Graycliff 1666

Graycliff 1666

Origin : BahamasGraycliff
Format : Churchill
Size : 7 x 48
Wrapper : Jaltapec Maduro
Binder : Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler : Mix of Brazilian, Columbian, Mexican and Peruvian Tobacco
Price : $100-140 for a bundle of 20
More info about purchasing Graycliff 1666 cigars...

Background Info

Enrico Garzazoli, owner of Graycliff Cigars, brought aboard Avelino Lara to complement his five-star restaurant (1st in the Caribbean) and second largest wine collection. Avelino Lara is better known as the former personal cigar roller to Fidel Castro and the man responsible for the creation of the Cuban Cohiba brand.

This cigar was named in honor of the first building located where the restaurant and wine collection are located today. It is estimated that this first building was one of the first structures developed for the city of Nassau.

Mission Debrief

I found this cigar by simple accident and chance, rummaging through my secondary humidor containing a large cache of various cigars purchased from a family member. Buried somewhere near the bottom is where I came upon the Graycliff 1666. Not having had the opportunity to smoke any of these cigars in the past, I felt this would be a nice candidate for immediate interrogation.

Appearance-wise for this cigar, I found a couple of small chips in the veiny, maduro wrapper. Nothing else of fault. I felt that the copper and blue hued band, while nothing elaborate or elegant, completed the overall look of the cigar. No overly packed or soft spots were detected in the length of the cigar as well.

Moving away from my punch and using my favorite Xikar cutter and a butane lighter, I gave the cigar a couple of firm draws and took in the flavors presented to me. This is one of those Maduros that looks worse than it is, as it’s a bit milder than you would think. The persistent flavors I found were a dark coffee/espresso and a touch of spice and earthiness. Nothing overpowering here but pleasant to the palette. I did find in the last third of the cigar that I felt it was burning a bit hot, as the flavors pushed towards a harsher, side.

Expect a nice, even burn overall. I did have to relight the cigar a couple of times throughout the two hours and change smoke time. In the last third of the cigar, the wrapper was starting to unravel a bit from the cigar. I think this is because of the status of my secondary humidor and not necessarily from the cigar. The finish for this cigar was slightly longer, most likely because of the maduro wrapper but it is nothing out of the ordinary.


This is a enjoyable, medium bodied maduro. It has a nice complement of flavors, won’t bog you down in terms of strength and the price point is agreeable to most. While it didn’t have the “wow factor” like the La Traviata, the Graycliff 1666 is certainly one I’ll be looking for in the future.

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Weekly draw: winner #4

Weekly draw for commenters!

It's the 4th Tuesday and it means we're giving away another 5-pack sampler, courtesy of Corona Cigar Co. This week, Jason reviewed a new release cigar from Jose Carlos and Stephen told us how to turn a regular Zippo into a torch cigar lighter. I hope you enjoyed the updates. As for the winner, this could only be one person - DJ, who left I don't know how many comments this week. Congratulations!

Watch out for our future contests! There will be much more to come.
Hot tip: subscribe to our updates.

Cain Habano Robusto

Cain Habano Robusto

Origin : NicaraguaCain Cigars
Format : Robusto
Size : 5.70″ x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Habano
Filler : Esteli Ligero, Condega Ligero, Jalapa Ligero, and a small amount of “other tobaccos”
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $7 each
More info about purchasing Cain Habano cigars...

Cain – Straight Ligero. For those who know what Ligero is, you are probably thinking “damn”. Ligero is the highest priming of tobacco on the plant. These are the leaves at the top of the plant that get the most exposure to direct sunlight and the elements. Ligero tobacco is the thickest leaves and the strongest in terms of nicotine. It is also generally considered the most robust in terms of flavor. Most cigars only use a small percentage of ligero tobacco blended leaves from other primings on the plant. The blending of the different leaves is done to produce specific flavors that the blender wants as well as to give the cigar balance in flavor, strength and construction. Now the Cain is not really 100% ligero. It is actually around 82% or 84% (I have heard both numbers bandied around) ligero. This is still way more ligero than is typically found in a cigar, but the addition of the non-ligero tobacco is done for construction and combustion reasons. Ligero is the thickest leaf and as such is the slowest burning and hardest to keep lit. The other tobacco used helps to balance things out a bit to allow the cigar to burn properly. All that ligero still affects the burn though. This cigar burns awfully slow but more on that later.

Read the full review of Cain Habano Robusto...

San Cristobal de la Habana La Fuerza

San Cristobal de la H. La Fuerza

Origin : CubaSancho Panza
Format : Grand Robusto (Super Robusto)
Size : 143 x 19.84 mm (5.6 x 50)
Ring : 50
Price : ~$11 each
More info about purchasing San Cristobal de la Habana cigars...

San Cristobal de la Habana La Fuerza is the second review in our San Cristobal series. Slightly longer than a regular robusto, this gordito measures 5.6 inches with a 50 ring gauge. A few weeks ago, I thoroughly enjoyed the Oficios and I was looking forward to trying another vitola from the brand, having high expectations.

Read the full review of San Cristobal de la Habana La Fuerza...

Cortez Robusto

Cortez Robusto

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Brazilian Maduro
Binder : Dominican
Filler : Dominican
Price : ~$5 each

Background Info

Unfortunately, I have none. I picked this cigar up from a shop I usually don’t go to. The reason why I don’t go to this cigar shop (that is literally walking distance from my house, a cigar smoker's dream) is because the owner is the most boring cigar smoker I have ever met. On top of that, he knows nothing about what he is selling, and no surprise, he knows nothing about this cigar. That is why I go out of my way and 20 minutes away from my house to Leesburg Cigars & Pipes.

