I received this cigar from Cigars Direct; as always, all reviews are my own.
Wrapper: Maduro Especial | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan & Honduras | Box of 20: $139.00; Single: $8.20 | Robusto | 5″ x 52
0/3: It’s a pretty flat looking cigar with bowed out sides (hence, the “oval”) with a smooth and oily dark wrapper. I have previously reviewed the San Lotano Oval and the San Lotano Maduro; both were good cigars.
1/3: Wonderfully dark flavor profile in the beginning. Earth, dark sweetness and general goodness.
2/3: Dirt, in a good way, plays a pretty big role during this third. Creamy texture. The dark sweetness takes a little step back.
3/3: The flavors coalesce into a good mixture of the flavors I’ve already mentioned. It’s still interesting.
4/3: Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar doesn’t really have any drawbacks but it’s not overly impressive either. All of the flavors were good but they didn’t pop either. It’s pleasant, which is a plus but it isn’t enough.
3.5 points – Solid cigar that most everyone will like but won’t love
I received the cigars used for this review from Emilio Cigars; as always, all reviews are my own.
The blackish-brown wrapper is almost completely devoid of any inconsistencies except for a smallish vein that runs the length of the cigar. It looks well made due to its uniformity of shape and the lack of any hard or soft spots.
“Who’s it made by?” you may be asking. Well, it’s made by the wunderkind A.J. Fernandez, that’s who. If you buy cigars online with any frequency then you are probably familiar with his other works (Man O’ War and Diesel he makes for others and San Lotano is his own, which you can find at many brick and mortar shops). Enjoyable cigars all.
I remember getting some of these AF1s about a couple of years ago and immensely enjoying them so I am hopeful for this go around. The vitola I’m using for this review is the ubiquitous robusto.
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Price: $120.00/Box of 20 | $6.00/Single
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It starts out strong with notes of cutting spice, chocolate and earth. Even though it’s still early in this cigar’s flavor evolution, the flavors I’m experiencing right now are pretty complex. And although there is a lot going on with the flavors and the strength in flavors (but not necessarily body) I can easily say that the flavor profile maintains an elegance to it; it’s reserved but not boring.
Chocolate, earth and a pervasive, yet restrained, sweetness are the main components of the flavor profile during the second third. Spice doesn’t play much of a part during this third except for during the actual process of retrohaling the smoke through my nose, where spice is evident for a brief moment. Normally, I would like more spice with chocolate and earth but the flavor profile is working well for me here.
Dry earth with spice is a good description of the final third’s flavor profile. Chocolate is still lurking around in the background and the overall strength of this cigar has increased to a point where it is now safely in the full bodied spectrum.
Full bodied with a great draw and burn; the Emilio AF1 has flavors that never flag and they are pretty tasty too. The main change in the flavor profile can be experienced during the transition into the final third with the darker chocolate and earth nexus giving way to a bolder dry earth and spice mixture. It’s an impressive cigar and I hope it sticks around for a long time in its current configuration.
PS: Right before hitting the publish button on this post it occurred to me that this cigar’s flavor arc is reminiscent of a lot of Western movie heroes. Take, for example, Shane. Shane, like this cigar, is a good guy trying to do right be his adopted family and town. Things go smoothly for a while but then, when the situation requires it, he goes off and saves the day.
While this cigar won’t save any days it does solidly go on in a pleasant fashion for the first two thirds or so. And then – BAM! – you are hit by an abrupt change that is impressive. If this cigar’s total flavor contribution had remained relatively constant throughout that would have been great. The fact that it had that extra element at the end is a bonus.
If you look at the bands on this cigar in a darkened room you would be forgiven if you thought they were just plain, black bands. But they’re not. These bands have the same logo replete with skull and cross bones along with the necessary titles on them as all the other Viaje Skull and Bones cigars; they’re just a different shade of black than the rest of the bands. It’s interesting and a little different, so that’s cool.
