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Found 9 results

  1. Punch Mantua Review Cigar: Punch Mantua Release: RE Italia 2018 Vitola: Laguito No 2. 38 x 152mm Production: 2500 50 count boxes made. Box # unknown Box Code: UNKNOWN Date: Saturday, June 26, 2020 Start Time: 7:54PM End Time: 9:17PM Paired with: plain water. 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. Visual: Nice firm roll. Slightly dark milk chocolate wrapper. Toothey to the touch Aroma at cold: Chocolate, cookie, very appealing. Perfect draw upon Punch Mantua First Third Rich toasty tobacco / bbq char / good draw / black pepper / burn askew / good draw but doesn't seem lit, though it is / corrected burn / espresso grounds / nice stringy cedary flavour / burnt almond / spicy on the tongue, like cayenne but smoother / water / chalky, salty draw / lots of smoke / toasted nuts, but not burnt, very nice / dry finish on every draw so far / cedar / nutty / water / tangy tobacco / chalky mouth feel / dry nuts / hints of nutmeg / nice sweetbread hints / nutty finish / medium bodied so far with a few strong draws / toasty tobacco with anise finish / water / ash falls as I lift it, not on me for once / cigar goes out!! / lighter misbehaves / upon relight I’m treated to a nice, sweet flavour, cookies / more sweetness, some cocoa, hint of pine on the finish / more sweetness / draw is good but I seem to need 2 puffs minimum to get anything out of it. Internal combustion issues? / chalky, minty note / fin Second Third Water / black beans / dry finish / minty again, tastes fresh / draw seems firm / milder bodied at this point / light mintiness persists / water / chalky , soapy mouthfeel / very light / tap off ash, going to a touch up with the lighter / 3 lighters with me, none of them barely working / relit / still minty and light bodied / smooth chocolate flavours now / anise, mint, very perplexing / smoke production up a bit / so far it’s behaving like a vintage smoke, very smooth. The opening seemed to hint that a medium-full cigar experience awaited me. So far it’s been transitioning back and forth in the medium realm, with some interesting flavour twists / trouble staying lit, it's not windy or humid, odd. / with lighter in hand i execute about 5-6 deep draws, the cherry glows red. Perhaps it's finally lit! / nice rewarding flavour at the end of this exercise, rich tobacco and anise / cedary-cinnamon hit / salty, bready like a cracker / touching up the burn / nice hit of leather and cocoa on the finish / cocoa, anise with a dry finish / really nice rich, earthy flavours as I crank up UFO’s “Lights Out” on my headphones / water / rich cedary notes with an anise finish / ash went from pitch black to white / rich white smoke now, performing a lot better / intense hint of anise, almost like dry Sambuca / tongue retains some of that anise as I break between draws / water / smooth, creamy coffee that ends in a mint finish? So weird, but I like it / i swear I can taste a bit of lemon zest as I sit here typing this on the finish too / bit of baking spice / having a hard time trying to pull out “Punch” trademark flavours (at least to me) such as peanut, coffee, dark chocolate / as i type, I’m still tasting some mint and anise on my palate / knock the ash off, inspect foot, doesn’t seem lit. a quick puff tells me it's not. End of this third. Time for a relight. Final Third My Iroda lighter comes back to life after a few smacks. I do a retro burn and a stream of gases light the way / its lit again and the first puff is a nice smooth cedar note / slight saltiness giving way to anise / water / very smooth pleasant mint flavour again / very dry on the finish. At the beginning, I sensed there’d be some oiliness but it hasn’t materialized. It stayed dry / nice black bean hit / the burn line approaches the RE band, time for some surgery / RE band off / mint that leads into strong cedar, like I bit into a cedar lining in a cabinet / out again! / tap off ash and relight / concave burn / toasty tobacco, mint finish / cedar notes / black bean, anise finish / at this point, I’m not convinced I’m smoking a Punch, buts its been good / UFO album done, switching over to some Scorpions Lovedrive / more cedar / water / chalky mouthfeel, cedar / very dry and cedary, good smoke production / OUT AGAIN! / I slide the Punch band up and relight / smooth cedar, at least its not charry as I find that's an issue towards the last third of many cigars when you relight this often / tasty, rich “meaty” draw, some roasted nuts / more roasted nuts, cigar is going medium-full now / some saltiness on the palate, like a Sancho Panza / hickory-BBQ, salty finish, so odd, but good / bbq lingers on tongue, the rest of my palate still senses mint / going to end up nubbing this / cocoa / more anise, slightly muted / dry, chalky toasty tobacco / quick burn correction / hot, very strong earthy draw / minty finish / slide off Punch band and grab nub tool / of course it goes out! / stale draw / good cedar hit / might have to finish this / last puff is decent, some cedar / FIN Conclusions & Thoughts The Punch Mantua was released to a lot of fanfare. When people heard about it they contacted their Italian cigar contacts/buddies/B&M’s etc to try and get a hold of them. I guess people were hoping for lightning to strike twice and thought this could be the La Escepcion Selectos Finos spiritual successor? Or they loved that they were coming in 50 Cabs? Or they just like Punch long and skinnies? Not sure. But there is/was hype for them. Even for me. I reached out and grabbed some myself. They are not in my hands yet, but this single found its’ way to me via a good friend. I’ve heard good things from others who smoked them so after dry boxing this for about 10 days I felt it was time to smoke it. Right off the bat. This is not the LESF by any stretch. Other than sporting a similar vitola, it did not deliver the initial, flavourful, complex “punch” to the balls. But it is a Punch. When I sit down for a review, I try to bypass the hype and do my best to be objective. Whether or not it’s a cheapie or a high end, costly RE or LE. I want to be able to honestly approach it for what it delivers,not for what market niche it sits in. On to the smoking conclusions. This cigar did not perform as I’d hope in terms of staying lit. I haven’t had to relight and touch up a cigar in months. This one needed several. With that said, it did deliver a unique smoking experience; which I like. Overall it went from full bodied, to medium to mild and back again. I did not taste any typical (for me) Punch tasting notes. I was hoping to, but it did not materialize. At least not in this one particular sample. When I get my cabs, I’ll revisit them and see if there is any discernible difference. The cigar did take me on a flavour journey. That is for sure. I don't like monotone cigars, especially in the RE/LE lines. There’s no bang for the buck when that happens. This cigar was definitely holding my attention. It was complex and took me in directions I did not expect. That “minty’ tasting note I kept experiencing is something I typically get out of vintage cigars. In particular, my Dip 7’s from 1988. It was so smooth. Even after multiple relights, which can tend to add a charry note to a stick. Final thought. It was an excellent stick. Not a Punch, but a noteworthy stick. My only concern is how these will age given that they were not very full bodied. The LESF was and it still has the legs almost 10 years later. With that said, this was only one cigar. I look forward to my next ones. Score: 92.
  2. Looking to get a pooled consensus of the regional editions worth going after. Added every searchable tag on the title for ease of searching. I think I'll start a list with a simple 0-10 point scoring system with all the regionals I have tried and took notes of. Hopefully others can chime in, and then we can average out the scores to see what are the hottest and best ER's recently! (will also include how many entries a particular ER has been scored/voted for at the beginning of each) I know there will be the 'age' factor on the ratings but lets keep it simple for now (1) Saint Luis Rey Incas: ER Peru 2014 ---> 7.0 (1) Ramon Allones Silver Jubilee: ER Asia Pacific 2017 ---> 7.5 (1) Quai d'Orsay Secreto Cubano: ER France 2016 ---> 8.0 (3) Rafael Gonzalez 88: ER Asia Pacific 2016 ---> 5.5 (1) Por Larranaga Encantos: ER Asia Pacific 2010 ---> 8.5 (2) Punch Sir David: ER Hong Kong 2018 ---> 9.25 (1) Ramon Allones Nuevo Mundo: ER Costa Rica 2017 ---> 7.0 (1) Bolivar Tiempo: ER France 2017 ---> 8.0 (1) Vegas Robaina Short Robaina: ER Andorra 2014 ---> 6.5 (1) Ramon Allones Sur: RE Libano 2014 ---> 8.5 (1) Bolivar Silver Jubilee: RE Asia Pacific 2017 ---> 6.0 (1) La Gloria Cubana Paraiso: RE Caribe 2014 ---> 8.5 (1) Por Larranaga Sobresalientes: RE Gran Bretana 2014 ---> 9.9 (1) La Gloria Cubana Invictos: RE Italia 2017 ---> 6.0 (1) Bolivar Bosphorus: RE Turquia 2014 ---> 9.5 (1) Diplomaticos Excelencia: RE Cuba 2015 ---> 9.5 (1) Sancho Panza Quijote: RE España 2010 ---> 9.8 (1) Ramón Allones Grandes: RE España 2008 ---> 9.8
