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  1. When out and about I carry my lightweight cigar pack that fits what I need for the next couple of hours: Imperfect Draw tool with Cohiba case Fine but Lames cutter Stank Dupont lighter 24 carat golden cigar stand Partagas Tubo for the Siglo 6 (why not) Transparent leather humidor case I then try to find a nice outdoor spot to sip some brown gold at. What does your packs / kits look like?
  2. Timing wise this review week couldn't have been better as I was celebrate my birthday (I won't mention how old but I'm a grandpa...) Challenge was what to smoke as I've been gifted these beauties from fellow BOTL Ended up choosing the Talisman as I've got a box but have not cracked it open as I was looking to age them and try them another time but thought might as well try and see what the hype is about. 1/3 was smooth, no freshness with this cigar but the start is very muted, not getting a lot of flavours, predominant notes of hay. Starting similar to a fresh Siglo VI. B A Bit further than the 2/3 but now it's coming into it's element, first third was quite mild and good construction and smoke but not a lot going on. This 2/3 is more stronger hay notes and now a lot of almond notes and creamy notes. Sad times when the ash falls off...was hoping to smoke through the bands Took to the nub as the last half of the cigar was where all the flavours were, very enjoyable and hope that my box is similar as I would say its a good smoke. Now to factor in the price, this for me was a nice Siglo VI and so whichever is cheaper I would say go for that as the supply on these has been crazy so the price hasn't really jumped up. I have read the 2019 are smoking better so now that I have a reference point I'll be looking to try a 2019 stick to compare. Overall would say 89/100 as I'm factoring price of this stick as well.
  3. Greetings dear esteemed friends! I've had some requests to do some more reviews from our members so I decided to use the time we've all been jointly afforded lately (due to the Covid-19 pandemic, of course) to pull out some rarer and standard Cohiba cigars from my humidor and share some views on them with you. I'd like to thank @Trevor2118 for gifting me many of these cigars to smoke (I will also post up detailed text reviews of all these cigars soon). I hope that in sharing these reviews I can adequately express the joy of smoking these cigars and the background to them and I sincerely hope you enjoy them. As usual, feel free to share your thoughts!
  4. Just came across this yesterday. File this under "Close. But no cigar". Let's have some fun. Can you guys spot the differences?
  5. My first Medio Siglo, and I have to say overall I'm a fan. Good flavor throughout and while perhaps a bit fat, overall the time/size I typically look for. Lots of travel last couple of weeks, and after getting in past midnight last night I was ready to have a coffee and cigar on the porch this morning. Debated a CoRo or Siglo I/II, but decided to try my first of these. Stiff construction, but excellent aroma. V Cut, toast, and right from the beginning honey and hay. Burn got a bit wonky at times, and at first I thought I might have a tunnel, but it wasn't that bad. The initial hit of honey faded, maybe even a little bit of floral the beginning, and it settled into hay and coffee (although I was drinking coffee). Last third got a bit uneven, but the ash held on a tremendous amount of time (ALWAYS when I think "this ash is huge, I'll get a pic" it falls off immediately). Great billowing plumes of smoke, very nice mouth feel, great overall taste. Aside from tad uneven burn I'd say 91. Looking to pick up more of these.
  6. Hello guys i bought these but something smells fishy can you tell if fake by the photo? Since i dont have any experience about cigars yhanks
  7. I recently watched Rob @Elpresidente and Ken share their review of the Cohiba Esplendido (several years ago review) and Rob mentioned frequently about the inconsistency with such an expensive cigar, so I had to try one. As I complete the first third, I must first note I’m a SUPER novice, but I’m surprised how firm the draw is on this cigar, albeit, the flavors are excellent compared to the few I’ve smoked thus far. But this required A LOT of attention to maintain the burn throughout the first 1/3. I must say, I’m deeply involved in siglo II at the moment, but I’m keen to know others experiences? Please share and if you agree or disagree with the inconsistency sentiment.
