A. Fuente 8-5-8 Rosado Tuesday, Jun 7 2011 

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Country: Domincan Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Rosado
Binder: Dominican
Filler: ?? Same as the other 8-5-8’s whatever that comprises
Size:  6.0′ x 47 ring

Fuente 8-5-8’s generate a lot of conversation among avid cigar smokers.  The Natural, bleh…  The Maduro, eh….   The Sungrown, heck yeah!!…  The Rosado, Woo-hoo!!! Gimme some!!

That is generally how it goes but can vary depending upon who you are talking to.  I do enjoy the black ribbon Sungrowns when I can find them, but even rarer than those are the 8-5-8 Rosados.  When it is Fuente and it is rare, it generates buzz.  For this cigar it is warranted.  It is a really fantastic smoke.  It highlights how dramatically a good wrapper can impact the overall experience of a blend.  As far as I know all the Flor Fina 8-5-8 cigars are the same blend of tobaccos in the filler.   If this is true this line of cigars is a good example to highlight the role a wrapper plays in the flavors of a cigar.

The 8-5-8 Rosado is smooth and delicious.  Floral notes are complimented by distinct flavors like cinnamon, and espresso.  There are also more robust flavors that develop later in the smoke like leather and spice, yet it always remains smooth with an almost creamy texture to it all.  This is a great cigar,  I wonder why it is that Fuentes best stuff always has to be rare and hard to find.  The cynic in me says to keep prices and sales up.  But I don’t know if the wrapper is just hard to come by or what.  I just wish they would make some of their better stuff a little easier to find.  I have grown disenchanted with the brand and no longer feel the need to go out of my way to constantly chase down these special releases even though I feel like I am missing out from time to time.

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Illusíone Singularé 2010 Phantom Tuesday, May 24 2011 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.0′ x 50 ring

The Phantom is the 2010 version of Illusione’s Limited Edition “Singularé” cigar line. It is a refined looking toro with a handsome wrapper that has the look of fine leather. It is a mild to medium bodied smoke.  Not much spice to be found here which is unusual of a cigar that uses all Nicaraguan tobacco. It starts off light and mild with creamy flavors of cedar and toasted tobacco with a subtle bit of earthiness. Eventually it picks up a bit. The flavors are consistent but develop more body and there is an added floral undertone and a bit of sweetness that adds some complexity. This was an excellent smoke and a very different profile for Illusione.  I found it to be even lighter and more mild that some of the Epernay line. Still mild doesn’t mean flavorless as this stick had plenty to offer. I feel like I use this word a lot when talking about various cigars from Illusione, but it fits so I’ll use it again… Elegant. This cigar has a very refined and elegant feel to it. Grab some if you can still find them.

Macanudo Reserva Dorada 2010 Tuesday, Apr 12 2011 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: 1997 Vintage Maduro
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Nicaraguan, Brazilian and Dominican
Size: Toro 6.0″ x 54 ring

The Macanudo Reserva Dorada is a dark maduro with an earthy aroma and a shiny metal band.  It is an eye catcher on the shelves.  I have to be honest.  I am not a fan of Macanudo in general (although I was recently impressed by the new Gran Cru), but when I saw this cigar with that big metal ring on it, I had to buy it just to try and also to have that band.  For what I don’t know but i had to have so I guess the gimmick worked.  The flavors are mild and classic maduro, a slight sweetness with chocolate an coffee flavors.  The flavors were a little thin though with not much body to speak of.  The draw was a little looser than I prefer but it did produce plenty of thick aromatic smoke.  The burn was a little tricky at time requiring one or two touch ups and the ash was very loose and flaky so I had to keep an ash tray near by.

The final verdict, while it was an OK smoke, it was too mild for my tastes and too thin in the body department.  The ash was kind of troublesome too.  However, the flavors were good and in the end I guess I enjoyed enough to be happy with the purchase though I probably won’t be looking to smoke another.  However, if you like mild smokes and that classic maduro sweet flavor, this cigar is right in your wheel house.

