Friday, November 8, 2013

History Series: Avo Cigars

Avo Uvezian, is known to us as the maker of some of the finest premium cigars, but to many, Avo is much more. Born in 1926 in Beirut, Avo Uvezian is an accomplished and highly respected jazz pianist. Both Avo's parents were musically inclined. His father was a composer and conductor of an orchestra and his mother was an accomplished singer. As a young boy, Avo traveled the country performing all over the Middle East. Eventually, he joined a boys group called, “Liban Boys”. They traveled the country and eventually received a contract to play in a Baghdad hotel. From there, they received an invitation to play for the Shah of Iran, where Avo became the personal pianist for the Shah. Then in 1947, Avo was able to travel to the U.S and become a legalized citizen. This allowed Avo to attend school at the prestigious, Julliard School of Music in New York, where he studied classical piano as well as music composition.

However, The Korean War forced Avo to put his music career on hold, as he was drafted into the infantry. One day while playing the piano, one of Avo's officers over-heard him and was blown away by his talent. It was not long after Avo was taken out of the infantry and placed into band training. When he arrived in Korea, Avo play at the Officers Club where he received accolades from all his superiors for his musical talents. In 1953, Avo was honorably discharged and was free once again to pursue his dream of music. Throughout the 1950's and 60's, Avo played with all the great jazz musicians of the period. Avo was not just limited to his talents at the piano, he wrote songs, one of his finest being, “Broken Guitar” which just so happened to be the early version of "Strangers in the Night," which Frank Sinatra recorded and released in the mid 1960's.

Avo's talents went well beyond music, as he was a businessman at heart. In the early 1980's, he spent some time in Switzerland where his daughter was christened. While celebrating with a friend, he bought several Cuban cigars and was disgusted by the price. During this same time period, Avo traveled to Puerto Rico where he opened his own restaurant and piano bar. It's at this point that Avo truly discovered his love of fine cigars and began to offer his own Avo hand-rolled cigars to his guests. They quickly became so popular that he decided he needed to move beyond just simply offering small quantities of hand rolled cigars at his restaurant. He needed a manufacturing facility that could produce his premium hand rolled cigars; cigars worthy of bearing the Avo name.

His journey took him to the Dominican Republic where for two years he searched before finally meeting Hendrik Kelner. In his words, the partnership with Hendrik was, "Success in perfect harmony". Avo's first cigar line was released in 1988, in New York City.  

Just like in his music career, Avo was a perfectionist. His career launch into cigars was and is no different. He first and foremost chose only the finest tobacco for his cigars. This paid off in a huge way. By the mid 1990's, the Avo cigar brand was selling millions of cigars per year and was receiving high praise from the cigar industry. Today, his recipe for success has never changed. His cigars are still highly sought after and continue to receive the highest industry marks. With lines like his Avo Lounge Edition, Avo 787, and Avo LE 85th Anniversary cigar, it's plain to see that Avo Uvezian has not only committed himself to his craft, but is committed to producing only the finest premium cigars that we have all come to know and love, and they are simply called, Avo.

Order Avo Cigars Here

Monday, November 4, 2013

History Series: Ashton Cigars

The name Ashton Cigars is synonymous with quality, craftsmanship, and premium cigars. It was founded in 1985 by Robert Levin, a second generation tobacconist. Ashton Cigars has grown to be one of the finest cigar brands in the world. Mr. Levin got his start in the industry as not only a tobacconist, but also worked as an importer. After years of obtaining insightful knowledge about the industry, Robert decided it was time for him to launch his own brand. Ashton Cigars was born.

Taking all of the knowledge that he had learned as a retailer and importer, Robert sought out a manufacturer who could produce the quality cigars that he wanted to create. His journey for this quest took him to the Fuente Family. Seeing the quality and consistency of cigars that the Fuente family was producing, Robert quickly settled on them and began the long process of creating the first line of cigars to bare the Ashton name.

Today, Ashton Cigars has grown and now is offered in six very different blends. Some of which come in up to thirteen different sizes. Ashton Cigars has gone on to produce a vast array of cigars, one of those is the Cabinet Selection. It's a vintage limited-edition cigar that has undergone an extensive aging process that lasts as long as five years. In 1999, Ashton unveiled its VSG line (Virgin Sun Grown) that is full-bodied and loaded with a bouquet of flavors. Cigar insider has given this line of cigars numerous 90 plus ratings, making it one of the most successful cigar lines from Ashton.

Then in 2003, the Ashton Heritage Puro Sol was released. It has received high marks for its quality craftsmanship and premium tobacco. On its release, Cigar Insider gave it a 90 rating. This continued the 90 plus rating streak that Ashton Cigars continues to receive to this day. The cigar features a gorgeous African Cameroon wrapper; it's the first to do so in the company's history. This cigar is a collaboration of two industry giants, the The Fuentes and The Meerapfels families.

For its 20th Anniversary, Ashton released the Ashton Estate Sun Grown, a rare exclusive limited-edition cigar blended by Carlos Fuente Jr. The wrapper for this cigar is grown on the Chateau de la Fuente farm and is a one-of-a-kind.

Since the inception of the Ashton brand and their partnership with the Fuente family, Ashton Cigars has partnered with another industry giant, Don Pepin Garcia to create the San Cristobal cigar line. This cigar line has received high marks from industry leaders as well as from the cult following it has obtained.

It's clear to see that with a dedication to quality, flavor, and craftsmanship, Ashton Cigars is truly one of the premier cigar companies in the industry today. Their premium lines of cigars have truly entered the halls of cigar history. For the past 27 years, we've enjoyed the pleasures of smoking the fruits of hard labor by Mr. Robert Levin.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Experience the Corona Gold Series

Today, we have several cigars from Corona Cigar Co. We are going to look at their Gold series which comes in a Natural, Sun Grown, Maduro, and Dos Capa. I will be smoking the Churchill size 7” x 50, for all of the reviews.

Corona Gold Series Natural

Pre-light:Glancing at the cigar you will notice the wrapper, which has a beautiful satin finish that looks almost perfect. Slight veining is visible, but the appearance of the wrapper seems to be seamless. The cigar has a slight sweet hay aroma. The band features a white background with gold lettering and logo. It's simple and very classy. The cigar uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and a binder and filler from the Dominican.

Light & First Third: Using a cedar match, I couldn’t help but notice how easily the cigar lit. The draw is perfect and allowed for a nice start to the cigar. Notes of dry hay and hints of white pepper are fresh on the palette from the start. As mentioned, the cigar is drawing perfectly and releasing beautiful plumes of white smoke.  It's moving from more of a mild flavored cigar to a stronger tone of pepper with tones of roasted walnuts.

Second Third: The cigar profile begins to really pick up during the second third of the smoke. In addition to the flavors already noted, I began to notice tones of fruit. They are light, but are found lurking in the background. It's quite enjoyable and adds to the cigar tremendously. It continues to produce vast amounts of aromatic white smoke and the burn has been perfect.

Final Third: The final third begins with a flavorful bit of baking spices on the palette. It's a new flavor that I didn’t notice in any portions of the cigar up to this point.  The cigar continues on with a core of hay, pepper, and spice for the remaining portion of the smoke. It is mild-bodied, but has lots of flavor characteristics that make it very intriguing. It's definitely not a typical profile that you would expect from a cigar with a Natural wrapper.

