December 16, 2018

The Top Rated New Cigars of 2018


The Top Rated New Cigars
of
Year end video review HERE.


The reviews for 2018 are in the books. I must say, this was a very good year for new cigars. As you know, I mainly review the new releases each year and this is my year end recap of the best of the best. In total I reviewed 86 cigars this year. Now, I did not get to every cigar released this year but I put a pretty good dent in them.

Don't forget that since most new cigars come out at the IPCPR in July I an still working my way through all the new releases.

Since I expanded my rating scores I had cigars all over the scale. My Top 25 cigars come from scores of 93 or above.

In this post I will show all 86 cigars reviewed with their scores and date reviewed. I am highlighting the top 10 newly released cigars. Links to the Top 10 are provided. A simple search based on the cigar name can be performed to see any review you choose. A link to the Youtube review is shown in each review.

When I look at the list of cigars I am blown away at the number of great cigars I reviewed this year. The list below of my top 25 is solid. I stand behind each rating. In fact, I have purchased boxes of many of my top 25 and will continue to buy them.

Be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel and you'll get the latest video review as soon as it posts.

As a rule I place year end ratings in numerical order. However this year I had one particular cigar that performed one way during the review and entirely different in later samplings. For this fact it is placed out of numerical order in order to take into account the burn issues I encountered when having numerous other cigars after the review. You will see the note about this below.

I'm not like some reviewers. I won't make you wait to see my number 1 cigar of the year. I will reveal the Top 10 in order, from 1-10. So without further ado here are my Top Rated New Cigars of 2018.


(6 x 54)
Reviewed 12/2/18
Score: 96

Candy-like baby aspirin orange citrus and the apricot preserves are extremely rich and buttery. There are also tons of brown sugar and cinnamon...nutmeg, caramel, and light clean leather. The lower level flavors of black coffee and black pepper are also very nice. The cigar flows from the sweeter notes to the dark notes in a smooth transition. 





(6 3/4 x 43)
Reviewed 7/21/18
Score: 95

Sweet, pink grapefruit which changes to an orange citrus and then to a sweet cedar, ample amounts of cinnamon and brown sugar, white chocolate, and a nice, mild black coffee base. 





(6 x 48)
Reviewed 1/20/18
Score: 95
(debuted in mid to late 2017)

Candy-like orange citrus, cream, cinnamon, brown sugar, honey, heavy leather, and a black coffee base. There was a massive amount of black pepper rated at an 8 1/2. Full bodied.




4
(7 1/4 x 57 Salomon)
Reviewed 11/3/18
Score: 95

Candy-like orange citrus with a lot of brown sugar and cinnamon attached. Those three mix well and are in about the same percentage. There is a touch of nutmeg bridging over to a modest amount of black coffee. At the first third (28 minutes) there are a lot of caramel notes giving the cigar even more sweetness. The second third (1 hour 10 minutes) had light leather notes combining with the nutmeg.



5
(6 1/4 x 52)
Reviewed 10/28/18
Score: 94

Aganorsa Leaf is the formerly named Casa Fernandez. Spiced apple, caramel, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, and black coffee. There was a nice amount of black pepper which I rated at an 8. The cigar lasted a whopping 2 hours 7 minutes!



6
(7 1/4 x 48)
Reviewed 11/10/18
Score: 94

Pays homage to the classic horror film character, The Bride of Frankenstein. Tangy, sweet orange citrus, lots of brown sugar, a little cinnamon, caramel, nutmeg bridging over to light chocolate fudge and an earthy black coffee. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. 


7
(5 1/2 x 52)
Reviewed 8/18/18
Score: 94

Sweet chocolate, brown sugar, tangy citrus, black coffee, and nutmeg. There was nice black pepper which I rated at a 7. 



8
(6 x 52)
Reviewed 12/8/18
Score: 94

Citrus/papaya combination, quite a bit of cinnamon, some brown sugar, molasses, nutmeg, quite a bit of dark roasted black coffee and semi-sweet dark chocolate. There was a nice amount of black pepper which I rated at an 8. 



9
(7 1/2 x 38)
Reviewed 8/4/18
Score: 94

Tangy, sweet orange citrus. It almost tastes like a literal orange! There was also a lot of white chocolate, along with brown sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg. There was a light black coffee base. 



