Salomones VA by Patoro
Salo­mo­nes VA by Patoro

Yes­ter­day evening it was her turn, an abso­lu­te Sunday cigar, the Salo­mo­nes VA by Pato­ro. The “VA” stands for “Very Aged”.

It’s argu­ab­ly the best Pato­ro has to offer. A Domi­ni­can Puro from 9–12 years matu­red and spe­cial­ly selec­ted tob­ac­cos from Leo Reyes’ plan­ta­ti­on. Leo’s father brought the seeds from Cuba when he left the island.

This Salo­mo­nes loo­ks gor­ge­ous, has a ring gau­ge of 60/64″ and is 7″ in length. So we lit them with care. A full, crea­my smo­ke deve­lo­ped immedia­te­ly and las­ted until the last puff. The burn and draw were abso­lute­ly per­fect and stay­ed consistent.

We have to say, one of the best — and unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly also one of the most expen­si­ve — cigars that we have smo­ked so far with fine, com­plex aro­mas of dark cho­co­la­te, nuts and nou­gat. An almost 1 ½ hour mild treat.

Series V Melanio Robusto Maduro - Gran Reserva Limitada by Oliva
Seri­es V Mela­nio Robus­to Madu­ro — Gran Reser­va Limita­da by Oliva

Today, on the recom­men­da­ti­on of our regu­lar lounge, a Seri­es V Mela­nio Robus­to Madu­ro — Gran Reser­va Limita­da by Oliva.

Oli­va was foun­ded in Cuba in 1866. Gil­ber­to Oli­va left Cuba in 1966 and final­ly found a new home for his com­pa­ny in Nica­ra­gua in 1994. With the ope­ning of the new fac­to­ry in 2003, the Seri­es V was laun­ched and was named the best cigar of the year in 2014. In 2016 Oli­va was bought by the Bel­gi­an J. Cor­tès and in 2021 beca­me part of Fre­de­rik Van­der­mar­lie­re’s cigar dynasty.

Our box­pres­sed Madu­ro has a very fine, sil­ky wrap­per from Mexi­co, while the bin­der and insert of the 5″ long Robus­to with a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ come from Nicaragua.

A very good hour long smo­ke whe­re we could iden­ti­fy ear­thy and pep­pe­ry fla­vors with hints of nuts, cof­fee and cocoa.

Patoro VA Salomones
Pato­ro VA Salomones

Today some­thing Swiss from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic: a Pato­ro VA Salomones.

In 2001, the Swiss Patrick J. Mar­tin, the for­mer pro­duct mana­ger of the Davi­d­off Group, estab­lis­hed the Pato­ro cigar brand. The brand name Pato­ro is made up of the first three let­ters of the foun­der’s first name and the Ita­li­an word for gold — Oro.

From the very begin­ning, Mar­tin had his cigars made in the Reyes Cigars fac­to­ry in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The Reyes fami­ly began gro­wing tob­ac­co 160 years ago. Cigars were not pro­du­ced until 1992. In 2012, the then 23-year-old Nir­ka Reyes took over the manage­ment of the com­pa­ny in the 6th genera­ti­on and swit­ched the ent­i­re pro­duc­tion from the mass pro­duc­tion of inex­pen­si­ve cigars to pre­mi­um cigars. In Navar­re­te, Leo Reyes, Nir­ka’s uncle, grows the rarest tob­ac­co in the coun­try: the wrapper.

We will tas­te this spe­cial cigar and report to you.

Cusano Bundles Dominican Republic

We recent­ly tes­ted the Cusa­nos. We found them qui­te pas­sa­ble and the pri­ce-per­for­mance ratio unbea­t­a­ble. Now we have also dar­ed to try the ver­si­ons offe­red as a bund­le. So the Chur­chills of the Cusa­no Bund­les Domi­ni­can Repu­blic from Davidoff.

The­se Puros have a some­what more rustic Con­nec­ti­cut wrap­per and for­tu­n­a­te­ly dif­fer from the pre­vious­ly tes­ted ones pri­ma­ri­ly in that they are almost half the pri­ce. The pri­ce isn’t magic, though. They are no lon­ger long fil­lers, but medi­um fil­lers made from the rip­ped tob­ac­co leafs that are not good enough for Davi­d­of­f’s pre­mi­um brands. Howe­ver, they are also over­se­en by Davi­d­off Blen­der Hen­rik Kel­ner. We found this Chur­chill to be a mild and qui­te aro­ma­tic cigar. A good, very inex­pen­si­ve cigar, espe­cial­ly for the beginner.

Viva la Vida Dia­de­ma by A.J. Fer­nan­dez from Nicaragua[/caption]

Yes­ter­day evening we final­ly tried it, the Viva la Vida Dia­de­ma by A.J. Fer­nan­dez from Nicaragua.
After we have remo­ved the beau­ti­ful and ela­bo­r­ate­ly prin­ted paper tube that com­ple­te­ly enc­lo­ses each indi­vi­du­al cigar, the per­fect­ly craf­ted Dia­de­ma shows its­elf with its beau­ti­ful dark brown, oily wrapper.
So here we have a Nica­ra­gua Puro with an Oscu­ro wrap­per, a Coro­jo bin­der and a Criol­lo fil­ler. It has a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a length of 6 ½”.

After ligh­t­ing, a lush, crea­my and sweetish smo­ke deve­lo­ped immedia­te­ly. It star­ted out slight­ly pep­pe­ry but not unplea­sant. From the second third we could tas­te beau­ti­ful inten­se espres­so aro­mas. The burn and very good draw were even over the ent­i­re length.
This unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly not exact­ly cheap cigar was worth every pen­ny. We enjoy­ed a good 60 minu­tes with this beau­ti­ful stick.

Viva la Vida Dia­de­ma by A.J. Fer­nan­dez from Nicaragua

The dea­ler we trust here in Ber­lin show­ed us some­thing very spe­cial in terms of shape and pre­sen­ta­ti­on. A Viva la Vida Dia­de­ma by A.J. Fernandez.

Bro­thers Bil­ly and Gus Fakih ran several small tob­ac­co­nists and cigar loun­ges in New York. In 2015, the two sold their lounge busi­ness to indus­try giant JR Cigars. In 2019, the two busy bro­thers foun­ded their own cigar dis­tri­bu­ti­on com­pa­ny, Artesa­no Del Tob­ac­co. The first line they had made for their dis­tri­bu­ti­on was the Viva la Vida. The­se ele­gant Nica­ra­gua Puros in the beau­ti­ful paper cover are actual­ly not A.J. Fer­nan­dez cigars, but are made on behalf of the two bro­thers for their distribution.

We will soon try our tre­a­su­re chest and of cour­se report about it. We are very curious.

Cusano Maduro Toro & Cusano Robusto
Cusa­no Madu­ro Toro & Cusa­no Robusto

Two days ago we intro­du­ced you to the two Cusa­nos. Now we’­ve let the two go up in smo­ke. Both for­mats are tech­ni­cal­ly per­fect and clear­ly show the rela­ti­ons­hip to the Davi­d­off fami­ly. The sil­ky wrap­pers are flaw­less. The draw and burn are also per­fect, as with the much more expen­si­ve rela­ti­ves. The mil­der Robus­to was aro­ma­ti­cal­ly very balan­ced without being pep­pe­ry. We could still tas­te light sweet aro­mas. An excel­lent cigar for this price.
The Toro, which is almost the same pri­ce, is very mild for a Madu­ro but more aro­ma­tic and pep­pe­ry than the Robusto.

Both good cigars for a decent one-hour smo­ke at an almost unbea­t­a­ble pri­ce-per­for­mance ratio.

Cusano cigars
Cusa­no cigars

Today we want to try two Cusa­no cigars. The brand was foun­ded in 1990 by two Ame­ri­cans with Ita­li­an roots. Davi­d­off bought the brand in 2009 to add che­a­per cigars to its portfolio.
Here we have cho­sen the Domi­ni­can variants.

