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Spotlight Brand: Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc

A satisfying homage to Oliva's founder.

The Oliva family has a deep history in the tobacco industry. The family started as growers in Cuba, but didn’t actually start producing cigars until the the 1990’s, when Gilberto Oliva, Jr. launched a brand of cigars bearing his name. Oliva’s newest blend pays tribute to the family patriarch with its new line of Gilberto Oliva Reserva blends. 

Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc is handcrafted in Nicaragua, using a golden brown Ecuador Connecticut wrapper leaf and only the highest quality Nicaraguan long-fillers. This recipe brings about sophisticated notes of roasted nuts and cream. A beautiful addition to Oliva’s already impressive portfolio.   

Q & A: What to Enjoy on the Links

What cigars are best suited to enjoy on the golf course?

6/29/17 | by KD in Chevy Chase, MD


This is a common, yet welcomed conundrum. Cigars and golf are a match made in heaven, and many of us have very distinct preferences for which premiums we take to the links. Personally, I prefer a larger cigar with a mellow to medium body that’s easy on the wallet. I reserve cigars with Connecticut wrappers for the golf course. They pair well with classic golfing beers like American lagers and crisp pilsners, plus they have just enough flavor to keep my interest and not distract me from the task at hand (because let’s be honest, I cannot afford distractions). In my experience, a larger cigar tends to stand up better to relights than smaller cigars like robustos or coronas. Oh, there will be relights. 5 Vegas Gold Churchill and La Perla Habana Black Pearl Oro are fantastic choices, and they’re affordable enough to hand out to your golf buddies or lose one in the rough.

by John

Review: Gispert Intenso

Tim Not Your Grandfather's Gispert

For those of you familiar with Gispert, you know that its original blend is on the mellow to medium side. It’s a great cigar that’s well made and has elegant notes of cream and leather, but it’s not exactly the most complex cigar you’ll ever enjoy, and while I appreciate this cigar’s accessibility, I like something with a little more oomph. Apparently others feel the same, and Gispert heard the calls for a bolder blend. The company collaborated with tobacco master AJ Fernandez, who has quite the track record for making beautifully complex, full-bodied cigars. After careful planning and meticulous sampling, AJ and Gispert released Intenso to please the masses.

Intenso’s Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is a deep chestnut brown and has a rustic quality to it. That’s the nature of this leaf: it’s thick, leathery, and tough as nails, adding a natural spice and sweetness that no other tobacco offers. Tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican comprise the filler, and when combined with the Broadleaf wrapper, it produces prominent tasting notes of oak, espresso, and leather. It’s bolder than the original for sure, and more complex, but it won’t knock you off your feet with spice and strength. I’ve partaken in a few of these, and I intend to enjoy many more. This cigar is a great collaboration from Gispert and AJ Fernandez, one which I would highly recommend trying.

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Article: Expert Tip: Pipe Tobacco for the Cigar Enthusiast

By: John Moralis

With the resurgence of pipes and pipe tobacco, cigar enthusiasts may be looking to broaden their horizons and delve into new experiences, but not veer too far from familiar territory. Like cigars, different pipe tobacco blends will lend themselves to different experiences in flavor and body. The key to finding something you like lies in selecting pipe blends that have similarities in terms of flavor and strength to the cigars you already enjoy.

If you’re curious about trying pipe tobacco, and don’t want to spend a fortune on a pipe, you may want to drop a few dollars on a corncob pipe. If that’s a bit rustic for your taste, an inexpensive briar pipe could be more your speed. Your first step in finding tobacco that you’ll enjoy lies in finding a blend with qualities that are close to your favorite cigar, meaning you’ll want something with similar body and a rich mouth-feel.

Dark Burley Blends

Stepping outside of the box can be daunting, so dark burley blends are a way of helping you test the waters. This type of blend is bold with earthy and chocolaty flavors that cigar enthusiasts are accustomed to. Lane Classics like Limited Ready Rubbed and Half and Half are classic examples of pipe tobacco blends that would translate well to a cigar enthusiast’s palate.  

Virginia and Virginia Perique Blends

If you enjoy more mellow cigars, a Virginia blend’s lighter body will be most appealing. Virginias are creamy and sweet, attributes that will appeal to palates that lean toward Connecticut cigars. Orlik Golden Sliced, Dunhill Flake, and Dunhill Elizabethan Mixture are perfect examples of blends that are rich and smooth, much like a traditional Connecticut.

Latakia Blends

In the same realm as dark burley blends, Latakias are close to cigars in the sense that they are smoky, fragrant, and full-flavored. These blends are perfect for those who enjoy a stronger cigar with a full body. Dunhill Mixture 965 is a great example of a classic Latakia blend, as are Lane’s BS-005 and Hearth & Home’s Marquee Black House.  


For enthusiasts who prefer flavored cigars, or are more adventurous in discovering new flavor profiles, aromatics may be the way to go. They tend to be sweeter in smell and in taste, and can be flavored with things like vanilla, cherry, and rum. Captain Black Cherry, Lane Burley and Black, and Mac Baren Plumcake are all fine choices for those looking to venture outside of their comfort zones.

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