10
Warped Cigars Black Honey 
Youtube review
(5 x 48 Belicoso)
Reviewed 5/26/18
Score: 94
(Re-entered the market in late 2017)

Although this cigar did not come out this year it is new enough to be included.
Honey (rather appropriate), cedar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. A very light black coffee base which could almost be mistaken for a deep, dark brown sugar flavor. The honey is extremely sweet but it is somewhat contained by the nutmeg notes. The cinnamon notes accentuate the honey and the cedar rounds it out.





No. 11 - 25:

11.
Debonaire Maduro Sagita (short lancero) 5 1/2 x 38) 7/8/18
Score: 94

12.
Espinosa Las 6 Provincias LHB (6 x 54) 9/1/18
Score: 93

13.
Espinosa 20th Anniversary (6 x 46 Corona Larga) 11/4/18
Score: 93

14.
Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Sublime (6 x 54) 11/17/18
Score: 93

15.
Serie Gran Reserva 1988 by Warped Cigars (5 1/4 x 50) 10/7/18
Score: 93

16.
Todos Las Dias Double Wide Belicoso (4 3/4 x 50) 1/7/18
Score: 93

17.
My Father Cigars La Gran Oferta Lancero (7 1/2 x 38) 10/14/18
Score: 93

18.
Don Pepin Garcia 15th Anniversary Limited Edition 2018 Toro (6 1/2 x 52) 6/16/18
Score: 93

19.
Protocol Probable Cause Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46) 8/11/18
Score: 93

20.
Grimalkin Toro (2018) (6 x 50) 6/23/18 ***
Score: 94

21.
Romeo San Andres Toro (6 x 54) 3/31/18
Score: 93

22.
Sindustry (2018) Lancero (7 x 38) 7/15/18
Score: 93

23.
Crowned Heads Four Kicks Mule Kick Limited Edition 2018 (5 7/8 x 52) 5/13/18
Score: 93

24.
Mi Querida Gordita (4 x 48) 1/14/18
Score: 93

25.
H. Upmann Connecticut Grupo de Maestros Toro (6 x 50) 10/20/18
Score: 93

*** You may notice that the number 20 cigar has a rating of 94. When I reviewed it the cigar burned perfectly. In subsequent samplings the cigar fails to burn properly. Although it draws well it does not stay lit. I have smoked several since the initial review and all have burned badly. They are properly humidified but perhaps they need a long rest to burn properly. For this reason I have dropped their placement in the year end ratings. Although the flavors are amazing the burn issues must be taken into consideration.


Other 93 rated cigars:
Viaje Jalapeno 2018 (4 7/8 x 50) 1/30/18
Macanudo Inspirado Red Robusto (5 x 50) 4/7/18
Perdomo Edicion de Silvio Sun Grown Torpedo (No. 2) (6.1 x 54) 7/28/18


92 rated:
Villiger Cigars La Vencedora Toro (6 x 50) 2/18/18
Archetype Initiation Toro (6 x 52) 3/17/18
Viaje Carolina Reaper (4 7/8 x 50) 4/14/18
CAO Zocalo (6 x 60) 5/19/18
Florida Sun Grown Belicoso (6 1/2 x 54) 6/30/18
Ramon Allones Habano Oscuro Toro (6 x 52) 7/8/18
Protocol Official Misconduct (6 x 50) 8/5/18
Cornelius & Anthony The Mistress Corona Gorda (5 1/2 x 46) Quick Review 8/31/18
Hoyo La Amistad Black Toro (6 1/2 x 52) 11/24/18


91 rated:
Fratello Novetta Atlantis (Boxer) 6 1/4 x 52 3/24/18
David P. Ehrlich Tremont Robusto (5 x 52) 4/15/18
Debonaire Daybreak Toro (6 x 50) 4/28/18
Debonaire Habano Belicoso (6 x 54) 6/9/18
Diesel Whiskey Row Robusto (5 1/2 x 52) 6/24/18
Las Calaveras EL 2018 LC54 (6 x 54) 7/7/18
Illusione OneOff Corona (5 1/2 x 42) 7/29/18
Punch Diablo Diabolus (5 1/4 x 54) 8/12/18
Cornelius & Anthony The Gent Toro (6 x 50) 8/25/18
Balmoral Añejo XO Connecticut Gran Toro (6 x 52) 10/6/18
Montecristo Nicaragua Series No. 2 (6 1/8 x 52) 10/13/18


