Isabela Cigars

October 20, 2021

Drew Estate Releases Undercrown 10 Factory Floor Edition

Debuted during “Freestyle Live: Special Edition” in May of this year, Drew Estate’s very limited production Undercrown 10 Factory Floor Edition is now shipping to participating Drew Diplomat Retailers nationwide.

The heralded Undercrown brand was “Born on the Factory Floor” in 2011 with a unique lens upon the rollers who initially created the blend. Today, Drew Estate pays homage to Undercrown’s tenth birthday with “A Decade of Dedication” celebration that features the signature Undercrown 10 Factory Floor Edition.

Featured in the Lonsdale (6 x 46) vitola, Factory Floor Edition is handcrafted using the same rich blend of savory dark, air-cured tobaccos carefully selected to create the entire Undercrown 10 line. The thinner Lonsdale format accentuates the Mexican San Andres Dark wrapper’s impact on the overall blend, enhancing the Mexican hot chocolate notes to go along with waves of intense black pepper and hints of naturally sweet raisin and cacao, sun-dried cherries, espresso, woodiness and earthiness that the blend’s other tobaccos offer. Additionally, Undercrown 10 Factory Floor Edition is proudly “All Dekk’d Out” in beautiful blue with gold trim 20-count boxes that include a unique “tobacco leaf library,” giving each lucky purchaser the opportunity to see, smell and touch the very leaves that Drew Estate’s torcedores painstakingly chose for Undercrown 10’s blend.

“The epic presentation behind Factory Floor Edition is an added touch of class to Undercrown 10, offering an experiential component while you burn your cigar,” says Jonathan Drew, Founder and President of Drew Estate. “It’s as if you’re magically transported by Elon Musk to our factory floor, where our torcedores warmly greet you and demonstrate the blend selection behind Undercrown 10. It’s like, yo, we want you there with us at the factory but that’s not possible right now. So, snag a box of these and let’s ride.”

With an MSRP of $272 per box or $13.60 per cigar, Undercrown 10 Factory Floor Edition is now available at Drew Diplomat Retailers nationwide.

October 19, 2021

Joya de Nicaragua’s Dos Cientos is Now Shipping

Earlier this year, Joya de Nicaragua announced the launch of Dos Cientos, a commemorative limited-edition cigar to celebrate the bicentennial of Central America’s independence from the Spanish empire. This one-time release is part of Joya de Nicaragua’s Obras Maestras series, which is composed of the company’s most prestigious cigars.

After a couple of months of delay due to materials and logistics problems, cigar enthusiasts around the United States will finally have access to this ultra-limited and special cigar beginning on Oct. 18. “This year we have faced enormous challenges … from longer lead times in transportation, to limited capacities from our vendors … to cope with the surge of demand we are seeing,” says Daniel Barrios, Joya de Nicaragua’s Global Commercial Manager. “The launch of Dos Cientos wasn’t an exception.”

A Drew Diplomat Program exclusive product, Dos Cientos (6 x 54, Gran Toro) is medium-bodied and smooth, yet complex. Available in 21-count boxes, one cigar within each box is wrapped in special paper. Joya de Nicaragua hopes that consumers will save that specially wrapped cigar to enjoy during a virtual celebration that will be held on Nov. 18th, 2021.

“We invite our followers around the world to keep an eye on our social media where we will be announcing how to reserve your spot for our virtual event,” Joya de Nicaragua’s Executive President, Juan Martinez says. “We are very excited about it and working hard to give everyone a great experience. We want people to learn about our history, about the product and how it can be paired, but more important, about how our industry was built on the shoulders of a great community.”

Cohiba will debut its largest frontmark to date with the release of Cohiba Blue 7 X 70

Cohiba will debut its largest frontmark to date with the release of Cohiba Blue 7 X 70, an eye-catching cigar named after its sizeable dimensions.

Cohiba Blue 7 X 70 marks the sixth vitola in the Dominican-made collection. Shipping this week with an SRP of $14.99 per cigar, Cohiba Blue 7 X 70 will be presented in the bright blue, handpainted wooden Cohiba Blue boxes, each containing 15 cigars.

