Habana Leon Serie F No.2000 Monday, Jul 25 2011 

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Country: USA
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Robusto

This is an old Pepin Garcia brand that is made in his Miami Shop. I found it buried in the humidor tonight. I don’t even know if this cigar is made anymore. It is an excellent smoke. Medium bodied with notes of pepper, earth and cedar complimented with a slightly sweet undertone and a smooth creamy texture. Makes me wish I had a few more of them.

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Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary Wednesday, Apr 27 2011 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: CT Corojo
Binder:  CT Broadleaf
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan, Dominican
Size: Robusto 5.0″ x 50 ring

I have never been a fan of the Punch Rare Corojo.  It seemed an OK enough cigar but it just never struck my fancy which I thought strange because I generally enjoy Corojo cigars.  I had no idea until very recently that the Punch Rare Corojo doesn’t even have any Corojo tobacco in it.  I thought the wrapper was Corojo but apparently it was a Sumatran leaf of some kind.  Learning that fact kind of annoyed me.  Why the hell do they call it a Corojo if it isn’t?  But ultimately I came to the conclusion that I really don’t care especially since the cigar has largely remained off my radar…

Enter the the Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary Edition.  Wonders never cease, this one actually uses a Corojo wrapper leaf.  What’s more it is a Connecticut grown Corojo wrapper.  I didn’t even know they grew Corojo in Connecticut.  Well there’s lots I don’t know but still, I was surprised by it. General Cigar sent me some samples of the new limited edition of the Rare Corojo and its make-up is intriguing to me so I looked forward to giving this one a try.  I have to say, it is a much better cigar that the previous sticks to carry this name.  It starts off with leather and earth and an undertone of what I would describe as spiced vanilla, giving it a subtle sweetness and creamy characteristic to the flavors.  It builds in body as you progress and it starts to exhibit more spice and gets a little woodsy and tannic at times which may just be a bit of youth shining through, or the Honduran filler dominating the blend (I often get tannic notes from cigars with Honduran tobacco).  Overall the cigar was quite enjoyable and it held my attention nicely with well defined flavors.  It may be a limited edition cigar but it doesn’t carry a limited edition price tag so I would say it is definitely worth trying if you run across them.

La Gloria Cubana Serie N JSB Tuesday, Apr 5 2011 

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Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatran Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Size: Robusto 5.5″ x 54 ring

This is a new cigar from General Cigars.  The folks over there were kind enough to send me a sampler of thier new product along with a press release about thier virtual cigar tasting that happened back in late march.  Apparently they use some social media outlets and invited fans of the brand to smoke the cigar along with the makers of the blend and they had an interactive discussion about the cigar.  Very “2011”…

The Serie N is a thick oily looking cigar with a near pitch black wrapper on it.  I wasn’t sure what to think about it but once I put a flame to it I was pleasantly surprised.  I found it to be an excellent cigar with rich and robust flavors.  Lots of earth and cocoa and leather and a subtle bit of what I can only describe as dark fruit (don’t know if that will make sense to anybody else).  It had a very typical Nicaraguan profile which is right in my wheelhouse.  The rich flavors were balanced nicely with its moderate strength and full bodied feel.  The last inch or so get to be very full bodied with a good bit of spice and pepper almost overpowering the other flavors.  It finishes off with a punch to the gut.

I thought it was a very, very good cigar.  One I enjoyed thoroughly and will smoke again very soon.  This ranks as my favorite LGC cigar and I think may be one of the best that General Cigar makes.

Illusione ~88~ Candela Wednesday, Jan 12 2011 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Candela
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Robusto 5.0″ x 52 ring

Green is the new Brown…  Or something like that.  Dion Giolito of Illusione Cigars seems to be single-handedly championing a return of the Candela wrapper to premium cigars.  Once a mainstay of American cigar smoking, the modern smoker tends to look down on the green cigar wrapper as being too mild, near flavorless, or too grassy.  The truth is they are right.  Just about any candela wrapped cigar you find on the market today just isn’t very good.  It turns out that perhaps this is because no one bothers to put the wrapper on a good cigar.  That is until Dion started putting it on his Illusione cigars.  The first to get the green treatment was the lancero, the ~hl~ or Holy Lance.  Now you can also find the Candela on the very large  ~888~ and the beefy robusto ~88~.