90 rated:
Fin de Los Mundos Toro by Nomad Cigar Company (6 x 50) 1/6/18
La Flor Dominicana Factory Press 2017 (6 1/2 x 58) 2/10/18
Patina Habano Bronze (Toro 6 x 52) 3/9/18
One Off Piramides by Illusione Cigars (6 1/8 x 52) 7/14/16
Hiram & Solomon Veiled Prophet Monarch (6 x 54) 9/3/18
Joya Silver Toro (6 x 52) 9/29/18
My Father Cigars La Gran Oferta Toro (6 x 50) 9/30/18
Black Label Trading Co. 2018 Morphine lancero (7 ¼ x 42) 9/29/18
Felix Assouline II Saints Perfecto (5 x 52) 11/18/18
Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua Churchill (7 x 50) 12/1/18


89 rated:
Black Label Trading Co. Deliverance Nocturne Perfecto (5 x 56) 1/28/18
La Madrina Robusto (5 1/4 x 54) 3/30/18
Perez-Carrillo Encore Majestic (5 3/8 x 52) 6/3/18
Black Label Trading Co. 2018 Morphine Robusto (4 1/2 x 50) 9/2/18
La Gloria Cubana Esteli Robusto (4 1/2 x 52) 9/10/18


88 rated:
La Flor Dominicana La Volcada (7 x 48) 1/27/18
Warfighter Cigars Garrison 7.62 Toro (6 x 52) 5/5/18
Joya de Nicaragua Clasico Torpedo (6 x 52) 7/22/18
Cornelius & Anthony The Mistress Toro (6 x 50) 8/26/18
CAO Nicaragua Granada (6 x 50) 9/23/18
Balmoral Anejo XO Gran Toro (6 x 52) 10/21/18


87 rated:
Viaje Holiday Blend Christmas Tree (4 x 60) 1/1/18
Warped Cigars Lirio Rojo 2018 (5 1/2 x 44) 2/4/18
Santa Muerte Short Robusto by Black Label Trading Co. (4 3/4 x 52) 3/25/18
Nomad Signature Toro (6 x 50) 9/22/18
Felix Assouline Havana Sunrise Reserve Prelude (4 3/4 x 52) 11/25/18


86 rated:
Montecristo Epic Craft Cured (6 x 52) 1/13/18
Gilberto Oliva Reserva Robusto (5 x 50) 1/21/18
Leon Jimenes Prestige Churchill (7 x 47) 2/24/18
Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Toro (6 x 52) 3/4/18
Archetype Axis Mundi Robusto (5 x 54) 3/18/18


85 rated:
Gurkha Blendmaster's Cask Toro (6 x 52) 2/3/18
Crux Epicure Toro Extra (6 1/4 x 52) 2/11/18
La Aurora Preferidos Ruby Toro (5 1/2 x 54) 5/6/18
Villiger Cigars San'Doro Maduro toro (6 x 50) 6/10/18
Cohiba Spectre (7 1/4 x 54) 11/23/18


84 rated:
Southern Draw Kudzu Toro (6 x 52) 3/3/18


82 rated:
Warfighter Field 7.62 Robusto (5 x 52) 4/22/18


So there you have it. An impressive list if I do say so myself. Is your favorite on the list? Do you agree with my top cigars listed? Feel free to comment. I am one opinion in a sea of reviewers but I stand firmly on my decisions. I hope you have enjoyed this year's reviews. Be sure to watch any of them on Youtube also. As we slide into a new year I am already looking forward to reviewing a bunch of new cigars that are just waiting to be reviewed. Please come back and join me for brand new reviews starting in early 2019.

December 10, 2018

Drew Estate Now Shipping Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro and Repackaged Herrera Esteli Habano and Herrera Esteli Norteno


Monday, December 10, 2018 — Miami, FL- Drew Estate announces the shipping of the Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro as well as the repackaged Herrera Esteli Habano and Norteno to retailers nationwide today. The new look for Herrera Esteli and the Brazilian Maduro were introduced at the IPCPR 2018 trade show held in Las Vegas.

The Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro features a dense Plantation Grown Mata Fina wrapper, over a Connecticut River Valley Broadleaf binder with fillers from Nicaragua. Manufactured at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro was blended by Willy Herrera is presented in 5 vitolas:


Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro Robusto Grande 5 ¼ x 52
MSRP $227.94/ Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro Toro Especial 6 x 52
MSRP $241.94/ Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro Lonsdale 6 x 44
MSRP $231.94/Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro
Fino 6 x 52
MSRP $269.94/ Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro Short Corona Gorda 5 7/8 x 46 MSRP $203.94/ Box of 25



From Little Havana Miami, Master Blender Willy Herrera, notes, “With the Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro, I wanted to bring the Mata Fina to the forefront of this blend. This tobacco has such a unique texture and it showcases the lush floral and earthy notes I wanted to capture in this cigar. In addition, now that the Herrera Esteli line has been repackaged blending modern simplicity with classic Cuban style, it really shines on our retailers’ shelves and brings unity to the brand.”

Each will be presented in unified Herrera Esteli Branding and will now be packaged in 25 count boxes.



Herrera Esteli Habano blend features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Honduran Binder, and filler leaves from Nicaragua, presented in the following core vitolas:




Herrera Esteli Habano
Robusto Grande 5 ¼ x 52
MSRP $227.94/ Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Habano
Toro Especial 6 x 52
MSRP $241.94/ Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Habano
Lonsdale 6 x 44
MSRP $231.94/Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Habano
Piramide Fino 6 x 52
MSRP $269.94/ Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Habano
Short Corona Gorda 5 7/8 x 46 MSRP $203.94/ Box of 25






Herrera Esteli Norteno blend showcases extensively aged tobaccos from the Esteli, and Jalapa growing regions of Nicaragua, coupled with a spicy Honduran Binder, and a rich, bold Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper in the following core vitolas:




Herrera Esteli Norteno
Robusto Grande 5 ¼ x 54
MSRP $227.94/ Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Norteno
Toro Especial 6 x 52
MSRP $241.94/ Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Norteno
Lonsdale 6 x 44
MSRP $231.94/Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Norteno Piramide Fino 5 x 50
MSRP $269.94/ Box of 25

Herrera Esteli Norteno
Short Corona Gorda 5 7/8 x 46 MSRP $203.94/ Box of 25




The Herrera Esteli Habano, Norteno and Brazilian Maduro are shipping to retailers today. The Herrera Esteli Miami will be shipping in January.

December 08, 2018

Sin Compromiso Seleccion no. 2 (6 x 52)









Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
The new release from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust is Sim Compromiso. It is the first box-pressed blend to be released by Steve Saka.

“Sin Compromiso is the result of over three years’ of experimental black tobacco harvests in Mexico, Ecuador and Nicaragua and the culmination of my experiences as a cigar blender,” stated Saka in a press release. “The marquee’s name translates to ‘no compromise’ and that is the exact approach I took when creating this cigar. This blend is a direct reflection of all the skills I have learned and developed over the last twenty plus years and I am genuinely excited to share it with my fellow cigar smokers.”

The blend features a San Andrés Negro “Cultivo Tonto” wrapper, a hybridized “Thin Ligero” Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, and ndependent plantation grown Nicaraguan filler. The cigar is produced at the Joya de Nicaragua S.A. facility in Nicaragua

Sin Compromiso will initially be offered in five soft-box pressed sizes presented in 13-count matte lacquered boxes. The five sizes include:  Selección No. 2 Torpedo (6 x 52), Selección No. 5 Parejo (6 x 54), Selección No. 7 Parejo (7 x 56), Selección “Intrépido” (5 5/8 x 46) and the Selección “Espada Estoque” (7 x 44). Pricing will have an MSRP in the range of $15.95 to $18.45 USD. Each vitola is sleeved in Spanish Cedar.



Blend Profile
Wrapper: San Andrés Negro “Cultivo Tonto”
Binder: Hybridized Ecuador Habano “Thin Ligero”
Filler: Independent Plantation Grown Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Joya de Nicaragua)


Vitolas Available
Selección No. 2 Torpedo: 6 x 52 REVIEWED TODAY
Selección No. 5 Parejo 6 x 54
Selección No. 7 Parejo 7 x 56
Selección “Intrépido” 5 5/8 x 46
Selección “Espada Estoque”: 7 x 44




The cigar is box pressed and very dark. Even the foot shows how dark the filler tobacco is. 





