Vegas Robaina Maestros is the first regional edition for Spain, released in 2007 and distributed by Altadis SA. It is slightly longer than your regular robusto, at 5.6 x 50. This cigar was my main target when I visited the cigar shops in Madrid. I found it without much trouble at approximately $13 each. I smoked one straight away but it was almost plugged. The remaining 2 cigars for this review have been resting 2 weeks in the humidor.
Please welcome Joe K, our new reviewer. Here is a short intro that he wrote:
Joe K calls the upper Midwest home, currently residing in Wisconsin with his wife. Although he smoked cigars on and off throughout the past 8 years or so, it was not until this past year that he grew a certain affinity for them. While traveling, he mentioned to a business associate that he was looking for some cigars for his mates in light of his upcoming nuptials. That business associate generously gave him a La Riqueza #3. Finding it and the following two so enjoyable, Joe went out and bought a box of the La Riqueza #3's the very next day. Most enjoyable for him are Medium to Full bodied smokes that offer a lot of complexity and flavor changes.
Today, he reviews a Tatuaje J21 Reserva. Enjoy!
If I can say one thing about Tatuaje, it is that they are very confident in their product. Instead of relying on overly flashy bands and packaging, the cigars are allowed to do their own talking and the J21 does not stray. The standard solid brown background, adorned with the Tatuaje signature and Fleur de Lys, is very unassuming. The only indication that this is a unique smoke is the addition of a second “Reserva” band, which adds some definition but is still remarkably simple.
Having received this stick from a fellow BOTL who somehow managed to let this one sit for a while, I was not surprised to notice the buildup of plume on this cigar. A very nice sheen presented itself on the surface of the wrapper due to the delicious oils coming forward. A prominent smell of pepper came through when testing the foot.
By now most every avid cigar smoker knows about Tatuaje Cigars and the Monster Series of cigar release by Tatuaje every October around Halloween. The Monster Series Started in 2008 with the release of #1 The Frank, a box pressed Double Corona in a blood spattered coffin. In 2009 #2 The Drac, a dark torpedo in a shiny black coffin was released to an absolute frenzy of fans trying to get ahold of the very limited cigar. 2009 also marked the first edition of the Monster “Out-of-Costume” Series of cigars. This first edition is a Churchill called Boris, named after the actor Boris Karloff who made Frankenstein’s Monster famous in his portrayal of the role in the classic 1931 film Frankenstein. It is a very clever marketing scheme that I think is a lot of fun.
God of Fire cigars are made by the Fuente family and were first released in 2004. These are pretty hard to come by and I had never really looked for them because of their price tag. However, I recently got the opportunity to try one and I was curious to see if these "super-premium" cigars are worth the dough. The one I have for review is the 2006 Don Carlos blend, which I believe is an original release, as they are no longer available in individual coffins.
This little puppy, known as Christian's Blend, is currently unique to the Signature Blends travel bag, which only includes 4 CLEs, is an extremely limited and hard to find cigar. Thanks to Matt for hooking me up on the BOTL forum.
The name Davidoff is nearly synonymous with luxury. The name also has a reputation for quality and excellence. There is a lot of great information about the man and the company on their website Davidoff.com. One other commonly held perception of Davidoff is mild cigars and there are many smokers in the cigar community that mistake “mild” to mean “flavorless”. The Special R is the first Davidoff cigar I have had the pleasure of trying. No matter what line of Davidoff Cigars you might be interested in, the fact is they are all pretty expensive, almost universally costing more than $10 a piece. With my predisposition towards strong robust cigars, I admit that I allowed their mild reputation and lofty price tag keep me away up until now.
I have a friend who is a fan of Davidoff and more precisely their blender Henke Kelner. I have listened to him rail against the the idea that Davidoff only makes mild cigars and one of the lines he liked to use as an example of a more robust offering is the “Special” line of Davidoff cigars. So I was happy to be able to review this particular Davidoff. The Special R is not a mild cigar. I found it to be a solid medium bodied smoke with robust flavors balanced by excellent subtleties making for an engaging smoke. A core of smooth and chewy flavors of espresso and earth were complemented by more subtle notes of oak and nuts and an almost buttery feel on the palate. At times I picked up flashes of slightly sweet, almost caramel like notes on the finish. The construction was exquisite with a perfect burn, nice ash, and a spot on draw. I found the Davidoff Special R to be a very enjoyable, elegant smoke.
I have been trying to hunt down some older limited editions, those that were released before 2007. In fact, most Cuban cigars retailers still have the 2007's in stock, but nothing or not much prior to that year. On my Christmas trip to Madrid, I saw the Partagas Serie D No. 3 2006 Edicion Limitada in a B&M and immediately purchased some. They cost 11 € each and I was hoping for an exceptional experience, taking into account the 4 years of ageing. Of course, I couldn't wait and here is my review, after just a few weeks in the humidor.
La Flor Dominicana is a boutique cigar brand created by Litto Gomez Diez in Santiago in the Dominican Republic. Litto Gomez Diez has received plenty of positive press for his creativity; Cigar Aficionado even stated he is “arguably the most innovative mind in the cigar business.” Diez was previously a jewelry maker but started his cigar business after being robbed at gunpoint for nearly half a million dollars worth of jewelry merchandise. Diez says that it took about two decades to perfect his creative process, but now his brand is world famous. Each year La Flor Dominicana puts out a Limitado cigar available in just 2,000 boxes with 48 cigars in each. The Limitado is consequently kind of difficult to find; you may be able to find it for as little as $10.00, but you’ll have to search.