night at the Tropicana” 1-year anniversary event. This 1950’s Havana Cuba themed event will transport guests to a time when the Tropicana Club in Havana was the hotspot in Cuba’s heyday. Showgirls, casino, cabaret shows, live music, opulence, and excess made the Tropicana Club the playground for American tourists.

The event will feature casino game play, Cuban orchestra led by 4-time Gammy winner Tomasito Cruz featuring 1950’s Cuban inspired musical performances, showgirls, and a Hemingway Daquiri welcome cocktail.

Where: Empire Social Lounge Downtown Dadeland is located at 8955 Dadeland BLVD. D107 Miami, FL 33156

When: Friday, June 25 at 7:00 PM.


June 17, 2021

New Cigars International Superstores in Florida to Offer Buffalo Trace Cigar


Bethlehem, PA (June 17, 2021) – Cigars International (CI) recently opened CI Superstores in Tampa and Lutz, FL, marking the company’s first stores in Florida and its sixth and seventh retail locations in the U.S., and the company is celebrating with an exclusive new cigar.

The new stores are centered around Ybor City, a national landmark district in downtown Tampa, recognized as the birthplace of handmade cigars in the U.S.


Sarah Santos, president and senior vice president of Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s North America Online and Retail Division said, “Florida is one of the most dynamic markets for handmade cigars in the country, and with its rich history, Tampa represents the epicenter of premium cigar culture. My team and I are proud to bring our new locations to life in the greater Tampa area. With our expansive walk-in humidors, and our indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, we’re here to provide a destination-type experience that complements the traditional cigar shop. We look forward to welcoming cigar lovers to our stores and to helping to deepen their passion for handmade cigars with our unique brand of hospitality and engagement.”



Both Cigars International locations in Florida were designed to replicate a Northeast tobacco barn and feature a large-scale timber truss, with exposed beams on the interior and exterior of the buildings. The locations also feature expansive, glass-encased, walk-in humidors, indoor cocktail bars and lounges with comfortable leather seating for a true cigar shop feel, plus sweeping outdoor patios with multiple firepits, rocking chairs and bars serving adult beverages. State-of-the-art ventilation, Wi-Fi and USB ports are available throughout both locations, and both are staffed with highly-trained cigar experts to enhance the experience of CI guests.



Cigars International Tampa and Lutz welcome cigar smokers and non-smokers alike, aged 21 years and over.

Situated within a sprawling retail complex, the Cigars International Tampa SuperStore is located at 10660 Palm River Drive. The store boasts 8,791 square feet of interior space, and is open seven days a week.


Conveniently located next to the Tampa Premium Outlets in one of Florida’s hottest residential and commercial markets, the Cigars International SuperStore in Lutz is located at 2691 Creek Grass Way. There, nearly 13,000 square feet of interior space house the retail store, offices and a massive stock room.

Cigars International will execute monthly in-store events with cigar makers, spirits brand ambassadors and others for educational seminars, pairing events and more. For hours of operation for Cigars International Tampa and Lutz locations and for upcoming event details, visit www.Cigarsinternational.com.


Buffalo Trace Cigar

To celebrate the launch of its Florida SuperStores, Cigars International is proud to offer “Buffalo Trace,” a new cigar created in collaboration with the Kentucky-based whiskey maker. Handcrafted in the Dominican Republic, Buffalo Trace offers a unique and memorable smoking experience alone, yet was blended to pair with the top-rated Kentucky Straight bourbon of the same name. The blend features a rich Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, a Brazilian Arapiraca binder and a blend made with barrel-aged Dominican, and Nicaraguan tobacco. The cigar delivers a rich smoking experience layered with spicy notes that enhance the brown sugar and toffee nuances that have won Buffalo Trace Bourbon critical acclaim. Buffalo Trace will be available full time, in three sizes, each presented in boxes containing 20 cigars. The line includes a Robusto (5” x 49), a Toro (6” x 52) and a Churchill (7” x 49), priced at an SRP per cigar of $7.50, $8.00 and $8.50, respectively.





June 16, 2021

ABUELO – NEW LINE FROM UNITED CIGARS



Nashua, NH – United Cigars made the decision a couple years back that they wanted to find the right tobacco and partner with the right manufacturer for their latest launch; Abuelo. For the Abuelo line it seemed almost fitting to go with the Eiroa family that has been a longtime friend. This puro offers a smooth medium-to fullbody, pulling rich earthy notes from the soils of Honduras followed by coffee grounds and leather.

Abuelo means grandfather is Spanish and the Abuelo line pays respect to our elders, the man who paved the way for all of us. Handmade in Honduras at Fabrica de Puros Aladino S.A in Las Lomas, Jamastran Honduras, under the watchful eye of tobacco legend Julio R. Eiroa. Abuelo uses authentic Honduran grown, Cuban-seed Corojo filler and binder wrapped with pristine, dark Honduran Habano wrapper.

