Tastings

Zigarrengeschichten Cigar Stories
Cigar Sto­ries / tastings & More

We have now sum­ma­ri­zed the results of our regu­lar cigar tastings in Ber­lin in a 400-page book and illus­tra­ted them with 196 of our own photos.

This first part covers the peri­od from May 2021 to May 2023. A second part is planned.

The bilin­gu­al (German/English) cigar book reports on our smo­king expe­ri­en­ces, the careful­ly rese­ar­ched sto­ries and back­grounds of the manu­fac­tu­r­ers and their brands, as well as the tob­ac­cos used and their origin.

You can take a first look here:
Cigar Sto­ries — Tastings & More


Our Tastings

2024/04/24
A year ago we did it once, the actual­ly unspeaka­ble thing, smo­ked, or rather tas­ted, a fla­vor­ed cigar. It was the Eng­lish of the Larut­aN / Natu­raL series from Drew Estate.

Today, after our tas­te buds have cal­med down, a second attempt with a much smal­ler fla­vor­ed cigar. It is the León Jime­nes Fla­vor Petit Coro­na Bee. She used to be cal­led “Honey”. The aut­ho­ri­ties pro­ba­b­ly found this mis­lea­ding and ban­ned this name in con­nec­tion with tobacco.

The León Jime­nes series is a brand from what is pro­ba­b­ly the oldest cigar fac­to­ry in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, Taba­ca­lera La Auro­ra. In 1903, Edu­ar­do León Jime­nes, just 18 years old, inhe­ri­ted some ara­ble land and, tog­e­ther with six employees, laid the foun­da­ti­on for the brand that is now known worldwide.

We are curious to see whe­ther this fla­vor­ed ver­si­on can con­vin­ce us more. We will report. Stay tuned!


2024/04/27
Today we tried a fla­vor­ed cigar for the second time, the Leon Jime­nes Fla­vor Petit Coro­na Bee from La Auro­ra. She used to be named “Honey”.

With a 38 ring gau­ge and a length of 4”, it is real­ly not huge, this Petit Coro­na.
It’s a Domi­ni­can puro and is said to be fla­vor­ed, wha­te­ver that means.

The cold smell is powerful, like an open jar of honey in a per­fu­me­ry. When the small cigar tou­ch­es your lips, the enti­re mouth imme­dia­te­ly fills with an enorm­ous sweet­ness that drowns out ever­y­thing else. We would descri­be the aro­ma as a mix of honey and sweete­ner with a flo­ral note. It appears that the head end of the Bee was dipped (fla­vor­ed) in such a mix. During the twen­ty-minu­te smo­ke, other fla­vors had no chance.

Con­clu­si­on: if you like it, the Bee is the best…


2024/04/17
When we visi­ted our trus­ted dea­ler today, we were sedu­ced into buy­ing by the beau­tiful design of one box.

A deco­ra­ti­ve box in the old-fashio­ned style of the old big brands of Cuba. The con­tent, 20 box-pres­sed Robus­tos “Flor de las Antil­las Sun Grown” from the Taba­ca­lera “My Fathers Cigars” by Don Pepin Gar­cia from Este­li in Nica­ra­gua. His son Jai­me, who crea­ted the blend and over­sees the pro­duc­tion, is respon­si­ble for this series.

“Flor de las Antil­las” means “Flower of the Antil­les”. The Antil­les refer to the archi­pe­la­go of Cuba, Jamai­ca, Puer­to Rico and His­pa­niao­la, the island with today’s two sta­tes Hai­ti and the Domi­ni­can Republic.

The name is remi­nis­cent of Don Pepin Garcia’s ori­g­ins in Cuba.
We are curious to see whe­ther the cigar, rated at 96 points, does what the pack­a­ging pro­mi­ses. We will report, stay tuned!


2024/04/21
Do our Robus­tos Flor de las Antil­las Sun Grown from Don Pepin Garcia’s Taba­ca­lera My Fathers Cigars, in Este­li, Nica­ra­gua, tas­te as good as they look good?

The­se Nica­ra­gu­an pur­os have a 50 ring gau­ge, are box pres­sed and 5” long.
The wrap­per is sun grown and as a spe­cial fea­ture they have two bin­ders abo­ve the long filler.

The cigar is a feast for the eyes. The fine-vei­ned light brown and flaw­less wrap­per is deco­ra­ted with a very beau­tiful old-fashio­ned cigar band in the style of the old Cuban brands. The foot is pro­tec­ted by a red silk ribbon.

The draw resis­tance and bur­ning beha­vi­or were per­fect. In addi­ti­on to the ear­thy fla­vors, we also tas­ted slight­ly sweet aro­mas of nuts and cof­fee wit­hout the pep­pery spi­ci­ness that is usu­al with My Fathers cigars.

Over­all, a very balan­ced, almost hour-long, gre­at smo­ke with a good pri­ce-per­for­mance ratio. The smo­ke cer­tain­ly deli­ver­ed what the look promised.


2024/04/14
Only half a month has pas­sed and the month­ly bud­get for cigars has been used up. What to do? The­re has to be a plan B.

Oscar Val­l­a­da­res from Hon­du­ras, one of the most inno­va­ti­ve entre­pre­neurs in the cigar indus­try, has this Plan B. It is the extre­me­ly afforda­ble bund­le cigar “Oscar Val­l­a­da­res Plan B Madu­ro Toro”. In addi­ti­on to his much more expen­si­ve pre­mi­um cigars, Val­l­a­da­res has released them as a low-cost vari­ant — as Plan B.

The “Plan B” is only available in the Toro vito­la, but in three wrap­per vari­ants: the mild Con­nec­ti­cut, the strong Coro­jo and the sweet, aro­ma­tic Madu­ro, which we chose.

They come as a bund­le of 10 in simp­le cel­lo­pha­ne pack­a­ging, have a simp­le cig­ar­band and look quite rustic. The­re are dif­fe­rent infor­ma­ti­on about the type of cigar, from long fil­ler to medi­um fil­ler to short fil­ler. We have dis­as­sem­bled one and will report on it.

They are rol­led in Dan­li, Hon­du­ras in their own Taba­ca­lera, which was built in 2012.
Of cour­se we will also light them and report back.


2024/04/15
Now it was their turn, the inex­pen­si­ve “Plan B” Madu­ro bund­le cigars from Oscar Val­l­a­da­res from Honduras.

The­se Toros have a 52 ring gau­ge and are 6″ long. The some­what rustic Madu­ro wrap­per comes from Nica­ra­gua, the bin­der and fil­ler come from Hon­du­ras. The­re are dif­fe­rent infor­ma­ti­on about the design of the fil­ler, so we sacri­fi­ced one and dis­as­sem­bled it into its com­pon­ents (see next pho­to). It is neither a long fil­ler nor a medi­um fil­ler, as some online shops wri­te. A short­fil­ler blend is wrap­ped in just one slight­ly lar­ger sheet, not in seve­ral lar­ger sheets like a sand­wich. So we would call it a “half sandwich” 😉.

The burn was a bit uneven and quite wild, but the draw beha­vi­or was per­fect. The tas­te was okay. They gave off light aro­mas of cof­fee and cho­co­la­te wit­hout being pep­pery. A very mild 45 minu­te inex­pen­si­ve smoke.


2024/04/11
We had alre­a­dy repor­ted on the Frank­furt cigar manu­fac­tu­rer Mer­ce­des-Reyes. In her small fac­to­ry, Geor­gi­na Mer­ce­des Reyes hand­les tob­ac­co from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, which her fami­ly has grown the­re sin­ce 1910. We have now dis­co­ver­ed ano­ther cigar from Frank­furt at our trus­ted retail­er, the El Gran­de Con­se­je­ro from Urtyp Cigars.

The cigar, which was only released in Febru­ary of this year, was initia­ted by Frank­furt afi­ci­o­na­do Con­rad Men­zel and pro­ba­b­ly comes from the dream of having his own cigar made accor­ding to his wishes.

The cho­sen name “Urtyp” means some­thing like pro­to­ty­pe or arche­ty­pe and is inten­ded to indi­ca­te that this cigar is the first of a who­le series. In the fall of this year, ano­ther 4 Vito­las will come onto the mar­ket, which will no lon­ger be rol­led in Frank­furt but in the Domi­ni­can Republic.

Of cour­se we will take a clo­ser look at them and tas­te them. We will report! Stay tuned.


2024/04/12
Today we are taking a look at two pro­ducts named “Urtyp” (pro­to­ty­pe), i.e. pro­ducts from the first gene­ra­ti­on. The “Urtyp” or arche­ty­pe of the Ham­burg beer “Astra”, bre­wed accor­ding to the ori­gi­nal reci­pe from 1909. And the first cigar from Con­rad Men­zel, also his “Urtyp” from this year, the El Gran­de Con­se­je­ro (the gre­at gui­de). This Domi­ni­can Puro has a 54 ring gau­ge and a length of 6¼”, so it is a Dou­ble Toro or Toro Gordo.

The first thing you noti­ce is the beau­tiful cigar band with the Frank­furt sky­line abo­ve the even, dark Coro­jo wrap­per. It has two bin­ders, a Cril­lo 98 and a Cameroon. The fil­ler is a blend of 60% Seco, 20% Viso and 20% Lige­ro. All tob­ac­cos were allo­wed to age for 8–15 years and all come from the Leo Reyes plan­ta­ti­ons. They are rol­led in Frank­furt, Ger­ma­ny in the Mer­ce­des-Reyes cigar factory.

This “Urtyp” gave us a good smo­ke las­ting a good 90 minu­tes with slight­ly sweet, frui­ty and nut­ty aro­mas and a volu­mi­nous, cre­a­my smoke.


2024/04/07
We have alre­a­dy repor­ted a lot about the Arturo Fuen­te cigar brand. Foun­ded in 1912 in Tam­pa, Flo­ri­da by the then 24-year-old Cuban emi­grant Arturo Fuen­te, today, more than 100 years later, more than 30 mil­li­on cigars are rol­led every year under his son Carlito.

The­se pre­mi­um cigars are usual­ly in the upper pri­ce seg­ment. Now we got our hands on a box of the Arturo Fuen­te Clas­sic Espe­cia­les. The Espe­cia­les Series is a wal­let-fri­end­ly cigar, crea­ted with the idea of crea­ting the tas­te of a super-pre­mi­um cigar at a phe­no­me­nal pri­ce.
We cho­se the Dou­ble Coro­na from the series, which Fuen­te calls “Empe­ra­tor”. It is a unpre­ten­tious appearance with a quite sim­ply cigar band. The rus­ty brown Haba­no wrap­per from Ecua­dor is a bit rough. It’s not a long fil­ler eit­her, but rather a so-cal­led “Cuban sand­wich”. We will report on this later. But that’s all rela­ti­ve sin­ce it’s a Fuente!


2024/04/08
Now we have our empress, the Arturo Fuen­te Clas­sic Espe­cia­les Empe­ra­dor, also going up in smo­ke. This Dou­ble Coro­na has a 52 ring gau­ge and is 7″ long.

The Fil­ler is made in the so-cal­led Cuban sand­wich style. This means that high-qua­li­ty, long-matu­red smal­ler pie­ces of tob­ac­co (short­fil­ler) are rol­led into a few lar­ger tob­ac­co lea­ves (medi­um fil­ler) like a sand­wich. All from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. Only then does the Domi­ni­can bin­der fol­low. Last but not least is a rus­ty brown Haba­no wrap­per from Ecua­dor. The­se wrap­pers are grown exclu­si­ve­ly for Fuen­te by the Oli­va fami­ly. They are rol­led in the Taba­ca­lera Fuen­te in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. A cigar made from high-qua­li­ty, long-aged tob­ac­cos, but thanks to the use of part of the fil­ler as a short fil­ler, a cost-effec­ti­ve vari­ant wit­hout com­pro­mi­sing on quality.

The 90-minu­te smo­ke emit­ted aro­mas of oak, cedar, lea­ther and some cin­na­mon, accom­pa­nied by a subt­le sweetness.


2024/04/05
The post­man sur­pri­sed us today with a lar­ge enve­lo­pe from our mem­ber Oli­ver @kemper_oliver from the Harz Mountains.

Oli­ver shared a sou­ve­nir with us from fri­ends who had visi­ted Cuba: the Cohi­ba Ciga­ril­los Short.

We would rather descri­be them as minia­tu­re cigars. The litt­le Cub­ans are real pur­os, but machi­ne-made and short fil­ler. They are real­ly tiny with a 3 ring gau­ge and a length of just 3 ¼”.

We were sur­pri­sed by the full, typi­cal Cuban tas­te with the typi­cal ear­thy aro­mas pai­red with a nut­ty sweetness.

A real­ly good 10 minu­te smo­ke for a short break, this cigar in ciga­ril­lo format.

Thanks Oli­ver!


2024/03/29
Today, as an excep­ti­on, we have sel­ec­ted cigars based on the nice cigar band: the Vega­Fi­na Nica­ra­gua Este­li 2023 Salomónes.

Vega Fina can be trans­la­ted as “fer­ti­le land”. Vega­Fi­na star­ted in 1998 as a Domi­ni­can brand of the Spa­nish importer Taba­ca­lera, initi­al­ly only for the Spa­nish dome­stic mar­ket. Today the brand belongs to the Spa­nish-French tob­ac­co com­pa­ny Alta­dis. It was crea­ted in 1999 through a mer­ger bet­ween Taba­ca­lera, the for­mer Spa­nish tob­ac­co mono­po­ly, and SEITA, the for­mer French tob­ac­co mono­po­ly. The com­pa­ny was taken over by the Bri­tish tob­ac­co giant Impe­ri­al Tob­ac­co — now Impe­ri­al Brands — in 2008 and beca­me its subsidiary.

The Este­li 2023 is a Nica­ra­gu­an Puro – actual­ly a dou­ble Puro. All tob­ac­co comes from Nica­ra­gua and twice becau­se they all come from the same Este­li tob­ac­co regi­on. And last but not least, the pain­ting on the beau­tiful cigar band also comes from Este­li and is typi­cal of the regi­on.
We also trea­ted ourselves

to the Stone-Buen­a­ve­za Lager beer from Denmark.


2024/04/02
Yes­ter­day evening we enjoy­ed our Nica­ra­gua Este­li 2023 Salo­mo­nes from Vega­Fi­na.
This Nica­ra­gu­an Puro with tob­ac­cos exclu­si­ve­ly from the Este­li regi­on comes in the per­fect form of a dou­ble figu­ra­do and has a 52 ring gau­ge and a length of 5¾”. Once the wide band with the deco­ra­ti­ve pain­ting from the Este­li regi­on has been remo­ved, the flaw­less hazel­nut brown wrap­per leaf comes into its own. They are rol­led in the Taba­ca­lera de Gar­cía in Nicaragua.

Vega­Fi­na recom­mends not­ching the Salo­mo­nes a litt­le at the foot to opti­mi­ze the first puffs. It was a 45 minu­te gre­at smo­ke with the typi­cal Nica­ra­gu­an fla­vors as well as cof­fee and rai­sins with an addi­tio­nal plea­sant subt­le sweetness.


2024/03/24
Sun­day ridd­le:
A packa­ge from our Swiss fri­ends rea­ched us just in time for the upco­ming Eas­ter. We are over­joy­ed becau­se you can’t buy the­se litt­le boxes in Ger­ma­ny, but you can in Switz­er­land.
Who has seen the­se boxes befo­re and what do they have to do with Eas­ter? Who knows or who can guess?

We will of cour­se reve­al the secret at Eas­ter and report back to you. Stay tuned!


2024/03/27
We could­n’t wait to open our Eas­ter gift from our Swiss fri­ends. In kee­ping with Eas­ter, they sur­pri­sed us with Eas­ter eggs rol­led out of tob­ac­co leaves.

Drew Estate has been making them for over 20 years and appro­pria­te­ly calls them the “Egg”. Ours are the Madu­ro Eggs from the Larut­aN series. Befo­re the legal regu­la­ti­ons for the tob­ac­co indus­try were tigh­ten­ed, the series was cal­led Natu­raL. Terms such as natu­ral or orga­nic should no lon­ger be asso­cia­ted with tob­ac­co. So Drew Estate sim­ply tur­ned the word “Natu­raL” around, i.e. spel­led it backwards.

Undoub­ted­ly a uni­que cigar in the world. A tape­red head and foot with a huge, swol­len egg-shaped cen­ter is wrap­ped in a dark glos­sy Madu­ro wrap­per from Nicaragua.

Each is nest­led in a nest of tob­ac­co snip­pets and indi­vi­du­al­ly packed in a box. This is also the reason why it is no lon­ger allo­wed to be sold in Ger­ma­ny. The­se tob­ac­co snip­pets would also be sub­ject to tob­ac­co tax, someone could roll a cigar out of them!!!

Of cour­se, we won’t light it until Eas­ter and tell you about it. Stay tuned!


2024/03/31
Hap­py Eas­ter ever­yo­ne! Which cigar goes best with Eas­ter? Of cour­se a Larut­aN / Natu­raL Egg from Drew Estate!

Our Eas­ter eggs have a Madu­ro wrap­per from Nica­ra­gua, a bin­der also from Nica­ra­gua and a fil­ler blend from 4 con­ti­nents: Nica­ra­gua, Hon­du­ras, the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, Mexi­co, USA, Cameroon, Indo­ne­sia, Bra­zil and Ita­ly. In the midd­le the dia­me­ter is approx. 1⅝” with a length of 5⅝”. The Egg is rol­led at the La Gran Fabri­ca Drew Estate in Nicaragua.

It was quite com­pli­ca­ted to smo­ke. Initi­al­ly the­re was litt­le smo­ke and you had to draw per­sis­t­ent­ly to keep it from going out. But if you drew too hard and too fast, it would get very hot. Once you’­ve made it to the midd­le, things get a litt­le easier. The smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment remains rather mode­st. Fla­vors were sweet but unde­fi­nable. Con­clu­si­on: a very fan­cy, paschal 1½ hour smoke.


2024/03/19
The owner of the Bal­mo­ral brand, named after the Scot­tish sum­mer resi­dence of the Bri­tish roy­al fami­ly, is the com­pa­ny Roy­al Agio Cigars, foun­ded in 1895 by Jac­ques Win­ter­mans in Dui­zel, Net­her­lands. Today, Bal­mo­rals are manu­fac­tu­red in Agio’s own fac­to­ry in San Pedro de Maco­rís, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The brand has been part of the Scan­di­na­vi­an Tob­ac­co Group sin­ce 2021.

Now we dis­co­ver­ed “Nica­ra­gua Añe­jo XO”, released in 2019. The addi­ti­on “excep­tio­nal­ly old” and the descrip­ti­on of the vito­la as “Roth­schild Masi­vo” made us curious. When she was born, her name was “Añe­jo 18 Years”. The tob­ac­cos used have pro­ba­b­ly still aged for a long time, but the 18 years could pro­ba­b­ly not be main­tai­ned. It is a Dou­ble Robus­to, of cour­se the more melo­dious name cho­sen by Agio as “Roth­schild Massivo”.

A real­ly gre­at appearance, both from the dark, oily, shi­ny wrap­per and from its ele­gant two cigarbands.

We will test them and of cour­se report back. Stay tuned!


2024/03/21
From the impres­si­ve pho­to shoot at the roy­al cast­le in Scot­land back in Ber­lin, we have now also lit them, our Roth­schild Masi­v­os of the Nica­ra­gua Añe­jo XO series from Bal­mo­ral.
The­se beau­tiful Dou­ble Robus­tos — Bal­mo­ral calls this vito­la Roth­schild Mas­si­vo — have a 55 ring gau­ge and are 5″ long.

They are wrap­ped with sungrown, oily, shi­ny dark wrap­per lea­ves from Nica­ra­gua, the bin­der is a Mata Fina from Bra­zil, the fil­ler blend is made up of Nica­ra­gu­an tob­ac­cos from Este­li, Domi­ni­can Olor and Bra­zi­li­an Mata Nor­te leaves.

The “XO” on the band stands for tob­ac­cos that have aged for an extra-long time. The­se gems have been rol­led sin­ce 2019 in the Agio Carib­be­an Tob­ac­co Com­pa­ny fac­to­ry in San Pedro de Maco­rís, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic under the con­trol of Mana­ging Direc­tor Fran­cis­co Batista.

We had a good one-hour smo­ke with aro­mas of nuts, cof­fee and some pep­per pai­red with a subt­le sweetness.

We also enjoy­ed a sin­gle malt Scotch from Glasgow.


2024(03/17
Today, March 17th, our Irish fri­ends around the world cele­bra­te the day Bishop Patrick brought Chris­tia­ni­ty to Ire­land. And just in time for this event, Alan Rubin, the initia­tor of the Alec Brad­ly brand — named after his two sons — releases a limi­t­ed new edi­ti­on of his Sham­rock from the Filt­hy Hoo­li­gan series every year. The word sham­rock refers to Ireland’s unof­fi­ci­al natio­nal sym­bol, a three-leaf clover. During his mis­sio­na­ry work, Saint Patrick explai­ned the Tri­ni­ty of God to the Irish using this shamrock.

Today we want to cele­bra­te St. Patrick’s Day with our Irish fri­ends in a befit­ting man­ner with a sham­rock from Alec Brad­ly and the Irish natio­nal drink, a pint of Guin­ness beer.

We call out to all of you out the­re: “Hap­py St. Patrick’s Day!” and cele­bra­te with us. Of cour­se we will report on our cigar today. Stay tuned!

2024/03/18
With our Irish fri­ends we cele­bra­ted St. Patrick’s Day in style yes­ter­day and lit up some Sham­rocks we had got­ten from Alec Bradly’s Filt­hy Hoo­li­gan series.

This year the­se were again very limi­t­ed to 1,500 boxes of 10 each.

They were Toros with a 50 ring gau­ge and a length of 6”. They are near­ly iden­ti­cal to the “Bar­ber Pole” and have, in addi­ti­on to the two wrap­per lea­ves of the Bar­ber Pole, a Haba­no 2000 and a Haba­no Madu­ro, both from Nica­ra­gua, ano­ther green Can­de­la leaf from Hon­du­ras. The bin­der is a Suma­tra leaf from Ecua­dor. The fil­ler blend comes from Pana­ma and Honduras.

The Sham­rock was the first pro­ject of Alan Rubin, the crea­tor of the Alec Brad­ley brand. It is rol­led at Pla­sen­ci­as in their Taba­cos de Ori­en­te fac­to­ry in Dan­lí, Honduras.

The hour-long smo­ke gave us a mild smo­ke with aro­mas of sweet fruits, nuts and cedar wood. The Irish Guin­ness beer went per­fect­ly with these.


2024/03/12
A visu­al tre­at, the own brand “Leo­nel Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­on 2021 Signa­tu­re Toro Madu­ro” from cigar retail­er Paul Bug­ge Cigars from Schwen­nin­gen, Germany.

Paul Bug­ge foun­ded his cigar busi­ness in 1951. In 1998 he sold his cigar busi­ness to Nor­bert Höld­ke and his son Dani­el. Father and son suc­cessful­ly expan­ded the busi­ness into a thri­ving com­pa­ny with its own online shop and cigar loun­ges. In 2014 they laun­ched their own brand Leo­nel (litt­le lion), which quick­ly estab­lished its­elf as a pre­mi­um brand in the market.

Today’s cigar was released as a spe­cial edi­ti­on limi­t­ed to 1,000 boxes, but is now part of the port­fo­lio and has a regu­lar place in the range.

The Leo­nel Signa­tu­re Toro Madu­ro is like the “Leaf” by Oscar Val­l­a­da­res rol­led into an extra tob­ac­co leaf as pack­a­ging. So first unpack and then light it!!

Of cour­se we will unpack them and report back. Stay tuned!!


2024/03/13
Now we have “unlea­fed” them, our Toros from the Signa­tu­re Limi­t­ed 2021 Madu­ro series from Leo­nel, a pri­va­te brand of the cigar dea­ler and importer Paul Bug­ge from Schwen­nin­gen, Germany.

First we careful­ly loo­se­ned the two outer cigar rings. We then ope­ned the “pic­tails” of the addi­tio­nal wrap­per leaf that ser­ved as pack­a­ging and were now able to reve­al our Leo­nel Signa­tu­re. The cigar does­n’t come naked, but is deco­ra­ted with two more iden­ti­cal cigar bands.

On the band you can read that it is a Nica­ra­gu­an Puro, which is available in two dif­fe­rent blends. First­ly our Madu­ro and then ano­ther vari­ant with a Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de wrap­per.
It is also explai­ned that the addi­tio­nal tob­ac­co leaf com­ple­tes the aging pro­cess per­fect­ly.
This Puro is rol­led in Nica­ra­gua by part­ner manufacturers.

We will light it this evening and are exci­ted to see whe­ther this cigar lives up to its pro­mi­se on the out­side. We will report. Stay tuned!!


2024/03/14
With gre­at expec­ta­ti­ons, we have final­ly lit our Nica­ra­gu­an Puro from Leo­nel from the Signa­tu­re Limi­t­ed 2021 Madu­ro series.

It is a Toro with a 52 ring gau­ge and a length of 6″.

The cold cigar with its dark, oily, very beau­tiful wrap­per leaf gave the sen­se of a very plea­sant, sweet tob­ac­co scent. Imme­dia­te­ly after light­ing, a cre­a­my, excep­tio­nal smo­ke volu­me deve­lo­ped. We found her to be very mild for a Nica­ra­gu­an. The pep­pery aro­mas were mixed with a slight frui­ty sweet­ness, which remain­ed in the back­ground. From the second third onwards, lea­thery and ear­thy aro­mas were added. The draw beha­vi­or was per­fect, but the burn was a bit wild. A nice loo­king cigar that fell a litt­le short of our expec­ta­ti­ons. Not a typi­cal Madu­ro but a defi­ni­te­ly good 70 minu­te smoke.


2024/03/09
A pai­ring today. What goes best with one of Arturo Fuente’s Flor Fina 8–5‑8 Madu­ro.
We brow­sed through our bar and cho­se the Bava­ri­an rum “Rumult”. Yes, it is actual­ly distil­led in Haus­ham, Ger­ma­ny on Lake Schlier­see in Bava­ria. Haus­ham is a small, pic­tures­que for­mer mining town. Coal was mined here until 1966. Sin­ce 2017, Tobi­as Mai­er has been expe­ri­men­ting with distil­la­ti­on from sugar cane at the tra­di­tio­nal Lan­ten­ham­mer distil­lery for a long time. The basis for this rum is not just molas­ses, but vir­gin sugar cane honey from the Carib­be­an. This ferm­ents here in old fer­men­ta­ti­on vats and is then dou­ble distil­led using the tra­di­tio­nal pot-stil pro­cess. The distil­la­te then ages for seve­ral years in old, spe­ci­al­ly sel­ec­ted Bour­bon, Cocnac, Madei­ra and Sher­ry bar­rels. Our 43% (86 pro­of) Rumult Signa­tu­re Cask Sel­ec­tion Rum cle­ar­ly reve­als sweet fruit and wood aro­mas. This edi­ti­on is limi­t­ed to 5,490 bottles.

A wort­hy and fit­ting com­pa­n­ion to our Fuente!


2024/03/05
At the Ber­lin cigar dea­ler, Her­zog, we dis­co­ver­ed a new bund­le cigar cal­led “Anti­gua”. This cigar comes from La Anti­gua Gua­te­ma­la. Dr. Maxi­mi­li­an Her­zog got to know this cigar on his last trip through the regi­on and exclu­si­ve­ly impor­ted 3,000 cigars.

This made us extre­me­ly curious, as the­re is almost no tob­ac­co indus­try in Gua­te­ma­la and around 28,000 tons of tob­ac­co (5.8 mil­li­on world­wi­de) are only har­ve­s­ted on a mode­st (3,100 acres. Smo­king is also ban­ned almost ever­y­whe­re in the country.

Our rese­arch led us to Uwe Schiff­ke and his wife Lyne Bis­son­net­te. Cana­di­an-born Schiff­ke emi­gra­ted to Gua­te­ma­la and has been run­ning a cigar shop and smo­king lounge in La Anti­gua Gua­te­ma­la under the name Anti­gua Cigars sin­ce 2004. And – one of his house brands is cal­led “Anti­gua” red label and is the cigar impor­ted by Her­zog. One could now assu­me that this cigar comes from Gua­te­ma­la. But that’s defi­ni­te­ly not the case, it’s a Nica­ra­gu­an puro.

We will con­ti­nue to report.


2024/03/08
We have now lit a few by Zigar­ren-Her­zog exclu­si­ve­ly impor­ted Anti­gua Madu­ro Tor­pe­does from Gua­te­ma­la. A per­fect­ly craf­ted cigar with a flaw­less, almost black Con­de­ga wrap­per from Nica­ra­gua. The bin­der and fil­ler blend also come from Nica­ra­gua, whe­re they are also made as a pri­va­te label cigar for the Gua­te­mal­an cigar dea­ler Uwe Schiff­ke. It is a long fil­ler with a 52 ring gau­ge and a length of 6”.

Uwe Schiff­ke, an immi­grant from Cana­da, runs a cigar lounge and tob­ac­co shop in La Anti­gua Gua­te­ma­la, a small, pic­tures­que town with just 35,000 inha­bi­tants in the cen­tral high­lands of Gua­te­ma­la, sur­roun­ded by the three vol­ca­noes of Agua, Aca­ten­an­go and Fue­go. Our arma­dil­lo is also at home here.

Even when they were cold, our Anti­gu­as exu­ded a plea­sant scent of exo­tic fruits. Bur­ning and dra­wing beha­vi­or were per­fect. We could tas­te the typi­cal Nica­ra­gu­an ear­thy and spi­cy aro­mas. A quite inex­pen­si­ve and worth men­tio­ning cigar. Thank you Dr. Maxi­mi­li­an Her­zog, for brin­ging this cigar to Berlin.


2024/03/01
As we all know, the name Chur­chill for a par­ti­cu­lar cigar for­mat is based on the for­mer Bri­tish Prime Minis­ter Sir Winston’s par­ti­cu­lar pre­fe­rence for this Vito­la. One could now assu­me that the name Salo­mo­nes for the spe­cial form of our cur­rent dou­ble figu­ra­dos goes back to King Salo­mon. But he has not­hing to do with the naming. The word Solo­mon goes back to the Greek vari­ant “Σαλωμων” of the Hebrew word שְׁלֹמֹה (Shlo­mo) and means some­thing like per­fec­tion. That’s what the­se cigars are to us: a per­fect work of art, of which even an expe­ri­en­ced Torce­dor can only make a maxi­mum of 60 cigars a day.

This beau­tiful Vito­la was for­got­ten in the 1930s and was only redis­co­ver­ed by Par­ta­g­as in the 1990s. From 2009 onwards, seve­ral non-Cuban cigar manu­fac­tu­r­ers brought this for­mat back onto the market.

We will try two of the­se spe­cial cigars and of cour­se report back to you. Stay tuned!


2024/03/04
It’s almost their turn, the show­pie­ces of our Salo­mo­nes tasting and at the same time the bir­th­day cigar of our chap­ter pre­si­dent: the Pla­sen­cia Alma Fuer­te (strong soul) Genera­ci­on V Salomon.

A Nica­ra­gu­an Puro with a Jala­pa Sha­de wrap­per, a Criol­lo bin­der and a fil­ler of Con­de­ga, Este­li, Jala­pa and Ome­te­pe. It has a 58 ring gau­ge, is slight­ly box-pres­sed and 7” long. It is rol­led in the Taba­ca­lera Pla­sen­cia in Este­li, Nicaragua.

The still cold cigar releases a scent of mint, peach and lea­ther. Once lit, it takes a while for the burn and draw to level off. Despi­te recut­ting, the draw resis­tance remain­ed strong but still tole­ra­ble. The bur­ning was uneven, but always cor­rec­ted its­elf. We could tas­te inten­se aro­mas of pep­per, sweet cho­co­la­te, cof­fee beans and earth. From the second third onwards, citrus and flo­ral aro­mas joi­n­ed in.

A real­ly good smo­ke las­ting more than two hours and wort­hy for our pre­si­dents’ birthday!


2024/03/03
Today we have ven­tu­red into this powerful and at the same time magni­fi­cent vito­la, the Gil­bert de Mont­sal­vat 10 Years Anni­ver­sa­ry Salomones.

It is real­ly powerful with its 60 ring gau­ge and an impres­si­ve length of 7½”. The wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor, the bin­der from Nica­ra­gua and the fil­ler blend from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. This dou­ble figu­ra­do is rol­led in Nica­ra­gua. The cha­rac­te­ristic of this sub­ca­te­go­ry of the figua­ra­dos is the lea­ving from the cylin­der, as it tapers to a point at both ends. The advan­ta­ge of the­se for­mats is that the afi­ci­o­na­do can deci­de for hims­elf how much of the cigar head he wants to cut off wit­hout dama­ging the wrap­per. That is, how strong he wants to make the draw resistance.

The Swiss Ray­mon­do Ber­nas­co­ni brought out the­se Salo­mo­nes at Inter­Ta­bak last year. We were able to enjoy this per­fect­ly craf­ted cigar for a full 90 minu­tes with inten­se roas­ted aro­mas and sweet nuan­ces of bit­ter almond and cocoa.


2024/02/27
After the many Nica­ra­gu­ans, we lit up a Bra­zi­li­an puro today, the Vil­li­ger Do Bra­sil Madu­ro Robus­to. Trans­la­ted from Por­tu­gue­se it is cal­led Vil­li­ger from Brazil.

Vil­li­ger has been import­ing Bra­zi­li­an tob­ac­co sin­ce 1888 and alre­a­dy owned a fac­to­ry in Bra­zil in 1978, the Cha­rut­os Toba­ja­ra Limi­ta­da. It was named after an Indi­an tri­be in the Ama­zon regi­on. The new­ly ope­ned modern fac­to­ry in the sta­te of Bahia, Fei­ra de San­ta­na repla­ced the old fac­to­ry in 2018.

So our Robus­to is a 100% Bra­zi­li­an Puro, rol­led in Bra­zil. It has a 50 ring gau­ge and is 5″ long. We could cle­ar­ly tas­te the mine­ral aro­mas typi­cal of Bra­zi­li­an tob­ac­cos. The­re was also a nice sweet­ness typi­cal of Madu­ro. A good smo­ke las­ting almost 60 minu­tes, alt­hough quite expen­si­ve for a Robusto.


2024/02/22
For tonight we have cho­sen some­thing powerful, the “Migh­ty Migh­ty Madu­ro” from the Brick­house series by the J.C. New­man Cigar Company.

Juli­us New­man emi­gra­ted to Ame­ri­ca from what was then Aus­tria-Hun­ga­ry in 1888. The­re he gave hims­elf a midd­le name, as is com­mon in Ame­ri­ca. He mode­st­ly cho­se “Cae­sar.” He trai­ned in the cigar indus­try and foun­ded his own cigar brand, J.C. New­man in 1895. In the 1930s, the des­cen­dants of Juli­us C. brought out the Brick­house brand. The name is remi­nis­cent of Juli­us C.’s birth­place in Aus­tria-Hun­ga­ry, which was the only one in the enti­re area made of bricks. The­re he lived on the first flo­or abo­ve a bar.

Today, the founder’s fourth-gene­ra­ti­on grand­child­ren, Eric and Bob­by New­man, run the fac­to­ries “El Reloj” in Ybor City / Tam­pa, Flo­ri­da and “Pen­sa” in Este­li, Nicaragua.

The company’s other brands include Per­la del Mar, El Baton and Quorum.

We will report!


2024/02/24
We have now let them go up in smo­ke, the migh­ty Migh­ty Migh­ty Madu­ros by J.C. Newman’s Brick House series. We enjoy­ed 1½ hours of a typi­cal Nicaraguan.

