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Cigar Reviews

Santa Muerte Robusto

Santa Muerte Robusto 1November 21st, 2016

Producer: Black Label Trading Company
Made at: Fabrica Oveja Negra facility in Esteli, Nicaragua
Wrapper & Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler leaves: Nicaraguan, Dominican & San Andrés

The beautifully smooth dark brown wrapper smells like leather and cocoa, while the foot smells the same with some pepper thrown in. The cold draw is perfect, as is the bunch. I give this cigar top marks for construction.

There is plentiful smoke on the initial draw, which reveals lots of flavor including pepper, leather and just a hint of cocoa. The draw remains perfect, and the burn is true.

These cigars were debuted at my local shop a few weeks ago. I got this one a day before lighting it up, and now am fully regretting not having made the launch event.

A flavor of almonds now develops to overtake the initial cocoa as the pepper notes back off some. The promise of complexity is quite pleasing. The burn remains even approaching the end of the first third.

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Aging Room Oliveros Gran Retorno 2 Habano

Aging Room Oliveros Gran Retorno 2 Habano 1November 17th, 2016

From the Aging Room website:

“The Oliveros Gran Retorno Habano ... features a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with a Nicaraguan blend filler of Jalapa, Condega & Pueblo Nuevo with a Nicaraguan Habano binder from Estelí.”

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Crowned Heads Triple Review

Crowned Heads Triple Review 1October 31st, 2016

Crowned Heads is a boutique brand committed to producing high-quality cigars that combine tradition and innovation. The company’s cigars are highly regarded by the premium cigar industry and smokers alike. Cigar Weekly member Jon Huber is a member of their team. And according to Huber, business is booming for Crowned Heads. New at the 2016 edition of the IPCPR were two lines – Las Mareas and Le Carème.

* * * * *

The Las Mareas is produced by the Garcia family (of My Father fame) using a Corojo wrapper.

I pick up hints of nutmeg and cocoa from the wrapper and foot. The construction is beautiful, with one vein running at an angle from the first third down. A clean clip with my Palio enables a satisfying medium cold draw. This is one of Jon Huber's Crowned Heads marque, so I am going in with high expectations. The cold draw proceeds to yield notes of leather and cocoa.

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Mike Bellody Imperia

Mike Bellody Imperia 1November 9th, 2016

Wrapper: High Priming Dominican Havana Vuelta Arriba
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan

The Imperia boasts a smooth dark wrapper with aromas of leather and... peppermint? As confirmed by my wife, the wrapper does indeed smell of peppermint.

The cigar clips perfectly, and I cannot wait to fire this sucker up. I’m pairing it with my usual chocolate stout.

An ideal pre-light draw leads to a perfect lit draw. There is a sweetness to the smoke that draws to mind the flavor of – you guessed it – peppermint. However, there are lots of other flavors going on here as well, so this is no one-trick-pony cigar.

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Oliva O Belicoso

Oliva O Belicoso 1October 27th, 2016

Cigar size: 5½ inches by 52 ring gauge
Provenance: Nicaraguan puro

Initial impressions

Prominently thin veins ran along the front and sides of the cigar. The wrapper was a nearly seamless Connecticut broadleaf Maduro, which surrounded Nicaraguan Habano filler leaves. I trimmed the top with a V-cut in order to provide more air flow than a standard straight cut would have provided.

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Crowned Heads La Imperiosa Magicos

Crowned Heads La Imperiosa Magicos 1November 7th, 2016

Size of cigar: 4½ inches by 52 ring gauge

Knowledgeable cigar enthusiasts know the story of The Crowned Heads. Jon Huber and a few of his fellow employees split from CAO in 2010, and formed their own Nashville-based cigar company. Since then, the fledgling boutique cigar company has enjoyed incredible success.

