The Esencia cigars were introduced in 2008 by Brothers of the Leaf, LLC. The cigars are Nicaraguan puros which come in five vitolas: a 5.63 X 46 Corona Gorda; 5.13 X 42 Petit Corona; 4.88 X 50 Robusto; 7 X 47 Churchill, and today’s featured cigar a 5.5 X 52 Belicoso. The Brothers of the Leaf also manufacture the Palio cutter.
The Exile line of cigars is made in Esteli, Nicaragua at the Nicaraguan American Tobacco Factory (NATSA). They come in two wrappers: the Ecuadorian Sumatra or a USA-grown Connecticut broadleaf. This cigar comes wrapped in a copy of the front page of the New York Daily Mirror from the day the Cuban embargo started (1962). In looking at websites that sell the cigar, it seemed that they do not use the newspaper wrapper anymore. The Exile Rosado comes in a few sizes: Perfection No. 1 and No. 2 (both perfectos); a Robusto, and today’s featured cigar, a Churchill.
As the assortiment of non-Cuban cigars in my local stores is quite limited, I seize every opportunity to pick up cigars I haven't tried yet. I stumbled across this half-empty box of La Aurora 1495 Robusto back in November, purchased and buried it quite deep in my humidor. One week ago, I thought it was finally time to review this cigar, I smoked 4 cigars since then and they all had the same flavor profile and construction properties.
1495 is the first line created by La Aurora and its master blender Jose Blanco. It is named to celebrate the founding of Santiago de los Caballeros, a city in the Dominican Republic.
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1936, Benji Menendez smiles when he says that tobacco is in his genes. His grandfather, father, uncles and great uncles were considered the royalty of the cigar business during the pre-revolution heyday of Cuban cigars, having developed world-class puros including Montecristo, H. Upmann and Por Larrañaga.
At the heart of it all, Benji simply wants to be known as a good cigar man.
I first had the BM Series at the Benji Menendez Social in New York City. I have had a couple more since then.
This past weekend I went down to NYC from Upstate NY and paid a visit to Club Macanudo to try it out.
Everything there is quite posh and the cigars as you can imagine are quite pricey. They only sell cigars made by General Cigar so I decided to try the Partagas Spanish Rosado Mitico which is the Churchill.
This is my second try at a Diplomaticos No. 2. The first one I had tasted a little basic and unrefined so I gave this second one a little over a year in my humidor to see how it progressed. Unfortunately this will be the only size left in the marque very soon as the Diplomaticos No. 4 and No. 5 have been discontinued.
The Kristoff Ligero Criollo line was introduced back in 2008. It is is a medium to full body smoke that will satisfy lots of cigar palates. This cigar comes in several vitolas: a Churchill (7 x 50); a Toro (6.5 x 56); a Torpedo (6.13 x 52), and today’s feature cigar a Robusto (5.5 x 54). This cigar is a very pleasant, long smoke which does not disappoint. The Criollo Robusto series contains 70% added Nicaraguan ligero which definitely contributes to the fullness of the cigar. The Kristoff Ligero also comes in a Brazilian Maduro wrapper.
I recently smoked the Nestor Miranda Collection - Special Selection Rosado with Mr. Rene Castaneda, Sales Director of Miami Cigar & Company. This line was first introduced in 2007 and is named after the company's founder. It is released in five vitolas in both Rosado and Oscuro: Robusto (5-1/2 x 52), Toro (6 x 60), Lonsdale, called the "Lancero" introduced in 2008 (7-1/2 x 40), Double Corona, called the "Danno" introduced in 2009 (7 x 56), and a Perfecto, called the "Ruky" also introduced in 2009 (5-5/8 x 52 figurado), costing around $8.00 each, give or take. They are all hand-made in Esteli, Nicaragua under the supervision of Pepin Garcia. Rene tells me the Rosados are mild to medium in body and the Oscuros are medium to full. He hooked me up with a nice selection of each but for this review I smoked the Robusto and Perfecto - Rosado.