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Cigar Reviews

Oliva O Belicoso

Oliva O Belicoso 1October 27th, 2016

Cigar size: 5½ inches by 52 ring gauge
Provenance: Nicaraguan puro

Initial impressions

Prominently thin veins ran along the front and sides of the cigar. The wrapper was a nearly seamless Connecticut broadleaf Maduro, which surrounded Nicaraguan Habano filler leaves. I trimmed the top with a V-cut in order to provide more air flow than a standard straight cut would have provided.

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The Griffin's Maduro Toro

The Griffins Maduro Toro 1October 26th, 2016

Manufacturer: The Imperial Cigar Company (established 1993)
Size of cigar: 6¼ inches (159mm) by 52 ring gauge
Origin: Dominican Republic
Cost: €8.90

There’s a story behind this particular Griffin's cigar. When the Davidoff family moved from Russia to Geneva to open up a new tobacco store, Zino Davidoff grew interested in cigars. A Davidoff employee, Bernard H. Grober, then became one of the first Europeans to foresee the potential of making premium cigars in the Dominican Republic. There, Grober developed The Griffin's cigar line. Owing to the commercial connections and the name of his mentor, production and marketing of The Griffin’s expanded quickly.

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Battleground Old Powder Keg Torpedo

Battleground Old Powder Keg Torpedo 1October 12th, 2016

Size: 6 inches by 52 ring gauge
Available in boxes of 20 cigars

The OPK Torpedo is marketed by Connecticut Valley Tobacconist, located in Enfield, Connecticut. The next two paragraphs are quoted directly from the firm’s website:

“The inspiration for this cigar comes from Colonel Augustus Hazard who owned and operated the fabled HAZARD GUN POWDER COMPANY, in our home town over 150 years ago. Legend is this area produced 40% of the gun powder used during the Civil War. The powder works blew up long ago, only the village of Hazardville remains.”

“This long filler cigar is made from a blend of Central American tobaccos, a local Connecticut Broadleaf binder and Maduro Corojo wrapper. This cigar is "THERMO NUCLEAR". Not a breakfast cigar by any means. Rated one of the "Best Full Bodied" cigar by Perelman Cigar Cyclopedia two years running!”

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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXIV

A Cigars Tale Review XXIV 1October 20th, 2016

Today, I am reviewing yet another sample from the 2016 IPCPR. This cigar is the Hidden Treasure from USA Sales, Inc. It’s a Robusto, measuring 5.13 inches long by a 52 ring gauge. The Hidden Treasure has a Habano wrapper, and retails at a price somewhere between $7.49 and $9.99.

I had trouble finding information on this cigar, and requested some from the company via e-mail. However, at the time of writing this review, I had still not received a response. All I can say is that the band had ‘Dominican Republic’ printed on it, so I assume that country is where the Hidden Treasure originates from.

The wrapper had a light chocolate color, and presented with some notable medium and small sized veins.

The scents coming off the wrapper included notes of barnyard, earth, musk and avocado. The foot had a more pleasant aromatic presentation of raisin, cedar, coffee, black pepper, cream, caramel and cloves.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XXII

A Cigars Tale Review XXII 1October 10th, 2016

Cigar name: Archetype Sage Advice
Cigar brand: Ventura Cigar Co.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola reviewed: Toro (6 inches by 52 ring gauge)
Strength: Medium+
Body: Medium+
Price: $11.99

Visual

Upon visual inspection, I find an oily wrapper with a milk chocolate color. There is a slight tooth, and the seams are almost nonexistent. I also note a couple of small veins running along the outer leaf of the firm stogie.

Cold aroma

The wrapper gives off nice scents of leather, dried fruit, cinnamon, cedar and earth (dirt). The foot brings fragrances of chocolate, raisin, grass, flowers, cocoa and coffee.

Cold draw

After cutting the stogie, I take my usual puffs before lighting. This cigar brings on flavors of cocoa, chocolate, peanut and cinnamon.

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Gurkha Red Witch Robusto

Gurkha Red Witch Robusto 1October 19th, 2016

Size of cigar: 5 inches by 52 ring gauge

I enjoy cigars and the cigar life, and am a cigar enthusiast. I have never claimed to be an expert, but I do know a little about cigars. As an enthusiast who does occasional reviews, I feel it is my job to give you the basics of the cigar – the practical information you want to know before you purchase a particular cigar. I’m not going to dazzle you with arcane information and minutiae. I simply try to supply you with the nuts and bolts of a cigar. If you want purple prose about a cigar’s flavor and the employment history of the blender, I’m not your guy. On the other hand, if you want to know a fellow enthusiast’s succinct opinion, read on. This time around, I’m reviewing Gurkha’s East India Trading Company Red Witch Robusto.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XXI

A Cigars Tale Review XXI 1October 6th, 2016

Cigar name: Media Noche
Cigar brand: H. Upmann
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Binder: Dominican Republic Piloto
Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola reviewed: Robusto (5 inches by 54 ring gauge)
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium+
Price: $7.00

Visual

This is a cigar that immediately catches your attention. There is something about the way the wrapper and band come together that just jumps out at you. The wrapper is dark brown, and has a slight tooth to it. There are tight seams and two prominent, medium-sized veins running along the firm cigar.

