Isabela Cigars

January 21, 2022

Isabela Mammoth (7 x 70)






 Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Halfwheel.com website)

The Mammoth features a barber pole wrapper design, using an Ecuadorian desflorada Connecticut leaf and an aged Nicaraguan habano prieto leaf. The binder and filler are both Nicaraguan, and while the company didn’t disclose specifics, said that they feature multiple varietals of tobaccos from the country, which have been aged for different lengths. “By far one of the most difficult blends ever created, the Mammoths are bursting with multiple transitions of ever-changing flavor profiles, the signature identity that Isabela is known for,” the company wrote in a press release.

The cigar is being released in two sizes, a 7 x 70 priced at $13.95 and an 8 x 80 priced at $14.95, both of which are being offered in boxes of 25 cigars. The company produced just 100 boxes of each size, which are available through its retailers as well as the company’s online store.


The cigar has a beautiful barber pole wrapper and a very weighty feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were lemon, citrus peel, tangerine, brown sugar, nutmeg, and light leather. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. A nice sweet start.




At the first third (1 hour) the flavors are pretty much like they started but now there are some cashew butter notes also. The cigar is medium bodied. The finish is citrus and brown sugar with good lingering black pepper. The cigar is very sweet. It had some minor transitions but overall the cigar had the same basic notes as it started. I rated the first third 94.






Moving through the second third (1 hour 47 minutes) the primary lead note is now peach. It's quite sweet. There were still citrus peel, brown sugar, light cashews, a little nutmeg, leather, and black coffee. The additional black coffee adds a nice base along with the leather. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is peach, brown sugar, nutmeg, light leather, and very good lingering black pepper. The minor transitions continued. The cigar continues to be nice, sweet, and very enjoyable. I held the score of 94.






The cigar lasted 2 hours 35 minutes. For an Isabela cigar this cigar is fairly consistent. It made minor transitions at various points but overall the notes I had in the second third I also had in the final third. The cigar is now full bodied. The finish is unchanged. I made 2 minor touchups along the way but they were quite minor and for a cigar of this size I'm not holding those against it. You really get your money's worth with this cigar. What a burn time! I held the score of 94 for the final third.




Overall Score: 94

CASA CUEVAS CIGARS TO RE-RELEASE THE LIMITED EDITION FLACO BRAND AT THE 2022 TPE IN LAS VEGAS



Casa Cuevas Cigars announces the return of the Casa Cuevas Limited Edition Flaco Maduro and Habano (both 7 X 43) at the 2022 Tobacco Plus Expo, taking place this Januaryat the Las Vegas Convention Center. Originally released in December 2018, the brand was well received by the public and then tragedy struck as the Casa Cuevas Cigars’ distribution center in Miami was burglarized two months later. The entire Casa Cuevas inventory including all the individually numbered Flaco boxes were stolen. Because there was no record of which boxes had been sold and which had been stolen, Casa Cuevas decided not to pursue the project any furher.  However, after constant feedback and demand for the Flacos, the Cuevas family felt it was time to re-release the brand three years later.  Thus it is that the Casa Cuevas Limited Edition Flaco 2021 will make its return at the 2022 TPE. 

The Lancero vitola is a favorite of the Cuevas family and a notoriously difficult vitola to roll consistently. In 2018 The Cuevas family felt confident that their factory could produce a premium brand available in only a lancero size. Master Blender Luis Cuevas Sr. settled on two blends and handpicked his best rollers to carry out his vision. The name “Flaco” translates to skinny from Spanish and is named after Alec Cuevas, Casa Cuevas’s Director of Operations. The Casa Cuevas Limited Edition Flacos started to earn a cult following, especially after the burglary wiped out the majority of the inventory, which is a principal reason the Cuevas family decided to produce another limited run of these elegant cigars.   



Luis Cuevas President of Casa Cuevas Cigars said, “The burglary was a low point for us, and so we decided to move forward with other projects but there was a constant stream of communication from retailers and consumers to bring back the Flaco brand. We are excited to showcase the Flacos at the TPE. Going forward the plan is to release a limited amount of the Casa Cuevas Limited Edition Flacos every three years.”

