June 28, 2020

Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre (5 1/2 x 54)






Video review HERE.



(Description taken from cigar-coop.com website)
Viaje has announced the release of its Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre. It’s an offshoot to the Thanksgiving seasonal release introduced in 2019, Farmhand Andre.

Farmhead Andre represents Andre Farkas, the owner of Viaje Cigars. Last year, a cigar paying homage to him was released as a part of the 2019 Viaje seasonal release for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving releases have included Stuffed Turkey White Meat, Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat, Thanksgiving Leftovers, Farmer Bill Hatchet, Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet, and Farmhand Andre.

Looking at the Thanksgiving-themed releases as a whole, Zombie Farmhand Andre is the first to be released outside the Thanksgiving Series.

Much like the relationship between Farmer Bill Hatchet and Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet is unknown, so is the relationship between Farmhand Andre and Zombie Farmhead Andre. Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet measures 5 1/2 x 54. The cigar itself is a box-pressed Toro shape. Blend details have not been released.

The zombie theme is something that has been seen across the company’s portfolio, but very little is known about it. There is a story that ties several Viaje releases together. The story goes that Viaje Skull and Bones WMD (Weapon Mass Destruction) explodes. Because of radiation from the explosion, people end up mutating into “Zombies.“.The Zombie Super Shot helps arm people for what Farkas calls the “Zombie Apocalypse”. The only way to cure the zombies is with the Zombie Antidote. Meanwhile, what we have learned now is that as a part of this story, Farmer Bill Hatchet and now Farmhand Andre have become zombies.



The cigar has an average feel in the hand and the foot is closed.





The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were sweet cedar, lots of brown sugar, lots of cinnamon, light caramel, smooth creamy nutmeg, light leather, and black coffee. There was nice black pepper rated at 7 1/2 to 8. Nice sweet start.





At the first third (32 minutes) I had a major burn issue and I am smoking the cigar slowly. I will let the cigar try to even out on it's own without touching up the burn. Here at the first third the sweetness has gone down. Actually, from the initial assessment to the 3/4 inch point the sweet notes went up! Then from that point to the first third they went steadily down. They are markedly lower at this point. The finish is nutmeg with some nice lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied. I scored the first third at 91 but if the cigar continues to lose sweetness the score will go lower.






Moving through the second third (59 minutes) the cigar continued to lose sweetness. Now there is a lot of nutmeg. There is a very small amount of a whipping cream flavor but it does not help much. The brown sugar, caramel, and cinnamon are greatly reduced. The black coffee base is slightly elevated but it's not very high. The light leather may or may not be there at this point. It's quite faint. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is still heavy on the nutmeg with just a touch of brown sugar. The lingering black pepper is pretty good. For the raw score I rated the second third 89 but I am deducting 1 point for burn issues so the actual score is 88.






The cigar lasted 1 hour 18 minutes. The cigar continued to lose sweetness. It also continued to have burn issues. The cigar started so nicely but ended unimpressive to me. I had high hopes but they were not met. You still have a lot of nutmeg and just a touch of sweetness. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is medium to full bodied. This cigar just didn't do it for me. I rated the final third 88 and deducted 1 point for burn issues giving you a score of 87.



Overall Score: 88.67

June 24, 2020

Altadis releases The Henry Clay War Hawk Rebellious Ltd. Ed.



FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – On the heels of the hugely successful 2019 launch of the Henry Clay War Hawk – which earned a 93 rating– Altadis U.S.A. is releasing the limited-edition Henry Clay War Hawk Rebellious Ltd. Ed. 

 A collaboration between Rafael Nodal and AJ Fernandez, the Henry Clay War Hawk Rebellious Ltd. Ed. is handmade in Nicaragua. With just 1,200 boxes produced, shipping begins July 15 for this special cigar available in 20-count boxes.

“We are extremely proud of what we accomplished with our 2019 War Hawk, which was made at La Flor de Copan in Honduras and earned exceptional ratings,” said Nodal, who is Head of Product Capability for Tabacalera USA. 

“With the War Hawk Rebellious Limited Edition, we are offering adult consumers a complex, medium-bodied, Nicaraguan blend that complements the original War Hawk and provides smokers with a unique Nicaraguan experience,” Nodal said. 

War Hawk Rebellious Limited Edition:

Exclusive Limited Edition
Featuring oily Habano wrapper, well-aged
Nicaraguan binder and filler
Medium strength
20-count boxes
One size: Toro (54 x 6)
MSRP: $9.60


June 23, 2020

Leaf by James (6 x 50)








Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Black Label Trading Company has become the latest manufacturer to produce a cigar for Jim Robinson’s Leaf series. Leaf by James will be the fourth installment of the series. 