It has a mas­si­ve 60 ring gau­ge and is a full 6¼” long. The beau­tiful dark wrap­per is a Haba­no Subi­do, i.e. from Cuban seeds grown in Nica­ra­gua. The bin­der and fil­ler also come from Nica­ra­gua. It is rol­led in Este­li, Naca­ra­gua, a J.C. New­man fac­to­ry, America’s oldest fami­ly-owned manufacturer.

Not a very mild smo­ke but not too strong eit­her. The plea­sant sweet­ness was out­stan­ding. We found har­mo­nious­ly balan­ced typi­cal Nica­ra­gu­an aro­mas of cho­co­la­te, nuts, pep­per and always the subt­le sweetness.

If you can still get some, a nice smoke.


2024/02/16
Today we are intro­du­cing you to a very mys­te­rious cigar that we dis­co­ver­ed in Ber­lin. Mys­te­rious becau­se the­re is no infor­ma­ti­on about this cigar or its importer. Neither on the Inter­net nor in publi­ca­ti­ons. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, the sales staff in the stores don’t know any­thing about this cigar and the brand owner does­n’t respond to inqui­ries. This is uni­que and made us curious.

We found them in a small tob­ac­co shop that also func­tions as a lot­tery accep­tance point. The owner Micha­el Frie­se has been run­ning seve­ral of the­se small shops in Ber­lin for twen­ty years and he has been pro­du­cing this mys­te­rious series of cigars for two years now under the name “MF”, which are the initi­als of his name.

Frie­se sources them from a Taba­ca­lera in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. They look well craf­ted and have two attrac­ti­ve bands. One with the brand name MF and a second with the Ber­lin skyline.

We will con­ti­nue to rese­arch and will of cour­se try them short­ly and report back to you.


2024/02/17
Unfort­u­na­te­ly, we weren’t able to find out much about the mys­te­rious MF pri­va­te brand of the Ber­lin dea­ler Micha­el Frie­se. They are available in four vito­las: Per­la (42x4), Robus­to (48x5), Chur­chill (45x6) and Coro­na (48x6½). Today we tried the Coro­na with the two sil­ver bands. It has a wrap­per from Ecua­dor and three bin­ders, two from Indo­ne­sia, pro­ba­b­ly Suma­tra and one from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. We were only able to find out after we dis­as­sem­bled one. The fil­ler comes from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. And yes, it is a long fil­ler that is pro­ba­b­ly rol­led in the Domi­ni­can Republic.

Burn and draw resis­tance were per­fect. We could detect pep­pery, not spi­cy fla­vors. As the smo­ke con­tin­ued, cof­fee and a slight sweet­ness were also noti­ceable. A good, inex­pen­si­ve and mild 70 minu­te smoke.

The Ber­lin spe­cial bot­t­ling from Jäger­meis­ter, chil­led ice cold, went very well with this inte­res­t­ing Ber­lin Smoke.


2024/02/20
Ano­ther small adden­dum to the pri­va­te label “MF” cigars from the Ber­lin tob­ac­co dea­ler Micha­el Frie­se. In addi­ti­on to tho­se alre­a­dy dis­cus­sed, the­re is also a Robus­to with a gold cigar band. It is a Nica­ra­gu­an Puro and also a long fil­ler, but this time with only one bin­der.
We had a good 50 minu­te smo­ke. The fla­vors typi­cal of Nica­ra­gua are repre­sen­ted. The­re were hints of nuts and lea­ther but also a cer­tain sweet­ness. A good pri­ce-per­for­mance ratio con­tri­bu­ted to the fun of this “Ber­lin” cigar.


The Churchill from the "Seat to Smoke Classic" series by Rocky Patel
The Chur­chill from the “Seed to Smo­ke Clas­sic” series by Rocky Patel

2024/02/05
We have alre­a­dy repor­ted on the lawy­er Rocky Patel from Los Ange­les and a care­er chan­ger to the world of cigar manu­fac­tu­r­ers. And now a brand new series at an incre­di­bly afforda­ble pri­ce under €4, the Chur­chill from the Seed to Smo­ke Clas­sic series. How is that pos­si­ble? On the one hand, it is a so-cal­led bund­le cigar, i.e. cel­lo­pha­ne-wrap­ped bund­les of 10 wit­hout an expen­si­ve woo­den box and on the other hand, we don’t have a long fil­ler here but a cigar that is rol­led using the so-cal­led Cuban sand­wich process.

In Ger­ma­ny we curr­ent­ly only have the “Clas­sic” ver­si­on with a Hon­d­uran Madu­ro wrap­per. In the USA they offer a second vari­ant with a Con­nec­ti­cut wrap­per leaf grown in Hon­du­ras. Both ver­si­ons are rol­led in El Parai­so, Honduras.

The series is available in three vito­las: Toro (6x52), Six­ty (6x60) and the Chur­chill (7x48), which we cho­se for testing.


2024/02/06
A Pre­mi­um cigar manu­fac­tu­rer is ope­ning up the lar­ge mar­ket for inex­pen­si­ve smo­king expe­ri­en­ces. It’s Rocky Patel with his new “Seed to Smo­ke Clas­sic” bund­le cigar. We got the Chur­chill from this series.

It has a 48 ring gau­ge and is 7″ long. The dark, sil­ky wrap­per is a Madu­ro from Hon­du­ras, the bin­der also comes from Hon­du­ras and the fil­ler blend from Hon­du­ras and Nica­ra­gua.
Well, it’s not a long fil­ler, but it’s not a short fil­ler eit­her. It’s a “Cuban Sand­wich.” In this method, the short fil­ler is rol­led into one or more lar­ge tob­ac­co lea­ves — like a sand­wich; actual­ly a mixed fil­ler. Only then comes the bin­der and wrap­per. See our second pho­to. It is rol­led in the El Parai­so fac­to­ry in Hon­du­ras, whe­re the more expen­si­ve siblings are also manufactured.

We could cle­ar­ly detect aro­mas of earth, lea­ther and spi­ces. The­re was also a subt­le cho­co­la­tey sweetness.

A per­fect ever­y­day cigar for a one-hour smo­ke at an unbeata­ble price.


Toro from the Nica­ro­ma series by Villiger

2024/02/04
Vil­li­ger pre­sen­ted a new, inte­res­t­ing series at the Inter­Ta­bac trade fair last year, the Nica­ro­ma in three vito­las. Nica­ro­ma should not be con­fu­sed with the Nica­Ro­ma, which Vil­li­ger sells in the USA.

The name is a crea­ti­on of “Nica” and “Aro­ma”. The Nica­ra­gu­ans refer to them­sel­ves as Nicas.

We cho­se the lar­gest for­mat, a Toro with a whop­ping 54 ring gau­ge and a length of 6″. The name sug­gests a Nica­ra­gu­an puro, but it’s not quite it. The bin­der comes from Indo­ne­sia, the wrap­per comes from Nica­ra­gua, just like the fil­ler blend. This con­sists of jala­pa, sec­co and lige­ro lea­ves from the Con­de­ga regi­on and viso lea­ves from Esteli.

The new series is rol­led in the new Taba­ca­lera Vil­li­ger, which was built on the Joya pre­mi­ses in Esteli.


Toro from the Nica­ro­ma series by Villiger

2024/02/04
Actual­ly, we alre­a­dy repor­ted ever­y­thing the­re was to report about this new one from Vil­li­ger yes­ter­day. So we lit them.

It is rol­led very tight­ly and even­ly. The wrap­per is flaw­less and shows almost no veins. The frui­ty scent of the cold cigar is promising.

The first few puffs suf­fer from a some­what strong draw resis­tance, but this quick­ly regu­la­tes its­elf. It starts off very spi­cy with pep­pery aro­mas. From the second third onwards, aro­mas of wood and lea­ther join in. In the last third it beco­mes much mil­der and then con­vin­ces with the typi­cal aro­mas of a Nica­ra­gu­an. A well-craf­ted cigar.

A few more words about the Ame­ri­can ver­si­ons. The­re are three: the Con­nec­ti­cut, the Haba­no and the Madu­ro. They dif­fer from the non-Ame­ri­can ver­si­on in the bin­der, which comes from Nica­ra­gua. The Madu­ro has a Mexi­can San Andrés wrap­per, the Haba­no a sha­de grown from Cuban seeds in Nica­ra­gua and the Con­nec­ti­cut a sha­de from Honduras.


Petit Coro­na or Mar­e­va from the Mar­quez Flor de Rafa­el Gon­za­lez series

2024/03/02
Hoo­r­ay! She seems to be back, the inex­pen­si­ve Cuban. Even though it was sold out ever­y­whe­re else, the dea­ler we trus­ted was able to get it for us again. It is the “Mar­quez Flor de Rafa­el Gon­za­lez”, as it is cal­led in full. It comes with a slight­ly modi­fied band.

We have sel­ec­ted the Petit Coro­na or Mar­e­va, as this vito­la is also cal­led, from the series.
We have alre­a­dy repor­ted on the Taba­ca­lera, foun­ded in 1928 by the Spa­nish noble­man Mar­quez González.

The tob­ac­cos of our small Coro­na with a 40 ring gau­ge and a length of 5 ⅛“ come from the famous gro­wing regi­on of Vuel­ta Aba­jo in the sou­thwest of Cuba.

Inte­res­t­ingly, they are­n’t refer­red to as “box pres­sed” ever­y­whe­re, but they look like it. They pro­ba­b­ly came into the box very fresh and were natu­ral­ly box-pressed.

The cold cigar exu­des the typi­cal honey-sweet scent of a Cuban cigar. A good, typi­cal­ly Cuban 45 minu­te smo­ke at a reasonable price.


Rojo Blan­cos from Tabacalera

2024/01/24
After the Ger­man and Indo­ne­si­an eagle, a third eagle lan­ded with us and brought us a box of ciga­ril­los. The­se small Rojo Blan­cos from Taba­ca­lera Besuki Raya Cigars from Indo­ne­sia have a 24 ring gau­ge and are 4″ long.

Besuki Raya Cigar (BRC) emer­ged in 2009 from the parent com­pa­ny Mang­li Dja­ya Raya (MDR), which was foun­ded in 1960, and beca­me inde­pen­dent in 2021. Rojo Blan­co was the new company’s first own cigar series.

The dark Besuki na-oosgt wrap­per is also com­mon­ly refer­red to as Suma­tra. The addi­tio­nal name na-oosgt means “late har­ve­st”. The short fil­ler is a blend of fire-dried Indo­ne­si­an and tob­ac­cos grown from Cuban seeds. A bin­der is missing.

When cold, they exu­de the typi­cal scent of Java­nos (=Madu­ros). The smo­ke pro­duc­tion is sur­pri­sin­gly volu­mi­nous for the­se small sticks. They are rol­led very tight­ly and do not give in under pres­su­re. The draw resis­tance was a bit strong on some sticks but still accep­ta­ble, and the burn was perfect.

A real­ly unex­pec­ted­ly aro­ma­tic, sweet and mild 15 minu­te smoke.


The first tree series from Taba­ca­lera Caballeros

2024/01/13
Today we were sum­mo­ned by the Ber­lin cus­toms office. What a sur­pri­se! our new fri­ends from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic sent us smo­ky greetings.

Unfort­u­na­te­ly, the­se cigars are not yet available for purcha­se in Ger­ma­ny. Taba­ca­lera Cabal­le­ros is a new cigar manu­fac­tu­rer foun­ded in 2022 by two cigar enthu­si­asts. Cris­ti­an Quin­ta­na lear­ned his skills from scratch. When he was 8 years old, his father took him to the tob­ac­co fields and later he lear­ned the secrets of the cig­ar­ma­king in places like Taba­ca­lera Pal­ma and La Auro­ra. In 2009 he foun­ded his own cigar fac­to­ry, La Quintana.

When he met and lear­ned to app­re­cia­te the Cana­di­an Mar­co Accar­dia from Toron­to, a cigar importer and tob­ac­co dea­ler, in 2018, the two deci­ded to set up a joint fac­to­ry in 2022, the Taba­ca­lera Cabal­le­ros on the out­skirts of Sant­ia­go de los Cabal­le­ros, the second lar­gest city in the Domi­ni­can Republic.

Now we actual­ly have them in front of us, the 3 series so far from the new fac­to­ry. Of cour­se we will test them and report back to you!


The Haba­no from the Taba­ca­lera Caballeros

2024/01/18
Today we want to dedi­ca­te our­sel­ves to the second cigar from our fri­ends from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, the Haba­no from the Taba­ca­lera Cabal­le­ros . The Toro has a 54 ring gau­ge and a length of 6”.

The dark, slight­ly oily wrap­per leaf was grown from Haba­no seeds in Ecua­dor. The Olor bin­der comes from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. Cabal­le­ros’ mas­ter blen­der, Cris­ti­an Quin­ta­na, is again kee­ping the fil­ler blend secret. It is rol­led very tight­ly and hard­ly gives in under pres­su­re, which speaks for the art of the torce­dor with such a tight­ly rol­led cigar as the draw­re­si­tance is per­fect. We par­ti­cu­lar­ly lik­ed the enorm­ous amount of smoke.

The cold cigar gives a spi­cy, frui­ty scent. Once lit, it initi­al­ly bur­ned some­what irre­gu­lar­ly, but cor­rec­ted its­elf. We could tas­te spi­cy and frui­ty aro­mas, accom­pa­nied by a cer­tain sweetness.

The over­all impres­si­on is very clo­se to that of a Nica­ra­gu­an one. A gre­at 1½ hour smo­ke. As soon as it is available in Ger­ma­ny, it will defi­ni­te­ly have a place in our humidor.


The Con­nec­ti­cut from the Taba­ca­lera Caballeros

2024/01/15
Our Domi­ni­can Toro (6x54) of the “Con­nec­ti­cut” series” from Cabal­le­ros  has a very fine gol­den-brown Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de wrap­per. The­se par­ti­cu­lar­ly fine and thin wrap­pers are grown in Ecua­dor from ori­gi­nal­ly Ame­ri­can Con­nec­ti­cut seeds and were first grown in Ecua­dor in 1970. Here the clouds of Ecua­dor ser­ve as a natu­ral UV filter.

Unfort­u­na­te­ly, the mas­ter blen­der and co-owner of Cabal­le­ros Cris­ti­an Quin­ta­na keeps the fil­ler blend secret. They are pro­ba­b­ly pri­ma­ri­ly Domi­ni­can tob­ac­cos that are wrap­ped in a Suma­tra binder.

It feels very tight­ly and even­ly rol­led and hard­ly gives in under pres­su­re.
The still cold cigar gives a won­derful frui­ty scent. The first puff con­firm­ed the per­cep­ti­on of frui­ty aro­mas. We could spot aro­mas of nuts and per­haps cin­na­mon, later citrus and towards the end pepper.

Burn, smo­ke volu­me and draw beha­vi­or were also per­fect. A mild and typi­cal Con­nec­ti­cut for any time of day. We enjoy­ed it for 1½ hours.


Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­on LXX Anni­ver­sa­ry from Taba­ca­lera Diaz Cabrera

2024/01/08
For deca­des, Ela­dio Diaz was the mas­ter blen­der tog­e­ther with Hen­ke Kel­ner at David­off in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. In 2021, he beca­me self-employ­ed with his wife and sons and foun­ded the Taba­ca­lera Diaz Cabrera.

For many years he had a small spe­cial series pro­du­ced every year for his bir­th­day. The­se cigars were not for sale and were only dis­tri­bu­ted among fami­ly and clo­se friends.

For the first time, he pre­sen­ted a bir­th­day cigar for retail­ers at the Inter­Ta­bak trade fair in Dort­mund, Ger­ma­ny. It is the “Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­on LXX Anni­ver­sa­ry” for his 70th (LXX) bir­th­day in May last year. It is a limi­t­ed edi­ti­on of 1,400 boxes of 14 cigars each, which our Ame­ri­can fri­ends have to do wit­hout; it will not be available in stores in the USA.

This first cigar pro­du­ced under his own name is some­thing very spe­cial. This bir­th­day blend of the fil­ler con­sists of 7 Domi­ni­can tob­ac­co varie­ties that have been aged to perfection.

Of cour­se we will try them and let you know. Stay tuned!


Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­on LXX Anni­ver­sa­ry from Taba­ca­lera Diaz Cabrera

2024/01/11
Now to the Dou­ble Coro­na of the Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­on, which Ela­dio Diaz crea­ted for his 70th bir­th­day. It is also the first offi­ci­al cigar from his own brand after lea­ving David­off as mas­ter blender.

A visual­ly per­fect cigar with a very ele­gant band that bears his signa­tu­re.
This Dou­ble Coro­na is 7″ long and has a 52 ring gau­ge. A true bir­th­day cigar.
The wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor and the bin­der comes from Mexi­co. The fil­ler con­sists of 7 dif­fe­rent Domi­ni­can tob­ac­cos. It is rol­led in his new Taba­ca­lera Diaz Cabre­ra in the Domi­ni­can Republic.

This cigar is all about the num­ber 7. It was released for his 70th bir­th­day, it is 7 inches long, the filer con­sists of 7 types of tob­ac­co, the boxes con­tain 7x2 cigars, the edi­ti­on con­sists of 7x200 boxes, his mother first took him to a cigar fac­to­ry when he was 7 years old.

A gre­at 1½ hour smo­ke with sweet aro­mas of roas­ted nuts and wood.


The Ger­man “Pfalz-Zigar­re” (Pala­ti­na­te-Cigar)

2024/01/06
We have dis­co­ver­ed ano­ther “Ger­man” cigar for you. As ear­ly as 1573, the South Pala­ti­na­te pas­tor Anselm Ansel­mann grew tob­ac­co in his Hat­zen­buehl, Ger­ma­ny parish gar­den. That was the begin­ning of tob­ac­co cul­ti­va­ti­on in the Sou­thern Pala­ti­na­te. By the late 20th cen­tu­ry, tob­ac­co cul­ti­va­ti­on grew to 650 acres and beca­me the lar­gest tob­ac­co gro­wing area in Ger­ma­ny. To this day, tob­ac­co far­mers in the Sou­thern Pala­ti­na­te grow tob­ac­co plants. They came tog­e­ther and came up with the idea of their own local cigar in the 1990s.

Unfort­u­na­te­ly, the­re were no lon­ger any cigar manu­fac­tu­r­ers in the Pala­ti­na­te. A com­pa­ny in Herx­heim-Hay­na coll­ects the tob­ac­co lea­ves, dries them and pro­ces­ses them into finis­hed cigar tob­ac­co. The mar­ke­ting initia­ti­ve of the local tob­ac­co far­mers lets the “Pfalz-Zigar­re” (Pala­ti­na­te cigar) they crea­ted roll in Stef­fen Rinn’s Don Ste­fa­no cigar fac­to­ry in Hes­se, Germany.

We got a box of the­se uni­que “Ger­man” cigars and will test them and of cour­se report back to you. Stay tuned!


The Ger­man “Pfalz-Zigar­re” (Pala­ti­na­te-Cigar)

2024/01/07
The Ger­man “Pfalz-Zigar­re” (Pala­ti­na­te-Cigar) made pri­ma­ri­ly from Pala­ti­na­te tob­ac­cos. The­se short fil­ler Coro­nas with a 38 ring gau­ge and a length of 5⅛” are main­ly made by machi­ne in Stef­fen Rinn’s Taba­ca­lera Don Ste­fa­no in Hes­se.
The­re is not much infor­ma­ti­on about the con­s­truc­tion and com­po­si­ti­on of this cigar. We have stu­di­ed various sources and also dis­as­sem­bled one (see our second pho­to) and con­cluded from this: the fil­ler con­sists of a blend of ⅔ Geu­dert­hei­mer, Vir­gi­nia and Bur­ley tob­ac­cos from Alsace and the Sou­thern Pala­ti­na­te and ⅓ impor­ted tob­ac­cos from Bra­zil, Cuba and Mexi­co. The bin­der and the very thin and smooth wrap­per are said to be a Geu­dert­hei­mer tob­ac­co from the sou­thern Palatinate.

The frui­ty, spi­cy cold smell is remi­nis­cent of pipe tob­ac­co. The draw resis­tance is strong but still accep­ta­ble, the burn is dead straight. The aro­mas we could tas­te were hay and wood mixed with a sweet spiciness.

A rare 40 minu­te smo­ke that is remi­nis­cent of the for­mer Ger­man ciga­ret­te brand “Roth-Händ­le”, also made from Geu­dert­heim tobacco.

The Ger­man “Pfalz-Zigar­re” (Pala­ti­na­te-Cigar)

Jagd­kam­mer Gold cigars from Lei­sin­ger Zigarrenfabriken

2023/12/30
Today some more nost­al­gia and Ger­man histo­ry. The branch in Doebeln of the VEB (sta­te-owned com­pa­ny) Lei­sin­ger Zigar­ren­fa­bri­ken manu­fac­tu­red our Jagd­kam­mer Gold cigars accor­ding to the imprint in 1978 in the for­mer GDR (East Ger­ma­ny). Just three years later, the fac­to­ry was shut down in 1981 after 130 years.

Our box-pres­sed oldies have a 38 ring gau­ge and are 4¼” long. The­se small short fil­lers have a bin­der and a flaw­less wrap­per, pro­ba­b­ly from Bra­zil. And yes, you could still smo­ke them! Bur­ning and dra­wing beha­vi­or were per­fect. Howe­ver, we could no lon­ger sen­se any aro­mas. A short, mild smoke.

Our cap­tain appro­pria­te­ly ser­ved a glass of Rot­käpp­chen (Litt­le Red Riding Hood) spar­k­ling wine, the cult brand from the for­mer GDR.


Dia­de­mas from the Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­ons Sea­sons — Win­ter 2023 from AVO

2023/12/22
In the 1980s, jazz musi­ci­an Avo Uve­zi­an began crea­ting his own cigars tog­e­ther with David­off. In the 1990s he sold his brand to David­off. After Uve­zi­an died in 2017 at the age of 91 and his mas­ter blen­der Hen­drik Kel­ner has now also sold to David­off, David­off makes all AVO cigars themselves.

The first days of win­ter are alre­a­dy behind us and so the limi­t­ed edi­ti­on of the AVO Sea­sons Win­ter 2023 was released on Novem­ber 2nd in an edi­ti­on of 4,000 boxes of 10 cigars, pret­ty much in time with the first snow.

We were able to get hold of a few and are exci­ted about this win­ter edi­ti­on. We real­ly enjoy­ed the spring, sum­mer and autumn edi­ti­ons.
We will report. Stay tuned!


Dia­de­mas from the Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­ons Sea­sons — Win­ter 2023 from AVO

2023/12/28
Today, bet­ween the years, is exact­ly the right time for our beau­tiful “Dia­de­mas” from the Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­ons Sea­sons Win­ter 2023 from AVO.

AVO calls this for­mat Dia­de­ma, but it is actual­ly a dou­ble figu­ra­do with its almost tor­pe­do-like ends tape­ring to both sides. It has a 50 ring gau­ge and a length of 6⅝”.

During his life­time, Avo Uve­zi­an released a limi­t­ed edi­ti­on almost every year. Most of the time the­re were round bir­th­days that gave a reason to cele­bra­te. Now after his death in 2017, AVO / David­off is releasing limi­t­ed edi­ti­ons again, like this fourth of the four-sea­son edi­ti­on, the win­ter edition.

The wrap­per is a Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de from Ecua­dor, the bin­der comes from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The fil­ler con­sists of spe­cial tob­ac­cos from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, one of which was allo­wed to matu­re for 14 years. They are rol­led in Davidoff’s Taba­k­a­lera Tabadom.

A tru­ly win­tery cigar with aro­mas of spi­ces from the Christ­mas bak­ery. A 70 minu­te enjoya­ble smoke!


Wols­dorff Reser­va Nicaragua

2023/12/19
The cigar chain Wols­dorff from Ham­burg, Ger­ma­ny has just released a new series of its own brand “Wols­dorff Reser­va”. We dis­co­ver­ed them at a dea­ler in Ber­lin last week and bought a few to report to you.

It is again a very afforda­ble bund­le cigar that comes wit­hout ela­bo­ra­te boxes and expen­si­ve gol­den bands. This time the series pro­ba­b­ly comes from Nica­ra­gua, alt­hough Wols­dorff sta­tes the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic as the coun­try of ori­gin on his web­site. Howe­ver, the bund­le has a seal that says “Hand­ma­de in Nicaragua” 😉.

After we real­ly lik­ed the Domi­ni­can ver­si­on, we are exci­ted about this new release, the Reser­va Nica­ra­gua. We bought two bund­les of the Chur­chill size to try out exten­si­ve­ly and will of cour­se report back. Stay tuned!


Wols­dorff Reser­va Nicaragua

2023/12/20
Now it was her turn last night, the brand new Nica­ra­gu­an from the Wols­dorff Reser­va line. Our Chur­chill is a long fil­ler, has a 48 ring gau­ge and is 7″ long.

The dark, uni­form H 2000 wrap­per leaf from Ecua­dor is only crossed by a few thin leaf veins that run par­al­lel to the cigar, which will ensu­re an even burn. The bin­der is an H 2000 and comes from the Con­de­ga area in Nica­ra­gua. David­off also uses tob­ac­co from this area. The fil­ler blend con­sists of tob­ac­cos from Este­li and the Jala­pa Val­ley, Nica­ra­gua. Accor­ding to the affi­xed sta­te seal, it is rol­led by hand in Nicaragua.

When cold, it exu­des an appe­tiz­ing, sweet scent. The burn was straight and the draw beha­vi­or was opti­mal. We found her to be very strong. A typi­cal, spi­cy Nica­ra­gu­an. The part­ly slight­ly pep­pery and part­ly sweet aro­mas were dif­fi­cult to dif­fe­ren­tia­te. All in all, a decent, good smo­ke las­ting more than an hour at an unbeata­ble price.


Vil­li­ger Cule­bras vs
“Klei­ne-Her­ren-Vir­gi­nia, gezöp­felt” (plai­ted litt­le gen­tle­men) from Wolf & Ruhland

2023/12/10
Today we’­re tal­king about sna­kes, cule­bras in Spa­nish. We know cigars by this name, which are inter­wea­ved into a braid. We also call them “croo­ked dogs”. This was the brand name of the Aus­tri­an Aus­tria Tabak Com­pa­ny — actual­ly an apt name. The pro­duc­tion is purely manu­al work, in which three cigars are usual­ly brai­ded tog­e­ther while they are still wet.

The­re are various myths about the ori­g­ins of the­se cigars. The Cuban ver­si­on is that the workers in the cigar fac­to­ries recei­ved a quo­ta of free cigars for their own use. In order to pre­vent the­se cigars from being resold, they were inter­la­ced and in this way they were con­side­red to deva­lue them. Howe­ver, they soon beca­me so popu­lar that they beca­me their own pro­duct category.

The famous ver­si­ons from Par­ta­g­as, La Flor Domi­ni­ca­na and David­off are sold out in Ger­ma­ny and no lon­ger available. Only two Ger­man com­pa­nies still make Cule­bras, Vil­li­ger in the Black Forest and Wolf & Ruh­land in the Bava­ri­an Forest.
We will con­ti­nue to report. Stay tuned!


Vil­li­ger Cule­bras vs
“Klei­ne-Her­ren-Vir­gi­nia, gezöp­felt” (plai­ted litt­le gen­tle­men) from Wolf & Ruhland

2023/12/11
Sin­ce the­re isn’t a lot of infor­ma­ti­on about our Cule­bra tasting cigars, we took them apart to see how they are constructed.

The Vil­li­ger Cule­bras wit­hout a mouth­pie­ce from the Black Forest have a beau­tiful Rio Gran­de wrap­per from Bra­zil, no bin­der and a fil­ler blend made from Ame­ri­can Vir­gi­nia and tob­ac­cos from Bra­zil, Cen­tral Afri­ca and Java.

The “plai­ted litt­le gen­tle­men” from Wolf & Ruh­land from the Bava­ri­an Forest have a beau­tiful Suma­tra wrap­per, a bin­der made from HTL (homo­ge­ni­zed tob­ac­co leaf) accor­ding to the manufacturer’s infor­ma­ti­on, and a fil­ler blend made from Vir­gi­nia and other tobaccos.

Both types of our Cule­bras are well craf­ted and we will now let them go up in smo­ke and of cour­se report back. Stay tuned!


Vil­li­ger Cule­bras vs
“Klei­ne-Her­ren-Vir­gi­nia, gezöp­felt” (plai­ted litt­le gen­tle­men) from Wolf & Ruhland

2024/01/23
We alre­a­dy repor­ted on the last two Cule­bras rol­led in Ger­ma­ny. Now we set them on fire too.

The cule­bras wit­hout a mouth­pie­ce from Vil­li­ger in the Black Forest are 5¼ long and have a 21 ring gau­ge. The wrap­per leaf is a Rio Gran­de from Bra­zil and direct­ly wrap­ped the fil­ler made from Bra­zi­li­an, Indo­ne­si­an and Ame­ri­can tob­ac­cos wit­hout a binder.

It offers a 20-minu­te aro­ma­tic smo­ke that is quite plea­sant for a short break in between.

The Cule­bras from Wolf & Ruh­land from the Bava­ri­an Forest, on the other hand, have a mouth­pie­ce made of a short straw. They are lon­ger at 6¼” and have a 25 ring gau­ge. The cigar manu­fac­tu­rer does­n’t reve­al much about its cigars. The wrap­per is a Suma­tra and the fil­ler is said to be a blend of light Vir­gi­nia tob­ac­cos. The bin­der should con­sist of HPL. We have the impres­si­on that it is more of a pulp. Our 30 minu­te smo­ke also reve­a­led this. We pri­ma­ri­ly tas­ted some­thing like burnt paper and had the impres­si­on of a lar­ge ciga­ret­te with an extra tob­ac­co wrapper.


the anni­ver­sa­ry cigar “Cum Lau­de” from the 1988 25th Ani­ver­sa­rio series. VegaFina

2023/12/03
In 1998 the Vega­Fi­na brand was born. This year, for its 25th anni­ver­sa­ry, this beau­ty came onto the mar­ket as a limi­t­ed spe­cial for­mat. Vega­Fi­na calls this vito­la “Cum Lau­de”, i.e. “with prai­se”. This for­mat has not yet been rol­led by Vega­Fi­na. With a 52 ring gau­ge and a length of 6½” we would call it a Toro.

This Vega­Fi­na VF 1998 25 Ani­ver­sa­rio Cum Lau­de is a spe­cial edi­ti­on of the 1998 series. It is the same blend, but with the rarer Pilo­to Coro­na tob­ac­co lea­ves. The­se can­not be har­ve­s­ted every year. Only in years with a par­ti­cu­lar­ly posi­ti­ve com­bi­na­ti­on of sun and rain over the cour­se of the year. The­se lea­ves are found on the upper part of the tob­ac­co plant in the form of two small lea­ves. The­se con­tain a much hig­her con­cen­tra­ti­on of natu­ral oils and are cha­rac­te­ri­zed by a pro­no­un­ced strength and inten­se aromas.

She was blen­ded by the maes­tros of Taba­ca­lera de Gar­cia, a group of the best blenders.


the anni­ver­sa­ry cigar “Cum Lau­de” from the 1988 25th Ani­ver­sa­rio series. VegaFina

2023/12/04
Now we have let it go up in smo­ke, the anni­ver­sa­ry cigar “Cum Lau­de” from the 1988 25th Ani­ver­sa­rio series. Vega­Fi­na calls this for­mat “Cum Lau­de”. It is a Toro with a 52 ring gau­ge and a length of 6½”.

It is rol­led very tight­ly, but has a per­fect draw beha­vi­or, which speaks for the high manu­fac­tu­ring qua­li­ty. We also lik­ed the “pig­tail” on the head. The fil­ler tob­ac­cos from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, Colom­bia and Nica­ra­gua, which have aged for at least 3 years, are wrap­ped in a bin­der from Indo­ne­sia. The very beau­tiful, dark, oily wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor. It is rol­led in the Domi­ni­can Taba­ca­lera de Garcia.

It deve­lo­ps a thick, cre­a­my smo­ke and impres­ses with a very solid light gray ash. We could very well tas­te aro­mas of wood, cof­fee, some pep­per and salt as well as roas­ted notes and raisins.

It was a very spe­cial kind of inten­si­ve expe­ri­ence las­ting almost one and a half hours. We have to say, a mas­ter­pie­ce in our eyes that is worth every cent of its price.


The Short Robus­to from the Car­los André Air­bor­ne series

2023/11/29
The Short Robus­to from the Car­los André Air­bor­ne series has just been released. A Ger­man brand from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

The series is named after the son “Car­los” of the cur­rent com­pa­ny owner in the 7th gene­ra­ti­on, Axel-Georg André, and is the­r­e­fo­re pro­ba­b­ly the most per­so­nal cigar brand from André.

The company’s over 200-year histo­ry began in Osna­brück in 1817 when it was foun­ded by a tob­ac­co worker from Hano­ver, Johann Fried­rich Chris­ti­an André. In 1851 the branch was ope­ned in Buen­de, today’s com­pa­ny head­quar­ters. In the 1950s, the com­pa­ny beca­me one of the lea­ding cigar manu­fac­tu­r­ers in Ger­ma­ny with its Han­dels­gold brand, a machi­ne-rol­led short fil­ler. At the end of the 1990s, the pro­duct ran­ge was expan­ded to include hand-rol­led cigars through col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with the Nica­ra­gu­an cigar manu­fac­tu­rer “La Auro­ra”.
In 2011, their own fac­to­ry was ope­ned in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. Here the com­pa­ny pro­du­ces all of its long-fil­ler brands, inclu­ding our Car­los André series as well as Bue­na Vis­ta and Montosa.


The Short Robus­to from the Car­los André Air­bor­ne series

2023/12/02
Brand new, an addi­tio­nal vito­la from the Car­los André Air­bor­ne series and Sepp’s Tob­ac­co Island at Lake Tegern­see have reser­ved the new Short Robus­to for us.

It has a fat 54 ring gau­ge, but is only 4″ long. The some­what rustic, cho­co­la­te-colo­red, oily, shi­ny wrap­per is an H2000 from Mexi­co that was allo­wed to age for five years. The fil­ler blend comes from tob­ac­cos from Bra­zil, Nica­ra­gua and the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and is wrap­ped in a bin­der also from Nica­ra­gua. Like all of the company’s long fil­lers, it is rol­led by hand in the Arnold André Domi­ni­ka­na fac­to­ry in Sant­ia­go de los Caballeros.

This small stick pro­vi­des a four­ty-minu­te spi­cy smo­ke with aro­mas of pep­per, lea­ther, cof­fee and a sweet spice.

A well-made cigar for second break­fast. Howe­ver, ever­yo­ne has to deci­de for them­sel­ves whe­ther the enorm­ous pri­ce for such a short plea­su­re is right for them.


Casa de Nica­ra­gua from Villiger

2023/11/25
We came across a cheap and yet very good Nica­ra­gu­an cigar at our fri­end Sepp Mayr in his “Tabak­in­sel” (tob­ac­co-island) on Lake Tegern­see, Ger­ma­ny.
It is the “Casa de Nica­ra­gua” from Vil­li­ger. Until around 2005, the­se cigars were available in woo­den boxes of 10. In 2014 it was pre­sen­ted at the Inter Tabak in Dort­mund, Ger­ma­ny as a new, afforda­ble bund­le cigar. Sin­ce Octo­ber 2021 they have been manu­fac­tu­red in the new “Vil­li­ger de Nica­ra­gua” fac­to­ry in Este­li. Pre­vious­ly they came from the “Joya de Nica­ra­gua” fac­to­ry. Accor­ding to Vil­li­ger, Joya’s pro­duc­tion team and its exper­ti­se were and are cru­cial to the com­mis­sio­ning of the new fac­to­ry and its workflows.

