Por Larranaga Montecarlo

Por Larranaga Montecarlo

Origin : CubaPor Larranaga
Format : Slim Panetela (Delicioso)
Size : 6.3 x 33
Hand-Made
Price : ~$125 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing Por Larranaga cigars...

I got this cigar in a trade on r/cigars and, to be honest, wasn't expecting much out of it. Not my favorite brand, not my favorite format (although Montecristo Especial No. 1, a slightly thicker panatela, is a fine smoke!). These cigars used to be machine-made back in the days, but now proudly bear the hand-made tag. Besides, they are rather cheap... Let's see how the Por Larranaga Montecarlo fared?

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H. Upmann No. 2

H. Upmann No. 2

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Piramide
Size : 156 x 20.64 mm
Ring : 52
Weight : 14.26 g
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6.60 Cuban pesos
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars...

With winter almost upon us here in Canada, cigar season is starting to come to a close, if not already. I still use milder days to get out there and enjoy a cigar but surely my daily routine that I have during the warmer months is at an end. The quantity of reviews may decrease over the next few months but I still have some reviewed cigars that should follow with fully written reviews for you that I hope will give you some suggestions for stocking up your humidors for next year’s smoking season. That’s what I do during these colder months.

For this review I chose to write about a cigar I am very familiar with, the H. Upmann No. 2. This cigar is one of my personal favorites in this vitola (for flavour) and putting aside all construction issues that I will discuss later, the flavour of this cigar is what keeps me coming back IF the price is right. This particular cigar that I smoked for this review was from a 2010 box purchased in Cuba. A box of 25 cost me I believe $160 Cuban Pesos or just over $6 Cuban Pesos per cigar in early 2010. They retail in Canada at some of the online duty free vendors for approximately $17.00 per cigar and if you are forced to pay full retail you can expect to pay over $24.00 per cigar (thanks in large part to the crazy Canadian tobacco taxes).

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Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 Gran Consul

Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970

Origin : NicaraguaJoya de Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 4.75 x 60
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Havana-seed
Binder : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6-7 each
More info about purchasing Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970...

The Antano! One of the most powerful cigars on the market. In fact for many years it was THE most powerful cigar around. Here's some info from the manufacturer:

Antaño in Spanish means "yesteryear", a name that is a tribute to the Joya de Nicaragua cigar of the 70's when the brand became one of the favorite smokes in the US market.

This is a full bodied cigar, made totally by hand with 100% Nicaraguan tobacco. The filler, binder and wrapper are Havana Criollo seed grown in Nicaragua. The shiny Colorado wrapper and the complexity of the blend give a very distinctive personality to this cigar, created to satisfy the most exigent smoker who looks for a strong cigar, rich in taste and aroma. Introduced in 2002, Antaño actually is one of the favorite cigars in the American Market and is a symbol of the true Nicaraguan puro.

I’m not normally a fan of big ring gauge cigars, but there is something special about the Gran Consul that sets it apart from the smaller sizes in the Antano line.

This beefy cigar is very oily looking and has a nice dull point to the torpedo end. The cigar clips easy and the pre-light draw is very open; but not due to being under-filled as this cigar is very densely rolled.

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My Father Cedros Deluxe Eminentes

My Father Cedros Deluxe Eminentes

Origin : NicaraguaMy Father Cigars
Format : Corona
Size : 5.5 x 46
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $7-9 each
More info about purchasing My Father Cedros Deluxe...

My Father cigars may only be a recent name in the world of premium cigars, founded in 2003 by Don José “Pepin” Garcia, but it’s a world famous one. My Father’s motto is, “the art, tradition, and style of Cuba,” though their cigars are not manufactured there. My Father Cedros Deluxe Eminentes was crafted with a Nicaraguan binder and filler wrapped in an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado leaf.

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Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Epicure

Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Epicure

Origin : HondurasArturo Fuente
Format : Robusto
Size : : 5 1/4" x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Shade
Binder : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : $30 for a 5-pack
More info about purchasing Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur cigars...

I am always on the lookout for non-Cuban cigars that I can add to my collection. I have often heard about the Hoyo De Monterrey Excalibur but never had the opportunity to try it. While in Manhattan a few months back I decided to seek them out and was able to find a 5-pack for $30.00. I was told by the clerk that they did not have many more available and that they sell out pretty quick. I figured it had something to do with the very affordable price of $6.00 a cigar and was actually hoping that it had more to do with the cigar itself. The MSRP for this cigar is $5.00 so I am sure that you can find this cigar online for that price. So how does this $5.00 to $7.00 robusto-sized cigar hold up? I wanted to be as fair as possible so I smoked two cigars 4 days apart. The following is my review detailing my experience.