  8. The ever maddening Cohiba. Picked up a quarter box of PSP/HQ last November, they've been resting since I got them in December. Small, good construction, nice smell. V cut, paired with my black coffee. Debated a CoRo or a VI, but decided to try a lil fella. I don't know if it's expectations or what, but I'm rarely wowed by Cohiba. Lit well, was a bit of a hard draw at the beginning. Then I think I found a little bit of a tunnel, so it opened up after the first third. Not a ton of taste to it, some spongecake and coffee tastes (although I was drinking coffee too), maybe a tad bit of cream. Not overpowering, not a dud, just an average cigar. When I started this, of course I knew the name and have always tried Cohibas when I was out and about at LCDH's and such, but I think that either I need to let them rest more (as in years more) or just decide that the marca is hit or miss and focus more on other cigars that I've pretty much always enjoyed. I think I'll let the rest of my Cohiba's sit at the back of the stash and pretend I don't have any for another 6 months/a year or so and see how they taste then.
  9. Last weekend I came across a deal too good to pass on OR perhaps too good to be true. Well see. Exactly what the deal was and where I’ll reveal eventually. So I got this box of 24 out of 25 Cohiba Espléndidos. stamped EOG CCUA (the U is barely visible) I did some research; EOG : Miguel Fernández Roig - La Coruna factory CCUA : 04/99 - April 1999 The cigar bands are of the type used until 2003. The latch/lock has a “Schmale Germany” imprint. Schmale has an exclusive contract with Cuba (since 1911 they say) to manufacture the latches. The bottom of the box has an extra stamp “VENDIDO EN CUBA POR CUBANACAN Habanos s.a”. (I found a similar mention of the odd cubanacan stamp on a German forum). It’s my guess the stamp mentiones Cubanacan, since a bunch of Cubanacan hotels these days host a LCDH (la Casa del Habano) store these days. In what year did the LCDH stores come into play? The yellow in the Cohiba bands and lid sticker look more like the original Cohiba orange/yellow than the plain yellow often seen in fakes. The pictures where I used flash seem to serve the color better. The cedar sheet has a straight upper right cut. The second sheet has no imprint and no cut upper right. I turned the cigars in the picture below for viewing/identification. Up front they look much more aligned. The ‘turned’ band picture doesn’t serve them well. The Cuban government and Habanos seals came separate/unused. Was the red print on the government seal in use early 99 ? Also I think I spot a newer/extra palm on the right part of the seal. Your opinions please ! (at least this doesn’t have a glass top ? Anyways, it’s my precious ?
  10. Hello FOH, Recently discovered your website and forums and have been enjoying all of the information you guys bring on so many different topics! Going to La Habana, Cuba next Tuesday March 5, 2019. Staying right there in La Habana for a whole week. Im interested in a few things while im in Cuba: good cigars, good rum and good places. Starting with my main interest, CIGARS! I've been reading on here and have concluded I want to visit Alejandro "Alex"Gonzalez Arias at the Hotel Comodoro for some custom rolled cigars, probably his canonazo or his Behike 52. Do I have to order before hand, how could I come in contact with him in these days before my trip? Or can I just go to Hotel Comodoro the day I get to La Habana and just make an order of some cigars on that day? Im open to other suggestions of custom rolled cigar makers around La Habana but have read the review and believe Alex is good and his cigars more around my feel. Also, I want to buy some real COHIBA in Cuba. Mi gf brought me a box of 25 Cohiba SIglo VI last November and once she came from Cuba and I inspected the box and the cigar it was obvious they were FAKE. She paid $140 por the box in one of the "Cooperativas" and it was obviously a scam because they are not legit real Cohibas. Is there really "cooperativas" that sell real cohiba cigars for cheaper prices than LCDH? Ive heard there is but don't really know. Where in La Habana could I buy real Cohibas for a reasonable price if not in LCDH? Im fairly new to the scene so sorry for the questions. Regarding places to go out night, enjoy some rum and good music and people. Any suggestions in close proximity to Hotel Nacional or any other area in La Habana worth visiting during the nights to have fun? Thanks for any suggestions and any replies! Will post on my experiences after I come back from CUBA!
  11. I would really like to buy a Behike 54 to age for like 5 years and smoke on a very special occasion (Marriage, first home bought). Where can I find one at a decent price? I appreciate any feedback, thanks.