When I saw the Candela ~88~ on the shelf and I was intrigued.  I hadn’t tried a Candela wrapped cigar in ages and none I have ever had were any good, but this time the wrapper was on a cigar/blend that I knew I really enjoyed so I had to give it a try.  I was amazed.  The wrapper dramatically changes the cigar when compared to an ~88~ with its normal Nicaraguan wrapper.  It was crisp and smooth.  The Illusione core flavors of Earth and leather are still very much present, but they are expertly balanced with a slight sweetness and tea notes.  Later in the smoke I started to pick up a floral component to the flavors as well.  It was an amazingly good smoke, complex in flavor and visually interesting with its bright green wrapper.   This is one Candela that is certainly worth trying.

Cain F 550 Wednesday, Jan 5 2011 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Triple Ligero (Esteli, Condega, Jalapa)
Size: Robusto 5.75″ x 50 ring

A full-bodied, full-strength cigar.  Typical Nicaraguan profile of spice, earth, and leather.  Some coffee notes as well.  Finishes the same as it starts and remains consistent throughout.  Just straight forward flavors in a very robust package.  Excellent construction, with a even burn and an excellent draw. Not a bad smoke, but nothing special either.  Not much more to say about this one except to apologize for forgetting to take a picture.

God Of Fire 2005 by Carlito Double Robusto Thursday, Sep 9 2010 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: Double Robusto 5.75″ x 52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

The God of Fire is an extremely limited edition cigar made once a year by the Fuente Cigar Family for the company Prometheus.  Each year Don Carlos blends one size and his son Carlito blends a few others.  It is a very pricey cigar running in the $20 plus range.  In 2005 the Double Robusto was made by Carlito.  Sold in boxes of 10, the cigar is adorned in two ornate red bands.  The main band depicts the figure of Prometheus enduring his rather gruesome punishment for bring fire to the mortals.

Each cigar is wrapped in a very handsome Cameroon wrapper.  The wrapper leaf is so good looking it is almost hard to believe it is a Cameroon.  It has very little tooth and appears very smooth with very tiny, very fine veins spider-webbed across its surface.  It has a very uniform brown color and has the appearance of expensive leather.  It also sports a massive cap.  I counted 4 seams spiraling around the head of the cigar.  Examining the foot shows perfectly bunch tobacco with a dark, oily spot dead center revealing the presence of robust ligero in its core.

The God of Fire starts off smooth and creamy right from the start.  It has a very woody flavor complimented by a slightly sweet spice.  The smoke was amazingly smooth from start to finish.  Along the way I picked up notes of nuts and espresso.  The aroma had a hint of cinnamon in it and the last third was dominated by the original flavors of spice and wood.  The flavors were medium bodied and I considered the strength to be medium as well.  As for the burn and the draw, you’d be hard pressed to find a better constructed cigar anywhere.

With a lofty name like God of Fire you might expect a powerhouse cigar but that isn’t the case here.  The cigar is smooth and elegant and easy smoking.  It is a pleasure from start to end, but it does carry a very steep price tag relegating this cigar to primarily be a special occasion smoke.  It is certainly something every cigar smoker should try at least once.

5th Anniversary Review: Cohiba Robusto Reserva (2003) Wednesday, Jun 23 2010 

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Country: Cuba

Today my humble little blog turns a whopping 5 years old. In internet years that is old. Sites on the internet come and go like leaves in the wind and it seems to be especially true of cigar related blogs. Considering that, I am rather proud of my little corner of the internet and how long it has managed to hang on, or more accurately perhaps; how long I have managed to hang on and stay committed to keeping this thing going. So today I celebrate 5 years of cigar reviews and mediocre writing with a very special smoke that my readers helped me to pick. During the first half of June I posted a poll asking my readers to help me decide which cigar I should review to mark this special milestone. There were 5 stellar cigars to choose from and in the end the Tatuaje Reserva SW Maduro was just barely edged out by an equally special Cohiba Robusto Reserva from 2003. So here we go, to celebrate Matt’s Cigar Journal’s 5 Year Anniversary, I give you the Cohiba Robusto Reserva…

