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Cigar Reviews

Nestor Miranda Collection Habano Gran Toro

Nestor Miranda Collection Habano Gran Toro 1April 6th, 2017

Size of cigar: 6 inches by 60 ring gauge
Place of production: My Father factory, Esteli, Nicaragua

My Gran Toro sports a beautifully oily outer leaf, which emits signature Habano aromas from the wrapper and the foot. A perfect cut with my trusty Palio yields a perfect draw.

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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXX

A Cigars Tale Short Story Review XXX 1April 3rd, 2017

This time around, I am reviewing a sample from the 2016 IPCPR called 1834, which ‘flies’ under Por Larranaga banner. This cigar comes to me as a Toro-sized 6 inches long by 50 ring gauge vitola. Its wrapper is an Ecuadorian Connecticut, while the binder and filler come from the Dominican Republic. These cigars run about $9.00 each.

Looking over the 1834, I note the caramel colored wrapper, which is quite uneven in its tone and is also veiny. The cigar is firm with tight, almost nonexistent seams. Scents coming off the wrapper include mesquite, smoke, leather, cumin, cream and brown sugar. The foot shows some raisin, zest, cocoa, cream, butter, white pepper and hay. The cold draw presents with molasses, brown sugar and leather.

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Nat Sherman Timeless Dominican Collection Robusto

Nat Sherman Timeless Dominican Collection Robusto 1March 16th, 2017

Size of cigar: 4.75 inches long by 50 ring gauge

Produced at: Quesada Cigars, Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Honduran
Filler leaves: Dominican and Nicaraguan

The wrapper and foot of my sample smelled mostly of cured tobacco, with something else I couldn't quite identify. The cut was perfect. And although the bunch seemed a bit firm, the draw was excellent.

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GTO Pain Killer Maduro Robusto

GTO Pain Killer Maduro Robusto 1March 27th, 2017

Size of cigar: 5 inches x 52 ring gauge

I know what a GTO car is, but what’s a GTO cigar? Well, a little Google action provided the answer to that question. GTO Cigars is a family business that manufactures its cigars in its own factory – Tabacalera GTO Dominicana.

The firm’s cigars are small batch, boutique cigars, but not small batch in the sense that they are made as a side job in an enormous factory pumping out a hundred million cigars per year – not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that system.

GTO represents a different, very organic approach to the production of a cigar. The business model seems to be more ‘Mom and Pop’, rather than ‘International business’. Except for a couple of blends that utilize Connecticut wrapper leaf, GTO’s cigars are all Dominican Puros. The tobacco is grown right on the family farm in Valle del Cibao, in The Dominican Republic.

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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXVII

A Cigars Tale Short Story Review XXVII 1March 13th, 2017

Today, I am reviewing a sample from the 2016 IPCPR called Bellas Artes by A.J. Fernandez. My selection comes in a Toro-sized 6 inches long by 54 ring gauge vitola. The wrapper is a Connecticut Corojo Habano (2000), with a binder from Nicaragua and filler leaves from Brazil, Honduras and Nicaragua. The cigar usually runs for about $9.50.

Upon inspection, I take notice of a caramel colored wrapper, which is smooth and with a very little amount of veins. This cigar is oval, and looks fantastic. The wrapper gives off scents of cedar, cinnamon, hay and brown sugar. The foot changes things a bit, and has some molasses, crushed red pepper, brown sugar and nuttiness. The cold draw displays a flavor profile of peanut, earth, cedar and coffee grounds.

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A Cigars Tale Short Story Review XXIX

A Cigars Tale Short Story Review XXIX 1March 27th, 2017

Today, I am reviewing another sample from the 2016 IPCPR called Imperia ISLERO, from MLB (Mike Bellody) Cigar Ventures. This particular cigar comes as a Pita-sized 5½-inches long by 44 ring gauge vitola. The wrapper is Ecuadorian, and the binder and filler both come from the Dominican Republic. This ISLERO sells for around $8.50 a piece.

The wrapper is a darker brown color, and does show some small veins. There are tight seams and a slight tooth in texture. The stick is firm, and the scents include cedar and leather. The foot gives off black pepper notes, accompanied by grape, cocoa and butter. The cold draw presents with a bit more. I pick up some peanut, salt, black pepper, dark chocolate, espresso and a floral hint.