Mission Notes

It’s Monday, almost evening and I'm getting some homework done before I see the Deadskins vs the Queer-gles play on Monday Night Football. I am sitting next to the colors of fall in front of this tree, and honestly, it’s a great start to an evening. Before I keep going on, with my fake poetic self, let me stop. And enough about me, let’s talk about this cigar I have never even heard of.

Now this is going to be pretty simple to explain, yet it’s very weird. This cigar taste likes sweet veggies mixed with a light maduro flavor profile. Honestly, while I think most cigar smokers (especially full body cigar smokers) won't like this cigar, I actually really enjoy it. See, it still has the softness of a mild-to-medium body cigar that I like, but with plenty of maduro characteristics, which I also like. And at this price point, I can definitely see me smoking a lot of these.

Looking at the Cortez Cigars website, which looks like it just got hit by Hurricane Ugly, I managed to find out that the wrapper is a Brazilian Maduro. No wonder I enjoy this cigar! I feel like you can mix any other country, and as long as it has some Brazilian tobacco, you’re going to get a pretty good cigar.

You know what, this cigar is a winner in my book. Excellent quality, construction, burn and consistency in flavor. Again, it's not the most amazing cigar when it comes to flavor, but with everything else going perfect, this cigar is truly a bang for your buck. And definitely could fit in your daily cigar humidor section.

Final Statement

If you have a similar palate to mine, in which you enjoy mild to medium bodied cigars, but also enjoy the maduro characteristics, this is the ideal cigar for you. All you tough guys who enjoy the full body cigar, stay away because you will not like the Cortez.

Cigar Reviews of the Week #78 (Oct 24 2009)

Here's what we've got to share with you this Saturday:

El Titan de Bronze Redemption Maduro

Reviewed by Walt at  The Stogie Review

Walt reviews a 2009 IPCPR release, El Titan de Bronze Redemption Maduro.
Read the full review here...

Tatuaje Black CRA Release

Reviewed by Patrick S at  The Stogie Guys

Some time ago, we posted about the special offer from CRA - new members could get limited edition samplers from the most popular manufacturers. Patrick tried the Tatuaje from this sampler and was impressed.
Read the full review here...

New Cigar from Don Pepin Garcia

John Brooke from The Weekly Cigar was lucky enough to talk to Pepin Garcia at a recent event. He was told that a new cigar was about to be made, with only 1.000 boxes released, all the sticks being rolled by Don Pepin Garcia himself. Check out the full article here.

Jose Carlos Corojo Toro

Jose Carlos Corojo Toro

Jose Carlos CigarsOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : N/A
More info about Jose Carlos cigars...

Thank you to Bill Davies at Jose Carlos Cigars for providing me with a sampler to try.

Jose Carlos cigars were introduced at this year's IPCPR show in New Orleans. They come in three wrapper variants: Habano, Corojo, and Connecticut. Each is available in a Robusto and Toro size and are of Nicaraguan origin. I chose the Corojo version to review.

Read the full review of Jose Carlos Corojo Toro...

Z-plus Torch Flame Zippo Lighter Insert

Z-plus Torch Flame Zippo Lighter Insert

Maker : Blazer Products
Website :
Type : Butane Lighter Insert
Price : ~$12.99
More information about purchasing a Z-plus Zippo Insert...

I personally love that distinctive *click* sound you hear when opening and closing a Zippo. You hear that sound, you instantly know it as a Zippo.

The problem is you love your Zippo lighter, but not smell or taste - it may impart on your cigar while lighting it. Enter the Z-Plus Torch Flame Insert.

The Z-Plus insert is marketed by Blazer Products as a way to bring your old case lighter roaring into the 21st Century in just 2 easy steps. I can personally attest that it is that easy.

Appearance : ★★★★☆
The top of the Z-Plus insert is chrome, but when removed from the case you can see the plastic butane tank on the bottom half. The insert does a good job of mimicing the Zippo insert once it is installed into the Zippo case.

Z-plus Torch Flame Zippo Lighter Insert

Construction : ★★★★☆
The Z-Plus insert appears to be well made and it lights on the fist click of the striker every time.

Ease of Use : ★★★★★
The Z-Plus light insert could not be easier to use. To set it up, tip it upside-down, turn the torch to the lowest setting. Unfortunately, it takes a small screw driver to do this. However, once it is set to your liking, you should not need to adjust it again. Fill it with butane, remove the Zippo insert, and insert the Z-Plus. It is that easy. You could have done it in less time than it took to read this paragraph.

It quickly toasts and lights up most cigars easily. Only the largest of ring gauge cigars require a little more effort.

Value : ★★★★½
At approximately $12 retail I do not think you can find a better bargain, especially if you already own an older zippo. I did not already own a Zippo, so I purchased one off ebay and I bought the Z-plus at my local cigar shop. My total investment was less than $30.

Overall : ★★★★½
I really like the Z-plus lighter. I am sure a lot of that has to do with my affection for the Zippo. It does function very well. A few of minor complaints: You can't leave it lit too long or it goes out, but I have had that problem with other butane lighters as well. When you let go of the ignitor it stays lit for a couple seconds. I have another butane lighter that does the same thing, too. Finally, the fluid reservoir is semi-transparent so it is difficult to tell how much fuel is in it. I've been using it for a few months now. Overall, the Z-Plus is excellent and I do not think it can be beat for the money.

Click here to find out more about purchasing a Z-plus