Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill

Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill

Origin : Dominican RepublicGurkha
Format : Churchill
Size : 7 x 54
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$11.00 each
More info about purchasing Gurkha Cellar Reserve cigars...

In 1989 Kaizad Hansotia purchased a small cigar company called Gurkha, named after Nepalese warriors whose bravery impressed the British soldiers, for a paltry sum of $143. He intended the cigars to be unique gifts given to customers of his family’s watch business. Twenty-three years later, this growing boutique brand produces over two dozen distinct blends and recently released a new line called the Cellar Reserve.

The name and packaging of the Cellar Reserve Churchill elicits vivid imagery of rolling green hillsides marked with crisp rows of grape vines bursting through the earth and perhaps even gracefully shimmering in a gentle summer breeze. Despite outward appearances the contents of this box did not originate from the gravelly soil of a renowned French chateau. In fact, it is an obscure pairing of tobacco from disparate farms isolated geographically by miles of ocean that gave birth to the Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill. The oily Criollo wrapper is mottled with a few medium sized veins but rolled nicely with tight seams. A grandiose band holds an overwhelming amount of unnecessary text but is easy to remove.

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Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig

Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig

Origin : NicaraguaLiga Privada
Format : Double Figurado
Size : 5.4 x 60
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Viso
Filler : Nicaraguan Blend
Binder : Brazilian Mata Fina
Hand-Made
Price : $15-$16
More info about purchasing Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig cigars...

Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig, a 5.4 x 60 double figurado released in December 2011, has a completely different blend from the original Flying Pig.

Appearance : ★★★★★
Ligas have always been some delicious looking sticks, and this one is no different. The Feral Pig has a dark brown wrapper that is thick and fragrant. It does not display the same amount of toothiness as its T-52 and No. 9 brethren though. It lacks the pock marks of excessive vegetable glue that seemed to cover the regular Flying Pigs. The veining in the wrapper leaf is small and it oozes with oodles of oils. Aromas of pipe tobacco, cognac, and soap come from the foot and rich leather from the wrapper. All in all, I think this is a much more appealing stick than the smaller Flying Pigs.

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Tatuaje Barclay Rex 100th Anniversary

Tatuaje Barclay Rex 100th Anniversary

TatuajeOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Date Released : November 2010
Hand-Made
Price : MSRP $10.00, aftermarket approx. $15-$25
More info about purchasing Tatuaje cigars...

For those of you that read my Top 10 Cigars of 2011 article, many will see a lot of Pete Johnson cigars on the list. Pete has been on fire the last two years, and arguably the last 5 years. Since the first release of Noella Reservas back in 2006, people have been crawling over each other to access any of the limited production/B&M exclusives that Pete produces. The Barclay Rex has been touted as one of the greatest Tatuaje’s to have ever been made, close behind possibly the original jar release of the Black Label corona gorda (soon to be review in the making!). The B-Rex, for short, is the tweaked version of the widely popular Pork Tenderloin Meat Locker Series made for Gloucester St. Cigars in Boston, which was a fatter, tweaked version of the J21. Now, I never had the opportunity to smoke the Pork Tenderloin, but I was told by many it was an incredible cigar. Only around a little less than 5,000 cigars were made of the B-Rex making it very hard to find, and even worse, extremely desirable. This will be the third B-Rex I have smoked, with one being from the release, and two being just recently. This review being written after my last B-Rex in my possession, I am sad to see them gone :(

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Viaje Exclusivo Tower 45th

Viaje Exclusivo Tower 45th

Origin : NicaraguaViaje cigars
Format : Toro
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Criollo
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $10.50
More info about purchasing Viaje Exclusivo cigars...

I have been more than fortunate to be smoking through some great sticks that have been sitting in my humidor for much of the year. This little gem was released back in March as a way to celebrate Tower Cigars’ 45th anniversary which really isn’t until 2012. Fortunately for all, they released these cigars in 2011 to treat all of the waiting public yearning for more of Andre Farkas’ exclusivo blend (his personal blend). Today, while writing this review, I read Jon Huber’s blog about bloggers/cigar reviewers and his thoughts of cigar makers as artists or musicians. If cigar makers are artists than I have to go out and say the Tower Exclusivo 45th is Farkas’ “Mona Lisa.”

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Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 3 (Regional Edition Benelux)

Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 3 (Regional Edition Benelux)

Juan LopezOrigin : Cuba
Format : Petit Edmundo
Size : 110 x 21 mm (4.3 x 52)
Release : 2010
Region : Benelux
Hand-Made
Price : 9 EUR each
More info about purchasing Juan Lopez cigars...

Many thanks to Frédéric from La Casa del Habano Knokke (Belgium) for sending me these cigars for review! Check out the shop for a nice selection of Cubans.

This is another Regional Edition cigar from Benelux, and the first ever from that region that I have smoked (I tried the Fonseca later). I tasted quite a lot of Juan Lopez regionals (France, Caribbean) and most of them were just slightly above average and hardly worth the premium. Will this cigar be any better?

