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  1. In 1963 Cohiba started out as a Fuma (a cigar rolled by a torcedor for his own use) that was offered to Fidel Castro. It immediately became Fidel’s favourite. In 1964, a small factory was set up to make these cigars. Production was later moved to the present El Laguito Factory. This original cigar was an unnamed Laguito No.1, and in 1967, two additional sizes were added....a Laguito No.2 and a Laguito No.3. The cigar brand remained unnamed until 1966, when it was officially named Cohiba. In 1969 the three cigars were given commercial names and the packaging and band designs finalised. Three cigars were commercially released in 1984. The Classic range was introduced in 1989, incorporating the original three cigars. The Siglo range was developed in 1992 and became commercially available in early 1994. The Maduro range was released in 2007. The Behike range was released in 2010. The tobacco is the best available from the premium Vuelta Abajo region. The Seco & Ligero filler leaf is given an exclusive third fermentation. The Classic & Behike range comprise medium to full strength cigars and the Siglo & Maduro range comprise medium strength cigars. Source: Cuban Cigar Website/Cohiba Cohiba, the premium global flagship brand, is well-known for being a good, reliable and more expensive than Habanos S.A's other brands. The Línea 1492, consisting of five cigars, the Siglo I, II, III, IV and V was launched in 1992 to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of Columbus' arrival in Cuba before one further size, the iconic Siglo VI, was added in 2002. These are medium-bodied in flavour. (Interestingly, the Línea 1492 came out in 1992 to replace the discontinued Davidoff Cuban cigar brand) According to Habanos S.A., the leaves for Cohiba are the selection of the selection from the 5 finest Vegas de Primera in San Juan y Martínez and San Luis districts of the Vuelta Abajo zone. It's this extra care for detail, both in the production of the tobacco and the finished cigar, that lends a certain mystique, perhaps, to Cohiba. The purpose of these reviews is to directly compare the similarities and differences in these aged Siglo cigars to provide a reference for our members. I am indebted to the founder of Cuban Cigar Website, Trevor Leask, for providing these Siglo I-VI cigars for me to review. They are all from 2006, given to me a year ago, they sat in my humidor until the time came to directly compare them.
  2. Cigar: Fonseca No.1 Box Code: UME NOV14 Review Date: April 18, 2016 (Age: 1yr, 5mo) Appearance: This box smells incredible! A really great barnyard aroma. This is a box I picked up on a 24:24 a little while ago and it’s PSP grade in my estimation. A perfectly crafted cap with a dark Colorado wrapper that has some nice sheen and splotchiness to it. First third: Honey, cream, a nice balanced pepper, and some subtle floral notes. Second third: The sweetness fades to the background, the pepper picks up a tad. There’s a slight leather note coming in. Third third: Body increases a tad, the leather asserts itself more, as does the pepper. The honey and cream have faded almost completely and have been replaced with a nice black tea flavor. Smoking time: Forgot to measure. I think about 1.5 hrs. Conclusion: So glad I jumped on these when they were available. They're considered discontinued by most, so it was a nice surprise to see them available. Aside from this box I’ve had one other example, a nicely aged stick that I got in a trade. It was equally as impressive. Fonseca may not get as much love as the other marcas, but I’d buy another box (or two!) in a heartbeat if they showed up on a 24:24 again. Rating: 95
  3. I'm relatively new to Cuban cigars and can count the number of different Cubans I've smoked on one hand. I still have and smoke mostly non-Cuban's, but my "passed over" cigar for this review is the first Cuban I bought from Rob and I got it back in September: the Por Larranaga Petit Corona. It will be my first one. I've been letting it rest at 64-65 per cent humidity, but for the last month I've been battling high humidity here in Florida with my home humidity in the low to mid 70's much of the time and my stored cigars going as high as 68% this last month. So I wanted to wait til it came down, as well as listening to the wisdom of more experienced smokers who recommend longer aging on these to bring out their reknowned caramel sweetness. Humidity is still high which is one of the reasons I keep passing over them. Rob has suggested trying some early to see how they progress, and like him I don't mind a little "mongrel" in my cigars, so I lit one up today and hoped the somewhat higher moisture content wouldn't affect the taste or burn. I used a V-cut and draw was fine with just the right amount of resistance. It lit well and burned evenly almost all the way down except for a bit of unevenness after about an inch that self-corrected. The first photo was about 12 minutes after I lit it and as you can see, it had burned down less than half an inch. I was trying to smoke it slowly. There was an underlying sweetness right from the beginning. The body was a medium and the strength to me was the lighter side of medium to a solid medium by the end. It was a windy day and I was outside for much of the time (when I wasn't driving). In the second photo, when I was near the water, the wind was pretty strong and caused the ash to fall prematurely and I had to relight it twice. You might also notice that the wrapper started to develop a small split, but it didn't turn out to be a problem and I smoked right through it. Besides the sweetness, I tasted a little toast here and there, but the flavors weren't that well defined. It did have a rich taste, and though I know some reviewers have said it can be a bit bland when young, I didn't find it bland at all. Early on I wafted some of the smoke towards me and was surprised to detect some ammonia smell present, but I didn't taste it at all when I was smoking it. It was smooth and there was no harshness. Hopefully, the flavors will come out more as these age, and I intend to have several a year to compare until I feel they've hit their sweet spot.
