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Cigar Reviews

CAO Brazilia Gol

CAO Brazilia Gol 1Size of cigar: 5 inches long by 56 ring gauge

I think cigar makers should put the production year on every label of every cigar they sell. The best winemakers do it. Why not date cigars? (Yes, I know most boxes are date-stamped. But what if you don’t have the box?) Surely, the CAO Brazilia I enjoyed recently wasn’t from the same batch as one I’d smoked fourteen – or ten or even five – years ago.

I assume that unless a particular cigar has been ‘re-blended’, the ingredients for each batch have come from the same fields – or at least the same region – every time. This may sound like nitpicking. But I’ve smoked cigars from a revered brand that were vastly different (different as in inferior) than what they once had been. And I’ve also smoked some that were surprisingly better than I remembered. Why? Different crops, different seasons, different fermentation, etc. – that’s why.

For me, manufacturing dates on bands would clear up the confusion. We are already (usually) told where the various components of cigars come from. So what about when those cigars were made? What do you say, cigar industry? How about putting production dates on the labels?

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Invictis

Invictis 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 10AM to Noon. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on Cigarweekly.com, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week

THE CIGAR

For the ‘Premium Cigars of Georgia’ cigar review of the week, we’re going to look at a cigar that was guest-blended by José Blanco for Tre J Cigars – the Invictis.

BACK STORY

At the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show and Convention, the Tre J Cigar Company (located in southern Ohio) released the Invictis.

Tre J’s name alludes to the firm’s three founders, Jay Clark, John Johnson and Jerry Garrett. The three ‘J’s’, known for their Vicarias cigar brand, enlisted the help of famed master blender José Blanco, of Las Cumbres Tabaco, to blend a powerhouse of flavor called Invictis.

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Joya de Nicaragua Joya Red

Joya de Nicaragua Joya Red 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 10AM to Noon. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on Cigarweekly.com, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week

THE CIGAR

We’ve selected the Joya de Nicaragua Joya Red for our ‘Premium Cigars of Georgia’ cigar review of the week.

BACK STORY

Joya de Nicaragua is primarily known in the United States owing to the reputation it has earned for producing stronger cigars – cigars like the Antaño 1970 and the Antaño Dark Corojo, which even well-developed palates have a reverence for. In July of 2014, at the IPCPR Convention and Trade show, Joya introduced a medium-bodied cigar into its portfolio – the Joya Red.

This new introduction was instituted by the company’s president (and son of owner Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca), Juan Ignacio Martínez, along with Leonel Raudez, Joya’s factory manager since 1992.

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Partagás Serie D No. 3 Edición Limitada 2001

Partagás Serie D No. 3 Edición Limitada 2001 1In this evocative review, Cigar Weekly's Phil Cutajar (solomr2) describes the pleasures of lighting up a classic, well-aged Cuban Partagás issued during the early days of the Edición Limitada releases.   

Country of fabrication: Cuba
Packaging: Plain dress box containing 25 cigars
Name of vitola: Corona Gorda
Dimensions of cigar: 5.63 inches by 46 ring gauge

It's Sunday, and it's been a long and busy week. I’ve just finished replacing the brake pads on my wife's car, and am now settling down on the backyard patio to treat myself to a good smoke. This will be my 3rd cigar this weekend.

For this evening's pleasure, I’ve chosen a Partagás Serie D No. 3 Edición Limitada 2001 with a box date of March, 2002. This little beauty has been resting in my wine fridgador at 68% humidity since I bought the box in 2003.

The pre-torch appearance is flawless. The milk chocolate brown wrapper is applied nearly perfectly, with not a single visible seam. The cap is also flawless, and perfectly centered. There are only a few visible (and very small) veins, and the wrapper has obviously been carefully chosen and expertly applied.

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Marrero Tesoro Mio Gran Toro

Marrero Tesoro Mio Gran Toro 1It’s kind of big deal where a cigar comes from. Isn’t it? The pedigree and origin of a premium cigar is of utmost importance. So when did they start making cigars in Costa Rica? Did I miss a memo or something? Yeah, I’m being facetious – but only a little.

We all know about Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras. There are even a few well-known cigars from South America and elsewhere. But Costa Rica? Really? Yes, really.