Both blends are available in one size, a 7X43 Lancero and come in an elegant ten count box. Only 750 individually numbered boxes were made for each blend. Both blends are made at the Cuevas Family-owned Las Lavas Cigar Factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic.



Casa Cuevas Limited Edition Flaco Maduro features a Maduro wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and filler with tobaccos from Colombia, Domican Republic, Nicaragua and USA Pennsylvania.


Casa Cuevas Limited Edition Flaco Habano features a Habano wrapper Nicaraguan binder, and filler with tobaccos from Colombia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and USA Pennsylvania.



Commemorating a #1 Cigar of Year – Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua



It was 2019, an award-winning year in many ways. Pre-pandemic, a time of innocence, laughter and the sharing of a great cigar among friends and colleagues. A distant memory? It doesn’t have to be so. In fact, one premier cigar maker is making sure the good times – at least time with one great cigar – can be enjoyed yet again.


With the imminent release of Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua, a special 60 x 6 pressed box cigar, Altadis U.S.A. is commemorating Cigar Aficionado’s #1 2019 Cigar of the Year. As with the original 2019 #1 Cigar of the Year, the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua is a collaboration between Rafael Nodal and AJ Fernandez.


“Receiving the honor of #1 Cigar of the Year was an extraordinary achievement which my friend and collaborator AJ Fernandez and I share,” said Nodal, who is Head of Product Capability for Tabacalera USA.  ”With this extension, the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua special 60 x 6 pressed box cigar pays tribute to this extraordinary blend.”


“With the Aging Room Quattro 60 x 6 pressed box cigar, we are offering adult consumers a new opportunity to enjoy this award-winning blend yet one more time,” Nodal said. Handmade in Nicaragua, this special, limited-edition cigar will be available February 1, 2022 in a box of 20 with a MSRP of $12.50 per cigar.


Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Impromptu:

Commemorating the 2019 #1 Cigar of the Year

Featuring 100% Nicaraguan Tobaccos

Medium-Full strength

20-count boxes

One size: 60 x 6, pressed box

MSRP: $12.50



January 19, 2022

J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Introduces José Gaspar Cigars


Tampa has two-century-old traditions: Since 1885, Tampa has been known as “Cigar City.” Since 1904, pirates have been invading Tampa and throwing a large festival called Gasparilla. Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. brings both traditions together by introducing José Gaspar cigars.  Handcrafted by J.C. Newman, a 126-year-old, four-generation family business, José Gaspar cigars pack a punch perfect for any pirate.

 

José Gaspar was one of most feared pirates in the Americas,” said Drew Newman, fourth-generation owner.  “Sailing from his base near Tampa Bay in the late 1700s, he terrorized the Gulf of Mexico and amassed a great fortune.  Gaspar celebrated victories with a bold and flavorful cigar.  This cigar honors his legacy and the tradition of Gasparilla.”




 

This year, J.C. Newman is releasing 10,000 José Gaspar cigars.  The 2022 release of José Gaspar is a 7’ x 50 cigar wrapped with a hearty, sun-grown, Ecuadorian Havana-seed wrapper.  The 2022 José Gaspar cigars are sold in packs of 5 cigars with an MSRP of $40.  José Gaspar cigars are only available at the following locations in the Cigar City of Tampa, Florida:

Casa de Montecristo

Cigar Castle

Cigar City Brewery

Davidoff of Geneva Since 1911

Edwards Pipe and Tobacco

Grand Cathedral

Hotel Haya

J.C. Newman Cigar Museum and Factory Store

JR Cigars

King Corona Cigars

Tobacco Depot

Vincent & Tampa Cigar Co

“When pirates invade Tampa and parade down Bayshore Boulevard on January 29, they will be enjoying José Gaspar cigars,” said Newman.  “Just like the pirates of Gasparilla, however, José Gaspar cigars will sail out of Tampa Bay at the end of January and will not be available again until next year.”

