May 19, 2019

Crux Limitada Redline (2019) 6 x 50

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from website)
Crux Cigars has announced it will ship the third offering under its Crux Limitada line, the RedLine.

The Crux Limitada RedLine was formally introduced at the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show. Like the other installments of the Crux Limitada series, the cigar features a proprietary Nicaraguan Engañoso wrapper. The Crux Limitada Redline comes in a 6 x 50 Toro with a Cuban box-press presented in 10-count boxes. It is intended to be an annual release with a total production of 1,000 allocated for 2019.

Later this year, Crux is expected to ship the Crux Limitada Gunner, which will be the fourth installment of the Crux Limitada series.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Engañoso 
Binder: Connecticut broadleaf 
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

The cigar is well made but has a light feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were dry cedar with blackberry notes,  brown sugar, a little cinnamon, creamy nutmeg, and earthy black coffee. There was black pepper rated at 7. 

At the first third (25 minutes) the cigar is not overly sweet. In fact, the sweetness has decreased since the initial light up. The nutmeg is elevated taking away some sweetness from the dry cedar and blackberry notes. The cigar is leaning toward medium to full bodied already. There is a minimum amount of brown sugar and cinnamon. There is still a nice black coffee base. With the loss of sweetness in the first third I rated the cigar at 87. 

I came back at the midpoint (44 minutes) because the cigar is changing. The biggest thing I noticed at the midpoint is the strength. The cigar is now full bodied. And, it's a sneaky type of full bodied. The cigar does not taste full bodied but the ligero makes it feel full bodied. The cigar has more sweetness and is more enjoyable at this point. With the improvements I rated the cigar at the midpoint at 89.

At the end of the second third (57 minutes) the cigar continues to slightly improve. The sweetness has continued to increase. The flavors are now cedar, slightly bitter blackberry, quite a bit if nutmeg, light brown sugar and a sprinkling of cinnamon, and a subtle black coffee base. There continues to be quite a bit of nutmeg. Up to this point I have not mentioned the finish because it does not stand out. The finish is one of nutmeg, sweet blackberry, and a sprinkling of brown sugar. The lingering black pepper is actually pretty good. The cigar is still a sneaky full bodied. It reminds me of the sneaky ligero in an Oliva V. You don't taste flavors that say full bodied but you feel it. The cigar has quietly gotten better. I rated the second third at 90.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 13 minutes. Not a very long burn time for a 6" toro. In the final third I lost the blackberry notes. You still have the cedar with sweetness, slight amount of cinnamon and plenty of nutmeg. The cigar is still full bodied. The finish is now cedar, black coffee, nutmeg, and a little brown sugar with some light lingering black pepper. With the loss of the blackberry notes I rated the final third at 89. The cigar had some nice points and some definite low points. It just didn't hit on all cylinders with me.

Overall Score: 88.75

May 18, 2019

Sacra Folium Law of Sines Toro Gordo (6 1/2 x 52)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from website)
At the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, a new company called Sacra Folium Cigar Company made its debut. The company is ambitiously starting with five new cigar blends. Given pending FDA regulations taking place on August 8th (2016) will require all new blends to go through an regulatory approval process, it isn’t too much of a surprise a new company is going in with a large number of blends.

Sacra Folium was founded by Boris Grossman. Grossman used to work on Wall Street, but in 2008 Grossman left to found Matador Cigars. Today Matador Cigars has several retail locations. Like many retail owners, Grossman has now decided to venture into the world of brand owner.

To make his blends, Grossman turned to Fabrica de Tobaccos Raices Cubanas where is is working with  Hugo Endemano to make his blends.

Law of Sines

Wrapper Corojo 99 Viso/Seco Jalapa Nicaragua
Binder Corojo 99 Viso Esteli, Criollo 98 Seco Honduras
Filer: Criollo 98 Ligero Honduras, Criollo 98 Ligero Esteli, Corojo Honduras
Country of Origin: Honduras (Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L)

Robusto: 5 x 50
Corona Gorda: 6 x 48
Toro Gordo: 6 1/2 x 52

I absolutely love the name of this company. Sacra Folium actually means Sacred Leaves. The cigar is quite dense feeling and has a nice feel in the hand. It should translate into a long burn time.

The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a somewhat tangy citrus/cedar, orange peel, brown sugar, caramel, quite a bit of cinnamon, light nutmeg, and a light earthy black coffee base. There was nice black pepper which I rated at a 7 to 7 1/2. 

