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
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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?

Read the full review of Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 3 (Regional Edition Benelux)...

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
More info about purchasing Partagas cigars...

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.

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H. Upmann Royal Robusto

H. Upmann Royal Robusto

H. UpmannOrigin : Cuba
Format : Edmundo
Size : 135 (5.3 in) x 22 mm
Ring : 52
Hand-Made
Price : ~10 EUR each
More info about purchasing H. Upmann 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.

Released in the beginning of October 2011, H. Upmann Royal Robusto is a special edition cigar limited to La Casa del Habano stores worldwide. Only 5,000 boxes, each one containing 10 stogies, were created. I can now proudly say that I consumed 1/50000th of the total production, which means that this review is based on one sample only. However, I think that the probability of me smoking at least 10 of these in the coming years is pretty high, if you know what I mean.

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My Uzi Weighs A Ton

My Uzi Weighs A Ton

Origin : NicaraguaDrew Estate
Format : Fat Robusto
Size : 5 x 60
Wrapper : San Andreas Maduro
Filler : Brazil, Nicaragua
Binder : Ecuadorian Connecticut
Hand-Made
Price : ~$9-12
More info about purchasing My Uzi Weighs A Ton cigars...

“Well I'm all in - put it up on the board
Another rapper shot down from the mouth that roared
1-2-3 down for the count
The result of my lyrics - oh yes, no doubt”

Yea! That’s what I’m talkin’ about! You guessed it, that’s a taste of some old school Public Enemy No. 1 for ya! It happens to be a quite nice little ditty called “My Uzi Weighs A Ton”. As I’m reminiscing, I can’t quite decide if I want to pop a cap, or cut the cap on the new collaboration between Drew Estate and Joya de Nicaragua. Fortunately, I’m not the violent type, so I think I would rather tell my fellow readers about this intimidating stick.

MUWAT. That’s what JD, Jonathan Drew (yea, we’re tight like that… not really), calls his My Uzi Weighs A Ton creation for short. As I am quite sure everyone has figured out, JD is much more “with it” than other cigar makers, therefore, good for you JD for giving this beast such a moniker. MUWAT was JD’s personal blend, so I certainly had high expectations for this thing, and I have been chomping at the bit to get my hands on it.

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Viaje C-4

Viaje C4

Origin : NicaraguaViaje cigars
Format : Toro
Size : 5 x 56 (box press)
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo ‘99
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $10.50-$11.00
More info about purchasing Viaje C4 cigars...

It seems as if you would think Andre Farkas would run out of bomb themed cigars this year. But yet again, here comes another one, the “C-4.” At this point in the year, I have been pretty disappointed in a lot of the Viaje releases. Some felt as if they were released too young and some were just plain terrible. But Andre has a way of keeping his followers' eyes peeled for that diamond in the rough. Every once in awhile he hits a homerun and I was hoping to find it possibly in this cigar.

The C-4 was released back in mid-June along with some other annual Viaje summertime releases: the TNT and Summerfest. Only 3,750 total cigars were made. As much of you all know, Andre only specializes in small batch, hard to find cigars.

Read the full review of Viaje C-4...

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