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An Intriguing Collaboration
Developed by the Cuban cigar maker, AJ Fernandez, who has produced some of the finest cigars in Nicaragua, Hoyo La Amistad is a bold move for the legendary Hoyo de Monterrey brand. I have to admit, when I first heard that AJ Fernandez was teaming up with Hoyo for a release, it had me scratching my head, but at the same time I couldn’t wait to light one up. After hearing that AJ Fernandez and his family grew up very near to the Hoyo de Monterrey farm in Cuba I knew he had put his all in this one.
The cigar features perfect construction. Once lit, you know you’re in for a bold and full-bodied treat. While the cigar is strong, it is nowhere near overpowering and there are some nice sweet and spicy notes mixed in that help to balance out the palate. While I didn’t find the blend to be overly complex or change much throughout, Hoyo La Amistad certainly lives up to its historic branding and delivers a classic, Cuban-esque experience that even the most discerning aficionados can enjoy.
While I don’t find myself reaching for Gurkha cigars all too often these days, it’s impossible to forget how good this ‘91’ rated gem is. Symphony has become one of the most popular Connecticut-wrapped cigars in our inventory. Superb construction and every smooth puff makes Gurkha Symphony a must-try for every aficionado.
This is Rocky Patel's aptly dubbed Cri-ojo, a unique hybrid wrapper leaf featuring a mix of both Criollo and Corojo seed offering a one-of-a-kind experience. I never thought such a balanced, medium-bodied cigar could pack so much flavor from an earthy spice up front to a touch of natural sweetness on the finish.
A must-have in my humidor, a Nicaraguan wrapper drapes five-year-aged ligeros and barrel-aged Nicaraguan long-leaves. Offering subtle hints of coffee and earthiness, HC Series Gran Limitado will satisfy even the most complex of palates. Add this to your rotation today or keep it around as a special treat for guests!
This Oliva everyday premium delivers each and every time. Reliable and unbeatable for the price, the impeccable construction is evident as soon as you pick it up. A gorgeous, Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is perfectly applied around a robust blend of Nicaraguan fillers creating a smooth character mixed with zesty notes of cedar and spice.
Grab yourself a Guinness or an Irish coffee for this one. Erin Go Bragh is an exceptional choice for aficionados looking for a well-made, flavored premium. The infusion of Irish whiskey melds perfectly with the Dominican fillers and a silky smooth Connecticut wrapper, finished with a lightly-sweetened cap.
Rocky Patel is back with an exciting new release in the form of a hearty maduro featuring a San Andres wrapper and a carefully selected blend of Nicaraguan long fillers. Despite its bold packaging, this one has a rather tamed and refined character. To me, that’s a good thing. Right off the bat, this well-balanced cigar is incredibly smooth with rich notes of coffee and chocolate. To be honest, I was expecting a bold spice that is typical with San Andres wrappers. Instead there were just light hints of cedar, spice, and sweetness on the finish which added a nice bit of complexity to the blend. Neither flavor would completely overpower the others. I can really respect such a full-flavored cigar that doesn’t knock you back in your seat in terms of strength. Flor de San Andres remains firmly in the medium-bodied camp throughout and can be enjoyed any time of day. If you’re looking for a new everyday maduro you can’t go wrong here.
This classic has introduced so many to Brazilian tobacco, including myself. A top-seller within CAO’s illustrious ‘world cigar’ lineup, CAO Brazilia is a bold, full-bodied blend featuring a dark and lustrous wrapper and perfectly aged Nicaragua fillers. Rich notes of chocolate and spice are pleasant with a slight sweetness on the finish that marry together perfectly throughout.
A bit of a hidden gem within the cigar industry, Latitude Zero is crafted in Nicaragua by the world’s most premier tobacco growers and broke out onto the scene last year with an exquisite blend featuring a top-grade Habano Ecuador wrapper. This time around they turn their focus to a maduro leaf and simply nailed it out of the park. Dressed in a dark and toothy US Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and packaged up in handmade leather pouches, this cigar is quite a looker. But it’s the flavor that truly wows you. This medium to full-bodied cigar offers up hearty notes of chocolate and coffee right off the bat. Followed up by undertones of earth, leather, and some pepper, this cigar is incredibly rich yet always smooth.