Final Thoughts: This is an excellent cigar that features a nice flavor profile. The draw and burn are exceptional and the changing flavor profile keeps the cigar interesting. It's an excellent everyday cigar that I would smoke without hesitation.

Corona Gold Series Sun Grown

Pre-Light: This is a beautiful looking cigar to say the least. The Sun Grown wrapper is rich looking with a nice oily patina to it. The cigar has some slight veining and is crafted in the Cuban tradition with bunching of the fillers, and then topped off with a triple cap. A premium Habano 2000 wrapper is used, while a recipe of Dominican fillers are used to complete the blend profile.

Light & First Third: Lovely notes of cream and sweet cedar are noted on the start. The burn is cool and smooth right out of the gate with lots of blue-white smoke coming off the foot. A smooth profile that's mild-bodied is consistent throughout the first third. I can't wait to see what the rest of the cigar has to offer!

Second Third: The second third has notes of citrus. It brings a nice touch to the cigars flavor profile, and it's sitting well on my palette. Next, I began to notice some overtones of oak, with a touch on the back of black pepper. It's not overpowering, but a great change to the cigar. Also, at this point, the burn, draw, and smoke have been superb. It's an impressive cigar that's featured a cool burn.

Final Third: The profile picks up a bit in the final third with notes of earth showing through, and bits of leather on the back. The sweet cedar is still in the profile, along with tones of baking spices. Overall, the cigar has a mild to medium-bodied profile, and has been consistent throughout. A bit of spice sits on the back of the tongue, which gives the cigar a slightly stronger tone. It finishes up with notes of hazelnut and dried apricots.

Final Thoughts: I'm a sucker for Sun-Grown wrappers and this is no exception. Great construction, nice flavoring, and a sweet aromatic smoke make this an instant winner, in my book. I definitely would give this a rating of “Must Buy!” This is an excellent smoke that can easily rival the best of any everyday cigar on the market.

Corona Gold Series Dos Capa

Pre-Light: The Corona Gold Series Dos Capa is another magnificent looking cigar. It features a dual wrapper that has a matte finish and smells of earth and dark chocolate. The construction is firm and feels solid. Like the rest of the cigar line, it's rolled "entubado" and finished off with a triple cap. Also, like the rest of the Corona Gold Series, it uses a blend of Dominican tobacco for both the binder and fillers. Let's dive in and see what we find.

Light & First Third: A rich earthy overtone is ripe on the palette from the start. The flavors that I'm picking up are that of leather, grass, and bark. The draw is smooth and the burn is crisp and clean. While I'm getting a lot of rich dark tones, the cigar itself is mild to medium-bodied, at this point. It's been an excellent start to the cigar. Now on to the second third!

Second Third: The second third starts with notes of green pepper and coffee. The cigar has moved to more medium-bodied with the flavors picking up somewhat. A bit further in, and I've noticed the green pepper fade into the back, and the coffee mellows out. Delectable tones of spices, leather, and wood begin to combine for a flavor burst of premium goodness. It finishes off with notes of coffee, pepper, spices, and earth.

Final Thoughts: This is a great medium-bodied cigar that's loaded with a rich flavor profile. The double wrapper gives the cigar a great depth. It releases vast amounts of dark earthy notes laden with coffee and spice. It's excellent construction, and large plumes of aromatic smoke are all added bonuses. This is a must-try, if you love cigars!

Corona Gold Series Maduro  

Pre-Light: The wrapper used is Oscuro Maduro has a rustic look to it, along with a nice matte finish. The color on the wrapper is a dark chocolate and it shows very little veining with several tiny bumps. The cigar smells of earth, chocolate, and coffee which creates a beautiful aroma. I'm looking forward to lighting this one up...

Light & First Third: The cigar starts off with a smooth sweet note, and with a touch of earth and wood in the background. I was expecting some really harsh earthy notes, but was surprised to find the cigar so mild and smooth. I worked the cigar a bit longer and have about a one-inch of ash on the foot. At this point, it begins to take on a dark earthy profile with lots of black coffee on the palette. This is a pretty consistent flavor found throughout the first third.

Second Third: Much like the end of the first third, the cigar continues on with dark coffee and earth. I found additional notes of leather, bark, and some undertones of spice. None of the flavors found to this point have been harsh or overpowering. It has been mild to medium-bodied, full-flavored, and a great smoke, so far. Nearing the final portion on the second third, the notes of baking spices pick up. The cigar is beginning to move more towards a full-bodied profile.

Final Third: Roasted walnuts start things out on the final third. This is followed up with more coffee and spices. The smoke has been superb with an excellent draw and dead even burn. The construction is great with the cigar consistently holding a one to two-inch ash on the foot. I nubbed the cigar out and it finished consistent with the rest of the cigar profile. It has lots of earth and coffee, with sporadic notes of leather, wood, and spice.

Final Thoughts: This is a great everyday cigar that I would definitely have as an afternoon smoke. It's well constructed with a good flavor profile from start to finish. If you like Maduro cigars, this would be an excellent choice.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monte by Montecristo Cigars

Today, we're looking at a new cigar from Montecristo, called Monte. As many of you know, Montecristo has a long storied history. You can check the cigar history section of the blog for a more in depth look at the brand and its history. The Monte is quite the impressive cigar, so let's dive in and take a look.

The cigar uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that's quite impressive. I couldn’t find any flaws in the wrapper, and it has a nice oily patina finish to it. A double binder from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic encases a blend of long fillers from the Dominican. The cigar feels firm in the hand, and I haven't noted any soft spots in the cigar.

Light and First Third:
I'm smoking the 6x60 size and it lit quite well. I used an extra long cedar match and in no time smoke was bellowing off the foot. I was greeted with a nice profile of baking spices right out of the gate. They were strong, but not overpowering and very pleasing on the palette. The second wave revealed lots of nice floral notes. They were light, but prevalent, and notes of sweet prunes were found alongside it. Towards the end of the first third, the cigar turns to a more peppery profile with cinnamon tones in the background.

Second Third:
The second third of the cigar continues on with a light peppery backbone with touches of spice. The cigar is smoking very smooth with lots of smoke still coming off the cigar. The draw has been great and the burn is nice and even. I'm attributing the aromatic spices to the Dominican Olor binder that’s used. It's very flavorful and adds to the cigar profile quite nicely. The Nicaraugan Corojo, which is the second binder used, is adding lots of depth to the cigar with a nice peppery aftertaste.

Final Third:
The cigar is a break from the regular Montecristo lines. The Monte, to this point, is very robust with lots of complexity and flavor. The cigar has performed perfectly in every category, as you would expect from a Montecristo cigar. At this point, I’m picking up notes of nuts, spices, and a touch of orange peel. The peppery notes are still showing through, but are much more balanced in the final third of the smoke. The Monte finishes out with a refined, rich spice and a black pepper overtone.

