Cusano 59′ Rare Cameroon

Cusano 59' Rare Cameroon

Cusano cigarsOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro Gordo
Size : 6 x 54
Wrapper : African Cameroon
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6 each
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Named in honor of co-founder Joe Chiusano's birth year, the 59' Rare Cameroon utilizes a special African Cameroon wrapper not only wrapped around the cigar but also stuffed into the the blend of filler tobaccos. Prominently displayed upon entrance to my local shop, I'd been eyeing this 54 ringed beauty for the longest time and for the price, I can't for the life of me figure out why up until today I hadn't tried one. Something about this stick just screamed mediocrity and a flashy band with no flavor to back it up, galvanized by the fact that one of my smoking buddies had one a few months back and spent the next 6 hours with his head in the toilet... Would I be pleasantly surprised or would my intuitions be unfortunately confirmed?

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Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art Maduro

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art Maduro

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Figurado
Size : 4.875 x 46/60
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : MSRP: $8.50 each
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Hemingway cigars...

Waking this morning and stepping outside to grab the mail, I was greeted by a refreshing burst of crisp air. We have been experiencing some fantastic weather lately (goodbye snow?) and I made a resolution to pick a great stick to usher in this beautiful day. Running through an inventory of my desktop humidor, it hit me which stick I was craving. I won a certain contest recently, involving the identification of famous moustaches. The BOTL hosting it was very generous and one of the sticks I received from him was an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art Maduro. So as the sun reached its zenith, I grabbed my supplies, set up camp in its warm glow and prepared to enjoy my first cigar from Fuente’s Hemingway line.

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Cusano Corojo 97

Cusano Corojo 97

Cusano cigarsOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro
Size : 7 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Mexico
Hand-Made
Price : $75.80 for a box of 20
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This brand made its debut in 2004 and uses a sun-grown Corojo wrapper from the 1997 harvest; hence the name. It comes in four vitolas: a 7 x 50 Churchill; 5 x 50 Robusto; 6 x 52 Torpedo; and today’s featured smoke a 7 x 50 Toro. The Cusano brand (now owned by the Davidoff group) has been one of my favorites for a very long time. Recently, Michael Chiusano has parted ways with the Oettinger-Davidoff group and DomRey Cigars in pursuit of other interests, and we can only hope that the brand continues to be as good as it is without him.

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Avo LE10 Pre-Release

AVO LE 10

Avo CigarsOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Torpedo
Size : 5 7/8″ x 41
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : $15+ each
More info about purchasing Avo cigars...

I was lucky enough to receive a pre-release sample of the new Avo “birthday” cigar, the LE10. This year, they made a monster of a cigar, a chunky 55 ring gauge behemoth, where all of the filler is Dominican Ligero! This came via my new best friend, Eddie Simon, Brand Manager for Avo. Thanks, Eddie. I also got a few other goodies that I’ll review soon. After my experience with the Davidoff Selecione 702 last year, I couldn’t wait to fire this up.

I’m a huge fan of Ecuadorian wrappers, and this one is a beaut. It’s dark and oily, if it tastes as great as it looks, I’m in for treat.

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Dual Review: Garo Aniversario X

Garo Aniversario X

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Belicoso
Size : 6.25 x 54
Wrapper : Corojo
Filler : Peru, Nicaragua
Binder : Indonesia
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
More info about purchasing Garo cigars...

Today we have a dual review of a Garo Aniversario X Belicoso, done by Stephen and Jason. Thanks to Garo Cigars for providing us with a sampler!

Stephen: Garo's new Aniversario X cigars offer four Cubanesque shapes (Salomon, "A", Belicoso and Toro Gordo). Aniversario X is listed as a full bodied cigar. I have had these resting in my humidor about a month. I smoked two for this review.

Jason: Garo Habano is a small boutique cigar company headquartered in California that started in 1996. The Anniversario X is one of the company's more expensive lines. There aren't many reviews out there on this cigar so I wasn't sure what to expect.

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H.Upmann Vintage Cameroon Toro

H.Upmann Vintage Cameroon Toro

Origin : Dominican RepublicH. Upmann
Format : Toro
Size : 6.0″ x 54
Wrapper : Cameroon
Filler : Dominican, Nicaraguan and Peruvian
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $6 each
More info about purchasing H. Upmann Cameroon cigars...

H. Upmann is a cigar brand with a rich Cuban heritage. Like most American cigar smokers, I have very little experience with that storied version of the brand. Instead the H. Upmann I know best is made in the Dominican Republic. Back when I was just a fledgling cigar smoker, Upmann’s were listed among my favorites. I thought of them as a very reasonably priced, excellent quality, medium to mild smoke. As I gained more experience and my palate developed, I quickly lost my taste for them. That is except for one particular line. Even after I moved on from H. Upmann to other more dynamic and robust smokes, I still continued to enjoy the H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon. At that point in my cigar smoking career I had developed a fondness for the Cameroon wrapper and the Upmann was one I continued to enjoy along with the Torano 1916 and others. Eventually I moved on from my Cameroon kick and thus stopped smoking even this line of Upmann’s. A recent conversation about Cameroon cigars brought back memories of this particular cigar and I decided I wanted to revisit it again as it has been a while since I have enjoyed one of the Vintage Cameroons.

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God of Fire Don Carlos 2006

God of Fire Don Carlos 2006

Origin : Dominican Republic
God of Fire CigarsFormat : Robusto
Size : 5 1/4 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : $20+ each
More info about purchasing God of Fire cigars...

God of Fire cigars are made by the Fuente family and were first released in 2004. These are pretty hard to come by and I had never really looked for them because of their price tag. However, I recently got the opportunity to try one and I was curious to see if these "super-premium" cigars are worth the dough. The one I have for review is the 2006 Don Carlos blend, which I believe is an original release, as they are no longer available in individual coffins.

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Davidoff Special ‘R’

Davidoff Special R

Origin : Dominican RepublicDavidoff
Format : Robusto
Size : 4.7/8" x 50
Wrapper : USA Connecticut Shade
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : $17 each
More info about purchasing Davidoff Special R cigars...

The name Davidoff is nearly synonymous with luxury. The name also has a reputation for quality and excellence. There is a lot of great information about the man and the company on their website Davidoff.com. One other commonly held perception of Davidoff is mild cigars and there are many smokers in the cigar community that mistake “mild” to mean “flavorless”. The Special R is the first Davidoff cigar I have had the pleasure of trying. No matter what line of Davidoff Cigars you might be interested in, the fact is they are all pretty expensive, almost universally costing more than $10 a piece. With my predisposition towards strong robust cigars, I admit that I allowed their mild reputation and lofty price tag keep me away up until now.

I have a friend who is a fan of Davidoff and more precisely their blender Henke Kelner. I have listened to him rail against the the idea that Davidoff only makes mild cigars and one of the lines he liked to use as an example of a more robust offering is the “Special” line of Davidoff cigars. So I was happy to be able to review this particular Davidoff. The Special R is not a mild cigar. I found it to be a solid medium bodied smoke with robust flavors balanced by excellent subtleties making for an engaging smoke. A core of smooth and chewy flavors of espresso and earth were complemented by more subtle notes of oak and nuts and an almost buttery feel on the palate. At times I picked up flashes of slightly sweet, almost caramel like notes on the finish. The construction was exquisite with a perfect burn, nice ash, and a spot on draw. I found the Davidoff Special R to be a very enjoyable, elegant smoke.

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