Handcrafted at General Cigar Dominicana in Santiago, DR, Cohiba Blue is a velvety, medium-bodied cigar with a three-country blend that represents the world’s most revered tobacco growing regions. The experience is sophisticated and memorable with an enticing aroma.

The Cohiba Blue blend starts with a silky, rosado-hued Honduran Olancho San Agustin (OSA) wrapper that sits atop a Honduran OSA binder, with the layered wrapper-binder imparting subtle, earthy notes. The blend consists of Honduran Jamastran, Nicaraguan Ometepe and Dominican Piloto Cubano that lend hints of cocoa and caramel, with a light touch of sweetness.

Cohiba Blue debuted in 2017 as an expression created to appeal to all who seek the indulgence of a fine cigar.

Warped Cigars La Hacienda First Growth (4 x 50)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from website)

Last March, Warped Cigars announced a new version of its La Hacienda line called First Growth that was supposed to come out in “Fall 2020.” While it never came out last year, it will begin shipping to stores this week, but not without some changes in comparison to what was announced.

Kyle Gellis, founder of Warped Cigars, confirmed to halfwheel that the La Hacienda First Growth will be a 4 x 50 petit robusto. That’s a change from the original-announced dimensions of the cigar: 4 1/2 x 48. The blend uses the same components as the regular La Hacienda line—all Nicaraguan tobaccos—but the First Growth has higher priming tobaccos to add “more body, spice, and a unique darker sweetness.” Corojo 99 is used for the wrapper, binder and filler, though there’s also criollo 98 in the binder and filler.

One thing Warped did not change was the MSRP, it remains $8.95 per cigar and will be sold in boxes of 25.

First Growth refers to the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, which categorized Bourdeaux wineries by quality. First growth vineyards were considered the top tier according to the classification.

The cigar reminds me of a firecracker. It's short and well made. It has an average feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was good with a touch of firmness. The initial flavors at light up were a pronounced, sweet orange citrus, citrus peel, brown sugar, nutmeg, and light leather. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. A nice peppery, sweet start.

At the first third (26 minutes) I had a small burn issue but I blame myself. I believe it will even out. Now the flavors are just like they started but the orange citrus is even more pronounced. The black pepper is up to close to 8. There are light caramel notes. The finish is primarily nutmeg and some light citrus notes with very good lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied but it seems to be moving up. The cigar is quite tasty. I rated the first third 94.

As I moved through the second third (42 minutes) the cigar evened out the burn. The flavor notes are pretty much the same but now you have cinnamon notes also. The caramel notes are now scorched. It's like a baked desert that has some scorched edges. Nice! I still had citrus, citrus peel, scorched brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and light leather. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged. The cigar continues to be very good. I held the score of 94 for the second third.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 1 minute. It continued to be fantastic. The notes were citrus, light citrus peel, very creamy nutmeg, light caramel, and leather. The lingering black pepper is amazing. It lingers and lingers. The finish is still primarily nutmeg with a hint of citrus. The cigar is medium to full bodied. I looked back at the initial review of the La Hacienda Gran Robusto back on March 14, 2016 and it received a score of 92. But this version is better. I held the score of 94 for the final third. This is one to try. A very good cigar. You can purchase them HERE.

Overall Score: 94

October 18, 2021

Drew Estate Unveils Freestyle Live Event Packs as Pre-Release to New Ultra-Premium Brand

Drew Estate is all set to pull the covers off of a new ultra-premium cigar brand and the company is  offering a chance to taste it before its global unveiling during the “Freestyle Live: Special Edition” show on Nov. 11 on Drew Estate’s Facebook Live page (

On Oct. 25, Drew Estate is shipping to participating retailers nationwide a limited number of Freestyle Live Event Packs – 5,000 in total -- that will include three of the new ultra-premium cigars [without bands], a Freestyle Live 3-cigar case, a Freestyle Live cutter and lighter and a Freestyle Live tumbler. Jonathan Drew, Founder and President of Drew Estate exclaims, “Everyone will be able to enjoy a burner and drink with the Drew Estate Ambassadors as we reveal the new brand’s identity, the brand promise and all the juicy details in true DE fashion. While we do this live on-air, we’re gonna be in some kinda big mood to celebrate it!!! Bitcoin, electric trucks, ATVs, bars and all sorts of shit. Yeah, I said shit. Who cares! At almost $60,000 per coin currently, Bitcoin season has returned. Keep reading ⬇️. Let’s go!!”