Final Thoughts:
This is an impressive smoke that's equally balanced from start-to-finish. It's an excellent cigar if you're looking for a mid-afternoon to late night smoke. The cigar has loads of flavor that keep you intrigued from the get-go. I'm adding the Monte to my new personal favorite list, and it will become a regular in my humidor. While it breaks from the traditional Montecristos, it's a definite winner and you should enjoy it, if you like robust flavorful cigars. It's a must-smoke cigar in my book. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Order Your Monte by Montecristo Here!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rocky Patel Royale Sumatra

Today, we are looking at the Rocky Patel Royale. Known for being one of the hottest cigar brands on the market, Rocky Patel Cigars continues to amaze us by producing outstanding cigars year after year. I'm smoking the Toro box pressed size for this review. Let's check it out together...

The cigar has a sweet tone, along with nice hints of coffee. The sumatra wrapper is dark with a slight oily leather finish. After a quick check, there are no soft spots found in the cigar. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Sumatra, the binder is Nicaraguan, and the fillers are triple ligero from Nicaragua. The wrapper is securely rolled, as the seams are very hard to see. A Cuban style touch is added with the triple cap completing a very nice looking cigar.

Characteristics and Flavors:
Lighting up, it's evident that a substantial amount of Ligero leaf tobacco has been used. The start of the cigar is marked with rich earth and coffee notes; hints of pepper are in the background. Large wafts of smoke are easily produced, thanks to the smooth airy draw. The flavors are not harsh in anyway; actually, they are very refined. While I'm not a particular fan of the box pressed shape, I have to say the cigar feels fairly comfortable in the mouth. The ash forming on the foot is a dark gray with splotches of black showing through. Overall, it's been an excellent start to the cigar.

Entering the second third of the cigar, hints of caramel start to emerge. The RP Royale has consistently remained very smooth. With the vast amounts of Ligero used, I wouldn’t expect such a smooth flavor profile. Whether this has to do with the type of Ligero or any fermenting, I'm not sure. Normally, I would expect a very spicy and peppery backbone, but so far the flavors are very mild to medium-bodied with just touches of both coming through. The core remains with an earth and coffee backbone. The ash is holding strong at four inches.

The final third features a stronger earthy tone. Dry walnuts are found with the coffee notes remaining. The strength picks up some, giving off a medium-bodied overtone. The burn has been perfect, after the initial light, I haven’t had to touch the cigar at all. Also, the draw has been spot on. It's airy, light, and pleasant to smoke.

Final thoughts:
This is another great cigar from Rocky Patel. It's very consistent, has a great flavor profile, and is of excellent quality. The Royale would work well as an afternoon smoke, or if you prefer, an after dinner cigar. It doesn’t knock you off your feet, but it gives you some strength with an excellent flavor.

Order Your Rocky Patel Royale Sumatra Cigars

Friday, September 27, 2013

History Series: Acid Cigars by Drew Estate

When you hear these two words: Acid or Drew Estate, you think of two very important people: Jonathan Drew and Marvin Samual. These two exemplify what hard work, passion, and dedication can bring you. Both Jonathan and Marvin attended college together and formed a friendship that would later become business partners. In 1995, they formed that business partner relationship and opened a small kiosk in the original World Trade Tower building. They sold cigars to the various business men and woman working there. This modest start proved to be at best shaky for them, but they forged ahead and eventually launched their own cigar line called, La Vieja Habana. Their line proved to sell quite well out of their kiosk.

In 1997, Jonathan and Marvin attended the yearly RTDA show where they were warmly greeted by industry insiders. They received high accolades for the Vieja and came away from the show invigorated and with renewed hope. It also made them realize that they needed to start their own production facility in Nicaragua. After borrowing money, Marvin and Drew purchased a facility in Nicaragua and dove in head-first. Jonathan moved to Nicaragua and began immersing himself in the craft that he loved. Everything from the growing and cultivating process to fermentation and rolling. Jonathan learned from the ground floor up. He slept on an old dilapidated mattress in the facility and was the first one hard at work every morning. Then of course, there was the whole running of the facility that JD had to learn. Everything from hiring and overseeing the rollers, to finding the perfect tobacco.

It's during this time that the ACID brand was born. With a vast array of botanical oils, spices, and herbs available in South America, JD began experimenting with infusing these natural ingredients into the tobacco. Wine was also added and the result was a truly unique line of cigars. In the early part of 1999, JD returned to New York with his new blends. To accomplish what would prove to be a successful line of cigars, a third element was added. An aspiring artist named, Scott “ACID” Chester who worked in whats called the DUMBO scene. This was a mixture of graffiti, urban, and industrial design made for unique packaging and never before seen art in the cigar industry. Marvin and JD launched the ACID line at the 1999 RTDA show in Las Vegas, NV. The ACID line proved to be an industry hit in the flavored botanical cigar realm.

The Acid cigar lines have gone on to become some of the most popular cigar lines for all those who enjoy rich botanical, herb, and spice laden cigars. For JD and Marvin, this daring and at times shaky business venture proved to be a genius move. Through the good and the bad, their passion never wavered. The result of that dedication was the birth of a brand new expansion of the cigar industry, ACID by Drew Estate.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

History Series: Graycliff Cigars

Graycliff Cigars was founded in 1997, but the history surrounding this world famous brand is much older. You will have to turn the pages of history back to 1740. An infamous pirate by the name of Captain John Howard Graysmith built what is now part of the Graycliff Hotel and Cigar factory. From 1740 until the 1970's, Graycliff was home to several different owners and was the backdrop to countless Royal's parties, political leaders, and even mobsters.

In 1776, Nassua was captured by the American Navy and the Graycliff Hotel and Cigar Factory became the headquarters for them. Today, you can still see remnants of the Navy headquarters. Originally, the jail for the Navy (complete with metal bars over the windows) is now the wine cellar for the Grayciff Restaurant. In the mid 1800's, Graycliff was turned into an inn. By the time 1860 rolled around, Graycliff was commandeered by a West Indy Regiment fighting in the American Civil War. It served as an outpost for The South who would sell cotton to the British in exchange for weapons and ammo to fight The North.

Then came the period of Prohibition in the 1920's. By this time, Graycliff had opened its doors to the public again. It was owned by a close friend of the murderess Mobster, Al Capone. Mrs. Polly Leach was her name and Graycliff was the center once again of lavish parties accompanied by cigars and barrels of liquor.

Shortly after, Graycliff was sold again to a private Canadian couple who helped to renovate and added gardens and a pool area.  After their death in the mid 1960's, Graycliff was sold to Lord and Lady Dudley, Third Earl of Staffordshire. For the next seven years, Graycliff became the center of many elegant parties. The halls and rooms were filled with famous couples of Royalty including King Edward the VIII. Even visits by Sir Winston Churchill were not uncommon.

Then in 1973, Enrico and Anna Maria Garzaroli purchased the beloved Graycliff estate and turned it into a lavish hotel and restaurant. For the next twenty-five years, people traveled from all corners of the world to visit the beautiful island and stay at the Graycliff Hotel. In 1997, owner Enrico Garzaroli wanted to offer premium hand rolled cigars to his menu. This is where the modern day birth of Graycliff Cigars begins.

Starting out with one roller who sat in the hotel entrance, he hand rolled cigars for the patrons. Today,  a small factory of sixteen rollers produce half a million premium cigars each year. This was no small feat to accomplish; the fact that the Graycliff Cigar name has risen to the level that it has, is a true testament to the fact that Enrico didn’t cut any corners. First and foremost, is the fact that out of the gate Enrico hired the master blender, Avelino Lara. Avelino is the man responsible for the original Cohiba and once worked as the personal roller for Fidel Castro.

