Vegas Robaina XV Aniversario Pre-Release (Canada RE)

Vegas Robaina XV Aniversario Pre-Release (Canada RE)

Origin : CubaVegas Robaina
Format : Sublime
Size : 6.5 (164 mm) x 54
Release : 2012
Price : ~$50 each
More info about purchasing Vegas Robaina cigars...

Back in November I attended the famous Partagas festival in Havana, Cuba along with the Toronto contingent. This was my first time going and I must say I am now hooked. After a few days of hunting in every cigar store in town, I was invited by the good people at the Montreal branch of the Casa Del Habanos to a pre-launch tasting of this year’s Edicion Regional Canada, the Vegas Robaina Aniversario XV Exclusivo Canada. Vegas Robaina is not a marca I particularly appreciate but I am more than ready to have my mind changed.

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Cohiba Behike BHK 52

Cohiba Behike BHK 52

Origin : Cuba
Format : Petit RobustoCohiba
Size : 119 (4.7'') x 20.64 mm
Ring : 52
Price : In Cuba $18.50 (Other Parts of the World, $30.00 -$45.00)
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars...

In 2010, Cohiba officially unveiled perhaps one of its more exclusive cigars ever. The cigar received extensive reviews at the time of release ranging from over-priced to the best cigar the reviewer had ever tasted. I understand that whenever a cigar is priced in the highest end of the price range for a particular product, there will often be resentment associated with that. However, the fact they are priced in the “exclusive” end is perhaps why they are consistently sold out even two years after their release. Although we can still call this cigar new to the scene, it really isn’t all that new to the aficionado anymore because anyone with a passion for Cuban cigars knows very well about the story behind these cigars and their desire among smokers and collectors alike. One of the best cigars to come out of Cuba in a long time is also one of the most, if not THE most expensive to come off the Island and as a result, people will have varying opinions, often wrongly, because of that price tag.

What makes the Behike so special is that unlike many other Cubans, this cigar, for all intent and purpose really needs no aging in large part due to the fact that the cigar is essentially constructed with aged tobacco. For example, the filler is made up of tobacco known as medio tiempo which is a sun-grown leaf that grows at the top of tobacco plants. Not all tobacco plants produce this leaf though but it is known to be full-bodied and loaded with coffee-like flavors with a very creamy texture to the smoke. Essentially, this leaf has elements of tobacco leaf that has already been aged and, even with young medio tiempo, one can detect the same creamy, earthy and coffee-like flavors of a well-aged cigar. The BHK comes in 52, 54 and 56 which corresponds to their respective ring gauges and, once stabilized for humidity, can be smoked “out of the box”.

I’ve been lucky enough to obtain 2 boxes both from Cuba and at Cuban pricing. The first one, bearing a box date of October 2011, was brought back for me in early December of 2011 from a vacationing friend. At 180 Cuban Pesos per cigar, the 10-count box worked out to 18.00 Cuban Pesos per stick. With an exchange rate to the Canadian dollar being almost equal, we can fairly say that these cigars were roughly $18.00 each. The second box was purchased for me in June of 2012 and they carried a box date of May 2012. Again, I placed the order through a vacationing friend and that second box cost me 183.00 Cuban Convertible Pesos or roughly $185.00 Canadian dollars for a 10 count box ($18.50 each cigar).

These cigars sell out fast wherever they are, indicating that the price is not keeping people from indulging in the pleasure. I’ll comment some more about this later. First, however, let’s talk about these cigars of which I have 1 box left, having smoked the last one out of my first box just a few weeks ago.

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Room 101 OSOK 212 NYC Edition

Room 101 OSOK 212 NYC Edition

Origin : Honduras
Room 101 cigarsFormat : Various
Size : N/A
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Filler : Honduran Corojo & Dominican Piloto
Binder : Honduran Corojo Seco
Price : $12.50+

We are back with another exclusive to one of the best cigar shops/lounges around… The Cigar Inn. The cigar line that we are reviewing is the O.S.O.K. (One Shot One Kill) 212 NYC Limited Exclusive. And we have made yet another addition to our fine group of reviewers. Now joining my Father Nick Sr., Neal and myself (Nick Jr.) will be Ricky in his very first official review with us. Now a little O.S.O.K. history…

The O.S.O.K. 212 NYC is an addition (though a limited exclusive) to the original O.S.O.K line. The O.S.O.K. line is a spin-off/addition to the Room 101 line (a joint venture between Camacho Cigars and Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars). The Room 101 brand is owned by Camacho Cigars which in turn is now owned by The Oettinger Davidoff Group (Zino Davidoff Cigars). Got all that? But this is all about the O.S.O.K. 212 NYC. Only 3,000 cigars in 10 count boxes are being produced across the 4 vitola line which shows just how limited this stick is! The 212 series, (212 is the area code in Manhattan. A tribute to New York City.), consists of two diademas (commonly referred to as salomons) and two parejos (standard vitola shape).

The Cigar Inn has been working very hard to provide only the very best to its clientele. Through very careful and thorough screening they have decided that the O.S.O.K. 212 NYC was the perfect cigar to represent the Cigar Inn name. Matt Booth, founder of Room 101 has also expressed his excitement in bringing this unique stick to The Cigar Inn. It is a top shelf stick that belongs in a top shelf shop, and Mr. Booth has found that in The Cigar Inn and its owners, the Fakih brothers: Billy, Bass and Gus. And you will never meet a nicer bunch of guys!

