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June 25, 2009



Guest cigar review of the Padron 80 Years Maduro

September 13, 2009

This week, we have another guest review from our friend Danny Principe. Hope you enjoy!


I dont really know what else to say about this cigar other than it is absolute perfection. This is quite possibly my desert island cigar. I have been very lucky in my life. I have been able to sample the finest Cubans, some of the most elusive NCs, but this takes the cake. Very few cigars are of this caliber, though some do come to mind.

The Verdict:
Appearance: 14/15
Beautiful wrapper. No visible veins whatsoever, the only flaw was a slight hole in the wrapper. But this did not effect the enjoyment of the cigar whatsoever. Really the only flaw.

Flavor: 25/25
Unreal. Coffee, cocoa, at times leather, nuts, toast, some sweet cedar. Very typical Padron flavors, but so remarkably smooth that it really is hard to pinpoint anything standing out above the rest. Everything was in perfect harmony. The cigar was in the full bodied category, but it was just so smooth I did not seem to notice.

Construction: 25/25
Flawless. The cigar cut like a hot knife through butter. It lit up instantly, I used one match and it honestly lit up in 1/4 of a second and did not require a single bit of attention for the entire 3 hours I took to smoke this beauty. The draw was perfect. Like a razor the entire time. And every 80 Years I have smoked has been EXACTLY the same in this regard.

Overall Impression: 35/35
The price point is high, but I have to say, it is damn near worth it.

Final Score: 99/100

I know it seems a bit high, but if you have smoked one, and you love Padrons as much as I do, I am sure you will agree. Cant wait to see how the 45ths I just picked up do in comparison.

Cigar review of the Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve

September 12, 2009

Today, we have another guest review, this time from our friend Pat Fumador.

RP prelight

I picked up this cigar while visiting Castle Cigars in Tampa. It’s one of the best places for me because;

  1. I’m relatively new to the Tampa Bay area and it’s easy to find
  2. Great selection with reasonable prices
  3. Smoking accommodations are first class, with full bar on its way, and a cigar lounge that is roomy and accommodating to a crowd

This is what Rocky Patel web site says about this cigar;


When you open a chest of Olde World Reserves, the rich aroma of lush tobaccos hits your nose. Available in either a nutty Corojo or a cocoa-rich Maduro wrapper, the OWR is a full-bodied smoking experience that combines the smooth complexity of the Vintage series with the earthy strength of The Edge. The OWR was recognized by Robb Report as Best of the Best for 2007.

Wrapper: Maduro

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Sizes: Robusto, 5.5″ x 54

That having been said, here is what I discovered about the cigar. Visualy speaking, it was a beautiful cigar. I am partial to maduro wrappers, so this was right up my ally. Dark, almost Rosado color wrapper, rich, minimal veining, and wrapped without flaw. Prelight aroma was warm and clean. I was expecting more ammonia, typical of a cigar I had not packed away for a year in the Igloodor, but was pleased that the aroma was clean and rich, almost sweet with vegetation aromas. After clipping, the pre-light flavors were nice, but I cannot do any better than that. Nothing distinctive, just nice.

The first inch gave me what I generally expect to find in a Nicaraguan cigar: strong, peppery, heavy leather, rich in depth. Finish at this point was not much. Mouth hadn’t settled into it yet, I suppose. First third evolved quickly into what one would expect from a puro. Full bodied, coffee/leather with a long finish. Pepper had disappeared quickly, leaving a spiciness that was distinctive but not dominating. Second third started picking up speed and really proved itself to be quite the standalone cigar. It would be my last cigar of the day. Fuller, stronger, completely taking over my palate in spite of the drink by my side. In spite of the generous smoke volume, I had to give up on the cigar about 75% through. Had to re-light it twice (NOT what I like to do) and gave up after third relight let me down.

Good cigar? Yep.

Invest in one again? Yep

Recommend it to friends? Only if they are mature seasoned cigar smokers.

Guest review of the Davidoff Especiales #7

September 11, 2009

This week, we have another guest review from our friend Andy Picone. He is going to be writing regularly for the site, so I hope you enjoy!




I came across a Davidoff Especiales #7.  The line has an interesting background.

This 2004-05 special edition cigar was limited to 10,000 boxes, and one size, 5 ½ x 48.  The numeral in the title suggests the blender’s use of seven distinct tobaccos:  an Ecuadorian/Connecticut Shade/ Cuban Seed wrapper, a binder and five filler leaves originating from various parts of the Dominican Republic.  At the time, the use of five filler tobaccos within a robusto size smoke was thought to be too heaving.  Would it work?  Leave it to Davidoff.

