Recently I had the opportunity to finally sample a branded cigar that is readily available in my market, but typically supplied from different countries in Central America (editor's note: non-Cuban Romeo y Julietas, some of them are reviewed here). Typically these smokes have been dry, grainy and more akin to puffing on a pile of sawdust than a true fine quality cigar. I am happy to say that the Cuban Romeo y Julieta rose to the occasion and has offered a stout cigar with plenty of taste that should satisfy most any avid Cubano lover and beginner alike. It is a nice smoke at an economical price for a Cuban.
La Flor Dominicana showcased a number of exciting new cigars at the 2015 IPCPR, but the brand’s focal point cigar this year was definitely La Flor Dominicana La Nox. This cigar was created by Tony Gomez, owner Litto Gomez’ son. You may have already tried Tony’s other creations in 2013 and 2014, Chapter One and Capitulo II respectively.
I’d heard a lot of great things about this cigar, so I was thrilled to get a chance to try it. As it turned out, it more than met my expectations.
After giving Montecristo a hard time in a previous review, I felt it only fair to find another cigar of their issue that was somewhat close in age to the one I dealt with so harshly to see if the box I consumed was an aberration, or if the issues I encountered with the other product continued with this limited edition release. I am happy to say that in this case the latter applies, not the former. What one is left to wonder is how something so wrong could turn into something so right. By its taste profile, it would SEEM that this outcome was what Montecristo was shooting for with their 2008 Sublime release. Here they are using 2005 tobacco, which on its face would indicate that the stock was somewhat similar in age to the Sublime (it used 2006 tobacco). This is a conundrum I do not think I can figure out by the time this review is over. Where such utter failure turns into such utter bliss leaves me dumbstruck, but I will take them as they come.
If you are a dyed-in-the-wool Montecristo lover, you might want to stop reading right now. Yes, I am a huge fan of Montecristo, but this review will not be flattering, not in the least. You might want the children to leave the room on this one. In many communities in my country, we have a colloquial saying “You dance with the lady that brought you to the party”, which loosely translates to “You stick with ideas where you excel”. Montecristo would have done well to have heeded this idiom before foisting this product upon the cigar loving public. They tried to copy others by an attempt to make a “kinder and gentler” cigar. Failure. Absolute and total failure.
There is an excitement that portends the smoking a Cuban cigar that has aged in a tube for roughly 40 years and the natural bias to presume this will be a spectacular smoke, one is shocked by the plain ugliness of this cigar. For comparison purposes, I took a photo of the H. Upmann Naturals next to a current production H. Upmann Royal Robusto.
H. Upmann Naturals were machine-made cigars always sold in tubes. Discontinued in the early 1980s. Not sure of the box year, but I’d guess late-1970s.
Last month I took some well-needed healing time from a medical procedure done in late summer. While recuperating, I tasked my favorite tobacconist to find a good “value” type cigar, that embodied the spirit of the traditional Cuban while giving the average hobbyist the opportunity to indulge themselves without cleaning out their bank accounts to pay for it. Quite frankly, Bolivars are a brand that I often overlooked, but after consuming the box I just did, I certainly can say that I would be more open-minded to them being suggested to me in the future. Did the Bolivar Poderosos meet my expectations?? You bet they did, and then some. This smoke offered expected standards for a Cuban torpedo, but tossed in a few pleasant surprises to boot.
It is not a secret that Frederic and crew at LCDH have a superior “nose” for quality tobacco with the cigars they seek and sell and this issue fits in seamlessly with their product offering. The flavor of a Cuban delivered in a mild aromatic package of a Nicaraguan makes this blend a nice addition to any humidor and a truly enjoyable ready-to-consume cigar as-is. LCDH kicked off the marketing of this product issuing a single cigar with orders placed and shipped in October, as well as a free cigar giveaway contest on this site. They shouldn’t have to give many away, as this cigar sells itself with the flavor notes offered and its quite reasonable pricing.
DISCLAIMER: I was “gifted” a copy of this cigar with a recent order, but have subsequently purchased 2 boxes for my own use.
The Cojonu (ballsy in Spanish) series by Tatuaje is comprised of several blends, each released in a given year - it doesn't mean that the cigar was produced during that year though, so we can't really talk about "vintages" here. Some of the blends have previously been reviewed on the site: Tatuaje Cojonu 2003, Tatuaje Cojonu 2009 & Tatuaje Cojonu 2012.
Construction is absolutely flawless with this cigar. The roll is seamless, the cigar is firm to the touch with a little bit of bounce.
The draw is great on the Cojonu 2006 and the burn is even. The ash was nice and compact with no flowering but it was very weak and fell off at about the half inch mark. The body of these cigars is medium to full but the strength is full especially towards the end of the cigar where it gave me a little buzz.
Some nice deep rich flavors from the start. I get coffee beans, nuts and a toasty almost chary cedar flavor. There is some pepper but it is very balanced with the rest of the flavors. In the second third some sweet honey notes come in and out which gives the cigar a nice creamy texture in the mouth. The final third was much of the same with the addition of some cocoa flavors. The flavors also became more full and pronounced in the final third.
I really enjoyed the Tatuaje Cojonu 2006 blend. The price tag on this guy is way out of an everyday cigar, but would make a nice occasional smoke for most of us. The flavors were balanced and complex which is a must for a cigar that goes over $10. The one downside to this cigar is that it doesn’t vary much from the other Tatuaje Miami’s that I’ve smoked except for the fact that it is a little stronger than the regular line.