We cho­se the tor­pe­do from this series and purcha­sed two bund­les to test. We will test them exten­si­ve­ly and report back to you. Stay tuned!


Casa de Nica­ra­gua from Villiger

2023/11/27
Some retail­ers refer to our “Casa de Nica­ra­gua” bund­le cigars as long fil­lers, the manu­fac­tu­rer Vil­li­ger hims­elf speaks of medi­um fil­lers. We wan­ted to know exact­ly and sacri­fi­ced a cigar and dis­mant­led it into its com­pon­ents. Neither, no long fil­ler and no medi­um fil­ler eit­her. Here we have a mixed fil­ler in the “Cuban Sand­wich” version.

Every Cuban Sand­wich cigar beg­ins with a blend of small snip­pets of fil­ler. This mix­tu­re is then hand rol­led into long leafs, just like a sand­wich. The fil­ler is part­ly both a short fil­ler and a long fil­ler, i.e. a mixed fil­ler. Then come the bin­der and the wrapper.

Many bund­le cigars are made using this prin­ci­ple to redu­ce cos­ts. In our case the­se are high-qua­li­ty tob­ac­cos and this method pro­ba­b­ly does­n’t real­ly have a nega­ti­ve impact on the tas­te. We also find series from other pre­mi­um manu­fac­tu­r­ers such as Alec Brad­ly, Drew Estate and Artur Fuen­te that are rol­led using this method.

Our Casa de Nica­ra­gua is a good, per­fect­ly made and extre­me­ly afforda­ble cigar.


Casa de Nica­ra­gua from Villiger

2023/11/26
We have now smo­ked the first tor­pe­does from our “Casa de Nica­ra­gua” bund­le from Villiger.

The visu­al impres­si­on pro­mi­ses a per­fect­ly made cigar. The tor­pe­do has a 52 ring gau­ge and is 6½” long.

The dark brown wrap­per from Ecua­dor is flaw­less. The fil­ler made from Nica­ra­gu­an tob­ac­co is wrap­ped in a bin­der from Indonesia.

Some sources speak of a long fil­ler, Vil­li­ger hims­elf descri­bes its cigar as a medi­um fil­ler. We will get to the bot­tom of the mat­ter and dis­as­sem­ble one and of cour­se report on it.

Our cigars had a per­fect draw (tip: cut gene­rous­ly for opti­mal draw beha­vi­or), but bur­ned some­what uneven­ly. But that was easy to cor­rect. The aro­mas we could sen­se were lea­ther and sweet wood, as well as a pinch of pep­per, not too hot, just right.

We found it to be quite strong in terms of nico­ti­ne con­tent. All in all, a typi­cal Nica­ra­gu­an for the expe­ri­en­ced afi­ci­o­na­do. A good one-hour smo­ke at an unbeata­ble price.


The Edge 20th Anni­ver­sa­ry from Rocky Patel

2023/11/14
Almost 20 years ago, Rocky Patel first released a cigar cal­led “The Edge” in 2004. The con­cept was to estab­lish a good but afforda­ble cigar. It came in a rough woo­den box that con­tai­ned 100 cigars wit­hout cigar bands. And they only retail­ed for $5 each. The Edge was an imme­dia­te com­mer­cial suc­cess, crea­ting new sizes, new blends and even new packaging.

So it’s high time for us to tas­te some of the­se cigars.

Last year “The Edge 20th Anni­ver­sa­ry” was released to mark the anni­ver­sa­ry. The wrap­per of this anni­ver­sa­ry edi­ti­on is the same as that of the ori­gi­nal ver­si­on from 2004, a 10-year-aged Suma­tra wrap­per from Ecuador.

It is not easy to explain what the 20 years of this anni­ver­sa­ry refer to. This pro­ba­b­ly means the peri­od sin­ce the first attempts with the ori­gi­nal ver­si­on. The “10th Anni­ver­sa­ry” edi­ti­on also came onto the mar­ket in 2015 and not 2014.

We will report. Stay tuned!


The Edge 20th Anni­ver­sa­ry from Rocky Patel

2023/11/16
Now it was their turn, the Robus­tos of “The Edge”, which Rocky Patel released for their 20th anni­ver­sa­ry last year.

They have a 50 ring gau­ge and a length of 5½”. The fil­ler from Hon­du­ras and Nica­ra­gua is cover­ed by a Haba­no bin­der from Hon­du­ras. And as befits an anni­ver­sa­ry edi­ti­on, finis­hed with a spe­cial, 10-year-aged Suma­tra wrap­per from Ecua­dor. By the way, it is the same wrap­per as the very first ver­si­on from 2004. We par­ti­cu­lar­ly lik­ed this very dark, greasy and oily wrapper.

This series is rol­led in Patel’s El Parai­so fac­to­ry in Dan­li, Hon­du­ras.
We enjoy­ed the­se per­fect­ly made sticks for a good hour and could tas­te aro­mas of lea­ther, wood and a lot of sweet­ness. Then distinc­ti­ve spi­cy aro­mas were added. For anyo­ne who likes a strong cigar, this is the right one for you.


El Baton Beli­co­so (old ver­si­on) from J.C. Newman

2023/11/10
It’s always worth brow­sing through small cigar retail­ers. We found this old ver­si­on of a El Baton Beli­co­so at one of them. It dif­fers from the cur­rent new ver­si­on in its wrapper.

“El Baton” is one of the old brands form­er­ly made from Cuban tob­ac­cos and now revi­ved by J.C. New­man, the foun­der of the manu­fac­tu­rer of the same name. Juli­us Cae­ser New­man immi­gra­ted to the USA in 1890 and began his trai­ning as a cigar rol­ler in Cleve­land at the age of 14. At the age of 19, he foun­ded the JCN Cigar Com­pa­ny in 1895.

The “El Baton” was rol­led in Cleve­land, Ohio, USA from 1914 until the 1920s. It was­n’t until 2008 that it was revi­ved by J.C.’s grand­child­ren, Eric and Bob­by New­man. Now they are being pro­du­ced by the Nica­ra­gu­an J.C. New­man PENSA manu­fac­tu­red. Pen­sa stands for “Pur­os de Este­li, Nica­ra­gua Sosie­dad Anoni­ma”. The brands Brick House and Quo­rum also come from this fac­to­ry, which is one of the lar­gest in Nicaragua.


El Baton Beli­co­so (old ver­si­on) from J.C. Newman

2023/11/11
It’s nice that you can still find it every now and then, the old ver­si­on of the Beli­co­so from El Baton. It was off the mar­ket for a good 10 years. It has a 56 ring gau­ge and is 5″ long and can be easi­ly sepa­ra­ted from the new ver­si­on by the cig­ar­band. Our old ver­si­on has let­te­ring in Eng­lish cur­si­ve, the new ver­si­on shows the let­te­ring in block capi­tals. The cover sheets are also dif­fe­rent. While our old ver­si­on is a Nica­ra­gu­an puro, the new ver­si­on has a wrap­per from Ecua­dor. Both come from J.C. Newman’s Taba­ca­lera PENSA in Este­li, Nicaragua.

The strong, thi­c­ker Nica­ra­gu­an wrap­per gives this cigar the inten­se, full aro­ma typi­cal of Nica­ra­gua. The cigar had a per­fect draw. When you look at the lit end of the ash, you can see seve­ral smo­ke chan­nels, which con­firms our sus­pi­ci­on that it was ela­bo­ra­te­ly rol­led using the Entu­ba­do method.
We enjoy­ed this per­fect­ly made, aro­ma­tic cigar for a good hour.


Don Zua­rin 25TH Anni­ver­sa­ry Edi­ci­on Limi­ta­da (Cla­ro & Madu­ro)
from Tab­ac­co­house Brinkman

2023/11/07
The name “Zua­rin” is the Sla­vic name of the city “Schwe­rin”, the capi­tal of Meck­len­burg-Wes­tern Pome­ra­nia, Ger­ma­ny. The Slavs sett­led here in the 8th century.

And Stef­fen Brink­mann foun­ded his Tab­ac­co­house Brink­man in Schwe­rin in 1998. His father was alre­a­dy invol­ved with cigars as mana­ger of the VEB Ciga­ret­te and Tob­ac­co fac­to­ry Unitas in the for­mer GDR.
Stef­fen Brink­mann now uses the old name Zua­rin as a brand name for his own cigars and spirits.

Tog­e­ther with the Ger­man-born Kurt Joa­chim Brandt, who emi­gra­ted to Cos­ta Rica in 2000, he crea­ted the Don Zua­rin cigar series in 2022. Brandt star­ted the small Taba­ca­lera “Inver­sio­nes Taba­com” in Cos­ta Rica at the end of the 1990s and moved his fac­to­ry to Este­li in Nica­ra­gua in 2009. The new fac­to­ry was named “Isth­mus Cigar Com­pa­ny” in 2010.

To mark the company’s 25th anni­ver­sa­ry, Brink­mann released our “Don Zua­rin 25TH Anni­ver­sa­ry Edi­ci­on Limi­ta­da”. This cigar is available with two dif­fe­rent wrap­pers, the Maxi­mo White (Cla­ro) and the Maxi­mo Black (Madu­ro). We will report.


Don Zua­rin 25TH Anni­ver­sa­ry Edi­ci­on Limi­ta­da (Cla­ro & Madu­ro)
from Tab­ac­co­house Brinkman

2023/11/09

How dif­fe­rent were our two sticks, the “Don Zua­rin” from the limi­t­ed series for the 25th anni­ver­sa­ry of Stef­fen Brinkmann’s Tob­ac­co­house in Schwe­rin, Ger­ma­ny. Both have two crossed Con­de­ga bin­ders from Nica­ra­gua and both have the same Nica­ra­gu­an fil­ler blend of Jala­pa, Este­li and Con­de­ga. The fil­ler is rol­led using the com­plex entu­ba­do pro­cess. With this rol­ling tech­ni­que, seve­ral sepa­ra­te smo­ke chan­nels are for­med from the fil­ler tob­ac­co lea­ves.
The only dif­fe­rence bet­ween the two cigars are the wrap­per lea­ves. The ligh­ter one has an H 2000 Colo­ra­do wrap­per, the dar­ker one has an AZ Mejo­ra­do, both from Ecuador.

With a 56 ring gau­ge and a length of 5½” we would clas­si­fy it as a “Dou­ble Robusto”.

Both cigars start mild­ly, burn per­fect­ly and draw resis­tance was very well. It was very dif­fi­cult to tas­te a noti­ceable dif­fe­rence. In both we could tas­te cho­co­la­te aro­mas as well as cof­fee and a plea­sant light spi­ce. The Madu­ro was per­haps a litt­le more pep­pery and smokier.

We were able to enjoy both cigars for a litt­le over an hour.


The Sled Edi­ción Espe­cial 2019 from Horacio

2023/11/02
Today some­thing real­ly gigan­tic: The Sled Edi­ción Espe­cial 2019 from Hora­cio. In 2008, two French cigar fri­ends from Cos­ta Rica, Chris­to­phe Leroy, who ser­ved as pre­si­dent of the foun­ding com­pa­ny PRODAP, and Fabi­en Gil, came tog­e­ther and foun­ded the Hora­tio brand or “Don Hora­cio del Monte”.

Pro­duc­tion was soon moved to Nica­ra­gua and the new third par­ty in the group, Syl­vain Toal­do, is now orga­ni­zing sales from Gen­e­va, Switz­er­land, whe­re the three also run a tob­ac­co shop. Leroy and Gil take care of pro­duc­tion at the Taba­ca­lera Her­nan­dez Can­til­lo in Estel­li, Nicaragua.

The brand has been estab­lished in Ger­ma­ny sin­ce 2018. We only dis­co­ver­ed them last week at our trus­ted dea­ler. Of cour­se we will report on our smo­ke of this big thing. Stay tuned!


The Sled Edi­ción Espe­cial 2019 from Horacio

2023/11/06
So now the fat Sled Edi­ción Espe­cial 2019 from Hora­cio. The H2000 nut brown wrap­per from Ecua­dor is twis­ted into a pig­tail at the base. We deci­ded to light the cigar with the pig­tails. The fire recep­ti­on work­ed so per­fect­ly. Our Sled has a dia­me­ter of a over an inch, i.e. a 66 ring gau­ge with a length of 5¼”, so a Dou­ble Robusto.

Pierre Sled, a famous French sports jour­na­list, gave the cigar his name. This was crea­ted in his honor by the French brand owners.

The bin­der comes from Nica­ra­gua and the fil­ler is a blend from Cos­ta Rica and Nica­ra­gua. It is rol­led in the Taba­ca­lera Her­nan­dez Can­til­lo (THECA) in Nica­ra­gua. Con­tra­ry to our expec­ta­ti­ons, it is a light cigar with sweet and some­ti­mes frui­ty wood aro­mas. We think it’s an unu­su­al but excel­lent mor­ning cigar.


Skin­ny Mons­ters Mum­my from Tatuaje

2023/10/29
Pre­pa­ra­ti­ons for Hal­lo­ween are in full swing. In kee­ping with the occa­si­on, we got a box of the Skin­ny Mons­ters Mum­my from Tat­ua­je. The Mons­ter series came onto the mar­ket in 2009 and the Mum­my was added in 2012 as the fifth varia­ti­on of this series. Our Skin­ny Mum­my was born in 2016 as the suc­ces­sor to the lar­ger for­mats Mini Mum, The Mum­my and Mum­my. Our box is one of only 400 world­wi­de, each con­tai­ning 25 cigars in the Petit Lan­ce­ro format.

We’­re exci­ted about this spoo­ky mons­ter blend crea­ted by Pete John­son. We will report to you. Stay tuned!


Skin­ny Mons­ters Mum­my from Tatuaje

2023/10/31
Hap­py Hal­lo­ween ever­yo­ne! And what goes bet­ter with tonight than a Hal­lo­ween Skin­ny Mons­ters Mum­my from Tatuaje.

Pete John­son, musi­ci­an, bas­sist and now owner of the Tat­ua­je brand, also crea­ted this series tog­e­ther with Don Pepín Gar­cía. The some­what color­less, gray-white band is inten­ded to be remi­nis­cent of old, dus­ty ban­da­ges from mum­mies.
It is a Peti­te Lan­ce­ros with a length of 6″ and a 38 ring gau­ge. It is rol­led in Garcia’s “My Father Cigars” fac­to­ry in Estelí Nica­ra­gua. It’s a Nica­ra­gu­an puro with an oily, cho­co­la­te-colo­red sungrown Criol­lo wrap­per.
It star­ted off slight­ly pep­pery in the first third with aro­mas of cedar wood and cin­na­mon. Joerg remin­ded her a bit of a Mon­te. In the second third, a clas­sic sweet­ness and spi­cy notes were added, which remain­ed in the last third.
The burn was dead straight with a per­fect draw. All in all a deli­cious 75 minu­te smoke.


Agan­or­sa Leaf Signa­tu­re Selection

2023/10/18
Today we report on Edu­ar­do Anto­nio Fernán­dez Pujals from Nica­ra­gua, a Cuban exi­le who does­n’t come from the tob­ac­co indus­try. Fernán­dez beca­me rich through the Spa­nish restau­rant chain “Tel­e­piz­za” and in 1998 he bought 3,000 acres of land in Nica­ra­gua on the recom­men­da­ti­on of Nes­tor Pla­sen­cia. The­re he grew the tra­di­tio­nal Criol­lo and Coro­jo varie­ties and later varie­ties from ori­gi­nal Cuban seeds. 80% of his har­ve­sts are sold to other manu­fac­tu­r­ers. In 2002, the company’s own fac­to­ry “TABSA” was ope­ned, but it was only five years later that it began rol­ling its own cigars.

His son Max beca­me mana­ger of the fac­to­ry and ren­a­med it “Agan­or­sa”, an abbre­via­ti­on for “Agri­co­la Ganade­ra Nor­te­ña S.A.”. Over 7 mil­li­on cigars are pro­du­ced annu­al­ly by 90 Torce­do­res, half of which are for their own series.
After a brief part­ner­ship with José Gar­cia in Miami, Fernán­dez ope­ned his own fac­to­ry in Miami.

We will light our “Agan­or­sa Leaf Signa­tu­re Sel­ec­tion” and report back to you. Stay tuned!


Agan­or­sa Leaf Signa­tu­re Selection

2023/10/20
Yes­ter­day we lit it, our Toro from Agan­or­sa Leaf from the Signa­tu­re Sel­ec­tion series. A Nica­ra­gu­an puro. For this series only tob­ac­co from their own farm were used. For this cigar, plants were grown from ori­gi­nal Cuban seeds. They should be the same taba­cos that are used in the Cohi­ba Behi­ke. It came onto the mar­ket in 2018.

The wrap­per is a Coro­jo Rosa­do. The bin­der is a Coro­jo and the fil­ler is a blend of Coro­jo and Criol­lo. The tob­ac­cos have aged for 7 years. Our Toro has a 52 ring gau­ge and is 6″ long.
They are rol­led in Edu­ar­do Anto­nio Fernán­dez Pujals’ Taba­ca­le­ria Agan­or­sa in Esteli.

The cigar is quite strong with nice aro­mas of smo­ked wood, spi­ces and earth. The aro­mas are accom­pa­nied by a subt­le sweet­ness.
If you can get your hands on one of the­se cigars, which are limi­t­ed to 500 boxes per vito­la, defi­ni­te­ly try it.


La Antigued­ad from “My Fathers”

2023/10/17
Today ano­ther cigar from the “My Fathers” fac­to­ry in Nica­ra­gua. The name of the fac­to­ry is a son’s homage to his famous father, the Cuban exi­le Don Pepin Garcia.

So now the “La Antigued­ad”, which came onto the mar­ket in 2014, which trans­la­ted from Spa­nish means anti­qui­ty. The Gar­cia fami­ly once again honors their Cuban roots and has brought this old Cuban brand back to life.

Our box-pres­sed Robus­tos have a 52 ring gau­ge and a length of 5¼”. The dark brown, oily-shi­ny H 2000 (Haba­no) Rosa­do Oscu­ro wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor. The tob­ac­cos in the fil­ler, which have aged for 3½ years, come from the Nica­ra­gu­an regi­ons of San Rafa­el, Las Queb­ra­das and San Jose and are wrap­ped by two bin­ders, also from Nica­ra­gua (a Coro­jo and a Criollo).

The hour-long smo­ke gave us very nice aro­mas of dark cho­co­la­te, mocha and some lea­ther. A very nice­ly aro­ma­tic and well balan­ced cigar.


The Pre­mi­um series of El Gou­cho from Besuki Raya Cigar

2023/10/04
A small adden­dum to our Indo­ne­si­an-Ger­man mee­ting after the Inter­Ta­bac trade fair. The cigar manu­fac­tu­rer Besuki Raya Cigar from Jem­ber on Java, Indo­ne­sia has pre­sen­ted its latest, brand new vari­ant of its El Gou­cho brand and let us try it. It is a Toro from the Pre­mi­um series with a bin­der from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. Its pre­de­ces­sor was box-pres­sed and had a bin­der from Brazil.

Our fri­end Jim­my, the Cig­ar­man, from Indo­ne­sia brought us some of the­se new vito­las with a 52 ring gau­ge and a length of almost 6″ in a beau­tiful lea­ther can. Like its pre­de­ces­sor, the wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor and the fil­ler now also con­ta­ins tob­ac­cos from Nica­ra­gua in addi­ti­on to the pre­vious Domi­ni­can ones.
We real­ly lik­ed this new blend with its cho­co­la­ty aro­mas and hints of cin­na­mon and roas­ted nuts. The draw was per­fect, the burn was a bit wild, but in no way affec­ted the good, hour-long smoke.


The Fan­ta­sti­co series of El Gou­cho from Besuki Raya Cigar

2023/09/22
On the occa­si­on of our Indonesian/German mee­ting in Ber­lin, Jim­my, the Cigar Man @cigar.man and Vice Pre­si­dent of the AHCC Indo­ne­sia, told us about the Inter­Ta­bac in Dort­mund. Among other things, he brought us some cigars from the manu­fac­tu­rer “Besuki Raya Cigar” from Jem­ber, East Java in Indo­ne­sia, straight from the trade fair to test.

The El Gau­cho brand saw the light of day in 2022. The name El Gau­cho is said to repre­sent the rich heri­ta­ge and tra­di­ti­on of the cow­boys (Gau­cho in Spa­nish).
Our El Gau­cho Fan­ta­sti­co is box-pres­sed with a 54 ring gau­ge and a length of almost 6″. This pre­mi­um cigar comes in a luxu­rious lea­ther box and each cigar is housed in a beau­tiful metal tube. The flaw­less wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor and the bin­der comes from Bra­zil. The fil­ler is a har­mo­nious blend from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and Indonesia.

We enjoy­ed this beau­tiful­ly craf­ted cigar for a who­le hour and were able to tas­te flo­ral aro­mas and cof­fee and butter.


Cur­rent series of Long Haul Back­bone cigars:
Tobaks­gud, Ata­turk, Lou­fo­te Con­nec­ti­cut, DWDM and G652.D

2023/0924
Jim­my, the Cigar Man is also the owner of the Long Haul Back­bone cigar brand. He also brought us his cur­rent coll­ec­tion from the Inter­Ta­bac in Dort­mund, which we were of cour­se allo­wed to try.

“Tobaks­gud” a Robus­to 50 x 5 from last year. A Vors­ten­land wrap­per, and the fil­ler made from Indo­ne­si­an fire-dried tob­ac­co is wrap­ped in a Besuki Na-Oost binder.

Then the “Ata­turk” Robus­to 50 x 5, which was spe­ci­al­ly deve­lo­ped for the Tur­ki­sh mar­ket, also from 2021. A very nice Java­no wrap­per and again a Besuki Na-Oost bin­der. The fil­ler blend made from Indo­ne­si­an tob­ac­cos was crea­ted spe­ci­fi­cal­ly for the Tur­ki­sh market.

The “Lou­fo­te Con­nec­ti­cut”, a Robus­to 50 x 5. The wrap­per is an Indo­ne­si­an Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de. Bin­der and fil­ler from Java.

Two very nice for­mats from “DWDM” as Lons­da­le 44 x 6 and Edmun­do 58 x 5. Also an Indo­ne­si­an Puro made from the same tob­ac­cos as the suc­cessful “Tobak­sud”.

And last but not least, the “G652.D”, which we alre­a­dy repor­ted on.


Robus­tos from the “G652.D” series

2023/09/21
Today the first report of our Indo­ne­si­an cigar tasting with our fri­end Jim­my, “The Cigar Man”.

Jim­my came straight from the Inter­Ta­bac in Dort­mund, the world’s lar­gest trade fair for tob­ac­co pro­ducts, and not only had inte­res­t­ing and new things to report, but also brought us lots of cigars from his Indo­ne­si­an home­land.
But one after anon­ther. Let’s start today with Jimmy’s own brand, Long Haul Back­bone. And here is the brand new Robus­to from the “G652.D” series. The name is a remi­nis­cence of his second pas­si­on, the fiber optic indus­try, and refers to a par­ti­cu­lar­ly high-qua­li­ty cable.

The new Robus­to is an Indo­ne­si­an Puro with a 50 ring gau­ge and a length of 5″. The beau­tiful dark wrap­per is a Java­no Madu­ro, the bin­der is a Besuki Na-Oost and the fil­ler is also a blend of Indo­ne­si­an tob­ac­cos. This Puro con­vin­ced us of the high qua­li­ty of Indo­ne­si­an tob­ac­cos. It gave us a strong 45 minu­te aro­ma­tic smo­ke. A stick for the more expe­ri­en­ced aficionado.


The Toro Delu­xe in the Tubos from the Vin­ta­ge 1999 Con­nec­ti­cut series by Rocky Patel

2023/09/16
Today some­thing luxu­rious and rare: The Toro Delu­xe in the Tubos from the Vin­ta­ge 1999 Con­nec­ti­cut series by Rocky Patel.

Our Toro is a rare find and comes from the very first batch with wrap­pers from 1999!! This cigar, imma­cu­l­ate­ly made in Hon­du­ras, still has a 7‑year-aged Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de wrap­per from the River Val­ley, USA. The newer bat­ches are aged for 10 years. The bin­der comes from Nica­ra­gua and the fil­ler blend comes from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and Nicaragua.

The dimen­si­ons are given incor­rect­ly by most retail­ers. This Tubos vari­ant actual­ly has a length of 6″ and a ring gau­ge of 50/64″.

For his Vin­ta­ge Series, Rocky Patel uses the oldest sha­de-grown tob­ac­co lea­ves from the River Val­ley. The long 7–10 year aging has made the cigar mild.
We had a mild, balan­ced smo­ke for almost an hour and could find aro­mas of tro­pi­cal fruits, cin­na­mon and chocolate.


Toro from The Edge Can­de­la series by Rocky Patel

2023/09/15
Wow – a green cigar, today’s Toro from Rocky Patel from The Edge Can­de­la series! Can­de­la means cand­le in Spa­nish and is Rocky Patel’s name for this green beau­ty. The usu­al name for the color of this Hon­d­uran wrap­per is “Dou­ble Cla­ro”. The green color is the result of very rapid dry­ing, so that the chlo­ro­phyll is retai­ned in the lea­ves. This short matu­ra­ti­on peri­od is com­pen­sa­ted for by the 5‑year matu­ra­ti­on of the bin­der and fil­ler. The ori­gin of the bin­der and the fil­ler are unfort­u­na­te­ly a secret.

Green cigars were very popu­lar in the United Sta­tes until the 1970s, but then fell out of fashion. It was­n’t until 2012 that La Flor Domi­ni­ca­na and Rocky Patel brought Dou­ble Cla­ro cigars back onto the market.

Our Toro 6 x 52 is limi­t­ed to 1,000 cases world­wi­de. We enjoy­ed it for a good hour and could tas­te aro­mas of tea and grass as well as a spi­cy sweet­ness. A good and inte­res­t­ing smoke.


La Bava­ria Salomones

2023/09/08
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.


La Bava­ria Salomones

2023/08/25
We — Tim, Max and Joerg — wish you all a won­derful weekend. We’­re alre­a­dy enjoy­ing Fri­day with one of our last Fuen­te Gran Reser­va tog­e­ther with a 7 year old Emi­nen­te Reser­va. We were attrac­ted by the beau­tiful bot­t­le becau­se of the cro­co­di­le pat­tern. But it also goes per­fect­ly with the cigar.


Par­ta­g­as Presidente

2023/08/16
And again today we cele­bra­te our weekly Hump­day. This time a Par­ta­g­as Pre­si­den­te from our tre­asu­re chest. In addi­ti­on, a Tou­can Rhum Blanc from French Guia­na, i.e. from near the equa­tor in eas­tern South Ame­ri­ca. The tas­te of man­go and papa­ya also goes per­fect­ly with the cigar.


Robus­to of Linea Pur­os from the Flor de Copán Spe­cial Edi­ti­on 2020

2023/08/08
Sin­ce the Flor de Copán Spe­cial Edi­ti­on 2020 that we had alre­a­dy tried did­n’t real­ly con­vin­ce us, we dared to try ano­ther one from this brand today, a Robus­to Linea Pur­os. As the name sug­gests, a Hon­d­uran puro. All tob­ac­cos come from the same regi­on, the moun­tain regi­on on the bor­der with Gua­te­ma­la and El Salvador.

Our Robus­to has a 52 ring gau­ge and a length 5″. It is rol­led in the Taba­ca­lera Flor de Copan in the city of San­ta Rosa de Copán, Honduras.

This cigar is com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent than any­thing we have smo­ked from Flor de Copán befo­re. Bur­ning, draft beha­vi­or and smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment were per­fect. A fla­vorful cigar with aro­mas of espres­so, bit­ter cho­co­la­te and a fine, deli­ca­te sweet­ness. A gre­at 50 minu­te smo­ke. This cigar tru­ly deser­ved the 2008 “Best Brand Hon­du­ras” award.

In addi­ti­on, our Chi­lean fri­end brought us a Pis­co Mis­tral Nobel. This “Noble Grap­pa” is distil­led from gra­pes and stored for 10 years in oak bar­rels. A revelation!


Cuba Ali­a­dos Cabi­net Edition

2023/08/07
A legend is back: the “Cuba Ali­a­dos”, or as they may only be cal­led “Ali­a­dos” out­side of the USA for legal reasons.

It was foun­ded by Rolan­do Reyes Sr., born in Cuba in 1924, who left his home­land in 1972. Reyes died in 2012. In 2021 the Bel­gi­an fami­ly com­pa­ny VCF (Van­der­mar­lie­re Fami­ly of Cigars) acqui­red the brand and laun­ched 2 series of the old brand. On the one hand the old blend and a new inter­pre­ta­ti­on by Ernes­to Perez Carr­l­il­lo, the Ali­a­dos Cabi­net Edition.

Our Chur­chill of this new series has a ring gau­ge of 50/64” and a length of 7”. The wrap­per, grown from Suma­tra seeds and aged for 5 years, comes from Ecua­dor, the bin­der from Nica­ra­gua and the fil­ler is a blend of Nica­ra­gu­an and Domi­ni­can tob­ac­cos. It is rol­led in the Taba­ca­lera La Ali­anza by Ernes­to Perez-Carrillo.

During our 90 minu­te smo­ke we could dif­fe­ren­tia­te aro­mas of roas­ted oak, hay, cho­co­la­te, pep­per and a natu­ral sweetness.


Bund­le of the Chur­chills from the pre-series from Hemmy’s

2023/07/05
Our mem­ber Tobia gave us a hot tip. Cuban-born Hem­my Gar­cia from Ber­lin-Fronau, Ger­ma­ny and foun­der of Hemmy’s Finest Cigars has laun­ched a new line of inex­pen­si­ve bund­le cigars in addi­ti­on to the pre­mi­um cigars we value. We mana­ged to try out a bund­le of the Chur­chills from the pre-series. This bund­les of 10 are available in three for­mats, Robus­to, Toro and Chur­chill. All three for­mats are hand-rol­led at ABAM, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and have the same con­s­truc­tion. A Con­nec­ti­cut wrap­per from Ecua­dor, the bin­der from Indo­ne­sia and the fil­ler blend from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, Nica­ra­gua and Peru. The fil­ler is made using the so-cal­led Cuban Sand­wich Method. Short fil­lers are sand­wi­ched bet­ween the high-qua­li­ty long fil­ler lea­ves.
Our Chur­chill has a 48 ring gau­ge and a length of 7″.

It bur­ned straight up with a com­for­ta­ble draw resis­tance. A good one hour mild but still tasty smo­ke. A per­fect­ly craf­ted good ever­y­day cigar and also for the beg­in­ner at a very reasonable price.


The Taber­na­cle series by Nico­las Melillo

2023/07/23
Today some­thing from the Old Tes­ta­ment: “The Taber­na­cle” by Nico­las Mel­il­lo, the foun­der and owner of the Foun­da­ti­on Cigar Co. from the Con­nec­ti­cut River Val­ley, USA.

Born in 1979, Mel­il­lo began his cigar care­er at the age of 18 as a sales­man in a tob­ac­co shop and later mana­ged the pro­duc­tion of La Gran Fabri­ca at Drew Estate in Nica­ra­gua befo­re start­ing his own busi­ness in 2015.

With the series “The Taber­na­cle” he goes into the bibli­cal sto­ry in the Old Tes­ta­ment about King Solo­mon and the legen­da­ry Ark of the Coven­ant. On the band is a por­trait of Hai­le Selas­sie (1892–1975), the 225th Emper­or of Ethio­pia, des­cen­dant of King Solo­mon and wor­shi­p­ed as a dei­ty by the Ras­ta­fa­ri­ans in Jamai­ca. The taber­na­cle was con­side­red by the faithful to be the place whe­re the Ark of the Coven­ant was kept during the con­s­truc­tion of the Temp­le of Solo­mon. Today, “Taber­na­cle” refers to the place whe­re Chris­ti­ans keep the com­mu­ni­on wafers.

And for Mel­il­lo, who was born in New Haven, Con­nec­ti­cut, which is sur­roun­ded by tob­ac­co fields, the­se same tob­ac­co plants are also some­thing sacred and untouchable.


The Taber­na­cle Broad­le­af by Nico­las Melillo

2023/07/27
We alre­a­dy lik­ed the short tor­pe­do “The Taber­na­cle Broad­le­af” from Foun­da­ti­on Cigars by Nico­las Mel­il­lo, so we have now got hold of the lar­gest of the vito­las available in Ger­ma­ny, the Toro.

During Melillo’s time at Drew Estate, he held the hono­ra­ry title of “Chief of the Broad­le­af”. To avo­id being com­pared to his work at Drew Estate when he star­ted his own busi­ness in 2015, he did­n’t initi­al­ly use Broad­le­af. It was not until 2016 that he pre­sen­ted two series with the­se tob­ac­co lea­ves at the IPCPR Con­ven­ti­on in Las Vegas. The Char­ter Oak Broad­le­af and our Tabernacle.

This Toro has a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ with a length of 6″. The some­what coar­se, almost black Broad­le­af wrap­per comes from Con­nec­ti­cut, USA. The San Andrés bin­der again from Mexi­co and the fil­ler from Yama­s­tran, Hon­du­ras and from Jala­pa and Este­li, Nica­ra­gua. It is rol­led again at AJ Fernandez’s Taba­ca­lera in Nicaragua.

A good hour-long smo­ke with aro­mas of mocha, red pep­per and the typi­cal Madu­ro sweetness.


The Taber­na­cle Tor­pe­do by Nico­las Melillo

2023/07/24
“The Taber­na­cle” Tor­pe­do by Nic­las Mel­il­los Foun­da­ti­on Cigar Com­pa­ny in Connecticut.

A very nice appearance of this short tor­pe­do with its almost black imma­cu­la­te Broad­le­af Con­nec­ti­cut wrap­per from the USA and the magni­fi­cent cig­ar­band with the image of Emper­or Hai­lie Selassi.

The San Andrés bin­der comes from Mexi­co and the fil­ler from Hon­du­ras and from the fields of AJ Fernandez’s Taba­ca­lera, in Nica­ra­gua whe­re it is also rol­led. Mel­il­lo knew the­se fields of the La Sole­dat farm very well, having lived in the imme­dia­te vici­ni­ty for a peri­od in 2003.

Our short tor­pe­do is 4½” long and has a ring gau­ge of 52/64″.

In the first third we tas­ted dates, lea­ther and black pep­per. This spi­cy note is balan­ced with lots of natu­ral sweet­ness. From the second third, the ear­thy aro­mas increased.

Burn and dra­wing beha­vi­or were per­fect. The use of a Mexi­can San Andrés bin­der with the Nica­ra­gu­an fil­ler under a Con­nec­ti­cut Broad­le­af wrap­per pro­ba­b­ly made for this inte­res­t­ing smoke.


Vil­la Zamo­rano Reser­va Sampler

2023/07/07
The Pari­si­an cigar pro­du­cer Maria-Pia (Maya) Sel­va, who was born in France and grew up in Hon­du­ras, has the brands Flor de Sel­va (sin­ce 1994), Cum­pay (sin­ce 1999) and our cur­rent cigar, the Vil­la Zamo­rano (sin­ce 2002) in the port­fo­lio. She has her cigars made in Nes­tor Placencia’s fac­to­ry in Dan­li, Honduras.

Maya Sel­va ori­gi­nal­ly deve­lo­ped Vil­la Zamo­rano for her hus­band. When­ever he wal­ked his dog, he smo­ked one of her expen­si­ve Flor de Sel­va cigars. This upset her quite a bit, becau­se can you wal­king your dog and real­ly enjoy a very good cigar? She made him a simp­ler cigar from a good tob­ac­co for his walks. Vil­la Zamo­rano was born, named after her Farm of the same name.

We have now purcha­sed the fur­ther deve­lo­p­ment as a sam­pler, the Vil­la Zamo­rano Reser­va in the ori­gi­nal but very prac­ti­cal reclosable can.


