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La Flor Dominicana Suave

Tim Interesting to the nub...
Sporting a silky Connecticut wrapper, as soon as I lit this up any preconceived notions I had about La Flor Dominicana were smashed. Smooth with hardly any spice at all, this was clearly going to be a great choice for that first cigar of the day. Pairing exceptionally well with my morning coffee, I picked up notes of sweet hay, earth, and cream. Very little spice if any, this is not a bad thing since there are ample nuances throughout, keeping this Dominican interesting all the way to the nub.
Sporting a silky Connecticut wrapper, as soon as I lit this up any preconceived notions I had about La Flor Dominicana were smashed. Smooth with hardly any spice at all, this was clearly going to be a great choice for that first cigar of the day. Pairing exceptionally well with my morning coffee, I picked up notes of sweet hay, earth, and cream. Very little spice if any, this is not a bad thing since there are ample nuances throughout, keeping this Dominican interesting all the way to the nub.
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Southern Draw Jacob's Ladder

Tim Expert Picks: The Men of the Hour Expert Pick
It's time to climb to a new level of flavor. Made by AJ Fernandez in Estelí, wrapped in a dark PA Broadleaf with potent long-fillers from Nicaragua, Jacob's Ladder is loaded with spices and savory notes of charred meat, red pepper, and leather. Ascend to a better tasting blend with this all-star from Robert Holt and Southern Draw.…
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La Barba Ricochet Crü Mexi-Sol

Tim Expert Picks: Around The World Expert Pick
I haven't had to worry about going to the barber for quite some time now, so when I saw a brand called La Barba, I jumped at the chance to 'get a new do'. Their Ricochet Cru Mexi-Sol blend is a beauty to behold, and as bold and satisfying as any on the market today.…
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Macanudo Gold

Tim Expert Picks: Spring Starters Expert Pick
Macanudo is known for consistency across the board, but their most consistently excellent cigar is Gold Label. Smooth, creamy, and with a hint of natural sweetness, this is one elegant Connecticut Shade-wrapped delight. If you like your cigars 'easy like Sunday morning', Macanudo Gold Label is a must-have for the humidor.…
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Torano Exodus 1959 '50 Years'

Tim Expert Picks: Through the Years Expert Pick
With a robust multi-country recipe of long-leaves beneath a spicy Habano wrapper, Toraño Exodus 1959 dishes out the delectability with cedary notes of cinnamon, leather, and tea. The complex and balanced profile impressed me...and then some. Go on your own cigar journey today, with Toraño as your guide.…
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Brick House Connecticut

Tim Expert Picks: Holiday Handmades Expert Pick
I love three things more than anything: my dog Yogi the Bear, my cat Lemmy...the Cat, and my backyard hammock. A close 4th is a good Shade-wrapped cigar, and Brick House Connecticut is one I keep going back to again and again. Burning slow, smooth, and creamy, this Nicaraguan-made beauty finishes crisp and clean every time!…
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Flores y Rodriguez Connecticut Valley Reserve

Tim Expert Picks: Must-Have Maduros Expert Pick
This dark delight from Flores y Rodriguez is on FyR! (Literally as I'm enjoying one right now.) Packed to the brim with a tri-country recipe of top-tier tobaccos, expect a deep, rich profile. Note first the big, bold nuances of coffee and sweet cedar, then flip your wig over the decadent chocolate-covered raisin finish.…
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Oliva Master Blends III

Tim Expert Picks: Habano Heat Wave Expert Pick
I'm always all-in when it comes to Oliva. I truly don't think they make a cigar that isn't great, and trust me I've dug deep! What's their best blend? Tough question, but Master Blends III has to be in the running. Box-pressed with a beauty of a Broadleaf wrapper around lively Ligero long-leaves, this premium is full-bodied and smooth, too!…
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CAO Gold Cigars

