Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Cigar Review

September 30, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

From Cigar Aficionado:

To commemorate [Tatuaje's tenth anniversary], My Father Cigars is repackaging the original Tatuaje Selección de Cazador, or “brown label,” sizes in a gold foil pouch with a redesigned band and uncut foot. A new perfecto size has also been created.

That’s cool, most companies, no matter in what industry, don’t make it ten years. How has Tatuaje done it? Well, most of there cigars are awesome. Plus, Pete Johnson does an amazing job of promoting the brand and has created a cult status around his brand. Also, there’s some more stuff about the 10th anniversary party on that link. Now onto the cigar.

The cigar for this review is called the Havana Cazadores and measures in at 6 3/8″ by 43 and it looks well made, as is all of the premium stuff that comes out of My Father Cigars. While not a lot of oils on the wrapper the construction looks impeccable and the chocolate brown wrapper is marred only by quite a few superfluous veins.

Tatuaje 10th Anniversary box art (click to go to Tatuaje's Facebook Page)

Tatuaje 10th Anniversary box art (click to go to Tatuaje’s Facebook Page)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: long corona
Length: 6 3/8”
Ring Gauge: 43
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $224.99/Box of 25 | $50.00/5 Pack

Wikipedia Speed Race Flame!

You are met with a fine grouping of warm flavors with a good helping of bright, fairly strong spice during the very beginning of the cigar. Those warm flavors include maple and some bread notes as well. It’s a complex group of flavors all wrapped up in a medium bodied bouquet. Very tasty.

Great combination of deep, rich savory sweet flavors with spice continues during the middle third. A bit of meat gets added to the flavor profile during the latter part of this third. I’m really enjoying it thus far.

While there isn’t a ton of evolution in this cigar the flavors do steadily pick up steam from the first third to this one. Spice has become a progressively bigger player throughout this cigar and the final third is no different.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Havana Cazadores is a wonderful cigar replete with flavors ranging from rich maple sweetness to a clear, cutting spice. This mixture of flavors is great and will probably appeal to just about anyone.

92 points

Carlos Toraño Casa Toraño Maduro Cigar Review

September 13, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

The cigars for this review were provided by Thompson Cigar; as always, all reviews are my own

As you may know, I studied Spanish in high school for three years so I’m pretty good at it now and that is why I know “Casa” means “home.” I think. Well, that’s not really important. Or maybe it is! Here, from the Toraño website:

Casa Toraño appeals to all the senses. The Ecuadorian-Connecticut (or USA Connecticut maduro) wrapper is delicate, silky, and smooth. The binder is especially selected from the Toraño farms in the hills of Nicaragua; and the filler is a combination of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and a family blend of Central and South American tobaccos. Originally the Toraño´s private family blend, the Casa Toraño was made available to the smoking public and has received an enthusiastic reception.

So it was the family’s private blend; that’s cool. One could even say it was their “house” blend.

Looking at it you wouldn’t necessarily think it was anything particularly special. While it feels uniformly packed and there are a decent amount of oils on the dark brown wrapper it isn’t a smooth cigar. I’ve referred to cigars that look like this in the past as being “rustic” and that applies here. Lots of noticeable veins, some peaks and valleys and there are some stretch marks on the wrapper.

Carlos Toraño Casa Toraño Cigar

Picture: Carlos Toraño Casa Toraño Cigar (click to buy this cigar from Thompson)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 6 ¼”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: USA Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan & Honduras & S. and C. American Friends
Price: $75.00/Box of 20 | $6.36/Single

Grace Potter’s Stars Conflagration!

This cigar starts out very well with notes of woodiness, mint and an overarching savory sweetness. It’s a good mixture of above average flavors that isn’t abrasive in the least.

Usually, when someone makes a point of saying there isn’t anything offensive or “abrasive” about something that is usually immediately followed by some variation of “but it’s boring.” This isn’t a boring cigar as the second third makes some pretty nice progressions. For example, the sweetness and woodiness have melded together very nicely and some mesquite is now coming through.

With the final third you will notice a pretty significant change. A dark earthiness starts to come through and it crowds out that savory sweetness that was such an important part of the first two thirds. Mesquite is the other major flavor at the end as well. (And, yes, I know that mesquite is a type of wood but earlier on in the cigar the woody flavor was more of a general woodiness.)

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the Carlos Toraño Casa Toraño is an enjoyable cigar featuring primarily savory sweet flavors until that earthiness kicks in during the final third. Interesting cigar and I’m glad that I smoked it.

89 points

Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery 2012 Maduro BP Cigar Review

January 28, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

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.

Viaje Cigars Logo

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 4 ½”
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $254.00/Box of 25 | $10.25/Single

Limerence Torch!

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.