The Figu­ra­do from the Vil­la Zamo­rano Reser­va Sampler

2023/07/14
A real­ly cool sam­pler. The rese­alable can is ide­al as a car humi­dor and fits in the drink tray of your car.

First we have the inte­res­t­ing for­mat no. 15, as Maya Sel­va calls it. So a Figu­ra­do with a 54 ring gau­ge and a length of 5½”. A Hon­du­ras Puro, like all Reser­vas of this sam­pler. It has a beau­tiful oily smooth Jama­strán wrap­per and is rol­led very tight­ly. A lush smo­ke deve­lo­ped imme­dia­te­ly after light­ing. The burn was dead straight and the draw resis­tance was per­fect despi­te the firm rol­ling. A spi­cy smo­ke with aro­mas of oak, cof­fee and abo­ve all a nice subt­le sweet­ness. This ash was extre­me­ly solid and only fell in the last third. Then a nice sym­me­tri­cal cin­der cone appeared.

A very good 50 minu­te tasty smo­ke at a very good pri­ce-per­for­mance ratio. She crea­ted this cigar for her husband’s dog walks. We have to say that it works excel­lent­ly even wit­hout a walk.


The Sobra­no Robus­to Gran­de from the Vil­la Zamo­rano Reser­va Sampler

2023/07/09
This Sun­day we smo­ked the big­gest from Maya Selva’s Zamo­rano Reser­va Sam­pler, the Sobra­no Robus­to Gran­de. It has a 60 ring gau­ge and is 6″ in length. An impres­si­ve vitola.

Like all cigars in this series, it is a Hon­du­ras Puro. The oily, smooth wrap­per is a Haba­no from Maya’s own farm “San­ta Eula­lia”, loca­ted in the Jama­strán Val­ley in sou­thern Honduras.

We found the draw resis­tance to be a bit very light and it bur­ned very irre­gu­lar­ly in the first third. But that regu­la­ted its­elf in the last two thirds auto­no­mously.
We could tas­te aro­mas of oak and cof­fee as well as a subt­le sweet­ness during our 70 minu­te smoke.

A real­ly good, strong basic cigar, just a typi­cal Hon­d­uran at a real­ly good price.


Toro from the Spe­cial Edi­ti­on 2020 by Jor­ge Bue­so by Flor de Copán

2023/07/01
In 1976, Jor­ge Bue­so Ari­as, known as Don Jor­ge in his nati­ve Hon­du­ras, foun­ded the Flor de Copán cigar Factory.

By then, Don Jor­ge, who came from a tob­ac­co dynasty, had alre­a­dy had a care­er as a ban­ker and was Minis­ter for Eco­no­my and Finan­ce from 1957 to 1963.

In honor of the com­pa­ny foun­der, Jor­ge Bue­so Ari­as, who was born in San­ta Rosa de Copán in 1919, the Flor de Copán Spe­cial Edi­ti­on 2020 by Jor­ge Bue­so was released in 2020 on the occa­si­on of his hundredth birthday.

We cho­se a red wine with the seduc­ti­ve name “Cigar Box”. Its Argen­ti­ni­an wine­ma­kers gave it this name becau­se its scent remin­ded them of an open humidor.


Toro from the Spe­cial Edi­ti­on 2020 by Jor­ge Bue­so by Flor de Copán

2923/07/06
Wow — a cigar for the hundredth bir­th­day of the com­pa­ny foun­der Don Jor­ge Bue­so Ari­as. We cho­se the Toro from the spe­cial edi­ti­on of the bir­th­day boy. It has a ring gau­ge of 50 and is 6″ long. The oily, shi­ny H 2000 wrap­per comes from Nica­ra­gua, the Coro­jo bin­der from Hon­du­ras, as does the strong Criol­lo fil­ler. It was rol­led in their own Taba­ca­lera Flor de Copan in Honduras.

Our Toro star­ted extre­me­ly harsh. But this aci­di­ty gave way after a few puffs. We found pri­ma­ri­ly woo­dy fla­vors and may­be a hint of cof­fee. The burn and draw resis­tance were per­fect, the ash extre­me­ly solid. This beau­ty could not real­ly con­vin­ce us in terms of taste.

The not very expen­si­ve wine from Argen­ti­na, which was rated among the top 25, went per­fect­ly with the cigar. A beau­tiful very dark, round, soft red. Howe­ver, we could not under­stand the epony­mous scent of roas­ted and tob­ac­co notes. The win­egro­wers pro­ba­b­ly all smo­ked cigars during the tasting or the tasting took place in the walk-in humidor.


The Dia­de­ma “Spring” out of “The Sea­sons 2023” series by Avo Uvezian

2023/06/29
The 1926 jazz pia­nist Avo Uve­zi­an was born to a com­po­ser and a sin­ger in Bei­rut, Leba­non. He beca­me a pia­nist at the court of the Per­si­an Shah and was also invol­ved in the crea­ti­on of the world hit “Stran­gers in the Night” for Frank Sina­tra. In the 1980s he came to Puer­to Rico and ope­ned a pia­no bar the­re.
He soon dis­co­ver­ed his love for cigars and wan­ted to make them for hims­elf. He met Davidoff’s mas­ter blen­der, Hen­drik Kel­ner, and they star­ted a small pro­duc­tion. Avo Uve­zi­an cal­led his first cigars “Bole­ro”, but sin­ce this brand was alre­a­dy pro­tec­ted in the USA, he later gave them his own first name. The­se first cigars were a huge sales suc­cess, so David­off soon deci­ded to buy the “AVO” brand. Avo Uve­zi­an died in Orlan­do, Flo­ri­da in 2017 at the age of 92.
We were able to get hold of one of only 40,000 (4,000 boxes of 10) pro­du­ced Dia­de­mas of the new Sea­sons Spring 2023 series worldwide.


The Dia­de­ma “Spring” out of “The Sea­sons 2023” series by Avo Uvezian

2023/06/30
The Sea­sons 2023 series will be published in four edi­ti­ons, pre­cis­e­ly for the four sea­sons. It all star­ted with the “Spring”. The dif­fe­rent blends are mixed from dif­fe­rent tob­ac­cos, which should repre­sent the tas­te of the seasons.

Now the spring cigar, the Avo Uve­zi­an Sea­sons Spring 2023 Dia­de­ma. Only 4,000 boxes of 10 were made. We were able to get hold of a few indi­vi­du­al ones. The Coro­jo wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor, the Seco bin­der from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and the fil­ler blend from Domi­ni­can San Vicen­te seco, hybrid 192 and Pilo­to Cuba­no, among others. One of the­se tob­ac­cos is said to have aged for 14 years. They are rol­led in Davidoff’s Taba­ca­lera Taba­dom in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. This Dia­de­ma has a ring gau­ge of 50/64” and is 6⅝” long.

We could tas­te nut­ty and frui­ty aro­mas as well as wood and cof­fee. A rela­tively strong and impres­si­ve one-hour smo­ke with per­fect draw and burn and pro­per smo­ke development.


Petit Chur­chill of David­offs Yama­sa series

2023/06/20
Today, for a small break­fast, a David­off Yama­sa in the ide­al “break­fast for­mat” of a Petit Churchill.

The Yamasà area around the small town of the same name, north of San­to Dom­in­go in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, is the eponym for this series by David­off, issued in 2016. This swam­py area is actual­ly total­ly unsui­ta­ble for gro­wing tob­ac­co. David­off rea­li­zed that they nee­ded to rai­se the pH of the soil in Yamasá and did it manu­al­ly, plant by plant, by adding nitra­te and cal­ci­um. They then sel­ec­ted the top three out of 30 seeds and deci­ded to use only 50 acres out of a total of 250 acres for cul­ti­va­ti­on. This deve­lo­p­ment took 20 years and the stra­tegy was due to the idea and intui­ti­on of mas­ter blen­der Hen­ke Kel­ner.
The­se sha­de-grown tob­ac­co plants are said to pro­vi­de an matchl­ess aro­ma. We’ll report after our litt­le break­fast. Stay tuned!


Petit Chur­chill of David­offs Yama­sa series

2023/06/23
Now to our break­fast cigar, the David­off Yamasá Petit Chur­chill. The litt­le one is just over 4″ long and has a 48 ring gauge.

The beau­tiful wrap­per is a sha­de-grown Yamasá Madu­ro from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The San Vin­cen­te bin­der also comes from Yamasá. The fil­ler is a blend of Mejo­ra­do lea­ves from Este­li, Nica­ra­gua and Pilo­to lea­ves from Con­te­ga, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. They are rol­led in the David­off Taba­dom fac­to­ry in the Domi­ni­can Republic.

Even befo­re light­ing it fasci­na­tes with a frui­ty and cho­co­la­ty cold smell. It is very spi­cy for a David­off and we could tas­te aro­mas of earth, wood and lea­ther. Towards the end also cho­co­la­ty fla­vors. The very high pri­ce is pro­ba­b­ly due to the expen­si­ve far­ming pro­cess. All in all a good 40 minu­te mor­ning smoke.


Flor Fina from Blau­band Zigar­ren und Stum­pen­fa­bri­ken Frank & Wittenauer

2023/06/19
We found a litt­le his­to­ri­cal tre­asu­re on Ebay. A woo­den cigar press from the Karl Feisst Cigar Fac­to­ry in Ober­schopf­heim on the edge of the Black Forest, Ger­ma­ny, which was set up in 1848. When the fac­to­ry stop­ped hand rol­led cigar making in favor of machi­ne manu­fac­tu­ring, the­se cigar boards were no lon­ger needed.

Ano­ther cigar manu­fac­tu­rer, the Blau­band Zigar­ren und Stum­pen­fa­bri­ken Frank com­pa­ny “ GmbH & Co.” from near­by Wat­ter­di­gen, bought some of the old pres­ses. They used the­se as deco­ra­ti­ve pack­a­ging for their own cigars and mar­ke­ted them as “true antique”. Our tre­asu­re is fil­led with 20 machi­ne-rol­led “Flor Fina” short fil­lers. They have a ring gau­ge of 35 and a length of 6¼”.

Who can give us more infor­ma­ti­on about the­se two cigar manufacturers?

Sin­ce the cigars are total­ly dried out, we will gra­du­al­ly make them smo­keable again for a few weeks in the humi­dor. We will then of cour­se report.


Flor Fina from Blau­band Zigar­ren und Stum­pen­fa­bri­ken Frank & Wittenauer

2023/08/06
After a few weeks of accli­ma­tiza­ti­on in the humi­dor, we dared to try the 50-year-old sticks. They are the Flor Fina of the “Blau­band — Zigar­ren- und Stum­pen­fa­bri­ken Frank & Wit­ten­au­er“ from Wat­ter­din­gen, Ger­ma­ny. The fac­to­ry was foun­ded in 1948 after the war and clo­sed again in 1976. Based on the tax stamp, we esti­ma­te that our cigars were made in the late 1960s.

The­se machi­ne rol­led cigars have a 35 ring gau­ge and 6¼” in length. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, we were not able to rese­arch the ori­gin of the tob­ac­cos, it is only clear that they must come from a Spa­nish-spea­king coun­try. So we dis­mant­led one. It is a short fil­ler with a bin­der made of HTL (homo­ge­ni­zed tabak leaf) and a fine-loo­king, thin wrapper.

We lit one and tas­ted it. Draft beha­vi­or, bur­ning and smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment were still flaw­less. Apart from a very pep­pery hot spi­ci­ness the­re was not­hing to tas­te. We put them away after a few puffs.
A his­to­ri­cal­ly inte­res­t­ing excur­si­on into Ger­man cigar history.


Seps recom­men­da­ti­on for evenings:
the Gran Toro Under­crown Madu­ro by Drew Estate
the Vega­Fi­na Nica­ra­gua Robus­to Tubo
the Dia­de­ma from the limi­t­ed Sea­sons Sum­mer 2023 series by AVO

2023/06/13
Of cour­se, a visit to “Sepp’s Tob­ac­co Island” is a must when vaca­tio­ning Lake Tegern­see in Bava­ria, Ger­ma­ny. Sepp recom­men­ded us three of his favo­ri­tes for holi­day evenings:

1) the Gran Toro Under­crown Madu­ro by Drew Estate from Nica­ra­gua
2) the Vega­Fi­na Nica­ra­gua Robus­to Tubo
3) and as a spe­cial tre­at, the brand new Dia­de­ma from the limi­t­ed Sea­sons Sum­mer 2023 series by AVO from the David­off Taba­ca­le­ria Taba­dom in the Domi­ni­can Republic

As always, we reli­ed on Sepp’s advice, which has never dis­ap­poin­ted us. We will smo­ke it with plea­su­re in the next few evenings at the lake and of cour­se report to you.


Avo Seson Sum­mer out of the Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­on 2023 Diadema

2023/06/18
Today the third recom­men­da­ti­on from Sepp at Lake Tegern­see in Bava­ria.
Jazz pia­nist Avo Uve­zi­an came to Puer­to Rico in the 1980s and ope­ned a pia­no bar the­re. He soon dis­co­ver­ed his love for cigars and wan­ted to make them for hims­elf. He met Davidoff’s mas­ter blen­der, Hen­drik Kel­ner, and they star­ted a small pro­duc­tion. The­se first cigars were a huge sales suc­cess, so David­off soon deci­ded to buy the “AVO” brand.

So today the Avo Sea­son Sum­mer Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­on 2023 Dia­de­ma from the Avo Uve­zi­an fac­to­ry in the Cibao Val­ley of the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic.
The­re are only 4,000 boxes of this limi­t­ed series world­wi­de, 500 of them for the Ger­man mar­ket and one of them ended up at Sepps taba­co shop at Lake Tegern­see in Bavaria.

It has a 50 ring gau­ge and a length of 6 5/8″. The dark brown Coro­jo wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor, the San Andrés bin­der from Mexi­co and the fil­ler blend comes from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

We were able to enjoy them for a who­le 1 ¼ hours with their frui­ty-sweet aro­mas. A gre­at recom­men­da­ti­on, thanks Sepp!


Gran Toro Under­crown Madu­ro from Drew Estate

2923/06/14
Now for Sepp’s recom­men­da­ti­on #1, the Gran Toro Under­crown Madu­ro from Drew Estate in Nicaragua.

A very beau­tiful Vito­la with a ring gau­ge of 52/64” and a length of 6″. The dark, very even Madu­ro “Ota­pan Negro Ulti­mo Cor­te” wrap­per from Mexi­co is out­stan­ding. The T52 Con­nec­ti­cut bin­der comes from the USA and is a so-cal­led “Stalk Cut and Cured”, i.e. the who­le plant is cut off and the lea­ves are only sepa­ra­ted from the stem later, which results in a par­ti­cu­lar­ly aro­ma­tic tob­ac­co. The fil­ler is a blend of Bra­zi­li­an Meta Fina and Nica­ra­gu­an tob­ac­cos.
It is rol­led in the “La Gran Fabri­ca Drew Estate” in Nica­ra­gua. An anec­do­te goes that the cigar rol­lers were asked to smo­ke a litt­le less Liga Priva­da cigars. From then on they deve­lo­ped this cigar for them­sel­ves, which is com­po­sed of the best and most uni­que tobaccos.

With a subt­le sweet­ness and strong aro­mas of cho­co­la­te, she gave us a tru­ly gre­at, strong smo­ke that las­ted more than an hour. Thank you Sepp for this recommendation.


Vega­Fi­na Nica­ra­gua Robus­to Tubo

2023/05/17
Now to Sepp’s recom­men­da­ti­on #2, a Vega­Fi­na (trans­la­ted: fer­ti­le sole) Nica­ra­gua Robus­to Tubo. A brand impor­ted by the Swiss tob­ac­co com­pa­ny Vil­li­ger from the Black Forest, Ger­ma­ny. Vil­li­ger pre­sen­ted the Nica­ra­gua series 2014 at the Inter­ta­bak in Dort­mund, Ger­ma­ny. The Robus­to Tubo is brand new on the mar­ket. Of cour­se, Sepp alre­a­dy has them in stock 😉.

Our Robus­tos are Nica­ra­gu­an Pur­os, made in the Taba­ca­lera de Gar­cia in La Roma­na on the east coast of the Domi­ni­can Republic.

It is a smal­ler Robus­to with a 50 ring gau­ge and 5″ in length. This puro is a blend of lea­ves from the top (lige­ro), top midd­le (viso) and bot­tom midd­le (seco) of the tob­ac­co plant. All tob­ac­cos come from Jala­pa and Este­li and are aged for at least 4 years.

It gave us a 45 minu­te smo­ke that was quite strong for a Vega­Fi­na. The smo­ke volu­me was gre­at and we could cle­ar­ly iden­ti­fy aro­mas of cof­fee, pep­per, nuts and earth from this har­mo­nious blend. A decent cigar.


Robus­to A. Flo­res 1975 Gran Reser­va Edi­ción Limi­ta­da Maduro

2023/06/09
For tonight we have cho­sen a cigar from the Taba­ca­le­ria PDR from Tam­bo­ril Sant­ia­go in the Domi­ni­can Republic.

The foun­der of PDR, Abra­ham (Abe) Flo­res began his cigar care­er as an employee of a cigar dea­ler and then beca­me a part­ner of Taba­ca­le­ria Don Leon­cio. During this part­ner­ship he laun­ched his first own brand, the “Pinar Del Rio”, named after the famous Cuban tob­ac­co gro­wing regi­on. The let­ters “PDR” were ori­gi­nal­ly the initi­als of this val­ley and brand name.

In 2011, Abe Flo­res then ope­ned his own fac­to­ry, which he also named “PDR”, but this time as an abbre­via­ti­on of “Pur­os Domi­ni­can Repu­blic”. He cho­se this desi­gna­ti­on to honor the coun­try in which he lives and works. In addi­ti­on to their own brands, a lar­ge num­ber of bou­tique cigars (pri­va­te label) are made for many other brands, such as the “Gurk­ha Ghost”.

We cho­se some Rubos­tos from the A. Flo­res 1975 series. The year 1975 is the year of birth of Abe Flores.


Robus­to A. Flo­res 1975 Gran Reser­va Edi­ción Limi­ta­da Maduro

2023/06/11
Last night we lit our Robus­tos A. Flo­res 1975 Gran Reser­va Edi­ción Limi­ta­da Madu­ro from Abe Flo­res’ Taba­ca­le­ria PDR.

Alt­hough the Tabacaleria’s name (Pur­os Domi­ni­can Repu­blic) sug­gests they are Domi­ni­can Pur­os, only the Olor bin­der is Domi­ni­can, the wrap­per is a sun grown San Andrés from Mexi­co, and the fil­ler is a blend of Coro­jo, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, and Haba­no ‚Nica­ra­gua.

They are rol­led at PDR in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic using the entu­ba­do method. The tob­ac­co lea­ves are first rol­led into indi­vi­du­al tubes cal­led “entu­ba­do”. The­se are then rol­led up into the actu­al cigar shape, which is said to ensu­re a more even burn and a bet­ter draw.

Our Robus­tos have a 52 ring gau­ge and a length of 5″. We could guess pep­pery aro­mas of wood and lea­ther. A 60 minu­te, quite decent smo­ke with a lot of smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment. Howe­ver, all Robus­tos ten­ded to slight but cor­rec­ta­ble uneven burns.


Leo­nel Rare Robus­to by Paul Bugge

2023/06/05
For today we will smo­ke a Leo­nel Rare, a so-cal­led bou­tique cigar from the cigar dea­ler and importer Paul Bug­ge Cigars from Vil­lin­gen-Schwen­nin­gen in the Black Forest, Ger­ma­ny. Com­pa­ny foun­der Paul Bug­ge ope­ned his first tob­ac­co shop in 1951 in Schwen­nin­gen. In 1998 he han­ded over his ste­adi­ly gro­wing com­pa­ny to Nor­bert Höld­ke, a pas­sio­na­te cigar smo­ker and entrepreneur.

In 2010 Nor­bert Hölt­ke had the first pro­to­ty­pes of his own series made in Nica­ra­gua and the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic accor­ding to his wis­hes and tho­se of his son Dani­el. In 2014 the time had come, the first cigars from the new Leo­nel brand from Nica­ra­gua were presented.

Unfort­u­na­te­ly, the com­pa­ny does not reve­al which manu­fac­tu­r­ers their cigars come from. That’s a pity, becau­se the know­led­geable afi­ci­o­na­do would of cour­se like to know whe­re his cigars come from. But that’s pro­ba­b­ly inten­tio­nal so you can’t make com­pa­ri­sons with cigars from the same Tabacaleria.

Today we will let some Robus­tos of this series go up in smo­ke and report to you. Stay tuned!


xxx

Leo­nel Rare Robus­to by Paul Bugge

2023/06/07
Today we have taken on the Robus­tos of Leo­nel Rare, a brand of the cigar dea­ler and importer Paul Bug­ge. The­se Robus­tos have a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a length of 5″.

The first thing that cat­ches the eye is the beau­tiful, old-fashio­ned gold cigar band. This comes into its own par­ti­cu­lar­ly beau­tiful­ly on the dark, flaw­less wrap­per from Nica­ra­gua. The bin­der also comes from Nica­ra­gua. Seve­ral Nica­ra­gu­an Lige­ro and Seco tob­ac­co lea­ves were used as fil­ler. The Lige­ro lea­ves, i.e. the upper­most part of the tob­ac­co plant, are respon­si­ble for the gene­ra­ti­on of a lot of smo­ke and for the sharp­ness of a cigar. The Seco lea­ves come from the midd­le part of the plant and pri­ma­ri­ly deter­mi­ne the aro­ma.
A spi­cy, aro­ma­tic cigar that is beau­tiful to look at. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, our sus­pi­ci­on of the extre­me­ly tight­ly rol­led cigars was con­firm­ed, that the draw resis­tance was so strong that we did­n’t smo­ke any to the end. Too bad, but may­be we just caught a few outliers.


D8 Impe­ri­al Blend aged dou­ble Ligero

2023/05/29
Today some­thing Swiss from Cos­ta Rica. In 1998, the Ger­man Rudy Nie­haus estab­lished the Taba­ca­le­ria Vegas de Sant­ia­go tog­e­ther with the Guz­mán fami­ly in the Pris­cal regi­on of Cos­ta Rica. The seni­or Olman León Guz­mán still super­vi­ses the plan­ta­ti­ons and the fer­men­ta­ti­on, his son Andrés runs the fac­to­ry. They were joi­n­ed by for­mer H. Upmanns Pro­duc­tion Mana­ger Don Luis San­ta­na Llamas from Cuba. He crea­ted the cigar pre­sen­ted by us today, the D8 Impe­ri­al Blend aged dou­ble Lige­ro. The Gen­e­va, Switz­er­land-born son of Rudy Nie­haus, Marc, joi­n­ed his father’s fac­to­ry as a part­ner in 2010 and today mana­ges inter­na­tio­nal sales and mar­ke­ting from Switz­er­land. The D8 was award­ed “Best Brand Cos­ta Rica” at Inter­ta­bac 2017.

Of cour­se we will try them and report back to you. Stay tuned!


D8 Impe­ri­al Blend aged dou­ble Ligero

2023/05/30
How was she our first cigar from Cos­ta Rica, the Vegas De Sant­ia­go Short Salo­mo­nes by the Swiss Marc Nie­haus. A beau­tiful vito­la, per­fect­ly craf­ted, this Short Beli­co­sa with a ring gau­ge of 58/64″ and a length of 6″. The wrap­per and bin­der come from Ecua­dor, the fil­ler blend from Cos­ta Rica, the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and Peru. All tob­ac­cos are grown from Carib­be­an seeds. They are rol­led in the Taba­ca­le­ria Vegas Sant­ia­go in Cos­ta Rica.

Due to the spe­cial shape, the draw resis­tance is initi­al­ly very high, but after a few puffs it is opti­mal. A full, cre­a­my smo­ke deve­lo­ped imme­dia­te­ly, accom­pa­nied by a subt­le honey sweet­ness, which remain­ed until the end.

Fur­ther­mo­re, we could tas­te sweet aro­mas of cof­fee, cho­co­la­te and cedar wood.

A good 70 minu­te smo­king plea­su­re with a very good pri­ce-per­for­mance ratio. It won’t be our last cigar from Cos­ta Rica!

P.S.: for our for­eign fri­ends. The inscrip­ti­on on the ash­tray reads: “res­t­ing place for bur­ning cigars”.


Hemmy’s Pira­mi­des

2023/05/26
A few days ago we tried the Robus­tos from Hem­my Garcia’s own brand in Ber­lin and thought they were good. So we got ano­ther vito­la, the Hemmy’s Pira­mi­des, of the­se two cigars.

They have a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a length of 6″. So a litt­le more volu­mi­nous than the Robus­tos. The only dif­fe­rence bet­ween the two is the wrap­per. The slight­ly ligh­ter one has a Jala­pa wrap­per from Nica­ra­gua, the Madu­ro has a San And­res from Mexi­co. The bin­ders of both come from Peru. The fil­ler is a blend of Domi­ni­can and Nica­ra­gu­an tob­ac­cos. They were rol­led at ABAM Cigars in San­to Dom­in­go, Domi­ni­can Republic.

Of cour­se we will also smo­ke them and report to you. This time we tre­at our­sel­ves to the 84 pro­of “Gentlemen’s Reser­ve” rum per­so­nal­ly blen­ded by Hem­my. We are very exci­ted about this duo or trio.


Hemmy’s Pira­mi­des

2023/05/27
We found the Hemmy’s Pira­mi­des even more aro­ma­tic than the Robus­tos that we had alre­a­dy tas­ted. A per­fect­ly craf­ted cigar with a beau­tiful, even wrap­per. A full-bodi­ed but still mild cigar with an ama­zing pri­ce-per­for­mance ratio.
In addi­ti­on, the rum from Hem­my was a reve­la­ti­on. Very soft with notes of oran­ge and cho­co­la­te. Accor­ding to the label, it’s not a “rum” but a rum spi­rit, sin­ce the added sugar (invert sugar) is hig­her than the 20 g (0.7 oz) per liter (1.07 US liq. qt.) for rum per­mit­ted in the EU sin­ce 2021. But that does­n’t detract from “Hemmy’s Gentlemen’s Reser­ve”. A per­fect drink with a cigar. We enjoy­ed both. A per­fect pai­ring. The Brink­mann com­pa­ny has blen­ded and bot­t­led this “rum” from Carib­be­an rums that are up to 10 years old, based on a per­so­nal reci­pe by Hem­my Garcia.

For our Ame­ri­can fri­ends: the inscrip­ti­on on the ash­tray reads: “Wife don’t annoy your husband”.


Hemmy’s Pira­mi­des Maduro

2023/06/02
Today is our second “Ber­li­ner Kindl” (Ber­lin Child) of the Pira­mi­des from Cuban-born Hem­my Gar­cia from Fronau who lives in Ber­lin by choice. The Hemmy’s Maduro.

Ano­ther flaw­less wrap­per, this time a litt­le dar­ker and a San André from Mexi­co from the 2008 har­ve­st. The bin­der from Peru and a fil­ler blend from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and Nica­ra­gua. It has a ring gau­ge of 52/64” and is 6″ in length. This vito­la is also rol­led again in the Taba­ca­lera ABAM Cigars by Mati­as Mara­go­to in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The wrap­pers of this Madu­ro are aged in old rum casks for two years. The­se give the cigar its unmist­aka­ble sweet flo­ral aro­ma, which is com­ple­men­ted by fine woo­dy roas­ted aro­mas. The cigar exu­des an extre­me­ly plea­sant, spi­cy scent. The burn was dead straight with an opti­mal draw resistance.

A gre­at one-hour smo­ke, again at a very good pri­ce-per­for­mance ratio.
With the Ber­lin sum­mer tem­pe­ra­tures, a Ber­li­ner Kindl Rad­ler (a beer mix drink made from beer and lemo­na­de) went per­fect­ly with the cigar.


Gil­bert de Mont­sal­vat “Signa­tu­re”

2023/05/17
The Swiss Ray­mon­do Ber­nas­co­ni and his wife Sue run a suc­cessful cigar busi­ness in Basel, Switz­er­land, the “House of Smo­ke”. In April he laun­ched an inte­res­t­ing new cigar for the company’s 15th anni­ver­sa­ry, the “Signa­tu­re” of his own brand “Gil­bert de Mont­sal­vat”. The brand name is a fan­ta­sy figu­re crea­ted by aut­hor Tho­mas Brunn­sch­wei­ler, a fri­end of Ber­nas­co­ni. This fic­tion­al character’s full name is Gil­bert Béné­dict Augus­tin de Montsalvat.

We were able to get hold of some Gordos from this series. This new cigar was crea­ted by Davidoff’s for­mer mas­ter blen­der, Ela­dio Díaz, and he pro­du­ces it in his own brand new Taba­ca­lera Diaz Cabre­ra in Sant­ia­go de los Cabal­le­ros, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. It is purely a fami­ly busi­ness. Gri­sel­da, Diaz’s wife, is the mana­ging direc­tor, while his sons Alex­an­der and Hec­tor act as finan­cial mana­gers. The other of his three sons, Emma­nu­el, is absent and will remain with Ernes­to Perez-Car­ri­l­lo in his role as Mar­ke­ting and Inter­na­tio­nal Sales Director.


Gordo by Gil­bert de Mont­sal­vat “Signa­tu­re”

2023/05/18
How was it with the fat (Spa­nish = gordo) Mr. Gil­bert de Mont­sal­vat? A real­ly impres­si­ve for­mat, this Gordo from the Signa­tu­re series by Ray­mon­do Ber­nas­co­ni. With a ring gau­ge of 60/64″ and a length of 6″, it is a Dou­ble Toro. It is pre­cis­e­ly this size that appeals to us, becau­se thi­c­ker cigars gene­ral­ly burn more slow­ly and also result in a lar­ger smo­ke volu­me, and the varie­ty of aro­mas and inten­si­ty of tas­te usual­ly increase over the cour­se of the smoke.

Our Mr. de Mont­sal­vat is a blend by Ela­dio Diaz and con­sists of 6 Domi­ni­can tob­ac­cos, a real Domi­ni­can Puro.

A very lush, cre­a­my smo­ke deve­lo­ped imme­dia­te­ly after light­ing and we could tas­te sweetish aro­mas right from the start. Roas­ted aro­mas of cof­fee and almonds were added later. Bur­ning and draw beha­vi­or were both impec­ca­ble. The only down­si­de: the band is made of very thick paper and is dif­fi­cult to remo­ve. The smo­ke its­elf was an 80 minu­te treat.


Hemmy’s Robus­to Sampler

2023/05/15
The spoils of a visit to Hem­my Gar­cia, a nati­ve Cuban who grew up in Ber­lin. But one after anon­ther. Hem­my com­ple­ted a com­mer­cial app­ren­ti­ce­ship with the cigar manu­fac­tu­rer and Cuba importer (5th Ave­nue) Vil­li­ger on the edge of the Black Forest. Then, after a few years as an employee at various lar­ge tob­ac­co dea­lers (Casas del Haba­nos) in Ham­burg and Ber­lin, Hem­my ope­ned his own small cigar shop and cigar lounge in Ber­lin-Fronau, Ger­ma­ny. From his time at Vil­li­ger he can remem­ber the cigar fac­to­ry Abam Cigars in San­to Dom­in­go, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, whe­re Vil­li­ger also has some of his pre­mi­um brands pro­du­ced. This is how a Ger­man-Carib­be­an co-pro­duc­tion came about and the own brand “Hemmy’s” was born.

We could­n’t deci­de right away for one of the 3 series pro­du­ced. So we have bought sam­plers in Robus­to for­mat, each with the three series. Visual­ly, all three make an excel­lent impres­si­on, which requi­res per­fect work­man­ship. Of cour­se we will try them one by one and report to you.


Hemmy‘s Robus­to Maduro

2023/05/09
Now the second Robus­to from our Hem­my Gar­ci­as Robus­to sam­pler, the Madu­ro. Hem­my, born in Cuba but now a true Ber­li­ner. What goes bet­ter with his cigar than a “Ber­li­ner Kindl” beer.

This beau­tiful dark Madu­ro dif­fers from the Robus­to tes­ted yes­ter­day only by its San And­res wrap­per from Mexi­co, which was stored in rum bar­rels for two years. The dimen­si­ons with 5 x 50 are identical.

With a ring gau­ge of 50, we actual­ly did­n’t expect a big dif­fe­rence, sin­ce the ratio of the tob­ac­co con­tent of the wrap­per leaf to the fil­ler is rather small and should­n’t matter.

But one after ano­ther. Imme­dia­te­ly after light­ing, a cre­a­my, lush smo­ke deve­lo­ped again, which makes the smo­ke a plea­su­re. We found them far less spi­cy and not a bit pep­pery. But from the begin­ning the­re are nice sweet, cho­co­la­ty yes opu­lent roas­ted aromas.

The wrap­per does it! Aro­ma­ti­cal­ly a huge gain. A not only beau­tiful, but also aro­ma­tic cigar for an enjoya­ble smo­ke that lasts almost an hour.


Hemmy’s Robus­tos

2023/05/08
Today the first Robus­to from our sam­pler with cigars from Hem­my Gar­cia. Sin­ce Hem­my resi­des in Ber­lin, we cho­se the Ber­lin spe­cial bot­t­ling of a Jäger­meis­ter as a drink.

Our Robus­tos have a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ and a length of 5″. The uni­form, fine-vei­ned and rich brown wrap­per is a Jala­pa from Nica­ra­gua. The bin­der comes from Peru and the fil­ler is a blend of Domi­ni­can and Nica­ra­gu­an Lige­ro and Dou­ble Lige­ro lea­ves. The tob­ac­cos used come from 2019 and the­r­e­fo­re still have good poten­ti­al for aging. They were rol­led at ABAM Cigars in San­to Dom­in­go, Domi­ni­can Republic.

A rich, cre­a­my smo­ke deve­lo­ped imme­dia­te­ly after light­ing up and las­ted until the end. It starts rela­tively mild and spi­cy but not to spi­cy in the first third. It only got stron­ger from the second third and we were able to dif­fe­ren­tia­te aro­mas. A very plea­sant light sweet­ness was added. The draw was light but not too light, the burn was ideal.

A good 50 minu­tes smo­ke that we real­ly recommend!


Hemmy's Sampler, the Edicion Limitada from 2021.
Hemmy’s Edi­ci­on Limi­ta­da from 2021.

2023/05/11
Here is the last Robus­to of our Hemmy’s Sam­pler, the Edi­ci­on Limi­ta­da from 2021. We call it the “Mys­tery Cigar” becau­se Hem­my Gar­cia does not dis­c­lo­se the tob­ac­cos used.

What we do know: The ring gau­ge is 50/64″ and the length is 5″. It is rol­led at ABAM Cigars in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and was limi­t­ed to a few 100 boxes, hence “Limi­ta­da”. The Ger­man “Zigar­ren Maga­zin” voted it cigar of the year 2021.

Now we found out that ABAM uses most of time Ecua­dor Con­nec­ti­cut, Ecua­dor Natu­ral, Mexi­co Madu­ro Negro, San And­res and Perú Haba­no for the wrap­pers. Under­neath it must be the beau­tiful, even wrap­per of our Robus­to. The cap is artful­ly twis­ted into a pig tail. ABAM uses most of time Domi­ni­can and Nica­ra­gu­an tob­ac­cos for the fil­ler. Now all we have to do is figu­re out the com­bi­na­ti­on. Who can tas­te some­thing and help us?

She again deve­lo­ped a luscious cre­a­my smo­ke. A sur­pri­sing num­ber of aro­mas, all with a sweet note. Gre­at cigar that gets a regu­lar place in our humidor.