“This is 100% tobacco from our farm,” said JRE Tobacco Co.’s President Justo Eiroa. “Filler and Binder are authentic Corojo with our Habano wrapper. A true puro from Julio’s farm.”


Abuelo

Nieto - 5 x 50 - $10.50 – Box of 20

Nieta – 5 ¼ x 44 - $10.00 – Box of 20

Padre – 6 x 52 - $11.50 – Box of 20

Gran Abuelo – 6 ½ x 60 – Box of 20


Wrapper: Honduran Habano

Binder: Honduran Corojo

Filler: Honduran Corojo

All sizes of Abuelo are currently rolling out and shipping to retailers.



AMENDOLA FAMILY CIGAR CO. NOW REPRESENTED IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA



Amendola Family Cigar Co. announces that they are now represented in the State of Florida. Tobacconists in Florida who are interested in Amendola Family Cigar Co. are asked to please contact representative Kim Keeney at 561-379-9108 or KimberlyCigars@gmail.com 

Christopher Monaco, Principle of Amendola Family Cigar Co. stated: “Jeffrey Amendola and I are excited to offer our brands to the cigar smoking public in Florida. We look forward to growing into other markets soon.”



Recently, Amendola Family Cigar co. announced their distribution deal with Illusione Cigars and announced the release of the Signature Series Cannoli Green and Cannoli White cigar brands.

Jeffrey Amendola, a proud New York native, launched Amendola Family Cigar Co. in 2017, but his tobacco journey began in 2010. In his previous profession as a police officer, Jeffrey became immersed in what started as a cigar hobby. His passion for cigars grew and traveled to Ybor Cigar in 2012. There he learned to blend and roll premium cigars under the direction of Odelma Matos. In 2011, his blending and rolling education led to opening a small factory and tobacconist shop in Durham, N.C. In his mind the next logical step was to create his own brand, named in honor of what he cherishes most, family. 

 




June 15, 2021

Bishops Blend 2021 Corona Larga (6 1/4 x 46)








Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-coop.com website)

Oveja Negra Brands has announced the sixth release of its annual limited edition cigar, the Black Label Bishops Blend 2021.

May 18, 2021 — Black Label Trading Company is pleased to announce the shipment of Bishops Blend to select retailers. Bishops Blend is hand crafted in EstelĂ­, Nicaragua at Fabrica Oveja Negra.

It’s the sixth consecutive year Black Label Trading Company has released the Corona and Robusto sizes of the Bishops Blend. The Lancero vitola was added in 2020.

“We are very excited about this highly anticipated release. Bishops Blend boasts big bold flavors of anise, pepper, raisins and a sweet earthiness on the finish. It is very complex and extremely refined. As with the past vintages, the broadleaf fillers shine at the forefront and are perfectly balanced by the Nicaraguan filler tobaccos,” commented James Brown, creator of Black Label Trading Co. and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.

Distribution in the U.S. for the Black Label Trading Company Bishops Blend will be handled by Oveja Negra Brands. Media Rueda will be handling distribution for Belgium and Luxembourg.


Blend and Origin

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro

Binder: Ecuadorian Habano

Filler: Nicaraguan, Pennsylvania Broadleaf, Connecticut Broadleaf

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Factory: Fabrica Oveja Negra


Vitolas Offered

The Robusto and Corona Larga vitolas are packaged in 20-count boxes. The Lancero was packaged in 12-count boxes.

Robusto: 5 x 48 (SRP $11.00)

Corona Larga: 6 1/4 x 46 (SRP $11.50) REVIEWED TODAY

Lancero: 7 x 42 ($12.00)



The cigar is very well made and quite dark. The bands are the usual Bishops Blend bands. The cigar features a triangular "Bishops hat" cap and a closed foot.




The test draw after cutting midway through the cap was totally blocked. I used the PerfecDraw tool to open the draw. I only had to go about 1/2 inch in to open the draw. The initial flavors at light up were noticed immediately. They were dark chocolate, raisin, espresso, nougat, brown sugar, orange citrus, and citrus peel. There was a lot of black pepper rated at an 8. A great start.



At the first third (27 minutes) the cigar has developed a syrup of caramel, citrus, brown sugar, and raisin. There are still nice dark chocolate and espresso notes. The black pepper continues to be excellent. The finish is raisin with some nutmeg and a lot of lingering black pepper. The cigar is full bodied. To me, this year's version is more powerful, has more black pepper, and more sweetness. The syrup sweetness is massive. The cigar is very good at this point. I rated the first third 97.




