Länge: 11.11Durchmesser: 1.59 TAM
I'm starting to develop a taste for maduros so I decided to see what the Cubans have to offer. At just under 4.4" with a ring gauge of 40 this is the smallest Maduro 5 and like any other Cohiba the construction is perfect. The wrapper is quite toothy and had a rich malty scent, the stick was very firmly packed, it was almost solid. Once cut the cold draw had a little resistance and an earthy taste. Once lit the initial taste was quite peppery but it soon settled down to almost tannic dry woody taste with none of the sweetness I have come to expect from a maduro. The burn was dead straight but it did require two relights, the ash dropped at about an inch which for me came at 20 minutes in. Around the 15 minute mark I had a little hint of liquorice which popped in and out occasionally and the pepper levels rose and fell as well but overall the flavour stayed the same. This cigar lasted me an hour and it left a lovely clean taste in my mouth but it didn't excite me. Sorry guys but when it comes to maduros the NCs have this one beat.
Länge: 15.24Durchmesser: 2.06 TAM
'Between 1958 and the early 1970s so many candela cigars were sold in the United States that the style became known as American Market Selection. During the 1970s, candelas fell out of favour and were largely replaced by cream-coloured cigars with Connecticut-shade style wrappers. They were largely absent from the so-called cigar renaissance of the 1990s. Candela cigars are known for having green instead of brown wrappers. While the colour may be mistaken for a young tobacco leaf, it is actually a product of the process used to cure the leaf that preserves the chlorophyll.' So there you go, how many of you thought they were dyed green. Rocky Patel's candela wrapper is made from leaf that is matured for five years and this cigar only comes in a toro measuring 6" with a ring gauge of 52 and is made from all Honduran tobaccos. The wrapper is more like a faded khaki than a green and has a nice sheen to it. The veins are clearly visible but not at all raised so the cigar has a nice smooth feel. When squeezed I could feel it was packed with a slight spring to it. The wrapper has a mild tobacco scent but nothing else was discernible. I punched this one and the draw was very free with dry taste like hay. It lit easily and the initial flavour was light and leathery. After 10 minutes it was almost like not smoking, it was so light and tasted of nothing much at all. As it went on the flavour developed into a blend of wood and leather that left my mouth dry and I found myself having a sip of drink after every draw. The burn was perfect and it produced plenty of smoke with the ash dropping at about an inch. After half an hour it began to get peppery and that came through on and off at regular intervals. This cigar would probably stretch to two hours easily but after an hour and a half I just got bored with it. Disappointing really because I liked The Lite and the Maduro.
Länge: 11.43Durchmesser: 1.43 TAM
The fill on this corona was very loose and springy and the wrapper really had no discernible scent, not even the cedar lining of the tubo. Once cut the draw was light and easy but once again I couldn't make out any real flavour. It lit very easily and burned nicely all the way to the end with no need for a relight despite the humidity in my garage being at 91%. The burn line remained clean and sharp and the mid-grey ash dropped at about an inch. The initial taste was light and leathery and the exhaled smoke had a definite dried fruit scent to it. Into the second third and the taste became creamy with a hint of pepper at the back of the palate. The final third became more peppery and started to become bitter and with just over an inch to go it started to get warmer than I like so I left it there at 42 minutes. My initial thought was that this would be a nice reasonably priced stick to pick up if I was out and about but afterwards I noticed a cigarette like aftertaste that has put me right off.
Länge: 13.02Durchmesser: 1.67 TAM
This petit corona measures just over 5" with a ring gauge of 42 and took me an hour and a quarter to smoke with a few relights. We are all familiar with the Cohiba band and I had no worries about this being a fake as it came in the preservador that my wife bought me from our sponsors. The wrapper was quite bumpy with an oily appearance and the fill was soft. It had a rich sweet scent and once cut the cold draw had a hint of toast with a little pepper or chilli on my tongue. The cold draw was the tightest I've experienced so far. Once lit the flavour was initially woody with a hint of creaminess and the burn line was sharp and defined. After about 20 minutes I could taste a flavour like a mild smoked tea and very nice it was too. I have noticed that Cubans appear to hold onto their ash longer than the NCs and I was just about to take a photo when it dropped in my lap at about an inch, good job I wasn't indoors. After 30 minutes it needed a relight and once again I got the flavour of toast for a short while. Half way in it developed a little pepperiness then the smoked tea flavour returned for the last third till it got a bit harsh around the final inch. Like my previous review I would definitely accept one of these if offered but they won't be high on my 'to buy' list.
