The Man O War Ruination cigar is made in Esteli, Nicaragua and is another fine cigar by master AJ Fernandez.Â This brand is made with a Habano Ecuadorian wrapper, and it contains filler that is composed of a blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan ligeros.Â Â The binder is Nicaraguan, making for an aesthetically superb presentation of this combination of Cuban-seed tobacco from Central America.
Aficionados who have reviewed the stick stay that it becomes more intense as it nears the nub.Â However, this intensity is balanced by a layering of flavors that keep them from becoming too much.Â It is fair to say that this is a truly satisfying experience of intensity.
Upon lighting, the cigar offers an immediately strong spice taste derived from pepper.Â Then, as the smoker progresses fully into the first third, there is a combination of layered flavors that emerges together without losing their unique qualities.Â There is a hint of charcoal, toastiness, expression, and cedar in each puff.Â Toward the second third, a leather tobacco taste was also noticed by some.
This leathery taste continues into the second half of the experience.Â Some reviewers attribute the balance of the Man O War ruination cigar to this flavor that helps maintain consistency as the peppery taste of spice returns with notes of vanilla.Â The full-bodied strength of the smoke is well underway by this time, being stabilized by the tastes of coffee, nutmeg, and a touch of cream.
As the aficionado moves into the final third, a chocolate note starts to mix with the leather, keeping the palate interested until a sudden burst of spice surprises it with a grand finale of pepper.
The RoMa Craft CroMagnon cigar has been said to have a draw that is virtually flawless.Â It produces a great volume of smoke, and the burn is characterized by firm, white ash that presents no inconvenience to the smoker.Â One of the characteristics noted by reviewers was the way that the burn sharpened distinctively toward the end of the experience without diminishing the draw in any way.
Reviewers have described the cigar as having a near perfect draw.Â There is a great deal of smoke here, and lots of white ash that holds strong.Â Because of the exceptionally high resin content, there may be a need to relight the smoke if it is lit too quickly.Â Those new to cigars can avoid having to touch it up by taking their time.
Highlights of the first, second, and final third follow:
â€¢Â A woody, earthy taste initiates the first third.
â€¢Â A roasted beef flavor emerges at times.
â€¢Â Black pepper and oak become apparent.
â€¢Â The pepper taste is strong without being overwhelming.
â€¢Â Wood notes help build toward a climax of the first third.
â€¢Â A notable taste of sweet tobacco comes into the mix at this point.
â€¢Â One reviewer said the RoMa Craft CroMagnon cigar had a hint of licorice.
â€¢Â All agree it blends well with the earthy tones of the smoke.
â€¢Â A good blend of tobacco and wood are established at this point.
â€¢Â The sweetness remains present and begins to blend with the pepper.
â€¢Â The finale culminates in sharp, refreshing spiciness.
Aficionados agree that the RoMa Craft CroMagnon cigar is a truly beautiful stogie, made so well that no soft spots are evident in an appearance that looks truly natural in presentation.Â Not only does this stick have a high attraction factor, but it also features a unique combination of Connecticut broadleaf wrapper and filler grown in three distinctive regions in Honduras.Â While two other manufacturers use this combination of US and Nicaraguan tobacco, no one but RoMa Craft uses such a diverse blend of filler tobacco.
AJ Fernandez is considered a master blender by most people in the stogie industry, and his Diesel Unholy Cocktail cigar is another example of his skill. While working under the legendary Don Alejandro Robaina, Fernandez perfected the art of blending spicy and peppery flavors into strong smokes. This stogie clearly demonstrates his preference for stronger and bolder blends, and is recommended for experienced aficionados.
This stick comes with a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper and a Habano binder from Nicaragua. The fillers are ligeros from Esteli, Jalapa and Condega. The Diesel Unholy Cocktail cigar is only available in one size (Torpedo, 5 x 56). It is dark chocolate brown in appearance and has some tooth and slight veining to it.
The first third of the stick produces the same flavors apparent in the pre-light draw. They consist of strong black pepper, sweet tobacco and some cocoa notes. Some reviewers also detected earth or nutty flavors in the profile. A few tasted something akin to toasted wood. In the second third, the black pepper pulls back some and lets the tobacco notes take center stage. The other flavors fade out and are replaced by a sweet cinnamon and chocolate combination. This mixes with the pepper to create a spicy and sweet contrast. During the final third, the black pepper asserts itself again and remains strong until the nub. The tobacco, cinnamon and chocolate are all noticeable secondary notes during the last couple inches of the stick.
This smoke is full bodied and full strength, and features an excellent burn and draw. The construction is extremely strong and produces a solid performance every time. However, it is a strong stogie that is said to be best for experienced smokers.
Availability and Value
Most aficionados agree that, when it comes to price, a smoker simply canâ€™t go wrong with the Cusano 18 Corojo.Â Available in boxes of 18, the average cost per stick online is less than 5-6 dollars.
Construction and Flavor
Some reviewers have stated that the wrapper gets a bit loose into the final third, but the flavor maintains itself all the way to the nub.Â The burn lacks the razor sharpness of some blends, but the draw is nice and easy all the way to the finish.Â Some smokers have had to relight the cigar after about 30 minutes, but this had no impact on either the quality of the burn or the flavor of the stick.Â While the ash did become flaky for some in the final third, the voluminous, rich smoke provided an exceptional experience for all throughout.