  4. When Rob posted this little contest i figured what the hell, its a good time to delve into a cigar that I usually just either say Meh...or needs more time. In the case of the RACF, its one of those cigars where everytime i smoke one im wowed. But for some reason when i dig into my cooler, I always seem to reach for something else, because in my mind, the RACF is a great cigar, a powerhouse, and one that i feel needs more time. Well its time for me to check up on this and see how its progressing. I smoked this cigar saturday night at the Rib n Reef's cigar lounge in Montreal. I used the smallest punch on my creedo triple punch cutter. This cigar was paired with a G&T. First third : Took a few draws for the flavours in the cigar to wake up. I feel that is always the case when it comes to cigars in the Britanicas size. Once i smoked through the "bulb" the cigar started to open up. I'm getting deep dark cherry flavours from this cigar. the cigar is producing volumes of smoke. I'm glad that i deceided to use a small punch on this cigar rather than a traditional cut. the cigar is smoking beautifully. Second Third : The dark cherry continues to be dominant in this cigar. This cigar is definitely on the full side on the power scale. As the second third goes on, the dark cherry starts to disappear and i'm not getting what i would call an Amaretto Liqueur flavor in this cigar. This is a first for me. Its like a mix of almond and fruit. Almost like a Fruit and nut chocolate bar minus the chocolate. Last third : Power has been turned to 11 on this one in the last third. for a cigar that has 6 years on it, its still a mongrel. Its defenitly not acting its age in the last third. You'd expect a cigar with 5 + years of age on it to be more refined in the last third. not this one. It throws up both middle fingers and yells at you NOOOOO i dont want to grow up! Stewed fruit, burnt almond in the last third. Overall impressions : Its a great cigar, no doubt about it. PCC have done a great job as usual with ther Regional program. Like most if not all PCC cigars, they are blended to be aged long term. This cigar is defenitly built to be aged long term. If you can find a box of these, i defenitly recommend buying it. Its very good now, but will be amazing with a couple more years under its belt. Final score : 92
  5. BRC...for some reason i just never reach for these when im in the mood for a Robusto. RASS and PSD4's are staples for me, Everything about the BRC looks appealing to me...the aroma at cold, the dark wrapper. so why do I pass these over all the time? Well I picked one up, packed in my caddy and finally deceided to put flame to it. I punched this cigar with the medium punch of my creedo 3 punch cutter and light it up. First third: FIrst puffs were just pure coco. Dark chocolate in spades. Cigar was producing tons of smoke as well. It was burning beautifully and even. after the first few draws on this cigar, I knew right there and then I was in for a real treat Second Third : I am absolutly enjoying every puff of this cigar. The dark chocolate flavours continue, and i am now getting espresso flavors in the mix as well. As i am smoking this cigar i am thinking to myself why havent i reached for this more often? why do i always overlook this when considering what box to buy next? I am enjoying this cigar so much so, that i forgot to take any more pics of this cigar! Last third: What can I say. this cigar has exeeded my expectations, its blowing me out of the water. Dark chocolate, espresso, coffee beans. Its very coparable in flavour to a BBF, but more on the the midium side rather than the full side like a BBF. Conclusion : Just wow. This cigar changed my mind about the BRC's. I will probably look to pick up a box of these rather than buying D4's like i usually do. Overall score : 94
  6. One of my favorites this year because these have performed flavor-wise every time. Some from this box have been good, most great, and one or two absolutely amazing. The burn has been hit or miss but the flavors have always come through. A warm December day is the perfect time to bring out a cigar that's a bit bigger than the normal winter petit coronas and smaller. Prelight: Draw is a bit on the firmer side, wrapper is a bit oily. Went with water for this review but I do like bourbon with these as well. Start: 3:22pm. No wind at all. First third: Immediately hit by cream and cocoa. Draw is excellent. Burn is a little wonky. Towards the end of this third, puppy joins me outside for the review and beautiful weather. Second third: Bit of coffee starts to work into the profile. Body is increasing as well. Draw starts to tighten up a bit. Burn requires some touchups. By then end of this third the draw is very tight, despite cutting off a bit more of the head. Final third: Coffee has stepped up in intensity, cream has faded to back. Cocoa still present. Constant attention is required to keep the wrapper burning however. End 4:56pm Total time: 1 hour 34 minutes. Construction was an issue throughout the entire cigar. The wrapper didn't seem to want to burn and the draw was very tight. Despite this, the flavor profile was still good and enjoyable, going from a smooth cream and cocoa to a coffee and cocoa by the end. Good cigar, but I've definitely had much better from this box. The fact that I felt a little let down by 'just' a good cigar is why this is one of my top cigars of the year.
