Liga Privada No. 9 Toro

Liga Privada No. 9 Toro

Origin : NicaraguaDrew Estate
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Ligero Oscuro
Filler : Honduran/Dominican
Binder : Brazil
Hand-Made
Price : $222.99 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing Liga Privada No. 9 cigars...

La Liga Privada line is a very different type of approach to cigars from Drew Estates. Most everyone knows Drew Estates from their flavored line of cigars; however, the Liga Privada No. 9 is a true masterpiece. The brand was introduced back in 2007 in only one size (Parejo). The cigar comes in five shapes: Robusto (5 X 52); Torpedo (6 x 52); Double Corona (7 x 52); a very limited release Perfecto known as the Flying Pig (4.13 x 60); and today’s featured cigar the Toro. All cigars come in an oscuro wrapper.

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Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Robusto

Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Robusto

Don Pepin Garcia cigarsOrigin : United States
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo Oscuro
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6-7 each
More info about purchasing Don Pepin Garcia JJ cigars...

Today was yet another beautiful day in my tundra paradise. Not feeling like a particularly long smoke I reached for the Don Pepin Garcia JJ White Label that has been resting in my desktop for just over a month. I had been looking forward to this one for a while because I cannot seem to find enough smokes in the shorter vitolas.

First inspection shows a wrapper that is a bit more vein laden than I would like. Some of them are quite pronounced begging to affect razor edged burns. Despite this, the seams are unpronounced and the cap is nice and secure. Moving to the foot I notice two fairly pronounced dents that can only be described as pencil eraser sized divots. This leads me to believe that this one is under filled. Pinching from the head to the foot reveals a solid cigar with slight give. Unfortunately, there are two very significant soft spots. One is 2 inches from the foot and the other is right about where the larger band is located.

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Dual Review: Garo Aniversario X

Garo Aniversario X

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Belicoso
Size : 6.25 x 54
Wrapper : Corojo
Filler : Peru, Nicaragua
Binder : Indonesia
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
More info about purchasing Garo cigars...

Today we have a dual review of a Garo Aniversario X Belicoso, done by Stephen and Jason. Thanks to Garo Cigars for providing us with a sampler!

Stephen: Garo's new Aniversario X cigars offer four Cubanesque shapes (Salomon, "A", Belicoso and Toro Gordo). Aniversario X is listed as a full bodied cigar. I have had these resting in my humidor about a month. I smoked two for this review.

Jason: Garo Habano is a small boutique cigar company headquartered in California that started in 1996. The Anniversario X is one of the company's more expensive lines. There aren't many reviews out there on this cigar so I wasn't sure what to expect.

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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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