H. Upmann Magnum 54

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Factory name : Robusto Extra
Size : 120mm (4 3/4 inches) x 54
2016-2017 new current production
Hand-Made
Price : 29 pounds per cigar in UK
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars...

He did it again! Luca G. reviewed for us the very awaited new release of H. Upmann, the Magnum 54. If you have smoked it, leave a comment below to tell us what you think of this new cigar.

Background
Founded in 1844 by a German banker, Mr. Herman Upmann, who gives the name to the Brand, he loved cigars so much to move in Havana and set up a factory producing fine cigar. H.Upmann cigars are light to medium in strength, totally handmade using long filler with all leaves sourced from Vuelta Abajo in the Pinar del Rio, region of Cuba also known as one of the finest region in the world for tobacco growing. The Magnum 54 was launched in March 2016 at the 18th Festival des Habanos. However we had to wait until 2017 to finally see it on the shelves of our favorite cigar shops and lounges.

Read the full review of H. Upmann Magnum 54...

It’s That Time of the Year – Final Countdown – 24 days!

19th Habanos FestivalFollow the Inspector's live diary from Havana.

Latest news, cigar reviews and trends will be shared with you on a daily basis. Don’t miss out and stay tuned…

In a few weeks, 24 days to be precise, many of us will be in Havana attending the 19th Habanos Festival.

I am always very pleased to see the number of participants growing every year to attend the Festival. When looking at the tobacco industry being the target of our governments, with strange laws sometimes, to reduce the cigarette consumption without differentiating the beautiful world of premium cigars. The Festival keeps growing and attracts more and more Habanos lovers, HOURAAA!!!

So far, nothing has been announced for a potential release celebrating the 20th anniversary of Vegas Robaina, I think I know why and I will tell you as soon as I get the confirmation!

From what we know the Gran Reserva release for this year will be the H. Upmann Sir Winston. Habanos S.A. will also present new vitolas increasing the Montecristo selection, with a new range called 1935 (year of creation of Montecristo), and French’s favorite marqua, Quay d’Orsay.

The inspector will be in Cuba during the Festival and will be your reporter sharing all the news and insights in “almost live”, so make sure you check out everyday my diary and as well reviews of all the cigars we will be enjoying.

Coming back to the awaited H. Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva, we will post a review of the current production Sir Winston just before flying to Havana and will share the Gran Reserva review from Havana. So let’s see the difference.

Happy Smokes everyone.

El Rey Del Mundo – Choix Suprême

Origin : CubaEl Rey del Mundo
Factory Name : Hermoso No. 4 (Robusto)
Size : 127 x 19.05 mm (5 x 48)
Weight : 14.26 g
Hand-Made
Box year : OCT 2016
Factory Box Code : OMS
Price : $13-£19 each
More info about purchasing El Rey del Mundo cigars...

Background:
Founded in 1882, by the already existing factory Antonio Allones, who decided to launch a new brand for fine cigars.
Without modesty, the brand was named “El Rey del Mundo” which literally means “The King of the World”, specialized in Tripla Larga, Totalmente a mano production (long filler completely handmade), sourcing tobacco grown in the premium Vuelta Abajo zone in the western part of Cuba.

Read the full review of El Rey Del Mundo -- Choix Suprême...

Whisky Review: Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach

When you think of Bunnahabhain distillery, you usually think specifically of not peat. So many Islay distilleries specialize in peated whisky that Bunnahabhain is remarkable precisely because it doesn’t. Now and again, however, Bunnahabhain does introduce a peated whisky, and Ceòbanach is a perfect example.

There is no age statement on the bottle, but the word is that Ceòbanach is 10 years old. The name translates to “Smoky Mist.” The goal with Ceòbanach was to create an old-fashioned whisky which might taste similar to what you would find for sale around the turn of the 20th century. Being as the distillery was founded in 1881, this whisky would hearken back to its beginnings.

Despite being a limited edition release, it isn’t that hard to get your hands on Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach. I purchased mine for around £60.

The bottle which Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach comes in is very dark, so it is impossible to see the color of the liquid until you pour it into your glass. It comes out a pale golden color.

On the nose, you pick up smoky peat along with brine and salt—a classic Islay scent. There are also strong notes of tar and a hint of coconut and vanilla. Almost no sweetness comes through. It is a dark and heavy profile, reminiscent of the sea.

On the palate, the flavors are very similar to what I detected through scent alone. The peat is there along with the tar and the lemon. Along with those notes, there is also oak and spices. I no longer really detect any vanilla, and again, there is no sweetness.

