MBombay Kesara Pyramid (Review & Giveaway!)

MBombay Kesara Pyramid

Origin : Costa Rica
Format : Pyramid
Asylum CigarsSize : 7 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Dominican Republic and Peru
Binder : Ecuador
Hand-Made
Price : ~$18 each

If you are shopping at the tobacconist and you spot MBombay Kesara cigars on the shelves, they’ll stand out instantly. They are quite unusual to look at, particularly where the band is concerned (more on that shortly). MBombay is a pretty new brand owned by Mel Shah. You may previously have known him better as the owner of Fame Wine & Cigar Lounge in Palm Springs. Shah’s cigar company MBombay launched in June of 2014 with two different lines: MBombay Classic and MBombay Maduro. The third line, Mōra, debuted that August. At the end of the year, Kesara came out.

Kesara is available in three sizes: a 6 x 52 toro, a 4 ½ x 54 robusto, and a 7 x 54 pyramid. Mel Shah, the owner, sent me a sampler of the pyramids (thanks Mel!), which I am reviewing today. And we've got some more cigars to give away, read on for details!

Read the full review of MBombay Kesara Pyramid (Review & Giveaway!)...

Asylum 33 Robusto

Asylum 33 Robusto

Origin : Honduras
Format : Robusto
Asylum CigarsSize : 4.5 x 50
Wrapper : Honduran
Filler : Honduran
Binder : Honduran
Hand-Made
Price : ~$10 each
More info about purchasing Asylum 33 cigars...

It’s hard to believe that Asylum Cigars has only been around since 2012. They’ve become a huge name in the industry in a very short time. Mostly they’ve become famous for the Asylum 13. The number 13 is quite significant in occult circles, and Asylum has followed the same trend with the choice of “33”—a master number in the field of numerology. The number is displayed on the cigar on a shiny iridescent silver band under the familiar Illuminati symbol of an eye inside a pyramid.

Read the full review of Asylum 33 Robusto...

Get Ready for the 18th Festival del Habano

Get Ready for the 18th Festival del HabanoWe’re just a few days away now from the commencement of Festival Habano XVIII! The event will launch on February 29th and run through March 4th and will take place in Havana. Highlights for the festival include:

  • The 50th anniversary of Cohiba. Expect a number of exciting new releases, including special limited editions as well as new additions to the regular product lines. Festival-goers will also have a chance to tour the El Laguito factory and plantations in Vuelta Abajo.
  • The Gala Evening will pay special tribute to Cohiba and will feature performances by Estrella Morente, Jorge Drexler, Chucho Valdés, and rising stars Alain Pérez, Cucu Diamantes, and Geidi Chapman. The proceeds from the Humidor Auction will go to the Cuban Public Health system. As always, the “Habanos Man of the Year” trophies will be awarded in every category.
  • The 20th anniversary of Cuaba. In celebration, the brand will be releasing an exclusive special edition for La Casa del Habano.
  • Participants will also get an early glimpse at 2016 limited editions from Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo, and Trinidad. Also expect new cigars from Habanos Añejados, Hoyo de Monterrey, Partagás, and H. Upmann.

Throughout the week, participants will not only be able to sample some of 2016’s most highly-anticipated new stogies, but will also be able to enjoy delicious pairings with Havana Club rum and gourmet Cuban cuisine. This year’s contests will include the 15th annual Habanos Sommelier International Competition as well as the competition for the longest ash.

The 18th Festival del Habano is set to be a week-long celebration of Cuban cigars and culture, packed full of fun and excitement. If you have a chance to attend, lucky you! Please share your experiences with us in the comments!

Where to Buy and Smoke Cigars in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City

Where to Buy and Smoke Cigars in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh Ville

If you’ve ever found yourself in Ho Chi Minh City, better known as Saigon, you know that this is a fascinating city with a lot to see and do. There is beautiful French colonial architecture and a great deal of history to explore. But you may find yourself feeling a little bit lost when it comes to cigars.

This is because (to my knowledge) there really is basically just one decent shop. Thankfully there are a few classy bars, most of them located on rooftops (you might be able to buy cigars in some of those bars, but at higher prices). Here is the rundown so that you know where to go if you are ever in Saigon!

Click here to read the full article...

Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill

Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill

Origin : CubaRomeo y Julieta
Format : Wide Churchill / Montesco (Robusto)
Size : 5.1 (130 mm) x 55
Release : 2010
Box code : RAE JUN15
Hand-Made
Price : $283 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars...

