Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill

Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill

Origin : Dominican RepublicGurkha
Format : Churchill
Size : 7 x 54
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$11.00 each
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In 1989 Kaizad Hansotia purchased a small cigar company called Gurkha, named after Nepalese warriors whose bravery impressed the British soldiers, for a paltry sum of $143. He intended the cigars to be unique gifts given to customers of his family’s watch business. Twenty-three years later, this growing boutique brand produces over two dozen distinct blends and recently released a new line called the Cellar Reserve.

The name and packaging of the Cellar Reserve Churchill elicits vivid imagery of rolling green hillsides marked with crisp rows of grape vines bursting through the earth and perhaps even gracefully shimmering in a gentle summer breeze. Despite outward appearances the contents of this box did not originate from the gravelly soil of a renowned French chateau. In fact, it is an obscure pairing of tobacco from disparate farms isolated geographically by miles of ocean that gave birth to the Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill. The oily Criollo wrapper is mottled with a few medium sized veins but rolled nicely with tight seams. A grandiose band holds an overwhelming amount of unnecessary text but is easy to remove.

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Romeo y Julieta Viejo “E”

Romeo y Julieta Viejo

Origin : Dominican RepublicRomeo y Julieta
Format : Box-pressed toro
Size : 6 x 54
Wrapper : San Andres Mexico
Binder : ?
Filler : Honduras, Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$7.5 each
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Until recently, I was never a huge fan of cigars made by the Dominican Romeo y Julieta. Then I was introduced to the Reserve Real. Ever since I smoked a couple of those, I have made those a cigar that I smoke regularly on the weekends. Then I was introduced to the Viejo. I was told that if I liked the Reserve Reals, I would like these as well. So I had fairly high hopes for this cigar.

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EP Carrillo Club 52

EP Carrillo Club 52

Origin : Dominican RepublicEP Carrillo cigars
Format : Toro
Size : 5.8 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Filler : Nicaraguan & Dominican
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $6.50 each
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After a week of fighting a cold and not being able to enjoy a nice cigar, I had the chance to light up a couple cigars this weekend. Saturday morning I woke nice and early and decided to start the day off with this cigar. E.P. Carrillo cigars are making their way into stores around my area, so these are still rare for the most part.

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La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale

La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale

Origin : Dominican RepublicLa Gloria Cubana
Format : Club
Size : 5 3/4 x 47
Wrapper : Honduran (Connecticut seed)
Filler : Nicaraguan & Dominican
Binder : Nicaraguan & Mexican
Hand-Made
Price : $7 each
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La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale, the newest line from Team La Gloria, spent eight years in the making. This line features a brand new, golden wrapper which was the result of two years of development and cultivation. The line also features a redesigned band, which manages to take a big step away from the Cubanesque band of earlier LGC lines while still remaining true to the same general design. In general, I found the Artesanos Retro Especiale to be a tasty smoke initially, but each sample that I smoked seemed to lose its character about halfway through.

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Aging Room Small Batch M356

Aging Room Small Batch M356

Origin : Dominican Republic (Oliveros factory)
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Habano (Dominican grown)
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : $7 each
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Cigar ratings… whether we agree with them or not, often guide us in our pursuits of the perfect puro; and when Cigar Insider gives an entire cigar line high marks, my curiosity gets really piqued. Such was the case with the Aging Room Small Batch M356 cigar.

Being a fan of the “old school” robusto size, I chose to sample the Rondo vitola (5×50).[i] I figured the cigar would be strong as ALL Cigar Aficionado ratings are skewed that way, yet I was not prepared for what the M356 had in store. But first the usual review stuff:

The M356 Rondo is a perfectly constructed cigar. No soft spots, nice weight in the hand, and a perfect draw. The cap is tightly wound and keeps its shape long after the guillotine cut. Its burn is as good as it gets, with an ash that just doesn’t want to drop. I’ve never smoked a cigar with a better burn.

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Quesada Seleccion Espana Petit Robusto

Quesada Seleccion Espana Petit Robusto

Origin : Dominican RepublicQuesada cigars
Format : Petit Robusto
Size : 4 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Arapiraca
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $7.00-$7.95 each
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Manuel Quesada has been on a roll this year with absolute fantastic releases. I would probably go out on a limb and call him the cigar maker of the year so far for 2011. MATASA released the “Seleccion Espana” exclusively for B&M in Spain. Why only Spain and not the U.S.? I have no idea. Apparently they didn’t think this would be a hit here at home. But the few stores that had the privilege of getting these sticks here in the United States got to see them fly off the shelves. Will they ever be released eventually in the U.S., time will tell.

This review has been a long time coming. I bought a ten count box of these, and instead of writing a review when I got them I smoked almost all of them. So here goes,…

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Davidoff Special R (new wrapper)

Davidoff Special R (new wrapper)

DavidoffOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 4.8 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$15-16 each
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Awhile back I wrote one of my most controversial reviews of the Davidoff Short Perfecto. It seems that many of the Davidoff lovers came out to bash my review, and I don’t blame them. I was so disappointed with the Short Perfecto that I only smoked one stick and did not want to revisit it. So I decided to give the Special Series a second chance this time and properly give it a fair shake. So I went out of my way to procure a few samples of my favorite vitola- the robusto. I had high hopes in Davidoff proving me wrong. So did they succeed in turning this Davidoff sceptic into a believer?

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Villiger 1888 Robusto

Villiger 1888 Robusto

Origin : Dominican RepublicVilliger Cigars
Format : Robusto
Size : 4.75 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler : Proprietary - Multinational Blend
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : $7.70 each
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Cigars by a pipe tobacco company you ask?,… well yes it is. Trust me, I had my doubts about this cross over attempt as many of you out there may have had also. My first thought was that I was going to get a cigar that smelled of Black & Milds and tasted of,… well,… cheapness. But Villiger Stokkebye doesn’t do cheap or bad tobacco, they usually go all out.

Weeks ago I was sent a variety pack by the company that included the La Libertad (Honduran) line and the “Fuerte” version of the same Villiger 1888. After smoking them all, I have to lean towards the regular Villiger 1888, their top of the line regular production cigar. So here goes,…

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