At the first third (36 minutes) the flavors are very much like I described initially but they have blossomed! The cigar is now very sweet. The citrus/cedar has the accent on the citrus; orange citrus. The orange peel is still there. There is plenty of brown sugar and caramel giving the cigar added sweetness. The cinnamon is quite nice. The nutmeg is subtle. The black coffee makes a nice base but it does not call a lot of attention to itself. The black pepper remains good but it has toned down a bit; around a 7, probably due to the elevated sweetness. The finish is nutmeg, a little cream, and a touch of caramel with a decent amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied. The cigar is very good with the blossomed front end flavors. I rated the first third at 93.

At the second third (1 hour 19 minutes) the flavors are just like they were in the first third except the sweetness has decreased by about 5%. The extreme sweetness is now just "pretty darn sweet". The cigar is still medium bodied and the finish is unchanged. With the slight lowering of overall sweetness lowered the score to 92.

The cigar lasted an amazing 1 hour 56 minutes! That's called getting your money's worth. In the final third the flavors were very close to what they were in the second third. Primarily you have a nice, sweet orange citrus with undertones of cedar, lots of brown sugar and caramel, lots of cinnamon, subtle nutmeg, and a somewhat subtle black coffee base. I also got subtle notes of tart apple. The black pepper remained good at 7. The finish was unchanged. The cigar reached medium to full bodied in the final third. This is quite a good cigar that was new to me before smoking it. I purchased these at over a month ago so they have been resting nicely every since. I would put these on the must-try list. I rated the final third at 92.

Overall Score: 92.33

May 14, 2019

Joya de Nicaragua’s TAA Exclusives: Antaño Gran Reserva Presidente and Selección de Torcedor in stores!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 — Antaño Gran Reserva Presidente, the TAA Exclusive featured in 2018 at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic is now available again for all Tobacconist Association of America retailers around the country.  This year, it is coming to stores with an additional promotional item, a 5-pack of Selección de Torcedor 2019, that is already being shipped to all stores that have ordered the Antaño Gran Reserva Presidente.

The Antaño Gran Reserva Presidente commemorates the 50 years of TAA, the Nicaraguan cigar industry, and its oldest factory, Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua.  With a limited annual production of 1,000 boxes, this product has been very well received by the industry, with great reviews from experts all around the country.
“We are so humbled by all the recognition we received last year during our 50th anniversary, that we decided we needed to give an extra step to express our gratitude with the trade and the industry, and this is how we came up with the Selección de Torcedor program, that will be part of something even bigger”. - Juan Ignacio Martínez, Executive President of Joya de Nicaragua.

A special blend selected by Joya Nicargua’s torcdedores.

Selección de Torcedor is a new program that Joya de Nicaragua is launching in 2019 through our good friends at TAA.  From now on, every year, JDN’s torcedores will select a special blend and size to share with a selected group of retailers around the world, making it easier for our workers to give our friends around the world a favorite from the factory floor. In addition to this, Selección de Torcedor will become the platform by which to collect information on how well the product is accepted by consumers and test if it is attractive enough to become a year-round offering.

The blend in Selección de Torcedor 2019 is a very approachable smoke, smooth yet flavorful, and with a selection of tobacco especially conceived as a cigar that reflects the historic ties between Nicaragua and the US. “We are very excited that consumers in the US will enjoy Dr. Cuenca’s favorite vitola, along with an additional distinguished selection from the factory. I’m sure they’ll enjoy this 6x52 toro as much as we do in the factory”, said Mario Pérez, JDN’s Factory Manager.

Visit to the Aruba La Casa del Habano

On our Carnival Horizon cruise last week one of the stops was Aruba. While there we went to Eagle Beach for awhile. After lunch we traveled back toward the ship where we stopped in at the La Casa del Habano. It's very close to the ship so it made for an easy walk back when we had to leave.

Inside we met the mananger, Joselyn Winterdal. A very nice lady who made us feel right at home. 

The humidor was quite full of Cuban cigars. You can see the boxes stacked up along the windows outside the humidor. I have no pictures of the inside of the humdidor as most shops do not want pictures inside. 

After purchasing our cigars we came out to the sitting to have a short cigar before going back to the ship. Joselyn made us Cuban coffee while we smoked our cigars. It was excellent. I actually bought 2 bags to bring home!