A dark Madu­ro Toro with a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ and 6″ in length. It has a San Andrés wrap­per from Mexi­co, a Con­nec­ti­cut bin­der from Ecua­dor and an insert from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

The light Robus­to has the same ring gau­ge and is slight­ly shor­ter at 5″. The wrap­per and bin­der this time both from Ecua­dor and the insert again from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

We are very exci­ted about the­se afford­a­ble “Davi­d­offs”. We will report.

Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto.
Rocky Patel Num­ber 6 Robusto.

Today on Sunday for the second bre­ak­fast a Rocky Patel Num­ber 6 Robus­to. After a good twen­ty years, Rocky Patel, a lawy­er from Los Ange­les and a care­er chan­ger, has deve­lo­ped his cigars into a very respec­ted brand. Howe­ver, it is dif­fi­cult to keep track of over 200 seri­es with dif­fe­rent names. We cho­se num­ber 6. The num­ber of the blend from the crea­ti­on pha­se beca­me the name of the seri­es sim­ply for the sake of it.

This typi­cal Robus­to with an insert from Hon­du­ras and Nica­ra­gua and a bin­der and wrap­per also from Hon­du­ras has a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ and a length of 5 ½”. We found them medi­um strong and qui­te spi­cy. Cho­co­la­te and cocoa fla­vors were par­ti­cu­lar­ly pro­mi­nent. As befits a pre­mi­um cigar in this pri­ce ran­ge, the draw and burn were very good. We enjoy­ed it for a good hour.

We wish you all a rest­ful Sunday.

Fake Cohiba
Fake Cohi­ba

Three days ago we alrea­dy told you about the ori­gin of this “Cohi­ba”. Also about the coun­ter­fei­t­ing fea­tures of the cigar band. Now we’­ve let them go up in smo­ke. The cold smell was fra­gi­le but frui­ty-sweet, just like tob­ac­co from Cuba. The draw was flaw­less and remai­ned so even after ligh­t­ing up. Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, an uneven burn deve­lo­ped immedia­te­ly, which also could not be cor­rec­ted. The smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment was good. We could­n’t tas­te any aro­mas. It was­n’t strong but uncom­for­ta­b­ly pep­pe­ry and very hot. We dis­car­ded them after 1/3. We cut the rest (see pho­to): it was a long fil­ler after all. Not a tre­at, and defi­ni­te­ly not worth the $6. It’s a pity real­ly, we had pro­mi­sed our­sel­ves more.

Now we wish all Ash­ho­les and our world­wi­de fol­lo­wers a bles­sed Eas­ter with some good smokes.

Fake Cohiba
Fake Cohi­ba

One of our mem­bers was in Cuba and brought us some Cohibas:
“A real bar­gain at $6.00 direct from our tour guide.”

Well, the­se “Cohi­bas” are real fakes: no holo­gram on the Tai­no head, neit­her holo­grams on the upper and lower gold rim, only 8 rows of white squa­res ins­tead of the 9 rows, all white squa­res in the ori­gi­nal are com­ple­te and not cut, like our squa­res abo­ve the word “COHIBA”. Howe­ver, a very good for­ge­ry, sin­ce the word “COHIBA” is embossed.

The cigar also loo­ks good and is rol­led very tight­ly. Our “Cohi­bas” have a ring gau­ge of 55/64” and a length of 6″. The cap on the head is twis­ted into a tail like the Lan­ce­ros. We could not find a cor­re­spon­ding genui­ne Cohi­ba with the­se characteristics.

We will be bra­ve and of cour­se we will also smo­ke this sam­ple. We are very exci­ted and will report to you.

Casa de Torres Pipa
Casa de Tor­res Pipa

Yes­ter­day evening it was the turn of the “pipe-cigar” adven­ture: the Casa de Tor­res Pipa. After ligh­t­ing up, a gre­at crea­my smo­ke deve­lo­ped immedia­te­ly, which las­ted until the last puff. After the head of the pipe was smo­ked away, the secret reve­a­led its­elf. Whe­re the tran­si­ti­on from the head to the line­ar part was to be made, a V was pun­ched out so that the head could be bend. This cre­a­se was then fixed by the wrap­per. This can be seen very nice­ly in our pho­to of the right cigar. After the head fell off, the cigar con­ti­nued to burn at an ang­le, ana­lo­gous to the V‑cut, only to cor­rect its­elf as if by magic in a short time. The draw remai­ned opti­mal over the ent­i­re length. We found the first third mild and could reco­gni­ze aro­mas of pep­per and grass. The last third beca­me much spi­cier and enor­mous­ly strong.

A good 40 minu­te smo­ke that was fun.

RVGN Toro #62 from German Engineered Cigars
RVGN Toro #62 from Ger­man Engi­nee­red Cigars

Now it was her turn, the RVGN Toro #62 from Ger­man Engi­nee­red Cigars. The 62 stands for the volu­me of the cigar in cubic cen­ti­me­ters. We did the math: length 15.24 x area 4.15 = 63 😱 May­be we need to sub­tract some more for the roun­ded head 😇

The rustic wrap­per fea­tures strong leaf veins. The cigar feels very tight­ly rol­led. The cold smell is remi­nis­cent of hay and has a cer­tain sweet­ness. When lit, it immedia­te­ly deve­lo­ps a nice rich crea­my smo­ke. One of our cigars ten­ded to burn croo­ked­ly in the first third, but this cor­rec­ted its­elf half­way through. We were able to dis­co­ver pep­per and frui­ty aro­mas. The draw was opti­mal and the burn of our other three was per­fect. A light, well-made cigar that builds in strength over the last third. A decent one hour smoke.

Con­clu­si­on: Not­hing is too dif­fi­cult for the engi­neer. The­se Ham­burg ones can also do cigars!

Casa de Torres Pipa
Casa de Tor­res Pipa

Neit­her of the two: it’s a pipecigar!

The fami­ly com­pa­ny Schus­ter from Bue­n­de, Ger­ma­ny, foun­ded in 1909, has had its own label “Casa de Tor­res” manu­fac­tu­red in Estelí, in nort­hern Nica­ra­gua, sin­ce 1998.

We thought the “Pipa” from this line was fun and real­ly wan­ted to try it, espe­cial­ly after a mem­ber asked if we had smo­ked the Pipa before.

The Pipa is pro­bab­ly the most unusu­al cigar in the Casa de Tor­res ran­ge. They are Nica­ra­gua Puros with Ecua­dor wrap­pers that are grown in Nica­ra­gua. The bin­der and fil­ler are rol­led from Pilo­to Cuba­no, a Hava­na seed that has long been cul­ti­va­ted in Nica­ra­gua. Rol­ling this very spe­cial cigar requi­res gre­at skill and experience.

An ice-cold Jäger­meis­ter will pro­bab­ly go best with this pipe cigar.

We will try them in the next few days and report to you.

RVGN Rauchvergnügen German engineered Cigars #62
Ger­man Engi­nee­red Cigars: RVGN Rauch­ver­gnü­gen (smo­king plea­su­re) #62

Can Ger­man Engi­neers design cigars?
The two Ham­burg engi­neers Jan-Klaas Mah­ler and Oli­ver Nickels mean “yes”. “As Ger­man engi­neers, two things are essen­ti­al for us when it comes to a cigar: pro­ces­sing qua­li­ty and sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence”. The cigars of the cur­rent RVGN collec­tion that they “engi­nee­red” are hand­ma­de in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic in a tra­di­tio­nal way. They foun­ded their com­pa­ny in 2015 and initi­al­ly cal­led it “Rauch­ver­gnue­gen” (smo­king plea­su­re). In 2020 they ren­a­med them­sel­ves “Ger­man Engi­nee­red Cigars”. The plan: “manu­fac­tu­re cigars like we Ger­mans con­struct the best tech­no­lo­gy in the world”. Pro­bab­ly a mar­ke­ting gim­mick inten­ded to explo­it the world­wi­de repu­ta­ti­on of Ger­man engi­nee­ring for their mul­ti­na­tio­nal expan­si­on plans. The abbre­via­ti­on of “Rauch­Ver­Gnue­geN” RVGN will remain as a brand.