  7. Hello all! I don't have anything in my humidor smaller than a petit robusto and thought I would buy some smaller cigars (not cigarillos) for a quick (and not so expensive) smoke whenever I feel like it. I've found that the shorts and the mille fleurs are just about the size I'm looking for. I'd like a head to head comparison of these two cigars and why one is better than the other, to you! Thanks
  8. Posted this on another site, but wanted to post it here, as it's more appropriate. Other review to follow! Origin: Cuba Format: Petit Corona Size: 4.0 x 40 Handmade / BRA DEC 12 After lunch Pairing: Black coffee, dark rum. Time: 45 minutes Part of a larger order (that I will review in time). Couldn't wait more than two days to try one of these after opening the box to find absolutely beautiful little cigars, one of the nicer boxes I've seen from RG. I chose the poorest looking of the cigars in the top layer and proceeded from there. Even being the weakest in appearance, this was a very attractive petit corona. Dark and oily, a bit of sweet toasted nut and barnyard, unlit. Narrowly punched and lit with a cedar match, even draw. Maybe a little on the tight side, but I prefer that in a short cigar like this. Initial notes of cappuccino, dark chocolate, and toasted hazelnuts. A slight soapy note on the back end of the first few puffs, but that dissipated quickly. As the cigar progressed, toasted nut and bitter chocolate remained predominate, but every now and then a tangy, almost soapy note reentered the picture (not unpleasant to be honest, just intriguing). A perfect burn throughout, without any effort on my part (aside from an even initial light). The ash was as dark as any I have ever seen, almost black. While some prefer the aesthetics of a snow-white ash, I find the differences in color to be part of the enjoyment and uniqueness of a good cigar, especially when the burn is picture perfect. As the cigar began to wind down, the tang dissipated permanently, to be replaced by burnt coffee and smoked walnut wood notes. There was still sweetness to be found, but it was veiled to some degree by the more pronounced woodsy notes that crept in. Didn't want to let this little cigar go and against my usual preference, I nearly grabbed a second from the same box, just to continue what was a dream petit corona, but I have designs on an Edmundo later today, so better judgment won out. I can't wait to see where these little gems go from here. My expectations were only average when I threw these into an order, but if this cigar was any indication, these are a special box. 91pts. Exceptionally complex for a petit corona, with room to evolve further. My main concern (aside from this being a one-off), is that they will mellow a bit too much.
  9. Cigar: Montecristo No. 4 Box Code: TUP ENE 14 Review Date: 4/4/2015 (Age: 1yr, 3mos) Appearance: This is a good looking Monte. The wrapper falls into the medium-dark end of the spectrum and has a slight sheen to it. I believe this box is graded HQ. First third: Lots of youth present here. The typical Monte profile of creamed coffee and hazelnut is present, but it is overshadowed by some “mongrel youth” (to use Rob’s words) that comes across as orange zest. The draw is just a bit too restrictive for my taste. It forces me to puff a few times before I get a good mouthful of smoke, which unfortunately makes the cigar burn a little hotter and does nothing to help the flavor. Second third: Not much change. The nostril-singeing youth still makes itself known. There’s a pleasant woody and savory quality coming through at times though, which is nice. The room note reveals some ammonia at times. The burn has gone a bit wonky and needed some correcting. Third third: Finally getting some of those classic Monte flavors, and boy is it delivering. The draw has even opened up a bit, too. The rich coffee flavor is shining through, and the flavor is now more of a citrus-flavored coffee. This is how I like my Monte 4’s to taste. Smoking time: About an hour Conclusion: I usually like my Monte 4’s with about 18-24 months on them. The competition called for 2014 stock and unfortunately I don’t have much 2014 that is ready to smoke. In fact, this box has only been sitting in my humidor for 26 days, and I don’t think it has had enough time to fully rest. However, this cigar showed promise, especially at the end. With another 6 months-1 year the rough edges will be rounded out and I can tell that rich Monte profile is just lurking under the surface, ready to be enjoyed. Rating: 85. Though I’d expect this box to be in the 92-93 range once it matures a bit more.
  10. You can read the full review I wrote here on my blog. Enjoy At cold, the Bolivar Super corona has that barn smell a lot of fresh cigars have. As weird as this might sound, this smell is quite attractive to any aficionado as it can make the mind travel all the way to a curing barn in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba. The construction is even and there arent any soft or hard spots. Visually, this doesnt have the prettiest wrapper. I find this tends to happen more frequently with the limited editions as the have a thicker and darker wrapper. When cut, this cigar gave me a perfect draw with just enough resistance to prevent smoking it too fast. I can taste some sweet tobacco, again a sign of good quality fresh tobacco. 1st third: This cigar doesnt play around and goes straight to the point with a nice amount of power. I place this as a medium-full bodied Bolivar. You can feel the finish lingering and it is quite pleasant. Flavour wise, in this first third I get toasted tobacco, some sweet and stewed fruits notes as well. I cant help but to make a parallel with the 2011 limited edition from Ramon Allones, the beautifully packaged Allones Extra. They both have similar power and flavour combo. 2nd third: The Bolivar Super Corona has not showed much evolution from the previous third but it has been giving me good consistent flavours. The burn itself is pretty good besides a couple of touch ups that were required. I got more of the toasted tobacco than the stewed fruits from the beginning. The size feels pretty good and just like the now defunct Bolivar Corona Extras. 3rd third: Ok, now we are getting into some serious Bolivar territory. The body has picked up and it really full now. Good strong tobacco, some leather and spices in this as well. The Bolivar Super Corona shows signs of aging potential; they will smooth out some of the power and become quite nice. I suspect these will be good after about 3-5 years of nap time. I doubt these will ever become classics or sought after like the Cohiba/Montecristo Sublimes but they offer an honest experience. Also, the presentation in the natural wood with papeletas on the side is well done. The release is well done in size and in presentation! Cheers!