La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Tabaqueros Toro Monday, Feb 7 2011 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade/Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Unknown
Filler: Dominican and Honduran
Size: Toro 6.0″ x 50 ring

This one is a bit gimmicky but it does exactly what it is advertised to do.  This cigar uses two wrappers, a Connecticut Shade wrapper at the foot with an abrupt transition to an Ecuadorian grown Sumatran wrapper for about the last 2/3rds of the cigar.  It starts off fairly mild with creamy coffee notes and a bit of hay and then picks up in strength and body once you hit the Sumatran wrapper where there is a bit of pepper and leather and earth with a what I thought was a slightly overbearing finish.  Maybe even a little harsh at times.  I found it to be a well made cigar.  The burn was amazingly slow.  It took a long time to smoke this Toro.  I’d rate this stogie overall as “good”.

There was something about the two wrapper setup and that transition from the mild smoke to a more medium bodied experience that I am unsure about.  I cannot put my finger on it, but it is different from the changes and nuances of a well blended and complex cigar that only uses one wrapper.  I’ve struggled with it but haven’t come up with a good explanation for my feeling on it. Still, this LGC is a decent smoke and the gimmick is legit and so it it is worth trying at least once for the experience.

Avo Heritage Toro Monday, Jan 31 2011 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sungrown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: Toro 6.0 x 50 ring

The Heritage is a full-bodied offering from AVO.  That probably surprises a lot of folks as AVO cigars are generally known to all be mild to medium bodied smokes.  This cigar shares the same wrapper leaf as my all time favorite AVO the Compañero, also known as the LE09.  Since it sports the same wrapper, not surprisingly it shares some similarities with that smoke. It has that same exotic spice at the start and it comes on strong.  The flavors are full and rich with earthy notes of must and cocoa, balanced with creamy flavors of nuts and oak/wood.  The flavors are definitely AVO, but it comes in a non-typical robust delivery with a bit of strength behind it as well. By the time I finished this smoke, I found myself wanting to go and light up another.  This is a stellar cigar.

Ashton VSG Wizard Tuesday, Jul 20 2010 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: Toro 6.0″ x 56 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

There isn’t much left that hasn’t been said about the Ashton VSG.  It is an extremely popular line of cigars made for Ashton by the Fuentes.  If you are new to the VSG, then surf on over to my review of the VSG Sorcerer and read the background info on this smoke there.

The Wizard is the largest of the VSG family at least as far as the ring gauge goes. It is also one of the very few vitolas that does not sport a box press.  It uses the same dark and leathery Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrapper as the rest of the line.  Long time readers of my blog already know that I am not a fan of this large of a ring gauge on a cigar.  I feel that the Wizard is a prime example of why that is.  All the wonderful flavors that you’d expect from a VSG are muted and muddled in this format.  There are still notes of earth and leather and sweet spice but they are not as sharp or intense.  The cigar overall is milder and weaker than the other vitolas in the line.  It is a good cigar in a line of great cigars which makes it a bit of a disappointment for me.  Of course, YMMV.

My Father No.3 Cremas Friday, Jul 2 2010 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Cremas 6.0″ x 49 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

So as the story goes, Pepin’s son Jamie had a secret project he was working on.  He was creating a cigar in tribute to his father and he was doing it behind Pepin’s back.  He managed to keep it a secret up until he was nearly finished with it and when Pepin found out about it he told his son to give him three cigars which he promptly smoked and loved.  That is the Birth Story of My Father Cigars.  The cigar is made up up of tobacco from the Garcia’s own farms for the binder and filler, and the wrapper is a lovely and oily Habano leaf grown in Ecuador by the Oliva Tobacco family.

The My Father line of cigars is available in four sizes:

  • No.1 Robusto 5.2″ x 52
  • No.2 Belicoso 5.2″ x 54
  • No.3 Cremas 6.0″ x 49
  • No.4 Lancero 7.5″ x 38

In addition to these cigars there have been a couple of line extensions added to the brand including the My Father Cedros Deluxe and Le Bijou 1922.  The original My Father is an beautiful looking cigar with a large ornate band and a smooth and oily colorado claro wrapper.   The No. 3 Cremas is an interesting vitola to be because of the unique style of the head of the cigar.  It comes to a very short taper, almost like it was going to be a belicoso and then someone just stopped the taper and completed the cap.  The result is reminiscent of the fumas style nipple but in truth this is quite different from that.  I found I really like this style from both a look and feel perspective.  The slight taper was comfortable when smoking and it thought it was unique and pleasant looking.

I found the cigar to be very pleasant and more mild than just about any other DPG smoke I’ve tried.  There was lots of coffee bean and dry wood on the palate and the flavors had a creamy texture to them.  The aroma produced by the smoke was elegant, and floral.  The last third of the cigar was more robust with a mild spice and some leather and occasional flashes of black pepper.  The burn was impeccable and the draw perfect.  The ash was a little loose and flaky so I had to ash often, but otherwise I had no complaints for this excellent cigar.

