Search results: "Gold Star"

Commentary: Gold Star Smokes (Part VIII)

27 Feb

It’s been nine months since the StogieGuys.com team published a new list of Gold Star Smokes. As you might recall, this special designation celebrates cigars that we feel are worthy of strong recommendations. They don’t necessarily have to be five stogie-rated—just commendable smokes we turn to time and again.

Gold Star Smokes

Co-Founder & Editor in Chief Patrick A

The La Musa Μελέτη Lancero is pretty limited (only 200 boxes are made available annually) but it is highly worth seeking out. It is a Nicaraguan puro with dark chocolate pre-light notes that transition to flavors of nougat, bread, espresso, and leather. It’s a bold, fuller-bodied smoke with plenty of complexity and excellent combustion qualities. When I have it on hand, I often reach for it as an after-dinner accompaniment to a cup of coffee.

Co-Founder & Publisher Patrick S

Winter is when I like to turn to corona-sized cigars, and one of my very favorites is the Tatuaje Noella Reserva. This Connecticut Broadleaf-wrapped Nicaraguan smoke is full of chocolate, coffee, and spice. I’ve smoked through multiple boxes and have always found them balanced and well-made. Plus it’s the type of cigar that goes equally well with a cup of coffee or your favorite spirit. It can be a bit hard to find but it’s certainly worth seeking out.

Tampa Bureau Chief George E

Get over your aversion to big ring-gauge cigars and enjoy this moderately priced Nicaraguan puro. I awarded La Gloria Cubana Serie R Estelí No. 54 four stogies in January and continue to enjoy them. The six-inch smoke is consistent, strong, and satisfying with the pepper and spice you expect from Nicaraguan tobacco. Coming from General Cigar, the brick-and-mortar-only offering is easy to find and, at about $6.50, easy on the wallet.

Contributor Joey J

My selection would definitely be the 262 Paradigm Lancero. This is a classic Lancero size (7 x 38) with a beautiful Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. You’ll love the full flavor and creaminess of the smoke off of these sticks, and the medium nicotine strength means they can be enjoyed at almost any time of day. The Paradigm Lancero is my current go-to smoke, and it also reached #1 in sales in the shop I work at, so it’s clearly doing something right. Whether you’re a lancero fan like myself, or you’ve never tried them before, this cigar should immediately go on your short list of stogies to try.

The Stogie Guys

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Commentary: Gold Star Smokes (Part VII)

8 May

It’s been too long since the StogieGuys.com team published a new list of Gold Star Smokes. As you might recall, this special designation celebrates cigars that we feel are worthy of strong recommendations. They don’t necessarily have to be five stogie-rated—just commendable smokes we turn to time and again.

Gold Star Smokes

Co-Founder & Editor in Chief Patrick A

For years I’ve been singing the praises of the fantastic cigars at Tesa, a Chicago-based boutique with Chris Kelly at the helm. While Tesa creations can be a little pricey (justifiably so, in my opinion), the relatively new Picadura King Connecticut Robusto only costs $4-5. That makes it a bargain if you like complex, mild cigars to pair with morning coffee. Look for subtle, harmonious flavors of oak, sweet hay, cream, and roasted nuts. And the physical properties are perfect, which is what I’ve come to expect from all cigars from Tesa’s factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Co-Founder & Publisher Patrick S

Last week I was in Nicaragua visiting Drew Estate and the experience only heightened my appreciation of the Liga Privada No. 9 Robusto. Many people like this cigar when it’s hard to find (and usually it is), but I found myself with a virtually unlimited supply (at least for a few days). It didn’t make me like the cigar any less. If anything, the opposite. Smoking multiple Robustos each day, I thoroughly enjoyed the heavy, sometimes gritty texture it leaves on the palate, resulting in earth and dry chocolate flavors, with just the right amount of sweetness. Tasty, always well-constructed, and still unlike any other cigar available, it’s a Gold Star selection.

Tampa Bureau Chief George E

This powerhouse from Miami Cigar & Co. hasn’t gotten a lot of attention since its introduction last year. My colleague extolled its virtues in a Quick Smoke around Christmas. Smoke one and, like me, you’ll wonder why the Añoranza Robusto isn’t on everyone’s lips. A Nicaraguan puro, it pumps out tons of smoke with sweetness, pepper, wood, and leather, all with a long finish. Retail is $6.50, though a box of 10 drops the per-stick price to about $5. A bargain for a terrific smoke, and one worthy of Gold Star designation.

The Stogie Guys

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Commentary: Gold Star Smokes (Part VI)

12 Jul

It’s been too long since the StogieGuys.com team published a new list of Gold Star Smokes. As you might recall, this special designation celebrates cigars that we feel are worthy of strong recommendations. They don’t necessarily have to be five stogie-rated—just commendable smokes we turn to time and again.

