This cigar caught my interest because it’s a Nicaraguan puro, but I heard that it was a lot milder than most. It’s also part of a “certified” organically grown and cured line, and those were both points of interest. It comes in seven different sizes: 6×50 (Toro), 6.25×44 (Corona), 6.25×52 (Piramide), 4.75×52 (Robusto), 7×48 (Churchill), 4.5×36 (Nesticos), and 4.25×40 (Tins). I gave the Robusto a try to see if it would be as interesting as I hoped. And guess what—it was.
Illusione isn’t a brand that adds several new cigars to its line every year—and that’s a good thing. The pressure to release a new cigar every year can lead to compromises in quality, and personally I think it’s best when a company puts in as much time as it needs to in order to make something really excellent. At the time of its releae at 2014 IPCPR, the Illusione Fume d'Amour was the first new cigar line from this brand in three years, which makes it a very exciting release.
The name Fume d'Amour uses French words but according to a friend it doesn't really make sense to French ears (it should have rather been called fumée d'amour). I guess it could be translated to "love smoke" or "to love to smoke". It’s a Nicaraguan puro manufactured at the TABSA Factory in Jalapa. As a matter of interest, no ligero leaves were used in its construction, only seco and viso leaves. It’s available in four sizes: Lagunas (4.5 x 42), Clementes (6.5 x 48), Viejos (5 x 50), and Capristanos (6 x 56). For this review, I smoked the Viejos.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 2009twice 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!
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.