Posts Tagged ‘cigars’
Friday, May 17th, 2013
The J.C. Newman Cigar Company first showcased the Perla Del Mar cigars at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show, and they are unlike other sticks offered by the brand. This is a milder smoke and was inspired by an old Cuban stogie with the same name and band artwork. It is Spanish for “pearl of the sea” and evokes the strong range of flavors that Newman’s brand is known for.
The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade, and the binder and filler are both Nicaraguan. It is available in four sizes, including the P (3 3/4 x 56), M (4 3/4 x 52), G (6 1/4 x 54) and TG (6 x 60). The wrapper is light brown and rather silky and smooth. There is some veining, though no visible seams can be found. The band is navy blue, gold, black and white, and features the name of the stogie in gold lettering under a black and white clipper ship at sail.
The first third of the Perla Del Mar cigars starts off with cream, citrus and pepper according to reviews. The cream subsides right away and the pepper and citrus share the dominant role. During the second third, the citrus and pepper are joined by a strong wood flavor. The pepper is constantly dominant while the wood and citrus trade off as the second-strongest flavors. In the last third of the stick, some reviewers also tasted spice and vanilla. The citrus, wood, pepper, spice and vanilla are all present until the finish.
The burn and draw are both considered excellent, and the ash is a perfect salt and pepper. This stogie starts out mild in strength, though it just makes it to medium by the halfway point. The flavors are extremely robust, though, and many aficionados believe the Perla Del Mar cigars are medium to full-bodied.
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Gary Griffith founded Emilio Cigars in 2010 after spending years as a manager for a chain of tobacco shops. Griffith decided to create his own stogies after taking a blending trip to Central America and meeting AJ Fernandez, a famed and talented blender. Griffith’s first three blends, the AF1, AF2 and Grimalkin were initially sold out of the shops Griffith managed, but as they grew in popularity, it soon became clear that Griffith had a national following. They are particularly known for their fine cigars from Honduras and Nicaragua.
Emilio Cigars produces seven lines and distributes many more. Its products consist of the AF1, AF2, AF Suave, Serie H Maduro, Serie H Sumatra, Draig K and the La Musa (Grimalkin rebranding).
Of the seven, the AF Suave is the mildest and the Serie H Maduro is likely the strongest.
In the AF1, reviewers find caramel, coffee, black pepper and wood notes. It is complex and ages extremely well.
The AF2 is an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro and features cedar, spice, pepper, coffee, cream and sugar cane flavors.
The AF Suave is an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade with Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. Aficionados tasted vanilla, spice, dried fruit and cream in this stogie. It is ideal for novices who want something complex but not too strong.
The Serie H Maduro is Jamastran Ligero maduro with dark coffee, leather, earth, cocoa, black pepper and cinnamon notes in the profile. The Serie H Sumatran comes with a Sumatran wrapper and combines strong tobacco tastes with earth and a little sweetness.
The Draig K is a Colombian Cubanito maduro with complex flavors. They include dark chocolate, spice, herbs and leather.
The La Musa, formerly the Grimalkin, is an award-winning stogie rolled in Esteli, Nicaragua. Its flavor profile contains black pepper, raisin, orange, spice, cedar and cinnamon.
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
The Room 101 Namakubi EC cigars are a follow up to the brand’s successful One Shot One Kill (OSOK) release in 2012. Like the OSOK, this stogie uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and a binder from Honduras. Unlike the OSOK, the blend is a combination of Dominican and Honduran tobaccos. Novice smokers will find this one hard to handle, as it is a power bomb, but aficionados should appreciate the range and strength of the flavors.
This stick is available in four vitolas, including PapiChulo (4 x 42), Filero (4 1/2 x 52), Ranfla (6 1/2 x 50) and Chingon (8 x 60). The wrapper is dark brown with a few veins present. The Room 101 Namakubi EC cigars are double banded. The primary band features the brand name in red cursive amid a black background. The secondary band features “Ecuador” in gold lettering on a white background.
The flavors in this stick remain mostly consistent throughout. It starts off with an intense burst of black licorice, leather and pepper, along with some secondary coffee notes in the background. Until the end of the smoke, this flavor combination will hold, with the black licorice remaining dominant, and the pepper, leather and coffee layers balancing in the background.
Experienced smokers rejoice, because this cigar is full-bodied and full-strength as soon as it is lit. Some aficionados found that it was better after a full meal or at the end of the day. The burn and draw are above average, though the burn does require some touching up. There aren’t too many stogies that feature black licorice in the flavor profile, but this one embraces it completely.
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
The Emilio Draig K Limitado cigar is another memorable stogie from Gary Griffith’s company. Many aficionados considered Griffith’s brand to be the surprise of 2011, as several of his products ended up on top 10 lists that year. This stick follows that path of success, and its name is influenced by two sources. The word “Draig” is used to describe a Welsh dragon, and the “K” stands for Gary’s friend Ken, who passed away shortly before the final production run.
