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Cigar Reviews

Just My Opinion – A review of three more cigars from IPCPR 2015

Just My Opinion 1Some might ask, “Why give this idiot cigar samples to review? He’s no expert.” Those people would be right. I’m not an expert. And I might be an idiot. 

When it comes to cigars, I’m an amateur, and not a professional. I’m not part of the cigar industry. I am a cigar enthusiast - just a guy who’s been enjoying cigars for 25 years. And like anyone who does something for that long, I have learned a thing or two. My palate is not the most sophisticated. But, what I lack in talent, I make up for in effort. I speak for the average guy that buys his own cigars. That’s why I contribute to, and that’s why they publish me.  

This post is a review of three more cigars that have been introduced or marketed at the recently completed International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association’s annual trade show. What I have to say about the Crux Classic Toro, the Foyle Epee and the La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse is - to quote Dennis Miller - just my opinion. I could be wrong. Remember, I’m an amateur.

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Cohiba Nicaragua N54

Cohiba Nicaragua N54 15½ inches x 54 ring gauge

Natural wrapper

Cohiba is a brand name that evokes a heritage of premium quality and craftsmanship. It is a brand that has been romanticized and celebrated, and is, for me, one that speaks of fine quality cigars from the Dominican Republic. 

Seeing the name 'Nicaragua' prominently displayed on the label of this particular cigar was quite a surprise for me, albeit one that was rooted in a pleasant expectation. I realize this cigar has been released for a while now by General Cigar, and I'd be willing to bet that you have smoked one and already formed an opinion. Nevertheless, I hope you will appreciate my own viewpoint. This is a cigar that I have wanted to review for a while, and I appreciate my friends at Cigar Weekly for offering me that opportunity.

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Gurkha Vintage Shaggy XO

Gurkha Vintage Shaggy XO.1Size reviewed: 6 inches by 60 ring gauge

Wrapper: Dominican Maduro

Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

I'm returning to cigar smoking after a long hiatus. I smoked cigarettes, cigars, pipes and cigarillos for over 30 years, and then nothing for 14 years. I began lighting up cigars again towards the end of last year, most of them sourced from the local B&M.

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E.P. Carillo Selección Oscuro Small Churchill

E.P. Carillo Selección Oscuro Small Churchill 1Does anyone remember the tissue wrapped El Rey del Mundo Oscuro from Villazon? I'm sure it’s still being produced, but I haven't seen or smoked one in ages. It used to be one of my ‘go-to’ cigars. Well, I have finally found a worthy replacement. The E.P. Carillo Selección Oscuro takes me back to the flavor profile of the El Rey del Mundo, but with a higher octane rating.

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Mason-Dixon 'North' by Crowned Heads

Mason-Dixon North by Crowned Heads 1Wrapper - Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder - Nicaragua
Filler - Nicaragua

Note: The cigar spent a month resting in my humidor prior to being lit for this review. (It is the one on the right in the image, the other cigar being the 'South', which I reviewed last week on the Cigar Weekly Home Page.)

The 'North' looked visibly more polished than its sister cigar, and the body of the stogie seemed to be firmer to the touch. The smooth wrapper smelled of cinnamon and potpourri. No – seriously! The cap cut with ease, and we were off.

The first puffs started off with notes of rich chocolate and leather. Already proving to be medium to full-bodied, this stick was definitely more my style! The initial richness reminded me a lot of the Oliva 'V' series cigars (closer to the 2009 blend than today's current). There were hints of cherry coming through, and the 'chewiness' of the stick was truly enjoyable. For those of you who were fans of the Las Calaveras, you would most certainly like this one too.

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What’s in a name? A review of three cigars from the IPCPR Trade Show

Whats in a name 1When it comes to cigar names, I’m old school. I prefer cigar names that have dignity and gravitas - venerable names like Davidoff, Padron, Ashton or Cohiba. So yes, when choosing a cigar, the name on the band influences me as to whether or not I ever pick it up. And not surprisingly, the name can also influence me as to whether or I not I like a cigar.

