CAO Gold Vintage Crémant

CAO Gold Vintage Crémant

Origin : Esteli, Nicaragua
CAO CigarsFormat : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Connecticut Seed
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Honduras (Jamastran), Nicaragua (Esteli)
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8.25 each
More info about purchasing CAO Gold Vintage cigars...

Before beginning my review I'd like to thank my friend Scott, @caosmoker on twitter, for graciously giving me this cigar. He was able to attend IPCPR this year and was fortunate enough to pickup a few extra sticks to share with me.

A local talk radio personality and newspaper columnist, Mike Rosen, has a poignant phrase. "Let me tell you where I sit before I tell you where I stand." Essentially this is an effort at full disclosure so listeners and readers will know of any personal biases he may have about a topic of discussion. This statement has been on my mind since late last week when I was approached by Cigar Inspector to do a series of CAO reviews for his site. Being a fan of CAO, I jumped at the opportunity to toot the horn of my personal favorite cigar manufacturer. Although I have a personal bias towards CAO, I do take cigar reviews very seriously. It's of no benefit to anyone for me to rate a cigar higher just because I want it to have a better rating. In the end the cigars will speak for themselves, your tastes will differ from mine and I'm not trying to persuade you to my side of the street. I only hope this series of reviews will remind you of some of your favorite (or soon to become favorite) CAO cigars, will inspire you to try a new blend you haven't yet or revisit one that may have disappointed you in the past.

So now that you know where I sit (I love CAO cigars), here's where I stand on one of the newest lines from CAO, the Gold Vintage Crémant:

Read the full review of CAO Gold Vintage Crémant...

Ashton Classic Corona

Ashton Classic Corona

Origin : Dominican RepublicAshton
Format : Corona
Size : 5.5″ x 44
Wrapper : Connecticut Shade
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : $6 each
More info about purchasing Ashton Classic cigars...

Ashton and the Ashton Classic came on the scene back in 1994 I believe. It is the brain child of Philly native Robert Levin. He partnered with the Fuentes who manufacture many of the cigars that bear the Ashton name. Known for superb quality and construction on all their lines the Classic seems to be no exception.

Read the full review of Ashton Classic Corona...

La Aurora Preferidos No. 2 Maduro

La Aurora Preferidos

Origin : Dominican Republic
La Aurora CigarsFormat : Perfecto
Size : 5 3/4 x 52
Wrapper : 8 year Brazilian Matafino
Filler : Piloto Cubano (DR), Bahía and Cameroon
Binder : Piloto Cubano (DR)
Hand-Made
Price : ~$10 each
More info about purchasing La Aurora Preferidos cigars...

La Aurora Preferidos were first available in perfecto size and were named "1903 series" as supposedly it was in 1903 that Don Eduardo Leon Jimenez started producing this vitola. Now, there are so many editions of the Preferidos that it's very easy to get lost. According to the La Aurora website, there are now 8 editions/blends, each one available in several sizes. Some of those come in very beautiful tubos, however the one I am going to review was not tubed. I suppose (I am pretty sure rather) that it belongs to the original 1903 series. The cigar, 5 3/4 x 52, sports a Brazilian maduro wrapper with mostly Dominican tobacco.

Read the full review of La Aurora Preferidos No. 2 Maduro...

Cuban Stock Extra

Cuban Stock Extra

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : TorpedoCuban Stock
Size : 6.25 x 52
Wrapper : Dominican Corojo
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6-7 each
More info about purchasing Cuban Stock cigars...

Background Info

This blend was designed this year (2009) and is said to be as good as Cuban cigars were in the 80’s. Manufactured by Cuban Stock Cigars (previously known as Crown David). The tobacco used in these cigars is said to be grown in soil that was transplanted from the Pinar Del Rio region of Cuba.

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Cain Habano Belicoso

Cain Habano Belicoso

Origin : Esteli, NicaraguaCain Cigars
Format : Belicoso/Torpedo
Size : 5 x 50
Composition : Esteli Ligero, Condega Ligero, Jalapa Ligero with "other tobaccos"
Hand-Made
Price : Unknown
More info about purchasing Cain Habano cigars...

At this year's IPCPR show in New Orleans, cigars smokers will be treated to another wave of exciting and new cigar releases. Some may be dog-rockets and others are sure to be gems. One of these highly anticipated and sure successes will be Cain by Oliva Cigar Co. Cain is the creation of Sam Leccia creator of Nub cigars. It was designed to be a "Straight Ligero" cigar but contains "other tobaccos for a true burn. The[se] other tobaccos make no significant contribution to flavor." From what we all know of ligero it comes from the top of the tobacco plant and yields the thickest and smallest leaves of the plant, yet also the most flavorful. Because of these traits, special care must be taken from harvest to blending to bring balance in use of these tobaccos. And especially so in creating a straight ligero cigar. Well after having a chance to sample a pre-release Cain thanks to Sam, I would have to say he has another successful creation on his hands.

Read the full review of Cain Habano Belicoso...

La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial #1

La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial #1

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 5.625 x 46
Wrapper : Ecuador Sun Grown
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$155 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial...

This line of cigars is produced by Don Pepin Garcia for Ashton. Apparently all of the tobacco used in this cigar is produced form 1st generation Cuban seeds. I have smoked a handful of cigars from this line, but this is my 1st formal review of one. So here it goes...

Read the full review of La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial #1...

Saint Luis Rey Serie A

Saint Luis Rey Serie A

Origin : Cuba
Saint Luis ReyFormat : Corona Gorda
Size : 143 x 18.20 mm
Ring : 46
Weight : 10.86 g
Box code : LPA OCT 08
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
More info about purchasing Saint Luis Rey cigars...

I did a "vintage review" of the Saint Luis Rey Serie A back in November 2008 and promised to get some newer sticks for a proper review. Here we go with a box labeled LPA OCT 08. I will start by telling you that these definitely smoke better.

Read the full review of Saint Luis Rey Serie A...

Padilla Miami Lancero

Padilla Miami Lancero

Origin : USAPadilla cigars
Format : Lancero
Size : 7.50 x 42
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$10 each
More info about purchasing Padilla Miami cigars...

The cigars for this review were kindly provided by CigarsDirect.com, your source for premium cigars.

This review concerns the new Padilla Miami, rolled at the Fabrica de Tobacos de Padilla in Miami. It sports a new band (you can see the old band in Jerry’s review) but it seems like the blend hasn’t changed and the moving was caused by Padilla’s desire to reduce costs by controlling the production (Don Pepin Garcia, the previous blender, being quite busy with other cigars might have also played its role). I haven’t tried the old blend so I will not be able to compare the two – consider it as a regular review.

Read the full review of Padilla Miami Lancero...

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