The wrapper is a Colombian Cubanito Maduro, which is extremely rare. The filler is a combination of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos. The Emilio Draig K Limitado cigar has an eye-catching look, as it is nearly black and has an impressive oily sheen. The band features a red dragon amid a bright green background and medieval castle. It comes in three vitolas, including Corona (5 1/2 x 42), Robusto (5 x 50) and Toro (6 x 50). This a limited release stogie and they are moving off the shelves rather quickly.
The flavors in this stick are robust and unique. The first and second third contain a dominant taste of dark chocolate and a backup of herbs, leather and spices. Some reviewers thought the spice tasted like apple spice, which doesn’t show up often in a stogie. The final third of the stick is more traditional, with the herbs disappearing and the apple spice turning into something closer to baking spice.
The Limitada cigar is full bodied, but medium in strength, so it doesn’t overwhelm. When the product was released, Gary cautioned smokers from lighting it up right away, as it needs some additional time to breathe. Otherwise, the burn may stray a little. Reviewers echoed this sentiment, but found the draw and flavors more than compensated for it.
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
One of the 2012 reconfigured blends from Luis Tiant Cigars, the Tiante Habano Rosado is the product of several masters. Even though Luis is now known for his stogies, he is also known for his time as a pitcher with the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. In his golden years, Luis decided to make his passion for cigars into a second career, and started the company with his son Daniel. It took a little while for the business to get established, but with Don Pepin Garcia’s involvement, the company is hitting its stride as this fine cigar proves.
The binder and filler are both from Nicaragua and the wrapper is from Ecuador. The four vitolas it comes in includes Toro Gordo (6 x 60), Toro (6 x 50), Pyramid (6 x 52) and Robusto (5 x 50). The wrapper is medium brown rather than the expected reddish color without any noticeable oil, and somewhat toothy. The band is maroon, green and gold, with gold type spelling out the brand name.
The first third of the Tiante Habano Rosado starts off with a Pepin blast of spice that quickly calms down. Immediately after the spice settles down, it is joined with pepper, cedar, tobacco and nutty flavors. There is a balance of sweet and spicy that keeps the cigar rather interesting. Some reviewers detected cinnamon on the retrohale. The second third is less sweet, though the pepper, cedar and nutty tastes are still present. In the final part of the cigar, the sweetness disappears and finishes off with pepper and nutty notes.
Most reviewers believe that the stick is medium strength and medium bodied, though it is close to being a strong mild cigar according to others. Because the profile is deep, but not harsh, it is a great choice for experienced smokers and novices alike.
Monday, May 13th, 2013
La Palina El Diario Cigars were created with the intent of being an everyday smoke, which is evidenced in the positive reviews and the name “El Diario.” This stick has filler made of two tobaccos, a Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo that are from 1999 and 1998 crops, respectively. It features a double binder of Honduran Criollo which was grown during 1998. It has a handsome reddish wrapper made of a Honduran Corojo Rosado from 1999. The age of the tobaccos used in these fine cigars is what give it its smooth smoking experience and appealing scent.
There are 7 vitolas, each with its own flavor experience due to the differences in the ratio of filler to wrapper found in each size. There are traditional sizes like the Torpedo (6.125 inches x 52 ring gauge), and the Churchill (7 inches x 50 ring gauge). There are also sizes that are unique to the brand, like the 4.25 inch by 40 gauge KB and its relative the 6 inch x 40 KB II. Other vitolas include the Robusto (5 inches x 52), the Toro (6 inches x 50), and the Gordo (6 inches x 58).
Classified as medium body, this is a smoke that has full flavor, with hints of cocoa that are offset by pepper, cedar and citrus. Coffee, nuts and leather begin to mingle with the already established flavors later in the stick and result in a well balanced complexity that is pleasing to the palate. La Palina El Diario Cigars are some of the least expensive high quality offerings from the brand, and were met with approval from reviewers.
Cigar Aficionado Magazine awarded this line 93 out of 100 points based on its appearance, overall impression, construction, flavor and smoking characteristics making them a preferred premium smokes with an affordable price point.
Friday, May 10th, 2013
During his several decades as a master blender, Pedro Martin created many excellent stogies, and his daughter Maria hopes to capture this expertise with her Pedro Martin Gold cigars. Maria started the company after her father passed away in 2010, moving over from Camacho, where she was the national sales manager. Reviewers are happy with her decision, as this stick is a fine cigar that is ideal for novice enthusiasts.
This stick is wrapped in Connecticut Shade and has Nicaraguan binder and filler. It comes in a large variety of vitolas, including Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 52), Torpedo (6 1/4 x 52), Churchill (7 x 48), Six by Sixty (6 x 60), Pequeno (4 1/2 x 50) and Lancero (7 1/4 x 38). The paper is oily, smooth and light brown in color. The gold, red and white band features the brand name in cursive and beautiful ornamentation.