  11. Diplomaticos No 7 Review I had the opportunity a while back to pickup a full box of these. I finally cracked it open and took a stick down to Varadero Cuba to enjoy. This is a somewhat abbreviated review compared to the vintage RA Aristocrats one I just posted. Since I have a few more to enjoy, I thought I'd sit down and do a more relaxed review. Vitals: RG=38 Length = 6.0” Box code: JM NOUU / OCT 88 CCW Link: Pre-light Notes: Smooth claro, wrapper. Firm to the touch, a very well rolled cigar. Good draw. Aroma at Cold: Mint and clove on the nose. A very fresh and floral aroma in general. Paired with Ron Santiago 11YO on the rocks. Reviewers Notes: My style of cigar reviewing is “open”. I try to jot down what I’m experiencing with every draw. When you see a “//” consider that a break in between puffs. What I leave out in fancy prose is made up with observation. Consider each segment a play by play. This style works for me. I hope you enjoy it. RS = I took a sip of Ron Santiago Rum. Sorry for the "potato cam" quality photo of the stick. The light in the cigar room and my camera didn't gel it seems. First Third Smooth, creamy vanilla from the onset // minty hits // smooth cigar, medium bodied // toasty tobacco // strong tobacco flavours weave in and out on subsequent draws. This is nice surprise // some sourdough // hints of sweetness on the finish // some cedar // RS // some saltiness now // a few minty draws // the third closes off with some mineraly flavours. Second Third Nice coffee draw // grassy and herbal flavours // a chalky flavour now // the next few puffs are almost pure vanilla bliss // a salty, minty note ensues // RS // sourdough again; no complaints // toasty tobacco // minimal smoke output from this cigar thus far // smooth, dry herbal notes round out the second third. Third Third Floral and herbal start // the ash is light grey and firm // green tea and toasty tobacco finish // sourdough // mint // RS // salty/mineraly draw // more sourdough // toasty tobacco // dry nutmeg notes // RS // baking spice // sourdough with a sweet finish // salty, cedary notes // the profile of the cigar has increased in it’s boldness, more cedary notes // RS // toasty tobacco // earthy notes // earthier notes! // rich tobacco with a tea like finish // mint // toasty tobacco // sourdough and cedar trade off on the next two draws // mintiness lingers on the finish on the next handful of draws // some floral note // a few more minty draws // as I nub the cigar, my final puffs are floral,like a subtle perfume. FIN Final Thoughts Beautifully balanced cigar in terms of flavours. Can’t imagine it needing any more age. These are more than ready to smoke and keeping my hands off them will be challenging! The cigar was medium bodied overall which is a good sign that the blend has survived all these years. The flavour range was robust and engaging. A very interesting smoke indeed.
  12. Cigar: El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme Box date: Unknown, just bought a few singles. Purchase date: 09/12/2014 Smoke date: 06/01/2015 (First time writing 2015!) This is my first ever cigar review, but thought I would give it a crack. As this is a morning cigar I made myself a single shot latte with Peru Ceja de Selva beans (roast date 07/12/2014 and purchased from coffeesnobs.com.au) 1st third: Very smooth and creamy. Slight peppery notes to the end of the first third. Flavours are quite mild. The creaminess of the cigar paired well with the milk based coffee. The ash held for about 1.5-2.0 cm. 2nd third: Slight peppery notes still here and there, but nothing extreme. Creaminess starting to slowly disappear and tobacco taste becoming stronger. Had a wrapper burning issue which I touched up. It appeared to be caused by a leaf vein which didn't seem to want to burn. Draw also became a bit tight around the halfway mark, but nothing too bad. Made myself another coffee halfway through. Same Peruvian coffee, but an espresso this time. Combined with the cigar, the coffee had a delicious, rich marzipan flavour! First time paring an espresso with a cigar and it was truly amazing. I've never experienced such a flavour from a coffee before. Final third: Some more creaminess coming back through, but not nearly as much as the first third. I no longer taste any pepper or spice. Some roasted nut flavours appearing also, but quite subtle. Another wrapper burning issue which needed a touch up. Overall comments: A mild strength cigar with not a whole lot of complexity to it. I thoroughly enjoyed the creaminess of the first third and is the stand out point of the cigar. Most other flavours are very subtle. It was a great smoke for the morning but for the evening you would probably be better off with something a bit stronger with more complexity.
  13. Bolivar CG 07/2010 Source: LFTW sampler from Nov 2013 Time: Afternoon ( 1:50hrs) Drink: Water Weather: cloudy, 32 degree C, RH 66% Wrapper has a nice shine to it, slightly oily. Some damage which I expect happened during transport as I received it this way. Draw at cold is fine, slight resistance, smell barn and dry hay. Light up The BCG starts at medium level with smooth rounded flavor of toasted tobacco and toasted bread or shortbread as I get a hint of sweetness. Burn is fine, ash nice grey and solid and a good amount of smoke. A short time in and the strength relaxed a bit to the lower end of medium and flavor is getting more complex, nice but can't separate the nuances. Ash holds for 1.1/2 inch. Nice smooth progress. Flavor waves every few puffs with some molasses in and out. So far the wrapper damage does not influence the smoke at all. Second third Strength is at lower medium, flavor changes to more woody and earth. There is still some slight molasses undertone. Pleasant Into the second third it changes back to bread and adding some slight nuts and flower taste. End of second third, getting sweet toasted bread and smooth tobacco. This one is very rounded and smooth. Final third Strength is going up a bit to solid medium. Some wood, bread and molasses. A very nice balanced, smooth and rounded cigar. Thanks for reading.