Cold aroma

The scents coming off of the wrapper include chocolate, leather, cedar and coffee. The foot brings notes of raisin, barnyard, cream, butter, floral, black pepper, musk and caramel. All of these fragrances come together nicely, and give me hope of a pleasant smoking experience.

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Decadence for Everyone: Maduro Gordo by Paula Cigars

Decadence for Everyone Maduro Gordo 1October 17th, 2016

For me, the anticipation of smoking this Maduro Gordo rivals the feeling one has when planning that special time to break into one’s finest, aged, top-shelf smokes – perhaps a Limited Edition Arturo Fuente, an Anniversary Padron, a Salamanca Mesmerize, Matthew or 1502 XO, a Tatuaje TAA or AVO LE. (For me, it’s usually my Liga Privadas.) Whatever it is for you, it's a special moment – not the least because of being able to share with friends the cigar’s taste, aroma and source (from which your friends can then buy their own). Although at Paula's pricing, you can afford to be generous.

So today is your lucky day, because I'm about to share with you a smoking experience that will hopefully be one you get to enjoy for yourself.

I'm speaking of a cigar that hails from the Dominican Republic, and comes by way of New York City. I have had the good fortune of obtaining these cigars in the Gordo size format, which is my favorite, but for now is in limited production.

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Hoyo Toro

Hoyo Toro 1October 5th, 2016

Ask any member of Cigar Weekly familiar with my taste preferences, "Who makes my favorite cigars?", and they will quickly identify Punch and Hoyo De Monterrey (HDM). There is just something about these Honduran-made cigars that works for me. While I certainly enjoy cigars made in other locales and by other cigar makers, Punch and HDM cigars are the ones that I keep coming back to. They are definitely my go-to cigars.

And it’s not just one or two types of the Punch and HDM cigars that I like. I like them all. That cannot be said about other cigars. For example, one of my favorite cigars is the CAO Brazilia Gol. But all of the other CAO cigars, including the different sizes within the Brazilia line, are not amongst my favorites. It’s not that those other cigars are necessarily bad. It’s just that they don’t keep me coming back. When you’ve been smoking cigars as long as I have (more than 15 years), you’ve tried just about everything and you know what you like. I like the Punch and HDM cigars.

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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXIII

A Cigars Tale Review XXIIIOctober 17th, 2016

Today, I am reviewing another sample from the 2016 IPCPR show – the Reserve Champagne 10th-Anniversary from Perdomo. Now, I know you’re probably thinking that this is not a new cigar. And you’ll be right. That said, the Perdomo was sent to me to assess with the understanding it did indeed come from this year’s IPCPR show. So I’m going to do my review thing regardless.

This particular 10th-Anniversary came to me in the Epicure (Toro, measuring 5 inches by 54 ring gauge) size. It sported a Connecticut wrapper along with a Nicaraguan binder and filler.

Upon visual inspection, I took note of the light brown wrapper, which had some small veins and visible seems. The wrapper was smooth, and the cigar firm. The aroma coming off the wrapper included scents of leather, dried fruit, mushroom and oak, while the foot gave off some raisin, brown sugar, green pepper and almond.

After cutting the cap, I took a couple of cold draws just to see what I could pick up. The cold draw produced notes of salt, black pepper, clay, earth and peanut.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XX

October 3rd, 2016

Occasionally, I am asked to do a 2-in-1 review. Today’s column is one of those reviews. I will be looking at two cigars from Xiphos, and seeing how they compare. Hang on. We are going to have some fun!

A Cigars Tale Review XX 1Cigar name:NR Maduro
Cigar brand: Xiphos
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Nicaraguan Viso and Seco, Ligero from Esteli and Jalapa
Vitola reviewed: Robusto (5 inches by 54 ring gauge)
Strength: Medium+
Body: Medium+
Price: $9.50

Visual

As I look over this sample, I take note of the construction. I find a dark chocolate colored wrapper with several small veins. I also find unevenness, but the cigar is firm.

Cold aroma

The scents coming off the wrapper are of a wide variety. I pick up fragrances of barnyard, earth, espresso, hay, tobacco, crushed red pepper, leather, and oak. The foot brings me black pepper, espresso, grass, butter, honey, walnut and BBQ.

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