Flaviar Review & Giveaway – New Way to Discover Spirits

Flaviar Welcome Pack

Cigar monthly clubs and beer monthly clubs have been there for ages. I've looked at some of those clubs in the past only to find a second-choice selection of smokes for a regular retail price (at best). But it seems like the subscription boxes trend revived the monthly clubs and brought them at the next level. Flaviar is one of the new actors in this field (and we partnered with them to offer you a gift - keep on reading!).

Flaviar's monthly tasting box contains three curated spirits (whisky, rum, gin, cognac...). The drinks are nicely presented and accompanied by tasting notes. Update: each tasting sample is 45ml, so there are 135ml total in the box. I found that one sample was enough to do two decent tasting shots (or three small tasting shots). Enjoyed one or several of the spirits? They are available by bottle in the shop (some items might require registration to see). I have already used a similar concept for wine and it went well - of course, everything depends on the selection. As you can see from the picture below, I did receive a box (disclaimer: free of charge) with 5 whisky samples from Flaviar. In fact I really liked all of them except perhaps the Amrut Indian whisky which was somewhat rough. The peaty Swiss Santis is very interesting, while Nikka and Glenmorangie are well-known brands that do not require a special introduction. If all their boxes are equally good, this might be a very good way to discover new stuff. I can also see it working really good as a gift.

Flaviar Tasting Instructions

Flaviar also developed an alternative to tasting notes called Flavour Spiral, which is a more visual way to discover a particular spirit's flavor description. Too innovative? Time will tell.

Now on to the perks. Courtesy of Flaviar, we've got a complimentary rum tasting box, called "Here Be Pirates, Yo-Ho!" to give away to one of our lucky readers, simply use the widget below to enter. As usual, a quick question and some sharing options - good luck everyone! The winner will be announced in one week.

Flaviar Giveaway

Contest open to 18+ y.o. residents of Europe and the United States.

2015 Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals

Black Friday cigar deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday cigar deals, carefully hand-picked for you. This post will be constantly updated, bookmark for future reference!

  • JR Cigars - simply but efficiently, JR Cigars offer $20 off $100+ orders. You might also want to download their new app, Beat the Dealer, for additional discounts and special offers - the app looks rather good!
  • Famous Smoke is playing it differently this year and has got plenty of different offers, each running for just one hour. Free shipping, free smokes, nice discounts - you name it. They call it Couponbuster, check it out. Update (thanks Matthew!): code 20off4me will get you a 20% discount.
  • Cigar Federation - up to 50% off singles. The list can be found here, things get sold out quite quickly though. On Wednesday 25, additional $3 off if you use code EBFSINGLE at checkout.
  • CigarPlace.biz - a selection of already discounted items with an additional 40% discount if you use the code "clearance". The list of items on sale is available on this page.
  • Cigar Terminal - the already popular All-Stars Cuban Samplers are discounted for Black Friday. A selection of 10, 20 or 30 Cuban sticks, starting at $69. Good value!
  • Black Cat Cigar Company - Black Friday blowouts feature quite a few of 50% off deals, and you might find something interesting in there.
  • [thanks Jonathan!] Corona Cigar Company - 10% off everything (no restrictions) & free shipping over $50. Use code 'Blackcyber15' at checkout.
  • Swiss Cigar Bank - 10% off for any order containing 2 boxes with code SCB2.
  • CigarsFor.Me - until Friday midnight, great deals on Jericho Hill, Drew Estate Undercrown and a special Black Friday Sampler. Limited stocks!
  • [thanks Rob P!] Neptune Cigars - a very good 20% off your basket BF Special. Once clicked on the promotional page on their site, it is applied to your cart.

Spotted a nice cigar deal? Let us know in the comments area and we'll add it to the list.

