Ramon Allones Specially Selected (2014)

Ramon Allones Specially Selected (2014) - Box

Ramon AllonesOrigin : Cuba
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm (4 7/8 x 50)
Ring : 50
Box code : ULA Jun14
Hand-Made
Price : ~$550 USD / 50 cigars
More info about purchasing Ramon Allones cigars...

As of late, I had taken a bit of a break in reviewing some of the vast array of offerings that had recently hit the market. I even went as far as to branch off into some of the supposed finer Dominican and Nicaraguan sticks that were more readily available in my homeland. I had reviewed a Davidoff Chateau Margaux 1986 this past spring—a delightfully orgasmic Cuban smoke – here on Cigar Inspector and thought that there were no further mountains to climb, nor seas to sail; as that smoke was as technically perfect as they come –bar none.

Oh, how I was wrong… DEAD WRONG. I had reviewed the Ramon Allones 225th Anniversary stick here last fall, and proceeded to drain my favorite tobacconist’s stock of every box he could get his hands on. It would appear that I now have a new target in my sights to scarf up----evil grin----. Before I get into the meat of the review, I want to disclose that I tried every trick I knew to get this smoke to fail. I tried to light it unevenly, smoke it too fast, smoke it too slow, clip it incorrectly, and even let it douse itself and then relit it multiple times. Nothing I did caused this stick to fail—NOTHING. This is going to be a glowing review. This manufacturer has garnered very little notoriety and respect in our hobby, and I certainly hope that changes. They have earned it in my book.

Read on, and you’ll see why.

Read the full review of Ramon Allones Specially Selected (2014)...

Don Bernardo Cigars Giveaway Results

Don Bernardo El Caballero Three-Pack

Last Thursday we reviewed a line of cigars called Don Bernardo El Caballero. Thanks to Richard Galdieri from Don Bernardo, we had 10 three-packs to give away to our lucky readers, and here are the winners, chosen via randomizer.org:

  • Colin S Schaeffer
  • Jason Gross
  • Rich (rick6string)
  • Kevin W
  • dave (gingerich)
  • Weaver
  • Mark R
  • Jeff Brown
  • Alex (borsay)
  • Doug M (heycoachdoug)

Congrats! Please send us your shipping address via any of our contact methods.

Interested in pre-launch access to Don Bernardo cigars? Just leave your e-mail address at this page (please mention Cigar Inspector when you sign up) and you'll have all the info and pre-launch access. Enjoy!

Don Bernardo El Caballero Robusto (Review & Giveaway!)

Don Bernardo El Caballero

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Don Bernardo CigarsSize : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Dominican Criollo 98
Filler : Dominican Seco, Ligero and Olor, Nicaraguan Ligero
Binder : Dominican Olor
Hand-Made
Price : N/A

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Richard Galdieri about reviewing a cigar made by his company, Don Bernardo Cigars.

Don Bernardo is not a very well-known name in the cigar world yet, but Richard started in cigar manufacturing in 1989. You will not find a lot of information yet on this boutique line; El Caballero cigars come in three sizes: Montefino (52 x 6.5"), El Rey (57 x 6"), Robusto (50 x 5"). For this review, I tried out the Robusto.

Disclaimer: cigars for this review were provided free of charge.

Read the full review of Don Bernardo El Caballero Robusto (Review & Giveaway!)...

Jose L. Piedra Conservas

Jose L. Piedra Conservas

Jose L. PiedraOrigin : Cuba
Format : Conservas
Size : 140 x 18 mm (5 1/2 x 44)
Hand-Made
Price : £6.79 (UK) / ~$2.5 (online)
More info about purchasing Jose L. Piedra cigars...

Today we have a guest review by Chris, an aficionado from the UK who runs a YouTube channel called CigarHub Cigar Reviews. Enjoy!

I have seen very many cigars that are essentially fighting value for money, and this is probably my favourite contender to date. The budget features of this cigar seem be done in such a way that they almost have rustic characteristics, and they still deliver fully on the experience. Many, many nights I have paired this cigar with a cheeky glass of port or a nice rum and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, while paying peanuts.

Read the full review of Jose L. Piedra Conservas...

A. Flores Gran Reserva Sun Grown Robusto

A. Flores Gran Reserva Sun Grown Robusto

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : RobustoPDR Cigars
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano Sun Grown
Filler : Dominican / Nicaraguan
Binder : Dominican
Blender : Abe Flores
Manufacturer : PDR Cigars
Hand-Made
Price : $12.35
More info about purchasing A. Flores Gran Reserva...