One of my cigar buddies from the ship, Todd Blyn, owner of Mandarin Cigars in Jacksonville, Florida, and his wife Kim, joined us in the shop.

I didn't go too crazy with my purchase but since I love Montecristos here is my cigar purchase at the Aruba LCDH.

Bottom line; this is a great shop that I recommend you visit the next time you're in Aruba. If you're there tell Joselyn I said hi!

May 01, 2019

Rene' Castaneda, President of Villiger Cigars speaks on the upcoming IPCPR

Greetings to all our peers, customers, business associates, and friends:

We at team Villiger have been overwhelmed by the support that has been afforded us, by all of you over the last few years. Villiger’s North American operation has grown by leaps and bounds, and we look forward to continuing this trend, as we work together with you.

With the above stated, I also wish to share the news that Villiger North America has made the decision to not attend the I.P.C.P.R. this coming June 2019. As we all know the I.P.C.P.R. as an organization does an amazing job of catering to the handmade premium cigar segment. Villiger at its core is a cigar company that produces premium handmade cigars, cigarillos, premium machine-made cigars, and pipe tobacco. For this reason, we as a company have decided to direct all our efforts toward the Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE) in Las Vegas, Nevada this upcoming January 29-31, 2020.

This decision is in no way a reflection on our commitment, to the handmade premium cigar segment. We have placed much effort into creating highly rated handmade cigars, such as the Villiger La Flor De Ynclan, Villiger La Vencedora, and now the U.S. release of the Villiger La Meridiana El Mundo el Tabaco. We will also be announcing more products in the handmade premium segment, in the very near future.

We would like to thank the I.P.C.P.R. for all it has done for this wonderful industry, and we will continue to support the I.P.C.R.P. via monetary donation.

We consider the tobacco industry a unified family, and will continue to stand side by side, with all of you.

Kindest regards,

Rene Castañeda

President, Villiger North America

April 28, 2019

Padilla Finest Hour Connecticut Robusto (5 x 52)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from website)
Padilla Cigar Company has a new line that is inspired by celebrated cigar enthusiast Winston Churchill.

Padilla Finest Hour draws its inspiration from Churchill’s legendary “This was their finest hour” speech that he delivered to the House of Commons on June 18, 1940 as Great Britain was in the midst of the Second World War.

Finest Hour Connecticut
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan (Double)
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican, Honduran
Country of Origin: Not Disclosed
Factory: Not Disclosed

Robusto: 5 x 52 REVIEWED TODAY
Toro: 6 x 52
6 x 60: 6 x 60

The cigar has a very light brown wrapper and an average feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was effortless. The initial flavors at light up were light cedar notes, average to light cream notes, quite a bit of black pepper and an earthy black coffee. I rated the black pepper at 7 1/2. There is no significant sweetness in the cigar at the outset. Not a good start but things may change.

3/4 inch in the flavors have improved. There is a cedar-type flavor with a little brown sugar, some cinnamon, quite a bit of cream, a large amount of black pepper and a large amount of black coffee. The cigar now has sweetness but not anything that will wow you at this point.

At the first third (19 minutes) the sweetness has increased. From the beginning the sweetness has moved up but it took to this point to reach anything significant. There is now a tangy, almost citrus flavor. It's sort of a tangy citrus/cedar. There is now a toasted nutmeg flavor in the mix. There is a decent amount of brown sugar with some cinnamon. There is underlying cream with plenty of earthy black coffee and black pepper. The finish is nutmeg, cream, and a little brown sugar with a decent amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is mild to medium at this point. At this point the flavors are pretty nice but it took too long for the flavors to get going. For the first third I rated the cigar at 84.

At the second third (42 minutes) the cigar is maintaining it's "better flavors". It's now a sweet cedar with plenty of brown sugar, cinnamon, and underlying thread of cream but it's greatly reduced, toasted nutmeg, black coffee and black pepper. The black pepper is the star of the cigar. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. The finish is unchanged. The cigar has greatly improved but it's not wowing me. With the improvements I rated the second third at 88.

The cigar lasted 54 minutes. A rather short burn time for a robusto. The flavors in the final third were a sweet cedar, plenty of brown sugar, some cinnamon, hardly any, if any cream, hardly any toasted nutmeg, plenty of black coffee, and plenty of black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied leaning toward medium to full. The primary flavors you notice are sweet cedar and black pepper. The finish is unchanged but the lingering black pepper has increased. As I said before, the black pepper is one of the best things about this cigar. For me, the cigar lacked dimensions. I rated the final third at 86.