Casa Torano Maduro (Quick Smoke Series)

Casa Torano Maduro

Origin : Nicaragua
Torano cigarsFormat : Robusto
Size : 4 7/8 x 52
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Filler : Dominican, Nicaraguam
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : ~$6.50 per single
More info about purchasing Casa Toraño Maduro...

The Casa Torano Maduro is by far the darkest Maduro I have ever seen. This cigar has a jet black wrapper with virtually no veins and has a solid feel to it. The roll is seamless but has a sloppy double cap.

It has a nice draw with a bit of resistance. The burn is fairly even and the ash is a whitish grey color that is solid and has no flowering or flaking. The body of the cigar is medium as well as the strength of the cigar.

The Carlos Torano Casa Torano Maduro has a base flavor of wood and natural tobacco but features nice notes of roasted nuts, coffee beans, and a fruity sweetness that reminds me of maraschino cherries; you know the ones they put on your ice cream sunday, or in your Old Fashioned’s. However, as the cigar progresses, the cherry sweetness turns more to an apple flavor which is quite interesting. Overall the flavors are about medium in intensity on this cigar.

Overall I thought this was a nice cigar. It has some nice complexity to it and for $6.50 I think it’s a superb deal. This is usually not the style of cigar I smoke but I really enjoyed the Casa Torano. I am one of the Don Pepin, heavy hitting, fuller the better cigar smokers and I think that crowd may not like this cigar because it doesn’t have that pop or flare that those types of cigar typically have. However, I think if they are in the right mindset that this is going to be a delicate smoke I think they could really enjoy it.

Thumbs Up!

Favorite Cuban Cigars – Survey Results

We finally finished processing the answers from our last week's survey. Below you will find the community's favorite Cuban cigars - first the brands, then the specific cigars.

The low score of Romeo y Juieta cigars may come as a surprise - not a single cigar in the top 15 (the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill - the highest ranked cigar from the brand - is #18) and only the 8th spot in the brands rankings.

The #1 cigar's lead is also quite surprising - we expected more competition for the first spot. 2nd and 3rd spots are where the competition was, and underdogs Ramon Allones Specially Selected and Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 almost made it to the top 3.

We hope you find these results interesting, feel free to share them with your friends and/or leave a comment below!

Favorite Cuban Cigars Inforgraphic

Rum Review: Dos Maderas P.X. (5 + 5)

Dos Maderas 5+5 Rum Review

Dos Maderas (5+5) PX is Caribbean rum I’d been hearing great things about for some time, so I decided to give it a try. The name “5+5” is a reference to the aging process. For the first five years, the rum is aged in the Caribbean in American oak casks. After that, it is sent to Spain. There, it is aged for another five years, this time in Spanish oak sherry casks. Thus the “5+5,” which essentially translates to “5 years + 5 years.” “Dos Maderas” translates to “Two Woods.”

The second part of the aging process actually is broken down into two steps. The first three years in Spain, the rum is aged in Palo Cartado sherry casks. The second two years, it is aged in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. So in total, there are three different types of casks involved. The concept of aging in sherry casks may be familiar to you if you have ever tried sherried whiskey. But sherried rum? This was a first for me, and an exciting one at that.

In the bottle, Dos Maderas (5+5) PX is a deep amber color, the hue so saturated it is almost red. It’s beautiful just to look at. This color is typical of a sherried beverage. The aroma is just what I would expect—sweet. You can detect a lot of different notes if you take the time to breathe them in: caramel, nuts, dried dark fruit, vanilla, sherry (of course), and something heavy and musty like leather.

The taste is absolutely incredible. Sweet notes of sherry dominate, along with caramel, vanilla, spice, and dark fruit. There is a hint of chocolate and coffee in the backdrop. It tastes like no other rum I have ever tried, especially with respect to all the fruit notes! The finish is long and delectably smooth. Oak emerges along with a hint of anise. The sherry flavors linger on the tongue before melting away.

