Drop in quality after a success?

As a blogger, I try to dedicate some time to scanning what's going on in my niche. I have noticed a trend lately and I'd like you to help either confirm or disprove it. It deals with the overall quality of a given blend, which sometimes tends to be very good at the time it's released, then progressively drops after gaining a certain reputation.

This might (sadly) seem as a natural process - as soon as the sales pick up, less attention is being given to quality control and raw material - there are other blends to promote/work on, right? Of course, this post would be worthless without examples. I've got a couple and they concern the same manufacturer. Some of you must already have guessed who I am talking about.

Over one year ago, I reviewed the Rocky Patel Decade. I thought it was one of the best Nicaraguan smokes that I ever tried and I still have a couple of cigars from that batch. Yesterday another review of this cigar hit the blogosphere and Barry's verdict is not that favorable. We have the same story with the Olde World Reserve (by the way, #8 on the CA's top 25 list of 2009). One year ago, Charlie said it was an excellent choice for all corojo lovers. These days, the wrapper of the OWRs leaves nasty brown spots on your fingers and lips.

What do you guys think about it? Is this a real trend or just a coincidence?

Macanudo 1968

Macanudo 1968

MacanudoOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Rothschild (short robusto)
Size : 4.5 x 50 (114 x 20 mm)
Wrapper : Honduras
Filler : Dominican, Nicaraguan
Binder : Connecticut Habano
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing Macanudo 1968 cigars...

It's been quite a while since I reviewed a Macanudo on this blog. My latest experiences were, at the very least, disappointing. When I heard that a new blend was being released, "rich, dark and inexpected", full-bodied and oriented toward experienced smokers, it stirred up my curiosity. Consequently, when I saw it on sale I immediately picked up a fiver. Let's see how the Macanudo 1968 performed.

Read the full review of Macanudo 1968...

Huge merger in sight

A few days ago, Cigar Aficionado published an article about an upcoming merger.

Scandinavian Tobacco (Denmark) and Swedish Match (Sweden) decide to merge their cigar and tobacco operations. The new empire, controlled by Scandinavian Tobacco, will become one of the world's biggest cigar companies (with a production of more than 2.5 billion cigars and approximately $1 billion of sales).

Scandinavian Tobacco owns CAO cigars, whereas Swedish Match controls General Cigar Co. (Macanudo, Don Tomas, non-Cuban Punch and Partagas...) and Cigars International, a distribution giant.

The deal should be finalized by June.

PIO Resurrection Robusto

PIO Resurrection Robusto

Origin : USA
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf (Maduro)
Filler : Nicaragua/Mexico
Hand-Made
Price : $147.99 for a box of 20 

The PIO Resurrection line is a new release from PIO cigars based in Miami, FL. Alberto Medina came back to the cigar market after some legal issues with the PIO Overture 1996. The Resurrection line comes in three vitolas: a Churchill, a Torpedo, and the featured Robusto. The cigars are box-pressed which can be seen by the cigar’s perfect square shape.

Read the full review of PIO Resurrection Robusto...

2009 Blog Highlights: Spring

In the "Blog Highlights" series, we are taking a look back at the best cigar reviews & articles published on CigarInspector.com in 2009. Enjoy.

Cubao Lancero

Cubao No. 3

So far, this is the only Cubao review that has been published here. Jason talks about the lancero size and thinks that it deserves the high praises this blend received from cigar blogs and publications.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Maduro

La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 5

Despite the ugly looks, La Gloria Cubana Serie R Maduro earns a good rating from Lee. Considering its relative cheapness ($5 a pop), this blend can be considered as a good budget cigar.

Panacea

Panacea Red Perfecto

In May, a lot of blogs started publishing raving reviews of Panacea cigars. CigarInspector.com was no exception and I reviewed the Panacea Red, which was a genuinely pleasing cigar.

Cigar Reviews of the Week #83 (Jan 16 2010)

Welcome to our weekly reviews selection. Here's some cigar reading for you:

Patel Bros. Corona

Reviewed by Adam at  Fire Up That Cigar

Despite the recent outbreak in reports of dyed Rocky Patel sticks, the marca is still one of the leading American brands. The Rocky Patel Bros. was born from collaboration with Nish Patel and is a real powerhouse.
Read the full review here...

Tabacos Baez Serie SF

Reviewed by Tim at  Stogie Life

At $2.99 per single, this appears like a great cheapie!
Read the full review here...

Camacho selected for Golden Globe Awards

Camacho goes on increasing its presence at various events. This year, it will be offering the Camacho 10th Anniversary cigars to winners of this prestigious award.

Los Angeles, Calif., January 16, 2010 – Camacho Cigars has been chosen as the official cigar for the HBO Luxury Lounge®, in honor of The 67th Golden Globe Awards. The HBO Luxury Lounge®, produced by Mediaplacement Entertainment Incorporated, in conjunction with HBO, will be held at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills from Friday, January 15th through Sunday, January 17th.

Carlos Torano 1916 Cameroon

Carlos Torano 1916 Cameroon

Big thanks to @the7threserve for the amazing photograph!

Origin : Nicaragua
Carlos ToranoFormat : Robusto
Size : 5 1/2 x 52
Wrapper : Cameroon
Filler : Honduras, Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5-6 each
More info about purchasing Carlos Torano Cameroon cigars...

The Carlos Torano - 1916 Cameroon was introduced in 2003 to commemorate Don Santiago Torano's emigration from Spain to Cuba. It is hand-made in Esteli, Nicaragua in four vitollas: Robusto (5.5" x 52), Corona (5.5" x 42), Torpedo (6.5" x 54), and Churchill (7" x 48); each of which are cellos with a thin cedar wrapping. The capa is Nicaraguan grown Cameroon, the capote is Havana-seed Nicaraguan, and the tripa is a blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan. Torano describes the 1916 Cameroon as being a, "slow burning, well balanced, medium body cigar with distinctive hints of pepper, caramel, nuts, and sweet spice with a long, smooth finish." The vitolla I smoked for this review was the Robusto.

Read the full review of Carlos Torano 1916 Cameroon...

Por Larranaga Cuban Grade

Por Larranaga Cuban Grade

Origin : Honduras (Altadis USA)Por Larranaga
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 44 x 140 (5.5 in)
Wrapper : Mexico San Andreas Maduro
Filler : Dominican, Honduran
Binder : Mexican
Hand-Made
Price : ~$2-3 per stick
More info about purchasing Por Larranaga cigars...

At the recent celebration of my mother-in-law's marriage I had the opportunity to share a beer and cigar with my sister-in-law's husband (my brother-in-law-in-law?). He is a smoker, but not of tobacco products, so I wanted to give him something with a good flavor, but that wouldn't have him running to the bathroom. Enter the Por Larranaga Cuban Grade. A while ago I discovered this cigar as a cheap, favorable, mild cigar that is perfect with coffee, or to pass out to non-smokers.

Read the full review of Por Larranaga Cuban Grade...

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