Länge: 13.97Durchmesser: 1.75 TAM
This maduro from Honduras lasted a lot longer than The Lite corona which I noted at about 65 minutes and this one was heading for two hours, perhaps I am a slow smoker after all but it did need several relights. That could be due to the humidity in my garage which was about 75% today. This corona comes in at 5.5" with a ring gauge of 52. The maduro wrapper is from Costa Rica and the filler from Nicaragua. The wrapper is the usual dark chocolate brown you would expect from a maduro but it has a satiny finish with definite though not raised veins. The scent is a rich mocha. This was a well packed and firm stick with no soft spots and appeared to be very well made. Being from The Edge range it just has a discrete band around the foot that just slips off. It cut nicely with no raggedy edges and the cold draw was easy and tasted mild and leathery with just a hint of the mocha. It lit up nicely and burned slowly with a sharp edge and a light grey ash that dropped off after a centimetre, about 12 minutes in. The exhaled smoke had a fruity aroma to it and the inhaled flavour was smooth, mild and leathery with a slight sweetness that built up and lingered in my mouth. After about half an hour I was delighted to get a definite hint of chocolate but sadly it didn't last. The flavour got a bit peppery towards the end and I was happy to leave it at an hour and 45 but could have stretched it out to two hours. This one won't be on my buy list but I certainly wouldn't turn one down.
Länge: 12.70Durchmesser: 2.14 TAM
Casa Magna have won several accolades from Cigar Aficionado so I was expecting a good smoke from this Honduran stick. Its a fat little boy at 5" in length with a ring gauge of 54. The band is about an inch and nicely embossed in silver and black with the legend 'Oscuro' on a red banner. The wrapper is dark and smooth but no darker than a maduro and smelled of mocha, the stick was very firm except at the foot. I punched the cap and to my horror the whole cap came off and part of the wrapper with it. I decided to cut the end square but it only just fit into my cutter and the wrapper was still coming unravelled halfway up. This was looking to be another disappointment but I decided to persist. It wasn't an easy cold draw and the unlit taste was mild and earthy. The initial light up was a little peppery but then it settled down to a delightful smooth creamy flavour that actually made my mouth water and the exhaled smoke was spicy and aromatic. This smoke was so good that I didn't want to put it down and by securing the loose flap of the wrapper I was able to smoke it. The burn was very slow and even with a light grey ash that didn't drop till half way along the length. I have read reviews that said this cigar required constant relighting but mine didn't need it until 68 minutes in and the whole stick lasted a good 90 minutes. A slight bitterness came through at the end but by then I was satisfied enough to put it down anyway. I hope that I was just a victim of a poorly constructed individual here because I shall be buying another.
Länge: 12.70Durchmesser: 1.91 TAM
If you're looking for dramatic flavour changes and strong ones at that then Cuban is not for you but if you want an hour and half of smooth creamy mellow smoke then this could be right up your street. The Regios comes in at 5" with a ring gauge of 48, it will just fit the average cutter. The wrapper is a light caramel colour and has a light caramel scent to match. Mine was well packed and firm, the cap looked particularly neat and tidy and there was a small split in the wrapper half way down where it had taken a knock but I wasn't worried, it burned right through it with no problems. The cap punched very cleanly with no effort but I forgot so taste it cold, sorry guys. Once lit the draw was very free and easy and it produced plenty of smooth and creamy smoke. Apart from a little burst of fruitiness at the 25 minute mark and a little pepper towards the end it stayed smooth and creamy for the duration. Unlike the NCs I have smoked the ash was in no hurry to drop off and was white in colour. It burned a little to the side at the 45 minute mark and needed a relight at 53 minutes so I combined that with a correction and it was fine all the way to the end burning right through the split as I mentioned. Worth mentioning that this cigar has a very nice clean aftertaste, you won't be reaching for the mints with this one. I shall definitely being buying some more of these.