In 2003 Habanos, SA release a special edition box of Cohiba cigars.  It was the Cohiba Selección Reserva and it contained 30 cigars in an assortment of sizes including six robusto sized cigars.  To see photos and get all the vital statistic of the cigars that came in this box check out the Cuban Cigar Website by clicking here.  I find it a very useful reference for information on Cuban cigars.  My sample was very generously given to me by Brother of the Leaf who happened to own a bar in Denmark.  I had always hoped to make it over there and check out his bar and smoke a cigar with him but as it happens we have lost touch and I am not sure where he is anymore.  I have been saving this very special cigar for a special occasion and I am happy to be finally putting it to flame in celebration of 5 years of blogging about my passion for fine hand made cigars.

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This Cohiba has a very classic looking wrapper like light brown leather.  It is adorned with a normal Cohiba band and a second black and gold band displaying the Reserva designation.  The draw is absolutely perfect.  I used Gordon Mott’s  “Three Match Technique” to get the cigar lit.  Right from the very start this cigar is smooth and buttery.  There were creamy notes of vanilla and hint of citrus with a nice floral aroma.  It wasn’t long before it starts to change up.  The flavors became woody and leathery with a bit of spice and I started to get a bit of salt and pepper on the lips.  The aroma is still very floral.  Underneath it all is that classic Cuban earthiness and twang.  Half way through and this is already one of the most amazing cigars I have smoked.  There are flavors I can’t even figure out how to identify.  As I made my way through the smoke the cigar kept changing.  there were flavors of coffee, nuts, vanilla, honey, fruit, leather, and more.   There was lots of that Cuban earthiness mixed in as well and the cigar went from sweet to spicy and back to sweet, the flavors always smooth and creamy on the palate.  The flavors were full and rich but never overpowering and it had only a mild nicotine punch.  The cigar was an absolute joy to smoke from start to finish.  I can’t imagine a better choice of cigar to celebrate my blogs 5 Year Anniversary.

Nestor Miranda Special Selection Coffee Break Saturday, May 29 2010 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Dominican
Size: Rothschild 4.5″ x 50 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

The Nestor Miranda Special Selection changed quite a bit from its original incarnation when Nestor Miranda of Miami Cigar & Co. asked Don Pepin Garcia to re-blend and make this cigar for him.  I don’t know much about this cigar before Pepin got his hands on it.  The coffee break is supposed to be a smaller more convenient format for the highly touted, and very large Danno which is Nestor’s 20th Anniversary cigar also blended and made by Pepin.  Surprisingly, there is absolutely no mention what so ever of the Special Selection cigars on the Miami Cigar & Co. website.  Why do so many cigar companies fail at the simple task of keeping their websites up to date?  It seems to be an annoying fact of life for cigar lovers who crave information.  Cigar companies seem loathe to part with it.

Dressed in a dark brown leather jacket of a wrapper leaf it looks grainy and has small veins spider-ing across its surface.  The band is simple and elegant, and after clipping the excellently applied cap a quick test of the draw reveals perfection and a rich preview of whats to come.  Although there is none of the infamous “Pepin Black Pepper”, the cigar is very Pepin-esque and leaves no doubt as to who blended this smoke.  The Nicaraguan tobacco seems to dominate at the start with lots of rich earth notes complimented by leather and coffee.  Once you get about half way in it starts to develop some Honduran spice and some nutty undertones of raw almond or maybe walnuts.  The last third is spicy and earthy with a slightly sweet finish.  I found this cigar to have an almost Tatuaje like nature to it which of course only makes me like it even more.  It is an excellent smoke and I enjoyed the size.  It is a convenient afternoon smoke and I plan to keep a handful of these in stock at all times.  I can see me reaching for one of these whenever I can’t make up my mind on what I want to smoke.  It will compete heavily with the Oliva V Belicoso in that role for me.

