November 20th, 2014
Until recently, sweet tipped cigars were a bit of an afterthought, as many aficionados considered them inferior in design and construction to more mainstream smokes. Several premium brands are starting to overturn this idea, though, with milder entries that are worthy of any aficionado’s attention. These brands include CAO, Torano, Drew Estate, Gurkha, and Nat Sherman, all of which experienced smokers respect.
The Nat Sherman Host is among the most well received sweet tipped cigars, and for good reason. It comes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper and binders and fillers from Honduras. It is a light smoke that produces a range of flavors, including vanilla, cream, nuts, cedar, earth, spice and coffee. The vanilla flavor is particularly noticeable, and many reviewers noted that it remained on the lips and palate after every draw. The sugary, fluffy taste eventually migrates to the smoke itself, producing a pleasant aroma that evokes images of desert.
The Nat Sherman Host, like nearly all Connecticut Shade sticks, is mild in strength so most smokers can handle it. It is full bodied, though, so its flavors can be intense at times. However, this intensity is most akin to richness, like a vanilla ice cream, making the stogie an ideal after dinner smoke or something to draw on when an aficionado wants to relax.
November 20th, 2014
The Nestor Miranda Habano is more than an excellent addition to the company’s storied line. It is also a tribute to Miranda himself, who after 25 years of heading the company has decided to step down from daily operations. This blend will join two others in the line, an Ecuadorian Connecticut and Connecticut Broadleaf. All three will combine to replace the Special Selection line, itself a significant success for the brand.
The cigar has a wrapper and binder from Nicaragua, and Nicaraguan, Brazilian and Honduran fillers. The Nestor Miranda Habano has a rough, rustic appearance that contrasts well with the sharp, oversized label. Together, they give the smoke an imposing appearance that is sure to turn heads. The pre-light draw produces some pronounced cedar and cocoa notes.
The initial third of the stick starts off with a strong cedar and cocoa twosome, along with a little black pepper for good measure. At the end of the initial third, the cedar transitions to a cedar spice and remains dominant with the cocoa. In the middle third, the profile is spicy and consists of cedar and espresso notes. In the final third of the cigar, cedar, espresso, leather and tobacco flavors create a tasty combination for the home stretch, which ends smooth and mild.
This smoke is medium to full bodied and medium to full in strength, making it an ideal blend for experienced aficionados. Aficionados will also appreciate the durable construction, which performs admirably in burn and draw.
November 20th, 2014
The Camacho Double Shock is, like everything else coming out of the company these days, extremely bold. It looks striking; it tastes bold, and it doesn’t apologize for it. One unique feature with this cigar is its packaging. Each box comes with several pairs of cigars, pulled together with a band that cleverly features a two-tailed scorpion. What will also catch a smoker’s eye right away is its barber pole wrapper twosome. Fortunately, unlike many barber pole cigars, this isn’t just a gimmick and is executed extremely well.
The opening third of the Camacho Double Shock is milder than you might think, with some cocoa, earth and cedar notes making up the profile. Before long, though, the sweetness pulls back and is replaced by some punchier earth and cocoa notes. During the second-third, the sweetness returns for a short time but fades out entirely around the halfway mark. Once the sweetness is gone, the full power of the cigar is unleashed with some spicy earth flavors and a note akin to raw carrots. During the last third, the earth, cedar and spice flavors are still present and grow in strength during the home stretch.
This cigar is full bodied and full strength, and few blends can compare to this one in terms of sheer power.
November 19th, 2014
Some stogies take a while to get right, and the Gurkha Classic Cigar Havana Blend No 359 is one of those elusive sticks that brands spend a lot of time to get right. It’s always interesting handling a stogie that underwent many changes during production, as these sticks are usually the ones that produce a unique quirk or two. This smoke doesn’t disappoint, as it creates a couple of flavors that an aficionado might not see coming, given its construction. The Gurkha Classic Cigar Havana Blend No 359 has a San Andreas wrapper and a proprietary mix of Nicaraguan fillers. It has a dark, rustic appearance and finished with an oversized band. In all, it has that throwback look that aficionados can appreciate. What makes this stogie impressive is its sweetness. Though it is a full bodied and full strength smoke, it starts off with sweet chocolate. This is also unusual for a San Andreas wrapper, so it will likely catch a lot of smokers off guard. More traditionally, though, it also hits with some strong black pepper and dark earth flavors. Around the halfway mark, the sweetness trails off for the most part, but a sharp peppermint taste replaces it which is also unusual for the stick’s profile. The stogie’s unusual flavor profile is supported by some nice construction as well, making it a pleasant experience overall, and a clear sign of what a labor of love looks like in the tobacco industry.
November 19th, 2014
The Tatuaje Tattoo cigar is a stogie that reminds you of warm tropical nights filled with dancing, lively music, and the unbridled joy of smoking a Cuban cigar. Granted, you can’t get a real Cuban here in the States, but the Tatuaje brand is a close approximation. Their cigars offer a full-bodied strength and unique flavor profiles. This particular line comes in four different vitolas: Adivino (Toro Grande 5 ½ x 58), Bonitos (Torpedo 6 ½ x 52), Caballeros (Robusto 5 x 50), and the Universo (Toro 6 x 50).
So, how does it smoke? Exceptionally, of course. Reviewers love the new Tatuaje Tattoo cigar. Now, don’t get this line confused with the limited edition box-pressed line from 2011. This is an entirely different line and blend. The cigar features a chestnut brown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. The wrapper has slight veining, visible seams, and an oily sheen. Aficionados stated the pre-lit draw holds hints of spice and mocha with the foot containing a citrus note. The first draw is an explosion of pepper before diminishing. The rest of the first-third has a dominant earthy cedar and coffee flavor. As the first-third moves into the second, the coffee flavor recedes leaving the earthy cedar as the more dominant flavor. The second-third is a delicious mix of sweet, spicy cinnamon and citrus flavors that cleanse the palate. The cinnamon and citrus flavors eclipse in the final third by the dessert-like coffee and chocolate flavors. A couple of reviewers did note to smoke these babies slowly, and they are not for novices.
Reviewers like this cigar. They love the price point, the construction, and the flavor profile. One aficionado even stated the Tatuaje Tattoo cigar is a great smoke to pair with an afternoon cup of coffee. The flavors in the cigar are a nice jolt to the senses without being too harsh or bitter. Overall, this is a solid cigar scoring a nine out of ten with reviewers and definitely one to put in your regular rotation.
November 19th, 2014
You want to know what makes the Ep Carrillo release of the Re+United so unique? It’s a collaboration between two big industry giants – Ernesto Perez-Carrillo and Michael Giannini (Foundry’s genius creator). The two ran into each at a hotel and decided they missed working with one another. Ernesto used to work with Michael at General Cigar Company before he left to start his eponymous cigar company.
They have only made 1,500 boxes (the boxes are a ten count) in one vitola – a 6 ½ x 54 Toro. The Ecuadorian wrapper is an eighth priming Havana leaf that is extremely hard to get, so you can see why they aren’t making this regularly. Not just a joint venture in name only, the tobaccos used come from both companies. The wrapper is from General with the Connecticut Broadleaf binder from EPC. The fillers – Dominican Piloto Cubano and Nicaraguan Jalapa – are from both General and EPC respectively. EPC rolls and distributes the cigars.
Aficionados all agree that this is a beautiful looking cigar with a gold embossed band set against the rose-tinted chestnut wrapper. The band features the two makers’ initials with the name of the cigar. Of course, you want to know how the EP Carrillo Re+United smokes. Reviewers love it, rating it a nine out of ten for not just its beauty, but the flavor profile, medium-full bodied strength, and fantastic construction. The pre-draw notes consisted of a berries and cream flavor that will persist through most of the cigar. The tobacco blend is interesting as the first-third drops a kick to the palate with pepper and cedar flavors before conceding to the berries and cream. The retro-hale was all pepper and cedar, but it provides an engaging backdrop to the sweetness. The next third adds a new creamy tobacco note with whispers of spice and cream. The last third kicks it up a notch with a dominant pepper flavor and hints of earthy wood.
Overall, the reviewers loved the kick in the end stating that it was refreshing. The cigar burns evenly with a silvered-colored ash. The draw is rated as excellent and with a good amount of smoke production. As two creative forces du jour, the Giannini and EP Carrillo joint effort on Re+United has sparked hopes the two will decide to partner up again and create another amazing stogie for the cigar-loving masses.
November 19th, 2014
Nothing says crowd-pleaser like a Nat Sherman cigar and the Epocha doesn’t disappoint. It is sweet, medium-bodied, and just plain yummy to smoke. Who knows how they do it, but the family always seems to find a way to make dessert-like cigars that leave aficionados and novices alike, clamoring for more. The Epocha was the first cigar line that the family came to possess. Though Mr. Sherman was a speakeasy owner in the 1920s, he acquired the line as payment for a gambling debt by Traub Brothers and Bear. Once the patriarch got a taste for cigar manufacturing, he opened his first store, and the rest is history. Well, almost, we still have to talk about the cigar.
So, when you smoke a Nat Sherman, expect a flavor bomb. The Epocha is one of those cigars that when you smoke it, you are amazed by the expertly combined flavors and how they all work as a team to enhance one another as they dance across your palate. This is a stogie you sit back and smoke at leisure…you don’t rush, you don’t hurry, you just relax as the decadent flavors transport you to a different era. Ready for how it smokes? Well, aficionados love it. The Ecuadorian wrapper enveloping the Dominican binder and Nicaraguan filler is full of creamy vanilla, buttery shortbread, ginger, and coffee aromas. It is a firm cigar with no soft spots and sporting some big veins. Reviewers stated that on the cold draw, you could taste the scrumptious shortbread flavor. The first-third is full of mouthwatering caramel shortbread and buttery goodness. The overall draw has a good resistance to it. The second-third is a complete one-eighty as the masculine flavors of cedar and leather overtake the sugary spice. Talk about a complete surprise. Some aficionados loved how the second-third paid homage to the original Cubans. The final third dials back the macho notes and ramps up the sweet factor with an unexpected taste of vanilla cheesecake, cocoa, and gingerbread. Aficionados and novices both agree that the cigar is an excellent after dinner cigar that could quickly replace dessert with its fusion of sugar and spice. Overall, the cigar burned evenly and required no touch-ups.
