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Cigar Reviews

A Cigar's Tale Review XI

A Cigars Tale Review XI 1Cigar name: Bellartes
Cigar brand: Marrero
Wrapper: Habano Rosado
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Propretary Blend
Vitola reviewed: Gran Robusto
Size: 5 inches by 56 ring gauge
Strength: Medium
Body: Full

Visual

The wrapper is very nice, given its milk chocolate color and oily sheen. The seams are tight, smooth and have veins that are small and average in amount. I find no soft spots or blemishes. The Bellartes is firm to the feel, and its construction is very solid!

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Brun del Ré 1638 Limited Edition Gran Toro

Brun del Ré 1638 Limited Edition Gran Toro 1Size of cigar: 5 inches by 58 ring gauge

There’s a line in the movie Forrest Gump in which Tom Hanks declares, “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna’ get.” He was musing over the inconsistencies of life. Well, trying new cigars is a lot like that proverbial box of candies. Oftentimes, you don’t know exactly what you’re getting.

When I pick up a new cigar, three possibilities spring to mind. Am I holding some trash cigar that sports a fancy name and label? Is it a really good cigar hiding behind a hipster name and goofy label? Or could it be a good cigar, with no pretense or reputation, I’ve never seen or heard of before?

Sometimes, it’s impossible to tell. Like Forrest Gump, I’m always hoping to find my favorite caramel and nut cluster hiding in the box – or rather, the humidor. With these thoughts in mind, what’s a Brun del Ré 1638 Limited Edition Gran Toro like?

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Partagás Serie D No. 3 Edición Limitada 2001

Partagás Serie D No. 3 Edición Limitada 2001 1In this evocative review, Cigar Weekly's Phil Cutajar (solomr2) describes the pleasures of lighting up a classic, well-aged Cuban Partagás issued during the early days of the Edición Limitada releases.   

Country of fabrication: Cuba
Packaging: Plain dress box containing 25 cigars
Name of vitola: Corona Gorda
Dimensions of cigar: 5.63 inches by 46 ring gauge

It's Sunday, and it's been a long and busy week. I’ve just finished replacing the brake pads on my wife's car, and am now settling down on the backyard patio to treat myself to a good smoke. This will be my 3rd cigar this weekend.

For this evening's pleasure, I’ve chosen a Partagás Serie D No. 3 Edición Limitada 2001 with a box date of March, 2002. This little beauty has been resting in my wine fridgador at 68% humidity since I bought the box in 2003.

The pre-torch appearance is flawless. The milk chocolate brown wrapper is applied nearly perfectly, with not a single visible seam. The cap is also flawless, and perfectly centered. There are only a few visible (and very small) veins, and the wrapper has obviously been carefully chosen and expertly applied.

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A Cigar's Tale Review X

A Cigars Tale Review X 1Cigar name: Maximus
Cigar brand: Diamond Crown
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola reviewed: Toro (#4)
Size: 6 inches by 50 ring gauge
Body: Medium
Strength: Medium
Price: $14.00

Visual

When I look over the Maximus from Diamond Crown, I note the milk chocolate color. There is a pronate vein down the spine, and the seams are tight. The cigar is firm, with no soft spots. I feel a slight toothiness as I slide my fingers along the wrapper, and also note a marginally oily sheen. I do not see any blemishes or construction issues at this point.

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Juan López

Juan López 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 10AM to Noon. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on Cigarweekly.com, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week

THE CIGAR

We often review boutique brands or new cigars on the market. And sometimes, we review standard brands. This time around, for our ‘Premium Cigars of Georgia’ cigar review of the week, we have a hybrid – you might say an oldie but goodie! It’s the Juan López by Altadis USA.

BACK STORY

Juan López is a cigar brand in Cuba that dates back to pre-revolutionary times. The company was founded in 1876, when Juan López Díaz established a factory in Havana and created the brand. In 1908, the brand was passed to his heirs. It was then sold to the Cosme Del Peso Company in 1918. Under this latter ownership, Juan López became one of the biggest selling brands in Cuba.

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Danno Habano 2015

Danno Habano 2015 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 10AM to Noon. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on Cigarweekly.com, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week

THE CIGAR

For the ‘Premium Cigars of Georgia’ cigar review of the week, we’re assessing the 2015 Danno Habano, one of the three One Life Editions from the Nestor Miranda Collection.

