H. Upmann Noellas (LCDH Exclusivo)

H. Upmann Noellas (LCDH Exclusivo)

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Corona (Cosacos)
Size : 5.3 x 42 (135 x 17 mm)
Ring : 42
Hand-Made
Price : ~$20 CAD
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Now that the warmer weather is melting away the snow, I have had the chance to smoke the last of three sticks I wanted to have before writing this review. Without risking frostbite of course. The H. Upmann Noellas were discontinued some time in the 1980s, but at one point were regular production cigars. They were sold in beautifully presented glass jars of 25. In 2009 they were re-released as a LCDH Exclusivo. I have read they were not actually available until 2010 and some places didn't see them until 2013. I am not sure when they were released in Canada, I just know I purchased mine at the LCDH Toronto in May of 2014.

I am a big fan of the H. Upmann marca. I can't say I have smoked every stick in the line-up, but I have yet to have one that was not to my liking. One of the first Cubans I ever smoked was an H. Upmann Corona Junior. Although it is a bit pedestrian as far as Cubans go, it was with this that I realized what all the fuss was about with cigars. So let's see how the Noellas stacked up for me.

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Fuente Fuente Opus X The Lost City

Fuente Fuente Opus X The Lost City 1

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 1/4 x 50
Wrapper : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$30 each
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This week I really had some deep pockets. I typically do not spend over $15.00 on a cigar unless I know it to be eccentric, however I really wanted to try this Opus X blend, so I splurged. Let's find out if it was worth it.

In 2004 Hollywood actor/director Andy Garcia wanted to produce a film telling the story of a Cuban tobacco family’s struggles during the Castro revolution. In one of the movie’s scenes Garcia wanted to duplicate a Cuban tobacco farm. After being introduced to Carlito Fuente, owner of Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia, Garcia proposed the idea of shooting a scene with the tobacco plants in the background. Carlito was in favor of the idea however harvest was right around the corner making it impossible to film. Being the gentleman he is, Carlito offered to plant a field of tobacco after harvest and by June Garcia would have a field of three-foot plants to shoot in his scene. When asked what he would do with the tobacco Fuente replied “If it is good, I will use it.” That’s when Garcia suggested the idea of making a special blend bearing the logo from the movie, “The Lost City” which would later become the name on the cigars. The rest from there is history. The tobacco, seen in the movie, is the same used in The Lost City blend.

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Ramon Allones Specially Selected Robusto Corto (Regional)

Ramon Allones Specially Selected Robusto Corto (Regional Edition Netherlands)

Ramon AllonesOrigin : Cuba
Format : Petit Robusto
Size : 102 x 20 mm (4 x 50)
Ring : 50
Released in : 2013
Hand-Made
Price : ~9 EUR each
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Ramon Allones is a brand we see quite a lot when it comes to regional releases. On October 25th, 2013, the Netherlands was granted a Petit Robusto called the Specially Selected Robusto Corto. This was a limited edition with just 2,000 slide-lid cabinets produced, each containing 25 stogies. Price is quite reasonable; if you can get your hands on one of these, you’ll pay about 9 EUR per cigar.

I bought my sampler in Amsterdam quite some time ago, let's see what these 14 months in humi did to this smoke.

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AVO Limited Edition 2010

avo-le-2010-1

Avo CigarsOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Super Robusto
Size : 5 ½ x 55
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Mexico
Hand-Made
Price : $15 each MSRP
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Having been formally introduced to the cigar market in March 2010 (to celebrate AVO Uvezian’s 84th birthday), with only 10,000 cigars being produced, the AVO Limited Edition 2010 is now far from fresh on many cigar smoker’s minds. The AVO LE 10’s were available in boxes of 10 that used to retail for $150.00 a box. Today, these can only be found on the aftermarket.

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Punch Serie d’Oro No. 2 (2013 Limited Edition)

Punch Serie d'Oro No. 2 (2013 Limited Edition)

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Pyramid
Size : 140 x 20 mm (5.5 x 52)
Ring : 52
Release : 2013
Hand-Made
Price : 14 EUR each
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The Punch Serie d'Oro 2013 Edicion Limitada was a highly anticipated release from Habanos S.A. As usual, the wrappers for this limited edition come from tapado (shade-grown) leaves, which is the reason why they have such a dark and oily appearance. The tobacco used in these cigars was aged for two years. Again, no surprises here. What's quite surprising on the other hand is that this is the first ever Edicion Limitada from Punch (the Serie d'Oro No. 1 was a regional edition for the UK that we reviewed... five years ago! this makes me feel old) — and as with any Edicion Limitada, my expectations are high.