Now, on to the reviews…

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La Escepcion Selectos Finos (Regional Edition Italy)

La Escepcion Selectos Finos (Regional Edition Italy)

Origin : CubaLa Escepcion
Format : Panetela
Size : 6.5 (166 mm) x 38
Released : 2011
Price : $15+ each
More info about purchasing La Escepcion cigars...

This cigar was sent to me by another generous Redditor from Canada so I could review it.

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Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva

Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva

Origin : Cuba
Factory : El LaguitoCohiba
Format : Canonazo
Size : 150 (5.9'') x 20.64 mm
Ring : 52
Price : $100+ each
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars...

With only 5,000 boxes made, harvested from the best tobacco of the 2003 crop, the Gran Reserva signifies the best possible product from Cuba. Here's more about this special smoke: Habanos Press release. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to smoke a cigar of this magnitude, even at nearly a dollar per millimeter of tobacco.

As I take it out of my trunk humidor, I can't help but notice how unassuming it is. The wrapper looks like any other Habano, light brown and thin with very little visible veins - just a little more red in color. I expected it to be heftier than it is: most Cohibas are packed very tightly, but not this one. Upon clipping it, I notice the pre-light draw is very easy - different from most Sig VI's.

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Romeo y Julieta Petit Piramides 2005 Limited Edition

Romeo y Julieta Belicoso 2005 Limited Edition

Origin : CubaRomeo y Julieta
Format : Petit Piramide
Size : 127 x 19.84 mm (5 x 50)
Release : 2005
Price : ~$15 each (if you can locate them)
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars...

I spotted this beautiful stick at Casa Fuster in Barcelona and, of course, I just had to pick up a sampler of these classic smokes. Even though I'm not a fan of the Romeo y Julieta brand, I had high expectations for this petit torpedo, mostly because of its age. 7 years (at least, because limited edition leaves are supposed to be aged prior to the release) seemed sufficient to me for the cigar to start shining, so I didn't wait long before firing one up. In fact, I was so impatient that I torched it 20 minutes after the purchase in a café nearby.

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Fuente Fuente Opus X Belicoso xXx

Fuente Fuente Opus X Belicoso xXx

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Belicoso
Size : 4 5/8 x 49
Ring : 49
Wrapper : Shade-grown Dominican Rosado
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$20+ each
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Opus X cigars...

For this review I chose to smoke a cigar from my “hard to find” group in my humidor. The Fuente Fuente Opus X brand has many cigars in their line-up with different blends. The only thing they share besides the band is the fact that they are all made of Dominican filler, binder and wrapper. Opus X cigars are normally nicknamed by their fans and this particular cigar therefore also goes by the names “Power Ranger” “Triple X” or “X3”. Whatever you chose to call it, two things will remain common. The difficulty in obtaining them and their price. Although they carry with them an MSRP of $10.50, most vendors jack up the price when they have them in stock because the demand for them far outstrips supply. On most occasions you will be paying well over $20.00 for them (more in the “value” section of the review).

The Fuente Fuente Opus XXX cigar is perhaps the most popular high end non-Cuban cigar in the world. One would expect that a cigar that carries with it a hefty price tag would smoke like a dream. One would expect magnificent complexity and flawless construction. You would also expect that a cigar with as much “hype” built around the name will leave you wanting more. These cigars have become one of the most sought after cigars, akin to the Cuban Cohiba line. With all that said, I want to share with you my experience of how this cigar measures up in terms of the 4 points we cigar smokers like to take note of when smoking a cigar. Remember that in life beauty is only skin deep. The same holds true in the cigar world. Does this cigar measure up to the looks and the hype? For the purpose of this review I smoked two cigars a week apart to ensure objectivity.

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Vegas Robaina Petit Robaina (Canada Regional Edition)

Vegas Robaina Petit Robaina

Origin : CubaVegas Robaina
Format : Petit Edmundo
Size : 110 x 21 mm (4.3 x 52)
Release : 2009
Price : ~$15 each
More info about purchasing Vegas Robaina cigars...

I have always been a fan of the Vegas Robaina line of cigars. I remember years ago falling in love with the Famosos and buying enough to consider it my daily cigar. Of course, times have changed and although I still smoke the Famosos, they aren’t my daily go to cigar anymore but I always keep a few in my well-stocked humidor when I want a reliable, medium-bodied cigar with a pleasing, consistent flavour.

When it was announced in 2009 that Habanos SA was releasing a special Canadian Regional Edition, the Petit Robaina, I had to have a box. I managed to purchase a box in early 2010 for the cost of $230.00 here at a duty free supplier in Canada. That worked out to be $9.20 per cigar. Today, the cigars, if still found, are selling for $366 for a box of 25 from the same duty free supplier ($14.00 for singles). I have searched for these and have found them to be selling for as high as $27.00 per cigar. Remember, these are limited edition cigars with a small production run exclusively for Canadian Habanos S.A. vendors.

I remember smoking one as soon as I got it and it was admittedly young and still had some ammonia present so I did the difficult thing to do and that was put the box away in my humidor and wait. Recently, with these cigars having aged over 3 years, it was time to break them open and start smoking them. I’ve had 7 of them now over the past 2 months so I have been able to gain a pretty good feel for their profile and have made many notes about their construction and consistency.

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