  14. Very nice presentation box of 20 cigars. Fairly cheap. Machine rolled Cuban cigar with short filler and precut. Honestly, I bought these cigars on their price and the Corona in the name. Was surprised (but not shocked) when I found out that these are not Corona sized but Universales. Cooler name and very nice shape - perfect for winter. Comes with some hard plastic friction tubes with a rubber knob. Prefer it to the aluminium tubes as they're not crushable in my pocket. Oh how many times I've had to take wire snippers to a tube to save a cigar with the Jaws of Life. Prelight Ritual Moments ANYWAY, Back to the cigar: Took it out during work with a can of Schweppes Ginger Ale. We lit it up on my break in the heated shed which was very nice. Left the door open so my legs were freezing but the hot air was blowing continuously on my head. That thing could've heated an entire baseball stadium. ANYWAY, Back to the cigar. Very toothy wrapper as expected from a machine roll and very sweet, cedary draw that reminded me of the nectare of a Sprite. Kinda like what honey from heaven would taste like. Or if you licked Tinkerbell. I could actually feel a retrohale on the cold draw which was odd but pleasant. Enjoyed it very much. First Half Great first bit. Tasted like what San Pelligrino if they made a Marachino cherries flavour. Brilliant smoke and pumping out record smoke. I would be taking full draws without getting any sort of harshness. Mouthful upon mouthful of smoke later, you could feel a cedar taste creep up on your palate and tell you that there is SOME complexity with the cigar. It was absolutely brilliant. Flavour was on every time with no surprises or sudden changes of heart. Retrohale had no harshness but does bring out the woodiness more than the sweetness. Nearing the second quarter, the cigar started to really intensify with the flavours as all pistons were pumping. I can tell it has some nicotine/ tannic polymers/ nitrosamines that normally makes cigars harsh. But that was masked by the continous sweet aroma of the cigar. Tasted more like black forest cake near the end... Less like Maraschino Cherries. Second Half I wanted to review this cigar in quarters. But the subtle changes were too gradual to justify typing out these long winded paragraphs FOUR TIMES for this cigar. On top of that, I was with my supervisor who was talking for a bit. Lucky I even remembered to snap these pictures! ANYWAY, Back to the cigar: Still strong with sweet tang. I am really enjoying the hell out of this cigar. It's something that has produced an ass kicking which was surprising considering the sweetness. It was gradual so I didn't even notice. The strength came in the form of a woody zap that reminds me of engraving maple wood or cooling maple sap in the snow. As a child, I would take a stick, put it on a wooden board layered with snow, and pour maple sap over the board. The sap would harden and you would roll it around in the snow to create a lolly that was absolutely delicious. That's what it tastes like right now. Damn I missed those. The retrohale continued to bring out a strong wood taste that masked the sweetness. I stopped retrohaling because the nostalgic beauty of the cedary maple candies outweighed any sort of need to taste burnt wood. It gradually faded away, unfortunately and the cigar started to taste more like the retrohale. It got bitter near the end but not something I could taste. It was kind of like burning plastic... But it was a good kind of 'gasoline' taste. Something I can't describe too well in words. I didn't bother retrohaling at this point. It ended quite small and I would've nubbed it if my break didn't end 15 minutes ago... Final Thoughts A great, predictable, know-what-you're-getting cigar. I stocked up on vintage RA Belvederes for this winter but I think these will dominate what I'm going to smoke for the next little while. These are too good to put down. 45 minute smoke time and would've easily gone to 55 if I cared to nub it. If I was taking my time smokin this cigar, it would've stretched up to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Absolutely brilliant. Red Stagg bourbon has a taste profile very similar to the first half of this cigar. I would buy a bottle just to pair with this cigar. Call them 2013 heroine/crack/PCP/meth, etc. But I call them my winter smokes and perhaps even my summer smokes. Rating: 87/100. Only thing it lacks is complexity which is why I can't justify giving it a higher rating. Contest Part Will give 3 of these cigars (a whole whopping three!?!) to anyone who can guess the box code of this cigar. Date is not needed. But guess the box code. (CaptainQuintero... you're banned from guessing. And so is anyone who KNOWS the box code of this cigar!) Hint 1: They're not an old box code.
  15. Thanks, Prez for the review contest! Cigar: Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No. 4 Box Code: SMO MAR 12 Review Date: 9/15/2014 (Age: 2yrs, 6mos) Appearance: The wrapper has a very dark Colorado shade to it. There is a slight oily sheen to the cigar. Though the triple cap exhibits very visible seams, the rest of the wrapper is applied expertly. I didn't acquire this particular box from Prez, but I dare say it could pass for HQ. First third: The draw is just a hair on the tight side, but the smoke is dense and chewy, just the way I like it. The cigar kicks off with notes of new leather and a bit of an earthy/fruity character, almost like a tart cherry taste. There’s also a tiny bit of harshness coming through the nose, indicating this box could probably benefit from a little more aging. Second third: The leather and tart cherry notes take a back seat and the youthful spice picks up a notch. A really pleasant espresso note begins to develop. The finish is on the dry side. Third third: We’re back to the leather and cherry notes. Towards the very end, the earthy espresso makes one final appearance. The dry finish became more prevalent, giving the taste a hint of woodiness. I also had to touch up the burn at this point as it started to go out on me. Smoking time: 1hr 25 min Conclusion: This isn't one of my favorite cigars, but it was nice for a change of pace. I really dig the interplay between the sour cherry and the earthy espresso tastes. Hopefully another year or two of age will mellow out the harsh edges and allow the range of flavors to marry a bit. Rating: 91
  16. Love a good review contest. Cigar: Punch Serie D’Oro No. 2 (Edicion Limitada 2013) Box Code: AME JUL 2013 Review Date: 10/17/2014 (Age: 1yr, 3mos) Appearance: This is a good looking cigar—the sort of caliber I’d expect in an Edicion Limitada. It has a beautiful, dark wrapper with a subtle, oily sheen to it. Closer inspection reveals a nice, evenly-distributed splotchiness. The prelight smell is the perfect mix of leather and barnyard. First third: Some really fantastic flavors right from the get-go. The core is bold, rich, and peppery. As far as Cubans go, I’d call it full bodied. It has a very pleasant leather and coffee bean flavor with a touch of berries. Second third: The berry notes are now more of a syrupy, stewed fruit. They aren’t ever-present, but instead come and go to bring in some nice complexity. A nutty flavor creeps in from the background, something like those peanuts that come in a can with the skins on them. Third third: It’s getting a bit hotter at this point, and as a result a bit of youth shows through, giving a chemical note through the nose. It’s not too offensive though, just a matter of pacing myself and smoking it slowly. The complexity has simmered down; now there’s just a simple rich leather and fruit taste that resembles the recent Punch Punches that I’ve had. Smoking time: 1hr, 20 min Conclusion: This one lived up to the hype. It’s as if the blender took the excellent flavor of recent Punch Punch, added in a bit of RASS character, and then dialed everything up to 11. I paired this with some Ron Zacapa 23, and it was a perfect complement. The bold sweet rum offset the rich peppery cigar very well. This cigar was one of three that I got in a box split. I wish these weren’t so expensive, because I could see myself indulging in a box and watching how they mature over the next 2-3 years. Rating: 94. With a little more time I can see these achieving a 96 or 97.