 

Shortly after J.C. Newman Cigar Co. relocated to Tampa in 1954, leading cigar makers invited the late Stanford J. Newman to become a pirate and join the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the organization that hosts the annual Gasparilla celebration.  This invitation was a symbol that J.C. Newman had been welcomed and accepted into the cigar community in Tampa, which was then widely recognized as the fine cigar capital of the world. 



LA MEZCLA CUBANA BY UNITED CIGARS TO LAUNCH AT TPE SHOW

A rejuvenation of the La Mezcla Cubana line is ready for its relaunch at the 2022 TPE Show in Las Vegas, NV. With a comprehensive portfolio that offers a blend for every palette, United Cigars is offering another line with a budget friendly price. First debuting in 2006 through Cigar Agency, La Mezcla Cubana was sold throughout the United States until 2013 when United Cigars bought the brand. Today, La Mezcla Cubana is produced at the Magia Cubana Factory in Gurabo, Dominican Republic. The relaunch comes after a Zoom call uncovered an opportunity to purchase 7-year-old Ecuadorian wrapper leaf from A.S.P. Enterprises, a family-owned tobacco farm in Ecuador.

Offered in boxes of 50 cigars, the La Mezcla Cubana Rothschild measures a stout 4 ½ x 54 and offers a mild-tomedium profile. Meaning “Cuban Mix,” the 7-year-old wrapper is Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade with an Indonesian binder. Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Pennsylvanian leaves are used in the filler along with a proprietary blend by Magia Cubana.

“This is wrapper leaf that had been aged for seven years and was selected for some luxury lines,” shared Oliver Nivaud of United Cigars. “Fortunately for us, the wrapper was only big enough for a short vitola, so it was perfect for our Rothschild.”

With the relaunch of La Mezcla Cubana at the TPE Show, retailers will have a first look at the line that is currently only available in a Rothschild format. MSRP is $299.99 for the box of 50 cigars and $5.99 per cigar. United Cigars has begun taking orders and the cigars should start shipping to retailers mid-February.




January 18, 2022

Emilio Cigars Limited Edition LJZ 2021 Lonsdale (6 1/2 x 42)





Video review HERE.


(Description provided by Oveja Negra Cigars)

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.”


Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano and Sun Grown

Binder: Nicaraguan Habano

Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican


Available vitolas:

Robusto – 5x52 (20 count) MSRP $10.00 

Toro – 6x50 (20 count) MSRP $11.00

Lonsdale – 6.5x42 (20 count) MSRP $10.50 REVIEWED TODAY


The cigar is nicely made and has an average feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were a nice, sweet citrus/cedar combination, brown sugar, caramel, dry nutmeg, and an average to light black coffee base. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2 to 8. Nice start.




At the first third (22 minutes) the cigar has made some improvements. There are now cinnamon notes. The caramel has some richness. The citrus notes are very sweet and there are light citrus peel notes. There is still some nutmeg and cedar. There is just enough black coffee to give the cigar a base. The finish is a citrus/caramel mix with good lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied. The cigar is very tasty at this point. I rated the first third 94.






As I moved through the second third (44 minutes) I lost some of the nice, sweet, tangy citrus. The black coffee decided to rise. But the caramel is still going strong. There remains just a bit of citrus peel. There are also cinnamon notes. The finish is caramel with light citrus and very good lingering black pepper. The cigar is still medium bodied but it's leaning toward medium to full. The cigar is still very good but it lost a little so I lowered the second third to 93.







The cigar lasted 1 hour 6 minutes. In the final third the cigar made a nice bounce back. The citrus came back in a nice, large amount. The caramel is still nice. The cinnamon is very high. I no longer had the citrus peel. The nutmeg is very light. And there's a light black coffee base. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is citrus, caramel, and cinnamon with very good lingering black pepper. The final third was very good. I rated the final third 95. This is a good cigar that is fairly light compared to other powerhouse James Brown cigars but it's very, very tasty.




