Disclaimer: I received the cigars used for this review from Iconic Leaf Cigar Company. All reviews are my own.
Don Jose Rafael, working in the Leyendas Cubana factory, created the blend for these cigars. If you want the whole story you should check their page on this cigar out but, what I found interesting is that they use the entubar method of rolling cigars. What does that mean? Well, roughly speaking, that means they roll the filler tobacco into a tube shape, which is suppose to give it a better draw.
The medium brown wrapper has lighter flecks dispersed over the surface, which makes up the only semi-important flaw I can see on this cigar. It’s box pressed, slightly under packed (which is a necessity for box pressed cigars), not very oily and looks to be well made.
Length: 6 ¼″
Ring Gauge: 50
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: MSRP of $8.00/Single
Forward Unto Dawn Torch!
There is one thing that I think you should know up front about this flavor profile: it’s not spicy. And that is usually a bad thing in my book because I do like spice (spice doesn’t have to be the main flavor, per se, but I want it as at least a bit player). But, when the flavors are good, as is the case at least in the beginning with this cigar, I have to tip my metaphorical cap.
Earth, dark chocolate and wheat bread makes up the flavor profile during the first third. It’s a surprisingly good mix and is working for me. Basically, what you are going to get is one of those flavor profiles that has this dark confidence about it.
A dark, brooding sweetness was present during the first third but during the second third it becomes more pronounced. Earth and wheat are the other main flavors during this third.
During the final third cedar joins the group, which includes chocolate and earth. That dark sweetness is still a very strong influence on the flavor profile.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn, this was definitely a solid cigar. However, like I previously mentioned, the flavor profile featured in this cigar does not normally jive with what I like. Still, it is undeniably a good cigar. The flavor never flags and it was an enjoyable experience.
It’s a Chisel™ and what that means is I will probably like it. My favorite Chisel (I will dispense with the ™ thing because I don’t think you care) is the LFD Double Ligero Maduro but I also loved the LFD Double Ligero Natural and LFD Air Bender. All were great cigars and all should be smoked by people who like full bodied cigars and flavor. The latter part is the only part that really matters though.
The Litto Gomez Diez 2010 Chisel is a Dominican puro with a light brown wrapper. When I see this wrapper I am still surprised at how light it is. Still, it is a La Flor Dominicana Chisel so you know the quality will be there.
Or will it? Usually, that is the case. However, the first one of these that I smoked had a tight draw that hurt the cigar. It was a bummer.
The wrapper looks good and so does the shape. Nicely packed with no soft or hard spots and with no raised veins are evident.
Walking Dead 3 Incineration!
Unfortunately, the flavors start out muted, almost shy. Very faint, not subtle, just faint hay and cashews. After a third to half an inch some spice enters the mix, which does improve the overall flavor profile.
With the first third’s flavors being nearly transparent I was hoping for an improvement during the second third. And there is a slight improvement with the flavors ratcheting up a peg or two. Spice and hay are the main flavors. Some dark sweetness sneaks in during this third as well and it does morph into sweet wood. There is also buttered toast during this third.
Before I go onto the final third I have to make a bit of a detour and explain why the flavors for this cigar are muted (I’m sure most of you have already guessed the reason). It’s aged. Erik Espinosa pointed this out while I was giving my review on Kiss my Ash Radio (the July 21, 2012 episode), which is put on by Smoke Inn. Aging cigars is a good idea and maybe people who like medium bodied cigars would love this cigar but I didn’t like the first two thirds. There’s a season for everything but that season passed for the first two thirds.
And then the final third happened. Spice, oak and bread never tasted so good. It was an explosion of flavor that made the whole cigar worth it for me. Well, almost. It’s still an expensive cigar and a third is still a third, which isn’t enough.
Excellent draw and burn throughout, which is something to be expected with Chisels. The first two thirds were medium bodied while the last third was definitely full bodied. This really is a Tale of Two Cigars. It was almost like the cigar had been resting on its head for the last two years and all the flavors settled on the bottom. The first two thirds would have earned 87 points from me but the last third was a 96 point cigar. Averaging it out…
PS: Over the weekend I smoked a Litto Gomez Diez 2012 and it was fantastic. It was like the final third of the 2010 but throughout the whole cigar.
Full Disclosure: I received two of these cigars from the manufacturer for this review. All reviews are my own.
If memory serves, a couple of months ago a new size, named Luminoso, was added to the La Traviata Maduro lineup. According to the company this size (4.5″ x 50) is extremely popular for the original La Traviata and so, they reasoned, why not make the Maduro in this size as well?
Well, it can’t hurt. I have reviewed the 5″ x 50 vitola of the La Traviata Maduro before and I thought it was decent, scoring 88 points. That’s a fine score and puts it squarely into that category of cigar (for me at least) where I don’t have much bad to say about it but there isn’t that much excitement either. Will cutting half an inch off of the cigar make that much of a difference?
It is a good looking cigar. Very dark wrapper with the darkness getting darker near the foot. Oily; it has this waxy feel to it. Nary a blemish mars the surface and it is well constructed.
Ring Gauge: 50
Filler: Dominican Republi & Nicaragua
Price: SRP ~ $154/Box of 30 | $5.10/Single
Dragon Launch Afterburners!
