Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2

Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2

Juan LopezOrigin : Cuba
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm (4.9 x 50)
Ring : 50
Box date : SEP 2011
Weight : 11.66 g
Hand-Made
Price : ~$230 for a cab of 25
More info about purchasing Juan Lopez cigars...

The Juan Lopez brand is definitely not among the most famous Cuban brands. This particular Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 is well aged; I purchased my box back in 2011. I tried the Seleccion No. 2 fresh out of the box then forgot about it, and wanted to see how the flavors have been enhanced by the aging process.

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Quick Smoke: Bolivar Super Coronas 2014 Limited Edition

Bolivar Super Coronas 2014 Edicion Limitada

Origin : Cuba
Format : Grand CoronaBolivar
Size : 140 x 18 mm (5.5 x 48)
Ring : 48
Intruduced in : 2014
Hand-Made
Price : £17 each (in the UK)
More info about purchasing Bolivar cigars...

Bolivar Super Coronas is a Habanos edicion limitada released this year, it just started hitting the shelved in the UK. Its factory name is Hermosos No. 3 which corresponds to a 5.5 x 48 size.

Pre-light: Slightly earthy smell, well-packed but pliant, excellent draw through the largest of my Victorinox Cigar Penknife hole punches. Fresh "green" taste; tobacco, moss, grass.

1/3: Very mild (hence ideal following a light meal or earlier in the day). Slight spiciness (fruit cake) mingled with chocolate, very cool. Excellent & even burn with a nice ash stack formation.

2/3: The cigar warms up pleasantly releasing stronger chocolate flavours together with milky coffee (continuing the mild theme) and also some woody hints (as if from a log fire) - possibly oak. Ash holds to a good 2", keeping straight with a superb even burn. Wrapper stays perfectly intact and the draw remains pleasant and "warm".

3/3: A slight bite becomes evident during the last phase; white pepper and dark chocolate mingle with a stronger burnt wood taste, but the smoke remains velvety and can safely be passed round the sinuses to deliver the full flavour.

Bolivar Super Coronas is an overall mild to medium bodied cigar with clear but uncomplicated flavours. Coffee or a light drink complement it well and it can be enjoyed at lunchtime, despite its size (mine took around 90 minutes). The construction is excellent and price wise it compares very favourably with something like a Partagas D4.

Construction : ★★★★½
Flavour : ★★★½☆
Overall : ★★★★☆

H. Upmann Connossieur A

H. Upmann Connossieur A

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Robusto Extra (Genios)
Size : 5.5 x 52 (140 x 20 mm)
Ring : 52
Hand-Made
Price : ~$15
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars...

The H. Upmann Connossieur A is quite a recent release: it started shipping to eligible shops in October 2013. It's a robusto extra or a Genios (factory name), which you might already be familiar with (hint: Cohiba Genios).

Anyway, the first thing to know about this release is that it's only available at La Casa del Habano shops and Habanos Specialists. Habanos Specialist is a label created by Habanos SA to distinguish shops that carry a wide selection of Cubans and can offer relevant advice. There are more than 500 Habanos Specialists worldwide.

The Connossieur A is available in boxes of 25 and is costs around 12 € each in Europe. I picked up a few of those in Prague and was really looking forward to trying them out, H. Upmann being a brand I really appreciate.

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Bolivar 108 (Regional Edition Spain)

Bolivar 108 (Regional Edition Spain)

Origin : Cuba
Format : Corona GordaBolivar
Size : 142 x 18 mm (5.6 x 46)
Ring : 46
Intruduced in : 2010
Hand-Made
Price : $20+ each
More info about purchasing Bolivar cigars...

Bolivar is one of the most prominent brands for Cuban cigars. The Bolivar 108 Regional Edition Spain (2010) is not the best known release from this brand, but that is because its release was extremely limited and exclusive. These came out in 2010, and were targeted to the Spanish market. 108 in the name refers to 108 years, a celebration of Bolivar’s anniversary. Only 4,000 were made in total, sold in boxes of 10. These cigars seem to receive almost universal acclaim, and my own experience with the Bolivar 108 has been just as excellent.

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Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Député

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Député

Origin : CubaHoyo de Monterrey
Format : Short Panetela (Trabucos)
Size : 110 x 15 mm (4.3 x 38)
Box code : 2011
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5-7 each
More info about purchasing Hoyo de Monterrey cigars...

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Député is part of the Le Hoyo cigar series, which dates back to the 1940s. We've reviewed some of the cigars from the series previously: Le Hoyo du Roi and Le Hoyo des Dieux. Le Hoyo series was initially designed to offer a richer, more full-bodied smoking experience, but I'm not sure there's still a significant body difference with other cigars within the brand. These Cuban puros are made from tobacco leaves grown in Vuelta Abajo. They are quite reasonably priced; let’s see how one measured up.

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Por Larranaga Petit Corona

Por Larranaga Petit Corona

Origin : CubaPor Larranaga
Format : Petit Corona (Mareva)
Size : 129 x 16.67 mm (5 1/8 x 42)
Hand-Made
Price : 10-12 GBP (UK prices)
More info about purchasing Por Larranaga cigars...

The Por Larranaga Petit Corona is a hand-rolled Cuban cigar and this particular vitola is one of three readily available in the UK.

Cigars are frequently referred to as "sticks" and in the case of this one, that is quite apt. The construction is rustic, to say the least, giving the Larranaga a very gnarly appearance. However, the construction is also excellent, with no hint of the wrapper coming loose at any stage. The cap is a particularly solid construct, visibly consisting of several layers which hold out well following a hole being punched.

The visible, surface unevenness is mirrored during the burn, resulting in a crooked yet robust ash stack. There is unevenness internally also, with a couple of firm areas - plugs - which need firm but careful pressure, all round, to loosen the draw.

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Trinidad Coloniales

Trinidad Coloniales

Origin : CubaTrinidad
Format : Coloniales (Corona)
Size : 5.2 x 44 (132 x 17 mm)
Hand-Made
Price : ~$9 each
More info about purchasing Trinidad cigars...

Continuing with a newcomer's perspective on cigars, I have selected the Trinidad Coloniales for this review because it's a mid-range Cuban, quite affordable and, at 45-60 minutes, easily digestible for the inexperienced palate.

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Punch Churchill

Punch Churchill

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Churchill (Julieta No. 2)
Size : 148 x 19 mm (7 x 47)
Box code : OCT 2005
Discontinued : 2010
Hand-Made
Price : $12+ each
More info about purchasing Punch cigars...

Punch is one of the oldest brands comprising Habanos S.A., founded clear back in 1840 in Havana by Don Manuel Lopez. The brand was created with the European market of cigar buyers in mind, and named for the puppet Mr. Punch from Punch and Judy. This particular cigar, the Punch Churchill, was discontinued in 2010, so the only stogies you can find today have been aged several years. My particular box is from 2005 (4 cigars were smoked for this review). Despite the fact that this cigar has been discontinued, you can still find it for a reasonable price online.

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