Nosotros Worldwide Release Event

Nosotros Cigars

So last Friday, the folks at Empire Cigars in Raleigh, NC had a very special event. This was the worldwide release of the Nosotros cigar by Dion Giolito made in collaboration with Jonathan Drew and Drew Estate.

Dion and Jonathan were supposed to be there, but Jonathan ended up at another shop for a similar event (?). This was ok, because I was very interested in picking the brain of one of the cigar industry’s biggest up-and-comers, Dion Giolito. This guy is known for his palate and cigar flavor memory, and like me is a true cigar geek.

I walk in a little before 4 and Dion is already there chatting with Hal Rubin, the owner of Empire Cigars. I introduce myself and shake hands say a quick hello to some of my buddies before checking out the sticks. Four sizes were available that night – the Corona Larga, Robusto, Corona and Churchill. Dion told me the Toros and the 660s will be in by the end of the month.

I’m in line waiting to get a box (the Corona Largas) and Dion is standing near/above (he’s like 9 feet tall), so I start talking to him. He asks which size I picked, I show him the CLs, and he tells me that they are 60 days from the table and suggested I try one or two now and put the rest away for at least a month. You gotta love a guy that up front and open about his product.

Dion Giolito

I ask him if he is glad that the cigar is finally out and he agrees, but he was less concerned about the delay (they were initially going to be released in 2009) and more concerned about getting out a product that is ready to be smoked and it tastes like he wants it to taste.

I pay for my box and get me freebies (4 ~mk~‘s!) and sit up front with Dion. My buddy Matt joins me, and we start with the questions. I ask him about the blend and he tells me what makes this blend special is the Oliva ASP Viso tobacco in the filler. This has been a leaf he’s been trying to find for quite a while. He talks about having to use to ASP Viso leaves for the different sizes. The smaller sizes get the ASP Viso while the bigger ring gauge sizes needed a little extra punch of flavor so they get the ASP Viso Pequeno, which is actually a smaller leaf but a higher priming, so it gets more sun/time and therefore more flavor.

I light up a Corona Larga from my box and note right away, this is not like any Illusione, or Drew Estate cigar for the matter, I’ve ever had before. I’ll go in more depth in my review which will follow, so stay tuned!

I ask him about the move to Drew Estate rather than having Arsenio Ramos at the Raices Cubanas factory (Casa Fernandez) make the Nosotros. He delved into the reasons for having someone else make his product. He had always wanted to have more than one person make his cigars. He didn’t want the “same” taste in all of his cigars, and he also didn’t want to put all of his eggs in one basket. He originally was going to have the Cruzado made by Joya de Nicaragua, but when Drew Estate took over distribution of JdN, the were unable at that time to make a cigar for him. Dion understood and went back to Raices Cubanas. When the time was right, the folks at Drew Estate and Dion got together and Dion went through their inventory of tobacco and put together a blend based on the individual flavors of each leaf (pretty amazing when you think about it). More incredible, is that the first blend became the final blend used in the Nosotros!

Guys at the Nosotros event

Other regulars joined in, and Dion educated us on Nicaragua and its tobacco, how he creates his blends and also the scoop on his new project the yearly Limited Edition – the Singulare. Dion shared a lot of interesting stuff about this blend off the record, so all I can tell you is that each year will feature a different blend in one size. Based on what he shared with us, I cannot wait for this cigar to come out!

We talk about other cigars he likes. We discuss Pete Johnson and his cigars (Tatuaje), Don Pepin, the Fuentes, La Flor Dominicana, Davidoffs and even Habanos. Like me, Dion loves to smoke all different types of cigars, and not just his own!

Talk moves away from cigars and into music and movies. Matt breaks out an Illusione Culebra to share, the ~23~, and Dion notes that this is the only size made in Miami by one roller. It also features just one type of leaf from the blend. It really sets it apart from the other sizes in the line.