  12. This pencil thin cigar begins with sweet honey and citrus notes, then the grass, spice, tobacco and some hints of hay, woody flavours are added after its beginning. Due to the nature of the Cigarillos, it may not be as complex and great as long filler cigars but still, it lives up to its hype as it contains the key elements of good quick smoke! -Mr. Knight Brand: Cohiba Size: 29 x 106 (Cigarillo) Country: Cuba Box Code: Received as a gift from our member, Raskol (ndchow) Price: Received as a gift from our member, Raskol (ndchow) Score: 86
  13. I'm a fan! i know some aren't. no they are not always at the top of their game but when they are they are something special ( for those in the know, you know what i'm talking about). i would love to know if you do like them, whats your favorites? you can talk about more then one. for those who don't why? and which ones have you tried that brought you to this conclusion. For me its either the siglo IV or the siglo V. To me they add all of the dimensions of what cohiba can offer when you have a good example of these. a special mention to the Lancero as well, but it lacks the intensity of the other 2 i find. one thing i noticed, they don't see siglo V's on 24:24, i wonder if Rob can comment on that. plus the cigar is almost never mentioned on the forum. i find that odd. anyway, i'm interested to see what will come up. by the way, please leave out any LE's or other special edition Cohiba. regular production only please! Thanks, Steve
  14. Hi guys - I just bought a box of "Cohiba Piramides". Not "Cohiba Piramides Extra", and not "Cohiba Piramides Limited Edition". Just "Cohiba Piramides". They come in tubes, its a box of 15 tubos. The quality is impressive - the bands are on point and look legit, with holograms and everything. I'm only suspicious because of the following: relatively low price the lack of "Cohiba Piramides" online the fact that the head on the band is missing the white line/border around it. The fact that the hologram only says "cohiba" and not "cuba" The fact that the head hologram does not have fine lines in it. Could this all just be because its a special or old version? A production mistake due to which im getting them cheaper through an insider? wishful thinking? Thoughts? Thanks
  15. Hey all, Did anyone happen to jot down the factory code for the Cohiba Siglo IV Tubos that were up on the 24:24 on Wednesday? I have NOV 17 but missed the code. If anyone has it, much appreciated!! Tom
  16. Was hanging out at Toronto LCDH yesterday while the wife did some window shopping. Enjoyed a nice Cuban espresso, some conversation and took a quick look inside the humidor. Found some really nice large format jars. All official Habanos sa. The Behike, Partagas and Cohiba jars look big enough to hold Double Coronas with room to spare! The RyJ Short Churchill and Monte Edmundos are regular sized. The Partagas one is a beauty! Basically the P1 jar on steroids. Future Hamlet Salamones home? Slick, black Behike jar. Another biggie. I guess Habanos got tired of all those counterfeits on Ebay? Pricing was > $230CAD on the big jars.
  17. Thoughts on this bourbon? This pairing? I'm loving it so far This one was listed as 15 years old by the vendor for a custom batch.
  18. Though many brothers among us cherish the Cohiba marca, particularly the Siglo line, I have not met with success in the Cohiba line except for the Esplendidos. I have tried repeatedly to find something to like about Cohibas, but to no avail. This time around I picked up a little nugget that has been resting in my humidor for about a year since I received it in trade from a good BOTL. He continues to convey that he loves them, and that one day it will strike me like lightning, but I'm still waiting for the epiphany. The Siglo I is a perla, just 102mm - 4 inches in length by 42 gauge. This one is practically flawless and looks like milk chocolate. After cutting and lighting draw is near perfect, construction couldn't be better. I pair this selection with coconut water mixed with carbonated water, a neutral drink so it won't varnish my taste of the cigar, and it is rather refreshing and natural. First warm draws produced moderate smoke, with the initial aroma being somewhat herbal, a bit grassy. Flavor was earthy and rich, while the finish was dry. Within the first inch body started to pick up to a moderate medium, and flavor was distinctly grassy with a dried oregano aftertaste. The first half was virtually unchanged, and with every draw it left my tongue feeling dry. After each drag I felt I needed to rinse my mouth with my coconut water. The second half picked up a bit of body, and the aroma gave me a sense of rich toasted tobacco and dry meadow grass. The flavor continued to resemble golden hay, not a pleasing profile to my taste buds. I could sense rich earthy tobacco in the background, but I just couldn't get over the sensation of dryness on the tongue with every draw I took. I was downing the coconut water quickly, and I topped it up with more soda water. Approaching the end I got some nuances of coffee and charred wood, but my tongue felt dry and ashy throughout. I don't know how this can be a satisfying cigar for anyone, but it does have a following - so I'm in the minority I suspect. I ended the dramatic experience early, putting about an inch and half into the ashtray and setting it at the far end of the table. I glanced at it a couple of times with grimace, wondering whether my taste buds are betraying me, or if this was simply a poor example. But immediately I recalled similar unpleasant experiences with other Cohibas, so maybe my mind is bending my taste buds, or this brand of cigars is just not for me. Sadly, I give this a 5 out of 10 on my personal scale - I don't look forward to another. My sincere thanks to Dirk for the vitola - sorry to let you down brother, but I'm calling this another Cohiba strikeout in my humidor.