Leaf by James gets its name from James Brown, partner in Black Label Trading Company and the Fabrica Oveja Negra factory. The cigar consists of a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, an Ecuadorian binder, and Nicaraguan fillers. Production is coming out of Fabrica Oveja Negra.

“I’m excited to be working with Jim on this new Leaf project. I think the bold style of Oveja Negra is a great addition to the portfolio,” stated James Brown press release.

This is the fourth collaboration that Robinson has done for his Leaf series. It’s a collaborative series that has focused on working with new and upcoming blenders. The series is best known for the blends under the Leaf by Oscar line, a project done in collaboration with Oscar Valladares featuring cigars wrapped in a tobacco leaf. There have been two other collaborations done that have had more limited releases – Leaf by Esteban (a project done with Nice Sueno’s Esteban Disla) and Leaf by Noel (a project dowe with Noel Rojas).



Blend Profile
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Fabrica Oveja Negra)


Vitolas Available
Toro – 6 x 50



The cigar has obvious veins and a somewhat dry wrapper. It has an average feel in the hand for a toro of this size.






The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were cedar with a little tangy note, light caramel, a lot of brown sugar and cinnamon, an earthy, dry nutmeg, and a light black coffee base. There is much more earthy nutmeg than black coffee at the outset. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. Nice sweet start.





At the first third (26 minutes) I noticed for a Connecticut broadleaf cigar it doesn't really have any chocolate notes and the black coffee notes aren't over the top either. At this point the coffee notes are a little elevated over the start and now there are dry cocoa notes. The other flavor notes are still in play. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is nutmeg, cedar, and brown sugar with a nice amount of lingering black pepper. This cigar is very good. It's somewhat subdued compared to other James Brown cigar creations but just a little. I enjoyed the first third. I rated it 94.






Moving through the second third (54 minutes) I noted this cigar has a lot of cedar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The cigar is very sweet. The nutmeg is dry and somewhat pasty. There is still light caramel and dry cocoa. The black coffee is still there but it's not the usual amount in a typical James Brown cigar. I continue to enjoy this cigar. I rated the second third 94.






The cigar lasted 1 hour 12 minutes. Basically what you start with you have throughout the cigar. Here in the final third the sweetness dropped just a bit. Not much, but it's not at the level of the first or second thirds. The strength is now full bodied. The finish is unchanged. I enjoyed this cigar. It's the type that I could smoke every day. Very good. I rated the final third 93.




Overall Score: 93.67

June 15, 2020

Now in Magnum Size: Romeo by Romeo y Julieta



FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – One of the premium cigar world’s most classic brands is getting bigger. With wide ring gauges and a world of rich flavor, the smooth and full-flavored Romeo by Romeo y Julieta is adding a 60 x 6 Magnum size. The new, bigger Romeo began shipping to retailers Friday, June 12.  

Cigar enthusiasts may recall that Romeo by Romeo y Julieta was Cigar Aficionado’s No.3 cigar of the year in 2012 with a 93 rating.   

“Made with the finest tobaccos carefully selected and delicately aged, Romeo cigars are meticulously crafted at the famed Tabacalera de García factory,” said Rafael Nodal, Head of Product Capability for Tabacalera USA.  “This new Romeo is for those adult connoisseurs who understand that bigger sometimes really is better.”    

The select Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is handpicked for its dark, rich color and robust taste, Nodal said. “The slightly mellow Dominican binder works harmoniously with the bold wrapper, and the unique filler blend of Dominican tobaccos completes this wonderfully complex full-bodied cigar that culminates in an unforgettable smoking experience,” he said. 
 

ADDED MAGNUM SIZE
60 X 6 

WRAPPER
Ecuadorian Habano 

BINDER
Dominican 

FILLER
Dominican 

ORIGIN 
Dominican Republic 

• An exceptional celebratory cigar 
• Has an excellent burn, which leaves a solid white ash 
• #3 Cigar of the year in 2012 by Cigar Aficionado magazine 
• Magnum 60 x 6 
• Box of 20 
MSRP $10.85 

June 14, 2020

Bishops Blend 2020 5 Year Anniversary Robusto (5 x 48)











Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Cigar-coop.com website)
The year 2020 marks the fifth anniversary of Black Label Trading Company’s Bishops Blend.

The blend features an Ecuadorian Habano Maduro wrapper over an Ecuadorian Habano binder and combination of Nicaraguan, Connecticut Broadleaf, and Pennsylvania Broadleaf tobaccos. 

