Cult Ometepe

Cult Ometepe

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto GrandeCult Cigars
Size : 5.5 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Filler : Ometepe
Binder : Ometepe
Strength : Medium to Full
Hand-Made
Price : $8.75
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Construction

Painstakingly created in Esteli, Nicaragua by the owner of Quality Importers, the Cult brand is a labor of love. Since its launch in the beginning of 2013, the Cult brand has been earning mixed reviews from cigar lovers all over the world. The Cult Ometepe is swaddled in a dark, ruddy colored Ecuadorian Habano leaf. The wrapper leaf is veiny and rough, giving the Ometepe a desultory look. The five-and-a-half inch long stick is banded with a drab brown and white “Cult” band. All in all, the Cult Ometepe is not a stick that would catch my attention on the shelf of a brick and mortar.

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La Herencia Cubana Core

La Herencia Cubana Core

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Dagger
Size : 4.5 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Filler : Esteli Ligero, Jamastran Ligero, Pennsylvania Broadleaf, Nicaraguan Ometepe Ligero
Binder : Esteli Habano Viso
Strength : Full
Hand-Made
Price : $8.75
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Construction

A.J. Fernandez’s boutique brand, La Herencia Cubana, has been earning rave reviews from cigar enthusiasts worldwide as one of the best boutique brands available. The CORE, with its blend of Nicaraguan and American long filler, is no exception. Enveloping these delicious long fillers is a Nicaraguan Habano binder, and a dark, oily Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The wrapper leaf is the color of dark chocolate and flecked with a few raised veins. The length of this short stick is well-filled and perfectly tapered to a wedge. The cap is perfectly mounted and cuts cleanly with my perfect-cut guillotine.

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Alec Bradley Tempus Maduro

Alec Bradley Tempus Maduro

Origin : NicaraguaAlec Bradley
Format : Terra Nova (robusto)
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : San Andres Maduro
Filler : Nicaraguan & Honduran
Binder : Honduran
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8.50 each
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Construction

The Alec Bradley Tempus Maduro utilizes the same delicious blend of fillers as the original Tempus and amps up the flavor with a San Andres Maduro wrapper. The wrapper leaf is the color of dark chocolate and flecked with a few veins. An ornate purple, silver, and gold band is the perfect accent to the stunning wrapper leaf. The length of the five-inch stick is mostly plump with a few noticeable soft spots. The cap is thick and neatly mounted. It cuts cleanly with my Colibri V Cutter.

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L’Atelier Lat 52

L'Atelier Lat52

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Petit RobustoL'Atelier Cigars
Size : 4 3/4 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
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L'Atelier Lat 52 is manufactured by L’Atelier Imports, a company created by Pete Johnson of Tatuaje (although he doesn't participate in operations), his brother K.C. Johnson, Dan Welsh of New Havana Cigars, and Sean “Casper” Johnson. The four (three?) make a formidable team, and their line is getting a lot of attention. The Lat 52 has a Nicaraguan filler and binder in a unique Ecuadorian wrapper known as Sancti Spiritus. The wrapper is made from a hybrid tobacco made by combining Criollo and Pelo de Oro. So this is quite an innovative cigar.

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601 Blue Maduro

601 Blue Maduro

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Prominente
Size : 5.5 x 56
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Broadleaf Maduro
Filler : Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long filler
Binder : Nicaraguan
Strength : Full
Hand-Made
Price : $9.30 each
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Construction

Created by Eric Espinoza and made by Jose Garcia, the 601 Blue Maduro has quite an impressive resume; including the number six spot on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2009 list and an impressive 93 rating. This beautiful stick is chock-full of rich Nicaraguan long filler tobacco and wrapped in a chewy broadleaf Maduro wrapper. The pretty blue and taupe colored band stands out beautifully against the wrapper. The wrapper leaf is the color of dark chocolate and flecked with minimal petite veins. There are a couple of imperfections marring the otherwise pristine wrapper leaf, but nothing that should affect the burn. The length of the five-and-a-half inch long stick is plump and skillfully rolled, finished with a prim box-press. The triple thick cap is squarely mounted and cuts cleanly with my punch cutter.

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Punch Ninfas

Punch Ninfas

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Ninfas (Slim Panatela)
Size : 33 x 178 mm (7”)
Box Date : EAR – April ’02 (Controlado Feb ’05)
Discontinued in 2002
Hand-Made
Price : roughly $7/cigar in 2002
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Appearance : ★★★☆☆
Natural (Colorado Claro), flat sheen, few veins. Box pressed beyond any cigar I’ve ever seen with hard corners. The appearance is elegant by its nature. Generally white, grainy ash; flakey & not as dense as the tight draw would lead one to expect.

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H. Upmann Half Corona

H. Upmann Half Corona

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Half Corona
Size : 3.5 x 44 (90 x 17 mm)
Ring : 44
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6
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The H. Upmann Half Corona was released in 2011 and quickly became quite a popular cigar and a regular smoke for many cigar aficionados around the world. Why? It isn’t just the flavors, the construction and the price of this stogie that make it popular, but the size, which is a distinguishing characteristic. This Half Corona measures just 3.5” with a 44 ring gauge, making it a short cigar. You can smoke one of these at a leisurely pace and still finish up in less than 40 minutes, so it is perfect if you are pressed for time and still want to enjoy a nice stogie.

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Ortega Serie D Maduro No. 20

Ortega Serie D No. 20

Origin : NicaraguaOrtega
Format : Double Toro
Size : 6 x 60
Wrapper : San Andres, Mexican maduro
Filler : Esteli/Jalapa, Nicaragua
Binder : Jalapa, Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$7.50 each
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The first of many solo launches by cigar great, Eddie Ortega, the Ortega Serie ‘D’ Maduro has earned praise from all corners of the cigar world, including a 90 point rating from Cigar Aficionado Magazine and a spot of Cigar Snob Magazine’s Top 25 Cigars of 2012 list. The Ortega Serie ‘D’ Maduro features a nearly flawless San Andres Maduro leaf wrapped around generous portions of Nicaraguan long leaf fillers. The San Andres leaf is the color of dark chocolate and has a slight oily sheen to it. The length of the six-inch stick is plump and expertly rolled and finished with a gentle box press. The triple thick cap is squarely mounted and cuts cleanly with my punch cutter.

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