  17. It's Friday on this side of the pond, and after an excellent Monte Especial No. 1 yesterday, thanks to Brad (and Werner by proxy), I figured I celebrate with another Montecristo. The wrapper is silky with a slight sheen to it, and almost has a reddish color in the right light. The cold draw was a little on the tight side, but nothing too worrisome. I noticed a hard spot near the shoulder, which was probably the cause. I fired it up anyways and found the draw was not perfect, but copacetic at least. I immediately get a mouthful of heavenly, creamy milk flavors with some chocolate on the finish. There seemed to be just a hint of leather and maybe some spices as well. Perhaps nutmeg? As I progressed into the second third, the taste of coffee appeared, but was still playing second fiddle to the creaminess of the cigar. The coffee really stepped up in the final third, and was joined by the revisiting leather, and maybe - just maybe - some earthiness as well. I was also still tasting the baking spices, which continued to increase alongside the coffee tones. At the end, the cigar did get a bit bitter and harsh, but I was nearly burning my finger anyways, so I wasn't disappointed. The burn stayed spot on and the ash was dense, so besides the slightly tight draw, construction was great. The flavors were classic, delicious Monte, with medium-full body and medium strength. This is a great box and I look forward to seeing how they mature in the next year or two.
  18. I blazed this cigar last night, but I wanted to type up the review on the laptop, rather than the phone, so this is what we will call a #latergram review... I paired the cigar with a Stone & Wood Pacific Ale (current favourite) and a Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18 as the chaser. Notice my radical stand? Many thanks to @rye for this work of art, and the opportunity to obtain one via a fabulous instagram auction for a great cause. #frothing On to the cigar...with an ever so slightly cracked foot, this was the worst looking Belicosos, Piramides or Churchill in my tower at home. And at 4 years old, the time was just right to take it to the flame and review the hell out of it. Apart from the cracked foot, construction felt great. Head was nice. Wrapper slightly veiny, maybe a little toothy. Great colorado colouring. Was well packed, no soft spot, all the way to the foot. Pre-light draw was absolutely perfect, with a very floral aftertaste. However, once taken to the flame, this cigar was completely different. Possibly one of the sweetest and fruitiest cigars I've ever had. It was delightful. A perfect dessert. Actually reminiscent of a Ramon Allones Specially Selected, juiced up on steroids. Now at this point, the leaf at the bottom of the pool has really annoyed me. But I was quickly snapped out of it, because at the end of the first-third, those floral notes that I expected started to come through. Paired with the Stone & Wood, this was a lovely transition in the cigar. Still very sweet, but the floral nose was a fabulous addition. Apologies for the dark shot, but this is how I took my notes for this review. It was at the halfway point that some nuttiness and a touch of salt became apparent. Really impressed with this cigar now. Quite complex. By the end, I was really disappointed it was over. Which is always a great indication. This was a one-off cigar for me. I think my mate Johno gave it to me, with a bunch of other regionals a couple years ago. Retrospectively, it is close to a Ramon Allones Celestiales Finos, but not quite as good. I would give this cigar a solid 90, maybe a 91. Happy Friday everyone!
