5½ inches x 54 ring gauge
Cohiba is a brand name that evokes a heritage of premium quality and craftsmanship. It is a brand that has been romanticized and celebrated, and is, for me, one that speaks of fine quality cigars from the Dominican Republic.
Seeing the name 'Nicaragua' prominently displayed on the label of this particular cigar was quite a surprise for me, albeit one that was rooted in a pleasant expectation. I realize this cigar has been released for a while now by General Cigar, and I'd be willing to bet that you have smoked one and already formed an opinion. Nevertheless, I hope you will appreciate my own viewpoint. This is a cigar that I have wanted to review for a while, and I appreciate my friends at Cigar Weekly for offering me that opportunity.
Does anyone remember the tissue wrapped El Rey del Mundo Oscuro from Villazon? I'm sure it’s still being produced, but I haven't seen or smoked one in ages. It used to be one of my ‘go-to’ cigars. Well, I have finally found a worthy replacement. The E.P. Carillo Selección Oscuro takes me back to the flavor profile of the El Rey del Mundo, but with a higher octane rating.
Wrapper - Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder - Nicaragua
Filler - Nicaragua
Note: The cigar spent a month resting in my humidor prior to being lit for this review. (It is the one on the right in the image, the other cigar being the 'South', which I reviewed last week on the Cigar Weekly Home Page.)
The 'North' looked visibly more polished than its sister cigar, and the body of the stogie seemed to be firmer to the touch. The smooth wrapper smelled of cinnamon and potpourri. No – seriously! The cap cut with ease, and we were off.
The first puffs started off with notes of rich chocolate and leather. Already proving to be medium to full-bodied, this stick was definitely more my style! The initial richness reminded me a lot of the Oliva 'V' series cigars (closer to the 2009 blend than today's current). There were hints of cherry coming through, and the 'chewiness' of the stick was truly enjoyable. For those of you who were fans of the Las Calaveras, you would most certainly like this one too.
When it comes to cigar names, I’m old school. I prefer cigar names that have dignity and gravitas - venerable names like Davidoff, Padron, Ashton or Cohiba. So yes, when choosing a cigar, the name on the band influences me as to whether or not I ever pick it up. And not surprisingly, the name can also influence me as to whether or I not I like a cigar.
Be honest with yourself. You’re that way, too. We all know that we will enjoy a steak from Ruth Chris Steakhouse more than we will one from Waffle House. Nothing against Waffle House, but Ruth Chris has a world class reputation. However, at 3AM after a night of carousing, that Waffle House steak and eggs can’t be beat.
Note: The cigar spent a month resting in my humidor prior to being lit for this review. (It is the one on the left in the image, the other cigar being the 'North'. Look for my review of the latter next week on the Cigar Weekly Home Page.)
The cigar was rustic light brown in color, and sported a simple yet fitting band. There were some prominent veins on the wrapper, and the stogie had a slight give to the touch. The smell of the wrapper was predominantly of hay and barnyard, with the slightest tinge of cedar. After cutting the cap, I took a cold draw. The cold draw seemed to have a perfect pull, with notes of sweet raisin coming through.
Size: 5 inches x 50 ring gauge
Social media has become the marketing tool for cigar makers. No magazine or website ad can compete with the testimonials, endorsements and critiques one finds on various outlets like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, etc. These sites are where cigar makers and cigar smokers get up close and personal
Imagine if professional athletes and coaches interacted directly with the fans one on one. Yes, it happens occasionally, and never fails to make the news. However, when it comes to cigars on social media, your comment frequently merits a reply from the person who actually blended the cigar you're smoking.
Size: 6 inches x 54 ring gauge
Everybody loves an underdog story – the one where the little guy beats the odds and comes up a big winner. That's a classic American tale, and that's also the story of Crowned Heads. In 2011, John Huber and a few of his co-workers at CAO (in Nashville) decided to strike out on their own when the parent company was purchased and plans to move its headquarters were announced. Given the state of the economy at the time, it was a risky move. One can only imagine the difficulty of starting a cigar company from scratch. It's lucky for us they knew the business. Against the odds, and in less than four years, the little guys hit it big.
E.P. Carrillo had released a new cigar line that was originally marketed exclusively to the European market. However, EPC saw the error of its ways, and the New Wave Reserva Connecticut has now been made available right here in the USA.
The roots of the Perez-Carrillo family are in Cuba, where Ernesto's father launched the family cigar dynasty in 1948 when he purchased El Credito, a small cigar factory in Havana. The Perez-Carrillo family became well-respected in Cuba, and Ernesto Sr. was elected to the Cuban Senate in 1954, and again in 1958.
When Castro gained control of Cuba, Ernesto Sr. was arrested several times for his political beliefs, and the government confiscated the family's properties, including the El Credito factory.
Size: 5 inches x 54 ring gauge
I’ve smoked cigars since the late 90s. And one of the main brands I smoked starting out was Punch. That being said, I’ve always had a soft spot for Punch cigars.
Over the years, I’ve smoked a lot more brands and developed more favorites. But I do find myself going back occasionally to Punch and Excalibur cigars.
General Cigars isn’t known for stepping outside the box much. Most of its cigars are mild or, at most, medium bodied with a kind of standard, safe flavor profile. I’ve never been a really big fan of the Punch Rare Corojo, but I love the Punch Uppercut. So I was curious to see how I would like the new Signature.
Size reviewed: 6 inches by 60 ring gauge
Wrapper: Dominican Maduro
I'm returning to cigar smoking after a long hiatus. I smoked cigarettes, cigars, pipes and cigarillos for over 30 years, and then nothing for 14 years. I began lighting up cigars again towards the end of last year, most of them sourced from the local B&M.
Size: 5.5 inches x 54 ring gauge
Every now and then, curiosity gets the better of me. I stumbled across Southern Draw Cigars somewhere on the internet, and was immediately intrigued. I'd never heard a word of hype, or really anything at all, about the company or its cigars. So, I investigated.
Southern Draw Cigars was started a little over a year ago in Austin, Texas by a group of cigar-loving U.S. Veterans. According to the website, the name Southern Draw is emblematic of the quintessential Southern gentleman, everything he represents, and a cigar that always has a perfect draw. The cigars are made by A.J. Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua.