Leccia Black Robusto Natural

Leccia Black Robusto

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : RobustoLeccia Cigars
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Filler : Nicaraguan, Dominican, Mata Fina, Dark Fire
Binder : Nicaraguan Rosado
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
More info about purchasing Leccia Black cigars...

Sam Leccia is well known for his long association with Oliva. In 2012, he was able to break away and start up his own premium cigar company (after a few unpleasant setbacks involving Oliva in 2011). The Leccia Black is one of a duo of “Black and White” cigars, the other of course being the Sam Leccia White, made in Nicaragua. The Black is manufactured in the Dominican Republic, and comes in four sizes: Corona, Robusto, Toro, and XO (Gordo). It comes wrapped in an Ecuadorian Habano with a Nicaraguan Rosado binder enclosing a filler blended of Dominican and Nicaraguan ligeros, Brazilian viso, and “Dark Fire” tobaccos which have been wood-fire-cured.

The fire-cured aspect of this cigar makes it truly unique. The majority of cigars are made with air-cured tobacco. Fire-curing removes moisture and is generally used for pipe and chewing tobacco. This process results in a “smoky” flavor. Doesn’t just the sound of that make you excited? Let’s check it out!

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Durango “Fox and the Hound”

Durango Fox & Hound

Origin : NC
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : NC
Filler : Virginia Cavendish
Binder : NC
Hand-Made
Price : $7.50/cigar via durangocigars.com

We would like to thank Jordan from Durango Cigars for providing a free sampler for this review.

Durango cigars are cigars made with pipe tobacco. This cigar was a “Fox and the Hound” which is, according to the Durango Pipe Tobacco Cigar website, “a light bodied Virginia Cavendish, aged with vanilla beans to offer a creamy, lightly sweet taste and memorable pipe aroma.” The website does not specify origin of tobacco or if other cigar sizes are available. The site implies these are hand rolled with aged tobacco. Opening the bag containing the cigars, I was accosted by the aroma of pipe tobacco, as if I had just opened a jar of pipe tobacco.

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Aging Room Maduro Mezzo

Aging Room Maduro Mezzo

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 54
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Maduro
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8-9 each
More info about purchasing Aging Room cigars...

The Aging Room Maduro was one of five new blends from Rafael Nodal’s Boutique Blends in 2013. Nodal specifically created the Aging Room brand in order to produce small batch releases using rare tobaccos. The Aging Room Maduro is quite a popular and critically acclaimed cigar, and could easily become the mainstay blend for the line. It is available in five vitolas, the Presto, Rondo, Mezzo, Major and Alto. For this review, I smoked the Mezzo, which measures 6 x 54.

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A. Flores Serie Privada Capa Habano

A. Flores 1975 Serie Privada Capa Habano SP52

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Box-pressed RobustoPDR Cigars
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $9.75 each
More info about purchasing A. Flores Serie Privada...

Abe Flores is a big name in the cigar world, but may not be a name you know well, because he has spent a great deal of his career doing contract work producing cigars for other brands. He has become known for his own Dominican boutique cigar brand however, Pinar del Rio (PDR). In 2012, he decided to craft a cigar under his own name. The result was the A. Flores Serie Privada.

All the A. Flores Serie Privada cigars include Nicaraguan Habano binders and a combination of Nicaraguan Habano and Dominican Corojo as the filler leaves, but two different wrappers were produced: the Ecuadorian Habano (“Capa Habano”) and the Maduro Habano Ecuador (“Capa Maduro”). According to PDR, “The Habano wrapper delivers great complexity and a creamy, cool, medium-body cigar. Best way to describe this is creamy sweetness with a touch of spice at the finish … The Habano Maduro wrapper is a medium-body cigar that starts with some natural sweetness, then delivers some spice.” For this review, I smoked the Capa Habano.

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Illusione Fume d’Amour Viejos

Illusione Fume d'Amour Viejos

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : RobustoIllusione
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$9.50 each
More info about purchasing Illusione Fume d'Amour...

