Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Size: Robusto (5 x 50)
Chocolate, cream, and smooth is how I would describe this firmly packed little gem I discovered from none other than Crowned Heads which never cease to amaze me. Kurt and I were at Cigars International hanging out when I found this cigar paired with a Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout. Normally this would be something of a dessert combination, but not even having lunch yet for the day I went against my inner empty stomach and decided to take on these beauties together. I was glad I did.
The cigar starts out with lots of chocolate and almost souffle style butteriness on the palette. It was very enjoyable from start to finish. The milk stout helped to bring out the chocolate and hint of nut flavor. I would recommend this smoke to all pallets that love a slightly heavier smoke with dessert like qualities. Smoking this cigar while in the company of good friends is definitely the way to go.
October 29, 2018 — Black Label Trading Company is pleased to announce the annual release of Santa Muerte: Hand crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua at BLTC’s own factory, Fabrica Oveja Negra.
“We have gone out of the box with Santa Muerte. Although it doesn’t pack the punch of most of our LE’s, Santa Muerte is an extremely complex smoke. It features Broadleaf, San Andres, Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco among the 6 filler tobaccos. You experience layer upon layer of coffee, malt, spice and cocoa. As the name suggests, there is a Day of the Dead tribute to honor those we have lost,” said James Brown, creator of BLTC and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.
SANTA MUERTE is shipping to select retailers this week.
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
- Binder: Ecuador Habano
- Filler: Nicaragua / Dominican / Mexico / USA
- Corona Gorda – 5.5 x 48 (20 count) MSRP $10.00
- Short Robusto – 4.75 x 52 (20 count) MSRP $10.00
Black Label Trading Company is redefining the standards for cigar making. With a less is more philosophy Black Label Trading Co. creates hand crafted premium cigars of the utmost quality at their own factory in Nicaragua
For more information please contact email@example.com.
Let’s be honest and just agree that the things in life that make us happy tend to fail their objective from time to time. I have personally noticed this more often as I have gotten older, and seemingly mostly on account of my life is just busier. Whether it’s working longer hours, tending to family matters, or just simply having to be a responsible human being, that free time we long for can disappear on us faster than a ship at sea being swallowed by the mighty kraken! Smoking a cigar is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the little moments in life that allow me to remove myself from the real world. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to get lazy or become complacent when it comes to deciding what I want to smoke. Complacency can be one of the most dangerous self-inflicted wounds that a person may sustain.
So where am I going with this?
As a cigar lover and fanatic, I don’t always open myself up to the plethora of options available to me. When I first got into the luxurious life of smoking cigars I was a one or two stick a week smoker. At such a small volume I was drawn to the allure of the big fancy name brand $15-20 cigars. I could justify spending that kind of money because I wasn’t buying in bulk or the whole box. As the number of cigars I smoked began to rise I quickly found out that my wallet couldn’t keep up. So, what’s the solution to this problem? Stop being so damn “complacent” and open my eyes to this great new age of Cigars.
I started frequenting cigar shops and networking with fellow brothers and sisters of the leaf which introduced me to things I never knew existed. I kept hearing chatter about this craze of great cigars from “boutique” companies. That the products were extremely solid and competitively priced. Really? Could there be products out there that offered as much if not more than my usual go to cigars? I have since found out that there in fact is. The true beauty of Cigars lies within it limitless borders. There is no box that can contain the undeniable diversity that is available to us on a daily basis.
An extremely cool event I was fortunate enough to attend recently really gave exposure to the vast diversity between Big Brand and the relatively new “Boutique” brand. The event centered around a blind taste test, involving a Cigar from a company widely popular and known around the world. And one cigar from a relatively smaller company that may not be recognized quite as easily to some. We were informed that both cigars ranged in the $8-10 range so neither will break the bank. Each cigar was marked prominently with a #1 or #2 as to not get mixed up. Both cigars were almost identical through and through. Vitola’s practically mirrored each other, both wrapped in Ecuadorian Connecticut Wrappers, and Nicaraguan fillers. Each Cigar had their own unique characteristics that set them apart from each other just enough to be able to make a decision on which one was preferred. A few similar traits between the two were noticeable right away, as each had very barnyard or hay like notes on the dry retro hale.