Avo Compañero (LE09) Thursday, Apr 29 2010 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Cuban Seed Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Three types of Dominican Ligero and a Peruvian Seco leaf
Size: Toro 6.0″ x 54 ring

The Compañero is Mr. U’s 83rd Birthday Cigar.  Most everyone who is into cigars knows that every year Avo releases a Limited Edition cigar to celebrate Mr. Avo Uvezian’s birthday.   Last year in April of 2009 I had th honor of attending one of his many birthday parties.  Even at 83 Mr.U is still touring the country celebrating his birthday with his fans.  At this celebration I picked up a box of the LE09’s [l-ee-oh-nines] as they are also known as. 320x240Mr U was gracious enough to sign the box for me.  The party was a lot of fun and many great cigars were smoked, the greatest of which was the Compañero.  I decided that night that the LE09 would become my son’s birthday cigar…  that is, it would be the cigar I smoked to celebrate my son’s birthday in April each year until my box was gone (there are 10 cigars in a box).  As it turned out, I was sick this year for my son’s birthday so I decided to hold off and smoke the cigar to celebrate both his and my birthday, which happens to be today.  So Happy Birthday to me.

It is a handsome cigar with a dark wrapper and a good draw.  It starts off with a blast of pepper followed up by earth, leather, and spice.  Easily the most robust Avo I have ever smoked, it does mellow a little as you near the second third of the cigar and develops notes of coffee and cream and a bit of  wood/cedar.  There is also a subtle sweetness now that may have been hidden by that initial onslaught of rich and peppery flavors.  In the last third it really picks up again with lots of leather and earth and it finally starts to exhibit that tell-tale Kelner mustiness that is often associated with Avo cigars. It has a bit of pepper on the finish at this point as well.

The Compañero is a great smoke and easily my favorite Avo of them all.  I look forward to next April when I smoke my next one.

Redux: Liga Privada T52 by Drew Estate Friday, Mar 19 2010 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Stalk Cut Sungrown Habano
Binder: Brazilian
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Honduran
Size: Toro 6.0″x52 Ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Drew Estate has been making quite the splash as of late on the cigar world and especially in the online cigar community and it is not for a type of cigar you would typically associate with the brand.  Recently they have had two very successful and very well received lines of cigars and they are not flavored or infused in any way.  They are traditional cigars and they are sold under the name Liga Privada.  First came the No.9 and most recently the T52 which a lot of cigar smokers are raving about.  Not that long ago I was able to smoke and review a pre-production version of the T52.  Specifically “blend #3” which was supposedly selected as the final blend for what would become the production version of the T52.  Now I have heard second and third had, that Drew Estate actually tweaked that final blend a bit at the last minute using a hybrid of the pre-production blends #3 and #4.  I have no idea how accurate that is if at all but I heard it said often enough that I thought it worth mentioning.

Since I smoked that pre-production version of the T52 I have been looking forward to revisiting the smoke in its final off the shelf incarnation.  I was very surprised by that first T52 and thought it to be a stellar cigar.  You can read my review of it by clicking here.  One of the unique features of this cigar is it’s wrapper.   It is a one of kind wrapper leaf not used on any other cigar.  It is grown in Connecticut and it is harvested in a unique fashion.  You can read all about it in that review of the pre-production stick.

Visually this cigar is just as beautiful as the pre-production version.  Dark and oily, and virtually flawless.  This one was a little different in the flavor department though, and that is not a bad thing.  This T52 starts off with very full and robust meaty flavors.  You feel like you just sat down and began eating a four course meal.  It was wonderful, but I knew if it kept up for the entire smoke it would be too much.  Thankfully it calmed down a bit after the first inch or two.  The I was treated to rich and decadent notes of chocolate and espresso with the occasional flash of licorice.   I don’t recall ever smoking a cigar with such a distinct chocolaty flavor to it.  It would switch back and forth between the thick meaty flavors and the slightly lighter chocolate and espresso.  Towards the end it became very full and robust again with a bit of black pepper on the finish.  I smoked this one down to the nub.  Construction was absolute perfection .  Perfect burn, perfect draw, perfect ash.  I don’t think you could construct a cigar any better than this. I have to say I enjoyed the T52 immensely and found it to be even better than I remember the pre-production blend #3 to be.  This is a must try for any lover of stout, full bodied cigars.  It has earned a spot on my “Matt’s Favs” list.

