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.
The Partagas Serie E No. 2 was officially released at the XIII Habanos Festival in Cuba in February of 2011. Distinctive features include a large ring gauge and simple but beautiful packaging. It took me about an age to try one of these (they have been resting for over 1 year in my humi), but now I am so glad I did. This cigar is not cheap, but it is a real treat.
The Cohiba Piramide Extra is a relatively new vitola (released in 2012) which measures 6.3″ inches in length by 54 ring gauge. Although it is considered to be part of the “Linea Clasica”, it bears a different band. The cigar is presented in 3-packs of aluminium tubes and semi boite nature boxes of 10.
The Cohiba Piramide Extra is a handful! The wrapper is light brown with a reddish hue, similar in shade to the Classic line, and has a moderate amount of veins but no imperfections. Its brand new shiny band has inherited the holographic security markings of the Behike, but unlike it, it only has one side (face). The bunch is firm and a close look to the foot of the cigar reveals that there are plenty of leaves packed in it. However, none of these leaves is Medio Tiempo, as the Piramide Extra uses the recipe of the Classic Line blend. The aromas are mild, with notes of flowers and a little bit of pepper. The prelight draw is perfect… Time to light up!
A short time back, the editorial staff of this site posted a review of the recently released Montecristo Petit #2. Since this manufacturer pretty much has a permanent spot in my humidor, I thought I would expound upon Denis’s previous review by trying the same cigar, but from a newer year. Usually, I would shy away from such young cigars, as their performance sometimes can be inconsistent, if not very poor. Suffice it to say, this offering from Montecristo not only lived up to its name and popular pedigree, it also provided some surprises and even scored high marks that many aged sticks strain to accomplish.
I can sum up this review in four words, but since this is a family friendly site, I shall use only their acronym --- O M F G. I had my trusty tobacconist search for an out of the ordinary stick that was not widely distributed, and that did not cost a small fortune to purchase. He hit the mark on both counts with this one. It is without doubt in my mind, a STELLAR robusto, despite its young age and recent release this past spring. This smoke does not greet you with a warm “Hello”, but greets you at the door after a long day’s hard work wearing nothing but a smile with a spatula in its hand and asks you, “Hey stranger, want to flip my pancakes??“ There is a reason why this company (Hunters & Frankau - importer of Cuban cigars into the UK) has been around for 225 years, and this release is a prime example.