I ask Dion what is his dream leaf that he wanted to work with, and he says it’s the one in the Nosotros, the ASP Viso. I asked him if he planned on any new lines this year. He said no, he didn’t want to have a glut of lines and wanted to focus on making good cigars and his yearly Singulare LEs.

Through the night Dion smoked a Nosotros and a Cruzado Marios, which he said are really “on” right now. Another one of his favorites is the ~mk~. I had a Nosotros Corona Larga, an Epernay La Petite, an Illusione ~23~ and a ~mk~. Whew! One thing that’s great about Dion’s smokes is that though they pack tons of flavor, they’re not so strong to kill the palate, so I was able to enjoy multiple cigars that night (as well as a few glasses of home-brewed beer from our buddy Rich).

Nosotros event - Dion and Hal

The night goes by quickly and I can tell you I learned more about the industry in a few hours with Dion than I have through all of my research prior. He is a great guy, a gracious host and really stands behind and is very proud of his product. It was a great night, and hopefully we can get him to stop in again!

I’d also like to thank Hal and Dave at Empire Cigars for throwing an awesome party!

Gurkha Assassin

Gurkha Assassin

Origin : Dominican RepublicGurkha
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 50
Wrapper : Brazilian
Binder : Dominican
Filler : Nicaraguan and Peruvian
Hand-Made
Price : ~$9 each
More info about purchasing Gurkha Assassin cigars...

The Gurkha Assassin is a Nicaraguan firecracker blended by Paul Flores and premiered on the U.S. market in 2009. I had the benefit of having Paul at my local tobacconist this past week and he told me that the Assassin was blended as a full-bodied cigar with sweetness and refinement… So basically he took the ass-kicking Evil and added some Peruvian tobacco to the filler to add additional flavor and complexity… I’ve been smoking em’ all week and I can’t wait to fire up another one right now. Many thanks to Paul Flores and Butthead's Tobacco Emporium for making this review possible!

Read the full review of Gurkha Assassin...

Cigar Reviews of the Week #90 (Apr 24 2010)

Welcome to our weekly reviews selection.

Lempira Fuerte

Reviewed by Chris at   Nice Tight Ash

Chris isn't exactly impressed by this Nicaraguan puro.
Read the full review here...
On other hand, Nathaniel gives it a "buy" recommendation...

Cuba Aliados Miami

Reviewed by Cigarfan at  Keepers of the Flame

Another smoke with a Nigaraguan filler, the Cuba Aliados Miami might be the best cigar from Reyes, according to Tom.
Read the full review here...
Read our take at the Cuba Aliados Miami...

La Aurora 107 Giveaway

Miami Cigar & Company, the exclusive distributor for La Aurora brands in the United States, announces the release of the La Aurora Serie 107 Anniversario to mark the company’s 107th year of operation in the Dominican Republic. As part of a year-long campaign to Rediscover La Aurora, 107 retailers across the U-S will be giving away 107 robustos on April 30th. The list of participating retailers can be found at http://rediscoverlaaurora.com.
Check it out.

Dual Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur 1066

Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur 1066

Origin : HondurasArturo Fuente
Format : Robusto (Merlin)
Size : 5.25 x 50
Wrapper : Cameroon
Binder : USA (Connecticut Broadleaf)
Filler : Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $68.95 / box of 20
More info about purchasing Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur cigars...

Below is the second dual review in our series of 6.

Ed: Excalibur 1066 is a product from Hoyo de Monterrey (General Cigar). The cigar is named for the year of the Norman Conquest of England. Although William the Conqueror led the Normans to victory, several of the vitolas are named after King Arthur and several of the members of the court (Galahad and Lancelot). Today’s dual review feature is named after the Merlin - Arthur’s wizard, prophet, and adviser. In the Excalibur 1066 line, Merlin is the name given to the robusto.

