Archive by Author

Quick Smoke: Oliva Gilberto Reserva Toro

17 Mar 2018

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

This cigar is another in Oliva’s budget presentations, going for about $5 each by the box of 20. It’s got an Indonesian Sumatra wrapper with an Ecuadorian binder and Nicaraguan filler. My first impression was a not-too-pleasant mineral/medicinal taste, which backed off a bit but never fully went away as I later encountered some spice and a little leather. It burned OK, but smoke production was average at best. I like a lot of Oliva’s cigars, but this Toro (6 x 50) didn’t live up to others I’ve smoked.

Verdict = Hold.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Galera Connecticut Chaveta

10 Mar 2018

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

This cigar from Jochy Blanco’s Tabacalera Palma is a budget-priced smoke that punches far above its weight. With a smooth Ecuadorian wrapper and Dominican filler, this robusto-sized  (5.25 x 50) treat delivers flavors of hay, cream, citrus, and an occasional bit of cedar. Strength is mild, as you’d expect, and performance is first-rate. At about $5 a stick, La Galera Connecticut is a definite addition to almost any smoker’s to-try list, especially if you enjoy a cigar with a cup of coffee.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Review: Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Lonsdale

28 Feb 2018

Who doesn’t love a lonsdale?

Well, a lot of cigar smokers, I guess, since the long-ish, thin shape has become less and less popular through the years. Its once-prominent place in humidors has declined even more rapidly with the ascendance of large ring gauge smokes.

But the lonsdale remains an elegant and tempting shape.

This recent offering from Cornelius & Anthony keeps the tradition alive and is a welcome addition to the three sizes of the initial line the company introduced a couple of years ago.

The cigars are rolled in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood at the well-known El Titan de Bronze factory. The Cornelius Lonsdale is the traditional 6.5 inches long with a ring gauge of 42.

As with other C&A cigars, it features two bands, with the thinner one identifying it as Cornelius. The MSRP is $13.50. (The lonsdale name, by the way, comes from an English nobleman, the fifth earl of Lonsdale, who reportedly spent as much as £500 a week on cigars.)

The wrapper is an oily light brown Ecuadorian Habano. The binder is also from Ecuador, while the filler is a mix of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos.

Like its sibling, the Cornelius Lonsdale begins with a pleasant mixture of sweetness and spice. The sweetness recedes as the cigar burns down, and charred wood and cedar move forward. In the final third, a peppery note comes through as well.

The draw, which can sometimes be a concern with thinner cigars, was excellent in both of those I tried. The cigars also produced a great deal of thick, rich smoke and held their ashes tightly.

The Cornelius Lonsdale paired perfectly with black coffee, and I imagine it would complement any number of drinks (except those that are very sweet).

All in all, I found this vitola a bit more complex and balanced than the Toro I smoked earlier. Strength in all of them was squarely in the medium range.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Cornelius Lonsdale and recommend it for almost any smoker. I rate it a strong four stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro Toro

24 Feb 2018

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

This Ecuadorian oscuro-wrapped blend from La Palina starts boldly with a strong pepper blast befitting its Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. Though it never goes away, the pepper backs down somewhat after an inch or so as flavors like coffee, leather, and cedar move forward. Introduced in 2016 in three sizes, Nicaragua Oscuro is rolled at A.J. Fernandez’s Nicaraguan factory. I paid about $8 for a single Toro (6 x 50), though you can find them online for just a shade over $5 each in a box of 20. It is a satisfying smoke.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: La Palina

Quick Smoke: San Cristobal Quintessence Belicoso

17 Feb 2018

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Another line in the collaboration between Ashton and cigar master Don José “Pepín” Garcia, the Quintessence quickly announces its heritage with a nice pepper blast. That dials back after about an inch as a fruity sweetness comes forward. The two flavors shift dominance throughout the rest of the Belicoso (6.5 x 54), joined on occasion by wood and leather. The smooth Ecuadorian Habano wrapper covers Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. As you’d expect from a Pepín-produced cigar, performance is excellent. There’s a lot to like about Quintessence—the Robusto was Cigar Journal’s 2016 cigar of the year—especially with a price tag under $10. (By the way, if you’re curious about the differences between belicosos, torpedos, and pyramids, check out this page from StogieGuys.com friend Doc Stogie.)

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Ashton

Cigar Review: MBombay Classic Torpedo

14 Feb 2018

This new vitola in the Classic line from Bombay Tobak won’t be crowding the shelves at your local B&M. In fact, it is intended to be available only as one of five cigars in MBombay’s new Sample Pack, though some retailers may split them apart for individual sales (MSRP $11.95).

The Torpedos have a smaller production level than other MBombay Classics. According to brand owner Mel Shah, there are two primary reasons for this: (1) the difficulty and time required to properly roll the shape, and (2) the fact that the cigars are aged for more than 14 months before heading to market.

So, the bottom line is you may have to do a little searching to find this cigar. Judging from those I’ve smoked, it will be well worth your while.

The tobaccos include an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Ecuadorian binder, and filler from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. The Torpedo, a 6-inch cigar with a ring gauge of 52, features an unfinished, closed foot. As with other Bombay Tobak cigars, it is rolled in Costa Rica.

There’s not a lot of differences from the original Classic—which received four stogies when we reviewed it in 2016—but that little bit is notable.

While both are smooth, the Torpedo is a bit stronger, especially in the second half. (Overall, I’d rate the strength as mild in the first half, medium thereafter.) And both are creamy with cedar notes, but the Torpedo also evokes some citrus and other fruity sweetness for added complexity.

On the other hand, they were identical in performance. Excellent burn, excellent draw, and great smoke production.

If you purchase the sampler, the other four cigars are the Mora Toro, Habano Robusto, Corojo Oscuro Robusto, and a Gaaja Toro.

The Classic Torpedo is a welcome addition to the MBombay line, and I think any cigar smoker will enjoy it. It earns four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Moolah by Perdomo Toro

10 Feb 2018

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Made for the Two Guys Smoke Shop chain in New Hampshire, Perdomo’s Moolah is a mixed filler Nicaraguan puro with a small price tag. The Toro (6 x 50) sells for $3.59 (or $69.99 for a box of 25). Performance is fine, with a good draw, straight burn, and a great deal of smoke. It’s flavor where Moolah falls short. Few are discernable. The cigar is generally sharp, dry, and has a scratchy back-of-the-throat finish. But Moolah isn’t masquerading as something it’s not, so the buyer should be well aware beforehand of what’s in store.

Verdict = Sell.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys