Origin : Dominican Republic Format : Robusto Size : 5 x 52 Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano Sun Grown Filler : Dominican / Nicaraguan Binder : Dominican Blender : Abe Flores Manufacturer : PDR Cigars Hand-Made Price : $12.35 More info about purchasing A. Flores Gran Reserva...
The word “fine” has evolved in meaning through generations of English speaking people. “I feel fine” means you don’t have aches and pains, and the sarcastic “Fine!” means you’re done discussing a disagreeable subject and want to move on. But I like using the word “fine” in the more classical sense. To me, the word fine connotes something artisan; well made and of outstanding quality. Recently, I smoked a cigar that struck me as having all the elements that make for a truly fine cigar, the PDR A. Flores Gran Reserva Sun Grown Robusto.
This highly anticipated cigar is the result of collaboration between Arturo Fuente and Ashton. There were hitches in the development process which led to delays, including fires in the Arturo Fuente factory. This didn’t stop this dynamic duo from coming out with a popular and highly rated cigar—the first since 2006 to bear the Ashton name.
The Ashton Symmetry is available in five different sizes: Belicoso, Prestige (Churchill), Prism (Corona), Robusto and Sublime (Toro). For this review, I smoked the 5” x 50 Robusto.
Origin : Cuba Format : Corona Gorda Size : 143 x 20 mm (5.625 x 46) Released in : 2015 Box Date : OBE – June ’07 Hand-Made Price : I paid $450 for an early box and subsequently seen them priced as low as $340 (under $14/cigar) More info about purchasing Partagas cigars...
This is the 4th in the new Añejados line. As Inspector noted in his review of the HdM Añejados, the Añejados program have all been aged for five to eight years in their original packaging. At that point the packaging is opened and the cigars are checked for quality. Then the original band is placed back on the stogies and a second Añejados band is attached to each. The boxes are stamped with the word “revisado,” which means “checked.” Each Añejados offering is a unique vitola for the particular brand; so, this is the only Partagas currently offered in a coronas gordas vitola.
The Habanos, S.A. press release noted, “Through the aging process, the cigar has developed, becoming rounder and mellower to the palate with touches of delicate and sweetish taste and, above all, obtaining shades of woody taste because of being placed for all those years near the cedar from which the boxes were made.” I’m not sure what boxes the copywriter was looking at, because the Partagas Corona Gorda Añejados comes in a cardboard dress box.
The Hoyo de Monterrey Añejado Hermosos No. 4 is a new line of Cuban cigars released under the Añejados program run by Habanos S.A.
What is the Añejados program? Cigars in this program have all been aged for five to eight years in their original packaging. At that point the packaging is opened and the cigars are checked for quality. Then the original band is placed back on the stogies and a second Añejados band is attached to each. The boxes are stamped with the word “revisado,” which means “checked.”
As you probably have noticed, the Añejados cigars are quite expensive. Each Hoyo de Monterrey Añejado Hermosos No. 4 will cost you at least $14. I picked mine on my recent trip to Amsterdam, in PGC Hajenius. Are these cigars worth the extra cost, or is this just a gimmick to sell excess stock (or even repackaged unsold regional editions)? Let's try to find out.
Just to keep up with what is out there, I have been known to stumble across a diamond in the rough. Such is the case with the Montecristo NY Connoiseur Edition. This stick is available in the US market at quite reasonable prices. If you want to see what all the commotion is about regarding fine Cuban cigars, this smoke is just about as close as you can come to the “real thing” without going through the risk and expense of ordering from overseas and paying through the nose to do so. Were the bands removed from this smoke, I would have been hard pressed to distinguish it from its Cuban cousins. That sealed the deal for me in regards to this issue.
Partagas is amongst the oldest and most renowned cigar brands in Cuba, dating clear back to 1845. They are known for producing bold cigars, and the Partagas Serie C No. 3, the limited edition for 2012, is no exception to the rule. The tobacco used in the filler, binder and wrapper was aged for two years. This is a very strong cigar; unfortunately I did not find it very flavorful.
Origin : Nicaragua Format : Toro Size : 6.25 x 54 Wrapper : Nicaraguan Filler : Nicaraguan Binder : Nicaraguan Hand-Made Price : $250 each
Nikki Glenn is a violinist and vocalist specializing in private event entertainment for yacht companies, owners, luxury brands, and upscale occasions. You can find out more information at www.nikkiglenn.com.
Today I'm reviewing a very unique cigar, the Daniel Marshall 24KT Golden Torpedo. I found out about the cigar quite by chance, when I received an email via CigarReserve.com that they had some of these cigars in stock. I'd never heard of Daniel Marshall prior to this but I was very intrigued at the idea of a gold cigar. From his website, I learned that Mr. Marshall is a well-known maker of luxurious humidors and that the Golden Torpedo was originally created by Mr. Marshall as a counterpart to the humidor he designed for Universal Studios to commemorate the movie “Scarface”:
When I was designing for Universal Studios the SCARFACE Humidor I was asked by Universal to design a ultra bling luxury version of the humidor...I thought that a “over the top” humidor deserves a “over the top” DM Cigar and the 24kt Gold DM cigar was conceived.
Well, I love luxurious things that may be considered over the top, so this seemed like a perfect fit for me! Everything about this cigar is designed to impress and reinforce that this is a very exclusive cigar. According to the Golden Cigar's site, it takes sorting through 50 cigars to get 5 that might be viable to transform into gold cigars. The cigar is sanded to smooth the surface of the wrapper, and 50+ sheets of 24KT edible gold leaf (from one of the oldest suppliers in Florence, Italy, natch) are applied with a sugar glaze to the wrapper. The cigar itself consists of a Nicaraguan puro blend with a Nicaraguan Cuban seed 5 year old wrapper, Esteli binder, and Jalapa filler. The cigar retails for around $250 per stick.
Hoyo Do Monterrey has long since found a special place in my humidor, and I have especially enjoyed their Epicure #2 release. I think that I have sampled pretty much each year since 2005, and have even reviewed them here. Of all the releases, I think that I have gotten the most consistent enjoyment from the 2008. Where the 2014’s were a bit “green” and the 2005’s tended to have “hardened”, while both maintained the taste profile that HDM is famous for, this year seems to have been the best. Not too hard, not too green and just spongy enough not to worry so much about burn issues, the HDM Epicure #2 2008 seems to enter the Goldilocks zone---just right.