Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Serie Cigar Review

November 7, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

This cigar is part of a sampler that I received from Drew Estate – my reviews are my own.

My first reaction upon seeing this cigar is that it has a serious identity crisis. It has a light wrapper visible all the way from the foot to the band, which is Ecuadorian Shade (and it actually runs the whole length of the cigar), and then it inexplicably changes to a darker wrapper from the cap to the other side of the band, which is Nicaraguan Criollo.

There may be something to this whole “identity crisis” motif for this cigar. It’s from Joya de Nicaragua and its cigar cousin, the Antano, is a full bodied powerhouse. This is not. But it is a good looking cigar with no serious imperfections. Yes, it has a couple of veins and is a little dry to the touch but they have all (by “all” I mean the other four samples) performed well up to this point.

Cigar Stats
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Shade and Nicaraguan Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $140.00/Box of 24

Ron Washington Inspiration (Expletives) Flame!

It’s a cross between burnt and sweet nuts. I usually go for the full bodied cigars but this medium bodied flavor piñata is very nice.

In addition to those nutty flavors there is a dry, grassy flavor. Lots of smoke from this one and I should mention that unless you are going to retrohale this cigar you are going to miss out on a lot of the flavor.

Not exactly a smooth cigar this Joya de Nicaragua. Honestly, when I first received these cigars I didn’t want to like them. The double wrappers scream of gimmickry but with each successive cigar I am being won over.

After about the first third of the cigar creaminess comes into the flavor profile. It has also smoothed out a good amount.

At around the two thirds mark a mildly sweet floral flavor enters. The nuttiness is still the major flavor and it reminds me of a mild nut, like a cashew. It is a medium bodied cigar with a good draw and burn.

Once the burn line crosses over to the darker wrapper it takes on an earthy flavor. Unfortunately, this new flavor is too fleeting.

Fortunately, on the whole this is a great cigar. Very good flavors and the technical aspects of the cigar are spot on. Definitely give this cigar a try.

90 points

CAO L’Anniversaire 1968-1998 Cameroon Belicoso Cigar Review

March 10, 2009 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Yes, I just did a review of this cigar last week in which I gave it 92 points. It’s a good cigar but I smoked another one and the score came out substantially different so I decided to post this review as well. Here it is:

Looks like it has a slight box press. One small tare on the wrapper, not a major concern. The cap does not look good either though, which is somewhat concerning. There isn’t that much oil on the wrapper. Just drinking water.

Cigar Stats
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $8.50

Afternoon Light!

Great draw. Decent amount of spice at first but that quickly fades into the background. The main flavors are warm and strong but by no means overpowering. Solidly a medium-full bodied cigar.

There is this mildly sweet flavor as well. Sweet and bitter. Cocoa, that’s probably the flavor. I am also getting a good amount of spice on the roof of my mouth now that I am halfway through. Man, my mouth is really watery! Not a dry smoke at all.

It’s fair to call this a full bodied cigar after the halfway point because it has gotten somewhat stronger. I’m still tagging it as medium-full but it is a judgment call for sure. Another flavor that I am getting is graham cracker – never got that flavor from a cigar before. It gets mostly bitter three-quarters of the way through though – not good.

As I am nearing the end of the cigar that bitterness gets worse. Just like something that is too sweet a cigar can get too bitter. Maybe I just smoked it too long but it’s definitely going to hurt the score.

88 points

Other Takes

My previous review of the Belicoso

My previous review of the robusto that I gave 90 points to

Alan Barber: “On a scale of 1 to 5 I would give this cigar a 2. There were small hints of flavor but the woodyness with strong hits of spice in my limited experience was just too overpowering. With the irritation I found myself experiencing I found it hard to completely enjoy the cigar when I kept needing to clear my throat and get a drink of water.” So it might be too much for a newbie.

Daniel B. Honingman: He liked it: “When I started the CAO Cameroon, I found it to have hints of cinnamon; but as I smoked it down, it smoothed out all the way to the nub. With this cigar, you’ll really able to appreciate its caramel and coffee overtones. I recommend pairing it with a cup of coffee.”

Cigar Student liked it

Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur (Natural) No. 3 Cigar Review

February 8, 2009 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I smoked this one a while ago so I’m just basically going off of my notes.

There’s a decent amount of oils on the wrapper but there’s also a minor stretch mark in one area. Other than that stretch mark it looks like it has perfect construction. Right before this I smoked a crappy Don Tomas and a second one (forget what it was at this point) that was just as bad. So there’s a chance that they can adversely affect this cigar. Drinking Maker’s Mark, Cherry Coke, and a water.

Cigar Stats
Length: 6 1/8″
Ring Gauge: 48
Wrapper: USA/Conn
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dom Rep, Nic
Price: $6.00

Night Light!

Mild-medium bodied. Slight amount of spice. Perfect draw. Third time is the charm tonight!

Mellow cigar. Very creamy smoke. Slight nutty flavor. Honey and this mildly sweet coconut flavor as well. It may not have a lot of strength but it has a lot of flavor.

Slight problem with the burn. I’m over halfway through now and the burn hasn’t affected my enjoyment of this cigar.

Now, this won’t be a favorite of mine but it’s damn good. It belongs somewhere around the 90 point neighborhood.

Near the end it gets somewhat harsh with an ashy flavor. Knocks of a point or two.

89 points

Note: After looking at some other people’s review of this cigar I think those previous cigars I smoked must have had a bigger impact on this cigar than I thought.

Cigar Jack said this cigar is medium-full bodied with a lot of bold spice.

Her Humidor had a maduro version of this cigar in the Crusader size and she gave it great praise saying that it might be her favorite cigar of the year. She found it full bodied but it also had a poor burn.

Zen Cigar: “It is a medium-bodied cigar; I taste a slight creaminess with wood, leather and some tobacco on finish.” Zen gave it 86 points.

You decide for yourself, it’s worth a try.