Punch Sir John (Germany Regional Edition)

Punch Sir John

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Corona Extra
Size : 127 x 19 mm (5 x 48)
Ring : 48
Release : 2012
Hand-Made
Price : 11 EUR each
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Punch Sir John, a 2012 regional edition for Germany, is most probably named after John Tenniel, a British illustrator and politicial cartoonist for the Punch magazine. Knighted by Queen Victoria, he is also known for his illustrations for Lewis Caroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is named after a group of 48 premium tobacco retailers in Germany, called “John Aylesbury” (see comment below).

I've had this cigar in my humidor for quite a while now (about one year I guess, since its release) and decided to put it to light on one of this year's last sunny days.

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Hoyo de Monterrey Grand Epicure 2013 LE

Hoyo De Monterrey Grand Epicure 2013 Edición Limitada

Origin : CubaHoyo de Monterrey
Format : Grand Epicure
Size : 5.1 x 55
Released : 2013
Box code : ALT JUN13
Hand-Made
Price : ~$20 each
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The Hoyo de Monterrey Grand Epicure is one of the first 2013 limited editions to be released this year and this fat 55 ring gauge cigar really looks the part. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the Hoyo line which is known for its sweeter profile. As many aficionados know, the Edición Limitada cigars are hand rolled by expert rollers and the wrapper, filler and binder leaves come from carefully selected plants from the Vuelta Abajo plantations (the best growing region in Cuba) and aged a minimum of 2 years.

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Cohiba Sublimes 2004 Limited Edition

Cohiba Sublimes 2004 Limited Edition

Origin : Cuba
Format : SublimeCohiba
Size : 6 1/2 x 54 (164 x 21.43 mm)
Released : 2004
Hand-Made
Price : N/A
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I’m going to do something a little different in this review and instead of reviewing a cigar in current production I am going to go deep into my aging humidor and have a cigar that I haven’t sampled for a long time.

Originally released in 2004, the Cohiba EL Sublimes attracted some very favorable reviews. In early 2005 I bought five of these cigars. I smoked two over the next couple of years and quite enjoyed them. I decided to age the remaining three but I did smoke one about 3 years ago before I started reviewing for this site.

Suffice to say that my collection grew exponentially since that time so these did get a little lost in the humidor but while doing my cigar rotation and autumn cleaning of the humidors this past week I decided to smoke one with the intent of making it a review. As we head into the 10th year anniversary of this cigar’s release I decided to see how this cigar has aged. Of course, the Sublimes are no longer readily available nor are they in production so this review will not factor cost or pricing at all. With that in mind, let’s see how this 2004 Sublime has aged.

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Montecristo 520 Limited Edition 2012

Montecristo 520 Limited Edition 2012

MontecristoOrigin : Cuba
Format : Maravillas No.3 [Robusto Extra]
Size : 55 x 155 mm (6.1 in)
Released in : 2012
Hand-Made
Price : ~12.80 Cuban Pesos (~$46.00 Canada)
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The Montecristo 520 Limited Edition 2012 is one of the 3 limited edition cigars announced at the 2012 Habanos Festival and was the last one to be released. The name comes from the 520th year anniversary of the discovery of tobacco in Cuba. The wrapper, filler and binder have been aged for a period of at least 2 years. My sample had a June 2012 production date box code. The Ediciones Limitadas are made with the finest tobacco leaves coming from Vuelta Abajo region, considered to be the best tobacco growing region in Cuba.

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Liga Privada No. 9

Liga Privada No. 9 Robusto

Origin : NicaraguaLiga Privada
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Ligero Oscuro
Filler : Honduran/Nicaraguan
Binder : Plantation-Grown Brazilian Mata Fina
Hand-Made
Price : ~$12
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Manufactured by Drew Estate, the Liga Privada was actually blended to be the exclusive cigar for the company president. Then the company thought that it was good enough to sell as their premium blend and voila, the Liga Privada No. 9 (Private Blend) was born. Of course, being a fickle aficionado myself, I often take the back stories with a grain of salt. I often wonder if these niche ultra-limited cigars are made more to capitalize on the trend in limited cigars. My research told me that it was heralded the Hottest Cigar in America in the July 13, 2013 issue of Cigar Aficionado’s online newsletter, Cigar Insider. Funny thing is, when I purchased this cigar I had never heard of it, or read the article yet. I bought mine in June of 2013. What made me buy it was its stunning appearance and classy look.

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Ashton Cabinet Selection No. 6

Ashton Cabinet Selection No.6 #1

Origin : Dominican RepublicAshton
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 ½ x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Shade
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : $10 each
More info about purchasing Ashton Cabinet cigars...

The Ashton Cabinet Selection No. 6 is another masterpiece made by the Fuente family. According to the Ashton website:

The Ashton Cabinet is the “White Burgundy” of cigars. “White Burgundy” gets its rich complex taste from the soil and aging of the grape in French oak barrels. The Cabinet’s 4 to 5 year old Dominican filler blend has a rich, complex and well rounded taste. The extraordinary Connecticut shade wrapper is aged for an extra year and has an elegant palamino color resulting in a smooth and creamy flavor. The Ashton Cabinet includes no less than six different tobaccos and ends with a “big finish.” Seven years pass from seedling to finished cigar before Ashton Cabinet is brought to fruition and presented for your smoking pleasure.

The Ashton Cabinet Selection series is offered in eleven different vitolas.

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H. Upmann Robusto Limited Edition 2012

H. Upmann Robusto Limited Edition 2012

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 20 mm
Ring : 50
Hand-Made
Price : $18.85 (Canada), $8.50 Cuban pesos (Cuba)
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The Ediciones Limitadas are released every year and are manufactured with carefully selected wrapper, filler and binder tobaccos which have been aged for a period of at least 2 years. The wrapper for these cigars comes from the top leaves of the Tapado – shade-grown black Cuban tobacco plant, and is a relevant characteristic that identifies these special productions. This wrapper is usually darker than the wrappers of regular range sizes of the brand and this is immediately noticeable to anyone who smokes H. Upmann cigars like I do.

The Ediciones Limitadas are made with the finest tobacco leaves coming from Vuelta Abajo and also feature long filler from that region. Since my favorite vitola is the Robusto, I was intrigued by the H. Upmann 2012 Edicion Limitada Robusto. This is a size that does not exist in the regular production run of H. Upmann Cigars. For cost purposes, I don’t set out to try all of the Limitadas, instead I focus on the ones that interest me.

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Alec Bradley Prensado Churchill

Alec Bradley Prensado #1

Origin : HondurasAlec Bradley
Format : Churchill
Size : 7 x 48
Wrapper : Honduras
Filler : Honduras, Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $11 each
More info about purchasing Alec Bradley Prensado cigars...

Given the high honor of Cigar Aficionado’s 2011 #1 Cigar of the Year, the Alec Bradley Prensado line could easily be considered an “overlooked” brand until the beginning of 2012. No, I certainly do not agree with most of the C.A. Top 25 choices however every now and then they do strike a gem (but don’t rate it high enough). However, I can actually say I was pretty excited to get this long Churchill lit up. Let’s see how she did…

A little back history on the Alec Bradley brand. Formed in 1996, the Alec Bradley Cigar Company is named after owner Alan Rubin’s two sons, Alec and Bradley. The Prensado brand hit the markets in 2009, just two years after the infamous Tempus line. The cigars are rolled at the Raices Cubanas Factory in Danlí, Honduras and are available in six different vitolas all packaged in boxes of 20.

On to the review…

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