We want to try the Toro from the seri­es with our Ber­lin mem­bers. We will report. Stay tuned!

Heimatzigarre No. 8
Hei­mat­zi­gar­re (Home-Cigar) No. 8

Today after bre­ak­fast we tried the Ger­man “Hei­mat­zi­gar­re” No. 8 from sou­thern Ger­ma­ny. The fil­ler and the bin­der made of regio­nal, “Baden Geu­derthei­mer” tob­ac­co cove­r­ed in a Suma­tra wrap­per. This short fil­ler with a length of 4 ¾” and a ring gau­ge of 47/64″ comes in a glass tube with a natu­ral cork clo­sure. Our cigars felt very dry upon arri­val. This could be due to the hygro­scopic natu­ral cork, which draws mois­tu­re from the cigar. So ours came into the humi­dor to acclimatize.

The draw resis­tance was opti­mal throughout, as was the burn, as to be expec­ted from a short fil­ler. The cigar starts out very mild, only to get a litt­le stron­ger in the last third. In terms of aro­mas, we could only tas­te some pep­per in the last third. She rewar­ded us with a volu­min­ous, crea­my smoke.
A mild, pro­per­ly craf­ted morning cigar for a good 30 minu­tes smoke.

Howe­ver, this exo­tic cigar also has an exo­tic pri­ce of more than € 13.

Heimatzigarre No. 8
Hei­mat­zi­gar­re (Home-Cigar) No. 8

And then we dis­co­ve­r­ed ano­t­her com­ple­te­ly Ger­man cigar. This cigar comes from Baden-Wuer­t­tem­berg and is very simi­lar to the “Herr Leh­mann No. 5” cigar we pre­sen­ted ear­lier. Both in shape, style and tob­ac­cos used.

It is the “Hei­mat­zi­gar­re” (“home cigar”) from the small town of Mas­sen­bach­hau­sen, the place whe­re the lar­ge and flou­ris­hing cigar fac­to­ry Hoch­herr exis­ted from befo­re 1900 until the Second World War.

Two years ago, Jan Schee­der, who­se grand­par­ents were tob­ac­co far­mers, and his friend Moritz Schwarz laun­ched the new regio­nal cigar, the “Hei­mat­zi­gar­re” (home-cigar). Their grand­par­ents were able to teach them the tra­di­tio­nal way of hand­ling tob­ac­co lea­ves. The secrets of cigar rol­ling were reve­a­led to them by an 80-year-old cou­p­le from the regi­on who were still rol­ling cigars.

Of cour­se we will try this exo­tic one soon and tell you about it. Stay tuned!

Nordlicht Gordo paired with Sambuca
Nord­licht (Nort­hern Lights) Gordo pai­red with Sam­bu­ca Il Santo

In some video, Sascha Prie­ser, the maker behind the “Nord­licht” brand, once chat­ted about the fla­vors of his cigars. Among other things, he said he tas­ted the aro­mas of cof­fee and ani­se­ed. It remin­ded him of the tas­te that comes from chewing the cof­fee beans on a sambuca.

Sin­ce we wan­ted to try ano­t­her cigar from our sam­pler, we tried this com­bi­na­ti­on out in person.

It was the “thick” turn, the Gordo with a full ring gau­ge of 60/64″ and a length of 5½”, so good for 1½ hours of enjoy­ment. Ano­t­her Nica­ra­gua Puro with a very nice, even Colo­ra­do wrap­per. The draw and burn were also impec­ca­ble on this vitola.

We tas­ted frui­ty fla­vors, as well as pep­per wood, cof­fee and yes it could be ani­se­ed. But may­be it was also the scent of our drink, which inci­dent­al­ly went per­fect­ly with it. Many thanks to Sascha Prie­ser for this tip.

Nordlicht Short Torpedo Maduro
Nord­licht Short Tor­pe­do Maduro

Yes­ter­day evening we tried the second vito­la from our Nord­licht sam­pler, the two Short Tor­pe­do Maduros.

This small tor­pe­do is again a Nica­ra­gua Puro with a Colo­ra­do wrap­per, a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ and a length of 4 ½”.

The cigar took the fire well and even­ly. The burn was ama­zin­gly strai­ght again, espe­cial­ly with very good smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment and the white ash was firm and las­ted a long time. A well-con­struc­ted and per­fect­ly rol­led cigar.

I had to cut again once in the first third becau­se the draw was a litt­le too hard. I must have cut off too litt­le. After that, the draw was smooth and perfect.

We could find the typi­cal Madu­ro roas­ted fla­vors like bit­ter cho­co­la­te and espres­so beans. In the last third, the other­wi­se mild cigar beca­me pep­pe­ri­er and stronger.

A good 40 minu­te smo­ke that we can also recom­mend to new­co­mers to the world of madu­ros. We had fun again.

Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig
Drew Esta­te Liga Priva­da No. 9 Fly­ing Pig

Last night we con­ti­nued explo­ring spec­ta­cu­lar for­mats: a Fly­ing Pig from the Liga Priva­da No. 9 manu­fac­tu­red by Drew Esta­te of the two New York com­pa­ny foun­ders Jona­than Drew and Mar­vin Samel. The two ran a small kiosk in the World Tra­de Cen­ter. They began ful­fil­ling their dream of run­ning their own cigar fac­to­ry in Estel, Nica­ra­gua in 1998 and moved to Miami in 2004.

Our Fly­ing Pig has a ring gau­ge of 60/64″ and a length of 4″. The fil­ler comes from Hon­du­ras and Nica­ra­gua, the Mata Fina bin­der from Bra­zil and the Con­nec­ti­cut wrap­per from the USA, which is twis­ted into a ring tail at the top.
The draw, the strai­ght burn and smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment were impec­ca­ble, as can be expec­ted in this pri­ce ran­ge. We found aro­mas of lea­ther, cedar, dark cho­co­la­te and hints of pepper.

We had 75 minu­tes of fun with this ring­let pig.

Nord­licht (Nort­hern Lights) Magnum

Today it was their turn, the two Magnum from our “Nord­licht” (Nort­hern Lights) sam­pler. The Magnum is a Nica­ra­gua Puro with a ring gau­ge of 54/64″ and a length of 6″. It feels very tight­ly rol­led. Tha­t’s pro­bab­ly becau­se the rol­lers use two cros­sed bin­ders, as we’­ve heard. The cold draw was flaw­less and the frui­ty aro­ma was remi­nis­cent of figs. The Magnum took the fire very well and bur­ned abso­lute­ly per­fect­ly and strai­ght with good crea­my smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment. The ash was very solid and stay­ed for a long time. We could very well dis­tin­guish the aro­mas of wood, cocoa, espres­so and a slight sweet­ness. A mild cigar that gets stron­ger towards the end.

All in all, a per­fect­ly craf­ted cigar that we lik­ed and that was fun for 80 minutes.

Nordlicht Sampler
Nord­licht (Nort­hern Lights) Sampler

Through the social media, we beca­me awa­re of the cigar club “Nord­licht Zigar­ren” (Nort­hern Lights). This club was foun­ded by Sascha Prie­ser in 2011. In 2018, Prie­ser then crea­ted his own club cigar, made for him in Nica­ra­gua, based on the ide­as of his Face­book com­mu­ni­ty. It was a Toro with a ring gau­ge of 52/64” and 6” in length.