  3. Vegas Robaina XV Aniversario: 2012 Canadian Regional Edition. Vital Stats: 54 x 164 (6.5") Sublimes/Double Robusto Cold notes: Excellent construction. Not very oily. Passes the "pinch" test. Definitely ready to smoke. Milk chocolate wrapper. Slight veins. Solid construction. Aroma at cold is cocoa powder. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Start time 2:55PM First third Toasty tobacco on the light. Good draw lots of smoke. Coffee. Smooth. Dirty grey ash. Tannic notes. Dry tobacco. Short finish on each draw. Flaky ash. Lovely summer day. Smoking in irony as this is one freedom that keeps dwindling. Nice hit of nutmeg. Subtle cocoa undertones. I don’t smoke many VR's. I really love the Unicos. I had a putrid Don Alejandro last winter. That stick brought shame to his name. My wife was sitting with me and even she remarked how bad it stank. That it didn't have a nice aroma to it. I one day hope to smoke a better sample. The Classico is a good smoke as well. Slight tannic note. Some sweet tobacco. Still mixed with some tannins. Windy day but my deck is immune. I can smoke in peace. Very mild body so far. Smooth and relaxing but no wow factor yet. These are young but they should be made with some good tobaccos. The cigar sings in blue white smoke. Lots of it. A swig of fizzy wager to clean the palate . Cocoa showing its face now. Slight pepper finish on the subsequent draws. Body is now more on the medium side. Second third Some sweet bread notes. Reminiscent of a Fundadores. Ash falls off to cap off some cocoa. The wife joins me with a pack of Prartagas Chicos. . Tannic again. Toasty tobacco. Hint of mint. Nice. Floral finish on the draw. More cocoa. Getting interesting now. Some wind chimes are going off at the condo across from me and they are grating on my nerves. Sounds like church bells in the distance. More toasty tobacco. Smoke billows out profusely . Some herbal sweet notes. Toasty tobacco. Herbs are back. Nutmeg. Herbal. Getting a bit boring. This is my second one since release. Not doing a great job of impressing me. Lots of toasty tobacco, dry finish. The Chicos I've lit and re-lit for my wife had more taste. I expect more out of a sublime format. Vegetal notes now. Ash falls off as i lay down the cigar. A few cocoa puffs keep my interest. Second third ends with some promise. Final third. A nit more tannic. Bitter cocoa I'd say. Another swig of water to prep the taste buds. Ash falls off as i remove the re band. Cocoa again. Better. The cigar has remained mild/medium throughout. Sad. Lots of toasty tobacco over the next few draws. Still loads of smoke. Finish is slightly peppery. Slight bean flavour emerges. Earthy notes. Slightly salty. Slight improvements but a little too late. Mint returns. Coffee on the next draw. Pepper on the finish. I take the R band off. Strong bean flavor emerges. Some strength is showing. Pepper finish more pronounced. I finish a drink of water. Cocoa is left over. Toasty tobacco, coffee grounds now. Very VR like, at least to me in terms of profile. Herbal notes swing this right around. More floral notes follow. A good sweet chocolate pops up. More cocoa. Beans. More cocoa, toasty tobacco. The strength has slowly crept up. It took over 70% of the cigar to get there though. The next few draws are nutmeg, slightly on the spicy side. Pepper lingers on the back of the tongue. I take a drink to wash the palate. The carbonation seems to activate some flavours. Earthy. Laid back cigar, just like us Canadians. Sweetness returns. Mocha flavours. Toasty tobacco again. Slight coffee finish. I've nubbed the cigar. Enjoyable, but not remarkable. Score : 87 Finish time: 4:30PM Conclusions: Gorgeous looking cigar but an underachieving one. My first sampling was better. That cigar had far more dimension but even still it was not as enjoyable to me as a VR Unico. It's been a few months since I first tried it, so this second one was going to be interesting I thought. Sadly, it wasn't. Now, with that said, this cigar was still very enjoyable. It was mild/medium and very smooth. It's an easy cigar to enjoy for a few hours. I'm hoping this was a bad sample from the box. To me many of the Candian RE's have either been excellent. (RA Super Allones, Unicos for instance) or just "good" Bolivar Simones, VR Petit Robusto) This Vegas Robaina XV Aniversario is still relatively young. I'll let these rest for another year and revisit them later. I do hope they can live up to their namesake and really become something special.
  4. Every odd Monday or so, several of us get together to enjoy some cigars and catch up. This Monday was a bit different. Alex had stood up and wanted everyone's attention. He was holding a box of cigars, which I couldn't make out. I figured he was going to make some announcement about something good that happened in his life and that cigars were going to be passed around. It turns out he was holding this. And it was a gift to me from the whole crew. Apparently this is something Keith started and he enlisted several other partners in crime. It was a token of appreciation to me for setting up various herfs and get togethers year round. A big Thank You to everyone involved. I am humbled and grateful for such good friends. Here are some shots of the Marquez in all its' glory. I must say, they are stunning looking cigars the aroma is all fruit and spice cake. These will get some proper sleep as the box code is very fresh. SGA SEP 16. I hope to sample one for next summer. Thanks again to everyone involved. It made my night.
