J. Fuego Sangre de Toro Original

J. Fuego Sangre de Toro Original

Origin : HondurasJ. Fuego Cigars
Format : Original/Cheroot
Size : 5 x 44
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Colorado
Filler : Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo
Binder : Nicaraguan Criollo
Price : ~$2 each
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J. Fuego is one of a number of relatively new, "boutique" cigar brands that are taking the cigar world by storm. Founded just a few years ago in 2006 by Jesus Fuego (whose familial involvement in the cigar industry extends all the way back to 1876 in Cuba), the J. Fuego brand has quickly expanded to include five different lines, as well as the spin-off 777 brand. Sangre de Toro (which translates to "Bull's Blood") is the newest line, released in Spring 2011, and the Original is the newest vitola, released at ICPCR 2011. Jesus Fuego has described the tobacco used in the Sangre de Toro line as "heavy and well-aged stuff," and the Original vitola showcases all the richness that this tobacco can deliver. The Originals come five to a soft pack, and the very attractive design on the pack mimics the design on the Sangre de Toro bands; however, the Originals themselves are unbanded.

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Gurkha Black Dragon Imperial Presidente

Gurkha Black Dragon Imperial Presidente

Origin : HondurasGurkha
Format : Presidente
Size : 7 x 56
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Cameroon
Price : ~$12.00 each
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When I first started smoking fine cigars, this was one of the first cigars that I ever had. The beginning of my college career is right about the time this world opened up to me. There was a little cigar shop a couple miles from campus that I would go to occasionally. As I would walk around that shop, they carried the Robusto size of the Gurkha Black Dragon. One day I picked it up, and fell in love with fine cigars. So, in fact, this is the one cigar that opened up the cigar world for me. Now, five years later, I revisit this stick to see if it still has the same feel to it.

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La Palina El Diario

La Palina El Diario

Origin : Honduras
Format : Gordo
Size : 6 x 58
Wrapper : Honduran Corojo ’99 Rosado
Binder : Honduran Criollo ’98
Filler : Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ‘98
Price : $11.55 each
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I would like to thank Courtney from La Palina for sending me these cigars. Disclaimer: La Palina is an advertiser on CigarInspector.com.

La Palina was a cigar line originally manufactured by Congress Cigar Company way back in 1896. The line existed until 1926; when company founder Samuel Paley passed the company down to his son William, William took an interest in radio broadcasting and switched entirely away from cigars, creating the Columbia Broadcasting System. Congress Cigar Company ceased to exist. But now over a century after the founding of Congress Cigar Company, William’s son has decided to revive the original La Palina cigar line of his grandfather. Having had an opportunity to review the delightful La Palina Alison (Torpedo) earlier this year, I jumped on the chance to try the La Palina El Diario, a new blend. El Diario translates to “The Daily”, which is the intention behind this cigar — that this would be a great smoke for everyday. El Diario is available in five vitolas: Churchill (7x50), Torpedo (6.125x52), Gordo (6x58), Toro (6x50), and Robusto (5x52). Today I’ll be having a look at the gordo.

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Mataza Robusto Gordo (by Alec Bradley)

Mataza Robusto Gordo

Origin : Honduras
Format : Robusto Gordo
Size : 5 x 54
Wrapper : Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler : Nicaragua & Colombia
Binder : Honduras
Price : $3.40-$4.00, $85/box of 25

Many of you out there won’t know much about this cigar unless you have read Stogie Guys’ take on this brand. Mataza is made by Alec Bradley, in Honduras, comprised of a multinational blend of tobaccos. Devan Brown, of Hiland's Cigars in Scottsdale (which is the only store known to have these cigars in stock at this moment) got in contact with us here at Cigar Inspector, and sent me a sampler of 6 cigars consisting of 3 robusto gordos (5x54) and 3 magnums (6x60). I smoked most of the samples and came to the conclusion that the robusto gordo was the better of the two and decided to accent this stick in this review. So here goes,….