Tim Expert Picks: Summer Starters Expert Pick
Ah, the Shade-wrapped blend that changed the way the industry looked at mellow. CAO Gold is a mellow blend, no doubt about it. But with its Nicaraguan long-leaf recipe underneath its Connecticut-seed wrapper, the results are a bit more rich and well-rounded than most of its kind. Stay gold with this stunner from CAO!…
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Montecristo Classic

Tim Expert Picks: All-Time Greats Expert Pick
What can be said about Montecristo Classic that hasn't already? An all-time favorite, you'll be impressed with how much flavor this Churchill provides while staying smooth throughout. With a pristine Shade Grown wrapper and well-aged Dominican long-fillers, Montecristo Classic is in a class of its own!…
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HC Series Habano Colorado

Tim Expert Picks: Spring Into Sun Grown Expert Pick
One of my favorite premiums to bring to the cigar party, these tantalizing treats are flavorful, complexly-nuanced, and downright fun to enjoy. Expect a combination of sweet and savory to start, with enough spice, earth, and pepper to put some pep in your step! One heck of a Corojo from HC Series!…
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La Palina Bronze Label

Tim Expert Picks: Spring Favorites Expert Pick
A blend born  from a collaboration with Rocky Patel hitting the shelves made me realize my cigar budget is going to take a hit too! Utilizing mainly Honduran tobaccos with a leaf of Nicaraguan for good measure, this super-premium delivers notes of sweet pepper and creamy coffee that compete over a rich, cocoa finish.…
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Espinosa Crema

Tim Expert Picks: Silver & Gold Expert Pick
Crema is everything you'd expect from Erik Espinosa—high-quality construction and a fully-nuanced profile with finesse. "But this is a Connecticut blend, and Connecticut-wrapped premiums shouldn't be this flavorful," complained no one ever! Stop with the Shade charade, and grab the Cremas of the crop, today!…
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H. Upmann The Banker

Tim Expert Picks: Winter Winners Expert Pick
Here's a cigar worth investing in! The Banker is medium to full-bodied and, just like the stock market, alternates between some intense moments and periods of smooth stability. This balance between bold spices and pleasant, creamy nuances makes The Banker a blend that never loses its value in your regular rotation.…
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Comfortably Numb by Espinosa, Vol. 1

Tim Expert Picks: Favorite Fallbacks Expert Pick
Comfortably Numb Vol.1 is a morsel that is fun, flavorful, and refined. Numb's nuances come and go in casual complexity. The blend's subtleties of sweetness fade just before a chorus of spices reset the tempo, keeping perfect time and balance. You'll find the fine-tuned finish features more notes than a David Gilmour guitar solo.…
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Man O' War Virtue

Tim Expert Picks: Absolute All-Stars Expert Pick
Man O' War Virtue is anything but your standard Connecticut blend. Covered in an Ecuador Connecticut leaf, this cigar utilizes Nicaraguan long-fillers and just the right amount of ligero. This combination gives Virtue an added kick of spice, along with notes of bread, leather, and toasted almond. Fully satisfying from head to foot.…
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Tim Expert Picks: A Summer to Savor Expert Pick
This maduro is made with a blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers, wrapped with a Connecticut Broadleaf. With an impressive flavor profile, REO has a chewy, savory quality. You can expect semi-sweet notes of cocoa, fruit, and a hint of cinnamon. Great construction at an affordable price, this cigar is REOlly good!…
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H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez

Tim Expert Picks: Father's Favorites Expert Pick
This collaboration between Altadis and AJ Fernandez has produced a cigar that boasts a classic character with a modern look and feel. on the surface, you'll find an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper with Dominican and Nicaraguan long-leaves secured beneath. This cigar is complex and spicy, with creamy notes of oak, cocoa, and cashew.…
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Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc

Tim Expert Picks: Choice Churchills Expert Pick
Gilberto Reserva Blanc is Oliva’s newest release since 2012, and it’s well worth the wait. This mellow to medium-bodied blend sports a golden Ecuador Connecticut wrapper which encases Nicaraguan long-leaf. A classic Connecticut profile with notes of cashew, cream, and a bit of graham cracker.…
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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 …
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ROMEO 505 Nicaragua