  19. As I enjoyed the first snowfall of the year in NW Ohio, I decided this was the perfect time to break into the Christmas Sampler that I ordered from our host. We have our tree up and I was feeling rather festive. So why not jump with two feet in on this sampler and pick up one of the most sought after Cubans in the market. Luckily for me I just had to go to the basement and grab it out of the dry box. It was in the dry box for 2 days which has a 62% Boveda pack in it. The band slid very easily on the cigar and I knew this stick was ready to smoke. I went ahead and grabbed my cutter and did a straight cut. The cold draw had a very mild tobacco flavor to it. I could not pick up any other flavors. Since it was cold outside and I didn't feel like hanging out in the garage, I opted for the hot tub on this one. The hot tub was around 102 degrees and the outside temperature was at 28 degrees. We start in on this cigar fully lit at 20:44 with me in the hot tub and steam rolling out. First initial draws are loaded with hay and lemon grass. I mean this takes me back to being in high school when I was helping some of my buddies bale hay for the first time. Putting those hay bales up in the barn. This is such a great taste with the hint of lemon grass. I do taste some of the mild tobacco out of the first initial draws as well. My thoughts initially is that this is going to be a knockout and it's going to take me a while to smoke this stick. Halfway through the first third the cigar changes to a sweeter taste. I can't really put my finger on it, but I keep drawing on the cigar more to see if I can come up with the flavor. As I lay back in the hot tub I am thinking of Christmas and the enjoyable candy that I really like. Some sugar cookies, peanut butter fudge, ice cream, pumpkin pie, turtles....then it hit me. The sweet taste had some caramel flavors to it. It was such an enjoyable flavor on my palate I kept wanting more and more. Towards the end of the first third the cigar turned again and I was able to get some sugar cane taste. It was one of the best 1st thirds of a cigar I have ever enjoyed. End of fist third 21:20. The second third starts out with a nice graham cracker taste notes during a smooth attempt at a retrohale. I didn't cough on this one so it was a success in my book. Completing a retrohale every couple of draws allows me to really see how the cigar changes over time. After taking a lot more hefty draws I noticed a sweeter taste came back on my palate. This time it was more of a sweeter nectar taste. It was like going to the beehive and getting some fresh honey dropped in my mouth. I feel like I am in a very good state of mind at this point in the cigar. End of second third 22:00. The last third was the least enjoyable of the part of the cigar. There is graham cracker at the start but then turns to straight hay without any lemon grass. This then quickly changes to a cedar and a vanilla type taste. This is a very good part of this last third of the cigar and is the highlight. Where it starts to get rough for me is the young taste kicks in towards the end. I put the cigar down for a little while and pick it back up for a hefty draw. At this point the young taste did mellow out some but it was just too much for me to handle. This still needed some age to it for the last third to really come out. I would lay these down for another year to get the full flavor out of them. Ending time 22:44 - a full 2 hour cigar and the picture is where I left it. This by far is my top cigar of the year that I have smoked hands down even with the young taste at the end. I will be looking for more of these in the future.