Each Freestyle Live Event Pack comes with a lanyard and badge. Anyone who purchases a Freestyle Live Event Pack can register their badge via the QR code on the back to be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win incredible prizes, including the grand prize of a 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck, valued at $42,000. The second-place prize is a 2022 Polaris 1400 General ATV, valued at $14,000. The third-place contestant wins a Drew Estate Bridge Bar, which is valued at $1,500.*

Participating Freestyle Live Event Pack retailers are automatically entered for a chance to win prizes as well, including the grand prize of a $7,500 Drew Estate credit, three Dreamseat recliners and a Drew Estate Bridge Bar; a second prize of a $2,500 Drew Estate credit and two Dreamseat recliners; and third prize of a $1,000 Drew Estate credit and two Mega standing ashtrays.**

In addition, during the Nov. 11 “Freestyle Live: Special Edition” broadcast, we will will randomly select five entries from viewers who comment during the designated time of the show for Drew Estate’s Bitcoin Sweepstakes. Five more eligible viewers will be randomly selected during each of the December and January editions of “Freestyle Live” and Drew Estate will give away one Bitcoin to a lucky winner from this pool of 15 contestants during the Feb. 17, 2022, “Freestyle Live” show.***

Drew Estate’s Freestyle Live Special Edition Event Packs have an MSRP of $45 ... and only 5,000 will be available for purchase beginning on Oct. 25. Participating retailers where Freestyle Live Special Edition Event Packs will be available can be found at beginning on Oct. 25.

* NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S./D.C. (excluding MA, MI, & VA), age 21+. Void where prohibited. Starts 10/20/21; ends 11/02/21. To enter without purchase, send a postcard with your first name, last name, complete mailing address, email address and date of birth (postmarked by 11/02/21; received by 11/09/21) to: Drew Estate: Attn Freestyle Live Sweepstakes,12415 SW 136th Ave Suite 7, Miami, FL 33186. Total ARV of all prizes: $57,873. Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received. For full Official Rules, visit Sponsor: SWI-DE, LLC, 12415 SW 136th Ave Suite 7 Miami, FL 33186.

**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (incl. D.C.; excl. MA, MI and VA), 21 years or older. Enter Sweepstakes by: 11/5/21. To enter and for Official Rules, including prize descriptions, visit  Odds depend on number of eligible entries received.  Void where prohibited.  Sponsor:  SWI-DE, LLC, 12415 SW 136th Avenue, Suite 7, Miami, FL 33186.

***NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S./D.C. (excluding MA & MI), age 21+. Void where prohibited. Entry Periods start at 7:00 PM ET and end at 07:45 PM ET on 10/15/21, 11/11/21 and 01/20/22. ARV of all prizes: $71,585.24. Odds of being selected an Entry Period Prize winner will depend on the number of eligible entries received per Entry Period. Finalist’s odds of winning Grand Prize: 1:15. For full Official Rules, visit Sponsor: SWI-DE, LLC, 12415 SW 136th Ave Suite 7 Miami, FL 33186.

Altadis USA Introduces The Montecristo Collector Series Humidor

Montecristo is giving new meaning to excellence, pleasure and refinement befitting its place as one of the premium cigar industry’s most iconic names.

Coinciding with the annual TAA Meeting & Convention – which is being held October 24-28 in La Romana, Dominican Republic, Montecristo’s hometown – Montecristo maker Altadis U.S.A. is unveiling a must-have limited edition humidor packed with outstanding scoring cigars for the true Montecristo cigar collector.

Each of the numbered Montecristo Collector Series Humidors comes with 135 highly rated and sought-after Montecristo cigars, including the best-selling Montecristo Classic Series (Rated 91), Montecristo White Series (Rated 91) and Montecristo Platinum Series (Rated 94). Each series will be offered in a variety of popular vitola sizes: the Rothchilde 52 x 5, Toro 54 x 6 and the No.2 52 x 6 1/8. Each cigar has a customized cedar compartment within the stylish humidor, which will be shipped in a separate custom branded container, humidity-controlled and organized by size.