The craziest thing about this rum to me is the price point. You can pick up a bottle for just $35-$40. Normally I would expect a drink like this to cost substantially more. It would easily have been a good buy at $60! So the fact I got it for $35 makes it a ridiculously good deal. It really is a unique experience, and again, very different from any other rum out there. If you enjoy rum and sherry, you will love Dos Maderas (5+5) PX, a perfect melding of flavors. This is the ultimate in sweet and smooth!

Dos Maderas 5+5 PX Review: Summary

Colour: Deep mahogany, almost red.

Nose: Caramel, nuts, vanilla, sherry, dark dried fruit, leather, earth.

Palate: Sherry, caramel, vanilla, spices, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, oak, anise.

La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Maduro

La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Maduro

Origin : Dominican RepublicLa Flor Dominicana
Format : Petit Robusto
Size : 4 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sun Grown Maduro
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero...

A nice dark oily plug of a cigar. I was instantly drawn to this cigar because of the sheer amount of oil this cigar has on it and the size is quite interesting as well. The wrapper is a deep brown color with absolutely no color variation whatsoever. The cigar seems packed well and is pretty solid with a slight bounce, which is usually the norm. The roll is seamless and has an expertly applied cap. One thing I think they could have done differently is shrink the band down. The band covers damn near a third of the cigar and is a shame considering the beauty of this cigar.

The Double Ligero #452 has a nice easy draw and it produces a ton of smoke. The burn is a little wavy while the ash is nice and compact with some slight flowering. The body of this cigar is full and you can definitely feel this one in the belly, almost like you just got done eating a huge meal. The strength is full with a good nicotine kick.

The La Flor Dominicana DL 452 starts off with a deep rich earthy sweetness with some coffee and citrus flavors along with some peppery spice. In the second third the spice backs down and really gives way to the flavors from the first third. The final third is much of the same but adds a hickory flavor almost reminiscent of a nice smoky barbeque sauce. The finish of the cigar is slightly dry so make sure to have beverage handy while smoking this one.

This cigar is a winner in by book. The flavors are fantastic and they are so rich and complex. I really didn’t expect this much complexity out of a $6 cigar but this cigar definitely performs. Also the cigar is a slow burner. I was expecting to polish this baby off in less than an hour but it took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to finish this guy up which is typically how long it will take me to finish a regular robusto.

Thumbs Up!

Partagas Serie E No. 2

Partagas Serie E No. 2

Origin : CubaPartagas
Format : Robusto Extra / Duke
Size : 140 x 22 mm (5.5 x 54)
Released in : 2011
Price : ~$15 each
More info about purchasing Partagas cigars...

The Partagas Serie E No. 2 was officially released at the XIII Habanos Festival in Cuba in February of 2011. Distinctive features include a large ring gauge and simple but beautiful packaging. It took me about an age to try one of these (they have been resting for over 1 year in my humi), but now I am so glad I did. This cigar is not cheap, but it is a real treat.

Read the full review of Partagas Serie E No. 2...

Swiss Cigar Bank Giveaway – Name Your Favorite Cubans!

What's your favorite Cuban cigar?

We've regularly hosted various cigar contests this fall and here's another great one! Today's contest is courtesy of Swiss Cigar Bank, a Cuban cigars retailer from Switzerland. Check out their selection and feel free to use the code 'cigarinspector' when ordering for a 5% discount.

The contest's objective is to determine our community's favorite Cuban cigars. And the prize will consist of a 5-pack which might feature some or all of these cigars (depending on the stock). Who knows, it might look like the one pictured above... We've got five such 5-packs to give away to Cigar Inspector's readers. To enter, use the widget below (it's probably familiar to most of you now!) and answer one simple question: what is your favorite Cuban cigar? As usual, there are some additional ways to enter - don't forget to share the contest with your friends for extra entries!

Swiss Cigar Bank Giveaway

In one week, not only we'll announce winners but we'll also publish the poll results!

The contest is open worldwide. All participants must be of legal age to smoke in their countries.