91 points

CroMagnon Aquitaine Cigar Review

January 21, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Back in the summer of 2011 I reviewed the first offering from a brand new cigar company now called RoMa Craft Tobac (I don’t think that’s what it was called back then but my memory may be faulty). The cigar was the CroMagnon and it was an excellent cigar; a robust, flavorful example of what can be done with tobacco. Now I’m going to review the CroMagnon Aquitaine.

From their site:

The Aquitaine contains the same long-filler, full-bodied blend found in the US Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapped CroMagnon, including its unique Cameroon binder. However, the Aquitaine features a beautiful Ecuador Habano Ligero wrapper…

So, different wrapper. And this different wrapper looks fairly rustic with a number of medium and small sized veins running along the surface. It’s an oily wrapper, for sure, and the general feel of this medium-dark brown wrapper is that there is a little bit of roughness to it.

CroMagnon Aquitaine logo - RoMa Craft Tobac

Cigar Stats
Vitola: gran corona
Length: 5 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $172.80/Box of 24 | $80.00/10 Pack

Vsauce Incineration!

Flavors start out vibrant with a granular consistency to the smoke. A bit of sweetness, savory notes resembling steak, spice and hickory. There’s a lot of complexity early on and it’s barely a full bodied cigar.

The second third has much of the same flavors just in a different configuration. The spice and sweetness have created this amazing mixture of flavors that is extremely enjoyable. Sweet spice, when done right, is one of the more enjoyable mixtures of flavors for me and it is done right with this cigar. Savory notes are still present but to a lesser degree than in the first third. Hickory is gone.

The final third features the same sweet spice nexus and the savory flavor has been ramped up a bit. Very flavorful end to a great cigar.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the CroMagnon Aquitaine is a pleasure to smoke. Very expressive flavors from beginning to end with excellent smoking characteristics. If you haven’t tried it you should try to find some. And, yes, I do like this version slightly more than the original.

93 points

Room 101 Daruma Cigar Review

December 14, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Looking through my past reviews I was a little surprised to see that I have not posted a review of the Namakubi yet. I’m surprised because I really do like that cigar. Maybe I have another in a humidor and, if I’m lucky enough for that to be the case, I will get a review of that cigar up sooner or later.

I was, however, able to find a review I did on the original Room 101 line, which I didn’t love. They are good, quality cigars but it just didn’t fit into my preferred flavor profile. So, what about the Daruma?

First, there’s the name. I know that the word “namakubi” has something to do with beheading so, if Daruma follows in the same vein then its meaning is probably similarly unpleasant. On the other hand, Daruma could mean “puppy dogs” in Japanese (these words are Japanese, right?). [Go to the end of this review for some clarification.]

According to the Camacho website (Camacho makes Room 101 brand cigars and Camacho is owned by Davidoff – just fulfilling all possible fiduciary responsibilities and such) there are five different sizes. The cigar I am smoking for this review is the Roxxo, which measures in at 4″ x 48. The band is stylish and the cigar looks well made. Not very oily to the touch and this cigar is tightly packed.


Cigar Stats
Vitola: short robusto
Length: 4”
Ring Gauge: 48
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Cuban Seed Brazilian
Filler: Dominican and Honduran
Price: $130.00/Box of 20 | $33.00/5 Pack

Umami Torch!

Very flavorful beginning to this cigar. There’s a rich sweetness that is buttressed by chocolate and some nice savory flavors. So far (first third = far), the flavor profile is complex and very enjoyable.

The second third’s flavor profile is pretty similar to the first third’s. The good thing about this cigar is that the flavor profile has taken on a granular feel to it. It’s going along at medium bodied.

Chocolate is gone during the final third but the savory and sweet flavors are still kicking around. The savory flavor is close to tasting like an aged steak and the sweetness is close to floral. Very good mixture of flavors and even though there isn’t a lot a change in the flavor profile from beginning to end there is a good amount of flavors going on throughout that I never got bored with this cigar.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar will probably have a certain amount of appeal to just about everyone. This isn’t a cigar that beats you over the head with very strong individual flavors but, taken in totality, it’s very pleasant and interesting.

91 points

PS: Here’s the explanation from the site as to what the name “Daruma” is all about. (And since it’s near the end of the year it’s actually pretty fitting.)

The single eye I have penciled in on my Daruma doll is my silent reminder that I have set a goal that is pending completion. My Daruma will become a bi-oculared character once my task is complete. I have one year in which to complete my task – and if one of my attempts should fall short of victory I will not quit, but rather try again. Because, I know that if I do not give up and my will does not falter it is never a question of “if,” but only a question of “when.” We have named our latest series after the Daruma as he symbolizes resilience – a key ingredient to our success. Use your Daruma to set a goal of your own.

Fill his left eye when you have decided what you will be committing yourself to, his right when your task is complete. As the tradition is to burn the Daruma at the end of the year, take a brief moment to ignite a fine cigar in celebration of your accomplishment.