Diamond Crown Julius Caeser

Padilla Habano Artisano

Origin : Dominican RepublicDiamond Crown cigars
Format : Pyramid
Size : 6.5 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuador
Binder : Unknown
Filler : Unknown
Price : $11-17 each
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This cigar was gifted to me by a generous BOTL around Christmas time. This doesn't seem to be a very widely available cigar, at least mostly being sold at Diamond Crown lounges. And with that exclusivity comes the expectedly exorbitant price tag. From what I can find, this cigar line retails in the $11 - $17 range.

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Avo 85th Anniversary 2011 Limited Edition

Avo 85th Anniversary 2011 Limited Edition

Avo CigarsOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Diadema
Size : 6.6 x 50
Wrapper : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Peru
Price : $17.50 MSRP
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Avo 85th Anniversary is the annual release celebrating Avo Uvezian’s birthday. The first one was released 10 years ago and since then it has become a tradition. I have tasted several of these releases and it has been hit or miss. In particular, the 2008 Tesoro didn’t impress me much. However, the 2011 release has collected mostly positive reviews and I couldn’t resist picking a sampler when I stopped by the Davidoff shop in Geneva. Unlike most other Avo smokes, this is not a Dominican puro. The 6.6 x 50 Diadema (sort of a long perfecto) sports a sun grown Dominican wrapper and is filled with San Vicente and Piloto Dominican tobacco. The binder is, however, Peruvian. Let’s see how it smokes, shall we?

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El Sublimado

El Sublimado

Origin : Dominican RepublicTexas Cigar Brothers
Format : Robusto
Size : 4.5 x 50
Wrapper : Honduras
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Price : $85 per pack of five ($17.00 each)

My rating system has changed to a numerical scale ranging from 50 to 100 points, which readers of various wine and cigar publications should immediately recognize. I elected to discard the five star system because I found a slight but unacceptable variation in quality between cigars with identical ratings. The new scale offers the reader a superior benchmark for comparison among the other cigars I review. As always, the detailed tasting notes accompanying the score give the best insight into the unique character of each individual cigar.  - Nathan

It isn’t every day that a long out of production cigar hearkening back from the boom years of the ‘90’s falls into your lap. The Texas Cigar Brothers company of Bedford, Texas recently stumbled upon a long forgotten stock of El Sublimado and El Incomparable cigars in the warehouse of a Honduran cigar factory and is making them available on a limited basis. The El Sublimado brand launched in 1993 and is unique because the tobacco used to make the cigar was cured in rooms with 50 years old Noces d'Or Cognac.

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Viaje TNT

Viaje TNT

Origin : NicaraguaViaje cigars
Format : Toro
Size : 6.25 x 54
Wrapper : Sun Grown Corojo
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : around $10 at release, $13-$15 aftermarket
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Awhile back I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a 5 pack of last summer’s limited Viaje release called the “TNT.” The TNT is characterized by its resemblance to a stick of dynamite with its long fuse like cap. Packed into boxes that look like authentic crates that house dynamite, the TNT was very well presented and marketed.

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Man O’War Armada

Man O'War Armada

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro Grande
Size : 6.5 x 56
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sumatra Maduro
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : ~$20 each
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Please welcome Zack who joined our team of contributors! He starts off with a review of the Man O'War Armada.

This was the last of the Man O'War cigars for me to try. Several years ago, I got my hand on a few of the original Man O'War's, and they were amazing. So, since then I have been a huge fan of the line. When I had the chance to get my hand on one of these rare gems, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Now I know that $20 a stick is kind of pricey, but this cigar, for once, deserves that kind of price tag.

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Illusíone Singularé 2010 Phantom

Illusíone Singularé 2010 Phantom

Origin : Honduras
IllusioneFormat : Toro
Size : 6.0′ x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $12 each
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The Phantom is the 2010 version of Illusione’s Limited Edition “Singularé” cigar line. It is a refined looking toro with a handsome wrapper that has the look of fine leather. It is a mild to medium bodied smoke. Not much spice to be found here which is unusual of a cigar that uses all Nicaraguan tobacco. It starts off light and mild with creamy flavors of cedar and toasted tobacco with a subtle bit of earthiness. Eventually it picks up a bit. The flavors are consistent but develop more body and there is an added floral undertone and a bit of sweetness that adds some complexity. This was an excellent smoke and a very different profile for Illusione. I found it to be even lighter and more mild that some of the Epernay line. Still mild doesn’t mean flavorless as this stick had plenty to offer. I feel like I use this word a lot when talking about various cigars from Illusione, but it fits so I’ll use it again… Elegant. This cigar has a very refined and elegant feel to it. Grab some if you can still find them.

Tatuaje 109 Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary

Tatuaje 109 Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary

TatuajeOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Conde 109
Size : 7 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : ~$10 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje cigars...

Federal Cigar, at the beginning of the year celebrated its 90th anniversary by releasing an exclusive Tatuaje cigar informally called the Tatuaje 109. These were produced in two versions with different wrappers with the same base verocu blend, one with a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, and the other with a Rosado leaf wrapper. Here, I am reviewing the Rosado leaf version, and will soon also do a review of the reserva version in the Connecticut broadleaf wrapper.

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Por Larranaga Valiosos (Regional Edition Switzerland)

Por Larranaga Valiosos (Regional Edition Switzerland)

Origin : CubaPor Larranaga
Format : Pyramide
Size : 156 x 21 mm (6.1 x 52)
Release : 2009
Price : ~$450 for a box of 25
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While I was in Geneva this spring, I thought I’d take advantage of this special opportunity to try the Por Larranaga Valiosos Regional Edition Switzerland. The cigar cost me $22.00. I thought that it would be well worth it to try this cigar out for everyone who can’t take advantage of this release. The Valiosos was produced as a limited edition regional cigar; only 2400 boxes were distributed for sale in Switzerland.

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