Tambo Petit Corona – Quick Puffs

It is not very often that you get to smoke something unusual in the world of cigars; the bulk of the smokes out there mainly comes from the 4 main producing countries (Cuba, Dominican Rep., Nicaragua and Honduras). You get the occasional tobacco leaf thrown in from countries like Ecuador, Mexico, Cameroon, the US, Brazil –for wrappers, but not only- Indonesia –mainly binders and the odd filler leaf from places like Peru, Costarica, and so on. I’ll admit that this is a rough generalization, but you rarely see Ecuadorian puros out there. So when I got the chance to get my hands on an Indonesian puro I just couldn’t pass. The cigar in question is sold under the brand Tambo and is made from all Indonesian tobacco grown in the island of Tambolaka. It is ironic that I need to stress that the tobacco is actually from Indonesia, but as with Cameroon wrappers, the name Indonesian or Sumatra tobacco is used to describe the variety of the leaf and not where it comes from and nowadays a large part of the so called Sumatra leaf comes from Ecuador. These were kindly provided by Ferydegiri, who is the exporter for Tambo Cigars, to some of the members of the UK cigar forum, so thank you for the opportunity to test these. Continue reading


There’s many things that make coming back home after days spent on the rad for work great: my family, my bed cooking the simple food I like. Yesterday, coming back after a few days in Finland I had a little extra something to make my return even sweeter, a bomb from a fellow BOTL:

Thanks to Yiorgos fro Cigars.ie for the cigars, really appreciated!

Por Larrañaga Panetela

Let’s be fair, who doesn’t like a bargain? Nowadays life is quite a lot easier for the bargain hunter in all of us: the web is a source of much (sometimes too much) information and we can compare prices for many products in seconds and look up opinions in just a tad longer tan that. When it comes to cigars it is undeniable that many of us look for special offers, deals and new releases with almost religious attention.

On top of that we have the suave marketing sirens telling us about how we can save even more by going for the gimmicky copy instead of the original: marketing for products like Nica Libre (vs. Padron) and the like is a classic example for this. On the Cuban cigar market this is less common. The Diplomaticos brand might have been originally seen as a cheaper alternative to Montecristo but it soon carved out a space of its own, now rapidly decreasing thanks to Habanos discontinuations. But every now and then you hear opinions and rumours of this kind. One I found out while writing my Cohiba Panetela review was that there seem to be a few BOTLs out there that considered the Por Larrañaga Panetela as a cheaper, but equally pleasurable version of the Cohibas. Since The PL Panetelas are cheapish short filler smokes I was a bit doubtful but it is always worth a try, right? Continue reading

Camacho SLR Monarca – Quick Puffs

Time runs lately and I can’t believe it is a week since my last post. I have been somewhat sidetracked by work and I suspect my boss would not accept blogging as an excuse for not meeting deadlines. Still, I have quite a few reviews waiting to be written and hopefully I will manage to put them up soon. Meanwhile another quick puffs review of a Camacho cigar, this time the SLR Maduro.

Camacho SLR Maduro Monarca

Length: 5″

Ring: 50

Price: This format of the SLR Maduro only comes in a Camacho sampler sold by one of the large on-line sources in the US. Other formats go for around 7-8$ in the US, 5.50-7€ in Germany. Not sold directly in the UK.

Wrapper: Connecticut Brodeaf Maduro

Binder: Honduran

Filler: Honduran Corojo

Smoking Time: 50′

Body: Medium/Full

Cigars smoked: one

Notes: Nice looking wrapper, almost vein free, but quite toothy. Feels nice and packed but has one hard spot and a couple of soft spot – all small which should not give issues. The start has a fair amount of pepper, a marked sweetness and a vegetal/acidic note, almost like Earl Gray tea. Form the smoking point of view this is certainly a very well constructed smoke: perfect burn, draw is slightly loose and the amount of smoke abundant, although by far not as impressive as with the Corojo I reviewed a while back! From the midway point the taste becomes more woody and less peppery, the notes of tea slowly disappear making room for some coffee. The burn is good throughout, but quick-ish. Although this is not a very complex cigar, it definitely is a solid well made cigar. It has some things in common with its pure Corojo brother, but is more toned down, which makes this a more balanced smoke IMO. Score: 87

Jerry’s mystery cigar challenge (Alec Bradley Prensado Gran Toro)

When I started to get interested in the online cigar communities I had no idea about the level of  camaraderie BOTLs can show. A while back my mate Jerry (Jdawg from the UK Cigar forums) came up with an idea challenge: he’d send me an unbanded cigar of his choice to try and write about on the blog together with a small sealed envelope containing the original band. I know the guys over at Dogwatch Cigar Radio do this on their show, so while this is maybe not 100% original, it is something I just couldn’t resist. For the first time I’ll be posting (almost) live while I smoke, updating this post every 20 minutes or so. Here we go!

23:15 Time to start, a bit later than expected after late dinner and a Skype session with my brother, but ready to go. The cigar is approximately toro sized, with a marked box pressed shape. It has a dark, almost maduro, reddish wrapper, slightly oily, with almost no veins and a decent double cap. At first look it reminds me of a RP Decade, but comparing them side by side this is a lot more reddish and not as dark. Once cut the draw is slightly tight and the aroma is cocoa, almost like in a maduro, but with marked cloves notes. From the shape cap and pre-draw I am pretty sure this isn’t a Cuban. Continue reading

Cubao No.6 – Quick Puffs

Today’s quick puffs smoke is the Espynosa y Ortega Cubao No.6. Blended by Pepin Garcia and rolled in his Nicaraguan factory, these are generally considered a typical example of Don Pepin’s spicy cigars. I’ve been dying to try one after the great feedback around the blogsphere.

Cubao No. 6

Length: 5 1/2″

Ring: 52

Price: around 5-7$ in the US, depending if you buy a box or singles. As far as I know these are not on sale in Europe

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Smoking Time: 75′

Body: Full

Cigars smoked: one

Notes: Nice looking cigar, the wrapper is almost vein free and oily. Like other Oscuro wrappers the colour is a bit rustic, but not unusual. It has a nice weight, packed with no soft spots, without being hard. It starts with a spicy blast, although more red than black pepper (which seems to be commonly associated with Don Pepin’s cigars); soon that mellows out  bit and gains some earthy notes and a touch of sweetness. The draw is a tad tight to start but after 5 minutes it opens up and is perfect they way through. The middle is still spicy but more complex with cocoa, caramel and a touch of wood/leather which picks up quite a bit towards the end. In the last section the spice is sweeter (nutmeg, cinnamon) and there is essentially no pepper left. The burn, although not very thin, is essentially without fault, the ash solid and long. Apart the middle section, the Cubao No.6 is not terribly complex but it is a very enjoyable smoke throughout, especially if you like the spice and leather profile. Having heard even better things about the No.3 (a Lancero), I’ll probably try to get my hands on some of these next. Another great smoke from Espinosa y Ortega and Don Pepin. Score: 90.

Punch Northern Lights 2009 Nordic Countries Regional Edition

Lately I find myself more and more in Scandinavia for work. Although there is a part of me that wishes I could visit Switzerland, and its cigar stores, instead – I have to admit that I enjoy working there. Once you figure out how people tick you cannot fail to appreciate the no bullshit, honest, direct but still friendly way people behave there. And from a cigar point of view, things aren’t great but not even that bad. Many hotels still offer smoking rooms and Gothenburg and Stockholm have some nice cigar stores.

A while back I was visiting one of them (Brobergs in Gothenburg) and my eyes landed on the Punch Northern Lights, the 2009 Regional Edition exclusive to the Nordic Countries… would you have resisted?

I didn’t think so.

Limited Edition cigars are one of those topics that split cigar lovers. For many they are overpriced marketing gimmick cigars, that are not worth their price or reputation. According to one story i have heard, the first RE were release because of an over-supply in substandard wrapper needed to be used for something. I have no idea if this is true. On the other hands, the collector love them and some people will hunt for all the RE released each year just to have a complete collection.  And then there are the inbetweeners, who are unhappy about the price and limited availability, but still curious to see how these REs fare compared to normal lines, which is where I firmly pur myself. The Northern Lights are the first RE from Habanos I try and I am definitely looking forward to see how they fare. Continue reading