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?
Launched back in late April of 2010, the Davidoff Puro D’Oro Series is credited to the famous Hendrik Kelner. According to the April 13, 2010 issue of Cigar Insider the wrapper leaves for these cigars are “grown in Yamasá, an area of the Dominican Republic north of the capital city of Santo Domingo and far from Santiago and its surrounding tobacco fields.” This cigar by far bears the darkest wrapper in the Davidoff Collection (minus the maduro line). Also, worth noting is that at that time the Puro D'Oro was the first new Davidoff release in more than 10 years (since then, the brand releasedmany morenew blends).
Coming from the oldest premium cigar company in the United States, the J.C. Newman Cigar Company is responsible for the production of many familiar brands such as Diamond Crown, Cuesta-Rey, Brick House, and El Baton. In the summer of 2012 the bilingual magazine Cigar Journal published an article/interview with Eric and Bobby Newman, owners of the J.C. Newman Cigar Co. According to the Cigar Journal ‘quote’:
This line (Diamond Crown Julius Caeser) of super premium cigars was created in 2010 to honor the founder of the J.C. Newman Cigar Company’s 135th birthday and the 115th anniversary of the company. Julius Caeser Newman’s likeness appears on the cigar label.
We are glad to welcome Kaleehb, our new reviewer, to the CigarInspector.com community!
Released in 2010, the Le Matin is the first size in the Epernay line to be box pressed and offered in boxes of 25. After seeing the discontinued M-7 boxes lying about the factory floor, Dion Giolito decided to put them to use in making a cigar with balance and elegance. By perfectly blending Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo tobaccos and topping it with a Rosado wrapper Dion was able to create this newest member of the Epernay portfolio.