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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXVI

A Cigars Tale Short Story Review XXVI 1March 6th, 2017

Today, I’m reviewing a sample from the 2016 IPCPR called the Solera Sungrown. It’s produced by Aging Room. The particular vitola I’m profiling here is a Fantastico, which measures 5.6 inches in length by a 54 ring gauge. The wrapper is a Dominican Sungrown, while the binder and filler are Dominican Habano. These cigars are priced at about $7.52 each.

Inspecting the cigar, I note a milk chocolate color and a tooth to the touch. There are some small veins, and the seams are tight. I do not find any soft spots in this firm cigar. The wrapper gives offs scents of barnyard, earth, black pepper and avocado. The foot presents with floral notes, black pepper and cream. The cold draw, however, has a different profile. I pick up notes of sweet hay, grass, cocoa and cream.

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A.J. Fernandez Spectre Gordo

A.J. Fernandez Spectre Gordo 1March 20th, 2017

Size of cigar: 6 inches long by 60 ring gauge
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Maduro

From time to time, I find a cigar in my cabinet that I really have no idea about (read: no preconceived notions). The following review is about just such a cigar.

Tonight's beer is a Real Ale Commissar from just up the road in Blanco, TX. The beer is a very good match for a darker cigar.

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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXV

A Cigars Tale Short Story Review XXV 1March 2nd, 2017

Today, I am reviewing a sample from the 2016 IPCPR called Red (by La Barba). This cigar has a Honduran wrapper, Honduran Binder, and filler leaves that come from Honduras and Nicaragua. The Red I’m profiling comes in a Corona-sized 5.75 inches long by 46 ring gauge format. It’s priced at around $9.00.

As I examine the cigar, I notice a milk chocolate colored wrapper with tight, practically nonexistent seams. The Red is firm, and has a solid construction. Scents coming from the wrapper bring forth suggestions of brown sugar, coffee, leather and black pepper. The foot has raisin, hay, grass, licorice, black pepper, cloves and cocoa. Breaking down the cold draw reveals notes of raisin, salt, peanut, grass, hay and grapes.

After lighting, the first-third flavor profile includes coffee, caramel, raisin, toasted almond, cocoa, leather and cedar. The second-third presents with caramel, raisin, espresso, cream, crushed red pepper, honey, cedar, orange spice and toffee. Finishing out with the final-third, I sense espresso, coffee, walnut, butter, caramel, leather, hay and crushed red pepper.

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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXVIII

A Cigars Tale Short Story Review XXVIII 1March 20th, 2017

Today, I am reviewing a sample from the 2016 edition of the IPCPR called Cellar Reserve 21 Years. It’s from Gurkha. My sample comes in a 6 inches long by 60 ring gauge size. The wrapper is a Connecticut shade-grown, while the binder is from the Dominican Republic. The filler leaves are sourced from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. These Gurkha bad boys ring in at a price of about $16.60 each.

This cigar sports a caramel colored wrapper. There are some veins and tight seams. The surface is smooth and the cigar firm, with no obvious imperfections. The wrapper emits a cedar note, and not much else. Meanwhile, the foot gives off a bit more in terms of aromatics, with cedar, black pepper and potpourri notes apparent. The cold draw presents with earth, coffee, cream and brown sugar.

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V-gar Volado 1800

vgar3

February 27th, 2017

I have never been a cigarette smoker. In fact, I can honestly say that I've never taken more than a few puffs from a cigarette in my life. It wasn't until I was almost 30 years old (I'm now 46) that I decided to give cigars a try. Since then, my love for tobacco has grown, but I have never been addicted to cigars.

Yes, there's no question that I enjoying smoking cigars. But I will go for weeks or months without a cigar with no ill effect. If I stopped smoking cigars tomorrow and never smoked one again, there is no doubt that I'd miss the cigars. But there would be no ill effects or withdrawal symptoms - you know, like the ones you see with people who quit or attempt to quit smoking cigarettes.

Why are cigars so different from cigarettes? It comes down to one thing - inhaling. Or, better yet, the lack of inhaling of the smoke with a cigar. People who smoke cigarettes inhale the smoke, and quickly become addicted to the nicotine. Cigar smokers (such as me) generally do not inhale the smoke, so there is never a physical addiction. We don't smoke because we have to. We smoke because we want to. We want to enjoy the pleasure that a fine cigar can bring.

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