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Cigar Reviews

A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXV

A Cigars Tale Short Story Review XXV 1March 2nd, 2017

Today, I am reviewing a sample from the 2016 IPCPR called Red (by La Barba). This cigar has a Honduran wrapper, Honduran Binder, and filler leaves that come from Honduras and Nicaragua. The Red I’m profiling comes in a Corona-sized 5.75 inches long by 46 ring gauge format. It’s priced at around $9.00.

As I examine the cigar, I notice a milk chocolate colored wrapper with tight, practically nonexistent seams. The Red is firm, and has a solid construction. Scents coming from the wrapper bring forth suggestions of brown sugar, coffee, leather and black pepper. The foot has raisin, hay, grass, licorice, black pepper, cloves and cocoa. Breaking down the cold draw reveals notes of raisin, salt, peanut, grass, hay and grapes.

After lighting, the first-third flavor profile includes coffee, caramel, raisin, toasted almond, cocoa, leather and cedar. The second-third presents with caramel, raisin, espresso, cream, crushed red pepper, honey, cedar, orange spice and toffee. Finishing out with the final-third, I sense espresso, coffee, walnut, butter, caramel, leather, hay and crushed red pepper.

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V-gar Volado 1800


February 27th, 2017

I have never been a cigarette smoker. In fact, I can honestly say that I've never taken more than a few puffs from a cigarette in my life. It wasn't until I was almost 30 years old (I'm now 46) that I decided to give cigars a try. Since then, my love for tobacco has grown, but I have never been addicted to cigars.

Yes, there's no question that I enjoying smoking cigars. But I will go for weeks or months without a cigar with no ill effect. If I stopped smoking cigars tomorrow and never smoked one again, there is no doubt that I'd miss the cigars. But there would be no ill effects or withdrawal symptoms - you know, like the ones you see with people who quit or attempt to quit smoking cigarettes.

Why are cigars so different from cigarettes? It comes down to one thing - inhaling. Or, better yet, the lack of inhaling of the smoke with a cigar. People who smoke cigarettes inhale the smoke, and quickly become addicted to the nicotine. Cigar smokers (such as me) generally do not inhale the smoke, so there is never a physical addiction. We don't smoke because we have to. We smoke because we want to. We want to enjoy the pleasure that a fine cigar can bring.

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Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust – Part I

Dunbarton Tobacco Trust Part I 1February 2nd, 2017

Steve Saka, former CEO of Drew Estate and creator of the Liga Privada line, is in his third year of producing his own cigars, which include the Sobremesa and (as of 2016) the Mi Querida. Both lines are excellent, and represent fine examples of Steve’s craft.

In this article, we’re going to kick off a three-part series on Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust with a ‘double-review’, written by two of our most experienced cigar aficionados, of the Sobremesa Short Churchill – a cigar that garnered a third-place award in Cigar Weekly’s Top 10 Cigars of 2016!

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CLE CBT Maduro Toro

CLE CBT Maduro Toro 1February 20th, 2017

Size of cigar: 6 inches by 54 ring gauge

First, to those six initials... CLE stands for Christian Luis Eiroa, the founder of his eponymous cigar company. And CBT is short for capa-banda-tripa, or wrapper-binder-filler.

The cigar I’m reviewing here incorporates leaves that have been harvested from the very high primings of tobacco plants before being cured and fermented. During fermentation, these leaves typically take on a very dark (or Maduro) color, and usually exhibit a lot of body and strength when smoked. The cigar is produced at Eiroa’s Aladina factory in the Honduras.

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Cult Pigtail Gordo

Cult Pigtail Gordo 1January 26th, 2017

This time around, I noted nice tobacco and vanilla aromas from the wrapper, more of the same from the foot, and a generous cold draw following a clean clip. The fairly firm bunch spoke of a well-constructed cigar.

Anyone familiar with the Cult name will recognize the mild start on this cigar, with hints of more to come. On this night, I paired the Gordo with a Topo Chico, in order to give what I perceived as a milder cigar a chance to shine with no interference from my normal pour – beer.

Upon lighting, a very clean burn produced a solid medium-grey ash. The burn was also nice and even. So far, the notes reminded me of some of the better pipe tobaccos, leading to a nice room aroma and flavorful smoke.

This was a very light to medium-bodied smoke – a bit unexpected given the medium-brown wrapper. The smoke exhibited flavors of toasted tobacco and light leather notes, with some almond in the background. To this point, the Cult seemed a nice, complex cigar that was both smooth and pleasant.

