Posts Tagged antonio lam

Reinado Grand Empire Reserve Petit Lancero Limited Edition (prerelease)

Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (

Jay’s Notes:

This week we are photographing and reviewing the Reinado Grand Empire Reserve Petit Lancero prerelease. Antonio Lam of Reinado will be making a follow-up splash at this year’s IPCPR’13 by introducing additional vitolas to his popular Grand Empite Reserve line – Petit Lancero Limited Edition (6 x 38), Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46), and Toro (6 x 52). In addition, “couple months” after the IPCPR, Antonio will be releasing the Gordo size (6 x 60). When asked why Gordo is not coming out at the same time as the other 3 new vitolas, Antonio responded – “Blend needs work for the size. We want to be able to translate the essence of the GER notes as close as possible and don’t feel it is there yet.” So, there you have it. Four additional vitolas to the popular Elegidos (5 x 55) original release.

If you have enjoyed the flavor & performance of the Elegidos but prefer the lancero format, the Petit Lancero might be just what you have been waiting for. Keep in mind though, the Petit Lancero will be a limited edition – 10 count boxes (250 boxes total).

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Length: 6”
Ring: 38

Matt’s Review:

Cut: Palio
Drink: Unsweetened Lipton Cold Brew iced tea
Palate: Fresh

# cigars smoked for review: One… was all I could get my hands on!

Pre-light: The cigar presents itself with an oily and attractive mocha brown maduro wrapper. It’s not as oily as the Elegidos, but it still exudes that sexy, velvety tactile experience. The palpable veins and ultra fine tooth create subtle color variations and accentuate deeper dark chocolate and reddish hews. Perfect symmetry: tight, crisp seems and evenly packed throughout. Off the foot, the pre-light aroma is gripping: huge plum, raisin and sweet tobacco. Way too sexy for the barnyard! The cold draw gives up more sweet tobacco and jammy notes balanced by earth and hints of leather.

Draw:  Classic lancero: a little snug, but not uncomfortable.

Flavors: The lead in is an initial warm blast of red pepper spice(tip of the tongue) that commands your attention and gradually fades out into a wave of sweet cedar, dark chocolate, and moist earth, while soft wisps of leather try to emerge from the depths below. It’s a much more lively and spirited red pepper spice up front and on the retro hale when compared to the Elegidos. It may be petite, but it sure as hell is bold as brass coming out of the gates! Saucy……I like it!

The smoke starts off bright and sharp on the palate. There are delicate floral and herbal notes that unfold to soften the cedar edge. The core is earth and dark chocolate. The finish is long…….coffee, roast nuts, and soft leather. Getting into the second third, around the second ash drop, it is clear that act I has closed………but the show must go on.

A very interesting transition / transformation occurs: the smoke becomes much more dense and lush, yielding a bigger mouth feel on the palate. The crisp floral and herbal notes are put to rest and the overall texture gets much creamier. A distinct sweetness, not present at all in the 1st third, starts to reveal itself. It’s not the blackstrap molasses I get from the Elegidos. It is a lighter / less aggressive and more delicate sweetness … it’s honey! This in and of itself is worth the price of admission … but it’s not even close to the best part.

Simultaneously, as the mouth feel is becoming much more substantial and creamier, the warming sensation of the red pepper on the tip of my tongue changes dramatically!  The honeyed sweetness builds and a particular floral note becomes readily apparent … it’s mint! On the tip of my tongue, throughout the second third of the cigar, a wonderful cool minty, fresh grated nutmeg spice led into a long, smooth finish of earth, coco, coffee, leather, and more roast nuts. The leather is more assertive throughout the remainder of the cigar and the mild cedar evolves into more of a toasted oak. The honey and mint mesh well and subtle graham cracker notes fleet in and out…… it’s truly a happily ever after moment going on here.

The strength and body build throughout the cigar. For me, it was a solid medium that developed into full throttle…..hitting the final third! The flavors are BIG and diverge and contrast at points, but are never conflicting or opposed.  She will tangle you in an elaborate complex web. Damn….MORE please!!!

Burn: Required one touch up. Tight potash grey salt and pepper ash.

Construction: Excellent

Description Adjectives: Rollercoaster. Big things come in small packages. Petite….my ass!

Box Worthy: Oh HELL yes!

Overall: Another clear winner from Reinado. I love the GER blend and this vitola showcases it’s different characteristics and attributes extraordinarily well.  When I was growing up my parents taught me if you were going to do something….do it right. This is a job well done…done right….. and not to be missed.

Please consider the following posts:



* DISCLAIMER: Reinado Grand Empire Reserve Petit Lancero sample was gifted by Antonio Lam of REINADO. Antonio’s generosity had no impact on the actual experience. The cigar spoke for itself.


- click on photographs (slideshow)-

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reinado Grand Empire Reserve

Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (


Oradell, NJ, July 03, 2012 –(– Following the success of the 92 rated Petite Corona known as the Habanito and the 91 rated Torpedo,REINADO unveiled the Grand Empire Reserve at the 80th Annual IPCPR Convention and International Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, in August, 2012.

The Grand Empire Reserve is a box pressed Robusto that incorporates a select habano maduro wrapper and an additional aged Nicaraguan filler which leverages REINADO’s signature fermentation process to provide even greater depth, richer undertones, and enhanced overall complexity for both the casual and the distinguished cigar smoker.