Aficionados seem to unanimously agree that this smoke features a layered blend of creamy spiciness that is pleasantly consistent, and never harsh or bitter.Â Some reviewers also complimented the subtle nuances of taste, such as nuts and butterscotch that popped up from time to time starting at the end of the first third.
The Cusano 18 Corojo is manufactured in the Dominican Republic.Â It features a fine, oily Corojo wrapper and Dominican gold long fillers grown from Cuban seeds.Â Aficionados complimented the rich, full smoke that reinforces the smooth taste that remains consistent throughout the experience.Â Â This new blend is one of the first released by new C & C Cigar Company, which was founded in 2011 by Joe Chiusano.Â It is available in three sizes, including the Toro, Churchill, and Robusto.
The Cuba Aliados Corojo cigar line is deemed by many to be as rich and unique in flavor as it is in history. Rolando Reyes Sr., now deceased master cigar maker, created the series using Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper, Ecuador-Sumatra binder, and Piloto Cubano filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Products in the series are hand-rolled at the Reyes Family Cigars factory in Danli, Honduras. Translated from Spanish, the name of the line means â€œCuba alliesâ€ â€“ quite possibly a reference to Reyesâ€™ birth country from which he was driven out under the Fidel Castro regime after his assets, including his factory, were seized.
Stogies in the line are available in a number of sizes: Lance, Piramide #2, Piramide #3, Regordo, Belicoso, Toro Extra and Robusto.
Although the Cuba Aliados Corojo cigar series (along with other Reyes Family Cigars products) meets with disapproval from a small but vocal group of critics, the vast majority of reviews are overwhelmingly stellar. The secret, some say, lies in allowing the smokes to develop their full potential in a humidor for several weeks or even months. Many reviewers have expressed their surprise at the vast difference this relatively simple technique produces, reporting tremendous rewards in terms of a superior smoking experience as a result.
Overall, reviewers say the stogies feature an excellent draw and construction across the board, regardless of size. Earthy tones are said to dominate, with a little sweetness noted at the beginning and, in some cases, at the end as well.
Many consider the cigars in the series as must-tries and have added them to their list of favorites.
Reyes was 89 years old when he died in 2012, but his company remains in the hand of family members dedicated to honoring his legacy.
The Trinidad Paradox cigar was introduced at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show by Altadis, and is another attempt to reinvigorate some of the companyâ€™s brands. This stick epitomizes Altadisâ€™s preference for Mexican tobaccos produced by the Turrent family. While many companies prefer Mexican maduro wrappers, Altadis bucks the trend with this stick. Itâ€™s not the most complex smoke available, but reviewers say its flavors are bold and balanced well.
This stogie comes in four vitolas, including Robusto (5 x 54), Toro (6 x 54), Belicoso (6 1/8 x 52) and Churchill (7 x 57). The wrapper is a Mexican Criollo, the binder a Dominican Piloto and the filler a blend of Dominican tobaccos. The Trinidad Paradox cigar is medium brown and has a silky appearance.
The first third of the stick contains a strong punch of black pepper, which quickly gives way to honey sweetness. The honey is the dominant flavor in this part of the stick, and will remain the boldest taste throughout the smoke. During the second third, natural tobacco and earthy notes join the black pepper in the background. In the last third of the stogie, the black pepper grows in intensity, but never eclipses the honey in terms of strength.
Most of Altadisâ€™s products are full strength and recommended for experienced smokers. This stick, though, is easier to handle. It is a full-bodied stick thatâ€™s medium in strength. It performs well in terms of burn, and has a slightly tight draw that gives way during the first inch of the cigar. Several reviewers stated that this smoke would be the perfect transition for a novice looking for something a little stronger.
Christian Luis Eiroaâ€™s lifelong exposure to cigars, tobacco growing and manufacturing led to the formation of CLE Cigars, a relative newcomer to the industry whoâ€™s really not a newcomer at all.
Christian Eiroa is the son of Julio Eiroa, the patriarch of the renowned Camacho Cigars Company. Honduran-born and practically raised in the tobacco fields, Eiroa showed little interest of following in his fatherâ€™s footsteps as a young man. Fate, however, eventually landed him squarely on the steps of his fatherâ€™s company when the finance company he was working for was sold. The rest, as they say, is history.
The young man embraced the tobacco industry with both arms, determined to find a way to procure tobacco at a time when supply was extremely limited. Christian Eiroa became entrenched in his fatherâ€™s company and it didnâ€™t take long before he took over the familyâ€™s esteemed Caribe Imported Cigars business in Miami.
Years later, Camacho was bought by Davidoff in 2008, and four years later, in 2012, Christian Eiroa decided to write his own ticket in the business by forming CLE Cigars under the parent company Fabricas Unidas.
Christian Eiroaâ€™s company gained rave reviews with the initial release of the Cuarenta, named so in celebration of Christian Eiroaâ€™s own 40th birthday. In addition to the Cuarenta, the company also introduced the Corojo and the Connecticut.