The first third of the Pedro Martin Gold cigars has cream, spice and sweet flavors in the profile. For most reviewers, the cream is the dominant note. The sweet and spicy tastes remain in the background and are well balanced. During the second third, the sweetness takes on a dried fruit taste and stays in the background. The spicy flavor transitions to black pepper and takes turns with the cream as the dominant note. The final third pushes the cream and pepper into the background while cedar spice maintains center stage for the remainder of the stogie.
This stick is mild in strength and mild-bodied, which makes it a perfect choice for novices that aren’t ready for a power bomb. More developed palates find it is a good compliment to a fine whiskey or gourmet meal.
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
Anyone with a passing interest in NASCAR will instantly recognize the name and number attached to the Dale Jr. 88 cigars. The massively popular driver is often found with a stogie in his mouth, so his partnership with Ted’s Cigars is a natural one. While some smokers are skeptical of celebrity endorsed stogies, this one features a blend similar to the one that earned high ratings in cigar reviews and publications, so it’s not just a gimmick.
The wrapper is a light brown Connecticut Shade from Ecuador. It has a few medium veins, but it is smooth and dry to the touch. The band is a stark red, white, and blue—showcasing the driver’s signature and car number. The binder is Dominican, and the filler tobaccos are from the Dominican, Brazil, and Nicaragua. This smoke is only available as a 6 x 50 Toro, as this happens to be Earnhardt’s favorite vitola.
The first third of the Dale Jr. 88 cigars is creamy and floral. Some reviewers also detected coffee and sweetness in the profile. This stick transitions smoothly into the second third, where earth and nutty usurp the floral notes for dominance. In the final third of the stick, the sweetness takes charge, with the floral and earth layers hanging in the background.
Reviewers were extremely happy with the burn because it holds a sharp line that requires little maintenance. The draw was considered loose by some, but as it didn’t affect the stick’s performance, it wasn’t considered a problem. These stogies are mild-bodied and medium in strength, which is perfect for a casual smoke or for a neophyte looking for something with a nice range of flavors.
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
As far as most stogie enthusiasts are concerned, there is nothing like a good cigar, and Carlos Torano Virtuoso cigars can certainly deliver a satisfying smoke. The Torano family name has some excellent luxury tobacco lines to their credit, and their most full-bodied stick to date is no exception.
These fine sticks are made in four sizes: the Encore (4 ¾ X 52), the Forte (5 ½ x 56), the Crescendo (6 ½ X 54), and the Maestro (7 X 50). Most well-stocked smoking shops carry the Torano brand, and they are also available online.
Carlos Torano Virtuoso cigars begin with a proprietary (meaning both grown and used by the same family) sun-grown Nicaraguan wrapper leaf, which is well-oiled, small-veined, smooth and creamy chocolate in color. They continue with a three-tobacco blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Panamanian leaves that is masterfully blended. Panamanian leaf is rarely used as a filler because it takes a highly skilled artisan blender to maximize its unique characteristics. However, the Torano family is known for its creative blending practices. In fact the name invokes the creative blending of the finest symphony orchestras.
The first third starts off with an excellent draw and even burn line. Among those who have smoked a Virtuoso, it is said that the stick has a beautiful marble white ash and the cold draw is light and woody, while the aroma is slightly peppery. According to those who have smoked the Carlos Torano Virtuoso cigars, the first third exudes notes of cocoa, aromatic spice, leather and soft wood.
The smoke is thick and creamy, without any tang or bitterness to it. The second third continues in the same tradition, with the addition of hints of espresso and pepper. The last third of the cigar recalls the stronger cocoa taste, combined with dark coffee and pepper, and finishes on the same smooth note that it began, being satisfying and quite pleasing to the palate.
Friday, April 26th, 2013
Novices and experienced smokers alike will likely find the flavor in the H Upmann Legacy cigars to be intriguing but not overwhelming. Released in early 2013, these sticks are part of Altadis USA’s effort to rework the company’s image and blend, and reviewers agree that the extra attention has been worth it. It is made with aged tobaccos from several countries and now ranks among the best stogies the company is currently producing.
The blend is Dominican and Nicaraguan, the wrapper is Ecuadorian Sumatran, and the binder is from Nicaragua. It is produced in Honduras and comes in three vitolas – Corona (5 1/2 x 44), Toro (6 x 52) and Robusto (5 x 54). The H Upmann Legacy cigars feature a double band with the stick’s name in bold and cursive orange lettering, accompanied by orange, green and gold designs.
The first third is a combination of punchy pepper and cocoa. The pepper settles down quickly, and the cocoa becomes dominant, although it is joined by some floral and tobacco notes. In the second third, there is no one dominant taste, as the cocoa, tobacco and floral layers fuse together and balance each other extremely well. At this point, the pepper is back, though only while retrohaling. In the final third, the tobacco and floral layers disappear, and the cocoa and pepper flavors each take their turn in the forefront down to the nub. Reviewers liked the burn and draw also, and didn’t find either to be problematic in any way.
This premium cigar is full bodied, but only medium in strength. It gets a little stronger near the end. All in all, it is fair to say that this stogie emphasizes flavor over strength. Both experienced smokers and novices put these sticks in their humidors.