H.Upmann Vintage Cameroon Toro Tuesday, Feb 23 2010 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan and Peruvian
Size: Toro 6.0″x54 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

H. Upmann is a cigar brand with a rich Cuban heritage. Like most American cigar smokers, I have very little experience with that storied version of the brand. Instead the H. Upmann I know best is made in the Dominican Republic. Back when I was just a fledgling cigar smoker, Upmann’s were listed among my favorites. I thought of them as a very reasonably price, excellent quality, medium to mild smoke. As I gained more experience and my palate developed, I quickly lost my taste for them. That is except for one particular line. Even after I moved on from H. Upmann to other more dynamic and robust smokes, I still continued to enjoy the H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon. At that point in my cigar smoking career I had developed a fondness for the Cameroon wrapper and the Upmann was one I continued to enjoy along with the Torano 1916 and others. Eventually I moved on from my Cameroon kick and thus stopped smoking even this line of Upmann’s. A recent conversation about Cameroon cigars brought back memories of this particular cigar and I decided I wanted to revisit it again as it has been a while since I have enjoyed one of the Vintage Cameroons.

The Dominican H. Upmann brand is owned by the tobacco giant Altadis, USA who also happens to be a stake holder in the Cuban cigar company Habanos, S.A. The Cameroon wrapper conceals a Nicaraguan binder an a three country blend of long filler from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Peru. It is excessively adorned with three bright red bands and a cedar sleeve. There are just bunches of opportunities to ruin the wrapper here as you get the cigar ready to smoke. I happen to share my friend Jamie’s view on this. One band is enough, simpler is better. The more things you are gluing around a cigar the more chances there is for that glue to get on the wrapper and bring disaster as you remove them just to get the cigar into a smokable state. I did manage to get my sample unwrapped with the wrapper leaf unharmed so now on to the smoke.

The Upmann wrapper isn’t as toothy as a lot of Cameroons in my experience, but like most there are plenty of tiny veins crawling across its surface. The draw is good but the large ring gauge is awkward to me. I rarely smoke cigar this large anymore which I think makes it more noticeable to me. The burn is excellent, straight and slow and cool. The ash is a little flaky but not really a problem. My memory of this cigar is far better than the current reality. I remember enjoying this cigar a lot way back when I used to smoke them. Now it just seems flat to me. The flavor is nondescript and light, a very mild smoke. there is a hint of that sweet spice that I always liked from a Cameroon, but I think the large ring gauge and its accompanying large amounts of filler have muted it a bit making it barely detectable. Overall this smoke just doesn’t suit me any more. It is not a bad cigar, but it is just too mild and monolithic for my tastes. I have some fond memories of this cigar and perhaps that’s where this cigar will have to stay for me… A nice memory from my cigar smoking past.

Liga Privada No.9 Parejo Oscuro Wednesday, Sep 16 2009 

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…by Drew Estate
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Oscuro
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.0 x 52 ring

I want to start off on this review by thanking a very generous BOTL over at SocialCigar.com for giving me this cigar.  JohnLongIsland is a first class brother of the leaf and a 1st class individual as well.  John is a big supporter of my fundraising efforts for the Ride for Kids and his generosity is always very much appreciated.  He sent me a little gift a short while back that included this fine cigar.  Thanks John.

It seems to be a trend that has developed over the last year or so.  A cigar comes out and it is proclaimed as a private blend created just for the owner of the brand, or as a “personal blend” made for someone high ranking officer in the company, and now for the first time it is going to be made available to the public.  The Tatuaje Black Label is probably the highest profile example of one of these “private cigars made public”.  This one was supposedly made for Steve Saka of Drew Estate and was intended to be a strictly private stock cigar .  The “no.9” supposedly denotes that this cigar was the 9th blend in a series of prototypes made when creating this cigar.  I have no idea how or why it became available for public sale.  Truth or hype, I leave it to you to decide if you care to do so.  Truth is, it is kind of irrelevant in the end.  What matter is… Is it any good?