However, there was an immediate split in the road off the initial light up. Cigar #1 began with lots of spice and pepper and a rather significant burn when retro haling. On the other hand, cigar #2 had a hint of pepper but was much smoother with a near creamy like feel to it. Each cigar maintained nice earthy tones, with hints of nuttiness. Cigar #1 was milder to medium bodied, where cigar #2 had much more of a fuller medium body as far as strength.
Cigar #1 pleasantly changed complexity a bit more than cigar #2, however cigar #2 was so much smoother complexity didn’t matter as much. The burn on each cigar was actually quite amazing. At one point the gentleman sitting at the table with me had both of his cigars on two fingers of the bowl ashtray along with my two cigars positioned opposite of his. All four cigars nearly mirrored each other in relation to burn and ash length. After a good hour or more everyone participating this blind tasting finally felt the need for closure. We had all exchanged notes and our ideas on which cigar was which. Come to find out without knowing what the cigars were, I believe there was about an 80/20 split favoring the boutique brand cigar, or Cigar #2.
Final reveal……cigar #1 was a Drew Estates Undercrown Shade (Big Brand), and cigar #2 a Crux Epicure (Boutique). I was immediately humored to hear this, as I was talking to a guy, a few days before this event, and all he smoked was Drew Estates products. He mentioned how for how many different blends they put their name to he hasn’t had many he didn’t like. Obviously, I had to hit him up again and give him the rundown on this blind tasting and made him promise to try the Epicure. While I wish I had heard a verdict from him before I wrote this, there is no way he can deny the similarity if not come out preferring the boutique cigar.
I can’t begin to describe after all was said, done and revealed how cool of an experience this really was. For me this was an even bigger eye opening than others as I do not traditionally smoke Connecticut styled cigars. However now I know there are two great options out there if I am looking for something a little milder that would pair perfectly with a nice cup of joe in the morning. Just a solid example of the fact that while some companies may be a bit smaller and might not distribute as widely as the big dogs, they are absolutely capable of standing up with them when it comes to their product. Next time you’re hanging out at your local shop make a recommendation to do an event like this, it is a ton of fun!
I understand that everyone has their own personal preference and maybe even loyalty to specific blends, strengths, sizes and company of cigar. I know that there are many cigar aficionado’s out there that stick with the ageless motto of “if it aint broke don’t fix it”. For the smokers that regular Montecristo, Cohiba, Davidoff, and the other many Mega cigar companies, you will never hear a complaint out of my mouth. But while we thrive together in such an impressive community, I promise you to stray from the norm a bit here and there may leave you in disbelief as I have been.
There are some really great companies out there, such as Southern Draw, the aforementioned Crux, Roma Craft, Foundation, Patoro, Illusione, and many more! Next time you’re at your local shop or just kicking back with some friends try to bring something new to the party that others haven’t tried yet. Some of these boutique brands may not be available in select areas, and since they typically won’t stretch your wallet go ahead and grab a handful and pay it forward. We are all after the same Euphoric goal of total relaxation and happiness. Cigars are at the center of happiness in many of our lives and with this expansive flux of new products pouring in year after year, what a great time it is to be a cigar smoker.
Famous Nicaraguan 3000
Size: Toro (5.5 x 54)
MSRP: $47.99 (Bundle of 20) about $2.40 a stick
So since the $1.6 billion lottery drawing has come to an end and my ticket, like millions others across the country are in the trash, it’s time to come back to reality knowing that I will not be able to have Padron, Davidoffs, or Opus X’s as my everyday smoke. So with that realization, it is time for a new segment to the site, Bargain Beauties. We all want the best stick for the best price but more often than not, a deal too good to be true is exactly that with cigar. So this series will focus on great cigars at a price point less than $6.00. So first on this series is the Famous Nicaraguan 3000.
The Famous Nicaraguan 3000 is an exclusive to famous-smoke.com and comes in a bundle of 20. There are four sizes including a Toro, Grande Robusto, Torpedo, and Presidente. Made in one of the top factories in Esteli, you can expect a quality medium-full to full-bodied cigar that is nice and smooth. It has a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and has Nicaraguan fillers and definitely does not look or feel like a cheap, bargain cigar.
This cigar is by no means the most complex cigar but for a bargain stick, I would not expect it to be. However, it has a fantastic burn, great draw, and some great flavors that include plenty of spice, a little pepper, a dash of coffee, and plenty of earthy tones throughout. It has a great blend of those flavors and for about $2.40 a stick, this cigar is a STEAL! I honestly would pay $6 bucks for this cigar and not think twice as I have had plenty of $8 sticks that did not burn or taste nearly this well!
