Romeo y Julieta Churchill

Romeo y Julieta Churchill

Origin : CubaRomeo y Julieta
Format : Churchill
Size : 178 x 18.65 mm
Ring : 47
Hand-Made
Price : ~$19 each in Canada
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The Romeo y Julietta Churchill is as classic as classic gets. It is quite popular amongst occasional and seasoned smokers. A pre-1960 release, it has been in vogue since then. As some of you know, I do not hold the Romeo y Julieta marca in my heart but I was advised by a real hardcore aficionado that the new batches were up to par with the Churchill heyday.

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Fuente Fuente Opus X Magnum O

Fuente Fuente Opus X Magnum O

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 4 3/4 x 56
Wrapper : Vintage Dominican Republic from 100% Cuban Seed
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$18
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Opus X cigars...

Sometimes it is easy or perhaps lazy for people to draw their own conclusions about a cigar having been lured by the sexy marketing and buzz created when a company releases very limited cigars. Sometimes people make a false assumption that a cigar is good simply because of its price tag. For instance, there are many novice smokers that accept as a fact that because a cigar is tough to get and costs a lot of money it means that there is some prejudice to the cigar, with a skewed opinion on it before one even touches flame to foot. There is an adage among novice smokers, and I’ve even seen it with more experienced smokers that a cheap cigar must taste bad and an expensive one must be pure heaven.

If you’ve been smoking cigars long enough you know that you have to get past the marketing hype, presentation, fancy bands and “buzz” to actually get around to tasting the cigar to formulate your own opinion. Taste is subjective. What may be good for one might taste awful to others. Some prefer sweeter cigars while some prefer more grassy/woodsy cigars. Everyone’s palate is different but you’ll know a bad cigar when you taste it and usually, you can taste a gem within the first few puffs.

With that said, I recently took shipment of some Opus X cigars. In my humidor I now have the Belicoso XXX and the one being reviewed here, the Magnum O. These cigars are extremely hard to get. You usually have to be at the cigar shop when they are released and hope that the regular clientele did not pre-order them. Luckily I have a good friend in the Tampa Bay area who was able to obtain these stogies for me. They weren’t cheap, with the Magnum O’s costing $18.00 each. However, I have seen them at some online retailers for as low as 12.75 which is more probably never going to happen because they are never in stock, and as high as $25.00. I have also seen them listed for $40.00 or more at some Canadian retailers.

I generally have a love/hate relationship with Fuente cigars. I feel they simply offer too much product in their catalogue... for example just look at the sheer number of Opus X's. I wish many non-Cuban cigar companies would follow the Cuban lead and limit the size selections and make fewer, better smokes than experimenting with another ¼ inch here or 1/8th inch there. This is my personal opinion but I find that this often leads to consumer confusion. Fuente’s along with Padrons are akin to the Cohiba of non-Cuban cigars. As such, you will pay a premium for them.

For the purpose of this review I smoked two of them in the span of 4 days to ensure that I was getting a proper understanding of the cigar. A word of caution from the outset; this smoke is powerful. I recommend less seasoned smokers have this one late in the day after a big meal. More advanced smokers know what they can tolerate but I still suggest having a little something in your stomach before embarking on one of these. Also, have your drink of choice handy. I happened to pair my second smoke with some Port and really found that irrespective of my review, the pairing worked. So, without further ado, how did the Fuente Fuente Opus X Magnum O fare?