Overall Score: 86

April 27, 2019

Henry Clay Warhawk Toro (6 x 50)

Video Review HERE.

Altadis U.S.A., maker of world-renowned premium cigars, is releasing the Henry Clay “War Hawk,” the first of a three-part series of cigars named “Immortal Trio.” The War Hawk recognizes Henry Clay’s spearheading the movement that led to the War of 1812.

Henry Clay, who rose to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in the early 1800s, was known above all, as a staunch U.S. nationalist. He was the leading voice among several young members of Congress who boldly applied pressure on President James Madison to defend the young nation by declaring war against Britain in 1812. Clay believed strongly that military force was the only option left to fight British imperiousness. The term “War Hawk” was coined and now used in political circles to describe one who favors war as an ultimate resolution of a conflict.

The Henry Clay “War Hawk” is a dedication to Henry Clay’s lasting influence. The War Hawk cigar is aptly named, as it is a bit rebellious in going against its own tradition by not using a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper – as do most other Henry Clay brands. The “Hawkish” cigar is a complex cigar, boasting unique flavors, with plenty of spice. This medium-bodied blend sports an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, which houses a broadleaf binder and Honduran filler.

44 x 5 ½ Corona -MSRP $7
54 x 5 Robusto – MSRP $7.50
50 x 6 Toro – MSRP $8.00 REVIEWED TODAY

The cigar is a golden medium brown and well made. It has a rather light feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a tangy sweet cedar with a lot of cinnamon, underlying brown sugar, cream, leather, and a very earthy black coffee. There was a white pepper which I rated at a 7 1/2. 

At the first third (24 minutes) the flavors are pretty much like I initially described. The large amount of cinnamon attached to the sweet, tangy cedar is very nice. The earthy black coffee makes a very sturdy base. However, the cream notes are now gone. The pepper seems to be moving over to a black pepper. It's in a transition stage at this point. But, it's up to close to an 8. The finish is one of leather and nutmeg with a modest amount of lingering white pepper. I don't really get nutmeg on the front end but here it is on the finish. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. This cigar is not bad but it's not wowing me. For the first third I rated it at 89.

At the second third (49 minutes) the flavors changed just a bit. I still had the tangy, sweet cedar with cinnamon. The brown sugar is a little more noticeable. The leather and earthy black coffee has toned down. There may be a thread of nutmeg on the front end with the leather but it's not much. The cigar is still medium bodied but it's leaning toward medium to full. The finish is unchanged. This cigar remains right on the line as to whether I would smoke it regularly or buy more of them. I an enjoying it but it's still not wowing me. I maintained the score of 89.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 10 minutes. A little short for a toro. There were not many changes in the final third. The cigar moved up to medium to full bodied. The flavors are just like they were in the previous segment but there was a little uptick in the nutmeg. The pepper finally transitioned over to a black pepper and it remained very good. It never got below a 7 1/2. The finish was unchanged in flavors but there is more lingering black pepper. This was a good cigar but it falls just short of something I would have regularly. I rated the final third at 89.

Overall Score: 89

April 24, 2019

Power of Purple! ACID Plush and ACID Croqueta shipping to retailers nationwide

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 — Miami, FL- Drew Estate announces today the shipping of ACID Plush and ACID Croqueta to retailers nationwide. These two Purple powerhouses in the ACID lineup were showcased at the 2019 TAA conference held at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic and are already in high demand.

Continuing the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of ACID, these two Purple ACID’s reach new heights of aroma and taste. Presented in a 5.5” x 50 premium ACID blend, ACID Plush is rich, dense and wonderfully aromatic. Plush features a shimmering Broadleaf maduro wrapper and lush Nicaraguan binder and fillers. The ACID Croqueta defines the expression “one for now, one for later,” as we present two longfiller croquetas, each 2.5” x 50 within one glass tube. Draped in an earthy San Andres maduro wrapper, carefully rolled over robust Nicaraguan binder and filler, the Croqueta is a perfect sensorial experience of ACID when you want a complete cigar experience, but you’re short on time.

