H. Upmann Half Corona

H. Upmann Half Corona

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Half Corona
Size : 3.5 x 44 (90 x 17 mm)
Ring : 44
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6
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The H. Upmann Half Corona was released in 2011 and quickly became quite a popular cigar and a regular smoke for many cigar aficionados around the world. Why? It isn’t just the flavors, the construction and the price of this stogie that make it popular, but the size, which is a distinguishing characteristic. This Half Corona measures just 3.5” with a 44 ring gauge, making it a short cigar. You can smoke one of these at a leisurely pace and still finish up in less than 40 minutes, so it is perfect if you are pressed for time and still want to enjoy a nice stogie.

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Davidoff No. 1 (Cuban)

Davidoff No. 1 (Cuban)

DavidoffOrigin : Cuba
Format : Laguito No. 1 (Long Panatela, also known as Lancero); 38 x 192 (7-½")
Box date : December 1985 (NIUL)
Hand-Made
Price : To the extent they can be found, a Davidoff No. 1 will run around $100 per cigar. Note: Be cautious, there are numerous counterfeit Davidoff No. 1s claimed to be on the market. I’ve heard to be weary of the Davidoff band being “too white” to have had 30+ years of age.

Background

The Davidoff No.1 was part of the original line of Davidoff cigars introduced in 1969. Beginning in the mid 1980s, quality control became a concern to Davidoff. In 1987, Zino Davidoff condemned Cuban craftsmanship on French television. The rift between Zino and Cubatabaco escalated to the point where, in 1989, Zino publicly burned 130,000 of the Cuban-made Davidoff cigars that he had deemed of low quality and unfit to sell. Officially, the Cuban Davidoff line was discontinued in 1991.

Hecho en Cuba

This box was acquired new by my father, an infrequent cigar smoker, in the late 1980s. He died about ten years later and, in remembrance, I have taken to smoking one of these (or one of a small handful of other cigars that were his) on the anniversary of his passing. I think it has been three years since I last smoked one of these. This year I was out of town on that date, so I am smoking this a bit late. Obviously, this cigar has great significance for me, but I have no problem disassociating an objective review from a subjective occasion.

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Bolivar Colosale (Regional Edition Germany)

Bolivar Colosale (German Regional Edition)

Origin : CubaBolivar
Format : Dobles (Robusto Extra)
Size : 155 x 20 mm (6 1/8 x 50)
Box Date : POS – August ’06
Intruduced in : 1,200 cabinets of 50 produced in 2006 exclusively for the Habanos distributor in Germany, Fifth Avenue Products Trading.
Hand-Made
Price : 700 € / 50 (original price fixed by distributor); roughly $17/cigar in 2006
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Today we're publishing a cigar review submitted by one of our readers, Matthew B. Enjoy!

Why review a special release cigar which is no longer available for purchase, and yet not old enough to be considered vintage? Because it’s there. I typically smoke two cigars a day and have been for nearly twenty years. While I enjoy each and every cigar, the process of reviewing them provides me unique focus and delivers conclusions beyond simply “good” or “bad”.

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Punch Sir John (Germany Regional Edition)

Punch Sir John

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Corona Extra
Size : 127 x 19 mm (5 x 48)
Ring : 48
Release : 2012
Hand-Made
Price : 11 EUR each
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Punch Sir John, a 2012 regional edition for Germany, is most probably named after John Tenniel, a British illustrator and politicial cartoonist for the Punch magazine. Knighted by Queen Victoria, he is also known for his illustrations for Lewis Caroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is named after a group of 48 premium tobacco retailers in Germany, called “John Aylesbury” (see comment below).

I've had this cigar in my humidor for quite a while now (about one year I guess, since its release) and decided to put it to light on one of this year's last sunny days.