Be honest with yourself. You’re that way, too. We all know that we will enjoy a steak from Ruth Chris Steakhouse more than we will one from Waffle House. Nothing against Waffle House, but Ruth Chris has a world class reputation. However, at 3AM after a night of carousing, that Waffle House steak and eggs can’t be beat. 

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Mason-Dixon 'South' by Crowned Heads

Mason-Dixon South by Crowned Heads 1Wrapper - Ecuador Connecticut
Binder - Nicaragua
Filler - Nicaragua

Note: The cigar spent a month resting in my humidor prior to being lit for this review. (It is the one on the left in the image, the other cigar being the 'North'. Look for my review of the latter next week on the Cigar Weekly Home Page.)

The cigar was rustic light brown in color, and sported a simple yet fitting band. There were some prominent veins on the wrapper, and the stogie had a slight give to the touch. The smell of the wrapper was predominantly of hay and barnyard, with the slightest tinge of cedar. After cutting the cap, I took a cold draw. The cold draw seemed to have a perfect pull, with notes of sweet raisin coming through.

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Buho Primero Robusto

Buho Primero Robusto 1Size: 5 inches x 50 ring gauge

Social media has become the marketing tool for cigar makers. No magazine or website ad can compete with the testimonials, endorsements and critiques one finds on various outlets like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, etc. These sites are where cigar makers and cigar smokers get up close and personal

And if you're interested in trying some of Australia's best smokes, you can visit one of the many premium cigar shops that offer discounts for aussie casinos online players. In addition to smoking cigars, casino players are happy to drink quality cocktails. One of the greatest gamblers of all time is known to smoke quality cigars to celebrate a win.

Imagine if professional athletes and coaches interacted directly with the fans one on one. Yes, it happens occasionally, and never fails to make the news. However, when it comes to cigars on social media, your comment frequently merits a reply from the person who actually blended the cigar you're smoking.

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Jericho Hill Willy Lee by Crowned Heads

Jericho Hill Willy Lee 1Size: 6 inches x 54 ring gauge

Everybody loves an underdog story – the one where the little guy beats the odds and comes up a big winner. That's a classic American tale, and that's also the story of Crowned Heads. In 2011, John Huber and a few of his co-workers at CAO (in Nashville) decided to strike out on their own when the parent company was purchased and plans to move its headquarters were announced. Given the state of the economy at the time, it was a risky move. One can only imagine the difficulty of starting a cigar company from scratch. It's lucky for us they knew the business. Against the odds, and in less than four years, the little guys hit it big.

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Ernesto Perez Carrillo New Wave Reserva Connecticut

New Wave Connecticut Reserva 1Background:

E.P. Carrillo had released a new cigar line that was originally marketed exclusively to the European market. However, EPC saw the error of its ways, and the New Wave Reserva Connecticut has now been made available right here in the USA. 

The roots of the Perez-Carrillo family are in Cuba, where Ernesto's father launched the family cigar dynasty in 1948 when he purchased El Credito, a small cigar factory in Havana. The Perez-Carrillo family became well-respected in Cuba, and Ernesto Sr. was elected to the Cuban Senate in 1954, and again in 1958. 

When Castro gained control of Cuba, Ernesto Sr. was arrested several times for his political beliefs, and the government confiscated the family's properties, including the El Credito factory.

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Punch Signature Robusto

Punch Signature Robusto 1Size: 5 inches x 54 ring gauge

MSRP: $6.00

I’ve smoked cigars since the late 90s. And one of the main brands I smoked starting out was Punch. That being said, I’ve always had a soft spot for Punch cigars.

Over the years, I’ve smoked a lot more brands and developed more favorites. But I do find myself going back occasionally to Punch and Excalibur cigars.

General Cigars isn’t known for stepping outside the box much. Most of its cigars are mild or, at most, medium bodied with a kind of standard, safe flavor profile. I’ve never been a really big fan of the Punch Rare Corojo, but I love the Punch Uppercut. So I was curious to see how I would like the new Signature.

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