I had this little cigar sitting in my humidor for over 3 years and decided it was time for a revisit. I used to enjoy this cigar, but I abandoned it because of its exorbitant price. It had been so long since I smoked one that I only vaguely remembered what it tasted like, but I found a short online review I did the last time I smoked one, which was 2 years ago. According to my review, I thought it was medium bodied and sweet with hints of honey. Here is what I think of it now...
The Hemingway line of Fuente cigars is hugely popular and like a lot of other Fuente cigars, very limited. The Maduros are especially limited and are only released twice a year, one of those times being right around now, near the Holidays. One of the more rare of the rare is the double wrapped, barber pole Hemingway “Between the Lines”. Now plenty has been written about the background of the Hemingway cigars and I have written about them here before as well. So if you are interested to learn a little more about them, check out my review of the Hemingway Best Seller.
In July 2009 Jorge Armenteros (President – Tobacconist University) posted what he called a “heads up” about an excellent new cigar that was going to be released in the Fall, the Quesada 35th Anniversary from Matasa. Well when Jorge speaks about cigars, I listen and I went straight to my premium brick & mortar tobacconist and ordered them. The 35 is not only the latest from Matasa, but a rather unique offering from them as well. It commemorates the 35th anniversary of Matasa and was actually created by the fifth-generation of the Quesada family to be in the cigar business, who family patriarch Manolo Quesada calls, “the young ones”. It is also their first, I believe, to bear the family name.
Probably one of the most famous and sought after cigars not made on the island of Cuba, the Opus X is the first Dominican Puro to garner such high acclaim. The various sizes consistently produce high ratings from cigar reviewers everywhere. And as is often the case when someone or something achieves such a high level of success, it has fostered a kind of love-hate relationship with avid cigar smokers. Like the New York Yankees are the baseball team so many love to hate, the Opus is a cigar that, in addition to high praise, also elicits some vehement dislike from some in the cigar world who believe the cigar is over hyped and over priced. I have never heard anyone say it was a bad cigar though. Like or dislike the line for whatever reasons, everyone seems to agree if you set aside the hype, the price, and all the other outside “stuff” and take the cigars just by themselves, the Opus X line of cigars are pretty good smokes.
La Flor Dominicana - Ligero Cabinet Oscuro, by Litto Gomez, isn't a new release but it is a regular in my humidor so I thought I would share it with you. It is their first full-bodied release and while not a true maduro cigar, they tell me they obtained the oscuro color and full-bodied flavor profile by applying a new proprietary method of trabajando to the aged ligero leaves used to make it. What was told to me by a representative was that the method is a company secret but try to imagine an overly ripe banana... It comes in several parejo vitollas: L200 - 40 x 4 7/8, L250 - 48 x 5 3/4, L300 - 50 x 5 3/4, L400 - 54 x 5 3/4, L500 - 60 x 5 3/4, and one they call the Mysterio which is a figurado.
I picked up a few of these at another Aston Taste of Excellence events. These are great events. That evening the Cabinet Selection was paired with Oban 14 because it starts sweet but ends with a hint of spice. For this review, I smoked the cigar with no libation. The Cabinet’s Dominican filler is aged at least four to five years. The wrapper is aged one year longer. Aston claims no less than six different fillers in the cigar and it takes seven years to make it from seed to cigar.
Origin : Dominican Republic Format : Robusto Size : 5 x 50 Wrapper : Brazilian Maduro Binder : Dominican Filler : Dominican Hand-Made Price : ~$5 each
Unfortunately, I have none. I picked this cigar up from a shop I usually don’t go to. The reason why I don’t go to this cigar shop (that is literally walking distance from my house, a cigar smoker's dream) is because the owner is the most boring cigar smoker I have ever met. On top of that, he knows nothing about what he is selling, and no surprise, he knows nothing about this cigar. That is why I go out of my way and 20 minutes away from my house to Leesburg Cigars & Pipes.
It’s Monday, almost evening and I'm getting some homework done before I see the Deadskins vs the Queer-gles play on Monday Night Football. I am sitting next to the colors of fall in front of this tree, and honestly, it’s a great start to an evening. Before I keep going on, with my fake poetic self, let me stop. And enough about me, let’s talk about this cigar I have never even heard of.
Now this is going to be pretty simple to explain, yet it’s very weird. This cigar taste likes sweet veggies mixed with a light maduro flavor profile. Honestly, while I think most cigar smokers (especially full body cigar smokers) won't like this cigar, I actually really enjoy it. See, it still has the softness of a mild-to-medium body cigar that I like, but with plenty of maduro characteristics, which I also like. And at this price point, I can definitely see me smoking a lot of these.
Looking at the Cortez Cigars website, which looks like it just got hit by Hurricane Ugly, I managed to find out that the wrapper is a Brazilian Maduro. No wonder I enjoy this cigar! I feel like you can mix any other country, and as long as it has some Brazilian tobacco, you’re going to get a pretty good cigar.
You know what, this cigar is a winner in my book. Excellent quality, construction, burn and consistency in flavor. Again, it's not the most amazing cigar when it comes to flavor, but with everything else going perfect, this cigar is truly a bang for your buck. And definitely could fit in your daily cigar humidor section.
If you have a similar palate to mine, in which you enjoy mild to medium bodied cigars, but also enjoy the maduro characteristics, this is the ideal cigar for you. All you tough guys who enjoy the full body cigar, stay away because you will not like the Cortez.
Avo Signature is the last classic line from Mr. Uvezian that I haven’t reviewed yet. [Check out my previous reviews of Avo Classic, Avo XO and Avo Domaine]. The Signature blend was created to celebrate the 75th birthday of Avo Uvezian, the Dominican binder and filler wear an Ecuadorian sun-grown wrapper (quite common for Avo cigars).