Tim Rome 505: A Bolder Departure
Romeo y Julieta is a brand that needs no introduction. It’s had staying power in a crowded field, simply because its cigars are timeless blends that enthusiasts have flocked to for over 130 years. The brand wanted to appeal to enthusiasts who prefer bolder flavors, so it branched out a few years ago with its Romeo line-up. Which brings us to its newest release: Romeo 505Named for Nicaragua’s …
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Viaje Full Moon Collector's Edition

Tim Viaje Full Moon Collector’s Edition
I’ve been a Viaje fan for some time now. The brand’s Exclusivo is among my favorite cigars on store shelves right now. Despite my affinity for Viaje, Full Moon Collector’s Edition somehow went under my radar. Yes, I know this is a Halloween-themed cigar, so call me late to the party but, I just wanted to share my delight in finally giving this cigar a go. Let’s start with aesthetics - the cigar …
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La Gran Llave Maduro by AJ Fernandez

Tim You'll Love the Llave.
Why did I find myself surprised, after the first dozen or so puffs, at how much I was enjoying La Gran Llave Maduro when right there in the name, it’s clearly stated “BY AJ FERNANDEZ?" Knowing full well what Fernandez is capable of with tobacco and time, I should have expected this all along. La Gran Llave Maduro is fantastic, with a concerted creaminess throughout the whole experience that’s …
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Alec Bradley Coyol

Tim A Lancero to long for.
Alan Rubin is no stranger to using Honduran tobaccos in his blends to award winning results. His Coyol is no exception to this strategy, as the Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos used in this recipe combine to create one of my new favorites. Grabbed one out of the humidor for two reasons: #1 – the brand… I have loved the Tempus and Prensado for years, and have really enjoyed the few Mundials I’ve …
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ACID Cigars Limited by Drew Estate Opulence 3

Tim Expert Picks: Supreme Infusions Expert Pick
If you like the idea of an “enhanced” cigar blend, Opulence 3 is the finest choice. Sporting a toothy maduro wrapper from San Andrés, ‘O-3’ pumps out clouds of rich and creamy smoke, with a sweet finish, and a room note that is out of this world. …
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Room 101 Uncle Lee

Tim An Uncle you'll like!
With an oily, dark chocolate brown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Uncle Lee is handsome. Pre-light, the cedar and sweet hay aroma is intoxicating. Inside each you find a hearty blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran Corojos combined with Dominican ligeros. Light up and discover creamy nuances of chocolate, almond, and malt initially dominate the palate, eventually making room for heavier notes of espresso …
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Romeo y Julieta 1875 Cigars

Tim Expert Picks: Christmas Lights Expert Pick
The original Dominican Romeo, the 1875 Bully performs like a true tobacco “cafe con leche” as nuances of coffee bean and sweet cream give way perfectly to its subtle sugarcane finish, creating a modern day classic. This best-seller is also a regular in my personal humidor. Mellow enough for the masses yet possessed with a surprising WOW factor. …
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Black Ops Berserker

Tim Let Your Palate Run Wild
Black Ops has won fans over with their clever packaging, rugged theme and, more importantly, their outstanding premiums all at an attractive price point. When Black Ops Berserker was in the works, I couldn’t help but scout around the office, trying to find first-hand information—and by first-hand information I mean when the cigar was going to hit our shelves. When I had the …
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Tim Expert Picks: Fall Classics Expert Pick
I know a thing or two about getting punched, let’s just say I have one of those faces.  That said, this Bareknuckle blend from Punch is enjoyable through and through. Featuring an oily and redolent sungrown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and aged ligero long-leaf fillers, Punch Bareknuckle provides layers of spicy nuances and a strong yet pleasant aroma. You’ll be glad you got in …
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Rocky Patel Super Ligero

