Tag Archives: cigar reviews

Cigar Reviews – Quesada 70th

Cold draw reveals lots of plum and raisin. The band is simple but elegant – black with gold lettering and trim stating the cigar name and 70th embossed.

Right off the bat bread-like tastes start off the cigar with a good draw. Not too hard. Dark grey smoke that also smells sweet. The taste quickly adds spice – not quite pepper but something.

Had to correct the burn line at first but that is minor. Draw is a little stiff but after a second and third puff it loosens up. Flavors meld together into warm bread, black pepper and hints of wood.

Near the end of the first third, vegetal notes appear. Cedar strengthens. Pepper intensifies.

The body is medium definitely to full The second third has more cedar. Some smokiness.

The pepper and spice strengthen in the middle.

Flavors really intensify at the end where we now taste sweetness along with the spice taking a back seat and the smoke still medium in the mouth. This definitely is fuller in body and is a great cigar. I’ve got one I’m holding on to to see how it changes over another year or two if I can mange!

Cigar Review: Asylum 13 Ogre

Asylum has been an interesting cigar choice for me as of late – since I picked up a sampler pack last week.  Tonight’s selection was the Asylum Ogre, a candella/maduro barber pole cigar that was 6X60.
Asylum is the brainchild in part of Christian Eiroa.

Asylum 13 Ogre from Christian Eiroa
Using a Nicaraguan Candela wrapper with a Habano maduro wrapper around the candela, the cigar contains Nicaraguan fillers and binder for a fuller bodied smoke.
The Nicaraguan candela and habano maduro look is almost spot on. The cold draw gave me flavors of fruit, barnyard hay and grass. Just to confirm it, I took several cold pulls and picked up raisin, sweetness and tart leather.
Once I toasted the foot and took a proper draw, I picked up the initial flavors id spice, leather and dry cocoa.   The flavors come through strong.  Spice has a lot of bite. The ash is solid gray and tight with blue and gray smoke. Lots of leather and spice. Cocoa and sweetness along with bitterness.
The flavors mellow a bit around the beginning of second third.  I picked up that grassy, barnyard hay taste thanks to the candela.  I’d been expecting it but the spice/leather overpowered it.  Midway through, the cigar turns sweet, almost like dry powdered cocoa. Flavors continue in this manner until the end of the cigar, which has ore balance than the initial first and second third.
Overall, in the 6X60 a solid release.

Cigar Review: Romeo by AJ Fernandez

In conjunction with Groupo De Maestro, AJ Fernandez was asked to re-imagine several key blends for Altadis.  Made in Nicaragua at

Romeo by AJ Fernandez

the A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, this cigar consists of Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, Mexican San Andrés binder and filler from Nicaragua and Honduras.

Romeo Crafted By A.J. Fernandez comes in five sizes: Churchill at 7 inches by 50 ring gauge; Robusto, 5 by 52; and Toro, 6 by 52, Belicoso, 6 by 52,
For this review, I smoked the Toro.  When I first picked it up, the cigar felt heavy and full of quality tobacco.  Medium chocolate color wrapper. Fruity on the cold draw, like plums or raisins.  This is a really different Romeo, more robust than any other blend of theirs.  It begins with heavy wood and black pepper. Cedar notes along with fruit on the back end of the exhale show up as well.
After the final third starts, the tone of the cigar changes and I picked up warm cinnamon spice with slow wisps of smoke. The cigar also sports notes of yeast and bread. Those become prominent flavors along with mellow red pepper until the cigar finishes.

Cigar Review – La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial

As  we get further into the year and start digging in at newer releases, I find myself wanting to expand my regular rotation.
The LFD Reserva Especial was different from the start.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

    La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial Gran Robusto
  • Binder: Dominican Republic (Estancia La Flor de Palma)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Estancia La Flor de Palma)

The Gran Robusto is 5 1/2X60.

I know I’m a bit late to the party but taking this blog more  seriously means rerouting energy previously unspent.  I’m glad for it.
The usual plum notes from a cold draw are interesting in that pepper is present as well.  Rich earth also.
This cigar starts off with much more mellow spice and flavor than most LFDs I’ve smoked.  Not weaker, just less. The leathery pepper taste is present, along with softer, almost rosado-like flavors of cotton candy.
Light mocha flavors join the leather and spice but all flavors are softer than normal.

Cigar Review: Raices Cubana Distributed by Alec Bradley

Raices Cubanas 1941 starts with a medium-brown Honduran wrapper that’s glistening with oils. A careful blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers lies just beneath, encased in a Nicaraguan binder.

Raices Cubana – Distributed Alec Bradley

The review:  This is the 6X60 size and normally I shy away from that large a ring gauge (with the exception of Padron) but this cigar definitely didn’t disappoint.

Pre-light draw is very raisiny. The initial puffs are nutty and semi-sweet   Black pepper features prominently up front once the cigar gets going.  A good amount of smoke plumes from the foot.

The cigar has a very easy draw for being packed so full of tobaccos.  The burn line started off uneven but I chalk that up to my lighting technique, and a touch up fixed that.

Flavors at the second third include cocoa spice and red pepper. The cigar becomes mellow at this point while maintaining softer flavors wth hints of wood and black pepper.   By now I’m really enjoying the complexity of the cigar.

The final third of the cigar is where it gets interesting.  First, we had that red pepper bit, then black pepper, and finally?  Vanilla Coffee Bean!  YES!  ha!