Perdomo Reserve Criollo 10th Anniversary Wednesday, Apr 21 2010 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Cuban-Seed Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Robusto 5.0″ x 54 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Celebrating 10 years of the Perdomo Reserve line of cigars, Tabacalera Perdomo released the 10th Anniversary Edition sometime last year (if memory serves).  Dressed in a smooth and oily cuban-seed Criollo wrapper the 10th Anniversary is a good looking cigar.  They are available in five sizes:

  • Figurado 5.75″ x 56
  • Robusto 5.0″ x 54
  • Epicure 6.0″ x 54
  • Churchill 7.0″ x 54
  • Torpedo 7.0″ x 54

Today I am smoking the beefy little robusto.  The ring gauge is a little large for my tastes and feel awkward to smoke, but the draw was excellent.  I don’t normally think of a five inch cigar as being all that short, but this one felt shorter than it was because of the HUGE 10th anniversary band.  It was so big I had to take it off before I started smoking it.  Luckily it came off very easily and did no damage ot the wrapper.  Upon lighting the cigar I am greeted by a creamy and decadent aroma the goes perfectly with the smooth, creamy, and buttery flavors of toasted almond, cafe au lait and wood.  The flavors were a contradiction, rich yet at the same time mild in body.  All this was nicely balanced with a light spice on the finish.  The smoke builds in body as I progressed through the cigar.  Eventually the creaminess subsided replaced by more woodsy flavors and spice.  Disaster struck in the last third when I heard a “crack” and the saw the wrapper begin to fall apart.  I don’t know what happened because up to this point the smoke was perfect in almost every way, draw, burn, ash, flavors, you name it.  I did what I could to hold the cigar together so I could finish it.  I was really enjoying it and I managed to keep it smokable until I was done with it.  I have smoked my share of Perdomo cigars and construction has never been an issue so I’d just chalk this incident up to a bit of bad luck and I consider it a fluke.

There have been a few occasions lately where I have found myself very pleasantly surprised by Criollo cigars and I can add this one to that list.  I thought it was an excellent, very smooth and enjoyable cigar that starts off mild and builds into a nice medium bodied smoke.  This one is definitely worth a try.

My Father Le Bijou 1922 Petite Robusto Wednesday, Apr 14 2010 

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Country: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Petite Robusto 4.5″ x 50 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

The My Father Le Bijou 1922 is an extension of the My Father line which was created by Jose Pepin Garcia’s Son Jamie to honor his father Pepin.  Well Pepin created the Le Bijou himself to honor his father, Jamie’s grand father.  Le Bijou means The Jewel and the 1922 is Pepin’s father’s birth year.  It is a good looking cigar.  The wrapper has a dry matte finish to it and it looks like a carved piece of dark wood.  This is another cigar that sports 2 cigar bands.  They are ornate, and beautiful, and large which is odd looking on this petite robusto as most of its length is covered up by the two bands.  Though dual bands have become a bit of an annoyance for me lately as they have become more commonplace; on a positive note the bands on the Le bijou always come off very easily and I have not had one yet that damaged the wrapper.  Because this vitola is so short and the bands are so large, you really need to remove one if not both of the bands before you smoke it.  Again, annoying but not too much so since they do come off easily.

All of the minor annoyances with the bands are quickly forgotten when you light this little “jewel” up.  It starts off with very full and robust, meaty flavors and a peppery kick. It then mellows out a bit and there are notes of wood and earth balanced nicely with a bit of mocha and subtle fruit notes.  There is a creamy characteristic to the flavors as well.  As the smoke progressed into the nub (flavor country) there is lots of spice and those rich meaty flavors return as well.  I literally burned my fingertips a little smoking this cigar down as far as I could before it just started to hurt a little too much.

The cigar smoked well with a good draw and a nice even burn though I did need to make one small correction. After that the burn was problem free.  The ash held well but was a bit papery on the edges and it produced lots and lots of thick white smoke and a strong room bouquet that I found very pleasant.  This full bodied little cigar has earned a spot on my list of box purchase worthy smokes.