 VSG (Virgin Sun Grown) “Spellbound”
Ash­ton VSG (Vir­gin Sun Grown) “Spell­bound”

2023/04/28
Today we want to devo­te our­sel­ves to a cigar that is one of the best non-Cuban cigars, the Ash­ton VSG (Vir­gin Sun Grown) Spellbound.

The Ame­ri­can Robert Levin foun­ded the Ash­ton brand in 1985 in Phil­adel­phia, USA. The Ash­ton VSG series was intro­du­ced in 1999. With this cigar, he mana­ged to enter the world of the best pre­mi­um cigars with his fami­ly busi­ness and this cigar.

It is a mas­ter­pie­ce of seve­ral cigar dynasties. Car­li­to Fuen­te deve­lo­ped this cigar in two years of work. The Oli­va fami­ly sup­pli­es the wrap­pers grown in Ecua­dor. The bin­der and fil­ler come from 4–5 year aged Domi­ni­can tob­ac­cos from the Fuen­te fami­ly farms. They are rol­led in the Taba­ca­lera A. Fuen­te y Cia..

Accor­ding to Cigar Afi­ci­o­na­do, this stick is one of the top 25 cigars in the world. We will enjoy it and of cour­se report back to you. Stay tuned!


 VSG (Virgin Sun Grown) “Spellbound”
Ash­ton VSG (Vir­gin Sun Grown) “Spell­bound”

2023/05/02
What is it like now, the cigar with the repu­ta­ti­on of being one of the best non-Cuban ones. Robert Levin, the owner of the Ash­ton brand, calls the enorm­ous vito­la of our VSG (Vir­gin Sun Grown) “Spell­bound”. So ple­nty of advan­ce praise.

This vito­la is box­pres­sed, has a ring gau­ge of 54 and a length of 7½”, i.e. a dou­ble coro­na. The sil­ky shim­me­ring dark sun grown wrap­per comes from the fields of the Oli­va fami­ly in Ecua­dor. As with all Robert Levin cigars, the bin­der and the fil­ler blend come from the fields of the Fuen­te fami­ly in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, whe­re it was also rol­led and then aged for 1 half a year.

After a 1½ hour very strong smo­ke we can only con­firm, a fan­ta­stic cigar!
A rich, full-bodi­ed smo­ke and sweet cho­co­la­ty fla­vors, while a per­fect draw and a razor-sharp burn round off this smo­ke beautifully.


Lanceros of the "Baron Ullmann & Frandisuarez
Lan­ce­ros of the “Baron Ull­mann & Frandisuarez

2023/04/23
The Ger­man Georg Baron von Ull­mann, for­mer mem­ber of the super­vi­so­ry board and part­ner in the Sal. Oppen­heim bank, acqui­red a cigar fac­to­ry in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic in the ear­ly 2000s tog­e­ther with his Spa­nish fri­end and busi­ness part­ner Fran­cis­co Diaz Sua­rez, who likes to abbre­via­te his name as Fran­di­sua­rez. Initi­al­ly, no dis­tri­bu­ti­on was plan­ned, excel­lent cigars to the tas­te of the two fri­ends were only to be pro­du­ced for a small, sel­ect cir­cle. After the result was very well recei­ved, pro­duc­tion was expan­ded and the­se cigars have now been available for us for more than 15 years.

We have secu­red some of the ele­gant Lan­ce­ros of the “Baron Ull­mann & Fran­di­sua­rez”, as they are offi­ci­al­ly named.

Accor­ding to Ullmann’s adver­ti­sing state­ment, they should be the best of the best. We will try them and of cour­se report back to you. Stay tuned!


Lanceros from Baron Ullmann & Frandisuarez
Lan­ce­ros from Baron Ull­mann & Frandisuarez

2023/04/25
Baron Ullmann’s adver­ti­sing state­ment “The best of the best” about his cigars natu­ral­ly appea­led to us. So we got some Lan­ce­ros from Baron Ull­mann & Frandisuarez.

The­se very ele­gant Lan­ce­ros have a ring gau­ge of 38/64″ and a length of 6¾” and look well made. The even wrap­per comes from Cameroon, the bin­der from Nica­ra­gua and the fil­ler blend also from Nica­ra­gua and from Domi­ni­can tobaccos.

The draw and burn beha­vi­or were per­fect, as you would expect in this pri­ce seg­ment. Imme­dia­te­ly after light­ing up, a luscious cre­a­my smo­ke deve­lo­ps along with a very pep­pery aro­ma. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, we could­n’t guess any other aro­mas during the 40 minu­te smoke.

The adver­ti­sing state­ment is unfort­u­na­te­ly pure adver­ti­sing and far remo­ved from rea­li­ty. It was well made but not a spe­cial cigar.


My Father La Promesa
My Father La Pro­me­sa (Toro)

2023/04/18
It was laun­ched in 2016 and unfort­u­na­te­ly only today in our humi­dor, the “La Pro­me­sa”, a Toro from the My Father brand from Don Pepin Garcia’s Taba­ca­lera in Este­li, Nicaragua.

The name of the cigar “La Pro­me­sa” means “The Pro­mi­se”. What is meant is the pro­mi­se that the com­pa­ny patri­arch José “Pepín” Gar­cía made to his fami­ly befo­re he left his nati­ve Cuba for Nica­ra­gua in 2001. He pro­mi­sed to honor the qua­li­ty stan­dards and tra­di­tio­nal heri­ta­ge of his old home­land even wit­hout access to Cuban tob­ac­co in his new homeland.

Pepin’s son, Jai­me, once crea­ted a bir­th­day cigar for his father com­ple­te­ly inde­pendent­ly. The father was so enthu­si­a­stic about his son’s results that he included his blends in the pro­gram and named his Nica­ra­gu­an Taba­ca­le­ria “My Father Cigars”.

We are loo­king for­ward to this cigar becau­se it is not sup­po­sed to have the strong, pep­pery aro­ma typi­cal of Don Pepin, but more aromatic.

We will report, stay tuned!


My Father La Promesa
My Father La Promesa

2023/04/19
Has José “Pepín” Gar­cía kept his pro­mi­se to his Cuban fami­ly with “My Father La Pro­me­sa” to main­tain the qua­li­ty stan­dards and tra­di­tio­nal heri­ta­ge of his old Cuban home­land even wit­hout access to Cuban tobacco?

Our Toro has a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a length of 6″. A ‘Rosa­to Oscu­ro’ wrap­per grown from Cuban seeds in Ecua­dor was used. The bin­der and fil­ler come from his own fields in Nica­ra­gua. It was rol­led in his Taba­ca­lera “My Father Cigars S.A.” in Estelí, Nicaragua.

The cold smell is actual­ly very simi­lar to that of cigars from Cuba: sweetish like honey. Imme­dia­te­ly after light­ing, an enorm­ous cre­a­my volu­me of smo­ke deve­lo­ps. In the first 2 thirds we could actual­ly only guess very sub­li­mi­nal pep­pery aro­mas, which only beca­me stron­ger in the last third, but a nice, unob­tru­si­ve sweet­ness of cho­co­la­te and espres­so. The bur­ning beha­vi­or was perfect.

We have to say: Pro­mi­se kept!


VILLIGER de Nicaragua Edición Limitada 2022
VILLIGER de Nica­ra­gua Edi­ción Limi­ta­da 2022

2023/04/14
Hein­rich Vil­li­ger is known to the afi­ci­o­na­do in Euro­pe as mana­ging direc­tor and part­ner in the world’s first joint ven­ture with the Cuban Haba­nos S.A.. This joint ven­ture, foun­ded in 1989, imports and sells Haba­nos, the legal­ly pro­tec­ted cigars from Cuba, exclu­si­ve­ly for Ger­ma­ny, Aus­tria and Pol­and under the name 5th Ave­nue. The company’s head­quar­ters are in Walds­hut-Tien­gen in the Black Forest, Germany.

Jean Vil­li­ger foun­ded today’s empire in 1888 in Pfef­fi­kon, Switz­er­land. Last year, Vil­li­ger ope­ned his first fac­to­ry in Este­li, Nica­ra­gua. At the ope­ning, the “VILLIGER de Nica­ra­gua Edi­ción Limi­ta­da 2022” was laun­ched. The­re are only 9,000 pie­ces of this Toro world­wi­de. We were able to secu­re a few.

The noble, high-gloss lac­que­r­ed boxes of 10 bear a pic­tu­re of the land­scape of Nica­ra­gua, the land of 1,000 vol­ca­noes, on the lid and also on the band.

Of cour­se we will smo­ke some and report about it. Stay tuned!


Toro Villiger de Nicaragua Edición Limitada 2022
Toro Vil­li­ger de Nica­ra­gua Edi­ción Limi­ta­da 2022

2023/04/17
Now the cigar that saw the light of day at the ope­ning of Villiger’s new fac­to­ry in Este­li, Nica­ra­gua. A Toro Vil­li­ger de Nica­ra­gua Edi­ción Limi­ta­da 2022. The fac­to­ry is run with the sup­port of Joya de Nicaragua.

Tech­ni­cal­ly well made, the bur­ning and dra­wing beha­vi­or was per­fect. A very balan­ced for­mat with a ring gau­ge of 54/64″ and a length of 6″. A Colo­ra­do from Ecua­dor was used as the wrap­per. The bin­der comes from Mexi­co and the fil­ler from Nica­ra­gua. The Ame­ri­can mar­ket ver­si­on is a dif­fe­rent for­mat, a Tor­pe­do 6 x 52 with a slight­ly dif­fe­rent fil­ler blend from Nica­ra­gua and Penn­syl­va­nia, USA. The­se tor­pe­does are limi­t­ed to 500 boxes and will ship in ear­ly 2023.

We could iden­ti­fy aro­mas of cof­fee, pep­per and dark cho­co­la­te. We lik­ed it very much and she gave us a per­fect smo­ke of one hour.


 
LarutaN English by Drew Estate
Larut­aN Eng­lish by Drew Estate

2023/04/12
The “Natu­ral” series by Drew Estate is not allo­wed to be cal­led that in some Euro­pean count­ries. The Ger­man legal regu­la­ti­ons also do not allow terms such as orga­nic or even natu­ral to be asso­cia­ted with tob­ac­co pro­ducts. Jona­than Drew and his mar­ke­ting team the­r­e­fo­re chan­ged the name to Larut­aN = Natu­ral read back­wards. For a long time, Drew Estate cigars were dif­fi­cult to obtain in Ger­ma­ny. For­t­u­na­te­ly, this has now changed.

We have secu­red the lar­gest of this series, which goes by the name “Eng­lish”. The cigars in this series are “infu­sed”, as the manu­fac­tu­rer says. We would pro­ba­b­ly say fla­vor­ed, but that does­n’t sound so good. Exact­ly how this is done at Drew Estate remains their secret. May­be honey bees?

We’­re extre­me­ly exci­ted to see the­se beau­ties go up in smo­ke. We will report. Stay tuned!


LarutaN from Drew Estate
Larut­aN from Drew Estate

2023/04/23
With gre­at exci­te­ment we lit our cara­mel-sweet­ly scen­ted Toros of the brand Larut­aN from Drew Estate. Drew Estate calls this for­mat “Eng­lish”.

They have a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a length of 6″ and give a smo­ke time of a good hour. It is the lar­gest for­mat in this series and only this and one other are long fil­lers. The tob­ac­cos used are part­ly secret and the­re are actual­ly dif­fe­rent opi­ni­ons about it. We assu­me that the wrap­per is a San And­res Negro from Mexi­co and the fil­ler is a blend of Nica­ra­gu­an and Domi­ni­can tob­ac­cos. They are rol­led by Drew Estate in Este­li, Nicaragua.

If you put them on your lips you tas­te some­thing like arti­fi­ci­al sweete­ner, bru­t­ally sweet. This tas­te remains and overs­ha­dows ever­y­thing else and, at least for us, has thwar­ted the enjoyment.

Drew Estate claims they are not fla­vor­ed but “infu­sed”. We cla­im they’­ve been dipped in a sweete­ner solu­ti­on. If you like it, plea­se do!


Allegiance Sidekick Robusto
Alle­gi­ance Side­kick Robusto

2023/03/26
When the “god­fa­ther” of bou­tique cigars and mas­ter blen­der, Ernes­to Pérez Caril­lo, com­bi­nes his know­ledge with the gre­at Nica­ra­gu­an brand Oli­va, only good things can come of it. In the sum­mer of 2022, a crea­ti­on by the two com­pa­nies came onto the mar­ket in the USA and now also here in Ger­ma­ny. We were able to get hold of a few of the only 75,000 cigars worldwide.

It’s the Alle­gi­ance Side­kick, a Robus­to. The name refers to tho­se who can be trus­ted. The Alle­gi­ance was crea­ted as an ode to Ernesto’s roots and the resul­ting fri­end­ships and clo­se bonds that have deve­lo­ped throug­hout his care­er. Blen­ded by Ernes­to with Oliva’s world famous tob­ac­cos, it was not made by Ernesto’s Taba­ca­lera La Ali­anza in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, but by the Oli­va Cigar Co. in Nicaragua.

The green of the box is inspi­red by the color of the tob­ac­co fields, the yel­low of the band by the color of the spe­cial Nica­ra­gu­an soil.
We will try them and report.


Allegiance Sidekick Robusto
Alle­gi­ance Side­kick Robusto

2023/03/27So how was it, the inte­res­t­ing result of two cigar giants. The Alle­gi­ance Side­kick Robus­to was crea­ted by the mas­ter­blen­der Ernes­to Perez Caril­lo from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and manu­fac­tu­red by Gil­ber­to Oli­vas Taba­ca­lera in Nicaragua.

The box­pres­sed Robus­to with a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ and a length of 5″ has a per­fect wrap­per grown from Suma­tra seeds in Ecua­dor. The bin­der and fil­ler come from Oliva’s long-aged Nica­ra­gu­an stocks.

We had a per­fect­ly made cigar in front of us. Bur­ning­zug beha­vi­or, smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment and draw beha­vi­or were per­fect. We could detect spi­cy aro­mas of nuts, honey and cof­fee. A 45 minu­te medi­um-strength smo­ke to try. The only but bit­ter point of cri­ti­cism is that the inner end of the green tex­ti­le band on the foot is atta­ched direct­ly to the wrap­per with a strip of scotch tape, which dama­ges the wrap­per when remo­ved. Actual­ly a NO GO.


Boslucks Maduro series by BIN
Bos­lucks Madu­ro series by BIN

2023/03/24
On our jour­ney through the Indo­ne­si­an cigar world, we came across a stran­ge state­ment from a cigar brand: “BIN Cigar pres­ents pre­mi­um cigar pro­ducts with Cuban fla­vor as its distinc­ti­ve cha­rac­ter”. That made us curious.
The Taba­ca­le­ria “Pt. Boss Image Nus­an­tra” or BIN for short is loca­ted on Java in Jem­ber, Indonesia.

Sin­ce last year, BIN has been pro­du­cing, among other things, cigars from tob­ac­co plants grown from Cuban Hava­na seeds. The­se Hava­na tob­ac­cos have been grown in Jem­ber for 20 years. Accor­ding to BIN, the cigars pro­du­ced by BIN from this tob­ac­co should resem­ble the real Cub­ans. It’s get­ting more and more interesting!

Our new fri­end Jim­my @cigar.man, one of the Vice Pre­si­dents of AHCC Indo­ne­sia, got us some of the­se mar­ve­lous sticks. They are Robus­tos from the Bos­lucks Madu­ro series.

Have you ever smo­ked Indo­ne­si­an cigars? If so, what are your expe­ri­en­ces? Of cour­se we will try our Bos­lucks and report to you. Stay tuned!


Boslucks Maduro series by BIN
Bos­lucks Madu­ro series by BIN

2023/03/25
It was with gre­at anti­ci­pa­ti­on that we lit the Robus­to from the Bos­lucks Madu­ro series by BIN.

This long fil­ler from Jem­ber, Indo­ne­sia by Taba­ca­le­ria Pt. Boss Image Nus­ant­a­ra has a decent ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a cor­re­spon­ding length of almost 5″. The fine­ly vei­ned and dark sil­ky Hava­na wrap­per, grown from Cuban seeds, is flaw­less. The bin­der should also be a Hava­na. The 5‑year-matu­red fil­ler is Hava­na Lege­ro and Seco lea­ves, the tastie­st upper lea­ves of the plants. The cigar is hand­craf­ted to per­fec­tion. Alt­hough it is rol­led very tight­ly, the draw was good, as was the burn with a lush, cre­a­my smoke.

We detec­ted very spi­cy and pep­pery, some­ti­mes a bit spi­cier ear­thy fla­vors. A strong cigar, not neces­s­a­ri­ly sui­ta­ble for the beg­in­ner. If we had­n’t known the ori­gin, we would have gues­sed Nica­ra­gua. A cross bet­ween Cuba and Nica­ra­gua, one could say sym­pa­the­ti­cal­ly. A good 40 minu­te smo­ke that we can defi­ni­te­ly recommend.

Thank you Jim­my @cigar.man for this jour­ney through the Indo­ne­si­an cigar world.


Loufote Petit Robusto
Lou­fo­te Petit Robusto

2023/03/21
After our first posi­ti­ve expe­ri­ence with Indo­ne­si­an cigars, we deci­ded to have a second Indo­ne­si­an evening. Our new fri­end from the Indo­ne­si­an Chap­ter of the AHCC, Jim­my @cigar.man brought us some Petit Robus­tos of his own brand. Lou­fo­te, an Indo­ne­si­an puro, laun­ched last year.

Indo­ne­sia is one of the oldest pro­du­cers of high-qua­li­ty cigar tob­ac­co in the world, with a histo­ry of tob­ac­co cul­ti­va­ti­on dating back to the late 18th cen­tu­ry. With such a strong heri­ta­ge, it is stran­ge that Indo­ne­si­an tob­ac­co still lacks respect in the pre­mi­um cigar world. Indus­try insi­ders regard the tob­ac­co as second rate. Their atti­tu­de stems lar­ge­ly from igno­rance of the qua­li­ty of high-end Indo­ne­si­an cigar tob­ac­co. The coun­try pro­du­ces thou­sands of wrap­per, bin­der and fil­ler bales of excel­lent qua­li­ty in Java and Suma­tra. Jimmy’s cigars come from East Java, whe­re 55% of all tob­ac­co fields in Indo­ne­sia are located.

We are exci­ted and will report. Stay tuned!


Loufote Petit Robusto
Lou­fo­te Petit Robusto

2023/03/22
What was it like now, Jimmy’s @cigar.man lower-pri­ced litt­le Indo­ne­si­an vari­ant, the Petit Robus­to from the Lou­fo­te series?

The small Robus­to, a long fil­ler, has a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ and a length of 4½”. The smooth, dark wrap­per is from the tob­ac­co-gro­wing regi­on of Vors­ten­lan­den (prin­ce­ly sta­te) on the island of Java. The­se are spe­ci­al­ly sel­ec­ted lea­ves, sin­ce the­se are usual­ly only pro­ces­sed in short fil­lers. It is a cross bet­ween Besuki and Con­nec­ti­cut and is also used today for pre­mi­um cigars. Often infe­ri­or Bezu­ki tob­ac­co is declared as TBN, which tas­tes slight­ly metal­lic. Not so with our Lou­fo­te. The blend for the insert also comes exclu­si­ve­ly from Indo­ne­sia. So a Puro.

Imme­dia­te­ly after light­ing, a lush, cre­a­my smo­ke deve­lo­ps. Only a hint of pep­per and earth could be detec­ted in aro­mas. Final­ly, after half an hour, the mild Lou­fo­te beca­me much stron­ger. The ash was extre­me­ly solid and fell very late.

A good, balan­ced smo­ke for in bet­ween and that at a pri­ce of around € 3.00 (in Indonesia).


G655.C G655.C[/caption]

2023/03/17
This week we had a visi­tor from Indo­ne­sia. Ash Hole Cigar Club mem­ber Jim­my @cigarman brought us some cigars from his home­town to Berlin.

Ori­gi­nal­ly from the fiber optic indus­try, Jim­my ope­ned his first cigar shop in Jakar­ta in 2018. Just one year later he estab­lished his first own cigar brand “Tobaks­gud”. The “Lou­fo­te” fol­lo­wed in 2022, which we will also try in the coming days. 2021 saw the launch of our cur­rent test cigar, the G655.C Long Haul Back­bone Tor­pe­do. The tech­ni­cal-sound­ing brand name is a remi­nis­cence of his second pas­si­on, fiber optic tech­no­lo­gy, and descri­bes a spe­cial, high-qua­li­ty fiber optic cable there.

The cigar com­pa­ny now has 5 bran­ches and con­ti­nues to grow due to the suc­cess of its cigars. The cigars of his own brands are made in the Tabace­le­ria MDR on Java, Indonesia.

Tomor­row we’ll smo­ke some G556.C tor­pe­does and of cour­se we’ll keep you pos­ted. Stay tuned.


G655.C Long Haul Backbones
G655.C Long Haul Backbones

2023/03/19
Sel­a­mat pagi!
Today we tell you about our Indo­ne­si­an evening here in Ber­lin yes­ter­day. For the first time we were able to tas­te an Indo­ne­si­an cigar. Jim­my @cigar.man brought us some of his “G655.C Long Haul Back­bones” from his home country.

The­se per­fect­ly craf­ted Tor­pe­does have a ring gau­ge of 54/64″ and a length of 6″. The fine-vei­ned dark wrap­per comes from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, the bin­der from Java, Indo­ne­sia and the fil­ler is a blend of tob­ac­co lea­ves from Nica­ra­gua, Indo­ne­sia and some grown from Cuban seeds. They are rol­led in the Taba­ca­le­ria Pt. Mang­li Dja­ya Raya (MDR) in Jem­ber on East Java.

What is imme­dia­te­ly noti­ceable is the plea­sant­ly sweet cold smell of honey, as with the Cub­ans. The draw and burn beha­vi­or were flaw­less. We could initi­al­ly detect pep­pery aro­mas and from the second third aro­mas of wood, lea­ther and spi­ces. In the last third, sweet aro­mas were added.

All in all, a 70-minu­te, medi­um-strong smo­ke that makes you want more “Indo­ne­si­ans”.

Thank you Jim­my!
Sel­a­mat tingal!


35 Edición Aniversario Real of the V-Series by Oliva
35 Edi­ción Ani­ver­sa­rio Real of the V‑Series by Oliva

2023/03/12
In 2021, the fami­ly com­pa­ny Oli­va, ori­gi­nal­ly from Cuba and based in Nica­ra­gua sin­ce 1994, laun­ched a spe­cial vito­la of the V series for its 135th anni­ver­sa­ry: the Edi­ción Ani­ver­sa­rio Real (the roy­al anni­ver­sa­ry edi­ti­on). Oli­va calls this uni­que shape “Per­fec­to”. A Per­fec­to actual­ly has two tape­red ends. But ours here only has a tape­red foot. So it’s actual­ly a figu­ra­do. This won­derful vito­la could also be cal­led a chisel. Defi­ni­te­ly an eye-cat­cher that also sedu­ced us to buy it. This form is inten­ded to pro­vi­de a par­ti­cu­lar­ly rich varie­ty of aro­mas. The wrap­per is very domi­nant at the begin­ning becau­se its per­cen­ta­ge is par­ti­cu­lar­ly high due to the shape. This anni­ver­sa­ry cigar is also very limi­t­ed and the­r­e­fo­re rare. Some retail­ers limit sales to just one box (12 cigars) per customer.

Who has smo­ked it and can tell us some­thing about it? We will defi­ni­te­ly try them too and of cour­se report back to you.


35 Edición Aniversario Real of the V-Series by Oliva
35 Edi­ción Ani­ver­sa­rio Real of the V‑Series by Oliva

2023/03/13
With gre­at anti­ci­pa­ti­on, yes­ter­day our two rare 35 Series V Edi­ción Ani­ver­sa­rio Real from Oli­va lit up. This anni­ver­sa­ry vito­la recei­ved a lot of advan­ce prai­se and so our expec­ta­ti­ons were high.

A beau­ty with a length of almost 5½” and a ring gau­ge of 54/64″ is very tight mas­terful­ly rol­led. The wrap­per, grown from Ecua­do­ri­an Suma­tra seeds, comes from Nica­ra­gua, as does the bin­der and fil­ler. So a real Nica­ra­gu­an Puro from the Taba­ca­le­ria Oliva.

Imme­dia­te­ly after light­ing we expe­ri­en­ced a wild bur­ning beha­vi­or, which cal­med down and cor­rec­ted its­elf from the second third. Con­tra­ry to expec­ta­ti­ons, the dra­wing beha­vi­or was very good despi­te the firm rol­ling. At the begin­ning we could sen­se sweetish aro­mas, which were repla­ced by ear­thy, even pea­ty and woo­dy aro­mas. The smo­ke volu­me was rather mode­st.
An hour long smooth smo­ke that did­n’t quite live up to our expec­ta­ti­ons. But still a good, but not excep­tio­nal, cigar.


The Toro Maduro from the Heritage Series by the Gurkha Cigar Company
The Toro Madu­ro from the Heri­ta­ge Series by the Gurk­ha Cigar Company

2023/03/09
Accor­ding to legend, sol­diers of the Nepa­le­se army in India, known as Gurk­ha or Gork­ha, rol­led their own cigars from local tob­ac­cos as ear­ly as 1887. The Gurk­ha cigars were born.

Indi­an-born Kaizad Han­so­tia, a watch retail­er from Miami, USA dis­co­ver­ed the Gurk­ha brand in a small hut on the beach while vaca­tio­ning in the Indi­an sta­te of Goa in 1989. After three bot­t­les of rum, the small cigar manu­fac­tu­rer and Han­so­tia came to an agree­ment. Han­so­tia bought all the inven­to­ry and the Gurk­ha brand for only $149 dol­lars and went on to found the Gurk­ha Cigar Com­pa­ny in Miami, USA and laun­ched cigars under that name in the USA in 1995.

Gurk­ha does not pro­du­ce their cigars thems­elf but have them made in various tabacalerias.

After a con­tro­ver­si­al racist Face­book post on the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment, Han­so­tia resi­gned as chair­man of the com­pa­ny and han­ded over manage­ment to Jim Coluc­ci in 2020.

Now we’­re going to try our first Gurk­ha, a Toro Madu­ro from the Heri­ta­ge Series from Nica­ra­gua. We will report!


a Toro Maduro from the Heritage Series by Gurkha
A Toro Madu­ro from the Heri­ta­ge Series by the Gurk­ha Cigar Company

2023/03/10
Last night we rever­ent­ly approa­ched the heri­ta­ge of the Nepa­le­se Gurk­ha war­ri­ors and lit our Toro from the Gurk­ha series Heri­ta­ge Madu­ro. This series has been rol­led in the Nica­ra­gu­an Taba­ca­le­ria of Ame­ri­can Carib­be­an Tob­ac­co S.A. sin­ce 2015 in Esteli.

It’s a real­ly big Toro mea­su­ring 54 x 6½. The fil­ler made from Bra­zi­li­an and Nica­ra­gu­an tob­ac­cos is wrap­ped in a Bra­zi­li­an Ara­pi­ra­ca Madu­ro bin­der. The wrap­per is a San Andrés Madu­ro from Mexi­co. Here we have the rare con­s­truc­tion whe­re the wrap­per and bin­der are both Madu­ro lea­ves. Gurk­ha calls this con­s­truc­tion Dou­ble Madu­ro. The natio­nal sales direc­tor Juan Lopez is respon­si­ble for the blending.

We lik­ed the lush deve­lo­p­ment of smo­ke from the first puff to the end. We could cle­ar­ly reco­gni­ze the typi­cal Madu­ro aro­mas of dark bit­ters­weet cho­co­la­te and guess fur­ther aro­mas of cof­fee and cedar wood.


Hemingway Classic by Fuente
Heming­way Clas­sic by Fuente

2023/03/07
A Fuen­te is always right! Today we trea­ted our­sel­ves with a Heming­way Clas­sic. This per­fec­to for­mat is always attrac­ti­ve. We are very gra­teful to Car­li­to Fuen­te for revi­ving the­se for­mats. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, Heming­ways are rather hard to come by in Germany.

With a length of 7″ and a ring gau­ge of 45/64″, it gave us an enjoya­ble smo­ke for more than an hour. We could distin­gu­ish aro­mas of cho­co­la­te and cof­fee very well.

The fil­ler is a blend of four dif­fe­rent Domi­ni­can tob­ac­cos, which are wrap­ped in a Domi­ni­can bin­der and a wrap­per from Cameroon.

A not cheap cigar for the dis­cer­ning connoisseur!


 

Robusto by Don Diego Robus­to by Don Diego[/caption]

2023/03/06
In the sum­mer of last year we had alre­a­dy tried our first Don Die­go, the Clas­sic Tor­pe­do, and repor­ted to you. The dea­ler we trust told us at the time that you can’t go wrong with the Don Die­go. Yes­ter­day evening we had smo­ked the Robus­to of this series.

Sin­ce the online retail­ers spe­ci­fy dif­fe­rent dimen­si­ons, we mea­su­red it. It is actual­ly 5″ long and has a ring gau­ge of 49/64″. The con­s­truc­tion is iden­ti­cal to the tor­pe­do. The Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de wrap­per again from the River Val­ley, USA, the bin­der again from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and the fil­ler blend also again from Bra­zil and the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. It is also rol­led again by the Domi­ni­can Taba­ca­lera de Garcia.

We cho­se a Sou­thern Com­fort on ice for the nut­ty-sweet aro­mas of the cigar. A well-made cigar, which is not par­ti­cu­lar­ly impres­si­ve, but is a good cigar for the beg­in­ner and also for the occa­sio­nal smo­ker. We still had 45 minu­tes of fun with it.


Macanudo Vintage 1997 Maduro Toro
Maca­nu­do Vin­ta­ge 1997 Madu­ro Toro

2023/03/04
Yes­ter­day we were able to get hold of some­thing spe­cial and rare in the new­ly ope­ned 3rd branch of Zigar­ren Her­zog in Ber­lin. Some Toros of the Vin­ta­ge Series from 1997 by Maca­nu­do. The­se have only been available in Ger­ma­ny sin­ce 2020 and, becau­se they are very limi­t­ed, are extre­me­ly rare to find.

Maca­nu­do is a brand of the Gene­ral Cigar Com­pa­ny from Rich­mond, Vir­gi­nia, USA, one of the real­ly big cigar com­pa­nies. The non-Cuban brands Punch, La Glo­ria Cuba­na and Par­ta­g­as also come from Gene­ral Cigar. Today the com­pa­ny belongs to the Scan­di­na­vi­an Tob­ac­co Group.

Now to our Maca­nu­do Vin­ta­ge 1997. The spe­cial wrap­per gave the cigar its name, it comes from the 1997 har­ve­st. The noble cigar ring made of solid metal is par­ti­cu­lar­ly striking. Maca­nu­do cigars were ori­gi­nal­ly made in Jamai­ca and today come enti­re­ly from the Taba­ca­lera Gene­ral Cigar Dominicana.

We are exci­ted about this beau­ty and will of cour­se report back to you. Stay tuned!


Macanudo Vintage 1997 Maduro Toro
Maca­nu­do Vin­ta­ge 1997 Madu­ro Toro

2023/03/05
Now we have lit our Maca­nu­do Vin­ta­ge 1997 Madu­ro Toro, “crow­ned” with a noble chro­me ring ins­tead of a cigarband.

This queen of the Madu­ro cigars has a real Toro for­mat with a length of 6″ and a ring gau­ge of 54/64″. The beau­tiful, oily Con­nec­ti­cut Broad­le­af Madu­ro wrap­per hails from the USA and was har­ve­s­ted in the River Val­ley in 1997. So today it is alre­a­dy 26 years old. The hear­ty, long-matu­red bin­der comes from Hon­du­ras and the fil­ler is a blend of Bra­zi­li­an, Domi­ni­can and Nica­ra­gu­an spi­cy tob­ac­cos. The spi­cy aro­mas are more than balan­ced by a slight sweet­ness. The burn was per­fect as was the draw resis­tance. A good one-hour plea­su­re at a still accep­ta­ble pri­ce. If you find one at your local dea­ler, be sure to try one and let us know how you lik­ed it!


Vega Fina year of the Rabbit 2023
Vega Fina year of the Rab­bit 2023

2023/02/14
This year’s Chi­ne­se New Year began on Janu­ary 22 and is under the sign of the rab­bit. Some cigar brands cele­bra­te the zodiac signs of the respec­ti­ve year with a spe­cial edi­ti­on. We got our­sel­ves a Tor­pe­do of the limi­t­ed edi­ti­on Year of the Rab­bit 2023 from Vega Fina.

“Vega Finas” refers to places whe­re the­re are opti­mal con­di­ti­ons for tob­ac­co cul­ti­va­ti­on, i.e. opti­mal soil, sun and mois­tu­re. One of the­se places is the city of La Roma­na in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. Here is also the famous Taba­ca­le­ria of the Gar­cia fami­ly, who pro­du­ce the Vega Fina. Respon­si­ble for this brand is the mas­ter blen­der José Sei­jas, who retur­ned from reti­re­ment to “his” fac­to­ry in 2012 to help this brand suc­ceed and gave it its name.

Of cour­se we will try the­se spe­cial rab­bits and tell you about them.

新年快樂


Vega Fina year of the Rabbit 2023
Vega Fina year of the Rab­bit 2023

2023/02/19
Today we final­ly got around to try­ing our Year of the Rab­bit 2023. This new Chi­ne­se New Year spe­cial edi­ti­on from Vega Fina comes as a tor­pe­do this year and is hea­vi­ly limi­t­ed world­wi­de. Even from online retail­ers, you can order a maxi­mum of one box of 16 cigars in Germany.

Our tor­pe­do has a length of 6″ with a ring gau­ge of 50/64″. The beau­tiful, even wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor, the bin­der from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The blend of the fil­ler blend is balan­ced so that it starts out mild and gets pro­gres­si­ve­ly stron­ger. This is due to the spe­cial pla­ce­ment of the tob­ac­cos from Nica­ra­gua and the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. It is rol­led in the Taba­ca­lera de Gar­cía in La Roma­na, Domi­ni­can Republic.

During our almost hour-long smo­ke, we could sen­se aro­mas of lea­ther and oak, but also frui­ty and nut­ty ones. An enjoya­ble Sun­day smo­ke that is high­ly recommended.

Who has also smo­ked them. Your opi­ni­on is always interesting.


TOSCANO IL MORO 2022 L'ARIA
TOSCANO IL MORO 2022 L’ARIA

2023/02/05
For today’s Ita­li­an evening we were able to find two of the­se limi­t­ed giants (9 X 58) from Ita­ly. Three years ago, the tob­ac­co fac­to­ry from Flo­rence in Tusca­ny, foun­ded by Grand Duke Fer­di­nand III in 1818, star­ted the “4 Ele­ments” series. The first three annu­al cigars were “La Ter­ra” (the earth), “Il Fuo­co” (the fire) and “L’Ac­qua” (the water). Last year the fourth and last of the 4 ele­ments was added: “L’La­ria” (the air).

In the very first year of pro­duc­tion, the tob­ac­co lea­ves from Ken­tu­cky, USA were stored out­doors under the sun. A sud­den thun­der­storm soa­ked the bales com­ple­te­ly. Howe­ver, out of fear of the Grand Duke, the direc­tor at the time did not dis­po­se of the appar­ent­ly spoi­led tob­ac­co, but dried it over fire in order to then pro­du­ce inex­pen­si­ve cigars. Howe­ver, the cigars made from this tob­ac­co were a huge suc­cess and the Tos­ca­nos were inven­ted. Here too the 4 ele­ments: sown in the earth, soa­ked by water, dried over fire and aged in the air.

We will tell you. Stay tuned!


TOSCANO IL MORO 2022 L'ARIA
TOSCANO IL MORO 2022 L’ARIA

2023/02/11
We wan­ted to tell you about our Ita­li­an evening and the very eccen­tric TOSCANO IL MORO 2022 L’ARIA.