So in conclusion, I will use a pun fitting for the time of year we are in, World Series time, and that this stick is a “home run” in the bargain cigar world. I bought a bundle never having tried these and can honestly say I see another purchase of these in the near future. Keep the Famous Nicaraguan 3000 in your humidor for those times you need to work outside, or when your unsure how much time you have but don’t want to waste one of those Fuente’s, or better yet, keep them available for that buddy that you know will ask for a cigar but will probably only finish 1/4 of it. You will not be disappointed.
Bargain Beauties Score – 4.5 out of 5
From Chicago, founder and President of Drew Estate Jonathan Drew notes, “Each year, as get closer to Halloween, I feel amped up to celebrate with my friends at Casa de Montecristo the annual launch of the Liga Privada UF-4. This limited release gets all of Chicago hyped up!! This year we added a DJ to the event and it should be bananas.”
The Liga Privada Unico UF-4 is sold in a 10-count soft pack.
From the Wynwood Safehouse, President and Founder of Drew Estate, Jonathan Drew notes,” The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition is an ultra-complex cigar that honors the history and craftsmanship of the Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. We chose to age these cigars an additional year for this release, as Willy Herrera wanted to amplify the smoothness.”
The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition is presented in the following expressions:
- Coronita (4 x 46) MSRP $145.97/10ct Box
- Robusto Grande (5.5 x 54) MSRP $215.97/10ct Box
- Toro (6 x 50) MSRP $235.97/10ct Box
- Belicoso Fino (5 x 50) MSRP $245.97/10ct Box
- Churchill (7 x 48) MSRP $235.97 / 10ct Box Exclusively available at Drew Diplomat Spirits Retailers
The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition will begin shipping in October in coordination with when Old Rip Van Winkle releases their annual batch of the highly sought-after Bourbon and Rye.
About Van Winkle Bourbon: The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a four generation history. The Van Winkle family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. He was a traveling salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville. Pappy and a friend, Alex Farnsley, eventually bought the wholesale house and also partnered with Mr. A. Ph. Stitzel on the purchase of Mr. Sitzel’s distillery. The three of them merged the two companies and became the Stitzel-Weller Distillery.
In May of 1935 at the age of 61, Pappy opened the newly completed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in South Louisville. Its prominent brands were W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Still. Pappy had a heavy influence on the operations there until his death at the age of 91. His son, Julian, Jr. took over operations until he was forced by stockholders to sell the distillery in 1972. The rights to all of their brands were sold to Norton Simon, Inc. Later, United Distillers, who eventually ended up with the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, sold off all of the original labels around 1999.
After selling the distillery, Julian Jr. resurrected a pre-Prohibition label, the only one to which the Van Winkles kept the rights, called Old Rip Van Winkle. He used whiskey stocks from the old distillery to supply his brand. Julian Jr.’s son, Julian, III took over in 1981 when Julian, Jr. passed away. Julian III has continued with the Van Winkle tradition of producing high-quality wheated bourbon. His son, Preston, joined the company in 2001 and the Van Winkles look to continue that tradition for generations to come.
In 2002 the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Frankfort, Ky. All of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace Distillery under the same strict guidelines the family has always followed. For more information on the Van Winkle family of bourbon please visit www.oldripvanwinkle.com.
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For all of us brothers and sisters of the leaf, vacation brings an extra opportunity that some people don’t normally consider and that is with travel, comes the chance to experience new cigar lounges around the world. It may be just the shop down the street or could be a special spot that we have sought out. For Stanza dei Sigari, this was definitely a shop that once I heard about it and I knew I would be in the area, I had to go check it out. I had the pleasure of traveling to Romania this past summer and after doing lots of research on flights, the best flight deal had me landing in Boston at about 6:30pm and there were no flights back to Dallas that same night. So originally, my good buddy and I were planning on hitting the town and then him dropping me back off at the airport once the bars shut down since I had a 6am flight. However. after being sleep deprived for the past week and also not being able to take a hot shower the previous 4 days due to the hot water heater going out in the Air BnB we were staying at, I decided I was grabbing a hotel to get some rest and this would allow him to start his drive home to upstate NY. After checking into the hotel and taking a ridiculously long, hot shower, I figured I would be spent and just pass out. However, that shower definitely woke me up and I decided to hit the town. So on my way I went to the North End of Boston to grab a cigar and drink from one of Boston’s top cigar lounges.