What is their recipe for success? For the Garzaroli family, it's simple. Hiring only the most experienced  Torcedores who roll only one specific cigar size that he or she has mastered. Then hiring a master at his craft with endless knowledge to oversee production. The third key is to use only the finest most exquisite tobacco that money can buy. All of the tobacco that Graycliff uses is hand selected and spans the countries of Nicaragua, The Dominican Republic, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Brazil. Today, the Graycliff brand features dozens of premium cigar lines. Some are available here in the U.S and around the world, others are offered as house exclusive cigars that you will have to visit The Graycliff Hotel and Factory to experience them.

This year at the annual IPCPR trade show, Graycliff released its latest cigar line, The John Howard Graysmith which pays homage to the founder of the original Graycliff Estate. This bevy cigar is hand-rolled without the use of any cigar molds, this gives each cigar a slightly different unique shape.  In just a few short months, it has already received high accolades from those in the industry. This is another fine example of award winning cigars from the famed Graycliff Cigar Co. 

Graycliff Cigars

Friday, September 20, 2013

History Series: Alec Bradley Cigars

The Early Years:
Alec Bradley Cigars are known today as one of the premier cigar brands in the industry. Although, that wasn't always the case. The company's founder, Alan Rubin was born in Florida  in 1961, to a business minded father who ran a hardware import company. Naturally, Alan's younger years were spent around his father and the business, that is where Alan began to learn the ins and outs of importing and sales. With natural tendencies and a business mind, Alan joined his father in the business in an official capacity right out of college. With Alan's help, his father changed the focus from cabinet hardware, to marketing hurricane clips for the  booming market that Florida offered. The timing was impeccable. In the wake of Hurricane Andrew (1992) the market for hurricane fasteners was booming. The move proved to be a valuable one and the company grew substantially. In 1996, at the peak of it's growth, Alan and his father decided it was time to sell the company.

The Beginning:
With Alan’s part of the proceeds from the sale, he decided to enter the cigar industry. The early and mid 1990's was a huge cigar boom in the U.S and he hoped to ride that wave to establish his new company in the industry. In 1996, he attended the RTDA show (Retail Tobacco Dealers of America) today known as the (International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association) It's here that Alan found a cigar manufacturer and inked a deal to make his first cigar line. He named his business after his two children: Alec Bradley Cigars was born. Alan’s' original line was called, "Bogey's Stogies" and was marketed to golf courses and was sold through golf pro shops. With high production costs and the end of the cigar boom, Bogey's Stogies was all but doomed to failure. By 1999, Alan found himself with tens of thousands of dollars of debt and a rapidly depleting number of cigar smoking golfers.

A New Beginning:
In 2000, Alan decided to take his business in a new direction. Knowing he needed help, he hired Ralph Montero, a long time industry professional who knew the ins and outs of the industry. The move to hire Ralph proved to be a valuable one. Both agreed they needed to move the focus from the pro golf shops, to brick and mortar cigar shops. A new course was charted and Alan scrapped together enough money from his past business venture to launch the "Occidental Reserve” line. It was made by Henke Kelner at the famed Davidoff factory. Determined not to fail with his new strategy, Alan mailed out samples to hundreds of cigar shops. This was followed by making hundreds of calls and visits to the shops for feedback and solicitation. When the dust settled,  three hundred shops picked up the line and Alec Bradley Cigars was back in business.

With the new found success of the Occidental Reserve, Alec Bradley began releasing additional lines of premium cigars including Trilogy, MAXX, and Tempus. In 2011,  Alec Bradley Cigars rose to new heights and international fame when they were named the #1 cigar of the year by Cigar Aficionado Magazine, for their Prensado cigar line. Today based in Dania Beach, Florida the company produces millions of cigars a year and also creates private brands of cigars for other companies.  When asked about the success of Alec Bradley Cigars, Mr. Rubin had this to say, "We live true every day, believe in our products and respect one another."

That is a motto I think we all could live by, whether in our personal lives or as business owners. It's clear that Alec Bradley Cigars truly follows that statement and we all have benefited from and enjoy premium cigars from an outstanding company because of it.

Order Alec Bradley Cigars Online

Monday, September 16, 2013

Camacho Cigars

Camacho: Re-Blended & Re-Branded 
Camacho Cigars are world renowned for making some of the finest full-bodied cigars from Honduras. With a storied history that dates back to 1962, Camacho has recently undergone a complete re-blending of their cigar lines, along with an all new updated look. Keeping with their classic Camacho profiles, these new cigars are just as bold and flavorful, if not more so. Ranging from the milder Connecticut to the new Camacho Triple Maduro line, these cigars hold true to the Camacho roots but with a new twist. I've reviewed three of the new lines and will follow up in the weeks to come with the rest of the newly released blends. I hope you enjoy. Please feel free to share your comments and thoughts at the end of this blog post.

Camacho Connecticut Cigars 
Pre-light and Blend Profile:
Taking a look at the wrapper, it appears to be flawless. The seam is virtually none existent, it blends in perfectly. I'm smoking the Robusto size for this review, which comes in the standard 5x50 size. A quick check on the construction reveals a firm and stout cigar with no soft spots. The wrapper used is an Ecuadorian Connecticut; it has an oily light appearance. Constructed in the traditional Cuban-style, it features a triple cap. The binder is Honduran and the fillers are a blend of Dominican and Honduran long-fillers.
Flavor Profile and Tasting Notes:
The Camacho Connecticut starts out with a bit of spice on the tongue but after several minutes it disappears into the background. A creamy smooth cedar note takes over and is quite pleasing. Bits of spice are still evident, but they remain in the background. At the one inch mark, a pure white ash is forming with slender lines of black peaking through. I've picked up several notes of the nutty nature and slight hints of what reminds me of rum.
Entering the second third of the cigar, the spice tones have picked up and the cedar notes still remain. At this point, I would say the cigar has built up to a medium-bodied overtone. Nothing overpowering, but definite tendencies in that direction. The draw is very smooth; I haven't had to work hard at creating vast amounts of beautiful white smoke. At the end of the first third, I begin noticing a slight tone of fruit. It's faint, but present and worth noting.
The final third marks a similar profile that has been noted thus far. The flavor has remained very consistent throughout. Light tones of coffee are found and are flavorful. The burn has been impeccable, remaining cool and consistent. If you enjoy Honduran cigars and have been a fan of Camacho Cigars in the past, you will love the revamped Connecticut line. This medium-bodied cigar gives you a classic Connecticut profile with a bit of kick to it. This is a well made cigar that can be smoked anytime of the day.

Camacho Triple Maduro Cigars
Pre-light and Blend Profile:
After taking a look at the wrapper, I couldn’t help but feel the need to sit down and smoke this one. A rich dark-colored Honduran Maduro wrapper is used. It has a slight sheen to it. In fact, Maduro leaves are used for the binder and filler, as well. The feel to the cigar is quite firm and once again like on the Connecticut, it appears to be seamless and is finished in the traditional Cuban-style with a triple cap. Like the Connecticut review, I'm smoking the Robusto size 5x50.