  20. One of the best things about our FriendsofHabanos community are the regular competitions our host runs for the benefit of our community. It was one such competition in June this year, the Sublime Selfie Weekend Competition that, thanks to you, enabled me to win a prize of 5 regular production cigars. The timing of that competition was impeccable. I was coming to the end of a hectic June work period and looking forward to a well-earned holiday break, and this competition was coincidentally on the winter solstice so I made sure to get away as soon as I could to enjoy a cigar in the sunset. After acclimatising the cigars to my humidor for 90 days, I decided to review them in appreciation of their reception, and so give back a benefit to our members in sharing how these cigars smoked. The cigars in the image below are, from left-to-right; H.Upmann Magnum 46, Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills, Saint Luis Rey Regios, Cohiba Siglo II and the Montecristo No.2. Below are the cigars I smoked in order... Saint Luis Rey Regios Vitola: Hermosos No.4 - 48 ring gauge x 127 mm or 5.0 inches I started this review series with the Saint Luis Rey Regios. Why? I had an aged Saint Luis Rey Serie A the week before so I figured that it would be great to compare notes. Plus, with the Double Corona and Serie A in a current production hiatus or possibly deleted, it gave me a chance to see what Saint Luis Rey currently represents. The Regios has been in consistent supply in the last year, going by how often it comes up on 24:24 listings. Our host, El Pres, recommends smoking these sooner than later, and after researching the topic, I deduced that the Regios is indeed not a cigar that benefits greatly from aging, unlike the Serie A. This cigar was medium-strength, light toast and hay, with elements of a honey sweetness at times and a cocoa edge. The thing about this cigar is, it needed to be smoked slowly to prevent acridity, as that toast, hay and tobacco flavour was dominant, but when smoked slowly and allowed to remain cool, this Regios rewarded me with elements of those sweeter flavours. I wonder with marcas such as Saint Luis Rey and Trinidad, whether there is a 'fine line' between complexity and muddled blandness, you know, when it seems all the flavours roll-into-one. They can reward you and they can punish you, bring you joy and make you weep in frustration, yet you still feel inclined to persist because they can be so good. Cohiba Siglo II Vitola: Marevas - 42 ring gauge x 129 mm or 5.1 inches Cohiba is a marca that polarises cigar enthusiasts. Firstly, there's the marked-up price, which in the past 12 months was increased 10%, in comparison to most other marcas increasing by an average of 3% and then secondly, there's the flavour profile that leaves some people wondering where's the appeal (to them). I must admit, that the great majority of my friends who I share this noble hobby with, enjoy Cohiba (and Montecristo) just as much as I do, which is saying something when you factor in Australian taxes on cigars. So what was it like to smoke this Siglo II fresh? The grassiness was the dominant flavour, with espresso coffee just a little behind. There was a little honey, but not much and spice through the nose, but no cream texture to be found. It was distinctly Cohiba, but I admit I do like them rested at least 3 to 5 years. Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills Vitola: Montesco - 55 ring gauge x 130 mm or 5.1 inches If Cohiba and Montecristo represent two marcas I find great comfort in, than Romeo y Julieta and Bolivar alternatively represent two marcas which I find tend to make me suffer. If given a modern context, I wonder if Jesus would revise his famous saying in Matthew 11; "Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest, except if you've had a Romeo y Julieta cigar that is all toasted tobacco, then you are on your own!" Well, this Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills was such a pleasant surprise. In fact, of all these cigars, I'd consider this one to have been the best in light of their comparative youthfulness. It had excellent construction, great amounts of smoke per draw, the aroma at cold was a wonderful barnyard cocoa that instantly appeals to many an experienced cigar aficionado and it delivered. A touch under medium, this is not the type of cigar that obviates simplicity, it's not complex and that's not why you'd smoke this. Its combination of toast, tobacco and a cream cherry edge all throughout made it quite satisfying for me. Mind you, don't fret, I have Bolivar and Romeo y Julieta in my humidor, and it's cigars such as this one which make me re-visit the marca from time-to-time, even if the 55 ring gauge made me 'sip' it from the head. Then again, the larger ring gauge made me slow down and really savour this cigar. H.Upmann Magnum 46 Vitola: Coronas Gordas - 46 ring gauge x 143 mm or 5.6 inches I was reading over @ATGroom's excellent blog, (A Harem of) Dusky Beauties tonight, and apart from being elated that it's back online (I was only remarking to a few Sydney FoH members last night that it down since Cuban Cigar Website crashed in December 2016 - it's nice to be corrected in this instance), I was intrigued to learn that the H.Upmann Magnum 46 was the 9th most common vitola in Cuban Cigar Website members' inventories (the H.Upmann Half Corona was 8th). This Magnum 46 showed me how young it was. It had its H.Upmann espresso coffee and shortbread, but it had its toasted tobacco too, which made it a little over medium in strength. Perhaps some slight licorice redeemed this for me somewhat, as I did enjoy it well into its last third, yet my preference for Magnum 46's is a milder coffee, shortbread, cedar and hay expression, with a touch of spice. Then again, I think that this Magnum 46 was the type that @Chickenlassi enjoyed when he wrote this review a few years ago, you know, the kind of cigar that Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone would digest for breakfast, lunch and dinner without blinking! Montecristo No.2 Vitola: Piramides - 52 ring gauge x 156 mm or 6.1 inches I consider myself very fortunate to have had a great run of Montecristo No.2's this year, perhaps the last 8 to 10 have been all consistently superb. What can I say? I just love them, when they are 'on' that is. This cigar was exactly 'off' in comparison, it had excellent construction, a great draw and smoked well. So what was this issue? The wrapper shade! Yes, I prefer a lighter wrapper shade on my Montecristo No.2's, the type that give a lovely milk coffee, nut and cream combination. I find darker wrappers on Montecristo No.2's can make the cigar more intense, with more emphasised flavours of toasted tobacco and dark cocoa or chocolate, as this cigar was. But as cigars are a subjective experience, there's nothing wrong if you enjoy your Montecristo No.2's to be more intense in strength and flavour. If so, then this Monte 2 is for you!
  21. Hello, I have a question about storing Cuban cigars… But first, I found many online cigar sites and it looks like this one may be the best. I have been a cigar “dabbler” for 20+ years - willing to spend 15-20$ US on a cigar but not really knowing the Good from the Bad and the Ugly. Prior to the recent Cuban embargo relaxation, I preferred Nicaraguan cigars. I have recently come into an (I think) amazing windfall… A friend has a client that needed some political help - they needed to get their remaining family out of Cuba, so this friend of mine had a connection in the U.S Senate, and pulled some strings to get the Cuban family into the U.S.; so long story short - as a thank you gift, this Cuban native presented my friend with a box of Cuban cigars and a bottle of fine bourbon. Unfortunately, (fortunately for me), my friend has nothing to do with tobacco, so because I was the only one he knew that would be interested in cigars, he GAVE me the box of Cuban cigars. I’ve researched these, and my best guess is that their worth is somewhere between $600 and $1000. They are Cohibas Siglo Vi, 25 in a sealed box, and the date on the bottom of the wooden box is June ’16. With my brief internet research on the various labels and box, coupled with the personal connections, it appears legit. So, I can’t personally smoke these in the next 6 months, so my question to this forum - what is the best way to store these cigars? I have a TINY humidor - meant to hold half a dozen large cigars at most, intended for traveling with cigars. I’m not likely going to become a serious cigar aficionado, but i don’t want to waste this opportunity - and I’d like to keep these Cubans for future special occasions. Conversely, I’m open to suggestions that these cigars need to be smoked immediately, in that case I’ll have a party and invite my favorite cigar-smoking friends! Or of course, I'd be willing to sell them... What’s the recommended method for storing these Cubans for the near future? thanks Tom P.
  22. Cohiba Gran Reserva Cosecha 2003 Siglo VI Review Vitola: Canonazo 52 ring gauge x 150 mm or 5.9 inches I had the opportunity to smoke this cigar a few months ago thanks to our dear friend @Trevor2118. We smoked one together and both agreed it was the best cigar we've sampled, and having sampled some exemplary cigars over the years, this is quite a statement. What is it like? Well, picture eating a honey, vanilla and cream sweet shortbread cake, only smoking it. I read a review on-line in preparing this reference review that the Gran Reserva series are amplified versions of their blends, only more subtle and refined. This is an apt and highly accurate description of this cigar. Like the video below, where El Pres and Smithy are both echoing each other's phrases in exemplifying how good this cigar is, I too was lost for words in adequately describing it, hence my lack of a detailed tasting review through the thirds. No matter, below are other reference threads for you to consider... In conclusion, if you happen to be fortunate enough to be able to pick up a box of these, or even singles, do so, you certainly will not regret it!
