Ramon Allones Specially Selected

Ramon Allones Specially Selected

Ramon AllonesOrigin : Cuba
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm (4 7/8 x 50)
Ring : 50
Weight : 11.66 g
Hand-Made
Price : $230 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing Ramon Allones cigars...

I bought of box of Ramon Allones Specially Selected back in July 2010 on the advice of a friend. I smoked a few when they were very young and gifted a couple others. I set aside 15 for the sole purpose of aging them. They were fantastic when I bought them so I was really looking forward to tasting them after two years in my humidor. Robustos are generally my preferred vitola so I was eager to have a go. Short and sweet, before I get into the review let me tell you that I was absolutely floored with this cigar and I will not hesitate in buying more.

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Crowned Heads Four Kicks (Quick Smoke Series)

Crowned Heads Four Kicks

Origin : Dominican Republic
Crowned Heads CigarsFormat : Corona Gorda
Size : 5.6 x 46
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $6.95
More info about purchasing Four Kicks cigars...

Jon Huber, formerly of CAO, introduced his new venture, Crowned Heads, at the beginning of last year. The cigars are made by the Tabacalera Alianza factory owned by the famous EP Carrillo.

The Four Kicks corona gorda is a beautiful, yet simplistic cigar with a very light shaded wrapper. It has very little veins, a smooth exterior and invisible veins. I really like the red and gold label as it pops out and catches the eye.

Burnline is very straight and needed no touch ups. Top notch,... nothing else expected coming from the Carrillos.

1st Third- No pepper, just sweet spice, cinnamon, earth, and woodsy flavors.
2nd Third- Bit of pepperiness, but a lovely floral quality comes out with earth and wood.
3rd Third- A whole lotta earth and wood with touches of leather and cedar. Finishes medium+ bodied.

Crowned Heads Four Kicks

It tastes somewhat similar to EP Carrillo's core line but with more body and earthiness. It's a good cigar, but just doesn't have enough uniqueness to warrant a box purchase for me. If you like Ernesto's stuff then this is a must try. The balance is very good with nothing overpowering other elements of the cigar. Superb with a lowland Scotch. Keep smoking my friends,...

Appearance : ★★★★½
Construction : ★★★★★
Flavor : ★★★★☆ (3.75)
Value : ★★★★½
Overall : ★★★★☆

Alec Bradley Prensado Churchill

Alec Bradley Prensado Churchill

Origin : HondurasAlec Bradley
Format : Churchill
Size : 7 x 48
Wrapper : Honduran 2006 Corojo (Maduro)
Filler : Honduran/Nicaraguan blend
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$10-11 each
More info about purchasing Alec Bradley Prensado cigars...

Any cigar enthusiast knows that Cigar Aficionado magazine has become the cigar industry’s standard when it comes to cigars. Cigar smokers and manufacturers alike refer to it as the bible when it comes to the cigar lover’s lifestyle and culture. A high rating in this publication can make your sales soar, while at the same time negative feedback can often leave your cigars collecting dust on the back shelf of the walk-in humidor.

Perhaps no list is as eagerly awaited each year than their list of the year’s best cigars. One cigar gets to be crowned “Cigar of the Year” and, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been making it a point to ensure that I get my hands on the number one so that I can see for myself what the hype is about. On some occasions I had already smoked their top rated cigar while on others I hadn’t. The last cigar to be crowned Cigar Aficionado’s cigar of the year was the Alec Bradley Prensado. Many ‘aficionados’ found this selection surprising/controversial. In fact, I had never paid much attention to this cigar before, having tasted some of Alec Bradley’s other offerings and not being too pleased with them. However, because this cigar won 2011’s cigar of the year, I was compelled to give it a go. I often agree with the magazine’s overall impressions. While I may not think as highly or as lowly as they do in some of their ratings, usually, I can agree on a good smoke or a bad one only disagreeing with the rating itself. Can we really crown something “the best” given that taste is so subjective?

Needless to say, the winning cigar, especially if it is a non-Cuban, can pretty much be assured of selling out their supply in short order. Cuban cigars are different because they cannot be purchased in the United States, one of the biggest markets for the aforementioned publication.

Having set my eyes on the Prensado, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one during my frequent visits to the United States. Thankfully I live a short drive to the border and normally pick up a few non-Cuban cigars when I cross the bridge. Living in Canada, the demand for non-Cuban cigars is not that great but we also have to contend with some hefty tobacco taxes. I was uneasy about spending over $20.00 one of these cigars here in Canada so I waited until one of my trips to the U.S. to pick up a stick.