The Montecristo Collector Series Humidor retails for $5,000 MSRP and includes both the humidor and the cigars. It will be available stateside immediately following the TAA Meeting & Convention. The humidor features:

· Magnetic flip cover with Montecristo logo laser engraved on inner lid

· Removable top trays with wooden inlaids to fit different sized cigars

· Gold plated lock and hinges. Dimensions: W: 13 ½”, L: 29”, H: 8”, D: 5”

· Just 100 individually numbered humidors are available

Montecristo White Series

The elegant Montecristo White Series boasts a lovely, hand-selected Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, paired with a Nicaraguan binder and a blend of the choicest Dominican and Nicaraguan long fillers. Smooth and creamy, rich, flavorful and well-rounded smoke.

Montecristo Classic Series

Made with the highest-grade Connecticut shade wrappers and the finest blend of Dominican filler and binder tobaccos, these classic mellow-tasting masterpieces have the perfect blend, solid construction, well-balanced flavor and subtle sweetness to create an unforgettable smoking experience for everyone.

Montecristo Platinum Series

Created in response to growing demand for a more full-bodied cigar, the Montecristo Platinum Series has quickly become one of the most popular offerings within the acclaimed Montecristo line. Each cigar is handcrafted with a supple Nicaraguan wrapper, a rich Dominican binder, and a special blend of Dominican, Nicaraguan and Peruvian long filler tobacco.

October 17, 2021

Protocol Battle Borne (6 x 52 Toro)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from website)

Protocol Cigars has announced the Protocol Battle Borne Cigar. It’s a limited cigar that will support the Battle Borne organization who has a mission to connect veterans with the resources needed to recover from their mental, emotional, and physical trauma so they can restore their lives and reintegrate into society. The cigar will make its debut on September 11, 2021 and will be sold exclusively through Caravan Cigar Company. It’s also a unique project for Protocol in that the cigar is highlighted by a camouflage wrapper.

Battle Bourne was established in May of 2018 by Founder/President and United States Marine Corps Veteran Christopher Yarnell. In a press release from Protocol Cigars, he stated the reason he created Battle Borne, “As a veteran I had a difficult time transitioning from the military back to civilian life. It’s not easy finding meaning and purpose for a lot of our veterans. So as someone who volunteered for veterans nonprofit organizations, I watched a lot of veterans ask for help but did not receive it because those organizations did not do what they were looking for. What I found was it’s difficult for veterans to ask for help and if they get told no they’re not going to ask a second time. So I got tired of watching veterans get told ‘sorry, we don’t do that.’ So we started an organization that not only meets the needs of veterans, but we partner with other organizations to meet the needs and services that we do not provide. No veteran gets told no. And no veteran gets left behind!”

The Protocol Battle Borne Cigar is a 100% Nicaraguan puro wrapped in a Habano leaf with binders and fillers coming from Estelí and Condega. The cigar is then decorated with tobacco leaves to form an ERDL camouflage pattern. This is the camouflage pattern of the Vietnam War era. The cigars will be available in one size – a 6 x 52 Toro with a total of 200 ten-count bundles available.

Pricing is set at $125.00 MSRP for a ten-count bundle. Protocol says the pricing is higher than most of its other limited editions because of the effort made to construct the cigar and because parts of the proceeds will go directly to Battle Borne to support the organization.

“This project is very special to us. I was there at 9/11 and saw first hand the trauma that was suffered by our nation and I totally understand the importance of recovery and healing. Also Police and military so many times suffer from the same mental trauma with everything they see. This project and organization is very near and dear to my heart!” commented Juan Cancel, co-owner and founder of Protocol Cigars.

Hector Alfonso Sr., Director of Operations at La Zona, a Veteran who served in the United States Army added, “When Protocol Cigars approached me about this project I was all in. Together we blended a cigar that any Veteran would feel proud to smoke. Not only is it a beautiful cigar to look at but it really came out quite delicious. We blended a solid medium with great aroma, and rich flavors. I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this special project.”