This cigar is true to the Davidoff tradition:  a downy, rich mahogany shade wrapper, razor sharp burn, an unmistaken aroma and a beautiful white ash that remained rigid to the first band.  The draw was firm but not taxing, as the payoff was certainly worth it.  The initial hint of cedar dallies long enough to fill your head with aromatics akin to some of the finest single malts.  As I worked my way through the cigar, I awaited some grand flavor finale; a rush of densely rich and full bodied flavors.  I had a premonition this cigar wanted to be a dynamic powerhouse.  But its complexity only continued to harvest delicate aromas and elusive essences allowing the Especiales to maintain an enjoyable medium bodied edge.

Some cigars can stand alone.   Even the highest quality, well developed cigars sometimes find themselves jockeying with your taste buds when confronted with a perfect martini or an outstanding red; accompaniments can distract the essence of a great cigar.  The Especiales should not have a supporting cast.  Nothing should cloud your senses as this cigar is that good.

Find a comfortable chair, point it to the western sky, light up the #7 and enjoy the sunset.

Enjoy the ride.

Guest Cigar Review of the Conuco

September 11, 2009


Today we have a guest review from our buddy Jedd over at The guys from Cigar Reviews will be doing a review for our site every Thursday, so stay tuned!



Size: Robusto,  5 x 50

Wrapper: Honduran Habano

Filler: Honduran and Costa Rican Ligero, Nicaraguan Viso, and Panamanian Seco longfiller tobaccos

Binder: Nicaraguan Seco leaf

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 20, $79.99

Grade: 8.6

As a big fan of boutique cigars, I must admit I was excited to get my hands on this Conuco Robusto. An exclusive smoke from Famous Cigar Shop, the stick is produced in partnership with Rocky Patel and, at four bucks a stick, it is half the price of a standard boutique smoke. Needless to say I was interested to see what this was all about.

Appearance, 1.6:

The cigar appears to be well constructed with no soft spots or visible spotting on the wrapper. The texture is smooth with some veins and tooth. The cap looked nice, but at the foot of the smoke the filler was hanging out of the wrapper a noticeable amount which did affect the toasting of the cigar. The label on this smoke is very subdued, though it fits the idea of the cigar nicely. The pre-light aroma and draw were filled with notes of sweet tobacco and some chocolate.

Burn, 1.7:

The draw on this smoke was very good all the way through. The dark grey ash held up to 1.5 inches before I lost my nerve and knocked it off. The cigar produced a mouthful of flavorful smoke with not a lot of heat at all. The smoke did require a touch up around the beginning of the 2/3 but by the 3/3 it was perfect.

Flavor, 2.6:

The first puff on this smoke produced a flavor of barnyard and sweet citrus. It was a very mellow flavor with no spice, which I was expecting. As the cigar burned into the 1/3, I picked up a dark wood flavor, which reminded me of the smell of my two acoustic guitars. They are made of mahogany and rosewood, two types of wood that have a more rich, spicy, and heavy aroma than say hickory or cedar. Attached to this flavor was a hint of sweetness.  The finish on this smoke was not long at all and this trend continued throughout the smoke. As the smoke progressed into the 2/3, it did not become more complex but the notes of dark wood, chocolate, and lingering sweetness continued. The 3/3 brought a definite coffee flavor to the party which paired nicely with the chocolate notes still hanging around. Though the smoke was not as complex as I anticipated for a full body smoke, it was very consistent.

Overall, 2.7:

The value of this smoke is great; it is a good, solid smoke for the money no doubt.  I would recommend this to any smoker who likes a full bodied smoke with a hint of sweetness.  Rocky consistently puts out a great smoke and this partnership with Famous is a winner.

(Jed’s Total: 8.6)

Cigar Review of the Tatuaje El Cohete

September 9, 2009


This week, we have another guest reviewer joining us. His name is Charles Quarto, and I hope you enjoy his writing!




Size:  4 7/8 x 50 rg

Wrapper:  Nicaragua

Binder:  Nicaragua

Filler:  Nicaragua

Strength:  Medium – Full


Created for Mark of Tower Cigars, this exclusive release is of an identical blend as the other vitolas in the Tatuaje Miami line, but very squat in comparison.  I’d like to thank John Buchholz for the opportunity to smoke this little bomb of a cigar.