Yes, it’s a gigan­tic long fil­ler from Ita­ly. This indi­vi­du­al beau­ty from Tusca­ny has a length of just over 9″ and a ring gau­ge of 58/64″. The wrap­per comes from the USA, the bin­der from Ita­ly and the fil­ler from dark Ken­tu­cky tob­ac­cos grown in Ita­ly and fire-cured over oak and hick­ory wood. The cigar owes its smo­ky and peat-like aro­mas to this type of drying.

This spe­cial limi­t­ed vin­ta­ge cigar is hand-rol­led in Luc­ca, Ita­ly and only 120 pie­ces were deli­ver­ed to Ger­ma­ny, indi­vi­du­al­ly packed in a valuable box.

It is said that Fran­cis Ford Cop­po­la per­sua­ded Mar­lon Bran­do to star in the 1972 movie “The God­fa­ther” with a Tos­ca­no cigar pai­red with fine Ita­li­an wines and cheese.

This figu­ra­do is a desi­ra­ble collector’s item. Howe­ver, we could­n’t resist the tempt­a­ti­on to smo­ke it. A real tre­at of a spe­cial kind!


Handelsgold Classic No. 1
Han­dels­gold Clas­sic No. 1

2023/02/02
Some­thing his­to­ri­cal­ly Ger­man today: Han­dels­gold, a brand that sounds like the eco­no­mic mira­cle of the Ger­man post-war peri­od. The brand of Lud­wig Erhard (Ger­man Eco­no­mics Minis­ter from 1949 to 1963).
The Han­dels­gold a brand of Arnold André from Buen­de, Ger­ma­ny has exis­ted sin­ce 1946 and to date more than 15 bil­li­on cigars and ciga­ril­los of this brand have been sold.

We now wan­ted to take a clo­ser look at this pro­duct from the Ger­man post-war peri­od and have a pack of Han­dels­gold Gold Label Clas­sic No. 1 bought.
The fil­ler tob­ac­cos of this short fil­ler come from Indo­ne­sia and are mecha­ni­cal­ly wrap­ped in a so-cal­led HTL tob­ac­co (Homo­ge­ni­zed Tob­ac­co Leaf). The­se are pow­de­red lea­ves and stalks of the tob­ac­co plant. Water, bin­ding agents and oxi­dizing sub­s­tances are added to this tob­ac­co pow­der, then it is rol­led flat and dried. HTL tob­ac­co must con­tain 75% tob­ac­co, usual­ly 90–95%. The pro­duc­tion is simi­lar to that of paper, only tob­ac­co ins­tead of wood. So it’s actual­ly tob­ac­co paper.

We will test and report you, stay tuned!


Handelsgold Gold Label Classic No. 1
Han­dels­gold Gold Label Clas­sic No. 1

2023/02/03
The 1 Dol­lar cigar “Han­dels­gold Gold Label Clas­sic No. 1” by Arnold André from Buen­de, Ger­ma­ny has the dimen­si­ons of a Petit Coro­na with a length of 4¾” and a ring gau­ge of 43/64″. If you remo­ve the foil cove­ring, you will see a small cigar that has been pre-cut with a notch and is rea­dy to smo­ke. The beau­tiful, smooth Suma­tra wrap­per and the very plea­sant, frui­ty cold smell are striking.

As expec­ted from a short fil­ler, the draw was light and smooth. After light­ing, a lush, cre­a­my smo­ke deve­lo­ped imme­dia­te­ly, which pro­ba­b­ly comes from the HTL tob­ac­co (Homo­ge­ni­zed Tob­ac­co Leaf), which is used for the bin­der. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, we could­n’t guess any fruit aro­mas that the cold smell pro­mi­sed. She gave us a smooth and fla­vorful 20 minu­te smoke.

Of cour­se, you can’t compa­re this machi­ne-made short­fil­ler with hand-made longfil­lers, but it’s a cigar that’s defi­ni­te­ly sui­ta­ble for ever­y­day use and sur­pri­sing for the small price.


machine-made shortfiller
machi­ne-made shortfiller

2023/02/07
Adden­dum to our tasting of the 1 Dol­lar cigar “Gold Label No. 1” from Han­dels­gold. Sin­ce we recei­ved a few ques­ti­ons about the HTL bin­der, we dis­as­sem­bled one of our cigars for you.

The wrap­per is a genui­ne Suma­tra leaf. Very thin and deli­ca­te. Then the bin­der. It is not a grown tob­ac­co leaf, but pow­de­red tob­ac­co that is made into a type of tob­ac­co paper. Here in Ger­ma­ny, such a tob­ac­co is cal­led “Band­ta­bak”, the pro­fes­sio­nal name is HTL tob­ac­co. An abbre­via­ti­on for Homo­ge­ni­zed Tob­ac­co Lea­ves. The fil­ler tob­ac­cos of this short fil­ler come from Indo­ne­sia. We were also able to loca­li­ze the inten­se and frui­ty scent of the cigar here. This tob­ac­co remin­ded us very much of a good pipe tobacco.

What do you think of cigars of this type? Do you have any expe­ri­ence? Or even recom­men­da­ti­ons? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this!


Lancero from Davidoff's Limited Editions Exclusive Germany from 2018
Lan­ce­ro from Davidoff’s Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­ons Exclu­si­ve Ger­ma­ny from 2018

2023/02/01
This after­noon we smo­ked our Lan­ce­ro from Davidoff’s Limi­t­ed Edi­ti­ons Exclu­si­ve Ger­ma­ny from 2018.

It is rol­led in Davidoff’s Taba­ca­lera “Taba­dom” in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The fil­ler, a blend of Domi­ni­can tob­ac­cos (Pilo­to Sec­co, San Vicen­te Visus and Criol­lo Lige­ro) is wrap­ped in a hybrid Olor/Piloto Sungrown bin­der from Yama­sa and a 702 Haba­no wrap­per from Ecuador.

This ele­gant Lan­ce­ro is 7½” in length with a ring gau­ge of 40/64″. The burn was flaw­less with cre­a­my, lush smo­ke and aro­mas of dark cho­co­la­te, pep­per and cof­fee beans could be guessed.

We had a good hour of fun with this very nice cigar, which was only some­what dimi­nis­hed by the high pri­ce. Ever­yo­ne has to deci­de for them­sel­ves whe­ther the high pri­ce of this well-made cigar is justified.


La Vocada von La Flor Dominicana
La Voca­da von La Flor Dominicana

2023/01/25
For tonight we’­re going to light up one of our favo­ri­te for­mats again, a Chur­chill. Our choice fell on the almost black beau­ty La Vol­ca­da by La Flor Dominicana.

Lit­to Gomez Dietz was a jewe­ler born in Spain and rai­sed in Uru­gu­ay. In 1996, after his store was rob­bed and the ban­dits sto­le $400,000 worth of jewels, he foun­ded his com­pa­ny LFD, initi­al­ly known as Los Liber­tato­res, in Tam­bo­ril, east of Sant­ia­go in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. He still runs it today with his wife Ines. Sin­ce 1997 the fil­ler tob­ac­cos have been grown on their own farm in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and sin­ce 2002 also Sha­de Grown Wrappers.

In Ger­ma­ny, his cigars are dis­tri­bu­ted by the Schus­ter fami­ly from Buen­de.
Today’s La Locan­da cigar is a homage to the tan­go from its home coun­try of Uru­gu­ay and descri­bes a step sequence of the tan­go. Hence the two sty­li­zed tan­go dancers on the banderole.

We will report. Stay tuned!


La Vocada by La Flor Dominicana
La Voca­da by La Flor Dominicana

2023/01/26
The La Voca­da got its name after a step sequence of the tan­go dance. Two sty­li­zed dancers can also be seen on the band.

The La Voca­da by La Flor Domi­ni­ca­na, a limi­t­ed Chur­chill has a ring gau­ge of 48/64″ and is 7″ long.

It comes from the Taba­ca­lera La Flor in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and is excep­tio­nal­ly tight­ly rol­led. The easy and good dra­wing beha­vi­or was the­r­e­fo­re very sur­pri­sing. The Mexi­can madu­ro wrap­per from the San Andrés gro­wing area looks very rustic and stained. Very nice, the wrap­per tur­ned into a pig­tail at the head. A rustic beauty.

The Coro­jo bin­der comes from Ecua­dor and the fil­ler from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

With ple­nty of cre­a­my smo­ke, we could tas­te aro­mas of wood, cho­co­la­te, espres­so and towards the end some pep­per during our 1½ hour smoke.

The Cigar Jour­nal award­ed the La Vol­ca­da the “Best Domi­ni­can Cigar” 2018 award as part of the Cigar Trophy.


Figuaredo Ediction Alemania 2022 of the Magic Toast series by Alec Bradley
Figuare­do Edic­tion Ale­ma­nia 2022 of the Magic Toast series by Alec Bradley

2023/01/22
Today we got hold of some­thing very spe­cial. A cigar from Alec Brad­ley, of which the­re are only 530 boxes and only here in Ger­ma­ny!
It is the Figuare­do Edic­tion Ale­ma­nia 2022 of the Magic Toast series.
Alan Rubin, owner of the com­pa­ny named after his sons Alec and Brad­ley, gave the series its name and he descri­bes the naming as follows.

“It was night time and I was out with a flash­light on a new tob­ac­co plan­ta­ti­on in Hon­du­ras with my mas­ter blen­der, Ralph Mon­te­ro. What we saw took our breath away. The­se tob­ac­co plants were incre­di­ble and I knew imme­dia­te­ly a spe­cial pro­ject had to be crea­ted for this crop. We ope­ned a bot­t­le of very spe­cial whis­key and toas­ted each other. The Magic Toast was born that evening.”

They are rol­led in the Taba­ca­lera Raices Cuba­nas in Dan­li, Honduras.

We lik­ed the rari­ty of this cigar, its histo­ry and the beau­tiful shape of a Figuare­do and we will enjoy it tonight and of cour­se tell you about it. Stay tuned!


The Figuaredo Ediction Alemania 2022 of the Magic Toast series
The Figuare­do Edic­tion Ale­ma­nia 2022 of the Magic Toast series

2023/01/23
An Alec Brad­ley exclu­si­ve­ly for the Ger­man mar­ket! So what have Alan Rubin and his mas­ter blen­der, Ralph Mon­te­ro, made of what they call the stun­ning tob­ac­co plants of the field they dis­co­ver­ed one night (we repor­ted on it yesterday)?

First off, it’s beau­tiful, excep­tio­nal­ly shaped and expert­ly wrap­ped in a dark, oily Hon­d­uran wrapper.

This limi­t­ed vito­la of the Edic­tion Ale­ma­nia 2022 from the Magic Toast series has a ring gau­ge of 54/64″ and a length of 6¾”. In con­trast to the other vito­las in the series, our Figu­ra­do has two bin­ders, one from Nica­ra­gua and one from Hon­du­ras. The fil­ler is also a blend from the­se two count­ries and — from tho­se plants of the legen­da­ry field in Honduras.

The draw resis­tance is a bit strong at first, pro­ba­b­ly due to the shape, but nor­ma­li­zes after a few puffs. The ear­thy and pep­pery and some­ti­mes sweet fla­vors alter­na­te, being stron­ger in the midd­le and beco­ming mild in the last third. No tas­te explo­si­on but still an inte­res­t­ing and good cigar.


Toro from Villiger's very limited (Edición Limitada) La Meridiana series
Toro from Villiger’s very limi­t­ed (Edi­ción Limi­ta­da) La Meri­dia­na series

2023/01/15
Last night we had our poker round again. This time the­re were a few rounds of Esca­le­ro, i.e. dice poker. To do this, we each lit up a box-pres­sed Toro from Villiger’s La Meri­dia­na Edi­ción Limitada.

The La Meri­dia­na brand has Cuban roots that date back to the 19th cen­tu­ry. Today it belongs to the Nica­ra­gu­an com­pa­ny El Mun­do del Taba­co, foun­ded in 1997 and taken over 10 years later by the Vil­li­ger Group.

Jean Vil­li­ger foun­ded the cigar empire in 1888 in Pfef­fi­kon, Switz­er­land. His wife Loui­se took over the com­pa­ny in 1902 after his death. In 1907 she inven­ted the Vil­li­ger Kiel with the famous goo­se quill as a mouth­pie­ce. The com­pa­ny has also had a Ger­man sub­si­dia­ry in Walds­hut-Tien­gen sin­ce 1910.

In 1989, Hein­rich Vil­li­ger foun­ded the first Ger­man-Cuban joint ven­ture. He beca­me mana­ging direc­tor and part­ner of the exclu­si­ve importer 5th Ave­nue Pro­ducts Tra­ding GmbH for Cuban cigars to Ger­ma­ny, Aus­tria and Poland.

We will report. Stay tuned!


Villiger's very limited (Edición Limitada) La Meridiana
Villiger’s very limi­t­ed (Edi­ción Limi­ta­da) La Meridiana

2023/01/17
As pre­vious­ly repor­ted, we were actual­ly able to get hold of a few Toros from Villiger’s very limi­t­ed (Edi­ción Limi­ta­da) La Meri­dia­na series for our poker evening.

They are Nica­ra­gu­an box­pres­sed Pur­os with a ring gau­ge of 54/64″ and 6″ in length. The dark brown, vel­ve­ty H 2000 wrap­per had 4 years to matu­re and pro­ba­b­ly gives the cigar its strong cara­mel aro­mas. The Con­nec­ti­cut bin­der from Nica­ra­gua enhan­ces the­se fla­vors even further.

Our Toros were rol­led in the Fabri­ca de Taba­cos Joya de Nica­ra­gua in Estelí.

Initi­al­ly she star­ted out mild to medi­um strong but alre­a­dy full-bodi­ed. Half­way through, the strength and inten­si­ty of the aro­mas increased. We were able to distin­gu­ish bet­ween aro­mas of earth, cream, cara­me­li­zed fruit sweet­ness and pepper.

All in all a tas­te bomb with excel­lent dra­wing and bur­ning pro­per­ties. It was defi­ni­te­ly a gre­at 80 minu­te smoke.

By the way, our poker cham­pi­on this time was cle­ar­ly our Vice Pre­si­dent Tim.


Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut Gran Toro by Royal Agio Cigars
Bal­mo­ral Ane­jo XO Con­nec­ti­cut Gran Toro by Roy­al Agio Cigars

2022/01/09
Tonight we will lit up some more Bal­mo­rals from the Dutch Roy­al Agio Cigars. Sin­ce this series is named after the Scot­tish cast­le of the Bri­tish roy­al fami­ly, what fits bet­ter than a rum with the name “Moor”. This actual­ly white rum comes from the Carib­be­an and gets its amber color in the Bava­ri­an Kol­ber­moor, Ger­ma­ny during sto­rage in old bog oak barriques.

Our cigars today are the Bal­mo­ral Ane­jo XO Con­nec­ti­cut Gran Toro. The first cigars in this series came onto the mar­ket in 2012. Ours with a Con­nec­ti­cut wrap­per has been on the mar­ket sin­ce 2019.

We will also tell you about this expe­ri­ence. Stay tuned!


Gran Toros from the Balmoral series "Anejo XO Connecticut"
Gran Toros from the Bal­mo­ral series “Ane­jo XO Connecticut”

2022/01/11Last night we tried them, our Gran Toros from the Bal­mo­ral series “Ane­jo XO Connecticut”.

They are rol­led in the bou­tique cigar fac­to­ry of Roy­al Agio Cigars in San Pedro de Maco­rís, in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. They are 6″ in length with a ring gau­ge of 52/64″.

The real­ly attrac­ti­ve light brown Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de wrap­per comes from the River Val­ley, USA. The Suma­tra bin­der from Ecua­dor was har­ve­s­ted in 1999. The fil­ler is a balan­ced blend of Olor tob­ac­cos from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, Pen­syl­va­nia 41 tob­ac­co from the USA and the Mar­ta-Nor­te Bra­zi­li­an tob­ac­co with its unmist­aka­b­ly sweet, cho­co­la­ty notes, which is wide­ly used at Balmoral.

The unlit cigar exu­des a strong, sweet scent of honey.

We could tas­te aro­mas of cof­fee, cocoa, some white pep­per and cara­mel. Burn-up, draw beha­vi­or and smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment were perfect.

The par­ti­cu­lar­ly smooth Carib­be­an-Bava­ri­an “Moor” rum was a per­fect com­ple­ment to the cigar aromas.


Liga Privada series from Drew Estate
Liga Priva­da series from Drew Estate

2022/12/28
A Christ­mas pre­sent today: some Drew Estate Liga Priva­da No. 9 Toro Oscu­ro from the La Gran Fabri­ca Drew Estate owned by Jona­than Drew and Mar­vin Samel in Nicaragua.

Liga Priva­da means “pri­va­te blend”. Sin­ce this cigar was not ori­gi­nal­ly inten­ded for sale, but for the per­so­nal humi­dors of the chefs and a few sel­ec­ted per­so­na­li­ties, it is the per­fect name. Dozens of intri­ca­te blends were crea­ted, but No. 9 was among the best for both fla­vor and character.

The used tob­ac­cos of the No. 9 come from seven dif­fe­rent tob­ac­co farms and are only available in limi­t­ed quan­ti­ties. This cigar can only be found in a few tob­ac­co shops. The wrap­per, an oily and very dark Con­nec­ti­cut Broad­le­af from the USA, ferm­ents for over 18 months. After rol­ling, the cigars matu­re for ano­ther year.

We will tas­te No. 9 along with ano­ther Christ­mas gift, a Bum­bu XO rum from Pana­ma. The Bum­bu XO was aged in oak bar­rels for 18 years and should be a wort­hy pai­ring part­ner. We will report. Stay tuned!


Liga Privada series from Drew Estate
Liga Priva­da series from Drew Estate

2022/12/29
San­ta Claus lis­ten­ed to Sepp’s recom­men­da­ti­on from the Tob­ac­co Island at Lake Tegern­see, Bava­ria, Ger­ma­ny and brought us some Toro Oscu­ra from the Liga Priva­da series from Drew Estate.

They have a beau­tiful Con­nec­ti­cut Broad­leef Madu­ro wrap­per from the USA, a Mata Fina bin­der from Bra­zil and a fil­ler blend from Hon­du­ras and Nica­ra­gua. They have a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a length of 6″.

Draft beha­vi­or and burn were impec­ca­ble. We could tas­te strong aro­mas of cof­fee, lea­ther, cho­co­la­te and some pep­per. We were able to enjoy the unu­sual­ly lush smo­ke for 70 minu­tes. A won­derful experience.

Rol­led in Nica­ra­gua, the­se cigars are on a par with tho­se from Cuba. Thanks Sepp, a gre­at recommendation.


Ashton VSG (Virgin Sun Grown)
Ash­ton VSG (Vir­gin Sun Grown)

2022/12/22
After the migh­ty Paradi­so / San Cris­to­bal, ano­ther cigar from Robert Levin’s Ash­ton com­pa­ny is on the pro­gram today. It’s the Ash­ton VSG (Vir­gin Sun Grown). This time it does­n’t come from Nica­ra­gua but from Arturo Fuente’s fac­to­ry in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The desi­gna­ti­on VSG stands for the ori­gin of the dark wrap­per from the upper lea­ves of the tob­ac­co plant, which have been expo­sed to the sun for a par­ti­cu­lar­ly long time and which not only makes the lea­ves greasy, but also gives the cigar a spe­cial power. The­se spe­cial wrap­pers are grown from Suma­tra seeds by the Oli­va fami­ly in Ecua­dor. The­se wrap­pers were used for the VSG for the first time at Ash­ton. The VSG came onto the mar­ket in 1999 and was one of the ful­ler-bodi­ed, stron­ger non-Cuban cigars at the time.

We got hold of some Toros (Eclip­se Tube) of this par­ti­cu­lar cigar and will test them. Of cour­se we will report about it again. Stay tuned!


Ashton VSG (Virgin Sun Grown) Eclipse Tube
Ash­ton VSG (Vir­gin Sun Grown) Eclip­se Tube

2022/12/23
Our expec­ta­ti­ons were high when we ope­ned the beau­tiful black tube of the Ash­ton VSG (Vir­gin Sun Grown) Eclip­se Tube and a visual­ly impec­ca­ble loo­king Toro appeared. It has a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a length of 6″. A very balan­ced for­mat with an oily dark wrap­per from Ecua­dor, just a sun grown, i.e. from the upper parts of the tob­ac­co plant that has been expo­sed to the sun for a long time. The bin­der and the fil­ler are from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

Befo­re light­ing, you could guess aro­mas of roas­ted espres­so. When lit, the­se roas­ted aro­mas inten­si­fied. The draw beha­vi­or remain­ed per­fect over the enti­re length. A very powerful cigar for the more expe­ri­en­ced afi­ci­o­na­do with an over­flowing aro­ma. Howe­ver, the hour-long smo­king plea­su­re was mar­red by a very uneven burn. All four of our cigars ten­ded to burn croo­ked­ly, which could not be cor­rec­ted. A real short­co­ming of this other­wi­se very inte­res­t­ing cigar.


Gran Toro der Serie Balmoral Signaturas Dueto von Perez-Carillo
Gran Toro from the series Bal­mo­ral Signa­tu­ras Due­to byPerez-Carillo

2022/12/20
The duo Boris Win­ter­mann, CEO of Roy­al Agio Cigars from Hol­land and Ernes­to Perez-Caril­lo Jr. head of Taba­ca­le­ria La Ali­anza in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic crea­ted a cigar in clo­se coope­ra­ti­on in 1918. A Bal­mo­ral from the Signa­tu­ras Due­to series. The name reminds us that it was crea­ted, so to speak, as a duet. The beau­tiful slee­ve also bears the signa­tures of this suc­cessful duet. Boris Win­ter­mann would like to con­ti­nue the Due­to series with other gre­ats from the inter­na­tio­nal tob­ac­co sce­ne in order to fur­ther estab­lish his com­pa­ny in the field of pre­mi­um cigars. The second col­la­bo­ra­ti­on was the one with Lit­to Gomez and his Taba­ca­le­ria La Flor Domi­ni­ca­na. It remains to be seen whe­ther the­se exci­ting col­la­bo­ra­ti­ons will con­ti­nue as Roy­al Agio Cigars was acqui­red by indus­try giant Scan­di­na­vi­an Tob­ac­co Group in 2019.

Now we want to try the Gran Toro from the Bal­mo­ral Signa­tu­ras Due­to series and got our­sel­ves a few cigars. We will test them and report to you. Stay tuned!


Gran Toro der Serie Balmoral Signaturas Dueto von Perez-Carillo
Gran Toro from the series Bal­mo­ral Signa­tu­ras Due­to by Perez-Carillo

2022/12/21
Now we have lit them, the result of the duet of Boris Win­ter­mans and Ernes­to ” Perez-Caril­lo, our Gran Toro of the Bal­mo­ral series Signa­tu­ras Dueto.

It was rol­led in the Taba­ca­lera La Ali­anza in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The Jala­pa wrap­per comes from Nica­ra­gua and the bin­der from Este­li, also Nica­ra­gua. The fil­ler is a blend of Nica­ra­gu­an tob­ac­cos and, as often used by Winterman’s Roy­al Agio Cigars, Bra­zi­li­an lea­ves. The­se lea­ves are the Mata Nor­te vari­ant. So a Domi­ni­can cigar wit­hout tob­ac­co from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

It has a decent ring gau­ge of 52/64″ with a length of 6″. Like many Nica­ra­gu­ans, she starts very pep­pery. A litt­le later, lea­thery and woo­dy aro­mas are added, i.e. defi­ni­te­ly Nica­ra­gu­an notes. We found the hea­vy smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment to be positive.

Over­all a decent cigar, alt­hough we expec­ted more becau­se of the pri­ce and the blend by Ernes­to Perez-Carrillo.

We also had a Ger­man whis­key from Lake Schlier­see in Bavaria.


Paradiso (in USA heißen sie San Cristobal)
Paradi­so (in USA San Cristobal)

2022/12/18
Which smo­ke goes well with today’s fourth Sun­day in Advent? We cho­se the migh­ty Paradi­so Reve­la­ti­on Leviathan.

The Paradi­so brand is cal­led “San Cris­to­bal” in the USA, just like the hig­hest vol­ca­no in Nica­ra­gua nor­thwest of the capi­tal Mana­gua. The reason for this name chan­ge are pro­ba­b­ly the Cuban trade­mark rights of the Cuban cigar brand “San Cris­to­bal de la Haba­na”, which the USA does not respect.

The Paradi­so / San Cris­to­bal brands are owned by Ash­ton Dis­tri­bu­tors from Phil­adel­phia, USA, foun­ded in 1985 by Robert Levin.

In 2007 Paradi­so / San Cris­to­bal mark­ed the company’s depar­tu­re to Nica­ra­gua. Until then, Ashton’s cigars were main­ly made in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic by the Fuen­te fami­ly. Robert Levin approa­ched the Gar­cia fami­ly in Este­li to make his first Nica­ra­gu­an cigars, the Paradi­so / San Cristobal.

We will try them tonight calm­ly and of cour­se let you know. Stay tuned!


Paradiso (in USA heißen sie San Cristobal)
Paradi­so (in USA San Cristobal)

2022/12/19
Yes­ter­day evening we smo­ked our Paradi­sos (they are cal­led San Cris­to­bal in the USA). The cigars with the enorm­ous dimen­si­ons of 6½ X 64 enter­tai­ned us for over two hours. Yes, a ring gau­ge of 64, which cor­re­sponds to a dia­me­ter of one inch and a length of 6½”!

The fil­ler and the bin­der come from Nica­ra­gua and are wrap­ped in a vel­ve­ty Suma­tra wrap­per from Ecua­dor. All lea­ves have under­go­ne tri­ple fer­men­ta­ti­on. The mas­ter cigar makers, Pepin Gar­cia and his son Jai­me, have crea­ted a very good cigar for a long las­ting smo­ke at an plea­sant­ly low price.

We could tas­te inten­se aro­mas of lea­ther and cedar mixed with the pep­pery spi­ce notes typi­cal of this tabacaleria.

A nice cigar for the more expe­ri­en­ced afi­ci­a­do loo­king for some­thing stron­ger. We lik­ed it, just like the beau­tiful, colorful cigarband.


Churchill Mustique von Kohlhase und Kopp
Chur­chill Mus­tique Blue by Kohl­ha­se und Kopp

2022/12/20
Today’s bund­le cigar Mus­tique is a brand of the com­pa­ny Kohl­ha­se and Kopp from Rel­lin­gen, Ger­ma­ny. It is manu­fac­tu­red as a pri­va­te label by what is pro­ba­b­ly the world’s lar­gest fac­to­ry for hand-rol­led cigars in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, the Taba­ca­le­ria de Gar­cia in La Roma­na. Here the 2,100 workers roll the non-Cuban ver­si­ons of H. Upmann, Mon­te­cris­to, Romeo y Julie­ta and Tri­ni­dad as well as San­ta Dami­a­na and Vega Fina, a total of more than 40 mil­li­on cigars per year.

Our Chur­chill is a for­mat of the Blue series, a short fil­ler and Domi­ni­can puro. Some dea­lers mista­ken­ly give it as a long fil­ler. So we sacri­fi­ced a cigar and cut it up. See second photo.

It has a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ with a length of 7″. The beau­tiful gold-colo­red Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de wrap­per, as well as the broad­le­af bin­der and the fil­ler all come from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

This mild puro gave us a decent smo­ke for almost an hour with typi­cal, if only light, Domi­ni­can aro­mas of cedar, cocoa and dried fruits.

Churchill Mustique Blue von Kohlhase und Kopp
Chur­chill Mus­tique Blue by Kohl­ha­se und Kopp

Big Johnny from Oscar Valladares' series "The Leaf"
Big John­ny from Oscar Val­l­a­da­res’ series “The Leaf”

2022/12/13
Some­thing com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent, a rever­se pai­ring. What goes well with our mega mons­ter drink? Yes, of cour­se a mega mons­ter cigar!

So we sacri­fi­ced the last Big John­ny from Oscar Val­l­a­da­res’ series “The Leaf” from our humi­dor. The mas­si­ve ring size of 66/64” and the length of 8” seems to us sui­ta­ble for the also huge (near­ly 20 oz) man­go ener­gy drink.

This matching com­bi­na­ti­on gave us a real plea­su­re for 2½ hours. The sweet­ness of the drink went well with the cof­fee and wood aro­mas of the cigar.


a Belicosa from the Reserva Don Carlos series by Arturo Fuente
a Beli­co­sa from the Reser­va Don Car­los series by Arturo Fuente

2022/12/11
What did Car­li­to bring us to pre-Christ­mas Ber­lin? Here at the Bran­den­burg Gate, a Figu­ra­do for­mat goes par­ti­cu­lar­ly well with the fes­tively deco­ra­ted Christ­mas tree. In our case, a Beli­co­sa from the Reser­va Don Car­los series by Arturo Fuente.

It has a decent ring gau­ge of 52/64″ with a length of 5 3/8″. The spe­cial right away, it has a dark brown wrap­per from Cameroon with its uni­que sweet aro­mas. Very few brands use the­se high qua­li­ty wrap­pers as they are very expen­si­ve and their fer­men­ta­ti­on is dif­fi­cult to control.

The bin­der and the insert come from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and have matu­red for ten years. They bring the distinc­ti­ve cof­fee aro­mas with them.

The Beli­co­sa gave us a 45-minu­te rich smo­ke pai­red with a plea­sant fresh scent of euca­lyp­tus. A Christ­mas cigar!


Private label cigars from the Tabacaleria Palma
Pri­va­te label cigars from the Taba­ca­le­ria Palma

2022/12/10
Yes­ter­day evening we took a look at the pri­va­te label cigars from the Taba­ca­le­ria Pal­ma. We had iden­ti­fied two trade­marks that were iden­ti­cal in the making. 3 for­mats of the Wols­dorff Reser­va series from the tob­ac­co chain store Wols­dorff and the iden­ti­cal-loo­king ones from the Domi­ni­can Bund­le series from the John Ayl­es­bu­ry Group.

All cigars were long fil­lers (see next pho­to) from the same tob­ac­co varieties.

The short vito­las star­ted very pep­pery, which wea­k­en­ed signi­fi­cant­ly after the first third. Some of us found John Aylesbury’s ones pep­pe­ri­er, but that’s a very sub­jec­ti­ve jud­ge­ment. We could tas­te simi­lar wood and lea­ther aro­mas in all test cigars. All bur­ned per­fect­ly with a light draw resis­tance and decent smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment. The Chur­chills were much mil­der and more har­mo­nious. This is pro­ba­b­ly also due to the more balan­ced ratio of wrap­per to filler.

The very slight dif­fe­ren­ces can pro­ba­b­ly be tra­ced back to age and sto­rage. But our con­clu­si­on is clear. They’­re iden­ti­cal series and they’­re actual­ly quite good.

Churchill from the Dominican Bundle Series by John Aylesbury
Chur­chill from the Domi­ni­can Bund­le Series by John Aylesbury

La Aroma del Caribe Pasión
La Aro­ma del Cari­be Pasión

2022/12/09
Brand new arri­ved at the Ger­man dea­lers, the La Aro­ma del Cari­be Pasión. We imme­dia­te­ly got some Robus­tos to taste.

In other count­ries they are also cal­led “La Aro­ma de Cuba”. This Nica­ra­gua Puro is made by the Nica­ra­gu­an fac­to­ry “My Fathers Cigars” by José “Pepin” and Jai­me Gar­cia. The very beau­tiful, sil­ky, shi­ny Sha­de Grown wrap­per is from the fields of the Naman­ji regi­on. The bin­der and the fil­ler come from the plan­ta­ti­ons of Este­li and Jala­pa on the bor­der with Hon­du­ras and go through a tri­ple fer­men­ta­ti­on and are respon­si­ble for the sweet wood and nut aromas.

Our Robus­tos have a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ and a length of almost 5½”. They gave us real plea­su­re for almost an hour with an almost per­fect burn and draw behavior.


 
Private Label Cigars
Pri­va­te Label Cigars

2022/12/07
We all know PRIVATE LABEL or WHITE LABEL pro­ducts from the food and con­su­mer goods sec­tors. The­se are pro­ducts from brand manu­fac­tu­r­ers who rela­bel or anony­mi­ze their pro­ducts for retail chains and thus open up ano­ther sales chan­nel wit­hout com­pe­ting with their own pro­ducts. The retail chains, in turn, save on pro­duct deve­lo­p­ment cos­ts and can offer the­se as com­mer­cial goods at lower prices.

This dis­tri­bu­ti­on chan­nel also exists for cigars. We found an exam­p­le. The Taba­ca­le­ria Pal­ma from Tam­bo­ril in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic is one of the major sup­pli­ers of pri­va­te label cigars. Here we have two retail chains that offer a pro­duct that is iden­ti­cal in every respect under their own name. The “Reser­vas” from the Ham­burg tob­ac­co chain owner Wols­dorff and the “Domi­ni­can Bund­les” from the John Ayl­es­bu­ry Group are iden­ti­cal in terms of dimen­si­ons, tob­ac­co com­po­si­ti­on and style and all come from the Taba­ca­le­ria Palma.

We will tas­te the­se cigars at the same time and report to you. They should actual­ly tas­te the same.


Wolsdorff Reserva by Tabacaleria Palma
Wols­dorff Reser­va by Taba­ca­le­ria Palma

2022/12/03
After we have alre­a­dy tried the Chur­chill from the Wols­dorff Reser­va series and found it to be good, we also dare to try the other for­mats of this series.
All the­se vito­las are also manu­fac­tu­red by the Domi­ni­can Taba­ca­le­ria Pal­ma for the Ham­burg tob­ac­co chain owner Wols­dorff as pri­va­te label cigars.

Sin­ce Wols­dorff does not spe­ci­fy any ring gau­ges or lengths of the cigars, we mea­su­red (in the pic­tu­re from the midd­le out­wards, length x ring gauge):

Chur­chill 6” x 48/64”
Coro­na 5” x 43/64”
Robus­to 4” x 48/64”
Fat Shor­ty 4” x 60/64”
Half Gordo 3” x 60/64”
Half Coro­na 3” x 45/64”

All for­mats of the­se hand-rol­led longfil­lers, like the Chur­chill we’­ve tried befo­re, have a Con­nec­ti­cut wrap­per from Ecua­dor, a Domi­ni­can Olor bin­der, and a Domi­ni­can fil­ler made of Olor and Pilo­to leaves.

All for­mats look per­fect­ly made and we will try them one by one. In any case, the­se bund­le cigars are worth a try, if only becau­se of the low pri­ce and the first-class visu­al impres­si­on. We will report, stay tuned!


Flor Fina by VEB Cigar Factories Dingelstaedt
Flor Fina by VEB Cigar Fac­to­ries Dingelstaedt

2022/11/27
In search of a long fil­ler from the pro­duc­tion of the for­mer Ger­man Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic (East Ger­ma­ny), we dis­as­sem­bled and exami­ned a second cigar from our tre­asu­re tro­ve today.

This time we were almost cer­tain that our Flor Fina from the for­mer VEB (publicly owned com­pa­ny) cigar fac­to­ries in Din­gel­staedt would lead us to our goal. Manu­fac­tu­red in the Eichsfeld dis­trict in Thu­rin­gia bet­ween Erfurt and Kas­sel in the 1970s.

The sophisti­ca­ted Figu­ra­do shape alo­ne, simi­lar to a Beli­co­sa with a ring gau­ge of 45/64″ and a length of almost 6″ gave us hope. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, the fil­ler tur­ned out to be a short fil­ler again. The fil­ler was sur­roun­ded by two bin­ders. We suspect it was machi­ne made up to the first bin­der and the second bin­der and very thin wrap­per were hand rolled.