The cigars will be sold online at the Caravan Cigar Company website and during the in-store event on September 11th. Protocol says direct donations without a cigar purchase can be made on the Battle Borne website.

(At the time of this review all the cigars have been sold)

The cigar is beautiful. Very unique. I've never seen a cigar with this type wrapper. The cigar has an average feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were citrus with sweetness, citrus peel, lime, leather, nutmeg, some brown sugar, and black coffee. A little different start. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. 

At the first third (28 minutes) the cigar seems a little scattered to me. I now had citrus peel, lime, a little brown sugar, walnuts, leather, nutmeg, and black coffee. The finish is citrus peel and walnuts with good lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied. For me, the flavors are rather odd. They are not "speaking to me". I rated the first third 88.

As I moved through the second third (53 minutes) the cigar showed signs of settling down. I now had citrus peel, light walnuts, toned down lime, light cedar, brown sugar, light leather, and black coffee. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is brown sugar, nutmeg, light lime, and good lingering black pepper. The cigar tastes more like I think a cigar should taste. There is a noticeable increase in sweetness, too. I rated the second third 89.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 12 minutes. The pure citrus came out. It's more of an orange citrus with brown sugar, nutmeg, very light leather, and black coffee. The finish is citrus, hints of walnut, and very good lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium to full bodied. For me, the cigar is the best it's been so far. I rated the final third 90. Although I wasn't overly impressed with the cigar all of them are sold, which is good news for the Battle Borne organization.

Overall Score: 89

October 16, 2021

HVC 10th Anniversary (6 1/2 x 50)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from website)

At the 2021 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show, HVC Cigar Company will unveil its 10th Anniversary Cigar.

On a social media post, HVC owner Reinier Lorenzo said “A big day for us is approaching! I am happy to announce the release of our very own ’10th Anniversary’ cigar. It has been 10 years of consistency, perseverance and hard work and I am excited to celebrate with this special cigar. Needless to say, I am extremely grateful to every single person who has supported me and our brand, all the clients, sales reps, the people from Nicaragua and my family for encouraging me throughout the years. It is a big milestone that only motivates me for the next 10 years ahead. See you all in Vegas.”

The HVC 10th Anniversary is a 6 1/2 x 50 Toro featuring all Nicaraguan tobaccos. It is packaged in 10-count boxes. Pricing is set at $15.00 per cigar.

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

The test draw after cutting the cap was quite firm. I used the PerfecDraw tool to open the draw. It helped a little but still not great. I went about 4 inches in. The initial flavors at light up were citrus, citrus peel, brown sugar, a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and leather. There was black pepper rated at 7 to 7 1/2. The flavors are very typical of Aganorsa tobacco.

At the first third (36 minutes) the flavors have melded into a peach. There are still light citrus peel notes, brown sugar, creamy nutmeg, leather, and a small amount of black coffee. The finish is peach and leather with good lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied. The flavors are nice, they're not crazy good. I rated the first third 92.

Moving through the second third (1 hour 16 minutes) the cigar seemed to be improving around the midpoint. But as I continued it started to have increased nutmeg and black coffee. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is still peach and leather with a little black coffee. The lingering black pepper is still good. The cigar showed promise and really dropped back so I rated the second third 90.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 44 minutes. The cigar kept progressively dropping back. The peach notes at this point were very faint. There was a little brown sugar, very light nutmeg, and much increased black coffee. I didn't even notice the leather notes so they have pretty much gone away. The cigar is a high grade medium to full bodied. The finish is a lot of black coffee, a little nutmeg, and faint peach notes with very good lingering black pepper. I expected more from HVC with their 10th Anniversary. This is a cigar that is worth trying but not up to my expectations. I rated the final third 88. You can purchase these cigars HERE.

Overall Score: 90

October 15, 2021


Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S (STG) today announced that The Forged Cigar Company will increase its coverage of the U.S. market, adding a regional sales manager and recruiting for two newly-created sales positions.

The moves come in response to increasing demand for Forged Cigar Company brands.