Länge: 15.24Durchmesser: 1.98 TAM
You may recall I was less than impressed with the petit corona I had from this range but encouraged by my friend's enjoyment of the one I sent him I decided to give the toro a go as it was sitting in my humidor. One review I read said that the Indonesian wrapper is dyed but I don't know how I would tell. The dark brown wrapper is almost rustic in appearance and has the strongest smell of earth I have had from a cigar, that's why I kept it in the cellophane as I recall. This toro is 6 inches long with a ring gauge of 50 and is supposed to last 70 minutes, mine lasted an 105 minutes without a relight and would easily have lasted 2 hours if I wanted to smoke it to the nub. This was a well packed and firm cigar and cold draw was not as loose as some I've had and tasted mildly of that earth flavour I described. The binder is also Indonesian and the filler Dominican. This is not a complicated smoke, it is smooth, mild and creamy all the way to the end with a couple of peppery moments dispersed by blowing back through the cigar. As I mentioned it burned slowly and steadily with an even edge and required no relights at all. About an inch from the foot the wrapper started to lift a little but I ignored it and the burn just went straight through it with no problem. If value for money = cost + enjoyment + duration then this cigar really hits the nail for an every day smoke.
Länge: 10.16Durchmesser: 1.59 TAM
I can't believe I paid for this nasty little cigar, ten minutes in and I binned it. This small corona from Panama comes in at just over 4" and at first inspection looks good. The feel is nice and springy and indeed it lit easily and burned perfectly. The wrapper was a light brown with a slight sheen to it and has a clean tobacco smell. Being quite small I cut it rather than punching it and the cold draw was dry and slightly earthy. Once lit it was peppery and had a slight tar like taste to it. It reminded me a lot of the RyJ purito and I don't like those either. I ended up having a mint to get rid of the taste, one to avoid.
Länge: 12.70Durchmesser: 2.14 TAM
The wrapper had a couple of raised veins but it smelled delicious and almost caramel, one good reason for keeping the cellophane on Mark because that could be lost if bared to the humidor. The stick felt quite firm for the entire length but when I punched it the cold draw was very free and light with no discernible resistance and tasted of coffee. It lit easily enough from just one long match and produced good smoke, the taste was mild and woody, in fact papery would be a more accurate word as it was very light. All went well for 45 minutes when the ash dropped and it went out. Relit it lasted for another 15 minutes before needing attention again. This was where it all went wrong and started to unravel from the head so I was left smoking an unwrapped stick. I couldn't follow the advice of leaving the band on as it is enormous. As you'll know if you've tried it they soon start to become a bit ragged in your mouth so I only gave it another 10 minutes as it wasn't remarkable by any means. The taste was starting to get a little bit harsh so I left it at 70 minutes, it could have gone to 2 hours if it hadn't disintegrated. I'm guessing it doesn't happen often with this brand else they wouldn't have got to a 10th anniversary in the first place. Despite the mild taste this one had a slight nicotine kick to it so I was grateful for my soft drink and chocolate.
Länge: 11.43Durchmesser: 1.47 TAM
The dark brown maduro wrapper looks nice and has a definite mocha scent but if you smoked this blind you would be hard pressed to guess that's what it is. It felt firmly packed with a slight softness just before the cap but once cut the draw was free flowing and tasted slightly earthy. It lit easily enough but it needed one relight at 27 minutes. The flavour was mild and woody and generally one dimensional until the last third where it got bitter and warm. If you were prepared to put up with that you could get and hour out of it but I left it there at 45 minutes. Its alright if you've nothing else to smoke but it was cheap and won't be replaced. I'm beginning to find I'm getting quite selective now and more critical which has to be a good thing when essentially one is burning money!