We would like to know more about the­se cigars. We are very gra­teful for information.

Have a hap­py first advent everyone!


Cusano Bundles Dominikanische Republik Robusto
Cus­a­no Bund­les Domi­ni­ka­ni­sche Repu­blik Robusto

2022/11/23
In May of this year we had alre­a­dy tried the Chur­chill from this bund­le series from Cus­a­no. Now we dare to try the Robus­to. With this inex­pen­si­ve bund­le series, David­off pro­vi­des afforda­ble, mild cigars. Like all David­off brands (Griffin’s, Cus­a­no and AVO), the­se Bund­le Cigars by Cus­a­no are also hand-rol­led in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic in a Taba­dom subsidiary.

Our Robus­to is a Domi­ni­can Puro with a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ and a length of 5″. This short fil­ler is hand-rol­led from the torn, not-quite-per­fect tob­ac­co lea­ves that are­n’t good enough for Davidoff’s pre­mi­um brands. The blen­ding and manu­fac­tu­ring is over­seen by David­off Blen­der Hen­rik Kelner.

An inex­pen­si­ve but well-made mild cigar for the beg­in­ner as well as a nice ever­y­day cigar. The fla­vors come damn clo­se to tho­se of the gre­at David­offs. You should store them in the humi­dor for a few weeks and abo­ve all smo­ke them slow­ly. Then you have a 45-minu­te aro­ma­tic smo­ke with nice smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment and a straight burn.


Alec Bradley's Churchills Fine & Rare
Alec Bradley’s Chur­chills Fine & Rare

2022/11/08
We were able to snag half a case out of just 2,500 of Alec Bradley’s Chur­chills Fine & Rare. It is the 2021 edi­ti­on, the twelfth sin­ce the birth of this series.

Fine & Rare is a con­cept deve­lo­ped by mas­ter blen­der Alan Rubin. Every year he expe­ri­ments with dif­fe­rent tob­ac­cos from dif­fe­rent har­ve­st years to crea­te this cigar from exact­ly 10 tob­ac­cos from Hon­du­ras and Nica­ra­gua. The exact com­po­si­ti­on of the tob­ac­co is a top secret.

This mys­te­rious cigar is rol­led at the Taba­ca­lera Fabri­ca de Taba­cos Raí­ces Cuba­nas in Hon­du­ras. The beau­tiful mas­si­ve woo­den box con­ta­ins only 11 cigars. ten Chur­chills and one Belicoso.

The ban­de­ro­le reads like the packa­ge insert for medi­ci­nes. It pro­vi­des infor­ma­ti­on about the year of ori­gin, the day of deli­very, the num­ber of weekly pro­duc­tions and the signa­tures of the rol­lers, qua­li­ty con­trol guys and the managers.

We will tas­te them and tell you.


The Churchill Fine & Rare BC-(13)4EV by Alec Bradley
The Chur­chill Fine & Rare BC-(13)4EV by Alec Bradley

2022/11/10
It was with gre­at expec­ta­ti­ons that we smo­ked this mys­te­rious cigar with its beau­tiful and rare ban­de­ro­le, the Chur­chill Fine & Rare BC-(13)4EV by Alec Bradley.

It has the typi­cal ring gau­ge of 50/64″ and a length of 7″. The dark, sil­ky, shi­ny wrap­per is a Criol­lo from Hon­du­ras, it has two bin­ders from Hon­du­ras and Nica­ra­gua and a fil­ler made from 7 dif­fe­rent tob­ac­cos, also from Hon­du­ras and Nica­ra­gua. This Chur­chill makes a very good, flaw­less visu­al impres­si­on and is rol­led very tightly.

After light­ing, we felt the draw resis­tance was too seve­re for our tas­te. The smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment was only mode­ra­te, but the burn was very straight­for­ward and perfect.

We could tas­te aro­mas of wood, pep­per, cin­na­mon and sweet cocoa.
Unfort­u­na­te­ly, the enorm­ous draw resis­tance great­ly redu­ced the enjoy­ment of smo­king. The high pri­ce of this cigar is pro­ba­b­ly due more to the appearance and the luxu­rious box. We expec­ted more.


ME (Mexican Experiment) by Tatuaje
ME (Mexi­can Expe­ri­ment) by Tatuaje

2022/10/28
Today a Mexi­can expe­ri­ment. We got our­sel­ves a box of Toros ME II. ME stands for Mexi­can Expe­ri­ment and is a pro­duct idea of the Ame­ri­can Pete John­son, owner of the Tat­ua­je com­pa­ny. Ex-hea­vy metal star Pete John­son star­ted this spe­cial cigar brand in 2003 and has had his cigars manu­fac­tu­red by Don José (Pepin) Gar­cia in his “My Father Cigars” fac­to­ry in Nica­ra­gua ever since.

The Mexi­can expe­ri­ment star­ted in 2012 when Pete John­son wan­ted to use a Mexi­can San Andrés wrap­per for the first time. This expe­ri­ment star­ted with a pro­duc­tion of only 15,000 cigars per for­mat. After this very suc­cessful expe­ri­ment, the ME II is now regu­lar pro­duc­tion and car­ri­es on the name.

So actual­ly an Ame­ri­can-Nica­ra­gu­an expe­ri­ment with a wrap­per from Mexi­co. We will expe­ri­ment a litt­le and report to you. Stay tuned.


ME (Mexican Experiment) by Tatuaje
ME (Mexi­can Expe­ri­ment) by Tatuaje

2022/10/29
So what was the result of our Mexi­can expe­ri­ment? We had smo­ked the Toro of a ME II (Mexi­can Expe­ri­ment No. 2) from Tat­ua­je. This box pres­sed cigar is rol­led in Nica­ra­gua in Don José Garcia’s Tabacaleria.

Don José Garcia’s son, Jai­me, wan­ted to sur­pri­se his father with a bir­th­day cigar that he com­po­sed hims­elf. The­re were three dif­fe­rent blends. The father was so enthu­si­a­stic about his son’s results that he included his blends in the pro­gram and named his Nica­ra­gu­an Taba­ca­le­ria “My Father Cigars”.

Now for the cigar. Our ME II has a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ is box­pres­sed and has a length of 5¾”. The bin­der and fil­ler are from Nica­ra­gua and the vel­ve­ty yet rug­ged wrap­per is the famous San Andrés from Mexi­co. Sur­pri­sin­gly, we did­n’t find the pep­pery notes typi­cal of Tat­ua­jes at all. Ins­tead, aro­mas of dark cho­co­la­te and nuts.

A nice 70 minu­te smo­ke, a good star­ter into the world of Tat­ua­je and we think: “The expe­ri­ment was a success”.


bundle of five different cigars from the former German Democratic Republic
Bund­le of five dif­fe­rent cigars from the for­mer Ger­man Demo­cra­tic Republic

2022/10/25
We have unear­thed a his­to­ri­cal tre­asu­re. A bund­le of five dif­fe­rent cigars from the for­mer Ger­man Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic. The cigars all have a boxing date from the 1970s. The ori­gi­nal boxes are all still clo­sed, with tax stamp and in new condition.

They come from 3 dif­fe­rent fac­to­ries: VEB Tabak Nord­hau­sen Fac­to­ry Din­gel­staedt, VEB Tabak Nord­hau­sen Fac­to­ry Tref­furt and VEB Leis­ni­ger Cigar Factories.

We will rese­arch the brands Sub­li­mes, Taba­cos Supe­ri­or (Tadel­los), Bra­sil Record, Jagd­kam­mer Gold and Flor Fina. Sin­ce the­re is very litt­le to no infor­ma­ti­on on the foun­ders and owners of the­se pre-war fac­to­ries, we are asking you all for infor­ma­ti­on if you know a thing or two.

We will now accli­ma­te the cigars in the humi­dor for a few weeks and then of cour­se try them and report back.

If a mem­ber wants to join the tasting. plea­se DM.


Jagdkammer Gold from the VEB Leisniger cigar factories
Jagd­kam­mer Gold from the VEB Leis­ni­ger cigar factories

2022/11/21
Today a cigar from the for­mer Ger­man Demo­cra­tic Republic.

It is the Jagd­kam­mer Gold from the VEB Leis­ni­ger cigar fac­to­ries. This small box­pres­sed cigar has a ring gau­ge of 38/64″ and a length of 4¼”. The boxing date reve­als the bir­th­day 44 years ago!

We dis­as­sem­bled them. A mat­te, fine-vei­ned wrap­per fol­lo­wed by a dark bin­der. The fil­ler of this short fil­ler is also very dark. A pro­ba­b­ly part­ly machi­ne-made cigar. The­re was still a sweet cold smell. The burn was flaw­less with lush smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment. I could­n’t tas­te the aro­mas, our mem­ber Rijol, who also tried one, said it was typi­cal­ly Bra­zi­li­an: strong and spi­cy. This would also coin­ci­de with our rese­arch. Until the ear­ly 1960s, only local tob­ac­co was pro­ces­sed. Then the GDR regime allo­wed and finan­ced the import from Cen­tral and South Ame­ri­ca. The lar­gest sup­pli­er at the time was Brazil.

Our Jagd­kam­mer Gold was an inte­res­t­ing excur­si­on into the past.


Maduro Robusto Freshpack Sampler by AJ Fernandez
Madu­ro Robus­to Fresh­pack Sam­pler by AJ Fernandez

2022/10/21
In respon­se to our ques­ti­on today to the dea­ler we trust for a strong, good Robus­to, he recom­men­ded this sam­pler by AJ Fer­nan­dez to us. We alre­a­dy repor­ted on Abdel Josef Fernández’s fami­ly busi­ness in Nica­ra­gua in Sep­tem­ber last year and, among other things, tes­ted the Bel­las Artes series and repor­ted on it. So now the Madu­ro Robus­to Fresh­pack Sam­pler with 5 cigars. A sam­pler with dark wrap­pers and slight­ly dif­fe­rent dimen­si­ons from the two fac­to­ries in Nicaragua.

Our VP Tim ser­ved us a Para­di­se Cin­za­no on ice.

We will report about this beau­tiful, inte­res­t­ing and yet inex­pen­si­ve sam­pler. Stay tuned!


 Maduro Robusto Freshpack Sampler by AJ Fernandez
Madu­ro Robus­to Fresh­pack Sam­pler by AJ Fernandez

2022/10/26
We have alre­a­dy repor­ted on AJ Fer­nan­dez and his com­pa­ny. Today we ope­ned our Madu­ro Robus­to Fresh­pack Sam­pler. Now we also know why it is cal­led Fresh­pack. A mois­tu­re-giving fleece is incor­po­ra­ted into the zip­per bag that ensu­res the per­fect rela­ti­ve humidity.

Today we try the first of the five Robus­tos: the New World Puro Espe­cial by A.J. Fer­nan­dez. This very tight­ly rol­led vito­la with a very nice band has a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a length of 5½”. The blend of this puro with wrap­per, bin­der and fil­ler from Nica­ra­gua was crea­ted by AJ and his father, Isma­el, and con­ta­ins only tob­ac­co from his own fields.

Draw resis­tance is sur­pri­sin­gly good and opti­mal despi­te the firm rol­ling. Like­wi­se the burn. We could per­cei­ve ear­thy notes and aro­mas of pep­per, almonds and wood.

A good smo­ke and the best we’­ve smo­ked from AJ Fer­nan­dez so far.


Freshpack Sampler by AJ Fernandez: the Broadleaf from the Enclave series
Fresh­pack Sam­pler by AJ Fer­nan­dez: the Broad­le­af from the Encla­ve series

2022/10/27
After yesterday’s gre­at smo­ke, today we lit the second Robus­to of our Fresh­pack Sam­pler by AJ Fer­nan­dez: the Broad­le­af from the Encla­ve series.
A Nica­ra­gua Puro with a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a length of 5″. The spe­cial thing about this cigar is the beau­tiful oily shi­ny wrap­per. With this cigar, AJ has used one of the best Madu­ro wrap­pers for its own brand for the first time. It’s the Con­nec­ti­cut Broad­le­af. Tob­ac­co lea­ves that are grown in direct sun­light are har­ve­s­ted tog­e­ther with the stem and hung up to dry. As a result, the tob­ac­co deve­lo­ps a strong pro­fi­le with domi­nant sweet-spi­cy and ear­thy notes.
The fil­ler con­sists of a refres­hing blend of Nica­ra­gu­an tob­ac­cos such as Jala­pa and Esteli.

This vito­la is again rol­led very tight­ly, but the cold draw is still per­fect. It starts out medi­um-bodi­ed with lush smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment and beco­mes stron­ger and swee­ter from the 2nd third. The Encla­ve is far less pep­pery than the rest of the AJ range.


Anejo XO Oscuro Lancero FT
Ane­jo XO Oscu­ro Lan­ce­ro FT

2022/10/12
Tonight we have a Dutch mem­ber as a guest and have the­r­e­fo­re cho­sen a Domi­ni­can from Hol­land and the foref­a­ther of gin, a Dutch Gen­ever from Bok­ma, a Lucas Bols Com­pa­ny, for our smoke.

The owner of the Bal­mo­ral brand, named after the Scot­tish sum­mer resi­dence of the Bri­tish roy­al fami­ly, is Roy­al Agio Cigars, foun­ded in 1895 by Jac­ques Win­ter­mans in Dui­zel, Net­her­lands. Today, the Bal­mo­rals are made in Agio’s own fac­to­ry in San Pedro de Maco­rís, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The brand has been part of the Scan­di­na­vi­an Tob­ac­co Group sin­ce 2021.

The series of our Bal­mo­ral line “Ane­jo” came onto the mar­ket in 2015 and, with the Bal­mo­ral Añe­jo XO, is the suc­ces­sor to the legen­da­ry and suc­cessful Bal­mo­ral series Añe­jo 18.

Our drink is a mild young Gen­ever (jon­ge Jen­ever). It is made in Hol­land from corn, wheat and rye and distil­led over juniper.

We will of cour­se report back on this tasting. Stay tuned!


Anejo XO Oscuro Lancero FT
Ane­jo XO Oscu­ro Lan­ce­ro FT

2022/10/16
We were able to get hold of a box (#316) of the 1,500 case limi­t­ed Ane­jo XO Oscu­ro Lan­ce­ro FT (Flag­Tail) from 2019 by Bal­mo­ral. The first thing that caught our eye was the inno­va­ti­ve band. It has a small, non-glued tip, with which the band can be easi­ly removed.

The Lan­ce­ro for­mat was the favo­ri­te for­mat of Grou­cho Marx, Fidel Cas­tro and Zino David­off and still is of Ger­hard Schroe­der and … our Chap­ter Pre­si­dent. The Ane­jo XO –- the XO stands for extra old – has a ring gau­ge of 40/64″ and a length of 7″. The dark San Andrés Negro wrap­per comes from Mexi­co, the Olor bin­der from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic enc­lo­ses the fil­ler from Nica­ra­gua, the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and Brazil.

She star­ted extre­me­ly spi­cy and pep­pery. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, all cigars ten­ded to burn croo­ked­ly in the first third, which, howe­ver, regu­la­ted its­elf from the second third. We could tas­te sweet aro­mas of cho­co­la­te and cof­fee. A very balan­ced cigar that should be smo­ked very slowly.


Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva Pyramid from the Chateau series
Arturo Fuen­te Gran Reser­va Pyra­mid from the Cha­teau series

2022/10/11
What did Car­li­to bring us? It is an Arturo Fuen­te Gran Reser­va Pyra­mid from the Cha­teau series, rol­led in the Tabace­le­ra A. Fuen­te y Cia. near Sant­ia­go, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. More than 30 mil­li­on cigars are rol­led here every year under the strict super­vi­si­on of Car­li­to Fuen­te, the grand­son of the com­pa­ny foun­der Arturo.

A beau­tiful cigar in a very attrac­ti­ve for­mat, slight­ly shorter than a typi­cal tor­pe­do. For our tasting we got a Bava­ri­an rum “Rumult” from the Lake Schlier­see from our bar.

Of cour­se we will tell you about this spe­cial smo­ke. Stay tuned!


A. Fuente Gran Reserva from the Chateau series
A. Fuen­te Gran Reser­va from the Cha­teau series

2022/10/12
Last night we smo­ked this beau­tiful cigar, our A. Fuen­te Gran Reser­va from the Cha­teau series. After we careful­ly remo­ved the fine cedar wood slee­ve, the imma­cu­la­te fine-vei­ned gol­den-brown Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de wrap­per from the USA came to light. This pyra­mid for­mat has a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and a length of 6″. The Fil­ler made of aged Domi­ni­can tob­ac­cos is wrap­ped in a bin­der of the same kind. The draw and burn also betray­ed a mas­ter­ly work­man­ship. This cigar is a typi­cal mild Domi­ni­can but spi­cier than the ones we’­ve smo­ked befo­re. This was one of our best non-Cuban cigars until the last puff after just over an hour.


 
Wolsdorff Reserva, a Churchill by Tabacalera Palma
Wols­dorff Reser­va, a Chur­chill by Taba­ca­lera Palma

2022/10/09
We have made a small inex­pen­si­ve dis­co­very for you. A new own brand from the tob­ac­co­nist Wols­dorff. Emil Karl Fer­di­nand Wols­dorff ope­ned his first tob­ac­co shop in Ham­burg, Ger­ma­ny in 1907 and is now repre­sen­ted in almost every major city in Germany.

Their own brand “Wols­dorff Reser­va” is a pri­va­te label of Taba­ca­lera Pal­ma from Tam­bo­ril, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. In the midd­le of the 19th cen­tu­ry, the Spa­niard José Manu­el Blan­co Lozada came to the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic to set up a fruit and tob­ac­co trade. His son José Arnal­do Blan­co II foun­ded Taba­ca­lera Pal­ma in 1925 and began gro­wing tob­ac­co and making cigars.

Our Chur­chil is a long fil­ler and Domi­ni­can Puro with a ring gau­ge of 48/64″ and a length of 7″. We tho­rough­ly enjoy­ed this mild stick for a good 70 minu­tes. With good draw beha­vi­or and a very even burn, we could tas­te the typi­cal woo­dy and sweet aro­mas of a Domi­ni­can. A good cigar with an almost unbeata­ble price/performance ratio.


Churchill from Wolsdorff's Reserva line by Tabacaleria Palma
Chur­chill from Wolsdorff’s Reser­va line by Taba­ca­le­ria Palma

2022/11/07
We had alre­a­dy repor­ted on this par­ti­cu­lar­ly inex­pen­si­ve pri­va­te label cigar from Wols­dorff. At the time of our tasting litt­le was known about this Chur­chill. Now Wols­dorff has reve­a­led some details.

This Chur­chill from Wolsdorff’s Reser­va line is a hand­ma­de long fil­ler from the Taba­ca­le­ria Pal­ma in the Domi­ni­can Republic.

The Con­nec­ti­cut Brown wrap­per from Ecua­dor pro­ba­b­ly has a share in the nut­ty aro­mas. The bin­der is an Olor also from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. Like­wi­se, the insert is a blend of Olor and Pilo­to Domi­ni­ca­no. This blend ensu­res a very straight burn.

Secret reve­a­led!


Oktoberfest 2016 „Das Boot“ by Quesada
Okto­ber­fest 2016 „Das Boot“ by Quesada

2022/09/30
It’s Okto­ber­fest in Munich, Ger­ma­ny! Or as the Bava­ri­ans say, the “Wiesn” (short for The­re­si­en­wie­se, as the fair­ground is cal­led). It has been cele­bra­ted annu­al­ly on the The­re­si­en­wie­se in Munich sin­ce 1810. For the first time on the occa­si­on of the wed­ding of Prin­ce Lud­wig of Bava­ria and Prin­cess The­re­se on Octo­ber 12, 1810, a hor­se race took place on this very “pas­tu­re”. Litt­le by litt­le, carou­sels and beer tents were added. Now more than 6 mil­li­on visi­tors come to Okto­ber­fest annu­al­ly, lea­ving more than a bil­li­on dol­lars in the city.

Today we cele­bra­te with a typi­cal Okto­ber­fest beer (1 quart extra strong beer) and of cour­se with a well-aged Okto­ber­fest cigar from Quesada. This Domi­ni­can puro from the Kai­ser Lud­wig edi­ti­on from 2016 shows the colors of the Ger­man flag in the wrong order on the band. This was alle­gedly made awa­re of legal reasons.

We will defi­ni­te­ly tell you about this spe­cial cigar. Stay tuned!


Oktoberfest 2016 „Das Boot“ by Quesada
Okto­ber­fest 2016 „Das Boot“ by Quesada

2022/10/01
We report on our Okto­ber­fest evening yes­ter­day and on the Quesada cigar of the same name from the 2016 edi­ti­on limi­t­ed to 500 boxes. In 2011, Quesada intro­du­ced this new line, desi­gned to pair par­ti­cu­lar­ly well with the strong Okto­ber­fest beer.

At the end of the 18th cen­tu­ry, the Gon­za­les brot­hers moved from Spain to Cuba. Soon after, the two brot­hers sepa­ra­ted, for­med sepa­ra­te com­pa­nies, and beca­me the lar­gest tob­ac­co export­ers of Cuban tob­ac­co. Antero’s daugh­ter mar­ried Augus­tin Quesada, who gave his name to today’s cigar brand.

The Cuban Revo­lu­ti­on of 1960 forced the fami­ly into exi­le in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The­re she foun­ded the com­pa­ny MATASA in 1974.

Like all vito­las in this series, our cigar has a Ger­man name: “Das Boot” (The Boat). It is a box­pres­sed Tor­pe­do, a Domi­ni­can puro with a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ and 6″ in length.

A 40-minu­te smo­ke that actual­ly goes par­ti­cu­lar­ly well with beer. Draw and burn were per­fect. We reco­gni­zed aro­mas of oak, lea­ther and black pepper.


Big Johnny by Oscar Valadares & Lancero by La Bavaria
Big John­ny by Oscar Val­l­a­da­res & Lan­ce­ro by La Bavaria

2022/09/27
Tonight we will have a fight bet­ween David (La Bava­ria) and Goli­ath (Big Johnny).

Goli­ath: Tri­ple Toro, Hon­d­uran, ring gau­ge 66/64″, length 8“
David: Lan­ce­ro, Cos­ta Rican, ring gau­ge 48/54″, length 7.5″

We will report on this exci­ting fight. Stay tuned!


Big Johnny by Oscar Valladares & Lancero by La Bavaria
Big John­ny by Oscar Val­l­a­da­res & Lan­ce­ro by La Bavaria

2022/09/30
We wan­ted to tell you about the exci­ting fight between

David, the Cos­ta Rican, a Lan­ce­ro from La Bava­ria with a ring gau­ge of 48/64” and a length of 7 1/2”

ver­sus

Goli­ath the Hon­d­uran, a Tri­ple Toro (Big John­ny) by Oscar Val­l­a­da­res with a ring gau­ge of 66/64” and a simi­lar length of 8”.

The ele­gant and slim Lan­ce­ro cle­ar­ly won the short haul with 75 minu­tes. A good after­noon smo­ke. Sin­ce the port­ly fat Big John­ny did dif­fi­cult. He needs calm­ness and just a lot of time.

The­r­e­fo­re, on the long haul, the clear win­ner with a good 170 minu­tes was Big John­ny. So you should real­ly take your time and lei­su­re for the Big Johnny.

Both oppon­ents brought a lot of joy with a lar­ge and varied varie­ty of fla­vors and it was actual­ly a draw.


Maduro Toro from the Bellas Artes series by A.J. Fernandez
Madu­ro Toro from the Bel­las Artes series by A.J. Fernandez

2022/09/20
Last night we took on a real high­light from our humi­dor: the Madu­ro Toro from the Bel­las Artes series by A.J. Fernandez.

The fami­ly busi­ness of Abdel Josef Fernán­dez or as most call him A.J. based in Miami, USA, grows its own tob­ac­co in Nica­ra­gua and also owns two fac­to­ries the­re, one of which is in Este­li. A.J. was born in Cuba and star­ted anew in Nica­ra­gua after immi­gra­ting becau­se he pre­fers the moun­ta­ins for gro­wing tob­ac­co: “Nut­ri­ents flow downhill.”

First, the tob­ac­co ferm­ents with the stems on piló­nes (Spa­nish for sta­kes) for a year. Then the tob­ac­co is pres­sed for ano­ther two years. Only now are the lea­ves strip­ped and sub­jec­ted to a three-month fer­men­ta­ti­on befo­re spen­ding a fur­ther nine months in bales. “Becau­se of the way we age our tob­ac­cos, there’s no ammo­nia in the tas­te,” explains A.J..

Of cour­se we will try them and report to you. Stay tuned!


Toro Maduro from the Bellas Artes series by A.J. Fernandez
Toro Madu­ro from the Bel­las Artes series by A.J. Fernandez

2022/09/24
Today we smo­ked the Toro Madu­ro from the Bel­las Artes series by A.J. Fer­nan­dez. The name is inten­ded to com­me­mo­ra­te the Natio­nal Muse­um of Bel­las Artes in Cuba. The ring gau­ge is 54/64″ with a length of 6″.

This box pres­sed for­mat has a fil­ler from Nica­ra­gua, whe­re it was rol­led, a San Andrés bin­der from Mexi­co wrap­ped in a beau­tiful dark Mata­fi­na wrap­per from Brazil.

With the Bra­zi­li­an wrap­per used, the enti­re tob­ac­co plant inclu­ding the stalk is har­ve­s­ted and hung up to dry, this is refer­red to as the so-cal­led stalk cut. This method gives the wrap­per incre­di­ble rich­ness and subt­le sweetness.

We could then also guess aro­mas of cof­fee, sweet oran­ge and dark cho­co­la­te. This quite powerful cigar gave us 50 minu­tes of pure plea­su­re with lush smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment. The dra­wing beha­vi­or was per­fect. Howe­ver, it burns uneven­ly, which did not dimi­nish the enjoy­ment. A cigar that deser­ves a regu­lar place in the humidor.


 
Patoro Methusalem Serie "P"
Pato­ro Methu­sa­lem Serie “P”

2022/09/17
We alre­a­dy repor­ted on the Pato­ro brand, foun­ded in 2001 by the Swiss Patrick J. Mar­tin, on the occa­si­on of our tasting at the Salo­mo­nes VA.
The name Pato­ro is com­po­sed of the first let­ters of the first name Patrick and the Spa­nish word for gold “Oro”.

Today’s Pato­ro of the rela­tively new “P” series is cal­led Methu­sa­lem and is a typi­cal Robus­to in terms of dimen­si­ons. The “P” series cigars are named after the cham­pa­gne bot­t­le sizes.

We noti­ced a small pecu­lia­ri­ty. The US ver­si­on dif­fers from our Euro­pean ver­si­on in the wrap­per and the­r­e­fo­re also in tas­te. The US vari­ant has a Bra­zi­li­an wrap­per while our Euro­pean ver­si­on has a Cameroo­ni­an wrap­per. Bin­der and fil­ler are again the same and come from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

The one-hour good smo­ke brought us spi­cy her­bal aro­mas, which beca­me swee­ter and more com­plex from half­way through.


WTF is Monsieur Gilbert de Montsalvat
WTF is Mon­sieur Gil­bert de Montsalvat

2022/09/15
Now who is this Mon­sieur Gil­bert de Mont­sal­vat? His bio­gra­phy can be read on the Roy­al Cigar Com­pa­ny web­site. But he does­n’t even exist! It is an inven­ti­on of the mar­ke­ting depart­ment of “The Roy­al Cigar Com­pa­ny GmbH” from Switzerland.

The brand was con­cei­ved by US-born Swiss Ray­mon­do Ber­nas­co­ni tog­e­ther with the wri­ter Tho­mas Brunn­sch­wei­ler. Cigars from this brand are hard to come by as only small bat­ches are ever rol­led. Ber­nas­co­ni lives in Basel, Switz­er­land, whe­re he imports cigars and also runs the cigar shop “House of Smo­ke”. Today he is the third lar­gest importer of pre­mi­um cigars in Switz­er­land and sells 30 well-known brands.

He rolls his own brand, the Gil­bert de Mont­sal­vat, in Nica­ra­gua and the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. We found a box of 10 at the dea­ler we trust and will test it in the next few days and of cour­se report back to you!


Gilbert de Montsalvat
Gil­bert de Montsalvat

2022/09/16
We have alre­a­dy repor­ted on Ray­mon­do Bernasconi’s com­pa­ny and his Gil­bert de Mont­sal­vat brand. Now we have also tas­ted the first Magn­ums from this series.

The Gil­bert de Mont­sal­vat Magnum is more of a Dou­ble Toro with a decent ring gau­ge of 56/64″ and a length of 6″. The good pie­ce is rol­led in Nica­ra­gua, from whe­re the bin­der and part of the fil­ler comes, which is sup­ple­men­ted by tob­ac­cos from Pana­ma. The flaw­less, rela­tively light wrap­per is a Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de from Ecua­dor. All tob­ac­cos are stored for seve­ral years.

For a Nica­ra­gu­an it is a very mild cigar, but it has all the typi­cal tob­ac­co fla­vors of such a cigar. We found the nut­ty, cara­mel-like and flo­ral aro­mas par­ti­cu­lar­ly pleasant.

A 70 minu­te inex­pen­si­ve Nica­ra­gu­an smo­ke as you would ima­gi­ne it.


Texas Ecuador
Texas Ecua­dor

2022/09/11
Tonight we will cele­bra­te a Texan night in Ber­lin. We also orde­red spe­cial cigars. They are cal­led “Texas” but come from Peru. And for our drinks, the 6‑fold distil­led vod­ka from Aus­tin, Texas. Of cour­se, Texas Hol­d’em Poker is played.

So much can be reve­a­led in advan­ce. We will report. Stay tuned!


Texas Ecuador from the Tabacalera del Oriente
Texas Ecua­dor from the Taba­ca­lera del Oriente

2022/09/12
Last night we smo­ked them, our Texas Ecua­dor from the Taba­ca­lera del Oriente.

The manu­fac­to­ry was foun­ded in Peru in 1997. Tob­ac­co plants grown from Cuban seeds are grown here in the Ama­zon jungle.

Our Texas Ecua­dor is hand rol­led in Tar­apo­to, Peru in the Ama­zon Basin. It has a 52/64” ring gau­ge with a length of just over 5½”. The fil­ler and bin­der from Peru are wrap­ped in a flaw­less wrap­per from Ecua­dor. The cold smell is remi­nis­cent of honey.

The 50 minu­te smo­ke was quite an expe­ri­ence. The burn and the draw beha­vi­or were per­fect, the smo­ke was cre­a­my and lush. We were able to dis­co­ver most­ly sweet aro­mas such as cara­mel pai­red with nut aromas.


Lancero from La Bavaria
Lan­ce­ro from La Bavaria

2022/09/10
Tonight’s Bava­ri­an evening is all about the Bava­ri­an heral­dic ani­mal, the lion.

Of cour­se with a Lan­ce­ro from La Bava­ria, the “Bava­ri­an” cigar from South Ame­ri­ca. And a new Bava­ri­an beer from the CREW Repu­blic Bre­wery in Unter­schleiss­heim near Munich, a Local Hero Modern Hell Beer.

Our Lan­ce­ro with a ring gau­ge of 38/64″ and a length of 7.5″ was rol­led in Cos­ta Rica. The wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor, the bin­der from Nica­ra­gua and the fil­ler is a blend from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, Nica­ra­gua and Peru.

A very well-craf­ted cigar, which gave us a good hour-long smo­ke, hin­ted at ear­thy aro­mas. The even burn reward­ed us with a cre­a­my and lush smoke.

The new straw-yel­low, Pil­sen-style Bava­ri­an beer went per­fect­ly with this late sum­mer evening and the ele­gant cigar.


 “Short Run” by Ernesto Perez Carrillo
“Short Run” by Ernes­to Perez Carrillo

2022/08/27
The “Short Run” by Ernes­to Perez Car­ri­l­lo is not a typi­cal cigar brand. Ins­tead of fixed blends, they are pro­du­ced as limi­t­ed edi­ti­ons of smal­ler tob­ac­co bat­ches (short runs). In this case the­re was only enough tob­ac­co for a litt­le over a thousand cases.

Ernes­to Perez-Car­ri­l­lo: “Just befo­re the pan­de­mic, I recei­ved two bales of Hon­d­uran tob­ac­co from Jama­s­tran, from the Pla­sen­cia fami­ly. We star­ted expe­ri­men­ting with it. The last time I used Hon­d­uran tob­ac­co was when I made the ‘Artes­a­nos de Miami’. We used this tob­ac­co as a bin­der back then. I’ve never used it since.”

For this tasting we have cho­sen the spe­cial bot­t­ling of a sin­gle malt from the Whis­key Manu­fac­to­ry in Berlin.


Toro Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play by E.P. Carrillo
Toro Short Run Retro 2021 Exten­ded Play by E.P. Carrillo

2022/09/04
We have alre­a­dy repor­ted on Ernes­to Perez Carrillo’s “Short Runs”. Today, just in time for late sum­mer, we tes­ted it again tog­e­ther with a Spa­nish beer from Barcelona.

Our Toros Short Run Retro 2021 Exten­ded Play by E.P. Car­ri­l­lo have a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ with a length of j6”. In a wrap­per from Ecua­dor they were rol­led in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The Domi­ni­can fil­ler is wrap­ped in a bin­der from Nicaragua.

This vito­la gave us a won­derful one-hour smo­ke with a very even burn and gre­at smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment. The­re was a cer­tain cho­co­la­ty sweet­ness and aro­mas of lea­ther and nuts.


 
"Fuck Corona" by Mercedes Reyes, Frankfurt
“Fuck Coro­na” by Mer­ce­des Reyes, Frankfurt

2022/08/17
The cigar manu­fac­tu­rer Mer­ce­des Reyes from Frank­furt, Ger­ma­ny had made us curious. We had alre­a­dy tal­ked about the ones rol­led in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, now we wan­ted to try the ones rol­led in Frank­furt, Ger­ma­ny as well.

We orde­red a few Coro­nas of the same name 😉. Ours were rol­led by the Cuban Taylan in Frank­furt on August 5th. Like all fresh­ly rol­led cigars, you should smo­ke them imme­dia­te­ly or let them matu­re for half a year. So we smo­ked some today. Our Coro­nas have a ring gau­ge of 42/64″ and a length of 6″. Ano­ther Domi­ni­can Puro with a Madu­ro wrap­per. Wrap­per and fil­ler of tob­ac­co plants grown from Cuban seeds.

Nice even wrap­per and very even­ly rol­led. The some­what uneven burn cor­rec­ted its­elf each time. We could tas­te ear­thy and sweet nut­ty aro­mas. We will matu­re some and try again in 1 year.


Mercedes Reyes Cigars Franfurt, Ger,amy
Mer­ce­des Reyes Cigars Fran­furt, Germany

2022/08/15
Today again cigars that are lovin­g­ly rol­led in Ger­ma­ny by Cub­ans in Frankfurt.

The Reyes fami­ly has been pro­du­cing cigars in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic sin­ce 1910. An off­shoot of this fami­ly is now con­ti­nuing the tra­di­ti­on of cigar rol­ling in Frank­furt, Ger­ma­ny. The tob­ac­cos of the cigars rol­led in Frank­furt are grown on the fami­ly farm of José Leo­nar­do Reyes V. in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The Frank­furt manu­fac­to­ry is mana­ged by the owner Geor­gi­na Mer­ce­des Reyes. The unt­rea­ted tob­ac­cos of the Frank­furt cigars come from orga­nic cul­ti­va­ti­on and have matu­red for 4 years.

And the best for last: the­re is also a smo­king lounge with a cock­tail bar on Kai­ser­str. 60 ups­tairs. May­be a good loca­ti­on for a club meeting.