  19. In my naïveté, I bought this 10ct. blind. I think I lucked out, as so far they have been dang good. Seeing as it is its first birthday, I figured I'd light one up and write a review. The construction appears great: no soft spots, beautiful cap, and solidly packed foot. The wrapper has a nice cedary scent to it. I use a punch and the cold draw seems good to go, so I set flame to it and begin smoking. However, this may not be as relaxing as I would hope as the temperature is pushing 100*F (37*C) and the gusts of wind are like standing in front of a giant's hair dryer. I get some peppery cedar at the onset, with backing notes of dried fruit. The smoke is thick and creamy and the draw is right where I like it. The burn is not as perfect as one would like, but given this young cigar's age, it is somewhat acceptable. I begin to pick up notes of earth as the burn continues, which also seems to correct itself a bit. The flavors do seem a bit muted from what I remember from previous encounters with the PSD4. But, they are nice: pepper, cedar, cream, earth, and as I enter the second third, some dusty baking spice I just can't put my finger on. This dusty spice grows in strength, especially through retrohaling. But, other than that, I am still just tasty earthy wood, as the pepper has waned a bit. At the halfway point, I do taste some grassiness coming through, the earthiness increases, and the burn is back to being nearly horrible. Again, the burn valiantly corrects itself, but the trade off is that the flavors become bitter. There is a hint of cream and nice earth, but the grassiness is acrid. I fight on hoping it gets better. Luckily, the flavors do get better, almost mimicking the flavors at the beginning - peppery wood - but stronger this time. The bitterness has left and the cigar is actually getting sweeter, with some earth and cream. At this point, the burn rebels again. I smoke until my fingers burn, and the taste is pure, charred wood. This cigar was not pure bliss, which echoes what I have heard others say about PSD4s as of late. There seems to be inconsistencies even within the box. It was far from a horrible cigar (I smoke a lot of NCs, so I know what horrible cigars taste like), but I was a bit disappointed. I am not a big numbers guy as far as reviews go, but this one would probably be somewhere in the high 80s given the off burn, and period of harsh flavors. I do have hope for the rest in the box (5 at this point). I think I may let them sit for a few months at least before giving them another shot. Hopefully that let's things settle a bit.
  20. This is a cigar I bought "blind" in a sense. The sense being that I had never tried one before I bought a box. I had other RAs, and enjoyed them fully, and after hearing others rave about this cigar, I had to pick up a box when they were offered by Rob some time ago. It had been resting at 70% for some time, so I dry-boxed it for 36 hours prior to the review. I used a punch and the draw seemed perfect, so I fired it up. The RASCC starts off spicy enough to burn my nose during retrohales. I pick up some woodiness right off the bat, with a creaminess. The cream is more in the texture than the flavor though. This little guy starts off showing it's strength. As our Aussie brethren would say, it's a "mongrel." There is a toasted tobacco flavor with a bit of a floral finish. It is a bit difficult to pick up on any subtle flavors as this cigar is a powerhouse, despite it's diminutive size. The burn is a little off, so I am forced to touch it up a bit. I am starting to feel a tingle on the tongue, almost like a minty sensation. The floral flavors increase, and I start to pick up some espresso notes. The woodiness from the beginning is gone, and the intensity has settled a bit, but I know better. It's like hearing a puma purr, or standing in the eye of a tornado; the relief is almost horrifying. The floral notes seem to change into more of an herbal mixture. The herbal flavors are primary, but there is also a dustiness to the taste. And, as expected, the mongrel is back. The monster minuto requires another touch up as the flavors revert back to the ass-kicking toasted tobacco in the beginning. I'm really not one to put a number rating on cigars, but if my arm is twisted, I'd say a 91 for this one. The flavors are great and powerful. It's like the deliciousness of a CC and the strength of a NC. If the burn line was even, it would have been closer to 95, but I have to knock it a bit. This is a great cigar, and one I plan on always having in stock, God (or Rob) willing.
  21. Por Larranaga Petit Corona, Cab 50 from 2012 Checking up on the development of this Cab50, to see if they are already coming up to smoke. The Ashes. Size: Mareva (Petit Corona) Smoking time: 0:45 Location: outside on my patio, no wind Construction and burn were good. Slightly uneven burn. Mild to medium strength cigar. Taste is some chocolate, with honey, sweet notes on the retrohale. Very little harsh tones, the taste is slowly increasing in strength throughout the sigar. From my point of view, the taste is fairly similar to the Hoyo linea classica, more specifically Des Dieux, although slightly lighter in my opinion. A little development throughout the cigar becoming slightly less mild towards the end. Verdict: 7.5/10 A good small Cuban cigar with beautiful delicate taste, which I believe will get better with age.
  22. Bought this box about a year ago, I have smoked about 4 now and every single one has been stellar. Wrapper is very smooth, oily, dark and very thin, just how I like Monte's. Construction is perfect, this particular stick is gorgeous can't wait to light up. Punch the cap, draw is a little restrictive,so perfect for me. Cold draw reveals a very rich toasted tobacco taste. After lighting, initial impressions are very deep coffee and cream flavours with a heavy dusting of cocoa. All I can think of is that the flavors are very loud, in a good way, like listening to Beethoven on a good sound system. This cigar is coming out the gates fast, hope it lasts. 1st third The start has been very very good, the coffee with loads of cream and cocoa are very intense yet very smooth. My other box of PE is sweeter yet less intense, the cocoa is darker and drier than the other box. Ash is light grey, tight and holding on strong, burn line is razor sharp. Rethrohale gives some cappucino notes with a bit of sweetness and spice, very smooth aromatic smoke. 2nd third Coffee has turned to espresso and the cream is still there, yet fading a bit. Cocoa is getting a little darker and turning to chocolate as the dusty aspect of the smoke has turned into an earthy character. This cigar screams Montecristo, if I could not blindly pick this one out, I would have to seriously reconsider what I think of taste. Very oily thick dense smoke. Retro hale is giving off strong cocoa and spice, do I taste a hint of nutmeg... Yes. Ash is still holding strong and tight, square. This cigar is INTENSE, yet not strong. Last third Ash finally falls of just above the band, impressive as I was not being careful, decide to clip the head as the punch is restricting flow a tad. Cigar opens up and comes back to life. The flavors have darkened, the strength is picking up, cream has taken a back seat. The core is a perfect thick espresso with heavy crema, dark cassonade and spices, every draw reveals different spice some sweet some woody, maybe cedar. Burn line is still straight. Still very intense flavors. Final remarks This cigar can be summed up to one word, phenomenal, such class, smooth yet very intense flavors, all encompassing, the cigar had all my attention. This is in the top five this year for sure, I see these developing well with age as the last third showed something great. Excellent construction, burn and very high quality tobacco. Better than many other nice boxes of PE smoke in the past. Easy 94
  23. Just picked a couple of these up today from the local cigar shop. Pretty cheap - about $7.00 Canadian. I was expecting a smaller version of a Favorito, but it was quite different. The Petit Quintero had a light, smooth wrapper with some oily marks. Not dark and rough looking like a Favorito. The first third was spicy/acrid. It evened out into a grassy flavour, but that's about it. No big flavours and none of the grubby 'twang' I like in a Favorito. Good burn and construction though. It's probably too green to give it a fair review. I'll save the other one and see if some age improves it.
