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Cigar Reviews

IPCPR: Hits and Misses 1

September 8th, 2016

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Our intrepid reporters, jefslat (Jeff Slatton) and his lovely bride, attended the recent IPCPR show in Las Vegas. They collected many samples from the vendors there. On a volunteer basis, these cigars were sent to readers with the agreement that they would write regarding what they did and didn't like about the new offerings from the show. It has come to my attention that a number of the cigars at this year's show were actually released last year, as pending new FDA regulations would make it prohibitively expensive for smaller manufacturers to create new blends. The following reviews were submitted by Briandg (Brian Gardner). There will be an ongoing series of these reviews until all of the material submitted is exhausted. There will likely be some overlap of certain brands and vitolas, as the manufacturers provided multiple samples for review.

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Serino Sublime XX Maduro

Serino Sublime XX Maduro 1September 5th, 2016

Having received an IPCPR ‘gourmet’ cigar sampler from the kind folks at Cigar Weekly, but with no accompanying information, I will kick off this review of the Serino Sublime XX Maduro with some quoted text.

“The strongest of the line is Maduro XX, using an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 Oscuro Maduro wrapper over the aforementioned Nicaraguan binder and fillers. It's offered in Robusto (5 1/8 x 48), Belicoso (5 1/2 x 52), Toro (6 x 52) and Sublime (6 1/4 x 54). All four blends are offered in boxes of 20 with suggested retail pricing between $11.50-12.95 per cigar.”

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Protocol - Backing The Blue

Protocol Backing The Blue 1“Protocol is one year old this year,” said Bill Ives, co-founder and owner of the Protocol brand.

What began as a ‘local’ limited-release cigar company has grown from 5,000 cigar runs to over 40,000.

Originally available in Robusto, Toro and Gordo sizes, the firm’s range has grown this year to include a Lancero, which is getting rave reviews.

“The Protocol Lancero is being introduced as a small-batch production depending on its success with possible increased production in the future,” said Ives.

Protocol was launched at the 2015 IPCPR in New Orleans. The company, known as Cubariqueno, was created by two police officers, Juan Cancel and Bill Ives. The cigars are produced at the La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua under the supervision of Erik Espinosa.

The Lancero sports a beautiful dark and smooth Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper with a firm bunch. The foot smells of leather and cocoa. I get an easy clip and a perfect cold draw.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XV

A Cigars Tale Review XV 1September 5th, 2016

Breaking from my normal format, I have a special 3-in-1 review for you today. I am reviewing a cigar that is available with three different wrappers. Below, I will show you how a wrapper can change a cigar’s profile, even when the same binder and fillers are present. I hope you enjoy my write-up.

Cigar name: Modella
Cigar brand: Catelli
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Vitola reviewed: Girl Next Door
Size: 5 inches by 50 ring gauge
Strength: Medium+
Body: Full
Price: Sample

1. Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Visual

As I look over this light caramel-colored cigar, I take note of the toothiness, firmness and solid construction. There are a few small veins and soft spots. The seams are tight and almost nonexistent.

Cold aroma

Checking out the aroma from the wrapper, I pick up cream, toffee, white pepper, oak and raisin – a very pleasant combination. The foot has some good things happening, as scents of hay, vanilla, cloves, oak and raisin come together nicely.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XIV

A Cigars tale Review XII 1Cigar name: Fuerte
Cigar brand: Marrero
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Costa Rican / proprietary blend
Vitola reviewed: Robusto Box Press
Size: 5.5 inches by 54 ring gauge
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium+
Price: $7.19

Visual

As I gaze over this tasty looking cigar, I take notice of the milk chocolate colored wrapper. The Fuerte is firm, with no soft spots or blemishes evident. The seams are tight and almost nonexistent. There are a couple of small veins that outwardly give the cigar a nice character.

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Don Toribio Connecticut Toro

Don Toribio Connecticut Toro 1August 29th, 2016

What is this? What’s happening? It’s a Sunday afternoon, which represents about my only time ‘off’ during the week, and I’m not running all over the place. The way my life plays out, Sunday afternoon usually becomes my personal ‘go-time’ – not an optimum state of affairs. But this time around, and for whatever reason, circumstances have allowed me an early start. It’s time for a little enjoyment. And that hopefully means a good cigar and an opportunity to catch up on my IPCPR cigar review assignments.

I reach into my bag of goodies (kindly collected by Jeff and distributed by Cigar Weekly management – Jason and John), and select a cigar I’ve never heard of before. Although an erstwhile cigar writer, I find it almost impossible to keep up with all of the brands that now grace the market. After all, there’s so much happening in this world and in daily life. So it’s not a surprise to me that there’s something in my ‘treasure box’ I’ve not had or heard of. Say ‘good afternoon’ to a Don Toribio Connecticut.

