Archive by Author

Quick Smoke: Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc Corona

9 Sep 2018

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

A value offering from Oliva Cigars, Gilberto Oliva Reserva comes in two varietals: Reserva (featuring an Indonesian Sumatra wrapper) and Reserva Blanc (which has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper around Ecuadorian binder and Nicaraguan filler). The medium-bodied cigar boasts creamy flavors along with cedar and light chocolate notes. Solid construction and a very reasonable price ($6) make this a cigar worth checking out, especially for fans of medium or mild smokes.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Cohiba Siglo I (Cuban)

2 Sep 2018

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Cuban cigars have never been that hard to get in the U.S. And the recent change that makes it legal to bring some back for personal consumption when traveling abroad has only led to increased availability. For example, I had some leftover euros when flying home from France and decided to buy a five-pack of Cohiba Siglo I in the duty free shop. The petit corona ($10) remains a fine example of a rich, perfectly balanced Cuban. Cedar,  cream, roast nuts, and light spice flavors combined with flawless combustion make this an easy recommendation.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Review: My Father La Gran Oferta Robusto

29 Aug 2018

Almost like clockwork, the My Father Cigars adds a blend to its namesake line each summer around the annual IPCPR Trade Show. This year’s addition is La Gran Oferta, which translates to “the great offering.”

Made at My Father’s factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, La Gran Oferta employs tobaccos from the company’s Nicaraguan farms along with an oily Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper. While La Gran Oferta may be a new offering, it is inspired by an old cigar brand sold under the same name over a hundred years ago.

Five formats are available: Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 50), Torpedo (6.1 x 52), Toro Gordo (6 x 56), and Lancero (7.5 x 38). All come in boxes of 20 with individual cigars sold for around $8. I smoked two in the Robusto size, though the inclusion of a Lancero as a regular production vitola is notable.

The firm cigar features an open draw and pre-light notes of wood with a hint of mint. Once lit, it produces loads of smoke and medium- to full-bodied flavors. Construction is flawless, with a sturdy gray ash.

Dominant flavors are toasted bread, rich espresso, and slightly gritty earth. As it evolves, subtle red fruit and citrus notes enter the equation, along with some creaminess. The finish is short with dry, slightly chalky notes.

In comparison to lines My Father Cigars makes for other brand owners, including Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje and Ashton’s San Cristobal, the My Father brand might be a bit overlooked. That’s a mistake. Top to bottom, My Father cigars are excellent, and La Gran Oferta slots in nicely as more full-bodied than the original line, but less so than the Ecuadorian Sumatra-wrapped The Judge or the Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro-wrapped Le Bijou 1922.

Particularly if you are a fan of Ecuadrian Habano-wrapped cigars, this is one to try. With a complex mix of medium- to full-bodied flavors and excellent construction, the My Father La Gran Oferta Robusto earns a rating of four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Black Label Trading Company Benediction Grand Toro

26 Aug 2018

A couple times each week 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 Nicaraguan puro (6x 60) features a reddish-brown Habano wrapper. It opens with citrus notes, along with coffee, cedar, and damp earth. It’s medium-bodied with little variety from start to finish. Despite excellent construction, I am a little underwhelmed; it’s far from the finest offering from Black Label Trading Company.

Verdict = Sell.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Spirits: Foursquare Principia and Velier 2009 Last Ward Mount Gay Rums

22 Aug 2018

France is known for its wonderful food and wine, and it has both in droves. When I visit France, one of the things I look forward to is, perhaps unexpectedly, finding some excellent rum that would be nearly impossible to find here in the U.S. Today, I review two rums I picked up on a recent visit.

Though France is geographically far from most rum-producing countries, the historic ties between France and its former colonies makes possible a certain a level of access. The result is, if you know where to look, a lot of good rum.

I’ve sung the praises of Foursquare before, and in many ways Foursquare Principia is a follow-up to the highly acclaimed Foursquare Triptych. Principia was distilled in 2008, then spent three years in ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to ex-sherry casks for six years until it was bottled, at barrel-proof, in late 2017.

Principia was bottled and distributed by Velier, which also bottles and distributes The Last Ward 2009, a limited offering featuring some of the final casks distilled at the Mount Gay Distillery under longtime owner Frank Ward. The triple-distilled rum has been aged nine years and is presented at cask-strength.

Foursquare Principia – $130 (62% ABV)
Nose: Oak, candied fruit, and roast almonds
Palate: Salt, pepper, integrated fruits, dates, figs, toffee, and caramel
Finish: Long with stoned fruit, port, and charred oak

Velier 2009 Last Ward Mount Gay – $110 (59% ABV)
Nose: Fresh tropical fruit of pineapple with mango, plus burnt brown sugar
Palate: An initial burst of alcohol heat, followed by apricot, oranges, pineapple, clove, and wood resin
Finish: Funky, almost rubber band-ish, notes with fruit and wood

Both rums are excellent. Despite their significant proofs, they are best enjoyed neat, or with just a few drops of water. The bright tropical flavors featured in Last Ward are like a momentary Caribbean jaunt. Meanwhile, the Sherry cask aging of Principia give it the heft and complexity of a single malt scotch. Both are quite limited with just 5,400 bottles of Principia and 18 barrels worth (after the angel’s share removed 64%) of Last Ward.

Both pair well with a fine cigar. Principia’s wood and sherry heft stands up to a full-bodied cigar like a RoMa Craft CroMagnon, Mi Querida, or Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970. Last Ward’s tropical notes go well with the subtle spice of a Cameroon-wrapper like the La Flor Dominicana Cameroon Cabinet, Partagas Ramon y Ramon, or Arturo Fuente Don Carlos.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Partagas Series No.1 Edición Limitada 2017

19 Aug 2018

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Cuban cigar conglomerate Habanos introduced the Edición Limitada in 2000, employing extra-aged tobaccos in exclusive sizes. The 2017 releases consisted of the Cohiba Talisman, Punch Regios de Punch, and this Partagas Series No.1. It’s a 5.4-inch, 52-ring gauge smoke that cost me 17 euro. The cigar features dark chocolate, earth, and oak flavors with a hint of mint. It has a solid ash, open draw, and a slightly uneven burn. Rich, balanced, classic, medium- to full-bodied flavors make this a cigar well worth trying.

Verdict = Buy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Flor de las Antillas Toro

5 Aug 2018

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

My Father’s Flor de las Antillas blend is a Nicaraguan puro from the Pepin family featuring a sun-grown Nicaraguan wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. The cigar has garnered high ratings from both Cigar Aficionado (which named it the top cigar of 2012) and Stogie Guys. The 6-inch, 52-ring gauge, box-pressed Toro features notes of coffee, earth, nutmeg, bread, and a hint of damp cardboard. Combustion is excellent, but I can’t help but feeling that this cigar doesn’t fully deliver compared to past editions.

Verdict = Hold.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys