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.

Read the full review of Tatuaje TAA 2011 Tobacconists Exclusive...

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.

Read the full review of San Martin Pyramid...

Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition

Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition

Origin : Dominican RepublicMontecristo
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 6 x 60
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Binder : Nicaragua
Filler : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$14 each

Hello all! It has been a long time since we, The Tollaficionados have set forth our opinions on some of the fine smokes available on the market today. Busy – Busy, and we apologize. But fear not, though the qualities of said smokes (or lack thereof) have not been etched into the walls of time by us as of late, we have in fact kept up on the goings-on of the industry and have made plenty of time to enjoy lots of smokes together.

Our return at this time was spurred on for 2 reasons: 1) It gave Father & Son some more bonding time (and on Super Bowl Sunday to boot!), 2) The cigar that we chose to enjoy is the Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition, only recently available through brick & mortar shops in the fine state in which we reside.

Read the full review of Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition...

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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