  23. I've decided to post my 2016 Xmas Sampler Review in the Review Section for future reference purposes. It was originally posted in February this year in the 'Daily Smoke' thread... Cigars I've smoked lately... The 2016 Xmas Sampler (dedicated to our dear friend @Hurltim) Did you happen to pick up El Pres' 2016 Xmas Sampler? These cigars represent Rob's most consistent quality cigars for 2016. I smoked through these fine cigars during my January vacation time, on my own, watching sport, watching movies and sometimes in the fine company of some other dear fellow cigar enthusiasts. I promised Hurltim I'll review these when done, but as February is a busy month in Australian work life culture (as a result of everyone returning from leave en masse!), I've finally been able to find some time to share my findings! Firstly, below are the 13 cigars included... They are, from left to right, Diplomaticos Bushido, Diplomatico No.2, Bolivar Coronas Gigantes, Partagas Lusitanias, Montecristo No.1, Fonseca No.1, H.Upmann Magnum 56 LE 2015, Ramon Allones Club Allones LE 2015, Punch Punch, Bolivar Belicosos Finos, San Cristobal de La Habana La Fuerza, Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Prince and Cohiba Robustos. My review will follow in chronological order... 1. Ramon Allones Club Allones LE 2015 (SOM Dic 15) I decided to start off with the 'powerhouses', the most full-bodied of the lot. I smoked this and the BBF watching the Boxing Day Cricket Test, which is traditionally Australia's most watched and attended event of the sporting summer. The Australian cricket captain, Steve Smith and leading bowler, Mitchell Starc were hitting runs aplenty on this day of the test, and it was exciting to watch Australia comeback to bowl Pakistan out and win the game. This cigar was so strong, much stronger than other RACA I've had. It had the traditional stewed profile that I enjoy in Ramon Allones, but the nicotine buzz of this wore me out by the late afternoon. 2. Bolivar Belicosos Finos (TOR May 16) So, by the time lit this in the early afternoon I was somewhat feeling a little drowsy, on account of the strong Ramon Allones Club Allones LE I had earlier and the warm weather of this particular Sydney afternoon. I thing I enjoy about BBF's are when they have an element of cream to them, alas, no such luck here. It had typical flavours associated with this vitola such as earthiness, leather, sour dough spine dipped in coffee and dark chocolate. Still, I hold hope for the next BBF I smoke! 3. H.Upmann Magnum 56 LE 2015 (MEG Mar 16) This is the special cigar I decided to have on New Year's Day this year. I made a Brandy Alexander for myself and my wife, and together with my standard long black espresso coffee, this cigar was one of the highlights of my summer! What can I say in regards to accolades about the H.Upmann Magnum 56? Smoke aplenty, mild chocolate (like all limited editions, eh?), toasted tobacco, licorice and so beautifully refined. Yes, I wish it wasn't 56 ring gauge, but I used my Credo 3-in-1 punch cutter again on this and 'sipped' it from the back. 95 minutes of pure joy and yes, I gladly nubbed it...look below! 4. Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Prince (TOR Jun 16) When I smoked this on the 3rd of January, little did I know that I would be saying goodbye to a dear friend. Why, oh why did I not get more boxes? Oh well, I'll live with what I have and I'll try to get some more this year, if I can. Still, I'm in disbelief in regards to this fine cigar being deleted in 2017. Rob mentioned in his tasting notes the following,..cream, cedar, bitter cooking chocolate and black coffee. This description is about spot on for me. My recommendation for all Le Hoyo line HdM, is to age them. If you enjoy them young, try to smoke through half a box, and rest what's left for a minimum 5 years. That combination of cream and cedar, when aged, is just so ineffable. Some of you will know what I mean. 5. Punch Punch (ALO Mar 16) Did you get yourself a 50 cab of these recently? Well, I certainly hope you did. The Punch Punch will be around in 2018, but only in 25 dress boxes, there's something nostalgic about this in 50 cabs that this cigar deserves. Again, I very much enjoyed this, cream, leather, spice...just Punch at its finest, and how surprised was I on account of its youthfulness? I wish there were two of these in the sampler! 