Sascha Prie­ser, who ran a fit­ness stu­dio until then, his father Hol­ger Prie­ser and Denis Stu­te foun­ded their joint com­pa­ny after the suc­cess of this first cigar and expan­ded the port­fo­lio with other for­mats: Short Tor­pe­do, Robus­to, Gordo, and Perfecto.

We abso­lute­ly wan­ted to find out more about the­se “nort­hern lights” and orde­red the sam­pler with 2 x 4 vito­las each. The pri­ce of this sam­pler is slight­ly hig­her than the sum of the indi­vi­du­al cigars. This is pro­bab­ly due to the com­plex box.

We will report short­ly whe­ther the con­tent can keep up with the beau­ti­ful box.

Skelton Toro
Skel­ton Toro

A few weeks ago, after we tho­rough­ly tried out a box of Robustos from the Skel­ton fami­ly and found them to be good, we recei­ved a beau­ti­ful white, high-gloss box of the Toro today. Only 4% more expen­si­ve, but 11% more cigar. The blend is almost iden­ti­cal to the Robus­to, only the lea­ves from Hon­du­ras are mis­sing in the insert.

The sil­ky, shim­me­ring, dark and oily wrap­per, again from Ecua­dor, is very finely struc­tu­red. Draw resis­tance and burn again, as expec­ted, good with a very full, crea­my smo­ke. This Toro tas­ted a litt­le more inten­se than the Robus­to, espe­cial­ly the cof­fee aro­mas. Towards the end — after 70 minu­tes — cho­co­la­te fla­vors were added.

A good choice in terms of loo­ks, tas­te and price.

CAO Fuma em Corda
CAO Fuma em Corda

We don’t want to with­hold a very exo­tic gift from one of our mem­bers from you:

The Fuma em Cor­da by CAO, a Toro with a ring gau­ge of 58/64” and a length of 6”.

The Por­tu­gue­se words “Fuma em Cor­da” descri­be the spe­cial pre­pa­ra­ti­on for fer­men­ta­ti­on and mean “tob­ac­co on a rope”. It is a method used by the indi­ge­nous peop­le of the Bra­zi­li­an rain­fo­rest. The tob­ac­co lea­ves are twis­ted into thick strands and then wrap­ped around sticks to ferment.
Ins­tead of a ban­de­ro­le, this par­ti­cu­lar cigar has a cros­sed string of tob­ac­co sym­bo­li­zing this type of fer­men­ta­ti­on that is meant to be smoked.
The insert comes from the Bra­zi­li­an rain­fo­rest and com­ple­tes the blend from Hon­du­ras and Nica­ra­gua. The bin­der comes from Camer­oon and the Colo­ra­do wrap­per from Nicaragua.

This cigar owes its uni­que tas­te to the spe­cial fer­men­ta­ti­on pro­cess. We will defi­ni­te­ly try this exo­tic one and report to you.

Vecchia Romagna plus Asylum 13
Vec­chia Roma­gna plus Asyl­um 13

Today the­re is an Ita­li­an bran­dy with the Asyl­um 13.

The Buton fami­ly has been run­ning a distil­le­ry in Fran­ce sin­ce the begin­ning of the 18th cen­tu­ry. The high qua­li­ty of their bran­dy made the fami­ly pur­veyors to the court of Napo­le­on I. After the fall of Napo­le­on, the fami­ly fled to Emi­lia Roma­gna in Ita­ly. In 1820 Jean Buton ope­ned his new distil­le­ry in Bolo­gna, Ita­ly. This is whe­re the “Cognac Buton”, now made from Ita­li­an gra­pes, began its tri­um­phal march around the world. In 1939 the fami­ly had to rena­me their cognac. From now on it was no lon­ger cal­led Cognac but “Vec­chia Roma­gna Buton Bran­dy”. In 1943, during the Second World War, the distil­le­ry was des­troy­ed down to the cel­lar with its valu­able bar­rels. The inta­ct casks with the old bran­dy allo­wed a quick new start after the war.

We thought this bran­dy was excel­lent with the Asyl­um 13.

Herr Lehmann (Mr. Lehmann) No. 5
Herr Leh­mann (Mr. Leh­mann) No. 5

Yes­ter­day evening it was her turn: the com­ple­te­ly Ger­man cigar “Mr. Leh­mann No. 5″ from the Black Forest.

The local­ly grown tob­ac­co spe­ci­es “Geu­derthei­mer” ser­ves as fil­ler and bin­der for this hand-rol­led short filler.

The mat­te Suma­tra wrap­per wraps Mr. Leh­mann tight­ly. A cap is mis­sing, here the cover sheet is sim­ply fold­ed over a few times. But that does­n’t detract from the cigar. The cigar takes the fire well and — as to be expec­ted with a short fil­ler — the draw resis­tance is con­sist­ent­ly good. Sur­pri­sin­gly, it begins very mild­ly and only beco­mes stron­ger and spi­cier in the last third. We were able to dis­co­ver nice pep­pe­ry notes, which did­n’t beco­me unplea­sant towards the end, after a good half hour.

A decent cigar for in bet­ween. It gets a place in our club humi­dor to offer our for­eign visi­tors some­thing extra­or­di­na­ri­ly rare.

Asylum Cigars: 13 6ixty 9ine by 4our
Asyl­um Cigars: 13 6ixty 9ine by 4our

Here we pre­sent recom­men­da­ti­ons from our mem­bers. If you have an insi­der tip or want to recom­mend a spe­cial cigar, wri­te to us.

Today a cigar recom­men­ded becau­se of its spe­cial format:
The Asyl­um Cigars 13 6ixty 9ine by 4our. As the name sug­gests, this stub has an enor­mous ring gau­ge of 69/64” that is more than an inch with a length of only 4”.
The initia­tors of Asyl­um Cigars are Kevin Bax­ter and Tom Lazu­ka. Tom pre­vious­ly worked as a repre­sen­ta­ti­ve for Coli­bri Access­ories and then Cama­cho Cigars befo­re star­ting his own cigar business.

This one is a puro made from Nica­ra­gu­an tob­ac­cos that Chris­ti­an Eiro­ra has it roll in his Taba­ca­le­ra El Ala­di­no. The cold smell of figs sug­gested frui­ty aro­mas. Howe­ver, the che­r­oot sur­pri­sed with sweet cho­co­la­tey aromas.

A gre­at tip this cigar and an abso­lu­te eye-catcher.

Herr Lehmann (Mr. Lehmann) No. 5
Herr Leh­mann (Mr. Leh­mann) No. 5

The Black Forest Tor­pe­do: The “Herr Leh­mann No. 5”

We dis­co­ve­r­ed a short fil­ler made in Ger­ma­ny from Ger­man tob­ac­cos, except for the wrapper.

In 1924, Oskar Leh­man foun­ded a cigar fac­to­ry in the Black Forest. In 2014, for rea­sons of age, the descen­dants han­ded over their life’s work to Gre­gor Grüb and Dr. Klaus Harisch.

The tob­ac­co “Badi­scher Geu­derthei­mer” is air-dried and used for the fil­ler and the bin­der. The­se tob­ac­co plants have a high tole­ran­ce to extre­me wea­ther con­di­ti­ons and on the other hand are easy to care for, easy to pro­cess and achie­ve a high har­vest yield.

A Suma­tra leaf from Indo­ne­sia ser­ves as the wrap­per. The cigar rol­lers were trai­ned by the Lehmanns.
The No. 5 is just 4 ¾” in length and has a ring gau­ge (accord­ing to our mea­su­re­ment) of 46/64”.

We will tas­te this exo­tic pro­duct at the next oppor­tu­ni­ty. Stay tuned!

