H.Upmann Vintage Cameroon Toro

H.Upmann Vintage Cameroon Toro

Origin : Dominican RepublicH. Upmann
Format : Toro
Size : 6.0″ x 54
Wrapper : Cameroon
Filler : Dominican, Nicaraguan and Peruvian
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $6 each
More info about purchasing H. Upmann Cameroon cigars...

H. Upmann is a cigar brand with a rich Cuban heritage. Like most American cigar smokers, I have very little experience with that storied version of the brand. Instead the H. Upmann I know best is made in the Dominican Republic. Back when I was just a fledgling cigar smoker, Upmann’s were listed among my favorites. I thought of them as a very reasonably priced, excellent quality, medium to mild smoke. As I gained more experience and my palate developed, I quickly lost my taste for them. That is except for one particular line. Even after I moved on from H. Upmann to other more dynamic and robust smokes, I still continued to enjoy the H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon. At that point in my cigar smoking career I had developed a fondness for the Cameroon wrapper and the Upmann was one I continued to enjoy along with the Torano 1916 and others. Eventually I moved on from my Cameroon kick and thus stopped smoking even this line of Upmann’s. A recent conversation about Cameroon cigars brought back memories of this particular cigar and I decided I wanted to revisit it again as it has been a while since I have enjoyed one of the Vintage Cameroons.

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Esencia Belicoso

Esencia Belicoso

Origin : NicaraguaEsencia Cigars
Format : Belicoso
Size : 5 1/2 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $187.99 for a box of 21
More info about purchasing Esencia cigars...

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.

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Exile Rosado Churchill

Exile Rosado Churchill

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Churchill
Size : 6.25 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $148.99 for a box of 24, $32.99 for a 5-pack
More info about purchasing Exile Rosado cigars...

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.

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La Aurora 1495 Robusto

La Aurora 1495 Robusto

Origin : Dominican RepublicLa Aurora Cigars
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Sumatra Ecuador
Filler : Dominican, Nicaraguan, Peruvian
Binder : Corojo
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing La Aurora 1495 cigars...

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.

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Partagas Benji Menendez Master Series

Partagas Benji Menendez Master Series

Origin : Dominican RepublicPartagas
Factory Name : Robusto
Size : 6 x 46
Wrapper : Cameroon
Filler : Dominican, Nicaraguan
Binder : Habano Connecticut
Hand-Made
Price : ~$9 each, ~$179 for a box of 20
More info about purchasing Partagas Benji Menendez cigars...

The Menendez Social site states:

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.

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Partagas Spanish Rosado Mitico

Partagas Spanish Rosado Mitico

Origin : Dominican RepublicPartagas
Factory Name : Churchill
Size : 7 x 48
Wrapper : Honduran San Agustin
Filler : Dominican, Mexican, Honduran
Binder : Connecticut Broadleaf
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6 each, ~$109 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing Partagas Spanish Rosado cigars...

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.

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Diplomaticos No. 2

Diplomaticos No. 2

Origin : Cuba
DiplomaticosFormat : Piramide
Size : 156 x 20.64 mm
Ring : 52
Weight : 14.26 g
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
More info about purchasing Diplomaticos cigars...

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.

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Kristoff Ligero Criollo Robusto

Kristoff Ligero Criollo Robusto

KristoffOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 5.5 x 54
Wrapper : Honduran Criollo
Filler : Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua
Binder : Honduras
Hand-Made
Price : ~$129.99 for a box of 20
More info about purchasing Kristoff Ligero Criollo cigars...

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.

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