Nestor Miranda Art Deco

Nestor Miranda Art Deco

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto Grande
Size : 5.5 x 54
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler : Nicaraguan and Dominican
Binder : Dominican Corojo ’98 and a Nicaraguan Habano ’00
Hand-Made
Price : $7.00 each
More info about purchasing Nestor Miranda Art Deco cigars...

My local shop had an event for Nestor Miranda Day a few months ago and they had a buy one get one free deal, with a limit of one per customer. The free cigar they gave out was the Art Deco Robusto Grande. I had never had it before that day so I figured, “Free cigar? Why not?” So my father and I both bought a cigar from Miami Cigar Co, and each got a free one of these. Well he didn’t want his because he only smokes mild cigars. So I saved it to do this review on.

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Augusto Reyes Urban Robusto

Augusto Reyes Urban Robusto

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Habano
Filler : 3 part Nicaraguan Ligero/1 part Dominican Seco
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : $7-$8 each

Augusto Reyes and his brand of cigars are quite new to me. I have never heard nor smoked any of his cigars before. Well today was as good a time as ever, since the guys at the Augusto Reyes factory sent over some samples of their new Urban Robusto. I was quite intrigued by the branding for this cigar and the unique packaging. The use of graffiti peaks a slight interest, but doesn’t really do anything for me. Call me a traditionalist I guess. So let’s see how the Urban performed.

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Augusto Reyes Grand Cru Toro

Augusto Reyes Grand Cru Toro

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro
Size : 6.2 x 54
Wrapper : Dominican
Filler : Dominican; Piloto Cubano, Cubano, Criollo ‘98
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : $6.00-$7.00 each
More info about purchasing Augusto Reyes Grand Cru cigars...

Up until a few months ago, I had never had the opportunity of smoking anything by Augusto Reyes. When the chance came to try this Dominican beauty I had to seize it. I received this cigar awhile back and after seasoning this cigar in my humidor for those couple months, it was its turn to be smoked. So the other night, I came home from work, did my preliminary research to find out what are all of the tobaccos that are used to make this stick, then it was time to indulge in this cigar.

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Arturo Fuente Short Story Maduro

Arturo Fuente Short Story Maduro

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Figurado
Size : 4 x 46/49
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : $6.50
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Short Story cigars...

The Arturo Fuente Short Story Maduro is not your typical cigar. Originally, only 200 cigars were given out at the 1999 and 2002 Cigar Family Celebrations combined. Surprisingly, the Short Story Maduro was shown at the 2011 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Convention (IPCPR) earlier this month. Keeping with tradition, Arturo Fuente is only releasing 1,000 boxes of the cigar to select retailers that purchased twenty or more boxes of Arturo Fuente cigars at the trade show.

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Curivari El Gran Rey Prominentes

Curivari El Gran Rey Prominentes

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : ProminentesCurivari Cigars
Size : 6.5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $9.50
More info about purchasing Curivari El Gran Rey cigars...

Curivari is another brand I was introduced to by Pedro at Good Karma Cigar in Amarillo. These were included in a sampler pack of new smokes that included Forcade, Monte Pascoal, and some Di Fazios. The Curivari brand has gained some momentum, especially here in the state of Texas. Through word of mouth these have become quite popular and some around these circles even swear they use tobacco from the “forbidden” island. Whether they do (good for them) or not (oh well!), the Curivari line is a promising young brand.

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Natural Irish Hops (by Drew Estate)

Natural Irish Hops (by Drew Estate)

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Mexican San Andres Negra
Filler : Brazilian and Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $6-7 each
More info about purchasing Natural Irish Hops cigars...

These cigars are exclusive sticks made for Cigars International and are limited edition. But, I have been smoking them for over four years, so I’m not too sure how “limited” they really are. I started smoking these my Sophomore or Junior year of college and they became one of my go-to smokes when I am not in the mood for a traditional cigar.

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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
Hand-Made
Price : $9 each
More info about purchasing Illusione cigars...

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.

Panacea White Corojo “Hitch Pin”

Panacea White Corojo

Origin : Dominican RepublicPanacea Cigars
Format : Toro
Size : 6.5 x 54
Wrapper : Dominican Republic
Filler : Nicaragua/Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : $7.00-$8.00
More info about purchasing Panacea cigars...

In the last couple of years, there have been several new cigar companies that have transcended the need to just create a good cigar. Some of these new cigar companies are trying to project themselves not only as a cigar maker/factory but a lifestyle brand within the cigar industry. All of us know the most famous of these brands, such as Drew Estate and Tatuaje. But Pete’s Tatuaje brand and Jonathan Drew seem to be the old players on a team of new school stars which consist of 262 Cigars, 13th Floor Cigars, Viaje, Room 101, and last but not least Panacea Cigars aka Flatbed Cigar Company. Many of the brands stated above have gone “modern” with their branding even including graffiti in their labeling and merchandise (i.e. “Urban” Cigars by Augusto Reyes and clothing by Tatuaje), modern rock or even hip-hop as influential muses for their cigar creations, unconventional vitola sizes, and even political/social movements in an attempt to break the mold of the conventional cigar brand. Flatbed Cigar Company seems to have gone in a completely opposite direction, trying to keep it “old school” in their vision, but not “old school” in the sense of Cuba, Nicaragua, or Dominican, but instead towards a vision of “Old School Americana.” Flatbed Cigar Company harkens to the historic pasts of years gone by in the country sides of Pennsylvania, and its rich past as one of the largest producers of cigars in the world. Their packaging is unique in the fact that cigars are sent not in boxes but in vintage looking tin cans or old wood crates. Sample packs are packaged in old burlap sacks, and even their clothing reminds me of Dickie’s work wear from decades ago. But don’t let unique packaging fool you, Flatbed’s concentration is on the leaf, and nothing more. Their stated philosophy is “put all the money into tobacco. If we focus on making great cigars they will sell themselves over time.” With good marks from several different reviewers, I don’t doubt their philosophy will hold true.

…………………………..on to the cigar shall we?

Read the full review of Panacea White Corojo “Hitch Pin”...

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