Moving through the second third (50 minutes) the cigar is not quite as rich. The reason; the espresso rose, along with the black pepper. There are now peach notes in the mix. The same basic flavors are still there and now peach notes. So, the cigar is still quite good. It is also very full bodied. The finish is peach and a lot of black coffee/espresso with a lot of lingering black pepper. The cigar got dark in the second third but it didn't hurt it much. I rated the second third 96.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 7 minutes. The final third bounced back to almost a mirror image of the first third. But, there are also peach notes. The cigar is very sweet and rich. The dark chocolate and espresso went back to their previous amounts. Again, the cigar is very full bodied. You can feel it! The finish is back to raisin and a lot of lingering black pepper. This is a fantastic cigar. Definitely a cigar of the year contender. I rated the final third 97. Great, great cigar.




Overall Score: 96.67

June 13, 2021

2017 Aged Vintage Mash-Up Robusto





Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Isabelacigarcompany.com website)

According to the Isabela website these cigars which were originally released in 2017 were found deep in their humidor. Now they are releasing them to the public. No information on the blend was found on the website. The cigars have the typical Isabela barberpole appearance. They measure 5" long and I would say the ring is 50.


The cigar is nice looking and has an average feel in the hand.




The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were an ambrosia type of mix. There were notes of citrus, peach, cedar, citrus peel, brown sugar, caramel, nutmeg, and black coffee. There was black pepper rated at 7 to 7 1/2. Quite a fruity start.



At the first third (31 minutes) the cigar is burning evenly. The flavor notes now were cedar, peach, citrus peel, brown sugar, a slightly leathery nutmeg, and black coffee. The cigar is medium bodied leaning toward medium to full. The finish is a citrus/nutmeg with light hints of leather and nice lingering black pepper. I rated the first third 92.




Moving through the second third (59 minutes) the cigar picked up a little steam. The citrus notes came out a little more, there were still peach and citrus peel notes, brown sugar, leathery nutmeg, and quite a bit of an earthy black coffee. Since I came into the Isabela world after these cigars came out I found it interesting that this cigar had the elevated earthy black coffee. It's nice and make a good base. The cigar is now medium to full bodied. The finish is nutmeg, peach and light citrus notes. There was a lot of lingering black pepper. I raised the score to 93 for the second third.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 21 minutes. For me the cigar kept improving. It got to full bodied. The elevated black coffee continued and the black pepper improved. The finish is unchanged. The cigar definitely improved. I rated the final third 94. I'm glad they found these. They are a very good cigar.




Overall Score: 93

June 12, 2021

Viaje The Punisher (6 1/4 x 54)





Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Halfwheel.com website)

Viaje has shipped a pair of new Skull and Bones series, both inspired by Marvel Comic’s Punisher character.

The two cigars—Viaje Skull and Bones Frank Castle, and Skull and Bones The Punisher—are both 6 1/4 x 54 vitolas that use what the company says is “a proprietary blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos.” The Punisher appears to use a lighter wrapper, while Frank Castle uses a darker wrapper. (I believe this is backwards. The Punisher appears to be the darker of the two.) A spokesperson said the cigars are made in Nicaragua but did not name a factory.

Each cigar has an MSRP of $13 and will ship in bundles of 25. The spokesperson did not answer a question about how many are being released.

In the Marvel universe, Frank Castle is a marine veteran who watches his family get killed. After that, he decides to fight crime using violence, earning him the Punisher moniker. The character was created in the 1970s and has been featured in a variety of comics, movies and television shows, most recently as the title character in the now-canceled Netflix series that aired in 2017-2018.

Today we look at The Punisher.


The cigar, as I said above, appears to be a shade darker than the Frank Castle. It has a very dense feel in the hand.




The test draw after cutting the cap was ok but I decided to use my PerfecDraw tool to improve it. The intial flavors at light up were plum, citrus peel, brown sugar, nutmeg, and black coffee. There was black pepper rate at 7 1/2 to 8. Not a bad start.



At the first third (47 minutes) the ash was still intact and the cigar is burning very evenly. The flavors now are a tangy cedar, peach, brown sugar, nutmeg, black coffee, and at the base of those flavors near the black coffee were walnut notes. The finish is nutmeg and a little cedar with good lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied leaning toward medium to full. I rated the first third 91.




Moving through the second third (1 hour 33 minutes) the cigar continues to burn perfectly. In the second third the cigar has gotten more earthy. The nutmeg and black coffee are elevating. I still had cedar, faint peach notes, and a little brown sugar to go along with the earthier notes. The cigar is now medium to full bodied. The finish is quite earthy with black coffee. The lingering black pepper is very good. Even with the elevated earthy notes the cigar is still good. I rated the second third 89.




The cigar lasted an amazing 2 hours 9 minutes. The cigar increased slightly in earthiness. I still had cedar, peach, and brown sugar. Since the cigar had such a long burn time I cleared it several times which helped the flavors. The nutmeg and earthy black coffee are still quite prominent. The cigar is now full bodied. The finish has some peach, nutmeg, and very good lingering black pepper. The cigar lost some of it's enjoyment but it's still not bad. I rated the final third 87.




Overall Score: 89