Trinidad Coloniales

Posted: 28th November 2010 by Shawn in Cuban Cigars, Trinidad

Trinidad Coloniales 44 x 5.1”

Well its a cold day here in Canada and I don’t have a lot of time on my plate, but at the very least I figured if I was going to smoke a cigar, I could do a quick review.

I’ve had mixed feelings about Petite Coronas for a while as they are slender and often flavourful, but because of their size have shorter smoking times and sometimes burn rather hot. Nonetheless, I’ve decided to give one a shot using the Trinidad Coloniales as my weapon of choice.

Taking a closer look at the cigar, the wrapper is rather unremarkable and while it doesn’t have any stand out features beyond its golden brown hue with oiled hints, it doesn’t have any large veining or other apparent imperfections. Construction appears to be rock solid leaving little to no give at all throughout the body of the cigar, an attribute that I find to be rather unusual for a vitola of this size.

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Illusione Holy Lance Maduro

Posted: 26th November 2010 by Shawn in Illusione, Non Cuban Cigars

Illusione Holy Lance Maduro 7.5 x 40

Some of you may now that I am a sucker for a lance, so after receiving this as an “extra” from a friend in a recent split, it was clear that this go up in smoke.

For those of you who don’t know, the Holy Lance Maduro was released by Illusione several months ago with in conjunction with the Candella wrapped cigar of the same size. Dion Giolito is said to have used both Corojo 99′ and Cirillo 98′ tobaccos in addition to the Nicaraguan grown Maduro wrapper. While it is unclear exactly which wrapper was used, it has a strong resemblance the Connecticut Broadleaf that I’ve seen on a number of Nicaraguan cigars as of late.

The look of the cigar it self is unique in a number of aspects. It borrows elements of beauty from its slender and elegant size, yet at the same time it is shrouded in this rustic powerful looking dark oily wrapper, quite reminiscent to the look of some well aged Cubans or vintage cigars. The wrapper has a number of notable features, the first being that it is quite course, both visually and when held in the hand. However, as rough as the wrapper is the midrib veining of leaf is barely visible and neither are the seams, in fact, the whole cigar appears to be otherwise flawless but this is more than likely due to its deep colouring.

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Ramon Allones Canadian Regional Edition

Posted: 23rd November 2010 by Shawn in Cuban Cigars, Ramon Allones

Ramon Allones Canadian Regional Edition Petit Unicos 5×50

EDIT: Due to this cigars poor construction issues, I will be revisiting this at a later date

Upon being given the chance to split on a box of these with a friend, I became rather excited as I’d never had a Ramon Allones before, never mind one specifically manufactured for with Canadian consumers in mind. The cigar business isn’t exactly bombing north of the 49th parallel as the taxes imposed on tobacco are quite high, so its nice to see we weren’t left out of the spot light by Habanos S.A.

Giving this cigar a more in-depth look, its easy to see that it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, the wrapper is a caramel golden brown that is molted in some spots and is adorned with a lovely rustic looking band. The aspect that really captures my eye however is the veining, the midrib of the leaf used in the wrapper is virtually non-existent, there are a few sunspots but for the most part it is imperfection free. Another characteristic worth noting is how hefty this cigar feels in the hand, given its size it is packed quite firmly with little give to the body and the seams are barely tangible beneath my fingertips.

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Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 2

Posted: 22nd November 2010 by Shawn in Cuban Cigars, Hoyo De Monterrey

Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 2 – 4.8×50

When I think of elegance and cigars, Robustos generally aren’t the first vitola that come to mind, this one however has something unique. To begin with, the wrapper is an attractive rich reddish-brown hue that’s just left my mouth-watering, I’m thinking perhaps this is because the colouring is slightly reminiscent of Belgian truffles I used to frequent as a child, all things aside, it is a pleasure to look at. In addition to its rich colour, the wrapper has very fine characteristics, few veins are visible, there aren’t any apparent patches, sunspots and or other imperfection, this is a beautiful cigar right down to band. As far as construction is concerned, the seams are tight and the pack is next to rock solid so I have high hopes that it will burn well.

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Tatuaje Black Robusto

Posted: 18th November 2010 by Shawn in Non Cuban Cigars, Tatuaje

Tatuaje Black Robusto 5×50

Modelled on a custom rolled Cuban cigar, the original inception of the Tatuaje Black line was as Pete Johnson’s private label, but in 2007 is was released in ceramic jars of 19 to specific retailers until shady activity was carried out by the relaters ceasing the sale of these hard to find cigars. Today they can generally only be found at events which Pete Johnson attends, or online in auctions.

An examination of the cigar shows the wrapper to be a light brown colour reminiscent of milk chocolate with a burled hue in places, the veining is minimal and largely free of imperfection although there is the odd spot in the wrapper. The filler was bunched well and the cigar rolled tightly as the body has little give and the head is capped with a nipple atop an intricate triple cap.