  5. Review: Diplomaticos Bushido Asia/Pacific Regional Edition Date Smoked: July 20, 2015 Vitals: Dimensions: 50 * 7.2" Vitola: Nro. 109 / Double Robusto Pre-Light Notes: Firm construction, no hard spots, no sign of knots/stems, spongy throughout. Smooth wrapper, light oils. Aroma at cold: When I first received this the aroma was reminiscent of an aged cigar. I let it rest a few weeks and that aroma has since dissipated. As I'm prepping to light up, I smell cedar, a fruity/nutty aroma some cookie dough and honey. 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. First Third Start Time: 4PM EST Tangy smooth draw // herbal vegetal notes // woodiness, tangy finish // slight tannins, good burn // bready notes // wood again // excellent draw, decent amount of smoke // excellent draw, decent amount of smoke // dry on the palate thus far smoke // hints of fruit // light bodied smoke in this first third //a couple of hits of espresso // sweet like caramel for a draw // meaty flavour // ash is black & gray // tastes like popcorn on this draw! // very luscious smoke now // dry, chalky mouthfeel // soft, creamy flavour, similar to latte // latte again // feel a bit of a nicotine buzz take hold, very sneaky like the La Escepcion Selectos Finos // dry, toasty notes // hints of pepper and sharp cedar // ash still holding well // nutmeg & latte // nutmeg again // very smooth cigar but not much progression in terms of flavours // ash barely hanging on // a tangy draw with some pepper on the finish // ash falls right into the Stinky ashtray just as I'm about to set it down // grassy notes // nice, rich draw of coffee // tangy // good to see some changes towards the end of this third Second Third cedar opens things up // dry, tanniny finish // pepperagain // coconut?! (a first for me) // nuttiness // a very sharp hit of cedar, like chewing on a cedar liner // "chalky" mouthfeel persists // sharp cedar on the next three draws // strong espresso notes now // rough, tanniny puff // great burn, no touch ups needed so far // rich cedar with tanniny finish // more sharp cedar // starting to get banal // settling down into baking spice notes, much better! // nuttiness and hint of cedar // rich coffee grounds on the palate // cedar again // woody, though not cedary draw // cedar once again (it seems to rule this second third) // tapped ash // hints of ammonia in the cigar, I do a purge and sure enough the cigar looks like a roman candle as the gases burn off // cigar has calmed down, the purge seemed to help // slighty nutty/stone fruit tasting note // toasty/bready // toasted coconut finish (really nice) Final Third tangy sourdough // more sourdough // tanniny notes // cedar // did another purge as the cigar seemed bitter // strong coffee ground notes // coffee // cedar // nutty with a sharp, tanniny finish // lots of pepper in the back of the throat now, for a few puffs // toasty tobacco // latte // a few minty, herbal draws (that aged tobacco I smelled earlier on perhaps?) // perfect burn line // lots of thick, white smoke // toast // latte // minty draws // cedar // toast // rich, floral and minty draws // caramel sweetness // toasty tobacco // the chalky mouth feel is now an oily one // vegetal notes with tanniny finish // burn starts to go askew // ash off, do a touchup // mint again // latte // dry, cedary puffs // bready // baking spice with a mix of strong tobacco // wood // hints of tea // nicoting buzz creeping in // very meat, BBQ like flavours for a few draws // nub is hot // mint/baking spice finish // toasty tobacco // sweetness on the palate // my final puff is tangy, caramel FIN 5:52PM EST Final Thoughts Lots of interest in this cigar and it definitely was interesting. From the moment I received them (2 in total) the aroma threw me off. They smelled like an aged cigar. They had a bit of mustiness on the foot, in a good way, and less of those freshly rolled, "bright" aromas. The 109 vitola is rare these days so it's good to see a recent release sporting it. We've all seen the packaging on this. Very nice, though I must admit when I saw a few boxes in person at the LCDH they were not as impressive as I thought. And if that's what held up its' release, it wasn't worth it IMO. Too bad they didn't pimp up the band a bit, similar to what was done for the UK LGC regionals where they used deeper embossing and a richer color palate. The Diplomaticos band is pleasant but underwhelming. For such a grand release, a nicer band would have been cool. As to how it smoked. I enjoyed it though at times I thought it was stagnating. These are still relatively young and fresh I suppose. I won't touch my second stick for a good year or two. . Though I'm certain, if I wait too long and find that I enjoy them, the supply would be long dried up or secondary market prices would be ridiculous. A catch-22 scenario. As it stands, I'm glad to have a couple on me but don't think this is one I'd go deep on. At least not based on one initial sampling. And that's the problem with these RE's. If they don't knock your socks off initially, you may not invest in a box or two. And if over time they suit your palate more, they're probably gone. SCORE: 89
  6. A topic for some light hearted discussion: Since their re-introduction Vegueros has never had an RE release. I find this a touch odd since I would expect Habanos would want to bring some noteriety and fanfare to this newly rebranded marca. What are your thoughts as to why this hasn't occured, when do you think we might see one, in what will be the region this first occur, and what vitola will be used? My bets based on their "American" styled image will be that they will be the first USA regional edition once the embargo is lifted. I'm guessing that it will be a 56+ ring guage cigar over 6 inches in length, so something in the Double Robusto range.