I’m not sure if I was surprised to note that Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach isn’t all that “strong” with respect to the peat. On one hand, it is most of what I smelled when I opened the bottle, so I had initially guessed the flavor might be stronger. But on the other hand, this is in line with what Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach usually produces. Since Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach usually steers clear of peat altogether, we should expect them to go easy on it when they do use it. Most of their regular customers are in the market for a break from peat after all.

If you are interested in a peaty whisky that isn’t going to totally overwhelm you, I think that Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach is an excellent choice. It is the classic Islay peat experience, just mellowed out to a level which allows the other flavors to shine through.

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach : Review Summary

Color: Pale gold.

Nose: Smoky peat, salt, brine, tar, coconut, vanilla.

Palate: Light peat, tar, lemon, oak, spices.

Ramon Allones Club Allones (2015 Limited Edition)

Ramon Allones Club Allones (2015 Limited Edition)

Ramon AllonesOrigin : Cuba
Format : Grand Corona
Size : 114 x 19 mm (5.3 x 47)
Ring : 47
Released in : 2015
Hand-Made
Price : ~$20 each
More info about purchasing Ramon Allones cigars...

The Ramon Allones Club Allones was released in 2015 as a limited edition by Habanos S.A. I heard a lot of great things about this cigar, so I was excited to give it a try. How did it measure up? Well … honestly it wasn’t quite what I hoped it would be. Read on to find out what my experience was like.

Read the full review of Ramon Allones Club Allones (2015 Limited Edition)...

All Out Kings Delayed Until March, New Alec Bradley

All out Kings coming March 2017

Happy Holidays to all our readers here on Cigar Inspector! With 2016 drawing to a close, let’s check out what we have to look forward to heading into 2017 with new cigar releases. We’ll also share some industry and legislative news updates with you.

New and Upcoming Releases:

  • The 2016 Alec Bradley HJ10-I Fine & Rare blend is currently shipping out to retailers around the globe. This version will measure 6 inches with a 52 ring gauge. The Fine & Rare includes seven different types of filler tobacco from Esteli and Jalapa as well as the Trojes Region of Honduras. There is an Esteli and Trojes double binder and a Trojes corojo wrapper. In total, that is ten different types of tobacco. Only 2,000 boxes of ten cigars each will be released.
  • If you are a fan of Drew Estate or Caldwell Cigar Co., you probably have been closely following news about their collaboration, All Out Kings. Originally it was anticipated that All Out Kings would ship in November this year, but delays have pushed the release to next year. Now it has been announced that the All Out Kings cigars will finally be available in March of 2017. There will be four sizes in all: Smash (5 x 52), Foreverlast (6 ½ x 54), Give Me Your Lunch Money (5 ¾ x 46), and The Fourth Pose (6 x 54).

Industry News:

  • Sosa Cigars has just been acquired by A.J. Fernandez, who purchased them from the company by the same name. Included in this purchase are all the brands which fall under the Sosa family of cigars, including Santa Julia, Imperio Cubano, and Sosa Classic. What changes can we expect? Celina Contreras Sosa stated, “While the blends will remain the same, they will be made using the techniques and curing processes mastered by A.J. Fernandez as well as his own grown tobacco made with his special knowledge.”
  • As you likely have noticed, a lot of cigar companies are being forced to raise their prices to cope with the rising costs associated with new regulations. Perdomo is now the latest company to announce a price hike. This is expected to amount to an average of around 37 cents per cigar. The new prices will go into effect as of January 1st.

Legal News:

  • Cigar companies which are behind schedule implementing changes to conform to the new FDA regulations are being granted a six-month extension. The new registration deadline has been pushed back to June 30th, 2017.
  • Orange County, New York just became the latest to raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco to 21. The new law will go into effect on June 1st, 2017. Retailers could be fined up to $1,500 per offense.
  • Bogalusa City, Louisiana just passed the most restrictive ban on smoking in the entire state. Smoking in Bogalusa City is now illegal in all indoor facilities inside city limits with the exception of tobacconists, hotel rooms, private residences, and vehicles. If you are visiting Bogalusa or reside there, you can no longer even smoke inside a bar or gaming facility.
  • Meanwhile, Clarkdale, Arizona has rejected a bill to push the minimum purchase age for tobacco to 21.

Thanks for checking in with us for this week’s cigar news updates! Check back in soon for more!

Whisky Review: Wemyss Velvet Fig

Wemyss Velvet Fig

I was hunting for something new to try for the holidays this year, and Velvet Fig by Wemyss Malts caught my eye. This is a limited edition blend, but it wasn’t too hard to find it for under $50. Interestingly enough, it’s the first blended malt whisky from Wemyss which hasn’t been chill-filtered. It’s also the first to contain 46% alcohol. It’s been matured in Oloroso sherry casks, so I went into this expecting some sweetness and that distinctive sherry flavour.