Overall Score: 94

January 16, 2022

Stillwell Star Navy no. 1056 (6 x 52)








Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Dunbartoncigars.com website)

Our Master Ligador, Steve Saka, while known for being one of the world’s foremost cigar experts has also been a pipe smoker for over three decades. For many years he has casually crafted handmade cigars incorporating some of his favorite pipe tobaccos into blends for his own personal consumption. While he would typically use “English” style blends, he would also mix it up with a few Aromatics, Orientals and others. While he enjoys his pipe smoking, cigars remain his first love and doing this allowed him to combine the flavors and aromas only a pipe could offer into his beloved puros.


When he told this practice to Jeremy Reeves, the head blender of the famed pipe tobacco maker Cornell & Diehl, who himself is also a cigar smoker, everyone’s wheels began spinning at the possibilities. Earnest work began to create a unique, refined smoking experience combining our shared passions.


StillWell Star is the world’s first luxury pipe tobacco cigar.


Cigars incorporating pipe tobaccos into their mix is not new, but almost universally they are unbearably sweet, utilize marginal pipe and cigar tobaccos and are rather simple, heavy handed blends that afford the smoker little sophistication or balance. In short, not the type of cigars that Saka smokes.


StillWell Star is a totally different approach.


All of the cigar and pipe tobaccos used are amongst the finest available, no expenses spared. Each of the pipe tobacco recipes is meticulously crafted in small batches by Reeves utilizing only the best tobaccos and techniques. And each of the cigar ligas was carefully tailored by Saka to specifically showcase and enhance the nuances that each of the pipe blends add to the cigar.


The end result is a truly mesmerizing smoking experience. Four unique cigars each with its own personality, deftly blended to afford the smoker the nuances of the flavors and aromas of the pipe blends, yet working in concert with the black cigar tobaccos. Balance, measured, refined and elegant are all hallmarks of StillWell Star.


All 4 cigars come in a 6 x 52 size and boxes of 13.


All 4 cigars look alike with the exception of the band at the foot which designates the blend name.





I received this cigar along with the other 3 in a press packet. Only one cigar of each blend was sent. I do not like reviewing a cigar with only one sample but I decided to do so. It's sort of a quasi blind review. I know nothing about the cigar other than what's on the website. I do not know what to expect. I will review all 4 blends this way.


Today we look at the Navy no. 1056.

A crumble cake of stoved Red and Golden Virginia tobaccos with a touch of “Naval Rations” combined with Orientals and Latakia expertly blended with dark air-cured black cigar leaf.

Wrapper: Ecuador Habano

Binder: San Andres Negro Cultivo Tonto

Filler: Various


The cigar, like the others, has a nice feel in the hand.




The test draw after cutting the cap was good. It takes about 5 minutes for the flavors to settle down. The initial flavors at light up were apricot, brown sugar, and light toffee. There was black pepper rated at 7 to 7 1/2. Nice sweet start.



At the first third (31 minutes) the ash was still intact. There is a new flavor emerging; raspberry. It's in a rather small amount but it adds another sweet note to an already sweet cigar. Now there are sweet apricot, brown sugar, toffee, and light raspberry notes. There is some richness and light buttery notes in the cigar. There is also a light black coffee base now. The cigar seems to be more rounded out. The black pepper is also rising. It's a solid 7 1/2 at least. The cigar is very sweet and I like sweet. I rated the first third 94.




As I moved through the second third (1 hour 4 minutes) I still had the apricot, toffee, and brown sugar but the brown sugar is in such an abundance that it overshadows the other two. I don't have the raspberry note any longer. There is a nice black coffee base. There is now some citrus peel in the mix. The cigar is medium bodied. The finish is some apricot and a lot of brown sugar with good lingering black pepper. In this segment the cigar is predominantly brown sugar where as the first third was several individual notes working independently. The increased brown sugar makes the cigar feel "normalized". It's not quite as appealing. I rated the second third 92.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 40 minutes. I wouldn't call it a bouceback but the individual flavor notes re-emerged in the final third. I can pick them out now and the brown sugar is not the dominant flavor. So, for that reason the cigar improved. I can now get the apricot, brown sugar, toffee, citrus peel and black coffee individually. There is a very light note of the raspberry or similar berry flavor also. The cigar is medium bodied, leaning toward medium to full. The finish is apricot and browns sugar with good lingering black pepper. The black pepper is good in this cigar and it increases as it goes. The final third made a little improvement so I rated it 93. Of the 4 cigars I would recommend this one to try and possibly buy multiples of.




