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Cigar Reviews

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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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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Brun del Ré 1638 Limited Edition Gran Toro

Brun del Ré 1638 Limited Edition Gran Toro 1Size of cigar: 5 inches by 58 ring gauge

There’s a line in the movie Forrest Gump in which Tom Hanks declares, “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna’ get.” He was musing over the inconsistencies of life. Well, trying new cigars is a lot like that proverbial box of candies. Oftentimes, you don’t know exactly what you’re getting.

When I pick up a new cigar, three possibilities spring to mind. Am I holding some trash cigar that sports a fancy name and label? Is it a really good cigar hiding behind a hipster name and goofy label? Or could it be a good cigar, with no pretense or reputation, I’ve never seen or heard of before?

Sometimes, it’s impossible to tell. Like Forrest Gump, I’m always hoping to find my favorite caramel and nut cluster hiding in the box – or rather, the humidor. With these thoughts in mind, what’s a Brun del Ré 1638 Limited Edition Gran Toro like?

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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 X

A Cigars Tale Review X 1Cigar name: Maximus
Cigar brand: Diamond Crown
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola reviewed: Toro (#4)
Size: 6 inches by 50 ring gauge
Body: Medium
Strength: Medium
Price: $14.00

Visual

When I look over the Maximus from Diamond Crown, I note the milk chocolate color. There is a pronate vein down the spine, and the seams are tight. The cigar is firm, with no soft spots. I feel a slight toothiness as I slide my fingers along the wrapper, and also note a marginally oily sheen. I do not see any blemishes or construction issues at this point.

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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.

Read more...

Danno Habano 2015

Danno Habano 2015 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 assessing the 2015 Danno Habano, one of the three One Life Editions from the Nestor Miranda Collection.

BACK STORY

The Danno Habano was released at a series of cigar shop events in June of 2015, and has a two-part back story. In 2008, the son of Nestor Miranda, Daniel ‘Danno’ Miranda, passed away after losing his battle with brain cancer. He was just 38 years old, and the Vice President and Director of Marketing for Miami Cigar and Company.

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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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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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A Cigar's Tale Review XI

A Cigars Tale Review XI 1Cigar name: Bellartes
Cigar brand: Marrero
Wrapper: Habano Rosado
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Propretary Blend
Vitola reviewed: Gran Robusto
Size: 5 inches by 56 ring gauge
Strength: Medium
Body: Full

Visual

The wrapper is very nice, given its milk chocolate color and oily sheen. The seams are tight, smooth and have veins that are small and average in amount. I find no soft spots or blemishes. The Bellartes is firm to the feel, and its construction is very solid!

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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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