A couple of years ago, Joel Vazquez Marrero jumped into the cigar game and created Marrero Cigars, a company that represents “the flavor of Costa Rica in a premium cigar”. By my reckoning, he’s making some pretty good cigars down there. This is my review of the Tesoro Mio Gran Toro – a vitola in one of Marrero’s four blends. For those of us who speak only English, Tesoro Mio is Spanish for “my treasure”.

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Juan López

Juan López 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 10AM to Noon. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on Cigarweekly.com, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week

THE CIGAR

We often review boutique brands or new cigars on the market. And sometimes, we review standard brands. This time around, for our ‘Premium Cigars of Georgia’ cigar review of the week, we have a hybrid – you might say an oldie but goodie! It’s the Juan López by Altadis USA.

BACK STORY

Juan López is a cigar brand in Cuba that dates back to pre-revolutionary times. The company was founded in 1876, when Juan López Díaz established a factory in Havana and created the brand. In 1908, the brand was passed to his heirs. It was then sold to the Cosme Del Peso Company in 1918. Under this latter ownership, Juan López became one of the biggest selling brands in Cuba.

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Final Blend Churchill

Final Blend Churchill 1Size: 7 inches by 50 ring gauge

I feel compelled to review this ‘diamond in the rough’ because I've read mixed reviews of it. But I will tell you, at the onset, that I'm a fan of this newcomer to the industry.

On first inspection, I notice a chocolate-colored outer leaf with tiny veins and seams that make you look twice to find them. From what I can tell, the double cap is well applied, and I give it a bullet cut so as not to test it.

Pre-toasting, the leaf gives off a slight earth aroma, while the foot emits a combination scent of mild earth and hay. Upon toasting, I immediately pick up roasted coffee. The overall aroma is pleasant and mild.

The first few draws display just the right amount of resistance. Smoke is ample, and the cigar feels good in hand. This particular vitola has been resting in my humidor for five months, and I've paired it with a black coffee.

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Blind Review 2016-02

Blind Review: Isabella Sparkle Robusto

Welcome to 2016 blind review number 2 - the coolest little cigar you never heard of!

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.isabella sparkle small

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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Gurkha 125th Anniversary

Gurkha 125th Anniversary 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 9AM to 11AM. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on Cigarweekly.com, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week

THE CIGAR

We’ve selected the Gurkha 125th Anniversary for our ‘Premium Cigars of Georgia’ cigar review of the week.

BACK STORY

In 1887, India was under British colonial rule. During that era, colonial soldiers began smoking and enjoying cigars made from local tobacco. The British called these cigars Gurkhas, naming them after legendary Nepalese fighters who used the khukuri – a forward curving Nepalese knife.

Fast forward to 1989, when Kaizad Hansotia (while in India) bought a Portuguese cigar roller’s entire stock and resurrected the name Gurkha. At the 2012 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, the Gurkha 125th Anniversary was introduced. Note that the 125th Anniversary designation does not represent the company’s 125 years in business; it simply recognizes the attachment the firm’s cigars have to the name Gurkha (going back to 1887).

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Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet

Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet 1When first glancing at the Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet, my initial thought was, “What an elegant presentation they’ve done with this cigar.” The cigar was dressed in a traditional RyJ-style band (found on many of their cigars) – a white band with red lettering towards the head of the cigar, as well as one surrounding the foot. Covering the cigar between the bands was a nice silver-etched translucent wrapper. Like I’ve said, an elegant presentation, and one that gave much anticipation as to what was to be discovered underneath.

This was a Romeo y Julieta cigar manufactured as an exclusive for Famous Smoke Shop. On behalf of Cigar Weekly, I would like to express a big thanks and my personal gratitude to Famous Smoke Shop for the availability of these cigars for review!

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A Cigar's Tale Review IX

A Cigars Tale Review IX 1Cigar name: Rare Corojo 

Cigar brand: Punch          
Wrapper: Ecuador (Corojo Sumantra)
Binder: Connecticut
Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua
Vitola reviewed: Perfecto (7.2 inches x 54 ring gauge)
Strength: Medium
Price: $7.00

Visual

Looking over this darker chocolate-colored wrapper, I notice one medium-sized prominent vein. The surface is slightly toothy, and there are some visible seams. Construction on this cigar is okay, but I am used to seeing better from Punch – and even on other cigars in the line and year.

Cold aroma

Along the wrapper, I take a few passes with the ole sniffer, and find notes of grass, hay, leather and cocoa. The foot offers a bit more, with scents of raisin, cinnamon, sweet hay, cocoa and a slight tobacco note evident.

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