Recently I had the opportunity to finally sample a branded cigar that is readily available in my market, but typically supplied from different countries in Central America (editor's note: non-Cuban Romeo y Julietas, some of them are reviewed here). Typically these smokes have been dry, grainy and more akin to puffing on a pile of sawdust than a true fine quality cigar. I am happy to say that the Cuban Romeo y Julieta rose to the occasion and has offered a stout cigar with plenty of taste that should satisfy most any avid Cubano lover and beginner alike. It is a nice smoke at an economical price for a Cuban.

Read the full review of Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill...

Eric Renner’s Contest Painting

Eric Renner's Rocky Patel Painting

Remember the contest we ran a few weeks ago? Eric Renner, a painter & cigar enthusiast, was willing to do a painting of the winner's favorite cigar, and you can see the result above. Looks impressive!

Local Directory Launch (& Contest!)

Cigar-friendly Places

I am excited today to announce the unveiling of a brand new feature here on Cigar Inspector, our Directory of Local Cigar Friendly Places!

Visit the link above and you can input your location and see a list of cigar-friendly places next to you (there are 800+ listings so far, most of them in the US but we're working on adding more!). These include cigar lounges, tobacconists, hotels that welcome cigar smokers at their bars, and so on. This is great both for finding destinations in your local community, and for helping you know where to shop and smoke when you are traveling.

If you are a business owner, you can claim your listing (like you would in Google Places or Yelp)—or add it if you do not already see it. Once you claim the listing, you can adjust it to make it stand out among the featured listings.

La Flor Dominicana La Nox

To inaugurate the new directory, we are hosting a contest! The winner will be chosen randomly and will receive a box of La Flor Dominicana La Nox (see Ray's raving review here), one of the best cigars released in 2015.

There are a couple of easy ways you can enter!

  1. Post a comment on this post sharing your feedback on the directory. I am looking for suggestions here which will improve the feature for all of us. This will count as one entry into the contest.
  2. Add a review to the directory (at least 30 words in length). If the shop you wish to review is not yet in the directory, you can submit the details for this shop. You can find the submission form here. Once you submit the information, I will add it to the directory myself and send you the link so you can add your review. You can post as many reviews as you want in the directory. Each will count toward three entries into the contest.

The more reviews you post, the higher your chances to win - and for every 50 reviews I'll throw a cool 5-pack in the prize pool! This contest will run through the 17th of March. Thank you for your participation, and I hope you enjoy using the new feature!

Whisky Review: Benromach 10 Year Old

Benromach 10 Year Old

Benromach is an old name in the whisky world, and I do mean old. The distillery first got started in 1898. In 1983 they closed up for a while, but they re-opened again in 1993 after being purchased by Gordon & McPhail. Since then, they have specialized in Speyside style malts, and in fact won “Best Speyside Single Malt – 12 Years and Under” at the 2014 World Whisky Awards.

The Benromach 10 Years Old was matured for the first nine years in bourbon barrels (80%) and sherry hogshead casks (20%). For the final year, it was aged in oloroso casks. Naturally I was excited to get a chance to try it. Let’s check it out.

The bottle distinguishes itself immediately through the quirky “handwritten” style writing on the front which reads, “The Classic Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky.” Aside from that, the labeling is very simple and basic. The liquid in the bottle is a bright golden color.

Opening the bottle, the aroma that reaches my nose is complex, and it takes me a while to distinguish all the different notes. I get sherry right off the top (as expected), and of course peat—though the peat is lighter than I would have thought. Other definite notes include apples, nuts, something sweet like toffee or caramel, and spices.

On the palate, I immediately pick up the apple note, which is more like a green apple than a red one—it has that bitter tang, which plays nicely with the sweetness from the caramel and sherry flavors. There are other fruits in here as well, maybe oranges or some other kind of citrus. I also pick up a hint of licorice, white pepper, and some other spices I can’t quite pick out. I am delighted that this isn’t overly sweet. I also am happy to say that the peat is there, but it never is overpowering.

This is a classic Speyside whisky, but in more than one way it surprised me. I saw the notes listed, and both peat and sherry gave me pause because I often find that there is just “too much” of either flavor. That is not at all the case with the Benromach 10 Years Old. It is beautifully balanced, and at around $30-$40, it is a bargain to boot.

Benromach 10 Year Old : Review Summary

Color: Golden.

Nose: Caramel, apple, nuts, peat, sherry, spice.

Palate: Green apple, citrus, caramel, sherry, licorice, white pepper, spices.

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