The word “fine” has evolved in meaning through generations of English speaking people. “I feel fine” means you don’t have aches and pains, and the sarcastic “Fine!” means you’re done discussing a disagreeable subject and want to move on. But I like using the word “fine” in the more classical sense. To me, the word fine connotes something artisan; well made and of outstanding quality. Recently, I smoked a cigar that struck me as having all the elements that make for a truly fine cigar, the PDR A. Flores Gran Reserva Sun Grown Robusto.

Read the full review of A. Flores Gran Reserva Sun Grown Robusto...

Whiskey Review: Knob Creek Rye

Knob Creek Rye Whiskey Review

If you are looking for an inexpensive rye whiskey, you may notice Knob Creek on the shelf at your local liquor store. It’d be hard to miss it; the label with the bold typeface is undeniably a standout. The cost isn’t high at all, ranging anywhere from $20-$40 or so.

What’s the story with this one? It’s made in small batches and aged in charred barrels. Knob Creek is at least 51% rye (in case you aren’t in the know, that is the principle difference between a rye whisky and a bourbon; a bourbon must be at least 51% corn).

That said, I’m not sure what the exact ratios are in Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, but it seemed to me I still detected a fair bit of corn. So while this falls into the category of rye whiskey, it seems to me that it would appeal to most bourbon drinkers.

You may already be familiar with Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon, which also contains some rye—but corn of course is the predominant ingredient. The presence of the rye always gives it a unique edge, so I looked forward to seeing this rye-based counterpart.

Knob Creek Bourbon comes with a cork stopper, but Knob Creek Rye comes with a screw cap. I prefer the cork, but no big deal. The packaging is otherwise easy to appreciate. Like I said, that eye-catching label features some great design work.

In the bottle, the whiskey I bought was a light golden color that was close to amber. I’ve noticed that there is some variation from bottle to bottle with this whisky. It can range anywhere from the light color I got to a medium-dark amber color.

After you get the cap off, you pick up strong notes of oak, caramel, and spices. In the backdrop there are also some subtle herbs that I can’t identify, but I think I pick up something which is giving the aroma a slightly astringent edge. It could be mint or ginger.

On the palate, oak is the strongest note, accompanied by caramel and vanilla. Just as I expected, spices are present, though not nearly as strong as I thought they might be. I am also certain now that the note I was picking up before is ginger. This gives it a bite, as does the strong alcohol content (100 proof). The finish is long and smooth and peppery with a hint of some kind of fruit that I can’t quite identify. Like I mentioned, to me this tastes similar to a bourbon, and actually pretty close to the Knob Creek Bourbon, but obviously the rye flavors are more pronounced.

While this is not the most innovative or amazing rye whiskey I have tried, it was plenty enjoyable, especially at the very reasonable price point. If you enjoy bourbons and want to try a rye whiskey which tastes similar, give it a try, especially if you find it for sale at the lower end of the price bracket.

Knob Creek Rye : Review Summary

Color: Medium golden amber.

Nose: Oak, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, ginger, herbs.

Palate: Oak, vanilla, spice, caramel, ginger, white pepper, fruit.

“Cigars for a Year” Contest at CigarPlace.biz

Cigars for a Year

Our friends at CigarPlace.biz just launched a nice contest, with $2,500 in prizes (all in gift certificates to spend at their site). To enter, head over to this page - there are multiple ways to get entries (e-mail subscription, social media options, etc.). Good luck!

Ashton Symmetry Robusto

Ashton Symmetry Robusto

Origin : Dominican RepublicAshton
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuador Habano
Filler : Dominican & Nicaraguan
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : ~$11 each
More info about purchasing Ashton Symmetry cigars...

This highly anticipated cigar is the result of collaboration between Arturo Fuente and Ashton. There were hitches in the development process which led to delays, including fires in the Arturo Fuente factory. This didn’t stop this dynamic duo from coming out with a popular and highly rated cigar—the first since 2006 to bear the Ashton name.

The Ashton Symmetry is available in five different sizes: Belicoso, Prestige (Churchill), Prism (Corona), Robusto and Sublime (Toro). For this review, I smoked the 5” x 50 Robusto.

Read the full review of Ashton Symmetry Robusto...

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