6. Diplomaticos No.2 (TOS Mar 16) This was the very best of all the cigars I smoked from the Xmas Sampler. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Sourdough...just 100 minutes of sweet joy that I hope Habanos S.A can replicate for this cigar for sometime. If you've put this away, or are smoking through some TOS 15/16 Diplomaticos No.2 currently, you are truly fortunate! 7. San Cristobal de La Habana La Fuerza (TOS Mar 16) Cocoa, coffee, molasses and sweetbread...this is quintessential San Cristobal de La Habana. This is a marca I absolutely adore because I'm a sweet tooth. This cigar was very, very good and I was well-satisfied, but it goes to show how good the Punch Punch and Diplomaticos No.2 were on this day for me to rate those vitolas higher. 8. Cohiba Robustos (ETP Jun 16) This, and the next two cigars, I enjoyed in the company of some fine Sydney Friends of Habanos members at a get together at my house. Again, it was a warm Sunday summer's day, but this Robusto was still distinctively Cohiba, with that combination of grass/hay, honey, citrus and cream we all know and love. 9. Fonseca No.1 (UME Mar 15) Apparently this cigar has been deleted a few years ago, but it just seems to go into production now and then ever since the announcement. Wood, floral notes, soft marshmallow and very, very mild. This is suitable for a change of pace. Construction on this was outstanding! 10. Montecristo No.1 (BUM Abr 15) How good is it to have this Lonsdale cigar smoking this well? This was the third cigar of our get together and I think I saved the best for last! Montecristo cocoa, cream and leather in a 1 and 3/4 hours smoke. I don't think I have these often enough! 11. Diplomaticos Bushido (TOS Oct 15) This is an incredibly special Asia Pacifico Regional Edition release. You know this from the very fact that the cigar is tapered at the head, a Numero 109, a vitola saved for the very best cigars. And, this is one of those cigars so deserving of that praise. I saved this for a get together with Trevor and Alex to discuss Cuban Cigar Website on a mid-week day in January. Unfortunately, the day was extremely hot, over 100°F (38°C). Still, I savoured that Diplomaticos sourdough and cinnamon goodness, and the fine, fine company! 12. Partagas Lusitanias (OBM Jun 16) I can't remember the last time I had a double corona, but after having this, I made sure to pick up a box from a 24:24 sale soon after. I found this like a milder Partagas Shorts...mild, smooth spice, coffee and sourdough. It went for 2 hours and 5 minutes and after I finished it I wanted to light one up immediately thereafter! 13. Bolivar Coronas Gigantes (PUR Mar 16) I smoked this watching 'La La Land' with my wife and boy did this cigar send me there. Oh what a pity it's being deleted, and even though Bolivar is not favourite marca on account of the earthiness in its profile, still, I can appreciate the spice, coffee and toasted tobacco spine. How apt I should end the Sampler series on this cigar. Farewell will be long remembered!
  24. I found this picture on social media. The counterfeiters appear to have really high quality (if not authentic) Cohiba and the Edicion Limitada bands. However they overlooked the fact that Cohiba EL in 2014 was the Robustos Supremos, the Piramides format was last offered in 2006 and both came in 10 count boxes. I tried to tell the owner that these were fakes and he replied that he had purchased them at a Mexican LCDH. Which could explain what appears to be authentic bands, but opens up a whole other ugly can of worms. I have heard rumors of fakes at LCDH's but has anyone actually stumbled across any or is it just cigar forum urban legend?
  25. Hey all, I'm curious, what's the main difference in terms of flavor and body between the maduro line and the siglo line? Are the maduros similar to NC maduros where the leaves are left out longer and develop a fuller sweeter flavor? Since they come in similar vitolas I'm curious why the prices are so different. thanks all!

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