Manufactured by Drew Estate, the Liga Privada was actually blended to be the exclusive cigar for the company president. Then the company thought that it was good enough to sell as their premium blend and voila, the Liga Privada No. 9 (Private Blend) was born. Of course, being a fickle aficionado myself, I often take the back stories with a grain of salt. I often wonder if these niche ultra-limited cigars are made more to capitalize on the trend in limited cigars. My research told me that it was heralded the Hottest Cigar in America in the July 13, 2013 issue of Cigar Aficionado’s online newsletter, Cigar Insider. Funny thing is, when I purchased this cigar I had never heard of it, or read the article yet. I bought mine in June of 2013. What made me buy it was its stunning appearance and classy look.
The Ashton Cabinet Selection No. 6 is another masterpiece made by the Fuente family. According to the Ashton website:
The Ashton Cabinet is the “White Burgundy” of cigars. “White Burgundy” gets its rich complex taste from the soil and aging of the grape in French oak barrels. The Cabinet’s 4 to 5 year old Dominican filler blend has a rich, complex and well rounded taste. The extraordinary Connecticut shade wrapper is aged for an extra year and has an elegant palamino color resulting in a smooth and creamy flavor. The Ashton Cabinet includes no less than six different tobaccos and ends with a “big finish.” Seven years pass from seedling to finished cigar before Ashton Cabinet is brought to fruition and presented for your smoking pleasure.
The Ediciones Limitadas are released every year and are manufactured with carefully selected wrapper, filler and binder tobaccos which have been aged for a period of at least 2 years. The wrapper for these cigars comes from the top leaves of the Tapado – shade-grown black Cuban tobacco plant, and is a relevant characteristic that identifies these special productions. This wrapper is usually darker than the wrappers of regular range sizes of the brand and this is immediately noticeable to anyone who smokes H. Upmann cigars like I do.
The Ediciones Limitadas are made with the finest tobacco leaves coming from Vuelta Abajo and also feature long filler from that region. Since my favorite vitola is the Robusto, I was intrigued by the H. Upmann 2012 Edicion Limitada Robusto. This is a size that does not exist in the regular production run of H. Upmann Cigars. For cost purposes, I don’t set out to try all of the Limitadas, instead I focus on the ones that interest me.
Given the high honor of Cigar Aficionado’s 2011 #1 Cigar of the Year, the Alec Bradley Prensado line could easily be considered an “overlooked” brand until the beginning of 2012. No, I certainly do not agree with most of the C.A. Top 25 choices however every now and then they do strike a gem (but don’t rate it high enough). However, I can actually say I was pretty excited to get this long Churchill lit up. Let’s see how she did…
A little back history on the Alec Bradley brand. Formed in 1996, the Alec Bradley Cigar Company is named after owner Alan Rubin’s two sons, Alec and Bradley. The Prensado brand hit the markets in 2009, just two years after the infamous Tempus line. The cigars are rolled at the Raices Cubanas Factory in Danlí, Honduras and are available in six different vitolas all packaged in boxes of 20.
This guest review comes courtesy of our friend Nick, a.k.a. @wristriction. Enjoy!
The Ramon Allones Gran Robusto Exclusivo Benelux (yes that’s a mouthful) is a Robusto Extra Vitola originally released in 2007 in a rather exclusive quantity. Six hundred numbered boxes containing 25 cigars and 204 numbered cabinets containing 50 cigars for a total of 25,200 cigars were made available for the Benelux market. These first samples proved to be such a success that Ramon Allones decided to repeat the feat by re-releasing the cigar in 2008 on rather generous terms: 1,400 boxes of 25 and 600 Cabinets of 50 cigars (65,000 cigars in 2008) flooded the market. A lot of the cigars are still out there and a trip to my regular cigar supplier (Le Roi Du Cigare, Koningstraat 25, 1000 Brussels) proved ample supply. Not that its availability detracts from its appeal, but let’s say that I’m a sucker for everything exclusive. After purchase these cigars have been sitting another 6 months in my humidor at 72% humidity.
Origin : USA Format : Robusto Extra Size : 5 5/8 x 54 Wrapper : Ecuador Habano Binder : Ecuador Filler : Nicaraguan and Dominican Cut : Xikar Xi2 Light : Matches Drink : Water Total Smoking Time : 1 hour 45 minutes Number of Cigars Released : 2,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars Hand-Made Price : $18 MSRP each More info about purchasing La Palina cigars...
Howdy, today for my first review on Cigar Inspector I will be smoking a La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 5. This is the second release of the Goldie blend and I'm fairly excited seeing as the first release did so well. As with the first release, all of the cigars are rolled by Maria Sierra, a 95 rated category 9 roller at El Titan de Bronze factory. La Palina does well embracing the women in the cigar industry as the cigar named after a woman (Bill Paley's mother, Goldie Paley) is rolled by a master female roller and is supervised by the female owner of the El Titan de Bronze factory, Sandy Cobas.
The lancero vitola seems to have fallen from favor with most contemporary cigar smokers. It’s understandable in today’s time-crunched society that a longer length cigar with a tiny ring gauge, which forces you to take more deliberately slow draws to avoid excess heat, holds relatively less interest from a purely practical standpoint. Perhaps a cigar with an origin in Hollywood can persuade smokers that they’ve been missing something.
Origin : Dominican Republic Format : Proprietary Kanú (based on perfecto) Size : 6 x 54 Wrapper : Brazilian Maduro Filler : Dominican Binder : Their binder is proprietary and they simply refer to it as ‘MBC’ Hand-Made Price : ~$10
This new and unique shape by Iconic Leaf, the Kanú, was inspired by a Kayak boat. Iconic Leaf sent me a couple samples last autumn for review along with some promotional material. I wanted to give these cigars some resting time and as our winter hit early, I decided to put off smoking them until the time was right.
All of Iconic Leaf's cigars are produced in their factory; Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. They roll all of their cigars entubado style and every leaf in the Recluse is fermented for two years.
At first glance the cigar resembles a box-pressed perfecto but to my eyes it actually resembled an Italian made 'Toscano' in a larger, more refined format. Don't snip it in the middle though as you would a Toscano! (*wink*) Thankfully the company offers instructions on where to snip the cigar in their boxes. I did not get these with my two review samples and as such I found the draw on the first one quite tight. I did snip more off the second one and found the draw much improved.
The function of a perfecto is that the different components from wrapper to filler allow for the cigar to go through subtle flavor transitions. Iconic Leaf Cigars advises that by developing this one of a kind shape the smoker is able to get a slow, cool burn as a result of the benefit of pressing along with flavor transitions. Iconic Leaf refers to their process as "specific and unique; a one of a kind process". Their company literature provides that "Every cigar has a story to tell. You have to read this book page by page. This one will not allow you to jump chapters. It is a novel."
Remember I rated their Recluse Toro higher than the Alec Bradley Prensado in flavor so I was more than curious as to how this shape would fare and whether it would alter the flavor profile at all.
The promotional material shipped with the cigars indicated that the cigar has "subtle cornering and is aerodynamic in fashion. It was a painstaking process to perfect this new shape but we have mastered it. The shape smokes razor sharp with a full easy compliment of flavorful smoke on the draw. It is a masterpiece!". Let's put this to the test shall we?