Gran Habano 3 Siglos Robusto

Gran Habano 3 Siglos Robusto

Gran HabanoOrigin : Honduras
Format : Robusto
Size : 5.0″ x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Shade Grown
Filler : Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, and Colombian
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $3 each
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The Gran Habano line of cigars is made in Honduras by GR Tabacaleras Unidas which is a father and son operation of Guillermo Rico and his son George. The 3 (Tres) Siglos line was first introduced in 2006 and is reputed to be a complex, full-bodied, spicy addition to the Gran Habano family of cigars. The key aspect of this blend is the use of three different types of ligero tobacco in the filler. This cigar features ligero from Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, and Colombian tobacco. I am making the assumption that this is why the number “3″ is used int he name of the cigar so it got me curios about the word “Siglos”. I never had given any thought to that word until now and I discovered that siglo is the Spanish word for century. So that makes the name of this cigar (translated by me) “three centuries”. I’m not sure if there is any significance there. The company was founded in 1995 so it certainly isn’t three hundred years old. It may not have any significance at all, or it refers to something I was not able to ascertain. Really, I guess it is all irrelevant since what is important here is this question – “Is the cigar any good?” Well, let's find out…

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Santa Damiana Robusto

Santa Damiana Robusto

Origin : Dominican RepublicSanta Damiana
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Ring : 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Shade
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5 each
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Santa Damiana is a Dominican brand now owned by Altadis USA. It has a rich history as it was born in Cuba in the beginning of the 20th century. I purchased this specimen in a cigar shop in Andorra and haven't found a single photo online that looked alike, so I can only assume that this is the new band of the #500 robusto. It can also be a European version of the cigar - who knows? Perhaps it's really time to sign Doc's petition...

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Cuba Libre Epicure

Cuba Libre Epicure

Origin : Honduras
Format : Toro
Size : 6.0″ x 50
Wrapper : Corojo
Filler : Honduras
Binder : Honduras
Hand-Made
Price : $4 each
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The Cuba Libre is blended by Nestor Plasencia. I am not very familiar with his blends. I am not sure but this might be my first experience with one of his cigars. I had a hard time finding any details on this cigar and its blend. What I was able to find was inconsistent and vague. I was able to discern that this is a Honduran made cigar and it may be a Honduran Puro, but like I said I couldn’t find much detail on the blend so I am not sure of that.

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Alonso Menendez No. 20 Maduro

Alonso Menendez No. 20 Corona

Menendez AmerinoOrigin : Brazil
Format : Corona
Size : 141 x 17 mm
Ring : 42
Wrapper : Brazil
Filler : Brazil
Binder : Brazil
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5 each

Alexandre lives in Rio de Janeiro and offered his help on reviewing Brazilian cigars. I think it's a great opportunity to discover another interesting cigar-producing country. Enjoy the reviews!

Alonso Menendez is one of the premium brands made by Menendez Amerino in the state of Bahia, northeast of Brazil. The company is the result of the collaboration between Cuban cigar maker Felix Menendez (who had been involved in the making of famous Cuban brands Montecristo and H. Upmann in the pre-Castro era) and Brazilian tobacco grower Mario Amerino. It is made with leaves grown in the famous region called Mata Fina. They come in many sizes and are also available in Connecticut, clear shade wrapper, but this was a dark, maduro wrapper specimen. I must declare in advance that I am a long time fan of this stick, and therefore, this is bound to be a slightly biased review... :)

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Vintage Cerdan Chamberlain

Vintage Cerdan Chamberlain

Vintage CerdanOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro
Size : 152 x 19 mm [6 x 48]
Ring : 48
Wrapper : Connecticut
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Year : 1982
Hand-Made
Price : ~$40 for a box

Cerdan is a line of cigars unlike any other on the market today. Rolled in 1982, these cigars have been tucked away for nearly 27 years, yet are available for sale at an affordable price. When I had originally heard of Cerdan, I had my reservations. First of all, how do I know that they were kept under good conditions all this time? I’m sure this cigar wasn’t blended to be stored so long... will there be anything left after 27 years of aging? I was, however, very intrigued. I’ve never smoked a cigar that was almost as old as I am.

To satisfy my curiosity, Craig at Cerdan sent a sampler to me. Each of the cigars looked very nice, showing signs of age, but not neglect. None of the sticks were too dry or stiff, or soft and wet. After smoking a few, I decided that the best of the bunch was the Chamberlain, a 6 by 48 beauty.

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Benchmade Cazadore

Benchmade Cazadore

BenchmadeOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Corona Grande
Size : 165 x 18 mm [6 1/2'' x 46]
Ring : 46
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$2.50 each [~$60 for a box of 25]
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What do you get when you cross a bundled value cigar with the signature blending style of Don Pepin Garcia? You get Benchmade, a mixed filler cigar by Ashton.

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La Caya Cameroon, Brasil and Natural

La Caya Natural

Origin : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$2 each
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I’d like to thank the generous folks at La Caya Cigars for giving me a chance to try their products.

La Caya Natural Robusto

Underneath the cedar wrapping is a very nice looking golden cigar. The few visible veins and satiny feel promise a nice mellow smoke.

I punch it and it gives me a great pre-light draw. After toasting the foot and lighting it up, I am rewarded with ample smoke volume and an even burn. Initially I pick up a slight vanilla note with some slight acidity. As I smoke further I am inundated with a mellow oakiness with some leather. The La Caya Natural also has a slightly sweet finish, which is short.

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Alec Bradley Trilogy Native Cameroon (Quick Smoke)

Alec Bradley Trilogy Native Cameroon

Origin : Honduras
Alec BradleyFormat : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Cameroon
Filler : Nicaraguan, Italian
Binder : Honduran
Hand-Made
Price : ~$4 each
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Another from the vault, this little cigar was made famous by its gimmicky shape. Instead of a normal box-press, the Alec Bradley Trilogy Trilogy had a tri-press or three sided shape. Alec Bradley stopped incorporating the tri-press into the Trilogy.

The cigar has a nice silky feel to it; it’s solid and fits well in your mouth. I punched it and it drew great. Flavors of leather, cedar and smoke abound, but stayed constant through the length of the smoke, so no real complexity here.

Even after smoking it down to an inch left, it still held its tri-pressed shape, which was kinda neat. Aging suited this cigar nicely.

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