  7. RA Eminencia 2005 Swiss RE Mini Review A good friend handed one of these over to me not too long ago. I thought I'd fire it up sooner than later as I enjoy all things RA (minus the RAE ) Released in 2005, these cigar has more of less hit the 10 year old marker. If I knew the box code I could be somewhere more exacting but that's not too big of a concern. This is my first ever Eminencia so I will not have the benefit of knowing what these smoked like when they were fresh. Date Smoked: August 13. 2015 Vitals: Dimensions: 44 * 5.6" Vitola: Corona Pre-light observations. Aroma at cold. cakey, fruity.. very sweet. Hints of cinnamon on the wrapper. Firm draw. 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. This min-review is a bit light in comparison to previous reviews. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. First Third. great initial draw. sweet, christmas cake. // lush, smooth flavour // some tanginess on the finish // christmas cake // never tried one fresh but id say 10 years of age hasn’t been bad for it // nutmeg // hint of cayenne // firm draw, great burn // smooth, semi-sweet earthiness, best i can put it // cakey // smooth cigar, very refined // cake again // very much a dessert cigar thus far // slightly stronger hit of cayenne // good hit of cedar // lush smoke // cedary draw // Second Third cedar // cinammon // cayenne picking up, close to RACF // flavours getting bolder // nice taste of almond on the finish, unique to me // good balance draw of sweet and strong // earthy flavours // cedar notes // some more hints of almond on the tongue // Third Third //earthier draws // rich, tea flavour // bit of nutmeg // minty // earthy // woody, dry draw // touch of saltiness on the finish // hints of black pepper in the back of the throat // dark, rich tobacco flavour, best i can put it // sweetness has pretty much disappeared and has turned more into a savoury cigar // black pepper // toasted nuts // spicy draw with a really nice smooth finish, like a latte // woody & earthy draw // hints of almond on finish once more // very sharp cedar // earthy, BBQ // savoury now // nutty now // getting smooth again // draw got bad all of a sudden // flavour still savoury and earthy // a few more puffs of cedar and earth // FIN Final Thoughts. This was a Jekyll and Hyde stick. The first half was sweet and "desserty". Whereas the second was more savoury and salty. Overall it made for a great smoking experience. I always enjoy a cigar whose flavours are constantly in flux. It echoes the experience of a multi course meal vs having a quick snack. And given the favourable flavour range, this might be a good indication that RE's tend to age better then EL's? This is the oldest RE I've had yet. I've smoked the 2000 Partagas Piramide, which IMO was a faded cigar. The closest comparison in age that I've smoked from the EL releases was the 2004 Cohiba Sublimes. A very good cigar but not as great as the hype built it up to be. At least as I experienced it. Nonetheless. A very interested theory. Which releases are better suited for the long haul? I'm not qualified to make that judgement so I'll throw that notion out to the rest of you. Overall, the Ramon Allones Eminencia is a winner in my books. Probably very HTF and expensive now; which makes getting more somewhat difficult. I was glad to have tried at least one and that it was an engaging smoke. Score: 94
  8. Saw this on another forum. Old green/white band too. 2014 Swiss RE
  9. I'm heading over to Barcelona soon and was looking at picking up some Spanish REs. I'm familiar with the RA Grandes and VR Maestro, but would be interested to hear which of the boxes below members think I should definitely have or avoid. Cheers. E. Punch - Gran Robusto Edición Regional España Bolívar - 108 Edición Regional España Sancho Panza - Quijote Edición Regional España Diplomáticos - Colleccion Privada Edición Regional España Por Larrañaga - Legendarios Edición Regional España

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