A short, fat little cigar with a large ring gauge, it reminds me somewhat of the NUB by Oliva.  The construction is top notch, which is unsurprising as this cigar is rolled in Miami by Don Pepin Garcia, featuring a wrapper that is very oily and supple to the touch.  On squeezing the cigar along its length, I find it to have a slight spring to it, with no hard or soft spots anywhere.  The cap is done in traditional Cuban style triple seam, and the foot is perfectly bunched.  The perfect pre-light draw left the lips tingling, letting me know that this thing was going to pack some spice.


Burn & Draw

The burn stayed razor sharp throughout the entire cigar, leaving behind an ash that was tight, white, and held on strong until let go at the inch march.  The draw was spot on and consistent, never becoming loose or tight through the duration of the cigar.


Flavor Profile

The initial flavor burst on lighting up was packed with spicy black pepper and that familiar Tat twang, as so many people call it.  About a half inch in the power and flavors backed down a notch, but still hovered in the full range.  I was picking up very prominent flavors of leather, rich tobacco, dark cocoa, and a slight citrus bitterness that was entirely surprising, but very pleasant.  Throughout the entire smoke these flavors would swap in terms of strength, keeping it interesting, yet not totally complex.  This actually worked in the cigars favor, as I feel that a cigar this short should not be too complex, as you won’t get to enjoy its flavors to the fullest.


Overall Impression

I paired this cigar with an Allagash Dubbel Reserve Belgian Style Ale, and I would have to say it was a match made in heaven.  The power of this smoke, and the rich flavors were very complimentary to the more subtle, yet complex dark ale.  This cigar was what a NUB should be, in the sense that it hit full strength in the flavor and body right off the start, and never quit until the finger scorching nub.  If Mark ever gets more of these in, I will be certainly picking up a box.  Spicy and delicious, this is something every Tat fan would love when looking for a short in time, yet long in flavor smoke.

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Episode #5, Stone Brewing Arrogant Bastard Ale

September 9, 2009


CRA Launches A Limited Edition, One-Of-A-Kind Cigar Sampler

September 8, 2009


The following is a press release from CRA regarding their new sampler pack for members only. The sampler pack includes many limited edition cigars, including the highly sought after Tatuaje Black. If you guys don’t know about CRA, make sure to check them out. They are doing great thing for cigar rights. I am not currently a member, but have decided as soon as I become employed full-time I am going to apply to be a Cigar Rights of America Ambassador. I encourage all of you who cherish cigar smoking to join up and fight for our rights to enjoy cigars.


Date: September 8, 2009
Contact: Brian Berman
Phone: (818) 541-1535

CRA Launches A Limited Edition, One-Of-A-Kind Cigar Sampler – For Members Only!

Fairfax, VA – Cigar Rights of America (CRA) has announced a new program exclusively for its members that will serve as a unique member benefit, while advancing the cause of protecting cigar enthusiasts from intrusive taxation and regulation.

An initial coalition with approximately twenty of the world’s top cigar makers have joined forces to create a limited-edition, one-of-a-kind collection of cigars specially blended or sized for CRA members only! The cigars will be offered in two editions of an exclusive CRA Cigar Sampler* – each containing 10 cigars. These cigars are not available anywhere else and you must be a CRA member to get them.

CRA Executive Director Glynn Loope stated, “The Founding Sponsors of CRA wanted to offer something special to the membership. The participating companies have developed unique blends or sizes, available only in this sampler. With the proceeds of the sale of these cigars going to address the issues confronting cigar enthusiasts, this is a win-win for the member and all involved.”

The first edition CRA Cigar Sampler of 10 cigars will be pre-packaged in an all-inclusive humidor bag that includes Humidipak’s patented 2-way humidity control and will include exclusive cigars from Ashton, CAO, Casa Fernandez, Davidoff, Drew Estate, General Cigar (Punch), La Flor Dominicana, Padron, Rocky Patel and Tatuaje.

News about the CRA Cigar Sampler has already created high demand. Therefore, CRA will have a strict one sampler per member limit!

To learn more about the exclusive cigars in the first-edition CRA Cigar Sampler, or to purchase your Sampler, please visit

About Cigar Rights of America
Cigar Rights of America (CRA) was founded on the principle of fighting for the freedom to enjoy premium cigars. A consumer-based, non-profit public advocacy organization that works with local, state and federal governments to protect the freedoms of cigar enthusiasts, CRA works with its constituency of members including manufacturers, retailers and cigar enthusiasts to focus on opposing restrictive smoking bans and increased taxation of cigars.


* Sampler contains 10 toro-size cigars. Cost $90.00 (Free Shipping!)

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