Overall Score: 93

January 15, 2022

Stillwell Star Bayou no. 32 (6 x 52)








Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Dunbartoncigars.com website)

Our Master Ligador, Steve Saka, while known for being one of the world’s foremost cigar experts has also been a pipe smoker for over three decades. For many years he has casually crafted handmade cigars incorporating some of his favorite pipe tobaccos into blends for his own personal consumption. While he would typically use “English” style blends, he would also mix it up with a few Aromatics, Orientals and others. While he enjoys his pipe smoking, cigars remain his first love and doing this allowed him to combine the flavors and aromas only a pipe could offer into his beloved puros.


When he told this practice to Jeremy Reeves, the head blender of the famed pipe tobacco maker Cornell & Diehl, who himself is also a cigar smoker, everyone’s wheels began spinning at the possibilities. Earnest work began to create a unique, refined smoking experience combining our shared passions.


StillWell Star is the world’s first luxury pipe tobacco cigar.


Cigars incorporating pipe tobaccos into their mix is not new, but almost universally they are unbearably sweet, utilize marginal pipe and cigar tobaccos and are rather simple, heavy handed blends that afford the smoker little sophistication or balance. In short, not the type of cigars that Saka smokes.


StillWell Star is a totally different approach.


All of the cigar and pipe tobaccos used are amongst the finest available, no expenses spared. Each of the pipe tobacco recipes is meticulously crafted in small batches by Reeves utilizing only the best tobaccos and techniques. And each of the cigar ligas was carefully tailored by Saka to specifically showcase and enhance the nuances that each of the pipe blends add to the cigar.


The end result is a truly mesmerizing smoking experience. Four unique cigars each with its own personality, deftly blended to afford the smoker the nuances of the flavors and aromas of the pipe blends, yet working in concert with the black cigar tobaccos. Balance, measured, refined and elegant are all hallmarks of StillWell Star.


All 4 cigars come in a 6 x 52 size and boxes of 13.


All 4 cigars look alike with the exception of the band at the foot which designates the blend name.






I received this cigar along with the other 3 in a press packet. Only one cigar of each blend was sent. I do not like reviewing a cigar with only one sample but I decided to do so. It's sort of a quasi blind review. I know nothing about the cigar other than what's on the website. I do not know what to expect. I will review all 4 blends this way.


Today we look at the Bayou no. 32.

A combination of Bright and Red Virginia leaf with the most select St. James Parish Perique pipe tobacco added to a medium-bodied Nicaraguan puro.


Wrapper: Ecuador Habano

Binder: San Andres Negro Cultivo Tonto

Filler: Various


The cigar, like the others, has a nice feel in the hand.




The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were somewhat in line with a standard cigar; citrus peel, peach, and leather. There was black pepper rated at 7. Interesting start.



At the first third (32 minutes) the cigar is improving as it goes. By and large you have the same flavor notes but they have switched intensities. The citrus peel has pulled back, the peach notes are sweet and pronounced, brown sugar, and a somewhat subdued leather. The finish is peach with pretty good lingering black pepper. The cigar is currently medium bodied. At this point the cigar is quite good. I rated the first third 92.