Here are a few more takes on this smoke from the blogsphere…

Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserve Robusto Wednesday, Mar 31 2010 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
Size: Robusto 5.0″x54 Ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Made in Honduras with mostly Nicaraguan tobacco, the Habana Reserve is unique in the prolific number of lines in the Romeo  y Julieta portfolio.  I believe, but am admittedly not certain, that this is the only one that is not made in the Dominican Republic.  It is a handsome cigar with a good looking oily wrapper that has the look of leather.  Constrction of the cigar seems to be high quality.  The wrapper is neatly applied as is the double cap.  The draw is ideal and the cigar is firm and well filled.

The Habana Reserve is purported to be RyJ’s most robust offering.  That may well be the case but it is far from being a full bodied smoke and perhaps speaks to just how mild the other lines are.  I am ok with calling it a medium bodied smoke, but it lacks a lot of the oomph I expect from a cigar made of mostly Nicaraguan tobacco.  I am just not getting that Nicaraguan earthiness.  If i didn’t know there was Nicaraguan tobacco in the cigar and was smoking it blind, I’d probably guess it was a Dominican cigar.  The flavors are pleasant enough, woody and floral, but they are a little thin.  As the smoke progressed it developed a little more body making it more enjoyable if not any more interesting. Towards the end it developed a bit of a peppery bite and a hint of that earthiness I was looking for but was missing almost the entire time.

This smoke is a bit one dimensional and doesn’t hold much for the seasoned smoker.  However, it is a smooth pleasant cigar that could be enjoyed by the beginner or occasional smoker.

Davidoff Special ‘R’ Tuesday, Feb 9 2010 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: USA Connecticut Shade
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: Robusto 47/8x50 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

The name Davidoff is nearly synonymous with luxury.  The name also has a reputation for quality and excellence.  There is a lot of great information about the man and the company on their website Davidoff.com.  One other commonly held perception of Davidoff is mild cigars and there are many smokers in the cigar community that mistake “mild” to mean “flavorless”.  The Special <<R>> is the first Davidoff cigar I have had the pleasure of trying.  No matter what line of Davidoff Cigars you might be interested in, the fact is they are all pretty expensive, almost universally costing more than $10 a piece.  With my predisposition towards strong robust cigars, I admit that I allowed their mild reputation and lofty price tag keep me away up until now.

I have a friend who is a fan of Davidoff and more precisely their blender Henke Kelner.  I have listened to him rail against the the idea that Davidoff only makes mild cigars and one of the lines he liked to use as an example of a more robust offering is the “Special” line of Davidoff cigars.  So I was happy to receive this particular Davidoff from CigarsDirect.com for one of my February reviews.  The Special <<R>> is not a mild cigar.  I found it to be a solid medium bodied smoke with robust flavors balanced by excellent subtleties making for an engaging smoke.  A core of smooth and chewy flavors of espresso and earth were complemented by more subtle notes of oak and nuts and an almost buttery feel on the palate.  At times I picked up flashes of slightly sweet, almost caramel like notes on the finish.  The construction was exquisite with a prefect burn, nice ash, and a spot on draw.  I found the Davidoff Special <<R>> to be a very enjoyable, elegant smoke.

Cabaiguan Maduro RX Monday, Sep 28 2009 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Dark Natural Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Robusto 5.25″ x 50 ring

The Cabaiguan (kah-bei-gWAHN) is probably my absolute favorite Connecticut Shade cigar.  Not really mild, it is more of a medium bodied smoke with light yet assertive flavors.  I have been wanting to try the maduro version for a long while and I have finally got around to it.  Sometimes with the sheer volume of different cigars out there it is hard to get to everything you want to try.  Any way, from what I was able to find with some internet searches, it appears the Cabaiguan Maduro isn’t even really a maduro in the traditional sense.  According to Tatuaje’s site and I saw it again on a retailers site, the wrapper on this cigar is a naturally dark sun grown broadleaf wrapper.  If that sound familiar to you then you are probably familiar with the La Riqueza line of cigars from Tatuaje.  The wrapper for that cigar is described the exact same way.  So is it the same wrapper?  I have no idea, but I wasn’t able to find a wealth of information on the Cabaiguan maduro and what I did find wasn’t necessarily authoritative.  I suppose I could have dropped an email to Havana Cellars and get some details straight from the source but I didn’t.  Looking at the cigar I would guess that this wrapper is related at best but would not guess it is the same as those used on the La Riqueza.  This wrapper is much nicer looking.  The La Riquezas always look rough and lumpy and ugly.  This wrapper has a slight tooth and is generally smoother with an oily sheen.  If it is the same or related, the Cabaiguan got the pick of the litter.  it is still a rustic looking wrapper but it is much prettier than the La Riquezas I have seen.  One other item of note on the dressing if the Cabaiguan Maduro.  It has the same band used on the Cabaiguan Guapos which is a Nicaraguan natural sun grown wrapped cigar of a much lighter shade than these broadleaf maduros.