Flavor Profile and Tasting Notes:
The cigar starts off with quite a bang. Rustic earthy notes and leather are predominate. Like the motto on the cigar bands states, “Built Bold”, if the start of the Camacho Triple Maduro is any indication, then this is going to be one of the boldest cigars that I've smoked in some time. As I work my way farther in, notes of baking spices emerged. As I mentioned earlier, the cigar has a very firm feel; I was afraid it might interfere with the draw. I'm happy to say that I've found it to be quite the opposite.

The draw is perfect and I haven’t had any issues. The burn is slow and cool with lots of smoke being noted. A gray ash has formed now and I'm about an inch into the smoke. The cigar is dominated with a dark earth and spicy overtone. The flavors are rich and hardy with an undertone of oak that's smooth. Rounding out the first third, expect it to be consistent and full-bodied.

The second third comes with the same profile continuing to be full-bodied. You definitely want to smoke this cigar after you have eaten. A spicy sweetness has begun to emerge that adds quite a bit to the cigar. The aroma coming off is very pleasant. You will notice lots of baking spices on the palette after the draw. It's pleasing and continues to add to the smoking experience. The ash continues to hold a full two thirds of the way in. It's taken on a more “shaggy” appearance with beautiful plumes of smoke still bellowing off the foot.

The final portion of the cigar is smooth with earth, leather, spices, oak, and a slight sweetness still remaining as the core profile. The cigar, however, is complex and if you have an experienced palette, you will be able to find many other notes and tones. If you're a full-bodied cigar lover and you enjoy Maduro cigars, this will quickly become a must smoke for you. It's smoothness and rich hardy profile will make this an instant winner for Maduro lovers.

Camacho Criollo Cigars
Pre-light and Blend Profile:
Looking at the Camacho Criollo cigar, the first think you will notice is the large brightly colored  label featuring a yellow background and black lettering. The wrapper is a Honduran grown Criollo 98 fourth priming. It has a very natural look with very slight veining and is tightly wrapped. Like all the Camacho cigar lines, it has the classic Cuban-style triple cap. The finish is what I call, “satin” and falls in between a matte and an oily finish, which gives the cigar a soft sheen look to it. The binder is a Honduran Corojo and the fillers are Criollo 98, Piloto Cubano, Honduras, and Dominican Republic. It has a firm feel to it and is lighter in weight than the Triple Maduro, that I just reviewed. Like the two previous cigars, I am smoking the Robusto size 5x50.
Flavor Profile and Tasting Notes:
Lighting up, I instantly started to get a sweetness on my palette. It's very pleasant and something I wasn't expecting. The draw is very airy, yet not to the point where it feels that you are just drawing on air. It's very acceptable and allows for a quicker burn on the cigar. Gentle notes of spices have started to culminate and I've begun to get a touch of white pepper on the palette. A full third of the way in and the burn is spot on. Vast amounts of bluish gray smoke flow off the foot of the cigar, releasing pleasant aromas.

Entering the second third portion of the smoke, the cigar has remained medium-bodied. Tones of almonds have entered the profile, along with a very smooth walnut undertone. A full two and a half inches in and the ash is holding tight. The burn line is remaining dead even. The draw continues to be light and airy making for a quick burn time. I do want to note that unlike other cigars I have smoked in the past that tend to burn fast and crack the wrapper, the Camacho Criollo burn remains cool and has no adverse affect on the cigar in any way.

The final third is just as smooth and flavorful as the first two thirds. Continuing with the medium-bodied profile, it performed admirably. Bold tones, along with a smooth underling smoke, the Camacho Criollo is an excellent cigar you could enjoy from late morning on. If you're more of a full-bodied cigar smoker, this would make an excellent alternative if you want to smoke something in the morning along with your favorite cup of Cuban coffee. For myself, I will definitely be adding this cigar to my humidor and use it as my after lunch cigar.


Friday, September 13, 2013

History Series: Gurkha Cigars

The Start
The year was 1988, Kaizad Hansotia was on vacation in Goa, India. Little known to him at the time, that vacation would change his life forever. Kaizad was working in the watch industry and often bought cigars to give as gifts, for his corporate clients.  While on vacation, Kaizad stumbled across some Portuguese cigar merchants, selling cigars on the street. Kiazad stopped to buy a few as gifts. As one thing led to another, Mr. Hansotia was invited to have drinks with them. Before the night was over, he had bought the struggling cigar brand known as, Gurkha Cigars for one hundred forty-three dollars cash. This included everything from the cigar stock, to the naming rights.
A Legend Is Born
Being a cigar novice, Kaizad's first step was to study the cigar industry and try to figure a way to bring the struggling brand to fruition. After studying the industry for months, Kaizad found one particular area that the cigar industry had not yet gone: high end cigars. At the time, the most expensive cigar brand on the market was, Davidoff that sold for around eight dollars a cigar. Naturally seeing this opening, Kaizad saw a potential opening for Gurkha Cigars and began exploring the possibilities of introducing a super premium cigar line to the cigar industry. Within a year, Kaizad introduced the first small batch premium cigar line that sold for $12.
As all true ground breaking innovators do, Kaizad received ridicule from those in the industry for releasing such an expensive cigar. But as history has proven, he was well ahead of the curve. He then began producing cigar lines in the fourteen-plus dollar range, which single handedly created a new segment to the cigar industry. As he began gaining a foothold, he started releasing additional lines of luxurious premium tobacco that was never before seen in the industry. Not long after his breakthrough, Kaizad created the world's most expensive cigar at the time,  His Majesty’s Reserve. This cigar sold for a staggering $15,000 per box. The cigar is expertly infused with an entire bottle of  Louis XIII Cognac and is produced in as little numbers as one hundred boxes per year.
Another area Kaizad saw lacking in the industry was packaging and presentation. Typical cigars back in the late 80's and early 90's, came in cheap boxes with very little presentation. He set out to change that. He began designing highly crafted cigar boxes and humidors to place his cigars in. In addition, he upped the ante by using a premium cigar band with quality paper and an eye pleasing logo. This was something that was really not being done at the time.
Fast forward to today, and the Gurkha Cigar Co. has stood the ups and downs of the cigar industry. The cigar boom of the mid 1990's came and went, and Gurkha Cigars came out of it stronger then ever. They stand alone at the top of a vast array of cigar brands on the market. Kaizad has pushed the boundaries of what some thought, could never be accomplished, by producing cigar lines that sell for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars plus. Typically, these are purchased by CEO's of fortune five hundred companies, Kings, Princes, and royalty. Additionally, Gurkha Cigars through the years has added cigar lines at all price points, making premium, small batch cigars available to cigar connoisseurs worldwide.
With a commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and a burning desire to bring his love of cigars to all those who appreciate the finer things in life, Kaizad Hansotia has revolutionized the cigar industry forever.