In the past I have reviewed a couple of cigars from the Viaje Skull and Bones line including:
The cigar is box pressed and short but fairly thick. It has an aggressive, sweet tobacco aroma about it and the wrapper is fairly oily. As far as I can tell there aren’t any but the slightest cosmetic imperfections and it looks like it is well made to me. I’ve smoked a couple of these in the past and I can’t recall having a problem with any of them.
Length: 4 ½”
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Price: $254.00/Box of 25 | $10.25/Single
Very complex from the beginning with notes of hot peppers, chocolate, earth and, generally, a smoky presence to it. There is a little bit of a kick present here and I would nominally put it in the full bodied spectrum; but that’s not this cigar’s point. Its major point is its complexity (at least during the earlier stages).
The second third of this cigar takes on more of the savory and sweet notes. Earth, chocolate and some charred meat flavors have come on during this third. Very dark flavors that keep me interested.
The flavors do begin to flag a bit during the final third but I think part of that can be attributed to the fact that the flavors were pretty consistent during the final two thirds and, perhaps, my palate just got a bit too familiar with them. That’s fine if the flavors are good and they are good here.
Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar features a very dark flavor profile. During the beginning the flavors were bolder and during the final two thirds the flavors were richer. Personally, I did enjoy the beginning more because of the presence of that hot pepper flavor. It added a bit of variety and spiciness almost always improves chocolate and earth flavors for me.
This is a very tasty cigar with a decent amount of complexity, especially in the beginning. There are enough different flavors present throughout to keep you interested and this kind of cigar should appeal to a wide swatch of the cigar smoking public. The price tag, on the other hand, probably won’t.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan | Box of 10: $64.00; 5 Pack: $34.00 | Robusto | 5″ x 52
0/3: First off, I have to thank Keith from Tiki Bar Online for gifting me this cigar. It has been safely resting in my humidor for a couple of months now and it was resting in Keith’s for some time before that.
This is the first offering from Eddie Ortega’s new cigar company and I’ve heard only good things about it. It’s a perfect looking box pressed cigar with a minimum amount of veins and a dark brown wrapper.
1/3: Strong flavors ranging from earth to a bit of spice (close to habanero) and even some chocolate.
2/3: During the transition from the first to the second third a great bitter chocolaty flavor takes over. There’s still a bit of spice hanging around and some vanilla.
3/3: The final third sees an increase in the spiciness buttressed by a healthy dose of chocolate. Spice and chocolate works well in food and it works just as well in a cigar. Earthiness makes a resurgence. I had to perform a touch up to the burn line during this third.
4/3: There is a nice intensity of flavor with this cigar that I like. It never got harsh and was always enjoyable. Medium-full bodied with a decent burn and a good draw this is a cigar that most people will like. I think most people will also like the price point of this cigar. A good fit for those who like heavy flavors; mainly the earth and the chocolate.
Full Disclosure: I received a couple of these from Smoke Inn.
The first thing you should know about this cigar is that it is cheap. Just look at the Cigar Stats for this thing. Yeah, that’s really cheap. So it’s one of those cigars that if it tastes alright and you want to stock up on cigars for when you’re walking the dogs or doing yard work then this might be a good choice.
It’s not a beautiful looking cigar – scratch that – it’s a pretty gnarly looking cigar. There are stretch marks around a couple of the veins and the cigar itself is hard to the touch. The shape itself is pretty good and the wrapper is medium to dark brown.
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Price (MSRP): $50.00/20 Pack | $16.25/5 Pack
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Not bad. I wouldn’t say that the flavors are awesome but they are enjoyable. A little bit of spice and oak and grass. The mixture is nice and as long as this cigar doesn’t break bad then it’ll be a good cigar.
Dark chocolate, raspberry and cappuccino come through during the second third. It’s really quite exceptional for a cigar this cheap. The flavors aren’t amazing but they are very good.
Entering the last third and the flavors move towards the berry flavor more. The other major flavor is still chocolate.
This cigar did have some problems. Unfortunately, the draw was a bit tight but there was still enough airflow to not hurt the flavors too much. The burn was good and this is a medium bodied cigar. While the flavors weren’t great they are very good for the price point. It’s definitely worth a try if you are looking to fill up on cigars you smoke while doing a moderately physical activity.