Right off the bat I could tell this isn’t really a Maduro.  Notes of dark chocolate and coffee bean are complimented by a tart sun grown twang that is one of my favorite things about a natural sun grown broadleaf wrapper.  The Tartness was the dominate flavor for the entire smoke.  I also picked up notes of cedar and a very subtle sweetness.  Overall not a terribly complex cigar but very robust and enjoyable.  If you are a fan of that sun grown twang then you’ll love this cigar because you get a lot of it.  Although I wouldn’t call this smoke a favorite, I definitely like it for an occasional change of pace especially when I am craving a sun grown.

Rating – B

Casa Magna Colorado Torito Tuesday, Sep 22 2009 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Short Robusto 4.75″ x 60 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Cigar Aficionado named the Casa Magna Colorado #1 on their Top 25 Cigars of 2008 (specifically the robusto).  They did so with a very controversial explanation, stating that the price point of the cigar played a large role in its selection due to the state of the economy. That sparked off a ton of impassioned debate across the cigar smoker world about what should or should not factor into proclaiming a cigar as the #1 cigar of the year.  Where ever you come down on that debate, the general consensus seems to be that the Casa Magna is a decent to very good cigar that carries a reasonable price tag.  Somehow I have managed to fail to get around to trying the Casa Magna up til this point, but today I fired up the beefy Torito to see what I think of this much debated #1 cigar of 2008.

There has been a ton of stuff written on this line of cigars given the hype and controversy that surrounded it earlier this year.  There are lots of places that detail the specifics of the cigar and its makers so I am going to save myself the trouble of rehashing it all here.  You’ve probably already have read all about it, and if not you’ll find the information is easy to locate with a quick google search.  So no more fluff, on to the review…

This short fat robusto is a handsome specimen.  Girthy yet elegant looking in its ornate band and oily rosado colored wrapper.  It’s like a football player in formal wear.  The cap is a little sloppy but that isn’t uncommon in my experience when dealing with these huge ring gauges so we can forgive it.  The filler looks like it is littered with several thick rib veins, another pitfall of a 58+ ring gauge.  it takes a lot of tobacco to create a cigar this thick and I guess you can’t be too picky when trying to get that much tobacco in it.  Hopefully it will not adversely effect the cigar.

The draw is very good and the burn surprisingly even for such a thick cigar.  It burns slow and cool which is certainly a plus.  The flavors seem a bit muted and hard to pick out.  I got notes of white pepper and some musty earthiness and a slight oakiness at times.  It was a fairly smooth smoke, creamy at times but not very dynamic.  I think perhaps that this blend does a lot better in a smaller vitola, but that is just a guess on my part.  It seems to me that some of its complexity and at the very least the core of its flavors get diluted and lost in the abundance of tobacco crammed into this monster.  This cigar intrigued me enough to want to try a more traditional size like the corona.  The Torito however leaves a little to be desired.  Besides, a 60 ring gauge is just so awkward to smoke and that doesn’t help any either.  It is a decent smoke though and those that enjoy big beefy cigar will probably enjoy the Torito.

