Cu-Avana Punisher

Cu-Avana Punisher

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6 x 52
Price : ?
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In October 2010, I had the opportunity to visit the Plesencia factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. While there, I was fortunate enough to sample a very unusual cigar that was still in development. Named the Punisher, this stick took me by surprise. Its wrapper appeared to be infused with a chili-like substance that, upon placing in my mouth, created a warm sensation across my lips and tongue. This was something totally new in all of my cigar-smoking experience. But it was no gimmick. The Punisher smoked like a dream and had the richness and complexity of a truly great cigar. Today, the Punisher is in the final production stages and currently available as part of a Cigar.com sampler. All information about this cigar is closely guarded and its construction and resultant flavor is the result of a secret process. But the alchemy that is taking place at Plasencia’s factory is certainly working; as this cigar is exceptional is many ways. Having now smoked a number of the current Punisher iterations, I am pleased to report that lovers of strong cigars have a great new addition to their smoking rotation.

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Illusione ECCJ

Illusione ECCJ

Origin : Nicaragua
IllusioneFormat : Corona Gorda
Size : 5 5/8 x 46
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $12+

ECCJ stands for European Cigar Cult Journal, which is a cigar magazine. Dion Giolito was asked to make this cigar for the celebration of the magazine's 15th anniversary. I have never read or seen the magazine, but I hear you can read it in both English and German, that’s pretty cool.

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Nub Connecticut 460

Nub Connecticut 460

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : NubNub Cigars
Size : 4 x 60
Wrapper : Connecticut
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5 each
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The look of the cigar is extremely weird. It looks like a big toe or a d size battery. The wrapper is beautiful, very smooth and oily. It’s in perfect condition and it really couldn’t get any better.

On the smell, the wrapper gives off a very nice woody and cinnamon aroma. The foot smells really light, but very sweet tobacco. The pre-draw was very good, not too loose, just the way I liked it and didn’t leave any aftertaste on my palate, which is okay.

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Carlos Torano Exodus 1959 50 Year Anniversary

Carlos Torano Exodus 1959 50 Year Anniversary

Origin : Honduras
Torano cigarsFormat : Short Churchill
Size : 6 x 48
Wrapper : Brazilian Arapiraca Sun-Grown
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5-6 each
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I believe, without a doubt, that situational context affects any smoking experience. So to begin this review I am going to relay a short holiday story regarding this cigar. If this is something you wish to bypass, by all means do and just skip to the second paragraph. I will think no less of you and neither will the cigar. Having spent slightly more than the past year of my life married to my wonderful wife, I find, like many of you, that sometimes it requires a little bit of circus talent to juggle everything going on. As my wife and my families live about 2.5 hours apart, we both agreed that trying to make it to both Christmases every year would end up causing more stress than needed. To compromise, we alternate visiting one side of the family for Christmas and the other on Thanksgiving and New Years. This year was the first Christmas that we spent with her family. Everyone had a great time and I felt extremely welcome, as always, but certain holiday traditions and feelings associated with your own family on Christmas are almost impossible to recreate elsewhere. Fast forward to our arrival at my parents’ house for our pseudo Christmas celebration on New Years. It was joyous and you could tell that the family was happy to be together after being apart. After a hearty meal, with my wife and mother both asleep on the couches, my father and I decided to have a smoke. I brought him a Tatuaje J21, which he greatly enjoyed; although probably not as much as the one from my prior review. For myself I decided to try out the Carlos Torano Exodus 1959 50 Year Anniversary Short Churchill.

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Cheap Smoke: Perdomo Slow-Aged 826 Churchill

Perdomo Slow-Aged 826 Churchill

Origin : NicaraguaPerdomo
Format : Churchill
Size : 7 x 52
Wrapper : Connecticut
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$50 for a bundle of 20
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Mission Notes

Interestingly, the weight of this cigar was less than other churchill-sized cigars in my humidor holding cell. It was densely packed, just didn’t have the same feel. Connecticut wrapper was in good shape but lacked in elegance (similar to Agent 3 when the Pittsburgh Penguins lose to any team on the planet). Complexities I’m not accustomed to from a Connecticut wrapper. Awesome aroma. Medium in body. Delicious. I was unable to identify flavors other than natural tobacco and some other complex flavors. That’s a first. Burning characteristics were spot-on.

Final Statement

This target demands your attention. If I smoked this cigar without a band, I would have put it in the $6-7 price range from the flavor complexities alone. If you come across the Slow-Aged 826 by Perdomo… interrogate without fail or price prejudice.

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CAO Sopranos “Soldier”

CAO Sopranos Soldier

Photo credit: The Cigar Nut

Origin : NicaraguaCAO Sopranos
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 54
Wrapper : Brazilian Maduro
Binder : Honduran
Filler : Dominican, Columbian, & Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : ~$14 each
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The Boss asked me one day through our regular communique via Twitter if I was interested in tracking down the CAO Sopranos "Soldier". I gladly jumped at the chance to review this target. CAO was the first brand of cigars I started smoking with regularity (the particular cigar I started with is quite popular - it's the Brazilia), so I was eager to attain this cigar and give it my full attention.

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Torano Master Series Churchill

Torano Master Series Churchill

Origin : Nicaragua
Torano cigarsFormat : Churchill
Size : 7 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$90.00/Box of 20
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The Toraño Master cigars were released at the end of the summer this past year. I have been a big fan of the Toraño cigars, especially the Exodus 1959, so I was very excited to smoke and write about the Master which is a collaboration between the Toraño family and Master blender Felipe Sosa. You can refer to the previously published press-release for more details. Today’s featured cigar is the Toraño Master Churchill.

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Xikar HC Habano Colorado

Xikar HC Habano Colorado

Origin : NicaraguaXikar cigars
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Habano Colorado - Jalapa Valley
Filler : Costa Rica, Jalapa, Honduras
Binder : Esteli
Hand-Made
Price : $6.50
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Background Info: This cigar is a partnership between Jesus Fuego and Xikar to create a new, exciting cigar for the market.

Mission Notes: I took a quick chance at a fast smoke between snow storms and realized that I had this beauty in my humidor. Looking it over, it is a rich, dark brown wrapper with few blemishes. The veins are visible but smooth, and the construction is very well done. The cigar has a rich aroma of earth and cedar on the prelight. After lighting it has a beautiful rich aroma and clean smoke. There is a light taste of cedar and a bit of chocolate. The draw is nice, with no tightness or blockage and the ash that develops is firm and light grey. This cigar remains pretty nice throughout, but doesn’t really develop into anything different. As I reach the nub I realize that I have thoroughly enjoyed this cigar and would love to have more, but there was really nothing there that set this apart and made me say “wow”.

Final notes: Great cigar, wonderful flavors, very mild to medium. Major problem: Nothing to really make it stand out amongst a lot of other great cigars out there. Not sure on the price point on these. If they are a lower priced smoke then I can really see them becoming a great everyday smoke. If not, then Xikar HC Habano Colorado could become lost in the crowd.

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Photo credit: The Daily Cigar

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