Tag Archives: Nicaraguan Cigars

Cigar Review: Illusions Garagiste

The Illusione Garagiste was a cigar named after the French winemakers who got fed up with the wine making snobs in Bordeaux and began making wine out of their garages. That’s the basic story anyway. This years’ IPCPR release from Illusione is, like all their previous efforts, no disappointment.

The cigar is a 5X50 Robusto and man, what an impressive cigar to start with.  The cigar comes in four sizes:

  • Illusione Garagiste Short Robusto (4 1/4 x 50) — $8.35 (Boxes of 20, $167)
  • Illusione Garagiste Robusto (5 x 50) — $8.95 (Boxes of 20, $179)
  • Illusione Garagiste Gordo (6 x 56) — $10.80 (Boxes of 20, $216)
  • Illusione Garagiste Toro (6 x 52) — $9.85 (Boxes of 20, $197)

    Illusione Garagiste Robusto

Using Corojo Viso and Criollo Viso tobaccos with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper draped over makes for an interesting flavor profile.  Picked from the farms in Anganorsa, Nicaragua, and rolled at Tobaccos Valle De la Jalapa in Nicaragua, cigars are pakced in boxesof 20. The feel of this cigar reminds me of other Illusione cigars, brimming full of tobacco.    The chocolate brown wrapper has no veins but a solid oily appearance that’s mouthwatering.

The cigar starts off with a definite sweetness and a touch of bitter cocoa, almost like dark chocolate.  The draw is solid, as is the burn from the get go. Dion and crew know what the hell they’re doing and it’s evident from the first puff.

The next bit of the cigar continues producing a light cloud of light blue/ash gray smoke with solid ash.  Flavors continue to deepen while the profile is a solid medium body.  Yet the richness of dark chocolate continue to grow in strength. I’m tasting definite earth, green tea leaves, along with a touch, and I mean a small touch, of nuttiness.

The finish is long and flavorful. The cigar’s construction is solid, and unlike other cigars that go soft when they get to the nub, the Garagiste doesn’t disappoint.

Cigar review – Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary

I can’t believe I’ve been smoking these cigars off and on for years and never left a review.

The Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary is a box press cigar with flavors of spice, earth, cocoa and a slight sweet baking spice core. The strength is a solid medium out of Nicaragua and hailed as one of Rocky’s best blends – though I’m more a fan of the San Andreas that came out last year.

The flavors develop nicely over the length of the cigar, changing slightly while the baking spice remains present.

Cigar review – Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary

I can’t believe I’ve been smoking these cigars off and on for years and never left a review.

The Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary is a box press cigar with flavors of spice, earth, cocoa and a slight sweet baking spice core. The strength is a solid medium out of Nicaragua and hailed as one of Rocky’s best blends – though I’m more a fan of the San Andreas that came out last year.

The flavors develop nicely over the length of the cigar, changing slightly while the baking spice remains present.

Cigar Review: CAO Flathead v660 carb

This is a cigar I first tried at Highland Cigar Company back several months ago as it was a release from 2017’s IPCPR.  The line, inspired by hotrods and muscle cars, came out from CAO as a tribute to the hot rod craze, as even the boxes come with pinup girls and artwork attributed to the engines.

CAO Flathead v660 Carb

Created by General Cigar’s Rick Rodriguez and Ed McKenna, the Flathead 660 is a bulky, jet black box pressed cigar with no veins, a simple red and silver band with the frontmark present.  A quick cold draw from punch at the cap gives us dried plums and dark fruits.

Lighting up the cigar presents us bittersweet cocoa and chocolate notes, a touch of pepper.  As the cigar smokes, the flavors intensify and I start to taste the dark fruit, though I’m unable to identify it.  (My problem, not the cigars)  Closing with a medium finish, the spices increase in intensity, making this a great value cigar that definitely lives up to the hype.

Cigar review: Brickhouse Maduro Toro

Really glad to see JC Newman add a Maduro to this line and one that isn’t the Mighty Mighty.  Nothing against the 6X60 cigar but I tend to prefer cigars in the toro range, usually no bigger than 6X54.

Brick House Maduro Toro

The Brick House Maduro Toro isn’t one of those cigars that’s going to blow your mind, but you’re smoking it because it’s consistent, draws well every time, is a little rustic in not just packaging but overall appearance and is a damn fine cigar for the price point.

Flavors include bitter cocoa, bittersweet notes and some earthiness that resonate throughout the entire cigar.  Again, it’s consistent, well priced and a solid medium bodied cigar.

Cigar review – Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli

The Alec BradleyBlack Market line has enjoyed a lot of success over the years – as a refined, softer, more sensual (I know) version of the Tempus/Prensado lines IMO, but the newest extension features a unique blend of tobacco from Estella, home of fantastic Nicaraguan tobacco. The viola I smoked for this review was the 6X52. The same basic packaging is the same, only the box color is orange. Same with the sleeve.

First notes on the cigar start off with fruit – really light apricot and wood. The same sort of medium blend sensuality of this cigar is present but the fruity flavors overshadow them up until the first half of the cigar, then wood and light spice/pepper notes pick. Up.

The draw, like all Alec Bradley cigars I’ve reviewed is good, and a plentiful amount of smoke comes with each satisfying puff. Ash holds on for about an inch before falling off. Overall, a unique blend and a great extension to the Black Market Family.

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 – Mombacho Liga Maestro

Another new blend to me, suggested by the folks at Highland Cigar Company.

Mombacho Liga Maestro cigars were originally created in limited

Mombacho Toro

edition to celebrate the boutique cigar company’s 10th Anniversary. These Nicaraguan puros are the product of Mombacho master blender, Claudio Sgrio, and Italian celebrity cigar enthusiast, Stefano Bertini. Now a regular production cigar made at Mombacho’s factory in Granada, Nicaragua, the blend is a medium-full recipe of ligero & viso fillers from Jalapa and Condega, plus a Condega binder, and a lustrous, mouthwatering wrapper from Jalapa.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to make of this cigar at first.  The band looked classic in black and gold. A 6X54 toro would do me for a few hours if I smoked slow, which I always do, as you know.

The wrapper was a soft milk chocolate brown and I imagined either heavy spice or smoother, supple flavors when I did my pre-light draw.  Cigar, coffee, slight raisin notes as expected.

Upon lighting up, the cigar’s draw was good, producing a plethora of off gray smoke.  (It was dark in the bar!)

Notes are floral and medium, along with a good dose of cedar.  Over the length of the cigar, mild black pepper joined a classic earthiness.  When I say classic, I mean it’s very distinct, as this cigar was.

The draw remained solid and the burn line even.  Value for your buck?  Solid.

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.