Mataza Robusto Gordo (by Alec Bradley)

Mataza Robusto Gordo

Origin : Honduras
Format : Robusto Gordo
Size : 5 x 54
Wrapper : Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler : Nicaragua & Colombia
Binder : Honduras
Hand-Made
Price : $3.40-$4.00, $85/box of 25

Many of you out there won’t know much about this cigar unless you have read Stogie Guys’ take on this brand. Mataza is made by Alec Bradley, in Honduras, comprised of a multinational blend of tobaccos. Devan Brown, of Hiland's Cigars in Scottsdale (which is the only store known to have these cigars in stock at this moment) got in contact with us here at Cigar Inspector, and sent me a sampler of 6 cigars consisting of 3 robusto gordos (5x54) and 3 magnums (6x60). I smoked most of the samples and came to the conclusion that the robusto gordo was the better of the two and decided to accent this stick in this review. So here goes,….

Read the full review of Mataza Robusto Gordo (by Alec Bradley)...

Cheap Smoke: Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Maduro

Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Maduro Rothschild

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Short Robusto
Size : 4.5 x 50
Price : ~$3.50
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Chateau cigars...

This review is submitted by Lloyd L and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

My favorite 'cheap smoke' comes from one of the biggest names in the business, Arturo Fuente. Known for their uber-premium Opus X and Hemingway lines, it's nice to know that Arturo Fuente also makes quality cigars with a budget-friendly pricetag.

The cheap smoke that I really like is the Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Maduro Rothschild. It's a mild to medium blend which has a nice cocoa flavor. At just under $4 a stick (when you buy a box), its a price that you just can't beat and a cigar you can afford to light up daily.

Thumbs Up!

Cheap Smoke: Pioneer Valley Especiales Maduro

Pioneer Valley Especiales Maduro

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Dominican/Nicaraguan mix
Binder : Connecticut
Price : on-line price for a box of 20 can be found for $29.99 ($1.50 per)
More info about purchasing Pioneer Valley cigars...

This review is submitted by TJ and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

Pre-light

This cigar, in my opinion, has a gorgeous, very dark, wrapper. The wrapper is slightly toothy with a light oily sheen. The stick is firm, with no worrisome soft-spots and only a few prominent veins but not concerned about them affecting burn. A quick whiff and I’m met with a strong cedar scent, thanks to the cedar sleeve that covers more than a third of the stick. Behind that, I get the standard barnyard presence. Double band, red, that stands out against the nearly black wrapper. Straight cut, torch lit…

Pioneer Valley Especiales Maduro

The smoke

I’m not one to identify things such as saddle leather, black currant or green wood. Seriously, what the hell does leather taste like, and why would someone even know this? I focus on construction, draw, strength, burn and volume of smoke. I do appreciate the feel of the smoke in the mouth and make note when pleasing. Let's see how this cigar plays out.

The Pioneer Valley maduro burns like a champ. The several I’ve smoked produce a nice white ash that is fairly strong requiring no touch-ups, with a straight burn line that, when does get wavy, corrects itself. This is important to me as this is my fishing cigar and its constantly being bumped and put down, often going extended periods of time without attention. Draw tends to be on the loose side, maybe too loose for some. I have to remind myself to slow down as it tends to get hot if drawn to fast/often. I get a very, very mild nicotine flavor and rate this cigar in the medium category. This robusto produces a good amount of smoke, but it does not coat the mouth as a more expensive cigar might. For the price however, I don’t knock too many points off. I must point out that with the cedar sleeve on, and the age of the sticks in my collection, I do get a nice cedar taste; my horrible palate notwithstanding.

Pioneer Valley Especiales Maduro

The Verdict

The Pioneer Valley Maduro will not blow you away with multiple flavor profiles, nor will it be a stick you reach for on special occasions. This is a stick however, that I enjoy on a regular basis and bring fishing for a few reasons. First, it’s not a full bodied cigar which is great for early morning as is often the time I fish. I don’t need to worry about a full stomach before smoking one of these. Second, I don’t get upset if I have to put it down to handle a fish and it falls overboard, or gets stepped on. The low-cost of the cigar eases my mind that if it goes to waste I haven’t burned a hole in my wallet. Lastly, the great burn and short size of the robusto doesn’t force me to commit to a 2-hour smoke. 60 minutes or under affords me both the enjoyment of a cigar and the time to fish. This cheap smoke, one that I do not hesitate to hand to others, is certainly box-worthy for those of us not concerned about hints of raisins or earth.

Thumbs Up!

Cheap Smoke: Padron Londres Maduro

Padron Londres Maduro

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Corona
Size : 5.5 x 42
Price : ~$3.00
More info about purchasing Padron Londres Maduro cigars...

This review is submitted by Rick and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

The Padron Londres Maduro is a 5.5 x 42 Nicaraguan Puro with a nice dark oily wrapper and good construction. This cigar is a medium to full body stick, slow burning, offering a plentiful volume of smoke for about an hour which makes it a great afternoon or evening smoke. They are good to go right off the truck but do get even better with age. I think the thinner ring gauge enhances the flavor of the maduro wrapper which I personally prefer over the natural. Even though my comfort zone is around a 50 RG these smokes really hit home and at the price point they just can’t be beat. At just under $3 a stick at my local B&M, I always pick up a few when I’m there to have them on hand!