Gold Star Smokes

Co-Founder & Editor in Chief Patrick A

The Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve typically sells for $12 per cigar, but when my local shop put the torpedo (6.1 x 52) on sale for $9.50, I grabbed up a sizeable stash. This wonderful cigar, which debuted about a year ago, has a flavor of spice, cream, earthiness, and sweetness that hits my palate in all the right ways. Expertly balanced and more complex than most realize, this is a fine cigar with excellent construction. It’s too bad only 10,000 torpedos were produced.

Co-Founder & Publisher Patrick S

As soon as I smoked Babyface, the Tatuaje Monsters version of “The Face,” I wished I had bought more than the two boxes of the Little Monsters I purchased, plus the one I was gifted before mine arrived (each Little Monsters box has two Babyfaces). The robusto-sized cigar features tremendous creaminess, graham cracker, and dark chocolate. The finish is deliciously clean and the cigar has excellent construction. I would buy two boxes in a second if this cigar was available by the box for its pro-rated price of $7.50 per cigar.

Tampa Bureau Chief George E

Sometimes it’s necessary to experiment within a line to find one that’s made for you. I tried several of the smaller sizes when Le Bijou debuted; while I enjoyed them, I wasn’t blown away. Then I had the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Churchill (7 x 50), a complex powerhouse that shifts gears, weaves in and out, and continually impresses and delights. For me, the larger size opened up a “new” cigar. And made for a Gold Star Smoke.

The Stogie Guys

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Stogie Commentary: Gold Star Smokes (Part VI)

31 Aug

It’s been over six months since the StogieGuys.com team published a new list of Gold Star Smokes. As you might recall, this special designation celebrates cigars that we feel are worthy of strong recommendations. They don’t necessarily have to be five stogie-rated—just commendable smokes we turn to time and again.

Gold Star Smokes

Co-Founder & Editor in Chief Patrick A

One of my favorite Cubans is also relatively affordable, and that’s a winning combination. The Juan Lopez Selección No. 1 (5.6 x 42) has a profile of honey and graham with an earthy, woodsy core and good combustion qualities. And unlike some blends from the forbidden communist isle, this lesser-known Cuban doesn’t seem to suffer from consistency problems. A great buy for around $8.

Co-Founder & Publisher Patrick S

From time to time I get asked what my favorite maduro smoke is and, while I wouldn’t say I have just one favorite, the La Aurora Preferidos Maduro Robusto is always in the conversation. It has that classic maduro profile with plenty of creamy cocao and coffee notes. But what separates it from others is an impressive combination of complexity and balance.

Tampa Bureau Chief George E

From the dark appearance to the wonderfully deep, thick flavors, the Toraño Exodus 50 Years Blend Torpedo is an enticing smoke. It is blended for smoothness, and the Brazilian arapiraca sun-grown wrapper has a more refined taste than I’ve found in most other cigars that use it. As it burns with the Nicaraguan filler, you’re treated to a rich array of coffee, chocolate, and fruit. All this, and a reasonable price, make this a cigar to enjoy again and again.

Contributing Reviewer Patrick M

The new Tatuaje Verocu No. 5 (4 x 40) is just starting to hit the market, but I’ve already had a chance to smoke several. This cigar stays true to the blend with a core of leather, cedar, and spice. It is very similar to the Verocu No. 1, No.2, and Tubo and carries a sub-$5 price point—making it a great Gold Star Smoke.

The Stogie Guys

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Stogie Commentary: Gold Star Smokes (Part V)

6 Jan

It’s been a few months since the StogieGuys.com team published a new list of Gold Star Smokes. As you might recall, this special designation celebrates cigars that we feel are worthy of strong recommendations. They don’t necessarily have to be five stogie-rated—just commendable smokes we turn to time and again.

Gold Star Smokes

Co-Founder & Editor in Chief Patrick A

One smoke that I can’t recommend enough is the new Entubar by Berger & Argenti. If you’re the kind of cigar enthusiast who enjoys balanced, traditional-tasting tobacco and brilliant combustion qualities, you can’t afford to pass up this outstanding experience.

Co-Founder & Publisher Patrick S

Frankly, I’d be shocked if the new CAO La Traviata isn’t featured in Cigar Aficionado‘s top 25 list. It certainly makes my list of top cigars in 2009. This Ecuadorian habano-wrapped stick is medium-bodied and thick with leather, cedar, and roasted flavors. Best of all, in these tight economic times, all of the La Traviata’s three vitolas are available for less than $6 apiece.

Tampa Bureau Chief George E

I suggest you pick up one of Pete Johnson’s Cabaiguans. They’re pricey, but I find them terrific medium-strength smokes. The Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut shade wrapper mixes with the Nicaraguan filler to create a thick, rich experience.

