Since the release of the Hoyo Petit Robusto in 2004, the Petit Robusto size has proven a great success for Habanos. Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas (Serie D No. 5 and No. 6) and Trinidad also jumped on the wagon, with similar variations but same characteristics. A short, stout cigar that combines a short smoking time with the coolness and comfort of a larger ring gauge. The response was great, so it was only a matter of time before another brand came up with a petit robusto.
The Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill, released in 2012, is a classic petit robusto, measuring 4'' in length with a 50 ring gauge. Initially available in dress boxes of 25, 3-packs of tubos were to follow in 2013. My Petit Churchill had some time to rest after the long trip from Cuba and I am really looking forward to see what it has to offer.
Origin : Nicaragua Format : Robusto Size : 5.5 x 50 Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sumatra Filler : Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic Binder : Connecticut Broadleaf Hand-Made Price : ~$6 each
Thanks to Ryan from Giacomo's Cigars for sending me a sampler!
Giacomo’s Cigars has only been around since 2010, but since that time they have garnered a lot of attention and praise for their innovative cigars. The brand was started by Dr. Jack Guggino, a close friend to the Oliva family.
The Giacomo series is made from tobacco leaves from five different countries: the United States (the Connecticut broadleaf maduro binder), Ecuador (the wrapper), and Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic (the filler leaves). All these tobaccos were grown from Cuban seed. Seven sizes are available: Corona, Robusto, Torpedo, Churchill, Perfecto 102, Perfect 102M, and Lancero. For this review, I smoked the 5.5 x 50 Robusto Maduro.
Recently I mentioned this smoke in a review I did for a different release from this same manufacturer. Where the other stick failed miserably, the Juan Lopez Don Juan redeemed this cigar manufacturer in my eyes. Care and craftsmanship were self-evident with this limited edition robusto. I want to reinforce my previous recommendation. This smoke would satisfy most palates and is quite a bit more economical than its limited edition competition.
I have been trying to recall whether I have smoked a Quai d'Orsay and I am almost certain I haven’t. I have been trying to get my hands on one for a while, but they are not easy to come by. We have all heard how great the Quai d'Orsay Imperiales are, but they are almost impossible to find in the cigar stores; unless your local cigar store is in France. The brand was created in 1973 by Cubatobaco for the French distributor Keita. The brand’s initial lineup had five vitolas, two of which are still in production; the Coronas and the Imperiales. The 2011 regional edition series though came to bring a breath of life in the brand, with two new vitolas, the only additions in the brands portfolio since its launch. One of these two vitolas is the Quai d’Orsay Superior, a classic robusto that was released for Pacific Cigar and the Asia Pacific region and it is the cigar I will be smoking today.
Although I wouldn’t call it “ugly” the Superior does not look the best, as it has a few flaws in its appearance. The wrapper is rough, with plenty of veins and a few green spots. The bunch is normal, but inconsistent, with some looser spots on both ends of the cigar. The triple car is rounded and sloppy, but there is plenty of floral aromas present on the foot of the cigar. The prelight draw is also loose. Time to light it up…
Sometimes you want to venture from your safety zone and try new things. Sometimes you are rewarded for your curiosity, and sometimes you regret your adventuresome ways. This experience to me was definitely the latter and not the former. To me, this stick had problems from the get-go. Just about anything that could go wrong, did… IN SPADES.
This post, first published in 2009, has been updated in 2015 with more parisian cigar shops and lounges.
Paris, France is a city that I know quite well, having lived there for several years. Surprisingly, despite the interdiction to smoke indoors that has been on for a few years now, there are quite a few quality cigar shops that deserve a visit. And there are many places where you can enjoy your freshly purchased stogie. Let's start with the cigar shops:
1. A la Civette
The very first place that I discovered many years ago is called A la Civette ("at a cigar shop") and is located right in the touristic center of the city, close to the Louvre museum. Don't expect to pay a premium for the location as cigar prices are exactly the same in ALL cigar shops in France.
The place has a strong tradition as it first opened its doors in 1716. A la Civette boasts a large walk-in humidor with a good selection of Cuban cigars (all of them are available by single) and it also has non-Cubans like CAO, Ashton VSG or Padron 1964 (most of them at prohibitive prices, of course). By the way, if you want to enjoy your cigars straight away, there is a nice café just opposite the cigar shop, where you can smoke outdoors.
Here's the address if you ever have a chance to visit it: 157, rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris (Google Maps link >>>)
2. Le Lotus Madeleine
This one was close to my office and I visited it many times. Less tourists (and customers) here, so if you're lucky you can have a long talk with the owners who know their products very well. The selection is arguably more narrow, but I always managed to find something nice. Located in a small street near Madeleine metro station (Google Maps link >>>),
3. Publicis Drugstore
Right on the world famous Champs Elysées (n° 138, Google Maps link >>>), the Publicis Drugstore is a decent choice if you need a quick fix. A lot of different cigars are available in the walk-in humidor, unfortunately the advice is nearly non-existent and the staff could have been friendlier. I've been there three times and always had the same experience.
Here are a few more locations that all have a decent range of Habanos (and sometimes non-Cubans):
Le Corona, 30 quai du Louvre, 75001 Paris.
La Boîte à Cigares, 23 rue de Rome, 75008 Paris.
Tabac du Châtelet, 8 rue Saint Denis, 75001 Paris.
Maison Lemaire, 59 avenue Victor Hugo, 75016 Paris.
Now that you purchased your Behike, you might want to give it a try immediately!
In France, it is forbidden to smoke indoors but there are places where you can still enjoy your cigar, even in winter. They are equipped with an electronic system that eliminates smoke and you have to fetch your drinks yourself (the waiters can't enter the area). The problem with these "fumoirs" (smoking rooms) is that a lot of them are located in 5-star hotels, which means there's a certain dress code and drinks can cost over 20 EUR. This is why most of the time I go to the Cubana Café, located 47, rue Vavin (Google Maps link >>>). Affordable drinks, a comfy smoking room, and some tex mex food if you're hungry - that's a good mix in my book.
If you prefer more upscale places though, here are a couple:
We're happy to introduce El Humo De Los Dioses, the newest reviewer on the team. You can read his bio here. Please give him a warm welcome!
Usually when an experienced cigar aficionado hears hyped accolades of a recently released smoke, they run for the hills. The more the hype, the faster they run. So many of the recent Cuban releases tout their wares, listing breathtaking attributes that are designed to make one think they are enjoying something special, only to deliver disappointment. Such is NOT the case with the Partagas Lusitanias Gran Reserva. This pearl was a true delight to savor and enjoy.
Lancero Sampler at Jack Shwarz - 12 lanceros for $90 is a pretty good deal, especially considering that inside this sampler you'll find some known brands like Illusione (the Holy Lance Maduro is a great smoke) and La Flor Dominicana. Other sticks are also worth a try.
Alec Bradley on sale at CigarPage - today, CigarPage.com has deep discounts on Alec Bradley cigars, so if you still haven't tried those Tempus, that's a good opportunity. Deals change daily.
Best of Davidoff Mild Sampler - readers often ask me about good mild cigars that I could recommend. Well this sampler is quite interesting - Griffin's, Avo, Room 101 - 46% off. Don't forget to use a coupon to save a few more dollars.
Spotted a nice cigar deal? Post it in the comments area below!