Zigarrenmanufaktur Dresden Cabrera Amistad 407
Zigar­ren­ma­nu­fak­tur Dres­den Cabre­ra Amistad 407

Yes­ter­day evening it was her turn, the Ger­man cigar made in Cuban style, rol­led in Dres­den from South Ame­ri­can tobaccos.
The flaw­less wrap­per from Ecua­dor, the good cold draw and the frui­ty scent of honey pro­mi­sed a good smoke.

This unusual­ly crea­ted cigar took the fire easi­ly and deve­lo­ped an extra­or­di­na­ri­ly full and crea­my smo­ke from the first puff. This enor­mous smo­ke las­ted until the last puff. The draw was con­sist­ent­ly good over the ent­i­re length. The burn was extra­or­di­na­ri­ly even. This all spo­ke for a cigar made with excel­lent craft­s­manship. The fla­vors were pep­pe­ry but not spi­cy. A cigar that I enjoy­ed smo­king to the non-bit­ter end.

If it weren’t for the high pri­ce, it would have a per­ma­nent place in my humi­dor. Ever­yo­ne has to deci­de for them­sel­ves whe­ther the pri­ce is jus­ti­fied. For me per­so­nal­ly, this pri­ce cate­go­ry is a step too high. What a pity!

The Clint Eastwood Cigar: Toscano Antico
The Clint East­wood Cigar: the Tos­ca­no Antico

Today we’­re mee­ting with some mem­bers for a Clint East­wood night. We’­re going to watch all three movies of the Dol­lars tri­lo­gy. In addi­ti­on, of cour­se, the cigar that Clint East­wood made famous in the­se films and that always hangs in the cor­ner of his mouth: the Tos­ca­no. For tonight we have cho­sen the Antico.

The Tos­ca­no owes its exis­tence to an acci­dent in 1815. During a vio­lent sum­mer storm in Tusca­ny, Ita­ly, a load of Ken­tu­cky pipe tob­ac­co was soa­ked through. When the storm was over and the sum­mer heat was back, the tob­ac­co fer­men­ted. After it was dried again, the cigars made from it soon enjoy­ed gre­at popu­la­ri­ty — the Tos­ca­no was invented.

Have a nice Sunday everyone!

Zigarrenmanufaktur Dresden. Herr Lehmann No. 5 (Mr. Lehmann)
Zigar­ren­ma­nu­fak­tur Dres­den. Herr Leh­mann No. 5 (Mr. Leh­mann No. 5)

A cigar from Dres­den, Ger­ma­ny. Yes, it has actual­ly exis­ted sin­ce 2013. We cho­se a cigar from the seri­es that was first rol­led in Dres­den. It is the flagship of this seri­es. The stron­gest and also the most expen­si­ve. Yes, the pri­ce is enor­mous and the same pri­ce as the top pro­ducts from Cohi­ba, Fuen­te or Davi­d­off. So she has to com­pe­te with the­se pre­mi­um cigars.

The trai­ned Tor­ce­dor Laza­ro Javier Her­re­ra Cabre­ra, who came from Cuba, rol­led them in the small Dres­den cigar fac­to­ry. Our one is the Cabre­ra Amistad 407. A Toro with a length of 6 ½” and a 54/64” ring gau­ge. The fil­ler and bin­der come from Nica­ra­gua and the wrap­per, a Colo­ra­do Madu­ro, from Ecuador.

The cold smell of fruit aro­mas and honey reminds us a litt­le of a Mon­te. We will test them at the next oppor­tu­ni­ty and of cour­se report here. Stay tuned!

Casa de Torres Churchill
Casa de Tor­res Churchill

We have dis­co­ve­r­ed ano­t­her cigar for our new­bies: the Casa de Tor­res Chur­chill. Casa de Tor­res is a brand of the cigar manu­fac­tu­rer Schus­ter from the city of Bue­n­de, Ger­ma­ny. The com­pa­ny, foun­ded by the baker Her­mann Schus­ter in 1897, deve­lo­ped this cigar seri­es in the 1990s tog­e­ther with a pro­du­cer from Nica­ra­gua, whe­re the cigars are still made exclu­si­ve­ly for Schus­ter in a small tabacalera.

This 7” long Chur­chill has a ring gau­ge of 50/64”. The fil­ler as well as the bin­der come from Nica­ra­gua, the imma­cu­la­te wrap­per from Ecua­dor. We smo­ked this cigar for 60–75 minu­tes with won­der­ful­ly crea­my smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment. A very mild cigar with aro­mas of wood and cof­fee. A recom­men­ded cigar for the begin­ner as well as for the pri­ce-con­scious occa­sio­nal smoker.

Vaholago Petit Corona
Vahol­a­go Petit Corona

A new and tho­rough­ly Ger­man cigar: the Vahol­a­go Petit Coro­na. Only 3 years ago the cigars of the two com­pa­ny foun­ders Vin­cent Mau­rer and Rai­ner Wede­lich saw the light of day. The Carib­be­an tob­ac­co varie­ties are grown in the very south of Ger­ma­ny on the lake Boden­see island of Rei­chen­au and rol­led by hand by Cuban tor­ce­do­res into real long fillers.

Our Petit Coro­na has a ring gau­ge of 42/64” and a length of near­ly 5”. The wrap­per shim­mers slight­ly oily and the cold cigar smells plea­s­ant­ly of hay.
With a smo­ke dura­ti­on of a good 30 minu­tes, we had the impres­si­on of a Domi­ni­can cigar. She was very mild and we tas­ted aro­mas of cho­co­la­te. All in all a well-made cigar that will cer­tain­ly not be our last.

Toscano Antico
Tos­ca­no Antico

Today we’­re going to try some­thing curious and spe­cial: the Tos­ca­no Anti­co, which Clint East­wood alrea­dy appre­cia­ted and which he always had in the cor­ner of his mouth in his Dol­lar trilogy.

Made from tob­ac­co lea­ves grown in Ita­ly from Ken­tu­cky seeds and grown up in the Tuscan sun, the­se are machi­ne-made after 12 mon­ths of aging. This cigar owes its high nico­ti­ne con­tent and thus its tre­men­dous strength to the fire dry­ing befo­re fermentation.

Fol­lowing tra­di­ti­on, we have divi­ded the 13 cm long cigar in the midd­le. This is how you can enjoy the Tos­ca­no for two for a good 20 minu­tes. Smo­king a who­le one at once would defi­ni­te­ly blow your mind! It takes three men to smo­ke a Tos­ca­no Anti­co — one smo­kes, two hold him, accord­ing to legend.

The tas­te reminds a litt­le of smo­ked ham. The rustic loo­king cigar does­n’t com­pa­re to anything we’­ve smo­ked before.

The Tos­ca­no is not stored in a humidor!

VegaFina Year of the Tiger 2022
Vega­Fi­na Year of the Tiger 2022

he Chi­ne­se New Year under the sign of the tiger is cele­bra­ted every twel­ve years. This year it’s that time again. And sin­ce our Pre­si­dent was also born in the year of the tiger, what could be more fit­ting than to give him a cigar for his bir­th­day that was crea­ted for this spe­cial year.

So we got the Vega­Fi­na Year of the Tiger 2022, a Toro Extra.

A real­ly impres­si­ve for­mat with a ring gau­ge of 52/64” and a length of 6 5/8”, it should be good for a bir­th­day smo­ke of a good two hours. Under the very beau­ti­ful band you can see a flaw­less wrap­per, the ori­gin of which, like that of the bin­der, is unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly kept secret. The fil­ler is a blend and comes from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, Nica­ra­gua, Mexi­co and Ecuador.

Of cour­se we tried it first: in con­trast to most other Vega­Fi­nas, this is a very strong and spi­cy tas­ty, a pre­si­den­ti­al cigar.


Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Deluxe Toro
Rocky Patel Vin­ta­ge 1992 Delu­xe Toro

Some­thing “aged” today: the Rocky Patel Vin­ta­ge 1992 Delu­xe Toro Tube.