Stanza dei Sigari was once a speakeasy in the 1920’s and as you enter through the main door and down into cellar below La Vittoria on Hanover Street in the historic North End, you are instantly transported back to the 20’s. The setting still has its original “underground” vibe with low ceilings and a dark decor which just adds to the whole experience. As I made my way to the cigar selection, you find yourself in front of numerous cigar cabinets with a very nice variety of cigars including such brands as Cohiba, Davidoff, Acid, La Gloria Cubana, Montecristo, Padron, Rocky Patel, and many more. Right next to the cabinets is a spot where you can order your drink and sit at the bar top or you can order your drink and cigar. There is a great selection of cognacs, ports, bourbons, single malt scotches, rums, martinis, and more available to quince any thirst. Once you have made your decision on the cigar you want, and where you want to sit, the host/bartenders will grab that cigar for you, cut it, and bring it right on over to you. The lovely young lady that helped me was very sweet, knowledgeable, and not pushy at all. Since I was just finishing up my trip, I decided to spoil myself with a Davidoff Aniversario No. 3. Retail, you can normally find these beauties for about $22 to $25. I bought mine here for about $33. A little pricey but can’t say I was shocked by this at all.
So as I sat down, placed my drink order, and lit up, I took a moment to just sit back and relax. There were numerous tv’s going showing different soccer matches as well as the Red Sox game. As a born and bred Yankees fan, I kept my “boo’s” to a minimum and just enjoyed a good time. The bartender brought my two fingers of Eagle Rare on the rocks and also a Coke (no, not together!), checked on me, and would just peak on me as she walked by, only stopping when my drink was getting empty. This is the kinda service I LOVE! Not in your face but also not forgetting about you. Halfway through my cigar, I remember just sitting back in the comfy chair I was in, listening to the larger groups around me having a good time, and ever so softly, hearing Frank Sinatra singing “New York, New York” on the house system, and just living in that moment. I had a great cigar, some great drinks, a great atmosphere, and ultimately a great night.
So while I am by nature, against everything Boston due to being a Northern Jersey boy born and breed (yes, we all have our flaws), Stanza dei Sigari is a cigar lounge I would visit every single time I was in the Boston area. The patrons, the staff, and even the Uber driver that night, were all fantastic, adding to a great trip to a great cigar lounge.
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
Size: Box Pressed (5 x 52)
Allow me to give a brief shout out to Industrial Cigar Co. for even making this review a possibility, as they were fortunate, aggressive and awesome enough to get this amazing cigar in their humidor. If you are unaware of the Crux Limitada-IPCPR line, this is now their third year releasing this cigar and the name speaks for itself…limited. Only 1000 boxes of 10 were distributed to select retailers that had to be present to purchase at this year’s IPCPR show in Las Vegas. A rarity that rivals bigfoot and UFO sightings, but when they happen it’s truly a spectacle. (Yes, they are both real things!!)
Distinctly visible from the get go is the fresh and elegant syrupy mocha colored wrapper with a nice smooth texture and almost no seams. The Marblehead cap is a work of art that even Edvard Munch would “Scream” at! Really working for me though is that secondary band that just oozes vintage Las Vegas nostalgia.
The draw is clear and smooth, as if the Waco Kid himself put the bottle down and went to work. Rich flavor immediately begins to coat the palate with notes of creamy milk chocolate, toasted nuttiness and a hint of spice. All the while at moments I would get a pleasant sweet taste of what seemed to be a combination of vanilla and toffee. Thick and billowy smoke rise around you like a protective cocoon. I can only imagine the kind of feeling Houston Astro’s fans wished they had right about the time J.B. Jr. went granny “on em” last night!
I have had the pleasure of smoking two of these cigars now and can’t help but thinking how many lost souls out there in this world pay a lot more than $11 for this feeling of Euphoria. I know there are some that may think the jackpot is a reduced rate lap dance and an all you can eat buffet, but leave the glitter, bad perfume and post strip club confessions where they originate and find a local retailer where you can get your hands on one of these cigars.
