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
Category Archives: Cigar Reviews
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
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
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″
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
Smoking Time: 75′
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.
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
Things have been a but quieter around the blog than I would have wanted, but with work and travel taking up most of my time, I haven’t really had time to smoke that many cigars or write up much. Having said that, there are a few reviews lined up for the blog and these will come up soon.
Today I am going back to Connecticut shade wrapper cigars. A while back I mentioned I started to look at these lighter smokes with more attention after I was really impressed by one brand among them. Today I am looking at that very cigar, the Oliva Connecticut Reserve Robusto.
Oliva needs little introduction. In very few years this has become a major brand on the cigar market and recognised for its quality and consistency. Still, until recently it certainly was not a brand known for making mild cigars. The O and G line, and especially the V line are better known for their rich flavours, and in the latter, their full body. Just under a year ago Oliva decided to launch the Connecticut Reserve which covers the missing space body-wise in their range. Continue reading
This is the first installment of a new column I am introducing to the blog, called quick puffs. These are essentially first impressions of cigars I smoke without going into the details of full fledged reviews.
Today’s quick puffs smoke is the Camacho Corojo Monarca, not only an Honduran Puro, but a Honduran Corojo Puro, and considering Camacho’s reputation you can expect a powerful stick
Camacho Corojo Monarca
Price: around 6$ in the US and 5-5.50€ in mainland Europe. Not sold directly in the UK.
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Binder: Honduran Corojo
Filler: Honduran Corojo
Smoking Time: 90′
Cigars smoked: one
Notes: Very nice looking stick with an almost vein free wrapper – it has one small patch on the wrapper hidden below the band, but nothing major. Feels nice and packed although the foot is a bit soft. The start has a huge blast of pepper that covers any other flavours for the first 10-15 minutes. After that the spice is still strong decreases to a not-overpowering level and earthy notes of Honduran tobacco plus the typical Corojo sweetness come up. Certainly a very well constructed smoke. The draw is great and the amount of very smooth smoke produced is impressive… seriously! Slowly the taste becomes more woody and less peppery, but there isn’t a lot of changes after that. The burn is good and slow throughout, though if left for a little tends to tunnel a bit especially towards the end. For my taste this is a nice cigar if a bit too peppery, and although the flavor is clean and intense it is also quite simple and a bit monotonous especially considering how long the cigar lasts. Score: 86 Continue reading