The test draw after cutting the torpedo cap was good but I decided to use the PerfecDraw tool to make it "perfect".  The initial flavors at light up were a citrus/papaya combination, quite a bit of cinnamon, some brown sugar, nutmeg, quite a bit of dark roasted black coffee and semi-sweet dark chocolate. There was a nice amount of black pepper which I rated at an 8. The cigar is very dark noted but there are nice sweeter notes to counteract them.




About one inch in (15 minutes) the cigar settled down to some different flavors; cedar, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, molasses, dark chocolate, black coffee. The finish is a nutmeg/caramel type flavor with a nice amount of lingering black pepper. 




At the first third (31 minutes) the flavors are very much the way they were once the cigar settled down. There is a marked increase in the nutmeg. It seems to be a creamy nutmeg. There are caramel notes that underlie the cedar/cinnamon combination. The molasses notes are fainter than they were at the one inch point. The dark chocolate and the black coffee are still somewhat prominent. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish has aspects of nutmeg and dark chocolate with very light caramel notes at this point. The lingering black pepper remains nice. The cigar continues to be very dark noted. This is a good dark noted cigar. For the first third I rate the cigar a 94.




At the 2/3 point (1 hour 2 minutes) the front end flavor has reverted back to more of a citrus with aspects of a citrus peel. When those combine with the cinnamon and increased brown sugar you get an interesting flavor. The caramel helps with the overall sweetness. The nutmeg is still there to bridge the sweeter and darker flavors. The overall sweetness is somewhat subtle and not in your face but it's not light. The dark chocolate and black coffee remain somewhat prominent. The black pepper is still very good but somewhat toned down. I would say it's more of a 7 at this point. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is a low grade full bodied. The cigar is interesting. It is so dark noted but it has interesting sweeter notes. For the second third I maintained the score of 94.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 30 minutes. In the final third the flavors remained about the same but there was a slight loss in overall sweetness. There was an elevation in the dark notes and the nutmeg which toned down the sweeter notes. The cigar is full bodied. The finish changed a little. It became one of nutmeg and dark chocolate. The lingering black pepper was pretty consistent and very good all the way through. The dark notes outweigh the sweeter notes; 55-45. There is a lot of internet hype about this cigar and for good reason. It is a very good cigar. For the final third I rated the cigar a 93.


Overall Score: 94 (93.67)

December 02, 2018

Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas Diadema (6 x 54)













Video review HERE.



Because fifty years as pioneers and leaders of the Nicaraguan cigar industry deserve a superb tribute, Joya de Nicaragua is proud to present Cinco Decadas. A cigar not only made with an exclusive collection of tobaccos but also with fifty years of accumulated knowledge, experience and resilience unique to the first tobacco factory to craft premium handmade cigars in Nicaragua.

Cinco Decadas is about celebrating being first, being best or just being. It is a testament of the ultra premium quality that characterizes the JDN family, made exclusively with prime extra-vintage leaves. It carries an immaculate balance accompanied by sweet and spicy notes. Its silky smooth smoke delivers a rich and fulfilling experience.

Cinco Decadas is a Nicaraguan cigar of unparalleled elegance. This cigar is intended to celebrate a special moment in our company’s history and offer an opportunity to pause, reflect, give thanks – and look to the future,” said Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, Owner and Chairman of Joya de Nicaragua.

“It is our most memorable milestone yet and the most memorable of celebrations always require that you rise to the occasion. That’s what Cinco Decadas represents. We want consumers to know that in Cinco Decadas, they will find a cigar so premium that the fact that there’s one in the humidor, will be enough to celebrate,” said Dr. Martínez Cuenca.

Cinco Decadas comes in an exquisitely crafted ivory-white and gold lacquered box of 10 cigars. Each unique element of its packaging also reflects the value and artistry behind this masterpiece, from its gold embossed leaves, to the special 50th Anniversary security seal that guarantees its exclusive origin, the Joya de Nicaragua factory.

At this time, Cinco Decadas will be available in two vitolas only, as a tribute to the first formats to ever been rolled at the JDN production floor back in 1968: Diadema (6 x 54) with an MSPR $19.99 and El General (7x50)  MSPR $18.99.

Cinco Decadas will be a limited on-going production of 5,000 boxes in year one available only in selected markets around the world. 3,000 of these boxes will be available in the USA, exclusively for DDRP shops.



The cigar is simply a thing of beauty. This particular shape is so classic in the cigar world. The wrapper is oily and the cigar is very well made. It has a very good feel in the hand.