The cigar once lit, opens right up with a rich maybe dark roast or espresso coffee flavor complimented with a nice cocoa overtone. The smoke is very smooth and easy on the retrohale in which I sometimes detect a slight nutty flavor, usually in the first third.

Entering the second third, the cigar picks up a little adding some more cocoa to the mix along with a rich dark tobacco undertone. The retrohale starts to introduce a just little spice at this point but it’s pleasant and not the least overpowering. The ash is a light to medium gray and holds on fairly firm revealing a nice conical shaped cherry when tapped off.

The final third reveals more of the same never getting hot or harsh right down to the very nub. The cigar burns well from start to finish and I never felt the need to touch one up. The draw is typically perfect from stick to stick. This cigar is one that is very consistent, really delivers and at this price point I don’t see my humidor ever being without them. I hope this review qualifies because I wouldn’t call this a cheap cigar but rather a top notch cigar that is inexpensive!

Thumbs Up!

Cheap Smoke: Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8

Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Double Robusto
Size : 6.25 x 47
Wrapper : African Cameroon
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : $3.80 each
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 cigars...

This review is submitted by jesseboston81 and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8

The Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 has always been one of my favorite go-to cheap smokes, primarily because it tastes like a cigar at least twice its price! The cigar I smoked for this review was no exception, and hopefully this review communicates everything I love about this smoke.

Read the full review of Cheap Smoke: Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8...

Cheap Smoke: Marca Fina Dominican Churchill

Marca Fina Dominican Churchill

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Churchill
Size : 7 x 50
Wrapper : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : € 2.30 / each

This review is submitted by Tomáš and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

From the official website:

Marca Fina is the name of cigars produced under the general management of Federación de Tabaqueros America Central (FTAC), a cooperation between independent tobacco farmers in Central America and the Caribbean. These small family businesses from the poorest rural areas of Central America have been cultivating high-class tobaccos on their plantations for decades and sell their harvest to international tobacco corporations on the tobacco markets at generally very low prices. F.T.A.C. supports these families in manufacturing a part of their annual harvest into high class cigars themselves and selling them directly. For the tobacco farmers this does not only mean significantly higher prices for their hard labour but also price stability and a guaranteed usage of their annual production. This represents an important step towards improved living conditions in countries without social security and health insurance.

One day when I was thinking about cheap but still good smokes I found Marca Fina‘s site with good looking cigars for friendly prices. But mainly I was very interested in its „social policy“ of tobacco farmers in the Central America and the Caribbean. Marca Fina offers you a range of longfiller cigars from Panama, Dominican Republic and Honduras. Each country has a separate selection of sizes. After good feelings about this „policy“ I have found information about free shipping within Europe for orders over 25 €. First one was a package with Panama Coronitas and few Panatelas, also from Panama. It was good but my expectations were rather higher. However I was convinced that Marca Fina do not offer trash cigars and I made another order. I ordered their Panama Robusto Maduro and Churchills from Dominican Republic. And the second cigar was definitely the right choice...

Read the full review of Cheap Smoke: Marca Fina Dominican Churchill...

Diesel Unholy Cocktail

Diesel Unholy Cocktail

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 5 x 56
Wrapper : Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro
Filler : Three regions of Nicaragua; Jalapa, Condega, and Esteli
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $4-5 each
More info about purchasing Diesel Unholy Cocktail cigars...

I have had several of the Diesel Shorty before. The Shorty is just another size in this line. The Diesel Unholy line consists of the Shorty and this, the Unholy Cocktail. This line is easily one of my favorite.

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Cheap Smoke: Belmore Cameroon Selection Robusto

Belmore Cameroon Selection Robusto

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Price : $4.75 each

This review is submitted by Andrew and is participating in our "Share your cheap smoke!" contest. To get a chance to win a box of cigars, you can submit yours here.

While doing a teaching stint for Bilkent International School in Ankara, Turkey a couple of years back, I discovered that Ankara is not a great place to spend your weekends. So when Lufthansa started offering return flights to Munich, Germany for 99 Turkish Lira, I was all over it. God bless global economic recession!

In Germany I discovered this brand of cigars I had never before heard of. I bought a sampler pack of every Robusto in the Belmore range. And there was one very clear winner: the Cameroon Selection Robusto. Strong yet sweet, spicy yet not so overpowering as to mask a multitude of other flavours, this cigar is really something. If you are familiar with the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story, which similarly has a Cameroon wrapper and is very very good, then just imagine what a fatter, easier drawing and longer lasting stick will do for you.

Now living in Tokyo Japan, I can buy Cubans off the Internet at great prices. But, this cheap smoke is as good as any mainstream Cuban. Yes, really! I just can’t find anyone out there who stocks the Belmore range and is willing to ship them internationally. Language becomes a problem too, for any European based online retailer. If you’re lucky enough to live in the U.S.A., you can get them at Camino Viejo Tabacos. If anyone out there knows how to get these shipped internationally, please share the knowledge.

Pictured above is the Torpedo at 50 x 6. The Robusto is shorter at 50 x 5. There are two smaller Torpedoes in the range and a Churchill at 48 x 7.

Thumbs Up!

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