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Review: Rancho Luna Maduro Robusto

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This review by H311oLHD (Aaron Handelman) is the first of many reviews of cigars newly released at the IPCPR 2016 trade show. Stay tuned for a lot more reviews of new products from the convention.

rancho lunaGoing into this cigar, I knew nothing about the manufacturer or the brand. After doing some research, it turns out that this release is from the cigar makers Julio and Justo Eiroa of JRE Tobacco Co.

The cigar had a nice presentation overall, with a pretty black, silver and red label featuring a fire blowing wolf. The Maduro wrapper was flawless, with a nice oily sheen to it. And the cigar itself had some weight to it. I didn't get much from the pre-light draw in terms of flavors; however, it did reveal that the cigar would have a near perfect draw.

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What's In Your Humidor

Whats In Your Humidor 1August 29th, 2016

I’m often asked what my favorite cigar is. After 20 years of smoking cigars, you’d think I’d have a good answer, right? Some people want to know because they’d like to buy a gift for their favorite cigar aficionado, and want to make sure they buy something good. Others are asking for themselves because they want to buy a box (which is the most economical way to buy cigars), but don't want to spend $100 to $200 (and in some cases more) without being sure that they’ll like them. So they’re looking for a recommendation.

Truthfully, I have trouble narrowing any selection down to one specific cigar, or even brand. I love variety (among medium to full bodied cigars, that is), prefer a toothy Maduro wrapper when I can get one and tend to favor Nicaraguan fillers. That said, I’m open to trying anything that looks tasty.

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A Cigar's Tale Review XIII

A Cigars Tale Review XIII 1Cigar name: TCB (Taking Care of Business)
Cigar brand: Eiroa
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo (Jamastran Valley)
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Honduran
Vitola reviewed: Lancero
Strength: Medium
Body: Full
Price: $60.00 per 5-pack

Visual

As I look over this light brown color Lancero, I observe all its little characteristics. The wrapper has a slight tooth, and seams that are tight and smooth. There are a few tiny veins along the wrapper, with one small prominent vein that runs the length. The stick is slightly spongy throughout.

Cold aroma

The aroma that comes off of the wrapper mixes the scents together well, and is pleasing. Notes of chocolate, butter, caramel, leather and cedar jump out at me. The foot provides another flavor-packed punch, with raisins, coffee, hay, cream, molasses, leather, cedar and a touch of grape evident. A lot is happening just with the pre-light examination.

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Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noir Maduro Robusto

Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noir Maduro Robusto 1PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This review by Aaron Handelman (H311oLHD) is his second of cigars newly released at the IPCPR 2016 trade show.

I need to preface this review with the fact that I'm a Perdomo fan. In my opinion, Perdomo makes consistently good cigars at a great value point (the latter part of that statement represents an extra bonus for me!).

I've been a big fan of Perdomo's Lot 23's for years, and have enjoyed the rest of the cigars I've sampled from the brand as well. The Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noir Maduro Robusto is no different. I enjoyed this cigar from start to finish.

Upon removing the cellophane, I noticed a dark, somewhat shiny wrapper with a few harmless looking veins. A ‘preflight’ puff was somewhat sweet, and had a very rich tobacco flavor.

Once lit, this cigar instantly gave off plumes of smoke, and revealed a perfect draw.

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La Jugada Habano & Prieto

La Jugada Habano Prieto 1Size of each cigar: 5 inches by 52 ring gauge (Robusto)

We’ve all heard it said, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” Well, when it comes to cigars, that’s not totally the case. With premium cigars, it’s also what’s on the outside that counts. Experts say that even though it comprises the smallest portion of a cigar, the wrapper has the most influence on the flavor. With that in mind, Cigar Weekly assigned me to review two cigars sporting identical binders and fillers, but with different wrappers. This review will be my take on the difference the wrapper makes in the performance and taste of the La Jugada Habano Robusto and the La Jugada Prieto Robusto.

First, a little background. The La Jugada lines come from Moya Ruiz Cigars (Danny Moya and Nelson Ruiz), and are manufactured at the Espinosa La Zona facility in Esteli, Nicaragua. For your information, La Jugada is Spanish for 'the play'.

Both cigar blends use Nicaraguan fillers and an undisclosed binder. The difference in the two is that the Habano has an Ecuadorian Habano cover while the Prieto is wrapped in a San Andres Maduro leaf from Mexico. The line is composed of five different vitolas. This combination review is of the Robustos.

The La Jugada Habano Robusto was a medium-brown cigar with few veins and no flaws. There were no uneven or soft spots. The pre-light smell was sweetness and rotting leaves. I used a punch cut. My sample lit easily from a cedar splinter, and there was plenty of smoke from an easy draw. The ash was nearly white and flakey, yet sturdy. The cigar burned mostly evenly, and lasted fifty minutes. Construction was excellent.

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