Rating – B

Some other takes on the Casa Magna:

Tatuaje Reserva Regios Tuesday, Jun 30 2009 

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Country: USA
Wrapper: Sun Grown Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Robusto 5.5″ x 50 ring

This year hasn’t been as prolific with the new cigars like last year was, but 2009 has brought a few new things from my favorite brand of cigars, Tatuaje.  This year there are two new additions to the Tatuaje Reserva line of cigars.  Two of my favorite Tatuaje Brown Label vitolas now have a Reserva version, the Noellas and the Regios.  The Regios will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the first Tatuaje I had ever smoked, and it was the first vitola in the brand that I purchased an entire box of.  So when I heard that the Regios was being used for a new Reserva I was predictably excited.  The Reserva Noellas and the Reserva Regios use a different wrapper than the standard version.  The regulars have a Corojo wrapper, but the Reservas use a sun grown broadleaf wrapper.  If that sounds familiar it is because that is the wrapper used on the ultra-limited  Monster Series Tatuaje, “The Frank”.  In fact, these two new Reservas have been dubbed “mini monsters”.  You may also feel a tickle of deja vu hearing about the Reserva Noellas.  That is because there was a Reserva Noellas once before.  Back in 2006 a very few select retailers received without warning a one time run of Noellas that has a Reserva  label on the box.  There wasn’t a Reserva band on the cigars though.  These were the first incarnation of the Reserva Noellas and they were a one time run of 200 boxes or so (couldn’t find the exact number).  This original version was also referred to as a Noellas Oscuro, but I will talk more on that in the near future……

So a quick recap of the current Tatuaje Reserva line.  We have the:

  • Reserva SW – Churchill with a Corojo Wrapper
  • Reserva “A” Uno – “A” size with a Corojo Wrapper
  • Reserva J21 – Robusto with a Ligero Corojo Wrapper
  • Reserva Noellas – Corona with a Sun Grown Broadleaf Wrapper
  • Reserva Regios – Robusto with a Sun Grown Broadleaf Wrapper

The moniker “little monster” seems appropriate if you hold the Reserva Regios side by side with a Frank.  The wrappers are identical and it really does look like a smaller version of the Frank in appearance.  It’s a dark, oily, and toothy wrapper  with just a couple prominent veins running it’s length.  It is topped with an expertly applied triple cap like all the Tatuaje cigars.  Construction is very rarely an issue with a Tatuaje and this cigar is superbly put together with a perfect draw and a nice heft.  It is dressed in the standard brown Tatujae label accompanied by a second black and gold Reserva band.

The Reserva Regios starts off a little different than the Frank or most any other Tatuaje.  it lacks that blast of black pepper I’ve come to expect every time I light up a Tatuaje.  Instead it  begins with a mellow spice and a slight sweetness that is common with a sun grown broadleaf wrapper.  It is very, very reminiscent of the Frank.  It starts to pick up quickly, its strong sun grown “twang” is accompanied by notes of leather and wood.  It has an amazingly slow cool burn that allows the flavors to have amazing depth and balance.  It gets more and more robust as I make my way through the length of the cigar.  The “twang” remains the core of the flavors ad it is complimented by strong notes of leather, wood, earth, and spices.   Each draw delivers a something a little different than the last.  This was an amazing smoke.  Delicious, complex, and an absolute joy to smoke.  It starts off medium bodied and a little mellow and it just escalates in body and power as you smoke it, finishing off as a robust, full bodied treat.  This cigar is an absolute “must try”.

Rating – A+

For another take on this cigar check out “A Cigar Smokers Journal”
Also, Ben has a Reserva Regio In Hand

Update: For the sake of completeness there are a few Tatuaje Reservas that i left out on the list above. The reason for doing so was because two of them were one-time special runs and the third I admit I didn’t know about at the time I wrote this review and I am not sure if it is a one-time run or not, but it is limited to one specific retailer. So the three missing Reservas are…

  • Reserva Noellas 2006 (Oscuro)
  • Reserva SW Maduro
  • Reserva Petite Tatuaje

The Noellas I mentioned above and will talk more on in a future review.  The SW Maduro was a special release sold by one shop out west.  Pete made the cigar as a kind of memorial for a fallen friend.  The proceeds or some portion of them went to benefit that friends family.  The Petite Reserva appears at the moment to be made for one specific online retailer.  I have no additional information on that one at this point.

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