Ramon Bueso has worked behind the scenes on blends with industry legends such as Estelo Padron and Frank Llaneza. Today he is reaching stardom with his own line of premium cigars, and his fourth installment is by far the most unique offering within his portfolio. Featuring an oily, Sun Grown Ligero wrapper, purposely under-fermented to create a unique flavor, the latest from Ramon Bueso will instantly grab your attention. It begins with blast of pepper. As it settles down, notes of chocolate and spices appear with slight hints of raisin. This flavorful, medium to full-bodied cigar has a very distinct aroma that sets it apart from any other cigar I’ve had.
Morado is the highest-rated La Perla Habana blend, and rightfully so. The toothy African Cameroon wrapper is rolled to perfection around a solid core of Nicaraguan long-fillers. This well-balanced, medium-bodied blend has a ton of flavor without all the kick. Smooth flavors of cedar, earth, and light spices mingle throughout, followed by a semi-sweet finish.
I’ve always been a fan of The Griffin’s. When you’re in the mood for a reliable morning or mid-day mellow cigar, they never let you down. So when I heard that Davidoff was releasing The Griffin’s Nicaragua, I knew I had to try one. True to Nicaraguan form, it is a complete departure from the original Connecticut offering. In fact, the only thing they have in common was the superior construction. The Griffin’s Nicaraguan packs quite a punch right from the start, especially the Short Torpedo size. Wasting no time, you are immediately hit with a bold spice up front along with notes of chocolate, leather, and cedar in the background. I did detect a slight bitterness on the tongue on the finish towards the end of the cigar but nothing that made the cigar any less enjoyable. This is a well-blended, medium to full-bodied cigar that brings The Griffin’s brand into a whole new realm for fans of full-bodied, Nicaraguan tobacco. And despite all its boldness, a hint of that signature Dominican tobacco in the filler still lingers.
This is one of the few mellow cigars you will find in my humidor. With a six-year-old US Connecticut wrapper and well-aged Cuban-seed fillers, this smooth and elegant blend offers a rich flavor profile dominated by strong notes of cedar. Don’t take this cigar’s smoothness for weakness; it’s enough to satisfy any enthusiast’s palate.
The addition of a dark and oily, Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper to this affordable line from Graycliff really kick things up a notch. The blend is a hearty, medium body and is superbly constructed. Graycliff G2 Maduro offers a highly aromatic flavor profile of rich chocolate, spice, leather, and some sweetness on the finish. Fans of the original G2 blend should give this a try for a heartier, after-dinner treat.
As Black Ops most premium release to date, this bold looking torpedo features a large, gold foot band to mimic a .50 caliber bullet. It is a bit soft to the touch but no major construction issues. Right off the bat there is an onslaught of dark chocolate notes mixed with some espresso and black pepper. Housed in genuine ammo cans, the bar has just been raised. Black Ops Rubicon is an exceptional value with a great blend and unique packaging.
Epicure (6.0"x50) Excellent burn. The cigar is relatively mellow for the first inch and then explodes with flavor as it burns towards the head. Sweet nuances are noticeable and the finish seems to last longer than expected. The complexities are greatly noticeable from inch to inch. Preferred size.
Unico (torpedo) (6.2"x54) Perfectly constructed and offers more complexities than the Epicure. The wrapper is almost flawless with little veins and the draw is very, very easy. Definitely the best size when looking at construction and complexity.
Magnum (5.5"x55) Features a very easy draw, flawless construction. Produces a creamy smoke and many spicy nuances can be tasted. Perfect forty-five minute cigar.
Club Corona (5.5"x44) More robust than the other sizes and the draw is a bit tight. Due to its size, the flavors seem stronger and the spice is abundant from start to finish. Noticed almost no sweet nuances but still, very enjoyable.
Chairman (7.0"x52) The draw is a bit tight for the size; however, this stick offers a stronger experience. The blend is balanced throughout but the burn was slightly uneven. Great to enjoy after a hearty meal.
Robusto (5.0"x50) Maduro: Rich from start to finish and burns very evenly. This smoke is very easy to draw and contains rich notes of coffee in which the flavor is consistent throughout. Corojo: Very spicy with many nuances of pepper. The aroma has few hints of spice and the cigar is surprisingly smooth for its strength.
Toro (6.0"x52) Maduro: Contains some acidic flavors and becomes increasingly stronger with each puff. The smoke is very creamy and has a chocolate aroma, but no chocolate flavors. This cigar has a slightly tight draw and provides a noticeable sweetness on the palate. Slightly uneven burn. Corojo: Noticeable spice immediately to the lips. The smoke is somewhat creamy but includes accented notes of pepper. Again, the burn is a bit tight and uneven.