There was a sizable gap (sizable = a couple of months) between me smoking the first and the second cigars. It’s better with a couple months of aging.
With the couple extra months of aging the flavors do seem to be more alive. Alive and deconstructed. Basically, what I am experiencing is a very tasty cigar broken down into its component parts. There’s that leathery spice. And then chocolate. Over in the corner is earthiness.
It’s a kaleidoscope of flavors, that’s for sure, but it isn’t all moonbeams and rainbows. Something just seems to be missing. A strong leading flavor? Whatever it is, it’s not that big of a deal.
The second third changes things up a bit. The flavor profile becomes extremely dry and solidly in the salty meat/dark, chalky chocolate realm. Definitely a change of pace from my normal cigar choices and, because of that, I like it.
Medium bodied cigar with a good draw and burn. You will find no highs or lows, just a level goodness. Even though no leading flavor really emerged with much intensity the total flavor package was interesting enough to hold my interest from beginning to end. Definitely worth a try.
This is another cigar from Tatuaje. That might have sounded a little bit like complaining but, trust me, it’s not. If you’re going to be a company that puts out a lot of new cigar lines then you could do worse than try to emulate Tatuaje’s model.
I think the La Casita Criolla line came out about the same time as the Fausto; don’t check me on that, just nod along. Besides both being Tatuaje cigars there is little comparison, taste-wise at least, between the two. The Fausto is a powerhouse and this isn’t. I’m definitely not saying that this is a bad cigar, it’s just different.
Some medium sized veins streak across the wrapper like falling stars on an old catcher mitt-colored sky. It’s oily to the touch and is packed evenly. Quality construction is one of Tatuaje’s trademarks and this cigar does not fall short.
Vitola: Corona Gorda
Length: 5 5/8″
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: 100% Broadleaf
Binder: 100% Broadleaf
Filler: 100% Broadleaf
Price: $145.00/Box of 25 | $5.85/Single
The flavors for this cigar start out solidly dry. Leather, cream and a minute amount of sweetness. There’s also some graham cracker playing around in the background. The flavors are above average but the burn line did stray quite a bit in the beginning, which surprised me because that didn’t happen with the previous four of these that I smoked.
It’s definitely one of those easy going, unobtrusive cigars. You’ll start smoking it and find yourself relaxed, sitting by the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away. That’s great but it’s not everything.
My major problem with this cigar is that it doesn’t meld well with what I look for in a cigar. Even though that is true I can still appreciate it for what it is. There isn’t a lot of evolution in this cigar (I don’t think that matters all that much).
The final two thirds of the cigar are pretty much the same as the first third. There might be a little more graham cracker but, overall, it’s a consistent cigar flavor-wise. It’s a medium bodied cigar with a good draw and, despite the poor burn in the beginning of this cigar, over the course of trying five of these cigars I’ve found that the burn is good as well. If you like medium bodied cigars with a dry, leather flavor profile you will probably like this cigar.
Disclaimer: I received some of these as samples from the manufacturer many months ago. All reviews are my own.
I have smoked the maduro and the habano varieties of San Lotano and even though I do not have a review up for the habano wrapped variety I have to say that I do like it quite a bit. The maduro is a good cigar – just not something that really got me going. What about the Oval?
Due to its name the first thing you are going to think about is its unique shape. It’s oval and I do think that aides in the comfort level of this cigar. One of my favorite cigars of all time is the La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel Maduro and while the shapes aren’t exactly the same they are similar. In both cases the top and the bottom of the cigar are flat and that helps create a better seal with your lips. Does this actually improve the cigar though?
The chocolate brown habano wrapper for the Oval is nearly flawless. There are some very thin veins but they are few in number. Oily to the touch, the cigar does give a little when squeezed on the flat sides but not so much when I squeezed the rounded sides. How do A.J. Fernandez’s torcedores roll this cigar?
Length: 5 ½″
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Habano 2000
Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras & Redacted
Price: $156.00/Box of 20
By “redacted” I mean it’s a secret. Not my secret but Mr. Fernandez’s secret. And since it is a secret it can be from anywhere your imagination can take you. Maybe you are thinking that this unnamed filler tobacco could be from someplace where it is illegal for Americans to buy cigars from. Could it be?
The initial flavors are good. Nuts, buttery pound cake and some spice that lingers on the outskirts of the retrohale. It’s different and the flavors are more than capable of keeping your attention. There’s also this toasted flavor that permeates every last inch of the flavor profile; not a disagreeable flavor characteristic in this setting. While I’m at it, there’s also a sweet, creamy flavor going around as well. Anything else?
Slowly but surely the flavors migrate towards buttery toast, which is more a combining of the flavors than a transformation. Spice is mostly gone but the nutty flavors are sticking around. Is the shape making a difference?
I don’t know. It feels better, that’s a plus. And the cigar is very enjoyable. Plus, the final third does evolve somewhat. Singed wheat and oatmeal make a pretty good mix. How good?
It’s a medium bodied cigar with a good draw and burn. The flavors do have some evolution, especially at the end. While it isn’t exactly the type of cigar I normally go for I thought it was still a very good cigar. So, how good?