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Montecristo Colección Habanos 2005

Montecristo Colección Habanos 2005

MontecristoOrigin : Cuba
Format : Maravillas No. 1 (Double Robusto)
Size : 7-1/8" (182 mm) x 55
500 “books” of 20 produced in 2005
Box Date : FIM – September 2005; Box #150 of 500
Hand-Made
Price : Market Value roughly $1,600/book or $80/cigar
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The Montecristo Colección Habanos 2005 commemorated the 70th anniversary of the brand. It is the fifth “volume” of the Habanos Collection Series which began in 2001. The Colección releases are notable for both quality and the unique presentation (see photographs).

Montecristo Colleccion, a fireplace and gin martini

I meant to smoke and review this in the summer, but just never got to it. I purchased this “book” at initial release and have smoked a few. I recall enjoying these, but not being blown away. Now that we are into its 9th year, I thought it was a good time to see how they are developing. Reviewing this on a cold, rainy night while sitting next to an aromatic fire, paired with a very dry, gin martini (my preferred libation with Montecristos and Cohibas).

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Quick Smoke: Bolivar Super Coronas 2014 Limited Edition

Bolivar Super Coronas 2014 Edicion Limitada

Origin : Cuba
Format : Grand CoronaBolivar
Size : 140 x 18 mm (5.5 x 48)
Ring : 48
Intruduced in : 2014
Hand-Made
Price : £17 each (in the UK)
More info about purchasing Bolivar cigars...

Bolivar Super Coronas is a Habanos edicion limitada released this year, it just started hitting the shelved in the UK. Its factory name is Hermosos No. 3 which corresponds to a 5.5 x 48 size.

Pre-light: Slightly earthy smell, well-packed but pliant, excellent draw through the largest of my Victorinox Cigar Penknife hole punches. Fresh "green" taste; tobacco, moss, grass.

1/3: Very mild (hence ideal following a light meal or earlier in the day). Slight spiciness (fruit cake) mingled with chocolate, very cool. Excellent & even burn with a nice ash stack formation.

2/3: The cigar warms up pleasantly releasing stronger chocolate flavours together with milky coffee (continuing the mild theme) and also some woody hints (as if from a log fire) - possibly oak. Ash holds to a good 2", keeping straight with a superb even burn. Wrapper stays perfectly intact and the draw remains pleasant and "warm".

3/3: A slight bite becomes evident during the last phase; white pepper and dark chocolate mingle with a stronger burnt wood taste, but the smoke remains velvety and can safely be passed round the sinuses to deliver the full flavour.

Bolivar Super Coronas is an overall mild to medium bodied cigar with clear but uncomplicated flavours. Coffee or a light drink complement it well and it can be enjoyed at lunchtime, despite its size (mine took around 90 minutes). The construction is excellent and price wise it compares very favourably with something like a Partagas D4.

Construction : ★★★★½
Flavour : ★★★½☆
Overall : ★★★★☆

Padrón Serie 1926 No. 2 Maduro

Padron 1926 Serie No. 2 Maduro

PadronOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Figurado
Size : 5 ½ x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $17 each
More info about purchasing Padron 1926 cigars...

Sometimes it can be a difficult decision when opening the humidor. I have worked hard over the years and finally have somewhat of a respectable collection of cigars to choose from. This time however there were no hard choices or debating to be done. My mind and palate we craving this cigar and man was it right on!

The wrapper on the Padrón 1926 No. 2 Maduro is a gorgeous, silky dark maduro leaf. Just by first glance at the cap you could see the care and precision used to put it on… just perfect. The bands on all of the Serie 1926 and 1964 Padrón cigars are always appealing to the eye. Each has a double band with lovely gold outline and writing and every cigar has its own ID number printed on it. Just another sign of the quality level Padrón puts into their smokes. The pre-light smell portrays an earthy wholeness and the pre-light draw is loose with a rich velvet undertone.

Pre-light Score: 10 pts.

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