Torpedo (6.0"x52) Maduro: This torpedo burns evenly from start to finish and has a very good draw. Cocoa nuances engulf the palate and this smoke is complex in comparison to the others. The construction is flawless and there is very little acidic content. Corojo: Very complex, especially towards the finish. Many earthy undertones arise from the peppery nuances and this cigar seems to be bland if not for the spice it produces. The smoke does not overwhelm the palate and never gets too strong.
Double Corona (7.5"x52) Maduro: The draw is very tight and the wrapper is slightly oily with veins protruding throughout. Some acidic flavors are experienced immediately and then it mellows out into a rich body, with notes of espresso. The ash is very dark and there is a subtle sweet aftertaste which also includes some charcoal flavors. Corojo: This cigar is very mellow at first and then increasingly becomes stronger with spice and pepper flavors that cling to the back of the throat. The burn is even and the draw is very easy. The pepper flavors increase inch by inch, and provide a very long finish.
Perfecto (5.0"x55) An exquisite perfecto that showcases deep, damp and earthy notes of peat with exceptional balance and complexity.
Double Toro (6.0"x60) This big ring cigar burns cool with a slight sweetness and full flavor that includes leathery espresso notes.
Robusto (5.0"x50) Medium to full bodied with a robust and earthy flavor, this robusto is complex and balanced with cocoa, espresso, leather and earthy flavors.
Churchill (7.0"x50) A firm, dark cigar with an oily wrapper, this cigar has is a bit more subtle than the others but maintains complexity with notes of leather and peat. Medium to full bodied.
Torpedo (6.0"x52) A firm and well rolled figurado that had some minor burn issues but overall is a fantastic cigar. Leather notes of espresso are on the palate with a subtle and sweet, moderate finish.
Edmundo (5.0"x55) This fat robusto has a cool burn that slowly roasts its oily maduro wrapper. Sweet notes of cedar are on the palate with caramel and espresso undertones. Very nice burn.
No. 2 (6.1"x54) This torpedo brings some complexity to the palate with flavors that change over the course of the smoke which include notes of peat, wood and a short sugary finish.
No. 3 (5.5"x44) This corona has the most flavor relative to the other sizes. While the cigar became a bit hot toward the end, it brought complex and balanced flavors to the palate including a sweet coffee aroma that had a moderate finish.
Churchill (7.0"x58) This cigar was a bit difficult to smoke on account of its diameter. Bitter, damp notes of peat with hints of leather were on the palate with some balance issues.
Torpedo (6.0"x54) Beautiful figurado with an oily wrapper. The draw on this cigar is generous, yielding copious amounts of smoke that bring wood and nut flavors to the palate with hints of spiciness.
Corona (5.5"x44) This petit cigar has the most flavor relative to the other sizes offered in 5 Vegas Classic line. Well made with cedary flavors and a moderate finish. Medium bodied.
Robusto (5.0"x50) Well filled cigar that has a heavy feel in the hand. Dry on the palate with notes of wood and hints of spice and leather.
Double Corona (6.0"x48) A medium bodied cigar with a moderate finish and rich flavor. Cedary, wood notes with hints of nuts and spice. Some sweetness on the palate.
Churchill (7.0"x52) This fat Churchill has an excellent leather, wood and nut flavor that become spicy as the cigar burns. Medium to full bodied with a long finish.
Panatela (6.0"x38) This long and skinny cigar has some draw and burn problems. Spicy with some wood notes. Becomes hot and bitter.
Mosaic (6.0"x42) Creamy brown, silky wrapper. Very attractive cigar. Pre-light flavors of cedar and light tobacco. Excellent construction with cedar, earthy aromas and some notes of honey. Salty on the palate but well balanced. Spice present through the nose and on the finish. Attractive cigar in a very classic size. Medium to full flavored and bodied with a delicious, long finish.
Storm (5.0"x50) Oily, light brown wrapper. Classic robusto size packed with flavor and well balanced. Great draw and flawless construction. Earth, cedar and salty notes on the palate.
Frontier (7.0"x50) Impressive, cedar wrapped cigar. Silky, creamy brown wrapper with an excellent draw. Salt and earthy notes with wood on the palate. Well balanced and medium to full bodied.
Bengal (6.0"x50) Classic toro size. Excellent burn and construction, which was consistent with all other sizes – extremely well made. Medium flavor and body.
Gothic (6.0"x52) Big cigar with a great deal of flavor. Silky, golden brown wrapper and cool notes on the palate. Never became hot or bitter. Medium to full bodied with earth and wood notes on the palate. Very unique character.
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