Now aficionados are anticipating the taste of the EIROA and CLE PLUS, both set to appear on the market in June/July 2013. Smokers have high expectations in these new releases, hoping the new arrivals will live up to their hopes of unique flavor and exquisite craftsmanship.
Cuba Aliados Special Edition cigars have been highly praised by smokers who noted that the superb construction results in a steady burn and an exceptional draw.
â€¢Â Â Â One aficionado stated that the burn was almost perfectly straight from start to finish. Â
â€¢Â Â Â The light gray ash is peppered by black flecks and holds for well over an inch.
â€¢Â Â Â Reviewers were impressed by way the cigar remained lit and produced generous amounts of smoke.
These medium to full-bodied cigars are the creation of Rolando Reyes.Â They are hand-rolled in Danli, Honduras.Â Like all Cuba Aliados lines, they are known for:
â€¢Â Â Â A balanced blend of fillers
â€¢Â Â Â Fine Maduro wrappers
â€¢Â Â Â Larger than average ring size
Aficionados praised the blend of flavors that vary throughout the entire smoking experience.Â They also noted that each flavor dominates for a while, and then drops back while another comes to the surface.
â€¢Â Â Â Smokers noted a wood-like taste in the pre-light, which became spicy upon lighting.
â€¢Â Â Â A strong earthy taste almost immediately moves to the foreground as the spice drops back into the background.
â€¢Â Â Â A leather taste shows up in the second third.Â Then, different flavors begin to compete for the palateâ€™s attention.
â€¢Â Â Â The final third blends everything together into a very powerful earthy experience.
Cuba Aliados Special Edition cigars feature a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers, Corojo wrappers from Honduras, and binders from Nicaragua. They are only available in Toro Negro.
Smokers complimented the following features:
â€¢Â Â Â The smooth cap and neat, straight sides
â€¢Â Â Â The leathery feel of the wrapper between the fingers
â€¢Â Â Â The nice, natural brown color of the wrapper.
The ring gauge measures 54-56â€”slightly larger than other Toros.
Since 2012, RoMa Craft cigars has been producing premium blends that have attracted excellent reviews from many publications. The groundwork for the company, though, was cemented years before Skip Martin and Michael Rosales formalized their business agreement. Martin and Rosales combined their companies, Galveston Bay Tobacco and Costa Rican Imports, after collaborating on several projects, including the construction of a manufacturing facility in Nicaragua.
In 2010, Martin and Rosales met tobacco virtuoso Nica SueÃ±o in Esteli, Nicaragua. Together, the three worked out of SueÃ±oâ€™s garage to blend and practice rolling excellent stogies. In 2011, SueÃ±oâ€™s wife insisted they take the tobacco operations elsewhere, and the three built their factory in response. In 2013, RoMa Craft cigars added 2,500 square feet to their thriving factory.
The company manages several brands, but its three blends, the CroMagnon, the Aquitaine and the Intemperance are the best known among aficionados. The CroMagnon is the brandâ€™s initial release and earned a spot on several industry top cigar lists. It is full bodied and comes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, a Cameroon binder and Nicaraguan fillers. It produces complex savory, sweet, spicy and smoky flavors.
The Aquitaine is a spinoff of the CroMagnon and uses the same fillers and binders in the blend. It comes with an Ecuadorian Habno Ligero wrapper that adds spice to the smokeâ€™s profile. It is available in the same vitolas as the CroMagnon.
The Intemperance is a rustic, minimalist stick that is available in two wrapper styles. The Intemperance EC comes with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper while the Intemperance BA comes with a Brazilian Arapiraca. Both are loaded with sweet, nutty and toasty flavors that donâ€™t overwhelm.
The Reyes family is known for producing blends that conjure cedar and woody flavors, and the Cuba Aliados Miami Edition cigar continues the trend. Compared to other figures in the industry, the Reyes family is rather private. As a result, this blend has only received a little bit of attention. However, its strong construction and well balanced blend has garnered approval among aficionados. In 2012, Ronaldo Reyes Sr., the founder of the company, passed away, but this blend is a reminder of his expertise in the industry.
The wrapper is a Habano and the binder is a Sumatra from Ecuador. The fillers are a wonderful blend of Dominican Republic and Nicaragua tobaccos. The Cuba Aliados Miami edition cigar comes in three formats, including Robusto (5 x 50), Toro Viejo (6 x 53) and Valentino (7 x 49). The wrapper is medium brown and has some veining, though it is free of any hard or soft spots to speak of.
The flavors in this stick are said to be fairly uniform throughout. The first third introduces strong notes of cedar and wood, with black pepper in the background. Reviewers stated that the cedar and wood flavors were uniquely refined, giving them extra boldness. In the second third, the black pepper fades out and is replaced by leather flavors that slowly ramp up. The cedar and wood are still the dominant tastes. In the final third of the stogie, the leather increases in intensity even more, to the point that it is the primary flavor right before the finish.
This stick is medium to full bodied and medium to full in strength. Reviewers scored it very high in terms of burn and draw. While the flavors donâ€™t change much throughout the smoke, they are perfectly presented, making for an interesting experience.