Sean Hardiman, national sales manager of Forged Cigar Company said, “In the eight months since we launched Forged Cigar Company, we’ve seen an exponential increase in sales across our portfolio. We’re now in a place where we have to expand our team to keep the promise we made to our retail partners. To provide the utmost support to our brands at retail, we are promoting from within to fill a newly-created position of regional sales manager. We will also increase our coverage in Arizona, Nevada, New York and New Jersey.”

Dave Mealey (Tampa, FL) has been promoted to Southern Regional Manager, effective October 15, 2021. In his new role, Dave will oversee six sales representatives in states including but not limited to California, Georgia and Florida. Dave will continue to report directly to Sean Hardiman.

Additionally, STG is currently recruiting experienced cigar sales professionals for two open positions with Forged Cigar Company. The roles include a field sales representative to call on retail accounts in Arizona and Nevada and one to service retail accounts in New York and New Jersey.

At release time, Forged Cigar Company will have distributed three new full-time collections and five limited-edition offerings, supporting each with customized promotions to drive retail sales.

Ghosts Found at Tampa’s J.C. Newman Cigar Factory

Many of J.C. Newman Cigar Company’s long-time employees have seen ghosts and experienced other paranormal activity inside J.C. Newman’s historic El Reloj cigar factory in Ybor City.  El Reloj is the last working cigar factory in “Cigar City” and was considered to be the largest and finest cigar factory in the world when it was built in 1910. Just in time for Halloween, J.C. Newman has recorded eight employees sharing stories of their strange experiences inside El Reloj.  These videos are posted on YouTube.

 “In the past 111 years, tens of thousands of cigar rollers and visitors have walked through our factory’s doors,” said Drew Newman, a fourth-generation owner of J.C. Newman.  “It now appears that some may have never have left.  This is not surprising given that our historic cigar factory is large and old and has many odd features such as trap doors, secret stairs, hidden rooms, and a dark basement. We think that the major restoration of our factory last year may have disturbed the spirits inside it, which is why we are noticing more paranormal activity now.” 

 Ybor City Ghost Tours has led several evening tours of El Reloj to investigate the paranormal activity inside it.  The team detected unusually high energy readings in the factory’s former basement laboratory and in the office of the factory’s former general manager.  They concluded that El Reloj is indeed haunted.

 “We invite those who are interested to come and visit El Reloj,” said Newman.  “We also think that watching ghosts stories from our historic cigar factory while enjoying a favorite J.C. Newman cigar is a great way for cigar enthusiasts to celebrate Halloween.” 

October 12, 2021

Viaje Platino Chiva 2021 (5 x 52)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from website)

Viaje has announced that it is bringing back its original releases in the Oro and Platino lines, some of the debut cigars that helped put the company on the map when it launched 14 years ago. While the cigars are returning, though they are being given a bit of an update for their return.

Most notably, both of the lines are being produced at Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) in Estelí, Nicaragua, the factory owned by AGANORSA Leaf. The packaging is also being updated to an 8-9-8 style stained wood box, meaning the top row of the box features eight cigars, the middle row has nine cigars, and the bottom row has eight cigars.

As for the blends, both cigars are Nicaraguan puros and are getting what the company referred to as slight modifications “to deliver a newer take on an old classic.”

Both blends are being offered in two vitolas; the Oro is available in a 5 x 52 robusto called Fuerza with an MSRP of $9.28, and a 6 x 50 toro named Delicado that is priced at $9.44. The Platino also gets a 5 x 52 robusto, though it is called Chiva (REVIEWED TODAY) but has the same MSRP of $9.28, while the Sueno is a slightly thicker toro measuring 6 x 54 and having an MSRP of $9.60 per cigar.

Today we look at the Platino.

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

The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were a nice, sweet, tangy orange citrus, cedar undertones, nutmeg, citrus peel, brown sugar, nougat, light leather, and black coffee. There was nice black pepper rated at 7 1/2 to 8. This is a very nice start.

At the first third (29 minutes) the cigar is burning very evenly. The ash is quite dark. The flavors are about like they started but in a different percentage. The leather, nutmeg, and black coffee combine to make a nice lower level flavor. The leather is old, worn tasting and very dry. There was still nice notes of citrus, touch of cedar, citrus peel, and a small amount of nougat right at the base of those sweet notes. The cigar is medium bodied. The finish is citrus with a touch of nougat and pretty good lingering black pepper. The flavors are in a nice mix. I rated the first third 94.