I picked one up in early February, paying $10.75 for it. Buying them by the box will save on the per-cigar price, a practise that is against the law here in Canada. That is, you cannot offer a discount if you buy the box but instead must pay the actual cigar price multiplied by the number of sticks.

With all that said and out of the way, the other night was a perfect mild evening with little to no humidity and no breeze. It was the perfect outdoor condition to enjoy a cigar, and a Churchill at best given that I would need some time to get through this 7 inch smoke. Therefore, enough rambling... time to dig into the review. Is the reigning champion worthy of the its title?

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Surrogates Bone Crusher

Surrogate Bone Crusher

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 5.25 x 54
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $7.50 ($6.00 street price)

If you are a lover of boutique cigars, chances are you already know about New Havana Cigars. Located in Columbus, Ohio (go Buckeyes [sorry Michigan fans]), NHC is my kind of store. The owners are hardcore cigar nuts that believe Cuba no longer makes the best cigars. I couldn’t agree more (see my article about this here), and I rely on NHC as a source for great, non-Cuban, boutique cigars.

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My Father El Hijo (Quick Smoke Series)

My Father El Hijo

Origin : NicaraguaMy Father Cigars
Format : Robusto Extra
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano 2009
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $9.75

The El Hijo was one of four exclusive cigars made for Smoke Inn's 15th anniversary last year.

The El Hijo is a light brown box-pressed cigar with visible seams and a few large veins. The triple cap is expertly placed; the cigar has a pretty open draw and features about a quarter inch of filler tobacco protruding past the foot of the wrapper. The wrapper and filler tobaccos smell strongly of black tea leaves. Construction is perfect with no soft spots, good amount of filling, and razor sharp burn that needs no touch-ups.

1st Third- Filler tobaccos start off with slightly bitter but floral qualities. Once the wrapper is lit, has some nuttiness, hint of cedar, but backed heavily by light milk chocolate and floral notes.
2nd Third- Bursts forth with tons of chocolate-malt-pepperiness. Ends with wood and nut flavors.
3rd Third- Hazelnut, mild milk chocolate, and lighter pepperiness. Ends full-bodied.

My Father El Hijo

This is probably my favorite My Father cigar I have had outside the #1 and Le Bijou Petit Robusto. This is a bit different in the fact that its pepperiness is latent but is so pronounced that the cigar will need more aging to show how good it really is. It seems blended to stand the test of time. If you got 'em still, wait another 2-3 years. Definitely a box purchase. Keep smokin' my friends,...

Appearance : ★★★★½
Construction : ★★★★★
Flavor : ★★★★☆
Value : ★★★★☆
Overall : ★★★★½ (4.25)

Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill

Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill

Origin : CubaRomeo y Julieta
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm
Ring : 50
Box code : April 2012
Hand-Made
Price : ~$9 each
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars...

Please welcome DrFever, our newest contributor. He starts with a review of the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill, a well-known Cuban robusto.

This Cuban cigar comes in at just under 5 inches in length (4.8” to be exact) with a ring gauge of 50. One of my preferred cigar sizes.

This particular sample came from one of my 25 count boxes with a box code of April 2012. It is a fairly young cigar but I have found that these cigars do smoke well fairly young. I have been smoking these cigars since 2007, a year after their official 2006 release. In the past I have picked up some single tubes of these but this box was brought back to me by a vacationing neighbour while travelling to Cuba.

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Montecristo No. 4

Montecristo No. 4

Origin : CubaMontecristo
Format : Petit Corona (Mareva)
Size : 129 x 16.67 mm (5 x 42)
Ring : 42
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing Montecristo cigars...

After exchanging a few words with Inspector, I decided to review a few cigars that were not hard to find or discontinued. Of course, I decided to start with the most popular cigar in the Habanos S.A catalogue and that is the Montecristo No 4. A friend of mine had just given me one from a box that was “on” so I figured it was a perfect timing.

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Cain F 464T

Cain F 464T

Origin : NicaraguaCain Cigars
Format : Nub Torpedo
Size : 4 x 64
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $7.00
More info about purchasing Cain F cigars...

The Cain cigars (check out our reviews of the Maduro, Habano and Daytona blends) are developed by Studio Tobac, a division of Oliva Cigar Company, one of the most respected brands around the globe. Studio Tobac is also responsible for the Nub line, considered rather innovative because of its easily recognizable shape. Today I am reviewing the Cain F 464T, which is a Nicaraguan puro that offers a strong typically Cain-ish blend (a mix of three Nicaraguan ligeros) in a Nub format: it's a 4 x 64 short torpedo. Which means it's basically a quintessence of Studio Tobac's expertise.

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