Posts Tagged nicaragua

Federal Cigar 93rd Anniversary Reserve No.2

Cigar Review by Steve Royston (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)


Jay’s Notes:

This week we are photographing and reviewing the Federal Cigar 93rd Anniversary Reserve No. 2 - the latest exclusive 6 x 52 box-pressed torpedo for the Federal Cigar (*New Hampshire-based chain owned by Rick Gadway). This year’s commemorative cigar comes from well respected Oliva Cigar Company and has mysterious ties to Oliva Master Blends 1 and Oliva Master Blends 2. In addition, the Federal Cigar 93rd Anniversary Reserve No. 2 has been sitting on the shelf as a potential project for the past ~10 years. It will be available for purchase on March 15th, 2014 at the Federal Cigar’s 93rd Anniversary Party.

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Length: 6”
Ring: 52

 

Steve’s Review:

With the looming 93rd Anniversary of Federal Cigar in New Hampshire, let’s take a look at this year’s commemorative cigar. First off, when I heard that this year’s cigar was going to be a “found” stick from the Oliva aging vault, my ears perked up. I mean, come on, an Oliva from the early Master Blends years? 10-11 years of sleep? Sign me up. Let’s begin. The most distinct aspect of this cigar is its look. A gorgeous, sandy brown sun grown wrapper with very minimal veins. The slight press is very attractive as well. An obvious difference, this year, is that they labeled it with a custom Federal Cigar band, which is very well done.


A ¼ inch cut gives way to a perfect draw for my liking. Just a slight tug. The cold draw is very mild with subtle barnyard notes. The light up is toasty and slightly creamy. A nice punchy spice on the retrohale. Half an inch in, there isn’t any change on what comes across the palate. Still very toasty and slightly creamy. The retrohale is where all the action is so far. The spice has stepped back just a little, but still has a little punch to it. It’s been backed up by a nice cedar bouquet. The finish has the softest touch of mocha to it and a faint clove spice. So far the burn is razor sharp and the ash is fairly even, pale gray with just a few dark spots. Passed the first inch, the upfront flavors are starting to pick up some steam. The toasty notes have shifted slightly to a breadier flavor. That clove spice from the finish has pushed its way more toward the front. The mouth feel has a very fine, silky grit to it; the kind that makes you want to keep sliding your tongue across the roof of your mouth. I am a cedar junkie and this cigar is delivering right now. The retrohale spice has toned way down and the cedar has come way up and has developed a slightly honeyed sweetness. This, combined with the bready and creamy characters, are really making a harmonious combination. After the halfway mark, black pepper is picking up across the palate and stays fairly distinct through the finish. It’s an interesting addition to the other flavors that have been coming through, which have stayed consistent at this point. Thus far, the cigar has been fairly firm to the touch. Now that I am coming into the finale the temperature is starting to rise a bit and the cigar has softened just a little. Not objectionable at this point. However, as the cigar has progressed, the spice has shot up and has a little bite to it. Again, not objectionable for me, but I could see many people ending the smoke at this point.


To close I will say that this cigar was very good. It was solid medium strength and full flavored throughout. I would suspect that in its early days, this cigar had some pretty good kick to it. Subtle hints of that still remain, but 10-11 years of age have tamed it down. It’s an aesthetically beautiful cigar from head to toe. Construction, draw, and burn were all near perfect. I prime example of the quality that Oliva has been, and is still able, to deliver. Until next time, happy smoking.

 

Please consider the following posts:

* Oliva Master Blends 1
* Oliva Master Blends 2
* EP Carrillo Medalla D’Oro
* EP Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4
* Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 Rosado 

- click on photographs (slideshow)-
Federal Cigar 93rd Anniversary Reserve No. 2 Federal Cigar 93rd Anniversary Reserve No. 2
Federal Cigar 93rd Anniversary Reserve No. 2
Federal Cigar 93rd Anniversary Reserve No. 2

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Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars

Saints & Sinners - private social club and a brainchild of Pete Johnson of Tatuaje and Sean ‘Casper’ Johnson of L’Atelier.


