Davidoff No. 1 (Cuban)

Davidoff No. 1 (Cuban)

DavidoffOrigin : Cuba
Format : Laguito No. 1 (Long Panatela, also known as Lancero); 38 x 192 (7-½")
Box date : December 1985 (NIUL)
Hand-Made
Price : To the extent they can be found, a Davidoff No. 1 will run around $100 per cigar. Note: Be cautious, there are numerous counterfeit Davidoff No. 1s claimed to be on the market. I’ve heard to be weary of the Davidoff band being “too white” to have had 30+ years of age.

Background

The Davidoff No.1 was part of the original line of Davidoff cigars introduced in 1969. Beginning in the mid 1980s, quality control became a concern to Davidoff. In 1987, Zino Davidoff condemned Cuban craftsmanship on French television. The rift between Zino and Cubatabaco escalated to the point where, in 1989, Zino publicly burned 130,000 of the Cuban-made Davidoff cigars that he had deemed of low quality and unfit to sell. Officially, the Cuban Davidoff line was discontinued in 1991.

Hecho en Cuba

This box was acquired new by my father, an infrequent cigar smoker, in the late 1980s. He died about ten years later and, in remembrance, I have taken to smoking one of these (or one of a small handful of other cigars that were his) on the anniversary of his passing. I think it has been three years since I last smoked one of these. This year I was out of town on that date, so I am smoking this a bit late. Obviously, this cigar has great significance for me, but I have no problem disassociating an objective review from a subjective occasion.

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Cigar Release: Nirvana Cameroon Selection

Nirvana Cameroon Selection

Royal Gold Cigars has partnered with renowned cigar manufacturer Drew Estate for their latest premium, hand-rolled cigar release, Nirvana Cameroon Selection. The new cigar features a luscious, light-brown, Rosado wrapper grown in the Eastern province of Cameroon, Africa.

The wrapper is grown by small farmers who, when it’s time to cure the tobacco, clear an area of land and construct a rustic curing barn. This completely natural process translates into a leaf almost devoid of disease and also produces some of the best tasting Cameroon leaf in the world. The origin of the Cameroon seed varietal is Sumatra Indonesia, which has been grown in Africa for over 60 years.

The balance of the blend consists of fillers from Nicaragua, specifically Jalapa and Estelí, along with a portion from the Jamastran region of Honduras. The binder is San Andreas tobacco from Mexico.

When reached for comment, Drew Estate co-founder Marvin Samel responded from their Miami office stating that, "the beauty behind the Nirvana blend is the combination of Cameroon wrapper and Nicaraguan filler leaves. Cameroon leaf is from Africa and is known for its sweetness and a natural sweet spice taste. Blending the strength, body, and richness of the Nicaraguan tobacco with the Cameroon allows a nuanced & layered depth to really come through. This is not an old fashioned mild Cammy. Quite the contrary."

Co-founder and company namesake Jonathan Drew stated, "Nirvana is extremely important to Drew Estate Tobacco Company for a variety of reasons. First, Nirvana will join our product lineup as one of only two brands that we produce for strategic partners. Second, our relationship with Alex Goldman is akin to that of a brother. When he hurts, we hurt. When he succeeds, our hearts are filled with pride. The brand Nirvana is a long-term relationship that begins with the Cammy Selection. Testing and experimenting with different blends, different algorithms of leaf and concept is the beauty of creation. We have a lifetime to learn together. Nirvana will be that common space and bond between DE and Royal Gold. We will deliver something beautiful that proves itself over time. We are in no rush."

Nirvana Cameroon Selection

The new Nirvana line is offered in five sizes, including a 6x46 Corona Gorda, 5x52 Robusto, 6x52 Toro, 6x54 Torpedo, and finally a 4x44 size called the “Silencio”. The line will be available exclusively through Royal Gold Cigars distribution network. The first shipment of NIRVANA will be shipped in unique, limited edition, wooden display boxes featuring beautiful silk screen graphics.

Royal Gold Cigars president Alex Goldman stated that, “When I started Royal Gold at the beginning of 2013, my vision was to work with the best blenders and factories in the world to create our brands. Of course, Drew Estate was right at the top of the list. The talent and creativity of the Drew Estate team, combined with all the resources that Royal Gold, its parent company, and my own history in the cigar business, allowed us to create a truly special blend. The limited nature of the Cameroon wrapper will not allow us to produce all the cigars that we feel the market will demand, but you can be sure that neither Drew Estate nor Royal Gold will trade quality for quantity – we will keep the production limited to ensure the best possible product is delivered to our consumers. Both the Royal Gold and Drew Estate names and logos appear on the packaging, and as such we will always stand behind the quality of this product. This is just the first brand of what I hope will be a long term collaboration between Royal Gold Cigars and Drew Estate”.

An Introduction to Tobacco Plant Primings

Tobacco primings guide

One of the more confusing topics in cigars concerns the classification of tobacco primings. Not a lot of cigar smokers are able to talk in-depth about the leaves on a tobacco plant, how they are harvested, or which leaves on the stalk are used to make premium cigars. So you’ll be well equipped to lead the discussion the next time you’re at the cigar parlor enjoying a stogie with your fellow cigar aficionados after you read this article.

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Cigar Release: Partagas Gran Reserva Lusitanias

Partagas Gran Reserva Lusitania

After Cohiba and Montecristo, Habanos SA is releasing Partagas Gran Reserva, la crème de la crème of Cuban cigars.