Tim Expert Picks: Ligero-Laced Expert Pick
Rocky Patel has always catered to enthusiasts that enjoy fuller-bodied cigars. Now he's added the Super Ligero which will undoubtedly win over the hearts and humidors of America's ligero lunatics. A unique St. Augustine Habano wrapper is on display here, not to mention the totally ligero long-fillers from Costa Rica and Nicaragua. This is one intense blend.…
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5 Vegas Gold

Tim Expert Picks: Summer Shade Expert Pick
Gold is an old favorite of mine. Real old, like back when the Mets were bad and Zima was flowing like water. In fact, I’m enjoying yet another one this evening at my desk, and I have to say this fantastic cigar has only gotten better over time. This chunky Connecticut is creamy and rich, with a hint of spice. 5 Vegas Gold has enough flavor and character to …
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Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon

Tim Expert Picks: Cameroon Craze Expert Pick
Decade is one of my all-time favorites, so I had to try Rocky’s newer Cameroon version.  After enjoying dozens since its release, I can tell you this blend delivers and frankly is as good, if not better than the original.  There’s a nice sweetness to the smoke throughout and some serious complexity with hints of caramel, coconut, and peanut.  Another KO from Rocky! …
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Graycliff 30-Year Vintage

Tim Expert Picks: Masterfully Balanced Expert Pick
Searching our inventory for the most balanced cigar I could find, Graycliff 30-Year Vintage was an instant winner. A five-country cocktail of tobaccos, the highlight is an authentic African Cameroon wrapper cultivated over 30 years ago. Nuanced, complex, yet medium in body, the 30 Year Vintage is a work of elegance and unsurpassed balance.…
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Camacho Corojo

Tim Expert Picks: Powerhouse Puros Expert Pick
Everyone at the office knows this has been one of my favorites simply by looking in my humidors and ashtrays. Recently, the brand went through a facelift. I've smoked dozens since, and let me say, she's still got it! Honduran ligeros require some endurance on your part as this can get quite intense. Camacho is like a big Italian feast, with the Corojo being the after-dinner espresso. …
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La Palina Classic

Tim Expert Picks: Brazilian Safari Expert Pick
Brazil may have lost the World Cup, but they’re winning my humidor space with some great blends using healthy doses of top-notch Brazilian tobacco.  La Palina Classic may be the finest example.  An oily, Brazilian Habano wrapper leaf is an awesome reason this cigar is included in this sampler.  Buy this and if you don’t enjoy, mail them back to me – I’ll …
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Brick House

Tim Expert Picks: Santa's List Expert Pick
She’s a BRICK… HOUSE!  From the makers of Diamond Crown comes the wildly popular Brick House brand.  Under an oily Havana Subido wrapper leaf, the all Nicaraguan filler blend provides some power yet remains balanced and smooth with a slightly sweet finish.  Well deserving of a ‘92’ rating and Cigar Aficionado “Best Buy” honors. Santa will be …
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Romeo y Julieta Viejo

Tim Expert Picks: San Andres Selection Expert Pick
Romeo y Julieta is known for their use of Sumatran and Connecticut wrappers, but not until the introduction of the Viejo did they become well-known for using a San Andres maduro wrapper, masterfully at that.  Expect a sweet aroma reminiscent of fresh, baking bread and smooth, savory cocoa and cream flavors.…
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Ave Maria Cigars Immaculata

Tim Connecticut Elegance Expert Pick
Ave Maria Immaculata is the smooth blend made for the enthusiast who usually goes full. Even if you consider your weathered and leathered palate to be too experienced for mellower smokes, don’t pass on this AJ Fernandez made masterpiece. Immaculata is a winner and I dare you not to like it!  Tons of flavor, super creamy, and irresistibly enjoyable.…
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Aganorsa Leaf Maduro