It is the second aged cigar from the “Vin­ta­ge” seri­es by Rocky Patel from 2002. The name “1992” is based on the wrap­per, which had aged 10 years in 2002 and was from 1992. She was pro­bab­ly laun­ched in Ger­ma­ny in 2014. She con­vin­ced us with her strong, sweet tas­te and a com­bi­na­ti­on of espres­so and cedar wood aro­mas. In par­ti­cu­lar, the 10-year-old Suma­tra wrap­per from Ecua­dor and the 7‑ye­ar-old bin­der from Nica­ra­gua give the cigar a dis­tinc­ti­ve aro­ma. The fil­ler comes from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and Nicaragua.

As a drink with the cigar, we deci­ded on a pis­co, the Chi­lean natio­nal drink. Pis­co is a distil­la­te made from Mus­cat gra­pes. In the case of our El Gober­na­dor, Mos­ca­tel Ros­a­da and Mos­ca­tel de Ale­jan­dra were used. The­se grape varie­ties grow in nort­hern Chi­le, in the Val­le del Lima­ri. We enjoy­ed it as a “sour”.

Quintero Favoritos
Quin­te­ro Favoritos

Adden­dum to our (sub­jec­ti­ve) opi­ni­on on cigars for begin­ners. Today we tas­ted a very inex­pen­si­ve Hava­na for you. The Quin­te­ros weren’t ori­gi­nal­ly “Hava­nas” at all, as they had been made in Cien­fue­gos, a city on the south coast of Cuba, sin­ce the 1920s. Com­pa­ny foun­der Augus­tin Quin­te­ro only moved his fac­to­ry to the capi­tal, Hava­na, in 1940.

The Favo­ri­tos are hand-rol­led medi­um fil­lers, i.e. the wrap­per and bin­der con­sist of who­le tob­ac­co lea­ves, only the fil­ler con­sists of smal­ler pie­ces of tob­ac­co. The for­mat is a smal­ler (petit) Robus­to with a ring gau­ge of 50/64” and a length of 4 1/2”. Draw and burn were good throughout the smo­ke dura­ti­on of 30–45 minu­tes. In order to tas­te the woo­dy and nut­ty aro­mas, this cigar should be smo­ked very slowly.

A cigar for begin­ners: small in pri­ce, big in fla­vor and not too strong.

Don Papa Baroko
Don Papa Baroko

Rum or not rum, that is the ques­ti­on. This is not a ques­ti­on Ham­let asks hims­elf, but rum manu­fac­tu­rers have been asking them­sel­ves sin­ce last year if they want to sell their rum in the Euro­pean Union.

Sin­ce 2021, a rum can only be cal­led rum if its sugar con­tent does not exceed 0.7 oz per 33.81 us fl oz (pre­vious­ly 3.4 oz). Many of the well-known vari­ants of brands such as Botu­gal (Diplo­ma­ti­co), Plan­ta­ti­on, Zaca­pa and Don Papa are around 1.0 – 1.4 oz. The­se rums are no lon­ger allo­wed to call them­sel­ves rum. Now the manu­fac­tu­rers have two opti­ons: they lower the sugar con­tent and thus chan­ge the tas­te, or they chan­ge the name.

Tha­t’s why we don’t find the word “rum” on our bot­t­le of our Don Papa Baro­ko from the Phil­ip­pi­nes. It’s just cal­led a “spi­rit drink”.

We find a mild sweet “rum” that goes well with the cigar. Espe­cial­ly after a good meal. Rum is rum, wha­te­ver you have to call it!

Montosa Churchill
Mon­to­sa Churchill

The new­bies among our mem­bers ask from time to time which cigars are par­ti­cu­lar­ly sui­ta­ble for begin­ners. First and fore­mo­st, this is of cour­se a mat­ter of tas­te and the­re are many answers.

We would recom­mend Arnold André­’s Mon­to­sa. A smooth and light cigar from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic with an Ecua­do­ri­an wrap­per, a Mexi­can bin­der and a Domi­ni­can filler.

And the Chur­chill now lets the begin­ner feel the right fee­ling of the sub­li­me and he can defi­ni­te­ly dis­tin­guish the dif­fe­rent sec­tions during the long smo­king time of up to 80 minu­tes. The first half is cha­rac­te­ri­zed by the har­mo­nious aro­mas of wood, while the second half is domi­na­ted by nut­ty aro­mas. A well-made cigar at a very rea­son­ab­le price.

If the nico­ti­ne is too into­xi­ca­ting, the­re is a tried and tes­ted “anti­do­te”: sugar, most pala­ta­ble in the form of a Coke – with or without rum.

What do you think?

Rocky Patel Toro Ray Lewis Legends 52
Rocky Patel Toro Ray Lewis Legends 52

We pro­mi­sed to tell you about our Rocky Patel Toro Ray Lewis Legends 52 smoke.

The beau­ti­ful cho­co­la­ty wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor. Then the­re are two bin­ders: one from Bra­zil and one from Mexi­co. The fil­ler comes from Nica­ra­gua and Hon­du­ras. A true South Ame­ri­can blend. The “Cigar Snob” gave this cigar a total of 90 points. We were excited.

This box pres­sed cigar had an excel­lent draw that was main­tai­ned over its ent­i­re length. The burn was also per­fect. We enjoy­ed this cigar for over an hour, Tim even a full 80 minu­tes. It is a won­der­ful­ly aro­ma­tic and mild cigar. Fla­vors ran­ged from cedar to cho­co­la­te and a varie­ty of spi­ces. Super Bowl can come. We have found a real sur­pri­se to enjoy the night of Febru­a­ry 13th to the fullest.

Rocky Patel Toro Ray Lewis Legends 52
Rocky Patel Toro Ray Lewis Legends 52

The right cigar for all foot­ball fans is now also avail­ab­le in Ger­ma­ny for the Super­bowl on Febru­a­ry 13, 2022. Each dea­ler was sup­po­sed­ly only allo­wed to order 5 boxes. Of cour­se we had to strike immediately.

In 2013, Ray Lewis and Rocky Patel met at a com­pa­ny event and plan­ned to crea­te a cigar tog­e­ther. This is how the Ray Lewis Legends 52 Toro limi­ted edi­ti­on by Rocky Patel was born.

Ray Lewis, perhaps the grea­test midd­le line­back­er of all time, two-time Super­bowl cham­pion with the Bal­ti­more Ravens and MVP (Most Valu­able Play­er) of the XXXV. Super Bowls assis­ted Rocky Patel in blen­ding this cigar. Sin­ce Ray was a real edge on the field, a box-pres­sed came out.

Of cour­se we will tell you about our tasting.

Pink Gin with the La Bavaria Salomones
Pink Gin with the La Bava­ria Salomones

Last evening in Bava­ria. Only Bava­ri­an to say good­bye. A Salo­mo­nes from “La Bava­ria” and a “Bit­ter Truth Pink Gin” from Pul­lach near Munich. The tra­di­ti­on of mixing gin and bit­ters was first intro­du­ced by mem­bers of the Roy­al Navy to cure sea­sick­ness, and pink gin began as a sea­fa­rers’ bre­ak­fast, drunk to for­ti­fy a man against the treache­rous oce­an. This gin is a deli­cious blend of tra­di­tio­nal­ly made gin and a blend of bitters.

A Medi­ter­ra­ne­an bou­quet for the nose. Aro­mas of juni­per, fresh lemons and spi­ces. Ama­zin­gly smooth on the palate.

The com­pa­ny foun­ders Ste­phan Berg and Alex­an­der Hauck recei­ved the bron­ze medal at the “San Fran­cis­co World Spi­rits” for this gin in 2013.

Leon Jimenes Series 300 Cameroon Robusto
Leon Jime­nes Seri­es 300 Camer­oon Robusto

Last day at Lake Tegern­see and our sup­ply of cigars is smo­ked. So we went loo­king. In Rottach-Egern, direct­ly on the lake, we found “Sep­p’s Tabak­in­sel”, a slight­ly lar­ger kiosk with news­pa­pers, ciga­ret­tes, snacks and cigars.