As I moved through the second third (1 hour 4 minutes) I don't think anything has changed. The cigar is very sweet and tasty with nice lower level notes. The cigar continues to impress me. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged. Not much has changed. I continue to enjoy it at the same level. I maintained the score of 94.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 25 minutes. A very good burn time for a 5" robusto. In the final third the cigar took one small step backwards. The nutmeg rose and there was some earthiness in the lower level flavors. The other notes are still in play. The cigar is full bodied, or very close. The finish is unchanged. The little rise in nutmeg and development of earthy notes did not hurt the cigar too much. I scored the final third 93. This is a very good cigar with a great burn time. If you've steered clear of Viaje the past couple years give this one a try.

Overall Score: 93.67


Punch and Cigar City Brewing have teamed up to create a duo of medium bodied smokes. Called “Cigar City Brewing Maduro by Punch,” the cigars will be available at select liquor chains across the U.S. starting this month, with a larger rollout slated for early 2022.


Handmade at the HATSA factory in Danli, Honduras, Cigar City Brewing Maduro is a Honduran Puro, made with a Honduran Habano maduro wrapper, a Honduran Habano binder, and a combination of Honduran Habano fillers grown in various regions around the country. The rich and heady blend was crafted to compliment the malty sweetness of Cigar City Brewing’s award-winning beers.

The experience of Cigar City Brewing Maduro by Punch brings forth notes of earth and wood, with hints of black cherry and cocoa. The blend pairs beautifully with malt-forward beers and is an exceptional cigar on its own.

Ed Lahmann, senior brand manager of PUNCH said, “one of my first craft loves was beer so I was very excited to work with Cigar City Brewing. We’re both masters of our craft creating bold, balanced, and highly-regarded products, so it was the ideal partnership for us to create a cigar for beer lovers. The use of the Habano leaves grown in the fertile valleys of Honduras accentuates the savory beers of Cigar City 100%. This cigar pairs beautifully with the Cigar City portfolio of beers, and also stands strong on its own, with the perfect balance of complexity and versatility.”

Maria Grieshaber, brand director, “Given our hometown of Tampa which has deep roots in the handmade cigar category, we were delighted to partner with Punch to bring the enjoyment of pairing cigars and beer to life in a meaningful way. This Maduro cigar by Punch is a collaboration we are all very proud of.”

Cigar City Brewing Maduro by Punch is available in two sizes, each packaged in 20-count wooden boxes featuring the iconic Cigar City Brewing logo.

Magnum (5.25” x 54) – SRP per cigar $8.29

Toro (6” x 50)– SRP per cigar $8.49

The Diamond Crown Cigar Lounge at Amalie Arena Reopens Tonight

Watch Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning while 

Enjoying a Diamond Crown Cigar

TAMPA, FL – When the Tampa Bay Lightning begin their season tonight, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. will reopen its Diamond Crown Cigar Lounge at Amalie Arena.  Closed last year due to the pandemic, the Diamond Crown Cigar Lounge will once again welcome Lightning fans in the Chase Club who want to cheer on their team while enjoying a fine cigar and their favorite drink.

 “The lounge is unique because it’s the only space in an NHL arena where you can smoke a cigar and watch all the hockey action at the same time,” wrote Cigar Aficionado magazine.   J.C. Newman has operated a Diamond Crown Cigar Lounge at the arena since 2010 and is the official cigar partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.  After the Lightning won its second Stanley Cup Final championship in a row this summer, the team celebrated with commemorative Cuesta-Rey Aristocrat cigars in their locker room.

 “As Tampa is ‘Cigar City,’ we are proud to support our home hockey team,” said third-generation owner and president Eric Newman.  “I can think of no better way to watch hockey than with a Diamond Crown cigar.” 

Emilio Cigars releases the Limited Edition LJZ 2021

Emilio Cigars releases the Limited Edition LJZ; hand crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua at Fabrica Oveja Negra.