Tim Expert Picks: Maduro Mayhem Expert Pick
After years of providing other cigar manufacturers with the finest leaf for numerous award winning blends, Casa Fernandez is finally making their own outstanding cigars. This medium-bodied American-made maduro has notable cocoa, coffee, and vanilla bean flavors. Aganorsa is the holy grail of growing, the titan of tobacco, the president of pilones, and not to mention one of my new favorites.…
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Nica Libre Silver 25th Anniversary

Tim All Summer Long Expert Pick
Nica Libre or Free Nicaragua is a brand that not only celebrates the people’s emancipation but also the amazing tobaccos that are grown and imported into the Central American country.  The latest installment of Nica Libre is called the Silver 25th Anniversary in honor of Violeta Chamorro’s victory in the 1990 Nicaraguan general election.  While my teacher friends could …
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Diesel Cigars Unlimited

Tim Must Have Habanos Expert Pick
With so many limited edition releases clogging up the sales chute these days, it’s refreshing to have a reliable, everyday cigar that is always available. Dressed in a stunning Ecuadorian habano wrapper, this gem from AJ Fernandez is my ‘go-to’ blend when I need a stogie break and might be the best damn cigar you can get.…
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Oliva Serie 'V'

Tim All I Want For Christmas Expert Pick
Oliva Serie ‘V’ changed the way the industry and enthusiasts looked at full-bodied cigars.  It was the first to specially ferment a ligero-heavy blend to provide a robust flavor that remained smooth and balanced.  Fast forward more than 5 years later, the Serie V still wears the crown. This is what a true classic tastes like…
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Montecristo Classic

Tim Summer Slow Burners Expert Pick
Even though 60-rings are the latest craze, nothing rivals the Churchill size when you have time on your hands to kick back. And when it comes to smooth, mellow Churchills, few do it better than Montecristo. mellow to medium in strength, ‘Monte’ offers notes of cedar and cream backed by a crisp finish. In fact, the hardest part about enjoying this blend is trying to put it down to grab another …
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Father & Son Duos

Tim Father & Son Duos Expert Pick
Why He Likes It: E.P. Carrillo’s Cardinal Series is one of the most complex blends I’ve experienced in a long time. With so many nuances, it’s tough to specify each one. Balanced is the word. Strong, yes, but this might be the smoothest full-bodied cigar on the market today. Nothing is out of place with this masterful blend. …
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Romeo y Julieta Cigars Reserva Real

Tim Smooth & Mellow Expert Pick
While sorting through our list of mellow-bodied blends, I kept coming back to Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real. Even though it’s listed as a mellow to medium-bodied blend, the cigar packs a ton of flavor. The Nicaraguan fillers meld effortlessly with the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and pair perfectly with a light frappuccino. …
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Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo

Tim Full-Bodied Fanatics Expert Pick
From a collaborative effort of tobacco masters Joya de Nicaragua and the mad scientists at Drew Estate, comes the JDN Antano Dark Corojo.  Don’t be afraid, it looks hardcore but it’s more of a balanced blend than an all-out firebomb. The blend is loaded with flavors ranging from espresso to pepper with a long, rich finish. Embrace the darkness! …
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Torano Exodus Gold 1959

Tim Taste Of Cuba Expert Pick
One of the first cigars I ever enjoyed and I remember the experience like it was yesterday. Box-pressed, this thing looks like a chocolate bar and it doesn’t taste that much different. This rich, exciting blend of diverse tobaccos serves to commemorate the Exodus of expert Cuban cigar families and their impact on the industry following nationalization in 1959. …
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San Lotano Requiem Connecticut

Tim New Age Connecticuts
Leav it to AJ Fernandez to make a Connecticut that will make you pause, sit, and enjoy like the world has stopped around you. Commanding your attention from first puff, San Lotano Connecticut starts with some light spice and builds in strength and flavor while maintaining a creamy, velvety essence. …
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Man O' War Puro Authentico

