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Cigar Reviews

Decadence for Everyone: Maduro Gordo by Paula Cigars

Decadence for Everyone Maduro Gordo 1October 17th, 2016

For me, the anticipation of smoking this Maduro Gordo rivals the feeling one has when planning that special time to break into one’s finest, aged, top-shelf smokes – perhaps a Limited Edition Arturo Fuente, an Anniversary Padron, a Salamanca Mesmerize, Matthew or 1502 XO, a Tatuaje TAA or AVO LE. (For me, it’s usually my Liga Privadas.) Whatever it is for you, it's a special moment – not the least because of being able to share with friends the cigar’s taste, aroma and source (from which your friends can then buy their own). Although at Paula's pricing, you can afford to be generous.

So today is your lucky day, because I'm about to share with you a smoking experience that will hopefully be one you get to enjoy for yourself.

I'm speaking of a cigar that hails from the Dominican Republic, and comes by way of New York City. I have had the good fortune of obtaining these cigars in the Gordo size format, which is my favorite, but for now is in limited production.

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A Cigar’s Tale ‘Short Story’ Review XXIII

A Cigars Tale Review XXIIIOctober 17th, 2016

Today, I am reviewing another sample from the 2016 IPCPR show – the Reserve Champagne 10th-Anniversary from Perdomo. Now, I know you’re probably thinking that this is not a new cigar. And you’ll be right. That said, the Perdomo was sent to me to assess with the understanding it did indeed come from this year’s IPCPR show. So I’m going to do my review thing regardless.

This particular 10th-Anniversary came to me in the Epicure (Toro, measuring 5 inches by 54 ring gauge) size. It sported a Connecticut wrapper along with a Nicaraguan binder and filler.

Upon visual inspection, I took note of the light brown wrapper, which had some small veins and visible seems. The wrapper was smooth, and the cigar firm. The aroma coming off the wrapper included scents of leather, dried fruit, mushroom and oak, while the foot gave off some raisin, brown sugar, green pepper and almond.

After cutting the cap, I took a couple of cold draws just to see what I could pick up. The cold draw produced notes of salt, black pepper, clay, earth and peanut.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XX

October 3rd, 2016

Occasionally, I am asked to do a 2-in-1 review. Today’s column is one of those reviews. I will be looking at two cigars from Xiphos, and seeing how they compare. Hang on. We are going to have some fun!

A Cigars Tale Review XX 1Cigar name:NR Maduro
Cigar brand: Xiphos
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Nicaraguan Viso and Seco, Ligero from Esteli and Jalapa
Vitola reviewed: Robusto (5 inches by 54 ring gauge)
Strength: Medium+
Body: Medium+
Price: $9.50


As I look over this sample, I take note of the construction. I find a dark chocolate colored wrapper with several small veins. I also find unevenness, but the cigar is firm.

Cold aroma

The scents coming off the wrapper are of a wide variety. I pick up fragrances of barnyard, earth, espresso, hay, tobacco, crushed red pepper, leather, and oak. The foot brings me black pepper, espresso, grass, butter, honey, walnut and BBQ.

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Battleground Old Powder Keg Torpedo

Battleground Old Powder Keg Torpedo 1October 12th, 2016

Size: 6 inches by 52 ring gauge
Available in boxes of 20 cigars

The OPK Torpedo is marketed by Connecticut Valley Tobacconist, located in Enfield, Connecticut. The next two paragraphs are quoted directly from the firm’s website:

“The inspiration for this cigar comes from Colonel Augustus Hazard who owned and operated the fabled HAZARD GUN POWDER COMPANY, in our home town over 150 years ago. Legend is this area produced 40% of the gun powder used during the Civil War. The powder works blew up long ago, only the village of Hazardville remains.”

“This long filler cigar is made from a blend of Central American tobaccos, a local Connecticut Broadleaf binder and Maduro Corojo wrapper. This cigar is "THERMO NUCLEAR". Not a breakfast cigar by any means. Rated one of the "Best Full Bodied" cigar by Perelman Cigar Cyclopedia two years running!”

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A Cigar's Tale Review XIX

A Cigars Tale Review XIX 1October 3rd, 2016

Cigar name: Noventa
Cigar brand: Torano
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Habano)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola reviewed: Toro (6 inches by 52 ring gauge)
Strength: Medium +
Body: Medium +
Price: Varies


Looking over the milk chocolate color wrapper on this cigar, I am amazed at the very tight and barely visible seams. There is a slight tooth and some small veins on the wrapper. The construction is solid, with a firm feel to the cigar.

Cold aroma

The scents coming off the wrapper provide for a pleasant aroma. Notes of coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, cream and cinnamon rise to the top, and create interest in what is to come. The foot gives me flavors of cinnamon, cream, hay, licorice, vanilla, raisin and honey.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XXII

A Cigars Tale Review XXII 1October 10th, 2016

Cigar name: Archetype Sage Advice
Cigar brand: Ventura Cigar Co.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola reviewed: Toro (6 inches by 52 ring gauge)
Strength: Medium+
Body: Medium+
Price: $11.99


Upon visual inspection, I find an oily wrapper with a milk chocolate color. There is a slight tooth, and the seams are almost nonexistent. I also note a couple of small veins running along the outer leaf of the firm stogie.