“The flavor profile of the Grand Empire Reserve was developed after extensive sampling to deliver a truly exceptional blend,” said Antonio Lam, owner of Cubanero Enterprises. “We believe the flavors and balanced strength developed through extending REINADO’s unique fermentation process along with the inclusion of the aged Nicaraguan filler will distinguish the Grand Empire Reserve from all other cigars on the market,” said Lam.

A single size called Elegidos meaning “chosen” is scheduled for release in August, 2012 followed by additional sizes.

Initial Specs:
• Size: 5 x 55 (Box Pressed)
• Wrapper: Nicaraguan Select Maduro
• Binder: Nicaragua
• Filler: Nicaragua
• Price: $9.95/cigar – 20ct boxes

“As demonstrated through the REINADO core product line and the introduction of the Grand Empire Reserve, we are dedicated to innovation and offering smokers quality choices of highly rated cigars,” said Lam.

The Grand Empire Reserve will be available through select retailers and, on a limited basis, directly through REINADO.

Cut: Palio
Drink: None
Palate: Fresh

Prelight: gorgeous oily dark chocolate maduro wrapper with very very fine tooth and a medium box press. No visible veins and extremely tight seams. I literally can’t identify the wrap line. Initial aroma: sweet tobacco, barn yard, and neglected gurl. Cold draw: ultra rich sweet tobacco, earth, and white pepper.

Draw: a bit on the loose side, but not uncomfortable or anywhere near wide open.

Flavors: Initial soft subdued spice that fades fairly quickly to allow herbal and floral notes to emerge. The smoke is light on the palate and there is a delicate nuanced complexity: tea, stone fruits, and sweet mild cedar. It reminds me of a Curivari El Gran Rey. Then it happens … the flavors gently transition into a beautiful soft and mellow full flavored finish: earth, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee, and burnt toffee. Cinnamon, nutmeg and roast nuts on the exhale/retro. There is a wonderful black strap molasses sweetness evident throughout. The smoke becomes lush and creamy on the palate. The strength never goes past medium plus for me. Flavor is full from the start and never dies down. It’s delicate, but has some serious shoulders. It’s polished strength and a thing of beauty.

Burn: a bit wavy and required a few touch ups. The ash is a flakey dark salt/pepper pot ash grey. Each ash left a symmetrical glowing cherry.

Construction: excellent
Descriptive adjectives: Rich….F’ing Rich!
Box worthy: absolutely
Overall: going to be in my top 5 this year

Please consider the following post:



- click on photographs - 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Jersey Cigar Festival

- click on photographs - 

Cigar industry is blooming … period. Not only we are seeing quality products out on the market but cigar smokers and aficionados can now discuss those products in-person with manufacturers. On Sunday, 03APR2011, that opportunity presented itself in New Jersey. Riverfront Stadium, the home of the Newark Bears was the home of the 1st New Jersey Cigar Festival. David Mallow, mastermind behind this project and the owner of Barrister cigar shop, despite questionable weather and last minute obstacles, was able to pull of a pretty good event. In reference to manufacturers, one was able to chat with few of the heavy hitters in the cigar industry: Miami Cigar & Company; Alec Bradley; Drew Estate; Joya de Nicaragua; Reinado; Rocky Patel; Los Blancos; Maraya; Martin Family; Villiger; Xikar as well as CRA; The Guayabera Lady; The Metropolitan Society; Smoke N Lounge.

David Mallow approached me couple weeks before the Festival and asked if I was interested in coming over and photographing the event. Perfect opportunity to catch-up with fellow Brothers/Sisters Of The Leaf, chat with the manufacturers, and last but surely not least, expand my personal photo project – ‘The Cigar Smoker.’ I believe I have accomplished all three. I was able to catch up with my friend – Barry Stein from In manufacturer department, I finally met David Lafferty – Regional Manager at Drew Estate. We have exchanged few laughs and talked about a very ‘sensitive’ subject – ‘Liga accounts’ (* LoL !!!). It is always a pleasure to chat with Miami Cigar crew – Chris Lenzo & Arielle Ditkowich (La Sirena). To get to Arielle, one has to walk through/around couple other ‘sunday’ photographers. Next time ! A day wouldn’t be complete without chatting with a good friend of mine, Antonio Lam – the head of ‘Reinado‘ empire. I admire Antonio’s passion and wish him all the best. If you live in North Jersey and you are a cigar smoker looking for a cozy place with great camaraderie, there is nothing better than The Metropolitan Society private club. George Koodray (President) and Nick Verdi (Vice President) were present at the festival and it was a pleasure to catch up with a ‘bada bing’ crew.

Below is a visual summary of the event and contribution toward my ‘The Cigar Smoker’ project. Enjoy !

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


- click on photographs - 

REINADO cigars, product from Antonio Lam, are handmade, premium aged puros exclusively blended to perfection from the rich sought-after tobacco fields of Nicaragua. The REINADO blend distinguishes itself from all others on the market via an original and closely guarded secret fermentation process employing several types of select premium tobacco. While from Cuban seed, the wrapper, binder, and filler are all grown in the lush tropics of Nicaragua. See REINADO website for more details HERE

Antonio and I got in touch via mutual friend, Ruben Abreu, from Ruben’s Smoke Stack in Hackensack, NJ. Delicious and nutritious REINADO cigars that Antonio brought in, become the main object of spontaneously scheduled photo session. Antonio was/is a great guy and I wish him all the best with his current and all upcoming projects !

Tags: , , , , , , ,