Buying cigars in Munich, Germany

Where to buy cigars in Munich?

I've been to Germany several times now, but never had an opportunity to visit Munich before this month. It is often said that Munich, along with Berlin, is one of the most interesting German cities and I was quite eager to spend a long week-end in Bavaria. I confirm that most of what one might hear about Munich is true: it's a beautiful, rich town with friendly people, gorgeous monuments (almost all of them were rebuilt after the WW2, which is simply impressive) and plenty of the world's greatest beer (only Brussels can play in the same league when it comes to beer). One piece of advice I can give you is, when you grow tired of endless pints of dunkel and German taverns, do yourself a favor and visit the lakes around Munich - the nature is astonishing.

Munich boasts several well known cigar shops in the city center and the one I prefer is called Pfeifen Huber, located on Tal 22 (a very short walk from the Viktualien market: Google Maps >).

Pfeifen Huber - a cigar shop in Munich

Quite an institution (the shop exists since 1863), Pfeifen Huber has a beautiful walk-in humidor with a wide choice of both Cubans and non-Cubans as well as a vast selection of pipes / pipe tobacco and spirits. Jens (pictured below) is very friendly and knows his stuff about cigars, don't hesitate to ask him for advice.

Jens

If Pfeifen Huber is closed or something goes wrong, you can also pay a visit to Dallmayr (located on Marienhof : Google Maps >), which I found inferior in terms of advice and choice (no walk-in humidor). Another cigar shop worth mentioning is Zechbauer (Google Maps >), but unfortunately it was closed when I was passing by. All the shops mentioned in this article are in the same area, so you can easily visit all three of them. Enjoy your time in Munich and feel free to add more cigar-friendly places in the comments area below.

“Lunette C” Cigar Holder Winners

Lunette C Cigar Holder

Last week we ran a giveaway for two hand-made cigar holders for golf carts crafted by Mark from the Small Batch Innovator company. We've had some great response and here are the two winners:

  • Rick S
  • JohnH

Please get in touch with us to claim your prize, don't forget to include your shipping address.

Many thanks to Mark and those who participated, stay tuned for more contests in future!

Buying cigars in Athens, Greece

Where to buy Cigars in Athens

Today I am bringing you another short travel report with a focus on cigars. In November I spent a few days in Athens, Greece and thoroughly enjoyed my stay. The weather was marvellous (+15 C on average) and there were very few tourists (as far as I know in the summer the city and the main attractions like the Acropolis get quite crowded).

Athens turned out to be a very pleasant city, especially if you enjoy ancient ruins. Quite a few nice bars and restaurants, just make sure you read some reviews before venturing in - the only time I didn't, I found myself in a shady taverna with a waiter who obviously didn't know his maths since he wanted me to pay x 2 the menu prices. The magic word "police" seemed to calm him down though.

As for cigars, I found one shop with a good selection and it was right next to the central square (Syntagma or Parliament square). It's called Miamis (Google Maps >).

Miamis - cigar shop in Athens

The place features a nice walk-in humidor, a decent choice of both Cubans and non-Cubans and friendly managers. If you find yourself in Athens, do not hesitate to source your cigars in Miamis.

Miamis Cigar Shop

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year 2014!

Dear Readers,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support since 2007.

We're wishing you and your family a happy new year 2014 filled with joy and prosperity.

Denis & CigarInspector.com team

Cigar Release: 601 La Bomba Warhead

601 La Bomba Warhead

Espinosa Premium Cigars is proud to announce they will be introducing a limited edition cigar for their full bodied 601 La Bomba line called "Warhead" at IPCPR this year. This is the first time the 601 La Bomba line is offered with a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper. The Warhead measures 6 1/2 inches by 54 ring and is semi-box pressed with the familiar fuse-like pig tail that is found on the 601 La Bomba line. "Although the wrapper is different, we are using the same powerful blend as the rest of the line." said Erik Espinosa.

Warhead is limited to 2,000 boxes of 10 and the packaging is inspired by several themes in the World War II era. When unraveled, the foot band on the cigar is revealed to be in the form of a bomb. This "bomb" features nose art or aircraft graffiti, which was common in this era. Most prominent is the shark-face which is a reference to the Flying Tigers, the 1st American Volunteer Group, who would paint the shark-faces on their military aircrafts.

The 601 La Bomba line was first introduced in 2011 and is considered to be one of the strongest cigars in the market.

