Juan Lopez Carribe Exclusivo 2008

Posted: 16th February 2011 by Shawn in Cuban Cigars, Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez Carribe Exclusivo 2008 50 x 5.0

I don’t expect that many reading this article for the first time would be all to familiar with the Juan Lopez brand, if you are however, I would guess that you are either well acquainted with Cuban cigars, or like myself, you spend far to much time visiting online cigar forums. Whatever the case may be, the Juan Lopez brand is probably one of the few remaining overlooked inexpensive (the regular production anyhow) and tasty gems in current production today. I hope you enjoy.

To see this cigar on the shelf, one may view it as unremarkable apart from the second band clarifying it as Caribbean Regional release. To the uneducated onlooker this may just be another Petit Piramides (short torpedo) with a red-brown hue. However, if that same on looker were to take that same cigar off the shelf, they may begin to notice that the wrapper has a bit of tooth to it, a feature only visible in better lighting. They might also notice that the wrapper is free of veining or spots and is expertly rolled around well packed filler leaf that gives the impression it would have a solid draw.

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Bolivar Royal Corona

Posted: 31st January 2011 by Shawn in Bolivar, Cuban Cigars

The Bolivar Royal Corona, talk about a unique regular production cigar. Often overlooked in favour of more popular family cigars such as the Belicosos finos or Coronas Gigantes and named as a Royal Corona despite being a classic robusto size (4 7/8 x 50), it more than manages to capture my interest.

Apart from its oddities, this short cigar has a unique elegance about it. There is little tooth to the wrapper and the veining is more prominent than I like but it has this rich golden brown colour I love, that coupled with the masterpiece that is the bolivar band and you’ve got visual magic, or at least that’s how I perceive it. Adding to the visual pleasantries, the cigar seems to be constructed firmly, giving little as I roll it between the fingers and shows no signs of under filling.

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Tatuaje J21

Posted: 26th January 2011 by Shawn in Non Cuban Cigars, Tatuaje

Tatuaje Reserva J21 5×50

For one to look at the dark oily wrapper that adorns the J21, it would be easy to mistake the aged Nicaraguan Corojo ligero for Connecticut Broadleaf – its hard to for me to get over how similar they look and feel.. As for the construction, the cigar is a tad light for a robusto but there appears to be no soft spots in the body. There is some moderate veining running the length of the wrapper but there are no patches and only some minor spotting as far as imperfections go.

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Barclay Rex 100th Anniversary

Posted: 19th January 2011 by Shawn in Non Cuban Cigars, Tatuaje

Barclay rex 100th Anniversary

Like the name implies, the Barclay Rex 100th Anniversary was produced by Tatuaje as part of its “Exclusive Series” to celebrate the shops 100th year in business. As for the specifics of this cigar, this is a Toro measuring in at 6×52 with a blend consisting of a Nicaraguan binder, filler and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The release it self was limited to Barclay Rex: Fine Tobacconists with only 195 cabinets of 25 for a total of just 4,875 cigars.

The Barclay Rex is relatively unique in that it has been wrapped in Connecticut Broad in addition to having both a covered foot and nippled head. As for its appearance, the deep, rich, dark, oily tones of the Connecticut Broad leaf shine deeply in the light of my desk lamp, although, this particular cigar doesn’t appear to have the toothy look I’ve seen on other Tatuajes with broadleaf. In fact, the wrapper is silky smooth, there isn’t allot of veining, discolouration or patches to be found, not that I would expect anything less from an exclusive release. As for the construction, this cigar has more heft in the hand than I’ve felt in a long while, its just solid, hopefully this is a good sign of things to come.

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Chaveta Corte Fino

Posted: 11th January 2011 by Shawn in Chaveta, Non Cuban Cigars

Chaveta Corona Gorda 5 5/8 x 46

Surprisingly, I’d actually heard nothing about this release until a friend of mine had asked me if I’d like to review some cigars for him back in November. At the time I’d had no idea what he even intended to send me but not being one to turn down the opportunity to try something new, I said yes. From what I can gather the Chaveta blend, it comprises a Nicagaguan/Dominican filler and Dominican binder all enclosed inside a Brazilian Bahia Maduro wrapper. The tobacco itself is rolled at the Don Leoncio Factory in the Dominican Republic (think Pinar Del Rio cigars) and comes in 5 sizes; Chuchill, Corona Gorda, Robusto, Toro, and a Torpedo. As for the name sake of the brand and the meaning of Corte Fino depicted on the wrapper, the Chaveta is the kinfe that Torcedors use to cut the tobacco leaf while working with it on the rolling table (this can actually be seen depicted on the band) and the words Corte Fino also depicted translate to Fine Cut, undoubtedly implying that the cigar is of utmost quality.