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Cohiba Robusto

Cohiba Robusto

Origin : Cuba
Format : RobustoCohiba
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm
Box code : April 2009
Weight : 11.66 g
Hand-Made
Price : ~$265 for a box of 25 (if bought in Cuba)
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Perhaps one of the more reviewed cigars has to be the Cohiba Robusto. I find that smokers of this cigar either love it or hate it with no real in-between. I for one don’t like all my cigars to taste the same and look to different brands and varieties to keep my interest. What good would only drinking your favorite bottle of wine be? At some point the anticipation of enjoying that glass of wine or, in this case, that cigar would be lost. This is why I ensure my humidor always has cigars with different flavor profiles and vitolas. This particular sample came from a batch that was brought back to me from Cuba by a vacationing friend back in 2009. With a box date of April 2009, this cigar is ready for smoking. Being one of my favorite robustos, I’ve smoked many of these over the years. For the purpose of this review though, I was sure to pay special attention to why this robusto has become a must have in my humidor. Having been a fairly regular smoker of this cigar for the last 10 years or so, it has been my experience that this cigar does benefit from a little age and, at 3 years, becomes very smokeable. Younger samples tend to be a tad bitter as you approach the center of the cigar and that bitterness lingers. I find that a little age does it well in that regard.

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Padrón Serie 1926 40th Anniversary Maduro

Padrón Serie 1926 40th Anniversary Maduro

PadronOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6.5 x 54
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $25
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Padrón has a habit of celebrating important anniversaries with style, and the company’s 40th Anniversary is no exception. In 2004, Padrón released a stunning box-pressed torpedo named the Serie 1926 40th Anniversary. It garnered almost universal critical acclaim when it came out, but can this cigar hold up to its own mystique eight years later?

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Avo La Trompeta 86th Anniversary Limited Edition

Avo La Trompeta 86th Anniversary Limited Edition

Avo CigarsOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Diadema
Size : 6.5 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Filler : Dominican & Peruvian
Binder : Dominican Piloto
Hand-Made
Price : ~$15 each
More info about purchasing Avo La Trompeta...

The AVO 86th Anniversary cigar, “La Trompeta”, is a Limited Edition release to celebrate the 86th anniversary of Avo Uvezian. The name “La Trompeta” means the work of his lifetime — both music and cigars.

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H. Upmann Magnum 48 2009 Edicion Limitada

H. Upmann Magnum 48 2009 Limited Edition

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Short Robusto
Size : 110 x 19.1 mm (4 1/4 x 48)
Release : 2009
Hand-Made
Price : ~$12 each
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H. Upmann Magnum 48 was part of the 2009 Edicion Limitada series released every year by Habanos S.A. I had smoked one of these about a year ago and it kind of stuck to me. You know when you have a cigar that stays in your head for a while. Well, that was one of those. I only had two of these so I waited another year to smoke it. Now it’s time to turn this one into another special moment.

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Hoyo de Monterrey Short Hoyo Piramides 2011 LE

Hoyo de Monterrey Short Hoyo Piramides 2011 Limited Edition

Origin : CubaHoyo de Monterrey
Format : Short Robusto
Size : 5.3 x 46
Released : 2011
Hand-Made
Price : ~$14/piece
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The Hoyo de Monterrey Short Hoyo Pirámides Limited Edition 2011 was released at the end of last year by Habanos S.A, describing it as mild yet complex, a perfect cigar for beginning smokers. I managed to get mine (smoked a fiver for this review) in Rome's La Casa del Habano this spring and had waited a couple of months before sitting down tête-à-tête. Seems like it was worth the wait.

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Ramon Allones Extra 2011 Limited Edition

Ramon Allones Extra 2011 Limited Edition

Ramon AllonesOrigin : Cuba
Format : Corona
Size : 143 x 17.07 mm (5.6 x 44)
Ring : 44
2 cigars smoked for the review
Hand-Made
Price : ~$13 each
More info about purchasing Ramon Allones cigars...

The Ramon Allones “Allones Extra” is part of the 2011 Limited Edition collection by Habanos S.A, and was the first Ramon Allones Edicion Limitada cigar since that brand’s inception in 1837. The band on the cigar is a historic one, which contributes to the collectible status of the cigar. The wrapper, binder, and filler have all been made out of aged Cuban tobacco leaves from Vuelta Abajo. The Ramon Allones “Allones Extra” is widely regarded as a top notch cigar, and it’s easy to see why.

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