Already I am lost as to what my objective was here in the first place. My intention was to sit down and see if the Dallas Stars could find a road win and catch a little baseball here and there. I have become so immersed in this cigar that the 3-0 drilling Dallas was handed and the long faces at Minute Maid park are as distant as my baseball career.
The strength of the cigar is starting to ramp up now from a solid medium to the medium/full-bodied profile it portrays. Still with strong malty, chocolate and nutty flavors, the creaminess of this cigar really starts to build. Having smoked several different blends from the Crux line, I was not sure if they had another one that would rival how rich the Guild is. However, this one goes hand in hand yet with much more complexity. I am thinking to myself of a good comparison to the middle of this cigar and wildly came up with one idea. Imagine Bambi carelessly frolicking through a thick green meadow where her mother suddenly emerges as if she was never gone, and they prance together endlessly. Yes, that’s just it, there is no sad story it’s just a smooth transition through happiness. During this transition light notes of dried fruit and tea leaves come into play rounding out the flavor wheel.
FINAL THIRD (FINISH):
The burn to this point has been spot on, no runners, thick white ash, smoke as billowy as when it started. No more complexity to talk about here as the Starters in this game play the whole time. Continuing down a road of sweet Milk Chocolate, malty, nutty, with that touch of spice and tea leaves. I only wish I had some cigar tweezers so I could truly take this down to the nub. Damn shrek hands! The Marble Head with a good wedge cut allowed the smoke to stay nice and cool all the way through the very end. This is the one time you wish that finish line wouldn’t get any closer, but cue the “Boyz II Men” and take me to the “End of the Road”. Teetering ever so slightly towards a full-bodied strength it is about a fine frogs’ hair short of making it there. Thank you to my grandpa for deeply embedding his “fine as frog’s hair” whimsy when I was a child.
Obviously if you have made it this far you can see that I am a fan of this glorious cigar. Crux goes all out with this blend and I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to sit here and write about something so great. Much of my cigar smoking is done in lounges or sitting around a patio with friends mucking it up, and just enjoying life. This is one cigar however, that I will say don’t be afraid to sit down alone and get lost in it. Go all out of a good cup of coffee, put the game on, press play on your favorite playlist and take your time with this cigar to live in the moment. I feel confident in saying anyone, regardless of their palate, will enjoy this cigar just as much as I have.
5 OUT OF 5 STARS!
They say everything is BIGGER in Texas!
So, we are going BIG here at the NEW CI The Colony Super-Store with our very first ever event here in the Colony.
On Saturday November 10th we welcome Robert Holt owner and founder of Southern Draw Cigars to The Colony for this special one day event!
If you’re a fan of Southern Draw’s Rose of Sharon, Firethorn, Jacobs Ladder, Kadzu and the NEW Cedrus and 300 Hands – this is a MUST attend event!
Robert will be slinging some swag and deals Texas style all day long! Don’t worry the bar will be whipping up some specials for the days as well that will go perfect with the Southern Draw lines!
Join the CI Texas staff in giving Robert Holt and Southern Draw a BIG Tex’s Welcome!
TAMARAC, FL – Gurkha Cigars has re-mastered several predicate blends to create several impressive cigars that will be introduced at the industry’s largest and most important tradeshow in July. International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) 86th Annual Convention and International Trade show is set to take place in Las Vegas on July 13th and Gurkha will be unveiling the Chateau de Prive, Marquesa and Ghost Gold. The company has also decided to continue production of the Cellar Reserve 10th Anniversary due to popular demand.
“We are excited to introduce these cigars that underscore Gurkha’s focus on creating quality cigars for all palettes,” said Kaizad Hansotia, CEO of Gurkha Cigars. “Our blending team worked hard to create cigars that would be a great addition to any cigar lovers humidor.”
Chateau de Prive
The Chateau de Prive in a limited edition box will be a unique and welcomed addition to Gurkha’s flavor profile. While most Gurkha smokes are notable for their spicy and bold flavor, the Chateau de Prive is a more traditional mild and creamy smoke that is typically found with many of the high-end Dominican cigars but as with all Gurkha products, this cigar will feature an exquisite complexity from flavor to packaging. This cigar will be a special release for the IPCPR and available in three sizes worldwide. The initial run will be very limited with only 300 boxes available per size.
