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Cigar Reviews

Partagás 8-9-8 Varnished (2003)

Partagás 8 9 8 Varnished 2003 1May 4th, 2017

Factory code: Unknown
Issue date: March 2003
Format: Lonsdale (Dalias)
Size of vitola: 6.75 inches long by 43 ring gauge

On a gorgeous and breezy Florida day, with the temperature hovering around 75ºF, I found myself spending time with my soul mate and beautiful wife. She was the one to suggest smoking a cigar outside. So without further delay, I decided to prepare a little snack, crack open some wine and queue up some music.

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La Aurora Preferido Corona Broadleaf

La Aurora Preferidos Corona Broadleaf 1May 1st, 2017

I’ve never been a fan of La Aurora Cigars, with the exception of the 1492 series, which is no longer being made. Even though the 1492 series was taken out of production years ago, cigars in the line are still available, and I can usually get a box of them for around $50 on sale. My favorite sizes in the 1492 series are the Churchill and the Corona. The other La Aurora cigars that I’ve sampled, while usually very well constructed, have never quite satisfied me.

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Galano Cigars Selecto Toro

Galano Cigars Selecto Toro 1April 10th, 2017

Size of cigar: 6.5 inches long by 52 ring gauge

Truthfully, I hadn’t heard much about this brand until the manufacturer asked Cigar Weekly to complete a couple of reviews. After some research, I discovered that all of the Galano cigars are rolled in Ybor City, Florida, and then transported to Tampa, Florida for ageing and subsequent distribution. According to the firm’s website, the brand focuses on challenging the status quo, offering the finest cigars in the world and embracing excellence.

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Toraño Exodus Robusto

Toraño Exodus Robusto 1April 27th, 2017

A few months ago, I received a number of cigars from Jason Clabaugh (BigO) for the purpose of reviewing them. Unfortunately, life events made it difficult for me to set aside adequate time to smoke the cigars with a critical eye and write reviews. Therefore, these cigars remained in my humidor waiting for an opportune moment. Well, that moment finally arrived.

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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXXI

A Cigars Tale Short Story Review XXXI 1April 10th, 2017

Today, I am reviewing yet another sample from the 2016 IPCPR called Amadeus, from the Recluse Cigar Company. It is composed of an Ecuadorian shade-grown Grade-A wrapper, a proprietary binder and Dominican Ligero, Viso and USA Pennsylvanian Broadleaf filler leaves. This is a Robusto, measuring in at 5 inches in length by 52 ring gauge. It’s a box-pressed cigar that runs around $7.50.

I initially observe that the caramel colored wrapper is smooth, with seams that are tight and almost nonexistent. There is a bit of sponginess upon my examination. The scents coming off the wrapper include cedar, coffee and cream. The foot brings molasses, cinnamon, leather, cedar, cream, raisin and black pepper. The cold draw adds some salt, peanut and crushed red pepper.

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Southern Draw Firethorn Toro

Southern Draw Firethorn Toro 1April 24th, 2017

Vitola: Toro (6 inches long by 52 ring gauge)
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Habano Rosado
Binder: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Nicaraguan

I am conducting my first review of a cigar. It will be based on the Southern Draw Firethorn. This cigar was developed at the Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez, and blended by Robert Holt. The price point on this cigar is around $10. In my opinion, however, it should be around $8.

When I first took the cigar out of the cellophane, I noticed the subtle scent of a good Habano cigar. The Toro displayed a mocha chocolate-like color with nice light veins. It had a covered foot, and the construction was fantastic.

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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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Blanco Liga Exclusiva de Familia Robusto

Blanco Liga Exclusiva de Familia Robusto 1April 20th, 2017

Size of cigar: 5 inches long by 54 ring gauge

Wrapper: Pennsylvanian Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Fillers: Nicaraguan
100% Whole-Leaf Long Filler

My sample sported a very smooth Maduro wrapper, and gave off cedar notes from both the wrapper and the foot. I executed a clean clip on the firmly bunched cigar, which then displayed a perfect cold draw with bittersweet notes.

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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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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXXII

A Cigars Tale Short Story Review XXXII 1April 17th, 2017

In this installment of my column, I’m reviewing a sample from the 2016 IPCPR called Art of War. It’s produced by Viva Republic. The cigar comes to us as a Corona Gorda vitola. It measures 6 inches long by a 47 ring gauge, and costs around $9.50. The wrapper is a Connecticut Broadleaf, while the binder comes from Ecuador and the filler leaves are sourced from Columbia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

The wrapper has a dark chocolate color and small veins. It’s capped with a pigtail. The cigar is firm, and I find no major flaws in it. The aroma from the wrapper includes scents of barnyard, tobacco and woodiness. There is a closed foot on this cigar. The cold draw has some peanut, brown sugar, tobacco and salt to it.

The first-third of this cigar has a profile of tobacco, coffee, cocoa powder, dough, cumin and black pepper. The next-third transitions into cocoa, bread, cedar, dried fruit and mixed nuts. The Art of War finishes out in the final-third with notes of black pepper, bread, crushed red pepper, cocoa, coffee, cedar, leather and butter.

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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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