June 16th, 2013
Leccia Cigars have produced some of the most interesting flavor combinations in the industry. For years, he has represented a new wave of young blenders bringing fresh ideas to the tobacco field. He got his start with Oliva and quickly made a name for himself there, though he left the company after only a couple years. His intention was to start his own brand, but legal issues with Oliva kept him out of the industry for more than two years. Fortunately, both sides have reached a settlement in court, allowing Sam to pursue his craft again. April 2013, he announced his first two blends, the White and the Black. Launched in May and distributed by the Toraño family, these cigars have already garnered a lot of attention from aficionados for their flavors.
The White and Black are both sturdily built and come in four vitolas, including 446 (4 x 46), 552 (5 x 52), 650 (6 x 50) and 660 (6 x 60). Sam Leccia cigars usually feature multinational tobaccos, and this is true of both. The White combines an African sun grown wrapper with Ecuadorian binders. The fillers consist of Nicaraguan Ligero and Pennsylvanian Seco. The Black is packed with a Dominican and Nicaraguan Ligero, a Brazilian Viso and the “Dark Fire,” a fire-cured plant that few know the details of. It comes with a Nicaraguan Rosado binder and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.
The White mixes pepper, coffee, tobacco and spice flavors together, with the pepper and coffee notes playing the dominant roles. The Black, owing to the Dark Fire, evokes sweet, smoky, savory and spicy barbeque flavors that fill up the palate for the entire smoke. There are also some red pepper and cocoa layers at play in the background.
June 10th, 2013
Michael Giordano’s company is known for its nontraditional approach to the industry, and none of his products embody this as well as the Cult Blood Red Moon cigars. These petite sticks pack a ton of flavor into a small profile, and reviewers were impressed with how they matured in a humidor. Although they are considered medium in strength, they stretch the definition with some bold and complex notes. They are available in packages of five or bricks of 50.
These stogies are available in two vitolas, including Mini Corona (4 3/4 x 42) and Mini Perfecto (4 3/4 x 44). The Cult Blood Red Moon cigars feature an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and binders, and fillers from Nicaragua. The wrapper is medium brown and has a rustic look to it with some veining. There is no band, but a well-done cap ties everything together.
Strong flavors are produced as soon as the stick is lit, and it doesn’t stop until the nub is put out. After a punch of red pepper, reviewers detected bold cocoa and cream notes in the first inch, cemented together with a delicate sweet taste. More notes emerge in the middle portion of the stogie, including cedar, nuts and coffee. The red pepper is a primary flavor, along with the cream and cedar. In the final portion of the stogie, the flavors all grow in complexity and begin to meld together. The red pepper grows in intensity, pushing the strength close to full. It ends with strong notes of the pepper, cream and cocoa. The finish is not harsh or bitter in the least.
Reviewers were impressed with the complexity and depth of the notes, though they were also happy with the burn and draw. Although each stogie only lasts for about 30 minutes, the Cult Blood Red Moon cigars is said to be an intense ride.
June 10th, 2013
To any cigar enthusiast eagerly anticipating this year’s special release from Avo, the Avo Limited Edition 2013 commemorative cigar doesn’t disappoint. Although the tobacco content has changed over the years, the musical theme in recent editions has continued. Years before he was starting up a new business, founder Avo Uvezian had already seen success as a world-renowned jazz pianist. The “Dominant 13th”, as this year’s special release cigar is known, pays homage to a famous jazz chord that was central to founder Uvezian’s music.
Uvezian is famous for choosing to pay his tobacco producer more than he originally offered, just to ensure an ongoing supply of the highest quality product. The 2013 edition contains a rich mix of tobacco from three different nations. The Habano 2000 wrapper is made in Ecuador, the binder is Dominican, and the fillers are of both Dominican and Peruvian origins. From the carefully designed thematic packaging to the silky smooth appearance of the vein-less wrapper, it is clear even before smoking that the Avo Limited Edition 2013 is a well-crafted product.
Whenever the time is right to enjoy a medium-bodied cigar, the smoker will enjoy a wide variety of flavors with bold and complex blends. Both careful attention and an adept pallet are required to fully appreciate the ever-changing taste combinations.
Reviewers have noted a peppery taste upon first lighting the cigar, with the spiciness subsiding into hints of oak, coffee, walnut, and earth. Coffee would go on to take over as the dominant flavor, followed by earthy grass notes becoming the primary flavor. Lastly, reviewers dote on the cigar winding down into a wonderful blend of toasted nuts and coffee aromas.
June 10th, 2013
The Avo 787 cigars are premium sticks that blender Hendrik Kelner and owner Avo Uvezian created for smokers who appreciate a richer flavor profile. Uvezian entered the tobacco industry late in his life, moving to Puerto Rico only after a legendary career as a traveling musician. In Puerto Rico, he met Kelner and immediately formed a bond with the talented stogie producer. Most of Uvezian’s products are on the milder side, but this one is a solid medium that packs sweet flavors in an attractive package.
