Guillermo Leon Corona

Guillermo Leon Corona

Guillermo LeonOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Corona
Size : 5 1/2 x 42
Wrapper : Ecuador Habano
Binder : Cameroon, Dominican Corojo
Filler : Peru, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Nicaragua
Price : ~$8 each
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This review is sponsored by our friends from Feel free to check out their selection of fine cigars.

Examining my humidor, I discovered this attractive cigar in a size (5.5 x 42) that I deemed suitable for the rainy winter time. This brand was launched in 2010 and is considered as a personal cigar by Guillermo Leon, the owner of the La Aurora company.

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Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 Rosado

Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 Rosado

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Grand Corona
Size : 6 x 47
Wrapper : Dominican (?) Rosado
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : ?

There is no harder cigar to find from the Fuentes than the 8-5-8 Rosado. This sample comes from the 2009 release. They are prized as collector’s items, so I was interested in seeing how such a rare cigar actually tasted.

The appearance of this cigar doesn’t suggest anything special. The reddish tint and few veins make it attractive, but it really doesn’t jump out at you.

After lighting it and taking the first puff, all I can say is “Holy crap!”.

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Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Natural

Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Natural

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Petit Robusto
Size : 4 1/2 x 50
Ring : 50
Wrapper : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$4 each
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This is my review of the Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Natural (4.5x50). I picked these up as a 5-pack from

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Fuente Fuente Opus X Belicoso xXx

Fuente Fuente Opus X Belicoso xXx

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Belicoso
Size : 4 5/8 x 49
Ring : 49
Wrapper : Shade-grown Dominican Rosado
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$20+ each
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Opus X cigars...

For this review I chose to smoke a cigar from my “hard to find” group in my humidor. The Fuente Fuente Opus X brand has many cigars in their line-up with different blends. The only thing they share besides the band is the fact that they are all made of Dominican filler, binder and wrapper. Opus X cigars are normally nicknamed by their fans and this particular cigar therefore also goes by the names “Power Ranger” “Triple X” or “X3”. Whatever you chose to call it, two things will remain common. The difficulty in obtaining them and their price. Although they carry with them an MSRP of $10.50, most vendors jack up the price when they have them in stock because the demand for them far outstrips supply. On most occasions you will be paying well over $20.00 for them (more in the “value” section of the review).

The Fuente Fuente Opus XXX cigar is perhaps the most popular high end non-Cuban cigar in the world. One would expect that a cigar that carries with it a hefty price tag would smoke like a dream. One would expect magnificent complexity and flawless construction. You would also expect that a cigar with as much “hype” built around the name will leave you wanting more. These cigars have become one of the most sought after cigars, akin to the Cuban Cohiba line. With all that said, I want to share with you my experience of how this cigar measures up in terms of the 4 points we cigar smokers like to take note of when smoking a cigar. Remember that in life beauty is only skin deep. The same holds true in the cigar world. Does this cigar measure up to the looks and the hype? For the purpose of this review I smoked two cigars a week apart to ensure objectivity.

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Fuente Fuente Opus X Magnum O

Fuente Fuente Opus X Magnum O

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 4 3/4 x 56
Wrapper : Vintage Dominican Republic from 100% Cuban Seed
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$18
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Opus X cigars...

Sometimes it is easy or perhaps lazy for people to draw their own conclusions about a cigar having been lured by the sexy marketing and buzz created when a company releases very limited cigars. Sometimes people make a false assumption that a cigar is good simply because of its price tag. For instance, there are many novice smokers that accept as a fact that because a cigar is tough to get and costs a lot of money it means that there is some prejudice to the cigar, with a skewed opinion on it before one even touches flame to foot. There is an adage among novice smokers, and I’ve even seen it with more experienced smokers that a cheap cigar must taste bad and an expensive one must be pure heaven.

If you’ve been smoking cigars long enough you know that you have to get past the marketing hype, presentation, fancy bands and “buzz” to actually get around to tasting the cigar to formulate your own opinion. Taste is subjective. What may be good for one might taste awful to others. Some prefer sweeter cigars while some prefer more grassy/woodsy cigars. Everyone’s palate is different but you’ll know a bad cigar when you taste it and usually, you can taste a gem within the first few puffs.

With that said, I recently took shipment of some Opus X cigars. In my humidor I now have the Belicoso XXX and the one being reviewed here, the Magnum O. These cigars are extremely hard to get. You usually have to be at the cigar shop when they are released and hope that the regular clientele did not pre-order them. Luckily I have a good friend in the Tampa Bay area who was able to obtain these stogies for me. They weren’t cheap, with the Magnum O’s costing $18.00 each. However, I have seen them at some online retailers for as low as 12.75 which is more probably never going to happen because they are never in stock, and as high as $25.00. I have also seen them listed for $40.00 or more at some Canadian retailers.

I generally have a love/hate relationship with Fuente cigars. I feel they simply offer too much product in their catalogue... for example just look at the sheer number of Opus X's. I wish many non-Cuban cigar companies would follow the Cuban lead and limit the size selections and make fewer, better smokes than experimenting with another ¼ inch here or 1/8th inch there. This is my personal opinion but I find that this often leads to consumer confusion. Fuente’s along with Padrons are akin to the Cohiba of non-Cuban cigars. As such, you will pay a premium for them.