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Galano Clasico Robusto

Galano Clasico Robusto 1February 13th, 2017

Cigar size: 5 inches by 52 ring gauge

Sometimes, it seems as if there is a new boutique cigar maker appearing every other day. There’s just no end to them. One of the latest on the scene, Galano Cigars, comes from the heart of the American cigar industry. This firm makes cigars in the historic Tampa neighborhood of Ybor City. That’s like saying a young man plays football at Alabama – it’s a safe bet he’s a baller.

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Arandoza 5th Anniversary

Arandoza 5th Anniversary 1January 23rd, 2017

Size: 6 inches by 52 ring gauge
Format: Toro
Production location: La Zona Factory
Composition of cigar: Nicaraguan Puro

My cigar (which I obtained at the 2016 edition of the IPCPR) sported a very smooth Maduro wrapper, and emitted aromas of tobacco and cinnamon. I sensed tobacco and stronger cinnamon from the foot. A clean clip permitted a smooth cold draw with notes of leather, tobacco and cinnamon.

After lighting, the initial draw brought forth more cinnamon flavors along with smooth tobacco and leather notes. I really enjoyed Arandoza's samples last year, and so far was not disappointed with this one.

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Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust – Part III

Dunbarton Tobacco Trust Part III 5February 9th, 2017

Steve Saka, former CEO of Drew Estate and creator of the Liga Privada line, is in his third year of producing his own cigars, which include the Sobremesa and (as of 2016) the Mi Quierda. Both lines are excellent, and represent fine examples of Steve’s craft.

In this, the third and final of three articles profiling the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust cigar lineup, Jeff Slatton (jefslat) takes a look at two recent and noteworthy additions – the Mi Querida Gordo and the Sobremesa Elegante en Cedro.

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Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Robusto

JSK Red Knight Robusto 1January 16th, 2016

Cigar size: 5 inches by 50 ring gauge

The Jas Sum Kral line is the creation of cigar industry newcomer Riste Risteski, a big man with a personality to match. The JSK line was his idea, and came to fruition with the help of master blender Noel Rojas of the New Order of the Ages factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The name Jas Sum Kral translates from Risteski’s native language (Macedonian) into English as “I am King”. The first cigar series issued in the JSK lineup is called Red Knight. There are four vitolas in the line. The cigar I smoked for this review was the Robusto.

The JSK Red Knight cigars are adorned with attractive red and gold bands sporting the JSK logo on a knight’s shield between two heraldic lions. As for the blend that Risteski and Rojas developed, it uses a ‘top secret’ filler inside a binder of Mexican San Andrés and Nicaraguan seco leaves. The wrapper is a ‘light claro’ Ecuadorian Habano leaf.

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Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust – Part II

Dunbarton Tobacco Trust Part II 1February 6th, 2017

Steve Saka, former CEO of Drew Estate and creator of the Liga Privada line, is in his third year of producing his own cigars, which include the Sobremesa and (as of 2016) the Mi Querida. Both lines are excellent, and represent fine examples of Steve’s craft.

In this, the second of three articles profiling the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust lineup, Jeff Slatton (jefslat) takes a look at the Sobremesa Corona Grande – Cigar Weekly’s Top Cigar of 2016!

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Cigar Weekly's Top 10 of 2016 - Part 3

CW10 2016 3 1January 12th, 2017

Before we wrap up the Cigar Weekly Top 10 of 2016, I think it's important to recap a few things. So I hope you will bear with me.

First - Founded in 1997, Cigar Weekly is celebrating its 20th Anniversary! We're proud to have served you brothers and sisters of the leaf.

Second - is a member-run and member-supported community! Thanks to all of you for visiting our advertisers, AND to our advertisers for being part of the Cigar Weekly family.

Third - I would be remiss in my thanks if I failed to mention some of the other fine cigars that our members, followers and friends nominated for this Top Ten list. I'll name a few at the end of the article.

Finally - It was you, dear reader, who chose this list. Unlike any other publication, we are truly 'member-created, cigar-related'. Thank you for your participation! We'll definitely do this again. In fact, I'm trying to figure out a way to allow people to nominate throughout the year. And when I've done that, we'll announce it here, in the forums and on social media. Please look for us on Facebook ( page) and on Twitter (@cigarweekly). Your participation in the forums is welcome too! Help us make our 20th year our best one ever. And stay tuned for contests and special content throughout 2017. This could be the year YOU become a published member of the Cigar Weekly family!

Alright... Enough with the housekeeping and banter. We know what you're here for.

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