CAO Amazon Basin

CAO Amazon Basin

Origin : Nicaragua
CAO CigarsFormat : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler : Dominican Republic, Columbian, Brazilian Braganca
Binder : Nicaraguan
Blender : Rick Rodriquez
Hand-Made
Price : ~$7 each
More info about purchasing CAO Amazon Basin cigars...

We’ve heard it all before… limited edition cigars made from scarce materials. Then, a year later, they are still readily available, everywhere. But in the case of the new CAO Amazon Basin, its rarity is only part of the intrigue. It’s truly a cigar with a story to tell. I was lucky enough to get one of the last available boxes, and now, four cigars in, consider myself lucky indeed.

According to the official CAO statement, the Amazon Basin cigar “utilizes rare organic tobacco cultivated at small farms in remote regions of the Amazonian Rainforest. The tobacco called ‘Braganca’ is grown in virgin lands and is harvested just once every three years…the leaves are rolled by hand into tubes called ‘carottes’, and left to rest under high pressure. After six months of natural fermentation inside the carrotes, they are transported by canoe from the rainforest and delivered to our factory.” Wow, that’s quite a story! One interesting aspect of cigar smoking is how we experience exotic locales through the tobaccos we smoke. And the Amazonian Rainforest is about as exotic as it gets. If nothing else, smoking an Amazon Basin cigar is a curiosity. But what I’ve discovered is a cigar so unique; it actually lives up to the hype.

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Tatuaje Havana VI Victorias

tatujae-havana-vi-victorias-1

TatuajeOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Corona Especial
Size : 6 x 38
Wrapper : Habano Ecuador
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $7 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje Havana cigars...

The Tatuaje Havana VI line is another solid production from Pete Johnson and Pepin Garcia. Said to be more mellow and medium bodied than the brown label, the Havana VI line is comprised of eight different vitolas: Hermosos – 5 5/8 x 46, Angeles – 4 5/8 x 42, Victorias 6 x 38, Artistas – 6 1/8 x 52 (reviewed here), Nobles – 5 x 50 (reviewed here), Almirantes – 7 x 47, Gorditos – 5 ½ x 56, Verocu No.5 – 4 x 40.

Out of the entire Havana VI line, the only other sizes I’ve tried are the Almirantes (Churchill), which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was certainly excited to have the chance to sample a smaller vitola (Corona Especial), so let's see how it went.

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Padrón Serie 1926 No. 2 Maduro

Padron 1926 Serie No. 2 Maduro

PadronOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Figurado
Size : 5 ½ x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $17 each
More info about purchasing Padron 1926 cigars...

Sometimes it can be a difficult decision when opening the humidor. I have worked hard over the years and finally have somewhat of a respectable collection of cigars to choose from. This time however there were no hard choices or debating to be done. My mind and palate we craving this cigar and man was it right on!

The wrapper on the Padrón 1926 No. 2 Maduro is a gorgeous, silky dark maduro leaf. Just by first glance at the cap you could see the care and precision used to put it on… just perfect. The bands on all of the Serie 1926 and 1964 Padrón cigars are always appealing to the eye. Each has a double band with lovely gold outline and writing and every cigar has its own ID number printed on it. Just another sign of the quality level Padrón puts into their smokes. The pre-light smell portrays an earthy wholeness and the pre-light draw is loose with a rich velvet undertone.

Pre-light Score: 10 pts.

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Joya de Nicaragua Celebracion Torpedo

Joya de Nicaragua Celebracion

Origin : NicaraguaJoya de Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Habano Criollo
Binder : Nicaraguan Seco
Filler : Nicaraguan Habano Seco and Ligero
Hand-Made
Price : ~$7 each
More info about purchasing Joya de Nicaragua Celebracion...

Joya de Nicaragua is best known for their full-bodied stogies, in particular the Antaño 1970. The Celebracion was designed to mimic the Antaño experience, but not pack such a powerful punch. That way there would be a milder option available for those who prefer milder smokes. Of course, it is still a pretty potent cigar, and many smokers will still consider it to be a full-bodied smoke. I gave it a try and decided I would categorize it as medium-bodied. It’s also very spicy, and the flavors themselves are quiet strong.

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Tatuaje Cojonu 2003

Tatuaje Cojonu 2003

TatuajeOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6.5 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$12-13
More info about purchasing Tatuaje cigars...

The Tatuaje Cojonu 2003 is part of a line which was, back in time, an extension of the original La Seleccion de Cazador Reserva line (Pete Johnson's first line). Cojonu, short for cojonudo which is Cuban slang for "ballsy", was supposed to be stronger and fuller than other Tatuaje cigars. There were several releases within this line since, which were extensively covered on CigarInspector.com: we have reviewed the Tatuaje Cojonu 2009 twice and the Cojonu 2012 Reserva.

When I saw the 2003 version in Brussels, I immediately acquired three of these beauties. Don't get too excited though, the "2003" on the band doesn't mean that they were rolled 11 years ago, it's just the year they were blended. Furthermore, these cigars originally featured a Nicaraguan wrapper and now sport an Ecuador-grown leaf. Quite a neat marketing trick!

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La Jugada Prieto Robusto

La Jugada Prieto Robusto

Origin : NicaraguaLa Jugada Cigars
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Mexican San Andreas Maduro
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8
More info about purchasing La Jugada Prieto...

La Jugada is a medium-strength cigar by Moya Ruiz. According to Danny Moya and Nelson Ruiz, the cigar’s creators, the name “La Jugada” translates to “the play” or “the move,” and is a reference to their beloved game of dominoes. The cigars are all handrolled at Erik Espinosa's "La Zona" Factory in Esteli. You can find more information about the blend and more great pictures like the one above on Moya Ruiz official website. I had a chance to smoke one of these recently, and have to agree; it is a pretty nice experience.

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Fallen Angel by A.J. Fernandez

Fallen Angel by A.J. Fernandez

Origin : NicaraguaA. J. Fernandez Cigars
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro
Filler : Nicaraguan Ligero
Binder : Nicaraguan
Strength : Full
Hand-Made
Price : $5 each
More info about purchasing Fallen Angel cigars...

Construction

A.J. Fernandez is famous for stating, “To make the best cigars, you must have the finest raw materials…” Fallen Angel comes draped in a wrapper leaf that most would call “the finest raw material.” The stunning Ecuadorian-grown Sumatra Oscuro wrapper leaf is a dark chestnut color. It is incredibly smooth with very few veins. The mouth-watering wrapper cloaks potent Nicaraguan ligero long filler. The length of the five-inch stick is plump and well rolled and finished with a neat box press. The double cap squarely mounted and cuts cleanly with my Colibri Monza Punch Cutter.

Read the full review of Fallen Angel by A.J. Fernandez...

Riverside Lounge House Blend

Riverside Lounge House Blend

Origin : NicaraguaRiverside Lounge
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Habano Ecuador
Filler : Nicaragua Corojo 99
Binder : Nicaragua Criollo 98
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6

The Riverside Lounge House is a little place you’ll find in Louisville, Kentucky. If you enjoy a relaxing environment with low ambient lighting and a strain of jazz playing in the backdrop, you would probably feel right at home there. At the Riverside Lounge House, you can enjoy a local craft beer, good company and conversation, and your favorite stogie. Riverside also makes their own cigars, and they were kind enough to send me a sampler of their house blend.

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