Länge: 15.24Durchmesser: 2.06 TAM
They say you should never judge a book by its cover and this would appear to apply to cigars too. This all Nicaraguan cigar looks gorgeous, the wrapper is a rich cocoa colour with a smooth matte finish that feels great in the hand and the band is very tasteful. In fact the band was so well applied I struggled to find the end to release it. Gently feeling it, it felt quite hard to the touch and very well packed. The scent of the wrapper was pure cocoa as was the cold draw, this appeared very promising. Lighting her up the first draw was a little peppery but that soon went away and it settled into a dry and very mild woody taste with a fruity and aromatic exhaled smoke. I settled in for a nice session but to my surprise it went out after 17 minutes. I relit it and it went out again ten minutes later. In between relights it produced masses of smoke but I just couldn't put it down because it went out again at 52 minutes in. At about the quarter mark I got a little burst of chocolate flavour but it started to get peppery almost immediately after that. It lasted till the 90 minute mark and then died again and I felt that it wasn't good enough to persist with so I left it with over half of it unsmoked. The smoking time of this cigar is supposed to be 69 minutes but if it had stayed alight it would have gone well over two hours. Its quite ironic that on the inside of the band it says 'Drew Estate, the rebirth of cigars'. Rebirth? This thing needed reanimating not a rebirth. Not one I can recommend.
Länge: 13.97Durchmesser: 1.75 TAM
The wrapper is a nice rich brown colour and smooth, the fill is slightly spongy so should burn well. The wrapper has a faint coffee-like smell and the cold draw is very free and has a tannic slightly coffee taste to it. It lit easily and appeared to burn well at first with a nice even edge. The taste was as expected, tannic and woody with a fruity exhaled smoke. Like many non Cubans seem to do the loose medium grey ash dropped at 1cm when I put it down. It produced an adequate but not voluminous amount of smoke but required a relight at the 25 minute mark. At about half way I noticed it started to burn down one side but I didn't bother correcting it as it didn't appear to be that bad. It got a little harsh around mid way so I tried a trick I read on an American website and blow back through the cigar. To my surprise it worked and the harshness disappeared, definitely one to remember. At the 2/3 point it tried to go out again so I tapped it off and sucked it back into life (we all know how that feels!) but the side burn got worse and then corrected itself at the very end. This cigar was very one dimensional and the flavour stayed the same throughout. I'd smoke one if offered but I won't buy another.
Länge: 11.43Durchmesser: 1.98 TAM
Another first today, my first torpedo. I've taken to punching my cigars recently but snipped this one. That's when it occurred to me what with a torpedo its virtually the same thing. This fat little boy from Honduras comes in at 4.5" long with a ring size of 50. The wrapper is Honduras San Augustin, the binder Connecticut Broadleaf and the filler a mix of Honduran and Nicaraguan leafs. Handmade of course this is a box pressed little beauty with an oily rich brown wrapper that has a definite hint of mocha though the cold draw is earthy more than anything else. The fill felt good and springy though there was a little tightness where the neck starts to slim down, more on that later. If you like mild then this is for you. At first lighting there was no pepper at all, just lots of very mild creamy smooth smoke with an aromatic spicy aroma. This is a nice cigar to be around for sure. It burnt well and evenly with a light grey ash that didn't drop until it reached an inch. The overall taste was tannic and woody and although there was a slight hint of pepper at the half way mark it soon disappeared. It left me wondering if I'd imagined it. She needed a relight at the 2/3 mark which kept her alight until the neck started to slim down and then she went out decisively. Never mind, I had 75 minutes of pleasure and got a slight nicotine buzz. Would I buy another? Its already in my shopping basket.
Länge: 13.02Durchmesser: 1.83 TAM
This is my first cigar from Ecuador and it wasn't bad at all. Hand made it has an Ecuadorian wrapper and binder but is filled with tobacco from the Dominican Republic. It measures in at 13cm long with a diameter of 1.83cm. The label is smart and modern in red and silver with an extra band on the foot. It is very nicely constructed and the wrapper is very smooth and a chocolate brown colour. The wrapper smells faintly of leather and the initial cold draw is definitely earthy. It took two goes to light it and the first taste was creamy and smooth with no pepper at all, the exhaled smoke was fruity and rich. Like a lot of NC cigars the ash dropped at about a centimetre when I first put it down. The overall taste for the first third was tannic and leathery but mild. I noticed a tendency to burn a bit lopsided but found that if I put it down with the unburned side up it corrected itself nicely and it never required any relighting. Into the second third and it started to get a little peppery but to my surprise just after the half way mark it went back to the smooth and creamy taste again. After an hour and a quarter I could feel the nicotine starting to kick in so I let it go but it would have gone a good hour and a half. This would be a nice cigar for fellow newbies wanting to try something non-Cuban but I probably won't buy another.