The cigars will be available in 20 count boxes in the following three sizes:
- Bishop (5×50) – $10/cigars (MSRP)
- Rook (6×46) – $10/cigars (MSRP)
- King of Warriors (6.5×52) – $11/cigars (MSRP)
This velvety smoke is made with an Ecuadorian Desflorado wrapper, a Dominican Olor binder and Dominican filler. They will ship in October/November for a holiday release.
Marquesa is a beautiful throwback cigar reminiscent of the flavor and packaging of pre-embargo Cuba. The cigar was designed to have a vintage Cuban feel from the blend, which is a spicy “Cubanesque” flavor, to the packaging.
The cigars will be available in three sizes in 20 count boxes (10 round and 10 box press cigars) for the following sizes:
- Robusto (5×52) – $8/cigar (MSRP)
- Toro (6×54) – $9/cigar (MSRP)
- Belicoso (5×54) – $9/cigar (MSRP)
The Marquesa features an earthy Sumatra wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder and an Ometepe and Esteli Nicaragua filler resulting in a bold well-balanced medium body and spicy cigar. The Marquesa is expected to ship in August.
The success and popularity of Gurkha’s Ghost led the company to expand its offerings with this blend. Gurkha dug deep into their predicate blend book to fine-tune this cigar, which has a bolder profile than the original Ghost.
The cigars will initially be available in three sizes in 21 count boxes in the following sizes:
- Shadow (5×52) – $8/cigar (MSRP)
- Asura (6×54) – $9/cigar (MSRP)
- Exorcist (6×60) – $11/cigar (MSRP)
This smoke will appeal to the medium and full-bodied smokers and is made of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper changing the complexity of flavor from the original Ghost’s sweet flavor profile to a nutty and earthy profile. An aged Criollo 1998 Binder and carefully selected U.S., Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers complement the Habano wrapper. The Ghost Gold is expected to ship in August.
CELLAR RESERVE 10TH ANNIVERSARY
The special edition Cellar Reserve cigar debuted at last year’s IPCPR to commemorate the Cellar Reserve’s 10-year anniversary, Gurkha’s first brick and mortar cigar and its most successful brand. They were introduced in a limited edition humidor but due to popular demand the company has decided to continue production in a 24-count box and available in only one size. This medium body, full-flavor and extremely complex smoke will come with Rosado Habano wrapper, aged Dominican filler and a Dominican Olor binder.
- Executive Toro (6×52) – $12/cigar (MSRP)
The Cellar Reserve 10-year anniversary will be ready to ship by August.
Gurkha Cigars are known throughout the world for their premium and luxurious cigars, so it’s no surprise that they are the most sought-after cigars around the globe. Gurkha produces millions of cigars per year that are sold in more than 70 countries worldwide. And while Gurkha is known for its exclusivity, it has an impressive array of 250 brands of flawlessly handcrafted, premium cigars created in a variety of strengths, tasting profiles and price-points. No matter what your taste, there’s a Gurkha cigar that’s perfect for your palate. For additional information visit www.gurkhacigars.com.
From the Florida Sun Grown Farm, Jeff Borysiewicz notes, “The entire FSG Farm Team here in Clermont, Florida are is excited to see cigar enthusiasts be able to enjoy something so special that we take great pride in growing, harvesting and curing, right here in America. “
From Little Havana, Willy Herrera, Master Blender of Drew Estate, “Working on the FSG Limited has been an exciting and unique experience. Blending tobaccos that haven’t been grown in Florida in decades present some challenges, especially since the heavy, mineral-rich soil in Central Florida gives the tobacco a one of a kind, distinctive flavor profile. In addition, making it a trunk press style only adds to the remarkable smoking experience.”
The Florida Sun Grown Limited Edition Trunk Press Toro is featured in a 10 count box with an MSRP of $157.99.
Shape: Toro (6.1” x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Sumatra Oscuro Wrapper
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran Ligero leaves
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Strength: Full Bodied
MSRP: Between $7 and $8
We all know and love Punch cigars but looking at the Punch Diablo, you get this uneasy feeling this is not your normal Punch Cigar. Released this year at IPCPR 2018, Punch delivers its boldest creation to date – Punch Diablo. Punch cigars have been produced in Honduras since their inception in 1960, but when it came time to blend a new, bolder Punch, they turned to none other than AJ Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua. You see the Ecuadoran Sumatra Oscuro wrapper that has been aged for 4 lovely years and is bound by a bold Connecticut Broadleaf binder that has been aged 6 years. Finally they will hit you with contributions from two more countries with Nicaraguan and Honduran leaves that have been aged 4 years.
