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Cigar Reviews

Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noir Maduro Robusto

Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noir Maduro Robusto 1PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This review by Aaron Handelman (H311oLHD) is his second of cigars newly released at the IPCPR 2016 trade show.

I need to preface this review with the fact that I'm a Perdomo fan. In my opinion, Perdomo makes consistently good cigars at a great value point (the latter part of that statement represents an extra bonus for me!).

I've been a big fan of Perdomo's Lot 23's for years, and have enjoyed the rest of the cigars I've sampled from the brand as well. The Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noir Maduro Robusto is no different. I enjoyed this cigar from start to finish.

Upon removing the cellophane, I noticed a dark, somewhat shiny wrapper with a few harmless looking veins. A ‘preflight’ puff was somewhat sweet, and had a very rich tobacco flavor.

Once lit, this cigar instantly gave off plumes of smoke, and revealed a perfect draw.

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Protocol - Backing The Blue

Protocol Backing The Blue 1“Protocol is one year old this year,” said Bill Ives, co-founder and owner of the Protocol brand.

What began as a ‘local’ limited-release cigar company has grown from 5,000 cigar runs to over 40,000.

Originally available in Robusto, Toro and Gordo sizes, the firm’s range has grown this year to include a Lancero, which is getting rave reviews.

“The Protocol Lancero is being introduced as a small-batch production depending on its success with possible increased production in the future,” said Ives.

Protocol was launched at the 2015 IPCPR in New Orleans. The company, known as Cubariqueno, was created by two police officers, Juan Cancel and Bill Ives. The cigars are produced at the La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua under the supervision of Erik Espinosa.

The Lancero sports a beautiful dark and smooth Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper with a firm bunch. The foot smells of leather and cocoa. I get an easy clip and a perfect cold draw.

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Southern Draw Kudzu Toro

Southern Draw Kudzu Toro 1Size of cigar: 6 inches by 52 ring gauge

Over a year ago, I reviewed a cigar I’d discovered online – the Southern Draw Firethorn Robusto. For some time now, I’ve been meaning to smoke and review one of its sister sticks – the Kudzu Toro. You know how it goes. First one thing and then another happens, and before you know it, over a year has passed.

Anyway, just to refresh your memory, Southern Draw Cigars is based in Austin, Texas, and is owned by a group of U.S. veterans. Their mission is to produce cigars that represent a Southern gentleman’s smoke, and that always have a perfect draw. These cigars are made in Esteli, Nicaragua by A.J. Fernandez – one of my favorite blenders.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XIV

A Cigars tale Review XII 1Cigar name: Fuerte
Cigar brand: Marrero
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Costa Rican / proprietary blend
Vitola reviewed: Robusto Box Press
Size: 5.5 inches by 54 ring gauge
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium+
Price: $7.19

Visual

As I gaze over this tasty looking cigar, I take notice of the milk chocolate colored wrapper. The Fuerte is firm, with no soft spots or blemishes evident. The seams are tight and almost nonexistent. There are a couple of small veins that outwardly give the cigar a nice character.

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Blind Review 2016-04

Blind Review: J. Fuego 777 Silver Maduro (Corona Gorda)

Welcome to 2016 blind review number 4 - Released this IPCPR monday for all to view, a cigar submitted by J. Fuego cigars.

Background

Cigar Weekly has a tradition of doing blind reviews of new and/or boutique cigars whenever the maker asks.

Cigar Weekly's blind reviews are scored by a panel, and averaged using 7 criteria within a 50 point scale.J Fuego logo

Criteria Max Score
Appearance /Construction 5
Burn 5
Draw 5
Aroma 5
Flavor 10
Taste/Aftertaste 10
Overall quality 10
Grand Total 50

How it works: Cigar Weekly members volunteer for the task, and are asked to complete the review by smoking both samples within a two to three week window. They are requested to take copious notes, and then to enter their data into an online form. It's the 21st century, right? We used to use paper…

We do not require that the maker be an advertiser, nor do we charge a fee for these reviews.

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Review: Rancho Luna Maduro Robusto

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This review by H311oLHD (Aaron Handelman) is the first of many reviews of cigars newly released at the IPCPR 2016 trade show. Stay tuned for a lot more reviews of new products from the convention.

rancho lunaGoing into this cigar, I knew nothing about the manufacturer or the brand. After doing some research, it turns out that this release is from the cigar makers Julio and Justo Eiroa of JRE Tobacco Co.

The cigar had a nice presentation overall, with a pretty black, silver and red label featuring a fire blowing wolf. The Maduro wrapper was flawless, with a nice oily sheen to it. And the cigar itself had some weight to it. I didn't get much from the pre-light draw in terms of flavors; however, it did reveal that the cigar would have a near perfect draw.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XII

A Cigars Tale Review XIV 1Cigar name: Gaaja (pronounced ‘Gaa-ya’)
Cigar brand: MBombay
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Peru, Ecuador, Dominican
Vitola reviewed: Box Pressed Toro
Size: 6 inches by 54 ring gauge
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium+
Price: $15.50

Visual

I have been looking over this cigar, examining all of its visual nuances, and trying to discover this brand new cigar’s story. I am first attracted to the silky smoothness of the caramel-colored wrapper. The seams are very tight and almost nonexistent. I can barely see any veins, but the ones I do notice are very tiny, and few between.