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NHC Seleccion Limitada Reserva

Posted: 17th November 2010 by Shawn in Non Cuban Cigars, Tatuaje

NHC Seleccion Limitada Reserva 6 ¾ x 42

A collaboration between Pete Johnson of Tatuaje cigars and Dan Walsh of New Havana Cigars (NHC) to produce a “house blend” Nicaraguan Puro that offered both Nicaraguan Habano (Natural) and a Nicaraguan Broadleaf (Reserva) wrappers. Above all else, the thing I find most intriguing about these cigars is they way they are packaged. Instead of selling the blends separately, NHC instead decided to offer both together in boxes of 40 splitting the contents between 20 natural wrappers and 20 reservas – whole boxes of either can also be purchased but they must be first opened to allow for the switch.
Writers note: You may notice that I’ve opted to use a less than fashionable crystal ashtray for this review, I did this as part of a gag between a friend and I that suggested I do a “retro” review, stemming back to the days before I had a proper ash tray, hope you enjoy the cheese ball factor :)

At first glance, the wrapper is so richly coloured and oiled that I’m tempted to just set the foot alight and skip the review all together, however, after a closer look, I spotted some rather rough-looking veins running along the back of the cigar, something that I’m not regularly accustomed to seeing in a reserva. Despite the unusual veining, there are no other visible imperfections and the cigar appears to have been bunched well quite well and rolled tightly leaving little give between the fingers, though this is somewhat expected as it appear to be a box press.

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Tatuaje Verocu No. 1 Exclusivo Lado Occidental (West Side) 6 ¼ x 52

In light of being a Tat whore recently, I’ve decided to continue the trend!

Like its sister stick, the Zona del Este (which I reviewed here [url][/url]) It was based on the same Tatuaje Havana VI but also used Ligero in the filler and a Cafe Rosado Oscuro Wrapper to add to its strength and complexity. In a move rumoured to mimic the Cuban regional releases, the Verocu No. 1 was released to the West coast of the united states spawning the “Westie” nickname, while the Verocu No. 2 was released to the East coast, like wise giving it the “Eastie” disambiguation.

A closer look a this richly coloured oily chocolate brown wrapper reveals impeccable quality control, while there is some molted colouring to the leaf and a few minor cracks – which I’m sure are more than likely due to storage – I only see minimal veining, smooth seems and well formed triple cap. Adding to its good looks, the cigar is packed well with that slight bit of give I look for between the fingers.

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Tatuaje Drac

Posted: 12th November 2010 by Shawn in Non Cuban Cigars, Tatuaje

To many people, there is no better feeling than the liberation of a day or two off at weeks end. The  majority of us toil away long days throughout the work week spending valuable time wishing we were doing something other than picking away at the grind bit by bit, but when the weekend finally comes we tend to celebrate with one form of rituals or another. For some its spending time with family/kids, watching sports or firing up the BBQ, but for me there are few better ways to kick off the weekend than to sit down with good drink a quality cigar, a past time I’m sure most of can agree with, so today I’ll share a little of my experience with you.

Tatuaje Drac

Last years Halloween release from the infamous Tatuaje Monster series, I’ll save for the intro as most of you already know all about the line and/or this cigar, but to those who are new to the game, information on this cigar can be found only a click away here so lets dive right into this!

The Drac is a largish torpedo @ 6.74×52 – which oddly resembles a steak, though I’m sure is intentional – sporting a lovely Ecuadorian Habano maduro wrapper, with both a Nicaraguan binder and filler. It has been some time since this cigar was released, a year and almost two weeks now and not often is it that I see a cigar retain this amount of oil in the leaf. It is bountiful, rich and dazzling in the sunlight – I am excited to light this. In addition to the wrappers appearance, construction appears to be okay, at a glance there are no patches, large veins, or defects in the wrapper that would be of concern, also the cigar is packed well offering little give.

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Carlito 2006 God of Fire Double Robusto 5.7X 52

Given the price point of this cigar, I am not overly impressed with its appearance at first glance. A golden brown wrapper adorns what is supposed be a crowning achievement of the A.F line, but instead of a flawless wrapper, fluid seems and a perfectly applied cap I’m seeing sun spots, several holes in the wrapper and sloppily applied cap. Regardless of appearance, construction seems to be OK for the most part, the tight seems are tight, there is little veining and the filler was bunched well leaving little give when pressed between the fingers.

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Tatuaje Pork Tenderloin

Posted: 8th November 2010 by Shawn in Non Cuban Cigars, Tatuaje

Delivered unassumingly in cellophane, without a band and nothing to distinguish it other than its rich dark wrapper and the small pigtail that adorns its triple cap, the Tatuaje Pork tenderloin is almost a cigar without the needs of introduction. The latest in Pete Johnson’s meat locker series, this is a robustoesque cigar measuring in at 5 1/8×52 and has been described as a “large J21”, although the blend, apparently based on the one used in the J21, would prove (at least to me) to be considerably different.

Upon closer inspection, the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper gives off that classic deep dark and oil hue, the kind of look that just makes your mouth water a tad when you take the cigar out of the wrapper – perhaps that is the idea behind the name 😉 Some large veining is apparent, but there are no other imperfections and the cigar is packed well with a nice give to the body, so I have doubts that there will be difficulty with the burn.

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