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Hoyo de Monterrey Grand Epicure 2013 LE

Hoyo De Monterrey Grand Epicure 2013 Edición Limitada

Origin : CubaHoyo de Monterrey
Format : Grand Epicure
Size : 5.1 x 55
Released : 2013
Box code : ALT JUN13
Hand-Made
Price : ~$20 each
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The Hoyo de Monterrey Grand Epicure is one of the first 2013 limited editions to be released this year and this fat 55 ring gauge cigar really looks the part. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the Hoyo line which is known for its sweeter profile. As many aficionados know, the Edición Limitada cigars are hand rolled by expert rollers and the wrapper, filler and binder leaves come from carefully selected plants from the Vuelta Abajo plantations (the best growing region in Cuba) and aged a minimum of 2 years.

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Cohiba Sublimes 2004 Limited Edition

Cohiba Sublimes 2004 Limited Edition

Origin : Cuba
Format : SublimeCohiba
Size : 6 1/2 x 54 (164 x 21.43 mm)
Released : 2004
Hand-Made
Price : N/A
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I’m going to do something a little different in this review and instead of reviewing a cigar in current production I am going to go deep into my aging humidor and have a cigar that I haven’t sampled for a long time.

Originally released in 2004, the Cohiba EL Sublimes attracted some very favorable reviews. In early 2005 I bought five of these cigars. I smoked two over the next couple of years and quite enjoyed them. I decided to age the remaining three but I did smoke one about 3 years ago before I started reviewing for this site.

Suffice to say that my collection grew exponentially since that time so these did get a little lost in the humidor but while doing my cigar rotation and autumn cleaning of the humidors this past week I decided to smoke one with the intent of making it a review. As we head into the 10th year anniversary of this cigar’s release I decided to see how this cigar has aged. Of course, the Sublimes are no longer readily available nor are they in production so this review will not factor cost or pricing at all. With that in mind, let’s see how this 2004 Sublime has aged.

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Montecristo 520 Limited Edition 2012

Montecristo 520 Limited Edition 2012

MontecristoOrigin : Cuba
Format : Maravillas No.3 [Robusto Extra]
Size : 55 x 155 mm (6.1 in)
Released in : 2012
Hand-Made
Price : ~12.80 Cuban Pesos (~$46.00 Canada)
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The Montecristo 520 Limited Edition 2012 is one of the 3 limited edition cigars announced at the 2012 Habanos Festival and was the last one to be released. The name comes from the 520th year anniversary of the discovery of tobacco in Cuba. The wrapper, filler and binder have been aged for a period of at least 2 years. My sample had a June 2012 production date box code. The Ediciones Limitadas are made with the finest tobacco leaves coming from Vuelta Abajo region, considered to be the best tobacco growing region in Cuba.

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Rafael Gonzalez Perlas

Rafael Gonzalez Perlas

Origin : CubaRafael Gonzalez
Format : Perla
Size : 40 x 102 mm (4 in)
Weight : 5.91 g.
Hand-Made
Price : $11.00 each/ $55.00 for 5 cigar cardboard pack Canada (LCDH)
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Today we are bringing you a guest cigar review by Sean. Rafael Gonzalez Perlas is a good value Cuban cigar that shouldn't be overlooked.

Pre-light : ★★★★☆
Dark Maduro wrapper that has a slightly dusty bloom. It looks very welcoming. Decent construction, although the cap is not executed perfectly as you get with other cigars this size like Cohiba Siglo I, or Montecristo No. 5. There are small veins that are not at all dominant, and overall the cigar feels quite heavy for its small size and is well packed with uniform feel. The smell is that of mild barnyard that has a hint of sweetness, reminiscent of dark chocolate. The cold draw tasted somewhat sweet with hints of roasted nuts and typical Cuban tobacco. The band is the non-glossy, non-embossed band, which I still haven’t figured out, as other vitolas are donning a darker more glossy embossed band. According to the information obtained online, the non-glossy band was discontinued in 2010, so I suspect that these cigars are 2 years aged prior to their 2012 release, explaining the band.

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