Partagas Gran Reserve single

Partagas Lusitanias Gran Reserva has a limited production of 5,000 numbered boxes of 15 cigars each, and the tobacco has been aged for at least 5 years.

Partagas Gran Reserva Box

Lusitanias (ring gauge 49 x 194mm in length) is the majestic vitola that enhances the richness and aroma that characterize the Partagás blend. The Ligero leaves used in the blend of this first Gran Reserva, comes from the San Juan y Martinez Tobacco district, where the rich San Juan soils provide the blend with the Partagás brand’s distinctive strength. The Seco leaves, meanwhile, have been selected from the San Luis Tobacco district, which provides an unparalleled aroma to its Tobacco, a reason to be famous in Cuba and around the world. The extremely meticulous work in selecting leaves from the Cosecha 2007 for these Lusitanias were carried out by the legendary Ligador Master Blender at the Partagás Factory under the supervision of the Instituto del Tabaco-Tobacco Institute.

Bolivar Colosale (Regional Edition Germany)

Bolivar Colosale (German Regional Edition)

Origin : CubaBolivar
Format : Dobles (Robusto Extra)
Size : 155 x 20 mm (6 1/8 x 50)
Box Date : POS – August ’06
Intruduced in : 1,200 cabinets of 50 produced in 2006 exclusively for the Habanos distributor in Germany, Fifth Avenue Products Trading.
Hand-Made
Price : 700 € / 50 (original price fixed by distributor); roughly $17/cigar in 2006
More info about purchasing Bolivar cigars...

Today we're publishing a cigar review submitted by one of our readers, Matthew B. Enjoy!

Why review a special release cigar which is no longer available for purchase, and yet not old enough to be considered vintage? Because it’s there. I typically smoke two cigars a day and have been for nearly twenty years. While I enjoy each and every cigar, the process of reviewing them provides me unique focus and delivers conclusions beyond simply “good” or “bad”.

Read the full review of Bolivar Colosale (Regional Edition Germany)...

Jay-Z Launches Comador, a “Super Premium” Cigar

Jay Z Smoking a Cigar

Jay-Z is best known for his hip hop hits, but he’s also known for his love of cigars. Jay-Z has graced the cover of Cigar Aficionado, and has actually brought his own cigar roller along with him on his musical tour with Justin Timberlake so that he could enjoy a backstage “gentleman’s club” with friends and associates. While the big news in the music world this week focuses on Jay-Z’s nine Grammy award nominations, in the cigar world we’re excited about the singer’s announcement that he is launching his very own “super premium” cigar dubbed Comador in partnership with Cohiba/General Cigar (General Cigar owns the license to use the Cohiba brand outside of Cuba).

This isn’t a cigar you’ll be able to casually stroll into your local tobacconist and pick up for a few bucks. “Super premium” describes not only the “rare, proprietary” tobaccos the cigars will contain, but also their price tag. Seven Comador cigars will cost about $210, which comes out to about $30 per cigar. A full set of 14 will cost almost $1,000 if you order them in the limited edition box set. So while this will be a luxury cigar, it isn’t priced so far out of the market as to be unaffordable to the average person. Thirty bucks is luxurious, but hardly inaccessible for a unique smoking experience.

Discussing the partnership with Cohiba, Jay-Z said, “I worked with Cohiba because I knew they’d take my vision of a luxury cigar and bring it to life in the right way.” Jay-Z sat down with Cohiba brand leaders and talked about the cigars he enjoys and the notes that he likes best. From there, the team worked to combine different tobaccos until they had something that Jay-Z really loved and was happy to associate his name with. “He knows what he likes when he sees it,” explained General Cigar President Dan Carr.

What is the Comador like? The tobacco leaves have been hand-selected from Central America and the Caribbean. The Havana seed Connecticut-grown wrapper is said to be crafted from rare tobacco leaves “prized for (their) exquisite flavor and deep, lustrous appearance.” The Comador was designed to offer a smooth, mild smoking experience with a slow, even burn, perfect for veteran smokers and newbies alike. If the Comador is successful, it could be the beginning of a bright future for Jay-Z and General Cigar. “We’re viewing this as a long-term partnership,” said Dan Carr.

Kristoff Corojo Limitada Torpedo

Kristoff Corojo Limitada Torpedo

KristoffOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6 1/4 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan and Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : ~$9 each
More info about purchasing Kristoff Corojo Limitada cigars...

Glen Case’s Kristoff cigar company has been through some rough times since its inception thanks to distribution and production problems. They have however gotten the attention of the world with high-quality premium cigars like the Kristoff Corojo Limitada Torpedo. The stogie is made largely from Cuban seed Dominican Habano tobacco. Production of this cigar is limited to about 16,000 per year—thus the higher price point.

Read the full review of Kristoff Corojo Limitada Torpedo...

Ortega Serie D #8

Ortega Serie D No. 8

Origin : NicaraguaOrtega
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 1/2 x 50
Wrapper : San Andreas, Mexican maduro
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$7 each
More info about purchasing Ortega cigars...

Eddie Ortega is a big name these days. Only recently, Ortega set out on his own, after parting ways with EO Brands, the company he founded with Erik Espinosa. Serie D is the first selection offered by Ortega’s new solo company, and includes 5 different sizes in natural or maduro (this review is for the maduro). The filler and binder leaves are grown in Jalapa and Esteli in Nicaragua, while the wrapper comes from San Andreas, Mexico.

Read the full review of Ortega Serie D #8...

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