These sticks come in four sizes, including Robusto (5 1/4 x 50), Perfecto (5 7/8 x 50), Piramides (6 1/2 x 54) and Churchill (6 3/4 x 48). The wrapper is from Ecuador and is a Connecticut sun grown leaf. The binder and filler are both from the Dominican Republic.
The first third of the Avo 787 cigars feature coffee, nuts and earth in the flavor profile. While the coffee is the strongest of the three, they are well balanced. While transitioning into the second third, the reviewers noted the coffee notes disappearing, with sweet leather joining the earth and nuts. The earth is the dominant taste, but gives way to the leather by the end of the second third. During the last couple inches the nutty flavor is said to disappear completely. The earth and leather both take turns as the stronger taste, and are mixed with a burst of black pepper that lasts to the nub.
Reviewers appreciate the strong construction in these sticks. The wrapper is completely free of any veining or seams and the band is a classy brown, white and gold. The burn and draw are both solid and don’t get in the way. Some reviewers found that the Avo 787 cigars really had a chance to shine once they are given a chance to age in a humidor.
June 3rd, 2013
The 2011 ICPCR tradeshow served as a showcase for many fine jewels, including the Pedro Martin Ruby cigar. This was one of the first three stogies released by the Martin Family of Cigars following the death of Pedro Martin. This stogie was crafted using a private family blend. The Ruby line delivers nothing but the attention to detail, flawless construction, and impeccable tastes that the company is known for.
Like the Corojo and Gold lines, the Pedro Martin Ruby cigar is hand-rolled using Nicaraguan corojo leaf. This line is also a Nicaraguan puro and triple corojo. The wrap, binder and filler leaf is all of different ages, grown in varying conditions and regions, to prevent a boring, one-sided flavor. The quality of this stogie is immediately recognizable through the sheen and deep maroon color of the wrapper. These expertly rolled cigars show virtually no seams, hardly any veins, and have no construction flaws.
The aroma of this stogie is a classic corojo spice strengthened by the pre-light draw. Once lighting, the initial taste is of spiced cedar. These flavors gain power throughout the first third when joined by a faint taste of sweet tea. Into the second third, the cinnamon corojo spice was softened by the toasty, woodsy notes. The light sweet tea background taste rose in strength and began to unfold a delightful taste of sugary mint. The end of the burn was characterized by a sweet minty spice, gently quelled by a creamy, earthy profile for a long, dessert like finish.
The carbon line and burn remained even and smooth. The drag was easy and the ash refused to fall unless persuaded. Nearly every review of this stogie rates it with 9 out of 10 stars or higher, including CigarAficionado. The Pedro Martin Ruby cigar delivers medium to full bodied perfection suited to any aficionado looking for a flawless smoke.
May 31st, 2013
People who want an alternative smoking device can best do this online. As of yet, there is no such thing as an electronic cigarette store. The industry has only been around for several years, so proprietary shops haven’t yet become a reality. This is not a major obstacle to overcome, however, because browsing online will give the buyer extra information to make an informed purchase.
When searching through an online electronic cigarette store, the buyer should target a few specifications in a device. These units come in two designs and can either be two-piece or three-piece models. The two-piece model consists of a reusable battery attached to a disposable atomizer and flavor cartridge. The three-piece design is made up of a reusable battery, atomizer and a refillable flavor reservoir. Most people find that the three-piece model is more reliable because it comes with a better atomizer. While the three-piece design requires a little more maintenance, it will be consistent in its function.
Other factors to consider when looking for an alternative smoking device include warranty, nicotine customization and flavor choices.Disposable cartridges can be shipped defective, which is a product of a young industry trying to fine-tune its manufacturing processes. Most products ship with a one-year warranty, although this number varies from brand to brand. A few brands come with a lifetime warranty. Some come with none at all. Most devices can be calibrated for different nicotine output levels ranging from zero to extra heavy. Make sure that the desired nicotine level is available before purchasing. Brands also differ in the number of flavors they offer with their devices. Every unit offers tobacco and menthol, but some also offer a large assortment of fruit or spice flavors.
May 31st, 2013
In 2011, Emilio Cigars released the Grimalkin to great success and is now rebranding it as the Emilio La Musa cigar. The brand’s creator, Gary Griffith, switched the name and theme because he believed it was too confusing to follow and didn’t match up with the rest of the company’s products. While the name and band have changed, the blend hasn’t, which is good news for fans of the brand. This is one of four products in “The Muse” line. The other three are Melete, Aoide and Mneme, which are the three original or Elder Greek Muses.
This stick is available in four vitolas, including Robusto, Toro, Torpedo and Corona Gorda. A limited run of Lancero was also released but will be difficult to find now. The Emilio La Musa cigar has a milk chocolate brown Habano Rosado wrapper that has some medium veins. It is dry and slightly spongy when squeezed, though there are no soft spots.