The cigar is produced at Fabrica Oveja Negra and distributed by Oveja Negra Brands.


Vitolas:
Lancero - 7 x 42 (12 count) MSRP $12.00 (previously reviewed; score 96)
Robusto – 5 x 48 (20 count) MSRP $11.00 REVIEWED TODAY
Corona Larga – 6.25 x 46 (20 count) MSRP $11.5


Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Maduro
Binder: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Nicaragua, Connecticut & PA Broadleaf



The cigar is well made and looks very nice. It is quite dark and has an average feel in the hand.






The test draw after cutting the cap was not good. I was not surprised as these have a very dense cap and I do not take much off. I used my PerfecDraw tool to open the draw. The initial flavors at light up were an orange citrus/cedar combination, a lot of brown sugar, cinnamon, pasty nutmeg, and a dark roasted black coffee. There was nice pepper rated at 7 1/2 to 8. A very nice start which is a little different from the lancero.





At the one inch point (10 minutes) the dark chocolate notes entered the picture. They seem to be somewhat sweet but it may be coming from the citrus or brown sugar notes.






At the first third (27 minutes) I'm getting a lot of brown sugar. The foremost flavor has aspects of cedar but more aspects of orange citrus. There is also quite a bit of cinnamon. There are plenty of pasty nutmeg, dark chocolate, and black coffee notes. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is black coffee, dark chocolate, and a touch of brown sugar sweetness with nice lingering black pepper. This robusto is quite impressive. I rated the first third 96.






At the second third (56 minutes) the sweeter notes are still going great. There is a lot of black coffee in the cigar but the sweeter notes really hold their ground. The nutmeg is pasty and smooth. It does not overtake the cigar. The cigar is close to full bodied. The finish is unchanged. This cigar is coming across as very sweet. I like that. At this point I held the score of 96. Very tasty.






The cigar lasted 1 hour 12 minutes. The nice flavor notes continued right to the end. I am still surprised that the larger ring had such sweet flavors. The cigar ended full bodied. The finish was unchanged. While most people wanted to smoke the lancero this robusto is equally as good even though it's a little different. It's different in a good way. I rated the final third 96.



Overall Score: 96

June 13, 2020

Nat Sherman Timeless TAA 2020 Limited Edition (6 x 50)








Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-coop.com website)
While the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) Convention has been postponed, that hasn’t stopped Nat Sherman International from announcing its 2020 TAA Exclusive Cigar, the Timeless TAA 2020 Limited Edition.

The 2020 edition is a Nicaraguan puro handcrafted at the Plasencia factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The cigar will come in one size – a 6 x 50 Toro and will be packaged in 10-count mazos. Production is limited to 650 mazos and pricing is set at $120.00 MSRP per mazo/$12.00 MSRP per cigar.

“The 2020 TAA Limited Edition is quite a special cigar and a bit of an unorthodox pedigree for a Nicaraguan puro,” explains Michael Herklots, Nat Sherman International’s Vice President in a press release. “All of the filler tobaccos were grown in the Jalapa region of Nicaragua, an area known for elegance and subtlety, and often used for wrapper. We used higher primings across multiple vintages in order to deliver a wider breadth in flavor and complexity from this region. The wrapper for this Limited Edition is a low priming sun-grown leaf from Estelí, Nicaragua. Though Estelí is more commonly known for rich filler tobaccos, this elegant wrapper adds the influence of Estelí’s terroir to the blend in a more graceful and thoughtful way.”



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


Vitolas Offered
Toro: 6 x 50



The cigar is well made and has a nice feel in the hand. The black band is quite hard to read but the name Timeless sticks out nicely.






The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a dry cedar with citrus influence, quite a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon, a lot of dry, earthy nutmeg, light leather, and a light black coffee base. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. The cigar is starting off very sweet with a lot of earthy, "scratchy" flavors that seem to be accentuated by the black pepper. You can feel them on the palate. Nice start.





At the first third (29 minutes) the cigar is just slightly different from the way it started. There is now a lot more leather and "scratchy" earthy nutmeg. The sweeter notes have dipped just a little. The cigar is very intriguing. The finish is nutmeg with a little influence of cedar and nice lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium to full bodied. I like the mix of flavors. I rated the first third 94.






Moving through the second third (1 hour 1 minute) the cigar improved a bit. There are now toasted caramel notes and the overall sweetness went up slightly. All the other darker, earthy flavors are still there and they don't seem to have decreased. The cigar is now full bodied. The finish is unchanged. The nutmeg is still earthy and "scratchy". The black pepper continues to aid in those notes. I rated the second third 95.