Order Gurkha Cigars Online

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

History Series: Rocky Patel Cigars

If you look at the many examples of American success stories, you will find common threads in them all. Determination, passion, and a desire to give their family a better life, are just a few common denominators. Rocky Patel, who was born in India with a birth name of Rakesh Patel, has these same characteristics. At a young age, Rocky immigrated to the U.S. where he attended law school and  became a Hollywood attorney to stars like, Gene Hackman and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Spending hours on the movie sets with his clients, the actors would sit around and smoke cigars. It was there that Rocky was introduced to cigars and quickly fell in love with them. Pretty soon cigars became Rockys' passion, which eventually led to him selling his law practice and creating his own brand of cigars. For the next five years, Rocky spent vast amounts of time in Honduras, learning the cigar trade. Everything from the growing process, fermentation, blending, and production.

In the mid 1990's, Indian Tabac by Rocky Patel was born. Rocky introduced the cigar to his long time former client, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Rocky starting putting on cigar dinners at Arnold's former restaurant, Schatzi in Santa Monica. The dinners led to Hollywood celebrities smoking Rocky's cigars and created a cult following in Hollywood. With this success, Rocky took to the road and started introducing his cigars to the shops around the country. All the while, he never stopped blending. He created hundreds of different blends trying to figure out the process, learn the trade, and cultivate his palette.

In 1997, Rocky released the  Indian Tabac Super Fuerte, which he recounts in an interview with Cigar Aficionado Magazine, as being his first real step forward in the industry. In his own words, “I think the graduation cigar had to be the Indian Tabac Super Fuerte. It was one of the first rich, fuller-bodied cigars on the market. When we came out with that cigar there weren't too many cigars with that boldness, that richness, that character, all mixed in together. That was our groundbreaking cigar.”

In 2002, Rocky changed the company name from Indian Tabac to Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. Since then, he has never looked back. In the late 1990's, he was producing around 1.75 million cigars, compared to today, where he produces tens of millions of super premium cigars. Now with dozens of cigar lines under his belt, numerous Best Buy awards, and literally dozens of 90+ ratings, the name Rocky Patel Cigars has come to be known as one of the finest premium cigar brands on the market.

In 2010, Rocky opened up his first luxury cigar lounge called, Burn, in Naples Florida. In addition, Rocky has launched his own Rocky Patel Luxury Lifestyle Collection, which not only includes cigar accessories like premium exotic lighters, and ashtrays, but finely crafted silk shirts and other amenities. It's safe to say that you only have to look at the history behind the man called Rocky Patel, to see a true American success story. It is one that all would love to duplicate.

Rocky Patel Cigars

Friday, September 6, 2013

History Series: Perdomo Cigars...Past and Present

Perdomo Cigars found its humble beginnings in 1992, but you will have to go back to the 1930's to find its roots to appreciate it roots. Silvio Perdomo, the grandfather of Nick Perdomo Jr., was an accomplished cigar roller for several different factories, in Jose de Las Lajas, Cuba. Some of the factories included, Cuesta y Cia in the 1930's, H. Upmann in the late 30's to mid 40's, then Partagas from 1945-1959. During Fidel Castros' brutal takeover of Cuba in 1959, many of those stuck in Cuba found themselves to be enemies of Fidel. Silvio Perdomo found himself in just a position and was imprisoned for fifteen years as an enemy of the revolution, until finally, he was aloud to immigrate to the U.S in 1974. Nick Sr., who also was an enemy of the communist dictator, narrowly escaped being executed and was shot twice in the leg fighting against Fidel Castros' murderess dictatorship. After a brief hospital stay, Nick Sr. fled the country through a catholic charity organization and made his way to Washington D.C.


Nick Sr. brought with him many things that a man of character has: including his love of fine cigars. He had followed in his fathers footsteps and was a cigar roller.  To further master his craft, he worked as an executive at Partagas and then for H. Upmann. When faced with entering a new country and needing to put food on the table, he took a job as a janitor at a health facility. The meager pay was barely enough to keep his family going, so in 1976, Nick Sr. moved them to Miami, Florida for a new start. It's here that the modern day story begins for the famed Perdomo Cigar brand. After serving his country in the U.S. Navy, Nick Jr. went to work as an air traffic controller. In the evenings, with his beautiful wife Janine by his side, they launched Tobacalera Perdomo from their garage. Not wanting to follow industry trends at the time of mild tasting cigars, Nick began producing full-bodied cigars. His timing was impeccable as the cigar boom of the mid 90's produced a plethora of new cigar smokers looking for full-bodied flavorful cigars.


In 1997, The Perdomo brand grew well beyond its humble factory in Miami; Nick moved the operations to Ybor City near Tampa. This, however, was not satisfactory to Nick as costs were high and he was limited in production. Nick Sr. came out of retirement to help his son set up a facility in Esteli, Nicaragua. In 1999, another facility was needed as they began selling well over a million cigars per year, so a custom built factory was erected to meet the growing demands that the company needed. 

During the cigar boom, bucking industry trends once again, Nick produced the Perdomo Squared, which at the time, was one of the first box pressed cigars to ever be produced. It was a hit and he had another winner on his hands. This cigar boosted The Perdomo Brand into another level of cigar fame.

Today, the Perdomo brand has a 88,000 square foot facility in Esteli, Nicaragua and employs hundreds of people in Nicaragua, along with a staff based at its U.S headquarters. They produced dozens of their own cigar lines, along with countless other brands being produced at their factories for the U.S. market and countries abroad.

Perdomo Cigars

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The History of Arturo Fuente Cigars

The year was 1902,  Arturo Fuente Sr. and his family had recently arrived from Cuba to the bustling streets of Tampa, Florida. It would be another full ten years before the birth of A. Fuente & Co. Alas, in 1912, the brand was born. Inside a west Tampa three story wood building, Arturo Fuente Sr. started making some of the best cigars during that time. Being a native Cuban immigrant, naturally, he imported the finest tobacco that he could acquire from Cuba, to hand roll his cigars with. From 1912 until 1924,  A. Fuente & Co. grew substantially to employ five hundred plus workers, filling the three story building from top to bottom, with the finest cigars in Tampa.
Late 1924, on a moon lit night, the A. Fuente & Co. factory burned to the ground. Completely devastated and penniless, Arturo Fuente Sr. worked his way back. Through the great depression, he struggled to provide for his family and to save money, in hopes of, one day, re-opening his beloved cigar factory. By the end the depression and World War II,  Arturo Fuente Sr. had saved enough to re-open on a part time basis and revamped his back porch with rolling tables. When not hand rolling cigars, Arturo worked as a baker and his wife took work in a factory.

The cigar business, however, was a family venture. When not working at the bakery or factory, the whole family could be found working together in the back of their home. Arturo and his wife along with several part time rollers, would delicately hand roll cigars for the locals. His younger children, Arturo Fuente, Jr. and Carlos would help out where they could; they started out sweeping the floors and helping out with menial tasks until they started rolling.

As all fathers envision, Arturo dreamed of passing on his cigar business to one of his sons. As the oldest, Arturo Fuente, Jr. was the likely choice, however, it was Carlos who threw himself into the business day after day. With a passion.  He learned the business inside and out. In 1958, when Arturo Jr. passed on the business, Carlos jumped at the chance and bought it for one dollar. Carlos immediately began growing the business by reaching out to other parts of Florida for accounts. Eventually, he worked his way up to New York targeting Hispanic smokers. He quickly found this was easier said then done. At the time, cigar smokers were very loyal to the brands they smoked.
In 1960, when a trade embargo took place with Cuba, the situation changed. With Cuban tobacco no longer available to the U.S market, Carlos began importing from Puerto Rico and Columbia. This took vast amounts of skill to artfully blend a cigar that had classic Cuban tastes that would appeal to the American smokers. Although, Carlos took on the challenge and started the process. As the years started to pass, another situation arose. Rising labor costs began to make producing cigars in Florida almost impossible. Attempts were made to start factories in Puerto Rico and Mexico, but failed due to quality issues.