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The Griffin's Maduro Toro

The Griffins Maduro Toro 1October 26th, 2016

Manufacturer: The Imperial Cigar Company (established 1993)
Size of cigar: 6¼ inches (159mm) by 52 ring gauge
Origin: Dominican Republic
Cost: €8.90

There’s a story behind this particular Griffin's cigar. When the Davidoff family moved from Russia to Geneva to open up a new tobacco store, Zino Davidoff grew interested in cigars. A Davidoff employee, Bernard H. Grober, then became one of the first Europeans to foresee the potential of making premium cigars in the Dominican Republic. There, Grober developed The Griffin's cigar line. Owing to the commercial connections and the name of his mentor, production and marketing of The Griffin’s expanded quickly.

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La Gran Llave Double Corona

La Gran Llave Double Corona 1November 3rd, 2016

This cigar represents another new release from the A.J. Fernandez Company.

Right off the bat, I sense cocoa notes from the wrapper. There’s a perfect cold draw along with some spices from the foot. The smooth box press speaks to the impressive construction.

At first, the flavors are deceptive, being very light on the way in and plentiful on the way out. Light cocoa notes mix with almost pipe tobacco flavors. Very light pepper notes are present in the nose.

The box press makes it very easy to hold and smoke this cigar. Something I failed to notice before is that the band denotes Reserva No. E560FE, so this may be a limited release.

The ash is a mottled grey, notably solid and with no flaking. The draw is very smooth and yields wonderful tobacco notes with very pleasant coffee and cocoa flavors. The burn is a bit slanted, but nothing crucial at this point.

I tap the ash at two inches, as it’s starting to curve. The end of the ash displays a nice conical burn, indicating the ligero is mostly in the center – another sign of excellent construction.

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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXIV

A Cigars Tale Review XXIV 1October 20th, 2016

Today, I am reviewing yet another sample from the 2016 IPCPR. This cigar is the Hidden Treasure from USA Sales, Inc. It’s a Robusto, measuring 5.13 inches long by a 52 ring gauge. The Hidden Treasure has a Habano wrapper, and retails at a price somewhere between $7.49 and $9.99.

I had trouble finding information on this cigar, and requested some from the company via e-mail. However, at the time of writing this review, I had still not received a response. All I can say is that the band had ‘Dominican Republic’ printed on it, so I assume that country is where the Hidden Treasure originates from.

The wrapper had a light chocolate color, and presented with some notable medium and small sized veins.

The scents coming off the wrapper included notes of barnyard, earth, musk and avocado. The foot had a more pleasant aromatic presentation of raisin, cedar, coffee, black pepper, cream, caramel and cloves.

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El Güegüense Robusto

El Güegüense Robusto 1November 2nd, 2016

This Robusto sports a beautifully rendered brown wrapper and cap, and seems – from the unlit aroma – to promise an ideal medium to full flavor. I pick up more complex notes from the foot.

The cigar clips and lights easily, and proceeds to produce a near perfect draw. The generous initial draw delivers wonderfully toasted tobacco notes with back notes of almonds. The burn is fairly clean, and the ash is a medium to light grey. Plenty of smoke emits from this fine cigar.

There are nice medium flavors of tobacco and nuts, along with a hint of cinnamon, as the cigar develops. However, I do experience a bit of heat early on, indicating that I need to slow down a bit. The Ecuadorian coffee I’ve chosen to pair with the Robusto is proving a good match.

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Gurkha Red Witch Robusto

Gurkha Red Witch Robusto 1October 19th, 2016

Size of cigar: 5 inches by 52 ring gauge

I enjoy cigars and the cigar life, and am a cigar enthusiast. I have never claimed to be an expert, but I do know a little about cigars. As an enthusiast who does occasional reviews, I feel it is my job to give you the basics of the cigar – the practical information you want to know before you purchase a particular cigar. I’m not going to dazzle you with arcane information and minutiae. I simply try to supply you with the nuts and bolts of a cigar. If you want purple prose about a cigar’s flavor and the employment history of the blender, I’m not your guy. On the other hand, if you want to know a fellow enthusiast’s succinct opinion, read on. This time around, I’m reviewing Gurkha’s East India Trading Company Red Witch Robusto.

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