In the bottle, Velvet Fig has a beautiful, rich deep amber brown color that is almost red. The label contains a band of lilac color which offsets the amber nicely. Opening the bottle, I smelled a delicious blend of poached pears, wine, raisins, oak, apple pie, cinnamon, cloves, and something very much like cake.

In terms of flavor, this was very sweet, just as I expected, but not sickly sweet. There was a lot of spice in there to keep the flavors balanced. I tasted caramel apples, raisins, cherries, apricots, figs, and plenty of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. There was definitely something in there like scones or fruitcake. The liquid was thick with a syrupy consistency, and the finish was long and smooth and lingered. The last note I tasted reminded me of roasted chestnuts.

You are not going to find a better choice of the holidays, and at under $50 a bottle, this is a good deal especially for a limited edition. If you do not like a lot of sweetness, you may want to steer clear, but if you don’t mind it and are looking for a dessert dram, you should love it.

Wemyss Malts Velvet Fig : Review Summary

Color: Deep reddish amber.

Nose: Smells like Christmas: Poached pears in wine, oak, apple pie, rains, cloves, cinnamon, cake.

Palate: Tastes like Christmas too: Fruitcake, scones, cherries, figs, apricots, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, raisins, caramel apples.

New Viaje, La Flor Dominicana + Legislative Updates

Viaje Holiday Blend 2016

Welcome back to another installment in our regular news feature here at Cigar Inspector. Quite a lot has transpired, particularly on the legal front. We have a few new releases to share with you as well.

New and Upcoming Releases:

  • Viaje fans can look forward to some holiday cheer in the form of a special Holiday Blend release (as yet unnamed). This cigar will be packaged with an Edición Limitada band. Only 200 bundles (not boxes) will ever be produced, each with 20 cigars. So far there are no details on either the pricing or the blend. We do know that the cigar will measure 5 x 58, making it the second thickest Viaje Holiday Blend to date, following the 2013 Christmas Tree. The Holiday Blend Candy Cane will also come back this year with the Edición Limitada band. In 2015, the Candy Cane cost $12 per cigar and featured an Ecuadorian and Brazilian wrapper with Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco inside. There is no word yet on the pricing or blend this year.
  • La Flor Dominicana has just shipped out the TCFKA “M” Collector’s Edition to retailers. This year’s release is again a perfecto measuring 7 x 57. The wrapper is Ecuadorian Sumatra with oscuro accents. You can buy these cigars in boxes of five.
  • New releases have been announced for the upcoming Festival del Habanos. The first of these is the Sir Winston Churchill Gran Reserva Cosecha 2011, which will be the first Gran Reserva from H. Upmann. Another new introduction will be the Montecristo 1935, which will apparently include some sizes traditionally in the main line, but there are still no other details on this extension. Finally, Quai d'Orsay will introduce some new cigar sizes—no further information has been released concerning these either.

Industry News:

  • General Cigars has parted ways with its vice president of marketing, Alan Willner, who has been replaced (in the interim) by company president Régis Broersma. Broersma took over General Cigar operations almost exactly one year ago. The official statement provided no details to the reason for the change.

Legal News:

  • Starting with the good news first, Sioux Falls, South Dakota rejected a proposal to ban smoking in parks. It was a strong victory, with six of the city’s eight council members opposing the ban. A considerably reduced version was approved instead. Smoking is banned near playgrounds and youth recreation areas, but is still completely legal at the city’s two golf courses and other outdoor entertainment venues.
  • Meanwhile, Olympia, Washington has approved a ban on smoking in parks and recreation areas. This ban will go into effect on January 1, 2018, so Olympia residents can still smoke in these public venues for another year. The rumor about the ban is that it may not be used to target and fine smokers so much as to educate the public. Signage and polite reminders will generally be used to enforce the ban before fines are imposed.
  • Also in the pile of bad news, Columbus, Ohio has just approved an increase in the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21. This change will go into effect 10 months from now. This is bad news for retailers in particular, who will have to purchase a $150 license every year to fund compliance checks with the new law.
  • You may know that there is a joint lawsuit which has been filed against the FDA by the CAA, CRA, and IPCPR. This lawsuit includes nine different complaints. The court date has just been set for July 28th, 2017. The outcome of this case will be momentous for the cigar industry.
  • With the transfer of power in the White House and Fidel Castro’s death, the future of Cuba-USA relations is uncertain. American Airlines is scaling back its USA-Cuba flights. As of February 16th, there will only be one flight a day to Varadero, Holguin, and Santa Clara. Even with the changes, American Airlines will remain the top airline for flights between the two countries. There is no comment as to the reason for the change save for the airline to “remain competitive.”

Thanks for dropping by to check on the latest cigar news updates! Be sure to check back in with us soon!

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