If nothing else, this cigar is beautiful to behold much like it’s newer brother, the soon to be release Liga Privada T52.  The wrapper has a naturally dark brown appearance with a silky, oily sheen.  It is toothy,  a little bumpy, and veiny, but the wrapper is so perfectly applied and the cigar is so handsome you cannot call it rustic.  Say what you will about Drew Estate and their reputation among cigar purists, but they make some of the most visually beautiful cigars you can buy.  Speaking of their reputation, although known primarily for flavored and infused cigars, the Liga Privada is a traditional offering from Drew Estate.  It is not flavored or infused, and it doesn’t use any non traditional tobacco like pipe tobaccos in its blend.  This is a straight-up stogie and an excellently constructed one at that.

The Liga Privada No.9 starts off smooth and rich with a nice meaty flavor.  It mellows a little once you get past the first inch or so.  At first I though this cigar was going to be a full bodied smoke, but as it turns out it isn’t quite that robust.  It is a solid medium bodied cigar that delivers nice flavors of chocolate and espresso with a little black pepper on the finish.  The construction could not be better with a perfect draw and a razor sharp burn.  The salt and pepper ash is a very well formed and holds firm for more than an inch before needing to be tapped.

Overall this is a really enjoyable smoke with some great, easily discernable flavors.  However, there isn’t much complexity here.  Once it settles in after that first inch, the cigar never really changes again so it ends up being a bit of a one dimensional smoke.  Still, what it does deliver is quite good.  I think this cigar makes for an excellent social smoke when you are looking for a tasty smoke that you may not be giving your full attention, but when you want that smoke to be  better than some yard ‘gar.

Rating – B

Some other takes:

Rocky Patel Sun Grown Toro Thursday, Jul 16 2009 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Brazilian, Dominican, and Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.5″ x52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Rocky Patel’s Sun Grown has been around for a while now.  It is unique in my opinion because it seems to be  universally respected among cigar smokers as a good, tasty, quality cigar.  Yet it doesn’t have any of the hype or pomp and circumstance around it that other widely respected cigars have, like the VSG or even the Oliva Serie V just as an example.  It seems to fly just below the radar, but ask someone about it and you will almost always here “That’s a great smoke, one of my favorite Rockys!”  Don’t ask about it, and you’ll probably never hear it mentioned.  That just strikes me as odd an unique.

This specimen sports a handsome looking, rustic, rosado colored wrapper.  It has a toothy, dry look to it.  Now, the RP Sun Grown Petite Corona is my hands down favorite vitola in this line.  I think is is an excellent smoke.  A robust, powerful little spice bomb.  I have enjoyed them so much over the years that it wasn’t until now that I have ever bothered to try another vitola, but this time I am smoking a toro.  It starts off with a bit of black pepper and a spiciness that is reminiscent of the Petite Corona only not quite as sharp or robust.  The flavors seem to be muted or muddled in the translation to the large ring gauge.  I get hints of the coffee, earth, and spice that I love in the Petite Corona, only they are faint and muddy and not as pronounced.  I was a bit disappointed with this one.  It seems to me the blend does much better in a smaller format.  Still it was an enjoyable cigar even though it didn’t live up to the standard set by its little brother.

Rating – B

Related Posts:

Redux: Olde World Reserve Corjo Toro by Rocky Patel Thursday, Jul 9 2009 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.5″ x 52 ring

My first try with Rocky’s Olde World Reserve Corojo was not the best of experiences.  An insanely loose draw and a hot burn ruined it for me.  Because of that I decided to hold off assigning a rating to the cigar.  I know a lot of people like to make a point of smoking two or three of a particular cigar before writing a review on it. They do this to try and normalize the experience so that they aren’t underrating it because of a fluke with a bad stick, or even overrating it because they happened to get an above average sample.  It is a valid and thorough approach, but one that I don’t use myself.  I take a different tact.  For me first impressions are king.  There are so many cigars out there to choose from and to try.  I give most cigars one shot to sell themselves to me.  Some might think that’s not particularly fair.  After all, cigars are hand made products and there is bound to be an occasional bad stick.  This is true and I try and account for that in a less systematic way than sampling multiple cigars for a review.  The Olde World Reserve Corojo is an example of this.  Normally, I’d have a bad experience, write off the cigar and move on.  But in the case here, I felt I obviously had an unusually bad specimen for my first review.  There were obvious construction issues and I also felt that the cigar showed some promise hidden behind the problems I was having with it.  So for that reason I felt I should give this cigar one more shot.  Another bad sample and I’d write it off as a poorly made line of cigars.  However, that isn’t what happened here.