Buying cigars in Brussels, Belgium

Le roi du cigare, Bruxelles

Brussels is another European capital that is definitely worth visiting (in fact, I think all of them are!), especially if you like good food. Indeed, whereas Amsterdam doesn't have much to offer in this field, Belgian cuisine is one that I really enjoy. A lot of dishes contain beer and cream, thus being rather heavy but delicious. They are especially good in winter. Oh, and I almost forgot Belgian ales, which are simply the best in Europe.

This being said, I also made sure to find a couple of cigar shops so that you don't have to waste time locating your favorite cigars when you're in town. The first one (pictured above) is called Le Roi du Cigare (Cigar King) and it has the Habanos Specialist label. It's located in the East of the City Center (the center being the Grand Place, probably the most beautiful place in Europe) at 25, Rue Royale (Google Maps >). It features a nice walk-in humidor with a wide choice of Cubans and non-Cubans. I noticed that the non-Cubans are always the same in those European shops - some Ashtons, some Davidoffs, as well as Macanudos. You won't find many boutique cigars in these shops. You're not here for non-Cubans anyway, am I right?

The second shop is called Walter B and, as far as I remember, the man that you can see in the picture below is the owner. The place is smaller, but you will still be able to find the Cuban references you are looking for. Walter B is located West of the Grand Place (82, Quai aux Briques, Google Maps >). Plenty of nice sea food restaurants near this shop.

Walter B, Bruxelles

As usual, if you live in Bruxelles and/or know some other good places to buy/enjoy a cigar, please share them in the comments below.

Best Non-Cuban Cigars of 2012

You have noticed it and even e-mailed us several times with a gentle reminder - we are late with our top non-Cuban cigars for 2012 list. It's time to fix it right now! As usual, before we start, a few words about our methodology - we call it "total subjectiveness". Ah, I almost forgot about the only rule: the cigars that made it to the list were not necessarily released in 2012, but smoked throughout the year. Unfortunately, we are unable to smoke all cigars that deserve attention, so you might not see some names that are frequent guests on our blogging friends' top 5/10's.

5. San Lotano Oval

San Lotano Oval Robusto

Complex,… ummmm,… not really. Delicious,… yep! Padronesque in its ability to deliver laser-like precison of flavors while maintaining an excellent and flawless burn line.
[review / compare prices]

4. Xikar HC Series Habano²

Xikar HC Series Habano² Robusto

We liked everything about this cigar, from start to finish. Easy to enjoy, easy to acquire.

3. Padron Serie 1926 40th Anniversary Maduro

Padrón Serie 1926 40th Anniversary Maduro

This cigar showcases how masterful the blenders at Padrón are, not only with the balance and complexity of the individual cigar, but also with the consistency these cigars provide from year to year. This 8-year old stick might be at its peak now.

2. Aging Room Small Batch

Aging Room Small Batch M356

In a world where dark cigars have gained prominence, the Aging Room Small Batch comes across as a beacon of light. There’s no earth or espresso tones in this stick, but rather aromatic flavors of wood and spearmint. Smoking it is a stimulating experience, one that begs you to keep smoking.
[review / compare prices]

1. Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig

Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig

The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and Brazilian Mata Fina combo seems to complement each other beautifully, the wrapper lends a deep earthy core and the binder gives a punch of sweetness. All hail the Broadleaf!
[review / compare prices]

What cigars did you like the most in 2012?

Best Cuban Cigars of 2012

Cohiba Behike BHK 52

As the year winds down and after having sampled many a Cuban and non-Cuban cigar alike, both for my own smoking pleasure and for the purpose of reviewing them for CigarInspector.com, I wanted to give readers my thoughts on 5 of the most memorable cigars I smoked this year and why I placed them into my top 5 list. I’ve listed them in a descending order, starting at number 5 and working my way to number one.

5. H. Upmann No. 2

H. Upmann No. 2

A cigar not often seen on the top of the year lists, the H. Upmann No. 2 is a cigar that lovers of the Piramides should take time to sample. While I do enjoy the Partagas Series P No. 2, I included the Upmann because it is simply a tastier cigar. Construction issues aside, these cigars offer very pleasant flavors and thick clouds of smoke. Also, newly constructed cigars show significantly less flaws and, as noted in my review, people wanting to search these out would be best advised to try to find newer ones to avoid those construction flaws. Those looking for older box codes of these should be cognizant of the fact that they will encounter construction flaws that might disrupt their experience, but those flaws never impact the flavour that I described as having a sweeter profile, one that provides noticeable cocoa and coffee tones with hints of vanilla and occasional notes of citrus balanced with just the right amount of saltiness and spice. This, along with the Behike was the only cigar where I caught myself mumbling “yum” as I exhaled the thick velvety smoke after a flavor rich draw. If you’ve never tried one then you definitely owe yourself giving one a try.