  24. Start time: 2h15 Finish:3:45 Pairing: water and a corona at the end. bought in march 2012 box from may 2011 So I bought a 5ver last march, had 2 of them and did not like them at all they were harsh and probably too young. Decided it was time to smoke another one this weekend! Construction is perfect the wrapper is beautiful with a milk chocolate color. I did a perfect cut with my xikar cutter and the draw was perfect! 1st: Started off with some pepper, not too strong but really present. After a couple of puff the pepper let place to a sweet creamy taste with some spices but I was not able to point out what it was. A little later I was clearly able to taste some sweet chocolate and that was the main flavor with some unknown spice. 2nd: Started with the same sweet chocolate but now I can taste that the spice, it's cinnamon. As the 2nd third goes by I had some burn issue but nothing that I could not correct. Flavors have now changed to a more dark chocolate, the sweetness is completely gone but the cinnamon is still present. last third: Got about the same flavors as 2nd third, dark chocolate with some spice. Near the end the flavors started to get harsh a bit but some purging helped to continue a bit. All in all,the Hoyo epicure no.2 is an incredible cigar, mild but really flavorful and complex. It got some nice flavors changing and I highly recommend it as an afternoon break!
  25. My first review of a Cuban cigar and my second review ever. Feedback is appreciated. Marca: Ramon Allones Release: Specially Selected Box Date: Sometime in 2010 Paired with: Spring Water Tools: Montecristo Social Club Punch and Thunderbolt Zippo Torch Lighter Appearance: Just looking at this cigar, you can tell it's been around for a few years. Some damage to the foot, some nicks and a bit of spotting on the wrapper. This cigar certainly looks like it's going on 4 years old. It lends to the appearance to a degree, though. What I love most about this and really any Cuban cigar presented in a dress box is the subtle box press that comes from the cigar actually being tight in the box with 24 of its kin. Unlike Non-Cubans, which are pressed into shape through all kinds of other methods. There's just something about the Cuban press. It seems so pure and so old fashioned, a mere by product of the cigar packaging, but something that I feel greatly enhances the appearance of the cigar. Construction: Well constructed. With the exception of a one soft spot close to the foot, this cigar seems nearly perfectly filled. The foot looks great from a construction standpoint. The cap looks very neatly applied, and when I punched it, I could see that this cigar had been rolled with a pigtail tuck, something I'm told is a signature of very skilled rollers. The cigar feels very good in the hand. Burn: Burn got a bit wavy at times, but overall was straight. The cigar required two touch ups, one in the second third, and one in the final. Draw: Punched clean and the draw is what I would consider perfect. Ideal amount of resistance that remained consistent throughout the entire smoke. Taste: Right away, I'm hit with a mildy sweet, grassy flavor. Not exactly to my tastes, but I wouldn't call it unpleasant either. Smoke is very creamy, and the grassy flavor dies down fairly quickly. After only a couple draws, the “buttery” type of flavor I've tasted in every Cuban springs right to the foreground, with the grassy flavor really only pleasant on the retrohale. That “buttery” flavor, coupled with just a bit of black pepper and some of the grassy notes on the retrohale continue to be the dominant profile. Entering the second third, the grassy & pepper flavors are nearly gone. The buttery characteristic has become what I can describe only as a “buttered toast” flavor. Hints of roasted nuts are present, especially on the retrohale. As these flavors continue to develop and intensify, I can just barely detect a hint of kitchen spices(oregano?) at the end of the draw. Finish is short, but thick with the butter flavor. Spice flavor is undetectable in the next couple of draws. Dominant flavor remains “buttered toast” with a hint of nuts. Black pepper returns at the back of the palate and on the retrohale. Into the final third and the flavors greatly intensify. The nutty flavor from the second third is completely gone, replaced by a strange note only present at the very back of the palate and on the retrohale. I can't find words to describe it, but it's savory and accompanies the dominant butter/pepper very well. These flavors continue until just inside the final inch, where they begin to harshen, so I let the cigar die. Bottom Line: I have almost nothing to compare this to, as this was my first RASS, but I've had two (fresh) RA Superiores and this blows that stick away. This thing was a journey. The flavors developed and changed very well over the course of the stick. Aside from a few minor burn issues, I have very few complaints with this cigar. I don't know if it's because of the 3+ years of age, or if this was just a fantastic cigar, but I definitely want to pick some up fresh and experience them as they age. Appearance: 17 Constuction: 19 Burn: 16 Draw: 20 Taste: 18 Overall: 90/100 Smoke again? Absolutely. I think I've found a box buy in these.

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