Tim Can't Go Wrong
Full-bodied and full of spice, Puro Authentico is the perfect blend in the perfect size for me. This may be AJ’s personal cigar, but it is now my evening cigar. Every evening. I hope AJ’s OK with me taking a chunk out of his stash. Tasting notes: Tastes good … real good. Buy the sampler and try this cigar, it’s the right thing to do. …
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Gurkha Beauty

Tim Favorable Figurados
"Schwee Schwoo!" Heads will turn when this Beauty is out and about. Tall and curvy, this is the cigar equivalent to a super model! A silky Connecticut wrapper covers the aged Dominican long leaf that packs this figurado full. Mellow to medium in body, super rich and creamy – you’ll thoroughly enjoy this 2½ hour treat. …
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Drew Estate Tabak Especial

Tim Infused Cigars
I never do this, but I reached for an "infused" cigar the other day; Tabak Especial Red Eye, a shot of espresso in a cigar. I paired it with a Pumpkin beer called "Pumking." I can't believe it, but it was an excellent combo! Red Eye has a light sweetness that quickly fades as the bittersweet coffee-chocolate combo intensifies on the finish. …
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Rich Robustos

Tim Rich Robustos
Brazil. Home to beautiful women, tiny bathing suits, and the world's best tobacco. Proof is in the ligero pudding; San Lotano Habano, Maxx Brazilian, and my pick for this issue's sampler: J. Fuego Origen. Check out that Brazilian Habano wrapper. Don't you just want to eat it? Go ahead, just don't eat too many or you won't fit into that speedo. …
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CAO Gold Cigars

Tim Mellow Monsters
I met a CAO rep a few years ago. Asked about his favorite CAO, without hesitation he replied, "CAO Gold." I thought he was just trying to move a slow seller to a gullible, albeit handsome salesman like myself. However, I've since smoked scores of these and he wasn't lying. One of the best mellow cigars I've ever had! Call and I'll set you up with one of these samplers today. …
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Man O' War Puro Authentico

Tim Cuban-Esque Coronas
Full-bodied and full of spice, Puro Authentico is the perfect blend in the perfect size for me. This my be AJ's personal cigar, but it's now my evening cigar. Every evening. I hope AJ's OK with me taking a chunk out of his stash. Tasting notes: tastes good...real good. Buy our sampler and try this cigar, it's the right thing to do. …
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Cain Daytona by Oliva

Tim Father's Day Favorites
"What the hell is this?" My father asked as I handed him the new Cain Daytona. I explained it's the newest offering from Oliva — a mellower version of their original Cain Habano. "Daytona? Like the race track and the beach where the girls go wild?" he said. Yes sir, pop — that's co'rect. Except this girl is a bit more mellow than wild. "Not bad, kiddo. Not bad at all. Now when are you going to …
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Ave Maria Cigars

Tim Rothschild Extras
What a name. What a band. What a BOX. WHAT A BRAND! Light up this stout stick – a slow, slow burn and a full wallop of flavor. This is not JUST a cigar. This is elegant, refined, something special. Medium-bodied, true tobacco flavor. I bet this is what cigars tasted like back in the good ol' days. Ave Maria is my new favorite - the new standard upon which I judge all others. Now judge it …
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Montecristo Media Noche

Tim Maduros
May be the perfect Maduro. Heavy in hand, beautiful to the eye, and dark as night – Media Noche draws you in and makes you a believer even before you light it. Flame to foot creates clouds of blueish grey smoke. A little spice reminds you this is a medium to full-bodied blend, but it's the subtle nuances of chocolate, coffee, and berries that really make this a special cigar. Perfect …
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La Aurora

Tim Test of Time
From the oldest factory in the Dominican comes this classic Cameroon wrapped cigar. Long before Fuente, there was La Aurora. If I had to pick one cigar to smoke for the rest of my life, this very well may be it. Close to perfect - mellow to medium in body, flawless construction, and a consistent nutty/sweet character. This cigar is an old stand by for me, and possibly a new favorite for you! …
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