Nat Sherman made a wise decision accepting the Epocha line as payment. That one choice created an unbelievable cigar manufacturing empire, which to this day, still upholds Nat’s values, and principles that when you smoke one of their cigars, you can bet it will be one of the best smokes you’ve ever had.
October 3rd, 2014
If you are looking for mellow smoke, that helps you relax while letting your cares float away, then you must try the Nat Sherman Host selection of cigars. They are a sweet, handcrafted Honduran stogie, which were a personal fave of Nat himself. Maybe smoking this smooth stick helped Mr. Sherman conceive new blends.
The cigar itself is one of restrained cultivation and beauty. The band is a lovely turquoise and light red that complement the tawny-colored Connecticut Shade wrapper. The light brown wrapper is slightly veined with an oily sheen. This hand-rolled stogie features a sugary, spicy Honduran binder and filler. Aficionados love the coffee, vanilla, and nutty flavors on the cold draw. Most talked about how well the cigar’s construction is with its firmness and great smoke production.
So how was the cigar? Well, reviewers say the first-third is all about the creamy vanilla flavor that melds with spice and nuttiness to produce an almost decadent dessert-like flavor. There are hints of earthy notes that give it its unique mellow qualities. During the second-third, the vanilla, spice, and nut flavors are still present, but they combine with notes of coffee that offer a near seductive fusion of sweetness. Aficionados made sure to mention how fantastic the Nat Sherman Host series are for after dinner smokes. The blend of flavors in the final third is like eating a nice big slice of a mouthwatering pie or cake. The graham cracker flavor combined with coffee, vanilla, and spice puts a nice finish to the cigar. Reviewers noted how the stogie burned at a good rate, with a slight resistance to the draw and a firm ash. It didn’t require any touching up, so a high rating for being a low-maintenance smoke.
Overall, it is a well-blended and smooth stogie. It is mild to medium-bodied that novices and aficionados like to smoke. It scores an impressive nine out ten by reviewers, but this isn’t surprising. Nat Sherman is about making quality cigars, and the Host series lives up to Nat’s principle of providing a timeless and memorable smoking experience.
October 3rd, 2014
The Quesada 40th Anniversary is going to draw attention for its shape, first. Though it is available in half a dozen different vitolas, one of them is one of the strangest you’ve ever seen for a cigar. Shaped like a barbell or kayak paddle, it doesn’t even look like a cigar at first glance. It certainly tastes like one, though, and an excellent one at that. With the unusual flavors and unique look, it appears Quesada is celebrating its birthday in style.
This smoke is medium bodied and medium strength, with the San Andreas wrapper finishing it off. The blend itself consists of some Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos, and these produce a range of flavors. The first half of the stogie is sweeter, with earth, cocoa, cinnamon, citrus and pepper notes producing a sumptuous burst of bright flavors. The second half of the Quesada 40th Anniversary shifts dramatically, with salt, pepper, meaty and spice notes giving the blend a savory taste. The stark contrast makes the smoke even more memorable than it already is.
Fortunately, this doesn’t come at the cost of performance. Though the burn needs some slight attention from time to time, the draw is perfect and the feel great overall.
If you’re looking for a cigar that is sure to make people ask questions, this is the smoke you’ve been waiting for.
October 1st, 2014
Personalized humidors add a touch of individuality to any cigar smoker’s set-up. Whether it is a gift or for personal enjoyment, this type of equipment is vital to protecting the flavor and condition of any number of cigars. Available in a range of sizes from a compact travel size to a full room layout, they give off a steady amount of moisture into the space. Ideally, the concentration should be in the 68-72% range in order to avoid tobacco beetles and ensure a desirable burn rate.
Exterior casings may be metal and plastic materials, but most commonly construction is of wood such as American Red Cedar, Honduran Mahogany, and Spanish Cedar. The latter is quite popular due to its ability to keep harmful beetles away and retain proper levels of dampness without warping.
From casual smokers to sophisticated connoisseurs, they are sure to enjoy receiving personalized humidors to store their prized collection. Serious Cigars utilizes a top notch laser engraver that allows for an endless amount of options. Sports team or company logos, monograms, family crests, or particular words of wisdom are just a few of the possibilities to consider displaying. They are an excellent gift idea for birthdays, graduations, wedding party, or even to pay tribute to a new man cave. With the recipient in mind, these unique boxes are sure to make any celebration one to remember.