Com­ple­te­ly unex­pec­ted­ly, we dis­co­ve­r­ed a well-sto­cked walk-in humi­dor. Sepp, the owner, was able to give us extre­me­ly expert advice. He told us about the recent visit from the cigar sales­man and a new cigar in his ran­ge. We took a few with us. It was a Leon Jime­nes Seri­es 300 Camer­oon Robusto.

The dark brown, slight­ly oily, fine-vei­ned wrap­per is immedia­te­ly noti­ce­ab­le. Very good cold draw with a slight­ly woo­den note. The burn was also flaw­less. The strong aro­mas incre­a­sed signi­fi­cant­ly in the last third. All in all an flaw­less cigar.

If you are at Lake Tegern­see, a visit to “Sep­p’s Tabak­in­sel” is defi­ni­te­ly worth it.

Captain Morgan Jamaica Rum 156° proof (78 Vol.-%)
Cap­tain Mor­gan Jamai­ca Rum 156° proof

Today again the L‑Granú from the Lige­ro seri­es by La Flor Dominicana.

Accom­pa­nied by a cask strength Cap­tain Mor­gan Jamai­ca Rum with 156° pro­of. This rum, spe­cial­ly bot­t­led for Ger­ma­ny, is a real rari­ty as pro­duc­tion was dis­con­ti­nued in 2005. Nevertheless, we were able to find a 1 qt bot­t­le from a pri­va­te cel­lar. A magni­ficent dark rum from the good old days. If you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get your hands on a bot­t­le of this over­pro­of rum: grab it immediately!

This very full fla­vou­red and very Jamai­can rum with its strong aro­mas went per­fect­ly with the L‑Granú.

La Flor Dominicana L-Granú
La Flor Domi­ni­ca­na L‑Granú

Second day in Bava­ria. Today we’­re going to try a real­ly big for­mat. The L‑Granú from the Lige­ro seri­es by La Flor Domi­ni­ca­na. A real “fat boy” with a ring gau­ge of no less than 64/64”, i.e. a whop­ping 1” and a length of 6″. We have read that you should take your time with this model and, abo­ve all, eat well befo­re­hand. Now we are in Bava­ria and the Bava­ri­ans con­si­der their beer as a basic food item and not alco­hol. So we orde­red a “Maß” (1 qt.). That should be a good base!

This cigar, with a wrap­per from Ecua­dor, a bin­der and a fil­ler from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, had a per­fect draw, as one would expect from the ring gau­ge. It domi­na­ted earth and wood aro­mas. A spe­cial tre­at for over two hours. Howe­ver, we each nee­ded one more “Maß”.

Skelton Robusto
Skel­ton Robusto

After the Skel­ton Robus­to and that good Smo­ke last week, we plan to test the next lar­ger Vito­la, the Toro today. And again, our cap­tain sug­gested a drink that is cer­tain­ly unusu­al for cigar smo­kers, a “Jäger­meis­ter Cut”. You need a glass from the free­zer and 1 oz of Jäger­meis­ter — in our case the spe­cial bott­ling “Ber­lin” — and 1 oz of bourbon.

Our Toro, with a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and 6″ in length, was also per­fect­ly made. The wrap­per again from Ecua­dor, the bin­der again from Indo­ne­sia, the fil­ler comes from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and from Nica­ra­gua — com­pa­red to the Robus­to, Hon­du­ras is missing.

A very balan­ced, mild cigar with a full, crea­my smo­ke. We could detect aro­mas of cocoa and cof­fee. The burn and draw were con­sis­tent good, as a pre­mi­um cigar should be.

Oh yes — the drink was per­fect — you should try it.

Il Padrino Don Vito
Il Padri­no Don Vito

Alrea­dy 4 weeks ago we tas­ted the Robus­to Don Vito from Il Padri­no. We alrea­dy real­ly lik­ed this Gran Gordo stick! So we orde­red the next vito­la in the seri­es. Brink­man Finest still had a few in stock and again deli­ve­r­ed prompt­ly. A box of Il Padri­no Omer­ta arri­ved, a Toro with the same ring gau­ge of 58/64” as the Robus­to but just 1 inch lon­ger. The wrap­per, bin­der and fil­ler were also the same and even from the same 2017 harvest.

So we were exci­ted for that extra inch. The outer finish was flaw­less again, as was the draw beha­vi­or and the burn. We found them more aro­ma­tic and a bit mil­der. This shows that the for­mat is decisi­ve for the inten­si­ty and the inter­ac­tion of the aro­mas. We smo­ked it at dif­fe­rent speeds and enjoy­ed bet­ween 65 and 80 minu­tes. We real­ly enjoy­ed it and we’­re loo­king for­ward to the rest of the box.

"Bauhaus" by Drew Estate
“Bau­haus” by Drew Estate

Today an Ame­ri­can cigar that is not avail­ab­le in Ame­ri­ca. From the Liga Priva­da Uni­co seri­es the “Bau­haus” by Drew Esta­te — a Short Robus­to. This cigar was crea­ted exclu­si­ve­ly for the Euro­pean mar­ket. Drew Esta­te boss Jona­than Drew is a fan of the famous archi­tect, desi­gner and cigar smo­ker Wal­ter Gro­pi­us, foun­der of the Ger­man Bau­haus in Wei­mar, Ger­ma­ny, a col­le­ge of art, design, archi­tec­tu­re and crafts estab­lis­hed in 1919. With this cigar, Drew pays homage to the phi­lo­so­phy of Gro­pi­us and the Bau­haus move­ment of the 20th century.

Rol­led in Nica­ra­gua, this Short Robus­to has a Con­nec­ti­cut wrap­per from the USA, a bin­der from Bra­zil and the fil­ler lea­ves are spe­cial­ly posi­tio­ned and come from Hon­du­ras and Nicaragua.
She immedia­te­ly deve­lo­ps a lot of smo­ke and we could detect aro­mas of wood, cara­mel and spi­ces. A gre­at, albeit very expen­si­ve, smo­king experience.

Tequila Blanco by Espolòn plus Skelton Cigar
Tequi­la Blan­co by Espolòn with a Skel­ton Cigar

In 2016 Tonio Neu­ge­bau­er from Lower Sax­o­ny foun­ded Tonio’s Taba­co and deve­lo­ped his first cigar brand: Skelton.

A beau­ti­ful cigar with a flaw­less wrap­per from Ecua­dor and a very aro­ma­tic insert blend from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, Hon­du­ras and Nicaragua.

We found an unusu­al drink that was per­fect both in appearan­ce and, sur­pri­sin­gly, in tas­te: a Tequi­la Blan­co from Espolòn in Mexi­co. The label shows the two ske­le­tons Gua­da­lu­pe and Rosa­ri­ta. They pay homage to the gra­phic artist José Gua­da­lu­pe Pos­a­da and the Mexi­can holi­day of the dead. This tequi­la is hand­craf­ted in the high­lands from the blue weber aga­ve. It has a deli­ca­te scent of sweet aga­ve and sweet fruit notes. In 2011, Espolòn Tequi­la Blan­co won the dou­ble gold medal of the World Spi­rits Awards.

Both tog­e­ther were a tas­te explo­si­on and a spe­cial kind of experience.

La Bavaria Salomones
La Bava­ria Salomones

We pro­mi­sed to tell you about the La Bava­ria Salo­mo­nes, which we tried on Fri­day. We lit the cigar, which tape­red to a point at the foot, with a bit of skep­ti­cism. But she accep­ted the fire per­fect­ly and sur­pri­sin­gly immedia­te­ly deve­lo­ped a gre­at crea­my smo­ke. The draw resis­tance was opti­mal from start to finish. We have alrea­dy repor­ted on the ori­gin of the tob­ac­co used. We found the cigar to be medi­um strong and could find ear­thy aro­mas and cof­fee notes from half­way through. The ashes held up sur­pri­sin­gly well — until the pho­to session 🙁

Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, one of the cigars ten­ded to deve­lop uneven burn, but this could be cor­rec­ted well. A well-made cigar that is easy to smo­ke and fun.

Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly the bot­t­le of the Bava­ri­an Rum was much too small with 12 fl oz. An extre­me­ly tas­ty rum that went well with the cigar.

La Bavaria Salomones & Rumult Rum
La Bava­ria Salo­mo­nes & Rumult Rum

After several attempts with tob­ac­co from Bava­ria, Mar­cel Pol­zma­cher deci­ded on South Ame­ri­can tob­ac­co. Now the pro­duc­tion takes place in a small fac­to­ry in Cos­ta Rica. The insert blend of our La Bava­ria Salo­mo­nes comes from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, Nica­ra­gua and Peru. The bin­der from Nica­ra­gua and the wrap­per from Ecua­dor. The cigars are aged for at least 3 years. The for­mat with a ring gau­ge of 54/64“and a length of a litt­le over 7” loo­ks real­ly impres­si­ve and is per­fect­ly craf­ted. Our Salo­mo­nes were deli­ve­r­ed in a mason jar. We will report on this smoke.

Our rum, Rumult Signa­tu­re Cask Selec­tion, is distil­led from sugar cane juice by the Lat­ten­ham­mer distil­le­ry in Bava­ria at Lake Schlier­see and matu­red the­re for several years in high-qua­li­ty bar­rels. With its 86° pro­of it is a strong yet sil­ky rum with aro­mas of dried fruits, raisins and vanilla.

CigarKings Robusto Maduro
Cigar­Kings Robus­to Maduro

In Ger­ma­ny today we are cele­bra­ting the Three Kings’ Day. So what could be more expec­ted than to cele­bra­te this event royal­ly. Our VP Tim dona­ted us 3 kings in the form of a Robus­to Madu­ro each from Phil­ipp Kug­ler’s Cigar­Kings from Munich.

Accord­ing to the manu­fac­tu­rer, this beau­ti­ful cigar with a 50/64” ring gau­ge and a length of 5” is made using the Ent­u­ba­do pro­cess. This is an old Cuban rol­ling style, here the Nica­ra­gu­an insert she­ets are pla­ced indi­vi­du­al­ly in small rolls next to each other and for­med into a bund­le. The indi­vi­du­al­ly rol­led fil­ler lea­ves ensu­re unhin­de­red pas­sa­ge of smo­ke in the cigar. The smo­ke has to pass through all the lea­ves and thus trans­ports more aro­ma and tas­te. Phil­ipp Kug­ler keeps the loca­ti­on of his fac­to­ry in Nica­ra­gua a secret. The wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor and the ori­gin of the bin­der is not revealed.

Il Padrino Don Vito Robusto Gran Gordo
Il Padri­no Don Vito Robus­to Gran Gordo

We had pro­mi­sed to report on our Il Padri­no tasting.

First of all, of cour­se, the beau­ti­ful black lac­que­red box cat­ches the eye. If you open the box, the 15 even Don Vitos come to light. The Don Vito is a Robus­to Gran Gordo with a 58 ring gau­ge and a length of 5”. The cigars appe­ar to be per­fect­ly craf­ted. The Colo­ra­do wrap­per is fine-vei­ned, vel­ve­ty soft and per­fect­ly rol­led. The cold draw is per­fect and tas­tes rather neu­tral. The first puffs alrea­dy reve­al the full aro­ma of the well-made blend of the insert from Cos­ta Rica, Peru and the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The burn was sur­pri­sin­gly even to the lea­the­ry end. Over­all, we 3 Ash­ho­les real­ly lik­ed this cigar. It won’t be the last box.

The 2 dif­fe­rent rums, the Il Padri­no and the Nord­licht Reser­ve, con­vin­ced with their very simi­lar strong spi­ce aro­mas and went well with the cigar.

La Libertad Robustos paired with Puerto Rican rum Don Q Double Cask
La Libertad Robustos pai­red with Puer­to Rican rum Don Q Dou­ble Cask

Ano­t­her high­light of our Christ­mas par­ty at Zigar­ren Her­zog in the Ber­lin har­bor on the Spree with my friends from the Ber­lin Fum­a­do­res were the new La Libertad Robustos. The com­pa­ny Vil­li­ger Sons from Walds­hut-Tien­gen, Ger­ma­ny has given this tra­di­tio­nal cigar brand a new look and has relo­ca­ted pro­duc­tion to its new plant in Nica­ra­gua. The wrap­per and the fil­ler come from Nica­ra­gua, the bin­der from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. I have to say, this cigar is a real alter­na­ti­ve to Cuban cigars.

The Puer­to Rican rum Don Q Dou­ble Cask, named after “Don Qui­xo­te”, went well with it. Dou­ble Cask, as one rum was first distil­led in 2009 and ano­t­her in 2012 and then matu­red sepa­r­ate­ly in Ame­ri­can white oak bar­rels. In 2017 the rums were mar­ried and trans­fer­red to sher­ry bar­rels. The rum had matu­red a second time in the­se bar­rels by 2019. A gre­at result!

VegaFina Year of the Ox 2021 paired with a Martini extra dry
Vega­Fi­na Year of the Ox 2021 pai­red with a Mar­ti­ni extra dry

Today a rever­se pai­ring. What goes well with a Mar­ti­ni extra dry. And what is an extra dry mar­ti­ni. I had an Ame­ri­can friend exp­lain it to me. A mar­ti­ni cock­tail con­sists of gin (2 oz) and dry ver­mouth (0.34 oz). A dry mar­ti­ni con­sists only of gin and the bot­t­le of ver­mouth is just next to it. With an Extra Dry Mar­ti­ni, the bot­t­le of ver­mouth is not even in the same room! The drink is stir­red with a lot of ice and not shaken, only James Bond lets it shake, but then it beco­mes cloudy.

I trea­ted mys­elf to a Vega­Fi­na Year of the Ox 2021 (Gran Titan) with my drink. For me it fit per­fect­ly with a ring gau­ge of 56 (7/8″). Their Domi­ni­can and Nica­ra­gu­an tob­ac­co lea­ves have a very inten­se aro­ma and dis­tinc­ti­ve tas­te and go very well with a hard drink.

Rocky Patel "CIGAR SMOKING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP" paired with an old Calvados
Rocky Patel “CIGAR SMOKING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP” pai­red with an old Calvados

Our trus­ted dea­ler deli­ve­r­ed. My first Rocky Patel, I have to admit. In this case a Toro. The inscrip­ti­on “CIGAR SMOKING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP” on the box.

After some rese­arch, we found out what this label is all about. The Mar­e­va Cigar Club in the Croa­ti­an Split orga­ni­zes an annu­al world cham­pions­hip in slow smo­king. This com­pe­ti­ti­on has been sup­por­ted by Rocky Patel Cigars sin­ce 2020; accord­in­gly, this Nica­ra­gu­an cigar is now being fought with!

A plea­sant to smo­ke cigar that har­mo­ni­zed very well with the 8 year old Cal­va­dos. The only point of cri­ti­cism is the loop at the end of the cigar. It is a real fidd­le to remo­ve these.

Grappa Tsting
Grap­pa Tas­ting — What goes best with a H.Upmann Con­nos­sieur No.2 ?

Today we want to test the grap­pa frac­tion from Joergs litt­le house bar with a few Mem­bers. Which one goes best with the Hava­na H.Upmann Con­nos­sieur No.2 ? We have to say the simp­le Nar­di­ni was best for our tas­te. Some­ti­mes the simp­le is just good.