Finally, in the 1970's, Carlos Sr. reached out to some friends based in Nicaragua inquiring about the quality of tobacco and growing conditions. Within a few short months, Carlos Sr. had moved his operations to Esteli, Nicaragua. However, in 1979, with a Nicaraguan Revolution going on, the Fuente factory became part of the casualties and was burnt to the ground. Utterly devastated, but far from out, Carlos Sr. made a bold move mortgaging his home and his Son Carlos Jr. scraped together his savings and moved once again, now this time to Santiago, Dominican Republic.

In September of 1980, Carlos Sr. and his son opened up a 12,000 square foot factory. Every penny they earned they immediately put back into production and the facility. By the mid 1980's, The Fuente name began to become a household name with the release of the Heminway cigar line. With their new success, they expanded the facility to include tobacco fields, curing barns, and even began growing their own wrapper leafs which is a time consuming and tedious process. 

By the 1990's, Fuente was an entrenched household name, being enjoyed by cigar smokers of all levels. With a cigar boom in 1996, Fuente Cigars was launched into stardom, but never turned its back on what made the brand great. Quality, consistency, great tobacco, and determination. Today, Fuente Cigars produce thirty plus million cigars per year; they are the standard that all other manufacturers strive to achieve.

Arturo Fuente Cigars

Friday, August 30, 2013

Davidoff Nicaraguan

Released this year, the Davidoff Nicaraguan is truly a ground breaking cigar for them. This marks the first Nicaraguan puro ever produced by Davidoff. It comes fully backed by the blend master, Henke Kelner. For this review, I'm smoking the short corona, which is a 3.75×46 ring gauge. So, let's take a look to see what we find.
My pre-light inspection finds a sweet wood tone. The Nicaraguan wrapper has minimal veining and the cigar feels firm to the touch. A classic black and silver Davidoff cigar band is neatly wrapped around it with a secondary gold band noting the name Nicaragua . The cigar features a well aged blend of Nicaraguan tobacco and is finished off with an expertly wrapped triple cap.
Upon lighting up, my taste buds are greeted with a natural tea and light earth tone. A dry bark aftertaste settles on the palette and gels nicely with the flavor profile. Large plumes of smoke are released with every puff that impress me, given the size of the cigar. The draw is a classical Davidoff, firm yet almost airy. The cigar is quite impressive to this point.
The second third of the cigar reveals light espresso, leather, and maple syrup like sweetness. The burn has remained even throughout, just as you would expect from a Davidoff cigar. I'm further impressed with a toasty undertone of wood and cream that intermittently weaves its way into the wheel house of flavors. On the final third, the cigar moves from a mild to medium-bodied that borders on full. The flavors noted beforehand can all be found, but a core of tea, wood, and spice are the staples.
The Davidoff Nicaragua can easily be an everyday go to cigar. The complexity and smoothness of the smoke will make this a fan favorite. If you want to experience a classic Davidoff cigar with a twist, this cigar is it. It embodies all the traditional Davidoff qualities. It adds a nice punch by combining premium Nicaraguan tobacco with the smoothness and tradition of the Davidoff name.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tatuaje 10th Anniversary

Pete Johnson is back at it again and celebrates his 10th year in the business with this great looking cigar. The Tatuaje 10th Anniversary uses the traditional Cuban triple cap and has a closed foot. The cigar smells of cedar and earth while a vegetal and floral taste is found on the cigar. He uses an Ecuadorian Habano leaf wrapper that is seamless. Its chocolate brown coloring reveals a slight oiliness to the wrapper giving it a nice patina finish.
As I light up, I'm hit with a smooth nutty flavor. Subtle tones of baking spices and wood are in the background. A sweetness that I can't quite place is also noted and adds nicely to the characteristics of the cigar. The draw is spot on. It offers just enough pull so you don’t feel like you're just sucking on air, but you're not having to overwork either.

The quality of the cigar is nothing short of premium. No soft spots are found, the burn is dead even, and the cigar is smooth. Fragrant cedar laced aromas are found in the dense smoke adding another enjoyable dimension to the cigar. I'm at the halfway marker now; a light citrus tone emerges on the palette along with notes of pine nuts and coffee beans. The peppery tones start to pick up as I get closer to the final third. Right now, there is a nice three inch ash on the cigar that refuses to come off.
The final portion of the cigar is marked with a full-bodied profile. Flavors of black pepper, wood, spices, and notes of cinnamon are predominate. The cigar has remained consistently smooth from start to finish. The flavors intermingle with great complexity offering nice changes throughout. This cigar could be enjoyed literally any time of the day. As a mid-morning cigar it would offer you a kick as it's a medium to full-bodied, but very smooth. The same could be said if you chose to smoke it as an after lunch cigar. It would pair nicely with an after dinner cocktail.

Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Cigars

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Rich History Of Davidoff Cigars

Zino Davidoff was born in 1906 in Kiev, Ukraine. With pogroms taking place in Russia, the Davidoff family was forced to flee the country. They settled in Geneva Switzerland. It was there that Zino found his love of cigars; it wasn’t long until he opened a tobacco shop. At a young age, Zino found himself traveling the country of South America and eventually making his way to Cuba. Once there, Zino fell in love with the people and tobacco and in 1947, he began producing his Chateau Selection cigar line. This was the beginning of a fourty-three year long love affair with Cuba; he produced some of the most highly sought after cigars in the world during that time period.

During the 1980's, several disputes took place with the production facility and Davidoff Cigars moved their entire facility to the Dominican Republic in 1990. This was a hard decision and one the company did not take lightly. The Davidoff name had become the symbol of luxury that all the cigar brands looked to emulate their quality and success that Davidoff  enjoyed. Not wanting to lose their edge or reputation, Davidoff set out to produce once again the finest cigars on the market - now with Dominican grown tobacco.

Davidoff Cigars chose the finest tobacco available and rebuilt using the same standards for quality they did in Cuba.  It wasn’t long before they reemerged and regained their title of producing some of the finest cigars in the world. Today with dozens of different cigar lines and a plethora of followers, the Davidoff brand is still regarded as a leader in the luxury cigar world.  All Davidoff Cigars go through a four year aging process, only after they harvest and cultivate some of the best grown tobacco in the Dominican Republic.

Below you will find just a small sampling of what other highly rated publications have to say about Davidoff Cigars:

Cigar Insider:
“This cigar has good color and texture. The smoke is tremendously rich, with black cherry notes and an earthy complexity. The finish is warm and toasty.” 94

Cigar Aficionado
“This very spicy cigar also has strong flavors of cedar wood and coffee, and a smooth, creamy finish that lingers on the palate.” 92

Cigar Aficionado
“A solid corona with an oily, veiny wrapper and jagged cap. A slightly spicy start develops into cedar, citrus and dried apple flavors. Flavorful and pleasant.”