I think Chaveta Cigars may have been on to something when they decided to declare their product as “Corte Fino” because it is visually stunning. I’ve never seen an unaltered wrapper like this on a 6$ cigar before, its so oily and richly coloured that if you were to take band off it would not be hard to mistake this for an Anejo, I mean this really looks like something you’d see on a $15-20 cigar, I’m shocked. In addition to appearance, construction also shows promise as the body possesses quite a firm pack and has a nice spring when squeezed.

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Padron 44th Maduro 6 ¼ x 52

The Padron family reserve is a staple of Padron line and stands out in my mind as some of the best cigars around in the super premium/ultra super premium arena. I’ve not yet had a chance to smoke the 44th maduro myself, but I’ve talked to very few people that have negative things to say about this cigar, I hope it just lives up to the hype.

Taking the appearance of this box pressed Toro into consideration, it really a thing of beauty – credit to Pavlov’s observations, every time I see a cigar this dark, rich and oily my mouth waters just a tad. True to the legendary attention Padron pays to construction and quality this cigar is no exception. The wrapper is near to perfect with minimal mid rib veining and no spots or patches to be found, because it box pressed, the pack is extremely firm and I have no doubt this will make for a great draw.

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Romeo y Julieta Churchill

Posted: 20th December 2010 by Shawn in Cuban Cigars, Romeo y Julieta

Romeo y Julieta Chuchill 7 x 47

Perhaps as classic as the Montiecristo or Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta is one of the seemingly timeless and stoic Cuban brands that is perhaps best known for fathering the Churchill.

The appearance of the cigar is unique in that it possesses considerable size, yet it appears rather fragile given it has been aged for nearly a decade, as such, the wrapper has faded from it’s usual bright golden brown tone to a rather dusty and dirt coloured hue with a faded sheen. On a positive note, the wrapper does appears to be in good shape, the veining is rather minimal and I can’t pick out any sun spots, patches or other imperfections. Additionally, this Churchill appears to be quite well constructed, there is little to no give from the body and the seams are joined so tightly it almost gives the impression they are absent all together.

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Johnny O Sublime

Posted: 18th December 2010 by Shawn in Cuban Cigars, Johnny O

Johnny O sublime 6 1/2 x 54

The Johnny O’s were a brand of cigar – if you can call it a brand – that had eluded me until recently. It wasn’t until receiving receiving an asshanding of a bomb from a friend that I was finally given the chance to enjoy one of these smokes, but to me they remain shrouded in mystery. In months passed, I’d only heard blurbs about the Johnny O here and there, some sources said they were simply farm rolled Cuban Cigars, others pointed to a Cuban rolling school or academy as their origin. What ever the case, I know this much, they are Cuban and they are sought after.

Taking a closer look at the cigar, it appears to be a typical sublime. The wrapper sports a golden brown hue with an apparent lack of an oil sheen, the mid rib veining is moderate but I can’t spot any other imperfections and construction appears to be on the solid side with little give to the body.

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Ramon Allones Estupendos RE Asia Pacifico

Posted: 12th December 2010 by Shawn in Cuban Cigars, Ramon Allones

This was a quicky review conducted whilst I was moderately intoxicated so bear with me, its short and to the point :)

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Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario

Posted: 10th December 2010 by Shawn in Arturo Fuente, Cuban Cigars

Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario Cigars (Don Carlos 30th Anniversary or DC 30th) Double Robusto 5 ¾ x 52

This is a rather rare cigar made by Carlos Fuente Jr. in order to pay tribute to both his father and the 30th anniversary of Don Carlos Cigars. Originally the DC 30ths were unveiled at a charitable event benefiting the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation and were only sold off in special humidors commissioned by Fuente and Promethus that retailed at $6,500 each. There were only 100 such humidors produced containing 30 of each anniversary vitola for a total of 90 cigars. After having aged two years, these cigars were again be released by Prometheus in boxes of 9 as a 2008 Don Carlos Edicion De Aniversario with a more modest price tag of $299. Information regarding the blend is hit and miss but Carlos Fuente Jr. has said that it is not a regular Don Carlos cigar and that it was wrapped with a Dominican leaf as opposed to the regular Don Carlos Cameroon wrapper.

Upon examining the cigar I have to say this is one of the more nicely package cigars I’ve come across during my foray into this hobby. A large colorful and intricate two-part band adorns the upper half of the cigar with a cedar sleeve and a black band pointing to its Cameroon wrapper covers the bottom. Removing the cedar reveals the wrapper leaf to a muddied caramel colour with sleek features and rather diminutive mid rib veining. The construction concerns me slightly as there is almost no give at all in the body, but at the same time there doesn’t appear to be any imperfections.

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