This is definitely a medium to full bodied smoke though.

Cigar Review: Montecristo by AJ Fernandez

The Montecristo line isn’t a line I normally gravitate to, not with all the boutique blends coming out from some of today’s hottest blenders, but I picked it up in my local shop here in Decatur.  (Got Cigars?  232 Ponce De Leon) at the suggestion of the owner.

What can I say to start with?

Montecristo by AJ Fernandez

The backstory:

Made in Nicaragua at the A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, Fernandez worked with Altadis’ Grupo de Maestros to develop this new Montecristo, which consists of Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, Mexican San Andrés binder and filler from Nicaragua and Honduras.

Montecristo Crafted By A.J. Fernandez will come in five sizes: Churchill at 7 inches by 50 ring gauge; Figurado, at 4 by 52; Gordo at 6 by 58; Robusto, 5 by 52; and Toro, 6 by 50. The Montes, which are all box-pressed, are set to retail from $9.95 to $12.50 and come in 10-count boxes

The Review:

This oscuro cigar starts off with solid wood and white pepper notes.  The box press is firm in the hand, but not razor sharp like the Padron Anniversarios for example.  Light brown in color, with a solid pre-light draw, the flavors emerging from that were pretty light to my taste.   Upon lighting, the cigar showed not only an even burn, but consistency of the following:  Said white pepper, wood, with a touch of honey and bread at the back of the tongue.

 

The second and final third of the cigar maintain that consistency with one exception.   The flavors balance out more and the Montecristo draws better.   I’d say this is a medium-bodied cigar.  Would I grab another?  I sure would.

Cigar Review – Don Cervantes Presidente

I can’t believe I’ve smoked like a dozen of these beauties and never once reviewed the cigar here.  

This is the Don Cervantes Presidente Churchill, a 7X50 cigar made in conjunction with ACC Cigars and the folks at MATASA, specifically, Manuel Quesada, of FONSECA and Casa Magna fame.  

Blend information:

Filled with rare aged tobaccos from Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, Presidente is wrapped with an aged, golden Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. In demand by almost every top cigar brand in the world, the Presidente’s tobacco is fermented for nearly a year, then bundle aged for an additional year. The Presidente’s ash burns white and beautifully, and this outstanding cigar’s long finish is unique among cigars.  The Presidente comes wrapped in the famous “P” Cigar jacket.

Presidente by Don Cervantes – a Premium aged handmade in conjunction with Manuel Quesada of MATASA

The notes on the cigar are as follows:  It starts off with a spicy kick to it, my thoughts are this is Quesada’s signature, and I taste red and black pepper, along with mulled wine.  The pre-light draw is airy, with notes of leather and very faint cedar.

Upon lighting, the cigar draws perfectly and the ash holds very steadily due to entubado bunching used to create a more complex blend.  Once the cigar gets going, the consistency of flavors are as follows:  Definite pepper notes, red and black of course, with hints of white pepper and mellow wood notes.  The cigar also has meaty notes.  I’ve heard roast beef, but I personally can’t place that all too familiar and delicious taste, yet I won’t lie. It’s damn fine. The ash holds on quite well and when I can find my picture of this cigar literally standing on its ash, I’ll post it

Look at that ash!

The cigar mellows over the course of the smoke, becoming more balanced and refined thanks not only to the various blends in the cigar but the extensive age of the leaves used to make it. An average age of 12 years, along with a longer fermentation period only enhance the cigar.

Honestly, like everything else I’ve smoked from ACC, this is a very welcome addition to my humidor, even at the premium price one would pay for it.

Cigar Review – Oliveros Gran Retorno

Created by industry talent Rafael Nodal, the man behind Aging Room, and the owner of Boutique Blends, this new line extension provides cigar lovers with a new experience.

The Gran Retorno is a new line extension from Oliveros and Rafael Nodal.

The Oliveros line I’d smoked a few years back and while thought the line was solid, was unimpressed, but that may just be my tastes.   This cigar, on the other hand, was a definite winner.

The pre-light draw shows leather along with spice and that rich raisin or plum. Lots of chocolate too.
The initial light is a good mix of tobacco, wood, light nuanced spice and maybe cocoa. The leather/cedar combo makes for interesting taste with a background of something floral.  Then the taste changes to wood.
Then the taste sweetness up. Not cloyingly but more muted.
About the beginning of the second third, the spice is light but present.    The cigar had a great burn and draw, along with a solid feel in the hand.
The final third grew in intensity but wasn’t over the top. More prominent pepper and more floral, almost like wintergreen

Cigar Review – La Jugada Habano

I picked up this cigar in an assortment for a really good deal from the fine folks at Tampa Humidor and I must say, the unknown sampler bags are out of this world in value.  You have to make sure you can get them, as they tend to fly off the shelves quickly.

Anyway, the La Jugada cigar was new to me.  Moya Ruiz cigars makes this powerhouse of a cigar and I must admit, the overall impression of it left me wanting more of them.

The prelight draw has a really sweet taste o it. Light and free I expect the draw to be very good. The cigar feels light in the hand.
The first few puffs are really wood heavy with pepper on the back end. The Habano wrapper flavor really comes through wot almost loam?  Smoke in the mouth is rather thick.
The second third continues with the same, flavors being consistent and balancing out with white pepper coming out on top and continue into the final bit of the cigar.  I’d also detected some cashew notes, almond notes.
Overall, this is going to be a cigar I keep in my regular rotation.