The first third of the stick has several sweet flavors, with cedar, cinnamon and raisins balancing it rather well. There is some pepper that is noticeable on the retrohale according to reviews. The second and final thirds of the stogie are very similar, with cream, graham cracker, earth, chocolate, cedar and coffee all in the profile. These notes are all well balanced and no one flavor dominates throughout.
Novices and experienced enthusiasts will find a lot to like, as the stick starts mild in strength and finishes off medium. The flavors are robust and complex, but are so well balanced and smooth that they never overwhelm the smoker. Reviewers overall were happy with the burn and draw, though some noted a few minor issues with the burn line. Those who experienced these sticks said they would definitely recommend them to friends.
May 31st, 2013
Pedro Martin Fiera cigars embody the complexity and perfection that its namesake has brought to the industry for 70 years. Setting foot in the family tobacco fields at the age of 7 and beginning factory labor in Cuba at 15, Martin later went on to the bigger opportunities. Due to Castro’s takeover of the family business, he left Cuba for the United States in 1961. He started Tropical Tobacco in 1978. While business started out slow, 1996 brought about increased demand and recognition within the industry. Popularity caused production needs to rise, and consequently led to the opening of the Martin Family of Cigars factory in the Dominican Republic.
This line is only one of the many successes company has added to the market. Pedro Martin Fiera cigars are created entirely of Nicaraguan leaves and rolled in four gauges including the Goliath 660, Pequeno, Super Toro, and Torpedo. Right out of the box this stogie is said to be attractive with its medium brown wrapper showing minimal veins and oil to the finish. A black, red, and silver band encircles it and no soft spots are noticed. Reviewers said the pre-lit stick smells of a barn and chocolate espresso, while the cold draw tastes of wood and sugar.
Once lit, the initial draw is said to provide the same lumber flavor with hints of leather, cocoa, and spices through the first third of the smoke. Less spiciness is detected in the second third, and the taste of rawhide and timber remain. Additional notes of sweet cherry are identified. The strength of the stogie peaks in the final third with a continuation of woodsy, leather, spice, and warm mocha flavors. Reviewers agreed the burn and draw were nice, and ample smoke is produced. The pale white and grey ash is said to hold strong to the end.
May 30th, 2013
Erik Espinosa started his own company in 2012 after ending his partnership with Eddie Ortega at EO brands. The Espinosa Habano cigar is one of his first blends. This is also one of the first sticks to come out of his La Zona factory located in Esteli, Nicaragua. Like all good chefs, Erik keeps his recipe a secret, so there is no information available on the wrapper, binder or filler tobaccos. What is clear, though, is that this is another solid stogie from the experienced blender.
This smoke is available in four vitolas, including Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 52), Belicoso (5 1/2 x 52) and Trabuco (6 x 60). The wrapper is oily and has a medium brown color. It is also double banded, with the name of the brand in all capitals on one and “Hecho en La Zona” on the other. Both bands are white, black, red and blue.
The first third of the Espinosa Habano cigar mixes chocolate, pepper, dried fruit and floral notes. The floral taste quickly steps into the background with the other three jockeying for the dominant role. The second and final third of the stogie are ruled by the pepper, which grabs hold and remains dominant to the nub. The chocolate is secondary, and the floral and dried fruit notes are fainter.
Reviewers appreciated the burn and draw and reported no issues with the construction. It is medium in strength. However, it gets close to full near the end of the stick, and it is medium to full-bodied. It is a good step up for a novice looking for something more intense, as the pepper is strong enough to challenge even experienced smokers.
May 30th, 2013
Maria Martin released the Pedro Martin M cigars shortly after she established the company in 2011. After her father passed away in 2010, she left her position as the national sales manager at Camacho and started her own company, using her family’s considerable experience in the industry as a guide. It appears that she’s taken to the family business well, as her first run of stogies has earned positive marks from most reviewers.
Pedro Martin M cigars come with a Mexican Maduro and Nicaraguan binder and filler. It is available in many vitolas, including Pequeno (4 1/2 x 40), Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 52), Torpedo (6 1/4 x 52), Churchill (7 x 48), Lancero (7 1/4 x 38) and Goliath (7 x 70). It is dark brown, slightly oily and there is some veining present. It is a tightly packed stick with a gold, silver and black band featuring the company name and gorgeous designs.
The first third of the stick is a combination of leather and cherry flavors, though these are quickly joined by a strong chocolate note. The chocolate grows in intensity until it is clearly dominant. During the second third, the chocolate lightens up and joins the cherry and some baker’s spice in a nicely balanced stretch. The final third of the stogie loses the leather and some of the sweetness, though the chocolate and baker’s spice are still present. They switch off as the dominant flavor until the finish, which is spicy but not harsh.
This stick is medium-bodied and medium in strength, which makes it a perfect after dinner smoke. The burn and draw are considered good, though a few considered the draw a little tight. Overall, aficionados consider this one a success by the young company.