The cigar lasted 1 hour 27 minutes. In the final third the cigar reverted back to the way it was in the first third. The sweetness dipped just a little leaving the elevated earthy nutmeg, leather, and black coffee. The cigar is still full bodied and the finish is unchanged. This has been a very good cigar. Plasencia did a very good job for Nat Sherman. I rated the final third 94.





Overall Score: 94.33

June 12, 2020

Drew Estate Introduces Leather Rose, the Wildest of the Deadwood Wild Bunch

Drew Estate Introduces Leather Rose, the Wildest of the Deadwood Wild Bunch

Friday, June 12, 2020 — Miami, FL- Drew Estate launches the latest addition to the Deadwood lineup, “Leather Rose,” to all retailers nationwide. This release was showcased on Freestyle Live: Special Edition hosted on facebook.com/drewestatecigar June 11th.


Uniting with her sisters Sweet Jane, Fat Bottom Betty, and Crazy Alice after spending time away robbing banks (as the folklore goes) the spicy “Leather Rose” is the boldest lady of the bunch. This 5” x 54 torpedo features a rich maduro wrapper and proves to be the spiciest of the Deadwood family.  Lighting up the Leather rose will fill the room with her exotic aroma, plus the effortless draw will leave you longing for more.


From the Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew Founder and President of Drew Estate exclaims, “The “story behind the story” of the Deadwood brand begins with one of Drew Estate’s oldest accounts, formerly owned by Miss Vaughn Boyd of Deadwood Tobacco Company.  Miss Vaughn collaborated with us to create the concept, beginning with the notorious Sweet Jane.  The early adopters were the C.A.T.S and “Cigars for Warriors” communities, but from there the brand continued to grow exponentially … and is a juggernaut at this point.  Deadwood fans around the world, it’s time to fall in love with Leather Rose.  She’s simply bad to the bone.”


The Deadwood Leather Rose is a 5” x 54 torpedo packaged in 24 count boxes with an MSRP of $194.40 and will be shipping in July.

June 11, 2020

Drew Estate Launches Undercrown Dojo Dogma in “Sun Grown” and “Maduro” Wrappers

Drew Estate Launches Undercrown Dojo Dogma in “Sun Grown” and “Maduro” Wrappers

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 — Miami, FL- Drew Estate announces today in partnership with Cigar Dojo, the national release of Undercrown Dojo Dogma Sun Grown exclusively to DDRP retailers, in addition to the 2020 release of Undercrown Dojo Dogma Maduro. This release will be showcased on the upcoming Freestyle Live: Special Edition hosted on facebook.com/drewestatecigar on June 11th from 7:00-9:00pm EST.


The Undercrown Dojo Dogma is the manifestation of the continued fellowship between Drew Estate and the Cigar Dojo online community. The original Undercrown Dojo Dogma (Maduro Wrapper) was released in 2014 to mass fanfare to celebrate Cigar Dojo’s One Year Anniversary. In 2017, the Undercrown Sun Grown was named Cigar of the Year by the team at Cigar Dojo.  The unique box-pressed size that we celebrate today marks the next chapter in the Dojo Dogma story.

From the Cigar Dojo studios in Lakewood, Colorado Master Sensei Eric Guttormsom adds, “How could we possibly follow-up the original Undercrown DOGMA? We did it by taking our Cigar of the Year from 2017 and DOGMA-fying it! The Dojo team can’t wait to drop the details on Drew Estate’s Freestyle Live Facebook show TONIGHT!”


Undercrown Dojo Dogma Sun Grown is a 5 x 54 box pressed robusto chosen by Cigar Dojo Master Sensei Eric Guttormson and Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera for its bolder profile. The Sun Grown Dojo Dogma features an Ecuadorian Sumatra seed, Sun Grown capa, with Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut/Cured Sun Grown Habano binder, and a complimenting, powerhouse blend of Nicaraguan premium fillers. One leaf of extensively aged Ligero from the Nueva Segovia region along the border of Honduras has been selected to enhance the strength of the blend. It is packaged in a 24 count wooden box, featuring the dual emblems of Undercrown and the Cigar Dojo community.






In addition, Drew Estate is launching the 2020 edition of the Undercrown Dojo Dogma Maduro. Like the Undercrown Corona Viva, the Undercrown Dojo Dogma Maduro features a Mexican San Andres wrapper, Connecticut Stalk Cut Habano binder, and filler leaves from Nicaragua and Brazil. Unique within the core vitolas of Undercrown Maduro, the 6 x 56 Dogma is box pressed and packaged in a stunning 10 count petaca.