CigarPhoto posted an exclusive summary of the Saints & Sinners 2011 and the Saints & Sinners 2012 kits. 


The expectation was / is that each year will bring another kit filled with prototypes and regular production cigars. This week CigarPhoto is delivering an exclusive overview of the Saints & Sinners 2013 kit. In addition to prototypes and exclusive blends, Johnsons included the following regular releases in 2013 kit:

  • Tatuaje Regios Reserva 2013
  • Tatuaje Noella Reserva 2013
  • Tatuaje Belle Encre
  • Tatuaje Bon Chasseur
  • Tatuaje Black CG 2013
  • Tatuaje Cohete
  • La Dueña
  • L’Atelier Extension de la Racine

For an annual registration fee of $150, each member will receive:
1. Exclusive, one-off products available only to members (select products may not be available for purchase through the S&S webstore)
2. Everyday Tatuaje branded merchandise at the Saints & Sinners discounted club rate.
3. Access to members-only forums, where you can discuss the finer points of cigars, smoking accessories, spirits, and anything else associated with the Saints & Sinners lifestyle.
4. Access to the Pete Johnson video blog. Here, Pete will update members on everything PJHC. Watch Pete as he travels around the world, visiting his production facility in Nicaragua, engages fans on cigar tours, and dishes on anything else he feels his Saints & Sinners family should know.
5. First looks at new cigar blends, swag, as well as insider info on Tatuaje and other Pete Johnson brands.
6. The knowledge that a portion of your annual membership fee will go to an eclectic mix of charities that Pete chooses for their commitment to their particular cause.

- click on photographs - 
 Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars

Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars
Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars
Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars

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BOTL 2013 by Drew Estate

Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)


Jay’s Notes:

This week we are photographing and reviewing the BOTL 2013 – a corona gorda made by the Drew Estate for BOTL.org online community. The BOTL 2013, a follow-up to well received BOTL 2012 lancero (also made by the Drew Estate), was a limited run and was sold exclusively through online retailer Podman Cigars (* notice Podwika’s signature on the box).

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: ASP Ligero, Drew Estate Jalapa Ligero
Length: 6”
Ring: 46


Matt’s Review:

Cut: Palio / Straight
Drink: None
Palate: Fresh
# Cigars Smoked for Review: One

Prelight: Underneath the muted brown and cream BOTL band emerges some sexy! A quick look reveals a somewhat rough triple cap which is concealed quite well by the dark and mottled appearance of the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper: classic spectral shades of brown and inky black with seductive subtle reddish hues. There is a uniform fine tooth and no real appreciable oils. The seams are tight, the pack is very firm, and there is one large palpable vein running the length of the cigar. Off the wrapper … straight tobacco and barnyard. Off the foot… it’s raisin, plum, molasses and dark chocolate … very sweet. The cold draw delivers raisin, milk chocolate and a touch of pepper.

Draw: perfect, comfortable and even throughout. I was a bit concerned prior to the cut/light, as the cigar felt very densely packed.

Flavors: On the first few draws, I was struck with a big pepper blast that hits hard and then almost immediately fades out and lingers toward the back of the palate. There is a core of earth, dark chocolate, and very mild cedar that emerge. The opening is a little sharp and astringent: I get red chile/cayenne on the tip of my tongue and black pepper on the back of the palate and the retro. There is massive smoke … classic DE and very Liga-esque. The initial intense spice is drying on the palate. As I get a bit further into the 1st third, the cedar becomes more evident and there is a sweetness starting to emerge, but my tongue is still a little spice shocked and won’t let it develop in it’s entirety. Just prior to hitting the 2nd third, the acidic/zesty chile and the ruddy/bold black pepper finally find balance with a rich molasses sweetness … and the transition gives up wonderful cinnamon notes that complement the dark chocolate and mild cedar perfectly. Into the 2nd third, the spice on the back of the palate fades out completely. The strength and natural sweetness of the broadleaf are in full effect now. The smoke has become much denser and creamier on the palate. Cinnamon, black tea, and rich coffee notes act to accent a solid core of dark chocolate, mild cedar, and that gritty Broadleaf sweetness. The final third is wonderful: cinnamon, cedar and chocolate. The spice is a distant memory…the smoke is creamy and rich with a huge mouth feel. Overall, the body and strength remained medium plus/full minus throughout.