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Ultimate Cigar Clearance Sale!

Today, we're taking a look at a small sampling of cigars that are available from Corona Cigar Company. These are available at closeout prices. With over 500 different products, in the closeout section, it would be impossible to bring you reviews on all of them. Rest assured, the closeout section is full of delicious premium cigars, just like the reviews below. So, grab your favorite cocktail and check out the cigar reviews. When you're done, click the link at the top of the page and be prepared to be amazed! Discounted prices include over 70% Off of selected Boxes and Bundles as well as Buy-One Get-One FREE on singles. These blowout prices are only available at Corona Cigar Co. while supplies last.  Remember, Corona Cigar Co. is your one stop shop for all things cigars!
Discount Cigars
La Gloria Cubana Reserva 
As I inspected this cigar, you can't help but to look at the gorgeous wrapper. It's a Connecticut broadleaf and at first glance it appears to be completely seamless. A further inspection reveals a thin hairline seam. The same can be said for the veining. Very fine and almost non-existent.
As I began to light-up and the flavors start to accumulate, I'm hit with a strong mixture of black pepper and jalapeno. It's not overpowering, but it gets your attention before it settles down to a nice earthy overtone. I'm also getting a citrus and cedar aftertaste on my palette. It's light and is complimentary to the earthy tones.  The ash forming is pure white and remains firmly attached at the inch and a half point.
Produced in the Dominican, you will notice a medium to full-bodied profile. As I start to edge into the halfway point, I'm experiencing stronger peppery tones. They appear to be in the black pepper department with hints of Tia spices. Gentle wasps of fruitiness lurk in the background and are slight but enjoyable when found. As I smoke my way through the midway point of the cigar, the ash finely releases revealing a glowing cherry ember in the center.
The cigar has been a fantastic smoke up to this point. The draw is what you would want and I haven’t had to touch the burn on it yet. The final portion of the La Gloria Cubana Reserve is marked with more earthy tones of wood and bark. The pepper and spice tones mentioned are consistent from start to finish, while strong aromas of cedar are released with every puff. 
My conclusion is: this is a great cigar that I could definitely see myself smoking every day. It has lots of complex flavors and is very consistent and smooth. The MSRP is reasonable, but the closeout pricing that Corona Cigar is offering, makes it a no-brainer.  La Gloria Cubana Reserva Cigars 
La Aurora Barrel Aged
My pre-light inspection of the La Aurora Barrel Aged starts with a gentle aroma of sweetness. It's enticing and I found myself wasting no time in lighting up. The Corojo wrapper is flawless. The seam is virtually non-existent and the wrapper has a semi-oily appearance. I'm smoking the Torpedo size for the review, but the La Aurora Barrel Aged is available in several different sizes.
As I typically light my cigars with matches, I grabbed one and put it to the foot of the cigar. It lit relatively easy and within seconds was producing large voluptuous clouds of smoke. I immediately taste warm toasty notes.  They gradually gave way to exquisite tones of rum with a fruity apricot flavor that stayed in the background. I should note that the Corojo wrapper used is aged extensively in 40 year old rum barrels. The flavor and aroma is exquisite with tones of the wood from the barrel as well.
The construction appears to be of the finest quality. No soft spots were found and the draw is what I would consider to be perfect. I have a three inch white ash on the end and it has yet to show signs of wanting to fall off. At this point, I'm quite impressed with the La Aurora Barrel Aged cigar. The price point is relatively inexpensive and I could smoke this cigar everyday.
I'm beginning to pick up sweet cedar tones as I've now entered the back portion of the cigar. They are intermingled with rum and oak tones from the barrel aging process. As I get closer to the nub, a spicy tone emerges. It's medium flavored and notes of walnuts, cinnamon, and light coffee beans can be found.  My parting thoughts on the La Aurora Barrel Aged cigar is: it's a very consistent and flavorful cigar. While not overly complex, the flavors that are found are excellent. It's well made and the tobaccos used are perfectly aged, releasing aromas and notes that I particularly like. With Corona Cigar offering them at 45% off on the box price, this is another cigar I will look to add to my humidor without hesitation. La Aurora Barrel Aged Cigars

Fonseca Serie F
For all of you who enjoy Fonseca Cigars this particular cigar is more of a medium to full-bodied smoke. It stays true to its Fonseca Cigar roots, but kicks things up a notch. Let's take a look at it a little closer.
The wrapper used is a Connecticut Sungrown. It has a matte like finish to it with almost no visible veins showing. It's quite impressive and beautiful to look at. The cigar itself has a nice earth and cedar aroma and is finished off in the traditional Cuban fashion with a triple cap. Placing the cigar in my mouth, I get a citrus aftertaste. Also, it has a subtle sweetness to it.
Lighting up, I'm treated to a sweet grass tone that is soon followed by pine nuts. They both have nice characteristics to them and remain on the palette for sometime. The first half of the cigar is consistent with toasty overtones and bits of wood. The draw is excellent and large plumes of smoke are found in abundance. At the halfway mark, the cigar begins picking up with notes of pepper and spice entering the fray.
On the back half, you definitely start to get a more full bodied profile that is promised in the billing of the cigar.  Coffee, cinnamon, spice, and undertones of leather are all found. While not overly powerful, they offered enough to please my palette. Fruity notes are also found in the background, but you have to dig a little to find them. The Seir F finishes long with peppery and spice overtone.
This is an excellent cigar for anyone who wants to take that next step up from smoking milder cigars. I would consider this to be between a mild/medium to full-bodied cigar. It has an excellent flavor profile with premium tobacco and a nice smooth smoking characteristic. Fonseca Serie F Cigars

CAO Gold Maduro
Firm to the touch, the CAO Gold Maduro has a dark oily Brazilian wrapper. The appearance of the wrapper glistens against the contrasting gold laden cigar band. I'm smoking the petite corona size for this review and it drips with a heavy earthy aroma. The cigar is touted as being a mild-bodied cigar, so let's check out the flavor profile. 
After toasting the foot. I now have a nice quarter inch ash on the end. The main flavor I've experienced thus far is that of sweet cedar. Very mild, the cigar is producing a large amount of smoke for its size. Hints of cinnamon are also found with intermittent tones of spice. The cigar is burning fast and I have a one inch ash now that has formed on the foot.
Tasty nuisances of espresso have started working there way to the front of the cigar. The draw is slightly tight but remains in the acceptable range. Toasty buttery undertones are found but are fading into non-existence. Notes of green pepper, spice, and dark chocolate all emerge as I smoke my way past the first third and enter the second third. The dark colored ash falls off at the three inch mark, but the burn remains steady continuing on.
I've been remarkably amazed at the mildness of the cigar. I've yet to experience any harsh or remotely full-bodied tones whatsoever. The final third is marked with more espresso, dark chocolate, and toasted cinnamon tones.
If you enjoy mild cigars but want to experience a slight twist to them, the CAO Gold Maduro is a perfect choice. Ever so mild, the maduro adds a nuance of flavors you won't find in your traditional mild cigars. A clever twist by, Tim Ozgener, this is a great smoke and one sure to appeal to both Maduro fans and the mild cigar smoker. CAO Gold Maduro Cigars