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Illusione ~88~ Candela

Illusione ~88~ Candela

Origin : Honduras
IllusioneFormat : Robusto
Size : 5.0″ x 52
Wrapper : Candela
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $9 each
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Green is the new Brown… Or something like that. Dion Giolito of Illusione Cigars seems to be single-handedly championing a return of the Candela wrapper to premium cigars. Once a mainstay of American cigar smoking, the modern smoker tends to look down on the green cigar wrapper as being too mild, near flavorless, or too grassy. The truth is they are right. Just about any candela wrapped cigar you find on the market today isn’t very good. It turns out that perhaps this is because no one bothers to put the wrapper on a good cigar. That is until Dion started putting it on his Illusione cigars. The first to get the green treatment was the lancero - the ~hl~ or Holy Lance. Now you can also find the Candela on the very large ~888~ and the beefy robusto ~88~.

When I saw the Candela ~88~ on the shelf and I was intrigued. I hadn’t tried a Candela wrapped cigar in ages and none I have ever had were any good, but this time the wrapper was on a cigar/blend that I knew I really enjoyed so I had to give it a try. I was amazed. The wrapper dramatically changes the cigar when compared to an ~88~ with its normal Nicaraguan wrapper. It was crisp and smooth. The Illusione core flavors of Earth and leather are still very much present, but they are expertly balanced with a slight sweetness and tea notes. Later in the smoke I started to pick up a floral component to the flavors as well. It was an amazingly good smoke, complex in flavor and visually interesting with its bright green wrapper. This is one Candela that is certainly worth trying.

Room 101 Conjura Edition Petit Corona

Room 101 Conjura Edition Petit Corona

Origin : Honduras (Eiroa/Camacho)
Room 101 cigarsFormat : Petit Corona
Size : 4 x 48
Wrapper : Rosado (Origin?)
Filler : Dominican & Nicaraguan
Binder : Honduran
Price : $7.50-$8.00
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For some reason, over the last year, I have ignored the Room 101 brand at my local B&M even though they came highly recommended from the store manager. To me, a cigar blended by Camacho (Eiroa family) didn’t sound appealing since, truthfully, I never really cared much for them. Camacho’s have always been lackluster but very serviceable cigars. Somehow, Matt Booth, the head of Room 101, has teamed with the Eiroas and squeezed what seems to be the best thing I have smoked out of that factory. Check out below what makes this partnership so great.

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Illusíone Singularé 2010 Phantom

Illusíone Singularé 2010 Phantom

Origin : Honduras
IllusioneFormat : Toro
Size : 6.0′ x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $12 each
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The Phantom is the 2010 version of Illusione’s Limited Edition “Singularé” cigar line. It is a refined looking toro with a handsome wrapper that has the look of fine leather. It is a mild to medium bodied smoke. Not much spice to be found here which is unusual of a cigar that uses all Nicaraguan tobacco. It starts off light and mild with creamy flavors of cedar and toasted tobacco with a subtle bit of earthiness. Eventually it picks up a bit. The flavors are consistent but develop more body and there is an added floral undertone and a bit of sweetness that adds some complexity. This was an excellent smoke and a very different profile for Illusione. I found it to be even lighter and more mild that some of the Epernay line. Still mild doesn’t mean flavorless as this stick had plenty to offer. I feel like I use this word a lot when talking about various cigars from Illusione, but it fits so I’ll use it again… Elegant. This cigar has a very refined and elegant feel to it. Grab some if you can still find them.

Gran Habano Corojo #5

Gran Habano Corojo

Gran HabanoOrigin : Honduras
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Habano
Binder : Nicaraguan Habano
Filler : Nicaragua, Mexico and Costa Rica
Price : ~$4-5 each
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Background Info

Honduran cigar maker Don Guillermo Rico created the Gran Habano line of cigars in 2003, five years after starting his own successful cigar manufacturing business.

Mission Debrief

This is another cigar that has lived in my second humidor for quite a long time, probably before I bought it and its contents from my friend. As I know I have smoked a few of these in the past but couldn’t really remember if I liked it or not, I figured this one was as likely a candidate for interrogation as anything else in the humidor. The only problem with this review was that I started it too late in the evening and ended up not being able to get photos once I started smoking.

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