From the Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew President and Founder notes, “The celebration of twenty years of ACID is truly significant for the modern cigar culture. ACID’s impact is unquestionable and will live on forever. Ask yourself, how many people you know who first became interested in cigar culture after smoking a Kuba or Blondie? It wasn’t just another smoke, it was the connection of kindred spirits. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you journeyed into cigar culture with ACID cigars. Today we celebrate in deep, powerful purple, with the national release of Plush and Croqueta. Long Live ACID!!”

Each ACID Croqueta Tubo features two 2.5”x 50 cigars, with an MSRP of $8.40 per tubo, and are shipped in bundles of 25.

The ACID Plush is sold in a 24-count box with an MSRP of $230.40.

Altadis U.S.A.announces the release of the Montecristo Espada Oscuro

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Altadis U.S.A., maker of world-renowned premium cigars announces the release of the Montecristo Espada Oscuro. The Montecristo Espada Oscuro is a follow-up cigar to the Montecristo Espada, which earned a top 20 honors by Cigar Aficionado in 2015.

Once again, the “Grupo de Maestro’s” (Montecristo’s highly regarded group of Master Blenders) were given access to the Plasencia’s library of tobaccos. The goal was to pair the world’s best blenders, with the premier tobacco growing family, creating the ultimate adult cigar smoking experience.

Like the original Montecristo Espada, the Montecristo Espada Oscuro is a Nicaraguan Puro. However, in addition to the excellent Nicaraguan tobaccos used for the binder and filler it also includes an extremely rare and well-aged Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper. This special wrapper was discovered in the vast Plasencia library, by Rafael Nodal (Head of Product Capability for Tabacalera USA). Nodal along with Grupo de Maestro member Pedro Ventura and the Plasencia family worked together to find the perfect final blend.

Rafael Nodal said: “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.”

Eddy Guerra, Sr. Brand Manager of Altadis U.S.A., stated. “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.”

The Montecristo Espada Oscuro will be available in May and will be expressed in three vitolas:

Ricasso: 5 x 54 $13.27 MSRP

Guarde: 6 x 50 $13.80 MSRP Quillon: 7 x 56 $14.60 MSRP


Diesel Cigars and Rabbit Hole Bourbon have reignited their partnership with Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask, a new, three-cigar collection shipping to all channels on June 3, 2019.

Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask is a cigar with epic depth and sublime flavor. Developed by Justin Andrews, blended by AJ Fernandez and handcrafted at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Esteli, Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask features Nicaraguan-aged tobaccos cultivated on three continents. This exciting new collection once again calls upon a proprietary aging process developed by AJ to deepen the complexity of the smoking experience by barrel-aging the binder leaves.

Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask is centered around a rare Arapiraca leaf from Central Brazil’s Alagoas region. This binder leaf was selected for aging in Rabbit Hole’s Pedro Ximénez Sherry barrels to bring forth subtle notes of honey, vanilla and molasses. When blended with spicy Nicaraguan Habano and crowned with a lustrous Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, this Maduro cigar is a study in contrast, as cigar meets bourbon, salty meets sweet and earth meets spice.

Justin Andrews, senior brand manager for Diesel cigars said, “With Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask, we set out to expand the Diesel portfolio by offering cigar and spirits lovers a deeper sensory experience and I believe we have delivered that in spades. This new blend is perfectly suited to pairing with a fine spirit, stands up equally well on its own, and has all the makings of another runaway success for Diesel.”

Kaveh Zamanian, founder and whiskey maker of Rabbit Hole said, “For our second collaboration with Diesel, we selected our rich and aromatic Pedro Ximénez sherry casks for AJ to use in the tobacco aging process because we knew they would lend a stunning complexity to the blend. ‘Sherry Cask’ speaks to the power of our partnership with Diesel and our collective focus on combining heritage technique and refined innovation to heighten the experience of fine cigars and spirits.”

Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask will be available in three sizes, each presented in 20-count wooden boxes that give a nod to Rabbit Hole’s unique branding.

Robusto (5” x 52); SRP per cigar is $8.49

Toro (6” x 50); SRP per cigar is $8.99

Gigante (6” x 58); SRP per cigar is $9.49

Diesel Whiskey Row debuted in June 2018 and marked the first collaboration between Diesel and Rabbit Hole. It was the first cigar to feature a binder leaf aged in Rabbit Hole’s bourbon barrels and generated a significant following among cigar lovers nationwide.