For the purpose of this review I smoked two of them in the span of 4 days to ensure that I was getting a proper understanding of the cigar. A word of caution from the outset; this smoke is powerful. I recommend less seasoned smokers have this one late in the day after a big meal. More advanced smokers know what they can tolerate but I still suggest having a little something in your stomach before embarking on one of these. Also, have your drink of choice handy. I happened to pair my second smoke with some Port and really found that irrespective of my review, the pairing worked. So, without further ado, how did the Fuente Fuente Opus X Magnum O fare?

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The Recluse Toro

The Recluse Toro

Origin : Dominican RepublicRecluse cigars
Format : Toro
Size : 6 1/4 x 50
Wrapper : Brazilian Maduro
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Cameroon
Price : $7.80

I was recently sent a couple of pre-release cigars to review from Iconic Leaf Cigar Company, a relative newcomer to the cigar industry. According to the company’s literature, Iconic Leaf Cigar was founded by two very well-known and well-respected legends in the cigar industry who have chosen to remain anonymous in their pursuit to make the very best premium boutique cigars that can be found anywhere in the world without the influence of their names. Iconic Leaf Cigar’s founders may have chosen to keep their identities private but their leader has not. Led by J.R. Dominguez, son of legendary cigar maker Jose Dominguez, Iconic Leaf is extremely excited about their new line-up of cigars recently unveiled at the IPCPR trade show in Orlando. According to the company, all tobacco leaf in the RECLUSE goes through EIGHT fermentation cycles and is a collection of what they deem to be “truly iconic leaf” from around the world. The RECLUSE cigar selection is produced exclusively at the Leyendas Cubanas factory run by Don Jose Rafael.

First, a little bit about the Recluse cigar straight from their website:

The RECLUSE cigar is comprised of the absolute finest of everything. From the seed that is sown, to the blend of the tobacco leaves that make up this masterpiece, to the painstaking fermentation. Under the watchful eye of the maestro, Don Jose Rafael in the Leyendas Cubanas factory, each cigar goes through a Club Med for cigars, if you will. Each leaf is hand selected from only the finest tobacco leaves of the harvest. From the Flavorful and smooth Brazilian Maduro wrapper and Cameroon binder, to the specifically selected Dominican leaf variations in the filler, these cigars are what we believe to be the finest in the world. Each and every leaf in the RECLUSE goes through EIGHT fermentation cycles. Why? Because Don Jose Rafael will not settle for mediocrity. Every RECLUSE is rolled in the old Cuban tradition of tubing which is taking each filler leaf and rolling it into a tube instead of folding it. Once all the filler leaves are each individually rolled into a tube shape, they are brought together and surrounded with the binder. This is time consuming but creates an effortless draw and an unparalleled smoking experience. We then box press each cigar to compress the leaf and reduce air space. This spotlights the flavors of the blend and creates a slower burn while delivering an exceptional draw. The RECLUSE line is offered in ten box pressed sizes.

Having been sent a couple of unbanded Toros to sample, I wanted to be fair to the company so I let them sit in my humidor for a couple of weeks to stabilize and acclimate themselves following the shipping. I was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to taste one and last night decided that the Recluse would be my cigar of choice. Pictures of the bands, provided by the company, can be seen in the attached images. I chose to smoke my sample with a straight cut.

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Crowned Heads Four Kicks (Quick Smoke Series)

Crowned Heads Four Kicks

Origin : Dominican Republic
Crowned Heads CigarsFormat : Corona Gorda
Size : 5.6 x 46
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $6.95
More info about purchasing Four Kicks cigars...

Jon Huber, formerly of CAO, introduced his new venture, Crowned Heads, at the beginning of last year. The cigars are made by the Tabacalera Alianza factory owned by the famous EP Carrillo.

The Four Kicks corona gorda is a beautiful, yet simplistic cigar with a very light shaded wrapper. It has very little veins, a smooth exterior and invisible veins. I really like the red and gold label as it pops out and catches the eye.

Burnline is very straight and needed no touch ups. Top notch,... nothing else expected coming from the Carrillos.

1st Third- No pepper, just sweet spice, cinnamon, earth, and woodsy flavors.
2nd Third- Bit of pepperiness, but a lovely floral quality comes out with earth and wood.
3rd Third- A whole lotta earth and wood with touches of leather and cedar. Finishes medium+ bodied.

Crowned Heads Four Kicks

It tastes somewhat similar to EP Carrillo's core line but with more body and earthiness. It's a good cigar, but just doesn't have enough uniqueness to warrant a box purchase for me. If you like Ernesto's stuff then this is a must try. The balance is very good with nothing overpowering other elements of the cigar. Superb with a lowland Scotch. Keep smoking my friends,...

Appearance : ★★★★½
Construction : ★★★★★
Flavor : ★★★★☆ (3.75)
Value : ★★★★½
Overall : ★★★★☆

Avo La Trompeta 86th Anniversary Limited Edition

Avo La Trompeta 86th Anniversary Limited Edition

Avo CigarsOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Diadema
Size : 6.5 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Filler : Dominican & Peruvian
Binder : Dominican Piloto
Price : ~$15 each
More info about purchasing Avo La Trompeta...

The AVO 86th Anniversary cigar, “La Trompeta”, is a Limited Edition release to celebrate the 86th anniversary of Avo Uvezian. The name “La Trompeta” means the work of his lifetime — both music and cigars.

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