Contributing Reviewer Patrick M

In 2009 I probably smoked at least two boxes of the Tatuaje Havana VI Angeles. With consistently great construction and combustion, this corona-sized cigar is a great value at about $5 per stick when purchased by the box. Featuring flavors of leather, earth, and cedar with a good amount of peppery spice, the Angeles has good complexity and balance. For all of these reasons this cigar will continue to be in heavy rotation for me and I suggest you try one or a dozen for yourself.

The Stogie Guys

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Stogie Commentary: Gold Star Smokes (Part IV)

15 Oct

It’s been almost ten months since the StogieGuys.com team published a new list of Gold Star Smokes. As you might recall, this special designation celebrates cigars that we feel are worthy of strong recommendations. They don’t necessarily have to be five stogie-rated—just commendable smokes we turn to time and again.

Gold Star SmokesIn our previous three Gold Star Smokes articles, we highlighted cigars like the Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Torpedo, El Rey Del Mundo Robisto Larga, Punch Champion, EO 601 Serie “Green” La Fuerza, Montecristo Petit Edmundo, Cuban Crafters Cameroon Robusto, Blend 376 Robusto Extra, Arturo Fuente King B, and La Gloria Cubana’s Medaille d’Or No. 1 Maduro. Today we select four more.

Co-Founder & Editor in Chief Patrick A

The newly released 777 Corojo Robusto by J. Fuego strikes a great chord for me. It certainly wasn’t the most flashy or highly anticipated cigar at the IPCPR Trade Show in August. But, for about $5 apiece, it does offer an oily wrapper, good construction, and an interesting flavor of wood, pepper, citrus, and sour cream. I’ll always have a spot in my humidor for this silky smoke.

Co-Founder & Publisher Patrick S

As a reviewer of cigars, I enjoy regularly trying new and different smokes. But there are only a few that I find myself coming back to again and again. One such blend is Cubao by EO Brands. It’s a rare smoke that truly has balance,  intensity, and complexity—which is particularly impressive at the reasonable price of around $6 each by the box. Having sampled all the sizes, I’ve found the  Cubao No. 4 (4.9 x 50) best showcases all this blend has to offer.

Tampa Bureau Chief George E

The more I smoke the Camacho Connecticut Churchill, the more I like it. Great flavor, smooth, nicely constructed—and weighing in at only $6. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more satisfying medium- to full-strength cigar at such a reasonable price. Light one up, grab a drink, switch on the TV, and enjoy the game. (Here’s a review of the robusto-sized Monarca).

Contributing Reviewer Patrick M

I don’t always have two or more hours to dedicate to smoking. When I’m pressed for time, I often turn to Arturo Fuente’s Hemingway Short Story. It can be had for around $5 and offers all the wonderful balance, spice, and sweetness you’d expect from a Cameroon-wrapped cigar. Light one up when you’re short on time but looking for a quality experience.

The Stogie Guys

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Stogie Commentary: Gold Star Smokes (Part III)

29 Dec

It’s been over nine months since the StogieGuys.com team published a new list of Gold Star Smokes. As you might recall, this special designation celebrates cigars that we feel are worthy of strong recommendations. They don’t necessarily have to be five stogie-rated—just commendable smokes we turn to time and again.

Gold Star SmokesIn our previous two Gold Star Smokes articles, we’ve highlighted cigars like the Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Torpedo, El Rey Del Mundo Robisto Larga, Punch Champion, EO 601 Serie “Green” La Fuerza, Montecristo Petit Edmundo, and the Cuban Crafters Cameroon Robusto. Today we select three more.

Co-Founder & Editor in Chief Patrick A

The Blend 376 Robusto Extra from boutique manufacturer Isla de Cuba is a stunning cigar with an uncanny resemblance to an upscale Padrón. This box-pressed beauty features a full-flavored yet smooth taste of nuts, leather, and coffee and impressive construction. Don’t think twice about picking up this blend of Mexican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan tobaccos for about $7 apiece.

Co-Founder & Publisher Patrick S

Fuente makes some great smokes, including some exceptionally rare ones. My favorite, though, is the King B. This well-proportioned, cedar-wrapped torpedo is the best from Fuente’s impressive, under-appreciated Sun Grown line. With equal parts cedar, sweetness, and spice, it is both full-flavored and exquisitely balanced. And for around $6 each it punches well above its weight class.

Tampa Bureau Chief George E

With a line that seems to encompass an endless array of vitolas, La Gloria Cubana’s Medaille d’Or No. 1 Maduro isn’t the easiest to find. But it’s worth the search. A long, thin cigar, it produces an array of flavors including earth, leather, and coffee. They’re also very reasonably priced; a box of 25 can be found for less than $70.

The Stogie Guys

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