The test draw after taking the bare minimum from the cap was very good. The initial flavors at light up were a little unique. There were sweet notes of a candy-like baby aspirin orange citrus (a lot of recent Nicaraguan cigars have had this particular flavor), with it there were very sweet apricot preserve notes, quite a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar, and a nice black coffee base. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. The cigar is very sweet. You don't notice the black coffee as much as you notice the black pepper. While the two main flavors are unique together they are very nice.




At the first quarter (25 minutes; about 1 1/2 inches in) the flavors are amazing. The candy-like baby aspirin orange citrus and the apricot preserves are extremely rich and buttery. There are also tons of brown sugar and cinnamon. The lower level flavors of black coffee and black pepper are also very nice. The cigar flows from the sweeter notes to the dark notes in a smooth transition. The cigar is a high level medium bodied at this point. The finish is sweet cream with a touch of nutmeg with a modest amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is very nice. The flavors work very well together. I rated the first quarter at 95.




At the midpoint (45 minutes) the cigar is burning very evenly. I am going very slowly and letting the cigar go at it's own pace. Add a touch of nutmeg, caramel, and light clean leather to the front end flavors. These flavors only make the already rich, sweet cigar better. The cigar is very rounded out. All the flavors work. They are great together. The cigar is now medium to full bodied. The black pepper is up and it's lingering so nicely. The finish is long and seems to go on forever. It is now one of those apricot preserves and a nice amount of lingering black pepper. The smooth lingering black pepper tingles the palate and also goes on and on. At the midpoint I raised the score to a 96.




At the 3/4 point (1 hour 11 minutes) the flavors are unchanged. The strength of the cigar is now a low grade full bodied. Joya de Nicaragua really pulled out the big guns with this cigar. The fantastic flavors continue as they were at the midpoint. To be honest, I got a little more of the candy-like baby aspirin orange citrus at this point than the apricot preserves but that's a small point. The finish was unchanged and very long with tons of nice lingering black pepper. I maintained the score of 96 for the 3/4 point.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 37 minutes. Quite a nice burn time. In the final stages I did not lose much. The apricot preserves faded. You still had the nice candy-like baby aspirin orange citrus, leather, touches of nutmeg, and plenty of cinnamon and brown sugar. I also l lost a touch of the richness. There was plenty of black pepper remaining. I thought there might be some changes due to the ring gauge decreasing. The finish is basically unchanged. The cigar is very full bodied. This is an impressive cigar. At $20 each it's rather expensive but very well worth it. I rated the final quarter at 95. If you see these on shelves be sure to pick one or two up. You won't regret it. If you cannot find them you can purchase these fine cigars HERE.


This is the backside of the band.





Overall Score: 96 (95.5)

December 01, 2018

Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua Churchill (7 x 50)







 Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Earlier this year Altadis U.S.A. introduced the Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua. It’s a Nicaraguan puro made in Nicaragua by the Plasencia family.

The Romeo y Julieta 1875 consists of 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos and will be available in four sizes: Bully (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 50), Magnum (6 x 60), and Churchill. It will be available in 25-count boxes.

For Altadis U.S.A., this marks the third Nicaraguan-made Romeo y Julieta in the portfolio, and second one from Plasencia. The Romeo 505 Nicaragua is a cigar produced at the Plasencia S.A. factory. Earlier this year, the Romeo San Andrés by Romeo y Julieta was released – a cigar that comes out of AJ Fernandez’s Tabacalera Fernandez. In addition, Fernandez makes the Romeo y Julieta Crafted by AJ Fernandez, a cigar sold by Santa Clara Cigars – a distribution arm for Altadis U.S.A.’s parent company Tabacalera USA’s catalog business.

It is anticipated the Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua will be showcased by Altadis U.S.A. The cigar joins several other Dominican-made Romeo y Julieta releases with the 1875 name including Romeo y Julieta 1875, Romeo y Julieta 1875 Reserve Maduro, and 1875 by Romeo y Julieta.  1875 pays homage to the year the Romeo y Julieta brand was first established in Cuba.



The cigar is nice looking and has a nice weight in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were a candy-like baby aspirin orange citrus but it was equaled by a heavy earthy black coffee. There were also nice brown sugar, cinnamon, and caramel notes. There was a nice amount of black pepper which I rated at an 8. Plenty of sweet notes and plenty of dark notes at the outset.