4. Cohiba Robusto

Cohiba Robusto

Another fine cigar from the Cohiba line-up. As I wrote in my review of this cigar earlier in the year, “Overall, the cigar was very complex, starting with a hit of cracked pepper over deep woodsy and earthy notes that evolved perfectly into cocoa, dried fruit, citrus and leathery notes with a subtle offering of cedar. The smoke output was full, rich and had a velvety texture to it. All of this was perfectly complimented by an ever so subtle salt on the lips.”

What I enjoy about these cigars is that they are consistently consistent. It is extremely difficult to ever find a bad one in the lot and for me consistency is important. I want no surprises when I reach into the humidor.

3. Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2

I wrote in my review of this cigar that this is perhaps one of the most flavourful robustos on the market and I was extremely impressed that the growing popularity of these cigars hasn’t impacted construction.

When I reviewed its flavor (5 out of 5 stars) I noted that I was extremely impressed with how the Epicure No. 2 was very balanced and showed signs of complexity with very discernible and pleasurable flavour changes. These subtle changes are what keeps a cigar from being one dimensional. The texture of the smoke remained consistent and provided the cigar with the sweetness it needed to keep the white pepper, occasional bitterness and subtle saltiness in check. I wish all my cigars would have as much smoke per puff as this one does.

If I had to best describe the flavour journey the cigar went from sweet coffee tones to dark unsweetened chocolate, hints of cedar and hints of tea. A pleasing mild salt and pepper was evident throughout serving to nicely balance the sweetness of this very flavourful cigar.

2. Ramon Allones Specially Selected

Ramon Allones Specially Selected

This cigar is one that I had always been putting off. I had been reading quite a bit about it in early 2012 and noticed that it even made Inspector’s 2011 top five list. I can’t tell you why I always put it off but I am so glad that I decided to grab a few and see what all the buzz was about. I am glad I finally decided to make the purchase and add these to my collection.

This cigar is consistently creamy and tasty. It can come off as a little rustic in appearance and not always perfect in that aspect but it surely delivers where it counts: flavor. The construction is consistent as is its rich creamy texture with flavors of sweet coffee, honey and black cherry with the occasional nutty and very subtle pepper undertones. A nice complex cigar that is a bit more on the sweeter side rather than the earthy tones that come to the forefront in other Cuban cigars. The RASS is definitely worth the money and those looking for a sweeter and very velvety smoke output would do well to add these to their humidor. My overall review of this cigar was 4.75 out of 5 Stars but it delivered a perfect score of 5 where it counted.

1. Cohiba Behike BHK 52

Cohiba Behike BHK 52

This is my number one Cuban of the year. It has become my absolute favourite cigar and although it is not my regular daily smoke because of the price, I always want to make sure I have these on hand for those special occasions when you want to kick back and enjoy 70 minutes of absolute pleasure.

No other cigar I smoked this year, or in the last decade for that matter, did so much to involve all my senses while smoking it. It is superior to any other cigars I smoked this year in so many ways. Price aside, no other cigar offers the complexity that this cigar offers. Your palate will consistently be awakened with complex flavors from earthy tones that Cohiba cigars are so known for, with undertones of citrus, vanilla, cocoa and chocolate. The sweetness is balanced by the occasional hints of dark chocolate or unsweetened espresso. The smoke output is simply outstanding with a velvety texture akin to the texture of the froth off a perfectly made cappuccino. Every puff of this perfectly constructed cigar offers your palate an explosion of flavour and because of the way it is manufactured, you can essentially smoke them right out of the box without the need to age them.

We all have our favourite things in life for which we don’t mind spending a little extra money on. Whether it be clothing, spirits, food or fine wine. This, for me, is what I spend my money on to spoil myself now and then.

This cigar was the only one I reviewed in 2012 that earned a perfect 5 out of 5 in every category.

Runners-up

Honourable mentions go to the Partagas Series D No. 4, the Vegas Robaina Famosos, the Bolívar Royal Corona and the H. Upmann Royal Robusto, cigars that have I have not compiled detailed reviews for yet but watch for them in the coming weeks. Who knows, perhaps one of these very worthy cigars will make it into my list next year.

There are many great cigars coming out of Cuba these days and really, doing a top 5 list is difficult because there are so many factors that I needed to consider. This should not put anyone off any of the wonderful cigars coming off the Island of late but these are cigars that I felt offered the best flavor for the dollar in 2012, for my palate.

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell us what were some of your most memorable Cuban smokes that you enjoyed this year.

Page 1 of 912345...Last »