Davidoff Chateau Margaux (Cuban)

Davidoff Chateau Margaux

DavidoffOrigin : Cuba
Format : Petit Corona
Size : 42 x 129 mm (~5 in)
Box date : 1986
Hand-Made
Price : 150 EUR / cigar

Before delving into the meat of this review, I must take the time to give an appreciative nod and a tip of the cap to Frederic of LCDH Knokke for dipping into his private stash to give me the opportunity to cross one of the few things remaining on my bucket list of things to accomplish before I leave this world--- enjoying a technically and aesthetically perfect Cuban cigar. Originally released in 1969, this Davidoff remained un-banded until around 1980 and the line was completely discontinued in 1991, remaining amongst the best of the best during its entire release. One look and one glorious puff and you are hooked. Without qualification, this smoke was absolutely flawless in every respect. They just do not get any better than this.

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MBombay Kesara Pyramid (Review & Giveaway!)

MBombay Kesara Pyramid

Origin : Costa Rica
Format : Pyramid
Asylum CigarsSize : 7 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Dominican Republic and Peru
Binder : Ecuador
Hand-Made
Price : ~$18 each

If you are shopping at the tobacconist and you spot MBombay Kesara cigars on the shelves, they’ll stand out instantly. They are quite unusual to look at, particularly where the band is concerned (more on that shortly). MBombay is a pretty new brand owned by Mel Shah. You may previously have known him better as the owner of Fame Wine & Cigar Lounge in Palm Springs. Shah’s cigar company MBombay launched in June of 2014 with two different lines: MBombay Classic and MBombay Maduro. The third line, Mōra, debuted that August. At the end of the year, Kesara came out.

Kesara is available in three sizes: a 6 x 52 toro, a 4 ½ x 54 robusto, and a 7 x 54 pyramid. Mel Shah, the owner, sent me a sampler of the pyramids (thanks Mel!), which I am reviewing today. And we've got some more cigars to give away, read on for details!

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Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill

Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill

Origin : CubaRomeo y Julieta
Format : Wide Churchill / Montesco (Robusto)
Size : 5.1 (130 mm) x 55
Release : 2010
Box code : RAE JUN15
Hand-Made
Price : $283 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars...

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.

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La Flor Dominicana La Nox

La Flor Dominicana La Nox

Origin : Dominican RepublicLa Flor Dominicana
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Brazil Cubra
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Mexican San Andres
Hand-Made
Price : ~$11 each
More info about purchasing La Flor Dominicana La Nox...

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.

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Montecristo No. 2 Gran Reserva Cosecha 2005

Montecristo No. 2 Gran Reserva Cosecha 2005

MontecristoOrigin : Cuba
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6 (152 mm) x 52
Released in : 2011
Box code : SUB OCT 11 (1110/5000)
Hand-Made
Price : $1500 for a box of 15 cigars
More info about purchasing Montecristo cigars...

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.

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Montecristo Sublime (2008 Edicion Limitada)

Montecristo Sublime (2008 Edicion Limitada)

MontecristoOrigin : Cuba
Format : Sublime (Double Robusto)
Size : 6.5 (164 mm) x 54
Released in : 2008
Box code : NOV 08
Hand-Made
Price : ~$575 for a box of 10 cigars
More info about purchasing Montecristo cigars...

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.

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H. Upmann Naturals (Vintage Review)

H. Upmann Naturals

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Panetela
Size : 6.1 x 37 (155 x 15 mm)
Box date : 1970's
Discontinued in the 80's
Machine-Made
Price : roughly $20-25/cigar
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars...

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 and 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.

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Bolivar Poderosos (Regional Edition Benelux)

Bolivar Poderosos (Regional Edition Benelux)

Origin : Cuba
Format : Double PyramidBolivar
Size : 180 x 22 mm (7.1 x 54)
Released in : 2013
Box Code : MUR OCT2013
Hand-Made
Price : ~$20 each
More info about purchasing Bolivar cigars...

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.

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