Cold aroma

The wrapper gives off nice scents of leather, dried fruit, cinnamon, cedar and earth (dirt). The foot brings fragrances of chocolate, raisin, grass, flowers, cocoa and coffee.

Cold draw

After cutting the stogie, I take my usual puffs before lighting. This cigar brings on flavors of cocoa, chocolate, peanut and cinnamon.

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Partagás Lusitanias

Partagás Lusitanias 1September 29th, 2016

Cigar: Partagás Lusitanias
Code: ECA JUL 02
Format: Prominentes (Double Corona)
Size: 194mm (7.625 inches) x 49 ring gauge
Date smoked: 09/11/2016

The Lusitanias owes its name to the ill-fated RMS Lusitania, the British luxury ocean liner sunk by a German U-Boat during WW I.* On May 7th, 1915, while en-route from New York to Liverpool, England, the Lusitania was hit by an exploding torpedo off the coast of Ireland, and sank in a scant 20 minutes. 1,100 of the 1,900 passengers and crew perished that day, including 120 Americans. Though it would take another two years before the US officially entered WW I, the sinking of the Lusitania played a key role in turning public opinion against Germany, both in the US and around the world.

The Partagás Lusitanias are available in 25-count dress boxes (which is where this specimen originated) and in 50-count cabinets. 10-count dress boxes were introduced in 2006.

The cold draw of my sample was perfect, though dispatching little taste or aroma at this stage. The fire from my torch lighter quickly formed a nice cherry at the foot of the cigar, and the episode was on.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XXI

A Cigars Tale Review XXI 1October 6th, 2016

Cigar name: Media Noche
Cigar brand: H. Upmann
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Binder: Dominican Republic Piloto
Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola reviewed: Robusto (5 inches by 54 ring gauge)
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium+
Price: $7.00


This is a cigar that immediately catches your attention. There is something about the way the wrapper and band come together that just jumps out at you. The wrapper is dark brown, and has a slight tooth to it. There are tight seams and two prominent, medium-sized veins running along the firm cigar.

Cold aroma

The scents coming off of the wrapper include chocolate, leather, cedar and coffee. The foot brings notes of raisin, barnyard, cream, butter, floral, black pepper, musk and caramel. All of these fragrances come together nicely, and give me hope of a pleasant smoking experience.

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Hammer + Sickle ICON Robusto

Hammer Sickle ICON Robusto 1September 28th, 2016

This cigar is one of the ‘gourmet series’ I received from the kind folks at Cigar Weekly. To be honest, I didn't know at first what that meant. Now, however, I’m aware that these are limited, special cigars, which explains why I couldn't find much information about them since their being introduced at the IPCPR last July in Las Vegas.

The name Hammer + Sickle (and the Moscow reference on the side of the band) made me very curious. So I started to smell the cigar, and hoped to determine the origin of the blend.

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Hoyo Toro

Hoyo Toro 1October 5th, 2016

Ask any member of Cigar Weekly familiar with my taste preferences, "Who makes my favorite cigars?", and they will quickly identify Punch and Hoyo De Monterrey (HDM). There is just something about these Honduran-made cigars that works for me. While I certainly enjoy cigars made in other locales and by other cigar makers, Punch and HDM cigars are the ones that I keep coming back to. They are definitely my go-to cigars.

And it’s not just one or two types of the Punch and HDM cigars that I like. I like them all. That cannot be said about other cigars. For example, one of my favorite cigars is the CAO Brazilia Gol. But all of the other CAO cigars, including the different sizes within the Brazilia line, are not amongst my favorites. It’s not that those other cigars are necessarily bad. It’s just that they don’t keep me coming back. When you’ve been smoking cigars as long as I have (more than 15 years), you’ve tried just about everything and you know what you like. I like the Punch and HDM cigars.

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Casa Turrent 1973

CTurrent01September 26th, 2016

It's early afternoon and time to get a review in. The sun is definitely over the yard-arm, but not quite far enough yet to justify an adult beverage. So I'll opt for a soft drink of my youth, Big Red. Now, I know some are already cringing and rolling their eyes. But I've had any number of people mention how much they enjoy root beer or cream soda with a cigar... so why not a Big Red?

This offering from Casa Turrent is the Serie 1973, in Robusto size. The '1973' celebrates the year of birth of Alejandro Turrent. The cigar features a Mexican San Andrés Criollo wrapper with San Andrés Crillo binder and a combination of Nicuraguan and Mexican Criollo fillers.

The cigar is expertly made, exhibiting a firm feel and nice heft. The wrapper is Colorado Maduro in color, and shows very little veining. Casa Turrent is proud of their tobacco grown in volcanic soil, and I must admit there is normally a distinct flavor I associate with Mexican tobacco. So I am anxious to give this Robusto a try.

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