Burn: A little wavy at times, but straightened out on its own with only one minor touch up. The ash was a ribbed white/grey: dense, tight, and solid.

Construction: Excellent throughout

Descriptive Adjectives: Mayan Hot Chocolate!

Box worthy: Start scouring the secondary market. Should age very well.

Overall: Initial intense diverging spices marry with an escalating sweetness to allow distinct balanced transitions. A bit of a roller-coaster! It was like Santa Fe collided with Hershey Pa!


 

 
 

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Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro

Cigar Review by Steve Royston (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)


Jay’s Notes:

This week we are photographing and reviewing the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro - the latest project from the Oliva Cigar Company and a follow-up to well received Oliva Serie V Melanio (ecuadorian sumatra wrapper). 

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican maduro from San Andrés Valley
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Length: 6.5”
Ring: 52

 

Steve’s Review:

For starters, this cigar is aesthetically gorgeous. A smooth, dark chocolate wrapper with minimal veins and a beautiful box press. A sniff of the foot gives off a rich, sweet tobacco aroma. I used an angle cut, taking off about a 1/3 of an inch. Too snug. Took off about another 1/8 of an inch. We’ll see how it works out. Putting the cigar in my mouth to take a cold draw was instantly like chocolate hitting my lips. Very mild flavor on the cold draw, but a sweet richness is definitely there. Let’s put some fire to this stick.


Right away I’m hit with a boldness that I was not expecting. I can already tell that this is vastly different from its regular Melanio counterpart. A very smooth, but slightly gritty, feeling coats my palate. A powerful spice comes through on the retrohale. The aftertaste, crazy as it might sound, reminds me of Andes mint chocolates. Now don’t go taking this seriously. I don’t mean it literally tastes like chocolate mint. Just a subtle, rich, cocoa undertone with a slight effervescence to it. This combination makes me reminiscent of the holidays at my parent’s house as a kid eating handfuls of those candies. About 3/4 of an inch in, a slightly woody note comes through. I can’t quite pinpoint it. Sometimes it tastes like cedar and sometimes like oak. Both are enjoyable. At the inch mark, the burn has gone slightly crooked but has been almost razor straight up until now. Nothing to cry about. (side note: The draw has been perfect for me. Just enough tug for my liking.) That woody note I mentioned has gone full blown cedar, which I love. And the richness has gone the route of a slight mocha flavor. The retrohale spice is still present, but very toned down.


At the 1/3 mark, a strong, roasted coffee bean note has popped up with just a touch of cream in the aftertaste. Pretty consistent coming to the halfway mark. But now, a very slow and steady retrohale gives off a subtle, sweet clove spice. Into the final 1/3, the upfront flavor has turned to a dark, bitter espresso with a spice that tingles the tip of my tongue. The smoke has gotten very chewy and that prominent richness has taken a backseat in the aftertaste. This is pretty consistent through the finish with the exception of a smokey, toasty characteristic.


Final thoughts:
I was very pleased, overall, with this cigar. Much more so than when I first smoked the original Melanio, which had to grow on me. I think the finish could benefit from a little age, but I’d certainly recommend this cigar. Happy smoking my friends.

 

Please consider the following posts:

* Oliva Master Blends 1
* Oliva Master Blends 2
* Oliva Serie V Maduro 2011
* Oliva Serie V No4
* Oliva Cain F lancero 

- click on photographs (slideshow)-
 
 
 

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Reinado Grand Empire Reserve Petit Lancero Limited Edition (prerelease)

Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)


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…..it 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:

* http://cigarphoto.net/blog/2012/11/reinado-grand-empire-reserve/
* http://cigarphoto.net/blog/2011/02/reinado/

 

* 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)-

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