At the first third (32 minutes) the heavy earthy black coffee has toned down to something more manageable. The other sweeter flavors are just about like they started but they too may have toned down just a bit. The cigar is medium bodied at best. There seems to be a very light nutmeg in the mix but it is very light. The finish is mostly nutmeg with a touch of cream and some light lingering black pepper. The cigar has good flavors but it seems to be missing something. Perhaps the second third will reveal what's missing. For the first third I rated the cigar a 90.




At the second third (1 hour 7 minutes) the cigar got a little better. The missing part was the middle. There was not significant middle flavors. Now the cigar mixes much better. The flavors meld together nicely. The cigar is a low grade medium to full bodied; not a powerful cigar at all. At this point I rated the cigar a 91.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 37 minutes. A nice, long burn time. In the final third quite a bit of the sweetness declined. But, the earthy black coffee seemed to hold it's own or even slightly elevate. The candy-like baby aspirin orange citrus has decreased, the black pepper is still very good, the caramel is still working hard to keep the sweetness there, and there is plenty of nutmeg now as well as plenty of earthy black coffee. The finish has improved. It is now nutmeg, citrus, and brown sugar. The lingering black pepper has also increased. The cigar is medium to full bodied. With the decrease in sweetness I lowered the final third score to an 88. Overall this was a pretty good cigar. You can try these cigars by going HERE.


Overall Score: 90 (89.67)

November 25, 2018

Felix Assouline Havana Sunrise Reserve Prelude (4 3/4 x 52)







Video review HERE.



(Description taken from Felix Assouline website)
Havana Sunrise Reserve is our nod to the old traditions of yesterday. Havana Sunrise Reserve Cigars is a medium to full body line introduced in 5 vitolas. HSR are produced with carefully blended tobaccos from Honduras, Nicaragua and Indonesia. HSR Cigars range from a corona size Ray of 44 x 5 ½ to a Beacon at 56 x 6 ½ Toro. All Havana Sunrise Reserve come in boxes of 30 box pressed cigars.


Blend info:
Wrapper Habano Criollo 98
Binder Indonesian
Filler Nicaragua, Honduras
Type Box Pressed



Vitolas Available
Ray 44 x 5 1/2
Prelude 52 x 4 3/4 REVIEWED TODAY
Blaze 54 x 6
Brilliance 54 x 6 1/2 Belicoso
Beacon 56 x 6 1/2



This is another new cigar to me. You will recall I reviewed another of the Felix Assouline cigars last weekend, the II Saints La Petit Mort, a 5 x 52 perfecto. Today's choice, like last week's selection is a "first impression review". I have not had this cigar previously.

The cigar, for it's short size, has a nice feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were a strawberry/cedar flavor, underlying cream, a touch of brown sugar, and a large amount of an earthy black coffee. There was also a lot of black pepper which I rated at an 8 and you really get a large dose when you retro hale. At light up the earthy black coffee is about 55% to 60% of your flavors with the sweeter flavors coming in around 40% to 45%. 



At the first third (25 minutes) there is some richness in the cigar. The strawberry/cedar has some nice buttery richness. The earthy black coffee has settled down into a 50/50 split with the sweeter flavors. The black pepper remains very good especially when you retro hale. There are faint dry oak notes in the cigar also. The cigar is medium bodied leaning toward medium to full. The finish is a sweet cream with a minor amount of lingering black pepper. The richness helped the cigar a lot. In fact, the cigar is better at this point than it was at light up. I rated the first third at an 88.




At the second third (43 minutes) I lost some of the cigar's richness. One reason may be the influx of nutmeg notes. The pepper remains very good. The flavors are the same as previously noted but they are somewhat subdued due to the introduction of nutmeg notes. The finish is unchanged. The cigar lost some of it's appeal so I dropped the second third score to an 86.




The cigar lasted 1 hour 9 minutes. The same flavor notes continued to the end. This has been a nice cigar but nothing is popping. The nutmeg definitely held down the richness and I still got flashes of dry oak here and there. The cigar reached a low level medium to full bodied. The finish was unchanged. The lingering black pepper is pretty good. The black pepper in this cigar is a high point. For the final third I maintained the score of 86.


Overall Score: 87 (86.67)