Illusione isn’t a brand that adds several new cigars to its line every year—and that’s a good thing. The pressure to release a new cigar every year can lead to compromises in quality, and personally I think it’s best when a company puts in as much time as it needs to in order to make something really excellent. At the time of its releae at 2014 IPCPR, the Illusione Fume d'Amour was the first new cigar line from this brand in three years, which makes it a very exciting release.

The name Fume d'Amour uses French words but according to a friend it doesn't really make sense to French ears (it should have rather been called fumée d'amour). I guess it could be translated to "love smoke" or "to love to smoke". It’s a Nicaraguan puro manufactured at the TABSA Factory in Jalapa. As a matter of interest, no ligero leaves were used in its construction, only seco and viso leaves. It’s available in four sizes: Lagunas (4.5 x 42), Clementes (6.5 x 48), Viejos (5 x 50), and Capristanos (6 x 56). For this review, I smoked the Viejos.

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Monte by Montecristo Jacopo No. 2

Monte by Montecristo Jacopo No. 2

Origin : Dominican RepublicMontecristo
Format : Square-pressed Torpedo
Size : 6.1 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican Olor and Nicaraguan Corojo
Hand-Made
Price : ~$9
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Monte by Montecristo was released in 2013, billed as the strongest cigar in the Montecristo line. It is a fresh twist on an old concept. According to Altadis, “The Monte’s signature feature is the inclusion of two binders: a spicy Dominican Olor combined with a strong and aromatic Nicaraguan Corojo, which adds strength, firmness, and complexity.” There are three different vitolas available: the Conde, measuring 5.5 x 48, the Monte measuring 6 x 60, and the Jacopo No. 2, measuring 6.1 x 54. I smoked the Jacopo No. 2. You have probably noticed this is a unique name for a vitola. As a note of literary interest, the name “Jacopo” is taken from a character in The Count of Monte Cristo.

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Villiger Colorado

Villiger Colorado

Origin : Dominican RepublicVilliger Cigars
Format : Double Robusto
Size : 5.5 x 54
Wrapper : Jalapa Colorado
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Esteli Habano and Ometepe Habano
Hand-Made
Price : $9.50 each
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This review was written by El Cigar Newbie, who recently launched his blog at 4madur0.wordpress.com. Enjoy!

My vast knowledge of smoking a wide variety of cigars for about a whopping three years, certainly qualifies my AKA as el-cigar-newbie, and I do blog for the el-newbie nation. In this time line I have bought packs, samplers, bundles, mazos etc. As if that was not enough, three Humidors later, I joined the Cigar of the Month Club online at cigarsinternational.com. My love for cigars is growing, and getting more cigars at a bargain price is always appealing. Yesterday my monthly club sampler was delivered and the first cigar was randomly picked, cut and lit before looking at the cigar band. I just love surprises!

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CAO Amazon Basin

CAO Amazon Basin

Origin : Nicaragua
CAO CigarsFormat : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler : Dominican Republic, Columbian, Brazilian Braganca
Binder : Nicaraguan
Blender : Rick Rodriquez
Hand-Made
Price : ~$7 each
More info about purchasing CAO Amazon Basin cigars...

We’ve heard it all before… limited edition cigars made from scarce materials. Then, a year later, they are still readily available, everywhere. But in the case of the new CAO Amazon Basin, its rarity is only part of the intrigue. It’s truly a cigar with a story to tell. I was lucky enough to get one of the last available boxes, and now, four cigars in, consider myself lucky indeed.

According to the official CAO statement, the Amazon Basin cigar “utilizes rare organic tobacco cultivated at small farms in remote regions of the Amazonian Rainforest. The tobacco called ‘Braganca’ is grown in virgin lands and is harvested just once every three years…the leaves are rolled by hand into tubes called ‘carottes’, and left to rest under high pressure. After six months of natural fermentation inside the carrotes, they are transported by canoe from the rainforest and delivered to our factory.” Wow, that’s quite a story! One interesting aspect of cigar smoking is how we experience exotic locales through the tobaccos we smoke. And the Amazonian Rainforest is about as exotic as it gets. If nothing else, smoking an Amazon Basin cigar is a curiosity. But what I’ve discovered is a cigar so unique; it actually lives up to the hype.

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