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Partagas Serie P No. 2

Partagas Serie P No. 2

Origin : CubaPartagas
Format : Piramide
Size : 156 x 20.64 mm (6 1/8 x 52)
Year : 2009
Hand-Made
Price : $6.60 each (Cuba)
More info about purchasing Partagas cigars...

I am a huge fan of robusto size cigars of late. Before that, however, I was predominantly a smoker of figurado cigars. I am quite familiar with the old go-to cigar in this vitola, the Montecristo No. 2, but there are many other figurado cigars that rank just as high if not better. Among this particular vitola, I have preferences and they are the H. Upmann No. 2 and the Partagas Series P. No. 2. After having focused on smoking some of the Upmann No. 2s lately, I thought I would reach into my humidor and pull out a Partagas from my 2009 box given that I had not had one in a while. I remember smoking this cigar when it was young. It wasn’t bad but it could have used some additional age. With over 3 years of age on it now, I feel the time is right to start enjoying these. So how did the Series P No. 2 score?

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Tatuaje Miami Reserva J21 Robusto

Tatuaje Miami Reserva J21 Robusto

TatuajeOrigin : Miami, FL
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$9-10 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje J21 Reserva cigars...

This is my review of the Tatuaje Miami Reserva Series J21 Robusto (5x50). After trying a sampler of these I ended up picking up a box. They work out to about $9 a cigar.

The J21 has some interesting backstory. It's a Nicaraguan filler with a Nicaraguan wrapper, and it's blended by Don Pepin and rolled at the Little Havana section of the El Rey de Los Habanos factory in Miami for Pete Johnson.

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The Recluse Toro

The Recluse Toro

Origin : Dominican RepublicRecluse cigars
Format : Toro
Size : 6 1/4 x 50
Wrapper : Brazilian Maduro
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Cameroon
Hand-Made
Price : $7.80

I was recently sent a couple of pre-release cigars to review from Iconic Leaf Cigar Company, a relative newcomer to the cigar industry. According to the company’s literature, Iconic Leaf Cigar was founded by two very well-known and well-respected legends in the cigar industry who have chosen to remain anonymous in their pursuit to make the very best premium boutique cigars that can be found anywhere in the world without the influence of their names. Iconic Leaf Cigar’s founders may have chosen to keep their identities private but their leader has not. Led by J.R. Dominguez, son of legendary cigar maker Jose Dominguez, Iconic Leaf is extremely excited about their new line-up of cigars recently unveiled at the IPCPR trade show in Orlando. According to the company, all tobacco leaf in the RECLUSE goes through EIGHT fermentation cycles and is a collection of what they deem to be “truly iconic leaf” from around the world. The RECLUSE cigar selection is produced exclusively at the Leyendas Cubanas factory run by Don Jose Rafael.

First, a little bit about the Recluse cigar straight from their website:

The RECLUSE cigar is comprised of the absolute finest of everything. From the seed that is sown, to the blend of the tobacco leaves that make up this masterpiece, to the painstaking fermentation. Under the watchful eye of the maestro, Don Jose Rafael in the Leyendas Cubanas factory, each cigar goes through a Club Med for cigars, if you will. Each leaf is hand selected from only the finest tobacco leaves of the harvest. From the Flavorful and smooth Brazilian Maduro wrapper and Cameroon binder, to the specifically selected Dominican leaf variations in the filler, these cigars are what we believe to be the finest in the world. Each and every leaf in the RECLUSE goes through EIGHT fermentation cycles. Why? Because Don Jose Rafael will not settle for mediocrity. Every RECLUSE is rolled in the old Cuban tradition of tubing which is taking each filler leaf and rolling it into a tube instead of folding it. Once all the filler leaves are each individually rolled into a tube shape, they are brought together and surrounded with the binder. This is time consuming but creates an effortless draw and an unparalleled smoking experience. We then box press each cigar to compress the leaf and reduce air space. This spotlights the flavors of the blend and creates a slower burn while delivering an exceptional draw. The RECLUSE line is offered in ten box pressed sizes.

Having been sent a couple of unbanded Toros to sample, I wanted to be fair to the company so I let them sit in my humidor for a couple of weeks to stabilize and acclimate themselves following the shipping. I was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to taste one and last night decided that the Recluse would be my cigar of choice. Pictures of the bands, provided by the company, can be seen in the attached images. I chose to smoke my sample with a straight cut.

Read the full review of The Recluse Toro...

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