My second try with Rocky’s Corojo version of the OWR was much better than the first.  The draw was 100% better this time around with just the right amount of resistance and the cigar had a very good even burn.  It burned a lot cooler this time as a result and I could now actually taste the flavors of the tobacco instead of just tasting the harsh heat of an overly hot burn.  The OWR Corojo started off smooth and mild with notes of nuts and coffee.  About a third of the way into it, the cigar developed more body and a slight edge.  The flavors were a bit muddled, mostly leather and earth and a peppery finish.  It never really changed again after that.  I found it to be a decent smoke but not really all that engaging.  It is a lot like the OWR Maduro in that respect.  I feel comfortable giving the Corojo a “B” now that I have smoked one sans construction issues.

Rating – B

Olde World Reserve Maduro Toro by Rocky Patel Wednesday, Jun 10 2009 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Costa Rican Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.5′ x 52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

The Olde World Reserve Maduro is a very dark cigar. Unnaturally so in my opinion. I won’t speculate on how it is that the wrapper leaf is this dark because I just don’t know, but it is oddly dark to me. It’s a bumpy wrapper almost pitch black in color. The foot is wrapped in a dark brown paper adorned with the Rocky Patel “RP” logo and the head is decorated with an off white band trimmed in gold. The sport a pretty severe box press, and you can get them in a box of 20 or a cedar chest of 50 cigars. They are also available with a handsome, milk chocolate Corojo wrapper which I reviewed last week and they come in three basic sizes. Unfortunately (to me anyway) they are sizes that have become cliche in the US:

  • Robusto 5.5″ x 54 ring
  • Toro 6.5″ x 52 ring
  • Torpedo 5.0″ x 54 ring

The draw on this OWR is a little loose for my tastes, but thankfully not as bad as the OWR Corojo I reviewed last week.  That draw was so loose I think it ruined that cigar.  The maduro at least had some light resistance on the draw and it burned a good bit cooler.  After a spicy, peppery start on the first few puffs, I started to get some very nice espresso notes mixed with some leather.  The flavors quickly became muddled though.  Occasionally I picked up hints of sweetness typical of most maduros.  Otherwise the cigar didn’t do much and stayed consistent throughout.  A little one dimensional the cigar was pleasant but not very interesting.  Medium bodied with a good burn, the construction is very good like most Rocky cigars.

Rating – B

Olde World Reserve Corojo Toro by Rocky Patel Wednesday, Jun 3 2009 

Country:  Honduras
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder:  Nicaraguan
Filler:  Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.5″ x 52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

The Olde World Reserve Corojo is a handsome looking cigar.  It’s smooth wrapper is milk chocolate in color.  The foot is wrapped in a dark brown paper adorned with the Rocky Patel “RP” logo and the head is decorated with a dark brown band trimmed in gold.  The sport a pretty severe box press, and you can get them in a box of 20 or a cedar chest of 50 cigars.  They are also available with a very dark Maduro wrapper which I will review next week and they come in three basic sizes.  Unfortunately (to me anyway) they are sizes that have become cliche in the US:

  • Robusto 5.5″ x 54 ring
  • Toro 6.5″ x 52 ring
  • Torpedo 5.0″ x 54 ring

This corojo has a nice rich tobacco aroma which got my hopes up.  Then after clipping the head, my test draw revealed an extremely loose draw that tempered those hopes quite a bit.  I lit the cigar and drawing on it was like sucking air through a giant straw.  It provided no resistance at all which made me worry it would burn way to hot so I made a point to go slow and sip at this cigar.  Despite my diligence the draw was a little problematic.  I occasionaly got very bitter and harsh blasts to my palatte that I attributed to the cigar heating up too much.  In between there were some very pleasant notes of nuts and coffee but they were sometimes occompanied by a sour finish.  If there was any complexity to this cigar at all it was lost with problems I had in keeping it from overheating.  I have one more of these in my humidor so I’ll give it one more shot even though I didn’t see much promise in this cigar even when I was able to taste anything other than the bitter harshness.  If my next go with this cigar proves to be better I’ll post a Redux Review.  If I were to rate it now I’d give it a D and first impressions are hard to overcome, but I’ll refrain from officially rating for now to try and be fair.  With a better draw I think the cigar could score a little better than that.

Rating Deferred

Update: I revisited the OWR Corojo. Read about it here.

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