Cold aroma

I run the cigar under my nose and begin to pick up some nice notes from the wrapper. Scents of leather, cedar, raisin and a slight orange spice jump out at me. The foot adds further notes to explore, including raisin, grape, floral, cedar, sweet tobacco and some slight barnyard along with grass.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XIII

A Cigars Tale Review XIII 1Cigar name: TCB (Taking Care of Business)
Cigar brand: Eiroa
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo (Jamastran Valley)
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Honduran
Vitola reviewed: Lancero
Strength: Medium
Body: Full
Price: $60.00 per 5-pack

Visual

As I look over this light brown color Lancero, I observe all its little characteristics. The wrapper has a slight tooth, and seams that are tight and smooth. There are a few tiny veins along the wrapper, with one small prominent vein that runs the length. The stick is slightly spongy throughout.

Cold aroma

The aroma that comes off of the wrapper mixes the scents together well, and is pleasing. Notes of chocolate, butter, caramel, leather and cedar jump out at me. The foot provides another flavor-packed punch, with raisins, coffee, hay, cream, molasses, leather, cedar and a touch of grape evident. A lot is happening just with the pre-light examination.

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Blind Review 2016-03

Blind Review: Martinez "Pasión"

Welcome to 2016 blind review number 3 - another great cigar you've probably not heard of! With the IPCPR 2016 show coming up this next week, we're going to increase our publication frequency a little. We'll tweet out and post updates to Facebook as they come. And this one, you just have to read!

Background: Cigar Weekly has a tradition of doing blind reviews of new and/or boutique cigars whenever the maker asks.

Cigar Weekly's blind reviews are scored by a panel, and averaged using 7 criteria within a 50 point scale.slide pasion

Criteria Max Score
Appearance /Construction 5
Burn 5
Draw 5
Aroma 5
Flavor 10
Taste/Aftertaste 10
Overall quality 10
Grand Total 50

How it works: Cigar Weekly members volunteer for the task, and are asked to complete the review by smoking both samples within a two to three week window. They are requested to take copious notes, and then to enter their data into an online form. It's the 21st century, right? We used to use paper…

We do not require that the maker be an advertiser, nor do we charge a fee for these reviews.

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La Jugada Habano & Prieto

La Jugada Habano Prieto 1Size of each cigar: 5 inches by 52 ring gauge (Robusto)

We’ve all heard it said, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” Well, when it comes to cigars, that’s not totally the case. With premium cigars, it’s also what’s on the outside that counts. Experts say that even though it comprises the smallest portion of a cigar, the wrapper has the most influence on the flavor. With that in mind, Cigar Weekly assigned me to review two cigars sporting identical binders and fillers, but with different wrappers. This review will be my take on the difference the wrapper makes in the performance and taste of the La Jugada Habano Robusto and the La Jugada Prieto Robusto.

First, a little background. The La Jugada lines come from Moya Ruiz Cigars (Danny Moya and Nelson Ruiz), and are manufactured at the Espinosa La Zona facility in Esteli, Nicaragua. For your information, La Jugada is Spanish for 'the play'.

Both cigar blends use Nicaraguan fillers and an undisclosed binder. The difference in the two is that the Habano has an Ecuadorian Habano cover while the Prieto is wrapped in a San Andres Maduro leaf from Mexico. The line is composed of five different vitolas. This combination review is of the Robustos.

The La Jugada Habano Robusto was a medium-brown cigar with few veins and no flaws. There were no uneven or soft spots. The pre-light smell was sweetness and rotting leaves. I used a punch cut. My sample lit easily from a cedar splinter, and there was plenty of smoke from an easy draw. The ash was nearly white and flakey, yet sturdy. The cigar burned mostly evenly, and lasted fifty minutes. Construction was excellent.

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Brun del Ré Gold Special Edition

Brun del Ré Gold Special Edition 5This cigar review profiles the Brun Del Ré Gold Special Edition. The company that fabricates the cigar is Costa Rican, and has been in the business for a little over ten years. From what I have gleaned, the wrapper and binder are from the Dominican Republic, and the fillers are from Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

The cigar presented itself well, with the black and gold label standing out. Although it only measured 4 inches by 60 ring gauge, this Robusto Immenso was a good looking cigar. The wrapper had very few veins, and was smooth and somewhat dull in appearance. The cap appeared lighter colored than the rest of the wrapper.

The tip clipped easily and smoothly. A burst of fruit-laden scents sprang forth from the clipped head – a veritable raisin salad of delight!

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