Gurkha Cellar Reserve Gran Rothschild

Gurkha Cellar Reserve Gran Rothchild

Origin : Dominican RepublicGurkha
Format : Perfecto
Size : 6 x 58
Wrapper : Dominican Criollo 98
Filler : Dominican Criollo and Nicaraguan
Binder : Dominican Olor
Hand-Made
Price : $10.95 each
More info about purchasing Gurkha Cellar Reserve cigars...

Please welcome Gavin, the newest reviewer in our team:

Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by the cigar industry. The variation of techniques and origins that come together to create even one quality cigar create a paradise for smokers like me, that are always on the hunt for new and exciting cigars. I have been smoking cigars for over three years with blogging and collecting becoming my focus for the past 2 years. A great cigar to me is spicy, and full-bodied with balance and subtle flavor still present. Unlike those that pair beverages with cigars, a perfect combination to me is great company and a great cigar. Happy smoking.

The Gurkha Cellar Reserve line was released as a B&M exclusive last year at the ICPCR show in July. Since then the line has been hard to come by unless you had a shop in your area that carried a decent supply of Gurkha products. Along with the Wicked Indie and Royal Challenge, the Cellar Reserve line was created to reintroduce Gurkha cigars to the public at a reasonable price.

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Ramon Allones Superiores

Ramon Allones Superiores

Ramon AllonesOrigin : Cuba
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 143 x 18.26 mm (5.6 x 46)
Ring : 46
3 cigars smoked for the review
Hand-Made
Price : $10-12 each
More info about purchasing Ramon Allones cigars...

Ramon Allones Superiores is a La Casa del Habano-specific release that was supposed to hit the shelves in 2010; while perhaps it did in some places the few LCDH that I visited in the beginning of 2011 didn't have it yet. At first I was very excited about this new vitola from one of my favorite marcas, but when I failed to get it on the first couple attempts I somewhat forgot about it. Only in February 2012, on my trip to Rome, I finally picked up a fiver of these beautiful cigars. I really should have done it earlier!

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Padilla Studio Tobac Figurado

Padilla Studio Tobac Figurado

Origin : NicaraguaPadilla cigars
Format : Figurado
Size : 6 x 60
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $14.00 (my local B&M is more around $12.00)

The most disappointing thing about being a cigar reviewer is that there are so many cigars out there and you can only review so many. The Padilla-Studio Tobac cigars had been sitting in my humidor staring at me for over 3 months now and for some reason or another they kept being pushed back in my rotation of review smokes time and time again. I eventually decided it was about damn time I got to them, so here goes.

The gist of what this cigar is about is that it is a reach out by Studio Tobac to broaden its horizons and touch the mainstream by collaborating with some big names in the industry. So for this first collab, they reached out for the genius that is Ernie Padilla to produce a limited stick that would pair both Studio Tobac and Padilla's expertise in bringing a unique cigar to the U.S. market. The tobacco is all Oliva's but they consulted Padilla to tweak the blends. Word on the street is that this will not be the last of Studio Tobac's collaborations which is exciting news. I am personally excited to try this cigar out because I have been a huge fan of Padilla's body of work ever since the release of the original Miami 8&11 years ago. The 8&11 was a game changer for me, and has a lot to do why I am sitting here writing this review. Now on to the review,...

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Rafael Gonzalez Corona Extra

Rafael Gonzalez Corona Extra

Origin : CubaRafael Gonzalez
Format : Corona Extra
Size : 46 x 143 mm (5.6)
Box code : May 2007
Discontinued in : 2010
Hand-Made
Price : ~$16 each at the B&M
More info about purchasing Rafael Gonzalez cigars...

This is a pre-1960 release and it was, unfortunately, discontinued in 2010. This particular sample is from a May 2007 box. My local B&M somehow got a bunch of ‘07 boxes and they are smoking great. Rafael Gonzalez is a brand that is often overlooked in the Habanos S.A. catalogue. It is a shame and also a blessing. It allows my local store to keep a great stock of aged boxes. I can’t complain about that. Here is how my date with this one went.