From the Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew Founder and President of Drew Estate highlights, “Community is a huge part of our soul at Drew Estate. We rely on each other through ups and downs; we lean on one another, disciplined, determined, and accomplish tremendous feats while enjoying the ride. Our partnership with Cigar Dojo has never been stronger and together we bring you the str8 fire that is the Undercrown Sun Grown Dojo Dogma! It’s definitely Muy Caliente!”


The Undercrown Dojo Dogma Sun Grown is packaged in 24 count wooden boxes with an MSRP of $244.80 and shipping in August.

The Undercrown Dojo Dogma Maduro is packaged in a 10 count petaca with an MSRP of $107.87 and shipping in September.

June 10, 2020

Undercrown ShadyXX Returns for 2020 Limited Release

Undercrown ShadyXX Returns for 2020 Limited Release\

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 — Miami, FL- Drew Estate announces today the return of the Undercrown Maduro ShadyXX for Drew Diplomat retailers nationwide. This release will be showcased on the upcoming Freestyle Live: Special Edition hosted on facebook.com/drewestatecigar on June 11th from 7:00-9:00pm EST.


From the Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew President and Founder of Drew Estate sounds off, “Detroit to Nicaragua, Brooklyn to Havana … stand up, represent your hood … and “In Shady We Trust!”   This collaboration is emblematic of the conceptual lens that defines Drew Estate.  The fact that we keep our ShadyXX as a limited edition, small batch, specialty product reinforces our proud, cult brand roots.  The product is straight mastermind material in both taste and class.  It’s undeniable.”


Initially launched to only 10 Detroit area retailers in 2014, the Undercrown Shady continues to be one of the most consumer demanded limited editions in the Drew Estate portfolio. This powerhouse blend, similar to the Undercrown “Corona Viva,” features a toothy Mexican San Andres wrapper, spicy Connecticut Stalk Cut Habano binder and showcases the highest quality plantation filler leaves from Nicaragua and Brazil. The ShadyXX is a 5” x 50 box pressed belicoso that is well aged and packs a punch, while remaining smooth and sophisticated during the entire smoke. ShadyXX is packaged in an elegant, gold embossed 10 count petaca that signifies the 2020 Limited Release.

The Undercrown ShadyXX is packaged in a gold embossed 10-count petaca with an MSRP of $104.00/petaca.

June 09, 2020

Joya de Nicaragua Releases Cinco Decades El Doctor


Two years ago, when Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua reached its 50th anniversary, it released its most emblematic blend to date: Cinco Décadas, a commemorative cigar conceived as a tribute to all of those that have shaped the company and thus the Nicaraguan cigar industry.

Every Cinco Décadas vitola has been named after historic icons, Diadema as it was the first shape ever made at the factory, El Fundador is a tribute to founders of the company, and El General, reminds us of one of the pioneers of tobacco in Nicaragua.  Today, Joya de Nicaragua introduces “El Doctor”, a 6x52 Torpedo honoring Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, JDN's visionary Chairman and Owner since the early 90s, and an impactful leader of our organization and industry.


“Giving identities to these special products is one of the most exciting things we do when we are about to release one of these gems that we have created at the factory.  With Cinco Décadas it hasn’t been easy, as we want to recognize all the important icons or milestones that have shaped our history in the last five decades.  For me it was very touching when our agency and marketing team proposed to me to name this vitola after my father, because it was a realization of how much he has been an influence to all of us,” said Juan Ignacio Martínez, Executive President.

This very special limited batch of just 600 boxes will be sold exclusively in the United States, and only by retailers that belong to the Drew Diplomat Retailer Program.  Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Décadas El Doctor will be shipping in August 2020, and will be available along with the 2020 annual batch of 600 boxes of each of the rest of the sizes in the Cinco Décadas series.

“Cinco Décadas is the cigar we are most proud of in Joya de Nicaragua.  We are truly limited in the amount of cigars we can roll in this blend, because we use our most talented torcedores and because we use the best tobacco in our factory.  Our plan is to release one new size every year until the next big anniversary, but this year we may have another surprise, so stay tuned,” said Daniel Barrios, Global Commercial Director of Joya de Nicaragua.

This limited edition cigar will be introduced to the public by Juan Ignacio Martínez and the Drew Estate sales team in digital events across the country next month.  Priced in line with the rest of the vitolas in the brand, Cinco Décadas El Doctor will be sold at MSRP $20.00/stick or $200/box.