Stephen: According to the Cigar World website, this line is no longer called the Excalibur 1066, it's now the Excalibur Cameroon. However, they don't say that any change was made to the blend. These cigars are available in 4 sizes and are made at the Honduras American Tabaco factory in Cofradia, Honduras.

Read the full review of Dual Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur 1066...

Perdomo Reserve Criollo 10th Anniversary

Perdomo Reserve Criollo 10th Anniversary

Origin : NicaraguaPerdomo
Format : Robusto
Size : 5.0″ x 54
Wrapper : Cuban-Seed Criollo
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $6 each
More info about purchasing Perdomo 10th Anniversary Criollo...

Celebrating 10 years of the Perdomo Reserve line of cigars, Tabacalera Perdomo released the 10th Anniversary Edition sometime last year (if memory serves). Dressed in a smooth and oily cuban-seed Criollo wrapper the 10th Anniversary is a good looking cigar. They are available in five sizes:

  • Figurado 5.75″ x 56
  • Robusto 5.0″ x 54
  • Epicure 6.0″ x 54
  • Churchill 7.0″ x 54
  • Torpedo 7.0″ x 54

Read the full review of Perdomo Reserve Criollo 10th Anniversary...

Ashton ESG 20 Year Salute

Ashton ESG 20 Year Salute

Origin : Dominican RepublicAshton
Format : Grand Robusto
Size : 6.75 x 49
Wrapper : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$20 each
More info about purchasing Ashton ESG cigars...

After a delicious late lunch of grilled chicken kabobs and a couple of outstanding craft brews, my loving wife and I decided to finish out our day with a couple of cigars. Her choice for the early evening, was an Ashton VSG Enchantment, while I decided on a slightly longer venture with an Ashton ESG 20 year salute.

Read the full review of Ashton ESG 20 Year Salute...

Montecristo 75th Aniversario

Montecristo 75th Aniversario

Origin : Dominican RepublicMontecristo
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Binder : Nicaragua
Filler : Honduras and Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$15 each
More info about purchasing Montecristo Aniversario cigars...

Hello all. The Tollaficionados are back to review one of the most consistently excellent brands on the market. Let’s see if this member of its elite family holds true to its siblings standards. Ladies & Gentlemen, The Montecristo 75th Aniversario.

Our good friends at Altadis, USA recently released these celebratory sticks, and Nick, Sr. and I were able to get our hands on a few. Not an easy get, I assure you! These babies have been anticipated and talked about for some time now, and to obtain them, especially this early takes connections or a great deal of luck. The 75th is of limited release, so put your backorder in now so that you can sample a few yourselves. Now on to the review…

Read the full review of Montecristo 75th Aniversario...

Alejandro Robaina dies at 91

Alejandro Robaina

Today is a very sad day for the cigar industry. The legend of Cuban cigars, Alejandro Robaina, died Saturday at the age of 91.

HAVANA — Cuban tobacco grower Alejandro Robaina, an international symbol of the island's cigar-making prowess, died Saturday. He was 91.

Cuban state television announced his death, and the state tobacco concern Habanos SA, which produces the Robaina brand cigar, said on its website that he was the "victim of a somber illness."

The only Cuban grower with a cigar brand named after him, Robaina traveled for decades as an unofficial global ambassador for the island's stogies. Into his final days, he could be found smoking cigars in a rocking chair on his front port in San Luis, in westernmost Pinar de Rio Province.

He worked the fields in Vuelta Abajo, Cuba's most-famous cigar-growing region, where Habanos — a joint venture between the communist government and Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group PLC — produced Robainas.

Born in the town of Alquizar on March 20, 1919, Robaina began working his family's fields from the time he was 10. He remained in Cuba when that land was nationalized after the revolution that toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista and brought Fidel Castro to power on New Year's Day 1959.

Robaina became famous for the top-quality tobacco he helped produce and was honored numerous times by the Castro government.

"He left an indelible mark on the history of Cuban tobacco," Havana's Radio Reloj reported.

There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.

Copyright Associated Press

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