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Partagas 8-9-8

Partagas 8-9-8

Origin : CubaPartagas
Factory Name : Lonsdale
Size : 170 x 17.07 mm
Ring : 43
Weight : 11.86 g
Hand-Made
Price : ~$15 each
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Partagas 8-9-8 was one of my major discoveries in 2010; I found it so good that I even decided to integrate it into my best Cubans of the year list. After releasing the list I decided to take one every month from the 2008 box I had. I felt that it was the perfect cigar to relax and think about what would the next month bring. One year later, I almost finished the box and the Partagas 8-9-8 is again among the best smokes I had this year.

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Sancho Panza Escuderos (Germany Regional Edition)

Sancho Panza Escuderos (Germany Regional Edition)

Origin : CubaSancho Panza
Format : Robusto Extra
Size : 155 x 22 mm (6.1 x 50)
Release year : 2011
Hand-Made
Price : ~150 EUR for a box of 10
More info about purchasing Sancho Panza cigars...

Today's guest review is written by Stephen Griffiths, a UK-based aficionado who blogs about cigars and beer at SteveGriff.com. Check out his blog for more great reviews like this one!

Tonight’s Cigar is the Sancho Panza Escuderos, a special release for Germany as part of the Regional Edition series. The Sancho Panza brand doesn’t get that much publicity, mainly due to the lack of different vitolas within the range and no real superstars within it either. You can argue that in many circles, the Sancho Panza Belicosos is known as a great insider’s Cigar. However there’s not enough people singing its praises to solidly give it that title on a wider scale.

For that reason, it’s great to see that 5th Avenue, the Cuban Cigar distributor in Germany have decided to release a Cigar under the Sancho Panza brand and under the Regional Edition Series.

I’ve always been skeptical regarding the whole Regional Edition series. Every year there are over twenty releases for a whole host of countries including Canada, the Middle East, Israel and Asia Pacific amongst others. Some of the releases are hit, but for most part, they just don’t climb the heights I would expect Cuban Cigars of this price point. I’ve had many Edicion Limitadas in the past that were a decent one off smoke, but I would not buy again. Would the Sancho Panza Escuderos be the same? There’s only one way to find out...

Online, there isn’t really that much information regarding the Escuderos anywhere. Unlike the United Kingdom Regional Editions for example, there’s no fanfare, no launch, and therefore these somewhat get released under the radar. Because of this, I have no real comparison to anyone else’s notes regarding this Cigar. Maybe it’s a good thing. How many times you have read a review regarding a Cigar that you want to try; flavour x and y, however, when it comes to the time you smoke it yourself, those flavours and aromas described to you are not what you’re detecting at that moment.

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Buena Vista Edicion Limitada 2008 Prominentes

Buena Vista Edicion Limitada 2008 Prominentes

Origin : EcuadorBuena Vista cigars
Format : Prominentes
Size : 7 x 49
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Ecuador
Binder : Ecuador
Hand-Made
Price : ~$15-16

Gary Heathcott, the sales director at Buena Vista, contacted me in August to allow me to sample and review two vitolas from the new Buena Vista brand of cigars. He sent over a nice package of sticks that contained a Cuban music CD along with a bevy of other publication material. In one of the largest releases of new cigars in recent pasts at IPCPR, this cigar was the one that spoke out the most to me. The sheer extent of detail orientation it took to make this cigar was quite amazing.

We start with 100% Cuban seeds and raise our tobacco in what we consider the only place on earth that literally replicates the famous Pinar del Rio tobacco-growing region of Cuba. Our research resulted in a small valley located in Ecuador, where the soil content, the daily temperatures, and the atmospheric conditions all combine to deliver a tobacco leaf that we feel mirrors identically (to Cuban tobacco). Additionally, our entire production process is being overseen and managed by highly skilled Cuban tobacco professionals. Even our rollers are Cubans, who are on special visas from Cuba, working in our own factory located only an hour-long plane ride from Cuba. Each has been trained in the great tobacco factories of Havana, to be the finest torcedores in the industry, and now they roll cigars exclusively for us.

These cigars are packaged in beautiful boxes that rival no other on the market. The bright red boxes are felt bottomed and produced by the same box makers that make the Behike boxes for Cohiba. So far there are two different blends of Buena Vista cigars: the Edicion Limitada 2008 (Ecuadorian puro), and Reserva (Ecuadorian and Dominican blend). I’ve heard the Reserva is the lighter of the two blends. There are 9 different vitolas for the different blends. That is unheard of for a new cigar company. I received the Short Churchill and Prominentes vitolas in my package coming from Gary. I smoked the Short Churchill one day off the delivery truck, then the other about a week afterwards. I smoked the Prominentes approximately a month later for this review. I want to say thank you to Gary for providing these beautiful cigars for us to review.

Read the full review of Buena Vista Edicion Limitada 2008 Prominentes...

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