As I moved through the second third (1 hour 16 minutes) black coffee appeared out of nowhere, and it was in abundance and somewhat earthy. The other notes are still in play but they have been reduced by the large amount of coffee. Plus, there is also some bitterness in the cigar. Needless to say the cigar made a big change. The finish is still peach with a minute amount of black coffee and very good lingering black pepper. I would say the cigar is now medium to full bodied. The cigar took a step back. I rated the second third 88.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 40 minutes. The cigar stayed true from the second third through the end. The only change was the bitterness reduced quite a bit. The coffee is elevated and the sweeter notes are subdued. The finish is now light peach and nutmeg with very good lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium to full bodied. I held 88 for the final third. The cigar is not bad but I didn't find it very appealing after the first third.




Overall Score: 89.33

BANDOLERO BY SELECTED TOBACCO ANNOUNCED AS THE 2022 LIMITED EDITION FIRECRACKER FROM UNITED CIGARS


The return of the highly anticipated and highly coveted limited release Firecracker from United Cigars is here and 2022 will feature the Bandolero Firecracker from Selected Tobacco. In 2006, from the creative mind of David Garofalo, the Firecracker line was born. The first cigar on the market with a long piece of tobacco at the head was shaped like a ‘wick’ or ‘fuse’ to capture the name of the line; Firecracker. After a few years on the market, the limited release Firecrackers came to life as United Cigars collaborated with a new manufacturer every year to create a celebration cigar for the nation’s Independence Day.

“My partnership with United Cigars has gone beyond the distribution of my cigars,” said Nelson Alfonso of Selected Tobacco. “This is family and I wanted to share my Bandolero blend with this beautiful vitola.”

The Bandolero Firecracker represents all that Bandolero has become known for and more. The blend for the Bandolero Firecracker is derived from the Clandestino line (Series C) that uses filler leaves from Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and undisclosed tobaccos. The filler is held together with an Ecuadorian binder and a dark Ecuadorian wrapper that is typically used on the Aventureros line (Series A). Holding true to the United Firecracker measurements, the Bandolero Firecracker comes in at 3 ½ x 50 and will be packaged in wooden boxes of 20 cigars. The bands were created specifically for this release and proudly adorn the Firecracker name.

“Every year I get more and more excited with our United collaborations. We work with another factory to deliver a unique experience, and this is what makes this industry united,” said Oliver Nivaud, Director of Operations for United Cigars.

The Bandolero line uses 5-year-old tobaccos and is aged for a minimum of two years post roll. This limited release has all the components of its premium sibling but will have a SMRP of $180 per box of 20/$9 for the single. Retailers across the United States will have access to the limited release as a United Firecracker Retailer and will begin shipping in June of 2022 and will be featured at this year’s TPE Show in Las Vegas, NV.



January 13, 2022

GRAMMY WINNER TOMASITO CRUZ TO RELEASE THE CANDELA BRAND CIGAR



Four-time Grammy Winner Tomasito Cruz is pleased to announce the release of his Candela cigar brand. The acclaimed Cuban born musical artist will host a release party at Empire Social Lounge Downtown Dadeland located at 8955 Dadeland BLVD Miami, Fl. 33156. Event to take place this Friday, January 14th at 6:00PM.



Born in Pinar del Rio, Tomastio’s earliest memories are of his grandmother rolling cigars. An avid cigar smoker Tomasito Cruz felt it was the right time to pour the same passion into cigars that he did into music. Tomasito chose to collaborate with Tabacalera CM located in Estelí, Nicaragua. The name Candela (translates to fire) was chosen for his first release and is the namesake of his first album. His future cigar releases will carry the names and colors of his subsequent albums.

The Candela cigar features an Ecuadorian Candela and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper which houses Nicaraguan/Jalapa filler, and Jalapa Habano binder. Candela comes in one vitola, a 6X52 Toro and comes in ten count boxes. MSRP is $14.

This cigar is a medium to full-bodied smoke that delivers rich, well-rounded flavors of earth, pepper, leather, and cinnamon. This cigar features a zesty Habano wrapper and candela atop a sturdy Nicaraguan binder, and aged long fillers from Nicaragua.

Tomastio stated: “Candela is the legacy of my ancestors, mixed with a musical theme and dedicated with love to all who carry within our Latin essence.”