Time To Smoke
After a long day of work, it was time for a beverage and a cigar so I poured myself two fingers of Eagle Rare, grabbed my cigar, and out to the man cave I went. So looking at this cigar, you just have a feeling its going to be a bold cigar, and right after the first few puffs, boy was I right. Right from the start, it felt like the Devil himself came up and slapped my momma so hard that I felt it, but man it came with great flavor too! Talk about a double whammy. During the first third of the cigar, notes of leather, spice, and woodsy flavors were the most prominent. The smoke was thick and the burn was spot on.
During the second-third some new flavors made their appearance. Some great notes of hay and a nice sweetness, almost citrus-like started coming through and actually helped break up the boldness of the cigar a bit. As I approached the final bit of the second-third of the cigar, a hint of pepper came into play as the woodsy flavor become the dominant player again.
The final third of the cigar was honestly my favorite part of the cigar as the strength calmed down but the flavors did not. Hints of chocolate and a coffee/espresso flavor came out, helping finish this cigar with a nice little sweetness. It was very subtle but it showed up at the perfect time. Through the entire stick, the burn was spot on with nice full, fluffy smoke.
As a fan of bolder cigars, this was right in my wheelhouse. The flavors were plentiful but seemed to come into the game at the right time. Woodsy notes, spice, and hints of leather and citrus filled this cigar smoking experience. And just like a good solid “6th Man” in basketball, finishing the smoke with those notes of chocolate and coffee/espresso was the icing on the cake for me. The cigar started off much stronger than it finished unlike many bolder cigars that seem to build with power, such as the Camacho “Triple Maduro” or the Southern Draw “Jacobs Ladder”. I have already ordered more of these beasts and can’t wait to see how they taste with a little age on them!
4.5 out of 5
Shape: Toro (6.1” x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Sumatra Oscuro Wrapper
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran Ligero leaves
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Strength: Full Bodied
MSRP: About $7
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars!
This new Punch Diablo on the surface seemed right in my wheelhouse, so without being partial to bolder Maduro style cigars, here is my take on this new creation. First off you might notice that this is “of course” another AJ Fernandez creation, but when the going is good why not have your hand in as much as you can. Oh, and AJ and Punch deliver a “knockout” with this collaboration! Visually the 4-year aged Ecuadoran Sumatra Oscuro Wrapper is a beautiful sight to the big bold smokers out there, with its dark brown cocoa appearance. Once you get it in your hands, you will notice that nice abrasive toothy feel, which will only get more pronounced the longer you let this age. Inside the cigar it sports yet again 4-year-old tobacco of a Nicaraguan and Honduran ligero blend, bound together by a 6-year-old Connecticut broadleaf. All these different characteristics come together so well that you’ll want to “punch” your mama!
I started with a quick dry retro hale from both the cap and foot ends, from which you get that earthy, haybarn kind of feel and taste. Upon first light and pull, strong hints of pepper and spice hit the palate with a, lack of a better word, punch. From the very beginning, you will find out quickly that you’re in for a heavy flavored full-bodied ride with this cigar. After the first couple of inches, the cigar started to smooth out a bit, where I started picking up nice hints of leather. Right about the halfway point, I started picking up notes from that earthy hay once again mixing with a pronounced woody taste. The back end of the cigar becomes more consistent with the earthy, leather and wood notes all blending together nicely. Just about every pull I could distinguish one flavor more than the other. The burn was great, not one runner and hardly a touch up needed. I did have to re-light a couple of times towards the end. If you enjoy a bolder stronger smoke this cigar is for you, and it might just give that shaky knee when you stand up!
This is one heck of a bold powerful cigar. The Ecuadoran Sumatra Oscuro Wrapper is starting to become one my favorites and holds everything together very nicely in this cigar. AJ Fernandez has created another Gem here and I highly recommend you pick one up immediately. The only knock I would give this is it seemed to fizzle a bit towards the very end. When I smoke something this bold I want that feeling throughout. This is right up my alley and while I recommend this to everyone who reads this, don’t take them all because I will be out to get more!
Review by Blake Diehl