BACK STORY

The Danno Habano was released at a series of cigar shop events in June of 2015, and has a two-part back story. In 2008, the son of Nestor Miranda, Daniel ‘Danno’ Miranda, passed away after losing his battle with brain cancer. He was just 38 years old, and the Vice President and Director of Marketing for Miami Cigar and Company.

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Blind Review 2016-02

Blind Review: Isabella Sparkle Robusto

Welcome to 2016 blind review number 2 - the coolest little cigar you never heard of!

Cigar Weekly has a tradition of doing blind reviews of new and/or boutique cigars whenever the maker asks.

Cigar Weekly's blind reviews are scored by a panel, and averaged using 7 criteria within a 50 point scale.isabella sparkle small

Criteria Max Score
Appearance /Construction 5
Burn 5
Draw 5
Aroma 5
Flavor 10
Taste/Aftertaste 10
Overall quality 10
Grand Total 50

How it works: Cigar Weekly members volunteer for the task, and are asked to complete the review by smoking both samples within a two to three week window. They are requested to take copious notes, and then to enter their data into an online form. It's the 21st century, right? We used to use paper…

We do not require that the maker be an advertiser, nor do we charge a fee for these reviews.

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CAO Brazilia Gol

CAO Brazilia Gol 1Size of cigar: 5 inches long by 56 ring gauge

I think cigar makers should put the production year on every label of every cigar they sell. The best winemakers do it. Why not date cigars? (Yes, I know most boxes are date-stamped. But what if you don’t have the box?) Surely, the CAO Brazilia I enjoyed recently wasn’t from the same batch as one I’d smoked fourteen – or ten or even five – years ago.

I assume that unless a particular cigar has been ‘re-blended’, the ingredients for each batch have come from the same fields – or at least the same region – every time. This may sound like nitpicking. But I’ve smoked cigars from a revered brand that were vastly different (different as in inferior) than what they once had been. And I’ve also smoked some that were surprisingly better than I remembered. Why? Different crops, different seasons, different fermentation, etc. – that’s why.

For me, manufacturing dates on bands would clear up the confusion. We are already (usually) told where the various components of cigars come from. So what about when those cigars were made? What do you say, cigar industry? How about putting production dates on the labels?

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Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet

Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet 1When first glancing at the Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet, my initial thought was, “What an elegant presentation they’ve done with this cigar.” The cigar was dressed in a traditional RyJ-style band (found on many of their cigars) – a white band with red lettering towards the head of the cigar, as well as one surrounding the foot. Covering the cigar between the bands was a nice silver-etched translucent wrapper. Like I’ve said, an elegant presentation, and one that gave much anticipation as to what was to be discovered underneath.

This was a Romeo y Julieta cigar manufactured as an exclusive for Famous Smoke Shop. On behalf of Cigar Weekly, I would like to express a big thanks and my personal gratitude to Famous Smoke Shop for the availability of these cigars for review!

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Invictis

Invictis 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 10AM to Noon. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on Cigarweekly.com, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week

THE CIGAR

For the ‘Premium Cigars of Georgia’ cigar review of the week, we’re going to look at a cigar that was guest-blended by José Blanco for Tre J Cigars – the Invictis.

BACK STORY

At the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show and Convention, the Tre J Cigar Company (located in southern Ohio) released the Invictis.

Tre J’s name alludes to the firm’s three founders, Jay Clark, John Johnson and Jerry Garrett. The three ‘J’s’, known for their Vicarias cigar brand, enlisted the help of famed master blender José Blanco, of Las Cumbres Tabaco, to blend a powerhouse of flavor called Invictis.

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Joya de Nicaragua Joya Red

Joya de Nicaragua Joya Red 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 10AM to Noon. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on Cigarweekly.com, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week

THE CIGAR

We’ve selected the Joya de Nicaragua Joya Red for our ‘Premium Cigars of Georgia’ cigar review of the week.

BACK STORY

Joya de Nicaragua is primarily known in the United States owing to the reputation it has earned for producing stronger cigars – cigars like the Antaño 1970 and the Antaño Dark Corojo, which even well-developed palates have a reverence for. In July of 2014, at the IPCPR Convention and Trade show, Joya introduced a medium-bodied cigar into its portfolio – the Joya Red.

This new introduction was instituted by the company’s president (and son of owner Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca), Juan Ignacio Martínez, along with Leonel Raudez, Joya’s factory manager since 1992.

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