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Padron 1964 Exclusivo Maduro (Quick Smoke Series)

Padron 1964 Exclusivo Maduro

PadronOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto Extra
Size : 5.5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $11.00 each
More info about purchasing Padron 1964 cigars...

This is the new series of reviews I am introducing to Cigar Inspector readers. These are quick and brief reviews of usually one cigar that I am smoking at a brick and mortar or a cigar that otherwise I just didn’t deem needing a full review. This by no means states that these cigars didn’t deserve a full review, it just means I was a little more spontaneous in taking notes on these sticks. So in these reviews, I just smoke a cigar and take a few notes to give readers a general reference of what they can expect from the cigar. Hope everyone can appreciate these reviews for what they are- quick reviews of cigars I have never smoked before.

The exclusivo has a dark brown, leathery wrapper with minimal oils. The cigar gives when squeezed, has a good open draw, and is very rustic looking. The burn was very straight with no touch ups. Draw was consistently open throughout the smoke.

1st Third- Deep leather, cocoa powder, meat, and finishes with stinging pepperiness. Full bodied.
2nd Third - Smooths out. Cocoa becomes more prominent and leather weaves in and out. Body still pretty full.
3rd Third- Bitter cocoa flavors with some wood chips thrown in. Stunningly potent smoke.

The Exclusivo smokes more like a corona gorda than a robusto extra. The box press makes it seem a little thinner. The flavors are compact, lively, not overly complex, and have a ton of strength (it had me staggering a bit when I walked away). A really solid smoke for one of Cigar Aficionado's top cigars of the year. Personally, this is my favorite Padron I have smoked.

Appearance : ★★★☆☆
Construction : ★★★★★
Flavor : ★★★★☆
Value : ★★★★☆
Overall : ★★★★½ (4.25)

Tatuaje TAA 2011 Tobacconists Exclusive

Tatuaje TAA 2011 Tobacconists Exclusive

TatuajeOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Double Toro
Size : 5 5/8 x 54
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $11.00-$12.50
More info about purchasing Tatuaje cigars...

This was a cigar that had evaded me for quite some time. It was hard to come by for me because the few B&M’s that were carrying this exclusive cigar sold out of them very quickly. Many people I know of were clammering to get their hands on this large quantity limited release. And the few B&M I saw online were selling them above retail, so I went underground to get mine. I went out and traded some sticks with some good friends of mine to acquire enough to do this review. I am glad I went out of my way, because I really liked this cigar, and definitely see why they were so popular during their release.

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Juan Lopez Maximo (Regional Edition Switzerland)

Juan Lopez Maximo (Regional Edition Switzerland)

Juan LopezOrigin : Cuba
Format : Hermoso No. 2
Size : 157 x 19 mm (6.1 x 48)
Ring : 48
Release : 2008
Hand-Made
Price : ~$400 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing Juan Lopez cigars...

The Juan Lopez Maximo Swiss Regional Edition was released back in 2008 as a limited edition vitola, and last spring I was thrilled to have an opportunity to pick one up while I was visiting Switzerland.

Juan Lopez Maximo (Regional Edition Switzerland)

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San Martin Pyramid

San Martin Pyramid

Origin : PeruSan Martin cigars
Format : Pyramid (No. 2)
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Peru
Filler : Peru
Binder : Peru
Hand-Made
Price : $10.00

Back in the summer I was visiting a Houston B&M that I frequent called Smoke Ring which is pretty notorious for stocking some very good but rare boutique cigars. The owner Larry and his manager Chris asked me if I have ever smoked any Peruvian tobacco. I stated I had but that I had never smoked a puro. Chris then pointed to this particular cigar and told me to try it. The cigar was the San Martin, and the size was one of my favorites, a pyramide or No.2. If you have never smoked a Peruvian puro, I totally recommend it. You will notice that the tobacco is of very high quality and lends a very cubanesque flavor profile to some very popular brands such as the Guillermo Leon line of cigars.

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