Caldwell The King is Dead

Caldwell The King is Dead Toro Negrito

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro
Caldwell Cigar CoSize : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Negrito Dominicano - 2008
Filler : Corojo Ligero Dominicano 30% – 2006; Negrito Viso Dominicano 20% - 2008; HVA 20/20 50% - 2010
Binder : Corojo Dominicano - 2006
Hand-Made
Price : $10.50 MSRP
More info about purchasing Caldwell cigars...

Please welcome Scott AKA The Bare Hand, our new author! He starts with a very detailed review of a boutique cigar, Caldwell The King is Dead. Enjoy!

The King is Dead by Caldwell Cigar Company, owned by Robert Caldwell, is their second blend. They make very small batch releases, so finding them can be somewhat tough, but this cigar has been a hit, and I’m excited to finally give it a go after resting in my humidor for about a year.

Interestingly, according to Robert Caldwell, this cigar was blended with the intention of smoking the related brother blend, Long Live the King (which is fantastic BTW), just before. Unfortunately, I did not have that opportunity, but this cigar was enjoyable nonetheless.

This blend utilizes some rare and underused Dominican tobaccos (just check the blend. What a mouthful!), so I’m preparing for a unique experience.

Read the full review of Caldwell The King is Dead...

MBombay Gaaja (Review & Giveaway!)

MBombay Gaaja

Origin : Costa Rica
Format : Toro Gordo
MBombay CigarsSize : 6 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Hybrid (Connecticut Desflorado & Mejorado 2004)
Filler : Dominican HVA Mejorado Ligero, Dominican Criollo 98 Viso, Ecuadorian Criollo 98 Viso, Peruvian Hybrid Habano, Paraguayan Hybrid Habano 2000 Viso
Binder : Ecuadorian HVA Mejorado Seco
Hand-Made
Price : ~$15.50 each

UPDATE Sep 15: the winners have been chosen and announced in the widget at the end of this post.

The MBombay Gaaja is a cigar I have been excited to try because I have been anticipating it for so long, and also because I really liked the previous cigar from MBombay that I reviewed earlier this year - the MBombay Kesara Pyramid. Like the other cigars blended by Mel Shah of Bombay Tobak, the name of this one is a Sanskrit word (pronounced GUY-yuh) meaning “elephant.” The elephant is a symbol of patience, and patience was exactly what Shah needed in developing this cigar.

Just take a closer look at all the different types of tobacco which have gone into creating this boutique blend. No wonder the development process took four years to complete.

If you do some research, you will notice that this size, the Toro Gordo, is presently all that is available. This is because there are literally only a couple of rollers working at the factory to create these cigars right now. Once more personnel are trained, the line should be expanded.

In any case, the wait is over—so let’s set aside our patience and finally check out the Mbombay Gaaja!

Read the full review of MBombay Gaaja (Review & Giveaway!)...

Punch Double Corona

Punch Double Corona

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Double Corona
Size : 194 x 20 mm (7.6 x 49)
Box code : AOL OCT 13
Hand-Made
Price : ~$14-16 each
More info about purchasing Punch cigars...

Want a huge honkin’ stick for not a lot of money?? Buy a 50 Cab of Punch Double Coronas. Punch is a more well-known name in the market that I am in, but most of their non-Cuban offerings leave a bit to be desired.

Read the full review of Punch Double Corona...

A. Flores Gran Reserva Sun Grown Robusto

A. Flores Gran Reserva Sun Grown Robusto

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : RobustoPDR Cigars
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.

Read the full review of A. Flores Gran Reserva Sun Grown Robusto...

Ashton Symmetry Robusto

Ashton Symmetry Robusto

Origin : Dominican RepublicAshton
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuador Habano
Filler : Dominican & Nicaraguan
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : ~$11 each
More info about purchasing Ashton Symmetry cigars...

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.

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Partagas Añejado Corona Gorda

Partagas Corona Gorda Añejados

Origin : CubaPartagas
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.

Read the full review of Partagas Añejado Corona Gorda...

Hoyo de Monterrey Añejado Hermosos No. 4

Hoyo de Monterrey Añejado Hermosos No. 4

Origin : CubaHoyo de Monterrey
Format : Corona Extra
Size : 127 x 20 mm (5 x 48)
Released in : 2015 (available in stores since the beginning of 2016)
Hand-Made
Price : ~$14+ each
More info about purchasing Hoyo de Monterrey cigars...

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.

Read the full review of Hoyo de Monterrey Añejado Hermosos No. 4...

Montecristo New York Edition

Montecristo No. 2 New York Edition

Origin : Dominican RepublicMontecristo
Format : Square-pressed Torpedo
Size : 6.1 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican Olor and Nicaraguan Corojo
Hand-Made
Price : $110 for a box of 10
More info about purchasing Monte by Montecristo cigars...

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.

Read the full review of Montecristo New York Edition...

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