We have some Robus­tos Blend No. 1 and will try them out on Sun­day after­noon and report back to you. Our Vice Pre­si­dent Tim mixed an ori­gi­nal swim­ming pool to match the colour.


Mercedes Reyes Cigars from Frankfurt
Mer­ce­des Reyes Cigars from Frankfurt

2022/08/15
Now we could­n’t wait any lon­ger and have smo­ked them, the Robus­to Blend No. 1 by Mer­ce­des Ryes in Frank­furt, Germany.

It is a Domi­ni­can puro with a ring gau­ge of 50/64″ and a length of 5″. It has a very nice even wrap­per. This cigar was not rol­led in Frank­furt but in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The sweet scent of the still-cold cigar mixed with the scent of dried hay goes per­fect­ly with this sum­me­ry Mon­day morning.

The burn was straight and the draw was per­fect over the enti­re length. A mild but very aro­ma­tic 40 minu­te smo­ke with very decent smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment. It was cer­tain­ly not our last and we will defi­ni­te­ly try the Chur­chill of this series.


Rocky Patel launched the LB1
Rocky Patel laun­ched the LB1

2022/08/07
n August 2019, Rocky Patel laun­ched the LB1. The name LB1 and the beau­tiful cop­per-colo­red band with Indi­an deco­ra­ti­ons made us curious.

The cigar was named after the fac­to­ry code it was given during pre-pro­duc­tion.
Our Robus­to has a ring gau­ge of 50/64” and is 5.5” long. The fil­ler, a blend of Nica­ra­gu­an and Hon­d­uran tob­ac­cos, is wrap­ped in a bin­der from Nica­ra­gua. The dark and oily loo­king Haba­no wrap­per comes from Ecua­dor. The LB1 is rol­led at the Cigar Fac­to­ry El Parai­so in Dan­li, Honduras.

Once lit, the tas­te remin­ded us of Marsh­mal­lows. Pep­per and papri­ka fla­vors were added later. Then in the last third we could guess beau­tiful espres­so and wood aromas.

A very good and aro­ma­tic one-hour smoke.


 
Don Diego Classic Torpedo
Don Die­go Clas­sic Torpedo

2022/08/05
oday a recom­men­da­ti­on from our trus­ted retail­er: “You can’t go wrong with this one”.

A Don Die­go Clas­sic Tor­pe­do. Don Die­go was the first brand estab­lished in the Cana­ry Islands after the Cuban embar­go. The exi­led Cuban fami­lies Menén­dez and Gar­cía, foun­ders of Mon­te­cris­to, deve­lo­ped it and then moved to the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic in the ear­ly 1960s, whe­re it is now pro­du­ced by Taba­ca­lera de Gran­de. This com­pa­ny belongs to the Fran­co-Spa­nish tob­ac­co group Alta­dis, and pro­du­ces, among other cigars, San­ta Dami­a­na, Vega­Fi­na and the Ame­ri­can-Domi­ni­can vari­ants of Mon­te­cris­to, Romeo y Julie­ta, Cohi­ba, Par­ta­gás and Trinidad.

Our tor­pe­do has a ring gau­ge of 59/64″ with a length of 6″. The beau­tiful, almond-colo­red Sha­de wrap­per comes from Con­nec­ti­cut, USA, the bin­der from the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic and the fil­ler is a blend of Bra­zi­li­an and Domi­ni­can tobaccos.

A mild but very aro­ma­tic 70 minu­te smo­ke. We could iden­ti­fy aro­mas of honey, nuts and pep­per. Our dea­ler was right!!!


Davidoff from Nicaragua
David­off from Nicaragua

2022/08/01
A Nica­ra­gu­an Sun­day afternoon.

Nica­ra­gua has only had its own natio­nal drink sin­ce 2006 – the Macuá! Named after the nati­ve, tro­pi­cal and most important­ly lucky bird Paja­ro Macuá. The cock­tail was inven­ted by Dr. Edmun­do Miran­da, a pedia­tri­ci­an from Gra­na­da. How to mix it: 2 parts white rum, 2 parts gua­va juice, 1 part lemon juice and some cane sugar. All shaken well and ser­ved over ice.

And what goes bet­ter with that than a David­off from Nica­ra­gua. Our Robus­to has a 50/64” ring gau­ge and a length of 5″. A Nica­ra­gua Puro with a flaw­less H 2000 Rosa­do wrap­per, a Jala­pa bin­der and a Lige­ro fil­ler. A per­fect­ly made cigar, albeit too mild for a Nica­ra­gu­an cigar to our liking. Per­fect burn and draw resis­tance, as expec­ted from Davidoff.

A per­fect com­bi­na­ti­on, you should try it!


Arturo Fuente Flor Fina Maduro
Arturo Fuen­te Flor Fina Maduro

2022/07/30
The name 8–5‑8 and the sil­ky, shi­ny, almost black wrap­per of this Arturo Fuen­te Flor Fina Madu­ro made us curious.

Car­los Fuen­te Jr.’s grand­fa­ther — Arturo Fuen­te — lived to be 85 years old. Arturo was instru­men­tal in the deve­lo­p­ment of this cigar and so the cigar was named in his honor after the age at his death. And in such a way that it can be read from both sides: 858.

Alre­a­dy in 2011 the 8–5‑8 was coun­ted among the “Best Bar­gain” cigars by the Cigar Afi­ci­o­na­do. And that still appli­es today.

Our Coro­na Gran­de has a ring gau­ge of 48/64″ and a length of 6″. The Afri­can wrap­per comes from Cameroon, the bin­der and the fil­ler from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

A mild and aro­ma­tic 1 hour smo­ke with aro­mas of tea lea­ves, honey, cedar and pep­per. A well-con­s­truc­ted cigar with an opti­mal draw and straight burn, rated 89.


Panetelas Extra by Rafael Gonzalez
Panet­elas Extra by Rafa­el Gonzalez

2022/07/12
Today we would like to intro­du­ce you to the third inex­pen­si­ve Cuban cigar. After the two short fil­lers, we have a com­ple­te­ly hand­ma­de medi­um fil­ler from Rafa­el Gonzales.

In 1928, Spa­nish noble­man Mar­quez Rafa­el Gon­za­les foun­ded the “Flor de Mar­quez” brand exclu­si­ve­ly for the Bri­tish mar­ket. In the 1930s, the brand was acqui­red by the Rey del Mun­do Com­pa­ny. It was only after the Second World War that the brand was ren­a­med Rafa­el Gon­za­les. Zino David­off alre­a­dy recom­men­ded this brand in one of his books for the pri­va­te humi­dor, which should not be miss­ing under any cir­cum­s­tances. At the begin­ning of the 1960s, the brand dis­ap­peared from the mar­ket and was not pro­du­ced again until 1965, rea­ching an export share of 3% in the 2000s.

The cigars from the Vuel­ta Aba­jo by Rafa­el Gon­za­les are ide­al for an inex­pen­si­ve ent­ry into the world of Cuban pre­mi­um cigars.

Unfort­u­na­te­ly, we were only able to find three cigars. We will try them in the next few days and of cour­se report back to you.


Panetelas Extra by Rafael Gonzalez
Panet­elas Extra by Rafa­el Gonzalez

2022/07/14
We alre­a­dy intro­du­ced the pre-revo­lu­tio­na­ry Cuban brand Rafa­el Gon­za­lez. Now we have also tried the small Panet­elas Extra.

A deli­ca­te for­mat with a ring gau­ge of just 37/64″ and a length of 5″. It is a com­ple­te­ly hand-made so-cal­led medi­um fil­ler. A medi­um fil­ler is qua­li­ta­tively clas­si­fied bet­ween short fil­ler and long fil­ler. The short fil­ler con­sists of very small tob­ac­co resi­dues, while the medi­um fil­ler con­sists of the torn, imper­fect lea­ves from the pro­duc­tion of long fil­lers. Long fil­ler and medi­um fil­ler hard­ly dif­fer qualitatively.

In the first half the cigar strug­g­led with an uneven burn, which howe­ver cor­rec­ted its­elf. One of our cigars had a very strong draw resis­tance, the other two were hea­vy but accep­ta­ble. The smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment was mode­ra­te in the first half, but then satisfactory.

The­re were ear­thy and nut­ty fla­vors to tas­te. A 20 minu­te smo­ke that whe­ts the appe­ti­te for Rafa­el Gon­za­lez’ lar­ger formats.


Plasencia 149 Cosecha Privada La Vega Robusto
Pla­sen­cia 149 Cosecha Priva­da La Vega Robusto

8. Juli 2022
Today a cigar from one of the lar­gest cigar manu­fac­tu­r­ers in the world. Pla­sen­cia is pri­ma­ri­ly a manu­fac­tu­rer for more than 30 major brands with an annu­al pro­duc­tion of over 50 mil­li­on cigars. It was pro­du­ced for Rocky Patel and Alec Brad­ley, but Casa de Tor­res also came from there.

The che­cke­red and dra­ma­tic histo­ry began in 1865 when Edu­ar­do Pla­sen­cia emi­gra­ted from the Cana­ry Islands to Cuba and began gro­wing tobacco.

In 1963 his farm was con­fis­ca­ted by the Cas­tro regime. The fami­ly fled first to Mexi­co and then to Nica­ra­gua in 1965. When the Nica­ra­gu­an revo­lu­ti­on swept the coun­try, the fields of the Pla­sen­ci­as were also bur­ned down and the fami­ly had to flee again in 1978. This time to Hon­du­ras. So far only tob­ac­co has been grown. In 1986 the fami­ly star­ted cigar production.

In 1990 the fami­ly retur­ned to Nica­ra­gua but kept the farms in Honduras.

In 2017, their own cigar brand “Pla­sen­cia” was launched.

We will try them and report!


Plasencia 149 Cosecha Privada La Vega Robusto
Pla­sen­cia 149 Cosecha Priva­da La Vega Robusto

2022/07/11
This Mon­day mor­ning we smo­ked our La Vega Robus­tos 149 Cosecha from Pla­sen­cia. We have alre­a­dy repor­ted on the dra­ma­tic histo­ry of Pla­sen­cia.
Our Robus­to is an annu­al cigar and is rol­led from the tob­ac­cos of the 149th har­ve­st (149 Cosecha) of the fami­ly. The 149th har­ve­st comes from 2014 and matu­red 7 years befo­re it was rol­led in 2021.

This Hon­du­ras Puro is a blend made exclu­si­ve­ly from the tob­ac­cos of their own Hon­d­uran plan­ta­ti­ons and has a ring gau­ge of 52/64″ with a length of 5″. We par­ti­cu­lar­ly lik­ed the dark, sil­ky, flaw­less wrapper.

It was a very spi­cy, medi­um-strong 45-minu­te smo­ke that bur­ned opti­mal­ly with a good draw. We could tas­te both ear­thy and roas­ted aro­mas pai­red with a nice sweetness.

A well-made cigar that we real­ly enjoy­ed. We will cer­tain­ly also try the Toro (Azacual­pa) from this series when we have the opportunity.


Guantanamera Cristale from ICT
Guan­tan­ame­ra Cris­tale from ICT

2022/06/22
Cheap Cuban cigars, do they exist? Yes, albeit with scar­ci­ty value!

Of cour­se the­re is a dif­fe­rence with the big expen­si­ve brands. We have found three for you and will pre­sent them to you in the next few days and then of cour­se also test them.

Today the che­a­pest makes the begin­ning. It is the Cris­tales from Guan­tan­ame­ra from the ICT fac­to­ry (Com­pa­ny Inter­na­cio­nal Cuba­na de Taba­co) in Hava­na, which went into ope­ra­ti­on in 2001. The Guan­tan­ame­ra was ama­zin­gly laun­ched by Haba­nos SA for the first time in 2002 at the Inter-Tabac trade fair in Dort­mund, Ger­ma­ny. In 2005, the Guan­tan­ame­ra was remo­ved from the Haba­nos SA pro­gram and has sin­ce been manu­fac­tu­red and dis­tri­bu­ted by ICT direct­ly under the Haba­nos S.A. license.

This cigar should not be con­fu­sed with the cigar of the same name from Miami, USA. The US ver­si­on is a hand-rol­led longfil­ler pre­mi­um cigar that was laun­ched in 1997.

We will report whe­ther this very inex­pen­si­ve Cuban cigar is worth try­ing. Stay tuned!


 
Guantanamera Cristale from ICT
Guan­tan­ame­ra Cris­tale from ICT

2022/06/26
Today we tack­led our first machi­ne-made (Meca­niz­ado) Hava­na. It comes in a trans­pa­rent pla­s­tic tube. It’s the Guan­tan­ame­ra Cris­tales. We intro­du­ced you to the manu­fac­tu­rer of this cigar, the Inter­na­cio­nal Cuba­na de Taba­cos (ICT), a few days ago.

It is actual­ly a Cuban Puro, albeit a short fil­ler, with tob­ac­cos from the Vuel­ta Arri­ba area, cen­tral Cuba. It has a ring gau­ge of 41/64″ and a length of almost 6″.

So how was it, the che­a­pest Cuban cigar available on the mar­ket? The cold smell is sur­pri­sin­gly sweet, like honey, so typi­cal of Cuba. The draw was light and the burn was very straight with very good smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment. We found ear­thy and woo­dy aro­mas, beco­ming more inten­se and flo­ral towards the end.
A mild, typi­cal­ly Cuban, 50-minu­te smo­ke at an unbeata­ble pri­ce. Neat but of cour­se not com­pa­ra­ble to the Longfil­lers of the big brands.


Cazadores by Jose L. Piedra
Cazado­res by Jose L. Piedra

2022/06/23
Today the second inex­pen­si­ve Hava­na cigar that we cho­se for our test: the Cazado­res by Jose L. Piedra.

The Pie­dra fami­ly arri­ved from Spain in the 1880s and sett­led in the city of San­ta Cla­ra in Cuba, in the Reme­di­os regi­on in the tob­ac­co-gro­wing area of the Vuel­ta Arri­ba, whe­re tob­ac­co has been grown sin­ce the 16th cen­tu­ry. In the second gene­ra­ti­on, José Lam­a­drid Pie­tra deve­lo­ped the brand that bears his name today. All for­mats are short fil­ler and are made enti­re­ly by hand. Our cigar is named after the spe­cial for­mat Cazado­res that can also be found at Romeo y Julieta.

J. L. Pie­dra cigars were extre­me­ly popu­lar in the United Sta­tes until the Ame­ri­can trade embar­go against Cuba in 1962. In 1990 the brand was com­ple­te­ly dis­con­tin­ued due to the embar­go. In 1996 it was rein­tro­du­ced and in 1999 it was also laun­ched on the Ger­man market.

If you have smo­ked a Pie­dra befo­re, how did you like it? Let us know. We will also try them in the next few days and report to you!


Cazadores by Jose L. Piedra.
Cazado­res by Jose L. Piedra.

2022/07/03
A few days ago we alre­a­dy repor­ted about the manu­fac­tu­rer of our Cazado­res — Jose L. Pie­dra. Now we have tried them too.

This inex­pen­si­ve Cuban Puro with a 43/64” ring gau­ge and 6″ in length gave us a 3/4 hour smoke.

The fil­ler with the bin­der are machi­ne-made in this short fil­ler. The wrap­per then rol­led by hand.

The draw was quite chal­len­ging for some of our cigars, but still accep­ta­ble. The burn was abso­lut­e­ly straight and even. For a short fil­ler, the dark ash was very solid and took a third to fall.

The pea­ty and sweet fla­vors beco­me more and more inten­se towards the end.
A smo­ke that is sui­ta­ble for ever­y­day use, quite powerful and also extre­me­ly inexpensive.


Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente King T Tubo
Arturo Fuen­te Cha­teau Fuen­te King T Tubo

2022/06/14
A dea­ler we trust recom­men­ded some­thing spe­cial to us. Here it is: the Arturo Fuen­te Cha­teau Fuen­te King T Tubo.

Also known as Cha­teau de la Fuen­te, the famous fami­ly farm of the Fuen­tes is loca­ted in the heart of the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. This out­stan­ding cigar series now bears its name: Cha­teau Fuente.

Hand­craf­ted in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic, the­se cigars come in 3 varie­ties: Natu­ral, Madu­ro and Sun Grown. Our “King” in the for­mat of a Chur­chill has a gol­den natu­ral wrapper.

We also lik­ed her straight away becau­se of her magni­fi­cent­ly desi­gned tubo. Just an eye-cat­cher. We are curious to see if it jus­ti­fies the pre­sen­ta­ti­on and the pri­ce. We will burn them up and report to you. Stay tuned!


Arturo Fuente King T Tubo,
Arturo Fuen­te King T Tubo,

2022/06/18
Now we have devo­ted our full atten­ti­on to this rather expen­si­ve exam­p­le of a pre­mi­um cigar: the Arturo Fuen­te King T Tubo, the lar­gest cigar from the Cha­teau series of the same name. Until the “King T” Fuen­te had not released any cigars in a tube apart from the limi­t­ed God of Fire series.

The King T, a Chur­chill for­mat with a ring gau­ge of 49/64″ and a length of 7″ is manu­fac­tu­red at Taba­ca­lera A. Fuen­te y Cia in Sant­ia­go, Domi­ni­can Repu­blic. The flaw­less, shi­ny Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de wrap­per comes from the USA and enca­ses the Domi­ni­can tob­ac­co lea­ves of the bin­der and the filler.

It is rol­led tight and still has a very good dra­wing beha­vi­or. We could guess aro­mas of oak and cedar, a cer­tain honey sweet­ness and pepper.

The ela­bo­ra­te tube, not the cigar its­elf, is pro­ba­b­ly respon­si­ble for the high pri­ce. Nevert­hel­ess, an aro­ma­tic, mild smo­ke for almost 1 ½ hours from a real­ly flaw­less­ly made cigar.
Our Vechh­hia Roma­gna Bran­dy from Ita­ly went per­fect­ly with this.


Matilde Serena
Matil­de Serena

2022/06/13
With an annu­al pro­duc­tion of over 50 mil­li­on pie­ces, the Taba­ca­lera de Gar­ciá in La Roma­na in the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic is pro­ba­b­ly the lar­gest cigar fac­to­ry in the world. Among other brands, the non-Cuban ver­si­ons of Romeo y Julie­ta and Mon­te­cris­to are rol­led in it.

When José Sei­jas left the com­pa­ny in 2012 after 40 as mana­ging direc­tor, he foun­ded his own com­pa­ny, the La Matil­de Cigar Com­pa­ny, in 2013. The name goes back to the 19th cen­tu­ry cigar fac­to­ry “La Matil­de” in Sant­ia­go. The fac­to­ry clo­sed when foun­der Sime­on Men­cia died in 1910. José Sei­jas acqui­red the rights to this then important brand.

In 2014 the Matil­de Sere­na came onto the mar­ket. Sere­na means calm and peaceful, making it a mild medi­um-bodi­ed cigar. The Sere­na has a wrap­per from Ecua­dor. The gre­at suc­cess of this series and to ensu­re access to the­se wrap­pers, led the com­pa­ny to move pro­duc­tion to Ecuador.

We will test them and report!


Matilde Serena Toro Bravo
Matil­de Sere­na Toro Bravo

2022/06/16
A few days ago we alre­a­dy repor­ted on the ori­gin of the Matil­de Sere­na series. Now we have also smo­ked the “Matil­de Sere­na Toro Bravo”.

The quite impres­si­ve pie­ce has a ring gau­ge of 54/64″ and a length of 6 ½”. Very few veins are visi­ble in the sil­ky Con­nec­ti­cut wrap­per from Ecua­dor. The bin­der and the fil­ler come from the Domi­ni­can Republic.

The cigar gives very litt­le when squeezed. The aro­ma of the wrap­per is a com­bi­na­ti­on of sweet­ness, pep­per and espres­so and pro­mi­ses a good smoke.

The draw was too light for my tas­te, but that is of cour­se a purely sub­jec­ti­ve per­cep­ti­on. The burn was straight as a cand­le with a lush deve­lo­p­ment of smo­ke. The first third was very mild and we could only detect a hint of fla­vors. From the second third it beca­me signi­fi­cant­ly stron­ger and more aro­ma­tic with notes of green pep­per, hay and a cer­tain sweet­ness remi­nis­cent of bananas.

A good 90 minu­te smo­ke at a very good pri­ce-per­for­mance ratio.


Exquisit Sublimes from the Dingelstädt cigar factory in the former GDR
Exqui­sit Sub­li­mes from the Din­gel­städt cigar fac­to­ry in the for­mer GDR6. Juni 2022

2022/06/06
Some­thing nost­al­gic today. We were able to find a box (boxing date 1980) of Exqui­sit Sub­li­mes from the Din­gel­städt cigar fac­to­ry in the for­mer GDR.

In 1910 the Ber­lin cigar fac­to­ry Neu­mann set up a branch in the Din­gel­städ­ter Müh­le. In the 1930s, 2,500 peo­p­le were alre­a­dy employ­ed the­re, making it the lar­gest com­pa­ny in the Ger­man tob­ac­co indus­try. In 1938 the com­pa­ny was “arya­ni­zed” by the Natio­nal Socia­lists and taken over by the Mar­tin Brink­mann com­pa­ny for 1.2 mil­li­on Marks, in order to be imme­dia­te­ly pas­sed on to the Gil­de­mann cigar factories.

After the Second World War, the fac­to­ry was now in the Soviet-occu­p­ied part of Ger­ma­ny and was expro­pria­ted and beca­me a sta­te enter­pri­se. Initi­al­ly, dome­stic tob­ac­cos were pro­ces­sed until the import rest­ric­tions were lifted at the end of the 1950s. In 1961 the manu­al work was aban­do­ned and the cigars were now most­ly machi­ne-made. We will test it.


Exquisit Sublimes from the Dingelstädt cigar factory in the former GDR
Exqui­sit Sub­li­mes from the Din­gel­städt cigar fac­to­ry in the for­mer GDR

2022/06/09
After a few days in the humi­dor, we dared to try the Exqui­sit Sub­li­mes from the VEB Cigar Fac­to­ry Din­gel­städt from the for­mer GDR.

We were able to date it to 1980 as the box had a boxing date. From 1961, cigars were no lon­ger rol­led by hand, but made by machi­ne. Our Sub­li­mes is the­r­e­fo­re a machi­ne-rol­led short fil­ler, as you can cle­ar­ly see from our cut example.

It has a ring gau­ge of 26/64″ and a length of just over 5″ and is box pressed.

Tob­ac­co has been impor­ted from the GDR again sin­ce the ear­ly 1960s. Our rese­arch show­ed that it is in all likeli­hood Bra­zi­li­an tob­ac­co. But that’s just a guess. May­be one of our fol­lo­wers knows more.

The cigar is rol­led tight­ly, draw, burn and smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment were good. We could­n’t guess any more aro­mas. It was defi­ni­te­ly an almost half-hour histo­ry-char­ged smoke.


 
cigar of the year 2013 limited edition from John Aylesbury
cigar of the year 2013 limi­t­ed edi­ti­on from John Aylesbury

2022/05/30
Our mem­ber Sven @der_lorenzi visi­ted us and brought us a very rare cigar of the year 2013 limi­t­ed edi­ti­on from John Aylesbury.

We did­n’t know the cigar and wan­ted to know who this John Ayl­es­bu­ry is.

We rese­ar­ched and came across a group of curr­ent­ly 48 owner-mana­ged tob­ac­co retail­ers that have given them­sel­ves this name. This group was foun­ded in 1974 by then 5 owners of well-known tob­ac­co­nists from Ger­ma­ny. Among other things, this asso­cia­ti­on exclu­si­ve­ly car­ri­es a ran­ge of pipe tob­ac­cos and cigars from the John Ayl­es­bu­ry brand. But who was this John?

The first tob­ac­co that this group brought to the mar­ket came from the renow­ned fami­ly com­pa­ny Johann Wil­helm von Eicken, i.e. from John. This com­pa­ny had a pro­duc­tion faci­li­ty in Ayl­es­bu­ry, England.

Voi­la, John from Aylesbury !

As soon as we have com­ple­ted our smo­ke we will report on this cigar. Stay tuned!


The John Aylesbury 2013 limited edition
The John Ayl­es­bu­ry 2013 limi­t­ed edition

2022/06/01
This after­noon we des­troy­ed it smo­king, the John Ayl­es­bu­ry 2013 limi­t­ed edi­ti­on. Each year the group choo­ses a cigar maker to make a spe­cial cigar to cele­bra­te the group’s anni­ver­sa­ry. A small batch of this cigar tur­ned up at Pfei­fen Huber @pfeifenhuber in Munich. So the cigar is 9 years old.

We mea­su­red it and came up with a ring gau­ge of 54/64″ and a length of 6″. It is a Domi­ni­can puro with a fil­ler blend of Coro­jo, Criol­lo and Negri­to, a Negri­to bin­der. The wrap­per was grown from Cuban seeds accor­ding to a secret source.

The cold smell exu­des a plea­sant sweet­ness. The draw was extre­me­ly light and it ten­ded to burn croo­ked­ly, but this cor­rec­ted its­elf each time. For a Domi­mi­can Puro, a very strong, pep­pery smo­ke that our mem­ber Sven @der_lorenzi brought us. Thanks!


 
Big Johnny" by Oscar Valladares
Big John­ny” by Oscar Valladares

2022/05/28
Here is a tru­ly sta­te­ly cigar, the “Big John­ny” by Oscar Val­l­a­da­res with a ring gau­ge of 66/64″ and a length of 8″.

It was only the second line from Oscar and con­ta­ins the same blend as “The Leaf Madu­ro”. This blend was ori­gi­nal­ly crea­ted for a good Pitts­burgh cli­ent. The customer’s name was John­ny and he gave his name to this tru­ly gigan­tic vito­la. Here, too, Oscar Val­l­a­da­res has come up with some­thing new and spe­cial. The cigar band is made from paper made from the fibers of tob­ac­co leaves.

Val­l­a­da­res refers to his eccen­tric as “Tri­ple Toro”. That should defi­ni­te­ly cor­re­spond to the amount of tob­ac­co used. So not for the faint of heart. As soon as we have enough time, we will des­troy this giant and of cour­se we will tell you about it!


Oscar Valladares' "Big Johnny".
Oscar Val­l­a­da­res’ “Big Johnny”.

2022/05/29
Last night we took our time and lit this giant: Oscar Val­l­a­da­res’ “Big Johnny”.

This huge vito­la with a ring gau­ge of 66/64″ — that’s actual­ly more than 1″ — and a length of 8″ saw the light of day in 2015. It is wrap­ped in a Jala­pa wrap­per from Nica­ra­gua. The fil­ler and the bin­der come from Hon­du­ras. So the same blend as the Leaf Madu­ra by Oscar, just ever­y­thing more and bigger!

We had almost three hours of fun on this smooth, fla­vorful giant stick. The aro­mas were varied, from roas­ted aro­mas to cof­fee and nuts. The smo­ke was huge, the burn and the draw beha­vi­or were flawless.

We also had an ice-cold Raki from Tur­key. The Raki is distil­led twice. The first distil­ling of gra­pes and rai­sins, then anis­eed are added and the who­le thing is distil­led again. Ours then came into oak bar­rels for ano­ther 5 years.


 
“The Leaf Connecticut” by Valladares.
“The Leaf Con­nec­ti­cut” by Valladares.

2022/05/20
Some­thing spe­ci­al­ly packa­ged today: the Hon­du­ras Puro “The Leaf Con­nec­ti­cut” from Valladares.

Oscar Val­a­da­res work­ed in the tou­rism indus­try. One day he was sup­po­sed to pick up some “grin­gos” from the air­port. One of tho­se “grin­gos” was Rocky Patel. That was the begin­ning of a fri­end­ship. After rea­li­zing what a cigar con­nois­seur Oscar was, Rocky Patel then per­sua­ded him to work for him. After nine years, Oscar foun­ded a tra­ding com­pa­ny for cigars in 2012 tog­e­ther with his brot­her Hec­tor. When he met Bay­ron Duar­te, who had work­ed Oli­va and others, the now three com­pa­n­ions deci­ded to set up their own manufactory.

They initi­al­ly wrap­ped their cigars in ano­ther wrap­per. This ser­ves as pro­tec­tion during trans­port and is inten­ded to pro­mo­te the matu­ring pro­cess at the same time.

With his remar­kab­le ide­as, Oscar Val­l­a­da­res has quick­ly beco­me one of the most inno­va­ti­ve entre­pre­neurs in the industry.

Of cour­se we will tas­te the Leaf and report about it.


“The Leaf Connecticut” by Valladares.
“The Leaf Con­nec­ti­cut” by Valladares.

2022/05/24
It was with gre­at exci­te­ment that we defo­li­a­ted it today from its tob­ac­co leaf, which ser­ves as pack­a­ging ins­tead of a cel­lo­pha­ne wrap­per: Oscar Val­l­a­da­res’ “The Leaf Connecticut”.

It is a Hon­du­ras Puro with a very nice, sil­ky, shi­ny Con­nec­ti­cut Sha­de wrap­per. This Toro has a ring gau­ge of 52/64” and is 6” long.

It feels tight and even­ly rol­led. It bur­ned very even­ly with opti­mal draw beha­vi­or and gave us an enjoya­ble one-hour smo­king experience.

We could tas­te citrus aro­mas and a nice sweet­ness in the first third. Lea­ther and wood aro­mas then domi­na­ted in the second third. The enorm­ous cre­a­my smo­ke deve­lo­p­ment during the enti­re smo­ke is to be emphasized.

If you see this cigar, which is rather rare in Ger­ma­ny, grab it! Worth it!!


 
Patoro VA Salomones
Pato­ro VA Salomones

2022/05/12
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.


Salomones VA by Patoro
Salo­mo­nes VA by Patoro

2022/05/16
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

2022/05/14
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.


Cusano cigars
Cus­a­no cigars

2022/04/28
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.


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

2022/04/29
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 Bundles Dominican Republic
Cus­a­no Bund­les Domi­ni­can Republic

2022/04/29
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.


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

2022/04/05
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.


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

2022/04/06
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.


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

2022/04/23
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

2022/04/14
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.


Fake Cohiba
Fake Cohi­ba

2022/04/17
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.


Casa de Torres Pipa
Casa de Tor­res Pipa

2022/04/09
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.


Casa de Torres Pipa
Casa de Tor­res Pipa

2022/04/12
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 Rauchvergnügen German engineered Cigars #62
Ger­man Engi­nee­red Cigars:: RVGN Rauch­ver­gnü­gen (smo­king plea­su­re) #62

2022/04/07
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!


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

2022/04/10
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!


Heimatzigarre No. 8
Hei­mat­zi­gar­re No. 8

2022/04/02
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!


Heimatzigarre No. 8
Hei­mat­zi­gar­re No. 8

2022/04/03
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.


 
Nordlicht Sampler
Nord­licht Sampler

2022/03/17
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.


Magnum
Nord­licht Magnum

2022/03/18
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 Short Torpedo Maduro
Nord­licht Short Tor­pe­do Maduro

2022/03/23
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.


Nordlicht Gordo paired with Sambuca
Nord­licht Gordo mit einem Sam­bu­ca IL Santo

2022/03/27
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.


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

2022/03/22
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.


CAO Fuma em Corda
CAO Fuma em Corda

2022/03/08
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.


CAO Fuma em Corda
CAO Fuma em Corda

2022/03/15
We alre­a­dy repor­ted last week about the “Fuma em Corda” from CAO and its exo­tic style with its Bra­gan­ca tob­ac­co lea­ves from the Bra­zi­li­an rain­fo­rest. Now we’­ve let them go up in smo­ke, too.

This mild to strong cigar gave us a good hour of exo­tic plea­su­re. The some­what irre­gu­lar burn could always be easi­ly cor­rec­ted. The draw resis­tance was con­sis­t­ent­ly good. We could guess aro­mas of lea­ther, pep­per and earth. This was accom­pa­nied by quite sweet notes of cara­mel and chocolate.

A real­ly exo­tic loo­king and rare cigar that we got the chan­ce to tas­te here. We think it’s defi­ni­te­ly worth grab­bing one if you can find it. A good smo­ke to remember.


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

2022/03/05
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.


Vecchia Romagna plus Asylum 13
Vec­chia Roma­gna mit einer Asyl­um 13

2022/03/07
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

2022/03/04
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!


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

2022/03/06
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.


Zigarrenmanufaktur Dresden: Cabrera Amistad 407
Zigar­ren­ma­nu­fak­tur Dres­den: Cabre­ra Amistad 407

2022/02/26
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!


Zigarrenmanufaktur Dresden Cabrera Amistad 407
Zigar­ren­ma­nu­fak­tur Dres­den: Cabre­ra Amistad 407

2022/03/02
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!


Toscano Antico
Tos­ca­no Antico

2022/02/15
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!


The Clint Eastwood Cigar: Toscano Antico
Tos­ca­no Antico

2022/02/27
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!


Casa de Torres Churchill
Casa de Tor­res Churchill

2022/02/19
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

2022/02/17
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.


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

2022/02/11
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

2022/02/10
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

2022/02/09
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

2022/02/08
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

2022/02/06
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.


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

2022/01/31
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.


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

2022/02/02
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.


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

2022/01/07
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.


La Bavaria Salomones
La Bava­ria Salomones

2022/01/09
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.


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

2022/01/23
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

2022/01/28
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.


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

2022/01/19
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”.


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

2022/02/20
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.


Tequila Blanco by Espolòn plus Skelton Cigar
Tequi­la Blan­co von Espolòn und eine Skel­ton Zigarre

2022/01/12
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.


Skelton Robusto
Skel­ton Robusto

2022/01/17
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.


Skelton Toro
Skel­ton Toro

2022/03/09
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.


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

2022/01/14
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.


Winston Churchill Robustos von Davidoff
Win­s­ton Chur­chill Robus­tos von Davidoff

2022/01/08
I will try today what San­ta brought.

From my fri­ends a beau­tiful box of Win­s­ton Chur­chill Robus­tos by David­off from the “The Late Hour” series. The making of the cigar is just like the dark wrap­per from Ecua­dor a feast for the eyes. The 52/64” ring gau­ge is the cor­rect one for my age and is my favo­ri­te for­mat. I think it’s the best cigar in this series.

And a bot­t­le of eight-year-old Jamai­ca rum from the Hamp­den distil­lery from my daugh­ter. The spe­cial thing about this strong (92° pro­of) sin­gle rum is that no sugar is added, neither for colo­ring nor for sweetening. An ele­gant frui­ty rum with no frills


CigarKings Robusto Maduro
Cig­ar­Kings Robus­to Maduro

2022/01/06
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.


two Robusto kings - the Maduro and the Sun Grown
two Robus­to kings — the Madu­ro and the Sun Grown

2022/01/11
The­se two kings were abso­lut­e­ly on par. The two Robus­to kings — the Madu­ro and the Sun Grown — were abso­lut­e­ly equal oppon­ents. Both kings come from the same noble fami­ly from Nica­ra­gua. The armor of the kings is part­ly secret. It was the­r­e­fo­re an exci­ting duel bet­ween equal oppon­ents and it was a plea­su­re. The­re was no win­ner, but neither was the­re a loser. It won’t be the last round!


Don Vito from Il Padrino
Don Vito from Il Padrino

2022/12(06
Ever­y­thing arri­ved for our next tasting. Many thanks to our dea­ler Tab­ac­co­house Brink­mann for the fast and per­fect­ly packa­ged deli­very. This time we want to try a five-year-old long fil­ler from Cos­ta Rica, the Don Vito from Il Padri­no. We will report.


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

2021/12/12
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.


Il Padrino Don Vito
Il Padri­no Don Vito

2022/01/15
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.


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

2021/12/10
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

2021/10/05
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

2021/10/03
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 — Wel­cher Grap­pa zur H. Upmann Con­nos­sieur No. 2?

2021/09/15
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.


 
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