This is the third release of the Emilio LJZ. For the 2021 vintage a new Lonsdale vitola has been added. The artwork and cigar blend for LJZ were created by James Brown. Mr. Brown, owner of BLTC and Fabrica Oveja Negra, stated, “This is a highly anticipated release for Emilio. LJZ received many high ratings last year and we are excited to get it back on the market. As with last year, we have combined a natural and a Sun Grown Habano wrapper. This blend has a lot of complexity with a little spice. Baking spice, cedar and cocoa are the prominent flavors in this well balanced, medium bodied cigar.”

LJZ is shipping to select retailers this month.

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano and Sun Grown

Binder: Nicaraguan Habano

Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican

Robusto – 5x52 (20 count) MSRP $10.00

Toro – 6x50 (20 count) MSRP $11.00

Lonsdale – 6.5x42 (20 count) MSRP $10.50

Emilio Cigars is a brand with old school roots and new school attitude. With an eclectic portfolio, Emilio is sure to have something for everyone.

October 10, 2021

Avo Syncro Caribe Toro (6 x 52)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from website)

Davidoff has announced the fourth release under its AVO Syncro Series, the AVO Syncro Caribe. It’s the first new AVO Syncro blend since 2017’s AVO Syncro South America Ritmo.

While the AVO Syncro Caribe focuses on the characteristics of the Caribbean region, it also showcases a blending process Davidoff is calling “Natural Distribution.” This is when the proportions of the tobaccos on any given plant is perfectly matched in the blending process. In other words, the ratios of tobaccos from each priming are matched in the blend in all vitolas.

Keeping to the Caribbean theme, the AVO Syncro Caribe features a Dominican wrapper. The cigar also utilizes an Ecuadorian binder along with Dominican and Nicaragua fillers. The cigars are available in three sizes: Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 52) REVIEWED TODAY, and Special Toro (6 x 60). Each is presented in 20-count boxes.

“The AVO Syncro series is centered around the concept of tobacco synchronization. This is an incorporation of the diversity, complexity and compatibility of selected tobaccos from varying regions,” states Lana Fraser, Director of Marketing and Retail at Davidoff of Geneva USA. “With the newest addition of the AVO Syncro Caribe, we strive to deliver new frontiers in cigar experiences.”

Blend and Origin

Wrapper: Dominican

Binder: Ecuadorian

Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic

Factory: OK Cigars

Vitolas Offered

Robusto: 5 x 50 (SRP $10.90)

Toro: 6 x 52 (SRP $11.90) REVIEWED TODAY

Special Toro: 6 x 60 (SRP $12.90)

The cigar is medium brown and has a dry looking wrapper. The cigar has an average or slight above feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were cedar, citrus, citrus peel, brown sugar, underlying cream, nutmeg, and black coffee. There was good black pepper rated at 7 1/2. In some ways these flavors remind me of the orange push-up ice cream treats we had as kids. Nice, sweet start.

At the first third (24 minutes) the ash was still intact. Now I have cinnamon. The pronounced flavors are cinnamon, brown sugar, and citrus peel. There is also still citrus, cedar, nutmeg, and black coffee. The cigar is very sweet. The flavors, like the wrapper, are rather dry. But, it works in this cigar. The cigar is medium bodied. The finish is nutmeg, brown sugar, and a little citrus with average lingering black pepper. The cigar is very tasty with a lot of citrus-type notes. I rated the first third 95.

As I moved through the second third (53 minutes) the cigar is burning very evenly. The same flavor notes are in play but the nutmeg and citrus peel are elevated. I noticed them the most of all the flavors. The cigar is medium bodied and seems to be leaning toward medium to full. The finish is unchanged. With the nutmeg and citrus peel being the lead flavors it took away from the overall enjoyment. I lowered the second third to 93. They didn't ruin the cigar but they did affect the flavors.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 17 minutes. In the final third things shifted around. The black coffee, citrus notes, and black pepper came out more. The citrus peel and nutmeg pulled back a little. With these changes the flavor notes are once again mixing well. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is nutmeg and citrus with much improved lingering black pepper. While the cigar did not get like it was in the first third it was just as enjoyable. I rated the final third 95. This is a cigar that is well worth trying. Very sweet with citrus-like notes in abundance. You can purchase HERE.

Overall Score: 94.33